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Fifty beams light on Lagos big babes

Described as the golden age, the attainment of fifty is crowning is many instances. Very absorbing and engaging are some of the intricacies life bears on many people. For women, the date perhaps signifies when many things are ‘south’ bound. It is scary for some women. And Fifty, a new movie written and produced by Mo Abudu, founder of Ebony Life TV and Ebony Life Films, captures that angst as it follows four Lagos-based women in characters that show braveness, weakness and forgiveness amongst others.

Detailing the relationships between four Nigerian women – Tola (Dakore Egbuson), Elizabeth (Ireti Doyle), Maria (Omoni Oboli) and Kate (Nse Ikpe Etim) – and how they grapple the multiple challenges life throws at them as they inch towards 50, Abudu, in her debut as a writer has crafted a story that one hardly notices amidst the bustle of city life. Yet, it is very common place.

In Fifty, Tola, a big time TV host is planning her 50th birthday. Kate, her friend, is also her event planner. Maria is dating Kunle (Wale Ojo), Tola’s husband, and even gets pregnant for him but refuses to disclose who is responsible, even to her friend, Elizabeth, who is also a renowned gynaecologist. Meanwhile, Elizabeth enjoys frolicking with younger men. This fact also distances her from her daughter, who is also working with Tola to plan her birthday party.

From the temperamental Tola to vivacious Elizabeth and from the prayerful Kate to the pragmatic Maria, the story unfolds. All through the movie, sections of the everyday life of the average and upper-class Lagos women is documented.

But as Tola’s birthday nears, various secrets spill out, perhaps, the gravest being that from Tola’s father (Taiwo Obileye), breaking the normalcy. Who is responsible for Maria’s baby strikes a more than a chord? What is the true relationship between Tola and her ‘brother’? What devastating news is really responsible for Kate’s sullen dispensation? And would Elizabeth and her daughter’s squabble ever mend? These questions keep the twists going in Fifty.

The movie also aims to show the beautiful sides of Lagos, unlike some other movies. Outdoor scenes also showcase various landmarks in Lagos, especially the Lekki/Ikoyi Bridge and other popular sites within the affluent metropolis. Fifty, directed by Biyi Bandele who is making a sophomoric outing after his directorial debut with Half Of A Yellow Sun, does this without sacrificing the cinematographic excellence. Also, the technical aspects of the movie are top-notch, with the sound and lighting on a world-class standard.

Fifty also gets a dose of quality live musical performances from King Sunny Ade, Waje, Nneka and Tiwa Savage. The song of Evi Edna Ogholi also features on the movie.

Set to officially premiere in Nigeria on December 13 and go into the cinemas by December 18, the movie is already enjoying support from the Lagos State government and getting positive reviews globally.

While Abudu is making her debut as film writer and producer, she also exposes some of the anxieties, insecurities and fears felt by women around attaining the golden age. Abudu, who was 51 in September, might have indeed succeeded in making a film she’s not only convinced of, but which she relates to. But surely, Fifty is a story that anyone who empathises with women can connect to.

By: Joe Agbro J. thenationonlineng.net
On: November 09, 2015

 

Review: The Africa Hollywood Doesn’t Want You to See Feasts in Biyi Bandele’s ‘Fifty’

“Fifty” follows four African female lead characters into a riveting exploration of life’s paradoxes; love and lust, faith and logic, power and vulnerability, wisdom and youth, all culminated against the tropically insatiable backdrop of Africa’s fastest growing city, Lagos, Nigeria.

After being shortlisted in the ‘Love Category’ of the prestigious BFI London film festival, themed rather befittingly as “The Year of the Strong Woman,” those expecting a traditional love story will be challenged by Biyi Bandele’s comparison of love as a playful frivolity in a society where divorce is traditionally crowned as the pit of a woman’s achievements.

