Veteran thespians, Pete Edochie and Lanre Hassan popularly known as Iya Awero, are beside themselves with excitement with the announcement, this week that they would be honoured with the coveted Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan Special Recognition Award at this year’s Best of Nollywood awards.
In a telephone chat with the organisers, Edochie, a star of many home videos, expressed his excitement with the recognition, saying, “I feel happy that the little we have done is being recognised by the current generation. It is a thing of joy considering also that it is a special recognition award from a prestigious award ceremony as BON and endowed by a progressive governor as Governor Uduaghan. I am indeed very elated by it. See you in November.”
On her part, Iya Awero, who recently celebrated her 50th year anniversary as an actress whose odyssey dates back to the travelling theatre days before the advent of television soaps and then, home videos, lauded the organisers for the recognition and the Delta State Governor particularly for his support of Nollywood. “That this special recognition is coming the same year that I celebrated my 50th year anniversary as an actress is very significant for me. I want to thank the organisers of BON for this honour and to especially thank Governor Uduaghan for his immense support of Nollywood since he became governor. With more people like him, Nollywood would be a bigger pride for us all,” Iya Awero said.
Adducing reasons for Edochie and Iya Awero’s selection as the recipients of the Governor Uduaghan Special Recognition Award, the executive producer of BON, Seun Oloketuyi, said, “Since the inception of BON, we have made it a cardinal part of the event to celebrate elders whose arts have catalysed the growth and global acceptance that Nollywood enjoys today. We don’t want to wait until these veterans are dead to give them post humous awards, which is why we endeavour to celebrate them while they are still very alive and active. Besides, this year’s honourees are a source of inspiration to young actors because of their longevity and continued relevance in the industry.”
Now in its 5th year, the Best of Nollywood awards has evolved into arguably Nollywood’s most respected reward platform. The 2013 edition holds in November in Asaba, Delta State.