Monday, 30 April 2012

Award-winning Ghanaian actress Yvonne Nelson has congratulated actor Majid Michel for winning the Best Actor award at the just-ended African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA)           in Nigeria.
The Ghanaian screen “bad boy” beat Hollywood superstars Hakeem Kae Kazim and Chet Anekwe, Wale Ojo from Nigeria, and top actors Karado Lance, Jafta Mamabolo and Menzi Ngubane- all from South Africa to win the trophy.
He won the award for his role in Frank Rajah’s directed ‘Somewhere In Africa’.
Yvonne said Majid deserved the award and he had made her and Ghanaians proud.
“You soo deserve it. I’m proud of you. Love you. Ghanaians are proud of you,” she posted on social network twitter.
Majid is currently enjoying his career as Africa’s reigning best actor and indications are that the recognition will boost his career this year.
Yvonne Nelson also won Africa’s Best Actress at the just-ended Africa Entertainment Awards held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a couple of weeks ago.
The actress got an AMAA nomination in 2010 for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the movie ‘Heart Of Men.
Last year, she also picked Ghana’s best actress at the City People awards. She also won Favourite Actress award at the first edition of Ghana Movie Awards in 2010. Currently, she is one of the few Ghanaian actresses whose names are gradually getting attention on the international scene.

credit: NEWS-ONE

A number of Ghanaian female celebrities converged on the Lizzy Sports Complex at East Legon, Accra, on Saturday afternoon for a final warm-up ahead of the Juliet Ibrahim Foundation Celebrity Soccer Match.
The match is scheduled for tomorrow May 1 at the El-Wak Stadium in Accra at 2pm. It is aimed at raising funds for actress Juliet Ibrahim’s foundation to support people with kidney cancer and kidney diseases.
Celebrities publicized to be part of the game include Joselyn Dumas, Becca, Nana Ama Mcbrown, Confidence Haugen, Kyeiwa, Pascaline Edwards, Inna Patty, Selassie Ibrahim and Irene Logan.
At the Lizzy Sports Complex to complete final training for the big match were Nikki Samonas, Jessica Opare Soforo, Mzbel, Luckie Lawson, Beverly Afaglo, Naa Ashorkor, Jeremy of YFM, DJ Kess, Nana Aba Anamoah, Helen Asante, Sandra Ankobiah of Fashion 101, Afia Schwarzenegger and Deborah Vanessa.
The rest included Franchesca Gray, Soraya Mensah, Sonia Ibrahim, a model, with Laryea Kingston as their trainer. The ladies displayed amazing skills when they were taken through some basic exercise routines including spot kicks.
Sponsored by Nike, regular ticket for the anticipated match is selling   at GH¢20 while VIP is selling at GH¢40 plus free drinks.
Tickets are being sold at Joy FM, Vibe FM and XYZ FM. As part of side attractions, there will be performances by Jupitar, Scientific, Nadjat, Geelex, St. Riya, Ksweed, Ifeanyi and many others.
TV personality PY Addo and MC Benny Blanco will be the celebrity referees for the afternoon.

Credit: NEWS-ONE 

The 2008 general elections held in Ghana are still getting international attention.
A documentary on Ghana’s elections was one of the creative works that caused a stir at this year’s African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in Nigeria last weakened.
The documentary won this year’s Achievement In Best Documentary Film.
Titled ‘African Election’, it competed with equally good documentaries as ‘Beyond The Deadly Pit’- Rwanda, ‘Dear Mandela’- South Africa, ‘White & Black: Crime & Colour’-Tanzania, ‘The Niger Delta Struggle’- Ghana, ‘There Is Nothing Wrong With My Uncle’- Nigeria and ‘How Much Is Too Much’- Kenya.
Produced and directed by Jarreth Merz, a Swiss-born filmmaker with Ghana-Nigeria linage, the documentary covered events that occurred during Ghana’s last elections.
The beauty of the documentary was the fact that the elections were run three times, with a small constituency- Tain- being the final decider.
Jarreth Merz and Francis Addo of Daily Guide, NEWS-ONE & at AMAA Awards 2012
“To be nominated and awarded at the African Academy Awards is prestigious for me. I feel honored because I would never have suspected that with all the hardship that we had, we would be taking this prize. When we started this film, everyone told me it was not going to happen. Everyone said who cares about election in Ghana because there might not be blood. People are always looking for the most terrible things to happen and nothing complex happened. The most progressive things and inspiring things happened and I think the jury and audience proved that they wanted to be inspired. They were tired of a certain look of the past of how the African has been portrayed and betrayed and that we are looking into the future. It is a future where we want to be crossing a finish line with somebody by our side, not alone. You know, the time of winners winning alone is over. We have to win collectively and I think that is why people understand …that is why they gave us the prize,”   Jarreth Merz told NEWS-ONE in exclusive interview in Nigeria.
He said it was difficult for him and his crew to gain the trust of Ghanaian political players. That, he said, was one of the major challenges they had to face. It took them a while to do what they did because people didn’t know them. But at the end, they managed to come out with a good product devoid of any bias.
He said they would tour Ghana with the documentary from August 2012.
“We are bringing the documentary to Ghana. We are planning a tour through Ghana, through the entire country in August, September and October. We are actually dubbing the film into what we call five important languages in Ghana. All the language are all important but our budget is tight so we dubbing the film into Dagbani, Huasa, Ewe, Ga and Akan. We are traveling the country because we think everybody deserves to see this film because it belongs to Ghanaians and my grandmother is a Ghanaian from Kumasi.”

credit: NEWS-ONE    

Star actress Lydia Forson’s mother, Janet Forson, turned 60 yesterday and she looked very strong and full of life.
The actress and her family didn’t hesitate in celebrating their sexy mum. 
“Sexiest 6

Martha make up by Leedy A Xpression

Nikki Samonas make up by Leedy A Xpression
Kalsume make up by Leedy A Xpression
Some of the crème de la crème of Ghana’s movie industry have endorsed Leedy A Xpressions, a hairstyle and make-up company in Accra owned by one of Ghana’s hard working celebrity makeup artists, Lydia Ashitey.

The company was launched at Zanzibar pub at Labone, Accra, on Friday evening.
It attracted quite a number of Ghanaian celebrities who endorsed the company. Among them were Yvonne Nelson, Pascaline Edwards, Kofi Adjorlolo, Nikki Samonas, Martha Ankomah, Nana Akua Addo, Mr and Mrs Eugene Baah and Vivian Achor among others, with Helen Asante and James Gardiner as the MCs of the evening.
Make-up done by Lydia on some stars were also exhibited at the launch ceremony with other actresses including Sika Da Diva hitting the runway for the first time.
Lydia Ashitey is described as celebrity make-up artist because she has over the years been making up a lot of Ghanaian celebrities.
She has worked in the Ghana movie industry for 8 years and therefore has a lot of experience.
She has been on several movies such as ‘Pretty Queen’, ‘Harry’s Courts’, ‘The Prince Bride’, ‘The Queen’s Pride’, ‘Heart of Men’, ‘The Dons of Sakawa’, ‘Trinity’, ‘Bed of Roses’, ‘Rain’ and ‘Single Six’.
She has also worked on hair and make-up for musicians such as Efya, Buk Bak, Sherifa, Mzbel, Rana and Diamond. Lydia’s beautiful handiwork also stretches to bridals, fashion shows, photo shoots, TV commercials and others.

