Nollywood: And the ‘men’ were separated from the ‘boys’
They are not the only screen celebrities that threw their hats in the ring at the wake of electioneering, but as things stand now, especially since their names are firmly inked on the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) list of candidates for this year’s general elections, these top Nollywood practitioners have walked their way to the start line and are only waiting for the D-Day to prove that for them, it is beyond make believe.
Desmond Olushola Elliot
Popular actor, producer and movie director, Desmond Olushola Elliot, is in the race to return to the Lagos State House of Assembly as member representing Surulere State Constituency.
The Economics graduate of the Lagos State University (LASU) joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2013, contested the party’s primary election in 2014, secured the ticket, finally elected and inaugurated as a member in 2015.
An actor, producer and director of vast credit, Desmond is one of Nigeria’s most acclaimed actors of all time who is also believed to be making his mark in the political space.
Married with children, even though he is now neck deep in politics, Desmond has remained relevant in the entertainment industry.
Award-winning actor and producer, Mazi Sam Uche-Anyamele, is in the race as the governorship candidate of the United Democratic Party (UDP) in Lagos State.
Another actor of vast credit, who in the early 2000s met most television viewers in their living room and warmed his way effortlessly into their hearts with his convincing acting run every other week as lead actor of No pain, No gain series, this Abia State-born actor said he would unleash an inclusive Lagos State development roadmap if elected into office.
Anchored on efficient and effective leadership, action, grassroots opportunities and security, Sam, an alumnus of the University of Lagos, where he is also a doctoral student, said part of his mission is to drive innovation-led economic growth to reduce the burden of taxation on Lagosians.
Born and bred in Lagos, Sam is the first of a family of six, who left Isolo Grammar School as male senior prefect. Currently the National Secretary of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), Sam combines filmmaking with being an Adjunct Lecturer at the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos.
He is also the Vice Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of the institution’s Alumni Association.
Notable filmmaker, play director and administrator, Alex Eyengho, is in the race too. The widely-travelled filmmaker, who has written, produced, directed or acted in stage plays and films, such as the award-winning Oma tsen-tsen, Nanna of the Niger Delta, Back To Africa and Suara La, is the candidate of the ruling APC for the Warri Federal Constituency.
Eyengho, an alumnus of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko in Anambra State, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom (UK) and the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, said he decided to take a plunge to give the people of the constituency ‘the very best representation in the most seamless manner.”
Eyengho, who is the founding President of the Association of Nollywood Core Practitioners (ANCOP) and Association of Itsekiri Performing Artistes (AIPA), promised to pay attention to the issue of degradation and pollution of the environment and sustainable youth and women empowerment, education and skills acquisition, cultural revival, tourism and the creative industries.”
An indigene of Warri in Delta state, Eyengho, who hold several other professional certificates in filmmaking, journalism and management, brought honour to motherland in 2013 when he became the first African to be elected vice president of the International Federation of Film Producers Association (FIAPF).
He joined partisan politics in 2010 and has since been re-elected twice as VP of FIAPF.
Producer, scriptwriter, director, freelance journalist and media logistic provider, is also in the race, but as presidential candidate of the Progressive Peoples Congress (PPC).
The Co-Founder of the Director’s Guild of Nigeria (DGN), who has produced and directed several documentaries, movies and television series, Okhai has the rare capacity to understand and speak Nigeria’s three major languages- Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba- as well as Bini and three international languages- English, German and French.
He said he is in the race to deploy “the massive spirit of team work associated with film production in the management of men, materials and machines to the task of nation building.”
An alumnus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and indigene of Edo State, Ohkai has over 30 years experience in the media industry. A resource person on film and allied matters, he runs the International Film and Broadcast Academy in Lagos, a training facility that has thrown up some of the industry’s acclaimed filmmaking talents.
A recipient of the International Visitor’s Fellowship Programme of the German Foreign Ministry, Okhai, who has, through his effort at the Academy, produced over 700 films, hopes to creatively galvanise the Nigerian spirit in the delivery of a self-fulfilling nation.
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