Monday, 15 December 2008

Nollywood Actors & Actresses who made the year 2008 tick!!!

The movie industry boomed like never before in the outgoing year. For many actors and actresses, it has been an eventful year. Life and Beat takes a look at some of the individuals that ran the show.

Mercy Johnson
Without a doubt, Mercy Johnson’s acting career assumed a new height during the outgoing year. She featured in virtually all the top movies and even won some awards. Her calendar was one of the busiest in terms of jobs.

Stephanie Okereke
This actress did not only retain her position as one of the top actresses in Nollywood, she took a step further by joining Hollywood and even premiering her movie, Through the Glass, in the US.
Uche Jombo
Jombo has been simply larger than life during the year. The fact that she played the lead role in many movies and capped that with an Afro Hollywood award in the UK may have lent credence to the belief in many quarters that the actress who abandoned Statistics for acting may have made the best decision.

Rita Dominic
Although she has been in the movie industry for a long time, Rita may not have had it as good as she did in 2008. She was nominated for several awards and won the best dressed actress contest organised by Gistmaster

Kate Henshaw- Nuttall
She is one of the longest serving actresses in Nollywood, her commitment, dedication and contributions to the movie world was rewarded during the year when she was adjudged the Best Actress in the 2008 edition of African Movie Academy Awards. Moreover, her role in Stronger than pain also obtained her the award.
She is the first Nollywood Actress on the discussion panel at the Berlin Film Festival 2008, alonside the Bollywood Super Star, Shah Rukh Khan and the German Actress Maria Schrader. She did not only feature in some movies and soap operas this year, she featured in couple of productions in Berlin. Furthermore, She's been working behind the scenes on some productions lately, she has had events to compere in addition to shooting till the end of the year.

Mike Ezuruonye
Mike Ezuruonye is not only blessed with the kind of looks that many a lady would fantasise about, he is also endowed with acting talent. In 2008, he was the butt of ‘rushing’ by many movie producers who wanted him to appear in their movies.

Nonso Diobi
This is another Nollywood hunk that rose to a great height in 2008. He was great in the movies this year, and the number of movies he featured in was simply unprecedented.

Nkem Owoh
Popularly known as Osuofiah, Nkem Owoh is still doing what he knows best–making people laugh. He featured in very many movies in 2008 but his role in Stronger Than Pain fetched him the Best Actor award in AMAA 2008.

Ini Edo
Like her or hate her, Iniobong Edo is another actress who was a complete hit in the Nollywood industry in 2008. Her calendar was filled so much that the screen diva rejected some scripts. In terms of acting, Ini is still on top of her game. That much she proved with the movies she featured in this year.

Ebube Nwagbo
Pretty actress, Ebube Nwagbo suddenly became a hot cake in 2008. She stepped up in the industry, gained more popularity and wowed a lot of directors and producers with her talent.In 2008, the budding actress blossomed and became the rave of the moment.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

30 DAYS The movie, an outstanding production of Nollywood Industry.

This movie highlights the corruption endemic in Nigeria and the consequences that may result if corruption is not addressed.

30 days is such an OUTSTANDING, a TREMEDOUS, REMARKABLE, an EXCEPTIONAL and EXCELLENT movie, written and directed by Mildred Okwo and produced by Ego boyo. The movie is an action thriller and a political drama set in various parts of Nigeria.

Featuring the notable and distinguished Actors & Actresses in the Nollywood Industry, the likes of Joke Silva, Genevieve Nnaji, Segun Arinze, Chet Anekwe, Gbenga Richards, Kunle Coker, Susan Peters, Nobert Young, Kalu Ikwegu and many others.

It is the story of Young Chinora, played by Genevieve Nnaji, daughter of the Chief Justice. Chinora and a group of women, having been tired of corrupt Government officials decided to lead a revolution they perceive will eradicate corruption once and for all in their country. Other prominent actors in the Movie include Joke Silva as minister of state and Segun Arinze, as Inspector General of Police.

