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21st Lagos Book & Art Festival to focus on freedom

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MERGE… Breaking into the NEW”, is the theme for the 2019 edition of the yearly cultural picnic, the Lagos Book & Art Festival, LABAF, scheduled to take place from 4 – 10 November, at the official home of the festival, Freedom Park, Lagos Island and other venues around the city.

 

 

Organised by the Committee for Relevant Art, CORA, this year’s edition, the 21st in the series, is dedicated to the memory of the master artist, Dr. David Herbert Dale, who passed on in the morning of Tuesday, August 6, 2019 following a protracted illness.

 

 

CORA Directorate in a statement said the choice of this year’s festival theme which is ‘EMERGE… Breaking into the NEW’, is a sequel to the themes of the past two editions of the festival: ERUPTIONS: Global Fractures and the Our Common humanity (2017) and RENEWAL: Towards a World that Works for All (2018).

 

 

“EMERGE… is premised on the notion of breaking free from the shackles of social, political, economic and cultural factors that inhibit the progress of the individual and the nation. Ostensibly, the theme will reflect on obstacles to the process of nation building, and human capital development – two concepts central to the philosophy of the Committee for Relevant Art, CORA, and, which have consistently formed the core of the objective of LABAF since its birth in 1999 to mark the return of Nigeria to democratic governance after over three decades of military regimes. The thematic thrust of the 31-odd events that will feature in the week-long festival will thus examine issues around 20 years of Nigeria’s democracy; the shifting political events and discourses around the continent; as well as development in/around global politics.”

 

 

A major feature of the festival is the “Arthouse Honourees”, a yearly conferment of Honours on select members of the culture producing community. According to CORA, the idea of the yearly conferment of Honours on select members of the culture producing community is to formally acknowledge the immense contributions of each of the honourees to the development of the creative sector; essentially to spotlight them as role models to the robust tribe of younger artists, many of who indeed owe their career and successes to the generous selfless giving(s) of the honourees’ intellectual, moral and material resources. The honour is, however, conferred on such individuals as they each attain a milestone in their lives, starting from those clocking 60s and above.

 

 

The honourees for this year are: Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka at 85, veteran musician and culture activist, Tunji Oyelana at 80. Others are those in the 60s Club, they include architect, culture activist, Theo Lawson; theatre director, scholar, Prof. Segun Ojewuyi; theatre artiste and filmmaker, Mahmood Ali-Balogun; theatre artiste and arts manager, Moji Bamtefa; arts administrator and activist, Tope Babayemi; veteran actor and acting teacher, Norbert Young; notable painter, and fine arts teacher, Prof. Jerry Buhari; arts administrator, George Ufot; actor and art activist, Edmond Enaibe; visual artist and teacher, Kunle Adeyemi.

 

 

 

The 2019 LABAF dedicated to the memory of the renowned printmaker, Dr. David Herbert Dale, who passed on in the morning of Tuesday, August 6, 2019 following a protracted illness, will also remember and celebrate the life and times of notable members of the artistic and culture community, who passed on in the course of the year. These include: Bisi Silva (art curator); Okwui Enwezor (art curator and historian); Paul Emema (Scriptwriter, Film Producer); Pius Adesanmi (culture activist and scholar); Eddie Ugbomah (filmmaker and art activist); Molara Ogundipe (Literature teacher and culture scholar); Stella Oyedepo (playwright, arts administrator); Jide Ogungbade (theatre director and broadcaster); Frank Okonta (filmmaker and art patron); Idowu Nubi (film editor).

 

 

Described as ‘Africa’s biggest cultural picnic,’ LABAF is a week-long comprehensive open-air carnivalesque ‘feast of Life and Ideas’ featuring a mix-grill of artistic and cultural events  including: exhibitions of books and arts,  live reading sessions; conversations around books; seminars on visual, performing and allied arts; displays of paintings, sculptures, mixed media, installations and crafts; children and youths art workshops; live music, poetry, drama and dance presentations among others. Preceding the last three (weekend) days of the weeklong event is a four-day Pre-Festival series of events which include a Publishers’ Forum, Writers’ workshops and Book Treks (writers’ visits to schools and engagement with pupils). Overall, it is a carnivalesque atmosphere created to make books look cool.

