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AMVCA 2017: An Eye Witness Account

AMVCA 2017: An Eye Witness Account


The 5th edition of the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCA) held on Saturday 4th of March 2015 at the Expo Centre, Eko Hotel and Suites. As to be expected, the event did not disappoint when it came to glamour and seamless and organisation. The AMVCAs always pull out all the stops and provides millions of viewers in over 50 countries of the African continent, with great entertainment with the its live broadcast on all Africa Magic stations. It is aptly dubbed the African Oscars.

Despite the recession in Nigeria which affected some of their usual pre-events for nominees like the brunch and cocktails, (where juicy goodie bags are usually handed out), and the complimentary magazine featuring some of the nominees and other relevant information about the awards; the organisers still managed to put up an amazing event.

The usual red carpet segment witnessed longer queues of actors, celebrities, dignitaries, film buffs, filmmakers and sponsors, all posing for their 2 minutes of fame.  Sadly for me, only few Nigerian celebrities celebrated our indigenous textiles, except for a few men. While support for local artisans seemed missing therefore, not so the competition for who could display the most ‘assets’ amongst the ladies!


Adesuwa Etomi

3N3A6503Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva

3N3A6455IK Ogbonna


Alex Ekubo


Susan Peters


Desmond Elliot


Beverly Naya


Richard Mofe – Damijo


Toni Tones


Meg Otanwa


IK and Olohije Osakioduwa


Ivie Okujaye


Linda Ejiofor


Uti Nwachukwu

Away from the red carpet, the award ceremony proper, started with a performance by Timi Dakolo, backed up by the Bolanle Austen Peters Production (BAP), dancers dressed in beautiful Nigerian and African attires.


The hosts for the night were South Africa’s Minnie Dlmani and Nigeria’s Ik Osakioduwa who did the honours of bringing guests up to speed on the history of the awards and what to expect that evening, including the new additions of Best Film Score/Soundtrack and the 6 new MNET programmes awards. Some practitioners see this as a sign of growth that would hopefully extend to the animation sector sooner than later.

The announcements of winners was interspersed with performances by the DNA Twins, BAP dancers, Simi, Arese, Lira solo, and later in a duet with Waje who, in my opinion, gave one of the best vocal renditions of the night!



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There were no stand-up comedians performing this year but Falz The Bahd Guy and Chigul got us in stitches when they presented the award to the Best Actress in a Comedy which Funke Akindele Bello collected third time in a row. Her acceptance speech was a comedy skit in itself, which was trending for days, on social media!

For the acceptance speech there were tears, theatrics and, some winners, despite pleas by the show host, overshot the usual 30 seconds time allotted. No surprises though, as it is common knowledge that Africans are typically gregarious.

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One could forgive some of the winners though. For example, Chika Okpala aka Chief Zebrudayah of New Masquerade, who was awarded the Industry Merit Award for his work made quite a revelation in his acceptance speech, which could easily be termed motivational. Amongst other historical facts about the programme, he revealed that Nkem Owoh who was also a nominee, was one of the show’s script writers, for which Mr. Owoh got a thunderous applause from the audience.


A poignant aspect of the event was when the list of the African actors who passed on in the past five years scrolled while Arese, winner of The Voice Nigeria, sang a beautiful soul stirring song paying tribute to them. The last photo of the departed on the screen was that of Bukky Ajayi who coincidentally received the Industry Merit award last year. May their souls rest in peace and their legacies live on.

Somkhele Iyama who was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Steven Gukas 93 Days, won her well-deserved Trailblazer Award. Best supporting actress went to Ebele Okaro.


Izu Ojukwu’s ’76 was the biggest winner of the night taking away 3 awards out of the big 4, with wins in 2 other categories. He dedicated the award to his brother who passed on while working on the movie.


Sambasa Nzeribe who won the award for Best Actor, paid tribute to all the veteran actors nominated in his category, humbly prostrating to them in deference.

Michael ‘Truth’ Ogunlade won the award for the new category of Best Filmscore/Soundtrack, for his work in The Encounter movie by Tolu Ajayi. This category is a great welcome addition.  There were also 6 special categories where actors, actresses and productions by MNET/Africa Magic over the years were rewarded.

The regional director of MNET West Africa Mrs. Wangi Mba-Uzokwu, made special mention of 3 Nigerian movies with big budgets which strove to tell aspects of Nigeria’s history. They are 93 Days, 76 and Oloibiri. Talking of 93 Days, many including me were pained by the fact that this beautiful movie with 13 nominations got only 1 award in the Best lighting category. But then C’est La Vie! Competition was stiff and the viewers and professionals have spoken so, we can only say, better luck next time.

After all has been said and done I guess we all have to wait till March 2018, before we find out if MNET and its AMVCA’s will top its own record of an outstanding celebration of talent across Africa, at the 2017 award ceremony…


Check out a full list of winners below:


Trailblazer Award

Somkele Idhalama


AMVCA Industry Merit Award

Chika Okpala


Best Makeup Artist

Hakeem Ajibola for Perekem Odom –  Oloibiri


Best Costume Designer

Pat Egwurube –  76


Best Art Director

Pat Nebo – 76


Best Sound Editor

Guy Steer – Vaya


Best Picture Editor

Nnodim Chigozie and Paula Peterson – Oloibiri


Best Lighting Designer

Elliot Sewape – 93 Days


Best Cinematographer

Lance Gewer – Happiness is a Four Letter Word


Best Short Film or Online Video

Ogo Okpue – Cat Face


Best Documentary

Uga Carlini – Alison


Special Recognition Award for Mnet Original Productions


Best Actress In a Comedy

Deborah Anungwa – Hustle


Best Actor in a Comedy

Samual ‘Spiff’ Ajibola – The Johnsons


Best Actress in a Drama

Meg Otanwa – Hush


Best Actor in a Drama

David Jones David – Hotel Majestic


Best Comedy Series

The Johnsons


Best Drama Series



Best Indigenous Language (Swahili)

Dauda Otieno Anguka – Zilizala


Best Indigenous Language (Hausa)

Tijani Shehu Yahaya – Yaki da Zuciya


Best Indigenous Language (Yoruba)

Abiodun Jimoh and Jumoke Odetola – Somewhere In the Dark



Best Indigenous Language (Igbo)

Crey Ahanonu – Amonye-be-Onye


See Also

Best Soundtrack/Original score

Michael Ogunlade – The Encounter



Best TV Show

Funke Akindele-Bello – Jenifa’s Diary



Best Writer

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


Best Supporting Actress

Ebele Okaro Onyuike – Four One Love



Best Supporting Actor

Rotimi Salami – Just Not Married


Best Actress in a Comedy

Funke Akindele-Bello – Jenifa’s Diary



Best Actor in a Comedy

Imeh Bishop Umeh – The Boss Is Mine



Best Actress in a Drama

Rita Dominic – 76



Best Actor in a Drama

Sambasa Nzeribe – Slow Country



Best Movie (East Africa)

Kati Kati


Best Movie (West Africa)



Best Movie (Southern Africa)

All About Love


Best Director

Izu Ojukwu –  76


Best Movie

76 by Adonija Owiriwa and Izu Ojukwu



And now, here are some more Red Carpet Pictures

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Written by Adebimpe Adebambo

Writer, blogger and arts enthusiast


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