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Wednesday, August 27, 2008 lands in Italy for Venice Film Festival

Pix-Yours Sincerely and Mr. Andrien Gbinigie, CEO, Atlantic Overseas

Although, the 65th edition of the Venice International Film Festival, Italy, finally kicked off Wednesday, August 27, in the beautiful city of Lido, Venice, amid glitz, grandeur and razzmatazz, your darling showbiz blog will report live from Venice, venue of the event, as we have concluded plans to storm Italy live.
The London office of Andrien Gbinigie’s led Atlantic Overseas Limited made the historic trip possible.
Revered as the world’s oldest festival and organized by the Venice Biennale since 1932, it aims at promoting and encouraging the awareness of all the various aspects of international cinema as an art. It also promotes the entertainment industry, in a spirit of freedom and tolerance.
Marco Muller, is the director of this year’s edition, while German born director, Wim Wenders, is the president of the international jury of this year’s Venezia, which ends on September 6.
Need we say more, watch this space!

WORDS ON MARBLE: Kene Mkparu, GM, Odeon Cinemas, UK, 'take' on Atlantic Overseas

What was it like in September 2007, when two Nollywood blockbusters Mission
to Nowhere and Mirror of Beauty stormed Odeon and Cineworld cinemas in the



Culled from Saturday, August 8, 2008, edition of THE SUN NEWSPAPER - interview with
KENE MKPARU, GM Odeon Cinemas, UK.

Isong’s language movie, Uyai, set for release

Pic-Emem Isong

Lovers of quality language movies, especially those from Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers States are in for a good time, as producer Emem Isong, is set to hit shelves with Uyai (Beauty), her latest movie.

With a very rich cast list comprising big names like:
Ini Edo, Desmond Elliot, Moses Armstrong, Fred Essien, Obey Etuk, Ini Ikpe and a host of others, the 75-minute-didactic movie, is already setting agenda for discuss among core filmmakers, especially those in the language genre.

Written by Emem Isong and Felix Odion, Isong, also directed the Ibibio language movie alongside Desmond Elliot.

Shot on location in Eket, Akwa Ibom State with hi-tech equipment, Uyai, is set for release in the next couple of weeks.

Giving an insight into the movie’s synopsis, Isong, who just breezed in from the U.S divulged that Uyai, thematically deals with the many mysteries of our daily lives and the clues to unraveling them “Globally, language movies are taking the front rows in production houses and we don’t want to be left behind in Nollywood. It is also another way of telling our own stories and bringing back our lost cultures and long forgotten traditional heritages, “posited Isong.

Endorsements galore for SONIFES

Pic-Chuks Akamadu, CEO SONIFES

To ensure a befitting outing, several reputable associations in the nation’s entertainment industry, have endorsed and thrown their weights behind the forthcoming and maiden edition of the Songs of Nigeria Festival (SONIFES). Already, the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) and the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN), had in separate letters, conveyed their unflinching support, for the forthcoming music fiesta. They all hailed Afrocultour Limited, the organizers of the festival, on the laudable initiative. In his goodwill message, Mr. Ejike Asiegbu, national president, AGN, maintained that the event is capable of changing the negative perception of the nation’s image. According to Chuks Akamadu, the honcho of SONIFES, the flagging off ceremony/unveiling of the festival logo holds on Saturday, September 20, 2008, at the Exhibition Hall of the National Arts theatre, Lagos.

Citi Vendors partners Nollywood

Inzpire, a new and exciting UK based magazine that is aimed at promoting the achievements of Nigerians, especially the leading lights of Nollywood and those in the Diaspora would soon hit the global newsstands.

In a chat with us, Mr. Lawrence Izuegbu, its London based publisher, disclosed that the highly inspirational magazine would be elaborately launched in Nigeria and the UK in the next couple of weeks, after which they would storm the US.

Speaking further, Izuegbu, who is also the honcho of Citi Vendors, also revealed his new deal with Nollywood. “I’m also in town to kick start a new TV programme, Diva’s Dynasty, with some of my good friends in Nollywood. It would be syndicated all over UK, Europe and the US. My outfit is solidly behind it and we intend making it the authentic voice of Nollywood and its numerous achievers.”

Chidinma, others for London African Music Festival

Pix-Chidinma Okafor(middle) with Cuban violinist, Omar Puente and Percussionists, Lekan Babalola

Nigerian born female gospel act Chidinma Okafor would be leading other Nigerian musicians to this year’s edition of the annual London African Music Festival holding at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, between September 5 and 7, 2008.

Performing along side Okafor at the sixth edition of the revered concert are some other international artistes from across Africa. They include: Hossam Ramzy, Mad Professor, Omar Puente, Modeste Hughes and Lekan Babalola.
Others are: The South African gospel singers, Cheb Nacim, Claude Deppa, Horns Unlimited and Kanda Bongo Man.

Okafor, who sings fluently in Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba, is expected to declare the event open with core African gospel songs.

It would be recalled that pretty Okafor had also been on tour of several European nations in the past.
G29 Music owned by Mr. Franklin, is packaging the summer festival for Chidinma and her band.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Emeka Mba visits The Sun

Pic-Emeka Mba

Mr. Emeka Mba, the Director General of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), paid a courtesy visit to the management of The Sun Publishing Limited penultimate week, with some senior members of the board. Mr. Tony Onyima, the Executive Director, Operations, received the handsome honcho of the fire spitting regulatory body, on arrival. Mba, whose visit spanned more than an hour, explained in details to the management of The Sun, what his board was all about, their challenges, battles and concerted efforts at repositioning and sanitizing the nation’s embattled motion picture industry. Before leaving, the soft-spoken DG, also spoke on the on going skirmishes with the leadership of the movie marketers, plans of resolving it and basically, the way forward for Nollywood and its practitioners. In his words, all hands must be on deck to salvage the industry and thus move it to the next level. “And that change we have come to make with the
support of all stakeholders, including the media, for the good of the industry”.
Keep a date with us, for the full interview.

