Rivers State the Treasure
Base of Nigeria’s located in South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria, Rivers State was created out of the Old Eastern Region in 1967 with its capital in Port Harcourt.
The state is divided into twenty-three local government areas and several ethnic nationalities.
The state was created out of the Old Eastern Region of Nigeria on May 27,1967 before Bayelsa State was later carved out of it in 1996. Rivers State, named after the many rivers that border its territory, was part of the oil Rivers Protectorate from 1885 till 1893, when it became part of the Niger Coast Protectorate. In 1900 the region was merged with the chartered territories of the Royal Niger Company to form the colony of Southern Nigeria, while the major cities and towns include Port Harcourt City, Bonny, Degema, Ahoada, Isiokpo, Okrika, Opobo, Gokana e.t.c. The state boasts of various tourists attractions such as:
Port Harcourt Tourist Beach: This beach is located on an artificial sand beach along Kolabi Creek east of the old township, this leisure hub has bush-bar, restaurants which offer palmwine, local dishes and entertainment. With a jetty, a restaurant, a wildlife display museum and games room. Other beaches include:
Finima is a small town in Bonny Island surrounded on the West and South by long stretches of beaches. The beautiful beaches attract tourists and fun seeking inhabitants alike on sunny days and festive periods like Christmas and Easter. As well as Isaka Beach, in Walga, Agaja Beach in Bonny LGA, Elem Ifoko glass sand beach in Delga, Ogbogene beach in Ogba/Egbema LGA, Kono beach in Khalga, Onne beach in Eleme LGA, etc.
The natural confluences include Mgbuitanwo salt/fresh water confluence at Emohua LGA, Akuku Toru salt/fresh water confluence in AKULGA and Akpajo salt/fresh water confluence in ELELGA.
The forests which are also tourist delight are:
Upper Orashi Forest Reserve.
Upper Orashi forests are one of the major forest reserves around the Niger Delta area as Bird watching spot of the country. The forest is located near Ikodi Village in Ahoada Local Government Area. The reserve is a freshwater Swamp Forest. Wildlife found in the forest include Scalater’s guenonsi white throated monkeys, red colobus monkeys. Heslop’s pygmy hippopotamus (Hexaprotodeon liberiensis), yellow backed duiker (Sephalophus Sylvicutitor), and Giant forest hogs. Nationally uncommon birds in the forests are Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacas), Estrilda poliopareia, Hartlaub’s duck (pteronetta hartlaubi), Serpent eagle (Dryotrlorchis Spectabilis), Spizactus Africanus, blue- headed dove Cturtur Brehmen, Brehmen, Black throated Coucal (centropus leucogaster), Black-Casqued Hornbill (Ceratogymna atrata), Black-Casqued Hornbill (Ceratogymna atrata), Red-rumped tinker bird (Pogoniulus atroflavus), Lesser Honey Guide (Indicator Conirostris).
Gabon Woodpecker (Dendropicos gabonensis), Blacked-caped Yellow warbler (Apalis nigriceps), Yellow-chined sunbird (Anthreptes rectirostris) and white-breasted Negro Finch (Nigrita Fusconota). To date 91 species of birds have been recorded. The reserve has an area of 25,165 hectares.
Biseni forests is also one of the bird watching sites in Nigeria which is located North-West of Ahoada, just west of the Upper Orashi Forest in the Taylor Creek flood plain of the Niger Delta. The forest which covers a land area of 21,900 hectares, is seasonally flooded during the rains, but dry out during the dry season leaving some numerous small forest lakes Raphia palms and some broad-leafed species such as symphonia gllobulifera and ficus spp are common trees found in the forest. Mammals include white throated monkey (Cercopithecus erythrogaster), pygmy hippopotamus and Yellow backed duiker. Although the forest is yet little explored, 96 species of birds have been recorded. Nationally uncommon species include Sjostedt’s Honey Guide Bulbul )Baeo Pogon Clamans), Trochocercus nigromitratus, parmoptila wood housei and purple headed glossy starling (Lamprotornic purpueiceps. Estrilda poliopareic is a common bird found in the area. Others include Elephant colony in Andoni LGA, Onura forest at Alesa in Eleme LGA.
