Blonde hair is trending right now, with celebrities rocking this bright hair colour to different red carpet events; it makes it a preferred hair style for many women of style.
It makes them look bold like a beautiful goddess. This hair type flatters women with fair skin complexion more but that does not mean that stylish women in darker complexion cannot partake in this trending hair style, the simple trick is to strike a balance. Blonde hair, whether it is a gift of nature or the result of colour treatments, needs more care than darker shades of hair.
In case you have coloured your hair blonde, it can easily happen that the chemical treatments leave your hair limp and dull. You can maintain the beauty of your hair colour by using products, which will not weigh down your hair yet still bring luscious shine to it.
Light-textured products with plenty of moisturising nutrients and transparent ingredients keep greyish dullness from stealing the light out of your blonde hair.
Special conditioning care products for blonde hair also contain active ingredients, which absorb the calcium and magnesium in tap water. This will leave your hair naturally shiny.
You may want to go one step farther by adding gold and silver pigments to your hair; they intensify the colour and produce appealing light reflections. The best way to get more mileage out of highlights is to ask your stylist to blur the colour in the area close to the scalp to give a softer and more natural looking grow-out instead of a hard root line.
My dad asked my brothers to stop me from auditions –LamiRose
LamiRose Alih is a Nollywood actress and a film producer, she speaks with DEBORAH OCHENI about her ready to go outfits, love for comfy wears, her preferred celebrity style, why she will not not wear clothes that reveal her nipples and lots more.
What was growing up like?
Growing up was so interesting, until things went bad for my parents that they had to relocate from Kano to the village. Things got so tough while in the village, but in all, we thank God for life. How long have you been in the entertainment industry and how did the journey start?
I have been in the industry for a while now but it wasn’t really consistent until 2017 when I decided to go fully into it. My journey started when I followed my friend to an audition and I was called to be one of the cast in the crowd scene. That was how my acting career started.
What inspired the decision to become an actress?
Well, I have always wanted to be on the screen while growing up, I admire newscasters and I love watching Stephanie Okereke and Genevieve Nnaji then. Each time I saw them on the screen I will be like, “I am going to be like this someday.”
That was what inspired me and I started working towards it. What was the experience like facing the camera for the first time? It wasn’t funny at all because I used to be a very shy person, so facing the camera was a problem.
Are your parents in support of your career?
No, they were not in support of it at first, my dad was like “when people are looking for something meaningful to do with their lives my own daughter says it’s film she wants to act”, and he will order my brothers to close-mark me from going for auditions.
Because of that, when I was filling my JAMB form I had to apply for Theatre Arts unknown to my parents instead of Law that was my dream course so that by the time I am done with school, they would accept my choice of career since that’s the course I studied in school. And behold my plan worked out well.
Which movie brought you to limelight? I would say “bride price and Asoebi girl. Be- cause it ran on Africa Magic Epic for a long time and I played a sub lead role in it.
That really made me popular.
How many movies have you featured in so far?
I have featured in over 15 movies, namely, Bride Price, The Regent King, Her Proposal, Putting Pen to Paper, Soil, A day Outside, Living in Abuja, to mention a few including my own movie “Upon a Promise” currently showing on Africa Magic Showcase and “Oge Nkpuhie coming out soon on Africa Magic Igbo. Asides acting which other business are you into? I work with the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, I also run my own business
I have a clothing line, I freelance, let’s just say I do everything thats legitimate business.
Are you a trend conformist?
No, really I wear anything that suits me, not necessarily what’s trending or in vogue. Which celebrity style do you admire most? Kimora Lee and in Nigeria I would say Mercy Aigbe. I admire their styles a lot. Is there anything you will never be caught wearing? Anything that shows nipples is a no no for me. Which is your costliest fashion possession? That should be my Herms bag. How much did you buy it? Let me not even mention the amount here, I prefer to keep the price secret.
Which is your signature perfume?
I play with all because I sell perfumes as well but my best would be Gorgio Armani for women.
The fragrance is something else. Which accessories do you live for?
I love Wristwatches and earrings a whole lot.
How do you love your hairdo?
I like hair with curls or straight and my best style is side parting, the make has to be natural for me to be able to rock.
Which footwear do you love most?
I like sneakers because I don’t joke with my comfort, I don’t compromise my comfort for fashion.
What is your ready to go outfits?
Jean, T-shirt, face-cap and sneakers but I am not a tom boy.
How comfortable do you feel in jeans and Tshirt?
I feel very comfortable because they are my favourite wears.
Which outfits take up most space in your wardrobe?
T-shirts and sneakers. What determines what you wear? I dress according to the occasion that I am going for or place.
What makes a woman well dressed?
A woman is well dressed when what she wears is not too revealing.
Who is your best designer?
Toyin Abraham “Titans’ Empire.
Do you consider any fashion items indispensable?
Shoes are not easily dispensable.
How lucrative is acting as a career in Nigeria?
Acting is a very lucrative career trust me, especially as an actor.
Would you say you are satisfied with your choice of career?
There’s nothing as fulfilling as doing what you have passion for, acting gives me peace of mind.
How would you compare Nollywood to entertainment industry in other climes?
You can’t compare our industry to, say, Hollywood for now.
But on the average we have really improved in so many areas we are a work in progress and we will surely get there How easily do you buy your fashion items in Nigeria?
Very easy, I am the type that don’t really plan shopping.
If I see anything I like either online or in a shop I will just but, it so, it’s really not difficult.
NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES NEED TO REVIEW LAW CURRICULUM –OKOROCHA
‘Nigeria is not really a democracy at the moment’
Mrs. Chinyere Okorocha has been an expert in Intellectual Property Law for 28 years. She is the current Vice Chairperson of Nigerian Bar Association Women’s Forum. She told FLORA ONWUDIWE that the reason the association was formed was because women were seen as minority. Of course, there was also the issue of gender inequality and other related matters that affect women in the society.
Could you say a few things about yourself and your journey into the Law profession? Why did I become a lawyer?
Actually, I became a lawyer because I wasn’t good in Mathematics, and secondly because my father was a lawyer. You know they say that your parents will influence you, whether consciously or unconsciously. The fact that my father was a lawyer played a huge role, even though, he never pup pressure on me. I didn’t really like Mathematics in school, so I felt I should do something in the Arts, something I was familiar with and that was Law.
Why did you choose to specialise in Intellectual Property Law?
When I started my career some 28 years ago, the law firm where I did my Law Office attachment, done when you are still a Law student, used to be called Bentley, Edu and Co and that firm specialised in Intellectual Property Law. So, when I went to that firm with everybody strolling in to do Litigation and General Practice, I had the opportunity of working with someone who was a specialist in Intellectual Property Law and it sparked my interest. Intellectual property is the leading property of the mind, things that you use your intellect to create.
It could be the name of a product or you design a solution to a problem or even as a copyright which relates to actors, singers and artistes. I find it very interesting when I am driving on the road to work and I see billboards of maybe Pepsi or Coca Cola and I know that it is a registered trademark in Nigeria or I pick up a piece of medicine to drink, it has a name and it is solving a problem. I have headache and I pick up Emzor or Paracetamol that can make me well, so I find it very interesting. So, in every area of life intellectual property is there.
The cars we drive, the names of the cars have something to do with intellectual property. All areas of life are products of Intellectual property. So, I fell in love with that area of Law.
And I decided it was something that I really wanted to know a little bit more about.
You are the Vice Chairperson of the Nigerian Bar Association Women’s Forum. What are the issues affecting women in the society that the body is making a case for?
The Nigerian Bar Association Women’s Forum was just set up, inaugurated in September; very recently. I was called upon by the President of the NBA, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN, to be the Vice Chairperson of the Women’s Forum.
Why was it necessary to have a women’s forum. In the world today, there are a lot of gender issues, gender inequality etc. There are issues that are peculiar to Nigerian women lawyers. If you go to the various areas of leadership, women are always in the minority.
There are issues to do with harassment both in the office and even in the Legal profession. In fact, at the recent NBA annual conference that held in Lagos, we had one session on sexual harassment in the workplace; the place was jam packed. People were discussing the issues, issues of intimidation, issues of discrimination, so there are peculiar issues. So, the Women’s Forum tends to focus on the solution to those types of problems, as well as personal development of women, mentorship. You find out that there are a lot of young lawyers, female lawyers, sometimes they don’t know how to dress, they don’t know how to ensure career progression, so the best way to go about it is polishing up their skills in the workplace. We therefore run programmes that will address those issues that are peculiar to female practitioners.
As an expert in Intellectual Property Law, does it mean you don’t veer into other areas of law?
A c t u – ally, as a lawyer, you can choose to be a Barrister or Solicitor. Barristers are the ones who actually go to court while solicitors deal more with commercial law. In Nigeria we have what we call a fuse bar; so once you go through the Bar school in your profession successfully, you are a Barrister and solicitor, and you can go to court or you can decide to be a commercial practitioner. Earlier on in my career, I did a lot of litigation; I went to court and handled all manner of cases.
But along the line, the more senior you get, the more you are able to choose what you like and what you don’t like. I didn’t particularly like going to court because they will alw a y s delay your cases, The Judge might not sit; you prepare your case, and the Judge will either not seat because there is no electricity in the court or he travelled or something. I did not like the unnecessary delays in the court, so Intellectual property law was a way of me pursuing a passion as well as being able to still remain a lawyer which I love. Intellectual Property Law is under Commercial Law.
It has been said that many law graduates are half-baked and not properly grounded; how do you respond to this?
I have long been an advocate that something needs to be done about the Curriculum in the University today, and I am saying this generally as an employer of labour.
When young graduates come to me with particular reference, when they come for interviews, and you give them written essays or to tell them to write about topical issues, honestly, I always find them wanting. If I give them law related questions, a lot of the time, they fall short. So, I have always been an advocate of the fact that we need to tweak the curriculum in our universities for the students studying law to have law practical base, so that by the time they go through that formal education there some skills they would pick up. I am a treasurer and a council member of one of the sessions of the NBA, that is a session on Business Law, known as NCL. Under the NCL, one of the things we try to do is develop what we call a Young Lawyers Committee.
The committee basically looks into issues affecting young lawyers and looks for capacity gaps that we, the older lawyers, can help them fill. So over the course of the year we run various programmes, training programmes, for them. We try and involve them in day to day practice. We look for those gaps in real life and see how to bridge them. But I think a wider conversation would be to have universities look at how their curriculum can be tweaked to ensure that when a student comes out as undergraduate, there is something there that can form a foundation which you can now build a good career on.
Fees at the Nigerian Law School are high and this has made it difficult for students to attend Law School and be called to bar; how you can make a case for them?
The truth of the matter is that in other to provide quality education in any country, it requires a lot of money, resources. If you were to go to a university abroad and see what they have in place for students you would marvel; so I think that I would defend the high fees. I think that it is a direct reflection of the economy but sustaining a certain level of quality of teaching in the country comes with a huge capital outlay and we’re trying to make the quality of our own law school commensurate with what is obtainable elsewhere. My advice to those who want to go to school but can’t afford it? It is a tough one, it is tough but I think I would not be an advocate of reduction of fees. I will not because I think it will have a direct impact on the quality of education that we want to achieve. But there has to be a way to mitigate it, I don’t know. And young law students who are unable to attend Law School because of high fees, what happens to them Y o u must go through the Law School before you are q u a l i – fied to be a practitioner.
A lot of lawyers aspire to be Senior Advocates of Nigeria, what are the selection processes?
M a n y years ago, it was felt that a special acveloping colade or recognition should be given to those who have excelled in the act of advocacy, by handling very difficult cases. And one school of thought also feels that just as you have SANs who are Barristers, who actually handle cases in court, there should be a parallel accolade given to senior Commercial Lawyers, who are also doing some groundbreaking issues of law and setting precedents and standards. I choose not to get into that argument, but I give respect where respect is due because to be a SAN in Nigeria is not a little thing.
You know there is a lot of hierarchy in law, so we give them the respect due to them. But I wouldn’t mind that they also have discussion which also recognises senior commercial lawyers who have excelled in various specific areas of the law; let there be also some sort of recognition for them too.
Many court orders have not been obeyed by government, is this in the interest of Nigerian democracy?
The bedrock of any society is obeying the Rule of Law. And it is very sad that a lot of the time when you go through the rigours of getting your case through in court and coming out successful, sometimes the rulings are thwarted. I think that it is really part of the process of a society t h a t i s developing.
You know that the law in Nigeria as it is today developed from what we called Common Law. Common Law is basically the law that was started by the British when they colonized us many years ago and so their own society has evolved to a stage where the Rule of Law is obeyed.
But in Nigeria we are not yet there. So these are some of the issues that we raised, that we discussed at the NBA annual conference; there was a whole session where we dealt with the issues which revealed to us that the Rule of Law is not respected. Somehow, I feel that in Nigeria, even though they say we are in democracy, we are not really a democracy, because anybody who is in government almost always has the final say. But as lawyers there will be discussions that we will continue to engage in and we will continue to fight for the Rule of Law to stand. If a judgement has been made against you, there is a process in place for you to go and seek redress, you have the Court of Appeal, you also have the Supreme Court where you can seek redress.
The Judiciary which is the last hope of the common man has been hijacked; where do you think the common man can get justice in this country?
There will always be an opportunity for the common man to get justice. It then means justice delayed is not justice denied. My advice would be that you should continue to stand up for what is right, you continue to advocate for what is right; it is important for the common man. Sometimes, when you are going on a journey alone it can be a very lonely place but if you pull together and have one voice, there will be more of an opportunityfor you to be heard. I really believe that if we form a group, that is involved in advocacy in other to stand for what is right; we will go a long way in ensuring that.
Ii is said you can’t talk about IP law without talking about Chinyere Okorocha. You have put in 28 years in this aspect of Law and what you profess is that the original owners of any creative work need to be legally conscious whenever people infringe on their property.
What has the IP group done to make it known to the common man who is ignorant of the cause you are championing. In terms of being an expert in IP law, there are also other experts in Nigeria who are involved in Intellectual Property law. I wouldn’t want to call it novel aspect of the law, in fact, it is well known on the list of the allocation of the courts in the specific practice areas IP law has been recognized. And there are certain courts in Nigeria that specialize in dealing with the commercial issues that arise from intellectual property infringement.
For about Seven years, I was the chairperson of the IP community of NBA session of Business Law. One of the things we tried to do at that time was to run various programmes and had yearly programme sensitizing people on importance of IP Law. Yes it is true, a lot of people don’t know how to go about it, they don’t even know it exists, they don’t know that the property of the mind can be perfected. So, for the seven years period I held that office, we ran sensitisation programmes.
We partnered with the government, partnered with the USA, UN and various organisations to try and sensitise people. We also had programme with the Nigerian Copyright Commission, the trademark and design registry in Abuja, which is where one aspect of the IP trademarks are registered, and at the end of the day, I think we made a lasting impact. And it is maybe two or three years ago I handed over to someone else. So behind-the-scenes we are working, I am also part of the discussion to create IP policy for Nigeria.
