Tuesday, October 21, 2008


It was another gathering of celebrities last Friday (17th Oct, 2008) in Lagos as notable personalities in the Nigerian showbiz industry converged to pay their last respect to the late PA BANKOLE RUNSEWE. Venue was the NPA SPORTS GROUND, off Bode Thomas st, Surulere-Lagos and in attendance were Nollywood divas and blokes like Shan George, Franca Brown, Bimbo Akintola, Ayo Adesanya and her husband, Goriola Hassan, Ace comedian Ali Baba, Bob-Manuel Udokwu, Kanayo O Kanayo, Larry Kold-Sweat and others.


The late old man, Pa Bankole Runsewe, was a retired civil servant and an accomplished businessman during his life time. He’s the father of OTUNBA SEGUN RUNSEWE, the indefatigable DIRTECTOR-GENERAL of NIGERIA TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (NTDC), Abuja. He died at the age of 80.


It is not everyday you get to see Nigerian artistes attending Owambe parties of this nature but in this particular one, they were there in large numbers. As expected, not a few people were pleasantly surprised. Well, let me quickly tell you that the NTDC, led by Otunba Runsewe recognizes Nollywood as a potentially huge tourist attraction in the country. The Corporation therefore has a working relationship with the movie practitioners. And of course, many of them have benefited generously from the NTDC largesse as a result of this working relationship. This explains their impressive turnout at the event.
Below are the pictures as captured by Sola Folowosele.
Otunba Segun Runsewe and his wife(below)

Larry KoldSweat and Bob-Manuel Udokwu(below)
Ali Baba and Sir Shina Peter(below)
Bisi Olatilo(below)
Femi Adesina(Editor, Sun Newspaper) & Dr. Reuben Abati(Guardian)(below)
Otunba Segun Runsewe(middle) with Isaac& Nneka Moses of Goge Africa(below)
KOK,Nneka, Bimbo, &Franca Brown(below)
Ayo Adesanya and hubby, Gori Hassan(below)
Gbemi, Kemi & Tinuke(below)
Bola Wellinton(below)


Shan George was supposed to be the coordinator-in-chief of her fellow artistes attending the event. She played the role for a while but after welcoming a few artistes she quietly arranged with one of the usherettes to stand-in for her while she took the backside to sneak out to God-knows-where. She didn’t return until the tail end of the event when everything was almost over. Anyway, that is not even the main gist here, what caught my attention was the fact that the beautiful Shan George of old is now aging rapidly. Though she still maintains her smart physique but you could see signs of old age telling easily on her face. I hope all is well with this ‘serial lover’ of Nollywood, because by my reckoning Shan is supposed to be around 40. PIX: Shan George before she disappeared


Nigeria’s undisputed king of comedy, Ali Baba, was all over the place with his digital SLR camera snapping anything on sight. The way he operated you would think he’s covering the event for Ovation Magazine. He sat in the midst of other artistes and treated them to several rounds of ‘free’ jokes. After the event, he drove away in his sleek red DODGE RAM 1500SLT Buick. PIX: Ali & his camera, (2) Ali & his ride


This suave actor is one guy after the heart of many. This is because Bob knows his art! During the party, SIR SHINA PETERS (SSP), the Afro-Juju singer who was performing on stage called Bob-Manuel to the podium to and come sing (probably with the intention of making a joke out of his voice). When Bob got to the rostrum and collected the mic from SSP, he did not only sing well, he actually sang better than SSP the owner, commanding the band just like SSP himself. This attracted a loud round of applause from the crowd. Infact, so good was Bob-Manuel on the mic that he forced SSP to commit another grammatical gaffe as SSP said “Haha! You want to overtake me?” instead of “…overthrow….”. Na wa for SSP oh! 18 years after his first stray bullet “…soonest recovery”. PIX: Bob-Manuel & SSP trading dancing tackles


Believe me, veteran actress Franca Brown is now 50cl OROBO’. ( 50cl is the parlance for excess fat in Nigeria, it was adapted from the size of the biggest Pepsi drink which is 50cl a.k.a Orobo). When I saw her at the party, I had to take a second glance to actually ascertain that she’s the one. She’s now robust and fleshy like a typical “Iya Monsura”. I overheard her asking for 'diet coke' from one of the service boys. But in fairness to her, she looks fresher and beautiful. May God answer that her “prayer”. Amen!


“I-am-happily-married” actress, Ayo Adesanya-Hassan and funky hubby, Goriola Hassan got quite some attention at the event. This was on account of the wicked tattoos etched on their upper left arms. It read “NO FEAR”, whatever that means?
The couple displayed so much affection openly like a newly-wed that on-lookers couldnt help but marvel. But I just hope it’s not fake. PIX: husband and wife flaunting their tattoos


The cigarette-smoking habit of this talented actress Bimbo Akintola is now assuming an alarming proportion and I think the babe needs urgent help. During the party, Bimbo sneaked out to the car-park to smoke Benson & Hedges inside Ali Baba’s car (Ali gave her his keys). I saw her with my ‘korokoro’ eyes. This is inspite of the Health Ministries' warning that “SMOKERS WILL DIE YOUNG”. I even heard that Bimbo smokes the “elder brother” of cigarette. When it was time for her to leave, she left in a rickety yellow taxi negotiated for her by her PA and hordes of areaboys who trailed her from the party gate to the main road on Bode Thomas st. Na wa for Bimbo. PIX: (above-up)Bimbo at the party,(above-down),Bimbo(see red arrow) being escorted to the yellow Taxi by area boys


The man who died was a Yorubaman and the gathering was predominantly Yoruba as expected. Though there was also the presence of a few Igbo group led by Igwe(Dr) Martin Ezeh, The Idu 2 of Igbo-Ukwu, Anambra state. When all Nollywood stars were invited to the rostrum for recognition by Bisi Olatilo the anchorman, Kanayo O Kanayo was given the mic to speak on their behalf after Larry Koldsweat had spoken. To the surprise of many, KOK made his speech in Igbo, claiming that the ‘Holy Ghost’ instructed him to speak Igbo. I was surprised but when I took a look at the table where KOK stood up from, I saw 31/2 bottles of Gulder and a half-empty bottle of Moet. I now perceived that it must have been ‘Gulder Ghost’ that actually instructed him.