I’ll start by saying that Banana Island was a good attempt at a romantic comedy especially for a Nollywood movie. Sadly, it didn’t live up to a lot of expectations but managed to leave a good taste in our mouths nonetheless.
The visuals were a breath of fresh air and a lot of thought went into the aerial shots and angles that spoke of superb cinematography. The music by Nigerian artists definitely served as major highlights and helped fill in the blanks when necessary. Some of the songs that were definitely worth hearing again were Kale Ni by Ruby Gyang and Empty by Cobhams.
The movie’s flaws however were mostly as a result of empty dialogue and a story with more holes than a basket. This caused the Banana Island Ghost to have pacing issues and trivialized a lot of its highlights.
The film felt more like a collection of moments than a well thought out story and the inconsistencies and lack of buildup in the film caused it to fall flat in the wrong places.
That said, the Banana Island Ghost definitely scored an ‘A’ for effort and comedy with Akah Nnani sending us into peels of laughter and proving that all it takes is skill and commitment to pull off a memorable performance.
Patrick Diabuah was a sight for sore eyes and even though the movie did him little justice he still managed to give a stellar performance. Unfortunately, Chigurl’s character came off a tad bit confusing due to the various accent changes and the insincerity of her emotions during the particularly emotional scenes. It felt like she was playing multiple characters instead of one but the huge let down for me was her singing, particularly because I’ve heard her do way better.
Saheed Balogun managed to hold his end quite well and Makeeda Moka the Naija Ninja didn’t do too badly either.
Though a mesh of highs and lows, Banana Island Ghost takes credit for being a good attempt at what could’ve been an outstanding film.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Kale Ni by Ruby Gyang http://smarturl.it/RubyGyangKaleNi
Empty by Cobhams http://tooxclusive.com.ng/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Cobhams_Asuquo_-_Empty_tooxclusive.com.ng.mp3
You are not entitled to anything on the mere basis of talent. Your natural gifts do not afford you the pleasures of life without hardwork, passion and commitment, as well as a good attitude.
It’s sad to see how talented artists in Nigeria waste away because they lack one or all of these things.
Now let’s start by acknowledging a few things that serve as a point of justification and defense. Yes, we know that pursuing a career in the arts is tough and takes forever to pay, yes we know you need the money because times are hard and of course, it is understood that perfomers are not given their true worth but guess what; this happens everywhere in the world, movies have sold you gloss but the truth is, the struggle is real every where.
This doesn’t give you right of passage because you have it tough. Everything good in life comes with huge sacrifices that have to be paid. Those that excel are the ones that understand this, your gift is to be honed, shared and given freely before you can receive. Like a seed sown into the soil, you must wrestle with the sand to bloom like a flower.
Sadly, many an artist want to just become the flower without going through process. ‘Hian!’
If that were the case, everyone ought to have ‘hammered’ by now. But let’s not digress.
Talent is not enough, this can’t be overly emphasized . All talent gives you is a head start, you have to put in the work, go the extra mile to make something of it and succeed. If you claim to have passion for the talent God has freely given to you, then you have to have the discipline to train and hone it to perfection, the humility to learn from others and serve and the patience and commitment towards becoming the best version of you.
No one can motivate you but you and the people you choose to look up to. Age is not a factor to consider when looking for a teacher or a mentor, experience and expertise is.
You must learn to maximize your strengths and daily grow and learn by outsourcing your weaknesses. Chei! Grammar!
Here’s what I mean: So you think you can dance right, baddest Naija lyrical hiphop dancer ever liveth etc etc but you suck at Naija styles and you know you need to learn. Pick the closest person to you with that skill, swallow a huge drop of humility and learn. Learn till you are as badass as your teacher or good enough to continue on your own. If you believe in value exchange, when you’re done learning, offer to teach your baddest hiphop too. Win, win for all.
Your attitude to work and opportunities determine how far you go as an artist. But first you need to have your priorities in check, if money is your inspiration then this isn’t particularly for you, but if your goal is artistry, mastering your craft, teaching it to people and creating a body of work exportable to any country in the world, then listen up.
You have to pay in time, service and your own funds to grow. Pay for training, volunteer to perform at platforms that will give you the kind of visibility you want and work with people who can move you forward.
READ! Artists seem to hate this word, not all but quite alot. You have to do research to grow, you can’t just rely on what you know. The internet is your friend but are you using it to your advantage?
Attitude. Every human being has an ego. Artists seem to blessed with robes of ego laced with pride and a crown of rudeness. *pauses for effect*
It’s the hard cold truth but we forget that these things do not help us and when displayed, only belittle us and what we have to offer.
People do not patronise pride, it doesn’t pay the bills and it is a bad investment but if that is what comes with your art then you will deprive yourself of greatness. The truth is a bitter pill to swallow but we must see it for what it is, the truth.
As artists we are too sensitive, too quick to take offence or be on the defensive. Too quick to judge but we hate criticism. Creating ‘beef’ that can feed a nation because you don’t want to be told what to do. Here’s my question, ‘ Who E EPP?’ At the end of the day, work is work and play is play, if you can’t tell the difference then, it’s your problem to deal with and nobody else’s.
