Africa’s Oscars!

So, I’ve been suitably chastised for paying more attention to the “oyibo” awards than to our own indigenous awards. I’ve repented… for now, that is. Lol! Not saying that our awards don’t cut it, but just that the Oscars are the ultimate for any industry professional or film lover. Everyone dreams in gold, right?

The fifth edition of The Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) took place at Eko Hotels and Suites this March, 2017 with its usual glitter and glamour. And the organizers outdid themselves compared to last year. From the red carpet; where our African celebrities like Uche Jumbo, Funke Akindele, Andrea Iyamah, Rita Dominic, and Somkele Idhalama (who was was given the title of the ‘Queen of High Slits’) set out to outdo each other in their sexy designer dresses.  The men were not excluded either, looking super dappy in their attires.  To a beautiful performance by Timi Dakolo, with choreography by Bolanle Austen-Peters coupled with a mini-broadway show of the Afrobeat Legend, Fela Kuti. Some felt the performance could have been better, but they still entertained the crowd all the same. Chike IK Osakioduwa and South African, Minnie Dlamini returned as hosts of the show.

Emotional moments would include Chief Chika Okpala’s (Zebrudaya) acceptance speech when he was given the Lifetime Recognition Award, during which he acknowledge everyone who brought him to spotlight in the 80s through the comedy drama ‘New Masquerade’.

And we had the surprised wins like Ebele Okaro-Onyiuke, who took the Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, Movie or TV Series award. A category that has been handed over to younger acts over the years. Imeh Umoh Bishop, the Akwa Ibom State born comedian as Best Actor in a Comedy. And Sambasa Nzeribe, winner of the Best Actor in a Drama Movie/TV series, in a category that boasted veterans like Olu Jacobs, Richard Mofe-Damijo and Ramsey Nouah. Hmm? Anyway, perhaps his prostrating on the floor for his “seniors” in the industry will help soften the blow of their loss to him. And Funke Akindele mumbling incoherently as she received her second award for the night can hardly be termed emotional.

Blunders of the evening would be using a voice over artist who couldn’t pronounce African names to call out the names of nominees. The same way we have our on air personalities affecting accents while talking to a Nigerian audience. Not cool guys. Wonder what it is that gets us all giddy over British or American accents? Then we had the wrong nominees in Best Actor in a Drama, Movie or TV Series displayed on the screen on stage while nominees were being announced for the Best Director category. Well, if the Oscars could announce a wrong winner for a category, our blunder doesn’t seem so bad, right?

Ok, moving on to the winners of the night. I always assumed that “The Wedding Party” would take home most of the bacon this year, but it wasn’t to be (See post “The Party That Didn’t End”). But I heard the film never made it to the AMVCA committee. Apparently darling Mo doesn’t consider the AMVCA awards that big of a deal. It’s either the gold statute or nothing for her. Now we’ll never know how much of a difference the absence of the “The Wedding Party” made to the winning films like “76”, which had 12 nominations and ended up with five awards (highest of the night) in the categories of Best Actress in a Drama, Movie or TV Series, Best Director, Best Overall Movie, Best Costume Designer and Best Art Director. Wow! Check out the other winners below:

Best Make-up Artist (Movie/TV Series)

Hakeem Onilogbo Ajibola and Perekeme Odon – Oloibiri

Best Costume Design

Pat Egwurube – ’76

Best Art Director

Pat Nebo- ‘76

Best Sound Editor (Movie/TV Series)

Guy Steer – Vaya

Best Picture Editor (Movie/TV Series)

Nnodim Chigozie and Paula Peterson – Oloibiri

Best Lighting Designer (Movie/TV Series)

Elliot Sewape – 93 Days

Best Cinematographer

Lance Gewer – Happiness is a Four Letter Word

 Best Short Film or Online Video

Cat Face – Ogo Okpue

Best Documentary

Alison – Uga Carlini

Best Actress in a Comedy (Mnet Original Series)

Deborah Anungwa – Hustle

 Best Actor in a Comedy (Mnet Original Series)

Samuel Ajibola – Johnsons

Best Actress in a Drama (Mnet Original Series)

Meg Otanwa – Hush

Best Actor in a Drama (Mnet Original Series)

David Jones David – Hotel Majestic

 Mnet Original Best Comedy Series

The Johnsons

 Mnet Original Best Drama Series


 Best Indigenous Language Movie or TV Series (Swahili)


Best Indigenous Language Movie or TV Series (Hausa)

Yaki Da Zuciya – Tijjani Shehu Yahaya

Best Indigenous Language Movie or TV Series (Yoruba)

Somewhere in the Dark – Jumoke Odetola and Abiodun Jimoh

Best Indigenous Language Movie or TV Series (Igbo)

Amonye Bu Onye – Crey Ahanonu

Best Soundtrack/Original Score

Michael Ogunlade – The Encounter

Best TV Series

Jenifa’s Diary – Funke Akindele

Best Writer(s) in a Movie or TV Series

Craig Freimond, Tshabalira Lebakeng, Anthony Mafela, David Majoka, Madoda Ntuli, Harriet Perlman and Robbie Thorpe – Vaya

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Movie or TV Series

Ebele Okaro Onyuike – Four One Love

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Movie or TV Series

Rotimi Salami – Just Not Married

Best Actress in a Comedy Movie or TV Series

Funke Akindele – Jenifa’s Diary

Best Actor in a Comedy Movie or TV Series

Imeh Bishop Umoh – The Boss Is Mine

AMVCA Trailblazer Award

Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama

AMVCA Industry Merit Award

Chika ‘Zebrudaya’ Okpala

Best Movie (East Africa)

Kati Kati – Sarika Hemi Lakhani

Best Movie (West Africa)

Oloibiri – Rogers Ofime

Best Movie (Southern Africa)

All About Love – Elvis Chuks

Best Actress in a Drama Movie or TV Series

Rita Dominic – ’76

Best Actor in a Drama Movie or TV Series

Sambasa Nzeribe – Slow Country

Best Director

Izu Ojukwu – ’76

Best Overall Movie

’76 – Adonijah Owiriwa and Izu Ojukwu

The blunders aside, it’s clear that Africa’s version of the Oscars is pulling its weight as the most recognized film industry awards in the continent and I think it has a lot to do with the influence of MNET.  So, African professionals like moi should start dreaming of the AMVCA right? Hmm… Anyway, hope I’ve redeemed my image as a patriot, Christiana. For now anyways. Lol! See you on Friday for our movie review. You can guess which movie its going to be. Cheerio!


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