Catholic priest veers into Reggae music

Pic-Black Curate

Whao! To many, especially the zealots in the Catholic faith, what you are about reading might be zany or wacky. In fact, a big contradiction, which has been the reaction of many, to the idea of a Catholic priest on stage, as a Reggae artiste. And truly, that is the unquestionable path Reverend Father Remigius Orjiukwu, has chosen to follow. Ordained in 2001, the European based priest who also holds a Ph.D, in Philosophy and currently pursuing another one in Comparative Religious Studies, is out and making waves with his debut effort entitled Mama Rise. And to further prove how deep he has gone, the priest who goes by the stage name, The Black Curate, even went as far as Kingston, Jamaica, the birthplace of Reggae, to produce his 13 tracker effort. In his biography, which was made available to us, the black curate confessed that his venture into the realm of Reggae music is an attempt to exploit the not yet popular possibility of a subtle, but deep
cutting method of evangelization. “The central topics of my lyrics are freedom, love and the question of meaning, sometimes wrapped in the framework of socio-political critiques. My target is the youth. My goal is to give them, and all who are attracted to my music that, which I wish to give…”

Entertainers unite for Lagos EIT fair

Reliable information reaching us has it that several entertainers in the music, movie and comedy terrains are gearing to spice up the first ever Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) trade fair and exhibition holding from August 22 to 31, 2008, at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Race Course, Lagos.
Aside the presence of Nollywood stars who are expected to help promote and project the image and mileage of the exhibition, stands had also been specially erected, for musicians and comedians coming to thrill.
Powered by SM and LB Consulting Limited and aimed at revolutionizing the electronics and information technology industry in Nigeria, the fair would also afford manufacturers, producers, marketers and agents alike, the opportunities to showcase the best and latest brands of their goods and services in those sectors.
In a chat with us, Mr. Hillary Etokhana, one of the organizers, also divulged that the fair has been duly registered with the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).
“Aside bringing together all the major players in the electronics and information technology under one roof, another unique thing about this fair is that when the other sections close for the day, the drinks and foods section will come alive and run throughout the night with loads of entertainment from the nation’s foremost entertainers. There will also be live performances for the whole night”, he added.

Top entertainer, Okey Bakassi breezes in

Pic-Okey Bakassi

Senior comedian and pioneer actor Mc Anthony Onyegbule globally known as Okey Bakassi, recently breezed in from Canada, where his wife and children are currently residing. The entertainer, who has been away for over a month, we reliably gathered, spent quality time with his family, before jetting in. Another insider, based outside our shores, also revealed that Bakassi, while relaxing and holidaying in the North American country, quietly sneaked into Europe, to tidy up some mouth-watering deals. In fact, they further squealed that he thrilled at some shows and pocketed a good amount of foreign currencies. We spotted him over the weekend at a popular celebrity hangout, in Surulere, Lagos, gisting and having a blast, after a well-deserved rest.

Fatai Rolling Dollars thrills @ O’Jez

Pic-Fatai Rolling Dollar

Octogenarian highlife crooner Fatai Rolling Dollars is gradually creating a new fans base at Ojez, tucked inside the national stadium, Surulere, Lagos, where he performs every Friday night. These days, there is no gain saying the fact that the well loved and attended weekend gig, is usually incomplete without the “Wonkere Si Number Wa”, exponent mounting the stage with his trademark guitar and sexy female dancers. The grand old man of highlife, who usually jams with the in house band led by Chijioke, is always a delight to watch on stage. And despite his age, Baba, as his fans and admirers fondly call him, has never disappointed. Commenting on his verve and gusto, at almost 83, the honcho of the outfit, Anayo Odobeatu, who recently installed a soundproof – lister – generating – set, for a more conducive and noise free atmosphere, confessed that Baba’s strength, on stage overwhelms him. According to the crooner, his energy comes from God, who
has endowed him with a good health.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Controversies trail Gulder Ultimate Search V

Pic-Michael Nwachukwu,GUS V Winner

If indications emanating from some sections of the public are anything to go by, then the Gulder Ultimate Search V, which recently held in Agwu hills, Enugu State, may fast be loosing its appeal among the Nigerian viewing public, especially the youths.
It is no longer news that Michael Nwachukwu became the fifth Ultimate Man, after unearthing The Lost Chronicle, thus taking over from last year's Dominic Mudabai.
He went further to exchange the treasure for N7m cash prize, a brand new SUV and N500, 000 wardrobe allowance at an elaborate event witnessed by several dignitaries.
The final episode of the show started with three hopefuls: Frank, Michael and Linda, the last Woman standing.
Linda was however, unlucky as the guys edged her out. For being the last Woman, she got N2m extra prize.
Nevertheless, questions of stage management have been consistently raised, especially on the last scene. The tension-soaked final search had Frank emerging first at the scene, but wandered about thoughtlessly while, Mike treaded with caution and relied on his intuition to eventually discover the Lost Chronicle.
While some observers believed that Mike deserved the top prize, critics however, are alleging that his knowledge of the location of the treasure was stage-managed. This school of thought also added that Mike’s show of joy upon discovering the treasure was too mechanical and spurious.
Many have also frowned at the presenter’s style of presentation, saying he was too domineering and bossy. In fact, most viewers are even rooting for the return of Chidi Mokeme, whom they argued dazzles viewers endlessly.

