The RAW Side of Mr. Nigeria


Whether he is on screen playing the role of a playboy, striking poses for the camera, or taking a break from work, one thing is certain, Emmanuel Ikubese exudes a charming sex appeal.

This could be observed at a recent gathering with a group of select journalists. As the 6.2 feet actor strode into the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, not a few at the cozy lounge stole glances at him. Sporting a T-shirt with the words ‘RAW: Unrefined, Untreated and Unprocessed’, with a pair of jeans, he looked so simple, but sexy.
Aware that he had kept the journalists waiting for too long, he greeted them with familiarity before apologising profusely for his lateness.

The interview dwelt on his RAW Foundation, a project which came to life last year. RAW, according to Ikubese, is a passionate vision borne out of the need to protect women. He witnessed the vulnerability of women back in his university days and promised to be their defender.

The non-governmental organisation project trains youths on how to avoid domestic violence. “We teach young boys how to respect women. We are aware that domestic violence is not limited to the female gender alone but such cases are more prevalent with women. That’s why we are spreading the news that men should respect women. If men stand up against it, it will curb this menace,” he said.
Since its kick-off last year, Ikubese has taken the RAW (acronym for, Respect a Woman) gospel to high schools and universities. It’s been a hectic period for him particularly this year as he gears up for the second edition.

Yet, one cannot misinterpret the passion which he carries on his mission. Already he has been to a few high schools in Ogun state, University of Lagos, Akoka where seminars are held and professional counsels given. He is also working on a couple of programmes to eradicate domestic violence against women.

To aid further spread of the campaign, Ikubese is deploying the film medium. In a recent production ‘Black-out’, which he co-starred with Ghanaian actress Juliet Ibrahim, the narrative spins round domestic violence. Ikubese intends to show the films at schools to discourage youths from engaging in such dehumanising acts. Apart from the seminars and talks, Ikubese is also working on raising funds through charity to establish victims of domestic violence in the business scene.

But while RAW stole some of the spotlights of the interview, Ikubese could not escape the curiosity surrounding his latest flick in the Ebonylife production ‘Fifty’. He played the role of a playboy who cheated on his cougar with his daughter. However, the buzz around him stemmed from a nude shot of him running out when he was caught.

Taking into consideration that the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation has zero tolerance for films with obscene scenes, there were so many questions surrounding that particular shot that the press men shot at him with gusto.
Like a gentleman, he answered all their questions but with an enhanced skill of a pugilist. He deflected some of the questions yet gave them some convincing and satisfactory answers. For instance, when he was asked if he would take up a nude role in subsequent productions, he answered: “I wasn’t acting nude in Fifty. It was a role to show how one reacts when they are caught in the act. I see acting as an art and you need to prove yourself.

“Take for instance Lupita Nyong’O who won an award for a movie where she was stripped and flogged. It was because she really showed the world that she can translate the message of what happened in our society during the time of slavery. Look at the role I played as being sexy. I have also been getting lots of positive feedbacks from people since after the film Fifty.
“I don’t like to be stereo-typed in a movie. My job is to bring life to character. Give me the role of a reverend, drug lord, madman and I will do it the way it should be.”

He went further to rain accolades on Fifty. “Fifty is an amazing project. The film does not have anything to do with our cultural values. Fifty has a vision and the vision is not only to sell in Nigeria but to show the world that we shoot a proper movie in a very proper way. It is not about my own character but everybody in that movie. We need to start mastering our craft to meet international standards. We need people to put money in our production and take us seriously. But what I love about Fifty is that Mo Abudu wanted to prove to the world that we can do a world class movie that is made in Nigeria and she did it.”

Nevertheless, the press men were not so eager to let him off the hook without asking about his parents’ reactions to the movie. He told them how he tried to dissuade his parents from watching the movie but was surprised that his mother who saw the movie with his younger sister didn’t really raise an eyebrow like he had feared. But the case is quite different with his father.

According to him, they are yet to talk about ‘Fifty’. He acknowledged that his parents have always been supportive of his career even if he gave them quite a headache as a young child growing up in Ajegunle. They disciplined him to a point that he doubted if they were his real parents. But today, he is grateful for the morals they instilled in him.
Another misperception the former Mr. Nigeria corrected was that of his personality. He refused to be seen as a vain person despite his physique. And one more thing, he would like everyone to know that he is a very private and family-oriented person.

It’s Time for Day 9
It is not a mean feat to make a good impression and be applauded at an event that had famous music producer, Cobhams Asuquo as headline act, but this is exactly what budding hip-hop singer and rapper, Idu Charles Ossy, better known as, Day9 was able to achieve at the 2016 Ribbon ‘N’ Roses show organised by showbiz personality, Edi Lawani.
A graduate of History and Strategic Studies from the University of Lagos, Day 9 boasts of a strong background in music which includes a father who was a former Disc Jockey and a stint in the church choir. From playing the drums in church, he gradually mastered other musical instruments.

