The just ended Ghana Movie Awards, an event that seeks to celebrate talents in the Ghanaian movie community, hosted the creme de la crème of the celebrity fraternity in Ghana. At the Kempinski Hotel on the 30th of December 2018, numerous outstanding Ghanaian actors were awarded for their hard work and excellence. Of these were actors Yvonne Nelson who received the ‘Best Actress’ of the Year award and Richmond Xavier Amoako who also received the award for the ‘Discovery of the Year’. But, some movie critics who were present at the event have strongly registered their opposition to the decision saying there were other more deserving nominees.
Ghanaian actress Yvonne Nelson, has come under review by some movie critics upon receiving the award for the Best Actress in a Lead Role at the Ghana Movie Awards 2018 for her performance in the movie ‘Jungle Justice’. Some of the critics mentioned that though her performance in the movie was ok, others were better. Upcoming actress, Asana Alhassan, from the movie that swept the highest awards that evening, ‘Azali’, was highlighted as a more deserving nominee. Her depiction of a young girl from Northern Ghana who falls victim to selfish and greedy people in the society all in the name of attaining a better future, was mind blowing. The young actress also received an award later last year for that particular role as the Best Actress at the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in Lagos Nigeria.
Celebrated Casting Director, Mawuko Kuadzi, popularly known for being part of the team that discovered Ghanaian international acting talent Abraham Atta, has voiced out his displeasure at the recent ‘snub’ of the young actress. “I honestly don’t know know why she didn’t win any of this. They also have a scheme they work with. Maybe she just didn’t qualify or she is over qualified”, he said. Responding to a question on the survival of ‘fresh’ talents in the Ghanaian movie industry, he said, “Well it only shows that great talents are more appreciated out side than here in Ghana. So if you are an up coming talent, you should strive to make a statement with your talent so that you can be recognized outside Ghana.” Mawuko was the casting director for the movie ‘Azali’.
Ghana Movie Awards 2018 ‘Best Directing’ award recipient, Kwabena Gyansah, has also added his voice to the shocking loss of Asana Alhassan at the just ended Ghana Movie Awards. ” The Best Actress and the screenplay category disappointed me the most. For the amount of work Asana did in Azali by way of performance, as well as over two months of rehearsals for the role coupled with her win at AFRIFF, I thought this was a done deal. The screenplay was also so good that it won the best screenplay at Afriff and anyone who has seen Azali will attest to that. On the discovery of the year, I wouldn’t have voted for Asana myself because lawyer Ntim (Richmond Xavier Amoako) perfectly deserved it; you know he’s fully discovered through a number of projects in 2018, unlike Asana who did just Azali. So for me I strongly feel Azali deserved to have won Best Actress for Asana and Best screenplay for Wanda Quartey.”
Asana Alhassan lost out in another highly competitive category: ‘ Discovery of the Year’. She was juxtaposed against fellow actors Joy Agyeman (Bad Luck Joe), Anthony Woode (Watch Dog), Jeffrey Forson (Arena), Jeffrey Nortey (Counter Trade), Esi Hammond (Accra Hustlers), Rosemond Brown (Accra Hustlers), Richard Xavier Amoako (Once Upon A Family), Efia Odo (Counter Trade), and Dana Wachter (My Very Ghanaian Wedding).
Some fans of the actor have also taken to social media to challenge the decision as unfair claiming popularity was considered over real talent.
The movie ‘Azali’ has received a lot of praises from both international and local movie critics. Out of 15 nominations, the movie swooped an impressive 8 wins including the award for ‘Best Directing’ by Kwabena Gyansah at last year’s edition of the Ghana Movie Awards.