Here are some of the reviews 30 days has received:

“30 days has thrown down the gauntlet not only to Nigerian Filmmakers but also to Nigerians and fans of Nollywood”
- Kola Munnis, (Executive producer Osofia in London)

“30 Days gets a thumb up for taking the time in pre-production, on location and in post to do all kinds of things right.”
- Sola Osofisan, Founder of Naijarules and Nigerians in America

“30 Days is a film bristling with lethal gusto. It shocks, grips, and entertains; all elements which make for exciting viewing. In the heat of the tension, passion, and suspense is the unsuspecting mastermind who only the clairvoyant will begin to suspect until events unfold in the course of the movie.”

“A timely piece, especially as the Nigerian government tackles corruption and abuse of office by public officers. It pays special attention to sound, lighting and other technical qualities.”

“The film reeks of pervasive vengeance and un-conformist tendencies, which culminates into a richly contrasting pool of the league of rebels who now see themselves as the last bastion in a morally decrepit society.

“Be warned: not all pretty girls have lipsticks in their handbags, some of them carry guns! 30 Days is a terrific thriller set in modern-day Nigeria.”
- Joy Bewaji, Founder of Festacbreed Magazine

"The movie’s technical work is impressive. It is entertaining! it’s got the thrills and the frills! The plot is extensive and the story is very touching."
-Abimbola Adelakun, Nigerian Punch Newspaper

30 days was nominated in three categories in the recently concluded African Movie Academy Awards. AMAA, (African equivalent of the Hollywood Oscar)
1. Best Actress - Genevieve Nnaji, 30days

2. Best Director - Mildred Okwo, 30 days
3. Best Movie - 30 days
4. Best Female Supporting Actress - Joke Silva, 30 days
5. Best art direction in a Film - 30 Days
6. Best Screen play - 30 Days
7. Best Edit in a Film - 30 Days
8. Best Costume - 30 Days
9. Best Cinematography - 30 Days

To get a copy of this fantastic movie, log on to and click on the banner. Thanks

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Irapada (Redemption) cuts across cultures within Nigeria.

The Award winning movie, Irapada (Redemption) is one of the movies Nigerians can be proud of both locally and internationally. Before it was released, it could be said to be the most anticipated Nigerian movie in recent times.

More than its exploits at home, IRAPADA has also gained recognition abroad. It was premiered in New York, in the United Kingdom, at the Pan-African Film Festival, Los Angeles, also at the Women of Colour Film Festival and at the 51st London Film Festival.

Irapada is one movie that the producer, Kunle Afolayan can be bold enough to premier outside the country of Nigeria. Having said that, it was premiered at the Zuma Film Festival 2008 and it has been in high demand since then.

Irapada tells the story of a young contractor who resides in the northern part of Nigeria. Being a civilized and educated person, he could only trash his foster-mother's continuous pestering that he “perform a traditional redemption rite against foreseen mysterious tragedy; premised on her re-occurring nightmares”.

When he, however, became a victim of strange circumstances, He went in search of the root of his problem but unfortunately for him, his foster-mother was dead.

A striking aspect of the movie is that it was shot in the western and northern parts of the country using languages of those parts of the country. It is "a truly Nigerian movie with appeal that cuts across cultures within Nigeria and extends to those in Diaspora. The idea was just borne out of the need to creatively impact positively in the growing Nigerian movie industry as well as create a lasting positive impression on the viewers by giving a worth for their money", he said.

The movie has helped Afolayan to achieve something, "The achievements has been enormous, but most especially, it has made people see me as a professional in choice of career as well as a brand synonymous with quality. I am fulfilled!

To get your copy of Irapada part 1 & 2, click the link below.

Nollywood will crash unless.....Joke Silva

Joke Silva takes time out of Project Fame to talk to TADE MAKINDE on the future of Nollywood, why she is working with MTN on it’s musical reality programme.

You’re an actress. What’s it about Project Fame, a musical programme, that appeals to you?I’ve got to a point in my career where I also want to pass on the skill that I’ve learnt over the years to young ones and this opportunity came when Mr. Ayeni, of Altima Studio, asked me to come on board.

So, when he invited me, it was something I couldn’t say no to because it was something I had always loved to do. Also, a lot of my duty as the House Principal included counselling the contestants. I had some training in that area a couple of years before I found out that I constantly have to use it. So, it was a perfect timing.

