Nollywood Marriage: Mercy Johnson weds Okojie at last!

by NMN (Staff) / 4,924 Views

Controversial Nollywood actress, Mercy Johnson, wedded with her heart-trob, Prince Odianose Okojie, Saturday August 27, despite threats from many quarters to disrupt the ceremony.

Nollywood actress, Mercy Johnson, took her fiancé, Prince Odianose Okojie to the altar on Saturday August 27, amid pomp and tight security.

The wedding took place at the headquarters church of the Christ Embassy off Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun Ikeja. While the reception took place immediately after at 10 Degree on Billingsway also at Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos State.

The man who staked his reputation to ensure the wedding took place, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, was not present at the ceremony. He was however aided by another senior pastor of the church, Ton Obiazi, who joined the couple in a holy matrimony.

Obiazi was assisted by a pastor colleague.

The former Miss Johnson is one of the reigning young actresses in the Nigeria home video industry, where she has found herself enmeshed in one controversy after the other in the last few years.

Even her wedding plan was the talk-of-the town over allegations of bigamy levelled against her fiancé by a Canadian-based Nigerian, Lovelyn Okojie.

Many of her fans were shocked to receive the news that Mercy’s fiancé was formerly married to Lovelyn who has two children by him.

At the wedding venue, the gate was manned by about 50 policemen and private security personnel, who turned away uninvited guests to forestall any form of trouble at the event.

Photographers from different media houses were also barred from entering the church auditorium and many had their camera seized by security.

Others were compelled to delete from their cameras photographs of the couple already taken.

Lights in the church auditorium were also dimmed to prevent media men and other guests from taking photographs of the couple.

Security reasons were also given for that. More than 2, 000 persons were present at the wedding ceremony.

The security measures were not unconnected with the threat of a civil group on women’s rights to storm venue of the wedding with chants of protests, in sympathy with Lovelyn, who claimed to be Okojie’s lawful wife.

At the occasion, the centre of attraction, former Miss Johnson, wore a cream coloured wedding dress. She was driven into the church compound in a white limousine, accompanied by some of her colleagues in the movie industry.

Okojie was also dressed in a cream coloured suit.

The decision of the church to go ahead with the wedding despite the confusion over Okojie’s marital status came as a surprise to many people who queried the morality of it.

The church itself cleverly refrained from asking the audience the conventional question of whether anyone in the gathering was opposed to the wedding.

Some of the security men wielded dangerous armaments including electric baton, which they used to disperse unwanted guests.

Some of the guests, who had invitation cards, were beaten by security officials.

Expectedly, the wedding ceremony was graced by many Nollywood stars, including Patience Ozokwor (alias Mama G), Genevieve Nnaji, Mike Ezuruoye, Stephanie Okereke, Segun Arise and KC Presh.

A Ghanaian actress, Yvonne Nelson was the maid of honour, while her bridesmaids were Chika Ike, Empress Njamah, Pop singer, Goldie, Waje, and Queen Nwokonye. Sensational comedians AY and ‘I go die o’ were the official Masters of Ceremonies of the day.

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Nollywood, the next big thing in world entertainment

by NMN (Staff) / 1,455 Views

Nollywood will be the next big thing in world cinema. Just believe it. Nigeria’s movie industry is thriving, and it’s about time you took notice. Fondly referred to as Nollywood, it is now an $800 million industry, providing employment for about 300,000 people as actors, directors, marketers and distributors.

After Hollywood, it is the second largest in the world – even bigger than India’s Bollywood. Nigerian movies are immensely popular, particularly in Africa, where they currently outsell Hollywood films. And Nollywood stars are much more popular on the continent than their Hollywood counterparts. Chances are that Kenyans or Malawians will better recognize Genevieve Nnaji and Ramsey Nouah (both Nollywood idols), than Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington.

Nollywood has come a long way from where it started 20 years ago. Before now, Western critics were usually quick to dismiss the quality of its productions as poor, the industry as amateurish, its talent as sloppy and its future as bleak. Understandably so. Movies were made on the cheap- a typical budget ranged anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000. Shoots were rushed; they rarely lasted a week. Cheap digital equipment and cameras were mostly used, and directors were untrained. The movies generally bypassed the cinema, going straight to DVD and VCD discs.

