Is Tony Elumelu Buying Up the National Theatre? No! He Wants to ‘Epp’ the Entertainment Industry


One of the rave jargons in the Nigerian music scene right now is the phrase ‘who you epp’? It is a loose and corrupt attempt to tug at the conscience of the affluent. The apparent and passionate plea is ‘help your brother/sister’. Obviously, this cry for help has reached the quarters of one of Nigeria’s men of means, Tony Elumelu who decided to do something about it. In his characteristic in your face and structured approach, he has prompted his charity arm, Tony Elumelu Foundation to enter a working relationship with the federal government of Nigeria through its Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

When invitation to witness the formalities of this working relationship were sent out, the buzz in the creative and art community was that Tony Elumelu had succeeded in buying up the National Theatre. So many interest groups came armed to shoot down the sale. But as it turned out, they had no reason to fret. If and when Tony Elumelu purchases the National Theatre, he will not tip toe about it.

For now TEF and the ministry have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture appointed three representatives from the entertainment industry who will join the TEF team on the best way to engage stakeholders on the actualization of the partnership. They include notable entrepreneur and Founder/CEO of Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), Ms. Chioma Ude, foremost comedian and actor, Mr. Atunyota Alleluya Akporobomerere, aka Ali Baba and veteran actress Mrs. Joke Silva.

The partnership will provide a framework for bringing creative industry stakeholders together with investors, financiers and business leaders to transform the creativity of industry entrepreneurs into a profitable sector capable of attracting international collaboration and contributing consistently to the national economy.

During the signing, the Hon. Minister said, “My Ministry recognises the urgent need to develop Nigeria’s creative industries and increase its contribution to the national economy. Nigeria currently has creative industries but no creative economy. This partnership will leverage the experience of the private sector to help the creative industries retain the commercial opportunity and the financial benefits.”

In April, the Minister approached TEF with a challenge: “How can we work together to help transform the currently underdeveloped and unstructured creative industry ecosystem into an organized and profitable pool of creative industries that provide meaningful employment to thousands of Nigerians?”

At the event, Chairman of Heirs Holdings and UBA Plc Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, CON said, “Without doubt, Nollywood is a global leader and our young musicians are emerging as international sensations with serious earning potential. Nigerians are good at starting creative businesses, but they lack the capacity to scale, proper business management and the investment necessary to become self-sustaining. This partnership will provide the framework for building business capacity and attracting sustainable investment.”

Also speaking at the event, the CEO of the Foundation, Parminder Vir, OBE, expressed her optimism at the future of the creative industry in Nigeria. A seasoned filmmaker herself, Ms. Vir stated, “Nigeria has an abundance of creative excellence, talent and cultural IP in film, television, music, fashion, ICT, performing arts and this partnership is designed to support the growth of this sector for leading businesses, facilities, entrepreneurs and institutions engaged in the fast growing sector.”

Come October 13, EbonyLife TV will premiere ‘Sons of the Caliphate’ a drama series based on the lives of three rich, entitled, passionate and ambitious young men, Kalifah, Nuhu and Diko, all caught up in the hidden corners of power, the darkness of addiction, the heat of love and desire, the obligations of family loyalty, and the craving for revenge.

The 13-part drama series promises to take the audience on a journey into the rich, cultural and flamboyant aristocratic lifestyle of Northern Nigerian. We will get to see what happens when elections are fast approaching and how the tussle for the governorship seat heats up the polity in the Northern Caliphate State of Kowa.

Created, written and produced by Dimbo and Karachi Atiya, ‘Sons of the Caliphate’ is set to reposition the stereotypes about Northern Nigeria in a way people have not imagined before.”
Sons of The Caliphate stars some of the most prominent names in the film and TV industry, including but not limited to: Patrick Doyle, Mofe Duncan, Sani Muazu and Rahama Sadau, who plays the role of Binta Kutigi a confident, intelligent, witty and composed Northern “chick” who is stylish, elegant and yet traditional. Rahama was however recently banned from Kannywood.

We at EbonyLife TV stand with Rahama Sadau and remain proud of the work she has done thus far. We believe that nobody is above mistake and we all deserve second chances. We certainly hope that the ban is revoked so that Rahama can continue her career and blossom to her full potential.

