Monday, August 3, 2009
Nollywood’s biggest gifts to the world, Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme, globally known as Aki and Paw paw, recently landed a mouth-watering endorsement deal with AG cellular, a leading South African based mobile phone company.
Authoritatively gathered that the deal was struck during their recent tour of South Africa, which spanned over a month.
Breaking the good news to a select number of entertainment journalists recently, the duo hinted that the one-year deal, which is also renewable, would be elaborately launched in September, in South Africa and later Nigeria.
“AG Cellular, is a mobile hardware player, it has been operating since 94. It recently teamed up with us to introduce a new range of mobile phones. According to them, we epitomize the current and trendy brand of conscious customers for AG. The new range of phones that we’ll model for them are customized, individualized and exclusive. These models of phones will also contain pre-loaded Aki and Paw paw contents, such as: customized ring tones, wallpapers and a memory card with pre loaded videos. Some leading South African stars and celebrities have also endorsed other ranges of phones from their stable. We have no doubt that this union will pave the way for a brighter and exciting future for us and Nollywood in general”.
Aside South Africa, the Aki and Paw paw range of AG cellular phones, will also be available in other African countries, immediately after the launch in September.
Nollywood quakes for Ukpabio’s consecration
Nollywood, the pride of Africa and the second largest film-producing nation globally, is gearing up for the forthcoming apostolic consecration of movie- evangelist and founder of Liberty Gospel Church, Mrs. Helen Ukpabio.
The now talk-of-the town event holds elaborately on Saturday, August 29, 2009, in Calabar Cross River State, with several Nollywood stars and dignitaries billed to attend.
Authoritatively gathered that Ukpabio’s admirers and associates in Nollywood have also set up various committees within and outside Nollywood for a better coordination and planning of the grand gathering, which would definitely rock the city non-stop on the D-day.
With over 20 topical and contemporary movies to her credit, as one of the leading Christian filmmakers in Nollywood, Ukpabio’s films, which are mainly expository, have affected lives positively and further helped to change the society for good as well as spreading the gospel.
It is also unarguable that virtually all the leading names in Nollywood, had at one time or the other, worked with her on various movie locations, either as actors or production persons.
In another development, her latest film entitled: Light Affliction, which was directed by Ernest Obi, would soon be hitting shelves nationally and globally. Several leading names in Nollywood also starred in the bid budget movie with a difference.
Speaking on the movie, Ukpabio, who was recently in Lagos, to tidy up preparations for her apostolic consecration, posited that the new work, just like others in her series, was divinely inspired. She also prophesied spiritual fulfillment for all those coming to felicitate with her on the occasion of her consecration as an Apostle in the vineyard of the Most High.
Still waxing stronger with over 100 branches of her church scattered within and outside Nigeria, the fire brand women of God, further pledged that her consecration, would see her traveling more outside our shores, to continue spreading the gospel in all parts of the globe, adding that nothing will ever stop her from preaching and propagating the gospel to mankind.
White Gig illuminates Lagos
The Lagos party scene was recently illuminated when Encomium, the magazine and awards company hosted the third edition of its scintillating and superlative White Gig, in commemoration of its 12th anniversary.
The high octane soiree, which saw dignitaries, celebs and stars adhering to the “Standing order” of an all white ensembles held amid colour and class at the upscale and eye-pepping Lagos Oriental Hotel, opulently tucked by the water front of Lekki, Lagos.
As usual, Mr. Olakunle Bakare, the urbane and gentleman publisher of Encomium magazine ensured that choice drinks and assorted cuisines, all flowed endless at the grand-gathering, which was chaired by Princess Sarah Sosan, the deputy governor of the centre of Excellence.
To further light up the groove, which provided many, the opportunity to relax, network and savour the unadulterated evening breeze cascading from the seaside, DJ Jimmy Jatt, was on the wheels of steel, dishing out the very best that the nation’s high-flying music industry could offer.
And trust the gay guests, they kept jigging and swinging on the spacious dance floor till the memorable and well – organized ball of elegance came to a rousing end.
However, the highpoint of the event was the presentation of three brand new Kia cars to three staffers of Encomium magazine, for their long years of meritorious services to the leading soft-sell media organization.
In the words of elated Mr. Bakare, the White Gig remains the biggest, classiest and most glamourous party on planet earth.
