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Showbiz In PH: Then, Now

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Port Harcourt, the capi
tal city of oil rich Rivers State is globally known as the city of entertainment and hospitality.  The industry over the years had been growing in leaps and bounds and has remained a home away from home to many tourists and fun lovers over the years.
Recently, some old boys of the city spoke with nostelgia on the good old days of the city they used to know.  According to Mr Lumumba Wedeh of the Criminal Investigation Department of The Nigerian Police Force (CID), in the good old days between 1970 and the 80s, Port Harcourt was regarded as a haven for unadulterated fun, enjoyment and relaxation for people from all walks of life who stormed the city every weekend to catch fun.
There were joints, hotels and hangouts that provided entertainment under a conducive environment, comfort of their customers were their target.  Such places included: Aquarius Night Club by Rumuola junction axis, King and Kings Rumuola,  Blue Pellican, an annex of Hotel Presidential, Hotel Presidential, Aba road and GRA bus stops, Kampala at Mile 1, Okija and Education bus stops as well as the notorious Gambia Street by Mile One controlled by the ‘Alhajis’ with Hausa mentality, the girls always went for them without reservation.
Other popular joints included Progress Hotel Rumuomasi, Lido Night Club, Club 67 Aggrey road, Ambassador Hotel Aggrey road, Milliki Night Club at Old Port Harcourt Township, Rageant Hotel Borokiri Orupolo Night Club Borokiri, Trek at Sangana, Mile 1 Diobu Port Harcourt, Salt and Pepper, Fields I to 4, Old Port Harcourt township, Mini Lodge Harbour  road, Annon Lodge Rumukalagbor, Manatee Hotel and Land of Canaan among numerous others, while the Government hotels that equally provided good entertainment include Hotel Presidential, Olympia Hotel and Catering Guest House Harley Street Port Harcourt. He disclosed that in those days there were no strip dancers because it jeopardized their business.
Mr Wedeh noted that the music those days were basically Reggae PoP, RnB and Highlife while the popular musicians were Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Ras Kimono, UB40 and Highlife musicians such as the legendary Rex Lawson and Jack West Omodu of the Garden City Band, King Sunny Brown and others.
According to him, the music of those days made sence and people reflected on their lyrics, but the music of today is nothing to write home about, because it is total Gibberish, sex and love. It only promotes immorality in the society. He stressed that the current style of music is disgusting and should not be encouraged because it showcases irresponsibility.
He said apart from the clubs and hotels there was the cinema culture where people go to relax after a hard day’s job and the cinemas in vogue then included Empress Cinema at Okija, Hotel Presidential, Rivoli at Station road, Central Cinema at Ibadan Street Old Port Harcourt township and Plaza by Creek road market.
He revealed that in those days you pay only N50.00 to watch a film of your interest such as Indian films, Chinese films or Western films, but it was very difficult to raise N50.00 then.  According to him, with just N200.00 you are on top of the world and you could catch fun with your girl for whole night.
Mr Lumumba Wedeh noted that in those days, you could trek with your girl from Rumuola or Town to Diobu without molestation even your co-tenants would open the gate for you without hesitation and welcome you as “Abali Agba Aka” (night do not go empty.  But today it is no longer at ease with night life, the good old days are gone forever.
Also speaking, another old school and Port Harcourt big boy, Barr Micah Emmanuel stressed that Port Harcourt night life as it is today is full of insecurity, violence and kidnapping compared to the ‘70s and 80s.
He reiterated that clubbing and night life in those days were peaceful and devoid of violence, even without money you could catch fun, but today the reverse is the case as violence, threats and killings have become the order of the day.
He stressed that government should help to checkmate the ugly situation, engage the youths meaningfully because the idle mind is the devil’s workshop.  The girls should also be discouraged from prostitution and other immoral behaviours.  According to him, the wanton desire to get rich overnight drives them to engage in despicable acts that are alien to us as Africans.
The legal practitioner noted that he is not against clubbing activities because it helps to reduce tension gives you opportunity to make new friends and business partners, but it should not be taken to the extreme, moderation should be the watch word.

