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Monday, March 29, 2010

Dry Waters for world premiere

Nollywood practitioners, stakeholders, associates as well as dignitaries from both the public and private sectors are set to storm the forthcoming world premiere of Dry Waters.
The anticipated evening of fun, relaxation and networking holds on Saturday, April 17, 2010, at the upscale Terrakulture, Victoria Island, Lagos; amid cheers and banters.
Elaborating more on the premiere, which is already serenading Nollywood, the producer cum financier of Dry Waters, Miss Chinasa Joy Onyechere, disclosed that she and her team have already stepped up plans and preparations for the D-day.
Onyechere, who’s the current Treasurer of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), further promised to make the event grand and memorable for all the specially invited guests coming, adding that the premiere would further reposition Kech Production Studios, her outfit, within and outside Nollywood.
Directed by Kelvin Ibanichuka, the suspense- filled two-hour movie, also boasts of some leading names plying their trade in Nollywood. Among them are: Monalisa Chinda, Kenneth Okonkwo, Paul Obazele, Chidi Ihezie- Okafor, Remy Ohajianya and a host of others.
Screen-played by Adim Williams, Dry Waters is thematically woven around critical family issues and how such issues could affect the larger society, if not properly handled from the foundation stages. “I have produced and funded over a dozen films in Nollywood, but decided to premiere this one elaborately, because it’s a story very dear to my heart. Dry Waters, was painstakingly shot over a period of six months, We intend to immediately begin the cinema showings after the world premiere, so that movie buffs can come out to watch and applaud what we are offering them. We look forward to welcoming and entertaining all at the premiere …” Onyechere declared.
Surprisingly, Nollywood, which was on the verge of collapsing last year, due to several internal and external crises is fast opening up to world class premieres, such as this one. The premieres are also gradually helping to revive and reposition the industry for greater challenges and prospects.
Meanwhile, it is pertinent to note that the premiere of Dry Waters, is following in the footsteps of Jungle Ride, which held a couple of weeks ago, at the posh Silverbird Galleria.

