Activist and Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, still in the custody following his arrest early last month owing to a nationwide movement termed #RevolutionNow he championed but he marked his 15th wedding anniversary on Thursday.
Making it known was rapper, Eedris Abdulkareem, in an Instagram post on Thursday, as he prayed for bliss in Sowore’s marriage to his wife, Opeyemi, in the face of his “sacrifice for Nigeria today”. Remembering the activist’s 15th wedding anniversary, Abdulkareem wrote: “Fifteen years ago, you tied the nuptial knots that still binds you till date in love and oneness!
“Love so real and so compassionate as yours makes the world go round and of course, it breaks through any manmade barriers like subjugation, gagging, imprisonment and utterly dehumanising intimidation and treachery. “So, as you sacrifice for Nigeria today, may this anniversary sprout out a bountiful, blessed and glorious tomorrow for you! Happy anniversary once again! Many more conjugal bliss ahead as years come and ago!!! Freedom…”
Sowore’s wife, Opeyemi, had in an interview on a TV show in the US, Democracy Now!, said the Federal Government pinned its grievance on Sowore on a meeting he had with the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra leader (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu. “They also mentioned he may have taken money from international countries, and he met them in Dubai.
He has never been to Dubai before, which was an interesting statement on the Nigerian government’s part. And no money, basically, has been found with him,” she said.
Man who’s sold records for 50 yrs: How Gov. Fayemi bought Plasma TV for me
Pa Abayomi Zacheus, aka Yankee Records, is a popular record dealer based in Ado Ekiti, capital city of Ekiti State. In this interview, the 71 – year old man, based on his experience in the business for over 5 decades spoke with ADEWUMI ADEMIJU on state of recording business now, compared to what was obtained in the past
What makes selling records so lucrative and exciting that you have done it for 50 years?
I just love music. During Christmas i always rent music engine to play music before I started. Originally, I am a watch and bicycle repairer, as far back as 1968. Indigenous people like Papa Abiara and his rival popularly known then as “Kilo fa mess” who were in music business in Ekiti then inspired me, so I developed a sustained interest.
Looking back, which notable Nigerian leaders have you had an encounter with perhaps based on stopping by to buy or express their love for any musician?
Among the leaders I can vividly remember now that I have had encounter with are Governors Ayodele Fayose and Kayode Fayemi. They do patronise me.
Which notables events come to mind if you look back to the 5 decades you have been selling records?
At a time I had set back in the business. Around 1998, I abandoned the business and travelled to the North in Kaduna State to engage in commercial driving, but no improvement, I came back home to continue with the record business .
Based on your interactions with customers over the years, which musician(s) is most loved by Ekiti people and why?
In Ekiti, they love musicians like late Ajoyemi, Ishola Adepoju, then later Elemure Ogunyemi and Dele Maltina. Ekiti love those musicians because they sang in real Ekiti dialects .
People still buy their records up till date.
Of the notable musicians in Yorubaland including those from Ekiti/Ondo, have you had encounter with any?
I have had encounter with late Orlando Owoh. Indigenous musicians in Ekiti do come to visit me. I am like a father to them.
They sing my praise me in their records.
Is any of your children showing the willingness to follow in your footsteps?
There are some of them who have interest, but they haven’t started on their own ,they have acquired the experience, I do send them outside the state to buy goods for me.
How did you become a records seller?
I said earlier I have interest in music. The genuine interest for music pushed me to recording business.
Have you had to change location at any time or due to any reason?
From the outset I have been at Old Garage, in Ado Ekiti. I have never had any cause to change my location. I have ever been in Old Garage in Ado Ekiti.
Either for good or bad, has any socio-political and economic event left an impact on your trade through the years?
There was a time I needed Plasma TV. I didn’t have. I informed Governor Kayode Fayemi during his first term and surprisingly his deputy then Professor Modupe Adelabu bought the plasma and brought it to my shop at Old Garage.
That is what is still in my shop till now.
Compared to the booming period of the 80s and 90s, how would you assess this period of hip hop compared to the era of Sunny Ade, Kollington Ayinla, Ebenezer Obey and others?
