Monday, 10 August 2009

Nollywood ambassadors

L-R: Funke Akindele, Uche Jombo, Rita Dominic with Mr Adewale Sangowawa, Executive Director, Human Resources, Globacom and other Glo ambassadors, Chioma Chukwuka, Nonso Diobi and Monalisa Chinda at the unveiling of the ambassadors in Lagos.

MOVIE stars recently named ambassadors by Globacom have commended the company for taking an unprecedented step to lift Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry, to a higher pedestal. Speaking at a ceremony to unveil 13 actors and actresses as Glo ambassadors in Lagos, the stars were full of praises for the company for choosing them from among several other actors in the country. Rita Dominic described her selection as “a great honour for me for being recognised because Nollywood represents Africa.” On her part, Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha expressed gratitude to the telecom’s outfit for naming her an ambassador of the brand. She promised that the ambassadors would represent the brand as best as they could and move it forward in Nigeria, in Africa and globally. Uche Jombo said, “to be here representing the brand is an honour and I appreciate it.” Another actress, Monalisa Chinda said that the entry of the outfit into Nollywood would leave a positive imprint on that sector just as it has done in other spheres. “Glo is into soccer. It is into music. And now it has moved into Nollywood. I am honoured. I am so proud and privileged to be part of this wonderful brand and I really thank God. We will do our best, our very best to push it forward, everywhere in Nigeria, in Africa and the world,” Jombo enthused. Funke Akindele, who was winner in the last African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA 2009), was quite philosophical in her remarks at the event and expressed happiness at being chosen from a larger number of other equally brilliant stars. “I am so happy and privileged to be one of the ambassadors because many are called, but few are chosen. I am happy to be one of the chosen ones. Glo has always been at the forefront of empowering the youths and Funke Akindele stands for the youths. I am happy because Sulia ken, Glo ken ni o.” Nonso Diobi said he would not disappoint those who have chosen him. “I would represent this brand very well anywhere I find myself,” he said. Other stars unveiled at the event include Ramsey Nouah, Desmond Elliot, Jim Iyke, Mike Ezuruonye, Nuhu Aliyu, Kate Henshaw and Ini Edo-Phillip Ehiagwina.

Around and about Nollywood...

City People celebrates Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen
All road led to Benin City, the Edo State Capital yesterday as City People Magazine honoured one of Nigeria’s movie directors Lancelot Oduwa Imaseun. The event held at Excalibur Hotel, GRA, Benin City. The turnout at the event proved that Lancelot is loved at home.
Honour for a visionary Aromire
Nigeria premier publication Best of Nollywood is set to honour the pioneer producer of Nollywood movies with a series of activities to mark his memorial.
According to a release signed the publisher Mr. Seun Oloketuyi, on Monday, July 27, there would be a seminar to Mark the movie veteran’s first year demise titled Alade Aromire Nollywood pioneer (facts of the matter), the panelists include Tunde Adegbola, Eddie Ugboumah, Emeka Mba, Steve Ayorinde, Afolabi Adesanya and Jahman Anikulapo.
Wednesday, July 29, will showcase the late Alade works to the public free from 10am to 6pm, at 6pm there would be a party tagged celebration of life with Kolade Onanuga on the band stand.
Oloketuyi said: “We have decided to honour the late Alade Aromire because the risk he took 20 years ago is what we are enjoying today and has become a source of livelihood for thousands of people whom he had never met. Today, the industry he started is now the second largest in the world”.

It’s time for NFC’s shoot!
This year’s edition of SHOOT!, the annual training programme for filmmakers will hold at the National Film Institute in Jos as from July 20 to 24, 2009. Organized since 2005 by the Nigerian Film Corporation, Jos, SHOOT has in the last three editions served as a platform for the Nigerian motion picture professionals to gain world class expertise, exchange ideas and discuss on current creative tools and applications for quality productions. A statement by NFC indicates that all the resources persons for all scheduled courses including Barbel Mauch from Germany; Dominique Giral (France); Alfred Okoro (Nigeria); and Stephen Bayly, Sylvie Bringas, Alric Wilson and Penny Tweedie all from the United Kingdom have been contacted, and are ready for the five-day training programme with the theme “Reel Life, Real Sound”. The statement explains that courses for SHOOT! 2009 will include, Documentary Film, Sound Design/Dubbing, Music Design for Film, Still Photography, Animation, Directing for the Screen and Digital Editing/Cinematography. Those who will make it to Jos this year according to the statement ‘are in for a better deal, with the recent, commissioning of additional infrastructure at NFI, Jos; venue of the five day training programme. The Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili has described the projects as projects of motivation, empowerment and commitment’. The commissioned projects are the Sound Stage Complex (edifice capable of handling all productions from script to screen), the new Administrative Block, and the 350 Seat Auditorium. The organisers are optimistic that these five projects will no doubt provide additional infrastructure and conducive atmosphere for the training workshop which is fast gaining grounds for Nigerian motion picture practitioners and their counterparts from West African countries. It will be recalled that the training and capacity building programme, which started in 2005 has between 2005 and 2008 had 817 professionals participate in it. Expression of interest to participate in this year’s edition closes on July 20, 2009. The Minister of State, Information and Communication Alhaji Ikra Bilbis is expected to perform the closing ceremony while Da David Jang, Governor, Plateau State is the Special Guest of Honour. Interested participants are advised to visit the NFC’s website and register on line, or e-mail,

