It was all night of glamour and paparazzi last Sunday, June 2, 2012, as Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital hosted the first-ever Yoruba Movie Academy Award which took place at the new June 12 Cultural Centre.
At the end of the day, it was Funke Akindele’s Omo Ghetto that carted away most of the awards. Funke Akindele who was a lead actress in the film carted home the Best Lead Actress award in absentia, while the ghetto flick also produced the winner in Supporting Lead Actress; it also went away with Best Supporting Lead Actor
Leading the Ogun State government to the event packaged by LAFACE Entertainment and Zmirage in conjunction with the Ogun State government through the State Culture and Tourism Commission, was the wife of the state governor, her excellency Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun, who represented her husband, Chief Olu Odeyemi, Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mrs. Busola Ogundele, Special Adviser on Culture and Tourism and many traditional leaders.
The Yoruba artistes are well represented as virtually all the who’s who in the industry made their presence felt. Leading the team to the Olumo city was Prince Jide Kosoko, the erstwhile president of Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners (A.N.T.P), veteran actor Chief Lere Paimo who was also honored, ace film producer Tunde Kelani, Fausat Balogun (Madam Saje), Peju Ogunmola, Clarion Chukwura-Abiola and other established actors and actresses
In defiance to the torrent of rains that nearly mar the traditional red carpet event, the artistes were treated to a fun-filled event that saw the all award nominees been taken round the streets of Abeokuta in a limousine. At the event proper, the atmosphere was charged whenever a winner of a category is announced
Despite the “blunder” made by the executive producer of the event, Babatunde Oshinbosi (LAFACE) that the Yoruba movie practitioners are living in abject poverty (a statement he denied when Remi Atanda (Madam Kofo), and Prince Jide Kosoko debunked such a claim) the event was colourful and well attended
The highpoint of the event was when the winner for the Best Actor in a Leading role was announced. The winner Odunlade Adekola whose performance in “Taloba” was good enough to cart away the prestigious award of the night having beat Yomi Fash-Laso, Muyiwa Ademola, Femi Adebayo and Femi Branch was mobbed by the crowd and his colleagues from where he was seated in the hall to the platform where he collected his award
While newly married star actress, Funke Akindele was understandably absent to collect her prize as The Best Actress in a Leading Role for her splendid performance in “Omo Ghetto” beating the likes of Faithia Balogun, Bimbo Akintola, Mosun Filani and Toyin Aimaku to the award, however there was a mild drama in the category of Best Cross-over Actor.
The organiser announced that there was no winner for the category as both Kelvin Ikeduba and Richado Agbor’s performances in “Emi Abata” and “Simisola Otelemuye’ respectively gave them the same points, and so the organiser said there was no winner.
But the actors unanimously agreed within themselves at the hall that since Kelvin was not around, the award should be given to Richado who was physically present. Pronto! Richado stepped on to the stage to collect the award, but veteran actor, Chief Lere Paimo suggested that another plaque should be made to make it two so that both actors could have the plaque, and so it was accepted
In his earlier speech, Babatunde Oshinbosi acknowledged the role of Ogun State government in making the event, which he said he has been dreaming of for the past three years before it came to a reality “I must stated here at this point that, the state government through its Excellency Senator Ibikunle Amosun has been so supportive.
He understands the vision and mission of the project and he supported it right from when I proposed it to him. Also the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Chief Olu Odeyemi has also been so helpful devoted all our time to us on this project. I also have to extend my profound altitude for the people who are one way or the other contributed to this laudable project.
But I can assure you that this will not be the end, but rather a beginning as we intend to improve on this in the next edition by God’s grace”
Her Excellency the first lady of the state, Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun was tactical in her promise “I will deliver your message to his Excellency, who is my husband. And I am very sure he will do something to improve the standard of the movie industry in this state.
As am talking to you now, all I can assure you is that there is a film village for you the actors and actresses where you can be shooting your films” she concluded amidst applause.