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PHOTOS: Aliko Dangote Celebrates 60th Birthday

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Joseph Oyebola

Nigerian billionaire and richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, yesterday, celebrated a milestone as he clocked 60.

Families, friends, staff and well-wishers were all around to celebrate with him.

Below are the creatively designed cakes to celebrate the business mogul’s birthday.

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Art & Culture

DRUMming THE FUTURE: LEGACY FOR THE FUTURE

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BY:  Oluwafunso Obasan

The recently held 4th edition of the African Drum Festival with the theme, ‘ DRUMming The Future’  may have  come to an end, but the echoes from the festival will continue to linger even for generations yet unborn. The festival unlike the last three editions held at the helipad of the June 12 Cultural Center in Abeokuta, was moved to the new Abeokuta City centre, the venue christened as the festival village Amphitheater, had a capacity to hold up to 10,000 people if it’s entire space was put into use. The amphitheater, according to the executive governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said that the amphitheater would serve as the festival village, adding that the venue would be commissioned by the President.

The festival, unlike the last three editions had an increase in participation and attendance, the attendance this time around was enormous and even looked like the venue won’t be able to seat all present, from the entrance opposite the Central Bank of Nigeria, the venue was a beehive of activities, from a stage that was set up by the Nigerian Breweries, producers of Trophy, the company in its responsibility as a partner in progress and believer in the  sustenance of tradition and culture, brought Fuji music star and hip hop music star, Alhaji Wasiu Alabi Pasuma and Abolore Akande, aka, Nice, as part of its contribution towards a successful hosting of the festival.

It is a known fact that Adire is of Ogun State origin, the fact of its originality led the Ogun state government under the leadership of Senator Ibikunle Amosun to register Adire and get the trademark, through the unveiling of the Adire Ogun Seal of Authenticity at the Mitros Residences, at the unveiling, Senator Amosun disclosed that there was no Adire anywhere in the world that would be in the same quality as the one from the source, saying Adire Ogun was from the source.

He further noted that the state was now a cynosure of all eyes, not only because of the legacy projects his administration had put in place, but also because of the cultural reawakening his administration had continually promoted. It is now a fact that Adire Ogun is the best, the production of Adire dates back to the time of the second Iyalode of Egbaland, this was according to the Iyaloja of Kenta  market, Alhaja Saidat  Akamo, who disclosed that she was born in the house of Jojolola, the second Iyalode of Egbaland. Akamo  said that Adire was easy, urging youths to embrace the making of Adire, as Adire making was easy and shouldn’t be killed. Her counterpart at the Asero market, Chief (Mrs.) Kemi Oloyede said that hand craft is good, urging youths to embrace the making of the material, saying they shouldn’t be lazy.

The Federal Government’s stance at promoting made in Nigeria goods has made Ogun state, the only state from the south west to be chosen as the start up point for its start up campaign, these, the Senior Consultant to the Governor on Culture and Tourism, Mrs Yewande Amusan said was done in good faith, as the state was known as being worthy through its Ogun standard way of doing things. The festival reached a milestone, as the Nigerian Postal Service, through the office of the Post Master General and the Ogun State Government, launched a  hundred naira stamp to commemorate the African Drum Festival.

The Post Master General, Barrister Adebisi Adegbuyi, disclosed that the effort would afford the festival to reach about 192 countries that are in relationship with the Nigerian Postal Service. In actual fact, the stamps are already in the market, I have been privileged to see them, this gesture would impress the festival into the hearts of thousands of users of stamps from over 192 countries. The gesture to me is one of the Ogun standard way of doing things, the Senator Amosun led government has left a legacy, it is now paramount for everyone to embrace the stamp, it is our own, it deserves our patronage.

Spoiling the child and sparing the rod is a big mistake that shouldn’t be allowed to be the order of the day, that phrase was made by the consultant to the Ogun State Government on the African Drum Festival and Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka at the unveiling of the Kuti house Museum in Abeokuta. WS, has he is been called lately admired his late uncle, Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome Kuti, who he described as a disciplinarian that never for once spared his rod for his children, or his family. Soyinka noted that the success of most of the children that passed through the late Oludotun Ransome Kuti, who was the first black man to be principal of Abeokuta Grammar School, led  to the raising up of godly, noble and successful men and women who are leading in their various endeavours, a gesture he said made him who he is today.

The Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun while corroborating the view of Prof. Wole Soyinka, said he also benefitted from the immense contributions of late Rev. Israel Oludotun Ransome Kuti, describing him as a great man, through whom the likes of late Dr. Beko Ransome Kuti and the late Afrobeat king, Fela Anikulapo Kuti came into the world. The intellectual angle roundtable discussion of the program which was held at  Olumo Rock had as its theme, ‘ DRUMming The Future’, the roundtable discussion had both local and International master drummers spread across the length and breadth of the African Continent.

Some of the drummers at the roundtable discussion include Aziz Belheni from Tunisia, Cheickne Sissoko from Mali, Eddy Mboyo from DR Congo, Dennis Ngurwe from Kenya, Frendi Sofiane from Algeria, Machina Aimad from Morroco, Landry Luoba from Cote D’Ivoire, Jeleel Ojuade from Nigeria, Oladipo Abiala from Benin, Othnell Moyo from Zimbabwe, Noumoucounda Cissoko from Senegal, Sserwanga Bernard from Uganda, Sylvanus Kuwor from Ghana, Thandi Swaartbooi from South Africa, Luc Yatchokeu from Cameron, Armel Bokossa from Mali, Gregoire Kabore from Burkina Faso, Vernon Thompson from Trinidad and Tobago, Adepo Yapo from Burkina Faso, Sebaggala Jedidiah from Uganda, Dr. Ben Boateng from Ghana, among others.

This long list of master drummers spread across the length and breadth of Africa has truly shown that the festival has not only come to stay but it now has the respect of the international community. At the roundtable discussion, it was unanimously agreed that government should put into the school curriculum studies about drums, with the assumption that such effort would help to promote the culture of drums and also help to uphold the teaching of drums for generations yet unborn.

At the closing ceremony, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun urged participants not to forget all they’ve learnt at the festival, saying that their ability to ensure they don’t forget all they have learnt would go a long way to ensure that the culture of drum remains intact and passed unto generations yet unborn.

There was a chorus performance by troupes at the festival, the troupes were all arranged around the rock, with chorus performance, the performance was beautiful to ear, the rhythm and tonality from the arrangement was great. At the end of the festival, five categories of winners was announced, at the State category, last year’s winner, Kwara State was edged to second position by Gombe State, while Ondo State came third with 2 million, 1 million and 500,000 Naira was won by the states.

The Individual International category saw Morroco coming first with 3,000 dollars, Chad second with 2,000 dollars and South Africa with 1,000 dollars, the African category saw Ghana coming first with 5,000 dollars, Chad coming second with 3,000 dollars and Benin coming third with 2,000 dollars. The independent category saw the Ekemini troupe come first with 2 million, Yaato troupe coming second with 1 million and Foye troupe coming third with five hundred thousand naira. There was also a special award, with a thousand dollar each for ten foreign countries and award for ten other troupes.

Some of the countries include Cote d’ Ivore, Algeria, Togo, Mali, Haiti, Morroco, Cameron, Senegal, DR Congo and Tunisia, the ten troupes that also received special awards include, Ogun State Cultural troupe, Musiliu Haruna Ishola, Eni Afede, Pa Adewole Oniluola, Ijo Dee foundation, Ara(Thunder), Ayanyinka Olowogangan, Unique Finger, Adisa Ogundele and Abideen Olatunji.

The fourth edition of the African Drum Festival is a testament that the festival has revolved round its original edition and that the increased participation from African Countries has shown that the festival has become an household name.

Time will only tell what the festival would bring to the state in the future.

Oluwafunso, Press Officer, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ogun State Government.

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SOCIETAINMENT

Romantic Comedy ‘LOVE ME’ Ft Kizz Daniel, Chidinma Set to Debut On Cinemas

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By Manny Ita

A romantic comedy ‘LOVE ME’ is set to debut on the Nigerian movie turf and other markets across Africa and other parts of the world from the end of May this year.

An Africa to America Production, the movie which promises a lot of entertainment value for every kind of family unit, with its interesting storyline, engaging characters and captivating cinematography is currently being shot in Lagos, Nigeria and Dubai in the UAE.
Set in the modern day in a 5-star Hotel, LOVE ME is a romantic comedy that explores the universal love triangle between the opulent lover and the ordinary one, both vying for the same girl’s heart.

A feisty and charming hotel cleaner’s life goes topsy-turvy as she gets torn between Nigeria’s chart-bursting music star, who’s madly in love with her and ready to splash the cash just to prove it, and her lovable but flawed boyfriend, who is also crazy about her and ready to prove it with a proposal.

Both men are great conversationalists, sensitive listeners and great lovers but Kemi can only choose one, leading to an inevitable and hilarious clash of romantic titans.
A huge and breathtaking deviation from the stereotype love story, LOVE ME teaches the values of having a strong character, and the courage to make the right choices, while also addressing true friendship as one that ought to remain constant when situations oscillate between the good and the bad.

