Happy International Women’s Day!
To celebrate today, the cast of MTV Shuga is celebrating every woman irrespective of age, class or race.
They say, “Although the scars ran deep she did not fall, she fought for her voice to be heard. Despite the hardships, the difficulties & the trials. She rose because she took back control. Because she chose to stand up & speak out. On this #IWD2020, we say to her: Keep rising, despite it all! Happy International Women’s Day. #EachForEqual”.
ORGANISED CHAOS/ Actor Buju Mahogany Casts In New Hilarious Tv Series
GREATER ACCRA, GHANA, Tuesday March 31, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ – After going off the screens of Ghanaian movie and tv show lovers, celebrated actor and Event MC, Yao Elkannah Seddoh popularly known in the creative arts and culture industry (Movie) as Buju Mahagony, stars in a newly outdoored hilarious tv show that will be airing on leading entertainment tv network, Joy Prime.
Titled “Organised Chaos” Buju Mahogany will be playing role of a “house help” in what can be described as a home of sarcasm show. Produced by Shark Entertainment Ghana, the tv series will be airing every weekday from 5:00pm on the 24 hours of non-stop, real entertaining action channel transmitting in Ghana and across Africa with programmes from the world’s best studios.
COV!D-19/ The Best Nollywood Films To Stream On Netflix Right Now
While European and American streets are empty due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, Lagos streets are still vibrant and alive. Oshodi market is operating at full capacity with customers feeling the lace and Ankara fabrics before buying and clothes sellers dragging passersby to their shops. Perhaps it’s a matter of time, but for now things are mostly as normal. But for our brothers and sisters in the diaspora, holed-up in their homes waiting for a resolution to the crisis, Netflix is an excellent distraction.
The Nollywood-Netflix romance is still new, but growing stronger. In 2015, the streaming platform acquired Kunle Afolayan’s October 1 and Biyi Bandele’s Fifty. The relationship blossomed to a newer level in 2018 with the acquisition of Genevieve Nnaji’s dramedy, Lionheart, ahead of its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), making it the first Netflix original film from Nigeria.
Since then, Netflix has acquired over 40 Nollywood films, from blockbusters like King of Boys, Chief Daddy, and Isoken to less popular pictures like Kasala! and Taxi Driver (Oko Ashewo). With the increased number of Nigerian films on Netflix, it might be a daunting task to select the best ones to watch. To help, we have picked the 10 best Nollywood films currently streaming on the platform.
Just like the real-life story it’s based on, Steve Gukas’s 93 Days is a rare mark of Naija excellence. It is a film Nollywood will always look back at with pride in the same fashion Nigeria will always be proud of preventing the outbreak of the viral Ebola disease. The film documents the triumph against Ebola and salutes the heroes of that battle, but it is not great because of what it stands for, but how well it told that story: beautifully shot, well-acted—with lead Bimbo Akintola delivering an excellent performance—and brilliantly helmed by Gukas.
Back when Kunle Afolayan’s filmmaking brand was ambition and excellence, he made October 1, his best film yet and one of the best from the last decade. Set against the backdrop of Nigeria’s independence, October 1 is mainly about solving a series of gruesome murders that’s been happening in Akote, a remote town in Western Nigeria. But after a more in-depth look, it’s more; the film continually poses questions about colonialism and its long term effects on the fragile democracy of young Nigeria. Working with trusted collaborators, Yinka Edward (cinematographer) and Pat Nebo (production designer), Afolayan creates a gorgeous picture reminiscent of ’60’s Nigeria.
In its early part, Jade Osiberu’s colorful romantic comedy, Isoken, is about the biggest sin a Nigerian woman can commit: be single and successful at 34. In the later part, the film embraces the trappings of its genre. Two men are after the titular Isoken’s heart. The first, Osaze, is charming and perfect, but wrong for her. The second, Kevin, is also lovely, but imperfect; however, he seems to be the right one. But what distinguishes Isoken from most Nigerian romantic comedies is its feminist leanings, it is precisely the rom-com a career woman like Osiberu would write and direct.
