I will take time to explain everything in great detail and to answer several questions posed to me by journalists.
I have always wanted to showcase African talent worldwide and not just limit them to Africa. For instance, good Nollywood stars should be known in the US the same way good Hollywood stars are known in Africa and both industries should be encouraged to have more access to network.
Some talented African music and movie stars have had the chance to work with Hollywood stars, which is a good thing; but what about the rest of the talented ones that haven’t had the same chance? These were some of the thoughts running through my head before I contacted Hollywood Weekly.
We live in the 21st century and you cannot hide talent, no matter the location. You have seen an example with Bollywood movie, Slumdog Millionaire, which was shot in India. Freida Pinto and Dev Patel proved themselves to be internationally worthy right from India. It was their talent that stood out and their location did not matter. We have similar talented stars in Nollywood who have not been showcased internationally, so I decided to find a way to showcase some of our most talented stars in Hollywood.
Amitabh Bachchan recently returned to India after going to Hollywood to feature in ‘The Great Gatsby’. He is already a big A-list Bollywood star and Bollywood is the 2nd largest film industry in the world. Despite his success, he still knows the importance of networking with Hollywood, the largest film industry in the world, so it was an honour to feature in the movie. It is the same scenario with successful Nollywood stars; a lot of them are very comfortable, so their sole interest is in networking. Nollywood closely follows Bollywood and is recognised as the 3rd largest film industry in the world, and thanks to some of our talented movie-makers, Nollywood and Hollywood have already started networking. However, our producers cannot cast every single talented star, so it will be nice to profile as many of our talented stars as possible, right where they can easily be noticed.
Many of us tune in to watch shows like American Idol and are entertained by Steven Tyler doing crazy things like taking his clothes off and jumping into the pool, live on tv, straight after judging. Similarly, we also tune in to watch Nigerian Idol and look forward to the next entertaining stunt that our very own shock rocker, Charlyboy, would bring to the judging table and whether it is his huge python wrapped around his neck or the skull he sometimes carries with him, it is still enough to shock and have people roaring with laughter. No matter how outrageous, the truth is, you will still tune in to watch him, because of the entertainment factor he brings to the table. We buy magazines featuring talented Hollywood actors – should they not also be encouraged to buy magazines featuring our talented African stars? If our talented stars are projected in Hollywood the way their stars are projected in Africa, they will definitely take an interest, and this would encourage more networking.
We rush to buy magazines featuring designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Georgio Armani, Tommy Hilfiger and many others; We have similar talent in our African fashion world – designers like Kosibah, Alexander Longe, Frank Oshodi, Oswald Boateng and so many others, who also dress A-list stars, and it will be nice to showcase their designs in Hollywood. We have our own answer to Kabuki Magic in Princess Amayo, we have many other good celebrity MUAs like Lola Maja, stylists, photographers, hairdressers, etc. We promote Hollywood stars on our sites all the time. US sites now promote Bollywood stars as much as they promote their own stars, because they feel like they know them; so they will definitely promote talented African stars if they are made to notice them more often. A good example is Hollywood Weekly – they didn’t just take my word/hype about my talented Nollywood stars. They did their own research and realised that they were on good soil and by the time Nollywood fans flocked to their site, they were overwhelmed.
I could go on and on with more examples, but I am sure you get the general drift by now that my main interest is to get African entertainment to reach a wider audience, rather than just limiting ourselves to Africa.
Magazine owners also know that they’d only put people on their covers whose faces would help sell their magazines. Hollywood Weekly had never heard of Nollywood at the time I approached them, so this was one of the challenges I faced. I decided not to ‘shove too much down their throats’ at once, with the entire African entertainment industry, until they had at least familiarised themselves with Nollywood.
Hollywood Weekly Magazine have their own concept, which is more about quality than quantity. They are located on the Sunset Gower Studios lot in Hollywood, hence they mainly feature Hollywood stars; so my request was taking them completely outside their comfort zone; and in order to take this risk, it was left for me to convince them about why Hollywood and Nollywood should network.
I assured them that just my four chosen A-list Nollywood stars would generate a lot of interest there in Hollywood, not to talk of the entire African entertainment industry, and that if they feature them first in their magazine and find my claims about them to be credible, that will be sufficient proof that I will only recommend to them for future feature, the stars that meet their required standards. Look at how well respected BET and MOBO are for acknowledging rising African stars with Awards. There are Africans all over the world and we are always patriotic. The fans there in Hollywood will be the first to show their support and help create the buzz.
