And They All Turned Up For Oronto Natei Douglas
It was not difficult to explain why there was a large turn out of entertainers at the Creative Industry Tribute event held for the late writer, lawyer, activist and Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Strategy Oronto Douglas at the Eko Hotel and Suite on Tuesday.
OND, as Oronto was simply called by close friends and associates, was a passionate supporter of the arts and a true friend of the Nollywood industry. He is widely credited for President Jonathan’s unprecedented support for the Nollywood industry. He was also a patron of many arts and film related establishments including the Africa international Film Festival (AFRIFF).
He was a great backer of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) from inception and the anchor of the Presidential Bring Back The Book Initiative aimed at improving the reading culture in the country. At the tribute event, the entertainers including some prominent government officials took turn to pay tribute to a man they generally described as a bridge builder.
Arrow head of the tribute event and founder of AFRIFF Chioma Udeh who couldn’t hold back tears as she read a prepared tribute described OND as her mentor and loyal friend. Popular Nollywood actress Genevieve Nnaji stopped her tribute midday as she found it difficult to refer to OND in the past. “You gave without asking in return; a virtue that is rare in these times”, she said. Former President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) described Oronto as a man ‘who personified simplicity and humility’’.
For veteran actress Hilda Dokubo who handled the exhortation at the tribute event, “Oronto lived as a fighter, fighting and winning many battles’. Award winning actress Rita Dominic described OND as a brilliant and selfless personality who put the collective interest first.
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