Onoshe Nwabuikwu reviews: Gbenga Aruleba’s slip, AIT owing salaries & more television

by Onoshe Nnwabuikwu

Ngozi Okonjo Iweala

A lifeline for Nollywood

It isn’t every day, help and encouragement comes, especially from government. Just as Nollywood is marking 20 years, there is an added reason to celebrate: The N3b Fund from government. As you must have heard, President Goodluck Jonathan made this announcement two weeks ago at a presidential dinner organised in Abuja to mark 20 years of Nollywood. He also gave the assurance that his administration “will continue to give Nollywood every possible support and assistance to take the Nigerian movie industry to even greater heights of success”. This will manifest through “grants for the best film scripts, a capacity development fund and funds for supporting the industry’s infrastructure”.

First off, we must commend this N3b government lifeline. As I said last week, Nollywood is a strong player in the informal economy in terms of ‘providing jobs to hundreds of thousands of people especially in the boom days’ directly and even more jobs and impact indirectly. Between 2008 and 2010, over 2, 000 films were produced per annum. Plus, Nollywood is worth at least half a billion dollars. The 2012 UNDP/UNCTAD Report put the 2008 value of Nollywood at “N522 billion (USD2.75bn).” Added to this is the cultural dominance that Nigeria has had over the rest of Africa through Nollywood movies. And to repeat another point made last week, there’s the dignity that Nollywood has brought to veterans like Sam Loco Efe, Justus Esiri, Pete Edochie, Enebeli Elebuwa, Olu Jacobs, etc. The can-do spirit of Nollywood has also emboldened many Black people around the world.

I don’t mean to overemphasise but it’s good to remind ourselves just how worthwhile the Nollywood industry is. And to answer those who ask: Why Nollywood? And those who moan about more serious issues that need government’s attention. There is nothing wrong in supporting, ‘encouraging’ or associating with an industry which already employs hundreds of thousands of people and with potential to indirectly affect the lives of millions more. In any case, if all government was doing was using our money to intervene in different areas of our lives, who would complain?

There’s also the issue of a previous N32b ($200m) Entertainment Fund of which only N766 million had been disbursed. Obviously, it is hoped that lessons have been learnt on government’s part going forward with the new fund. Practitioners also ought to be assured of the ‘newness’ of this new fund and should grab this opportunity with both hands as soon as it’s launched and modalities are released.

Even more important is the fact that this N3b Fund will be administered by the Ministry of Finance under Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The Ministry of Finance obviously means business. ‘Hard-nosed’ is the best way to describe their approach to this new fund. And following from the experience and success recorded in the YOU WIN (Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria) project, the Ministry of Finance is a good position to deliver.

Rita Dominic

The Meeting gets six AMAA nominations

The nominations for the 2013 Africa Movie Academy Awards, AMAA were announced last weekend in Lilongwe, Malawi at a ceremony hosted by the Malawian President Joyce Banda. Out of 328 entries up from 220 in 2011, 34 were feature films, 88 short films and 57 documentaries.

‘The Meeting’, directed by Mildred Okwo and produced by Rita Dominic which opened to great acclaim late 2012 received six nominations: AMAA 2013 Prize for Achievement in Costume Design, Achievement in Make-Up, Best Nigerian Film, Best Actress In A Supporting Role (Linda Ejiofor), Best Actor In A Leading Role (Femi Jacobs) and Best Actress In A Leading Role (Rita Dominic).

Obi Emelonye’s ‘Last Flight to Abuja’ also scored big with nominations in five categories: AMAA Prize For Best Film By An African Abroad, AMAA Prize For Achievement In Visual Effects, AMAA Prize For Achievement In Sound, AMAA Prize For Achievement In Editing and AMAA Prize For Best Film.



Re: Grand Square’s No Change Policy

Short of squealing with excitement that someone else actually noticed and takes an exception to the “Grand policy” perfected by Grand Square to tactically rid customers of our entitled change after we have gone the extra mile to first of all, choose to shop there, out of all available options and duly pay for our goods as tagged without haggling over the prices. It might be argued that the shop owners did not lay down such a policy but for as long as they allow their attendants to engage in such demeaning practice, they are 100% liable. It is downright offensive and I’m glad you took it up. Let’s hope somebody related to the sister of the wife of the brother to the uncle of the shop owner has read this piece and will kindly help us pass on the message.

The part B of the same offence is a variant of that particular art, this time by the security men at Grand Square who rather than retrieve your receipt for the standard security checks, prefer to reach for your change instead, under that same gospel of the change being too little for you to take home considering you’re through with the shopping.

Frankly speaking, it makes shopping at Grand Square a very creepy experience. The security men at Ceddi Plaza have all but perfected the art. They hail, they salute, they bow repeatedly, and it all feels like a crisis! Tipping is something that should be voluntary based on our appreciation of the value and quality of service rendered. It should not be coerced under any guise. Well-done.

Nice piece about Eku’s presentation skills. You’re right, it would be traumatic attempting to cite examples of other presenters/talk show hosts who make us feel all choked up and suddenly claustrophobic just from watching them…

Inimfon Etuk

[email protected]


  • Money Drop exposing educational rot

Firstly, I will like to commend you on your page. I look forward to buying This Day to read your page and watch what you recommend ONLY and AVOID all you condemn. I have gone into production and look forward to reading your reviews of my pending work.

As for the matter at hand I crave anonymity and I write out of frustration, shame and sadness and wonder what you think. The programme ‘The Money Drop’ coined after the ‘Million Dollar drop’ in USA and ‘Million Pound Drop’ in the UK is simply a show of shame which showcases the rot in our Educational system. The Minister for Education and other leaders must watch this and hide their heads in shame. I won’t even talk about the lacklustre attitude of the contestants and lack of rapport between them and the presenter but also none with the audience compared to the original shows.

It is the level of intelligence of players that ail me. Take the episode of Sunday March 3. The first question was on who in the Charles Dickens stories ‘wanted some more’! To my shock and horror the couple spread their money between ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘Oliver Twist’! And they proceeded to commend themselves for keeping $60,000! They managed to go home with no money which made me happy. The second set of graduates that came on did not realize that Humans were animals and didn’t also realize that ‘Yuan’ was a currency still in existence!!!

After watching, I was depressed. Just when you think perhaps things are not that bad you realize they ARE really bad.

Thanks for giving me platform to vent on one of my greatest passions…TV!

*** I decided to publish this mail just to make a few points. Don’t see why this reader wanted to remain anonymous. Still on Money drop, last week, a friend lamented about how some contestants thought red was the colour associated with envy. Remember ‘green with envy’? The rot in our educational system is actually worse that we think. No one has a true picture of just how bad things are. We ought to push for real solutions instead of allowing ourselves the luxury of being shocked each time we are confronted by the sad reality ‘Oga At The Top’?


This will be of interest to many people here’.

-Gbenga Aruleba commenting on plans by the House of Representatives to criminalise non-payment of salaries, AIT Focus Nigeria, Thursday March 7, 10 am-ish

 There’s no grammatical error or ambiguity in the above statement and Gbenga caught himself in time to correct the impression that he’d meant many AIT staff were going to be unduly ecstatic about the impending law. Hmmm. Or as OBJ would say: I dey laugh o.

It’s not a big secret that Nigerian journalists are generally not well-paid. Worse than that is another rather open secret which is that some media houses do not see the payment of salaries as top priority. Unfortunately, you’re not going to see, hear or read that anywhere. After all, journalists like to say ‘dogs do not eat dogs’. In any event, journalists are too busy going after real and imagined corrupt government officials and getting all self-righteously worked up to notice the little matter of unpaid salaries, sometimes for as long as six or more months.

As for Gbenga Aruleba ‘slip’, as the Bible says, from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. That which is tucked away in our hearts may sometimes ‘slip’ out. But Gbenga’s correction only drew more attention than if he’d just carried on.



Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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