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The Many Faces Of Accelerate TV

By Shola-Adido Oladotun 
10 July 2022   |   5:45 am
If there is one thing the past few years have taught us, it’s that the Nigerian entertainment industry is becoming a major player in the global scene. With production companies like Accelerate TV churning out award-winning content, providing a platform for talents, and developing indigenous streaming platforms, it’s safe to say that the sky is…

Photo: Idris Dawodu for Guardian Life

If there is one thing the past few years have taught us, it’s that the Nigerian entertainment industry is becoming a major player in the global scene. With production companies like Accelerate TV churning out award-winning content, providing a platform for talents, and developing indigenous streaming platforms, it’s safe to say that the sky is just the beginning for creative excellence in Nigeria. 

Since its inception in 2016, Accelerate TV remains committed to telling authentic diverse African stories that reflect our society. These stories continue to inspire, entertain and empower millions of people around the world. 

In celebration of how far Accelerate TV has come, Guardian Life met with some regular faces on the various series the platform offers its teeming audience of both young and old film and drama lovers of the different strata of society to discuss the impact Accelerate TV has had on their careers and the industry at large. 

Ibrahim Sulieman 

Ibrahim Suleiman. Photo: Idris Dawodu for Guardian Life

When we think of this popular actor, we can’t help but remember the stellar performance he gave in “The Olive”, a web series on Accelerate TV. Taking a trip down memory lane, Ibrahim recounts the events that led to him playing the complex character of Anayo, a role that ushered him into the Accelerate family.  

“I stumbled into acting in 2017, and sometime in 2020, I got invited to an audition for The Olive. I was a nervous wreck during the audition because the character is easily about 7 years older than I am and also a widower with three kids, but I really wanted it. A few nail-biting weeks later, I got the email all actors LOVE to receive, and two seasons later, I am super glad I got that gig.” 

It was hard not to notice a smile that crept onto his face while he spoke about his experience working with Accelerate TV. He opened up on how being on set instilled a sense of leadership and allowed him to appreciate the importance of family.

Sulieman is one of the many Nigerians whose joy knew no bounds after the launch of Accelerate Plus, an online streaming platform. Speaking of the importance of this platform, he said, “Finally! Because I feel like it’s a platform that’s been a long time coming. There’s been a lot of planning, strategising, and content gathering that’s been in the pipeline for a while, and at last, this phenomenal pedigree is here.” 

Akah Nnani

Looking back at videos where Akah anchored new reports on Accelerate TV, one cannot help but silently mutter the words, “A star is born.” Akah’s rise to fame is what many might describe as a journey from grass to grace. 

While many actors had their big breaks on television series or films, Nnani had his as a presenter on some of Accelerate TV’s top shows. He recollects how he has often viewed working at Accelerate TV as more than a job but as belonging to family, citing how the platform is pivotal to his success story. 

The “Shade Corner” show was a life-changing opportunity for Nnani during his rise to fame. The funny and informative programme did not only provide a platform for viewers to laugh and escape the harsh realities of life, but it also remains an integral part of Nigeria’s pop culture history. 

It is no secret that Accelerate TV prides itself as a grooming ground for talented individuals such as Nnani. Speaking on the effect this has on the industry, he said, “I don’t think I’d be where I am today if Accelerate TV hadn’t helped to build the courage to do what I needed to. Accelerate TV has been a grooming ground for several talents, and its successes and recognition are testaments. It is only natural that the ripple effect will be having highly skilled professionals in the industry.” 

Chy Nwakanma and Ibrahim Suleiman. Photo: Idris Dawodu for Guardian Life

Mercy Ajisafe

Discussing the history of Accelerate TV is never complete without mentioning one of the very first people who brought the content ideas to life. Ajisafe recollects being part of Accelerate TV during a time when they had fewer staff and desks to sit. However, she notes that although the platform was new, “there was energy; we (the team) were excited because we understood we were on the precipice of something amazing.” 

Now based in London, Ajisafe still finds herself grateful for the opportunity to work under a prestigious and creative organisation like Accelerate TV. The platform helped to shape her writing and hosting skills through a popular show called “Fashion Fix.” 

She also points out the impact Accelerate TV has had on Nigeria’s film industry, “Well, one of the best and biggest things Accelerate TV has done for Nollywood is the Filmmakers Project. Through that project, they discovered award-winning talents who have gone on to direct some of the biggest movies in the industry. They’re giving young people the knowledge, training, and confidence to achieve their dreams.” 

Supporting the notion that Accelerate Plus is important in telling authentic African stories, she said, “We have so many stories to tell that the world should hear, but it is so important that we hold on to our integrity and authenticity by owning our narratives. We almost have to become gatekeepers of our culture to ensure it’s never watered down, or re-told in a way that is not at all authentic to who we are. This is why indigenous streaming services such as Accelerate Plus are so important.” 

Ama Psalmist

No stranger to filmmaking, Ama has worked on some of the country’s blockbuster films. However, before he found himself on the list of Nigeria’s best directors, he was a student at the Accelerate Filmmakers project. 

A few years after his training period, Ama discusses how the Accelerate Filmmakers Project was his first film school and how it played such an important role in shaping his career and film trajectory. 

“When starting a new job or career, the things you learn first are very important to both your survival and success in that field. The project positioned me in both national and global film communities, and I’ve also won awards, directed films, and made a name for myself since participating in the Filmmakers Project. It is obvious the impact Accelerate TV has made on my career, and I’m glad such an opportunity still exists for more people to hone their skills and grow.” 

A fascinating remark he made during the interview was how far Accelerate has come compared to a few years ago.

“It’s glaring that Accelerate TV has come very far; in impact, quality of work, culture growth, and recognition. Through different programs, Accelerate has affected so many lives, which has, in turn, positively impacted the creative/entertainment industry in Nigeria. Accelerate has also lived up to its promise to keep Nigerians entertained, and it’s amazing how they have managed to do that in just five years.” 

Theresa Edem

“There is a first time for everything” is a saying Theresa found to be true when she got a role in Accelerate TV’s web series, The Olive. Ever since the first time she filmed on set, Edem has seen every moment from that day as an opportunity to explore her art and have it seen by millions online.  

Apart from The Olive, Edem remarks on how big of a fan she is of other content in Accelerate TV’s catalogue. The launch of Accelerate Plus makes it better because now she strongly believes that the platform allows room for more African stories to be told in “our way, and these stories are then shared with the world.” 

As with other members of the Accelerate Family, the word “love” isn’t able to fully express the feelings she has for Accelerate. 

“Being part of Accelerate TV is magical. Hardly can you see a platform with a disposition toward nurturing talents, because many film careers have taken off on the wings of Accelerate TV. Also, I can honestly say they’ve empowered a lot of women and are definitely doing their very best to bridge the gender gap.” 

Chy Nwakanma

Chy Nwakanma. Photo: Idris Dawodu for Guardian Life

When she is not looking drop-dead gorgeous in an Instagram picture or creating entertaining reels, you can find Chy making viewers laugh on one of the first additions to the Accelerate Plus content Library, Just friends. 

Almost like love at first sight, Nwakanma had high hopes once she saw the script for the series, and her hopes became higher after seeing how it came out. This reassured her that she found the perfect dream family of creatives whose collaborations can help break the industry’s boundaries. 

Speaking on the recent launch of Accelerate Plus, she said, “I love the fact that Accelerate is thinking about the future generation of film, and the creation of platforms that groom young creatives and filmmakers attests to their passion to contribute to the growth and longevity of the creative industry. So far, they have recorded successes, and I’m sure there’s more to come. Of course, I’m proud to be a face on Accelerate, a face for a brand that is family-oriented, innovative and proactive.”  

What’s next? 

It’s no secret that Accelerate TV and authentic African stories are like 5 and 6 so keep your fingers crossed in anticipation for the amazing future projects lined up just for YOU. 

Till then, if you are looking for funny, educational and captivating content to watch, Accelerate Plus is always here for you. 

Accelerate Plus is a streaming platform that offers access to exclusive blockbuster shows, series, short films, and documentaries from all over Africa that not only celebrates the African culture but also showcases its unique talents. 

With as little as a monthly subscription of N100 for Access bank account holders and N500 for subscribers within Nigeria, you have access to watch quality African films and series anytime, anywhere. 

Download the app to get started.