CELEB AFRICA NETWORK

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

DJIMON HOUNSOU HOLLYWOOD ACTOR FROM BENIN





Djimon Hounsou

Date of Birth
24 April 1964, Cotonou, Benin

Birth Name
Djimon Gaston Hounsou

Height
6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Biography

Djimon originated from Africa and has graced the catwalks of Paris and London as a popular male model.
IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse
Kimora Lee (May 2009 - present) 1 child

Trivia

Name pronounced Jie-mon Hahn-soo.

Came to Paris from Benin at the age of 13, couldn't find a job and ended as a vagrant, sleeping under bridges and rummaging in trash cans for food. Things changed for the better when fashion designer Thierry Mugler discovered him and made him a fashion model.

Was in Janet Jackson video "Love Will Never Do Without You" (1992).

On "ER" (1994), he played Mobalage Ikabo, a refugee from Nigeria. His actual homeland of Benin shares its largest border with Nigeria.

Born on the same day as actor/comedian Cedric the Entertainer.

Fourth male African to receive an Oscar-nomination for acting. The other three were Basil Rathbone, Cecil Kellaway and Omar Sharif. All four men were nominated for 'Best Supporting Actor'.

Learned English by watching television.

His fiancée is Kimora Lee.

Has a son, born May 30, 2009, with Kimora Lee.

Personal Quotes

"School bored me. Being educated and being intelligent are two different things. I thought I was smart enough. And I wanted to be an entertainer. I stopped going to school as a way of saying I was mature, a way of saying I was going to choose who I was going to become." --Daily News, December 3, 1997

"America has this understanding of Africans that plays like National Geographic: a bunch of Negroes with loincloths running around the plain fields of Africa chasing gazelles. Meanwhile, we have Africans and African-Americans, contemporary men, with great stories, great integrity, great heroes and nobody wants to see or hear about those African heroes and those African-American heroes. One day, I will be in a position to play those great human beings on-screen."

ANGELIQUE KIJO FROM SINGER TO UNICEF GOOD WILL AMBASSADOR.



Angélique Kidjo (born on July 14, 1960) is a Grammy Award-winning Beninoise singer-songwriter and activist, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos.
Early life

Kidjo was born in Cotonou, Benin. Her father is from the Fon people of Ouidah and her mother from the Yoruba people. She grew up listening to Beninese traditional music, Miriam Makeba, James Brown, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, and Santana. By the time she was six, Kidjo was performing with her mother's theatre troupe,[1] giving her an early appreciation for traditional music and dance. She started singing in her school band Les Sphinx and found success as a teenager with her adaptation of Miriam Makeba's "Les Trois Z" which played on national radio. She recorded the album Pretty with the Cameroonian producer Ekambi Brilliant and her brother Oscar. It featured the songs Ninive, Gbe Agossi and a tribute to the singer Bella Bellow, one of her role models. The success of the album allowed her to tour all over West Africa. Continuing political conflicts in Benin prevented her from being an independent artist in her own country and led her to relocate to Paris in 1983.
[edit] Moving to Paris

While working various day jobs to pay for her tuition, Angélique studied music at the CIM, a reputable Jazz school in Paris where she met and married musician and producer Jean Hebrail with whom she has composed most of her music. She started out as a backup singer in local bands. In 1985, she became the frontsinger of the known Euro-African jazz/rock band Jasper van't Hof's Pili Pili. Three Pili Pili studio albums followed: Jakko (1987) Be In Two Minds (1988, produced by Marlon Klein) and Hotel Babo (1990). By the end of the 1980s, she had become one of the most popular live performers in Paris and recorded a solo album called Parakou for the Open Jazz Label.
[edit] International career

She was then discovered in Paris by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell who signed her in 1991. She recorded four albums for Island until Chris Blackwell's departure from the label. In 2000 she was signed in New York by Columbia Records for which she recorded two albums.