Parks And Gardens
Isaac Boro Garden Park
Facing the flyover above the main motorpark at the South end of Aba Road, this park was named after Major Isaac Boro who was killed in the Biafran War. The tomb of the unknown soldier here mark’s those who fell in the world wars. The park is a popular venue for live music and other events including trade fairs.
Isaka Holiday Resort
This is a resort on a twenty three hectare Island about a mile from Port Harcourt.
Rivers State Museum
The museum is in the secretariat complex of Rivers State Government. The museum contains artifact related to ethnic groups in the state including masks and carvings.
Zoological Garden, Port Harcourt
Located at Trans-Amadi, the zoo is the home for localized species of animals which include gorilla, drill, chimpanzee, an gwantibo or golden potto forest elephant, Saleginella Species etc.
Cultural Centre, Port Harcourt
Located on Bonny Street has a stage and auditorium for plays, dancing and there are shops where visitors can go and purchase local hand crafts.
Statute Of King Jaja Of Opobo
This beautiful edifice is the statute of King Jaja who founded Opobo land.
These include Hotels, Restaurants and Eateries such as:
This eatery is located on Aba Road near the Shell residential complex and other parts of the state capital. It serves local and continental dishes. The restaurant also offers take away services.
Eastern Gardens Chinese Restaurant
Eastern Garden provides a complete taste of Chinese dishes, pork, chicken, chow mein, tofu and many other Chinese delicacies. You will also have the chance to use chopsticks while eating your food.
Chicken Calypos Fast Food And Restaurant
This fast food restaurant offers a wide variety of chicken menu such as fried chicken, grilled chicken, chili chicken and roast chicken with various accompaniments. They have many types of refresh and desserts are also available. The atmosphere is serene and the setting is comfortable.
Le Meridien Ogeyi Place Hotel
Located in the GRA Phase 2 area, this hotel has a restaurant which offers international catering services. The staff are very friendly and ready to assist you. The place is also clean and with a unique setting. The meals are prepared by a renown chef.
Offering a wide range of Nigerian dishes such as amala, soups, pounded yam, rice and stew all at affordable prices. The restaurant is modern, clean and popular among office workers and students.
This is a top pizza shop in the city as it offers a complete taste of authentic Italian-menu that offers a wide range of salads, large burgers, sandwiches and others.
Park ‘N’ Shop
This is a popular brand in the country and it offers a wide selection of imported goods and caters for both expatriates and well-to-do locals. The shop also features a bakery and extensive wine selection with items such as furniture, electrical goods, computers, gift items, cosmetics etc.
This is a popular superstore that stocks a huge range of tinned and packet foods, wines and spirits, household items and toiletries. Located on the second floor are shops selling electrical items, mobile phone repair and unlocking service and many others.
Hotel Presidential has a total of 251 rooms and 49 suites, situated in the two wings of the building. Wing I consists of 100 rooms and wing II consists of 200 rooms. All rooms have air conditioners, television with cable TV, fridge, telephone with Idd access, small coffee table with chairman, toilet desk with mirror, bathroom with shower over bath, washing basin toilet, full size wardrobe in the entrance with full length mirror and balcony. The Garden Bar is the place to have a meal while enjoying the cool surroundings.
Located in the heart of the city in a serene and secured environment, Novotel Port Harcourt offer, 2 suites, 117 apartments, 29 non smoking rooms, 2 accessible rooms, internet access, restaurant with terrace area and outdoor swimming pool. The hotel is 5 minutes drive from the Nigerian Air Force base and 20 minutes from the International Airport among numerous others.
Apart from this, there are other areas of interest for both foreigners and locals such as the cinema houses popular among which are the Silverbird Cinemas located at former Obiwali Cultural Centre along Abonnema Wharf Road, Genesis Deluxe Cinemas, Tombia Street GRA and the film house located at the Port Harcourt Mall Azikwe Road, Port Harcourt as well Nite clubs such as Boomarang, Oxygen, Casablanca, Afrik Nite Club etc, amongst others
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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