You know, we’re quite wary of noise. Its very function in many regards is to distract. And so we’re equally wary of contributing to said noise. But sometimes exceptions have to be made. Because sometimes, some people manage to bypass all of the noise and hype. Somehow, they find a way to cut through with actual substance, genuinely deserving of the hype.
Such is the case with the two AFRIFF Special Jury Award winning actors, Ifeanyi Dike Jr and Somkele Idhalama.
Idhalama’s had a busier year, really, delivering a solid (if not riveting) performance in one of the buzziest films of the year, The Arbitration, and following it up with a genuine star-making (or star confirming) turn in 93 Days. We don’t exaggerate when we say her portrayal of Dr. Ada Igonoh is one for the ages.
When Nollywood’s story is told, we will talk about this performance, like we talk about Bimbo Akintola in Out of Bounds, Ramsey Nouah in Dangerous Twins, Richard Mofe-Damijo in Diamond Ring.
And if our word isn’t enough, we imagine her recognition as a Rising Star at the Toronto International Film Festival this year has to count for something. Thankfully, if this AFRIFF award is anything to go by, people at home are beginning to take notice.
TIFF also played host to the world premiere of Abba Makama’s Green White Green, a film which won respectable reviews, and, in our opinion, came away the real winner of the festival with its star, Ifeanyi Dike Jr. gaining recognition for what is his first feature film role. Did we also mention he’s currently studying for an MFA at the University of California Los Angeles? (Only the first Nigerian ever admitted to the program, and the only African currently enrolled.)
So we are glad for their hard work. And we are glad for their recognition. And we will contribute a little more to the noise and say, watch out.
Seriously, keep your eyes on these ones. You don’t want to be told.