Before I go further, I have to publicly congratulate our A-list Nollywood stars, Desmond Elliott, Monalisa Chinda, Jackie Appiah and Joseph Benjamin, who proved their worth by making Hollywood Weekly Magazine’s first ever cover and feature of Nollywood so popular, and giving them record-breaking traffic to their site, that not only have Hollywood Weekly agreed to all my requests, they have also added some extras, as they are so pleased with the results. I cannot take on every star that requests to join E4 PR, but can now use my platform to help project some of them internationally.
After the success of that feature, Hollywood Weekly pointed out that the only glitch in featuring Nollywood as frequently as I’d suggested, was that it would require a lot of pages and they had their own content to consider as well. This was when I suggested that a separate magazine specifically dedicated to African talent wouldn’t be a bad idea, and then they can print it alongside their usual magazine; and to further allay their fears, I will endorse the magazine, as proof that I recommended all the featured stars. The idea was well received.
I took the opportunity as well, to let them know about other sections of our African Entertainment industry that they can feature as well as Nollywood. We have talented musicians, big television and fashion shows, talented MUAs, fashion designers and many others. In fact, they now realise how interesting the entire African entertainment industry is and how much our two cultures have in common talent-wise, including how frequently Hollywood stars travel to Nigeria to network with our talented stars.
I also pointed out the business prospects for them. First of all, they’d definitely garner respect for profiling our talented stars in Hollywood. They travel a lot to cover star-studded events like the Cannes Film Festival (check page 26 of this issue with our Nollywood stars). Our people are very welcoming, so Hollywood Weekly can also travel down to Nigeria to capture our big events like the Calabar carnival, where we always have Hollywood stars perform. There are big events at Tinapa, Obudu Cattle Ranch and our neighbouring Akwa Ibom State that they can also cover during the same period. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton just left Calabar, where they were filming Half Of A Yellow Sun (that is Hollywood networking with Nollywood). So many Hollywood stars travel to Nigeria all the time to network. We watch the Grammies and Oscars and we have our own similar ones such as AMAA (African Movie Academy Awards), which a host of Hollywood stars attended this year, NMA (Nollywood Movies Awards), AMA (African Music Awards), NAFCA (Nollywood & African Film Critics Awards), MAMA (MTV Africa Music Awards), GMA (Ghana Movies Awards), etc. These are the types of events that they can travel down to Africa to cover, and then profile them back in Hollywood.
The new magazine will be called, ‘E4 PR In Conjunction With Hollywood Weekly Magazine Celebrates African Entertainment’ and will be published alongside Hollywood Weekly’s regular magazine. Though mainly dedicated to African talent, it will also have other interesting inside features, similar to E4 PR’s Hollywood/Bollywood/Nollywood concept. If you read E4 PR’s blog, you’d get the general picture.
Desmond Elliott, Monalisa Chinda, Jackie Appiah and Joseph Benjamin, will always be E4 PR and Hollywood Weekly’s ICONIC AFRICAN STARS. Their star quality has opened doors for other talented African stars to be profiled right in the heart of Hollywood and they would always be acknowledged for this. They have paved a way for African talent to be noticed and appreciated internationally and both sites will always have their covers up in acknowledgement of them. More privileges will also be accorded to our four iconic stars…you’d find out soon 😉
This new service will cover all areas of African entertainment, including businesses and events that are affiliated with the African entertainment industry and every feature will be classy, high profile and internationally appealing. Telecom, television channels, banks and big African businesses alike that support African entertainment, are also welcome to advertise in the magazine.
If you fall within any of these categories or you are an agent whose client falls within any of the mentioned categories, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not know it all, so please I will appreciate your suggestions if you think I may have missed something. I love discovering new talent – for me this is an unending buzz and I want to flood the market with raw, new, talent or talented stars that have not been aptly projected, so if you know of people that fall in this category who you truly believe are unusual, please email me.
