Content tagged with retro

REMEMBERING THE LATE JUSTUS ESIRI

ACTOR PROFILING: JUSTUS ESIRI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a handful of actors that have made their mark in the Nigerian movie scene, those who have been able to carve their names in our hearts with their captivating performance on stage and on screen, Justus Esiri is one of them. Born November 20, 1942, in Oria Abraka, Delta State, the veteran actor is considered to be one of the strongmen in Nollywood. His career spans over 20 decades, from 1960 until his demise on February 19, 2013.

Justus proceeded to Effurun and attended Urhobo College in the then Bendel State, where he had his primary and secondary education. He was a very bright student who developed a keen interest in the arts early. His principal was a principled man who despite being strict allowed his students to express themselves. Justus got inspired with the wealth of books in the library well-equipped library that was where he first fell in love with the arts. He flew abroad to continue his education, Germany to be precise. There he studied Engineering at the Maximillian University Munich in 1964, Professor Weners Institute of Engineering, West Berlin in 1967 and the Ahrens School of Performing Arts in 1968.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While he Germany, he lived in West Berlin but frequents East Berlin because he had a lot of friends that were into acting, also there were a lot of theatres in that region. The wall was not much of a problem since the Nazi regime was over and the government was trying to make everyone feel comfortable so it was not really a problem for a foreigner going to the East from the West. Living there he learned the language and could speak German fluently. It didn’t take long before his career as an actor kicked off in the country, he was the only Nigerian on stage acting in Berlin. He was also working as a German translator in the Voice of Nigeria over there. It was during one of his performances that he got an invitation from a Nigerian delegation to come partake in FESTAC 77 and also star in the “Village Headmaster”. Justus was impressed and he hopped on a plane back to Nigeria, since then he has stayed back to contribute to the growth of the performing arts.

This talented thespian has brought smiles to the face of many movie lovers both home and abroad. He combines elegance and skill while on stage or in front of the camera, his articulate and master of the English language is sensational. The man with the croaked voice that commands respect from his peers and is looked up to by younger colleagues in the industry. His role in the Village Headmaster is one that still gets people talking till date. He has been in over 8productionson both on stage and on screen some of which has earned him several awards.

 

Justus Esiri bonggis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Married to Omiete Esiri, a woman from Kalabari of Rivers State. They have six children together and also grandchildren. One of his sons is the popular Afro-pop singer Sidney Esiri (Dr, Sid) and he has numerous hits to his credit. Justus Esiri used to unwinds by playing golf at the Ikeja Club where he also hangs out with colleague and friends.

Justus Esiri passed on at the age of 71 due to complication resulting from Diabetes in a Lagos hospital on February 10 2013. His death was a blow to the entire movie world and the nation at large. He is remembered by the legacy he left through his movies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Also: ACTOR PROFILING: PETE EDOCHIE

Retro: What do you think of the new ”MY FLATMATES” sitcom

I remember watching Flatmates in the early 2000s, produced by Kayode Peters. It was one of the most watched and celebrated sitcom in the country. It starred Bright Okpocha (basket mouth), Steve Onu (Yaw) Kayode Peters himself and other good actors. Unfortunately, the show didn’t last long as it ran a couple of episodes before it went underground. Fast forward a few years later, the comedy that was a favourite among youths has made a comeback, Kayode Peters alongside Bright Okpocha (Basket Mouth) made a daring move to revive the show.

 

 

The rebranded show, now known as My Flatmates, is directed by talented actor, content producer and all-round thespian John Njamah. My Flatmates hit the TV screens early this year and it’s already a favourite in the industry. The hilarious comedy is centered around the lives of four friends who share a flat and their daily quest for a better life. This leads them to crazy and funny situations in which they scheme and plot their way out of. The show is packed with celebrity comedians such as Buchi, Okey Bakassi, Frank Donga, Steve Onu (Yaw), it also has other comic acts like from Woli Arole, MC Pasun and many more. Celebrity model and actor- Emmanuel Ikubese is also part of the cast and the show also features cameo appearances from known faces in the entertainment industry.

 

My Flatmates airs on DStv’s Mnet Showcase, channel 151. Season 1 has more than a hundred and twenty episodes. Are you a fan of the sitcom? How many episodes have you seen and what are your thoughts on the show? Share your views lets gist.

RETRO: TELEVISION SERIES OF THE 80s

Okay guys, so I was helping a friend clear his father’s house (the man is deceased), getting rid of things he no longer needs, documents, artifacts, records etc, we suddenly stumbled upon some old posters from TV series in the 1980s. It brought back memories, I remember watching those series while growing up and they were very educative, informative and most of all entertaining.

I’ve decided to share the ones I saw and I hope you guys share the ones you can still remember in the comment section. Common guys, let’s relive our childhood fun days.

