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Saturday, June 28, 2008

US honours Basorge Tariah @ NEA

Fresh and authoritative gist filtering in from New York, US, has it that multi talented entertainer and the grand master of comedy in Nigeria Basorge Tariah Jnr., has won this year’s best comedian award at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards (NEA). The colourful and well-attended event, which held at the Skirlball Arena, saw the Rivers State born rib cracker flooring other equally good contestants, to walk away with the prized possession. The father of three; also thrilled the August gathering with a high-octane performance, that sent the frenzied crowd asking and screaming for more. Gathered the award was determined by a web vote, and Tariah’s world-class performance at the just held AMAA awards, really gave him an edge. A welcome bash is already being organized for Tariah by his pals and we would definitely keep you darling readers posted.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Atlantic Overseas, MORGON empower Edokpayi’s life and career

Photo-(Middle)Mr and Mrs Emma Edokpayi receiving the cheque from Mr Andrien Gbinigie, CEO, Atlantic Overseas, surrounded by Ejike Asiegbu, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Chief Eddie Egbomah

Having suffered a devastating stroke in 2004, a cerebrovascular accident that threatened to terminate his life top actor, producer and director, Elder Emma Edokpayi, recently bounced back to life courtesy of Andrien Gbinigie’s led Atlantic Overseas limited. In order to encourage, support and ensure that his versatile talents continue to blossom, even beyond our shores, despite being struck with stroke, Atlantic Overseas took a very bold step by endowing Edokpayi’s talents with the whopping sum of four hundred thousand Naira (400,000), annually, as long as he lives. Whao!
Speaking at the star studded and historic cheque presentation, which was an initiative of the Movie Reporters Guild Of Nigeria-MORGON, amiable Gbinigie, also a big investor in Nollywood, further called on other well meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies, to join in the laudable initiative. “Edokpayi, is no doubt a force to reckon with in Nollywood and he has been there for over two decades. He is also a pioneer actor in Nollywood. I’m using this opportunity to call on corporate bodies to ensure that Edokpayi’s talents and others like him, will continue to be harnessed. This gesture will be done to him every year, as long as he lives, because we believe so much in his talents…”said Gbinigie.
While responding in an emotion laden voice, Edo State born Edokpayi, who was accompanied to the event by his wife, thanked all, especially Atlantic Overseas and MORGON, for remembering him at this point of his life. He however, promised to make good use of the annual endowment. Also speaking at the ceremony, Ejike Asiegbu, the national president of the Actors Guild Of Nigeria- AGN, thanked the initiators and urged corporate bodies to take up more of such challenges that are inherent in the motion picture industry.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Isong, Ejike plan big for Nollywood

Photo-Emem Isong

This is definitely cheering news for Nollywood.
Authentic and very exclusive gist filtering in has
that in the next couple of weeks, the industry will
witness a never seen before kind of premiere. Imagine,
two movies, sixteen super stars, one venue and one
screen. In the words of Emem Isong and Vivian Ejike,
both top moviemakers and producers of the blockbusters
entitled When the heart lies and Games Men Play-
Reloaded, the historic premiere would take place in
Lagos and Abuja respectively. “We are already
discussing with potential sponsors and would be
concluding soon. The idea of a double premiere under
one roof, in one day is our special gift to Nollywood
and the first of its kind,” they both submitted.
Keep a date with this column, for more on the
forthcoming event.

Nollywood producers back on locations

Photo-A typical Nollywood film shop

After several weeks of horse trading and intense lobbying, the national leadership of the Film Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria- (FVPMAN) has ended its three months strike that nearly crippled activities in Nollywood, with a resolve to move the industry forward, for the benefit of all the stakeholders and investors. And in order to achieve their set goals and objectives, they have also put an end to the arbitrary releasing of movies alongside movies proliferation. All these inconsistent policies stagnating the growth of the industry, have given way for new set of guidelines and procedures. According to Paul Chuks Okoli, a top moviemaker and the Public Relations Officer of the association, hence forth, the body would be releasing a total of 11 movies every fortnight into the market. “ This decision was reached by the national body at our last general meeting, which also ended the three months strike we embarked upon in order to
bring sanity into the industry,” he pointed out.

I Go Dye preaches peace for Naija

Photo-I Go Dye

Multi-talented and well-traveled comedian Francis Agoda globally known as I go dye, is currently on a peace mission in his constantly troubled Niger-Delta region and the nation in general.

The comic ambassador who just breezed in from a successful comedy tour of Europe, Asia and the US, is set for the official launching of his peace and unity project.

