#NigeriaAt56: Entertainers Urge Nigerians To Remain Positive

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Chigul

 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.

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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.

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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.

Actors Meet Jonathan, Call For Censors Board Sack

The Actors Guild of Nigeria has called for the sack of those at the helm of affairs of the Nigeria Film Corporation and National Film and Video Censors Board.

The call was made by the President of the guild, Ibinabo Fiberesima, when they paid a solidarity visit to President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Fiberesima is the first female President of the guild since its inception 15 years ago with about 5 million members nationwide.

Fiberesima urged the President to review their appointments and employ those with passion for the job to instil purposeful leadership in the film industry.

She said that those who have been appointed to run those agencies have shown lack of capacity to put the industry on the path of growth, especially in this transformational period. She implored the President to review those appointments and appoint administrators with passion, zeal and total dedication to the development of the film Industry.

She also said that Nollywood was in dire need of a modern, responsive legal environment for it to continue to thrive and remain relevant to this administration’s transformation agenda.

In his response, President Jonathan promised to look at the requests put forward by the guild  for the donation of a piece  of land, stating that the land was guaranteed, but that he would meet with the FCT Minister to help them build a secretariat.

Noting that actors nationwide have touched the lives of Nigerians even to the grassroots, the President said that Nollywood was the tool that would be used to redefine Africa.

The Information Minister, Labaran Maku, promised that their request that needed executive assent would be presented to the Federal Executive Council next week.

The Culture and Tourism Minister, Edem Duke, also urged the guild to sustain the positive value of the country, as well as the unity of the country in every story they tell.

Government Officials Involved In Piracy – Nollywood Actor

Veteran actor, Paul Obazele, revealed activities of some government officials who he said are major sponsors of the movie pirates.

Speaking about the early beginning of the Nigerian film industry, he said that the stakeholders were abandoned by the federal government, in their fight against piracy.

“Some big people in government are involved in this act” of piracy, he revealed.

He alleged that some government officials have replicating plants. Some government officials receive ‘settlement’ in exchange for apprehending the culprits.

He explained that pirates take copies of Nollywood movies abroad to London and Peckham to re-produce and distribute, without the producer’s authority.

He said the money made by pirates is enough to take them on shopping sprees, lodge in a three star hotel.

The replicating plants don’t work during the daytime but at night and will be taken across Nigerian borders at dawn.

He added that each replicating plant can produce up to 300,000 copies.

Nollywood is the third largest movie producing industry in the world.

Full interview:

Families Take Sides In Wake Of Bollywood Actress’s Suicide

Two Bollywood families have broken their silences over the suicide of starlet Jiah Khan after police arrested actor Suraj Pancholi in connection with his girlfriend’s death last week.

Pancholi was arrested on Monday after Khan’s mother, the 1980s actress Rabia Khan, made public a six-page letter apparently written by the 25-year-old actress before she hanged herself on June 3. Her last phone call was to Pancholi.

In the letter, widely published in the Indian media, the British-educated Khan speaks of being physically and emotionally abused and of having to have an abortion against her will.

As Khan visited her daughter’s grave on Wednesday vowing to “fight for justice”, Pancholi’s mother, the veteran Bollywood actress Zarina Wahab, broke her silence on the scandal, saying her son was not responsible for the actress’s death.

“I know the pain that Jiah’s mother is going through,” Wahab told Mumbai’s DNA newspaper, adding the family was in shock that Pancholi could face charges of abetting Khan’s suicide.

“But I also know my son. I know what he’s capable of doing … and the behavior that I hear being attributed to him is not like my son at all.”

Pancholi, 22, whose father Aditya is also a film actor, appeared in court and was remanded in police custody until June 13 after which police will have to apply for an extension.

Indian media said the authenticity of the suicide letter needed to be verified by handwriting experts.

Khan’s suicide and Pancholi’s arrest shocked the Indian film industry. Several Bollywood stars attended a prayer meeting for the actress on Saturday.

Khan, whose real name was Nafisa Khan, was found hanged in her room in a Mumbai apartment last week.

The U.S.-born actress made her Bollywood debut in 2007 with Ram Gopal Varma’s “Nishabd”, playing the 18-year-old female lead opposite one of India’s leading actors, Amitabh Bachchan.

“Nishabd” received mixed reviews and did not do well at the Bollywood box office but Khan went on to play supporting roles in two more films, the psychological thriller “Ghajini” in 2008 and the comedy “Housefull” in 2010.

However Khan had not appeared in a movie since 2010 and filmmaker Varma said in a tweet after her death that the actress had been depressed about her stalled Bollywood career.