During the time, records of Ebenezer Obey and King Sunny Ade were selling fast and even up till now. Music that time is better than now.
The musicians then sing didactic songs and that’s why they are still evergreen. Many old people nowadays do not listen to hip-hop they take it as frivolous.
If you can still recollect, who did the people of Ekiti choose to align with during the era of feuds between Ayinla Omowura and Haruna Ishola and also during that of Sikiru Ayinde Barrister and Kollington Ayinla?
In Ekiti State, they love Apala songs but unfortunately, Ayinla Omowura died when his stars were booming in the state. In the case of Fuji music then, Ekiti loves Kollington Ayinla, they consider his music more entertaining than the other.
Is there anything you wish government could do for you or your peers in the business?
We would be glad if the government in Ekiti State can help us to establish recording studio in the state to save us from taking our recording outside.
It will save us from traveling to Lagos or Ibadan all the time.
Apart from helping recording business in the state, such esthablishmen will create jobs in a way and also help youth talent discovery for possible guide and nurture.
How did the relocation of major record label in the 80s and 90s affect your trade?
During that time, they gave out records to us to sell and later pay back ,but now, they are based in their different states. I do go or send people to buy records for me from any of them.
Reactions Trail BBNaija’s Frodd on Twitter over relationship with Esther
Bi g Brother Naija 2019 ex-housemate, Frodd, granted an interview recently and the comments he made about his relationship with Esther has sent Twitter into a frenzy. During the last edition of Big Brother Naija, two contestants who drew so much attention to viewers were Frodd and Esther because of their interesting relationship. Well, in a recent interview with Wazobia FM, Frodd was asked about his relationship with Esther and gave a very shocking response.
A c – cording to him, he won’t be having time for that relationship, for now, rather he wants to try and make milk out all that he can and make his fans happy. Since the video from that interview made it to the public domain, Twitter has been awash with a lot of people dragging Frodd for making that statement. So guys, here is how Twitter is reacting to Frodd’s latest interview: Chukwuemeka Okoye (Frodd) @ callme_frodd2 “Family, I can never discredit Esther or pretend that we don’t have a unique friendship. What I meant was, we are currently busy trying to put our different homes together while attending all these interviews.
We are amazing and have been in touch.” See some of the reactions below Constance Simon@Constan19487513 says: “FroddNation doesn’t want Esther, she almost ruined your chances of winning, if not for our prayers, fasting and everything. We get insulted, abused on the street…we decided to go with the flow knowing you would realise she is a mistake once you are out. Go with your head.” Frodd’s Akaya @AKHLCEEC: Esther didn’t claim Frodd in her interviews. Frodd isn’t claiming her in his interviews either.
People that are upset just want Frodd to remain a mumu for her, especially her fans. #BBNaija Chigirl @Brenda00114: “Can you stop dragging Esther and her fans to this mess?
How can you write sensible on the first line then end your tweet trolling. This is how dragging from both teams starts put your tweets in order before posting it if you are all about positivity.”
I left Banky W’s Record Label without a penny –Wizkid
Nigerian music star, Wizkid has said that he left Banky W’s record label, Empire Mates Entertainment (EME) in 2014 without a penny.
In a video interview that surfaced online on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, Starboy said he had to leave the record label without a penny because he felt he had got to a stage, where he had to move forward. He said, “I literally had to leave with zero naira and I was Wizkid like… I had to leave because I’m just like man, I can’t keep doing this.
It was a great time in my life because I’m thankful to God and Banky W for everything he’s done for me, but you know at some point, you’ll definitely get to a stage where you want to move forward”.
Banky W’s Empire Mates Entertainment (EME) signed Wizkid in 2009. Two years after, he released the classic ‘Superstar” album, followed by his selftitled LP “Ayo (Joy)” in September 2014, which was his second studio album and the last one for the record label.
Plaqad signs on 25 BBNaija house mates, congratulates finalists
Plaqad, Nigeria’s foremost influencer marketing platform, has signed 25 housemates of the just concluded Big Brother Season 4 on its platform.
