Gripped By Nostalgia, Macron Worships At Afrika Shrine

President Emmanuel Macron, on Tuesday night, made real his threat to visit the Afrika Shrine, Lagos, where he reunited with lovers of the afro culture.

A ‘threat’ because that might be the way his plan to visit the centre built by Femi Kuti, scion of afro beat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, first seemed to Nigeria’s political establishment whose relationship with Fela was usually problematic.  He, however, got an ally in the Lagos State Government, which has not only worked closely with the Fela family but also been part of the promotion of the afro legacy.

For the 40-year-old leader, there was the need to live his liberal destiny and fulfil a rite of nostalgia, having been a faithful of the Afrika Shrine when he worked at the French Embassy in Lagos some 17 years ago. That is why the Tuesday night party would never have ended until Macron had performed what can be regarded as a kind of ritual.

After a warm reception led by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Femi and Fela’s daughter, Yeni, as well as other dignitaries that included Prof. Wole Soyinka, and even after the welcome performance by Footprints of David, Macron requested a break for him to go upstairs and behold the entire shrine from the top.

The  long walk to the apex of the arena further removed the myths of offialdom that often surrounds such leaders, as all classes of people joined him, alongside Ambode, with some pausing to take selfies with their dear Macron.  The journey back to the high table was equally adventurous.

For Ambode, it was a night to ask everybody to say, ‘Yeye,’ being the slang expression with which Fela used to tickle his fans. The governor described the Afrika Shrine as a centre where cultural values are exchanged in the form of entertainment. Noting that the energy that defined Lagos was not different from what was obtainable in Paris, Ambode highlighted some of the efforts that his government has made to boost the culture, tourism and entertainment sector – as reinforced by some of the documentaries shown in the course of the programme.

On the essence of Macron’s visit, the governor said, “His ascension to office is an inspiration to Nigerian youths.”

While sponsors of the event, including Ecobank and Trace, also spoke about the values of their organisations, Macron explained that he found his trip to Lagos and visit to the arena fulfilling.

During a conversation led by seasoned presenter, Kenturah King, he spoke glowingly about the shrine, although he warned that he would not be able to share all his memories, saying, “Matters of a shrine remain in the shine.”

He told his fellow afro disciples, “It’s very emotional for me to come back to Nigeria 17 years after my stay ended. I didn’t imagine I’d be back in these conditions. The Shrine is an iconic cultural hub. And I say with a lot of humility that I recognise the importance of African culture.

He urged the youths not to allow the accident of colonialism hold them back, promising that he would mobilise Europe to support Africa, with a cultural conference already initiated for 2020. He also enjoined the youth to be politically conscious, reminding them that apart from being a music icon, Fela was involved in politics because he wanted change.

He said, “Democracy is never written in advance. I am probably a good example of that.  Nobody has to decide Africa’s future. Our role is to help the new generation seize opportunities and rise to the challenge. This is what underpins a new, balanced relationship. My most important message to Africa is that the future of Africa is here in Africa.”

There is no doubt that Macron enjoyed every bit of the artistic reception accorded him. While Footprints of David, a group of mainly children cultural dancers led by Seun Awobajo, opened the show with a Sango performance. Yemi Alade also teased Macron with her energetic performance, later ushering in Femi, who gave the august visitor the afro magic he had really missed.

Yet, the event beautifully compered by star musician, Banky W, was not all about music. While Macron was ushered into an exhibition organised by Art  X, featuring Victor Ehikhamenor, Ndidi Emefiele and Tokini Peterside (top collector Prince Yemisi Shyllon and veteran artist, Nike Davies-Okudaye were also in the building), 11-year-old artist, simply identified as Kazeem, elevated an old picture of Macron into a portrait that was well celebrated. The awed President whispered some words into the boy’s ears while Ambode also gave him kudos.

Later, some of the star Thespians and film-makers also on hand to receive Macron staged a skit, with the French leader also getting a role in it.

