Saturday, 25 August 2012


  She was the sad young face that won so many fans over a few years ago in movies like Burning Heart, Beyond The Song, Into Temptation and Without Apology. Her stock however had already risen before all that when she appeared in the massively popular and critically acclaimed Andy Amenechi's Egg of Life where she starred opposite the inimitable Clarion Chukwura Abiola, Nollywood Legend Pete Edochie, Ebele Okaro Onyuike and co-emergent stars Georgina Onoha and Nkiru Sylvanus. while the likes of Nkiru Sylvanus went on to become superstars, Padita gradually disappeared from the scene. Reason was not the lack of talent but opportunities. Padita had made the decision of finishing her degree course at the University of Abuja. it was a move that took her away from Lagos and Enugu the centers for movie production in. Denied of opportunities to push her talents Padita stuck on picking a few roles here and there until she finished her course.
 She made a brief come back in Reginald Ebere's   beside, Francis Duru, Queen Nwokoye and Ngozi Ezeonu where she shone like a million stars. And suddenly Padita disappeared again. This time she headed off to the New York Film Academy Los Angeles campus to update her acting skills. She came back and teemed up with Tu-Face Idibia to shoot one of his musical videos and now Padita is ready to take her pride of place amongst her class of A-list Actresses. Padita is preparing to go on set with her new sitcom aptly titled "NERDITA" We hear that the contract to produce the script was snared by the team at THESCRIPTFACTORY and work on it is almost complete. Shoot is scheduled to start sometime between September and October.

"NERDITA" we hear is completely different from whatever is on air. It is an American style sitcome that chronicles the life of a bumbling nerdy young woman who succeeds despite not having any plans for her life.


My friend Malike Benyelia, publisher of Business Diary Magazine,came in from Cameroon to see me. She had asked to see and interview some behind the scenes people in Nollywood and in Music and I was more than honored to take her around. Her international magazine wanted to do a feature on the business side of the burgeoning Nigerian entertainment scene. We had just finished talking with Francis Onwochei, Actor Director, Producer and CEO of FRANKOCHEI Productions and I'd suggested that we head off to Johnson Davidson's HEAVY METAL STUDIOS to talk with him. If you know HEAVY METAL Studios, you will know that it is a hot bed of emerging talents. This was where some heavy weight musicians cut their teeth and learnt their craft. The likes of D banj, Sam Okposo, Rymzo and several others hung out here. Alex O, Adu Deme whom we featured a few weeks back on this blog are working on their recent effort here too. But what really caught our attention when we got here was the number of new talent that are flowing out of this music factory in the heart of Surulere. Here are three of them. And bear in mind taht this is the studio that has just uploaded KRYSTAL Nigeria's new answer to Beyonce.



This young gentle dude from Iludin Oro in Kwara State is an awesome talent. Third child in a family of four, he attended Amukoko Grammar School and graduated from Laspotech where he read Business Administration. Destiny took his first music bite in primary five when he started playing drums in his school's cultural dance programs. He also used to mimic and mime Daddy Showkey's hits in local performances. but his life changed forever when his uncle Otunba Biodun Ajiboye whom he ran to for help in producing his first album post college, sent him to Johnson Davidson to acquire professional skills. Since then he has spent four years honing his skills and has in that period become a sound engineer and music producer. Destyno who plays an enthralling brand of music he calls Fuji hip hop has finished work on a six tracker that is about splicing the air waves in two. He is signed on to FAT RECORDS label owned by TRAC who is also the owner of PLATINUM TV. Watching him perform the title track TEMI one cannot help but notcie the remarkable resemblance in looks and style between him and Wiz Kid, a resemblance that he says is his biggest problem.
"Any song i drop now, everybody will think it is Wiz that has come out with something else"