KC Presh moves hunt to Calabar
Cheering news filtering in has it that the duo of KC Presh, has landed something big with the government of Senator Liyel Imoke of Cross River State. The Governor, we learnt has agreed to support a forthcoming initiative from the duo, which would see them giving back to society in appreciation of the support they have received from them so far.
As a further prove that the project has been fully endorsed, the amiable Governor and his lovely wife, Obioma, recently received and hosted the duo and officials of DKL entertainment at the Government House, and promised to wholly support the coming talent hunt programme. Fittingly tagged: “Sionkpo Talent Hunt with K.C Presh”, it is billed to hold at the cultural centre, Calabar on August 21, 2009. During a chat, the visibly elated duo explained further: “We went to the Governor to intimate him about our project, and as fate would have it, the Governor pledged the support of his government and we are very appreciative of the gesture. The talent hunt show is another avenue for K.C. Presh to reach the youths of this country and tell them that they can be themselves and make it in life, without engaging in crimes”. According to the organizers of the event, DKL entertainment, who are also the management company for the duo, as well as their record
label, the forms for the talent hunt show are free and can be obtained at the cultural centre, Calabar, venue of the event. The competition would produce six finalists from where an overall winner will emerge. All the six finalists automatically qualify to have a single of their songs recorded and promoted by DKL, for one year, in order to provide them the needed head start in their musical odyssey.
The overall winner would get a cash prize of N250, 000, while the first and second runners up, would get the sums of N150, 000 and N100, 000 respectively. Some leading Nigerian musicians have been penciled down to serve as judges during the context.
Meanwhile, the Cross River State Broadcasting Corporation has provided quality airtime at subsidized rates as its own contribution to the overall success of the hunt.
The screening for the hunt would hold in Uyo, Asaba and Port Harcourt, before the grand finale. A musical and comedy concert would wrap the grand finale in Calabar.
Sex in God’s house to be out soon
A new and very controversial Christian literature entitled: Sex in God’s House, would soon be hitting the shelves. Boldly and unapologetically written by popular woman of God, Reverend Cynthia Okobi, the founder and head pastor of a mobile Christian church, Awesome God Evangelical Ministries Worldwide.
A source that, perhaps, had seen a preview of the book claims that, among other soul-stirring issues concerning relationships, the author discusses frontally, matters of sex and sexual conducts especially among Christian or supposed Christians. She draws richly from her experience and those of people with whom she has been closely associated. The source added that the book, with some graphic illustrations, would be a great revelation on the unnoticed happenings in God’s houses. It is however not just a revelation on sex, but concludes with recommendations on the place of sex with Christians and offers a manual on how to use sex, among other things to foster good relationships towards building better Christians homes and society.
Due for release/launch in August, the book would no doubt generate lots of controversies, especially on the role and place of sex among Christian faithful.
Nollywood stars endorse Clear Cut
Several Nollywood stars, entertainers and celebs recently came out en masse to witness the grand opening of Clear Cut, the upscale unisex salon, for the urbane and upwardly mobile. Owned by fashion and Nollywood enthusiast Mrs. Otufowora-Kamal Abidemi, the classy salon is gradually becoming a Mecca of sort for some Nollywood stars and practitioners, who now frequent the place to enhance their looks.
Located in the heart of Tafawa Balewa Street, Surulere, where most of the leading music/movie production houses are also situated, a grand groove, heralded the opening, a fortnight ago.
Top actor Segun Arinze, Rap prodigy Kage, American returnee Emmiy and a host of others graced the opening, which had victuals in excess.
They collectively shared their optimism about the success of the new outlet.
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-Oby Edozieh to storm US, for new movie.
-Glo Nollywood ambassadors in South Africa, for new commercial.
Amidst glitz and grandeur, respected director, Emem Isong recently staged the world premiere of Edikan, the Ibibio language film from the stable of Royal Arts Academy, which is also subtitled in English.
Edikan tells the pathetic and moving story of a teenage girl that was sexually abused by her stepfather and later branded a witch, when she dared to speak out.
Co-produced by Uduak Oguamanam, the heart-wrenching movie stars leading acts like: Desmond Elliot, who also directed, Ini Edo, Lilian Ikpe, Nse Ikpe-Etim and several others.
Speaking on what to expect at the event, Isong, with over a decade experience as an award-winning filmmaker, disclosed that it is going to be an intellectual premiere with several notable Nigerians and leading Nollywood personalities in attendance.
