Over 4 Billion Naira And Growing, But Who Is Watching?
Nigerian movies grossed some ₦4.2Billion in 2017, according to the filmmaker Tunde Kelani, who is also the Chairman of the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB). “Those figures were provided at a recent NFVCB forum by researchers who are tallying the numbers”, Kelani said in a recently taped documentary, produced to mark his 70th birthday.
“It’s almost a 100% increase from the 2016 gross of ₦2.4Billion”, he remarked, adding that the highest box office grossing movies between 2016 and 2017 were the Wedding Party Series and the AY produced –several-days-in some- city-abroad series.
Huge as the numbers look, however, Kelani insists there is a demographic deficit. “These figures are from cinema ticket sales, and that itself means that this is what the elites in VI, Ikoyi, Ikeja in Lagos and Bodija in Ibadan have paid to watch movies, but who is showing any movie in any cinema to people in Alimosho, Ajangbadi, Ikorodu and Badagry in Lagos?”, he asks. It was only three months ago that the first modern cinema opened in Abeokuta.
The venue, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), has only one screen. Kelani argues for investors to take advantage of the business opportunity and establish cinemas across cities and towns in the country. “I believe that the Shopping Mall cinema experiment will spread to outlying towns in Lagos”, he says, “but that is not enough”.
And in any case, he wonders “what will be the content in those cinemas? Are we also going to have the standard preference for Hollywood movies?” The documentary, titled: Kelani: King of The Shoot, will be screened at the IREP Documentary Festival(irepfilmfestival.com/), running from March 22 to 25, at the Freedom Park in Lagos.
Walking Stick; Less Than The Sum Of Its Parts
Yomi Lijadu and Tina Mba are two stage actors everyone-it seems- describes as “the intelligent man’s performers”. They are not as visible in movies as they are on stage, where they have consistently delivered over 70 years of combined stage experience.
Which is why you expect that Walking Stick, a recent stage play of which these two were lead stars, should be one of the season’s top conversation points for theatre goers.
It doesn’t appear it would. Felix Okolo’s written and directed production, about drug addiction, produced by Leke Akinrowo’s Riveting Playhouse, gave its audience an eyeful of riotous market scenes, deformed limbs, colourful masquerade characters, and depraved humans. The writer director is big on exhibiting human beings as visual elements on stage, but basic storytelling comes less easily to him.
So this play would depend on the actors to communicate the story, but Lijadu, though gets the acting (cadences, pauses, and all) right, misses lots of his lines and Mba, while getting her lines intact, delivers everything in monotone.
The Walking Stick unspools very slowly, and you have to carefully piece it together from the avalanche of distracting images on stage.
It is the story of Professor N. T. Ciroma (played by Ayo Lijadu), a lecturer who abandons his young family in Lagos in pursuit of his academic career in the North.
His wife, Fatimo, (played by Mba), unresourced, struggles as a menial street trader and hustler in his absence and sends their twin children, Latif (played by Tunji Sotimirin), and Titi (played by Caroline Nzelu) to live separately with a maternal and a paternal grandmother.
As the family grows apart Latif becomes a local government executive cum thug, and Titi becomes a chemist cum street hustler, who ends up sleeping with her father in what references Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex.
Tunji Sotiminrin comes up with a thoughtful and engaging performance as a scammer and drug addict, but he is unable to rescue the play, which badly needs a workshop to straighten it up, if it is to be a convincing message about the dangers of drug addiction. Here’s an assembly of stars, but the parts simply don’t add up.
Calendar: Anansewa Marries at Terra, Her Story at Rele Gallery, The Wheatbaker Hotel is Unmasked, and other Concerns…
SMO Gallery is continuing with UNMASKED, on view at the Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi. The show is the 2018 version (and the third) of its yearly female artist exhibition which the overarching theme Standing Out.
The current viewing presents the work of seven female artists based in Nigeria, including Nengi Omuku, Koromone Koroye, Nyancho NwaNri, Djakou Kassi Nathalie, Queen Nwaneri, Reha Shishodia and Somi Nwandu.
Their works are in paintings, photography, digital art, ceramic medium, string installation and spoken word performance interpreting the power of women and mental health, in honuor of World Women’s Day.. The spoken word performance happened only on the opening day, March 10, 2018…..
Also ongoing, at the Rele Gallery, in the Onikan cultural precinct, is HER STORY, another specifically all female art exhibition featuring works by Claire Idera, Kingi Kingibe, Yeti Ogun, Blessing Oloye and Sade Adebowale.
The viewing lasts from March 11 to April 15, 2018. The media involved in HER STORY include photography, painting, drawing, collage and mixed media…. IREP’s Annual Festival of Documentary Films, with the theme, this year being Archiving Africa II: Frontiers and New Narratives, happens at the Freedom Park from March 22 to March 25….
The Music and comedy concert, titled King Wadada &Friends comes up on March 25 at the 7Star Event Centre in Lagos, featuring DBanj, 9ice, MI, 2Baba, Majek Fashek and others. Time is 2.30pm. …At the Prince Court of Oniru, on March 25, is the Comedy Show , featuring Koffi, Akpororo, Josh2Funny, Mr. Patrick and others.
Show starts at 4pm…..Kunle Afolayan’s Kulturcentric, an outdoor, poolside programme of live music, dance and drama skits, is scheduled for March 30, from 7pm, at the Airport Hotel in Ikeja….Across town, at Terrakulture on the same March 30, is a presentation of Efua Theodora Sutherland’s The Marriage of Anansewa, to mark the World Theatre Day.
One event that is undated is the Lagos State School Paintings, Drawings and Photo Competition. Gidi Culture Fest, the music, dance and performance festival, is scheduled for Hard Rock Café, from 12.30pm, on March 30, 2018, the same date with the food and culinary heritage festival, Frejon Festival, scheduled for the Freedom Park.
• Compiled by staff of Festac News Agency
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