As the 2017 curtain draws to end on Sunday, Tony Okuyeme and Lanre Odukoya examine how the entertainment industry in Nigeria fared in the last 12 months. The Nigerian entertainment industry has, no doubt, been tremendously vibrant this year. Below are some of the movies, key events and stories that shaped, defined and redefined the sector this year.
Despite a hash economy and rampaging menace of piracy, Nollywood has continued to thrive, as practitioners note that much more can be achieved if the government provides the needed support and stem the tide of piracy. Below are some of the movies that shook cinemas.
Banana Island Ghost (B.I.G)
Banana Island Ghost (B.I.G), written and directed by BB Sasore, and produced by Biola Alabi, is the first from the schedule of five films by BAM-NEMSIA Pictures, a co-production partnership between Biola Alabi Media (BAM) and Nemsia Films – headed by BB Sasore and Derin Adeyokunnu.
The Tribunal,” “Omugwo,” “Roti and The Bridge
Earlier in the year, filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan collaborated with Africa Magic to produce three films: “The Tribunal,” “Omugwo,” and “Roti.”
Produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan, Tribunal tells the story of Jimi Disu, a man in his fifties, who was one of the bright minded lawyers that co-established a leading law firm in Lagos many years ago. However, he lost his sense of direction and strength after being hit by a series of personal challenges that questioned his resolve, as a man.
Also produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan, Omugwo is about a young civil engineer, Omotunde, married to Raymond an OAP (Online Radio Personality). She has just given birth. Coloured by their different cultural backgrounds, their mothers-in-law forcefully move in with the couple to perform the Igbo child care rite called, Omugwo. But instead of relieving their children of the burden of childcare, the mothers’ rivalry complicates life for the couple to comical effects.
This December, The Bridge, a new film Afolayan premiered in cinemas.
Produced by Lasun Ray and directed by Kunle Afolayan, “The Bridge” was set in Ilorin, Kwara State. It stars notable actors such as Demola Adedoyin, Chidinma Ekile, Binta Ayo Mogaji, Zack Orji, Kunle Afolayan, Tina Mba, Adebayo Salami, Lere Paimo Wole Olowomojuore, Lanre Hassan, Jimoh Aliu and Mama Ray-Eyiwumi. In “The Bridge,” Obadare, a Yoruba prince and Stella, a younger woman from a distinguished Igbo household are a pair whose relationship is threatened by tribal prejudice and parental plans for each of them.
“Potato Potahto”, written and directed by the award winning Ghanaian director, Shirley Frimpong-Manso, is an African marital comedy of errors, based in Ghana and directed by one of the continent’s best known female directors, Shirley Frimpong Manso. It shows how co-production can break into global markets with creative and mature cinematic experience. Potato Potahto, which premiered on Wednesday, May 24, at Gray d’Albion 2, 38 Rue des Serbes, Cannes, tells the story of a divorced couple whose plans to share their matrimonial home end in chaos after the husband, Tony, hires an attractive female house-help. When his ex-wife, Lulu, then got an attractive young man to help her out, a roller coaster ride of laughter, jealousy and tears ensues.
The Wedding Party 2
The Wedding Party is a 2016 Nigerian romantic comedy drama film, directed by Kemi Adetiba that premiered on September 8, 2016 at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada and on November 26, 2016 at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos, Nigeria. The film was released worldwide on 16 December 2016. In 2017 it was declared the highest grossing film in Nigeria.
In “The Wedding Party” sequel Nonso (Enyinna Nwigwe), has continued his romance with Deirdre (Daniella Down), the bridesmaid from London. Somehow, Nonso manages to propose by accident, while on a dinner date, and sets off a chain of events too powerful to stop. Deirdre’s upper-crust British family are against the match, as are some members of the Nigerian clan, but Deirdre’s determination can’t be contained. After a near-disastrous introduction ceremony in Lagos and Nigerian opposition to a London wedding, both families reluctantly agree to a wedding in Dubai, setting us off on another colourful, chaotic and memorable journey to everlasting love.
Moji Olaiya’s death
There’s no doubting that Moji Olaiya’s death is about the most devastating showbiz news of 2017.
The famous actress died on Wednesday, May 17, from cardiac arrest, two months after giving birth to a baby girl and was given a befitting burial at private vault in Obalende, Ikoyi, Lagos on June 6.
In a statement by Moji’s brother, Femi Olaiya, the family dismissed rumours that the late actress was poisoned in Canada.
She is survived by two daughters, Adunoluwa Farombi and her two-month-old baby, Maryam Odutola.
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