Tola (Dakore Egbuson) is the neurotic protagonist avidly preparing for her 50th birthday party, as a distraction to her philandering husband (Wale Ojo) and a living reminder of a burdening family secret. Her intended nemesis, Maria (Omoni Oboli) struggles to handle executive board meetings at her construction firm with a seemingly unwanted surprise pregnancy. No prizes for guessing who the father is. Kate (Nse Ikpe-Etim) obsessively turns to God whilst her marriage is perilously surviving on late night vigils, prayerful fasts and a terrifying health condition. Then comes, Elizabeth, delightfully portrayed by Ireti Doyle, who takes her job as a leading gynaecologist personally, ensuring she gets thorough examinations from male’s half her age, to the detriment of her producer daughter.

Mo Abudu’s debut production sun dries the insistent female anxiety that follows those words; thirty and then fifty. No final nail is impended over the character’s careers, creativity or sex lives; instead a celebration of continuing rebirth and ‘knowing thyself’ whilst dodging all the blows of life, even if they come in the form of your daughter’s boyfriend.

“Fifty” is as scandalously playful and sexy as it promises, but it also channels controversially relevant issues to the fore such as inter-familial abuse, religious faith vs logic argument and divorce.

The anti-climaxal handling of Tola’s burdening family secret may leave you wanting, as may the pace of proceedings, but the unapologetic manner in which “Fifty” exposes the different relational facets of sex are to be applauded. The repressive tentativeness with which the subject has been caged, is bravely being unlocked in different mediums of African art, more-so African cinema and entertainment. “Fifty’s” storyline perches heavy duty topics of controversy unto the laps of its audience to be admired, unwrapped and utilized to encourage debate and most importantly, change. The conversation about safe sex education and sexual abuse in the great continent is one that needs to be addressed, not muted to child-bearing purposes alone.

Unwrapping controversy aside, the casting of the female leads brings each role to life, expected, as they are also heavyweights in their own right within the African film industry, whilst the supporting cast ensure the feasibility of the storyline.

The crown jewel of “Fifty” is the elegance of Abudu’s production teamed with the evocative filming of Malcolm McClean. Lagos is feted as a plethora of wealth, bountiful colours and rich culture immersed in vibrant art, Fela-inspired Afrobeat music (cameo appearances from legends Femi Kuti, King Sunny Ade and hip-hop soulstress Nneka to name a few), fashion and modern architecture.

No violence, coups or corruption rigged governments in sight.

This is the Africa Hollywood doesn’t want you to see; a picturesque feast of African cinema and a joyful reminder that life is indeed full of paradoxes; none more so than celebrating the 20th anniversary of your 30th birthday.

Verdict: 3 Stars.

By Jilo Katter | Shadow and Act indiewire.com
November 5, 2015 at 1:07PM

 

Mo Abudu’s ‘Fifty’: A Follow Spot On ‘50 Something’ Women Of Nigeria

MOVIEGOWERS can’t wait for December 18 to come. On that day, Mo Abudu’s outstanding and entertaining movie, ‘Fifty’ will be released in all the cinema’s nationwide. Set in Lagos, ‘Fifty’ explores the diversities and complexities of people through the stories of four women.

There is no doubt that ‘Fifty’, one of the most intelligent movies that has come to the screen in recent time, will be met with high favour when it opens across the country after a grand premiere on December 13, 2015 at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Entertaining and full of melodrama, it is to the four lead characters: Ireti Doyle, Dakore Egbuson, Nse Ikpe Etim and Omoni Oboli that credit should go to for the excellent outcome of the movie.

Iretiola Doyle, FIFTY, The Movie Fifty

Their acting was roundly excellent and they all gave an alert, sharp portrayal of the respective roles. Indeed, they appear to have been inspired by the scintillating dialogue, clever lines and the hectic incidents in the near two-hour movie. Celebrity salutes the amazing Ireti, Nse, Dakore and Omoni who deserve a great deal of credit for their work.