You know in the international circle they value IP more than we do in Nigeria; creativity is the bedrock of any society, if people stop creating, then they die. In a society like Nigeria, the focus is on oil and anything that has nothing to do with the oil industry does not get the recognition it deserves.
I am also involved in a bill before the National Assembly to update the IP Law particularly the trademark act. Unfortunately, our laws are very archaic and outdated, our trademark act is a replica of maybe 1939 act of the UK. Throughout my career I was among the people advocating for a change and improvement in our laws that allow us to practice IP in line with the international best practices. I think it is an ongoing thing, the little I have done has made some impact; we are hopeful that in the future we will be able to say that we have made a very robust IP policy for the country which is publicised and the public is sensitised and everybody knows what their rights are.
You said parents usually influence their children in choosing careers.
Did your father make any input in your choice of career? Just the other day in my house, I was going through some clothes and I found his wig and gown, and it brought tears to my eyes.
My father, Eugene Aligweke, is late and I found his wig and gown. When my elder brother was sorting out some of my dad’s things, he thought that since I am the only lawyer in father’s family I should have the wig and gown.
He gave them to me and you know that is what lawyers wear in court. So, I found them in my house the other day and it brought tears to my eyes. I loved my father and I know he loved me too. He had a great influence in my life, he was such an upright man, and he believed in honesty. He had integrity. We didn’t have money when we were growing up but we had love, we had the fear of God, and those were the types of value we had growing up. In everything you do tell the truth, know your are valuable, know you can make a difference; these were the traits, that I think I took from him in this journey called life.
So, yes he was a huge influence to me. When I was a young lawyer, learning to become a lawyer in law school and even when I started work, I always referred to him to seek his opinions and he was always happy to provide them.
Chic bridal hairstyles
The month November is usually filled with many wedding celebrations.
If you and your spouse have concluded arrangement to celebrate your day anytime from now then you don’t need to settle for basics when it comes to your hairdo because you will be the centre of atten- tion and many of your invited guests will be interested in your hairstyle, so ensure you do something out of usual.
Classic up-do bridal hairstyle is too boring for modern brides, whether you’re getting married or acting as a bridesmaid at a wedding this month, Saturday Telegraph has got some per- fect wedding hairstyles for you to choose from so that looking back on wedding photographs in the distant future does not make you cringe.
A woman’s hair is her crown and beauty –Hair boss
Linda Akachukwu Paul porpularly known as Hair Prof is the CEO of PDF Hair and Accessories; she spoke with DEBORAH OCHENI about her fashion philosophy, how making customers friends has helped in improving her sales, the lucrative nature of hair business in Nigeria and sundry issues
What is your personal style?
I love to keep it simple and comfortable. I love dresses made with our local fabric popularly known as ankara. The ankara materials have very beautiful and vibrant colours. On a regular day, I love my jeans and t-shirt.
What is your take on African wears?
African attires are unique. They represent our culture and identity and to let go of them will be like discarding our own culture. It is necessary to hold on to them if we wish to preserve our traditions. If we are not going to promote our customs then nobody will, and it is likely that they will become extinct. I love wearing them. They are beautiful. Our local prints are never going to go out of style.
Tell us the trending hair style
Anything wig is a hot deal now. We have varieties of them. Braided wigs, Human hair wigs, Synthetic and others. A lot of people go for wigs now because of its convenience
Why should style lovers invest in quality hair?
Anything quality stands the test of time. It saves cost because it is reusable. You can always revamp a good hair to create different styles.
Do you consider any fashion item indispensable?
For me, my hair extensions are indispensable.
While shopping, which fashion item catches your fancy?
I can’t take my eyes off a good hair, wristwatch and handbag.
Which fashion accessory do you live for?
Human Hair extensions. A woman’s hair is her crown and beauty.
Do you conform to trend? Which fashion trends do you love most?
I don’t follow trends. I create my style and it doesn’t have to be expensive or in vogue as long as I’m comfortable in them. That way I stand out. I love long dresses and I create the perfect style for my body. I love the way our Nigerian designers have taken our local ankara fabric to another level. Creating different and unique styles with them. With what is obtainable here now, you don’t even need the so-called designers to look great
Fashion wise, do you have a role model?
No. I don’t have a fashion role model.
Is there anything you’re unlikely to be caught wearing?
I admire and respect people who dress decently. You are never going to see me wear any- thing revealing, waist beads and ankle chain. I equally will not have a tattoo or pierce my body.
What is your ready to go outfits?
A pair of jeans and t-shirt
When it comes to fashion, would you say your physique works for you?
Yes it does. And that’s why I like to create my style and what suits me. You can’t be a plus size and go for a crop top or body con dress.
Which outfits take up most space in your wardrobe?
Jeans, t-shirts, blouses and long dresses. I feel comfortable in them. They occupy 80% of my wardrobe.
What is your costliest fashion possession?
How much did you get it? My gold jewellery. I love them because they appreciate in value. They are gifts from my husband on different occasions. I don’t know how much it cost him. But, going by the weight and market value of gold, I know they are costly.
How do you love your shoes?
I wear high heel shoes. Be it sandals or slippers, I love them with heels. I walk comfortably in them. I also wear flat occasionally like my sneakers. It all depends on my outfit for the day.
What determine what you wear?
It could be the occasion or activities I have for the day, weather or just my mood.
What do you think of modern designers?
The fashion industry is becoming saturated with lots of young modern designers. Their creativity is phenomenal. I follow a lot of them on Instagram and I’m happy to see young people carve a niche in the fashion industry successfully by their unique styles and designs.
Do you have a signature perfume?
I wear a combination of “Sì” by Giorgio Armani and “Lady Million” by Pacorabanne.
How do you love your hairdo and make-up.?
I love my makeup subtle. I freestyle my hair. I could just let it fall on my shoulders or pull it all back.
What was growing up like?
I grew up in Enugu with my siblings. I’m the second child and the first daughter of my parents. My parents are disciplinarians who wouldn’t spare the rod and spoil the child. As a teenager I enjoyed working in my father’s printing press when I’m home for holidays. He treated me like one of his employees and that made me responsible and hardworking. My mum multitasked as a university lecturer, hair dresser and baker. I guess her hair dressing trait rubbed off on me. I’ll say growing up was fun with lots of beautiful childhood memories
How lucrative is hair business and the level of patronage in Nigeria as compared to foreign countries?
Hair business is a viable and lucrative business in Nigeria. Most women today take extra measure to look good and are willing to spend even their last money to achieve this. One of the elements of a woman’s beauty is her hair. To achieve good looks, women make their hair with all types of hair extension and they do it almost every week. The demand for hair extension in the Nigerian markets is sky-rocketing every day.
Hair business in Nigeria most especially Lagos seems saturated, how do you intend to keep afloat?
Integrity is key in every business; I don’t compromise on quality while ensuring I give reasonable price. I make my customers loyal by giving incentives on products purchased. These sometimes come as gifts or huge discounts on products bought depending on the quantity. I recently started something I call “Pdf Bomb Sales”. During the sales period, customers get the opportunity to buy hairs at wholesale prices no matter the quantity. We have done two of the sales this year and will be rounding up the year with the “Mega Xmas Bomb Sales” coming up on the 23rd of November. I go beyond the business transaction to build a relationship with my customers. In that regard a lot of my customers have over time become great friends.
Who are your popular clients?
They are mostly my followers on social media. Students, working class ladies and boss ladies.
Would you say you are satisfied with your choice of business?
Very satisfied. I love what I do. I love working on hairs – colouring, styling, making wigs etc.
What is the major challenge boss ladies face?
Boss ladies work round the clock to remain on top. Also having to balance work and home for married ladies.
What is your advice to those who wish to attain the height that you are now?