Day 9 who was the toast of the Unilag entertainment circuit in his time, winning many laurels finally found the courage to give music his all. He was the winner of the Coke Studio Africa talent competition in 2014.
As a fresh student in the university, Day 9 released a song within the school titled ‘Unilag Forever’ which was widely accepted by students as the theme song for the celebration of the school’s 50th anniversary in 2013. It is not a surprise then that his debut single ‘Hustle Anthem’ received overwhelming critical acclaim. His new single, ‘Spray Me’ has been well received as well.

‘Spray Me’ reaches out to all good music lovers with perfectly laced vocals and enjoyable lyrics accompanied by well-strummed contemporary tune produced by the prolific producer Major -1. This producer is credited with creating the moniker Day 9 by default.
The story is told how the singer and his producer had difficulties identifying the file his songs were recorded from the lot. Recalling that it was recorded on the Ninth Day, it became not only the identity of the file, but for the artiste as well.
Day9, who was born in Lagos, hails from Imo State. He also featured alongside Terry tha Rap man on the soundtrack for the movie titled “Alan Poza” produced by Charles Novia.

Lincoln’s Clan, Buzz Live with Owen Gee Debut on Terrestrial TV
Group Managing Director of Total Recall Media Limited, Mr. Oluseyi ‘Moscow’ Adebanjo has announced that two of its productions, ‘Lincoln Clan’ and ‘Buzz Live with Owen Gee’ will start showing on terrestrial television stations this month.
He said “Lincoln’s Clan will debut on Silverbird TV (STV) Network and 35 other TV Stations across the country, while Buzz Live with Owen Gee will debut on Silverbird TV (STV) Network and 32 other TV Stations.”

The meeting with journalists at Banex Hotel Anthony, Lagos was anchored by comedian Firstborn and Lepacious Bose, while the gathering honoured the memory of the recently departed musician, Olumuyiwa Oshinuga, better known as, Nomoreloss.
Besides viewing clips from the two programmes, the audience was also treated to comedy by MC Wyze and Elder O. It was a thoroughly enjoyable time for everyone who came.

John Dumelo, Francis Odega Star Restless Pendulum
After a successful audition, the cast and crew of Restless Pendulum are set to move to location for a shoot starring acts like John Dumelo, Francis Odega, Belinda Effa, Fancy Tracy Acholonu and others.
Audition for Restless Pendulum was attended by a huge crowd of hopefuls at the popular Lamonde Guest House, Owerri who displayed various talents before a team of knowledgeable film makers who were looking for the best. Expectedly, the movie would be shot in Owerri.

Restless Pendulum, a Pot of Africa presentation, from the stable of Davkam Global Resource Productions, has Ugochukwu Igbokwe as supervisor, while Chibuzo Jiwueze plays the role of producer. Lambert Nnorom of Transatlantic pictures occupies the seat of the director with Henry Chigozie Chijieze as executive producer.

Grasshoppers Entertainment Reveals New Act
Precious Ibe is a lucky guy and he knows it. At just 15 years, he is fortunate to be the first new act to be signed to the Grasshoppers Entertainment. The label is owned and managed by two brothers, Marshall and Biosa Onyia. They run the popular night club Grasshoppers Place in Festac Town, Lagos.
Flying with the moniker Y-emzy, Biosa who is the Managing Director of the outfit said he discovered the young afro-hip-hop act during ‘Night of Ensemble’, a platform that promotes and supports both established and budding artistes. He said that Y-emzy signing is timely and divine.

“I saw his performance on a fateful night. He is a very talented young act without a doubt. We actually didn’t intend to sign any artiste because of the harsh climate in the entertainment industry. Signing an artiste comes with a lot of commitment and practically the way we run our business here, we try to stay away from scandals. But I saw in him a talent that the world needs to know. We’ve had series of artistes that come to us to sign them but we have been very careful about it.”
It was the first time the entertainment company would intimate the media on their businesses. Since inception, they have operated on a low key. Apart from the club business, they are also into hospitality, oil and gas, real estate and communications.

Blast from the Champ
With more successes recorded by the likes of Phyno and recently, Humblesmith, a new act by the name, Blast Champ is hungry for fame as a musician by blending the Igbo flavor of highlife with contemporary hip hop music.
BC was born Anigala Chuka on May 30, 1991 in Delta state. The singer and song writer is signed to Meshtro Entertainment. BC played the flute in primary school and was a member of his secondary choir. He performed at various school events as a student of University of Benin, Edo state.

His first single ‘Boo Boo Me’ was released in 2014 and was produced by Nedz Beats. Interestingly, the producer is his twin brother. The release of his second single ‘Nwayor’ shows BC as a determined player on the musical turf, where he operates as a singer, rapper and a songwriter.
A 2013 Economics graduate of the University of Benin, Blast Champ has since abandoned his degree to focus on music.