Tuesday, 29 October 2013


He has always been a businessman with a bias for entertainm:ent. He also happens to be a deep Christian. A graduate of one Nigeria;s foremost universities, the University of Calabar, Kingsley Okonkwo one of the directors of the new Christian internet television platform Oriki is a young man with a huge passion to make a difference. He is successful business man who has worked in the oil industry since his return from the UK, and a sports analyst, we caught up with the amiable fellow in Oriki's new offices in Ikeja, Lagos. He spoke to us enthusiastically about the new project which he dreamed up with movie director Reginald Ebere.

Enjoy this.

TSF: Good afternoon Kingsley. We will first start by asking you what Oriki is all about and why the name Oriki?

KINGSLEY: Oriki is exactly what it says. It is a Christian television channel that will run programming which is friendly to Christians all over the world. The only difference is that it will not run on terrestrial tv or direct to home television which most people here call Cable Television. It will run on the internet. As for the reason why we chose Oriki as a name to represent our brand and the channel; In the Yoruba tongue, Oriki means the lyrical adulations and praise that you sing to and pour on something that is praiseworthy. Our God deserves all our praise even if it is just for being God so we decided to do something for him that will represent our praise. Oriki is a way for us to lift our praise and the praise of Christians all over the world collectively to God. Some people have said or rather have suggested that we borrowed the name from another internet film site IROKO TV. When they say that i smile. First we are not a film site though we would show movies, we are a Christian Television platform that aims to satisfy the need of Christians for decent, morally upright, edifying and uplifting Christian entertainment. The two names may sound similar but i do not see how a tree can rival the praises of God.

TSF: You mentioned that the Chanel will run only on the internet. Why only the internet, why not on other television platforms?

KINGSLEY:  The reason is simple. The world no longer converges on television screens but on the internet. Every second of the day almost half of the world's population are on line at the same time. What we are doing is beyond reaching a few hundred people. Our Lord gave us what is called the great commission-"Go ye into the world and preach the good news of the gospel to all creation." That is what we have done. We intend to reach the world. This is beyond Nigeria, beyond Africa. Beyond anything else you have ever known. As we speak right now we have people from all over the world producing programs which will run on this channel. We also looked through the internet and found out that the devil had literarily taken over cyberspace. There are well over a million pornographic internet sites alone, there are sites that urge people to commit suicide, sites for the cult of Satan and all kinds of things that are corrupting the minds of people and compromising their standards and values . A generation of demonic, evil monsters are being created on the internet and Christians have failed to realize what is going on. We have been slow to react to this aerial bombardment on Christianity. In retrospect we should have never been reacting we should have been pro-active from the beginning in using the internet. So what we are doing now is reinforcing our beliefs, taking back what has been stolen from us and attacking the devil in the places where it will hurt him the most-the hearts and minds of young people. 

TSF: Noble ideas but how do you intend to achieve all this? Why should I watch Oriki?

KINGSLEY: For the simple reason that it  offers you everything good from every culture, every tradition, every doctrine of Christianity and it is refreshingly different.  We have a colorful collage of mind blowing Christian content which ranges from comedy shows, to movies, soaps and series, interviews, game shows, documentaries, news, musicals, talk shows and you will be surprised christian sports shows. There is so much to see, to hear and to experience that when you come unto this platform I can guarantee you, your television set will become very boring. Oriki will change how people perceive Christianity. Our aim is to make it unfashionable for people not to be Christians.

TSF: Don't you think that is a tall order?

Kingsley Okonkwo
KINGSLEY:(Smiles) To you maybe. We are Christians and to us all things are possible. We are not going to deceive ourselves into believing that the devil will just sit quiet why we take over his territory but we know that it is already a won fight. We are starting very small but that we will grow is very certain. Your business as a Christian is to visit the sight and see what we have, our business is to make sure that you come back and finally stay and with every sense of modesty, we are good at what we do.

TSF: How then does the Christian benefit from this?

