Celebrities who made headlines for right, wrong reasons in 2019 – Part 2
Here is the concluding part of the review of the good and bad of screen moments of some Nollywood celebrities in 2019. But we review only those who were in the news for good reasons in the spirit of the dawn of the new decade.
Those who hit the golden age, plus year 2019 was one that a couple of top Nollywood celebrities either turned 50 or 60. There was hardly any month without a shindig to celebrate a notable actor or actress who has hit 50 or 60. Nollywood closed the year with the birthday activities to mark popular Yoruba actor Taiwo Babatunde Hassan’s 60th birthday. Although the actor who is popular as Ogogo clocked 60 in October but activities to mark his 60th birthday commemoration kicked off on December 6. And as it is the tradition now in moviedom, there was a massive shindig for the actor’s actor and gifted performer, who studied Automobile Engineering at the Federal Technical College, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos.
2019 was also the year when there were 60 loud cheers for pioneer President of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) and Chairman of the Audio-Visual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS) Mahmood Ali-Balogun. Uncle Mahmood as a younger colleague calls him, was celebrated in July and on the same day that his daughter Ikeoluwa turned 16. The 60 loud cheers for Ali-Balogun who is a strong advocate for a virile and regulated Nollywood industry came two weeks after the industry stood up to celebrate one of their beloved actors Norbert Young who also turned 60 early July. A master of the stage and screen, the humane, personable, amiable and down to earth personality is married to the actress and journalist Gloria Anozie.
In between notable screen actress Doris Simeon clocked 40 while popular Yoruba actress Bimbo Oshin clocked on July 24. Also, popular actress and later day producer Ayo Adesanya clocked 50 in 2019. It was also in 2019 that the grand old man of stage and screen Abadulsalam Sanyaolu who is popular as Charles Olumo clocked 95. The veteran actor who is also popular as Agbako and who is famous for play the stern-looking devious character in movies is a native of Ogun state. in a short inaudible message to mark his 95th birthday, the living legend who revealed that he began acting in 1953 at the Apostolic Church in Mushin Area of Lagos State admonished those still active in the profession to be patient and disciplined. It was also in 2019 that foremost cineaste Tunde Alabi-hundeyin clocked 66. A notable filmmaker and one of the very few in the professional class, Dudu as the filmmaker is simply called by close friends are famous for helming the box office hits ‘Iyawo Alhaji’ and ‘Ami Orun’. The popular Yoruba actor that is popular as Masomo—Yinka Quadri also turned 60 in 2019. Sixty, but looking so ‘boyish’, Yinka, blessed with good look and frame is a darling of the Yoruba movie buffs. They accord him star treatment and they would sit to watch a movie once it stars Masomo, an alias he earned from his constant refrain.
Memorable Wedlock Anniversaries
WHILE some celebrity marriages were packing up like badly starked cards during the year, others were marking the wedding anniversaries. Ex-Tinsel actors Okey and Florence Okechukwu took to their social media handles in April to celebrate six years together as husband and wife ‘and still counting’. Also, notable Nollywood actor Yul Edochie celebrated 15 years of rock-solid marriage to his wife May Aligwe Edochie. They both took to their social media handles to share photos and to laud themselves for staying stronger together.
The big one— the 19th wedding anniversary between Nollywood icon Richard Mofe-Damijo and Jumobi Damijo happened just 10 days before the year came to a close. RMD as the world-class actor is simply called took to his social media handles on December 20 to share photos of his wife and himself as they marked their anniversary. RMD also penned a sweet anniversary message for Jumobi whom he calls ‘My Abike’: ‘’19 years and counting….and you still have me laughing and loving every moment we share, my Abike. Thank you, sweetie’’. Indeed if one considers how marriages quickly pack up in the entertainment industry, then the Okechukwu’s, Damijo’s and the Edochie’s have every reason to God for the grace to keep keeping on.
Those Who Won Awards
A NUMBER of notable Nollywood personalities were honoured in 2019. The dependable actress Sola Sobowale and Nollywood’s best Adesua Etomi-Wellington got their first Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) crest in 2019. Sobowale was voted best actress in a leading role at the 15 edition of the award, which held at the Landmark Event Centre while Adesua received the crest for Best actress in a supporting role. They both got the awards for their roles in the epic movie by Kemi Adetiba ‘King of Boys’.
The Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) was successfully staged in 2019. The diva Kate Henshaw emerged Best Actress of the festival for her role in the award-winning movie by Akin Omotoso titled ‘The Ghost and House of Truth’. The Kano State government hosted the 2019 edition of the Best of Nollywood Awards (BON) and it held in Kano. Notable actor Gabriel Afolayan was declared the best actor of BON 2019 for his role in Tade Ogidan’s well-helmed movie ‘Gold Statue’. Tade Ogidan was also declared the best director and the movie received five other awards.