Steph Okereke and Hollywood actress Meryl Streep rock US stage

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Nollywood actress Stephanie Okereke last  Friday made another history when she featured in a stage play titled ‘SEVEN’ during a three day summit on ‘Women in the World: Stories and Solutions’ held in far away New York city.

She was joined on stage by other actresses including Marcia Gay Harden, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Archie Panjabi, Julyana Soelistyo, Lauren Vélez, and multiple Academy Award winner Meryl Streep.

SEVEN was created by celebrated playwrights working with the Vital Voices Global Partnership, who are co-hosting the groundbreaking women’s summit along with the United Nations Foundation and Diane von Furstenberg.

SEVEN is a documentary play that tells the courageous stories of women from seven countries: Afghanistan, Cambodia, Guatemala, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, and Russia.

Julie Taymor, acclaimed director and creator of the Broadway musical The Lion King, directed  the one-night ensemble reading, which had US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in attendance.

“The play  powerfully portrays the transformative ways that seven  courageous women have changed their societies for the better – from peace-building, to fighting corruption to combating violence against women” said Clinton.  “The most powerful thing about Seven is that it gets to the heart of some of the most critical issues facing our  world today.  It reminds us of the power of the human  spirit to rise up when faced with adversity and as we  rise…it reminds us that we have a responsibility to bring  others along with us,” posited Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership.

The three-day gathering, which rounded off last Sunday, March 14, brought together an extraordinary group of 300 global leaders from government, media, social activism, business, and the arts.

Tricia Eseigbe for Street Champz show

Top Nollywood actress cum TV presenter of  popular  TV programme, Bold Faces, Tricia Eseigbe-Kerry, who recently walked down the aisle with her heartthrob is to anchor one of the latest and most innovative reality shows to hit the screen.

The show, “Street Champz”, is a  talent hunt cum reality show, designed to discover untapped talents on our streets. It’s powered by a UK based Nigerian company, Street Champz Limited.

Tricia, who has carved a niche for herself in sports personality interviews and other interesting presentations will bring her wealth of experience to bear while anchoring the innovative reality show, which also has other  Nollywood stars like Kate Henshaw, Alex Usifo, Orits Williki, Remi Ohajianya and  Kevin Pam, winner Big Brother Africa 4-The Revolution as judges, consultants, mentors, presenters and project managers.

According to the initiators, the show which promises to be exciting flags-off in four different categories of music, drama, comedy and entertainment variety act on May 1. The contestants will be made to compete on the same stage at the same time.

Prince Emman-Stanford Amgbaduba, chairman, Street Champz Limited, while introducing the project to the press last week in Lagos, disclosed that Street Champz is not like the usual reality show where the winner takes it all. Rather, “it is a grassroot designed project that  offers variety of prizes to every contestant that qualifies into the live broadcast segment of the competition. The amount of money to be won will be progressively increased by N500,000 every week until the last 3 contestants that will go into the finals emerges.”

The mouth-watering prizes to be won during the show, which nationwide audition is expected to commence  from the May 1 are mouth-watering, include N15million cash prize, a Jeep and  2-year career development programme in the UK for the winner in each category of the competition.

Equally, the 1st runner up and 2nd runner up will smile home with the huge sum of N1million to N750,000, including a 2- year career development contract respectively. The yearly show is expected to hit the wave from July 13.


Why I can’t join Nollywood — Emem Isong’s brother

He hails from a gifted family, yet he doesn’t show it. Until you engage him in a conversation, you may not know that Anietie Isong shares the same paternity with one of Nigeria’s notable screen play writers and producers, Emem Isong.

Based in the UK, Anietie is International Press Officer at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He was also a former broadcaster and a script writer before he left the country.

“I started out as a broadcaster with Metro FM in 2000. I was a writer and a producer at that time.”Anietie narrated to HVP, recently, even as he disclosed that while he was into broadcasting, he never liked presenting news. Rather, he muted,  “ I prefer to stay behind the camera.”

Anietie was in Nigeria recently  where HVP ran into him in Victoria Island.

He graduated from the University if Ibadan where he read Communication Arts before  travelling out of the country in search of knowledge and greener pasture. After his education, he decided to stay back in the UK to earn a living.
He said he did not have the passion to take to film making or acting to compliment what his elder sister, Emem has done in the last two decades.

“Writing runs in my bloodstream. My elder sister, Emem Isong is one of the pioneer script writers this country has produced. My younger sister too  is a passionate about script writing.
“And before I got into PR, I began my career really in broadcasting.

In fact, anything that has to do with writing is my hobby.

“Then, I used to write scripts for radio, including drama, while my elder sister, Emem showed  more interest in film making.  While I was in the University of Ibadan, I used to go on stage, for the fun of it.  But after my graduation, I decided to focus more on my writing. I don’t think I’m an actor. I’m not,” Anietie  echoed.

Talking about his sister’s contribution to the growth of Nollywood, Anietie, who studied Communication Art at the University of Ibadan said, his parents are very proud of Emem’s achievements. “My parents are really proud of Emem and  I’m also very proud of her.”

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