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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Who owns Yori -Yori?

After a long silence, Amobi Clem Igwebuike, better known as Bistop, the sidelined and former leader of wave making Yori-yori crooners, Bracket, has finally opened up on how he was betrayed by his colleagues and record label owner.

According to Bistop, who’s currently promoting his latest single, Celebrate, he was unjustly kicked out, after helping to nurture and groom the group-Bracket, which he founded and led until he was schemed out early last year.

In a chat with us recently, embittered Bistop, from Anambra State, maintained his supposed brothers betrayed him, after ten solid years of a very strong relationship. “A lot has been said about my willingly quitting the group, it pains because my colleagues never painted the real picture of how I was dumped and betrayed to the world. How can I just quit like that after toiling day and night to nurture and build the group Bracket? I wrote and arranged the beats of virtually all the songs, including the Yori-yori track and other tracks in the album. But painfully, I was schemed out when we were about to release the album, which is our second, as a group. Till date, my colleagues and the boss of our label, Ape Planet, Nwachukwu Mamah, one of the sons of Ifesinachi Mass Transit boss, have not told me why they meted out this wicked act to me. They later told me our record label owner dumped me because I was too outspoken. I don’t know when fighting for one’s right has become a crime?”

Speaking further, Bistop, who is currently promoting his new work round the country, disclosed that he personally took the group to Ape Planet, to sign them on and eventually release their debut album – Happy Day. “I’m not saying all these now to elicit pity, but I want to set the records straight by telling Nigerians how I was badly treated by my supposed brothers. I nearly died, but it took the grace of God for me to be alive till this moment and talking to you. Truth is that I have been to hell and back”.

“Imagine, I went to the market to buy my own work and sweat, when they eventually released the album and to my shock, no credit was given to me and that further killed my spirit. But thank God, I have moved on.”

Bistop, a final year student of Electrical Electronics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, further disclosed that the current stage names of the Bracket duo (Smash and Vast), was given to them by him, at the early stage of their careers.

On what he wants from the group and Ape Planet, Bistop, who maintained he’s yet to recover fully from the psychological/mental trauma and torture, insisted that he wants to be adequately compensated for all his efforts while with the group, adding that he has moved on with his blossoming solo career and life.

I’m now out to celebrate, just like my single says, the worst is over. We look forward to hearing from Bracket and Ape Planet, whom we could not reach before filing this report.

Nollywood boycotts ION film festival

The recently held ION international film festival in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, suffered a heavy setback, due to massive boycott, from virtually all the major guilds in Nollywood, the Nigerian motion picture industry.

We reliably gathered that aside boycotting the festival, which they openly described as “a huge insult on Nollywood and its professionals”, these major guilds are also angry and disappointed with network giant Zain, for investing millions in the festival without regard and concern for Nollywood and its growth.

And as a prove of their seething anger, these guilds, according to a reliable source, are secretly sensitizing and mobilizing their members to begin a mass boycott on anything that has to do with Zain.

In the words of one of the major players in Nollywood, who spoke with us on the condition of anonymity, “we are currently mobilizing our members in all the guilds in Nollywood to stop using the Zain network. Since they can give a nomadic festival that is not resident here in Nigeria millions of Naira, to organize a colourless film festival that was of no importance to Nollywood and the entire Nigerian motion picture industry, we will also boycott and blacklist them. Zain, should tell us one major thing they have done for Nollywood? Each time, we take our proposals to them for sponsorships, its usually cock and bull stories. We have AMAA, the Abuja and Lagos international film festivals and the recently held AMP/Eko international film festival, which one did they support? Its appalling the way they treat us here. Collectively, our members are almost a million and the bulk of us use Zain, right now, we want to mobilize them to stop using or patronizing Zain, because we have gained nothing from them as professional bodies working for the growth of the nation through Nollywood. Enough is enough.
Now that we have boycotted the festival, Zain should now tell us the importance of their sponsorship?” While speaking with us, another angry top player in Nollywood queried the rationale behind spending so much millions on ION, which has no structure or any major development plan for the Nigerian motion picture industry.

“In fact, Gov. Rotimi Amaechi should tell us his reasons for wasting several millions of Rivers State tax payers money on the so called festival? How many Rivers State born filmmakers has he empowered and how many true Nollywood projects has he supported or hosted in Rivers State. All the billions he wasted on this festival would have been used to kick start a film village project in Rivers State, which at the end of the day will be beneficial to both Nollywood and the State. We see all these people as those stunting the growth of Nollywood”.

Aside the conspicuous absence of the leaders and key officers of guilds such as the: Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), several leading practitioners and stakeholders in Nollywood also shunned the festival, thus making it a poorly attended event. Meanwhile, a joint press conference to address the issue of ION, the boycott and Zain’s apathy towards Nollywood and its core practitioners holds very soon, at a yet to be fixed venue.

Film and Broadcast Academy berths

After a very long wait, a government-approved institute that will professionally train and empower both aspiring movie and media practitioners has berthed in Ozoro, Delta State, with so much promises and prospects for intending students.

Approved by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and known as The Film and Broadcast Academy (FABA), it sits on over 30 hectares of land and is expected to begin academic and vocationally work fully in January 2010, with over 2000 students.

According to Chief Charles Akeni, the Chairman of FABA, applications are invited from qualified candidates for admission to read the new practical oriented NBTC driven two-year National Innovation Diploma (NID) and the National Vocational Certificate (NVC), courses beginning from the maiden academic session, early 2010.

“FABA is basically set up to train movie practitioners and media people. Already in place are: schools of Performing and Media Arts, Film and TV Production, Arts and Design, Business Studies and Computer and Information Technology,” Akeni explained.

On how the academy would be funded, Akeni, a PR expert and the former PR Manager, Shell, explained that they had already mapped out over 30 streams of income, adding that it is a private enterprise that would be funded privately.

Elaborating more on the importance of FABA in helping to mould future film and media experts for the nation, its Vice President and renowned filmmaker, Zeb Ejiro, argued that the school, which is already being applauded within and outside Nollywood, would groom and nurture young men and women into super stars as well as help groom them in other arts and entertainment related endeavours. He further called on all, especially his colleagues to support FABA and its laudable initiatives, most especially, those aspiring to get its valued certificates.

While hailing the FABA team for coming up with such a great idea, filmmaker and the national president of the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Mr. Bond Emeruwa, opined that the academy would further propagate the ideals of Nollywood as well as help give voice and direction to millions of Nigerians aspiring to be part of the nation’s money spinning entertainment industry. “On behalf of DGN, we sincerely commend FABA for this wonderful achievement,” he submitted.

Also speaking, Mr. Paul Obazele, the president of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), maintained that FABA, would definitely help to redefine standards in Nollywood, adding that he looks forward to more of such meaningful initiatives and collaborations within and outside Nollywood.

Among the Nollywood stars present at the unveiling, who also extolled the good ideals of FABA, include: Sunny MC Don, Fidelis Duker, Mike Nliam, Emeka Rollas, Frank Dallas, Peter Red Ejiro and a host of others. For more info on how to register; visit: www.

Uche Ogbuagu returns, gets busy

Eastern-based leading comedian cum entertainer extraordinaire, Uche Ogbuagu, recently breezed in from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where he successfully organized the first edition of Dubai Must Laugh comedy and music concert.

The well-attended show, which was powered under the auspices of Ogbuagu’s Talkinson Entertainment Ideas, also featured comic star, Nkem Owoh, veteran entertainer, Chika Okpala (Zebrudaya), alongside several Aba, Abia State based rising comedians.

While in Dubai, the trio of Ogbuagu, Owoh and Okpala were honoured with special recognition awards, for their immense contributions to the development and growth of entertainment in Nigeria and the African continent.

While Ogbuagu, from Ikeduru, Imo State got a well-deserved plaque as the Best Standup Entertainer; the duo of Owoh and Okpala was honoured with the Best TV Comedian and Living Legend awards respectively.

Speaking on the significance of the show as well as the awards, exhilarated Ogbuagu who recently stormed Lagos, for an entertainment related engagement, disclosed that both were well deserved and also came at the appropriate time.

“Our Dubai Must Laugh outing was very successful, and we thank God and our sponsors for its success. The entire Dubai was agog; in fact, the city witnessed the finest form of entertainment, throughout our stay. We are looking forward to next year’s outing with so much enthusiasm. As for the awards, especially mine, it was well deserved and really overwhelmed me. We can’t thank them enough for deeming it fit to honour us with the great awards. It’s a pointer to the fact that even those outside our shores are also appreciating us alongside the great works we are doing for this great country, as her arts and entertainment ambassadors. I have been honoured with several awards, but this one is very dear to my heart and entire career,” he gushed.

Speaking further, Ogbuagu, the honcho of Ideal Ideas and Ideal Media Point as well as the organizer of the annual Aba Made comedy and music concert, maintained that the time has come for entertainers to unite and export comedy beyond our borders, adding that it would further create room for healthy rivalry in the industry.

The Mass Communication graduate who is widely traveled, and works very closely with the Abia State Government, said he has concluded arrangements to bring Governor Theodore Orji, to the third edition of Aba Made, in 2010, saying that the amiable Governor has assured him of his esteemed presence.

Interestingly too, hilarious Ogbuagu, is due to officially open and dedicate his recently completed country home, situated in his Akabo area of Imo State, this Xmas.

He promised to make the event grand and memorable for all those coming to felicitate with him and his household.

You Can’t Spell Jack ready for TV

A riveting new game show on TV is poised to wow viewers and financially empower lucky participants on a weekly basis.

Tagged: You Can’t Spell Jack (YCSJ), its creator and co-producer Mr. Eloka Anyafulu, disclosed that the laudable project was inspired by his desire to encourage learning among Nigerians, especially the youths.

Speaking at the recent unveiling, visibly elated Anyafulu, said “YCSJ, has been designed in such a way that viewers as well as participants will find it very interesting, exciting, entertaining and above all, very educational too. It’s a TV game show that took me years to conceive and conceptualize. My joy is that it’s a proudly and wholly Nigerian initiative. We intend exporting it to other parts of the globe, because of its unique nature, thus further helping to rebrand our great nation”.

Speaking further, Mr. Zik Zulu-Okafor, the co-producer of the game show, which is billed to hit network TV stations in early April 2010, promised that participants would win big money on the show when it eventually begins.