Is the project not supposed to be strictly musical?
I think what is important about performing art is that you need other areas of art to be able to be better yourself. As an actor, you need to work on your voice and movement to be a good and graceful actor. As a dancer, you need to understand how to emote so that when you’re dancing, it is not just the step you are doing, but the energy that is coming from within you is actually expressing the emotion of the moves you’re making. Now, as a singer, you not only have to produce good notes, you have to have a good voice. And also learn how to keep that voice . Your vocal cord is the main instrument and you need to understand how to look after it. As a singer too, you need to have some understanding of acting so that you’ll know how to emote properly. You need to understand how to move well too so that your movement is an enhancement, and not a distraction of your performance. There is no area of the art where you don’t need other the art.

It’s been a while since you appeared in a movie. Is consulting taking your time?
It hasn’t been that long actually, it is just that a lot of you want to see me everyday. I’ve never been an everyday artist. If you look at the kind of career I’ve had over the years, sometimes I will be on a soap opera or in the Theatre, or I do a couple of home videos, that is how my career has always been. I’ve never been the actress you will be see everyday or very often. For example, in home videos. I’ve done a couple of movies. Every year I always do a couple of home videos.

What exactly is Nollywood?I think Nollywood is one of the biggest brand that Nigeria has at the moment. It is a huge brand, that has been created in Nigeria by Nigerians and for Nigerians. It’s a much better than our politics. Our politics is government of the people, by the people, but they forget for the people. It’s all ‘by’ but not ‘for.’ They always leave out ‘for’, you know.

You want to say that Nollywood is the same as Hollywood and Bollywood?
Nollywood and Bollywood were created in their native countries. Bollywood was created in India by Indians for the Indians and the brand Bollywood is unmistakable anywhere in the world. Hollywood, on the other hand, was also created in America by Americans and for Americans. Hollywood actually represent the film industry of the United States.

Some people argue that there’s no structure on ground to announce the presence of Nollywood?We are not talking about structure, it is like Bollywood. Bollywood represents the film industry of India. They may have a film village in Bombay, but that is not the only film village in Bombay. They have film villages in other parts of India too.

In America, they have film studios in New York, Califonia and in various parts in the country, it is not only located in California, Hollywood per se. Really, it is an identity of their film industry. This is how the Nigerian movie industry has grown to become. It is not the beginning of film-making in Nigeria, because people believe the advent of Nollywood started the film industry. No! Our movie industry started in the 1900s, and long before those years we’ve had movies. So, Nollywood is what the industry has grown to become.

It was once reported that the industry could be turned around for the better if you, Olu Jacobs and Taiwo Ajai-Lycett were allowed to use your experience and contact to bear. What do you think?
It is not so much benefitting from the three of us. I think we need to put several things into perspective. Marketers came into industry after seeing an avenue for making the goods sell faster. They were able to turn what was almost a commatose sector into a vibrant sector. That you cannot take away from them. That is a business acumen they brought into the industry. In order words, what they did was to open-up the market. They too have helped in the building of the brand, because if you remember, there was a time when things got so bad in country, especially during Ibrahim Babangida and Abacha regime that there was a lot of migration. People were leaving the country in droves and they were going anywhere they could just to survive. They eventually created the market in diaspora because they hungered for home. That was what created the market world wide. Although that this brand has exploded, we also want it to enjoy more respect. We want it to represent us in a better light in other parts of the world because that’s what it does.These films are ambassadors in selling the potentials of our country. It is what we portray in our films that people believe that we are, for those who have not met us one-on-one, people who don’t know us. People who have never travelled to our country get to know us through our films. We’ve come to a stage in Nollywood where we must move forward by sorting out our distribution problems or the industry will crash.

Even the marketers know that its bound to happen beause they have been stacked in Eweka road, in Ebinpejo and Aba, Idumota. Of course, you have the West where the Yoruba films goes round the whole of the West, so, there is that need. Everybody knows that the next thing you have to sort out so that the the industry does not crash is a distribution system where you can track. That is why the Nigerian Films and Video Censor Board has come up with a new structure for distribution. If I censor a film and I still find it in market with the same problems that ought to have been edited, I should be able to hold someone responsible. What a structured distribution network does is that it limits the numbers of films that any one can bring out at any point in time.

