The Guardian (Nigeria)

Clem Ohameze

-

At a time, Clem Ohameze was one of the most sought af­ter ac­tors in Nol­ly­wood. A rest­less spirit who is al­ways a lead actor in movies, it used to be a com­mon say­ing among most movie mar­keters that a movie is a best seller once Clem Ohameze fea­tures in it.

A gifted per­former, who de­scribed his en­try into the turf as di­vine, Ohameze, star of Es­cape, Divinepun­ish­ment, Stub­born Grasshoppe­r and many other ti­tles, stud­ied Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion at diploma level and later, So­ci­ol­ogy at the Univer­sity of Port Har­court. He had barely spent some years as a grad­u­ate and had only started life as a busi­ness­man and con­trac­tor when he de­vel­oped an un­quench­able pas­sion for act­ing. Al­though, he said he knew he

could act, Ohameze ad­mit­ted that he never had the chance to en­gage the act­ing run way un­til he met Madu Chik­wendu, his school­mate at the Univer­sity of Port Har­court and for­mer Pres­i­dent of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Movie Pro­duc­ers.

Ar­guably, no one has much to do with Ohameze’s emer­gence as an actor than Chik­wendu. ‘It was he (Chik­wendu) who fa­cil­i­tated his par­tic­i­pa­tion in the movie by Hints­magazine ti­tled: Mil­lion­aire­sare­saints. Since then, Ohameze’s story changed. The de­ci­sion to join Chik­wendu on the set of Mil­lion­aire­sare­saints marked the be­gin­ning of the road to star­dom for Ohameze, who is near six feet tall. He walked from the set of that movie to grab other stage cred­its. In each, Ohameze proved that he was a strong char­ac­ter to tell a story with some touch of verisimil­i­tude.

To­day, the so­ci­ol­o­gist, turned actor, al­though miss­ing in ac­tion, is still re­garded as one of the most suc­cess­ful ac­tors in Nol­ly­wood. Be­fore now, Clem en­joys mass ap­peal within and out­side Nige­ria. He was also a dar­ling of the Nige­rian movie pro­duc­ers and mar­keters. Or how else could they ex­plain why there will be a Clem in about eight out of 10 movies that would be re­leased in Nol­ly­wood back then. Clem needs a few call-ups and he will re­tain his po­si­tion as one of the best, brightest and busiest ac­tors in Nol­ly­wood.

Jen­nifer Eli­ogu

De­lec­ta­ble and smooth talk­ing ac­tress, Jen­nifer Eli­ogu is miss­ing in ac­tion be­cause she has found a new pas­sion - singing. Jen­nifer runs a band where she fea­tures as the lead singer. So, she hardly has time to be on lo­ca­tion as she is al­ways on tour per­form­ing with the band. But the ac­tress and singer who was born to a civil ser­vant whom the Eli­ogu’s nick­named ‘Ghadaffi’ for his strict­ness, de­clared re­cently that she was still avail­able for roles as an ac­tress even though she agreed that ‘mu­sic and singing’ has taken a bet­ter part of her ca­reer. Ami­able and un­pre­ten­tiously friendly, Jenny’s de­ci­sion to ex­plore her in­nate act­ing tal­ent has ac­counted for her emer­gence as a fix­ture in the home movie scene.

Her de­but as a screen ac­tress was on the set of Houseon Fire star­ring Glo­ria Nor­bert-young, nee Anozie and Charles Okafor. It took the re­lease of the two part di­dac­tic movie Houseon­fire for Jenny to cut a swath among Nol­ly­wood’s big time pro­duc­ers and to belch out wide for recog­ni­tion. Ar­dent fol­low­ers of the movie thought that a watch­able ac­tress had joined the turf.

A critic had named her the movie in­dus­try’s ‘new kid on the bloc.’ For him and a few others like that, there was a star in the mak­ing in the old pupil of Um­brella Nurs­ery and Pri­mary School, Apapa, La­gos. In­deed, there was some­thing dis­arm­ing and af­fa­ble about her act that made quite a lot of peo­ple de­velop an ad­mi­ra­tion for her.

Just that ap­pear­ance and two others af­ter it and Jenny was al­ready the new­est hit. Since the ur­bane and un­com­monly charm­ing ac­tress of nu­mer­ous cred­its took the de­ci­sion to en­gage the act­ing run way, Jen­nifer has steered her­self al­most ef­fort­lessly up to the top rung.

