By Daniel Anokwuru
Recently, the Magic Lens Africa Film Academy Awards of Excellence 2017 was held in Abuja at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Conference Centre and Suites.
The event had in attendance movie personalities from more than seven African countries and representatives of some international institutions committed to the development of the movie industry in Africa.
Some of the awardees on the night were Dr. Ngozi Chianakwalam, director, Change and Reorientation Mission; Mr. Martins Onyebuchi, CEO, Onye-Eze Production; Cyril Akonteh, director, Splash Cancer Community Care Programme; Dr. Damian Ndubuisi; Rosemarie Sesay Osuji, CEO, World Nurses and You Foundation; Wendy Sonkey, CEO, Digi Services; Agbor Gilbert, CEO, Cameroon International Film Festival; Mr. Collins Archie-Pearce, CEO, Archie-Peace Production Limited, England; Amb. Ginika Tor-Williams; Ugwoke Joel Rotechukwu; Chidi Simon; Hajiya Amina Malu Usman; Queen Amina; Mr. Ugochukwu Raymond; Lavonne Cele-Tawo; and Mr. Martins Onyebuchi, among others.
Giving an insight into the uniqueness of the award, the Director, Magic Lens Pictures Limited, Mr. Charles Awurum, said it was designed to honour those who had demonstrated commitment to the development of entertainment, culture and the tourism industry. He stressed that the journey had not been an easy one, but he was committed to doing more. He stressed that the movie industry had a big role to play in national development.
“The journey has not been an easy one. However, we are relentless in our commitment to promoting unity, peace and economic development of Africa through the entertainment channel in general and the movie industry in particular.
“The relevance of film as a powerful tool for social integration and economic advancement cannot be overemphasised,” he said.
Awurum, who is also an actor, director and producer, admitted that the task ahead was huge but not insurmountable: “Though we have made some progress, we still have a lot of work to do to achieve our goal. I, therefore, count on your continued support to make this award a truly global event.”
Nollywood actor, Mr. John Okafor, applauded the effort of Magic Lens Africa Film Academy, stressing that it had laudable achievements in Nigeria and Africa. He stated further that all those rewarded with the award were qualified personalities who deserved to be honoured.
One of the recipients of the award was Mrs. Rosemarie Osuji, from Sierra Leone, the founder of World Nurses and You Foundation. She expressed delight at being among the awardees. Osuji informed the gathering that her biggest mission in life was not merely to survive, but to thrive, and do so with some passion, compassion, humour, and style to see that no one was left behind to suffer poverty or hunger.
Mr. Agbor Gilbert Ebot, CEO, Cameroon International Film Festival, and the first public relations officer of the Cameroon Film Industry and film producer, thanked the Magic Lens Pictures crew for always being in the forefront of promoting culture and unity in Africa.
He praised Magic Lens for going far beyond imagination of most in the continent. He disclosed that some of the organisation’s jobs had won international awards in the past.
“Magic Lens Pictures which is one of the leading producers in Nollywood has won different awards and gained international recognition owing to its hard work. It has gained international recognition, that is why it is well recognised in the world.
“On September 1, 2017, Mgbechi Onu Ugba, a production of Magic Lens, was premiered at the First Igbo Diaspora Heritage Festival held at Best Western Hotel Capital Lamharm, Maryland USA. The organisation also won the Vigo Awards International, Canada on September 10, 2017. So we implore everyone, including government, to support the Magic Lens crew, as we have seen that they have a lot to offer in terms of social and economic development.”
Amb. Tor-Williams said that she was delighted to be honoured by Magic Lens Pictures Limited, maintaining that the organisation was one of the leading movie producers in Africa.