Monday, 12 October 2009
BY SHAIBU HUSSEINI
Some wanted to end up as actors from the word ‘go’; others had other career interests. Some Nollywood celebrities share their earlier career interest with Moviedom…
From law to acting
In as much as I love acting, I also wanted to be a lawyer. My love for the Law profession heightened after my diploma programme. However, by that time, I was already acting. I just returned home one day and told my parents that I had the mind of going to the university to study Law and my father just shrugged. None of them pushed me into it. It was all I wanted to do. And I must say that my parents have been quite supportive, especially my mum. I recall how she used to take me around in her car to attend auditions or shooting sessions. Even when I wanted to produce my own movie, she was all over me. They are very liberal and supportive.
From bodybuilding to acting
I was a professional body builder before I ventured into acting. I also trained as a masseur and owned a lot of body building equipment. But Basorge Tariah Jnr introduced me into acting. We normally strolled together and it was during one of our outings that he told me that I had what it took to act. He later told me that there was an audition at Zeb Ejiro’s office. I dismissed the idea, but he insisted that we went; so, I obliged and we found ourselves there. So, we got there late but at the end I got a role. It was Blood Money. It was shot in 1997. Since then it has been a success story and God has been merciful in keeping me to this level.
Geology was my beginning
Recently, I asked myself how I got to this level; because a lot of things just happened that I couldn’t explain. I am sure if you meet some of my friends today particularly my schoolmates, they are going to tell you that they don’t know what I am doing as an actor. Many had thought I was going to end up a lecturer or an oil worker. The closest to acting that I did as a child was being a debater. Then, I was in the acting department in church. I would say that my membership of that group influenced my incursion into acting. But it was after I lost my job in a small oil service company that I thought of the next move and it was for me to come to Lagos from Warri. It was while in search of a ‘good job’ in Lagos that acting beckoned and it started with Mama Sunday. That was my very first production. I had gone to the studio to do a voice over for a church when I got a call that I was needed for an acting job — Mama Sunday. I hesitated because I had come out of a production where I was not paid. But here was the producer actually negotiating with me and right there, he gave me some money up-front. It was something else for me. The first thing I did with the money was to pay the debt I owed my mother. She had given me some money to accomplish a task but I blew it on a date. So when my mother asked where I got the money from, I quickly declared that I was now a movie star and that was how it started’.
Doris Simeon Ademinokan:
I wanted to be a newscaster
As a child, I always wanted to be a newscaster. I was always fascinated with the way they spoke so fluently and with so much confidence. I wanted to be on television reading the news, but hey…I’m on television now though it is not newscasting. So, I always wanted to be on television reading the news but to do that one would have to study broadcasting or mass communication or such related courses. But I didn’t. Anyway, the movie industry was already booming and I had friends who were already scampering into it. One day, a friend of mine told me about the auditions for Papa Ajasco, the popular situation comedy and I went there for it. I got a minor role but that was the beginning of my journey into the movie industry.
Was inspired by the big names
While growing up, I used to watch big names such as Regina Askia, Liz Benson, Auntie Joke Silva, Uncle Olu Jacobs, RMD (Richard Mofe Damijo) and Ramsey Nouah. Even while in secondary school, I watched Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Ekeinde a lot. So, they all inspired me to pursue my dream as an actress. I was not lucky to start with a lead role. I played waka pass (an extra in a movie that is) before I got my first lead. I met an actress and asked for a good producer she thinks I can work with because I was new and didn’t know anyone. So, she gave me a number and then my sister and I called him up and he the producer invited us for an audition. After the audition we waited for like five months before we were called back to come and pick scripts. My sister was lucky she got ten scenes to play but I got just three. Initially I was reluctant but I later gave it a try because I considered it a stepping stone. So that was how I started.
Around and about Nollywood...
