Tuesday, 29 July 2014



Tragedy hit the home of the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, in the early morning of Tuesday when his son, Hamsa, died in a road crash in Abuja.
The former minister, who is a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress, announced this on his Facebook page.
He asked Nigerians to help pray for the repose of the soul of Hamsa.
El-Rufai wrote, “From Allah we came and to him we shall return. Please join our family in praying for the repose of the soul of my son, Hamza El-Rufai, who died this morning in a motor accident in Abuja.”
Source: Punch

First English Opera berths in West Africa

From July 25, 2014, FilmHouse cinemas, in all its locations will exclusively screen one of Britain’s most significant operas; Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, as performed by the English National Opera in stunning cinematic high definition.
This laudable feat, according to a press release from British Council Nigeria, is the first of its kind in West Africa and is possible thanks to the support of the United Kingdom’s cultural relations organisation the British Council and Altive Media.
 We are very pleased about the partnership with FilmOne Distribution and FilmHouse Cinemas and look forward to sharing high quality performances from the UK with new audiences in their cinemas across Nigeria,” said Ojoma Ochai, Director Arts, British Council Nigeria.
Brought to Nigeria in partnership with Altive Media and proudly supported by the British Council,
Peter Grimes, a ‘must see’ opera in Nigeria, is an opera in a prologue and three acts and is the first revival of director David Alden’s 2009 five-star, sell-out production.
Daily Newswatch gathered that the English National Opera is one of the world’s most innovative and accessible opera companies with an International reputation for distinctive, contemporary and highly theatrical productions.
The release further revealed that Peter Grimes paints a vivid picture of a small community’s descent into suspicion, gossip and mob mentality in the face of a tragedy. What really happened to fisherman Peter Grimes’s missing apprentice, and was he involved? As the townspeople’s mistrust grows, Grimes spirals into a downfall with devastating consequences!
Stuart Skelton, described as the ‘definitive’ Peter Grimes, takes the lead role, with Elza Van den Heever playing Ellen, Iain Paterson does justice to Balstrode’s role, while Rebecca de Pont Davies gives a spectacular performance as Auntie.
Directed by David Alden and conducted by Edward Gardner, Peter Grimes features some of the most powerful and evocative music ever written and was a massive hit in the UK.
International critics have given rave reviews about Peter Grimes. The London Evening Standard hails it as “a shattering evening of music theatre”, The Observer calls it “unmissable”, The Times states “Stuart Skelton's Grimes is both ravishingly sung and fully dramatically realised,” while the Daily Telegraph praises “Edward Gardner’s masterly conducting … the orchestra plays for him as if possessed, and the result is an evening of scorching intensity.”

House of Tara launches visual campaign ‘ColourBurst’ using Banky W’s ‘Jasi’ as theme song

Africa’s leading beauty brand, House of Tara has launched a new campaign tagged ‘ColourBurst’ just in time for the summer. ‘ColourBurst’ puts on display the wonders colour can do for the African woman, and the rand has teamed up with R&B star, Banky W, deploying his hit song, ‘Jasi’ to create a fun and colourful video.
ColourBurst by Tara is a visual campaign that celebrates the variety and versatility of the Tara product line. Made up of four stunning looks, each one represents a different personality and style of makeup.  Using vibrant hues and modern techniques, ColourBurst demonstrates that every shade makes a statement.
 “I am very excited!” said Temi Akingbe, the brand manager for House of Tara. “The ColourBurst campaign has been a few months in the making and was really a combined effort of everyone at House of Tara but most especially the talented makeup artists. We are extremely proud of the campaign and it shows how far the Makeup Industry in Nigeria has come because this clearly rivals any international standard. Most importantly, we wanted to capture the vibrancy of our product line and for everyone to have fun with it!”
Set up in 1998, House of Tara is a pioneer in the beauty and makeup industry in Nigeria and Africa as a whole and a trailblazer in the areas of retail, distribution channel management and education. Known also as an industry enabler, the brand; being the first to set up a beauty school in Nigeria has over 3,000 reps spread across the country and 17 stores to its name.