Known for connecting individuals and brands to top content creators, social media influencers and publishers, the platform says the development will further aid its readiness to exploit the dynamics of consumer engagement via online and offline platforms and to better serve its growing clientele.
The 25 housemates include BBNaija Season 4 winner Mercy Eke, 1st runner-up Mike, 2nd runner-up Frodd, and co-finalists Omasola and Seyi. They will join other celebrities and social media influencers who have already been signed up on the Plaqad platform.
Other BBnaija Season 4 housemates now members of the Plaqad influencer community include Elozonam, Diane, Ike, Isilomo, Avala, Kim Oprah, Ella, Khaffi, Gedoni, Jeff, Esther, Jackye, Tuoyo, Sir Dee, Venita, Cindy, Enkay, Thelma, Nelson and Joe. Gbenga Sogaike, CEO of Plaqad, confirmed the decision to bring onboard the former housemates is to ensure seamless collaboration with the newest set of influencers and to help the housemates maximise their new status.
“For us at Plaqad, we are all about value and we do this on all fronts for our clients as well as the influencers we work with. Our decision to sign up these 25 superstars is a testament to our commitment to this vision and we are very excited to have them as part of our family. We have already begun talks with them and some of them will be collaborating with Plaqad on a number of brand campaigns in the next few days,” he said.
In a similar move, Plaqad.com has congratulated the BBNaija ‘Pepper Dem’ finalists — Mercy, Omashola, Seyi, Frodd and Mike, with the digital company which boasts of over 10,000 influencers and content creators congratulated the ex-housemates via an official email and on its social media pages, conveying its felicitations through the CEO, Gbenga Sogaike.
While congratulating the finalists, Sogaike said: “This season of Big Brother Naija has by far been a most memorable one and I want to congratulate all the finalists and indeed all the housemates because everyone is a winner.
The Big Brother Naija platform offers huge opportunities to every contestant irrespective of who wins the prize.
My advice is that each housemate works with the right management team to help them harness this new-found fame and make the most of it. “Plaqad has collaborated with several Big Brother Naija ex-housemates in the past on several campaigns and projects and that will not change this time. We will be making a major announcement soon that I strongly believe will positively impact the housemates and help them make the best of the fame and influence they have.”
Since its launch in 2017, Plaqad through its impressive showing in the influencer marketing and media content distribution space, has quickly become one of the biggest hubs for content creators, publishers, and social media influencers, with thousands of users currently signed up on its platform. Plaqad continues to connect brands and individuals to bloggers, news websites, publishers and social influencers, microbloggers, ensuring that these brands irrespective of their size and budget are able to make their voices heard in an increasingly noisy marketplace.
Endemol rated BBNaija House as biggest, best in the world –John Ugbe
The organisers of Big Brother Naija, Multichoice Nigeria, has said that the multi-purpose house, which hosted the show got the ratings as the biggest and best from the parent company. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Multichoice Nigeria, John Ugbe, made the revelation during the presentation of the top five BBNaija housemates and the winner of the 2019 contest, Mercy Eke. Ugbe said that the parent of Big Brother, Endemol, gave the reality show the best ratings so far.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Endemol is a Dutch-based media company that has the global franchise of the Big Brother show production and distributed multiplatform entertainment content.
The Multichoice CEO said that much hard work had gone into making the most popular reality show in Nigeria a reality. “A lot has gone into the BBNaija show. We had a dream to have a house in Nigeria after a multi-purpose one built outside the country. “I think it’s such a miracle to have another one ready in Nigeria within the six months of conception. It appears impossible to us, but just like Nigeria’s spirit, we can do anything.
“We threw everything at the BBNaija house and it was completed. The parent company, Endemol, needs to inspect and certify it before commission so they came to Nigeria and inspected,” he said.
Wizkid announces plan to launch music streaming app
Nigerian music star, Wizkid, has announced plans to launch a music streaming app. The 29-year-old revealed in an interview with Robert Bruce on UK radio station, Capital Xtra, that he was working with United Bank for Africa (UBA) on the new streaming app. “My team and I, we’ve been working so hard. I have this new streaming app that I’m about to launch right now in collaboration with United Bank for Africa.
