On the last day of the Africa Film Festival in Calabar, Saturday November 15th, a Gala Night served as the closing ceremony for the week long festival that saw Nollywood stay, celebrities and insiders descend on Tinapa Lakeside Hotel.
The gala event was very beautiful and this was my first time attending such an event and I had zero expectations. I was blown away by the amazing performances by the various dance groups and artists, as well as the level of organization pulled of by Chioma Ude’s team. The award ceremony carried on seamlessly with the help of our hosts Ramsey Noah and Vonne Vixen and our second set of hosts, Gideon Okeke and Uru Eke were also very pleasant to watch.
AFRIFF Good Will Ambassadors Rita Dominic & Xolile Tshabalala were introduced to us by the AFRIFF CEO, Chioma Ude. The ladies set the tone for the event as they spoke on the significance of AFRIFF.
We had the pleasure of a very hilarious and entertaining magician who came on stage in between award presentations. He had the audience in the palm of his hand as we all watched his act in awe and amazement. You know, I’d like to believe that was witchcraft – or juju as we Nigerians call it but hey, nobody asked my opinion.
The students who had been attending workshops all week were in for the best surprise when they were informed about a scholarship programmed that had been awarded to a select group. The audience cheered really loud as they all were called to the stage to receive recognition.
Another highlight for me was when Governor Liyle Imoke got on stage and gave a heartfelt speech about the pioneers in the industry – Kate Henshaw, Genevieve Nnaji, Rita Dominic, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde and Ramsey Noah. It was nice to know that we all appreciated them and were grateful for their presence.
Closing the show was the young and thrilling artist, Runtown who gave a great performance. Finally, our four hosts came on stage to give the vote of thanks before we proceeded to the after party.
It was a great event – a great way to end the week. It was breathtaking to see the unity in one room. Everyone was genuinely happy for all the recipients as they made their way to stage to receive their awards. Nollywood can only go higher up from here.
See more pictures from the Gala –