The Sun News » Entertainment http://sunnewsonline.com/new - Voice of The Nation Tue, 04 Aug 2015 11:21:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.6 Drugs not Majek Fashek’s problem –Orits Wiliki http://sunnewsonline.com/new/drugs-not-majek-fasheks-problem-orits-wiliki/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/drugs-not-majek-fasheks-problem-orits-wiliki/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 23:38:52 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=129502 By DEJI AROLOYE Rassam Wiliki, aka Orits Wiliki, has been active in the Nigerian reggae music scene for over three decades and has contributed immensely to the growth of the music industry in the country. In this interview, he opens up on how he discovered Majek Fashek and produced his first demo and plans to [...]]]>

By DEJI AROLOYE

Rassam Wiliki, aka Orits Wiliki, has been active in the Nigerian reggae music scene for over three decades and has contributed immensely to the growth of the music industry in the country. In this interview, he opens up on how he discovered Majek Fashek and produced his first demo and plans to rehabilitate the reggae legend.

Excerpts:

Let’s talk about the effort to save Majek Fashek. Why did you decide to get in­volved?

It is sad that Majek Fashek found himself in that kind of situation. That is why we are not throwing him away. I have promised myself that I will not discuss most of the things we are doing on the pages of newspapers. We have done a lot before now but we just need to take it to the next level. If you have been monitoring it on facebook, there is a page created christened “Majek Fashek family”. It was put together by Monica, the lady in the United States who was one of his backup singers. Every issue about saving Majek Fashek is discussed on that platform. A website has also been opened where donation can be made towards helping him. What we intend to do is to raise enough money and put him in rehab.

There is this talk that he is into drugs and an alcoholic. What really is Majek Fashek’s problem?

His problem is beyond drugs; it is spiritual. Sometimes, if you have a one-on-one conversation with him, he would discuss with you as if nothing was wrong with him. I also think part of the problems is that he is not engaged. You know, an idle mind is the devil’s work­shop. If we put him in rehab and he finds something doing after he is okay, Majek will be well 100 per cent I can assure you. Even in his present condition, he still maintains the same aura on stage that he had when he was the rave. I believe that if he is busy going on music tours, there will be no problem.

The first time you saw him, did you know he would be this famous some day?

I knew he was talented but I didn’t know it was going to be this big. The first demo was done by three of us, James Etinon of Joseph Osayomore Band, Amos McGregor and I. I remember we used two box guitars and a Hausa musical instrument for the demo and the song came out beautiful. If we could enjoy the song the way we did it at that time, that tells you Majek was bound to make it. By the time I joined Tabansi Records as A& R Manager, I told him to come over to Tabansi so that his recording could be done. Part of my job as A & R Manager then was to scout for artistes. He came to Tabansi Records in Lagos but I was in our office in Onitsha then. He later came to Onitsha and we did his recording and the rest is history.

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Like mother like daughter: Did Illuminati kill Whitney Houston, Bobbi Kristina? http://sunnewsonline.com/new/like-mother-like-daughter-did-illuminati-kill-whitney-houston-bobbi-kristina/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/like-mother-like-daughter-did-illuminati-kill-whitney-houston-bobbi-kristina/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 23:37:18 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=129500 By TONY OGAGA ERHARIEFE Cissy Houston must be a sad woman. First she had to bury her daughter, the late Whitney Houston and now, she must also bury her granddaughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown within three short years! Though 22 year-old Bobbi Kristina had been in a coma for a while, it was with shock that [...]]]>

By TONY OGAGA ERHARIEFE

Cissy Houston must be a sad woman. First she had to bury her daughter, the late Whitney Houston and now, she must also bury her granddaughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown within three short years!

Though 22 year-old Bobbi Kristina had been in a coma for a while, it was with shock that the world received the news of the passing away of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown’s only daughter on July 26. Ironically, at the time of her death, Bobbi Kristina had everything to leave for including her late mum’s $115million estate.

Rewind: It’s 2012 and Whitney Houston, who is just recovering from another bout of drug addiction, aged 48, was found unconscious at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, submerged in a bathtub. Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m. Authorities stated that the amount of cocaine found in Houston’s body indicated that she used the substance shortly before her death. Toxicol­ogy results revealed additional drugs in her system includ­ing diphenhydramine, alprazolam, cannabis and cycloben­zaprine. The manner of death was listed as an “accident.”

Fast forward: It’s January 2015 and Bobbi Kristina was found unconscious, submerged in a bathtub and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office reported the cause of Bobbi Kristina’s condition was drowning and the “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.” Does this sound familiar?

Even before Bobbi Kristina passed on last week, questions were raised based on similarities between the circumstances in which she was found and her mum’s death. Why should mother and daughter die in similar circumstances? Or is it all just a coinci­dence? Or was it a ghost from Whit­ney Houston’s past that was responsible for both deaths?

Almost three years after, Los Angeles police are yet solve the riddle around her death. The best they could come up with was to describe it as an “accident.” And now, they have another riddle on their hands. Who killed Bobbi Kris­tina? Was it a case of suicide or was it murder? Or was it just another “accident”?

A case for suicide?

An easy way out would be to declare both deaths as sui­cides. Basically, drug addicts are prone to suicide. Indeed there were reports of attempted suicide both for Whitney and Bobbi Kristina and this could give credibility to arguments that claim they both committed suicide but the question remains, why did Bobbi Kristina decide to go like her mum? It is pertinent to note that the similarities between their deaths cannot just be brushed aside. And if she was actually murdered, what was the motive? Was somebody trying to make a point?

Enter the Illuminati

If you believe in conspiracy theories then the Illunmi­nati alternative might just provide the answer. Though largely faceless, the Illuminati is believed to control the entertainment industry in America. Whitney Houston’s death has been the source of conspiracy theories ever since she was found unconscious in a bathtub. Her death occurred prior to the 2012 Grammy Awards, a ceremony believed to contain very strange occult, Illuminati symbol­ism and rituals.

Now, almost three years later, Bobbi Kristina is found face down and unresponsive in a water- filled bathtub? What is the significance of bathtub symbolism as far as the Illuminati is concerned?

According to some sources, celebrities in bathtubs symbolizes the person’s willingness to sell their souls to the industry or the powers that be in exchange for success.

So, was Bobbi Kristina’s incident and Whitney Hous­ton’s death connected? Were they successful Illuminati bathtub sacrifices?

However, dead men don’t talk and all hope that Bobbi Kristina would recover from her coma and tell the world what really transpired evaporated on July 26 when she finally gave up the ghost. And while the de­bates continue to rage, we can only say to both mother and daughter, ‘rest in peace.’

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Star Trek 2: Tuface, MI rock Makurdi http://sunnewsonline.com/new/star-trek-2-tuface-mi-rock-makurdi/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/star-trek-2-tuface-mi-rock-makurdi/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 23:36:01 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=129498 Makurdi, the capital of Benue State, came alive on Saturday as it played host to Star Mu­sic Trek phase 2. The event, which held at the IBB Square in the city, was headlined by Afro pop star, Tuface Idibia, who performed alongside acts such as MI, Faze, Yemi Alade, Kcee and Runtown. Gbenga Adeyinka was [...]]]>

Makurdi, the capital of Benue State, came alive on Saturday as it played host to Star Mu­sic Trek phase 2. The event, which held at the IBB Square in the city, was headlined by Afro pop star, Tuface Idibia, who performed alongside acts such as MI, Faze, Yemi Alade, Kcee and Runtown. Gbenga Adeyinka was the MC with Tony Blaze and DJ Neptune on the wheels of steel.

Commenting on the show, Tuface said: “This is where it all began for me so obviously it’s a highly emo­tional experience. It’s like a home­coming and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to perform for my people at home.”

On his part, Edem Vindah, Corpo­rate Media & Brand PR Manager, NB Plc, said: “Star lager is committed to providing a platform to inspire Ni­gerian youths wherever they may be, and this was another instance. We are particularly excited to present Tuface to his hometown crowd in Benue State, for inspiration to the youths.”

Organised by Nigerian Breweries, Star Trek has thrilled music fans for nearly two decades, using the potent vehicle of music to pass across posi­tive social messages to young people. This year’s theme, My Superstar Story inspires the youth to view their situations as a work in progress and to always keep their goals in mind.

After a hugely successful first phase which passed through Calabar, Abakaliki and Awka, the fun train moves to Sapele on August 8, Auchi on August 15, Ibadan on August 22, and finally Lagos on August 29.

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Joke Silva buries mum http://sunnewsonline.com/new/joke-silva-buries-mum/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/joke-silva-buries-mum/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 23:35:20 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=129495 Bereaved Nollywood actress, Joke Silva, finally laid her mum to rest last week Thursday in Lagos. Her mum, Dr. Marianne Abim­bola Silva, the first female medical doctor in Nigeria died on July 19, aged 89. The wake-keep was held on Wednesday, July 29, at City Hall, Lagos, while the funeral service was held at the [...]]]>

Bereaved Nollywood actress, Joke Silva, finally laid her mum to rest last week Thursday in Lagos. Her mum, Dr. Marianne Abim­bola Silva, the first female medical doctor in Nigeria died on July 19, aged 89.

The wake-keep was held on Wednesday, July 29, at City Hall, Lagos, while the funeral service was held at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, on Thursday, July 30, at 11am.

