With nseobong okon-ekong
…Birth of a Nation, ’76 as opening and closing films
Ground breaking Nigerian movie, ’76 which portrays the agonizing drama of wives of military personnel accused of treasonable felony inches its way into Nigeria after making a good showing at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada and having the distinction of being the only Nigeria film at the London Film Festival. ’76 has been scheduled as the closing movie at the sixth edition of the annual Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF).
It will be the movie’s official premiere in Nigeria before it goes on a national and continental screening at the cinemas from November 25. Film buffs in Nigeria whose appetite have been whetted with thrilling trailers and reviews from impressed reviewers have but a short time before the film is released for their pleasure.
Executive Producer of ‘76, Prince Tonye Princewill who responded from London where the film is being screened at the London International Film Festival said “the honour of our film being chosen to close the Africa International Film Festival cannot be described with words. The film has been honoured around the world, but recognition at home means everything to us. The field for Nigerian films is very strong this year, so it is especially rewarding for ‘76 to receive this nod. We are proud of the AFRIFF organizers and hope we can do them justice.”
AFRIFF Founder/Executive Director, Ms. Chioma Ude recently announced in Lagos the readiness of the organizers to host filmmakers and actors from around the world, with over
100 films showing at the newly opened FilmOne-IMAX and Genesis Duluxe
Cinema, both in Lekki, Lagos.
The impressive line-up of movie premieres, film screenings, industry sessions, master
classes and other festival programmes holds in Lagos between November 13 and 20.
Ude appeared to have struck the right cord when she announced Nate Parker’s Oscar hopeful, The ‘Birth of a Nation’ and Izu Ojukwu’s celebrated film on the Nigerian military coup, ’76 as the opening and closing films respectively, a disclosure which was received with loud ovation.
The selection includes, 93 Days (Nigeria) by Steve Gukas, The CEO (Nigeria) by Kunle Afolayan, Vaya (South Africa) by Akin Omotoso, The Cursed Ones (U.K) by Nana Obiri, The Wedding Ring ( Niger) by Rahmatou Keita, Kati Kati (Kenya) by Mbithi Masya, If Tomorrow Never Comes (Ghana) by Pascal Amanfo, Remember Me (Nigeria) by Izu Ojukwu, Breathe (South Africa) by Mark Dornford-May, The Missing God (Nigeria) by Ubaka Joseph, Unspoken (Nigeria) by Remi Vaughan-Richards, Green White Green (Nigeria) by Abba Makama, The Unseen (Namibia) by Perivi Natjavivi, N.G.O (Uganda) by Arnold Aganze, Gidi Blues (Nigeria) by Femi Odugbemi, Daggers of Life (Ghana) by Paapa Otoo, Shadow of the Passion (Burkina Faso) by Ado Bambara, Ojukokoro (Nigeria) by Dare Olaitan, Bala Bala Sese (Uganda) by Lukyamuzi Bashir and The Arbitration (Nigeria) by Niyi Akinmolayan.
In addition to the wide range of films, the festival, according to Ude, will also offer industry platforms for skill acquisition, financing, pitching, symposia on alternative revenue streams and piracy.
Celebrities Storm ‘Famous For a Reason’ Launch
With a theme like ‘Famous for a Reason’, the party did not disappoint with its strong appeal as the Famous Grouse Whisky launch pooled some of Nigeria’s finest.
The all white event which held at the Federal Palace Hotel Gardens, VI, Lagos was also to celebrate famous people from different works of life including music, media, movies, sports, fashion, technology, government as well as everyday heroes who make an impact in the society. Notable faces at the event include General Manager, Brian Munro Limited, Abayomi Ajao, Olisa Adibua, Kemi Adetiba, Zainab Balogun, General Manager, Megaletrics, Deji Awokoya, CEO, Smooth Promotions, Ayo Animashaun, Ufuoma Ejenobo-McDermott, Denola Grey, Samantha Walsh, Yomi Casual, Alex Ekubo, IK Ogbonna, Bizzle Osikoya, Asa Asika, Sensei Uche, among many others.
The event which was hosted by OAP and Fashion entrepreneur, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi also featured exciting performances from award winning singer, Aramide, alternative artiste, Sir Dauda, popular saxophonist, Yomi Sax while superstar DJ Xclusive got guests grooving late into the night.
Produced in the 1800s by Mathew Gloag, the Famous Grouse has built on its roots and heritage, moving towards a more modern and premium expression. The brand, which is known as a whisky of the finest quality and incomparable smoothness now comes in an elongated capsule with a proud stylized icon crown and an elegant curved shoulder, inspired by the Grouse’ unique eyebrow.
