The year 2013 was a very spectacular one in the Nigerian Entertainment industry. It was a year observers would most likely agree to be the most eventful in the industry’s decades of phantasmagorical development.
For a lot of industry players,it was a year they really stepped up their game with more financial gains being made from downloads,endorsement deals,shows etc. This adequately also opened a luxurious lifestyle never witnessed before in the entertainment industry. Exquisite and exotic cars, choice houses in elitist areas, expensive gadgets(gold plaited in some cases) and private jets traveling quickly became the order of the day.
However, this doesn’t suggest that there weren’t low moments in the industry but alas, those moments perhaps served as the industry’s replaceable succor to the somewhat dramatic and agonizing political terrain presently being witnessed in the country.
This piece would be divided into three impacts which are; The Winners, The Gainers and The Controversials.
2013 is a very monumental and iconic year in the careers of many entertainers. It brought about fresh successes which transformed into industry accolades and most importantly financial rewards for these people.
24year old Olamide Adedeji is arguably the biggest musical act of 2013. This however has little to do with the fact that he ended up as the biggest winner at the recently held Headies Awards where he carted home “Album of the year” and two other awards(although many felt he deserved more). Rather, Olamide in 2013 was able to carve a niche for himself as an exceptional artiste,performer and dependable collaborator. He entered the year with an explosive album #YBNL which was beginning to gather momentum and rather than promote same album like most of his colleagues would reasonably do, Baddo as he is also called kept churning out singles after singles to the chagrin and bewilderment of industry watchers. Well that eventually paid off and by the time the year was ending, he had more than enough materials for a new album which apparently gave birth to his new effort “Baddest Guy Ever Liveth”. So in less than a year, the Bariga bred street pundit released two full albums. Not even established acts have been able to attempt such and Olamide didn’t just attempt, he did successfully creating a trend #GunManPose in the process. This is however aside the numerous collaborations he was featured on and the uncountable stages he graced with his street appeal and comical delivery. Olamide also made the cut as one of the three ambassadors for telecommunication company Etisalat as well as an African face for international vodka brand, Ciroc.
Olamide can simply be crowned “Entertainer of the Year” for 2013.
2. O.C Ukeje: Whatever Olamide was to Nigerian music in 2013, Okechukwu Ukeje was to the flagship Nollywood. The stage actor and model who won the Amstel Malter Box Office acting reality Tv show some years ago became the most talked about and most sought after actor following his 2012 sterling performance in “Hoodrush” alongside Bimbo Akintola and Gabriel Afolayan.
His performance in “Alan Poza” directed by Charles Novia, Chimamanda Adichie’s screen adaptation for her successful novel “Half of a yellow Sun” which featured hollywood actors like Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Nigeria’s Genevive Nnaji further established O.C as a thespian per excellence so when the accolades and awards started coming, it took only little observers by surprise. Ukeje bagged the prize for “Entertainment Talent” at the Future Awards held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State some weeks ago beating off stiff competitions from Iyanya,IcePrince and Omawumi. Before then, Ukeje had also won ‘Best Actor‘ at the Best of Nollywood Awards, Nollywood Movie Awards and Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards all in 2013. O.C Ukeje is no doubt the “Actor of the Year”.
3. CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE:
Chimamanda Adichie isn’t an entertainer and wouldn’t want to be accorded as one. She is simply a writer whose literary works have now been opened to the world of entertainment. In 2013,one of Adichie’s books, “Half of a Yellow Sun” was given a screen adaptation by budding director Biyi Bandele and it featured some of the best known acting talents in the world. From Hollywood’s Thandie Newton(The Pursuit of Happyness,Mission Impossible II) to British-Nigerians Chiwetel Ejiofor(2012,Salt,12Years a slave) and Hakeem Kae-Kazim(Hotel Rwanda,24). The movie also features home talents like Genevieve Nnaji, Zack Orji, O.C Ukeje, Onyeka Onwenu, Tina Mba amongst others. Adichie would further wow us when she featured in “Flawless” off Beyonce’s latest self titled album. 2013 is obviously a winning one for Ms Adichie especially haven released a new book ‘Americanah’ during the year to critical acclaim.
4. OMOTOLA JALADE EKEINDE
The Ondo state born actress might not have featured too much on screen during the year but this doesn’t cut short the level of impact she made across the globe. She was this year described as the most watched African actress by Time Magazine who listed her on the 2013 Time 100 Most Influential People In the World List alongside Michelle Obama, Beyonce and Kate Middleton. The mother of four also made her U.S. television debut in a television series, “Hit the Floor” where she played international singer Akon’s companion.
