Still boasting a sharp mind and reflex moves that can give any younger actress a ride, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett is still going strong at over 76 years old. The UK-trained highly respected actor, who spoke to Adedayo Odulaja in this interview, might be looked upon as having conquered the acting terrain but her zest for film, theatre and mentoring the next generation is not diminished in any way.
How does it feel to be 76 and active in a place like Nigeria, especially as an actor of your stature?
It is a good time to be around, it’s a good time to be alive and it’s a good time to have acquired some experience, body of experience actually. I think it’s for somebody like me who can survive relatively easily here because you’ve lived a life.
You know a little bit better what kind of life you want and you that you can get what you want, the youth may not know so they are desperate, in despair and frustrated but when you have gone through a period of living, then you know that there is nothing impossible and that if you have determination you can do whatever you want.
You also know that fear is the enemy so you just get up and go and know that it is your attitude that is important. And you know that is important to have enthusiasm and optimism so if you have a combination of these, you are okay. At this age, if you can keep hold of your optimism and your hope for the future, you should be fine.
Oloibiri, a film in which you feature, is one of the best works out there at the moment but apart from the significance of the location represented by that name in the Nigerian history, what attracted you to the script of the film?
It was simply because theoretically you would think that having discovered black gold as far back as the 1950s, everything would be alright and that we would have money to play with. And with money in your hand, there is a great possibility that you would be able to transform your life and make your dreams come true. Essentialy, this would translate to more hospitals, better roads and all the good things of life but then you find that 50 0r 60 years down the line, nothing has happened sadly.
And it is so bad that you can even see the suffering and the effect of wrong decisions being taken, of wrong choices being made still and Oloibiri being a metaphor for Nigeria, made me excited about doing the film in a way to add to the discourse.
By just having look at where we went wrong to make us see how we can go right; we cannot go back to the past but we can learn from the past and plan for the future and do the right thing at the moment.
I am always interested in current affairs and about actual social themes that can elevate our lives and inspire us and I thought Oloibiri would do that. I still think it will when it is more generally released for more people to see it, maybe we can all agree that discovering crude oil has not translated into anything good and begin to have a rethink about how we should go about our national life.
As a passionate actor and activist, what did you take away from shooting the movie in the Niger Delta, especially upon coming face-to-face with the level of degradation out there?
It was a very depressing experience and I was hoping that with people seeing the movie, it would prick our conscience and help focus attention on the beautiful people of that terrain. The young people languishing away around there with no future, who have little or no infrastructural facilities for their use much less enjoyment and I was hoping that the film would make politicians do something about the state of things.
It is so bad that we do have politicians in that part of the world in government and nothing really happens to them and that is a mystery. I was going to say criminals even, because they are there with their own people and they do not see that they can do something to help.
So the problem is ours; it is a real one and it’s about intellectual bankruptcy, lack of vision and personal greed – of just wanting to improve your own condition and not thinking about the collective good which is always the more important part as it would rub off on you also. What’s the point of making yourself the big gun, using the money to build houses that you are not going to live in, fixing only the roads to your place and putting money away in soak-aways (septic tanks) and all that.
It is the absolutely stupid, dumbest thing adults can be seen to be doing and it doesn’t show any sort of intelligence at all. In a country where we don’t have constant electricity, what electricity do we have when we can’t industrialise and can’t manufacture even the most basic of items? In a country where we have almost 24-7 sunlight and we don’t have the resources and will Power to tap it properly into solar energy even and people are calling themselves rich and importing Ferraris and Bentleys and everything!
That is a country of very dumb, stupid, idiotic and downright insane people because you cannot have a crude mind and live like that. A country where you don’t have a national airline, as big and as rich as Nigeria is. Or does anyone still argue about how rich we are? If we are not rich, then can they tell us from where they are getting all those billions they are stealing from?
You have noticed the challenges Nollywood producers and directors face first hand, would you say your perception of Nollywood has changed in any way?
