TESTIMONIALS BY NOTABLE NOLLYWOOD STAKEHOLDERS ON EHIZOYA GOLDEN ENTERTAINMENT @ 20 YEARS.
By Fred Iwenjora
For 20 years, Ehizoya Golden Entertainment has ferried Nigerian stars of films and music for cultural integration events in the EU.
The numbers of artistes who have travelled to be part of these events are uncountable.
Some of those who have featured in these shows since 2002 here recall fond memories and speak on their memorable experiences
PATIENCE OZOKWOR (MAMA G)
It was in 2004 that I toured with Ehizoya Golden Entertainment and it is like yesterday that I remember vividly all that transpired during the tour. It was my first time in Germany. I toured with Jim Iyke and Basket Mouth. It was also their first time in Germany.
I also recall meeting the popular blogger Stella Dimoko Korkus. Stella had called me from Germany asking why I had not remarried and I told her my children say no. She argued with me on phone and we later cut off. I never met her before. But during the trip we were returning from a performance when I recalled the Germany based blogger who was worried about my remarriage. She was with us during some of the trips and screamed out ‘that journalist is me’. I screamed with excitement and it was a great reunion. She is a very bold and brave woman.
We toured seven European cities in Belgium, Holland, France, Portugal, Greece and Germany. The reception was very highly entertaining in fact very awesome. I returned home in Nigeria with a lot of gifts and those who gave the gifts paid for the excess luggage.
Izoya made our stay very comfortable as we stayed in comfortable homes and lived as family cooking for ourselves and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. He was very hospitable.
The tour made it possible to gauge the weight of our fan base as we met many fans who were thrilled about Nollywood and our activities in it.
One of my many regrets is not attending Isaac Izoya’s wedding in Benin because I was on set with a very tight schedule. He was sad but later understood with me.
I can never forget his niceness to me and I see him as someone who solidly believes in me and calls me mum. I am very happy he held unto this dream idea of integrating Nigerian artistes I mean Nollywood stars and Nigeria musicians with their Europe based fans.
As his organization marks the 20 years anniversary, I pray that God continues to bless him and his work.
I am indeed highly honoured and also thankful to God to be selected for an all time achievement award in faraway Germany. This is not the first time I will be so honoured with that award category but it is is the first time I am receiving such outside of Nigeria. It has never been in Germany. I am here to pick up the award by myself because it is unique and I remain very grateful to the organizers, Ehizoya Golden Entertainment e.v. I am very thankful especially to the chief executive officers of the organization Isaac Izoya for seeing and considering me worthy of this Nollywood Europe Golden Awards especially at this auspicious time the organization is celebrating 20 years of ferrying Nollywood stars to meet with their European fans. I feel very happy.
Isaac Izoya is someone every right thinking person in Nollywood, in international diplomacy and business must encourage for what he has done for the Nigerian film brand generally known as Nollywood in the European diaspora. It is amazing that today Nollywood is a house hold name across Europe because of Isaac Izoya.
In my chat with him to convey my acceptance of the award, I told him that he deserves National Honours in Nigeria. What he has done with Nollywood for the image of Nigeria in the European scene is great. Our films stars are recognized in Europe by both Africans and people of other cultures because of the contributions and perseverance of Isaac Izoya who according to reports has not enjoyed any financial support from state or Federal Government of Nigeria. I do not see why it takes so long for the FG to award Isaac Izoya national honours even if as a pat on the back.
I encourage him to continue doing whatever he is done because he is doing well
“I went to Berlin to be part of the integration shows of Ehizoya Golden Entertainment in March, 2003,
I travelled with top Director Lncelot Oduwa Imasuen and Empress Njamah. It was an experience I can never forget. It was a bold step that Isaac Izoya took at his own expense. Many did not give it a chance to last a few more years but it has grown in leaps and bounds for 20 years. Honestly I give him kudos and very proud of him for holding tenaciously to this freak. I note that he was very lavish in his hospitality. It was my first trip to Germany. We were well taken care of and felt really at home. I featured in a film “Zero Your mind” and we toured the European Union states. 20 years is not a joke to hold onto a dream.
