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Yomi Obileye: Now death has stricken

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Oh my God! He was to be back on Palace set with us. I have been postponing speaking with him for the last two weeks. I planned to visit him after the lockdown.

Now death has stricken.

Uncle Yomi was a great jolly good fellow. He was with us in Tade Ogidan’s Hostages between the late 80s & 1991, a shoot that took us about two years to complete due to so many factors.

We all just left Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Tade had kept the Hostages script with him for long, waiting for the opportunity that would make it happened.

With little money, Tade family’s saving (May God watch over baba, Tade’s late dad whose tolerance for our excesses was legendary) as we turned his house to studio, office making him to move from one section of the house to another for us to use any space we chose, even in his retirement. It was in the midst of this that uncle Yomi came in as part of our ambitious film before Nollywood was dreamt of.

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Having confirmed our decision to have him played one of the leads, Tade and l left Lagos on a Friday around 3pm for lbadan. We traveled through Abeokuta to check my wife ,who was then an accountant of a bank in Abeokuta.

After a late lunch, we both dosed off and woke up around 7:00pm ready to face lbadan; disregarding my wife objection to the risky journey through the Odeda road that was under repair and being our first time traveling on that road. The car we were traveling in was a fairly used BMW 2 series.

We eventually arrived in lbadan around 9:00pm, got to uncle Yomi’s house at about 9:30 p.m. He was all over us, bothering about what we would like for dinner and within an hour of our arrival, his wife had prepared sumptuous meal of varieties.

lt was over dinner we discussed about reason for our visit. We were not there for his consideration of playing the role, but to inform him to accept the play.

We were through by 10:30pm and set to depart for Lagos, uncle Yomi objected; telling us that our rooms had been prepared.

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For us, we must return. Because of logistics ahead in our pre-production stage, we quickly lied to him that we already book into a hotel as soon as we arrived in lbadan. He reluctantly agreed with suspicious disposition.

We got on the Lagos/lbadan highway, Tade behind the wheels driving like a fugitive trying to escape a thousand patrol car chasing us; my heart filled my mouth through the dangerous speed.

Next was uncle Yomi finally joining us in late 89 to commence shoot that took us about two years of several postponement to gather money.

Many times, uncle Yomi would used his money to feed some and dash to several others.

The most striking thing that stood him out as a compassionate character was when he was finally paid for the job he stood with us through thick and thin to achieve. He gave his entire fee to one rascal among the crew, a friend of the house that l would not want to mention his name to go and settle some debt he was owing. This his unusual and onerous act left an indelible mark in my heart for him.

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The same scenario repeated itself when Ralph and I had to visit him in lbadan to cast him for the lead in Palace in 1997.

We arrived lbadan late as usual and he and his wife were there to receive us, with yet a sumptuous dinner along with our hand bag. He insisted that we stayed in his house since it was late for us to go back to Lagos, but we told him of the hotel rooms we had booked.

Uncle Yomi was with us in Palace; going and coming from lbadan for his shoot. As usual, he became a father figure for everyone; both the crew and other artistes.

l can recall the bond between him and Funlola Aofiyebi, who was playing her daughter. He was there to manage our challenges with us; he once slept on a foam in Ralph’ s place.

For the above reasons and many more, l got attached to him and his wife. I was always there to play the role of a good younger brother.

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Some eight or nine years ago, he took ill as he suffered stroke about three times, but came out of it and still acted in couple of films and series. He was to return with us on Palace and we asked him to leave his hair unattended to for almost a year for his role, for which he did.

We were still waiting for our partner, Africa Independent Television (AIT), to kick start another season that would involve him. He had gotten the scripts for over six months, still waiting ooooh my God.

Only to receive a text message from Sola Sobowale, another very closed artiste like sister to uncle Yomi that he has passed on. She was able to see him at the hospital before he passed on.

I have been procrastinating to pay him a surprise visit for the past four weeks before the lockdown, but l never got to see my dear uncle Yomi, a friendly, humble, lovely, kindhearted, ever in joyous mood, always wanting to ensure his surroundings are bubbling and no one is in a bad mood.

When you engaged him on your set, he would take over the management of peace, tranquility and happy moment for all.

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Uncle Yomi is gone like a flower plucked at its blossom.

Uncle Yomi, with tears streaming down from my eyes, trying to put this together since yesterday, …all the angels shall be waiting to receive you.

The good Lord will accept your soul and make you comfortable in the best zone of heaven.

You were a good great man, a quality thespian with class, taste candour sleep well my uncle.

Uncle Yomi sleep well!

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l shall use the Ramadan to pray for you. It’s a period when prayers are answered by God. We shall see and March on to glory on the day of judgement.

Adieu Babatunde Baker of Palace!

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Double Tees Productions Unveils ‘Aiyefele’ – A Cinematic Masterpiece of Resilience and Redemption

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Double Tees Productions, a renowned film production company, is delighted to announce the upcoming cinema release of its highly anticipated epic film, “Aiyefele.”

Scheduled to premiere on April 5, 2024, at Odeon Cinema in major cities across the United Kingdom, “Aiyefele” promises audiences an unforgettable cinematic experience filled with emotion, intrigue, and profound storytelling.

Set against the backdrop of colonial Nigeria and 18th-century England, “Aiyefele” unfolds the captivating narrative of a community teetering on the brink of despair. Plagued by a devastating epidemic, the inhabitants grapple with the clash between their traditional beliefs and the “visitor ”
The community faces existential threats, battling against self-destructive customs and malevolent forces, until an unexpected figure emerges to lead them towards liberation and hope.

