The stage is set again, and Africans are full of expectations. With celebrities from all walks of life storming Yenagoa, the capital city of Bayelsa State, this evening, for this year’s edition of the prestigious Africa Movie Academy Awards, the question on the lips of everybody is who becomes the next queen of the screen in the continent?
For anything, the possibility of writing her name in gold is being predicted. Rita who won last year’s Best Actress award for her role in a Kenyan film ‘Shattered’ got nominated again for her role in her own movie, ‘The Meeting” to set herself for greatness.
She was pitched against Ghanaian Yvonne Okoro who also was nominated for role in the film, The Contract”, Florence Masebe (Elelwani), Mariam Ouedraogo(Moi Zaphira), Mbutung Seikeh (Ninah’s Diary) and Malawian Flora Suya who was nominated for her role in Shem Joya’s ‘Last Fishing Boat.’
While some have tipped Yvonne Okoro,for the prize , those who have seen “Shattered”, are less doubtful that Rita will win the trophy. However, winning the award for the second time, as posited by many will definitely go a long way to boost the profile of Rita as a record breaker.
Judging from time immemorial, Rita has shown that she is on top of her game. Her stagecraft, professionalism and composure aptly give her an edge over her rivals, and clinching the prestigious prize for the second time in two years is a dream that needs to be realised.
Indeed, looking back, the gap-toothed actress broke record last year when she won the Actress Of The Year Award in Kenya, at the expense of two Kenyans; Patricia Kihoro and Joan Amara, for her role in Shattered. She also won the best actress in a leading role at the 2012 AMAA awards for her role in the same movie ‘Shattered’ and FAB awards’ most stylish actress of the year.
In addition to this, her film, “The Meeting” which got six nominations brightens her chances of clinching the coveted prize. But who knows, as the battle is not always open for the strong to win.
Like Rita, many are also tipping fast-rising star, OC Ukeje for the Best Actor category. He emerged the Best Actor on the continent recently at AMVCA, and got nominated for AMAA 2013 Prize For Best Actor In A Leading Role for Charles Novia’s newly released movie, “Alan Poza.”
For Ukeje, the sky is his limit. The rising star is optimistic that he will win the coveted prize no matter the odds. “I think I have done it once this year. I will do it again,” he said, in a recent chat with HVP.
Unfortunately, Ukeje is pitched against thorough-bred actor like Bob-Manuel and late Justus Esiri, Hlomla Dandala, Femi Jacobs and Amurin Wumnembom. One thing is however certain, and that is , the prize is only meant for the best and only the best will embrace the tape.
Meanwhile, the event, which holds amid glamour and glitz this evening, is already serenading the indigenes of the state and opening up tourism potentials for would be guests and investors.
According to the organizers, all is ready as the Bayelsa State government has put plans in place to ensure a hitch-free awards ceremony.
During the week, the state government announced raising about N.8 billion for hosting of the event.The amount, is expected to boost efforts of the organizers in ensuring a successful hosting of the annual award ceremony.