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‘Overnight fame comes at a huge cost’ -Actor Ben

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He is popular as Ben O Ben. An influential operator in the  make belief industry. In this brief chat, the man of many parts divulged many of the things fans are dying to know about him. Read on….

Q: How would you describe the man people love to call Ben O Ben.
A: Actually,  my name is Temitope Benedict Ayoola a.k.a Ben O. Ben. But the nickname seem to have taken over from the real names over time…laughs

Q: Okay, so can you give a brief about Temitope Benedict Ayoola before we go to Ben.
A: I am the last child and only son of the family of Hon. and Mrs Ayoola Adeleke. My birthday is 22nd of June and I was born in Kafanchan where I also spent my early years. I attended Unity Nursery and Primary school, I proceeded to Royal kids international for my secondary education and finally to the University of Abuja for my tertiary education where I studied Industrial Chemistry. I am also an alumnus of Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and I speak English, Yoruba and Hausa Languages.

Q: Now, lets talk about Ben. Who is he.
A: Ben is an actor, a movie producer, director, consultant and a Business Entrepreneur. 

Q: How far has Ben gone as far as the movie world is concern
A: I have featured in over 200 Nigerian movies and have directed a lot of movies such as Lost(Yoruba), My dream(Yoruba) Asunle(coming soon) and Iyawo producer(also coming soon).

Q: But there is this gist about you being into other areas of entertainment beside what many know you for. Can you dwell more on that.
A: Yea, I will be most glad to do that, because Ben O Ben has really moved miles away from where he started and there are still more grounds to cover. For instance,  I also have a registered company where I train young and aspiring filmmakers and supply equipments for production, Ben O Ben multimedia and in 2018 I created Ben O Ben International Leadership Award (BOBLIA Award).

Ben and family

Q: That a big one. I want to guess these ideas may not be unconnected with your growing IP dreams, can you tell your lovers what growing up was like. 
A: Like I said previously, my place of birth and position as the only son in the family, I was highly respected by my sisters which I never took for granted and growing up in a family that believed and practiced mutual respect I must say has been of a great help for me today.  I grew up in the Northern part of Nigeria, Kafanchan in Kaduna state to be precise.

Q:  How did you come into the film industry
A:  Late Century Films introduced me to Murphy Afolabi the founder of Fatuns films. I served there for some years and graduated successfully.

Q: How long have you been in the industry
A:  I have been in the industry for 11 years now and still counting. I came into the Nollywood industry in the year 2009 and joined Murphy Afolabi acting troop in the year 2010.

Q: When was the first time you ever featured in any film
A:  2009

Q: Who are your role models, if you have any
A: My role models are Tyler Perry, Less Brown, Saidi Balogun and Funsho Adeolu.

Q: How would you rate the industry
A: I will rate the industry 60percent because we are not yet where we are meant to be but we are getting there.

Q:Have you done any production of your own, if yes what is the title and which year is that
A: Yes, I have produced Alabahun(Produced in 2013, released in 2016)and Last Night(2017). I also Co produced Kodoro(2018)and Woli Ben O Ben(2018).

Q: How were you able to  penetrate the industry despite stories of ” rub my back i rub your back’ among the beginners and the established actors as it affects both sexes .
A:  Whatever you desire in the industry you will get, for instance, if you want to be in the limelight you have to pay the price in the right way but if you want the fame overnight using cruel means you will surely get it rough, in fact, you must be ready to smell real pepper, because there is no short cut to real success. 

Q: How many directors have you worked with and which of them did you like most
A: I have worked with over 20 directors in the industry both in English and Yoruba movies. They have all been wonderful and have individual strengths that I admire and take from.

Q: Where do you see yourself in the next few years
A: I see myself at the top as one of the Best film makers in the world.

Q: Lastly, Are you married, how are you coping with your marriage?
A: I am happily married to my Lovely Wife Mrs Yetunde Susan Ayoola and we are blessed with a son Demilade Benedict Ayoola. Marriage, they say, is not easy but God has been our helper.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Ariya Eko: Lagos Takes The Lead, Set To Celebrate Nigeria @ 60 Years With Musical Fiesta

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Come October Nigeria will be witnessing yet another landmark historical celebration in the Centre of Excellence, Lagos State.

Before the countrys Independence in 1960 and till date Lagos State remains the heartbeat of entertainment and continues to foster different generations of musicians from diverse culture.

It is against this background that the organisers of Ariya Eko has decided to take the lead in the Celebration of 60 Iconic gatekeepers of Nigerian musical history who have contributed to the economic growth of Lagos State in the last 60 years.

According to the organisers Ariya Eko Music Festival is a yearly music festival which is been put together to promote core indigenous music and encourage band culture.This year’s theme WAZOBIA INDEPENDENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL is centred on celebrating 60 years of Nigerian Musical journey in its diversity and will feature different Musicians from different culture with a State Ball Performance.

The Festival is a yearly event endorsed by Lagos State Ministry of Culture and Tourism in partnership with Africa’s’ Largest custodian and promoters of music of yesteryears, Evergreen Musical Company Ltd.

Bimbo Esho the Managing Director of Evergreen Musical Company in a statement said Lagos state is a melting point of people of diverse culture with deep rooted history, colourful traditions and immense resilience and an event of this nature has become pertinent in order to tell our Musical history and showcase our Musical heritage to the world.

