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Nollywood needs unbiased platform for practitioners to thrive — Etete

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An entrepreneur, Elizabeth Etete, says that Nollywood needs an unbiased platform where producers, filmmakers and artistes could thrive without let or hindrance from established societal norms.

Etete, who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director, Innovative Creative Experts Distribution (ICED), told the Newsmen on Friday in Lagos that such a platform would expand the horizon of Nollywood.

“The challenges we are facing in Nollywood today, specifically, is that there isn’t an unbiased platform where producers, filmmakers and artistes basically can be themselves and where they are not judged, their content not judged.

“Where they are free to be creative as they want and of course, follow the national and international censor guidelines, but other than that, they should be able to have that platform to do as they want,’’ she said.

In the area of latitude to the necessary investment tools for the industry and perception, she told Newsmen that Nollywood is still scratching the surface.

“In terms of infrastructure and investment, we don’t have the equipment; we don’t have the studio or green screen or the expertise, what it takes to compete on an international level.

“Another challenge we are facing is the common perception and image of Nollywood, I mean everybody thinks that if you’re an actor or actress that you’re a prostitute and that all producers or filmmakers are pimps.

“That’s not true, and we need to make an active and collective effort to change this imagery, to change what the world views and what we ourselves in the movie industry here in Nigeria and in Africa generally are.

“I will also want to address sexual abuse, sexual harassment because as we have seen globally that it’s a huge, huge, problem and it’s definitely something that ICED will address in everything that we touch and do.

“How are we going to go about solving these channels, you know I think the fact that ICED is created, operated and run on principles, principle-based is key.

“Without principles you are not going to solve basic problems, everyone on board has to understand the value of human beings, the value of human labour.

“We have to protect these talents, we have to nourish them, we want to make sure that people understand that apart from the amount of money that one can make, art is something to be cherished, something to be cultivated, and something to be respected and so, ICED is based on these things.

“And we have these values and we have this vision, and we have this care to our community and to everyone we touch, we want to make sure that we don’t use, we don’t abuse but that we nourish, elevate and we respect and we grow.

“You know it’s not just about making money, definitely everyone involved will understand that there’s a different and better way of making money, and yea…

“It’s going to take time and a lot of understanding and a lot of media to say the right things and broadcast the right things and use the right words but I think collectively we have a role to play and we can do it,’’ she said.

Etete stressed that ICED seeks to address the salient issues that were stunting the growth of Nigeria’s entertainment industry as a whole.

“ICED is a Nigerian-based company with flair of European management, partnered with an American Company owned by Leon Youngblood (Snr.), whose viewer reach is worldwide.

“We have created a platform for independent filmmakers and producers from all over the world to air their work.

“Our staff is made up of passionate professionals, young and innovative characters who are reshaping the distribution network in Africa and eventually all over the world.

“We offer a viewer platform of over 1.2 billion worldwide. ICED was created because of the demand for independent filmmakers to get their work on global platform.

“We have picked up several producers and investors that see the future of the movie industry in Africa.

“ICED has caught the attention of the U.S. entertainment industry, causing a wave of excitement. We are opening the doors for future work relationships and investments in the industry,’’ the entrepreneur said.

Etete, who is of Nigerian and Swiss parentage, and has a background in Business and Space Engineering, told Newsmen that ICED, is also proficient in movie production.

“Other than distribution, ICED is into production both locally and internationally.

“We are also going to focus on human resource development as well as open the doors and channels for investors to come in so that we can upgrade infrastructure and make it possible for us to compete at the international level,’’ she added.

The Bayelsa-born Etete said that her organisation intended to spread its reach across the world in due course.

“ICED reaches out to every country in Africa and is in partnership with Leon Youngblood (Snr.), our global reach spans across the following countries: Finland, China, U.S., Africa, Australia, Dubai, London, South Africa and the Latin America.

“It’s around 120 counties all over the world, and we can target anywhere except communist countries that block internet access,’’ Etete added.

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Dele Momodu wades in Davido-Sophia custody battle, urges prioritization of child’s welfare

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By Esther Agbo

In a heartfelt message shared via his official Instagram handle, Dele Momodu, the uncle of Sophia Momodu, mother of Nigerian singer David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido’s first daughter, Imade Adeleke, expressed his concerns and opinions regarding the ongoing custody dispute between Davido and his niece, Sophia Momodu.

Momodu recounted how he received a distressing message from Davido the previous night, revealing the singer’s devastation over a counter-affidavit submitted in court earlier that day. This counter-affidavit was in response to Davido’s request for joint custody of their daughter.

Momodu expressed his surprise at the legal action, as he had recently spoken with Davido via video call, during which no custody issues were mentioned.

He said, “I had seen David’s affidavit about two weeks ago and I was very surprised as David and I had spoken on a video call days earlier, with him and Pastor Tobi Adegboyega, and he never told me he had any custody issues with my niece.

