Salute to true legends of Nollywood
It was before a quality crowd comprising the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning Prince Clem Agba, Filmmaker 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 2021 edition. The scheme was instituted in 2012 to recognise 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 Shell Hall of the National Theatre Iganmu, Lagos. Long standing practitioners such as Olu Jacobs, Joke Silva, Richard Mofe Damijo, Gloria Anozie, Esther Idowu Phillips, Ngozi Ezeonu, Ngozi Nwosu, Ernest Obi, Obi Osotule, Saint Obi and Chinyere Wilfred were honoured at the well attended award ceremony where products of the two weeks film training workshop organised 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.
NOTABLE actor, director and producer Ernest Obi received the Legend of Nollywood crest for his effort in the critically acclaimed movie Rattle Snake. A long-standing actor of the stage and screen, the one time Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) is without a doubt, one of the most successful Nollywood actor and director. A cross over artiste who acts easily in Igbo and Yoruba languages, movies that have benefited from Obi’s expert portrayal include All I Have, Glamour Girls, Emotional Blackmail, Love Crime, and Lake of Fire.
NICKNAMED the ‘Saint of Moviedom’, Obinna Nwafor aka Saint Obi was awarded the Legend of Nollywood crest for his inimitable runs as a long standing Nollywood actor and producer. An actor who performs with so much depth, the well built actor and the production and directing force behind the box office hit Take Me To Mama is by all standards one of the most successful Nollywood actors.
Though a trained theatre practitioner, many who have followed his meteoric rise, including his mentor Zeb Ejiro, say that his rise to fame was achieved through hard work, discipline, brilliance and ingenuity. Indeed, to say that the native of Mbaitoli who studied theatre arts at the University of Jos has become a household name would just be stating the obvious.
Star of the award-winning movie Good Bye Tommorrow, Obinna’s debut as a screen actor was as Timothy Jason in Without Love, an Opa Williams production. His popularity blossomed when he played the lead role in Good Bye Tomorrow. He became not just a star, but also a super star. He consolidated those compliments and his star status with other commendable performance particularly in a movie like Golden Fleece.
Since then, Obinna who is considered a kind of sex symbol with a natural strong stage and screen presence has moved on to grace the cover jackets and posters of loads and loads of movie productions.
PRETTY and ageless Ngozi Ezeonu received the LNA crest for her performance in Nneka The Pretty Serpent. A native of Ogbunike in Oyi Local Council of Anambra, the veteran actress hit a nerve over two decades ago when she spared up other recognisable home movie actors and actresses to give life to that Ken Nnebue celebrated two-part movie of the 90’s Glamour Girls. That appearance provided the breakthrough and opened the floodgate for the fair skinned actress who trained as a journalist at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism.
Today, Ngozi has almost lost count of her movie appearances. The movies that have benefitted from her expert portrayal of roles include Forbidden, the two-part movie Nneka the Pretty Serpent, Destroyer, The Billionaire and Messiah.
Esther Idowu Phillips
CLEARLY a veteran actress of the screen and stage, Esther Idowu Phillips aka Iya Rainbow or Mrs. Fabulous, her famous refrain, also received the LNA crest. A trained nurse, Iya Rainbow hails from Odogbolu in Ogun State. A widow who was married to the late actor Femi Phillips Oroniyi, Iya Rainbow and her late husband began their careers on stage. It was from the stage that the mother of five children moved to television and then home movies.
The first set of movies the elderly actress featured in include Aje Ni Iya Mi and Eru, and Asiri Nla by Jide Kosoko, which she as she agreed brought her to limelight. She has since moved on to feature in about 500 movies including television commercials.