The entertainment industry and fans of Micheal Jackson all over the world, yesterday observed the one year anniversary of the late King of pop music who died on June 25th 2009 at the age of 50 years as a result of drug overdose administered to him by his personal physician.
In Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the day was marked with mixed feelings. While some of the fans considered it as a life well spent considering his laudable achievements on Earth and celebrated the day with music, dance and total fun at some entertainment hangouts in the city, others feel his death was untimely and a big loss to the entertainment world , stressing that he did not reap fully the fruits of his hard labour before his life was cut short.
In his reaction, Rivers State born music sensation and entertainer, Mr Emmanuel Amakiri Popularly known as Oba Omega said it is not life that matters or how long you lived on Earth, but what you are able to achieve in life for which you will be remembered for by humanity long after you are gone.
He maintained that the death of Micheal Jackson will continue to remain a big loss to the entertainment industry because the late legend of pop music revolutionized the entertainment world and gave musicians a pride of place globally.
Oba Omega the current toast of the music industry in the state whose music and video titled ‘identify’ is making waves in the music scene across the country and beyond said Jackson’s songs and popular dance steps (Moonwalk) ruled the music world and dance floor in the 70s and 80s and is currently in vogue among the young stars and old school, while his dress code is copied by young entertainers who see him as their role model and a source of great inspiration even in death.
Another fan of the pop idol, Mr. Onyeka Orluwene, A Port Harcourt based show biz personality and seasoned accountant noted that though Michael Jackson is dead, he literally lives in the minds of his fans. He said Micheal came into the entertainment industry at a tender age, saw it and conquered. He contended that the industry will not be the same again without him because he introduced hard work style, glamour and success to the industry while most of his wealth went to charity because of his love for humanity and the less priviledged.
Apart from these reactions, Jackson’s music dominated the air in most Radio and Television stations in the state to mark the historic day.
Micheal Jackson was born in 1958 in Garg, Indiana, United States of America (USA), into a family made up of great musicians and he grew up to become a very popular singer, dancer and song writer. Though all his life he has been enmeshed in many controversies, he has always had a way of rising above them and soaring high.
At the age of five, Micheal joined his brothers’ singing group then known as the ‘Jackson Five’ and later renamed. The ‘Jacksons’. Micheals dancing ability as well as his singing skills made him the groups leader at a very tender age. Under Berry Gordy’s sponsorship, the group became popular on record (on the Motown label), in personal appearances and on Television.` Jackson’s First Solo album ‘Got to Be There’ released in 1971, established him as a solo performer. Leaving the family group, he played the ‘Scare crow’ in the musical film The Wiz (1978) and recorded the album ‘Off the wall’ in 1976 which included a number of his own songs. His album ‘Thriller’ recorded in 1982 earned a then unprecedented eight Grammy Awards. His dancing style, slight physical appearance and whimsical mode of dressing, with a trade mark of a single rhinestone-covered white glove, became well known.
Jackson rejoined his brothers on a six month tour after the release of their album ‘Victory’ in 1984. He co-wrote (with Lionel Richie) the song “We are the world” in 1985 which was performed by a group more than 40 popular musicians with all profits from audio and video donated to alleviate world hunger. Subsequently, Jackson’s album ‘Bad’ (1987) and the title single as well as the video of the song became best sellers as did his album ‘Dangerous’ (1992) and the single ‘Remember the Time (1992).
His autobiography, Moonwalk, was published in 1988. In 1995 he released another chart topping album, ‘History’ and the following year, he won a Grammy Award for the music video ‘Scream’ (1995) which he created with his sister Janet. Also in 1996 Jackson divorced Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Late Elvis Presley ending a two year marriage.
Jackson celebrated his 30th anniversary as a solo performer in 2001 by reuniting for a series of concerts with his brothers as the Jackson Five. Later in the year, he released ‘Invincible’ his first major album, released in six years. That same year, he was inducted into the ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’.