Not very much. They are still not taking care of the very important details; I always say the devil is in the detail. You know we are so arrogant about these things; you cannot re-invent the wheel; these things already exist and all you need to do is collaborate with other people and make great movies while thinking through your ideas to the last detail.
But we are not doing that yet, it’s too superficial for me. There is the gloss and everything, when you look at our films, even the ones making the mega bucks that people are screaming about now, some people still say they lack substance.
That is sad but because they are making money everybody would say they are great as that is the main criterion in our own assessment of the film industry and process but we need to achieve a level of quality. Yes, I’d agree we are making progress, we are going ahead but we are not looking at the details.
We are going for glamour, the noise over substance and that means we are not ideological enough. Glamour is fine but we need to start making movies that are ideological about our situations instead of shooting movies that mirror Hollywood films, that’s not success as far as I am concerned because the film of a particular region has to focus on and project the issues, culture, problems and triumphs of that location.
Why didn’t you pursue further interest in journalism after you became grounded years back?
Journalism in this part is not what it should be. People just want you to provide articles which they are not paying for, that’s not professional. But I am a member of the editorial board of Media Review and I am a member of the Nigerian Media Merit Award, I’ve been since inception when Alhaji Babatunde Jose was our chairman.
Mr Maduka is our chairman now and I am also involved in journalism as with my involvement with the NMMA, we go all over the place to give awards. For 25 years or thereabout I have been a member of the board of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME) so I have been part of the two top awards for journalism in the country for years, a quarter of a century now. I read the citations of some winners at the last edition as I do virtually every year.
How did you find working with celebrated cinematographer, Tunde Kelani on the advocacy movie, Dazzling Mirage?
He is a sweetheart, and that’s one of the kind of movies we should be doing. It is another film I am not seeing around but many people should be made to see it because it speaks to people. It is like the Ebola movie, 93 Days. Ebola was tragic, we lost a great, brave woman, lionhearted woman to it, who saw danger to her family and the teeming population and confronted it to guard the population.
That woman has not been lauded enough in my opinion, you only need to take time to go through her profile, especially when measured against the immeasurable danger she averted to realise she was an incredible and angelic medical professional who saved millions of us from a potentially grave situation.
But while Ebola is a one-off, the issue that Dazzling Mirage focuses on, the Sickle Cell Anaemia, is something a lot of people are living with daily and it is another film I would like many people to see so as to get familiar with and begin to show understanding and compassion for people living with that disorder.
How would you have liked to be a part of the movie, 93 Days noting how passionately you just spoke about the movie?
Yes, I would have loved to be a part of it but of course Bimbo (Akintola) did it well. Bolanle Austen-Peters is the producer, she is a good woman who likes me and I like her too. But she didn’t think of me for that, perhaps she thought I was considered too old for that role but I would have loved to be in the film. But that does not in any way take anything away from the movie, I saw it and I was really impressed with it and I would have loved to be a part of it.
Apart from Tinsel which is about to start another season as one ends, what other projects do you have lined up?
What I’m trying to do is to start coaching, not just about the arts but about the philosophy of the arts. What is our function and role in the society? It is not just customer feel. It has always been said that Africa does not have the luxury of art for art’s sake but as things are now, no country has the luxury of that on account of the changes going on in the world right now and with the speed at which they are going on.
What I want to start is to try teaching on the social media and others and whoever is interested can come and train and we will eventually do master’s classes. That is one of the things I want to do. Another project has to do with the TAL In Concert which is another project at hand, with Prof. Segun Ojwewuyi and others involved.
Busola Dakolo vows to appeal as court dismisses rape suit
Busola Dakolo, celebrity photographer and wife of musician, Timi Dakolo, has said she will appeal the ruling of Justice Oathman Musa of a High Court of the FCT at Bwari, Abuja which dismissed her rape suit against the senior pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo.