When you started, what were your expectations and were you able to achieve them?
I wanted to be one of the best actresses that Nigeria would produce and l’ve achieved that. But then, I’ve become more interested in producing either a stage play or movies. I want to see that industry grow. I’m worried about the state of our theatre at the moment, but I think what calms one is discovering a lot of young talents that are getting more interested in the theatre. It is through the stage that you will get the intellectual know-how to do that, and then our movies can feed on that. It is the believe of mine, whether I’m wrong or right I don’t know. But that’s what I really believe.

Nigerian stars usually say they can hold their own against Hollywood stars. Some even say they are better than them. Lycett has debunked such claims, what is your view?
I believe that a lot of our actors can stand their own with any of these other performers in the world if they have the kind of support that any of these have. How do I mean? We have a lot of young ones who are highly skilled but need to work with skilled directors, DOPS, cameramen. Unfortunately we don’t have them anymore. You can count them on one hand. They need these specialists to step up their games.

Have you seen Totsi?
Totsi. No, I haven’t

The film was shot in S/A and it won an Oscar. Do you think it would have happened if it was shot in Nigeria by Nigerians?I think it would have won the Oscar if it was done in Nigeria and shot by Nigerians.......

......With the thousands of films we’ve produced here and yet to win anything?But they get the funding over there.

You just said Nollywood was a brand
Maybe a brand, yeah, but the brand must be supported with fund. For example, a marketer will give money to one who gives quick return rather than to one who will tell him it may take time for a a movie to be ready, but that he’s sure to recoup the money. No marketer will buy that, they want quick returns. A lot of marketers who are right now executive producers, don’t understand that. They are just looking for a quick turn-over. I’m not saying all of them do not, there are some of them who understand, but not enough of them understand that. For example, Ini Edo has been invited to take part in a movie in Ghana. Now, I think that kind of experience, if they bring together the kind of people they say they are bringing them together for the film, will be a huge learning experience for Ini.

What are your fears for the industry?
For example how many Nigerian artistes know what it means to hit the light. You cannot work with professional. So, there’s a lot to learn. Without being able to hit your light? You know, he’s gonna go “you’re messing up my lighting” because here, they light for our major actors. If you are working with a DOP who knows his onions, he will not light for you, he is lighting for the picture, he is lighting for your skin tone and everything. If you don’t hit it, you’re going to drive him insane.

To be continued next week)


Thursday, 27 November 2008

The Ghanaian connection, Rise of Yoruba Film Industry.

Though it is cheery news that the cash crunch invading the world like the biblical plague in the time of Moses is showing signs of subsiding, the effect of the global cash crunch has, however, changed the power equation and landscape of the Nigerian movie industry otherwise known as Nollywood.

In Nollywood, money is everything just like in any other show business. Nigerian marketers hold the ace because they fund most movie projects. Long before the global cash crunch became pronounced, Nollywood has been experiencing it own kind of cash crunch. Money has been scarce. And that is why it is real hard today to find a blockbuster movie featuring as many as four to five A-list artists in Nigeria.

‘Anyone who tries that will go bankrupt’ a movie producer said when we sought his opinion. “If you pay about five A-list acts between N800 000 to N1 million and you still have many other expenses to look at, how do you want the producer to make his money back? If you try that, you will go bankrupt. In fact, I’m sure no one is trying that now.”

For instance, the lavish luxury of having for instance Omotola, Genevieve, Emeka Ike, Ramsey Nouah and the likes in your movie is gone. The reason for the change in equation is simple: investors, especially marketers, are no longer making their money back. And these set of actors are among the highest paid in the market.

Even banks and other corporate bodies that show some interest in investing into the burgeoning industry are fast becoming disinterested. Reason? This is not the time to invest into something that won’t yield desired returns or the invested capital. So in the wake of this financial crisis in Nollywood, everybody is now looking for alternatives and Ghanaians are now the emerging new faces in Nollywood. They serve as ‘perfect’ alternatives to core investors.

Investors in Nollywood are now becoming shrewd with their investment and are always looking for avenues to cushing the effect of the global financial turmoil hence the ‘invasion of Nollywood’ by the Ghanaian element.

