Posted by Karen on
05/17/2016 12:48:33 PM
Going by his strong will and zeal, not even the rumoured admonitions of constituents, Lagosians and politicians are enough to deter accomplished actor and director, Desmond Elliot from getting involved in the political arena as every Nigerian has a right to.
Born Desmond Olusola Elliot on February 4, 1974 into a polygamous home – his father had two wives and 11 children – the Nollywood actor has his eyes fixed on representing the people of Surulere Constituency 1 at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Unarguably a successful entertainer with Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Award in his kitty as well as the Africa Movie Academy Awards nomination to his credit, Desmond’s decision to go into politics remains one of the shockers of 2014 as far as the Nigerian entertainment scene is concerned.
Happily married to Victoria Elliot with whom he has two sets of twins, the Chief Executive Officer of fast rising film production company, Denziot Productions, has comfortably featured in over 200 Nollywood movies, 10 Soap Operas and directed over 15 Nollywood movies.
He has also produced more than 3 movies since he joined the Nigerian movie industry in October 1999.
For Desmond, who announced his decision to go into full time politics after releasing his campaign posters on August 28, 2014, this is no unfamiliar terrain.
‘Politics has been in me for many years but I wanted a party, which was progressive,’ he told City People last week.
Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune in July 2014 on his decision to go into politics, Desmond said: ‘The current situation is very pathetic. I feel God has helped me this far and I want to give back through politics that will be favourable to the youth. The worst part of our national life is that the level of corruption has not allowed youth to understand what it means to live a meaningful life. Just because of lack of knowledge of what to do, we are being sidetracked. There are no jobs and issues like these lead to frustration. A whole lot needs to be done on agriculture and every state in Nigeria needs to see how it can contribute to nation building. There’s a lot that needs to be done.’
The Nigerian Entertainment Today profiles the actor, director and producer who is currently seeking a seat at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Desmond Elliot, whose other names are Olusola and Emeka, is actually an indigene of Lagos State from Olowogbowo area of Lagos Island.
‘My father is a Yoruba man from Olowogbowo area of Lagos Island, Lagos State and my mother is from Illah in Oshimili North, Delta State. My father had 11 kids from two wives, I am the first from the second wife, 5 from my mum, 6 from my step mum and we are a closely knit family,’ Desmond once said in an interview.
The early life of Desmond Elliot, who hopes to add the title of ‘Honourable’ before his name from next year, was shaped at the Air Force Primary School, Jos, before he proceeded to St John’s College, Jos after which he got admission to study Economics at the Lagos State University where he graduated with a B.Sc in 2003.
Desmond’s movie career was not premeditated like many of his colleagues; in fact, he once said he was influenced by a friend to become an actor.
‘It was a friend who influenced me to become an actor. My friend wasn’t an actor but he always felt that I was cut out for the entertainment industry. As a Christian, I felt that the best thing for me to do was to pray about it. I prayed and asked God to help me make a choice. It wasn’t easy but I thank God that He intervened and revealed to me that I should join the industry. I first started with soap operas such as ‘Everyday People,’ ‘One Too Much,’ Wale Adenuga’s Super Stories and ‘Saints and Sinners.’ I later moved into the movie industry gradually and today the rest is history,’ he once told Daily Sun in an interview.
From the young and budding talent in 1999, Desmond has grown to become one of the most popular and leading actors in Nollywood with an edge in film directing and production. From Men Who Cheat to Yahoo Millionaire and others like Reloaded, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, 30 Days in Atlanta and many others, he has made an impact and strong impression on the Nigerian entertainment scene via the movie making world.
Currently, the actor is one of the top filmmakers in the country, who kicked off a revolution in the Nigerian movie industry with the revival of the cinema culture and the box office productions. His alliance with prolific producer, Emem Isong, Uche Jombo-Rodriguez and Dayo Amusa, to direct and sometimes co-produce Nollywood flicks between 2009 till date has been one of the highlights of his career.
Unknown to many, Desmond and his wife, Victoria, didn’t get along so well while she was in the University of Jos where she studied Mathematics, even though they both belonged to the same fellowship. They didn’t agree on many issues because she was very spiritual and looked very spooky to the actor in her behaviour. Despite all her tough and spiritual lifestyle, she agreed to his love advances and after courting for 8 years, they tied the knots in 2003 and have since had two sets of twins – three boys and a girl.
Mrs. Elliot used to be a banker, who quit the banking industry to concentrate on the sales and distribution of Nollywood movies, is currently one of the major distributors of Nollywood movies as well as his husband’s productions.
Like Desmond, Like Kate
Just like Kate Henshaw, who declared her decision to go into full time politics on her 40th birthday, Desmond made his political ambition public months after he turned 40.
Perhaps, both entertainers’ decision to kick off another chapter of their lives at 40 might not be unconnected with the popular saying that ‘Life begins at 40.’
As an entertainer with a successful career, Desmond has had benefitting as well as platonic relationships with top politicians in the last 5 years but his decision to run for an elective position was publicly hinted in the third quarter of 2014 after few of his colleagues in the entertainment industry had declared their intentions.
And just few weeks after his public declaration of his intention to contest for a seat at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Desmond was faced with the first hurdle in the murky waters of politics.
His identity as an indigene of Lagos was questioned as several individuals passed him for a Nigerian from Niger Delta or the Igbo extraction. However, Desmond is not one to become easily deterred or have a rethink of his declaration, he released political materials that include posters, T-shirts and press materials showing his Yoruba and most especially, Lagos descent clearly.
The father of 4 further pitched his tent with the All Progressives Congress, the political party ruling in 4 out of the six states in the Southwest geo political zone.
‘My choice of APC was because it’s stronger and progressive. The party is one you can identify with. This is also a good platform and a good party. It has lots of programmes that cater for people’s welfare. It has so much differentiated itself from all others. This is one of the reasons why I decided to join the party,’ he had said.
As the make-believe star prepares for his party’s primary elections, he has also shown he’s ready to embark on political campaigns, political meetings with constituents and party stalwarts.
Desmond is poised to get a ticket to represent his constituency and his journey begins with after an impending face-off with Hon. Kabiru Lawal of the APC, who is the incumbent representative of the Surulere Constituency I at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Though Hon. Kabiru Lawal, who is currently serving his second term is still said to be contemplating between returning to the legislative arm in Lagos State or contesting for the chairmanship of a local government in the state, Desmond might be having a real task ahead of him if the lawmaker chooses to remain in the house for the third term.
In a chat with the youths of his constituency on October 19, 2014 at the Eagles Club, Surulere, which was attended by a NET correspondent, Desmond revealed some of his activities, intentions and plans if he gets to power.
In his words: ‘My social responsibility has come more in human capacity building sensitizing my people on epidemic such as Ebola, promoted the wash hand campaign, sensitized on condom use or abstinence, sending some to arts school for training, having some come train on my job and more.’
‘The Landlord – tenancy law must be revisited, greater charge on security to streets, vigilante groups as people should be able to be out by 3am and feel safe. Also, anti-piracy law in Lagos State would be looked into while stringent penalties will be proposed, protection of content and right to creative property protection would also be raised.
‘Funds must be set aside for electronic and mechanical skills and grants to promote the technically sound in society. Also, as an example, I intend to take most youths who haven’t gotten admission into tertiary institutions to assess the National Open University of which I’m an ambassador, where E-learning is key to studying. E learning is a sub of great interest and pretty much apt at this present time. I’ve had the opportunity of going for the grand opening of 2 centres in Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom as guest,’ Desmond reeled out.
Full Names: Desmond Olusola Elliot
Marital Status: Married
Spouse: Victoria Elliot
Offspring: 4 (Three boys, 1 girl)
Movies: Over 200: When one door closes (2013), When Love Happens (2014), Kamara’s Tree (2013), Kiss and Tell (2011), I’ll Take My Chances (2011), Bursting Out (2010), Holding Hope (2010), Nollywood Hustlers (2010), Before the Light (2009), Edikan, Final Tussle (2008), Guilty Pleasures (2008), Black Night in South America (2007), A Better Place (2007), Caught-Up (2007) Double Game (2007), Fine Things (2007), Ghetto Queen (2007), Secret Pain (2007), Men Who Cheat (2006), A Time to Love (2007), Yahoo Millionaire (2007), Put It on Me (2006), Knowing You (2005), Men Do Cry (2005), My Precious Son (2005), My Sister My Child (2005), My Sister’s Act (2005), Now & Forever (2005), Orange Groove (2005), The Price of Love: Life Is Beautiful (2005), Shackles of Death (2005), Wedding Gift (2005), Wheel of Change (2005), Images in the Mirror (2004), Above Love (2004), Atlanta (2004), Big Pretenders (2004), Cinderella (2004), Danger Signal (2004), Deep Loss (2004), Died to Save (2004), Discord (2004), For Real (2004), A Kiss from Rose (2004), Lake of Fire (2004) , Life in New York (2004), Magic Moment (2004), Melody of Life (2004), Missing Angel(2004), Passion of Mind (2004), Power of Trust (2004), Promise & Fail (2004), True Romance (2004), Great Change (2003), Magic Love (2003), My Faithful Friend (2003), Passion & Pain (2003), Tunnel of Love (2003) and Fire Love (2002).
Movie Production company: Denziot Productions
Achievements: Best Director at 2014 BON awards, Best Supporting Actor in a drama at 2014 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice, nominations at the Africa Movie Academy Award.
Popularity rating: 7/10
NGO: Face of Hope
Political Party: APC (All Progressive Congress)
State of Origin: Lagos State
Position contesting for: A seat at the Lagos State House of Assembly to represent Surulere Constituency I.
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