A respected journalist, editor, and film and art critic, Steve Ayorinde, has been commended for his new book titled, ‘30: Three Decades of The New Nigerian Cinema – A Bystander’s Verdict’.
The book was launched at an exclusive event on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at the Alliance Française de Lagos/Mike Adenuga Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Ayorinde, who is a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy, and Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, in Lagos State, noted that the book was a product of years of honing his craft as a cub reporter, editor, columnist, editor-in-chief, member of the jury for film festivals and commissioner. He also described it as a must-read for all film enthusiasts, researchers and film practitioners.
Emphasising the importance of collaboration for the future of the film industry, he said, “The next 30 years has to be a concerted effort from all quarters of the industry, including the artistic and technical aspects collaborating with the government, and corporate sector.”
The book takes a look at old and popular movies, such as ‘Asewo to re Mecca’, ‘Living in Bondage’, ‘Glamour Girls’, ‘Mortal Inheritance’; and recent blockbusters, such as ‘King of Boys’ and ‘Eyimofe’. With a focus on star actors such as Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Pete Edochie, Richard Mofe-Damijo and Timini Egbuson; as well as a popular movie and theatre director and cultural entrepreneur, Bolanle Austen-Peters, among others, the book presents a vibrant panorama of the films and personalities that have reshaped and revolutionised the Nigerian film industry in the past three decades.
The chairman on the occasion, the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, commended Ayorinde for his efforts. Delivering his opening speech, he said, “I must commend you for bearing witness to history, and ensuring we do not lose a sense of who we are as Nigerians. I also need to commend all those who have excelled in this industry and are promoting our culture.”
Other esteemed guests at the event include a former Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode; a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamigbetan, represented the President-elect, Bola Tinubu; Gboyega Akosile, the Chief Press Secretary to the Lagos State Governor, represented his principal, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; a former Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Bisi Onasanya; the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, John Asein; and Brian Etuk, the Director of Special Duties, Nigeria Film Corporation, who represented the MD/CEO of the NFC, Chidia Maduekwe.
The royal father of the day, Alare of Ilera kingdom, Epe, Lagos State, Oba Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, also expressed delight, noting that it was a significant milestone in the growth of the film industry.
Entertainers such as Jide Kosoko, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett and Sola Sobowale, were also in attendance.
Ayorinde, who is a prolific and well-travelled author, has written other books, such as ‘A Critic’s Timeless Reports, Abokede’, and ‘The Man, The Hill, The City’.
He earned a Master’s degree in Globalisation and Communications from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.
His career in journalism began in 1991 at the Guardian Newspapers, before he moved on to The Comet.
He soared even higher at The Punch, Nigeria’s most widely read newspaper, as he rose through the ranks to become the daily editor of the paper.
He was also the MD/Editor-in-Chief of National Mirror Newspapers between 2011 and 2013.
The book is now available in leading bookstores and online stores.