 

 

The Committee for Relevant Art, CORA, is a group of artistes, art enthusiasts, art promoters and art writers committed to the development of the Arts of Nigeria and their enabling environment. CORA continues to seek out, tend, groom and harvest the best of the old and emerging arts of Nigeria.

 

 

Its mission is to create an enabling environment for the flourishing of the contemporary arts of Nigeria and the continent, while its vision is to Make Art & Culture the Prime Destination for Investment in Nigeria and Africa by 2018.

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Arts & Entertainments

Zlatan to headline first concert tagged ‘Zlatan Live’ in Lagos

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Zlatan to headline first concert tagged ‘Zlatan Live’ in Lagos

By Adedayo Odulaja

Zlatan Ibile is set to headline his first concert in Lagos themed Zlatan Live at the Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos on December 18th and tickets are already on sale on Nairabox

This is going to be Zlatan’s first official concert as a headliner in the city of Lagos and it promises to be a very exciting event, with assurances from him to excite his fans and audience with his energetic Zanku moves, music collaborations and other exciting activities planned out to give fans utmost entertainment, ultimate fun and a night to remember for a long time.

The artiste has had an amazing year and it is only right to crown it all with a concert for his huge and loyal fan base.

Born Temidayo Raphael Omoniyi, Zlatan Ibile is a multitalented Nigerian performing artiste who is not only an indigenous rapper, singer and songwriter but also a great dancer that originated one of the biggest dances in Africa; ZANKU.

The creator of the well-known slang, ‘Kapaichumarimarichopaco,’ Zlatan Ibile launched his talent and started making his mark on the music industry in 2017. He is without doubt the most-desired street sensation and a great influence in the music industry as his talent and exclusive sounds have propelled him to the top, helping him gain recognition home and abroad.

His songs – singles and collaborations – continue to top various charts, with close 3 million active followers across his social media networks.

Achievas Entertainment, one of the biggest show promoters in Nigeria with a history of delivering the best events & experience will be promoting the event in collaboration with Zlatan’s Alleluyah Boyz Entertainment and music lovers are assured of a one-of-a-kind experience with maximum entertainment and assured security at every point during the event.

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Arts & Entertainments

Zlatan to headline first concert tagged ‘Zlatan Live’ in Lagos

Published

on

Zlatan to headline first concert tagged ‘Zlatan Live’ in Lagos

By Adedayo Odulaja

Zlatan Ibile is set to headline his first concert in Lagos themed Zlatan Live at the Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos on December 18th and tickets are already on sale on Nairabox

This is going to be Zlatan’s first official concert as a headliner in the city of Lagos and it promises to be a very exciting event, with assurances from him to excite his fans and audience with his energetic Zanku moves, music collaborations and other exciting activities planned out to give fans utmost entertainment, ultimate fun and a night to remember for a long time.

The artiste has had an amazing year and it is only right to crown it all with a concert for his huge and loyal fan base.

Born Temidayo Raphael Omoniyi, Zlatan Ibile is a multitalented Nigerian performing artiste who is not only an indigenous rapper, singer and songwriter but also a great dancer that originated one of the biggest dances in Africa; ZANKU.

The creator of the well-known slang, ‘Kapaichumarimarichopaco,’ Zlatan Ibile launched his talent and started making his mark on the music industry in 2017. He is without doubt the most-desired street sensation and a great influence in the music industry as his talent and exclusive sounds have propelled him to the top, helping him gain recognition home and abroad.

His songs – singles and collaborations – continue to top various charts, with close 3 million active followers across his social media networks.

Achievas Entertainment, one of the biggest show promoters in Nigeria with a history of delivering the best events & experience will be promoting the event in collaboration with Zlatan’s Alleluyah Boyz Entertainment and music lovers are assured of a one-of-a-kind experience with maximum entertainment and assured security at every point during the event.

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Actress, Funke Adesiyan, becomes Aisha Buhari’s aide

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Actress, Funke Adesiyan, becomes Aisha Buhari’s aide

Nollywood actress, Funke Adesiyan, has emerged one of the political aides of Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari.

The actress was appointed the Personal Assistant to the First Lady on Domestic and Social events alongside five other appointees.

On Wednesday, October 16, 2019, Adesiyan’s appointment was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

She is expected to resume duties immediately at the office of the First Lady, which became effective after the return of Aisha Buhari from London.

