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5 Things you probably didn’t know about Sidney Poitier.

One of America’s most celebrated Black actors has passed on. He died on Thursday, January 6, 2022. Sidney Poitier broke barriers and paved the way for Black American actors to be recognized and given diverse roles in Hollywood and he’s seen as the most successful African American actor.

Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about the Bahamian-American thespian.

Sidney Poitier

1) Did you know that Sidney Poitier once shot some parts of a movie, The Mark of the Hawk in Enugu, Nigeria back in 1957? It is said that Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe had to vacate the Premier’s Lodge for some days because some scenes were shot there.

2) Sidney Poitier is the first African-American actor to win an Academy Award for best actor in the movie- Lilies of the Field in 1963.

3) Poitier was born as a premature baby in the United States on the 20th of February 1927 while his parents were visiting.

4) He grew up in Cat Island in the Bahamas and only returned to the US as a teenager after which he enlisted in the US Army during World War II where he served in the medical unit.

5) Poitier’s first credited film was No Way Out where he played Dr Brooks. A Black medical doctor who treats a bigoted white criminal. This was in 1950.

6) He was the Bahamian Ambassador to Japan from 1997 to 2007.

7) Sidney Poitier has a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album in 2001. The album is entitled The Measure of a Man.

8) Former US President Barack Obama awarded Poitier the Presidential Medal of Freedom on August 12, 2009.

9) Poitier wrote 3 Autobiographies in his lifetime; This Life (1980), The Measure of Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (2000), and Life Beyond Measure- Letters to my Great-granddaughter (2008).

10) Poitier has 2 movies made about him- Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light (2000) and Sidney Poitier, an Outsider in Hollywood (2008).

Read Also: Sidney Poitier- A Trailblazer has gone to rest

Sidney Poitier- A Trailblazer has gone to rest

One of the most highly respected; loved and cherished Bahamian-American actors, Sidney Poitier has passed on at the age of 95. He died at his home in Los Angeles but the cause of his death is unknown. Poitier is a celebrated thespian who has gained international prominence for decades of work as a Black actor. His death was announced by the Bahamas Foreign Affairs Minister, Fred Mitchell.

He revolutionized and transformed how Black people were portrayed on screen, his acting prowess is second to none and it has earned him multiple awards including an Academy Award as the first Black actor in a lead performance and the first to be a top box-office draw.

Sidney Poitier

A noticeable mark Sidney Poitier left in Nigeria was when he and Eartha Kitt partially shot the movie, The Mark of The Hawk in Enugu, Nigeria in 1957. It was said that Nnamdi Azikiwe had to vacate The Premier’s Lodge for some days so some of the scenes can be shot there. Poitier has had an extremely successful career on and off the screen; he is credited with paving the way for other Black actors to break out of stereotypical roles offered by Hollywood producers.

Sidney Poitier came to the limelight in the 1950s racial drama ‘No Way Out’ and since then has gone on to win several accolades and recognition globally. A man of many firsts, he’s the first Black man to win an Oscar, a Presidential Medal of Freedom and a Knighthood. He was a sought-after actor in Hollywood and has starred in over a hundred films.

Poitier had a great influence on many actors and celebrities since news of his demise filtered in; the social media space has been flooded with tributes from prominent personalities. Morgan Freeman wrote “My inspiration, my guiding light, my friend”, former US President Barack Obama said he revealed the power of movies to bring us closer together, Oprah Winfrey called Poitier her “Mentor, Friend, Brother, Confidant, Wisdom teacher”.

Denzel Washington said “It was a privilege to call Sidney Poitier my friend. He was a gentleman and opened doors for all of us that had been closed for years. God bless him and his family” Tyler Perry also penned down on Facebook, “The grace and class that

5 Black American Series to Watch this Season

The holidays are here and as usual, there are loads of movies and TV series to keep you company throughout the festivities. So, here are 5 Black American television series we think you should add to your binge list this season.

