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Nigeria's Celebrity Actors to Descend on Gambia

Jun 11, 2008, 6:03 AM | Article By: By Alieu Jabang

In a little less than a week, one of the most celebrated names in Nollywood will arrive in Gambia as a prelude to the arrivals of three other big personalities in Nollywood.

According to Dr. Samuel Wilcox, CEO of Chartered House, Francis Duru, an icon in the Nigerian film industry, will arrive in Banjul on Saturday on board Bellview Airlines to set the stage for the coming to the country of Aki & Popo, Osufeson and Mama G also known as Patience Uzuoku. The arrival of Francis, stated Dr. Wilcox, will serve as a confidence building measure and will provide an opportunity for the greater Gambian public, actors, actresses and aspiring ones to come face to face with the famous Nigerian celebrity actors.

" We want to understudy the Gambian market as we did in Ghana and see how best to create that avenue which will offer Gambian actors and actresses the opportunity to star in Nollywood because there is currently no Gambian actor in Nollywood," said Dr. Wilcox.

The Chartered House CEO disclosed that the arrival into the country of Francis Duru and subsequently Aki & Popo, Mama G and Osufeson will promote cultural exchanges as well enable Gambian dramatists to break new ground.

Dr. Wilcox added:" The visits will allow the film stars to meet and associate with their counterparts in Gambia to chart out a way forward for a collaborative and fruitful professional relationship. This will help further promote The Gambia's tourism sector because a Gambian face in Nollywood will, without doubt, project the country's image in a favorable way."

CEO Wilcox revealed that the visits will also give the Nigerian film maestros the opportunity to say 'thank you' to their fans for the patronage and loyalty over the years.

Meanwhile, Francis Duru will spend three days in Gambia during which he is expected to meet the Secretary of State for Tourism, Nigerian High Commissioner and the Nigerian community in The Gambia. He is also expected to hold a seminar with Gambian artists.

The CEO of Tradeplus, under whose instrumentality the Nigerians will be making it to The Gambia, said it's overwhelmingly significant for people to exchange cultures, which will bring forth the ripple effects of an expanded economy.

"Our effort is just one way of promoting cultural exchanges which will in turn enhance the tourism sector. I think the Gambian economy is doing well and the best thing is to supplement and complement efforts in sustaining that economic growth."