Those are my new partners,” he said. “We intend to create a streaming platform for people to be able to market their music, put out their music and actually get revenue right into their pockets.”
The singer also said he had plans of organising a talent hunt show on the continent. “We are working on a whole lot of stuff. We have a talent hunt we are trying to do back home. We’re going to go around and pick some of the best talents from every African country. Collaborate and help them build and see, whatever we can do for the culture,” Wizkid said.
The “Ojuelegba” singer recently released his much-publiclised single, ‘Joro’. The former EME act is reportedly the most streamed African artiste with 4 billion streams across Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Tidal, Deezer, and SoundCloud.
2Baba, RMD, Johnny Drill, others join Sound Sultan on Jungle Story 2 with Amstel Malta
Fans trooped into Terra Kulture en masse between the 4th and 6th of October for the second edition of Sound Sultan’s Satirical Musical titled, ‘Jungle Story 2’.
The highly anticipated show, which featured many of Nigeria’s most prominent actors and musicians, was just as entertaining as it was enlightening. The show told the story of a land that became a jungle due the corrupt practices imbibed by its citizens.
It went further to highlight the ills in the society as well as proffer solutions on how they can be tackled. Joining Sound Sultan in the musical were, 2Baba, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Johnny Drille, Femi Kuti, Odunlade Adekola, Osas Ajibade, Femi Branch, Peruzzi, Dare Art-Alade, HarrySongz, Seyi Shay, Helen Paul, Ninja Band, Jumabee, Crown Troupe, Basketmouth, Kate Henshaw, Wale Ojo, Jimi Solande, Waje, Praiz, Niniola, Vector, Segun Adefila, Pocco Lee, Lasisi Elenu, and a host of other celebrities.
Day one of the show also doubled as the handover ceremony of the Amstel Malta Box Office that was donated to Terra Kulture. Speaking on the sponsorship of Sound Sultan’s ‘Jungle Story’ and the donation of the Box Office, Brand Manager, Amstel Malta, Akinola Josiah, said, “As a brand, we take pleasure in helping our consumers live their best lives.
We do this by creating opportunities where they can enjoy themselves while engaging in activities that they love.
The sponsorship of ‘Jungle Story’ and the donation of the Amstel Malta box office is our way of showing commitment to giving our consumers the best of experiences”.
In gratitude Amstel Malta for the donation of the Amstel Malta Box Office, CEO, Terra Kulture, Bolanle Austin Peters said, “Terra Kulture was founded to promote Nigerian art and culture. I am pleased to see that Amstel Malta is sharing in this passion to make the Nigerian arts and culture space one to be admired and envied. I would like to thank Amstel Malta for this generous donation”.
Apart from the sponsorship of Sound Sultan’s musical, Amstel Malta has continued to contribute immensely to the art and entertainment industry as it keeps sponsoring major movie premieres like; Bling Lagosians, Lion King and Tinsel. Amstel Malta is a premium malt drink with rich international heritage. It is made with less sugar and still retains all of its full, premium flavour and great taste.
NB, Access Bank Stage New Music Show ‘Access The Stars’ With Tiwa Savage, Flavour, Others
In a move that signals one of the biggest partnerships in Nigerian music, Nigerian Breweries (through Star Lager Beer) and Access Bank have announced ‘Access The Stars’, a groundbreaking collaborative music platform to discover, groom and amplify the next generation of Nigerian talents. Access The Stars is a new platform created for exceptional and aspirational Nigerians in the music industry to be discovered, refined, and empowered to reach higher heights by accessing their star potential. Successful artistes will get to tour with the best of Nigerian artistes on ‘The Trek’ across the country, giving the grassroots access to the stars to learn one-on-one.
This move explores the intersection between business and a shared love for the rich entertainment culture of Nigeria. Over the years, Access Bank and Nigerian Breweries have built consumer-focused music assets like Star Mega Jam, Star Music – The Trek, Star Quest and BAFest. With Access The Stars, Nigerian Breweries and Access Bank are together, consolidating the trajectory of “Discovering, Refining and Showcasing” the best of Nigeria’s musical talents.
