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ENTERTAINMENT

Lancelot Imasuen, Liam, Lahor Music To Remake ‘Issakaba’

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Lancelot Imasuen, film producer

Renowned filmmaker and director, Lancelot Imasuen, has teamed up with Liam, Lahor Music Worldwide, and Without Lense to remake the iconic movie ‘Issakaba’, which was originally produced in 1999.

According to the filmmaker, the reboot was due to popular demand from fans on social media platforms including X, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.ster movies including ‘Invasion 1897’, ‘Adesuwa’, The Last Burial’, ‘ATM’, ‘Bent Arrow’ among others, noted that the call for the remake of ‘Issakaba’ has reached a frenzy, even as notable comedians and musicians including Davido have continued to use the word ‘Issakaba’ in their songs.

“When the reboot is finally released, it will definitely return the heydays of Nollywood and provide the needed bridge between Nollywood then and now,” Imasuen said.

According to recent reports, Sam Dede, a veteran actor who portrayed Ebube, the main character in the original production, and Chinwetalu Agu, are making a comeback. They will be joined by other stars such as Chidi Mokeme, BBNaija’s Phyna, Regina Daniel, Nosa Rex, Iyabo Ojo, Sanni Danger, Alex Osifo, and Mark Angel, a content creator who will add a fresh twist to the storyline. Additionally, Francis Onwochei, Charles Okafor, Ben Olaye, and other Nollywood greats will be part of the cast.

“Based on true events, ‘Issakaba’ was an action-packed thriller that followed the story of a community vigilante group called Bakassi Boys who fought against armed robbery and murder crimes. The movie was initially produced by the late Nigerian filmmaker Chukwuka Emelionwu and Moses of Mosco Production. It was released in five parts and became a household favourite in the early 2000s.”

The plot of the movie “Issakaba Boys” revolves around a group led by Ebube (played by Sam Dede), who are known as the Issakaba Boys. They fight against a gang of armed robbers who terrorize their community. The robbers possess certain mystical powers that aid them in their criminal activities. In response, Ebube and his team acquire similar abilities that allow them to combat the robbers. The movie is a mix of action, horror, and drama.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Sean Diddy Combs Denies ‘Fictional’ Gang Rape Allegations

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Sean Diddy Combs

Sean “Diddy” Combs has issued a court statement disputing allegations that he gang-raped a 17-year-old girl in 2003.

This was one of four distinct sexual assault allegations brought against the R&B star late last year.

The suit, Jane Doe, claimed that she was taken by private jet from Michigan to Combs’ recording studio in New York.

After being offered “copious amounts” of narcotics and drink, the plaintiff claimed she was assaulted by three persons, including Combs and Bad Boy Entertainment chief Harve Pierre.

On February 20, Combs, led by Attorney Shawn Holley, told a federal court that Jane Doe’s claims were “entirely fictional.”

They also responded to photo-graphs provided by the plaintiff  — in which she is pictured sitting on Combs’ lap in his recording studio — by arguing the photo-graphs were potentially falsified or taken out of context.

“He never participated in, witnessed, or was or is presently aware of any misconduct, sexual or otherwise, relating to the plaintiff in any circumstance whatsoever,” the document reads.

Combs’ attorneys also claim these allegations are unconstitutional considering his accuser’s “decision to wait more than two decades” has obstructed his “ability to defend himself fully and fairly.”

“Some or all evidence that otherwise would have been available if the action had been promptly commenced may be unavailable, lost, or compromised,” Combs’ attorneys write.

The case against Combs was filed under the Victims of Gender-Motivated Violence Protection Law, which allows cases with significant time gaps to be filed outside the usual statute of limitations.

In a statement, Jane Doe’s lawyer Douglas Wigdor writes, “The deeply troubling allegations against the defendants by multiple women speak for themselves.

The ridiculous claim that the photos are somehow fake and the law at issue is unconstitutional is nothing more than desperate attempts to conjure a defence where none exists.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Much Ado About A Tribe Called Judah.

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By Justin Akpovi-Esade

A popular African adage states that someone may pretend to enjoy a meal served to him simply because of who prepared it, rather than because it was delicious.

The film A Tribe Called Judah fits perfectly into the scenario outlined above.

When the news of the blockbuster A Tribe Called Judah broke in December of last year, the entire country was excited, with cinema houses trembling and threatening to burst at its seams. This excitement piqued people’s interest, including ours.

