2013 in Retrospect…Entertainment Industry!

As the year comes to a close, there were major events that shaped and further solidified the foundation of the industry in 2013, which include controversies, marriages, new music release, new movie release and deaths in the entertainment industry. In this review, I bring to you the relieve of major events of 2013.

Deaths and Near death experiences
One of the unforgettable events of 2012 was the demise of veteran actor, Enebeli Elebuwa popularly known as Andrew, who check out on December 4, 2012 after being hospitalised in India in a protracted battle with stroke. He was buried in January 2013 in Lagos and one of those that attended his burial ceremony was his contemporary, Justus Esiri who also died on February 19, 2013 of Diabetes. The death of Afro pop singer, Goldie on February 14, Valentine’s Day shook the music industry to its root. The 31- year old died of migraine and some health complications after a trip abroad. Her death may have rallied the female singers together as they decided to look after each other.
Veteran Juju star, Fatai Rolling Dollar passed away on June 1st 2013 making him the oldest performing musician at 83. The juju singer died of lung cancer and was celebrated by Chief Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade and Nigerians for his humility and his inspiring grass to grace story. But for well-meaning Nigerians and public out cries, perhaps music producer, OJB Jezreel, Nollywood actors Ngozi Nwosu and Pa Kasumu would have all died. Their health failed them as they all battled kidney failure and had to travel abroad for the much needed treatment after financial assistance came their way. The sad news of the death of Fada U-Turn last month as a result of kidney/heart related ailments should alert entertainers to seek help when they need it apart from living a healthy life.

Celebrity marriages and break-ups
It was indeed a year of marriages for entertainers as many quit the single status. 2013 witnessed long time lovers both in the music and movie industries finally getting hooked. Although it was not without controversies, especially with the rumour of neglect and infidelity in some quarter, even as lots of them got hooked. On March 23rd, 2013 Tuface got married to his long-time girlfriend and baby mama, Annie Macaulay in a traditional marriage at Uyo. She was the chosen one among Tu Face’s three women. A well-attended celebrity wedding was held in Dubai months later. Peter Okoye of Psquare wedded his baby mama, Lola Omotayo in November and is set to have his church wedding along with his twin pop star, Paul in early 2014.
Nollywood darling star, Nse Ikpe-Etim also got married quietly to her long-time friend, Clifford Sule, a UK based lecturer. Segun Arinze’s ex-wife, Ann Njemanze got married surprisingly after 16 years of divorce.
Hip-hop Queen and Mavin’s first lady, Tiwa Savage also got married. Tiwatope Savage got wedded traditionally to her manager, Tunji Balogun (Tee-bliss) amidst fanfare in Lagos.
However, actress Funke Akindele’s marriage sadly crumbled like a pack of card within a year of marriage. Another role interpreter, Uche Iwuji’s marital life hit the rocks over reports of infidelity on her part. After rumours of Monalisa Chinda’s entanglement with Joseph Benjamin, they finally got married in a quiet wedding after her divorce from her ex- husband over abuse. Nollywood actress, Stephanie Chijioke married her beau Frank ‘Arab Money’ Wagbara on August 3rd at Umudim Ohekelem in Ngor Okpala LGA of Imo State.

Sickness and Deaths:
The year 2013 was not a beaming year for the industry because it recorded lots of sickness and deaths both in the music and movie industries. It was a major challenge that affected the entertainment industry this year. Though industry watchers say it was due to the neglect from the bodies responsible for taking care of the industry but fans and other entertainment followers say it was due to their care-free attitude. There were lots of such misfortune but one of the saddest being the death of music maestro and grandfather, Pa Rolling Dollar who died after a protracted illness. In less than seven days, four people in the entertainment industry died.
First, it was Lugard, a former Lagos AGN secretary that slumped and died at the National Stadium in Lagos at about 5:30pm. By 7:30pm, Goldie died same day (February 14). The next day, an Abuja-based actor, Colins, died and Nollywood veteran actor Justus Esiri also died after battling long ailment. It was really sad to know that many veteran actors and musicians passed on including young and promising actress, Bisi Komolafe, a young and beautiful actress prominent in Yoruba movie was reported dead on December 31. The reports indicated that the actress died at the University College Hospital, UCH where she was admitted for weeks after complications resulting from pregnancy.
One of Nigeria’s best music producers and composers, Babatunde Okungbowa popularly known as OJB Jezreel was down with kidney failure and needed about N15million for a kidney transplant in India. A donor was found, and after several donations from colleagues from the industry the procedure was carried out and reports had it that he is already back to Nigeria.
Good, funny and awesome:
Ngozi Nwosu returns to movie screen after a battle with kidney disease just as airport securities denied Juliet Ibrahim of flying because of her spikey shoes. Osita Iheme encores Michael Jackson’s thriller dance as Ini Edo debuts new “Tomboy” look for a new movie.
Rita Dominic gets paradoxical; “I look at the camera for a living. Halima Abubakar goes global with launch of new website. Pete Edochie dispels death rumours; “I am hale and hearty.” I am working on a new single titled Fever and cancer awareness song. Steph-Nora Okere debut syndicated TV show as Mercy Johnson pre-birth movie “Baby Oku” debuts.
Veteran actor, Sam Dede was appointed director general of tourism and Tonto Dike was dubbed the most controversial actress of 2013. Kim Kadashian Was $500,000 richer in Nigeria, too much money for Kim K to spend.