Ruling on Thursday, Justice Musa had said the matter amounted to injustice and an abuse of judicial process as the case was empty and purely sentimental, adding that the suit was aimed more at cruelty than obtaining justice. The court also awarded costs of N1 million against Busola while noting that the fine should have been 10 times higher because the court’s time was wasted.
However, in a statement by her lawyers, Mrs Dakolo, wife of singer, Timi Dakolo, said she would appeal to a higher court.
“The court ruled that the matter is statute-barred because the events that crystallised to the cause of action took place 16 years ago and that the claimant Mrs. Busola Dakolo has only six years within which to seek redress in court in line with the statute of limitation,” the statement said.
“We are mindful of the decision as delivered by the court, presided over by the Hon. Justice A.O Musa. We are equally observant of the fact that the Court omitted to address the cause of action, the subject matter of the suit in determining whether it has jurisdiction to entertain the said matter.
“While we acknowledge the time of the court, we know in accordance with the Nigerian judicial system that the Court’s decision is not final as it is glaringly contestable.
“For all intent and purposes, having seen several sponsored misleading news reports in the media, we are duty-bound to state that the court has not and did not exonerate Biodun Fatoyinbo. As it stands, the substance of the matter has not received any judicial attention.
“Biodun Fatoyinbo through his lawyers have only argued that the court should not allow the matter to proceed to trial because it is an event that occurred long ago and hence out of time.
“We shall therefore in this circumstance approach a superior court to intervene for a better appreciation, and take a more expansive view of the suit considering that the subject matter is one that is novel in our clime,” the statement reads.
The ruling came after Fatoyinbo filed an objection and an affidavit at the court and demanded N50 million as damages, saying that Busola’s statements were false and concocted to embarrass, scandalise, and ridicule him.
He argued that from the inception, she sought the attention of the media and press, and brought the civil action even while police investigation was ongoing.
Busola had in an interview in June accused Fatoyinbo of raping her while she was a teenager in Ilorin, Kwara State. Following outrage on social media and protests over the allegation, Fatoyinbo took a break from the pulpit but returned later.
AKA demands apology from Burna Boy ahead of show in South Africa
South African rapper, AKA, wants Burna Boy to apologise to him before he visits South Africa for his forthcoming grand performance.
This is another indication that the lingering rift between the duo is yet to wane.
The South African rapper took to his Twitter page on Wednesday, where he posted a series of tweets. He demanded that Burna Boy apologises for the statement he made a few months ago during the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
“Ek se …@burnaboy all we want is an apology. We know is not perfect. But we took you in as our own before you reached these levels. You say you are an AFRICAN GIANT, prove it. Leadership. I am willing to swallow my pride and put an end to this division. @burnaboy Are you?” he tweeted.
It didn’t end there as AKA went on to respond to a tweet from a follower who tweeted about Burna Boy attacking AKA.
“He’s so petty! @burnaboy go still knack am something!”, the follower tweeted. Then AKA replied with a tweet that should give Burna Boy a reason to re-evaluate his trip to South Africa.
“This is not a joke. Mina, I still want to go perform in Lagos and make it back safely to my family. Don’t you want the same for him?” he tweeted.
D’Banj, ex-manager, Bankulli in messy fight
Nigerian producer, artiste manager, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Bankulli, visited Pulse Nigeria for an hour-long chat about his career, his come-up, his career as a manager and connector.
Bankulli is known to have worked with Beyonce and Jay Z. He has writing credits on Watch The Throne, Jay Z’s collaboration with buddy, Kanye West. He also wrote and performed on Beyonce’s album, The Lion King: The Gift. About a year ago, his recording of Kanye West dancing to ‘Immediately’ by Mystro went viral on social media.
During his visit to Pulse, Bankulli narrated how D’Banj met Kanye West at an airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Then, he was D’Banj’s manager. But when Pulse posted that cut of Bankulli’s narration on Instagram, D’Banj responded. D’Banj in his response said Bankulli was economical with the truth.
