'Reflections'... over Nollywood’s big players on shelf

Book cover of Reflections. Pic: c/o FAJ.

RELEASED on Tuesday, Femi Akintunde-Johnson's book titled Reflections had its digital version unveiled.

The author, popularly known as FAJ, is one of Nigeria’s most celebrated journalists in Nigeria.Read more.

Lagos premiere of 'White Cube' film celebrates Congolese’ land buy back

CATPC members (from left) Olele Mulela Mabamba, Huguette Kilembi, Mbuku Kimpala, Jeremie Mabiala, Jean Kawata, Irene Kanga, Ced’art Tamasala and Matthieu Kasiama (still from White Cube, Renzo Martens).


IN continuation of its world tour, White Cube will stop over for the Lagos film premiere slated for Saturday, the April 10, 2021. Being organised by African Artists’ Foundation (AAF) in partnership with Alliance Française de Lagos, the premiere holds at Mike Adenuga Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos. Read more here.
Heritage ruins of western Nigerian states' cinema chain

A high-rise building currently replaces the demolished iconic Casino Cinema, Alagomeji, Lagos. Pic: by Tajudeen Sowole.
IT started as a story of potential superpower in regional African cinema business, but ended up as economic, cultural and heritage colossal loss. Within a period of two and half decades, the cinema chain business owned by Wemabod Estates Limited, a subsidiary of Odu'a Investment Company Limited crashed. Read more.
Remembering Dr Adadevoh with '93 Days' of proudly Nigerian courage

Patrick Sawyer (Keppy Ekpeyoung) in '93 Days'. Pic: c/o Bolanle Austen-Peters Productions..

As Nigerians, today, remember Dr Ameyo Stella Adadevoh, a frontline medic who stopped the deadly Ebola disease from spreading in the country, the film that recaptures the tragic story comes as a major memory till date.

Adadevoh (27 October 1956-19 August 2014) led a team of medics that stopped the Liberian index carrier of the Ebola disease, Mr Patrick Sawyer from leaving the First Consultant Medical Centre, located on St Gregory College Road, Obalende, Lagos Island. Adadevoh contracted the disease and died after her team failed to rescue Sawyer, who lost his life on July, 24.
Read more.

Post-lockdown advisory for creative industry

Matthew Simpa at work in a studio. Pic: c/o the filmmaker.

With gradual unlocking of Nigeria's economic space, a post-lockdown agenda has been suggested by one of the most experienced creative professionals in Nigeria. Read more. 


'Fela and the Kalakuta Queens'...exhuming dancers who reigned ahead of time

Casts of Fela and the Kalakuta Queens, a musical by Bolanle Austen-Peters, Pic: c/o BAP.

When a musical biopic, Fela and the Kalakuta Queens, opens on December 23, 2017 at Terra Kulture Arena, Victoria Island, Lagos, Africa's biggest musical export, the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti's  untold story of dancers will be exhumed. It is the story of Fela's ladies, whose dance steps, fashion and styles have sowed the seeds of contemporary African culture ahead of their time.
 Produced by the Bolanle Austen-Peters (BAP) Production house, the musical biopic asserts that indeed, Africans are capable of telling their own stories better. The BAP, in quick succession has given the Nigerian arts and culture space two productions in few years: Saro and Wakaa the musicals, Read more. 




Moji Olaiya (25, February 1975-17, May, 2017

Moji Olaiya. Pic: c/o Nollywood Forum source
Actress, Moji Olaiya emerged into stardom when she featured in  Super Story, a TV soap of Wale Adenuga. Production. Earlier, Adenuga had discovered her in a small role when she acted alongside star actress, Bukky Wright in a film directed by Abbey Lanre.
  Olaiya, the niece of legendary Nigerian musician, Victor Olaiya, was in 2003 nominated for the Reel Award Best Supporting Actress of the Year, and she won the Best New Actress Award.
  As at the period of her death on May 17, 2017 - from cardiac arrest in Canada two months after childbirth - the actress who converted from Christianity to Islam had READ MORE.
Nollywood Actor, Bakare dies
Nollywood, this morning, lost one of Yoruba film industry’s prominent actors, Olumide Bakare, aged 65. The actor who became famous from a TV series, Oluwa Langbe Lodge, was said to have passed on after a protracted illness.  
  “He had a successful surgery and after the surgery, he talked to people and told
Olumide Bakare. Pic: Nollywood Forum source
them he was fine. But two hours later, he passed on. It is very painful because I had actually been wishing him a quick recovery,” said Mufu Onifade, a member of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP).  “Bakare is someone who was a hundred percent committed to the theatre profession. He started on stage and then from there, went on TV, did radio and then film which was where he settled.”

