Entertainers gathered enmass to witness the fifth edition of Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Saturday, March 5, 2017. The entertainers expressed their joy and excitement about the success of the show.
Some also spoke to us about sundry issues…
‘I AM VERY GRATEFUL’ – Chief Chika Okpala (Zebru-Daya)
I’m today honoured with a SUV brand new car. I so much appreciate the fact that the Chinese would want me to test-run their car and see if it’s working perfectly. As a Nigerian artiste, I really appreciate them. It’s a big thing and I’m very grateful for that.
I’m very happy. I felt everything was over when they gave me MON without EY. I think this is the EY coming. Please, encourage others to bring me more EY (laugh).
Tell us how the journey started.
My acting started from my school days in 1965. Many of us who were into show business in school form a group and we usually entertained the Armed Forces of Biafra. We kept performing that they so much appreciated us. They would want us to come around every weekend to perform for the troops. Immediately after that, I went back to Enugu. In Enugu, I joined a theatre company formed by professionals and broadcasters. That’s how it all started.
In all of these experience, what are your peculiar challenges?
The major challenge is that people never believed that you are a serious person. They never believed a drama group, actors, actresses and movie makers are serious people. They never took me to be a serious person. Whatever you do they would say he’s play or acting a film but we are actually passing messages to people. Gradually, they are accepting our jobs. They now know that we can contribute to the GDP of the nation.
‘WE ARE GRATEFUL TO GOD’ – Ayo Adesanya
What are your expectations tonight?
How would you describe 2017?
So far so good, 2017 has been a wonderful year. A lot of good things are coming up. I’m expectant really. Yeah, the recession is here but we just have to cut our coat according to the cloth. So, career wise, I know something good is coming up.
Would you say the recession has affected you career wise?
Ha! Heavily. I’m not left out of the ugly situation but we still have to be grateful to God because it’s not easy. I’m still here working hard and I’m sure it’s going to get better. I’m very positive about that.
What should fans expect from your stable in 2017?
Alot and lot of movies coming up. I’m not just talking about movies, I mean good movies.
‘DO THE BEST YOU CAN DO…’ – Hilda Dokubo
I just want to have fun, be around friends, be happy and share one love together.
A lot of fans missed you on the screen…
(Cuts in) They should go to boxoffice. I have two movies right now on the DSTV boxoffice, CEO and Stigma.
Before you featured in those two movies, what were the things that kept you busy?
I run a school and I was working with women and young people in the community. I was busy getting 35 women empowered every three months.
For the time that you were away from the screen, would you say that you missed Nollywood?
I was never away because what I was doing was inline with Nollywood because I was training younger people who are interested in entertainment. So, I work in Nollywood but I was just not in front of any camera.
What’s your advice for those who are just coming into the industry?
Do the best that you can, pray a lot, stay humble and you will get there.
‘2017 HAS BEEN AN AWESOME YEAR’ – Tayo Faniran
I’m here to have fun, to support creative minds and talents. So, when I get in there and feel excited, I will express it. I feel like celebrating people here.
How has the year been for you career wise?
2017 has been an awesome year. A lot of things have happened to me this year already. We are just into March and by the way, this is my birth month and my birthday is on March 18. I’m turning 31. So, I’m no more a boy.
What are the plans for your birthday?
I’m looking at going to Tanzania. I could be in Botswana or Zimbabwe. I just want to celebrate in one of these beautiful African countries.
Why the choice of Africa?
I like to explore Africa. Africa is my home. Everywhere I go in Africa, they take me as one of them. So, I like to make myself available and enjoy some of the love from my fans all across the continent.
Tell us about your music, how is the response from fans?
The response is good for the people that have paid attention to it because I came from a reality show and people did not know me with the music. So, it’s taking a little bit of time for that to sink into them. But I can bet you that I have never recorded a song that is not dope.
Every song that I have recorded is hit and I still have more coming. All the people that have paid attention to my music and my music videos have given me credit for that.
Let us go back to Big Brother Naija, who’s your favourite housemate?
Actually, I’m not supposed to say this because I’m the brand ambassador for Payporte, the sponsoring brand. I love them all and I wish them all the best.
Who do you think will go home with the star price?
I don’t know. The game can change at any time. If someone is doing well today, it can be another person’s turn tomorrow. I wish them all goodluck. It’s not about the money at the end of the day, I’m a living testimony to that. But I hope they make the best use of what they have.
How’s your family doing?
Awesome. My son is a big boy now. He has started school and he’s taller now.
‘ALL GLORY TO GOD’ – Sambaza Nzeribe
Wow, I actually closed my eyes when they were calling that category. It was all a surprise when I heard my name. I asked myself, how? Anyway, I just give glory to God because the best thing my late mom introduced me to was the church. After losing my father, my mom took refuge in the church. She was a primary school teacher in the Charismatic Renewal St Mary. Church, Isolo, Lagos.
They made my mom the children’s ministry drama and choir teacher. She’s always dragging me along to the children’s rehearsals for drama and singing. I’m actually an all round artiste but the acting took much of it. I never stopped working, I keep working and it’s all about working hard. I feel great.
You won in one of the most challenging categories, did you see it coming?
The first time I came for AMVCA 2017 nominees’ announcement, I heard the people that were in the category of the best actor in drama. I felt I would just let it go because being in the same category with Uncle Olu Jacobs, Ramsey Nouah, RMD was already a big plus for me. These people that I was nominated with have been acting since I was a child.
Now that I found myself in their category, people encouraged me never to give up because I have nothing to lose. I’m already in the category and I could eventually be the winner.
- SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN and OLUWAFEMI SOEWU