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Nollywood @ 20 E Golden Awards (NEGA 2012); All that transpired

By Isaac Izoya

Under the patronage of Ehizoya Golden Entertainment, awards winning Isaac Izoya Cultural Ambassador who recently added Africa Achievers award in Amsterdam, Holland in December 2012 to his awards collection, successfully marked the 20th anniversary of Nollywood in Essen, Germany 8/12/12 with elaborate cultural exhibition which was crown with prestigious NEGA awards to some selected Nollywood and Ghana stars.

Nollywood, the Nigerian motion picture industry, has been described as the second largest producer of feature films in the world after Bollywood of India, by UNESCO and has been universally recognised as part of the popular African culture today.

Over 2,000 movies are censored by the National Film and Video Censors Board yearly. There can be said to be a boom because of the huge reception of the products by the masses of Africans both home and abroad who believe that, for the first time, authentic African stories are being told by Africans.

The dream factory, being entirely home-grown, plays a major role in the decolonisation of the African mind after centuries of slave trade and colonialism with the destructive effect of these traumatic experiences on the popular mind of the African.

For the first time since political independence of Africa, Africans have created their own creative

industry, telling their own stories in their own way without imitating others. Hence, the general

perception of Nollywood, which is being increasingly emulated in other African countries, as a factor in liberating the African mind from colonial-induced sense of dependency and has helped Africans in the Diaspora in no small way debunking the regular notion that Africans don't live on top of tree as mostly portrayed by Western media.

Considering the above facts, Isaac Izoya of Ehizoya Golden Entertainment summarized his own personal opinion that, “it would've been a crime if the world failed to mark the 20th anniversary of this great industry – Nollywood”. Despite all odds, it came to pass and record will not forget him for good as the leader of the only organization in the whole world that marked Nollywood 20thanniversary when nollywood completed exactly 20 years of existence with red carpet.

The event was marked with prestigious NEGA awards which went to some of those people who have done Nigeria and indeed all Africa proud by their immense contribution since 1992 to the growth of Nollywood, the brand that has promoted African culture to the rest of the world in no small way.

Some of the big names that graced the occasion were; Femi Awoniyi, The publisher of African Courier Magazine, Benjamin James, Ex-Eagle player and one of the three African coaches in Bundesliga, Hoffenheim jr team, Mr. Sacco, the MD of SaccoReisen, Mr. Festus Omorogbe, ex-president of Edo National Body in Germany, Engr. Dieter Küfner, the president of billionaires club in Germany and his wife Matilda among others.

Some of the Nollywood stars that were present at the occasion include; The president of Association of Movie Producers Mr. Zik Zulu Okafor; the winner of “Mouth Piece of Nollywood” category, Charles Inojie who was awarded “Best comic film director”, Nigeria's Monalisa Chinda who won “Outstanding Character Actress” category and returned to Nigeria with two awards; Adler/Nega awards and outstanding successful Ghanaian star in Nollywood, Jackie Appiah winner of “Cross Cultural Actress of Nollywood” all returned to Africa with their NEGA 2012 plaque.

In his opening speech, the President of Ehizoya Golden Entertainment Mr. Isaac Izoya, said after welcoming every one to the gala-nite that “Nollywood is 20yrs in the world but 10 yrs in Germany since the first nollywood production in Germany “Sinners in the house” film in 2002 but released in 2003. Ever since he said, we've been keeping to our motto; “The Show Must Go On” with no year ever passing by without Nollywood grand event by our organization not just only in Germany but across Europe, keeping people closer to our Africa culture.

Continuing, Izoya said “We borrowed a leaf from Double A Entertainment in Holland, the guys that brought Nollywood to Europe and ever since, we've been at the fort front of the race and no going back. I thank the Nollywood stars who created time from their busy schedules to honour NEGA invitation. I particularly thank Zik Zulu the president of AMP who made it a point of duty of leading Nollywood delegate down to Germany at all cost. If we have just two leaders like you in Nollywood, the story will be different in the next 20 years” he added. In his concluding speech, he thanks the German Embassy in Lagos for their full cooperation in these past years till date and the event sponsors for their trust and assistance.

In his nega award acceptance speech, Mr. Zik Zulu said;

I want to thank Isaac Izoya who has been promoting Nollywood in Europe for over a decade now. He's a rare Cultural Ambassador of Nigeria, Africa and of our culture which we represent. I also want to recognize the challenges of living in a foreign land especially, in this cold winter. For that I say thank you all for finding time in your respective busy schedule to be here to welcome us and grace this occasion. I want to assure you all that this NEGA event has come to stay. I will personally make sure that African governors, African ex/present Presidents will be here next year to participate in this event because we need to take it to another level. When we're doing this show next year, it will be a partnership between Germany and Nigeria”

Nollywood is an Africa experience. America's Hollywood makes great and expensive movies with millions of dollars but we make our films with just thousands of dollars. Their productions sometime, last for a whole one year or more. But we make ours in just two weeks. Whether the world likes it or not, Africa introduced Home video to the world. Gone are the days when the West was allowed to tell African stories. Their interest then were the jungles of Africa and even when Hollywood feature Olu Jacods in their film, he was featured where you have witches and native doctors but when the world revolved around and Africans started telling their own stories since 1992, I was there. We told the world that we have our authorities, our religious, our romance, our love, our language and our music. Even when CNN interviewed Kabila nick-named Kabila Igwe during his presidential campaign, he was asked what does Igwe mean? He simply said, I don't really know but the richest men with authority in Nigeria movies are always call Igwe hence, he settled for the name too.

