Why the First Lady Came to the ’76 Premiere


Nseobong Okon-Ekong

Following the outpouring of emotions which followed her honest assessment of her husband’s tenure as Nigeria’s president, so far, the producers of Nigeria’s groundbreaking love story situated within military history and a very delicate period of Nigerian past were apprehensive of their request to have First Lady, Aisha Buhari at the premiere of the movie ’76. Like they have done since the movie was first conceptualized and they insisted on followin76-premiere
g every protocol (even though it took seven years and change of four Chief of Army Staff), they followed through with the request for the First Lady. Thankfully, she agreed to come. But for a last minute change in plans, she would have been there in person. However, she was ably ad fittingly represented by the First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs Bolanle Ambode.

Mrs. Ambode said,, “This is one of the best things that I have seen made from Nigeria and HE Madam Aisha who insisted I must be here will get the full report as soon as I get back. I dropped everything to attend this event and it could not have been a better use of my time. I was glued to my seat.”

A very engaging narrative, the movie in part tells the story of the travails of a soldier’s wife. This is succinctly captured in a scene where Aunty Mary played by Ada Ofoegbu tells Suzzie (Rita Dominic) that the day a woman agrees to marry a soldier, she has unwittingly entered into the service of the nation as well. Mrs. Aisha Buhari would understand this sentiment having married a soldier who has found himself catapulted to the leadership of Nigeria twice, first as military Head of State and currently as President Muhamadu Buhari.

The enduring agony of a soldier’s wife is not limited to the designation of the soldier, as the movie shows that an officer’s wife can be as traumatized as the wife of a soldier in the lower ranks.

Having made a good impression touring some of the best known film festivals in Toronto, Canada and London, the African premiere of ‘76 was eagerly awaited. As it turned out, the African Ballroom of the Intercontinental Hotel in Lagos was filled with some of the most distinguished guests whose vocations cut across all walks of life. They include but were not limited to Mahmoud Alli-Balogun, Kunle Afolayan, former First Lady of Akwa Ibom State, Udy Umondak, television personality and public relations practitioner, former Head of State, Murtala Mohammed’s family represented by his daughter, Aisha Oyebode, Alero Edu, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Linus Idahosa and his wife, Stephanie, Managing Director of the Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Nicolass Vervelde and his wife, Kene Mkparu and Senator Ben Murray-Bruce.

The cast and crew led by co-executive producer, Adonija Owiriwa who also played Captain Jaiye in the movie were warmly received by guests who beseeched them for photo opportunities.
The premiere was a befitting homecoming for the film which debut in cinemas nationwide on November 25.

76-premiere2Aisha Oyebode nee Murtala, who heads the Murtala Muhammed Foundation was glowing with praises after watching the film. “You people have made an amazing film, unlike any other and what you did with the music is a work of art on its own. I’m speechless. Impressed does not even begin to describe the way I feel. You were brutally honest, but artistically true.”
Senator Ben Bruce who had earlier in the week predicted that the film would smash box office records raised his predictions even higher after watching the full film to say that “it would surpass USD2million in Nigeria and Ghana alone. It will appeal to the young, the old, women, men, lovers of comedy and lovers of history. It has pain, laughter, suspense and action. All tied up in one and it is so masterfully crafted, you don’t want it to end.”

An interesting part of the premiere was the protocol personnel who were dressed in an army look-alike uniform, while the band that was on the bandstand, Hidefinition Band, had its members dressed in the fashion of the 1970s to tally with the period of the movie.

Laff Breketeh, a contemporary gospocentric comedy show originally inspired by the scripture in Proverb 17:22; “a merry heart doeth good like medicine is set to debut in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Sunday, November 20.

Mr. Alban Kuffi, the nifty actor and director of the comedy show says, “the show is aimed at providing a Godly relief to stress through sound amusement and theatre entertainment, with the ultimate aim of saving souls.”

The project which is powered by TIAAS Entertainment and backed by the Full Life Foundation and Kardynal Kommunikationz, will promote original and highly imaginative art that is devoid of sensual and immoral content, feature made-in – Nigeria gospel music, comedy, stage plays and other forms of performing arts. The show is billed for the Emerald Event Center, Edet Akpan Avenue, Uyo.

New on the scene artiste, Ogunleye Johnson Olufemi, better known as FSingz, who is signed to Blue Note Entertainment has dropped a promising club banger titled “Mori Mi Wu” which features singer and producer Sossick. This is coming on the heels of his debut single ‘Gbadun’ which was well received.

Born in Ogun State, he was educated at. Mayflower Junior School and Salau Abiola Secondary School and Olabisi Onabanjo University where he studied Accounting Education. FSingz who describes himself as a go-getter discovered his talent for music in secondary school. Some of the biggest influence on his music include Naeto C who he admires for his vocal ability, lyrics and delivery.

He is also a big fan of MI for entering into the scene with a different style and approach to rap. For being the most success commercial rap artiste in Nigeria, Ice Prince gets FSingz’s attention.
FSingz would love to collaborate with the Koko Master, D’banj. His list of admirable producers include Shizzi for being able to craft sounds that in demand, Sossick who is arguably the best hip hop producer in Nigeria and Don Jazzy for having a good understanding of music.

MultiChoice Nigeria has announced the return of the Nigeria reality TV show based on the Big Brother TV series. Now referred to as Big Brother Naija, the show will air on dedicated event channels on DStv and GOtv in January, 2017.

Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe said the comeback of the show is one of the ways the company is enhancing the quality and variety of content available on its platforms.
He also said the show has been well developed following the successes of past seasons of Big Brother Africa.

“Big Brother Africa was popular for its entertainment value and ability to showcase ordinary Africans from different walks of life. We decided to re-invent the reality show once again by bringing back the Nigerian version which we are confident will draw pan-African audiences for the same reasons that Big Brother Africa did”, said Ugbe.

In the first edition of the show, twelve housemates vied for the coveted $100,000 prize money by performing various mental and physical tasks. At the end of a three-month stay in the house, Katung Aduwak emerged winner. The show also produced other notable stars such as Africa Magic’s Tinsel actor, Gideon Okeke, and TV personality Ebuka Obi-Uchendu.
Auditions for Big Brother Naija will hold in Lagos on November 26 and 27.