Ireti Doyle
An amazing actress, Ireti played Elizabeth, a celebrated obstetrician whose penchant for younger men has estranged her from her daughter and she fitted so well into the role. In fact, she played the role as if the writers had her in mind when writing the script. An accomplished writer, actor, producer and presenter, Ireti is not new to acting and entertainment generally. Her career has spanned 19 years in the Nigerian entertainment industry. She has featured in a number of stage and screen productions and has equally hosted a number of television programmes. She won Best Actress in a lead role at the 2014 Nollywood Movie Awards for her portrayal of Ovo, in the psychological thriller ‘Torn’. Ireti stars in other hit TV shows such as ‘Fuji House of Commotion’’, ‘’Gidi–Up’ and ‘’Tinsel’’. Her most recent stage credits include ‘’The Vagina Monologues’’, ‘Hear Word’ and ‘The Wives’. She is described as an ‘actor’s actor’ by her peers.

Dakore Egbuson Akande, FIFTY, The Movie Fifty

Dakore Egbuson
Dakore Egbuson-Akande played the diva Tola in ‘Fifty’. Tola is the reality TV star whose marriage to lawyer Kunle never stood a chance thanks to an invidious family secret. And Dakore nailed the role. She brought class and finesse to the interpretation and was believable. Those who have followed her career say they are not surprised at her sharp portrayal. They say she has always acted with unerring skill and that she has a way of throwing her whole being into every role she portrays. A multiple award winning film /stage actor, TV personality, singer and dancer, Dakore is an ambassador for Amnesty International and Oxfam of America. A seasoned actress with stellar performances, Dakore played starring roles in ‘Silent Tears’, ‘Emotional Crack’ and ‘Games Men Play’ amongst many others.

Omoni Oboli, FIFTY, The Movie Fifty

Omoni Oboli
Award winning actress, writer, producer and director, Omoni Oboli played Maria, a 49-year-old lady who had an affair with a married man that results in an unexpected pregnancy and Omoni lived the role. She played it to the hilt and that is Omoni. She is so at ease with character interpretation and has this innate ability of lighting up a dull picture. A trained digital filmmaker at the New York Film Academy (NYFA), the leading actress has received numerous high-profile awards for her roles in ‘The Figurine’ and ‘Anchor Baby’. Her directorial debut ‘Being Mrs. Elliott’ became the first movie to be screened for a President under the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at the Presidential Villa. The movie also opened the 2014 edition of the Nollywoodweek Film Festival in Paris, France.

Nse Ikpe Etim, FIFTY, The Movie Fifty

Nse Ikpe Etim
The multi-award-winning actress played Kate in ‘Fifty’. Kate it was who battled with a life-threatening illness that plunged her into religious obsession. And Nse played the role to the hilt. She showed stuff and was steady. Star of Kunle Afolayan’s ‘Phone Swap’, Jeta Amata’s ‘Black November’, ‘Inale’, and Shirley Frimpong Manso’s ‘Devil in the Detail’, Nse is easily one of Nollywood’s most sought after actress. A theatre arts
graduate of the University of Calabar where she’s known for her outstanding stage performances, Nse has won several acting awards, including the Best Actress in Drama award at the 2014 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards for playing ‘Nse’ in’Journey to Self’. Nse is without a doubt an actor’s actor of not just vast but quality credits.


Article By Shaibu Husseini on November 7, 2015 The Guardian

 

FIFTY: The Countdown is ON!

Nov 05, 2015 Nigeria, are you ready? The greatly awaited film ‘FIFTY’ premiere is approaching and the countdown is on! If you’re anything like me, you’ll be finding yourself finishing off quotes like “that man is nothing like a beast, I have to get someone to slit his throat!” from the trailer that has been watched by thousands of people.

The film has already had its premiere in London (which sold out in four days) and a private screening in Lagos, leaving us itching for the Grand Premiere set for Sunday 13th December 2015 at the Eko Hotel and Suites.

‘FIFTY’ stars four of Nigeria’s power actresses including Ireti Doyle, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Omoni Oboli and Nse Ikpe-Etim. What is the premise behind the film? Well, in the words of the executive producer herself, Mo Abudu it is to “showcase African women coming of age, loaded with increasingly similar aspirations and dilemmas faced by their contemporaries everywhere, while yet navigating unresolved traditions and obligations”.

