Popular film maker, Lancelot Imasuen, may not have known his ‘true worth and greatness’ as a film maker. But after rolling out the drums recently to celebrate his golden age, the Edo State-born cultural advocate now knows better.
The quintessential film maker is known to be the rallying point for the propagation of the customs and traditions of the Benin race using the medium of the tube.
Over the years, the ‘Guvnor’ as he’s fondly called by his colleagues and fans has produced classical films that not only drew from the rich repertory of Benin culture, imagery, music and dance but such that stressed the need for the sustenance of our dying indigenous languages.
As a matter of fact, his epic films including 2014 “Invasion 1897” and “Adesuwa” produced in 2012, are still being held in high esteem as a reference point in most institutions of higher learning and cultural establishments across the globe.
Perhaps, it was not out of place therefore, when the drums were rolled out recently to celebrate the man and his achievements. Following the numerous accolades he has garnered from different quarters since he made his directorial debut in Nollywood, Lancelot’s month-long celebration of his 50th birthday was no less a testament to his true worth and greatness as a foremost film maker from Benin race.
He turned 50 years last Sunday. But activities marking his golden age started way back in May, after he was first hosted by the Directors Guild of Nigeria,DGN, in what was tagged ‘One on One with Lancelot Imasuen. Since then, it has been a potpourri of events spanning more than a month.
However, besides interesting activities that preceded his 50th birthday, the high-point of the celebration was a colloquium held in his honour by the management of Igbinedion University, Okada (IUO), Edo State. The event, held at the institution’s auditorium last Thursday, not only set a new priority for the celebrant, but also, witnessed the launch of the institution’s Nollywood masterclass programme for students pursuing career in arts disciplines to improve their skills in the industry.
Earlier, in his address, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Lawrence Ikechukwu Ezemonye, lauded the contributions of the movie icon, noting that there was no amount of recognition or honour bestowed on him, while he’s still alive, that should be considered too great.
Prof Ezemonye said the event provided a unique opportunity for the institution’s Threatre Arts students, to not only come face to face with veterans of creative arts, but also profit from the masterclass that will follow as a major outcome of the colloquium.
Speaking on the theme, “Cultural Revival through the Screen,” guest speakers including, Irene Isoken Agunloye, Professor of African Drama, Gender, Women and Film Studies, University of Jos and Professor Barclays Ayakoroma, Head of Department of Theatre Arts, University of Africa, Bayelsa, collectively emphasised the need to embrace, promote and sustain Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.
Dean, College of Arts and Social Sciences, IUO, Tunde Agara, said the colloquium was another great feat of the institution that would positively impact and inspire the students.
Meanwhile, shedding tears of joy, while appreciating the honour bestowed on him, Lancelot pledged his support in the area of collaboration to drive excellence in the institution.
He described his 50th birthday celebration as a monumental event that he would take to his grave.
His words: “I feel very young at heart, I am very grateful to God for keeping me alive to celebrate my 50th birthday. It started like a joke. When I realised I was going to be 50, I told my wife that I would like to celebrate it even though I have no money. I’m used to celebrating my birthdays, but this one is significant and I needed to mark my golden age. I was conscious that it is a milestone age”.
I also need to know how I am being perceived by people. So, this is another great taste of my personality and public acceptance of what I represent in the movie industry.
“The celebration has been mind-blowing with activities starting from the 25th of April when the Directors Guild of Nigeria, Abuja chapter hosted me in what was tagged ‘One on One with Lancelot Imasuen.
“On the 16th of April, I held my movie premiere in a church. I have always hoped that I will be able to grow my ministry called The Gospel Entertainment Network. So, my first movie in that direction was premiered in the church. But what was uppermost in my mind was to give back to the society that made me. I had a desire to cut my birthday cake with the less privileged people. This is because I believe that we should not judge a man’s future with any situation he’s facing today. So, I visited two orphanages in Benin and the third orphanage in Abuja.”
Interestingly, having groomed so many top entertainers from Edo, it was not unexpected that they decided to pay back their mentor for his good deeds. Comedians from the state also organized a night of comedy with Lancelot Imasuen, which had in attendance the Deputy Governor of Edo state, Mr Philip Shaibu.
According to Lancelot, the Deputy Governor had to defy the heavy downpour in order to honour him.
“It was unbelievable. I got the shocker of my life when the Deputy Governor of Edo State stormed the venue, while it was raining heavily to honour me as a role model to the Edo youths,” he said.
The film director, however, said he was using the occasion of his 50th birthday to preach peace and unity in the country, adding that he had, as a fallout of his birthday celebration, instituted an Entertainment Clamp Award, which has received the nod of the Edo Deputy Governor. .
He also called on the government to institutionalize role modelling in the country, saying “it is what has destroyed our social family.”
According to him, “my 50th birthday opened many doors for me. Having been showered with so much love, I see my 50th birthday as a re-dedication of my life to the service of humanity. I want to use this medium of my golden age to preach peace for humanity, commitment to humanity, love for one another and togetherness. I am calling on Mr President and all the state governors to be our leaders and not our rulers.
Lamenting the deteriorating state of the nation, the popular film maker said “Nigeria failed me about 38 years ago, when I enjoyed dividends of good governance. When I was in school, they gave me books, paid my school fees and we were even fed in schools. But today, it’s a different story with the Federal Government totally disconnected in supporting its citizens.”
