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Nigeria’s Giannis Antetokounmpo gives moving speech following MVP win



Nigerian-American basketball player, Giannis Antetokounmpo gave an emotional tribute to his family after being named the MVP of the 2018-19 NBA season during the league’s award show on Monday night.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 24-year-old center broke down in tears as he gave his speech and explained how he plays every day for his late father.

Antetokounmpo was born to Nigerian parents in Greece. His father is Charles, was a former Nigerian association football player, while his mother, Veronica, is a former high jumper.

He said, “I want to thank my dad. Obviously, my dad is not here with me, but two years ago, I had to go in my head that I’m going to be the best player in the league.

Photo credit #NBAAwards

“That I’m going to do whatever it takes to help my team win and that I’m going to win the MVP. Every day that I step on the floor I always think about my dad and that motivates me.

“It pushed me to play hard and move forward even when my body’s sore, even when I don’t feel like playing, I always go and show up and I’m always going to do the right thing,” Antetokounmpo said.

Antetokounmpo also thanked his brothers, calling them “role models.” His brothers had to fight tears as well, especially when Antetokounmpo started talking about their mother.

“She’s my hero, when you’re a little kid, you don’t see the future. If you have a good parent, your parent sees the future for you.

“She always saw the future in us, she always believed in us, she was always there for us. She’s the foundation of this family. You’re my true hero,” he said.

The speech ended with Antetokounmpo addressing the one thing he did not accomplish this season.

“This is just the beginning. My goal is to win a championship, as my dad taught me. Always want more and never be greedy. My goal is to win a championship and I will do whatever it takes to make that happen.”

Antetokounmpo was taken with the 15th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, edged out James Harden and Paul George to win the first MVP award of his brief career.

Popularly known as ‘The Greek Freak’, he won the award after a dominant season in which he led the Milwaukee Bucks to the best regular season record in the NBA while averaging 27.7 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game.

This makes Antetokounmpo the youngest winner to win the MVP since Derrick Rose in 2011.

Antetokounmpo also finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting, showing how much of a force he was in all phases of the game.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi



Censorship board tasks Kannywood stars to utilize training opportunities



 The Execuitve Secretary of the Kano State Censorship Board,  Alhaji Ismail Naabba, has tasked Kannywood artistes to utilize the training opportunities provided by the Ganduje administration.

Naabba made the call on Thursday while inaugurating a committee for the graduation ceremony of Kannywood stars, who received a training and graduated from The National Film Institute Jos, which was sponsored by the government.

The Executive Secretary said, the government sponsored some Kannywood stars to be trained on cinematography and other film related courses in early 2019.

He added that the same committee would also be organising the Best of Nollywood Award Night (BON), which would take place in Kano in mid December.

According to him, the  Ganduje administration has accorded priority to providing an enabling environment for the growth and development of the Kannywood.

He explained that the administration had been committed to providing trainings and other incentives to all stakeholders in the industry, to enhance efficiency and productivity.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Shehu Kano, pledged that the committee would work hard to achieve success.

NAN reports that members of the organising committee included Ali Nuhu, Alasan Kwalle, Saidu Gwanja, Mudassir Kassim, Jamilu Ahmed, Hadiza Muhammed, Nura  Hussain and Sani Sule.

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Exhibition : Envoy advocates for more participation of other countries



Mr Saleh Saeed , the Libyan Ambassador to Nigeria, on Thursday advocated for more participation of other countries at the ongoing  International Arts and Culture expo ( INAC) in Abuja.

The envoy made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency ( NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

Saeed noted that it was important for countries to showcase their cultural heritage and the expo was a good platform for it.

He said that the expo had been ongoing for some years but the embassy in Nigeria decided to participate in this year’s event to showcase their heritage.

” I am here to show our cultural heritage from Libya, it is not easy to transport our wares from Libya that is why we do not have much to showcase.

” It is important for every country to show who they are, and we have no desire to sell our products or items but to display them and showcase our heritage, ” he added.

Another exhibitor, Mrs Agatha Wabara, who describes herself as a member of Old Aba People’s Assembly, said that the expo had given her an opportunity to showcase the culture and heritage of her people.

