an african rebirth

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

The nominees for the 4th annual African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) were announced at a magical evening attended by local film people and Nigerian representatives against the picturesque backdrop of Moyo at Johannesburg's Zoo Lake last week.

Boasting the creme de la creme of the successful Nollywood industry, which is fast expanding over Africa, the Nigerian delegation also comprised government representatives from the state of Bayelsa, home to the AMAAs, producers and key players from various stakeholders in the West African country.

South African representatives included the attractive Nambitha Mpumlwana, Vathiswa Ndara and programme director Sello Maake Ka Ncube.

Also travelling from Nigeria were popular actors like Segun Arinze and Kanay O Kanay, who has succeeded in carving out a huge following for his tough film roles. Looking splendid at the event was the popular Joke Silva.

In a moving speech, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, the executive producer of AMAA, told the audience that the academy's launch was held in South Africa deliberately in order to create "a sense of ownership" of the industry.

She was emphatic that the AMAAs should not be seen solely as West African awards and invited the local industry to ensure they participated fully in them.

She said the time had come for all Africans to rise to the occasion by providing funding - and not rely on Europe and the US.

The time had come for Africans to tell their own stories in film, "to capture the African idiom" as only Africans could.

Anyiam-Osigwe also urged filmmakers to network with other key players in the film industry across the continent to exchange ideas to ensure that the industry developed.

lThe AMAA awards ceremony will be held in Bayelsa, Nigeria, on April 26.