Renowned Nigerian journalist, film critic, television host and former Commissioner for Tourism Arts & Culture in Lagos State, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, is set to unveil his latest masterpiece, a book that celebrates the landmark achievements and outstanding practitioners in the Nigerian film industry, at an exclusive launch event in Lagos on Thursday, May 18, 2023.
The book, titled ‘30: Three Decades Of The New Nigerian Cinema – A Bystander’s Verdict’, charts three decades of the Nigerian film industry, highlighting thirty (30) outstanding films, directors, actors, actresses and departed Nollywood figures who deserve special recognition for their artistic achievements and impact on the industry’s growth. Having honed his trade as a cub reporter, editor and columnist, editor-in-chief and member of the jury for film festivals, Mr. Ayorinde’s selections in the book are based on close encounters and a deep understanding of the film and cultural landscape of Nigeria.
Nollywood, one of the fastest-growing movie industries in the world, is projected to reach a revenue of $14.8 billion by 2025. From its humble beginnings of self-funding and self-help in the early 1990s, the industry has experienced remarkable growth thanks to dedicated pioneers and talented creatives who have driven it to new heights. Thus, documenting the history that informs this remarkable projection is part of a broader, larger purpose.
In the preface of the book, Ayorinde shares the inspiration behind the endeavour. According to him, “This book simply seeks to celebrate and document some of the outstanding films, directors, actors and landmark events, which have in the past 30 years or thereabout, defined the industry we now celebrate today; without forgetting other legendary names that played their parts but who are no more on planet earth.”
Foregrounding the significance of the project in the book’s foreword, respected scholar and Nollywood advocate, Prof. Jonathan Haynes, emphasises his delight with the endeavour and highlights the author’s credibility. “Ayorinde has moved around but he’s never lost sight of the movies, and the fruits of decades of steady observation and judgement are here in this new book, which I’m pleased to be able to help welcome into the world”, he wrote.
From timeless classics like Asewo To Re Mecca, Living in Bondage, Glamour Girls and Mortal Inheritance to recent box office hits like King of Boys and Eyimofe; faces such as the legendary Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Pete Edochie and Richard Mofe-Damijo to the scintillating Bolanle Austen-Peters and dashing Damini Egbuson, among others, 30: Three Decades of The New Nigerian Cinema – A Bystander’s Verdict presents a vibrant panorama of the films and personalities that have reshaped and revolutionised the Nigerian film industry in the past three decades.
On its launch on Thursday, May 18, 2023, the 184-page book with six intriguing chapters will be available in leading bookstores such as Roving Heights, Terra Kulture, Alliance Francaise, The Book Sellers, and the University of Ibadan book shop, allowing readers to savour the captivating narratives and personalities that have propelled Nigerian cinema to its current heights.
Steve Ayorinde is the CEO of Patrons Media, publishers of The Culture Newspaper. He is also a TV Anchor and Analyst on Arise TV in Lagos, Nigeria.
He studied Music at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Nigeria, and earned a Master’s degree in Globalization and Communications from the University of Leicester in the UK. His career in journalism began in 1991 at the Guardian Newspapers, before he moved on to The Comet. Years later, at The Punch, he rose through the ranks to become the Daily Editor of Nigeria’s largest circulation newspaper. He was also the MD/Editor-in-Chiefvof National Mirror newspapers between 2011 and 2013.
A strong promoter of arts and culture in Nigeria, Ayorinde served as the Commissioner for Information & Strategy and later Tourism, Arts and Culture in Lagos State between 2015 and 2019.
A prolific writer who has written several books, his works have contributed to inspiring discourses in the industry. Masterpieces: A Critic’s Timeless Report (Spectrum Books, 2008); Abokede: The Man, the Hill, the City (ArtPillar Books, 2011) and Cascade of Change: A Decade of Liberal Thoughts (Liberal publishing, 2015), are some of the titles in his repertoire.
The launch of his new book will no doubt add a valuable contribution to Nigeria’s creative landscape, providing accurate information about the remarkable journey of the New Nigerian Cinema, and documenting them for posterity.