airtimeplus By Onoshe Nwabuikwu email@example.com
Gidi Blues…Straight Out Of Lagos’ would’ve sounded more familiar? Anyway, ‘Gidi Blues Out Of Lagos’ or ‘Gidi Blues Straight Out Of Lagos’ mean the same thing. Any version would be tautology. Lagos is Gidi. Just as Gidi is Lagos. Gidi is from Las Gidi, the fond name Lagosians prefer to use for their beloved city of Lagos.
Nonetheless the relationship between Gidi Blues, the Femi Odugbemi movie and Lagos the city is much more organic than just the name that binds them. There’s something new and refreshing about the movie in its take on romance and social consciousness. Do we call that ‘socio-romanticism’? In Gidi Blues, activism meets tourism meets cupid meets real life. I call it ‘Gidi-ness’. I’m sure, come June 24th when Gidi Blues hits the cinemas, movie goers will coin their own slogans/nicknames. But we’ll leave the Gidi Bluesreview for another time.
Today, I want to talk about the Gidi Blues premiere on June 4th, 2016 in the warm embrace of the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. To be honest I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I haven’t been to that many premieres in Nigeria but from the little I’ve seen of them in the (entertainment) news, they seemed very pretentious. And not very exciting, especially the movie watching part.
So as I got on the brilliantly red carpet, I felt like one of the expected celebrities, for one moment. The atmosphere was relaxed but there was a certain energy in the air. We could’ve been standing right in front of the Grand Theatre Lumiere, Cannes, France in all its resplendence. Yet the real treat was inside the elegant yet intimate setting for the premiere itself.
There was music. And after that came the talk. After which guests were shown five minutes of the documentary on Makoko also shot by Femi Odugbemi which actually provided the inspiration for ‘Gidi Blues’. Then guests were treated to the full movie.
Clicheic or not, the only way to describe audience reaction was that they watched in rapt attention. Or you can call it ‘engaged involvement’. Everyone was involved with the story as it unfolded onscreen. At the end of the film, there were no sighs of relief. Instead, so engrossed were some guests that they were not prepared for when the end came. They were more interested in the story continuing.
The Gidi Blues premiere was one sparkling night with equally sparkling stars in attendance. You had the stars of the movie in attendance. From Gideon Okeke and Hauwa Allahbura (lead actor/actress), Bukky Wright, the now truly Lepacious Bose (Bose Ogunboye), Daniel Lloyd, Lepa Shandy (Folashade Omoniyi-Adewale). Banky W, who had a cameo role was in attendance. Representing Africa Magic who are also involved was Regional Director, M-Net West Africa, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu.
And there were the other stars like Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Tunde Kelani, Olu Jacobs, Joke Silva, Bimbo Akintola, The musical family was represented by Yeni Kuti, X3M’s Steve Babaeko, his wife Yetunde and others.
•Presenting…Gideon Okeke (Akin, Gidi Blues)
By now audiences should be familiar with Gideon Okeke, who has since 2008 been playing ‘Philip Ade-Williams’ in MNET’s Tinsel on the Africa Magic Showcase, dstv channel 151. Gideon got thrust into our consciousness when he appeared on the one and only season of the Big Brother Nigeria, BBN, in 2006. Back then, you either loved him and he had his fans. Or you disliked him because like some people, you thought he was arrogant.
As far as BBN was concerned, Gideon seemed like he didn’t need anybody’s approval. He certainly didn’t get into any desperate alliances just to ‘play the game’. He appeared very sure of himself. My household was definitely Team Gideon.
Out of the fishbowl that’s reality TV, people are no longer polarized about Gideon into love or hate camp. That’s because as far as he’s being a talented actor is concerned, there is no argument. Projecting himself and his immense talent in roles for TV like he does on Tinsel to the big screen in little seen Relentless by Andy Okorafor (2010), to When Love Happens (2014), to A Place In The Stars (2014) to Gbomo Gbomo Express (2015). And now as Akin in Gidi Blues (2016), Gideon is hitting the mark.
Gideon’s (growing) success has not been accidental. I hear he is a very hard worker who is ever ready to push and give that extra.
•Presenting…Hauwa Allahbura (Nkem, Gidi Blues)
You can’t but notice Hauwa Allahbura in her interpretation of Maro, an ambitious scriptwriter in Tinsel. Hauwa does a whole lot of acting with minimal movements. She lets her face and body language do the ‘talking’. Just based on what the viewers sees of Hauwa onscreen, it’s difficult to box her into one category.
For one, she acts like she has far more experience than her bio states. She is not overtly recognisable as belonging to a specific tribe. It’s a surprise when you see in the credits that she’s a Hauwa Allahbura. And eventually you get the news that she is from northern Nigeria (Plateau State).
Anyhow, playing the lead female role in Gidi Blues, a movie with talented actresses like Bukky Wright and Tina Mba; and giving a good account of herself is no mean feat. Yes, there are always going to be moments when we’ll be reminded that she once was a beauty queen (Miss FCT, 2012), Hauwa is now an actress to be reckoned with. She’s in our homes, in our faces, showcasing her talent on TV, every weekday as Maro in Tinsel.
Yet, like Maro, Hauwa is not satisfied to just being the beautiful Northern Star. ‘Gidi Blues’ is another step in the ladder of success for her.