| By Anayo Ezugwu |
IT WAS year of creativity, mourning and celebration in the Nigerian entertainment industry. At the beginning of the year, some artistes who, in the previous year, did not make much impact in the industry, had their songs making waves across the country. Songs like, Love Me by Tiwa Savage, Dami Duro by Davido, Pakurumo by Wizkid, Beautiful Onyinye by P Square, Ara by Brymo, Chop My Money by P Square, Gaga Crazy by Chuddy K, Azonto Fuse and Kukere by Iyanya, all made waves across the country.
Entertainment took a new shape in January during the mass protests against the federal government’s removal of fuel subsidy. Nigerian musicians and artistes had trooped out in large numbers to join thousands of protesters in their demand to force the government to reverse its decision. Protesters in the different cities were entertained and cheered by top musicians and Nollywood superstars. Among the artistes who were at the different protest grounds were: Ruggedman, Banky W, Desmond Elliot, Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Omo Baba, Djnee, and several others.
On the celebration mood, Tuface Idibia, Nigeria’s ace singer, surprised his fans all over the world in May, when he secretly tied the knot with Anne Macauley, a Nollywood actress. The latter is the mother of one of his five children from different women. The wedding was a top secret to the extent that even Anne’s close friends were shut out of the arrangement.
In April, Naeto C, award winning rapper, married his long-time girlfriend, Nicole Chukwueke. Also Stephanie Okereke, another Nollywood actress, got married to Linus Idahosa. The celebration train also moved to the home of Nneka and Isaac Moses, the two presenters of Goge Africa, a tourism-based television show, in March, the couple were blessed with a baby boy after 12 years of marriage.
The industry also witnessed outstanding performance that led to different awards both locally and internationally. Wizkid, one of the fastest upcoming musicians, in July, won the Best International Act (Africa category) at the 2012 Black Entertainment Television awards held in Los Angeles, United States. He won the prestigious award with his Ghanaian counterpart, Sarkodie.
The disagreement between D’banj, award winning singer, and Don Jazzy, singer and producer, which had been kept secret, blew open in March. The two artistes broke up after working for many years as partners. The break-up seemed to have opened the way to the international market for D’banj’s singles such as Oliver Twist, Oyato and Bachelor, which all thrived locally and internationally.
It was not all smiling for the industry in the year. On February 28, the industry lost James Iroha, producer of masquerade, a popular drama series on Nigeria Television Authority, NTA. He died at the age of 70, after several years’ battle with complications from diabetes. Pete Eneh, a Nollywood actor, also died in Enugu, Enugu State. Enebeli Elebuwa, another Nollywood actor, also died in an Indian hospital after battling with stroke.
— Jan. 7, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT