By Ezeh Ben Prince
THE year 2020 will go down memory lane as a year to remember and a year full of sadness in the world and Nigerian entertainment industry. The year was hit by Coronavirus Pandemic that devastated the global community.
It all started when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shocked both sides of the pond on January 8 when they announced that they were stepping down as “senior” royals.
Bong Joon Ho’s film ‘Parasite’ took home the most awards, landing Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film on February 9. It marked the first time a non-English-language movie won Best Picture.
Still across the world, the disgraced Hollywood kingmaker ‘Harvey Weinstein’ was convicted on February 24 of raping an aspiring actress and sexually abusing a TV and film production assistant.
The verdict was celebrated by his dozens of accusers and their supporters as a watershed moment for the #MeToo movement.
The sad moment for the world came when Chadwick Boseman, “Black Panther” actor was announced dead. He died at age 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. His death on
August 28 shocked fans, since he had completed several blockbuster films, while keeping his diagnosis private.
In Nigeria, Prominent Nigerian actress Funke Akindele popularly known as ‘Jenifa’ and her husband Abdulrasheed Bello were fined N100,000 each and sentenced to 14 days of community service after holding a party during the lockdown imposed to tackle coronavirus in April.
She was widely criticised online for the party in her Lagos mansion, held to celebrate the birthday of her husband. Akindele, who appeared in a Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, video to raise awareness about coronavirus.
She defended the party, saying that everyone, who was there had been living in her house for several days. “Nobody came from their house to party with us,” she said in a video shared on her Twitter feed.
In July, lovers of popular TV reality show, the Big Brother Naija season five, BBN5, “Lockdown”, which was also hosted in Nigeria for the first time, saw many contestants go toe to toe for 85 million naira worth of prizes.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual audition was held to select contestants for the show. Video submissions were received from May 20 to 30, 2020. During the submission, interested contestants submitted a two-minute video stating why they should appear on the show. At the end of the online audition, over 30,000 contestants showed their interest. Of the 30,000 contestants that showed interest, 20 Housemates were selected.
Olamilekan Agbeleshe, popularly known as ‘Laycon’ became the fourth male contestant to emerge in five seasons.
In August, popular Nigerian musician, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, ‘Naira Marley’ was arrested for breaching the Covid-19 rule during lockdown. The musician was said to have held a concert in Abuja, thereby attracting many crowds and risk the spread of the virus.
He was later arrested by the authorities and charged to court.
In November, Nigerian and international celebrities showed massive support for the #ENDSARS movement with Folarin Falana ‘Falz the Bahd Guy’ dedicating the music video of ‘Johnny’ to the EndSARS incident.
This movement was graced by many Nigerian and foreign celebrities as well as public figures.
Despite the ravaging pandemic, Nigerian super musical stars gave us good music to enjoy at home.
Albums from Burna Boy ‘Twice as Tall’, Davido ‘A Better Time’ and Wizkid ‘Made in Lagos’ made huge waves in the Nigerian Music Industry.
Made in Lagos, which was originally scheduled for release on October 15, but WizKid delayed the project to show respect to activists protesting police brutality in his native Nigeria.
“It has been beautiful to see Nigerians around the world coming together to protest against police brutality,” WizKid said in a press release. “Unity is key. The youth of Nigeria need our collective voices to continue to shine a spotlight on what is happening inside the country.
“I want to play my part in this and in the movement for a better Nigeria, a better place to live for ourselves, our families and our communities. We will get through this together. Together we move. #EndSARS,” he said.
While the world heralds the new year 2021, the year 2020 with its vista of unexpected incidents, events and occurrences that impacted heavily on the global community, will not be easily forgotten.
On Friday, December 25, 2020, the veteran Nollywood filmmaker, Chico Ejiro, died in Lagos after a brief illness.
The renowned movie producer, director and scriptwriter, who hailed from Ozoro in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State, was 51.
– Dec. 31, 2020 @ 18:46 GMT /