The ‘Obinrin Ale’ star joined active politics when she emerged as the Southwest coordinator for Mallam Shekarau’s presidential campaign in 2011.

She was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party where she contested for a seat at the Oyo State House of Assembly until 2018 when she defected to the APC.

Adesiyan honed her acting skills under the tutelage of actor, director, and producer, Saidi Balogun. She also featured in his three-cast film, ‘Eti Keta’.

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My husband being away for 99 days was harder than I thought –Wife of BBnaija’s Mike

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My husband being away for 99 days was harder than I thought –Wife of BBnaija’s Mike

Maybe not as much as Tacha or Khafi but Mike Olayemi Edwards also made a solid impression on many people during the recently-concluded TV fourth edition of reality show, Big Brother Naija. In this interview with ADEDAYO ODULAJA, Mike’s wife, Perris Shakes Drayton, who is also a British Olympian athlete and TV personality, said she sees herself as a Nigerian being married to Mike and going all the way to emerge 1st runner-up.

 

 

Mike easily won the hearts of many Nigerians in the Big Brother Naija house. What were your thoughts when he was leaving for the Big Brother Naija?

It was really hard that I wasn’t going to see my husband for 99 days and I didn’t even realise he made it into the house and I was like, wow, this is going to be harder than I thought. A long time without my husband and we were newly married.

When did you guys get married?

We got married May 23 this year and three weeks after then my husband travelled to Nigeria and he had to stay in the Big Brother House for 99 days. Although many have celebrated Mike for his conduct in the house, I never thought anything different would happen at any point.

Is it for true that you didn’t feel threatened at any time throughout his stay in the house?

I didn’t feel threatened; I couldn’t have felt that way because I know him and the kind of person he is.

Not even when some of the guys did some things or dressed in certain ways?

Yes, there was no such thing as a threat or thinking that he could be tempted but I did see some things and I felt ‘Huh, what’s going on here?’ But then I trust my husband, he is a good looking young man but I trust him absolutely.

You guys are even talking about whatever happened inside the Big Brother house. I am talking about outside the house where I’ve had more of that. I have seen people trying to claim my husband and I will be like ‘no, no, no I can’t share, Mike belongs to me,’ Perry. Okay.

But I know it was all love because my husband demonstrated being a real man, he did have some funny expressions on his face sometimes but it didn’t happen beyond that point and I am so proud of my husband.

In all, what are the values you cherish most about him beyond what we have seen?

Mike is such a gentleman. The reason I fell in love with him is because he was so much about me, he opens doors for me. You know, that is a big deal for me. I have never had anyone do that for me before because I was an independent woman and I was doing everything myself. So with him, I had to kind of step back and allow my heart feel something.

Mike is such a nice guy, he takes care of me and he will always support anything I do, he just wants to see that I’m happy. And sometimes he cooks for me, he loves cooking a lot and he sometimes clean the house; he is really a good guy and I trust him enough to know there will be.

Now that he is talking about staying in Nigeria, how are you going to cope with that?

I am going to be around much because I understand he wants to grow his business here. I am of Jamaican background but I have Nigerian friends in the UK so this culture is nothing new to me. I have seen it, I know it and I love the music, the people and I am Nigerian now because my husband is from here.

We talked about his coming and everything because no matter what I am doing, he has got my back and whatever I am doing, I’ve got his back also and what we agreed when he wanted to go in is for him to be himself. And I am not surprised that people are showing him love like this because he can go anywhere and be part of any crowd, black or white, it doesn’t matter and people would love you if they would.

My husband wants to stay here, he would surely be getting a place and since that is the case I will be here by his side many times even though I have a life in the UK.

The guy who made the expensive ring he gave you also made for music star, Davido. So what would you say is the most expensive thing he has bought for you?

My dream car is a G Wagon, it’s funny but my husband knows. But then it is not even about the most expensive gift or not. I am a woman of expensive taste, I can’t buy my stuff myself, I don’t expect my husband to treat me to expensive things. I am rest assured he is going to help me grow and that will inspire me to have my own brand like he does. That is it for me, to have my own because I am a businesswoman like my husband.