But Bankulli has fired back at D’Banj. He also blasted the Nigerian singer. First, he responded to D’Banj’s comment on Pulse Nigeria’s Instagram page. He writes, “Hmmm… I was thinking what truth you are looking for at this stage of your life. Keep your energy for your career and loved ones as you shall find the truth and the truth shall set you free. Be safe son.”
Then a few hours later, Bankulli blasted D’Banj on his Instagram page @Bankulli. His words read: “Doing Drugs will not help you but worsen your case ( I heard about White powder ) a shining prospect and you use your bad character to bloat all away. Hmmm… It is never too late to go and seek truthfully the forgiveness and truth you seek …look inward, change your lifestyle, stop lying to yourself that all is well but go back to the source so that all can be well with you. You have done so much evil to many people that we both know and today I speak for them all. Cc @iambangalee ( Dbanj Aka The Kokomaster alias kokomycine… *Drops mic*”
You may recall that, in June 2016, Bankulli made an appearance on Loose Talk Podcast and discussed working with Jay Z, Kanye West, Seyi Sodimu and D’Banj. During the episode, he gave further details of how D’Banj met Kanye West with no difference.
Living in Bondage: Breaking Free sets records with N25m in first weekend
In the recent ranking released by the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN), Living in Bondage: Breaking Free has emerged top of the country’s box office after raking in over N25 million in its first weekend.
The newly-released Nollywood movie starring Ramsey Nouah, Kennth Okonkwo, Kanayo. O. Kanayo, Nancy Isime, among others, is ahead of Terminator: Dark Fate in terms of earnings as the 2019 American science fiction action film raked in N12.6 million.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil grossed N8.2 million to rank third on the chart while Gemini Man and Joker secured N2.4 million and N2.1 million respectively to round up the top five.
The ranking means Living in Bondage: Breaking Free has set a new record for biggest opening weekend. The record was hitherto held by The Bling Lagosian which ammased N23.4 million to become the biggest opening for a Nollywood film earlier in 2019.
It is also the highest opening for a non-comedy film, a record formerly held by Kemi Adetiba’s 2018 hit movie, King of Boys.
“We are already breaking records and rewriting history – Highest opening weekend Nollywood for 2019. – Highest opening for a non-comedy film. – Highest single day for a Nollywood Film in 2019. – Highest public holiday total for a Nollywood film in 2019. Thank you Africa,” producers of the movie wrote in reaction to the feat.
It listed its records in a Twitter post as: “Highest opening weekend Nollywood for 2019.
– Highest opening for a non-comedy film.
– Highest single day for a Nollywood Film in 2019.
– Highest public holiday total for a Nollywood film in 2019.
Nathaniel Bassey, Tope Alabi, others prep as ‘Unusual Praise’ features Entrepreneurship Scheme
The 2019 edition of the annual mega gospel event, Praise Unusual, will be held at The Periwinkle Estate, Freedom Way, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. The mega outdoor praise session is themed, ‘Declare The Glory Of The Lord Among Nations’. The event which is targeted at Nigerians across all tribes and faiths, will be held at 5pm on Friday, November 29, 2019. Some of the gospel singers expected to grace the show and share the session with congregants are: Nathaniel Bassey, Panam Percy Paul, Chioma Jesus, Tope Alabi, Big Bolaji and BJ Sax among notable other great performers.
The star-studded event is staged by The Catholic Church of Divine Mercy, Lekki Phase One, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 1004, Victoria Island and The Catholic Church of Assumption, Falomo, Ikoyi.
