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Monday, December 5, 2011

Asu Ekiye wins gospel awards, launches 2 SUVs

Niger-Delta-born gospel star, Asu Ekiye is seriously living his dreams in the nation’s entertainment industry.
Few weeks after returning from a very successful tour of the US, UK and some parts of Europe, he is in the news again.
Ekiye’s new album, Eniye, was adjudged the best cultural song at the recently held Kingdom Gospel Awards in Lagos. The accountant-turned entertainer also smiled home with another plaque for the best cultural gospel artiste, at the well-attended ceremony.
Amazingly, the promo video of the award-winning Eniye, which full album is expected to hit shelves nationwide in the next couple of weeks on the stable of Ossy Affason Industries, is currently ruling the airwaves.
And to celebrate the double honour, well-traveled Ekiye, from Bayelsa State, quietly launched two brand new Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV); for himself and darling wife. While Ekiye pampered himself with the latest edition of Avenza Cross Over, he specially chose a Hyundai Santafe for the mother of his children.
Speaking on the awards and cars, the amiable entertainer, who would soon embark on his annual Xmas tour, described it all as, “the goodness of God in my life.”
“It’s been a very wonderful and fulfilling year for me and my family. After the successful tours and recent awards, I decided to spoil myself and entire family with these two brand new cars. For me, it’s basically the prize for hard work, dedication and being focused.”

When Matse goofed on air

Matse Uwatse, the ex on-air personality with Wazobia FM, now with Nigeria Info FM, a sister company of the former recently goofed while on air.
In fact, Uwatse’s sin was so embarrassing and unpardonable that most listeners that fateful day (last Friday night), angrily abandoned her station and migrated to other ones.
The award winning presenter that many listeners, especially youths look up to for direction and authentic information, went on air to say boldly that President Barack Obama of US and his wife, Mitchell, have three children, instead of two. And painfully, while being corrected by a male discussant on the programme, which had something to do with the issue of child spacing, Uwatse, who thinks she knows it all, refused to listen and insisted Obama’s wife just delivered their third baby. Maybe, the mysterious baby was sired somewhere in her village, in Delta State, South-south, Nigeria.
For Miss Uwatse’s information, the Obamas have two daughters, and not three, Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10. She even went as far as saying that the latest addition to the Obama’s family was delivered inside the White House. Haba Matse!
In fact, the last time a baby was sired inside the White House was during the era of the Kennedys in 1963.
As a serious and news oriented radio station, Uwatse and her team at Nigeria Info FM, should strive to be above board and desist from misleading the listening public on vital issues and information.

The Amatas’ matriarch goes home in a blaze of glory

The matriarch of the famous Amata movie dynasty, the late Mrs. Joy Omotoyinbo, 81, who died recently, was recently interred in Oyede, Isoko LGA, Delta State.
Prior to the burial, a well-attended Celebration of Life Service held in her honour on Tuesday, November 22, at the Banquet Hall, National Theatre, Lagos.
In a chat with us, emotion-laden Fred, said his dear and great mum would be greatly missed by all her children and grand children.
“My mum was a great woman and a darling mum. All of us will miss her greatly. But my joy is that she has finally gone to meet her husband, who left her a long time ago.” Several friends, colleagues and associates of the Amatas are already in Delta State for the burial.

Obi Emelonye shoots new movie with foreign crew

London-based Mirror Boy director, Oby Emelonye is in town lensing a new big budget movie entitled: The Last Flight To Abuja.
The lawyer turned filmmaker alongside his cast and crew members are currently in Lagos shooting after, which they would storm Tinapa, Cross River State and Abuja, for the concluding part of the action-packed movie.
According to Emelonye, who’s also working with some foreign cast and crew, the entire production would be shot on 3D format.
“The Last Flight To Abuja, is a proudly Nigerian movie and as the director I’m working with both Nollywood and foreign hands and that makes it an international movie project. After the huge success recorded with Mirror Boy, we have decided to take the game higher with this new project. Some of the cast in Hotel Rwanda and other foreign movies are working with me on this great work”, he disclosed.

Delta State Gov., Uduaghan snubs stroke-afflicted veteran actor, Enebeli Elebuwa

Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uguaghan has come under heavy attack from some concerned actors and stakeholders in Nollywood, for snubbing and treating bed-ridden veteran actor, Enebeli Elebuwa with disdain during a weekend trip to Lagos.
An aggrieved insider, who divulged the ugly drama to EE, said Uduaghan was in Lagos over the weekend and had been scheduled to pay a visit to the hospital where Elebuwa, who is currently down with Stroke, was staying, but shelved the plan at the eleventh hour.
ACTION! gathered that due to security reasons from the Governor’s end, the actor was moved from his Yaba hospital to a more secured and closer one in Surulere, for Uduaghan’s visit to be stress-free, yet he went ahead to snub the actor.
“Even RMD, an actor and serving Commissioner in Delta State, was one of those that facilitated the transfer of Enebeli to the Surulere hospital. He also assured us that the Governor who was in Lagos throughout the weekend would come and see Enebeli, also a proud son of Delta State. We waited throughout the weekend, but Uduaghan did not deem it fit to come and see Enebeli neither did he send us any apology for not keeping to his promise. Enebeli, despite being ill, is an elder statesman and one of the most famous sons of Delta State and does not deserve such irrational treatment from his Governor, especially now that he’s down with Stroke,” lamented this concerned Nollywood veteran.
“All of us waited for the Governor, but he didn’t show up, after all the promises made by RMD, that Uduaghan was on his way to the hospital. It was not a fair treatment at all to Enebeli. This would not have happened if he was a politician or one of those wasting our resources at the corridors of power. As a revered entertainer Enebeli deserves some respect, even on his sick bed,” added another enraged stakeholder in Nollywood. We tried severally to speak with RMD, to ascertain what really went wrong with the proposed and over hyped visit of his principal to Enebeli’s sick bed, but could not reach the actor-turned-politician before going to bed.


-Crowd everywhere
An unprecedented crowd witnessed the wedding of Aki to his sweet heart, Nneoma. In fact, the mammoth crowd that came to catch a glimpse of the superstar, his wife and other Nollywood stars that graced the nuptials completely overwhelmed the combined team of security agencies at the venue. Some daring ones even climbed tree branches and roof tops in order to have a proper view of the talk of the town wedding ceremony. It was as if the whole Imo State emptied themselves into the open field venue of the event. Some guests also lost cash and other valuable items in the “crowd madness”, which completely left security personnel disorganized and frustrated.

-Three band stands
Three leading eastern-based musicians were contracted to perform live at the wedding ceremony. Among them were: legendary Maduka Morocco, Saro Wiwa and Koboko (Emeka Enyiocha’s younger brother). They all dished out melodious tunes to the admiration of the couple, guests and villagers. The overwhelmed couple later went round the three band stands to sweat it out with friends and well-wishers amid heavy security.

-Water tight security

A colleague of Aki who was in Mbano described the event as the wedding with the highest number of security operatives in the history of Nollywood. One of the policemen that spoke with EE, argued that some governors cannot boast of the security personnel present at Aki’s nuptials. From the regular police, to mobile officers, soldiers, plain clothe officers, SSS, even paramilitary establishments and local vigilante; they were all present at the wedding. Aki and his wife had over a dozen of these tough looking and gun-toting officers guarding them at all times, thus leaving no room for intruders.
-MC, Dauda, mobbed
Kingsley Ogbonna, famously known as Dauda who beautifully anchored proceedings at the grand wedding tasted the other side of stardom when fans mobbed him at the event. It took the timely intervention of security operatives for the comic star to be rescued from the firm grip of his die hard fans.

-Committee of Friends
A special committee of friends was set up for Aki’s wedding. The committee led by revered Nollywood producer and scriptwriter, Chidi Nwokeabia assisted immensely in the huge success recorded at the event. Other members of the group, who wore specially designed T-Shirts at the wedding venue, were: Charles Inojie, Steve Eboh, Sunny Mc Don and Emeka Enyiocha. They also ensured that their colleagues from Nollywood had a swell time at the nuptials.

-Only one Governor in attendance
Contrary to reports in some publications that three sitting governors would grace the wedding, only one of them eventually turned up at the event. Governor T.A Orji of Abia State was the only one that made it to Mbano. He was accompanied by his wife and some cabinet members. Edo and Imo Governors sent representatives to the wedding.

-Nollywood, not heavily represented
Although, it was a Nollywood wedding, but some of the big names people expected at the wedding did not attend.
Flight delays from Lagos and improper arrangements were cited as reasons for the not too visible representation of Nollywood superstars and practitioners at the wedding. Some also claimed the wedding invitation got to them very late.

-All Seasons Hotel, where couple and Nollywood stars lodged
Evangelist Myke Ikoku’s five star hotel, All Seasons was the choice haven chosen by the couple for their accommodation and relaxation. It was also the choice of virtually all the stars that graced the wedding. According to Ikoku, the couple and stars opted for his luxury hotel because of the special services they offer, especially in the areas of relaxation, security and comfort.
-After wedding bash
The post wedding activities continued with an all night after wedding shindig that held inside the posh nite club of All Seasons Hotel. The party was well attended with victuals flowing from all corners of the club.

