By TOSIN AJIRIRE, TONY OGAGA and damilola fatunmise
The Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) and top Nollywood stars have thrown their weights behind their counterparts being honoured at The Sun Awards taking place today at the Convention Centre, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
For being a role interpreter par excellence, The Sun will honour Rita Dominic as the Nollywood Personality of the Year 2016 while Phyno will be conferred with The Sun’s Creative Person of the Year Award alongside his contemporary, Olamide.
Pledging his support for Phyno and Olamide, PMAN President, Pretty Okafor has vowed to storm the venue with members of the executive including Sunny Nneji, Ruggedman, Felix Duke, Tolu Obey, Zakky Adzay, Asa Ganger Lee, and Benny Aladin
“The Sun Awards is a good thing happening to the entertainment industry. I can assure you that I will be at the ceremony with all my executive members in solidarity with the musicians who are being honoured,” Okafor said.
For screen diva, Mercy Johnson-Okojie, it’s Rita Dominic’s day and she has pledged to grace the event as a mark of solidarity with her. “I have made up my mind to be at The Sun Awards simply because aunty Rita (Dominic) is winning,” she said.
However, it promises to be a glamorous evening of fun and excitement as the likes of veteran movie maker, Eddy Ugboma, gospel musician, Aity Dennis, Nigeria’s entertainment most celebrated couple, Tunde and Wunmi Obe have all promised to grace the occasion.
Other entertainers being expected are Kanayo O. Kanayo, actor turned-politician, Desmond Elliot, Chika Ike, Nurse Titi, Ejiro Okwara, Ebube Nwagbo, Tchidi Chikere, Nuella Njubigbo, Princess, Ruth Eze, Bigdeal Omoruyi, World Wrapperman, Salawa Abeni and son, Big Shef, Doris Simeon, Princess Anne Inyang, Empress Njama, Mercy Aigbe, Ronke Oshodi-Oke and Tayo Sobola.
Rita Dominic, who hails from Aboh Mbaise Local Government area of Imo State, cut her teeth in acting while in the elementary school, appearing in stage plays and kiddies’ television shows. She continued acting even while at the Federal Government College, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State. Meanwhile, her decision to become a professional actor led her to study Theatre Arts at the University of Port Harcourt where she graduated with a BA (Honours) Degree in Theatre Arts in 1999.
However, her first movie role came in 1998 when she starred in A Time to Kill. She went further to feature in over 100 films prominent among which are Iyore, Surulere, and 76. Aside being an actor, Dominic is a producer. She has produced quite a number of movies including The Meeting.
Charming, gorgeous and amiable, Dominic is an actress who takes her job seriously. She is not stereotyped and has the knack for the unusual. From playing a cosmopolitan lover girl to cantankerous receptionist; frail-looking akara (bean cake) seller to emotionally disturbed soldier’s wife, Dominic will fit into just any role.
Born and bred in Enugu State, Azubuike Chibuzo Nelson popularly known as Phyno is a self-made artiste who believes in himself and respects his culture. Combining elements of English and Pidgin, he delivers rap music in Igbo language effortlessly. No wonder his friends call him ‘Phenomenon’ now shortened to Phyno.
Phyno began his musical career as a producer in 2003. For more than 10 years, he practically lived in the studio, producing songs for musicians in Enugu. As a producer, Phyno worked with top acts like Mr Raw, Ruggedman, Flavour, Timaya, Bracket and, J Martins among others.
In 2014, however, Phyno dramatically altered the course of his career when he dumped the production console to become a singer. Armed with a long list of songs, he entered the studio and came out with No Guts No Glory, a debut album containing hits singles like Ghost Mode, Man of the Year (Obago), O Set, Alobam (My Guy), Yayo, and Parcel (a BIG Nwa).
For handsome, fair-complexioned Phyno, whose ambition initially, was to become a pilot or a medical doctor, there was no looking back on music after dropping No Guts. His sophomore album, 2 Kings featuring Olamide and guest artistes like Whizkid, Lil Kesh, Pheelz, Young John, and B. Banks, turned out a collaborative masterpiece.
The Public Administration graduate of the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu, then went from glory to glory. He climbed the corporate ladder by becoming a brand ambassador of Guinness’ Made of Black campaign. His hit singles such as Connet, Fada Fada, and Mmenge Mmenge further made him a household name in Nigeria.
Born in the ghetto of Bariga, Lagos State in 1989, Olamide Adedeji also known as Olamide Badoo had his elementary and secondary education in Lagos before proceeding to Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
In 2000, he made up his mind to pursue a career in music. “I found out I was gifted in it. So, I had to explore it, it’s my life, my hustle, my world,” he explained.
Naturally gifted, Olamide sings mostly in Yoruba but laced his lyrics with a bit of English and Pidgin. With his humour and mastery of street lingo, he has brought freshness and fluidity to rap music.
Signed to ID Cabasa’s Coded Tunes, Olamide released his debut album, Rapsodi, in 2011. This led to collaborations with many musicians including D’banj, ID Cabasa, Wizkid, Reminisce, and 9ice. However, he jumped ship sooner than later and established his own label, YBNL Nation, where he released his sophomore album, Yahoo Boy No Laptop (YBNL). The album parades hit tracks such as First of All, Stupid Love, Voice of the Street, and Ilefo Illuºminati. It also features guest appearances by Davido, Kayswitch, Dammy Krane, Tiwa Savage, Samklef, Reminisce, Buckwylla, Base One, and Minus 2.
In 2013, Olamide dropped his third studio album, Baddest Guy Ever Liveth featuring songs like “Durosoke” and “Yemi My Lover”. His latest album, Glory, is already making waves across the country.