The forthcoming launch, which would be graced by several foreign bodies and multi nationals, especially those with huge business interests in the Niger-Delta, according to the sensational rib cracker, is being packaged in collaboration with the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC).

Speaking further, the hilarious chap, disclosed that the constant crisis in his Niger-Delta region coupled with the tension in the polity necessitated the laudable initiative.

“I’m out to preach about peace, love and unity in Niger Delta, which is where I come from and Nigeria in general.

And I’m doing this with a documentary; I personally shot with virtually all my life’s savings. It is my own little way of preaching peace to my people and Nigerians. I’m also calling on the public, private sectors and the international community to support this project. I am happy to announce that our Vice President, Dr. Jonathan Goodluck is solidly behind this project too.”

Onwenu, Iroegbu ready for Omenuko, the Igbo epic

Photo-Onyeka Onwenu

A new epic that would definitely change Nollywood especially in the area of language movies is on the way courtesy of top entertainer Onyeka Onwenu and award winning director Dickson Iroegbu alongside Mazi Uche Ohia. Omenuko, the ageless story of a quintessential Igbo man, though fallible like every other human being, but painstakingly noble and enterprising would soon be documented into a home video, for movie buffs to watch and applaud globally. Originally adapted from a novel with same title and read widely by those who went to school in the southeast during the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s. It is estimated to gulp over One Hundred million Naira, according to Iroegbu, who spoke on behalf of the team, adding that it was conceived as a way of promoting, projecting and protecting the Igbo culture and language. “When completed, the film will portray the Igbo culture in its beauty and vibrancy. Not your typical Nollywood movie, but a total
depiction of the Igbo culture in its magnificence in the twentieth century. It would be subtitled in English and French and we are calling on interested sponsors to buy into this historic and laudable initiative.” The project is being powered by Anyigbo Productions, which also has a foundation.

Nollywood stakeholders set for Venice Film Festival

Photo-Ethan and Joel Coen, Academy Award winning filmmakers

Some of the leading names in the Nigerian motion picture industry globally known as Nollywood are getting set to storm Italy, for the 65th edition of the annual Venice Film Festival holding at Lido di Venezia. Reputed as the world’s oldest film festival, since 1932, this year’s edition begins on August 27 and runs through September 6, 2008, with quality and big budget movies from all over the world billed for screenings. “Burn After Reading”, the latest flick from Academy award winning brothers Joel and Ethan Coen will open the festival night amid glitz and glamour. Starring some of the A-listers in Hollywood like: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Richard Jenkins and Frances Mc Dormand, the movie would witness a world premiere in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema. Aside Nollywood stars currently making last minute preparations, a reliable source further hinted us that the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), under
the dynamic leadership of Mr. Afolabi Adesanya, will also send a powerful delegation to the renowned festival, just like he did at the recently held Cannes Film Festival in France. Interestingly too, a delegation from the Movie Reporters Guild of Nigeria (MORGON), would be storming the festival with the primary aim of gaining more exposure on international film reporting.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Gambia to host Miss Galaxy 2008

Photo-Miss Galaxy 2007

All is now set for the second edition of the prestigious Miss Galaxy Africa beauty pageant holding in Banjul, the beautiful capital city of Gambia, which holds on June 27, 2008 at the Banjul Sheraton Hotel amid glitz, glamour and grandeur.

In the words of Queen Lott, the Marketing Director of Legacy Jen International Nigeria Limited, the franchise owners of the pageant, forms for the contest are already selling nationwide and even on line.

“Our forms are affordable and also available at any branch of Access bank nation-wide. The basic requirements for all contestants are that they must have a valid international passport, be eloquent and ready to represent Nigeria internationally. The contestants must also be beautiful, single and between 19 and 29 years,” she hinted.

Meanwhile, the final zonal screening for all the Nigerian contestants earlier scheduled for Wednesday, June 18,2008, has been shifted to Sunday, June 22,2008 at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos.

A brand new car and an opportunity to travel to the US and contest in the finals of Miss Galaxy International, Florida, among other fantastic prizes await the lucky winner in between her one year reign.

Shedding more light on why they are taking the prestigious pageant to Gambia, princess Ada Muoneke, the CEO of Legacy Jen International further revealed that her company’s franchise right for the pageant covers the whole of Africa, thus making it a pan-African event.

“ Miss Galaxy is not only limited to Nigeria, it’s an African pageant, which started last year in Nigeria and now we are going to the Gambia. The aim is to rotate it round African countries and that we are already doing, by going round the continent discovering and nurturing beautiful damsels with brains to the international level,” she maintained.

