A Closer Look At All The Female Recipients Of The AMVCA Industry Merit Award

AMVCA Industry Merit Award Female Recipients

Every year, the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCAs) honors a veteran talent with the Industry merit award also called the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The AMVCA Industry Merit Award is an honorary award presented by MultiChoice through Africa Magic for its lifetime contribution to the development of African cinema.

Over the years, notable female celebrities have been honoured with this prestigious award.

Here are four of them.

1. Amaka Igwe

Born 2nd January 1963, Amaka Igwe was an accomplished writer, producer, director, entrepreneur, and teacher. A pioneer of modern Nigerian TV drama and film, she hit the national limelight as the writer and producer of the award-winning TV soap ‘Checkmate’ and its offshoot ‘Fuji House of Commotion’.

She was the founder of BOBTV Exp, Top Radio 90.9FM station, and Amaka Igwe Studios. She is also the brain behind the famous Nollywood projects Rattle Snake and Violated.

Igwe died in Enugu on 27 April 2014 after efforts failed to save her from an asthma exacerbation. She was honored with the AMVCA Industry Merit Award in March 2015.

2. Bukky Ajayi

Born Feb 3, 1934, Veteran actress, Bukky Ajayi was born and raised in Nigeria, but received a federal government scholarship to continue her higher education in England, United Kingdom.

She left England in 1965 for Nigeria, where she began her career as a presenter and newscaster for the Nigerian Television Authority in 1966.

Ajayi made her film debut in the 1970s in the television series ‘Village Headmaster’ before moving on to ‘Checkmate’, a Nigerian television series that aired in the early 1990s.

She was the recipient of the AMVCA Industry Merit Award alongside talented veteran Sadiq Daba in March 2016.  Ajayi died at her Surulere residence, Lagos State on 6 July 2016 at the age of 82.

3. Taiwo Ajai Lycett

Taiwo Ajai-Lycett is a Nigerian actress, journalist, television presenter, and cosmetologist. Born on 3 February 1941 as a twin, Ajai-Lycett traveled to London to study business and administration after her secondary education. She took courses at the Christine Shaw School of Beauty Science in London, where she received a certificate in cosmetology. She also attended Hendon College of Technology, where she obtained a Higher National Diploma in Business Studies in 1969.

Unplanned, she made her acting debut in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and The Jewel in 1966.  Ajai-Lycett is also popularly known for her feature as ‘Sally’ in the popular British sitcom, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave’ Em.

She has featured in several notable Nigerian films, including Tinsel and Oloibiri.

Life has however dealt severally with her. She became a mother at 15, got widowed at 59, and was raped at 65. In 2022, Ajai-Lycett was honoured with the AMVCA Industry Merit Award.

4. Patience Ozokwo

Born on 14 September 1958, Patience Ozokwo is a Nigerian veteran actress, evangelist, musician, fashion designer, and actress.

Fondly called Mama Gee, her passion for acting started when she was in primary school, where she would act in different stage plays. She later attended the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu, where she obtained a degree in fine and applied arts.

She rose to fame from her role in the 1999 movie titled Authority and her first TV drama won a soap opera titled ‘Someone Cares’ on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

Since her rise to fame, she has acted in over 100 movies. Ozokwo got married at age 19 but lost her husband in 2000.

She was named the Merit Award Winner at the 2023 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards.

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