Nollywood Has A Critical Role To Play In Shaping Our Society – Gbajabiamila


Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila says the players in the nation’s entertainment industry, popularly known as Nollywood, have a critical role to play in not only shaping the society for the better but also influencing how the nation is viewed by the outside world through the content of their trade.

According to a statement by his Media Adviser, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker made the call during the opening of a Leadership Master Training for Nollywood Celebrities and Stakeholders under the platform of Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN) in Abuja on Friday.

He said, “Beyond the questions of economics and profit, there is the issue of the critical role of Nollywood in influencing culture, defining national character, and promoting national identity.

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“You also have a responsibility to tell the best stories of our beloved country. I do not propose to turn you into cheerleaders for a Nigeria that does not exist. But the stories of men and women thriving through adversity and innovating for prosperity needs to be told, and it falls to you to tell those stories.

“I hold in my heart a fundamental belief that our highest aspirations for Nigeria can only be achieved by the combined effort of patriots working together to make real the vision of a prosperous and peaceful country.”

To emphasise the importance of Nollywood to the nation’s socio-economic development, the Speaker noted that the entertainment industry in Nigeria has grown to become a critical part of the economy.

He, however, stressed that by addressing the challenges confronting the industry, much more can be achieved, saying, “With adequate investment, a supportive regulatory environment, better training and capacity development, Nollywood will grow beyond our present dreams and surpass our highest ambitions.

“It falls to all of us, in government, in the private sector and across society to identify the ways we can help the industry reach the heights we all know is possible.”

Gbajabiamila said the training was apt, particularly at this moment in the national history when the challenges we face require leadership, creativity and innovation in bounds.

“One of the other reasons this event is especially timely is that it provides an opportunity to answer the question of how to rebuild the industry after what has been a difficult year.

“Additionally, we can lay the groundwork for future collaboration and acquire the leadership resources that will stand the industry in good stead for the future,” he added.

The Speaker also assured the actors of his continued support for the upliftment of their trade towards ensuring that the industry continues to contribute to the socio-economic advancement of Nigeria

Earlier, House Minority Leader, Rep. Ndudi Godwin Elumelu, expressed delight at the event, noting that “The much needed strategic multi-sectoral efforts to guarantee the desired rebound and repositioning of the movie industry in Nigeria, though long overdue, has begun”.

According to him, the country’s movie industry, more than any other social platform, remains critical in the moulding of the character of members of the society, especially the youths, women and children, as well as the outside world seeing the nation from the plots, setting and narratives of the movies.

I Got The Beating Of My Life After My First Performance – Jide Kosoko

Actor, Jide Kosoko

Veteran Actor, Jide Kosoko has said starting up entertainment as a child actor was a herculean task as he had to combat with his parent’s approval.

Speaking on Channels Television, Rubbin’ Minds, Kosoko said both his father and mother didn’t approve his sojourn into the entertainment scene as a child and his mother even flogged him bitterly after she saw his first performance.

“Back then, no parent wanted their child to come into this (Entertainment Industry). Especially my father will tell me, “Jide you are a royal Prince of Lagos, you should not be entertaining people, in fact, people should be entertaining you.

“My mother was a bit on the aggressive side, she doesn’t take it easy with me at all but I was able to maneuver.”

He narrated how he successfully auditioned for a role as a child actor without informing his parents. Kosoko said he felt like a hero when he got back to his neighborhood after his first performance but his mother flogged him on that day.

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“One of our tenants, Dele Toyinbo, I never know he was a member of a traveling theater group. When I eventually knew, I invited him to my primary school where he taught us some things on our entertainment day.

“So, when they wanted to have a production in their group, titled Makanjuola, he thought of me as the lead child character that they needed. So, I went there and I was picked after the audition. This was like a dream come true. I hid all the information from my parents to ensure I meet up with the programme.

“So after the transmission of the programme and I returned home, people started hailing me. I never knew they all watched me. After I dropped at the bus stop they started hailing me and I felt like a hero.

“I never knew my mother also watched it and laid an ambush for me. So when I got home, I got the best beating of my life that day. But to God be the glory, I continued to convince them that I will try as much as possible not to let it affect my academics.

The veteran actor said that fame in the entertainment industry is easy to attain but only a well-trained actor can remain relevant for a long time.

“What I continue to tell people now is that you need to be trained. Getting popularity may come as luck sometimes but the truth is that if you are not trained, you may fall.”

When asked to express his opinion about the country on the 57th Independence Day celebration, in comparison to the situation of things in October 1st, 1960, he said, “Development continues, no doubt about that, but then, we had more peace. We cannot really compare because of the population of Nigeria, back then. There has been a tremendous change, both positive and negative.

