Entertaniment

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MultiChoice, organisers of the Big Brother Naija Reality TV show has explained why the shooting is being done in South Africa.

“‎We have a fully equipped house in South Africa which is used for the Big Brother shows. The house has played host to other Big Brother countries including; the general Big Brother Africa, Mozambique, Angola and now Nigeria.

“This means that we are able to achieve high production values whilst meeting tight timelines and ensuring the show comes to our viewers on time, as planned, and with the same globally renowned quality”, said Caroline Oghuma in  a statement issued on behalf of the company that runs DSTV.

The Federal Government today directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the reported shooting in South Africa of the ongoing Big Brother Naija Reality Show.

In a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed directed the NBC to determine whether Multi-Choice, by shooting the show in South Africa, has breached the Nigerian Broadcasting Code in any way.

He said the commission should also investigate the issue of possible deceit, since the viewing public was never told that the event would be staged outside Nigeria.

“As a country of laws, only the outcome of the investigation will determine our next line of action,’’ he said.

The minister said concerned Nigerians had bombarded his office with calls to complain about what they regard as an anomaly of shooting outside the country a show meant for Nigerians.

He urged them to remain calm while the NBC investigates the issue and submits its findings.

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Zahra Buhari

Zahra, the daughter of President Mohammadu Buhari, is arguably the girl most crushed on by men in Nigeria’s Twittersphere. Ever since more Nigerians got to know her in the course of her father’s campaign for the presidency, Zahra has featured in many open and closet conversations about the beauty that resides in the Buhari household.

Zahra is set to wed by December 2, 2016, to Ahmed Indimi, son of billionaire oil magnate Alhaji Mohammed Indimi, owner of Oriental Energy, according to an exclusive report by Per Second News.

 

Ahmed Indimi is a director of Crude marketing at his father’s Oriental energy, a firm that deals in oil exploration and production with several projects offshore of Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

 

PSN reports that the first family has been busy for the past three weeks with finishing touches on the ceremony.

Per Second News exclusively gathered from credible sources in the Indimi and Buhari families that the events will be held in Borno, Abuja and Katsina respectively.

Ahmed attended Global International College in Lagos for his degree foundation program. He completed his Degree in Information Technology at the American InterContinental University, in Atlanta, USA. He then proceeded to complete an MBA in Internet Security at the same Institution where he served as the treasurer of the Student Union Government at the London Campus.

Indimi, through his father’s company has donated frequently to IDP’s and NGO programs of Zahra Buhari in recent times.

The groom’s father Mohammed Indimi, comfortably on number 39 of Forbes Africa’s 50 Richest 2015 Lists, previously ranked 37 in 2014.  He was in the news last year for donating $14 million (N5.6 billion) building named ‘Mohammed Indimi International Business Center’ to Lynn University, in the United States as part of activities of the University’s Graduating events with one of his daughter’s, Ameena Indimi as one of the graduating students.

 

He was criticized for neglecting schools in his native Borno that has been ravaged by the calamitous Boko Haram sect.

Oriental Energy was awarded an Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 224 by the regime of former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida.  Incidentally, one of his daughter Yakolo Indimi-Babangida is married to former president Babangida’s son Mohammed. Investigations by Per Second News reveal the marriage has crashed. 

Zahra’s husband to be Ahmed and his seven siblings have been accused of financial recklessness and ostentatious lifestyle. A former employee at the company disclosed to this media outfit under the condition of anonymity that the Indimi children are always at war and never agree on anything, especially when it comes to spending their father’s oil company’s money, as they fly around the world in private jets, lodge in most expensive hotels, and go on expensive holidays.

 

Meanwhile, Per Second News gathered that Zamfara state governor Abdulaziz Yari has been left with a bitter taste having lost out in his quest to marry Zahra as his 4th wife.

The chairman of the Nigeria’s governors forum has vowed to change his ways after living what have arguably been the most tumultuous last three weeks of his life.

Unconfirmed sources said he sponsored several programs of the first daughter and has invested hugely in the failed project.

Close sources to the first lady revealed that Yari’s quest to confront his demons took an emotional turn after he learnt of the marriage plans, after running after her for months.

 

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There are certain things even ‘Edible Catering’ can’t keep apart and the union between Tiwa Savage and Tunji Balogun has to be one of those.

