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Nigeria is Building a New Positive Image...

Sorry before I get into my blog, you really do not want to be told that you missed a great show, so get your tickets now for Top Model of Colour taking place on the 27th November at Porchester Hall, not that many tickets left - either buy online or call 07971 388687, 

Fela Lives Again...


Don't panic Fela Anikulapo-Kuti Nigeria's legendary musician has not risen from the dead, but via a fantastic play he has been brought back to life. After 4 successful years on Broadway Fela the play has found its way to the National Theatre in London.

It is a great achievement for ANY play to make it to the National Theatre and an even bigger achievement for a Black African play to feature and credit must be given to Bill T Jones and co- producers Jay Z (and I hear Will Smith) for having the courage and tenacity to push for it to come to the UK, in fact to even do the play at all.



After we all got to watch this great play on press night, there 
was a great celebration and after event and it was good to 
catch up with the cast including Sahr Ngaujah, who has played Fela for the past 4 years, Paulette Ivory & Melanie Marshall.

The highlight of the evening besides the play was catching up with old friends that I had not seen for many years like Atiti & Dele Sosimi of Afrobeat (he use to play for Fela as a youngster), Yeni & Seun Kuti as well as Femi Kuti who has taken over his fathers mantle and will soon start his UK tour for his new album Africa For Africa from the 27th November.



I was fortunate that as a youngster I was able to go to Shrine (this is the legendary place where Fela use to play in Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria) and as I was good friends with his late youngest daughter Sola (pronounced as written not like my name which is pronounced Sholla) I got to spend a lot of time both at Shrine and at his house and it was an experience I would never forget.


I do hope that the legal battle will be resolved sooner rather than later as the producers of Fela the musical are being sued by Carlos Moore an author who claims that they used his biogapghy Fela Fela, Cette Putain de Vie as the concept for the musical and not paying him the appropiate royalties. He is suing for £5m. That aside I am hoping that it will find its way to Nigeria and it is rumoured that discussions are taking place with the Nigerian singer D'banz to play the role of Fela should it come to Nigeria.

This is a play that I very highly recommend that you go and see, I am aware that everyone is saying times are hard but it is worth the expenditure, so call the National Theatre and tell them that you wish to buy a ticket on Layaway!

An Audience with Nollywood Stars...

In my bid not to live in my house ever again I was once again out on the streets of London attending an audience with some of Nigeria's Nollywood stars. As usual I prepared myself to be bored out of my mind listening to celebrities that believed they were demi Gods but to my pleasant surprise they were definitely not arrogant, pompous superstars, in fact the two actors that were in attendance were very down to earth and I and others that were in attendance had a very enjoyable evening (would not say the same about the food though).

Ariyo Expo organised a two day Culture and Tourism EXPO at the Hilton Olympia in London on 5th & 6th November and it culminated with an interview with some of Nollywood's top stars including Ejike Asiegbu actor and former president of Actors Guild of Nigeria and the first Lady of Nollywood "Omo Sexy" Omotola Jolade Ekeinde

Some of the audience included the likes of Charles Thompson CEO Screen Nation, Brenda Emmanus BBC presenter and Fatima Jabbe, producer and actress, Nigeria's Ambassor to the Court of St James and of course myself amongst many others and it was beautifully hosted by Henry Bonsu, presenter and journalist.

Ejike
I was fortunate enough to be able to ask Omotola a question as to whether she would still do low budget films and she gave an eloquent answer that many Hollywood actors do small budget films and if the film script is right and she felt it was right for her she would do it.

She was also asked about her relationship with Genevieve Nnaji and she politely moved on to the next question without answering, but did give a plausible answer as to why she would not answer and this is because she has asked and answered this question too many times and she is TIRED ALREADY.

It was a great evening and a lot of credit must be given to the organiser Ola Wright on a job well done.

I do hope that Ola would be able to work with me and produce a real audience with some of Nigeria's Nollywood superstars here in the UK with the UK celebrities. 

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