Gun control, poverty and the marginalised, Madonna’s new album “Madame X” sees the Queen of Pop wanting to “fight back” in what she sees as a frightening modern world.
Madonna also said she was horrified by moves to restrict LGTBQ and women’s rights, namely in her native United States.
“If you’re talking about the far right and the rights that are being taken away from, say the LGBTQ community or women’s rights … obviously I am traumatised and horrified,” Madonna said.
A longtime campaigner for the LGTBQ community and known for her charity work in Malawi, Madonna, 60, said she would keep fighting for those causes.
“There’s still an enormous amount of poverty in Malawi and the rate of HIV has gone down considerably but it’s not disappeared,” she said.
There are all the problems that are recurring in America because of new legislation so I am going to have to keep fighting for the same things.”
On her 14th studio album, Madonna addresses U.S. gun control laws and uses a snippet of a speech by school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez in the rousing single “I Rise”, a song she says aims to give a voice to marginalized people.
“Dark Ballet”, a piano ballad infused with electronic pop, was inspired by Joan of Arc and references a world “up in flames”, while in “Killers Who Are Partying” she sings about the poor, exploited children as well as a woman raped.
“It’s pretty frightening, yes, it’s pretty scary … There is stuff going on everywhere in the world,” she said when asked how she felt about the state of the world.
“When you think about the amount of people who have died, been killed, have been wounded, whose lives have been changed irrevocably because of the lack of gun control in America, it’s such a huge, huge problem.
“I care deeply about it so I couldn’t not write about it,” she said.
She also said she took issue with some U.S. states restricting abortion rights.
“These are crazy times because we fought really hard for a lot of these freedoms and now it seems like they are all systematically being taken away …It doesn’t make me feel hopeless.
“It just makes me want to fight back.”
Influenced by living in Lisbon, where Madonna joined local musicians in so-called living room sessions, the Latin-infused “Madame X” also takes listeners to street parties and the club with a spate of catchy tracks.
Madonna also sings in Spanish and Portuguese on the 15-track album, released on Friday.
She described “Madame X” as a “chameleon”.
“Every song is a reflection of Madame X. Sometimes she’s a freedom fighter, sometimes she’s a cha cha instructor, sometimes she’s longing for love, sometimes she’s feeling nostalgic,” Madonna said.
“Sometimes she’s thinking about all the people in the world who are suffering, who don’t have a voice and who need a voice and feels a sense of responsibility for those people.”
Madonna, who shot to fame in the early 1980s with hits likes “Holiday” and “Like a Virgin”, has sold more than 300 million records worldwide, making her the best-selling female recording artist, according to Guinness World Records.
Known for pushing boundaries and sometimes provocative imagery, her work has influenced scores of artists.
Asked how she felt about her career, she said: “I’m incredibly grateful …to have been able to be successful for so long and to be able to be in a position that I am, to continue to create, to have the freedom to speak my mind and to feel inspired and creative.”
“I’ll keep speaking my mind, hopefully in an as artistic a way as possible because I do like to be political but I like to do it in a poetic way.”
Her new Madame X alter ego is a reflection of the singer, who is known for repeatedly reinventing herself.
Madonna describes herself as “a curious person, constantly searching for answers, for wisdom, for knowledge to understand what life is all about.”
“All of my work is informed by the things that I learn, so that’s what provokes the reinvention.”
Asked about the #MeToo movement that has shaken Hollywood by uncovering sexual misconduct and its relevance for the music sector, Madonna said: “Of course it’s long overdue, women are treated very differently than men are in the music business.
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi
BBNaija (S4): Tacha, Mercy receive strikes
Housemates Tacha Akide and Mercy Eke have been issued strikes in the ongoing BBNaija season four.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the strikes, issued on Sunday night, would be Mercy’s first and Tacha’s second since the season began.
It also came two weeks after Biggie addressed the housemates on infringements in the house and the consequences of breaking rules.
Mercy was issued a strike because of her acts of provocation on Saturday night towards love interest, Ike Onyema.
According to Biggie, she went against the rule book which clearly states that provocation and violence are not permitted in the House.
reports that on Saturday night, Mercy threw plastic pieces at Ike and used derogatory words during their squabble while the latter remained calm.
Two more strikes and she would be automatically disqualified from the Big Brother House.
On Aug. 13, Mercy was issued a warning for damaging the Oppo phone and as a result, got the long talk on why being Biggie’s guests involves them being of their best behaviour.
On the other hand, Tacha was issued a strike for disrespecting Biggie by not responding immediately she was summoned to the diary room.
She was also caught on camera whispering a sly comment when she was summoned, which Biggie counted as disrespect.
As a consequence of her disregard and insolence towards authority, Big Brother issued Tacha her second strike in the game.
According to Biggie, he found her guilty of disrespect as well as undermining the world of Big Brother.
He also mentioned that she showed continuous disrespect and rudeness to the Authority, like when asked ‘why’ and thinking it was witty to describe the letter ‘Y’.
reports that one more Strike and her dream of making it to day ninety-nine will be cut short.
Tacha was issued her first strike on Aug. 13 for provocation, alongside Ike who was issued his second strike the same day.
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi
Gedoni, Jackye evicted from BBNaija season four
Housemates, Gedoni Ekpata and Jackye Madu have been evicted from the ongoing BBNaija season four.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the duo were booted out of the show during the live eviction show on Sunday.
Gedoni, who became the eleventh housemate to be evicted, went on his knees to thank God after his eviction was announced.
Meanwhile, Khafi was emotionally hit by the news and struggled to keep the tears back.
Speaking on stage, the exhousemate, who was Khafi’s love interest in the show said he felt he had not shown himself much.
He explained that he probably had learned more than he expressed and revealed that that he was drawn to Khafi because she was her true self.
Gedoni also dispelled the growing love triangle between him, Khafi and Venita by saying that he harboured no feelings for Venita.
He predicted that Mike might win the show and promised to keep his head up following his eviction.
Jackye, on her part, said she would miss her friend, Mike following the end of her BBnaija run and revealed that she is rooting for Mercy to win.
The tech guru told Ebuka that she would be working on making artificial intelligence available to every Nigerian.
reports that the remaining housemates are still in the race for the Grand Prize worth 60 million Naira.
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi
Mixed feelings trail moral effect of BBN on Nigerian youths
Some concerned mothers on Sunday, expressed different concerns over moral impact of ongoing Big Brother Naija (BBN) TV reality show on the children and, especially, among youths in the country.
The spoke to the Nigeria News Agency bordering on the alleged recent repeated dexual actions by some members of the house during the programme.
Some of them said that the recent sex plays going on among the house mates had raised concerns over the future moral status of youths in the country.
The immediate past president of the Christian Mothers at SS. Joachim and Anne Catholic Church Ijegun, a suburb of Lagos, Mrs Josephine Eguavon, told that the ongoing programme would implant some immoral values in most children and youths.
“Personally, I see it as breaking the seed moral discipline had already planted in our youths. The Bible says,` train a child in the way he should go and when he grows up, he’ll not depart from it`.
“For our country Nigeria, I feel when the child leaves the home front, the society that should have improved on the much the home had instilled in the child. Unfortunately it has nothing to offer,“ she said.
According to her, the handiwork of our leaders and those who directly or indirectly fund BBN should be censored and see the content value more than the economic value.
A fashion designer and mother of two , Mrs Juliet Edozie, told that the programme had no moral value, adding that it was adding more problems to the challenge of rape.
“We are trying to curb the frequent rape cases in the country and another programme is bringing back such thoughts, it should be trashed before our children become loose,” she told
Also speaking, a pastor, Mr Tunde Awofade, said that such programmes should be aired only late at nights when children and youths would have gone to bed.
“It is very difficult to control what our children watch in this age of technology, the best thing is to restrict the programme to very late at night when our children must have slept,“ he told .
However, Mrs Patricia Orji, a grandmother, described the project as a vocation rather than a moral disadvantage to the youth.
Orji, popularly called, `Ezinne` said the participants went there for economic gains and were ready to do anything that would earn them a win.
“Who will spoil, will spoil, though a few just go there to do rubbish, but nobody was forced to go ther. What about children in school, do you know what they are doing?
“These ones see it as a job that will put food on their tables; children of these days, it is the grace of God they need not to go astray even when you lock them inside the house .
“In fact, I don’t see anything wrong in it, who will spoil will spoil.