Her musical influences include the Afropop, Caribbean zouk, Congolese rumba, jazz, gospel, and Latin styles; as well as her childhood idols Bella Bellow, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Miriam Makeba and Carlos Santana. She has made her own renditions of George Gershwin's "Summertime", Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child", and The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter", and has collaborated with the likes of Dave Matthews and the Dave Matthews Band, Kelly Price, Branford Marsalis, Robbie Nevil, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and Cassandra Wilson. Kidjo's hits include the songs "Agolo", "We We", "Adouma", "Wombo Lombo", "Afirika", "Batonga", and her version of "Malaika".

Kidjo is fluent in Fon, French, Yorùbá, and English and sings in all four languages; she also has her own personal language which includes words that serve as song titles such as "Batonga". Malaika is a song sung in Swahili language. She often utilizes Benin's traditional Zilin vocal technique and jazz vocalese.

THE SOUTH AFRICAN QUEEN REBECA MALOPE



2008 marks 22 years in the music industry for South Africa’s Queen of Gospel, Rebecca Malope. Today she is South Africa’s biggest selling local artist.

Rebecca’s story starts in 1986. Driven by a burning desire to become South Africa’s most celebrated and admired songstress, Rebecca , then 21 years old, and her sister Cynthia, left their home township of Lekazi near Nelspruit and hiked 400 km to Evaton from where they finally reached Johannesburg. This brave step launched a personal journey of achievement that was destined to touch the hearts and minds of millions.

Arriving in Johannesburg , Rebecca immediately set out to realize her dreams and entered the Shell Road to Fame talent search. She was unsuccessful but this did not deter her, and she entered again in 1987 and won the Shell Road to Fame award in the Best Female Vocalist category. Diminutive in stature but big in character. Through determination, hard work, discipline and an iron-will to succeed, she overcame the disadvantage of her semi-rural background. In addition , she has had a talented and supportive team behind her right from the start , in particular Sizwe Zako, producer, mentor and friend.

Despite winning the Shell Road to Fame talent search and realizing part of her dream, Rebecca struggled to find a record company that was willing to help her fulfil that dream. She realized that to fulfil that dream, she had to make it happen herself. She enlisted the help of Sizwe Zako and Peter Tladi, and was able to raise enough money to record Rebecca’s first album.

Their confidence was rewarded when, in a matter of weeks, the album reached gold status. Rebecca has never looked back, she has simply gone from strength to strength. Rebecca won the OKTV awards as best South African female artist for the period 1989/1990; when over 10 million listeners voted for her , the best local established artist in the 1993 Coca Cola Full Blast Music Show. She won it again in 1994. And ever since 1994 she has won 11 SAMA Awards, 2 Kora awards, 3 Metro awards and she has never stopped to be South Africa’s gospel queen.


Rebecca is held in very high esteem by fans in neighbouring countries , she also travels overseas to broaden her exposure and to this end has visited and performed in the United Kingdom , France, Israel to mention a few , she continues to conquer Africa as the Mother Teresa of Africa by being a humanitarian and a philanthropist. She made history travelling to Israel where CCV TV crew shot a 52 minute Easter special for national broadcast on Good Friday, 15 April 1995. She was further given the honour of singing the national anthem which was televised live to 30 countries.

Rebecca Malope has performed for people in all walks of life , young and old, educated and non educated , rich and poor, kings and dignitaries, and all that has not the changed Rebecca , she is still humble as ever and she is still giving her time and money to the needy and the abused. No wonder she is so blessed because she is a giver, she has sold over 3000000 albums throughout her career.

To support her 2008 release “UJehova Ungu’Madida”, Rebecca has embarked on an extensive national and international tour, including Ivory Coast, Zambia and Malawi, featuring her world-famous 10-piece band. The 17 track album was co-produced by Rebecca herself and Percy Ingle. Highlights are the opener “Amazulu”, “Sinje Ngamajuba” as well as a stirring version of the gospel standard “How Great Thou Art” as only the Queen of Gospel can interpret it.