Tuface Sings to a fan

 

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WWE legend ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper dead at age 61 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/wwe-legend-rowdy-roddy-piper-dead-at-age-61/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/wwe-legend-rowdy-roddy-piper-dead-at-age-61/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 00:34:11 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=129480 WWE legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper died suddenly at his Hollywood home on Friday from cardiac arrest, according to multiple reports. TMZ was first to break the news with WWE later confirming. “Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world,” WWE [...]]]>

WWE legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper died suddenly at his Hollywood home on Friday from cardiac arrest, according to multiple reports. TMZ was first to break the news with WWE later confirming.

“Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world,” WWE CEO Vince McMahon said in a statement. “I extend my deepest condolences to his family.”

Piper, whose real name was Roderick George Toombs, was 61 years old.

Piper, a native of Canada, rose to fame in the 1980s as a brash Scotsman who was always ready for a fight. One of his most memorable performances came in the main event of WWE’s (then known as the WWF) inaugural WrestleMania.

Piper and Paul Orndorff lost to Hulk Hogan and Mr. T in the star-studded match that also featured boxing legend Muhammad Ali, New York Yankees Manager Billy Martin, Liberace and even some Rockettes. Fellow pro wrestlers Jimmy Snuka and Bob Orton, father of current WWE star Randy Orton, also got involved.

Piper continued to wrestle regularly into the late 1990s, including with rival promotion WCW, but eventually he returned to WWE where he had been making periodic guest appearances until last year. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

Piper’s biggest fight, however, game in 2006 when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a disease he reportedly beat last November, according to TMZ which said his family confirmed on Friday that was not the cause of his death and he was cancer free as far as they knew.

“I am devastated at this news,” a representative of Piper told TMZ on Friday. “Rod was a good friend as well as a client and one of the most generous, sincere and authentic people I have ever known. This is a true loss to us all.”

Piper is survived by his wife Kitty and their four children, including three daughters and a son Colt Toombs, a former mixed martial arts fighter.

WWE personalities — past and present — were quick to react on social media on Friday, some alluding also to the recent and sudden death of Dusty Rhodes, who died in June.

(WASHINGTON POST)

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Bobby Kristina’s Brown dies at 22 after months in coma http://sunnewsonline.com/new/bobby-kristinas-brown-dies-at-22-after-months-in-coma/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/bobby-kristinas-brown-dies-at-22-after-months-in-coma/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 11:55:16 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=128785   On Sunday, July 26, Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston, tragically passed away at the age of 22. Her death came almost six months after she was found — in circumstances eerily similar to her mother’s death — unconscious in her bathtub on Saturday, Jan. 31, by [...]]]>

 

On Sunday, July 26, Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston, tragically passed away at the age of 22. Her death came almost six months after she was found — in circumstances eerily similar to her mother’s death — unconscious in her bathtub on Saturday, Jan. 31, by her longtime partner Nick Gordon.

Bobbi Kristina was placed in hospice care on Wednesday, June 24, after months of treatment in a medically induced coma. She was surrounded by family and friends at the time of her death.

Bobbi Kristina’s family has remained by her side throughout the ordeal. After spending over two weeks in a coma, doctors performed a tracheotomy in February, to help stave off infection from her breathing tube while she continued to fight for her life.

“Bobbi Kristina Brown passed away July, 26 2015, surrounded by her family,” the Houston family tells Us Weekly in a statement. “She is finally at peace in the arms of God. We want to again thank everyone for their tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months.”

As previously reported, police confirmed to Us that the entire case surrounding her death is being treated as a criminal investigation following unexplained markings on her body. Bobbi Kristina’s boyfriend, Nick Gordon, was questioned in regard to the circumstances surrounding her death. He also appeared on Dr. Phil in March, where his interview was quickly turned into an intervention after Gordon was clearly slurring his words and threatening his own life. He entered rehab soon after and left in April.

Born in 1993, Bobbi Kristina was the only child of the late Houston and Brown. The couple had a tumultuous 14-year marriage, tarnished by rumors of infidelity, drug use, and domestic violence. In a 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer, Houston famously declared, “Crack is whack,” adding she’d never do crack because it’s “too cheap.” The family appeared on the widely criticized 2005 reality show Being Bobby Brown. Houston filed for divorce in 2006 and in 2007 it was finalized. The “I Will Always Love You” singer — who won seven Grammys and sold more than 200 million albums in her storied career — was awarded custody of their daughter.

The shocking loss comes more than three years after Houston herself died at age 48 in the bathtub of her Beverly Hilton hotel room on Feb. 11, 2012.

Less than a month after her Houston’s death, Bobbi Kristina spoke with Oprah Winfrey about losing her mother, saying, “It comes in waves. One minute I could be laughing and happy, but then it will come over me. It’s my mom. I start crying, but then I hear her again, saying, ‘Come on, keep moving.’”

Bobbi Kristina expressed her desire to become a singer like her world-famous parents on the Lifetime reality show The Houstons: On Our Own, which aired for one season in late 2012.

 

Culled from US Weekly

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Ebenezer Obey drums up supports for Buhari http://sunnewsonline.com/new/ebenezer-obey-drums-up-supports-for-buhari/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/ebenezer-obey-drums-up-supports-for-buhari/#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2015 23:00:56 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=128679 By CHARLES ADEGBITE Juju music legend, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi, has called on Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari in order for him to win the war against corruption and bring the desired change Nigerians have been yearning for. Speaking to Entertainer in an interview in Lagos, the Juju maestro turned evangelist said the war [...]]]>

By CHARLES ADEGBITE

Juju music legend, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi, has called on Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari in order for him to win the war against corruption and bring the desired change Nigerians have been yearning for.

Speaking to Entertainer in an interview in Lagos, the Juju maestro turned evangelist said the war against corruption can only be won if Nigerians are ready to sacrifice and support President Buhari.

“How can we stop corruption? It is a war every one of us must fight. Let’s change our attitude and bury our pride. People believe that President Buhari can deliver but he has not been allowed to settle down properly. The man is using his wisdom and determination to say ‘no, I won’t allow people to let me fail’ so every Nigerian must support him.”

According to Obey, if Buhari and his Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo could cut their salaries by 50%, it was a signal that President Buhari was ready to sacrifice and the people must also be willing and ready to sac­rifice with him. Obey urged both government and the governed to do all they could to ensure that the present administration succeeds.

“It is only then that Nigerians can prove to the world that the people of this nation have the capacity to govern themselves well,” Obey concluded.

 

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I don’t read books, I only read newspapers –Solomon Okoh, Comedian (a.k.a. Bowjoint) http://sunnewsonline.com/new/i-dont-read-books-i-only-read-newspapers-solomon-okoh-comedian-a-k-a-bowjoint/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/i-dont-read-books-i-only-read-newspapers-solomon-okoh-comedian-a-k-a-bowjoint/#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2015 23:00:51 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=128681 BY AYO ALONGE AYHALLIDAY@YAHOO.COM Edo State-born comedian Solomon Okoh, popularly known as Bowjoint, is the first child of the four chil­dren of his parents and according to him, his nickname was given to him by his classmates who, derisively, thought he was looking too skinny. He attributes his fame in the sector to a popular [...]]]>

BY AYO ALONGE AYHALLIDAY@YAHOO.COM

Edo State-born comedian Solomon Okoh, popularly known as Bowjoint, is the first child of the four chil­dren of his parents and according to him, his nickname was given to him by his classmates who, derisively, thought he was looking too skinny. He attributes his fame in the sector to a popular comedy show on TV. “I will credit Stand Up Nigeria as a programme that brought me to limelight”, he said. Sunday Sun had an encounter with this rib-cracker and he shares some of his favourites with us.

Excerpts:

What’s your favou­rite food?

My favourite food is pounded yam and I like tak­ing it with vegetable soup. I like banga soup too.

Favourite drink?

I wouldn’t have loved to say this publicly. It’s an alcoholic drink and that is Hennessy.

Favourite colour?

Em! I love white a lot.

Favourite outfit?

I don’t actually do much of natives. I love casuals because I feel very comfort­able in it. I love T-shirts and jeans. I don’t really like all these flashy attires. I wear suits only when I am going for a formal event. I would say it’s just casuals and I also like chinos too.

Favourite musi­cian?

I love Olamide so much. I love him.

Favourite holiday spot?

Holiday spot ke? Poor man dey go holiday? I don’t even have time for holidays. Even after my wedding, I went for a show the day after and I did not have the time for any honeymoon, let alone holiday spot. Let’s not even come near that.

Favourite world leader?

Who will I say is my fa­vourite leader? Let me just go straight to my country. I will say that is my president right now. He is my favou­rite world leader now.

Favourite car?

I love Mercedes Benz 4matic 550. Yes, I love it a lot.

Favourite weather?

I don’t like it too hot. I like it cold.

Favourite book?

I don’t read books. I only read newspapers but books, hmm!

Favourite football club?

That’s Chelsea.

Favourite quote?

I don’t have one. I know what you are talking about but I don’t have any.

Favourite TV per­sonality?

That’s IK.

Favourite come­dian?

If I will go internation­ally, I will say my favourite comedian is Cat Williams and in Nigeria, I love Basket Mouth a lot.

Favourite music?

I love rap music and that is why I said I love Olamide as one special hip-hop act as far as the Nigerian music world is concerned.

Favourite friend?

