It is impossible to tell the AMVCA story without telling our story; the Africa Magic story - and it begins in the early 2000s. Africa Magic launched in July 2003 as a movie and general entertainment channel geared at showcasing Nollywood talent, African culture and lifestyle. From one channel in 2003, Africa Magic has eventually expanded to its current eight channels, meeting an insatiable demand for premium content that has captivated millions across the continent.
After a decade of entertainment magic, it was time for us to reward excellence in television and film. Enter: the Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards (AMVCAs)! The inaugural Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards ceremony was held in Lagos, Nigeria on 9 March 2013, and was broadcast live in more than 50 countries. Leading the way with 14 nominations was South African film Otelo Burning, with Nigeria's The Mirror Boy grabbing 11, just ahead of Man on Ground. The awards show was hosted by IK Osakioduwa alongside StarGist host and Big Brother Africa alumnus Vimbai Mutinhiri. Otelo Burning and Man on Ground won four awards a piece on awards night, the highest number of wins that year. Jackie Appiah won the Best Actress in a Drama award for Perfect Picture, O.C Ukeje won Best Actor in a Drama for Two Brides and a Baby, while Best Actress in a Comedy and Best Actor in a Comedy went to Mercy Johnson for Dumebi the Dirty Girl and Hafiz Oyetoro for House Apart. Ivie Okujaiye and Olu Jacobs were honoured with the TrailBlazer and Industry Merit Awards, respectively.
The second edition of the AMVCAs was a spectacular affair held on March 8, 2014 at the Eko Hotel and Suites. The hosting duo of IK and Vimbai became a trio, when Osas Ighodaro joined the pair as host that year. Hot new films Contract (Ghana) and Nairobi Half Life (Kenya) were the biggest winners of the night with four statuettes apiece. Funke Akindele pulled off a historic feat by being nominated in the Best Actress in a Comedy category three times for her work in The Fighter, The Hero and The Return of Sheri Koko. She ultimately won for the latter, pipping the talented Mary Ogbonna (Clinic Matters), Jackie Appiah (Cheaters) and Yvonne Okra (Contract) to the award. 29 trophies were handed out on the evening, including the New Era and Best New Media Online Video awards. The entertainers on the bill were something to behold, with a young Davido taking the stage by storm alongside Flavour, Waje and many other talented music stars.
2015 was an electrifying year that was a testament to just how much Africa's film industry had grown since the first edition of the AMVCAs two years prior. Nigerian psychological thriller October 1 made history by winning nine awards on the night, with closest contender, romance film The Meeting, also from Nigeria, winning four. 2015 was also the year we introduced a brand-new award category, Best Indigenous Language (Igbo), which was won by film Onye Ozi. Yvonne Bassey, on the other hand, was nominated three times in the Best Documentary category for The Gift of the Nile (which eventually won), Shashamane Southern Ethiopia and The Masai Mara Adventure. Katman Dayil went head-to-head with Yvonne in this category for These Past Times and Paradox of Life. For her unforgettable spoken word opening performance titled: 'What if I am African?', Osas Ighodaro called upon the talents of a dance and drumming troupe, setting the tone for the night's unforgettable performances which included 2Face (now 2Baba), P-Square, Don Jazzy, Di'Ja, D'Prince, Korede Bello, Reekado Banks and Lola Rae
The AMVCAs welcomed brand-new host Minnie Dlamini to the family, after Zimbabwe's Vimbai Mutinhiri and Naija's Osas Ighodaro had held the fort beautifully in previous editions. During a glamourous live show beamed into homes across the continent, a melting pot of Africa's finest music stars left their hearts on the stage; from Tanzania's Alikiba and South Africa's Zonke, to Nigeria's Yemi Alade and Flavour. Tickling the funny bone were Ugandan comedy star Salvador, and South Africa's Thomas Gumede. Africa Magic show Jenifa's Diary showed its mettle in that year's comedy categories, with castmates Folarin Falana and Funke Akindele winning the Best Actor in a Comedy and Best Actress in a Comedy gongs, respectively. Akin Omotoso won the Best Director award for South Africa's Tell Me Something Sweet starring Nomzamo Mbatha, who recently appeared in Coming 2 America, while Ugandan director and screenwriter Joseph Kenneth Ssebaggla was nominated twice in the Best Movie (East Africa) category for House Arrest and Call 112. The Industry Merit Award was bestowed upon two Nigerian veterans: Bukky Ajayi and Sadiq Daba.
