Monday, 26 October 2009



Exercise Must

BY KIKELOLA OYEBOLA
Before starting an exercise programme, it is important to be familiar with some important guidelines. The following are some of them:

Get a medical check-up. You should have had a medical examination within the last year to be sure you do not have any conditions that would make it unsafe to exercise. Regardless of the age, if the medical history includes the problems of the heart, blood vessels, lungs, or joints do not start a jogging or other exercise programme without a doctor’s approval.

Dress properly for exercise. Get some exercise clothing so that you will not get your good clothes dirty. Clothes should be comfortable, loose-fitting and washable. Before starting a new exercise or sport, check on the special equipment needed for it. If wearing special equipment is needed, such as leotards for gymnastics and a helmet for bicycle racing, obtain and wear proper equipment before beginning.

Good shoes and socks are important. The best way to prevent sore feet, blisters, aching ankles and knees is to wear good shoes and socks for running, jogging or biking. The shoe sole should be firm; the top should be flexible, and the insole should have a good arch support and cushioning.

Warm-up helps. Mild warm-up and passive stretching exercises before jogging, performing callisthenics, or playing a vigorous sport help eliminate soreness and injury.

Pick a regular time for exercise. A good rule is to set a certain time everyday and try to keep this appointment with yourself. Avoid rigorous exercise immediately after a meal. Wait an hour or two before starting to exercise vigorously. You may get nausea or cramps if you exercise on a full stomach, and you may not perform as well either. If you do not eat heavily, mild to moderate activity can be done shortly after eating.

Do not exercise outdoors while pollution is high. High air pollution affects the lungs. So be sure to avoid areas where pollution is high when exercising.

ATM, Oh ATM

(JUST LIFE)
BY OMOLIGHO UDENTA
A FEW weeks ago, on a weekend, a friend had an emergency and needed to go to an ATM to make a withdrawal. When he got to the ATM, at a branch of Intercontinental Bank in Aguda, he noticed that there were two men already there.
He took a place in the queue, waited a short while and admitted that he was a little surprised when both men left at the same time.
But he didn’t think much of it because he knew that he always kept his card safe. So, he took his turn on the machine, cashed a few thousands and left.
Two days later he went to another ATM this time in Surulere and got told that his account was empty.
He put two and two together and realised that those two men he saw at the ATM two days earlier must have stolen his money.
I asked him what he was going to do about it and he was very laid back about it all.. He said he would send a letter to his bank when he had the time informing them about the incident.
Perhaps he behaved this way because he felt there was nothing to be gained by reporting the matter or maybe he had heard of or read about cases like a Akeem Awe, a businessman and a customer of Zenith Bank, who claims to have lost all his savings to ATM fraudsters in less than half an hour.
His story is that on Saturday, April 25, he got an alert on his phone that a transaction of N490, 000.00 was made and since he hadn’t withdrawn any money, he called his account officer to let him know.
Soon after speaking with the said account officer a new text came in that another N490, 000.00 had been withdrawn.
He called the account officer again and told him about this new development. The account officer asked if he had misplaced his ATM card. He hadn’t.
The account officer assured him that he would notify Interswitch, the ATM service provider, so that the card could be blocked.
But some 10 minutes later, another text came in that N80, 000.00 had been withdrawn. Akeem Awe lost N1, 060,000.00 that day.
Although the bank acknowledged the case after when he wrote through his lawyer, several months have passed and nothing has been done.

IT has been said that the reason that criminals target ATMs is simply because if the magnetic stripe data and pin is available, it is easy money for the criminal to get the cash out of the ATM.
And since our banks choose the cheapest ATM machines for installation and these have no security measures whatsoever it makes their jobs all the more easier.
Here are some of the top ATM/debit card fraud trends:

Skimming — Criminals go to a bank and install a PIN pad overlay and card reader. When a transaction goes through, and the customer doesn’t realize that their ATM card or debit card has been compromised. (I think this is what happened to my friend)
Ghost ATMs — The entire ATM card reader is blocked off and customers can’t perform a transaction. When the customer inserts or swipes their card, then enters their PIN, the fake ATM says it can’t complete the transaction. (This was tried on my husband but wasn’t successful)
SMS/Email attacks — Criminals send a text or email asking you for your account number and pin. Where the criminals are able to get the information from the customer, they then clone the
ATM or debit card and use it to withdraw cash. (I once received an email informing me that someone was withdrawing money from my account and that I should go to some website to change my pin immediately!)
Experts say that to prevent ATM Fraud we should check carefully the machine you are using for any strange looking add-ons but do not try to remove any devices you find as they are valuable to the criminals and they will use force to retrieve them from you if need be. If you think anything is suspicious then report it to the bank or the shop the cash point is outside of or to the police.
We should also cover our hands as we enter our pin number while checking that no one is looking over your shoulder. But some have decided that the safest thing to do is simply to refuse to collect the ATM card in the first place, abi!

omoudenta@yahoo.co.uk





Of vases and harmattan

(Strictly for the young)
BY TOSYN BUCKNOR
IF there is one thing I took away from my consultation with a stylist today, it is that I am a ‘vase’. And no, that does not refer to something you put flowers in! Since there is no way you could put flowers in me. Water maybe, but not flowers.
But then I digress.
The interesting about the world now, (and the Government and ASUU should take notes), is that more people are beginning to make their passion work for them... literally! When something you love can actually bring you money and become a career, then you have keyed into something special!
Imagine a little girl with a love for colours and a knack for combining a top with the perfect shoes and skirt? Imagine that girl with a passion and a flair for all things colourful, beautiful and fashionable. Now imagine that same girl making a name and building a career for herself, as a stylist!
To see what it would feel like to have someone else assess your body, wardrobe, and possibly life, I conceded to getting a ‘free’ (I am quarter Ijebu remember?) consultation from a stylist!
There I was at work when they came in, asking if I had more blue tones or yellow tones in my wardrobe.
Look, I didn’t even know my wardrobe had tones, okay! And apparently, human beings are autumn, winter, and something else.
What happened to harmattan and rainy season and August break?
It went on (pleasantly though) and I was measured, and tagged and bagged. (Not literally, but it rhymes)
Apparently, the ‘Vase’ body type is the type that... You know what? I. Do. Not. Remember. I blanked out after she told me that contrary to what I had always believed (imagined, deluded myself into thinking), I. Do. Not. Have. Long. Legs.

BEAUTY is a funny thing. Your whole life can change in one moment, and your whole world can be rocked with three words or less. Or more. But more less than more.
I mean, how many girls have had one of those days when they have dressed the best. In their own eyes.
And then they spend the day and night searching for compliments, but none come. And just when they cannot take it any longer, they ask someone how they look. And the person says, “Fine”.
Stab me while you are at it, you unable-to-string-more-than-one-word-together-friend!
But back to my consultation.
Orange or Fushia Pink
Err... whichever one I take out of Funke’s wardrobe first?
And on and on it went.
By the time they sat me down, put some shades of colour on me and took my picture though, I could see what they meant! While orange made me come alive, fuschia pink made me look dead.
And being a ‘vase’ is not so bad. I just have to learn to dress to suit my body shape, style, colour, and lifestyle.
In the end, it was a whole lot of fun. And it has got me thinking of seeing just how much of a difference dressing a certain way will make.
Results out in a couple of weeks!

P.S
What colour is harmattan by the way?
tosinornottosin@yahoo.com

Medisense

(PANORAMA)
BY REBECCA AKINMOLAYAN
OVER the ages, man has battled disease. In fact, early men depended solely on herbs and animal parts to make potions, poultice, and other means, to fight diseases. Any affliction that man did not understand, the victim was quickly ostracised so as not to infect others.
With modernisation, came orthodox medicine, which believes that diseases are caused by germs and must be combated with drugs, surgery, and other schemes.
This idea is what the pharmaceutical industry is founded on. The herbal practitioners, however, maintain that there is a herb for every disease.
It is possible that one gets confused on what side to choose when one is in need of treatment. When I am down with fever, I am to decide between taking panadol and agbo iba.

Before choosing however, it is best to understand what drugs truly are. It can be traced back to Paraclesus, the father of toxicology, who said that all substances .are either medicines or toxins. Those that cure are medicines while the ones that are harmful are toxins. The word ‘drug’ is a new coinage for an old thing.
While herbs are natural, the orthodox drugs, which include tablets, injections, syrups, ointments are chemically processed.
But the orthodox drugs most times are derived from plant extracts, hormones and so on. They are just chemically synthesized and formulated.
For example, chloroquine and quinine tablets used for treating malaria were derived from the quinine tree, even the injections given to infertility patients are from animals.
They both have their side effects (i.e. effects that occur later on while or after using a drug even if the diseases is treated).
The natural herb, if not prescribed by a trained herbal practitioner, pose a problem because they do not have a particular dosage.
Those who drink scent-leaf (effirin, nchaanwu) juice, beware because excess wipes off red blood cells! Pharmaceutical drugs especially when abused and lead to a host of problems too.

CHOOSING between orthodox and herbal medicine is actually something you have to do. Nonetheless, understand that the body has an in-built mechanism to heal itself (check out when you cut yourself) and to protect yourself itself from the ever-present germs.
When the germs overpower, it succumbs to the disease giving out symptoms caused by the poisons of these germs.
But before you take any drug, except in severe cases, remember that most diseases have an underlying cause.
Unfortunately, because of the mindset of taking something (thanks to adverts) once we feel pains, headache or weakness, we rush to buy over-the- counter drugs or agbo. These drugs whether orthodox or herbal are non-living so taking them without purpose would land you into other health problems.