D’Lecetura prepares for more grooves


Fast rising comedian, Emmanuel Adigwe popularly known as D’Lectura is getting ready to take his game several notches higher with the addition of two other shows to his bouquet. exclusively gathered that apart from Lafta 101, the show that has brought him fame and fortune, the petit comedian is set to add a monthly gig tagged Relaax with D’Lectura and Friendz and Miss Ifo, a beauty pageant, designed for daring young ladies.
Like Lafta 101, the soon to debut shows are expected to hold in Akute and its environs, a border enclave juxtaposing Lagos and Ogun States.
“As a resident of Akute, I feel its my duty to bring quality entertainment to my environment”, he gushed.
The third edition of Lafta 101 has now been scheduled to hold on Sunday, October 5, 2008 at Bunnys Plaza, Akute, Ogun State.
Meanwhile, several A-list artistes have been lined up to add colour and verve to the show. They include: rave of the moment 9ice, W4, Sound Sultan, I Go Dye, Klint de Drunk, Mandy, Lepacious Bose, Gordon and a host of others.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tarila Thompson’s new deal with Bayelsa

Gov Timipre Sylva

Pioneer actor and action filmmaker Tarila Obrebai Thompson is currently holed up in Yenogoa, the capital of Bayelsa State, filming a big budget documentary on the oil rich State and its hard-working helmsman, Timipre Sylva.
Entitled, Bayelsa: A State in Motion, the 80 minutes self sponsored project, being shot with hi-tech equipment specially brought in from the US, would also highlight the few privileged think tankers working with bowler hats donning Sylva, towards taking Bayelsa to the next level.
According to Thompson, who has several hit Nollywood flicks to his credit, the well-scripted and painstakingly shot documentary would run on network and cable stations, as well as local TV, when completed.
Meanwhile, plans are on for the sneak preview of the work, which is slated to hold at the Government House, in the next couple of weeks, amid glitz and grandeur. The governor whom Thompson has dubbed Sylvanomics, alongside his executives, some legislators and few of his senior aides, are expected to grace the epoch preview, which is already gathering momentum within government quarters.
An insider that had seen the project, while its being edited in the studios, hinted that it was mind boggling and very awesome. “It captured in details, the strides of Sylva in the last one and half years in all areas of good governance.
“It is a comprehensive documentary and we have been shooting for the past four months. When its finally out, the earlier impression about Bayelsa and the governor would immediately change”, added Thompson, also an indigene of the State.

Sheddi Baba plans TV show for orphanages

Pic-Prof. Paul Ojeih, sponsor of the show

A new reality TV show aimed at discovering the abundant talents inherent in children spread across the various orphanages in the country is about to make a debut. Tagged: Talents from the Orphanages, the new concept is the brain child of comic actor Sheddi Baba and would be proudly supported by Prof. Paul Ojeih’s led Iris Medical Foundation.
Shedding more light on the unique and humanitarian project, Baba, the self-acclaimed funky Mallam from Igala, Kogi State disclosed that they would visit, record and showcase the immense and untapped talents of children from different orphanages and homes for the less privileges in the country. “We would be looking at gifted children in the areas of acting, singing, comedy and dance.
We also want to give hope and bring smiles to their faces. Its our own little way of telling them that they are thought of and are always on our minds. We also want the world to see and applaud the hidden talents in these unfortunate children”, Baba pointed out in an emotion-laden voice.

P-Square, 9ice, others dazzle @ MTN Campus Blast

Pic-P Square

The coal city of Enugu State came alive and bubbled to no end last Thursday, when the MTN Soundcity Campus Blast berthed at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus with so many grooves, for fun seekers.
The show, which was the second in this season, witnessed unprecedented and exhilarating performances from P-Square, 9ice with rib cracking comedy from Ay and DJ Poska. For the duo of Peter and Paul, it was indeed, a cool blast that got their eastern-based student fans crying for more. Also, it was 9ice’s first performance in the State, but he was able to hold the frenzied crowd and even added glamour to the fun filled night. In fact, the big acts, the comedians together with the up and coming performers discovered at the event and the guests would definitely cherish the exciting memories for a long time.

Commenting on the show, the Youth Segment Officer of MTN Xtracool, Funmilayo Okogun explained that the brand seeks to connect with the core passion of the target market, which is the youth segment. “It’s a whole package of total music and entertainment”. Meanwhile, the Y’ello train is set to anchor in ten more universities across the country with bumper and bigger performances.

Tony One Week celebrates @ ten

Imaging how times fly, the one and only gyration master in the Nigerian music terrain, Tony Muonagor better known as Tony One Week, has already clocked ten years as a complete entertainer.
And to celebrate his coming of age in both the music and movie industries, an elaborated event has been fixed at the upscale Abuja Transcorp Hilton. To make the event grand and historic, ten musicians, movie stars and comedians respectively, have been specially selected to thrill on the D-day. In the words of One Week, who now operates from Abuja, comedian Ali Baba would be the Chairman of the planning committee. “Jay jay Okocha and Senators Annie Okonkwo, Joy Emodi and Ik Obiora, would also grace the event as my special guests”, he revealed.
Meanwhile, the colleagues of the actor turned crooner in Lagos, are also planning of storming Abuja in a special way for One Week.
Tagged Tony One Week @ Ten, the gathering holds on November 16, 2008.

