By Joshua Olomu
Veteran Nollywood actors Kenneth Okonkwo and Tonto Dike have been honoured with the “Peace Achievers Awards” by the Peace Ambassador Agency (PAA), an organisation that promotes national peace and integration.
The duo received the awards at the 5th anniversary of the annual Miss Ambassador for Peace and Peace Achievers Awards held in Abuja on Sunday.
Kenneth Okonkwo, a foremost Nollywood actor, received the ‘Actor of the Year Award’, while Tonto Dike got the ‘Actress of the Year Award’.
According to Mr Kinsley Amafibe, the Project Director of PAA, the entertainment stars are recognised for their immense contributions to the growth of the film industry, which has created jobs for many Nigerian youths.
He said that the recipients had also been involved in humanitarian gestures over the years that had promoted social peace and harmony, which was in consonant with the objectives of PAA.
“These veterans have contributed a lot in building social harmony and peaceful coexistence in Nigeria, using the motion pictures.
“The Nigerian movie industry has become one of our unifying factors.
“It entertains and brings happiness to Nigerians, which are crucial keys to peace, in spite of tribal and religious divides.
“Besides as individuals, these actors have also championed some humanitarian initiatives that have impacted the society in one way or the other,” Amafibe noted.
In his remark, Mr Kenneth Okonkwo expressed delight that the award was an indication that the society was interested in whatever one did in the society.
The actor of the popular “Living in Bondage” movie pledged his continuous commitment toward growing the entertainment industry.
“This recognition is clarion call to duty in my little service to nation building.
“I hope to strive to continue to put in my best both as a professional and a patriotic citizen of this great nation,’’ he said.
The 2016 edition of the prestigious awards cuts across over 20 categories with recipients picked from various field of human endeavours.
Other recipients of the Peace Achievers awards include Popular gospel artiste Chris Morgan, who was honoured with the Gospel Artiste of the Year award.
Mr Denis Okwu was honoured with the Maritime Personality of the year, while Toju Foyeh got the Fashion Designer of the Year award, among others.
Also a renowned youth mobiliser and organiser of the popular Emerging Leaders Conference, Dr Linus Okorie was also honoured with the Excellence in Leadership awards.
The Peace Achievers Award is a flagship initiative of the Peace Ambassador Agency.
The organisation promotes tolerance and peaceful coexistence through pageantry and peace education and campaigns.
Its peace education campaign, which is targeted mainly at the youths, trains and empowers students of higher institutions and other youth communities, irrespective of their religious and cultural backgrounds.