According to her, it is imperative for every country and state to participate in this expo to show the world the diversities in their culture and heritage.

Wabara, who displayed hand woven fabrics said it was her first time and commended  the organisers for the opportunity to exhibit her wares and heritage.

“I expect great turn out of Abuja people to patronise us because I was told that there was enough publicity of the event on media platforms.

” I have hand woven fabrics  from Ndoki in Abia State, to showcase my culture and that is what we use for various occasions.

“I am a fashion designer,  I make ready to wear clothes but the problem we have in this business is patronage and marketing of finished products but with this platform I believe I will gain publicity, ” she said.

She, however, commended the National Council for Arts and Culrure (NCAC) and the Director General, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, for a well organised event .


Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Ifeyinwa Omowole (NAN)

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INAC Expo 2019: Organisers urged to get permanent site




/Chinenye Offor

Abuja , Nov. 21 , 2019 ( NAN) Alhaji Modu Barak, Executive Director, Yobe State Council of Arts and Culture, on Thursday pleaded with the Federal Government to provide a permanent site for the annual International Arts and Crafts Exhibition  (INAC).

He told the Nigeria News Agency  in Abuja, that a permanent site would go a long way to ease logistics for participants of the expo.

Barak said the lack of permanent site for the exhibition of their arts and crafts had hindered some states from participating in the expo.

According to him, the visiting states encounter difficulty transporting their items to different locations yearly.

Barak said that he was aware of the difficulty faced by the organisation to get a permanent site for the yearly exhibition since the centre got burnt.

He noted that the organisation had battled with the problem of permanent site since 2017,  when fire gutted the arts and crafts village, which led to the challenge of looking for a suitable site for the expo.

The Executive Director said that they had been participating in the expo since it’s inception in 2008 when it was called African Arts and Crafts Expo, adding that he was delighted for its upgrade to an international expo.

” Our expectations are very high this year, that is why we came prepared. Our traditional gown is one of the artworks that Yobe is identified with and you can see our people wearing the multicoloured them.

” We came with our craftsmen and this expo will give them better exposure and also give them an opportunity to synergise.

“We are urging the organisers to have a permanent place or partition and repair the art and craft village that got burnt, so that we can showcase our goods,” he said.


Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Ifeyinwa Omowole (NAN)

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Grammy: Nigerians elated over Burna Boy’s nomination



Fans have continued to flood social media with congratulatory messages following Afro-fusion star, Damini Ogulu, aka Burna Boy’s Grammy nomination.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Burna Boy’s inclusion in the prestigious Grammy nomination list broke the internet when it was announced on Wednesday evening.

He was nominated in the ‘Best World Music Album’ category for his album ‘African Giant’ which also featured Angelique Kidjo who was nominated in the same category.

Reacting to the nominations, Burna Boy via his twitter handle @Burnaboy, “African Giant is Grammy Nominated! Its been a crazy day, so Grateful.

“Special shout-out to everyone on the album from the producers to co-producers to featured Artists to Engineers.

“I appreciate all your input to making the album. We should all be very proud. #grammys  #GRAMMYNoms.’’

@IvieAni said, “Burna Boy deserves this Grammy nomination. We saw it coming from miles away. The Grammy still having a World Music category is still questionable though.’’

@Omojuwa tweeted, “I am glad Burna Boy let the greatness come through…it was always there, always apparent. Everyone with an eye for genuine talent could see it. Here we are!’’

@Theshawnife said, “When Burna Boy called himself an African Giant, there was outrage on Social Media for days.

“Since then, his album has made mad waves! In the African Giant song he said he would win a GRAMMY.

“Now he’s en route to doing that, he literally spoke it into existence! A KING, WE STAN.’’

@Fifunmi said, “Burna Boy nominated for a Grammy award.

“I’m proud of the #AfricanGiant and proud to be part of the group who promoted the great album. It was worth it.’’

In January, Burna Boy earned the moniker ‘African Giant’ following a swipe at Coachella for writing his name in small fonts for the event’s promotional posters.

NAN reports that he accused the summer festival of disrespecting him and tagged himself an ‘African Giant’ causing a huge social media debate.

Burna Boy eventually performed at Coachella in April alongside Mr Eazi and subsequently named his album ‘African Giant’.

