Sunday, January 31, 2010

CT2 Hits as Celebrity Waltz

With zeal and determination to learn from their dance instructors it has became evident to resolve the performance as the battle lines have been drawn, contestants are not leaving any stone unturned with their best performances as the competition entered its new week Chinyere Okoye views the celebrities chances to the crown

The contest is fierce and the stakes are high as the Celebrity battle on stage for dance supremacy. Each week, they step up to the challenge and show off their skills, until Nigeria's Best Dance Celebrity is revealed.

The competition was stiff this week when all the ten celebrities gave their all in an attempt to win the dance trophy on "Celebrity Takes 2 Season 2". Each of the contestants had to perform one dance, and the judges' commendations were very high.
The contestants include Stella Damascus, Faithia Balogun, Yemi Blaq, Dakore Egbuson, and veteran actor, Fred Amata. From the music industry are Yinka Davies. For these celebrities, it is a prestige battle as the competition continues to generate hostilities between the Nollywood stars on one hand and the music stars on the other hand.

For the first few episodes, it was Rhythm & Blue (Music) versus Red Hot Drama (Nollywood); one team from each camp will be voted each week. Then, it switches back to the traditional format. Viewers will get to vote for their favourite celebrities. The competition has already started and according to early indications, its going to be a very tough.
Stars from the music and movie industries have been paired with experienced dancers for the competition of a lifetime.
As Nigeria’s No. 1 TV Reality Show, Celebrity Takes 2 enters its eighth episode, at the Liberty Hall on
Lekki/Epe Expressway was beehive of fans seated to witness the eviction and watch surviving celebrities strive to stay on top of the dance war to avoid eviction.
Among the four couples lined up on probation in the seventh episode,
Obiwon and his dance partner, Lilian scored the lowest votes as verified
by Alexander Forbes Ltd. Ben Ogbeiwi and Bimbo Akintola, Comperes of the
show announced the eviction of Obiwon from the reality TV show making him
the fourth evicted celebrity following the chronological order of the
eviction of Faze, Kel, and Zaaki Azzay.

In his farewell remark, Chief Judge, Segun Lawal eulogized Obiwon for the
energy, creativity, and style which he displayed in all the previous
episodes. “We will miss you in this competition. We look forward to seeing
you again. You performed so well.”

In reaction, Obiwon said that “It’s been fun, more of adrenalin pumping. I
have learnt a lot not just about dance alone but life lessons.”

It will be recalled that five Nollywood stars tagged ‘Red Hot Drama’ were
enlisted to compete with five music artistes tagged ‘Rhythm & Blues’. With
four of the Rhythm & Blues contestants evicted from the show leaving Yinka
Davies as the surviving contestant, it is apparent the war is tilting in
favor of Red Hot Drama.

During the eight episode veteran movie actor and director, Fred Amata and
ace Nollywood Star, Stella Damascus dazzled the judges and thrilled the
audience. The judges who scored based on parameters such as creativity,
energy displayed, use of floor space, and concept were agog at Fred
Amata’s ingenuity and ability to create comics from his flaws during his
dance. Amata enthralled both judges and audience with his dance
performances and obviously his comical disposition. “Fred knows how to
seize the moment to beat the expectations of his fans.” A fan exclaimed.

In a contest staged on a wrestling ring, Fred and his dance partner,
Blessing battled Yinka Davies and her dance partner, Gbenga scored a total
of 32 against Yinka’s 31 narrowly escaping a tie. The judges could not
hold themselves as they express their evaluation with excitement.

“Congratulations to both couples. Fred showed great deal of team spirit
and moved his body like a snake depicting flexibility. Yinka danced with
strong charisma that filled the entire dance floor and displayed intense
energy during her start which took her through a beautiful ending.”

Perhaps, most remarkable during the show was Stella Damascus’. Once on the
dance floor, no one could recall that she limped her way into the
‘wrestling ring’ dance floor. With a sprained ankle, the Nollywood screen
goddess wriggled her body in scintillating movements that wowed both
audience and judges. Obviously, Stella made her mark hitting the highest
score of 33 points.

Stella has made her mark since the beginning of the show. Each performance
is an improvement of the previous.

Faithia Balogun who made 29 points was the highest of the three
contestants with the lowest mark. It implies that she is up for probation
again the umpteenth time alongside Yemi Blaq who scored 27 and Dakore Egbuson, 28.
On the next episode, one of them will be evicted. Who will stand in the gap? Faithia,Yemi or Dakore, find out.

Nevertheless, during the ninth episode, Fred Amata scored 17, Yinka Davies scored 25, and Fathia Balogun scored 17 was on probation as Stella Damascus and Yemi Blaq had automatic qualification for the finals.

Dakore was the last evicted from the show in the last show she contested
which was the eight episode. She was put on probation with Faithia Balogun
and Yemi Blaq. Ultimately she lost out due to low votes.

What is the State of Nollywood?

Film industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world economy, it has huge impact on African consciousness both on the continent and Diaspora, Chinyere Okoye looks at film industry after three decades of being on the doldrums that awakened mixture of technology, determination and opportunity.

Despite deficiencies, Nollywood has been able to project a measure of Nigerian identity to the World especially today where brands have become an important form of currency in global market.

Today, Nollywood have better equipment for production, better trained people are equally involved in this business than before. You can’t compare the quality of the pictures they had then to what they have today.
The most commonly accepted risk of globalisation is that as more people around the world become better educated, more open-minded, more acceptable to new changes, eventually, they lose their national identities as a price of accepting globalisation, as the media reduces the presence of the national.

The term "film industry" is generally used to describe an umbrella of creative industry production activities including film, television (drama and documentary), commercials, stills photography and multi-media.
In an increasingly shrinking global village, where ideas, information and media determine not only the growth of a nation or countries today, Nigeria is locked in an often not too subtle battle for the control of those ideas and knowledge that are critical for social and economic growth. In this new world where nations and culture clash everyday, cultural forces are beginning to play a more vital role in determining the growth and economic progress of a nation.

Presently, Nigerian filmmakers churn out more productions than anywhere else in the world. In 2007, 1687 movies were shot in various locations across the country, creating jobs and skills. Economically, film industry turns over billions and generates millions of jobs worldwide.

In Nigeria, it has been argued that film industry generates over N30 billion worth of economic activities. If it's accepted by business moguls driven by profit that movies can influence significantly commercial decisions and associated conduct, then its should make common sense that movies can be a potent agent for positive social change. During the colonial days, the old film units were used purely as agents for acculturation or social change.

Today, more than any other time in human history, people not only know what is going on around the world and more familiar to other cultures through multi-media such as news, radio, music, film, and internet, they often demand it as their "democratic right".

As one movie industry analyst surmised, "the many business leaders around the world who make such decisions, are not so imperceptive that they would invest $100 million dollars in motion picture-related promotion for a single film without a solid basis for knowing that movies influence human behavior, at least some of the subsequent lifestyle and commercial choices of those moviegoers"
Nigerian film industry may be poised for further growth if the right investments to improve quality of talent, production and distribution are made.
To properly locate the importance of motion picture to social or cultural development; it is first important to understand that the motion picture is and always has been more than mere entertainment.

Nevertheless, some stakeholders said, Nollywood has taken stories that were original in the nineties and early 2000s and told them so many times that now we are now exhausted. So perhaps part of the "betterness" comes from the fact that the stories were relatively fresh and thus more exciting.

The truth is that all movies send messages of one sort or another, all movies communicate ideas. And if movies communicate ideas, and it is believed that ideas have always and will always be a significant source of motivation for human conduct, it further demonstrates the power of social change that movies have.
Vast majority of them contain ritual scenes, graphic violence, foul language, denigration of Nigeria, prejudicial portrayal of certain ethnic groups, and the abuse of some cherished institutions. It's important to understand that these are Nigerian films, "so we should not complain when Hollywood or the Western media does same, because we already doing enough damage to ourselves."
Prof Dora Akunyili blamed Nollywood filmmakers for focusing on 419 and voodoo without paying attention to the good things about Nigerians. Which films, if any, has our minister been watching?

It is clear on what government requires of Nollywood: ”We want extra commitment from Nollywood to stop projecting Nigeria negatively. We plead with you to project Nigeria. We cannot hide them but let us also portray the good things we do, so we do not allow a few individuals to incriminate our innocence“, the minister said.
While Nollywood is giving Akunyili and government “extra commitment”, what will Nollywood get from government? Stable electricity, better infrastructure, funding or free corruption government?

She went on to say “if Nollywood had focused more on the financial contributions made by civil servants to the apartheid struggle in the 70s in their films, present generation of South Africans would not hate us this much”.

When the Council Meets

Chinyere Okoye spoke to Adeyinka Junaid who exposes Nigerian challenges in a satirical, through The Council and proffer solutions to them

‘The Council’ is a satiric based television drama and talk, show aimed at drawing the governments attention at salient issues affecting the entire scheme of governance in and around the country. A brainchild of Tommy’s Play House the playlet is a humorous and educative, leaving viewers with no other option but to stick to their seats and enjoy a half hour but worthwhile discussion.

In a chat with the CEO Tommy’s play house Yinka Junaid said the programme has been designed to give the society something new on TV and one to be happy about “Nigeria has myriads of problems and as a passionate Nigerian I don’t want to seat down and watch her go down the more so in my little way contribute that is find a way to make amends and give back to the society that is what has given birth to the programme”. Junaid said. “I must tell you that people have become tired of the normal conventional way of teaching which they get in the schools, churches and a whole lot of them and they don’t even get enough of those teaching so the council serves as a focal point of learning as well”.

The half hour programme which shows in different television stations which include TVC, Superscreen, MiTV, MSTV Minna displays a series of well discussed issues admist the tough challenge involved in getting such topical issues discussed.
Speaking to THISDAY on the programme set up, Junaid said, that the members of the council will not be permanent as plans are on ground to make sure professionals, ministers, government functionaries and veterans in various fields come to the council to iron out issues. “We shall be having guests from various fields who are very vast in their field on the programme to talk to the audience and answer questions from the audience also because it is an audience- participatory programme”.

Expressing his disappointment and surprise on the level of sponsorship which is not coming forth as expected Junaid argues that corporate bodies, the banks and even the government should learn to sponsor educative programmes and not only the music entertainment industry. “The level of sponsorship is at zero level until recently when we started partnering with some TV stations and the profit divided. I have approached so many organizations and individuals with copies of my proposals and the council but none seam to be yielding fruit for now but I hope it gets better”.

Speaking on the representatives in the council which include people from different tribes he said the poor sponsorship have allowed for other tribes to have little or no representation in the council. “we have had calls fro people from other tribes asking why they are not represented in the council. We have tried our best but poor sponsorship has tied our hands but am sure it will get better”.

Junaid had been raised to face the challenges of life and never allow your humble background to be an impediment to attain higher height.

Junaid a graduate of history from the Obafemi Awolowo University believes he has used his knowledge of history to create a programme that would help people rediscover the history in them via the discussions that holds weekly in the council.
Tommy’s Play House also have its areas of business event management, film and TV production, multimedia productions and broadcast equipment rentals.

Junaid further revealed that the play house will by 2010 release a movie centered on a Yoruba heroine who sacrificed her life for love.