Never give up and be passionate about what you do. There may be tough times, but the difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds.
An exc ursion to Radio Nigeria as a pupil made me love broadc asting –Emmanuel- Ojo
A broadcast journalist who studied English and Literary Studies at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ayo’ Emmanuel-Ojo is popular for his radio programme and podcast, People, Places and Culture, which interrogates global tourism and cultural systems by looking at the happenings that define tourism in Africa. In this interview with ADEDAYO ODULAJA, Emmanuel-Ojo, a golden star award recipient from a youth-based organisation in Houston Texas, United States, talks about his experience as an OAP, running Greenspirit Media and hosting one of the most listened-to shows on tourism and cultural programmes in the Diaspora.
How difficult do you consider being able to carve a niche for oneself as an OAP based on your own experience?
This is a big question. To the glory of God, I have worked on both radio and television. Although I am fully on radio now.
Carving a niche for yourself is not easy, knowing full well that everyone wants to do entertainment but passion is the key. I grew up in an art family. My dad took me round and showed me places.
This, to a very large extent, made me develop a strong passion for art, culture, tourism and politics. With this, I find my strength in art, lifestyle and politics. Although as a young broadcaster, you have to be very versatile but knowing your area of strength is key. With this in mind, getting a stand in the industry was not difficult at all.
What is your journey like and why did you choose to be an OAP?
This is a very long story.
The love for broadcasting/journalism started when I was in primary school. I remember my primary school, ATMA-D Nursery and Primary School, now known as West Prime Model School in Bodija area of Ibadan, took us to Radio Nigeria, Ibadan, for an excursion. Stepping into that premises then, something clicked and I just love the profession.
At that level, I had the privilege of meeting the Voice-Over actor of Living Spring Chapel then in the studio. He spoke to me as a child and his words are still clear in my head even though I cannot remember his name now.
Growing up, things just fell in place. I later discovered my talent in voice acting and content creation, interestingly, radio embraced me before TV. I am a graduate of English and Literary studies from the prestigious Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State. I have worked as a script writer, voice actor, a content producer, an event compere, a lover of children and a serial entrepreneur and currently work with Wellsradio, Nigeria’s fastest growing online radio.
Could you still cast you mind back to some of the challenges you faced in the process of becoming an OAP? Challenges are everywhere and I must say mine aren’t an exception. I started out as an intern, which really helped me.
But I must also mention that access to the microphone was the challenge initially. I later realised that it is one of those things you have to face to get to the top. How were you able to overcome this? One of the greatest gifts of God to me are my parents. Growing up, my dad used to tell me not to despise the days of little beginnings.
I didn’t stop pushing, even when the opportunities were not forthcoming, I kept on reading and retraining myself, aside from that, I had mentors in the industry who I look up to. Their stories inspire me a lot and with these in mind, together with my drive and passion, it was always a matter of time.
If you had your mind set on broadcasting since primary school, why did you choose to study English and not Mass-communication?
In fact, I wanted to study Law and not English Language. Although I have always loved the media.
For your information, I had my first shot at radio right after secondary school. So, I know that the media has something for me but still I had my eyes on studying law.
As God would have it, I was offered English Language at the Olabisi Onabanjo University but having had my first shot on radio just after secondary school meant I had senior colleagues to talk to.
They mentored me and gave me the best counsel I needed at that time.
Are there experiences you have had as an OAP that are not so good?
I have had memorable moments but I do not see them as bad, rather; I learn from them and move on. Trust me, such moments made me who I am today.
What would be your advice to people who desire to work as an OAP?
Passion, training/education and consistency are the most important ingredients they have to keep in mind all the time.
Since your passion developed through a national broadcaster, do you wish to work in any Federal broadcasting commission?
Absolutely, but of course it would have to be as a full staff this time.
That is because I had a short time with Bronze FM in the Aduwawa area of Benin City and I loved it.
Which other course could you have studied apart from Law or English/Mass Communication?
There was no other course that would allow me exhibit my love and passion. Law might have to a certain extent but I do not regret studying English language at all. Trust me when I say that I cannot imagine myself studying something else.
Although I still have my eyes on the legal profession.
So can we then say that is a future goal, which others do you have?
The future is now and I have started living it. Watch out for my talk show on YouTube and directto- home TV. It is going to be a big project, there are other productions coming up but for some reasons, I cannot let them out yet. You just have to watch out via my social media platforms.
What would you say you have contributed to the industry and on which you hope to do more?
Sound Character is one of my core values. I tell people the media has a lot to do in this area. One of these contributions is through my talk show programs: Stigma2Stardom with Ayo and Gender World on Wellsradio.
With these platforms, my contributions are not just for the industry but for the society at large.
Amebo, Garuba, Okoro, others to celebrate Villag e Headmaster at 50 –Prince Dag bolu
Mr. Dan Imoudu popularly known as Prince Dagbolu in the rested NTA’s foremost longest drama series Village Headmaster (VHM). He told FLORA ONWUDIWE that NTA, the mother that brought the people together in the late 60s would be celebrating the surviving legends of the TV drama series in October
We learnt that the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) would be celebrating Village Headmaster at 50, how prepared are you for the anniversary?
The anniversary is starting on the October 8, with a talk show, and we are inviting well known veterans in the industries to discuss past, present and the future, because that is what the Village Headmaster is all about. And there will be a live stage performance of the surviving cast of VHM and there will be a Gala nite, in which funds will be raised to launch a foundation.
The cast of the Village Headmaster Family (VHMF) will launch a foundation that will take care of the old ones in the entertainment industry. The VHM was said to have started in October 1968, why is the celebration coming now, when it ought to have taken place last year? Yes, the VHM is a household name.
We intended celebrating it last year but for forces beyond our control, we could not get it done, we felt that it has to be celebrated, so the change of one year, I think there is nothing bad, the most important thing is that we are celebrating Village Headmaster.
You are one of the surviving legends of VHM, what does the celebration mean to the surviving cast?
It means a lot because VHM is unlike other programmes.
It is a family and we had so much rapport and we had so many things we were doing for one another, apart from acting together and we were all there for ourselves.
We discovered that the VHM was unique itself, because everybody rose from the root to ranks to where he or she rose to at that time. Could you believe that somebody like Chief Eleyimi( the late Oba Funso Adeolu of Ode Remo) was once a carpenter in Oja Community, so everybody has to go through different steps .
Like I started with a minor (waka pass) next was crowd , I also became a policeman, the palmwine tapper before I was given the role of Prince Dagbolu, that people later came to identify me with, so it was more or less like a training school.
We‘ve had other drama series that hit the nation’s airwaves; and there has not been so much a noise, is it really worth celebrating, what makes VHM so special ?
It’s being celebrated because of the year’s it lasted, it was over 25 years. If it were to be in other countries, there should have been repeat broadcast of the programme.
VHM has its own cultural teachings, which is not reflected in most of the dramas on the airwaves. I will cite an instance; the Amebo’s Bar was more or less like a gossip centre. In a normal a village setting, you will find out that many of our children of this generation have not seen Calabash nor seen a local bar.
So these are things that make it unique, we felt all these things should be there, before we now, go back to our roots, most of the programmes that our children watched on the TV are only imitating the foreigners, there is no way you can play an English drama like an English man, it is not possible, you can’t do an African drama like a normal African man.
We learnt that the management of NTA is partnering with the cast and crew for the anniversary, what are we expecting from them?
The celebration was first mooted by the living cast, but we felt because NTA was the mother body that brought us together then we had to go to NTA to get the station informed. Surprisingly, they bought the idea and they are playing the principal partners and since they are major partners they fully prepared, right now they are taking most of the responsibilities and everything we are doing, we have agreed on so many things concerning the celebration and NTA is fully prepared to celebrate the cast and crew.
