Nkechi Chima, Abuja
It was an unforgettable day in the lives of celebrities who converged in Abuja for the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) 9th Biennial Lecture tagged: The Strategic Role of Nollywood in the Nigerian Economy and Launching of an advocacy film for Nigerian Army, titled Operation Last Dance.
The remarkable event also witness veteran’s honors award ceremony, Patrons Investiture, inauguration and unveiling of the Actors Guild of Nigeria Secretariat architectural design which comprises the AGN office complex, estate among others billed to be commissioned in 2023.
Speaking at the event, the National President of Actors Guild of Nigeria, Emeka Rollas Ejezie said the guild started 20 years ago, they didn’t envisage that it will represent the interest of millions of performers in what is now one of the largest film-producing countries, not just in the African continent, but also in the world.
“Actors Guild of Nigeria, is the first professional Association in “Nollywood” and has helped nurtured the motion picture industry into vibrancy and successfully evolving, not just in Nigeria, but with a growing resonance in many other African countries and increasingly also globally. The films we act reflect our diverse cultures, our traditions and history as we take our stories to millions of households and delivering content that they can identify with and joyfully feel to be part of”.
He was worried that the past leadership crisis that rocked the guild for 7 years greatly affected the guild’s inability to advocate for necessary professional welfare packages for their member.
Rollas also appreciated the Nigeria Army, especially Lt. Gen. Yusuf T. Buratai, Chief of Army Staff, who is the co-host, for the great collaboration for the production of the movie which motivate, inspire positive attitude towards national identity and development as exhibited in the movie which was launch at the event.
Also speaking, Zack Orji said Nollywood is one of the highest growing industries in Nigeria with the creation of job for members and their movies has represented Nigeria positively to the world raging from the architectural designs, well furniture houses used to depict their characters has made people crave to live in decent houses. He also appreciated their patrons for supporting Actors Guild of Nigeria, such as Chairman Patrons, Prince Ned Nwoko, Iyke Kanu, Lt. Gen. T.Y Buratai, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, Senator Ishaku Abbo, Sen.
Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed and Chukwuemeka Ohanemere among others.
On his part, Chairman of the event, AGN Patron, Deacon Iyke Kanu commended the leadership of Emeka Rollas as an exemplary one and urged him not to relent in taking the guild to the next level.
He also pledged his support on the building of AGN secretariat to enable them achieve their dreams. Kanu appreciated the guild for making him one of their patrons.
His words: “I feel honoured to be part of a great industry like Nollywood, they have made us proud as Nigerians, they have also tried to rebrand our name to the outside world, as well as our cultural heritage. So, we need to give them utmost support. For them to choose me as one of their patron I’m so elated and promise to support them as a guild.
Among the awardees for veteran actor of Nigeria are Chief Pete Edochie, Kenneth OKonkwo, Kanayo. O. Kanayo, Bob-Manuel Udokwu, Sani Danja, Sam Dede, Funke Akindele, Steve Eboh, Kate Henshaw, Nkem Owoh, John Okafor (Mr. Ibu), Emeka Ike, Millicent Jack, Remy Ohajianya, Sam Loco Efe, JT Tom West.