2010 was indeed an eventful year for entertainment. The movies and music scene had never had it so good, going by the number of returnees who made it just in time to catch in on the ever vibrant and lucrative industries.
One of the earliest shockers fans got was when Nigerian traditional hip-hop artiste, 9ice, announced his separation from his wife, Toni Payne, on January 8. The news was received with mixed reactions, especially since his ‘Tradition’ album was not so much of a commercial success.
In August, controversial actor and singer, Jim Iyke, was in the news for the wrong reason when rumours made the rounds online that he had contracted HIV from his married Sierra Leonean lover, and that she had a child by him. The actor hit back through his PR company, which took legal action on his behalf.
It was also a year of many endorsement deals and awards - P-Square’s multi-million naira Globacom deal became public after months of speculation. The talented duo were officially announced as Glo Ambassadors in August while Timaya is being rumoured as next on the list. The year was also a good one for the Glo ambassadors including Jim Iyke, Pasuma, Funke Akindele, Uche Jumbo, Chioma Akpotha, Nonso Diobi, Jackie Apphia, Kate Henshaw-Nuttall, Rita Dominic, and Ego Ogbara. They all dazzled in various campaigns and also graced the Glo recharge cards.
However, in the midst of various happy events in the industry, it suffered a dent when international star, Leona Lewis, who was due to perform at Nigeria’s Golden Jubilee Independence celebration, cancelled her visit in honour of the 8 victims who lost their lives after two car bombs went off in the nation’s capital.
While we will not agree any less that the year was an eventful one, we present to you just some of those people, places, and events which will continue to make headlines and some interesting conversation even in the New Year.
‘Small Boy’ - May 27
African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) award winning filmmaker, Michelle Dede’s acclaimed feature film ‘Small Boy’ was premiered in Lagos months after it had had scooped wins and nominations at various awards ceremonies and film festivals.
‘Ije’ - July 30
Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated and hyped Nollywood movie of the year. Produced and directed by young filmmaker, Chineze Anyaene, ‘Ije’ parades an international cast including Nigerian movie sweethearts - Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Genevieve Nnaji. The movie opened in Nigerian cinemas on July 30 to rave reviews, its tickets were sold out in a week. Due to popular demand, it had a second opening which will run from Christmas Eve up until January 6, 2011.
‘Kajola’ - July 30
Despite its huge budget and futuristic sci-fi theme, ‘Kajola’ stands out as the flop of the year. Set in 2059 and complete with stunning Hollywood style visual effects, the movie was directed by Niyi Akinmolayan and produced by Adonis Production, with visual effects by Anthill.The movie starred a crop of new actors such as Adonijah Owiriwa and Keira Hewatch alongside Nollywood star, Desmond Elliot. It had to be withdrawn from the cinemas due to complaints by the audiences across the country of its lack lustre quality.
‘Holding Hope’ and ‘Bursting Out’ - August 8
It was a double premeire at the Silverbird Galleria when ‘Holding Hope’ and Bursting Out’ came to town. ‘Holding Hope’ was written by Uche Jombo, Emem Isong, and Uduak Emem Oguwamalam and stars Uche Jombo, Desmond Elliot, Nadia Buhari, Biola Williams, Ngozi Nwosu, Rukky Sanda, and many others.
‘Bursting out’, on the other hand, was produced by Emem Isong and directed by Desmond Elliot and features Genevieve Nnaji and Majid Michael.
Some of the works of Royal Arts Academy include ‘Guilty Pleasure’ and ‘Nollywood Hustlers’, where renowned stars such as Ramsey Nouah, Majid Micheal, Nse Ikpe Etim, Uche Jombo, Susan Peters, Charles Inojie, Monalisa Chinda, and many others did what they do best.