The organisers of the show have upped this year’s outing with an empowerment scheme to lift men and women battling with austere times by introducing a more rewarding entrepreneurship programme alongside the mega praise session. They therefore seek partnership from
The Unusual Entrepreneur Entrepreneurship Programme, Lagos Foremost Church-based Entrepreneurship Programme, is set to empower 250 ‘smart’ men and women members of the church from the entire Archdiocese of Lagos. These entrepreneurs will be awarded with prizes ranging from N50,000 to N1,000,000 per person. Apart from the money, they will also be provided with mentorship, business training and other critical support they require to succeed long term.
Launched in 2018, the vision of the Unusual Entrepreneur is to be the pre-eminent faith-based entrepreneurship programme in Nigeria that unlocks the obstacles Nigerian entrepreneurs face as they grow their start-ups by equipping them with the necessary skills, support, training, mentorship and funding to build strong and sustainable businesses, which will scale over time.
This year, The Unusual Entrepreneurship Programme has entered into a strategic partnership with Ecobank Nigeria to provide all banking support and funding to the selected entrepreneurs in the 2019 cohort. Announcing the partnership in Lagos, Mr Valentine Ozigbo, Chairman of the Unusual Entrepreneur, said that, to be eligible for the programme, applicants must meet the following criteria;
Business must be a Nigerian or legal resident in Nigeria (Lagos), business must be for-profit, applicants must be willing to attend all training and mentoring exercises organised by the programme and all applicants must be at least 18 years old.
Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Oritsefemi, others storm DJ Neptune’s Lagos gig
Imohiosen Patrick, better known as DJ Neptune, has ended this year in a grand style with his concert, Sounds of Neptune, held last Saturday at Muri Okuntola Park, Victoria Island, Lagos.
For the concert, which attracted big names such as Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Oritsefemi, Jimmy Jatt, Neptune gave a good account of himself despite being his first major concert.
Speaking with journalists after the show, the popular DJ admitted that it wasn’t easy to set up the show as he wanted to give people a different experience. He said: “Being my first concert, a lot went into it in terms putting things together. I was so happy with the outcome and the venue was full. There has been pressure to do this over the years but I like to take my time when I am doing things because I want to get things right. Even for my album, ‘Greatness,’ I didn’t heed to pressure; I dropped it when I felt it was necessary and everyone saw the outcome. I believe in doing things at the right time.”
Neptune said he deliberately shunned popular Lagos concert venues such as Eko Hotel & Suites and Federal Palace because he wanted people to have an undiluted experience. He added: “I saw Muri Okunola Park as the right venue for fun. I had the option of using the Balmoral Hall, Federal Palace Hotel, but I still settled for the outside ambience. We should not always think that an enclosed environment is the only place people can have fun. Everyone who came out to support me had fun. There was a lot to eat and drink, and there were amazing performances too.”
Admitting that there were fears he nursed before the event, he said it was normal for humans. He said: “No doubt, there were concerns till the day of the show. I was afraid of the weather too because I knew rain could make things hard for me. People were worried for me but I put everything in God’s hands and it turned out to be exactly what I wanted. I thank all artistes who came out for me – Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Dr. Sid, Jimmy Jatt, Skibbi, Oriste Femi, Slimcase, Reekado Banks, Pepenazi, Broda Shaggi and a host of others. I have been there for many of them; so, I guess it was time for them to pay me back.
“For four weeks, I have not slept well. I was literally sleeping with my laptop beside me. I would wake up in the middle of the night exchanging emails, doing researches for my show. Sounds of Neptune is here to stay and it will be an annual event. I will take it outside Lagos next year and we could also do London next year too. There will also be campus tours, pool parties and houses parties.”
Africa’s first teen channel for December 1 launch
Never before has this been done and in the history of broadcasting in Africa, the first indigenous television channel for Teenagers in Africa launches on December 1st in Lagos.
“Teen Africa TV is a new and exciting niche television channel poised to be the FIRST platform for Teenagers in the African Broadcast Space, running for 24 hours daily across African countries and targeting first line audiences of pre-teens, teenagers aged 13 to 19 and second base young adults and the family. Our programming has the best of original content in genres of talk shows, lifestyle, educational, entertainment and events.
“We are creating the biggest content library and resource for teenagers across Africa and we have the best of ORIGINAL content on the channel. TATV will also be online and our projections in the next two years is to launch in the United Kingdom on the B SKY B Bouquet, giving the Diaspora African Teens a taste of the pulsating values and creativity of the African Youth Experience. There’s nothing like this and we are building the biggest visual ecosystem of teens and young adults in Africa,” its founder/CEO, Charles Novia, stated.
On December 1st 2019, in a spectacular ceremony which has been tagged ‘The Biggest Teen Party in Africa’, TATV will have its official launch which will be attended by teens from across the country at the Balmoral Events Hall, Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. The event will be transmitted live on terrestrial and satellite television and also streamed live online and already has teenagers excited at the thought of their own indigenous channel coming out soon.
Afterwards, the station will be on DSTV and Gotv and also online streaming platforms and is seen as the next big revolution in Nigeria’s media history.
The People’s Hero airs today
The reality of N7 million prize and the bragging rights of The People’s Hero is getting clearer and closer as the curtain has been drawn on the auditions and 20 contestants have qualified to join the Hero’s League for the live shows, which commence today. These 20 contestants drawn from auditions which held in Enugu and Owerri, will during the live shows, vie for the winning prize by showing off their talents to the judges and the world.
Assuring Nigerians of thrilling moments during the shows, one of the judges and a popular music artiste, Illbliss, said the judges were extremely meticulous in ensuring that only the best among many good talents that showed up at the auditions made it to the league of Heroes. According to him, selecting 20 contestants out of about 2,000 hopefuls could not have been easy considering the energy and talents displayed during the auditions. He said the judges were aware of the qualities of The People’s Hero and were as such guided in selecting these final contestants.
Another judge and a frontline actress, Rachael Okonkwo, added that the live shows would be thrilling for the audience and very tasking and demanding for the contestants. The actress further added that just like the process of refining gold was not easy, the process of emerging as The People’s Hero could not but be strenuous and difficult. She said the contestants were already being trained by the best in the industry and nothing short of perfection will be accepted during the live shows. This implies audience at home or at the show will not only be entertained but would also appreciate the richness of the Igbo culture.
And for the brand behind the event, Hero Lager Beer, an International Breweries’ product, it has been nothing short of a pleasant and fulfilling experience. According to the Assistant Brand Manager, Hero Lager Beer, Mr. Chibuikem Uzochukwu, the show is helping to bring out the best in young people who never had a platform such as this. The Assistant Brand Manager indicated that the brand was super elated to offer young people a golden opportunity to showcase their talents to the world. He also expressed optimism that the live show would be rich in entertainment considering the quality of participants and the coach assigned to groom them.
Expressing their readiness for the live shows, the Senior Channels Manager, Viacom International Media Networks Africa, Solafunmi Oyeneye, said all was set to ensure a hitch free show. She said it was only right for the audience to relax on Saturday nights and enjoy the show on MTV base by 9.00pm. She said there would be a repeat broadcast every Wednesday by 9.00pm
It will also air on the following terrestrial channels at the indicated times and days: –
STV by 6pm every Wednesdays, NTA Onitsha by 6pm every Sundays, NTA Enugu by 6pm every Sundays,
Orient TV Owerri by 6pm every Sundays and AIT Port Harcourt by 9pm every Tuesdays.
I wouldn’t have been in BBNaija house without my wife’s consent –Mike
Professional athlete, Mike Olayemi Edwards, emerged as one of the favourites of fans and viewers in the course of the recently-concluded fourth season of Big Brother Naija reality TV show.
Apart from emerging first runner-up of the Big Brother ‘Pepper Dem’ edition, Mike, a product of a Nigerian mother and a Jamaican father, won many over by not becoming entangled with any woman in the house. He spoke to ADEDAYO ODULAJA in this interview
What is your view on the fact that Nigerians can’t stop talking about how you stayed faithful to your wife during the course of BBNaija 4?
