By Akeem Lasisi
Ahead of April 11 governorship and states’ House of Assembly election, award-winning actor and filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan, has joined a long train of artistes that have endorsed the candidacy of the All Progressive Congress governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
While the likes of MI, Flavour, Banky W, Yemi Alade, Ice prince, Desmond Elliot and Ali Nuhu have been part of various productions selling Ambode’s candidacy, Afolayan’s endorsement is coming through a new commercial in Yoruba language, in which he uses footage from “Ija Ominira”, the popular movie shot in 1978 by his late father, Adeyemi Afolayan (Ade Love).
Described by the Ambode Campaign Organisation as a ‘smash hit’ production and is a blast from the past mixed with contemporary reality, the 60-second production uses the goje musical instrument together with the traditional chant of Ajobiewe, the talented actor and poet, to spice up the creative appearance he made with his father, who passed on in 1992.
The message in the production is simple: Lagos is working because it has built on the solid foundation laid since 1999 and, therefore, deserves to continue with that tradition of excellence by having an astute administrator who understands governance succeed the incumbent Governor Babatunde Fashola, SAN.
Afolayan’s production joins the rich list of quality television commercials and artistes who have enlisted to use the creative arts to drum up support for Ambode’s candidacy.
Popular TV commercial, “I Believe”, and the “Ambo” soundtrack, featuring the best of Nigeria’s music and film artistes including MI, Flavour and Banky, are widely acknowledged to have distinguished Ambode’s campaign in the last four months.
Meanwhile, Ambode has said that the emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari as the President-elect portends good omen for the development of arts, entertainment and tourism in Nigeria. Speaking through his Director of Communications, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the APC candidate said Lagos State would benefit from an APC-led government at the federal level.
“The entertainment and tourism sectors will benefit tremendously from an APC-led government at the centre from May 29. We are not talking about occasional monetary hand-outs to select artistes.
“We are concerned about building enduring structures and empowering creative artistes and producers who invest their time and resources in these thriving sectors.
“With an APC-led government at the centre and in Lagos, our aim is to work with the Federal Government to have the National Theatre at Iganmu rehabilitated once and for all, and turn it into a profitable base for artistes. We can extend similar thoughts to the National Museum and National Gallery of Arts.
Those places should not be dead-ends. Yes, they are Federal Government properties but they are in Lagos and an APC-led government at the centre and in Lagos State will work in sync to turn those places around.
This is why it is of utmost importance that Lagosians take advantage of this God-given victory of last Saturday to vote to retain APC in Lagos State. We have waited for 16 years for this to happen and we shouldn’t blow it now,” Ambode said.
He added that one of his proposed flagship programmes, Project T.H.E.S.E, aims at harnessing the hospitality, arts, entertainment and sport sectors to further drive excellence in Lagos State.
Other artistes who have recorded hit songs for the APC candidate include Alhaji Kollington Ayinla, King Wasiu Ayinde (K1), Dede Mabiaku, Dammy Krane, Wasiu Alabi Pasuma, Seun Bankole, Sefiu Alao, Fatai Akanbi Valentine and Gbenga Adewusi.
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