Waka pass…
Producer- Amebo A. Amebo
Director- Mr. Gossip
Actors- Nollywood Celebrities

Charles Novia Salutes Norbert Young
One of Nigeria’s prolific filmmakers Charles Novia last week joined friends, colleagues and well wishers to pay tribute to Norbert Macdonald Akpojerharo Young, who turned 50 last Friday. The directing force behind notable flicks Missing Angel and Atlanta penned these lines for an actor he considers as one of Nigeria’s intense methodical actors…..
‘I have known Norbert Young since I was a kid, but I professionally and personally got to know him in 1993. As a kid, growing up in Benin City, the television drama series had a huge impact on my life. Norbert starred in a few of the then Bendel Broadcasting Service [BBS] ‘Teledrama’ series and I was struck by his mastery of articulation and the seeming ease in which he seemed to bring out the essence of the characters he played. It was a privilege in 1994 to have featured with him in an NTA drama where he played my father. From there, we struck a brotherly relationship. He’s my big brother and I have had the privilege of directing him in about 10 of my movies. Norbert is the actor’s actor. Disciplined and very professional. One of Nigeria’s intense method actors. A very under-utilized actor, by my opinion and that may have to do with the lopsided artistic appreciation obtains in Nollywood. I consider him among the greatest actors in the world...and that is saying the least. Humane and very friendly with a sometime, happy-go-lucky streak, Norbert Young @ 50 should be an example to Nigeria on how to celebrate our heroes. Sadly, his native state, Delta State may never accord him the honour he surely deserves, much less his country. [RMD, over to you!] To my big brother and ‘harsh man’, I say, ‘God bless you with many happy years!’

Mahmood Ali-Balogun Joins the elders club proper
Filmmaker Mahmood Ali-Balogun will be 50 on July 19. His wife Auntie Nkechi and his jewels Abimbola and Ike say they would do anything within their powers to make him stay off work on that day. They say they would not even allow him grant any interview on that day neither will they allow the former President of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) to receive or make business or movie calls on that day. The women have declared that day, a day of praise and thanksgiving to God for his faithfulness since ‘these 50 years’. So, they have invited friends, colleagues, family and church members to Oga Mahmoud’s (that’s how young filmmakers call him) birthday tagged an evening of “praise for God’s goodness in Mahmood’s life as he turns 50.” But because we live in Lagos where the theory of Waka Pass or what the Yoruba call ‘Mo Gbo Mo Ya (simply put in pidgin: I hear, na him I enter ) is the order of the day and for the sake of say we no wan stretch madam Public Relations planning abilities (Mrs. Ali-Balogun is the immediate past Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations), we will leave out the venue and just stress that the praise event followed by some item 7 (Refreshment, that is) will begin at 3pm. Meaning that: the programme is strictly by invitation

Ernest ‘sharp sharp’ Asuzu
One time Nollywood big boy and rapper Ernest Asuzu was at the artiste unofficial green room — at a popular restaurant in Surulere on Sunday. Waka Pass saw him bounced-in- hastily as if he forgot an item at the upper section of the bar. When it was time to go, Ernest took long strides and almost didn’t hear a well endowed lady, who perhaps was trying to prove that she knows the actor and singer, yelled out at him as he made for the gate. The lady succeeded in getting Ernest to slow down. She earned a deep hug for her effort and convinced him to join her and her friends on a table close to the projector that beamed cracky musical videos on the war. Anyway waka pass fixed a follow spot on the plumy actor, and we were dazed at the speed he downed some liquid contained in a dark bottle. By the time we got out of the ‘dazzling’ position, one waka pass told us that the bobo has moved on in a manner that could best be described as ‘sharp sharp’.

Eucharia Anunobi’s head to head
If what we are hearing is the truth and nothing but the truth, then Popular Nollywood actress Eucharia Anunobi is set for a head to head collision with her alleged runaway husband, Mr. Ekwu. One waka pass insisted we must be told that the actress and lioness (she graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka) has finally filled a divorce case against her alleged runaway husband. They say she is demanding over N1b as damages and that she has vowed to pursue the matter till the end. Those who say they know the hefty Eucharia says she has never been known to fight a lost battle, meaning in simple pidgin that ‘Eucharia no dey dig hole wey rabbit no dey’. Anyway sis, abeg if e happen, make you remember us. We are offering to watch over the trap after you have finished digging the hole. We go manage am even if na one percent of one billion we see. To God Be the Glory

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