“I continue to be a very happy Nigerian. We are intelligent by all standards. We are smart, although we are not using it for the development of the country. But then, I am happy to belong to the most populous country in Africa.”


Udom Emmanuel Promises Support For Entertainment Industry

Udom Emmanuel Promises Support For Entertainment IndustryAkwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, says he is committed to providing the support, structure and enabling environment for the entertainment industry to thrive in the state.

Mr Emmanuel stated this during the December edition of a road walk and Keep-fit exercise, organized by the Actors’ of Nigeria (AGN), Akwa Ibom State chapter.

The governor, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Entertainment, Mr David Sergeant, noted: “The state government sees AGN as an integral part of its socio-cultural existence and will do everything to add value to its operating structure and environment”.

Utang Akwa Ibom, as the aide is popularly called, urged the actors who turned out in large numbers for the exercise, to “continue in their unwavering support to Mr Emmanuel”, to attract more benefit from the governor.

In response, Acting Chairman, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) in the State; Comrade Itoro Francis, extolled Mr Udom Emmanuel for being the first governor to appoint no fewer than six actors from the state as his aides.

“To whom much is given, much is also expected -While the entire AGN in the state is appreciative of the governor’s magnanimity and great support to entertainers, we want to assure him of our continuous support”.

The AGN chairman also extended the body’s appreciation to the governor’s aide saying: “We also thank his S.A on Entertainment Industry, our dear brother, Utang Akwa Ibom for his open door policy and transparency in his dealings with us. God bless you sir”.

According to Mr Francis, the exercise which is a monthly event is aimed at keeping the artists healthy and united for the overall interest of the state”.

Arts, Entertainment, Considered Major Economic Boosters

arts, entertainment, economyIn the face of the current economic crisis that Nigeria is facing, arts, entertainment and recreation have been said to increase the nation’s GDP by 0.23% in the second quarter of 2016, although lower than the 0.26% contributed in the first quarter of the year.

This is according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The movie industry which started merely as a means of expression and entertainment, is said to have employed over two million people in 20 years.

This is only a fraction of the benefit that Nigeria enjoys from the entertainment industry.

The industry which is generally perceived as a world of glamour and ‘make belief’; only accommodating the good looking as well as the wealthy, has slowly grown to be a massive money machine for key stakeholders and the nation at large.

In 2014, Nigeria was considered as the leading economy in Africa, a recognition that was attributed partly to the six billion dollar contribution of Nollywood, music and the telecommunication industries.

Asides economic value, the entertainment industry has since been a huge arts, entertainment, economyemployer of labour as millions of individuals are involved in the technicalities of content production.

The Nigerian movie industry, Nollywood which is said to churn out over 50 movies on a weekly basis, was considered the second largest film industry globally, with an estimated annual revenue of about 590 million dollars, according to African Movies News.

The music as well as comedy industries, have not been left behind either.

arts, entertainment, economyIn 2010, record sales were estimated to about 50 million while at least 550 albums were said to have been released annually as at 2013.

Nigeria is said to have held an estimated 1,200 concerts, with a combined annual turn-over of musical shows to the tune of 105 million dollars.

The statistics have so far indicated that the industry may hold an answer to the economic recession.

More so, with the increased number of content in the movie as well as music industries, it is believed that the industry would contribute more significantly to
the nation’s economic status.

arts, entertainment, economySpeaking on the growth of the entertainment industry, Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said that the government has been trying to create a more enabling environment, in order to ensure more development of the creative industry.

“Our aim remains to transit from a mere creative industry to a creative economy so that we can really create more wealth,” he said.

Frank Donga Features In New TV Series, ‘The Condo’

Frank donga, the condo, tv seriesA new television series, ‘The Condo’ has been launched in the Nigerian film industry, featuring a crop of young vibrant actors such as Kunle Idowu, popularly known as Frank Donga.

Among the cast were veteran Nollywood actress, Binta-Ayo Mogaji, Kunle Idowu, who created the internet sensation, ‘Frank Donga’, and a couple of other young actors, who joined guests for the first official premiere.

The Condo chronicles the laid-back life of some Nigerian youths as they continued to live life just as it comes.Frank donga, the condo, tv series

Kunle Idowu played the character Jeff, a young stock broker, which is a sharp contrast from the ‘clueless Frank Donga’ personality he created on social media.

He said working with a great team of director, producer and co-actors made the project felt both seamless as well as fun.

Acting upstart Cynthia Ihebie who also participated in reality TV show Project fame, earned a major role in the TV series.

Frank donga, the condo, tv series
Cynthia Ihebie

She expressed her excitement over the opportunity to work with some of the cast, especially Kunle Idowu.

