Africa Movie Academy Awards not yet truly African

By jamati online
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Can the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) open up to the rest of Africa and not look too Nigerian?

Written by Ameyaw Debrah

I have always had a problem accepting the AMAA to be a truly African award scheme due to its overabundant Nigerian influence. A lot has changed since the inception of the awards including a change in the size and design of the award trophy but one thing that hasn't changed from day one to date is the undeniable fact that most of the nominees and eventual winners are Nigerian. As the countdown to the 2008 edition heats up, Nigerian actors and movies AGAIN seem more favoured to win the major categories.

According to a recent press release, top contenders for the Best Actor nod include Nkem Owoh (Stronger than Pain); St. Obi (Check Point); Kenneth Okonkwo (African Soldier); Kanayo .O. Kanayo (Across the Niger) and O.C Ukeje (White Water). The rest are Van Vicker (Return of Beyoncé) and Kofi Buknor (Run Baby Run). Those gunning for the Best Actress are Stella Damasus Aboderin (Widow); Kate Henshaw-Nuttal (Stronger than Pain/Rivals); Dakore Egbosan (Caught in the Middle); Genevieve Nnaji (30 Days/Keep My Will); Rakiya Atta(Across the Niger) and Jackie Appiah (Princess Tyra). So where are the actors from Kenya, Uganda, Zambia or South Africa?

Competing for Best Director are Mildred Okwo (30 Days); Emmanuel Apea (Run baby Run); Frank Rajah Erafe (Princess Tyra); Izu Ojukwu/Kingsley Ogoro (Across the Niger); Bond Emeruwa (Check Point); Teco Benson (Mission to Nowhere); Ifeanyi Onueabor (New Jerusalem); Daniel Adenimokan (Black Friday/Onitemi) and Chris Etonue (Through the Fire). This year's star prize of Best Picture will be contested by 30 Days, Across the Niger, Princess Tyra, Mission to Nowhere, Run Baby Run, New Jerusalem, Through the Fire, and Check Point.

I am sure you get the drift and direction of the awards. Most of the non-Nigerian nominations seem to be from Ghana. Quite frankly I don't think the awards qualify to be even called a West African Movie Academy Awards let only the grand African awards it purports to be. Here is some further proof:

Best Actor in Supporting RoleMike Ezuruonye - (Black Friday/Mirror of Beauty)

Fritz Bafour - (Beyoncé)

Emeka Ossai - (Check Point)

Chiwetalu Agwu - (Across the Niger)

Ofiasuluagu Mbaka - (New Jerusalem)

Sam Dede - (Mission to Nowhere)

Kenneth Ifediba - (Check Point/Cash Money)

Best Actress in Supporting Role

Joke Silva - (White Water)

Ireti Doyle - (Across the Niger)

Rama Brew - (Princess Tyra)

Patience Ozokwo - (New Jerusalem)

Binbo Akintola - (Cash Money)

Uche Jumbo - (Keep My Will)

Rita Dominic - (White Water)

Ebele Okaro-Onyuike - (Mirror of Beauty
Best Up-Coming Actor

Hoomsuk - (White Water)

Kunle Fawole - (Cash Money)

Krossin - (New Jerusalem)

Best Up-Coming Actress

Uju Okeke - (Mission to Nowhere)

Yvonne Nelson - (Princess Tyra)

Portia Yhamahan - (Black Friday)

Best Indigenous

Iranse Aje - (Nigeria)

Ipa - (Nigeria)

Hafsat - (Nigeria)

Onitemi - (Nigeria)

Pabou - (Cameroon)

Most Outstanding Actor, Indigenous

Ayo Akinwle - (Iranse Aje)

Muyiwa Ademola - (Iranse Aje/Ipa)

Ali Nuhu - (Hafsat)

Yinka Quardri - (Ipa)

Most Outstanding Actress, Indigenous

Doris Simeon - (Onitemi)

Laide Bakare - (Iranse Aje)

Fatia Balogun - (Ipa)

Zainab Idris - (Hafsat)

The will also be awards for Art Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Edit, Best Effect, Best Music, Best Sound, Best Costume, Best Cinematographer, Best Make-Up, Best Film by African in diasporas, Best Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Animation. Final nominations will be out next week.