Union Bank Supports Creative Arts, Takes Love & recession To The Stage

Union Bank partnered performance art production company, iOpenEye Production to present the stage play Love & Recession to creative arts lovers on May 9, 2017 in Lagos.

Inspired by Femi Osofisan’s popular stage play, ‘The Engagement’, Love & Recession serves to celebrate the dynamism and resourcefulness of Nigerians in times of economic slowdown.

According to the Head, Corporate Affairs/Corporate Communications, Union bank, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem, “Union Bank has a history of supporting talent and creativity, because we believe that it is key to economic empowerment for Nigeria’s populous and highly enterprising youth. Through talent development, which is one of the strategic pillars of our community investment, we work to build capacity and foster individual and community creativity in areas including social innovation, sports, and creative arts.”

The cast of the highly captivating play included Keppy Ekpenyong, Ikponmwosa Gold and Omonor Somolu.

The play, which was produced by Ifeoma Fafunwa, was part of activities to celebrate Union Bank’s centenary anniversary which has ‘Celebrate. Impact. Lead’ as its theme.

Union Bank Supports Creative Arts, Takes Love And Recession To Stage

Union Bank partnered performance art production company, iOpenEye Production to present the stage play Love & Recession to creative arts lovers on May 9, 2017 in Lagos.

Inspired by Femi Osofisan’s popular stage play, ‘The Engagement’, Love & Recession serves to celebrate the dynamism and resourcefulness of Nigerians in times of economic slowdown.

According to the Head, Corporate Affairs/Corporate Communications, Union bank, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem, “Union Bank has a history of supporting talent and creativity, because we believe that it is key to economic empowerment for Nigeria’s populous and highly enterprising youth. Through talent development, which is one of the strategic pillars of our community investment, we work to build capacity and foster individual and community creativity in areas including social innovation, sports, and creative arts.”

The cast of the highly captivating play included Keppy Ekpenyong, Ikponmwosa Gold and Omonor Somolu.

The play, which was produced by Ifeoma Fafunwa, was part of activities to celebrate Union Bank’s centenary anniversary which has ‘Celebrate. Impact. Lead’ as its theme.

Tinubu Vs Holyfield: Boxing Fight To Hold May 25

The exhibition boxing match between legendary five-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield, and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu will take place at The Landmark Centre, Lekki on May 25 by 6pm.

The charity event tagged “The Rhumble”  which is the first of its kind on the African continent, will also feature Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.

CEO of ACI Entertainment and promoter of the event, Mr. Wole Adeniyi said that the event will be celebrating the Center of Excellence at 50  and bring worldwide attention to health-related issues in Africa like Autism in Children, River Blindness, Mental illness among the elderly.

He also added that Evander Holyfield, who defeated Mike Tyson twice in the 90s, the second fight being famous for the ear biting incident when Tyson bit off part of his eyes will be donating $2m worth of medical supplies and equipment to the Lagos State Government and various charities across Nigeria.

 

76 And The Wedding Party Win The Public Choice Award

The NollywoodWeek Film Festival has announced today that The Wedding Party and 76 have jointly received the 2017 NollywoodWeek Public Choice Award.

The festival trophy was given to Izu Ojukwu, the Director of 76 and Moses Babatope who represented the film in the absence of the film Director, Kemi Adetiba in a closing ceremony that was followed by the World Premiere screening of Ctach[dot]er by the Director Walter Taylaur.

“I was not expecting this award. It’s an honour for me and for everybody who worked on the film,” said Izu Ojukwu.

In his acceptance speech, Moses Babatope expressed his joy at winning this award and mentioned that it was a good omen as the production of The Wedding Party 2 had just begun in Lagos and Dubai.

The high quality of the selected films for this 5th edition has been praised by journalists and film critics. Eleven films in total were shown during the four days of the festival, including five films in competition: Dinner, Gidi Blues, Green White Green, The Wedding Party and 76.

Nadira Shakur, the Director of Communication and co-founder of the festival said that “The festival has really cemented its place in the Parisian cultural calendar. Each year we try to offer the very best of Nollywood to the Parisian public by bringing the newest developments in the industry. This year we screened a web-series from REDTV and for the first time, an animated short film from Anthill Studios called Play-Thing.”

