Behind the scene | 18 February 2007 03:43 CET


Nigerian movie stars, Aki and Paw Paw, Using their antics at a performance, have thrilled New Yorkers, who described them as “great celebrities”.

The duo were recently in New York to receive an international award by Hiatians and also greet their Caribbean and African fans in the U.S.

It was gathered that Aki and Paw Paw, whose real names are Chinedu 1kedieze and Osita 1heme, respectively, were the toast of all those that encountered them.

“I love them, “ said Sadie Salvant, a housewife in Brooklyn, who hails from the island of Antigua.

“That is why I defy the windy and chilly weather to see them for real.”

Salvant was among the crowd of excited fans, who lined up a Queens sidewalk for Aki and Paw Paw, as they sign autographs on DVD and entertain them with some acts.

Also, Debola Cole, owner of a popular Africa's clothing shop “Debola Corner” in New York, said she was happy to see the two Nigerian movie stars in person.

“They are very big and talented. A lot of my customers ask for their movies, “she said.

Cole sells Nollywood videos at her shop for 10 dollars each (about N1,300).

Speaking with journalists the actors said they were overwhelmed with the reception accorded them, saying “that shows that Nollywood and in deed our films are making inroads into the u.s. and the Caribbeans”.

“Our films remind them of where they corne from and teach them to be proud of being Africans.”

It is also a plus for us because it shows that we are good and appreciated not only at home but also outside the country and by so doing we are creating good image for Nigeria and its people,” Aki said.

They further predicated that “very soon Nigerian films will make the international scene and also get nominated for Oscar and Golden gloves awards”.

It was also said that the Nollywood actors were also the cynosure of all eyes in Florida, were they graced last month's World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight eliminator between Nigeria's Samuel Peter and James Toney of the U.S.

Also, the artists were recently featured in full-page articles by two notable New York dailies, which gave a pass mark on Nigeria's film industry and the strides of Aki and Paw Paw.

New York News captioned the article: “Nigerian movies—Africa's next entertainment powerhouse”, while Daily News entitled their story: “Nigeria and NY cheer “Hooray for Nollywood”.

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