“A 30-minute footage of the film will be screened, there will be also be a cultural display by a dance troupe.
Also, a notable children rights activist will deliver a speech. Hip-hop act, Slam will perform a special song for the African Child, Anne Inyang and other performers would support him on stage. There will be light refreshments and other side attractions for the premiere”, disclosed Isong, the CEO of Royal Arts Academy.
Continuing, Isong further revealed that Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, a principal officer at the House of Representatives, has agreed to chair the evening event, as well as deliver the keynote address.
Also coming as the Special Guest of Honour is Hon. Chris Essien, the Chairman of Ibesikpo Asutan LGA, Akwa Ibom State.
“We are using this film as a medium to create awareness about the child-witch saga, with a view to eradicating it from our State, Akwa-Ibom and any other place, its still being practiced. We are also open to partnerships with both private and public sectors, so that this just cause can be propagated and promoted evenly. I also see Edikan as an advocacy tool that would help change the system, especially my State, which has been bastardized. Mind you, I understand the positive impact movies are making in the society based on my extensive research and experience as a filmmaker. Above all, some percentage from the proceeds of Edikan, will go to the victims of this child-witchcraft abuse, as well as some homes and institutions catering and fighting for their rights and protection,” she promised.
Meanwhile, the well-traveled filmmaker is still celebrating with colleagues, friends and well wishers few weeks after carting home three diadems at the recently held City People Entertainment awards. Isong, who won in the categories of Best Scriptwriter, Producer and Movie of the Year, with the hit flick-Re-loaded, maintained the awards would spur her into doing more great things for Nollywood.
The rain of awards continued for Isong, at the just held Women in Media (WIM) awards, where she also won the Excellent Personality trophy, in recognition of her immense contributions to TV/movie productions, over the years. The premiere, which is currently serenading Nollywood, is strictly by invitation; and gatecrashers would not be allowed in.
Organizers set for 6th Abuja film festival
All is now set for the 6th edition of the annual Abuja International Film and Video Festival, holding from September 23rd to 25,th 2009, at the prestigious Shehu Musa Yardua Centre and Cyprian Ekwensi Cultural Centre both in Abuja, Nigeria, respectively.
The highly reputed Film and Video Broadcast Festival, according to the organizers, attract entries from over 50 countries worldwide, with an attendance of over 2,000 participants from the film, TV and general public.
The festival is organized in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information and Communication, the National Film and Video Censors Board, the Nigerian Film Corporation, the Nigerian Intellectual Property Commission and the Nigeria Television Authority.
According to the festival Director, Mr. Fidelis Duker, The festival has so far received over 107 entries from around the world and it has gone further to enlarge the advisory board of the festival to include the relevant government agencies and learned practitioners from the media and PR world. He further disclosed that the festival has incorporated a musical festival to the yearly event and that notable and up and coming music acts will be on hand daily to entertain visitors and delegates.
A Nollywood Achievement award has also been created as a yearly package of the festival, to honour all stakeholders in the industry who have contributed annually to developing and improving the sector since inception. Criteria for the awardees will be unveiled on August 1, 2009.
The festival manager Ebiere Ajibola Bodude stressed on the need for the relevant government regulatory agencies to support the film festival, which is the oldest independently run film festival in Nigeria today. The festival has commenced accepting entries for films in the following categories – feature, short, documentary and experimental films produced in the last 24 months. For more info, visit: www. firstname.lastname@example.org
More laurels for top director, Lancelot Imasuen
pic-Imasuen with Actress Omotola Jolade-Ekeinde at an event
Few weeks after mesmerizing the world on CNN’s Screening Room, where he spoke extensively about the huge potentials inherent in Nollywood and what makes the second largest film producing nation globally very unique, Nigerian born internationally acclaimed filmmaker, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, is set to receive and give out more honours and laurels.
Gathered that City People magazine recently honoured the well-traveled director at his native Benin, Edo State, South-South Nigeria, for his immense contributions to the nation’s home video scene.
The historic event, according to Imasuen, who just returned from a global tour/premiere of Ebuwa, his latest language film, in the US, UK and Canada, the honour further attests to the fact that he has done extremely well for Nollywood and himself as a film maker cum cultural ambassador with an undying passion and belief in the Nigerian project.