Majority of the actors were mediocre at best. The stories were cliché and mildly annoying. A typical story line went something like this: poor boy meets rich girl; they fall in love; rich girl’s parents strongly disapprove of union; boy and girl fight all obstacles and true love prevails in the end. Other typical story lines included voodoo tales, historical epics, religious conflicts and economic hardship. It was generally mundane.

But even with the substandard quality of the movies, they thrived. The average flick sold over 50,000 copies. Some even sold as many as several hundred thousand, while a few hit a million. And at $1.50 per disc, they were affordable for most Nigerians and generated astounding returns for the producers.

But things have changed. The Nigerian movie industry is experiencing an evolution. The quality of our movies is much better than ever before; our actors are better financially compensated; directors and other professionals in the industry are travelling overseas to institutions like the New York Film Academy to hone their skills; investors and businessmen are pouring more substantial financial resources into the production of better quality flicks. Nowadays, it’s common place to see movies produced on a 6-figure budget, which is a major improvement from the past.

In 2009, Kunle Afolayan, a leading Nigerian movie producer, raised about $300,000 to shoot Figurine, an outstanding production which premiered on local and international cinemas and went on to win 5 stars at the African Movie Academy Awards, our very own version of the Oscars. Several Nigerian movie producers and directors are following suit.

But this is just the beginning: Nollywood is coming of age; its producers and other leading lights are more ambitious than ever before, and they are catching up with Hollywood, slowly albeit steadily. With time, the industry will be rewarded with the critical reception it currently lacks among great world cinema.

Culled from Forbes.com Newsletter.

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Nigerian comedian Basketmouth And Wife Welcomes Arrival of New Baby Girl

by NMN (Staff) / 2,740 Views

Top Nigerian stand-up comedian, Bright Okpocha aka Basketmouth and his wife Elsie have announced the arrival of the newest addition to their family, a baby girl.

Little Baby Janelle was born on Friday, August 5th in the United States of America. Mother and daughter are said to be in good condition, we thank God.

Please, join us in congratulating Basketmouth and family on the arrival of their new born baby girl. Send your warm wishes.

Nigeria Movie Network 

More about Basketmouth, the beginning of his journey in the entertainment world. In other words, Basketmouth's Biography:

In 1991 Bright discovered his skills in drumming, which he did for over 5 years after wards. During his days of being an instrumentalist for his church and a band at that point, he also discovered his skills in rap music and later diverted into that path in 1994. 

In 1995, he, his friends and brother formed a group called da psychopaths. It had 7 members but they split before they could even release an album or single.

Bright and his brother Godwin immediately formed a group called d oddz and later added a third member (muyiwa osunrobi). Together, they did a couple of shows but couldn't break through the music industry as their brand of rap wasn't accepted then. In the year 1996/1997, they got admitted into the University of Benin where basketmouth studied sociology while his brother studied anthropology. They performed at a concert and got booed off the stage, Bright decided to drop the mic as a rap artist and grab the mic as a standup comedian.

His 1st standup comedy was a disaster because the crowd got irritated and booed him off the stage. Later that year (1999), he came back after a series of research on what brand of comedy could sell in UNIBEN; that was the beginning of Basket mouth Read more »

Steady and rising: The story of Omoni Oboli, Nse Ikpe-Etim

by NMN (Staff) / 1,613 Views

For Omoni Oboli and Nse Ikpe-Etim, it has been a bumpy and conscious journey to the top of Nollywood. They might not be your typical commercial stars, but they have been able to rise to the top of their game without taking the conventional Asaba and Enugu market route.

Omoni and Nse have been very selective in the kind of scripts they accept, and have been near perfect in executing them. As a matter of fact, Omoni has been the lead act in two of the three most commercially successful movies in Nigerian cinemas. Nse, on the other hand, has been the choice of producers outside Asaba market, who want a different kind of interpretation.

These two acts have been rising and consistent with their choice of movies over the years. In the case of Omoni Oboli, she got into acting at an early age, having developed a passion for acting at the early age of three. She got into Nollywood in the mid-90s and starred in her first movie in 1995. After the successfully kick-starting her career, she had to go through the challenge of breaking into Nollywood after a lull of 10 years. It became very difficult to get a role in any movie. But this all changed as she was fortunate to meet with Emem Isong and Lancelot Oduwa Imasueun. After these meetings, the roles started pouring in.

