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Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen: A Celebration of an Icon and an Enigma By: Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.



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Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen: A Celebration of an Icon and an Enigma By: Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.

The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained in sudden flight but, they while their companions slept, they were toiling upwards in the night

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The aphorism indicated above aptly captures the successful trajectory of Nigerian International and Award-Winning Film Maker – Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen in carving a nitch for himself in the murky waters and the Herculean milieu of the Nigerian Movie Industry. Lancelot Imasuen’s strides are depicted in profound altruism, which states this :

Life does not give you, what you deserve,it gives you,what you bargain for-Anonymous

It is not a surprise, that Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen was honoured as part of activities marking Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary, by the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Nigerian Film and Video Censor Board (NFVB), in an award tagged “60 Icons that have shaped the Nigerian Film and Video Industry”.It was an Award well deserved as Lancelot Imasuen was the only Edo Person alive on the list The other Edo lite ,the very impressive Sam Loco Efe has ascended to the great beyond .

And so there has been a season of celebration of this avatar on the month of June ,2021 ,as he celebrates his 50th birthday.One of the high points of this celebration is the Season of Words Powered by the Benin Poetry Club , founded by Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen and the launch of 50 Poems in Honour of Lancelot at 50,powered by the Benin Writers’ Society ,with the forward by Ahmed Mawaida Esq.,the National President of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA)-Nigeria’s No. 1 Writer ,by his office .

Nollywood has had its share of the best and within the best, Lancelot is among the best of the best.

So It was a Hollywood Director that came to Lagos to observe the process of making a Nigerian Movie .Seeing the cut and nail nuances at display he simply said “Not Hollywood- Nollywood”.That is the etymology of word “Nollywood,”.But for Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen ,making one blockbuster movie to another has made him acquire an unrivalled image of distinction and excellence ,for which he is aptly dubbed “De Guv’nor”.

It is said that madness is doing a thing the same way and expecting a different result .So, for Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen ,his selling point is departing from the established norm in making Nollywood Movies.Some times, when you depart from the norm ,you transcend to excellence.It was not a surprise ,that Lancelot Imasuen has to his credit, perhaps the most acclaimed Epic in Nigerian History nvasion 1897, where my mentor ,the Debonair Pastor Mike Osakpolo Omoregbee-the CEO of Standard Schools ,Benin City played the Lead role of Oba Ovoranmen Nogbaise.


Personality Profile of Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen

Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen

Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, popularly known as De Guv’nor is a Nigerian film producer, director, and scriptwriter with over 25 years of experience. He is the CEO of Lancelot Imasuen Media Network (LIMN),Benin Film Academy (BFI) , the newly formed Gospel Entertainment Network (HEN), a public speaker, and founding member of the Directors’ Guild of Nigeria (DGN).

Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen was born on the 20th of June 1971, to the family of Chief and Mrs Godwin Imasuen. He hails from Urhokuosa town of Uhunmwonde Local Government Area, Edo State, Nigeria. He had his primary education at Oguola Primary School, while his Secondary education was at Eghosa Grammar School, Benin City, Nigeria.

After his Secondary education, Lancelot proceeded to the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), where he studied Theatre Arts. As a child, Lancelot already had passion for the arts, and this was evident in his involvement in his secondary school’s drama society, and the literary and debating society.

He was also involved in the productions of his church drama group. Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen is married to Aimua Imasuen, and they are blessed with three lovely children.

Lancelot joined a professional theatre company called Earthpot Kulture in Benin at a young age. His career as a director started with Evangel Theatre, a TV Gospel Drama Series, at age 19.

From 1988-1991 when Lancelot relocated to Lagos, he worked as a casual staff of the Bendel Broadcasting Service (BBS). In 1994, he got a job as the Production Assistant of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

Lancelot rose to the limelight at the age of 26, with the film Yesterday.Thus far, Lancelot has been featured and interviewed by CNN, BBC, America Public Radio, South Korean Broadcasting Service, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Broadcasting Service, Nigerian Television Authority, African Independent Television, Channels Television, Silver Bird Television, African Journal Online, Washington Post, Guardian of Ottawa and several other International Broadcasting Network. He was the first African filmmaker to be a guest on CNN (Screening Room) in 2009 and he has also been featured in the CNN’s African Voices.

Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen is currently the Honorary Academic Chair on Filmmaking, Theatre and Mass Communication of the Department of Mass Communication, Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, Nigeria,where a special colloquium will be held in his honour in June ,2021 as part of his birthday celebrations.


Yesterday – 1997

The Soul That Sinneth – 1999

The Last Burial – 2000

Issakaba – 2000

Private Sin – 2003

Enslaved – 2004

Moment of Truth – 2005

Family Battle – 2005

Games Women Play – 2005

Behind Closed Doors – 2005

Games Men Play – 2006

Yahoo Millionaire – 2007

Sister’s Love – 2008

Nollywood Babylon – 2008

Entanglement – 2009

Reloaded – 2009

Home in Exile – 2010

Bent Arrows – 2010

A Private Storm – 2010

Adesuwa – 2012,

Udeme Mmi – 2012

Lonely Heart – 2013

Invasion 1897 – 2014

ABC’s of Death 2 – 2014

The Insider – 2015

Enslaved – 2015

ATM (Authentic Tentative Marriage) – 2016

Darima’s Dilemma – 2017

Love Upon the Hills – 2017

Based on Principle – 2017

Idahosa – 2017

Shadows in the Dark – 2017

Crushed – 2018

Love Birds – 2018

Benin Fruit Seller (Documentary) – 2018

Wede – 2018

Rant Queens – 2019

The Wrong One – 2019

Sacrosanct – 2019:The First Film to be premiered in a Church in Edo State .

The Fall of Nekighidi (Stage Play) – 2019

Love or Quest – 2019,

Wede-2021 -the first Motion Picture to be premiered any where in Ishan Land ,Edo State

Gbege – 2021(yet to be released )

E’ Fendral Man:to be premiered on the 13th of June,2021,at the NBA Benin Bar House .

As A Public Speaker,He delivered a lecture at Howard University Washington DC.Lancelot delivered lectures at the Igbinedion University Okada, Nigeria, Ambrose Ali University Ekpoma, Nigeria, Benson Idahosa University, and Kwara State University.He delivered a seminar paper on Piracy in Nollywood on the 27th of March 2011. The seminar was organized by the African students of Columbia University, Washington DC.

He was the Guest speaker at the African series of African/Caribbean Society of the St. Andrews University, Scotland during the African student’s event.


Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen Awards And Nominations

Recipient of the Prestigious University of Port Harcourt Alumnus Award

Africa Movie Academy Award nominee for Best Director – 2006

Nominee for Best Feature Film at the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) – 2010

Nominated at the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Director – 2012

Nollywood Movie Award nominee for Best Director – 2012

Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Nigerian Film – 2012

Nominated at the Nollywood Movie Award for Best Director – 2013

Audience Choice Award nominee at the Chicago International Film Festival – 2014

City People Movie Award for Movie Director of the Year (English) – 2015

Best Comedy Film at the Abuja International Film Festival – 2016

City People Movie Special Recognition Award – 2018

Award of Excellence at the Edo Talent Awards – 2018

Best Film Award at the Lekki International Film Festival – 2019

National Council for Arts and Culture Awards for propagating the Benin Cultural Heritage – 2019.

The Creative Industry Group’s Distinguished Veterans Recognition Award – 2019.

This expose’ will be inchoate if I do not give one of the Immortal aphorisms of Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen -,the sage ,which is not only inspiring but reassuring :

Locate your dream, then light up your passion, let the light burn as you keep doing what is right, that you believe in and trust in your efforts. I tell you, one day, your candle will light up the world and time will celebrate you
This is exactly what is happening to Lancelot right ,as the Society stands still to celebrate an Enigma.Lancelot Imasuen is indeed a gift to this Generation.Congratulations sir on your golden birthday jubilee .It has been fifty productive years of impacting a generation !

It is not the years in your life that matters ,but the life in your ways

-Abraham Lincoln ,
the I6th President of the United States.

About the Author:

Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.,a Lawyer is the Founder of Benin Writers’ Society and the Intellectual Hub .

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