The Wedding Party Premiere Reaches Fever Pitch

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Barely a week after announcing its headline sponsor, Dubai Tourism and other incentives for the Nigerian premiere of Mo Abudu’s new movie, ‘The Wedding Party’, the organizers have announced a major feat, congratulating itself for a sold out event!

The highly anticipated movie is set to thrill the Nigeria audience following the positive reviews it received from major screenings in film festivals like Toronto International Film Festival and Jo’burg Film Festival.

The groundbreaking sales could only signify one thing for the producers ELFIKE (a body consisting of EbonyLife Films, FilmOne Distribution, Inkblot Productions and Koga Studios) : that they have done a good promotional job. The film is set for the cinemas on 16.
The Wedding Party is a contemporary romantic comedy that succinctly captures the typical drama at weddings.

Set in the urban city of Lagos, the film revolves round a 24 year-old art gallery owner and only daughter of her parents, Dunni Coker (Adesua Etomi) who is about to marry the love of her life, IT entrepreneur Dozie (Banky W) but a lot of things go awry at the much-prepared ceremony.

Embedded in the tapestry of the movie are topics that are common in families. From unemployment to self-fulfilment, envy to admiration, uncertainty to trust, denial to acceptance, all of these are perfectly mixed to give audience a comical relief while addressing these core issues. It also highlight the usual stress in setting up a wedding ceremony. From the asoebis to the guests list, with an elaborate display of Efik culture and Nigerian foods.

Veteran actor Sola Sobowale gives life to the Kemi Adetiba film. She lights up the screen with her comical expressions and gestures, reminding viewers that she has not lost her Toyin Tomato touch which was first glimpsed in the Wale Adenuga’s TV series ‘Super Story’. Playing the role of Dunni’s mother, she is the loving wife every husband craves for and a doting mother, well, which most daughters may be overwhelmed by her love and care. For instance, she made sure she belonged to her husband’s kitchen by preparing ‘Agoyin’ beans for her guests. Inspired by a wedding party she attended, Executive Producer, Mo’Abudu couldn’t resist the urge to tell the story.

Despite her charming aura, Sobowale displayed a competitive side in showing her in-law, Dozie’s mother, that she is also influential. Her competitive nature is spurred by Iretiola Doyle’s uppity. Expectedly, she dons her character with acute professionalism despite being surrounded by hilarious characters. The only pitiable person in the film is Richard Mofe Damijo who is married to Doyle. He was forced to endure her coldness and harsh statements.

The Wedding Party has a lot of memorable comical characters like Zainab Balogun, the ambitious wedding planner clearly burdened by the rivalry between the two families who learnt the bitter way that her ‘oyinbo’ accent made her less admirable. There was also popular Saka, the typical wedding guest who consumes food and takes away most souvenirs.
Alibaba’s character as Dunni’s father was somehow weak as acting proved not be his strongest gift. Somkele Idhalama didn’t really bring her best in the movie. She was supposed to be the strong, supportive and sassy girlfriend, Dunni but ended up giving feeble attempts at her character.

The lead actors however had great chemistry on set. Adesua who had to wear her wedding dress for the two weeks the movie was shot relished her character. It is the first time she is playing the role of a bride and she enjoyed it, mostly her wedding attire designed by iconic fashion designer Mai Atafo. She had to swim through the murky waters of doubts on her future husband’s fidelity and her seemingly mother-in-law’s dislike for her.
Banky W, on the other hand tried as much as he could to meet up with the professionals on set. Playing the role of a bad-guy-turned-good, he got great help from rapper Ikechukwu, his friend and best man; and the elegant Enyinna Nwigwe.

The director is enthusiastic about the film because it is her first feature film. She is honoured that Mo’Abudu found her worthy to direct the film.

Set to hold its grand premiere on November 26, 2016, at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, the choice of sponsorship was in line with the Dubai Tourism’s Vision 2020 initiative. The Vision was approved in May 2013 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al, Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, as a strategic roadmap to attracting 20 million visitors per year by 2020, doubling the number welcomed in 2012.

Speaking on the partnership, Mo’ Abudu said “Nigerians have a warm affection for Dubai. It is a favourite for destination weddings, family holidays and business trips. We are proud of this partnership and we look forward to treating some lucky cinema goers to an unexpected discovery of a city that we all love.”

The sponsorship also comes with amazing prizes including luxury accommodation, theme park passes and helicopter rides courtesy Arabian Falcon, IMG Worlds of Adventure and Alpha Tours Helicopter Rides respectively.

Real-life couples-to-be can participate in the unique ‘Win with the Wedding Party’ promo and win free bridal make-up from Zaron Cosmetics, wedding cakes from Cakes by Tosan, KOTS Catering, complementary venue hire courtesy Dorchester Events Centre, Styling by Mai Atafo and invitation card design by The Wedding Store.

KALAKUTA ON ASHA’S MIND
Afropop/ Dancehall sensation, Asha Gangali has released KalakutaStateofMind EP, which includes the wave making single ‘Badman’. The single has garnered significant number of downloads within its short period of release, and is currently on the MTN Top 10 Countdown.

