BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
Two decades or thereabout in the industry is no child’s play. A place on the Time 100 List is no beans. Neither are countless endorsements cans of moin-moin.
What Nollywood stars Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and Genevieve Nnaji have achieved and done for the industry is not to be scoffed at. If they do not put in a lot of effort to mud their legacies, they will be remembered by history as LEGENDS.
But all amazing stories have endings – happy or not. There comes a time when no matter how great you have been, you take a bow and other great characters take the scene. I don’t expect Genevieve and Omotola to take a bow anytime soon, but truth is, at this rate, if she keeps this “hustle” up, Wives on Strike leader, Omoni Oboli will take soon centre stage.
She’s not there yet, but she isn’t far off. Omoni Oboli who appeared in one (Fifty) and produced another (The First Lady) of the box-office smashers of 2015, is one big hustler. How she does it is a discussion for another day, as at least for some, the end justifies the means. From taking her boobs on a Presidential journey and having her film screened in Aso Rock, Nigeria’s seat of power to being named The Sun Nollywood Personality of the Year, Ms. Oboli is sure doing something. And that something is clicking.
I’m not a massive fan of hers. Yes, she is good looking. But like many of our “fine-face” actresses, she looks far prettier in photos and videos than she looks in real life. She also almost made me put her in the category of fame-drunk call-my-manager good-for-nothing Nollywood celebs when she kept sending a colleague of mine to her manager when all what that one innocently wanted was a quick interview at a recent event. But, no matter what I think of you as a person, I will not hesitate to take my hat off to you when you are making sense. Omoni is making sense so far.
In trying to evaluate her career so far, I revisited Kunle Afolayan‘s Figurine and even though her performance in it was not an Academy-worthy one, she, alongside Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi, shone. Mister Nnamdi’s sweetheart might not have the skills and versatility of Mercy Johnson or the “swag” of Genevieve but she might be overtaking these two and Aunty Omosexy soon if those three don’t watch out.
There have been several reviews of current box-office raider, Wives on Strike. Two have even appeared on this platform. So, when I dragged myself out of the office to Ikeja City Mall yesterday to see the film, it wasn’t in a bid to do a review. It was due to the social media noise and also because I needed to have an updated opinion of her work.
Wives on Strike has been in the cinema for how long now? 19 days? However, it was still a FULL house at the 3pm screening I opted for. Many people could not find a seat at twenty minutes past 3. I walked to the box office to pick up a ticket and there she was, chatting away with three young women who were obviously much more excited to see her than I was. For a second, I was tempted to go and warn her to make sure her film didn’t disappoint me as I had braved the now famous Lagos heat to go see “her film.”
Even though I think the film could be shorter and a bit more straight-to-the-point, I wasn’t in any way disappointed. The hall erupted in unified laughter almost every five minutes. As the credits rolled at the end of the screening, there was a standing ovation. The audience enjoyed it and not less than half of them will share the testimony with others. From what I saw yesterday, Uche Jombo should stop accepting English scripts and face pidgin. That way, she can revive her once massively promising career. Kehinde Bankole seemed a bit held back in her role. Is it the language or is it the demands of her character? Omoni ruled them all. She played her role like her life depended on it. It was excellent. She made me laugh! To put my last sentence in context, I sat through 30 Days in Atlanta TWICE and not a giggle left my body.
I’m not surprised that the box-office figures of Wives on Strike looks promising after two weeks, even though I know how these people love to inflate figures. Getting accurate and verified box-office figures from our cinema houses is a big battle for those of us in the media.
Anyway, at this rate, not only will the film become the next 30 Days in terms of box-office figures, the producer, director and lead actor of the film – Omoni Oboli – will be the next big female thing in Nollywood.
Genevieve and Omotola brace yourselves!