LADY JAY DEE THE AFRICAN RISING SUPER STAR



Biography
Judith Daines Wambura Mbibo, known as Lady Jaydee (June 15, 1979 - ) is an Afropop singer from Tanzania. She was voted Best Tanzanian Female R&B Artist in 2002, performed at the Kora All Africa Designers Competition, and was awarded "Best R&B Album" at the Tanzania Music Awards on August 6, 2004. In July 2005, she won an award for "best female video for South Africa". She was among the first females to sing R'N'B in Swahili
hen you speak of the New Queen of Music in Tanzania, you definitely speak of LADY JAYDEE. She embarked when Tanzania new age music (Bongo Flava music) started to earn respect from fans. She has managed to capture the local markets with her beautiful, powerful vocals and her true life lyrics and sing along melodies.

Lady Jaydee is undoubtedly the most popular female artist to date. Her New Age African womanhood gives her a well-deserved recognition as The Tanzania Music Queen. With four albums in the market, Lady JayDee is so far the most awarded Musician in Tanzania, winning an Award at least every year since 2001 to Date from Tanzania Music Awards, BBC Awards, Pearl of Africa Awards To Africa Music Video Awards.


LADY JAYDEE AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS

- Winner of 'M-Net Where U @ Awards 2001' for the Best Female Artist in Tanzania
- Winner of two 'Tanzania Music Award 2001/02' for The Best Female Artist and The Best Video for her 'Machozi' (tears) album
- Winner of 'Youth Achievements Awards 2003' for The Best Song and The Best Video of 'Usiusemee Moyo'
- Nominee for 'Kara Music Awards 2003' as The Most Promising Female Artist in Africa for her song 'Siri Yangu' (my secret)
- Winner of ' African Music Video A wards 2003' in South Africa for The Best Video in East Africa 'for the video 'Machozi'.
- Winner of Tanzania Music Awards 2004 for 'The Best RNB Album' for her 'Binti' (daughter) album
- Nominee for Kora 2004 for the best Female East African Artist.
- Winner of two Channel 0 Awards 2005 for the Best video in East Africa and the Best Collaboration Song in Africa
- Nominee for Kara Awards 2005 for the Best Female in East Africa Winner of BBC Radio Award for Song Of The Year 2005 (Distance) Winner of Pearl Of Africa Music Awards for The Best Female Artist ln Tanzania.
- ln 2008 she became the first female musician in Africa to be the Olympic Torch Bearer

WITH HER BELOVED HUSBAND GADNER G HABASH

Monday, March 29, 2010

FALLY IPUPA AFRICAN SUPER STAR FROM DRC



Biography
Ipupa Nsimba aka fally ipupa aka “DiCaprio” aka “La Merveille”born in Kinshasa, December 14th, 1977. He’s a singer, songwriter and guitarist of great talent.

He was part of the group Quartier Latin for about 10 years and worked his craft with Koffi Olomide. he notably created several hits for Koffi, among them Eternellement on Force de Frappe in 2001 et Ko Ko Ko Ko on Affaire d’Etat which will rocketted him to the position of conductor despite his young age. In 2006, debuting his solo career, he delivers his first album Droit Chemin that sold over 100,000 copies with hits like Droit Chemin, Liputa or Kidiamfuka.

With his silky smooth voice, he conquered the international scene and reached the hearts of many with his music blending various styles as soukous, ndombolo, pop and R&B. In 2009, his album Arsenal de Belles Mélodies in very much noticed, with hits like Chaise électrique, a duet performed with Olivia, ex-G-Unit.

his presence in the international music industry has been acknowlegde. in 2007, When he won Best Male Artist Cesaire Award and Best Artist or Group from Central Africa Kora Award. in 2009, he participates in the “MTV Awards Made in Africa”, performing Bicarbonate.

