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In spite of the dearth of Igbo language films, the leadership of the Igbo Film Forum (IFF) has continued to celebrate Nigerian movie stars of Igbo extraction.
Founder of the group, Harris Chuma, said, in a statement, that his organisation had named notable Nollywood actress Ngozi Ezeonu as recipient of the chieftaincy title of Ezenwanyi Ndigbo Na Nollywood (Queen mother of practitioners of Igbo stock in Nollywood).
Chuma noted that the choice of Ezeonu, who trained as a journalist at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), was informed by her immense contributions in the propagation, promotion and projection of Igbo culture as well as her dedication to duty,” adding that this will be the second time the actress would be so honoured, the first being in 2011, when she was conferred withthe title of ‘Igbo Cultural Ambassador’ by the ‘Igbo Bu Igbo Cultural Movement World Wide’.
‘‘It took us four years of critical search and short-listing before the leadership of IFF and ONN (Ohanaeze Ndigbo Nollywood) settled for the delectable screen goddess and veteran actress Ngozi Ezeonu,’’ Chuma said.
He also disclosed that the actress would be presented with her staff of office at the forthcoming Igbo Film Festival scheduled for August 27, at Nelrose Hotel, Asaba, Delta State.
He said his group celebrates Igbo men and women who have been proactive in the promotion of their culture and language, using Nollywood as a veritable medium.
It will be recalled that foremost filmmaker, Amaka Igwe, died shooting an Igbo TV drama. The project was one of the proactive measures imployed by the late Igwe to resuscitate entertainment through Igbo language.
The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has projected that the Igbo language will become extinct by 2025, if nothing is done urgently to arrest the language attrition.