Toyosi Etim-Effiong Seeks Global Reception For Nollywood Through Partnership With Essence Festival of Culture and Film, New Orleans

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As Nollywood, a thriving segment of Nigeria’s entertainment industry, seeks global expansion, founder and CEO of That Good Media, Toyosi Etim-Effiong, hosted a Nollywood Stakeholders’ Forum at 1952 Africa in the heart of Lekki on May 9, 2023. During the forum,  the ebullient media entrepreneur spoke extensively about her recent partnership with ESSENCE Festival of Culture and Film, New Orleans, which will see her lead a delegation of Nollywood stakeholders to the United States. This is the first, giant stride in her plans to pitch and push the industry to a global audience.

In attendance were actors, media personalities, and brand influencers, including Mofe Duncan, Shaffy Bello, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Tola Odunsi, Shawn Faqua, BamBam, Erica Nlewedim, and representatives from production companies like FilmOne Studios, Inkblot Productions, Dabz Productions and more. 

Shaffy Bello, Dakore Egbuson Akande, (L-R)

During the Forum, Director & Event Lead of Essence Film Festival, Lamonia Deanne Brown, announced that “Nigeria Day is Saturday, July 1st. The entire Nigeria Day will be dedicated to filmmakers, storytellers, people who help with funding, producers, actors and everyone who makes the whole Nigerian film industry what it is today.”

It is the first time in history that the ESSENCE Festival of Culture will feature an ‘Africa House’. That Good Media, under the leadership of Toyosi Etim-Effiong, will lead the Nollywood delegation to the ‘Nigeria Day’ at the Essence Film Festival this year. The agenda for this day includes panel sessions on topics such as ‘Creating and Promoting Globally Relatable Content’, and movie screenings that reflect the Nigerian film industry and provide stakeholders with the opportunity to create business networks with counterparts from other parts of the world.

Liz Osho, Tola Odunsi, Busola Tejumola, Toyosi Etim-Effiong, Bamike Adenibuyan and Seun Ajayi (L-R)

While delivering her opening speech for the day, Toyosi Etim-Effiong did not disguise her passion for Nollywood and her interest in propelling Nollywood to a point where it ranks with its global counterparts such as Hollywood. According to her: “Nollywood and Afrobeats are of the same mother and father. Nollywood cannot be the child that does not make it”.

The event was a highly interactive one, as guests had the opportunity to share ideas regarding the impact of the international partnership and how to be involved in it. Cocktails and canapes were also made available to guests as refreshments throughout the events.

The Essence Festival is an annual event that is held in New Orleans, Louisiana and celebrates African-American culture and music. It is a melting pot for hundreds of thousands of people from different parts of the world. Established in 1995 in the United States of America, the Festival incorporates a wide range of activities, including musical performances, panel sessions and cultural events.

Shaffy Bello and Toyosi Etim-Effiong
Shawn Faqua and Yetunde Bankole-Bernard


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