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The People’s Hero: 24 contestants off to second stage in Owerri

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The People’s Hero: 24 contestants off to second stage in Owerri

The auditions for The People’s Hero continued in Owerri last Saturday as 24 contestants from almost a thousand made it to the second stage of the auditions. These contestants have survived the pre-selection stage and the judges have found them worthy to proceed to the next stage of the auditions. The twenty-four include four spoken word artistes, seven singers, eight dancers and five actors.

Describing the experience as exciting and fulfilling, the three judges, Illbliss, Racheal Okonkwo and Marc Swagz unanimously admitted the contestants’ performances were a mix of the excellent, the good and the ugly. According to them, the quality of the talents from the Enugu auditions was better than those at the Owerri auditions. They said this made their decision quite easy in selecting the contestants who qualified for the next round. These twenty-four will next week go through another round of audition for the final nine to emerge and participate in the live shows happening from October.

Eleven contestants from Enugu have already qualified to participate at the live shows and the final nine in Owerri will join them next week, after which the competition will go full blast. It is a competition designed by Hero lager beer to identify the best talent in the Southeast and reward the winner with a cash prize of N7 million with  consolation prizes of N2 million and N1 million for the first and second runner up.

The Marketing Manager, Hero Lager Beer, an International Brewery brand, Mr. Obumneke Okoli, said Owerri contestants had further proven that the Southeast was replete with rich talents that can be exported to the world. According to him, Hero Lager beer has always claimed there is a hero in everyone and what happened in Owerri just confirmed Hero’s claim. He said this explained why the brand was providing platforms to enable Nigerian youths to bring forth their best. He reiterated his confidence that whoever emerged ‘The People’s Hero’ would indeed be a huge performer in the entertainment industry.

The People’s Hero continues to air on MTV Base every Saturday by 9pm with a repeat show on Wednesdays by 9pm. It will also air on the following terrestrial channels at the indicated times and days:

STV by 11pm every Thursdays, NTA Onitsha by 10pm every Saturdays, ETV Enugu by 10pm every Sundays, NTA Owerri by 10pm every Fridays and NTA Port Harcourt by 10pm every Saturdays.

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How I benefitted from herbal medicine during pregnancy –Toyin Aimakhu

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How I benefitted from herbal medicine during pregnancy –Toyin Aimakhu

Popular actress and new mum, Toyin Aimakhu, now known as Toyin Abraham, recently came out to show her approval for the use of traditional herbs in helping women with fertility problems have children of their own. The movie star recently shared a lengthy video post on her Instagram page in which she approached the subject of fertility in women, and how she is a big benefactor of the goodness that stems from using traditional medicine. Abraham explained the humbling experience she went through while she was seeking the fruit of the womb, adding that her personal research into the matter made her realise that there were several other women like her. The movie star who recently welcomed her first baby disclosed that she was very skeptical when she was introduced to traditional remedies until the success stories of other child-seeking women motivated her to believe. “When I was first introduced to traditional remedies, I was the biggest skeptic, but after seeing the proofs in other women, I had no choice but to believe, and I am glad I did,” her post reads in part.

You may recall that after the news of her pregnancy broke, Nollywood actress and colleague, Liz Anjorin, called Abraham out on social media, with allegations that she never put to bed in a private hospital like she made people believe. According to Anjorin, the new mum delivered her baby in a traditional medicine home.

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Mercy Eke Roots for Rita Dominic to emerge best actress at AMAA 2019

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Mercy Eke Roots for Rita Dominic to emerge best actress at AMAA 2019

BBNaija 4 winner, Mercy Eke, is rooting for Rita Dominic to win the ‘Best Actress’ category ahead of the 2019 Africa Movie Academy Awards. In a move that seems like a payback time, Mercy is campaigning vigorously for Rita Dominic to carry the day.

Mercy took to her Instagram account on October 16, 2019, to show support and canvass support for Rita Dominic. Rita Dominic was one of the top celebrities that supported and campaigned for Mercy while she was in the BBNaija Pepper Dem house, where she emerged the winner and first female to win.

