Kenyans top Africa viewers’ choice awards nomination list


Best Lead Actress in Film Sarah Hassan during the 9th Kalasha Awards at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCA) nominee list is out, and several Kenyan acts have been selected to face off with other bigwigs in the African film industry.

Ms Sarah Hassan has been nominated in the Best Actress in a Comedy (Movie/TV Series) category for her role in the romantic comedy Just In Time, while producer/director Eugene Mbugua has been nominated in the Best Documentary category for his role in This Love.

Actress Mumbi Maina also secured a slot in the Best Supporting Actress in a movie/TV Series for her role in the psychological thriller film La Femme Anjola.

Ms Hassan will fight it out with Nigerian actresses Funke Akindele, Bimbo Ademoye, Nse Nkpe Etim, Bisola Aiyeola and Nancy Isime in the Best Actress, Comedy category.

Ms Maina has been nominated alongside Nigerian actresses Bisola Aiyeola, Mercy Johnson, Clarion Chukwurah, Enado Odigie, Omowunmi Dada and Chioma Akpotha in the Best Supporting Actress category.

The nominations hint at yet another big night ahead for Just In Time, which received major recognition at Kenya Film Commission’s Kalasha Awards that took place in December last year.

The romantic comedy has secured a spectacular list of nominations in this year’s AMVCA, having been floated for categories like Best Overall Movie, Best Actress in a Comedy, Best Movie East Africa, Best Picture Editor, Best Sound Track and Best Cinematographer.

The film, which premiered on Netflix in March last year, is a project produced by the celebrated actress Sarah Hassan, who worked with the celebrated Nigerian filmmaker Dolapo Adeleke as co-director and co-producer.

The up-tempo movie was filmed in Nairobi in 2019, and not only stars Hassan but a list of notable and respected actors in Africa.

Big names featured in the film include Ghanaian actor Mawuli Gavor, famous actress and Dj Pierra Makena, Martin Githinji, Eve D’Souza and child actress Stycie Waweru.

Hassan was notably one of the biggest winners at Kalasha, taking home the coveted Best Lead Actress in a Feature Film and Best Feature Film awards for her role in Just In Time. She also won Best Lead Actress in a TV drama for her Showmax drama series Crime and Justice.

The AMVCAs are an accolade by the Multichoice entertainment company, recognising outstanding performances in film and television.

This year’s list was unveiled on a special broadcast aired on GoTV and DStv on March 19, with Nollywood actors Adesua Etomi-Wellington and Daniel Etim-Effiong announcing the nominees.

The 8th edition of the AMVCAs are set to take place on May 14.

According to Nigerian entertainment site Vanguard, the awards organisers said there would be an eight-day line-up of events, culminating in the awarding ceremony. “We received a good number of quality entries from across the continent for this edition of the AMVCAs and we are pleased to reveal the final shortlist of nominees, which we are confident embody the excellence the awards is renowned for, ” Executive Head of Content and West Africa Channels, MultiChoice Group, Dr Busola Tejumola, said in a press briefing.

She added: “Curated events will feature a celebration of fashion, technology, food and African culture. There will also be panel discussions and film screenings from our MultiChoice Talent Factory, industry sessions, and competitions for digital content creators and budding fashion designers.”

The awards last took place in 2020, and missed in 2021 due to Covid-19. In 2020, Sarah Hassan won the coveted Best Movie East Africa award for the romantic comedy Plan B. Another local star, Pascal Tokodi, won the Best Supporting Actor in a movie/TV series.