On a lighter yet serious note, in order to be taken seriously in an industry of this nature, you must respect yourself and work ten times harder than anyone else. Throw your heart and soul into it, fight for what you love. It’s a harsh environment to live in, Nigeria that is, and it isn’t as conducive or structured enough for the arts industry yet but let that not become the excuse to do a sloppy job. Work your butt off and become the best, you may have been unappreciated and treated wrongly but never let it break you but build you.
Your response to your situation determines how far you go in life. So don’t give up, this art will pay if you put in the work and you will never regret pursuing your passion.
This comes from a place of truth, we would never grow without it
I call James and ask him to meet me at the bar because it is closer to his part of town than my place is. We arrive just as he gets there. When he walks in, he takes one look at me and I notice the titanic struggle to keep a straight face and not burst into laughter. He’s a junior colleague so I figure I can bully him. I say to him, “James, if you want your annual bonus this year, you better tell me exactly what happened last night. All of it.”
Poor chap swallowed and nodded in submission. Here’s what I gathered from all he said;
We had sealed a huge deal with the multi-national company after months of hardwork and sleepless nights so I decided to treat my team. I said we would go celebrate at that new restaurant/karaoke bar, get some drinks down and fool around with their karaoke for the laughs of it.
Lydia, James, Eno, George, Biola, Juwon and I excitedly dashed there at about seven pm and went through a few rounds of drinks while we got happier and noisier. We took turns singing, doing solos and duets when I suddenly complained about a serious ache in my right shoulder so Lydia gave me her keys and said she had painkillers in her glove-compartment. I took her keys, stepped out and came back 15 minutes later, barefoot and giggling like a tipsy teenage girl.
I started blabbing about a rhinoceros having two deejays in my head and talking about downloading the godfather soundtrack that night so I could play it at a friend’s baby’s dedication the next day.
At that point I got up on the karaoke stage and gave a performance of a lifetime (complete with sexy choreography) to Beyoncé’s single ladies which brought the house down.
Chai…see my life…
Anyways, I apparently got a call from a friend of mine asking me to come pick him up from a lady friend’s place. So i told the team I would be right back and dashed off, humming ‘…all my single ladies, all my single ladies…’
Of course I never returned, and all efforts to reach me proved abortive. So at the end of the night when they got outside, Lydia realised I had left with her dark blue Elantra and left my black Elantra behind. Worse, I had left with my own keys too. Eno had to give her a ride home while she complained bitterly about the fact that her antidepressant medication was in her glove compartment.
Now THAT explains my hyperactivity and memory loss! I had mistakenly taken her prescription meds instead of the painkillers! The alcohol mixed with the medication put my mind into a crazy bend! Suddenly everything came flooding back into my memory banks. And I must tell you this, the shame wey catch me no be small thing.
From the ‘single ladies’ performance, to mixing up my car with Lydia’s (no wonder, it felt like the wheel was trying to hug me and the car smelled like lip-gloss), to running one of Zubair’s goats over (please don’t ask me why he has goats as pets), to sleeping for over 12 hours and missing Seye’s baby’s dedication and at the same time leaving his in-laws stranded at the airport and putting him at risk of having three-and-a-half year old yams and kolanuts returned to him. Then the fact that a manic Lydia was going to kill me on Monday and above all that, the rhinos in my head probably procreated after all that partying and now are planning to raise a family.
See wetin shayo don do me.
Anyways, my name is Ejiro, what’s YOUR beer story?
We walked into the living room and heard laughter coming from the kitchen.
Seye and I looked at each other with our eyebrows raised so high they are almost in contact with our hairlines (yes, even Seye’s moonwalking hairline). Bisi came out carrying two boxes of pizza, followed by Zubi and my flat mate Dara, both of them carrying serviettes, drinks and a tray of suya. I instantly hear a growl from my mid-section and almost slip on my own drool. I haven’t eaten all day and I am starved.
Bisi kissed Seye and glowered at me. I offered a sheepish smile and wave, whilst stylishly putting the couch between us in case she decides to go all Lucy Liu on me. My shin still hurts from Lydia’s kick abeg.
Zubi and Dara are still laughing at whatever joke they were sharing so we just shake hands. The kitchen door opens again and a cute lady with the prettiest eyes I ever saw stepped out whilst drying her hands on a napkin. She took one look at me and instantly started giggling. I turned to look at myself in the nearest reflective surface in case I had a booger sticking out of my nostril or something.
Zubi cracks up and says,“relax man, that’s Frances, you met her last night. She just remembered what happened that’s all.”
Again, last night!
Then he cuts off my response by asking,
“Kai shege, Ina akuya Na?”
(Hausa for; hey bastard, where’s my goat?)
AHA! That goat in Lydia’s boot!
“Zubi where on earth did that goat come from??? I almost pissed myself when it jumped out of the boot!”
Zubi and Frances almost fall over laughing.
Apparently I had run the poor goat over when i went to drop them off at his place and I just said out loud, “what would Walter White do?”
then I hopped out of the car, picked up the goat which was more in shock than in pain and dumped it in the boot. Then I got back in the driver’s seat, slammed the door shut, turned to look at them and said,
“goats really should shower more often” and drove off.