Most people are experts in manipulating and suppressing their body systems. Check your lifestyle and health habits: Do you eat well? Do you sleep well? Are you fit? Do you drink clean water? If you answer no to any of these questions, then the body cannot be blamed for the SOS signals it sends for its unjust treatment.
Even when you fall ill, take responsibility when you seek medical help. There are many options of treatment today, find out the root cause of the disease, read the directions of the drugs given, be free to ask questions. I remember one time when I was down with typhoid fever, the doctor prescribed the usual, antibiotics (ciporfloxacine) and iron(blood) tablets. But on reading the manual I found out that the particular brand of ciprofloxacine I bought warned that it should not be used with any iron tablet. Imagine!
Finally, take time to rest and allow the body to repair itself. Nature does her work slowly but she does it well.
rubystar2004@yahoo.com






Need to expand your means

(Biz tool Kids)
MANY investment literature pieces advise that we should save more and reduce our lifestyle if we want to be rich. While this is good and commendable, my mentor, Robert Kiyosaki says it differently. To be wealthy, you can still save and invest more while not living below your means. You do this by expanding your means. By expanding your means, you can still save and invest, while living your dreams.
This brings us to two vital concepts: Budget Deficit and Budget Surplus. A budget simply is a plan for the coordination of resources and expenditure. Your budget as a plan can make you become poor or middle class or it can make you rich and wealthy.
Most people operate their lives on a budget deficit rather than a budget surplus. Instead of working to create a budget surplus, many people work to live below their means, which often means creating a budget deficit.

Budget Deficit: This is excess of spending over income, for a government, corporation or individual. Spending more than you make is the cause of a budget deficit. The reason many people operate on a budget deficit is because it’s so much easier to spend money than to make it. When faced with a crippling budget deficit, most people choose to cut back on their spending. But instead of that, the smart thing to do would be to increase income. This is hard for many businesses and individuals .

Budget Surplus: This is excess of income over spending for a government, corporation or individual over a particular period of time.
This is where I want to push a new argument in this financial intelligence series. Many people are living below their means because they don’t have excess income over spending. But if the guy who earns N20,000 a month, gets a side business that fetches him another N10,000, his income has increased to N30,000. His spending can also increase. If this same guy manages to increase his passive income to N20,000 or N30,000 a month, that would place his total monthly earnings between N40 and N50,000. However, the mistake people make when they experience budget surplus or increase in income is that they increase spending and debt and reduce investment.

Now, in order to maximise your budget surplus, you need to consider the following:

Treat your budget surplus as an expense. In your expense, make savings, tithing (or charity) and investing your first priority. For instance, if you make more money, then put the excess into income-yielding assets, tithes (or charity) and savings while maintaining your current level of obligations. You know why? By the time you maintain this process for a long time, your assets would have multiplied so much to produce streams of income that can deliver much more money and quality of life to you.

Treat your expense statement as a crystal ball. What you spend your money on will define your financial future. If you want to have budget surplus and for a long time, watch what you spend your money on. Make sure they enhance your financial and lifestyle objectives.

Get assets that can pay for your liabilities. Never think I am asking you to live cheap. I don’t live cheap either. But what my mentor tells me and I urge you too to consider is that whenever you want a necessary or luxurious liability, get assets that can give you the income to acquire that liability. For instance, my mentor wanted a Bentley car worth $200,000. So he called up his broker, who converted his gold and silver shares into $200,000 cash for him and invested it for 8 months to generate $450,000 out of which $200,000 was used to buy the Bentley; $50,000 was used to offset taxes on the capital gains and the Commission paid to the broker, while he still had his cash of $200,000.
Now, how do we make that happen in Nigeria? It’s going to be hard work. This is why you have to grow your financial intelligence by coming up with a side business or investment that you are comfortable with and that can help you meet your financial objectives. There is nothing wrong with enjoying liabilities as long as you continue to pay yourself first and purchase them through the income generated by your assets.

Spend to get rich. When the going gets tough, most people cut back on spending. This is one reason so many people fail to acquire and maintain wealth. For instance, in the world of business, when a company’s sales begin to drop, accountants cut back on spending on advertising and promotion. With less advertising and promotion, sales further drop and the problem gets worse. One sign of financial intelligence is knowing when to spend and when to cut back. When you know you need to make more money, you need to spend more time, money and energy increasing your income.
If you will sincerely work at creating a budget surplus, your life will become richer. That is what budgeting is about – using what you have, even if what you have is no money, to make you better, stronger and richer.
Olotu is the CEO/Lead Consultant, DEAIM Innovative Resources Ltd., bridgetolotu@gmail.com

Sharing a dawn with Funmi

SHE had been used to celebrating others; that is what she has done with her popular TV talkshow, New Dawn With Funmi Iyanda, which airs on stations around the country. However, last weekend, it was the creme of the society that decided to celebrate her.
She had called them out to teh Silverbird Galleria, on Victoria Island, Lagos, to share in the birthing of her new baby — her new show - Talking With Funmi Iyanda, but she got more than she expected; when guest after guest mounted the stage and rewarded her with generous and warm words recounting her acomplishment since she hit the airwaves a little over 10 years ago; and with many of the speakers giving testimony to how she had touched their own individual life.
A humbled Funmi, however, smiled through it all; showing that occasional flash of innocent surprise that has become the trademark of her on-air presentation.

Anchored by the likeable presenter of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Frank Edoho, the sneak preview was also witnessed by the First Citizen of Lagos, Babatunde Raji Fashola, and his Oyo State counterpart, Adebayo Alao-Akala, as well as industry stalwarts and professionals from various sectors of the corporate world.
Among the priviledged shots saw by the guests include a day out with Charly Boy and the Okada riders in Lagos, playing football with Governor Fashola and the All Stars; standing at the foot of the breathtaking Idanre Hills to mixing music with ID Cabasa and 9ice in their studios.
Said Governor Fashola after the show: “This programme simply shows that we can deploy every medium, not just TV, for good. Let us tell more of our own good stories because nobody will tell it for us. That is the message of this show.”
Another guest, Mrs. Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami stated: “I found the show to be very real in portraying Nigeria from successful people to people on the street. It showed the breath and depth of our people.
To round up the successful evening, guests were treated to a reception at Cubes Bar and Restaurant.

...Multitasking Funmi
Multi-award winning Funmi has produced and hosted the popular talk show New Dawn Funmi, which aired on the national network for over eight years out of herr 10 years professional engagement in the media. Currently the CEO of Ignite Media, a multi-media production company based in Lagos, Funmi has been a strong voice and advocate for women and children. Her career engagement include being at different times: host of New Dawn with Funmi; New Dawn on 10; MITV Live; and as Producer, Good Morning Nigeria. She is co-author, ‘Me My Desert and I’ ; and as a columnist, she anchors ‘Jisting’ (Tempo Magazine); ‘Scores’ (PM News); ‘The Rational Mind’ (Farafina Magazine); she also writes her own blog fiyanda.blogspot.com. She has also reported sports, covering the Olympic finals in Sydney and Athens; FIFA World Cup Finals as well as All African Games in Zimbabwe.
Funmi is engaged in Philanthropy trough such initiatives as Change A Life Project: An intervention and family support scheme that has provided educational scholarships to over 250 youth as well as healthcare support to exceptional yet needy people; Women In Need Program (WIN), which finds support for women who have been cast out of their homes and communities; and the The Chain of Hope Rape crisis network.
She has had Fellowships and being member of among others:Vital Voices Global Leadership Initiative; ASPEN Institute’s Forum for Communications and Society; being participant at the African Leadership Initiative (ALI) West African; a of Fellow African Leadership Institute Tutu; and Fellow Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network
In her list of awards are: Nigerian Media Merit Award recipient Best TV presenter 2005; Global Women Inventors and Innovators Award; Rotary Excellence Awards 2003; Gold Award for Philanthropic Support to Education, Health and Service to Humanity. She is also a member of the Boards of Action Aid International Nigeria Positive Impact Youth Network.

For the filmmen, a Hall of Fame

LAST Saturday will remain green in the eyes of motion picture lovers in the country, as the Nigerian Moviemakers Hall of Fame was launched at the VIP Lounge of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos.
The event, a gathering of artistes, members of the academia, stakeholders, screen stars, top government functionaries and the media, it was a major attempt to recognise talent and effort in the industry.
Founded by the Delta State-born filmmaker and culture critic, Eddie Ugboma, the hall of fame was conceived to stimulate the advancement of the nation’s movie industry.
Organised in conjunction with Edifosa Film Academy, Ilogbo near Badagry, Lagos, the initiative saw some notable cultural producers such as the Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka; veteran actor Sam Loco Efe; veteran sound technician Femi Aloba; television and film producer and administrator, Jimi Odumosu; veteran actress of the Yoruba speaking movie industry, Evangelist Felicia Oyebode a.k.a Efunsetan Aniwura; actress Clarion Chukwura; producers Zeb Ejiro and Ralph Nwadike; Pat Apo; actor Saint Obi; the President of the Association of Movie Producers of Nigeria, Paul Obazele, and actors Emeka Osai and Fred Amata honoured.

Ugboma said he received his inspiration from the numerous hall of fames in the United States of America. He said the induction was necessary in order to preserve the history, findings and achievements of each generation for the next generation to learn from.
He said if there had been a hall of fame to induct people like Femi Robinson, Duro Oni and Bobby Benson, the youth would go to such institutions and learn from the records of accomplishments of such dedicated art professionals.

The Music Architect

Wale Dizzy Akinjogbin, popularly known as Wdiz, studied architecture at the University of Jos. In 2007, he competed in the first MTV & MTN VJ Search and was a finalist, having emerged winner in the Jos zone. He speaks on his plans for the Nigerian music industry.

When did you decide you wanted to go into the music industry?
Music for me started properly after I left secondary school and I joined a hip-hop gospel group, Cyrus, which made a strong impact in Jos and other parts of the country at the time. I was an artiste, singing and rapping. When I became leader of the group, which had become large especially with the impact, I started teaching and training people in arts, which I could see they had, but had not come into fully.

