Interviews

My journey into acting 45 years ago -Ajai Lycett at 70

by NMN (Staff) / 1,244 Views

To say that veteran dramatist and actress, Mrs. Taiwo Ajai-Lycett is happy at 70 is indeed an understatement. Ajai-Lycett, who joined the septuagenarian club recently is rolling out the drums at different venues in Lagos to mark her birthday. Having put in over 45 years to a career which spanned stage acting, teaching and directing, the talented lady has indeed come a long way. 



A woman of many parts, Lycett, who stumbled on acting at the Royal Court Theatre in London said it was accidental and that she was discovered by a Director during a rehearsal.
Lycett had actually travelled abroad to study Law but events turned round and instead of Law, she studied Management and several other art-based courses which broadened her scope and made her one of the finest theatre practitioners in Nigeria today. 


Lycett had her early education in Lagos and was a pupil-teacher before proceeding to the UK in 1960. She attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, City Literary Institute, (City Lit) and the Dance Centre, Floral Street, Covent Garden, London studying acting, music, voice, singing, ballet, modern and contemporary dance. She was trained as television producer and presenter at the London School of television production. 

While in London, she combined working with schooling. She attended the Christine Shaw School of Beauty Science and Cosmetology, London, the North Stafforshire College of Technology (now Keele University) and graduated with a Higher National Diploma. She had also worked at Klyon Read more »

From Okada Rider To Film Director - Ikechukwu Onyeka

by NMN (Staff) / 2,069 Views

WHEN prolific movie director, Ikechukwu Onyeka, joined Nollywood in 1998, he had little more than a humble ambition to be called a filmmaker. But eight years later, he discovered that he had surpassed the wildest of his dreams. Stoutly, with a well kept grey goatee, Onyeka has become one of Nollywood’s most sought after director.


By 2006, he has produced over 13 titles, acted in more than a dozen films , worked as an Assistant director on a number of films and directed over 70. And he is still counting.


Rated by many as resourceful and reliable, the story of how Onyeka joined Nollywood will make a good short film and he tells the story himself: ‘Actually, my coming into the industry was so funny. I was an okada rider. I also basically wanted to be independent and the only thing I could find was commercial cycling.

On a particular day, another bike hit me from behind and broke the lights and then he was carrying a passenger. While the bike rider was apologizing, the man he was carrying —whom I later discovered was a movie producer, Charles Ugboma, —- was talking to me anyhow. I begged him to spare me.

When everything died down, Charles called me to a corner and asked why I was driving a bike when I spoke very good English. He then introduced himself as a producer and invited me over to his office for a chat. I took it as one of those promises but somehow it kept ringing in my heart. But three weeks later, I went in search of the address he gave me.

This was in 1998. I met him, we spoke for about a minute and then he vanished. But what caught my interest was that while I waited at EKOAS Hotel in Surulere which was the initial meeting point for screen talents, I kept seeing stars like Zack Orji and Eucharia Anunobi .

So that caught my interest. So once in a while from my bike business I would come there and then I picked interest. I started from the scratch-—did some acting, became a props man with Kingsley Okereke and we later formed Divine Touch production which has grown and here I am now.”

Onyeka started out as an actor. But he dumped acting and chose to operate from behind the camera because he never enjoyed the publicity that comes with acting. To get to this point however, Onyeka started from scratch. He worked under and understudied some of Nollywood’s best directors and was at a time one of the most sought after production managers in Nollywood. He moved from being a PM—the short for production manager— to calling the shots as an assistant director and later as director. With time, Onyeka grew to become one of the most sought after directors in Nollywood.

A native of Umuoji town in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra state, Onyeka was born in the east but he was raised in Lagos where he had his primary and secondary education. Onyeka described growing as quite interesting.

“I grew up in Amukoko area of Lagos which is almost like a ghetto area. We were slightly above average family in the ghetto there. We had things that most people in the ghetto there didn’t have. Daddy had a car; we had television and refrigerator in the house. Those were things that were not common there.

So, growing up was quite interesting. I think if you are earmarked for success, there is a way God guides your steps. From where I was raised, I had no reason not to be a weed smoker or an area boy and so on. But somehow, God kept guiding me and I am here today.” Read more »

A Note from a true Nollywoodian -Eucharia Anunobi speaks

by NMN (Staff) / 1,654 Views

Nollywoodian Eucharia Anunobi
Let me seize this opportunity to wish Nigerians and my numerous fans happy New Year. I pray and hope that this year would be a good year for Nollywood and its millions of fans around the world.

I am totally, a Nollywoodian, a diehard fanatic of the industry, which sprang up out of nothing, standing tall and proud today. I am talking about a movie industry that has variously been described as the third most vibrant film industry in the world after California Read more »

Majority of Nollywood Actresses Sleep With Producers -Alaba Olatunde Speaks

by NMN (Staff) / 1,894 Views

'Colleague once stabbed me in the buttocks for dating her boyfriend'  

Alaba Olatunde-Oyasodun is a London-based Yoruba actress and producer. The light-complexioned movie star, who recently produced a movie, Ipinya Obi, spoke with Bayo Adeoye on her experience before she relocated abroad, her marriage and other interesting issues.


In This Photo: Alaba Olatunde Oyasodun (Actress & Producer)

Why did you relocate abroad?


When I was in Nigeria, things were not so easy. I was just struggling. At some point, I got tired of everything. So, when I had the opportunity to travel abroad, I grabbed it.

But I thought you were doing very well as an actress then?

Yes, I was, but I still found things difficult. You know, it was not easy coping with the challenges in the industry. I mean it was not easy getting roles. I was an up and coming actress, and producers and some of our seniors were not doing enough to encourage us at all. They didn Read more »

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