Set in the metropolitan state, Lagos; and filled with tragedy, drama and comedy ‘FIFTY’ takes us on the journey of the four central characters who are on a quest for love, friendship and perfection whilst going through the transition of changing roles and responsibilities. The characters are liberated but simultaneously traditional. Searching for a film which tackles the trials, triumphs, joy, and heartbreak of the African 21st century? ‘FIFTY’ has it all!

Which dates and venues should you engrave in your mind?

‘FIFTY’ will have its special ‘Grand World Premiere’ (EbonyLife TV style) on Sunday 13th December 2015 at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. The night promises to be an evening to remember…from our Red Carpet Extravaganza, to our Main Event with performances from some of the best in the industry, not forgetting our Old Skool After Party and you may get an opportunity to visit our Mistique Suite! There are only a limited number of tables available so buy your table now…

Available for public viewing from Friday 18th December 2015 ‘FIFTY’ is a great film to watch this Christmas or even to finish off the year. Be a part of the hype this new year, watch “FIFTY”!

Tickets for the Grand Premiere are limited so book your ticket(s) now!

Call Temidayo on +234  809 871 8555

 

***Platinum Exclusive Benefits – Front Row VVIP Table for 10. Red carpet interviews Performances by KSA, Tiwa Savage and Waje. Fine dining and champagne. The exclusive premiere of FIFTY Meet and Greet with our stars. Photo opportunities with our stars. Access to our FIFTY Old Skool After Party.

***Platinum Plus Benefits –  Gold Circle Row VVIP Table for 10. Red carpet interviews Performances by KSA, Tiwa Savage and Waje. Fine dining and champagne. The exclusive premiere of FIFTY Meet and Greet with our stars. Photo opportunities with our stars. Access to our FIFTY Old Skool After Party.

***Platinum Premium Benefits VVIP –  Tables and Special seating for couples and singles. Red carpet interviews Performances by KSA, Tiwa Savage and Waje. Fine dining and champagne. The exclusive premiere of FIFTY Meet and Greet with our stars. Photo opportunities with our stars. Access to our Fifty Old Skool After party.

 

BBC chats with media Mogul Mo Abudu

Oct 23, 2015 So, EbonyLife Films’ debut movie “Fifty” continues to attract attention, including that of BBC which recently had a chat with the executive producer of the movie, EbonyLife TV CEO Mo Abudu.

In the interview, Mo Abudu talks about how the wrong perception of Africa by the Western world had inspired her to tell the real African story through EbonyLife.

The movie, “Fifty” which showcases the brighter side of the commercial capital of Africa’s biggest economy, Lagos, wowed audiences at its London premiere and is expected to hit Nigerian cinemas on December 18

Read More…

Trailer: The First Film from Newly-Formed Nigeria-Based EbonyLife Films, From ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ Director

 

 

Let me catch my breath

Imagine not being able to eat your favourite food because it may kill you, or not being able to play your favourite sport because it may kill you? This is oh so real to asthmatic people all over the globe.

Someone who is living this is our very own Mr. Incredible (M.I). The Nigerian award winning hip hop artist is asthmatic and has been previously quoted as saying that this is the reason why he doesn’t smoke.

Asthma is a word we’ve all heard being thrown around but how many of us actually know what it is, the side effects and how to avoid having an attack? Let’s face it, not many of us do simply because we are not directly affected by it. I remember in primary school, a couple of my peers had asthma and all I knew was that they couldn’t take part in all our sporting activities like long distance running (though I envied them at the time as I was a bit on the big side back then.) As years went by, I still found myself asking, “what exactly is asthma?”

Asthma is a chronic disease affecting the airways and the lungs. An asthmatic person has airways that are constantly inflamed and when one is having an attack, the walls of the airways become more swollen and tighten up allowing less air to flow to the lungs, making it hard for the person to breathe.

What are the signs of an attack? Well, the following are the typical signs but are not exclusive to asthma, they may differ from one asthma attack to the next and one may not show all the signs. Symptoms include: coughing (especially at night), wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, pain or pressure.

How can one avoid an asthmatic attack? Most asthmatic people know what triggers an attack for them, but for those of us who want a general overview of what an asthmatic person needs to avoid, it includes obesity, stress, household chemicals, inadequate gas ventilation, breathing dirty air and smoking. There are also certain foods that asthmatic people should avoid so as to not trigger an attack, these foods include milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, shellfish and fish (pretty much all food that contains allergens, however only 5% contributes to asthmatic attacks….but better safe than sorry, right?)

