Following the recent outing of the third edition of the Nollywood at the Nollywood Europe Golden Awards (NEGA) gala night in Frankfurt, Germany, the country’s movie industry is surely getting more thumbs up. The event is the closing ceremony of the Nollywood Film Festival Germany (NFFG), a viable platform designed for Nollywood film makers to showcase their movies to Europeans and Nollywood fans in the Diaspora which held at the prestigious Filmforum Höchst VHS Cinema, Emmerich-Joselstr, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
“This is the most cherished award that I have ever received,” wrote one of the recipients, Senator of the United States of America, Senator Donzella James, Democratic Senator representing Metropolitan Atlanta’s 35th District of Georgia, on her Facebook page. “I am humbled and truly honoured!”
Though Senator James was originally invited as Special Guest of Honour, it was in recognition of what she does for the African people in the US that led to her being honoured by the Nigerian community in the USA. Because of her tireless efforts in creating a voice for the voiceless and less-privileged, she had earlier received the 2014 Friend Of Nigeria award from the Nigerian Women Association of Georgia, NWAG. Also her association with Queen Blessing O. Itua a Nigerian, as her International Liaison – Adviser, proved testament of her love and support for the Nigerian people in particular and Africans in general. Those acts did not escape NEGA organisers and there was little option than to surprise her with the prestigious award as a well-deserved winner of “Distinguished Mouth Piece Of The Voiceless Africans” with additional FESTAC head artefact that symbolizes Black freedom as Ehizoya’s first Highest Recognition Awards designed for very selected personalities with extraordinary track-record.
Also honoured at the NEGA Awards gala-night was Edo State-born USA-based Hollywood artiste, who is also an author, motivational speaker and the host of the gala-night, Queen Blessing O. Itua. The Hollywood actress/producer and of course, the International Liaison Adviser to Senator Donzella James was awarded NEGA 2015 “Reputable Cross Cultural Actress”.
Other big winners were: Ime Bishop Umoh – “Best Comic Actor”, showstopper, Cossy Orjiako – “Distinctive Daring Actress” (she has shattered records with a daring role in Nollywood’s blockbuster, Shattered Homes), Grand master comedian, Ereku Mofe aka Gandoki, awarded – “Nigeria’s Most Creative Comedian”, Mr. Steve Olu, a trained Surveillance and Intelligence officer in Germany and manufacturer of sensitive camera that can film almost every impossible angles even under water by minimizing the rigorous filming risk in film making “NEGA Grand Innovation”, Mrs. Rosalyn Dressman, the President of African Union Tide e.V, also awarded – “Grand Supporter of Nollywood in Germany,” Benjamin James, former Stationary Store and Super Eagles player but now Bundesliga Junior Hoffenheim team coach “Outstanding Diaspora Soccer Coach”, Victor Olusegun Akande, currently the Entertainment Editor at The Nation newspaper “Distinguished Nollywood Critic” and the Art Editor of National Mirror newspaper, Mr. Emedolibe Ngozi Erasmus was also awarded “Outstanding Film art Critic of Nollywood”.
Among dignitaries present at the gala-night were His Excellency Ambassador Abdul Bin Rimdap Retd, His Excellency Consul General of the Nigeria consulate, Frankfurt, Germany John Ejineka, His Excellency, CDA Mr. Kenneth Okeh of the Nigeria Embassy, Berlin, Founder of London Base “True Nigerians” Barr. Emmanuel Aluode, Engr J.I Iyamu President of Nigeria Association Hessen State and Mr Ajibola retd, Chief Anthony Ajidua The Ohaneze Ndigbo and Mr. Joseph Ogunsaya of Odogbolu both from UK to mention but a few.
Though absent, the following important personalities were also awarded; His Excellency, Gov Dr Ibramin Dankwambo “Pillar of Nollywood”, Governor of Gombe State, Nigeria, “Nollywood Grand Innovator” His Excellency Dr Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, Former Governor of Sokoto State, Nigeria and Sir Mike Mbama Okiro – IGP retd; CFR, NPM, mni Chairman, “Grand Transformer of Nigeria Police”.
This year’s gala-night featured some brilliant upcoming Nigerians but Germany-based stars like German Mouth comedian, Cletus Odigie comedian, MacoRas Reggae star and Tu-Brain – Hip Hop among others. Nollywood fans that travelled from far and near were fulfilled with satisfaction when Bishop and Gandoki thrilled them with jokes and cracked their ribs with laughter.
Before presenting NEGA awards to Senator James, His Excellency the Consul General Mr. Ejineka praised Nollywood stakeholders and Nollywood stars for their creative prowess that has promoted Nigeria’s positive image beyond expectation.
“We’re proud of Nigerians doing everything positive for the promotion of Nigeria’s image. We’re proud of you, Mr. Izoya, with your team and we’re here to serve and support Nigerians and we are happy with our contributions towards the success of Nollywood Film Festival Germany – NFFG and Nollywood Europe Golden Awards NEGA Awards.”
Members of Esan Akugbe Worldwide that travelled from all corners of Germany to honour Isaac Izoya’s invitation, added colour to the event with their cultural performance, which caused much excitement. It was a day Frankfurters will not forget in a hurry.
The screening was well attended by Germans, Africans and diplomats as well. The festival screening started with Dangogo movie – “Stigma” nominated as the Best Sound and Picture qualities. The movie, addressed the sensitive issues of HIV in detail. No wonder, some German cinemas are negotiating for screening of the movie in their respective cinemas.
In his opening speech, Izoya, the event director and president of Ehizoya Golden Entertainment e.V, said that Nollywood is a medium of promoting not just culture but integration and educational tools for the Diaspora children. “It’s a link for them to connect with their roots and Nollywood has come to stay and must be supported by the Nigerian and German governments as well,” he said.
Izoya also thanked the Hessen State Filmforum Höchst VHS-Frankfurt Am Main, Ministry of Arts and Culture (Stadt Frankfurt Kulturamt), The Office for Multicultural Affairs (Amt für multikulturelle Angelegenheiten AmkA), Ethiopian Airlines, RIA Money Transfer & Change, KLG Druckkultu GmbH and the Nigeria Consulate based in Frankfurt under the leadership of His Excellency, Consul General Mr. John Ejineka – for his extra-ordinary efforts towards the success of NFFG/NEGA Awards 2015.
To Izoya, the outing was a success. NEGA is a platform designed to honour Nollywood stakeholders, stars, comedians, musicians (both in Africa and the Diaspora) which have also been expanded to recognize the artistic bias of outstanding politicians and business men, whose actions have directly or indirectly impacted upon Nigerians worldwide and the industry in particular.
“The turn-out at this year’s screening was far more than last year, this year’s gala-night was better coordinated than the previous year’s and above all, we shot a great blockbuster movie directed by Paul Obomokhai Julius (DGN) with both Hollywood, German and Nollywood stars with high tech camera, and of course, German DOP now in post-production in Germany. We’re expecting a first class product before December.
“Above all, Senator Donzella James has invited us to Atlanta Georgia, USA for a red carpet premiere. Looking back in retrospect, I think I am right describing the trip as a mission accomplished. Glory be to God and The Show Must Go On!”