A few days ago, the gossip mill was awash with the news that popular Nollywood actress, Ini Edo’s marriage to US-based businessman, Phillip Ehiagwina, had broken up.
The news was initially received with mixed feelings. But some people, mostly fans of the actress, could not believe it.
Sources, believed to be very close to the couple, said the breakup was due to allegations of cheating and distrust between Ini and Phillip. Also, they accused the groom’s family of aiding the dissolution of the marriage because the actress did not give birth to a child.
Peddling the sad news across the social media, the sources added that the bride’s family had returned the bride price that was paid to them during the couple’s wedding ceremony.
But many people did not believe what they heard until Ini herself decided to open up on the matter. In a message posted on her Twitter page on Thursday, the actress did not only confirm the story that her marriage had crashed, she also went on to refute a rumour that she cheated on her former husband.
She tweeted, “There is a conscious and malicious attempt to tarnish my image. I asked for a divorce from my ex-husband because of lots of irreconcilable differences. I never cheated on him.”
Although it is not known if Ini’s response has silenced some of her critics who have blamed her for the breakup, it is obvious that the erstwhile love birds would have celebrated their sixth anniversary of their marriage next month. The couple got married in November 2008 in an elaborate ceremony that was held in Houston, Texas in the United States.
Unfortunately, a recent twist to the current development appears to rule out the possibility of reconciliation soon. E-PUNCH gathered that, following the breakup, the actress decided to remove traces of her married status from her social media accounts.
Ini’s bio-data on Instagram now bears the word ‘actress’ without ‘wife’. Sources note that while she has reverted to her maiden name and dropped her ex husband’s surname, she was spotted in a few public appearances without her wedding ring.
The breakup, which has been trending on social media since about two days ago, is still being received with shock and disbelief for obvious reasons.
With more than 50 appearances in movies to her credit and a large fan base, Ini comes across easily as one of the most popular actresses in Nollywood. Naturally, her fans and well wishers would be interested in whatever happens to her or become touched by any change in her fortune.
At the outset of her marriage, Ini enjoyed a lot of goodwill, especially from those who had been anxious to see her get married. Not one of this people expected that their icon’s marriage would end up this way crashing in less than eight years.
However, if the crash of Ini’s marriage shook the social media, actress Uche Ogbodo’s brief union with Ato Ubby did not fare better. In just one month, Uche’s marriage broke up to the disappointment of her numerous fans. In an interview she granted an online publication, she claimed that the crash was due to “irreconcilable” differences.
Uche was quoted as saying, “The foundation of the union was based on lies and deceit. Shocking lies. I just want to be left alone to take care of my child. I wasn’t married; I was engaged to be married but as things stand now, the engagement is officially broken due to irreconcilable differences.”
Also, the nation woke up one morning to reports in the media that Pastor Anita Oyakhilome, the wife of celebrity pastor and President of the Believers Love World Inc, Chris Oyakhilome, had decided to divorce him. The reports claimed that Anita was seeking divorce based allegations of ‘adultery’ and ‘unreasonable behaviour’.
Later, investigation showed she actually applied for divorce on the ground that the marriage had “broken down irretrievably.”
Before then, Oyakhilome’s neighbour and leader of the Household of God Church, Pastor Chris Okotie, on June 24, 2012, announced that his second marriage to two-time divorcee, Stephanie Henshaw, had collapsed.
“Stephanie and I are no longer married. We have separated. You can see she’s not in church today. It’s due to irreconcilable differences and you should please respect our wishes at this time because there is no going back,” Okotie was quoted as saying.
Of course, the likes of Funke Akindele and Doris Simeon also, not long ago, had their own shares of marriage breakup.
I’ll be helping five single mothers, says Tonto Dikeh as she celebrates 5M IG followers
Tonto Dikeh, Nollywood actress, singer and humanitarian, says she will be including five single mothers to the list of women who receive child support monthly from her foundation.
The talented movie star made the pledge on Sunday in celebration to the milestone of five million followers on her Instagram page.
Tonto, who could not hide her joy, called on single mothers who have no help from their spouse or baby daddy to send her private message.
According to her, the women would be placed on a monthly payment and added to ‘Tonto Dikeh Foundation’
“In Commemoration of my Instagram Hitting 5million. I Will Be Adding 5single Mothers To The List Of Women (Single Mothers) Who Receive Child Support Monthly From The Tonto Dikeh Foundation @t_d_foundation,” she wrote.
