Every now and then, the millennials come up with a new vocabulary. Lately, I have been hearing a lot of “stan,” “I stan.” Basically, “stan,” which already exists in modern dictionary, means very high regards and to stan (someone) would mean to have deep respect for this particular person, almost like saying you bow down to this icon. I said to myself: What a horrible slang! While writing this editorial on veteran actor Ramsey Nouah, I have of course, had to do some research; a few which took me back to the 1990s. I grew up watching Ramsey play his typical “campus guy”, “lover-boy-every-girl-wants” roles which brought a lot of nostalgia and having to revisit his journey from when he first started his career acting in the then 1993 soap opera Fortunes, to date when he still has so much relevance in the industry, I said to myself: You know what? I stan Ramsey Nouah!
Ramsey has risen to a monumental figure in Nollywood if you may, only that in this part of the world, we don’t really take notes. When I think of Ramsey, Brad Pitt keeps coming up and that is because my thinking is drawing some similarities between the two. Both may goof around and casually walk pass by but they carry a power so great and an individual history of triumph. You are not just mere if you have transcended through time and eras and successful re-invented yourself. The 2010 AMAA Best Actor has had a good feel of Nollywood’s golden age and has experienced its evolution, a wealth of knowledge that is instrumental to his new venture (as we will soon find out).
Following the global trend of movie remakes and reboots, Ramsey is bringing a revamped version of 1992 hit film, Living in Bondage to cinemas as the sequel: Breaking Free, having obtained rights from original creator, Kenneth Nnebue. A fine cast line-up includes Kenneth Okonkwo who was the key character (Andy) in the first film, Bob-Manuel Udokwu and Kanayo O. Kanayo reprising their obvious roles whilst serving as an incentive.
In this production, we will see underrated talent Swanky JKA who takes the centre of attention playing Nnamdi (who will replicate Andy’s past evil ways, but with really cool and modern gadgets and accessories). But Ramsey’s decision to cast Swanky may very well be intertwined with his vision for the new and upcoming generation of talents. Perhaps, this is Ramsey’s way of saying Swanky is the new early-2000s version of Ramsey. Nothing is purely coincidental. Truly, the Nigerian movie industry needs expansion, expansion in the discovery of new and unique creatives — stars that actually shine. Yet, this expansion must simultaneously happen with noticeable increase in quality of output.
Living in Bondage which is set for release by November 8 will attract both the old audience who lived the moment of the film’s very first installment, as well as the younger generation who will also be interested to see what the buzz is really all about, and also what former Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (2011), Munachi Abii who features in this sequel will be up to. Socio-culturally, the main character of Ramsey’s film mirrors the life of young bloods in the society today living not just in a fast-paced world but would device that their goals be achieved right away, some running out of patience, opt for the quickest possible route but you know what they say about short-cuts.
Ramsey’s decision to take a break from acting, or at least limit his staying in front of the camera to working behind the scenes in pursuing a career in film-making is one which is of humanitarian value to the industry. His journey pretty much makes him the “the chosen one” and his works, if done very well, will be paramount to the growth of the industry. For some reason, Nigerians believe that every veteran must venture into film-making but the truth is that not every actor who has spent decades in acting will ultimately step into film-making. If we must have a credible movie industry, then the actors who step into film-making must acquire all the relevant skills and trainings to take up such roles and not just because they have lived a long time in the industry or their age simply permits them to answer such titles.
I really wanted to mention somewhere that Mr. Nouah is aging like fine wine (does this statement make him seem old already?) but on second thought, we should all probably wait till he clocks fifty so we can say for sure.
Ramsey Nouah, Instagram, GIAMA