Nigeria’s beautiful actress, Berverly Naya, says that having realised on time that there was more to her as an actor, embracing the Nigerian movie industry has given her the best platform to launch her career.
Beverly, who has lived all her life in the United Kingdom before relocating to Nigeria, said that there was not much going on in the British movie and theatre industry and this led to her decision to kick-start her career in Nigeria.
She explained she quickly noticed that, because of her race, there were risks of being stereotyped into acting only some of the usual roles reserved for black actors – ghetto girl.
Although she admitted that relocating to Nigeria was a daring move, especially considering she had never lived in the country, and did not have the Nigerian accent, she said that she had her mind made up once she graduated from school.
Her British accent, according to her, hasn’t been much of a challenge because she had prepared very well for Nollywood before stepping into it.
To buttress this, she revealed that she recently played the role of a village girl in a yet to be released 200million naira budget Nigerian movie, which stars Omotola Ekehinde and other notable Nigerian actors.
Miss Naya, who has also joined the league of actors on popular TV soap, Tinsel, also provided clarifications on her real name, origin and ties to Delta State Nigeria.
Naya, expectedly, has been linked to a number of young and single men in the Nigerian entertainment industry; like pop singer, Flavour and TV show host, Uti Nwachukwu.
Of Flavour, she maintained a well publicised comment that she had never met him in person and being linked to him was laughable.
For Uti, she explained that they had been good friends and being seen together at an event led to the rumours, as fans assumed that there was more to their casual relationship.
Speaking about her several handsome co-actors on Tinsel, she said, “I’m not really looking for a husband on Tinsel” despite her on-screen romance with Tinsel star, Gideon Okeke, whom she refereed to as a good friend.
“I am single at the moment and if I meet the right guy, then who knows…I’m open to a relationship if I meet the right guy but for now, I am (only) going on dates,” she said.
’50 Shades of Black’ is a project very dear to Beverly. It is targeted at inspiring young black women to believe more in themselves and be proud of themselves, no matter the colour of their skin.
She has been speaking to young ladies in schools and other places on the need to have a better view of themselves.
She recently had several celebrities support the vision by writing different inspirational messages to young people in line with the vision.
A new documentary film by Beverly Naya is also being produced and this would further propagate the message of the ’50 Shades of Black’.
Nigerian actor, Alex Ekubo, says the whole of African cinema matters to him because when the rest of the world watches movies from the continent, they don’t know which is Ghanian and which is Nigerian.
The award winning actor appeared on Rubbin Minds this Sunday straight from the set of a Ghanian production titled ‘Single, Married and Complicated’ and started off by saying “am all up for African cinema”.
He said, “All they see is an African movie so we should stop dividing ourselves and dividing our market by differentiating or distigusihing what movie it is.”
Alex could be mistaken to be among the new generation of model turned actors as stated by an older actor but he revealed that his first ever entertainment move was acting. In 2004, he featured in a movie produced and directed by veteran filmaker, Lancelot Odua Imasuen, acting alongside Empress Njamah, Justus Esiri and others. He later went back to school to study Law and later backed this with a Diploma in Mass Communication.
On the back of this, he refused to be categorized among actors who are on TV only because of their good looks and not their talents. He believes that the movie industry is an open market for anybody to go into. “Its a career out there for every person,” he said.
Alex noted that for an actor or an entertainer, there would be 40% people who are die-hard fans and another 40% could feel hate, while the remaining 20% could be indifferent.
He revealed that he has been his own biggest critic and never thinks he has done anything outstanding. He sees the flaws in his acting and always sees room for development so it is not for him to decided if he is a good actor or not.
Alex cares less about what people say about him. He believes everyone has his own opinion and he cannot change what people think about him, apparently referring to the rumours about him with some involving his friends like Yemi Alade, Uti Nwachukwu and others.
There had also been rumours that Alex and Uti’s friendship had gone sour but Alex debunked this saying that they were still in touch with each other, they’ve had no issues and were still friends. He still respects and appreciates him a lot, he added.
