Saturday 13th August 2016 was a historic day for Nollywood with the inauguration of the Actors Guild UK at the five star Holiday Inn Hotel Bloomsbury London.
Several actors put in a glitzy appearance at the hugely successful first inaugural Summer Ball which was well supported by high profile individuals and the crème de la crème of the British society.
The evening of razzmatazz rolled into action after a session of parade by shimmering ladies in flamboyant evening dresses who outnumbered their male counterparts on the red carpet.
The opening remarks by the delectable diplomat, Mrs Olufolake Abdulrazak, Minister, Consular, Education and Welfare at the Nigeria High Commission London who represented the High Commissioner, His Excellency, Mr. Simon Ogah set the tone for the business of the day.
Mrs Abdulrazak delivered the goodwill message of support and recognition of the laudable work of the organisers from the High Commissioner. While applauding the Nigerian Diaspora for working hard to achieve greater things for Nigeria. She said, “It is important for the invitees to collaborate with UK Nollywood to enhance production quality and for the actors to keep working together to project and sustain Nigeria’s rich culture and heritage.”
Mrs Abdulrazak said, “It is important to note that Nollywood is currently rated the world’s third best after America’s Hollywood and India’s Bollywood in terms of volume and market penetrations. The Nigeria film industry is reportedly worth 7.3 billion dollars.”
She said, “The Nigerian government is committed to enhancing the capacity of Nollywood with Project ACT Nollywood and three billion Naira grant to address challenges impeding the growth of Nollywood.”
The diplomat urged the Actors Guild UK Nollywood to support Nollywood Nigeria in making more high quality movies and get the important messages out to the audience.
The executives of the Actors Guild UK Nollywood were decorated with their membership badges by Mrs Olufolake Abdulrazak.
Theodora Ibekwe – Oyebade, President of Actors Guild UK Nollywood dazzled all night in her designer gown and when it was time for her welcome remarks, she highlighted the laudable aims and objectives of the organisation.
The President said, “Nollywood is already a brand recognised worldwide and the Actors Guild UK Nollywood is open to all Africans and non-Africans and cited British actor Claire Edun ‘Oyinbo Princess’ among others.”
The Actors Guild UK Nollywood assembled a list of high profile, influential individuals from the British African community as Matrons and Patrons of the Guild. The roll call of those recognised and decorated during the investiture ceremony include Mrs Olufolake Abdulrasak Minister, Consular, Education and Welfare, Dr. Pauline Long, television presenter and founder of BEFFTA Awards, Mrs Golda John Abiola, a veteran actress and Executive Director, African Film Awards and Mrs June Douglas, a social welfare lawyer and CEO of Pamela Douglas Foundation.
The Patrons include Mr John Emore a prominent businessman, Mr. Alfred Soroh and Mr. Dipo Winsala both Executive Directors of Nollywood Movies, Deacon Charles Sylvester Group Managing Director of Express Group of Companies, Barrister Sympathy Nwosu Principal Solicitor at Callistes Solicitors, Chief Bimbo Folayan former Chairman Central Association of Nigerians in the UK and Prince Mike Abiola Publisher, African Voice Newspaper and Founder & CEO of African Film Awards.
The glamourous event with all the trappings of a movie set had in attendance other personalities such as Brigadier-General G Oyefesobi Nigeria High Commission Defence Adviser, ace broadcaster Julie Coker, Babatunde Loye, Chairman Central Association of Nigerians in the UK, Dr. Alistair Soyode Chairman BEN TV, Cllr. Kate Anolue Former Mayor of Enfield, Godson Azu General Secretary of NIDEO, Ayan De First culture ambassador, Princess Deun Solarin TV Presenter, Ayo Akinfe author & journalist, Dr. Boma Douglas President Engineers Forum UK and many others.
Also in attendance were others Nigerian actors like Titi and Fred Aseroma, Hilda Tola Nevoh Williams, Victoria Iyama and Opeyemi Aiyeola.
Treasured moments of the evening were captured for posterity by award winning Financial Protection Adviser and Photographer Jermaine Sanwoolu.
Guests were treated to sumptuous three course meal and light musical interlude by Ben Audu, the Saxophonist.
The evening was wrapped up as guests danced to music supplied by DJ Omo White.