Many still hold the view that out­side her se­duc­tive looks and her good dic­tion, Jen­nifer added a bit to the beaten track and in­ge­niously em­bel­lished her act and that has un­doubt­edly earned her a top rat­ing among the in­dus­try’s screen sirens. Her fans want her back soon to light up the screens once again.

Lari Wil­liams

Even though the vet­eran actor, Ba­balari Wil­liams is still very much around, the fact re­mains that the Lon­don trained jour­nal­ist, poet and actor has been miss­ing in ac­tion for some time now and fans still want to ex­pe­ri­ence his depth of char­ac­ter in­ter­pre­ta­tion. The last time the actor was be­lieved to have done any se­ri­ous work in the movie is about eight years ago. But he is still very much around. Sources said he shifted base to Cal­abar, Cross River State at a time when he was en­gaged to teach at the Depart­ment of The­atre Arts, Univer­sity of Cal­abar. Ear­lier, Un­cle Lari, as he is fondly called, had served as a vis­it­ing lec­turer at the La­gos State Univer­sity (LASU).

Larry Koldsweath

It is amaz­ing how the vet­eran actor and mu­si­cian, Larry Koldsweath took the back seat in movies. Here is one actor that was the pro­ducer’s favourite in the nineties and even up to the early 2000s. He is the one who is al­ways good enough to play the un­cle, the daddy, the de­vi­ous char­ac­ter or the vil­lage chief. But that was back then, as Larry has not done any sub­stan­tial work in re­cent times. Those who have been fol­low­ing his ca­reer say he may have de­cided to de­vote more time to his new call­ing as an evan­ge­list.

They say Un­cle Larry, as he is called by younger ac­tors, ministers more at Church events and now has lit­tle or no time at all for act­ing. But, they add that it is not to say that he has quit act­ing en­tirely.

Mau­reen Solomon

She is one ac­tress who dom­i­nated the scene for some time. She was do­ing well, grac­ing six out of ev­ery 10 pic­tures but took the back seat when it was ru­moured that she has found the love of her life. Her last ma­jor ef­fort was in the three-part movie Snakegirl fea­tur­ing Emeka Ike and Ladi Joy Tortey.

She was ru­moured to be heav­ily preg­nant at the time of shoot­ing. She was re­port­edly de­liv­ered of her baby af­ter shoot­ing and since then she has been miss­ing in ac­tion. A source say she is plan­ning a big come back soon and she is likely to up­stage quite a lot of ac­tors when she stages the planned come back.

Ken­neth Okonkwo

The Enugu born actor is a grad­u­ate of Busi­ness Man­age­ment from the Univer­sity of Nige­ria Nsukka (UNN). He was among the early ac­tors that made waves in the movie in­dus­try with Living­in­bondage, where he played a ma­jor role as Andy.

Af­ter some years in the in­dus­try, Okonkwo, in a de­sire to im­prove his ed­u­ca­tion went to Univer­sity of La­gos to study law. Af­ter his call to bar, he joined pol­i­tics as a mem­ber of the All Pro­gres­sives Con­gress (APC). It is be­ing ru­moured that he is warm­ing up to con­test the gov­er­nor­ship of Enugu State on the APC plat­form next year.

Barbara Soky

She was among the early di­vas of Nol­ly­wood along­side Omo­tola Jalade and Genevieve Nnaji. She was very young, hot, savvy and had an aura, which made her the toast of view­ers. She hanged around a lot with the rich and fa­mous and was al­ways in the news.

She started act­ing in the 1980s af­ter get­ting a role in In­sid­e­out and went on to team up with Lola Fani-kay­ode in Mir­ror­inthe­sun and then much later, Zeb Ejiro’s Rip­ples.

Her act­ing was not the only thing that made head­lines, her re­la­tion­ship with Dan­ladi Bako, her daugh­ter, Max­ine were also sub­ject of dis­cus­sions. She took a break when fame be­came a bur­den for sev­eral years and sought the lime­light again in early 2000 with Amaka Igwe’s Soli­taire but by then her fame had dwin­dled and the new gen­er­a­tion ac­tors have taken the cen­tre stage.

Liz Ben­son

She could best be de­scribed queen of the Nol­ly­wood along with Regina Askia. Both were ri­vals un­til they bowed out of the in­dus­try. Ben­son made peo­ple look for­ward to movies and her face sold mil­lions of movies. She started act­ing in 1993 fea­tur­ing in For­tunes and re­mained the postal girl for many years be­fore step­ping aside to an­swer God’s call­ing into the vine­yard.

She is now a pas­tor based in Port Har­court. She re­mar-

ried along the line af­ter be­ing a widow for sev­eral years.