Circumstances that led to the birth of HYPE Nigeria
Well, it was simple, I worked in Cool FM Abuja and we received music from certain companies in the UK and USA that is Euro express and Urban Express (all plugger companies) I mean if you see it on MTV exclusive, we had it and maybe a remix at the time. And then, I wanted to promote a few artistes on my label (Black Collar Ent.), who I felt were doing well. So, my partner and I decided to replicate what I had seen there but make it a Nigerian version such that it is relevant to us. And since nobody in Nigeria was doing that, at the time, it would be providing very effective service for both artistes and radio stations. Besides, coming from Jos, I felt we had quality music being produced there that were not seeing the light of day in Lagos. So, we decided to try it out although in more crude ways than what we have now. Since I worked on radio, we called on the favour of a few other friends in other radio stations in Abuja and they were really helpful. Especially people like Vicky Jay of Ray Power, Abuja, G.A.N.G and Doshima now of Kiss FM, Abuja, and Kenny Joseph of Eko FM, then.

Setting up?
Setting up any business is difficult especially when you are out to make a point that it can be done! It was not and is still not so easy; we got a lot of resistance and side talk telling us it can’t be done here in Nigeria. Especially with the fact that few labels and artistes knew us, and radio stations were definitely not ready to subscribe to something Nigerian and worse off new! So, we decided to push a few guys that we knew who also trusted us from way back (as in Jay town) M.I in particular. At that point, no one knew him especially in these parts. We had to do a lot of travelling, I had to call on a lot of favors from people who knew me from Cool FM, Black Collar Ent., MTV Vj search, etc, but I never let my passion for making stars out of people die. That’s how we got the show on the road.

Challenges: Well, just like any other business, we face a lot of stumbling blocks from various angles. Like some radio disc jockeys insisting on being paid to play our material, or artistes giving us songs which are uncensored (we only promote radio friendly editions) and “test expansions” don’t always come cheap. Just regular day challenges that come with the vision which is expected so we deal with them accordingly.

Other services offered : Primarily, the outfit is mainly distribution for audio and now, Video materials for broadcast on radio and TV stations. We are also working on a few TV shows as well as a radio shows (I still work as a TV show host and I don’t want my radio skills to die) which we will route through Black Collar Ent. A company we also own,

HYPE releases a compilation CD twice a month, how are the songs on the CD selected?
We get a lot of songs everyday. But really quality is the most important factor in song selection, even before money. When I worked with Cool FM, Abuja, one of my assignments was to listen to CDs brought in by artistes so as to know which can be played on air and I learnt a lot from that, so I have an ear for good music even if its new. Even if you give me N1 million, I will not push a wack song! At times, I hear a song on radio and I’ll be calling my radio contact to find out who the artistes is so we can take him/her to national. Our core focus is to make sure our material is tight so that radio stations are pleased to play what we give them. So out of what we get, there’s a team that select those who can make it, we call them to sign contracts and we take them all over the country (on radio).

Where do we get your CDs, do you only distribute to particular stores or can they be gotten at any audio store?
We do not give it to stores and it’s not for everyone! Our services are for radio stations and D-jay’s we supply music free to over 80 radio stations in 31 states and about 500 D-jays in Nigeria. They are not for sale and this is boldly written on the CDs. So, don’t let anyone sell a Hype Nigeria CD to you!

You have succeeded in reaching 23 out of 36 states in the country, how soon do you think you will be nationwide?
Actually right now, we are in 31 states in the country about 80 radio stations, which is almost nationwide. We are doing Ghana and Kenya very soon.

Accessibility to upcoming musicians
Though the accomplished artistes give us satisfaction, the truth is, it’s the up and coming that give us the motivation. We knew a lot of the ‘accomplished’ when they were ‘up and coming’ so why not make more. I’ve come to realise that a lot of young Nigerians just think music is an easy way to make money. Unfortunately they find out in not so nice ways that it is not. I’m a simple person, oh yes! I’m accessible o! My job is to make people stars so why not? You can never pay me enough for that satisfaction.

You must get the chance to hear a lot of songs first hand, were there any that you wished you never listened to?
Everyday, I hear a lot of junk. My car is always full of CDs from new artistes and they show up telling you, they are the next D’banj or MI etc (which is what I’m always on the look out for). Only to hear the material and you want to advice them to try another career path. In fact, once my partner “Billionaire” got really upset for days, to have wasted his time listening to a particular wack artiste. We still laugh at him about it.

Problem of piracy: Well, Piracy is a bad worm that is really affecting our entertainment industry. Its a question some of our clients ask when they come. The truth is if those guys want to pirate your work, they’ll get it from anywhere and do it. Since we are giving out our CD’s for free it has not been a problem so far and we hope it continues that way.

Do you think Nigerians are true judges of talent? Why?
That’s a tough one because there are songs that I have heard and thought won’t see the light of day, which made it big. The truth is that no one has it all, even the listening public now hungers for quality because the overall quality of our music has stepped up. Men this question is hard because even the people you would call as judges to true talent have their own ideas of what true talent should be

Nigerian music today
I’m a huge fan of Nigerian music. I feel it has come a long way from the times of Alex O, Alex Zitto, Bongos Ikwe, Daniel Wilson, Evi-Edna Ogholi and Dizzy K Falola, among others. Now, we have huge names making good money and fame, putting Nigeria on the international map. The quality of our sound and videos has improved greatly, even more than our movies and it has brought employment to a lot of young Nigerians. Although, I feel we still have a lot to do to make us a force to reckon with on the international scale. I feel if properly packaged we can make Nigerian music one of our greatest exports and not just rely on crude oil, we can change the way the world looks at us and I’m hoping to be part of the greater dividends our music industry is about to walk into.

Advise to aspiring Nigerians
There are a million and one principles you will hear at various points. Just have it in mind that it’s not easy, don’t expect it to be any time soon. You just have to keep going at your dreams even when your fall, just follow your dreams wisely. Work hard, be honest, sow the right seeds and in due time you will reap.


You trained as an architect, has this ever been a stumbling block for you?
Men...! I come from a highly education inclined family, I’m the only person I know in my family that’s into entertainment. At first I’m sure I looked pretty un-serious but when the career you picked gives you a good car, a nice house etc your folks start to think, he might actually know what he is doing. But really I’ve always had a very supportive family. In fact, rather than being a stumbling block, architecture (if you allowed the school to go through you) teaches more than anything to plan. Not just a building but everything from time, to projects to presentations and a whole lot more. I just feel education is key.

How has being CMO of Hype Nigeria affected your personal life?
Being CMO is not too difficult; I can sell ice to an Eskimo. Personal life? Well, I like to say I keep my personal life out of the public eye but the truth is, for now I don’t have much of that. It really does take my time and I’m just so much into work that I tend to forget myself at times. I guess this happens when you love your job. But I’m getting a personal life soon. I promise!

thefuturenigeria@yahoo.com

I love gowns… but they must come in moderate colours

WHEN she’s on stage, she dances like Beyonce, with a voice that is mellifluous. Born on November 19, 1986, Imelda Ada Okwori, a native of Okpokwu Local Council of Benue State, started her primary education at Mercy Nursery and Primary School, Ugwu Opoga, before moving to St. Bernard Primary School, also in Okpoga. Imelda J, as she is fondly known, had her secondary education at Our Lady of Fatima Girls’ Secondary School, Ai-Dogodo, Okpoga. The graduate of Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, does mostly the R&B and dance hall music. She has released singles such as My love for you (ft OJB Jezreel), which she says, enjoys encouraging airplay, even on Channel O; Ijo ti ya and Better things, among others. She tells DAMILOLA ADEKOYA what fashion is to her.

Definition of fashion
For me, it is anything that has a good colour combination and fitting. Some people think that it is only what is in vogue that you can call fashion, but I disagree. I think it’s the fitting the clothing has on you.

Style of dressing
I love gowns a lot. Ball gowns, dinner gowns, name it! It brings out my figure and I enjoy going on stage with it. I also love jean trousers, but gowns are just my style. I love and enjoy using ankara fabrics to sew them a lot. I also consider colours when choosing the fabrics because I love moderate colours.

Favorite colour (s): I love pink. And I love green because it’s so natural.

Most cherished possession: My bangles. I love them a lot and I create time to shop for them.

Most expensive item: I think it’s my music because that is where I have invested more on.

Most favourite piece of clothing: I love my jewelries and I’m always specific about it. If I use a gold chain, then it has to be gold.

Favourite food: I love pounded yam and egusi soup but specifically, my native type. I also love bush meat, my grandmother always send me that when I was in school.

Turn on: People around me matter a lot. When I see smiles on their faces, then I’m turn on. Music also makes me happy. It does relieve me when I’m angry.

Turn off: I hate procrastination; it puts me off.

Happiest moments: It was the day I rounded off production of my album. That same month, I finished from school. That has been my happiest moment so far.

Most embarrassing moments: It was when a woman stained my white trousers, when we were going for a video shoot. I had to use it like that but I was embarrassed as everybody was asking me what stained my trousers.

Projection into the future: I want to be not just a super star but also a mega star. I want to be recognised anywhere I go to. I would also love to give back to the society in my own way and; by that I can actually come back to say thank you to those who have made me and stood by me.

Family background: I’m from the family of Mr and Mrs Emmanuel Okwori. We are four in number and I’m the first daughter and second child. My mum is a nurse and my Dad is an agriculturist.

Describe yourself in few words: I’m friendly, intelligent and always conscious of time; no procrastination.

Philosophy of life: No downgrading! Because you never can tell who will be the next.

