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Stars inducted into Movie/Music Makers Hall of Fame

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A people without history are as good as dead. It is history that helps them understand the past and predict, envision a new, better future. But Africa grossly lacks historical sense or the need to record and preserve it for future reference. This is another area where western societies excel. In fact, it is why they have kept telling African stories the way they see fit to the continent’s embarrassment.

Sadly, Africa’s inability to record its history continues to alienate its young ones, who fall easy prey to charming western historicisation.

It is this anomaly that veteran filmmaker, Chief Eddie Ugbomah is passionately working to correct with his Movie/Music makers Hall of Fame in the creative industry. Last Friday, the vocal elder artsman inducted another set of artistes into the Hall of Fame at National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. In attendance were industry stakeholders as well as the governor of Lagos state, His excellency, Akinwunmi Ambode, represented by the Executive Secretary, Film Video Censors Board, Dele Balogun, Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs. Grace Gekpe, among others.

Ugbomah, however, lamented that the portraits that were on display and which cost him hundreds of millions of naira to create were yet to find a suitable home, as various governments have failed to fulfill promises made to him to house them.

But Ugbomah was defiant, when he said, “One thing is certain: nobody can kill history and nobody can damp the light of Chief Eddie Ugbomah! We hope Lagos State will beat the Federal Government and quickly acquire these Halls for posterity sake.”

Flutist, Tee-Mac Itseli opened the event with the national anthem and shortly after, Ugbomah commended those who defied the heavy downpour and traffic to attend the event. He was, however, disappointed with some industry stakeholders, who failed to attend.

According to Ugbomah, “This is the way we treat our business with laxity yet expect other people to take us seriously. Nobody will ever do so until you begin to show that this business is what you can die for.”

Governor Ambode commended Chief Ugbomah for the laudable project, as well as his other accomplishments and the contributions he has made to the growth and development of the industry.

According to him, “This initiative couldn’t have come at a more auspicious time than now, when there is the need to have such a record of individuals that have shaped the entertainment industry.”

The governor, who pledged to continue to accord the industry priority and attention, lamented that practitioners in the industry had not been fulfilling their obligations to government, especially in the area of registration as practitioners so as to obtain film shoot permit.

“I wish to, therefore, seize this opportunity to appeal to practitioners in this sector to ensure that they obtain film shoot permit in the event of engaging in any production within the state.”

Referring to Ugbomah, as the pillar of entertainment for his outstanding contributions to the growth and development of the creative industry, Mohammed expressed delight at being part of the historic event aimed at giving deserved honour to Nigerian movie and music industry practitioners for their contributions in promoting the sectors.

He said: “The Nigerian creative industry has the potential to create jobs and generate foreign exchange earnings and is one of the key economic growth drivers of economic recovery and growth plan (ERGP) 2017-2020.”

While expressing his sadness at the current fortunes of the industry, a former music producer, Mr. Odion Aisiku Iroje, said, “When I joined the music industry in the 1970s, I met on ground an industry with professionally established music companies operating all the various departments such as engineering and studio department, A&R and production department, promo and development, accounting, welfare department and more.

“There was enabling and conducive environment for creativity and creative activities. Opportunities were open to groups, bands, solo artistes, producers to prove their creative abilities and ingenuity, which gave rise to amazing number of great stars.”

Iruoje, however, lamented that the music industry in Nigeria has diminished in stature, adding, “There are no more music companies; all we have are record label operators, who have no ideas about how to run the recording industry professionally. Live band, groups, live recording have virtually disappeared, neither do we have groups going on tours.

“Musicianship is on its way out. If something positive is not done fast we shall have no more stars like master guitarist Berkley Jones, master drummers like Mosco Egbe and Laolu Akins, nor great horn men like Tunde Williams, Igo Chico, Fred Fisher, Peter King, Baba Ani as well as singer percussionist, Steeve Black, Eric Kola and composers and performers like Chris Okotie.”

A former PMAN president, Mr. Bolaji Rosiji, made a donation handsomely towards the Halls of Fame while also giving out health packages to the inductees free.

Oris Wiliki, Tee Mac, Abdul Razaq, Aina Kushiro, Tony Benson, Magnetic, Chief Phillip Udi, and 23 inductees lead by Jimoh Aliu, Ngozi Nwosu, Baba Wande, Fela’s producer and Chris Okotie, Odion Iroje were present, but Sunny Nneji, Ras Kimono and Pretty sent representatives. Chairman of Galaxy TV, Mr. Steve Ojo, was inducted along with Prince Tony Momoh and Prof. Itse Sagay as Fellows of the Movie/Music Makers Hall of Fame in an impressive ceremony.



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