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Amstel Malta: Building Success Stories In The African Creative Sector

By Oreoritse Tariemi
15 May 2022   |   5:30 am
For years, the African Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) has celebrated outstanding talents in the African film and television industry. Often tagged the “Oscars’ of Africa”, the recognition accorded this event would be incomplete without the constant support of the show’s yearly headline sponsors, Amstel Malta.  As stars and viewers prepare to watch the grand…

For years, the African Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) has celebrated outstanding talents in the African film and television industry. Often tagged the “Oscars’ of Africa”, the recognition accorded this event would be incomplete without the constant support of the show’s yearly headline sponsors, Amstel Malta. 

As stars and viewers prepare to watch the grand finale of the week-long 8th edition of the AMVCAs airing tonight, 14 May, Guardian Life met up with some nominees to discuss their expectations for the glamorous event as well as Amstel Malta’s continued support for the African creative industry. 

MR MACARONI 

Real name Debo Adebayo, Mr Macaroni plays the convincing role of a typical African sugar daddy on the prowl for young ladies to ‘freaky freaky’ him into the night dressed in his staple burgundy agbada, stripped fila, sunglasses and the ever-present Yoruba accent to match. 

With more than two million followers on Instagram, the Mr Macaroni brand has rightfully found its place within the Nigerian entertainment industry, earning Debo his well-deserved nomination in the “Best Online Social Content Creator” category at the 2022 AMVCA. 

Describing how he separates both personalities, Debo explains that he sees “Mr Macaroni” as a fictional character” and himself as the actor channelling the role of “Daddy Wa.”

Creating Mr Macaroni came by chance, he reflects, “I did not start comedy because I wanted to do comedy.” In fact, he never knew he had a funny bone and his ability to make people laugh still surprises him, making it a little difficult for him to pinpoint his sources of inspiration among other comedic giants. 

Like many other success stories, Debo found his calling while going through a tough time. 

In 2019, he found the metaphorical light after watching the likes of Maraji and Twyse inspiring him to consider content creation, putting to good use his academic qualification as a thespian.

Admitting that he started content creation with “nothing to lose,” he notes that he had “everything to gain.”

Applauding AMVCA for creating a separate category celebrating content creators, he believes that this change will inspire others to do the same, giving content creation its rightfully deserved spot and recognition within the African entertainment industry and globally. 

For Amstel Malta, he has three words “they’re doing well.”

Receiving the Mr Macaroni trademark of appreciation, it is clear that their efforts in supporting the AMVCAs over the last eight years have not gone unnoticed by both newcomers and old-timers within the African entertainment industry. 

CHRIS ODEH

Often found behind the camera, Chris Odeh proves that great artists perform well in whatever role they play. 

In his first words, Chris exclaims, “mama, I made it.”

Dressed in a well-tailored traditional attire with a black cap to match, he definitely proves that he is in the business of creating thrilling stories and looking good while at it.

With over 15 years in filmmaking, Chris loves his place behind the camera and has “never ventured” in front of the camera “and never will.”

Recounting the inspiration behind the remake of “Rattlesnake”, which earned him one of his multiple nominations at the 2022 AMVCAs, he reveals that the inspiration came while watching the remake for “Living in Bondage.”

“Rattlesnake” was one of the few films that stood out from his childhood, and Charles Okpaleke’s “strong instincts” was the gear that kick-started the engine of the film’s remake. 

Creating the AMVCA nominated remake of “Rattlesnake” needed body of work takes three things “vision, foresight and follow-through.” 

These qualities combined not only ensure that a quality work of art is produced but also give the audience a reason to always go back to it.

Holding two nominations each in the ‘Best Overall Movie’ and ‘Best Movie (East Africa)’ category at the 2022 AMVCAs sponsored by Amstel Malta, Chris Odeh has high expectations for a much-desired win. 

Not one for pretence, Chris “wishes everybody luck,” BUT he wants to put one of the awards in his house, making it clear that his sole intention was to win, and anything less was unacceptable. 

