Monday, 4 January 2010

SHE was all over the place in 2009; gracing nearly three out of every five Yoruba films, yet her romance with the Yoruba language film started barely three years ago. From a role in Sebayan Ni, a movie produced by the Ibadan-based Wemimo films, the Edo State-born Mercy Aigbe has risen to become one of the top actresses in thefilm section. Moviedom unveils the new song on the lips of producers in Yoruwood.

Born: Mercy Aigbe.

State of origin: Edo State.

Place of birth: Lagos.

Marital status: Single mother of one.

Early School: St Anthony’s primary school, Maryland, Lagos.

Studied: Accountancy and Creative Arts.

Institution: The Polytechnic Ibadan and University of Lagos.

Initial career interest: Acting, a reason I took part in a lot of plays in school

Joined Nollywood: in 2005.

First acting shirt: in 2006.

Debut on television: Super Story, Images and Treasures by Chico Ejiro.

Debut movie: Sebayan Ni by Wemimo Films.

Breakthrough movie: Ara, a Yoruba movie.

In her movie pouch: Over 60 films.

First film as a producer: Abimbola, a Yoruba film

Best film yet: Lolade.

Inspiration: God Almighty.

Why she is linked easily with men: Honestly, I don’t know. The thing don tire me! But I consider it roundly as the price I have to pay for being an actress. I am amazed that people could just go about spreading lies. But I have developed a thick skin. I don’t allow any of those stories bother me.

Career ambition: To make more marks than I have done already.

Around and about Nollywood...

NFC set for future challenges

THE management of Nigerian Film Corporation has resolved to brace up for challenges ahead, so, as to continue to impact positively on the Nigerian motion picture industry. This was the outcome of the retreat held for staff of the corporation at Arewa Suites and Hotel, Abuja, recently. At the retreat, Afolabi Adesanya, the managing director reminded staff that 2009 had been very remarkable. Adesanya said that the purpose of the retreat was to enable management chart a new course, engage in a re-focus, review and re-engineer “our collective and individual roles in the attainment of the objectives of the Corporation.” Expectations from the corporation for year 2010, in terms of industry intervention, capacity building, institutional and infrastructural development and better service delivery, Adesanya said, would be on the increase. He stressed that, above all, the retreat was strategic and apt against the background of the projected programmes and projects for the year 2010, which includes the International Workshop on Film – the Babylon Initiative (April/May 2010), ZUMA Film Festival, (May 2 – 6, 2010) and SHOOT! (July 2010). Chairman, NFC board, Mr. Bongos Ikwue commended management for the retreat, which he described as not only apt but of high value for any organisation that is poised for success. Represented by Lateefat Gbajabiamila, a member of the board, Ikwue challenged staff to realign their perception, behaviors and attitudes to emerging global issues so as to achieve the objectives of NFC. Meanwhile, art journalists have been commended for their strategic role in the development of the Nigerian motion picture industry. Speaking recently in Lagos, Brian Etuk, Head, Public Affairs of the NFC, said the positive developments recorded so far within the industry in Nigeria could not have come without the role played by them. He described their role as not only strategic but also complimentary and advised them to continue to discharge the duties with all sense of dedication and responsibility. The Corporation, Etuk said, would continue to provide relevant information on motion picture matters, especially government’s policies geared towards development of the industry.

Entries for AMAA 2010 still open
THE Africa Film Academy invites filmmakers to submit their Feature, Short, and Documentary works for consideration by the 6th AMAA, the premier Africa film awards. Each completed entry form must be accompanied by all the supporting materials listed on the submission forms, including the synopsis of the film, the list of credits, marketing stills of the film, filmography of the directors and producers, 10 DVD copies of the film and proof of the right to submit. Only films produced and released between December 2008 and December 2009 can be entered for the 2009 celebration of African Cinema to be held in 2010. It will be announced in Ghana in February 2010. AMAA will hold on April 10, 2010 and will be televised across the world. Submission forms are downloadable from the AMAA Awards website. For further information, please contact AMAA at

Entries for Zuma Film Festival open
ALL is now set for the 5th edition of ZUMA Film Festival organised by the NFC. Scheduled to hold in Abuja from May 2 to 6, 2010. Call for entries opened on Tuesday, December 1 and will close February 28, 2010. The theme is Global Images, Global Voices, which according to the organisers, seeks to consolidate on the gains of previous editions. Emphasis will be on bridging existing gaps between developed and developing film cultures as universal themes and global best practices will be adopted. The focus on the global nature and impact of the film medium will be encouraged during the film fiesta and at the same time platforms for filmmakers and filmmaking nations to globalise their work without losing the rhythms and practices that make their artistic cultures distinctively different will be provided. A statement from NFC said that entries accompanied with a two minute trailer must be submitted in three copies and should be on the DVD format with the typed synopsis on A4 paper-size. Submissions will be accepted in the Competitive and Non Competitive categories. The Competitive category includes Feature film, Documentary, Children film, Student film, Animation/cartoon, Short film and Emerging talents while the Non Competitive category includes; films on Nigerian Panorama, Universal films, Diaspora & African films, Retrospectives /Tributes. Interested participants can make enquiries by e-mail to and Similarly, entry forms can be obtained and returned to any of the Corporations offices in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Jos. ZUMA Film Festival, a major activity of the Nigerian Film Corporation is designed to provide a platform for the recognition and reward of excellence and creativity in the Nigerian motion picture industry and other film cultures around the globe.