Top Yoruba stars thrill in Abamo

pix-Yomi Fash-Lanso and Funke Akindele

This is definitely cheering news for all lovers of quality and entertaining Yoruba movies as Abamo is set to hit shelves nationwide and even beyond.
Among the galaxy of stars that dazzled viewers in the very topical flick include: Binta Ayo Mogaji, Funsho Adeolu, Funke Akindele, Muka Ray and a host of others.
Produced by youthful and cerebral Yinka Ariyo – Martin, who also starred, Abamo, revolves around women who live on men and the irresponsible and desperate men who will do anything for the greed of filthy Lucre, including selling their birth rights. “It’s a movie you must watch and I am very proud and happy to be associated with the project and I thank my sponsor for believing in me, “Martin posited.
Directed by Yomi Fash-Lanso, its being marketed by Remdel Optimum Communication in collaboration with Xtreme New Media, in the UK.

DJ Humility, Koffi, De Don, Aboma set for Catholic Carnival

To ensure that its forth coming annual Harvest and Thanksgiving celebration is loaded with fun-filled activities, the Saint Anne’s Catholic Church, Itire, Surulere, Lagos, has contracted the services of some of the big names in the entertainment enclave.
Among those billed to perform at the bazaar tagged: Harvest Carnival, which holds on Sunday, August 24, within the church’s premises are: Aboma, the Christian comedian, De Don, Koffi, DJ Humility and several others. Commenting, fast rising Aboma, boasted that music, comedy, drama and dance would take centre stage at the gathering. Aboma, who is currently on tour of some selected churches, further disclosed that he can’t wait to mount the stage and crack ribs for God on the D-day with his colleagues.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Linda Ikeji hunts for models

Pic-Linda Ikeji

Barely a fortnight after wowing and serenading Nigerians with the fourth edition of her Style Night, which held at the upscale Golden Gate hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, top model and cat walk queen, Linda Ikeji, is poised for another rare feat soon.
Ikeji, a fellow blogger, also a writer, publisher and producer, is ready to host the first ever-modelling reality TV show, in the annals of Nigeria.
Tagged: Nigeria’s Top Model Search, with Linda Ikeji, the outing according to the host and initiator, promises to be exhilarating and awesome.
Info at our disposal has it that for 13 weeks, 13 lucky models would slug it out in one house with one winner emerging at the end of the day.
Well, for sponsorship details, corporate enquiries and more about the forthcoming show, kindly visit

Basketmouth dedicates child, plans white wedding

Pic-Baskethmouth(left) and fan

Bright Okpocha famously known as Basketmouth, threw a lavish party penultimate Sunday for his heir apparent, after a well attended Church dedication. The party, which held in his recently bought Lekki, Lagos home was classy and filled with celebrities and his colleagues from the entertainment terrain. Basketmouth, who unknown to many is now a happily married man with a baby boy, is quietly planning for his talk of the town white wedding with Elsie, the woman that means the world to him. Trust, will serve you the news about the long awaited nuptial.

Lagos AGN gets secretariat

Pic-Ernest Obi, Chairman Lagos, AGN

Whao! Things are really looking up for the Lagos State chapter of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), under the courageous leadership of handsome actor cum director, Ernest Obi. The chapter recently moved out of its former temporary abode, behind the water logged National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), to a befitting corporate office, in the heart of Kilo, Surulere, Lagos. The new complex, currently being renovated, according to soft-spoken Obi, would be commissioned and declared open in the next couple of weeks at an elaborate gathering. Meanwhile, it would be recalled that the national leadership of the AGN, ably led by Ejike Asiegbu, also commissioned its multi million Naira national secretariat, a couple of months ago.

Uk based Bola Mogaji romances Naija pastors

(L-R) Bola Mogaji, Senator Tokunboh Afikuyomi & Uche Nworah at an event

London based and Nigerian born entertainment and cultural ambassador Bola Mogaji is set to breeze in from his base any moment from now.
Mogaji, who is also the honcho of Naija Community, we reliably gathered is coming on the bills of some leading Pentecostal churches, seeking to collaborate with him on an international gospel project.
Mogaji, while in town is also expected to begin preparations for the next edition of Set Him Off, his annual gospel concert holding in London and Africa.
An insider further hinted that there are plans to hit America and Asia with the inspirational concert, aimed at winning more souls for God. We would definitely keep you darling readers posted on Mogaji and his lined up activities.

Darego, Arinze, Asiegbu make cover of Fashion Splash

Pic-Agbani Darego, Former Miss World

A new addition has joined the entertainment and style magazines family, known as Fashion Splash, the publication promises to keep readers abreast on activities in both industries. The debut edition, an all gloss, which is currently selling nationwide, featured top actor, Segun Arinze and his newly wedded wife on its cover alongside some scintillating models. The 54-page publication from the stable of Tonyz Ventures also had a profile interview with Ejike Asiegbu, the national president of the AGN, among other interesting articles and style designs from fashionistas. According to Tony Udokwu, its publisher, Fashion Splash, has been designed as a quarterly paper with a readership that cuts across. “ It’s a beautiful and good beginning for us, and we promise to get better and bigger in subsequent editions.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dana Group endorses new Batman movie

More and more corporate endorsements are speedily making huge in roads into the booming Nigerian entertainment industry.

Dana Motors and Dana Electronics, both subsidiaries of the octopus Dana Group limited recently partnered with the management of Nu Metro film distribution, for the premiere of Batman movie entitled “The Dark Knight”, in Nigeria.

Already shown in over 60 countries, the movie, which has been a runaway hit in the box office was premiered at the highbrows City Mall and Silverbird Cinemas respectively.