“My brother, I’m overwhelmed by this gesture from City People and really humbled too. It is going to be three events rolled into one on the D-day. Aside the honour from City People, I will also be having the official release party as well as announcing the worldwide release date for Ebuwa with a lot of fanfare and razzmatazz, immediately after the City People event. On that day also, I will be personally presenting special awards called the Arts Support Heritage Awards (ASHA), to some specially selected individuals that have hugely supported Ebuwa and I over the years, home and abroad. We would also give out classy souvenirs at the event. Like we all know, Ebuwa is a film on human trafficking and prostitution, it has also been endorsed by NAPTIP”, he disclosed.
Speaking further, Imasuen, with over 200 films to his credit, posited that the Ebuwa tour, which spanned over three months, was very successful and has further propagated the ideals of Nollywood to the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, as a filmmaker with bias for topical and contemporary stories and issues, Imasuen, would soon be hitting locations for a movie on Breast Cancer, in collaboration with the publishers of Genevieve magazine. The big budget project, expected to be completed this year, according to Imasuen, would be used as an awareness/advocacy tool, to further help fight the scourge of the disease that is ravaging women, in Nigeria.
Aside being interviewed on CNN, the passionate filmmaker also disclosed that as a true ambassador of Nollywood, he had equally been invited to some of the leading international media organizations like: BBC, Chinese Radio, CBC, the America Market Place and several others, to further discuss the Nollywood phenomenon. “If truth must be told, Nollywood has been accepted globally and that is a very big plus for Nigeria. It is one aspect of us that is very positive and I have always insisted that we must guard it jealously. It is high time our government embraces it fully, even those in the private sector. Again, our dream of winning an Oscar must come through our language movies, because we have plenty indigenous stories to tell the world”. He also spoke on the forthcoming Nollywood North American film festival, which he initiated, during his recent trip to Canada. He argued that the festival, which holds in September 2009, would further reposition and
help put Nollywood on the global map of leading filmmaking nations. “ Both the public and private sectors should proudly support this festival”.
New pop sensation comes on board
Things will no longer be the same, especially for Nigerian pop fans who have been wondering what happened to the thriving pop culture synonymous with the music scene of the 90s. And the reason is Kimwonder, the new pop sensation, who just berthed on the scene from her base in Los Angeles, USA. Ready with a four-tracker aptly entitled: Right Time, Kimwonder’s effort is a product of a five yearlong rehearsals in the studios, and include tracks like: Right Time Party, Enjoy the moment, Traffic 2 Haven and Papa.
All the tracks composed and arranged by Kimwonder have flavours of pop and R&B in appropriate doses.
According to Kimwonder, her incursion into music was as a result of sheer interest.
“Right from when I was a kid, I have always been drawn to good sound. I grew up listening to all genres of music, and along the line I did not need anyone to tell me that my star lies in pop songs. I feel okay with pop, because it reflects my mood always. Perhaps that is why I have the song, Enjoy The Moment. It is a reflection of the good old pop songs we have grown to know with pop stars like the late Michael Jackson.”
Of course, so many singers spring surprises when their academic background is weighed against their love for music. Kimwonder is essentially one of those wonders. With a degree in Agricultural Economics, it comes as a surprise that she could find time to do music.
“Music runs in my blood. I get a lot of joy from singing. But my degree in Agric Econs is also a boost to my knowledge, which is important in what I am doing. Music is a field where you share your knowledge, mood and experiences with your audience”
Her producer, Mr. Chris said he was lured to Kimwonder by her outstanding talent and humility.
“I have worked with lots of artistes both males and females, and I can tell you that Kimwonder is a combination of beauty and brain, and to have that with the kind of humility she has exhibited obviously astounded me. I know she would go very far. This is just the beginning of the journey.”
The album, which was recently presented to the public, at the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt, featured a lot of performances from various Nigerian artistes, including XHuman, one of the rappers she featured in the album.
-Actress cum presenter of Bold Faces on TV, Tricia Eseigbe, added a year on July 14. Happy Birthday.
-Jim Iyke recently storms South Africa , from the US, for the shooting of the Glo’s advert with Nollywood stars.
-The London based prime mover of Zafaa Awards, UK, Mr. Sam Anwuzia is in town.
-Top actor, Victor Osuagwu renews multi million Naira contract with Symba group.
-The Michael Jackson tribute concert finally held @ O’Jez, recently.
-Slam returns, drops new album, Simply Slam.
-Emeka Enyiocha and wife, to dedicate daughter, Adanna, at Overcomers Church, Surulere.