American Film Week berths in Jos
THE first edition of the American Film Week organised by the Nigerian Film Corporation/National Film Institute and the American Embassy in Nigeria is scheduled to hold in Jos, the Plateau State capital from October 12 to 15. According to a statement signed by the head, Public Affairs of the NFC, is the Main Auditorium of the National Film Institute, Jos. The Ambassador of United State of American, Her Excellency Robin Renee Sanders and Afolabi Adesanya, managing director of NFC, are expected to present papers on the reasons for the film week and the advantages of the new partnership between the American Embassy and Nigeria’s premier film institute, the NFI. Furthermore, there shall be the re-enactment of American Folklore, dance and music principally in the education and documentary platforms, which will include Something the Lord Made, an HBO film produced by Mike Drake and directed by Joseph Sargent and The Ron Clarke Stay, a Johnson and Johnson Production, directed by Randa Haines. The film week, which will also have a symposia, seminar and talk shops as part of the programme will draw on the fortunes of the American Film Industry popularly known as Hollywood and what the Nigerian motion picture professional stands to learn from that industry in terms of content, technology, (Production), marketing and distribution. The high point of the activities for the film week will be the live/set/stage, command performance by one of Hollywood’s actors, Dan Hoyle, in Tings dey Happen. The film week, which has become a permanent feature in the calendar of events for the NFC/NFI, is opened to members of the public especially, students of film studies, filmmakers, film enthusiasts, film tutors, critics and journalists. The Chinese, Indian, Spanish and the French embassies in Nigeria have collaborated with the NFC/NFI in mounting their film week whose main objectives is to provide a platform for the exchange of information on the various film cultures around the world with a view to providing opportunities for Nigerian motion picture professionals the opportunity to adapt to emerging and new technologies in film making.
AMAA drops new diet for youngsters
YOUNG film makers between age 10 and 18 have opportunity of showcasing their works, as the African Movie Academy (AMAA) has introduced the first AFA Youngsters Short Film Competition. The international short film and video competition for filmmakers from African descent worldwide is intended to be yearly. Peace Anyiam Fiberisima, president of the movie academy stated that the short film competition, whose focus is on creating opportunities for young filmmakers by bringing support and recognition to excellence in the art of filmmaking, is to serve as a yearly platform for young filmmakers to feel the pulse of filmmaking. Said Fiberisima: “The idea is to catch them young and train them right. They will receive international exposure using the Africa film Academy’s platform.” Fiberisima also announced that winning filmmakers would receive awards and cash prizes. She added: ‘They are to enter short films in any of the categories of Comedy, Drama, Horror/Thriller, Animation, Documentary, Action / Adventure, Family/Children, Music Video. Winners will be selected by a judging panel that is comprised of industry professionals and practitioners who are looking for the next generation of creatively talented filmmakers out there’. While it is expected that entries must be 1 to 10 minutes in length, entries must be in PAL format and where entries are submitted in a foreign language, they must be subtitled and or dubbed in English. Deadline for submission of entry is December 15, 2009.
… Introduces short film competition for African universities
AMAA has announced the inauguration of the AMAA Short Film Competition for African Universities. The competition has been conceived to complement the AMAAs. The AMAAs are barely half a decade old – but within this relatively short period, they have made a significant impact on the African motion picture industry. They have created vast opportunities for linkages, for networking and for interfacing within and outside the continent. This synergy has diversified and intensified the reservoir of creativity in the industry. It has, also, diversified and intensified the industry’s production capital resource base; and has, thereby, set in motion the onerous task of aligning the industry to the larger industrial sub sector of the continent’s industrial complex. So far, the aims and objectives of AMAA are already translating into direct and indirect benefits for the African cinema. Consequently, every edition of the AMAAs is as much a celebration of achievements in virtually every profession or trade in the industry as it is the most significant and reliable catalyst and barometer for the growth and development of the African film as an art and an industry. The AMAA Short Film Competition for African Universities is in accordance with the vision and mission of AMAA. It is hoped that through the AMAA Short Film Competition for African Universities, the Academy will provide a platform for interaction by African universities whose curricula bear on the training of content creators for the cinema and broadcast industries and strengthen the support structures for capacity building in such institutions. The short film competition for African Universities is also intended to challenge and excite the creativity of the would be content creators in those institutions; and call attention on the creative potential of such would be content creators. The theme for this maiden edition is: Renewal/Regeneration and interested participants are required to keep their films for as short as 20 minutes maximum.
