By Manny Ita
A romantic comedy ‘LOVE ME’ is set to debut on the Nigerian movie turf and other markets across Africa and other parts of the world from the end of May this year.
An Africa to America Production, the movie which promises a lot of entertainment value for every kind of family unit, with its interesting storyline, engaging characters and captivating cinematography is currently being shot in Lagos, Nigeria and Dubai in the UAE.
Set in the modern day in a 5-star Hotel, LOVE ME is a romantic comedy that explores the universal love triangle between the opulent lover and the ordinary one, both vying for the same girl’s heart.
A feisty and charming hotel cleaner’s life goes topsy-turvy as she gets torn between Nigeria’s chart-bursting music star, who’s madly in love with her and ready to splash the cash just to prove it, and her lovable but flawed boyfriend, who is also crazy about her and ready to prove it with a proposal.
Both men are great conversationalists, sensitive listeners and great lovers but Kemi can only choose one, leading to an inevitable and hilarious clash of romantic titans.
A huge and breathtaking deviation from the stereotype love story, LOVE ME teaches the values of having a strong character, and the courage to make the right choices, while also addressing true friendship as one that ought to remain constant when situations oscillate between the good and the bad.
With a stellar cast which include ‘Woju’ crooner Kizz Daniel, Chidinma Ekile of ‘The MTN Project Fame, Alex Ekubo, Ngozi Nwosu, Broda Shaggi, Ann Idibia and a host of others, the movie is sure to drive viewers to the cinemas through their influence and their huge social media following as well as via its engaging content.
Produced by one of the respected names in the entertainment industry Dozie David Atueyi, the movie LOVE ME will leverage all available platforms to engage audiences nationwide, Nigerians in the Diaspora, the rest of the African market as well as other revenue streams, including sponsorships, private screenings and merchandising.
Speaking about the project on Wednesday, April 11, 2019, at The Morning Suites along Teslim Elias Avenue in Victoria Island Lagos, location of the project in Nigeria, Mr Atueyi disclosed that it was a project that every detail was given optimum consideration, from the location, cast to the technical part of the movie and assured it was one that would sure blow the minds of its audience.
“We had to reach out to people with proficiency in their fields, a director whose meticulous attention to detail was necessary for the project, who flew all the way from Australia to direct this production.”
Apparently, some of the cast in the movie were debutants on set, like Kizz Daniel, Chidinma etc which informed the need to employ a coach -Israeli born Ronya Man- for the project. Speaking on that, the producer averred; “And because some of our cast are fresh actors, it also became necessary to bring in a coach to train these people to give it a semblance of what is obtainable in Hollywood.” Ronya runs the RMA Training and Production outfit which has been operating in Nigeria for well over ten years. According to her ” “I have been coaching drama for more than a decade working in nollywood with several actors and directors and I can tell you, this production was quite fulfilling.”
“A lot of thought and effort was put in the screenplay being shot in Lagos and Dubai sort of distinguishes it.”
One of the actors present at the briefing, whom Atueyi described as the queen of Television, Vivian Anani said of the project;
“In my over 20 years of being in this busainess, this is one of the best productions I have seen and been involved in. I say this with emphasis because everything is on point; wonderful team from the cast to the crew and I tell you this is a production to watch out for.”
Ooni of Ife’s, House of Oduduwa Foundation, A Legacy of Service to Humanity
Written by the Chief Operating Officer,Adewumi Adediran.
The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) is a man with a burning desire to see lives transformed; a man who believes in the productivity of the youth as a recipe to chase away poverty from the system.
In many ways than would probably be acknowleged, His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, has been in the business of empowerment across the ages, with a vision to continuously touch the lives of people,while leaving a legacy of service to humanity.
In 2016, the Ooni established The House of Oduduwa Foundation, informed by the urgent need to reduce the level of poverty and also project the Yoruba Culture and Heritage.
A Non-Governmental Organisation, the main objective of the House of Oduduwa Foundation is to expand possibilities for children, women and young people in order that they live healthy and productive lives.
According to a United Nations report, the increasing rise in unemployment and income inequality has adversely affected the economy of Nigeria .
To checkmate this anomaly, it becomes top priority for Nigerian government to provide the right educational infrastructure to develop skills and requisite opportunities that would bring about unemployment and birth entrepreneurs and productive members of society, thereby reducing the level of poverty in the land.
Understanding education as a powerful weapon which can be used to change the World; a passport to the future which unlocks the golden door of freedom, and also knowing this to be a herculean task on the shoulders of the government still grappling with several issues, the Ooni of Ife launched the “NEXT GENERATION” project under the Foundation which aims to alleviate the financial burden of pupils and students whose parents face significant financial hurdles and uncertainty as they work hard to achieve their future dreams.
This Project is more or less a grant, to be awarded on the basis of academic excellence to support Students across the South-West geographical States.
Six States, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Lagos and Ondo are being regard as descendants of Oduduwa with a population estimated at 32.5 million people.
The Oduduwa Descendants also constitute a sizable proportion of the population in Kwara, Kogi and Edo States.
The House of Oduduwa Foundation appeals to Corporate bodies, IInstitutions,Philanthropists and all men of goodwill in Nigeria and Diaspora to partner with the House of Oduduwa Foundation to realise its dream for humanity.
Written by the Chief Operating Officer,Adewumi Adediran.
TOURISM: LAGOS ECONOMY RECORDS OVER N50BN CASH TRANSACTIONS IN DECEMBER
For the second year in a row, the Lagos State economy received a major, unprecedented boost in the entertainment, hospitality and creative sectors in four weeks of the yuletide season, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde disclosed on Saturday.
Trends and reports monitored by the Lagos State Government over the four weeks in December, especially during Christmas and New Year festivities, captured an estimated spending well above N50bn in cash transactions, a record slightly higher than December 2017 which also recorded a good run in travel, entertainment and leisure-related spendings.
The monitored reports attributed the positive trend to the peak in entertainment activities; huge influx of people from neighboring states, neighboring countries and holiday makers from abroad who either chose Lagos as their primary destination or transit to other parts of Nigeria last December.
In a press statement he signed, Ayorinde said various reports, statistics and analyses monitored across immigration office, banks, aviation, hospitality and leisure parks; food, beverage and distribution businesses as well as event venues, shopping malls and cinema box office earnings captured an estimated direct spendings of over N50bn within the entertainment and tourism sector in Lagos State alone.
He said reports monitoring the prevailing December trends showed an unprecedented footfall influx of more than three million people entering Lagos in December alone with a multi-billion naira spendings in tow in hotel lodgings, local in-bound flights and taxi/chartered transportation, alcohol and beverage consumption; culinary business; visits to resorts, parks, clubs and lounges, live theatre and cinemas; concerts and clubs as well as ancillary businesses like fashion and clothing, kiddies’ games and toys, and private security guards, which are all now part of the tourism and entertainment ecosystem.
“Like in 2017, last December in Lagos was hugely creative economy- friendly, which again affirms the State’s preeminence not just as West Africa’s commercial hub but also its entertainment nerve-centre,” Ayorinde said, adding that the beauty of this assertion is that the surge in the creative enterprise over the yuletide period was felt by all and sundry; was statistically measurable and is now a subject of discussion among analysis.
The Commissioner said there was a slight correlation between the horrific gridlock in some parts of Lagos during the yuletide season and the huge trading by residents and visitors leading to seasonal job provision and economic gains.
According to him, the high volume of economic activity that were directly related to tourism-related visits, entertainment and leisure accounted for a significant chunk of the total value of transactions in the State of 21million residents whose estimated GDP of $136bn in 2018 is regarded as the fifth largest in Africa, after Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Algeria.
The statement attributed the State’s continued high performance in the creative economy to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s deliberate interest in and commitment to the development of infrastructure, security and ideas that impact positively on tourism, entertainment and shopping.
He cited the State’s “innovative Calendar of Arts and Culture events which was released in January 2018 specifically to assist both local and foreign visitors in planning their visit to and around Lagos with a detailed guide of festivals and art events available in each month.”
Ayorinde said: “December has always recorded the busiest footfall in Lagos from figure obtained from immigration and aviation authorities. Aside the One Lagos Fiesta which drew over two million visitors cumulatively across its five venues over eight days from December 24 to 31st, other big concerts like those by Davido, Whiz Kid, Burma Boy, Adekunle Gold, Rhythm Unplugged and Sound City Awards also attracted large crowd into Lagos and of course huge spending.
