Friday, February 15, 2013

Abuja Agog For ZUMA 2012

Event Themed To Connecting People By Al-Amin Ciroma Sunday 6th May, 2012, marked yet the opening ceremony of yet another edition of the nation’s biennial film festival, the Zuma. Over the years, the event has attracted filmmakers, professionals and stakeholders, film enthusiasts and practitioners of the motion picture industry in and around the country. One can judge that each edition passing, Zuma Film Festival (ZFF) has made remarkable strides with a consistent growth pattern and heightened participation profile, robustly attesting to its flagship status in the country and equally reinforcing Nigeria’s enviable profile as the largest film market in Africa. This year’s edition, which is the 6th came with ministerial promises with Mr. Labaran Maku, the nation’s Minister of information has assured film practitioners of the acceleration of the functionality of the much anticipated national film fund. The minister told excited participants at the opening ceremony of the event, that he pushed to ensure a quick consideration of the film fund policy by the federal executive council, through the resilience of film practitioners for the growth of the motion picture industry. Earlier, in his goodwill message, the minister has said the performance of the Nigerian film industry has continue to elicit positive comments from well meaning and candid assessors on the giant strides recorded in the history of motion picture development in Nigeria. He said, from the forces of sheer determination and a creative endowment, an industry that has become a source of great national pride was created. “It is to the credit of resilient and ardent film practitioners in the Nigerian motion picture industry that we now have a truly indigenous exportable product ranked by UNESCO as the second most important product after petroleum in Nigeria. “I therefore commend the vision and assiduity of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), the organisers of Zuma film festival for sustaining an event that serves as veritable rendezvous to celebrate such indomitable spirit of enterprises and rallying point for domestic and international filmmakers and enthusiasts alike to network and showcase audiovisual products that have heightened Nigeria’s global status as a foremost film destination and Africa’s production hub.” Said Mr. Maku. He also assured the motion picture professionals that the Goodluck Jonathan administration is convinced that Nigeria has the rich cultural base to lead the world and is committed through its transformational agenda to vigorously pursue the policy an legal needed to assert the veracity of the film medium as patent tool for cross-cultural integration as succinctly captured by this year’s theme of Zuma Film Festival, “The Human Story: Connecting People.” In his welcome remarks, the Managing Director, NFC, Mr. Afolabi Adesanya said that their preparation for the 6th edition was significantly boasted by the gracious acceptance of the president to the Grand Patron of the Zuma Film Festival. According to him, this is a confirmation of the present administration’s support for the Nigerian film industry and the objectives of the festival. Mr. Adesanya said the event will be graced with the annual film lecture, titled, ‘Filmmaker as a social realist and cultural advocate.’ Adding that the theme was chosen to identify with the nation’s present dynamics and project the potency of film to grapple with it. He said, “I am particularly enthralled by the new waves of collaboration that birthed the idea of the colloquium on meeting the vast challenges of the Nigerian film industry at this edition. My excitement stems from the support we have received from other agencies who are convinced the industry deserves more attention than it us getting at the moment to take its pride of place in the comity of filmmaking nations.” Said the NFC boss. Top highlights of the event were conferment of lifetime achievement award to some eminent personalities, among them, His Royal Highness, Oba Sany Dosunmu, the Olu of Owu Kingdom of Abeukuta, Ogun State, who lead two others, Professor Jonathan Hayness and Mane Cisneros Manrique to received the coveted award. Oba Dosunmu waz honoured for his notable contributions as foremost contributions to the growth of the Nigerian motion picture industry, Hayness was honored for his endless contribution to the growing and the giant industry in Africa. While Manrique was also accorded with the lifetime achivement award for the organisation of film festivals dedicated to the projection of the works of African filmmakers, domestic and in the Diaspora. Also commenting on the event, the festival director, Halima Oyelade says the ZFF has fles Nigeria’s cinematic muscle and proved to be a rendezvous for celebral celebration of Nigeria’s rich cinematic cultural heritage. She pointed out that the general excitement which has gripped Nigerians and film enthusiasts knows no bounds. The festival, according to her, has surely met all its expectations. The four day event ended up with grand dinner and award night where so many prominent Nigerians graced the event. His Excellency, Katsina State Governor, Barrister Shehu Shema was accorded with an award for being the best governor that supports the growth of entertainment industry in Nigeria and national development. The Information Minister, Labaran Maku highlighted that Nollywood has become a source of national pride. So many film professional received award of excellence, with Tunde Kelani, aka TK emerged as the best director for his film, ‘Maami.’ Also honoured is an aced journalist Shuaibu Hussein of Guardian Newspapers as the Best Film Journalist, 2012. ___________ Published in LEADERSHIP (May 2012)