Featuring a stellar ensemble cast comprising esteemed actors from the UK and Nigeria, including Odun Adekola, Mercy Aigbe, Femi Branch, Lucien Morgan, Desiree Faust, Bimbo Oshin, Biola Adebayo, Rotimi Salami, Dapo Opayinka, and Lara Aiyeomoni, “Aiyefele” promises to immerse audiences in a world of profound loss, sacrifice, and self-reflection.

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Toyin Moore and Tayo Utomi, passionate independent producers known for their commitment to thought-provoking storytelling, spearhead the project.

With a dedication to artistic excellence, “Aiyefele” pushes the boundaries of cinema, offering viewers a transformative cinematic experience.

The distribution of “Aiyefele” is managed by Evrit Films, ensuring widespread accessibility to audiences across the UK.

Film Credits:

Executive Producers: Oluwatoyin Moore, Omotayo Utomi
Director: Seun Olaiya
Original Story: Toyin Moore
Director of Photography (DOP): Babatunde Taiwo
Script: Moshood Yakubu Olawale
Linear Producer: Olakunle Olabode

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UK Unit:

Producer: Toyin Moore
Director: Niyi Towolawi
Director of Photography (DOP): Babatunde Michael

For media inquiries and further information, please contact:

Tayo Utomi
Phone: +447506008654
Email: Tayoutomi@gmail.com

Toyin Moore
Phone: +447496115260
Email: oyemi10770@gmail.com

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K1 to Tinubu: Nigerians are crying, suffering, wailing daily over high cost of food, poor living condition

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Renowned musician King Wasiu Ayinde, popularly known as K1, has made an appeal to President Bola Tinubu, urging him to address the challenges faced by Nigerians amidst the soaring cost of living, food, and essential items.

K1, a staunch supporter of President Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress (APC), played a pivotal role in Tinubu’s presidential victory, leveraging his influence in entertainment and social circles.

In an open letter addressed to the President and also in a video, K1 emphasized the urgent need for a reassessment of economic policies to alleviate the burdens of ordinary Nigerians.

The musician particularly highlighted the alarming depreciation of the Naira against the U.S. dollar, which has contributed significantly to the prevailing economic hardships.

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Expressing concern over the mounting socio-economic cries and sufferings of the populace, K1 urged President Tinubu to implement measures that would provide relief to the common man.

He underscored the disillusionment among voters who, having supported Tinubu in the 2023 elections, now felt disheartened by the lack of visible improvements in their daily lives.

Acknowledging the accusations directed at him for influencing people’s votes, K1 remained optimistic that President Tinubu would soon enact policies to reverse the current tide.

Despite the criticisms, the musician reaffirmed his belief in Tinubu’s leadership and expressed hope that the president would prioritize the welfare of the Nigerian people.

As K1 urged a review of economic strategies, he also stressed the importance of pushing out palliatives to cushion the impact on citizens.

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The open letter served as both a plea and a call to action, encouraging President Tinubu to address the concerns of a nation in distress and reaffirm the faith placed in his leadership during the electoral process.

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Showmax unveils refreshed brand, expanded content lineup across Africa

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Showmax, the popular streaming service in Africa, has introduced its enhanced platform, featuring a refreshed brand and a vast content lineup, signaling a new era for viewers on the continent. This development comes ten months after MultiChoice, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, and Sky announced a collaborative streaming vision for Africa.

The revamped Showmax app is set to be available in app stores starting January 23, 2024, as part of a phased rollout across 44 markets. The streaming platform aims to offer an unparalleled streaming experience, with a focus on both local and international content.

A significant highlight is the introduction of the world’s first standalone Premier League plan for mobile, known as Showmax Premier League. Priced at just N2,900 a month, this plan will provide access to all 380 Premier League games, offering a game-changing product for football enthusiasts across Africa.

Showmax offers two additional plans: Showmax Entertainment on mobile for N1,200 a month and Showmax Entertainment for N2,500 a month. The diverse plans cater to various preferences and viewing habits, making streaming accessible to a broader audience.

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Opeoluwa Filani, the GM of Showmax Nigeria, emphasized the strategic pricing of the Showmax Premier League plan, aligning with the massive smartphone penetration and the significant football fanbase in Africa. Richard Masters, CEO of the Premier League, expressed delight at the initiative, recognizing Africa’s importance to the Premier League.

At the core of Showmax’s streaming ambitions is a robust technical platform built to scale. Leveraging the Peacock streaming platform, which is active in over 70 countries, Showmax benefits from a world-class infrastructure that has successfully delivered major events, including the Super Bowl, FIFA World Cup, Olympics, and WrestleMania.

Showmax’s content library is set to expand with the introduction of 21 new Showmax Originals in February, including five Nigerian Originals. The platform aims to produce over 1,300 hours of original content in the coming year, marking a 150% increase in production output.

Showmax’s partnership with Comcast’s NBCUniversal and Sky ensures access to a diverse range of international content, including titles from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, NBC, Peacock, DreamWorks Animation, and Telemundo. The content lineup spans movies, drama series, and original productions.

John Ugbe, CEO of West Africa at MultiChoice, emphasized Showmax’s focus on the African market, building on MultiChoice’s deep understanding of the continent. The streaming service aims to revolutionize streaming in Africa in 2024, with competitive pricing, offline viewing options, and a growing network of payment options.

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Existing Showmax customers will receive information on accessing the new app, with the complete rollout scheduled to be completed by February 12, 2024. Showmax’s commitment to delivering quality content and a seamless streaming experience positions it as a leading player in the African streaming landscape.

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