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December 16, 2014


Mayweather happy to be in South Africa!


Joseph Shabalala, who founded three-time Grammy Award-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo, announced that he was to retire.

Oprah now OWNs Mandela movie

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris, continues to garner critical acclaim across the world as its release is rolled out.


The star of Oscar-winning South African film "Tsotsi", Presley Chweneyagae, seen here in Los Angeles in 2006.

Charlize Theron in Hollywood

Hopeville is the uplifting story of Amos Manyoni, a recovering alcoholic who moves to a rundown rural town in the hope of etching out a new life with his alienated son, Themba.

Box Office

Pad na Jou Hart
The Best Man Holiday
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (incl 3D )
Vampire Academy
Monuments Men
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Faan Se Trein
Wolf of Wall Street
Delivery Man



Luita Nyong'o - Oscar Winner!
Fresh from her triumph on the red carpet at the Golden Globes Lupita Nyong’o is the name to watch in 2014. She is generating a lot of buzz for her debut film role in 12 Years A Slave and is already wrapping up her next role in a movie called Non-Stop with Liam Neeson.

Moment of silence about how that natural cropped hairstyle is everything!!!!


So, here are the Best 5 Nollywood Actresses in 2013. ( The term ‘Actress’ used here is to differentiate the gender as there is a ‘Top 5 Nollywood Actors of 2013′ coming up on this blog this week)

ritadominic Who made the list? Charles Novia names the 5 BEST Nollywood actresses of 2013

Rita had a good year. Winning ‘Best Actress’ a couple of times (among many nominations ) for the movie ‘The Meeting’. I also watched her in another recently released movie, ‘Finding Mercy’ but felt that she gave a listless and lukewarm performance in that flick. In ‘The Meeting’, Rita was smoking. I would say that for the first time since I have been seeing her in movies, she found the right script which explored her acting depths. Rita is a Theatre Arts Graduate from Uniport and that is usually an advantage for
actors with such credentials from Drama School. What is expected from such actors has to come to the fore someday in Nollywood, when the right script meets the right Director and the fundamentals of a good production are met. ‘The Meeting’ is that kind of production. Rita subsumed her character and aided the cackle points of the comedy. With make-up which aimed to transform and accentuate her character, she found it easy to give us all a good performance. However, I found some grey areas of her acting bordering between slapstick and sublimal comedy especially the part where she called out ‘Code Red’ , which was a typical Nollywood play-to-the-gallery moment. But her acting on those few bits can be forgiven because she had a screen presence of mind. Rita Dominic has more to prove in Nollywood, either as an actress or as a Producer. If it is the former, then she has to be careful about her choice of scripts from now on because there might be false slips ahead. A good actress anyday, she is.

okoro 291x330 Who made the list? Charles Novia names the 5 BEST Nollywood actresses of 2013

Now this would raise eyebrows with people asking if Yvonne is from Nollywood since she is associated more with Ghana. Nomencletures do not matter to me. Nollywood is a global brand and is a huge platform for all African actors to make their mark. Besides, Yvonne’s movie, ‘The Contract’, was released in the cinemas in Nigeria in 2013 which meets a part of the criteria I used in drawing up this list.
I must confess that I had not watched much of Yvonne’s movies before ‘The Contract’. I just knew her name from a few social media buzz which was neither here nor there for me. So when I watched her performance in ‘The Contract’,  my curiousity gave way to admiration. She interpreted the role quite well. There was an almost effortless transistion of moods and emotions in her characterisation and she had the audience eating out of the palms of her hands all through the movie. She  came off looking like she had something to prove with that movie both as Producer and lead actress and I think she succeeded. There was nothing forced about her nuances in the movie, which projected a rare self-assuredness lacking in many of her counterparts. Since Ghana is her chosen country of citizenship, I would say she is an asset to her country in the acting field.

0damilola adegbite 237x330 Who made the list? Charles Novia names the 5 BEST Nollywood actresses of 2013

A surprise resignation from ‘TINSEL’in 2012 , made most people wonder if Damilola knew what she was doing. She gave reasons for leaving the televsion serial; to concentrate on her acting career. Watching her in Michelle Bello’s ‘Flower Girl’ brought home the wisdom in her career curve.

I have always held the notion that Damilola has a powerful screen presence. There’s something sultry and appealing about her looks on screen. Very few actors have that aura. In Damilola’s case, I thought it wasn’t yet explored to the maximum. In ‘Flower Girl’, that screen aura combined with a visible attempt at internalisation and visualisation by Damilola in her role, made many see her in a whole new light. Finally, the stirrings of a Super Actress is beginning to show. ‘Flower Girl’ is a romantic comedy modelled after the genre as it is done in Hollywood. Attempting to get it right needs the right male and female actors in the lead roles. Damilola was the right pick for the female lead. She knew when to turn on the charm and when to disarm in the movie. She gave it her best and it showed. Hopefully, she would maintain the tempo and energy in her new movies after ‘Flower Girl’.

tamara Who made the list? Charles Novia names the 5 BEST Nollywood actresses of 2013

Many people would not remember her name and it is likely many would have forgotten her as the winner of ‘The Next Movie Star’ Reality show a couple of years back. But such credentials are not important when it comes to judging her abilities as an actor. Tamara was simply awesome in the movie ‘Desperate Housegirls’! She gave an organic and jaw-dropping performance which must her won her new fans and etched her name somewhere on the consciousness of movie lovers. There was a closeness to method acting when watching her in ‘Desperate Housegirls’ and she must be commended for making acting interesting again especially as we have been assailed with talentless actors and actresses in the past few years. I predict that Tamara is going to shine in a few months but that illumination depends on the kind of scripts she chooses and the Directors she works with. But then, she is good. Quite good.

mercy johnson biography photo 620x350 584x330 Who made the list? Charles Novia names the 5 BEST Nollywood actresses of 2013


Mercy would be my number one choice for ‘Best Actress’ in 2013. She has simply been awesome in the her movies this year. There’s something ultra-natural and organic about Mercy Johnson which confounds even her critics. She can act. She delivers. In four movies I watched in 2013, which she starred in, she was the epitome of delightful characterisation. Watch her in the ‘Dumebi’ spawn of movies and you would appreciate how her talent has evolved since she came back from her Maternity Break.

Mercy is a chameleonic actress, one with the uncanny ability to immerse herself in her roles. She can play the victimised House Maid in one movie and switch to the Lady Boss in the next. In fact, if the role suits her, she comes out smoking.


Jazz artist Esperanza Spalding beat out Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence + the Machine, and Mumford & Sons in 2011. Credit: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty

Esperanza Spalding receives her award at the 2013 Grammys

Chiwetel Ejiofor's

Unforgettable Journey. The "12 Years a Slave" star recounts first being approached about the role up through his Best Actor Academy Award nomination. Check it out! 

Actor | Director | Writer

Born on July 10, 1977 in Forest Gate to Nigerian parents, Chiwetel attended Dulwich College in South-East London. By the age of 13 he was appearing in numerous school and National Youth Theatre productions and subsequently attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. In 1996 Ejiofor caught the attention of Steven Spielberg who cast himin the critically acclaimed Amistad (1997) alongside Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins. He has since been seen on the big screen in numerous features including Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things (2002) (for which he won Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards, the Evening Standard Film Awards, and the San Diego Film Critics Society Awards), Love Actually (2003), Woody Allen's Melinda and Melinda (2004), Kinky Boots (2005), Inside Man (2006), Children of Men (2006), American Gangster (2007), and Talk to Me (2007), for which his performance won him an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor.



"Trains will run past midnight and special Gautrain shuttle buses will transport patrons between the venues and the closest Gautrain station." File photo
Image by: Halden Krog / The Times

Johannesburg party goers will be afforded the opportunity to enjoy themselves until the early hours of the morning without having to worry about transport.

Primedia and the Gautrain have joined forces to launch "Gauteng's Big Night Out".

"The concept is that, for one night only - Saturday March 1st, Gautrains trains and buses will be running late into the night in support of several..... leisure locations and activities in Gauteng," Bombela Concession Company's Errol Braithwaite said in a statement.

"Trains will run past midnight and special Gautrain shuttle buses will transport patrons between the venues and the closest Gautrain station."

The venues will include the Eminem Concert at Ellis Park, the Santana Concert at FNB Stadium.

Restaurants, shops and movies at Rosebank Mall and The Zone as well as night walks at the Johannesburg Zoo, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Trevor Noah and Andre the Hilarious Hypnotist at Montecasino.

Rugby lovers will also get to enjoy the match between The Lions and Bulls

at Loftus Versfeld without having to worry about transport.

Ken Varejes, Group CEO of Primedia Unlimited, said: " Primedia is delighted to partner with the Gautrain to promote leisure activities in the entire province of Gauteng."

Braithwaite said it would be a wonderful way to test the company's systems and operational protocols with a view to possibly running late-night services on a more regular basis in the future.

He however said the system would be catering for the family and those 'over-exuberant' might be turned away.

"Our services will be geared towards safe and pleasant public transport for the entire family. To that end our security will be fully mobilised and we reserve the right to exclude any over-exuberant party goers from the system," he said.

SA Government achievements for 2012/2013