If you were given a chance to change something in Nigeria, what would it be?
I will change the mindset of Nigerians because I think changes begin with an individual, who works positively towards changing and branding a new Nigeria. Greed is a major problem in this country and it has to be eradicated. The club, Re-brand Nigeria should also be established in schools and an anthem should also be composed so that it will be sang at the beginning of every meeting held.
With that alone, I think they will always remember that they have something good to do towards Nigeria.
So, I will like to change the mindset of people through music and right now, I’m working on an anthem, to work towards a positive change in the country for a better tomorrow, because tomorrow is bigger than today.

Africa Explodes


By OYINDAMOLA LAWAL

Since 2000 when it came on air, OGE with Iretiola, popular fashion and style TV show, has indeed come a long way, especially in its projection of African fashion.
Last Friday, October 16, Sisi Ologe, an offshoot of the show, held at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Cadenced by glitz, glamour and panache, it featured a host of talented designers and musicians such as T-Boz, House of Moofa, House of Odycee and Tavarez, and others displaying the best of African haute couture.

The show started off with up-coming designer, T-Boz, whose models strut the runway in the outfit’s latest collections.
Yinka Fashola of House of Moofa showed his 2010 collections ranging from tight to bum short, frills, jumpsuits, ball skirt and dress, to mention a few.
The outfit was applauded for its creative designs, one of which was the lace umbrella and a trendy tube evening gown made with damask and organza. Moofa’s choice of colours, fabrics and the details on his outfits were very encourging.
House of Odycee and Tavarez were not left behind in the creative ingenuity that enveloped the Sisi Ologe show.
They thrilled the crowd with their classy and unique designs. The designers played with fabrics such as adire, aso-oke, ankara, mercury, taffeta, george, satin, chiffon, among others.
The showstoppers were the short evening dresses, sparkly, leg-baring evening numbers carried off with number mix-and-match options with enough special details to keep things interesting.

For the hours that the show lasted, there was a cause for hope that the beautiful designers are continually emerging by day in the country and very soon, the world will soon explode in African designs.

Sisi Ologe... explosion on run-carpet


By OYINDAMOLA LAWAL
LOOKING flawless has always been the hallmark of red carpet ceremonies. And the last Sisi Ologe red carpet was no different.
Glitz, glamour and panache ran through, as many of the celebrities, who showed up, looked really stunning.
Some of them were seen on cropped jacket, Little Red Dress, Empire, one-shoulder dress, spaghetti, bum short, to mention a few. Many others came out in plum gorgeous dresses that pulled out all the stops.
Hair, make up, jewelry, for many of the ladies, were flawless, and the colour were perfect for their skin tones.

However, somewhere in the shuffle of all of those sequins and stilettos, former model and the publisher of FM&B magazine, Linda Ikeji, stepped out in a Little Black Dress and trendy black footwear to go. Not only was her combination a good idea, she stressed the fact that she had shimmered the runway in cool, comfy wears.
West Africa Idol runner up, Omawumi Megbele, did not go wild in her dress, as she wore a simple short dress. She was gorgeous in her minimal.

This has all been the realisation of the dreams of Iretiola Doyle, the multi-talented woman who conceived the idea of Sisi Oge, as a celebration of the iconic essences of African culture. Ireti, is a television presenter; an actress (see Sitanda of AMBO); a designer as well as an event organiser.

MTN announces Science & Technology Scholarship scheme

BY TOPE TEMPLER OLAIYA
THE MTN Nigeria Foundation has announced the provision of financial support to 500 eligible science and technology students in accredited institutions across the country.
The scholarship award of N200,000 per student will cover tuition, book allowance and stipend (pocket allowance).
Beneficiaries will be paid at the beginning of the 2009/2010 academic session and will only be awarded to second year full time students in universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
The Foundation seeks to attract high caliber full time students into the science and technology sector and is intended to provide assistance to those students who might otherwise be unable to fulfill their education financial obligations as well as reward and recognise superior academic performance.

Applications in the following list of approved disciplines will be considered: Agricultural Science; Communication Technology; Computer and Electronics; Computer and Information Science; Computer and Mathematics; Computer Engineering; Computer Science; Electrical Engineering; Electronics and Computer Technology; Electronic Engineering; Engineering Physics; Industrial Mathematics; Industrial Physics; Information Technology; Mathematics; Mechanical Engineering; Medicine; Physics Electronics; Physics Engineering; Physics/Computational Modeling; Pure/Applied Physics; Statistics; and Computer Science.
Applicants from universities and colleges of education must have a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) score of 3.5 or its equivalent (2.1), while applicants from polytechnics must have a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 (upper credit) and currently undergoing industrial training. Closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, October 30. More information is available at www.mtnonline.com/mtnfscholarship






UNN lights up Lagos with The Maiden Dance

By Charles Cephas
LAST Sunday, October 18, students of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) lit the Next Centre & Suites Auditorium, Ajao Estate, Lagos, with brilliant performances of dance, music and drama.
Titled The Maiden Dance and written by Fred Chukwudi Okoli, also a student of the department, the play highlights the intrigues of marriage and the imposing stigma of African tradition on creative ingenuity.
According to the Senior Co-ordinator of the project, who is also an associate lecturer of the department, Mr. Abiodun Osinuga, the decision to embark on the project came with the need to depict the beauty and the intrigues of the Nigerian culture, celebrating marriage as the symbol of unity amongst different nations.
Another reason he gave, was the strong need to equip and empower students with the knowledge of who they are and where their passion really lay. He said, “most students go through school never identifying themselves, not knowing what they can do. They just want to go through school, get a certificate and roam the streets in search of jobs. Today’s mass communication students should not see themselves that way.
The play, which starred Peachman Akpota (an alumnus of the school, who dropped his accounting profession for acting), Nkem Ike (upcoming actress and seasoned model), and Judith Iwu, another upcoming Nollywood actress, also featured Charles Cephas, Emmanuel James, Joy Richards, Pat Onuoha-Amadi, Charles Ogwo and Deborah Okoro, all students of the department.
Director of the play, Iyke Nwabueze, noted that feats like The Maiden Dance, performed by amateurs, would go a long way in redefining the beauty of the arts in the country, especially at the grassroots level.






How we won the Zain African Challenge — UI team

While their colleagues across the country were sitting at home as a result of the strike action embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the trio of Nwachukwu Nnaemeka (400 level Physiology), Olanrewaju Shittu (500 level Law) and Olatunji Oyelere (400 level Medicine and Surgery), representatives of the University of Ibadan at the recently concluded Pan-African Zain African Challenge were feeling the heat of Uganda, eyes fixed on the star prize of a $50,000 grant for their university. Participating in the competition involving 32 universities for the first time, the all-conquering team also won for $5,000 each. The students share their experiences with ABRAHAM OLADIPUPO.


How was the Uganda experience like for you?
Nwachukwu: It was a good experience, first and foremost, we had fun and we learnt a lot of things during the competition.

Shittu: Having watched past episodes of the challenge, we knew we had a big task ahead of us. We were under pressure and we knew this. We had to get down to business, and at the end of the day, we were happy that we overcame the challenge.

Was your winning about brilliance or you were just being smart?

Nwachukwu: I don’t think there is much difference between brilliance and being smart, if you know something, you know it. Everybody was capable of winning; we were just focused on our goal, which was winning it for our university.

Was there any point you lost confidence?
Shittu: When you consider the schools we were up against, yes, there were times at the beginning we were scared, but we always had it at the back of our minds that it was just a game and not a do or die affair. So, that mentality helped us.

What do you have ahead of other contestants?

Olatunji: Nothing.

Worst moment?

Shittu: It was the second game. We were really tensed, because of the school we came up against, and at the end of the day, we were happy that we came out tops.

Happiest moment?

Olatunji: That was when we won.

How did you feel beating a Nigerian university in the semi finals?

Nwachukwu: It just shows that Nigeria students have the potentials. It wasn’t easy facing the University of Lagos, who had also proved to be a strong contender throughout the competition, but it wasn’t our toughest game either.

Olatunji: There was pressure from the first game to the last; the pressure during the final game was not different, because from the beginning, it was a knockout competition.

But nobody was expecting a first entrant into the competition to do so well?

Nwachukwu: Well, even the Jews asked if anything good could come out of Nazareth. University rating aside, UI boasts of the best researchers and lecturers to have come out of Africa and we have lots of intelligent students too. We have always had the chance right from the start.

How did the university community receive you on your return with the trophy?

Olatunji: There was no reception at all. There has been no official reception since we returned. Maybe because of the general strike by the university unions.

Do you see UI retaining the trophy next year?

Nwachukwu: Anything can happen and there is always the possibility. We have a crop of bright and intelligent students and not forgetting the invaluable experience of the coach of the team, Mr. Demola Lewis.

Will winning this competition change UI’s rating?

Olatunji: No, I don’t think U.I. should be rated ahead of whichever institution is ahead of them, because nothing has change. The fact that we won has not changed anything, I think the university should work on itself, or the government work on the university.

Your word to students?

Shittu: Whatever you know how to do, just do it well. You never can tell when it would be needed. My advice is that they should nurture their mind, read widely, be studious and focused on whatever they are doing; you never can tell where it will take you.

