Showing posts with label Shaibu Husseini. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shaibu Husseini. Show all posts

Monday, December 20, 2010

How does a stargazer paint a star-studded sky?

Shaibu Husseini

How does a stargazer paint a star-studded sky?

Title: Moviedom…the Nollywood Narratives: Clips on the Pioneers
Author: Shaibu Husseini
Publisher: All Media International Ltd. [for African Film Academy: AFA)
Year of publication: 2010.
Reviewer: Professor Hyginus Ekwuazi

Moviedom…the Nollywood Narratives: Clips on Pioneers
is somewhat like a sponge or a compressed towel. Its inherent absorbent capability vis-à-vis its information density, is, on the whole, remarkable. For neatly tucked into its 166 pages are: 67 biographical sketches of Nollywood stars [13 in Part 1: In the Beginning; 54 in Part 2: Nollywood is Born]; and a roll call of 17 tars [It’s a Wrap!] if we remove the 67 profiled stars in Parts 1 and 2, the balance of 120 becomes the number of stars yet to be profiled. In other words, Moviedom…the Nollywood Narratives is, like Nollywood itself, a continuing project—not necessarily like the typical Nollywood story that is incomplete if it doesn’t run into part 2 and beyond.

This book carries with it the burden of experience—the experience comprising Shuibu’s beat in and around Nollywood and his years as the Chair of the AMAA College of Screeners. However, in no instance does the work sag under such a heavy under. Rather, this rarefied experience has been nuanced into the work in a laidback manner that makes the book as highly reader friendly as it is readable. What more does one ask of a book?

If it is indeed true that every book contains within it the argument for how it should be read, then the subtle argument within these pages is this: a more revealing close-up on the work can result only from the interrogation of two inter-related contexts. In the first place, the broader context of the work—its antecedents, so to say. In the second place, the significance. Since the latter proceeds from the former, both are, to that extent, coterminous.

One needn’t look too far to see all too clearly how Moviedom…the Nollywood Narratives happens to be at the centre of a widening gyre of irony. In the early 90’s, Nigerian filmmakers signed a petition against Jimmy Ate, then the General Manager, National Theatre, for allowing reversal films/home videos to be screened in the cinema halls of the National Theatre—the very same National Theatre in whose banquet hall Nollywood stars gathered on Friday, 17th Dec, 2010] for the launch of this work that is to all intents and purposes a celebration of the home video. And that other blockbuster of an irony: till the middle 90’s the Nigerian Film Corporation [NFC] was still shouting from the roof tops that its statutory mandate didn’t include the video—the very same NFC whose current head and whose one time chairman have been profiled here among the stars of Nollywood.

The point here is that from 1903 when the first movie was shown in the country to 2005 when Nollywood was rated the second largest film industry in the world, the Nigerian film industry has passed through four defining stages: the Colonial Film Unit stage [the cine was the only format and the documentary the major genre]; the post-Independence period [again, the only format was the cine and the feature virtually eclipsed activities in any other genre]; the SAP [Structural Adjustment Programme] stage [the feature continued to dominate but the reversal film took over from the cine]; and, finally, the Post-SAP period [the home video completely took over the industry].

True, in the movement from periphery to social centricity, no single film, not even Living in Bondage, has done for us what The Sound of Music did for the United States. However, its short history notwithstanding, the home video has managed to become the cultural property of us all. It has joined politics and football as the admission tickets into the marketplace of social intercourse.

Herein, then, lies, perhaps, the greatest significance of this work: it provides us the much needed backward glance over the roads we have travelled.

Okome, unarguably one of the leading scholars of Nollywood, is insistent in his argument that the Nollywood film is, in effect, a broad canvass for the social history of this day and age. If we accept this argument, Moviedom…the Nollywood Narratives automatically acquires the value-added significance as the compendium of the films of the period from which this social history has to be distilled.

Two structural factors killed the celluloid film in Nigeria. One: the march of technology which brought with it a rival and cheaper means of making and packaging films. Two: Babangida’s structural adjustment programme which beggared the Naira in the international marketplace—making it impossible to sustain the celluloid culture.

But even while it was thriving, the celluloid was, as it were, wrapped in an asphyxiating blanket of anonymity. For instance, the British Film Institute dossier on the African film, issued in the early 80’s, lists only one non-Francophone filmmaker: Ola Balogun. In contradistinction, the home video is being very adequately documented both in academic studies and in works that target the general reader. An example of the latter that quickly comes to mind is Orji Onoko’s Glimpses of our Stars. Shaibu’s Moviedom…the Nollywood Narratives is spun from the same thread.

It is in the light of the foregoing that we must locate the gaps and dents in the work. Each profile here is like a citation. There is really nothing bad in this; but, to my mind, each profiled personality here would have come alive if only some words had been put in their mouth—if each star had spoken, briefly, on, say, their life value and or on their view of the industry, in the context of their role.

I know it’s arguable—but Nollywood is not unlike the child who stands on the shoulders of a giant and is, thereby, able to see much further than his mates: without the work done by the celluloid filmmakers, would Nollywood have been this big? I doubt it. All I am trying to say is that the tripod of the celluloid period ought to have been included or given adequate space in this work.

The tripod I’m alluding to? Ola Balogun/Francis Oladele [whose works were the first to put Nigeria on the global map of filmmaking]; Eddie Ugbomah [who holds the record for the highest number—13—of celluloid films]; and Hubert Ogunde/Ade Love [in whose footsteps the Yoruba filmmakers of today are following].

If Shaibu’s consistent featuring of Nollywood on the pages of The Guardian on Saturday and Sunday and his painstaking activities in the African Film Academy haven’t by now removed any lingering doubts about his love for the industry, this book should do that. Take it for all in all, Moviedom…the Nollywood Narratives does come across as Shaibu Hussein’s passionate love song to an industry he ardently loves—Nollywood, that burgeoning industry that we praise and cavil in the same breath.

~ Hyginus EKWUAZI
Department of Theatre Arts
University of Ibadan

Friday, December 17, 2010

Top Nollywood Stars grace Shaibu Husseini’s 40th Birthday and movie book launch

Kate Henshaw-Nuttal was a gorgeous MC

Top Nollywood Stars grace Shaibu Husseini’s 40th Birthday and movie book launch

Top Nollywood Stars grace Shaibu Husseini’s 40th Birthday and movie book launch

The ever graceful Nollywood black beauty Kate Henshaw-Nuttal was the mistress of ceremony as the crème de la crème of Nollywood graced the book launch of "Moviedom.....the Nollywood Narratives---Clips on the Pioneers" authored by popular Nigerian Arts journalist and film critic Shaibu Husseini of The Guardian newspaper on Friday December 17, 2010, at the National Theatre, Ignamu, Lagos. The occasion was also a celebration of his the 40th birthday.

The celebrant Shaibu Husseini

Famous Nigerian filmmaker Chief Eddie Ugbomah spoke on the brilliance and humility of the celebrant and his senior colleague at The Guardian Jahman Anikulapo said Mr. Husseini is still one of the best dancers in dance drama in Nigeria whose expertise in choreography attracted him before discovering his literary skills and editing his reports on the Nigerian film industry in what Husseini called “MOVIEDOM”.

The top dignitaries from Nollywood at the event included Okey Oguejiofor aka Paulo of the "Living in Bondage" fame, Zeb Ejiro, Greg Odutayo, Izu Ojukwu, Kunle Afolayan, Opa Willaims, Paul Obazele, Fred Amata, Francis Onwuchie, Chike Ibekwe,Segun Arinze, Fidelis Duker, Emeka Ossai, Uche Macaulay, Omoni Oboli and her handsome husband Nnamdi. These distinguished guests and other VIPs of the Nigerian film industry and news media made the occasion very colourful and a day to remember.

The event was co-sponsored by African Film Academy (AFA), organizers of the annual African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) and the illustrious Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, founder/CEO of AMAA was there with her associates, including Ilaria Chessa of ION international Film Festival to make sure that Shaibu Husseini had a great day.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Re: Shaibu Husseini of The Guardian Versus Publisher of Nigerians Report and the award of CNN/MULTICHOICE BROWN ENVELOPE...

Re: Sunday, August 8, 2010 Shaibu Husseini of The Guardian Versus Publisher of Nigerians Report and the award of CNN/MULTICHOICE BROWN ENVELOPE JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR


Dear All

First let me tender my unreserved apologies to the publisher of Nigerian Report over the harsh tone of my text-repost to him. I have never been this insulted since i started writing like he did with his text opener which i qouted above. I pray you all, what does that first line mean or suggest? especially from somone i dont know, have never met and who didnt even introduce himself before barging into my inbox..

But i am honestly sorry and apologise if i insulted a senior colleague..... but i must confess that i was enranged by the fact that Mr. Publisher reached a conclusion without seeking clarification from a junior colleague. I dont know how he got my number but if he could go the whole hug to source my number, i thought he could have called me up as a senior colleague and would have drawn my attention to what he observed as 'a lie'.

This is not a defence at all.....i was taught to allow the reader write in a rejoinder or to honour the right of reply if anyone feels indiferent about a report i have written. And i stressed that in all my text-repost. But i need to correct some impression, basically because My senior colleague has CC'ed some of my seniors in the profession and teachers who i am sure would be wondering if it was the same Husseini they know that is being talked about here.

First i dont blog...i repeat, i dont. i know what it is and i know how to do it, but i dont have the time and have never posted any material i have written in the Guardian to the web. But i do know that most materials published in the Guardian are linked to certain blogs created by people. i have on so many occasion read my articles on people's blog. The report in question was published in the Wednesday Guardian of August 4, 2011 and had a web it is possible that it was linked to the blog where my senior colleague read the piece which was purely and simply a report of an event i was duly invited covered.

Again, i would have wished that Oga Chima culled the full text of the report and not just that section he qouted so that his readers and all those he copied will be well informed about the context in which the report or the section he qouted was based.

But quite honestly, i recieved an invitation signed by Mr. Paul Obazele, President of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP) to cover the unveiling ceremony of the AMP/EKO International Film Festival logo. I was told in the letter to be at the venue at 3.30pm because the Governor of Lagos State Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN was to perform the unveiling ceremony and so the security details had asked that everyone be seated before the governor arrives.

But the governor didnt show up eventually. We were told that he sent a commissioner (Home affairs and Culture) Alhaji Tunde Balogun to represent him and even the commissioner confirmed this when shortly before his adress and shortly before he performed the unveiling ceremony on behalf of the Governor, he told the audience that the Governor would have been around, but he asked him a few hours ago to represent him and to qoute him:'because of how dear the festival is to him (the governor)''. Oga chima, read the full report published in the Guardian where two expressive photographs of the event were used---there was no where i said the Governor attended the event. Rather i noted from the start of the article that he was represented and because he was represented and the person representing him said he was delievering the message of the Governor, i merely reported the governors message to the people. I think where the confusion came was when in trying to continue with the governors charge to filmmakers and in trying to affirm that the unveiling was done, i used the 'governor who performed'...... But pray, check the context in which that sentence was used. I cannot say he was represented in the start of the story, use pictures showing the commisiioner and representative of the Minister of Information performing the unveiling and then lie that the Governor performed the unveiling! Haba!

Again, Oga Chima said i reported that Lagos State Government endorsed the festival and that i should have verified from the Lagos State government before going to press. First, what was reported on Wednesday August 4 was a straight report of an event....i wasnt treating any issue that required my verification. What verification do i even require about lagos state government endorsing the event when the man that spoke at the event and performed the unveiling on behalf of the Governor is a senior member of government and long standing commissioner? I have him on tape and even spoke to him after the event and plan to use part of his comments in an issue based article i am working on, on the matter over trade mark infringement between AMP and the publisher of Supple magazine.

As for the matter between Oga hope and AMP. I was following the trade mark theft scandal since 2009 but i dropped anchor same year for reasons that i will explain to you after now. But i picked it up now again because i sense some foul play soon after the unveiling ceremony. Ask Oga Hope, shortly after the unveiling ceremony, I buzzed him and requested for an interview which we did the following day so that i could get his views to balance the report i had proposed that i will do as a follow up to the straight report on the unveiling. He honoured the interview request but even after transcription, certain issues came up and i thought it was neccessary to do some findings. Only this evening i got an advice from the Corporate affairs commission and the ministry of trade following an enquiry i made and i have equally sought clarification and am waiting for an advice from the Lagos State Film Office and the Commissioner which should make me have a balanced report by the time i run Hope's interview. so sir, do i appear like someone who is biased or who has been bribed so much that it merited a CNN AWARD?

Now to the issue of AMP .......MAIDEN EDITION OF EKOIFFAND NIGERIAN JOURNALIST......Let me clarify that i dont belong to any clique in the industry. i dont even have the time. Ask people who know me, i dont go to events that i am not duly invited to attend. I was never invited to Eko International Film festival which i was told (Hope Opara himself told me a few days back) held this July in Lagos and i didnt get to hear about it even though Oga Hope and I, met for a few days in May at the Cannes Film Festival and in February at the berlinale. He has my email and phone number.....he didnt contact me or even send me materials which i would have gladly used because if you check we dedicate a strip every sunday for publicising festivals and movie events. I was not invited and I didnt know about it and i am suppose to be covering that beat. anyway....

Let me end by once again tendering my unreserved apologies for my harsh text repost..... i was terribly vexed that you could consider me fit for the award of cnn/multichoice brown envelope journalist of the year without asking me to send in entries for the competition. I tried to call back to know who sent the text but the number was disconnecting and that added to the anger.

Thank you for finding time to read from me.

~ Shaibu Husseini

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Shaibu Husseini of The Guardian Versus Publisher of Nigerians Report

Shaibu Husseini of The Guardian Versus Publisher of Nigerians Report

The controversy over the trademark piracy of Eko International Film Festival has exposed the bad manners and personal bias of Shaibu Husseini, a senior Arts writer of The Guardian newspaper of Nigeria.

The Publisher of Nigerians Report sent a text message to question the unverified report of Shaibu Husseini on Film as purveyor of pristine cultural values and Mr. Husseini got all riled up and replied in a gutter language that would rubbish and tarnish his public image as a professional journalist. Nobody accused him of collecting any brown envelope as he simply jumped to that conclusion and resorted to insulting the Publisher of Nigerians Report from his own erroneous deductions based on his assumptions of the publisher.

Mr. Husseini lied that Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola unveiled the logo when Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, never even attended the event held on July 29, 2010, at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. It was the Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Honourable Tunde Balogun who came to the event to represent the Lagos state government.

The governor, who performed the unveiling ceremony of the new AMP/EKO International Film Festival logo - a logo which the president of AMP Paul Obazele explained, was redesigned to reflect the collaborative agreement the AMP, under his leadership, had entered with the Lagos State Government over the staging of the annual festival.

The following is the exchange between the Publisher of Nigerians Report and Shaibu Husseini.

Publisher of Nigerians Report: Sorry, there is no CNN/MULTICHOICE Brown Envelope Journalist of the Year Award.
When did the Governor of Lagos state endorse the trademark piracy of Eko International Film Festival by the Association of Movie Producers (AMP)? That was a false report on your blog.

Shaibu Husseini: Are u sick! U think u are talking to your child? U know what to do if you feel indifferent about a report. I was at an event where the governor sent a rep and I reported what transpired and ur talking rubbish. Why dint u say no event held and I just reported from my imagination. U think I started writing today? Pls go away and don’t disgrace urself. See who is talking about brown envelope. I know the quarter dis is coming from and I will address it squarely. Opportunist! Write a rejoinder if u feel strongly that I over reported instead of trying to intimidate urself with the title ‘publisher’! U think I will cringe abi?

Nigerians Report: Go to the library of The Guardian as far back as 1988 and check The Guardian Literary Series for Chima Eke, Member of ANA.

Shaibu Husseini: And so what? Is that why u will cast aspersion at me. What has CNN brown envelope got to do with your feeling indifferent about a report when there are avenues for seeking clarification. U tink everybody is like u. ‘As far back’ my foot. Do you know what u have just done with ur very first line and am going to take u up on that. Haba, bicos u are supporting a position (which I know about) and because the piece ran contrary that is why you think I got brown envelope abi? I won’t take this lying low. Sebi, u say u are in ANA..,- I must follow up this matter. U must prove award me that CNN prize at all cost. I know what to do.

Nigerians Report: With all pleasure.

Mr. Husseini’s reported that the Lagos state government has endorsed the illegal AMP-Eko International Film Festival and it’s a lie, because the Lagos state government cannot endorse any illegality and in fact never endorsed the trademark piracy of Eko International Film Festival by the Association of Movie Producers (AMP) of Nigeria. I wonder how the representative of the Governor of Lagos state will endorse such an illegality.

The Lagos Film Office had a meeting with Mr. Hope Obioma Opara, the President/Co-founder of Eko International Film Festival where the neutral position of the Lagos state government was clearly stated and the Lagos state government will soon make its official position known.

Shaibu Husseini should have verified from the Lagos state government before misinforming the public and he has to report the fact no matter what the rep said at the event. The Hon. Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili recently sacked his senior aide for misrepresenting her. So, may I advise Shaibu Husseini to contact the Lagos Film Office for the true position of the Lagos State Government.

Hope Obioma Opara, President/Co-founder of Eko International Film Festival and Publisher of the Supple magazine has all the documents to prove the ownership of EKOIFF and nobody has challenged or contested it until AMP tried to hijack it.

The Nollywood gang of the Association of Movie Producers (AMP) has been using their clique among Nigerian journalists to compromise professional ethics and they deliberately did not report the inaugural Eko International Film Festival held earlier in July 2010, at the Genesis Deluxe Cinemas, The Palms in Lekki, Lagos, but rushed to report the so called unveiling of the logo of the illegal AMP-Eko International Film Festival held on July 29, 2010, at the National Theatre in Lagos, Nigeria.

Mr. Husseini is obviously mistaking the Publisher of Nigerians Report for someone he assumes he knows. And he said he does not blog! Then what is he doing on blogger blogging for The Guardian Life magazine? So, a seasoned journalist for a major Nigerian news daily does not know what is a blog?

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

About the Author:
Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima is the most prolific African blogger and a prize winning writer and author of four books and many other publications. He directed the first docudrama "Sleepless Night" on the June 12 Crisis in 2002 and in 2007 he published "The Mandate of M.K.O Abiola" written by Adeleke Adeyemi. His next book is on President Barack Obama. More.