Okafor, a foremost filmmaker in Nollywood, further assured that YCSJ had been designed to run successfully the moment it takes off, adding that they were very capable of sustaining the programme on air, as well as redeeming prize money to lucky winners without hiccups. “YCSJ, is a totally different TV game show created by Nigerians, for Nigerians too. I can assure you that by the time we take off fully in the first quarter of next year, the whole Nigeria especially core TV viewers will be very proud of us. A whole lot of research has gone into this project and we have a very strong, reliable and highly focused team working on this project. It will further encourage learning on air as well as help families and their loved ones to properly relax, while watching it,” he posited.
Commenting on why his fast growing financial institution decided to solely sponsor the forthcoming show, Mr. Tony Ubogu, the CEO, Satelite Micro Finance Bank Limited, maintained that they saw a whole lots of potentials in the project, adding that he’s outfit would further help to empower millions of Nigerians by investing in the game show.

When prodded further on how strong his company is financially, towards powering the game show, especially in cases of multiple high-end winnings, Ubogu, confidentially assured that they took all these areas into considerations before accepting to embark on the sponsorship journey “At Satelite microfinance bank, we believe so much in empowering people, so when these great and intelligent young men approached us to sponsor this laudable project, we agreed to do it after going through its content with our board. For us, it’s a partnership and friendship that will last long and benefit both parties immensely.”
At the colourful unveiling, which held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, all those present unanimously hailed the producers for a job well done, after watching the pilot episode, which the producers, stated was just a tip of the iceberg.

Silent Scandals premieres amid glitz and grandeur

For all the Nollywood stars, celebrities and other VIPs that gracefully attended the world premiere of Silent Scandals, the big budget movie, penultimate Sunday, at the upscale Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos, one fact they unanimously agreed, was that it was painstakingly put together.

In fact, pretty Vivian Ejike and her very courteous team, paid attention to details while putting the glamorous and one stop premiere that wowed all, together.

Aside the expansive and beautifully decorated hall, purple, the colour of the lovely and memorable event, was conspicuously visible within and outside the venue.

Invited guests, who were splendidly garbed, also obeyed the dress code, by adding a touch of purple to their trendy attires.

Cocktails, canapés and champagnes flowed ceaselessly at the colourful premiere professionally anchored by leading actor and entertainer, Basorge Tariah Jar. Tariah, the honcho of Solid Stars Records, kept the guests reeling in unending laughter with his rich and mature jokes. He was later joined on stage by emerging comedienne, Helen Paul, who cracked many ribs with her bagful of jokes and jibes.

Diva Omawunmi and still recuperating Pop star, Paul Play Dairo, further propelled the fun-filled event to another level, with their electrifying performances, which were well-applauded by all. Obviously, the highpoint of the evening; was the fashion show put together by Zizi Cardow, where all the stars in the movie, cat-walked to the admiration of the thrilled guests.

In her brief welcome address, Vivian Ejike, thanked all for coming, promising that the evening would be a memorable one. And it was.

She further explained that Silent Scandals addresses the issues of love; loyalty and societal pressure as it negatively affects the lives of various individuals. “This movie is a true family drama, which critically mirrors the above issues as they affect the lives of everyday character in our society today”.

Also present at the premiere to support and felicitate with one of their own are: the national presidents of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers and the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Segun Arinze, Paul Obazele and Bond Emeruwa respectively.

The duo of Genevieve Nnaji, and Ghanaian import, Michel Majid, led the pack of stars in the riveting movie, due to begin daily showings at the Silverbird cinemas nationwide soon. Other acts include: Uche Jombo, Ebele Okaro, Christy Okonkwo and a host of others.

It would be recalled that the movie had earlier premiered in Ghana, to a packed audience, which included the who-is–who in that country’s entertainment circuit. According to an excited guest who graced the Lagos event. “This is the movie premiere of the year”.

Brila FM takes the lead again

Celebration has not ceased at Brila FM, the sports and entertainment radio station. In fact, its owner and renowned sportscaster, Larry Izamoje, is very, very happy and proudly leading the celebration train.
Three of his ‘boys’ did him proud at the recently held Facebook Sports Presenters Awards.
Babafemi Raji, the presenter of the popular sports programme, Sports Machine on 88.9 Brila FM, was adjudged The Presenter of the Year. The young man, who joined Brila FM about a year ago and has sensationally copied Mr. Izamoje’s style of presentation very well, polled a total of 4007 votes, to smile home with the ultimate crown.
Osondu Ngwude, also of Brila FM, the presenter of Tomtom Players Scorecard, came third, with 2203 votes, at the tension-soaked event.
Interestingly, Bimbo Adeola, who clinched the second position, with a total of 2996 votes, also used to be with Brila FM until 2008, when he left.
We gathered that it’s been non-stop celebration at Brila FM, since the announcement was made public. The chairman of the pacesetting company, Mr. Larry Izamoje, was very up beat when we called him.
According to him, “we thank God for everything. Brila FM has come to stay and we will keep improving and improvising new ideas that will meet the demands of our teeming and daily increasing listeners."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nkem Owoh, Ogbuagu, storm Dubai, Madrid

Recently kidnapped and released actor, Nkem Owoh, as you’re perusing this is already in Dubai and Madrid, Spain, thrilling his fans in a double show fittingly tagged: Dubai and Madrid Must Laugh. Farcical Owoh, who paid his abductors the sum of N1.4m, to regain his freedom, did not embark on the trip alone. He went alongside leading eastern-based comedian and entertainer, Uche Ogbuagu, Chief Zebrudaya, AB Cowboy (prince of Gyration), the comic duo of Two Can Talk, Bom Shoko and hilarious Uncle O.
Speaking on the trip, Ogbuagu, who’s also the creator of the very famous comedy show-Aba Made, said the trip was by popular demand and the prompting of their teeming fans in the Diaspora. “This is our own little way of telling the world that something good can still come out of Aba. With the exception of Nkem, although, he started from Aba, before hitting it big and relocating, all of us going for this trip are all Aba, Abia State based comedians and entertainers. Dubai and Madrid are already agog and waiting for us to land and thrill them with original Aba made comedy. We will spend one week in Dubai and another one week in Madrid. We intend making this an annual ritual.
We decided to take Nkem Owoh along so that the world will know that he has been freed and no longer dining and wining with his abductors. We would have stayed longer, but cannot, because of the several engagements lined up for us at home in Aba, this Xmas season”, Ogbuagu explained before boarding.
The self sponsored trip, which was made possible by Ogbuagu, under his Talkinson entertainment outfit, was also applauded by all the other members of the group, who vowed to crack ribs in both countries before returning.

HiTV woos viewers with Correct Bouquet

With the sole aim of ensuring that Pay TV is available in all Nigerian homes, irrespective of their class, has again spurred HiTV to introduce another masses friendly bouquet.
Tagged: Correct Bouquet, the new introduction is in addition to the already existing HiTV Premium and Classic bouquets. Mrs. Kemi Fashina, Hi Media’s Brand/Marketing Head, revealed what informed the decision of HiTV to introduce the Correct Bouquet. “We came into the market with N4, 000 monthly subscriptions. Recently with the acquisition of some Premium contents like the UEFA Champions League and the EUROPA League and the rising cost of running business, subscription changed to N6, 000. We however, realized that there are some subscribers who are not necessarily soccer lovers but want to stay faithful to our brand, so to be fair to this class of people, we introduced the Classic bouquet, which has all our channels except sports at N3, 500 monthly. We have again realized that there is a class of people who want to own a Pay TV, but do not have the financial muscle. At HiTV, our position has always been that Pay TV should not be a luxury and this is what
has informed our decision to carve out the Correct Bouquet at N1, 900 monthly.”
Correct Bouquet according to Fashina, has 24 channels. “20 TV channels and four radio channels. At N1, 900 monthly subscriptions, the subscriber has access to 24 world-class channels, thereby getting unrivalled value for his money. There are four news channels, four movie channels, four music and lifestyle channels, two kids’ channels, two sports channels, two indigenous channels, two religion channels and four radio channels. We also offer the lowest cost of entry in the market; N16, 900 for a decoder, smart card, dish and one month
free subscription.”

AMBO 5 kicks off

After several months of elaborate planning and networking, the fifth edition of the Amstel Malta Box Office, AMBO, reality TV show, finally made a debut on several television stations across the country with rousing ovation and glitz. And from the first episode, it was obvious that teeming followers of the reality television show, the sponsorship platform of Amstel Malta, the non-alcoholic drink from Nigerian Breweries Plc, are in for another season of compelling television experience.
Committed to giving uncut acting talents in Nigeria a template to achieve their dreams, viewers were ushered into the world of tens of thousands of wannabes who had applied for the popular show across the country, as they shouted, sweated, hollered and murmured and in many cases, whimpered and cried to impress the judges that they deserved to be in the highly competitive AMBO house. For many of them, winning the N2.5million prize money, brand new car and a lead role in a major box office movie is secondary compared to the boundless opportunities and template AMBO has been offering unsung Nigerian youths to harness and market their latent acting talents. From Lagos to Imo, Enugu, Owerri and Benin, starry-eyed youths thronged the different audition venues to have a shot at fame and fortune as has become the tradition of AMBO. While many, as would be seen in subsequent episodes, put up mediocre performances at the auditions, many came well prepared to be part of the AMBO
Hall of Fame. This is understandable.
Since 2005, AMBO, aside other laudable objectives, has been at the forefront of the vanguard to inject fresh talents into the homegrown movie industry now popularly known as Nollywood. Azizat Sadiq, an Ordinary National Diploma, OND, holder from the Lagos State Polytechnic, was another acting hopeful who became an overnight sensation in Nollywood after winning the first edition of AMBO and making a strong claim for the top spot with her debut movie, Sitanda. But it was O.C Ukeje, winner of the second edition whose role in White Waters, also an AMBO movie that helped to drum home that the show’s alumni came well groomed to compete for a space in the roll call of A-list actors. He was adjudged the best up and coming actor at the continent’s most prestigious movie awards ceremony, the Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMAA. While Bhaira Mcwizu, winner of the 2008 AMBO, is already making industry stakeholders ponder where she had been all along for her methodical
portrayal of a feisty but determined young lady in the AMBO-sponsored Cindy’s Notes, Adewole Ojo, last year’s winner, is currently on location shooting his own movie.
With this in mind, it did not come as a surprise that some of this year’s entrants almost bent double to convince the judges of their preparedness to be in the AMBO House. But for tested thespians like: Norbert Young, Uche Sam Anyamele, Ofia Mbaka and Uche Ogbodo among other regional judges, it takes more than a pretty face and brawns to be in the house. Some of those who convinced them beyond doubts are already in the house, but those who could not raise their game beyond the mediocre level, are back home, lamenting over what they did wrong and what they did not do right. For the ten lucky housemates, the battle for the most talented and perhaps, luckiest person to breast the tape of victory on December 5, has begun.

