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Movie Director Afolayan decries segregation in filmmaking in Africa

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Kunle Afolanya, veteran Nigerian filmmaker says there is so much segregation in filmmaking between the Francophone and Anglophone countries in Africa.

Afolayan expressed concerns as African filmmakers under the ‘Pavillon Afriques’ at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes) called for co-production of films to boost distribution of African content across the continent.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the filmmakers made the call during a panel discussion at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival holding from May 14 to May 25 in France.

Afolayan said “there is so much segregation in filmmaking between Francophone and Anglophone countries in Africa, and filmmaking should not even be based on the language

we speak.

“For example, in producing the acclaimed film `The CEO’, I brought actors from Morocco, Kenya, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire

and Nigeria, and that made the film to gain acceptance in those countries and across Africa.

“If different countries have a representation in a particular film, it will boost its distribution because it will be accepted by the audience of the countries.”

Ijeoma Onah, Founder of Nigerian International Film Summit, said co-production of films would bridge the gap in telling the African story to the rest of the world.

“It is time we tell our story in our own way to the rest of the world, and that will be very possible if we work together in the filmmaking business.

“The African filmmaker needs to keep improving and that can be best achieved through collaborations.”

Bonolo Madisakwane, a South African Filmmaker and Distributor said: “west Africa, Which Nollywood represents, has a lot of contents which

other parts of the continent and the world need.

“However, there is need for business treaties among countries for easy distribution of these rich contents.

“Investors, filmmakers and distributors must work together to develop a strong movie industry for Africa,” she said.

Mehret Mandefro, Ethiopian Filmmaker and TV Presenter, said “Nollywood is a role model in filmmaking that other African countries need

to work with to grow their industry.

“Nollywood is miles ahead of others, but other countries can learn from it.

“Others can take a lift from Nigeria because stakeholders are very key to each other as filmmaking cannot be done in isolation.”

Mandefo therefore urge filmmakers to collaborate and build strategic partnership toward the collective growth of the continent’s film industry.

Mr Thomas Adedayo Executive Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), said that filmmakers needed to do more to maximize opportunities the African film industry offers.

Thomas, a member of the Advisory Board of the Pavillon Afriques, noted that market for Africa contents was growing within and outside the continent, and therefore urged filmmakers to work together for enhanced distribution.

“Even in this digital era, records have shown that DVDs sales still strives in many parts of Africa, and that clearly shows that the market for it is still there.

“Nigeria government is committed to providing the enabling environment and the ease of doing business, so investors are welcomed,” he said.

Also, Prudence Kolong, Communications and Operations Director of the Pavillon Afriques commended participating countries, explaining that the pavillon was to providing stakeholders with an unprecedented access to the African film industry resources and professionals.

“With this project, we are creating a unique venue for movie trade and promotion that outlines the diversity and plurality from Africa and its diaspora film and television content.

“Our ambition is to become an exclusive business platform where film industry stakeholders meet, discuss, trade, make deals and take advantage of the unique atmosphere of the Festival de Cannes,” she said.

Pavillon Afriques, is in its first year at Cannes with the theme ‘Connecting the Past, Present and Future.’

It gathers filmmakers and other stakeholders to discuss business of Filmmaking in the African continent and among its diaspora.

According to the filmmakers, Africa has rich contents, as it has rich and interesting stories to tell the world, but needed to effectively distribute the story from home through co-production.

NAN reports that the NFVCB is leading the Nigerian delegation to the Pavillon Afriques of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival, to join a line-up that includes participants from African countries Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.

Others include Ethiopia, Rwanda, Togo and Djibouti, among others, including Jamaica and other African diaspora countries.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi

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FTAN calls for national policy on ‘Cultural Tourism’ in Nigeria

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Alhaji Rabo Saleh, National President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has called on the Federal Government to come up with a national policy on ‘Cultural Tourism’ to boost the sector.

Saleh said this on Tuesday at the 5th Edition of Nigeria Tourism Investors Forum and Exhibition (NTIFE) in Abuja, with the theme: “An Insight into the Legal Framework of Tourism in Nigeria”.

Saleh said that domestic and international tourism experts have concluded that cultural tourism was Nigeria’s most competitive tourist product, if properly harnessed.

“Nigeria is a promising African tourism destination, therefore, there should be no dichotomy between ‘culture’ and ‘tourism’.

“Culture and Tourism departments in government ministries should work as a team to sell Nigeria to inbound tourists.

“Other countries, like Turkey and China have recently been investing in cultural tourist products with enviable success,” he said.

