Now the PDP convention is over
I would have avoided the much talked about PDP convention if I could. As an Abuja resident, I thank God the thousands of policemen for the event was not tested. I managed to avoid most of the traffic caused by the closure of roads around the Eagle Square, venue of the convention. But as far as watching it on TV goes, I’m always happy to be the fly on the wall.
The square looked full—presumably with party faithful, decked out in brightly coloured attire. I wasn’t expecting to hear any world-changing speech so I could only entertain myself, seeing as the ruling party hasn’t really improved life very much. Even Nollywood (which Bob Manuel Udokwu, co-compere must have been representing) couldn’t come up with some of the stories and characters that have come out of the PDP. Two ex-governors kicked out of office because their ‘elections’ were proven to be fraudulent have now been rewarded with positions in the party.
Speaking of characters, they were everywhere. Leading the cast were OBJ and Mr Fix It. No, they were not a sight for sore eyes. OBJ seems to have regained some of his power while Tony Anenih didn’t look so mysterious anymore. As someone pointed out, losing out in Edo State can’t be helping him. There was a moment when he was shown talking with an uncharacteristically animated President Goodluck Jonathan. The president was obviously miffed about something and he was going to let Anenih know! Ahmadu Ali was overly interested in unravelling the PDP branded hand fans being shared at the venue. Time was when Ali was like God. No, actually ‘after him, na God’ as ‘Bedel’ people say. And Sarah Jibril (presidential adviser on ethics?) looked very happy. Should Nigerian women thank God there are other female politicians?
There were the obligatory rounds of greetings and ‘eye service’ which just created confusion, which couldn’t have been good for security. Why couldn’t people just stay in their seats? We do this even at closed-door events when walking around only inconveniences other people. But we are so concerned about being seen or talking to some powerful oga, what we are wearing and have the least concern for how others feel. And one very big man who looked like Chief Iwuanyanwu nearly toppled over near the president.
No PDP convention is complete without the ‘fee-dee-fee; ‘fower-to-the fifool-’ moment. A new one: senator as ‘sin-ator’. Usually, at these events our politicians have a look of triumph, like the cat who got the milk or the politician who got the GMG. You don’t see a determined look to improve Nigeria. If it were about Nigeria, why waste all that money on empty slogans? What exactly are we celebrating? And being decked out in agbadas doesn’t communicate an immediate readiness to do anything. I have to agree with a friend who says that any country with the agbada as national dress is not serious.
In the end, my time ‘at the convention’ was cut short by what else, power outage. Pray, does the D in PDP stand for Darkness? I didn’t get to see Bamanga Tukur emerge chairman by consensus. I didn’t also see Mallam Garba Chiza, the 60-year-old national youth leader. But I did hear how candidates were suddenly ‘reconsidering their candidature’. In fact, in one such case, the acting chairman announced without a hint of irony that out of three candidates, ‘a few of them’ were rethinking their candidature. What’s ‘a few’ out of three people?
36 stars make 6 bands
Finally, the thirty six contestants going to morph into six contesting bands in the ongoing Star Quest have been unveiled. Thanks to the well-attended grand auditions two Saturdays ago at Zinnia Hall, Eko Hotel Lagos, the quest is now in full swing. As expected, there were fifty-five hopeful contestants who had passed the first stage of the competition out of thousands of aspiring musicians who had thronged audition venues from across the country.
The task at the grand audition—to further prune down to thirty six—wasn’t as simple as subtracting nineteen from fifty five. Confessing to having seen “the best crop of musical talents from this country” at the grand auditions, Paul Play Dairo, one of the judges, said the elimination process still had to be done. But he insisted that the nineteen were “going home not necessarily because they are not good enough but simply because the standard of this competition is very high. I can tell you here that we just saw. It is so painful but the show must go on”. Well, learning to take and bounce back from rejection is almost the first thing anyone hoping to survive in entertainment must learn. Tomorrow after all is another day.
With Paul Play’s words as guide, the thirty six chosen contestants must indeed be truly gifted. So, how will that affect what viewers see in the rest of the competition? You can go ahead and dream, no one can blame you for being very expectant.
Enter the lucky thirty-six in no particular order: Michael Asuquo, David Akinola, Willy Emmanuel, Chukwudi Okafor, Michael Leramo, Olayemi Obamuwasa, Edim Inyang, Omo Ehigiator, SamueAramogho, Alfred Ayokanmi, Stanley Ogbebor, Osigbeme Oghenakhogioe, Theophilus Otevwogbiku, Princess Eze, Romeo Ugwudike, Elizbeth Afolayan, Vivian Aluebho, Uyimwen Igiehon, Oghenetega Apochi, Amaka Nwoke, Naomi Oboyi, Ewoma Egedi, Chris Aba , Nkem Alfred, Edafe Supply Moore, Omuovakpo Aghomishe, Chijoke Frederick, Nnam Eziechina, Oluwole Omotosho, Bamidele Fatola, Francis Igwe, Udonwa Ogbujah, Daniel Onibudo, Isaac Yusuf, Chinemerem Otti and Nkiruka Chima.
The story of the Star Quest journey has already begun (March 31st) on selected TV stations. Come April 6, there will be a grand performance from the brand new bands at the MUSON Centre, Lagos. Entrance is free.
CBN’s TVC: Cashless or … Clueless?
Have you seen the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’’s TV commercial about cashless banking? A man wakes up to discover the N750, 000 he kept inside his pillow is missing (along with the pillow). A woman, supposedly ‘Cash Madam’ visits and he can barely contain himself in his agitation, understandably. I’d like to think that even a billionaire would miss N750k. But before you can say Dangote or CBN, he’s recovered. All because of some wonderful news about ATMs, etc. from the CBN courtesy of Cash Madam. Then suddenly, this man (who doesn’t particularly look like he has N750 to spare) forgets his N750, 000. Just like that. Let’s call him Mugu A.
The trouble with our advertising is that we don’t stick long enough with the story. If you choose to tell a story or dramatise an idea, you have to stay true to your concept. Otherwise you could just run a straight announcorial. Perhaps an extra model who could’ve learnt firsthand from the Mugu A’s foolishness was called for. Mugu A’s recovery after a N750, 000 loss is as unreal (in real life) as it is unconvincing in the commercial. The CBN may need to have another talk with its ad agency. Or talk to another agency…
GUS winner, Okechukwu on Tinsel
Okechukwu Christopher Okagbue, the 2011 winner of Guilder Ultimate Search, GUS season 8 is the latest addition to the ever evolving Tinsel family on MNET. His character is Emil, son of World Movies ex-chief operating officer (either Duro Onabolu or an uncanny lookalike). Emil looks set to play Angela Dede’s (Matilda Obaseki) love interest. Quite a few story lines need rejuvenating and the Angela storyline needed some new life. I mean, how crazy can one person get?
So far, Okechukwu Okagbue, the University of Lagos sociology undergraduate, is holding his own