I am a strong individual, a strong man and I didn’t show my weakness, so, to me that was just amazing. I expect nothing less from my girl. To remain in the house for 99 days I never had any personal doubts for me. It’s just normal. I made a commitment before I even said I do, I made it clear to myself to be faithful till death.
But was there any time you were tempted by any of the ladies or anything you saw?
No, there was no time like that. It was all about my resolve from the beginning.
Your wife has hinted of your plan to relocate to Nigeria from your UK base. Do you plan to see that through?
Yes, I plan to move to Nigeria immediately. My wife and I are making plans together. Right now, we are still discussing and making arrangements. For now, we are taking it day by day.
Being an athlete already means you are in the limelight of sorts, why did you decide go for Big Brother?
It was simply because I consider it one of the greatest platforms in the world and I wanted to challenge myself by going for it. To be honest, it was something I saw in the challenge and it was the fear of the unknown. It was more attractive to me because I knew that it was what I wanted to do, challenge myself beyond. You know, if you do the same thing expecting different results, it’s insanity. So, I knew, let’s try something like this and see how far we can go and it ended up being a great opportunity. I will never regret it.
You apparently fared well in terms of rating but do you think anything worked against you winning the show?
I can’t really say because I knew I was real. I can’t be anybody else but myself. I am confident enough to know that it pays to be myself. Truth be told, I feel like I can go through a lot of ups and downs and somehow find the way to persevere and you know, I’m an athlete. I can’t stop being me at this stage, I don’t know anything else that could be used as a strategy aside from me being myself. I know consistency is always key for me. So, that’s the only way I could describe it. I trust the process of being consistent every day, and I wanted to walk out a winner and it didn’t fail me, I walked out a winner.
So would you say you were disappointed with the final outcome?
No, absolutely not. I knew that stepping into the house was a win for me, anything else was a bonus. So, I always felt I am in the best time in my life, I just kept reminding myself that that’s why it was easy for me to have so much cruise because ultimately I knew we were all winners in our all unique ways.
What were some of the sacrifices you would say you made in the BBNaija house towards winning?
Of course, the sacrifices I made were disconnecting from my wife for 99 days. If I didn’t have the consent of my wife I wouldn’t have taken part in the show. I am a married man, I don’t have to discuss things that don’t need to be explained, and I think that’s the relationship I have with my wife.
Did you at any point think it was getting more difficult than you envisaged
Those were the times when I thought Biggie was at least going to surprise me with a visit by my family members or someone I know but it never happened and I had to hang in there.
You have a Cigar brand that seems to be the focus of your attention now. What’s it about?
Aireyys Cigar brand is an extension of myself. I have always seen myself as a brand. It is a distinguished taste, if you love it, you like it. My wife and my team, ran the business while I was away.
What is the status of your professional career as an athlete?
I represented Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games in Australia and the African Senior Athletics Championship in Asaba in 2018. So, right now my focus is to set up my future with my family, so, that’s my priority right now.
How would you rate your familiarity with Nigerian culture?
I am every bit a Nigerian. My mother is Nigerian and my dad is Jamaican.
What are your thoughts about the Big Brother platform now having been a part of it especially as you regard it as a huge, global platform of opportunities.
It remains a truly global and exciting platform for me but I walked out of it with the lesson of never taking things too seriously. Also that one has to be brave enough to have an open heart. You never know when you’re going home, literally.
My dad asked my brothers to stop me from auditions –LamiRose
LamiRose Alih is a Nollywood actress and a film producer, she speaks with DEBORAH OCHENI about her ready to go outfits, love for comfy wears, her preferred celebrity style, why she will not not wear clothes that reveal her nipples and lots more.
What was growing up like?
Growing up was so interesting, until things went bad for my parents that they had to relocate from Kano to the village. Things got so tough while in the village, but in all, we thank God for life. How long have you been in the entertainment industry and how did the journey start?
