From the time DSTV’s African content flagship channel announced nominees for this year’s Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice awards, there was a lot for Ugandans to hope considering that after the hosts Nigeria, Uganda had followed closely with fourteen nominations.
Kenya had only eight and Ghana may even have had less.
Yet at the end of the plush award show that took place at Eko Suites in Lagos, Nigeria had picked up three awards including the Starlet award for Bisola, Kenya had collected six awards for Best Documentary, Supporting Actress and Best African Film for 18 Hours.
Uganda on the other hand, fell short as none of the fourteen nominees was announced winner.
The award show that kicked off at 8pm Nigerian time was the sixth edition of the award show that has in the past been positioned as the African Oscars.
With performances from traditional folklore groups to acts like Falz and Adekunle Gold, the organizers gave the home crowd a party but above all, brought Africa to celebrate the art telling stories through the lens.
Over the years, Uganda had never received nominations that exceeded a film yet this particular time, Matt Bish’s Bella had picked up three nominations in Best Female Actress for Cinderella Sanyu for her role as Bella and Joan Agaba for her consistent act in The Torture.
Other nominees included The Forbidden by Samuel Kizito, Rain by Eleanor and Mathew Nabwiso and Hassan Mageye’s Devil’s Chest.
The East African category for instance had four Ugandan films competing against each other with only 18 Hours as an outsider.
Speaking to sQoop Magazine, singer, actress Cindy that was a nominee at the show noted that not winning was disappointing but getting a nomination was a sign that the industry was on the right path.
Cindy lost to Omotola Jelade who said that winning the award after coming back from a haitus was a big relief; “When I decided to take a break, many people wondered if I would be able to make a comeback and this win is vindicating,” she told the press.
Rapper Falz, put on a brilliant performance only minutes before he was announced winner for Best Actor in a comedy, the win was the second time he was collecting this award after taking it back in 2016.
He noted that he draws a lot of inspiration from people like Ice Cube, Justin Timberlake that have managed to be relevant both in the music industry while churning out films every now and then.
The show ended with the announcing of Kenyan film 18 Hours Best African film beating off competition from Mageye’s Devil’s Chest and Alter Ego among others.