Owerri, the capital of Imo State, played host to some of the crème de la crème of the movie industry as they attended the 14th edition of the Best of Nollywood awards.
The Nollywood stars were joined by celebrities from other areas of the entertainment industry, including music artistes and comedians.
Some of the big winners on the night were the movies— ‘Almajiri’, ‘Ayinla’ and ‘Amina’.
Almajiri’, which was directed by Toka McBaror, won the ‘Movie of the Year’ award. It also clinched awards for the ‘Best Actor in a Lead Role (English)’, ‘Best Cinematography’, ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role (English)’, ‘Best Production Design’, ‘Best Child Actress’, and ‘Best Social Message’.
Tunde Kelani and Jade Osiberu’s ‘Ayinla’, also carted away four awards, including ‘Best Actor in a Lead Role (Yoruba)’, ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Yoruba)’, ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Yoruba)’, ‘Best Use of Nigerian Food’.
Also, Izu Ojukwu’s ‘Amina’ took home awards for ‘Best Costume’, ‘Best Sound’, and ‘Director of the Year’.
This was even as Director Mo’s ‘Obsession’ won the awards for ‘Best Supporting Actress (English)’ and ‘Best Make-Up’.
Meanwhile, an highlight of the evening was when veteran and respected thespians— Jide Kosoko and Ebele Okaro— were given ‘Special Recognition’ awards.
Presenting the awards to them, the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, stated that he was happy to host the awards ceremony in Owerri. He said, “I know that this industry has a lot of potential if properly harnessed. I want to thank you for the role you are playing. What I have seen tonight shows that anything that is good is worthy of being celebrated. Therefore, as you have brought this to us in Imo State, the government will continue to support you. We will make sure that this industry is supported with programmes and various policies of the government. As you are aware, some of your members are already in my cabinet.”
Other winners at the event include Abayomi Alvin who won awards for ‘Most Promising Actor’ and ‘Best Kiss in a Film’; while Efe Irele won the award for ‘Most Promising Actress’; as well as Damilola Oni and Kiki Bakare, who won ‘Trailblazer’ awards.
The founder and Chief Executive Officer of BON Awards, Seun Oloketuyi, reiterated the importance of supporting the Nigerian film industry. Giving a speech at the event, he said, “Nollywood brings about employment, and if properly structured and managed, it can be a major source of annual earnings. Looking back at the Nollywood year, things have been tough, but practitioners moved on as usual while putting smiles on the faces of Nigerians. I thank Governor Uzodinma for hosting the event and not just paying lip service.”