Cynthia said the drama gives youths a platform to view life from a different perspective, with an understanding that “life is not all about partying”.

The Condo is a situational comedy with an interplay that balances two different worlds of characters and how that impacts the value system of the African youth.

Frank donga, the condo, tv series
Binta-Ayo Mogaji

Binta-Ayo Mogaji considered it a privilege to have worked with a younger generation of actors on the film.

According to her, it is a win-win situation in that “they can see things you don’t see, and you can show them things they don’t”.

Describing the production process, she said the story was well scripted, hilarious, as well as exonerating.

#NigeriaAt56: Entertainers Urge Nigerians To Remain Positive

chigul,funke akindele,Nigerians

 As Nigeria marks another Independence Day, stakeholders in the entertainment industry are encouraging Nigerians to remain positive in the tough times.

While some of the entertainers believe that the nation’s growth is stunted and there is hardly any progress, others insist on treading only the positive lane.

Sammy Okposo and Wife

Celebrities in the fashion, music as well as film industries have opined that although the economic situation of the country is not favourable, there could be light at the end of the tunnel if Nigerians remain positive.

Funke Akindele Bello

Funke Akindele, appealed to Nigerians to kick against war, violence and anything that could come in the way of peace.

“We hope that at the end of the day, we are alive to witness the change,” the actress said.

MAMA’s: “I Really Shouldn’t Be Nominated This Year”- Davido

davido, MAMA's, Pop star and Sony music signee, Davido, says he doesn’t deserve an award this year.

He said this in reaction to his exclusion from the 2016  MTV Africa Music Awards, (MAMA’s), nominations list, which was released recently.

He took to Twitter himself, saying “I really shouldn’t be nominated this year, for what??. I got three MAMAS in two years, I’m good,” while he also hinting about a comeback in 2017.davido twitter

The industry may have missed the artiste’s presence, as he is yet to release any new material in 2016 although fans anticipate his sophomore album ‘Baddest’.

Meanwhile, todavido, MAMA's, ycee, patorankin, wizkid, olamide, flavorp Nigeria contenders at this year’s MAMAS include: Flavor, Olamide, YCee, Patoranking, and Wizkid.


Juliet Ibrahim Meets Fans, Talks About Ghana-Nigeria Rivalry

JULIET IBRAHEEM, celebrity meet media, fansGhanaian actress Juliet Ibrahim is no stranger to the Nigerian entertainment industry, so it was no surprise that she headlined the September edition of the celebrity meets media celebration.

While the actress has explored various aspects of the entertainment industry such as music, beauty, movies, and so on, she explained that in order to be a good actress, she has had to fully embody the roles and characters she plays.

She said this during an interactive session with her Nigerian fans.

juliet ibrahim and fans

In 2014, she released her debut single, featuring Nigerian Dancehall star, General Pype.

Explaining her career path thus far, the actress said that she had spent 10 years in the film industry, since she realsied acting was her passion.

However, she also revealed that she has had a beauty parlor since 2003.

Juliet expressed joy over how far the Nigerian movie industry has come, saying that Nollywood has gained so much international recognition as well as support.

She also cleared the air on the assumed rivalry between Nigerian and Ghanaian filmmakers.

According to her, “no rivalry exists between Nollywood and Ghallywood film makers”.

Although her roots are traced to be Lebanese-Liberian, she stands a strong Pan-African, showing support for both industries and collaborating with various artistes within and around Africa.

Artist Megaloh Brings German-Nigerian Vibes To Lagos

megaloh, nigerian, german, lagosIt’s a full moon homecoming to remember for Rapper Uchenna Van Capelleveen, better known by his stage name Megaloh as he brings his German-Nigerian vibes to Lagos.

Uchenna, an acclaimed name already within the German hip-hop circle, presented his craft to Nigerians and received impressive response even though delivery was in a foreign language.

The artist who was bred in Germany but Born by a Nigerian, admitted that leading a multiracial life initially came with a bit of identity crisis.

megaloh, nigerian, german, lagos
(Megaloh) German-Nigerian Artist

However, at a crucial period in his life, he found rap music and that eventually helped him define his personality.

Through his music, he transformed the perceived negativity associated with him being multiracial, to his advantage.

Although hip-hop isn’t a mainstream genre in his home country Germany, according to him, he has been able to record impressive success that has gotten him mainstream attention.

While he grew as an artiste, he continued to think about his roots in Nigeria as well as monitor from a distance, the Nigerian music industry and at some point he created the track ‘oyoyo’ as an ode to Nigeria.