 The actor READ MORE.
How Ambode’s ‘Five Theatre’ project May Revive Cinema at Grassroots 

By Tajudeen Sowole  

A recent pronouncement by the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode has brought hope of returning arts, particularly, cinema going culture to Lagos' grassroots beyond the  curent state of cinemas in shopping Malls. For several decades pre and post independence, traveling theatre of the Yoruba language, which had  its roots in the old western region, spilled into Lagos territory and later generated a vibrant cinema going culture that lasterd till 1990s. 

Gov Akinwunmi Ambode and other guests during the opening of Heartbeat The Musical…A New Beginning. Pic: c/o LASG.
The Governor, who spoke at a stage play titled ‘Heartbeat The Musical…A New Beginning’read more. 

Will Dr Bello end up as another misplaced venture?

With the format of production such as a theme or screenplay, deliberately brought in to justify the mixed casts of Nigerian and Hollywood actors, it appears that the producer Tony Abulu and his financiers, Nexim Bank thought the prospect of Nollywood is outside the country.

The producer should know that it has been established that whatever accolades Nigeria had achieved in film, in the past two decades, started with 101 % local contents and humble beginning. 

It shocked me that Dr Bello, said to have gulped as much as $250, 000 will make its Nigeria premiere at just one center, Genesis Cinema at The Palms, Lekki, Lagos. The publicity materials I have received, so far, say Dr Bello opens this Sunday at Genesis.
On the set of Dr Bello. Pic: c/o the producers.
I am yet to see any preparation for a proper release to follow the premiere. Any Nigerian film project that has as much a budget as Dr Bello should be a pacesetter in cinema-chain format of distribution and not another hawking from one venue to another. I wonder how many people will get to see Dr Bello in Nigeria without cinema-chain distribution.

The director and producer of Dr Bello, Abulu and Nexim Bank should be told in clear language that the real challenge facing Nigerian film industry is not content: it’s distribution, specifically, lack of cinema value.

In theme, Dr Bello is a drama, and not thriller. It depicts an unrecognized or informal Nigerian Doctor based in Brooklyn, New York, and known as a miracle worker. With African incantations he miraculously ‘heals’ a child of Cancer.

One wonders what exactly you needed to spend as much money on just one production of such a movie, when the distribution outlets are non-existence. Half of the money spent should have been enough to can the movie, while the remaining half for distribution.

It would not be a surprise if President Goodluck Jonathan’s announcement of government’s $200m investment in the entertainment industry ends up another fuel subsidy scam or theft. Nexim bank, we have been told is one of the managers of the fund. 
 Ajileye, Nollywood leading man bows out
By Tajudeen Sowole 
(First published October 17, 2006)
BETWEEN the early and mid-1990s there emerged a new phase in the Nigerian film and television industry, which unknowingly was to give birth to what is today known as Nollywood.
One of the front line actors and producers whose works contributed to that change was Yekini Ajileye who, sadly, passed on last week, October 11, 2006, nearly two years after his wife and actress, Mujidat died..READ MORE. 

Yekini Ajileye, Nollywood leading man bows out

By Tajudeen Sowole 

Yekini Ajileye. Pic: c/o Ajileye Films.
BETWEEN the early and mid-1990s there emerged a new phase in the Nigerian film and television industry, which unknowingly, was to give birth to what is today known as Nollywood. Read More.
'How I created Papalolo

(First published May 11, 2006)
IF one has to measure the advantage of mother-tongue in acting, particularly comedy, Ayo Ogunsina, a.k.a Papalolo, would be one of such rare examples of actors. He is also one of those early actors who, decades ago, have seen the prospects in today’s comic act business.
  Papalolo, a comic character from the group, Jester International, used to be a house-hold name for decades having invaded homes through such outlets as vinyl, stage performance, radio and TV.
  A week of TV viewing in the 1980s was incomplete without Papalolo and his co-acts, late Tajudeen Gbadamosi a.k.a, Jacob and Kayode Olaiya, a.k.a, Aderupoko.
  Jester, a break away group from Ola Omonitan-led Ajimajasan and His Awada Group, however, was on its way to extinction as soon as one of the leaders, Gbadamosi, passed on, in 1987. Today, the shadow of the impact made then however remains as both Papalolo and Aderupoko are still favourites of fans as stand up comic acts at social events.

Ayo Ogunsina a k a Papalolo. Pic: c/o the actor.
Ogunsina’s journey into the world of make-believe, like most actors of his generation, took a start from the late theatre icon, Adedeji Hubert Ogunde. "My first contact with acting came when I joined Ogunde in 1962 – then I was in my early 20s. Being with Ogunde was like in school, it was an experience well cherished even though I left two years after, in 1964," he recalled.
But Ogunsina quickly addd that he already had a READ MORE.  

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