By Ayo Onikoyi,
Leading affordable pay-TV provider, StarTimes in conjunction with Wakaati TV and Nollywood Thespian, Femi Adebayo, is set to launch Ile Alayo comedy series which is an adaptation of the blockbuster movie.
The cast includes Nollywood thespians and notable social media comedians like Mr Macaroni, Broda Shaggi, Woli Agba, Odunlade Adekola, Mercy Aigbe, Adebayo Salami, Lateef Adedimeji, Dele Odule, Femi Adebayo, Ebun Oloyede, Cute Abiola and Wale Akorede.
The cast and crew of the series were unveiled on Wednesday at a press conference organised by StarTimes. Also in attendance were the CEO of StarTimes Nigeria, Alex Jian; Content Director, Viki Liu, COO, Tunde Aina; the CEO of Wakaati TV, Rotimi Akingbogun; ED of OMD, Yinka Adebayo, and representatives of major brands in the country.
In 2013, ‘Ile Alayo’, a comic movie which was written by the seasoned actor, Femi Adebayo, was released to critical acclaim.
Speaking at the press conference, the 43-year-old actor said the series will borrow heavily from the original storyline of the movie, stressing that it will centre on humourous characters with conflicting behaviours.
Adebayo said ‘Ile Alayo’ will bring back more than 70 per cent of the original cast, and will introduce new characters like Mr Macaroni, Woli Agba, Broda Shaggi and Lateef Adedimeji.
“Some years ago we produced ‘Ile Alayo’ as a home video, and when we ended it, there was a great demand for ‘Ile Alayo’ to come back majorly as a series,” he said.
“When the opportunity from our association TAMPAN to synergise with StarTimes showed up, we gave it a shot, and after so much consideration by the company they felt it was good enough to bring on board as a series.
“Ile Alayo has so many comedians. The concept is about a “face me and face you” house where we have so many characters with conflicting behaviours and attitudes. We have a Muslim cleric, a prophet, a man that sells Indian hemp, prostitutes, retired soldier and cybercriminals.
“The essence of the series is to create a comedy that will make sense. As far as we are trying to make it as humorous as possible, we also want to touch on some social messages that affect our environment. ‘Ile Alayo’ is a comedy flick that I know people will appreciate. I can assure that the sponsors will get value for what they have invested.”
On his part, Alex Jian, the chief executive officer of StarTimes, said the partnership comes as a result of the company’s desire to satisfy the growing demands of viewers for local content.
“Nollywood is the second largest content production centre in the world, in the past 10 years, StarTimes has come to the industry in its own way, whether through content acquisition and production,” he said.
“However, when demands from our audience increased, we began to realise the need to do more. Yes, we are going to do more. ‘Ile Alayo’ is just a start. In the near future, more Nollywood artistes and professionals will bring more exciting local content to the screen of our viewers.
Viki Liu, Content Director, StarTimes added, “We are making a broader commitment to the Nollywood industry. Ile Alayo is the first step to this commitment. With an array of super-stars, movie fans should expect laughter aplenty in the blockbuster drama launching in the fourth quarter.
“We are currently working on a plan that will make StarTimes a powerhouse of Nollywood content. As such, we are willing to collaborate with budding talents in the industry to bring more creativity to life. For young and promising creatives who do not have the opportunity to showcase their ingenuity, we are open to collaborate with you on your journey to becoming a global brand. You have the talent; we have the finance to power your creativity,” she concluded.