Street Champz raises the bar in reality shows

Street Champz, a brand new talent hunt cum reality TV show that will proactively advance creative entertainment and generously reward talents in the categories of music, drama, comedy and entertainment variety act, has berthed with so many mouth-watering prizes and benefits for interested Nigerians. Interestingly, Kevin Pam, the Jos, Plateau State born emerging entertainer/celebrity, who won the fourth season of the popular reality TV show-Big Brother Africa; is the face of the project. Hugely powered by Street Champz UK, a United Kingdom based entertainment and artiste Management Company founded by some Nigerian born but UK based entertainment personalities. Mr. Pam also doubles as the project’s Public Relations Officer.
While speaking at the unveiling ceremony Mr. Pam, also known as Jostified disclosed that he signed up to work on the project because it aligns with his ambition of giving up and coming entertainers the opportunities to showcase their talents. He further described the Street Champz project as different and unique, adding that the show represents a determination on the part of some well meaning and reputable Nigerians to improve the lot of the talents that abound in Nigeria. “Nigerian is blessed with talents. We have not even discovered one percent of the talents that we have in this country”. He also posited that Street Champz as a unique project has been designed to bring a new experience to the viewing public in Nigeria, the moment it goes on air soon.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of the project’s management team, Prince Emman-Stanford Amgbaduba maintained that Street Champz was founded to discover raw talents in entertainment and arts from the streets. Prince Amgbaduba further stated that the board of Street Champz was propelled to introduce the project because of the need to nurture, promote and manage such talents to their full potentials and stardom as well as providing the unique platform. Street Champz, he maintained provides the platform for the talents to contest in four categories that include; music, drama, comedy and variety act. ‘This is why the project is unique. We are looking at talents in four different areas and not just in an area, which is the trend. Our recurring theme in this project shall be excellence at all levels at all time and to achieve this, we are bringing in foreign experts and companies to partner with us on this project. We have also signed on the best of
Nollywood and the entertainment industry in the country to be judges, consultants, mentors, presenters and project managers for this project. Some of our judges include: Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Alex Usifo and Oritz Williki”.
Veteran musician and entertainer, Oritz Wiliki who attended the unveiling ceremony commended the organizers for bringing in a new dimension in talent hunt shows to Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of the project and Chairman of the UK chapter of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Mr. Chucks Mordi stated that winners in each category of the reality show would receive five million naira in cash, an SUV and a two-year career development programme in the United Kingdom. While, the runner up in each category will receive one million naira in cash, in addition to a two year career development contract, while the second runner up in each category will each receive seven hundred and fifty thousand in cash and a two year career development contract. Mordi further explained that the career development angle became necessary in order to avoid the issue of dumping the winning talents soon after the project, as it has become the practice with most reality shows. “A career development scheme that will expose the talents to the industry through mentorship and grooming. Apart from ensuring that they receive their
winnings, the artiste management arm of the company will work with the winners to ensure that the winners produce at least two professional works during this period” he submitted. The Administrative and Finance Director of the project, Mr. Olaniyi Ogun maintained that as a global entertainment and artiste management company, they have put in place a high performance business modules that will further expose the talents after the show.
Shedding more light on the level of technical input, Mr. Kingsley Kerry, the Technical Director of Street Champz assured that they will deliver a reality show of international standard whose recurring theme will be excellence at all levels and all times. “We shall be deploying the latest in technology as never seen before. We have contracted experts in lighting and graphic designs. It will interest you to know that the foreign experts that have been contracted are the same ones behind X-factor, one of Britain’s hottest talent shows.” Soft spoken Kerry who has been working in both television and film for over a decade disclosed that the company has contracted Bold Faces presenter, Tricia Eseigbe Kerry and Veronica Edafe among other presenters to anchor the show, which will begin soon with a nationwide audition where 39 finalists will emerge from the boot camp for the live broadcast of the competition. The boot camp as Kerry explained will be the
sifting point for all winners recruited from the States and from each category.
Tricia Esiegbe Kerry who was present at the ceremony said she was glad to be part of the project, adding that the organizers are definitely going to change the concept of reality shows in Nigeria.

Mahansa returns with Da Statement

Although, Chukwudi Ugwu better known as Mahansa studied Estate Management at the Enugu State University of Technology; but his body and soul have always been with music. A passion he has spent two decades practicing within and outside our shores.
For Ugwu, Mahansa means a swan bird when translated; and music to him should be rendered without inhibitions, just like the birds in the air caress and criss cross the open skies without hindrances.
With two existing albums to his credit, his latest effort entitled: Da Statement, is currently enjoying massive rotation on the airwaves. And he hopes to embark on a global tour with the very deep work with 15 tracks, soon.
According to the Ngwo, Enugu State born artiste, “I have been in and out of music during my days in the university because of my academics and I have performed at Shell Club, Rotary Club, among other places mainly because of the nature of my music.
I created a kind of music genre, which I called Afrociori. It’s a fusion of African, Occidental and Oriental cultural musical elements. I can travel to Brazil and add their musical pattern to my songs. Song is universal. My kind of music is not the popular kind. It is deep. The messages are mainly about serious issues like corruption, epidemics, hunger, among others. My previous two albums, “Entrapment” and “This Pain Must Go”, were products I did to support Rotary Club International in its polio eradication programme. They are there to attest to the kind of messages in my songs.”
The widely traveled crooner who has performed in many parts of the world like: Jo’burg, India and several other places, however, lamented that his major challenge is funding and the right platform for his kind of music to evolve.
Commenting on music in Nigeria, Mahansa said, “It is time for people to open their ears to new things. They should listen to something more reflective and stand on serious issues. We need to know where we are in the scheme of things.
Everybody operates at his or her own level. Some musicians here are making money, getting commercial breakthroughs but they don’t have depth. We do music that would last overtime, music that would outlive us. These are the things I stand for as a very deep musician.”

