As the Nigerian film Industry continues to evolve, Kiki Omeili has joined a couple of other young vibrant filmmakers, to regalvanize Nollywood, which many now refer to as the “new Nollywood”.
From ‘Married But Living Single’ to ‘Lekki Wives’, the doctor turned actress, has continued to grace the movie screens with her talent and unique acting skills.
Sharing her experience in the film industry, she considers herself lucky to have “joined Nollywood at a time when the industry was changing and there were so many new filmmakers interested in raising the bar and doing projects that would be able to compete internationally.
“Those filmmakers are interested in casting competent people who are also interested in adequately interpreting the roles they are given”.
Originally named Nkiruka Omeili, she explained that transitioning from being a doctor to an actress came easy because she had the talent and would always get called back after attending auditions.
“It was quite easy to get spotted because I had what it took,” she told Channels Television.
Kiki, who started performing in stage plays during her primary and secondary school years, however feels that the idea of the ‘New Nollywood’, is not really about a difference in the kind of movies but rather the new faces that have graced the industry.
“I’m very sure that we would be there for a while, and after a while, new faces are going to come up again.” the actress said.
Mo Abudu, Davido, Joke Silva, M.I, Jason Njoku, George Thorpe, others will speak at the third edition of Nigerian Entertainment Conference which will hold in Lagos, Nigeria, on Wednesday April 22,
This is according to a statement issued on Monday, by organizers, NET Newspaper.
The umbrella conference for the Nigerian entertainment sector which debuted in 2013, would see everyone come together again at Eko Hotels in Lagos, for a full day of deliberations, workshops, exhibitions and master-classes.
Past editions have featured renowned celebrities including 2face Idibia, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Amaka Igwe, Kenny Ogungbe, Jimmy JATT, Basketmouth, M.I, Don Jazzy, Kunle Afolayan, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Lagbaja, Tony Okoroji, Audu Maikori, D’banj and Ali Baba; as well as respected executives like Aina Kushoro, Emeka Mba, Chris Ubosi, Ayo Animashaun, Olisa Adibua, Colette Otusheso, Steve Babaeko, Ifeoma Williams, Efe Omorogbe, Frank Nweke, Gab Okoye, and Prof. Pat Utomi.
Speakers and facilitators for this year include acclaimed Nigerian actress and trainer Joke Silva; BET and MTV award winning pop star, Davido; Afrinolly’s Chike Maduegbuna, founder and CEO of Ebony Life TV, Mo Abudu; IT entrepreneur, Chika Nwobi; rapper and business executive, M.I Abaga; iROKO TV founder, Jason Njoku; music distributor, Uba Pacific; media administrator, Deji Awokoya; marketing icon, George Thorpe; entrepreneur Ayo Makun, founder of NotJustOk, Demola Ogundele and Quilox Chairman, Shina Peller.
Music and movie lovers are in for a double deal as Nollywood star actor, Genevieve Nnaji, may hit the studio to wax new songs, if “the right song comes”.
Geneveive told Channels Television’s entertainment correspondent, Mayowa Ogundele, that much at the VIP showing of her re-launched fashion line, St Genevieve, in Lagos, on Sunday.
Celebrities including Funke Akindele, Zainab Balogun, Betty Irabor, Mo Abudu, Stephanie Linus, Olisa Adibua, Oluchi Orlandi, Chigurl, Anika Okoye, Lola Maja, Mai Atafo, Lanre Da Silva, Yvonne Vixen and many others turned up at the event, which held at the Social Place, Victoria Island.
About her singing, she said: “I think everything comes at its own time, fashion is here at its own time. I don’t fight anything.
“I don’t believe I must do everything but if the right song comes and the right situation arises for me to lend my voice, I would definitely. So no, it’s not ruled out (don’t worry)”.
Genevieve, one of the most successful actors in Nollywood, re-launched her fashion line, after two years of it being off-radar. However, it appears she’s back full force, with a ready-to-wear collection named ‘Philomena’ after her grandmother.
Although she has played few roles in recent times, she certainly has been busy, endorsing brands and working on her new collection.
However, fans should not worry as she has said that her side projects will not deter her acting.
“Nothing affects my acting,” she said.
“Acting for me is something I do with soul, so it embodies a lot of things
“For me (I don’t know about anyone else) acting is spiritual , so if I do not embody a character, or a story, or a script, it’s going to be extremely difficult for me to be convincing and I don’t like that because I’m somewhat of a perfectionist.”
Nigerian Actress, Lala Akindoju, says that it is difficult to choose which one is the better form of art between stage and screen acting as she enjoys both platforms for their uniqueness.
Speaking during an interview on Channels Television youth programme, Rubbin’ Minds, she, however, admitted that the thoroughness and hard work that goes into stage productions make them unique and generally seen by many as the purer of the arts.
The actress, who shocked Nigerians by winning the Future Awards’ Actor of the Year in 2010 despite having been acting only on stage, spoke about her passion, her struggles and how she found her feet in the competitive Nigerian film industry after winning the award.
She disclosed that the award gave her confidence with which she faced the challenges of the business and decided to move on to the screen; a decision which has paid off.
