By Fred Itua and Kemi Yesufu
This year’s edition of the Africa Movies Academy Awards (AMAA) is poised to be the most glamorous as the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, Governor Seriake Dickson and MRS Oil boss, Sayyu Dantata supervised Tuesday’s fund raising ceremony in which no less than N300 million was raised.
The fundraiser held at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton signaled what Governor Dickson described as a new era for AMAA in which the premier event will henceforth be funded by the private sector.
Assuring that monies raised will be judiciously used, Dickson said: “This is the first time that AMAA will be private sector driven and we have adopted this approach because we can only achieve the Bayelsa of our dreams by partnering with the private sector.”
Looking resplendent in lemon green Indian Saree-inspired attire, Dame Jonathan commended her state governor for the innovation he brought to the annual event. Mrs. Jonathan, who traced the history of movie making in Nigeria from the Hubert Ogunde era up to the present day Nollywood, called for continued support for the film industry.
Dantanta, who chaired the event is hardly involved in fundraisers, this much he said when he got on stage. He, however, disclosed that he accepted to lend support due to the level of transparency showed by the Dickson administration.
“There is hardly any state in the country I haven’t stepped foot in. But it was only in Bayelsa State that I witnessed the governor giving detailed account to the people face to face, answering all of their questions,” he said. “It is because of this uncommon show of transparency that I agreed to do what I am doing today.” Corporate organisations might just be looking the way of the MRS boss as he tastefully rallied all the big names around to donate generously.
By the time he was through, no less than N300 million had been realised. The monies raised will be channeled to the Bayelsa Tourism Agency but the lady behind AMAA, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe must have left Abuja confident of hosting a world class event this year as the chairman of the occasion promised to personally ensure that pledges made are fulfilled on time.
Some of the dignitaries who graced the event include wife of the Vice-President, Amina Sambo, former NDDC Managing Director, Timi Alaibe, Capital Oil Chairman, Ifeanyi Uba, Chairman of Silverbird Group, Ben Murray Bruce and Senator Clever Isikikpo.