The National council for Arts and Culture, NCAC, at the weekend honoured distinguished Nigerians who have contributed to the development of the nation's arts and culture within their chosen areas of endeavour.
The 9th edition of the annual honour lecture/award brought together people that have excelled in their unique areas of endeavour covering administration of culture, Nollywood and the music industry, including an administrator of high repute in the person of Prof. Olu Obafemi from the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).
The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation Chief Edem Duke urged the recipients to utilize their creativity, talent and expertise to advance the culture industry with a view to contributing meaningfully to the nation's development.
"All over the world, the sector is emerging to become a preferred sector that has great economic prospect and when fully developed can be rated to be one of the greatest contributors to the national economy, " Duke Said.
The Director General of NCAC Mr. Malgwi Maidugu said that the recipients were selected after wide consultations hence their conferment of the honour award.
"we tried to look at those artists who have struggled and thrived in their chosen areas of specialization to promote the industry and in promoting the industry, we have also tried to select those who are not too controversial in whatever they do, we are peace builders, as Nigerians we should try to see how we can build peace, harmony, friendliness among us. We will try to see those that are doing their best to keep the peace, and also the award will serve as an example to the upcoming artists. We cannot give the award to everybody at the same time but we have given some in the past and we have given some few this year and in subsequent years we will also select those that deserve the award".
One of the Awardees Vivian Anani, a Nollywood actress while expressing her gratitude said "I feel delighted for this great honour done to me by NCAC. I think my effort and contributions are recognized. Though Nollywood is not where it should be by now, we are getting there soon; we are improving and getting better every day."
On what she will change when given an opportunity she said "If I can have my way in Nollywood, I will reduce the way faces are being repeated in the movies, I will limit how many movies a particular face will appear in a month, for instance, you go to market to get ten different films and out of those ten, one will see a particular face in nine of them. That is very unfair; there are many upcoming artists who should be given a chance. You don't have to be in all the films, sometimes no matter how tempting a script may be, let the others do it, but you see some of our top actors and actresses will even want to block the junior ones from coming up. I sincerely think that it's about time we encouraged the upcoming ones, give them chance to showcase what they have because if you were not given the chance yourself, you wouldn't have become a star".
The event also witnessed the recognition of NCAC staff that have shown distinction in handling their various assignments.