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Kissing Kenneth Okonkwo Was Awesome –Chizzy Alichi

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1391789_662599773758710_500519944_nFast rising actress, Chizzy Alichi, tells Ademola Olonilua about her career and how she handles male advances

How did you get into the movies
I have always wanted to be an actress. One day, I was passing by and I saw Actors Guild of Nigeria banner at New Berries Park, Enugu, I went in there and made some enquiries. The next day, I registered and started going for auditions. That was in November 2010. I got my first role the same day I went for an audition.

What was the title of the first movie you featured in

A female friend informed me about the audition, so on getting there, they were almost rounding off. When I got there, the director called me and they auditioned and casted me immediately. Though I was so nervous because naturally I am a very shy person, I tried my best to perform well. They gave me the role principally because of my height. The title of the movie is Magic Money. I was paid N6,000.  I acted alongside Mercy Johnson and Bob-Manuel Udokwu. I was so happy, nervous and excited.

What did you want to become while growing

I have always wanted to be an actress. I used my lunch money to rent films and would stay hungry. I didn’t allow my shyness to hinder me. I was so determined that I even started working on myself like staying in front of a full length mirror to rehearse and also in front of my friends.

What was the experience like playing alongside such big names especially Mercy Johnson
It was a dream come true; it was awesome. I was so nervous and also happy. I couldn’t sleep when I got home because I kept wondering that just after my first audition,  I could be given a role after a week of registration. I really thanked God.

Are you still a shy person

Yes and no. When it comes to the camera, I have built myself around it. I’m no longer shy because I love acting. I do it with passion. But when it comes to my personal life, I am still a very shy girl.

What is your New Year resolution

Well, my New Year resolution is to be a better person and render more help to people and above all work very hard to be a better actress.

What are the challenges you have faced as an upcoming actress

My main challenge has been my education. It is not easy to combine school and acting. Most times, when I have very important things to do in school I will forget about shooting for some time. I will be graduating this year by God’s grace and I will have all the time in the world to shoot movies. There hasn’t been any form of sexual harassment. I have never experienced it. School and time are basically the challenge.

Lagos is the entertainment headquarters of Nigeria. How has it been for you based in Enugu? How do you handle travelling to several places for shoot

It has been good because I school here and most Nigerian movies are being shot in Enugu, Owerri and Asaba. But I will move to Lagos once I am done with school. That’s what I enjoy most. Travelling is one of my hobbies. It is fun, going to new places all the time, meeting new people and their way of life. There is always a story to tell.

How was your first kiss in the movie

I have done many kissing scenes with different actors. My first was with Kenneth Okonkwo. It was awesome because I have always admired him; he is my favourite actor so doing the kissing scene with him was great and as a professional and nice guy that he is, he carried me along very well.

What is the most challenging role you have acted so far, what did you go through

The most challenging role I have acted was the role of a wicked girl who later went blind. It was so challenging because I have a smiling face and I am always smiling. I am also a very quiet person. I had to come out of my shell to do the role. I had to frown a lot and shout at the top of my voice. Also, I had to research on how the visually impaired walk, look and behave in order to interpret the role very well.

How come you are studying Agricultural Engineering instead of Theatre Arts

I was good in science subjects back in my secondary school days. But I have passion for acting. Not everybody that reads Theatre Arts are actors and actresses. It is all about passion and determination, although I will still further my education in that area.

How did your parents react to your acting

My parents are very cool and supportive. They encourage me a lot. I am so grateful to them. Although my elder sister wanted to discourage me, they told her to allow me follow my dream. They are the best.
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To rise fast, can you do a pornographic movie
Never. I can do any role but I can never go nude or act pornographic film. I want to be a good role model and I will marry someday, give birth to kids. How would they feel to see their mother act such a role? My parents support me but not when it comes to pornography. I can dress very sexy, extremely sexy to shoot a movie but not nude or be a part of a pornographic movie.

How has it been getting ‘toasters’ as most men find it difficult to approach tall girls

Actually, most men love tall girls and there are many toasters everywhere I go. Even mere seeing my picture or watching my movies, I get admirers. Most men whether short or tall like tall women. I have heard guys saying ‘she is very beautiful but she is tall’.

How often do you encounter male admirers and how do you handle them

I encounter many on a daily basis unless I don’t go out. I decline politely because I am not a rude person and at the same time, I can’t accept them all.

With your height, are you a lover of heels? Do you wear them at all
Yes I do. I bless God for my life and body. He did a wonderful work. I wouldn’t want to change anything on my body. I love me. I love heels but I am not a heel freak. I just have a few for shooting occasions. I love wearing them.

Do you get preferential treatment from school mates and lecturers because you act? How do they relate with you

Yes. I get preferential treatment, in the bank, shopping malls and school. Most of my fellow students don’t object to my decisions and are always happy to help me with school stuffs. My department is somehow popular and respected because of my acting. At the same time, I can’t misbehave like cheating or have somebody writing quiz for me because I am known. I have to be present to do it myself most times.