He is from Arochukwu in Abia State although you will never know it by looking at him. that is because he grew up in the tough neighborhood of Iganmu were he caught his musical teeth at age twelve. that came about when he moved in with ghetto comedin McCarthy. "I used to perfrom with him in his shows as a rap artist but I wasn't very good at it and when  I discovered that I was more of a story teller and I had a melodic voice i deviated into contemporary R&B and a bit of high life mixed with rock.The young man who seriously wants to be an Agricultural Engineer, strange career choice really for a musician has had a bite of the cherry before now when he released his first single OFU OBI, English translation, ONE MIND some three years ago. The song was so massive that it garnered a Nigerian Music Video Awards nomination. Kesh right now is set to launch out again with an album, "IFEOMA", a throw back of Felix Lebarty's IFEOMA of the nineties as title track. KESH is a multi instrumentalist and has engineered and produced other musicians like LKT- Faraway, RUGGED MAN-How Fast and FACE-Tatoo Girls.
"I see myself as a messenger of truth and positive change in the music industry. i admire Fela for his originality, Sunny Nneji for his rythmns and rymes and Tu-face because i think his lyrics are deep. I am inspired by God, my parents and boss here at Heavy Metal Studios Johnson Davidson who has given all of us a platform to become something in life." IFEOMA is scheduled to drop before the end of this year.

Palison Joe

He is not by any stretch of the imagination the first musician from Emelaghan Abua(ABOLGA) local government area of Rivers State as hi brother DJ Kris is ahead of him and several others but Palison Joe is on the verge of becoming the best known. What with his single YOLO ready to drop anytime soon. YOLO simply means You Only Live Once which relates to the fact that life is a gmble and you must take every chance you get and make the best use of them.
From a family of seven, six boys and one girl, Palison is the fourth and embarked on his musical journey when he voluntered for and wrote his secondary school's song entry for the Ebony Cultural Festival for Secondary Schools in Rivers State. The song won teh competition and Palison's legend was born. From there, it was only a natural progression into the larger world of music for the Business Administraton graduate of the Yaba College of Technology..
" God has blessed me with a talent. It will be a major sin if I do display that talent to the world and make people happy. that is why it was given to me in the first place and that is why i am into music."
Palison's brand of music is R&B with a touch of Afro Hip Hop
"We are still working on the album but right now we have 7 out of the 13 songs ready and we are ready to start promoting one of teh singles that will be on the album YOLO. I really think that the Nigerian Music scene is improving everyday. We are ready to take over the wrold and i want to be one of those who will help in accomplishing that.
These guys are ready to explode and like HEAVY METAL'S pay off says Their music is Audio/ Videos beyond imagination. 

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


Lillian Bach
Over the past week the rumor mills and the soft sell media has been awash with stories of  beautiful, exquisite diva and Nollywood actress, Bola Lilian Bach's secret wedding to her rumoured lover, identified as Island big boy, business consultant Alaka. The duo were rumored to have sneaked off to a secret location  and gotten married.
The reports appear to be false however because this writer was with Lillian two weeks ago just before she left for England for holidays and to watch the Olympics. Also yesterday we spoke with her in her Span base where she is  also holidaying. and this is what she had to say.
" I am truly pained by all these silly and mischevious reports. Getting married is a good thing and I am a public figure. There are expectations on me and I have a lot of  people who  are looking up to me as a role model. If I am to get married I will make a lot of noise about it and invite all the people that I can. I have not gotten married. When I do the press will be the first to hear about it. They have been my friends in my growth through Nollywood, sometinmes I know that they get overzealous in their reports but that is to be expected especially when people are starved of news and right now I think they are. I am not willing to dignify the reports with any angry response''

When we contacted the said Alaka (Not even his real name) he smiled and saiid "Lillian and I have been friends for quite a while but that is as far as it goes. She is a good woman and like any other woman is hoping to get married someday and I wish her all the luck. as for us getting married that is absolute rubbish. I am here in Lagos and she is wherever she is."
Meanwhile Lillian had already moved into her new house in Lekki and  said she would put the place fully together wehn she comes back from her holidays. The actress who has not done much for a while now is set to appear in  new soap DAIRY OF A HOOD when she returns.


Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime
Reports reaching us now indicate that the Vice Chancellor of Enugu State University of Science and Technology Professor Cyberil Onyeji has just been kidnapped. The reports say that the kidnappers who came in two cars, a PEGEOUT 407 car and another smaller one, in a Kamikaze move had blocked the Vice Chancellors official black tinted Peogeout  in  front of the school gate, jumped into the car and drove off with the three cars but not before they shot one of his security detail in the arm. From what we have gathered so far the security man is still alive but no news has been heard about the VC and the kidnappers have not made any contact.
We will keep you updated as we recieve further reports

Monday, 13 August 2012


Located in J close 7th Avenue Festac Town is a modest duplex that houses a family who without making any effort, has affected Nollywood and the music industry in no small measure, not just by giving the two industries three eclectic, avante’ garde, art noveau performers but by being a gathering pot for down in the dumps hopefuls and wannabes. It is the house that the Njamah’s built.
Somehow or the other, most people who have become anything in the movie industry and music today hung out in that house, I did for a while and while I was there Jude Orhorha, and Emeka Duru where hanging out there too and of course there were the likes of Emma Ayalogu, Alex Lopez and a couple of others who would drop in for a sleep over or until they secured a place to live. The Tu Faces of this world, the Timayas and a whole generation that would change the face of entertainment passed by that house. In those days it looked like once you walked into the Njamah’s residence a muse for creativity descended on you. It was that resident muse that pushed unto our screens the silky, sultry skills of Empress Njamah, the directorial acumen of Whizz kid Aquilla Njamah and the immense, gravity defying talents of their elder brother John Njamah. The three have been around like forever and the surprising thing is that they are still so very young. Empress Njamah you know very well from her much publicized spat with ex boyfriend, bad boy, Bayelsa musician, Timaya.  Aquilla Njamah you know very well from his many movies that have clothed Nollywood over the years. If you are still asking for who John Njamah is then cast your mind back to the precocious little boy Rabiu, son of Chief in Checkmate and Fuji House of Commotion. Aha! Now it comes home, you remember. The news is that Rabiu is not the same little boy we knew, Rabiu has grown up and John Njamah has finally emerged into the light.
I clearly cannot remember the first time I ran into John but it wasn’t long before I became a regular feature of the Njamah clan. At first we were not that close but a quiet bonding grew as we both started on our different journeys through Nollywood. He was younger but back then he had his ideas about how the industry should develop. I was out of school but he was still studying theatre arts in Ife and we all used to gather with other Thespians at the Pec Repertory Theatre Onikan and at the Njamah house in Festac. It wasn’t long before I broke into the media and we all continued our different journey’s. through the years we have all grown but essentially we have all kept our dreams alive and have worked towards the growth of Nollywood. I’d lost touch with John so it was a little surprise and shock when he walked into my office a few days ago sporting a little tidy beard. Shock in the sense that I have always looked at John as a baby, so to see a baby with a beard was to say the least reminded me that age was catching up on all of us. we however soon forgot the beard and started asking the questions that eventually must be asked.

What have you been up to?
JOHN:  I have been busy putting up structures for my company. We are content providers for all  sorts. We help to develop your ideas from inception to conception to delivery.  

It seems like you have been around like forever. What exactly have you done that stands you out?
JOHN: I do not know really. There are so many things that I have done that I honestly do not know half of them. And that is the bane of Nollywood, there are no records. Sometimes you finish making a movie and when it comes out you cannot tell what it is because of course they would have changed the title without you knowing.

You are an actor as well as a director. What are the major differences between the two
JOHN: There are no differences really. I started as an actor but because I felt I had seen as much as I needed to see as an actor I decided to study directing which was what I learnt in school. One compliments the other. For me it is just a question of growth. I wish there was something after directing so that I can experience that too. It is difficult to say which one is more challenging.  But I think directing is bigger. The actor sees in scenes but the director sees the full picture. Acting is spontaneous for me with directing I really have to think and create.