Asthma is incurable but with the right precautions and management, one can live a normal life. Earlier I mentioned that M.I is asthmatic, other asthmatic celebrities include  Harry Mordi (HCode) who was 2face Idibia’s producer and died after an asthmatic attack in 2014. “International Asthma Awareness Day” is on May 15th 2015, let’s show our asthmatic brothers and sisters some support now that we’re better informed of the incurable disease.

 

Wise up! What you don’t know about “Autism”.

1st April 2015 Ever been to a restaurant and seen an “unruly” child and thought “gosh, this child is spoilt and has not been disciplined well”? Well…don’t jump to that conclusion yet…the child could in fact be “autistic” Let me feed your knowledge with some of the signs that can be identified in persons with this condition.

Many of us (especially in Nigeria) hear the word autism and dismiss it thinking that it isn’t present in Nigeria, therefore we don’t need to know what it is. You would be surprised to know the amount of people affected by autism in Nigeria…ignorance in this case is certainly not bliss. So many have a reduced quality of life because they are not aware they are in fact, autistic.

Globally, it’s a sad fact but we are not well educated on the subject of “autism” but I hope that by the end of this piece, you will be more informed than you were five minutes ago, as I identify some of the signs and symptoms of autism so that detection will become easier. Furthermore, so that next time you see a child misbehaving at a restaurant, you will show more tolerance and compassion. It is important to note that Autism and its effects can be suppressed with the right medication.

Proof of suppression and living a fulfilled life if treated (or at least diagnosed and recognized) include notable figures that the world has learnt a lot from such as Albert Einstein, Mozart, Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin . Contemporary famous faces include Tim Burton, Jerry Seinfeld and musician Courtney Love

Persons that fall under the autistic spectrum tend not to be able to make good eye contact or other non-verbal communication cues that we otherwise take for granted. These in turn, are the cause of their lack of responsiveness in general social interaction.

Children and persons with autism do not understand the “give-and-take” concept. They cannot hold a conversation with another whereby one talks, the other listens then responds. In respect to playtime, autistic children do not know how to share or take turns nor can they spontaneously show something interesting to their playmate.

Another sign of autism is the tendency to withdraw. Those who fall under the autistic spectrum tend to go into their own world and be withdrawn even with the presence of others. This can however, reduce depending on how the autism is treated. This is done by teaching the child about social skills (in an autism treatment setting or at home).

One of the signatures of autism is the poor language and communication skills that an autistic person has. Even if the person knows the words, they may have trouble stringing sentences together; this is due to their developmental delay.

An autistic person is resistant to change. Even the tiniest change to a particular routine could be met with frustration, irritation, confusion…or even denial to the change.

This one is quite interesting and distinctive… an autistic child has a very high pain threshold. It’d take something extremely painful for the child to react or to cry out for help.

I’ve named a few signs but they don’t stop there and neither should you…do some more research as you could be living with someone with autism and you don’t even know it. Remember, the effects can be suppressed with medication, but first it must be identified. World Autism Awareness Day is on Thursday 2nd April 2015.

 

Spring your dream to life!

1st April 2015 We have entered the fourth month of the year (gosh, isn’t the year just flying by?) Some of us may have started the year having made promises to ourselves that “this year I’m going to do this”, or “this year I’m going to do that”! Easter is being celebrated on Sunday 5th April 2015 and though it is seen widely as a Christian celebration, I’d like it to be known that both Christians and non-Christians can embrace the blessings that Easter brings.

Easter in its full essence represents “new life”. Whilst both “The Cross” and the “Easter egg” are Christian representatives, non-Christians have also adopted the Easter egg (exchanging chocolate Easter eggs as well as decorating real eggs).

In view that Easter represents new life, do you have a dream that you want to come to life? If you haven’t put any action into making it become a reality, there is no better time than now. I think it is more than a coincidence that Easter falls in the season of “Spring”. It’s time to get rid of what’s been weighing you down, what’s been holding you back and catapult into new beginnings, new adventures and fresh, positive mindsets.

