Category: Entertainment

Baba Suwe and the State of an Industry

Ace actor, Babatunde Omidina known as Baba Suwe is a film icon and comedian who has made indelible marks in the industry for more than a decade. Consequently, his effortless ability to bring smiles to the face of fans and movie enthusiasts, especially the Yoruba speaking industry has sealed his reputation as one of the best comic acts to grace the ever-expanding Nollywood industry.

He is currently said to be suffering from an undisclosed ailment and a video of him talking about his poor state of health and soliciting for help has gone viral.

Baba Suwe, native of Ikorodu Local government, Lagos Sate started his film career in 1972, featuring in and producing numerous movies such as Oluweri Magbojo, Laarinlodu, Obelomo, Elebolo including, Baba Jaye Jaye – one of his most popular flicks starring Funke Akindele, Femi Adebayo among others.

Despite fame and dividends of limelight to his name, Baba Suwe witnessed one event that would turn his career around in 2011, when he found himself in the net of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA) .

The 61-year old was arrested on assumption that he was in possession of hard drugs believed to be cocaine. While he was at the NDLEA’s for more than two weeks, he was subjected to public humiliation and at the end of it all, the court vindicated him, ordering that he be paid the sum of N25 million for his unlawful detention.

After his ordeal with the operatives of NDLEA, film enthusiasts anticipated a come back of Baba Suwe to the Nollywood scene, but this expectation didn’t live up to the hype. Producer, Yomi Fabiyi broke the news of the deteriorating health of the veteran in an Instagram post two years ago.

“On Baba Suwe, I am calling on all senior colleagues in the entertainment world especially those close to Baba Suwe because I don’t have everyone’s contact to please reachout to him ASAP (As Soon As Possible),’’ the actor wrote on his Instagram wall.

“The torture done on him by NDLEA is vastly damaging his health at an alarming rate.

“He told me he no longer feel comfortable since that episode. Baba Suwe is a widower, he can hardly walk properly as I speak, let alone go to film.” Fabiyi narrated.

However, Baba Suwe countered Fabiyi’s narration in same year, debunking news of ill health. “My health is perfectly fine, I don’t want anybody to worry about me,” he said. Adding, “a lot of people have been calling me about the issue all day what Yomi put out is a very old story.” He told TheNetng.

With the issue of his health recurring in 2019, it is obvious Baba Suwe may not have provision for lifetime health insurance, and this extends to other actors, young and old.

When faced by health challenge, the first place most Nigerian thespians run to is social media to seek for sympathy and financial support. In some cases, other buoyant actors lend their voices to the affected colleagues only when it is brought to the public eye.

Reacting to the news that the film association has abandoned one of their own, Bolaji Amusan (Mr Latin) narrated that they have been sorting the actor’s medical bills since 2017, he said “I have just instructed the Lagos State executive of the association to check on him (Baba Suwe) to ascertain his health progress. I can tell you that we have not abandoned him, as well as any of our members, as being speculated in some quarters by mischief-makers.”

A video which is currently in circulation on social media, has Baba Suwe narrating his current state of health, soliciting public help and also revealing that he may have been battling partial stroke.

Some of the celebrities whose attention has also been drawn to this issue have started showing support to the veteran, either by crowdfunding or donating to him. Also, some actors have found themselves suffering heavy backlash from fans who believed they have done nothing to support Baba Suwe.

However, a top Nollywood stakeholder who spoke on the current state of Baba Suwe and the industry’s impact, said “Baba Suwe is only looking for sympathy, I and some other members do give Baba Suwe money on personal grounds. I am sad that Baba Suwe is used his ailments to paint the industry.”

“Baba Suwe has diabetes and high blood pressure, not stroke as people have been misinformed,”he concluded.

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The Sounds of Music (2) – Olajide Boluwatife A.

If happiness is the vibe around me, I complete the circle with music; it propels me into another world where I find myself in the mind of the artiste. When I am sad, music is my comforter because I feel like the singer knows what my problem is. When I am heartbroken, music consoles me because I feel like it tells me the truth.

