Actor Hlomla Dandala has lifted the Best Actor trophy at the Ghana Movie Awards, achieving another milestone for South African actors working in the rest of the continent.
The former Isidingo and Jacob’s Cross star couldn’t attend the awards ceremony at the Accra International Conference Centre on Monday because it clashed with his holiday plans, but he broke the news on Twitter.
“Just got a Best Actor award from Ghana Movie Awards. Thank you so much for the accolade,” he tweeted.
Dandala won for his role as Peter Poplampo in the romantic comedy Contract, directed by award-winning Ghanaian director Shirley Frimpong-Manso and produced by Yvonne Okoro.
The film tells the story of a successful 40-year-old businessman and bachelor (Dandala), who despite his mother’s persistent attempts to find him a woman, sticks to his rule of noncommittal and casual dates, freedom and being in control of his life… until he realises he has a desire to have a child.
“It’s such an honour to be acknowledged for the work one does, but even more so on your home ground [Africa],” Dandala told City Press. “This means a lot to me because it’s an award for an African project that was viewed and appreciated by an African audience.”
The movie was shot in Ghana in the course of a month and premiered in March last year in Ghana and Nigeria.
Dandala said that he wishes Contract could be shown in South African theatres, but that it’s highly unlikely because of a lack of interest in African stories here.
The film walked away with three honours at the fourth annual Ghana Movie Awards, making it one of the biggest winners of the night.
Contract was the brainchild of Ghanaian actress Okoro, who also stars in the film.
Dandala said when he was approached by Okoro, he could not refuse the opportunity.
“To be surrounded by such a high level of talent working together on a Pan-African project was exhilarating. There is so much potential on the continent that it is a shame we don’t do more collaborations of this kind. I think there is scope for more similar projects going forward and I would love to be part of that.”
Dandala says the Ghanaian film industry – like the South African one – is “doing amazing things and attempting to break its own boundaries”.
The actor currently appears on SABC1’s political thriller End Game, in which he plays Jet Hlatshwayo, a government minister.