Regina Askia

Regina had many things work­ing for her and the world was prac­ti­cally at her feet. She was beau­ti­ful, suave and brainy. With a de­gree from Univer­sity of La­gos (UNILAG) and her crown as Miss UNILAG, Askia had her path charted for her even be­fore grad­u­a­tion. She was meant for the show­biz world and that was where she headed. Af­ter emerg­ing Miss Nige­ria in 1989 (fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tion of Bianca Onoh, the then queen) Askia fol­lowed up with a role in Me­gafor­tunes and was the lead ac­tress in sev­eral movies. She left the show­biz world and went to Amer­ica in the early 2000s and set­tled with her hus­band, Radolph Rudy Wil­liams and had since given birth to two chil­dren. She is cur­rently a nurse in Amer­ica.

San­dra Achums

Call her the movie bad girl and you won’t be wrong. San­dra had her cup of fun filled to the brim and never gave a hoot about what you thought. She was the leader of Team B af­ter the likes of Liz Ben­son and Regina Askia. Once mar­ried, San­dra made the soft sell thrive in her days, be­cause many wanted to know what was hap­pen­ing in the life of their star, who was set to take over from Liz and Regina. It never hap­pened be­cause San­dra re­lo­cated to Ger­many, where she now re­sides and is raising a fam­ily with her hus­band.

Vic­to­ria Inyama

Not par­tic­u­larly the best when it comes to act­ing, Vic­to­ria Inyama made up for it with hard work and off the stage gos­sips for celebrity writ­ers. She was the al­ter­na­tive for San­dra Achums and some­times held her own like in Re­ject­ed­son. She never made the A-list but she made a last­ing im­pres­sion. She left Nige­ria in early 2000 for the United King­dom (U.K.) where she now re­sides with her hus­band.

Hilda Dokubo

Hilda did not travel out and she is not ill, but she just seems tired of Nol­ly­wood. She was one of the fron­trun­ners in the early days of Nol­ly­wood, with stel­lar per­for­mance in Evil­pas­sion,to­talde­sire, and Good­byeto­mor­row, among others. Hilda warmed her way into the hearts of many and she has made an en­dur­ing im­pres­sion. She left the scene to take up ac­tivism and an un­spec­i­fied con­tract job with the Rivers State gov­ern­ment. Hilda was one of those that made the in­dus­try thick, but she now prefers life out­side the lime­light, where there is more peace and per­haps more money.

Ameze Imariagbe

Many still be­lieve that Ameze should not have left the scene when she did be­cause that was when her star was just blossoming. She left in the ‘90s when her ca­reer was just tak­ing off. She later granted an in­ter­view say­ing she had other pri­or­i­ties in her life. Now re­sid­ing in Europe, pretty Ameze was known then as the teary Ameze be­cause she cried so eas­ily in movies.

Ego Boyo

From Check­mate, Vi­o­lated to Keep­ing Fate, Ego Boyo rocked the movie in­dus­try. She was the fine girl with sexy eyes that made most hus­bands re­ceive knocks from their wives when­ever she is on TV. Her per­for­mance was so time­less that we thought she would be on for­ever but Ego had other thoughts. She wanted a world where she would be the one to call the shots. She is do­ing that right now with Tem­ple Pro­duc­tion, the pro­duc­tion com­pany that has been do­ing great pro­duc­ing movies, doc­u­men­taries and com­mer­cials for cor­po­rate bod­ies.

Others who are miss­ing in ac­tion: Ayo Ade­sanya, Franca Aer­nam, Nkiru Syl­vanus, Saint Obi, Sunny Mc Don W, Rita Nzelu, Glo­ria Iyanma, Emeka Ike, Akume Akume, Tony Umez, Pat At­tah, Ge­orgina Ig­webe, Chiege Alisigwe, among many others.

 ??  ?? Benita Nz­eribe
Benita Nz­eribe
 ??  ?? Alex Lopez
Alex Lopez
 ??  ?? Lari Wil­liams
Lari Wil­liams
 ??  ?? Larry Koldsweath
Larry Koldsweath
 ??  ?? Ego Boyo
Ego Boyo
 ??  ?? Clem Ohameze
Clem Ohameze
 ??  ?? Ken­neth Okonkwo
Ken­neth Okonkwo
 ??  ?? Mau­reen Solomon
Mau­reen Solomon
 ??  ?? Jen­nifer Eli­ogu
Jen­nifer Eli­ogu
 ??  ?? Hilda Dokubo
Hilda Dokubo

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria