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Revisiting Nollywood’s Dogged Strides To Success

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From the 1957 “Fincho,” 1980 Kadara, 1992 Living in Bondage, 2002 ‘Keeping in Faith’ to the 2014 October 1, the Nigerian film industry has come a longway. There is a winsome era of film making which most Nigerians are oblivious to. An era that has nothing to do with the classic 1992 movie, “Living in Bondage or recent ‘Trip to Jamaica.’
This captivating era dates as far back as 1926 when the earliest feature film was made in Nigeria and featured Nigerian actors in a speaking role. In 1957 Fincho became the first Nigerian film to be shot in colour. Following Nigeria’s Independence in 1960, more cinema houses were established in 1972, the Indigenisation Decree by General Yakubu Gowon made possible the transfer of ownership of abut 300 cinemas from their foreign owners to Nigerians, resulting in more Nigerians actively participating in the Nigerian film growth.
In 1984, ‘Papa Ajasco’ by Wale Adenuga became the first blockbuster, grossing an estimate of 61,000 naira in three days. In 1985, “Mosebolatan” by Moses Olaiya grossed 107,000 naira in five days. Also in the 80s film makers like Adeyemi Afolayan produced classics such as ‘Kadara’ (Destiny), ‘Taxi Driver’ among others.
In 2016, during Ade Love’s 20th Remembrance Celebration his movie Kadara was screened to a number of Nigerians. Watching the classic movie, it is impossible to forget the artist imagery created by Afolayan as far back as 1980 more than the narrative structure, it was the images shots and the production quality that took the older generation through an enlightening journey.
The theatrical and cinematic efforts of the likes of Hubert Ogunde, Taiwo Ajayi Lycett, Olu Jacobs, Tunde Kelani, Adeyemi Afolayan, Ladi Ladebo, Moses Olaiya, Adebayo Salami, Sadiq Daba, Jide Kosoko, Afolabi Adesanya among others played a pivotal role in shaping the film industry which is now popularly called Nollywood.
In 1992, the release of the classic movie living in Bondage kicked off a new era in the Nigerian film industry. This era produced movies that were still referred to as classics, it produced actors that were and are still household names in Nigeria. In the 1990s the Nigerian cinema culture faced a major decline as the home video market boomed. Alaba market became a vital commercial domain becoming the hub of video distribution and finally the centre of piracy in Nigeria.
The 90s birthed movies like Violated, Silent Night, Domitilla, Nneka the Pretty Serpent, Hostages, Blood Money, Out of Bounds and more. Nigerians were introduced to actors who made an impact and are still relevant in the industry such as Genevieve Nnaji, Bimbo Manuel, Eucharia Anunobi, Tony Umez, Saint Obi, Ramsey Noah, Rita Dominic, Kate Henshaw, Emeka Ike, Stephanie Linus, Liz Benson, Pete Edochie, Kenneth Okonkwo, Kanayo O Kanayo, Richard Mofe Damijo, OmotolA Jolade Ekeinde, Bob Manuel Udokwu, Funke Akindele, Bimbo Akintola, Joke Silva and Francis Duru among others.
In the mid 2000s, the home video era experienced a major decline with factors such as piracy and rental shops playing a major role. However in 2004 a new cinema era began with the launch of a series of modern cinema houses by the Silverbird group. The first new wave film to be shown at a modern cinema was Kunle Afolayan’s 2006 “Irapada” which were screened at the Silverbird Gallery Lagos. Ever since then high and small budget movies like Ije, Surulere, The Figurine, The CEO, 93 days, Half of a Yellow Sun, the Meeting, October 1, The Arbitration, etc were screened at various cinemas in Nigeria.
Since the launch of Silverbird Cinemas, new Cinemas like Ozone, Film House and Genesis Deluxe have been launched and are playing important roles in the evolution of the Nigerian film industry. In the 2000s, the industry started witnessing the arrival of new actors, including Nse Ikpe Etim, Majid Michel, Yvonne Nelson, Sudan Peters, Ini Edo, Mike Ezuruonye, Uche Jumbo, Toyin Aimakhu, Mercy Johnson, Jim Iyke, Grace Amah, Desmond Elliot, Chike Ike, Chioma Chukwuka, Queen Nwokoye, Omoni Oboli, among others.
Currently in the 2010s. The Nigerian film Industry has grown and seen the arrival of a new set of actors including Adesua Etomi, Chacha Eke, Kiki Omehi, O. C. Ukeje, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Somkele Idhalama, Beverly Naya, Daniel K. Daniel, Deyemi Okanlawon, Linda Ejiofor, Bayray McNwizu, Kunle Remi, Okey Uzoeshi, Uzor Osimkpa, Tomi Odunsi, Osas Ighodaro, Rahama Sadau and Kemi Lala Akindoju among others.
In recent  years, the Nigerian film industry has gone from being just Nollywood to being divided along regional and ethnic line; thus the distinct film industries like Kannywood, Callywood and the Yoruba film industry. Through the years of the industry’s evolution, segregatory terms such as New Nollywood/Cinema movies, Asaba Movies Lactors and Old Nollywood became popular. One major difference between Asaba and new Nollywood movies is the art. Most cinema movies have the perfect blending of cinematic style, technicality, beauty and storytelling.
However the cinema is considered a luxury thus their availability to the mass audience is limited due to the limited availability of these cinema productions. The popularity of ‘Asaba movies’ is constantly on the rise and readily available for mass consumption at a cheaper rate. Its 2017 and the advancement in sound technology, storytelling, technological special effects are proofs that Nollywood have evolved.
The current era has seen the success of various genres including horror, comedy action, thriller and romantic drama.
From conventional movie plots, the Nigerian film industry has moved  to experimental and innovative films. The Nigerian film industry has become an instrinsic part of the global film sector. Currently the largest film industry in Africa and producing more films than Hollywood, Nollywood has evolved into the industry with reputable film festivals such as African International Film Festival, Lights Camera Africa, Abuja International Film Festival, Eko International Film Festival, among others.
Nigerian films are also screened at International film festivals such as the Cannes film festival, Toronto film festival among others. The Industry has become more profitable with movies like “The Wedding Party” grossing over 405 million naira in just two months and a Trip to Jamaica” earning a Guinness Book of World record spot for its box office success. The industry has also created quality TV series such as ‘Hush,’ ‘Sons of Caliphate,’ ‘the Governor’ etc. Over the years web platforms like Iroko TV, Ibaka TV and CIX TV that provide paid for Nigeria films in demand have become affordable.
Pay TV entertainment platforms like Africa Magic have also invested in the Nigerian film industry, creating shows and award platforms that further projects the industry in good light.
There are days when disappointing movies like A Trip to Jamaica, Gold Digging, Bloggers Wife, Keeping my Man and Three Wise men find their ways to Nigerian Cinemas. There are days when film makers decide to create African adaptations of foreign series instead of our local stories in those days, Nollywood disappoints thousands of its followers. But despite all of its disappointing moments the Nigerian film industry is one that has evolved and is still evolving.
-Source: Pulse.ng

