By Benjamin Njoku
COMIC-actor, Charles Awurum is rarely perceived as a serious person, following the roles he plays in movies. But penultimate Saturday, the actor proved his critics wrong when he successfully hosted this year’s edition of the Award of Excellence, organized by his outfit, Magic Lens Africa Film Academy Awards, MAFAA.
The award ceremony, which held at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja, was the first of its kind, as Awurum believes in celebrating those individuals and organisations who have invested in film making over the years. The event also served as a night of premiere of the language movie “Mgbechi Onu Ugba”, an Igbo comic feature film produced by Magic Lens Pictures.
It was heart warming seeing veteran actors such as Bruno Iroha, Steve Eboh, gyration grand master, AB CowBoy grace the occasion, especially when they walked the red carpet with their colourful wears and style.
The awardees,including Abia State governor, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Chief Oziegbe Steve Joseph ,Chairman/CEO of Josto Integrated Investment Limited, Elijah Onyeagba, CEO of Countrywide Housing Company, Sir Anayo Befford Onwuegbu, Chief Kenneth Obinna Ebubeogu, multi-talented actress and singer, Euphemia Chukwu, Mr. James Ume were given awards in recognition of their contributions towards the growth of the industry. Other awardees were, Dr Olakunle Churchill, South Africa’s Jane Mokagadi, Mrs. Bassey and South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Lulu Luis who was given Nollywood Global Ambassador award.
Hosted by Chimamkpam Anyamkpa, a seasoned broadcaster and former member of Lagos House of Assembly, and Paul Achiechie, a super model , the award night kicked off with a red-carpet event. It also had in attendance celebrities, lovers of Nigerian movies and politicians.
Apart from the presentation of awards to the recipients, the highlight of the evening was the premiere of an Igbo comic feature movie, “Mgbechi Onu Ugba” produced by the founder of MAAFA, actor Charles Awurum. The movie, featuring Chiwetalu Agu, Steve Eboh, Bruno Iroha, among other stars, tells the story of a young star who moves about the village intruding in peoples private matters despite her father’s attempt to get rid of her by giving her out in marriage to a man thrice her age.
What spiced up the evening was the performances by the gyration grand master, AB CowBoy and the duo of Mountain Black and Mad Melon of “Danfo Driver” fame.
In his address, Charles Awurum said the award was set up as a way of appreciating contributions by some individuals and corporate organizations towards the development of the entertainment industry in the country. “We believe that this award will go a long a way in making them believe we love and appreciate their contribution towards the growth of the nation’s entertainment industry,” he said.