Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has called on Africans across the globe to work together to boost the creative industry, maintaining that “There is power in oneness as a continent”.
The Governor made the call at the 17th edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) held at the Marriot Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, just as he promised that the State will continue to host AMAA for the next three years in the bid to strengthen African unity through creativity, using Lagos as a rallying point.
He explained said that the creative sector has been very instrumental to the growth of the State and had contributed immensely to the entire African continent through impressive and captivating storylines portrayed on screen.
“This is the time for us to come together. And with the creative world, you can see that when we work together, there is power in unity in Africa; there is power in oneness. That’s why the Lagos State government is making a commitment to host AMAA for the next three years”, Sanwo-Olu asserted.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, described the choice of Lagos as the venue for this year’s AMAA as a well-thought-out idea considering the strategic place Lagos occupies in the entertainment industry, adding that Lagos has the record of most successful movie producers in Nigeria and the business side of movie production thrives more in the city.
She said: “Lagos, as you know, is a city that never sleeps and this portends a great deal for the entertainment industry to leverage on the vibrancy of this city. Invariably, the huge population of Lagos coupled with the lifestyle of its inhabitants, who are fun-loving people, is a great advantage for you to creatively express yourself and make a fortune out of it”.
The Commissioner recalled that in recognition of the efforts of practitioners in the movie industry, the Ministry had earlier in the year, through a collaboration with a private firm, honoured some producers, actresses, cinematographers and several others within the value chain of film and movie production during the Eko Star Film Awards event under the Ministry’s ‘Lagos Culture Series’.
While noting that the present administration is ready to provide and promote platforms that will further enhance Lagos State’s competitive positioning as a top-five tourist destination in Africa, Akinbile-Yussuf urged practitioners in the film and movie industry to continue making Lagos and Nigeria proud before the international community, through creative storylines that will portray our true identity.
During the presentation of awards at the event, Nigeria’s “Ëyimofe”, directed by Arie Esiri and Chuko Esiri, won four awards including Best Nigerian Film, Best Director, Best Sound, and Best first feature film.
Founded by Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, AMAA for the past 17 years has consistently supported and celebrated African cinema. This year’s edition of the event was attended by movie stars, producers and directors across Africa, government officials, stakeholders, and captains of industry, among others.