KINGSLEY: Not just the Christian but everybody else. The Christian who signs up to Oriki gets news, information, entertainment, education from this platform. He gets to interact with people of the same faith and synergize with like minds. The church or ministry which signs up with Oriki truly becomes an international ministry with a voice that will reach the world. The pastor who signs up with Oriki becomes a universal evangelist preaching his message to all the nations of the world and all the peoples of the earth at the same time and winning souls everywhere. The non-believer who signs up with Oriki is sure to have a life changing experience and all Christians can use Oriki as a tool for evangelism by inviting their friends to the platform, Oriki will do the rest because we are sure that your pastor will sooner than later be on the platform. The business man who signs up with Oriki is sure to get his product seen by over a billion Christians across the world. So everybody will benefit from this.
The way the platform is designed everybody has a choice. The programs are not perishable like on television. They stay on the platform so you can watch what you want to watch at your convenience and for as many times as you want to watch it and the cost of being on the platform is amazingly cheap. It costs about five dollars which here in Nigeria is about 750 Naira to subscribe to the platform every month which is far lower that any television tariff in Africa. The streaming speeds are extremely fast and we have integrated unto every other platform so you can watch from you IOS' and androids mobile phones and other devices without going to download any aps anywhere.     

TSF: Any thoughts of expansion beyond what you guys are doing now?

KINGSLEY: Definitely. Not to grow and expand is to atrophy and die. We intend to be here until the rapture, then we can shut down and go home. We have plans to expand in several directions and get involved in different things but what we have in hand now is very challenging and we have to make it work first. After that we will see what happens. Remember that we only just started test transmission and have not even peopled the channel with programs. Right now it is still open and free for everybody to watch. We will grow and expand but you can drop in now and see what we have.

As we walked away from the Adeniyi Jones offices of Oriki I could not wait to settleinto the car and find Oriki on my I-PAD and immerse myself in what like Kingsley mentioned with so much enthusiasm will change the face of Christian television.


by Gabriel Egbuchina

Friday, 28 June 2013


Ms Juliet Ibrahim
I have watched with interest the hate drama that is unfolding over the unfortunate illness of one of Nigeria's finest musicians and music producers OJB Jezreel. I say unfortunate because OJB seems to be a man beset by too many problems and Juliet seems to be girl hated by Nigerians for her bluntness. I have followed OJB's stellar rise in music and I admire all the good stuff he has done. I will contribute my mite in seeing that he stands on his feet again and continue to make good music.
I am writing this basically because of all the hating that is being poured out on one of our own, Juliet Ibrahim. I have found out that Nigerians are very touchy, emotional people and even though we diss our country continually, we become upset when Ghanians in particular tell us the truth. Juliet did not say anything wrong when she talked about people wasting money to secure treatment abroad when things can be done cheaply in Africa.
Sick Ojb Jezreel
Kidney transplant can be done and is being done in Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital for 2.5 million Niara by some of the best doctos in Africa. http://www.nigerianeye.com/ check out this site. It costs 8million Naira in any roadside hospital in India. Factor in cost of tickets and hotel accomodation for all the people that will accompany OJB to India and you find out that it will be a colossal waste. Now what is the guarantee that the operation will be successful in India and it will not be in Nigeria?
Ok i should not be commenting on this at all but Juliet is part of Nollywood and I have set myself up as somebody who will always open his loud mouth when it concerns the Nollywood/Ghollywood fraternity.
I think we all are being unfair to the young woman. Like she rightly observed every celebrity or to use the right word "Public Figure" also has responsibilities. When we all are making our monies and tooling around in our Range Rovers we do not go around dishing out cash to anybody. But when we fall sick agents that call themselves start trying to use the opportunity to make more money off the public. What about the hundreds of people who are dying everyday from renal sicknesses and kidney problems. What about the children whose pictures are placed on our television screens begging for money to get treated. Are they also not Nigerians and do they not deserve the right to live. We should stop trying to crucify Juliet for telling us what we don't want to hear and concentrate our energies on helping everybody we can, celebrity or not. If as she claimed she had asked the agents of OJB to contact her foundation so they can help secure cheaper transplant options for OJB, I think she has done a noble thing and I commend her courage for speaking out on this sensitive situation. All those who think she has also spoken out of turn should head off to OJB's house and give their widows mite. OJB and the rest of our sick folk can be treated in Nigeria, Ghana or South Africa. I do not understand the love for India when most of those who have gone have come back in coffins. Enebeli Elebuwa is a case in point. I also pray for OJB and wish him God's speed in his recovery.  

