Screen celebrities in the corridor of power
Like the last dispensation, some actors and actresses have assumed political positions in their states.
During the last dispensation, top celebrities, like Richard Mofe Damijo, Kanayo Kanayo, Bob Manuel Udokwu and Okey Bakkasi McAnthony held various political positions.
This time, and at the last count, about seven notable screen personalities have been appointed into one political position or the other.
These celebrity political office holders all seem to be in unison in their submission that even though they have found themselves in the corridors of power, they would still hug the world of make believe.
Notable actress and show host, Kate Henshaw, was named Special Adviser (SA), Liaison (Lagos) to Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade.
Her appointment did not come to most observers as a surprise, as Kate, one precious talent every good director would want to have in his hands, is a party woman.
She threw her scarf into the political ring in the last dispensation when she contested for a place to represent her constituency in the Federal House of Representatives.
Although she lost the ticket, Kate did not give up, assuring that she would stay with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and would seek political office, given another opportunity.
It was while waiting for another opportunity that this appointment came, and the pretty and unpretentiously friendly top Nollywood personality is grateful to God and the governor for the recognition.
“It is still a call to serve my people and I am grateful for the opportunity and recognition,” she says.
An actress of vast credit, who has walked herself to a level where she gets the sort of adulation that stars in Hollywood get, acting, for the African screen diva, began in Lagos in 1993 after a chanced opportunity to audition for a role in a movie, When the sun set. It took that effort for her to develop an unquenchable passion for acting.
Today Kate, a fitness instructor, acting auntie and role model to new entrants, has, through dint of hard work, risen to become one of the busiest and highest paid actresses in Nollywood.
Rasheeda Adamu Abdulahi
From Kannywood, as the movie industry in northern Nigeria is called, comes the cheery news that popular veteran actress, producer and marketer, Rasheeda Adamu Abdullahi, has been named Special Assistant to Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje on Women Affairs.
Popularly called Mai Sa’a by her fans and colleagues, Rasheeda would as long as it pleases the governor, assist him in formulating policies that relate to women and children.
Industry observers believe Rasheeda’s appointment came as a result of the confidence the governor reposes in her ability to contribute to women development in the state.
Besides, they say her role in the development of Kannywood and advancement of the cause of women through the movies she has produced positioned her for this appointment.
A recipient of a number of industry awards, including the Ganduje Youth Organisation award and the ZAFAA award, Rasheeda affirms that in spite of this appointment, she would still find time to feature in movies and produce, saying it would be unfair “to quit a profession that has given me the advantage of being known and noticed.”
Popular Nollywood actress, Ini Edo, got the right icing on her career cake when she was named Special Adviser to Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel on Tourism.
Ini has always expressed the desire to contribute to the growth and development of her state in whatever capacity.
This appointment is, therefore, an opportunity to assist the governor in formulating policies that would position the state as a tourism destination.
Always gorgeously dressed, Ini is an actress of vast credit. The English and Literary studies graduate is today ranked amongst the preferred and most sought-after actresses in Nollywood.
Most industry analysts are wont to agree that she has somewhat become a household name, a role model for young, aspiring actresses and the toast of most movie producers, featuring in nearly all the movies that have been pushed into moviedom in recent time.
Humble, jovial and friendly, Ini’s rapid rise as a screen actress is not difficult to explain. A friend had invited her for an audition exercise somewhere in Aba in 2000.
The producers of the movie, Cassandra- child of destiny, were in town and in search of talents that would give life to the script. Ini was at the University of Uyo, where she had enrolled to run a diploma programme in Theatre Arts.
As soon as she got the invitation, Ini journeyed to Aba for the exercise. She was auditioned and considered for a role in the movie.
However, she returned to the turf in 2002 after school, now ‘fully armed’ to take on any acting challenge. And since she set out, there have been no stopping Ini, whose most recent screen effort includes While You Slept and Uyai.
Son of veteran actor and filmmaker, Chief Adebayo Salami, who is popular as Oga Bello, Femi Adebayo was appointed Special Assistant on Culture, Arts and Tourism Kwara state Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed in February this year.
A busy actor and producer, Femi is one of Oga Bello’s talented sons, who have proved over time that he could be relied upon as an actor and also as a producer.
Star of the critically acclaimed films, Jelili and October 1, where he again proved his versatility, Femi has won a number of industry awards, including registering his name on the Afro-Hollywood list of outstanding actors.
Notable Nollywood actress, Grace Ama, was recently named Ambassador on Tourism to Ebonyi State.
The actress of vast credit has since her appointment been carrying out several rebranding and advocacy campaigns. The most recent is her decision to rebrand the popular Abakiliki Mass Rice to what is now called ‘Grace Glow.’
The actress, who is best known for interpreting delightfully the role of Atlanta in the movie of same title, described the Abakiliki rice as a unique brand.
She explained that her decision to rebrand the rice is to showcase her home state and to further the made-in-Nigeria campaign.
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