Commenting on the unique moves, Mr. Girish Mamtani, the General Manager, Dana Electronics said they appreciate the opportunity to be part of the historic premieres. “Our customers are the young at heart who love to enjoy life. We decided to be part of the extravaganza surrounding the launch of the Batman movie, in order to take viewing experience to new heights”.

The two-hour action-packed movie took viewers on a suspense filled dark journey into the mind of the Batman and his nemesis, thus exposing the underbelly of a violent society mired in anarchy.

Played by Christian Bale, audience at the event had the opportunity of winning a brand new Kia Rio, 32 inch Philip LCD TV among other consolation prizes to other 18 lucky winners, to be selected in a raffle draw.

Andrien Gbinigie: the new force behind Nollywood and MORGON

Pic-Andrien Gbinigie

Mr.Andrien Ekhator Gbinigie’s foray into the risky world of movie making is a stuff of fable and fiction. In fact, he is a very daring and adventurous investor who believes you must be prepared to win all the time and not some of the time.
You can also call him a mountain climber, just like the Tibetian Monk, who believes you must surmount all obstacles, in order to get to the top.
He started studying and developing huge interest in Nollywood between 2005 and 2006, but moved in heavily and fully in 2007 with the help and advice of his partner, Teco Benson.
Moreover, he has always had a strong passion for the Arts. This evidently manifested in September 2007, when his company, Atlantic Overseas sponsored two big budget Nollywood movies entitled MIRROR OF BEAUTY AND MISSION TO NOWHERE in partnership with Teco Benson’s led TFP Global Network Production.
Both blockbusters shot on 35mm,were released and screened globally at Seven Odeon and Cineworld cinemas in the UK and Ireland respectively in 2007.
These star studded movies did not only raise the benchmark for Nollywood flicks, but also made waves and were also huge successes in the UK and Ireland with pundits and movie buffs still applauding their unprecedented heights.
Interestingly too, the Hollywood standard of billboards and bus-stops panels that showcased all the Nollywood stars that thrilled in these pacesetting and historic movies, made Nigerians WALK TALL in the UK.
Despite all these laudable achievements however, amiable and ever smiling Gbinigie, a proud and hard working son of Edo State, South-south, Nigeria, has refused to disclose the total amount spent on both movies. But insiders are of the view that the cost of each, can comfortably produce 10 home videos released on VCD. Can you beat that?
Just like the old Roman soldier, Gbinigie’s Atlantic Overseas Company has continued to march on and on. It recently commenced the building of the biggest and unarguably, the first of its kind Film Village in Africa, near Benin, Edo State. The virgin forest that Gbinigie is quietly and gradually breathing life into conveniently sits on 1.4 hectares of land.
It would definitely make the shooting of Traditional Epic movies easier and more authentic.
With all sense of humility, this gigantic project has gulped a sizeable chunk of his hard earned resources. Upon completion (work is currently on) it would boast of a 4 star luxury hotel, a Hollywood styled studio alongside a huge virgin preserved forest in which, history can be re-created and re- built to look like the days of our fore fathers. Isn’t that wonderful and beautiful?
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest investors in the fast growing Nigerian motion picture industry, globally known as Nollywood, Gbinigie, a philanthropist extraordinaire, has also built and donated roads to the host community where the film village is situated.
This project, which is bringing rapid development to the host community, has also been blessed and endorsed by the Oba of Benin.
Meanwhile, on the home front, Gbinigie who loves to laugh a lot and enjoys good jokes is happily married to Dr. (Mrs.) Sola Gbinigie and together they are blessed with three lovely children.
A quiet achiever, Gbinigie is a graduate of Business Administration and later trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1982 with the foremost and revered English firm of Deloitte, Haskins and sells.
He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, member of the Institute of Directors and a Honoured Member of the International WHO IS WHO of Professionals.
He began his professional career as a management accountant with Nestle Foods and left after a two-year stint. He later moved to African Petroleum and distinguished himself as an accountant of repute for six years, before rising to the position of a Treasurer, a post he held for ten years, to the admiration and commendations of his employers.
Having gathered enough experience, he voluntarily resigned to set up AEG, an international consulting firm in 2000 together with Atlantic Overseas Company with offices in London and Lagos.
A seasoned and well-traveled consultant of repute and high integrity Gbinigie, is also a private professional accountant and loves lawn tennis and soccer passionately.
He also loves good and vintage cuisines, served in exclusive restaurants in the South of France and Paris and enjoys choice champagnes too, especially when they are available.
Above all, the soft spoken and fun-loving gentleman is blessed and endowed with the mind of a DEEP THINKER. He is constantly developing ideas, even as late as 2am.
Gbinigie, a firm believer in the constant development of human capital, is also a very meticulous and organized professional.
Dealing with him on any matter (business or social) means that you must always be “on your toes” every time, so that you don’t get reminded by the ‘boss’ every time (who you ought to be reminding).
Again, his large heart and soft spot for the widows and orphans is unequalled. Gbinigie has a special passion for them and has also taken to heart (and pocket), their responsibilities and burdens.
In fact, he has refused to disclose the extent of his immense financial support, which spans over 25 years, to widows and yearly scholarships to their children.
He is of the view that the details are best left between him and the Almighty.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I hereby present to you all, the man of the moment, a truly quiet and silent achiever, passionate friend of Nollywood and the arts, please join me in presenting the one and only Life Patron of the Movie Reporters Guild of Nigeria- MORGON, Mr. Andrien Ekhator Gbinigie, FCA, to the entire world.

Liberty Films releases Painful Gains

Pic-Evang. Helen Ukpabio

Frontline movie production and marketing outfit, Liberty Films, has hit shelves with their latest blockbuster nationwide.