Continued Controversy over Jackson’s private life caught the headlines in 2002 and again in 2003 in November of that year, he was arrested, charged with alleged child molestation to which he later pleaded not guilty. When the world got wind of the child molestation law suit that had the irrepressible Johnny Cochran (who had squeezed O.J. Simpson and Snoop Dog out of the jaws of murder charges) advising Jackson to settle out of court, mike reportedly paid $20m to settle the case and his innocence became doubtful.
His whitening skin, crumbling faces, failed arrangee marriage to Lisa Marie-Presley, allegations that his kids from Debbie Road, his nurse/wife were conceived through artificial insemination and perhaps the worst, his lack of racial identify have all contributed in so small measure to the fall of one of the greatest entertainers to ever set foot in this planet, meanwhile as an organizer of two major fan groups is just one of thousands of supporters keeping Jackson’s legacy alive along with the pursuit of justice for his untimely death a year ago this Friday.
Nigerian Idol Gets Tougher As Daniel Exits
Last week, contestants on Nigerian Idol took a trip back to their birth year, as they performed their favourite hits from the year they were born. BeyonceAjomiwe opened the night with her rendition of Rihanna’s 2004 hit, Unfaithful. DJ Sose commented that her breath control was good, but Seyi Shay felt the song was not the right choice for her.
Next up was Comfort. Her performance of Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful impressed the judges and showcased her continuous growth in the competition. She was, however, advised to work on her vocals and stage presence.
Atela Francis’ soulful performance of Bryan Adams’ rock classic Please Forgive Me left the judges speechless. When Obi Asika finally spoke, he commented that Francis had just delivered a stadium worthy performance.
Another contestant who left the judges speechless was Faith Jason. His song choice, You Are Not Alone was a tribute to his idol Michael Jackson. DJ Sose exclaimed that he was the full package; combining his voice, skill and stage performance.
Fans favourite, Kingdom followed Francis and Faith Jason performances with a stunning rendition of Toni Braxton’s Unbreak my heart. According to him, he chose the song because he read fans’ comments, asking him to be expressive and this was his response. Seyi Shay felt that this week’s performance was a step up from last week and he had redeemed himself. Obi Asika agreed, saying that Kingdom had arrived and they had all been waiting for him to sing and perform the way he did during the auditions.
Akunna sang LeAnn Rimes’ 1997 hit, How Do I Live. Obi Asika commented that like her previous performances, she was great. Emmanuel closed the night with a stellar performance of Seal’s Kiss From A Rose. He received a standing ovation from all the judges who praised his vocal ability and stage presence.
For Daniel, it was the end of the road as his journey on Nigerian Idol came to an end. You can vote for your favorite contestants as the power to determine who stays and who leaves is solely in the hands of the viewers. Voting on Nigerian Idol is via the website, mobile site, MyDStv, and MyGOtv apps and via SMS, which is available only in Nigeria.
Why Rivers Rules Nigeria’s Entertainment Enclaves
It is no gain saying that Rivers state occupies an enviable position in Nigeria. Apart from being the hub of oil and gas activities in the country and the treasure base of the nation, the state is also the heart beat of the country’s entertainment enclave.
The historic exploits in music, movie, beauty pageants tourism, Arts and culture have attracted a humongous number of foreign and local investors, tourists and all classes of fun lovers to the state. The legendary hospitality, enviable security network, enabling environment and peaceful coexistence have turned the state to a save haven and home away from home for the numerous visitors.
MUSIC: In music, Rivers state boasts of a vibrast music industry that is globally acclaimed its artistes are putting out great music and for a longtime had quite a number of them pushed to national and even global acclaim. Recently Rivers state born award winning music super star, DaminiOgulu popularly known as Burna Boy made Nigeria and Africa proud by winning the highly coveted Global music Album award at the 61st edition of the Grammy awards held in Los Angeles, USA.
Other Rivers State award winning stars making waves in Nigeria and beyond include Duncan Mighty, Frank D’ Nero, Lexy M, Oba Omega, Ajebo Hustlers, Omah Lay, Mercy Chinwo, Mr. 2Kay, Wakonzy, Idahams, Dan Dizzy, Muma Gee, Dr. Barz, Soti (the malaria crooner), Sky B, Bukwild-Da Ikwerre man and Deinbofa Nana Okoto (aka Korkormikor) among others.
