Alki David, Richest Film Maker From Nigeria

You may be hearing about film makers making waves at the international scene without knowing they were born in Nigeria. You may have seen such famous personalities in movies or watched movies they directed or produced. Knowing they are from Nigeria could inspire you into achieving your dreams no matter the environmental challenges. A number of such popular film makers may not be residing in Nigeria but they were born in the country. One of such personalities is the billionaire film maker and script writer, Alki David.

Who is Alki David?

Alkiviades “Alki” David is a Greek billionaire heir, a member of the Leventis family, whose holdings include manufacturing, bottling plants, property and shipping. In 2008 he was the majority shareholder of Leventis-David Group, which owns Coca-Cola Hellenic bottling plants in 28 countries. He lives in Beverly Hills, USA.

Early Life

Alkiviades David was born in May 1968, in Lagos, Nigeria, to a trading and shipping family of Greek Cypriot origin. His father, Andrew A. David (1934-2000), was born in Petra, Cyprus and went on to study business at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. In 1957, Andrew A. David joined the family business, the Leventis-David Group in Ghana, where he managed Coca-Cola Bottling Plant in Accra.

Education

David attended high school in Switzerland and studied film at the Royal College of Art.

Career

David’s career reflects high-level of success which is basically a product of dedication and hard work. His focus on the entertainment industry paid off with successful companies and acting roles in popular movies, including writing good film scripts, and directing/producing interesting movies. In 1998, he co-founded the London modeling agency Independent Models, whose models included Helena Christensen. In 2006, David partnered with veteran film producer Elliott Kastner to launch 111 Pictures Ltd., a UK-based independent production and international sales company. Also that year, David started FilmOn, an online streaming site.

David has featured in a number of popular movies of international reckoning, just as he has produced, co-produced, written and directed a number of them. Among these movies are Bob Thunder: Internet Assassin where he starred as Mr. Network in 2015, The Freediver (as Hector) in2004 which he also directed, produced and wrote, The Grid (as Yussef Nasseriah) in 2004 which is a TV series he appeared in one episode, Opa! A 2005 movie he starred as Spiros Kakogiannis, Spooks, a TV series he starred as Badrak Madjid and appeared in one episode in 2005, Hotel Babylon (he starred as Mr. Pappas in the TV series, appearing in one episode. Others are Living with Lew (Co-producer), Secrets of a Trophy Wife (where he starred as himself in 2012), Waking the Dead (where he starred as Coban) in a TV series in 2012 appearing in two episodes, Trial & Retribution (as Hikmet) in a TV series appearing in one episode in 2009. David also in a 2008 motion picture, The Bank Job, in which David played a bank-vault expert hired by Jason Statham to help with a bank heist.

Marriage

David has been married three times and divorced twice, and has two sons, Andrew and Alexander, with his first wife. He met second wife Emma McAllister in 2004, marrying her in 2007, and separating in 2009. He was also married to Jennifer Stano in 2011. Stano was a swimsuit designer and former model who founded Have Faith Swimwear with David in Beverly Hills, California, in 2010.

Businesses

David has excelled as an entrepreneur in the communication industry. His projects include the following: FilmOn, a video on-demand website and mobile service which is an extension of his 111Pix distribution venture; BattleCam.com, a peer-to-peer video streaming website and community whose offerings including Fight Night and other pay-per-view tournaments built around mixed martial arts, gaming and comedy. David advertised for this venture by offering cash to the first person who streaks in a legal manner in front of US President Barack Obama, and by hosting a faked assisted suicide. Others businesses are 9021go.com, a home shopping site founded in 2011; Hologram USA Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. He is a giant in the entertainment industry with thousands of employees on his payroll. David also has a business selling oil extracted from cannabis plants, which he markets as a treatment for a range of conditions – with the endorsement of celebrities including rapper Snoop Dogg and fashion designer Donatella Versace. He also has a modeling agency called Independent Models. He also founded the nonprofit organization BIOS to conserve, protect, and educate people on marine conservation around the Greek islands.

Controversies and Legal Battles

David has been faced with controversies along the path of his career and entrepreneurship world. He has been slammed with sexual harassment allegations in past. In April 2019 he was convicted by a court in California, USA, after which he was told to pay $11 Million to former employee Chasity Jones, a single mom who accused him terminating her employment because he allegedly refused to have sex with him. This comprised of $8 million in punitive damages and $3 million in compensatory damages. The woman accused David of firing her after she turned down his sexual advances and alleged he groped her in the workplace. Her complaint also accused him of showing lewd photos to employees and hiring a stripper in the workplace.

Also, CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox Broadcasting and their studios won a temporary restraining order against David’s FilmOn in November 2010 to prevent unlicensed use of their broadcast signals. David sued CBS, dropped the suit, and sued CBS Interactive in November 2011, alleging copyright infringement due to the CNET website having editorially covered infringing uses of peer-to-peer file-sharing software. In June 2013, David filed a countersuit against the four networks seeking a ruling that providing Internet technology for receiving over-the-air broadcast signals at no charge does not violate broadcasters’ copyrights. In May 2019, David was also reported to have been arrested in St. Kitts after US$1.5 million of cannabis was found on his private plane.

Finally!

David has made a mark in the movie industry as film actor, writer, producer, and director. Despite the controversies, David is still one of the biggest names in the film-making industry born in Nigeria. He is among the leading screenwriters from Nigeria. His career history has positives which anyone wishing to take up a career in the industry should pick inspirations from. Personally he may not be a perfect man but he has shown determination to succeed in a very competitive movie industry at the international scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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