Investors practically beg them to come on board and rescue the tight financial situation in the industry. How? By using the Ghanaians, more Nollywood movies will penetrate the emerging Ghanaian market. That is why the likes of Mojid, Nadia Bhuari, Jackie Appiah, and Van Vikers are taking the front burners, even ahead of Nollywood’s more talented acts.

Another alternative the investors are exploring is that of ‘emerging new talents.’ The reason many new acts are fast emerging on the Nigeria movie scene is not because of the magnanimous nature of the practitioners, but they came as children of necessity. That is also the reason why many of them disappear as they come.

Nollywood investors realize that it pays more to make use of the Ghanaians and new acts that take lesser money, compared to the established acts like Nkem Owoh and co.

As of now, Nollywood is groping in darkness awaiting new direction. That is the main reason many look unto the new framework from NFVCB, hoping the policy would emerge the long awaited saviour.

But many onlookers are unfazed by the new fad. ‘This is Nollywood for you. It will soon pass like many of its past fads. Mark my word; many of these so-called Ghana stars and new stars will soon fade away.

They came in as children of necessity and they will go when the condition becomes normal’, one producer told us. Perhaps that explains the real reason many new local acts fade as soon as they come.

In the wake of this development, consumers are increasingly looking for better ways to be entertained. Attention has shifted to Yoruba movies (indigenous language movie). Yoruba movie industry that has been in the shadow of English movie is fast catching up and gaining unprecedented prominence, especially in the market place as against its English counterparts.

Home video consumers, having grown tired of the low quality products of English movies occasioned by the ‘undercut’ many engage in because of cash crunch, are fasting turning to alternatives as well. Their alternatives are foreign and Yoruba movies which is spreading its tentacles all over the world. Yoruba movies are like hot cakes now. Many of the producers are taking this opportunity to churn out more movies. The likes of Funke Akindele and Saheed Balogun are leading the pack. The irony is that the more movies they release, the more they sell. This is a far cry from what is happening in the English sector.

Will this power equation last? We have our doubt; Nollywood is like Charly Boy Show anything can happen!


Saturday, 22 November 2008

'IN DA HOUSE' - Music and Life Changing Entertainment featuring Recording Artists at KICC London on 30th November, 2008.

In Da House! Yes...That is the gospel music concert featuring the Best Recording Artistes of our days: Shola Victor-Sajowa, Wole Awolola, Julia Doe and G-Force (Mobo Award Winners 2007). These Artistes are, as a matter of fact sons and daughters of Kingsway International Christian Centre, London UK and they are doing great things for the Kingdom of God.

This Life changing Music concert will be taking place at the Kingsway International Christian Centre, Land of Wonders, 464 -474 Hoe Street London E17 9AH on Sunday 30th November 2008 at 7pm prompt.
Speaking with one of the Artistes of the night, Shola Victor-Sajowa during the week, she explained the reason behind the upcoming event and their expectations after the ministration.

The whole event has been put together by the Father of the House, the Senior Pastor, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, according to her. She explained further, that his intention was and is to encourage the recording artistes 'in the house'. 'For this, I am truly grateful', she said.

On this evening of the event, four of these recording artist will be presenting their debut albums.
Shola's debut album entitled IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU is a mixture of styles ranging from easy listening worship tracks, to songs with latinic influence to proper African praise worship songs all pregnant with the praise and worship of our Lord and King.

Julia Doe will be presenting her album 'LIGHT MY WAY'. Julia Doe might be petite in stature but her voice is far from being petite. She ministers powerfully and her album will most definitely bless the listener.

G-Force is a Mobo award winning group with a strong following among the youth and people who are young at heart. Their music is lively and rap with meaning.

Wole Awolola's rich voice and lyrics will most definitely bless the listener. His debut album entitled SUDDENLY, mirrors Wole's worship language and it draws and leads you to worship the Faithful one and it blesses your musical soul.
The amazing thing here is, the four artistes might be different in musical styles but united in their focus and intentions, to make God's name great and to bless the people of God.

In conclusion, her expectations at the end of this great concert are that the SPECIAL GUEST OF HONOUR HIMSELF' be in the house as it is all about HIM anyway. In addition to that, a full house of enthusiastic worshippers will surely be there to worship the KING OF KINGS and also the celebrate their home grown, KICC artistes. It's going to be a night to remember! BE THERE!