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Monarch Calls For Peaceful Yuletide Celebration,  As Community Buries Traditional Ruler

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The Paramount ruler of Emohua kingdom in Rivers State,  Ohna (Sir) Sergent Awuse, has called for peaceful celebrations of christmas and new year, as he enjoined the youths to be law abiding and shun violence during the festive period.
The first class traditional ruler made the call last Saturday, while preforming the Ohna Emohua burial rights in respect of late Ohna (Hon) Emmanuel A. Obinna at Mgbuitanwo in Emohua community,  amidst jubilation for a life well lived.
Ohna Awuse, the Olo IV, Nneweli Emohua XIII urged the people of the community to always uphold and showcase the age long culture and tradition of Emohua Clan. He stressed that their culture is their identity and way of life and a community without culture and tradition is like a sheep without Shepherd.
The monarch noted that late Ohna Emmanuel Obinna would be remembered for his role in promoting the ancient culture and tradition of Emohua. He stated that his demise had left a big vaccum in Emohua kingdom, but the legacies he left behind would live after him.
In his vote of thanks,  his successor and acting head of Mgbu Owhor community in Emohua, Chief V.C. Obinna, thanked the Ohna supreme council for the honour they gave to their departed colleague by giving him a befeating burial in line with the culture and tradition of Ohna Emohua, the highest traditional institution in Emohua kingdom. Which the late traditional ruler championed in his life time on earth.
Chief V.C Obinna maintained that apart from being a foremost traditionalist, he was also a devout Christian who contributed immensely to the growth of the Christian faith in Emohua community and beyond.
Also speaking at the well attended event,  the chief mourner, Dr Weli Obinna reiterated that his late father lived an upright life, those he left behind would take solace in God because their father and mentor lived a fulfilled life he came, he saw and he conquered to the glory of God and left the scene at the ripe age of 92.