Speaking about his career, Alex said that a lot should be expected from him in the coming months, especially the premieres of some of the movies he had featured in; the movie ‘Dream Worker’ and ‘I Can’, which was directed by Desmond Eliot. He also wants his fans to watch out for an Emem Isong movie that was shot in South Africa, which he also featured in.
Nigerian music stars, 2face, Tiwa Savage, M.I, Olamide, and 20 other artistes are set to thrill fans in 10 cities lined for the annual Star Music Trek.
After weeks of speculation, the full artiste line up for Music Trek 2014 has finally been unveiled.
The sensational unveiling, which held at the Federal Palace Hotel Victoria Island Lagos on March 19 in a scintillating sign-on party was well attended by dozens of celebrity guests, including Olisa Adibua, Toni Kan, Uti Nwachukwu, Tee-Y Mix, Mark Redguard, Gbemi Olateru Olagbegi, Tunde Ednut, Mo’ Eazy, D’Tunes, HarrySongs.
Hosts, Gbenga Adeyinka, DO2UN of Cool FM and Laf Up ensured that the suspense was fully maintained with guests left guessing right up to the final unveiling of who would eventually make up the Star 2014 Trek line up.
This year’s selection of Nigerian stars comprises an exciting combination of artistes at the top of their game with a few major surprises. Still on the Trek this year are fans’ favorites, Tiwa Savage, 2face, M.I, Olamide and many others. Noticeably missing, however, are D’banj and dynamic duo P’square, who featured prominently on the 2013 Trek.
The surprise introduction of Davido, and Wizkid promises to spice things up!
Artistes on Music Trek include 2face, Tiwa Savage, M.I, Olamide, Davido, Wizkid, Wande Coal, Sound Sultan, Pasuma, Mr Raw, Dr Sid, Naeto C, KCee, Sean Tizzle, Phyno and May D.
Hosts are Gbenga Adeyinka, DO2TUN of Cool FM and Laf Up with DJ Xclusive, DJ Neptune, DJ Switch, DJ Blaise as official DJs for The Trek.
The Trek 2014 will be touring the following cities across the country, Nsukka (29th March), Makurdi, (5th April), Uyo (12th April), Umuahia (19th April), Orlu (26th April), Ekwulobia, (3rd May) Onitsha Fegge, (11th May), Benin (17th May), Ado Ekiti, (24th May), and Lagos May 31st.
It was the 2014 edition of the African Magic Viewer’s Choice Award, and some actors and actress went home smiling.
Below is a full list of winners and faces at the event.
Best Movie 2013 Obi Emelonye – Last Flight to Abuja Udoka Oyeka & Orode Ryan – Living Funeral Shirley Frimpong-Manso, Yvonne Okoro & Ken Attoh – Contract WINNER Michelle Bello – Flower Girl James Omokwe – Awakening
Best Movie Drama Obi Emelonye – Last Flight to Abuja Edwin Maina Kariuki – Nairobi Half Life Udoka Oyeka & Orode Ryan – Living Funeral Frank Rajah Arase – The Groom’s Bride WINNER Jumafor Ajogwu & Chris Eneaji – Murder at Prime Suites
Best Movie Comedy Uche Jombo – Lies Men Tell Shirley Frimpong-Manso, Yvonne Okoro & Ken Attoh – Contract Elvis Chucks – A Wish -WINNER Martins Onyebuchi Onyemaobi – The Fighter Martins Onyebuchi Onyemaobi – The Hero
Best Movie Director Obi Emelonye – Last Flight to Abuja Tosh Gitonga – Nairobi Half Life Shirley Frimpong-Manso – Contract -WINNER Udoka Oyeka – Living Funeral Frank Rajah Arase – Price Amil Shivji – Shoeshine
Best Actress in a Drama Stephanie Wilson – Living Funeral Veronica Waceke – Higher Learning Nse Ikpe-Etim – Journey to Self -WINNER Nkiru Sylvanus – Kiss And The Brides Ivie Okujaiye – The Volunteers
Best Actor in a Drama Juma Rajab Rashid – Siri Ya Mtungi Majid Michel – Somewhere in Africa Hlomla Dandala – Contract Majid Michel – House of Gold Tope Tedela – A Mile From Home -WINNER
