Legendary Nollywood actors Pete Edochie, Kanayo O Kanayo and 14 others on Thursday bagged the Veteran Actors of Nigeria award.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the award was presented by the Actors Guild of Nigeria at its 9th Biennial Lecture held at the Sheraton Hotels in Abuja.
Others honoured with the award were comic actor, John Okafor, popularly known as Mr Ibu; Nkem Owoh; Bob-Manuel Udokwu; Steve Eboh; and Keneth Okonkwo.
Others conferred the VAN title included Kannywood ace artiste Sani Danja, Emeka Ike, Remy Ohajianya and Sam Dede, while late actors Sam Loco Efe and JT Tom West were posthumously honoured.
Three actresses that made the veteran roll-call were Kate Henshaw, Milicent Jack and multi-talented artiste Funke Akindele.
Emeka-Rollas Ejezie, AGN’s National President, said the award was given to the veterans for their contributions to the actors body as Nollywood evolved over the years.
Ejezie said: “We give award of Veteran Actor of Nigeria to these veteran actors who have contributed immensely to the growth of the AGN, and henceforth VAN will be attached whenever their names are written.
“When we started the guild 20 years ago, little did we envisage that it will represent the interest of millions of performers in what is now one of the largest film-producing country in the world.
“Actors Guild of Nigeria is the first professional association in Nollywood and has helped nurture the motion picture industry to become vibrant and successful with a growing resonance in many African countries and globally.
“The films we act reflect our diverse cultures, traditions and history as we take our stories to millions of households and delivering content that they can identify with.”
NAN reports that the theme of the event was: “The Strategic Role of Nollywood in the Nigerian Economy.”
Highpoint of the occasion was unveiling of the design for the AGN National Headquarters, to be constructed in Abuja.