And Ande ‘baba blue’ Folorunsho sleeps
THE Lagos State Chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) has announced the untimely death of the actor, endorser and voice over artiste, Ande Folorunsho. Popularly called ‘Baba Blue’, an alias he earned from being the face of one of the earliest experiential campaign of the blue variant of the Vicks brand of lemon plus, Folorunsho according to a release signed by the NANTAP Lagos Public Relations Officer Sam Uche Anyamele passed on Sunday October 4, 2009. The statement extended the condolence of the leadership and members of NANTAP to the family of the devoted thespian who was passionate about the arts. The statement also informs that burial arrangement will be announced by the family.
Producer- Amebo A. Amebo
Director- Mr. Gossip
Actors- Nollywood Celebrities
Hey we saw Genevieve Nnaji
LET us be the first to shame bad people who didn’t allow us to rest with the tale that Genevieve Nnaji has decided to live and work with Oprah Winfrey in the United States since that rumoured ground breaking interview with the queen of the tube and acclaimed philanthropist. In fact, the waka pass who sold the news to us and who has ‘dodgingly’ refused to provide a link with which we can also see that interview hinted that the actress of many credits has declined to remove the clothes she appeared with on the rumoured interview with Oprah because ‘e still be am like film say she appear for Oprah Winfrey show’. Anyway, we hope it was not the same clothes that Genny wore to Kunle Afolayan’s premiere of The Figurine at the Palms the other day. Well, we ran into the actress around the ‘mat carpet’ (na mat Kunle take torchlight the way to the hall) area of the premiere and the clothe we saw on her was worth ‘washing and wearing’. Something simple, that revealed those Genny legs that have no counterfeit. But wait ooo, was there a problem between Genny and her hefty manager? The lady ran after her on the mat carpet area. Genny kept a straight face and didn’t even notice that she just walked past Ramsey Noah. Abeg Genny, easy on your dutiful manager ooo, even though we think say she need such a ‘race’ to slim down
Rita Dominic is in town
GLO Ambassador, Rita Dominic, is in town. We ran into the star actress at the premiere of Kunle Afolayan’s The Figurine. All attempts that waka pass made to reach the actress so as to follow up on her holiday experience in London and the United States proved abortive as the paparazzi won’t just let that happen. They descended on the Imo State-born actress with their flashes as soon as they sighted her with her quietly effective manager. I am sure that it was because the paparazzi were overwhelming that the actress glowed with humility (this time not with pride) straight into the hall to sit down. This was why waka pass like us, who wanted to also feel her about the ‘Monalisa and Dejo-Richard break up matter’ lost the chance to get her talk koro koro. Anyway, welcome back sis….your attire that evening showed that beyond resting, you also took time to swell your wardrobe…you have no option o jare, not with being an ambassador.
This Wale Adebayo too do sef
WAS there something that the actor of Sango fame, Wale Adebayo, lost that he was searching for at the Palms in Victoria Island where the Premiere of The Figurine held? Well, waka pass saw him pacing up and down and waving to people as he paced along. We wanted to find out what the matter was but someone, one waka pass said we shouldn’t. The fellow said that the gangling Wale was fond of pacing up and down movie premieres, especially if he is a major actor in the flick. The fellow said it was his own way of saying ‘I am in the film you have all come to watch’. Did we believe the fellow? Well we know no book ooooo. But Wale played waka pass raised to power five in The Figurine…To God be the Glory.