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Nollywood Movies Find Expression In Cinemas

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Cinema is a growing business in Nigeria till the collapse of cinema culture in the 90s. Before then, the country had a strong and vibrant cinema culture, but it all started to dwindle from the late ’80s, thanks to piracy and the high production cost. The fall of cinema led to the rise of the home video in the 90s and by extension, Nollywood film makers found home videos too restrictive in theme and creativity.   Cinema came back to Nigeria (Lagos really) when Ben Murray Bruce, opened Silverbird Cinema in Victoria Island, Nigeria could now watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters in HO quality.

Nigerians started going back to the cinemas, but it did little or nothing to the local movie ecosystem as Nigerians preferred and trusted the big Hollywood movies to local movies.

All that have changed now, the big movies in the cinemas are Nollywood films which are locally produced. The 2016 hit.

“The Wedding Party” is set to hit the N450 million mark soon in box office sales. Comedian and movie producer Ayo Makun (AY) has produced two movies that have shattered the Box Office and are considered local block busters.

The 2017 comedy, “Banana Island Ghost” is tipped to hit N100 million, maybe N200 million by industry experts.

The boom in Nollywood movies shown in the cinemas is a welcome development but not for all. The top grossing Nigerian movies belong to the comedy genre, other genre of movies hardly make money, are flops or are not even considered worthy to be put on screen.

Moves outside the comedy genre such as ‘Arbitration’ did low numbers and movie distributors are hesitant to pick such films.

Today, Nollywood is pretty much like the music industry. Mainstream Nigerian artistes have stuck to one sound (the new trend is known as pon pon music), in Nollywood, everybody wants to shoot comedy. This trend even though it has produced big bucks is alienating other creatives in the industry.

However, the Nigerian movie industry is expected to generate 40% of the five billion naira that would be made at the Nigerian Box Office by the end of 2017. According to the Group Executive Director / CEO film One, Moses Babatope, the quality of Nollywood films are improving and so are the audience. “Of the five billion naira that would be made in Box Office sales this year and that’s about five million tickets. The Nigerian film will gross two billion and that’s about 40 percent of the bos office” , he said at the premiere of “My Wife and I” on Sunday.

“Three or four years ago, that figure was about 10% of the Box Office and less than 500 million. This is just to tell you that the quality of the films are improving and the number of the audience is improving”, he added.

So far the reported success of movies like “Isoken,” Okafor’s law,”10  Days in Sun City” “Alakada Reloaded” and “Hire A Man” will play a role in setting this new record. Movies currently showing in the cinemas include “Hakkunde” and Banana Island Ghost”. Upcoming movies that are expected to do well include Mentally”, “Tatu”, “My Wife and I” among others. There is also the anticipated sequel to the Wedding party” which is expected to surpass the 400 million naira record set by its prequel. In 2016 with movies like “fifty” “The CEO” ‘Wives on Strike’, ‘76’ and ‘A Trip to Jamaica’ grossed one billion naira, below are the 10 highest grossing Nollywood movies of all time.

“The Wedding Party” N450 million the 2016 movie is a collaboration between Ebonylife films, Film One, Inkblot production, Koga Studios and is directed by Kemi Adetiba.

“A Trip To Jamaica”, N178.5 million. Written and produced by  AY Makun. The movie was directed by Robert Peters and starrs Funke Akindele, Chris Attoh, Nse Ikpe Etim among others.

“30 days in Atlanta”, N137.2 million written and produced by AY Makun, the movie was directed by Robert Peters and Stars Richard Mofe Damijo Ramsey Nouah, Mercy Johnson and Vivica Fox among others.

“Fifty”, N94 million, An Ebonylife films production directed by Biyi Bandele, produced by Tope Oshin and features Omoni Oboli, Ireti Doyle, Dakore Egbuson – Akende, Nse Ikpe Etim, among others.

“76”: this historical drama stars Ramsey Nouah, Rita Dominic, Chidi Mokeme and Daniel K. Daniel, produced by Adonis productions and directed by Izu Chukwu.

‘Wives on strike’, N713 million naira, produced and directed by Omoni Oboli, the movie stars Uche Junmbo, Chioma Chukwuka, Ufuoma Mc Dermott, Kehinde Bankole among others.

“Half of a yellow sun”: N60 million naira, Directed by Biyi Bandele, the movies features Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandle Newton, Onyeka onwenu, Genevieve Nnaji, John Boyega among others.

October 1st: N60 million, A Kunle Afolanya movie featuring sading Daba, Kayode Olaiya, David Bailie, Kehinde Bakonle, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Fabian Adeoye Lojede, Nick Rhys, Kunle Afolayan, Femi Adebayo, Bimbo Manuel, Ibrahim Chatta and Demola Adedoyin.

“The ‘CEO” N60 million: Another Afolayan movie the CEO stars Wale Ojo, Lala Akindoju, Angeligue Kidjo, Aurelie Sliam, Hilda Dokubo, Jimmy Jean Louis, Peter King and Nico Panagio among others.

“IJE” N59.8 million: Directed by Chineze Ayaene. The movie stars Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade among others. Other hit movies on this list of 15 include ‘Last flight to Abuja’ N57.5 million. “It’s Her Day” N55 million, ‘the return of Jenifa’ N35 million’, “93 days” N50 million, Ghana must go N32 million’.

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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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