In the Shrine were the likes of Jide Kosoko, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Chika Okpala (Zebrudaya), Joke Silva, Desmond Elliot, Angelique Kidjo , Alex Ekubo and Ramsey Nuoah, among others.

Savouring a slive of the treat, Macron said, “This is African energy. The one I discovered here in Lagos when I was 23. The one I am glad to see is still thriving several years later. The one I hope many Europeans will get to know. The one that is far from the African prejudice of misery.”

<< PUNCH.>>

Davido wins BET Award, urges Africa collaboration

Nigerian pop star Davido won Best International Act on Sunday at the BET Awards and urged greater collaborations between US and African musicians.

The BET Awards, established by Black Entertainment Television to recognize the best in African American culture, maintains an international category for black music from outside the United States.

Davido, 25, thanked his listeners in Nigeria and said that Africa as a continent “has been so blessed.”

“I’m telling you guys — come to Africa, eat the food, wear the clothes,” he told the audience full of African American A-list celebrities.

“Let’s collaborate, everybody. Let’s collaborate, man,” he said.

Davido, the US-educated son of a wealthy business mogul, is one of the leading forces in the Afrobeats movement that has swept the continent’s music scene.

Not to be confused with the funky Afrobeat of the 1970s, Afrobeats — with an “s” — brings together sounds from across the continent to create a danceable, pan-African music.

Other artists nominated for the BET international award included British rappers Stormzy, J Hus and Stefflon Don, French rappers Booba and Niska and the French-Congolese soul singer Dadju.

Other nominees were hip-hop producer Cassper Nyovest and house music innovators Distruction Boyz from South Africa along with Kinshasa-born singer and guitarist Fally Ipupa and Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage.

AFP.

<<Punch>>

Bovi, Joselyn Dumas to announce AMVCA nominees June 30

Come Saturday, June 30, Ghanaian actress and TV host, Joselyn Dumas and Nigerian comedian and actor, Bovi will announce nominees for the 2018 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs). The live broadcast holds by 7pm (WAT) on all Africa Magic channels on DStv and GOtv.

Speaking on the milestone telecast, Channel Director, Africa Magic, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, revealed that close to 3000 entries were received across the continent. She also said that the judging panel spearheaded by veteran filmmaker, Debbie Odutayo, painstakingly reviewed each of the entries to arrive at the final shortlist of nominees.

“We are honoured to showcase and celebrate the creative industry each year on the platform of the AMVCAs,” she said.

“In the past five years, we have remained steadfast in our commitment to nurture and showcase indigenous talent from across the continent. Join us on Saturday, 30 June as we reveal the nominees for the sixth edition of the Awards.”

Launched in March 2013, the AMVCAs continue to celebrate the contributions of African filmmakers, actors and technicians to the success of the continent’s film and television industry. For the 2018 edition, a number of awards will be presented in 27 categories, with seven categories open to public voting and 20 being categories to be decided by the AMVCA panel of judges.

The full list of nominees will be published on the Africa Magic website, www.africamagic.tv and social media platforms following the reveal.

<<The Nation>>

D’banj’s only child dies

One month after celebrating his first birthday, son of music star, Dapo Oyebanjo, aka D’banj, has reportedly passed.

The son, Daniel, was said to have drowned at the singer’s home in Ikoyi, Lagos.

“Trying Times. But my God is Always and Forever Faithful,” said D’banj, who used a dark image as D.P on the social media.

His wife, Lineo, was said to be at home when the incident occurred.

<<The Nation>>

I reported my neighbour for battering wife, daughter, assaulting me –Cossy Ojiakor

Busty actress, Cossy Ojiakor, recently called out her neighbour for always beating his wife and child. On that particular day, the actress stated that she saw the man beating his wife and child and she tried to intervene. According to Cossy, the man also assaulted her in the process. Giving an update of the incident to Sunday Scoop, she said, “I have gone to the police station and from there, I went to the hospital to get my injuries treated. However, his wife and daughter, who also sustained injuries, haven’t been to the police station and the hospital. I reported a case of assault at the police station and some officers followed me to his house to arrest him but he hid. He will surely be brought to book.

