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The true legends of Nollywood

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It was before a quality crowd comprising the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning Prince Clem Agba, Distinguished Senator Dino Melaye, filmmaker Chief Zeb Ejiro, General Manager Corporate Banking Sterling Bank Plc Mrs. Mojisola Bakare and the General Overseer of the Revival Assembly Apostle Anselem Madubuko and his wife, that the Paul Obazele led Legend of Nollywood Awards unveiled recipients of the 2020 edition of the award scheme instituted in 2012 to recognize the contributions of practitioners who contributed in no small measure in birthing the Nollywood industry.

The recipients- all popular faces and long standing practitioners in the motion picture industry took their turns to receive the LNA crest at the impressive ceremony that held at the prestigious Banquet Hall of the National Theatre Iganmu, Lagos. Long standing practitioners such as Prince Jide Kosoko, Amaechi Muanagor, Dr. Chika Onu, Segun Arinze, Francis Duru, Hilda Dokubo, Chief Peddy Okao, Mike Nliam, Joe Dudun, Obiageli Molube, Jonathan Gbemutor and Patrick Doyle were honoured at the well attended award ceremony where products of the two weeks film training workshop organized by LNA and supported by Ecobank were presented with their certificates. Celebrity salutes all the awardees that have by this recognition been rightly admitted into the hall of fame for Nollywood legends.

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Prince Jide Kosoko
BORN into the Kosoko ruling house of Lagos and christened Abdul-Rafiu Adesina Babajide Kosoko, Jide Babs as the actor of vast credit is fondly called received the Legend of Nollywood awards for his contribution to the industry. Prince Kosoko is clearly an icon and legend of Nollywood. An accomplished actor and producer and a prominent member of a number of industry guilds and association, Prince Kosoko started acting in 1964, ten years after he was born. He said he was inspired to hop on the acting run way by the doyen of Nigerian theatre Chief Hubert Ogunde whose Noble Street Residence in the Yaba area of Lagos was just a stone throw away from their Queens Street, Alogomeji, Yaba, home.

For the Prince, the more he watched the late doyen at work the more he was convinced that ‘it won’t be a bad idea try out acting as a profession’. But it was one Dele Toyimbo, Jide’s neighbour at Queens Street and a member of the celebrated Ifelodun Theatre group that broke the ice for the mega star. Dele, aware of Jide’s interest, invited him to watch the Ifelodun Theatre group at work. Jide honoured the invitation but he did that and even attended more rehearsals without the consent of his parents.

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One day during rehearsals, Jide got an opportunity to try out what he felt was in built talent. He was auditioned alongside eleven other teenagers for a role in a drama series that was then running on NTA Channel 10 Victoria Island. Expectedly it was Jide who eventually carried the day. He outshone the others and so he got the role on merit. Two days after, the young Prince was ready to mount the raised platform and he has remained on that raised platform till date.

Hilda Dokubo
VETERAN actress, Hilda Dokubo also received the Legend of Nollywood crest. A choreographer, activist and caregiver and an actress in the professional class, Hilda a product of the theatre arts department of the University of Port Harcourt and an alumnus of the prestigious Royal College of Arts, London has maintained a steady position as one of Nigeria’s leading actresses grabbing mostly lead roles on stage and screen. The native of Buguma in Asaritoru Council Area of River State has also signed some offerings as producer. Star of Kunle Afolayan’s big budget movie ‘The CEO’ Hilda presently combines her work as an actor with training and mentoring young people.

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Francis Duru
NOTABLE Nollywood actor, Francis Duru received the Legend of Nollywood award. The Imo state born pioneer Nollywood actor and star of critically acclaimed flicks like Rattle Snake, Dust to Dust and Sgt Okoro is clearly a versatile actor whose movies have somewhat become a hallmark of nostalgia in the minds of moviegoers. The University of Port Harcourt graduate of theatre arts and former chairman of the Abuja chapter of the Actors Guild of Nigeria is roundly hailed for his professionalism and commitment to the stage and screen acting vocation. An actor whose staying power has been total respect for professional ethics, discipline and also hard work, Duru also revealed that he has learnt a lot from being humble and learning from situations and everyman who comes around you’’.

Segun Arinze
VETERAN actor, Segun Arinze received the LNA. Popularly referred to as Segun Arinze, no one does everything as an entertainer and does it so well like the former President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and current Chairman of the AGN Foundation. In fact tagging Segun Aina Padonu is by no means an easy task for the method actor; show host, singer, voice over star, husband and father represents so many things to so many people. First known nationally for his portrayal of the role of ‘Black Arrow’ in that action movie of the nineties by Chico Ejiro titled ‘Silent Night’, Segun who is simply referred to as Segun Arinze, became noted as a singer with an irresistible voice, one whose hit track from his debut album as a singer ‘Nwanyi Ganga’ was on repeat on radio.

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However, with the emergence of the Nollywood, ‘Presido’ as Segun is also called, became Nollywood’s undisputedly ‘bad boy’ and the producer’s first choice for an actor who can add zest to a picture. And since he joined Nollywood, Segun’s rating has not dropped. The Lagos born actor is one of the not too many actors in the Nigerian screen acting space whose popularity is so overwhelming and whose simple precepts are roundly admired.

Joe Dudun
PROLIFIC scriptwriter Oghosanine Joe Dudun received the LNA crest for his contribution to the scriptwriting vocation of the motion picture industry. A motion picture practitioner of numerous credits whose fame is not too loud or too pronounced, Joe who graduated from the Bendel State University (now Ambrose Alli University), Ekpoma, majoring in English and who also holds a certificate in Advanced Journalism/Broadcasting from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Lagos, was first known nationally as a journalist. As one, Joe worked as short story columnist for defunct Warri-based Midweek and Sunday Telegraph newspapers in the early 1980’s.

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He was also at a time, former Assistant Features Editor of The Punch Newspapers (1987-1992) as well as Copy Editor of pioneering Nigerian IT-related publication Communication Magazine (1992-93). With the emergence of the movie revolution, Joe walked into the consciousness of many as an astute, disciplined and quietly effective motion picture practitioner.

A founding member of both the Screen Writers Guild of Nigeria (SWGN) and the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN) as well as member Board of Trustees of both the Association Of Movie Producers (AMP) and the Association of Itsekiri Performing Artistes (AIPA), some of his screenplays include Goodbye Tomorrow, Just a Night, ‘Nneka, the Pretty Serpent,’ Thorns Of Rose, Tears For Love, Onome, Oracle, and The Village Square.

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Mojisola BakareNollywood
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