Imo glows for Chinedu Ikedieze’s (Aki) wedding

The traditional wedding (Igba Nkwu) of Nollywood superstar Chinedu Ikedieze globally known as Aki, has come and gone, but the memory of the one day carnival-like ceremony will remain indelible in the minds of Imo State indigenes, especially the people of Mbano, where Aki’s wife, Nneoma hails from.
Originally billed for 12 noon, the star-studded event, which held elaborately at the expansive St. Theresa’s Catholic Church Field, Obolo Isiala Mbano, finally commenced around 3.p.m., when the bride and groom drove into the venue in a long convoy of high-end automobiles. The latest couple in Nollywood were chauffeur driven in a stretch and dark-coloured Magnum. The capacity filled venue erupted in cheers the moment Aki, who was swathed in an all Igbo attire with a matching black cap and walking stick alighted from the car with his darling wife, who also looked angelic and elegant in her traditional Igbo ensemble.
It took the timely intervention of a combined team of security operatives that included regular police, mobile police, soldiers, plain clothe officers and some para military establishments to calm and control the teeming crowd that surged forward to catch a glimpse of their star and his beau. In fact, controlling the mammoth crowd eventually turned out the biggest task of the day for the security agencies present at the talk-of-the-town wedding, because they later became helpless and totally confused towards the end of the very grand occasion.
Although, the arrival of Abia State Governor, Chief T.A. Orji and his wife alongside some members of his cabinet further revved up the ceremony, which was beautifully anchored by famous comic actor, Kingsley Ogbonna (Dauda) and chaired by Chief Kingsley Megwarah. However, the icing on the cake was the presence of over 20 Nollywood stars that came to felicitate with the couple in Mbano. And the villagers as well as those from the neighbouring communities came out in droves to see their favourite entertainers live.
Some even went as far as climbing trees, high fences and roof tops in order to have a clear view of the proceedings, which one of the village elders described as, “historic and memorable.”
Surprisingly, what would have amounted to a tragedy was miraculously averted when some young villagers fell from a tall tree after one of its weak and over loaded branches caved in. No casualty was recorded, except for minor bruises and injuries.
Interestingly, the high point of the turbo-charged event, which paraded three live bands, was when the visibly elated Mr. and Mrs. Ikedieze hit the crowded dance floor and rocked separately to the tripartite music of legendary Maduka Morocco, youthful Saro-Wiwa and ebullient Koboko.
The gyration reached a crescendo when Aki’s colleagues from Nollywood joined them on the dance floor and stylishly surrounded the newly wed by forming a ring around them, to the admiration of all. They also sprayed the couple with various denominations of Naira notes while performing this scintillating exercise amid cheers.
Meanwhile, prior to all these activities at the open field of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, a reliable insider squealed to EE, that both families had met and performed the traditional marriage rites behind closed doors at the bride’s family house.
The only rite they performed at the field was when Nneoma was given the palm wine to take to her husband, which she did romantically amid applause.
In his remarks, Governor Orji, who hailed Aki, for being a great ambassador of Abia State and Nigeria, urged the couple to put God first in whatever they do. Orji, who flew in from France specifically for the nuptials, also thanked all those that came from far and wide to rejoice with them, adding that the marriage was the will of God and must be fulfilled.
Top Nollywood actress and producer, Uche Jombo, in her goodwill message, wished the couple the best of marital bliss and many years of happiness. “As a sister and colleague, I’m wishing Nedu and Nneoma a happy married life alongside many years of happiness and long life. It was a great outing and I enjoyed and cherished every moment of it”, she says with a bold smile.
Aki’s soul mate and best man at the event, Osita Iheme, famously known as Pawpaw, was full of praises to God Almighty for making the wedding a huge success. He also hailed his colleague for taking the bold step, while praying God to bless the union with all the good things of life that comes with marriage.
The newest husband in Tinsel town, Aki, whose wife also read Mass Communication like him, in a chat with EE, said he was overwhelmed with the phenomenal success his wedding witnessed.
“My brother, sincerely, I’m still speechless and overwhelmed almost 24 hours after my wedding. I thank God, my wife, family, In-laws, my Governor, colleagues and all those that made my day grand at the wedding. God bless all of you immensely”, he prays in a cracked voice.
Meanwhile, Lagos State is already agog for Aki’s white wedding, which holds on December 10, at a yet-to-be fixed venue.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Stella Damasus denies NDLEA arrest

Delectable Nollywood star actress Stella Damasus has denied the rumour making the rounds that she was arrested at Lagos airport by officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), for being in possession of narcotic substances.
The dazed and embittered mother of two who spoke with ACTION!, from Cameroun, where she was lensing a new movie- Unspoken (now back in Nigeria), said she nearly fainted when she read the “tissues of lies” on several internet sites.
“I’m an easy going entertainer and do not understand why somebody would want to run me down by tarnishing my image and hard-earned name. I got calls from several family members and fans all trying to find out if I was in the custody of the NDLEA. It was when I went online that I saw several screaming headlines saying that NDLEA arrested me on my way to Europe. Nothing of such happened to me, I only came to Cameroun to shoot an international movie. Why would some jobless people sit somewhere and fabricate falsehood and tissues of lies to feed the public about me. I’m discussing the whole case with my lawyers and we must get to the bottom of this whole mess,” she stated.

ENBUSPA prays for Nollywood

With the incessant deaths currently being experienced in the nation’s motion picture industry globally known as Nollywood, some practitioners under the aegis of Entertainment Business Partners (ENBUSPA) are poised to organize a one-day praying and fasting session.
This move they averred would help cleanse the industry and drive the hovering spirit of death away.
Wisdom Nwankwo, leader of the nascent association disclosed that the programme is aimed at seeking the face of God concerning the many deaths being recorded in the industry since the beginning of the year.
“Our dear entertainment industry in recent times has been attacked by the evil hands of death leading to several losses of precious lives. And as stakeholders we do not want to fold our hands and watch this evil to continue ravaging our industry, which is why we have decided to seek the face of God. We would soon make official the date and venue for this special spiritual exercise”, he explained.
“ENBUSPA is made up of prominent stakeholders and practitioners with the sole aim of further developing the industry, promoting unity and creating enabling business opportunities,” added Ifeanyi Ekwem, the body’s scribe.

Azubuike Udensi for burial December 9

The burial planning committee of late filmmaker and boss of Consolidated Fortunes, Azubuike Udensi in collaboration with his family have fixed December 9, for his interment in Ihiala, Anambra State.
A candle light procession/night of tributes in honour of the deceased will also hold at O’Jez, inside national stadium, in the evening of December 1.
Making this known to journalists recently was Mr. Dozie Eriobu, the head honcho of Infinity Merchants, who also doubles as the chairman of the burial committee.
Eriobu, who lamented the painful loss of Udensi, whom he described as a passionate and pacesetting filmmaker, called on their colleagues to support the burial by coming out en masse on the above dates.
Other members of the committee are: Paul Okoli, Emeka Ojiego, Ikenna Umeononuju, Norbert Ajaegbu, Richmond Ezihe, Chinasa Onyechere and yours sincerely.
The committee, under its umbrella body, Film and Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN), equally promised to raise funds that would be handed over to the deceased wife, for the education of her children.

National Honours: Entertainers boycott Jonathan’s event

Just like Professor Chinua Achebe who disgraced and rubbished the The Presidency for the second time by blatantly rejecting the national honour of CFR bestowed on him, several top entertainers from both the music and movie sectors also boycotted the presentation ceremony, which held in Abuja, on Monday.
Unlike the previous editions, where colleagues and friends of the honourees usually accompany them to the event, this year’s outing was hugely boycotted by most of the colleagues and associates of the five Nollywood stars that were controversially honoured.
An angry top entertainer who spoke with us on the condition of anonymity said they decided to keep away from the ceremony because of the flawed nature of the list Mr. President drew for the entertainment industry.
“How can you come to a creative industry as big as Nigeria and decided to honour just one segment of that industry. Is Nollywood the only creative industry in Nigeria? What about musicians, painters and several others who are tirelessly working behind the scenes in the industry? National honours is not national jamboree, which is what Mr. President has turned it to and we do not want to associate ourselves with the charade that recently took place in Abuja, hence our collective decision to boycott it. Again, we expected Jonathan to honour more of veterans and pioneers in the industry and not those that danced and campaigned for him in the last presidential elections. It’s called national honours and not compensatory awards that you just dash out to friends and cronies. If this type of anomaly happens next year, we will stage a nationwide protest”, he threatened.
“And to further show how ill prepared Mr. President and his team are, they could not even get enough medals to present to all the awardees in Abuja. That tells you that the whole processes starting from selection to presentation were completely skewed,” submitted another enraged veteran in Nollywood.
While reacting, Emeka Rising Ibeh, the chairman, Lagos State Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), completely disagreed with the submission of his senior colleagues. He thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for deeming it fit to honour his colleagues. “Why the unnecessary noise about the choice of most of the honourees. They richly deserved this honour, those angry should wait for their own time and stop complaining. All of us cannot be honoured at the same time, last year, it was Aki, this year, Pawpaw, it’s turn by turn,” he argued.
Five Nollywood stars, Olu Jacobs, Kanayo O Kanayo, Stephanie Okereke, Genevieve Nnaji and Osita Iheme were among the 365 Nigerians awarded national honours by Mr. President in Abuja.