In true AMVCA style, the 5th Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards were a memorable affair that saw Africa's film and television royalty going head-to-head in various categories. Nigerian film '76 pulled off a record-breaking feat by earning 14 nominations, eventually winning five awards on the night, including Best Overall Movie. Funke Akindele won Best Actress in a Comedy, a category she had won in the previous edition of the AMVCAs, cementing her place as one of comedy's finest. Sambasa Nzeribe was crowned Best Actor in a Drama for his role in Slow Country, while Industry Merit recipient Chika Okpala, capped off a good night with a brand-new car from GAC Motors, alongside Somkele Iyama. Best Actress in a Drama went to Rita Dominic for '76, while Best Actor in a Comedy went to Imeh Umoh Bishop for his stellar work on The Boss Is Mine.
Performing at the awards show were Timi Dakolo, Waje, Lira, The Voice Nigeria winner A'rese, as well as Chike and the DNA twins
The 6th edition of the AMVCAs was hosted by the dynamic duo that is South Africa's Minnie Dlamini and our king of the stage, IK Osakioduwa. Nigerian adventure film Tatu led the pack that year, scoring 11 Nominations, and eventually winning four trophies, the biggest haul of the night. Best Overall Movie went to Kenya's 18 Hours, while Bisola Aiyeola was named Trailblazer that year, earning herself a brand-new vehicle for all her hard work. The Industry Merit Award, on the other hand, was awarded to Nollywood giant Tunde Kelani. The evening was a feast for the senses, and saw performances from artists including Cobhams, who rewrote his popular song “One hit” specially for the AMVCAs, rapper Falz, opera singer Omo Bello who was accompanied by an orchestra, Bisola, and the SEKI traditional dance troupe.
After the AMVCAs took a break in 2019, it was only right to go all-out for the seventh edition in 2020. It turned out to be the right call, because little did we know that the Covid-19 pandemic would sweep through the globe, putting a pause on life as we knew it. The AMVCAs ceremony was held on March 13, three days after Mongolia became the first country in the world to announce travel restrictions, and just 17 days before Nigeria went into lockdown. IK returned as host, this time alongside Kenya's Amina Abdi Rabar, beloved presenter of Maisha Magic Plus' The Turn Up. 28 categories were announced for #AMCA7 and seven of these were opened to public vote. The MultiChoice Talent Factory Award which was won by the film, Promise, was announced as a new AMVCAs category that year. Nigerian film Living In Bondage: Breaking Free was the biggest winner on the night, amassing an impressive 11-trophy haul by the time the credits rolled. Skin by Nigeria's Beverly Naya won Best Documentary, while the Best Actor and Best Actress trophies went to Nigeria's Timini Egbuson and Toyin Abraham. Funke Akindele won in the Best Actress in a Comedy category for the third time in a row, this time for her work on Moms At War, with Funny Bone Stanley winning for Smash.
As soon as the world opened up after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in 2022, we were back with a bang for the 8th annual Africa Magic Viewers' Choice Awards! This time, we had some special guests in tow; Hollywood stars and directors Tasha Smith, Sidra Smith, Bayo Akinfemi and Grant Housley. These talented entertainers spent AMVCA week in Nigeria, and met with key industry stakeholders and some of that year's nominated talent, in line with MultiChoice and Africa Magic's continued efforts to sustain Africa's storytelling momentum through deliberate global collaboration. In 2022, the AMVCAs were a showcase of entertainment and culture, jam-packed into 8 days of events, culminating in a glamorous main event that featured a memorable red carpet and awards show. Best Online Social Content Creator was introduced as a new category and was won by Oga Sabinus for Mr Funny, while Stan Nze and Osas Ighodaro won the Best Actor and Best Actress in a Drama awards for their roles in Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story. Tinsel was bestowed with a trophy for being the longest running TV show in Africa, while Taiwo Ajayi-Lycett and Teniola Aladese won the Industry Merit and Trailblazer awards respectively. IK was joined by South African media personality Bonang Matheba for hosting duty for the very first time, at an awards how that saw 33 awards being handed out.