Entitled Painful Gains, the big budget movie was shot in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State with an intimidating cast and crewmembers.

Starring Nollywood veteran Justus Esiri alongside other equally good hands like: Vivian Anani, Moses Efret, Moses Armstrong and evangelist Helen Ukpabio, who also doubles as the flick’s producer cum executive producer, Painful Gains, is already enjoying rave-reviews among pundits and movie buffs, even beyond our shores.

In a chat with us, Ukpabio who is also the General Overseer of Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries disclosed that Painful Gains, just like other past movies from her stable is aimed at the lost, oppressed, afflicted, possessed, tormented, ignorant and even the innocent.

“All the movies from our stable are also means of spreading the gospel in preparation for rapture. They are also based on topical themes centred around the homes, the kids, the unbelievers and the erring ones” the televangelist pointed out.

Directed by Stanley Williams, Painful Gains revolves around Chief Attah (Justus Esiri), and his political cohorts, who all reveled in iniquities with their families constantly backsliding from the faith. The flick further captures the moral decadence in the society occasioned by the failure of those in authority and its attendant hazards on the masses.

Written and screen played by Ukpabio, Painful Gains, has further repositioned Liberty Film with close to 20 quality movies to their credit, as one of the leading brands in Nollywood.

Meanwhile, some past hit and critically acclaimed movies churned for maximum home enjoyment by Liberty Films include: Holy Crime, End of the Wicked,

The coven, Married to a Witch, Highway to the Grave and Magic Money. Others are: Power to Bind, Wasted Years, I was Wrong, Rapture, Child Rescue among others.

Ini Edo, Cobhams, Isong, Etuk, others storm the US

Pix-Actress, Ini Edo and Music producer,Cobhams Asuquo

Dear Nollywood, the pride of African is surely making a global impact, which is a huge plus for Nigeria’s battered image abroad.

Some leading names in the movie and music terrains from Akwa Ibom State are already in the US, as you peruse this, for the 21st annual convention of the State, holding in Washington DC.

Leading, the team are the duo of Emem Isong and Ini Edo. Others on the trip include: Princess Anne Inyang, Moses Armstrong, Obey Etuk, Ini Ikpe, Darlene Benson, Fred Essien, and Asuquo Cobhams, the wave-making blind music producer.

Despite making the trip, most of these stars are alleged not to be happy, according to an insider, their state government, who ordinarily should sponsor the trip, has totally abandoned them to their fate. “First and Foremost, we are going to the US to fly the flag of Akwa-Ibom State, before that of Nigeria”, said a member of the delegation, before jetting out.

Nollywood, Ghana, Cote D' I' voire team up for Stone Face

Pix-Nadia Buari and Uche Jombo

Upscale entertainment and events venue, the Silverbird Galleria, tucked in the heart of Victoria Island, Lagos would witness the constellation of Nollywood stars alongside dignitaries from other walks of life on Saturday, August 16, 2008. On the D-day, a pan African movie entitled Stone Face, shot in Lagos and Abuja with a rich cast list from Nigeria’s Nollywood, Ghana and Cote D’I’voire, would premiere amid glitz and grandeur, to a global audience.

Jet Set Entertainment produced the flick that stars leading actor Ramsey Noah, sultry actress Uche Jombo, sexy Nadia Buari among several other big names across the African continent.

Pic-Ramsey Noah

According to Kemi Otegbade, a human resources consultant and the boss of Heartlink Events, packagers of the forthcoming premiere, viewers would definitely derive value adding intellectual benefits as well as get entertained at the event, and even after, with a copy of Stone Face.

Directed by Emeka Nwabueze, with postproduction done at House of Macro, the heart-wrenching movie examines the trials of Miss Buari, in her quest at fighting to move from poverty to professional prominence, self-fulfillment and the attendant hazards.

Also speaking, the Executive Producer of the flick, Youin Nima, maintained that AIDS is real, because the lead act, was determined to remain a virgin till she gets seriously involved in a relationship. “Faced with serious temptations, can AIDS, really be a sexual disciplinarian?” Nima asked.

For Otegbade, everything has been put in place to make the event positively memorable. “Affordable tickets are available at major outlets all over Lagos. The premiere is open to all interested participants.”

Tope Idowu warms up for Wives and Concubines

Immensely talented actor turned movie and soap director Tope Idowu is quietly and steadily getting set for a new and tantalizing TV series, which promises to be engaging, entertaining and didactic.

Entitled Wives and Concubines, Idowu, who revealed that the work would hit the airwaves soon, further added that its also a complete satire laced with gripping social comment, which takes a critical look at the games wives and mistresses play to hold on to their turbulent relationships.

“The series seeks to engender a positive change in the emotional strain between couples under pressures from extra-marital affairs. Its also a family oriented programme primarily targeted at adults and couples who constitute the bulk of the working class population in Nigeria,” hinted an insider.

Another reliable source, who is also a crew member, revealed that the series is going to be a fast paced romantic thriller based on the intriguing stories of two women, as they battle the souls of their troubled marriages from the whims and schemes of two desperate mistresses.

Dove Media in collaboration with Teewai Gold productions limited are behind the forthcoming series.