Famous Grouse is presently distributed in over 100 countries and over 43 million bottles sold every year. The essence of the brands whisky which makes The Famous Grouse of purest quality is broken into four key fundamentals.
How Star Music Trek Recorded Stellar Performances in Abuja
Recently, it was the turn of Abuja to host the biggest music concert series in Nigeria, Star Music The Trek.
The Abuja edition of Star Music The Trek 2016, which took place at the Old Parade Ground, was a music feast complete with the biggest Nigerian artistes that performed to an energetic crowd. Though a heavy rain had descended, as the concert was about to get underway but the resilient revelers were out for a night of unstoppable fun.
Headline act Davido shared stage with MI, Ice Prince, Falz and Darey, who made his debut performance at Star Music The Trek concert. The night started out with top mixes from DJ Neptune and DJ Big N. Both disc jockeys held it down as they prepped the Abuja crowd for what was unanimously agreed to be a night to remember.
Host, Gbenga Adeyinka thrilled the concert audience ahead of the stunning performances by the artistes. Falz opened with his claim as originator of the famed ‘Falz faux accent’ that sent the crowd reeling with laughter.
M.I had one of the best sets of the night as he performed with a fan, Archie, who he spotted from the crowd. They performed a few throwback classic hits together. Another lucky fan, Young Incredible, got on stage with M.I as he dazzled and won a year’s studio recording deal with Chocolate City proving M.I has good synergy with fans on stage. M.I also enthralled audience with his ‘Action Film’, ‘Anoti’ and ‘Bullion Van’ hits and ended his performance with ‘Number One’.
Ice Prince thrilled with songs such as ‘Molowo’ and ‘Oleku’ which took the fans to an excited height.
R&B crooner, Darey Art Alade also brought his magic touch of class to the concert. He closed his electrified performance with hit song, ‘Pray for me’. This sent the crowd into a frenzy of exciting prayers with comedian Gbenga leading on key prayer points. Once again, Darey proved that he is a top class Nigerian star of international quality.
Star Music The Trek Abuja was broadcast live on HIPTV, giving millions of Nigerians an opportunity to experience the concert from the comfort of their homes but it’s never the same as being at the venue. Cheering fans were also introduced to the 2016 Star Music The Trek theme song, ‘My City Rocks’, produced by Del B with hooks from various artistes that included 2Baba, Mr. Raw, DJ Big N, DJ Neptune and more.
In typical Davido style, the self-titled ‘Omo Baba Olowo’ (OBO) switched beats for the night. The Sony Music-signed-pop star stepped on stage with his hype man, Special Ed, and the teeming Abuja concert crowd couldn’t get enough from him.
Adesua Etomi, Majid Michel Star in Another Emem Isong’s Production
After a stellar performance in the 2014 Emem Isong Misodi’s romantic musical film, ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’, Adesua Etomi and Majid Michel return to her latest production, Ayamma: Music in the Desert.
Ayamma is a compelling narrative plotted around Adesua, Wale Ojo, Majid and Theresa Edem. Adesua is an orphaned songstress and dancer whose voice and moves captivated the noble crowned prince Wale Ojo both in his dreams and in reality. However, the prince pre-arranged wife and princess played by Theresa Edem is ruthless in her ploy to keep the Prince’s love to herself. Majid, a prince and younger brother to Ojo finds himself caught in the intrigues of love, loyalty and family.
“It was an amazing experience for me. It was a wonderful script and I was so happy when I learnt that we were not shooting anywhere around but in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state. My co-stars were amazing and the people in the villages were very hospitable and helpful.” Shot in Uyo in Akwa-Ibom, the musical production is a cultural renaissance of the rich African heritage mirrored in the rich culture of the Ibibio people. Its multi-layered themes of love, hatred, betrayal, loss,
hope and victory is beautifully interspersed with music and dance.
Ime Bishop Umoh also played a fascinating role as a
village drunk while Moses Armstrong is the messenger of the gods.
Chris Eneaji brings his directorial skills in the epic movie written by Vivian Chiji with his captivating shots. Misodi at the press briefing reiterated the commitment of Royal Arts Academy to contribute to the growth of Nollywood.
“At Royal Arts Academy, we strive to keep contributing our own quota to growing Nollywood which is Nigeria’s second largest export and grosses about $250 million per annum. We strongly believe that with a movie like Ayamma, we would immensely impact on the industry, promote our culture while we entertain.”
Ayamma is a collaborative effort of Bank of Industry, Katunga Media, Silverbird Film Distribution, Pulse NG and the Royal Arts Academy.
A private screening will be held on December 11 while the cinema premiere takes place on December 23.