‘Save our Souls’ - August 26
Nollywood actress, Oby Edozieh, premiered her long-awaited movie titled ‘Save our Souls’ in some major cinemas in Lagos and Abuja. Shot on location in both India and London, ‘Save our Souls‘ dwells on the emotional and psychological trauma that people stricken with cancer suffer and its effect on their families and friends. The flick was directed by Moses Inyang. Its cast include the likes of Kenneth Okonkwo, Elebelu Elebuwa, Chioma Chukwuka, Ebere Okaro, Segun Arinze, Oby Edozie, amongst many others. The actress also launched her NGO, Oby Gold Cancer Foundation, on same date.
‘D’ Comeback’ - September 7
‘D’Comeback’, produced by Prominent Cease, a group of Nigerian entrepreneurs based in Washington, was premeired in style in Lagos. It is a fictional adaptation of the Biblical story of King David. Shot in the US, the movie was first premiered in Bethesda, Maryland, in April 2010.
‘Home in Exile’ - September 26
Nigerian movie producer and director, Lancelot Imasuen, premiered his latest work, ‘Home in Exile’ in Benin City, Edo State. According to Imasuen, ‘Home In Exile’ reveals the inherent selfish nature of man and exposes how people extol tradition when it favours them and abhor it when it comes against them. The event was hosted by the Edo State commissioner for arts and culture, Abdul Oroh, and supported by the Edo State House of Assembly through its representative, Patrick Osayimen.
‘Memories of the Heart’ - October 15
Nollywood actress, Ini Edo, joined the movie making wagon on October 15 when she premiered her movie ‘Memories of my Heart’ - a romantic comedy. The movie was co-produced by Emem Isong and stars Ramsey Nouah, Monalisa Chinda, Nse Ikpe Etim, Kofi Adjorlolo, and Desmond Elliot.
‘Inale’- November 3
‘Inalé’ is based on an old folk tale, and is a musically inclined movie. The entire project came to fruition at the hands of three major players: Bongos Ikwue, his daughter and producer Keke Bongos, and talented director, Amata. It parades the likes of Keppy Ekpeyong, Dede Mabiaku, and Omawumi Megbele.
‘Champions of our Time’ - November 28
‘Champions of our Time’ opened at Silverbird Cinemas, Lagos. It was produced by Chidi Nwokeabia, and Nollywood actor, Emeka Enyiocha. ‘Champions of our Time’ features Segun Arinze, Joke Silva-Jacob, Ngozi Ezeonu, Ejike Asiegbu, Ayo Adesanya, Charles Inojie, and many others.
‘Anchor Baby’ - December 10
This is another movie which has been enjoying media buzz and patronage. Produced by Canadian based Nigerian film maker, Lonzo Nzekwe, ‘Anchor Baby’, like ‘Ije’, has storylines which explore illegal immigrant themes. It also stars an international cast,except for Nigeria’s Omoni Oboli. It opened in cinemas across the country on December 10.
‘A Private Storm’ - December 18
Writer/producer, Vivian Ejike, latest movie premiered in Lagos. The romantic thriller starred Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Ramsey Nouah, John Dumelo, Ngozi Ezeonuand, and Ufuoma Ejenobor. The movie was directed by Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen and Kechukwu Onyeka.
MR. NIGERIA 2010 - March 2
Nigeria’s representative, 25-year old Kenneth Okolie, emerged second runner up in the keenly contested MR. World competition, which took place in Songdo Convensiona, in Korea’s city, Incheon.
MGBN 2010 - May 22
18-year old student, Fiona Aforma Amuzie, was crowned as the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria. Onyeka Martina Udechukwu, who was chosen as Miss LaCasera 2010, received a N1m cash prize and the chance to be the Face of LaCasera for 12 months. Miss Ebonyi, Shalom Obi, won the Face of Select Pro Cosmetics Contest and a N500,000 cash prize.
MISS NIGERIA 2010 - September 25
6 years after the last Miss Nigeria was crowned,19-year old Damilola Agbajor, representing Delta State, was chosen as Miss Nigeria 2010. Damilola was crowned by the MD of the Miss Nigeria Organisation - Adenike Oshinowo-Soleye.