Last year the maiden edition featured over 18 popular Nigerian Musicians ie Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey, Sir Shina Peters, Dr Tee Mac, Obesere, Sir Jimi Solanke, Yinka Davies, Jesse King Buga , etc with the Crème De La Crème of Business, Politics, Entertainment and traditional institutions in attendance . The high point of the event was an induction ceremony into the Evergreen Hall of Fame of one of Nigeria’s leading musical giant of Juju Music ( Ebenezer Obey) who has the highest song recording in Nigeria).
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Part of the event line up for this year is A Lifetime Achievement Award been designed to recognize iconic music grandmasters both dead and alive in the Nigerian entertainment industry . Also the Lagos Music Hall of Fame Award is in recognition of 3 prominent musicians from the 3 major tribes in Nigeria who attained the peak of their musical career in Lagos Sate.

An introduction of DO YOU REMEMBER SEGMENT has become pertinent in this year’s event as upcoming musicians will be paying homage to the Grandmasters of the African Beat.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Teenage star, OZZYBEE fetes Nnewi widows, widowers

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Nigeria’s Teenage Star. “OZZYBEE” takes charity to his root as he showers love on indigent Widows/Widowers in Nnewi, saying he derives pleasure seeing the vulnerable around him smile.

Nigeria very talented music teenage star, Prince Oziomachukwu Favour Mojekwu a.k.a OzzyBee has been a forerunner in supporting the less privileged in the society especially those of them in his immediate environment and at the critical time of their lives as now.

The incursion of the dreaded Coronavirus into Nigeria has left a lot of families further impoverished, a period that has also created a widened gap between the rich, the poor and the have-nots. This is the period chosen by OzzyBee to extend the benevolence of his heart to the needy around; sharing Food & other items to vulnerable people around him and on the streets of Lagos despite the Lockdown.

This show of love from Ozzybee was recently extended to the people in his home-town, Nnewi, in Anambra State, when he, played the role of a CARE-GIVER to Widows and Widowers of Ezeoguine Royal Family who were overjoyed as they received his COVID-19 palliatives in Cash and Kind, well packaged in a COVID-19 customized bag.

Backed by his Charity platform, “OzzyBosco Smile Foundation” and HRH Igwe Dr. KON Orizu III (Igwe Nnewi), he made sure that every Widow/Widower in his community was treated like kings and queens at the event which took place in the palace of the traditional ruler, the Igwe Nnewi who was ably represented by his first son and crown-prince, Prince Obianefo Orizu (Ochendo Nnewi).

According to OzzyBee, the palliative distribution was in support of the good works of His Excellency, Chief Willie Maduabuchi Obiano the Governor of Anambra State, who is trying very hard to alleviate the sufferings of the masses in the State created by COVID-19 pandemic

The Governor was well represented by some of his senior Aides, led by Hon Nnamso Nwafor-Orizu, Senior Special Assistant on Youth Entrepreneurship and Mobilization.

Despite OzzyBee’s inability to be physically present due to the interstate restrictions, he was very well represented by Team OzzyBee led by his project Director, Hon Ralph Nwafor.

Also present were the CEO of Innoson Motors Ltd, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, CEO Gabros Groups Inter’l, Chief Gabriel Chukwuma and other notable personalities within and outside the State.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Reactivation of Lagos creativity industry: Committee submits report

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The Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture on Thursday received the report of members of the Lagos State COVID-19 Impact Review Committee with a promise that due diligence would be done on the recommendations made by the committee.

 
Receiving the report presented by the Chairman of the committee at Alausa, Ikeja on Thursday the Honourable Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Pharm. (Mrs) Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, thanked the committee members for a job well done and promised that the recommendations would be made public and implementations carried out after a thorough review.
 
In her words ‘’I want to really appreciate the committee members for your integrity and commitment in putting this report forward, on behalf of Mr Governor I want to thank you specially. I want to assure you that this report won’t be kept under the table as Mr Governor has the interest of this sector at heart so be rest assured that your good works will bring forth good fruits ’’.
 
‘’We will ensure that in the next one or two weeks, the recommendation will be made public and we hope that you will continue to collaborate with us as we move the tourism, creativity, entertainment and hospitality sector forward in the State’’, she added.
 
The Commissioner reiterated the commitment of the Ministry to work with stakeholders in the creativity, entertainment and tourism sector, assuring that the Ministry, being the regulator of activities in the sector will ensure that their businesses thrives in order to boost employment and increase revenue generation to the state.
 
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Arts and Culture, Mr. Solomon Bonu in his Remarks, said that the Ministry will review the report and advise Mr. Governor accordingly on how to get the sector moving during this Covid19 period.
 
He thanked the committee members for bringing their professionalism and expertise to bear in compiling the report, noting that the State can’t thank them enough.
 
The Chairman of the Committee, a veteran actor, Mrs. Joke Silva thanked the State Government for the opportunity given to come up with recommendations to reposition the creative and tourism industry in the State.
 
While saying that the recommendations were gathered from various sub-committees in the sector on ways forward post Covid19, the Committee Chairman thanked her colleagues  for their dedication and cooperation throughout the deliberation period on the report.
 
Other members of the committee include Mr. Atunyota Akpobome (a.k.a Ali Baba), Mr. Patrick Donald Lee, Dr. Adun Okupe, Mrs. Oyenike Okundaye and Mr. Gbenga Sunmonu. They were also supported by the Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Mr. Ferdinand Tinubu and the Director of Hotel Licensing in the Ministry, Mr. Jobi Ibraheem.
 
It will be recall that the six-man committee chaired by Mrs. Joke Silva, MFR, was inaugurated in May, 2020 with a mandate of drawing out suggestions and recommendations on how to re-activate the State creative industry, which has remained dormant as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic currently ravaging the world.

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