AFRIMA 2017: And Wizkid Wins The Biggest One

Dubbed one of the biggest and best musical events on the continent of Africa, the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA), 2017 edition began with a star-studded night of performances from the likes of Sound Sultan, Konga, Ata-Wewe, Saheed Osupa, Adewale Ayuba, Muma-Gee, Oristafemi at the AFRIMA Music Village at Waterfront, Bar Beach on Friday.

The event, however, peaked with the main awards ceremony on Sunday at the EKO Hotel & Suites, Lagos.

It was a big night for WizKid, 2Baba, Wande Coal, YCee, Locko, Eli Keba as they clinched top awards.

Amongst personalities at the event were  Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture and Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Steve Ayorinde.

NAN-TV’s Omatsola Ine and Iyiola Pedro captured memorable moments at the event.

Shakira Cancels Concerts Over Vocal Cord Crisis

Pop star Shakira was forced to cancel the first swathe of concerts of her world tour Friday because of a problem with her vocal cords, the tour’s promoters said.

The Colombian singer postponed two concerts this weekend in Paris and a Belgian date on Sunday as well as a concert in Amsterdam on Tuesday “on the orders of her doctor”, they said.

The cancellations come after the “Hips Don’t Lie” star called off the opening concert of the “El Dorado World Tour” in Cologne on Wednesday, telling fans that all cancelled shows would be rearranged.

“We regret to announce the postponement of the dates,” promoters Live Nation said.

“It was under the orders of her doctor because the singer’s vocal cords are still recovering.”

“Shakira is really upset not to see her fans, and is thankful for all the support they have given her in this difficult period,” their statement added.

The singer is now due to kick off the tour in the southern French city of Montpellier next Thursday before a slew of Spanish concerts, which will end in her adopted home of Barcelona at the end of the month.

The star, who has a reported net worth of around 260 million euros (£300 million), was this week caught up in the “Paradise Papers” leaks.

According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists she avoids tax by being domiciled in the Bahamas and has transferred the rights to her songs to companies in Malta and Luxembourg.

We Want Stolen Benin Artefacts Returned, Says Obaseki Tells German Reporter

The Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said that his administration has commenced engagements with relevant stakeholders to ensure the return of stolen Benin artefacts.

Obaseki disclosed this when he received the publishers of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of Germany, a Frankfurt General Newspaper, working on a documentary to drum support for the return of the looted Benin artefacts, at Government House in Benin City on Monday.

He described the stolen artefacts as the cultural and social symbols of the Benin people and assured that the partnership with the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) and the Benin Palace to secure the return of the artefacts will yield the desired result.

“We want our property back and the artefacts represent our culture and social system, our history and political structure,” he said, and added that his administration was working on a tourism masterplan to boost tourism development in the state.

He commended the German journalists for finding the project worthy and assured of his administration’s support.

Earlier, Dr Lutz Mukke, leader of the team, described the 1897 Invasion of Benin Kingdom by the colonial masters as cruel, and stressed that the return of the stolen Benin artefacts will signify the restoration of its stolen identity.

Mukke said the team embarked on the project to ensure that justice is enthroned as the items were stolen from the Benin Kingdom.

He maintained that the Nigerian government has been supportive of the project and added that the team was working with some media organisations within and outside the country on a 10-page documentary of the project.

Adeboye, Ron Kenoly, Others For Bayelsa Ecumenical Centre Commissioning

Inspirational American gospel singer and multiple award winner, Ron ‎Kenoly will lead other local and international artistes to Bayelsa State tomorrow as the state government prepares to formally dedicate and commission its 10,000 seater Bayelsa State Ecumenical Center.

According to the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the veteran gospel sensation will also perform‎ at the 2017 Annual thanksgiving Day of the state, which will hold on Thursday November 2.

In a statement released on Monday ahead of the two events, Iworiso-Markson ‎stated that, as a government, it has prepared everything to make both days a huge success.

He reiterated that the General Overseer worldwide of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor E. A. Adeboye will lead other anointed ministers of God to dedicate and commission the magnificent edifice.

The statement also revealed that, revered man of God, Rev. Dr. Uma Ukpai will ‎be the guest preacher for the thanksgiving day, which will be preceded by a two day fasting and prayer.

The Information and Orientation Commissioner again called on Bayelsans and others, who reside in the state to come out en masse‎ and attend both events and added that it will also be beamed live on national and local television stations.

