AMAA 2017: Spotlight on home boys… RMD, Ramsey Nouah and Sambasa Nzeribe
Rita Dominic and Bimbo Akintola, who were the only leading ladies from the Nigerian acting skies that featured on the nomination list of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), had their take last week.
It is the turn of the men in front of the camera this week, and by reason of the mention they received at the nomination event of this year’s AMAA held in Kigali, Rwanda recently, the trio of notable actors, Richard Mofe Damijo (Oloibiri), Ramsey Nouah (‘76) and Sambasa Nzeribe (Slow Country) have been admitted into the unofficial class of the continents leading motion picture practitioners.
RMD, as Mofe Damijo is simply called, Ramsey Nouah and Sambasa Nzeribe, would be battling for honour with top acting celebrities from other parts of the continent and the world, such as David Oyelowo (Queen of Katwe), Ibrahim Koma (Wulu), Amine Ennaji (A Mile in My Shoes), Jahwar Soudani (Last of Us) and Dann Jaques Mouton (Call me Thief), when curtain opens on the 13th edition of the AMAA on July 15.
Although a very tough category by the line up, analyst say these men from Nigeria all look good to clinching the diadem that would undoubtedly mark a career peak for whoever is named winner of the category.
So, who among these leading actors would do Nollywood proud at the AMAA?
Richard Mofe Damijo (Nominated for his role in the movie Oloibiri)IF there were any award for the most featured actor in a big budget movie for last year, then the award would rightly go to the popular actor, Richard Mofe Damijo. RMD, as Richard is called for short, has featured in nearly all the best films and television programmes produced and released on television and in cinema in recent history.
Oloibori, by Curtis Graham, is one of such big budget movies that the actor of immense credit has signed as an actor post his sting as Special Adviser and later Delta State commissioner for Culture.
It is his inimitable effort as the lead actor in that award-winning movie that has earned the tall and well-built RMD this nomination. An actor who has won several awards both at home and abroad, RMD won the maiden leading actor award at the 2005 edition of AMAA. So, if the star of Hush, the fresh television soap on Mnet; 3 Wise Men; Dinner; and The Wedding Party gets the AMAA jury’s nod this time, it would be double for the actor’s actor, who projects an aura of stardom and success and enjoys mass appeal both within and outside Nigeria.
Sambasa Nzeribe (Nominated for his role in Slow Country)
IF the tall and gangling actor, Sambasa Nzeribe, gets the AMAA diadem for leading actor, it would be double for the emerging Nollywood actor and product of the Creative Arts Department of the University of Lagos. Sambassa, whose real name is Chidozie Sixtus Nzeribe, early this year received the Best Actor award at this year’s edition of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCA) for his role in the crime movie, Slow Country.
That AMVCA winning was the second for the humble actor of A Mile from Home fame, who was last year, voted the Best Supporting Actor at the AMVCA for his inimitable performance in the war story, A Soldiers Story. However, this year, it is his role in Eric Aghimien’s gun-trotting film, Slow Country, that gave Sambassa his third major award in almost a year.
Late last year in New York, he was named Best Supporting Actor by organisers of the Nigerian Entertainment Award (NEA) domiciled there. Most critics consider Sambasa’s AMVCA winning as huge one, largely because he was nominated in a category that has industry heavyweights, such as RMD and legendary Olu Jacobs. But the viewers, who voted, chose him over the industry heavy weights. With this AMAA nomination for his role in Slow Country, the spotlight would definitely be on Sambasa to make it four awards in two years.
Ramsey Nouah (Nominated for his role in the movie 76)
IT is Ramsey Nouah’s effort as a leading man in the high-octane drama, ’76, directed by Izu Ojukwu, that has earned him a nomination as a leading actor at the AMAAs.
Interestingly, the same role earned him the best actor at last year’s edition of Nigeria’s African International Film Festival (AFRIFF). Ramsey played Captain Dewa in the big budget-touring movie, which showed at the Nollywood Week Film Festival in Paris last week and earlier premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and at the British Film Institute (BFI), London International Film Festival.
And everywhere it showed, the beatific acquittal of the role of Captain Dewa by Ramsey was what was mostly discussed among festivalgoers and audiences. No doubt, Ramsey bumped himself snugly into the role and gave a believable performance that can only rival his acquittal of the role he played in Kunle Afolayan’s box office hit, Figurine or in Tade Ogidan’s Dangerous Twins.
Clearly, Ramsey, who won the AMAA award for Leading Actor in 2010 for his role in Figurine, was exceptional in the role of Captain Dewa. He squared up so well with the other quality cast members, including Dominic and Chidi Mokeme, to put up a world-class performance in the engaging movie that is based on true-life events.
Though not one who is new to winning awards, if Ramsey gets the crest from a prestigious award like AMAA, it would merely confirm his rating as a leading and timeless actor, not just in Nigeria, but Africa.