 

“He has been doing it for a while. I decided to speak out this time because I was personally involved. I don’t care if their marriage breaks because I went public with the information. As a concerned neighbour, I can even provide the wife accommodation. This is no longer a case of domestic violence because he also assaulted me. I have been feeling pain all over my body, even the butt that I recently spent money on.”

Disputing the claim that the woman couldn’t leave simply because she was attracted to the man’s wealth, Ojiakor said, “When they got married, they had nothing. The woman actually bought a property in her name and they now use it together. They actually worked together to get all the property they own now and I am not sure that he would release any to her. If she leaves him now, she will have to start her life from scratch and I think that is why she has been afraid to quit the marriage after giving 12 years of her life to him.

“In the Nigerian situation, it is the woman that usually suffers. I grew up in an abusive home because my father used to assault my mum; so, I know what it feels like. But he never touched us, the children. That’s why I was enraged when this man hit his daughter. I know so much about them because I was a bridesmaid at their wedding. He only had a weather-beaten Benz in those days and the vehicle even refused to start on the day of their wedding. We are good neighbours and the man is actually nice but for his terrible habit of battering his wife.”

On her intention to remain single or a baby mother, Ojiakor said, “A lot of men have proposed to me, and they had said I would have to stop posting pictures on social media or that I’d have to stop acting. Whenever I hear things like that, I run. My life is simple as a single lady; I can decide to clean my house or cook whenever I want to. However, when you marry, you basically turn to a slave.”

 

Explaining the kind of relationship she had with her dad, Cossy said, “It was a love-hate relationship. I hated him for beating my mum and I loved him for being my dad. If there were channels for me to report him back then, I would have done that.”

<<Punch>>

Buhari didn’t give me N2m, says Small Doctor

When a former Director of New Media for the Peoples Democratic Party, Deji Adeyanju, recently revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari gave some selected entertainers N2m each during a visit to Aso Rock in Abuja, it raised eyebrows.

Adeyanju had written on Twitter, “So, some youths went to Aso Rock yesterday to see Buhari and collected ‘thanks for coming’, N2m each. Very soon, they will start telling us why it is good for Buhari to continue…”

However, while speaking with Sunday Scoop, Temitope Adekunle, aka Small Doctor, said he didn’t collect such money from the President and he didn’t think any other entertainer did also. He said, “I am not aware that the President gave anyone N2m. I was only invited to Aso Rock during the Ramadan period, which I honoured. Have you asked Sound Sultan or Kunle Afolayan and they said Buhari gave us N2m each. Well, I don’t know if they gave anyone but I didn’t collect such money.”

According to him, it was like a dream come true for him to dine with the number one citizen of Nigeria. He added, “I have always worked hard and my hard work is paying off. I felt humbled and privileged meeting Mr. President. Looking at where I used to be, there has been a major turnaround in my life. Do you remember I was once a bus conductor?”

<<Daily Post>>

Yvonne Jegede challenges Atuma to name prostitutes in Nollywood

Actress, Yvonne Jegede Fawole, has joined her colleagues to slam Nollywood producer, Francis Paschal Atuma, over his statement that successful Nollywood actors are prostitutes.

Atuma earlier claimed that only those who are prostitutes make it in Nollywood as the industry is controlled by pimps. 

Reacting on her Instagram page, Yvonne challenged Atuma to an interview addressing the issue and mentioning of names.

She noted that Atuma owes actors an apology for the allegation.

She wrote: “I have a degree in minding my business online but this one I have to address but Mr @pascalatuma I believe personally you owe Nollywood producers, actresses and actors an apology for this statement for so many reasons because you don’t know all of them in the industry personally to know how they survive.

“You are my FRIEND and that makes me even more offended by this statement. If there are producers, actresses or “actors” you are referring to I will appreciate you MAN UP and mention their names in your interviews rather than generalizing everyone of us.

