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Friday, July 24, 2009

Jim Iyke grabs multi million deals… unveils lover

Few weeks after grabbing and headlining the Globacom’s mega deal for some privileged Nollywood stars, stylish actor, Jim Iyke, is on the verge of sealing another multi million Naira deal with Oceanic bank, this we exclusively gathered.
According to an insider, who’s also a close confidante of the Anambra State born international star, aside the N50 million that Glo recently paid him for two years endorsement, he also got another N20 million sign on fee from the marketer of his forthcoming music album entitled: Who am I.
Interestingly, Jim Iyke recently told us he would soon be signing a multi million Naira partnership deal with Oceanic Bank plc, for his forthcoming nationwide hunt: Supreme Talent. “We’ve gone far with discussions with Oceanic bank, on this project. The overall winner will get a two-movie contract deal from me, and also receive N5million upfront recording deal with Untamed Records, which is my own outfit. The lucky person will also go home with a brand new car and would be opportune to shoot a multi million Naira video in the US and UK. Several other mouth watering prizes await all the runners up”, Iyke, who just breezed in from the US, revealed.
Continuing, the actor turned singer, whose 12 tracker album featured Tuface Idibia, Sound Sultan, Yinka Davies and a few other foreign acts, further disclosed that the promo single of Who am I, alongside the scintillating video, has been dominating the national and international airwaves, since it was dropped a couple of weeks ago. “The full album will be out soon, it was recently launched in Ghana, we also had an elaborate album signing ceremony at the Silverbird, in Ghana, with over 3000 of my fans in attendance. The event was rounded off with an all night show, sponsored by TV Africa, Ghana. I’m currently on set shooting the videos of Born To Do This and Ikenna, which featured, Slow Dog. In fact, we just returned from South Africa, where we completed the video of the former. Wudi directed, while Puffy T, produced. Iyk Onwuka, the London based boss of Marginal Records, is in charge of the internet distributions and sales of my album, he paid me
handsomely for that too”.
Unarguably one of the highest paid and most sought after actors in Nollywood, he recently pocketed N5million, for his role in the first ever comic strip action movie from Nollywood.
The highly creative work of art, he told us would soon be premiered within and outside our shores.
Aside playing big in the entertainment industry, the still single entertainer, whose real names are: James Ikechukwu Esomugha, is gradually making an in road into the nation’s money-spinning oil and gas sector as well as the auto industry. He recently set up Jimke oil and gas with some of his equally rich pals, and now imports exotic cars for sales and pleasure cruising from the US. “My 2009 Cadillac Escalade, a customized SUV, will be arriving from the States, in the next couple of weeks. I buy cars for pleasure as well as business. Globally, super stars diversify, and that is what I am doing now, cos I know the show and business sides of showbiz.”
Iyke, further reacted angrily to a false story on the Internet alleging that he was beaten up, arrested and detained by the police on the orders of a female film producer, whom he had a disagreement with on set, while lensing in Ado Ekiti. “Nothing of such happened, I do not know where they fabricated the unjust story from. I was only delayed on that set and I threatened to leave, because I was traveling to the US, but when our national president, Mr. Ejike Asiegbu, intervened, I had to stay back and quickly completed my remaining scenes. To have turned the story round, the originators are liars and would soon be hearing from my team of lawyers. Even another ungodly story in one of the soft sell magazines, alleging that I was beaten in Ghana, was a figment of the writer’s imagination. My lawyers have also written them. All these are false stories aimed at bringing me and my exemplary career into disrepute, but they will never succeed.”
On his love life, the handsome entertainer, accepted he’s currently in a whirlwind romance with Keturah Hamilton, a top US model, with Jamaican and Cuban backgrounds. The damsel currently twanging Iyke’s heart like a Spanish guitar, we further learnt is also a music video model/dancer and the reigning face of Puff Daddy’s mineral water and several other endorsements.

Ambassador visits NFVCB…hails Mba’s policies

To further harness the global impact of Nollywood and reposition it as one of the effective tools needed for the re branding of our nation, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada, Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher on Friday, July 4, made a historic visit to the headquarters of the National Film and Video Censors Board in Abuja. The erudite professor was delighted by the strides made by Nigerian filmmakers and was therefore of the opinion that the re-branding process initiated by the Hon. Minister of Information and Communication, should be driven by the film medium. He gave example of how the Canadian government has used that medium for maximum effect. “Films should be able to contribute to the growth and development of any country and therefore help raise the standard and quality of life of the people. Film has to inoculate the public’, he maintained.
He further argued that the role of the national film and video censors board is one of the most critical aspects of the re-branding process. The classification and censorship process by the Censors board, he believes will help the public get quality movies that represent the interest of the Nigerian nation. The Director General Mr. Emeka Mba, in his response, thanked the High Commissioner for the visit and assured him of the board‘s commitment to sanitising the film industry and encouraging genuine moviemakers in Nigeria to harness their potentials. He promised that the Censors’ board would ensure through its classification and censorship processes that the best films get out of Nigeria to the world audience. The High Commissioner used the opportunity to invite the Censor’s board to the first Nollywood North American Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, from September 20 to 23, 2009. The festival is the brainchild of the High Commissioner and it is
expected to be an avenue for Nigeria and other black communities in the world to tell their own stories to the international audience. His Special Assistant, Domestic, Miss Franca Aernan, a leading Nollywood actress/filmmaker, accompanied the High Commissioner to the visit.

Del-York brings New York Film Academy to Nigeria

The need to recognize and immediately tackle the challenges facing the Nigerian film industry, globally known as Nollywood, has led to the signing of an agreement between Del-York international and the New York Film Academy (NYFA), US. The recent deal, which has the support and endorsement of the Ministry of Information and Communications, would see the revered and prestigious film institute bringing its world-class training courses, facilities and tutors to Lagos, Nigeria, soon.
According to Mr. Linus Idahosa, the prime mover of the laudable initiative and also the CEO of Del-York international, Nigeria will be the first country on the African continent to host the NYFA team to intensive hands on training workshop on film making, directing, screen writing, editing, broadcast journalism, 3D animation and master classes exclusively designed for professionals, marketing communications executives, lawyers, advertising agencies and government institutions.
Mr. Idahosa, further added that NYFA will ship world class equipment for the programme, including: 35mm and 16mm (plus RED) film cameras, High Definition (HD) cameras, lighting and sound systems, editing suites and projectors, which are all the same used at the leading four-year film school, in the US.
“Painstakingly designed for a new generation of film makers, screen writers, actors, producers, copy writers, creative directors and animators who share a passion for motion pictures, the training model allows all participants to achieve more in less time than any other University, Institute or School in the world. Each student will conceive, produce, direct and edit a new media project in one week.”

Also speaking, top actress, Stephanie Okereke, an alumnus of NYFA, and the coordinator of the initiative, further disclosed that Del-York would identify 100 gifted students from Nollywood and the creative arts departments of Nigerian Universities nationwide and offer them full scholarships.
“We are using a prime facility in Victoria Island, and over 500 students will be accommodated in small classes of 20 students per classroom. Registration is now in progress and classes begin in October”, she maintained.

-Segun Arinze set to hit DBN TV with Smokescreen soon.
-Chidi Mokeme prepares to launch own foundation in Lagos and Abuja.
-Aki and Pawpaw land multi million Naira deal with a South African phone company, AG Cellular.
FG re-appoints Mr. Emeka Mba, DG, NFVCB, for another four-year tenure.
-Mary, Lilian evicted from Koko Mansion.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Anita Joseph drops new video

Sexy actress Anita Joseph is gradually making an in road into the nation’s saturated music industry.
The emerging diva, whose stage name is Nita J, recently dropped her latest video on air, for her fans and music lovers to watch and applaud.
Entitled: Tyme No Dey, the beautiful work of art was shot in South Africa on 35mm format by Bradon, for god father productions. Nita J, during a recent media parley, where she formally presented the video, said her songs dwell on all aspects of human life, thus making her a crossover act.
Aside Tyme No Dey, Nita J and her crew also lensed the video of Sexy Boi, another hit song in the forthcoming full album.
Both videos are currently on national and cable TV stations, and excited Nita J, promised to drop more scintillating videos in the next couple of weeks.
“I will always give my fans the best of me in whatever I do as an entertainer. Agreed, I have a strong passion for music, but my acting career is still very paramount and would always remain my first love,” she disclosed.
“Music for me is food for the soul and must always go on, no matter what we are going through. For instance, the death of Michael Jackson is very painful, but his songs are still comforting and consoling us, that is music for you and I”
Anambra born Nita J, also featured BJ, in the well-shot video, which was produced by the duo of J-Stunt and Joe Genius.