The icing on the cake was a congratulatory message from the president of the country, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, delivered through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale. “The President praises the excellence of Nigeria’s creative industry, recognising its critical role as a medium not only for artistic expression but also a source of enormous soft power and viable exports.

“The creative industry is a high-employment sector that employs our able and talented youth. This is an industry that is critical to my administration. I applaud Nigerians for their unwavering support and patronage of homegrown creative endeavours. We will create a conducive environment for the industry to thrive further,” excerpts from President Tinubu’s message to the film’s producer stated.

Tinubu’s compliment must have come after A Tribe Called Judah broke the box office record for the highest grossing Nigerian film, earning $1.1 million (approximately 1 billion naira) in just a few weeks of release. According to experts, no Nigerian film has achieved such commercial success since the resurgence of Nigeria’s film and video culture. Without prejudice, one must congratulate Ms Funke Akindele, she has not only been a fantastic actor, she has become a daring producer since the production bug bit her.

After seeing A Tribe Called Judah twice, one is left wondering how this film became the highest grossing Nigerian film. To answer this question, return to the first paragraph of this article, which discussed eating a meal and pretending it was delicious solely because of the cook. Before labelling the writer as a ‘hater’, ‘ethnic bigot’, ‘loser’, or ‘hatchet man’ (words commonly used to describe those with whom this generation disagrees), please watch the movie again after reading this piece.

A Tribe Called Judah is about Jedidah (Funke Akindele), a single mother with five young sons. The most intriguing aspect is that she had five children with men from all of the country’s geopolitical regions. Emeka (South East), Shina “Shinene” (South West), Adamu (North), and Pere and Ejiro (South South). These are all five of Jedidah Judah’s children. The script’s inclusion of these children from the three geopolitical regions may have a deeper meaning than first appears. However, the film did not delve into that aspect; instead, it told us a typical Nollywood story about Jedidah’s struggles to make ends meet, as well as how her first and second sons, Emeka and Adamu, worked as security guards at a nearby shopping mall. Pere is a street hustler and pickpocket, Shina is a tout who also feeds on the street, and Ejiro is a street-savvy budding artist.

Yes, there was an incident where their mother, Jedidah, was being manhandled by a man, and Ejiro, who was with her, had to summon his four older brothers, who arrived to beat the living daylights out of the somewhat irresponsible man. Pere was established as a pickpocket in one scene, while another showed him nearly being lynched by an angry mob. Pere would have been burned alive if Jedidah and her friend, played by Fathia Balogun, had not intervened on time.

Jedidah informed viewers about how she came to have five children for five different men. There are people in real life who match or even surpass that record, so it is not particularly noteworthy.

Jedidah then fainted and was diagnosed with a kidney or liver disease that required a large sum of money for treatment and transplantation. This brings us to the film’s main theme. The kids then had to organise a heist to raise funds. The heist victim is Emeka’s former boss, who uses a furniture company, C&K Furnitures, as a front for his money laundering operations. A Tribe Called Judah taught us that it is acceptable to steal from a suspected criminal because it should be the justification for an otherwise simple heist (Smash and Grab) that escalated into an armed robbery that resulted in the loss of life. Emeka, Jedidah’s first child, was killed in a botched robbery attempt. Collette’s gang also suffered losses of two members.

Jedidah’s children stole the dollars stuffed in Furnitures in the VVIP room of C&K Furnitures, and with the help of Itele and his boys, all Shinene allies, they were able to flee the owner of the money and CEO of C&K Furnitures, Chigozie Onuoha, who is also the underworld kingpin of the money laundering operation, as well as the police.

In summary, that is the plot of A Tribe Called Judah, Nigeria’s highest grossing movie. One forgot to mention that there is a suggestion that there will be a sequel to the film because the final scene revealed a two million reward by the police for information leading to the arrest of Jedidah’s sons, who are suspected of masterminding the robbery operation.

A Tribe Called Judah is not unlike an average Nollywood film, which is shot in a matter of days and released into the market. One could argue that the equipment used in the production of Funke Akindele’s ‘Awaiting Multiple Awards’ film is of higher quality, but in terms of storyline, locations, and scripting, it is very similar to a late Chico Ejiro home video. So, once again, how did it become Nigeria’s highest grossing film? Is it necessary to refer you to the first paragraph for the answer?

