by Onoshe Nwabuikwu

Who needs a state of the nation address?

Did you hear that a bill to ensure every Nigerian president presents a state of the nation address has passed second reading at the National Assembly? It’s heart warming to know that our legislators have time for other matters aside from playing politics with (almost) everything and toying with the lives of millions of Nigerians. I could’ve sworn that the National Assembly was only interested in protecting their own (think Faroukgate) or making sure President Goodluck Jonathan does not ‘drink water and drop cup’, anything to dissuade him from 2015 especially the House of Representatives under Hon. Aminu Tambuwal. What’s more, they appear bent on ensuring that anyone who could be helping him to look good is an instant enemy.

In the ensuing noise, we get to overlook their huge allowances, the slow progress of law making, etc.  This isn’t the hottest news I know. But I couldn’t help but think of the implications of a state of the nation address from the TV point of view. This may be selfish but I can’t endure one more national broadcast especially one that’s mandated. I don’t think any president should be compelled to address his people.

We already have all kinds of national broadcasts. Can’t the president be advised to include what would ordinarily be in a state of the nation address in say the October 1st or the Democracy Day (May 29) broadcast?   In any case, if previous addresses and even the presidential media chats good examples, the impending state of the union address will not answer most of our questions. In fact, as now happens, certain facts presented by the president in his chats or addresses get disproved even before he leaves the studio.

By the way, a state of the union address ought to deliver on more fronts than just providing an update about the nation. We all live in this nation and my guess is that at any given time, the average Nigerian knows the real state of the nation more than any government official knows or is willing to let on.

I don’t know the raison d’être for state of the nation/state of the union addresses, from the US to the Philippines. But surely the ability to communicate, inspire confidence/sense of security, be charming, etc must count for something? If you know any past president you’d gladly listen to because they meet the above criteria, by all means, let him address us every week if he wants. This makes me think now that NASS is in a law making mood, perhaps we need a law that stipulates how our next president sounds and looks; must tick these boxes: charming, confident, oratorial, etc.

HAVE YOU SEEN?

Fine Lady, Lynxxx’s fine video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this video directed by Tom Robson, man-Lynxxx (Chukie Edozien) falls asleep briefly and dreams that he’s found the woman of … his dreams. When he comes to, he realises it’s only a dream. Except that at a bar with a friend, he sees the same girl from his dream..

This is one clean video, literally and figuratively. I’d almost given up on watching a Nigerian video where ‘winding your waist’ wouldn’t be the prime focus. I shudder to think what some other musicians would have shot in a video for a song called Fine Lady.

The Fine Lady video ticks all the boxes as a wedding video, as a fun video, requisite eye candy and celebrity quotient with the cameo appearances from Dr SID, Sasha, Basketmouth, Efya and of course the dream girl Ghanaian actress Joselyn  Dumas. Fine Lady features Wiz Kid.

Hopefully, more musicians will realise that it’s possible to be interesting without going for the cheap and easy vulgar content.

COME AGAIN?
“Abia State PDP kicks against the readmission of Orji Uzor Kalu into the party”.

Why is Abia State PDP kicking against Kalu’s readmission as if they’re powerless? The obvious answer, even if a little incredulous would be that the PDP in Abia State is indeed powerless. After all, Kalu himself has reportedly said no one can stop him from returning to the PDP. He may have possibly used more colourful words like ‘no bagger’ to express this ‘untouchable-ness’.

This is just one more example of how our politicians prefer being in the winning team. Kalu made some attempts at running his own party-PPA. He even got a couple of governors even though they’ve since decamped to the PDP. There must be something the PDP is doing right for people like Orji Uzor Kalu, Atiku, etc to keep running back. After beginning well with ACN, Atiku couldn’t resist going back.

Meanwhile, political opposition in the South East is on another level altogether. Take APGA for instance. By now, you’d have expected the great Ikemba Ojukwu’s party to have penetrated all the South Eastern states, at least. Instead whatever advantage APGA had is all gone leaving only Anambra State. As if that isn’t bad enough, almost all of the news from APGA is about factions, there are always different people fighting to head one faction or the other.  Did someone say Igbo presidency?

Isaiah Washington…he’s one of the few actors I respect in Hollywood.

