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Composer describes music as  strong tool for social reformation

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Israel Echie, the music director at St. Albert the Great Major Seminary, Abeokuta, has called on the government and the private sector to support the industry to grow.

Echie told the News Agency of Nigeria said on Thursday in Lagos that the sector was also a strong tool for social reformation.

He  said that most developed countries had benefitted from such investments.

“In most developed world, life is spiced by the basic knowledge of music, children learn how to play musical instruments and this makes them develop credible minds.

“Any investment in music by the government will be a gigantic stride because music is one sector of the entertainment industry that can generate huge revenue.’’

He , therefore, advised the government to invest in people identified to have talents in music.

The specialist in Gregorian chants also appealed to private entrepreneurs to invest part of their funds in the music industry.

He said that the music industry would be able to compete with the oil sector in few decades to come if given a boost.

The composer and arranger of both sacred and contemporary music also said, “All through the years of human existence, music has remained an integral aspect in the journey of reformation.

“Music and society have always been inextricably related because it creates and reflects social conditions-including factors that either facilitates or impede social change.”

According to the pianist, music is a way of life which takes listeners to us where words cannot.

He added that music also served as a voice of caution and for societal redirection.

The music lecturer noted that when people engaged in bad deeds, and they listen to some music, their lyrics could make them regret their wrong actions.

According to him, such musical lyrics include: “ise agbe ni ise ile wa”, “akwukwo na-ato uto”, “bata mi a dun ko nko ka”, “omo mi a see ohun rere  tire a dara o”, and many others.

Echie also said that musicians had used their music as a medium to communicate with the government on how good or bad their policies had been on the society.

He said that the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Chief Ebenezer Obey, and many others sang songs on political and social issues as they affected the society.

He also said that the Nigerian Music Industry (NMI) had grown over the years.

He said that the NMI in the early years of Nigeria’s nationhood enjoyed music that centred       around freedom, the nation’s independence and dignity of human beings.

Echie, however, expressed concern over the contents of music composed by contemporary artists.

“One basic reformation that any music requires is the quality embedded in it. Sadly, people just go to the studio, create beats and anything goes.

“Quality beat without content is noise, and it will lead to producing songs which cannot stand the test of time both in the secular and in the religious worlds.

“Even, the so called worship music has only become a hybrid of pop music.”

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Nollywood: Film Corporation takes ‘Mobile Training Platform’ to budding talents  in rural communities

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Dr Chidia Maduekwe, Managing Director, Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) has said that the corporation is set  to take its Mobile Training Platform’ programme  to rural  communities to discover and develop budding talents in filmmaking across Nigeria.

He stated this on Friday during an interview with Nigeria News Agency on the sideline of a training workshop for youths and upcoming creative artistes on film, video production and photography in Abuja.

The training, tagged, “Special Cinematography Training for Youths and Emerging Talents” is holding from Nov. 14 to 16, with 130 youths drawn from different parts of the country as participants.

According Maduekwe, the Mobile Training Platform is a flagship initiative designed to complement the capacity building programme of the NFC for emerging talents in the motion picture industry across the six geo-political zones.

He explained that as the Nigerian movie industry expands, there was need to equip upcoming industry players with essential professional know-how and the basic entrepreneurial skills to grow as filmmakers, to create jobs.

“The Mobile Training Platform is an initiative (MTP) by the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) to domesticate training all over the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria.

“With this, we will want to take capacity building on the requisite knowledge for film production to grassroots because it is not everyone that can come to Jos or Lagos, where we have our training centres.

“Nigeria has budding talents in all the local governments and they are waiting to be discovered, so this Mobile Training Platform is going to be a vehicle that will be going to remote areas of the country.

“It is like a mobile clinic where the doctors go looking for the sick, and not the other way round.

“We are looking for the talents on the streets and communities where they are domiciled by giving them the required exposure.

“Young talents will be discovered, given opportunity to acquire skills, practice what they have learnt in order to have a sense of fulfillment as stakeholders in motion picture production,” he said.

Maduekwe explained that the mobile training initiative, which will be rolled out in the first quarter of 2020, will have upcoming artistes and passionate youths trained in the art of film making.

He added that selected participants will also be given necessary support to produce films that tell stories of their communities to the rest of the world.

He, however, appealed for adequate and timely release of funds to implement the project as planned by the corporation.

“There will be screening sessions and you can imagine the excitement of villagers gathering in an evening to watch films produced by their sons and daughters.

“Nigeria is the next frontier for storytelling, as we have so many stories, because when we talk about strength in diversity, it manifests in our storytelling.”

“Our decision to sustain the training of upcoming filmmakers is to ensure that Nigeria, considered as the world’s largest content film producer, does not suffer from skills gap crisis,” he said.

