A veteran Nigerian journalist and former Lagos State Commissioner Steve Ayorinde, launched his latest book, “30: Three Decades of The New Nigerian Cinema – A Bystander’s Verdict”, at an exclusive event attended by government officials and prominent figures from the film industry.
The book, which chronicles the remarkable growth of the Nigerian film industry, also known as Nollywood, was unveiled at an exclusive event on Thursday at the Mike Adenuga Center Ikoyi, Lagos.
The 183-page book is best described as a tribute to the landmark achievements and outstanding practitioners who have defined the Nigerian film industry in three decades.
In the book’s preface, Ayorinde shares the inspiration behind the endeavour.
He noted, “The book simply seeks to celebrate and document some of the outstanding films, directors, actors and landmark events, which have, in the past 30 years or thereabout, defined the industry we now celebrate today; without forgetting other legendary names that played their parts but who are no more on planet earth.”
Foregrounding the project’s significance in the book’s foreword, a respected scholar and Nollywood advocate, Jonathan Haynes, Professor of English at Long Island University, Brooklyn, U.S., emphasises his delight with the endeavour and highlights the author’s credibility.
“Ayorinde has moved around, but he’s never lost sight of the movies, and the fruits of decades of steady observation and judgement are here in this new book, which I’m pleased to be able to help welcome into the world”, he wrote.
From timeless classics like Asewo To Re Mecca, Living in Bondage, Glamour Girls and Mortal Inheritance to recent box office hits like King of Boys and Eyimofe, faces such as the legendary Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Pete Edochie and Richard Mofe-Damijo to Bolanle Austen-Peters and Damini Egbuson, featured in the book.
The author also said the book presents a vibrant panorama of the films and personalities that have reshaped and revolutionised the Nigerian film industry in the past three decades.
The launch event was chaired by Mr Fayemi, who commended Mr Ayorinde for his efforts in his opening speech: “I must commend you for bearing witness to history and ensuring we do not lose a sense of who we are as Nigerians. I also need to commend all those who have excelled in this industry and are promoting our culture.”
The event also had in attendance top government officials, the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, John Asein; Brian Etuk, Director of Special Duties, Nigeria Film Corporation (representing the Managing Director / CEO of the Nigeria Film Corporation, Chidia Maduekwe); among others.
Former Governors of Ekiti and Lagos States, Kayode Fayemi and Akinwunmi Ambode, and former Group Managing Director and CEO of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Bisi Onasanya, were some of the dignitaries at the event.
The royal father of the day, Oba Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, Alare of Ilera kingdom, Epe Division Lagos State, expressed his delight, noting that it was a significant milestone in the growth of the Nigerian film industry.
Presenting the book, Ayorinde, whose compilation of the collection is borne out of years of honing his trade as a cub reporter, editor and columnist, editor-in-chief, jury member for film festivals and commissioner, shared the importance of collaboration in the future.
He said”: “The next 30 years has to be a concerted effort of all industry quarters the artistic and technical aspects collaborating with the governmental and corporate sectors.”
Ayorinde is a renowned journalist and former Lagos State Commissioner for Information & Strategy and later Tourism, Arts and Culture in Lagos State between 2015 and 2019.
He earned a Master’s in Globalization and Communications from the University of Leicester in the UK.
His career in journalism began in 1991 at the Guardian Newspapers before he moved on to The Comet. Years later, at The Punch, he became the Daily Editor of Nigeria’s largest circulation newspaper. He was also the MD/Editor-in-Chief of National Mirror newspapers between 2011 and 2013.
A prolific writer who has written several books, his works include A Critic’s Timeless Reports, Abokede: The Man, The Hill, The City and more. His latest, 30: Three Decades Of The New Nigerian Cinema – A Bystander’s Verdict” is a must-read for all film enthusiasts, researchers, and film practitioners.
The book is now available in leading bookstores such as Roving Heights, Terra Kulture, Alliance Francaise, The Book Sellers, and the University of Ibadan bookshop. And is also available on Amazon, Okada Books, Smashwords and Lulu.
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