Leading Nollywood men on AMAA 2019 nomination list
When the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) hold next moth in Lagos, two leading Nollywod actors – Gabriel Afolayan and Chinedu Ikedieze will be flying Nollywood’s and indeed Nigeria’s flag at the biggest and most prestigious global reward system for filmmakers in the African continent and Diaspora. Afolayan, younger brother of the filmmaker Kunle Afolayan and popular Nollywood actor, Ikedezie are the only Nigerian leading men nominated in the leading actors category of the 2019 edition of AMAA. While Afolayan earned the nomination for immersing himself in the character he played in the latest adventure by Tade Ogidan, Ikedieze got the AMAA jury nod for interpreting delightfully the role of Big Chi in the beautifully helmed movie ‘Lara and The Beats’. Celebrity salutes Ikedieze and Afolayan for making the very competitive nomination list of the leading actors in the continent.
Gabriel Afolayan (Gold Statue)
The multi talented Gabriel Olasubomi Afolayan was named best actor in a leading role for his magnetic effort in the adventure movie by the respected filmmaker Tade Ogidan titled ‘Gold Statue’ featuring Richard Mofe Damijo, Norbert Young and Sola Sobowale. Afolayan, son of the legendary filmmaker late Chief Adeyemi Afolayan and younger brother of the filmmaker Kunle Afolayan put up a convincing act in the well helmed movie that has made critics to start rooting for the actor who sings and dances as well. In fact a critic has even predicted that the ‘Kokoro Ife’ (Love Bug) crooner is most likely going to win in the category of leading actor.
G-Fresh as he is fondly called by close friends and colleagues, Afolayan has acquitted himself severally as an actor and he has raked in plenty awards as an actor including Most Promising Actor’ award at the 2012 Yoruba Movies Academy Awards and the awards of ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’ and The ‘Rising Star’ at the Nollywood Movies Award (NMA). He previously won an AMAA crest for supporting actor and this nomination, as a leading actor is a confirmation that rating of the native of Agbamu in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, in the continent has risen. Born into the arts, Afolayan studied theatre arts at the University of Ibadan (UI). He graduated in 2004, returned to the acting scene and since then he has not looked back. The bearded actor has featured in a couple of movies and television programmes including Ojuju, Kasala, King Invicible, Heroes and Zeros and Tatu.
Chinedu Ikedezie (Lara and the Beats)
For living delightfully, the role of Big Chi in the movie Lara and The Beat, notable actor and holder of the national honour of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) Chinedu Ikedieze earned the AMAA jury nod for a place on the leading men category of the AMAA. The category is one of the most coveted and Ikedezie and Afolayan are the only Nigerians on that category of the 2019 award. Although not one who is new to awards as he has won several industry awards, Ikedieze needs this winning at the AMAA to seal his rating as a leading actor in the continent.
Slightly over a feet and half tall, Ikedieze diminutive frame belies the power that he has inside of him. A graduate of mass communication of the Institute for Management Technology (IMT) Enugu, observers who have followed his career believe that what has kept Ikedieze going is the strong belief in himself. They hold that Ikedieze, an old boy of Methodist College Uzuakoli, may not have been born tall and may not be as tall as most of his contemporaries on the turf, but what they suggest has been keeping the diminutive acting dynamite and what has contributed in making him survive all odds is the gift of far sightedness and the determination to succeed. His far sightedness has somewhat paid off for the actor whose favourite delicacy is his native soup- Okazi. For Ikedieze has not only walked the walk to the top, he has along with his acting soul mate Osita Iheme aka Paw Paw or Ukwa has mastered the art of remaining relevant and staying on the top rung. They are undoubtedly one of the very few actors in the Nollywood that have consistently made headlines in the entertainment press. It is not in doubt that Ikedieze enjoys mass appeal both within and outside Nigeria. He is respected by many and he has proven in no small measure that one does not have to come from elsewhere to be adored or to live like a star.
An actor of vast credit, in Chinedu’s movie credit pouch are such hit flicks like ‘One Good Turn’’ Baby Police’, ‘Where is Love’, ‘Final World Cup’, ‘Reggae Boys’, ‘Exchange of Power’ and several others. In fact at the last count, Ikedieze has featured in over 80 home video productions
• The other leading men on the AMAA list: Joseph Otseiman (Ghana-Burial of Kojo), Jimi Jean-Louis (Rattle Snake-Nigeria/UK), Gil Alexandra (Mozambique-Redemption), Marc Zinga (Mercy of the Jungle-Rwanda), Ezra Mabengeza (Sew The Winter To My Skin-South Africa) and Ayoub Bombwe (Fatuma-Zimbabwe).