We are aware that the majority of the cast had died; could you name some of the surviving cast that your fans would be meeting during the events? The fans will meet Mrs Ibidun Allison(Amebo), Dan Imoudu(Chief Dagbolu), Jimi Johnson(Okoro), Eleyemi’s wife (Mrs. Dupe Onabanjo-Obazee, Melville Obriangho (Oghene), Asuquo Ukwak (Boniface), Dele Osawe(Teacher Fadele), amongst o thers.
We discovered that most drama series that had hit the airwaves do not take cognizance of the Cultural values, could you tell us if VHM portrays some of these values?
Yes, it was in that direction but at a time, the programme deviated from the original concept, it was getting us what was going on in the country thereby losing the cultural values, perhaps, it could have been part of it; the scripts were not as strong as it were before, it deviated from the original concept. So what led to its losing its original focus? A lot of politics were involved in it, and NTA cannot exonerate itself from some of problems we were having them.
The New Village headmaster was political. After this golden Jubilee, are we expecting the programme to come back on the airwaves?
Well, that depends on NTA, we are just celebrating ourselves. So, if NTA wants to bring it back, it is left for the station.
It was reported that at the early stage of the drama series, the characters were from different tribes across the country and it reflected in their roles, that was a signal of a united nation.
Now, if NTA brings it back, are we going to expect that unity especially now that the country is going berserk?
If it retains the original concept, yes,it will promote the unity of this country, because the characters come from different tribes, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa and other tribes, you discovered that the characteristics of these characters are being portrayed in this programme, of course they will know that if the cast can exist together in that Oja Village, there is no reason why they cannot exist together outside the drama.
It can be integrated into the larger society. Some things happen in the society and when we interprete them in the script, the viewers will know. In one of the series in The New Village headmaster, the headmaster’s wife comes from the North and headmaster is not an Hausa, so it means that inter-tribal marriage can be encouraged and we can live in harmony.
You said that it could bring us together but sometimes it lampoons on some institutions in the society, how do you explain that? That makes it a complete programme, it tells us you what is happening in the society, it criticises some of the things that have to be criticised and it promotes what should be promoted.
Like there are some burning issues, like the RUGA settlement and kidnapping, the VHM will portray it in a dramatic form and how it will be resolved. Why is Village Headmaster family launching a foundation? The family is launching a foundation because this was a programme that started 50 years ago and some of us were on it for over 25 years, some of the cast are between the ages of 50-above and some are getting close to 80years. Again, some of the cast died in a pitiable state and nobody was there to help them.
The government cannot do everything, so the idea is that we should be our brother’s keeper and one of the greatest things in the Bible is that, “Love your neighbour as thy self” if you cannot love your neigbour why do you pray to God? For instance, somebody like Joe Layode(Teacher Garuba), he died wretchedly. It was very annoying, And some of the cast are ill now, and we have to assist them. Are you saying that the Foundation would not be strictly for the cast of VHM or the gestures will be extended to other people? The foundation is not to cater for the cast of VHM alone and other colleagues in the entertainment industry. Some of the patrons are well known in the society and accountability is the key word.
Every kobo spent would be accounted for. With God on our side, we will get there,The Village headmaster gave birth to Nollywood, whether, we like it or not. Yes, no matter small at least we will give them our widow’s mite. Some groups had established foundations and ended up stealing the money meant for the project, how will this foundation be different from such foundations? This is where I said the issue of accountability comes in.
Would you say somebody like Amebo and Bayo Awala one of the producers/directors of VHM, now a Reverend, that are involved will allow such thing to happen?
They are above money, these are the people that are involved in it, so there must be accountability, it is going to have a full fledge office with its own staff. Every year, we will publish our accounts. You said that the choice is NTA, if the programme must come back, how would the characters that played roles that pleased their fans, how would you get people to play the exact roles that made some fans became addicted to the programme? Along the line, there were people growing with us.
Such people are now being trained for each role, so that if a particular character does not come, someone else will step in to play the role. So look at the years now, some of those actors that were there are overdue for chieftaincy titles to be in the palace. Someone like Doyin (Lara Akinsola) had three children for Teacher Garuba) so we must see Doyin with those kids now, it is a moving story. Part of the cast will be embedded with the old cast.
GOING BACK TO BARIGA AFTER 30 YEARS WAS EMOTIONALLY DRAINING
‘I want Germans to see us as educated people, not scammers, prostitutes’
Mrs. Mary Bamigbe Bruder, a Nigerian based in Berlin, Germany and president of Bruderhilfe (Brotherly Help) Social Development Initiative Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Germany, with a mandate to transform lives and communities around Nigeria, is quietly traversing the nation bringing succour to the neglected and ‘wretched of the earth.’ ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA spoke with the mother of two, who is determined to rewrite the sordid narratives of Nigerians living in Germany and other parts of Europe, on her life’s trajectory
With about 30 years in Germany, where she has been exposed to the best that life has to offer, Mrs. Mary Bamigbe Bruder, is the most unlikely person to be seen with the underpriviledged, exposing herself and even those around her to the dangers and mudslinging that come with such a territory, but for her avowed passion to add value to peoples’ lives and her world. Raised in Ilaje, Bariga area of Lagos State, one of the backwaters and vices infested communities in the state, she rose from the ashes of deprivation to attend Gbagada Girls Secondary School and University of Lagos, Akoka, a neighbouring community, where she bagged a Bachelor degree in Political Science.
Shortly after her graduation, she decided she has had enough of her father’s land and departed for Berlin, Germany, in 1989, to start afresh. While at it, she went through all sorts, including abuse and physical torture, but she was not deterred as she stayed on course and today she has risen from the ashes to become a successful businesswoman and a philanthropist extraordinary.
She is actually a household name in Berlin and most parts of Germany and Europe as no one encounters her without having a good impression of her, this writer inconclusive. Bruder is actively involved with the Nigerian Organisation in Diaspora (NIDO) Germany and is currently the treasurer of the body, where she has made valuable contributions. Her humanity and devotion to the welfare of people that come in contact with her even when it is not convenient and safe to do so is inspiring.
Extending a helping hand is second nature to her
Extending a helping hand to people that come across her, is almost second to nature to her, she says as she opens a window to her world: ‘‘I have been in Germany now for about 30 years and I am into business, shipping, logistics and procurement. I am the managing director of PPSS International GmbH, a shipping, procurement and logistics company in Berlin, Germany.
‘‘My business has been very successful, all my years in Germany have been devoted to charity work,’’ she says, stressing that: ‘‘I was not actually ready to make it an official preoccupation by registering an NGO I created for that purpose because I was not emotionally ready to go into it full time. The road to formalising her charity work, she discloses started about two years ago when she took steps to put a structure and a name to it.
‘‘But I started in June 2017 as I then decided that I was ready emotionally, and financially to register it. It was then that I decided to register it in Nigeria.’’
Inspiration for setting up the NGO
‘‘What inspired me was my life story and that of my family as we all came out of charity. A family charity of some sort,’’ she says as she goes on to narrate her dramatic life story, which today she speaks openly about unashamedly in order to inspire children and youths that have become part of her world. Her parents, siblings and herself where pepped up in life by the singular act of devotion to family creed by her father’s elder brother who threw a life line to the father when he brought him to Lagos and started him off.
She picks up the narration: ‘‘He brought him to Lagos and empowered him to start a business. He also gave him a plot of land in Ilaje, Bariga. Not only giving him a plot of land but he helped him to design a three – bedroom flat. So from childhood, we lived in Ilaje, Bariga, a poor neighourhood.