Movie: Rivers state is also known for producing leading actors and actresses in Nollywood whose achievements in the make belief industry have attracted global attention with various local and international awards to show for their exploits in the industry. Some of these stars are brand ambassador to multinational companies and organisations.
Rivers state born beauty queen and organizer of the Miss Earth beauty contest Ibinabo Fiberesima was one time National president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) under her watch, the umbrella body of actors and actress in Nigeria recorded unprecedented achievements and members enjoyed an open door policy and sense of belonging.
Other A-List stars in Nollywood who are from Rivers state include: Sam Dede, Columbus Irosoanga, Gentle Jack, Walta Anga, Alaso Wariboko, Late J.T. Tom West and Tonto Dike, as well as Monalisa Chinda, Maurine Ihua and Ada Eme.
These veterans have contributed in taking Nollywood to the next level of greatness and global recognition and have also generated revenue to the country amongst other achievements.
Comedy: The Rivers state entertainment landscape also includes the comedy clan. The state also parades veteran comedians who call the shots in the comedy industry in Nigeria. Among the humour merchants of Rivers state origin who have achieved legendary milestones through their hilarious joke are: Julius Agwu, Dan D’ Humerus, Angel D’ laugh, Prince Hezekiah the Rugged Pastor and a host of others.
TOURISM: This is another entertainment sector where Rivers state has recorded enviable history in terms of tourist attractions. Some of the historic site that abound in the state at second to non in the country. Some of the famous tourist attractions include the beaches such as Ifoko beach, Kono beach, Port Harcourt tourist beach and Finima beach etc.
There are other tourist favourites, like the Port Harcourt Zoological Garden Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt pleasure park, World class hotels, cinema houses, amusement park and several other locations for relaxation and sight seeing.
Arts/Culture: Arts and culture play complimentary role to the tourism sector in the state as an entertainment outlet. The national museum in the state contains artifacts related to the various ethnic groups in the state including bronze, pottery, masks, historic household equipments, old currencies etc.
The Rivers state cultural centre is a famous tourist attraction that serves to educate visitors on the rich cultural diversity of the state, there is a theatre, a stage and auditorium for live performance of cultural dance and plays which holds a huge attraction for tourists.
Nightlife: Nightlife Is Another area Rivers state stands out, Apart from Lagos, Rivers state is the state to beat in terms if quality, undiluted entertainment. Before the advent of covid 19 pandemic and Government restrictive policies, the state used to bubble from sdusk to dawn with wining, dining and dancing amid fun, glitz, glamour and razzmatazz.
Though the covid 19 saga has whittled down the enthusiasm of fun seekers, night crawlers and clubbers, the entertainment industry still bounces ahead. Before now, in virtually all major street in the Garden City, you find drinking spots and other hangouts with Naija Jams blaring from giant speakers from 8:00pm and some time till dawn.
It is difficult to tell which is a night club in this city because these drinking parlours and hangouts operate as night clubs even some restaurants and carwash do too. Girls of easy virtues in the state charge thrice the amount any of their colleagues in other states charge, because in Port Harcourt, girls are in class of their own.
A typical night life in the garden city starts fun lovers and their partners start storming the cinemas, some of the popular ones are Silverbird cinema’s, Genesis Deluxe cinema, film one at Port Harcourt shopping mall, Port Harcourt pleasure park cinema etc, from the movies houses to bars and eateries and eventually end up at the nightclubs to listen to Dee Jays (DJs) performing live and dishing out the latest club bangers.
Most of these nightclubs are located at the GRA phase 2 axis of the city and other parts of the metropolis they include: MendianOgoyi place, Tombis a street, GRA Phase 2. Edizwinebar, Emeyal street, GRA phase 2, platinum, Hotel Presidential GRA phase 2 Casablanca nightclub and Karokee, GRA phase 2 others are the Grib, William Jumbo street, Liquid lounge and Bar, Onne Road, Morella, Amadi flats Lesuka, Peter Odili Road, The Hub, Odili Road Port Harcourt among others.
