Film:A Feast For Nollywood Legends Holds In Benin City
Lagos will not host the 2015 edition of Legends of Nollywood Awards (LNA). The acclaimed entertainment city of the continent has lost the hosting right of the annual award to the state described as ‘Heart Beat of the Nation.’ The city of Legendary arts, Benin City, Edo State, has been picked to host the awards slated for December 11 and 12, 2005. It will be the first time that the three-year old award will be held outside the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos.
Although no reason was given for the decision of the organisers to changed the host city, a source close to the organisers hinted that the decision to move the award is not unconnected to the offer of support from some corporate bodies including the Edo Broadcasting Service and Best Western Homeville Hotel, Benin city.
However, founder of Legends of Nollywood Awards and Managing Director, Royal Pictures Limited, Mr. Paul Obazele, stated that the decision to take the award to Edo State is in line with the vision to “make LNA a travelling award and an award that will be held close to the legends of Nollywood themselves.”
The actor and former President, Association of Movie Producers (AMP) said this year’s edition would be held with support from Zenith Bank Plc, Etisalat, Network Oil & Gas, Best Western Homeville Hotel, Silverbird, NTA, AIT, AfricaMagic, Edo Broadcasting Service, Independent Television, Inspiration FM, Rhythm FM 93.7, Smile Communications, Indomie, Viju Milk, GlaxoSmithkline, Cornerstone Insurance, Kissmix, Nexim, Bisquit Cognac, Nanet Suites, Revival Assembly Church and in conjunction with the coalition of Nollywood guilds and association.
“The award is planned to be a two-day event. Apart from rewarding practitioners for their contributions to the growth and development of a vibrant film industry, the award has, from the 2014 edition, been refocused to reach out and celebrate the less privileged and physically challenged some of whom do not have the opportunity to relax and watch these television and movie stars we are celebrating as much as they would like to see them,” Obazele, who is also current President, Edo Film Makers Association (EFMA), said.
He also stated that the award body will be extending a hand of fellowship to the International Christian Center (ICC), Home for the Needy, Uhogua, Edo State, which is currently housing some internally displaced persons (IDP’s) in Nigeria as part of the outreach’s objectives for the award.
“If you were at the award ceremony last year, you will see how excited our physically challenged brothers and sisters were when they met face to face with legends like Patience Ozokwor (Mama Gee), Nkem Owoh and Alex Usifo. They also got branded gifts from them. It is this kind of good feeling that we want to achieve again with our proposed partnership with ICC and other organizations in Edo State and its environs,” he said.
On this year’s awardees, Director of Operations, Legends of Nollywood Awards, Mr. Zack Orji, said that 28 legends would receive the LNA crest this year. The veteran actor gave the names of the awardees to include Hajiya Latana Ahmed, Bimbo Manuel, Yinka Ogundaisi, Wale Fanu, Tunde Oloyede, Laolu Ogunniyi, John Nwaobi, Dejumo Lewis, Aso Douglas, Sola Fosudo, Zulu Adigwe, Ralph Nwadike, Ramsey Nouah, Opa Williams, Sunday Omobolanle, Ayo Mogaji and Yinka Davies. Others include Sani Muazu, Ngozi Nwosu, Bourdillon Bodio, Chris Obi Rapu, Alhaji Kasimu Yaro, Kunle Bamtefa, Dr. Ola Balogun, Danladi Bako Spacs, Mr. Sunny Irabor, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce and Chief Raymond Dokpesi.
According to Orji, “The awardees emerged out of a rigorous selection process and you can agree that they are worth celebrating for their contributions to the development of Nollywood”.
In addition, 10 veterans were selected by the organising committee and yearning Nigerians that these set of great legends sign autographs and give out gift items to the less privilege, physically challenged and internally displaced persons and also have dinner with them. They are Kanayo O. Kanayo, Patience Ozokwor, Zack Orji, Ramson Noah, Omotola Jolade, Charles Inojie, Desmond Elliot, John Okafor (Mr. Ibu), Eunice Omoregie and Johnbull Eghiauriwa.