Wednesday, 26 June 2013


It has been long in the working but finally THESCRIPTFACTORY SCHOOLS which provides professional training for movie industry professionals has opened it's doors for its first intakes. This kicks off with a nationwide training for actors, writers and directors starting with the first phase in Lagos, Enugu and Owerri. The certificated trainings will start on the 20th of July 2013 and run until the 20th of August 2013. If you are interested in attending, call the numbers.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


I have always been a movie director and a writer. Unofficially I am a member of the Screen Writers Guild. Unofficially because i have not been paying my dues and the reason for that is not far fetched. I do not see why I should waste my money on a guild that is basically moribound. Now somebody is going to tell me that i am being a sanctimonius bastard. I mean "if the guild is moribound why don't you do something about it after all you are supposed to be one of the leading screen writers in Nigeria." Fine arguement, but right now i am not in the mood for arguement.
I can safely claim to be a member of Director's Guild. I say safely, not because I am a financially updated member of the guild too but because i basically mooted the idea of the Director's Guild of Nigeria and along with my senior colleague Mathias Obahigbon worked for its actualization. I remember a night when Mathias' Mitsubishi Colt parked us up on top of Mile 2 bridge by 2am. Do not bother about what we were doing on top of the bridge by that time. Just understand that politics is best done in  the dead of the night when righteous men are in their  beds. What i am pointing out here is that i risked my neck and my life helping to birth the Director's guild so i do not think in all good conscience i can be thrown out.  From that point on because of my apathy towards partisan politics I have played little or no part in the affairs of the guild. But a few days ago my good friend Victor Osuagwu came to me and told me that he was contesting for the position of Chairman, Actors Guild Of Nigeria Lagos Chapter, I revived my interest in Guild politics. I am not an actor so you might be wondering what role I played in Victor's election. I am not about to divulge that on these pages, suffice it to say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself in making sure that Victor won. Why did I allign myself with the robust, rambunctious comedian?
Victor might be in the business of humor but he is a completely serious person. Before now we had sat down and analyzed the problems with our Industry. Now these problems are not mutually exclusive. they cut across every facet of this industry and have been well documented. When he mooted his plan of running I was excited at the fact that somebody who has a vision for the growth and betterment of the guild was finally stepping into the murky waters of Nollywood politics. Truth be told i have never really believed in any of the other guild heads except maybe Andy Amenechi my President at the Director's Guild. I think with all humility and as apologetically as I can express it that Zik Zulu Okafor the President of Association of Movie

Producers is full of air and has not impressed me in any way. I also thought until my eyes were opened by the same Victor that Ibinabo who is also a friend is a round peg in a square hole. Iyen Obaseki the president of CDGN has been in office for donkey years and nothing has changed. My president at the Screen Writer's Guild has basically moved out of Lagos and is not internet friendly so he cannot even function effectively. He has also refused to call for elections after over two years in the office. So Victor was a breath of fresh air until I heard that Paul Obazele was sponsoring Don Pedro to run against Victor and my hackles rose. See, my friend Paul has always cast himself as a divisive force in the industry and is keen to foster the assumed superiority of Edo and Delta Nollywoodians on the rest of us and i disagree with him on that front. I worked silently underground for Victor to win so that we all can join hands and grow the industry, so that politics of bitterness and greed will stop, so that marginalisation and subjugation will stop, so that everybody will have a fair chance and shake in Nollywood. I said "we all" because i intend to come out and run for the office of the Pesident of the Screenwriters Guild of Nigeria whenever my president remembers to visit Lagos. Thank you Victor for your courage and for inspiring other good men to step up and speak out.

opinions are welcome

Friday, 19 April 2013


Ibinabo Fiberisima
President Actors Guild Of Nigeria AGN
Good afternoon sr,pls i want to take part in ur movie i have being in one movie production as an up coming actress & i have acted in one movie.
Agatha Emmanuela
Bro please help to as d agn lf this is true.i joined a movie production since and it has been pay this pay that.  After paying agn licence, i paid for agn id card and i also paid for movie traning and now they are asking me to pay for NNPC certificate so i ask what is this for, they said is for d president and governor to welcome me and insure me after traning and they said is 20,000 so please help to me to verify from agn.