Next Level reality show excites participants

The Star price

The Next Level, a first of its kind reality TV show aimed at preparing and empowering participants’ minds and further helping them to develop and sharpen their entrepreneurial and business development skills, was recently unveiled in Lagos.
According to Market Tech, the prime movers of the coming event, it has been designed and targeted at those who are engaged in meaningful productive activities, especially the unemployed, students and those that are about to retire from work, literates and illiterates as well as the physically challenged.
They further disclosed that participants for the reality show would be determined through raffle draws and trained at the Centre for Management Development, Shangisha, Lagos, for a period of 30 days. “All expenses paid, first, second and shark draws. We are also giving away 100 generators, 50 standing fans and lots more for the first draw. We will also be giving out five tricycles, 10 motor cycles, One Million Naira each for 20 people and a 30-day training at the centre, in the second and final draws”.
Meanwhile, a brand new Suzuki Swift Salon car, awaits the overall winner, who will also be crowned The Next Level ambassador. While the first and second runners-up, would walk home with a Suzuki Alto salon car and a complete set of Plasma TV set with Home Theatre, respectively.
To participate, a participant is expected to purchase the scratch card, with a token, from accredited dealers nation-wide.
The project begins this July, and would run for a period of five months on national and cable TV stations. The organizers further argued that it would also provide guidelines on the best approach to setting up small businesses and identifying business opportunities as they arise.

Nollywood Crisis

Between AGN & BOT

The recent communiqué from the 19 States Chapter Chairmen of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) endorsing the presidency of Mr. Ejike Asiegbu; has been countered by the recently inaugurated National Caretaker Committee of the Board of Trustees (BOT), headed by Mr. Kanayo O. Kanoyo.
It would be recalled that the chapter chairmen under the aegis of Conference of Chairmen, at a meeting held at Recozee Hotel, Warri, Delta State, on Wednesday, June 24, 2009, among other issues agreed that Mr. Asiegbu and his elected officers should remain the recognized National Executives of AGN.
They were also given three months, between June 24 and September 23, 2009, to conduct a national election.
A caveat also issued was that failure to conduct election at the stipulated time; they shall meet with the BOT, in Nassarawa State on September 25, 2009, to jointly form an AGNEC and immediately conduct an election within one month.
The communiqué duly signed by the 19 States chapter chairmen, further reminded the BOT, that its constitutional role is purely advisory and should act within the confines of the 2007 constitution of the AGN.
“In thanking the BOT, for having the interest of the guild at heart, we also want to make it clear that their action is unconstitutional, according to the 2007 AGN constitution, and therefore, null and void. The Conference of Chairmen is the Congress of the guild”.
In a swift reaction, the Caretaker Committee, in a release signed by Kanayo O. Kanayo, the interim president, questioned the authenticity of the three months given Mr. Asiegbu, to conduct an election by the Conference of Chairmen.
“Mr. Asiegbu dissolved and disbanded the Conference of Chairmen on June 1, 2006, at what point was the body reconstituted? Why would the same body that Mr. Asiegbu accused of fraud, intimidation, incompetence, nocturnal meetings and various acts of corruption suddenly become too credible, relevant and proper for the extension of his long expired tenure? In the final analysis, the Caretaker Executives shall conduct its duties within the six months period arrogated it to conduct the AGN presidential election and duly hand over to the next AGN executives…”
We would definitely keep you readers posted as the AGN crisis, which has also polarized Nollywood rages on.

Viewers hail Koko Mansion’s kokolettes

Since hitting the airwaves exclusively on HITV, millions of viewers have been applauding Koko Mansion and the twelve beautiful kokolettes thrilling daily in the widely acclaimed reality show. Expectedly too, Koko Mansion being powered by Toyin Zubair and his dedicated team, kicked off on a high note.

Also being supported by Nigerian Breweries Plc’s brands, Star and Maltina and Jagal Group, makers of Tetmosol, the recent unveiling ceremony of Koko Mansion was characterized by pomp, razzmatazz and blitz. At exactly 5pm, the show hostess, Mariam Anazodo opened the Koko Mansion, bringing to an end, weeks of suspense. But then, the suspense, intrigues, counter intrigues and drama have just begun. The deft way she handled the ‘opening ceremony’ further wetted the appetite of viewers all over the country and the U K where signals of the show is being received.
The girls started arriving at about 6pm and they spent some time familiarizing themselves with the awesome mansion. Mariam was on hand to make the transition smooth. D’banj, the hip-hop superstar who is playing a vital role in the Koko Mansion, paid his first visit to the mansion immediately. Trust D’banj, it was fun and wit all the time he spent with the excited girls.
For eight weeks, the Kokolettes will be in the mansion to determine who the ideal Kokolette is. However, there will not be any eviction this week as the Kokolettes are busy getting used to one another. From this week, interesting fun tasks will be introduced in the build up to finding the number one Kokolette. The winner of the reality show will walk home with N5 million in cash, a luxury car and a Chris Aires diamond ring, among other goodies.
The lucky Kokolettes currently serenading viewers on Koko TV channel are: Rekana Ojong, Rita Igbinedion, Victoria Oloye, Shona Merenu, Mercy Bruno and Lilian Ebehohon.
Others include: Elizabeth Era, Chioma Akuezue, Chinwe Ukadike, Chidinma Mbalazo, Bolanle Okhiria and Bidemi Jolayemi

