Genevieve Nnaji is a powerhouse as far as Nollywood and Nigerian entertainment is concerned and there are many testaments to this.
First, there are international recognition from major media outfits (CNN inclusive) and then there are corporate brand affiliations which have seen her enjoy considerable financial rewards among other things.
Lastly, her acting career which was previously simmering towards something of legendary status recorded several more points on the score sheets with the release of her production debut Road To Yesterday in 2015.
It was a major point in the life of the 37-year-old and when NAIJ.com met up with her in Lagos for a quick chat on the epoch-making project involving British Nigerian actor and model Oris Erhuero, she said it was a challenging experience.
She explained in clearer words saying: “I was wearing too many hats [during the course of acting, the filming and production of Road To Yesterday] and I had to be strong all the way.”
The movie eventually dropped in Lagos on November 13, 2015 with a premiere at the Genesis Deluxe Cinema and enjoyed several other premieres across the nation just as it was warmly received by critics.
Against this background, it comes as a bit of a shocker that the Ije actress didn’t get any nomination for the 2016 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).
The nominees list dropped on Monday, May 16, 2016 and to the surprise of many she didn’t get any nomination in several categories she ordinarily fits into.
So we made efforts to reach AMAA representatives as we sought to get to the root of the matter and the response from them was pretty much surprising.
According to insiders, the widely-famed actress failed to comply with the registration processes at AMAA which led the organizers to exclude her 2015 romance-themed movie Road To Yesterday from all the categories it could have been nominated in.
A representative at AMAA spoke to us on condition of anonymity explaining that they’d reached the actress a number of times but she wasn’t forth coming with required details on her movie.
He spoke further: “You see, there are several stages to AMAA. We often reach out to potential nominees asking them to fill out forms, submit and comply with a few other steps which aid our selection processes among other things.
“Genevieve’s non-adherence to our instructions and failure to submit the required responses to AMAA even after she was reached several times led to her exclusion from the nominees list. “It’s simple. There couldn’t have been a consideration for her role in the movie Road To Yesterday because she didn’t comply with basic instructions.”
Given this, NAIJ.com editor Henry Igwe asked how all of this played out and how many times the actress was contacted because there’s every possibility she probably missed the requests sent to her. But our source replied saying they contacted the movie star several times for almost three weeks, all to no avail.
He said: “All we wanted was for her team to send in details about the movie, the video link, the DVD preview copy of the movie Road To Yesterday and a few other details but they never responded. They eventually did after the nominees list came out.”
What exactly was their response when they got back to you, what was their tone like? AMAA representative: “Oh they responded just fine, the lady from her camp, her manager, I think Chinny Onwugbenu who co-produced the film, was like ‘Hi, can we still do this? Can we still send in the reply cuz we just got your mail on AMAA’ and all that.
“But it was already too late. At AMAA, we keep everything professional and we have certain standards that must be adhered to. “Her team responded only yesterday [Monday, May 16] and it was already late which is why Genevieve Nnaji didn’t make the AMAA 2016 nominations.
“AMAA is very reputable and we’ve built an image across Africa. Over the years, we’ve become something like the Oscars of Africa and we try to maintain that standard.
“With [Genevieve’s] level of professionalism, we’d have thought she’d adhere to the rules but she didn’t.” Efforts by NAIJ.com to reach Genevieve Nnaji’s camp proved abortive as calls were unanswered and messages unreplied. We shall keep you updated as details unfold in this light from Genevieve’s camp.