“Hotels were filled to capacity in most parts of the State and we are aware that Lagos and Calabar benefited from additional scheduled flights due to the huge attractions of Calabar Carnival, OLF and the A-list Concerts in Lagos.”
He added that virtually all the entertainment sub-sectors recorded huge spendings in billions over the yuletide period with 15 top foreign and local box office hit films released across the state hitting a record N3bn revenue in December alone; while parks, beaches and other resorts also recorded remarkable, sometimes unprecedented patronage from reports made available to the state government.
The statement added that the December 2018 high creative economy spending in the state corroborates the two key important global tourism industry indicators that were favourable to Lagos in 2018.
First was the British report in Daily Mail of London in April 2018 listing Lagos alongside Nairobi, Kenya as the top non-European destinations among British travelers planning for summer holiday. The second was the MasterCard Global Travel Index released in October 2018 ranking Lagos as the most visited city in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018.
The Commissioner said these remarkable global recognition and last December’s good business outlook in the creative sphere were in tandem with the vision of Governor Ambode to make Lagos the creative hub in Africa and “to assure corporate institutions and investors that the State security and social infrastructure can support the ever growing entertainment and creative landscape in Lagos.
“The night economy has fully returned and every part of the state duly felt the impact of a vibrant tourism, art and entertainment eco-system In December.”
ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY KEY TO NIGERIA’S ECONOMIC GROWTH, OSINBAJO, AMBODE INSISTS
Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday evening re-emphasised the importance of the entertainment industry to Nigeria’s economic growth, assuring that the sector would continue to enjoy support to maximize its potentials.
The duo spoke at an event organised for entertainers and tagged “An Evening with the Vice President” held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island and was well attended by scores of entertainers including actors, comedians and musicians, among others.
Osinbajo reassured stakeholders in the entertainment industry of the Federal Government’s commitment to support them to enhance national growth and development, adding that they remain key players in the nation’s all round development and Government was not oblivious of it.
The Vice President said he had met frequently with entertainers with a view to developing policies around the industry for economy growth, revealing that the government decided to create Technology and Creativity Advisory Council to see how the government could move the industry forward through proper policies, especially on how to address the issue of piracy.
“No sensible politician can ignore entertainers; if you do, you do so at your own risk. Entertainers also cannot ignore politicians; it is impossible. If you do, you do so at your own peril.
“Already, there is a lot going on. Your industry has to respond to what is going on. This industry is important and crucial to our economy.
“We must set up the environment that will make it happen. No environment is completely ready; whatever it is that we have at the moment, we have to make the maximum use of it to grow this industry,” he said.
He said it was gratifying that some entertainers were already in politics and urged others to participate, in order to make a change and a difference.
“Your support is actually important. What we need to do is to sit together and solve the problem. The country is what it is today because some people stole the treasure,” he said.
In his remarks, Governor Ambode said the State had always been the hub for entertainers and would continue to support the industry to grow the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He also called for synergy between the Government and entertainers in order to create a convergence to grow the economy of not just the State, but also Nigeria.
“I just want to promise this time around that whatever it is that we have done as a government in the last three and half years, we have proven that the arts and entertainment industry can actually create a convergence with the culture of the city and then promote tourism using that convergence to grow the economy of Lagos and we have proven that.
“So, beyond our action there are other things that have to do with the framework, the things that have to do with copyright and access to capital to promote the entertainment industry and I hope that within the next one hour, we should be able to tell ourselves the truth on which way we can actually push this synergy to create that grows the GDP, not only of Lagos but the GDP of the whole country and we would be able to attract tourists to this country,” Governor Ambode said.
Also speaking, Sen. Goodwill Akpabio, who promised to support the industry as he had also been, assured the entertainers of government’s readiness to help them on issues of legislation.
Akpabio, who noted that the artistes were ambassadors of the country, urged them to promote Nigeria’s oneness.
Many of the artistes, who spoke at the event, identified the challenges in the industry as piracy, distribution of artistic works, poor power supply, lack of infrastructure, censorship, licensing, and access to credit facilities, among others.
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