MTN Nigerian Music Fest begins

No doubt, the city of Lagos and its environs will experience endless funfair this weekend as residents will be treated to a night of thrills and excitement by artistes of the older and younger generations at the MTN Nigerian Music Fest holding tomorrow, Saturday, November 21, 2009, at the Ocean View, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The festival, which will witness a large convergence of artistes, producers and stakeholders in the entertainment industry as well as tourists from various parts of the world and music lovers across the city, will be one of the largest single musical concerts in the history of the Nigerian entertainment industry.

Preparation is in top gear and all arrangements, including venue, security, ticket sales outlets, crowd control and other logistics have been perfected for the much anticipated musical fiesta, which will mark a celebration of Nigerian music legends of the last four decades.

Kola Oyeyemi, General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria, explained that the company’s sponsorship of the fiesta was informed by its passion for quality delivery in whatever it chooses to associate with. He said: “We have never relented in our efforts to ensure that Nigerians are happy at all times. As you all know MTN is not just a telecommunications company, we are enablers of good lives and we are committed to affecting the lives of Nigerian in various positive ways, including music and entertainment. So come Saturday, November 21, Nigerians will be treated to an exciting musical experience that they will never forget in a hurry, courtesy of MTN Nigeria.”

Mr Soni Irabor, Chief Executive Officer, Ruyi Communication Limited, the organiser of the event, said that artistes from various genres of music in Nigeria, including those of the older and younger generations have since engaged in preparations and rehearsals in other to ensure the delivery of scintillating musical performances to the satisfaction of thousands of music-loving Nigerians.

Some of the artistes expected to hit the stage are: Sir Victor Uwaifo, Sir Shina Peters, Fatai Rolling Dollar, Christy Essien-Igbokwe and Ras Kimono. Others include: Wande Coal, African China, Faze, Timaya, DJ Zeez, Olu Maintain, Obesere, Terry G, MI, Weird MC and Iyanya.

-Ovation Red Carol set to rock Lagos.
-DBS Media to hit airwaves with Living in Lagos, soon.
-Nollywood stars/stakeholders prepare for Best of Nollywood awards.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nkem Owoh freed, Nollywood rejoices

Popular Nollywood actor and comic star, Nkem Owoh, who was abducted last weekend along the busy Enugu/ Port-Harcourt Road, has regained his freedom.
Daily Sun gathered that Owoh, famously known as Osuofia, was released on Friday night, after his family members allegedly paid a ransom fee of N1.4m, to his kidnappers. Although, the family members did not see Owoh until the following day, when the kidnappers, having confirmed their ransom fee, stealthily dropped him off at an obscure location. The abductors initially demanded for N15m ransom and later reduced it to N2m, when it dawned on them that the family could not raise the initial amount.
Confirming the good news, Mr. Segun Arinze, the national president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), happily told us that Nkem had been released.
When prodded further on the amount paid for Owoh’s release, he declined to comment on that, insisting that what was paramount to AGN was Nkem being released hale and hearty. “ We at AGN are very happy that Nkem Owoh has been released. We thank his family, especially his wife and all those that helped in securing his release. We also thank the Enugu State chapter chairman of the AGN. I cannot comment on whether money was paid or not. The most important thing is that Nkem is now a free man and we are happy and very grateful that he has been re-united with his agonized family members. In fact, the whole of AGN is celebrating and rejoicing over this good news”, Arinze said elatedly.
Meanwhile, all our efforts to reach the farcical entertainer or any member of his family since his release, proved abortive.
Also speaking, Zack Orji, a former national president of the AGN, hailed Owoh’s release, describing it as a plus for Nollywood and their teeming fans globally.
Garrulous Nkem Owoh from Enugu State gained prominence in acting with his superb role in Kingsley Ogoro’s blockbuster, Osuofia in London, a scintillating comic movie that has grossed over a million copies. He has dazzled as an actor in over 1000 Nollywood movies, in a successful career spanning over two decades.

Nkem Owoh’s kidnap: Abductors reduce ransom to N2m

The kidnappers of popular Nollywood actor and comic star, Nkem Owoh, who was abducted over the weekend along the busy Enugu/Port Harcourt road, are now mounting pressures on his family members to quickly raise the new ransom fee, which they have brought down to N2m, as against the initial N15m, earlier demanded. According to a source close to the actor, some family members of Owoh, who became famous for his wondrous role in the movie, Osuofia in London, thus earning him the famous sobriquet- Osuofia, visited the Enugu office of the State Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), yesterday. “They had a very fruitful discussion with the officers at SARS, before leaving. I can assure you that efforts are being intensified to track the kidnappers and release Owoh unhurt.”
Speaking on the new ransom fee, the national president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Mr. Segun Arinze, who has publicly condemned Owoh’s abduction, insisted that AGN would not pay a dime to have the actor released. “We won’t pay any ransom money to anybody or bunch of kidnappers, they should immediately release Owoh to us unconditionally. We are actors and not moneybags. I insist, we won’t give them any money either from the coffers of AGN or the pockets of our individual members. Enough of this madness, we are just like every other Nigerians helping to reposition and re-brand our great nation, through entertainment as Nollywood practitioners. Please, kidnappers should desist from kidnapping and harassing our members, except they want us to stop making Nigerians happy and proud with our great works”.
Mr. Arinze, also told Daily Sun, that he had personally sent a passionate letter of appeal to the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, over Owoh’s abduction and the safety of all his other members, adding that the IG, had assured him of their maximum cooperation.
Another source told us that the Enugu State government, where Owoh hails from, had also intensified efforts to ensure that the actor gets his freedom soon.
Also commenting on the ugly issue, two leading actors in Nollywood, Victor Osuagwu and Chioma Toplis, strongly condemned Owoh’s abduction, describing it as shameful and uncalled for. According to Osuagwu: I’m still shocked and do not know who’s next. “I have ordered for wigs and Mary Kay products to disguise myself with when traveling home this Xmas.” For Toplis, who just returned from her base in the UK, she’s sad, speechless and confused at the moment.

Royal Arts Academy berths in Nollywood

Royal Arts academy (RAA), a training institution that seeks to provide continuing education in the arts, has berthed in Nollywood with so many promises for intending students.

According to Emem Isong, a leading female filmmaker and the founder of the academy, they offer qualitative courses in the various aspects of the film industry with emphasis on scriptwriting, acting, directing, dance and children’s theatre.

Shedding more light on why the Surulere, Lagos based academy was established, Isong, a Theatre Arts graduate of the university of Calabar, argued that it had become necessary to improve and develop skills in order to meet the international standards of filmmaking. “At Royal Arts Academy, we are committed to enabling all our students to profit from a culture of learning and aligning with our teaching ethos. We also aim to support students, so that they can achieve their full academic potentials, while also equipping them for the demands of continuous learning and self-reliance. We want learning at Royal Arts Academy to be challenging, rewarding and fun, “elated Isong explained.

Speaking on their vision, top actress Monalisa Chinda, a consultant to the academy, said they are basically out to provide a conducive environment for learning and training people in the art of filmmaking, as well as providing a platform for interaction between like minds, by discovering and developing new and emerging talents.

With registrations already in progress and only 500-limited spaces available for interested students, Isong, maintained that full classes would begin early next year.

Commenting on the unique things that stands the academy out, Uduak Oguamanam, a founding member of the management team of the institution, disclosed that they would definitely raise the bar in Nollywood. In her words: “ We will produce a movie / soap opera series, at the end of every session, solely written by the screen writers class. We’ll use actors from the acting class and it will be directed by the best directing students with a supervising industry professional, each screen writing student will be guided to write a short/feature script, while directing students will each make a short film, which will be entered for an RAA competition at the end of the year. The winner will be given funds to make a feature film that will be entered for other international competitions. We will also act as artiste managers, casting agency, script and production consultants and many more.”

As part of efforts geared towards making the academy compete favourably with its counterparts around the world, the duo of Emem Isong and Monalisa Chinda, are already in the UK, networking and interfacing with some foreign bodies on how best to run the academy, using all the ingredients of global best practices.

For more info, visit: or reach them at:

Friday, November 13, 2009

X Project completes work on new album/videos

This is definitely cheering news to the teeming fans and admirers of X-Project; the unstoppable Hip-hop singing group with an international appeal.
After several months in the studios, in both Abuja and Lagos, the highly focused trio, finally completed work on their latest and forthcoming album. Sensationally entitled: Turn it up. They also recently finished shoot on 11 scintillating music videos from the 14-tracker album.

Gathered that Barrister Sam Kargbo, the amiable honcho of SKP, their record label/management outfit, recently flew in from South Africa into Abuja, the entire crew of Godfather Productions, to lense the multi million Naira worth musical videos.

Elated Kargbo, in a brief chat with us, revealed that the album would be hitting both the national and international shelves this November, with a bang. He further promised to immediately follow suit with the videos, before Xmas.

Speaking on why he spent so much money flying in a whole production crew from South Africa, when the country is blessed with so many gifted music video directors, Kargbo, argued that competition was now becoming very stiff in the music industry. “At SKP, we believe in always being a distant ahead of the game. This is the only way we can checkmate the stiff competition in the music industry. I can beat my chest and tell you that this album alongside the never-seen-before-kind-of-videos, are the works to beat and copy this year. We have already lined up several activities to help usher in the album and the videos into the markets. We have also signed on Azadus, on our label.”

Also speaking, the X –Project trio of Majeed, Saal and Slez, promised to give there fans the very best of entertainment with the new album. “Turn it up, is for our teeming fans who have been yearning for something new from us. We are not giving them only what is new and soothing, but also a special Xmas and New Year gifts, because we love them from the bottom of hour hearts. We are turning up the entire music scene once again with this special work.”