Even when friends become foes, music has something to tell me about them. When there is no love but hatred, music is a duct tape to hold my life together.

I can as well survive so many things but a day without music, I’m lifeless, just kill me and be done with it. I made mention of music drawing me closer to my creator? Yes, music (gospel) the one where the praises of the lord is being chanted,I realise how mighty He is, I realise how magnificent He is.
When you ask me about God I will tell you to sing His praises, He will reveal his being to you.

Gospel music might not be the king of the music trends, a larger percent of the world want to sink in the comfort of rap and blues and other genres. It is fine and good, we shouldn’t judge,so I won’t.

Music affects people differently; from the beats to the lyrics and total composition of the sound, music touch lives from various angles.

If you do not take my hopes and dreams, do not take away my music too.

– Olajide Boliwatife A

Understanding Progeria Through Bimbo Adeleke’s Movie – Reverse

So I was watching the movie Reverse produced by Abimbola Adeleke, along the line I thought she was under a spell or something due to some occurrence in the story.

As the story unfolds, I discovered it wasn’t a spell or anything related to that. Imagine a married woman dumping her wifely roles to embrace a 3-years old lifestyle. Isn’t that enough reason to call a whole village? If any of our married sister ditch her usual meals and struggle with golden morn with kids on a regular, shouldn’t we ask her about life crisis and how it is affecting her?

Abimbola Adeleke who played the role of Teniola is a hardworking wife, mother, and working class woman that works judiciously to the extent of earning herself the position of a manager. Life took a new turn on her when she started displaying the aforementioned traits.

It is bemusing that someone who worships Brazilian weaving would sweep their love under the carpet for Adeoba (a type of African hairstyle) while going to the extent of adding beads to the style. Issa wawu!! I know you’re awed right now, just the way I was too.

Progeria?

Teniola’s family would not fold arms and watch their beautiful wife and mother reduced to an underage blinded with the euphoria of time and less bothered about the meaning of life. Teniola’s family found the problem, she has been visited by Progeria also known as Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS).

Progeria is a rare genetic condition that causes a child’s body to age fast. Most kids with progeria do not live past age 13, this disease affect both sexes and all races equally, it is not limited to the African country alone.

The most rare syndrome is the one spotlighted through the character of Teniola in Reverse movie, an adult’s brain start degrading to that of a child. Everything that belongs to a kid is the only thing that entices them.

What births Progeria ?

A single mistake in a certain gene causes it to make an abnormal protein. When cells use this protein, called Progerin, they break down more easily. Progerin builds up in many cells of kids with Progeria, causing them to grow old quickly. Progeria is not inherited, or passed down among families.

Most kids with Progeria look healthy when they’re born, but they start to show signs of the disease during their first year. Babies with Progeria do not grow or gain weight normally. They develop traits including:

• A bigger head
• Large eyes
• A small lower jaw
• A thing nose with a “beaked” tip
• Ears start stick out
• Veins you can see
• Slow and abnormal tooth growth
• A high-pitched voice
• Loss of body fat and muscle
• Hair loss including eyelashes and eyebrows

Progeria doesnt affect a child’s intelligence or brain development. A child with the condition isn’t any more likely to get infections than other kids, either.
Since the symptoms are very noticeable, it is likely that your child’s pediatrician will spot them during a routine check up. At this time, there is no cure for Progeria, but researchers are working on finding one. A kind of cancer drug, FTI (farnesyltransferase inhibitors) may fix the damage.

Finally, this is a call to everyone out there to always go for check up, ask questions in order to ensure healthiness.

People with Progeria are around us, it is not contagious so please do not send them away.Show them love, come down to their level, talk to them.
They are humans too just like everyone of us!

Olajide Boluwatife A.

“Piracy Is A Sad Development The Film Industry Has Been Forced To Embrace In The Past Two Decades.” Idris Bello

Public relations expert and Creative Lead, Emiralty Africa, Idris Bello on Thursday discussed Public Relations, Marketing and Business of Film in Nollywood at the Student Director’s Forum.

