Presenting an award category at the 4th edition of the African Oscars a.k.a NACFA, held in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. I had the chance to have a first- hand experience not just as a presenter but also as a V.I.P guest during, pre and post event. I spent some time with the Organizer/CEO, Dr Victor Olatoye and he was quite pleased to involve a few African media practitioners, celebrities, royalties and elder statesmen.
However, the event had huge influence and presence of African-Americans; this explains why it has less Africans in attendance than previous years. NAFCA means Nollywood & African Film Critics’ Awards. The title of the award would leave you in high expectations of key Nollywood and African celebrities being fully involved in all aspects of the event but the case was otherwise.
I would presumably say that Dr Victor made a deliberate decision to involve as many African-Americans and Africans in diaspora as possible. As a grass-root Nigerian media person with both Nigerian and American citizenship and experience, I am undoubtedly in a position to assess the risks of trying to host such an event without being at home with the Nollywood crowd.
First, a good number of African Americans love, cherish and adore Nollywood movies more than Hollywood movies. I can confidently say this because I have done a research on the topic with over a hundred thousand questionnaires on survey and street opinions of recorded videos. A good percentage of these African Americans actually did attend the event in expectations of seeing or meeting their Nollywood Icons.
My recommendations are to: create more awareness about the event back home in Nigeria (the organizers home country) thereby arousing local interest; involve more music and Nollywood celebrities as well as industry personnels; assign more participating roles to Nollywood celebrities and awardees during the event like performances, presenting of awards, hosting and more as we see in the Oscars, Grammys, BET and other awards that NAFCA modeled after.
It will be quite hard to win the African-American audience without capitalizing on their Nollywood fan base and true love for African Arts and Culture which was evident in the spectators’ reactions when awardees like Ooni of Ife’s Cabinet King and Prince Alex Ejiamatu came out to receive their awards in their African Royal regalias.
In all, I commend the efforts, courage, boldness and steadfastness of Dr Victor Olatoye, for successfully hosting the 4th edition of NAFCA. It was quite brave of him to have moved the award event to Hollywood, the hub of world entertainment with successful Hollywood debut and over 50 media houses in attendance and many celebrities gracing the event.
Some photos of the event.
Adaslim is a TV Host/script writer, movie producer and photographer. She has garnered experience over the years in the entertainment industry, been an active player in Nollywood; a producer with many movies and entertainment works to her credit, some of which have featured prominent A-list actors and actresses like; Pete Edochie, Desmond Elliot, Mercy Johnson, Patience Ozokwor (Mama G) Oge Okoye, Tontoh Dikeh and many others. Some of her movies like IRREPLACEABLE and SECRET PAIN have been featured on Africa-Magic and other television stations within and outside the country.