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.
Olamide, Phyno, Humblesmith, others for Ojoto 2020 Festival
Popular Nigerian music stars including Olamide, Humblesmith, Waje and Phyno have been announced as the headlining acts for the second edition of the Ojoto Carnival. Billed to for January 2, 2020, other stars in the performance line-up at the grand fiesta include Fireboy, Illbliss, Joeboy, Peruzzi, among others.
Speaking with newsmen on activities lined up to mark the annual event, Dr. Kennedy Okonkwo, who is the initiator of the carnival and chairman, Nedcomokas, disclosed that the initiative was borne out of the joy of the season and giving back to his community.
Okonkwo, who hails from Ojoto, a town in Idemilli South of Anambra State, said his town used to be a sleepy one but since the first edition of the carnival, it has created a platform for social interaction and also given room for homegrown artistes to develop their budding talents by sharing the stage with big music and comic acts. While reeling out the plan for the second edition, he said: “We have a beehive of activities for the Ojoto Festival in 2020 comprising a long line of musical artistes, so it’s sequel to the first edition of the festival, we are making this second edition bigger.”
Okonkwo, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Victoria Crest Homes Limited, also revealed that Alist comedians like Funnybone, Kenny Blaq, Ushbebe, among others will perform at this year’s event as well. He further stated that the essence of the carnival was to discover new talents and also give them the opportunity to share the same stage with other great artists.
Humblesmith, a popular Nigerian musical act, while also speaking at the press briefing, stressed that the expectations for the second edition is high and as such no stone will be left unturned in the edition to give it the recognition it deserves.
BBNaija’sIfu Ennada weeps, givesup
Ifu Ennada has announced that she will no longer be in the business of making skin care products.
One video that got a lot of people emotional sometime in the week was definitely that of BBNaija’s Ifu Ennada sobbing as she quit her skincare business. The reality TV star and actress took to her Instagram page on Wednesday where she shared a video of herself weeping as she quits her business.
“Hey, guys, Ifu Ennada here, I’m making this video to tell you guys that I have decided that I will no longer be selling my bold Ifuennda products because…” she said.
She went on to reveal that maybe this is what God wants her to do and that she has left the business in his hands.
“I can’t do this anymore…I’ve tried. I don’t know what God wants from me, I don’t know why this happened now… @beautifuennada is now in God’s hand. I’m done for now,” she wrote.
Ifu Ennada joined the growing list of former Big Brother Naija housemates who have ended their businesses for various reasons. Recall that a few weeks ago, Ella announced that she was ending her music career over lack of funds.
Donjazzy to reward Beatz awards winner with N1million
Mavin Record boss, Don Jazzy, over the weekend was honoured with a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the organizers of ’The Beatz Awards’.
The music producer, singer and record label owner was honoured for his contribution to the music industry and had an award category named after him.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, Beatz Awards, Elijah John, ‘The New Discovery Producer category’ will now be called the ‘DON Don Jazzy New Discovery’ . While receiving the award at the Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, Don Jazzy added a twist to the newly formed category by pledging N1 million cash prize to the winner from next year’s edition.
He also thanked the organizers for the award and commended their consistency over the years.
“One of the great things about the fifth edition is that a category is created in the name of Donjazzy, and the winner will be going home with N1 million come next year, the way this is going to work is that, the new producers coming up with hit songs will be shortlisted for this category, and the best five will go into a battle whereby voting will commence for the best in the year of review.
We want to thank Donjazzy for the gestures of supporting this with a cash reward and we also want to thank the sponsors for believing in what we do,” the organisers said.
On including cash interest on the other categories, the organisers also added; “This is a start of such laudable gesture and we are considering other options to see how cash rewards can be included in some of the categories, meanwhile sponsors are already showing interest to support some other categories in terms of cash. So, by next year we will be unveiling a lot of things.”
The fifth edition of the awards was hosted by popular musician, Dr. Sid and the crowd was thrilled by amazing performances from Johnny Drille, Idyll, Reil C and top comedians like EmmaOhMygod, Dee One, Omo Baba, Phronesis among others.
I’m a porn star, not a prostitute –Actress Uglygalz Mareme
Uglygalz is fast becoming a leading porn actress in Nollywood, but she says many people will rather choose to see her as a prostitute.
The Nigerian adult entertainer, who has massive tattoos inked on several parts of her body, says getting people to understand that her personality is different from her chosen career has become a herculean task.
In an exclusive interview with Pulse, Uglygalz, revealed: “I am a porn actress, I do adult entertainment movies or what is called porn films. I have been called a sex worker several times. People mistake me for those who have sex for money.