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Amata, others, battle for Celebrity Takes2 crown

In the next couple of days, viewers, especially fans and admirers will have the opportunity of watching and voting in or out, their best and worst dancers at the season two of Celebrity Takes2.

Proudly brought to the world by Spirit of David, one of the leading dance academies in Nigeria, a total of ten movie and music stars, has been carefully selected to partake in this year’s bumper edition.

Leading the pack of dancers, in this season’s show, which the organizers, promised would be riveting, arresting and exhilarating, is famous actor and top filmmaker, Fred Amata, who is also unarguably the oldest dancer in the house. Others from his Nollywood constituency are: sexy actresses, Stella Damasus – Nzeribe and Dakore Egbuson, as well as Fathia Balogun and Yemi Blaq.

Headlining the five dancers from the music domain is the originality crooner, Faze, others include: Yinka Davies, Zaaky Adzay Obiwon and Kel.

They will all be contesting for honour and the mouth-watering star prize, at the grand final.

According to Pastor Segun Lawal, the dreadlocks donning honcho of Spirit of David, Celebrity Takes2, has come to change the face of entertainment on TV in Nigeria and indeed, the whole of Africa. He further promised to make this year’s edition bigger and better, adding that they are fully set to thrill and wow viewers with various dance steps, styles and dramas.

Speaking on his chances at the competition Amata, who’s currently rehearsing with the other contestants, insisted he’s in the competition to thrill and win, adding that it had not been easy going through rigorous dance trainings. “It’s not been easy dancing at rehearsals everyday, but the truth is that I’m in this competition to thrill and win”. Skye Bank is powering the strictly dance competition.

Top director, Lancelot Imasuen needs your help

Certainly, this is not the best of times for Nigerian born international filmmaker and cultural ambassador, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen.

The ever-bubbly filmmaker from Benin, Edo State, is currently downcast and battling to save the life of his elder brother, Ese, who has been down with a kidney failure, in the last five months.

According to Imasuen, who has since relocated to Edo State, to be at the bedside of his seriously ill elder brother, Ese’s precious life hangs between N7m, for a transplant and the cold hands of death.
“ I seriously need your prayers and financial help to keep him alive” he appealed via an sms, which is currently circulating round his colleagues and associates within and outside Nollywood.

Several of Imasuen’s colleagues in Nollywood are already reaching out and trying to assist one of their own, so that his dear brother will not die.

Oduwa is also calling on well meaning Nigerians and corporate entities to assist in keeping his brother alive.

For those willing to assist Imasuen, who has taken a long break from filmmaking, he’s pleading for quick response/intervention.

ESI partners IONIFF Port Harcourt, 09

To further impact on participants at the forthcoming first international film festival in the country, the Rivers State First Lady, Dame Judith Amaechi, has advocated for youth empowerment and skill acquisition among youths. She further argued that stakeholders, especially youths, would benefit immensely from the introduction of the youth project in this year’s IONIFF Port Harcourt 09, holding between December 9 and 12, 2009, at the Garden City.

The youth project organized by Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI), a non-governmental organization founded by her, with a mission of reclaiming the spirit of entrepreneurial excellence and awakening self-developmental drive among the youths of the State, is focusing on short movies produced, directed and acted by teenagers.

The initiative is based on ESI’s belief that the future of Rivers State and Nigeria lie with children.

As a result, the ESI youth project for IONIFF Port Harcourt 09, is providing a series of platforms for teenagers to submit entries for nomination for awards in the youth category.

Aside entry of works among the youths, ESI is also organizing a competition to select and sponsor the most deserving and talented candidates to attend the four technical workshops at IONIFF Port Harcourt 09.

International speakers and experts, in the field of filmmaking with specific emphasis on scripting, sound, cinematography, lighting, budget, financing and networking, will facilitate the workshops.

The ESI is randomly selecting schools across the various local government areas of the state; providing technical support and guidance to group of students that expressed interest in experiencing movie making.

AMAA storms Universities for young filmmakers

In the spirit of catching them young and talented as well as further helping to raise the bar in cinematography and filmmaking, AMAA has announced Short Film Competition for African Universities.

The competition was conceived to complement the AMAAs and position the brand as the truly premium award with continental appeal and outlook.

The awards, which is the brainchild of the African film Academy is about six year old, but within this relatively short period, the organizers have made a significant impact on the African motion picture industry and even beyond.

AMAA has created vast opportunities for linkages, for networking and for interfacing within and outside the continent.

‘The global and continental synergy platform which we have created for the film makers in Africa has diversified and intensified the reservoir of creativity of the practitioners. It has, also, diversified and intensified the industry’s production capital resource base,’’ said Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, CEO of the awards body.

She said AMAA Short Film Competition for African Universities, was in accord with the vision and mission of AMAA as it provides a platform for interaction by African universities whose curricula bear on the training of content creators for the cinema/broadcast industries, strengthen the support structures for capacity building in such institutions, challenge and excite the creativity of the would be content creators in those institutions; and focus attention on the creative potential of such would be content creators.

Works to be submitted for the short story competition must be in HD/DV camera and not more than 20 minutes, while the theme for the maiden edition is Renewal and Regeneration. The competition is open to students who are at the time of production bona fide students of the University and the work could be an individual or group project

The winning entry receives on behalf of the Department/University, a complete range of production and post production equipment/facilities. The film will also feature at the subsequent AMAAs, while closing date is December 30, 2009.

The AMAA boss also disclosed that the aims and objectives of the awards are already translating into direct and indirect benefits for the African cinema.

”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’ she concluded.”

More endorsements for Kilonshele

Few days after its official launch, more supports and endorsements are still pouring in for the creators of new website,,. According to those hailing them, the days of not having adequate information and data about a particular event is now over, with the berthing of the wondrous site. With the sole intention of keeping Nigerians abreast of the numerous events taking place virtually every other weekend, Kilonshele, a one stop site basically set up to inform Nigerians and the international community of the biggest events happening in the country, is truly coming at the right time.
At the grand unveiling, which held at the Atrium of the Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos, the event drew the attendance of guests from different walks of life. Many had thronged the venue with the expectation of getting information about the newest info portal in the country, however, they got much more than they bargained for.
The portal, which was formally unveiled by the President of Silverbird Entertainment, Guy Murray Bruce, provides live entertainment management and web advertising services, aimed at taking the stress of events ticketing off its growing number of clients which, cuts across leading event promoters, multi-national corporations, showbiz agencies, event place managers, performing art venues and cinemas. In so doing, event promoters and other agencies will no longer struggle with events ticketing, which gives them time to focus on the content of the event proper to maximize event income. Also, even more importantly, the Kilonshele ticketing solution provides the general public with the much-needed convenience of buying their tickets online.
According to its Chairman, Maduka Emefule, Kiloshele, has come to make the work of event organisers and fun lovers easier by providing the right platform for both parties to pass and receive adequate information as regards events.
Speaking further, Jide Browne, a member of the group, disclosed that the site is secure from any form of fraudulent activities that characterize such sites. Credit card information of visitors, he hinted is secured. “We don’t have your details, your ATM pin number and other vital details remain between you and your bank. So it is a hundred percent secured site.”
Guy Bruce also commended the efforts of Kilonshele, stating that the days of getting tickets in a stressful manner was a thing of the past. In his words, with the innovation, Nigeria has joined the rest of the advanced world in technological advancement inherent in the showbiz industry.
Kilonshele, which is already operational, provides ticket sales, marketing and distributions through, one of the best and dynamic e-commerce sites on the Internet. assures a safe and secure customer buying experience

Stars wow as Egeonu wins Etisalat’s million Dollar

It was an evening of good music and ribs cracking comedy at the grand finale of Etisalat’s 9jillions game show. The tantalizing experience, which has been all over Nigeria in a five month long series of regional game shows that saw thousands of Nigerians winning high end phones as well as millions of Naira, finally came to an exhilarating end on Friday, November 6, 2009, with the emergence of Kizito Egeonu, a medical student of University of Jos, winning the grand prize of one million Dollar. The company thus fulfilled its promise to make one Nigerian’s dream come true with the award of the singular most impressive individual cash prize in the history of promotions in Nigeria and Africa. Also, apart from the grand prizewinner, the company also doled out one million Naira each, to 34 other subscribers, who were lucky to participate at the game show.

The emergence of the million-dollar winner was the peak of the promo, which commenced in June and had produced over 40 millionaires at the regional game shows held in eight cities across the nation. Over four thousand subscribers were also rewarded with high-end phones in the “Win two phones per hour for 90 days” segment of the promotion.

Elated Mr. Egeonu, a member of family team of four, who emerged winner of the star prize money, slugged it out with nine other teams, which also got one million Naira (N1m), each in the grand finale of the game show. Egeonu’s team qualified for the final as the Kaduna regional champions.