In his speech, Idris explained the significance of Nollywood to the Nigeria economy, the effect of piracy on the industry and possible solutions to the issue.

Full text of the speech:

Film making is a reflection of our identity, collective beliefs and cultural heritage. As such, we cannot divorce societal realities from the inherent values of film. Like every other part of the world, film making in Nigeria is a great institution/industry on its own, with so much contribution to the growth of our people and the economy by extension

Where an actor hasn’t gotten to in the world, film has been able to take his face. That is an unbeatable privilege. It is interesting me to note that, Nollywood is globally rated as a veritable film making industry after Hollywood and Bollywood.
This is due to the unlimited opportunities therein, it is the sole source of survival for many individual, families and corporate bodies. Beyond that, it registered Nigeria fast enough in the global map of creative enterprise.

If we remove Nollywood from Nigeria today, I am afraid the economy might crash before midnight. This indicates the strength the industry has strived to attain for itself independently , perhaps with little support from the government. However, as an industry that keeps changing the narratives as global development occurs, several issues stand as bottleneck against its progress. In this vein, we have issues of association affiliates (professional bodies), ethnic differences, language barrier, funds, certification, and of course Piracy – the king of all.

On the issue of Piracy as it relates to film marketing, I shall cite instances from my experience so far as a digital marketing consultant for Nollywood (Yoruba) producers/marketers.
Piracy, as used in this context, is the use of works protected by copyright law without permission from the intellectual owner. This goes as far as infringing certain exclusive rights granted to the copyright holder, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work, or to make derivative works. We have had several investors pull out because they couldn’t cope with the sad effect of piracy on their movie projects, while we still have more marketers struggling to keep up.

Piracy is a “sad development” the film industry has been forced to embrace in the past two decades. A war between Idumota and Alaba. Though yoruba marketers have moved from idumota to army arena, Oshodi. The funny tragedy is that, the major players of piracy are reportedly to be the Alaba boys. What then makes it worse for Yoruba marketers is that, the master copy of their movies are always taken to Alaba market for mass production so as for them (Yoruba marketers) to sell after release. What this means is that, Alaba is the only place where the mass duplication equipments are. Movie pirates are sophisticated in their activities and even have a “lovely” distribution network, which most professional Nigerian filmmakers and marketers lack.

The issue of piracy in Nigeria has been much talked about in the entertainment world, which mostly involve the film making industry. A recent study revealed that eight out of every 10 works in the market are pirated copies. This invariably translates that only 20% of Nigerian producers/marketers get back their money from sales of their materials. This act, which is also a salient form of corruption in the county, has become an impediment to filmmakers and the development of arts and has led to the loss of resources by entertainment stakeholders in Nigeria.

It is widely believed that filmmakers/marketers lack strategic distribution plan for their films but pirates do. However, my recent observation has made me understand that Yoruba film marketers are so glued to their normal distribution style, as they are not so adaptive to review strategies from time to time, concerning market requirements.

Piracy has affected the traditional DVD distribution network terribly; Hence, filmmakers now look towards digital marketing (YouTube and other social media platforms). YouTube has been the saving grace for Nollywood. Most marketers have online platforms with google AdSense. It is a veritable alternative for their business. They make less or no profit from DVD distribution lately, but they just need to continue so as to maintain business relationship with viewers/consumers in far remote areas that do not have access to internet, and also to sustain the name of their respective brands.

The concern of marketers in the area of digital marketing is how to target and capture expected online audience for their contents. By this, they employ the services of social media agencies or brands that have followers who are interested in movies.

Some of the social media pages on instagram that have followers who are interested in movies (particularly Yoruba movies) are @EmiraltyAfrica , @celebritiescorner , @ilovenollywoodstar, @shawttynatt, @gberatv1 and @Nollywoodolofofo among others.

While DVD is still a viable means of revenue in Nollywood (to a limited extent), filmmakers now make more money from digital platforms.
From the foregoing, a cursory look at the above myriad of discussion on Nollywood, filmmaking, piracy and marketing, it can be conveniently submitted that ,there are better chances for the industry to grow better than it is currently.