Achievement controversies:
List of most bankable African artistes released by Channel O and Forbes African Magazine.
The last few days have shown that no one can undermine the power of the spoken or written word. Who would have thought that the word, “bankable,” which simply means, “guaranteed to bring in money,” can generate so much controversy as witnessed recently? This is after the meaning of the word and context in which it was used had been misconstrued.
When Channel O and Forbes Africa magazine released the list of Top 10 Most Bankable Urban African Artistes, little did they know that it would cause a stir. On the list, which is, predictably, dominated by Nigerian artistes, such as Don Jazzy (No. 2 on the list), P-Square (3), D’Banj (4), Wizkid (5), 2face Idibia (6), Ice Prince (9) and Banky W (10), are Africa’s most bankable stars.
The number one spot went to the Senegalese international super star, Akon. According to the authors, the criteria for selection included endorsement value, popularity, show rates, sales, awards, YouTube views, appearance in newspapers, investment, and social media presence, among others. The ‘uproar’ appears to be fuelled by the fact that some fans and music critics who are yet to come to terms with the final cut, think the list had to do with just how much money the artistes have in their bank accounts. Some failed to read between the lines and put into consideration the fact that other factors came into play besides jewellery, cars or gadgets, which these artistes display on their Twitter, Instagram or Facebook accounts.

Nollywood grants/loans
The presidency made a good decision by recognising the impact of Nollywood, the movie industry and setting aside a 3 billion Naira grants for capacity building of movie makers. This was announced in a presidential dinner held to celebrate Nollywood at 20 on March 3, 2013 and since that time; 150 million naira had been given to different movie technocrats by the Ministry of Finance as widely reported on November 20. Kudos to Dr Ebele Goodluck Jonathan for that.
Music Stars multi-endorsements
2013 could be said to be a year of endorsement personally for music stars. Just as Glo mobile dropped some Nollywood stars from its endorsement program and artistes like Omawumi, Bez, Flavour, MI, Waje, Naeto C and Burna boy were enriched as brand ambassadors. MTN took others like Don jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Chidinma, Lynz, Wizkid, Davido, Kcee, Iyanya, Praiz and D Prince under their wings as Nollywood actors looked on in envy. Later Etisalat also decided to bring Olamide, Seyi Shay and Ice prince as brand ambassadors in what was a mouth-watering offer for the rising star rapper. The corporate world like Zinox Computers, Konga.com, Samsung decided to embrace music stars like, Iyanya, Omawumi,Banky W respectively as they all smiled to the bank.

Many artistes dumped Record label/Groups
Sean Tizzle walked out of Naija Ninja group headed by Sound Sultan on July 15, 2013 in what almost led to a legal tussle but was later settled amicably. Presently Brymo of Chocolate City has gotten his hands tied from releasing a new song under another record label after he parted ways with his former label illegally. Wizkid also got his freedom after leaving EME and starting his own Starboiz but a renegotiation of contracts may have persuaded him to still pitch his tent with Banky W-led Empire Mates Entertainment.
Wande Coal in an astonishing manner dumped his record label, Marvin Crew headed by Don Jazzy on November 5 after brickbats between the duo over ownership of a song as Don Jazzy went to the social media to bare his mind.
Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria BON and its partners may have banned the playing of songs of artistes under Collecting Society of Nigeria COSON on December 3, 2013 but a reconciliation process brokered by Nigeria Broadcasting Commission NBC, hopes to bring things to order.
In all the entertainment industry has been upbeat and 2014 can only get busier or messier depending on how the actors play their roles.
Stay informed, follow me on Twitter; @realOlatomirin

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