Angélique Kidjo, Jimmy Jean-Louis In Nigeria For Kunle Afolayan’s The CEO
The multi-lingual movie has already begun shoot at the Inagbe Resorts, and will also take its locations to South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, France and other parts of Africa.
At a world press conference, which held at the popular Inagbe Grand Resorts and Leisure, he revealed a cross-African cast and crew made up of actors with diverse potentials, such as singing, modeling, set designing and photography, among others.
The cast include, Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, entertainer and activist from Benin, Angélique Kidjo; Haitan actor and model Jimmy Jean-Louis, best known for his role as The Haitan on the NBC television series, Heroes; consummate actor, and founder of the New Nigeria Cinema movement, Wale Ojo; French-Ivorian actress and model, Aurelie Eliam; South African actor and presenter, Nicolaos Panagiotopoulos; Nigerian actress, Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju; Moroccan star, Fatim Layachi; Kenyan actor Peter King, and Nigerian actress and Hilda Dokubo.
Afolayan, while expressing gratitude to all sponsors, including the Bank of Industry (BoI), from which he got a loan under the BoI NollyFund scheme, said the film started as an idea conceived to celebrate Africa by Seychelles. But when the Seychelles Project promoters backed out, he had to readapt the film to suit a pan African dream.
Kidjo, who confessed a passionate feeling for the telling of African story, revealed efforts by her channeled at using music to export the culture of Africa to the rest of the world.
She said with CEO, she appears to have found an ally in Afolayan, who is using film to achieve the same purpose — telling African stories.
She noted that she accepted to play a role in the movie because it suits her aspiration as one who has been using music to propagate the ideals of the continent.
“Kunle and I have the same approach, I try to bring my music beyond my country, for me, this music is beyond Nigeria. If we have a vision of giving so much to this world, we will make an impact in our African story and that’s what Kunle is trying to do. It’s the dream of the Arican race, and in 2050, Africa will be the largest continent in the world,”
Officials of top partnering companies such as, Air France, Africa Magic, DStv, Adron Homes and Properties Ltd., K-Square Securities, and Inagba Grand Resorts and Leisure also attended the event.
Arthur Dieffenthaler, Commercial Manager of Air France/KLM, sponsors of The CEO, reiterated the commitment of Air France to the development of arts and entertainment in Africa.
“This is a unique project and film which is a great avenue to export culture to touch people’s lives. For us at Air France, we don’t partner with just anybody. In the area of quality, we decided to choose Kunle because we believe that this movie will break bounds and move over Africa overboard,” said Dieffenthaler.
Notable filmmakers, Tunde Kelani and Tade Ogidan, and senior officers of sponsoring companies also attended the event.
The CEO tells the story of TransWire Communications, a global phone network with major operation in Nigeria. The CEO, an expatriate, has retired hence the Global Chairman has decided to send five nominees amongst his most senior level staff across Africa on a Leadership course in order to determine, which one to appoint as the new CEO of Nigeria — Kola Alabi, Nigerian, playboy and charming, along with Jomo Wangai, Kenyan male, reserved and troubled; Eloise Toure, Ivorian, female, attractive, tenacious; Yasmin Raggi, Moroccan, female, beautiful, secretive and Riikard Van Outen, South African, white, male, unassuming and ambitious.