Best Supporting Actress Valerie Kimani – Higher Learning Jazymn Batchan – Still Standing Liz Ameye – Living Funeral Lance Handabile – Love Games Tamara Eteimo – Desperate House Girls Bikiya Graham-Douglas – Flower Girl -WINNER
Best Supporting Actor David Mulwa – Higher Learning Ian Mbugua – House of Lungula Desmond Elliot – Finding Mercy -WINNER Bimbo Manuel – Torn Chris Attoh – Flower Girl
Best Actress in a Comedy Funke Akndele – The Fighter Funke Akndele – The Hero Funke Akndele – Return of Sheri Koko -WINNER Mary Ogbonna – Clinic Matters Jackie Appiah – Cheaters Yvonne Okoro – Contract
Best Actor in a Comedy Hlomla Dandala – Contract John Okafor – Return of Sheri Koko Osita Iheme – The Hero -WINNER Osita Iheme – The Fighter Chinedu Ikedieze – The Hero
Best Television Series Comedy/Drama Grace Kahaki Munthali – Prem Episode 2 Fred Phiri – Love Games Episode 6 -WINNER John Riber – Siri Ya Mtungi Paul Igwe – The Benjamins Benson Akindeju – Nowhere to be Found
Best Short Film Vincent Moloi – Berea Amarachukwu Onoh – Mother Tongue Amil Shivji – Shoeshine Walter “Waltbanger” Taylaur – The Wages -WINNER Enuma Chigbo – The Deadwood
Best Documentary Dr Gilbert Chigbo (Narrator) – The Deadwood -WINNER Sonia Maingi – Tumanka Goes to School Peter Murimi – Matatu: My Life, My Art Peter Murimi- Guardians of the Wild David Campbell – Shamba Shape Up
Best Indigenous Language Movie/Series (Swahili) Edwin Maina Kariuki – Nairobi Half Life Jordan Riber – Siri Ya Mtungi Ann Hamberger – Nina Njoki Muhoho – Mama Duka -WINNER Musa Venerable Mziba, Vagabond
Best Indigenous Language Movie/Series (Hausa) Yasin Auwal, Umar K, Mazugal – Wana Gari 1& 2 Hafizu Bello – Bakin Kishi Abba Muko Yakassai – Habib -WINNER Nasir Sa’ad Gwangwazo – Runan Jakara Mikail I. Bin Hassan – Kurman Gari
Best Online Video Stacy McDermott & Neville Ossai – Jungle Jewel: The Short Film Mary Kaiyare – Deceit Stanlee Ohikhuare – Kpian’s Premonition Dorothy Ghettuba, Oyunga Pala – Next Big Host Amarachukwu Onoh – Mother Tongue -WINNER
Best Writer (Drama) Shirley Frimpong-Manso & Hertey Owusu – Contract -WINNER Patrick Yaadar & Andy Boyo – Off The Hook Akpor Kagho – Living Funeral Fatima Jabbe – Battered Pascal Amanfo – Single & Married
Best Writer (Comedy) Jigi Bello – Flower Girl -WINNER Jahmal Holland – Still Standing Ohis Udofia – Kuti’s Career Palace Patrick Onyeka – The Place Seun Arowojolu – Squatterz
Best Cinematographer James Michael Costello – Last Flight to Abuja Christian Almesberger – Nairobi Half Life -WINNER Idhebor Kagho – Living Funeral Imoh Umoren – Have a Nice Day Themba Masondo – Taxi Ride
Best Art Director Barbara Minishi – Nairobi Half Life -WINNER Ken Attoh & Shirley Frimpong-Manso – Contract Shirley Frimpong-Manso – Apples Miniseries Part 1&2 Kyle Quint – Siri Ya Mtungi Frank Rajah Arase – The Piece
Best Sound Editor Sola Awoponle – Ilari Obi Emelonye & Luke Corradine – Last Flight to Abuja -WINNER Jordan Riber – Siri Ya Mtungi Carl Raccah – Journey to Self Maurice Kings – Murder at Prime Suites Paul Apel – Blue Flames
Best Video Editor Ben Nugent & Obi Emelonye – Last Flight to Abuja Austin Faani Ikechukwu – Battle for Wealth Shirley Frimpong-Manso – Contract -WINNER Chucks Madu Success – Oga On Top Jack Esterhuizen – Love Games Episode 25
Best Lightning Designer Don Izuchukwu – Brother’s Keeper Godwin Daniel – Living Funeral Ifeoluwa Balogun – The Benjamins Mohammed Zain – Nairobi Half Life -WINNER Eric Aghimien – A Mile from Home
Best Costume Designer Adeola Ramonu – Adebola Omo Oba Doreen Estazia Noni – Siri Ya Mtungi Catherine Kibugi – Sumu La Penzi Episode 5 Ruth Ndulu Maingi – Lies That Bind Episode 2 Season 2 Chiemela Nwagboso – The Kingdom – WINNER