It is getting close to Africa’s biggest star converge in Nigeria’s entertainment capital, Lagos for the second edition of Smooth FM’s A Night At The Kazbah.
This year’s line-up boasts South African singer-songwriter and guitarist, Jonathan Butler, Soulful House Trio, Mi Casa and Nigeria’s very own, A’rese and will hold on the 22nd of October 2016 at The Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The stars have all confirmed their appearances with unique social media announcements which started with The Voice Nigeria winner, A’rese followed by the soulful house trio, Mi Casa who took time out of their busy Africa Tour to let their Lagos fans know they will be in town – sending social media space into frenzy.

Best known for their smash hit and radio favourite, Jika. The performers alongside The Voice Nigeria winner, A’rese and headliner, South African singer-songwriter and guitarist, Jonathan Butler will trill Lagosians with their electrifying truly authentic African sound.
The premier one night-only concert is promoted by Smooth 98.1FM the curators of contemporary African and Nigerian music. ‘A Night at the Kazbah’ is more than just music, it is a cultural exploration designed to bring good Nigerian, African and World music to the forefront of our consciousness and promote indigenous artistry.

Juju maestro, King Sunny Ade has contracted leading talent agency and event firm, Temple Management Company (TMC) to curate a world class high-octane concert as the climax of his 70th birthday celebrations. The show-stopping event is also set to mark the 50-year coronation of the “King” of Nigerian music.
With the brief, the fast-growing creative firm is saddled with the task to put together what is believed to be “a seminal moment” on the Nigerian event and showbiz circuit.
The iconic, King Sunny Ade turned age 70 on September 22, 2016 and has been feted by different associations and organizations in a long line of ceremonies. The celebrations will climax with a ground-breaking concert production.

Temple Management Company has continued to gain the attention of key stakeholders in the creative industry in Nigeria and on the continental stage since it first set up shop in March 2016. Led by its industrious founder, Idris Olorunnimbe, the company has made its imprints felt in four key areas of operation including entertainment, arts, media and sports.

In addition to being credited to the success of the maiden edition of Mavin Access Concert, the talent firm manages a mélange of Nigeria’s biggest talents drawn from different spectrum including Nigeria’s biggest record label Mavin Records, renowned disc jockey DJ Jimmy Jatt, award-winning visual artist and writer Victor Ehikhamenor, R’n’B performer, Iyanya, artist/jeweller Mode Aderinokun, award-winning Nigerian broadcast media, Funmi Iyanda and 11-year old tennis prodigy, Marylove Edwards.

While giving the highest assurance on a flawless project delivery, Mr. Olorunnimbe stated that it was an honour to be considered by the legendary music genius to host such a historic concert. He explained: “We do not take with levity the trust reposed in us at Temple Management Company by one of Nigeria’s biggest music colossus, King Sunny Ade. We take this assignment as a big endorsement on our competencies as an organization.”

Mr. Olorunnimbe added: “Our young and vibrant team of professionals have already started work on this project. We are working with both local and international partners to deliver something that fans of the legendary KSA will be very proud of.”

Mark Redguard, Head of Entertainment at TMC, also promised a show to remember. “KSA at 70 will have the very best of local and international entertainers. He is a national treasure and he deserves an event that reflects his iconic status.”

Expressing satisfaction in TMC, the Juju music maestro scored the event company high and expressed confidence in their competence to deliver a world-class show. “I have been around the industry long enough to realize that the guys at Temple Management Company are very sharp and know what they are doing with their level of professionalism. I am very pleased to work with to put together a befitting 70th birthday concert for me,” he revealed.

“With this arrangement in place, I can concentrate on what I know how to do best. You can call this concert one of the biggest of my music career and I am looking forward to giving my fans the best performance of my life,” the septuagenarian added.

Juliet Ibrahim, DJ Neptune, Reminisce and a few other celebrities are the celebrity coaches for the third season of the Fanz Championship Africa ‘Super Me’. A brainchild of Abelinis Limited, the series is a CSR initiative aimed to develop communities in Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos state.