Until Part Two of A Tribe Called Judah is released, in which we may see the police apprehend Jedidah’s surviving children and charge them with armed robbery, one could argue that the film attempted to justify crime in a subtle way. Until Part Two of A Tribe Called Judah is released, in which we may see the police apprehend Jedidah’s surviving children and charge them with armed robbery, one could argue that the film attempted to justify crime in a subtle way. While one does not expect much from a possible part two, which will be no different in terms of fleeting emotions, until then, A Tribe Called Judah is what it is–an average Nollywood home video.

A closer look at some of the characters revealed nothing noteworthy. Nse Ikpe-Etim, known for her role as the ‘Mama’ (head of prostitutes) in Shanty Town, was cast as Collete, Chigozie Onuoha’s secretary, CEO of C&K Furnitures, and underworld kingpin. Her dark past became known to us when she revealed that she was a member of a criminal organisation specialising in armed robbery. This was similar to what she was doing at Shanty Town. It will not be surprising to see her in another film playing a similar role. Na so stereotype dey take start for Nollywood.

Ebere Okaro, the Nollywood home video veteran, was cast in A Tribe Called Judah to reprise her familiar roles as a doting, nagging mother/grandmother and wife…basically, that is what Ebere Okaro does 99.9 percent of the time in Nollywood films, complete with her trademark fast blinking of the eyes and other nuances. Okaro has earned a place in Nollywood’s stereotype Hall of Fame over the years. She plays the same character in almost every Nollywood film, and she was perfectly cast as Jedidah’s mother and grandmother in A Tribe Called Judah.

Olumide Oworu, who played Ejiro, Jedidah’s last child, simply played his role from The Johnsons. So, watch any of the episodes of that TV comedy series, and you might agree. Only the lines were different.

Itele simply brought to A Tribe Called Judah’s table his ‘area boy’ character from Yoruba films. Ironically, he played the same character (Itele) in Funke Akindele’s film, and, just as he is always the king of ‘area boys’ (touts) in Yoruba films, he was also the leader of Shinene’s gang in A Tribe Called Judah. If you have seen the Yoruba film Jaguda Baba Ole, among many others, you will agree that Itele had the role waiting for him without having to go through a casting audition.

And should we discuss Funke Akindele’s Jedidah role? So, is not it similar to her Jenifa character? Does this mean Funke cannot remove his Jenifa garb even if the roles/circumstances are different?

Nosa Rex and his mall security guard colleague, Pluto even though their roles were short, did a great job of it. Rex, a top Nollywood star showed he could make something out of nothing within a short time.

One major flaw in the film, which highlights its Nollywood home video standard, occurred when the Jedidah Five were planning the heist. The viewer was made aware of all the details of the robbery prior to its occurrence. That eliminated the element of surprise and suspense. We already knew there would be a costume party at the mall, and they would all be dressed in different costumes, and when the party ended, they would sneak into C&K Furnitures and rob it. Wetin remains? Would not it have been better if the scene cut to the party before Shinene revealed the plan until the Costume part, leaving the viewer wondering what was going to happen? That was a major flaw in the film, which is only seen in typical Nollywood home videos. But then, A Tribe Called Judah is Nigeria’s highest-grossing film…

Some questions that only Funke Akindele can answer include: was the film set in Nigeria? If so, would she refer to the funny uniform worn by the alleged police officers as the Nigeria Police Force uniform? If the film was made to appear not to be set in Nigeria, are Ejiro, Pere, Adamu, Shina, and Emeka names of people in Gotham City where the idea originated? What kind of mall security guards wear the Nigerian traffic police uniform, known as ‘Yellow Fever’? By the way, what kind of Nigerian anti-crime unit is known as the “Financial Crimes Task Force?”

Drama is an imitation of life; if we are in Nigeria, we must see a police officer dressed in the proper Nigerian police uniform arresting a suspect for an alleged crime in a film. We need to see Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives in red jackets taking down a suspect in a movie, not some fictitious Financial Crimes Task Force with uniforms like LASTMA officials. An American filmmaker does not hesitate to depict the FBI, CIA, DEA, and NYPD as they are in his films. Ms Akindele is too famous a movie star to be giving us fictitious names of government security organisations in films as if they were television dramas in 1982.