The FTAN president urged Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and other stakeholders to utilise the opportunities to put Nigeria on the global tourism map.

He added that this could be achieved by the diversification of the economy through cultural tourism products that would attract inbound forex spending tourists, also by promotion of domestic tourism to create business.

“State governments are the natural custodians of most tourist sites because the sites are all local.

“Mapping out tourism development zone at the Local Government level, provision of tourist facilities such as access roads, facilitating land acquisition for tourism investors should be put into consideration,” he said.

He called on the government, both federal and state to analytically look at the Nigeria’s tourism map and build up a motor-able road that would lead to and fro tourist destinations in Nigeria.

Also speaking, Mr Samuel Alabi, Chairman, FTAN Board of Trustees, appealed to the FG to allocate land to FTAN for tourism to flourish.

Alabi, also a former president of FTAN,  added that allocating land to the association would help tourism development in Nigeria.

The event attracted personalities from the Federal Ministry of Information, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, National Orientation Agency as well as stakeholders in the tourism sector, among others.

Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Ifeyinwa Omowole

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Women, groups eulogise men on International Men’s Day

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Men have continued to receive praise and eulogy on social media in commemoration of International Men’s Day.

International Men’s Day (IMD) is an annual international event celebrated on Nov. 19.

The objectives of celebrating an International Men’s Day are set out in ‘The Six Pillars of International Men’s Day.’

It focuses on men’s and boys’ health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, highlighting discrimination against men and promoting male role models.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the accolades, which came mostly from women and social groups, praised men for their bravery and courage.

@Chibeie said, “To the father that never left and provided at all cost!

“To the man that believes in women’s rights! To the man that never raises his hands on a lady!

“To the man that never indulges in rape or Adultery! Happy #InternationalMensDay. You are the real MVP!”(Most valued person).

@BellaRizinti wrote, “Happy #InternationalMen’sDay To my friends & loved ones.

“To the men tackling toxic masculinity. To the men who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable.

“To the men who are struggling with mental health issues. To the men who are told to “man up”. You’re good enough as you are.”

NAN reports that the men were also encouraged to speak up about issues that disturbed their mental health.

@Melacomfort said, “Suicide remains one of the most common causes of death for men, aged between 18-50.

“All men should be made to feel comfortable about speaking openly and getting support.

“Asking for help when you need it doesn’t make you weak. It just means you’re human. #InternationalMensDay.”

@Ericafett said, “To the men out there that realise that your depth as a man and more importantly as a human, isn’t measured by how much you lift or how “tough” you are.

“Rather, your ability to be a good man. Bless all you good ones out there. #InternationalMensDay.”

NAN reports that the celebration in Nigeria was unofficial as the country is not listed as one of the 44 countries in the world that observe the Day.

This has reduced the level of awareness of the importance of the International Men’s Day celebration in Nigeria.

Seeing that the country celebrates International Women’s Day and officially organises events, some respondents noted that the lack of celebration for men was partial.

Albehi Salehi said, “There is Day for men. Sadly government isn’t running any event on this day. Partiality. #InternationalMensDay”

Johnson Akinwale said, “I feel men deserve a celebration as grand as women. Our struggles and pains are valid too and need to be acknowledged.”

Edited by Dada Ahmed

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YCee’s album ‘YCee vs Zaheer’ hits 2m streams

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‘YCee vs Zaheer’, the latest album of singer and rapper, Oludemilade Alejo aka YCee, has been streamed over two million times.

Nigeria News Agency reports that YCee excitedly shared the news on his instagram page @iam_ycee.

The long-awaited debut album entitled ‘Ycee vs Zaheer’ was released on Nov. 8 and has steadily become a fan favourite in the last couple of days.

The project comes as a follow up to his 8-track body of work ‘First Wave’ (2017) and ‘Late Night Vibrations’ in 2018.

The two-dimensional album featured collaborations with Davido, Phyno, and Niniola.

Among the songs contained in the 15-track project are `Its Amazing’, ‘Wahala Dey’, ‘Bossing’, ‘Chocolata’, ‘Cheque’ and ‘Dakun’.

Others are ‘Vibing’, ‘Mo Salah’, ‘So Nice’, ‘Mine’, ‘Love Like That’, ‘Bassline’, ‘Dada’, ‘Vacancy’.

The album also had Ycee engage a squad of fiery producers including Adey, JayBidz, Ballertosh, Fanatix and BeatsbyKarma.

He also worked with Syn X, Krizbeatz, Jay Popping, Buzzin Producer, AP Da Don, TwoSeven, Elmore, and KO.