Speaking about the promo from inception, Etisalat CEO, Mr. Steven Evans said that not many people believed that they would give out such an amount of money, the first in the history of promotions in Nigeria and indeed Africa. According to him, “When the promo started, many cast doubts over whether we would indeed give away one million dollars. The answer is standing right here in front of you; Egeonu, is a living proof that Etisalat keeps its promises all the time. A lot of Nigerians have also chosen to keep faith with us in the one year of our operations; our subscriber base is now two million and growing fast, our brand is recognizable all over Nigeria, subscribers on our network have had the quality of their lives improved through the various cash prizes that we gave out during this long promo culminating today in the giving away of one million dollar, the biggest cash prize in not just Nigeria but Africa.”
As part of activities marking the grand finale, which held at the expansive Landmark Village, Lekki, Lagos, leading music stars that included: Wande Coal, Etisalat’s ambassador, Banky W and Eldee, all thrilled the ecstatic guests. Live music and good comedy also flowed at the well-organized event, which held amid razzmatazz and glitz.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

NFVCB, AMAA, others, hail AIFF

For keeping the AIFF flag flying in the last six years, despite the many challenges, several government agencies and private concerns, all working for the betterment of Nollywood, came out en masse to support and endorse Duker and his team. Leading the pack was Mr. Emeka Mba, the cerebral and motivational DG of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB). In his good will message to the organizers of AIFF, which was entitled: “ The revival of the industry” Mba, maintained that AIFF, had grown from a mere film festival to becoming a rallying point for film makers all over the world to partner and collaborate in a world that has become a global village.
“Needless saying that the Nigeria film industry has continued to present an enigma for the rest of the world.
There is certainly no doubt that the output of the industry has become an incredible global phenomenon.
To many, it has become a source of pride, and a point of inspiration to many Africans, at home and the Diaspora.
Today, Nollywood has become a global brand expression,” said Mba, whose Board, also had a pavilion at the festival’s ground.
Also commending the organizers, Mr. Afolabi Adesanya, the MD of Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), in his goodwill message, equally lauded Duker and his team for their tireless efforts at growing the festival into “a must attend event”. “The remarkable achievement of the Nigerian motion picture industry in the last few years, is a testimony to the resilience, resourcefulness and doggedness of film festival organizers and promoters like the Abuja international film festival”, he posited.
In her words, Peace Anyiam Osigwe, the CEO African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), praised the organizers for keeping the spirit of the festival alive in the past six years, promising to always partner with them in bringing out the best Nollywood can offer the rest of the world.
While felicitating with Duker and his hard working team, Mr. Adebambo Adewopo, DG, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), said it was auspicious timely as the commission was vigorously pursing the enforcement of the optical discs plants regulation, geared towards checkmating piracy of CDs DVDs and others at production level. “This, the commission believes is a bold step towards guaranteeing a more rewarding future for the Nigerian film industry.”
Other notable corporate entities that lauded AIFF for organizing a hitch free event, included; the organizers of the forthcoming AMP/EKO Film Festival, Kano and Lagos States censorship boards, under the leadership of Abubakar Abdulkareem and Dapo Awobotu respectively, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), among others.

Abuja Film Festival holds @ new venue

Unlike the previous editions of the annual Abuja International Film Festival (AIFF), which had always held at the cosmopolitan and expansive Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua’s Centre, this year’s event took place at the gigantic Bolingo Hotels and Towers.
According to Mr. Fidelis Duker, the Festival Director, some logistic issues led to the change of venue.
“The Yar’Adua Centre could not accommodate our new date after the festival was postponed to this current date. Bolingo is equally a good and specious venue and we hope to utilize our new found business relationship with them as well as maintaining the existing one with the Yar Adua’s Centre,” he explained.
With the theme: Nollywood! What Next?
Films from over 37 countries participated in this year’s programme, with Tunisia, Uganda, and Cuba hugely represented at the festival.
Razor, a riveting film from Australia, was screened to declare the festival open, while Femi Odugbemi’s work, entitled: Bariga Boy, a gripping documentary, was screened as part of the activities marking the eventful closing ceremonies of the festival.
Aside these two great works, other equally good feature films, short films and documentaries all screened at the festival, to the admiration of the participants.

The scintillating premiere @ the festival

No doubt, the sixth edition of the annual Abuja international film festival, has come and gone, but the memories of the premiere embedded in the programme of the event still lingers on.
Several participants and high profile guests graced the world premiere of “Save The Tears For Tomorrow”, a heart wrenching soap about the future of our children/ youths.
Elaborately packaged by Prich Global Resources, the historic premiere began with a red carpet session and was well attended by the festival participants as well as specially invited guests from within and outside Abuja.
In a chat with us, the lead act, Nollywood actress, Cynthia Agghohor, said they decided to storm the Abuja film festival with the soap because they wanted to showcase to the world, a very unique story that had never been seen or told before.
“Save The Tears For Tomorrow, addresses the decadence that has over the years eaten deep into the Nigeria society as well as the efforts of government and individuals to address these ugly issues. It is also a prophetic projection of what we want and where we want to be.”
Directed and produced by Paul Julius, other leading acts in the soap include: top thespians, Alex Usifo, Enebeli Enebuwa, Jude Orhorha, Tunde Alabi, Christy Okonkwo and a host of others.

Fidelis Duker’s passionate appeal

Although, in its sixth year, the annual Abuja international film festival, is still crawling and passionately begging for sponsorships/endorsements from both the public and private sectors.
In fact, to many, especially Duker’s colleagues and keen followers of the festival, they are yet to fathom how Duker, his wife, Temitope and the rest of his organizing team, usually manage to stage the festival yearly, since inception, without any good funding from the government or some private concerns.
According to Duker, who has kept trudging on despite the daunting task of getting corporate sponsorships, it has not been easy.
“As we prepare to enjoy the best of cinematic experience in Abuja, I will say that the festival has had its hiccups and challenges in the last six years and this also contributed to our shifting the festival from our previous date to the current one.
The festival has over the years, lacked major institutional and corporate sponsorships, which is necessitating our direction for the organization of future editions.”
Continuing, Duker, a former national president of the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), regretted the fact that government had consistently supported foreign events at the detriment of the indigenous ones.
Adding that the trend must be reversed now, if we truly want to grow the Nigerian motion picture industry to an enviable height.

And the winners/ organizers are…

Aside the daily screening of films at the festival’s venue, panel discussions, workshops and other highlights, awards were also given to deserving filmmakers in different categories contested for at the end of the festival, penultimate Friday night.
For a detailed list of winners, keep a date with us on this page, soon.
Meanwhile, aside Duker, other members of the organizers team include; Temitope Duker, (Chief Operating Officer), Frank Akamike, Ebiere Ajibola Bodude, Olalekun Makinde, Kolade Kadesh, Anote Ajeluoru and Kazeem Alarape. Others are;
Tope Lawal, Chico Ejiro (Project Adviser), Hamzat Olawale, Amarachi Chukwuma and Joseph Ogobo.
While the festival Advisory Board, is made up of Messrrs. Eddy Edion, Fidelis Duker and Joseph Ogobo, as Chairman, Director and Secretary respectively. Other members on the board include; Margaret Dimlong, Oyebola Oyewo, John Jonathan and Sule Bello.
Among the topics duly discussed and dissected at the festival by panelists were;
Nollywood: What Next? Copyright in the creative industry –The Nigeria perspective, so far, so good.
Film Content Development As a Tool for Re-Branding Nigeria, Nollywood Films- Alternative Sources of Revenue Generation and the Role of film festivals and awards in Tourism Development.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

AMP set for Eko international film festival

After a very successful outing last year at the AMP Week, the organizers have decided to re-brand, rename and completely change the concept of this year’s event. They have therefore, come up with what will henceforth be known as the AMP/Eko International Film Festival, in collaboration with the Lagos State government. According to Mr. Paul Obazele, the national president of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), the body powering and packaging the festival, “Film, The Catalyst For Change: Positive,” has been chosen as the theme of this year’s event.
Speaking further on the objectives of the festival, Obazele, argued that it would definitely bring about behavioural change, with respect to motion picture issues: “Especially, the micro issues in motion picture, distributing and marketing. It will also help to effectively communicate film values and its impact on our tradition. It will assist immensely in the dissemination of information on emerging and new technologies that would ensure effective piracy management. It will also be a medium for operators in the film industry to promote their products and services. Lastly, this festival will create employment opportunities for the youths”, he posited.

While shedding more light on the motivating factors behind the coming festival, the Chairman of its Business Committee section, Mr. Fred Amata, maintained that the absence of any such festival that promotes the culture and values of the people of Lagos, to the outside world, through Nollywood, was one of the reasons for their coming on board. He further added that the growing awareness about Nollywood and its effect on the image of Nigeria to the outside world was another motivating factor. “You cannot rule out the importance of film, in the re-branding of Nigeria. Again, the prevalence of HIV infection, unhygienic practices and moral decadence among youths, can be reduced through films, which is a vehicle for communication and change,” explained Amata, a leading actor/filmmaker in Nollywood.

Also speaking, Mr. Emeka Ossai, a top actor and the Chairman of the Media Committee of the festival, disclosed that it would run for four days.
“National theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, has been chosen as the venue of this year’s festival. It begins on November 24 and ends on 27. We chose Lagos because of its strategic position. I can assure you that it will be comparable to other international film festivals globally. It will involve issues of interest, spotlights, interviews, presentations, movie screenings, awards and many more. Although, the language of communication is English and may be, Yoruba, so as to reach majority of the audience that will be attending”, Ossai stated.
Meanwhile, all the notable guilds in Nollywood, including the Movie Reporters Guild of Nigeria (MORGON), have all endorsed and pledged their support for the coming festival, which is currently serenading Tinsel town.

More support for MTN Nigerian Music Fest

To further raise the stakes for the forthcoming MTN Nigerian Music Festival, Terra Kulture, a Nigerian cultural outfit that promotes the richness and diversity of Nigerian languages, arts and culture has thrown its weight behind the event.

The company, widely regarded as the home of exotic antiques and entertainment, will be adding pep and spice to the event when it hosts music icons to an evening of royal retreat as a prelude to the epoch festival billed for November 21, 2009, at the Ocean View Plaza, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Terra Kulture is a good company in promoting Nigeria’s musical heritage through the MTN Nigerian Music Festival, a celebration of Nigeria’s blockbuster songs and their crooners of over five decades. Apart from MTN Nigeria, the title sponsor, the other sponsor is Skye Bank Plc.

Legendary Nigerian music ambassadors including, Sir Victor Uwaifo and Pa Fatai Rolling Dollar, as well as Christy Essien Igbokwe, Sir Shina Peters, Weird MC, Obesere, Faze and Olu Maintain would be hosted to an evening of exclusive dinner, dance and wine at the Terra Kulture. Also gracing the event are representatives of MTN Nigeria, Skye Bank, Ruyi Communications Limited, media professionals and a few other participants of the MTN Nigerian Music Fest project.

Current chart bursting artistes, namely MI, Wande Coal, Terry G and J Martins have also been signed on to perform at the festival in Lagos. Also included on the list of ground-shakers for the day is Evi Edna-Ogoli, the sonorous singer and popular act in the 1980s and 1990s. She flies in from France to join other artistes to celebrate their own works.

Also, Island Limousine, a car hire company, has also indicated interest to partner with Ruyi Communications to make the show glitzy and memorable. The company is dedicating two Hummer limousines to convey performing artistes from their hotels to Ocean View Plaza, venue of the Lagos edition of the MTN Nigerian Music Festival.