I won’t say I have any fa­vourite friend o! I have a lot of friends though. You know one thing about this life is that you have to be careful with the kind of people you move around with. When I tell you something that is supposed to be a secret between us before you know it, it’s in the open and that becomes so worrisome for me. So, I don’t have any favourite friend. I just have friends.

Favourite fashion accesories?

I love shoes so much, especially the formal shoes. I like shoes because when you meet any girl and say “excuse me”, the first thing she does is to look at your shoes. I don’t know if you have ever noticed that. You will just hear something like “see am, e wan com toast me, see him shoes”. Have you come across such at all? It is always about shoes and because of that, I love shoes. I hate having shoes that have gone bad under­neath. Once I discover that, I will just do away with it. So, I love wearing sharp and clean shoes.

 

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Bill Cosby Playboy sexual assault case to go ahead http://sunnewsonline.com/new/bill-cosby-playboy-sexual-assault-case-to-go-ahead/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/bill-cosby-playboy-sexual-assault-case-to-go-ahead/#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2015 23:00:01 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=128677 Comedian, Bill Cosby has failed to block a civil case accusing him of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1974. The California Supreme Court rejected his petition to review the case brought by Judy Huth, mean­ing her lawyers can now question Cosby under oath. The 78-year-old is facing [...]]]>

Comedian, Bill Cosby has failed to block a civil case accusing him of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1974.

The California Supreme Court rejected his petition to review the case brought by Judy Huth, mean­ing her lawyers can now question Cosby under oath.

The 78-year-old is facing a string of sexual assault accusations dating back decades.

He has always maintained his in­nocence and has never been crimi­nally charged. Huth alleges that Cosby plied her with alcohol before sexually assaulting her.

Her lawyer, Gloria Allred, described it as a “major victory” and says she intends to take a sworn deposition from the co­median within the next month.

Earlier in the week, the LA police department confirmed that it was investigating “certain complaints against him.”

 

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Motherhood transformed me –ChaCha Eke http://sunnewsonline.com/new/motherhood-transformed-me-chacha-eke-2/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/motherhood-transformed-me-chacha-eke-2/#comments Sun, 26 Jul 2015 00:18:34 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=128687 BY CHRISTIAN AGADIBE It was double for Ebonyi State born actress, ChaCha Eke, who celebrated her birthday recently after she had her first baby. In this chat with Entertainer, the actress who hit Nollywood in 2009, and who has starred in movies like Bank Job, Queen’s Desire, Cleopatra, Kings Secret, Mirror of Life, Fulton Mansion, [...]]]>

BY CHRISTIAN AGADIBE

It was double for Ebonyi State born actress, ChaCha Eke, who celebrated her birthday recently after she had her first baby. In this chat with Entertainer, the actress who hit Nollywood in 2009, and who has starred in movies like Bank Job, Queen’s Desire, Cleopatra, Kings Secret, Mirror of Life, Fulton Mansion, Models, Dance for D Prince and Clap of Thunder among others shares her labour room experience and opens up on her career among other issues.

Excerpts:

How has life been for you as a wife, mother and career woman?

Life has been beautiful and fulfilling. Admittedly, it’s not been easy striking a balance between the home front and field work but it’s being rewarding and worth it all the way.

There are many scary tales about the labour room. Could you share your experience with us?

As the name implies, labour is hard work; it’s not child’s play. But I was ready for it. God was and still is on my side and my faith was intact. The hospital was a very good one and my hubby was grinning from ear to ear in excitement and anticipation. Labour was quite an experience I must confess. Childbirth itself is a defining moment for every woman. It changed my life and my perception of things around me.

Your father, Professor John U. Eke, a former gubernatorial aspirant was recently appointed Commissioner of Education in Ebonyi State, how does that make you feel?

Blessed is how we all feel about it. It’s a divine appointment and he’s the best man for the job. His input to Ebonyi State when he was the chairman of the state’s Primary Education Board was very positive. Also, he was former Senior Lecturer, Mathematics Education, Ebonyi State University. The current Ebonyi State governor, Engineer Dave Umahi is a brilliant man and he’s pulling to himself brilliant men to join forces with him and push Ebonyi State forward.
Your mother is also a barrister and you’re an accountant. How has your background affected your career and circle of colleagues?

It’s been pretty cool.

In your latest movie, Amuche Business Tycoon, You played a character you have never play before? How were you able to deliver?

I am an actress. Art is deep and vast so showcasing different sides of my craft is what makes me a professional. Also, I’m an Igbo girl so it wasn’t challenging playing Amuche because in our everyday lives there is an Amuche. I am proud of the movie and I hear my fans in Nnewi are also proud of it too.

Have you ever read anything about yourself in the media that was untrue?

Being popular comes with a lot of dust. Musicians, actors, politicians and even religious leaders usually have rumours, controversies and scandals trailing them; it comes with the job. But like I always say, rumours don’t affect bank accounts. Outlining or addressing them would seem like an exoneration scheme. If I don’t talk about it then it doesn’t exist.

How do you stay in shape as an actress?

I eat right and work out.

What determines your fashion sense?

I am not a conventional dresser. Sometimes, my dress sense reflects several sides of my personality. Sometimes my mood dictates how I dress. Sometimes, where I am headed and what event is at hand could determine how I want to appear. Also, I’m not a name-brand fashionista. As long as I’m comfortable in it and I look good, I’m good to go.

You never took a break after childbirth like most actresses do. Why couldn’t you wait?

Post natal life for a career woman is usually a personal decision. Civil servants go on maternity leave for about three-months or less then resume work. Resuming work doesn’t mean the baby is uncared for. It always boils down to what one wants; it’s a personal decision like I said.

What projects are you working on currently?

I have a lot actually. But at the moment, Glitterati Iconic Media is going public in a couple of weeks. The C.E.O will announce it himself. I am Head, A&R; a huge position in the company. In addition, I have a hair extension business coming up and a black skin inspired modeling outfit; it’s still in the works though.

Are men still chasing you now that you are married and a mother?

I have people that love and appreciate me and I call them my lovers. They make my day on a daily basis. When I run into them on locations or on social media they make my day. Seeing a 60 year-old man or woman in a remote village excited to behold my face in flesh and blood is mind blowing. When little kids returning from school see me and they start screaming my name in excitement is overwhelming. When I’m at the airports and fans reach out to me for hugs, pictures or request that I speak to their friends or family to prove that they were with me is humbling. Some have blessed me with gifts; it’s all so overwhelming and humbling.

What message do you have for your fans?

I love them and the love is coming straight from my heart because they keep me going. I am on the screen because of them and I always pray for them.

What’s your advice for up-and-coming thespians?

First, let me congratulate them for daring to dream. Dreamers are achievers. The road to success is tricky and rough. Even if you fail and fall, get back up and continue because you’re a conqueror.

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Ivanca hits Nollywood http://sunnewsonline.com/new/ivanca-hits-nollywood/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/ivanca-hits-nollywood/#comments Sat, 25 Jul 2015 23:56:33 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=128645 By NKECHI CHIMA Bigspin Entertainment & Pic­tures has wrapped up plans to premiere a new TV series en­titled Ivanca on August 1, at Silverbird Cinemas, Ikeja Lagos. According to Yemi Ogundeji, the di­rector: “Ivanca is the story of pregnant teenagers in distress in our society, they are the most vulnerable and preferred targets for all [...]]]>

By NKECHI CHIMA

Bigspin Entertainment & Pic­tures has wrapped up plans to premiere a new TV series en­titled Ivanca on August 1, at Silverbird Cinemas, Ikeja Lagos.

According to Yemi Ogundeji, the di­rector: “Ivanca is the story of pregnant teenagers in distress in our society, they are the most vulnerable and preferred targets for all kinds of abuses and exploitation. Ivanca was shot in the historic first storey building in Nigeria, located in Badagry. The film exposes the traffick of unborn children in our society and how teenage girls who fall victims are converted into baby factories and their babies sold on the black market.”

The series features Caroline Ikpea, Osamoje Isaac, Patrick Nnamani, Dera Opara, Kingsley Aura, Beauty Emerald and George Eyo.

 

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We can’t stop medical tourism in Nigeria – Dorothy Jeff-Nnamani, Publichealthcare specialist http://sunnewsonline.com/new/we-cant-stop-medical-tourism-in-nigeria-dorothy-jeff-nnamani-publichealthcare-specialist/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/we-cant-stop-medical-tourism-in-nigeria-dorothy-jeff-nnamani-publichealthcare-specialist/#comments Sat, 25 Jul 2015 23:49:18 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=128624 BY VINCENT KALU and DORIS OBINNA Dr Dorothy Jeff-Nnam­ani is Managing Di­rector/CEO, Novo Health Africa, a medical out­fit in Nigeria with the mission to develop, provide and man­age sustainable healthcare programmes, services and support systems. She has worked as a phy­sician and health care man­agement executive within the Nigeria health sector and also served as [...]]]>

BY VINCENT KALU and DORIS OBINNA

Dr Dorothy Jeff-Nnam­ani is Managing Di­rector/CEO, Novo Health Africa, a medical out­fit in Nigeria with the mission to develop, provide and man­age sustainable healthcare programmes, services and support systems.

She has worked as a phy­sician and health care man­agement executive within the Nigeria health sector and also served as consultant and facilitator for community and government health pro­jects.

Her experience spans healthcare financing and administration, grassroot primary healthcare initiatives in developing countries and setting framework for poli­cies and decision making in healthcare. Since 2005, she has championed activities targeted at promoting pub­lic health for non-profit and profit making health organisations.

