UBA/AMAA 2008: NKEM OWOH, KATE HENSHAW ARE AFRICA’S BEST
Popular comic actor Nkem Owoh popularly known as Osoufia for his role in the Kingsley Ogoro film Osuofia in London left the venue of the just concluded UBA-African Movie Academy Awards UBA/AMAA elated that he has been voted Africa's best actor in a leading role by the Jury of the academy.
The jury of the 2008 edition of the award which held at the Hilton Hotel, Abuja led by former Managing Director of the Nigeria Film Corporation and university teacher Dr Hyginus Ekwuazi last Saturday named Owoh the winner of the best actor in leading role for his role in the hi-comedy Stronger than Pain also featuring Nigeria's Kate Henshaw-Nuttal and Ebube Nwagbo.
Interestingly, Kate Henshaw Nuttal , Owoh's co-artiste in the movie was named the best actress in Africa.
Cornered to speak on the award, Nkem Owoh said he has always been nominated for awards which he never wins.
He said that “any one nominated was a potential winner and I thank the organisers and the jury for finding me worthy of winning the best actor in Africa in 2008”
Also speaking with Home Video People, Kate Henshaw was aestatic about winning saying “ it was long in coming” But it was Ghana that dominated the award proceedings that was spiced with a lot of musical and stand up comic performances.
The Ghanaian entry Run Baby Run by Emmanuel Apea was the jury choice for the big prizes of Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screen Play.
Two Nigerian movies- Across the Niger as directed by Izu Ojukwu and the Amstel Malta box office hit White Water which Izu Ojukwu also directed received multiple awards.
While Across the Niger clinched the Heart of Africa Award for the Best Nigerian movie in the AMAA and the award for Special Effects, Izu Ojukwu's White Water was the jury's favourite for Best Upcoming Actor, Sound and Cinematography.
For the first time in the AMAA, two joint winners, one a product of the annual Amstel Malta Box Office reality show programme-Hoodsunk and OC Ukeje emerged in the best upcoming actor category for their roles in White Water.
Dr. Hyginus Ekwuazi, head of the AMAA jury noted in a jury statement that there has been tremendous improvement in the quality of productions, the film scholar and teacher maintained that African film makers still lag behind in the technical areas of sound, music and set design.
He said there were about 304 movies for the jury to watch and choose from. Before the end of the show, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Dr. Aliyu Moddibo had commended the organisers of the AMAA award for their resilience and doggedness.
Dr. Moddibo said he was inspired by the success of the AMAA and the Nigerian Motion Picture Industry to approve the allocation of a 50 hectre parcel of land for the development of a film village.
The Minister who described the AMAA as a truly Pan-African event also assured that the foundation stones laying ceremonies of the film village will be performed before the end of the year 2008.
In all, UBA/AMAA 2008 held very well at least the razmataz was becoming of a show of that magnitude. In terms of attendance, the event in Abuja benefitted from the central and straight forward destination of the FCT.
Any one who was in Abuja for anything entered the Transcorp Hilton to see what was happening within the Congress Hall as different from the bottleneck of connecting Yenagoa from P.H. Some others were lodged at the five star hotel and also came down to unwind at AMAA.
However,those present include several distinguished Nigerians like Ben Murray Bruce, a distinguished Bayelsan and his close pal Skid Ikemefuna, Bisi Olatilo, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and a host of others. Ex governor of Bayelsa Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha also was there to savour the glories of an event started during his tenure.
The Head of Bayelsa state Tourism Board, Nathan Egba was there to stage an art exhibition with fine artists from Bayelsa state just like many others too numerous to mention were present.
The event was swarming with people that one wondered whenever a new face of just another star is seen.
In terms of African representation, AMAA 2008 also scored high marks. Several more Ghanaian stars were on hand just like the South African contingent and the Ugandans had a field day making the event more and more an entire African event to the benefit of UBA which prides itself as Africa's global bank. UBA Foundation Chairperson, Celine Loader was on hand to entrench this feeling in the minds of the enthusiastic audience.
It could be said that the stage craft for UBA/AMAA 2008 was better than earlier shows because a template may have been set through the past editions and it was easier to run through.