“When I was line producer in Oloibiri, it was line producer, you know line producers are the slaves, we don’t get any credit; Living in Bondage, I was line producer, I was a slave again. So now that slave must become master, help me to win,” he jokes.

On a more serious note, he looks forward to what this win would do for him as a filmmaker and how it would propel him to do better things. 

In his parting words, he says, “sometimes we have rough upbringings, but if you can live above that, you can be great.” He explains that sharing this comes as a result of noticing that “people in Nigeria have strange upbringings that tie them down.”

“I think we need to live above those things and believe that you can only limit yourself by yourself, so dream beyond your past.” 

RAMSEY NOUAH

No stranger to screens and definitely not a newcomer to the AMVCAs, Ramsey Noah’s bio is as long as the Nigerian film industry’s history. One that if we begin to write about, a few words wouldn’t be enough to describe his impeccable brilliance not just as an actor but also as a director. 

Snagging two nominations in the ‘Best Overall Movie’ and ‘Best Director (Movie)’ categories at the 2022 AMVCA awards, with his notable remake of “Rattlesnake,” Ramsey describes the feeling as “really good,”

“All that effort and sacrifice for making that film was all worth it, and AMVCA made sure of that.” 

Reflecting on his previous win as Best Director for “Living In Bondage” in 2020, he tells us a little secret; he was really nervous about winning. 

“I was feeling a little jittery,” he admits, and while he couldn’t make it due to a production schedule at the time, he was ‘clutching the edge’ of his seat, looking over and over at the nominees and wondering,” how to go about it.”

You know the shivers that run down your spine when cold water is poured on you? Well, that’s exactly how winning felt for him. 

“It’s more like when they pour you cold water, and you breathe out like ‘aah!’ cause the tension was pretty high.”

Recognising that winning was not a one-person job, his team also played a huge role in contributing to the success of “Living In Bondage”, “without them, I don’t think Living In Bondage would have been that much of a great success.”

He also admits that many people advised him to forget about remaking the classic film, “no go spoil am for us.”

Watching both films, viewers would undoubtedly notice the great attention to detail included in them. For one, the message behind the films were not lost, and in some way, they managed to act as a continuation of their originals while also maintaining their individuality. 

This was not by chance but rather a conscious effort by Ramsey and his team to maintain the elements of each body of work they produce. 

He says, “I strongly believe in details, but all the extra effort, not just the shebang that you see.”

For new filmmakers, he leaves his final words as “put the extra effort in details, I think with that we can make a breakthrough.”

Amstel Malta Is The AMVCA

Since the first edition of the AMVCAs in 2013, the premium low-sugar malt brand, Amstel Malta, has thrown its weight behind supporting this continental recognition of African excellence. And they have continued doing what they know best by once again sponsoring the week-long 8th edition of the AMVCA, which will round off celebrations today. 

For many years, Amstel Malta has been a staunch supporter of building creativity not just within Nigeria but Africa as a whole, and the AMVCAs is only one of their many successful projects geared towards building the African entertainment industry. 

This year, they have evolved the award show from being only a celebration of film and TV to a global celebration of African fashion, music, food and creativity. 

It’s a wrap

Today marks the end of what has been the first-of-its-kind continental celebration of the African creative sector. 

As we prepare to watch our stars take home their awards, we should keep in mind that every nominee deserves to be recognised for their brilliant projects, whether or not they take the plaque home. 

Not forgetting the red carpet, where stars and guests would showcase their glamorous outfits in a toast to the brilliance of African fashion designers. 

If you want some hints on who goes home with what, we’re just as curious as you are, and we can all find out together by watching the live stream of the 2022 AMVCAs today on Africa Magic channel 154 on DSTV and GOtv channel 2 from 4 pm WAT. 

The eighth edition of the Africa magic Viewers’ Choice Award is brought to viewers by Africa Magic in association with Multichoice and proudly sponsored by Amstel Malta.