In November Omotola was honored with the Ebony Vanguard Award at the Music Video and Screen Awards (MVISA) held in Birmingham while she also had to travel to Doha, Qatar where she spoke at the 2013 edition of the WISE Summit. To appreciate her immense contribution to entertainment and humanity, she was honored at home by the paramount ruler of Ondo, Oba Victor Kiladejo who conferred on her a Chieftaincy title at an event attended by the state Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko. However in 2013, when Omosexy wasn’t on location or at an event, she was with her family. The delectable star was captured during an extended European tour with her husband,an airline pilot and their four children.
After a decade of doing music together with his erstwhile partner Presh, Kingsley Okonkwo popularly known as Kcee started doing his thing and like Olamide would say he “Started from the bottom”. Fast forward to a couple of years and an album later, the story has conspicuously changed. It all began with the monster hit “Limpopo” which established the pop singer as a serious entertainer in the most populous black nation on earth. The year 2013 was especially a successful one for the Anambra born crooner as he churned out hits after hits with collaborations with some of the industry’s biggest names. In November,he released his much anticipated debut solo album ‘Take Over’ to popular acclaim. During the year, he was one of the most patronized musicians in the country and this led to several endorsement deals most acclaimed of which is the mouth watery Mtn ambassadorial deal. He ended the year on a fabulous note winning the coveted ‘Song of the Year’ at the prestigious Headies awards for his effort on “Limpopo”. His 5Star Music imprint also made statements in the industry with signess like Harrysong and producer Del-B
For some other entertainment practitioners, 2013 might not have come with more album sales, movie roles or endorsements but overall, they still have one or more things which elated them. These are people whose year wasn’t just blank without an achieved milestone.
1. Tiwa Savage and Dr. Sid
The Mavin Records duo of Tiwatope Savage and Sidney Esiri are perhaps some of the happiest celebrities in the country presently. While Tiwa stepped up her marital status by getting married to long time manager and lover Tunji Balogun in an elaborate society wedding which gulped millions in naira, the Edo state born trained medical doctor moved farther off bachelorhood by having a formal introduction with his fiance, Simi Osomo.
Musically, both artistes didn’t fare badly too in the year under review as they also both released their highly anticipated albums to the market. Tiwa Savage’s debut ‘Once Upon a Time’ has been described as timeless piece of work from a female artiste while the love doctor’s sophomore titled ‘Siduction’ has continued to make waves online through massive downloads and favorable reviews. The duo were also the hosts of the annual Headies Awards and they both put in quite an impressive performance. 2013 is definitely a fabulous one for this pop duo.
2. Toyin Aimaku
As you read this piece, the sequel to the actress blockbuster “Alakada” is presently one of the most watched movies in cinemas especially in the centre of excellence as Lagos is also called. However,her 2013 success story goes beyond the big screen as the seductive screen diva who is one of the most sought after in the indigenous category of Nollywood finally tied the knots to another thespian Niyi Johnson. The couple has since told all and sundry that theirs is a romance made from heaven and designed to stand the test of time. The couple are also reported to be expectant of a baby in the first quarter of next year.
3. Odunlade Adekola
Words on the streets have it that the former Glo ambassador has returned to school. He is reported to have been admitted into the University of Lagos to study Business Administration. This is a great leap for the lanky actor as he has simply disclosed that his decision to return to school was born out of the fact that he has been denied certain privileges due to his lack of a university degree. Asides this,Mr. Adekola also had a good year in the industry continuing his dominance of the yoruba movie industry as an actor to beat and as a director’s favorite.
4. Wande Coal
The blackest of them all, Wande Ojosipe in 2013 became one of the most talked about artistes especially as a result of his controversy with former label boss Don Jazzy which eventually confirmed several months of rumored bad blood between the former buddies. Wande Coal however moved on to greater things not just establishing his own imprint ‘Black Diamondz’ but also being signed to an handsome deal with telecommunications giants Globacom. Although his sophomore album is still in its offing, Wande’s singles especially “Rotate” were also 2013 favorites and the musician also got his fair share of shows.
5. Tuface Idibia
No list would be complete without the inclusion of contemporary music godfather, Innocent Idibia. The Benue pop giant had a wonderful year especially after he finally tied the knots in April to long time girlfriend and baby mama, Annie Macaulay. Although, the crooner already has six kids from different baby mamas including his new wife, he is expecting his first legitimate child in the first quarter of 2014. Away from family ties, Tubaba still represented adequately musically in 2013. He might not have released new works but few collaborations here and there and his 2012 album ‘Away and Beyond’ continued to establish him as an evergreen artiste.
