By TONY OGAGA EHRARIEFE
For the entertainment industry, 2012, no doubt, has been an eventful year. The outgoing year has witnessed the rise of some new stars as well as the passage of a number of artistes. It also has its fair share of high-class weddings and incriminating scandals. 2012 was equally the year popular actor, Ramsey Nuoah bade farewell to Nollywood, the industry that made him a household name in Nigeria. Today, The Entertainer brings you the players that made news in the outgoing year.
Holler At Your Boy singer, Wizkid is no doubt at the head of the pack when it comes to the younger generation of artistes in Nigeria. No concert is complete without the presence of this handsome musician.
As a build up to the success of his debut single, the EME artiste dropped his debut album and became the star to beat in the year. Indeed, the New Year promises to be one of greater achievements for Wizkid.
David Adeleke aka Davido, the 19-year-old boss of HKN Records made headlines when he earned an endorsement deal worth N30 million as MTN brand ambassador following the runaway success of his hit single, Dami Duro, which catapulted him to the top of the game.
Today, the musician whose nude pictures with a Ghanaian fan flooded the Internet has done collabos with the likes of Naeto C and the question on the streets now is: which is the better act, Davido of Wizkid?
If it was Davido’s year, then it was also Chuddy K’s year (Chukwudi Ken Agali). Though, he might not have an endorsement deal like Davido, Chuddy has shown that when it comes to contemporary Nigerian music, he is a force to reckon with.
The act ruled the airwaves with his single, Gaga Crazy, which became an instant hit and established him as an artiste to look out for. With an album, I Am Me, which performed rather poorly, Gaga Crazy has indeed given Chuddy’s career a big boost.
Meanwhile, talk of an album in the New Year is rife as Chuddy moves to consolidate his hold on the music scene.
Though, he hit the limelight in 2008 after he won the maiden edition of MTN Project Fame, Iyanya’s music career only began to take root in 2012 after he dropped a couple of singles, Kukere and Your Waist, which transformed his fortunes over night.
Kukere and Your Waist, obvious DJ’s favourites, have continued to rule the club scene. However, Iyanya’s controversial relationship with actress, Tonto Dike and Ghanaian actress, Yvonne Nelson made a dozen headlines and also gave him a much needed career boost
Indeed, it was a bittersweet year for May D (Awodimula Akinmayokun). He fell out with his label, Squared Records owned by P-Square twins, Peter and Paul but also won the Next Rated award at The Headies 2012.
May D’s biggest musical statement to date remains featuring on P-Square’s Chop My Money video featuring Akon. While his fall out with his erstwhile label threw a wind of uncertainty over his career, his winning in the Next Rated category at The Headies could redeem his career and take him to the next level in the New Year.
While he’s been there for over two decades, 2012 will remain the year controversial artiste, Majek Fashek, finally began to get back his groove and this is worthy of mention.
Plagued by rumours of alcohol and drug abuse, the Rainmaker was able to perform in a couple of shows, thrilling audiences with his guitar and thus making headlines most especially with a new album which should drop in 2013. And the reggae singer says it’s going to be a dynamite as he would be collaborating with the likes of Tuface and a crop of younger artistes.
Tuface and Annie Macaulay
Though, he had sworn never to get married in the past, Tuface dramatically did a U-turn when at a Valentine party in Lagos on February 14, before a packed audience, he had gone on his knees and proposed to Annie Macaulay, one of his baby mamas.
While Nigerians had expected a crème de la crème wedding, the artiste had stunned everyone as he secretly wedded Annie in a very private ceremony beating everyone to the game.
Funke Akindele and Kehinde Oloyede
Star actress, Funke Akindele aka Jenifa chose to say ‘I do’ in a grand way as her wedding was nothing short of a society one. After the wedding, she and her hubby, Kehinde Oleyede jetted out to the UK for their honeymoon. However, the marriage had scarcely been consummated when rumours began flying around that her prince charming had another wife while another girlfriend of his, Modinat Nike Dada was also pregnant for him. Alarmed, the actress had come out to defend her husband’s integrity, insisting she was the only woman in his life.
Uche Jumbo and Kenny Rodriguez
For years, entertainment journalists had pestered actress, Uche Jombo as to when she was going to get married and for years she never really had an answer for them. However, this year, she did when she secretly married her Pueto Rican lover, Kenny Rodrigues. And yes, she took her fans by surprise. It was not until her wedding pictures popped up on the Internet that it dawned on her fans that Uche was finally hooked for good.
Stephanie Okereke and Linus Idahosa
After surviving abuse and divorce in her first marriage, actress, Stephanie Okereke rebounded in a big way in 2012 when she held her fairy tale wedding at a Château in France. It was a crème de la crème affair when the screen goddess said ‘I do’ to her live- in-lover, Linus Idahosa, in a ceremony that attracted the paparazzi, celebrities and journalists from the movie world. Her wedding has been described as the biggest entertainment event of 2012.
Kefee and Teddy Esosa
It definitely was the surprise wedding of the year. A couple of years after breaking up with her ex-hubby, Alec Godwin, Branama singer, Kefee finally found love and happiness when she tied the knot in a traditional ceremony with her new lover, popular radio presenter, Teddy Esosa Momoh. This came a couple of weeks after Alec Godwin also tied the knot with another woman.
But somehow, Kefee and Esosa had kept their romance a secret and the marriage came as a surprise for the industry. Kefee ended her three-year marriage with Alec Godwin in 2008.
Frank Edoho and Sandra Onyenaucheya
The marriage crisis trailing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire presenter, Frank Edoho finally came to an end when he successfully divorced his wife of many years last year. Nigerians had scarcely come to terms with that when the TV presenter stepped out with his new wife, Sandra Onyenaucheya. It would emerge later that the pair held a secret wedding away from the glare of cameras and the media. His ex wife, Katherine Edoho bore him three kids.
Other high profile weddings were that of Chidi Mokeme and Aki of the Aki and Pawpaw fame.
Romance, divorces and scandals
Doris Simeon & Daniel Ademinokan
While indeed it was a year of celebration as far as marriages were concerned for some artistes, 2012 also witnessed its own share of divorces and scandals for others.
Top on the list was the unexpected breakup of the marriage of actress, Doris Simeon to her producer/director husband, Daniel Ademinokan. It emerged that while all looked well on the outside, the couple who have a baby boy had drifted quite apart. And when the news finally hit the industry, it shocked not a few.
Meanwhile, there are rumours that Ademinokan is holed up with actress, Stella Damasus in Abuja.
Another shocking breakup of the year was the separation between actor, Benjamin Joseph and his wife. When the news initially broke, Joseph had dismissed it as mere speculation but as the days rolled by, it became obvious that the centre could no longer hold. And so, the AMAA award winner took to twitter to announce a separation from his wife of eight years, expressing hope that they would overcome the challenges ahead.
It was described as the sex scandal of the year! Gilda Amata, wife of Ruke Amata also made headlines after lurid and obscene blackberry exchanges between her and a South-South governor went viral thus collapsing her eight year-old marriage.
In the scandalous messages, the pair had gone as far as describing what they would like to do to each other in bed. However, Ruke has kept sealed lips as he has refused to comment on the issue while the South-South governor is yet to be uncovered.
Once upon a time, he was known for his acting prowess. Now it seems scandals have taken the upper hand in his career. One story that dominated the headlines this year was how actor, Jim Iyke was docked for allegedly swindling his ex-lover, Habiba Abubakar of a whopping N15 million.
Ekwe Master, Steroeman made headlines this year not because he was churning out hits but because he was implicated in the murder of his wife. Though later vindicated, the incident earned the singer weeks of negative headlines and very little was heard from him on the music front. And what’s more, Ekwe has since lost his Glo ambassadorship, a deal that earned him millions of naira.
Mo’ Hits demise and EME ascendancy
One moment of 2012 that will not be forgotten so soon was the sudden crash of Mo’ Hits after eight years of continuously dishing out hit after hit. The crash of the record label founded by D’banj and his music producer friend, Don Jazzy remains the most controversial event of 2012.
However, Banky W’s EME rose to the occasion and filled the vacuum with acts like Wizkid and Skales. But while D’banj recently went on to sign a deal with Kanye West’s Good Music and a distribution deal with Sony Music, Don Jazzy moved up with Mavin Records. And just when people thought he was broke, the music producer acquired a sprawling mansion in upscale Nicon Estate, Lekki, Lagos at a whopping N160 million.
Big Brother’s Goldie and Prezzo
This pair could be described as the hottest showbiz couple of 2012. Following their exit from Big Brother Africa, rumours have been flying around that singer, Goldie and Kenyan artiste, Prezzo HYPERLINK “http://thenetng.com/2012/11/goldie-and-prezzo-spotted-again/”are in a whirlwind HYPERLINK “http://thenetng.com/2012/11/goldie-and-prezzo-spotted-again/”relationship. Only a while ago, Prezzo visited Nigeria only to be snubbed by Goldie. But not long after, Goldie was spotted in Kenya and ever since, the couple have been inseparable.
At a point, sources hinted that the pair were planning to tie the knot on Saturday February 9, 2013. But they have decided to keep mum about the affair.
COSON vs MCSN
The COSON/MCSN war continues to rage with NCC operatives cracking down on MCSN and arresting its officials. But then, COSON took a step further as a collecting society when it paid a whopping N100 million to artistes as royalties on December 11.
In the outgoing year, movies like Last Flight To Abuja, Tango With Me, Phone Swap and The Return of Jenifa among others made it big at the cinemas grossing millions of naira.
To emerge as Nigeria’s highest earning actress as 2012 rolls to an end, Genevieve is reported to have grossed over N83 million since 2010 at the box office. She is closely followed by Omotola Jalade-Ekehinde who is said to have grossed N60 million over the same period and has been described as the biggest box office actress of 2012.
On her part, Funke Akindele made over N56 million, netting over N20 million in 2012 alone. In The Return of Jenifa, Funke netted N35 million. The movie ran till February 2012. Her movie, Married but Living Single made N9.9 million while Maami made N11 million. The actress is on her way to another cinema glory with a new movie in 2013.
Star of Figurine, Omoni Oboli earned a whopping N13 million while her second effort, Anchor Baby made N18 million bringing her total earning to N31 million since 2010.
Nse Ikpe-Etim has definitely joined the league of big earners. Her flick, Mr. and Mrs. made N6 million while another of her film, Phone Swap made N20 million, making a total of N26 million over the same period.
Meanwhile, male actors who excelled in the year include OC Ukeje and Kunle Afolayan to mention a few.
ActorS Guild of Nigeria (AGN)
For the first time in the history of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), a woman emerged as its president. She is star actress, Ibinabo Fiberisima. The guild has been enmeshed in controversy prior to the election of Fiberisima as president. But now it seems all is well with the associaton.
2012 is the year the maiden edition of the Yoruba Movies Academy Awards took place in Abeokuta, Ogun State. It was a milestone for the Yoruba movie sector. The year also witnessed the second edition of Nollywood African Film Critics’ Award (NAFCA) held in the United States on September 16.
Another milestone event that took place in 2012 was the launch of Kalakuta Museum, coming 15 years after the late Afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo Kuti passed on. While his son, Femi Kuti marked his 50th birthday in grand style and declared his determination to carry on with his late dad’s legacy.
One of the high points of 2012 was the 50th anniversary of juju maestro, King Sunny Ade on stage, his 66th birthday and 35th anniversary of being crowned as juju king, a triple celebration, which was spread over three months with concerts in Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja. The year also witnessed the reunion of two juju icons, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey and Sunny Ade at the Oleku concert in Lagos.
In the last quarter of the year, thousands of Nigerians had converged at some concerts in Lagos to watch American jazz guitarist, George Benson and rapper, Rick Ross entertain.
Tiwa Savage and Wizkid carted home millions of naira after they inked an endorsement deal with Pepsi. So also actress, Genevieve Nnaji who signed an endorsement deal with Range Rover.
To cap the achievements in the year was eight year-old Oki Amarachi who set a record when she beat other contestants to win the maiden edition of Nigeria’s Got Talent thus establishing herself as the youngest Nigerian to win a reality TV show.
Iconic American singer, Whitney Houston tops the list of artistes that died in 2012. Addicted to cocaine and heroin, her demise at the age of 46 came as a rude shock to the world of entertainment.
For ‘70s’ pop star, Harry Moscow, it was a slow and painful death as necessary funds needed to treat the ailing musician who a few years ago had been evicted from his Aba Johnston, Ikeja, Lagos home finally succumbed to death due to complications from diabetes and heart related problems.
Like the death of veteran actors, Sam Loco-Efe and James Iroha aka Gringory, the passing away of actor, Peter Eneh a couple of months back was also a shock to the entertainment industry. Eneh, who had been admitted to Parklane Hospital, Enugu for some months, succumbed to death after his legs had become infected, leading to his hospitalisation and eventual amputation.