Commenting on the new initiative, Herbert Wigwe, Access Bank MD/CEO, stated that Access The Stars was borne out of the desire of both brands to continue to connect with people through the one platform they both had in common which is music.
“Both our brands share a long history of creating excellent musical experiences for not just our customers, but the wider Nigerian audience, and this is us expanding on that,” he said.
Discovered talents will tour on ‘The Trek’, alongside a roster of stars that include: Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Flavour, Phyno, Olamide, Kcee, among others. Hosting Access The Stars will be music superstar, Dare Art Alade, with television host and radio personality, Olive Emodi, as co-host. Choreographer and CEO Imagneto Dance Company, Kaffy, Nigerian Music Producer, Tee-Y Mix and Nigerian Music Star, Seyi Shay, will judge the talents to be found across Nigeria.
Speaking on the new partnership, Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc., Jordi Burrut Bel says: “Access Bank and Nigerian Breweries have the shared interest of serving Nigerian customers, and through this partnership, we are harnessing our collective strengths to shape an exciting future. Via this collaboration, we will give hidden gems access to shine by discovering, polishing and showcasing them to Nigerians, Africans and the world.” Access Bank today is the largest bank in Nigeria and Africa’s leading bank by customer base.
It is a full-service commercial bank operating through a network of more than 600 branches and 29 million customers. Nigerian Breweries Plc, is the pioneer and largest brewing company in Nigeria. It serves the Nigerian market spanning 800,000 retail outlets with a consumer base of over 45 million Nigerians.
Chris Attoh returns to social media five months after wife’s murder
Ghanaian actor, Chris Attoh, has made a return to Instagram five months after his wife, Bettie Jennifer, was shot dead in the United States. In his first post in five months on Instagram late Wednesday, Chris suggested that he had recovered from the shock he suffered after his wife’s murder. He quoted a portion of the scriptures, saying that it is “easier to stay open and trust God.”
“Acts 16: 23 -30 We learn a lot from our places of discomfort, the only way for a baby to come out of the womb is through it.
I guess in life, you cannot protect yourself from sadness, without protecting yourself from happiness. It’s easier to stay open and trust God,” he wrote. Chris’s wife was walking to her car when a man armed with a handgun approached her before shooting her in the head.
The shooting took place on May 10 in the parking lot of a Maryland office building. Chris Attoh had tied the knot with Bettie Jenifer in October 2018 after breaking up with his Nigerian wife, DamiloIa Adegbite. Greenbelt Police Department revealed that Bettie was not legally divorced before she married Chris.
According to the police, Bettie hadn’t legally ended her union to 47-year-old Kedrick Jenifer, who is currently serving a 20- year prison sentence for importing large amounts of cocaine into Baltimore from Texas. Law enforcement authorities believe the shooting was targeted.
I don’t like being pitched against Yemi Alade, Simi, or anyone else –Tiwa Savage
Fresh from her superlative performance in the heart of Lagos Island, Obalende to be precise, to herald her first single, since pitching her creative tent with Universal Music Group, titled ‘49-99’, Tiwa Savage spoke with a few journalists including ADEDAYO ODULAJA. The interview touches on the former Mavin Record’s musical journey so far, sound, Universal Music Group’s deal among other issues.
With the way everything is coming together, is a tour of the US in view?
We are definitely planning a promo tour in November. Actually, I have not told anyone before, this is the first time that I am announcing it. The tour is to promote my new single. Next year, I have an official tour because I will be releasing a new album.
What is the concept of the tour and is it okay to link it with your new deal with UMG or your new single?
To be honest, Olamide didn’t want me to say this. The record was worked on by Olamide, Pheelz and myself worked on this record and by the time I got to his house, he had already started the line 49 sitting 99 standing. I figured it was a line from Fela’s song, ‘Shuffering and Smiling’. I loved it immediately. I feel like, as an artiste getting global recognition, it is my responsibility to speak on things affecting a lot of Nigerians.
Being a departure from your usual party jams laced with romance, is your new song indicative of a new direction?