Seye, Dara and Bisi could have died laughing right there. I could have just plain died right there. What was I on last night???!
When everybody had collectively composed themselves, I asked if I could see the baby (at least that should distract everyone from my humiliation).
We all followed Bisi into the nursery as quietly as possible and stared down at the cute little human while we cooed like pigeons.
Dara says, “Look how tiny all her features are. So amazing, tiny but complete.”
We all nodded and smiled in agreement.
Then Zubair says, “She’s so cute though. But they grow up SO fast! Next thing we know, she’s 19 already, twerking and licking hammers all over the place.”
The stunned silence that followed was epic…I was caught between bursting into raucous laughter and praying for rapture right there…Seye’s mess face returned…Dara and Frances look like they would rather be anywhere but here.
We all collectively have our jaws on the floor.
Then Bisi slapped him…Hard.
The baby woke up and started crying. Bisi picked her up and tried to pacify her. The rest of us filed out quickly.
My phone rang. It was James, a colleague. He said his laptop was in my car and he was on his way to my house to pick it up. I hastily plead with Zubi to take me to the bar to pick up the car. Dara and Frances hastily offer to come with me. We say an awkward goodnight to Seye and hastily get into the car.
We ride in silence for a couple of minutes, and then Zubi chuckles and says,
“Now I know why Seye no get sideburns. Bisi don slap all comot”
I shake my head. This guy…
BiGMO is a fun loving individual who loves music, driving, movies & has a thing with ascents. Named by his parents as Moses Nwokedi (though they now call him BIGMO), he is the 1st son & has 5 siblings.
He acquired a B.Sc in Industrial & Labour Relations from Ogun State University, Ogun State (now Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State). And is still in pursuit of academic qualifications.
He journeyed into the entertainment industry firstly as a model, then tried out comedy, before venturing into a couple of TV soaps, but started his radio career with Radio Gotel Yola, Adamawa State, but presently he is with WAZOBIA FM ABUJA.
Readers, Meet Big Mo!
Tell us a bit about yourself
*I am Moses C. Nwokedi better known as Bigmo, I am an On Air Personality (OAP) with 99.5 Wazobia Fm Abuja. I come from family of six children and I happen to be the first son.
• How did you get started in the radio and broadcasting industry?
I have always loved the transistor radio (as we used to know it when i was younger), but i actually ventured into radio during my service year in Adamawa, this was in 2008/2009 (NYSC, Adamawa State). I was posted to a new Junior Secondary School in Mbamba, the school hours were between 12pm – 4:30 pm. This left me with some spare time and i decided to get on the buzzing radio station in Yola, called Gotel Radio.
That worked out pretty well and at the end of my service year in 2009 i returned to Lagos State (where my parents reside) to give radio a try again in December 2009. This time it was 95.1 Wazobia Fm Lagos. I did the audition and wasn’t really pleased with myself on what i did. I was already planning to send in another audition to them before i got a call from them to come for an interview in January 2010, i was employed that month. I was in Wazobia Fm Lagos before being moved to Wazobia Fm Abuja in late December 2010.
• How has the journey been so far? And what have been your high points?
*The journey has had its lows & highs, one of my greatest achievements was when i was able to join forces with some other youths to form a group called #Choice4Life which is an online group which was very instrumental in the passage of the VAPP Act.
• The standard of radio OAPs in Nigeria seems to have dropped over the years, what would you say is the problem and how can it be curbed?
I think most radio stations need do is to continually train and retrain their employees, this would go a long way in bringing back the finesse that comes with radio broadcasting.
• Wazobia fm is the fastest growing station in the AIM group why do think this is so?
wazobia Fm could be said to be the fastest growing radio station in the AIM Group (which consists of Cool Fm, Wazobia Fm & Nigeria Info Fm), this is due to the use of Pidgin Enlgish in its broadcast which is the language of the Nigerian masses.
• For a station that requires you to speak pidgin, how do you manage to stay eloquent and not have it affect how you speak English ?
I have a multiple personality, which has helped me adapt perfectly despite the fact that i speak Pidgin English at work.
• What other opportunities have come with this career path you have chosen?
This career has given me the opportunity to connect with the general public & the government.
• As one of the most influential radio presenters in Abuja, what advice do you have for aspiring radio presenters
My advice to aspiring radio prensenters is simple. They should ensure that they get the basic rudiments / of radio broadcasting before venturing into it, because it isn’t all about the glam but would require one investing virtually everything they have at some p int before being able to measure up with their dreams.
• Tell us about your other projects/interests you have worked on outside radio?
My first project was tagged #PrisonBreakAbuja which is aimed at enlightening the public that not all inmates are percieved bad as the general public see it and to also enlighten the inmates that the public doesnt necessary see them as evil minded persons.
• What are the major challenges that come with being a radio presenter and how best can they be handled?
The major challenge of being a radio broadcaster is that even when you don’t feel like entertaining the listeners, you have to find a way around it, because the RADIO is no different from the barracks which has to be on active. On other challeneg is that most radio broadcasters don’t get to enjoy the public holiday and festive celebration just like the general public.