“So you can imagine my confusion to find out via social media and subsequently confirmed by my niece that he had filed an action in court seeking joint custody of their daughter.

“During the referenced video call, we were all very excited about his forthcoming wedding ceremony, an event our family congratulated him about. Prior to this, David had told me he eventually spoke to their daughter, after a long lull of about two years.

“He was very happy and excited. So I thought everything was settled and he and Sophia would now have the opportunity of taking maximum care of their daughter. I had offered special thanks to David’s Dad, Dr Adedeji Adeleke, for his kindness and support for our daughter during the period of David’s absence.

“I had also taken Sophia and their daughter to my very dear friend, Governor Ademola Adeleke, seeking his intervention. To the best of my knowledge, there was never a problem of joint custody.”

Momodu highlighted the main issues at hand, which he said included non-payment of school fees and lack of accommodation. He however acknowledged that Dr. Adeleke, Davido’s dad had addressed many of these concerns, including clearing outstanding school fees and offering accommodation. However, Sophia was said to have declined the accommodation offer.

He noted that, “The issues were: non-payment of school fees for several sessions; non-payment of accommodation and salaries of a nanny. There was no car dedicated to David’s daughter. And so on. Mercifully, I mentioned all to Dr Adedeji Adeleke and he responded positively, like a true grandfather.

“On the issue of non-payment of school fees, David’s Dad cleared everything and also set up payments of future bills. He gave his grand daughter a car to take her to school. The remaining issue was on accommodation.

“David’s Dad verbally offered, in his discussions with me, one of their family apartments in Oniru Estate, Victoria Island, however, maybe due to miscommunication, David’s lawyers had communicated otherwise. After Sophia clarified from me, she politely declined the offer, and her reason was tenable in my view, because, since she’s not married to David, she can’t be comfortable living in a place swarming with David’s family members.

“She and her daughter had been living in Ikoyi before David and Sophia started their latest quarrels. Sophia’s request was that David should pay half of the accommodation while she would pay the other half. David said he could only contribute N5million annually.”

Momodu emphasized that the lack of camaraderie between Davido and Sophia was exacerbating the situation, urging both parties to prioritize their daughter’s well-being. He noted that Sophia had been cooperative in facilitating interactions between the child and Davido’s family, including playdates and visits.

“My opinion is that the absence of camaraderie between David and Sophia has caused this debacle. I have cautioned repeatedly that their daughter must not be allowed to suffer or be treated like a second class child. David’s global status makes this imperative.

“Sophia allowed David access to their daughter provided she has her nanny around 24/7. The 9-year old herself made this request and I believe this should be favorably considered and accepted. My grand niece had been released to go out with her cousins on several occasions.

“The Governor’s daughter, Nike, was at Sophia’s house with the Governor’s grandson last Christmas Day, despite the fact that there wasn’t ample notice & she still granted access.

“Two months ago, the Governor’s son, Sina Rambo, requested a play date between the kids & Sophia rented out a children’s place in Victoria Island for them to spend hours together. The only time she couldn’t join her father’s family was when her grandfather requested to go on vacation with her for three weeks last year, as the notice was too short, and Sophia had already paid for their own trips, due to lack of communication between the parents,” Momodu said.

The court has however referred the case to the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) section for possible settlement. Momodu advised both Davido and Sophia to engage genuinely with the ADR process rather than making harmful statements on social media, which only escalate tensions and harm the child involved.

He emphasized on his long-standing efforts to mediate the disputes and ensure a structured and sustainable arrangement for the welfare of his grand-niece. He stressed the importance of avoiding inflammatory rhetoric in the media, as it only adds to the trauma experienced by all parties, especially the child.

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Asake headlines 2024 Afronation Portugal

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Nigerian singer Asake on Wednesday headlined the 2024 Afronation concert in Portugal.

Asake, at the opening ceremony, thrilled fans with his hit singles.

He performed the full version of ‘Fuji Extravaganza’ his highly anticipated single, which is expected to be in his upcoming album ‘Lungu Boy.’

Afronation 2024 Portugal will run from June 26–28 at Algarve Portimao in Portugal.

Afro Nation, an annual music concert that celebrates Africans in the diaspora, is considered one of the biggest concerts in the world.

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Chivido 2024: Davido, wife jet out of Nigeria after lavish wedding

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Afrobeats star, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido and his wife, Chioma, have jetted out of Nigeria after their wedding.

In a post via X on Thursday, Davido shared images of the jet, with the caption, “Let’s first launch this one.”

A video was taken of the couple boarding the private jet in Lagos, along with Davido’s team members like Asa Asika, Lati, and Chioma’s manager, Ubi Franklin.

Although the reason and destination of the travel remains unknown, it is believed that the new couple flew out for their honeymoon.

Davido tied the knot with his longtime partner Chioma in a grand ceremony attended by top celebrities and dignitaries.

During the celebration, Davido also surprised Chioma with a car gift and the couple received generous gifts of dollars from their family and friends

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