There is a time and place for everything; I know that the fans want to dance and fall in love but I wanted my first introduction to the rest of the world to have substance. That is why this song is very special to me. We all know that 49-99 describes the Molue bus where you have twice as more people standing than those that are sitting. That’s a reflection of the poverty and things that Nigerians are fighting daily. We may not have the Molues anymore but we still have people hanging off buses or Okadas to get to work every day. We have mothers carrying children in their hands who have to commute to work every day under this circumstance. So, I wanted this to speak on that. I must say that I am not attacking anyone but I am just saying that this is a reality that millions of Nigerians face every day and music is a way we can get this message out.
44-99 song is about what people on the streets go through but ironically, street songs hardly project conscious messages like you have just done with this song. How did you reconcile that?
As artistes, we try to create music that takes us away from our daily worries. When you are thinking about a lot of things, you also don’t want to be caught up in what you are dealing with. Artistes try to make sure that in those three minutes of listening to our music, they can escape the reality but there must be a balance and that is why 49-99 is important for me.
From New York to London, the promotion has been huge, what makes 44-99 different from other projects you have done in the past?
When I signed with Universal, I had Sir Lucian on board and had Alex of Island Records on board as well. They were so excited and felt like there was a void with female artistes. We have male artistes dominating the scene and they wanted to put so much in a new project for a female act. They wanted to make a lot of noise about it. To be honest, we didn’t expect it to be this big. A lot of brands jumped on board like Boomplay, Universal Nigeria and Nigerian Breweries. Boomplay put together my performance under Obalende Bridge and that was huge. They also help with making sure my song is heard by millions across Africa. It wasn’t even in our plan initially but I guess it was God’s timing and everything aligning towards it.
What informed decision to perform right under the bridge at Obalende?
I think that as an artiste, I cannot shy away from the people. It was very important to me to connect with them and let them know how important they are to my growth as an artiste.
How do you feel when people describe you as Queen of Afrobeat?
No, definitely not. I am flattered. I think it is amazing that people will place that title on me. There are so many queens just like there are so many kings. You have to understand and appreciate how hard we all work. You can place or limit a title to one person because Burna Boy is doing his thing, Wizkid is doing his thing, same for David, Yemi Alade and Simi as well. Everybody is working hard. When you pitch us against one another to compete for one position, it makes it hard for us to do what we do. I think we are blessed as Nigerians to have so many talents. We just have to celebrate everyone. We all are kings and queens. There is only one original King and that is Jehovah.
Is there a chance of you being more politically active going forward now that you are advocating conscious music?
First of all, politics is not my calling. I will leave it for those God has called to do politics.
Have you boarded Molue before?
I haven’t boarded a Molue before to be honest. Most of my youth, I grew up in the UK. But then, just because I haven’t boarded in a Molue before doesn’t stop me from empathising with people who have done that. I can’t pretend like that experience doesn’t exist. ‘49-99’ is to shed light on the reality and people who have had the experience before.
What has been your staying power?
Definitely, my faith in God. I feel blessed because a lot of people started on this level with me. For this, I’m very grateful to God. I just want my story to be a testament and inspiration to other people. From when I started with Flytime and Cecil Hammond, a lot has since happened. I’m growing and I feel like I just started in the global market. I think my staying power will be hardwork and humility because one has to remind oneself that this thing can leave tomorrow. One has to make sure one works hard so as to leave a legacy behind.
What were your fears then considering that the Nigerian music terrain is usually described as male-dominated?
Well, the industry is still kind of ‘male dominated’ even now. I will say that, there were fears then and there are fears now as well. I don’t think we ever stop entertaining fears in life. There were legitimate fears about how the people were going to accept my brand, how are my old and new fans are going to react? But at the end of it, I serve a living God and I don’t let fears consume me too much.
What was it like for you to interact with market women during the empowerment programme you participated in recently?
It was amazing seeing women hustling. I feel very connected to them and I was so happy to be a part of them. I was happy to encourage them, you should have seen the looks of joy on their faces. Nigerian women try a lot, we work very hard. They deserve so much more.
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