By the way, why were Adamu, Shinene (Shina), and Emeka, three of Jedidah’s sons with Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo fathers, shown speaking their fathers’ languages at one point in the film, but Pere and Ejiro did not speak Urhobo or Ijaw at all, if the goal was to establish each child’s ethnicity? I am just asking.

On a lighter note, why did Funke Akindele cast someone with mother tongue interference as the arresting officer who led the team that apprehended criminal kingpin Chigozie Onuoha in A Tribe Called Judah’s final scene? Some of us heard, “You are ‘hunder’ arrest?”. For an actor in that type of film to pronounce UNDER as ‘Hunder’ exposed the Director’s handicap. A serious director should have made him do so many takes until he got it right, and if he didn’t, change the character. However, this assumes that the Director is aware of the distinction.

*Akpovi-Esade is a journalist, newspaper columnist, film/art critic, and media lobbyist. 

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ENTERTAINMENT

SNOO B, US-Based Pat Muko, Out With ‘Broke’

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Three Nigerians are currently taking the world of entertainment by storm without a doubt.
Their exceptional talents and captivating performances have earned them a well-deserved reputation and a global following.
If you haven’t heard of them yet, now is the time to take notice.
Oladiti Olulwatobi, also known as SNOO B, is gradually carving out a niche for himself in Afro Beat following the release of his earlier single ‘Mogbo’. The Oyo State-born, Lagos-based artist has expanded beyond the ‘Mogbo’ singles.
In his latest release, which is set to hit the airwaves this week, SNOO B collaborates with US-based Nigerian entertainer, thespian, and singer Princes Pat Muko and Aloba Fresh to create something that could dominate the music charts in the coming weeks.
‘Broke’ is an Afrobeat genre in which SNOO B has significantly improved and recreated the now-popular brand of music from his earlier attempts to stand alone and seek recognition as an artist, singer, dancer, drummer, and conga player.
He began playing in the church choir years ago, before leaving SONCOS High School in Lagos’ Iju neighbourhood.
In addition to producing, composing, and singing for other artists, SNOO B created several songs for Governor Babajide Sanwolu’s reelection campaign tours in Lagos state. Last year, songs such as “One More Time,” “Lekan is,” and “Gbefun Begun,” which means “give it to him, he can do it,” became popular among the Lagos crowd.
The songs did, in fact, rev up the music scene at the time. Although he is quick to point out that politics is not his calling, he has grown to enjoy political songs when political figures campaign for votes.
Do not bother asking SNOO B what he does when he is not on stage or in the studio. “I am a content creator, songwriter, actor, musician promoter, social media manager, and promoter. I have worked for several artists, and now I want to tell the music community that I can equally come out with a single that can compete favourably with the leading artists.”
Though he collaborated with Fresh, Princess Pat Mukoro of Akara Royal Quarters, Kiagbodo Mein, Delta State, Nigeria, and a cousin of the late Nigerian playwright, J.P. Clark worked heavily on the vocals and added a rich flavour to the singles from her base in New York. This versatile artist from the United States is not new to the scene. She appeared in several plays and dance dramas with Dick Zaigun, the Godfather of Neo-Burlesque and Sideshow revivals, the Creator of the Mermaid Parade and the Coney Island Museum, and the permanently unelected Mayor of Coney Island.
Pat Muko explains that working with SNOO B could be the beginning of more songs from her stable.
Surprisingly, SNOO B collaborated on Mogbo with Danny S and is now ‘Broke’.
”This music reflects the current situation and the struggles of people trying to make ends meet in difficult times. Everyone wants some money. Dating, eating, and caring for the family may have been the most difficult times, but there is still hope. I need to encourage people to work hard and strive for success. If you are poor today, you can become rich tomorrow.
“My mother is encouraging me. Dad is late. I wish he was still alive to hear my music and see how far the choir boy has come as a full-fledged artist,” he said, hitting the drums in his studio as the conversation progressed.
Indeed, SNOO B never has a dull moment. He is very serious about his work and admits that it will be difficult for him to leave, and his interest will suffer as a result.
Gany Aloba Oyemomilara, better known as Aloba Fresh, the third ‘leg’ in ‘Broke, is a talented Nigerian artist. He is the mastermind behind numerous movie soundtracks in the Nollywood film industry.

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