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Meet voting members of Oscars 2018: Odugbemi, Omotola


Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

It is not the first time that the prestigious American Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Science or Oscars for short has turned the spotlight on Nigeria and its massive movie industry dubbed Nollywood.

The Academy in 2014 approved the constitution of a Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC).

Chaired by the filmmaker Chineze Anyaene with accomplished practitioners, film journalist and film enthusiast like Charles Novia, Mildred Okwo, Husseini Shaibu, Biola Alabi and Chioma Udeh as members, the NOSC has the responsibility of recommending to the Academy, a film from Nigeria for consideration in the foreign language category of the Oscars.


This time around, the Academy has invited two outstanding motion picture practitioners, one an actor, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde and the other a notable filmmaker, Femi Odugbemi to join 926 notable industry professionals as voting members of the Oscars for 2018.

Like the constitution of the NOSC, this is a well- deserved recognition not just for Omotola and Odugbemi but also for Nollywood, which is clearly Africa’s undisputable movie making factory.

By this invitation, Omotola who is simply called Omosexy by colleagues and fans and Odugbemi will join the over eight thousand accomplished men and women working in and out of cinema that have been admitted into the world’s pre-eminent movie award body.

Celebrity salutes Odugbemi and Omotola, who by this recognition have placed Nollywood further on the world’s movie map.

Omotola Jalade Ekeinde (MFR)

A recipient of the national honours award of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) Omotola Jalade Ekeinde has had it good as an actress, as mother and as a wife.

Reputed as the first African celebrity to ever hit the 1million mark on Facebook, it has always been one recognition or the other for the Estate Management graduate of the Yaba College of Technology.

Reputed as the first Nigerian celebrity to be featured on Time Magazines Top 100 most Influential Women along side personalities like Michelle Obama, Kim Kardashian in 2013, Omotola has continued to receive accolades for her straight and convincing runs both off and on the screen.

Cheered at wherever she goes and constantly besieged by fans almost to the point of suffocation particularly by the youths who view her success story so far as an affirmation of their own success especially if they work very hard at it, Omotola who started this life time journey as a screen actress after a break in Reginald Ebere critically acclaimed movie ‘Venom of Justice’ is once celebrity who is greatly loved and whose popularity and acceptance is to say the least overwhelming.

An actress of vast credit, there has been no stopping the friendly, easy going, caring and warm Omotola since she joined Nollywood in 1995.

She has continued to grab the lead roles and has continued to blaze all over the country and the continent with her shimmering talent.

A philanthropist and a mentor to a lot of women and young people, movies that have had the benefit of her signature include ‘A Private Storm’, ‘Last Flight To Abuja’, ‘Mortal Inheritance’, ‘Ije’, ‘Games Women Play’, ‘Ogbaje’, ‘House Girl’, ‘Dark Moment’ and many others.

Married to Mathew Ekeinde, a trained pilot, Omotola had revealed in a recent interview that she has lost count of the number of movies she has taken part in. she had said ‘I have never taken time out to sit down to count.

But I think I have done well over 200 hundred movies’’.

An ambassador to many national and international organizations, Omotola who is currently involved in a campaign to encourage the electorate to exercise their franchise, thanked the Academy for the recognition and promised to do her best to ‘represent the industry well’.


Femi Odugbemi

A consummate filmmaker and quite clearly, a respected voice in the Nigerian arts and culture scene, Odugbemi is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and photographer.

His recent critically acclaimed film ‘Gidi Blues’ has been headlining festivals across the world. Co-Founder of the IREP documentary film festival, Odugbemi’s other critically acclaimed documentary ‘Bariga Boy’ won Best documentary at the 2010 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).

He has also received the 2010 Afropop Prize sponsored by the National Black Programming and Consortium in the United States.

Other highlights of his works include ‘Bar Beach Blues’ (Best Director, Zuma Film Festival 2006) ‘Mama Put’ (Best Film Abuja International Film Festival 2009) and the critically acclaimed documentary ‘Ibadan – Cradle of Literati’ (2008), ‘Oriki’ (2010) and the ‘Chain’ (2011).

Femi was the founding Producer of “ TINSEL”, MNET Africa’s acclaimed daily soap opera. He has been President of the Independent Television Producers Association of Nigeria (2002-2006).

He has been a juror for the Emmy Award, in New York, the TAVA Awards in Lagos, The African International Film Festival, and recently Head Judge for the Afrinolly Short Film Competition and the prestigious Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.

Odugbemi who is Managing Director/CEO of DVWORX Studios, Lagos is the West African Director for the Mnet Talent Academy, which begins in October 2018.

In this article:
Oscars 2018Uju Okeke
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