Inyanya to release video of Love Truly

Inyanya Mbuk, the winner of the inaugural edition of the MTN Project Fame West Africa, is set to hit the Nigerian music scene with an awe-inspiring music video of his hit single, ‘Love Truly.’
The Calabar-born artiste, who has enjoyed a smooth entrant into the country’s music scene since emerging the ultimate winner of the keenly contested music reality TV show, has been the toast of other artistes as his hit singles continue to enjoy regular air play and acceptance among the teeming youths in the country.
In an interview during the Lagos audition for Season Two of the MTN Project Fame West Africa, Inyanya said that the music video was a true reflection of the message of the song, ‘Love Truly’. He explained that the song depicts life experiences of lovers who have everything going on well with their relationships and how people should encourage love and meaningful relationships. It talks about love, passion, emotions and betrayals.
Inyanya explained: “A lot has happened in my life which I feel I should communicate to people through my music. It is the only way I can express myself to the world about some issues in the society. I am out to do good music and not hype, therefore I want somebody to play my music and learn something from it.”

The video, which is expected to hit the TV screens anytime soon has long been awaited by his fans considering the success and appeal created by his two hit singles, ‘Love Truly’ and ‘No Time’ (featuring Face). M-Squad Media, a top rated Nigerian music outfit, produced and directed the video to fit perfectly into the global demand for exciting and colourful recording.
‘Love Truly’ is Inyanya’s first hit track, which was composed while in the MTN Project Fame West Africa Academy. That musical talent hunt show marked the beginning of a new chapter in Inyanya’s life, having emerged the winner of the ultimate prize of N2.5 million cash, a Toyota RAV 4 and a one-year recording deal. For the ‘Golden Boy’, as he is fondly called by fans, it is not only about the prizes as God’s grace, hard work and some of the valued he had picked from the Project Fame Academy have sufficiently shaped his career.

Reflecting on his days at the Project Fame Academy, the handsome songster admitted that MTN Project Fame has taught him a lot in music and how to handle the challenges of stardom.

In his words: “I now have more understanding of song writing. The show has really changed my musical performance, particularly my style of performing. It has also changed my moral life because of the everyday lessons and tasks from the Principal, Mummy J (Joke Silva), and all that we got to learn from her. In fact, if I began to say everything I have learnt in the Project Fame, I will continue to talk for years,” he said.

More tears for Michael Jackson in Nollywood

Pic - Stephanie Okeke and Jim Iyke

More and more Nollywood stars and filmmakers are still mourning and crying over the recent and sad demise of globally acclaimed Pop star Michael Jackson, recently, after suffering a cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles home, US.
Leading the pack of mourners is top actor cum Hip-hop debutant Jim Iyke. In an emotion-laden voice, the talented thespian that just breezed in from the US, where he just finished work on a trans-Atlantic big budget movie, said the world has lost an entertainment icon. “Michael Jackson was no doubt an icon of unprecedented presence. Many will come and go in the course of our history, but come what may, there will never ever be another MJ”.
Also lamenting, the trio of Oby Edozieh, Stephanie Okereke and Steph Nora Okere, who are top actresses in Nollywood, said the news of Jackson’s exit came to them as a rude shock. In the words of Edozieh, “I could not do anything the day Michael died. I felt so sad and that feeling has not left me. Mike truly touched lives and would be greatly missed”.
While baring her heavy heart to us, actress cum TV presenter of Bold Faces, Tricia Eseigbe, said she could not hold back tears when the sad news reached her. “My brother, Mike inspired my going into showbiz at a very tender age. I cried all day when I confirmed the news of his death. Death or not, he lives on in my life and that of many others globally”.
For Barrister Sam Kargbo, the Abuja based honcho of SKP productions; Jackson’s death has left a big vacuum on the global entertainment scene. The lawyer whose label discovered X-Project, and has continued to nurture them for almost a decade, further hinted that his exit was a big blow to all his fans globally.
“There can never be another Jackson, he was truly loved globally.”
Mr. Joseph Odobeatu, the boss of O’Jez Music and Entertainment Centre, opined that aside the untimely death, he was also looking forward to the day Jackson would visit Nigeria. “That dream is no longer realistic, because the cold hands of death has denied us of that once-in-life-time opportunity. However, we are planning something big for him at O’Jez soon”.
While lamenting the irreparable loss, Nigerian born Swedish based Afro-Hip-hop crooner, Lurrenz hinted he was looking forward to attending Jackson’s over-publicized concert in London, next month. “I cannot go again, because Mike is no more. He really influenced my going into showbiz”.
According to ace filmmaker and the president of Nollywood Association for Better Anambra (NABA), Mr. Obi Madubogwu, the sad news spoilt his mood for the whole day. “Initially, I thought it was a joke, but it dawned on me when it was confirmed. Since his death, I’ve not stopped playing his songs, but the irony is that they keep bringing back sad memories.”
It would be recalled that Jackson, the undisputed king of Pop died on June 25, 2009 at age 50. Showbiz Bits also joined Nollywood and the rest of the world in mourning this music legend, whose soul lifting songs immensely helped to heal our troubled world and souls.

