Journalist, Egbejule explores the 1998 ‘Jesse Pipeline’ explosion in gripping new film



Award winning journalist, Eromo Egbejule has explored the 1998 ‘Jesse Pipeline’ explosion in his directorial debut, ‘Jesse: The Funeral That Never Ended’.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the documentary film, which chronicled the Oct. 18, 1998 explosion, premiered at the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) on Wednesday.

In 1998, a massive leaking pipeline passing through the Jesse community, connecting the south and north of Nigeria, triggered an explosion that ultimately resulted in the death of at least 1,000 people.

The incident left hundreds of undocumented dead and tens of survivors with ghastly scars.

Many victims were too badly burned to be identified, and over 300 bodies were buried in mass graves.

‘Jesse: The Funeral That Never Ended’, the rehashing of that tragic story as it happened, was produced by Arit Okpo, the host of CNN African Voices Changemakers.

Speaking on the movie, Egbejule said, “The documentary is the resurrection of an impeccably tragic story of a people who were hemmed in all sides by what should have been a blessing for them.

“With all the stories coming from the Niger Delta, it was important for us to tell this one lest they stay forgotten and become drops in the ocean.”

NAN reports that the film captures the crucial moments before and after the pipeline exploded, through the eyewitness accounts of survivors of the long-lasting inferno.

Also, accounts of relatives of the dead, first responders at the scene and community leaders made the cut.

It was narrated by Singto Saro-Wiwa, whose father, the playwright and environmental activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, was hanged in November 1995 by the Gen. Sani Abacha regime for his fervent criticism of the region’s exploitation.

The film also includes interviews with Nnimmo Bassey and the late Oronto Douglas, two contemporaries of Saro-Wiwa.

It threads the environmental degradation of the Niger Delta, the evolution of its people into collateral damage to continue the conversation on the region’s bittersweet relationship with crude oil.

According to Okpo, the story of Jesse is the story of the Niger-Delta; a people for whom a gift has become a tragedy.

She said: “It is a story of lives changed forever and of scars that exist long after the rest of the world has moved on.”

Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Ismail Abdulaziz


Don preaches against nudity in Nigerian films



Prof. Abdulrasheed Adeoye of the Department of Performing Arts, University of Ilorin on Friday advised Artistic-Directors in the Nigerian film industry against promoting nudity in films.

Adeoye made the call in his paper presentation at the 186th inaugural lecture of the University of Ilorin entitled:”Poetics of Legislation and De-Legislation on play Directing”.

He said that in the post-colonial age, flaws remained a combatant or combination of illusion and the performing artists are not exempted.

According to him, this is so because nudism sells and indecent dressing through body exploitation brings money to some performing artists.

He stated that his studies on films showed that artistic directors who placed economic gain above other positive issues allowed the pressure from producers to override their beliefs.

He said that studies also showed there was dislike for actors and actresses who often act nude, half-nude or dress indecently.

“The culture of copying bad Western tendencies and behaviours should be discouraged,” he said.

The expert in performing art also pointed out that theatre could be used as a critical conveyor of culture because of its universality.

“Performing artists as philosophers of revolution and reality can use theatre to show societal ills such as armed militias, indiscriminate killing, Boko Haram insurgency, corruption, maladministration, unemployment and anti-democratic tendencies.

“The aim is to bring desired change. The performing artists are expected to use the current local, national and international issues for artistic creation, direction and production of performances,” he said.

Adeoye urged Performing and Theatre Arts Departments to include the multicultural society in the country to their art plays to foster unity and cohesion.

Edited by: Chinyere Bassey/Ismail Abdulaziz


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UNESCO inscribes Kwagh-Hir theatrical performance on representative list



The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has inscribed the Tiv Kwagh-Hir performance on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity.

The Acting Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mr Louis Eriomala, announced this in a statement issued through his Media Assistant, Mr Caleb Nor, on Friday.

He said that the nomination of the Kwagh-Hir was adopted on Thursday, Dec. 12, at the 14th session of the Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Bogota, Colombia.

Nigeria News Agency reports that this makes it the 5th of Nigeria’s inscription on the Representative List.

Eriomala, a leader of the Nigerian delegation to the ICH convention, expressed his profound gratitude to the UNESCO while applauding the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

According to him, the minister’s support and approval gives credence to the importance of culture in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He also thanked members of the Bureau for supporting the nomination of Kwagh-Hir as well as the Evaluating Committee for the hard work and a job well done.

The Acting Secretary, further acknowledged contributions from colleagues in the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and NICO for putting together the nomination file.

Eriomala expressed deep appreciation to Prof. Gowon Ama Doki, the Dean, Faculty of Arts, Benue State University, Makurdi, who is an expert on Kwagh-Hir for being meticulous and diligent in preparing the element for eventual inscription.

The Benue State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Ngunan Addingi, speaking on behalf of the custodians, thanked  the Governor of Benue, Dr Samuel Ortom, for ensuring a high powered delegation to the Convention.

While expressing satisfaction with the inscription, Addingi noted that it would not only increase visibility for the element but also enhance the dignity and pride of the performing community.

She, therefore, pledged Government’s continued support to the Safeguarding mechanisms of the element.

No fewer than 70 countries attended the convention to seek for various inscriptions and it was a big privilege and honour done to Nigeria.

By this inscription, Kwagh-Hir can now enjoy the support and protection of UNESCO.

Kwagh-hir is an intricately woven performance, comprising a congeries of atavistic communal events, expressed in the form of dance, mime, puppetry and masquerade.

Edited by: Donald Ugwu


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Artist urges colleagues to do more research



A visual artist, Stanley Arinze, on Thursday urged colleagues to do more research on their act to scale it up with something new and educate the people.

Arinze told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos that when artists carry research, they would come out better and with something new to impact on youths and the society at large.

Arinze spoke on the backdrop of some artistes not doing enough research on their works, especially on visual, performance, films, music theatre among others before coming out for show.

’ “When an artist does research, he or she will be able to tell a story better with his or her works.”Nigeria is a country with rich cultural values, resources and political history that can be highlighted through works,” he said.

The artist, who noted that research, involved a lot of money called on government to assist artists with funds to enable the achieve the desired result in such endeavour.

Arinze said that a well researched work was capable of giving the producer uniqueness that people would marvel about.

It will attract a very good prize or attraction to whatever work created; something new will always attract and make impact on people.

Research increases public awareness on things that people do not have in depth knowledge of and we use it to educate and inform the public.

The visual artist called on colleagues to use their sense of curiosity to scale up their works for better understanding by the public.

Edited by: Dada Ahmed

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Cleric advises Christians to imbibe Jesus Christ virtues as they celebrate Christmas



Pastor Emmanuel Zakari, President Media Christian Fellowship, has advised Christians to imbibe the virtue of Jesus Christ in their daily lives and to live in harmony with their neighbours as they prepare for Christmas.

Zakari who is also a Pastor in Living Faith Church, Gwagwalada, gave the advice on Wednesday in Abuja, at the 2019 Nigeria News Agency Chapel Carol Service in commemoration of Christmas.

He described Christ in the lives of Christians as the hope of the world, adding that they must emulate Him to live a fulfilled life.

The cleric further said that Jesus Christ was born to give light to the world, saying that those who believed in Him and work according to His words, would not have darkness, represented by life challenges.

According to him, absence of Jesus Christ, the light of the world in a family will lead to crisis, stressing that Christians should search for the light He represented.

“By redemption as a Christian you are light, search for light because when light comes, darkness gives way.

“It is the potency of the light you carry as a Christian that determines your speed in life.

As a Christian, your life should be a compass, set a plan for your life and also mend your ways,’’ he advised.

The cleric further admonished Christians to live a Christ like life in their places of work and businesses, adding that it was the light of Christ in them that would distinguish them as individuals.

He, therefore, advised Christians to embrace Jesus, urging them to be good ambassadors of Christ in all of their endeavours.

NAN reports that Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Chapel of Restoration Choir thrilled audience at the event with songs as well as the NAN chapel choir.

NAN Chapel also showed special appreciation to some less privileged members with gifts for their resilience in their service of God at the end of the service which was attended by some other media organisations.

Edited by: Dorcas Jonah/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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Reality star, Khafi Kareem receives car prize “Lady Foxy’ Innoson vehicles



Khafi Kareem, BBNaija season four ex-housemate, has recieved her Innosson Motors car prize.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the excited reality star shared the news on her instagram page @acupofkhafi.

Khafi, who is also an author and actress, wrote, “Guess who is the newest car owner in town. I finally got my car and I couldn’t be happier.

Thank you so much Innosson vehicles. I will be calling her lady foxy so if you see me drive by, Holla at your girl,” she said.

NAN recalls that in August. Khafi won the Innosson IVM Fox car during the ‘Proudly Nigerian’ challenge on the show.

The challenge, sponsored by Nigerian brand, Innosson Motors, tasked housemates to present their Nigerian stories and highlight the beauty of being Nigerian.

During the first round, housemates gave presentations on their Nigerian story, however, Khafi’s excellent and inspiring presentation got viewers emotional.

NAN reports that following BBNaija, Khafi has hosted major events including The Future Awards and Nigeria Legal awards.

The talented YouTuber speaks French, English, Italian, Chinese, Yoruba and British sign languages.

Khafi has featured in many movies including, ‘The Evolution of U.S.’, and ‘Lost in London’ among others as well performed on stage at the Royal Opera House.

Edited by: Ese E. Ekama

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