The survival of the Rivers State chapter of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), one of the leading chapters in Nollywood is being threatened by the brain drain syndrome as most members have left the state to seek for greener pastures in other states.
The out going chairman of the guild in the state, Mr Bartholomew Gerald Aguogo who stated this in an interview with The Tide Entertainment on Tuesday lamented the negative effect of the trend, adding that it might lead to the extinction of the chapter and by extension the film industry in Rivers State.
He disclosed that one of the founding fathers of the chapter and one of the best actors in Nollywood, Dr Sam Dede is currently the highest paid actor in Asaba Delta State while the former chairperson of the guild in the state and later president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Ibinabo Fibresima is also based outside the state.
According to the Rivers State AGN boss, actor and director. The state also parades other veterans in the Nollywood industry namely Columbus Irosoanga, Walter Anger, Alaso Wariboko, Gentle Jack, Tonto Dike, Monalisa Chinda, Hilda Dokubo, Amb. Millisent Jack, Mauren Ihua and a host of others most of whom operate outside the state where they hold sway, while Nollywood in the state is left in the limbo.
He also identified tribalism as another virus killing Nollywood in the state. He reiterated that entertainment is a universal language which preaches unity through entertainment which is the motto of the association.
Mr Aguogo highlighted other factors militating against the growth of the guild in the state such as lack of enabling environment, poor funding and absence of government and other stakeholder’s participation in the industry. He said despite the big names the chapter has produced over the years, it is not yet Uhuru for Nollywood in Rivers State.
The outgoing chairman however, noted that despite the daunting challenges the chapter is still moving ahead with some laudable milestones recorded under his tenure. According to him, his executive has succeeded in repositioning the guild as the chapter under his watch has severally been named the best chapter since 2015 when he assumed office as the chairman of the actors body in the state.
Enumerating his achievements as the chairman of the guild since 2015, Aguogo said during his tenure, the chapter became the first to embark on capacity building of its members with the university of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) which later certified some of the members as trained actors.
The chapter also procured an 18 seater bus for the guild’s task force to assist the police and the Copy Right Commission in the state in their efforts to eliminate quacks in the industry and to curb the menace of piracy in the state.
The guild also created a platform called ‘Agents Night in 2016/2017 to address the issue of tribalism and disunity among members and to reintegrate them under one umbrella.
Other landmark achievements according to him include recognition of past leaders and members who contributed to the establishment of the industry in the state by dividing the guild into four tents namely: King Jaja tent, Ken Saro-Wiwa tenth Obi Wali tent and King Amakiri tent.
Resource persons were also invited to educate members on the essence of unity, professionalism and the importance of training and retraining of members. The chapter also entered into partnership with media houses in the state.
The Port Harcourt born actor, director and former President of Rivers State Students drama union said the chapter has come to a stage where government and other stakeholders could come in and partner with the guild to move it to the next level of development as he appealed for a state secretariat and a bus for the guild.
Aguogo commended Governor Nyesom Wike for appointing Yibo Koko as the Director General of the Rivers State Tourism Development Agency (RSTADA) and described his appointment as well deserved as Yibo is one of the best actors in the state who has contributed to the growth of entertainment in the state.
Nollywood Postpones Four Movies’ Released Dates
As coronavirus continues to spread in Nigeria, the Nigerian Film Industry, has joined the list of worst hit industries with cinemas shutting down and movie release dates postponed.
There are four Nollywood movies whose released dates are pushed back due to coronavirus.
Soft Work: The crime drama featuring Alex Ekabo, Ik Ogbonna, among others was initially scheduled for release in cinemas on Friday, March 27, 2020, but its release date has been delayed indefinitely.
Namatse Wahala: The Hollywood/Nollywood collaboration that made headlines has had its release date pushed back to October 2020.
Face of Alakada: Party planner: Initially scheduled for theatrical release on April 3 2020, the comedy series has also been postponed till further notice. Toyin Abraham announced the postponement on her instagram page, March 23, 2020.
Ratnik: The award winning Nigerian Sci-fi movie slated for April 10 release has been pushed back till further notice. She pictures entertainment announced the postponement on their instagram page on March 25, 2020.
