Uduak Isong Oguamanam is a talented writer and movie producer. With several screenplays to her name including A Piece of Flesh, Entanglement, Ekaette, Edikan, and Timeless Passion, she also produced the deeply moving Kokomma, the rib-cracking Okon Lagos and its sequel Okon Goes to School, and the riveting ROK series Desperate House Girls, a spin-off of the movie of the same title, all written by her. An alumna of the University of Ibadan where she studied Communication and Arts/Russian Language before proceeding to bag a master’s degree in New Media and Society from the University of Leicester, UK, Uduak Isong Oguamanam also has a diploma in French from Alliance Francaise. I had 10 questions for her. Read the interview HERE.
7 Mistakes Great Screenwriters Do Not Make
I love Nollywood. I’ve loved Nollywood since the days of Igbo movies subtitled in English, all the way to the days of Glamour Girls and True Confession.
The repeated pairing of Liz Benson & Sola Fosudo and Emeka Ike & Genevieve Nnaji could not quench this love, nor could soundtracks that told the entire story drown it.
I loved Nollywood when Stella Damasus was the most beautiful flower in the field, and nobody could cry like her, lip trembling and nose quivering. I can’t forget When the Sun Sets (I still have a crush on Bob-Manuel Udokwu!) because it introduced Kate Henshaw to us. I recall with fondness Ramsey Noah’s début role as “ajebutter” in Silent Night, the days when Segun Arinze was “Black Arrow” in our home. I watched with delight as Jim Iyke evolved from playing the useless drug addict who was always a thorn in his wealthy father’s side, to playing an utterly believable lover boy over and over again; my favourite is still his role as Lucky in Unforgettable with Rita Dominic.
I love Nollywood even more now that we’ve seen The Meeting, False, Kokomma, Falling, Mr & Mrs, Torn, Apaye, The Visit, The Wedding Party and many other movies we’ve thoroughly enjoyed, and are proud of. I love that there’s so much to look forward to.
However, every so often a movie comes along that leaves much to be desired, and you find yourself rolling your eyes, cringing, sighing and wishing every screenwriter would get with the programme already!
After observing screenplays written by the greats, and listening to them speak, it is clear that the major mistakes in such movie scripts are usually variants of one of these.
10 Questions for Adesua Etomi
Adesua Etomi’s fans may never know when exactly they fell in love with her. Was it in Brave, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, or Falling? Chances are we woke up one day and realized that this beautiful, talented actress born in Imo State to a Yoruba mother and an Esan father, had captured our hearts completely.
I had 10 questions for the star, who won Best Actress in a Drama at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, and has her sights on an Oscar someday. Read the interview HERE.
Career of the Week – Abisoye Balogun, Film Makeup and SFX Artist
Abisoye Balogun, who goes by the name Abisoye Circe, graduated from the Theatre Arts department of the University of Ibadan, where she majored in Makeup, with a minor in children theatre. She started Special Effects Makeup in her second year, working on stage play productions, and is now looking forward to building a career in Nollywood. We chatted about her unique career path in this interview.
10 Interesting Facts About Nkem Owoh
It is the rare Nigerian who doesn’t enjoy Nkem Owoh’s work. Not many Nigerian actors have made us laugh as hard as he has; his brand of funny is uniquely his!
Most of us were introduced to him as an actor; little did we know that he had been working in the film industry long before that! Here are 10 interesting facts about the actor fondly called “Osuofia”.
One Truth about Temptation that the Devil Doesn’t Want You to See
I was taught as a child that giving in to temptation is sin, and I know this to be true. I’ve known from my teens that fighting temptation is hard. I’ve learnt from experience that giving in to it made giving in easier next time, whereas overcoming it built my “overcoming muscles” as it were.
But there’s one thing I never really took note of until recently.
Beware, These 3 Things Will Kill Your Love
The jury is still out on whom or what to blame, but given the mix of movies, talk shows, TV series and books that many young people have spent time with, it’s not surprising that there are several myths about love and relationships that people actually take as truth — including me, once upon a time. We’ve heard these things so much that we’ve come to believe them and end up ruining our chances of building real, lasting love. Here are three of the things I’ve heard recently that bring these myths to mind:
“I’m just not excited about her anymore.” Err…that high wasn’t meant to last forever! “A good relationship = great romance” is a myth. Nobody rides on that high permanently, so it’s a huge mistake to think that when the passion fades, you’re not in love anymore. Many people leave a relationship at this stage and get into another one where, of course, this new person gives them that emotional high they’re looking for. Read more…
No, No, No. If It Aint Working, Move On
A few weeks ago, before Christmas, I did a very silly thing.
It was two days before Christmas and I had gone to my stylist’s hoping she would be free to twist my hair as this was the only free day I had. Unfortunately when I got there, she was just starting someone’s hair so she asked me to wait, promising that it wouldn’t take long.
I always carry something to read everywhere I go, so I figured I could manage the wait, since “won’t take long” to me meant about an hour. One hour passed and I was still there. Read more…
Guest Post: Beware the “Little” Vices
It’s amazing how Hollywood binds audiences to the characters in movies. It remains the most stellar and surreal of art forms. Movie directors are able to infuse those characters into our subconscious and we inevitably have such a tryst with them that years on it is impossible to break away. Who could forget Michael in The Godfather and our journey with him as he morphed from naïve young son to god of the mafia? Don’t we all remember our walk with Frodo as he made his way through the middle Kingdoms in the Lord of the Rings? Or Walter Whyte as he moved from victim to victor to villain in Breaking Bad? I would be the first to admit my fragility when it comes to the force of Hollywood’s storytelling.
Consequently, Hollywood has become for me a true source for inspiration in all fields. Neo in The Matrix taught me the power of self-belief, Charlie Simms in Scent of a Woman taught me loyalty, and Michael Glass in Basic Instinct 2 was a perfect physical example of “Let him that stands take heed lest he falls”. What’s not to love about Hollywood? Even scripture is visualisable (and that’s not speaking about the false Noah with Russell Crowe).
One of the finest lessons I have learnt though is the danger of permitting “little” vices. And the most recent example of that is Peter Russo in House of Cards. A fine young Congressman from Philly, Peter has the energy and passion to become the President of the country and yet, he struggles with alcohol and women. At the cusp of his finest moment, he flunks a radio interview as he is inebriated and becomes so broken by the pain he has caused his family that he eventually ends up dead (let me spare you the details). As usual, I am gutted by his death; it seems like I have lost a real friend. How could he not show a bit more discretion the night before a major interview? How could the love of a glass affect his judgment so significantly?
As someone who has known a thing or two about dealing with “little” vices, I can relate to the battle Peter fought and lost so spectacularly. “Little” vices may be permitted by the mediocre soul without much consequence but they are the difference between glory and shame for the one who dreams of greatness. Like little serpents, they do not make their presence known, do not disturb, show up only once in a while and grow in size with every indulgence. From hiding in a corner of the room, they eventually sit behind the door, then they share the bed, then they grow so large until they seize the room. Eventually, they push the subject into the cold and leave that soul weary, alone and wrecked.
There are not many graver errors to be made in a life than to allow these vices have a place in the room. A Hitler-like ruthlessness has to be applied to them. They must be killed at every notice, they must not be allowed to fester, or be granted accommodation. Occasionally, good souls are tempted to think that a small vice may be permitted but that is as safe a ground to stand on as the head of a python. Little vices were Samson’s undoing and Judas’ hell. No soul should suffer them to coexist.
These vices show up in different forms- drugs, alcohol, sex, power, greed, naïveté, sloth, scorn, vulgarity, vengefulness, etc. In fact, if a full life is one that comprises mastery, decency, compassion, worship and graciousness, a vice is would be anything that takes away from your capacity to live such a life. What more? They don’t always start off presenting much of a problem. The casual heart will not take note but the watchful soul will soon begin to identify them. The best identifier of a vice is the feeling of helplessness that comes when it craves expression. It is the worst feeling ever, knowing the good to do and being unable to do it. Ultimately, such a path leads on to regret, depression and ill health.
Thankfully, it isn’t a peculiar fight. Most humans fight one or the other and many win. Make no mistakes about it; it is one which in many cases has to be won daily. But victory is possible and a fight against the vice should begin with the knowledge that it can be defeated. Three simple steps can provide the support needed for an effective fight.
Talk to Someone- A confidant would be great, preferably someone with a bit more experience on life, either by reason of their age or vocation; or simply someone who is important to you. Sharing the challenge is a critical first step to winning. Because of the relationship between you and this person, you are better able to weather the storm and commit.
Take Responsibility- There is nothing more frustrating than an uncommitted soul. Dealing with a vice means standing up daily and ensuring you don’t get beat. It means building an atmosphere that supports your goal; it means devising strategies to nullify the impulses. The creation of the right atmosphere would more often than not simplify the task. How exhausting would it be to try to deal with an alcohol vice by hanging out at the bar every day?
Focus on the goal- As important as strategies are, they are not sufficient enough motivation. The goal has to be the motivation. Imagine having no skeletons in the cupboard, a life free of pesky flies that leave you going nuts; Imagine being in the driver’s seat, living the full life, having none of your free will or power taken away from you; Imagine being in peace with all men, insofar as lies with you of course; imagine having the grace to be able to seize every opportunity, extend kindness to every human being, shine in every situation. If that sounds good to you, then let that be the motivation.
Life’s vices are myriad. They have stolen the dream of many men and women and left them in tatters. No human should have to fall to these. By finding a partner in your fight, being firm and responsible about dealing with them; and focussing on the goal, everyone can get the snakes out. And whatever happens, it is worth remembering that a heartfelt confession to heaven of a stumble is all it takes to get back on the road to victory.
My friend Peter Russo is gone but I am sure the grief will last only as long as it takes to hear Hollywood’s next story.
Osita Egbubine is a believer in the capacity of every human being to lead a fulfilling, purpose-driven life. He is currently pursuing a Finance degree in the UK and tweets via @ositane.