AMVCA 2023: How It Happened 

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The ninth African Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) celebrations began on Thursday May 18, 2023 with a series of activities lined up for the three-day occasion. First, there was an Opening Night and Cultural Day event at the Federal Palace Hotel and Casino, Lagos on Thursday May 18 2023. This was followed by the Runway Show and Nominee Gala on Friday May 19 2023.

The celebrations peaked on Saturday May 20 2023, with the award night held at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos and aired live across all Africa Magic channels on DStv and GOtv,  beginning from 4 pm WAT. The ceremony was hosted by South African model Zozibini Tunzi and Nigerian TV star IK Osakioduwa. 

The red carpet session, which was for the occasion called the “black carpet”,  kicked off at 4pm, with Toke Makinwa (Nigeria), VJ Adams (Nigeria), Uti Nwachukwu (Nigeria) and Sika Osei (Ghana) being the hosts. With the exquisite black carpet session predating the series of events for the night, the occasion was graced by African entertainers. 

Highlights of the event included the recognition of veteran Nollywood actress Patience Ozokwo (Mama G) who walked away with the AMVCA Industry Merit Award for her outstanding contributions to the movie industry. Overwhelmed with surprise and joy, the actress expressed gratitude to fans: “I will die for your love. Your love has given me strength. All of you who watch my movies worldwide, the ones that appreciate me and the ones that don’t appreciate me…you took me by surprise, thank you”.

Talented actress Bimbo Ademoye fended off competition from Funke Akindele and Mercy Johnson to  clinch the Best Actress in a Comedy award for the first time. Another rising actress Efe Irele, with less than a decade of involvement in the movie industry, bagged the Best Supporting Actress in a Drama prize, outwitting her more experienced colleague Sola Sobowale.

It was a memorable night for Kunle Afolayan and his team, as his  movie Anikulapo, walked away with  five awards, including the Best Overall Movie award. Earlier, during nominations, the Netflix original produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan led the  AMVCA with sixteen mentions, followed closely by Jadesola Osiberu’s Brotherhood which won four prizes out of eleven nominations. 

In his acceptance speech, the Golden Effects Pictures boss was full of warm effusions for veteran cinematographer and filmmaker Tunde Kelani whom he regarded as his mentor. Anikulapo produced Anu Afolayan as Best Sound Editor, Sola Dada as Best Writer, Kent Edunjobi as Best Soundtrack and also won the category of Best Indigenous Language, Yoruba.

Osas Ighodaro, who starred in the Bolanle Asten-Peters’ Movie Man of God, won Best Actress for the second time; while Tobi Bakre took away the Best Actor prize for his sterling delivery in the action-packed movie Brotherhood. Also, Ugandan filmmaker Loukman Ali outsmarted prominent filmmakers like Kunle Afolayan, Obi Emelonye and Bolanle Austen-Peters to win Best Director for his efforts in Brotherhood

Despite having the most nominations for a TV series, Shanty Town won only one award in the Best Makeup Category, with Maryam Ndukwe and Hakeem Effects Onilogbo as collective beneficiaries. The Best Costume Designer award went to Adeola Art-Alade, wife of prominent singer Dare Art-Alade, for her efforts in an episode of the series The Real Housewives of Lagos.

In a similar vein, the Best Art Director went to Wale Adeleke for his contributions in Femi Adebayo’s King of Thieves (Ageshinkole), while both  Holmes Awa and Daniel Tom earned Best Picture Editor for their efforts in the series Crime & Justice. 

Regional filmmaking was lauded as Philip Karanja Njenga’s Click Click Bang, Jade Osiberu’s Brotherhood and Elvis Chucks’s Jewel won Best Movie in the regions East Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa respectively. Njenga’s production also won Best Indigenous Language, Swahili. Other indigenous language awards went to Victor Iyke’s Uhuruchi (Igbo) and Abubakar Bashir Maishadda’s Aisha (Hausa).

There was a moment of recognition for young actress Angel Unigwe who won the Trailblazer award, as the Best Dressed Male and Female were given to social media personality Eniola Adeoluwa and Big Brother Naija ex-housemate Beauty Tukura respectively.

In line with the tradition of the occasion, tributes were paid to deceased creative talents and entertainers such as Saint Obi, Ada Ameh and others. Later, the crowd witnessed musical performances from Tiwa Savage, Spyro and Iyanya.

AMVCA 2023, which witnessed a 40 per cent surge in entry submission, was put in the hands of a panel led by illustrious filmmaker Femi Odugbemi. Only ten of the thirty-four categories were open to the public for voting.

Other winners were: Broda Shaggi as Best Actor in a Comedy (Movie/Series); Abdisattar Ahmed as Best Supporting Actor (Movie/Series); Elozonam and Kie Kie as Best Online Social Content Creator for efforts  in Back From The Future; Mpali as Best Original Telenovela; King Bugar as Best Unscripted Original; Njoro Wa Uba as Best Original Comedy Series; Ricordi as Best Original Drama Series; Yinka Edward’s Crime & Justice as Best Television Series; Nora Awolowo’s  Nigeria—The Debut as Best Documentary; and Leaked as Multichoice Talent Factory Film.


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