President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday joined the media and entertainment industry in congratulating renowned movie producer, filmmaker and photographer, Tunde Kelani, on his 70th birthday.
In a statement by Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity in Abuja, Buhari felicitated with Kelani’s family members, friends, professional colleagues and the teeming fans.
He noted that the filmmaker, who started as a journalist before mastering the art of storytelling through the stage and tube, had risen steadily to become one of Nigeria’s foremost directors and producers in Nollywood.
The President commended Kelani’s uncanny story telling skills and his ability to breathe life into scripts and translate literature into movies, thereby enhancing understanding of the rich cultural heritage of the country and consistently updating the narrative of a unified and progressive nation.
He maintained that the rising profile of the Nigerian film industry around the world testified to the hard work, creativity and passion of artistes like Kelani, who toiled earnestly to attract global viewership, recognition and awards.
President Buhari affirmed that Kelani, through sacrifice, discipline and diligence, had contributed immensely to national development, especially his mentoring of younger Nigerians in the film industry.
He, therefore, prayed that God would bless Kelani with good health and strength to continue in his noble trade.
Born on Feb. 26, 1948 in Lagos, Kelani, popularly known as TK, holds a Diploma in the Art and Technique of Filmmaking from London International Film School.
After many years in the Nigerian Film Industry as Cinematographer, he now manages Mainframe Film & Television Productions, an outfit formed to document Nigeria’s culture.
Tunde Kelani worked on most feature films produced in the country in his capacity as Cinematographer namely: Anikura; Ogun Ajaye; Iya Ni Wura; Taxi Driver; Iwa and Fopomoyo.
In the area of video production, he has to his credit the award-winning feature videos: Ti Oluwa Nile; Ayo Ni Mo Fe; Koseegbe and Oleku.
He recently added a new film — Arugba — which just concluded free, open-air community screenings in 57 local government and development council areas of Lagos State.
Kelani uses Mobile Cinema Project, designed to take information and entertainment to the grassroots.
His latest film is Maami, which tells the story of a single parent, Maami, and her young son who are desperately poor.