Fally is very talented, a music genious who is here to stay.

http://www.fally.cd
Facebook Fally Ipupa’s Official Page
Facebook Fally Ipupa Official Fan Club Page
Official Blog Spot

JULIANA KANYOMOZI UGANDIAN DIVAS




Crossing over from a Karaoke singer to one of the biggest divas in your home country is no easy task. Juliana Kanyomozi on the verge of releasing her ten-track debut solo album is one feat to envy. Her latest pop reggae single Nabikoowa (I got tired of it) is burning up local music charts fast (entering Capital radios KT20 two days after release) indicating she is not slowing on churning hits. The former Karaoke singer explores a turbulent relationship and the resolve to move on. Ndifuna omulala (Ill find another one), Newoli kolotya, wampisa buubi naange nakukwaawa nabikoowa (whatever you do, you treated me bad and I gave you up I got tired of it). Contrary to speculation it was personal, Juliana refutes asserting, its only about things that happen to so many people caught up in relationships that do not work out. She adds sometimes in relationships we need to accept and move on. You have to be strong. Nabikoowa recorded at Steve Jeans Fenon records, has imprints of a hit: simplicity in lyrics, a widely appealing message, powerful honeyed vocals (with superb octaves), great ad-libs, sweet melody, memorable hook, sparse instrumentation allowing her voice, words and theme to be heard and clean professional production delivered by Steve. It features on her upcoming album slated for July on the same company. She promises three songs in local pop (luganda) a style she has progressed to from raw slick r&b and easily defined as a fusion of r&b and local pop with Caribbean elements surrounding her distinct voice. Her last two efforts taata wa baana (father of the kids) with Bobi Wine and their equally successful duet Maama mbiire marked the move

VAN VICKER GHANEAN SUPER STAR



Van Vicker is one of the most recognized faces to come out of the African movie industry. van is proud of his unique heritage; he is of Dutch, Liberian, and Ghanaian descent.


van became a household name in African movies quite by accident. He started out in the entertainment world in radio and as a television personality. The producer of the first film van was in saw his potential and took a chance on him.

That chance paid off and van's movie career was born. Since then van has perfected the romantic leading man role. He has helped make the Ghanaian movie industry also known as Gollywood, a fierce competitor in the world of African movies. van has appeared in over 30 movies including the popular love triangle Beyonce: The President's Daughter series, Mummy's Daughter, Divine Love, The American Boy, Princess Tyra, In the Eyes of My Husband, Innocent Soul, Slave to Lust, and many others. van is an avid sports fan.

He enjoys shooting pool, Soccer, Tennis, and Basketball. He was the first runner up in a Basketball Slam Dunk competition in 1997. He played College Basketball and Pro Basketball for the Sheperds. Family is very important to van. His mother is his hero. Although van's father passed away when he was only 6 years old, van still looks up to him and wants to be just like his Dad. van is happily married to Adjoa and they are the proud parents of two daughters, J'dyl and J-ian. van has won numerous awards for his acting.

Some of his honors are:
Best Male Actor 2006 - GMA (competitive)Ghana Ghana at 50 - Recognition in acting certificate 2007 (honoree) Best Male Actor, WA, 2007 5th
Annual Movie Awards, NY (honoree) Best Male Actor, WA, 2007 Screen Nation Film and TV Awards, UK (competitive), Best
Male Actor 2007, Ohio (honoree) Best Male Actor,2007 1st DJ Awards, Bronx, NY (honoree).

Van has recently been nominated for Best Lead Actor and Best Upcoming Actor at the 2008 Africa Movie Academy Awards to be held in Nigeria. van is also a businessman. He owns and runs Sky + Orange, an advertising agency and event management company. He also runs Babetown, a unisex barber shop where customers can not only get their hair cut but can shop for the latest designs in fashion, shoot some pool, listen to good music, and enjoy their favorite drinks. van also runs the van Vicker Foundation which reaches out to up and coming talent and discovers new talent to help them get their shot at acting.