You come from a family of artistes and so many people have passed through your home. What was it like growing up with all these people around you?
JOHN: When people grow up with like minds it is very easy for them to bond. With my direct family right now and the people who have passed through, we speak the same language so it is almost like you an ibo man going to China and walking into another Ibo man on the streets who takes you to the house of another Ibo man. It is happiness, it is joy. That is what it has been like with us and with the people who have passed through. It is a journey of self discovery. We speak the same language, the language of theatre, the language of the arts, the language of the movies, of cinema, that is the language we speak.

Talking about the films and theatre, you were part of the Fuji House of Commotion. What was it like being part of that massive project?
JOHN: Fuji House of Commotion was a spillover from Checkmate.  So when the idea came to Mrs Amaka Igwe, she called us together, we did a pilot and it was hilarious. I don’t know how it all came out so good but Fuji house became a part of me. just wake me up from sleep and I become Rabiu. And because here I am John playing that young character everybody starts thinking I am that young too at least until I started playing other characters like the one I played in Bachelors.

Is playing such characters not what leads to type casting, which we all have complained about in Nollywood, people being cast in the same kind of roles because they played a type of character very well?
JOHN: I blame the actors. You know every actor has a market value and if you choose to expend your market value on playing only one kind of character then that becomes your problem. Every actor should know where he is going and what he is about.

There is still another challenge in Nollywood. Most of our actors are the person they are in real life in the different movies as against some actors like the Denzel Washingtons of this world who play different characters and make you believe they are the different characters.
JOHN: I am not being specific here but general since it is a general malaise, people in this industry don’t do their home work. You are supposed to wear the clothings of the character you represent. So people should stop acting and start living. You should live the character you are playing. How does this person walk, how does he talk, what are his mannerisms. That is the work of the actor and that is what I have worked so hard to achieve and I can proudly beat my chest to say that I have succeeded. I refuse to be a stereotype. Stereotyping in acting is evil except if you decide to be stereotyped. People like Arnold Schwazzeneger did that and they succeeded with it but it is not for us here because after a while the jobs will stop coming.

So how come you and your siblings Aquillah and Empress have not done any projects together.
JOHN: It has to be done right. It is not enough to do something because we want to do something. We have done a few things together for other people but not independently although we are planning to.

Like what?
JOHN: We are planning to do two short movies, a full length movie and a series. You know when you have identified with a certain genre and a certain level you want to do things right. A lot of people are looking up to us and we don’t want to let them down.

There is a lot of angst against the Ghanain Movie Industry right now with people saying that Ghana has become the soft porn capital of Africa. What do you think about the x-rated movie sthat are coming out of Ghana
JOHN: The problem I have with those movies is that they don’t do it in context. I mean why do you want to be explicit. Maybe they think that is what sells for them but they have to be really careful because that’s how it starts and before you know it they would have nose-dived into pornography. They are young in the industry, they shouldn’t start this way.

Of recent you have travelled extensively across Africa and you just returned from Cameroon. What did you go to do?
JOHN: Incidentally my mother is from Cameroon and during one of the AMAA’s I met a few Cameroonians precisely 2008 and when they got a whiff that my mother was from Cameroon, they wanted me to come and talk to them, advise them on what to do with their industry. But I just didn’t want to go to Cameroon for the sake of going so we came up with the idea of having a workshop there. So I went to do the ground work and research. I met with the minister of culture and we decided that it is not just going to be a Nigerian thing. We are bringing facilitators from Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and even Cameroon. And I think that is the right way to start. They were open really.

You obviously have succeeded in your chosen field. What does success mean for you?
JOHN: Success for me is not when somebody stands at the podium and says you have won an award but when you realize that you have failed and you work hard enough to bounce back. That a movie or an actor is not nominated for an award does not mean that the movie or the actor is not good enough but we always have an opportunity to do it again and do it better.
Well whatever it is we say, John Njamah, Rabiu, or whatever it is we decide to call him has come a long way and has obviously succeeded so as we settle down to coffee and to catching up we also decided that we have all come a long way, that Rabiu has grown up into a man and that the journey so far has been worth every drop of sweat we have expended.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


Patience Ozorkwor
Enugu the old beautiful and picturesque capital of the old East Central State and the emergent and still beautiful capital of Enugu State has always been a happy hunting ground for me when it comes to materials for me in my work both as a movie director/writer and as a journalist. As much as it looks like we-practitioners in Nollywood- have discovered the whole city and its environs there is always something new to see. Even the inhabitants of the town do not know and have not discovered the immense beauty of this gem set in the these hills that seem to brush the face of heaven itself. I wonder how many people know the Ngwo waterfalls, a cascade of waters that pour into a cave almost two kilometers underground in Ngwo village, or the quiet smooth walled caves of Apugo village. How many people really have negotiated the precipitous and eye catching beauty of Miliken hills or how many have actually explored the old coal mines and trod through the Artisan Quarters and enjoyed the hustle of the places that raised and brought to the notice of the world such greats like the living football legend Jay Jay Okocha. I happen to think that the handsome governor of Enugu state, before he leaves government house, should look more into the development of tourism. But I am not writing this piece as the tourist ambassador of Enugu State. Over the weekend, I was in Enugu State not that I actually had any plans to visit the state but I was on my way to Aba to see my mother whom I had not seen for quite a while. I’d heard that a couple of my friends and colleagues, movie director Ernest Obi,  Glo Ambassador Mike Ezuruonye and the inimitable Ngozi Ezeonu were on set shooting a movie A DROP OF BLOOD and I decided to stop over for a few hours in Enugu and see them. What they did not tell me was that Dame Patience Ozokwor, Nollywood colossus and National Awardee was also on the same set. I had not seen Mama Gee -as we call her- for over a year, not since her award that is so I now had double reason to stop over in Enugu.
When I walked onto the set both Patience and Ngozi were covered in make-up that made them look like decaying walking witches, which was the role they were playing. The make-up was so realistic that I did not recognize them at first but then I handed the drinks I bought all around and gave bear hugs to everybody and settled in for a little banter with Mama G.
QUESTION:  What is happening here?
ANSWER: You can see that I am in make up and costume getting ready to shoot a scene. The makeup is so severe because we are paying for our crimes of trying to get rich very quickly without waiting for God’s time or working hard for what we want.
QUESTION:  Isn’t that like a paradox for what is happening everywhere in Nigeria?
ANSWER: It is not just a paradox, it is the main problem with Nigeria and has always been. People see others in big flashy cars living in massive mansions and seeming to have all the money in the world and they want those things too without asking how those things came about. Who told you that the rich do not also cry? If some of them tell you what they had to go through to get the wealth that you see on display and what they have to go through to maintain it you will rather remain as you are. Some people say experience is the best teacher. I disagree because I’ll rather learn from other peoples experiences than allow some things happen to me. look at some of these people who are amassing all this wealth, some of them end up in prisons while others die poor. The problem really is that people do not learn from anybody’s experiences. You see somebody who has bleached her skin and is suffering from skin cancer because of that bleaching yet one silly little girl somewhere will still go and find some bleaching cream to rub on her skin because she wants to look beautiful.
QUESTION: Now to things a little more professional and personal. What has been Patience Ozokwor’s most defining moment as an actress?
ANSWER: I do not know what you want me to say but when I go through scenes like this and the material comes out and somebody somewhere says that is beautiful, that is the moment for me. we will keep telling our stories and painting these pictures in the minds of the people, imbedding lessons into our stories. The majority might keep ignoring what we are doing but as far as even one person learns something then our defining moments would have come.
QUESTION: The roles you have played in the movies have always portrayed you as a wicked woman, isn’t this a representation of the woman that Patience is in real life?
ANSWER: I have come to find out that people do not really know who they are. When I play the roles that I play it is simply meant to show people who they are. The funny but serious thing is that people watch these movies and they do not know that we are exposing their real characters. There is a lot of wickedness in the land and I promised my God that I will expose wickedness so that is what I am doing. You know me and you know that I am not a wicked person but the fortresses and barns of wickedness must be exposed because when good men keep quiet evil takes over the land.
QUESTION: Why did you get involved in Nollywood?
ANSWER: The hunger, the passion, the accolades which is what every artist craves for. Our joy is not the money but the opportunity of bringing a smile to somebody’s heart. Before now I’d done a lot of radio drama and stage, I have played roles like Hamlet, Marriage of Anansewa, God’s are not to blame. So this is just a natural progression. I am only following my bliss. So even if anybody comes up tomorrow and says hey! come and be a commissioner or something it still won’t stop me from doing what I am doing.
QUESTION: What if you are called to come and run for political office?
ANSWER: If my people say I should come and run then who am I to say no. it would be like your father sending you on an errand and you say no I won’t go. Right now I am mentoring a lot of people and I can carry that further into politics. It is all about making a difference and if I think or my people think I have something to add then I can do that yes. And remember that part of the theme for this years’ International Day for Women is the 35% representation in governance. Now this can be achieved either through elections or appointments into offices and that is what we all are fighting for.
QUESTION: What has your Journey through Nollywood been like so far?
Patience Ozorkwor
ANSWER: It has been beautiful, not easy but I do not think I have any regrets. It has been a fulfilling one and I thank God that I am here now. I could have come at any other time but God chose that I should be here now and this is where I am and I believe I am helping to make a difference and touch lives. What we do for a living is not a very easy thing you know. People complain that we earn so much money but tell me how many of those in banking and oil can come and sit here in this draining sun, allow themselves to be covered in all this muck and run through bushes barefooted and expose themselves to all the dangers we expose ourselves to. So I thank God that I can do that. I think whatever we earn is a just reward for what we do.  I would also like to say that my journey has also been made a little easier by those who are behind the camera. They are the real stars. Nobody knows them but they do all the work, carry the cables, run the errands, plan the shots and when we all have gone to seep they are still up working making sure that everything is in place for the next day’s shoot. Nobody recognizes them on the streets but these are the ones more deserving of the recognition. They are the true stars and this journey belongs to them and to the fans.
QUESTION: last words?
ANSWER: God has deposited in all of us different talents and you will be surprised that if you bring out yours it might dwarf mine. Just be hard working and focused and it might work out for you. and for my fans I’d like to say that I love you all so much. You first loved me and I promise never to disappoint those who believe in what I am doing. Let us keep that love flowing in every part of the country and the world. There is no gain in our killing and maiming each other for power. It is transient. Let us seek for those things that make of peace and not war.

*This Interview was first published in the National Standard Newspaper.

 He was always the master. We used to listen to him way back in Jos when we were kids trying to cut our teeth in Music. He was the bench mark for everybody who fancied himself a singer. He used to put people like the great Alex-O in the shade. He was not the only talent from Jos however as the Jeremiah Gyangs, the MI'S and the P SQUARES of the world wooed the younger generations and took over. Form they say is temporary but class is permanent. and the man of Class Adu Deme is about to unleash his class act on Nigeria once again.
I mention this here not  because we have anything to do with music but because a few minutes ago I was priviledged to listen to one of the best songs I have heard in the last decade coming out Naija. Adu Deme's "I Believe in Naija."  When I say the song is one of the best I have heard, don't consider it high praise, I am making a statement of fact and I am truly honored to be one of the first Nigerians to hear this song and I have also officially asked to work on the video of the song albeit for free. Such is the power of the driving techno beat and the strength of the lyrics and the vocal delivery which is as silky as we know that only Adu Deme can deliver yet as powerful as anything that we have heard from any of the true greats of vocal dexterity and range. Adu surely has a classic here and I am rooting for this. You need to hear this. Jos on the prowl again.