NAN reports that seasoned industry players, as well as scholars from the academia were present as resource persons and facilitators at the three-day workshop for the upcoming filmmakers.

Edited by Jane-Frances Oraka/Ifeyinwa Omowole

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NGO seeks support for beautiful deaf girls, other physically challenged

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NGO seeks support for beautiful deaf girls, other physically challenged

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Most Beautiful Deaf Girl in Nigeria (MBDGN) Group, Dr Tolulope Oko-Igarie, has urged Nigerians to support the physical challenged to achieve their dreams and contribute to national development.

Oko-Igarie made the appeal when she visited a Board Member of Deaf Women in Nigeria, Hajia Bola Muse, in her office in Lagos.

The CEO was in company with the winner of the MBDGN pageant, Miss Maria Okese of Rivers, and the first and second runners-up.

According to Oko-Igarie, the Most Beautiful Deaf Girl in Nigeria pageant had been on the pipeline since 2010.

“I started this programme out of compassion because I was a guest speaker at a deaf government school programme in Port-Harcourt. I then began to ask myself questions.

“I learnt about a lot of issues facing the physical challenged such as rape and drug abuse which can make one to think that the deaf world is a different world entirely.

“I wrote to the international and Africa deaf beauty pageants; I got franchise, but we were not able to go, because we did not get sponsorship,” Oko-Igarie said.

She expressed satisfaction that the maiden edition of the contest successfully held on Nov. 1, in Lagos.

In her response, Muse, also the CEO of BOMARAH Foundation, pledged her continued support for the physical challenged to enable them to do their best.

Muse hailed the efforts of the MBDGN Group for giving physical challenged persons a platform to express themselves.

She promised to do her possible best to empower the Most Beautiful Deaf Girl in Nigeria, Maria Okese, a professional photographer, to enable her to achieve her goals.

The CEO of Africa Blookchan Alliance, Mrs Ngozichukwuka Uri, appealed to Nigerians to give a sense of belonging to the less privileged.

She pledged continued support for them.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Miss Bose Odedina emerged the first runner-up and Miss Chinazo Columba emerged the second runner-up in the MBDGN contest held in Lekki, Lagos State.

NAN reports that the MBDGN Group organised the contest in conjunction with Empathy Driven International Initiative, an NGO that focuses on protecting and defending the physically challenged in Nigeria.

Edited by Cecilia Odey/Ijeoma Popoola

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QRTV makes case for rape victims with new movie

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The Chief Executive Officer, QRTV, Queen Rasheed, on Friday advocated for better treatment of rape victims in Nigeria.

The CEO during the premiere of the movie titled “Don’t Beg Now” in Victoria Island, Lagos,  said more attention should be paid to rape victims who were still going through trauma.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that “Don’t Beg Now” is an 80-minute movie, which portrays Kuchi Kris as a rape victim, who sought vengeance all her life.

“I grew up in Nigeria and I know a lot of Nigerian women, who have gone through sexual harassment.

“We do not have the exact statistics of rape cases in Nigeria because our hospitals do not have updated records.

“Before the making of the movie “Don’t Beg Now”, I spoke with victims who had gone through similar cases outside the country but I observed that the stigma story is common with Nigeria.

“People will discriminate against the victim thereby punishing her not the criminal.

“This movie is not just advocating for rape survivals to speak out but to encourage them not to let the stigma shut them up,” she said.

Queen Rasheed commended Kuchi Kris, who played Aisha Dabiri in the movie as the protagonist, as well other casts.

According to her, what is important to a rape victim is her general well-being and all that makes her heal from the trauma.

The Movie Director, Mr Olawore Jay, popularly known as Rola, added that a channel needs to be created for rape victims to speak out and feel protected.

“With `Don’t Beg Now’, our focus is on the trauma and all that happens to a rape victim after this evil act.

“We realised that a lot of people just talk about it without understanding the change that can occur in a girl or woman after being violated.

“What we are doing is highlighting the trauma with this movie, so that the attacker can think twice before carrying out the act,” he said.

Rola added that the movie, which was produced in one month focuses on showcasing the trauma associated with rape, using upcoming artistes.

He said the movie was produced as a contribution to Nollywood.

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Ifeyinwa Omowole

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Nollywood: Filmmaker urges screenwriters to reshape African reality through stories

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Award-winning filmmaker, Adekunle ‘Nodash’ Adejuiyigbe has urged Nollywood screenwriters to engineer better realities for Africa through their stories.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Adejuiyigbe said this on his Instagram page @i_am_nodash in an open letter to screenwriters where he detailed lessons from the 2019 Carthage International Film Festival.

His award-winning film ‘The Delivery Boy’, an interesting love story that explores the back story of terrorists, represented Nigeria at the festival.