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Director of “LOVE ME” Movie Project, Felix Odion, Matilda Lambert, Vivian Anani, Acting Coach, Ronya Man & Producer, Dozie David Atueyi at the Press Briefing of the Movie Project, held on Thursday, April 11,2019 at Morning Side Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

With a stellar cast which include ‘Woju’ crooner Kizz Daniel, Chidinma Ekile of ‘The MTN Project Fame, Alex Ekubo, Ngozi Nwosu, Broda Shaggi, Ann Idibia and a host of others, the movie is sure to drive viewers to the cinemas through their influence and their huge social media following as well as via its engaging content.

Produced by one of the respected names in the entertainment industry Dozie David Atueyi, the movie LOVE ME will leverage all available platforms to engage audiences nationwide, Nigerians in the Diaspora, the rest of the African market as well as other revenue streams, including sponsorships, private screenings and merchandising.

Speaking about the project on Wednesday, April 11, 2019, at The Morning Suites along Teslim Elias Avenue in Victoria Island Lagos, location of the project in Nigeria, Mr Atueyi disclosed that it was a project that every detail was given optimum consideration, from the location, cast to the technical part of the movie and assured it was one that would sure blow the minds of its audience.
“We had to reach out to people with proficiency in their fields, a director whose meticulous attention to detail was necessary for the project, who flew all the way from Australia to direct this production.”
Apparently, some of the cast in the movie were debutants on set, like Kizz Daniel, Chidinma etc which informed the need to employ a coach -Israeli born Ronya Man- for the project. Speaking on that, the producer averred; “And because some of our cast are fresh actors, it also became necessary to bring in a coach to train these people to give it a semblance of what is obtainable in Hollywood.”  Ronya runs the RMA Training and Production outfit which has been operating in Nigeria for well over ten years. According to her ” “I have been coaching drama for more than a decade working in nollywood with several actors and directors and I can tell you, this production was quite fulfilling.”
“A lot of thought and effort was put in the screenplay being shot in Lagos and Dubai sort of distinguishes it.”

One of the actors present at the briefing, whom Atueyi described as the queen of Television, Vivian Anani said of the project;
“In my over 20 years of being in this busainess, this is one of the best productions I have seen and been involved in. I say this with emphasis because everything is on point; wonderful team from the cast to the crew and I tell you this is a production to watch out for.”

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Art & Culture

Ooni of Ife’s, House of Oduduwa Foundation, A Legacy of Service to Humanity

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Written by  the Chief Operating Officer,Adewumi Adediran.

The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi‎ (Ojaja II) is a man with a burning desire to see lives transformed; a man who believes in the productivity of the youth as a recipe to chase away poverty from the system.

In many ways than would probably be acknowleged, His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, has been in the business of empowerment across the ages, with a vision to continuously touch the lives of people,while leaving a legacy of service to humanity.

In 2016, the Ooni established The House of Oduduwa Foundation, informed by the urgent need to reduce the level of poverty and also project the Yoruba Culture and Heritage.
A Non-Governmental Organisation, the main objective of the House of Oduduwa Foundation is to expand possibilities for children, women and young people in order that they live healthy and productive lives.

According to a United Nations report, the increasing rise in unemployment and income inequality has adversely affected the economy of Nigeria .

To checkmate this anomaly, it becomes top priority for Nigerian government to provide the right educational infrastructure to develop skills and requisite opportunities that would bring about unemployment and birth entrepreneurs and productive members of society, thereby reducing the level of poverty in the land.

Understanding education as a powerful weapon which can be used to change the World; a passport to the future which unlocks the golden door of freedom, and also knowing this to be a herculean task on the shoulders of the government still grappling with several issues, the Ooni of Ife launched the “NEXT GENERATION” project under the Foundation which aims to alleviate the financial burden of pupils and students whose parents face significant financial hurdles and uncertainty as they work hard to achieve their future dreams.

This Project is more or less a grant, to be awarded on the basis of academic excellence to support Students across the South-West geographical States.
Six States, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Lagos and Ondo are being regard as descendants of Oduduwa with a population estimated at 32.5 million people.
The Oduduwa Descendants also constitute a sizable proportion of the population in Kwara, Kogi and Edo States.

The House of Oduduwa Foundation appeals to Corporate bodies, IInstitutions,Philanthropists and all men of goodwill in Nigeria and Diaspora to partner with the House of Oduduwa Foundation to realise its dream for humanity.

Written by  the Chief Operating Officer,Adewumi Adediran.

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