‘‘Because of that singular act we were able to live well and get education even though my parents were uneducated, all my siblings are graduates. But then I didn’t quite appreciate what my uncle did for us but growing up I began to appreciate what he did and also questioned myself if I could be able to replicate such an act.’’
Having drank from the milk of kindness of her uncle, it wasn’t difficult for her to also give back as she tells you that: ‘‘All my life in Germany, I have always been of help to Nigerians and other nationals. My office is like a refuge for them, I love my country, I love to help people and I love to promote my country. ‘‘Anybody that is looking for accommodation, work, welfare or whatever it is, my office is opened to them. Even those that are in distress and at the point of committing suicide, I come to their aid and once they see me they open up to me and I counsel them.
‘‘Immediately, I take them home, clothe them, give them food and a place to stay. The females live with me in my apartment while the males live in my office. All of them are success stories today and most of them are German citizens now. ‘‘I tell them my story for them to know that I started from zero level just like most of them and getting to the place I am today is only by the grace of God.
‘‘I know that I have a divine calling or mandate to help people because when someone in need comes to me I don’t have peace of mind until I am able to render assistance to such a person. I don’t know how I am able to do that but that is just me because I will never have peace until I am able to solve your problem. ‘‘This is my kind of life and now I decided to take it further by formalising it. It is this that gave birth to the NGO that I am now running.
Suffered from bad relationship and abuse
Life for her, has not been all sunshine, as she confesses to have suffered all sorts of pains, including abuse and bad relationship: ‘‘I have also suffered bad relationship, abuse and so many negative things, but God helped me out of them. So I can talk about life and I believe that I have a lot of experiences to share with people.
Areas of influence
The basic focus of her NGO is in the areas of education, health, empowerment and water aid. She has traversed different communities within Nigeria, setting up outreaches in such places as Ilaje, Bariga, Badagry, Agege and Ajegunle in Mile 12 area of Lagos where she runs a community centre in a property owned by her and she plans to adopt the community as a model community.
Also, her imprints are in Ife, Osun State and Abeokuta, Ogun State, among others. Just recently she added Borno State to her unending list of beneficiaries when she donated over 100 wheelchairs to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps through the state emergency agency in collaboration with the Nigerian embassy in Germany. She also has a volunteer group, which is made of youths under her watch in different communities. This crop of volunteers forms the vanguard for her outreaches to different communities in the country. Part of her commitment is to expose Nigerians to educational opportunities Germany. To this end, she has offered scholarship to two indigents Nigerian students who are studying in German universities, with plan being concluded for the third student to join the duo anytime soon.
I am a success story from Ilaje, Bariga
Speaking with her, you get a sense of unalloyed devotion to her community, Ilaje, Bariga, which she is helping to transform into a better and improved enclave. She sees your background as not being a hindrance to you becoming a success in life, using herself as a preachment to her community because by her admission, she is a success story from the deprived community ‘‘I am a success story from Ilaje, Bariga and I tell them that they don’t have any choice not to do well in life. Your background is not an excuse. I don’t your children to continue like this, let stop now and plan for our future generations.
‘‘We love this community, this is my community, my Ilaje, Bariga, I am so proud that I am a success story from this community and I want other youths and children to also be a success story from their communities. ‘‘We want to empower youths, we want to enlighten them, we want to discuss with them one on one, and we want them to see that better things are in stock for them. ‘‘Because I am coming from that background I can relate with them and talk authoritatively to them. They can understand and relate to my story because some of the people knew me in the area when I was growing up. ‘
‘We want to empower the women, organise them into smaller groups, offer them loans for their businesses. I am working with the office of the vice president (Yemi Osinbajo) on this. I am targeting the Tradermoni.
Visiting Ilaje, Bariga was emotional for me
Going back to her beloved Ilaje, Bariga, was not an easy decision for her as it took the intervention of her siblings and others to get her to engage with her people in the backwaters community that is infamous for its high rate of vices. Looking back, she confesses that it was the most emotionally unnerving moment for her: ‘‘In fact, since I started my NGO visiting Ilaje, Bariga, was the most emotionally troubling for me. Everybody knows me and I told them that I couldn’t come to this area all this while because of it notoriety and the fact that they were not organsied.’’
It is energy sapping
Coming this far, she says has been energy sapping as she never imagined that it was going to be this consuming: ‘‘But it sapped a lot of my energy, it is actually now that I know what NGO really is because before I thought it was child’s play. In fact, sometimes when I get back am so tired and even fall sick.
As a true humanist and philanthropist that she is, her NGO’s a c – tivities, which in the last two y e a r s that she started has run into millions of naira, are self-funded and sustained by her. ‘‘I am not funded by anybody, no media and all what not. My idea of an NGO is to see what you can do first before you call on others.
‘‘I want to work, I want to show that this is what I can do. So that when you give me money I will not put it in my pocket. I work with volunteers, youths, after I train them I bring them in. So it is not just me alone. ‘‘I don’t want red tape and because I am using my private funds I am able to make a lot of impact in the lives of the people and communities that we work with.
We are building a crop of responsible Nigerians ‘‘Educating them, changing people’s mentality; it is not all about giving. We want to breed Nigerians that will not only think about themselves but others too. Until people realise that people are really suffering in this country this may not happen. So, we want Nigerians that will grow up with a sense of responsibility and helping others.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to help others
“If you are rich and have criminals all around you will not have peace. But when everyone is catered for, then the society will be safe. That is the kind of NGO that we are creating. I want to show Nigerians that you don’t have to be a millionaire before you can render help, I just want people to see that one single individual can bring about change. I am not a millionaire, but I just want to do it so that people can see us and join us.’’
Making a model community out of Ajegunle As part of her long term plan, she has adopted Ajegunle community, where she presently owns a community centre. She discloses that she plans to attract a German organisation to install solar power in the centre and the entire community.
Besides, ‘‘I want a community carved out of the place, I am really working on the children now since they have confidence in us that we care for them. ‘‘I really want to build a model community there that the government and other organisations can emulate or replicate elsewhere. We have adopted the community because we want to transform it. We want to educate the children and empower the women.’’
When I go to a community and see people exhibiting selfish tendencies, just one family carting away everything meant for the people or the leader of the community insisting that the materials should be brought to him. That is very disappointing, I experienced that in Ilaje, Bariga and one other place where only one person wanted to take everything for himself.
Some of the community leaders have been cooperative while others are not, feeling threatened that we are coming to expose their communities and their shortfalls. This too is very disappointing because I expect them to come to us and embrace what we are doing because of its positive influence on their people and communities. But we would not allow such attitude and behaviour to discourage us because the people are really cooperative and most times they will even tell us that their leaders would not come and that we should just go ahead with our activities.
I want more Nigerians to access German education
I want to see more Nigerians access German education because nationals from other African countries are taking advantage of it and benefiting from it because they understand how the system works but Nigerians don’t.
I want to change the narrative of Nigerians in Germany
I want an organsied Nigerian community in Germany. I want to change the story of Nigerians in Germany, I want the Germans to see our next generation of Nigerians as people of great potential, educated and exposed and not scammers or prostitutes. I am collating all Nigerian experts and scholars in different fields in Germany who are well respected by the German government and working for the government. I want to create a link between them and Nigerian government because these are people that can use their influence and wealth of experience to assist Nigeria. I have discussed this with the Nigerian ambassador in Germany and the vice president too and they are both very excited about it. So, I am working assiduously to execute this project.