-Genevieve Nnaji, interview for the promotion of ‘Doctor Bello’, Africa Magic

In the first part of the interview, Ms Nnaji confessed she didn’t know much about Mr Washington’s work. The little she knew was from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and she had a hard time recalling the name of the show. Yet.

I respect Genevieve as an actress and she’s free to like what she likes or respect whoever she chooses. Still, she does have a way of putting her foot in. Once upon a time she reportedly said she didn’t watch Nollywood movies.

I know Genevieve is only trying to show her respect for a fellow actor.  But it comes off as condescending. We have to assume that Genevieve is speaking from a position of superiority. That Nollywood which is still her claim to fame somehow ranks above Hollywood which would make her stooping to respect anyone in Hollywood a big deal. Perhaps Genevieve’s endorsement could be a career break for Isaiah Washington? Otherwise, why is the fact that she respects him important?

Out of how many Hollywood actors did Genevieve consider Isaiah Washington ‘one of the few’ she respects? Not to mention, just how hot is Monsieur Washington at this material time in Hollywood?

REEL REVIEW
The Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Director: Mildred Okwo

Starring: Rita Dominic, Kate Henshaw, Nse Ikpe Etim, Linda Ejjofor, Femi Jacobs, Basorge Tariah jnr., Jide Kosoko, Chinedu Ikedieze

Makinde Esho (Femi Jacobs) is sent by his Lagos-based company to see a minister in Abuja to get much needed authorisation for a substation project. Confident of his appointment booked for early Monday morning, he sets off to Abuja with a plan to return to Lagos later on the same day. Of course, he makes no plans for sleeping over. But he spends the rest of the week before he succeeds and even then only through some jungle tactics. In the five days he spends at the Ministry of Land, Makinde has to contend with the almighty receptionist Clara (Rita Dominic) whom he tags the gatekeeper, more powerful than the minister. Each day brings with it a different setback as bureaucracy is given a new meaning. The saving grace during his entire ordeal is youth corper Ejira (Linda Ihuoma Ejiofor) whom he meets on his first day as he gives her a lift from the airport. In spite of the big age difference, Ejura also becomes his love interest.

Femi Jacobs

 There’s a representation of different tribes and characters in the minister’s waiting room: Mrs Kachikwu doesn’t want to run afoul of Clara or the powers that be. Hajia is willing to be patient while trying to remain on Clara’s good side. Professor Akpan Udofia (Basorge Tariah jnr.) suffers humiliation but understands that’s the occupational hazard of being a government consultant. In any case, his attempts to enforce his rights only anger Clara to activate ‘Code Red’ to get him thrown out of the office for constituting a nuisance in a federal government office. Mrs Ikomi (Kate Henshaw) ‘gets with the programme’ and dresses the part to achieve her aim of getting approval to buy federal government land in her village.

In the end, almost everyone settles or is willing to which shows just how the system can suck anyone in out of frustration. But Makinde or (Mr M to Ejura) holds out and refuses to appease Clara-It would’ve been cheaper to bribe her considering his hotel bill which is what the audience in the cinema hall thought. Well, Makinde ends up giving Clara a ‘commemorative’ gift of champagne, drink of champions according to Clara even though that’s of little help.

The Meeting tackles the serious issues of public service and people’s perception/acceptance of public servants, doing business ethically, etc. There’s also our dependence on religion as a crutch. This is wrapped with humour almost like a capsule. You’ll laugh but catch yourself in time and if you’re reflective your laughter can give way to tears. At the very least, your conscience will be stirred. This is the level our public service has fallen. Alas, the corruption isn’t only in ministries. It is in the universities, hospitals, etc. Fortunately, The Meeting doesn’t allow the seriousness of its subject matter to turn it into a preachy sermon.

Rita Dominic

Casting hits the mark. Surely Rita Dominic has been a government receptionist in a previous life? Linda Ejiofor (main reason I watch Tinsel) plays Ejira seamlessly. I didn’t ‘see’ Basorge Tariah jnr. on first watch (I have seen The Meeting twice). So good is Basorge as Prof Akpan Udofia. Femi Jacobs gets the naivety/principled balance right. Nse Ikpe Etim as Bolarinwa offers a meaty interpretation of ‘the girlfriend’ in that she’s not a predictable bimbo. Actually, everyone holds their own.