Visitors and participants at the just concluded sixth edition of the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) were privileged to watch over 150 movies and documentaries, as well as take part in workshops and industry sessions. The event came to an end with a star-studded Globe Award which held at the Eko Convention Center, Eko Hotel and Suits, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Hosted by the talented Nollywood actress, Kemi Lala Akindoju and TV presenter, Uti Nwachukwu, the event, which was attended by top dignitaries from the business and political terrains also had filmmakers from Africa and beyond, whose films screened at the week-long event.

Tagged The Broadway Show, the closing ceremony thrilled guests to breath-taking shows, including duets and a mind-blowing tribute to the late Afro-beat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, led by actor Gideon Okeke.
It was also a moment of celebrations for winners, as the festival’s Closing Night Movie, ’76, a movie about events that heralded and succeeded the Military coup d’état which led to the demise of General Murtala Ramat Muhammed, and directed by Izu Ojukwu, won four awards including – Best Screenplay, Best Feature Film, Best Actor, Best Director.

Renowned Nollywood actress, Bimbo Akintola, won Best Lead Actress for her role in the movie, 93 Days. ‘Green White Green’ by Abba Makama won the Oronto Douglas Award for Best Nigerian film, while Ghanaian filmmaker and animator, Agorkoli Francis Brown, won Best Animation with a price tag of N200,000.

Other recipients include the beneficiaries of AFRIFF/Ford Foundation scholarship to the University of Montana, United States, for further training in different aspects of filmmaking.
Speaking at the glamorous event, Founder and Executive Director of AFRIFF, Ms. Chioma Ude, noted that the crucial component of the festival is the training it provides to the young minds of Africa.

One Hundred and Fifty students were also trained by the best in the industry at the Afrinolly Studios. Some of those lucky students were selected to attend a month of film making course in the US

The selected students include, (Acting) – Mena Sodje, Jumoke Aderonmu, Tosin Adeyemi, Joseph Ottoman and Hannah Babatunde; (Scriptwriting)- Jennifer Eneanya, Olubunmi Ajiboye, Lois Burutu, Cynthia Okoroafor and Lani Aisida; (Filmmaking)- Marvellous Michael, Bolaji Adelakun, Moyo Shomade, Chisom Ifeakandu, Richard Ofoe, Vivian Ubochi and Ngozi Emmanuel.

DAVID INYANGEDO LIFTS HIS ‘TROPHY’ WIFE
Prolific Nigerian-American author and associate mechanical engineer, David Inyangedo recently tied the nuptial knot with his wife, Ukpemeobong who is a computer and electrical technologist at the marriage registry in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The new husband and wife were married at a solemn but very brief and joyous ceremony couple conducted by a team of marriage registry officials led by Mrs. Abasiama Ime Ituen.
Inyangedo whose latest publication, ‘The Love of God’ is also a clergy has an increasing good reputation as a composer of gospel lyrics.

AMERICAN HONEY HOSTS PARTY IN ITS MANSION
It wasn’t a house party as usual on Friday, November 11, 2016 when premium whiskey, American Honey opened the doors of Lagoon Crest, Lekki, Lagos to its customers, music fans and fun lovers, treating them to a one of a kind Cold Gold experience.

Hosted by Hypeman Shoddy, the American Honey Mansion Party won’t be forgotten in a hurry as guests not only experienced live performances from star acts: Falz, Niniola and Koker, they also enjoyed abundant food and drinks, great music from DJ Consequence, and delightful fireworks display.

Speaking on the event, General Manager, Brian Munro Ltd., Abayomi Ajao commented, “We sincerely appreciate the lovers and consumers of American Honey. Keeping our promise to deliver an unforgettable experience at the Mansion Party, is our own little way of saying thank you.”