‘The Meeting’ star has been nominated in the Best Actress in a leading role category for her role as Jumoke Arinze in the film, ‘Light in the Dark’. Dominic is nominated alongside Sheila Munyiva for her role as Ziki in the film, ‘Rafik’, Jill Levenberg for her role as Ellen in ‘The Ellen Parkies Story’, Beatrice Taisamo as Fatuma in ‘Fatuma’, Seyi Shay as Lara in ‘Lara and the Beats’, Sola Sobowale as Eniola in ‘King of Boys’, Jemima Osunde as Nkem in ‘The Delivery Boy’ and Samantha Mugatsia as Kena in ‘Rafiki’.

The 2019 nomination of Rita Dominic for Best Actress in a leading role is the 4th since 2012 where she won the award for her role in ‘Shattered’.

In 2013, the actress was nominated in the same category for her role in ‘The Meeting’. In 2017, her role in ‘76’ earned her another nomination as Best Actress.

Rita Dominic just concluded shooting her co-produced film, ‘La Femme Anjola’, which is directed and co-produced by Mildred Okwo and scheduled for a 2020 release.

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Recapping how Rita Dominik, MC Oluomo, Toyin Aimakhu, others fought for favourites

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Recapping how Rita Dominik, MC Oluomo, Toyin Aimakhu, others fought for favourites

In the 99 days of intriguing show, it may interest you to know that, at least 35 Nigerian celebrities indicated and supported their favourite housemates in the recently concluded BBNaija 2019 (Pepper Dem Edition).

For 99 days – 14 weeks – television viewers from Nigeria and several other African countries remained glued to their TV sets to watch the antics, and activities of 26 housemates in the BBNaija 2019 tagged: Pepper Dem.

All the 26 housemates – many were evicted during the reality show – entertained viewers and earned themselves love from viewers that became fans.

From music to movie stars, comedy stars, and fashion designers, Nigerian celebrities took to their social media accounts to support as well as drum support for their favourite housemates throughout the 99 days the reality TV show lasted.

Mercy and Mike were the last two housemates standing on the 99th day of the reality show.

While it took the first few weeks for some of the celebrities to identify with their favourites, other celebrities joined along the show to pick their favourites and drum support for them.

In the long run, Mercy emerged the winner of the BBNaija 2019 after spending 99 days in the house.

Rita Dominic: The movie star supported and campaigned for Mercy all through the 99 days and consistently urged her followers on social media and fans to vote for her.

Lola Okoye and her husband, Peter Okoye of the defunct PSquare music group, loved the BBNaija reality TV show but supported different housemates. While Lola rooted for Mercy, her husband rooted for another housemate.

Ifu Enada didn’t mince words in her support for Mercy. She posted videos and many more urging fans and followers to vote for the eventual winner.

Dencia was not in Nigeria all throughout the 99 days that BBNaija lasted, but she had Mercy as her favourite and she ensured her fans and followers voted immensely for her.

Ngozi Nwosu, the iconic Nollywood actress, was one of those that campaigned for Mercy all through her stay in the house.

MC Galaxy was one time rumoured to be the man behind Mercy’s social media account and he did a damn good job.

Nina Ivy, the ex-BBNaija housemate, didn’t waste time in picking her favourite housemate from the 26 contestants and she stood by Mercy all through.

Rapper and social activist, Ruggedman, couldn’t help but join in showing support and love to Mercy.

Humble Smith was also one of the supporters of Mercy and he stayed true to his allegiance.

Annie Idibia, actress and wife of star singer, 2Baba, was also one of the biggest campaigners and supporters of Mercy.

Halima Abubakar supported and campaigned for Mercy while she was in the BBNaija 2019 Pepper Dem house.

Mercy Aigbe, though in a rather inconsistent way campaigned and showed support for Mercy. So, when she was up for eviction, she rallied round her followers and fans to vote for her.

Uche Elendu’s social media page is an evidence of her belief in Mercy and equally her unfailing support for her brand. Elendu supported Mercy till the end and kept campaigning till she was announced the winner.

Susan Peters showed some respect for how Mike has gone about his game. She insisted Mercy was the real deal that deserved to win the BBNaija 2019 Pepper Dem edition. Osas Ighodaro supported and campaigned for Mercy during her 99 days in the house.

Yoruba actress, Seyi Edun, was also one of the supporters of Mercy and she followed through until the end.

Lilian Afegbua, ex-housemate of the Big Brother Africa, pitched her tent with Mercy and she supported and campaigned for her till the end.

Sensational actress, Anita Joseph, was also one of the supporters of Mercy and so was Uti Nwachukwu, winner of BBNaija Africa.

Hilarious comedian, Ushebebe’s campaign and support for Mercy was out of the world. All his social media handles were always buzzing with reasons his fans and the general public need to vote for Mercy.

Khloe, an ex-housemate of the BBNaija 2019, didn’t watch long before pitching her tent with Mercy.

Celebrity stylist, Swanky Jerry, couldn’t help but join many of his friends to support Mercy and campaign for her victory.

Fashion expert, Laura Ikeji, is one of the biggest supporters of Mercy. She campaigned using her social media handles and couldn’t hold back her joy when Mercy was announced the winner.

Celebrities who rooted for Natacha Akide a.k.a Tacha

Peter Okoye openly supported and campaigned for Tacha despite blows and jabs from several quarters. He was one of the individuals that championed the titan cause till the end.

Rave singer and rapper, Naira Marley, didn’t hide his support for Tacha and even after her disqualification, he stayed true to the Port Harcourt first daughter as she was called.

Matse’s love for Tacha grew after she visited the BBNaija house as one of the judges of the Arla Butter challenge. She didn’t mince word in saying she would support and always love Tacha.

Tee Billz, Tiwa Savage’s ex-manager and ex-husband, was another individual that supported Tacha. His support knew no bound even after Tacha’s disqualification. He had since assumed the role of Tacha’s manager.

Nkechi Blessing, the popular Yoruba actress, was also one of the supporters of Tacha and she followed through until the end.

Angela Okorie is also one of the biggest supporters of the Tacha brand. She showed support and campaigned for her to remain in the house.

Another Nollywood actress that showed massive support and campaign for Tacha is Eve Esin.

Maureen Esisi (Redvigor): Businesswoman and Instagram influencer is also another top notch titan. She supported and campaigned for the Port Harcourt first daughter.

Nollywood actor, Benson Okonkwo, also lent his support to Tacha through constant campaign on his social media platforms.

Soulful singer, Simi, showed her support for Mike over other housemates. And this she showed with campaigns to keep him in the house.

Nollywood actress, Tayo Odueke, who is widely known as Sikiratu Sindodo, chose Mike over other housemates and she campaigned for him.

Toyin Abraham supported and campaigned for Mike during his stay in the BBNaija 2019 Pepper Dem house.

MC Oluomo is another popular individual that threw his weight behind Mike to win the grand prize of N60 million at TV reality show.

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Finally, Emotan goes on stage in Benin

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Finally, Emotan goes on stage in Benin

Emotan, a play by William Benson, will go on stage at Oba Akenzua Hall in Benin-City, Edo State.

Produced by The Duke Of Shomolu Production: Joseph Samson Edgar, and Directed by William Benson, the performance will hold on October 25.

The play parades an array of notable thespians such as Elvina Ibru, Yemi Shodimu, Olu Okekanye, Aisha Sanni-Shittu, Queeneth Ejezie, Williams Ekpo, Amos Olutokun, Eferhogene Awusa, Amaka Onuoha, Chantal Edgar, Edgarl Saba, David  Aisekhalaye, as well as talented budding artistes.

Emotan is the story of the woman Uwaraye known as Emotan who was born between 1380 and 1400, and hailed from Eyaen village, close to the present day Aduwawa cattle market area, along the Benin-Auchi Road.

As a young woman she married Chief Azama of Ihogbe district, as his second wife. Uwaraye was considered indolent by her husband because she could not cook. She could not get pregnant either.

Azama´s first wife, Arabe, handled the domestic chores and gave birth to all the children of the household. Azama soon nicknamed Uwaraye, Emitan, corrupted to Emotan, meaning lazy bones.

She had a redeeming feature, though. She was good at helping to nurse and take care of the brood of the household.

Emotan who could make evbarie´ (a soup seasoning condiment made from fermented melon seeds), and spin threads from cotton balls, began taking these plus some herbal products to sell at a stall opposite the city market (present day Oba market).

When her husband died, she could not return to her parents home because they too had died of old age earlier on. She sets up a hut to live in at her trading post opposite the market place.

Her hut soon became a popular make-shift nursery for the children of families patronizing the market.

