The 8th Europe tour with another selection of the hottest of Nollywood stars put together by Isaac Izoya of Ehizoya Golden Entertainment came to an end with the five artistes returning to Lagos, Nigeria’s showbiz capital on the 28th of October from Berlin with great gists of victory.
The shows which kicked off in Berlin on the 13th September, 2008 with “Loving Lagos/Nollywood Extravaganzas” saw the stars namely; Mercy Johnson, Benedict Johnson, Charles Inojie, ace comedian Gordons and highlife music star, Bernard Ohenhen roaming through 17 cities in eight EU countries including; Berlin in Germany, Malaga in Spain, Athens in Greece, Torino in Italy to name but a few.
There is no doubt that the shows gave Africans in Diaspora another ample opportunity of meeting their movie stars on one on one basis. Says Izoya “We recorded 1.2million camera flashes of the stars before we lost count. In Padova , Italy , a city that has never experienced such Nollywood show ever before, the stage was literally closed down with exhilaration when Mercy Johnson was introduced on stage.
“The music of the night from the uncontrollable fans was Mercy! Mercy! Mercy!!. It took great wisdom and courage from Ehizoya crew to whisk the stars out of the hall unhurt as fans took to the stage. In Genova, Gordons was sent out of the stage by his fans to change his dress from jeans to suit which they called his trade mark. When he returned on a corporate suit dress, he was short of words with flashes of cameras like he was the presiden of the United States of America. Genova which many consider the end of the world because you could only meet the sea after the Italian community was charged and the stars especially Gordons wondered about their popularity in that remote part of the world.”
In Athens , Torino and Mondina, it was gathered that the stars were repeatedly asked to name their price if they stayed for just one more day. Edo state born girls were all over Bernard Ohenhen, the highlife musician who represented himself well and Charles Inojie popularly know as Suraju or the Prophet, characters he played in his past movies. Many offered themselves for automatic marriage even if they had to be second wives.
The tour did not go without the sad story of the stealing of Mercy Johnson’s luggage and her hand bags which included 1000Euro, her Nigerian Passport, jewelry and other valuable items at the arrival hall of the Malaga Airport. According to Izoya, “this was a set back we’ll never forget in a hurry. We’re made to spend extra days and travel to other countries shows by road meaning that we had to drive over 14hrs each ways to our show venues. I have never seen an insecure airport like Malaga airport in Europe. Thanks to the German Police and the Nigeria Embassy who stepped in at the right time to end the nightmares.”
During the tours, another hitherto unknown quality of Benedict Johnson was revealed. He had become the prayer warrior of the crew even though his prayers caused the crew to miss their flights severally . The test of his faith was Malaga and Genova when several girls tried all means to hook him down but to no avail
Though we arrived Brescia , Italy two days before our show, the zone coordinator almost made us call off the show but the show promoter whose slogan has always been that “The Show Must Go On!” was on top of the matter. And the show did hold.
The show in Amsterdam was cancelled as the promoter did not want a repeat of the Nkem Owoh story where several Nigerians were arrested some time ago. The coordinator of Amsterdam show Mr. Henry Black, had to call it quits after spending over 10,000Euro on publicity alone. “I need happiness not sadness. I prefer to let the money go than to experience another Osuofia sad experience “he said after the cancellation.
What the stars said after the show and the movie production by the crew
Mercy Johnson said, “Coming to Europe on my own is not a big deal but no way would I have been able to create the awareness and recognition I received on this show. Whether we believe it or not, Isaac Izoya is a great promoter and a promotional force to reckon with.He is a Cultural Ambassador indeed as they always says
Charles Inojie said, “having a good script is one thing but shooting in a well relaxed atmosphere without hide and shoot is another thing. These are the qualities that make Isaac Izoya films tick and different from any other films shot in Europe. He has the license to shoot without fear or favour. I’m optimistic that this job is going to come out well. Imagine what it takes to gather both international stars from Nigeria , Belgium , Holland , Stuttgart and Bremen for weeks in the name of shooting. I’m sure the end will justify the cost at long run. Though the tour was stressful, we had a great time like family. I respect and salute Isaac Izoya connections and now I understand why so many embassies are so proud of him including Nigeria and
Coincidentally, Isaac Izoya received another Cultural Ambassador Award in Hamburg while the tour was going on organized by African Heritage Magazine, the African Life style magazine published in Germany by Ken Consult,
Ehizoya Golden Entertainment – who believes artistes exposition are veritable vehicles of influencing humanity, culture and the people’s mentality – has sponsored prominent Nigerian artistes on European tours. Some of the artistes who have been on such tours include prominent people like Patience Ozokwor a.k.a Mama G, Ngozi Ezeonu, Empress Njamah, Nkeiruka Sylvanus, Jim Iyke, Desmond Elliot, Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme a.k.a Aki and PawPaw, John Okafor (a.k.a. Mr Ibu), Victor Osuagwu (a.k.a. One Dollar), Bright Okpocha, popularly known as Basket Mouth, Julius Agwu, Francis Agoda a.k.a I Go Die, Ogbolosingha, Sheddi Baba, Producer/director Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen to mention only but a few.
In retrospect, Ehizoya Golden Entertainment would love to thank God for making the tour possible, the crew members both in Europe and Nigeria, Nigeria and German Embassies, Habbel Theatre, Dorothee Wenner, Mercie Jost, Enibokun Itua, Miami club in Torino and Nollywood star guests. Without your co operations the going would’ve been tough.
Izoya says that the 8th Europe tour was a mission accomplished a new adventure and a plus to Ehizoya Golden Entertainment record.