The celebrity edition kicked off last weekend at Ikeja City Mall where viewers watched the match in a relaxed atmosphere. The qualified teams would tackle on wit, speed and knowledge of the football industry and the new introduction of the spinning wheel with striking features like; Free Kicks, Penalty, Over The Bar, Answer the Question and Golden Goal.

The much anticipated matches between the qualified 16 teams would be officiated by ace comedian and On Air Personality Ushbebe as the referee.
The winning team would get a community project.
The season 2 winner got a community project for Amuwo Odofin Primary School which was commissioned recently. The school will get a new borehole, renovation of abandoned toilet facilities and a new generator set to power the borehole.

Super Me series is proudly endorsed by Africans, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Supporters’ Club (NSC).
The Lagos Mainland edition of DJ Jimmy Jatt’s popular concert tagged Jimmy’s Jump Off held leaving a mammoth crowd of fun-seekers with a lot of unforgettable memories.

It attracted the biggest Disc Jockeys in the country as they took turns on the wheels of steel to give fun-seekers an exhilarating experience.
The open-air venue at the car park of Ikeja City Mall was transformed into a carnival ground while the insatiable crowd gyrated to loud music from top Nigerian artistes who came all out to support the veteran Disc Jockey.

A major highlight of the night was when DJ Jimmy Jatt joined Terry G on stage during his highly-riveting performance of his popular songs. It was the first time that the two entertainers would be performing together on stage after the veteran DJ publicly punished the singer for slapping a Disc Jockey.

Crossover Disc Jockey, DJ Xclusive set the tempo for the night with Adrenalin-pumping performance of his crowd favourite songs such as Pangolo, Shawarma and Ibebe. Mavin Records’ official Disc Jockey, DJ Big N swayed the crowd with his chart-topping hit song, Erima featuring Wizkid. Other star DJs who sustained the tempo include DJ Spinall, DJ Stramborella, DJ Switch, DJ Mekzy, DJ Humility, DJ Nana, DJ Xclusive, DJ Lambo and DJ Enimoney.

The mainland crowd went gaga when Pasuma and Small mounted the stage churning out street-tested hit songs. Other top performing acts include Terry G, Rayce, Dr. Sid, Vector, Terry Apala, Small Doctor, Dice Ailes, Dot Man and Sound Sultan.
“To say I was overwhelmed by the show of love is an understatement. Lagos Mainland crowd showed us massive love. I want to thank all our sponsors and supporters,” quipped Jimmy Adewale Amu, popularly known as DJ Jimmy Jatt.

The Aquafina Elite Model Look Nigeria 2016 contest held at the weekend in Lagos was a night of glamour and glitz as Lagos celebrities and fashionistas thronged the Grand Ball room of the upscale Oriental Hotel on Victoria Island, Lagos to witness the event.
For the 20 finalists consisting of 10 males and 10 females, their eyes were set on winning the Aquafina Elite Model Look diadem and were eager to go on the ruway. After the “Meet the contestants” which was the first appearance, the contestants had opportunity to showcase all they have been taught in the Booth Camp by modeling Kamsi Tcharles’ casual wear made up of a combination of Ankara and batik in the first passage.

They later appeared in other designs: swim suits, evening wears, corporate wears, designer glasses and more. The contestants were pruned down to five each after the fourth passage: Ayeni, Ceejay, Chidera, Collins, and Davidson (male); Amarachi, Oma, Ruth, Omoh and Titi (female).
From the first passage, Davidson showed lots of gait and comportment and was clearly heads and shoulders above the rest. The ladies contest was not different as all the 10 contestants tried to outdo one another.

At the end, the Head of Marketing Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc, Mr. Norden Thurston announced Davidson and Omoh winners in the male and female categories respectively based on the scoring of the Judges made up of Richard Mofe Damijo, Bola Balogun, Funke Babs Kuforiji and Norden Thurston. They received one million naira (N1m) each from Aquafina premium drinking water, from the makers of Pepsi. They will represent Nigeria at the Elite Model Look international contest taking place in Portugal later in the year.