 

TV series 1980s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE VILLAGE HEADMASTER: As the name implies, there was indeed a village headmaster in the series. Created by Olusegun Olusola Lewis and produced by Chief Dejumo, the village headmaster is unarguably the longest running TV series on that aired on the oldest Nigerian Television Channel, NTA. It aired from 1968 to 1988. It started out as a radio drama in 1958 but was transformed to a TV soap opera in 1968.

 TV series 1980s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COCK CROW AT DAWN: This was a fantastic Nigerian series that was aired on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in the early 1980s. The series was also partly financed by The United Bank for Africa, it was primarily to promote the interest in farming among Nigerians. The series has over one hundred and one episodes. It starred George Menta as Bello, Sadiq Daba as Bitrus, Ene Oloja as mama Bitrus and a host of others.

 

TV series 1980s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BASI AND COMPANY: This hilarious sitcom that brought laughter to many Nigerian homes. Mr. B as he’s fondly called was on a mission to be a millionaire at a very young age, this he did tricking wealthy individuals with his schemes- his belief is that if one wants to be a millionaire one has to think like a millionaire. The sitcom was written and produced by Ken Saro-Wiwa who ws Shot in Enugu, the series ran from 1985-1990 on NTA. It stars Albert Egbe (Bassey #1), Zulu Adigwe (Bassey #2) Lasa Amoro and a host of others. Till date, Bassey and Company remains one of Africa’s most watched comedy series with an estimated thirty million viewers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHO REMEMBERS KOTO ORUN?

WHO REMEMBERS KOTO ORUN?

The 90s was undoubtedly the best era for many people, there was a lot of interaction among individuals, people genuinely showed interest in each other and it was also regarded as the era that birthed super telenovelas and great Nigerian series. Lovers of television can testify to that, even children whose parents couldn’t afford a television set in their homes had friends that they visited to watch their favourite cartoons and other programmes. One indigenous programme that caught the attention of the country, mostly people from the south-western part is Koto Orun.

 

 

 

Koto Orun bonggis

 

 

The Yekini Ajilaye’s classic drama series Koto Orun brought families together every Sunday evening, they stayed glued to their television sets watching the make belief world. The Yoruba series was focused on the battles between the good witches and the evil ones in a certain kingdom. The series was so popular that it was eventually adapted into VHS and sold for home video use.
The series was set in pre-colonial times where a particular kingdom was terrorized by a cult of evil witches who tormented the villagers at will. Though often confronted by the good witches, it was not enough to free the people from the wicked acts of the evil ones. After seeing the sufferings of the people, it was prophesized by the gods that a chosen child will be born, a saviour that will come to the rescue of the people, rid the kingdom of the witches and bring back peace and normalcy to all. The saviour child would be birthed by one of the King’s wives, so the witches came up with several schemes to kill the saviour, even colluding with the king’s first wife, but they didn’t succeed.

Koto Orun bonggis

 

 

An interesting part in the series was when the child known as Oriade, came from the spirit world to save his mother from the clutched of the evil witches. The series was filled with so many scary parts with battles fought in the spiritual realms and power display by both witches, it was suspense driven, you never know what’s coming next and it’s always one surprise after another. It starred legends such as Koledowo, Mama Mi Leko, Abija, Oyiboyi and lots more. So unique was the series that the actors’ names were same as the characters and it helped pushed the series into the hearts of many.

So how many of you still remember this classic? Which scene caught your attention the most? Did you enjoy the story? Share your experiences, let’s talk. I’ll be in the comment section.

 

Koto Orun bonggis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Also: CHECKMATE- a classic among classics

CHECKMATE- a classic among classics

It’s throwback Thursday and I’m excited to talk about one of the most loved and watched series in the 90s. It was an Amaka Igwe flick and she did marvelously well with the series. I bet you all know the series already- It’s Checkmate!

Checkmate, aired on NTA, ran from 1991 to 1995 and it was sponsored by Lever Brothers Nigeria (now Unilever). The series undoubtedly unveiled the genius that is Amaka Igwe to the Nigerian film industry and indeed to the world. Checkmate featured the greats like Richard Mofe Damijo, Ego Boyo, Bimbo Manuels, Francis Duru, and lots of other industry giants in their youthful days.

 

 

Checkmate  tv series bonggis

The story revolves around some families in Nigeria drawn from different backgrounds and orientation- the Haastrups, a wealthy family with many enemies who are bent on destroying them, the Fujis, a polygamous family with the everyday struggles of living together as one, the Edems, a typical middle-class family and other families dealing with challenges faced in the average Nigerian home. The popular family sitcom- Fuji House of Commotion is a spinoff of Checkmate. (for those that didn’t know)

Checkmate was not just another series in the days, it was a well thought out and scripted work with actors who knew their craft delivering exceptionally as professionals. The series told the story of Ann Haastrup who went all out to bring back the glory of Haastrup Investments, the family business that was mismanaged by her brother Benibo (Francis Agu) and at the same time fight off rivals especially Segun Kadiri (RMD) who made a vow to destroy the Haastrups for the death of his mother.