COSON set to pay multi-million royalties

The premises of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos will witness a beehive of activities on Tuesday, December 13, for the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON). Expected to grace the event are Nigeria’s top songwriters, composers, publishers, owners of copyright in sound recordings and key music performers.
In keeping with promises made by COSON earlier in the year, the occasion will also mark the first general distribution of royalties by the society to stakeholders in the Nigerian music industry.
The decision to hold the AGM on December 13, according to COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, was taken following two full board meetings of the society held within one week on November 1 and November 8, 2011, in Lagos. The meeting of December 13, will also receive the report of the Directors while the members will have the opportunity to x-ray the activities of the society and chart a course for its future.
Speaking on the coming AGM, Okoroji says: “There are many who have expressed the view that collective management of copyright cannot work in Nigeria. They should come to the National Theatre on December 13 and see it at work. The distribution of twenty five million naira in one day, while an unprecedented event in Nigeria’s copyright history, is only a first step in what is a major breakthrough. I believe that working constructively together and remaining focused we have the capacity to do ten times or even a hundred times that amount in the very near future. Once the members agree to the distribution scheme, payment will begin immediately at the National Theatre. Our word is our bond”

Nkiru Sylvanus plans youths empowerment talent show

Nollywood actress, Nkiru Sylvanus is poised to unveil her latest pet project, tagged: I’ve Got Talent Show, disclosing that she intends giving back to the society with the initiative.
The evening unveiling being packaged by GeeRach Events and Entertainment, according to the Face of Hope ambassador, would equally celebrate noble courses and empower new faces coming into the entertainment industry as well as help them express their talents and actualize their dreams.
Shedding more light, Miss Sylvanus, now a Special Assistant to Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, said: “We are celebrating in style as part of the unveiling activities to give hope and support to hundreds of Nigerians with different talents”.

The unveiling proper holds on Sunday, December 4, 2011, at Welcome Centre Hotels, along International Airport Road, Lagos.

The unveiling of the talent hunt show will be a special event that will converge who is who in different works of life to support the initiator and unwind with the bests in Nollywood. ‘And this is a good avenue to promote Nigerians with unique talents’ disclosed Ifeoma Okeke, the CEO of GeeRach Events & Entertainment.

NDLEA’s inhuman treatment of Baba Suwe

The recent inhuman treatment meted out to leading Yoruba actor, Babatunde Omidina popularly known as Baba Suwe during his 24-day ordeal inside the cell of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), was a huge violation of his fundamental human rights.
The entertainer who insisted he was set up, said that contrary to the earlier claim by NDLEA, that their scanner detected some substances suspected to be hard drugs in his stomach, maintained that nothing of such happened.
“Immediately, I approached the counter, a lady directed me to proceed to the NDLEA office. There was no check before I was directed. Afterwards, I was leg-chained like a common criminal. My system was flushed several times and at a time, I was forced to rummage my faeces in search of banned substances.”
Subjecting a defenceless man to such cruelty in this age and time was no doubt a crime against humanity and we totally condemn this inhuman treatment on one of the leading entertainment icons in Nigeria by NDLEA. The Nigerian constitution avers that a suspect remains innocent until proven guilty. The haste with which NDLEA rushed to the media to try and convict Omidina, when a court of competent jurisdiction had not yet pronounced the actor guilty of any wrong doing, still baffles many Nigerians till date.

Already, Bamidele Aturu, constitutional lawyer and the legal counsel to the traumatized and dehumanized actor has been talking tough and is set to commence a fresh multi-billion Naira suit against the agency. However, this will have to wait pending the final verdict of a N100 million case, before Justice Yetunde Idowu of the Ikeja Federal High Court, slated for November 24.
Aturu who revealed the above sordid details his client went through in the custody of NDLEA at a briefing attended by the actor and his friends recently at his chambers, said the agency must pay for their atrocities against an innocent man.
We once again agree with Aturu and urged him to fast track the process of extracting justice from the agency because justice delayed is justice denied.
Omidina’s ordeal in NDLEA custody began on October 12, when he was about to board an Air France flight to Paris. The comedian was due to anchor a child naming ceremony of a staff of the French national carrier.
The emaciated comedian who was making his first public appearance after his release on Friday, November 4, maintained a measured silence while his legal counsel addressed a cross-section of the media.
At the briefing, the 53 year-old actor also displayed scars from his manacled legs while in detention.
While calling for the resignation of both the Chairman and Director General of the anti-narcotics body, Aturu again reiterated that the battle against the NDLEA’s poor handling of suspects was not only for Baba Suwe, but for thousands of Nigerians who have been subjected to such inhuman treatments in the past.

We concur with Mr. Aturu and joined many Nigerians to condemn the NDLEA for its high-handedness and poor-handling of the case against the popular actor. We also find distasteful the comment attributed to Mitchell Ofoyeju, spokesperson of the agency that the way the actor was treated is the same way all its suspects had been treated. Arrant nonsense!

It is now clear to all that the agency goofed in its handling of the high-profile case involving Babatunde Omidina. Even the revered Justice Yetunde Idowu was not sparing in her harsh criticisms of NDLEA, while acceding to the request of unconditional release of the actor by his lawyer in pursuant to Order IV Rules 3 and 4 of the Fundamental Human Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009.
The scenario has exposed an embarrassing flaw in the operations of the agency which has made it a laughing stock in the comity of anti-narcotics bodies across the globe. While this can be blamed on lack of adequate training for agency personnel as well as dearth of requisite equipments, we also recognised the fundamental loophole of poor funding.
NDLEA’s current budgetary allocation stands at N7, 823, 793, 322, an amount which is a far cry from the agency’s projection. In 2009, Chairman of the NDLEA, Mallam Ahmadu Giade, took the battle for funding to the House of Representatives Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption.
Giade represented by the out-gone Director General of the agency, Otunba Lanre Ipinmisho, disclosed that whereas the NDLEA proposed to expend the sum of N13.469 billion on its operations, the Federal Government slashed the figure to N4.92billion.
Beyond the arithmetic and politics of budgetary allocation, for a Federal Government agency that has come under heavy criticisms for being sluggish and underperforming, an immediate inquiry into the handling of the Baba Suwe fiasco should commence now. The result of the exercise should be made public and adequate penalty meted out to erring staff that ridiculed and brought the agency into public disrepute.
Moreover, the agency should immediately embark on the re-training of her staff, discard incompetent ones and obsolete facilities, if it does not want to embarrass itself any further.
Finally, we suggest that Baba Suwe should be recommended for a national honour next year; this would further assuage his pains and erase the humiliation and ignominy the unwarranted arrest and detention had caused him and his entire family. Great nations do not treat their icons like piece of rags; rather they revere and honour them.
Baba Suwe as an icon has done great things for this nation more than most of those recently recognized and honoured with national awards by Mr. President in Abuja.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chinedu Ikedieze (Aki) finally finds a wife …Fixes Nov. 26 for traditional wedding

After several years of searching for true love, Nollywood super star Chinedu Ikedieze globally known as Aki, has finally found it in the arms of one Miss Nneoma.
And on November 26, love struck Aki, his family members, colleagues, friends and well wishers will be storming his sweet heart’s home town in Mbano, Imo State, for the talk-of-the-town traditional marriage (Igba Nkwu).
Interestingly, the white wedding already dubbed, “a celebration of true and undying love” by the famous actor who has an HND in Mass Communication from the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu State, holds elaborately in Lagos on December 10.
To further affirm his seriousness about walking down the aisle in the next couple of weeks with the only woman that means the whole world to him, the Bende, Abia State-born Nollywood star sent us an exclusive sms saying:
“We humbly request your presence at our traditional wedding ceremony on November 26, 2011. Venue- St. Theresa’s Catholic Church Primary School Field, Obolo Isiala Mbano, Imo State. Nne/Nedu.”
Meanwhile, in an earlier chat with ACTION!, the elated thespian boasted that his wife-to-be was specially created for him by God.
“I have finally found true love in the arms of Nneoma and we getting married the traditional way first on November 26, after which we would solemnize it with a church wedding on December 10, in Lagos.”
When prodded further for more details, the visibly excited Cupid struck entertainer urged us to be patient and wait for more information about his fiancée and their forthcoming wedding plans, soon.
“Just relax, I will soon host you and my few other friends in the media to a luncheon and officially introduce Nne alongside our wedding details to all of you. Thank you for all the love and support so far,” he gushed.
Ikedieze, who was honoured with the national award of MFR last year, was born on December 12, 1977.
With over 100 movie roles to his acting credit, Aki became a household name within and outside Nollywood when he alongside his screen twin brother, Osita Iheme (Pawpaw) teamed up to dazzle in the blockbuster movie Aki na Ukwa in early 2000.
In 2007, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the organizers of the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).

Jonathan’s National Honours List: Nollywood divided over choice of Genevieve, KOK, others

Perennially troubled Nollywood is currently divided over President Goodluck Jonathan’s choice of hand picking few stars for this year’s national honours award.
While some are hailing Mr. President for deeming it fit to honour their colleagues, several others are angry and accusing Jonathan of being biased and too selective in his choice of awardees.
The listed names from Nollywood are: Olu Jacobs, Genevieve Nnaji, Stephanie Okereke, Osita Iheme and Kanayo O Kanayo, all penciled down for the MFR award on November 14, in Abuja.
The angry stakeholders who spoke with us on the condition of anonymity berated Mr. President for selecting only a few names that campaigned vigorously for him during the last presidential election.
“With the exception of Olu Jacobs and Pawpaw, the other awardees were part of the campaign team of Mr. President during the last presidential election. We feel he’s using this opportunity to pay them back through their state governor. KOK, Genevieve, Stephanie and even Pawpaw are all from Imo State, are they the only stars in Nollywood. Nollywood is made of stars from all states of the federation and not just one state. By doing this, Mr. President is further fanning the embers of war in Nollywood and causing more trouble for the already crisis-prone industry. We are not against National Honours, but all we are saying is that it should be done judiciously and on merit, not through the back doors. What criteria did he use in choosing most of these people, if not for the fact that they were part of his campaign team? He keeps preaching about due process, which he failed to use in selecting the right people for this honour.”
Another angry top practitioner from the Yoruba movie industry also accused Mr. President of being tribalistic and insensitive in his choice of awardees.
“The Yoruba film industry has done a lot for Nigeria, yet Mr. President keeps treating us like third class citizens, despite all our contributions to the growth of this industry and nation. Look at the list of the awardees; we have only one Yoruba man on it. Why can’t Mr. President balance his list as a father figure and true Nigerian? This was exactly what he did during his campaign; he deliberately abandoned us and campaigned with only those from his part of the country. Instead of integrating, he keeps on disintegrating us. We just hope that he will change this ugly trend in 2012.”
Meanwhile, all the recipients are happy and looking forward to the D-Day in Abuja, despite the mounting criticisms about the choice of some of them.

Ejike Asiegbu battles Clarion Chukwurah over actors Insurance Scheme

Popular actor and the immediate past national president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Mr. Ejike Asiegbu is currently on a warpath with screen goddess Clarion Chukwurah, over what he called, “misguided statements and unfounded allegations.”
In fact, he has even threatened to drag the actress before a court of competent jurisdiction to prove her allegation or face the wrath of the law.
Asiegbu’s seething anger stems from a recent text message being circulated by Chukwurah, which accused and challenged the former to account for all the insurance monies paid by actors during his tenure as president.
Some parts of the now very controversial sms, which went round Nollywood stakeholders and practitioners read: “With continued avoidable deaths in Nollywood, I ask Ejike Asiegbu, what became of the health insurance scheme we paid for at the beginning of your first tenure as AGN president…”
While responding, Asiegbu who said he was thoroughly disappointed with Chukwurah’s ignorance and unwarranted attack, also warned her to desist from rubbishing his hard earned name.
Hear more from embittered Asiegbu:
Ordinarily, I don’t join issues with people. For sometimes now I have deliberately avoided Clarion Chukwurah.
I vividly remember that during my tenure as president of AGN there was a discussion between us about her intention to become AGN president. I encouraged her and gave her some advice which I believed was right. Unfortunately, she did not do what I asked her to do. So I was not surprised that during the last period of my tenure as AGN president that she joined evil forces against me. History will always bear me witness that my achievement during my tenure surpasses that of anyone that has been there. I find her sms very insulting. It is outrageous that even after two years that I have left office, Clarion Chukwurah is still sending text messages and falsehoods to a lot of artistes and Nigerians, even to the media and stupidly asking of what happened to the Insurance scheme that AGN members paid during my tenure as president of the AGN. In her statement, she alluded that the Insurance scheme should have been able to take away deaths that are currently occurring in AGN.
When I got the text message that she has been circulating, I did not only feel disappointed, but also saw her as someone displaying how ignorant she was about the workings of Insurance schemes. She has thrown caution to the wind and showed the world that she also lacks manners. She is not only ignorant; she lacks respect and has no knowledge of how associations are run.
For crying out loud, there was no death during my tenure and if there was any at all, I stand to be corrected, she should bring forth whoever that died and we will check records to ascertain if that person paid a particular amount of money for his or her insurance.
I want to educate her that insurance scheme lasts for one year and I believe she does not know this because she was busy collaborating with her cohorts to make sure that nothing worked during my tenure.”
Meanwhile, in a phone chat unperturbed Chukwurah said she stands by her words in the sms and insisted Asiegbu should urgently come out and explain what happened to the monies actors paid for Insurance during his reign.
“Whatever Ejike Asiegbu said about me is completely irrelevant to me. What matters however, is that actors are dying and there is need for him to explain what became of monies paid during his tenure as President for the life saving plan of a health Insurance Scheme. Mudslinging and threats will not solve the problem. Ejike should address the issue so that AGN can revisit this Scheme with some credibility through a fund raising event.”
We will definitely keep you posted as this stars war rages on.

Nollywood records two more deaths

Barely a week after the painful death of pioneer filmmaker and marketer Azubuike Udensi of Consolidated Fortunes, in a ghastly road accident, two more practitioners were reported dead, over the weekend.
Franca Onanga, an Enugu-based actress recently died after a brief illness in the coal city. And while the industry was still crying and mourning her sudden exit, another young producer, Ifeanyi Udokwu, followed suit.
He was said to have slumped and died on location on Saturday, October 27, without any sign of being ill. Fear has gripped the entire Nollywood following the deaths of these three practitioners within a spate of one week.

Jazz maestro, Jimmy Dludlu to headline Smooth 98.1FM’S Luxury Concert

The Smooth 98.1FM’s anticipated Love Music Love Life Luxury Concert, which holds tomorrow at Eko Hotel and Suites, will feature three international musicians and their bands with Jimmy Dludlu as the lead act.
The trio of Asa, Pamela Williams and Jimmy Dludlu are expected to thrill audiences with soulful, seductive pop and jazzy guitar riffs at the already sold out evening concert.
"All three performers will grace our stage for one night only, for a truly unforgettable and luxurious concert experience", hinted a member of the organizing committee.
Long before record companies became aware of Jimmy Dludlu, the media were already celebrating him as the hottest and most stylish talent among South Africa's new Jazz generation. He founded the highly successful music group “Loading Zone” in 1991 and toured with them across the continent opening for stars like Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie and Sipho Mabuse.
Over the course of his career he has participated in the Johannesburg Arts Alive Festival, Cape Town Jazz Festival, Guinness Jazz Festival, Sun City production Sax Appeal and La Villette festival in Paris and has garnered many accolades including 2 FNB SAMA Awards for "Best Newcomer" and "Best Contemporary Jazz Album” with the release of his debut album Echoes From the Past on PolyGram records in 1997.
In May this year, he released the seventh album of his 14-year career entitled “Tonota”, named after a small village 15 minutes from Francistown in Botswana that gave him his roots and first music flight.
Jimmy will be performing tracks from this and past albums at tomorrow’s concert.
“So do not miss your chance to see him display his superior guitar skills live tomorrow, added this organizer.

AFRIFF announces 2011 jury members

The organizers of the 2011 edition of the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), has announced members of the jury awarding prizes at the forthcoming festival holding between November 30 and December 4.
The jury members, according to the organizers are comprised of six individuals who are well-grounded in the global arts community.
They include, Eriq Ebouaney, a France based Cameroonian actor, British-born Nigerian playwright, Oladipo Agboluaje and Heidi Lobato, a Dutch-born film and TV expert.
Others are Femi Odugbemi, the award-winning filmmaker and scriptwriter, Mahen Bonetti, the boss of African Film Festival and Gambian-born Mbye Cham, who’s currently Chairman of the Department of African Studies at Howard University in Washington, D. C.
AFRIFF is a platform for the world to zoom in on the talent and beauty of Africa through film. Started in December 2010, it holds yearly hosting both local and international filmmakers, celebrities, actors, directors, film buyers, distributors, visual artists, film students, amateurs, film lovers and the press.

The AFRIFF theme for this year is, Africa unites. It draws on the principle that being African is a bond that goes beyond geography, birth or lineage; as people of African origin are spread across the globe and Africa is also a proud home to many non-Africans. The vision is to reflect a common true African identity and re-establish Africa as an original home to all.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Azuh Amatus wins ZAFAA Award in UK

Youthful editor of Entertainment Express, Mr. Azuh Amatus scored another big one recently in faraway London, United Kingdom when he won the best Entertainment Editor Award at this year’s edition of the prestigious Zulu African Film Academy Awards (ZAFAA).
Azuh, according to the judges was awarded the keenly contested trophy, the first since the award started five years ago, for his in-depth knowledge and insightful analysis/reportorial of the Nigerian motion picture industry globally known as Nollywood.
The organizers also hailed his immense contributions to the growth of Nollywood within and outside Nigeria, adding that he richly deserved the plaque.
The multiple award-winning journalist was last week selected by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), as one of the honourees to be inducted into its revered club of Celebrity Special Marshals (CSM). The investiture holds at Thisday Dome on November 20.

Nollywood shines at ZAFAA 2011

Nollywood films and stars completely floored their counterparts from all other African countries at this year’s edition of the Zulu African Film Academy Awards (ZAFAA), which held at the expansive Troxy Hall, Central London, on Friday, October 21.
Among the stars and stakeholders who flew into London for the fifth edition of the annual award proudly organized by Sam Anwuzia-led Nollywood Entertainment Limited, UK, were: Jennifer Eliogu, Ayo Mogaji, Dauda, Uche Ogbodo, Chinyere Winifred and O’Jez boss, Anayo Odobeatu.
Others included: Emem Isong, Ali Nuhu, Uduak Oguamanam, AY, Elenu, MC Shakara, Mamuzee Twins, Uchenna Nnanna and Prince Chukwudi Uzochukwu, who alongside Odobeatu are directors of the award body.