Best Make-up Artist Elayne Okaya – Nairobi Half Life -WINNER Olabimpe Cole – Lekki Wives Alex Gakumo – Sumu La Penzi Episode 1 Season 1 Michael Wawuyo – The Felistas Fable Rehema Samo – Siri Ya Mtungi Israel Moses – A Wish Rosemary Obika, Redemption
New Era Award Movie – Rita Dominic – The Meeting – WINNER
Nigerian actor and a model, Uti Nwachukwu, has said that his latest incursion into the Nigerian music scene is in fulfillment of his passion for his first love, rather than the quest for money.
The winner of the Big Brother Africa reality show was a guest on Rubbin’ Minds on Channels Television on Sunday, where he spoke about some of his recent activities.
The man, who started his career as a model before hitting fame on the pan-African reality show has since delved into other areas of the entertainment business, after riding on his claim to fame to make a great career as a TV show host.
Having also enjoyed good reviews from his performances in a number of Nollywood movies, in 2013, he released a single, launching his career as a recording artiste to the surprise of many Nigerians.
Although he refused to rate himself as a musician, Uti noted that he grew up with his multiple talents, and has enjoyed the new experience because of the reaction it drew from many fans, as they were mostly shocked that he could sing.
The latest single was not his first attempt at singing and he admitted that much, adding that the previous two singles were not serious attempts; moreover, he had never been famous for his first attempts, as he reminded Ebuka that it also took him three attempts to win Big Brother Africa.
Asked to identify his weakest competence among the many known talents, Uti simply said there was none. “TV presenting is the easiest for me and acting is the most stressful.”
Uti also had some harsh words for the critics who have tagged him as fame conscious. He noted that he had no reason to allow anonymous comments affect him. He said: “My skill is to serve serious minded people, or in lay-man’s terms – people that have sense. I don’t work because I want to entertain daft or dull people.
“You have to be extremely mentally challenged to take an anonymous comment seriously. Serious people would actually come to you and I have not met any serious person that has abused me to say ‘why are you everywhere’?”
Uti also seized the opportunity to clarify the state of the relationship between him and his friend Alex Ekubo. He explained that the relationship was part of his passion for giving back to the society as they went everywhere together so he could help give Alex the exposure his talents deserved.
There had been rumours about the hidden motive of their relationship and he wondered why “many Nigerians” would complain that celebrities were not using their status to help others; and when they do, there would also be suspicion about them being involved in amorous relationships.
“In Nigeria, a lot of people feel that you cannot give someone so much without getting something back in return; which is most likely sex,” he said.
He referred to the speculations as “very ridiculous. “But it didn’t affect the relationship. We would sit back and laugh because me I know my friend, I know say him like woman well well, and he knows me as a very disciplined manbut I like women.”
Uti refused to reveal his plans for 2014, but he assured his fans that a lot would be happening during the year.
Of course, Ebuka would not let him leave the studio without touching on his love life and the lady or ladies he has been linked with. That brought quite some revelation.