Source: Teju Ibukunoluwa


Plans are in top gear to ensure, a grand and hitch free outing at this years edition of NOLLYWOOD OUTSTANDING PERSONALITY AWARDS. (NOPA)

Information available from the organizer of what observers have tagged Nollywood most prestigious and most credible award is that the second edition of the show stopping event will hold on 5th December, at the newly renovated National Theatre Iganmu Lagos.

A press release jointly signed by CEO of NOPA, Stanley U. Okoronkwo, the project consultant, Oji Onoko and project director, Fred Iwenjora reveals “we are at the final stage of dottings the i s and crossing the t s. Every detail have been taken into consideration and we are sure we will have a grand event”.

Let us use this opportunity to tell you that the Emir of Zazzau Alhaji Dr. Shehu Idris is the royal father of the day. Other eminent personalities will also be there.

And former minister of information and BOT Chairman Association of Movie Journalists, Sir, Dr. Walter I. Ofonagoro is the Chief host.

Unfolding the plans, Okoronkwo who is also the National President, Association of Movie Journalist posited, “The event will start off with a first of its kind red carpet champagne ceremony. The hosts and hostess are top entertainment TV presenters. After the red carpet the curtain raiser at NOPA will be the presentation of the Diamond pen merit certificate to some pioneer movie Journalist among whom are, Rene Ejiro Adigbo, Publisher/Editor in Chief of Top celebrity magazine, Afolabi Odeyemi Editor Saturday Mirror, Charles Nwagbara Editor of City People, Sunny Okim, Austin Fair Nwulu Azu Arinze Encomuim Editor and Fred Iwenjora of Vanguard Newspaper. To present the certificate is veteran Journalist and Chairman, Advisory Board of Association of Movie Journalists, Chief F. Onita Coker. On the Awardees the project Director, Fred Iwenjora stated, “the awardees were carefully scrutinized by the screening committee and their credentials are solid.

Take a look at names like, Sam Loco Efe, Okey Ogunjiofor, Nkem Owoh, Emeka Mba, Clarion Chukwurah, Ndubuisi Okoh, Joke Sillva, Lancelot Imasuen, Ifeanyi Onyeabor, Ekenna Igwe, Fidelis Duker, Zik Okafor, Isa Abubakar and Chux Mordi. You can’t but agree that these people have made positive contribution in building the brand Nollywood”.

In his own remarks ex deputy editor of This Day, Oji Onoko enthused “Every area is covered , Orbit Audio Visual Studio Ltd is our technical partners, with top Nollywood director, Theordore Anyanji working as technical director. The security is well taken care of, the Nigerian Police will be complimented by a private security outfit, Scanners Security. The Red Carpet Champagne ceremony is being handled by Champaign Events, while the After Award party will be hosted at Herbert Macaulay way based “349 Bar”.

Other proud supporters of NOPA includes, Lagos International Film Festival (LIFF) central logistics and support services, Galaxy Television, Nigeria Film and Video Censors Board and all the guilds of Nollywood.

Top Nollywood stars, Stephanie Okereke, Desmond Elliot, Chiege Alisigwe and Charles Inogie will host different segments of the show. We also gathered that Lagos International Film Festival is one of the proud supporters of the event.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Rave of Nollywood Nigerian movies shocked us in the West!

What makes the Nigerian motion picture industry so tick that it easily courts the attention of presidents and other highly placed people in society? The phenomenon that is now popularly called Nollywood started on a casual note in the early 1990s by a crop of experienced movie producers and traders.

Today, it has blossomed into social and economic reckoning such that it has earned Nigeria the enviable position of being the third largest movie producing country after America and India.

Last week at the Goethe Institut, Lagos, German president, Mr Horst Kohler and his wife, Eva paid glowing tributes to Nollywood in an epoch making reception, which witnessed elaborate interaction with top practitioners in the sector.

The German president who was on a short official trip to Nigeria described Nollywood as a refreshing medium of cultural and economic significance also wondered what the medium holds in stock for the country.

Kohler who confessed that he was perturbed upon watching a Guinean film at a festival in Berlin hinted that the film medium has now opened new vistas in the process of correcting wrong impressions about the African continent. Said Kohler ‘Nollywood no doubt has offered a refreshing angle towards redefining cultural developments in Nigeria, and indeed on the African continent.

