by Isi Esene
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday hosted Nollywood stars at the State House in Marina, Lagos, yesterday. The event was organised to celebrate the movie industry and appreciate the efforts of Nollywood in positively affecting the image of the country abroad.
The event which was attended my several Nollywood celebrities was said to be a classy affair with the president declaring the acting industry as one of the factors which unites Nigeria alongside music and sports.
In his speech, President Goodluck Jonathan said, “One is sports. You could see how joyous Nigerians were when the national football team, the Super Eagles, won the African Cup of Nations in South Africa. Every Nigerian was proud of the achievement.
“Another is music. Nigerians do not discriminate against one another when they are listening to tunes churned out by our artistes. It does not matter from which part of the country the producer hails from or in what language the song is rendered. What matters is the sweet melody. We are all Nigerians when we listen to it.
“And now very proudly, there is our national global brand, Nollywood. Our movies are now a major item on the entertainment menu of many countries. Nigerians, home and abroad, are very proud of Nollywood.”
“The success of Nollywood shows that there is no denying the fact that Nigerians are a people of great capacity and determination. We have creativity, we have perseverance and we also have excellence in our midst as the accomplishments of Nollywood clearly show,” Jonathan said.
The event was attended by important dignitaries which reportedly included the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and many A-List actors, Genevieve Nnaji, Chidi Mokeme, Aki and Paw Paw, Olu and Joke Jacobs, Segun Arinze, Stephanie Linus, Patience Ozokwor, Zack Orji, Madam Kofo, Desmond Elliot, Chiwetalu Agu, Cynthia Amadi, Amaka Igwe, Dickson Iroegbu, Zeb and Chico Ejiro, Kunle Afolayan, Tunde Kelani, Andy Chukwu and several others.
According to reports, President Jonathan later unveiled a pictorial book titled ‘Icons of Nollywood‘. He promised to put N3bn into Nollywood in order to empower the industry.
[Photo: H/T to Linda Ikeji Blog]