Related: Jude Egbas: Teebillz shouldn’t commit suicide, biko

The celebrity couple had a public falling out in April, with Ms Savage accusing her husband of being a philanderer and loafer. Tiwa went on the record to say their marriage was over. Latest reports in the entertainment circuit say they are now back together as one having reconciled differences.

 

 

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*New firm brings together country’s brightest minds and signals new dawn for creative talent management in Nigeria

The Temple Management Company (TMC), has announced the formation of a 360 management company which is poised to bridge the gap between the Nigerian corporate space and the burgeoning creative and entertainment sector.

At a time of rising global recognition and demand for the work of Nigerian creative talents, the perennial challenge has been that to compete properly with their international counterparts, Nigerian creatives need better branding, access and positioning. Industry experts have also pointed out that brands have failed to maximize their potentials because of the sub-par representation they currently get.

TMC, which began operations in March 2016, primarily in the entertainment, sports, media and art sectors, is set to change all that, and bring Nigerian talents to the same table with their international counterparts. Incorporated in Nigeria with strong international affiliations across Africa, North America, and Europe, TMC was founded by serial investor and art aficionado Idris Olorunnimbe.

The company set out with a mission ‘to continually improve on content, bridge the gulf between local talents and their foreign counterparts in line with international best practices’. With a formidable team parading some of the brightest young professionals in entertainment, fashion, arts, finance, law and media, TMC is fully prepped to deliver its objective to raise the profile of local talents.

Mr. Olorunnimbe, who also serves as Chief Executive Officer, sums up the TMC vision this way, “With the constant expansion of the entertainment industry and growth of sporting activities, our vision is to remain the leading African talent and event management outfit, representing the biggest talents in entertainment, sports, media, the arts and other relevant areas.”

Mr. Olorunnimbe added, “Our focus is now to expand the recruitment of agents to create a new enduring institution in this country.”

According to him, TMC will focus on the core functions of talent representation but will, allied with corporate organisations, also provide a wide range of financial and advisory services, manage endorsement portfolios, and package bespoke events for domestic and international markets.

Within a short spell, TMC has already sent shock-waves into the industry by signing management deals with some of Nigeria’s biggest talents, including Nigeria’s biggest record label Mavin Records, renowned disc jockey DJ Jimmy Jatt, award-winning visual artist and writer Victor Ehikhamenor, media personality Bunmi Davies, artist/jeweller Mode Aderinokun and the doyenne of Nigerian broadcast media, Funmi Iyanda.

After signing the deal with TMC a few weeks ago, Mavin Records CEO, Don Jazzy, said, “We are stepping into the future with The Temple Management Company as they redefine creative talent management in Nigeria.”

The TMC board includes luminaries of Nigerian industry and enterprise such as Mr. Tunde Folawiyo and Mr. Ajibola Abudu. The diversity of the Executive team includes individuals who have worked with Nigeria’s leading law firm, Zenith Bank, Samsung, McDonalds, Nestle UK, Eurosport, the English Football Association, 234Next, the Lagos State Government and in the music industry, with LA Reid, Pharrell, Jamie Foxx and Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs.

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The Nigerian government has cancelled its plan to build a massive film village in the northern state of Kano, following social media outcry and opposition from Muslim clerics.

More than three billion naira ($10m; £7.6m) was budgeted for the project as part of the government’s efforts to improve the Hausa language film industry known as Kannywood.

The government argued the village would create thousands of job opportunities and promote cultural activities.

But Muslims clerics argued it would promote immorality and people on social media also called on the government to stop the plan.

An aide to President Muhammadu Buhari told local media that the president has listened to the people’s concerns.

BBC

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I am deeply saddened by the passing of veteran actress and broadcaster, Bukky Ajayi.

Zainab Bukola Ajayi was an enigma and a Phenomenal Artiste.

I was awestruck by her humility when she received the Industry Merit Award at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards in March 2016, for her impact in the creative arts industry.

She was visibly emotional with tears rolling down her cheeks in front of a standing ovation and thunderous applause, but she quickly recovered and eloquently said that if she had offended anyone, they should please forgive her and she had forgiven anyone that offended her. She later added: “I wish I can stand up but if I do that I will fall down.”

After studying at the Stanislavsky Institute of Drama in London, Bukky Ajayi started her career as a broadcaster at Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

From her work in television, to her acting roles in Village Headmaster in the 70s, the late Amaka Igwe’s Checkmate, and to various spectacular movies, her delivery was always flawless and her work, impeccable.