Ashaolu emerges as ANTP National President


After more than three years of legal tussle between the top members of the Association of Nigeria Theatre-Arts Practitioners (ANTP), veteran actor, Comrade (Dr.) Victor Ashaolu, has emerged as the association’s National President.
 At the ANTP’s fourth  Quadrennial Delegates conference held on Friday, July 11, 2014, at Orange Hotels, Bolorunduro, Ilesa,Osun State, Ashaolu and others began their first term in office till July 2018.

A statement made available to Daily Newswatch by Mr. Kayode Hamzat revealed that “the delegates at the ANTP Conference revisited all the period spent on the court case(s), - almost three and half years before Ashaolu emerged victorious on  January 30, 2014 at the Ibadan High Court 3, before Justice M.O. Bolaji Yusuf, hence it was resolved and approved that the period should be regarded as crises and transition period, and that all officers of the association should be regarded just starting the first term in office from Local Government Chapters to the National level, which shall end in July, 2018.
“The delegates also approved the results of all elections held in the Local Governments, Zonal and States chapters, such as Lagos, Osun, Ogun, Kwara and Federal Capital Territory (Abuja). Also, the elections in the five states chapters above were approved as submitted by Elder Kamoru Aremu led National and State Electoral Committees.
According to the statement: “The delegates in the conference approved the following under listed names as nominated and adopted by the entire delegates with their positions in the ANTP Board of the Incorporated Trustees – Chief Lere Paimo (MFR) Chairman,  Dr. Yemi Faroumbi member/patron, Chief  Jimoh Aliu  (MFR) as member,  Dr. Akintunde Ayeni  (YEM-KEM) as member/ patron,  Chief (Mrs.) Olagunju Heritage as member, Comrade Dr. Victor Ashaolu as Trustee’s Secretary and any incumbent National President as member (when in office).
“The delegates at the conference resolved to give directives to the National president and the NEC to see to the immediate conduct of all outstanding elections in these states - Ekiti, Kogi, Oyo and Ondo States, on or before October 31, 2014.
“Consequent upon the vacant positions at the National level after the September 2010 election at Ilorin, Kwara State, a re-run election was held and the following people were elected  and confirmed by the delegates at the conference into the following positions:-
-        Comrade (Dr.) Victor Ashaolu as National President
-        Alhaji Mustapha Eletu as National Deputy President
-        Alhaji Yahaya Adetunji as National Vice president (South) yet to confirm
-        Alfa Yisa Alabi Olorunoje as National Vice President (North)
-        Najeem Adio Tijani as National General Secretary
-        Mr. Isaac Ajidaun as Asstistant National general Secretary
-        Mrs. Abiola Ayeni Adejumo as National Treasurer
-        Mr. Tawab Fatola as National Financial Secretary
-        Miss Atinuke D. Akindele as National Publicity Secretary
-        Mr. Bakare Shittu as National Welfare Secretary 1 (Male)
-        Mrs. Yinka Adeleke as National Welfare Secretary 2 (Female)
-        Mr. Elijah Afolayan as National Chief Whip 1 (Male)
-        Mrs. Esther Akinola –Omidiran as National Chief Whip 2 (Female)
-        Comrade Ibrahim M. Yahaya as National Auditor
-        Mr. Abiodun Rufai (Odua) as National ex-officio 1
“The delegates at the conference however refer the issue of the National Vice-President South (Alhaji Yahaya Adetunji) to the newly elected and confirmed National Executive Council (NEC) of the Association for confirmation, or rejection, since the person in that position has refused to comply with all the National Electoral committee directives as instructed and directed by NEC for final decision.
“Also, all other three (3) remaining vacant positions (National Organising Secretary, National Ex-officio II and III) should be filled within the next three months as stipulated in the newly reviewed and amended 2014 ANTP constitution, the delegates approved.
“Before bringing the conference to a close, the delegates resolved that the next National Quadrennial Conference of the association should come up between July and September 2018 at a venue to be fixed by the NEC at appropriate time.
“The delegates at the conference gave a standing ovation to the National President (Victor Ashaolu) for all his past efforts in moving the Association forward.”