Agbajor’s winning package includes a full scholarship to be educated in a tertiary institution anywhere in the world, a luxury car, one year’s salary package of N3 million naira, one year’s accommodation in Lagos, Nigeria, and a wardrobe for a year, from Nigerian designers.
MTN Project Fame Season 3 - September 26
Chidinma Ekile made history as the first female winner of MTN Project Fame. Kesse Frimpong, a Ghananian, emerged 1st runner up, with Eyo Eminue grabbing the 2nd runner up spot, while Yetunde Orijah was named 3rd runner up. Surprisingly, Tolu Aadesina and Ochuko Ogbu-Sifo, who were crowd favourites, came fifth and sixth respectively.
The business promoter and student drove away with a Toyota Rav4, 2.5 million naira, and a record deal.
Genevieve Nnaji on CNN CONECTOR - November 23
The much talked about CNN’s Connector of The Day, featuring Nigerian star actress, Genevive Nnaji, finally aired ‘The Interview’ which was recorded sometime in October 2010 at the CNN International Studio in London, saw Nnaji responding to questions sent in. The actress was also listed in the October 15 issue of Entertainment Weekly, which had a cover story on ‘The 50 Most Powerful Entertainers’ (in Hollywood). Genevieve was mentioned in a small sub-feature on ‘Stars Around the World’ which alludes to Genny as “the Angelina Jolie of Nigeria.”
Glo Naija Sings Season 2 - December 6
Diploma in Music holder, Casey, won the second instalment of the musical talent reality television show, Naija Sings. The 27-year old Warri indigene won the coveted $100, 000, a Toyota Rav4 SUV, and he’s now an automatic Glo Ambassador. He beats the other finalists, Rasine and Da brodas, to the trophy on Friday at the grand finale which took place at the MNET Studios in Lagos.
Peak Talent Show season 2 - December 19
16-year old Kida Kudz emerged winner of the Peak Talent Show Season 2, beating runners-up Osagie and Super 2 to the star prize. The rapper’s real names, Kayode Odesanya, went home with N2m cash and an Ipad.
The Debaters - December 21
25-year old orator, Chinedu Chidi emerged the champion of ‘The Debaters’ Season II, winning N3.5m, Toyota RAV4, and VEDA Laptop grand prize.
‘The Debaters’ is created by TV personality, Mo, who anchors ‘Moments with Mo’.
Joseph Yobo and Adaeze Igwe December 31/January 1
Nigerian international footballer, Joseph Yobo, wedded ex-beauty queen, Adaeze Igwe, during the ‘midnight crossover’ service at the El-Buba Outreach Ministries in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria.
Kingsley Okonkwo of KC Presh & Cynthia Ijeoma Oduah - March 12
Kingsley Okonkwo of KC PRESH fame married his heartthrob Ijeoma Cynthia Oduah at Apapa Registry, Lagos.
Helen Paul and Oluwafemi Bamisile - April 17
Comedianne, Helen Paul, wedded her lawyer beau in Lagos.
Ufuoma Ejenobor and Steven McDermott - April 23
Nollywood actress and model, Ufouma Ejenobor, wedded Steve McDermott, a Briton, at a private ceremony in Lagos.
Bella Adenuga and Jameel Disu - April 24
Belinda Ajoke Adenuga and Jameel Adetokunboh Disu, had a fairytale wedding ceremony which took place at the Cathedral Church of Christ in Marina, Lagos, Nigeria.
Saint Janet and Olukayode Samuel Iyun - May 20
Contoversial singer, Saint Janet, formalised her wedding to heatthrob, Olukayode Samuel Iyun, at the Oke-Odo local government Registry in Lagos.
Ernest Obi and Evi Oki - May 30
Nollywood actor and filmmaker, Ernest Obi, wedded his long time heartthrob, Evi Oki, in Lagos.