MEANWHILE, Mr. Ademola Lewis, a lecturer in the department of Linguistics and African Languages, has said that test for interested students who will like to represent the institution will hold soon.
ucjpublicrelationsofficer@gmail.com






Question over handling of IT students stipend in UNILAG

By KAYODE PETERS
sTUDENTS in the University of Lagos’ faculties of Engineering, Science and Business Administration are required to undergo industrial attachment for a six-month period as part of requirements for obtaining the Bachelor’s degree.
The scheme is coordinated by the Central Industrial Liaison and Placement Unit (CILPU), which is the unit in charge of Industrial Training programme ofthe school.
For this, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) grants a stipend of N2,500 per month to the students, which they are to collect at the end of the training period, via their various institutions’ coordinating body (CILPU, in the case of UNILAG), as a lump sum of N15,000.
In very many schools such as Lagos State University (LASU), Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), the stipend is paid immediately the student submits his/her logbook to the institution.
However, in the case of UNILAG, some of th students have alleged that the CILPU does not pay the stipend until about four or five years after the student would have finished his/her training (i.e. three or four years after graduation).
The students that did their IT in 2004 just collected their stipend this year, after much stress.
The excuse usually given to the students is that, the money had not been released by the ITF.
Some of the students are however, wondering why the case of UNILAG is different from that of other schools. “Afterall, it is it the same ITF that is responsible for these other schools?”, said one of the students.
Some of the students alleged that they believe that the some officers of the CILPU often kept the money so received from the ITF in fixed deposit accounts, so it could generate interests for their personal use. And that the stipend is often paid to the students from the accruing interests.
This, thus, explains the delay in paying the students, years after the completion of their training. The unit makes no announcement to that effect even when the stipend is finally due for payment. Thus about 90 per cent of the concerned students do not get their money.
kaypeters@yahoo.com

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Kaleidoscope… Odebiyi steps solo

IT was like a homecoming for Nurudeen Odebiyi when the Harmatan Gallery, Victoria Island, Lagos, organised his just concluded debut solo show.
In 2004, when the gallery celebrated the beneficiaries of the Harmatan Workshops, Odebiyi was one of those that ‘impressed’ at the event called Harvest of the Harmattan Retreat, which held at the Pan African University, Ajah, Lagos.
With about 36 works of his on display at the show, Kaleidoscope, Odebiyi made a statement about his mission to step on, alone, as against his previous hiding under the canopy of group and workshop exercises.
From an early stint in the advertising industry after he left Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos, in the early 1990s to full time studio practice in 2002, regaining loss ground at the mainstream art gallery scene was not as difficult as he had anticipated, he said.
How far he has gone in his attempt to catch up with the highly competitive art gallery scene was obvious in his work, just as he admitted, “being in the advertising sub- division of the creative sector has added to my art.”
A technique, which he called panel painting, seemed to be his strength, as the rendition gives an impression of pieces of materials lined up in panel format.

THERE was something about New Transformation (oil on canvas) that interrupts the flow of identity seen in this show.
In fact, this depiction of one of the notorious areas where Lagos State government is currently making impact in urban orderliness looks like Odebiyi’s early attempt at impressionism.
Most likely, an aerial view of Oshodi, the ruggedness and rough surface look of the 19th century art form may have been taken too far thus distorting some basic details.
It is not uncommon to see such works; perhaps this artist and others like him jostle with the idea of taking this art form to another stage in 21st century.
Between 1880s, when it became popular and the early 20th century, the brush and palette strokes of impressionism changed from mild, visible movement to a more pronounced feature, hence the expression, post-impressionism.
“That is what makes one an experimental artist; I am still evolving; in fact every artist keeps researching,” Odebiyi argued.
With an untitled piece — a night toning of a woman playing with some oranges — New Transformation should take cover, considering the gele and buba and some spotlighting of the background, alive in the thickness of the palette! This is impressionism truly mystified.
Enhancing this work, however, was a touch of cubism, apparently picked up from one of the masters in his former school, Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos.
“Yes, school or whatever background one was coming from, would always have influence in your art, but then an individual’s creative instinct makes the difference as seen in most of my works. I try to create an identity for myself,” he said.
Comparatively, Part Time, African Beauties and others in that forms look like that attempt to get away from the Yaba stylistic cocoon.
All works for the show, in oil on canvas and acrylic, he says, were created “between 2007 to date.”

Odebiyi is a product of several artistic influences. But the Harmatan experience, he says, “gave me tremendous confidence to keep working as an artist, and also expanded my facility to work in several media, and draw ideas not only from urban Nigeria, but also from the countryside.”
His outings include shows at Giraj Gallery, Geobi Gallery, and the inaugural maiden show held by Mydrim Gallery in Ikoyi Lagos.
Last year, the Harmattan Gallery at the Art Expo Nigeria 2008, which held at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos Island, featured his work.

‘Maybe music can help trees to grow, grapes to grow or maybe the trees can help in the making of music’.

BY BENSON IDONIJE
WHEN Aleke Kanonu, one of Africa’s greatest percussionists (even though underrated), called from his base in Port Harcourt, a couple of days ago, a friend, who overheard our conversation, was surprised about the high esteem in which I seem to hold Aleke.
Like many, this friend of mine does not seem to know where Aleke is coming from.
With a brilliant jazz album to show for it, Aleke is better known in America than at home here in Nigeria.
In the album, he fronted a whole ensemble of top American musicians, who were intrigued by the intricacies of his rhythm on the one hand, and the intensity of his rhythmic pulse on the other — from the enthusiasm that trailed their performance and the creativity that resulted.
Secondly, Aleke was the one who really made jazz giant, Pharaoh Sanders, popular in Nigeria, coming as a follow-up to Sander’s performance in Lagos in 1981 at Eko Le Meridien, Lagos.
He brought over a hundred copies of Sanders’s ground-breaking and experimental album (a double record set) entitled Journey to the one, which has continued to enjoy rave reviews from jazz critics all over the world, decades after its release, for its continued relevance to the sociological essences of the music.
Aleke, who knew that I had Stereo Jazz Club to present on the airwaves at the time, immediately laid three copies on me – (one for the Gramophone library, two for me), a gesture for which I will continue to remember him.
Why?

Journey to the one is a collector’s item, a rare release, which every jazz music collector should be proud to have. It is as precious as the classic Kind of Blue, the album with which Miles Davis broke new grounds in 1959 with such soloists and sidemen as the maverick saxophonist John Coltrane, on tenor; Julian Cannonball Audery, alto saxophone; and a formidable rhythm section unit comprising Wynton Kelly, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Jimmy Cobb, drums.
The double record set of Journey to the one is particularly precious when you realise that it is on vinyl, in its originally recorded state. It is also remarkable in that the album represents the transformation of Sanders from the influence of his mentor, John Coltrane. Instead of the sheets of sound that previously characterised his playing with the maverick saxophonist, Sanders began to mould his own individual sound identity with the spiritual focus on ecology, water and planet earth.
With attention spiritually directed to nature, Sanders has evolved a new tone with which he now creates imaginative swirls of sound. And with the intensity of animal sounds and grunts, they seem to be the essence of the new freedom in jazz.
I am not particularly fond of the bar-to-bar, round-by-round analytical dissection of performances when it comes to record reviews, but a few top-of-the-wave comments and observations should suffice, considering the fact that devotees who are committed enough will always find ways of listening to the music by themselves. After all, the reviewer’s comments can only serve as a guide, some form of platform for letting people know about the existence of the music, so it can start off an argument.
As a matter of fact, whatever strong views the critic holds about the music does not necessarily change anything. The artists have their visions, cultural backgrounds and musical capabilities around which their individual approaches revolve — with all the imagination they can muster.

Pharaoh Sander’s effort is currently directed towards combating climate change, a crusade he started with such albums as The creator has a masterplan and Journey to the one.
There are eleven songs where Think about the one, for instance, is an up-dated Coltrane idea with chorale an electronics. A testimonial to a long spiritual journey, Sander’s entry is in itself, of classic proportions.
Bedra, composed and arranged by Pharaoh Sanders moves even further on to the open saxophone, the fullest tone Sanders has perhaps ever recorded (and the best reproduced) a tone poem, indeed. Greetings to Idris, a tribute to drummer Idris Muhammad also incorporates the tight Trane-like quintet sound, although the Sanders flavour is considerably more seasoned than what one might have found on “avant-garde” albums in the early 1960’s. Dig Sander’s split-reed effects how logical and un-pretentious!
The work of pianist John Hicks especially deserves mention. His Yemenja has an easy flow which, combined with the somewhat tempered Sanders saxophone and the blending of Locket’s guitar, reminds us that a mainstream jazz performance is well within the Sanders conceptual range.
The use of exotic oriental instruments on two tracks — Soledad and Kazuko — is a touch of pure genius, matched by the Sanders/Joe Bonner duet on John Coltrane’s After the Rain.
Kazuko has the same feeling and effect as Miles Davis’ In a silent way of the ’60s. It is uplifting, inspiring and exciting.
You’ve got to have freedom is a full blown effort that gives Eddie Henderson a chance to blow mightily on the flugel horn — right after the choral proclamation. Apparently in his remarkably inventive and productive period, his contribution here is memorable, especially on solo stints along with Sanders.
Listening to the album, some might prefer Kazuko as the most intriguing for its unique instrumentation. Some others may choose songs such as You’ve got to have freedom and Think about the one as their favourites for the plethora of vocalisation introduced to the music by Sanders to actualise his vision. These items will definitely interest devotees with the passion for jazz singing which has inexplicably disappeared from the scene. Still, others may settle for the straight ahead sessions for the conventional approach. But such differences are necessary in that they not only separate a merely good recording from a truly compelling one, they also help to portray the album as a potpourri of ideas, a mixed bag which will appeal to a variety of people, and in turn attract considerable commercial success, without deliberately planning for it.
But if I am asked to name my favourite song, it will be Greetings to Idris, which provokes different meanings and opens up new vistas for my appreciation each time. The fact that it is performed as a semi-ballad helps to appreciate fully, Sanders’ saxophone artistry and technique with a tone that conjures the memory of John Coltrane while also reminding us of Sonny Rollins.
As if to give the tribute concrete meaning and significance, Sanders’ solo is unusually long here as he grapples with numerous choruses. And the fact that it is his own personal, individual composition gives him ample chance to explore the various moods, motives and possibilities of the song.

