Nigerians in New York celebrated the sixth Nigerian Entertainment Awards night, NEA, by honoring artists from Nollywood and the music industry for their hard work in the past one year.
During the ceremony, four Nigerian doctors based in America were honored with the NEA Humanitarian Award for their charitable efforts in providing free healthcare to people in various areas of Nigeria. They were Dr. Babafemi Adenuga, Dr. Chinedu Ahaghotu, Dr. Chukwuemeka Onyewu, and Dr. Alexander Nnabue.
Best Album of the Year was “Beautiful Imperfection” by Asa, while Hottest Single of the Year was “Oleku” by Ice Prince. The Best International Artist award went to Nneka, and Wizkid won Best New Act of the Year.
The publicity person for the event, Yvonne Unubun said the NEA seeks to support, promote, and acknowledge the entertainment industry in Africa, especially Nigeria.
“Several artists, actors, actresses, musicians are nominated for different award categories, people then vote for them and the awards are presented to the winners. It is a fair competition, and it has been going on for six years now. We hope to go beyond Africa and tap into the western industry to see what’s in it for Africa.”
The all-weekend event premiered “The Return of Jenifa” by Funke Akindele on Friday night at the Symphony Space on Broadway.
“Shooting the movie had a lot of challenges, especially getting the cast crew together because they’re from different entertainment industries like comedians, musicians, but they were the best, and it was fun,” said the actress.
On Saturday, Julius Agwu joined Funke Akindele at the same venue to co-host the awards ceremony that was followed by an after-party.
“The Nigerian entertainment industry has really grown and so many of us are trying to see how we can celebrate Nigerians globally,” said Julius Agwu. “ Unfortunately for Nigeria, the celebration of our bad part has over-shadowed the good part. So in my own little way, I came to support this, because it is rewarding for us to appreciate and celebrate those who are representing Nigeria positively,” he added.
Ghanaian actress, Juliet Ibrahim was one of the award presenters. “I’m here to support my Nigerian friends at the NEA ceremony, this brings us together, we’re like brothers and sisters now,” she said.
The ceremony was graced by performances by Choc Boys M.I, Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, R&B singer Waje, and US-based Nigerian artists like Rotimi, Naira, Moyeen, and Ducan Daniels.
Only 11 awards were announced at the ceremony due to lack of time. Others were given a post-award announcement.
Winners include Waje and music producer Samklef. The R&B singer picked up the award for Best Pop/R&B Artist ahead of 2face, D’banj, Darey, and Banky W. Also, Samklef walked home with the award for Best Producer ahead of Cobhams and Don Jazzy.
Best Directing in a Film/Short Story award went to Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen/Ikechukwu Onyeka for the movie “A Private Storm,” while Pan African Actor of the Year was Chris Attoh.