So as the organisers do their own post mortem, patting themselves on the back for a job well done and blaming themselves for areas that need fine-tuning, there is great need to consider a rehearsal with the award presenters so as not to witness some of the shabby presentations of what could have been a great show which prides itself as African Oscars.
Some AMAA Winners at a glance
IRANSE AJE (NIGERIA) ADEBAYO TIJANI (NIG)
EVELYN (NINA) IN RUN BABY RUN (GHANA)
3.MOST OUSTANDING ACTRESS INDIGENOUS
DORIS SIMEON -ONITEMI (NIG)
4.MOST OUTSTANDING ACTOR INDIGENOUS
AYO AKINWALE -IRANSE AJE (NIG)
KATE HENSHAW NUTTAL - STRONGER THAN PAIN (NIG)
NKEM OWOH - STRONGER THAN PAIN (NIG)
EMEKA OSSAI - CHECK POINT (NIG)
JOKE SILVA - WHITE WATER (NIG)
9.BEST UPCOMING ACTRESS
UJU OKEKE - MISSION TO NO WHERE (NIG)
10.BEST UPCOMING ACTOR (Joint winners)
OC UKEJE - WHITE WATER (NIG) and HOODSUNK - WHITE WATER (NIG)
NEW JERUSALEM IFEANY I ONYEABOR (NIG)
RUN BABY RUN EMMANUEL APEA / JULIA APEA (GHANA)
BABY RUN EMMANUEL APEA (GHANA)
DIVIZIONS MUGISHA DONALD (UGANDA)
ACROSS THE NIGER (NIG)
MIRROR OF BEAUTY OKEY OKOH (NIG)
EMMANUEL APEA RUN BABY RUN (GHANA)
PRINCESS TYRA SAMIRA YAKUBU (SAMIS MEDIA) (GHANA)
WHITE WATER NEW HAVEN STUDIO (NIG)
WHITE WATER CHIGOZIE NZONWANNE (NIG)
PRINCESS TYRA JOYCE MENSAH (GHANA)
22.HEART OF AFRICA AWARD
ACROSS THE NIGER (NIG)
23.BEST FILM BY AFRICAN IN DIASPORA
Do you believe in Magic? DANIEL ROTH (SOUTH AFRICA / USA)
Not my daughter (GHANA)
28.SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
DIVIZIONS MUGISHA DONALD (UGANDA)
What Alam said
Ex Governor of Bayelsa state, Diepriye Alamieyeiseigha was also at AMAA and told Home Video People that if he were still in-charge as governor of Bayelsa, “AMAA would not have left Yenagoa no matter what amount of pressure.
We agreed to support it to celebrate our people's cultural heritage and give a boost to Nigeria's and indeed Africa's growing movie industry.
The man in whose tenure, the event had started has always been passionately disposed to AMAA that he shelved a very important trip to be at the event.
Variously called Alam or the Governor General of the Niger Delta, Alamieyeseigha was the one who completed the Yenagoa civic center for the 1st edition of AMAA to take place and played host to renowned African American screen star Danny Glover and took him on a jolly ride to see the three kinds of water in Bayelsa, the clean , the brackish and the salt water.
Asked what he would have done to see that AMAA held in Yenagoa, no matter what ever the pressure were, the ex Nigerian Airforce officer said. “ I am not in-charge so my opinion won't count. But I am here to enjoy myself”
AMAA will return to Bayelsa —Pastor Sokare
Bayelsa state Commissioner for Information Pastor Ebiowei Sokare has assured that whatever caused the change of venue for AMAA which took it from Yenagoa to Abuja may never happen again and AMAA must return to Bayelsa in the coming years.
Speaking to Home Video People on telephone, Pastor Sokare said the state would continue to support AMAA no matter which part of the country it holds but stated that those who feel that the movement to Abuja was final should rethink.
According to Sokare, “many people have said whatever they wished were the reasons for the movement of the venue to Abuja.
Some have also said that the decision to move it was final and will never return to Bayelsa. However, we wish to state here that there was never any tension in Bayelsa, there is none as I speak with you now.
AMAA will return to Bayelsa in the nearest future as we plan to continue the support and reward for excellence in the arts generally and movies in particular in Africa.