The 2011 edition of the African Film Awards otherwise known as Afro Hollywood Awards, held at 29, The Broadway, Stratford, London, on Sunday, 6 November 2011, has come and gone but the memory will linger long in the mind of the recipients and those that attended the event.
Apart from the movie stars, Oba Olayinka Gbolagade Tiamiyu, Olojo of Ojo, Osun State, who received special Arts Personality of the Year and Custodian of Culture, it was also a day of honour for P.M.Entertainment as its Entertainment Editor received an award as Best Entertainment Journalist (Print).
Director of Gazar Hotel, Osogbo, Osun State, Prince Toye Adeyemi, described the publication as the most authentic newspaper in Nigeria, noting, however, thatÂ it is a Lagos-based evening publication, but it reports the news as it is.
The award night was not that of awards presentation alone, but also of entertainment, music and comedy.
The show, which attracted guests from within and outside London, started at about 6.05 p.m. with the introduction of the host, Omo Baba by Adedoyin Owoeye, followed by prayers, thus flagging off what can best be described as the night of glory
Recognition of special guests was also followed by music intertlude by Lekan Oyelabi, a dancer cum singer and another prolific singer and winner of The most Promising Act, Camara Feron a.k.a. MizzCamara from East London, who treated the guests to a special number and comedy by Brainard Babatunde Tayo a.k.a. Baba T.
Oba Tiamiyu, who was the first to receive his award, spoke in Yoruba dialect. He appealed to those present to come to Ojo in Osun State and invest in the ancient town, while also promising to donate six hectres of land for the purpose of a film village in the town.
Adekunle Adeyoola a.k.a. Snatcher of the defunct Rooftop MC, who won the Outstanding Achievement in Music award, also put up an electrifying show while rendering the popular Orimi Wu song and another performance by a kiddies group which comprises of two girls and a boy.
Another award recipient that added glamour to the night was Muyiwa Adegoke a.k.a. Londoner, who received an award for the Best Actor in Yoruba Film.
After receiving his award, he gave good account of himself by showing that he really deserved the it as his jokes attracted laughter from the guests.
Earlier, the CEO African Films Awards, Prince Mike Abiola, had thanked the governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for giving the organisers the opportunity to partner with the state’s Ministry of Tourism to showcase the tourism destination of the state through Africa Voice Communications.
Abiola said that the awards ceremony was driven towards celebrating and recognising Nigerian artistes and film stars, “thus unveiling the official winners of this year’s African Film Awards better known as Afro Hollywood Awards from a long lists of nominees, who are in London to receive Africaâ€™s most prestigious film industry honour at this glamorous event which has become an annual ritual.
“Now in its 16th year, this awards project has contributed substancially to the building of the international profile of African artistes, especially Nigeria’s growing collection of film stars.
To date, over 200 Nigerians have received the coverted prize. They include Richard Mofe-Damijo, Tunde Kelani, Ramsey Noah, Liz Benson, Funke Akindele, Remi Oshodi, Abiola Atanda, Clarion Chukwurah and others.”
Those that received awards at the ceremony include Susan Peters (Best Actress, English Language Film), Muyiwa Adegoke (Best Actor Yoruba Language Film), Bukola Awoyemi (Best New Acting Talent), Antar Laniyan (Best Director Yoruba Film), Halima Abubakar (Best Actress Supporting Role in An English Language Film), Tayo Adeleye (Best Actor Supporting Role in a Yoruba Language Film), Femi Brainard (Best Actor English Language Film), Bernard Babatunde Tayo (Best New Commedy Talent), Tolulope Olusola Lamidi (Best Etertainment Journalist, Broadcast), Taofeek Adebayo Adejare (Best Photo Journalist)Â Rotimi Makinde (Special Contributions to the development of films) Ayodele Lawal (Best Entertainment Journalist, Print).
The awards ceremony was attended by Binta Ayo Mogaji-Oduleye and her husband; Tunji Sotimirin, representatives of different embassies in the UK, Phillip Dada a.k.a. Sound Image, who represented Makinde; Alista Soyode of BEN TV, veteran broadcaster Julie Coker and others.
Although the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, could not attend, he sent Alhaji Ahmed Umar and in order to make up for his absence, he later played host to the award recipients and the organisers at a dinner inside the Abuja House, his official residence in London .
At the dinner, Tafida enjoined the recipients to see themselves as Nigerian ambassadors to all parts of the world and be of good behaviour as well as use their God-given talent to correct the ills of the society.