I still act in movies - Liz Ameye

A seasoned evangelist and veteran Nollywood actress, Liz Ameye (Nee Benson), in this interview with ADA DIKE, reveals why she does not appear in movies like she before.

Liz Ameye
Why did it take you many years to make a comeback into the movie industry?
I want to correct the notion that I was away from acting in movies for some years. As a minister of God, I still act to sensitise the public on issues like health, morals, good and righteous living. In fact, not long ago, I acted as a nurse in a movie ‘Dry’ which deals with child marriage and its consequences. It’s produced by my fellow actress, Mrs. Stephanie Okereke-Linus. I didn’t see my featuring in Living Funeral as a comeback; I started my practice on the stage and I have always looked for a story that has a depth; that touches the lives of people; something that will create an enlargement of understanding – you call it awareness. This was the same thing I saw when I was invited to work on Living Funeral.
Though the story was quite complex, it gives me joy because of the content of the message. So many things we take for granted around us; in our society happen to be health situation. For one reason or the other, we are not able to talk about it. For one thing or the other, we cannot share it and so there is no solution, no end, nowhere to go to and say this is the problem I am having and how to solve it.
I needed something that will drive home a point so that people would have listening ears when people are going through situations not the type that would make people sad -health situation for that matter. Cancer is one of them because we have the overblown Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), but people are dying of cancer without making it known. I still think we still need to create more awareness in the area of Breast and Cervical cancer as the case may be for women and other area of cancer for the men.
This one touched humanity hence, I said it is one thing I want to be part of, so that is the reason I am part of the cast and put myself together as part of the project.
What Pink Pearl Foundation intend to do through the project is that you can look at this as a film and you are drawn into wanting to make sure you don’t suffer the same fate but get tested, do your health check up as early as possible and try to be involved in the campaign.
Living Funeral will provoke you to get involved in the campaign in such a way that it would make you to be an advocate of encouraging people, family members, friends to go for early check up to avoid this situation of falling a victim.
This film is saying early detection is better; get tested and lend a helping hand to those victims out there. I acted in the movie based on the storyline.

What role did you play in Living Funeral?
I played the role of a mother of a young girl who had breast cancer in Living Funeral, a movie dedicated to creating awareness about Breast Cancer and to sensitise the public to embrace early detection as the only veritable solution to overcoming the disease. It tells an inspirational story of Yvette, a young woman coming to terms with the reality of her battle with breast cancer. It portrays the unbelievable journey of hope, valour and despair told through the eyes of the lead character’s sister (played by same actress – Stephanie Wilson and her hard-hearted mother (me) who struggled to come to terms with her daughter’s illness.
The film which was directed by Udoka Oyeka and produced by Mrs Orode Ryan-Okpu, founder, Pink Pearl Foundation. It was premiered in Lagos and later Asaba, Delta State in 2013. It has since received tremendous reviews from entertainment and public service critics. Its success has also garnered the movie impressive recognition and accolade, one of which is its nomination in the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards – AMVCAs 2014.

Can you shed light on the impact of the film on your life?
I always look for a story that has a depth and something that creates an enlargement of understanding. You call it awareness. This was what I saw when I was invited to participate in the project. I once lost a family friend through breast cancer so the film is dear to me. I want everyone to check their breasts on a regular basis.

What would you say about Nollywood of your time and today’s?
Nolywood has improved tremendously in terms of the equipment and financial wherewithal; we did not have some of the equipment we have today.
In terms of directing and editing, they are being done in a thorough way. The directors are doing well. But we are not there yet because a lot of infrastructure needs to be put in place.