By: Jacob Obinna

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Rivers Set For Yuletide Celebration Despite Odds

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As this year’s Christmas and New year celebrations beckon, The Tide investigations have revealed that most of the residents of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital and its environs are not enthusiastic about the Christmas and new year celebrations. Most of the people interviewed expressed the feelings of solemn and gloomy festive period due to the prevailing economic hardship in the country.
One of the respondents, Mr. Solomon Duru,  a civil servant resident at the D-Line axis of the city, complained of the rising cost of staple foods in the market, such as rice, beans, tomato, yam etc. which were sold at exubitant prices and  had made it extremely difficult to provide two square meals for his family of five, “It is life first before celebration,” he said.
Another respondent who sells garri at Mile One Market, Diobu , Port Harcourt,  Madam Dorathy Duke maintained that garri which used to be the poor man’s food has become the rich man’s food. According to her, a basin of garri that was sold for #3000.00 is now sold for between #7000.00 and #8000.00, while five cups of garri that used to be sold for #200.00 now cost #500.00.
“Even at the prevailing price today, garri has become a scarce commodity even when you succeed in getting it, there are no buyers , there is trouble in the country,  Nigeria has now become Ghana of those days when they ran to Nigeria to take refuge due to their poor economy , but today the reverse is the case, may God help us”,  she said.
A transporter in Abali Park, Mile1, Mr. Sunday Udo, lamented the lack of patronage due to the hike  in transport fares as a result of the unprecendented rise in petrol and other petrolum products. He stressed that even vulcanizers and mechanics are in trouble as patronage from car owners decrease every day due to poor economy.
It was the same woefull story when The Tide visited a supermarket attendant along Aba/ Port Harcourt Express Road who pleaded anonymity. He disclosed that it was no longer business as usuall as most of their customers had disappeared due to the increase in the price of goods. “We record poor sales daily to the extent that the management has decided to reduce the workforce, my brother, it is double wahala for dead body” according to Fela”,  he said.
However,  a mass communication student of the Rivers State University Port Harcourt,  Mr. Abel Dike, noted that Nigerians were used to suffering and smiling, so this year’s Christmas and New Year celebrations would come and go,  this year would not be different despite the sufferings. People would still enjoy themselves even with their last kobo.
“People will still go to catch fun with their loved ones at their favourite relaxation joints,  hangouts, cinemas, amusement parks and night clubs. Residential houses, churches and public places will also wear new looks with Christmas trees, lights and other decorations,  even communities are ready to mark their annual carnivals,  beach parties, cultural and masquerade dances as well as wrestling competitions   and other social activities to mark the festive period,  so I believe all is not lost despite the bad economy,” he said.
Meanwhile,  Pastor Silas Wosa of St. Pauls Anglican Church Diobu noted that Christian faithfulls all over the world would celebrate the Christmas. “Christmas is the biggest celebration and holiday every year,  because it celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Son of God who came to the world to redeem mankind” he stressed.

By: Jacob Obinna

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2022 Christmas: Festival Galore In Port Harcourt, Bayelsa

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As the 2022 Christmas season draws closer, events have continued to fly in the air, festivities have become the centre of attraction in the Garden City of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The common fact that the hike in the prices of goods and food stuff are now triple the usual costs in the market is yet to put a halt on turns of event going on, in and around the state to celebrate the Christmas season
However, Shabach Dance Academy, Port Harcourt held her All White Carol, Awards and Dinner event on Wednesday, which also, witnessed the presence of Itohan Agbator, Nigerian Idol Top 5 Finalist and Founder of Itohan Teens Talent Initiative as a Special Guest at the occasion, where she sang Oh Holy Night to give the occasion that flavour of Christmas.
She congratulated the award winners and encouraged all the dancers to keep working hard in following their dreams for future feats.
Meanwhile,the Organiser of the event, Mr Oliver Emmanuel, thanked all Shabach Dance Members and parents for gracing the event. He also appreciated Itohan (Baby Dragon) for gracing the event and showing support to young talents always.
Also, today, in Bayelsa State, the Government House will be entertained with the performance of the Garden City Choir for her Carol event tagged Bayelsa State Christmas Carol of Nine Lessons.
The Director, Garden City Choir, Isaac Iwuoha, who is also the Assistant Choir Master, St. Cyprian Anglican Church, Port Harcourt disclosed this to The Tide Entertainment, yesterday.
He explained that logistics have already been put in place for his group to perform at the event.
Meanwhile, organiser of the Abuloma Beach Party at Sand City, Abuloma, Iweriso Godbless, has confirmed that the second edition of the fiesta will hold on Monday.
According to him, the event which was a one-day event last year, would now hold for two days, on 26th and 27th December respectively, as it promises to feature Artistes such as M. I.C, Gbenga Owolo, Splendid and up coming artiste, Teekay to perform at the beach party.

By: Nancy Briggs

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