While we can’t shy away from the fact that the industry needs serious reforms at all fronts, we are comforted by the undying survival spirit of the likes of Corporate pictures, Olasco, Epsalum and numerous independent marketers. As I stated earlier, piracy can’t end for now, it can only be curbed. The war against it must be a collective one. More awareness needs to be raised against piracy. It is a deadly canker worm,that has eaten deep into the heart of film marketing. Also, stakeholders must see to the stop of street hawking of intellectual properties. Producers must also be interested in making marketers accountable for every copy of their content meant to be sold.

While we go to the government for saving grace, consumers of pirated movies can do film makers a great service by refusing to patronize street hawkers. Nollywood is ours, it is in our best interest to see to its victory over piracy.

Meet The Movie Industry’s New Rave, Bayowa Ayomide.

Bayowa Ayomide Michael is a Nigerian-Canadian actor, script writer, cinematographer, director and poet. He was born on the 21st of September; in the late 19s. He hails from Oke Imesi, Ekiti State, Nigeria.

Bayowa Ayomide, the first born of Nigerian’s renowned producer and director; Bayowa Dadawa, studied Theatre Arts at the University of Ibadan, before he transferred to the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, for Theatre and Drama Studies. He is known for his immense contributions towards creativity in Nigeria. He’s long listed for the 2018 Nigerian Students’ Poetry Prize, Shortlisted for Christopher Okigbo interuniversity Poetry Prize and had written several short stories and scripts for plays. One of which is Home; Nowhere (A partial adaptation of Rasaq Malik Gbolahan’s Chapbook, ‘No Home in This Land’), Welcome Christ once and again, which is his recent short play.

Follow him @_officialayomi and @ayomistudio on social media.

“From Best of Nollywood (BON) Awards 2018. -A Review” Adams Ayomide

The Nollywood industry is an ever-evolving hall of stars and newbies that has spanned over more than three decades of existence. From traveling Theatre, to experimental take 1! take 2! Cut cameras- shooting for the screen. It is a digital age and no doubt, one of the biggest movie industry in the world is characterized with a series of advancement. Cheers to the future!

However, one cannot regard this advancement without reference to the first school of film producers and actors to whom their experimental culture might have inspired the taste of the Nollywood art paving way for emergence of creative artistes who have continuously changed the game from an era to another.

If an art is superb, should one not celebrate its excellence? This question and many more reasons would be the propelling force behind the birth of an award platform such as Best of Nollywood (BON),- an annual film event that applauds the essence of creativity in the film industry. BON Awards, a platform which concluded her recent edition last Saturday, 8th of December doubled same night as commemoration of her10years anniversary.

The awards night which was held at the famous Kakanfo Inn, Ibadan. Following a late proceeding of the red carpet glitz and glamor, the show was declared opened by Segun Arinze and then anchored by Helen Paul who established a great and warmly connection with the audience. After an opening address from the executive director, Seun Oloketuyi, the presentation of the awards unfolded as notable individuals in the entertainment industry emerged in pairs to announce winners in each category.

What we saw at Bon Awards.

Great lighting and scenery! The set was simple just as the combination of the lightings that one could enjoy the ambience that the stage breathes. The two display screens on each side of the stage served as the oracle’s eye to peer into excerpt of scenes for each movies and actors nominated.

However, if two people are going to share the same stage in order to announce winner in an award category, a microphone would not be enough. Hence, the stage manager should make adequate provision for a second or more mic where necessary. Some of these people couldn’t vibe well as they were sharing a mic. It is all in their expressions and spontaneous reactions!

“Osun Sengede” or “Osun Sengese” What? For a movie nominated in more than three categories, someone should have observed the error in the movie title and do proper justice. We must pay attention to little details.