The selection of the 2017 edition of NollywoodWeek was rich and eclectic. The Public Choice Award ultimately went to two very different films but both have left an indelible mark on the Nigerian cinema landscape over the past year.

I Am A Card-Carrying Member Of APC Says Fuji Musician, K1 The Ultimate

Nigerian most respected Fuji musicians, K1 the Ultimate, has disclosed his stand on politics, saying “I’m in politics already but I have never sought for elective office. I believe that everybody is a politician; as long as you interact with people. I am a card-carrying member of APC.”

He said this while shedding light on rumour hitting the cyberspace that he is switching to hip hop music.

According to him: “I’m not tilting towards hip hop but presenting Nigerian entertainment the way it should be. Collaborations are a vital part of keeping abreast of happenings from one generation to the other. For instance, I worked with Olamide so we could have a fusion of sounds.”

Shedding light on how he takes care of his voice, he said, “I treat my voice by resting a lot and not overloading it. This is what I have been doing for the past 40 years. I don’t damage my voice by using some substances just because other people are using them. Whenever you are tired, everything about you, including your voice, goes to sleep. You have to rest because even if you use drugs, you would still need to rest and it may have already caused damages. That is nature and you cannot do anything about it. Everybody must have plans for their lives.

As for me, I work hard and when I’m not working, I’m at home. I’m a family man. I usually go on vacation every year and I do that during  Ramadan, so I can recharge myself physically and mentally. Fuji music is not for trouble makers. All genres of music have fans that fight whenever they are excited. It is something that happens in a lot of places and not just in Fuji music.”

The performer also said he has perpetual thirst for knowledge. “One of the greatest things anyone can do for him/herself is to be trained to be able to overcome challenges. I learn from people around me every day and I read a lot,” he said.

Punch

Olamide Calls For Calm, Says He Can’t Run Out Of Songs

Nigerian Rapper, Olamide Adedeji, aka Olamide Badoo, has ruled out rumour that his tap of inspiration may stop running at some point.

In an exclusive chat with Sunday Scoop, Badoo told ‘doubting Thomas’ that they have nothing to worry about because his spring of inspiration won’t run dry anytime soon. He said, “Whenever people say things like that, I just laugh. Talent comes from God and if you have it, then you have it.

Even as I’m chatting with you, I can get inspiration for a song and I would immediately note it in my mind. As long as life exists and things happen on earth, I will always have the inspiration to sing. Music is life and life is music. If I were to release all the songs I have ever recorded, they would scatter the whole place. I work in the studio everyday and there are many songs I have recorded that I am yet to release as singles or in albums.”

In the past four years, Olamide has released the highest number of songs (both his and collaborations), with most of the songs ending up as hit.

Speaking on how he has been to able to remain relevant, Olamide said, “Most importantly the grace of God that has kept me. I don’t do this by my power or might. I also go with the flow and keep my ears on the ground. I know about the new slangs that are spoken on the streets and sometimes, I turn them into songs, which resonate with people because they can identify with the content of the song.”

Punch

“33” Export Lager Beer Set to Thrill Consumers in Jos, Uyo and Port Harcourt

“33” Export Friendship Experience parties is set to hit Port Harcourt, Jos and Uyo on Friday 12th, Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th of June 2017 respectively.

“33” Export connects and engages with its target consumers by celebrating friendship and friends across the country. It would be recalled that the brand commenced this year’s Experiential Parties in March, and has hosted several top DJs and Comedians in the entertainment industry to thrill consumers with the best of music, games and comedy experiences. The experiential parties are targeted at bringing to live the values of the brand, and deepening the bond that exists between the brand and its customers.

Speaking after last weekend’s friendship party in Abuja, Abba Cornelius, a winner and guest at the event expressed satisfaction saying: “My friends and I have not attended an event this interesting in a while. It’s not just about the party, but the ambience of friendship, memories, and wonderful stories that we can share from this.”

This week, the experiential parties will hold in Uyo, Jos and Port Harcourt. Lovers of “33” Export Lager Brand outside these cities need not feel left out, as they and their friends in those other cities across the country will definitely have a taste of this remarkable experience.