She attended to the children’s health and other needs selflessly without charging fees and the kids’ parents soon could not have enough of her services.

“Some historians are of the view that Emotan was a market woman who took care of little children, whilst their mothers were away buying and selling their wares in oba market. They refer to her as the woman who began the first “Day-Care Centre” in Benin City.

“At that period, Prince Uwaifiokun usurped the throne of the Benin kingdom, thereby denying his elder brother, Prince Ogun (Oba Ewuare I) his legitimate position as king,” he said.

Prince Ogun in those times of travail, paid secret and nocturnal visits to Benin from his place of exile.

After his ouster by his younger brother, Prince Ogun (Oba Ewuare I) found his way to the house of this beautiful woman opposite the market place in the city. She was powerful mystic and childless.

She was also very loving and generous, hence It was in her nature, therefore, to agree to have Prince Ogun as her guest and to help him take back his stolen crown.

On many occasions, this market woman called Emotan warned Ogun of impending dangers and advised him against interacting with some treacherous chiefs, who may reveal his whereabouts to his younger brother, who wanted him dead at all cost…

On one occasion, Emotan had to go an extra mile spiritually, to hide prince ogun from his adversary.

As soon as the army moved their search from the hut to other areas in the vicinity, Prince Ogun sneaked out, avoiding the path of the army and headed straight for the palace where he killed his usurper brother, Oba Uwaifiokun!

The news of his action soon spread around the city. Ordinary citizens were supportive of his action, insisting that it was Ogun´s right to do what he did and expressing joy and hope that the tragedies of the recent past had ended because justice had prevailed.

Emotan sends word to Ogun to stay put in the palace and consolidate his hold, while she continued the spiritual work from her home. So, deep was her love and empathy for Prince Ogun.

Within a few days, the Edion´isen had come around to show support to Ogun, eventually crowning him as the Omo N´ Oba Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare.

His divination title choice of ´Oworuare,´ alias Ewuare, could not have been more apt because it means, after the heat, the cooling effect of rain.

Oba Ewuare appointed Emotan as the Iyeki ( leader of the authorized Ekpate guild), tasked with security matters in the market and with enforcing market rules.

Emotan died not too long after Ewuare´s ascension to the throne of his forefathers.

The Oba decreed that she should be buried in her hut.

Later the grave was marked with an Uruhe tree and her deification as the conscience of justice was ordered by the king.

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I’ve not had my biggest breakthrough yet – Sola Allyson

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I’ve not had my  biggest breakthrough yet  – Sola Allyson

Sola Allyson is an elegant singer and music instructor, popular for recording the soundtrack of a Yoruba movie, Eji-Owuro. Her music is poetic and unique even as it evokes memories of folklore, which serves as a central part of our upbringing as Africans. One asset which you can’t take away from the soft-spoken singer is her sonorous voice. The award-winning singer in this interview with EDWIN USOBOH, talks about her music, family life and her penchant for always dressing African…

 

 

What have you been doing of late?

At the moment I am preparing for my latest album and the title is ‘Iri’. It would be my 8th album. It has lot of moving anointed songs just like my other previous album has got.

As a gospel artiste do you see singing as industry or ministry?

It is an industry! Because we are ‘churchfying’ everything, it is a music industry, for me as a Christian, in the bible there is nothing like gospel music, instead music in the spiritual songs. So it is through the human system that one identifies a particular music as gospel music, but every song comes from the spirit. Bro Pasuma sings from the abundant of his heart same goes for Saidi Osupa, Shako Rashidi etc…

I charge money for the music I make, it is a gift and I also went to school to study music. To put it simply, this is my career; it is my dream and my everything all together, so it is a segment of the music industry.

Is it possible for one to be a gospel singer without being born again?

No! You have to be born again to sing a gospel music. I cannot speak for others, I can only attest for myself. Gospel music is like a pathway that shows people to God and you cannot lead someone to where you yourself have not found. Another thing is we do not know God at once, we are always learning, we are always getting better. The part of the righteous is like shinning light that shines brighter and brighter until it perfects day; nobody can know it all, you cannot claim to come and tell me about the God you don’t know about. That is why my music would be a little different because I am speaking from my understanding that I have from God. That is why my music passes across to everyone; a Muslim could listen to my music and when you listen to my music you will put your attention upward.