Nightlife in the city has also brought brisk business to those in the fast food and suya business as most times guys and their babes rush out of the clubs to have quick meals. Taxi drivers are also not left out as they hang around these clubs and bars to take passengers home after a night full of fun.
By: Jacob Obinna
Nollywood Veteran Actor, Bruno Iwuoha Bows Out
The news of his death on April 10, 2021, shook Nollywood. His fans and colleagues knew he had a prolonged battle with diabetes, but didn’t know the notable Nollywood actor, Bruno Obinna Iwuoha, would bow to the disease, even after a news website had hinted that he was responding to treatment.
Aged 68 and survived by a wife and six children, the remains of the award-winning actor was committed to mother earth this Thursday in his hometown UmunumoUmuanunu in Ehime Mbano Local Council of Imo State.
In a condolence message, President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Ejezie Emeka Rollas commiserated with the immediate family members, friends and fans and prayed, “God would comfort them at this moment of grief.”
Rollas described Iwuoha as a “dependable actor and committed practitioner who will be surely missed.” A gifted actor who acts with credulity and mien, Iwuoha hit the right note and became a household name when he interpreted delightfully, the role of a catholic priest in the award winning flick, Sins of the Flesh, which starred Africa’s best ChiomaChukwukaAkpotha in a lead role. It was his deep and inimitable interpretation of the role that got the jury of the African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) to unanimously declare him the best supporting actor in a leading role.
For Bruno Iwuoha, that award, which he received personally at the 2007 edition of the AMAA held in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State capital, was confirmation of a dream fulfilled. Right from when he joined in a little over two decades ago, Bruno had always wished that in no time he would emerge a constant visitor in most homes. And true to expectation, that confirmation came and it came in no time.
Though Uncle Bruno, as younger colleagues roundly call him, confessed that he grew up with a healthy appetite for acting, he never imagined that acting would become something of a full time job for him. Until he passed on this April, his life story took a different dimension. Not only did the grey haired actor cut a swath among the industry’s recognisable faces, he was roundly regarded as one of the good men of the movie because of the streak of successes he recorded as an actor.
But Iwuoha didn’t walk into acting just for the fun of it. The last time he spoke to this reporter, Uncle B as he is also called, revealed that he had a flair for acting and was at a time head of his school dramatic and literary society. It was there that he first struck his acting stuff.
But he didn’t continue after school. Young Iwuoha wasn’t convinced then that acting would put food on his table. So, he made up his mind to do some buying and selling, as well as supplies. Later, he got a steady supply job and became a registered contractor with the National Fertilizer Company.
But even as he bought and sold for profit, something inside of him yearned for some acting on stage and screen. The voice became clearer as days pass. But Iwuoha would not be distracted or so he thought. He continued trading until he bowed to what he said was the ‘superior pressure’ of the voice within.’
“It was the day that I returned from one of my business trips that I met a letter inviting me for an audition; that was how it started,” Iwuoha recalled.
Indeed, it took that decision to honour the audition invitation for Iwuoha’s music chair to turn full circle. That day turned out the last day that the actor with a distinctive feature-grey hair bought and sold any commodity. He took to full time acting and confessed then that he is likely not to consider quitting motion picture practice for any other job because of the gains that has come with his involvement in motion picture practice as an actor.
An easy-going personality, Iwuoha’s first take in the movie industry was as a supporting actor in Lost Kingdom written by EkennaIgwe and directed by Ndubuisi Oko. From Lost Kingdom, he marched on as producers sought him out each time they wanted a steady and reliable actor who will throw himself to a role once he gets one. Unlike his peers who played same role in every movie, Iwuoha versatility showed when he moved easily from one role to another. If he was not playing a chief in one, he would be playing a devious and or good father or uncle in another and or a priest in yet another. He was soon to be named an all rounder.
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