She was and will always be a legendary persona in the creative arts and entertainment industry. May her blessed soul RIP.

Desmond Elliot

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Bukky Ajayi who has held her own as the motherly Nollywood icon for decades on end, has just passed on.

She was last publicly seen on a wheelchair at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) where she shed tears on-stage after being honored for her works.

“Don’t mind that I’m crying…I wish I can stand up. That was just too much for me”, she had said to an emotional applause from the audience.

She was 82 years of age.

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A popular musician in the North East has gone missing just days after releasing a scathing song accusing local lawmakers of corruption, police and family said Wednesday.

Ado Dahiru Daukaka went missing in the Adamawa State capital, Yola, after he left his house early on Friday to offer dawn prayers at a mosque.

His new song accuses politicians from President Muhammadu Buhari’s ruling party of corruption and predicts they will not be voted in the 2019 election.

The song “Gyara Kayanka”, or ‘Put your house in order’ in the local Hausa language, accuses local lawmakers of being selfish and corrupt.

The family of the singer said he was a political target.

“It is obvious his disappearance is an abduction by some interests who are infuriated by his latest song which exposed corruption among legislators at the state house of assembly,” Daukaka’s relative Atiku Mustapha told AFP.

“We believe they abducted him as a warning to other critics like him. They just want to muzzle critics,” Mustapha said.

Hadiza Adamu, one of the singer’s two wives, said he had no enemies.

“My husband is not known to be at loggerheads with any one. The only explanation we could provide is that he could have angered some powerful interests with his songs,” said Adamu, who gave birth just five days before he went missing.

“We call on whoever is behind his disappearance to have pity on us and release him unharmed,” she said.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Adamawa State Command, Othman Abubakar, said an investigation has been launched but declined to comment if the disappearance was linked to the song.

Fierce critics

Daukaka became popular following Nigeria’s return to civilian rule in 1999 with a hit in praise of then-state governor Murtala Nyako.

Local singers are fierce critics in northern Nigeria with their songs that tackle everything from forbidden love to political discontent.

One of the country’s most popular singers, Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti, was imprisoned by Buhari during his short-lived reign as military ruler in the 80’s.

Kuti’s arrest on charges of currency smuggling were dismissed by human rights groups who argued he was a political detainee after criticising the government.

AFP

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Senator Ben Murray Bruce

After the seizure of three assets owned by Silverbird Group- Silverbird Galleria Limited, Silverbird Promotions Limited, and Silverbird Showtime Limited, all belonging to Senator Ben Murray Bruce by Asset Management Corporation Of Nigeria, (AMCON) over an N11b debt on Thursday, June 23, 2016, the Silverbird Group was re-opened for business yesterday, Friday, June 24, 2016, PM news reports.

The Silverbird Group issued a statement where it announced that they were back on air, while apologizing to its numerous viewers and online subscribers for the disruption of operations across television, radio and online media caused by the shutdown.

According to the statement, “The Management of Silverbird Communications Ltd, owners of Rhythm Fm and Silverbird TV sincerely apologise to its numerous viewers, Listeners and online subscribers over the disruption of our operations across Television, Radio and online Media.”

They also said “This was due to a situation beyond our control; however, we are pleased to inform you that we are back on air on Radio Television and on our online platform.

“We thank you for your patience and understanding at this time. We remain committed to the provision of quality infotainment and premium service across our platforms.”

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Benson Idonije: Dis Fela Sef!:
The Legend(s) Untold- A Memoir.
Lagos; FESTAC BOOKS, 2016, 282 pp.

On the occasion of his 80th birthday, Benson Idonije, who is arguably Nigeria’s most informed analyst of jazz music and an enthusiastic promoter of popular culture and music has released for public review and consideration an absolutely well-informed biography of Fela, the Afro-beat music maestro. The book is a useful contribution in my opinion. But the first thing I noticed- signposted by the copy sent to me, is how indeed, this particular publication appears to be a victim of the emergent crises of publishing in Africa in dispossessed economies. The copy sent to me is copyrighted 2014; on the cover it is described as a preview edition, scheduled for “official release: first quarter 2015”, the review copy doesn’t even have an ISBN number, there is no index and the bibliography is wrongly presented.

