•Triumphing In A War It Never Set Out To Win
“Fom Uganda, Kenya and on to South Africa, it is de rigueur today for the most popular DJs on FM stations to imitate Nigerian accents. Preachers in independent churches in several parts of the continent are also increasingly affecting Nigerian accents. A few years ago, American accents were all the rage with these groups. Though the jargon of American hip hop still rules, it has some serious competition from Nigerian flavours.
The change is illustrated by the recent June 1 premiere of the Nigerian film “The CEO”, to pick just one example. “The CEO” is about a telecoms firm looking to replace its boss. Five members of the company’s management are dispatched across Africa to find the best candidate. Significantly, the cast members include Benin’s Grammy award-winning singer Angelique Kidjo, as well as actors from South Africa, Kenya, Ivory Coast and Morocco.
In April 2014, Nollywood was included in Nigeria’s economic data for the first time—and was one of the factors that propelled Nigeria to the top of the table as Africa’s largest economy. The film industry in Africa’s most populous nation was estimated to be worth 4.3 billion, or 1.2% of GDP.
It is a kiss of death to be a private TV station in Africa and not have a Nollywood offering.
Nollywood has grown along with the rise of Nigerian hip hop and its stars like P Square, Wiz Kid, D-banj, and Davido in Africa, and the proliferation of Nigerian churches on the continent. Nigerian film, music, and churches never set out to be pan-African brands, and to this day there is no big government strategy to grow its cultural products on the continent or globally.
It rode on the privatisation of the airwaves, the spread of satellite TV, and the demand for African content that was a counter movement to globalisation.
The current economic malaise in Nigeria caused by the slump of oil, its primary export, might have thrown it off balance. But that will likely not stop its cultural match, that was never dependent on state patronage.”
The years ahead in Africa, look set to be very Nigerian.
•Culled (Edited) from africapedia.com.
Eyes on Galaxy TV
Fans of the Lagos-based Galaxy TV have a good reason to be happy. On Thursday July 7, 2016, Galaxy TV landed on dstv channel 258, right beside ONMAX and Lagos TV. I wouldn’t describe myself as a Galaxy TV fan. But as a former Lagosian, I remember Galaxy TV with nostalgia. Back when I used to watch the station on terrestrial TV, when I stuck only to terrestrial TV.
Since its debut on the dstv bouquet, I’ve paid a few visits to Galaxy TV. It looks to have improved in many areas. I see that it has moved with the trends visually speaking. There’s a certain clarity to its graphics and general presentation.
However I paid greater attention when I watched a repeat of Galaxy Today (G.Today)-the business segment on . The guest was Femi Awoyemi (MD, Proshare) and the presenter was Tolu Ajayi. It took a while before discovering the name of the guest, the presenter’s name came on much later. And until the end of that segment, for over ten minutes, there was no name scrolled, not the guest’s, not the presenter’s.
Yet, there was a whole lot, in fact, too much going on. There were too many colours: plush orange chairs, giant blue screen in the background, huge ‘pom pom’-like decorations in lemon, deep orange and yellow colours on the centre table. As if all that was not distracting enough, the giant screen which sits between the presenter and his guest is flashing information about the programme ceaselessly.
Then there was the camera whose default or favoured position appeared to be the guest’s side view. Viewers could only stare his ear and everything on the left side of his face. He’s shown looking at the presenter who is not in that shot. At no time do viewers get a close glimpse of him talking directly to the camera.
Ghana Must Go
Director: Frank Rajah Arase
Starring: Yvonne Okoro, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Kofi Adjorlolo, Nkem Owoh, IK Ogbonna, Helen Paul, Ada Ameh.
Chuks (Blossom Chukwujekwu) and Ama (Yvonne Okoro) are engaged. In fact, they are actually legally married. But all that is unknown to Ama’s family back in Ghana as the couple comes for a visit from the UK where they met and fell in love. Ama’s family knows she’s bringing a boyfriend, who is a foreigner, home to meet them. What they don’t know is the one ‘little’ detail Ama has conveniently omitted: Chuks is not Chucks who could be a citizen of any foreign country. Chuks is a Nigerian.
Why would bringing home a man, a fellow West African be such a big deal? Ama’s father, retired Brigadier General (Kofi Adjorlolo) loathes Nigerians. Because of the Ghana Must Go incident of the 80s when the then Nigerian government of Shehu Shagari deported Ghanaians. That incident also led to what came to be known as Ghana-must-go bags which the brigadier general also hates with a passion. Thankfully with GMG’s help, I get to know that Ghana was the first to kick out Nigerians in the late 60s.
Anyhow, Chuks and Ama arrive Accra. In a series of tension-filled but potential comic incidents, they grapple with all kinds of difficulties. At a point, it’s not only the survival of their relationship that’s at stake but Chuks own life-whether he can survive the encounter with Ama’s father. Then to top it off, Chuks family led by his father Mazi Okoro (Nkem Owoh) arrive Accra with Chuks’ mother (Ada Ameh) and his darling wife Helen Paul in tow.
There are quite a few things I like about the film Ghana Must Go. I like that it is visually well produced. I like Yvonne Okoro’s acting-effortless. Then I like the way the first part of the film runs before the arrival of Mazi Okoro and his women from Nigeria. Although that first half isn’t all that hilarious, the story does have some structure. Then Nkem Owoh/Osuofia arrives and all hell breaks loose.
Ordinarily, I shouldn’t worry about aspects of Ghana Must Go that don’t ring true. Especially to a Nigerian. Perhaps I should chalk it all up to poetic licence. Still, the part where the film degenerates into ‘Osuofia in London’ meets ‘Sikira Goes To America’ (not a real title but who knows?) is a little stretched. We are to believe an Igbo man who flew into Accra with over twenty ghana must go bags had never seen a mansion before? Every typical Igbo village has one such ‘befitting castle’. And Helen Paul as an Igbo or Yoru-Igbo woman?
But I must point out that the cinema hall came to life when Nkem Owoh appeared. Ghana Must Go reiterates the well worn saying that there’s more that unites than divides us. In all, Ghana Must Go makes for a good viewing.
Peace Hotel: Catting or Cutting Edge?
Have you seen the Peace Hotel, Lagos commercial on TV? I’m not sure how many stations it’s running on but I only seem to run into it on LWT (Lagos Weekend Television). It’s the typical Nigerian hotel ad: tells you it has the latest technology and every good thing in between. But forgets or stints on production quality. Such that there’s a glaring disconnect between what’s being claimed and the evidence the viewer can see. Perhaps, this isn’t as a result of any of the reasons I’m suggesting but a conscious effort to oversell.
According to the advert, Peace Hotel is “the cutting edge of technology.” (The announcer says cutting edge as ‘catting edge’) . Just because there’s internet in the rooms? Meanwhile, beginning from the ‘receptionist’, everything is a studied throwback. The female receptionist is wearing a suit and the inner shirt has collars/lapels that must be from the 60s. The visual quality of the commercial does the hotel no justice whatsoever. It’s difficult to place when this TVC could’ve been produced.
Mind you, all this is because of the claims made by Peace Hotel TVC.