She is a member of the Public Health Physicians Association of Nigeria, Ameri­can College of Physicians and an alumnus of London School of Hygiene and Tropi­cal Medicine and Harvard School of Public Health.

In this interview, the Enugu State-born medical practitioner talks on why she be­came a medical doctor and gave an insight into how to reposition Nigeria’s healthcare sector.

Why did you study medi­cine?

I like to do good, I love helping peo­ple and I’m passionate about nurturing things. I’m full of empathy and fairness. I think I should call myself a people’s per­son and it all boils down to the fact that I like helping people.

What would you have been other than a medical doctor?

Well, maybe I could have been a farm­er, because I love doing things with my hands. As I said earlier, I like to nurture things, look after them and see them grow. So, I think I will retire as a farmer.

What’s the motivation for Novo Health Africa?

Novo Health Africa was incorporated in 2011. It was born out of my zeal to be able to influence the healthcare system and contribute in building the system. I appreciate the fact that one person can­not do it alone and the government can­not also do it all. I believe that if one has an idea and something to contribute to society, it makes the society a better place.

Nobody knows it all, especially when it has to do with healthcare which con­cerns all and irrespective of where you are coming from, whether you are rich or not. We all have something to contribute to the society. I believe we should have a structured healthcare system where eve­rybody can peruse healthcare.

People should be protected, especially when they know there are hospitals and doctors and the means and channels of accessing them with a paying structure. It shouldn’t really be about what one has or where he is coming from.

Ultimately, the essence is fashioning and providing an enabling healthcare system that people can have access to. Where people can obtain information concerning their health.

For instance, no doctor wants to go to rural areas. It’s not that there is nothing they can do, but because there is no prop­er structure. If the healthcare system was structured properly, doctors would gladly work in rural areas. So, for me, I think there should be a proper balancing of the system.

If you look at the banking system of those days, you cannot compare it with what it is now. Those who pioneered the banking system in the country, later saw how it was operated in the developed climes. They had to restructure the sys­tem, including remunerations and what have you and that is why everybody wants to work in the banking industry and there is this competition among them.

I believe Nigeria’s healthcare system can be repackaged so that people can be comfortable and doctors treated with the respect they deserve.

How has the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) been functioning and what are the challenges?

The NHIS has done a lot and I think it has come in very handy. It’s still work-in-progress, unlike in the United States where it has been operational for many years. Like every other sector, the NHIS had its teething problems, but I believe with time, we will get it right.

What do you have to say on awareness about the scheme ?

Now, the awareness has actually im­proved. Back then, say about eight to 10 years ago, the awareness was very poor. But, with time, through advertisements and other campaigns it has improved markedly. Lots of people now know about health insurance and are beginning to key into the scheme.

Before now, it took a whole month or more to convince somebody why it’s im­portant for him or her to obtain health in­surance. Also it was difficult to convince them about how their health actually af­fects the way they think and their financial status.

We now have community health insur­ance schemes, whereby we talk to them on how they can come together as a group and form a force that will entitle them to be repre­sented as a group and gain access into the NHIS benefit pack­age and it’s work­ing.

M a n y states, local governments and communities have keyed into it. So how do we structure this?

Apart from people being everywhere, they also do not have a paying structure as their salary is not constant. What kind of financing mechanism are we going to use if we want to register them into the health insurance scheme and how are we going to ensure that they pay their bills? And in cases where their salaries are not regular and there is movement from one state to another, how do we trace them? There is no security device in Nigeria like an identity card through which we can trace them.

Until we have a way of counting heads in this country and able to trace people from one place to the other, the full ben­efits of NHIS won’t be realized. What the NHIS is doing now is what we have been advised to do. That is trying to group peo­ple into associations. For instance, Okada riders who have groups or associations and other informal people eking out a liv­ing for themselves. All these people can be brought together and grouped so that there will be people to hold responsible in ensuring that they make their contribu­tions. The problem is if you start doing it individually, people may not respect the agreement, especially due to the Nigerian factor.

About 20 years ago, there was this campaign themed Health for all by the year 2000 which was a global initiative. Many years after, nothing has been done in this direction in Nige­ria. What went wrong?

The World Health Organization organ­ized that many years back. The slogan, “Health for all by 2000,” was indicative of the goal given to governments to make healthcare a priority to ensure that peo­ple of the world are healthy and able to live a socially and economically produc­tive life by year 2000.

It was left for individual governments to tap into it. You can see where we are in Nigeria even as the MDGs are fast closing up. Of course for every pro­gramme implemented there will be monitoring indicators. I guess looking back, the programme must have achieved some level of success in some countries.

What agenda will you set for government on healthcare?

Well, I think they should focus on pri­mary healthcare. How to sustain and reshape primary healthcare should be paramount to this government. Yes, we want universal coverage. What are the challenges in providing universal cover­age? In providing universal coverage, you have to provide primary healthcare infrastructure. Centres people can go to. In other words, the government should rehabilitate primary healthcare centres .

We had a well structured primary healthcare system around us, but most of them have deteriorated. I think Nigeria had the best primary healthcare system whereby in every community, there was one health centre and a general hospital in tertiary institutions. So, I will advise we look into what we have and try and improve them. The healthcare system should be properly regulated. Right now, Nigeria’s healthcare system is in sham­bles and everybody is doing whatever he or she likes.

How do we stop medical tour­ism that’s gulping foreign ex­change?

We cannot stop medical tourism or avoid it no matter what. We can only de­velop ours so that people can also come. Even in the United States, they have med­ical tourism. Americans are going outside to procure healthcare mostly because of the cost. Every healthcare system has its main issues. America’s issue is the cost despite the fact that they have the facili­ties as many people still cannot afford healthcare. They go to other countries like Cuba and India for treatment.

Medical tourism cannot be prevented, what we need is to build Nigeria’s health­care system so that other African coun­tries can be attracted to it. If we have good healthcare system and hospitals that compete like five-star hotels, then we can also attract medical tourism. The healthcare system we all know is not a fast money making sector, but even at that, people should come and invest in it, then with time it will grow.

Tell us about yourself

I am a mother of four beau­tiful kids from Enugu State both by birth and marriage. I’m a public health specialist with over 15 years experi­ence.

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Tuface, Victor Uwaifo jam at Eargasm Concert today http://sunnewsonline.com/new/tuface-victor-uwaifo-jam-at-eargasm-concert-today/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/tuface-victor-uwaifo-jam-at-eargasm-concert-today/#comments Sat, 25 Jul 2015 23:48:05 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=128622 Veteran music stars, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Daniel Wilson and Sunny Nneji have teamed up with Tuface Idibia to excite music lovers today, Sunday, July 26, at ThisDay Dome, Abuja. According to the organizer, Efe Omoregbe, the idea behind Eargasm Concert was to create a convergence of fans from diverse generations and treat them to an [...]]]>

Veteran music stars, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Daniel Wilson and Sunny Nneji have teamed up with Tuface Idibia to excite music lovers today, Sunday, July 26, at ThisDay Dome, Abuja.

According to the organizer, Efe Omoregbe, the idea behind Eargasm Concert was to create a convergence of fans from diverse generations and treat them to an exciting night with a unique blend of classic African music.

“We want to create an opportunity for lovers of good music to come out and network while enjoying great music from these amazing talents. I am certain that it’s going to be a great show because all these talents will perform not only their songs but also popular classics as demanded by fans,” Omorogbe said.

Tuface also expressed his excite­ment, describing the concert as laudable: ‘I’m really excited about the concert and can’t wait for it to happen. Performing on stage with Sir Victor Uwaifo is like a dream come true for me.”

The show is produced by Yankee Entertainment, Buckwyld Media and Hypertek Digital Production. The event will also have performances from EME songstress, Niyola, Dammy Krane, Queen Moda and Yung 6ix.

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Nigerian American R&B singer, Jidenna gets 17million hits on YouTube http://sunnewsonline.com/new/nigerian-american-rb-singer-jidenna-gets-17million-hits-on-youtube/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/nigerian-american-rb-singer-jidenna-gets-17million-hits-on-youtube/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 23:00:51 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=128478 Nigerian R&B singer, Jidenna Theodore Mobisson, is heat­ing up YouTube with his single, Classic Man, fea­turing Ro­man GianAr­thur. As at last count he has received 17 million hits and still counting for the single and he is touted as the next big thing to come out of America musically. Signed to Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland Records, [...]]]>

Nigerian R&B singer, Jidenna Theodore Mobisson, is heat­ing up YouTube with his single, Classic Man, fea­turing Ro­man GianAr­thur. As at last count he has received 17 million hits and still counting for the single and he is touted as the next big thing to come out of America musically.

Signed to Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland Records, he has col­laborated with numerous artists including St. Beauty, Deep Cot­ton and Janelle Monáe herself, recording a five-song compila­tion EP entitled The Eephus. In February 2015, he released his first single, Classic Man, featuring Roman GianArthur, another artist signed to Wondaland Records.

The song has been on heavy rota­tion throughout the United States and debuted at number 49 on Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart. On March 31, 2015, the second single from the EP was released entitled Yoga, by Janelle Monáe and Jidenna.

Jidenna was born in Wisconsin to an American mother, Tama Mobisson, an accountant, and a father of Igbo Nige­rian heritage, Oliver Mobisson, a profes­sor of Computer Science at Enugu State University until 1995, when the family moved from Nigeria to Massachusetts.