Sony Music Releases Seun Kuti’s Struggle Sounds
Ahead of the music tour that will see the Egypt 80 Band perform on different locations in the United States, Afrobeat musician Seun Anikulapo Kuti recently released his latest work, Struggle Sounds, on Sony Music Masterworks. Co-produced by Robert Glasper, the album features the single ‘Gimme My Vote Back’ (G.M.V.B.), where C.P.C.D. stands for ‘Corporate Public Control Department.’
Seun recorded the EP with Egypt 80, his father’s original band, which he inherited after Fela. Written by Seun, the three-track album comes with Seun’s usual strong social and political messages, a theme that Seun weaves into all of this music.
“More than ever we are convinced of our mission and the purpose of our music,” says Seun. “The StruggleSounds EP is a true reflection of my social and political beliefs. I give honour to my parents and every revolutionary who made this possible even before I was born.”
Ever since he came to limelight, Seun has continued to be a strong voice against any form of oppression of the Nigerian people by the government. Even with his busy schedule that sees him play mostly abroad, he has remained consistent in his criticism of governments across the globe, using his music, social media handles, as well as concerts, to speak up against injustices on common man.
“I think it’s more of the same elitism in government that has continued; a weird and ugly mixture of oligarchy and plutocracy that can only take shape in this country. The way forward in Nigeria is to have a fearless government willing to take on the oppressors in our society and redistribute the wealth,” Seun said recently, while commenting on Buhari’s one year in office.
On the reason the album was released a day before Nigeria’s Independence Day celebration, Seun’s manager A. Oloye said, “the decision was entirely that of Sony Music; the album was released on their label. Though it’s a coincidence, don’t forget that Seun, as an artiste, has always been consistent in his criticisms of the government. If you look at all his previous albums, nothing has changed. So, to me, this is just Seun being himself,” he said.
Meanwhile, Seun and the Egypt 80 Band will soon be jetting out of the country for a music tour that will see the band play at different locations in the United States. This November, Seun is billed to open on tour for Lauryn Hill, as well as headline his own tour.
Maxima Productions Premieres ‘The Condo’, Unveils Dream Abode
After weeks on working on set, Maxima Integrated Media, the producer of ‘Allison’s Stand’, has finally premiered its latest situational comedy series, ‘The Condo’. Held at the Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, the premiere also witnessed the unveiling of Dream Abode, a TV show/a radio/online show that aims at changing the narrative & re-orientating the African youths on real estate & interior design related matters.
Anchored by comedian Ushbebe, the evening attracted guests from both the entertainment industry as well as top players in the real estate and interior decoration sector such as MD/CEO of Adam & Eve, Mrs Ogunlesi, who will be playing a major role in Dream Abode. Also present at the screening are some of the cast members of The Condo, including Frank Donga, Binta Ayo Mogaji, Chris Okagbue, Tope Tedela and Mumbi Maina.
Written by Funmi Morgan, directed by Yemi Morgan and produced by Femi Ogundoro, The Condo is a situational comedy with subtle elements of drama. Each episode exudes realism laced with sophistication, sassiness and class. The delivery of cast is witty, fluid and convincingly captivating.
Speaking at the event, the MD of Maxima Integrated Media, Femi Ogundoro informed that Dream Abode is not just a TV show, a radio show or an online platform.
“It’s actually a campaign with the primary objective of changing the narrative & re-orientating the African youths on real estate & interior design related matters – starting with three countries: Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya, while The Condo is a situational comedy series, an interplay & balance of two different worlds of character/personalities.”
On why he came up with the idea of TV show and the choice of the three countries for a start, the producer of Allison’s Stand explained, “We discovered that in those countries, we practically live the same kind of lifestyle, except that Kenyans are more conservative; Ghanaians are also a bit conservative compared to Nigerians. But with all that affluence and opportunities at the disposal of Nigerians, we cannot boast of being ahead of those other countries, in terms of investment. A number of people that are open to it, they quickly do it. But those that are not doing it, it’s not like they are not aware, but it’s not part of their value system. They don’t see the need for it,” he said.
The focus of the campaign, according to Ogundoro, “is to re-orientate our people; let us open their minds to possibilities. If you check it, the wealthy have 24 hours and you have 24 hours. They have one head and you have one head; it’s for you to develop it. So, let’s disabuse our minds from that entitlement mentality and start investing the right way.”
To ensure the programme gets to target audience, especially in Nigeria, Dream Abode will be on TV stations, radio stations and online, where professionals and hosts will be sharing ideas with viewers.
“We are using AIT and we are almost finalising that of Channels and African Magic. For radio, it’s going to be running on Wazobia FM, with Lolo (Omotunde) as the host. We also have on Nigeria Info with Onimisi Adaba, who will be hosting the show weekly. The interesting thing about this is that they are stories. We are just saying, ‘those things you discuss in your closet, bring them on the table and they will be trashed out.’ Online, it will be on www.dreamabode.tv. The idea is to ensure that we reach as much people as possible.”
