Wesley Snipes’ visit to Nigeria
Nigerian Mobile Telecommunications Limited, operator of 0804 GSM service in Nigeria, was the Telecom Partner at the Grand opening of the Dome Coliseum which had on the bill, the visit to Nigeria of the African-American movie super star, Wesley Snipes.
The celebrated actor, who was an Oscar Award nominee, arrived in Nigeria on Thursday, September 8, 2005 to the warm embrace of his admirers and hosts who thronged the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to welcome him to home soil.
The official cutting of the tape for the grand opening of the Dome was done by Mallam Nasir el Rufai, a minister in the Presidency and chairman, Federal Territory Development Authority (FCDA) who represented President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Other dignitaries at the event included Mr. Edwin Moore Momife, CEO Mtel, Dr. Chris Ngige, Governor of Anambra State, John Campbell, US Ambassador, Ken Nwabueze, Mr. Fidelis Anosike, chairman, organising committee, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, MD The Dome, Mrs. Bola Onagoruwa, Executive Secretary, Culture and Tourism, FCDA.
Top Nigerian artistes like Segun Arinze, Rita Dominic, Ini Edo, Fred Amata, Bob Manuel Udokwu, Desmond Elliot, Jumai Joseph, and Charles Novia brought the glamour of Nollywood to bear on the evening show. Mr. Peter Igho, Executive Director, Programmes, NTA and Mr. Bisi Olatilo of the Bisi Olatilo Show, also graced the event.
Ace comedian, Julius 'De Genius' Agwu spiced up the night with rib-cracking and spicy jokes, while Yinka Davies with her sonorous rendition of popular tunes was on hand to make the evening one to remember for a long time to come.
In response to its status as the Telecom Partner, two mobile lines with special numbers were presented to Wesley Snipes by the management of Mtel so that his teeming admirers could reach him, while he is also in touch with his people back in the United States during his five- day visit to Nigeria.
Guests at the grand ball for the Hollywood Ambassador also walked away with various gift items provided by Mtel, a major sponsor of The Dome grand celebrity ball with Wesley Snipes.
At a press briefing, the American Ambassador said that the visit of Wesley Snipes was meant to bring world attention to the abundantly rich culture and tourism industry of Nigeria. He said that the potentials of Nigeria in the culture and tourism industry would be exploited in the relationship between the two countries.
Also reiterating the bond that exists between both nations, Wesley Snipes pledged to collaborate with the Nigerian actors for the development of content and medium for the works of artistes of both countries.
Wesley first visited Nigeria in 1986 while conducting a research on Professor Wole Soyinka's Death and the King's Horseman which was to be premiered in America at the time.
His movies included the famed Blade movie series: Blade (1998), Blade ll (2003), and Blade: Trinity (2004), Murder at 1600, Passenger 57, The Art of War, Wild Cats, Major League, King of New Yorker, New Jack City, White Men Can't Jump, Demolition Man, Drop Zone, To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything and Julie New.
The magnificent coliseum has among other facilities, a modern discothèque, bowling centre, health centre and restaurant.