The pageant, which currently has Miss Sandra Iwu, as its reigning queen, also rewards immensely, all its runners-up and other contestants. For more information visit

Nollywood mourns Oliver de Coque

Photo-Oliver de Coque

Entertainers in Nollywood are currently mourning the sad and sudden demise of top Highlife crooner and the exponent of Ogene music in Africa, Chief Sunday Akanite globally known as Oliver De Coque. Several stars in Nollywood have not stopped lamenting over the death of the bearded music legend from Ezinifite, Anambra state. In an emotion laden voice, Ejike Asiegbu, the national president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria-AGN, said the death was another devastating blow to the nation’s entertainment and creative industry, adding that he was still in shock and totally devastated. “We were together in Owerri, Imo state for the Nigerian Music Award. I even congratulated him on his lifetime achievement award that memorable night,” he recalled bitterly. Also lamenting, Anayo Odobeatu, the boss of Ojez Music, said the sad news has further created another big vacuum, in the entertainment industry, adding that the Federal and his State governments should
immortalize his good name and the legacies he left behind. Lending his own voice, Andrien Gbinigie, the honcho of Atlantic Overseas, called on all entertainment practitioners to move closer to God and be more united, adding that the deceased musician would be greatly missed. In the words of Barrister Sam Kargbo, the CEO of Sam Kargbo Productions and the executive producer of X project, the Lorile crooners, its another tragedy for the Nigerian entertainment sector. “We cannot afford another loss of this nature”.

EFCC partners musicians to fight corruption

Photo-EFCC Boss


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under the new leadership of Mrs. Farida Waziri is poised to wage an everlasting war on corruption by using the advocacy tool of music. And in order to achieve this Herculean task, the dreaded body through its crime prevention and public enlightenment unit- the Fix Nigeria Initiative (FNI) is already partnering with some of the nation’s finest and very popular musicians. Tagged; United Artistes Against Corruption (UNAAC), the first meeting between both bodies successfully held over the weekend with several top artistes in attendance. Among those that came and expressed interest in working assiduously with the agency on the project were: 9ICE, Faze, Asuquo Cobhams, Jahbless, representative of Tuface Idibia and a host of others. Interestingly, they also pledged their loyalties toward the actualization of the laudable and historic project in no distant time.
According to Mr. Gbenga Aroyehun, who spoke on behalf of the EFCC, the artistes are expected to produce an anti corruption album, which they would take round the federation on musical tour, especially on campuses. “We carefully chose these artistes because they are role models and have huge influences on the youths,” he said. Award winning Asuquo, is expected to produce and coordinate the work, which would commence soon. In his words, we all must come together and salvage the nation by helping the EFCC to fight corruption. Lest we forget, yours sincerely, has also been chosen as a member of the production team.

Dignitaries set to commission Actors guild office

Photo-Ejike Asiegbu, AGN President

In line with his promise of moving the Actors Guild of Nigeria-AGN, forward and also taking it to the next level through laudable initiatives that would be beneficial to all members and stakeholders, Ejike Asiegbu, its national president is set to commission and officially open the national secretariat of the body. Holding elaborately this Saturday, June 28, 2008 in Surulere, Lagos, the historic event is expected to attract dignitaries and celebrities from all walks of life. Expected, as special guests are the ministers of information and communication and culture and tourism. The director general of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, prof. Ndi Okereke and Senator Florence Ita Giwa, are gracing as the mothers of the day. Shedding more light, charismatic Asiegbu revealed that the new multi million Naira office complex located on Ajao Road was made possible by one of their patrons, Mr. Cyril Ajagu. “He came to our rescue and made the complex possible via a
stress free loan. We also want to thank Atlantic Overseas and the Movie Reporters Guild of Nigeria-MORGON, for donating our first set of office equipment. Since the inception of AGN, this is the first time we are having a national secretariat, I’m happy it is happening in my administration.”
Meanwhile, reception takes place at Ojez, inside the National Stadium, immediately after the commissioning.