After more than 29 years of assessing manuscripts and editing/reviewing books, I assume that I can conveniently imagine what the author, printers and local publishers of this book must have gone through, the same challenges other book writers publishing in sub-Saharan Africa face at the moment: looking for money, getting good editors, looking for publishers, and hoping that there will be readers. But we must be glad, and Benson Idonije deserves to be congratulated, on his tenacity, in bringing out against all possible odds, a memoir as he correctly describes it, on Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, legend, maestro, counterculture hero, mystic, musician, philosopher, iconoclast, rebel, patriot and one of Africa’s most significant contributions to the world of art and music in the 20th century.

It is 2016, 19 years after Fela’s death, and here is a tribute of legends to the legend, a brilliant memoir, from a man who served as Fela’s first manager, beginning with the Jazz Quintet/Koola Lobitos in 1963/4, and who served him dutifully as a friend, colleague, fan and brother, and who has remained faithful to the legend(s) told and untold. With this book, Idonije fills many gaps, as participant-observer, as a ringside viewer and as a witness to the history of the making of a genius.

Many books have already been written about Fela from many perspectives. But the beauty of true genius is that it remains unfathomable, like an endless vortex, and in terms of identity, stands on its own terms. With his art, music, persona and impact, Fela has ascended to the level of such eponymous geniuses, recognized only on a first name basis: Homer, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, etc: global treasures who do not need a second affirmation of identity. So, it is with such figures, that every other contribution extends the narrative of excellence, impactful tradition, and historicity.

And so it is with Benson Idonije’s memoir on Fela. There have been similar books of close encounters and relationships with Fela in his lifetime, by John Collins, Uwa Erhabor, Michael Veal, Carlos Moore, and Majemite Jaboro, and other publications, which through the authors’ encounter with Fela’s music and persona provide rigorous scholastic analysis. Idonije provides an informed analysis of Fela’s music in the context of the traditions of jazz, funk, soul music, highlife, rock, indigenous African music, blues, but the strongest parts of his memoir deal not with pretensions at intellectual deconstruction of form, melody, and rhythm, or lyrics, but with a ringside report of Fela as a total musician, and artiste.

This is where the strength and the originality of this book lies. Benson Idonije is a music critic, but he is probably incapable of deploying the jargons and the distracting terms of academic inquiry, and he does not struggle too hard in that direction. But he tells a story that humanizes Fela, focusing on his birth, his roots as a musician, including family influences, his formation, evolution, maturation and the transcendentalism of his genius. He does this as a man who was there. He does this as a brother, friend, critic, sounding board, and partner. He tells the story the way nobody else can, he has the helicopter view, the ringside view and the bedroom view: the book tells stories for example of how Idonije’s one room habitat served as Fela’s “slaughter slab” for besotted female fans, and his witness to Fela’s emergence as a sex and marijuana symbol, made possible by the notorious women who came into his life, who also helped to grow his art.

Fela’s genius borders on illuminant insanity. Idonije reveals, much better than any previous biographer, the making of Fela, and the near-magical progression of this genius: his DNA as ineluctable determinism, his beginnings as pianist and rebel in his secondary school days, his objection to convention, command and control even as a staff of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, his growth and odyssey, the influence of his mother and brothers and the rest of the family, real and acquired, his borderless nationalism and his politics of protest which resulted in many runs-in with the establishment, 199 arrests by the police, incarceration, humiliation, harassment of his Kalakuta shrine and Republic, and his life of sex and marijuana, then his death and impact after death. Some of these themes from his birth in 1938 till his death in August 1997, have been dealt with at great length in other accounts. Idonije takes the narrative further, revealing and extending the narrative about a man who became a legend before his very eyes, and with whom he shared secrets and private experiences, made possible only by trust and mutual respect, an island of friendship and intimacy unknown to outsiders. This then, is not a book of research; it is an original testimony, presented in absolute good faith.

Some of those other things Idonije brings afresh to the table are refreshing insider details about Fela’s essence, his relationship with music producers, his band, recording companies, the very nature of his life as a committed artist and professional, his rigorous originality, self-assuredness, assertiveness, pride, courage and perpetual preparedness to raise art above commerce. He tells the story of Fela’s musical odyssey, and the story is not just about Fela, but the evolution of the band, from Koola Lobitos to Egypt ‘80, and after, and how ideology, exposure and influences created the enigma, the genius and the music that became Fela. Idonije deconstructs the genius, not as a mystically delivered entity, but as an essence that grew through training, hardwork, perspiration, originality, influences, musical, ideological and political, and whose being-ness and truthfulness provided a template for the lifetime and post-humous evolution of a style, example and tradition. He proves in the end how the originality of genius survives all sorts of threats: physical, socio-political and contrived.