Edo deputy gov. supports MORGON Nollywood Summit

Pic-Chief lucky Imasuen, Dep. Gov. Edo State

The forthcoming Nollywood summit tagged: Nollywood Our Nollywood, recently got a big boost from the deputy governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Imasuen. Imasuen, a Nollywood enthusiast and philanthropist promised to assist the organizers of the event, in both personal and official capacities, adding that Nollywood is ripe and over due for such events. The amiable politician made his intentions known during a courtesy visit by the members of the Movie Reporters Guild of Nigeria (MORGON), the organizers of the historic summit. Imasuen, further pledged to continue in his support for Nollywood practitioners and their laudable projects, especially in the areas of language movies, aimed at promoting our cultural heritage and rich tradition.
The summit, which is expected to have diverse speakers from within and outside the Nigerian shores, holds on Thursday, August 28, 2008 at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos.

Mamuzee set to rule Africa

Pic-Mamuzee Twins

Its no longer news that the Mamuzee twin brothers, the pride of African music, are planning something very big and new on the continent. What perhaps, many are not yet aware is that the Federal government, through Jonathan Goodluck, the vice president, who is also their adopted father, has endorsed the big budget project. Also, due to the unique nature of the initiative, which is expected to take the Ijaw, Bayelsa State born crooners round Africa; several corporate bodies have also indicated interests, to be part of the show. The project, which is expected to kick off soon, would be telecast live in Nigeria, thus giving viewers the opportunity to participate and win fantastic prizes. It would be broadcast on foreign stations too, since it’s a pan African project. We reliably gathered that top actor, Victor Osuagwu, is part of this laudable initiative, and has also been acting as an adviser to the brothers on the package. We would keep you posted as
they unveil more plans.

Ochonma is angry and bitter

This is certainly not the best of times for Customs officer turned highlife musician Ochonma. The sofri-sofri crooner is currently angry, bitter and thoroughly disappointed with the officials of Air France, for abandoning him heartlessly for four nights at the Washington airport, during his last trip to the US. Ochonma alleged that the smart guys at the airline’s office in Lagos sold him a dummy that he could travel to the US through Paris without a transit visa. “ Coming back to Nigeria for me became a traumatic experience, the airline to my consternation, refused to allow me board. Even all my efforts to get the officials to listen to me failed, they maintained that I would not be flown without a transit visa. Also, the Nigerian embassy in the US even made matters worst for me, their stranded citizen in a foreign land. I ended up spending four days sleeping at the airports ground without food,” embittered Ochonma lamented.
It took the intervention of a Good Samaritan, a US soldier for the singer to come back home through an Ethiopian Airline. Meanwhile, Ochonma, who is set to battle the airline, has also consulted his lawyers and they are set to sue. Keep reading this column, for more on this mother of all wars, between two nations. Also, all our efforts at reaching the officials of the airline proved abortive.

Cally Ikpe prepares for NMVA 08

Pic-Cally Ikpe

Following a successful stakeholders meeting, which held at the Eko Hotel and Suites recently, all is now set for the second edition of the annual Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA). Powered by Cally Ikpe’s led Callivision Network limited, the anticipated event holds in the month of October. According to Ikpe, who is also the presenter and producer of Da New Live Beats on TV, a world press conference to formally unveil the line up of activities heralding the awards ceremony, is on the way. Currently, various committees are being constituted to perfect plans for a successful outing. “ The objective of NMVA is to stage a world class event with the capability of establishing benchmark that will stamp out mediocrity, enthrone excellence and inspire practitioners to take the music video business more seriously,” Ikpe posited.

ID Cabasa’s date with 08.08.08

Pic-ID Cabasa

Rave music producer, Olumide Idowu Ogunade better known as ID Cabasa is poised to hit the front rows with a bang, after helping to produce the hit works of several music stars from behind the scene. The 14-tracker album that has been tentatively entitled Cabasa’s madness, would witness a star studded listening party on Friday, August 8, 2008. The all night party is expected to hold at three upscale nite clubs, among them are: K’s Place, Volar Bar and Black Pearl.
Leading acts billed to thrill at the triple soirees include: Tuface Idibia, 9ice, P Square, Faze and several others. Comedians like: Koffi, AY and Omo baba would also unleash their bags of jokes at the parties. The elated host, in a brief chat hinted he couldn’t wait for the D-day.

Models set to rock Lagos beachfronts

Frontline modeling outfit, Beach Daddy Entertainment World, has concluded plans to storm the popular Kuramo beach and water fronts with sexy models for a three week long exclusive photo shoot activities. According to Mr. Sunny Okosodo, the honcho of the ladies friendly company, the majority of the models, would be drawn from the outfit. He further added that their doors are still open for other interested models to come and showcase their modeling skills on the beach. “ Modeling goes beyond the runways. We are going to have studio shots, wild life shots and even the exclusive waterfronts shots. The unique thing about this outing is that Nigerians and the rest of the world are going to see these models in pure African attires as well as continental,” adding that there is a vision behind the project.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Movie marketers cry out over illegal arrests by Censors Board

Pic-Emeka Mba, DG, Censors Board

The national leadership of the Film Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN) has called on President Umaru Yar’Adua and well meaning Nigerians to save them from the illegal arrests, intimidations and harassments by the National Film and
Videos Censors Board (NFVCB), who are working in tandem with the police.

Speaking at a crowded press conference, which recently held at the Festus Keyamo Chambers, Anthony Village, Lagos, Mr. Paul Chuks Okoli, the spokesman of the body said, the briefing was to inform the Nigerian public about the ugly development taking placing in the Nigerian Movie Industry, also known as Nollywood.

Reading through a prepared speech entitled: “The unacceptable harassments and intimidations of our members by the Censors Board with the Police”, which was duly signed by Emma Isikaku and Ugo Emmanuel, both National President and Secretary of the association respectively, Okoli said: “ It is heart rending that over 90% of those that built the movie industry, the only thing that has brought joy and glory to Nigeria and Nigerians, one of the things that made Africans proud all over the world, are being hounded into police cells like common criminals and we say this can only happen in Nigeria”.