  • Sistas: One of the best sitcoms today, the Tyler Perry written, directed and executive produced Sistas is a must watch this holiday. The series follows the lives of a group of single black women as they go through the intricacies of modern life- that is, romance, friendship, careers and social life. Sistas stars, Andi Barnes, Danni King, Sabrina Hollins and Karen Mott.
  • Black-ish: If you’re into family values that come with a lot of drama then this hilarious family-oriented sitcom is for you. Blackish tells the story of a black man who lives in a white neighborhood and tries to get his family to fit in even as he also tries to gain a sense of cultural identity in society. It stars Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown and Marsai Martin.
5 Black American television
  • Insecure: Just like Sistas, Insecure is about friendship and the challenges that come with it and life in general.  It highlights the lives of best friends Issa and Molly who belong to the same social background, they face whatever problem they come across together- giving a new definition to the meaning of friendship. An HBO original, it stars Issa Rae (who also writes for the series), Yvonne Orji, Natasha Rothwell, Amanda Seals, Jay Ellis, Kendrick Sampson and Y’lan Noel.
  • Godfather of Harlem: A captivating drama that will draw you in to relive the 1960s, Godfather of Harlem is a must-watch this holiday. It’s the story of Bumpy Johnson who after serving 10 years in the joint,  returns to find his Neighbourhood in Chicago being controlled by the Italian mob. As a notorious crime lord, he tries to reclaim his hometown. Forest Whitaker, llfenesh Hadera, Lucy Fry, Nigel Thatch, Antoinette Crow and a host of other great actors make the show a great one.
  • Grown-ish: If you saw A Different World in the late 80s and early 90s then you’ll most likely love this comedy series. Grown-ish is a college-based sitcom that has a blend of students from diverse cultures and backgrounds. The hilarious comedy tackles issues relating to young adults- love, career path, gender, race, social media and a whole lot more. Starring Yara Shahidi, Halle Bailey, Trevor Jackson and Diggy Simmons.

Opinion Piece: 10 Things I Learn from the film- Mokalik

Movies are meant to portray reality, pass across messages that tend to distinguish what is right or wrong, good or bad or just present situations or circumstances we can learn from. That’s what Mokalik did for me. Yes, I just saw the film, close your mouth abeg. Hehehe.

In a time when formal education seems to be the yardstick or standard by which society determines life’s success, Mokalik is one film that pushes the boundaries in a bid to question the narrative and introduce us to a fresh perspective. (Watch Trailer Here)

mokalik

We’re all wired differently, each with a different mindset and inherent skillset; everyone can’t be doctors, lawyers, pilots or sit behind a desk all day punching laptops. Some people are way better with their hands than having to read books so they can pass exams that do not truly tell their intelligence. Kunle Afolayan did a great one in Mokalik, in a single day, a kid was able to learn more about cars and life than he’d ever learned if he was in the four walls of a classroom. And let’s not forget that many of us learned a lot about cars as well. So, here are 10 things I got from watching the movie.

1) Learning is not only done in schools.

2) Pay close attention to your children’s interests.

3) Learn to communicate with your children.

4) Life is a series of highs and lows.

5) Hard work and patience, whether as a mechanic or an office worker.

6) Never judge a book by its cover.

7) No profession is easy, passion and dedication to the job a great professional.

8) Just because your child performs poorly in school doesn’t mean he/she is dumb. Find that one thing he/she is good at and help develop it.

9) Life is a school, we learn every day.

10) Eat good food, you’ll need a full stomach to work well.

Read Also: MOKALIK: Somehow mechanical, somehow true

Toyin Abraham makes her directorial debut with ‘Listening Ears’

Toyin Abraham has been very busy lately, from Alakada Reloaded to the Prophetess, now she’s making her directorial debut in the movie ‘Listening Ears’. The comic actress would be showing off her skills as a director on this one and fans are already gearing up for the release date of the film.

Toyin shared the release date as well as the trailer of the film. The feature movie will premiere exclusively on the actor’s Youtube channel on the 23rd of July 2021 and it stars Kehinde Bankole, Tomiwa Tegbe, Deyemi Okanlawon, Chimezie Imo and Kunle Remi. Instagram skit makers such as Isbaeu and Adeherself have roles in the film too.

