FirstMonie! Yaba to Yobe

FirstMonie! Yaba to Yobe
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Big Heart! Celebrating Lancelot Imasuen @47

47 year old Lancelot  Imasuen has a rich page on Wikipedia attesting to his remarkable credentials in the movie and entertainment industry. He is a film director, screen writer, and producer.

The focus here, is not on the facts relating to Mr. Imasuen. The facts are readily available through a casual perusal of internet sources. Rather, considering his stellar achievements coupled with his modesty, a better purpose is served by seeking to discover, what drives his passion and his vision.

My analysis of the available facts relating to Mr. Imasuen establish a strong argument in support of the following broad conclusions:


Lancelot Imasuen lives in Lagos but conducts the shooting of most of his movies in Benin. Why will he do that?
The economies of scale and other factors may question the business sense in such a strategy. He has mainly structured his work in this manner to create opportunities and growth in his hometown, Benin. In his thinking, Lagos is congested with opportunities and supporting talents for his industry and there is a legitimate need to create a similar environment of opportunities and talent development outside of Lagos. And charity, begins at home.

Mr. Imasuen, in his own little but impactful way, is working to ensure even and balanced development within Nigeria. He is giving back to his local community and hasn't forgotten his origins.


 Listening to Mr. Imasuen speak and seeing a few of his works clearly portrays a man driven by a passion for excellence. While many of us may think that Nollywood has arrived as the third largest global movie industry, Lancelot is saying something else! He is saying that No, Nollywood is just taking off. No doubt, his vision for his work and the industry is farther and further that what most can perceive.

Mr. Imasuen, by the testimony of aspiring and top actors and actresses, is one gentleman that is moved by excellence. Excellence is becoming a rare commodity in today's Nigeria and whenever and wherever excellence is discovered, it should be celebrated.

Many actors attest to Mr. Imasuen being very stingy with his grades. A great motivator but nonetheless, stingy with his grades. The cast of actors have learnt that to impress him, they must be at their optimum performance. And when anyone of them impresses him, he gives that one a N20 note, as a token, to register his endorsement of their high quality performance. Note, the point here is not that Mr. Imasuen is stingy with money but that rather, he will only give a great grade for a great performance. My finding in this area, is that his standards are rather high. I wonder how many aspiring actors and supporting staff he has had to turn down over the years.

To buttress his zeal for excellence, Mr. Imasuen enrolled in an executive course on The Business of Films at the Pan Atlantic University, Lagos. For a man that says that Nollywood has not reached ten percent of its potential, it is hardly surprising that he will personally invest in skill enhancement.


In my humble opinion, nothing portrays this better than Mr. Imasuen's monumental movie, 1897 Invasion. In speaking about the movie, Mr. Imasuen points to the deceptive reasons given by the British invaders for the unwarranted attack on the Benin Kingdom. The movie provides more education to a world that is by and large, ignorant of African history. This description of the sad events that took place in Benin in 1897 that is called the "Benin Punitive Expedition" by the writers of the history is silent on the fact that this was not a war. It was Genocide 1897.

Mr. Imasuen has embarked on a journey through his film production to expose the lies about Africa and to showcase the hidden beauty in Africa long denied and diminished by world powers thirsty for cheap mineral and human resources.

In this area, Mr. Imasuen is constantly adding value in the content of our national conversation.

Many of Mr. Lancelot Imasuen's productions have been played in screen theatres in Europe and North America. Mr. Imasuen is the recipient of several high profile awards. His movie, Invasion 1897, which cost well over $2m to produce, was adopted by The Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC. His other notable films include:

* Love Birds
* ATM (Authentic Tentative Marriage)
* Adesuwa

in 2017, Lancelot Imasuen was ranked #4 among the Top Ten Most Powerful Nigerian Film Producers.

In conclusion, Lancelot Imasuen's passion for excellence and commitment to value addition in filming has not only opened doors for many but has encouraged competitiveness in this growing and highly demanding industry.

I am convinced that it is just a matter of time for Nigeria to truly appreciate the value of this high quality and focused leader in the person of Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen.

Idemudia Guobadia
New York City.

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