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Movie Production: Filmmaker Decries Activities Of Street Urchins In Lagos

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A Nollywood film producer,Mr Ralph Nwadike, says activities of street urchins in Lagos State remain a great concern to film makers, as they disrupt film production on locations.
Nwadike said this while speaking with the The Tide source yesterday, in Lagos.
He said that street urchins often demanded to be paid land fee (Owole), before any film production would commence.
According to Nwadike, this had become a thing of great concern to him and his colleagues in the industry.
He, however, suggested that the Lagos State government could empower registered film makers with some form of documentation to be presented to street urchins while on location.
Nwadike said such documentation would deter the street urchins and enable hitch-free movie production.
It is not only me, a number of my colleagues who are film makers in Lagos State experience disturbance from these street urchins.
“This has always discouraged most film makers in Lagos.
“These street urchins usually impose some amount of money on us to pay, if not, they threaten to destroy our cameras. They are always armed with knives and other harmful objects.
“They threaten to attack us viciously, this is so scary and it is affecting the tourism industry growth.
“I call on the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and the Lagos state Film and Video Censors Board to wade into this issue because it is really affecting film makers’ business in Lagos.
“It is a sad development. Filmmakers should be given some documentation, which would enable us operate freely without being interrupted or disturbed by these so called street urchins,” Nwadike said.

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Lagos Assures Tourism Investors Of Taxes Harmonisation

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Special Adviser on Tourism, Arts and Culture to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Mr Solomon Bonu, has assured investors in the tourism, arts and culture industries of taxes harmonisation.
Bonu gave the assurance on the side-lines of the commemoration of the World Tourism Day on Tuesday in Lagos.
The event was jointly organised by the Lagos State Government and the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria.
Bonu said the Gov. Sanwo-Olu was currently working on how the numerous taxes tourism investors paid could be streamlined for their businesses to thrive.
“We are aware that so many investors have been complaining about multiple taxation. The governor is currently working on that to see how the taxes can be harmonised.
“There is a lot of hope for investors and we are also doing this to woo more investors into the state to take the tourism industry to an enviable height.
“We are aware of the enormous benefits the state and individuals in the state can derive from the growth of tourism; it is an industry with inexhaustible opportunities,’’ he said.
The aide urged Nigerians to critically evaluate this year’s theme of the World Tourism Day and embrace the industry for wealth creation.
Bonu advised individuals to be creative while exploring the different value chains in the industry to create employment opportunities.
According to him, Nigerian youths need not wait for government at different levels to create jobs.
“Lagos State has invested a lot in the growth of tourism to enable people to latch onto the opportunities in the industry.
“Individuals can invest in the food aspect, hotel, culture, transportation and more; the opportunities are enormous and tourism is all about inclusiveness.
“Government, whose responsibility is to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive, is doing a lot on that.
“Recently, the Lagos State tourism master plan was launched; this will guide those who want to embrace the industry in areas to invest in,’’ he said.
The Tide source reports that the theme of the 2021 World Tourism Day is: “Tourism and Inclusive Growth’’.

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D’banj Releases New Album, Stress Free

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Nigerian pop star, Dapo Oyebanjo, popularly known as “D’banj”, has released a new album titled, Stress Free.
The album came following his four-year break from the music scene and its release coincided with Nigeria’s 61st Independence Anniversary.
The “Koko Master” in a statement disclosed that he collaborated with Seun Kuti on the project to tint it with Afrobeats innovation mode.
“While embodying a successful career, “Stress Free” shows a polished artist who is not only experimenting but having fun, along with slick production values, featuring the spectacular skills of music producer Rexxie.
“I went back to legacy which is why I got Egypt 80, led by Seun Kuti, on all seven tracks and then eased into a realm of zero anxiety after the turbulent period that the world has been through.
“We had a lot of fun in the studio and hopefully this all shows up on the record,” he said.
In “Stress Free,” he  slipped into Afrobeats innovation mode, visible in the multi-layered fusion of horns, saxophones and futuristic synths across tracks.
“The Egypt 80 brings the horns on the Afrobeat fusion, “Zombie,”, and the Afro-meringue mix of ‘Welcome To Lagos’ as well as the free-wheeling “Stress Free” and “Banga.”
“Ikebe” is a gentle, uplifting prayer while “Big Vibe” incorporates the Amapiano sound into a pan-continental dance special and “Avocado” featuring Burna Boy leads you into a glorious sense of Afrobeats utopia,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the video, directed by Clarence Peters, is pure entertainment, complete with D’Banj’s tongue in cheek lyrics, stylish fashion and indomitable swagger.
The Tide recalls that the artiste had in 2017 released an album titled, “King Don Come.”

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