Some of Africa’s finest entertainers will converge on the Bellagio Banquet Hall, Houston, Texas, on Sunday, October 21, to be feted by the organisers of the prestigious Afro-Heritage Broadcasting and Entertainment Awards, AHBEA, but not for the awards ceremony proper.
In a statement by the organisers, Tayo Ibikunle, the executive producer, announced that, unlike previous years, the awards ceremony will not be held this year due to logistic reasons. However, he said, “We still want to retain the lustre and glamour and reverence of the AHBEA, which is why we are putting together the AHBEA Stars Night to fill in the gap. It will also have all the trappings of the glamorous ceremony, but award plaques will not be given.”
Coveted by stars and stakeholders of the African entertainment industry, the AHBEA Awards is an annual event established in 2015 to appreciate, honour, and celebrate eminent Africans who have contributed to the development of the race through their crafts and talents, especially in the entertainment and broadcasting industries.
Over the years, the AHBEA has evolved into a permanent fixture on the entertainment calendar in Africa and the United States as notable personalities, icons and gurus of various sectors, captains of industries, business tycoons, and international celebrities fall over themselves to witness the event.
Created by nigerian film star Yomi Fash-Lanso and ably funded by Sola Olaniyan, a successful entertainment enthusiast cum investor, who is now known as HRM Oba Yisa ‘Sola Adeniyi Olaniyan, the Onipokia of Ipokia Kingdom, a first-class Oba in Ogun State, the AHBEA has honoured several African stars in two distinct categories – Legend and Icon. “One of the criteria for selection is that every recipient must be of a proven integrity and must have been in the industry for not less than 30 years for the Legend category and 20 years for the Icon category,” stated Ọba Olaniyan.
Some past winners include Taiwo Hassan, Kunle Afolayan, Patronella Diedricks, Raymond Ofula, Antar Laniyan, Ruth Maingi, Jide Kosoko, Zack Orji, Ella Mensah, Adebayo Salami, Fred Amata, Iyabo Ojo, Bolaji Amusan, Bob Manuel-Udokwu, Faithia Balogun, Yinka Quadri, Bukky Wright, Seyi Law, Idowu Philips, Lenny Juma, Gbenga Adeyinka, and Kenny Blaq among others.