Jidenna graduated from Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts, in 2003. He founded a rap group while in high school when he began producing, arranging and writing. Jidenna at­tended Stanford University in California from 2003 to 2008. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity, he pur­sued his music career full-time, moving between Los Angeles, Oakland, Brook­lyn and Atlanta.

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Day female fans held me hostage – Kiss Daniel, Woju singer http://sunnewsonline.com/new/day-female-fans-held-me-hostage-kiss-daniel-woju-singer/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/day-female-fans-held-me-hostage-kiss-daniel-woju-singer/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 23:00:47 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=128501 Success they say is like a magnet; it attracts members of the opposite sex in droves. That is exactly what is happening to Woju singer, Kiss Daniel (Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe) ever since the release of the single. And you may not know it. But the rave of the mo­ment and G-Worldwide Entertainment act is a [...]]]>

Success they say is like a magnet; it attracts members of the opposite sex in droves. That is exactly what is happening to Woju singer, Kiss Daniel (Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe) ever since the release of the single. And you may not know it. But the rave of the mo­ment and G-Worldwide Entertainment act is a graduate from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, with a degree in Water Engineering. He started his music career professionally in 2013 after his tertiary education and overnight became a household name with the release of Woju. In this chat with IHEJIRIKA SANDRA and NWEZE CHINE­NYE, Kiss Daniel, who lost his dad a while ago says his influ­ences include acts like Danfo Driv­ers, Zulezu, Oriste Femi and Tuface Idibia among a host of others. He also opens up on career and fame.

Excerpts:

What have you been up to lately?

Wow! I’m currently working on my debut album. My fans should watch out, it’s going to be bang like dynamite!

How was growing up?

Growing up was just fine. I grew up in Abeokuta, Ogun State. I schooled in Abeokuta too. I had all my education in Abeokuta and I studied Water Engineering.

Why the name Kiss Daniel?

That goes back a long way. I chose the name because that was the nickname I got in school. And it was due to my dimples and then somehow, the name just stuck to me like glue and here I am today.

You studied Water Engineering, why music?

(Laughter) I chose music over my course of study because I like doing music; it runs in my blood. I am one of those who believes in following his passion. I would rather do music than sit behind a desk in a shirt and tie signing documents.

What did your parents say about your career choice?

My dad was okay with it because he was a lover of creativity, but mom’s not so much of an entertainment person.

What does music mean to you and what inspires your sound?
Music generally is a way of communication. It is the food of the soul. Of course I write my songs. I started writing at the age of 11. I listen to music and it inspires me. God, my dad and good music motivate me.

As an up-and-coming artiste, what challenges did you face?

It was rough and tough but today I don’t think I’m fac­ing any challenge. The only thing I’m trying to contain is dealing with fame because I still live my life like a normal person on the streets. But one has to be very care­ful now because all eyes are on you.

What inspired Woju and how are your female fans warming up to it

A whole lot of good music out there inspired Woju. And my female fans are reacting very well. Here’s giving them all a very big hug: you’ve all been wonderful.

What’s the craziest thing your female fans have done to you?

Wow! I went for a show a while ago and when I was about driving out of the venue, some of my female fans num­bering about 11 or 12 stormed the venue and surrounded my car insisting that I was going nowhere except I took them to my house. The bouncers tried to make a way for me to leave but all was to no avail so I had to take a couple of them to my house. I didn’t do anything with them-o (laughter). I did it so they could let me leave the venue.

Which artiste are you looking forward to work­ing with?

Lil Wayne.

Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

I see myself where my hard work and God takes me to.

Apart from music, what else do you think you can try your hands at?

Apart from music, I’m equally a fashionista and I will soon be opening my own clothes line.

What words of advice do you for your fans?

Live and let’s live.

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Nicki Minaj furious with MTV for VMA snub http://sunnewsonline.com/new/nicki-minaj-furious-with-mtv-for-vma-snub/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/nicki-minaj-furious-with-mtv-for-vma-snub/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 23:00:03 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=128481 Nicki Minaj is not happy with MTV! The Anaconda superstar found out her hits weren’t nominated for a few key VMAs and she took to twitter to let the network know that they made a huge mistake! Nicki couldn’t stop herself from going on an epic Twitter rant. Nicki Minaj tweeted her frustrations stating that [...]]]>

Nicki Minaj is not happy with MTV! The Anaconda superstar found out her hits weren’t nominated for a few key VMAs and she took to twitter to let the network know that they made a huge mistake! Nicki couldn’t stop herself from going on an epic Twitter rant.

Nicki Minaj tweeted her frustrations stating that she isn’t pleased that the 2015 VMAs aren’t rightly recognizing two of 2015’s most memorable videos. The nominations came out on July 21 and Anaconda was conspicuously absent from the Video of The Year category and Feeling Myself didn’t even get a single nomina­tion!

Despite breaking records and being such an infec­tious mega-hit, Anaconda wasn’t nominated for Video of the Year. Though it’s in the Best Hip- Hop Video category, Nicki feels her amazing video deserves so much more. The reigning Queen of rap isn’t about to settle for less than the best and that includes the utter lack of recognition MTV gave Feeling Myself, her sexy collaboration with Be­yoncé!

 

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Funding, major problem of Nollywood – Chibuike Ibe moviemaker http://sunnewsonline.com/new/funding-major-problem-of-nollywood-chibuike-ibe-moviemaker/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/funding-major-problem-of-nollywood-chibuike-ibe-moviemaker/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 23:00:03 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=128483 In 2010, the movie director/producer known as Chibui­ke Ibe made his entry into Nollywood and hit the right cords after a string of successful mov­ies working with award winning Elvis Chuks among a host of oth­ers. Today, Ibe now runs his own movie production outfit, Reality Motion Pictures. In this chat with Tony Ogaga Erhariefe, [...]]]>

In 2010, the movie director/producer known as Chibui­ke Ibe made his entry into Nollywood and hit the right cords after a string of successful mov­ies working with award winning Elvis Chuks among a host of oth­ers. Today, Ibe now runs his own movie production outfit, Reality Motion Pictures. In this chat with Tony Ogaga Erhariefe, Ibe shares his dreams and opens up on his latest projects, Triangle and Mr. & Mrs Onoja.

Excerpts:

How did your journey into movie making begin?

The Journey has not been easy. I studied Marine Chemistry at the University of Calabar (UNICAL). I graduated in 2009 and started working with Elvis Chucks as a Production Manager in 2010. I also worked with Alex Mouth among others before I started producing and directing my own films. My back­ground as a marine chemist was a plus for me because it’s a research based field. So far, I’ve been involved in lots of mov­ies. Last year, I directed a movie entitled Triangle, starring Yvonne Okoro, IK Ogbonna, Bishop Imeh Umoh, Melvin Oduah, Empress Njamah and Esther Audu. I also produced Covert Opera­tion starring Olu Jacobs and Patience Ozokwo. Covert Operation was my first major project as a movie producer. I was also the production manager of Happy Family, a TV Series directed by Elvis Chucks among others.

Tell us about the movie you are currently producing?

That’s Mr & Mrs Onoja. It’s a roman­tic thriller which bothers on serious issues concerning relationships. It is the story of a young, handsome, successful and rich business man. Though he takes his job serious, his unfaithfulness and disrespect for women is legendary. An ex-beauty queen is suddenly struck by this guy’s charm and she calls off her wedding which is just a few months away to be with her new found lover. Few months into the relationship, just as he usually does to women, he kicks her out of his life without blinking. I double as director and executive producer. It was produced by Pelumi Olalekan Akande and dialogue coach was Ade­poju Opeoluwa

What inspired it?

The movie was inspired by true life events.
What were your challenges?

The challenge for me was casting. I knew shooting wouldn’t be a challenge for me but equipment wasn’t easy to source. And like you know, filmmaking is teamwork; I knew I couldn’t do it all alone so I approached my friend and brother, Olalekan Pelumi Akande, the CEO of White Eagle Production, a media company based in Abuja for partnership and support and eventually, he ended up being my producer as well. Financing the movie was an herculean task I must confess. We wanted to get everything right and like you know, good things always come with a price. But thank­fully, I got a grant from the federal govern­ment through Project Act Nollywood to the tune of N10m.

What is your take on Nollywood?

The industry is growing but funding remains a major challenge. The experience has not been easy but consistency is the key. I started as a production manager and then I evolved into a producer and director. I have met lots of people in the course of production and I have realised that up-and-coming actors need to believe in themselves before the audi­ence can believe in them. Acting is not for everyone; it is not an all comers affair.

Your movie, Triangle, premiers on September 10, could you give us a sneak preview?

Triangle is the story of three sisters who are triplets. They have all had their fair share of lies, deceits and broken hearts so they col­lectively decide not to fall in love again. But all that changes when an unusual guy comes into the picture and the three of them fall in love with him. It was produced by Fiona Garba and directed by me.

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Two weeks in America http://sunnewsonline.com/new/two-weeks-in-america/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/two-weeks-in-america/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 16:36:49 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=128206 Before ever I contemplated travelling to the United States of America last month, for a week summer workshop at City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism on Digital Multimedia Journalism, I had read and heard several stories of life in America, always painted in glowing colours]]>

• In New York, people identify Nigerians by their looks and behaviour

BY ROBERT OBIOHA

Before ever I contemplated travelling to the United States of America last month, for a week summer workshop at City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism on Digital Multimedia Journalism, I had read and heard several stories of life in America, always painted in glowing colours and flowing prose and lyricism. In those romantic stories, America had been painted as a heaven on earth, especially with the appellation, “God’s Own Country,” as if other countries do not belong to God. Even some of our people who travelled there and those living there tend to stamp in our memories the construction of America as a place where things work and where life is so easy that you can literally pluck dollars from trees and pick them on their well-paved streets and roads, as if there are no bad roads in America or places with heaps of refuse.