In essence, Journey to the one is a conceptual album. I t is the musical soul of Pharaoh Sanders who enriched the chemistry of his music playing with the ensemble led by the late John Coltrane who infact, influenced him greatly. In his grooves – somewhere, everywhere- you get the whole Sanders perspective. You hear his past, present and future. You feel his roots in the gospel and blues, in mainstream jazz, and further and further out. The deep rooted past confronts the uncharted future, a future which currently finds Sanders in the vanguard of fighting climate change. “Maybe music can help trees to grow, grapes to grow or maybe it’s the trees that can help in the making of music. It could work both ways,” says Pharaoh Sanders who is also concerned about the condition of our water.
The saxophonist has a particular affection for water, its vastness, its power, the awe it can inspire. “I really like the ocean,” he says. “When I go out by the ocean it is special. I like to go there when there is nobody around and it is just me and the ocean. I’m mediating and I just feel so small. I see myself as being very small. The ocean is so huge and the water is so deep. That’s the way I feel when I am playing. Whatever is deep down inside me it may be something with no end, its just the depths that I am trying to reach. And it’s constantly subject to change and transformation. You know like feelings that you discover from one day to the next, things can just come up from somewhere deep that may surprise you. It’s the people, really.
“The thing about the ocean is it can be very peaceful, then all of a sudden, it can change. I don’t know how another person might feel but I get a lot of energy being out there by the water and I try to put this in my music”.
And a lot of these effects can be found in the interpretation of such sounds as After the rain, Kazuko (Peace child), Think about the one from the double record set, Journey to the one.

MUSON stage steams Jazz

STORIES BY BY CHUKS NWANNE
Lovers of jazz music are in for another exciting moment, as organisers of the yearly MUSON Festival, have announced a two-day jazz concert on November 6 and 8, at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. According to Agboola Shadare of Inspiro Productions, who is in charge of the jazz concert, the show begins at 7pm on each day, at the Shell Hall, with both home and international artistes on the bill.

Jimmy Dludlu (South Africa)
Long before record companies became aware of the musical genius of Jimmy, the media were already celebrating him as the hottest and most stylist talent amongst South Africa’s new jazz generation. He’s one of the artistes billed to mount MUSON sate for the gig. Jimmy was 13 when he first picked up a cousin’s homemade guitar and taught himself to play by imitating the jazz and African music he heard on the radio.
Over the years, he has worked with various musicians and bands. In 1991, he was a founder of the highly successful group, Loading Zone, which went on tour across the continent, backing a ranhe of South African stars including Hugh Masekela, Marima Makeba, Brenda Fassies, Chicco and Sipho Mabuse. He later recorded with Makeba on the album, Eyes on Tomorrow, and participated in the Sun City production Sax Appeal. During Loading Zone’s Namibian tour in 1992, Papa Wemba asked the band to back him on several dates in the country.
Jimmy’s style includes wide-ranging influences, combining both traditional and modern elements of jazz drawn from others. He is particularly attracted to the sound of West and Central Africa, as well as Latin America, but insists jazz remains his first love.

Biodun Adebiyi (Nigeria)
With a strong church music background, classical music training and a wealth of experience as a jazz improviser, trumpeter Biodun is an artiste worth listening to. From being just a choirboy, he became the assistant organist at St. Pauls Anglican Church, Yemetu, Ibadan. A graduate of music, Biodun later obtained a Post-Graduate Diploma in Journalism and a Masters in Communication Studies.
A scholar in trumpet from the Music Society of Nigeria (MUSON), he learnt to play trumpet as a member of the Boy’s Brigade, and has since played in many venues and jazz spots in major cities of the continent.
Biodun’s trumpet can be heard on several recordings and television scores. He currently leads his own 12-man Afro Jazz, Biodun & Batik and his album titled, The harmonious Blacksmith, will hit music shelves soon. At present, he lectures at the Theatre and Music Departments of the Lagos State University.

Bright Gain (Nigeria)

Gifted bass player, jazz composer and clinician, Gain has become a force to recon with in the Nigerian jazz scene. He has performed and recorded with numerous artistes such as flutist, Tee Mac, French pianist, Manuk Hanchadrurian, Greek guitaris, Sotiris Papadopoulos, South African pianist, Stix Hojeng and others. As a promoter, Gain has organised jazz programmes such as Jazzmind Jazz Fest, at the MUSON Center, Lagos, in 2004 and Jazzify the Lord with Bright Gain, a quarterly jazz programme.
In 2006, he was awarded the CMA Jazz Artiste of the year and is a music educator committed to impacting music knowledge to beginners and professional alike. He has written many compositions with three Jazz CDs to his credit and his performance have taken him to places such as South Africa, where he taught at Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria and recently performed in support of the Gauteng Province/South African police services effort in stopping crime along with other top artistes.

Beautiful Nubia (Nigeria)
His songs of cultural celebration, social upliftment and public enlightenment have greatly influenced thousands of people. Nubia has an uncanny ability to reach back into the past, re-invent ancient rhythms and mesh them with original melodies to produce harmonious sound. The songwriter and bandleader, has evolved a form of music that continues to defy classification and appeals to growing market of both the rich and poor.
In 1997, while pondering how to introduce himself as a musician, Segun Akinlolu decided upon the performance name, beautiful Nubia, to remind young Africans of a time when his likes ruled the world and were masters of the sea, the air and land. His first album, Seven Lifes, followed shortly after and since then, has not looked back.

Mfon Umana (Nigeria)
Popularly known as the Ambassador of African Music, having been named Best Female Vocalist in Dubai, in 2003. Umanna, who doubles as image-maker and singer, is a fast rising musician, who has her eyes on the international market.
Mfon’s music cuts across all ages and nationalities. Her first album, Life, and a new one, Brand New Page are currently making waves in most West African Countries. She not only sings in two major languages, English and French, she also sings in local dialects such as Efik, Fon, Yoruba and Ewe, a dialect in Benin Republic.

Pure and Simple (Nigeria)

A group of two young musicians, a lead guitarist and the Star Quest winning Diamonds member, Ifiok Effang and the other a bass gutarist, Nathan McDonald, expressing themselves in a unique but pure and simple jazz way.

The 5 YZ Men (Nigeria)

This is a group of five young musicians, who are currently pursuing a Diploma in Music at the MUSON Center, Lagos, under a scholarship scheme sponsored by MTN.
The group is made of Imoleayo Balogun (alto and tenor saxophone), Joseph Kunnuji (Trumpet), Oluwatobi Ojetunde (Piano), Olamide Timothy (Bass) and Abiola Oloyede (Drums).
Their repertoire ranges from jazz standards to original compositions, even in African idioms. Though a young band, their stage performances are always a delight to see.

She won’t allow Pirates halt her mission

FUNKE Akinokun has what it takes to succeed both as a businesswoman and as a gospel artiste. A beauty consultant with a franchise for Sleek products, she is also the Nigerian representative of Colour Me Beautiful, an image consultancy firm. Her new audio and video CDs will be released in December. Talking to FEMI ALABI ONIKEKU, she recalls her journey in the music industry; and lots more.

Musical background
I have been singing since I was 10. And I have always been in the choir, in the church before now. I have been leading praise worship in the church, but decided to work on a CD last year to coincide with my 40th birthday this year. I decided to work on a CD because people have been saying ‘why don’t you do something, put it on a CD, so people can listen to your music?’ And because God had actually not told me to go ahead, I didn’t do that. Last year, I kind of received a revelation. I got inspired by God to do something that would touch the lives of other people and that is why I decided it coincided with my birthday.

Why Gospel, and not R&B, Hip-hop etc?
I sing gospel because I am a believer of Christ and I like to do things that will give glory to Him. And since what I do is sing, I have to sing to give glory to God. That is why I decided to do gospel.

Her kind of music
I decided to put together different types of music that would reach out to different sets of people. If you listen to the CD, you will see that you have hip-hop, you have highlife, you have the praise medley, African rhythm and that, which will touch the life of youths. You have the ones for the elderly and the ones that will touch the lives of Nigerians and non Nigerians, alike. I put together music in different languages. I did Igbo, Akwa Ibom, and Yoruba. And then we have English. In the praise medley, we have Ghanaian language spoken. So, we decided to touch different races.

Why should people listen to Funke among so many other artistes around?
My music is not just the music of Funke Akinokun. It is giving praise to God. It’s something that came from Him. Like I said, He inspired me. And when you listen to the music, you know there is a message behind each of the songs. When you listen to that music, it touches you. Since the time we presented the songs to the public, I have received series of messages and calls. Sometimes, I wake up in the morning and people call me to tell me ‘your song has lifted me up in this way, in that way, this morning.’ And that encourages me a lot and it tells me that it’s doing what it was meant for.

The attractiveness of the CD jacket
A lot of people have been saying ‘work on a CD, do something.’ I only do something when I know I am able to do it well. If I am not able to do it well, I will rather not do it at all. And also, if you look at this jacket, you will see that it is made in Nigeria. I’m somebody who loves Nigeria. And I like to prove to people that we have very good things here. We have great talents around and people who can do beautiful things in this country. All you need to do is work on them and then you get the best out of them. And that’s why I decided to do this in Nigeria. I decided to do it like this because I needed to present it to the public very well. If I want to buy something and the packaging is not good, it gives a wrong impression. So, you need to package it very well, make it attractive so that at first sight, anybody who handles the jacket wants to listen

When should another CD be expected?
When God says we should go ahead and do the second one. But the first one is not out there in the public. We have only presented it. We have only done the CD presentation. And you can only get the promotional copies. We have just worked on the video. We finished shooting the video in the early hours of this morning. Finished. So it’s going to be out soon. We are thinking of sometimes, first week in November. The video is going to be out and then the CD, both audio and video will be out towards Christmas. We are thinking of first week in December, for the video and audio CD. We are still working on the first one.

What should music lovers expect from your musical video?
Trying to pass the message in this song to anybody who watches the video. When you listen to a song, you want to see the video and then understand; you know you are able to marry the video to the audio CD. That is what we have tried to do.

