Lagos to acquire Ugbomah’s entertainment gallery
Seasoned filmmaker and former director-general of the Nigeria Film Corporation, Chief Eddie Ugbomah, held a party in his home to celebrate his 76th birthday. Before the event, which took place on December 19, 2016, he had requested a special birthday gift from Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State.
Ugbomah wanted the state to acquire a gallery that he founded in 2006 to celebrate important achievers in Nigeria’s entertainment industry. To the amazement of many of the guests in attendance, the governor responded to his request by indicating his desire to acquire it for the state.
Before now, the gallery, which the filmmaker christened ‘Music and Movie Hall of Fame’, had been largely ignored by top government officials, including past culture ministers, and some stakeholders. The significance of the facility, situated at Ilogbo, Lagos, to the entertainment had not been considered as worthy of their attention until Ambode’s intervention.
Ugbomah, in an interview with our correspondent, recalled that the idea to establish the gallery came in 2000 when he visited the Library of Congress and the J.F Kennedy Centre in the United States.
“The records of historical achievements by artists and athletes, including actors, producers, boxers, swimmers, American footballers and the records for all books and films made in US and the world, were kept there,” he said.
Noting that such facilities were not properly established in Nigeria at the time, he had made up his mind to found one. According to him, with the support of Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Jimi Odumosu, Jimmy Atte, Femi Lasode, Brendan Shehu and Rasheed Gbadamosi, among others, “the first and only registered Movie Makers Hall of Fame” was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Abuja.
Ugbomah said that, contrary to his expectations, past helmsmen of the culture ministry failed to realise the importance of the gallery and to acquire or support its existence. In 2006, he also recalled, about 48 acclaimed artists and stakeholders of the culture sector, including late Ambassador Segun Olusola and Peter Igho, Sam formally inducted into the Hall of Fame.
He said, “In 2009, another set of people were inducted. By that time the rent for the gallery kept increasing. The building was cleared and put in the market for sale. Nothing happened again until the December 17, 2016 when Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode read my appeal regarding the hall, my autobiography and my 76th birthday.
“He sent a message through the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, promising to acquire the Hall of Fame legally and get it registered and ready before the Lagos @50 celebration.”
According to him, the gallery contains about 178 portraits of movie makers and 78 colour portraits of famous Nigerian musicians, among other important historical items.
Source: Punch Newspaper