Excitement, as BON takes Nollywood stars to Umuahia
Segun Arinze, Queen Nwokoye, Ali Nuhu, Belinda, Others To Read
As part of events leading to this year’s Best Of Nollywood (BON) Award, which will be hosted in Umuahia, Abia State Capital, some of Nigeria’s revered and renowned actors would storm Umuahia, the Abia State capital, Monday, October 24, for a reading and mentoring session with secondary school students.
In the stellar line up of celebrity readers, who have confirmed their participation are Segun Arinze, Daniel K Daniel, Queen Nwokoye, Belinda Effiah, Saheed Balogun and Okey Bakassi. Others such as Bimbo Akintola, Junior Pope, Fathia Balogun and Kannywood finest, Ali Nuhu, will also participate at the event, which is hosted by the Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu led-Abia State government.
Aside the reading proper, which will be led by the First Lady, Mrs. Nkechi Ikpeazu, the executive producer, BON awards, Seun Oloketuyi, informed that there would be inspirational talks, photo ops and an autograph-signing session with the stars.
“We look forward to an exciting time with the kids,” Oloketuyi said, adding, “as you well know, the celebrity reading session with secondary school students is the first of a variety of activities preceding the BON awards proper in December. The chosen celebrities are past winners and nominees of the BON awards. What we promise the lucky students is a life-changing opportunity to meet with their role models and favourite celebrities and hear directly from them time-tested success nuggets, tips they need to be better individuals.”
For actress Queen Nwokoye, a multiple BON awards recipient, “It’s always a thing of joy for me to talk to young people seeking direction in life. I believe that only the foolish would think that wisdom is something to keep locked in a drawer and only the fearful would feel empowerment is something best kept to oneself, or the few, and not shared with all. I don’t have the opportunity to do this all the time so, the BON celebrity reading offers just the right platform.”
Similarly, Segun Arinze, who was appointed artistic director for the BON awards last year, noted, “as a leader in my field, I hold fervently to the belief that leaders should influence others in such a way that it builds people up, encourages and edifies them so they can duplicate this attitude in others. What we would be doing on October 24, in Abia, goes beyond just reading; it’s a character development session for the kids.”
Meanwhile, the Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, is delighted that his beloved state has been considered worthy to host an event of the magnitude. Speaking during the acceptance of hosting rights of BON Awards 2016 at a brief ceremony in the Governor’s Lodge, Umuahia, Governor Ikpeazu said, “For us in Abia State, Nollywood has contributed immensely to the well-being of our people because one of the marketing and distribution pivots of the industry, Pound Road, is here in Aba, the SME capital of Africa. Just like Idumota in Lagos and Iweka Road, Onitsha, Pound Road contributes more than 50percent to Nollywood. So, prior to now, I always thought about how to further get involved with the industry which is why we are working on a film village and are glad to host the Best of Nollywood Awards 2016 on December 10. ”
The governor averred that his affinity with the homegrown movie industry has been further buoyed over the years because, “Unlike in the past when Nigeria used to receive a lot of flaks from the outside world, now, we receive considerable buffer from Nollywood. Nollywood has given us a new level of respect across the world. Therefore, when I was approached to host the awards, I thought that while this might not be the best of times financially for us as a state, it avails us a platform to bring the industry back home, show our various tourism and economic potential and join you to celebrate an industry which contribution to the GDP of Nigeria is invaluable.”
Dr Ikpeazu promised that the state would join forces with the organising team to produce a world-class event that would surpass all other editions and create the high watermark by which awards ceremonies in Nigeria and beyond would be measured.
In appreciation, Oloketuyi thanked the governor for accepting to host the event, adding, the Best of Nollywood Awards was created in 2009 as a veritable premium platform to honour the enterprise and ingenuity of stars and stakeholders of the Nigerian movie industry otherwise known as Nollywood.
“I’m happy to say that we are now the longest running homegrown movie awards ceremony. We designed BON as a travelling awards ceremony and in the intervening years, has been hosted by the Ogun State government under Otunba Gbenga Daniel, the Delta State government (Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan), the Rivers State government (Hon. Rotimi Amaechi) and the Ondo State government (Dr. Olusegun Mimiko).”
Oloketuyi assured the governor that there’s no better ceremony to officially launch the new ultra-modern international events centre being constructed by the state than the BON Awards.
As this year’s host, Abia State joins an elite list of states like Lagos (2009, 2011 and 2012), Ogun (2010), Delta (2013), Rivers (2014) and Ondo (2015) that have hosted the Best of Nollywood Awards.