Worship for Change reaches out

Fountain of Praise, a Christian oriented organization that is heavily involved in Christian worship, music production, concerts, music workshops, entertainment, philanthropy and social entrepreneurship recently empowered orphans and specially challenged children and organizations catering for their daily needs.
It formally presented cheques and gift items to lucky beneficiaries from the proceeds of its 2009 edition of Worship for Change concert, an annual gospel music fiesta that began in 2006. The very colourful event was witnessed by the media and some dignitaries drawn from different walks of life.
While making the presentations to the six beneficiaries drawn from the Leprosy Mission Nigeria, Society for the Safety of the Insane and the Destitute, Jakin NGO, Temitayo Awosika Health Foundation and the Ikorodu and Badagry sickle cell clubs respectively, Pastor Wale Adenuga , said he was optimistic the gifts would help the inmates of the above homes live more fulfilling lives.
Speaking further, Adenuga, who’s the head honcho of Fountain of Praise maintained that their goal was basically to use their influence in partnership with individuals and organizations, who believe strongly in their vision of empowering orphans and specially challenged children to live more fulfilling lives in the society.
“Hopelessness does not reside far from each of us. We see it in the eyes of both the young and old. While we cannot solve every problem, we have got to do something about the ones we can,” Adenuga explained.
Amazingly, since inception in 2006, they had organized five star-studded and well attended concerts and also raised almost N10million collectively from these events.
Past beneficiaries include: Downs Syndrome Association of Nigeria, Hearts of Gold Children Hospice, Arrows of God Orphanage, Patrick’s Speech and Language Centre and Hepzibah Orphanage.
For the current beneficiaries, a cheque of N550,000, was presented to the Leprosy Mission Nigeria, while the Society for the Safety of the Insane and the Destitute and JAKIN NGO, got cheques of N450,000 and half a million respectively. The Temitayo Awosika Health Foundation got a surprise N443, 000, worth of drugs. The life changing organization also used the sums of N167,000 and N212,000, respectively to buy drugs for the Ikorodu and Badagry Sickle cell Clubs.
The dazed beneficiaries separately thanked the organization immensely, for remembering and donating generously to their needs.

Home in Exile now showing @ the Cinemas

Home in Exile, the big budget film directed by Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen has berthed at the Cinemas nationwide, after a very colourful and well-attended premiere. Speaking on the success of the premiere and why he decided to storm cinemas with the film, Imasuen, with over 100 Nollywood movies to his credit, as a director, said the premiere was a pointer to the fact that Nollywood has fully bounced back. He further explained that by hitting the cinemas, movie buffs will have the opportunity of watching and applauding a true Nigerian story based on hard work and perseverance.

“Home in Exile, was shot last year and premiered first at the Odeon Cinema, London. The world premiere was graced by both Nollywood and Hollywood stars. We just had another well attended and star-studded premiere in Nigeria recently. The essence of the premiere was to allow Nigerians see this movie and know that there is no place like home. It’s our own little way of helping to rebrand and reposition the battered image of Nigeria. Parents and their children, especially those living abroad, have a lot to learn from this interesting movie”, he posited.

Speaking further, Imasuen declared that the film is now showing at major upscale cinemas nationwide. “We are already showing at Silverbird and Genesis Deluxe Cinemas nationwide and the response from the movie loving public has been exceptional. This is a new era and we are following global best practices inherent in the film world. We want to change a lot of bad practices in Nollywood with Home in Exile and that we have already started this 2010. We are redefining standards in Nollywood that I can assure you”.

Produced by Lancewealth Image in collaboration with JJ Barry Entertainment, Home in Exile, a heart wrenching story of the excruciating pains and untold hardship and harassments that Nigerians living abroad go through as well as the challenges they face at home, aptly tells the true Nigerian story. Notable Nollywood stars in the movie include: Justus Esiri, Desmond Elliot, Uche Jombo, Chimwetalu Agu and several others.