Sammie Okposo and Ozioma Mkparu - July 1
Gospel musician, Sammie Okposo, tied the knots with his sweetheart, Ozioma Mkparu, at the Lagoon Restaurant and Banquet Hall.
Jeremiah Gyang and Ladi Otache - August 28
Nigerian singer and producer, Jeremiah Gyang, married his longtime love and P.A., Ladi Otache, in Jos, Plateau State.
Cynthia Okpala and Ozoemena Mbanefo - October 23
MTV VJ, Cynthia Okpala, wedded Ozoemena Mbanefo at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers.
Mike Ezuruonye and Nkechi Keke - November 13
Nollywood actor, Mike Ezuruonye, wedded his sweetheart, Nkechi Keke. Mike and Keke’s love story began when they met while he was filming a movie. The two had earlier celebrated their traditional wedding on May 2010.
Basketmouth and Elsie Uzoma - November 26
After a 7-year romance, comedian Bright ‘Basketmouth’ Okpocha, married his sweetheart, Elsie Uzoma, in glamorous style at the Eko Hotel and Suites.
Cobhams Asuquo and Ojuola Olukanni - December 2
Nigerian music maestro, Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo, wedded Ojuolape Veronica Olukanni at the Redeemed Christian Church of God , The King is Coming Parish, at the Redemption Camp. After the church ceremony, Cobhams and Ojuola proceeded to their wedding reception at the Redemption Resort.
AY.COM and Joy - December 4
‘Pass me your Love’ crooner, Ayoola Johnson, popularly knowns as AY.COM, tied the knots with his undergraduate girlfriend, known as Joy.
Tuvi James and Tshimologo Igwegbe - Decemeber 19
Nigerian actor, Tuvi James, married Tshimologo Igwegbe, a South African model who works with NedBank in South Africa, whom he met at the Big Brother Africa party.
Queen Onakola and Dotun Omotoye - December 21
The two love birds tied the knot at the Onigbongbo local government registry, Ikeja.
Sikiru Ayinde Barrister
62-year old Fuji maestro, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, passed away at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, after a protracted illness.
Aspiring MC/producer, Sazzy, real name Osaze Omonbude, passed on after a brief illness. His most memorable achievement was the release of the DJ Atte-hosted mixtape - ‘The Take Over’ which featured a gang of stars including M.I, 9ice, and Ruggedman. Sazzy was 26 years old at the time of his death.
Veteran Nigerian actress, dancer, and vocalist, Toun Oni, passed away while being rushed to the hospital. Mama T, as she was popularly known, was one of Nigeria’s most successful cross-over actresses. She was also a recipient of the prestigious Order of Niger (OON), conferred in 2006. Her most memorably roles were undoubtedly on television, with parts in one of Nigeria’s longest running soap opera,‘Checkmate,’ and the popular ‘Fuji House of Commotion,’ where she played Mama Moji. She was aged 67.
Omawummi and Dr. Frabz break up - March
After a short lived romance which began late last year while working on her debut album, Omawumi and producer and singer, Dr. Frabz parted ways.
Jay Martins Joins Storm Records - September
Talented songwriter, producer and singer, Jay Martins, signed a deal with Storm Records to manage him.
Terry G - September 4
Singer and producer, Terry G, real name Gabriel Amanyi, survived a horrific car crash after he ran his car into a street demarcation. The ‘Free Madness’ singer was subsequently rumoured dead minutes after the accident which happened in Ogba.
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde Album - September 14
Nollywood actress and singer, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, treated fans and friends to a 5-star album launch event at the Eko Hotels.
Desmond Elliot - September 17
Actor and director, Desmond Elliot, welcomed a set of twins - a boy and a girl. This would be the second set of twins for the actor and his wife, coming after three year ago, when his wife gave birth to their first twin - Desmond Jr and Denzel.