I am an actress first and foremost and I get paid for acting aside enjoying what I do. Again, I have an opinion on who I choose to act with, there are protocols and several people are on the set but many people don’t see it this way, they still feel, it’s money for sex.
Often, I get calls from unknown men demanding sex from me. I recently got a call from a man, who said he got my number from my website and wanted to have sex with me for two rounds and I got so irritated that I just ended the call and blocked the number.”
As of 2014, young and single Uglygalz, whose real name is Mareme, has slept with over 100 men and has been confirmed as one of the verified porn actresses and producers on a popular X-rated content website.
She recalled, “As of 2014, I have had sex with over 100 men. Please, let’s not talk about it (laughs) but it’s not up to 1000 but getting close to 1000.”
Fear of flying stopped me from going to countries translating Things Fall Apart
Chief Pete Edochie is a Nollywood legend. In this interview with UCHENNA INYA in ABAKALIKI, he spoke about his refusal to join politics because of his aversion to lies, his role in the career of his actor son among other issues. Excerpts…
How can you describe the Nollywood industry?
Nollywood is doing very well but we require input of the government to expand the dimension of our operations. Overseas, governments help the people to project them through films but here we are victimized by religious conflicts. If it is the same God that created all of us, we should be able to do a production that should harmonize our differences and get us together and it is only when the government shows commitment in financial terms that you can do something like this.
If you go to a place like Dubai though I have not been there, the United Arab Emirates, is predominantly a Muslim Emirate but Dubai has become an economic hub of the world because they exposed themselves.
The West moved in and invested but in our own case, we seem to be closing the country up and it doesn’t make for development.
At the risk of sounding immodest, well, I am very easily the most celebrated name in the movie industry nationally and internationally because by the time I did ‘Things Fall Apart’ there was nothing like Nollywood and the book written by Chinua Achebe has been translated into 53 languages.
So, the film we shot is undergoing translation even without our own endorsement. Now, I have been invited to some of those foreign countries a couple of times but I am afraid of flying and I never went to those countries. I should be in the position today to advise the country on the nature of the film we shouldn’t shoot. I did a film with Genevieve Nnaji called Obiagu, it was taken out of the country.
Genevieve invested a lot of money in that production; all the cameramen and other people who made up the crew were from Europe. If you look at the people who starred in the production, nobody is a child. I am Obiagu, I am the main man then you have KOK, Zebrudaya, Nkem Owoh.
There is no beginner there, there is no small boy and you could see it in the film. The interpretation was fantastic; who was my wife?
Onyeka Onwenu, so it worked. If the government showed commitment, we can expand the movie industry to accommodate every segment of the society. It is the kind of obligation we owe to the society that has made us but like I said the government should be part of it. If the government is not part of it, it will remain a commercial venture by individuals who are short sighted because all the want is to make the money. I have gone beyond the stage in my life where all I have to think of is to make money, no! I am known everywhere.
I can’t do anything bad today, I will be easily identified. Your son has joined you in the movie industry and he is not doing badly. Did you actually prepare him for the industry? Oh! This is a very good question. I am not quite sure I played a major role in his own brand of professionalism.
Let’s put it this way, perhaps I inspired him to do a course in Theater Arts at UNIPORT, I didn’t force him; he chose it. He majored in directing and I told him listen: “If you will listen to me as your father, I’m old in this business and being a director will not explore or exploit your aesthetic potential to the full. You have a very good voice, you are a brilliant young man; you are good looking why not be in front of the camera instead of being behind it?” He did, he still thanks me till tomorrow.
But as a rule, I don’t make choices for my children; whatever you think you want to be, go ahead and achieve it. I told my children whenever you want to get married bring the girl to the house and tell me ‘Daddy I love this girl,’ then I will support you. We will go and see the parents of the girl. So, that is the kind of role I played in my son’s life.
So, if you think it’s major, well that is it.
People know you as an actor, could you describe yourself?
I was a broadcaster for 31 years. I trained professionally as a broadcaster in the BBC.
If I say I had a distinguished professional career as a broadcaster, I probably will be sounding very immodest but that is the truth. I retired as a Director and in the history of the e s – tablishment I was the youngest man to get to that level. By the time I retired I was under 60 but I had been a Director for 11 years and there is nothing else above that except you are waiting for a political appointment.
Most of our young men and women who are in the movie industry today, the moment you do a write up on them and praise them for a particular performance, it gets into their head and that is it, they don’t want to learn anymore.
By March next year, I will be 73 but I am still learning. The moment you stop learning, you are stymied and you don’t go beyond that and you will discover that you are a stranger wherever you go to but if you keep learning every new day something new comes into your head. I have a very big library, an incredibly large library both of books and music. I am involved with classical music; I have more classical music than every other individual in this country. It is very expensive but that is my field of interest. So, anybody who is going to overseas and approaches me and asks ‘Pete, what am I going to get for you?’ I usually say get me classical music. I have built a very large library of classical music.