And yes, the Nollywood actors and socialites present came to steal our hearts away with their dress sense. The outfits from Bimbo Thomas, Fathia Williams, Mercy Aigbe, Nkechi Blessings, Jaye Kuti, Dayo Amusa and some others were stunning, they had our eyes popping. The men such as Femi Adebayo, Yemi Solade, Muyiwa Ademola, Nosa Obaseki represented for the sweet men association. Dear BON, please accord a real time updates of events as they unfold on your social media platforms. This is the culture! It deserves a bigger hype in this digitalized age. We want to follow activities online like we are in the hall. Can you consider a live stream of this event on a local station too? A mainstream award of this magnitude should attract more discussion and public opinion in the news.

After small chops, cold drinks and cocktails that were made available to everyone, it is incredible that the BON organizers gave us a blissful night with thrilling performance from Nigeria artist, 9ice- dishing out his evergreen hits from street credibility, party rider, photocopy and more. The art and cultural troupe gave us a feel of our culture blended with modern day swags in their dances too. It was a great night!

Finally, as BON Awards bade farewell to Oyo state, we look forward to a greater show next year in its next destination !

Rating: 8/10

Adams Ayomide.

REEKADO BANKS announces New Record Label

Talented music star, REEKADO BANKS, who on Friday, announced his exit from Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records, has made a big move in his career with his new Record label, BANKS MUSIC.

The label which has been in the works for a while now, is Reekado’s new home, from where he won’t stop dishing out great music for the fans.

Regardless of the transition, Reekado Banks will keep working tirelessly to satisfy all his fans across the world.

The new label also promises new collaborations and partnerships with the sole purpose of bringing the very best to the world.

Henceforth, Probot Digital, a creative agency situated in Lagos state, will handle all business and management roles for REEKADO BANKS and the new label – BANKS MUSIC.

For more enquiries or info;
Email: info@probot.ng
Twitter: probotng
Instagram: probotng

REEKADO BANKS announces New Record Label

Talented music star, REEKADO BANKS, who on Friday, announced his exit from Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records, has made a big move in his career with his new Record label, BANKS MUSIC.
The label which has been in the works for a while now, is Reekado’s new home, from where he won’t stop dishing out great music for the fans.
Regardless of the transition, Reekado Banks will keep working tirelessly to satisfy all his fans across the world.

The new label also promises new collaborations and partnerships with the sole purpose of bringing the very best to the world.
Henceforth, Probot Digital, a creative agency situated in Lagos state, will handle all business and management roles for REEKADO BANKS and the new label – BANKS MUSIC.

“The Most Challenging Role So Far Is The Role I Played In My First Production” Actor Abari Olanrewaju

Fast rising actor Abari Olanrewaju had a chat with our correspondent recently discussing his career genesis, projects and plans for the future. Read more below;

CAN WE MEET YOU?

My name is Abari Olanrewaju AKA (Sweet), I studied at Lagos State Polytechnic.

WHAT IS YOUR INSPIRATIONAL DRIVE?

Alot of things inspire me in the movie industry but the major thing that inspire me most is that I have always wanted to do some form of entertainment, since I have got no passion for music or comedy, I decided to go for what I have always dreamt of doing.

HOW WAS YOUR FIRST TIME BEFORE THE CAMERA?

I was a little shy but the acting spirit in me overwhelmed the shyness.

IT IS BELIEVED THAT ONE MAY NOT HAVE A BREAKTHROUGH UNLESS YOU JOIN A CAUCUS, HOW MUCH DO YOU BELIEVE IN THIS?

I don’t believe in such, my main belief is that once you have a great team that you work with, I believe it is going to be a success story.

HOW SHOULD AWARD PLATFORMS NOMINATE FILMMAKERS?

I believe when it comes to nomination, the best category of movies should be nominated and credit should go to actors on merit that deserve it.

WHICH MOVIES HAVE YOU PRODUCED?

I have produced Betrayal, Affection and also, watchout for fantastic movies produced by my humble self.

WHICH MOVIES HAVE YOU FEATURED IN?

A lot of them but I will try and remember some; Oogi,Ipese,Olowo Idan the series, Igbagbe etc.