“Even some married people live reckless lives, talk less of people who came out to struggle to get this opportunity and people will say it is bad,“ she said.
reports that two BBN housemates were alleged to have indulged in the immoral act on three occasions since the reality show commenced about two months ago.
Edited by Peter Dada
BBNaija (S4); Lovebirds Mercy, Ike throw ‘jabs’ in heated argument
Mercy Eke and Ike Onyema, the gangster couple of BBNaija season four had a heated argument that left fans unsettled.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the couple threw hurtful words around during the big fight that took place after the Saturday night.
Prior to the fight, the housemates were having a peaceful discussion about other housemates in the house, especially Diane who is up for eviction and was not saved by her love interest, Elozonam.
Soon after, Mercy, who is also up for possible eviction began to express her anxiety and fear of being evicted leading to exchange of words with Ike.
The argument quickly escalated and the love birds began to throw jabs at each other, threatening to end their blossoming relationship.
In the middle of the fight, Mercy told Ike that he came to the show after he had failed in America and ought to be worried about eviction, like she was.
She also told him it was a mistake to love him and later threw a plastic piece at him while the other housemates tried to settle the argument.
She said, “You will never win so long as I am in this house. Except I leave before you win. You couldn’t make it in America you think you will make it in Nigeria?
“Fool you want me to leave because I am your biggest threat”
reports that Ike remained calm for the most part of the fight and reassured her of his commitment after her anger had fizzled down.
He pleaded with her to give him the chance to show his love and commitment. He said, “Give me a chance. I want to love you forever.”
Expressing her insecurity, Mercy replied, “Have you ever been with a girl like me? I am used to disappointments, cheating, bad treatment, all kinds of guys but I chose to give you love.
“Have you ever been with a girl that has had sugar daddies? I am so scared.”
reports that the lovebirds eventually settled their differences and were seen cuddling late in the night.
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi
NCAC says BBnaija has empowered, united youths but….
National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) says though the reality show Big Brother Nigeria (BBNaija) platform has united and empowered youths, its erotic content is inimical to the Nigerian culture.
Runsewe in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Sunday in Abuja frowned at sexual scenes aired on the show, saying it undermines values that define the culture of Nigerian people.
According to him, the BBN platform has united and empowered youths from different background, but its erotic contents are alien and inimical, especially to young Nigerians.
He said: “Big Brother Naija is Okay, but the content needs to be looked into because it does not reflect the culture of us as a people.
“There is nothing wrong with Big Brother Naija, it is a good product where so many Nigerians meet, youths in particular, so we are happy for it.
“But the content is wrong; you cannot be making love, with our children, our youths watching, on air.
“We will not because of the money Nigerians will win to destroy our tomorrow because of some economic strategy.
“We are not claiming to be saints, but even the British Police have condemned their own person who was involved in the act.
“We want to build a Nigeria with better tomorrow, and make our environment to be seen as culturally friendly, not to promote nudity and immorality, “he said
The DG however debunks reports that the NCAC was prevailing on the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to shut down the BBN programme and replace it with another one that would be broadcast by Startimes.
He explained that the council as a custodian and promoter of Nigerian culture was planning to work with relevant stakeholders to present a reality program that will promote Nigerian rich culture and values.
He however added that it was not an initiative being conceived to rival the Big Brother Naija brand.
“What I said is, if they don’t change the content of Big Brother Naija, I will make a formal report to NBC, and I have done that.
“I have respect for constituted authority and I will do the right thing the way it should be done by following due process.
“We are not planning to replace big Brother, we want to have something that reflects Nigeria to the world culturally.
“It will showcase Nigerian food, Nigerian cloth and all that represent whom will are as a people positively,” he said.
The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), established in 1975 is charged with the responsibility of coordination, development and promotion of the Living Arts and Culture of Nigeria at national and international fora.
It coordinates, preserves, promotes and presents the best of our Crafts, Textiles, Cuisines, Traditional Dance, Drama, Opera, and Cinema, and Photography to deploy them as tool for forging national unity and identity.
reports that Big Brother Naija, formerly known as Big Brother Nigeria, is a Nigerian scripted version of the Big Brother reality competition television franchise.
The first season of the show aired on DStv Channel 37 in 2006, a second edition premiered on January in 2017, a third season premiered in 2018 and a fourth season started on June 30, 2019 in Nigeria.
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi