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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bisi Ibidapo-Obe - Nice, Decent and Friendly Actress

Bisi Ibidapo-Obe could easily pass for one of the most beautiful girls in the movie industry. However, when it comes to fashion she is in the class of those who know how to do it well. She’s always well-dressed and knows what suits her sultry shape. She lives in Ketu area of Lagos where she also owns a home video shop. Her choice car is Toyota Corolla.

Read along the interview she granted in 2005.

What would you say prepared you for the acting profession?

Right from my secondary school days, I've always liked acting. I have always been inspired by people like Yinka Quadry, Abey Lanre and Ogogo. These are the people that trained me for what I'm doing now, through rehearsals.

That means you didn't have a formal training In acting?

No, but I'm preparing to go to school soon.

How long have you been acting?

About 10 years now.

Why haven't you had formal training all these years?

I have always been busy with rehearsals for all the films that I have taken part in. You know, these films that people watch under two hours sometimes take months to produce. And for me to give my best in anything I'm doing, I like to do one thing at a time. Besides, I want to make a name in the industry.

Could you remind me of the films you have taken part in?
I have taken part in a lot of films but most people know me for such Yoruba films as Olabisi omo logba logba, Oko opo, Ibadi laiye wa, GSM lomo and many other films.

Among all these films, which one took you the longest time to prepare for?
It was Olabisi Omo logba logba. For one thing, it bears my' first name and I had to play the major role of a prostitute which wasn't easy to prepare for, because I wanted to make it look real. Eventually, it was the role I played in that film that made me popular.

Would you say the role you played in that film had certain things to do your real life character?
No, that's not possible. In that film I played the role of a prostitute who went to bed with many men. But in real life, I'm not that kind of person. If I'm dating someone, I concentrate on that person only until that relationship is no more.

How then would you describe yourself!
A nice and decent girl. I'm friendly with people.

Are your parents supportive of what you are doing as an actress?

You know it's rare to see parents who would want their children to go into acting. When I started acting, my parents fought tooth and nail to pull me out of it. But they later succumbed when they realised that it was what I wanted to do. Now, when they see my films, they are always happy that I'm their child.

Has acting been lucrative?
Well, I'm comfortable. At least I'm not begging to eat.

Has there been any role you regretted playing?
You know, before you play any role, those who invite you to play the role would have given you a script. So if you don't like it, you won't play it. So it's difficult to regret playing any role.

You have always acted In Yoruba films, is there any reason why you have not acted in English speaking films?
The truth is that I have never been invited to play in any English speaking film. But I intend to do one this year.
Don't you think the fact that you don't have a formal training In acting would constitute a barrier to your acting in English films?
Not at all. That can't be a barrier at all.

Have you ever acted with anyone you later nursed romantic feelings for?


Is there any particular reason you are not married?
(laughter) No. You know marriage is a delicate thing and one needs to prepare very well before getting into it so that one does not rush in and rush out. I'm only taking my time to prepare for marriage so that when I get married, it will work.

Does that mean you are into a relationship right now?
Yes, I have a man.

Let's talk about him.
No, that's my personal life.

Are you still friendly with Bukky Wright?
Bukky Wright is not my friend, she's my big sister. And we're still friendly.

Why did your relationship turn sour in the past?
You know there was this rumour that I dated Bolaji Basia. But those who are closer to me, those who are closer to Bolaji and those who are closer to Bukky would know that that kind of thing is not possible. Anyway, we have settled the matter.

Are you saying you never dated BolaJi?
I didn't date him. Bolaji is like a big brother to me. He was even the one that settled the quarrel between Bukky and I. And they are back together.
What happened to your romantic relationship with King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall?
That's a forgotten issue. I don't want to talk about it.

Would you quit acting for something else some day?
I don't intend to quit acting for anything. I may be doing something by the side, but it would not disturb my acting career. I'm into acting for life. I do not intend to go and do "yes sir, yes ma" for anybody.

Who would you say is your mentor?
It was the late Ireti. In those days when I watched her films, I enjoyed her act a lot. And she was the one that made me to like acting.

In all these years that you have been in the acting profession, what has been your most embarrassing moment?
There was this day that I was in a taxi, and despite disguising myself, because I didn't want people to recognise me, about 20 "Area Boys" came and insisted I must give them money. Could you believe that when I told them I didn't have any money to give them they started destroying the wiper of the taxi? Eventually, I had to give money to the driver to buy another wiper. You can't believe that so many people had already gathered at the scene and it was really embarrassing.

Did you settle the "Area Boys"?
Of course, I had to settle them because they laid in front of the taxi and said if the taxi killed them, they would know it was Olabisi that killed them. So I had to give them some money before they allowed me to pass.

How do you feel when people refer to actresses as prostitutes?
I have heard that many times. People have told me that before. But what I always tell such people is that if you call actresses prostitutes, definitely it is those prostitutes that make you happy. For one thing, there have been many sad homes which actresses and actors have turned to happy homes through their acts. Many couples who may have quarelled in the past have had to end their quarrel after watching a film. We're not just playing, although people call it play, we do serious work when we produce our films. Just like those who work in the banks do serious work, so do we when we are on set. For me, I don't even bother if anybody calls me a prostitute because I know that I'm not one and those who are close to me know that I'm not a prostitute.
What kind of man would you want to get married to?
I would love to marry a man that would understand me and trust me. I can't marry a man that would be wondering where I am at any time. I don't like a man who would not trust me. I can't marry a man who after watching my film would be asking whether anything goes on behind the scene. I can only marry a man who would not doubt me and who is cool headed. I don't want to marry a man who would be thinking that I'm with somebody else when I'm on location.

So when do you hope to get married?
Very soon God's time is the best.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What you must know about Chidi GQ Mokeme

Chidiebere Geoffrey Azubuike Mokeme was born in Ogidi, Anambra State close to 34 years ago to a now retired insurance executive a retired teacher.

He’s a born artiste. But his parents wanted him to go for the sciences and he obeyed them. After his secondary education at the Federal Government College, Minna, he settled for computer science.

Pharmacy was actually his first choice, but no thanks to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) which played its usual frustrating and discouraging role, he attended the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu.

That was merely to satisfy his parents’ wish. Chidi Mokeme was art-inclined but couldn’t oppose them as they knew better and called the shots then. Today, Chidi is an actor, model, fashion designer, Reality show presenter, businessman and a complete gentleman.

He has acted in many nollywood movies and also
successfully presented Nigeria’s First Reality TV show, the Gulder Ultimate Search.

When asked recently how is life after the ‘ultimate’ experience, which visibly launched him into greater heights? Hear him.
“It’s been good. To some extent, you can say that it took me to more places and increased my fan base, being a programme that ran daily on national television, as well as a on cable station. So my fan base went wider than it used to be.”
I’m back to the locations. I still design but for selected people since I rarely have time. I’ve been busy making so many movies. What saves the situation is that I make their clothes in bulk so it sustains them for a while before they request for new ones.”

The Nigerian Nollywood Photoblog hereby presents to you Chidi Mokeme.

Darling Darlene Benson of Nollywood

Remember her? She is the talented actress Darlene Benson Cobham, she had starred in Brides Apart, Honeymoon Hotel, Engagement Night etc. Apart from acting, she is also into singing, making jingles and compere at occasions. Watch out for this delectable actress in any of films she featured in Nollywood.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Getting to know Desmond Elliot of Nollywood

I was born to a Yoruba father and an Ibo mother. I grew up in the Northern part of the country and I am married to an Akwa-Ibom woman. I had my primary education at Air Force Primary school in Jos from where I went to St John’s College also in Jos. I studied Economics at the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos and graduated in 2003.

Although people say I got married late but the truth is that I dated my wife for about eight years before we finally got married. My kind of job may have exposed me to the opposite sex but the truth is that my wife means the whole world to me. I appreciate my wife and I married her basically for love and nothing else. She is so understanding and caring. These are the two vital attributes I find lacking in most women of today.

A true Nigerian
I understand the three major Nigerian languages but I speak more of Hausa because that is the language I grew up with.

I basically relax with my wife whenever the opportunity comes, especially if I am in town and not involved in a tedious job. I have a special form of relaxation, I just choose a suitable time and free myself from every form of stress.

Turn off
I don’t like people flashing me. I mean if you want to give a call, go ahead and do so, it is of no use flashing me.
Why I run from women
Women chase me because I am an actor and if they don’t do that it simply means that I am not yet an actor. In fact, being chased is not the issue, what matters is that whenever I perceive that I am about to be chased, I run. I run because I have an ambition, which I don’t want women to ruin for me. I run from them if they want to go beyond the level of being my fans to another level.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Femi Branch - From MTN Advert to Nollywood

Femi Branch on the marble

My first big step in acting was when Professor Ola Rotimi took me under his wings and told me ‘young man I think you have a future in this thing’. He made me into a project along with some other people like Jude Orhoha and others. He took interest in us and mentored us and that really gave me the footing, the strength that I have in what I do. Since then it’s been fun," he laughed, with a mien that suggested he was battling with nostalgia.

"I would like to think it takes less acting skills to do commercials, but it is acting all the same because its like you playing a part, trying to be someone that you are not; trying to convince people that okay I use this product, or that I have spent so much time testing the product and I’m recommending it to the audience."
"Stage is not financially gratifying as screen but it is something that most of us who are passionate about still take every time out to do and, most of the time when we do we don’t consider the financial side of it.

"We do it because we love doing it and we want to keep it alive. And I’m hoping, before the end of the year, to still be involved with at least two stage productions and to be able to commit more time and resources to stage later in my stage productions, because I write stage plays and produce,"

"I think Femi is worlds apart from Oscar Lord Williams. When it comes to romance, actually you should ask whoever has been a victim of the romantic side of the real me, my wife – Ibitola - being a good example. I’m more attuned, more sensitive and more romantic; more loving than Oscar Lord Williams though they share some similarities.

"Oscar and Femi share the same dedication to their job, commitment to vision. So, it’s not all negatives about the young man called Oscar, there are some good sides to him though his perceptions are sometimes a little weird,"

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fortunes Changed Liz Benson Fortunes

Her appearance in the television serial, Fortunes, in 1993 changed the course of her life. The TV soap brought her fame and fortune. At about the time of her spectacular rise to stardom, the Home Video as a medium of entertainment had become popular. Coming to movie prominence with Glamour Girls in 1994, Liz Benson has appeared in so many home videos that her face is better known than that of any other actress. Some of the movies where she played the leading role include True Confessions, Shame, Yesterday, Evil Men 1 and 2, Trial, Pureman, Scores to Settle, Izaga, Chain Reaction, Sunset in Africa, Stolen Child, Burden and many more.
A resolute and courageous lady, Liz lost her husband (Samuel Gabriel Etim) when she was in her mid-20 and unlike some women whose world would crash after the demise of their husband, she has faced life struggles and successfully raised the three children all alone as a single mother. She has made a huge name for herself in acting.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bimbo Akintola Journey into Movies

I went into the movies because it’s an area I felt I had great talents for. Right from childhood, I had felt for the arts. It was very difficult for me to do other things. Even though my father didn’t trust I could live and survive, put food on my table with theatre arts, I was very much interested in it and it was not until I couldn’t do anything else that my father allowed me to go for a diploma at the University of Ibadan before I then went on for a Bachelors of Arts degree in the same area of study.

First movie

I had found myself doing several movies even though I tried to restrict myself or I would be seen doing everything without rest. I love my holiday very much and would take out time to rest. Theatre is a whole lot of mental work, so one must be very careful. The first movie I did was Owo Blow directed by Tade Ogidan. One of my old school mates at the University of Ibadan, Bassey Okon Esanetok had taken me to Lola Fani-Kayode who was then preparing me for Family Ties and I got a role in the soaps. It was after that that I got a call from one of those who featured in Family Ties that Tade was doing Owo Blow and I met with him.

Other movies

After Owo Blow, I went ahead to do Out of Bounds with RMD; Back to life, The Gardener, Diamond Ring with Tade again. I was also in other Yoruba movies like Ibu Ika, Iwa Eda, Ogede Didun and so on.

It is difficult to count the number of movies I have done. I could say I have been extremely lucky because it is only God that gives favours. I did The Mourning After with Jimi Odumosu. This was very tasking because I played a widow and was really traumatised. I had to cut my hair to do that movie. I was in Dangerous Twins with Tade Ogidan again.

Excerpts from Vanguard Newspaper 2006

Journey into the movies

Dedicated to the memory of Teslim Olamilekan Suleiman (1992 - 2005) [Click Image to read about him]