I Want To Be Remembered For My Positive Legacies -Soultan Soultan Abdul started singing at an early age of 11, way back in Arabic school in Kaduna where he learn the skills of Arabic notes which is mostly found in his vocal style. He became a strong and versatile performing musician. His first demo was recorded in Kaduna, which he brought to Lagos in his quest for limelight. He got signed on to salt records in 1998 with a hit single titled, ‘Any how you want it,’ which received a massive airplay on both radio and Television stations. This created a platform that got him nominated to take part in the team song for the under 21 world cup, tagged, Nigeria 99, which he did in an outstanding manner, singing the Hausa lines. However, his debut album which was to be released under his maiden record label was aborted, following some difficulties encountered by the record company as at that time. Meanwhile, his outstanding performance in the world cup team song, including other top Nigerian artiste like Sir Shina Peters, Stella Monye, Orits Wiliki got him recognized and signed by another record label, Cowrie music, owned by Orits Wiliki. After 2 years with Cowrie music, Soultan moved from Lagos back to Kaduna where he recorded another hit single with Ibro Records. His single, ‘Nigerian girl’ became popular in the north, also ‘Tazama,’ which got him performing in events. Meanwhile, He had to come back to Lagos which is the centre base of Nigerian music industry, where he met other producers including James Elukpo who made most his production arrangements as he dishes out several song expected in his forthcoming album. These includes ‘Halima,’ produced by Emeka Phat-E, featuring Buckwylla, and ‘Welcome to the club,’ produced by Kesh, featuring Ruggedman, which are already making waves on the media network. Other producers he has worked with includes Rymzo, Kani, J-Adict, etc. The videos were shot and directed by Bobby Hai of Sauti Cenemaz who is currently managing his affairs under Sauti Phasaha group. In this brief chat with AL-AMIN CIROMA, the Soultan, a.k.a The Prince of North bares his mind about his experience in the music industry and way of life: Excerpt: Please share with us your experience in the industry. My experience in the music circle has always been very challenging. Challenging in the sense that one has to work hard to remain on the spotlight. I do my song-writings and arrangements at times with the help of my producers, who ensure me successes and stuffs like that. They help in supporting the use and application of proper instrumentations to get the right and well-meaning end result. It’s also been very interesting and full of fun as you get to meet with great artiste, performers and producers. What genre do your music fall into? My music is a blend of traditional Hausa music with a fusion of the more than English brand of music. Artistes are known for their unique dress code or emblem. We also know a little about your uniqueness. What is your general style? (Laughter) I have a style that is unique with its kind of flavour. I sing about reality, love, peace, inspirational to motivate the weak to be strong, for the hopeless to have hope. etc. My uniqueness in dressing is outstanding, especially this special cap made of material that looks like a Giraffe skin. I wear it with passion and with anything I choose to wear, depending on the outing, but my major brand of costume of regalia is the local ‘Kaftan’ like kind of attire made from ‘Shadda’ materials, brocade, etc. There are so many intrigues and misconceptions about artistes to the extend some people stigmatise them. Do you also experience such with your people? Artiste or musicians are usually seen different from normal everyday people. They are kind of different professions, but that depends on what you do and how you do it, depending on values you attach to your content of philosophy in what you do musically, and as for me Alhamdulillah, it’s been rewarding because I have chosen to be a worthy ambassador and the society takes me as I am. How many albums have you released so far and which one is your blockbuster? I have five recorded CDs later. And have worked with great people like. Lemy Jackson, Segun Samuel Bashegs, OJB Jezreel, Rymzo, Orits Williki, Shina Peters, Phat E, James Elukpo, Ibrahim Yunusa, my C.E.O, Idris Usman Freshkid Bcbby Haph Kesh and host of others. My biggest break was my performance on the theme song for world cup hosted by Nigeria tagged: “NIG 99.” I sang the Hausa alongside Shina Peter, Mike Okri, Orits Wiliki; my boss, etc, beside that I had a song tittled, ‘Duniya Labari,’ ‘Tazama,’ ‘Nigerian Girl,’ ‘Assalamu alaikum,’ etc. What are your aspirations? My aspirations are a million tonnes in one simple word; to achieve greatness, to build an empire that will positively affect generations after generations. What are you working on now? Presently am working hard to promote my new CD which features great stars like RUGGEDMAN in a song titled ‘Salamu alaikum,’ which the video was shot n directed by Bobby Hai, and a song titled ‘Halima’ ft BUCKWYLLA video also shot and directed by Bobby Hai and my main joker a song titled ‘ABOKI PARTY’ ft BOBBY HAI video shot n directed by Bobby Hai. I will like to tell my fans that this project is massive, so they can be rest assured they won't be disappointed. What would you like to be remembered for? I want to be remembered for my powerful messages and positive legacies. What are your advices to the northerners, most especially the upcoming artistes? My advice to northerners is that we need and have to put the interest of the region at heart and to uphold it up high, to regain its integrity, credibility and dignity. We have to make peace and unity a basement and also the pillar in which we stand to project, protect and move forward, Nigeria is one and indivisible entity GOD will help us but we must help ourselves. To the upcoming artistes, they should keep up to their producers’ words and be very well committed with interest and objective minds. They should know that nothing good comes easy, so they should be prepared, get yourself educated it will help harness your talent and open your mind to the realities of life. Never be retarded by any jinx, it takes bravery to conquer and strength, courage to rise when you fall because the world is a jungle but we all will survive it. And to your fans... To my fans, you are a source of inspiration to me because knowing you are there makes me more creative and determine to create and make good music jus to keep you satisfied. I really appreciate your care love and appreciation for me, ‘Allah Ya bar zumunci, na gode.’ _______________________ Published in LEADERSHIP