As the date draws nearer, MTN Nigerian Music Fest gets bigger and better with various individuals, artistes and corporate entities jostling to be part of it. Tickets are available at selected Skye Bank branches in Lagos and MTN Nigerian Music Fest train located at strategic neighbourhoods around the city. Tickets can also be purchased online at

MC Pato ready to rule

Barely four years in the comedy world, Patrick IK Onyekaba better known as MC Pato, has been consistently carving a niche for himself. Although, he originally trained as a medical laboratory scientist, little wonder he calls himself the passionate humorist. Pato is also an entertainer par excellence; a motivational speaker; an educationist, a poet and a ‘compulsive’ comedian with a quixotic sense of humour, renowned motivational speakers and top-rated comedians have endorsed him as The Motivational Comedian of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MCFRN).
According to Pato, he’s “the sage that uses his page to cage the rage and outrage of the populace in psychological bondage including, those at old age despite the shortage of minimum wage; that’s why I’m comedy’s total package”.
He has anchored and performed at several big events and has also featured on TV/radio programmes like: Laugh Patterns; Music Africa Comedy Slot, Laffmatazz, Laff Café and a host of others.
As a budding actor, he has also done cameo roles in movies such as: My Guy 2 and Midnite Blues

Queen Bebra rocks with new album

No doubt, she’s got a sonorous voice that comes with a deft and powerful delivery each time she romances the microphone. Miss Blessing, otherwise known as Queen Bebra has come a long way in music and all this experience, she has brought to bear in her debut album, entitled; Lubulubu.
Queen Bebra who hails from Imo State is under the management of Truetalent Africa Records, the record label that discovered and produced Buga, a few years ago.
An Economic graduate of the Lagos State University, Queen Bebra has grown even more ambitious than her contemporaries, sponsors and teeming supporters would ever imagined; so much that she’s been in high demand at both local and international concerts before the release of her debut album.
She‘s not alien to stardom, she’s the lead female voice in Buga’s album and Wale Tekoma’s Expensive Boy album released under Truetalent Africa Records, Lagos.
Her debut album, which will hit the market in few weeks from now, caters for everyone and its laden with hip hop fusion. Tracks like “Lubulubu”, “Mama Africa”, ”D Guy is Mine” featuring Yinka Davis and “Enu won L’efa, are all good for listening pleasures.
Her record and management company, Truetalent, is widely represented in Nigeria, Dublin, Atlanta and London

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vivian Ejike hits location again

With the rate at which she’s currently going, leading female filmmaker and the CEO of Purple Pine productions, Vivian Ejike will definitely cart home the award for the busiest female film producer at the end of the year. Just few months, after completing work on her yet to be released big budget movie-Silent Scandal, workaholic Ejike and her crew have gone back to set, lensing another thriller. In fact, the effervescent filmmaker who’s currently lensing at some choice locations within the Lagos metropolis disclosed that the flick would definitely raise the bar within and outside Nollywood. Her good pal, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, is the lead act; while Ngozi Ezeonu and some popular thespians from neighbouring Ghana also made the intimidating cast list. Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, the multiple award winning film director with over 200 movies to his credit, is the one calling the shots. According to pretty Ejike, a former top banker, the production is expected to come to an end this weekend, with an after party for the cast and crewmembers. The new movie, which is expected to hit shelves nationwide, before the end of the year, is yet to be entitled. Keep a date with us for an update on the flick.

Emem Isong to premiere two Nollywood blockbusters

Respected and frontline female filmmaker, Emem Isong, has concluded plans to premiere two scintillating and electrifying Nollywood movies, same day, under one star-studded roof.
Sensationally entitled: Guilty Pleasures and Nollywood Hustlers respectively, Isong jointly shot both big budget productions with the acting duo of Desmond Elliot and Uche Jombo.
While the duo of Desmond Elliot and Daniel Ademinokan co-directed Guilty Pleasures, dreadlocks donning Moses Inwang, directed Nollywood Hustlers.
According to Isong, whose Royal Arts Academy is packaging and promoting the two-in-one premiere; it is expected to hold soon in both Lagos and Abuja respectively amid razzmatazz and glitz.
“Its definitely going to be great on the D-Day. Imagine two box office movies sensationally billed to premiere same day, under one roof with all the Nollywood stars and many more in attendance. In fact, we have already dubbed it: Nollywood Superstars, One Big Premiere.” Isong, whose Royal Arts Academy is expected to kick off soon, further promised that the acting school, would definitely bridge the gap between stars and emerging stars in Nollywood.
“This academy, which will serve as a proper training ground for intending actors and actresses in Nollywood, is taking off soon. We have concluded all arrangements. Nigerians, especially the entertainment community will be very proud of us when it becomes fully operational very soon”, Isong assured.
Leading the pack of stars that thrilled endlessly in Nollywood Hustler, a hilarious comic movie was: Uche Jombo. She was ably supported by other great thespians like: Ejike Asiegbu, Ramsey Noah, Monalisa Chinda, Charles Inojie, Susan Peters and a host of others.
For Guilty Pleasures, which is thematically centred on love and betrayal, the trio of Ramsey Noah, Nse Ikpe Etim and Majid Macheal, spearheaded the thespians onslaught.
Others include: Mercy Johnson, Omoni Oboli, Rukky Sanda and several other emerging starlets.

Orange Drugs splashes millions on pageant

All is now set for this year’s Miss Delta Soap beauty pageant powered by Orange Drugs group. According to the organizers, the lucky damsels who won the March, April, May and June contests also will be presented with their cash prizes on Wednesday, October 14, 2009.The cash presentation will take place at Orange drugs headquarters’ at Ilupeju, Lagos. The beauty event, which kicked off on July 1, 2008, has generated positive accolades from beautiful young girls who saw it as an opportunity to display their good skins that have been enhanced by Delta Soap. Expectations are already high for the cash presentation, which will be the last before the grand finale of the prestigious Miss Delta Soap 2009, Competition.

The Miss Delta Soap Queen Beauty pageant has been on for so many years with the aim of promoting Delta soap brands and most importantly, assisting young ladies to enhance their beauty with the soap. Delta Soap Girl of the month attracts a prize of N150, 000, while the first runner up goes home with N100,000 and the second runner-up collects N50, 000. The star prize for the grand finale is a BMW 3 series (2009 model), N2.5 million (cash), 10,000 USD, shopping trip over seas, first runner up will get N1.5million, second runner will smile home with N1.0Million, the third runner up in the competition will win N500,000 while the fourth runner up will get a consolation cash of N250,000.

Catherine Ruelle, cinema guru, to storm IONIFF

To further raise the bar of film festivals in Nigeria and make it compete favourably with others globally, the organizers of IONIFF, holding in Port Harcourt, has concluded plans to fly in one of the world’s most celebrated cinema experts based in Paris, France, Catherine Ruelle, as Artistic Director. Ruelle, producer of “Golden Camera” a programme on Cannes Festival TV, which portrays and interviews young filmmakers from all over the world, is billed to bring her wealth of experience to IONIFF, Port Harcourt 09, holding in the Rivers State capital from December 9 to 12, 2009.
Ruelle, who has been working in various capacities as President, Organizer or Committee Member of International Film Festivals in Paris, Cannes, Milan, and Geneva since 1979, has expressed her delight to be part of a festival that celebrates Nollywood which is a film industry she considers to be phenomenal given its growth over the years.
According to the organizers of IONIFF Port Harcourt 09, she’s coming to Nigeria with her wealth of experience at the international level to share with participants particularly Nollywood while at the same time learning from Nollywood on how best to tell the Nigerian story.
Valentine Charles, one of the organizers of the festival, said she was chosen because of her experience in film festivals especially as it pertains to the Black films. This deduction she said was drawn from the fact that in 1980, Ruelle, co-organized the first ever festival in Europe to celebrate Independent Black American Filmmakers and in 1984, founded the Association Racines, which produced its first edition of Racines International Film Festival at Centre Georges Pompidou, the most prestigious cultural centre in the French capital.
“As a result of her interest in black filmmaking, she became a part of the organization of Noir, Black, Negra, an artistic composition of film screenings, tales, music events and creation of an African village at Cannes Festival. In line with her black cinema knowledge, she created a special category called Raices Negras/ Black Roots at the French cinema festival in Cuba in 1999 and 2000.”
Valentine said Ruelle, also co-founded in partnership with the renowned Senegalese director Mahama Traore the special Djibril Diop Mambety prize at Cannes Festival and in 2008, was appointed Artistic Director of a Midsummer’s Night Dream Digital Film Festival in Paris till date. “This lady of creativity has also co-authored some great works such as UNESCO report about African cinema, a book about Brazilian Cinema, Cuban Cinema to name a few.”

WWTBAM gallops into season 6

Imagine how time flies! Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (WWTBAM), the MTN Nigeria sponsored TV game show has clocked six. And to further make it one of the leading shows on air, the organizers have pledged to add more excitement and informative questions to the new edition.
While addressing the audience at a dinner organised to launch the sixth season of the TV Show, the General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria, MTN Kola Oyeyemi said that the organization is set to make several improvements that were bound to make the show highly educative and thrilling.
“I can assure viewers and followers of the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire TV Show that this season will be much more interesting because several improvements have been made to ensure that they enjoy every aspect of the show and there are more ways by which interested followers of the show can participate and win”
Speaking on what to expect in the new season, Mr. Oyeyemi noted that as the new season of the show commences, more emphasis would be on empowering Nigerians financially and intellectually. This he explained, would make positive impact on the lives of not just the winners but also scores of their family members and friends, which is a way of moving the customers ahead”.
Over the years, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire TV Show has largely achieved the ancillary objective of educating the viewing masses in a very entertaining manner. Its consistence over the period has made it a major attraction to audience, who look forward to it as a medium for self-appraisal educationally and knowledge acquisition.
While sponsorship by MTN Nigeria took effect in 2006, the TV show started showing in Nigeria in 2004, and Nigeria is the 104th country to host the internationally acclaimed programme. With the involvement of MTN, the show was repackaged and re-launched. And as part of the new package, the maximum prize per edition was increased from five million Naira to ten million Naira, which recently, was won by Mr. Aroma Ufodike

Monday, October 5, 2009

PF winner, Mike Anyasodo still celebrating

Few days after winning the grand prize in the keenly contested season two of the annual Project Fame West Africa Music Talent Hunt Reality Show, Mike Anyasodo, the self-acclaimed “Swagger Master”, is still celebrating, rejoicing and partying with pals and well wishers.
The talented singer won the show during the grand finale, which held amid thrills and ovations on Sunday, September 27, 2009 at the Ultima Studio, by polling more votes from viewers across West Africa. He beat other finalists like: Nicholas Builgar, Tomiwa Sangonuga, Krimi Johnson and Madonna Robinson to walk home with the prize money of N2.5 million, a Toyota RAV 4 and a one year recording contract.
Builgar, the Liberian born first runner-up, won N1.5million and a Toyota Corolla, Sangonuga, the second runner-up, smiled home with N1million and a Toyota Yaris, while Johnson, the third runner-up got N1million.
Anyasodo, whose excitement knew no bound after being declared winner of the show, expressed delight at emerging the overall winner of the life changing hunt. While still basking in the euphoria of emerging victorious, he publicly declared that winning the show was the greatest thing that has happened to him.
The 26-year-old undergraduate of Ambose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, has been a very strong contender in the Project Fame Academy, and his talent and vocal dexterity had experienced a remarkable fine-tuning under the guidance and coaching of the Academy’s instructors. It would be recalled that the second season of the MTN Project Fame West Africa started with the opening Gala show on July 19, 2009, with 15 talented contestants selected from various regional auditions across West Africa, and admitted into the academy, where they were camped for 10 weeks and groomed in the various aspects of musical performances and other elements of stardom.
They were later reduced to five finalists following the several weekly live contests, which saw the eviction of 10 contestants.
The grand finale was filled with various exciting activities, including musical performances from popular artistes like: DJ Zeez, winner of the maiden edition of MTN Project Fame West Africa, Iyanya Mbuk, as well as stunning performances by the 15 contestants.

Vickie thrills with Your Love

After several months of sleepless nights in the studios, Victoria Ladi Ekwu, better known as Vickie, is finally set to wow music buffs with her new gospel music video. Sensationally entitled “Your Love”, the inspirational work of praise is gradually and consistently penetrating the airwaves. The gospel artiste with a difference, unknown to many of her fans, is also an accountant. With an unquestionable love for music, Vickie started singing from a very young age, having been part of several church choirs, before going into music professionally. Currently a member of the House On The Rock choir in Lagos, her full album entitled 'Dance' has soul-lifting songs from different genres. The work further reflects her love for the African culture and tradition, which are evident in most of her forthcoming music videos.Other songs in the album include: Na wonder, dance, you are awesome, and Naija people.

New voice for Naija musicians

To further give voice to the fight against piracy and other unwholesome practices in the nation’s music industry, the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), recently appointed Miss Anjolaoluwa Ajayi, its Public Affairs Officer. Miss Ajayi who hails from Ekiti State is a graduate of linguistics and has had significant experience in radio and TV broadcasting.
In her new position, Miss Ajayi will play a significant role in ensuring that there is a cordial and professional relationship at all times between COSON, its licensees, the members of the society, the regulatory agencies and the general public. Miss Ajayi who has already assumed duties says that she is excited by the opportunity to be part of the COSON team that is set to reposition collective administration of copyright in Nigeria. She has appealed for the support of the media and creators of music all over Nigeria.
Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), the long awaited broad based national collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings, finally began operations on Thursday, September 24, 2009. At a midday event which held at Blue Pearl Hall, Toyin Street Ikeja, members of Performing & Mechanical Rights Society (PMRS), Nigeria’s first ever government approved collective management organization voted to collapse their society into COSON and to provide their structure for the take off of the new organization. Present at the occasion were many of the big wigs of the Nigerian Music Industry including Nigeria’s Queen of Soul, Onyeka Onwenu , Nigeria ’s oldest living active composer and performer, Fatai Rolling Dollar, Chief GAD Tabansi of Tabansi Publishing and Tabansi Records. Also present was celebrated music producer, Mr. Laolu Akins and representatives of evergreen song stars, Sir Victor Uwaifo (MON) and Evangelist Ebenezer Obey (MFR). The event was one of the major steps taken to actualize the resolve of the recently formed, Nigerian Music Industry Coalition to reposition the music industry, reduce bickering and ensure that the structures are working effectively and efficiently so that there is better return on investment for all stakeholders. Prior to the event, the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition had consulted widely and met with the regulatory agencies and the major organization of users after which the decision was taken that the industry must do whatever is possible to ensure the emergence of one strong collective management organization in which all right owners have a stake. It was as a result of these consultations that the decision was taken that urgent steps be made to bring about the formation of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), which had long been agreed to by every major stakeholder organization in the industry.

Spring music unveils Idol

Idol, the fast emerging and versatile crooner has signed an enticing recording/management deal with Spring Production, owners of Spring Music. According to Mr. Justice Cletus, the honcho of the outfit with offices in Nigeria and Ghana, they are poised to help the up and coming act reposition and repackage his budding career. Cletus, who also doubles as Idol’s Artiste Manager, said the act is a very young and talented afro pop artiste with the exclusivity of composing very inspiring and motivating lyrics. In his maiden album dubbed, “Jump 4 Money” which would be launched soon in Lagos, he further revealed that the act has tracks like: Degbeme girls (promo track), Jump 4 money, Survival, Make me cry, Westside pool, and My daddy, which he performed at the funeral event of late chief Gani Fawehinmi, in Ondo state. Idol, we further learnt sings in genres like: R&B, Hip-Pop and Dance hall, to suit his discerning fans. A fusion of pure African melodies, rhythms and instruments were blended to make his songs exceptional from the usual trends available to music lovers within our society. Since the last few weeks both radio and television stations in Nigeria have been entertaining listeners and viewers alike with Idol’s promo single entitled: “Degbeme Girls”. Degbeme girls’ video is simply thrilling and second to none. Shot at different countries with diverse nationals from countries like: US, UK, India, Japan, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin Republic, Cote d’ Ivoire, Mali, Togo, Congo and others, some pundits have tagged this effort, “united nations video”. Interestingly, Idol has already shot seven musical videos out of his 12-tracker album. Degbeme girls is one of his sensational hip-pop tracks, celebrating the modern day lady; in-vogue with fashion, stylish in there every day’s activities and brilliant / smart in using the feminine strength at achieving their goals and desires in life. Idol also featured artistes like: P-Sean (Ghana), Ifeanyi Onyeabor and 2Cool, Spring music’s latest signed on artiste. Spring Music Productions Limited, is an all inclusive entertainment outfit that is best in offering services like: audio-visual productions, artiste / events management, publishing, advertising and products servicing. Jeremiah Chibuzor Njoku, better known as Idol in showbiz, hails from Aninri LGA of Enugu State. He was born on March 3, 1985.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Segun Arinze is new actors president

After several months of intense nationwide campaigns, top actor and leading entertainer, Segun Aina Padonou Arinze, finally emerged the new national president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), in a keenly contested general election.
The delegates’ election, which held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Tuesday, September 22, 2009, and was attended by 22 State Chapters, with over 250 delegates, saw Arinze, defeating another leading actor, Charles Awurum, to coast home to victory.
Reliably gathered that Arinze, polled a total of 93 votes, while Awurum, got 43. Other national officers who were elected at the very peaceful and well organized election were the duo of Chuma Onwudiwe and Abubakar Yakubu. They won the posts of Secretary General and Public Relations Officer, respectively. In the spirit of AGN and sportsmanship, Awurum, publicly conceded victory and congratulated Arinze, on his new job and office. According to Awurum, a former national officer of the AGN, “I lost in a very fair and transparent election, to a very dear brother and colleague.” In his words: “ I want to use this medium to say a very big congrats to my able president, Segun Arinze, for a well deserved victory. I wish him the best throughout his tenure in office, as the president of our great guild-AGN. I shall do everything within my powers to assist him take AGN, to the highest height. God bless AGN, our new president and Nigeria”. In a brief chat with us, elated Arinze, said he would carry everybody along for a bigger and better AGN. The new Executives were immediately sworn in amid celebrations and merriment.

Is Afikuyomi’s Sunborn yacht jinxed?

Observers, especially Lagosians and keen followers of events in the Centre of Excellence, are highly perturbed and even angry that the Sunborn Yacht Hotel, a brainchild of Senator Tokunboh Afikuyomi, the State’s Tourism Commissioner, is yet to take off, after a year plus.
They want Afikuyomi to immediately explain to Lagosians why the multi-million dollar yacht, is still wasting away at the Marina waterfront, close to Bonny Camp, since it was acquired, to further help boost tourism potentials in the State.
Most of those that spoke with Updates, are querying the rationale behind the flagrant use of tax payers money to invest in an elephant project, when such huge amount could have been better utilized in some other meaningful and people –oriented projects.
In fact, some have even alleged that Afikuyomi and his team happily went to buy a dilapidated and abandoned yacht with taxpayers’ funds, for solely selfish reasons.
Shockingly, another set of angry Lagosians, are calling on the State Government to quickly set up a panel of inquiry to look into the ‘misadventure’ called Sunborn Yacht Hotel. Their argument is premised on the fact that Lagosians are tired of waiting for the take off of the floating boat hotel. In fact, another pack of disappointed Lagosians want Afikuyomi to immediately return the embattled yacht from where it was bought, so that the millions already expended could be brought back and divested into other areas of the economy. Well, we are still patiently waiting for the day; the troubled and embattled yacht would eventually become operational, so that Afikuyomi and his team can shut up, all these irritants and critics forever. Just hope we aren’t waiting for Godot!