Are you in a relationship

Yes, I am and he is not a student.

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Grass To Grace Story Of Tope Alabi

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Tope Alabi was born on the 27th October, 1970 in Lagos State, Nigeria to Pa Joseph Akinyele Obayomi and Madam Agnes Kehinde Obayomi. She is the only daughter out of the three children in the family. She hails from Yewa, Imeko area of Ogun State, Nigeria.

Early life

Tope was a member of the Jesters International comedy group. She later worked with other popular traveling and stage theater groups in both Ibadan and Lagos. She made films in the Yoruba film genre of Nigeria. Alabi later metamorphosed into gospel music after she became a born-again Christian.

Education

Tope obtained her West African School Certificate (WAEC) from Oba Akinyele Memorial High School, Ibadan in 1986. Thereafter, she proceeded to the Polytechnic Ibadan where she studied Mass Communication and graduated in 1990.

Tope Alabi pursued her educational attainment with seriousness and dedication as it deserved.

Between 1982 and 1984 during her secondary school days, her interest in music and drama led her to join the then “Jesters International” (Jacob, Papilolo & Aderupoko) group at Ibadan, it was feom there she got her initial training and experience in drama.

She worked with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Ibadan as a correspondent under the supervision of Mr. Yanju Adegbite, between 1990 & 1991. She also worked with Centre-spread Advertising Limited, Ilupeju area of Lagos in the year 1991 – 1992. After having various work experiences, Patricia Temitope Alabi came back into the theatre Art profession as she joined the prestigious “Alade Aromire Theartre group” in 1994.

There, she was able to distinguish herself as a gifted and talented actress and singer. At Alade Aromire theatre group, Tope Alabi was able to know all the core area of drama and acting profession.

She was involved in various film productions, stage drama and most importantly the soundtrack production with which she is actress in Yoruba Movie industry today.

Tope Alabi has been invited by various writers, producers and directors in the Yoruba movie industry to write and perform sound tracks for their various movies.

She had to her credit to date, about 350 soundtracks which she had composed for various Yoruba movies. It would be of note to state here that Tope Alabi is the pacesetter of soundtracks in the Yoruba Home Video Industry.

Career

On May 21, 2019, Nigerians on Twitter crowned Tope Alabi the queen of Yoruba Language. This was as a result of a competition by the United Bank of Africa in their 70th anniversary celebration.

Tope Alabi has released a lot of albums as well as single tracks.

However, her love for God has made many people move close to God. You can listen to some of her songs compiled in this mixtape. “Best Of Tope Alabi DJ Mixtape.”

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Biography And Life of Highlife Legend, Victor Olaiya

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Victor Abimbola Olaiya (31 December 1930 – 12 February 2020), also known as Dr Victor Olaiya, was a Nigerian trumpeter who played in the highlife style. Though extremely famous in Nigeria during the 1950s and early 1960s, Olaiya received little recognition outside his native country. He died on the 12th of February 2020 at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital at age 89. Alhaji Alade Odunewu of the Daily Times described him as “The Evil Genius of Highlife.

Early life and career

Olaiya was born on 31 December 1930 in Calabar, Cross River State, the 20th child of a family of 24. His parents, Alfred Omolona Olaiya and Bathsheba Owolabi Motajo, came from Ijesha-Ishu in Ekiti State. Olaiya came from a very rich family. His father’s house called Il?ij?s Bar stood on 2 Bamgbose Street, Lagos Island, until it was demolished on 11 September 2016.

 At an early age he learned to play the Bombardon and the French Horn. After leaving school he moved to Lagos, where he passed the school certificate examination in 1951 and was accepted by Howard University, US, to study civil engineering. Olaiya instead pursued a career as a musician, to the disapproval of his parents. He played with the Sammy Akpabot Band, was leader and trumpeter for the Old Lagos City Orchestra and joined the Bobby Benson Jam Session Orchestra.

In 1954 Olaiya formed his own band, the Cool Cats, playing popular highlife music. His band was chosen to play at the state ball when Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom visited Nigeria in 1956, and later to play at the state balls when Nigeria became independent in 1960 and when Nigeria became a republic in 1963. On the latter occasion, Olaiya shared the stage with the American jazz musician Louis Armstrong. During the Nigerian Civil War of 1967–70, Olaiya was given the rank of a lieutenant colonel (honorary) in the Nigerian army and his band played for the troops at various locations. The Cool Cats later travelled to the Congo to perform for United Nations troops.

Olaiya renamed his band to the All Stars Band when they played the 1963 International Jazz Festival in Czechoslovakia.

Olaiya also ran a business that imported and distributed musical instruments and accessories throughout West Africa, and established the Stadium Hotel in Surulere.

In 1990, Olaiya received a fellowship of the Institute of Administrative Management of Nigeria. For a period, he was also president of the Nigerian Union of Musicians.[

Personal life

Olaiya married many wives. He had children and grandchildren. One of his daughters, Moji Olaiya, was a Nollywood actress. He sang with his son, Bayode Olaiya.

Music

Olaiya’s music bridges between Ghanaian highlife and what would become Afrobeat.

His musical style was influenced by James Brown, with horn parts harmonised in Brown’s style, as opposed to the mostly unison lines of Afrobeat. The music includes the swinging percussion of Tony Allen, but not the syncopated style that Allen later pioneered.

Olaiya released an album with Ghanaian highlife musician E. T. Mensah. Both the drummer Tony Allen and vocalist Fela Kuti played with Olaiya and went on to achieve individual success.

In July 2013, Victor Olaiya released a music video remix of Baby Jowo (Baby Mi Da) with 2face Idibia and was received with much acclaim.

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I Want To Proclaim Jesus Globally With My Music – Philadelphia Kes

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If there is one talented artiste that is waiting to explode in the Nigerian music industry, it is Philadelphia Ekesiena with the stage name Philadelphia Kes.

The creative gospel artiste has carved a niche for herself as one upwardly-mobile singer with potentials to be great. Her latest single ‘He Came Through’ is testimony to this, and she is full of more messages on the gospel of Jesus Christ that she promised to disseminate through her music.

In this interview with select journalists in Lagos, the Delta-born singer talks about her love for gospel music, growing up and what she plans to do in the nearest future amongst others.

Tell us more about yourself?

I’m Philadelphia Ekesiena, but my stage name is Philadelphia Kes. I originally come from the southern part of Nigeria, Delta State to be precise. I had my B.Sc from international economics at the Ternopil National Economic University, Ukraine in 2015.

I love good music, fashion, intellectual conversations and honest people. When I’m not singing, I’m surely checking out new fashion styles, trends and all. I have five siblings and I’m the third of six children.

How did you start singing?

I literary grew up in church, joined the children’s choir at a very tender age and became one of the best at the time. While in high school, I still kept at it and during university days was when I knew singing was my thing and decided to do it for real.

Do you play any instruments?

Not at all.

What inspired the title of your song, “He Came Through”?

There was a time in my life where depression, regular mood swings were the order of the day. Then my cousin came up with the song and we co-wrote it; and that was how I was able to really express myself through the lyrics of the song.

How long did it take to write and produce the song?

It took about five years because we had the song since my university days and decided to revamp it four years after graduation.

This is a single. Do you intend to make a complete album so soon?

Yes of course, a couple of other songs are cooking already.

What are your challenges as a gospel artiste and how do you cope with them?

Really, it’s not easy putting out good music I mean the whole process of producing, engineering, promoting. Having to keep up with the financial commitments has been a major challenge but somehow God makes a way and things are sorted.

What other talents do you have outside music?

I’m very good with clothes, fashion generally such that I have plans to set up a fashion outfit soonest.

Do you have any role models either in the gospel genre or music generally?

Yes I do, I love Maranda Curtis, when I grow up I want to be like her. I love Efe Nathan as well, her vocal strength is one which I covet. So I keep working hard every day.

How far do you intend to go in the music industry?

Own or co-own a record label someday where I can sign upcoming artistes to relief them from some of the stress I’m passing through now and music making becomes easier and fun-filled.

What informed your choice of gospel music over secular?

I grew up in church and gospel music is everything I’ve known as a child up until now even though I’m a wide listener and I listen to diverse genres. So yeah, the love for gospel came naturally.

What’s your assessment of gospel music in Nigeria?

Gospel music in Nigeria is still growing; it’s got a lot of potential even across West Africa and the entire world.

What we have so far are a lot of very talented gospel artistes but need help in the area of awareness, promotion, distribution and production.

Oh, you guys are doing that already by exposing me so you need to do that a lot more for others. Radio stations, TV stations and others like that… media houses need to promote us more. That way we will get the maximum coverage. We need exposure; so yeah it’s coming up and we’ve got room to improve but we are doing well.

What gives you joy?

Good music, achieving a set goal, and a couple of other things I can’t mention her.

Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Was there a time when you thought of doing something completely different?

Well, as a child I did music for fun, I didn’t think of becoming a professional someday but I kept sharpening up the craft. It was when I went to the university to study and someday become an economist that I realised that my love for music is beyond just doing it for fun and that I’d like to do it full time, so my undying love for music inspired my decision to go into it fully.

What turns you off?

Lies, deceit, bad smell.

What are the things you won’t be caught doing?

Lying, backbiting, extortion.

The gospel music industry is a bit overcrowded. How do you intend to stand out?

I have a sound I’m set to project, I want to be as original as possible, with that I’m sure I’ll stand out and in turn break even.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself proclaiming the name of Jesus around the world and anywhere my feet step on. I’m sold out to making Jesus famous through my songs as that’s the whole essence of salvation.

You are beautiful; tell us about your ideal man?

Thank you, He has to be God-fearing, intelligent and tall.

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