It has come to correct our impressions about poverty, war, conflicts and intolerance that we usually attach to African culture. But it also needs to combine entertainment with didactic messages such as highlighting dangers of corruption and how it can be eradicated’.

Kohler who was received at the Institut by Arne Schneider, the out-going Director of Goethe Institut, culture workers and journalists also raised hopes on the possibility of collaborationss between Nigeria and Germany in the field of film.

On the challenges of using film as a medium of entertainment and instruction, Kohler tasked Nigerian filmmakers to work harder, adding that the role of film in social and economic development cannot be overemphasized.

Shortly before the President’s address, Victor Okhai, popular filmmaker, analyst and scholar traced the success story of Nollywood from the casual, unorganized state to an enviable, economic giant that now creates jobs for thousands of people aside raising revenue for investors and producers.

According to Okhai, the secret of Nollywood lies in communalism and synergy of talents and forces. Whereas in the West, producers always wait for grants, in Nigeria, it is all about individual investment and communal goodwill. He explained further ‘All of these factors combined have resulted into an industry that is today worth over 200million US dollars per year, employs directly over 40thousand people and provides further employment indirectly for over 250 thousand people, many of whom would have been on the streets.’

To sum up the success story of Nollywood, Okhai said ‘Beyond our shores, Nollywood also provides not only entertainment but employment for thousands of people across the continent who sell, exhibit illegally and pirate these hugely popular movies for their sustenance…Today our films are watched all over Africa and in the Diaspora community all over the world. They have displaced American movies here successfully. And with better funding, more support and better distribution strategies, we may become a global force in time like Hollywood.’

Other Nigerians, particularly stakeholders who received President Kohler at the Goethe Institut include, Tunde Kelani, Kingsley Ogoro, Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima, Jahman Anikulapo, Sandra Obiago, Steve Ayorinde, Stella Damasus Aboderin and a host of diplomats and journalists from both Nigeria and Germany.


Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Adieu Mama Africa!! - Miriam Makeba dies at the Age of 76 years.

South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba, whose music was banned under apartheid, has died at age 76 after a performance in Italy, ANSA news agency reported Monday.

Makeba collapsed at the concert and was taken to hospital, where she died of a heart attack overnight, it said.
Nicknamed "Mama Africa," she became one of the best-known symbols in the long and bitter struggle against her country's apartheid regime, which for decades enforced racial segregation.
South Africa revoked her citizenship in 1960 when she wanted to return home for her mother's funeral, and she then spent more than three decades in exile, living in the United States and Guinea.
Makeba, who won a Grammy award for Best Folk Recording with US singer Harry Belafonte in 1965, also saw her music outlawed in her homeland after she appeared in an anti-apartheid film.

"I kept my culture. I kept the music of my roots," she said in her biography. "Through my music I became this voice and image of Africa, and the people, without even realising."
Makeba had performed for half an hour Sunday at a concert near Naples on behalf of an Italian writer, Roberto Saviano, who has received death threats after writing an expose of the Italian mafia.

"She had been the last one to go on stage, after the performances of other singers," an AFP photographer said.
"There were calls for an encore and at that moment someone asked if there was a doctor in the house. Miriam Makeba had fainted and was lying on the floor."

She was taken to a clinic where she died of a heart attack, ANSA said.
Makeba was born in Johannesburg on March 4, 1932, the daughter of a Swazi mother and Xhosa father.
She captured international attention as a vocalist for a South African group, The Manhattan Brothers, when they toured the United States in 1959. Her citizenship was taken away the following year.
She was briefly married to trumpeter Hugh Masekela, another famous South African artist who also spent long years in exile under apartheid.

Makeba had her biggest hit in 1967 with "Pata Pata" -- Xhosa for "Touch Touch", describing a township dance -- but unwittingly had signed away all royalties on the song.

She was often short of money and could not afford to buy a coffin when her only daughter, Bondi, died aged 36 in 1985. She buried her alone, barring a handful of journalists from covering the funeral.

According to her biography, she also battled with cervical cancer and a string of unhappy relationships. It said rumours of her alcoholism were unfounded.

While she was still in enforced exile, she performed with Paul Simon in the US singer's 1987 Graceland concert in Zimbabwe, neighbouring South Africa.