Van has recently added producer, writer, and director to his resume. His first movie he wrote, directed, produced, and acted in is called 'Friday Night' and van promises that this is the first of many movies to come from his production company Sky + Orange. There is so much more to come from this sexy and humble leading man, fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride.

BOBY WINE A MUSIC SENSATION FROM UGANDA



Born on the 12th of February in 1982 in Mpigi District south west of Kampala capital, Bobi Wine was christened Robert Kyagulanyi and joined nine other siblings into the harsh life of ghetto living in Kamwokya, one of the worst slums of Kampala. His childhood life was characterized by moving from one school to another that he lost count. "I could only study for a term before getting expelled for fees. So the only option was to move to another." In secondary school he experienced set backs as his problems became more complicated. "I used to have no money for uniforms and my mother was doing her best to cater for my fees and the family. So I had to go around doing odd jobs like collecting water for money and things like that."
If his problems taught him anything, definitely innovation was one of them."Underground shows with a Walkman, a borrowed amplifier and a speaker was how I used to make ends meet. I would spread the word and after school charge students fifty shillings (less than half dollar) per head and we would jam! I got into trouble with the school administration but that was the way I made my pocket money." By the end of his 'O' levels he had composed many songs but had no money to record. It was one of the most disheartening things in his pursuit of his musical dream."We would listen to the local songs on radio and know we could do better, but the expensive rates would just keep us from recording our numbers. I know of many good artists, some better than I who gave up because it wasn't worth it. It was so frustrating. If you wish to get intouch with Bobi Wine, call +256 752 399999

KABELO NGAKAME


Full/Real Name: Kabelo Ngakane Known As: KB Ngakane Birth Date: Tuesday, December 28, 1976 Gender: Male
Actor Biography

Kabelo "KB" Ngakane is a South African radio DJ, television presenter and producer best known for hosting the music show O-Boma on Channel O, and Big Brother Africa, since 2007. Tribromide gladiator trelliswork supraclavicular symphysis decarch hemihidrosis gluconate anaesthesiology. Maint bergamot sweetshop. Spoiler globulite delintering bullhorn fuff!


Q&A with Kabelo

When do you think one should move out of home?
As soon as they can!

Favourite food/dish?
At the moment, Four Seasons pizza.

Favourite song/musician
Beenie Man - King of da Dancehall; Skwatta Kamp - Washumkhukhu; Bouga Luv - Jiva Soweto.

Favourite movie
Friday, Lion King, City of God, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill (both).

Favourite hanging spot
My place.

Favourite holiday spot
I enjoy travelling around Africa.

Your dream car
H2 Hummer.

What do you prefer - candlelit dinner/hanging out watching movies
Depends.

Ideal woman?
Ideal! Okay, spiritual depth, takes care of herself, with a sense of humour (laughs at all my jokes, aaaaaaahhh ha ha ha ha ha!!).

Biggest achievement thus far
Being on Channel O, getting a gig on national radio and featuring on some of the biggest reality TV productiona on the continent (Big Brother, Project Fame, Idols).

If tomorrow was your last day what would you want to be remembered for?
My love for Africa and Africans.

Grooming?
Always need help, I wash every day though! My hair gets done by our sponsor.

Pet hates?
Suck ups!

Things you can't live without?
Music, pen and paper, God, cellphone.

Things you will take if stranded on a remote island
My cellphone, so I can call friends to come get me!

What inspires you?
Life, people who overcome obstacle whatever the size! My peers and friends.

What's the most expensive thing you've bought?
Puma platinum shoes.

Do you describe yourself as a spiritual or a religious person?
Spiritual.

From all the mistakes you have made, which one taught you the most?
Each lesson has been most enlightening.

