It’s been over 24 hours since Wizkid won the Best Collaboration award at the 2022 BET Awards, and while there’s been noticeable activity on the prolific singer’s social media, he is yet to publicly acknowledge the honour.
It was the remix of his smashing hit “Essence” featuring Canadian Pop singer Justin Bieber, and Tems who was, of course, on the original song that earned Wiz the award. His fourth BET statuette in about two decades.
Tems attended the award show, and was on hand to retrieve the award on behalf of Wizkid as she also won the solo category of the Best International Act on the night. However, from her reaction when “Essence” (Remix) was announced as the winner, it didn’t seem like there was any communication prior between her and her collaborator, as she seemed rather compelled by Wizkid’s absence to go and collect the award which she dedicated to Nigeria and Africa in her acceptance speech.
The ceremony may have gone down as Afrobeats’ biggest night and triumph at the BET Awards, given the wins and debut performances by Nigerian artists Fireboy DML and Pheelz, but it also has brought focus back on Wizkid’s long-standing feud with the BET.
For the record, Wiz has long voiced his dissatisfaction with the organisers of the award ceremony, beginning with his first triumph in 2012, when he shared his award with Sarkodie. The singer disapproved of African acts being announced and presented their own awards backstage, before the main-show. Yemi Alade, Fuse ODG and several other top African acts would also join in criticising the BET Awards for that.
However, that changed in 2017, when Davido collected the award for the Best International Act during the main show. It has remained that way since then. But Wiz has refused to participate in the full rituals of the ceremony including red carpets and interviews, maintaining that he felicitates with the BET but only as a spectator, despite winning in 2020 and being nominated in 2021.
Excusably, Wiz has had a Dior event to attend in Paris over the weekend, and a concert in the Netherlands, but after going days without publicly acknowledging his honour, it is easy to deduce that he no longer has any regard for the BET Awards. Or perhaps, time will reveal more.