Joke Adefilure celebrates @ 50

It was celebrations galore and clinking of glasses in the home of Hon. Joke Orelope Adefilure, the amiable Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, as she recently clocked 50 years on earth.
While celebrating and rejoicing with family members, friends, associates and well wishers, the two-time commissioner, openly confessed that she does not feel 50, but was however, full of thanks and praises to God almighty, for his protections, guidance and love, over the years, especially in her political career.
The philanthropic politician and mother, also used the occasion of her birthday, to honour her loving parents, whom she disclosed contributed immensely to her success stories. Adding that she’s eternally grateful to God, for blessing her with such good parents. Very fulfilled Adefilure, also paid glowing tributes to the immediate past Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for nurturing her into political relevance as well as giving her the first opportunity to serve the good people of the State. She also praised Governor Fashola

Mike Ikoku’s great plans for Imo Tourism

Top socialite and the boss of All Seasons Hotels and Plaza, Evangelist Myke Ikoku, is doing all within his powers to elevate the huge tourism potentials in Imo State and its environs.
Prior to his appointment as the chairman of the now rejuvenated Imo State Tourism Corporation, the large hearted man of means, has always supported and promoted tourism in Imo and Lagos States respectively.
We authoritatively gathered that since assuming office, Ikoku, the chairman of Obiron Group of companies, is gradually changing the face of tourism in Ohakim’s State.
Aside government support, Ikoku, is also using his vast experience and high net network of influential and highly placed friends and associates, within and outside our shores, to further expand the tourism potentials of his dear Imo State. Another added advantage to Ikoku’s tourism drive, is his multi-million Naira all marble hotel-All Seasons, which is one of the biggest and most prized hospitality havens in Imo State, and possibly in the whole of South East.
He has also promised to build more in other parts of Imo State, to further boost tourism and hospitality in the State.

Lagos Govt partners Arewa Eko pageant

Arewa Eko Beauty Pageant (AEBP), a unique and refreshingly different pageant, which aims at promoting the rich cultural values of Lagos State as well as further help to increase the social and ethnic awareness of Lagos ladies, has berthed with so many promises.
According to youthful Barrister Ogunsanya Adedapo, the boss of Sena ‘P’ Concept, organizers of the pageant, which holds soon, the event; has been endorsed by the Lagos State government and some corporate bodies. In her words: “The ministries of Tourism/Inter-Government Relations, Local Government/Chieftaincy Affairs as well as the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, have all endorsed Arewa Eko beauty pageant. We are also grateful to them for endorsing and standing by us, she quipped.
Commenting further on the aims and objectives of AEBP, Adedapo said: “The main objective of this pageant is creating a platform where vital issues that concern the development process of our core cultural values and heritage would be addressed.
We also intend bringing back those glorious days when the dress code of the Lagos woman was appreciated. Above all, we aim at creating avenues for our young women to express their talents, skills and intelligence. The pageant will also kick against contestants showcasing attires that are close to nudity. We would only showcase and demonstrate only the attires sewn and worn by culture and tradition friendly ladies all over the world. It is going to be an annual event that would further help to remind us about our great historic background, values, unity and diversity”, she explained.
On who is eligible to participate, Adedapo, said a contestant must be a Yoruba lady. She must also speak Yoruba and English fluently. Must be between the ages of 18 and 26, single and also possesses the SSCE.
While in camp, the contestants would be groomed by a team of experts on how to catwalk, choreograph and also receive lectures on etiquette, history and culture of Lagos State, as well as the art of interacting with people, especially personalities.
Meanwhile, series of entertainment activities already lined up for the grand finale include: comedy, music, traditional dances, fashion shows, mini art exhibitions, photographic displays, drummers’ displays and raffle draws.
A brand new car, N1m cash, an all expenses paid trip to Dubai and one year wardrobe allowance, awaits the eventual winner, while there are consolation prizes for the two runners up and other contestants. The organizers also promised that the eventual winner would have an interesting and adventurous reign, touring communities in Lagos State, while promoting her pet project. For more on the coming pageant, visit:

Censors Board readjusts preview fees

In its bid to further create an enabling environment, enhance growth and facilitate service delivery to its stakeholders, the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) will with effect from today, Friday, October 2, 2009, review upwards, the fees charged for the preview of films and movies in the country. The review, according to the release made available to us, from the Abuja national office of the apex film regulatory agency in the country, is in line with the efforts of the board to premium service to its stakeholders. “With the acquisition and installation of modern cinema styled preview theatres at our Lagos office which is capable of handling 35mm celluloid video as well as a digital lounge for clients, the current fees charged for preview of films and movies, trailers musical video and others is no more realistic. The sustainability of this heavy resource base is a pre-requisite in the effort to offer global best practices in the Nigerian movie industry.”
This new equipment will enhance and facilitate online preview of films and movies within the minimum time possible. It will also afford owners of the movies the opportunity to follow and track the progress of the preview in a seamless manner without being present physically.
The waiting time for approval is therefore reduced.
The board further avowed that its committed to the uplifting of the movie industry and therefore appealed to all concerned for co-operation and understanding.
It would be recalled that the last time the board has affected a review of fees for its operations was in 2002.

Encomiums for Opa Williams

Friends, associates, colleagues and well-wishers came out happily to honour and felicitate with humour merchant extraordinaire, entertainment entrepreneur and creator of Nite of a Thousand Laughs, Opa Williams, penultimate Sunday evening. The event, was the monthly O’Jez Entertainment Forum, which held elaborately at the upscale, O’Jez Entertainment Centre, tucked inside the national stadium, Surulere, Lagos. Beautifully anchored by cerebral actor/filmmaker, Charles Inojie, it was hugely attended by several leading names in Nollywood and the comedy industry. Leading the team of Nollywood stars to the crowded venue was Ejike Asiegbu, the immediate past national president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN). Ejike, was supported at the grand gathering by popular actor and the newly sworn in AGN president, Segun Arinze. Other notable thespians and stakeholders that came to felicitate with visibly elated Williams, were: acting couple, Zack and Ngozi Orji, Chidi Nwokeabia, Ali Baba and wife, AY and wife, recently wedded Bovi Ugboma and his heavily pregnant wife. While, reading the celebrant’s citation, his long time friend and entertainment /intellectual property lawyer, Efere Ozako, who was accompanied to the event by his wife, described Williams, as the grand father of entertainment in Nigeria. He further added that Williams, has created several young millionaires, through comedy and movie making, thus making him a mentor and living legend to many, especially youths. In his brief remarks, Anayo Odobeatu, the boss of O’Jez and host of the monthly event, thanked Williams and all the specially invited guests, for coming. He further promised to continue in his celebrations of great Nigerians, who are equally doing well in their respective human endeavours.
While responding, Williams, who was overwhelmed with joy and happiness, thanked the organizers and all the guests for coming to felicitate and honour him, adding that he would never let them and the nation’s entertainment industry down. Aside the O’Jez in-house band, which mesmerized guests with melodious oldies, victuals also flowed ceaselessly at the event.
Odobeatu, also used the occasion to unveil the O’Jez all gloss and free entertainment magazine to the guests and general public.

COSON gets a voice

To further give voice to the fight against piracy and other unwholesome practices in the nation’s music industry, the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), recently appointed Miss Anjolaoluwa Ajayi, its Public Affairs Officer. Miss Ajayi who hails from Ekiti State is a graduate of linguistics and has had significant experience in radio and TV broadcasting.
In her new position, Miss Ajayi will play a significant role in ensuring that there is a cordial and professional relationship at all times between COSON, its licensees, the members of the society, the regulatory agencies and the general public. Miss Ajayi who has already assumed duties says that she is excited by the opportunity to be part of the COSON team that is set to reposition collective administration of copyright in Nigeria. She has appealed for the support of the media and creators of music all over Nigeria.
Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), the long awaited broad based national collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings, finally began operations on Thursday, September 24, 2009. At a midday event which held at Blue Pearl Hall, Toyin Street Ikeja, members of Performing & Mechanical Rights Society (PMRS), Nigeria’s first ever government approved collective management organization voted to collapse their society into COSON and to provide their structure for the take off of the new organization. Present at the occasion were many of the big wigs of the Nigerian Music Industry including Nigeria’s Queen of Soul, Onyeka Onwenu , Nigeria ’s oldest living active composer and performer, Fatai Rolling Dollar, Chief GAD Tabansi of Tabansi Publishing and Tabansi Records. Also present was celebrated music producer, Mr. Laolu Akins and representatives of evergreen song stars, Sir Victor Uwaifo (MON) and Evangelist Ebenezer Obey (MFR). The event was one of the major steps taken to actualize the resolve of the recently formed, Nigerian Music Industry Coalition to reposition the music industry, reduce bickering and ensure that the structures are working effectively and efficiently so that there is better return on investment for all stakeholders.

Prior to the event, the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition had consulted widely and met with the regulatory agencies and the major organization of users after which the decision was taken that the industry must do whatever is possible to ensure the emergence of one strong collective management organization in which all right owners have a stake. It was as a result of these consultations that the decision was taken that urgent steps be taken to bring about the formation of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), which had long been agreed to by every major stakeholder organization in the industry.

New date for MTN Nigerian Music Fest

A new date has been announced by telecom giant MTN Nigeria and Ruyi Communications Limited for the much-awaited musical fiesta fittingly tagged: Nigerian Music Fest. The Lagos show, earlier scheduled for October 3, at the main bowl of Tafawa Balewa Square, has now been shifted to November 21, 2009, while the Owerri show will now hold on November 28.

According to MTN, the title sponsor of the event, the shift in date was to enable the artistes have enough time to prepare and deliver a memorable and exciting event.

The postponement will also allow the organisers more time to conclude logistics arrangement for a seamless event. “Nigerian Music Fest is a national celebration of the historical antecedent of music in Nigeria and there is therefore need to make it a memorable experience for all lovers of music in Nigeria,” said Mr Kola Oyeyemi, General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria.

“The Nigerian Music Fest is a significant festival that will reflect the history of music in Nigeria as well as the lifestyle and values of the people spanning five decades, therefore we must do everything necessary to give the best to the people,” he further added.

The Nigerian Music Fest is a concept of Ruyi Communications Limited, a marketing communication company, headed by veteran broadcaster, Mr Soni Irabor. According to Irabor, “expectations are high and several artistes, tourists and fun lovers in the country are showing interest in the event that it becomes very imperative to further fortify every arrangement to have a memorable event that will remain the talk of the town long after the event.”

Ticket sales continue at all branches of Skye Bank (the official bank of the event) in Lagos, The City Mall, The Palms (Lekki, Lagos), Falomo Shopping Centre, Silver Bird Galleria, Yaba and all major eateries in the host cities. The tickets are in three categories.

The Nigerian Music Fest is powered by MTN Nigeria in line with its commitment to enhance the beauty of life for Nigerians and also to connect to the passion of the people through music. The telecom company has been at the forefront in the promotion and sponsorship of music initiatives in Nigeria. It is using the MTN Nigerian Music Festival as a platform to connect with the passion of its numerous subscribers.