The first edition of the much publicised Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) held on Saturday night with popular Ghanaian actress Jackie Appiah and Nigeria’s emerging talent, OC Ukeje winning the Best Actress and Best Actor categories respectively. But the ovation was overwhelming for Nigerian filmmaker, Akin Omotoso, who did not only clinch the Best Director trophy, but also won in three other categories through his film, Man on Ground.
Eko Hotel and Suites, venue of the event, pooled a large number of artistes from all sectors of the entertainment industry, as there was hardly any known entertainer who did not attend the show. Nigeria corpotate giants , led by headline sponsors of the show, Nigerian Breweries Plc, through its Amstel Malta brand were also in attendance.
Perhaps, portraying government’s solidarity for the motion picture industry was the presence of three serving Ministers: Edem Duke, Minister of Culture and Tourism; Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Trade & Investment, and Diezani Allison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan at the event.
The award ceremony was broadcast live from Lagos to DStv and GOtv audiences in more than 50 countries across the continent of Africa.
The AMVCAs, held in association with MultiChoice and Amstel Malta, recognised Africa’s best film and television talent in a glittering four hour ceremony, hosted by Big Brother’s IK Osakioduwa and StarGist’s Vimbai Muntinhiri.
The pre-event red carpet captured all the glamour of the gala event with a team of on-air personalities, including Big Brother alumni Uti Nwachukwu and Nic Wang’ondu alongside Eku Edewor, Dolopo Oni, Sarah Hassan and Helen Paul.
Big individual winners on the night included Nigeria’s Mercy Johnson (Best Actress – Comedy) for Dumebi – The Dirty Girl, Ghanaian Jackie Appiah (Best Actress – Drama) for Perfect Picture, Nigeria’s Hafiz Oyetoro (Best Actor – Comedy) for House a Part and his compatriot OC Ukeje (Best Actor – Drama) for Two Brides and a Baby.
Category wins for Best Supporting Cast in a Drama went to Uganda’s Matthew Nabwiso for A Good Catholic Girl and Kenya’s Maureen Koech for Lies That Bind. The prestigious award for Best Director went to Akin Omotoso for Man on Ground. The Best Movie Overall and Best Television categories were the climax of the event, with Otelo Burning and The XYZ Show scooping the honours respectively.
Rounding off an unforgettable night, veteran Nigerian actor, Olu Jacobs was named the recipient of the Industry Merit Award while AMBO girl, Ivie Okujaye, was declared the TrailBlazer of the Year.
Organisers say that the judging panel was drawn from experienced personalities around the continent. The team was led by Nigeria’s Femi Odugbem. The jury were said to be responsible for selecting the winners in non-viewer voting categories. The panel included Antonio Katakwe, Charles Asiba, Desiree Markgraaff, Joyce Fissoo, Kole Omotoso, Linus Abrahams, Simon Ratcliffe, Steph Ogundele and Zik Zulu Okafor.
One of the attractions on the night was a performance by Nigerian Afrobeat superstar, Femi Kuti. Other musical performances were rendered by Sauti Sol, Tiwa Savage, Banky W and Chidinma, along with Ghana’s Efya.
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