On 22 April actors, actresses and anyone who has anything to do with filmmaking in Africa (and the Diaspora) will be in Lagos for the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), now in its 8th year. Amidst the pomp that characterizes the event, the category nominees will hope to win the top prizes in the full glare of the world’s media establishments.
On another level, the AMAAs are not just about the films in competition; aspirants, who are cultural ambassadors in a sense, will also want to do their respective countries proud by winning the most number of crests overall on the awards night.
And it is not for nothing that AMAA is described as the “most prestigious and glamorous entertainment industry event of its kind in Africa”. The process from entry submission to screening to nomination on the shortlist is so thorough that only what the college of screeners and the judging panel consider the very best make it through to the grand finale.
“Every year, AMAA wears a cloth of Pan-Africanism,” Head of the College of Screeners Shaibu Hussein told me on the eve of the Awards in 2011. “We don’t touch films with low production values.”
However, the main focus of this edition is the local fashion industry; fashion as it aids the development of indigenous tourism. As Deji Rotinwa writes, “Nigeria’s fast-growing fashion industry has covered a lot of ground in a short time.”
We review the just concluded ‘Arise Magazine Fashion Week’, which had 77 designers (from six continents) participating; there is a brilliant essay by tourism expert Godwin Goyang on how Nigeria can milk the limitless values of homegrown fabrics; the focus concludes with a piece on Legendary Gold’s Lexy Mojo-Eyes, the man who first made the runway business hip many years ago.
Winner, CNN/Multichoice African Journalism Awards (Tourism)