As young people in secondary school in Nigeria, my colleagues and I had fantasised about America with what we used to refer to as American wonder! Since ever launching their first man on the moon and performing other scientific feats, like the Hiroshima bombings during the World War 1 and World War 11 and their claim to a land of freedom, bastion of human rights, world power and their famed American Dream, America became a place of refuge for many students from Africa. Indeed, ever since Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and later the group that was fondly referred to as the Seven Argonauts, that included Dr. K.O. Mbadiwe, Mazi Mbonu Ojike, Dr. Okechukwu Ikejiani and others attended universities in the United States, most Igbo young school leavers aspiring for university education in foreign lands had placed America first before others.

Even though some prominent Igbo attended university education in England and other European cities, America is the place to be. In America, they can blend easily in its multiracial, multicultural and mosaic composition of immigrants from every part of the world: Europeans, Jews, Latinos, Hispanics, Africans, Arabs and Asians. One guy in my college used to tell me that he liked the way Americans speak English more than the way the Britons do. But all I know is that language preferences and linguistic attitudes of people purely and largely depend on individual’s linguistic idiosyncrasy. All the same, let me confess that I love the musicality and force of an average American’s manner of speech as well as the clarity of an average Briton’s speech mannerism. At times, I strain my ears to catch the drawl of American speech, especially from those that had never visited another country outside their America.

In the 1970s when Nigeria was awash with petrol-dollar oil boom wealth, American education was derided and treated with much cynicism and disdain by Nigerian education authorities. Then Nigeria had about five universities located at Ibadan, Ife, Lagos, Zaria and Nsukka, not necessarily in order of seniority. Then we used to regard those that elect to study abroad as “those that could not pass JAMB” (Joint Admission Matriculation Board) that regulates examination to enter Nigerian universities. While it was true that there were actually those that went to America and other foreign lands to study because back home they were not wonderful academically to face the stiff competition but at the same time, there were many bright ones among them. The reason for this category of bright students leaving Nigeria for America was lack of admission in the fewer universities at home then.

With time, the perception changed dramatically and America became the place to go in terms of good university education and even medical services. Till now, American education is still highly valued in Nigeria. It is even now a pride to have one of your own in American university. The crisis in Nigerian education was made worse by mismanagement of Nigeria’s wealth by chains of inept leaders. Every attempt made since the return of our nascent democracy in 1999 to revamp the education ailing sector had been salutary and ineffective. But we believe that we would get there one day. One day, Nigeria would be like America. As young people we had regarded everything America with much awe that tended towards magical realism, we had believed that America is the place things work perfectly. Their Hollywood films had ingrained that belief in all of us. “Coming to America,” that epic screen story of the life of blacks in America, by Eddie Murphy, was indeed, the best American film I had watched and would like to watch several times over without being tired. It captured the good, the bad and the ugly of the melting pot of American cultures. It is good that the Queens, where Murphy came to find his bride, was one of the places we visited.

With great expectation of seeing heaven on earth, my colleagues and I set off on June 3 from Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to United States via George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Houston. The flight was smooth except occasional storms or what I come to regard as “shaky-shaky,” we reached the US in the morning of June 4, and waited for some hours before connecting a flight to LaGuardia Airport, New York, the home of high rise buildings and the first place that European immigrants and others that came later settled in the US, hence its high population density. The 13-hour flight from Lagos to Houston via United Airlines was smooth, except when the “shaky-shaky” could not allow the cabin crew to share food and drinks. But it didn’t last long before they resumed their operation. Some of the cabin crew members were cheerful, especially the one that sang “ex-cu-se-meeeee” like a Michael Jackson pop music remix.

My first impression about America on arrival is their high sense of duty. I noticed that from the attitudes of the cabin crew members. They served you with joy. To an average American, there is dignity of labour. Even the cleaners there do it with joy unlike what obtains at our airports where people work and grumble and even demand for bribes or gifts as if they are not paid. That is the difference between our port officials and theirs including security agents. The taxi drivers in New York drive like those in Nigeria, especially Lagos. As they drive along the traffic jam or what we regard as “go-slow” in local parlance, they ask so many questions to know if you are a first time visitor or not. Once they establish that you are new to the city, you are at their mercy.

The journey can be extended through circumventing the routes to attract high pay as their taxi metre reads. This particular young Malaysian blames the world capitalist economic system for his problems. He blames American capitalism and world religions for his woes. He is in love with revolutionary passages from the Bible and revolutionary lyrics contained in some reggae music, especially the Bob Marley genre. Hear him: “I have lived 20 years in the United States with nothing to show for it.” To him, “all religions are political and intended to shortchange other people.”

He said that he had a spiritual problem, which he needed some prayers from a man of God. He had wanted to see in particular Prophet T.B. Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) based in Lagos. He said that he knew about the prophet through YouTube and strongly believed that he could cure him spiritually. The problem with this young man is that he cannot visit Nigeria for fear of insecurity. We reminded him that Lagos was more secure than many places in the US. That time, the incident of the two most dangerous prison inmates, Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, that escaped from Clinton Correction Facility in Dannemora in upstate New York had not occurred. The “Have a nice day” escapees had not been captured. Police brutality of a black teenager at beach party in McKinney, Dallas, had not taken place. The Charleston church shooting of nine blacks in South Carolina had not occurred plus other numerous killings in the US. Easy access to guns is the major reason for ease of killing in the US. Another contributory factor for much black killings is racism. America is still a racist country irrespective of what some of their people say to the contrary. Racism is a contagious disease that America should kill before its spread harms the mosaic country.

The taxi driver also intimated us that it was always difficult getting to Brooklyn from the airport at evenings due to traffic jam. There is also “go-slow” in America. We saw roads with potholes as well as dirty ones. We saw beggars and mad people. He drove with less attention and drove like one of those “mad” drivers of Lagos, exploiting our ignorance and dropped us at our destination when he felt he had made enough dollars from us. Other members of our 14-man contingent got to the hotel before us at Chester Street, Brooklyn, even though we left before them. We had similar experience the following day when a taxi took us from Chester Street to Rockaway Avenue, a short distance that we later walk on a daily basis.

When we arrived at Brooklyn, we were not immediately impressed with what we saw because of the earlier romantic view and impression we had of America. The culture shock and the ordinariness of the scenery did not help matters. With time, we concluded that Brooklyn resembles more of Ajegunle in Lagos. Honestly, it is more beautiful than Ajegunle. It can compare favourably with Lagos Island and Ikoyi. But it looks every inch like Lagos, Nigeria. Before we could say Jack Robinson, some Nigerian residents, who sensed our newness to the city advised us to be careful because this is a high crime area where one can be robbed and even be killed at night.

“Don’t ever come out at night. Buy whatever you need now and go back to your hotel rooms. This place is dangerous,” they chorused the unsolicited advice to which we retorted a big “thank you” even though Willy, my friend, took it with a pinch of salt. He does not regard such warnings as representing the truth.

By the time we spent two days in Brooklyn, coupled with our daily visits to Manhattan, where CUNY is situated and other places of interest like the UN Building, the US Foreign Press Department, Central Park, the Queens and Jackson Heights, we had become part of Brooklyn and behaved like the inhabitants, except that our accent betrayed us most times. Once we spoke, they could even name our country in Africa. Nigeria is popular. One Nigerian identified us as Igbo in one of the shops we went to buy shoes. Upon further interrogation, we discovered he is from Osina in Imo State. Many Nigerians live in Brooklyn. We can recognise faces we have met in the subway or metro bus or the African Restaurant. We no longer dread the stories of how dangerous Brooklyn is.

As we pass one of the shops along Rockaway, one man hailed me “Igweee!” I wondered along with my colleagues, Willy and Joachim, how these people knew I am a Chief. Even though I am not an officially titled Chief as such, Chief has become my title in office and everywhere people see me. Maybe it is the way I dress or comport myself or my body structure. Even at CUNY workshop, the facilitators, Kate Pastor and Adeola Fayehun addressed me as Chief like the rest of the class. To me, the title is ceremonial and perhaps, a mark of respect, hence I maintain my humility at all times and respect everyone that I come across.

America is a country of immigrants. There are whites, blacks and coloureds people in what is now called America. They maintain a mosaic of cultures and languages. They are different, yet they are united by being first and foremost Americans irrespective of where their parents came from. They are proud to proclaim at rooftops their Americanness. In Brooklyn area, blacks are more in number, hence we easily became part of the crowd. Most of them came from Haiti, Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands. Blacks are the same everywhere in the world. Apart from their colour, they are distinguishable by speech mannerism, stature, movement and dance steps and general reaction to rhythm. Blacks are strong, energetic and overtly loud. They talk everywhere, in bus, in train and in shopping malls and restaurants. If you see any guy driving and playing loud music, he is definitely a black. Their women are naturally endowed with big backside, which they sway with careless abandon, especially during summer. They are also endowed with firm and big busts, which they flaunt at will with lose cover. Bum shorts reign supreme here as well as tattoos. There are Asians with tiny bodies. They also work hard. There are Jews with their pope-like small black caps and full grown and weird beards. Who says that Igbo originate from the Jews? The many I have seen have no resemblance to blacks whatsoever. The Jews are aloof and keep to themselves. But they are shrewd businessmen and workaholics. The Arabs are there too with their women.