May the good Lord continue to bless and keep Isaac Izoya and Ehizoya Golden Entertainment for more projects like this. May the Lord continue to provide the resources to continue to do what you do because it is not easy to do all that you do for our country Nigeria in the area of culture promotion with your own funds. Isaac please continue to be who you are and do not change. You were so nice to us during the trip and I won’t ever forget.
God bless you”.
KAYODE PETERS (KP)
I was part of the Ehizoya train in 2005 and I can never forget that tour. Isaac Izoya was the first person who took me out of the shores of Nigeria and I continue to respect and remain forever grateful. He had taken Basket mouth and others a year earlier and had visited Nigeria where he stayed with us at Basket Mouths flat. At that time, I was staying with Basket Mouth at Iponri. He was very down to earth person and we shared many bottles of 501 drink. I had invited him to Muson Center where I was directing a stage play. He was so very impressed with the performance that he said “KP, I’m impressed with your show. You are following me to Germany”. I told him I am not a comedian. He told me I could still do what I did at MUSON by improvising a show something different from the norm. I had thought it was just talk until he started sending me messages asking for my documents. He made me leader and coordinator of the group that went on the trip for the year 2005. The tour included Sheddi Baba, I go Dye. In a few months’ time, I was in Berlin. Just like that. It was like a dream to me and I never expected that. We started talking in December 2004 and by February 2005, we were in Berlin. I can never forget that experience in my life. We had so much fun all the way as we toured four countries in the EU including Germany visiting Essen, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, three cities in Greece.
I became coordinator for the artistes to tour next year. I had arranged for Desmond Elliot and Daddy Showkey to tour but that tour never materialized. With his diplomatic backing, Izoya reinforced after few months and moved Desmond Elliot, Nkirus Sylvanus aka Ble Ble and 11 other artistes to Athens, Greece in that same 2005. No too long after, I became very busy with Flatmates and could not coordinate the tours again.
As Ehizoya Golden Entertainment turns 20, I wish Isaac Izoya , the cultural Ambassador of Nigeria to Europe all the best in his endeavours. I thank you for all you have done for Nigeria arts, culture, theatre and music and films just by the deep passion you have and with your own funds without support from anywhere. When things go wrong, he picks up himself and moves on as the show must go on as he often says.
In all it was a great event and memorable as we had so much fun no matter what. In all it is still an experience I will cherish all my life. Thank you Isaac for making me cut my teeth in international showbizness. I appreciate you always because after that trip, doors opened as I started touring the UK and other countries.
CHINEDU IKEDIEZE (AKI)
My brother that trip to Berlin in 2003 was my first trip to the western hemisphere. That trip organized by Ehizoya Golden Entertainment was everything for me. It opened my mind. That was when I realised that the world has various departments and that the better parts of these departments are seen in the western world while only one or half of these departments is seen in Africa. Isaac Izoya gave me this first golden opportunity out of this country Nigeria and I have not forgotten. It gave me the opportunity to fly in an international plane. For the first time I felt closer to seeing God. I took a leap when I stepped out of the airplane and saw the atmosphere outside. Even the breeze we do not see seemed white. That experience would live with me forever. It was the first time I performed outside of Nigerian shores in a tour with others including Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, Julius Agwu who was already a mega star at the time and Kennedy Uyi Oviahon of blessed memory. I first learnt about the pronunciation of German alphabets when Isaac Izoya pronounced his surname as E Z A..bla bla. I learnt the German greetings. That trip increased my confidence and made me pursue this show business better than I was doing.
As Ehizoya organization turns 20 years. I wish them good luck and all the best because they have come a long way.
CHIEF SIR VICTOR OSUAGWU (KSC)
If there's someone who should talk about Ehizoya Golden Entertainment, the culture promotions non-governmental organisation based in Germany as they celebrate 20 yrs anniversary then it must be me.
