“Every woman in Nollywood is sexy! .......Genevieve
She appeared like an angel. When she walked, her feet fell silently like soft paws of a lioness. Slim, with an oval face, fairly fair, in simple dress, her long, loose black, hair flowed down to her shoulders.
Her gown, silky and blue, with flower patterns, blew in the cool breeze from the nearby sea, before it stopped at her knees.
Covering her arms, the gown revealed her well polished legs, fleshy, long and lovely. She had just returned from the United States, straight to the first The Sexiest Woman in Nollywood Award ceremony at the Vanguard Newspapers corporate headquarters last Monday, September 15.
Genevieve Nnaji looked sexy, yet decent, without flirtation or revealing parts. She looked like a model from the West, without big boobs or protruding back. When she was finally declared Sexiest in Nollywood, with the ovation and the WOWs! all about her, Genevieve stood, shyly, and said, “Every woman in Nollywood is sexy! But to be chosen as the sexiest is humbling.”
The other two winning actresses were represented. Ini Edo was at a film shooting location and her producer could not let her attend. Mercy Johnson was off to Germany.
Genevieve won by 9, 466 votes, followed by Ini Edo's 9, 360 and Mercy Johnson's 5, 335 votes. Debuted on June 28, the three months competition attracted over 32, 000 text messages, discounting thousands of e-mails. Meaning that the competition attracted a huge following.
Genevieve does not walk. She trots, and with her long strides, she easily covers a long stretch in between. In The Canal venue of the award ceremony, she appeared fragile, cool, soft and silent, like a stranger.
But then, in her gait, Genevieve exudes confidence, focus and seriousness, like a lady that knows what she wants, and how to get it.
However, the award ceremony that day did not begin with Genevieve. In fact, it took off at about 1 pm with president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Mr. Ejike Asiegbu fielding questions with a team of top Vanguard editors in the newspaper's Conference Room.
But when Genevieve came, everything changed. Perhaps, because Genevieve is an international star, with a huge following. Her appearance was therefore an opportunity for her fans to catch a glimpse of her.
But more than that her appearance did not only reflect a woman who cares for her fans but one who appreciates every gesture, no matter how little, in a quiet unassuming way.
At least, that was what many thought. But she had driven herself into the venue with two muscular looking female 'bodyguards' in a tinted 2008 Toyota Camry, almost an hour after 2. 40 pm, when the award ceremony properly started.
Asiegbu and the movie producer /distributor, Chief Gabriel Okoye (Gabosky), arrived at the venue about the same time. Gabosky came in a yellow jeep, with mobile police as bodyguards.
Still, the atmosphere was not as it was when Genevieve came in. Silently, she walked to the head of the table where editor of the Vanguard newspapers and president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, also sat with the Vanguard columnist, veteran actor and former AGN president, Chief Lari Williams, the Omenka of Akumazi Kingdom, an Igbo town in Delta state.
In a way, the ceremony was one of those rare moments when the media meet those very creative world people would call crazy people. And that was what Adefaye, under whose tutelage the paper was crowned Nigeria's best newspaper twice, said.
The editor in his black suit, while praising the Saturday Vanguard Editor, Mr. Eze Anaba, also in black suit, along with the Saturday Vanguard crew, for the project, linked the media and movies together in one fell swoop: that it is with crazy ideas that newspapers are built.
“I must say that I followed this competition. Eze is doing crazy things. Newspapers are known for doing crazy things. Personally, Genevieve merits this prize,” the editor said, shaking hands with the winner.
Then the two stood before the standing Vanguard poster, with Genevieve, fragile, smiling, looking innocently into the camera. She won a 32" plasma flat television set, plus a DVD player. Ini Edo and Mercy, through their representatives, took home the same sizes of plasma television sets but without a DVD player. Mercy's was handed over to her representative by Deputy Editor of the paper, Mr. Medino Bayagbon, who advised that the winner should in the next edition have lunch with her number one fan. The winning fans were decided through the lucky deep.
The lighter mood
The award ceremony, offered an opportunity for the media and movie actors to interact. The master of ceremony (MC) began it all by dominating the show with Nollywood jokes and dramatisations.
Sometimes, the MC was a critic, an advertiser, or simply an actor, all in the moviedom. And the jokes he cracked thrilled the journalists and the movie people alike. He did not spare anybody, thereby creating a friendly and lively atmosphere.
He destroyed any walls that could have been created among them. For example, when Adefaye replied Genevieve's inquiry on whether the two had met before, the editor said 'yes', in his office when she visited sometime ago.
The MC had wondered whether the editor met the Sexiest Actress in Nollywood alone in his office or whether the secretary was there. This elicited a thunderous laughter from all, with the Saturday Editor adding, rather uproariously, “Very good question!”
The MC had also wanted the Sexiest Actress in Nollywood to speak from her sexy mouth, and the co MC, Ogbonna Amadi, who is Entertainment Editor of the newspaper, whose beat, along with Fred Iwenjora the competition fell, while taking the microphone to her, said, ' everything about Genevieve was sexy'.
But Genevieve in her response asked the MC, “You say my mouth is sexy, you don kiss me before?” The questioon was apt, full of humour and sex, eliciting laughter all around, showing that the winner is a humourous fellow.
The MC was also like a movie critic. He talked about a situation lovers such as Ransom Noah and Genevieve in their love scenes such as when Genevieve's heart is broken by Ransom.
“They don break Genevieve's heart tire for film. Her heart don strong like kpomo now,” MC joked.
“ But back to the film. When Ransom Noah breaks Genevieve's heart, a weeping Genevieve will shoot Ransom. But you go hear the shots five minutes after Ransom don die: Kpoo! Kpoo! Kpoo!
He also told a story of a rich family and their spoilt girl child who did not agree to her mother's request to come out and have a look at their screen star, Genevieve in their neighborhood.
The poor mother next door living in the ghetto house, started beating her daughter, warning her against behaving like the spoilt child to her whenever she asked her to do something.
The Draws Then came the draws.
Ejike came in to pick the draws. Free that he is not picking it for the actresses as the voters decided.
Then the deeps came.
Somebody said they are deciding the sexiest actress in Nollywood now they are taking a deep.
It is a milk coloured empty drum cut open at the middle with a handle that is rolled from the end. Ejike displayed a handful of some of the newspaper clippings.