She finally returned to her homeland in the 1990s after Nelson Mandela was released from prison as the apartheid system they had both fought for so long began to be dismantled.

But it took her six years to find someone in the South African recording industry to produce a record with her. She entitled it "Homeland".

Source: France 24: International News

Obama comes to Nollywood

WITH a historic victory in the polls recently of Barrack Obama to become the first black president in the United States, Nollywood producers are trying desperately to outwit themselves on who comes out with the first Obama home movie.

While the wise ones that have been following the campaign train of the American President-elect are almost through with their scripts and looking for funds, the less creative ones, having woken from their slumber, have been contacting scriptwriters to come out with any script that would showcase the now very popular Obama spirit of I can. What Trend'tainment could not ascertain are the titles of the movies which the producers are keeping a secret as that, they believe, holds the key to making sales.

It is likely that one of the movies will be released before Obama is sworn in as president next year. Trend'tainment will keep you informed.

Let us together build Nollywood up, this can replace for the nation the market of the oil industry, if the investments are right.

This is the high time that we need to further educate the public as a campaign medium on doing things the right way. I believe we in the Diaspora are in an advantage position to suggest leads to where and how Nollywood should go, if you know what I mean.

For instance, what is the professional proceedure in engaging in a film production?
Where is the place of professional contracting?
Where is the place for the payment of royalties?
What about making real African movies rather than todays' Nollywood melo dramas. Where and who do we go to for the right kind of funding for international standard productions?
Can our films realy make a presence on international frontiers, festivals and competitions?
Can our films one day get international distributions?
What about the proper sales of movie rights; What is a National right, Continental right, Global right, Theatrical rights, DVD rights, Televisionn Rights. Where are we technically?
What happens to collaborative training programmes?
What happens to state of the art equipment aquisation for our productions?

It is happening in Sereleone, South Africa and other third world countries, even though in small proportion?
Where are the investors to make these happen?

If Nigerians truely claim to own Nollywood, they should stand up to the challenges and put their money where their mouth is - the film maker is not 100% percent responsible for the poor state of Nollywood, the few who are making an impact or difference have been empowered by right funding. I think the Nigerian investors, business men, millionaires and billionaires must at this time take this as a patriotic challenge and start thinking of the funding for good movies. Out in the Western world, a good movie would cost not less than 250,000 pounds, and that is a low budget movie. Please compare this to what obtains in Nollywood, where the films in the market today are made for about 10 - 20,000 pounds at the most. So the effect is that no money to acquire the right kind of equipment, or even hire the well trained professionnals, what about spending more money to ensure detailed rehearsal by the artists.

What I am say in effect is that the true division of labour in film making must begin to be reflected in Nollywood, film makers should be allowed to do the business of film making, while business men must wake up to the challenge of funding for great film making, I still believe Africa have not started yet, but we shall start soon, and the world will be taken by storm.

It is time for all Nigerian Millionaires an billionaires to grown this industry, and stop waiting for her to be grown lean on the blood of filmmakers while waiting to take over what we have manager to build from nothing. The industry is not fully built yet, she needs every penny available from the pocket of every Nigerian available to build her up, this can replace for the nation the market of the oil industry - trust me - that is if the investments are right.

Thanks again and keep building Nollywood.

Monday, 17 November 2008

The AMP (UK Chapter) Chairman urged everyone to Support Nollywood, Build her Up, Don't put her Down!

I believe it is high time we begin to discuss with the view of finding solutions, the problems with our dear Nollywood Business.

What do I mean?

How should we conduct our film business, is the value of our films dropping or rising, are our films losing respect or gaining respect?

Are our film makers really selling their films or are our film makers being ripped off, do people really buy our films now or are they seen for little to nothing paid through the Sky channels?

Do our film makers get paid appropriately for their films shown on television?

Are we really practicing positive support for Nollywood, and not buying our Nollywood Films?

If we don't buy our Nollywood films, how can the film makers recover their money to make more better movies?
How does our attitude to Nollywood films affect the industry?

Please let's share our concerns on these topics, and getting talking may be someone somewhere will learn from what we may have to say. These and many more needs attention now, if we are to find Nollywood in existence in the future.