Edited by Julius Enehikhuere/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)

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Femi Kuti, 2baba, other celebrities congratulate Burna Boy over Grammy nod



Nigerian celebrities have continued to congratulate musician Damini Ogulu aka `Burna Boy’ over his Grammy nomination.

The Grammy is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognise achievements in the music industry globally.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Burna Boy’s nomination announcement on Wednesday evening sent the internet into frenzy.

The Afro-fusion star was nominated in the ‘Near World Music Album’ category for his highly acclaimed 2019 album, ‘African Giant’.

Following the announcement, veterans in the music industry, Femi Kuti and Innocent Idibia aka 2baba congratulated him on social media.

Other colleagues including Banky W, Wizkid, Davido, Tekno and Olamide also congratulated the singer.

@FemiKuti said, “Congratulations @burnaboy on the @RecordingAcad nomination best wishes and love.’’

@Official2Baba tweeted, “Yes ooo. Bless up @burnaboy. It was all a dream.’’

@BankyW said, “Our African Giant has been nominated for a GRAMMY!!!!!!

“Congratulations to @burnaboy, his Mom and the entire team. AMAZING, and well deserved.

“Anything is possible with a little bit of faith and a lot of hard work. So, so, sooo happy for him.’’

@Shaydee wrote, “@burnaboy ma mayne!!!!!! Massive congrats to you blad! You deserve that Grammy nod for sure!!!! #AfricanGiant.”

Toke Makinwa @Tokstarr said, “Burna boy keeps breaking boundaries, this is such an exciting one.’’

@Olamide_YBNL said, “On God!!!!! @RecordingAcad gives @burnaboy that Grammy or we sending @olamide_YBNL over, trust me you don’t want that smoke.’’

Singer, Tekno @Alhajitekno tweeted, “Congrats on every level my brother!!! You deserve collect am! #AfricanGiant.’’

NAN reports that Burna Boy follows in the footsteps of Seun Kuti, Femi Kuti and King Sunny Ade, who had previously been nominated in that category at the Grammy Awards.

Other Nigerian Grammy nominees include, Babatune Olatunji, Wizkid, Timaya and Kah Lo. The only Nigerian to win a Grammy Award remains Sikiru Adepoju.

Edited by Cecilia Odey/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)

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2019 INAC: Ethiopia wants Nigerians, others patronise its indigenous coffee, frankincense



Ms Harmella Mathewos, Trade and Tourism Officer, Ethiopian Embassy, Abuja, on Thursday appealed to Nigerians and other countries to patronise its coffee and frankincense.

Mathewos made the appeal in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency at the Federal Capital Territory Exhibition Pavilion, venue of the ongoing 2019 International Arts and Crafts Expo (INAC).

Theme of the 2019 Expo is entitled: “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World”.

According to her, Ethiopia is one of the largest producers of coffee and the country generates huge revenue annually from coffee sales worldwide.

“The major coffee produced in Ethiopia referred to as ‘Arabic’ was first discovered in Kaffa and has lots of benefits for the consumers.

“Ethiopia has very rich coffee culture spanning over 1,000 years and our coffee has energising effects and is labelled premium coffee.

“What makes Ethiopia coffee unique is that a lot of ceremony goes with the preparation which makes it touristic.

“This has to do with its washing, roasting and brewing, all in a go.

“Coffee is Ethiopia’s number one export produce and has improved the economy of the nation over the years,” she said.

Mathewos said that other things displayed on the country’s stand for all to embrace and patronise were paintings, dresses, scarfs, jewellery and frankincense, among others.

The trade and tourism officer said that for Ethiopians, frankincense has some religious connotations and was being used at the fair to lighten up the environment.

She said that frankincense was held very highly in Ethiopia because of the biblical allusion which had the three wise men in the Bible presenting frankincense to Jesus Christ as a gift.

According to her, this is not restricted to the Christians alone but.

She said that due to improved technological advancement, the country had been able to improve on the quality of frankincense produced from tree wax.

Mathewos said that frankincenses were made from tree wax and that combination of different scents chemically engineered together gave varieties to the product.

She said that the items exhibited were produced by the country locally to boost its economy.

Edited by Chidinma Agu/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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