–As movie stars storm Abia for celebrity reading
For the Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, it is a delight to host an event of the magnitude of Best of Nollywood Awards 2016.
Speaking during the acceptance of hosting rights of BON Awards 2016 at a brief ceremony held at the Governor’s Lodge, Umuahia, recently, Ikpeazu said: “For us in Abia State, Nollywood has contributed immensely to the well-being of our people because one of the marketing and distribution pivots of the industry, Pound Road, is here in Aba, the SME capital of Africa. Just like Idumota in Lagos and Iweka Road, Onitsha, Pound Road contributes more than 50 percent to Nollywood. So, prior to now, I always thought about how to further get involved with the industry which is why we are working on a film village and are glad to host the Best of Nollywood Awards 2016 on December 10. ”
The governor averred that his affinity with the homegrown movie industry has been further buoyed over the years because “unlike in the past when Nigeria used to receive a lot of flaks from the outside world, now, we receive considerable buffer from Nollywood. Nollywood has given us a new level of respect across the world. Therefore, when I was approached to host the awards, I thought that while this might not be the best of times financially for us as a state, it avails us a platform to bring the industry back home, show our various tourism and economic potential and join you to celebrate an industry which contribution to the GDP of Nigeria is invaluable.”
Ikpeazu, however, promised that his state would join forces with the organising team to produce a world-class event that would surpass all other editions and create the high watermark by which awards ceremonies in Nigeria and beyond would be measured.
The executive producer, Seun Oloketuyi, thanked the governor for agreeing to host the event. He assured the governor that there’s no better ceremony to officially launch the new ultra-modern international events centre being constructed by the state than the BON Awards. Also present at the ceremony were actors like Walter Anga, Yomi Fash Lanso, Rex Nosa, Tayo Sobola and members of the BON Awards organising committee.
Meanwhile, as part of events leading up to this year’s Best of Nollywood Awards, some of Nigeria’s revered and renowned actors would storm Umuahia, the Abia State capital on Monday, October 24 for a reading and mentoring session with secondary school students. In the stellar line up of celebrity readers are Segun Arinze, Daniel K Daniel, Queen Nwokoye, Belinda Effiah, Saheed Balogun, and Okey Bakassi. Others are Bimbo Akintola, Junior Pope, Fathia Balogun and Kannywood finest, Ali Nuhu. Aside the reading proper, to be led by the First Lady, Mrs. Nkechi Ikpeazu, Oloketuyi said there would be inspirational talks, photo ops and an autograph-signing session.
“We look forward to an exciting time with the kids,” Oloketuyi quipped, adding, “As you well know, the celebrity reading session with secondary school students is the first of a variety of activities preceding the BON Awards proper in December. The chosen celebrities are past winners and nominees of the awards. What we promise the lucky students is a life-changing opportunity to meet with their role models and favourite celebrities and hear directly from them the time-tested success nuggets, tips they need to be better individuals.”
Continuing, Oloketuyi said more than anything else, he is always thrilled and humbled when celebrities leave all they are doing to be a part of the mentoring and reading session.