What are the fond memories you always have when you remember your roles in movies?
I always have the movies that I fancy based on experience but it is the viewer that can judge that because they all have their favourite.
For me, every production brings its own challenges that come with it. I deal with them in their own way. I can’t place a hand. But if I want to take into account, Living Funeral is it because I’m doing something as a minister of the gospel that projects my faith and tells a good moral story. I was moved and shaken by the movie. Some of the lines of the scripts are killing.
To God be the glory, the best, depth and height of every human being and endeavor are all in the Bible. Even the most spoken words in history are taken from the Word of God. For me it is God because movie roles, boyfriend, girlfriend, romance and all that are no longer for me. The most recent one that we are projecting is in the Bible. That’s why I’m saying that it just have to be God standard or nothing.

We heard that you don’t like hearing people calling you Liz Benson.
(Cuts in) For the record, I am no longer Liz Benson. I want the media to remove Benson from my name and address me as Liz Ameye because I am formally married, that’s why I changed my name to Liz Ameye.
Why should a married woman still carries her father’s name along? There is no need to add your father’s name if you are married, except you have plans to change to your father’s  name if you divorce. As for me, I don’t have plans to divorce my husband so I don’t want anyone to address me as ‘Liz Benson’ again. I was not born to be famous and be known as Liz Benson, but it was by God’s grace.  The same God that made famous when I was called Liz Benson will do same now that I have devoted my time and talent to serve Him.

Kindly give us insight to your background
I have been acting since 1993 and have starred in over 40 Nollywood movies including Glamour Girls, Wisdom and Riches, Inheritance, Bridge-Stone, Diamond Ring, Political Control and so on.
 I got married to Bishop Great Ameye In 2009. He is the General Overseer of the Freedom Assembly in Jesse, Ethiope Local Government Area of Delta State. We are based in Jesse, Delta State.

Can you tell us how you met your husband?
I met him through God’s divine plan. (Laughs) God spoke through many people concerning our union. Initially, I was sceptical about it and was running, before a woman of God asked me why I was running from my husband. She advised me to stop running. While I was waiting for my life-partner, he was there waiting also.
When you are running from God’s plan, you won’t escape it till you surrender to Him. Although I used to go for evangelism in Lagos and preach to people, I didn’t know that I would marry a man of God or become a minister of God. There was a time I would preach in many streets, including Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos. Two ladies saw me then and bore witness of my preaching around the place. One of them who acted in Twinkle sometime ago reminded me when she saw me at the airport sometime ago. She said she remembered that I came to her shop at Emporium Plaza at Allen Avenue, Ikeja to preach to her customers. So I used to do that a lot.
 Sometime in 2001 during a thanksgiving service at Faith Foundation Church, I shared a testimony and Bishop Sam Amaga and his wife visited me at home one day and told me that I had a call in my life.

How have you been coping with your church members coming for counselling?
We know the problems we go through, but by God’s grace we are able to overcome because He gives grace and wisdom. When we want to get upset, we remember His grace and continue to work in His vineyard.
I derive joy in solving their problems through advice and gifts. I feel fulfilled helping people and putting smiles on their faces. I normally call someone to check their blood pressure and advise them to minimize going to farm. I have to be involved; it is not just preaching but reaching to the less privileged and touching their lives in a special way. Now I can only appear in movies that have to do with humanity and preach good tidings. For me, the moral standard is what I deal in right now.

Do you feel fulfilled served God as an evangelist?
Of course, I am glad to available to God, to humanity and doing something that is touching lives. In one way or another, I am investing in the lives of people and seeing that effect on them is most fulfilling. Doing what pleases your maker is fulfilling both to you and God. You may not have the billions but God has his own reward system and it surpasses the way of the world. God is most gracious and most sufficient.
There was a woman that was ill, I visited her and advised to go to hospital for treatment and she returned hale and hearty. She is ever grateful to me, saying she would have died of ignorance if I did not meet her. Even if there are some hurdles there, you will always survive them. I have so much work to do in God’s vineyard.