A film director, screenwriter and producer, Lancelot Imasuen is best known as one of the founding figures of the Nigerian film industry who has spent over 25 years of his life making stars and bringing happiness to many homes across Africa and beyond.
My Victory Resulted From Steadfast Prayers, Says MBGN Winner
Winner of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria 2021, Oluchi Madubuike, yesterday said that her victory was as a result of steadfast prayers.
Madubuike, who was crowned Miss Nigeria World 2021 on Saturday, took to her Instagram page to appreciate her family and other people who supported her in the journey.
According to her, she was victorious because of the steadfast prayers, love and support that she received from well wishes.
She said, “The little girl in me is screaming with joy at this new reality of mine. I’m sure my dad is with the host of angels in heaven celebrating me!
“I am so grateful to God most importantly for this opportunity and the hand of favour He placed upon my life. I am a living testimony of his divine work.
“To @silverbirdgrp , all our sponsors and partners, thank you all for this opportunity. I promise to maximize it to my fullest potential.
“This victory was a result of the steadfast prayers, love and support. I pray that God will find a way to repay everyone who contributed in a thousand folds.”
Madubuike would be representing Nigeria at the 70th edition of the Miss World pageant to be held on December 16, 2021 in Puerto Rico.
Nigerian Female Celebrities Are Not Prostitutes -Movie Producer
Nigerian movie producer, Samuel Olatunji, popularly known as Bigsam has debunked the idea that successful women in the entertainment industry earn their money through questionable means.
The Public Relations expert took to his Instagram page yesterday to condemn Nollywood actress, Nnaji Charity, who in her Instagram stories wrote that “being a female celebrity in Nigeria is more like an advanced prostitution.”(sic)
“To say her post is uncharitable to women is stating the obvious. What is more uncharitable is the fact that she is a woman (that, I believe because these days, you never can tell), “ the producer said.
He added, “What you are implying is that all these successful female celebrities, both in entertainment and outside entertainment are prostitutes, got to where they are, or are maintaining what they are by prostitution? Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Naming celebrities such as Linda Ikeji, Toyin Abraham, Funke Akindele-Bello, and Ini Edo, the Dear Affy producer attested to lucrative means by which several female celebrities he has worked with, make their money.
He said, “There was a time someone called me to say Linda Ikeji must be doing fraud or advanced prostitution to make the kind of money she has, that year, Linda was charging 50k per post (now it is 150k). I asked the person to open the blog and we did counting of sponsored post for that day as at 6pm, Linda has done about 20 sponsored posts. That year, Linda was raking in about 2 million daily. Before Covid and after, Toyin Abraham was making over 5 million monthly.
“About 10 years ago, we struck a major deal for Ini Edo, my first cut in the money was over 1.5m. Till date, Ini is making legitimate money quietly and in quick succession to have warranted talk that she’s the richest actress in Nigeria. About two or three years ago, Funke Akindele Bello made over 1 million USD from just one of her projects.”(sic)
Also mentioning the likes of Kemi Adetiba, Uche Jumbo, and Lizzy Jay, Bigsam said, “If you see all these women living life and living well, don’t let your limited brain deceive you that they only make it by gracing beds of powerful men (some of these men actually live off them).”
“Women are doing well and it is possible for the upcoming one to do better without turning to prostitution,” he continued.
He further encouraged ladies to ignore the claims by Nnaji as “she doesn’t know what she’s saying.”
Wizkid, Omah Lay Bag High Nominations In AFRIMA 2021
The African Union Commission and the International Committee of All Africa Music Awards have released the 2021 nominees’ list.
The list, which was released on Wednesday, features over 400 songs from artistes in the 30 continental and 10 regional categories cutting across African talents and creatives living on the continent and in the Diaspora.
Leading the 2021 AFRIMA nominations scorecard is South Africa’s sensation duo, Blaq Diamond with eight nominations for their song, ‘SummerYoMuthi’ in ‘Best Male Artiste in Southern Africa’; ‘Artiste of the Year in Africa’; ‘Song of the Year in Africa’; ‘Producer of the Year in Africa’; ‘Best Male Artiste in African Inspirational Music’; ‘Breakout Artiste of the Year’; ‘Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Pop’; and ‘Best African Duo, Group or Band’.
Also, South Africa’s Focalistic made it to the top of the list for his hit single, ‘Ke Star’ [Remix], featuring Davido and Vigro Deep with seven nominations including ‘Best Male Artiste’ in Southern Africa; ‘Artiste of the Year in Africa’; ‘Song of the Year in Africa’; ‘Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Dance or Choreography’; ‘Best African Collaboration’; ‘Best Artiste, Duo or Group In African Electro’; and ‘Breakout Artiste of the Year’. Also, South Africa’s Focalistic made it to the top of the list for his hit single, ‘Ke Star’ [Remix], featuring Davido and Vigro Deep with seven nominations including ‘Best Male Artiste’ in Southern Africa; ‘Artiste of the Year in Africa’; ‘Song of the Year in Africa’; ‘Best Artiste, Duo or Group in African Dance or Choreography’; ‘Best African Collaboration’; ‘Best Artiste, Duo or Group In African Electro’; and ‘Breakout Artiste of the Year’.
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