A young Nigerian who has become a shining star in the Zambian movie industry is Olutunji Ebun-Cole, popularly known as Tunji in Zambia’s film industry. For his dazzling role as a young actor, in 2010, when he was 13 years old, Tunji emerged the winner of the Black Entertainment, Film, Fashion, Television and Arts Awards. Tunji, a Zambia-based Nigerian ace actor was announced as the winner of the award, widely known as BEFFTA after he defeated seven other contenders, aged between 13 and 28 in the BEFFTA Young Achiever Award in the BEFFTA Special Awards Category. The young ace actor has featured as lead actor in a number of films and television movies, popular among which is a short film entitled “New Boy” nominated for Oscar Awards in 2009, where Tunji played the role of Joseph. Born to a Nigerian father and Zambian woman, Tunji at 13 has become a world-class actor working with the likes of David Schwimmer, a famous American actor and director of television and film. Tunji played a role with Schwimmer, fondly called Ross in the film: “Run-Fat Boy Run” in the American television sitcoms. He equally played the role of “Cola Kid” in James Bond’s “Casino Royale,” directed by Martin Campbell, who was once described by films analysts as someone who “knows how to entertain an audience when he steps behind the camera.” Tunji was also a background actor in Paul Wieland’s film, “Sixty Six,” a 2006 feature film which is Wieland’s autobiographical comedy-drama, while also featuring as a “Child in Street” in David Corneberg film, “Untitled.” In 2009, when Tunji was just 11 years old, he attended Oscars Awards for the role he played in “New Boy” nominated that year for Oscar Awards. This opportunity, he said, availed him the opportunity to meet his hero, Daniel Craig, an English actor, whose early film roles include “Elizabeth,” “The Power of One” and “A Kid in King Arthur’s Court.” He was also glad to hear Dana Elaine Owens, popularly known as Queen Latifah, an American singer, rapper, and actress, saying he had a good skin. Speaking on his experience at Oscars, Tunji said: “I got to meet my hero Daniel Craig and Queen Latifah said I had beautiful skin.” Besides his involvement in movies and films production, Tunji has featured in high profile advertisements by “Nickelodeon,” “Nickelodeon” being a term first used in 1888 by Austin’s Nickelodeon, a dime museum located in Boston, Massachusetts, United Kingdom. Tunji has also featured in adverts sponsored by world-class agencies and kids’ channels such as BBC, BBC2, Sky News, ITV, JWT, CBBC, BBDO and AMV including those for Scaletrix, Clarks, Sainsbury and Persil. After the award presentation, Tunji’s proud mother, Jayne Mwondela said of her son: “I am very proud of Tunji. He is such an amazing child. He loves what he does, and he does not let it get to his head. I thank God for giving me a child such as Tunji.” Usually, recipients of BEFTA are chosen through votes from the public for different categories of the award. But in the Special Award Category where Tunji became a beneficiary, he enjoyed the luxury of being chosen by a Special Panel of BEFFTA Members at a ceremony which held at Westminster Central Hall in London.
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