Meanwhile, The Condo is expected to downplay the seriousness of the Dream Abode initiative by adding entertainment, while still driving the message.
“People like drama and The Condo is on the lighter note; it focuses more on the young people and how they live their lives. You have the likes of Frank Donga, Chris Okagbue and Mumbi Maina from Kenya. They will discuss a number of issues ranging from relationship to dependency etc. It’s just to entertain people, but in a very subtle way, educate them on the basis for having a place called theirs,” he said.
Patoranking, Falz, Cynthia Morgan Debut in Coke Studio Africa
– Ikenna Bede
Patoranking, Cynthia Morgan, Falz, Kiss Daniel and Simi join recurring acts like 2Baba, Flavour, Waje and Yemi Alade on the music show.
Following the success of its third season, Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) is leaving no unturned stones in its the fourth season of Coke Studio Africa.
Themed ‘Discover,’ the music show will showcase its performing artistes’ efforts in experimenting on new music styles through fusing of genres to create unique African sounds. The show also avails to music fans, a unique platform to request for on the spot music performance from their favourite artistes.
Speaking on the Coke Studio Africa vision and focus, Marketing Director of Coca-Cola Nigeria, Patricia Jemibewon elaborated: “We are glad to be creating refreshingly new sounds in the music industry across Africa through Coke Studio Africa. Each new season continues to offer something revitalizing to the fans and we are promising that coke studio season 4 will be even more awesome.”
Music fans across Africa are set to be thrilled by electric performances from 45 different artistes, each paired act delivering a rendition of a mash up version of their original songs. Performing artistes were handpicked based on their musical influence and popularity amongst fans in their respective countries. Six countries have been added to the original country list – making a total of eleven countries. Newly added countries includes: Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo and Togo.
The power of collaboration is what Coke Music Studio offers on its platform, Marketing Manager of Coca-Cola Nigeria, Cletus Onyebuoha stated at the unveiling.
Tanzanian songstress, Vanessa Mdee was one of the Coke Studio Africa performing acts – alongside Simi – to attend the launch. Excited, she relayed her experience on the show and her collaboration with Nigeria’s Patoranking.
“I have been on the Coke Studio Africa for three seasons now. Every year, it has been a more exciting journey for me because Coke has enhanced; the production this year is bigger. It has been a great experience, Patoranking is a great artist and a friend of mine, it didn’t feel like anything was new, you can tell, the onscreen synergy was undeniable, we made some great music and hope you guys will love it”
Other top African acts on the show includes Kenyan boy band Sauti Sol, Congolese singer-songwriter, Fally Ipupa, Bongos pop princess VeeMoney, Ivorian artiste, Serge Beynaud, Ugandan R&B singer Rema Namakula , Angolan Yuri da Cunha and Kenyan gospel singer Bahati.
The long birthday celebration of legendary musician King Sunny Ade is steadily coming to an end. The juju musician who clocked 70 on September 22, has been hosted by different people starting from the Redeemed Christian Church of God where he worships till now.
To wind up the celebration, Temple Management Company will be hosting the king in a grand concert ‘Sunny on Sunday’.
The initiative according to the CEO of the company Idris Olorunnimbe, is a national assignment that is long overdue. “We are glad to shoulder this responsibility. We want to assure fans of King Sunny Ade of a truly world-class concert. We are working with partners in South Africa and other parts of the world to deliver a befitting celebration of a legend.”
His statement was corroborated by the company’s Head of Entertainment, Mark Redguard: “KSA has a robust reputation, he’s been a two-time Grammy nominee, featured in Hollywood movies and have great collaborations with international artistes. The focus of this celebration is to leave a legacy of the icon for the younger generation to fall back on.”
KSA in his homely state expressed gratitude to the company for their plans to host him.
He was emotionally moved by the love and care showered upon him on this significant birthday. “Since September 22, my birthday, I haven’t stopped celebrating. There is always someone or persons hosting me. Sometimes, I’m not privileged to do what I know how to do best. Therefore, for this celebration, I will give my best performance. I will do what other papas of my age cannot do,” he said to loud cheers of ‘Greatest Papa Youth of our Time’.
He went on further to announce that he will be playing a symbolic guitar that will be auctioned at the concert.
Joining him on stage will be international artistes Youssou N’dour, Awilo Logomba, alongside Darey Art Alade, Tiwa Savage and other new generation musicians.
Scheduled to hold on December 11, 2016 at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, DStv will broadcast the concert live on its event channels.