By Ogova Ondego in Yenagoa
Published April 21, 2013
The fight was not just well calculated but was also fast and furious. When the dust finally settled, South Africa lay still and dirty in the murky swamps; gasping for breath. Not far from her were wailing and vanquished Kenya, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda. Their tormentor–Nigeria–towered above them, as if daring them to stand up and fight. But how could they when Naija had knocked them out with lead-heavy blows executed mercilessly with clinical precision? So they just lay in the swamps of the Niger Delta, their tongues sticking out, begging for mercy. As trophies of war, Nigeria had grabbed 12 of the 23 highly coveted prizes in the store of the 9th annual Africa Movie Academy Awards whose Gala Ceremony was held in Yenagoa, the capital of the oil-rich Bayelsan state of Nigeria on April 20, 2013.
As if employing the hit-and-run guerrilla tactics, South Africa came a distant second after striking back four times while Kenya and Burkina Faso scored two points each from their tackles. Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda struck once each as Cameroon got a special nod from the referee to merely make it to the medal ranking.
Ghana had struck first, winning the Best Short Film award with its KWAKU ANANSE. Not to be outdone, Nigeria’s FUELING POVERTY had quickly taken the Best Documentary Award and South Africa’s ADVENTURES OF ZAMBEZIA the Best Animation Award. But it wasn’t till South Africa’s ELELWANI had taken the Best Production Design prize that Nigeria employed her lethal punches, blows and tackles to subdue: LAST FLIGHT TO ABUJA took the Best Film by an African Abroad trophy, BLOOD AND HENNA the Best Costume Design, THE MEETING the Best Makeup, and THE TWIN SWORD the Best Visual Effects and the Best Editing. The West African country increased her tally further when her HEROES AND ZEROES took the Best Editing and Best Screenplay, Belinda Effah (in KOKOMAH) was declared Most Promising Actress and Gabriel Afolayan (HOODRUSH) took the Best Actor in a Supporting Role and the late Justus Esiri was crowned the Best Actor in a Leading Role before winding up with the trophies for the Best Director (Niji Akanni for HEROES AND ZEROES) and the Best Film (for CONFUSION NA WA).
Burkina Faso’s MOI ZAPHIRA won her the Best Lighting and the Best Film in an African Language trophies while Germany/Kenya’s NAIROBI HALF LIFE earned her the trophies for the Best Sound and the Most Promising Actor (Joseph Wairimu shared it with Nigeria’s Belinda Effah in KOKOMAH).
THE LAST FISHING BOAT earned Malawi the Best Soundtrack while Uganda’s savior was THE UGANDAN that produced the Best Child Actor (Benjamin Abemigisha). The win of Hermelinda Cimela in VIRGEN MAGARIDA as the Best Actress in a Supporting Role gave Mozambique her only statuette in the competition. NINA’S DOWRY, that got a special jury award, enabled Cameroon to book a place among Africa’s award-winning filmmaking countries.
The full list of the winners appears below:
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Best Short Film: Kwaku Ananse (Ghana)
Best Documentary: Fuelling Poverty (Nigeria)
Best Diaspora Feature: Stones in the Sun (Haiti/USA)
Best Diaspora Documentary: Fan Do Brasil (Brazil/Guadeloupe)
Best Animation: Adventure of Zambezia (South Africa)
Best Film by an Africans Abroad: Last Flight To Abuja (UK/Nigeria)
Achievement in Production Design: Elelwani (South Africa)
Achievement in Costume Design: Blood And Henna (Nigeria)
Achievement in Make-Up: The Meeting (Nigeria)
Achievement in Soundtrack: The Last Fishing Boat (Malawi)
Achievement in Visual Effects: The Twin Sword (Nigeria)
Achievement in Sound: Nairobi Half Life (Kenya)
Achievement in Cinematography: Uhlanga, The Mark (South Africa)
Achievement in Editing: Heroes And Zeros (Nigeria)
Best Actress in A Leading Role: Florence Masebe: Elelwani (South Africa)
Achievement in Lightning: Moi Zaphira (Burkina Faso)
Achievement in Screenplay: Heroes And Zeros (Nigeria)
Best Nigerian Film: Confusion Na Wa (Nigeria)
Best Film in an African Language: Moi Zaphira (Burkina Faso)
Most Promising Actor: Belinda Effah: Kokomma (Nigeria)
Most Promising Actor: Joseph Wairimu: Nairobi Half Life (Kenya)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Gabriel Afolayan: Hoodrush (Nigeria)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Hermelinda Cimela:Virgin Magarida (Mozambique)
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Justus Esiri: Assasins Practice (Nigeria)
Best Director: Niji Akanni: Heroes and Zeros (Nigeria)
Best Film: Confusion Na Wa (Nigeria)
Special Jury Award: Ninah’s Dowry (Cameroon).