Jackie Appiah;
I am really excited to be here. I am really glad that I took time out of my busy schedule to be here and be part of this program to meet lovely people like you. Thank you for supporting the movie industry and without you there will be no Jackie. Thank you Germany! She greeted the vibrating hall.

Monalisa Chinda;
Good evening good people, Africans, Germans and you all. I am particularly glad to be here today because this uses to be my late father's land; may God bless his soul. He spent 40 years of his life here in Germany. I always wanted to come to Germany and thank God for Isaac who made it possible for me to come down to see my fans here and thank you all for leaving behind your busy activities at this late hour just to celebrate with us. I say a big thank you and I am glad to be here.

Charles Inojie;
Good morning ladies and gentle men. It's such a massive pleasure to be here with you tonight. I do not have the right word to express my gratitude and delight for you all and especially, the organizer of this program, Ehizoya Golden Entertainment. For the last decade under the auspices of Ehizoya Golden Entertainment, Isaac Izoya has projected Nollywood to the outside world particularly here in Europe that he has become a reference point as far as Nollywood is concern. I say a time has come when the world, like the AMP President just said and especially, Nollywood have to and need to partner with Isaac Izoya to take his vision to another level.

I don't know what his vision was when he started a decade ago but I can assure you that this has gone beyond Isaac and his organization alone. This has become so big now that it can't be “Isaac is doing something” again. We can take this show to another level if we join forces together to push Nollywood to another level in this part of the world. I also want to thank the sponsors of this event especially, SaccoReisen. For Italian company sponsoring Nollywood event is a practical proof that Nollywood has crossed bridges and borders for good.

In addition to what AMP President said a while ago for most of you who don't know him so well, Mr. Zik Zulu is a man of substance. He doesn't just talk for talking sake. He has direct links to past and present leaders in Nigeria meaning he has the keys for vital doors. I will advise Isaac to work with him as an individual and with Nollywood as a whole to see what he said will come to past. Thanks.

The founders of Double “A” Entertainment since 1998 in the Netherlands and the receiver of Nega “Initiator Of Nollywood In Europe” category Mr. Leonard Ajayi-Odekhiran and Tony A.B. Akinyemi, for their movie “UNDER PRESSURE” shot in 1998 and “Dapo Junior” in 1999 said in their acceptance speech that they are “very grateful for the long overdue honour. We almost gave up that we'll never be honoured for our labour. Hardly did we know someone out there have a profile of our labour. Thanks for the recognition and this award is particularly important for us not just because it's our first award but because of the timing of the award, Nollywood 20th anniversary. Once again, thank you Mr. Izoya for your good works since the production of your first movie - Sinners in the house. Thank you for your resilience in promoting Nollywood in Europe ever since. We in Double A Entertainment admire your effort and your track record because we live here in Europe and we know how difficult it is to execute these projects of yours financially. Once again, thanks to our fans all over the world.

However, what seemed to be the most emotional of all the speeches was that made by one Joy Amadi, winner of the Lufthansa Return ticket to Africa donated by the events ,major sponsor Sacco Reisen. She said in her appreciation speech that she had been living in Germany since six years and had been trying to raise travel ticket to Africa but to no avail adding that she was very grateful to the organisers for her first winning ever. She said “At first, I thought it was just a showbiz joke but thank God for the courage to participate in the draw. I am so thankful to SaccoReisen and Ehizoya who made my dream come true.

She was presented one year valid Lufthansa ticket to Nigeria by Mr. Sacco and Mr Isaac Izoya. Mr. Zik Zulu promised the winner, Miss Joy Amadi of Nollywood treat whenever she visit Nigeria with the ticket.

Some of the local stars that made Africans proud through their performance were; Mekxo Judi Master and Shawn Stopper both Hip Hop stars, MacoRas Narrow-Path, Reggae star and Mary J. Queen Fashion from Belgium that elevates African dresses to heavens high.

[email protected] E-Golden Awards` Recipients

1) OKAFOR Zik Zulu “Mouth Piece of Nollywood”

2) NOUAH Ramsey Tokunbo “Outstanding Actor”

3) CHINDA Monalisa “Outstanding Character Actress”

4) OGUNJIOFOR Okechukwu Polycarp “Father of Nollywood”

5) IWENJORA Frederick Obiora “Distinctive Nollywood profiler”

6) INOJIE Charles “Best comic film director”

7) WERNER Dorothee “Nollywood Ambassador at Large”

8) EMELONYE Obi, “Best Diaspora Director”

8) APPIAH Jackie “Cross Cultural Actress of Nollywood”

10)OTUNBA Dr. Victor Njinmah “Grand supporter of Nollywood”

11) AGHOLORCynthia “The Face Of AGN”

12) Double A Entertainment “Initiator Of Nollywood In Europe”

13) Dr. Paulyn JANSEN “Grand Supporter of Nollywood in Germany