I say this with all sense of humility and modesty.
I am a beneficiary of its magnanimous interests in Nollywood affairs in the diaspora because I had been invited twice by this organization.
I first had encounter with Ehizoya in 2003 by a direct phone call from him in Germany and later through one of Nollywood film director Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen to feature in an European tour.
That first tour was a big exposition for me as it was the first time I would travel out to Europe because of my acting contributions in the big Nollywood brand.
I toured with Mr Ibu and we improvised a spiritual boxing tournament on stage to the admiration of our fans in the Europe.
I also featured in a film titled Home and abroad.
My Second tour with Ehizoya Golden Entertainment, Europe was in 2016 in company of Nollywood living legend, Madam Patient Ozorkwo to receive Award as best "Comedy Actor". The excitement holds no bare.
Touring twice with an organisation when many are looking for a single opportunity is an act of God.
During that tour of Europe for the first time, we went to some cities in Europe including Hamburg and Italy...capping it up with a film shoot titled "Home & Abroad" directed by Lancelot Oduwa Imeseun.
In the course of these tours , I must confess that Ehizoya Entertainment, boss Isaac Izoya did not spare anything to make sure that his artistes were comfortable despite the fact that it was a self-sponsored event.
By this act of benevolence, we developed a friendship and brotherly bond to the present day.
I am grateful to God that he did not chicken out from his calling to promote Nigerian culture and entertainment in Europe because of the world economic quagmires and the recent Covid-19 Wahala.
Today, I celebrate Ehizoya Golden Entertainment, Europe, as he marks 20years of unstoppable recognition, and towering commitment to continue in the promotion of our cultures, traditions, customs, entertainments, especially in Europe.
I wish Isaac Ehizoya, God's unquenchable love, blessings, protections, good health and long life in Jesus name...
My earnest prayer to God, is for State and Federal Government recognition and subsequent sponsorships, and other global companies support to continue this noble course.
Long live Nigeria
Long live Nollywood
Long live Ehizoya Golden Entertainment, Europe.
To God Be Glory.
The Show Must Go On!
QUEEN BLESSING EBIGIESON
It's a good day to be alive and witness the 20th anniversary of Ehizoya Golden Entertainment. I was on this same stage in 2016 where I was honoured with the Nollywood Humanitarian Ambassador Award for my selfless service to humanity.
I have known the president and founder of this noble Organization Mr Isaac Izoya for two decades now and I can tell you for free his love and passion for Nollywood and the entertainment industry is next to none. I have watched him struggle year in year out to make sure the program holds with little or no sponsors at all. What I admire about him the most is his dogged go getting spirit, continuously putting his own personal funds for the glory of Nollywood and the entertainment industry. This speaks volumes and Mr. Isaac Izoya is a man you can truly call Cultural Ambassador and a humanitarian per excellence. As a friend turned sister and the Vice President of the biggest Producers Association in Nollywood, the Association of Movie Producers Nigeria of which he is a bonafide member. I want to also on behalf of my President Madam Peace Anyiam Osigwe (MFR) Congratulate you Mr Isaac Izoya and the entire members of your organization for keeping the fire burning for 20 years and trusting God to continue to make it possible for you as I look forward to stand on this stage in 20 years’ time to celebrate Ehizoya golden entertainment nd Nollywood Europe golden awards at 40. Let me at this point also thank your beautiful wife Mrs Precious Izoya for standing by you. As they say, behind every successful man there is a woman. Once again, Congratulations.
Amb Queen Blessing Ebigieson
Queen Blessing Foundation (QBF)
Vice President Association of movie producers Nigeria. (AMP)
PEACE ANYIAM OSIGWE MFR - President of Association of Movie Producers (AMP)
Congratulations @Izoya on your 20th Anniversary. It’s not easy to sustain events.
You have always had my maximum respect tenacity is not easy