Veteran Nollywood actors Kenneth Okonkwo and Tonto Dikeh who prefers to be addressed as King Tonto flanked by relatives, friends and well-wishers at the 2019 Nollywood New Yam Festival in Abuja.
The Nollywood stars, Kenneth Okonkwo and Tonto Dikeh was recently honoured with cultural titles at the just concluded 2019 Nollywood New Yam Festival. This is an annual thespians’ fiesta, which showcases Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the duo received the awards at the annual cultural event which held at the Heritage Africa Centre on Saturday 2nd Oct. 2019 in Abuja. Foremost Nollywood actor turned politician, Kenneth Okonkwo, was honored with the title ‘Agujiugo of Nollywood’, while Tonto Dikeh was named the ‘International Ambassador of Culture for Nollywood’.
Mr Agility Onwurah who is the Chief Executive Officer of Agile 247.Com and organiser of the event, commended the awardees, adding that the honour was to “tell them that their contribution to Nollywood is recognised”.
In his words:
“Nollywood is our own, and anyone who has contributed to its growth and development, in what ever capacity should be celebrated.
“We hope that this honour will spur them to doing more for our dear industry.”
Onwurah said, on the sidelines of the event, that the initiative was to present a platform where artistes as models and opinion leaders can promote Nigerian culture.
He also noted that since the movie industry was a veritable instrument in communicating ideas and lifestyle, including cultural heritage, every artiste ought to be a cultural ambassador.
He said :
“Culture defines a people and anyone who forgets its culture, forgets its root and identity.
“The festival is simply a platform where celebrities identify with culture and promote it to their fans and followers that no matter the influence of westernisation, we must uphold what defines us.
“Artistes are supposed to be mirrors of society, and that is why we are proudly showcasing our culture to fans, especially young Nigerians who are the future generation.”
“As you can see, no fetish practice was observed here, as we simply pray on the yam as meal and we share among to everyone.”
“Each edition of the festival has always come better, and this is a testimony that people are proud of our culture and want to identify with it.”
High point of the event was the unveiling of the roasted yam, spiced with traditional delicacies and the presentation of awards to some industry players and watchers.