 

 

 

Chief Fuji who is a board member of Haastrup Investment has a dysfunctional home with many children from three wives who are constantly at war, they fight for his affection and sometimes team up to ward off some of the chief’s mistresses. Chief shuns his financial responsibilities at home and uses his wealth to womanize, this gave rise to pranks by the wives and children who constantly seek new and creative ways to get money from him. There are other interesting parts to the family drama series that once held the nation spellbound and glued to their television sets most evenings.
There is no doubt that Checkmate amassed a cult following back in the days, and in this day and era when streaming online is common, it will be nice to have a rerun of the series in the digital space, what do you think? There are some other fascinating stories and scenes in the series, which can you remember? Join the conversation in the comment section, let’s relive old times.

 

 

 

 

 

Read Also: The gift of the Tongue- the ‘english’ problem

DOMITILLA

It’s amazing how we tend to forget the stories that brought us joy and happiness, scenes and lines that made us feel the excitement, a tinge of sadness and characters portrayed philosophies and ideals we can somehow relate to one way or another. That’s why we have decided to go back in time and revisit the classics, movies that made Nollywood what it is today with; check out the production, storyline and quality characterization. Our first retro movie to be reviewed is one that made waves back in the days, some even said it was inspired by true life events. Nonetheless, Domitilla still remains a favorite among Nigerian film lovers.

 

Domtilla the prostitute

 

  • Produced by– Zeb Ejiro
  • Directed by- Peter Red Ejiro
  • Written by– Ken Oghenejabor
  • Cast- Annette Njemanze, Sandra Achums, Kate Henshaw, Ada Ameh, Basorge Tariah Jr, Enebeli Elebuwa

 

Domitilla is a story of a typical Nigerian young lady in her mid-twenties who was trying to get ahead in life. Saddled with the responsibility of catering for her aged and ailed father coupled with sponsoring her siblings to school, she was forced to embrace the nightlife of a commercial sex worker. The character played by Ann Njemanze was an office assistant by day and sex for hire beauty at night, this she did with three other friends who were like sisters. Jenny- Kate Henshaw, Judith- Sandra Achums and Anita played by Ada Ameh.

It is pertinent to note that the Zeb Ejiro Produced flick had a superb storyline that came in two parts. The movie opened with a scene from the streets, the ladies showcasing their goods to customers who came in different shapes, sizes and wallets to patronize them. What better way to start a movie about prostitutes you might say right? The lead character tried her best to juggle between working as an office assistant, a sex worker at night while still trying to find balance with hopes and dreams of meeting a man that will sweep her off her feet and make an honest woman out of her. If only it were that easy.

 

 

Things took a drastic turn when one of her friends (Jenny) was murdered in what seemed like a money ritual motivated killing, leaving Domitilla, Judith and Anita left to mourn. Now I must confess that Sandra Achums wowed me with her spellbound performance, she exuded raw emotions of someone truly in pains, confused and lost. An exceptional performance of someone who was both angry and defeated. Kudos girl! That was some acting.

 

 

Moving on, they all started on different paths. Quitting the life they had known for so long wasn’t easy, however, Jenny’s death was more of wake up call. The story ended with the vindication of Domitilla in court, she was accused of Killing Chief Jim; the man who changed her life and made her “clean” again. Yes it was easy to accuse her since she and Jim spent a lot of time together in a hotel (where he was found dead by poison, giving to him by the hotel manager who spiked a drink the actually meant for Domitilla), it was more frustrating for her because her past was used as an avenue to judge her guilty even before appearing in court.

 

 

The movie as fantastic as it was in terms of content, lacked rich dialogue. Though I must confess that the use of local slangs was quite refreshing and hugely entertaining, it added that touch of comedy that cracked me up hard. I relived the old days we used words like “shuo, which levels, kak well etc”. Picture quality was not top notch, soundtrack overshadowing dialogue in many scenes, the subtitle was completely off and camera angles was disappointing. In all the movie had some life lessons, it exposed the stigma associated with prostitutes, how society has branded them liars, thieves, and second class citizens, people without honour. They are humans too with emotions and feelings. Domitilla is a film that also showcased the life of an ordinary girl struggling to make ends meet in a cruel world and of true friendship and sisterhood.

 

 

 

Looking back now, I must say that Ann Njemanze and her co-stars did well on this one. The plot was okay (judging from the lenses of 1996), the costume was on point and location- nice (the ghetto like spots). While we wait to review the part two, I encourage you to go see the movie again. Watch with keen interest, and share your comments, contributions, and questions. Let’s discuss.

 

 

  •  Credits – Mikky Anyangbeso

 

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