*As Lagos pledges continued support for creative industry
By Benjamin Njoku
Lagos—Nollywood actor, Nkem Owoh popularly known as Osuofia was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the organizers of Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMAA, for his immense contribution to the development of the Nigerian film industry.
The award was presented to him at this year’s ceremony, held Saturday night at the Convention Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Presenting the award, which went to another veteran actor, Pete Edochie last year, to Nkem Owoh, a member of the AMAA jury, Shaibu Husseini said, Osuofia deserved the honour, having being in the industry for more than three decades, as he wrote scripts for the now rested late Ken Saro Wiwa’s soap, ‘Bassey and Company’ and TV drama, The New Masquerade.
Accepting his statuette, Owoh dedicated his award to peacemakers all over the world.
Recalling the previous attempts he made at setting up an award platform, the actor commended the founder of AMAA, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe for her consistency and dedication to promoting the African film makers and their works.
Owoh, who won his first AMAA in 2008, was not the only big winner of the night. Though Nigeria won nine awards in all, Senegal ruled the night by carting away major awards with its film, ‘Felicite.’
The film coast home to victory with six awards, winning in three of the five major categories, including Best Film, Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Supporting Actor, beating Nigerian historical film, ‘76’ which won three awards from its eight nominations, including Lagos State Award for Best Nigerian Film.
‘Felicite’ is a 2017 French drama film directed by Alain Gomis. It was selected to compete for the Golden Bear in the main competition section of the 67th Berlin International Film Festival. At Berlin, the film also won the Jury Grand Prix award.
Other winners of the night were “Oloibiri,” which won the Achievement Make-up award, Opa Williams’ “3 Wise Men” (Best Comedy), and Angelique Kidjo who won Best Actress in a Supporting role for role in Kunle Afolayan’s ‘ÇEO.’
South Africa was represented by Akin Omotoso, whose critically acclaimed movie, “Vaya” earned him the Best Director award. The movie also won the Achievement in Screenplay and Achievement in Sound awards.
Receiving the award, Omotoso said it took him about eight years to produce the movie, which was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2016 Toronto International Film. “Based on the true story of a group of homeless people, it took seven scriptwriters a total of six years to bring the “Vaya” story to life,” he revealed.
Mali was represented by Daouda Coulibaly’s “Wulu,” which won the Best First Feature Film by a Director and an Achievement in Sound. Tunisia emerged one of the top winners of the night with Jahwar Soudan winning Best Actor award for his role in “Last of Us.” The movie also won an Achievement in Visual Effect award.
Other countries include Rwanda for Best Short Film, the Democratic Republic of Congo for Best Documentary and Uganda for Achievement in Costume design. Ghana and Kenya were not visible at AMAA, this year.
Meanwhile, speaking at the glamorous event, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State represented by his Deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule stated that his administration would continue to provide platforms for showcasing and celebrating creative arts, talents and originality.
The governor said every successful stakeholder in the industry found Lagos State to be a home as it was the hub of the entertainment industry in Africa.