Baby boom in the homes of K O K, Lancelot

Photo-Kanayo O.Kanayo and Lancelot Oduwa Imaseun

The population of star kids in Nollywood recently got a big boost with the joyous arrival of newborn babies in the homes of top actor Kanayo O Kanayo and leading director Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen. While the wife of the former was delivered of a baby boy, that of the latter, brought forth a beautiful girl.
Confirming the good news to us, elated KOK, who is now a proud father of four, disclosed that mother and child are doing wonderfully well. Also, Imasuen, who is experiencing the joys of fatherhood for the very first time, has not stopped celebrating and spreading the good news within and outside our shores. From this end, we are saying multiple congratulations.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kate Henshaw celebrates AMAA victory

Photo-Kate Henshaw-Nuttal

The reigning best actress in the whole of Africa courtesy of the just held Africa Movie Academy Awards-AMAA, Kate Henshaw Nuttal recently hosted colleagues and pals to a lavish shindig.
The classy get together, which held at a highbrow hangout on the Island, according to Mrs. Nuttal, was to formally present her award and say a big thank you to her friends, fans and colleagues, for their love, understanding and support.
In her brief speech, the top thespian whose wondrous and uncommon role in Stronger Than Pain got her the keenly contested crest, said the award would further spur her to work harder and possibly retain it for a second time next year.
The high point of the groove was when the hostess, who is happily married to a British hubby, Mr. Nuttal, hit the stage and wriggled her waist to some good music from the DJ’s turntable. Her colleagues and pals later joined her. Aside good music, victuals also flowed endlessly at the cool evening soiree.

Atlantic Overseas/MORGON Donate to AGN

Photo-Ejike Asiegbu, AGN President

Barely a forth night after offering a lifeline of four hundred thousand naira annual endowment to help revive the talent and career of Stroke hit veteran actor Emma Edopkayi, Atlantic Overseas in partnership with the Movie Reporters Guild of Nigeria MORGON, have recorded another unprecedented feat.
Large-hearted Andrien Gbinigie, the CEO of Atlantic Overseas who is also the life patron of MORGON, in the spirit of moving the motion picture industry forward, recently donated office equipment worth over one million naira to the new national secretariat of the Actors Guild Of Nigeria AGN. The donation of the brand new items, which was a MORGON initiative, included: seven split units of air conditioners (2HorsePwers), three Hewlett Packard laptops and a complete set of computer with printer and scanner.
Receiving the gifts on behalf of AGN. Ejike Asiegbu, the national president of the association, thanked Atlantic Overseas and MORGON, immensely for the kind gestures, which he also described as historic and intimidating.
He further called on more corporate bodies to support AGN in whatever way they can, in order to move the industry to the next level. “In less than a year, Atlantic Overseas has done a lot for Nollywood alongside MORGON. We are using this opportunity to urge other corporate bodies to emulate Atlantic overseas, who is a true friend of Nollywood alongside MORGON”, Asiegbu declared.
He also thanked MORGON for always coming up with laudable initiatives that have always been beneficial to Nollywood and its practitioners. “I want to urge MORGON to keep the flag flying and to continue to report the activities of Nollywood objectively. I’m also of the view that MORGON and AGN is a friendship that will last forever”. Responding Mrs. Edith Elegboja, the General Manager of Atlantic Overseas who presented the items on behalf of her boss, thanked Asiegbu for accepting the items whole-heartedly on behalf of AGN.
Also speaking, MORGON national president, Azuh Amatus, hailed the bold move of Atlantic Overseas and also thanked their Patron, Mr. Andrien Gbinigie immensely, for accepting to endorse and bankroll the initiative.
“Though it’s a MORGON initiative, we are however, very grateful to our patron for accepting to endorse and finance 100%, the wonderful donations to AGN. As the watchdogs of the industry, we are truly out to redefine Nollywood with our articles and laudable initiatives”, he promised.

Angry Ini Edo bares her mind

Photo-Ini Edo

Sexy Nollywood leading actress Iniobong Edo, is visibly angry and bitter, but this time, not with some of her colleagues or the leadership of the Actors Guild, under the charismatic leadership of Ejike Asiegbu.
The grouse of single but not searching Edo, from Akwa Ibom State, she recently told us, had to do with some miscreants, currently using her hard earned name and reputation, to impersonate and defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.
At a recent press conference jointly organized by Edo and the national leadership of AGN, the embittered thespian revealed that some of the impersonators had been caught and are already being interrogated by men of the Nigerian Police.
Also speaking, Ejike Asiegbu, warned those impersonating and using the names of Edo and other top stars in Nollywood to defraud and extort money, to desist from such criminal and despicable acts, or face the wrath of the law.
He also called for a greater understanding between entertainment journalists, especially the members of the Movie Reporters Guild Of Nigeria-MORGON and Nollywood practitioners. “We want a greater synergy and objective reporting between MORGON and our people, in the interest of moving both bodies forward,” he pleaded.