Lala also shared her experience during the International Visitors Leadership Programme in the United States, where she claimed to have been exposed to valuable opportunities to drive her ideas, especially as a producer willing to make social impacts.
Again, her status as a Future Awards winner also played an important role in her selection for the programme with the recognition it enjoyed at the American Embassy in Nigeria, coupled with recommendations from the Future Project.
One of Lala’s social projects is the Open Mic Theatre, an innovative event that provides a platform for actors to showcase their abilities. She gave an insight into the tough beginning of the project in 2011 and how it gradually broke through, and recently securing a partnership with famous producer, Kunle Afolayan, who would be handling the multimedia production.
The Open Mic Theatre has grown into a one stop shop for acting talents in Nigeria, with several artistes having gotten jobs via the platform. The Open Mic Theatre YouTube channel has also become an opportunity for fresh actors to build a show reel and market their talents.
Since moving on to screen acting, Miss Akindoju has starred in a yet to be released movie by legendary filmmaker, Tunde Kelani. The movie, titled ‘Dazzling Mirage’ tells the story of sickle cell patients and offered Lala her first ever lead role on screen, and she described her joy at having such opportunity, as well as the research and hard work she had to put in to come out great.
Lala, having been on stage for 5 years, said that the stage had become her home but she had also become very comfortable on screen and her works would show this to her teeming fans.
For many who have been wondering what Lala has with good looking actor, OC Ukeje, as both have been an item for a long time, Lala says “I’m not dating OC Ukeje, never (did) actually and never even almost dated him.
“That ‘besto’ that you have; that’s the person that if you kill somebody you will call, you’re not afraid they’re gonna judge you, you’re just dawgs, that’s it, we are like two boys.”
On their individual relationship statuses, “I am single…and about his status, he will tell you when you see him”, she said, amidst laughter.
Beautiful Nigerian Actress, Bimbo Akintola, believes that she has stayed long enough in the Nigerian movie industry for her to be able to determine the kinds of movies she would feature in.
Appearing on Rubbin’ Minds on Channels Television, Bimbo spoke about several issues about her life, her art and future plans.
Regarded by many as one of the most talented Nigerian actresses of all time, Bimbo has been away from the movie scene for some time and she said that her decision became important because there was need to be in charge of her career, as she did not feel it was important anymore to be everywhere.
“I want to do movies that mean something and touch people’s lives, I don’t want to do mediocre work”, she said, noting that her decision was not to imply that Nollywood was mediocre but that movie-making for her at her level must mean something beyond entertainment.
He said that while indeed the industry was moving in the right direction with the entry of more professionals, she believes that “the real direction is distribution”. She was of the view that the industry would grow better when Nigerian films get distributed to places where they are being appreciated with the real producers being the beneficiaries of the sales.
The controversies surrounding the censorship of the movie ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Adichie, also came to the fore, with Miss Akintola being of the view that the clamp-down on the movie was ridiculous.
She believed that the essence of censorship was to create categories, explaining that ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ could have been classified as a movie for viewers aged 18 and above.
She admitted that there might indeed be sensitive scenes in the movie which the Censors Board was wary of for the sake of national unity but she noted that the attention being drawn to it makes the situation worse.
According to her, people could have gone to see the movie as a normal movie but the controversies about its scenes have created an air of curiosity which makes some people believe that there is something to hide in the history of Nigeria.
Of course Rubbin’ Minds got personal and Ebuka on this edition started with Bimbo’s relationship with Afrobeat artiste, Dede Mabiaku and the believe that Bimbo’s career took a downturn when she dated the musician.
Bimbo insisted that Dede was not to blame for her decision to take it slow in the business. She said that Dede remained her very good friend, whom she had no regrets dating. She said that Dede was a good person but Nigerians just love to blame him for things because of his “bad boy image” being an Afrobeat musician.
Her current relationship status came next and Bimbo admitted that she was in a relationship but maintained that she would not be coerced into marriage as it was an important aspect of human life that she could not afford to rush. She refused to disclose the identity of the man in her life or her marriage plans.
While many are craving her presence in the Box Office, Bimbo has been busy on Television with new TV shows and she spoke about her idea of cooking with children on television which she said was one of the ventures that give her joy as she is a lover of kids.
‘Hear Word’ the stage play is another of Bimbo’s passions which she has remained committed to.
The Theatre Arts graduate drew attention to the originality and depth of stage performances which gives her more fulfillment with her background in the arts.
The ongoing stage drama, ‘Hear Word’ holds at the Muson Center in Lagos every weekend, and it focuses on issues surrounding women and the girl child, another area which Bimbo has been greatly passionate about.
Bimbo Akintola has been doing movies as she wants her fans to know that her hiatus was based on the need to do things the right way and she boasted that when some of the movies she featured in are released, her fans would admit that they were worth it.
Bimbo had generous accolades for fellow actresses, Omotola Jalade Ekehinde and Genevive Nnaji who are quite younger to her but whom she is very proud of.
She singled out Omotola for having represented the good side of the women in the movie industry with her grace, talent and success in marriage; a combination she said many believe was impossible in the Nigerian movie industry.