Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja; Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated renowned movie producer, filmmaker and photographer, Tunde Kelani, on his 70th birthday.
The president commended Kelani’s uncanny story telling skills and his ability to breathe life into scripts and translate literature to movies, thereby, enhancing understanding of the rich cultural heritage of the country and consistently updating the narrative of a unified and progressive nation.
In a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari joined all family members, friends, professional colleagues and the teeming fans of the artiste, who he noted started out as a journalist before mastering the art of storytelling, through the stage and tube, and rising steadily to become one of Nigeria’s foremost directors and producers in Nollywood.
“As the ace producer turns a septuagenarian, President Buhari believes the rising profile of the Nigerian film industry around the world testifies to the hard work, creativity and passion of artistes like Kelani, who toiled earnestly to attract global viewership, recognitions and awards.
“The president affirms that Kelani, through sacrifice, discipline and diligence, has contributed immensely to national development, especially his mentoring of younger Nigerians in the film industry.
“President Buhari prays that God will bless Kelani with good health and strength to continue in his noble trade.”
In the same vein, Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adedayo Adeneye, described Kelani as an epitome of cinema, who has also used his skills to promote the rich Yoruba cultural heritage worldwide.
The governor said the story teller and filmmaker, who was appointed the chairman of the National Film and Videos Censors Board (NFVCB), by President Muhammadu Buhari, is a worthy Nigerian, distinguished Yoruba man and a pride to Ogun State.
“Kelani deserves commendation and celebration, for rising from a local photographer and now sitting as the head of his privately-owned film producing company, Mainframe, acclaimed for producing chart bursting films.
“Today, Kelani is acknowledged for his dexterity in handling the camera and also versed in the knowledge of Yoruba culture and tradition, which he is using to promote our rich culture.
“Also, with a touch of Adire in his dressing, he has relentlessly identified with his root, Abeokuta, which is known as the home of Adire clothe. For this, we, in Ogun state, are proud of him as our culture ambassador,” he said.
The governor wished the cinematographer more prosperous and healthy years on earth.