I know most of these people and they respect me because they know that I have passion for education and for Nigeria. But the problem that some of them are running away from is the protocol in accessing the Nigerian government and they don’t want that because here they have free access to the German government and are well respected by the government and consulted. I have discussed with most of them to let them know that their country, Nigeria, needs them. They listen to me when I discuss some of these issues with them and are willing to really buy into the project and be part of it.
Sani Muazu: I enjoy bad guy roles because they’re opposite my personality
Fresh from his roles in two of the biggest Nollywood movies in recent times, Lion Heart and King Of Boys, Sani Mu’azu, an actor, producer and director, raised the stakes further with his impressive role as a politician in Ishaya Bako’s recently-premiered 4th Republic. In this interview with ADEDAYO ODULAJA, the graduate of Mass Communication and leading light in Kannywood, spoke about Nollywood potential separating fiction from reality regarding leadership roles for women among others.
Which would you refer to as milestones for MOPPAN that you have been involved in as a former president of the association?
I am fulfilled as a former president of MOPPAN because I have raised the bar very high. I organised nothing less than 13 training programmes in partnership with credit worthy organizations such as the British Council, Goethe Institut, American Embassy and the Audio Visual department of the French Embassy. Hundreds of people gained skills in acting, cinematography, sound engineering and design, editing and scriptwriting. I was also successful in exposing filmmakers from the northern part of Nigeria to integrate into the larger industry by participation in festivals and awards. I was responsible for getting MOPPAN registered with the CAC and as a member of its board of trustees, I am really glad that there is continuity from where we stopped.
So what are some of the dreams you have for the movie industry as a whole and how best do you think some of the fiercest challenges can be overcomed?
Dreams? Well, African stories are gradually taking center stage, as we have seen with Black Panther. The world wants to see and appreciate the hidden stories that have not been told, but nobody can capture and give the authentic African narrative other than the African storyteller. I see the Nigerian movie industry playing a leading role in this. I see it as a viable industry that will attract serious investment based on its viability. I see the rise and rise of African pride and confidence from the stories being told by our movies.
There are lots of challenges alright such as funding, standards and piracy but, for once, let us not dwell on these. Let us be optimistic. The government has a great role to play for an enabling environment and I pray that the President will live up to his words and commitment to the development of the industry. He recently gave the Central Bank of Nigeria a matching order to assist with single digit facilities but it remains to be seen if this directive is not merely politicking.
Having been a part of the industry over the decades; do you feel that the industry has evolved enough over the years?
The Nigerian film industry is still in a transformation phase. It is far from where it should be but with the level of investments that are coming and the creative and technical skills that are evolving, we are definitely moving towards the right direction.
What memories does the experience of acting in 4th Republic and especially playing the villain leave you with?
It was fun working in the production, working with a team of professionals most of whom I had worked with or whose works I had admired in the past. It was a reunion of sorts with friends like Bimbo Manuel, Kate Henshaw, Linda Ejiofor, Enyinnaya and my kid brother, Yakubu Mohammed.
It was also an opportunity to get to know Ishaya (Bako), the director, a little closer and understand his work methods. I met new people too, like Ummi the Executive producer.
Given Nigeria’s setting in terms of politics, was it a bit awkward playing the role of a crooked politician?
It is always fun when I play the role of the bad guy. I enjoyed it because it is diametrically opposite my real self. I am a peace and development worker playing the role of a reckless politician who can go to any length to hang on to power.
Given the storyline and your role also, do you feel that Nigeria is ready for a female governor or president?
My role may be fictitious but Nigeria is real. It is a fast changing nation with a lot of people coming to terms with the abilities of women. There are cultures in Nigeria that look down on women okay, but it is also a nation where great women like Dora Akunyili, Okonjo Iweala, Aisha Alhassan, Kemi Adeosun and Hadiza Bala are lately making a statement and a lot of differences. Women and several civil society and NGOs are enshrining gender balance in public spaces now. It is just a matter of time before women take the lead at state and national levels.
As a man, do you feel a woman’s role is limited to certain places and not in politics?
No, I believe intrinsically in the abilities of women. I have met some women that impacted me deeply. I respect them, and my wife, who is my best friend, plays a role beyond my imagination. She has capabilities and she is an equal partner in running our home.
Part of playing the villain is that people would keep comparing your character with reality, what would you say that is different from your character and your reality?
In reality, I don’t act with people. You can easily read me even from my facial countenance, and you can say if I like something or if I don’t. I am easy going, simple and not too forward, but I can be very blunt on issues. On the other hand, the role I played is that of a double-faced politician who will be responsible for killing some people and yet appear on TV condemning the act and paying condolences to the victims’ families. That is far from me as a person.
Would you encourage a little girl to have an ambition to become the next president in Nigeria?
Of course I can encourage a competent young girl to become the next president of Nigeria. I am a proponent of the no- too-young-to-rule movement. Young people are taking over as leaders in so many countries around the world and they are doing a great job of it. It is a job, so the keyword is competence and capability, not just sentiment.
Do you consider Nigeria ready for a female president?
It is a process and I believe that Nigeria is coming to terms with change. Moving to the next level is not just a mantra, it is our new reality. Sooner than we thought.
What would prevent a woman from becoming a president in this country?
Culture and traditions. Nigeria is made up of many cultures that relegated the position of women far below that of men but these beliefs are giving way fast.
Which other projects are you involved in at the moment?
I am always busy, working. Apart from 4th Republic, there are a number of movies such as Make Room and TV serials such as Kwana Casa’in and Bilkisu that are about to make a debut. I am also a media consultant with high level organizations such as WHO which makes me travel a lot to produce documentary films. I am also trying to expand my frontiers beyond production to exhibition. When the rains come, I also do a little bit of farming.
WHAT TUFACE, EBENEZER OBEY, OLAMIDE OTHER MUSIC STARS CHARGE TO SING AT PARTIES
As a sequel to the list of some of Nigeria’s highest paid music stars published by Saturday Telegraph a few weeks ago, here’s yet another roll-call of some music superstars and a glimpse into how much it would cost to have them perform at your party. LANRE ODUKOYA reports.
One of the most revered singers of the old bloc, Evangelist Ebenezer Remilekun Aremu Olasupo Obey-Fabiyi, is a highly philosophical singer of Juju music with over 40 years of experience. With signature numbers for most of his major patrons of old, Ebenezer Obey’s name readily comes to mind when plans are in top gear for weddings, birthdays, housewarmings, anniversaries and funerals. Chief Commander, as he’s also called, went on semi-retirement to heed a spiritual call for some years. However, he’s back on the grind now catering to the needs of his fans whom he charges between N3m-N7m to perform at select shows. Ebenezer Obey like his industry friend and rival, KSA, has a long list of acolytes doing his style of Juju music, which is known as Miliki now generally spiced with gospel.
Chinedu Okoli also known as Flavour Nabania is a super talented singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has made significant impact everywhere he has performed around the world. The 37-year-old entertainer sings Igbo highlife, R&B and hip hop. He charges between N5m-N10m to perform at shows in Nigeria. But he’s abundantly loved across Africa where he is mostly engaged. Flavour charges about 120,000USD for shows across the continent which have been massive successes with venues filled to maximum capacity.
43-year-old multiple award-winning singer, Innocent Idibia, also famously referred to as 2Baba or Tuface, is an iconic singer whose music has been widely accepted across the globe. The ‘African Queen’ singer crooned the song to worldwide acclaim in 2004 as a track off his Face to Face debut album. He followed up with Grass to Grace as the sophomore and since then has been on a phenomenal rise. Tuface has no category of award yet to win in Africa, understandably so, he charges between N4m-N8m to perform at gigs in Nigeria. For concerts, he charges between N7m-N12m and between 80,000USD- 120,000USD to perform abroad.
