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Saturday, November 13, 2010

eLDee The Don, Weird MC, Emeka Ike and Others React To The President’s $200 Million USD Loan

Reactions have followed the President’s loan to the entertainment sector.

Don’t cause inflation —eLDee, musician

I don’t really know how they intend to release money to an industry that doesn’t have a structure. How did they even come by the figure? Some statements are just ambiguous. But if it’s true, it’s a good thing. The problem will be how to share the money. If they can work out a way that a few greedy people will not sit on the money, that will work. You don’t just give stimulus to people without a structure. They should put a structure in place and then tell us what you want to be done with the money. Don’t just cause inflation.

List out modalities– Bond Emerewu, CONGA president

We are yet to understand the modalities for accessing the fund. Therefore I cannot make any official statement in connection with the pronouncement by Mr. President at the moment.

Actually, I’m aware of the announcement but we want to keep our fingers crossed as we watch development before coming out with a statement.

Soft loans is the way to go — Cally Ikpe

The president has good intentions no doubt but I can’t trust the implementation. They’ve not shown me any sign of seriousness.

They need to work hard and convince us this is not a fluke. I know he means well. The mechanics that will be employed so that this doesn’t turn into a national cake is what we await. I’ll suggest that the money should be deposited in the financial institutions and disbursed in terms of soft loans without stringent conditions. Integrity is also key. We should work on ourselves.

Only elected excos should appropriate the fund — Emeka Ike,

It’s a welcome development but only a democratically elected exectives can appropriate the fund. The said fund can only be useful to Nollywood when the crisis rocking the industry is resolved.

Actually, we welcome the gesture but the industry must be refocused and made to be crisis-free to enable us benefit from the fund.

It’s a blessing — Weird MC, artiste

I think for once that we should be positive. I think it’s a good thing for the industry. It’s a blessing. I just hope the money gets into the right hands especially the upcoming acts.

Hope it’s not a political statement— Alex Eyengho

It’s no doubt a boost to the entire Nigerian entertainment industry. However, As members of the Association of Core Nollywood Producers(ANCOP) we hope this is not a mere policy or political statement.

In terms of utilization, the Nigerian entertainment industry must first be properly defined. Nollywood’s share of the gesture should be put on hold and kept in an escrow yielding account until MOPICON is put in place.

For now, the fund should not be handed over to any individual or group of self-serving individuals in whatever names, masquerading as representative of the entire Nollywood practitioners.

What’s your take? We really want to know.

Basketmouth off to Dubai for honeymoon

As you are reading this, popular comedian, Basketmouth, who got married to his beautiful wife, Elsie, at an elaborate wedding in Lagos last Saturday, is now in Dubai on honeymoon.

NFC gathered that the top comedian left Nigeria on Monday for Dubai on a three-week honeymoon to Dubai.

It was also gathered that the newly married couple may also go to London as part of the honeymoon rendezvous before coming back home.

The wedding, which was a four-big event, was witnessed by top celebrities like Ali Baba, Bovi, Julius Agwu, Tee A, Teju Babyface, Pastor Tony Rapu, Dele Momodu, Jay Jay Okocha, Mudi, Basorge Tariah, Gbenga Adeyinka 1st, Genevieve, Kayode Peters, Yaw, Ay, Jedi, Opa Williams, Frank Edoho and many others.

Asa gifted her guitar to me – GT da Guitarman

GT da Guitarman
The life of a musician is an incredibly frustrating one in Nigeria, where the system is yet to start functioning properly. But there are musicians who are struggling through it, no matter what. GT da Guitarman is one of them. He has seen his ups and downs, yet, he is more focused at the moment than any time in his life. Things are shaping up well and he is gaining strong grounds. After all, he has been in the music industry for up to 5 years. His foray into music made way for him into the fold of Storm Records, owned by the entertainment guru, Obi Asika. But that doesn’t end there.

We meet on a sunny Thursday afternoon, a night after Bez Idakula’s Birthday Gig, at Mega Chicken in Amuwo Odofin, close to where he lives. I didn’t see him at Bez’s party, so I thought he is the introvert people think he is. “I’m not an introvert,” he says, defensively. “When you have a lot of things bothering you, you have to take care of them first. Bez is someone I respect so much and I would have loved to be there.”

Born in the UK in 1984, GT da Guitarman is suddenly abandoning ‘da Guitarman’ for GT, which stands for his name: Gbemiro Tokunbo. He’s trying to find a new life, a new world, or maybe, he is just finding out that he could become a new star? However, there are rumours that he left Storm Records: “Not like I’ve left Storm, we are still family, the great family Obi put together,” he says, “but the thing is that our contract has expired.” Now he is working to own his music label, Music Ed, which is shaping itself already. There are challenges too, but he is facing them, as a lot of people have made promises. Does he believe in God? “Yes, I do. Not like I used to. Something happened to me and it turned me around.”

Unless you’ve been living in the jungle, you may not have heard any of his songs. People have compared him with Bez and Asa. Is there an affinity between them? “I respect Bez a lot. Same thing with Asa,” he smiles. “Infact, Asa gifted her old guitar to me. Mine broke recently, so I’ve been using that particular guitar she gave me each time I practice.” So, does he feel any kind of spirituality when he strums on the strings of Asa’s old guitar? “Not really. Same feeling I have when I was using my guitar. But the thing is, that guitar is priceless.” Would he auction it out some day? He laughs and says, “Maybe.”

The first part of his life as a musician has been well. He has performed both at home and abroad. He, however, feels he doesn’t sing what people want to listen to in Nigeria. Would he go commercial? The answer is that GT will remain doing what he does best and what he likes doing. Moreover, his music is an infusion of almost everything and any kind of audience can connect with him. Those who feel that he is poorly promoted by his promoters and managers are right. There is little that has been done about the projection of this great talent. He has redefined the nature of the genre of music he does, yet, there is a lot to be seen.

Since his foray into music, GT da Guitarman has worked closely with A-list singers like Naeto C, General Pype, Sasha and others. The music label he is working on will also cater for other artistes, but not now. He has a very busy schedule, as he is hoping to release a sophomore album by the middle of next year. And then, of course, it is appalling to note that Storm Records only did three videos of GT da Guitarman in the whole span of 5 years he was signed to them! That doesn’t sound like good business. “Storm Records showed me love. They reached out to a poor person and made a star out of me,” GT adds. That could just be humility! No matter what, a lot should have been done if he had been signed to them for that long as really, there were no tours to reach all his fans scattered all over Nigeria. “The thing is this: Storm is a great platform, but I think like any child won’t stay forever with his parents, I need to make a move on my own.”

Before we depart, we chat off-record and it feels good to know that he has a wonderful and amazingly surprising sense of humour that bellies his slim nature. Tall, slim and Bohemian in looks, with an afro, GT da Guitar is undergoing a rebirth. He will come out very soon as GT. But the question is: will this be the making of a new star by himself?