By Sanpha Sesay
After he clinched the Los angles Nollywood Film Award (LANFA) in California on August 15 this year, A Sierra Leonean movie star, Mr. Mohamed Bah went out with some few Sierra Leoneans to celebrate. 15 Africans, including the president of Beverly Hills multicultural motion pictures association, Mr. Jarvee Hutcherson were among the honorees for this year LANFA honors and awards.
Hosted by Paul Nutall and Queen Amina, the purpose of the event was to promote African movies/music and to recognize the leading worldwide contributors to African film industry that are working toward growing and developing the industry. Mr. Mohamed Bah was the only Sierra Leonean being recognized as one of the honorees for the 215 LANFA.
The host, Queen Amina is an International multiple Award winning actress and multifaceted Radio/T.V talk show host in the United States. Paul Nutall lives in Rancho Palos Verdes,California also a kick-boxer award winner, collectively hosted the 2015 LANFA. Many African movie stars were present on this memorable event. Mr. Bah told me that he was astonished to hear some few Sierra Leonean voices echoing his name across the hall chanting, “Sierra Leone on the map” while he was delivering his acknowledgment speech.
On a two occasions, the Sierra Leone movie star was first called on stage to be honored as an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role while working within the African film industry in the United States. Among the 15 best in their categories, Mohamed Bah was also honored for being the best actor in his ‘Secret Past” movie which was launched some few years ago.
1. Award winner, Mohamed Bah
2. Sierra Leoneans celebrating
3. Awardee Mohamed Bah, & F.A. Cole (author and Award winner)
4. Rosaline Sesay & Winstina Taylor (Award winners)
During an interview with the Sierra Leone movie super star regarding how he became nominated, He said that he was among others first nominated by the African movie stars, subsequently; winners were selected by a plurality vote from the entire eligible voting members of the Los angles film movie awards, LANFA. I am honored for my talents to be the best actor in one of the movies I produced, the Secret Past and my contribution to African movies in the Diaspora as an actor, producer, and film industry supporter, Mr. Bah said.
While he was responding to receive the two awards, the Sierra Leone Star first thanked God for given him the strength and ability to explore his knowledge which he said has a positive impact for him and his country, Sierra Leone. He acknowledged the resourcefulness of Nollywood and role played by the Nigerian film industry in Africa.
Today, many countries in Africa as well as Africans in the Diaspora are now producing movies because of Nollywood. In my own view, it is an opportunity that the film industry had provided us with a unique cross-cultural communications as well as bridging the racial difference among us in the world, Mr. Bah solemnly asserted. He added that even though the African movies are still far from the Hollywood standard, but according to him, it is just right in the moment to express our struggle in the arts of movies for socio-cultural and political change.
Mr. Bah strongly believe that the African movies are on the path to growth for the benefit of the next young generation to come. Movie acting is one of the most complex and powerful art form in the present world. Therefore, we have to avail in it to help us understand our own lives, the lives of those around us and even how society and culture operate, Mr. Bah continued.
It was certainly gracious to listen to Mr. Bah when speaking with him on the phone during an interview. He said that it is hardly for him to say that he consider it a very great honor to be asked to speak in acknowledgment of his award, but somehow reflecting on the Ebola epidemic that is ravaging his country. Therefore, he said, I am dedicating these awards to all the Ebola victims in Sierra Leone.
As the African film industry continuing to smear in the state of Texas, the Sierra Leone movie star became one of the pioneers of the West African film festival that is due to be conducted at the University of Houston on 2016. It is an annual event that attracts many African across the United States. The next year event has been scheduled for March 3 to 5 and it will open the doors for film makes in Sierra Leone to meet with distributors and other high powered dignitaries in the film industry.
Mr. Mohamed Bah lives permanently in Houston, Texas with his family, and his is a vital effective force in the great growth of his social and political affilia