Monday, December 28, 2015

Nollywood 2015: The good, the bad and the ugly

2015 will go down as an eventful year for the Nigerian movie industry better known as Nollywood. The year has recorded some good, bad and ugly moments. As the year’s curtains draw to a close, we bring you the major events, people and social media tantrum that shook the motion picture industry. Let’s start with the ugly side:
The curtain of the year 2015 flipped open with the shocking news of the death of top Nollywood actor, Muna Obiekwe. Obiekwe passed away after a protracted battle with kidney failure on Sunday January 18, 2015 in a hospi­tal in FESTAC Town, Lagos.
In July, award-winning Yoruba movie actor and event manager, Mufutau Sanni Abdulahi popularly known asAjigijaga passed away. Famous for his roles as leader of criminal gangs in movies, the actor died after a brief illness. He was 60.
Nollywood was thrown into another round of mourning following the death of budding actress and make-up artiste, Tosin Abeniade Badmus. Badmus, who broke into the movie industry a few years back, died in November after battling an undisclosed ailment.
Abia State-born comedian, Dede Oneday passed on in the early hours of Monday, December 14, 2015. Oneday reportedly succumbed to hypertension, as he collapsed shortly after anchoring a programme in Aba, Abia State.
Though, some celebrities couldn’t make it to the last month of the year, others miraculously cheated death by the whiskers. They included Yul Edochie, Shan George,
Maureen Ihua, Prince Eke, and Ireti Doyle. Theirs could be described as “narrow escape”.
To start with, Yul, last son of veteran actor, Pete Edochie, was in October attacked by armed robbers in Enugu. He had gone for the shooting of a movie when he was reportedly attacked at an unidentified hotel in Enugu where he had lodged.
Also, Tinsel star, Iretiola Doyle, was in the night of Wednesday, October 8 robbed by criminal gangs operating in traffic gridlock along Town Planning Way, Ilupeju, Lagos.
The side window of her GAC Trump Jeep was damaged and her phone stolen but she escaped unhurt.
Hers was not a robbery case. Towards the tail end of October, screen diva, Shan George survived a car accident in Enugu State. She was enroute Lagos from Calabar with her son and manager when a speeding Toyota Camry car allegedly left its lane and rammed into the driver’s side of her white Toyota RAV4. The accident, which damaged the driver side of the car, occurred around Abakpa Nike Roundabout/Onitsha Road.
Neither robbery nor accident but kidnapping was the lot of Abuja-based actress, Maureen Ihua and Prince Eke, husband to music star, Muma Gee in 2015. Ihua was kidnapped by three gunmen at a function in Port Harcourt, after the abductors had demanded for N100 million as ransom. Rivers State. She later regained her freedom
On his part, Prince Eke was kidnapped on Saturday, December 5 on his way from a movie location in Asaba, Delta State. He was abducted on Owerri-Port Harcourt Road and a whopping sum of N15 million was demanded for his release or else “he’ll be buried alive”. Few days later, however, the actor was rescued and has since reunited with his family.
Tonto Dike’s debt mess
Nollywood’s diva of controversy, Tonto Dikeh, sparked social media tsunami after an Instagram user, Pearl Chuks (@pumps­berry) slammed her for allegedly owing her N192, 000 for a handbag she bought on credit. The aggrieved businesswoman stated that he gave the actress a ‘fake’ designer bag when she couldn’t afford the original, but she didn’t make any effort to pay for it. However, Dikeh denied the claims and ended up burning the controversial bag into ashes.
Queen Nwokoye Vs. Rachel Okonkwo
Queen Nwokoye and Rachel Okonkwo engaged each other in what could be tagged ‘celebrity fight’ over movie roles. Hell broke loose when the controversial thespian, Ms Queen, allegedly walked into a movie set and discovered that the lady she was play­ing supporting actress with was her ‘junior’ in the industry. This led to both of them exchanging words before storming out of the location. Since then the duo have been at loggerheads.
Toyin Aimakhu Vs. Adeniyi Johnson
The Nollywood couple got separated a few months ago after Toyin discovered that her husband was cheating on her. Though, the embattled husband made an open confession of his atrocities, apologised and promised to turn a new leaf, Toyin was not ready to give him a second chance.
Emeka Ike Vs. Emma Ike
Their marriage of 12 years met with trou­bled waters some months ago, as Emma, the embittered wife of veteran actor, Emeka Ike ran to a customary court seeking for the dis­solution of their union. Giving her reasons for opting out of the marriage, the mother of four attributed it to constant beating, abuse and lack of care and respect.
Ann Njemanze Vs. Silver Ojieson
Tinsel star, Ann Njemanze, has lost her second marriage. The actress, who was formerly mar­ried to actor Segun Arinze mar­ried a UNILAG lecturer, Silver Ojieson on Saturday November 9, 2013. But barely two years after, the union crumbled like a pack of cards. Ann is now back as a single mother of two children.
Georgina Onuoha Vs. Mr. Igwegbe
Ms Onuoha was a prominent face in Nollywood but she disappeared some years back after she married and relocated to the United States of America. Few weeks into 2015, she resurfaced on social media with the heartbreaking news of how her marriage, which produced two daughters, crashed. She has since bounced back to the industry with the production of a movie yet to be released.
Lizzy Anjorin and Jibo Morgan
Popular Yoruba actress and mother of one, Elizabeth Anjorin, finally married her long-time lover, Jibo Morgan in June. The marriage took place in a secret venue in La­gos with few friends and family members in attendance.
IK Ogbonna and Sonia Morales
Nollywood actor, IK Ogbonna and fiancée, Sonia Morales, officially tied the knots on Monday June 29, 2015 in Serbia, Columbia; hometown of the bride. Their marriage came a few days after the love­birds welcomed their first child together the same month.
Gbenro Ajibade and Osas Ighodaro
Actors, Gbenro Ajibade and Osas Igho­daro got married on Saturday July 4, 2015 in New York. Both had met on the set of Tinsel, a soap opera running on DStv. One thing led to the other and they got married.
Chita Agwu and John Maduabuchi
Nollywood sexpot, Chita Agwu, was taken to the altar on Saturday June 20 by her Malaysia-based fiancé, John Madu­abuchi. It was indeed a glamorous church wedding.
Mimi Orjiekwe and Charles Billion
On Saturday July 18, 2015, Mimi Orjiekwe and Charles Billion wedded in Umuelem Village, Ichieke Achi, Udi in Oji River Local Government Area of Enugu State. This came after many years of court­ship.
Tonto Dikeh and Churchill Oladunni
2015 was a good year for controversial actress, Tonto Dikeh. It was the year she surprisingly got married. The light-skinned diva got married to her heartthrob, Oladun­ni Churchill, in a traditional ceremony held on August 30, 2015. The white wedding would hold soon.
Chris Attoh and Damilola Adegbite
Nollywood stars, Chris Attoh and Dami­lola Adegbite sealed their relationship with a marriage ceremony this year. The pair got married in a star-studded ceremony on Valentine’s Day. Both had also met on the set of Tinsel.
Lilian Esoro and Ubi Franklin
The lovebirds got hooked up on Novem­ber 1, 2015. This came shortly after they had legalised their union on Thursday October 15, 2015 at the Ikoyi marriage registry. The couple had earlier held their introduction on August 22, which caught the industry by surprise.
Mofe Duncan and Jessica Kakkad
Actor cum TV personality, Mofe Dun­can, married his girlfriend of many years, Jessica Kakkad in a star-studded ceremony this year. The couple had their traditional wedding on August 20 while their white wedding held in Lagos on Saturday, August 22.
Susan Peters and Dr Croon
Nollywood actress, Susan Peters married her Dutch husband, Dr Croon on Saturday October 10. The wedding came as a sur­prise to many. A well-attended traditional wedding followed it on October 24.
Baby boom
Actress, Uche Jombo-Rodriquez wel­comed a son with her husband, Kenney Rodriguez in May while popular Yoruba ac­tor, Yomi Black welcomed a child with his beautiful wife in July. Also, in July, Karen Igho-Rakos and hubby, Yaroslav Rakos, who got married in a low-key ceremony, had a son together.
Bald head actor, IK Ogbonna, who married his Colombian girlfriend, Sonia Morales this year, both welcomed a son together on June 20. The same way Nolly­wood bad boy, Jim Iyke and his Lithuanian girlfriend welcomed a son on September 6.
Actress wife of Iroko TV boss, Mary Remmy Njoku, welcomed another child a few years into their marriage. The baby boy was born in August. For Yoruba movie actor, Odunlade Adekola, it’s another baby boy. His wife, Ruth gave birth to a baby boy on Monday November 23 in Abeokuta, Ogun State, thus making it four boys for the couple.
In October, Stephanie Okereke-Linus delivered a bouncing baby boy, which came some years after her glamorous wedding in Paris, France. However, for 31-year-old actress, Mercy Johnson-Okogie, it’s three in a row. She delivered a baby girl on Friday December 11 at the University of Maryland (St. Joseph Medical Centre) Baltimore, United States of America.
Movies premieres
Produced by Mo Abudu, CEO, Ebonylife TV, Fifty’s premiere was held at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on Sunday December 13, 2015. It was attended by the crème de la crème of Lagos society. The movie had a stellar cast of four women including Iretiola Doyle, Omoni Oboli, Nse Ikpe-Etim and Dakore Egbuson.
Genevieve Nnaji stunned her fans when she bounced back to the movie industry with Road To Yesterdaya movie she co-produced alongside Chinny Onwug­benu and Chichi Nwoko. The star-studded premiere of the movie held at the closing night of the 2015 African International Film Festival (AFRIF) on Friday November 13.
After a successful screening in the United Kingdom, Stephanie Linus finally got to premiere her movie, Dryat the Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos. It was graced by popular faces in the movie industry. The movie has also clinched some awards within few months of its release.
Chigozie Atuanya, in partnership with Stella Oduah Foundation, premiered his high budget blockbuster entitled, Chetanna, in Awka, Anambra State. The epoch-making event, which held at Marble Arch Hotel and Event Centre, Akwa, indisputably shook the ancient city to its very foundation
Delectable actress, Omoni Oboli, made a huge statement in Nollywood when she returned with another captivating movie, The First Lady, in which she played the character of a prostitute. Oboli has been so spectacular in 2015, little wonder she clinched The Sun’s Nollywood Personality of the Year Award.
Five months after he inked an endorse­ment deal with Air France, notable film­maker, Kunle Afolayan hit a big one again. He was recently unveiled as brand ambassa­dor of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN). With his mouth watering endorsement, the filmmaker emerged as the first person to of­ficially drive and own the 2015/2016 edition of Peugeot 508.
Others who got endorsements this year include Yul Edochie, who was made ambassador of Phamatex Pharmaceutical company, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and her second daughter, Meraiah, became brand ambassadors of Knorr cube while Mercy Aigbe- Gentry was made the face of Prestige Cosmet­ics Nigeria.

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