credit: NEWS-ONE

Kwaw Ansah
Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG), the umbrella body of film producers in Ghana, and some stakeholders in Ghana’s television industry last Wednesday held a seminar on improving Ghana’s audiovisual industry.
The seminar was held at the Teachers Hall in Accra under the theme; ‘The Role of Film In Nation Development’. 
Alhaji Sidiku Buari
It brought together a lot of stakeholders in Ghana’s movie industry as well as players from other audiovisual industries. 
Among them were Idikoko, President of FIPAG, Socrates Sarfo, Alhaji Sidiku Buari ex-president of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), Kwaw Ansah, Helen Omaboe, Abeiku Sagoe and a number of others. Some government officials were there.
Issues discussed included measures to sanitize the audiovisual industry for a sustainable development and more.
Speaking at the ceremony was award-winning film director and owner of TV Africa, Kwaw Ansah, who underscored the need for Ghanaian filmmakers to improve the technical abilities of their movies.
He expressed his unhappiness about the trend of storylines of Ghanaian movies lately and spoke at length about it.
Socrates Sarfo
He said movie stories lately did not depict Ghana’s culture as they were rather stories adopted from other cultures.
He was of the opinion that one could not tell another person’s culture in a story better than his or her own.  
“You can’t do a cowboy movie better than the Americans,” he added and encouraged filmmakers to come home because there was a plethora of Ghanaian stories that had not been told yet.

credit:  NEWS-ONE

Friday, 27 April 2012

Godwin Kotey(r)
The crème de la crème of Ghana’s movie industry will be gathering at the University of Ghana campus for the funeral rites of the late iconic actor Godwin Nikoi Kotey.
There will be a wake-keeping today, Friday April 27 at the University of Ghana School of Performing Arts (E.S.T Drama Studio) and burial service on Saturday April 28 at the Osu cemetery.
After his, burial the funeral will continue at the university. The dress code is brown and black.
The distinguished movie maker and lecturer at the School of Performing Arts at the University of Ghana passed away in Accra weeks ago, leaving behind a wife and two young children. He was said to have died after a protracted illness.
Godwin died at age 46. He was a movie producer, director, actor, playwright and would be remembered for the brilliant performances he put up in several movies including ‘I Sing of A Well’, ‘Oedipus Rex’, ‘Police Officer’, ‘Siswe Banzi Is Dead’, ‘Welcome Home’ and ‘Sophocles Amen Corner’.
He was the chief executive officer of Dream House Studios and was the director of the hit show ‘Smash TV’ in 1996 and 1997, the famous ‘Taxi Driver’ TV series in 1999 and ‘Bloody Mary’ in 2005. Godwin was the creative director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana.
He is survived by a lovely wife and two children, Naa Dei and Nii Kotey.
The news of Godwin Kotey’s death caused a stir within the movie industry and touching messages continue to pour in from several celebrities and students who have sat under his tutelage.
Information from the deceased’s blog reveals that he was born on Monday 18th October 1965, and was raised in Bukom, a suburb of Accra. It said that from about the age of 5, Godwin knew he wanted to be at the centre stage where everything happened.
He would gather his neighbours’ children as an audience and make them sit through lengthy performances and re-enactments of movies they had all watched together.
He was an old boy of Ghanata and Tema Secondary Schools where he was president and vice-president of the Drama Club respectively. In 1990, he graduated from the University of Ghana, Legon as a Theatre Director. Godwin later returned to University of Ghana, Legon where he pursued a Master in Fine Arts (MFA) in 1999, after pursuing a career in the performing arts industry.
Godwin was a senior member of the University of Ghana where he lectured Master in Fine Arts (MFA) students in Principles and Concepts of Directing and conducted directing workshops. He also lectured undergraduate and diploma students in Script Analysis and Interpretation, Fundamentals of Theatre Directing, Introduction to Theatre Directing, Dramatic Theory and Criticism and Advance Directing.