Do you think you have a role to play in African youth development, if so, what?
I have a platform that is very powerful in youth culture. I have the opportunity to learn from people that your average person may not have the chance to meet and who could uplift those people, my job is to spread the good message.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
That even in happiness I can be inspired, I don't need to have lived a sad and terrible past to inspire people to value life and what they have!

If you were a cartoon character you would be?
Krazyboy! He looks like a character that would be in the "Boondocks"

Where do you see yourself in 3 to 5 years from now?
At a concert venue near you!

One or two words that describe you?
World Child.

What's your most embarrassing moment?
Forgot it for obvious reasons.

Anything about yourself that you've never told anyone else?
No one will know!

ZAYN NABBI



Birth Date: Saturday, September 04, 1982
Gender: Male
Actor Biography

Zayn Nabbi was a contestant on the first season of Survivor South Africa, set in Panama, in 2006. He came fourth.

Nabbi is a rugby writer for the Independent Group and was the first official contestant to be announced for Survivor South Africa: Panama.

The news of Nabbi's involvement was "leaked" to the newspaper he works for, The Daily News in Durban, on 17 August 2006.
Actor Trivia

Star sign: Virgo

Residence: Durban, KZN

Occupation: Sport journalist

What you should know about him:
Even though he's a little overweight, he plays rugby and hockey, and rugby is his all time favourite sport. He likes political debates around the campfire and is a devoted Catholic.

What would you want to take to the island?
‘My Bible.'

Describes himself as:
‘An extroverted workaholic with a big mouth.'

Worst qualities:
‘I can be arrogant and love to argue.'

Why will you win Survivor?
'My intention isn't to win, but to increase my spirituality.'

What did you think made your entry unique?
‘The fact that I'm pretty much a straight talker, and I tell it like it is. I think I also irritate older white males because of my beliefs: I endorse things like affirmative action. Being a rugby writer in Durban, I'm probably the most unpopular rugby writer in white rugby circles. My popularity sits high with black people ‧ and I mean all African people, coloured, Indian, black…'

Who was the first person you told about getting into Survivor SA?
‘I ran out the office because I work at Independent Newspapers, and I didn't want any journalists catching on and putting it in the front page as a story, and I didn't want to be kicked off the show because of the confidentiality clauses!'

Why do you think you were chosen to be a Survivor?
‘The fact that I'm a franchise. I'm not a model, I don't have a six-pack, I'm overweight, I'm not the best looking gent. But I'm a bloody good character, and that makes for good TV.'

What he'll miss the most:
Family, friends and pets, his mother’s home cooking
.
Quote: “I’m not here to make temporary alliances, but to forge friendships for life!”

Favourites

Movies:
Pulp Fiction, Any Given Sunday.

Actors:
Chris Beasley (Isidingo)

Actresses:
Natalie Portman

Music:
Rock (POD) and Kwaito (Zola 7)

Books/Authors:
The Bible

Foods:
Mutton briyani

MICHEAL EZURUONYE




Place of Birth: Lagos, Nigeria

Family: Eldest son, 4 siblings

Secondary school education: Federal Government College Wukari, in the former  Gongola State, actual Taraba State. Archbishop Aggey Memorial Secondary School, Lagos State.

University education: Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State. Nnamdi Azikiwe University

Degree: Major in Accounting.  

The beginning

Right from primary school, Michael showed a keen interest in the world of television. He worked behind the camera writing scripts on clapper board television.

A good friend of movie producer Jetta Amata, Michael has always been involved in some capacity in the world of Arts and Theater despite having studied Accounting.

The break   

He was buying fuel at a gas station when he was spotted by Ruke Amata of the Amata Dynasty and this happy coincidence set him on tracks to pursue his most cherished dream of becoming an actor.

The rise to fame

Popularly nicknamed Fair Mike, the handsome actor quickly proved his talent and capabilities to convince some of the most influential decision makers in Nollywood, namely director Aquilla Njamah and producer Emem Isong to give him a chance. Director Dickson Iroegbu gave him his big break in the movie "Broken Marriage."