If I am reading, I will be listening to classical music and I don’t go out very much anymore.
When I was younger, the spirit of adventure was pushing me around but today no. You don’t seem to be interested in political appointments unlike most of your colleagues. Have you accepted any? I don’t like politics, I want to tell you the truth, number one, given the kind of temperament that I have I can’t succeed as a politician, why?
I can’t lie to you. When we were in elementary school, we were told that if 10 birds perch on electric wire, if you shoot one, the other nine will fly away. In politics, if you think that if you shoot one the other nine will remain it is impossible. I mean, I can’t just be a politician.
It will be difficult to lie to anyone and my father told me never to lie no matter the situation and I have so many sons and I have to raise them the way my father raised me. Politics tend to divide us here in South East but I want to use culture to get all our people together. Only we the South Easterners pray and bless kola nut. We also celebrate yam festivals and no other tribe does this. So, if we get the Igbo states together and choose one date for new yam festival simultaneously across all the areas Igbo are, it will be a fantastic thing because most of the brothers in America have been told that they were sold by our forefathers. When they come back, we shall tell them the true story.
Remember it is the white men that came to our land to take our people, we did not go there and we didn’t sit down to conspire and sell off our people, no!
You visited Ebonyi State recently; how do you see developments there? What the Governor is doing in Ebonyi State defiles description. I asked a question and said “have other governors come to visit Ebonyi State?” There is a reason why I asked that question. For a man to be executing projects of this nature and then still be able to honour his commitments to civil servants at the end of each month, is an incredible achievement.
I started coming to Ebonyi State during the time of Sam Egwu, then from Egwu to Elechi and I have not seen Dave Umahi face-face. But each time we sit down to discuss in Enugu where I stay and you mention Ebonyi, the impression you get is the spontaneity of the compliment that actually engages your attention. By the time Governor Umahi finishes his tenure, whoever that takes over from him will just relax because the person will have little work to do.
When I was serious about evangelism I was driving past Abakaliki towards Ogoja and the rest and Ebonyi State was not like way it is today. Ebonyi under Umahi has recorded massive developments; the Governor can use resources remarkably well.
Being an MC is lucrative, pays my bills –MC Kris
Iji Christian Agbike popularly known as MC Kris, is a young and versatile entertainer. In this interview with DEBORAH OCHENI, the graduate of Benue State University spoke about his fashion philosophy and sundry issues.
While shopping, which fashion item catches your fancy?
While shopping the fashion item that catches my fancy the most is sneakers. Which fashion accessory do you live for? Bracelets and wrist watches.
Do you conform to trends?
Which fashion trends do you love most? No, I’m not a trend kind of guy.
How comfortable do you feel in jeans and T-shirt?
Jeans and T-shirt are comfortable wears for everyone; so for me I feel very comfortable because they make me feel light.
What makes a man well dressed?
To me, what makes a man well-dressed is simply whatever he wears and he is comfortable with himself first.
Whose celebrity style do you like most? Celebrity style I love the most are Bankole Willington, popularly known as Banky W and Richard Mofedamijo popularly known as RMD.
Fashion wise, do you have a role model?
Fashion wise, people like Bankole Willington( Banky W), Richard Mofedamijo (RMD) will always be my top pick or choice.
Is there anything you are unlikely to be caught wearing?
Yes ooo.. all those coloured trousers and wearing shorts with long socks, chaiii god forbid bad thing.
What is your ready to go outfit?
I will go for T-shirt or Polo and Jeans because they are mostly outfits that wouldn’t make me look too serious.
They are simple, smart and not much stress to get them ready.
When it comes to fashion, would you say your physique works to your advantage?
Yes, my physique really works to my advantage and I hope to model someday. Which outfits take up most space in your wardrobe? Native wears take most the space. My love for native wears makes me do much of them. And also I get designers who cloth me for free to promote them at events too. What is your costliest fashion possession? How much did you get it? My costliest fashion possession is one of my Native Agbadas, and it is just 65,000 naira How do you love your shoes? I love them very simple and not dramatic.
What determines what you wear? What I wear is basically determined by the kind of place or event I’m dressing for. If am home, am likely to be on my shorts and polo shirt, if I’m going out to anchor a corporate event am likely to be on suit, if am going out to Mc a traditional marriage I go on native dress, and so forth.
What do you think of modern designers?
Their creativity has gone into another level entirely. Daily they are out with new style. Kudos to them
Who is your best designer?
DANIEL’S STITCHES, A young and upcoming fashion designer
Do you have a signature perfume?
Antonio Bandaras Seduction for men Do you have any fashion obsession? Yes ooooo, I can use my last money to get Sneakers and sew native wears.
There are people looking up to attaining the height that you are now, what is your advice for such people?
My advice to them is to believe in themselves because the world can’t believe in you when you don’t believe in yourselves and also to thrive in the industry you have to be consistent and creative in what you do.
I travelled from Abuja to Lagos, paid for my transportation and accommodation fee to anchor a wedding for free, so don’t be money conscious initially.
How do you handle female fans’ excesses? Handling female fans excesses is not such a big deal with me at all, I try as much as possible to reciprocate their gestures but in a casual way.
I try to be friendly and let them know that I appreciate their support. Aside anchoring events, which other businesses are you into? I work with Itel mobile as Itel Sales Rep, I’m a Nollywood actor and I am currently working on becoming an event management businessman.
I am an On Air Personality and I’m presently working on establishing other businesses with friends.
Entertainment industry seems saturated; how do you intend to keep afloat?
Saturated is an understatement but despite that, I intend to leave a mark and stay at the top for as long as possible and I intend doing that by been unique and employing creative means to distinguish myself from others in the industry.
As an MC, how do you cope paying bills?
Would you say the career is lucrative enough? Being an MC is a lucrative career and it’s enough to pay my bills but I still have other engagements that compliment my earnings.
Paying bills as an MC at the initial stage could be difficult but with consistency, u get to a point where people get to see the value of what you do and are willing to pay for it then u see jobs coming from every angle making things a lot easier. Does your background influence who you are now? My background sure have a hand in who I am now. I grew up in Lagos and the street of Lagos as we know is entertainment on its own. It was in that spirit that I ventured into MC career then adding acting, OAP and event management to it later on. Are you satisfied with your choice of career? I’m very satisfied.
As the saying goes ” make your hobby your work and you will never work for the rest of your life. I’m doing what I love doing so it’s so easy and smooth for me.
What inspires your various creations?
My creativity is mostly inspired by things happening around me, I pick events and occurrences within my vicinity and the world at large and interpret it in a way that will be entertaining to my audience. Sometimes I go off trends to do something unique that will be known as my trade mark too. What is the major challenge young artistes face in Nigeria?
The major challenge is platform, if you don’t have a platform, your talent is useless. Secondly these young talents are not encouraged, sometimes we beg organizers and even pay to be given the opportunity to perform. Would you say government has done enough for creative people in Nigeria?
I won’t completely discredit government’s role in supporting creative people but I can say they haven’t done enough. I remember a time that I was shooting a short movie and I approached a customary court to use their court room for one of the scenes, they declined because I didn’t have money to dole out, and things like that can be discouraging.
There are some infrastructures and policies they can put in place to make our work easier. I believe they can do better.
As an MC, what is the gap you hope to bridge in the industry?
MC’s most of the time are not given the credit they deserve like those in other areas of the entertainment industry. Organizers will pay music artistes to come perform, pay camera men to cover the event, pay comedians but when it comes to paying MCs they start pricing like they are in the market square.
They be like, is it not just to talk for few hours? But they don’t hesitate to give the music artist who will only perform for few minutes good pay.
As an Mc, I Intend to change this narrative by been principled in my negotiations and letting event planners and organisers know that we are professionals that deserve respect and good pay too.
Do you have any specific research process when anchoring a new event?
Before every single event I go to anchor, I run a research on the kind of event that it’s going to be.
These include knowing the religious beliefs of those having the events, knowing the kind of people that will be present, determining if it’s a corporate or casual event.
These will help me to know the direction from which I’m to approach the anchoring of the event. Other times I go as far as writing a script for the event.
Was there anyone in your family who made you develop interest in what you do presently? None, it is just my passion and love for what I do, even though I have some of my uncles that are into it as well but I got to know them lately.
Who inspires you the most in entertainment industry?
I am inspired by so many, take for instance in Movie industry, Ramsey Nouah inspires me the most, In comedy the likes of Eneche .O. Eneche, Des-talker AY and Bovi etc.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself sitting at the top in the industry and becoming a household name and at that point, I see myself organizing events and creating platforms for upcoming entertainers particularly MCs to showcase their talent and bring them to limelight.
Are you a fan of ankara prints?
Yes, I am a fan of ankara prints, having a fashion designer as wife, what do you expect?
What is your take on African traditional wears?
They will always be my favourites, because they bring beauty on anybody that put them on and speak volume of our heritage, culture, language etc, they distinguish us from the rest of the world.
Do you consider any fashion item indispensable?
How easily do you get your fashion items in Nigeria?
Through the help of a fashion designer.
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.
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.
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