While the entertainment industry was moving on its rather fantastic ride with great movies being churned out, monster hits being released and entertainers dancing to the bank, there still existed some others who gave us conundrums to ponder upon. While the general terrain was ravished with political letters, OduahGate scandal, Oga at the top scandal, FFK Vs Bianka just to mention a few, the entertainment industry also had its own fair share of controversies amongst its players some of which would be mentioned below.
Nigeria entertainment has risen to an enviable stature in global rankings with every aspect of the industry not being left out so little wonder when failed musician and actress, Judith Opara Mazagwu popularly called Afrocandy, a mother of two came into limelite by producing adult movies as never seen before in this part of the world. Her “Destructive Instincts” broke all moral boundaries in the movie industry with Judith herself taking the lead role. She would later move on to doing an online audition for her next project asking adult males who are “well endowed in their Privates” to apply. When she is not releasing x-rated movies,she is releasing semi-nude pictures and making controversial statements like comparing herself to American rapper Nicky Minaj whom she claims has mammary glands not as succulent as her own pair.
Where she came from and how she became an overnight celebrity still remain a huge question which demands answers but this sister in 2013 stormed the internet and rather ravaged our sights making Cossy’s industry investment over the years seem like child’s play. There was no boundary for this alleged gospel singer who rather than release singles kept posting unclad pictures on social networking sites especially Instagram and Twitter. Apparently she has her own loyal fans as obvious in the number of followers she has but one wonders what she actually aims for. Anyway since, she has succeeded in getting the fame she initially set out for, this is hoping she would rather release songs rather than nude pictures in the new year.
3. JIM IYKE
His inclusion on this list wouldn’t catch anyone by surprise as this Nollywood bad boy has always been know for controversial circumstances. However in 2013,James Ikechukwu Esomugha took the industry by another dimension when he was delivered of a self damaging demon at the Synagogue Church whose pastor T.B Joshua also has controversy surrounding him. Jim Iyke would later come out of it claiming to have become “born again” and is now ready to lead a new lifestyle. Weeks after he was sighted around the world with fellow thespian, Ghana’s Nadia Buahi both of whom have been rumored to be in a relationship severally. Before long reports had it that they had broken up and even Nadia’s mother was said to have laid curses on the actor. Observers were again taken by surprise when both actors were sighted together celebrating Nadia’s 31st birthday.
5. YUNGSIX & TOKE MAKINWA
No controversial list for the year 2013 would be complete without this duo. While Yung6 grabbed attention earlier in the year for his ranting on twitter about being the best lyricist in the country, Toke Makinwa’s social engagements knew no boundaries while her social media participation also went to the next level from picture uploads to lamentations on a romance gone sour. “Yung6, rather than going on Twitter to rant about how you are the best, please endeavor to step into the studio this new year and make great hits, then let listeners and fans judge who the best rapper is. Its quite obvious even Storm Records isn’t proud of you” (in Don Jazzy’s voice).
On the other hand, it is apparent to ask beautiful Toke Makinwa what her occupation really is…an On air personality or an usher at parties.
This question is necessary because the number of parties Toke Makinwa attended in 2013 alone is even more than the ones attended by event photographers. In 2013,Toke also became an overnight celebrity pushing other OAPs like Toolz and Gbemi to the background especially with her newly embraced “owambe” spirit and social media activities. She would also break up an alleged 12year relationship to fiance Maje Ayida in an unclear circumstance.
ON A SAD NOTE…
While we enjoyed ourselves in the year 2013 and celebrated all sorts of milestones, there also were moments which were saddening to our hearts.
* Death of Fatai Rolling Dollar & Justus Esiri:
These two veterans has weathered the storm over the years becoming legends in their different fields. While Justus Esiri was a Nollywood great with an incredible acting prowess, Pa Fatai Olagunju otherwise known as Fatai Rolling Dollar was a Nigerian contemporary music pioneer who trained some others who rose to become legends. Esiri who is Mavin Records’ artiste Dr. Sid’s father died in February at the age of 70 while Rolling Dollar gave up the ghost in June aged 85.
Funke Akindele’s June 2012 wedding was described as the wedding of the year by observers and critics alike but little did we know that the union wouldn’t live to celebrate its first anniversary. It was shocking to all when news emanated that the Nollywood bundle of talent has ended her rather young marriage to estranged hubby Kehinde Al-Maroof .
If Funke’s break up was shocking to all, then the story of the marriage break up of comedienne Princess absolutely shattered our hearts. It came as a rude shock to everyone when it was discovered that the barely 7months old matrimony of the humor queen to Adeshola Jeremiah has been destroyed also due to irreconcilable differences.