It was Mother’s Day last Sunday and International Women’s Day on Tuesday and it was that time again when attention focused on motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of women in society.
One area where women seem to be asserting their influence is in the entertainment industry, particularly the movie divide.
Women working both in front and behind the camera are gradually suggesting that moviedom should not be the exclusive preserve of men or rather should not just be dominated by men.
They seem to be taking their place in the scheme of things, as evidenced in their performance at this year’s Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA), which held last Saturday in Lagos.
They dominated the list of winners, grabbing key awards, including award for Overall Best Film and a technical award, like that of editing.
Celebrity salutes all the winners of this year’s AMVCA, but some of the leading women in filmmaking who were honoured at the awards are singled out for special mention.
THERE was a standing ovation and thunderous applause when veteran actress, Bukky Zainab Ajayi, was announced as the recipient of this year’s AMVCA industry merit award.
everybody agreed that the 82-year-old actress, mother and grandmother, deserved the recognition for her total devotion to the acting profession.
The applause heightened when Auntie Bukky, as she is simply called by junior colleagues, was brought on stage to receive her award in a wheel chair.
She revealed that she could hardly walk, a reason she was wheeled in. With tears rolling down her cheek, Bukky said: “I just want to say to all my friends and non-friends, thank you very much. You do not know how much this award means to me.
“If I have offended you in one way or another, please find it in your heart to forgive me and if you think you have offended me, don’t worry, I have forgiven you a long time ago.”
She added: “I am very happy from the bottom of my heart. I wish I could stand up, but if I do, I will fall. But you all standing for me, I say thank you.”
An actress of vast credit, Bukky hugged both the stage and screen very early in life. However, she began her career on screen as an announcer, presenter and newscaster with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
While at that, Bukky, who studied Drama at the prestigious Stanislavsky Institute of Drama, London found time to feature in some soaps and series produced on NTA.
The now rested Village Headmaster series is one programme that benefitted from her expert portrayal.
An acting auntie to a lot of young people, the iconoclastic actress, who is best known for her inimitable performance in the Andrew Dosumu well travelled film, Mother of George, and in some Nollywood movies, including the 2004 feature, Indecent Girl and the 1998 movie, Witches, Bukky is clearly a living legend of the stage and screen and organisers of AMVCA have just affirmed that with the honour.
AND the winner is, “Adesua Etomi,” and the hall erupted as the slim built actress of immense talent made it up to the stage to receive the Best Actress award for her engaging run in the movie, Falling.
The category in which Adesua won was a tough one. She was nominated alongside industry heavyweights, like Genevieve Nnaji, Nse Ikpe-Etim and Belinda Effah. But it was Adesua that the audience preferred as their best actress.
Nicknamed ‘Sunshine’ by her friends and colleagues, Adesua has from an appearance in her short film, Brave, to a leading performance in that engaging telling by Royal Pictures Academy, Knocking on Heavens Door and the ground-breaking television series, Gidi Up, shown stuff and has proven that she is that actress any good producer should engage if he or she wants an actress that can live a role believably.
Born in Owerri, Imo State, to a father from Edo State and a Yoruba mother, Adesua acts with a lot of depth. She throws herself into a role and makes every role she has played seem as though it was written with her in mind.
Indeed, most directors who have worked closely with her since she returned from abroad to join the industry after her university education, affirm that she is good and that the humble, friendly and amiable actress, who also sings, has brought some spark to the Nigerian stage and screen acting firmament.
Adesua has, with this award, registered her name on the continent as an actress to watch.
IT was another teary moment for Kemi Lala-Akindoju and some guest as she was named the winner of the Trail Blazer award.
Although this is one category the organisers may need to still clarify, in terms of what qualifies one to be awarded a trail blazing crest, some observers say Kemi deserves it for her passion and interest in the acting vocation, both on stage and screen.
Interestingly, this recognition comes with a brand new SUV GS5, courtesy SUV motors.
Kemi is reputed as a self-made actress who is having a good run, both on stage and screen. She recently got a chance to feature in Kunle Afolayan’s new film, The CEO, and in the comedy film by TASC, Surulere.
She played the leading role in Tunde Kelani’s award winning film, Dazzling Mirage, and has featured in a couple of stage productions.
With this recognition, Kemi has registered her name as a screen actress to watch in the continent.
NOTABLE Nollywood actress and later day director and producer, Stephanie Okereke-Linus, got the right icing on her career cake when her latest film, Dry, was voted Best Overall Film of the AMVCA.
Stephanie was the head of the production and creative force of Dry, a movie on VVF and early child marriage. She also featured in the film.
Hailed as a diva with an infectious personality, who gets the kind of star treatment Hollywood actors receive, the English and Literary Studies graduate of the University of Calabar and Head of Next Stage Production, under which she directed her first feature film, Through the Glass, has by this win registered her name as a female movie director to watch.
CelebrityExtra And More…
Charles Inojie Sues For Peace In Nigeria, As He Celebrates Birthday
THERE was so much to eat and drink at the surprise birthday shindig in honour of talented actor, writer and director, Charles Inojie.
The party, which held last Friday at the prestigious Chidi’s Bar in the heart of Surulere, Lagos also attracted the high and mighty in Nollywood, including Ada Ameh; Victor Osuagwu; Andy Chukwu; Chidi Nwokeabia; Francis Onwochei; and Sunny McDon W.
But as the Nollywood star celebrated his birthday, the Edo State-born actor called on Nigerians to embrace peace and work together for the progress of Nigeria.
In a short birthday message at the shindig, Inojie said: “Nigeria belongs to us all and we should all strive to make her a great country.
“Elections have come and gone, this is now the time for us all to join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari to build a strong and virile nation.
“As I celebrate my birthday, I pray for peace for my fatherland and call on people planning to do this nation evil in the form of terrorism and other ills to have a change of heart.”
He added: “I thank God Almighty, the giver of life, for adding another year to my life. Not only was last year pleasantly eventful for me, but also God showed Himself mightily in several aspects of my life, business and career.
“I also thank my fans all over the world. Without you, I will be doing something else by now. I appreciate you all.”