Davidson Obennebo, a 400 level Economics student of Bells University, Ota, Ogun State said he was excited at winning the Aquafina Elite model contest. His mother Mrs. Ifeoma Obennebo who was part of the cheering audience with her husband said she was very happy that their only child has brought such a huge honour to the family.
Miss Omoh Momoh one of the youngest on the Aquafina Elite Model Look runway said she hopes to make a great career out of modeling as that has always been her passion.

The Performing Musicians Employers’ Association Of Nigeria (PMAN) held their biennial general elections on Tuesday October 4 where the interim President Mr. Pretty Okafor who had initial indicated he wasn’t running for the position of the president of the hitherto embroiled union made a volte-face decision to throw his hat in the ring and contest. He was elected unopposed as substantive president of the union as other aspirants who had shown interest in the position in an admirable show of solidarity and support of the renaissance work he had done in the union during the last eighteen months stepped down. These included Sunny Neji, Ruggedman and ZaakyAzaay, Tolu Obey-Fabiyi, Felix Duke and Asha Gangali.

The national conference drew delegates from 24 states of the country with the elections being the highlight of same. Other members that were elected into positions included Sunny Neji -1st vice president, ZaakyAzaay – 2nd vice president , Tolu Obey-Fabiyi –National Treasurer, The Ex-Official members included Felix Duke, Asha Gangali, Ruggedman ,Elvinaibru ,Koffiidowu, Arthur Pepple and Benny Paladin Edoja.

In his acceptance speech Mr. Okafor said he had to heed to the genuine call of all and sundry who had in the days leading to the elections impressed it upon him to contest to consolidate on the good work he and his exco had begun and to take the responsibility of leading the union to the next level. He was thankful and humbled by the support he had received from all quarters and didn’t realize that many had been following the moves of him and his interim executive members that closely.

This he assured would make them work even harder to take the union to enviable heights. Okafor added that as the only union for the creative industry which includes music approved by the federal government, the onus was on him and the newly elected members to positively transform that constituency and set it on enviable paths to achieving the objectives for which it was enacted and promulgated in its constitution. He took time to venerate the founding fathers of the union who also initiated the vision for the union and worked hard to birth it. These included Chief (Mrs.) Christy EssienIgbokwe (late), King Sunny Ade (KSA), Evang.

Sunny Okosuns (late), Chief Ebenezer Obey, Lemmy Jackson, Tee-Mac Omatshola-Iseli, Emma Ogosi, Laolu Akins, Funmi Adams, ObyOnyioha, Maliki Showman, Harry Mosco, King Pago, Bobby Benson and many others who over the years have served the union in various capacities. Stating what he and his team had achieved in the past 18months, he summarized his plan moving forward and some of what he intended to achieve during his tenure. These include:

The newly elected president further assured that he and his new exco were set to hit the ground running to continue with the good work which they were known for and asked for the continued support of the government both at Federal and state levels, public and private corporate organizations, media, stakeholders, well-wishers and the general public. He stated that he would not let those who bestowed such confidence by voting him in down.

Two years after its debut as a foremost news and current affairs channel, Liberty Television is now on GOtv Channel 110.
Broadcasting from Kaduna, the station officially started airing on the cable TV platform on Monday, October 3.

In a statement, the Executive Chairman of ATAR Communications Nigeria Limited, owners of Liberty TV, Dr.Ahmed Ramalan said that the expansion is an indication of the station’s rising profile as a leading television platform with an ever increasing audience base across Nigeria and West Africa who are captivated by the TV’s unique mix of English and Hausa contents. Since its inception in 2014, Liberty TV has become one of the most watched TV channel in the northern part of the country, available on Startimes Channel 180 and Strong HD Decoders.

With the flag-off of digitization in May this year by the Federal Government of Nigeria, in Jos, Plateau State, Liberty TV was also included among the 15 pioneer TV content providers available on the nation’s first FreeTV, on Channel 775.
A 24-hour station, Liberty TV appeals to a broad spectrum of viewers due to its rich content in news, politics, culture, entertainment, business, sport etc. It is also a virile platform for views, rendered in Hausa and English, with active reporting from key Nigerian capitals and correspondents from Ghana, Sudan, Niger, Cameroun, and Chad.