Seeing the incredible growth of hip-hop music in Nigeria, the artist has resolved to initiate his integration into the Nigerian music circle.

megaloh, nigerian, german, lagos, adebantu
Ade Bantu and Megaloh

As his career advanced, Megaloh found an associate, Ade Bantu, who is also a German-Nigerian entertainer, and one who he says he will help him realise his dreams.

Megaloh has taken the bold step to bring his music back to his roots and although it is impossible to pre-determine how this would pan out, he has gone ahead to start a new chapter in his life.

He said he hopes to connect more with the Nigerian language and people.

Kunle Afolayan, A-listers Talk About Nollywood Journey So Far

kunle afolayan, a-listers, nolywoodA-listers such as Kunle Afolayan in the Nigerian film industry, popularly called Nollywood, have continued to break new grounds within international circles.

The industry seems slowly but surely attaining new heights, as directors appear to have flipped the scripts and begun to churn out rich content as well as captivating plots that leave viewers spellbound.

Among other successes this year, Nollywood’s Kunle Afolayan, premiered his movie the CEO, aboard a Paris bound flight from Lagos.

Eight Nollywood films were also screened at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival.

These feats among many others, have caused optimistic Nollywood followers to suggest that the industry is almost at par with Hollywood.

Menace Of Piracy

kunle afolayan, a-listers, nolywood, seyi babatope
Movie Director, Seyi Babatope

However, Director Seyi Babatope, quickly punctures that bubble as he holds the opinion that the menace of piracy has made it a bit difficult to lure huge investments into film making.

Kunle Afolayan, who on his own had led street protests against bootleggers, hinted Channels Television on what it was like to be a Nollywood filmmaker.

Although the entertainment industry has been identified by the government as a potential source of revenue, some have said the government was not doing enough to support the industry.

kunle afolayan, a-listers, nolywood, STEPHANIE LINUS
Stephanie Linus

Actress turned director, Stephanie Linus, whose movie ‘Dry’, also received international attention, is one of those who believe the government is not doing enough for the industry.

Pascal Atuma, who operates as an independent filmmaker in America where he directed Nollywood budget movies, such as his latest films ‘LAPD African Cops’ and ‘Blood Lines’ shot in the US, recorded impressive box office figures in Nigeria.

kunle afolayan, a-listers, nolywood, pascal
Pascal Atuma

He explained some of the roles the American government played within the entertainment industry and asked that such should be replicated in Nigeria.

Producer and director, Kingsley Ogoro, who made the blockbuster ‘Osofia in London’, way back in 2015, believes that the biggest challenge the industry faces is the idea that the quality of Nollywood films are inferior.

Ogoro explained that he got paid double his initial fee, showing that industry practitioners have been heavily underrated.

Although Nollywood is still plagued by drawbacks like piracy and lack of government support, it continues to grow organically and continues to command the attention of the entire world.

Geologist Turned Video Vixen: Mz Nyra Shares About Life, Modelling

LIFE, MODELLING, Mz Nyra, GeologistAlamutu Abiola who is now known as Mz Nyra, is a trained geologist who supposedly got into modelling by chance.

She gained her first exposure to modelling while she was still an undergraduate at the Adekunle Ajasin University in Ondo state.

Raised in a highly religious, Islamic home, Mz. Nyra was not deterred from chasing her dreams as a model.

She moved from being a still picture model into appearing in music videos which earned her visibility in some raving music videos.

She has worked with internationally recognised artists such as Flavor, Sarkodie, amongst others.

As expected, that came with a lot of rumours and negative judgement from people. However, she said that the best way to survive all that was to focus on herself and ignore the comments of people.

Nevertheless, she described modelling and acting as fun.

According to her, she had always loved the idea of acting but never had a platform.

Although she started getting gigs right from her school days, she finally made the decision to go professional when she graduated from school.

Over the years, her parents got separated and she ended up being with her mother, whom she described as one of her biggest supporters.

However, that came after she had proven that being a video vixen or model did not mean she was wayward.

She further said that being as professional as possible and also creating a conducive work environment for herself had greatly helped her along her career path.

Shina Peters Cautious Of Collaborating With New Generation Artistes

Shina Peters, Music, Collaborating, New Generation Artists,Veteran Juju artist, Shina Peters, said he has been cautious of collaboration offers he has been receiving from young Nigerian artists.

In comparing his style of music to that of the new generation artistes, the multiple instrumentalist whose music was a party delight back in the 90’s, said although his dressing identified with the hip-hop generation, their music ideologies differ.

This among other reasons, has constantly stopped him from honouring all collaboration requests received so far.

He believes that “one cannot call himself a true artiste until you can play an instrument”.

“There is no way you can call yourself an achiever in the music industry, without knowing how to play one or two instruments,” he added.