Are you an inspirational singer or a gospel singer?

I am a singer, the bible says by their fruit you shall know them. So what happens is I leave it to the listener to say what my music means to them, but my own idea is that I make sure every song that comes out from my mouth draws people’s attention to God. God is God; the only difference here is the way we understand Him.

As spiritual singer, do you think you are doing enough?

Nobody does enough, but with time and devotion you will get better daily.

What influences your music?

My music is influenced by life experiences, my faith with God, my life journey. When you listen to my music you have an idea of the kind of work I deal with, the length and breadth of everything is that God is good and He is faithful. Whatever comes your way do not lose hope, keep hope alive. God is good.

Can you do other genres of music?

I do different genres of music. There is the stylistic feature and the lyrical feature for the kind of music that we do. When you say genre it could be gospel, hip-hop and others. Someone can pick up an hip-hop and make gospel music with it. These days there are visions for everything, some people would tell you they are doing gospel and when you listen to the song it sounds like a music Wizkid produced. We use the same style but different lyrics, it is the style that we call gospel music that people listen to and get closer to God.

Have you always wanted to be a musician?

It is not like I wanted to be musician but I have always known that I would be a person of influence. My journey to the music line kept unfolding and unfolding till we got to this point and here we are.

Looking back was there any time you were contemplating leaving the gospel music?

It was not just leaving the gospel music but leaving music generally, when I had financial issues during the start of my career in music. I guess it is true what they say that at every point of your life, one has to face this challenges.

What will you consider your biggest breakthrough as a musician?

I have not had a biggest breakthrough yet.

Which of your albums would you say has made you popularly?

You know it depends on the way you look at your gift, I don’t define myself by what people define me by, I don’t go by the idea of the attention they give to stars, if you meet me along the way I would deny my identity.

Do you consider yourself a celebrity?

People say I am, and I consider myself as one. You might not see me ordinarily and see a celebrity in me.  Left for me I want to live my life to honour God, it is as simple as that.

What is your passion?

My passion is making people get better, encouraging people.

What is your style signature?

My style signature is simple and portable.

What is your advice for the youth, with the rate of suicide happening now?

I think it is the older generation that is responsible for that. They did not allow these children struggle, we all bury our ideas on the saying: ‘I will not want my children to go through the suffering I went through’ and by this statement, we intend to over-pampered them and mistakenly do not inculcate the right values in them. When they get into the world and they are facing challenges they become impatient and want to get it all.

Your music is always very deep and sometimes you get so emotional…

Music is a calling for me and I sing with all that is within and with the fact that I have passed through a lot of things it goes with my song. When you have deeper understanding of life you will get emotional, when you listen to my music. Maybe, if I had not gone through all those challenges that I have faced earlier in life I would not be who I am today.

What lesson has life taught you?

Life has taught me to be true and be yourself, do not try to be like anybody. There is always something in you that the other person is also looking for.

Why are you so attached to Luli Concert, are you one of the pioneers?

I am not one of the people that constituted this event. I was invited as an artistes, it has been revealed to me a long time ago, the stage, the event, and all these activities that are being held, today in a dream I had some years back. So, it looks like a recap of the dream. I decided to plug in this event because of my dream.

I cannot write the story of my life without the Celestial Church of Christ, it has been a major chapter in the story of my life so I make myself available for every platform of this church and most importantly it is because I know I could be a blessing to many souls at a particular event. We know that the gift of God is in born and His plan for everyone’s life He knows, but there is somewhere you get to that your dreams get shaped. So I had a perfect idea of who exactly I am supposed to be, so if you want to call me one of the people that constituted this event I will not disagrees because literally I have participated greatly in this event.

What are the attributes that drew you to the Luli Concert?

Because it is strictly a worship concert. The Celestial Church of God that I passed through is centred around worship, when you attend the service you will know that we do more of praises and worship, you do not need to compare anybody with another person, because God is one, the difference is in the way that we understand God and in the way that you can connect with him. It is the identity, the mode and worship of cele that is why I believe in the God they serve.

What would be your message to those people…

We are going to continue to worship God and as simple as possible just open your heart to God during the worship.

Can you elaborate on how the Celestial Church of God has played a major role in your life

It is a long story, they have come through in many areas of my life, and time will not permit me to say all.

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