This is a Nollywood post!

News from the SECOND largest movieindustry in the world, Nollywood, located in Nigeria, Africa!


So what is Nollywood, you might ask? Here are some basic facts from Wikipedia:

The cinema of Nigeria grew quickly in the 1990s and 2000s to become the second largest film industry in the world in terms of number of annual film productions, placing it ahead of the United States and behind the Indian film industry. According to Hala Gorani and Jeff Koinange formerly of CNN, Nigeria has a US$250 million movie industry, churning out some 200 videos for the home video market every month. Nigerian cinema is Africa's largest movie industry in terms of both value and the number of movies produced per year. Although Nigerian films have been produced since the 1960s, the rise of affordable digital filming and editing technologies has stimulated the country's video film industry. The Nigerian video feature film industry is sometimes colloquially known as Nollywood, having been derived as a play on Hollywood in the same manner as Bollywood. Most movies are not produced in studios. Video movies are shot on location all over Nigeria with hotels, homes, and offices often rented out by their owners and appearing in credits in the movies. Many Nollywood movies have themes that deal with the moral dilemmas facing modern Africans; abortion, homosexualty, divorce, unfaithfulness etc.

Tonto Dikeh

Tonto Dikeh, also known as Tonto Dike (born June 9, 1985) is a Nigerian actress from Rivers State and is of the Ikwerre tribe. In 2005 she competed against other contestants on a reality TV show called The Next Movie Star; she was the first runner up. She has starred in 51 films but is most known for Rush Hour, Divine Grace, Men in Love and Dirty Secret.

Dirty secrets, tattoos, controversy, glamour and fame. Tonto Dikeh seems to have had a taste of it all. In her first ever magazine cover interview, Tonto Dikeh has a no-holds barred conversation with Shile Shonoiki, revealing who she truly is.

Tonto Dikeh’s rise in the Nigeria movie industry has been quite spectacular. From a runner-up in the reality TV show, The Next Movie Star, Tonto has increasingly grown in popularity, earning numerous movie credits. Born 9th June 1985, the Rivers State native has been tagged as the new Nollywood’s Bad Girl.

Tonto’s Dirty Secret

Although Tonto Dikeh has starred in several Nollywood flicks including Missing Rib, Last Mission, Secret Mission, Rush Hour, Final Hour, Fatal Mistake, Family Disgrace and Plain Truth, unarguably her 2010 role in Dirty Secrets has drawn the most controversy. A sexually explicit movie, Dirty Secrets drew a lot of knocks from the conservative Nigerian public. And most of this anger was directed at Tonto Dikeh. So why did she even take that role, knowing it could cause a lot of ripples?

‘Well, I took the role because I am an actress and when I see a good script, I love to identify with that script. I think it was a good script and was being played out very well, which I why a lot of people have problems with it. As for the controversial part, I didn’t know the movie was going to cause so much controversy. But well, the controversy helped the movie and it came out really good.’

Tonto has once been described as a ‘slave to her character.’ She takes her movie roles quite seriously. Indeed she does not joke with her job. ‘My job, you can consider as my life. I love my job so much. I’m passionate about it because I would not want to be tagged a failure. I left a wonderful profession for it. So it’s not about the movie; it’s about what I love to do and what I will be doing and what I am here to stay to do.’ Though other notable actors were in the movie, young Tonto seemed to be the major object of controversy, perhaps due to her dedication to her role.

But Tonto didn’t take all the heat lying down. She fired back at her critics on Twitter, using swear words and drawing another backlash. ‘I think I can remember what I said. Yes, I used a swear word that I shouldn’t have. But I was just expressing my feelings.’

But should her feelings not have been kept apart from her professional life and image? ‘Well, yes, it should be. Okay, I was talking as an artiste. Maybe I used a few words that were not right. But that was not me as Tonto talking. Because, as Tonto, I would have probably ignored everything. They were talking about my work, and I had to reply as an artiste. But left to me, I would probably have kept quiet and watched.’

Tonto insists that she has no regrets in taking on that role, a role that she thinks could not have been pulled off convincingly in any other way. ‘Well, I don’t think I have had any reason to regret. We are artistes, and even though we do not necessarily preach the bible, we preach a message. All these things are part of reality. I wouldn’t want to feel bad for telling the world that this is what is going on. So, no regrets whatsoever.’

But she is not in any way deluding herself. Some people have remarked that Tonto was merely a victim of a badly written script that did not provide enough justification for the sexually explicit acts that the actors had to portray. Though, Tonto does not agree with this point of view, she intends to make better script choices. ‘I don’t see that script as a bad script. But of course, I carefully chose my scripts after that. Nobody plans to make the same mistake twice; I’ve done it once, I mean. Yeah, I choose my scripts carefully now.’

Nollywood’s Bad Girl?

Aside from the controversy generated by the movie, the tag of ‘Nollywood Bad Girl’ seems to be sticking to Tonto. This isn’t far-fetched: Tonto is seen as a sex symbol by many of her fans. Her movie roles have largely portrayed a sexy or feisty character. She has several tattoos and doesn’t hide them. Her jovial and open-minded attitude on the online social networks has also given many people access to her; her Facebook page has more fans than that of any other Nollywood actress and she enjoys a huge following on Twitter. But did Tonto deliberately set out to create this image of a ‘Bad Girl’?

‘No! I think that people just misunderstand me. There’s a difference between being bad and doing what you should be doing at your age. This is just me: I’m just a free and open person. So if you consider a free open-minded person who expresses herself, whenever and however, as a bold woman should and you have a problem with her and think that she’s bad, then it’s okay; I like to be that. But I just think I’m just a simple, easy-going, hardworking, fun-loving, God-fearing girl.’

Then the tattoos. Tonto explains what they mean. ‘Wow, I love tattoos! I have like four, but they are a lot. There’s one on my leg; it signifies TEE. A lot of people can’t pronounce my name Tonto, so a lot of my friends call me Tee. I also have this small one on my hand here: just a heart with a star across it. I also have these stars on my neck, connected to what I have down on my body.’

Do the stars signify stardom? ‘No, no, no. It has nothing to do with it. Even when I write, I use a lot of Xs. If you get to read my tweets or a message from me, I always put the Xs. That’s just me. It’s not because of who I am; I’ve just been addicted to it for a while.’

(From Letswowyou)

Facebook: Tonto Dikeh

Mercy Johnson

Mercy Johnson Ozioma, popularly known as Mercy Johnson, is a Nigerian actress. Her breakthrough role was in the movie The Maid (2002) and she won the award for Best Actress in a supporting role at the African movie academy awards in 2009 for her role in Live to Remember. Also awarded the 2011 Future award for Best Actress. She has starred in over 100 Nollywood movies, including Bad Girls, Money never sleeps, Heart of a Fighter, Married to the enemy, The scorpion God and The gods are wise. She is known for being a risky actress, and has taken on roles dealing with homosexuality, feminism, incest and rape.

Mercy has recently announced that she is set to marry Prince Odianose Okojie in August 2011! Here are some news and tidbits about Mercy:

Mercy Johnson's talk-of-the town Bridal Shower

As the wedding of Nollywood actress Mercy Johnson to her beau, Prince Odianose Okojie is getting closer, friends of the actress are said to be planning a talk-of-the-town bridal shower for her. The event, said to be coordinated by an actress friend of Mercy may be the new standard for bridal showers many years to come in Nigeria. Invitation cards are closely guarded and only people in the good books of Mercy are allowed to attend. Attendees must wear a particular designer’s type attire and close pals of Mercy are said to be happy to spend any amount to usher their friend into a blissful marital life. (From gistexpresss)</i>

Mercy Johnson shops for wedding dress in New York

Nollywood actress Mercy Johnson was recently spotted posing with wedding dresses in New York. We really don’t understand the need for Mercy to pose with gowns in an American shop and send the photographs to the media. First, she’s one of the biggest African celebrities and should respect her status and Africa. Being or rather shopping in an American shop shouldn’t be a big deal for someone that millions of Africans worldwide are looking up to. Secondly, aren’t there great cloth-makers in Nigeria? Shouldn’t celebrities use their fame and power to showcase their cultures? (From Nollywoodgossip, view images at the site!)

Mercy Johnson kisses and romances a girl in Lesbian threesome

In her new film, Bad Girls, Mercy Johnson shares a lesbian kiss and is seen romancing two other women:

Facebook: Mercy Johnson

Ramsey Nouah

Ramsey Tokunbo Nouah Jr, (born 16 July 1973) is a Nigerian actor. In 2010 he won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role in The Figurine. He has starred in over 130 movies, including Under the Sky, Heart of a Fighter, London Boy and Bad Boys.

Ramsey Noah: "I Slipped From Grace To Gras"

Nollywood actor, Ramsey Nouah has revealed that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and thus enjoyed all the luxuries of childhood, however that silver spoon later turned into a wooden spoon. The star actor speaking in interview with said, “I was born with a silver spoon and I will still tell you that I tasted the two sides of the coin, silver and wooden spoons. While growing up, things were very rosy for us.”

Revealing further that, he said “As a child, I had all the basic things any child needed. I can remember those days when other children are constructing their kites with paper, broom and glue it with eba, I had my kite bought for me from abroad, all colourful and different from that of other kids on the block.

“My bicycle was different, my toys were not the regular type you see with other kids and just when I was growing to actually understand and feel the real essence of money, it vanished. I became the normal kid on the street with just his pants on,” failing to reveal the circumstances that led to that.

This change, he said, has aided him a lot especially when it comes to acting. “I can blend myself into any kind of character when it comes to acting the role of a rich person or a pauper because I saw it all.”

He emphasized that it is easier for one to move from grass to grace than from grace to grass stating, “I don’t even pray to experience it. It was not a good experience and I would not like my children to witness that kind of life.”

The Glo Ambassador revealed that life has been good to him and can confidently admit that he is rich. He said he is fully into acting and does not ply any other trade. “Nothing else! It's funny but I don't do any other thing aside acting. I act and I get paid and since I started acting in 1990, I have lived my life with the proceeds I get from acting. I don't do any other thing, it's strictly acting and when I'm off, I live on the proceeds that I have saved for days.”

Ramsey Nouah started acting in 1990 but shot to fame through the movie Silent Night released in 1991.

Since bursting onto the Nollywood scene, he has starred in over 60 movies including; Under the Sky, You Must Obey, Rip-Off, The London Boy, Dangerous Twins, Last Wedding and Break Up. (From Newscenter)

Facebook: Ramsey Nouah

Jim Lyke

Jim Lyke is a Nigerian actor. He started acting in 2001, and was crowned Sexiest Man in Nigeria in 2008. He has starred in over 200 Nollywood movies in Nigeria, including Love my way, Life Partner, Scent of a woman and Heat of the moment.

Jim Lyke Reveals Private Agonies

My interview with Jim lyke was by itself a revelation. Among the main actors in Nollywood, Jim lyke until this interview was the one I would confess to not being particularly close to.

The first and only time I had met him was about five years ago, at the Nigerian Consulate here in New York, when the then Consul-General Ambassador Ekong, had a reception for the visiting Nollywood stars of which Jim lyke was one of those feted.

We had a brief civil conversation and that was it - no frills and no thrills. Since 2004, Jim lyke has evolved into becoming one of the most dominant faces in Nollywood- a face that is loved and admired by millions of Nollywood fans across the world. Here in the United States, Jim Iyke is a veritable draw among female fans, especially among the Caribbean community.

A few weeks ago, Jim lyke's manager in the U.S.A. the renowned film producer Courtney Boyd, called to notify me that Jim was in town, and would love to grant my publication-The Diasporan Star an interview. And so, three sundays ago, at an outdoor bar in Mt. Vernon New York, Jim and I sat down for this interview.

As had been widely reported in the media, I was under the impression that Jim lyke was rascally, thuggish and temperamental person that could be unhinged at the slightest provocation. However, the man I met on this sunny Sunday afternoon was a calm and intellectually defined gentleman.

As opposed to the rough and fight- friendly characterization that the media has cast him, I saw a guy that was very measured, reasoned, rational and deeply reflective of issues. The interview started along those angles. I wanted to know from Jim why he has been largely misunderstood and ill defined by the media. "The main problem" he had stated "is the Nigerian media. What they practice is junk journalism. It's garbage. Don't get me wrong, there are some that do great jobs, but a good number of them take delight in undue sensationalism and character assassination. I have always told them to judge me by my work and not by what has been ascribed to me outside of the realms of my work. Instead they continue to harp and emphasize the so-called rebellious and maverick side of me. When there is no avenue for me to redress the wrong, where there is no avenue for me to vent the pent-up anger of the miss-characterization, I let it come out starkly in my dealings with the media. I do have an adversarial relationship with them, because they have simply refused to understand the core of Jim lyke. As I said earlier, there are some people in the media who strike a balance and they make me retain my sanity. There are others who just want to destroy me and put an accent on the negative. I make myself inaccessible to those people. When they can't gain access to me, and that pains them a lot, they resort to all kinds of unsubstantiated innuendoes and speculations."

"Controversy is part of the industry. Many people have problems with the truth. Nigerians are very skeptical people and the media has helped them a great deal in obfuscating my real person vis-vis my roles in the movies. I'm a pioneer in playing violent roles in Nollywood. When I elected to play those roles, I wanted to push the frontiers- to take things to the next level of perfection. I strive to be a perfectionist at what I do facts that are borne out in the manner. I interpret my roles. I'm very consummate and dedicated to my craft, so I push myself to inject elements that others would cringe and be wary of projecting. That has helped me stand out. But the truth however remains that the commodity that is Jim Iyke in those roles is diametrically opposed and completely different from the commodity that is Jim Iyke in real life."

"In real life' the actor continued " I'm an excruciatingly shy person, which explains why I wear sunglasses all the time. My sunglass is a shied. It helps blank out my shy side. People don't know this part, and I'm making this revelation for the first time. You can hardly see me without my sunglasses day and night. I'm a deeply private person and I guard my privacy jealously. It might interest you to know that in spite of my being one of the most celebrated stars in Nollywood, I have no friends in the industry. I don't fraternize with my colleagues, I don't go to their parties, I don' t drink at their designated bars and restaurants, no one knows where I live, and all my cars have tinted glasses. I have won about six awards so far, and I didn't attend any one of them. I usually send my underlings to represent me at those awards. My privacy is sacred. I'm a loner by choice and not by design. Human nature is a very complex thing. You don't know who to trust and be free with-especially if you are in the public eye. The pressure in the industry is so intense and all consuming and you have to find a way to remain grounded. My father and family provide me that grounding and it has come in handy."

Romantic Betrayal

"God! I have been betrayed by people I thought had my best interests at heart, and that has made me withdrawn into my shell further. Women, I once loved and invested profound feelings in, have betrayed me. Some have even gone to the media to say unsavory things about me after the romance ruptured. When some of these otherwise close women betray me, I cry alone. No one feels and shares my pain when I shed tears of loneliness and sadness at such levels of betrayal. Don't get me wrong. I'm no wimp. I just don't cry at the drop of the bucket. But when an otherwise dear friend sacrifices all decency and betrays you so callously, you feel the pain and as human, you allow your emotions to show. What the media does is to celebrate my shortcomings, which we all have, and negate the pain I feel. They write that I need anger management, and that I am arrogant and condescending, but they forget that they have all contributed in making me feel and act that way. What they do is to take away from you, rather than enrich you by their off-mark reportage, and I do not suffer fools gladly. I'm by nature a nonconformism so I'm not going to suck up to the media and pretend all is very dandy while they are savaging me. I will let my anger show, and in a clear and unmistakable fashion too! Does that suggest that I need anger management? No, I don't think so. I'm very altruistic, and I hate to see injustice, be it economic, social, political or cultural. I run an NGO that gives out millions of Naira yearly to people across Africa. I don't amplify those things, but giving, is something that I deeply derive unquantifiable joy in."

On His Playboy Image

"I don't know about being depicted as a playboy. But let me say this: a million women may pass through your life but only one will stick and strike that chord in you. When that one person appears in the horizon, you will know. I appreciate my female fans. They enrich my life. But does that mean that I sleep with every woman who shows an intense liking to me? Absolutely not! As I told you earlier, some women have betrayed me. Some even plant stories about their supposed romance with me, which are patently false. There are more of such stories on the pages of newspapers than the real thing. If I walked into a gathering, I bet you that there would be three to four women there, who would say they had dated me and these are not true. Because of that, I keep my relationships out of the prying eyes of the media and the public. It appears each time my relationship is made public, that affair is jinxed- from that moment, my movements are watched and monitored. If I innocently kissed a lady at a public function, if I said hello to a female fan, the media will report that I'm dating that lady, and the woman in my life may find it difficult to believe that the report was false. I lost a girl I loved dearly under that circumstance. She was a wonderful young woman in the industry, and it was a painful thing to me when that relationship failed. That has been the cross that I have been carrying, and the experience has not been pretty."

(From Allafrica)

Nollywood actor, Jim Iyke, arrested

Nollywood Star actor , James Ikechukwu Asomugha popularly known as Jim lyke was arrested and ordered out of his car for going against laid down rules. The actor who was driving an automobile with tinted Glasses was accosted by men of the Nigerian Police and Federal Road Safety Corps. The law enforcement agents said he failed to comply with the Nigerian Government rule that those with tinted Glasses in Cars should remove them by February 28 2011 across the Country.

Obviously embarrassed by the whole development, Jim Iyke has no choice than to let the law enforcement agents have their way unlike in films where he would have had his way.

Jim Iyke is one of Nigeria’s most popular faces in movies. He is known to have played several gangster roles in movies.Jim Iyke’s profile is also on the increase as far as the most fashionable male nollywood star is concerned. Well travelled and connected, Jim Iyke is also a ladies man any day.In the past, the media has linked him to Steph Nora Okere and Rita Dominic and several others.

(From Nollywoodgossip)



TYFYT AND ~ihe oma diri~