Genevieve Nnaji missing in action

Nollywood poster girl and darling of movie buffs, Genevieve Nnaji, who defeated Jackie Appiah, Ini Edo, Rita Dominic and Martha Ankomah to cart home the award of Best Lead Actress, for her wondrous role in Obi Emelonye’s Mirror Boy, was conspicuously absent at the event. A crew member of the production received the award on her behalf. An insider later hinted us that Miss Nnaji swore never to attend the award again after an unresolved issue with the organizers during last year’s edition.
Another top entertainer missing in action at the awards night was rub-a-dub master Ras Kimono. As the special guest artiste for ZAFAA 2011, the dreadlocks-donning Reggae star was no where near the venue of the event, let alone storming London. Several of his fans who thronged the venue with the intention of seeing him perform live on stage were thoroughly disappointed with the organizers for not making adequate arrangements to fly him in.

Jackie Appiah’s calm disposition

Sexy Jackie Appiah was the only Ghollywood star at this year’s ZAFAA. In fact, a lot of her fans in the hall were angry when she did not win the Best Lead Actress Award and even expected her to react angrily. But to their consternation, the happily married thespian, who flew in from Milan for the awards night maintained a very calm disposition. When the award ended, she quietly entered the stretch limo that brought the stars and headed back to her room at Queens Hotel.

Naija comedy rules at ZAFAA

As usual, an overdose of Naija comedy was unleashed at the grand gathering by the duo of AY and MC Shakara, who were specially flown in from Nigeria for the awards night. While AY was the official comedian for ZAFAA 2011, the duo of MC Shakara and Elenu were brought in to support him. But unfortunately only Shakara was able to mount the stage, Elenu could not due to lack of time. This drew the ire of most guests who openly lampooned the organizers for wasting time on several non important segments at the awards night.

Femi Segun, Tony Monjaro were anchors

This year’s ZAFAA dubbed the biggest film event outside Africa was jointly anchored by veteran compere Femi Segun and UK based top actor, Tony Monjaro. They both did a fantastic job anchoring the award, which unfortunately dragged into the wee hours of the following morning.

Entertainment Express wins at ZAFAA

Aside being the only Nigerian newspaper supporting the event as a media partner, your soar away paper was equally fully represented at this year’s ZAFAA. Yours sincerely who was live at the event and was fully recognized by the comperes and organizers also walked home with ZAFAA Best Entertainment Editor Award. The first since the award began five years ago.

Mirror Boy, movie of the night

Obi Emelonye’s Mirror Boy, which was shot in London, Nigeria and Gambia respectively emerged the overall movie of the night with awards in six main categories. It won in the best lead actress, best supporting actress, best cinematography, best child performance, best film and best editing. Painfully, Emelonye was not around to savour his night of glory. He was on set outside UK, lensing a new movie.

Dame Goodluck, Gov. Akpabio honoured

The organizers of ZAFAA also honoured Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Goodluck and Governor Godswill Akpabio of AkwaIbom State with special recognition plaques, for what it termed “their immense contributions and support to entertainment within and outside Nigeria.”
The awards were received on their behalf by representatives.

Monday, October 24, 2011

ZAFAA Award holds in London

Nollywood, the pride of Africa and Nigeria’s biggest export to the entertainment world sparkled, sizzled and serenaded the city of London as another edition of the prestigious Zulu African Film Academy Award (ZAFAA), held amid glitz and grandeur over the weekend.
Unarguably the biggest gathering of Nigeria and African film stars and stakeholders in the UK, the award scheme, which seeks to recognize and reward Africans who have contributed to the growth of the film industry kicked-off with a seminar on October 19, at the Odeon Cinema in Surrey Quays.
The award proper held at the Troxy Hall in Central London and attracted several stars and celebs.
Sam Anwuzia, the prime mover and founder of ZAFAA, in a chat with EE at the awards night, disclosed that this year’s outing primarily rewarded Nollywood practitioners, Africans and bodies that had played outstanding roles in the promotion of the film industry.
“Our major awards went to quality films released between 2010 and 2011. Aside recognizing and rewarding deserving practitioners and stakeholders, ZAFAA is also out to rebrand Nigeria and indeed, the entire Africa through entertainment.”
Meanwhile, Yours Sincerely was recognized and rewarded with the award of Best Entertainment Editor at the grand gathering, for his immense contributions to the growth of Nigerian entertainment industry.

Facebook impersonation: Oby Edozieh cries out

Nollywood star actress, Oby Gold Edozieh has warned those impersonating and using her hard earned name and reputation to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians, especially her fans on popular social networking site, Facebook, to desist from the wicked and devilish act.
Embittered Edozieh who cried out to EE, said she and her team recently discovered three persons using her full name and pictures on Facebook, to perpetrate evil and criminal activities.
Narrating her shocking experience, the actress-turned- producer of wave making Save Our Soul, disclosed that one of those impersonating her went as far as writing on her ‘supposed’ wall that she was engaged.
She denied being engaged to the said name on the wall of the spurious Oby Edozieh, adding that she had already reported the ugly incident to the management of Facebook.
“I became suspicious and totally embarrassed when my colleagues and friends started calling to congratulate me on being engaged. I told them I was not engaged to anybody and that was when they referred me to “my fb posting”.
Further search led to the discovery of two more Oby Edoziehs with my pictures boldly displayed. These ones were using my name and pictures to solicit for financial assistance from my fans and the unsuspecting public. I have put a disclaimer on all of them and also using this medium to cry out to Nigerians by urging them to beware of these fraudsters trying to feed fat with my name.”

Meanwhile, early this year, top actor Pat Attah, who now resides in Germany also cried out and warned Nigerians to beware of some internet crooks using his name to milk unsuspecting fans and friends. The fraudsters even went as far as opening a fictitious orphanage in the name of the star’s late father and pleaded for financial assistance from Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora.
“I’m not going to take this lightly, I have also reported these criminals to my lawyer and Nigerian police and I must follow it to the end by ensuring that these criminals are caught and punished accordingly,” Edozieh threatens.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How sexy singer, Waje survived appendicitis operation

While Nigerians were busy celebrating our 51st independence anniversary, one of her most promising acts, Waje, was lying critically ill at the hospital and waiting to be operated upon for appendicitis.
The sexy crooner in an exclusive chat with EE, confirmed the operation was success, but added she went through hell while it lasted.
Still recuperating Waje, also disclosed that her case was further complicated when her doctor later discovered she had chronic Ulcer.
“Thank God I’m back on my feet again. It was a terrible and painful experience for me. The operation went well, but after that it was discovered that I also had chronic Ulcer, because I could not eat. I have now been placed on special diet and I eat a lot these days. I’m also leading a campaign for people to eat regularly in order to avoid Ulcer”, she warned.
Waje (meaning, words Aint Just Enough), who was recently nominated for the forthcoming Channel O Awards, is also looking forward to performing at the October 22, Hip Hop Awards.
“I can’t wait to hit the stage and do my stuffs again.”

Nollywood in tears for Donald Okoli at night of tributes

Tears flowed endlessly at last Sunday’s solemn night of tributes organized for late actor/producer, Donald Nzubechukwu Okoli, at the national stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
Hugely attended by several of his colleagues in the industry, including A-list stars as well as his family members and well wishers, the gathering lasted late into the night.
The sombre gathering, which started with a turbo charged praise and worship session, also afforded some men of God the opportunity to pray ceaselessly for the embattled industry that has been plagued by deaths in recent times.
The tears continued when it was time to pay tributes to their departed colleague, whom many described in superlative terms. This was immediately followed by the well-coordinated candle light procession/observation.
In fact, several of the stars, especially the quartet of Stephanie Okereke, Oby Edozieh, Ngozi Ezeonu and Chioma Toplis, could not hold back their tears while paying tributes to the deceased who died on Friday, September 23, at the Yaba Military Hospital, Lagos, after a brief illness, at the age of 38.
With tears in her eyes, heart broken Miss Okereke, one of those that provided the funds for the event said she would always miss Donald. “It’s still very hard for me to believe that my good friend Donald is gone… God knows best and Donald will always be remembered by all of us that worked closely with him.”

In an emotion-laden voice, Miss Edozieh, one of the organizers of the night of tributes, who described the late entertainer as a, “brother and close friend”, said his untimely death was a big blow to the entire Nollywood.
“We must immortalize Donald in Nollywood; he was a selfless man and did his best to assist his colleagues whenever called upon. I still cannot believe he’s dead.”
Meanwhile, the remains of the late thespian who was survived by an aged mother and six siblings, was interred this Wednesday, at their Eziama, Amichi, Nnewi South LGA, Anambra State compound amid tears and wailings.

Julius Agwu’s Laff 4 Christ Sake returns

Musi-comedian Julius Agwu is bringing back one of his popular comedy brands, Laff 4 Christ Sake, an evening of gospel rhythms and jokes.
The popular show which started in 1994, but was rested after its sixth edition in 2009, will take place at the Muson Centre on October 23.
Ribs-crackers expected to thrill alongside Agwu at the event are: Basketmouth, Bovi, Gordons, Buchi, Dan D’Humorous, Senator and Funny Bone. Musicians penciled down include: KSB, Frank Edwards, Eben, Onos and Tim Godfrey, while DJ Gosporella will be on the wheels of steel.

Rivers State unveils CarniRiv committee

Towards hosting a successful event this year, the Rotimi Amaechi-led Rivers State Government recently inaugurated the Media and Publicity Committee for the 2011 cultural festival, CARNIRIV.
The Committee is headed by a two time Commissioner for Information and Culture and Women Affairs in Rivers State, Ms. Medline Tador.
Inaugurating the committee in Port Harcourt, the state’s Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr, Nabbs Imegwu charged the new members to dedicate their time and energy toward providing world class publicity and awareness for the event.
Dr. Imegwu, who spoke passionately about the state government’s interest in ensuring that the values of the people of the state were preserved, said that the choice of members of the committee was informed by their track records, in organizing great events and urged them to make the state proud.
“The strength of the 2011 Carnival rests in the ability of the media to make our people participate in the carnival” he added.
He further urged the committee members to spare no efforts in making the people of the state and residents enjoy the 2011 edition of the carnival.
Responding on behalf of the committee, Ms Medline Tador, who is the General Manager of the state’s Broadcasting Corporation (RSBC) and chairman of the committee, assured that members of the committee would discharge its duties effectively and efficiently.
“We will ensure that CARNIRIV becomes a stamp of quality and excellence that would endear itself to the people.”
The seven member committee has; Paulinus Nsirim, Oberenachi Ekeke, Gloria Ogan, Freddy Ndigbara, Ikechukwu Nwanze and Chris Fynebone as members.

Owerri agog for Imo Carnival

The Imo State Government in collaboration with Touching Lives International are poised to host this year’s Imo State Carnival, in Owerri, the state’s capital.
They have equally fixed October 29, for the launch/unveil of the logo and other activities lined up for the carnival proper.
The event, which holds at the Concorde Hotel, Owerri, would be graced by Rochas Okorocha, the state’s Chief Executive as well as other dignitaries drawn from both the public and private sectors.
Interestingly, the entire city is already agog and anticipating the forthcoming gathering, which the organizers further promised would add glamour and colour to the landscape.
In the words of Emeka Jonathan and Francis Nwachukwu, both executives of Touching Lives International, during a recent courtesy visit to the Isolo corporate head office of EE, the need to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Imo State and further reposition her on the world map were some of the factors that brought about the concept.
Meanwhile, the Lagos unveil of the carnival holds at Terra Kulture on October 22, after which the train would move to Imo State, for the final leg of the event.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Balogun, Edochie, Adesiyan, Majid, others make nominees list for Afro Hollywood Awards 2011

Several big names in Nollywood, Ghollywood and other African countries will battle for glory and honour at this year’s edition of Afro Hollywood Awards, holding on Sunday, November 6, at Stratford Hall, London.

The African Voice Newspaper UK, organizers of the revered event recently released its shortlist of nominees for the forthcoming rendezvous also known as African Film Awards.
Interestingly, the African Actor of the Year will be contested by one of South Africa’s leading actors, Presley Chweneyagae (famed for his lead role in Tsotsi), he will slug it out with Saheed Balogun of Nigeria and Majid Michael of Ghana.
Other award categories that will be keenly contested feature heavyweights such as: Tonto Dike, Halima Abubakar, Toyin Aimaku, Jamila Umar Nagudu, Funke Adesiyan, Lekan Oladiipo and Peter Edochie.
Winners in each award category, who will be attending the prestigious annual awards in London, will be announced at a special ceremony on Sunday, October 9, in Osogbo, Osun State.

The award has helped to make Nollywood popular and opened an array of opportunities for past recipients.
This year’s edition, the 16 in the series, has the theme: “Tourism in Africa and The Film Industry”.

Commenting on the award and its theme, Prince Mike Abiola, publisher of African Voice Newspaper UK, said: “Our aim is to create a synergy between filmmakers and government tourism boards; to ensure films are used to promote investment in tourism. Osogbo has been chosen as the special place to announce the winners of this year’s awards because the state is blessed with natural scenery ideal for film making. There is no reason the government should not designate the state as a film friendly state with incentives for filmmakers.”

Meanwhile, a distinguished and independent panel of film critics, respected for their expertise in the film industry, will decide the eventual winners of each award.

This year’s awards, celebrating excellence in African film and tourism, will be an opportunity to highlight the tourism development plans of African states, as the event coincides with the World Tourism Market, the leading global event for the tourism industry.

Fuji House of Commotion star (Alika), down with stroke

This is certainly sad news for the teeming fans of Victor Eze, the famous Alika in Amaka Igwe’s TV sitcom, Fuji House of Commotion.
Authentic and exclusive information reaching us has it that the Delta State born actor cum scriptwriter is currently down with severe stroke for over a year.
And to further compound his pitiable state, the current Secretary of the Screen Writers Guild of Nigeria (SWGN), has been completely abandoned by his colleagues and fans.
In a telephone chat with ACTION!, from his new abode in Ikorodu, an outskirt of Lagos State, the father of one painfully told us that since he was hit by stroke, none of his colleagues and friends in Nollywood have deemed it fit to reach out to him.
“Instead, they have been avoiding me. You’re the first person from Nollywood to call and sympathize with me. Not even the president and members of my association, SWGN, where I’m the Secretary, or even the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), where I was actively involved before the stroke.”
In an emotion–laden voice, Alika, who equally called on well-meaning Nigerians to assist him financially and otherwise, painfully revealed that even the producer of Fuji House of Commotion, Amaka Igwe also abandoned him to his fate, despite his immense contributions to the growth of the sitcom.
“Such is life but I’m not bothered. Please, I want kind hearted Nigerians to come to my aid because I don’t want to die and this cross is too heavy for only me to carry. My wife has been the only one taking care of me and our family since the stroke hit me. I urgently need financial help to be able to treat myself and go back to work,” he pleaded.
While reacting, Mr. Tony Anih, the President of SWGN, confirmed receiving the news of Alika’s stroke, and stated that their association was already discussing ways of assisting him get better.

Stephnora Okere returns with The Lounge

With over eight quality movies to her credit as a producer, leading Nollywood actress, Stephnora Okere, is poised to dazzle viewers, especially her teeming fans with her latest project- The Lounge.
The new and forthcoming TV talk show, according to the effervescent thespian, during a recent courtesy visit to the corporate head office of Entertainment Express, in Okota, Lagos, would definitely change the direction of programmes on TV when it begins airing.
“The Lounge is a carefully planned and researched talk show on TV, aimed primarily at celebrating idols and role models from all walks of life. The reason is to help give our youths, who are fast derailing, a sense of direction and belonging. Nigerians who have achieved greatly in their various fields would be brought on the programme to speak and motivate our youths. This is my own little way of giving back to the society”, hinted the heroine of several hit Nollywood movies.
Meanwhile, Miss Okere, who’s currently working on her maiden feature length film, Down The Tunnel, is also in the studios adding finishing touches to her debut musical effort-a yet-to-be titled single that would soon be rocking the airwaves.
“I’ve been quiet for so long silently strategizing. I’m now ready to come out with full force for my fans because I’m loaded with surprises for them this time…” she gushed.

Real Reasons top Nollywood actress, Chika Ike’s marriage crumbled

Unknown to many, especially her teeming fans, the troubled marriage of pretty actress, Chika Nancy Ike, started showing signs of cracks over a year ago, until it finally crashed recently.
ACTION!, went the extra mile to uncover some of the reasons that led to the collapse of the union between the Mirror of Beauty star and her estranged hubby, Mr. Ebireri, which was solemnized on November 18, 2006.
A reliable insider who spoke with us disclosed that the embattled screen diva with over 40 hit movies to her credit, did her best in order to ensure her marriage worked, but finally gave up when it dawned on her that the union was doomed.
According to this insider, the failure of Ike to give her husband a child was the dominant crisis in their short-lived union. “It was not as if Chika was barren, no, she conceived twice but could not deliver due to miscarriages, which were no fault of hers.”
Continuing, our source revealed that Ike, who runs TREJ Classics, restaurant and bar, was already under heavy pressure in her marriage and had to call it quits, the moment her husband allegedly impregnated a female undergraduate at the Lagos State University (LASU).
And painfully for the easy going star, the already volatile situation in their matrimonial home became messier, when the pregnancy tale hit the Internet and turned into a public discussion, thus shattering her once very private world.
Gathered that the curvaceous beauty who was nominated for the best upcoming actress category at the 2005 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), cried all day when the ugly story of her failed marriage hit several Internet sites and gossip magazines.
Another close pal of the 5’’10’’ tall thespian, hinted that Ike has vowed to carry on with her life and career despite the failure of her barely five-year-old marriage.
From a family of eight, Ike hails from Anambra State but was raised in Lagos State. She started acting at age six in her local Church and secondary school respectively, where she was also the Senior Prefect, but went professional in 2004, after scaling a Nollywood audition. Ike’s career took a giant leap in 2008, when she co-produced and starred as lead in an African epic, Mirror of Beauty, from the stable of Mr. Andrien Gbinigie-led Atlantic Overseas. Shot on 35mm, the movie was premiered in the UK, and shown in seven cinemas in London, including Odeon and Cineworld, respectively. The big budget movie which stormed Cannes Film Festival, France that same year, also clinched an award at the AMAA.
ACTION!, tried severally to speak with the sexy actress via phone calls and sms, but met a brick wall. When we eventually got her, she claimed to be very busy on set and promised to return our calls, but never did.

Who hates who in Nollywood!