Challenges in producing audio and video CD
The greatest challenge has been being able to combine what I have to do in the office with what I have to do at home and working on the video and audio CDs. So, for a married woman with kids, including my husband, you can imagine the challenge, especially shooting the video overnight, but with God all things are possible.

Given the quality of your production, don’t you think pirates would love you?
I am not going to do anything about it; because the CD isn’t meant to be commercial. It is just to pass a message across to people. Like I always tell people, you will be what God says you will be. Wherever God wants you to be, you will be. If the best way God thinks this will get to the end of the world is through piracy, so be it.

Music industry
Well, Nigerian music has always been up there. And I think we can only do better than what we are doing now, because as the days go by, you have better people, you have greater talents coming up.

Saddest moment
Honestly, there is non I can really point to right now. But I know there have been things you would have loved to do differently and you have not been able to. But things don’t make me really go sad, because in whatever situation I find myself, I like to smile over it. I like to thank God over it because I know that whatever happens to you, there is a reason for it. Things just don’t happen. Sometimes they happen for a purpose.

Happiest moment
That was when I came up with a presentation of the CD of His Praise and it got accepted.

You must be a religious person.
Yes I am. I am not a religious person. But I would say that by the grace of God, I am a godly person.

How godly?
I cannot say because I can’t judge myself. I will let other people answer that question.

Family
We are a family of six, four boys and myself, my husband.

No female?
I am the female there.

Shall we not expect a girl very soon?
No!

Do your children share your passion for music?
Right from when they were small; when they are on holidays we send them for music lessons, the ones that are interested, actually. All of them are interested, even the little baby. I have a two year old. He is interested in beating the drum. We have a drum set, we have a guitar, a keyboard. We have most musical instruments at home for them.

Do you envisage a time when they would be incorporated into some kind of family singing group?
Well, there’s no vision like that. But if God says that’s what could happen…

God, God, God, you must depend so much on God.
Yes, I do because it is by His grace I am living

Has God ever failed you?
He has never.

Where is your husband in all this?
Behind a successful woman, in this case, is a very supportive husband. My husband has been very supportive. Anything I do, he is always very supportive. And you will agree with me, a woman of my age, married woman with kids. My husband is very, very busy. But he still finds time. He has always been there for me. He’s very supportive, encouraging and giving me everything I need: morally, financially, in every way.

And have you reciprocated his support?
He will be the one to answer that question. But I have been trying my best.

‘My N50m Figurine story’

FIGURINE has received commendations and critical acclaim from those, who have seen the film. The film had its premiere in Abuja recently. Producer and director of the film, Kunle Afolayan, whose other film, Irapada, was also a success spoke with ABOSEDE MUSARI, on his latest cinematic baby.

Message of Figurine
As a producer, the first thing I consider when making a film is to entertain people. You build that into your story and try to interpret it the best way you can. The intention of a filmmaker is to get people entertained and also, to get them go to the cinema and not want to leave until the film is over. Just like the Figurine, after people saw the end credit, they still sat to see more. They were entertained. For anyone to buy a ticket and come to the cinema; it means the person wants to be entertained, not because the person wants to learn morals. Notwithstanding, the reason this story was put together was to let people into my thinking. I’m of the school of thought that says you reap what you sow. We should always take measures in whatever we do so that when the effects begin to come you will know that we had put some things in place to safeguard us. Often we are the cause of our own challenges. If anything happens, people call God. God is the Almighty, He has put us on this earth to be good and excel. But out of our own inefficiency, we derail. Then we blame either God or Satan.

Are you saying that for the good things that happen to us, God or the gods do not have a hand?
God has created you and given you knowledge to know right from wrong. God has His own doing but often, if we had checked ourselves, maybe some of those troubles will not happen. In Figurine, from the beginning until almost the end, everybody thought it was actually Araromire that was responsible for all the tragedies. The gods have their own roles to play in our lives and we also have our own roles as well. These days everybody runs to God for one help or the other without watching our own sides as well. Maybe when we begin to perform our own roles, we will put less pressure on God.

One of the characters, Femi, described all the tragedies that happened in the film as a coincidence. One may wonder how all that could be a coincidence. Does that mean that the gods are not really responsible for the things we think they do?
That is the reason for that sentence in the end that asks ‘What do you believe’? You have to watch the film like three times for you to decide where you want to be, for you to take a stand either to believe that it was Araromire who was responsible for the tragedies or whether it was a coincidence. You totally can’t rule out the fact that there are gods and that they have roles to play. You can’t demystify the power of those gods but at the same time, we realize that one of the characters, Femi did his own evil. So, it is left for the audience to have their own belief.

Talking about the ending sentence ‘What do you believe?’, does it mean that you don’t want to decide for the audience? You want to leave them to decide what really happened?
I’m not in position to judge or to condemn the power of the gods. I’m only trying to tell a story that revolves around belief. For me, it’s whatever you believe that saves you. Different people have different reasons for their beliefs. If you see that kind of film, it is left for you to think whether Araromire exists or was responsible for the tragedies or not. One of my friends who had watched the film about four times said to me that the professor was responsible for all that happened because he was the one that put fear in Mona and that was how the whole problem started. However, in the beginning there was an established folktale that says the god existed and we saw it. In the end, you are just to decide what you want to believe.

Is the film a real life story or a fiction?
It is a fiction.

One wouldn’t have believed that you who played the gentle Aresejabata in Saworo Ide, would have been able to play that rascally role?
Let me tell you the interesting thing about that movie. When we were casting, Ramsey Nouah (Femi) was actually meant to play the role I played and I was to play the role he played. After the story got ready, I had him in mind because he is quite popular and a good actor. When they gave me the casting list I told them I was going to switch the roles. They asked why and I told them that Ramsey had already been stereotyped to always play the lover boy and the handsome guy. A lot of people see me as a quiet, slow guy and that is not who I am. Even if that is who I am, as an actor you need to be versatile. There was an argument and people asked if I was switching the roles because it was my film. They didn’t believe in my idea but I made them understand that people would appreciate the film more if the stereotyped actor is playing another role. When I gave the script to Ramsey, he too thought he would be playing that role but I told him he wouldn’t and he understood. In the end, they all came to me and said ‘Kunle you seem to know what you are doing’. For that role, even if anybody doesn’t commend me, I commend myself because I produced, directed and played the role well. It was hectic. It was very tasking.

You were not the writer
No, but it was my idea.

Why did you come up with the idea of mixing English and Yoruba in the conversations of the characters instead of doing either a pure English or pure Yoruba film?
It is because we are Nigerians and we should stop being fake. Most of these so-called English films will not see the light of day in the international film market because for Nigeria to even have a chance to get into these big international awards, the only category we can be placed is ‘Foreign language’ or best picture. The foreign language slot is automatically zoned to this region. That was why Slumdog Millionaire and Totsi from South Africa won Oscars, as well. We converse and act better when we are real.
I watch other African films where they speak their language and if at all they are going to speak English, it will be with their accent. And that I appreciate and everybody around the world appreciates so much. We are always forming fake accent, we want to speak Queen’s English which is not our tongue. I always want to put people in their natural selves.
When I got Ramsey on set, he was going to do the Nollywood kind of thing and I said no, let’s come home. Just speak naturally, speak and act like a Nigerian; and in the end they saw reason. There was a day we had an argument over the scene where Linda (Funlola Aofiyebi) and Femi got to the house and his father came out of the house. They said why didn’t I allow the elderly man speak English since Linda was speaking English; I said Femi and his father should speak Yoruba because that is how it happens. But now everybody seems to be enjoying the whole thing.

How much time did it take to make the film and how much did it cost?
It took us four years to get the film ready. Three months to shoot and five months to edit. It was almost five years. It costs about N50 million.

You have shown the movie in Lagos, now Abuja, where next?
The grand opening was in Grand Deluxe in Lagos, it was well embraced with a good turnout. We have just done the premiere in Abuja and we plan to be in Port Harcourt, Ghana and London all this month. We have sent Figurine to some film festivals and we are awaiting confirmation. We intend to feature it in A-class film festivals around the world. That is the way it can get exposure to the international market. Right now it is released in box office. For now, it is strictly cinema, not home video and its topping in all the cinemas in Nigeria. We need support, the industry really needs support. Not many people will take the risk I took in raising funds to shoot this film. I’m sure a lot of people will not even consider putting N10 million in a movie because they are thinking where will I sell it? But now that we have more cinemas springing up, there is opportunity to recoup the investment before releasing the film in VCD or DVD. As for fellow filmmakers, I think they need to start thinking beyond home video because if you make a N10 million film and you go into home video, you are going into the same market with someone who invested N500,000 or N1 million his own movie. We need to start thinking of using the cinemas and also making films that will represent the country in the international market.

Apart from recouping your investment, is it also an attempt to revive the cinema culture?
Exactly. That was our major intention. I remember how I felt with the upsurge in the manner people have embraced cinemas. This will not only open a lot of opportunities, but people’s eyes. This will send out positive messages to filmmakers and investors. Now you can have the record of your films showing in cinemas and present the figures to investors when you want to do your next project.

Your career in the movie industry
I started acting in 1998. I started film making professionally in 2005 after I graduated from film school. I did my primary school in Lagos African Salem Primary School then Government Secondary School, Kwara. I did HND in Business Administration at the Lagos State Polytechnic. I also did another Diploma programme in Digital Filmmaking.







Actors Guild presidency, One bride, two suitors

BY SHAIBU HUSSEINI
IT used to be one of the most vibrant guilds in Nollywood. In fact, from inception, the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) was a model for all other guilds in the sector. But this is not the story today, as internal strife has gradually rocked the foundation of the guild. Members are currently divided into camps: Those loyal to Kanayo O. Kanayo and those loyal to Segun Arinze, who emerged ‘President’ from an election in Port Harcourt superintended by the veteran actor, Sam Loco. Delegates from 22 out of the 25 states where the AGN has presence attended the congress. Kanayo, installed by the Ifeanyi Dike Trustees (BOT), after the board sacked the Ejike Asiegbu-led Executive Council, has described the election as a ‘sham’. In fact, he has called Arinze an ‘impostor’, who was not qualified to hold office on the ground that ‘he is not a graduate’. Well, Arinze, who has been busy holding wide consultation in a bid to stem the tide, has maintained that he will not join issues with anyone but will work towards returning the guild to the right path. However, mum is the word for the BOT, which many have accused of orchestrating the crisis in the actors’ body. Asiegbu declined comments on the matter and simply requested moviedom to seek clarification on the election from the congress of the guild made up of state chairmen and their elected delegates. ‘I am resting and enjoying myself in retirement. I have passed the baton and carried out the wishes of the congress and so they will be in a better position to make any clarification,’ was Asiegbu’s terse remark. The council of chairmen says it stands by its decision, irrespective of the views expressed by the Lagos State chapter led by Ernest Obi. Obi has also described Arinze’s emergence as President ‘a sham’. Moviedom present verbatim what the gladiators are saying…

Segun Arinze:
‘I won’t let go this mandate’

I HAVE a mandate and that is to return AGN to the path of progress and no amount of side talks or comments will make me lose focus. I have always maintained that I will not join issues with anyone. I am just not going to be pressured to joining issues with anyone. The challenge for me is to see how I can get all those firing darts to understand that we need to move AGN forward. We need to reposition the guild. We are actors and not politicians. We need to begin to think about the future of our profession and the growth of our industry and profession. The talk before now was that Ejike was holding on to power… ‘hey, he doesn’t want to leave and all that…’ now he is out of office, so why can’t we get together and see how we can move the guild from the point where he stopped. So, I am ready to work and same for my executives. We are not going to allow anyone distract us. We will try as much as possible to carry everybody along. Ours will be an all-inclusive administration. I have offered the olive branch and will continue to do so. That I am doing it, is not a sign of weakness. It doesn’t make sense for all of us to be firing darts. If that happens, then we will all be bruised and that is not what members of a responsible association such as the AGN should be engaged in. So, I have the mandate of the congress, which is made up of the state chairmen and their elected delegates to make the AGN the envy of all. We must all join hands to stop things from further degenerating. I went into all this convinced that I could cause this change. All I ask for is support of all and sundry. I have been reaching out and will continue to reach out to as many people as possible.

Kanayo O. Kanayo:
Segun Arinze is an impostor

Segun Arinze is an impostor. The purported election that brought him to office is a complete sham. We consider his actions so far as impersonation of the highest order. The former president, Ejike Asiegbu, in a bid to put the AGN in disarray, went ahead though aware of a pending matter in court to gather hoodlums at a location in Port Harcourt and picked Arinze and others as new executives of the AGN. But the fact remains that Arinze, from records available at the Lagos State chapter of the guild is not a registered member and that makes it impossible for him to qualify to contest the national elections. You must belong and be a registered member of a state chapter to be eligible to contest election. Besides, to vote or be voted for, you must be financially up to date. You also have to possess a first degree. That is the minimum qualification. That alone disqualifies Arinze. He is not a graduate. I understand he holds just a diploma. I hold a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Lagos. You can check with them if you are in doubts. We are going to hold our elections in December where the real actors’ president will emerge. We have just released the election timetable and we have people, who have expressed interest in vying for different positions. We will not lose sleep over Arinze’s continued claim to a mandate he got from hoodlums. We will allow the court decide on the matter. But it is worth restating that we the caretaker committee and the entire body of the AGN with the support of the Board of Trustees consider Arinze’s actions as impersonation of the highest order.





Around and about Nollywood...

Curtain draws on American Film Week in Jos
AS the first edition of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC)/National Film Institute (NFI)/American organised Film week ended in Jos on Wednesday October 14, there are strong indications that Nigeria and America are set to consolidate on their cultural diversity in promoting mutual partnership in the area of film production. Managing Director/Chief Executive of NFC, Afolabi Adesanya said, “the week served as a platform of industry intervention to enhance professionalism, content and technological development within the motion picture industry through a clinical attention to the select film culture and exchange of ideas.” According to him, the week was also to stimulate, appreciate, and deepen the understanding of a wide range of films from Hollywood, the source of the world’s popular entertainment and provide yet another opportunity for Nigerian motion picture professionals to up the experience. Brian Etuk, Head of Public Affairs of the NFC, remarked that expectations of the film fiesta were summed up in the address of the representative of the United States Mission in Nigeria, Mr. Anthony Eterno. Eterno told guests and participants at the capacity filled NFI auditorium, during the opening ceremony, that America would continue to leverage on its popular cinema and film culture (Hollywood) to drive its cultural diplomacy in countries of the world where it has missions. Nigeria, he said, is one of such countries whose rich cultural diversity, combined with other positive factors, stand tall as a giant partner of the US. While commending the in-road Nigerian films have made across Africa and other parts of the world, Eterno said Nollywood could gain much if it understudies Hollywood structure, which the American Film Week did highlight. NFC, in the past five years, has initiated active collaborations with foreign missions in Nigeria in the area of cultural exchange using film as a platform. The Spanish, Chinese, French, Egyptian, and Indian film weeks have been held in the past, which underscores mutual and cultural partnership aimed at creating opportunities for Nigeria Motion Picture Practitioners.

A day with the Figurine in the Garden City
THE Rivers State Action Congress leader, Prince Tonye Princewill, on Friday night, greeted hordes of fans as he led the cast and crew of Figurine down the yellow carpet at the movie premiere, which held at the Silverbird Cinema, Port Harcourt. In his remarks at the occasion, Prince Tonye congratulated the producer of the movie, Kunle Afolayan, for the successful screening of the movie in Lagos and Abuja prior to its Port Harcourt outing and most importantly for its earlier significant outing in Ghana and London. Tonye also expressed delight at the newly found confidence the Nollywood community has in the state with its decision to hold premieres of such magnitude in the capital city. He recalled that in the last couple of weeks, Port Harcourt has played host to movies such as Nneda, Motherland and now Figurine. On the quality of the movie, he stated that in terms of artistry, content and creativity Figurine would hold its own on the world screens, competing favourably with any Hollywood film in its genre.

Film meets football in Abuja
COME October 27 to 30, Abuja will witness the convergence of two great events in one city. It will be a meeting point for film and soccer enthusiast as the 6th edition of Abuja International Film Festival and the FIFA U17 World Championship take centerstage. The festival will be declared opened by the Honorable Minister of Information and Communication, Prof. Dora Akunyili at the Bolingo Hotel and Towers Abuja by 5pm on October 27, with a red carpet and opening cocktail for the invited delegates. Expected at the festival are delegates from over 20 countries who will partake in the festival screenings, awards, exhibitions, panel discussions and seminars that will run for 4 days. The Theme of the festival is Nollywood, What Next? According to Fidelis Duker (Festival Director), Some of the confirmed speakers include the Director General of The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Segun Runsewe; DG Censors Board, Mr. Emeka Mba; President, Association of Movie Producers, Mr. Paul Obazele; Managing Director of VIASAT Network Ghana, Mr. Lenon Jack; President, Actors Guild of Nigeria, Mr. Segun Arinze; The CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council; DG National Broadcasting Commission Engr. Bolarinwa and DG, Nigeria Copyright Commission, Dr. Adebambo Adewopo; among others

Nollywood Outstanding Personality Award (NOPA) holds December 4
THE Association of Movie Journalists (AMJ) has concluded plans to hold its third edition of the yearly Nollywood Outstanding Personality Award (NOPA). The award, according to a statement signed by the association’s National President, Stanley Okoronkwo, will hold on December 4 at Terra Kulture, Taimiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island in Lagos. Okonkwo disclosed that awards would be presented to some Nollywood personalities, who have distinguished themselves in their different beats. Publisher of Today’s Choice Magazine and Chairman Advisory Council of the association, Chief F. Onita Coker and Chief Walter Ibekwe Ofonogaro are expected as special guest at the award ceremony. The chair for the evening will be Dr. Peter Igho, MFR.


Waka pass…
Producer- Amebo A. Amebo
Director- Mr. Gossip
Actors- Nollywood Celebrities

Dakore Egbuson adds up, Femi Durojaiye too
SCREEN diva, Dakore Egbuson, and popular Nollywood actor, Femi Durojaiye, were a year older recently. While Femi, who just returned from a film shoot in London decided on a low key party, the actress and band leader reportedly held a lavish ball room party to commemorate the day. We gathered that there were lots to eat and drink and to take away too at Dakore’s commemoration. We asked if prayers were said for Dakore during and or after the party and the waka pass said he was not sure. Oh well, the waka pass said he was sure that if prayers were said, one of the prayer point would probably be for God to make the next ball room commemoration happen in the home of her long standing ‘Mr. Right’— he means the son of one of Nigeria’s richest men. Meaning, that there will be much to take home from a ball room commemoration held in the home of the son of a billionaire ‘married’ (na the waka pass wish be dat ooo) to a top rated actress. Our comment, abi? Dis na longer throat induced prayer point.

Mercy Johnson returns
STAR actress, Mercy Johnson, showed up in Lagos last week after months of disappearing from the scene. One waka pass, who was put on her case since she became very evasive said he saw the Kogi State-born actress not once, not thrice around Omole Estate, in Ikeja, Lagos. In fact, the waka pass hinted that the actress, who deferred her undergraduate programme for roles in the movie, might have moved into the estate because of the way she drives in and out of there. The waka pass thinks she may have moved in to join her rumoured boyfriend, who is believed to be a wave making business man and car dealer. Anyway, the waka pass has asked for more time for him to be doubly sure if it is Mercy’s name or the fellow’s name that is on the receipt of the house she reportedly moved into. Till then abi? To