Speaking on the idea behind the album’s title, the Headies-nominated singer had said that his choice of ‘Ycee vs Zaheer’ was a deliberate attempt to display his singing (Ycee) and rapping (Zaheer) side.

YCee rose to limelight after his single ‘Condo’, which features vocals from Patoranking, earned him two nominations at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.

He was also nominated for Best Artist in African Pop at the 2015 All Africa Music Awards.

In October 2016, Ycee signed a record deal with Sony Music, but terminated his contract with the label in February 2018.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

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Wizkid wins SoulTrain songwriting award for ‘Brown Skin Girl’

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Afropop superstar, Ayodeji Balogun aka Wizkid has won SoulTrain’s Ashford and Simpson Songwriters’ award.

Nigeria News Agency reports that he won the award at the 2019 ceremony held on Sunday in Las Vegas.

The ‘Ojuelegba’ singer earned the award for his collaboration with Beyonce, Blue Ivy Carter and SaiNt Jhn on the sensational song of Beyonce’s ‘Lion Heart: The Gift’ album.

Wizkid shares the award with other credited songwriters including, Beyoncé Knowles, Carlos St. John, Adio Marchant and Shawn Carter.

Others are Stacy BartheAnathi Mnyango, Michael Uzowuru, Ayodeji Balogun and Richard Isong.

NAN reports that this was the third time Wizkid had made the nominees’ list for the prestigious award.

He was nominated for Best Dance Performance in 2017 for his song ‘Come Closer’ and in 2016 for the Rhythm and Bars category for his song ‘One Dance.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

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‘Most music legends are not versatile’ – Singer, Simi

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Nigerian alternative music star, Simi Ogunleye has deemed audience ‘unrealistic’ expectations from artist as one of the main issues plaguing the music industry.

Nigeria News Agency reports that in a series of Twitter posts @simplysimi, she noted that Nigerian musicians are forced to cater to the same audience and switch their sounds to feed them.

According to the ‘Soldier’ singer, artists are forced to be versatile even when they have their own original sounds, as musical legends are usually monotonous in their sounds.

“I think one of the most trying things Naija artistes deal with is that we are mostly catering to the same audience.

“We don’t want to have to, but the structure of the industry makes it inevitable. We expect the same people to like Rap, street music, soul, pop, indie. Its strange.

“Strange for the audience because they keep messing around with your preference. You expect everyone to please you.

“Zlatan and Johnny Drille. Strange for the artist cos they keep messing around with your creativity. You expect everybody to like your music. A waste of time.

“So when I see someone tell an artist “you’re monotonous’’, it amuses me. Most of the legends are monotonous.

“Unless they don’t have a sound. Imagine Fela doing hip-hop today and RnB tomorrow or Whitney Houston – Soul today, akpala tomorrow,’’ she said.

NAN reports that Simi, who is married to fellow alternative singer, Adekunle Gold recently released a new album, ‘Omo Charlie Champagne’.

The album swiftly follows her acclaimed 2017 eponymous album ‘Simisola’ which went on to win ‘Album of the Year’ at the Headies and contained a bunch of fantastic singles, including ‘Joromi’ and ‘Lovin.”

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

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Centre to produce documentary film on 1949 Iva Valley massacre

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The Center for Memories says it will produce a documentary film on the 1949 Iva Valley Enugu coal mine massacre to immortalise the victims.

A historian at the centre, Mrs Rina Okonkwo, said this on Monday during the wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the massacre at the New Market Roundabout, Enugu.

Okonkwo said that the documentary would avail the younger generation the opportunity to learn about the past “in sight and sound.”

She said that the documentary would help to capture the remaining form of the environment where the coal miners’ worked as well as interviews of the aged survivors of the attack.

Okonkwo said that the centre would also strive to produce the story and pictorial of the incident in a modern history book as “the Federal Government is restoring back history to school curriculum’’.

He said: “We are pushing ahead with the documentary project, however, we have funding challenge since the centre is not a profit-making institution.

“However, we are still looking ahead and optimistic that the project will be out probably before the next anniversary of the massacre,’’ the historian said.

Okonkwo said that the documentary had become expedient because “Nigerians easily forget, while most historical events and relics are fading away from our memories and sight’’.

Nigeria News Agency reports that on Nov. 18, 1949, no fewer than 21 coal miners were brutally massacred, while 50 others were injured by the British colonialists for daring to protest aginst racism as well as their poor working and living conditions.

(Edited by Sam Oditah)

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