I have been in the industry for a while now but it wasn’t really consistent until 2017 when I decided to go fully into it. My journey started when I followed my friend to an audition and I was called to be one of the cast in the crowd scene. That was how my acting career started.
What inspired the decision to become an actress?
Well, I have always wanted to be on the screen while growing up, I admire newscasters and I love watching Stephanie Okereke and Genevieve Nnaji then. Each time I saw them on the screen I will be like, “I am going to be like this someday.”
That was what inspired me and I started working towards it. What was the experience like facing the camera for the first time? It wasn’t funny at all because I used to be a very shy person, so facing the camera was a problem.
Are your parents in support of your career?
No, they were not in support of it at first, my dad was like “when people are looking for something meaningful to do with their lives my own daughter says it’s film she wants to act”, and he will order my brothers to close-mark me from going for auditions.
Because of that, when I was filling my JAMB form I had to apply for Theatre Arts unknown to my parents instead of Law that was my dream course so that by the time I am done with school, they would accept my choice of career since that’s the course I studied in school. And behold my plan worked out well.
Which movie brought you to limelight? I would say “bride price and Asoebi girl. Be- cause it ran on Africa Magic Epic for a long time and I played a sub lead role in it.
That really made me popular.
How many movies have you featured in so far?
I have featured in over 15 movies, namely, Bride Price, The Regent King, Her Proposal, Putting Pen to Paper, Soil, A day Outside, Living in Abuja, to mention a few including my own movie “Upon a Promise” currently showing on Africa Magic Showcase and “Oge Nkpuhie coming out soon on Africa Magic Igbo. Asides acting which other business are you into? I work with the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, I also run my own business
I have a clothing line, I freelance, let’s just say I do everything thats legitimate business.
Are you a trend conformist?
No, really I wear anything that suits me, not necessarily what’s trending or in vogue. Which celebrity style do you admire most? Kimora Lee and in Nigeria I would say Mercy Aigbe. I admire their styles a lot. Is there anything you will never be caught wearing? Anything that shows nipples is a no no for me. Which is your costliest fashion possession? That should be my Herms bag. How much did you buy it? Let me not even mention the amount here, I prefer to keep the price secret.
Which is your signature perfume?
I play with all because I sell perfumes as well but my best would be Gorgio Armani for women.
The fragrance is something else. Which accessories do you live for?
I love Wristwatches and earrings a whole lot.
How do you love your hairdo?
I like hair with curls or straight and my best style is side parting, the make has to be natural for me to be able to rock.
Which footwear do you love most?
I like sneakers because I don’t joke with my comfort, I don’t compromise my comfort for fashion.
What is your ready to go outfits?
Jean, T-shirt, face-cap and sneakers but I am not a tom boy.
How comfortable do you feel in jeans and Tshirt?
I feel very comfortable because they are my favourite wears.
Which outfits take up most space in your wardrobe?
T-shirts and sneakers. What determines what you wear? I dress according to the occasion that I am going for or place.
What makes a woman well dressed?
A woman is well dressed when what she wears is not too revealing.
Who is your best designer?
Toyin Abraham “Titans’ Empire.
Do you consider any fashion items indispensable?
Shoes are not easily dispensable.
How lucrative is acting as a career in Nigeria?
Acting is a very lucrative career trust me, especially as an actor.
Would you say you are satisfied with your choice of career?
There’s nothing as fulfilling as doing what you have passion for, acting gives me peace of mind.
How would you compare Nollywood to entertainment industry in other climes?
You can’t compare our industry to, say, Hollywood for now.
But on the average we have really improved in so many areas we are a work in progress and we will surely get there How easily do you buy your fashion items in Nigeria?
Very easy, I am the type that don’t really plan shopping.
If I see anything I like either online or in a shop I will just but, it so, it’s really not difficult.
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