“This is an insult to everyone who has and is still working hard to make the industry better. If you are ready for a debate, I will personally pay you to pay for the interview on national tv, that a lot and I mean a large number of us are not prostitutes.

“In every sector (not just entertainment) we have the good; the bad and the ugly (even in advanced countries such as America And Canada where you reside).

“Nollywood has provided for so many families three square meals and helped parents send their children to schools and with due respect not a shit hole you can just spit on like this.

“I repeat if you have the names you have slept with, Biko mention their names and allow us to drink our “GARRI” in peace.We are not all Prostitutes. Count me Out.”

<<Daily Post>>

Daddy Freeze mocks pastors, Nathaniel Bassey after Super Eagles’ win

Controversial On-Air-Personality, Daddy Freeze, has taken a swipe at pastors and gospel singer, Nathaniel Bassey, after Nigeria beat Iceland 2-0 on Friday, to keep their 2018 World Cup hopes alive.

Freeze, who is notorious for criticizing religious figures, warned them not to take glory for the Super Eagles’ win.

“Dear Galaxy tither and other pastors, don’t take credit for today’s win, the man who scored both goals is a Muslim!

“Thank God they are not doing #HallelujahChallenge Nathaniel Bassey sef for claim am join.

“No be by anointing of jersey o, we no be mumu,” he tweeted after the game.

Nigeria need to avoid defeat against Argentina in their last Group D match, to qualify for the next round.

<<Daily Post>>

Fake Friend, Home Breaker: Toyin Abraham Apologies To Mercy Aigbe

Popular actress Toyin Abraham has owned up to her mistake and finally apologized to colleague and friend Mercy Aigbe, for calling her a fake friend and home breaker on social media. The ‘Alakada’ star in an Instagram post that went viral few weeks ago called the Edo actress a gossip and also accused her of having a hand in her failed marriage. However, few days later Toyin took to Instagram yet again to refute claims that she was at loggerheads with Mercy, claiming that her previous rant was a mere stunt and had no iota of truth in it. In a swift twist of event, Toyin Abraham has reached the conclusion that she went out of line with the ‘Mercy Aigbe’s blip’ as she called it. In a series of post on her Instagram page, recounting her blessings and appreciating her fans, the actress whose movie ‘The Ghost and the Tout’ recently became the highest grossing Nollywood movie of 2018, reflected on her mistake and apologized to the ‘Osas’ actress as they both followed each other on Instagram. “I am a product of grace. Even in my deepest moments of “mess-up” and deepest hole of hell, God found me and gave me a second chance and aligned my path with grace. Do I mess up sometimes? Yes. Like the Mercy Aigbe’s blip, it was an error in judgment on my part. I was wrong and way out of line, she wrote. “I’ve since reached out to Mercy and we have sorted our differences. Today, we still had cause to communicate. I am truly sorry, it is time to focus on the goal and move on to something better than the past and the present, she added.

<<vanguard>>

I’ve Proved Doubters Wrong – Peter Okoye

Peter Okoye of the former Psquare fame has said that he loves the fact that he has moved on with his career after the break-up controversy.

Mr P, as he now prefers to be called, was a recent guest on Hot 93.3 FM, on a show hosted by Sensei Uche and Misi. He spoke about his new single, ‘Ebeano‘, the possibility of a P-Square reunion and more.

Peter said he was enjoying every bit of his career after breaking up with his brother, Paul.

He said, “I left a Psquare who has almost a million subscribers on Youtube to start my own and I wasn’t afraid to start afresh. I know there’s something good out there, but I’ve moved on, and I love it, I love the energy.

“When people come to my show expecting to see Psquare, I ask myself: Am I giving them the same energy? The answer is ‘Yes, I am’. Most people that doubted me because of what has been said out there had all been proved wrong. I’m a multi-instrumentalist. I produce songs but I don’t want to brag about it. I’m a studio engineer as well, I also direct music videos but I don’t brag about these things. It is not about the money. I’m enjoying myself doing what I’m doing.”

<<PUNCH.>>