Reginald Ebere
there is nothing like agn license and i have never heard of anything like nnpc license. what is the name of this movie production unit and who is in charge of it?
Agatha Emmanuela
Walehadekunleproduction and mr gregory wilson d manager of agn .u can also ask yuledochie because he have a production.today when i write to his production he said yes.

Now i will stop the converstaion there. This is part of what we have been talking about. We are calling our lovely President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria and the leaders of all the other guilds that are in charge of Nollywood. These criminals are not faceless now we at least have a name. However I am not a member of the Actors Guild Of Nigeria so i do not know when they developed affiliations with NNPC that the apex organisation in charge of petroleum matters in Nigeria are the ones who now determine which artiste will act in a movie and have also become so proficient that they now hand out certificates. I also don't know which Governor of which state is in charge of insuring actors or maybe i have gotten the whole conversation wrong. The young woman said that she is based in Asaba.
Somebody help me judge.


    Thursday, 18 April 2013


    Stephanie Idahosa nee Okereke
    I have seen quite a few pictures of athletes especially at the Olympic games standing at the podium, receiving their medals. I have seen tears in the eyes of many as they were garlanded and the pride on their faces as their national anthems filled the air. Unfortunately I have never been to any Olympic games so I cannot accurately describe the atmosphere of those moments but from what I have seen on television, I believe those moments are probably the most precious moments of an athlete’s life.
    The most precious moment of my life was when my first son was handed over to me by doctor Akagbuo our family doctor. As I gazed into that squeezed up face with the luminescent skin, the tiny but perfectly formed finger nails, the long soft hair and the little legs that refused to keep still, as I stared at the sweating woman who had just pushed out this replica of me and of life from her stomach, I could not have loved either her or the baby more. That was not just a defining moment of my life as a father and husband but also my crowning moment in life.
    I have had several defining moments in my career but I am still waiting for that crowning moment. I believe, that every artiste, every athlete and every performer lives for that crowning moment. Deserved or not, some of my colleagues in Nollywood have had their crowning moments which  in my understanding, must have come when their names appeared in the National Honours list and they were given awards like MON, MFR, OON. Those awards are the height of recognition that our country can bestow on individual citizens for bringing honour to Nigeria and contributing to the growth, development and advancement of the nation.
    Genevieve Nnaji
    Now I do not know how many Nollywoodians have been awardees but I know quite a few and I also know plenty more who should have been, who are not. So last night I start thinking about the National Honours list and how it concerns Nollywood. I get to start asking what is the criteria or is it criterum for handing out these awards and how those who have been granted awards qualified for them. I asked myself why somebody like Zeb Ejiro should be given an award and nobody remembered a woman called Amaka Igwe, why somebody like Stephanie Idahosa nee Okereke was given an award and nobody remembered a certain Genevieve Nnaji, I start ruminating about why some people like Pete Edochie and the late Justus Esiri were given awards and nobody remembered people like Olu Jacobs and the late Sam Loco Efe. I puzzled over why someone like Chinedu Ikedieze was given a national award and nobody considered his colleague in naughtiness Osita Iheme or even the man who created those characters, Amayo Uzo Philips. I ask why a Teco Benson should be mentioned in the honors list and a Launcelot Odua Imasuen, a Reginald Ebere, a Tchidi Chikere, a Chico Ejiro and a host of other directors who have brought and keep bringing honour to this nation have been largely ignored. What about the two men who started off this phenomenon called Nollywood, Kenneth Nnebue and Paul Ogunjiofor, are they not bonafide citizens of this nation? Or does somebody know something about their citizenship that I don’t. What about all those working in the Yoruba sector and the Hausa sectors of our industry? What about a certain unknown, little man called Mike Oriyedinma, the man who actually birthed Nollywood, forgotten in the backwaters of Onitsha. What about the Richard Mofe Damijos and the Kanayo O Kanayo’s the Liz Benson’s the Joke Jacobs and the Kate Henshaws of Nollywood. 
    kate henshaw.
    Now I know that there are a lot of other people from different sectors who have also been ignored but I can only speak for my industry. The artistes reward is not in the amount of money he is paid but in the sound of applause he recieves and how loud it is. Those who draw up the lists for NATIONAL HONOURS should bear in mind that we are not teachers, so we cannot wait until we get to heaven.  Now I know that those of my colleagues who have been honoured will be aggrieved by this piece. I apologise, I am not saying or even remotely suggesting that you did not deserve your awards, I am only thinking you know and sometimes I cannot help but think aloud and like Olu Jacobs amiable detective character in NTA’S THIRD EYE, “I wonder, I just wonder.”

