Nigerian veteran comedian Chika Okpala, aka ‘Chief Zebrudaya Okoroigwe Nwogbo alias 4.30’ and Nollywood actor Ali Nuhu have been honoured with the Rock of Fame Award of the Nigerian film industry.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that they were recognised on Friday night at the closing ceremony and award night of the 2018 edition of the annual ZUMA Film Festival (ZUFF) in Abuja.
Professor Hyginus Ekwuazi, former Managing Director of the Nigeria Film Corporation (NFC), and other veterans in the Nigerian motion picture industry were also named for the award.
The recipients include filmmaker Femi Odugbemi, Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, who is the Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Stefanie Strathaus , Director Arsenal Film Institute.
Others are Vinzenz Hediger, Professor of Cinema Studies at Goethe University in Frankfurt Germany, Spanish socialist politician, Maria Fernandez Delavega and Stuart Symington, US Ambassador to Nigeria, among others.
Late Sir Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s Prime Minister in the First Rebublic, was honoured posthumously for his epic film “Shaihu Umar”, which was screened in Berlin, Germany and at the Cinematography Centre in Cairo, Egypt earlier in the year.
Dr Chidia Maduekwe, Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) and Chairman of the festival organising committee, described the honour for the thespians and stakeholders as “well deserved.”
According to him, the recipients, living and the dead, have contributed to the exponential growth of the Nigerian movie industry, popularly known as Nollywood, as it evolves over the years.
“This is our modest attempt in appreciating the enormous contributions of these film practitioners in the Nigeria film industry and their achievements thereof.
“They are today recognised as the first recipients of the Nigerian Film Society Rock of Fame Award, the highest professional recognition within the Nigeria Film industry based solely on merit.
“The labour of love and commitment to Nigeria’s development of our industry geniuses shall continually be recognised and rewarded, he said.
NAN reports that the Nigerian Film Society Rock of Fame Award, now in its second year of introduction, is the highest professional recognition within the Nigeria film industry based solely on merit.
Some of the recipients of the maiden edition in 2017 included late thespians Sam Loco-Efe, James Iroha, popularly known as ‘Giringori Akabogu’ ,who were honoured posthumously, among other living veterans.
ZUMA Film Festival, now in its 9th edition, is the platform for Nigerian film practitioners to network with their counterparts from other parts of the world and stimulate co-production and financing opportunities.
It presents the Nigerian film industry as a vibrant and viable investment option to Nigeria and international business communities.
This year’s edition, with the theme: “Archiving for Creativity”, held from Dec 1 to 7.