No doubt, Nollywood is full of haters and secret enemies, an ugly trend that is fast turning the entire industry into a battle field. EE exclusively brings you the shocking list of who hates who in Nollywood as well as reasons for the unending animosity.
The duo of Emeka Ike and Segun Arinze, will forever top the list of warring gladiators in Nollywood. Their age-long beef was further fuelled by the battle for the control of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN). Ike has never accepted Arinze as the national president of the troubled guild. He even went to the court to contest the former’s victory, which he claimed was illegal and fraudulent. The war took another dimension when Ike declared himself the factional president of AGN. Several concerted efforts at reconciling both famous entertainers have always failed with their animosity still raging like a volcanic eruption.
Nollywood star actresses, Oby Edozieh and Tricia Esieigbe are leading the pack of the female gladiators in Nollywood. The former best pals are now sworn enemies with visible anger and hatred for each other. They have equally taken their never-ending war severally to the pages of newspapers and magazines. After resting for a few years, they recently commenced their war of words a couple of weeks ago, with accusations and counter accusations.
Unknown to many of their teeming fans, sexy and stylish screen divas, Monalisa Chinda and Rita Dominic are currently engaged in a fierce cold war. The war of the former best pals dates back to when Monalisa was still married. An insider hinted EE that they now avoid each other like a plague whenever their paths crossed in public places, especially locations and corporate events.
Veteran Nollywood actors Ejike Asiegbu and Kanayo O. Kanayo are currently co-habiting in Nollywood like cat and mouse. In fact, authentic information at our disposal has it that they hardly see face-to-face at any Nollywood event. Their cold war became open when the former accused the latter of conniving with some unscrupulous elements to remove him from office as the then national president of AGN. A move that later failed. All efforts from concerned friends and colleagues of the duo to sheathe their swords proved abortive. Surprisingly, the latter was the former’s best man during his wedding.
London-based Nollywood actress Chioma Toplis and Oge Okoye have not stopped washing their dirty linens in public since their “special friendship” collapsed like packs of poorly arranged cards.
Their war became messier when Toplis accused Oge of damaging appliances and messing up her London apartment whenever she comes visiting and warned her to stop invading her privacy with the choking visits.
Nollywood bad boy, Jim Iyke and Emeka Ike are still threatening fire and brimstone over an age-long altercation that nearly turned fatal on set, if not for some divine intervention.
About-to-wed actress Mercy Johnson has recently added comic star Victor Osuagwu to her long list of enemies. Mercy transferred the hate syndrome to Victor for advising her on the controversial union holding tomorrow. Now, they no longer see eyeball-to-eyeball.
Famous Yoruba actress Iyabo Ojo is currently locked in a battle with emerging star, Lizzy Anjorin. Iyabo has allegedly vowed to teach Lizzy the lesson of her life for daring to disrespect and call her by name in public. For peace to reign supreme, she wants ‘recalcitrant’ Lizzy to always address her as “Auntie mi.”
Last on our warring long list is the duo Vivian Ejike and Emem Isong. Both leading film producers were former best friends and business partners until the centre could no longer hold and things started falling apart. Jealousy and greed were mentioned as the root cause of their open animosity.

AMP election holds tomorrow

After several postponements, the long awaited election of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP) will finally hold tomorrow at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos.
The election which is coming few weeks after that of the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN) has also polarized Nollywood into factions with a lot of horse trading and arm twisting secretly going on in different camps.
However, unlike that of DGN, where four gladiators battled for the plum office of the president, cerebral and revered filmmaker, Zik Zulu-Okafor, is the only candidate contesting. The other contestants, Ralph Nwadike and Victor Okhai, chickened out for reasons best known to them, very early in the race. With this development, Okafor, in the estimation of keen followers of events in the industry will coast home to victory today without any stiff challenge.
Also contesting for the post of Treasurer, is famous sound tracker, Mike Nliam. He will slug it out with busy producer Kingsley Okereke at today’s polls.
Lawyer-turned filmmaker, Neville Ossai, is the sole candidate for the post of Public Relations Officer, while perennial executive member of the body, Chinasa Onyechere, a former Treasurer, wants to take a shot at the post of Financial Secretary.
Commenting on the election, Mr. Ifeanyi Ezekwe, a member of the Zik Zulu Tink Tank, said they have worked very hard for Zulu and other members in their camp to coast home to victory.
Leading filmmaker and chairman of the Electoral Commission, Chidi Nwokeabia, assured that today’s election will be free and free, adding that only duly registered and financially up-to-date members would be allowed to vote.

One year after: Entertainment Industry yet to get Jonathan’s $200m largesse

The entertainment and creative industries are still battling and struggling to access the $200 million intervention funds granted them by President Goodluck Jonathan, one year after he publicly made the pledge.
With the numerous controversies and delays trailing the elusive grant, many stakeholders now view it as a mere political statement, which Mr. President used to curry favours from them while campaigning last year.
Several stakeholders and practitioners that spoke with ACTION! on the condition of anonymity, lampooned Mr. President and the relevant authorities for playing unnecessary politics with the funds, which they are also scared would soon disappear into private pockets.
“Last year, we were all happy when Mr. President made the pledge at the 30th anniversary of Silverbird. Since then, we’ve held several meetings with the banks that will help disburse the funds to all the relevant stakeholders and one year after, nothing has come out of it. They keep giving us conditions that are out of this world. We are filmmakers and not politicians who have choice property to give as collateral,” explained one of the angry stakeholders.
Another chafed top practitioner wants Jonathan to come out and openly tell them if the grant was meant for them or not. “Too much politics has entered this grant. When it was announced last year October, we were all happy and looked forward to accessing it without these unnecessary bottle necks. It’s painful that after one year, non of the leading names in the nation’s entertainment and creative sectors have been able to access these funds. What it then means is that either Mr. President or those entrusted with the money are playing politics with it and also not telling us the whole truth about it. We’ve done all they told us to do, yet the funds are still hanging and would soon develop wings.”
Without any hope of accessing the controversial funds in sight, another galled stakeholders who told us he was sick and tired of attending meetings, said they have decided to stage a protest march in Abuja and Lagos, respectively over the issue, in the next couple of weeks.
“With these planned protests we would be able to draw the attention of Mr. President to the challenges we are currently facing in accessing the funds he willingly pledged to us since last year. And when that option fails, we will now agree with the general notion that it was just a mere political statement used in winning over our support during the last election exercise.”
However, Paul Obazele, the about-to-go president of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP), is optimistic the funds would soon be made available to the entire industry.
Obazele assured his incensed colleagues to be patient with the relevant financial institutions processing the funds, adding that they were following due process in order to avoid making mistakes.

Gov. Akpabio battles Thisday Newspapers

All is currently not well between Governor Godswill Akpabio and the management of the Nduka Obaigbena-led Thisday Newspapers.
And the cause of this bitter war of words between the erstwhile good friends ACTION!, reliably gathered had to do with an editorial the former carried recently and thoroughly lambasted the choice of the former, as one of the recipients of a honourary award from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).
Since publishing the editorial, which the government of Akwa Ibom described as, “damaging, malicious unfair and ill-conceived, the large-hearted Governor that doles out money as if it is going out of fashion, has equally unleashed his media aides on Thisday, through several critical and combustive rejoinders.
In one of the rejoinders written by Usoro I. Usoro, a Senior Special Assistant on Media (Print and Research), to embittered Akpabio, he said Thisday shot itself in the foot, by hitting hard on his principal, in an editorial entitled: “The Abuse of Honourary Degrees”, published on Sunday, September 25.
“…In a piece bereft of solid facts or deeper analytical insights, the paper turned logic on its head and rambled to a ridiculous end… Last year, Thisday gave Gov. Akpabio an award as an Emerging Tiger… Why is Thisday trying to dance naked? Why speak from both sides of the mouth?” While further lampooning Thisday for taking on his boss, Usoro wrote: “Does it mean that Akpabio did enough to deserve Thisday honour, but less to merit an award from another institution? Or is Thisday saying its own awards come too cheap and does not measure up to those from other institutions? Is Thisday questioning its own credibility…?”
Also taking a further swipe at Thisday, in defencee of his principal in another national newspaper, Anietie Ekong, a Special Assistant on Media to Akpabio, maintained that the now very controversial editorial presents a good case study in self negation, contradiction and double-speak. “Indeed, with the ill informed editorial, Thisday has elevated its editorial inconsistency to high level and has fallen victim of the Nigerian malaise of double standard, which should not plague a respected media institution...”
We will definitely keep you posted as these two big masquerades continue to fire and fight dirty in public, over what many are alleging had its root in a business deal gone sour.

Randy South East Governor impregnates wife younger sister

A sex scandal of monumental proportion is currently tearing apart the home front of one of the south east governors (names withheld) who allegedly impregnated his beautiful wife’s younger sister in government house.
The unholy liaison, which began between the silver spoon governor and his first lady’s younger sister in 2008, the same year he married madam, had equally produced a love child (boy).
According to government house sources, the heart-broken and shattered First Lady has been threatening fire and brimstone since the painful news of her husband’s betrayal reached her.
Another source hinted that the First Lady unknowingly invited trouble into her home, by bringing her younger sister to live with them in her matrimonial home immediately after marriage.
“Before you could say Jack, the randy governor and the Abia State University graduate started dating under the same roof without her elder sister’s knowledge. This continued until she became pregnant and had the audacity to inform her sister and mentor she was carrying her husband’s baby.”
ACTION! gathered that the First Lady’s pleas and subsequent threats on her younger sibling to abort the pregnancy fell on deaf ears. She even sent thugs after her and the unperturbed governor made arrangements for special security to protect his lover round the clock.
“Our shameless governor eventually sent his mistress to the US to deliver their love child when the threat from his legally married wife was becoming unbearable.
“Her whereabouts till date remains unknown”, hinted this insider working at the government house, where the ugly story is now an open secret.
The scandal, seen as a taboo in Igbo land, had forced the embattled First Lady, who’s State is famous for producing a popular mineral resource, out of public engagements and functions.
“Madam is now an emotional wreck and her heartless husband is grooving and showing no sign of remorse,” squealed another insider.

