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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.