Listening Ears

The trailer gives us a sneak peek into the story, it’s about a female lead who’s romantically involved with a younger man. ‘Listening Ears’ is produced by Moyo Fakorede, coincidentally this is her debut as a producer in the new film.

Here’s the trailer.

Opinion Piece: Is Zubby Michael the Richest Actor in Nollywood?

Nollywood with all its glitz and glam is seen by many as an industry where the promotion of “fake life” is pushed to unlimited heights. It’s whispered in some corners that not all actors are what they claim to be, some don’t get paid as much as they would want to. So with this, you ask yourself, how do these thespians make the money they boldly flaunt on social media? Especially the females.

There’s a story making rounds on social media about the prominent actor, Zubby Michael. Zubby, in an interview with Broadway TV, told the world that he’s the biggest actor not just in Nigeria but in Africa. He also disclosed that he’s the richest. Hmmm, makes you wonder if he’s already in the leagues with other A-list Nollywood actor I know are ‘big’.

Zubby Michael

This is how he puts it “No cap! I am the biggest actor in Africa. To God be the glory. I don’t think anyone is bigger than me for now,” the actor revealed. For now, I am the richest actor. The last time I checked my book, I realized I had made nothing less than N102 million from actor’s fees lately. Not in all my career, just of recent. I have a book where I write all the films that I have been in and how much they pay me.”

Not bad for someone who has been in the Asaba Nollywood for a long. But let’s ask ourselves, can we completely agree with him that he’s the “richest” actor in Nollywood? He does have a right to his opinion but what about the likes of Ramsey Nouah, Jim Iyke, RMD, Alex Ekubo and the rest? Don’t they make as much if not more in actor’s fee?

Zubby only recently broke into the cinema filmmaking part of the industry when he starred in Omo Ghetto: the saga, a Funke Akindele Bello and JJC Skillz film in 2020. The film was a box office hit. From there he’s gone on to star in other cinematic flicks like Bovi’s ‘My Village People’ and Kayode Kasum’s ‘Ponzi’.

Is it possible that these movies made him the richest actor in Nollywood and the biggest in Africa? Let me know what you think in the comments.

The Man called Jackie Chan

If you’re an action movie fan then you must have come across a famous name who not only has worldwide recognition for his crazy action stunts but also infuses comic relief to his films. Yep, I know the name Jackie Chan is what comes to mind.

Jackie Chan played a significant role in the development of the Chinese film industry, his style of acting is a blend of comedy, action (mostly Kung Fu) and dramatic. Jackie is one film star that made my childhood amazing, after seeing any of his movies, I and my friends would go out to mimic his fighting styles. That’s how amazing he is. Today, he’s one of the most successful Chinese actors, one that crossed over to Hollywood without stress. He also did a lot of collaborations in Europe as well. The movies include- Medallion, Rush Hour, Vanguard, Dragon Lord, The Foreigner, Who am I?, The Spy Next Door, The Tuxedo, Shanghai Noon, Shanghai Knights, Amour of God, Rumble in the Bronx and a whole lot more.

How much do you know about this iconic and legendary film star? Here are a few facts to know about Jackie Chan.

Jackie Chan

1.Jackie Chan’s real name is Chan Kong-Sang

2.He speaks 7 languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, English, German, Korean, Japanese and Thai and also American Sign Language.

3.He is a classically trained vocalist and has released more than 20 albums in over five languages. He has also sung theme songs for several of his movies and singing in several Chinese versions of Disney classics.

4. Jackie performs all his stunts himself.

5. While filming Armour of God, he had an accident and doctors had to sustain his life by fixing a permanent plastic plug in his skull.

6. Jackie holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Stunts by a Living Actor”.

7.He practiced a scene in the movie Dragon Lord, 2900 times before he could get it right. The scene holds the record for the most takes required for a single scene.

Rattlesnake- an intriguing and captivating remake of a Nollywood classic.

Since emerging film production company Play Studios decided to bring back old classics like Living in Bondage, Rattlesnake and even Nneka the Pretty Serpent, they have not disappointed movie lovers so far.