Nollywood still mourning Donald Okoli

Nollywood practitioners and colleagues are still mourning and lamenting the recent demise of Donald Okoli, the passionate film producer who died at the Yaba Military Hospital in the morning of Friday, September 23.

Okoli, in his mid 30’s, hailed from Amichi, Anambra State, and was still trying to formalize the union with his fiancée before the evil hands of death wickedly snatched him from his family, friends, colleagues and loved ones.

Reacting on the painful death of the prolific producer with over 50 movies to his credit, Segun Arinze, the national president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), lamented that Okoli’s painful exit had further thrown the industry into another mourning period.
“Donald and I were very close and till date, I’m yet to come to terms with the painful news of his death. During the last elections, he was my campaign manager and stood firmly with me through out that period. When I made enquiries, I was told he complained of stomach pain and was rushed to the hospital, where he eventually died. He will be greatly missed by all of us. AGN is planning something big for him.”

For top actress and filmmaker, Stephanie Okereke, who worked closely with the deceased, the shock that accompanied the sad news was too much for her to bear.
“Donald and I were like brother and sister and worked closely on several productions. We were together at the recently concluded NYFA/Delyork training programme. He was a workaholic and very professional and passionate with his job. I won’t say much because God alone knows best,” cried Miss Okereke.

Another top actress and producer, Oby Edozieh, still weeps and curses death, for snatching one of her closest pals in Nollywood. In an emotion-laden voice, Miss Edozieh, who also worked regularly with the deceased said he died barely 24-hour after they finished interacting on BlackBerry phone.
“I initially thought it was one of those phone rumours when the news got to me. I did not believe it until I drove down to his Isolo home that was when it dawned on me that Donald my good friend was no more. If tears could bring back the dead, mine would have brought back Donald Okoli. May his soul rest in peace,” Edozieh prayed in a quaky voice.

Meanwhile, during a recent visit to the deceased Isolo home, a family member told ACTION!, Okoli’s body had been moved to his home town and deposited in a mortuary.
The grieving family member added that they would soon fix a date for the burial.
Also, Okoli’s colleagues in Nollywood are planning a special night of tributes in his honour. The gathering, which date is yet-to-be fixed would be jointly organized by Nollywood and the deceased family members.
A condolence register had since been opened for the departed producer and occasional actor from a family of six, at his Isolo home.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Presidency angry with leadership of Actors Guild

Goodluck Jonathan, the nation’s entertainment-loving President is at the moment not happy with the leadership of the Segun Arinze-led Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN).
His anger with the body he loves so much has nothing to do with their lingering battles on the pages of newspapers, neither does it have to do with the way they portray the battered image of the country in various Nollywood movies.
Mr. President’s anger and disappointment, we reliably gathered from an insider, had to do with ingratitude and lack of appreciation on the part of Arinze, his executives and Board of Trustees (BOT).
According to a very senior aide at the Presidency, Mr. President is pissed and thoroughly disappointed with the leadership of AGN, for treating his kind gesture with disdain and levity.

“You won’t believe that Mr. President signed and approved over N6 million to AGN, when they came begging for financial support to aid the treatment of their BOT Chairman, Ifeanyi Dike, in India. Being a friend of Nollywood, Mr. President ensured the prompt approval of the funds that was used for the successful operation. But painfully, till date, not a word of this kind gesture was mentioned in the media by AGN. Not even an official thank you letter from them to Mr. President. With this kind of non-challent attitude, how do you expect Mr. President to come to their aid again?” explained this angry insider.
All efforts to speak with Mr. Arinze on the issue proved abortive, as his phones were switched off.
Meanwhile, the BOT Chairman, Mr. Ifeanyi Dike, who traveled to India, for his Kidney transplant, recently returned home after a successful operation. In a chat with ACTION!, Dike, who is still recuperating, was full of thanks to all those that supported him financially and otherwise.

Shan George survives fatal accident

What would have amounted to another tragedy in Nollywood was avoided recently when star actress Shan George, miraculously survived a fatal domestic accident.
The life-threatening mishap that kept the bubbly entertainer bed-ridden for over two months was eventually taken care of the traditional way when succour was not forthcoming from orthodox treatment.
Speaking exclusively to ACTION! on why she had been out of circulation, especially in the make-believe world, the mulatto mother of two, disclosed that a domestic disaster kept her indoors for several months.
In the words of the actress turned singer, her being alive today was by the grace of God.
“Sincerely, some months ago, if somebody had told me I would be alive and still move freely with my two legs and whole body, I would have objected. I was home alone at my Ikeja, Lagos residence early this year and slipped off in my bathroom after a cold shower and immediately passed out for five hours. When I finally woke up, I discovered that I could not move any part of my body again. In fact, I thought I was paralyzed. I eventually summoned courage and crawled to my sitting room, picked my phone and alerted my neighbours, who came to my rescue.”
Miss George, further disclosed that her male neighbours that eventually rescued and rushed her to the hospital, actually met her stark naked. “That was to tell you the impact of what happened to me,” she added.
The former controversial actress, who has now fully recovered said she was moved from a specialist hospital after some weeks, to a traditional bone-setters home, when her condition seemed to be deteriorating.
“Thank God, I’m fully back on my feet again and decided to volunteer myself for the Christy Essien’s memorial and other activities leading to her recent burial. As a sign of respect, her event was the first I would be attending since recovering from my domestic accident,” she explained.

Dumdum drops Omeworonya video

Few months after releasing his debut gospel album, Omeworonya, Elder Stephen Chukwudi Amaeze better known as Dumdum, has equally gone ahead to drop the musical videos of the wave making effort.
The crooner who shuttles between Spain and Nigeria, in a recent chat disclosed that the new videos were shot in Spain, where the post production work also began before its completion here.
From the stable of D-Vista and Chista Records, the beautifully shot videos, including the hit track, Omeworonya are currently ruling the airwaves and eliciting reactions from different quarters.
Speaking on the success of the videos currently being marketed and distributed by Afrobest Production Limited, Obosi, Anambra State-born Dumdum, maintained that the work was divinely inspired, adding that it took him ten years to finish.
“I’m happy so far with the success recorded with the audio and video of my debut work as a gospel artiste. I’m also grateful to all those that were part of this success story.”

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Amatas’ matriarch dies at 81

Madam Joy Omotoyinbo, the matriarch of the famous Amata family is dead. She died in Abuja on Monday, September 12, at the age of 81.
Confirming the sad news, one of her sons and famous Nollywood actor/director, Fred Amata said his late mother would be greatly missed by all her children, grand children and great-grand children.
Emotion-laden Amata, who refused to comment further, insisted the entire family would soon make an official statement and equally announce her burial plans. He however, thanked friends, colleagues and well-wishers that had been calling and commiserating with the Amatas’ since the painful news of his mother’s demise was made public.
“My brother, thanks for calling. My loving and caring mum died this Monday in Abuja. The family would soon make an official statement to that effect. That is all I can say for now, just bear with us,” he pleaded.
Meanwhile, Fred, who recently contested and lost the presidency of the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), to Andy Amenechi, is not the only famous thespian from what has now come to be known as the Amata acting dynasty in the nation’s motion picture industry.
His elder brothers, Zack and Ruke are known names in the industry. While the former’s name once ruled TV stations, the latter is still making waves as a professional film director.
Their late father, pioneered filmmaking in Africa with one of the earliest celluloid works that came out of Africa in 1956, Freedom.
Also, Zack’s son, Jeta, is a force to reckon with in Nollywood, where he had produced and directed several blockbusters, including Amazing Grace and of recent, Black Gold.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mercy Johnson, Mike Ezuruonye renew rivalry

Now married actress Mercy Johnson and Mike Ezuruonye recently renewed their bitter war of words in Nollywood, surprisingly not in real life this time, but in a new Nollywood flick where both stars played antagonistic characters.
Entitled The Feast and from the stable of Sea-World Movies, the duo who once had a real life altercation on set and avoided each other for months before finally settling amicably acted alongside Jibola Dabor, Akeem Rahman, Beverly Nayah and a few others in the fast-selling movie.
Produced by youthful Uchenna Nwankwo and directed by Michael Jaja, the suspense-filled make believe work of art thematically dwells on a Prince’s insatiable appetite for power and mundane cravings as well as the unwholesome end result.
On whether he deliberately featured both Johnson and Ezuruonye, in order to further fuel their “cold war,” Nwankwo, the producer of the controversial flick, currently topping Nollywood charts, said an emphatic no.
“We chose both Mercy and Mike because they were the most qualified for the role while we were casting and suggesting possible names. Again, I’m also happy that the role has further bridged the existing friction between them. No doubt, they were sworn enemies in this movie based on their characters, which I must commend based on their professionalism, but that aside, they were the best of friends while filming lasted,” he explained. The Feast, we equally gathered was one of the last movies Mercy featured in before embarking on her controversial wedding to Mr. Odianose Okojie, an already married father of two.