No doubt, 2012 has so far been an eventful year for the entertainment industry. It is a year that could be described as a defining moment, especially for the music and movie sector, owing to the numerous face-offs among practitioners who needed to get the rhythm of their associations and partnerships right, and on the other hand, between the practitioners and government, regulatory agencies and fund managers like BoI and NEXIM Bank, on the controversial USD200 million intervention fund. In this edition, VICTOR AKANDE attempts a review of the happenstances within the year.

In the wake of fuel subsidy protest, entertainment doused the tension

NATIONWIDE protest against increase in pump price from N65 to N120, followed the January 1, 2012 announcement by the president. In the midst of the tension and loss of lives, the active participation by music, movie and comedy stars could be said to have made the agitation long-lasting. The mood of the protesters, at the Ojota wing of the Lagos rallies, for example was carnival-like. The stars were not just there to express solidarity with the Organized Labour and Civil Society Groups, they also performed some of the classics known to criticize government dictatorship.

Notable among the artistes were children of late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti; Femi and Seun, who took the crowd through the sing-along of popular tunes from, Zombie, Expensive Shit and others from their late father’s repertoire. Others were King Ayinde Marshal (K1); Yoruba Hip-hop lyricist, Abolore Adegbola Akande, popularly called 9ice; Ras Kimono, Sound Sultan, Jabbless, Ruggedman, Eldee, Omo Baba, Terry de Rapman, and Normoloss.

Filmmakers and actors who were also spotted at the Gani Fawehinmi Park, venue of the protest, included, ace cinematographer, Tunde Kelani, award-winning filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan, and star actors, Jide Kosoko, Bimbo Akintola and Ronke Ojo, popularly called Oshodi-Oke.

Battle for life: of sicknesses and deaths

The inevitable did strike, creeping into the entertainment industry, and snuffing life out of many on the scene. For these actors, death did not allow them to play as much scenes as they had desired on the stage of life.

You would recall that in March of this year, Yoruba actor, Ishola Durojaiye a.k.a Alasari died following a motor accident on the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway. Popular for his herbalist roles in the movies, Alasari’s jeep had lost control when one of the tires burst on motion. He did not live to tell the story.

Popular Abeokuta based actor, Pa Akin Ogungbe also departed this world last month. The veteran actor who was known exclusively for cultural movies died at the age of 78. It was also in the news how Nollywood actor, Pete Eneh died in Enugu. Eneh died following complications arising from the amputation of his leg. It was an irony, as the doctors looking after the actor at a private hospital opted for amputation in order to save his life. He died at Park Lane hospital in Enugu.

The story of the passing away of Enebeli Elebuwa was not too different. It was a battle between life and death for a long while before the actor finally gave in at a hospital in New Deli, India. He was 65. His, was a case of stroke, for which he had undergone treatment at some hospitals in Nigeria before being moved abroad.

Recall also, that actor of New Masquerade, the popular NTA drama series in the 70s and 80s; James Iroha popularly called Gringory also passed on in February at the age of 69.

Other Nollywood personalities who have died within the year include, Ahmed Oduola, aka Dento who died in August of Stroke, Lekan Lekinson, a veteran Yoruba actor who passed on, on January 25, in Osun state, and Taiwo Bello, who died of cancer, few days after Prophet TB Joshua prophesied that the motion picture industry may lose a player.

Still bedridden

•Ifeanyi Dike

CHAIRMAN, Board of Trustees of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Ifeanyi Dike, is still bedridden in India and seriously needs financial support to undergo another kidney transplant. The kidney he got earlier had problem. Thus, he is back in India for treatment and money is still currently being sought by his family, colleagues and friends.

•Ngozi Nwosu

Popular television acatress, Ngozi Nwosu of the Fuji House of Commotion fame is still ill. A ‘Save Ngozi Nwosu Campaign’ to get her back to her usual self is still ongoing. Of the N6 million needed to take care of her heart and kidney problems, reports say about N4.5 million is still required. The actress had appeared on Who Deserves to be a Millionaire to raise fund. She was supported by Seun Oloketuyi of Best of Nollywood awards and filmmaker Lilian Aluko. They won a million naira, bringing the total amount raised to N1.5million. As Ngozi battles for her life, she is still battling to debunk the rumour that her sickness may also be associated with HIV.

Clash of the bigwigs


The war within the copyright management organisation (CMO) in Nigeria appears unending. One would have thought that 2012 would settle the rift involving the two major collecting societies (Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN). While the former is already enjoying privileges of being licensed by the Nigerian Copyright Commission, the latter is facing embattlement by the regulatory agency which recently raided its office, claiming it has no legal right to continue in operation.

The battle, which has somewhat divided the industry is a case of two against one; COSON and NCC on one hand, and MCSN on the other hand. Those in support of the MCSN have continued to preach the free market enterprise module. But NCC insists that CMO is not like any other type of business.

The crisis has continue to deepen, especially following litigation procedures by MCSN, one of which led to the freezing of a Diamond Bank account belonging to the Commission last year, on the order of a Lagos High Court presided over by Justice Olateru-Olagbegi.

The latest in the series of judicial tussle is contempt of court action against top management of COSON for the recent distribution of N100 million as royalties to artistes. MCSN is claiming that part of the monies being distributed belong to artistes under its repertoire and that the court had ordered both parties to refrain from further action pending the resolution of the matter. But COSON had gone ahead to distribute the monies, especially since there was no official paper directed to it by the court, ordering a stoppage of the distribution.

