Thursday, 7th December 2023

Celebrity: Headliners of the year gone past

A number of notable Nollywood personalities were honoured last year. In the wisdom of viewers who participated in the voting process of last year’s African Magic Viewers Choice Award....

Rita Dominic

Those Who Won Awards
A number of notable Nollywood personalities were honoured last year. In the wisdom of viewers who participated in the voting process of last year’s African Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCA), Sambasa Nzeribe and Rita Dominic are the best AMVCA’s actor and actress in a movie for the year.

The viewers also picked the long -standing actress, Ebele Okaro-Onyuike; new actor, Rotimi Salami; Funke Akindele-Bello; and Imeh Bishop Umoh as Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Movie or Television Series, Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Movie or Television Series, Best Actress in a Comedy Movie or Television Series and Best Actor in a Comedy Movie or Television Series, respectively.

There were winners in other categories of the award ceremony, but the big winners of AMVCA, in the estimation of informed observers, were the legendary actor, Chief Chika Okpala, aka Zebrudaya, and the amazing new actress, Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama.

Okpala, who is famous for living delightfully and for over two decades, the role of Chief Zebrudaya in the long-rested television drama series, New Masquerade, got last year’s AMVCA Industry Merit Award, while Somkele received the Trailblazer Award.

Both Okpala and Somkele are now proud owners of GAC Motors’ luxury vehicles. While Okpala won the new luxury SUV- the GS4, Somkele won a classic sedan- the GA3.

The Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) also held last year, with the Jos, Plateau State-based animator, Jubril Malafia, winning the animation award for Nigeria, while the movie, 76, was declared the best Nigerian movie of AMAA 2017. Also last year, the Paul Obazele-led Legends of Nollywood (LNA) held at the National Theatre.

Actress of Nneka, the Pretty Serpent fame Ndidi Obi, Producer of the movie and veteran Nollywood actor, Okechukwu Ogunjiofor, as well as Kenneth Okonkwo, Sola Fosudo, Eucharia Anunobi, Fred Amata, Bimbo Akintola, Tade Ogidan, Zeb Ejiro and Chico Ejiro were the other legends honoured at the award ceremony that had Senator Dino Melaye as special guest.

The Best of Nollywood Awards (BON) held on December 16 in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where Bolanle Ninalowo was voted the Best Actor in a leading role (English) and Michelle Dede the Best Actress in a leading role (English) for her role in the movie, What Lies Within.

Those Who Displayed Courage
NOLLYWOOD actor, Yul Edochie, showed courage when he secured the nomination of the Democratic Peoples Congress (DPC) and was indeed listed amongst the over 30 aspirants in last year’s governorship election in Anambra State.

Although at the end of the polls, his party only managed to garner 169 votes out of the total vote cast, finishing the race with one of the least votes cast, Yule, by that action, has found a place in history books as the first Nollywood actor to vie for an elective office at that level of governance.

But he would not be the first Nollywood actor to throw his hat in the political ring, as some of his colleagues, such as Tony (One Week) Muanagor and Desmond Elliot, have tried and succeeded. Muanagor sat in the Anambra State House of Assembly, while Elliot sits in the Lagos House of Assembly.

Others, including Kate Henshaw, Bob Manuel Udokwu and Ejike Metuselah had taken shots at different elective offices, but here is what makes Yule’s recent ambition different from those who have succeeded and those who attempted.The gangling actor and son of the iconic broadcaster and actor, Chief Pete Edochie, and native of Nteje in Anambra North, eyed the big pie.

Although it was rumoured that he stepped down prior to actual voting for Governor Willie Obiano, who eventually won the election, his campaign organisation debunked the news.Star of acclaimed movies, such as The Lamb, Two Can Play The Game, Pleasure and Crime, Innocent Pain and Testimonies of Pain, Yul, the last of six children born to Edochie, has however, pitched his tent with Obiano.

Those That Would Sizzle This Year
THE award-winning actor, OC Ukeje, had a good run last year, featuring in the widely-travelled film by Shirley Frimpong Manso, Potato-Pothato, which had an impressive showing in Cannes, Ghana and Nigeria.Popular actress, scriptwriter and producer, Uche Jombo, was busy last year and looks forward to a busy time this year. She released her directorial debut, Lost in us and Within these Walls last year and had a strong showing in Omoni Oboli’s Wives on Strike: The Revolution.

It was also a good year for popular Queen Nwokoye. If 100 movies were released last year from the eastern flank of the Nigerian movie industry, the delectable Nwokoye was in 70 of them. The native of Ekwusigo Council of Anambra State, old girl of Queens School, Enugu and Sociology graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and star of commercially successful productions, such as Ada Mbano and Nneka, My Daughter, anticipates a busier schedule this year.

Star actress, Funke Akindele-Bello, had a busy year, churning out several episodes of her comedy series, Jenifa Diary. She had her hands filled working on the series and her pet project, The Jenifa Foundation (TJF). Rita Dominic was also busy last year, picking up awards for her effort in the award-winning movie by Izu Ojukwu, 76.

Others who had a great year and would sizzle this year include Kate Henshaw; Omoni Oboli; AMBO winner, Bhaira Mcwizu; and Nollywood diva, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, or Omo Sexy for short; Segun Arinze, who had an amazing showing in Tatu, by Don Omope; Linda Ejiofor; Kiki Omeili; Blossom Chukwujekwu; Wale Ojo; Femi Jacobs; Dakore Egbuson-Akande; Uru Eke; Beverly Naya; Adesuwa Etomi-Wellington; Kalu Ikeagwu; Judith Audu; Bimbo Manuel; Doris Simeon; Gabriel Afolayan; and so on.