The coolest thing as well, is that flicking through the pages of this Nollywood edition, apart from our featured iconic Nollywood stars, you can actually see the African versions of many of the featured Hollywood stars inside the magazine. For instance, seeing Alec Baldwin reminds me of our very own Nollywood’s answer to the Baldwin brothers in the Afolayan brothers (Kunle is our Alec… :D). I can even spot Kate Henshaw, RMD, Sam Dede, Sammy Okposo, Tiwa Savage and Goldie. Hehehe! Can you look at the Hollywood stars in the magazine and guess which ones are affiliated to the stars I mentioned above? We have talented stars for sure – this new series will never lack quality content.
Hollywood Weekly also want to introduce magazine stands in Africa, so that more people can have access to hard copies of the magazines. I explained to them that people back home generally prefer buying hard copies to downloading applications, so please interested reputable, registered, distributors should contact me via email: email@example.com
Click on ‘Click to read’ and then keep clicking on the arrow on the right to go through all the pages. The Nollywood feature starts on page 18 and ends on page 22. For the video of my interview, please click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZmNVM5Js&feature=plcp
Our new African Entertainment edition, E4 PR In Conjunction With Hollywood Weekly Magazine Celebrates African Entertainment, will start as soon as we have enough content for feature. Until then, I will continue to profile deserving African talent in Hollywood Weekly’s main magazine. Hollywood Weekly Magazine would also circulate their own Press Release about our contract and business liaison, so please feel free to share when you see it.
Please start sending in your magazine feature and advert requests. All requests should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks as well to the media, fans, friends…the entire public for their undying support of our stars. This would not have been possible without your support. May God bless you all. Bella Naija, Linda Ikeji, Alabamauncut, Nollywood Forever, Shaibu Husseini, Sam Anokam, Modern Ghana, Genevieve, Fab and Zen Magazines, NET, Nollywood By Mindspace, Ladun Liadi, BON, Nollywoodgossip, Nigerian Films, Peace FM, Ameyaw, Hallmark Multimedia, Ghana Celebrities, OMG Ghana, Ghana MMA, Twi Movies, Ghahoo, Spy Ghana, and every person that have supported our stars. If I have omitted your name, please know that this is not deliberate, and I am saying thank you to everyone. I found some of these names via Google search. Thanks also to every single person that re-tweeted (@irokotv, @beyondurwalls, @BalogunFathia, @GhanaFilms, @revealghana, @ruttyfrutty, @lowdownscroll et al..I see ya) or shared this news or supported our stars in one way or the other.I cannot end this post without thanking Hollywood Weekly for giving me the chance to project African talent in Hollywood. All this would not have been possible without them and I am glad that they have seen sufficient proof that African talent is worth investing in and feel honoured to have them as business partners. Simply put, that article is an evolutionary pièce de résistance that E4 PR and Hollywood Weekly will always be proud of.
Btw, I have just been informed that DSTV have used the cover image from the article to promote their GOtv channel and it is all over BRT buses, billboards and lampposts in Lagos. Erm…okay…
Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to announce to you, my new paranormal 3D movie, Mystery Beads, which is in pre-production. The movie is produced by Egor Efiok and directed by Frank Adekunle Macaulay. Talented Frank and myself have teamed up to collaborate on various projects, which you will be informed about in due time; Hollywood Weekly are also covering our projects. Frank was the DOP for Gugu EMichael’s Award Winning Movie, ‘Dangerous Men’ and ‘Unge’s War’; both movies were shot in Nigeria; he also co-directed ‘Streets Of Calabar’. Dangerous Men is picking up it’s trophy for BEST AFRICAN FILM, BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY and BEST SCREENPLAY at the World Music and Independent Film Festival Hollywood (WMIF) to be held in DC this month and Unge’s War has been nominated for best film of 2012 at the NAFCA African Movie Awards in September 2012, in North Carolina, USA.
To read more about Frank Adekunle Macaulay, please click on the links below:
Furthermore, I would like to introduce to you, two of E4 PR’s new artistes, Emeka Amene and Julian Nnadi. Emeka, who has CSI as one of the many credits under his belt, will be playing our male lead Hollywood star opposite our female lead Nollywood star, Jackie Appiah, in Mystery Beads; and Julian will be playing our exorcist’s troublesome son. This is just news flash. You will formally meet the lead stars at our soon to be held Press Conference. Mystery Beads is full of talented actors, who all have major roles and their names will be revealed to you at the press conference, along with the synopsis of the movie.
Thank you everyone and God bless you.