Her rise to prominence began in 2007 when Rivals, a movie she co-produced with her friend, an acclaimed model, Blessing Effiom, won the coveted price for the Best International Drama at the New York Independent Film & Video Festival. It was the first Nigerian film to be premiered since the festival’s inception in 2003. She gained further prominence when she starred in Kunle Afolayan’s Figurine in 2009. This took her to the peak of her career at the time. She also featured in Anchor Baby, which was her first international film at the time. At present, she is set to hit the set again, this time in the Ukraine, where she is about to become the first Nigerian to star in a movie in that country.

Apart from being an actress who brings dignity, poise, class, smooth delivery and extreme professionalism to the varied roles she had played, Omoni Oboli is also a script writer with several intriguing screenplays to her credit.

Nse Ikpe-Etim can be described as the silent tsunami, as she took the whole of Nollywood by storm. Starting out from a humble background, the graduate of theatre arts from the University of Calabar, who is also a script writer, began acting on stage at the age of 18 and later came into full acting when she acted in a soap opera Inheritance, 10 years ago. After this, she left acting for ‘other things’ and was involved in broadcasting, selling male clothes, and working as representative for a company. She later got back into the movie world by taking part in the production if Venom of Justice. But even at the time, she still felt that acting full time was not yet for her. Again, she left to pursue a career as a banker.

But with pressure from her friends, Jetta Amata and Emem Isong, she returned to the movie industry and began script writing for Jetta. Her big break came when she starred in Reloaded. Her performance caught the attention of the AMMA jury and earned her a nomination for the Best Actress Category in the 2009 AMAA Awards. This was an unprecedented development as it was her first major role in a flick. With this, the world took notice of Nse Ikpe-Etim.

After recording such a tremendous feat, she has now starred in two more movies, Edikan, a film acted in Ibibio language, and Memories of the Heart, both of which are due for release later in the year, or first quarter of 2012. Nse Ikpe-Etim can be described as a passionate writer whose dialogues are apt and filled with humour, and during her spare time she also writes articles for magazines and newspapers.

Looking at these two sultry and highly successful actresses one can rightly say that their struggles have not been in vain, and that quality has come to stay in Nollywood. Read more »


by NMN (Staff) / 3,224 Views

Nollywood actress Genevieve Nnaji has turned out to be the best that the Nigerian movie industry known as Nollywood can boast of in the international market at the moment going by her exploit in the make believe business.

Aside being the most-sought after by the producers, the very pretty lady has been able to register her presence in the international market that top producers now consider her for top movie jobs.

The mother of one would have emerged the new Bond Girl but she lost it by the whiskers to another Hollywood star.

As her career seems to be flying north, we sourced that the mother of one has been penciled down by yet another producer to star alongside American super star Angelina Jolie in another block buster movie.

We shall keep you posted as event unfold.

-By Akinnagbe Akintomide

Nigeria Movie Network


Whether this collaboration is a rumour or not as some people claimed in various online source -- it's still possible, and only time will tell. This Nollywood-Hollywood collaboration will definitely boost Genevieve's international appearance, and also draw more prospects to Nigeria's Film Industry. 

What is your opinion regarding Genevieve Nnaji & Angelina Jolie collabo?

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Wale Adenuga and the business of TV drama in Nigeria

by NMN (Staff) / 1,222 Views

In 1976, Wale Adenuga started Ikebe Super comic magazine, single-handedly drawing all the characters during the first four years. He later added Super Story and Binta magazines to his list of magazines, which gained wide acceptance.

Wale AdenugaTen years after the birth of Ikebe Super, Adenuga decided to air Ikebe Super on TV under the title Papa Ajasco and Company, a move informed by the prevailing economic condition in the country at that time, which saw an increase in the cost of printing materials. In 2000, Super Story debuted on TV, and This Life followed suit.

Embracing TV as a medium has not changed anything for him, because, as far as he is concerned, he is still doing basically the same thing Read more »