The new 10,000 seater Bayelsa State Ecumenical Center, the biggest and first of its kind in Nigeria was built from scratch to finish by the Restoration Government of Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson.

Among other facilities at the Ecumenical Center, include a modern Christian Library, Rosary Store, a Restaurant, Bookshop, a choir gallery, a rotating altar, an archive, prayer rooms and a VIP section in the main auditorium.

Ambode, Pedro, Falana, Utomi, Others Celebrate Fela At Afrika Shrine

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday evening hosted a well attended special Lagos Jump event at the New Afrika Shrine to round off Felabration 2017 in honour of the 79th posthumous birthday of Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

The Governor, who had earlier in the day unveiled an effigy of the late Afrobeat legend erected at the Allen Avenue Roundabout, led top officials of the State Government and other special guests of honour to grace the Special Lagos Jump to climax the 2017 Felabration.

Giving an opening remark, Fela’s daughter, Yeni Kuti thanked the Lagos State Government for supporting this year’s edition of the event, saying that it was an honour done to the entire Fela family.

She specifically thanked Governor Ambode for personally gracing the Special Lagos Jump at the Afrika Shrine, noting that he was the first sitting Governor to do so in official capacity.

“I sent the Governor an email requesting for support for Felabration 2017 and he responded immediately. I was shocked. I met him (Governor) for the first time two weeks ago, but he has proved that he is an action Governor,” she said.

Also speaking, Afrobeat star and son of the late icon, Femi Kuti thanked the Governor for the honour done to the family, just as he urged him to continue the developmental strides and purposeful leadership in the State.

“Your Excellency, we wish you good governance, we wish you prosperity in your leadership and we do hope this State can be satisfactory to all citizens because I believe that is your ambition,” Femi said.

The Guinness Book of Records holder, who got a standing ovation for his dexterity on the saxophone, thrilled the audience with some of his hit songs as well as a special rendition of Fela’s hit song “Water No Get Enemy”, to the excitement of the guests.

He also invited the Governor and members of the top table to the floor to try out some dance steps

Other artistes who performed include the Osinachi crooner, Humblesmith, Nneka, Fela’s youngest son, Seun, among others.

Among those who graced the event include the Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, ace movie producer, Kunle Afolayan, lawyer and rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana SAN, former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Otunba Femi Pedro, Professor Pat Utomi, Managing Director, Terra Kulture, Mrs. Bolanle Austen-Peters, among other dignitaries.

Former Governor Set To Be Installed ‘Elema Of Warri’

All is now set for the installation of Emmanuel Oritsejolomi Uduaghan as the Elema of Warri by the Olu of Warri, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli.

“The event, expected to bring together the local and the global community, comes up on Saturday, October 14, 2017” a statement in Warri on Wednesday by the Chairman of South-South Front (SSF), Chief John Harry said.

“Key actors in government across the country, members of the diplomatic corps and entrepreneurs from all the states of the federation and outside the country have indicated that they will grace the event. They are excited by the prospect of experiencing the hospitality for which the Itsekiri people are known” Mr. Henry Ovie, a media practitioner said in a statement to journalists today.

“We are so honoured and thankful to the Olu of Warri, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, Itsekiri paramount chiefs, prominent Itsekiri leaders, concerned families, chairman and members of Abiugborodo community and others for giving Emmanuel Oritsejolomi Uduaghan the opportunity to serve the people” the statement added.

Da Vinci's Jesus Christ Painting To Be Sold For $100m

The last Leonardo Da Vinci painting dating  from around 1500, “Salvator Mundi” — which depicts Jesus Christ as the world’s saviour, will go under the hammer next month in New York.

The Christie’s auction house on  Tuesday, estimated its worth at $100 million, the AFP reported.

The painting which was long believed to be a copy of an original by the Italian master, was eventually certified as authentic.

Fewer than 20 works by Da Vinci, whose art was already highly sought after during his lifetime, have survived to this day — all of them held in museum or institutional collections, with the exception of “Salvator Mundi.”

As a general rule, very few pre-19th-century artworks remain in private ownership, and it is extremely rare for one of them to be offered at auction.

“For auction specialists, this is pretty much the Holy Grail, no pun intended, but it doesn’t really get better than that,” said Loic Gouzer, co-chairman of Christie’s Americas post-war and contemporary art department.

A third party guarantee has been arranged for the painting, which ensures it will sell for around the estimate of $100 million on November 15, said Francois de Poortere, head of the Christie’s old masters department in New York.