MCSN thus filed a contempt of court proceeding against COSON and its principal officers. But COSON is also challenging the jurisdiction of the court on the matter. The court then adjourned hearing of the contempt proceeding and the preliminary objection to it by the 1st Defendant (COSON) to February 8th, 2013.

Movie Producers’ camp still in disarray

EVER since the establishment of a parallel body Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP), the older faction, Association of Movie Producers (AMP) had its activities criticized. The recent being the much talked about ‘Nollywood at 20′ anniversary which AMP is preparing to celebrate next year. ANCOP has cried out that contrary to claims by AMP that the desire to celebrate the anniversary is the idea of the entire industry is false.

ANCOP, through its president, Alex Eyengho described the ‘Nollywood at 20′ plan as a grand game of deceit.

“All members of the so-called think-thank for the proposed Nollywood at 20 show are all political members of AMP. These guys should just stop being jokers and come out plain to state that it is an AMP programme. After all, ANCOP, last October held a hugely successful international forum on copyright with participation across guilds and associations. We did not pretend that the entire Nollywood was organizing it. Though Zik Zulu and his AMP made failed attempts to discourage stakeholders from attending the event, testimonies after the event shows that it is one of the best value-adding forum ever put together in Nollywood in the recent past”, Eyengho added.

In the same vein, CEO of AMAA, Ms Peace Anyiam-Osigwe is in a war of words with Zik Zulu and the secretariat of the AMP over a purported text message said to be capable of tarnishing her image and that of African Film Festival (AFRIFF) which she has a stake.

End of the road: of Marriages and Breakups

•For Zaaki Azzay and wife, Hadiza, the flip side of love is infamy

If the popular Yoruba proverb that says Ija de, l’orin dowe (sweet melody reeks of unpleasant lyric during quarrels) is anything to go by, then the crisis currently rocking the eight-year old marriage of torchlight styled musician, Zaaki Azzay and his wife Hadiza, has left so much to the imaginations of the public. Not only has Hadiza washed what could be called an accumulated dirt of eight years in public, she has painted picture of horror that suggest her desire to end the union. Apparently pressed with bottled emotion that threatens to explode, Zaaki, says his allegiance at the moment is to his lawyer who forbids him from any comment on the issue pending the decision of the court on the divorce and custody of the three children the marriage has produced. He however managed to get him to talk to us on telephone. But how awry things can turn? We serve you three interviews, one of which spell’s love, when the going was good for husband and wife, or so it seems, in this report by Victor Akande, Entertainment Editor, Mercy Michael and Innocent Duru.

Daniel Ademinokan and Doris Simeon

THE couple has been rated the best in Nollywood, until it became obvious they were just making up their perfect couple status. Now separated, Daniel is still in the custody of their son, David. In the center of the break-up was Tonto Dikeh, until attention shifted to actress and widow, Stella Damasus who is a close friend and business partner of Daniel. Daniel who had since relocated to Abuja, is said to be living with Stella Damasus at the moment. Doris is said to be fighting to get her son back, if not her husband. Stella has reportedly claimed that her relationship with Daniel is purely on business and not as speculated by some people.

K-Solo and wife, Kikelomo

THEY were joined together as husband and wife in November last year, but by May of this year, their marriage had hit the rocks. K-Solo’s wife, Kikelomo Akinkunmi claimed the marriage ended because her husband was a gold digger who also assaulted her frequently. She claimed to have lost her pregnancy as a result of the assault. The couple are said to have met on social network platform, facebook.

Don Jazzy and Dbanj

IT was a bomb, when the musical group, Mo’hits, perceived to be the most celebrated and successful musical marriage in the history of Nigeria’s entertainment industry ended abruptly. The end of Mo’hits was brought about by the irreconcilable differences between the two honchos of the label; award-winning musician, D’Banj and his producer cum partner, Don Jazzy.

Don Jazzy has since gone ahead to establish his own music label which he called Mavins, while D’banj is getting on with D’ Koko Master (DKM) Records, signing on Davido, and his new contract with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music.

Psquare and May D

SQUARE Records, the label of sensational due Peter and Paul of PSquare fame dropped Akinmayokun Awodumila, aka May D. He was the first artiste to be signed on their record label.

Jude Okoye, broke the news on Tuesday, August 21, 2012. He said the decision to part with the artiste was based on irreconcilable differences.

It was however gathered that May D wasn’t happy at Square records. Sources say the label wasn’t doing much for his career.

However, Square Records shot two videos for May D ‘Soundtrack’ and ‘Ile Ijo’ which were both directed by Clarence Peters.

Duncan Mighty and Chris Aires

AFTER two years of partnership, popular jeweler Chris Aires and Port Harcourt singer-producer Duncan Ikechukwu Wene Mighty went their separate ways. Aire and Duncan Mighty had signed a business agreement in May 2011, to further the career of the dance-hall act and to form the Niger Delta Music and Art Project (NDMAP). It was not clear if all dreams were met before separation.

Mo’Cheddah parts ways with managers

For rapper-singer, Mocheddah and her management company, KnightHouse, it was a mutual separation. The parting occurred shortly after the artiste graduated from the university. Very popular in South Africa, Mocheddah said she was ‘moving on to search for other opportunities’. She however noted that she will still maintain a close, but personal relationship with KnightHouse; the label that discovered and nurtured her to stardom.

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