The Ahizes’ fetes stars and associates

Lagos literally stood still for politician and international businessman Chief Charles Ahize and his pretty wife penultimate Sunday evening, when they threw a lavish birthday soiree for their last daughter, Zeenachi Kayla, who just clocked one.
The classy and hugely attended event, which held at the upscale Fun Factory, Lekki, Lagos, attracted the who-is-who as well as some leading entertainers in the movie, music and comedy sectors.
Pic - Bracket

While sultry actress Bimbo Akintola and tested actor Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey led the team from Nollywood to the event, Nigga Raw and Yori-Yori crooners, Bracket, were fully in charge of the team from the music industry.
Representing the team from the comedy sector was ace rib-cracker, Ali Baba, who came very late to the grand gathering with Mary, his wife.
Swathed in an all white Linen attire, Chief Ahize, who drove to the event in his glittering Phantom Rolls Royce, played the good host, by personally serving his specially invited guests with choice drinks and assorted dishes.
The Obigbo founder was so busy serving and ensuring that all went well at the bash, even to the extent of refusing to sit for just a minute.
In fact, getting him for a group photograph with most of his A-List guests was very difficult, because he kept moving from seat to seat greeting and personally taking the orders of all his invited guests.
In a brief chat, elated Mrs. Mercy Ahize, his equally busy wife, said if feels real good celebrating the first birthday of her last daughter with friends, associates, family members and well – wishers.
She also thanked her darling husband for making the celebration possible in a grand style.
Also speaking, top actor Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey, who was accompanied to the champagne-flowing bash by his wife and daughter, further disclosed that him and Chief Ahize married their wives from the same family. “I m not at this party as a Nollywood star, but as a member of the family. You can also see that I came with my family members for this party. We wish the baby many happy returns and long life,” he prayed.
Some of the Igbo big boys and society top shots spotted at the party include: Chief Mike Ikoku, the honcho of All Seasons Hotel and Mike Records, whom we gathered flew in from Owerri, Imo State specially for the event, Prince Emeka Obasi, the dandy publisher of Business Hallmark newspaper, Christopher Okobi, the CEO, Chriskobi Investment Limited, Chuks Okoroafor, CEO, Sectronics International Limited among others. Even the presence of Chief Ukaonu A Ukaonu, the Assistant Controller of Customs, further electrified the venue. He came with his wife and two lovely daughters and cracked many ribs with unending laughter before leaving. May be, he missed his earthly calling as a comedian.
Gathered authoritatively that the after party train later moved to the palatial Lagos home of the Ahizes’, from where it continued till very late into the night.

NFVCB unveils magpie

Mr. Emeka Mba and his very creative team at the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), in their continued efforts to digitalize the new distribution framework and make the system easy and user friendly, through its ICT unit, has created a special software application called Magpie. According to them, it’s a system that will enable film and video distributors track the progress of their film throughout the process of classification. A major concern in the business of media and communication is the ability to store and retrieve information quickly and accurately. The enormous quantity of information and data available in the business of censorship and classification of movies is much that the traditional methods of information and data use are grossly inadequate. The use of the MAGPIE SUITE of applications by the NFVCB is therefore to ensure timely and accurate assessment of data for effective and efficient delivery of services. Also, the
system will ensure the sharing of information both within the corporate network and the Internet. Other value added services inherent in this system is to help automate and improve workflow processes. It will also enhance the effectiveness of the board’s censorship and classification processes. The applications are in three forms: the classifier, link master and sms engine. While the Classifier encapsulates the business logic in the process of censorship and classification of films and video works, the link master is an application employed in manipulating the repository of data relating to operators in the film and video work industry.
The Short Message service (SMS) has achieved a huge success in the wireless world; because billions of SMS messages are sent everyday, which is complemented by the fact that virtually everybody owns a GSM phone.
SMS Services makes for ease of communication; with a mobile phone one can send and read SMS messages at any time, no matter where one is.