Waka pass…

Producer- Amebo A. Amebo
Director- Mr. Gossip
Actors- Nollywood Celebrities

Dan Okoli is hardworking
THE newly appointed Chief of Staff to Actors Guild of Nigeria’s president, Dan Okoli, didn’t have to lobby to be appointed COS. Even AGN’s President, Segun Arinze’s perceived enemies agreed that the gangling filmmaker worked extra hard to ensure that the inauguration cum reconciliation ceremony where ‘Presido’ (Arinze’s new alias) was sworn as AGN’s third elected president (after Zack Orji, Ejike Asiegbu) was a success. Honestly, even the blind waka pass confessed that he saw Donald and Emeka Rising Ibe at work. Donald did not only make sure that food went round; he ensured that no one wore a long face throughout the inauguration ceremony. No wonder, a thunderous ovation greeted his appointment as COS. But bros Donald, one waka pass say make I remind you say no salary for di work oooo. Na youth service mainly! The reason we no come sabi why people wan kill dem sef sake for sake of position of AGN!

So Ernest Obi is married? Secretly?
HAAAA, how come we missed out of the wedding of the fine actor no pimple Ernest Obi? The last time we checked, the actor, who doubles as chairman of the Lagos State chapter of AGN, had not made up his mind whether to continue his marriage with his oyibo runaway wife or consummate the relationship with the babe that we heard was always stalking him. Anyway, if pictures lie, seeing which believes cannot lie. It was before the very koro koro of one waka pass that the tall and well built Ernest came out to the dance floor at O’jez, during the inauguration ceremony of Arinze as President, to dance with one sisi who was introduced as his wife. Anyway, hard as waka pass tried, he couldn’t establish from any of Obi’s friends at the event when actually the wedding bells rang. Well waka pass will ask no further. That outing at O’jez and the close marking dance steps is enough confirmento (apologies Diplomatic OPJ of Wazobia FM) to be confirmed that Bros Obi’s status and level don change… if we were to sing a special number for them? Of course, it will be: “It shall be permanent…what the lord has done for him, must be permanent!”

Ajebo Steve Eboh was absent
STEVE Eboh, the one they call Ajebo, was visibly absent at the inaugural event of the Segun Arinze executives of the AGN. No, not that he had any issues with the inauguration; Ajebo was having a ball with the high and mighty in Awka, capital of Anambra State. It was his birthday and so all his friends in that part of the East ensured that he left the trenches (Ajebo is one of those who have a case in court against the AGN leadership) for a real time of jollification. One waka pass, who attended the impromptu party, hinted that there was so much to eat and drink. Should it be that Ajebo ate to his fill? A close source disclosed that he slept off on the couch at the same spot he wanted to put on his shoes to head to O’jez for the event. Good morning, Bros Ajebo… Segun has been sworn in oooo. Happy birthday from our end sha!

Call him Chief Leo Mezie
NOLLYWOOD actor, Leo Mezie, sorry Chief Leo Mezie, returned to Lagos recently from Abia State with the news that he had not only been conferred with a chieftaincy title, but that eight other Nollywood stars, have, by his connection, being made chiefs! We were going to ask him to name the other eight thie…no sorry chiefs, but the line went off. Since then, we have not been able to speak to the soft-spoken actor who wanted to be a pilot. Someone said he saw him and he had this red bead round his right wrist, meaning that the story is true. Anyway Bros... no sorry Chief Leo, here is a word of advice before we meet: ‘the first actor that was kidnapped in Nollywood was a Chief and he is as fair complexioned as you are’. If your two plus two equal to three, mine is equal to four!

Chinyere Wilfred is back
HOW come we forgot to mention that one waka pass hinted that the long-standing Nollywood actress, Chinyere Wilfred, has returned from the short holiday she took to London? Oh, well, we gathered that the now fair complexioned actress, who owns a saloon in the Akowonjo area of Lagos, returned to the country some three weeks back. The waka pass, who sold this news to us, said it was not her travelling to London that was the issue but the fact that she did not sign a single autograph at the airport even after spending close to five hours at Heathrow airport. According to waka pass, matters became worse even when she moved to the departure gate. Hear him: “Not a single Nigerian both resident at home and abroad recognised her or hailed out at her as they would do to Genevieve, Rita Dominic or even small Funke Akindele.” Well, we tried to put up a defence that the stars all reigned at different times, but our friend seriously thinks that the mother of three boys should do more work on screen as the taste bud of those who saw her in Prisoner of Love and Children of Terror (her debut movie performance) have changed. To God be the Glory!

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