    Wednesday, 10 April 2013


    Yvonne Okoro
    Nollywood is in trouble. We open this session with this alarmist line, designed not to spread panic but to provoke reflection by those who care about my industry and the joy, recognition, fame and wealth it has brought to all of us who have been so fortunate to be players in this team.
    I like football and one of the national teams that have always put a smile on my face and the faces of Nigerians is the female national team. Yes they never did rise to the pinnacles of greatness in the different world cups they have taken part in, but for years they bestrode the African continent like other national teams were brought to make up the numbers in football competitions. They achieved results like a 7-1 hammering of mighty Cameroon, a 5-1 mauling of Ghana, a 6-2 destruction of South Africa so it was best imagined what happened to teams like hapless Ethiopia and the likes of Benin Republic. Nigerians were so sure of a win every time the girls took to the pitch that the first question one asked if he came in from outside when the girls were playing was “how many goals have they scored?” It never crossed our minds that they could lose one day; then it happened. Ghana beat us 2-1, a fluke we said, Cameroon beat us, a mistake we all intoned,  South Africa beat us, an accident we thought but that was before Lilliputians like Equatorial Guinea put their fingers in our eyes and took our birth right, the African cup from us and we finally ran out of excuses.
    So you ask yourself what is Reginald rambling about again today?. What does football have to do with Nollywood? Everything! Both are forms of entertainment, both have brought immense honour and recognition to our country and in both we are called the GIANTS OF AFRICA.
    Nollywood, the Nigerian movie industry of course was birthed, nurtured and matured in Nigeria. Like fine wine we sent it out to the rest of Africa and used it as a tool for neo-colonialism. Africa started dressing like us, acquired and spoke our style of Pidgin English, dressed like us, imbibed our cultures and traditions. Even our cities in the hinterlands became massively popular. So when Peace Fiberisima nee Anyiam Osigwe introduced the African Movie Academy Awards(AMAA) we all smirked and tongue in cheek, we laughed at the rest of Africa. We felt that she should have just simply called it the Nigerian Movie Academy Awards. I mean which other country would win any awards in an Nollywood inspired award program apart from the home of Nollywood, Nigeria. What we did not understand is that when children grow, they leave home. And if the truth be told, Nollywood has left home.
    At the 2013 AMAA awards, Nigeria won 7 awards out of the 21 given out. Good news you might say but consider the fact that out of those seven awards only one of them was in what you will consider the most serious areas of movie making. Rita Dominic picked up the Best Actress in a Leading Role award for her work in the movie SHATTERED. It is of note here that SHATTERED is a Kenyan movie. The six most important areas of film making went to people from outside Nollywood.
    1.       Achievement in Cinematography went to South Africa with OTELO BURNING.

    2.        Achievement in Screenplay, -my area of strength- went to Ghana with TIES THAT BIND.

    3.        Best Actor in a Leading Role went to Ghana’s Majid Michael for his work in SOMEWHERE IN AFRICA, a Ghanian production.

    4.        Best Director went again to South Africa with Charlie Vundla’s HOW TO STEAL 2 MILLION

    5.       Best Film of course was also won by Charlie Vundla with HOW TO STEAL 2 MILLION
    Rita Dominic.
    Nigeria the film making giant of Africa like our Super Falcons, were left with the crumbs. So we all gather together in our offices and declare that AMAA has sold out Nollywood on the altar of afrocentricism. Those rhetorics are only but balm for our wounded pride, temporary anaesthetics for a permanent migraine that will not go away. This year a Ghanain/Nigerian Yvonne Okoro, working from Ghana has been nominated in five different categories and who is to say she will not win all. So a few weeks back we all jumped into the plane and headed out to Malawi on the auspices of the same AMAA we condemn, we dined with the President and she praised the work we are doing in Nollywood, temporary praise for a brand that is in trouble. Nollywood wake up before we become the minnow of African movie making. It will be sad if we gather again in Bayelsa State this year and give out our prices to the rest of Africa and all that we will go home with will be THE BEST CHILD ACTOR.