Legendary actor, Justus Esiri, was named the posthumous winner in the Best Actor category. Perhaps for the first time in the history of the annual competition, the continent was in agreement to the acting ingenuity of the late thespian. Fans went ecstatic for the choice of Esiri, depicting his popularity across the continent.
Esiri, who was buried three weeks ago in his home town, Oria-Abraka, Delta State, was picked for his last film on earth; Assassins Practice, beating Nigeria’s OC Ukeje, Bimbo Manuel, Femi Jacobs and Lindani Nkosi (South Africa), Hlomlab Dandala (Ghana) and Amurin Wumnembom (Cameroon). Esiri’s trophy was received by President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Ms Ibinabo FIberesima.
South African actress, Florence Masebe won the Best Actress award for her role in “Elelwani”. She beats Nigeria’s Rita Dominic, Ghana’s Yvonne Okoro, Burkina Faso’s Mariam Ouedraogo, Cameroon’s Mbutung Seikeh and Malawi’s Flora Suya.
It was a night of glory for Nigerian movies, as the Best Director and Best Film categories were clinched by Niji Akanni, for the film, Heroes and Zeroes and Kenneth Gyang for his arty flick, Confusion Na Wah respectively.
The show also had young actor, Gabriel Afolayan clinch the Best Actor in a Supporting Role, while Nigeria’s Blindah Effah won a joint laurel with Kenyan actor, Joseph Wairium for the Best Promising Actor of the year category.
Head of Jury, June Givanni , an international film curator who run the African Caribbean film unit , noted that the quality of entries received in the AMAAs have improved tremendously.
The scheme also gave Lifetime Achievement Awards to some veterans in Nollywood, including Chief Eddie Ugboma (OON), Sir Sir Osita Okeke Oguno (Ossy Afason), Ayuko Babu, Pete Edochie and Tunde Kelani.
Special Recognition laurels also went to ace producer, Emem Isong, veteran actors, Kanayo O Kanayo, Keneth Okonkwo, and the Film and Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN) for their invaluable roles in the Nigerian home video industry.
Unlike last year when the ceremony was dominated by Kenya, Nigeria led the pack this time by raking home 13 awards across 27 categories. South Africa came second with four awards, Burkina Faso and Kenya got two laurels each, while Ghana, Malawi, Uganda and Mozambique won for themselves, one trophy each.
Fueling Poverty wins Best Documentary despite ban
The organisers of the annual African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) showed great courage and independence when they announced Federal Government banned film, 'Fueling Poverty' as the winner in the 'Best Documentary' category of the awards.
That announcement turned out to be one of the high points of this year’s AMAA which saw talented and tested film professionals across Africa battling it out to catch the fancy of Africa’s apex film reviewer.
The movie, titled Heroes and Zeroes -- a gripping story film by Koga Entertainment Production -- was perhaps the surprise package of the night, winning awards in three different categories.