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AMVCA 2016 African film industry comes out to shine

The 2016 AMVCA will remain a night to be remembered for many in the film industry as the night the newbies beat the established acts in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories.

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Film industry professionals gathered from all over Africa at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos to celebrate African film at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) on Saturday, March 5, 2016. This year's ceremony marked the fourth edition of the awards.

The pageantry

As per our usual African style, no one wanted to carry last. The red carpet was burning with all kinds of fashion statements from the traditional tuxedos and formals gowns to traditional wear and interestingly women in pant suits.

Osas Ighodaro play

Osas Ighodaro



This year’s red carpet set up showed the organizers learnt from last year. At the awards last year the press set up was chaotic and it was so hot, make up dripped off the faces of the guests. This year there was a separate section for photography and video coverage. The video section was well spaced in such a way the lights didn’t affect the guests as they walked to the hall. 

The awards

Chinny Onwugbenu, Genvieve Nnaji, Chichi Nwoko play

Chinny Onwugbenu, Genvieve Nnaji, Chichi Nwoko won Best Movie - West Africa for "Road To Yesterday"

(Africa Magic)

There were 28 categories and 140 nominees from across Africa. This year there were no cash prizes like last year. There was an all expense paid trip for the big winners courtesy of Dubai tourism.

Last week we had tried to predict who the winners, some of our predictions were indeed correct.

Stephanie Linus’ “Dry” was nominated in nine categories and received there award including Best Overall Movie Africa, Best Sound Editor (Marquex Jose Guillermo) and Best Costume Designer (Uche Nancy).

Genevieve Nnaji won Best Movie West Africa for “Road To Yesterday” which was nominated in six other categories.

Best actress at AMVCA 2016 - Adesua Etomi play

Best actress at AMVCA 2016 - Adesua Etomi

(Africa Magic)


Daniel K Daniel beat Mike Ezuruonye, Majid Michel, Van Vicker, Segun Arinze and Blossom Chukwujekwu to win "Best Actor" for his role in "A Soldier's Story". While Adesua Etomi beat Genevieve Nnaji, Nse Ikpe Etim, Belinda Effah, to win Best Actress for her role in the Uduak Isong film, "Falling."

Jenifa’s Diaries” dominated the comedy section with Funke Akindele and Falz winning best actor and actress in a comedy.

Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju was awarded the Trailblazer award, which is a non-voting category. Akindoju and Linus were both awarded cars.

History was made at the event as Malawi won its first ever AMVCA.

READ MORE: "Dry," Adesua Etomi, Daniel K Daniel win big [full list of winners

The emotions

Bukky Ajayi play

Bukky Ajayi

(Africa Magic)

A few winners were overwhelmed by the awards and were speechless, some were even broke down in tears. Bukky Ajayi had us snivelling. The veteran actress was awarded with the Industry Merit Award alongside Sadiq Daba. As the actress was lifted to the stage in a wheel chair, the crowd gave her a standing ovation to which she responded “are you all standing for me?”, as she expressed her appreciation she took little moments to let the tears flow.

There were teary speeches from Kemi Lala, Daniel and Etomi.

READ MORE: Check out Twitter reaction to veteran's Industry Merit Award

The entertainment

IK Osakioduwa and South African presenter Minnie Dlamini hosted the event. The show kicked off at past 7PM with an ethnic dance performance from the Star Act Dance Company.

The award presenters were a bit boring. There were a few who made us laugh like Mr Ibu and Chigul, Frank Donga and Adunni Ade and Hele Paul and Spiff. I couldn’t help but notice the managing director of GAC motors seemed a bit lost the two times she came out to present the car prize.

Yemi Alade play

Yemi Alade performing at the AMVCA

(Africa Magic)


The musical performances were rather interesting. As Ali Kiba performed, a handful of people who I’m guessing were Tanzanian stood up and danced. Flavour N’abania got quite a few people up and dancing, he started his performance with ‘Ada Ada’, which he had previously performed at the 2014 AMVCA. Yemi Alade’s dance moves were hot! Meanwhile I felt sorry for Zonke, not that many people knew who she was, still she put up an enchanting performance.

Flavour play


(Africa Magic)


Of all the comedians of the night, Salvador from Uganda rocked!! Thomas Gumede did his homework and made reference to issues in Nigeria with his jokes. Meanwhile Senator told us jokes we had already heard before.

The production

Eko Hotel is the most used space for entertainment events in Nigeria. I’m always excited to see what the main ballroom hall will be transformed to. Trust the AMVCA team not to disappoint in this. As you entered the hall, there was the cocktail room once you went in there were curtains beyond which the awards hall stood.

There was great use of light; stage space, there were multiple screens on stage which were used effectively so no matter where in the hall you sat, you could see what was going on the stage perfectly.

I absolutely loved the live band they were one of the highlights for me. I enjoyed the fact that the band backed the music performers.

The event seemed a bit rushed though. The awards, performances et al were scheduled back to back with no breaks. 

Now I’d like to say the sound ran smoothly but there were situations when microphone was deliberately cut off. This first happened when Stanlee Ohikhuare was giving his acceptance speech for winning Best Lighting Designer. At first we thought this was a technical glitch. This happened to a few other awardees.

The 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards was a night of surprises and emotions. It  will remain a night to be remembered for many in the film and entertainment industry as the night the newbies beat the established acts in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories.

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