In painting this picture, Idonije delicately manages sentimental assessment and although he is a sympathetic biographer, he shuns hagiography. It is obvious that he is not impressed by Fela’s latter-day embrace of marijuana, which he avoided in his earlier years, or the mysticism and love of spirits that drove him into illusions and paranoia, but on this subject, Idonije treads very carefully, refusing to pass judgments that could damage the legend. He is after all, a protective biographer, so protective he also treats Fela’s misogyny lightly even if he ends up reinforcing the received belief that for Fela, a woman is at best a sex object, and sex a source of spiritual reinforcement. He further says a lot about other members of the band, the gifted members of the ensemble and the non-musician members of YAP, MOP, area boys support groups, media executives and lawyers whose contributions and individual talents made Fela possible. Fela thus, emerging not as an individual artist stricto senso, but as a movement, as philosophy, as an idea, as institution, as the sum of total artistry, as leader of an orchestra, indeed as phenomenon.

Idonije’s participant-observer and first-hand analyst status also provides him the opportunity to write a story that goes beyond Fela to cover the highlife scenes of Nigeria and Ghana in the 60s and 70s, and the collaboration and rivalry among the various emerging stars, their influences and styles and the character of the musical audiences and trends in Ghana and Nigeria which had corresponding impact on the taste and tone of the social and cultural landscape. From Fela to the present, there has been so much that has changed in that landscape, many of the commercially successful artistes of the time have vanished into oblivion and irrelevance, but Fela lives because of the originality of his art and musicianship. Miles Davis, one of the many influences on Fela has been reported as saying “Fela is the future of music”.

Idonije’s account establishes just exactly how true this is: his continuing impact and the endlessness of his relevance. But as the book shows, there can only be one Fela: an artist with conscience, who was an objective product of his encounters and experiences, a true professional who found his own voice and mission, an avatar whose talent became a political and social weapon for protecting, defending and leading the poor and the disadvantaged against the evils of corruption and irresponsible leadership.

Idonije despite the humility he declares in his preface aspires, quite obviously, to produce a definitive, comprehensive book as he struggles to cover all the grounds, but he is smart enough to acknowledge that his account certainly cannot be the “last word”. He observes poignantly that whereas the international community has always admired and honoured Fela, the attitude to his art by the central Nigerian government, from the military to the civilian administrations, has been one of disregard, with perhaps the exception of the Lagos state government, which sponsored the creation of a Fela museum. Fela’s post-humous presence on Broadway and the growth of Felaism as creed and tradition is a victorious talk-back, an act of defiance, from the grave by a true artist whose example defined the true nature of the art of commitment, contextually and sub-textually.

Idonije and Fela referred to each other as “Oyejo”: a bastardization of the Yoruba phrase “Oya e joo” inevitably mangled, during a performance visit to Nigeria by Dizzy Gillespie, trying to connect with his back up team of illiterate Yoruba drummers. Fela was not an original fan of Gillespie, due to his aversion to the mixing of jazz with showmanship, but intellectual interaction with Idonije encouraged Fela to appreciate Gillespie’s original skills, and the product was an eventual number titled “Oyejo”, a part-tribute as it were. The picture Idonije paints through narratives such as this, is that of Fela as an open-minded, broadminded artiste who drew influences and inspiration from just about any possible source: duty boys, managers, producers, bedroom partners and so on but who at all times knew what he wanted, and called his own shots. Benson Idonije writes a part of his own biography in telling his friend’s story but unlike some other biographers before him, he does not over-project himself and he does not upstage the legend.

This is a book that should benefit from further projection and the attention of the reading public. Unlike Gillespie in that particular linguistically challenged account, Fela, alive and in death, needs not say “Oya e joo.” His art has located him concretely in the mainstream along with the giants including Dizzy Gillespie himself and others.

This book, indeed, is a truly worthy contribution: In Fela’s voice, “everybody say yeah, yeah.”