Adejuiyigbe wrote, “Dear fellow writers, you see those keypads, the ones on your computers and phones? They are actually not keypads, they are triggers on the strongest nuclear weapon of all, The weapon called “story”.

“With those keys we can liberate the continent, with them, we can also Hiroshima the hell out of ourselves. It’s a choice. Africa might have been invaded by guns but it was conquered by stories.

“Those stories became narratives and those narratives became filters through which we see ourselves and this distorted worldview is what we call reality.

“So if ‘reality’ is simply the handiwork of other writers, then our jobs as African writers is not to describe that reality, nope, our job is to engineer a better reality into existence.”

Adejuiyigbe noted that the writers might face challenges while trying to write better stories about Nigeria and Africa, however, he encouraged them to rise to the challenge.

He added that the process of inspirational writing was the difference between a writer and a journalist.

According to him, it is a journalist’s job to assess and report Africa but it is a writer’s job to build it.

“Where are the resources to build with? Where do we draw inspiration from? I mean, we were punished for speaking our native languages in primary school weren’t we?

“How do we expect writers who were raised to think lowly of Africa to write stories that empower Africans?

“But this is the beauty of being an African writer in a time like this. For every page you write you have to go a mile within your own self.

“For every conflict your characters face, you face 20 within your own soul. So the African writer is essentially a character in a story that won’t end in his/her lifetime.

“It is a big responsibility because the story is the foundation of all creative projects. If the story has no magic, the best directors, actors and cameras cannot save it,” he said.

NAN reports that Adejuiyigbe’s acclaimed film, ‘The Delivery Boy’ snagged Best Performance in Visual Effects award at the 2019 Africa Movie Academy awards.

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Sadiya Hamza

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Fans hail Teni, Frank Edoho for new ‘Billionaire’ video

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Fans have continued to praise singer Teni Akpata and veteran television host, Frank Edoho for the newly released video for ‘Billionaire’.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the video, which was released on Thursday, quickly garnered positive response as fans described the concept as nostalgic.

Starring cameos from comedian, Broda Shaggi, ‘Billionaire’ video is a parody of defunct hit television show, ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’.

Appearing as ‘Who Wants to Be a Billionaire’ in the video, Edoho returned to host, reining in his legendary hosting skills and the suspense he earned the limelight with.

In the video, Teni sits as a contestant, playing to win one billion while her song plays in the background.

Set in the 90s, the TG Omori-directed flick also featured actress, Tina Mba and a host of extras who played Teni’s support club and cheering as she won.

Since the video’s premiere, fans have taken to social media to commend the return of Edoho to host as parody of his hit show as well as Broda Shaggi’s hilarious take on the winning question.

@Ugbedeojo wrote, “Teni’s ‘Billionaire’ video is so nice. I love the part where Frank Edoho hosted ‘Who Wants to Be a Billionaire.”

@HeroNation tweeted, “The video is my video of the year. Thank you for this song. Great video concept and thanks for bringing back the good old days memories of Frank Edoho.”

@Omotola said, “Mad concept. Broda Shaggi was crazy as usual and thanks for bringing back the boss, Frank Edoho. The best always remains the best.”

@Zinnivibes wrote, “The concept is mad. Using one of our best all time television shows as the setting required a lot of creativity. Nice one.”

Edited by Joseph Edeh/Ese E. Ekama

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Nigerian artist, Njideka Akunyili-Crosby makes 2019 Time’s ‘100 Next’ list

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Acclaimed global artist, Njideka Akunyili-Crosby has been profiled in the 2019 Time Magazine ‘100 Next’ list.

Time’s ‘100 Next’ is an annual listicle of the 100 influential people in the world who are actively contributing to change the world through their craft.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Akunyili-Crosby is the daughter of the late Dora Akunyili, former Director-General of the National Agency for Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

In a blurb describing her, journalist Madeleine Carlisle wrote, “Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s works have sold for millions at auctions.

“But in 2018, it was possible to see one at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art free of charge—you didn’t even have to go inside.

“The visual artist was only the second person to be chosen to create a mural on the walls of the museum itself, which was visible from Grand Avenue’s sidewalk.

“It featured brightly coloured scenes of domestic life: in one section, a woman rests her elbow on a table, seemingly deep in thought.

“Akunyili Crosby—who moved to the U.S. from Nigeria in her teens—is known for such scenes, some of which are autobiographical and incorporate references to both countries,” Carlisle wrote.

In her words, Akunyili-Crosby told TIME, “I’m really looking at how [Nigeria and the U.S.] are complex hybrid spaces.”

NAN reports that in 2018, she made history after selling a painting of hers for the sum of N1.2 billion.

She recently won a MacArthur Genius Grant which set her N225 million richer.

Her iconic Bush Babies painting was sold by Sotheby’s for N1.2 billion.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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