Stardom

"Critical Decision" was the huge commercial success that revealed Micheal's talent home and abroad.

It also made him a household name as well as it established him on the very select list of the most sought after leading men in Nollywood.

His shot to fame is the quickest ever observed in the history of Nollywood by any standards, male and female alike.His story is sometimes likened to the fairy tale Cinderella.

Though he started his professional career in December 2003, he is today the undisputed most popular leading man and he never looked back.

Credits 
To give credit where credit is due, Michael gives accolades to the people who gave him his break and believed in him when he still had everything to prove, namely Aquilla Njamah, Emem Isong, Gabriel Moses and Dickson Iroegbu.

He is ever grateful to the public home and abroad who adopted him instantly and made him the fastest rising star in the Nollywood sky. He is devoted to stay worthy of their following by remaining the hardest working leading man around.
And last but not least, his eternal gratitude goes to his loving mother for standing by him all the way. 

Movies

To date Michael has featured in more than 30 home movies among which the critically acclaimed "Critical Decision", "Endless Passion", "Occultic Kingdom", "Unforeseen", and "Beyond Reason."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

ZACH ORJI, NIREGIAN MOVIE STAR



Some call you Zach Orji, others Zack Orji. What are your real names?

I was born Zachee Ama Orji in Libreville, Gabon. However, most people call me Zack.

When ever we talk about actors it looks like they have always been actors. What is your background before acting- education, experience etc

I hold a B.Sc. (Hons) Estate Management degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. I graduated in 1984.

Apart from Gabon and my fatherland Nigeria, my formative years; primary and secondary education were in Cameroon, Benin and Togo where I attended both French and English schools. This accounts for my being bilingual. Before becoming an actor, I used to design and make aquariums for sale and on order.

Fine Arts was where I made one of my best grades in secondary school. The aquanum market was dull so I moved on to shoes. Back in my secondary school my principal used to call me an all-rounder. I was senior prefect, I was speaker in senior debates, I was in the dramatic society, I was school champion in shot putt and discus; state champion in shot putt (1978) and went on to represent my state nationally

You must be a unique Nigerian actor since you speak French fluently. Have you thought about acting in French?

I would like to act in French. In August 2002, I was in Kinshasa, Congo where alongside my Congolese colleagues; I did a 5-minute promo in French for Vodacom to promote their short mail service in that country.

Nigerian Movies have become de facto Africa's popular movies. How do you see this evolving?

I see the role of Nigerian movies as a pioneering one. Other sister African Nations will follow our footsteps and begin to do their own homegrown movies.

There will be more collaborations than we have already done with Ghana, South Africa, Cameroon and Sierra Leone, transcending language barriers.

Which are your all time favorite foreign and African Films?

a. Guess who’s coming to Dinner
b. The Good The Bad and The Ugly
c. Sound of Music
d. Sarafina
e. The Unforgiven Sin
f. Tenterhooks
g. Web
h. Return To Kazondia
i. Games Women Play
j. All my Life

What is your take on Films made on celluloid and Filmmakers like Sembene Ousmane or Basek Bakobio?

Nothing compares to the big screen. It is awesome, it captivates and it is the ultimate created world. My recollections of the big screen, watching movies like “The Good, the bad and the Ugly”, in my very early teens, are still very much vivid. Celluloid gives you the “feel” of the big screen.

However, recent breakthroughs in digital technology have given birth to digital video cameras with very high definition. You can shoot your films with these high definition cameras and watch them on wide screens, enjoying the same picture resolutions.

George Lucas used such high def cameras and said “I will never shoot another film on film”. Filmmakers like Sembene Ousmane or Basek Bakobio are torchbearers who have inspired a lot of Africans and people of black descent. They have made indelible marks and therefore occupy a pride of place. However, we must strive to traverse their footprints and leave something behind, in order to build up on their foundations