33-year-old Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike better known by his stage name Phyno, is a rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor. Phyno is like rain that never drizzled. He took the industry by storm at a time there was never quality Igbo rap in the mix. He became to the Igbos what Olamide is to the Yoruba fans of indigenous rap. He staged one of the most attended concerts in 2016 in Igboland after attaining fame from his debut studio album, No Guts No Glory, which was released in 2014. Some of his famous singles include, Ghost Mode, Man of the Year, Parcel, Fada Fada and O Set”. He charges between N3m-N6m to perform at parties and events while his fees for concerts range between N5m to N8m.
Rapper and hip-hop singer, Olamide Adedeji a.k.a. Baddo or Baddo Sneh, prides himself as the voice of the street. His 2010 debut single, Eni Duro, was his claim to fame while still signed to Coded Tunes. He went on to found YBNL records where he released his sophomore and has been signing on artistes. With his friend and colleague, Phyno, he staged the famous concert dubbed 2Kings in 2015. Olamide’s fee is put between N3m-N6m depending on where the show is taking place. He charges a little less than 100,000USD for shows across the border. He’s also a successful record label owner whose office has produced Adekunle Gold, Lil Kesh, Young John and Pheelz.
30-year-old stage rocker, Yemi Eberechi Alade, is one artiste with intimidating stage presence whose music has impacted both Anglophone and Francophone countries of Africa. She became famous after winning Peak Talent Show in 2009 and ever since, the Johnny singer has remained the toast of R&B and Afro-pop lovers. Yemi Alade is widely travelled and she’s a holder of many awards from home and abroad. Like Flavour Nabania, Yemi Alade gets more engagement outside Nigeria and charges as high as 90,000USD. She charges between N3m-N6m to perform at shows in Nigeria.
26-year-old Augustine Miles Kelechi popularly known by his stage name, Tekno, is a singer-songwriter, producer, performer and dancer. The Pana singer, Tekno, was first signed under K-Money Entertainment. His first single titled Holiday was released under the imprint. With featured vocals from Davido, Holiday was positively accepted and gained massive airplay.
In 2012 while in Abuja, Tekno Miles was spotted by renowned Nigerian comedian Julius Agwu at an event after Tekno Miles received a standing ovation following the performance of a song titled Onye Ne Kwu, his remix of Ice Prince’s “Oleku”. It was at the same event he met Iyanya and Ubi Franklyn, the manager of Made Men Music Group wwith whom he became friends. Ubi and Iyanya eventually encouraged Tekno Miles to move to Lagos to further his music career. Though he’s currently observing a break after a medical condition that adversely affected his vocal cord, Tekno, charges between N3m-N5m to perform at shows staged in Nigeria. The vastly talented guy also charges between 80,000USD to 100,000USD to perform abroad. He overran Iyanya who was the king at Made Men Music group to become the chief cornerstone.
With the song titled Woju, Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe, formerly known as Kiss Daniel, now “Kizz Daniel” spoke and Nigeria listened. Kizz Daniel is a recording artiste, performer and entertainer best known for his chart-topping single Woju and his critically acclaimed song, Laye. Formally signed to G-Worldwide Entertainment in 2013, he left the company in November 2017 to create his own record label, Fly Boy Inc. in a very rancorous circumstance. His velvet voice, physical charm and pink lips are his endearing features. Kizz Daniel loves to perform live music to prove his mastery of the art. He believes that he can do music successfully without seeking collaboration from other artistes to remain famous. He charges between N3m- N5m to play at local gigs and charges between 70,000USD and 100,000USD to perform abroad.
TENI THE ENTERTAINER
Teniola Apata also known as Teni the Entertainer is one of the most spontaneous and real artistes this generation has discovered. Signed to Magic Fingers’ Records, since her discovery in 2016, Teni has shocked cynics by topping the charts with songs like Fargin, Case, Uyo Meyo and Askamaya. A passionately restless act in her early 20s, Teni is currently on a UK tour which she hopes to conclude in a few days. During the last Yuletide, she was so busy that sometimes she had more than five shows a day. There was no concert worth its salt that did not have Teni on its roll call of artistes. Teni currently charges between N3m-N6m to perform, her fee on international engagements is yet modestly put at between 50,000USD and 80,000USD.
Damini Ogulu, 27, known professionally as Burna Boy, is an Afro-fusion singer and songwriter who some love to call the ‘Good Bad Boy’. He rose to prominence in 2012 after releasing the lead single “Like to Party” from his debut studio album, L.I.F.E. On October 7, 2018, Burna Boy performed before a sold-out crowd at London’s O2 Academy Brixton. A day prior to the show, he held a pop-up event at Red by Little Farm and sold limited boxes of his Space Puffs cereal, as well as custom notepads, lighters and graphic tee-shirts. On October 9, the same year, Burna Boy was announced as one of Spotify’s New Afro Hub Takeover Artistes. The announcement coincided with him being named YouTube’s Artiste on the Rise for 3 months.
On January 3, 2019, he was announced alongside Mr. Eazi, as one of the artistes performing at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. He won four awards at the Soundcity MVP Awards Festival, including African Artiste of the Year, Listener’s Choice and Best Male MVP. Two months ago, Burna Boy released a collaborative 4-track EP with Los Angeles-based electronic duo DJDS, titled Steel & Copper. He’s currently a Star Lager Beer ambassador. He charges between N3m-N5m to perform in Nigeria where his fan base is on steady rise. His international fee is put between 60,000USD-80,000USD.
LightYear Entertainment unveils Indo African Peace Festival to honour iconic Gandhi
As the United Nations and the Government of India celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, an arts oriented outfit, LightYear Entertainment, in partnership with the High Commission of India in Nigeria, is staging an Indo African Peace Festival in Lagos and Abuja. The peace festival, according to organsiers, is geared towards extolling the virtues and ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, the global icon of peace and non-violent demonstration.
Speaking at a media parley in Lagos recently, Mr Ovosa Precious Oroye, chairman of Indo African Peace Festival Committee, described the Indo-African Peace Festival as an artistic but timely initiative for peace and non-violence.
Planned as a six-month festival, the event will feature screening of Gandhi: The Musical billed for August 9, Game of Peace concert, Indo African Fashion Week, Peace Exhibition, Peace March and Peace Symposium at multiple venues across Lagos.
“The festival is a major call for value reorientation in all strata of society and also to raise awareness in peace building activities and non-violence in tackling violent extremism, mental health issues, youth restiveness, drug abuse , police brutality, religious feuds , tribalism. The Ghandi musical and fashion week will engage with talented youths and the 50,000 plus Indians in Nigeria that will promote Indo-African fashion values, sculpture and paintings,” Oroye said.
An artistic performance by the LightYear Entertainment Troupe which had five artistes geared in attires depicting Fela Kuti, Moremi, Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi with the ideals of each icon depicted by an inscription was rolled out from a tissue paper as they danced to the rhythm of music, was served at the briefing.
Mr Sanjay Srivastava, president of Afro Asian Initiative For Community Development, stated that the initiative was laudable and had the strong backing of High Commission of India.
“The world has been celebrating Mahatma Gandhi as we look at his lifestyle and selflessness. Gandhi influences every sector including fashion of the Indians as his indigenous clothing proverbially weaved people into action, equal rights and non violence as a powerful means of conflict resolution. This peace festival will further preach his message as we aim to quell violence and promote peace in the society,” Sanjay stated.
Organsiers said the #IAPF seeks both technical and financial support from well-meaning Nigerians who believe in Gandhi’s ideals as Mr Azeez Oluwakayode, a board member and media director stated that the festival is being led by youths who are young professionals in their respective fields and have a serious concern for societal issues.
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