SHOWBIZ BITS 2010 PEOPLE
No doubt, the just ended year was a good one for the nation's entertainment industry, especially the motion picture sector. In this special report, we present you with the good, bad and ugly sides of the personalities that made headline news in 2010.
The appointment of Ejike Asiegbu as a Special Adviser to the Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, on Culture/Entertainment was greeted with so much applause within and outside the industry.
Asiegbu, a former national president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), former personal aide to Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu- Ojukwu and a one-time Students Union Government President at the University of Port Harcourt, where he read Theatre Arts.
Okey Bakassi/ KOK:
The separate public declarations by the famous duo of Okey Bakassi and Kanayo O. Kanayo, to vie for elective posts in 2011, also made headline news in tinsel town.
Bakassi, a former Executive Assistant on Entertainment to Governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State, resigned his position, to contest for a seat at the state House of Assembly. While KOK, on the other hand, wants to represent his Mbaise people at the Federal House.
Sikiru Ayinde Barrister:
The painful death of Fuji music maestro, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, at the age of 62, was one of the saddest events of 2010. According to family members, Barrister died in the early hours of Thursday, December 16, at the St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London. Prior to his demise, the Fuji icon was constantly in and out of hospitals within and outside our shores.
President Jonathan's largesse:
One of the major controversial issues in the annals of the nation's entertainment arena was the 200 million USD, pledge made to the industry by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr. President announced the lifeline at the 30th anniversary celebration of the Silverbird Group in Lagos, and ever since, controversies had continued to trail the yet-to-be released funds, with many insiders saying it might never come.
No doubt, Mr. Emeka Mba, the boss of the apex film regulatory agency in the country, National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), assisted immensely in stabilizing the very volatile industry throughout last year. Mba and his workaholic team were visible in all the major events that helped to shape the industry. From seminars to workshops, awards, symposia, sponsorships, partnerships and collaborations, they richly supported the industry.
You cannot discuss motion picture in 2010 without the huge contributions of effervescent and multi-talented actress cum filmmaker, Okereke. Aside hitting major cinemas within and outside our shores with her hit movie, Through The Glass, she and her business partner fiancÃ©, Linus Idahosa also brought in instructors from the famous New York Film Academy (NYFA), to train over 500 aspiring filmmakers. And to cap the year, she finally pushed her flick into the markets for movie buffs to watch and applaud.
Leading female filmmaker Vivian Ejike was among those that made 2010 tick for practitioners and stakeholders. One of her flicks, Silent Scandal, won several national and international awards, including a joint AMAA. The boss of Nollywood Distributions and Purple Pine Promotions ended the year on a glorious note with the breath-taking premiere of her latest big budget movie, A Private Storm, which held at posh and pristine Four Points, Lekki, Lagos, on December 18, amid plaudits and glitz.
Delectable crossover actress turned producer, Bukky Wright made waves with her feature length Yoruba movie, Omotara Johnson 1 and 2, in 2010. The world premiere of the well scripted movie was well attended by both her colleagues and dignitaries from the public and private sectors. With the production currently making waves, pretty and still single Wright, has joined the league of top female producers in Tinsel town.
Peace Anyiam Osigwe:
The First Lady of AMAA, made giant strides in the industry the whole of last year. Aside successfully staging the sixth edition of the awards in Bayelsa with several Nollywood and Hollywood stars in attendance, Anyiam alongside the Coalition of Nollywood Guilds and Associations (CONGA) organized several workshops for stakeholders. She equally supported financially, several laudable projects that were geared towards the elevation of the motion picture industry.
You cannot talk about Nollywood in 2010 without mentioning the hit movie, Figurine, produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan, the son of late Ade Love. The flick stylishly helped to revive the dead cinema culture and opened a new vista for Nollywood works across cinemas/festivals within and outside our shores. It also won numerous awards. In fact, Afolayan was everywhere in 2010- Cannes, Berlin, US, Asia, South Africa and other African nations, promoting Figurine and expanding the frontiers of Nollywood.
This name reverberated in Nollywood through out last year to the amazement of many, especially those operating within the industry. Miss Ahaene, the producer/director of Ije, one of the biggest movies of 2010, is an emerging force that has also written her name in gold among Nollywood's great. Ije, sensationally starring Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde revolutionized the almost dead cinema culture with an unprecedented bang through out 2010. In fact, the painstakingly shot film made history when it went back to the cinemas for a second showing, during the Yuletide seasons, after a glorious first outing, early in the year.
The fast growing Northern film industry sensationally christened Kannywood, with its operational headquarters in Kano State, also made a huge impact in 2010. Kannywood's explosion helped to earn it a special channel on both DSTV and Hitv, respectively. An insider argued that Kannywood had churned out over 1000 language movies since joining the front rows of movie making in Nigeria. It has equally created stars and celebrities from the Northern extraction, especially Ali Nuhu, whose famous face is now synonymous with Kannywood.
The sudden and painful death of emerging rapper Oladapo Olaitan better known as Dagrin was one of the sour points of 2010. The Pom-pom-pom crooner who died in a ghastly car crash around Mushin, Lagos, still lives on in the minds of many, especially his colleagues and fans.
Segun Arinze, Emeka Ike, Chuma Onwudiwe leadership tussle:
One of the dirtiest fights of last year was the protracted tussle over the leadership of the crisis-ridden Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN). The trio of Segun Arinze, the incumbent president, Emeka Ike and Chuma Onwudiwe, the incumbent Secretary, all laid claim to the exalted position of the guild's president last year.
The lingering crisis eventually saw the dramatis personae at the Law Courts. No doubt, the messy leadership war that left the once vibrant guild in disarray has crept into the New Year.
Award winning scriptwriter and producer, Chidi Nwokeabia was among the outstanding personalities of 2010. His latest feature length film, Champions of our Time, won seven international and national awards last year. Currently enjoying a good run at the cinemas, the flick produced by MacNuel Productions is still enjoying rave reviews.
The coming together of all the major guilds and associations in Nollywood to form the Coalition of Nollywood Guilds and Associations (CONGA), was a big boost for the industry. Under the leadership of Bond Emeruwa, the incumbent national president of Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), the new body is gradually repositioning the motion picture industry as well as acting as a catalyst for change.