Credit: Francis NEWS-ONE

Rita Dominic on stage

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Ghanaian actor Majid Michel has been awarded as overall best actor in Africa at the 2012 edition of the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) held in Nigeria last Sunday.
Majid was nominated alongside Hollywood superstars Hakeem Kae Kazim and Chet Anekwe. Other contenders were Wale Ojo from Nigeria, and top actors Karado Lance, Jafta Mamabolo and Menzi Ngubane- all from South Africa.
Majid, after winning the award, told African filmmakers to watch out for him as he would be taking more awards in the movie industry.
“I will be back,” Majid told top international filmmakers and journalists who had converged on Nigeria for the 2012 AMAAs.
It was an exciting moment for Ghanaians, Nollywood fans and the august international audience that witnessed the ceremony at Eko Hotel and Suites, as Majid stormed the AMAA stage for his first award after being nominated four times since 2009.
“Anytime I am given a platform like this to say something sensible, I never do. But today I’m going to try and say something worthwhile. Great thanks go to God, the crew of the movie, ‘Somewhere in Africa’, 4reez, Louis. I want to thank them for supporting me to bring that character out. I want to say big thanks to you AMAA awards.”
“This is my AMAA awards 2012. Today is a memorable day for me. I have been nominated for the past 4 years consecutively. I didn’t see it coming. I had a bet with my advisor- Mawuli. He told me I was going to win but I said no I don’t deserve it. So if I win I will give him the award, (he gave the statuette to Mawuli who was on stage with him and others), but I will take it later. I want to say big thanks to you my wife, my sister, my mum paid my film fees and to my father, who is late. To all single people here thank you so much for the support. I can see some faces; Nse, Rita, Kate … I don’t want to say much. I think the time is ticking. Thank you so much AMAA awards. Great job for me; next year I will be back,” Majid said after receiving his award.
With the female category, Nollywood’s Rita Dominic won Africa’s Best Actress In Leading role, beating Yvonne Okoro, Ama K Abebrese, Nse Ikpe Etim and Millicent Makheido.
Leila Djansi’s ‘Ties That Bind’ won the Achievement In Screenplay category while ‘African Elections’, a documentary on Ghana’s election by Jarreth Merz won the Best Documentary award.
South African film ‘How To Steal 2 Million’ won best film of the year while AMAA Jury Special Award went to another South African film, ‘Man On Ground’.
Other key technical awards like AMAA 2012 Achievement In Editing, AMAA 2012 Achievement In Visual Effect, AMAA 2012 Achievement In Cinematography, and AMAA 2012 Best Director went to ‘How To Steal 2 Million’ – South Africa, ‘Adesuwa–Nigeria’,Otelo Burning’– South Africa and ‘How To Steal 2 Million’ – Charlie Vundla respectively.
The awards night attracted a number of Nollywood stars and others from Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and Ghana.
Hollywood actors Rockmond Dunbar, Lynn Whitfield, Maya Gilbert, and Morris Chestnut were the guests of honour.
Hosted by Haiti born Hollywood actor Jimmy Jean Louis and Nigeria’s celebrity O.C Ukeje, the ceremony was full of interesting and entertaining performances by 2face Idibia, Asa, Yinka Davis, Senegal’s Vivian and Edge.
The awards ceremony started with a red carpet ceremony which saw a number of Nollywood old faces displaying their fashionable garbs. Among them were Benita Nzeribe, Maureen Solomon, Tony Umez, Chinyere Wilfred, Aki, Kate Henshaw and a lot of others.
Ghana’s Lydia Forson, Yvonne Okoro, Ama K Abebrese, Juliet Ibrahim and Amanda Jissih did not disappoint their fans.
Asantewa Olatunji, head of AMAA jury, before handing over the list of award winners on stage, acknowledged that films entered for the award this year were of higher quality.
That, she said, made it difficult for the jury to pick winners.
Peace Anyiam Osigwe was enthusiastic about the glamorous nature of the event and implored African governments to support the creative industries in their various countries.
She used the opportunity to urge African filmmakers to “tell African stories our own way”. She believed Nollywood had changed the face of African cinema and applauded the industry for that. She was also happy about how African stars were having successful careers on the world stage.

 credit: NEWS-ONE

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Award winning Ghanaian Journalist with Western Publications Limited; publishers of Daily Guide, Business Guide, News-One and Young Blazers.

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