The work will travel to Hong Kong, San Francisco and London, before spending three days on display in New York leading up to the sale.

According to Poortere, “Salvator Mundi” — which measures 45×65 cm (26×18 inches) — was last sold to an unnamed European collector following a historic Da Vinci exhibition at London’s National Gallery in 2011-12.

Mining a common theme, next month’s auction will begin with the sale of the massive “Sixty Last Suppers” by pop artist Andy Warhol — which depicts Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” 60 times over, and is offered with a $50 million estimate.

FG Grants Reliefs To New TStv

New pay Television operator, TStv Africa, has been granted three-year tax relief by the federal government.

The newly inaugurated television was also granted tax free dividends to all investors in the company.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced incentives on Sunday night in Abuja at a dinner to mark the official unveiling of the new company.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports TStv Africa is a wholly owned by Nigerian Pay TV operator with refined offerings of novel Unclassified Pay Per View subscription and complimentary internet services.

Mohammed who performed the official unveiling of the new company and its products said the tax reliefs were in line with the Pioneer Status recently granted
to the Creative Industry by the Government.

The Minister congratulated the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Dr. Bright Echefu and his team for liberalising and breaking the monopoly of Pay TV in the country.

“The important thing about what Echefu has done today is that he has redefined the pay per view television industry and from today, that industry will never remain the same again.

“What he has done is to democratise the media and entertainment industry and make it possible for even a peasant farmer to have access to the best entertainment and news in the world.

“It is a great opportunity for me to be the one to unveil TStv because just like a Nigerian made history by crashing the cost of telephony in Nigeria, I am glad that another Nigerian is now coming forward to crash the cost of Pay TV,” he said.

The Minister commended the courage of the CEO for coming from the Diaspora to invest in his country and for believing in the government’s seriousness about diversifying the economy.

He said the company had also demonstrated that government alone could not do all things but needed the participation and synergy of the private sector.

“I want to assure that this administration will continue to assist you and other investors in creating the enabling environment for businesses to grow, ” he said.

Specifically, the Minister said that the Government was aware of the huge contributions of the creative industry to the nation’s economy and would continue to support the sector.

He identified contents and the lack of objective audience measurement as major challenges that had retarded the growth of TV and advertising industries in the country.

“With the liberalisation of the industry. content has become very key because content determines which channels are being watched and which are not.

“Another major challenge is how to get an accurate measurement of which channel is being watched and which is not.

“Kenya and South Africa are about one third of our population but they do much better in TV and radio advertisement than us because of their robust audience measurement,” he said.

The Minister announced that the National Broadcasting Commission and his Ministry would organise a workshop on Nov. 28 to address the challenge of Audience Measurement.

Earlier, Echefu said that TStv Africa, which had gone through a lot of challenges, was birth to liberalise PayTV in the country, make it affordable to every Nigerians with added values.

He said for the first time, Nigerians could now enjoy Pay Per View because with TStv, “subscription runs as you watch and It has the facility to pause your subscription when you travel”.

Echefu said that TStv for a start has 70 premium channels model with the cheapest pay-TV in Africa with maximum subscription fee of N3000.

He said as a fully Nigerian brand with consideration for the masses, TStv is not classified and it has a model that accommodate subscription as low as N200 as N500 for a period of time.

The CEO said TStv came with PVR (Personal Video Recorder) Decoder which allowed viewers greater control over their viewing experience with functions like pause, rewind, forward, save and record of programmes of interest.

Echefu said that once you subscribe to TStv, you will also get complimentary internet service, enabled Wi-Fi, as well as video calls and video conferencing services.

“It has an array of amazing TV channels with premium entertainment, educative programs that cut across all genres.

“The genres included, News, Music, General entertainment, documentary, movies, religious, sports, health, kids, fashion and lifestyle that better define the uniqueness of Nigeria’s diverse culture and traditional values,” he said.

The CEO said TStv which was modelled for Nigerians had come to stay assuring that it would not fail and they would deliver on their promises.

NAN reports that the guests at the ceremony were entertained with live performances by musicians, comedians

Among the dignitaries at the event were Gov. Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos represented by the Permanent Secretary Lagos Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr Fola Adeyemi and the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Culture, MS Grace Gekpe.

Others were the Director-General of National Orientation Agency, Dr Garba Abari, former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, Nollywood actors including, Emeka Ike. Adigwe Okafor, Zack Amata, Dr Opa Williams and Afeez Oyetoro aka Saka. (NAN)

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