Nse Ikpe Etim Speaks at Harvard October 1-3
Award-winning Nigerian actress, Nse Ikpe-Etim, was a guest of the Nigerian Students Association, Harvard University, to be a part of a distinguished panel to share with the world the growth and potential of the Nigerian film industry.
Tuface and One 8 - November 5
Eight African celebrities including Nigerian’s superstar, Tuface, featured on One8, a project that seeks to unify eight major African countries to create an African super music group. These artistes recorded an album in Chicago alongside American super star, R-kelly.
Tonto Dikeh’s steamy sex scenes
Since getting her big break in 2006 through a Nigerian reality TV show, The Next Movie Star, where she emerged the first runner-up, Tonto Dikeh has worked her way to the top. However, lately, she has been making headlines as a result of steamy sex scenes. The movies ‘Dirty Secret’ and ‘Men in Love’ got tongues wagging.
Toni Payne and 9ice break up - January 8
Nigerian traditional hip-hop artist, 9ice, announced his separation from his wife, Toni Payne, through a statement released by his publicist, Ayeni Adekunle. The couple agreed to separate for a while, even though they continue to remain good friends and business partners while their baby, Zion, will reside with Payne.
Sammie Okposo and Scottish law - July
Newly-wedded Sammie Okposo was arrested in far away Aberdeen, Scotland, where he was honeymooning with his wife. According to the report, the couple and another couple-friend were at Jimmy Chung’s, a Chinese bar and restaurant in Aberdeen Beach Esplanade, which operates an all-you-can-eat menu featuring starters, main courses, and desserts when the gospel star was angered by a supposedly truculent waitress.
Wande Coal nude picture saga - July 14
Mo Hits star, Wande Coal, real name, Ojosipe Wande, became the hottest trending topic on social networking site, Twitter, when pictures alleged to be his nude shots, surfaced on the Internet.
9ice and Rugged Man - September 14
The last not has been heard about the 9ice and Rugged Man feud which has been on for months now shortly after Rugged Man leaked a phone conversation between him and 9ice. Both artistes have since released a Diss tracks targeted at each other.
Ufouma Ejenebor vs Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly - October
Nollywood actress, Ufouma Ejenebor, claimed one of the vehicles (the Pilot) in the lawmakers’ convoy hit her Nissan Xterra. The incident, which occured on Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, had two different accounts from the two parties.
Mo’Hits rapper, Ikechukwu, kept entertainment portals buzzing, as rumours of his supposed departure from the ace record label dominated various forums in the cyber world. Although the rumours are yet to be confirmed, they get stronger, with different entertainment websites attributing the source to a Mo’Hits mole.
Emem Isong / Vivian Ejike
Both filmmakers are said to be in silent rivalry after it was rumoured that Ejike stole Isong’s story ‘Silent Scandal’. In her defence, Ejike said ‘I wrote ‘Silent Scandal’ in 2007 and the person you are talking about wrote her movie in 2009. How is it possible that I stole her concept? Please, let’s not get into that.’
GT Da Guitarman leaves Storm Records - November 11
Soul singer, Gbemiro Tokunbo Akinbogun, popularly known as GT Da Guitarman, officially called it quits with Storm Records. He has floated his own record label, Ember Records. GT Da Guitarman joined Storm Records in 2007 and released his debut album, ‘The Truth’ in 2009.
Uche Jumbo age scandal - December
The future awards nominated actress, Uche Jumbo, in the best actress award category, was involved in an age falsification scandal. After critics petitioned the awards committee saying that the actress was not 31years old as published by the Future Awards, but 42 years old.
Star Mega Jamz death rumours - December 17 and 18
Rumours had it that there was a stampede at the Abuja concert, leading to multiple injuries. But while there are reports that some fans died as a result of the stampede, the organisers, through a statement insisted nothing of such happened.
Genevieve and Dbanj
These two have been rumoured to be an item. However, while Dbanj has not denied it, the sultry actress has kept mum. The two arrived hand in hand at PSquares birthday bash and were paired together to present an award at the just concluded MAMA Awards.