There is something about award shows that I love; no it’s not seeing the superstars all decked to the nines as they strut their stuff on the red carpet, neither is it the heightened frenzy, excitement and anticipation that is almost palpable in the air nor is it the flowery speeches from deserving (or not so deserving) winners.
Beyond the glitz, the glam, the fanfare and validation, Award shows are a favorite for me because it gives me a glimpse into what might possibly be the most exciting day of an actor’s life – that moment when the winner’s name is called out, the look of utter shock, doubt and disbelief as they try to process their win always gets me – even though on some subconscious level the win isn’t farfetched because the nomination sort of prepared them for it. It’s hard to properly articulate what I mean, all I know is nothing beats that moment.
I got to share that moment with the horde of filmmakers, movie stars and movie enthusiasts that gathered at the sixth edition of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards which held at the Eko hotel convention center. It was everything I had hoped for and more.
The 2018 AMVCA’s delivered on many fronts starting with the FASHION. As expected, the red carpet gave us amazing looks from daring colors and ball dresses to sparkles and shimmers, tassels and feathers, bows and capes, jumpsuits and pantsuits and lots of dramatic thigh high slits and leg reveals. Our stars came to slay and slay they did.
However, the fashion wasn’t the only thing we were served with at the prestigious award show. Hosted by IK Osakioduwa and Minnie Dlamini-Jones, the event had a lot of applaudable moments – apart from the strict adherence to time; the event started promptly at 7PM, the beautiful ceremony opened with a celebration of African Culture by Seki, the popular Niger Delta dance troupe. We were also treated to amazing performances by Adekunle Gold, Falz who took home the AMVCA for best supporting actor for his role in New Money, his 2nd AMVCA I must add. Cobhams was right to say that’s Falz is chopping from music and movies, a line from his brilliant remix of his song ‘One Hit’ which he performed at the event a performance that elicited a standing ovation from the crowd.
The acceptance speech from our winners didn’t disappoint either. I mean what is an award show without effusive speeches and dramatic reactions? From the rehearsed to the non-rehearsed, to those that forgot their prepared notes, the ones that had tears streaming down their faces, the ones who went to the point, and those who had to be cut off, you name it.
I particularly liked the honesty in Nyce Wanjeri’s speech who won best actress in a comedy for her role in the movie Auntie Boss, she said it was her first time boarding a plane and she came to Nigeria, and her first time winning an award.
Speaking of first’s, engineer turned film maker Jade Osiberu received two awards for her debut movie Isoken. The movie won best director and best movie in the West African region. She talked about how writing the story took her four years and how her mother had to take out a loan using her house as collateral to secure the funds for the movie. A reminder that all things are possible to them that believes.
Omotola’s win as best actress in a movie for her role in her acclaimed comeback movie Alter Ego wasn’t a shocker, what was shocking was the fact that it was her first AMVCA, she shared that in her speech revealing that she was rooting for the 11 year old Mariam Kayode, who was the youngest nominee at the event.
An unforgettable moment was when Odunlade Adekola was announced as the best actor in a comedy. Famed for his hilarious roles and memes, Odunlade who only recently graduated from the University was clearly a people’s favorite. His was one win nobody contested as was evident in the entourage of colleagues, guests and friends who all followed him to the stage to collect his award, it was beautiful to witness the support.
Speaking of unforgettable moments, the emotional tribute to fallen actors, filmmakers and production crew nearly moved me to tears. It was a moment of sober reflection, Bisola Aiyeola of the big brother fame gave a soulful rendition of ‘My Immortal’ by Evanescence. As the names of the lost souls flashed on the screen, surrounded by ladies dressed in white, their somber faces illuminated by the flickering candles in their hands it was difficult not to think about the fleetingness of this thing called life. Unbeknownst to her, she was tricked into coming for the show under the guise of that performance and she was honored as this year’s trailblazer (much deserved I must add). She went home with a brand new car courtesy Multichoice. The illustrious Tunde Kelani was also bestowed with the Industry merit award for his many roles and contributions to the advancement of the African Movies and stories.
All these events lead up to the big reveal where 18 hours from Kenya won as the overall best movie of 2018 defeating other fantastic movies like Potato Potahto, Alter Ego and the likes.
Though the night has come and gone, the memories will linger on. Thank you AMVCA, you were a dream. See you next year!