Friday, December 5, 2014

Nollywood is an Awesome Phenomenon - Dr. Chika Onu

Dr. Chika Onu at a film festival in Nigeria.

 The road to the phenomenon called Nollywood has been exciting and awesome
~ Dr. Chika Christian Onu, famous pioneer of Nollywood. 

Dr. Chika Christian Onu does not need any introduction when we are talking about the history of TV and film in Nigeria, because he is one of the outstanding icons as a multiple award winning producer at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) headquarters since the 1980s and scripted some of the best of Tales by Moonlight, Kidivision 101, Cock Crow at Dawn, Mirror in the Sun, Cradle and several teleplays and he was also co producer/director of Cock Crow at Dawn, Mirror in the Sun and the teleplays. He excelled both in the studios and the office from the post of a TV producer to a Controller before the advent of Nollywood that was actually boosted by the professional expertise of proven TV producers and directors from the NTA, including Chris Obi Rapu, the director of the phenomenal Nollywood thriller Living in Bondage of 1992 for Kenneth Nnebue's NEK Video Links. And Chika Onu directed the sequel, Living in Bondage 2 and the Nollywood blockbuster Glamour Girls in 1994 for the same Kenneth Nnebue's NEK Video Links and is celebrating 20 years of his remarkable achievements in Nollywood from 1994 to 2014.

 “The road to the phenomenon called Nollywood has been exciting and awesome. As a debutant in the video film world of Nollywood I treaded with caution as I embarked on the shooting of Living in Bondage Part 2. This chart bursting video piece brought a new sense of direction into the video film culture and has today accorded me an inestimable world recognition as one of the legendary pioneering personalities that rode the triumphant world of make belief, and Eldorado to a city of full realization and unending opportunities.”

Some of the guests at the Nollywood Igbo Forum (NIF) Awards on November 30th, 2014, at the Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
A cross section of the audience at the Saban Theater, Beverly Hills, California for the NAFCA Awards. 
Dr. Chika Onu with Prof. Njemanze of the University of Houston, Texas. 

Dr. Chika Onu with Chima and a friend at the reception in Beverly Hills. 

Chika Onu transcended from the theater graduate at UNN to a renown personality on TV. He then moved into the world of film production/directing on locations before venturing into the theoretical practices of film studies in the class rooms. He is back into the streets exploring the practical realities of film making after his several film courses and conferences here in Nigeria, in the United States, South Africa and beyond. Acting just like directing is also a futuristic attribute of Dr. Chika Christian Onu. His writings are not forgotten as the screenplay, Naked Beauty, jointly executed by Chika Onu and Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima still holds nostalgic dreams in the recesses of the former’s memory and he prays such dreams are soon realized, acknowledged and eulogized to continue the phenomenal metamorphosis of Nollywood in the world of motion picture.

Dr. Chika Onu with his double awards, NAFCA and LANFA. 

Chika Onu has always been an outstanding achiever with numerous awards since he won the first prize in the J. F. Kennedy International Essay Competition in 1973 and went on to excel as President of the Oak Theatre during his undergraduate years at the famous University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) where he was also the Associate Editor of  “The Muse” Departmental Magazine. In 1979 he won the British Council Award for the Best Creative Writer (University Press); Prime Director Award by Video/Film marketers in 2002; Member, Movie Makers Hall of Fame, Abuja in 2006; Pioneer Director Award Best of the Best (BOBTV) Expo, Abuja in 2008 and many other accolades of which the most recent are the 2014 TV and Film Achievement Award by Los Angeles Nollywood Film Association (LANFA) in August and Life Time Achievement Award in Cinema by Nollywood Africa Film Critics Awards (NAFCA), Los Angeles in September. He is also a scholar with a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Port Harcourt where he is a lecturer and recently spent a month at the highly esteemed Colorado Film School in Denver for proficiency in directing.  The film school is rated by the authoritative Hollywood Reporter as one the top 25 film schools in the world.

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