“If you are single and have no help from your spouse or baby daddy? This is for you, We already have 5 and we just about to add 5more…
“This is an initiative By KING ANDRE DIKEH @kingandre_dikeh through the TONTO DIKEH FOUNDATION…#DM ONLY and we will investigate you #PRIVATE SELECTION#WISH YOU ALL THE BEST…#THANKS FOR TOUR IMMENSE SUPPORT TO MY MINISTRY….”
The controversial actress had recently admonished ladies not to sleep with “a large number” of men just to get the new iPhone 11.
‘IBI (The Birth)’, ‘Nimbe’, ‘Dear Bayo’ win UK Nollywood Film Festival awards
‘IBI (The Birth)’, ‘Nimbe’, ‘Dear Bayo’ and ‘Unseen Treasure’, have been adjudged the best films in the UK at the 2019 UK Nollywood Film Festival (UKNFF).
The festival was organized by the UK Nollywood producers’ guild.
Malcolm Benson, president of the guild, in a statement issued on Sunday, said that ‘IBI (The Birth)’ was adjudged the ‘best indigenous (native language) feature film’, and also emerged ‘best feature film 2019’.
‘Dear Bayo’, won the jury’s award, as the ‘Unseen Treasure’ emerged the best in ‘best short film’ category, while ‘Diced’ was declared the ‘best script’.
Benson said plans were in the pipeline to increase the award categories to include ‘best actor’, ‘best actress’, ‘best supporting actor’, ‘best supporting actress’, ‘best director’ and ‘best producer’.
This, he said, would give more recognition to the talents both behind and in front of the screen.
“The UKNFF 2019 has broken its own record set during the first edition; the opening ceremony which took place at Ambassadors Hotel, London Bloomsbury, attended by the industry professionals and stakeholders sold out two days to the event,” the statement read.
“The UK Nollywood Producers Guild promises to secure a bigger venue for 2020’s event in order to accommodate the increasing demand.
“The UK Nollywood Producers Guild will continue to work with stakeholders and play it’s part in bringing Nollywood Producers together, enabling and creating the platforms where ever possible in order to improve standards.
“We will rise above our current barriers if we persist and focus on developing our crafts with genuine commitment to learning from our mistakes, learning from other experts, seeking and working with a good mentor and attending lectures and seminars.
“We will also succeed if we are resilient, avoid being complacent and importantly avoid unhealthy in-fight among ourselves and undue pride.
“We will make our mark and create an industry that will not only make us very rich and famous but also set a long lasting legacy for the next generation of Nollywood filmmakers.”
Benson said Kate Anolue, a Nigerian, who is the mayor of London borough of Enfield and current patron of the Guild, as well as Victoria Obaze, the mayor and speaker of London borough of Tower Hamlet, received certificates of patronage at the festival.
“There were various keynote speakers such as Shantelle Rochester of IDA ROSE Productions, Dapo Oshiyemi, CEO Talking Drums Film Distributions, and Dr Alistair Soyode, CEO of Ben Television,” he added.
“Other key guests are Sandie Bogle from Google Box; Prince and Mrs Mike Abiola, CEO, African Voice Newspaper; Sam Anwuzie CEO, ZAFAA Awards; Uche K of Sendwave, Representative from YANGA TV and CEO of Trumpet Newspaper, Mr Femi Okutubo, among others.”
Benson also said that UKNFF would open its online platform on November 1, in preparation for the 2020 edition to be held in October during the black history celebration.
He urged filmmakers to start submitting their films as soon as the platform opens, while financial and media partners were also invited to engage with the guild for early preparation of the 2020 event.
Tacha announces TeeBillz as manager
Tacha Akide, a former housemate of the just concluded Big Brother Naija reality TV show, has announced Tunji Ibrahim Balogun better known as TeeBillz, as her new manager.
The Port Harcout-based controversial TV star took to her Instagram page to disclose that she is now signed under ‘BillzVizion’, a label owned by TeeBillz, former husband of Tiwa Savage, Afrobeats vocalist.
Prior to the announcement, Tacha had deleted all the photos from her handle.
The 23-year-old Instagram sensation, who was unarguably the most controversial housemate in this year’s season of the show, got involved in a confrontation with Mercy Eke — a situation that led to her disqualification from the house while the latter would later emerge winner of the year’s BBNaija.
Following the controversy that met her disqualification, Billz had promised to turn her into a big brand out of Africa. He had also described her as the Kim Kardashian of Africa and requested to be her manager.
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