Charles Opkaleke sure knows how to make a movie and with Ramsey Nouah as co-producer and Director, we’ve seen nothing but twenty-first century directing genius in these films. I never would’ve guessed that Ramsey, being a successful and amazing actor, would be able to pull off a great job as a director. So far he has done it twice, Living in Bondage- Breaking free and Rattlesnake- The Ahanna Story are proof of his directorial brilliance. And they are all high-budget flicks breaking the box office.

I just watched Rattlesnake and I wasn’t disappointed at all. From start to finish, I was catapulted into the minds and hearts of the characters, the fact that it was star-studded (and with a few newbies) didn’t water down the acting. From the opening scene, we get to see what it was for a young lad to witness jungle justice and what that experience formed in his consciousness and ultimately led to his worldview. It’s an experience I’m sure many kids have witnessed in reality, no doubt, a scene like that will shape his/her opinion about what is right and wrong, good and bad, justice and injustice. This is reflected in young Ahanna innocently asking his Dad why politicians are not paraded in public and burnt alive like other “criminals”. Just like his Dad replied and I agree, it’s not that simple.

Before I get lost in the narrative of the Nigerian system, which I presume is common knowledge, let me focus on the task at hand- my thoughts about the film. The story is a modern remake or construct of the 1995 Amaka Igwe hit of the same name. Released as a home video, Rattlesnake became a national sensation within months of circulation. It is regarded as one of the best films to ever come out of Nigeria and Africa. A rich story, well laid out plot and great acting.

Rattlesnake follows the life of Ahanna who lost his father as a teenager and was abandoned in the village with his grandmother when his mother remarried his uncle. After leaving school and searching for jobs with none in sight, he went to Lagos only to find out that his Mom got pregnant for his uncle and they both killed his father. He accidentally shot his mom and that was the turning point for him. From that one encounter, he got together his friends and they formed a modern-day robin hood and the gang syndicate that targets rich politicians looting public funds. They called themselves ‘The Armadas’. They stole from the politicians, enriching themselves while also giving back to the poor in society.

The story is infused with contemporary innuendos, carefully woven together to present the audience with a semblance of real situations in today’s Nigeria. Rattlesnake-the Ahanna story is like an old school reunion with a blend of fresh blood. Veterans in the film include- Sonny Mcdon, Ramsey Nouah, Ejike Asiegbu, Fred Amata, Norbert Young, Gloria Young, Chiwetalu Agu, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde and Chinyere Wilfred. Young actors include- Stan Nze, Bucci Franklin, Osas Ighodaro, Tobi Bakre, Efa Iwara, Rebecca Nengi Hampson, Odera Adimorah, Elma Mbadiwe, Brutus Richards, Ayo Makun and Emeka Nwagbaraocha. It’s worthy of mention that while some of these names made cameo appearances, others were main characters, but in all, they brought light and life to their characters. I believe each scene was carefully shot and I must confess that I enjoyed every bit of it, well, almost every bit.

I have a few favorites in the film, of course, Stan Nze did an amazing job as Ahanna, he deserves a standing ovation. Bucci Franklin was the man of the movie (if there’s any award like that though). His character, Nzenozor was fire, bucci embodied that role, kind of method acting if you ask me. Another surprise for me is Tobi Bakre. Tobi is steadily proving himself to be a talent and he delivered his lines with such finesse, his character portrayal as a double agent was believable and commendable.

Rattlesnake

Now, there’s a twist to the story, you guys remember Richard Willaims in Living in Bondage? Yes, played by Ramsey, well, Richard made a cameo in this film. He showed up during the art gallery heist to introduce himself to Ahanna and offer him a seat at the table of ” The Six”. I know right, what’s that about? What’s the relationship between Living in Bondage and Rattlesnake? That’s what I’d like to know too and I love the suspense. I’ll be looking out for the sequel, Ramsey sure knows how to keep us at the edge of our seats.

As for the technicalities in the film, I think the sound was good, the picture quality was superb and the location as well as props, as far as I’m concerned we’re all on point.

Like I always say, this is not a review, just thoughts from a movie enthusiast. You shouldn’t take my word for it, go see the film and form your own opinions.

Happy Father’s Day to Nollywood Dad Characters

It’s another Father’s Day, the only day fathers all over the world are celebrated and appreciated for their hard work and for being good, generous and or just plain great at being a Dad.

There are messages everywhere already to the many Dads, while some are directed to deadbeat dads, irresponsible dads and runaway fathers, others are for the amazing, caring, loving, kind, present and awesome ones. Here at Bonggis, we created a list of the coolest character Dads in Nollywood. The list is in no particular order. So Leggo!

1) Taiwo Obileye- Chief Daddy: Nothing beats having a billionaire father who even after 2 or 3 wives and a few concubines still finds a way to gifts everyone something after his passing. Talk about a Dad that knows you must live largely. How cool does it get?

2) Patrick Doyle- Isoken: I’m sure we all love that Dad that loves, especially when it has to do with his daughter. That’s how Papa Isoken never seizes the opportunity to side with his baby girl even when his wife vehemently opposed her marrying a white dude. Awww, Daddy even drove her to go get her man and all, how romantic right? But wait o, can this happen in Naija?

3) RMD- Namaste Wahala: Having a serious Dad can be a bummer, especially one that already picked out your career path right from when you were still in diapers. A successful lawyer, Ernest didn’t usually see eye to eye with his daughter mainly because she decided to do charity work instead of working for the family firm and making loads of money. But when some people insulted and wanted to ruin his little girl, the Lion-natured and protective Dad appeared. No matter what,   Dads like these love their kids like kilode?

4) Ali Baba- Wedding Party: Have you ever visited a friend and you instantly fall in “like” with his/her Dad? Some Fathers just know how to be the life of the party, always in a happy and jolly mood. That’s how Engr. Bamidele Coker despite being broke, borrowed a huge sum to sponsor his daughter’s wedding and on top of that, he set the dance floor on fire, yeah, Daddy brought it. Dads don’t get any cooler than that.

5) Patrick Otoro- Halita: It’s an open secret that not all fathers are not rich, but despite being very poor, Dabot made sure to shower his daughter with Love, Care and to teach her Humility and Kindness. A Dad you can play with, gist and gossip with and go to the farm with, that’s a cool one. When you have a father who works hard and tries his best to provide for you, then you realise that money is not everything.

Entertainment Gist

Despite the global coronavirus pandemic, things are gradually getting back to near normal and social life has picked up again. The Nigerian entertainment scene is back and things are bubbling already. So here are some of the gist in the movie industry for the month of May, 2021.

  1. Toyin Abarham has decided to tow the “Jenifa Way” as she makes plans to make “Yetunde” a regular on our screens. The Ace producer and actress announced that she’s launching more adventures of Yetunde, thus, the sitcom, the Chronicles of Alakada will start airing soon. The actress confirmed this in a video where she promised exciting stories. (Check @chroniclesofalakada on IG for the video)
  • Regina Daniels joins the list of actors turned producers as she debuts a social justice-themed short film series. Yeah, you didn’t see that coming right? The first film of the new series is titled Smile for the Camera. It tells the story of a young pregnant wife who’s constantly abused by her spouse but manages to keep up appearances on social media to show that all is well with her marriage. Regina says the short film initiative is to “use visual storytelling to awaken the society to the harmful norms that encourage oppression and marginalization of the vulnerable.”  The series will be released under her Regina Entertainment TV production company.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CPL_mgSnO3L/
  • Have you seen the trailer for the new Tunde Kelani movie- Ayinla? If you haven’t then you better. Trust uncle Tunde to give us nothing but the best, now we can’t wait to watch the film. The star-studded biopic is set to debut in cinemas on June 18, 2021. Produced by Jade Osiberu, Tunde Kelani lent his directing skills to this one to make it a masterpiece. Ayinla stars the like of Bimbo Manuel, Kunle Afolayan, Lateef Adedimeji, Bimbo Ademoye, Omowunmi Dada and Ade Laoye. Check out the trailer here.

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