Some of the people in Brooklyn think that we live there permanently. But when told that we are visitors that will soon go back home, they retorted, “Don’t you like our country” to which we replied, “We like your country but we do not intend to stay.” To most of us, America is good for brief visit and not good for a long stay. America is too expensive. You must work hard for every dime you make in America. There is no free lunch there. You pay for everything you eat. It is like our local saying, “money for hand, back for ground.” You pay tax for everything you buy, including food, fruits and even pants. We are already established in our country. It is where our kith and kin live and we are used to our food and culture.

Within days, we started feeling home sick. We started nursing the hunger for garri, pounded yam and fufu with onugbu or egusi or uha soup, a luxury we could ill-afford in US. The day we ate pounded yam and vegetable soup, we coughed 20 dollars each for food that did not satisfy us. That was the first and last “swallow” we ate in US for our two weeks short stay.

The first Sunday, we felt that we should attend just any church to observe how they worship God in America. The first shock is that worship starts at 12.30 pm. When we asked why, we were told that people even open their shops and do brisk business before coming to church. We had thought that on Sundays those shops won’t be open even for where we bought food. To our utmost chagrin, we discovered that every shop is open, including our favourite restaurant run by fellow Africans and Jamaicans that also sell jollof rice cooked with kidney beans (ndudu), jollof rice cooked with corn and other delicacies. Here, you take a plate and pick whatever you like and pay whatever is the weight plus value added tax (VAT). After eating, you drop the plates at the trash can.

The first day, we did not do that because back home, the restaurant workers do such jobs even without tips that are customary in America. Though, nobody will begrudge you if you refuse to tip. With time we start to tip so as to belong and not necessarily that we like such practice of legitimising corruption on a national scale.

The Christ Apostolic Church we attended was virtually empty. It is a black church where there is little singing and less noise. The preaching is not as catchy as what we have at home. Everything the old black pastor said is punctuated with, “ride on, brother” and other jargons I could not pick. Every church likes offerings and this particular one was no exception. They invited us to partake in their Holy Communion and wine even when we told them that we did not belong to that denomination. Some of us did and some declined, especially for coming late to service and not because of mortal sins. This church is right. Holy Communion should be for every church attendant. They do not worry if you wear skimpy dress or not cover your head, in the case of women, as Nigerian churches do, what is important here is your presence.

Church attendance in US is scanty. They pray less but work hard. That is why they have the best of things in life. They have got good life and technology but their morality is failing seriously. That is why young boys and girls can kiss openly inside train. They express love openly here. They dress suggestively too, especially the females. Everybody smokes, including women. Most Americans are obese and there appears no control in sight. Though they walk or cycle long distances, they are so big. It is, indeed, an open society. That is why Kate Pastor and Adeola Fayehun keep knocking it on our head to have an open mind as we learn and tour America. However, how can I keep open mind in the face of racism and overt expression of sex, awkward sexual orientations and godlessness? That is why gay marriage has been approved in the US. You see gay and lesbian couples hug and kiss in the open. Let them come to Lagos and do it and see what Nigerian boys and girls will do to them. America should come back to God, they have actually derailed. Some churches there display such messages. They should come to Africa to learn morality and community living. They should be greeting their neighbours, “Good morning, my neighbours” as Eddie Murphy did in “Coming to America” and stop keeping stone face, as if they are fighting or that Armageddon is fast approaching.

Blacks are still at the margins of American Dream and development. Every cleaner I saw was a black. They do the menial jobs, driving, cooking, washing, etc. There are fewer blacks in American police and by extension other security agencies. The blacks are still at the margins of American society, as the most disadvantaged minority group in terms of access to education and power. Asians are gradually upping up their numerical strength in the US. After the whites, Latinos and Hispanics, the Asians will rank next in US diversity composition before blacks.

A new visitor to the US must learn the routes and how to enter the train and get at one’s destination. You should also equip yourself with knowledge of map reading. From Chester Street to Rockaway Avenue where we enter bus to Saratoga subway station is not far. And from Saratoga we move on rail to Manhattan every morning for our media training at CUNY. Our tour guide, Larry, a Nigerian, at times misses the way but is sure he must get you where you are going. Even in his mistakes, he is lively and enjoys what he is doing. You can hardly annoy Larry.

Chairman Deji is also lively and encourages everyone when despair wants to set in. Shobande and his partner Kabiru are good in their own way too, likewise Babajide, the in-house pastor. I have not forgotten other female members of group, Chioma, the I-Movie expert, Binta, the youngest eligible spinster, the happy Priscilla, Ajayi and Abimbola. I will not miss to mention the man we call Director but his real name is Fola, Chilee, another Internet guru and eligible bachelor, Willy and Joachim, members of our in-house drinking club. In this particular club, everything goes from American Budweiser to Stout and Heineken beer and all manner of brandy. To members of this club, beer must flow every night.

On the first day at school, we marvelled at the beauty of the CUNY building, the serenity and ambience, the classroom and environment and concluded that we have not started in Nigeria. We are still crawling. We are far behind civilisation. We are behind history. The black man is late at the global festival of scientific knowledge. Our leaders should wake up and fast too. There is computer for everyone for the training. We gained from the intensive training on multimedia reporting. But we gained more from the tours of the Central Park, area housing the UN Building, Jackson Heights, the Queens, China Town and the Bronx and others.

At an Indian restaurant where we had buffet lunch, it was an interesting experience savouring many Indian cuisines that are well spiced. We noticed that Indians have their gods decorating their places of business, just like the Chinese, but not Africans. Our shrines are at home. Where they have not been burnt by overzealous religionists among us, they have been abandoned in preference for the Cross of Calvary. Africa must get back to its roots before it can measure up like his distant cousins in Europe, America and Asia in science and technology.

On another day on our tour, we bumped on this Igbo man. He first spotted us. His name is Rev (Dr) Daniel Kalu from Abiriba, Abia State. He is a clergyman. He lives in the US and believes strongly in American Dream but he does not like the mistreatment of blacks in America. Kalu is sad that some Nigerians in America are lost already.

At China Town, we took a tour of the Museums and were told of history of immigration to New York, the reason for the high rise buildings due to high population growth and migration of people to other less populated areas in the country. Most places in China Town are for business. We interacted with some of the people living there.

Our tour of the Bronx was the most memorable. Apart from seeing the Yankee Stadium, we also crossed the newly reopened historic 1, 450-foot length High Bridge that links Manhattan with the Bronx. It cost $61.8 million to restore the 123-foot tall bridge. It is here we met a Blackman that looked like the area fathers at Mile 2 Bridge and Oshodi telling us: “Except all blacks unite, the white man will continue to oppress us.” The man is apparently lamenting the low place of the blacks in the US and by extension in the entire world. We would have interviewed him but the smell of smoke and beer prevented us. Some of us thought he was deranged but I thought otherwise.

At the Bronx, we savoured West Indian food at a sedate Jamaican restaurant. The pictures of Bob Marley, Nat King Cole and other black musicians and leaders dot the walls of the small but beautiful restaurant. Our diet consists mostly of rice cooked in different forms depending on which cultural background the cooks come from. The first night, I did not quite know if I was in US or in Nigeria. The transformation took some days before my realisation that I was no longer in Nigeria. The same experience repeated when I came back. At times I would think I should wake up and take a bus to Saratoga en route Manhattan. I would still hear the voice of the train driver announcing in their drawl American accent the next stop at Saratoga.

At the end of our training, we arrived at the New York airport to catch a flight to Houston. The weather was so bad and our flight was delayed for hours. Before we arrived at Houston at about 11 pm, our 9.45 pm Lagos- bound flight had left. We were forced to sleep at the airport, no hotel accommodation was provided by the airline and no food. We were left on our own because the United Airlines authorities said they did not cause us to miss our flight but the weather. Who pays for the weather, me or the airline? The following day, they quickly rooted us to Lagos via Amsterdam. In Holland, people drink their Heineken beer with love, men and women. They also smoke.

We arrived at Schiphol Airport the following day and boarded a KLM flight to Lagos. When we alighted, the smell and aroma of Nigeria came alive, once again, to our bold relief. Our experiences proved right the old idiom, east or west, home is the best. There is, indeed, no place like home. At last, we are home!

Some African-Americans recount experiences

BY ROBERT OBIOHA

A good reading of the history of immigration in America has shown that the country can rightly be described as one constituted by immigrants. They have immigrants from Europe, Jews, Irish, Russia, Latinos, Hispanics, Asia and Africa. Therefore, the United States has great racial and cultural diversity. Almost all countries of the world have presence in America.

The diversity that gave America its strength can at times be a source of worry. The multi-racial nature of American society has inherently led to racism, discrimination, police brutality and ethnic profiling. Besides, there is the problem of over-population in some areas, high rate of crime and unemployment.

With this in mind, I went to Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn to get the views of some African-Americans experiences in US. The story is limited to the areas mentioned, but it could be used to get a feeling or a representative experience of some immigrants in US, especially, those of African-Americans.