The energetic and multi-talented act revealed that the song was inspired by Fela and Femi Kuti, “Fela in the sense that Fela is the ‘Original Badman’ and Femi Kuti’s ‘Dem Bobo’ baseline inspired the Afro beat elements on this record, this is my new sound , a blend of Afro Beat and Dancehall” says Asha Gangali.

Currently the song is enjoying massive airplay on radio stations worldwide and night clubs. The KalakutaStateofMind EP is available on iTunes, amazon, mtn plus, techno boombox and all other online stores.

HOW STAR MUSIC TREK ROCKED OWERRI
The city of Owerri had so much fun as Star Music The Trek came to town at the Dan Anyiam Stadium.

The host of the night LaffUp cracked the audience up with hilarious jokes that had everyone reeling with laughter. The concert kicked off with a video clip of “My City Rocks”, theme song of Star Music The Trek 2016.

Mr. Raw performed his verse of “My City Rocks” to the delight of the packed crowd at Dan Anyiam Stadium. Their reaction was an indication the night was off to a good start. He ended his performance with the track titled “Blessing”.

Pop act, Runtown did not hesitate to give his best to fans in Owerri. He started with his “Lagos to Kampala” song before delivering other hits such as ‘Domot’, ‘Bend Down, Pause’, ‘Gallardo’ and ‘The Banger’.

Humblesmith was grateful to the cheering crowd for turning up to enjoy the premium concert as he sang “Osinachi remix”. He kept his performance indigenous as he also performed the iconic ‘African Style’ song by Bright Chimeze with a team of back-up dancers jiving to the Zigima dance routine and ended with his popular “Boogatti” song.

When MI took the stage, he thrilled his fans with amazing songs from his catalogue. He performed his popular songs, Bullion van, ‘My Belle’, ‘Anoti’, ‘Number One’, “Bad Belle”
The opportunity to present a surprise that stunned revelers came during the Star dance party. Kelly Handsome made an appearance in the crowd, singing his popular hit song, “Maga Don Pay”.

KCee had a marvelous performance at Star Music The Trek in Owerri. When he got on stage, the crowd cheered in excited frenzy. KCee sang “Pull Over” and “Limpopo” to the admiration of his Owerri fans.

Olamide continued the party on stage as he performed many hits back-to-back from “Durosoke” to “Story for the gods”, “Shakiti Bobo” and “Lagos Boys”.
Flavour capped the night as he came on stage to perform his set. The well-built singer had the ladies screaming uncontrollably as the fun peaked. With his live band, Flavour delivered a commanding performance as he blended most of his popular songs in seamless beat waves.

Opa Williams Hands Over Nite of a Thousand Laughs to Mallam Yankee
Notable showbiz entrepreneur, Opa Williams has relinquished production of the comedy brand, Nite of a Thousand Luaghs, which he created and nurtured for 20 years. The show will be produced for an initial 24-monthperiod by Kehinde Adegbite of Yankee Entertainment.
Williams who has delved fully into film production, the latest being the much publicized The Three Wise Men, starring Richard Mofe-Damijo, Zack Orji and Victor Olaotan.

At the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Adegbite in Lagos, Opa expressed optimism that the latter would carry on the legacy of the show with the requisite passion.
He noted that Adegbite, despite having hosted and managed other successful entertainment events across the country, had through his Yankee Entertainment, produced Nite of a Thousand Laughs in the last five years in Abuja, Benin City and Owerri.

DBANJ IN EMERGENCY LEAD ON NMVA 2016 NOMINATION LIST
Organisers of the Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA) have released the list of nominees for the 2016 edition. It will be recalled that event for last year did not hold, but the list of winners was later released this year, with an explanation that all adjudication processes had been concluded before the 2015 event was postponed.

This year’s edition marks 10 years since the inception of the award.
Some of the leading artistes with most awards include Falz, Olamide, Burna Boy and Dbanj. The award has 23 categories with Dbanj’s ‘Emergency’ showing how one song can make all the difference. ‘Emergency’ is listed in six categories ‘Best Afrobeat Video’, ‘Best Use of Dance in a Video’, ‘Best Use of Costume’ and ‘Video of the Year’, while it recommends the creative skill of Unlimited LA who is listed in the categories of ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Cinematographer’ for his work on ‘Emergency’.

Falz is nominated for ‘Bad, Baddo, Baddest’ in which he collaborates with Olamide and Davido in the ‘Best Pop Extra’ category. For another collaboration with Poe and Chyn, Falz is on the NMVA list in the ‘Best Afro Hip Hop’ category. He is listed in the ‘Best Mainstream Hip Hop’ category as well.

Olamide’s ‘Abulesowo’ fetched him a nomination in the ‘Best Indigenous Concept in a Video’ category. He is also listed in the ‘Best Afrobeat Video’ category. Another artiste who made a good showing on the list of nominees is Burna Boy.

NIHOTOUR TRAINS JOURNALISTS
Director General of the National institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Mrs. Chika Balogun has charged travel journalists and security agents to adopt a positive disposition to promoting Nigeria. She said this at a workshop in Lagos. The theme of the training was ‘Global Tourism Ethics and Ethics on Brand Nigeria.’ The session was attended by personnel from the Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) and Nigerian Civil Defense and Security Corps and tourism journalists.

According to her, if the task of making Nigeria one of the top 20 destinations in the world is to be achieved then Nigeria has been promoted in positive light and branded accurately in line with global tourism ethics. Travel journalists and security agents, she said has a great role to play in this regard.

Therefore, she said that there is the need to equip journalists and security agents on the appropriate ethics that would help in the branding of the country, adding that NIHOTOUR has decided to bring together both the journalists and security agents based on what she said is “our collective resolve to promote Nigeria for a better day ahead.”
Mrs. Balogun then appealed to the travel journalists to make the necessary effort to promote Nigeria tourism in positive light while she called on the security agents to cooperate with tourism operators in protecting the country and ensuring that the right controls and measures are put in place to secure the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was the special guest of honour, was represented by the Director of Domestic Tourism and Control in the ministry, Mrs. Ada Okoli. The event had two technical sessions with one session devoted to the training of the security agents and the other to the travel journalists with experts on security, brand and destination building, tourism ethics and other related topics taking them through the rudiments of the topics.

SAHARA GROUP’S 20 FILM EXTRAPRENEURS EMERGE
Sahara Group’s ‘Grooming Film Extrapreneurs’ competition has produced 20 finalists following rigorous screening of over 150 docu-film entries by celebrated Nigerian movie producer and director, Kunle Afolayan.

Describing the screening process as “nostalgic and indicative of a bright future for the film industry,” Afolayan said he swelled with pride all through exercise, reassured that Nigerian youths will always rise to the occasion – when given the right platforms.

“We saw everything we were looking out for in good measure; overall film-making capability, style of storytelling, subject matter interpretation, audio and visual quality, aesthetics as well as understanding of the perspective of a story. This has been a hugely successful project for Sahara Group and my team and we are confident that many success stories will emerge from these film makers.”

Powered by the Sahara Foundation, ‘Grooming Film Extrapreneuers’ is a novel initiative designed to provide a hub for budding film makers to hone their skills through collaboration and access to shared expertise.

Unveiled in June 2016, the competition required young film makers to create 15-minute documentaries that capture and celebrate entrepreneurs at work across the nation, using the theme: My Nigeria, My Platform…Nigeria through an entrepreneur’s eyes.

The shortlisted 20 finalists include: Albert Adeshoga, Iniabasi Udosen, Babtunde Oyewunmi, Heaven Kalu, Azeez Hussein, Onome Egba, Dorothy Njemanze, Ashkay Makar, David Medugu and Alabi Kayode. Others are: Jude Dare, Efe Edosio, Joseph Duke, Oluwatobi Yeye, Hamed Adedeji, Georg Nakanda, Chineye Balogun, Ezekiah Balogun, Daniel Ecwalu and Victor Enam.

COURT UPHOLDS PRETTY OKAFOR’S ELECTION
The motion filed by one Chris Mba on behalf of himself and members of an illegal body purportedly called PMAN Caretaker Committee in Suit no. NICN/LA/632/2016 has been dismissed by Hon. Justice B.B. Kanyip of National Industrial Court Lagos Division. While hearing the application seeking to set aside the recent election which produced Mr. Pretty Okafor as President, Sunny Neji 1st Vice President, Zakky Azzay 2nd Vice President and Tolu Obey Fabiyi as National Treasurer respectively among others, the presiding Judge Hon. Justice B.B. Kanyip held that in the absence of any law empowering the Hon Minister of Labor and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige and the Registrar of Trade Union Mrs. Mborgu to appoint a Caretaker Committee to run and manage the affairs of a registered Trade Union like PMAN, that the application lacks merit and was therefore dismissed accordingly.

REAL FACE OF AN AFRICAN CHILD EMERGES
Thirteen year-old, Ezewuzie Collins recently beat 16 other contestants to emerge overall winner at the grand finale of The Real Face Of An Africa Child competition which took place recently at The Golden Tulip Hotel, Festac, Lagos.

Ezewuzie Collins won a brand new Hyundai i0 car and education scholarship from primary to university level, while five year-old Gwendolyn Mesembe Okon who came second won 1million naira and scholarship from primary level to university level. The third winner, Divine Akponyoma, 10, also won N500,000 with a scholarship from primary school to university level.

Nollywood veteran, Emeka Ike, Singer, Sunny Nneji and film maker Triumph Abigail Dominion were the judges.
The competition saw the kids display their various talents which include Modeling, rapping, ballet dancing, magic, poetry and more. Also in one of segments of the competition, the kids were also dressed in their native attire as they danced to their local dance and also spoke in their native language.