Ogbakor Ikwerre Celebrates Unique Culture, Tradition
The unique cultural heritage and ancient tradition of the Ikwerre ethnic nationality in Rivers State was recently showcased to the world amidst , fun, gliz and glamour at the 2020 edition of Ikwerre day celebration which attracted the who is who in Ikwerre land, including traditional rulers and other distinguished guests across the country.
The historic and memorable event which witnessed amazing cultural performances was held last Saturday, March 21st, 2020 at the Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic Rumuola, Port Harcourt, under the chairmanship of former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Rivers State, Hon Frank A. Owhor.
The well attended event saw the parade of various colourful masquerades and cultural troupes, traditional dances, folklore, traditional wrestling contests as well as other backup from across the country including the cultural troupe from the Mzough U Tiv from Benue State as well as other side attractions.
In his address at the event that was graced by a humongus crowd, the president-general of Ogbakor Ikwerre world wide, Prof. Emenike Nyeche Wami said: “Ogbakor Ikwerre cultural organisation as the apexumbrella organisation of the Ikwerre ethnic nationality constitutionally instituted the annual Ikwerre Day celebration as an occasion for our people to remain ourselves who we are and to give the outside world a peep of what constitutes the inner most core of Ikwerre culture and personality.
“Ikwerre day therefore, is an institutionalised annual fiesta, a period of home coming, cultural renewal and reflection intra and inter ethnic strengthening of releationships with a view to sustaining our relevance in the comity of ethnic nationalities. It is essentially, a spectacular cultural convocation of Inde Iwhuru Oha (people of Ikwerre) by the Ikwerre and for the Ikwerre people in line with the spirit and letter of the constitution of Ogbakor Ikwerre.
“Ikwerre day seeks to showcase, preserve and enhance our cultural heritage, such as language, folklore, customs, agricultural engagements, arts and crafts, music and dancing, sports especially our highly cherished Egelege (wrestling) and so on!!
Major highlights of the event were confirmant of Ochi Oha Ikwerre XIII on Prof Augustin M. Onyeosu and his admission into this prestigious cultural class, following his meritorious service during his tenure dance as the president general of Ogbakor Ikwerre world wide from 2013 to December 2016.
Recognition of four monstrous sons and daughters of Ikwerre nation who have excelled, distinguished themselves and brought honour to the Ikwerre nation namely: Madam Edna C Nwofor, First Ikwerre female graduate, Chief Sir Mike Elechi, Chairman/CEO Vintage Farms and Products Ltd, Sir (Dr) Charles Wami, Chairman/CEO Charkins Maritime Academy and Miss Francisca Ijeoma Onuma first Ikwerre female pilot.
Awards were also given to the champions of the ‘Egelege’ wresting competition, they are the new (Isiburu wresting champion) of Ikwerre land, Mr Increase Assor from Esilara branch, while Emeka Omodu from Opa branch and Morrison Obi from Kio branch who took 2nd and third positions respectively as well as prizes to participated teams etc.
By: Jacob Obinna
Pete Edochie Returns As Okonkwo In Stage Play Of Things Fall Apart
Nollywood icon, Pete Edochie will once again take up his famous role as Okonkwo in Chinisa Achebe’s all time best selling novel, Things Fall Apart as his acting abilities have been called upon again by Mosaic Theatre Production and Play Network Africa to a stage play of the award winning novel.
The play, which is scheduled to hold in Abuja on March 21 and March 22, will be directed by Agozie Ugwu.Edochie and be joined on stage by Nneka, the pretty serpent star, Ndidi Obi,Patience Ozokwor and Chiwetalu Agu, among others.
Globally renowned for his lead role as Okonkwo in the National Television Authority (NTA) adaptation of Things Fall Apart, Edochie came into lime light in1986 when Adiele Onyedibia adapted the novel to a series that was broadcasted in the NTA.
The Septuagenarian was honoured across the country and even got a brief interview with BBC for his outstanding role as Okonkwo, also known as Ebubedike.
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