Renowned Nigerian journalist, film critic, TV host, and former Lagos State Commissioner, Steve Ayorinde, on Thursday, unveiled his latest masterpiece, a book that celebrates the landmark achievements and outstanding practitioners in the Nigerian film industry, at an exclusive launch event in Lagos.
A decorated editor and columnist, editor-in-chief and jury member for notable film festivals, Ayorinde’s selections in the book are based on close encounters and a deep understanding of the film and cultural landscape of Nigeria.
The book, titled ‘30: Three Decades Of The New Nigerian Cinema – A Bystander’s Verdict’, chronicles thirty years of the Nigerian film industry, highlighting thirty (30) outstanding films, directors, actors, actresses and departed Nollywood figures who earned special recognition for their artistic ingenuity and impact on the industry’s growth.
Speaking at the exclusive launch event which held at the Mike Adenuga Centre innIkoyi, Lagos, former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON, who was also chairman of the event, said not enough has been done to “keep us informed about what Nollywood has done to our GDP,” adding that the impact it has, however, made it immeasurable.
While commending Ayorinde for bearing witness to history and ensuring that focus in the production of quality and depth is retained, which have grown the industry, he admitted, “we (politicians may not be doing fantastically in our vocation but when we see what is happening in the creative industry, we are happy.”
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. (Mrs) Folashade Ayoade, said cinema had the quality of unity as it unites all, irrespective of cultures.
He said Ayorinde’s latest book speaks to the evolution of Nigerian cinema and how it has impacted the country positively.
The Managing Director of Nigerian Films Corporation (NFC), Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, who was represented by the corporation’s GM/Public Affairs, Mr. Brian Etuk, was full of praise for the book’s “faithful and exemplary representation of events in Nollywood.”
He said, “the last 30 years has had challenges and bottlenecks, but we have overcome. What becomes of the next 30 years is by turning our challenges to opportunities.”
The launch attracted attendees from all walks of life. The president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was represented by the former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan while the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu, was represented by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile.
Also present at the event were former governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, FCA, during whose tenure Ayorinde served as commissioner between 2011 and 2019; the Alara of Ilara Kingdom, Epe, Oba Olufolarin Ogunsanwo; former Group Managing Director of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr. Bisi Onasanya; Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Dr. John Asein; General Manager/CEO of National Theatre, Prof. Sunday Ododo and the Chairman of GAC Motors, Chief Diana Chen.
Others were representatives of the Anyiam-Osigwe family – Mssrs Charles George and Kenedy Anyiam-Osigwe; Head, External Relations & Stakeholder Management, Mrs Iyabode Ayobami-Ojo; MD of Multichoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe; Chairmsn of Afia Television, Mr. Emeka Mba; Head of Dutch Consular in Lagos, Mr. Michel Deleen; the Public Affairs Officer, American Consulate in Lagos, Mr. Joseph Kruzich and the Regional Audio-Visual Attache, Embassy of France, Mt. Christophe Pecot.
Also present from the creative industry were Madam Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Joke Silva, Gregory Odutayo, Femi Odugbemi, Bolanle Austen-Peters, Jide Kosoko, Clarion Chukwurah, Kunle Afolayan, Teco Benson, Charles Novia, Tunde Babalola, Mike Dada, President & Founder of All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA and a host of others, who have contributed their quota to the country’s creative sector.
The 184-page book with six intriguing chapters is available in leading bookstores such as Roving Heights, Terra Kulture, Alliance Francaise, The Book Sellers, and the University of Ibadan bookshop.