Pulling off the recent 2Face concert in Frankfurt would count as a major achievement of Isaac Izoya, founder and director of Nollywood Film Festival Germany NFFG and Nollywood Europe Golden Awards NEGA.
Rumours had been circulating that the Afrobeats legend would not show up at the Gala Night of the twin events ostensibly because he was indisposed.
Even when 2Baba Idibia (aka 2Face Idibia) had already arrived Frankfurt and checked into his room at the 5-star Marriott Hotel and video recordings of his arrival in Germany had gone viral on social media, doubting Thomases were still unconvinced.
No wonder 2Face received a thunderous applause when he mounted the stage of the prestigious Turkish-owned Saray Türkuaz Event Centre in the evening of 31 August. The multiple-award winning artist could only mutter “I love you all here no matter where you’re from because many are not here today because they believed in fake rumours and turned doubting Thomases. Let’s celebrate because celebration will not cease in your family.”
And it was on that convivial note that the show kicked off. His performance was so impressive that there were murmurings in the crowd when he took a bow signalling the end of the show so that the next item of the programme of the evening could commence.
The crowd was however not disappointed as the resume of the awardees for the NEGA honours were read. 2Baba was honoured as the “King of Afro-Pop“ and Don Vs – Best Diaspora Artist of the year, Alhaji Monsuru Adelekan – Excellence in Humanitarian Engagement, and 2Baba’s manager Efe Omoregbe, the Best Artiste Manager of the year.
Sadly, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, director of WEDE, the film premiered at the festival, was conspicuously absent due to the sudden death of his father just a few days to the event so that he could not receive his own award in person.
In his speech, Isaac Izoya, founder and director of Nollywood Festival, said the award ceremony was a platform designed to honour Nollywood stakeholders – actors, producers, directors and Nigerian entertainers – comedians, musicians, both in Africa and in the Diaspora.
Izoya, aka Cultural Ambassador, said the award was expanded to honour politicians, business people and humanitarians who have impacted positively on Nigeria.
Izoya praised all members of the organising team of the festival, singling out Engr. Iyamu, the chairman of Nigeria community in the state of Hesse, for making the 2019 event “the best Nollywood event ever in Germany”.
Also speaking at the Gala Night, Tony Air of African Heritage Radio in Hamburg, said, “It amazed me how big this event has become in just a few years. I am happy being here; it’s quite amazing”.
Izoya, an award-wining culture manager who has been promoting Nollywood for nearly two decades in Europe, said NFFG is a viable platform designed for Nollywood filmmakers to showcase their work to Europeans and their African fans in the Diaspora and the NEGA Awards comes up as a closing ceremony of festival event annually.