First to be interviewed is Rev (Dr) Daniel Kalu, 66, a native of Abiriba in Abia State. The clergyman who belongs to Assemblies of God Church in US has a doctorate degree in Leadership and Counselling from a US University, has lived in America for 16 years. He has this to say of life in America. “Life in America can be difficult to an immigrant who came to America without a purpose and proper documentation.”

But this is never the lot of Kalu with a wife and five children. Kalu says he has had good life, breakthrough in US. He also warned that it is easy to be lost in US. He says that his wife lives in Nigeria and visits occasionally. Some of his five children who are pastors work in US while others work in Nigeria.

Kalu like other African immigrants maintains two homes and two countries. To him, America is good, especially if one works hard, an indirect reference to American Dream. Kalu is of the view that America accommodates all people irrespective of race. On police brutality against blacks, especially the recent police manhandling of a black teenager at a beach party in McKinney, Dallas, which attracted global condemnation that led to the resignation of the police officer concerned, Kalu says: “It is a bad development” but added that “government is doing the best to reduce such ugly incidents… It will take education and reorientation to be overcome.”

Ahmed Amadou, a Senegalese that sells cell phone covers and in his late 50s has lived in US for 21 years. He had earlier lived in Tennessee and currently lives in Rockaway area of Brooklyn. Like Kalu, he maintains two homes. His wife and children live in Africa. The African immigrants plow part of their proceeds home. He has built a house at home. To them, America is good and a land of opportunities. Amadou says the African-Americans have cordial relationship with other immigrants in the community. Like Kalu, Amadou’s family visit occasionally. He says that police act fairly to all in Brooklyn. In his words, “police are fair to everybody here. I am enjoying my stay.”

Here also is the view of another African-American that works in a shop in Brooklyn. Rachid from Morocco has lived in US for nine years. He initially worked as an electrician in Morocco before immigrating to America. He works in a shop that sells clothes, shoes, caps, etc. He says that before that business is good but now it is no longer booming due to bad economy. Here, he says, “we record poor sales now.”

On housing, Rachid says, “house rents are expensive.” To him also, “getting good jobs in US requires high education.” Rachid says the relationship between African immigrants and other races is cordial. He says that Brooklyn is witnessing “more security than before now that a lot of Jews are moving into this area.

The views of these African-Americans seem to be corroborated by John DeSio, Communications Director, Office of The Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz Jr. who confirmed the growing African population in Bronx. He says that African-Americans constitute about 60, 000-80,000 of Bronx population while Puerto Rico constitutes about 400,000. Housing is one of the immigration challenges facing Bronx community. Despite this and other challenges, Bronx has many attractions – stadium, amazing restaurants and others.

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Tiwa Savage welcomes baby boy http://sunnewsonline.com/new/tina-savage-welcomes-baby-boy/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/tina-savage-welcomes-baby-boy/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 14:54:43 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=128196 Mavin Records pop star Tiwa Savage has given birth to a baby boy. Her husband/manager Tunji ‘Tee Billz’ Balogun shared a photo of him holding a new born baby’s hand today, July 22, 2015. In the caption he simply wrote “Thank You Jesus….” Don Jazzy has congratulated the celeb couple on Twitter. Michael Collins ✔ [...]]]>

Mavin Records pop star Tiwa Savage has given birth to a baby boy.

Her husband/manager Tunji ‘Tee Billz’ Balogun shared a photo of him holding a new born baby’s hand today, July 22, 2015.

In the caption he simply wrote “Thank You Jesus….”

Don Jazzy has congratulated the celeb couple on Twitter.

(PULSE)
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I don’t mind sex roles –Vera Ngoka http://sunnewsonline.com/new/i-dont-mind-sex-roles-vera-ngoka-2/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/i-dont-mind-sex-roles-vera-ngoka-2/#comments Sat, 18 Jul 2015 23:54:47 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=127721 BY CHUKS EZE Actress, Vera Ngoka, is one actress that is comfortable with playing sex roles. The Mass Com­munications graduate who had her NYSC national as­signment in Boko Haram-rav­aged Borno State has starred in over a dozen movies includ­ing Madam Gold, Gold in Coffin, Mother & Child and Mother is Gold among others. In this [...]]]>

BY CHUKS EZE

Actress, Vera Ngoka, is one actress that is comfortable with playing sex roles. The Mass Com­munications graduate who had her NYSC national as­signment in Boko Haram-rav­aged Borno State has starred in over a dozen movies includ­ing Madam Gold, Gold in Coffin, Mother & Child and Mother is Gold among others. In this interview, Vera shares her experience with Entertainer and reveals how a male fan rattled her in Enugu.

Excerpts:

How would you describe your experi­ence as a Nollywood actress?

It’s been awesome and worthwhile.

Was acting your dream as a child?

My dream was to be a journalist and my parents were looking forward to that when I chose to study Mass Communication but somehow, I found myself in the make-belief industry. But who knows? I may still do stuff in mainstream journalism but it would be much later.

What was your first movie role?

That was Ifunanya the American Nurse. It was an Osy Affasson production and was shot in Asaba.

You just wrapped up work on some flicks, what are their titles?

I don’t know the titles but I just finished a Corruma Production job in Awka where I played the role of Chioma, the daughter of a wealthy man and Nuella Njubi­gbo played an orphan called Nwamma. Shortly before then I played Aku, a naïve village girl in another job we shot in Asaba.

You are among Nollywood actresses experiencing back-to-back jobs. How many lead roles have you done so far?

I have done over 20 and by the special grace of God; I have never done any mi­nor role since I joined the industry.

You mean you did not do Waka Pass even on your first job?

No, I never did Waka Pass. My first job was somewhere between a minor and ma­jor role but not a waka pass role. That is not to say that there is something wrong with playing Waka Pass. As an artiste, if it is Waka Pass role that a filmmaker needs me to do in a movie to achieve his goal, why not? If the pay is good I’ll do it.

Between comedy and romantic films, which do you feel more comfortable acting?

A good artiste should be comfortable acting all roles.

Can you act a sex role?

I can play sex role but it must be refined and it has to be purely on make-belief basis. But I would not be caught playing nude, soft porn or hard core roles; it’s not part of our culture.

Would you opt out if Afrocandy invites you to be part of her cast with juicy pay?

I’m not a porn star and I’m not aspiring to become one.

Can you pose nude?

I cannot no matter the amount offered. I can be half nude to interpret a role but I will not bare my womanhood for the world to see.

What is your view on sex-for-role; does it really exist in the industry?

(Laughter) The industry is a com­munity and people should expect to hear both real and cooked up stories about it. I wouldn’t say that I have never heard about it but the big question is ‘if such things really happen, who is to blame?’ Using myself as an example, I would not rate myself as being bad-looking and I have worked with several directors, pro­ducers and big shots in the industry yet, I have never experienced it. Should we just call that luck? It would be a different game if I decide to adopt the other ap­proach which is ‘using what you have to get what you don’t have.’ In that case, am I not to blame if anything goes awry? So it’s a complicated issue which should not be blamed on one party alone. Desperate artistes can go to the extent of offering their bodies and even saying ‘Sir, please have me in exchange for the role.’ That’s just the truth.

Are you saying that actresses are to blame for sex-for-role?

Blame it on the dearth of moral values, desperation and naivety. Practitioners, filmmakers and actors especially the up-and-coming all share in the blame. If you don’t have the talent, you don’t have it! And even if you cut corners to get a role you cannot go far. Besides, I don’t think that any filmmaker would risk casting a poorly talented actress in exchange for sex because of his capital-intensive investment. It’s just some desperate girls that use that to seduce them. An Igbo adage has it that Akwala amaro ife (the p*n*s is always reckless). If you touch the lion’s tale, would you blame anybody if the worst happens to you?

What’s your biggest embarrassment as an actress?

I was shopping at Shoprite in Enugu when suddenly a guy appeared from nowhere, grabbed me from behind, bent my neck backwards and started kissing me roughly inside a boutique. Gush! I was alarmed, afraid, confused and everything. But he was wild and had a firm grip of my neck. So I was careful to avoid being choked in the process. After he freed me I could not control my anger so I landed a dirty slap on his cheek. And then with a raised voice I asked ‘have you gone nuts?’ Do you know what he did? In a calm voice he tendered apologies and said he found my lips irresistibly tempt­ing! He said he knew his action could attract a dirty slap and had prepared him­self for the worst because he did not want to miss the opportunity; can imagine that? He just ended up spoiling my entire day because his response even confused me the more.

How good can you interpret a lesbian role?

I once played it in the movie entitled Sex Max. The promo is on the internet now and it will hit the market very soon so you can watch the film and rate me afterwards. It also featured Cha Cha Eke and Anita Joseph among others.

The title sounds very suggestive…

But the movie is not what you think. Try and see it first before jumping into conclusion.

Which actress are you longing to work with?

I have worked with several of the mamas in the industry except Onyeka Onwenu. She is a bundle of talent and I am longing to working with her someday. I want to tap from her wealth of experi­ence.

Who is your ideal guy?

I like tall and gentle guys with bold masculine frame.

What would you do to keep your man?

As an African woman whose mum taught how to prepare sumptuous delica­cies, I would spoil him with great dishes. If you want to reach a man’s heart, his belly and bed are the surest paths; just be the woman and let him be the man.

Talking about bed …

Don’t even talk about it because I have no further comment on that (laughter).

You want to keep it se­cret for the lucky man?

Before nko? I’ll do justice to that when the time is right.

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