There is something about the current crop of Nollywood female filmmakers and strong female protagonists, this is evident in Isoken and Lionheart, but those ladies were sweet, and their brush with patriarchy was soft. Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys is a more aggressive feminist story, one in which violence is the weapon that obliterates patriarchy. The ambitious story follows Eniola Salami (played competently by Sola Sobowale), a woman who has conquered the men of Lagos underworld and now wants to conquer a different set of powerful men: the gatekeeper of Nigerian politics. Inspired by the Godfather trilogy, King of Boys is the ambitious crime drama Nollywood did not know it needed.
Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart proves that simple can be effective. The screenplay by Nnaji and her co-writers – C. J. Obasi, Ishaka Bako, etc. – keep things simple, maybe too simple that the story becomes safe, but it works. The film, which revolves around a woman on a mission to prove her capability in handling her father’s bus company despite having a proven track record, is a love letter to Eastern Nigerian. It is set in Enugu. It features mostly Igbo actors, and it captures the strange patriarchy in an Igbo household, where a woman is given the best education, but not trusted to handle affairs related to business competently.
Lagos is brutal and peppered with shady people; at night, its brutality and shadiness are increased in ten folds. Daniel Oriahi’s Taxi Driver tells a tale about Lagos nights and its players—prostitutes, gang lords, and assassins—through the eyes of a taxi driver. Inspired by Martin Scorsese’s films, Oriahi’s tells a neo-noir story that’s unique to Lagos, he washes the city with high contrast lighting to give it the stylish look of noir films. And while the picture is gorgeous, the more impressive part of this film is the dramatic performances from Odunlade Adekola and Hafiz Oyetoro, two actors Nollywood have often reduced to caricaturist roles.
Hakkunde is an inspiring story about the resilience of the Nigerian youth amidst adversity. It explores, with humor and warmth, what it means to be young and unemployed in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos. The film approached the unemployed Nigerian trope differently; here, the lead character, Akande, leaves Lagos, the land of opportunities, for a remote village in Kaduna in search of greener pastures. It’s usually the opposite. Akande is played by Frank Donga (real name: Kunle Idowu), in a terrific debut performance that showed he is more than just an Instagram comedian. Hakkunde is also unusual in that it is a Nollywood film that celebrates Northern Nigeria and shows its plenty, unharnessed potential.
Ema Edosio’s Kasala! is a film many Nollywood fans cry for, but seldom get. A story about Lagos and its young people that’s true to the average Lagosian. It’s gritty, authentic, and raw, just like Lagos. Four boys entered Kasala! when they crashed a borrowed car, and they must find a way out of this wahala before the day ends or risk the wrath of the crazy owner.
Kasala! is enjoyable thanks to the leading cast, the awesome foursome of Chigozie Imo, Mike Afolarin, Emeka Nwagbaraocha, and Tomiwa Tegbe, who embodied being Lagos boys. One of the film’s successes is its skillful melodramatic acting, which never feels out of place. If you want to know what a group of Lagos boys do to escape kasala, Edosio’s debut is an excellent start.
The Wedding Party is about two things, everything that could go wrong in a big Nigerian wedding and the ethnic tension between the Igbo’s and Yoruba’s, but it is more about the former than the latter for obvious reasons: the movie wants to entertain! You can find faults in the film’s acting, unneeded scenes, and its lack of narrative surprises, but you can’t deny its charm. A thorough crowdpleaser. It features an enjoyable cast, with a rapturous Sola Sobowale, the standout performer.
Tope Oshin’s Up North is a bit opposite of Hakkunde. In the latter, an unemployed young man seeks greener pastures in Northern-Nigeria; in Up North, a rich heir is thrown into the North. And while Hakkunde focuses on the people, Up North explores its places and beauty. What may be lacking in the bland story is more than made up for by the sheer beauty of the North—its culture and landscapes—that the film showcases, and there’s a marvelous masculinity contest between father and son that’s all too common in the average Nigerian home.
(By: Daniel Okechukwu/Okay Africa)
God Wants The World To Pay Attention To Him – Actress Yvonne Nelson.
“I’m convinced! God wants the world to pay attention to HIM! It’s His world, did we forget?”, these are the words of Ghanaian screen goddess, Yvonne Nelson.
Taking to her Twitter to express her opinion on how Coronav!rus is dominating and crippling countries all over the world, she said, it is God’s way of reminding each and everyone, that he owns the world.
“Pay attention to God,” she added.
She further advised her fans and the general public to stop complaining about any hardships because “God has been really good to you and your family! Appreciate the little things.”
Meanwhile, restriction of movements in some parts of Accra, Tema, Kasoa, and Kumasi is in full force for two weeks, as a way of controlling the spread of the dreaded novel Coronav!rus in Ghana.
These areas are described by the Ghana Health Service as the epicenters, where substantial numbers of the virus have been recorded.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Friday during his fourth televised address to the nation since the outbreak of the Coronav!rus in Ghana, noted that the lockdown which is subject to review, is to achieve five key objectives.
These are – limit and stop the importation of the virus; contain its spread; provide adequate care for the sick; limit the impact of the virus on social and economic life, and inspire the expansion of our domestic capability and deepen our self-reliance.
Actor Taraji P. Henson Makes Her Directorial Debut
Taraji P. Henson has embodied the baddest bitch of primetime television for about five years and now she’s ready to show us she can also be a boss behind-the-scenes on Fox’s rollercoaster ride known as Empire.
Like many actors on a well-seasoned television show, Henson has taken over the reigns to helm an episode she also co-stars in. It’s a big deal for Henson’s personal career history because this marks her directorial debut.
Fox broke down the synopsis of the 13th episode of the season, “Come Undone” for us below:
“Cookie continues to keep her secret from her sisters, but Lucious feels she needs to come clean in order to move forward. When Treasure is unable to perform at the upcoming showcase, Becky suggests that Yana take the spot, but Lucious feels she’s not ready. Meanwhile, Giselle struggles with keeping her family secret from Julian, Maya sets her sights on her own recording deal and Andre’s actions put Quincy in a very bad situation.
In an exclusive clip obtained by The Root, a troubled Cookie Lyon (Henson) confides in Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) about the secret she’s keeping from her sisters.
“Therapy is working,” Cookie confirms after some pushback from Lucious. “Because through therapy I’ve realized I don’t want to live with anymore secrets or lies. I want to live a clean life. And whatever I did wrong, I want to make right.”
Though the actual process may be challenging, it’s clear that therapy was necessary for Cookie’s growth. As Henson (a prominent mental health advocate, herself) told The Root back in November, Cookie had been long overdue for therapy, given all that she’s been through with her family.
“Taraji P. Henson, around-the-way-girl extraordinaire, has embodied Cookie Lyon for six seasons and has been a staunch advocate of meaningful mental health solutions in the black community. She says it was the producers and writers who approached her about Cookie’s therapy storyline and said it’s been a long time coming for the iconic character.
“Cookie needed therapy when she first got out of prison, and so it’s finally catching up to her,” Henson told The Root. “I think it was absolutely important to show this woman who everybody deems so strong and who can do everything and who is always there for everybody—we need to show that she needs help, too. I like that we’re busting that myth of the strong black woman, with her sitting down on the sofa.”
“You’re only as sick as your secrets,” Cookie concludes in the clip from the episode.
On a lighter note, Henson’s directorial debut isn’t the only noteworthy thing of this upcoming episode. Iconic R&B group En Vogue will be making a special guest star appearance as well! Current members Terry Ellis, Rhona Bennett and Cindy Herron-Bragg will be making their first appearance on the Fox dramatic series. However, they’re certainly not new to the Empire canon.
“I don’t have one particular moment I can think of because there are so many,” Ellis told The Root. “The cast of actors and actresses are incredible, coupled with great music and fashion. We love to watch Cookie’s style.”
Don’t we all! We’ll never forget Cookie’s fabulous furs and lavish leopard prints. “It was such a pleasure to work with Taraji!” Herron-Bragg told The Root. “We are huge fans of her work and proud and grateful to have be chosen to be a part of her directorial debut. We had so much fun performing “Never Gonna Get It (My Lovin)“ on the episode.”
Empire is in its sixth and final season, though the actual series finale date may not be the same as originally planned as it was recently listed in the group of shows that have halted production due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus strain.
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