‘Nollywood Till November’ – Charles Novia

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began reading what the author describes as ‘a detailed narrative of my road to fame and glory’, with the skepticism mentioned above. The fact that the author has a supreme sense of his self and destiny didn’t help.

‘I was incensed,’ he reports on the very first page, reeling off his series off accomplishments as he shares the story of a director, Solomon Nwoko, who belittled his talent and his experience when he set about his first movie, Deep Secrets. ‘He had a mindset and it was left for me to either do away with his services or prove him wrong. I chose the latter.’

By the time the author gets to that stage in his career where movie icon Richard Mofe-Damijo tells him, ‘Your name is the hottest topic right now. You have done well. I am proud to know you,’ he had certainly proven every single detractor wrong.

But this is not just a story of personal achievement; it is also a story of a collective glory. Novia, through this finely-narrated work, tells me a story I thought I knew. I didn’t even know the half of it.

It speaks to how Nollywood has risen and fallen every now and again like a wave, as Novia became the king of love stories from Bridesmaid to Cinderella, Lover’s Day to For Your Love; how the industry began to conquer the rest of the world, and even delicious little gems like how he came to find out that Jim Iyke’s accent, like we all had suspected, was faker than a beauty queen’s eye-lashes.

Straddling the space between critical and acclaim and popular fare, Novia became so successful that he had four hit movies back to back at some point, as he reports a marketer tell him.

I, like many others, fell under the Charles Novia Think spell over the period from 2000: I particularly remember When Love Dies, the movie he made in 2003 which sold over two hundred thousand copies and took Novia to ‘another stratosphere in Nollywood’; I will die for You, a political tale that was one of RMD’s finest showcases if there ever was one; and of course, the ambitious Missing Angel – complete with a first-of-its kind premiere and billboards across Lagos – which reportedly sold over one million copies and, according to him, has a shelf life that yet endures. To many people, he says, characteristically, ‘it is one of my Nollywood classics.’

His venture with November Records is another branch of an impressive story. He might not have worked that magic with other artistes on the label – Yemi Esho, Zubby Enebeli and Danny Dolor – but what he did with Majek Fashek, a project he took on after he attended a concert and found that Majek would ‘suddenly stop and then go towards the right hand side of the stage and begin to rail against nobody in particular’, is the stuff of legends.

‘Nollywood Till November’ – Charles Novia [Book Review] | Nigerian Entertainment Today - Nigeria's Number 1 Entertainment Daily
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