Continuing, Okoli, also a leading filmmaker and marketer maintained that they were not against the new distribution framework policy being proposed by Mr. Emeka Mba, the DG, of the Censors Board. “We are only against the way and manner they are going about it. We are against draconian policies that seek to extort and undermine the growth of the movie industry. Is it not ridiculous for instance, for Mr. Mba to impose N50 million for each marketer as a pre condition for license? Is it within the powers of the board to insist that every marketer should have a legal officer and an accountant? All these are happening when the case is yet to be settled in court,” he pointed out.

Speaking further, Okoli disclosed that several of their members are still being detained. “Mr. Elochuchukwu Anigbodu, our immediate past chairman, Mr. Hyacinnth Onwuka, the vice chairman of our Onitsha branch and Okwy Eneowo, a film producer have been arrested and taken to an unknown destination for days now. The whereabouts of our president Mr. Isikaku, is unknown, after he was accused of threatening the DG of Censors Board and his entire staff.”

Daily Sun, however gathered that the arrested executives were released after spending four days in detention. They were also arraigned in a Makurdi court, before being granted bail.

The marketers body are also urging Mr. Mba and his team at the Censor’s Board to learn from the Lagos State Governor, Raji Fashola, who at the inception of the Bus Rapid Transport, worked hand in hand with the road transport workers already in the business, thus making it to succeed.

While reacting on behalf of Mr. Emeka Mba, his Special Assistant, Mr. Obiora Chukwumba, refuted the story of the illegal arrests. “Over the weekend, the Joint Task Force on Film and Video business comprising the security agencies and our staff carried out arrests of illegal operators in film distribution in Lagos and Anambra States respectively”. He further argued that the arrests were carried out to enforce the provisions of section 25(1) of CAP I40, laws of the federation, 1999.

The aide further stressed that the position of the law is that any person engaging in distribution or exhibition of film without the license issued by the board is considered an outlaw and must be apprehended. “The board is acting in accordance with the law.”

He also maintained that there was no controversy about the framework for distribution and exhibition, adding that over 20,000 businesses have been licensed under the framework and they are dominantly domiciled in Lagos. “Find out if they paid N50 million each. People are generally resistant or not fully yielded to changes very easily”.

Surprise birthday bash for Tricia

Pic-Tricia Esiegbe by Niyi Tabiti

A surprise and well attended birthday soiree was recently organized for hard working actress and presenter of Boldfaces on TV, Tricia Eseigbe.

The event, which was graced by several Nollywood stars and well wishers took place in Eseigbe’s Surulere, Lagos abode, without her knowledge, until guests started trooping in, to her consternation.

Fast rising actress, Mercy Johnson, a very good pal of the celebrant, together with Eseigbe’s workers plotted the groove.

Star actress, Uche Jombo, another good pal of the birthday babe, was fully in charge of victuals at the event. In fact, she over fed guests, especially the gluttons in the house.

The party, which was originally meant to be an evening affair, eventually dragged into the night with more guests trooping in.

Almost a week after the bash, happily single Eseigbe, who just bought herself a glittering Infinity SUV, as a special gift, has blatantly refused to tell us her age.

MTN Project Fame excites Naija youths

Pix-Dare Art-Alade

Few weeks after its grand unveiling at the Event Place, Planet One Entertainment, Maryland, Lagos, more and more music conscious Nigerian youths are thrilled and looking forward to making it to the finals of this year’s edition of the MTN sponsored music TV reality show tagged: Project Fame West Africa.

The youth friendly talents hunt show, which is currently running in over 15 countries globally, according to the Chief Marketing and Customer Relations Officer, Bola Akingbade, the telecom company, through its youth brand, the MTN Xtra Cool, is bringing the show to the doorsteps of teeming Nigerian youth population and TV viewers nationwide to meet their passion area. In his words, music correctly taps into their passion point, “hence the need to provide them with world class cutting edge music property that meets the needs and aspirations of this dynamic segment”, he explained.

Moreover, unlike others, the forthcoming, show has a transformative impact on the selected youths. It also boasts of world-class standards and with the support of MTN, Endemol and Ultima, would definitely provide an opportunity for total entertainment and an opportunity to discover and nurture youthful talents.

Basically, the show provides a platform where 16 young people are selected from a pool of others and trained and groomed in the act of music performance. They are also housed in an academy for a period of three months and trained by leading music experts on what it takes to become a top rated music icon. Six days a week, a 24-minute episode is aired showing the highlights of the day at the academy. A winner alongside two runners up would emerge at the end of the day. Dare Art Alade represented Nigeria at the last edition of the show, where he emerged the third best.

Ekwe Stereo man drops second album

Pix-Stereoman and MD of Sechi Records

Following the huge success recorded with “Sample Ekwe,” his debut effort a couple of years ago, Ekwe, the newly signed Globacom ambassador, is out with another bang. Ekwe (born Osakuni Stereo Sunday), said his second outing, is a 14 tracker entitled “Come Back Again.” And as usual, the fast selling work is a combination of trado-contemporary songs rendered in his usual style and rhythm. “My new work is loaded with meanings, its also a food for thought for my teeming fans”, he pointed out.

The Delta State born crooner, who is still waxing stronger on Ambrose Ndukwu’s led Sechi Records, said he would forever remain grateful to the outfit for discovering and nurturing his career to an enviable height. Ekwe, also thanked God Almighty, his fans and Globacom for making him one of their worthy ambassadors, adding that he is already on locations lensing the videos of the work.