Three quick tips on how to make those dreams a reality.

First tip: Visualise yourself at the finish line having accomplished that dream, how does it feel? What does it look like? It feels and looks great, right?

Secondly, think big and think bigger… ask yourself the question “if it was certain that this dream would become a reality, would I make it any bigger? Is this exactly what I want?” remember, if the dream does not scare the living daylight out of you, it’s not big enough.

And the third tip is obvious but the one that we all tend to fall short on…ACTION IT! Don’t linger too long, go with Nike and JUST DO IT!

So commemorate this Easter and this Spring with a big idea, visualize, think and then ACT!

 

Wake up and get more sleep!

9th March 2015 Have there been occasions where you have woken up feeling more run down and more tired than when you went to bed? I know I have!

We have so many awareness weeks and awareness days throughout the year but not everyone can relate to them (though everyone can gain from the knowledge they bring). However, sleep deprivation amongst other sleeping disorders is something that everyone has suffered from or will suffer from at least once in their lives. National Sleep Awareness Week was observed in the United States from 2nd March 2015 till 8th March 2015.

If your sleepless nights are not rooted by a newborn baby in the household, bereavement or other inevitable causes, you need to get to the bottom of why you’re unable to sleep and hopefully after reading this you’ll have the solution and also know why it is important that you combat it.

Whilst most people believe that sleep deprivation or as it is commonly known “insomnia” is caused by stress, poor eating habits, depression, drug withdrawal, alcohol abuse and other things (and yes, they can contribute to insomnia), the true cause believe it or not is……overactive brain activity- brainwaves that are being too erratic when you’re trying to catch that beauty sleep.

What’s the cure? You may ask…the cure is my friends, wait for it….SOUND! Stay with me on this and let me explain further. Contrary to what people believe, the “Keep Calm” or “Sounds of the Ocean” CDs are not going to help you…they are NOT the answer, we’re talking bigger fish than that, we’re talking distinctively composed sounds with specially made sound waves that are engineered to tackle the fatigue-infused nuisance that is insomnia.

Why is it crucial that we cure and conquer our individual cases of insomnia and get enough sleep in a day? Because if we don’t, we open ourselves up to consequences such as decreased performance and alertness (did you know that reducing your sleep by up to 1 and a half hours for just one night can reduce your day-time alertness by up to 32percent?), your ability to think and process information can also be affected. In addition to this, it could affect your quality of life in the sense that you may not be able to participate in activities that require you to pay attention for a longer than average period of time. It’s important to note that not only can it affect you, but your bed partner and whilst we’re on the subject of insomnia affecting others, it can also cause road accidents and injuries.

So, honour “Sleep Awareness Week” by looking inwards and checking yourself… are you sleeping with your eyes wide open? Do you find yourself feeling weak and sleepy during the day? With all the information given to you, get that insomnia under wraps and start living a more energetic and fulfilling life!

 

It is better to vote for what you want, and not get it, than to vote for what you don’t want, and get it!

9th March 2015 Voting gives citizens a voice in the government, allowing them to choose leaders and decide on issues. Some elections are extremely close like you wouldn’t believe, so one should not take it lightly. Each vote in an election matters!

It is nobody’s business who you vote for, just vote for who you believe has proven themselves to be the most competent candidate but most importantly… make your opinion count and VOTE!

The following are points you may wish to consider when voting:

Ask yourself some qualifying questions like, “who do I feel is an honest individual?” and other questions that you feel defines a worthy candidate.

Read about their views on certain issues before they started campaigning (this will reveal their true stance and give an idea on where they want to take the Country or State).

Narrow down who you think has the commitment and knowledge to keep the country and state safe (this is a central issue).

Who do you think knows how to grow our economy?

Who is for the people and truly knows how to lead? (True leaders know how to serve)

Who says what he or she means and means what he or she says?(Who is speaking from their heart?)

So as you prepare to vote, please take the above points into consideration and remember… your decision is what will help move the country and your state forward!