Top celebrities and entertainers like Tee A, N6, BOJ, Emma Nyra, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi and Sharon Ojong were some of the notable faces spotted at the American Honey Mansion Party.
A major highlight of the event was the moment Falz got everyone at the party to take the Mannequin Challenge and stay still for 30 seconds during his performance.
Just when the fans thought they had seen it all, DJ Consequence further made the night memorable as he thrilled guests with great sounds till the break of dawn.

CATCHING UP WITH RAPTURE
The sensational gospel artist, songwriter and actor, Mr Bigger Ibekwe has surprised gospel music fans with his debut album titled, “Rapture’’. Written against the backdrop of his faith in the notion of rapture, as a means of salvation for mankind, this four-track album was recently launched in Lagos by the artist.

With friends and associates swarming the sparsely decorated venue, Ibekwe’s energetic dance steps halted many in their tracks as some just saw him in performance for the first time. Explaining the reason for the immeasurable joy, Ibekwe revealed that he had been writing songs and selling them off to artists. But with Rapture, the game plan for his music career has changed for good.

The 46-year old graduate of Theatre Arts at the University of Benin also informed a handful of journalists who were at the album launch that his hometown in Anambra State is known for acrobatic dance and a variety of artistic productions.

For one who speaks fluent Chinese, writing songs in his mother tongue is a significant allegiance to cultural values. Ibekwe also traced his early influences in acting and singing to his childhood. Raised by a mother who is a music composer, Ibekwe knew he couldn’t run away from music. At the university, he wrote his final year thesis on the aesthetics of African music. He tried really hard to produce secular music much later and that didn’t “werk’’. So, he faced his acting career at first, which began with school drama productions.

“I acted Idikoko in my first acting,’’ he recounted. “ The character was one man who was pretending to be blind and was begging people for money. I also featured in Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again.

“I was a member of the university choir and we were encouraged to compose traditional songs in our mother tongue. At each point I did something good. It was when I found Christ that I began to pray that I wanted to evangelize through music.’’
While talking about his debut album, he remarked that Rapture is to warn the people about the imminent apocalypse.

“Only the people who have prepared themselves will be raptured. The lyrics are warnings. There are four tracks in the album. Rapture itself has two songs,’’ he said.
Although he didn’t produce the songs, he personally arranged them in the album.

NIGERIAN FESTIVALS POP-UP CHANNEL
The holiday season is officially here and MultiChoice Africa is getting into the festive spirit with the launch of the Nigerian Festivals pop-up channel which is dedicated to showcasing Nigerian music and worship festivals toDStv and GOtv subscribers from November 21 to January 2, 2017.

Viewers will get a front row view of Nigeria’s hottest music festivals from the comfort of their own homes on DStv channel 198 and GOtv Plus channel 29.

The festival extravaganza will kick off with coverage of The Experience Music and Worship gospel concert from December 2. Billed as ‘the most awaited gospel music concert in the whole of Africa’, the eleventh edition of The Experience will be yet another grand affair, with some big name ministers due tobring their ministries to the crowd. Viewers will have an opportunity to enjoy the gospel music concert alongside the hundreds of thousands of worshippers expected to attend the concert in Lagos, Nigeria.

Then from December 17, the channel will cover of the eighth edition of the Akwa Ibom Christmas Concert. In 2014, viewers watched as the Akwa Ibom State choir break the Guinness world record for the largest number of Christmas carol singers in the world with its 25 272 member-choral group!

From December 25, 27 – 29, the pop-up channel will broadcast the 11th anniversary of ‘Africa’s Biggest Street Party’, the Calabar Grand Carnival which takes place on the streets of the Cross River State. Yet again, subscribers will get to enjoy a musical concert featuring top Nigerian artists plus a dazzling parade of colourful costumes, creative dance moves, elaborate floats and imaginative interpretations of this year’s theme Celebration Time.

Then, on December 31, Lagos will come alive with One Lagos Fiesta also known as Lagos Countdown, when the masses will be ushering in the New Year, with some of Nigeria’s biggest names in music.