TELL US ABOUT A ROLE YOU FIND CHALLENGING

The most challenging role so far is the role I played in my first production “Betrayal” where I played the role of a tout, it wasn’t easy but to God be the glory, I was able to play the role perfectly.

CAN YOU ACT HALF NAKED FOR A MILLION NAIRA?

If it’s half naked I will do anything for my fans out there, at least it’s half naked I can wear a trousers without shirt, that is half naked. (Laughing)

DO YOU THINK FAIR LADIES ARE MORE REGARDED FOR ROLES THAN DARK LADIES IN THE INDUSTRY?

Actually, I disagree with that, there are wonderful talents out there I mean well known actresses that are not fair in complexion and they trend better than fair ladies.

ADVICE TO INTENDING ACTORS?

My advice is that they should never stop believing in themselves the sky is their starting point.

“My Last Two Productions, Ingrate and Tangle Are Example of Blockbuster Movies” Filmmaker Omotola Akeju

In this up-close chat with our correspondent, Ayo Adams, Nollywood filmmaker and producer, Omotola Akeju talk career, lifestyle, projects and more as she also share her inspiration drive.

CAN WE MEET YOU?

I am Omotola Olanike Akeju. I am a native of Ijare, Ondo state. I was born in Akure, then started my elementary education in Owo, Ondo state where I attended St. Paul primary school. Moving forward to St. Louis girl grammar school. I obtained ND at the Lagos City Polytechnic and HND from Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo.

HOW DID YOU STARTED ACTING?

I started acting during my ND days in lagos between the year 2004 to 2006. I had to stop because I went back to school, served in the NYSC scheme and started working.

DO YOU HAVE A MAJOR INSPIRATION IN THE INDUSTRY?

Apart from that, I love acting. I have so many people presently that inspires me. Almost everyone inspires me, if not for one thing, then another.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER AS A BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE?

Well, I will use my last two Productions as an example of blockbuster movies; INGRATE (ALAIMOORE)AND TANGLE (OTAKOKO) . Both movies involve all the current and leading big star artistes like Rykardo Agbor, Kemi Afolabi among others. They are multi million naira projects coming soon to rule your screen.

IT IS BELIEVED THAT ONE MAY NOT HAVE A BREAKTHROUGH UNLESS YOU JOIN A CAUCUS, HOW MUCH DO YOU BELIEVE IN THIS?

I don’t know how the caucus thing work but I belong to them all (laughing)

RECENTLY, PEOPLE HAVE COMPLAINED THAT AWARDS PLATFORMS DO NOT CREDIT CREATIVE ACTORS ON MERIT, WHAT DO YOU THINK SHOULD BE THE BEST CRITERIA FOR NOMINATION?

I am short of words. Those who decided to give awards have something in their mind before organizing the show. It is their baby, so whoever they give it to is perfect.

WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE MOVIES THAT YOU HAVE PRODUCED?

INGRATE and TANGLE, they are both yoruba movies and coming out soon.

WHICH MOVIES HAVE YOU FEATURED IN?

Tan fe ani, Mewa n sele, Idekun, Nitori ola, Puzzle and more. Also, my recent productions; INGRATE and TANGLE.

WHICH ROLE DID YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING IN ALL THE ROLES THAT YOU HAVE PLAYED SO FAR?

I acted in a TV series in 2006, my character required lots of crying. It took a toll on me.

WOULD YOU ACT HALF NAKED FOR 1MILLION NAIRA?

It depends on the message I have to pass. If my private parts are covered. Yes, I will.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT SEX FOR ROLE? HAVE YOU BEEN IN THIS SHOE BEFORE?

All over the world, the entertainment industry is like that. But, I have never given one, and it is never going to happen.

WHICH PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON CURRENTLY ?

Very soon, I will let another cat out of the bag.

WHICH ACTORS/PRODUCERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO COLLABORATE WITH ?

Those I have never worked with, many of them, for example Lateef Adedimeji, Bose Akinola and a host of others.