According to the Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Lager and Stout, Nigerian Breweries, Emmanuel Agu, the parties are part of the brand’s commitment to creating memorable experiences for consumers of “33” Export Lager Beer wherever they are.

“In line with the brand positioning as “Your No. 1 Friendship Beer”, the brand has continued to create consumer experiences that bring our consumers together, recognising that those moments are memorable to our consumers,” Agu said. “We have successfully created an opportunity for them to connect, and we can promise our dedication towards a more engaging and memorable experience for all our consumers across the country.”

Consumers are encouraged to attend any of these experiential parties with their friends to celebrate each other while experiencing the quality taste of “33” Export Lager Beer.

NollywoodWeek Film Festival announces partnership with United Bank of Africa’s REDTV

he NollywoodWeek Film Festival has today announced a strategic partnership with UBA’s REDTV ahead of the 5th edition of the festival which takes place in Paris from May 11-14th, 2017.

“We share a common vision,” says Bola Atta, the Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications at UBA Group. “Our aim is to showcase a positive Africa throughout the world and the NollywoodWeek festival does just that”.

As this partnership grows, REDTV is expected to join the ranks of other major strategic partners of NollyWood Week such as Total, Air France and Angenieux who have supported the festival for several years now.

Nadira Shakur, Co-founder of NollywoodWeek adds that “this is just the beginning of what we expect to be a strong and mutually beneficial partnership, when we look for partnerships we think long term and that is what we envision for our partnership with REDTV as well.”

As a direct consequence of this partnership, the Parisian audience will have an opportunity to get familiar with REDTV’s productions during a special session on web-series scheduled for Saturday, 13th May at 11:00am. Boutique Hotel, REDTV’s francophone web-series, will be screened and presented by Alexandra Amon, producer of the series and a leading actress.

This new partnership is without a doubt a step in the right direction for the future of the NollywoodWeek Film Festival and for the African creative industries in general.

Femi Kuti Breaks Kenny G’s Saxophone Record

Afrobeat front-liner, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti, on Sunday evening broke the world record for the longest single note played on a saxophone.

Femi played for a record 46mins 38secs to beat jazz musician, Kenny G’s 45mins 37 secs, set in 1997.

He broke the record at the Sunday Jump event at Africa Shrine, Agidingbi, Lagos.

The record was broken in the presence of a large audience that included Sen. Ben Murray-Bruce, the deputy high commissioners of Netherlands and The United Kingdom, reports Femi’s sister, Yeni.

“Femi did it at 55 years old,” his sister, Yeni said on Instagram.

She also said the “Sorry Sorry” crooner would be attempting the feat again in two weeks time in the presence of the Guinness World Records officials, so it can go into the books.

Afrobeat buffs and fans have flooded Femi’s twitter timeline with messages of congratulations.

Punch

Spotlight On The 5th Edition Of The Nollywood Week Festival – 2017

The Nollywood Week Festival returns to the cinema L’Arlequin in Paris for its 5th edition from Thursday May 11 to Sunday May 14, 2017.

Since 2013, the Nollywood Week Festival, an initiative of the Okada Media Association, has offered the Parisian public the opportunity to view the gems of Nollywood cinema (the world’s second largest film industry) and has provided access to its popular actors and its talented directors at only 39 euros for the 4 day pass.

This year’s selection reflects the diversity of genres that now make up this industry. Festival-goers will discover the record-breaking comedy, “The Wedding Party” from Kemi Adetiba, “The Diner”, a drama from the director Jay Franklyn Jituboh, and also “Catch[dot]er”,  a film from the newly styled NollyNoir genre, directed by the British-Nigerian film-maker Walter Taylaur. “Catch[dot]er” will premiere at the closing night of the festival on Sunday, May 14 at 20:30.

This year’s competition has 5 movies in the running to win the prestigious People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Angénieux, one of the leading manufacturers of high quality optic cinema lenses for the broadcast and film industries. Angénieux will gracefully put its optics at the disposal of the winner of the People’s Choice Award, giving them a chance to combine their creativity with French technical know-how during their next shoot.

Big Brother Naija Housemate, Debie-Rise Storms Kogi 

Kogi-born Big Brother Naija housemate, Deborah Olurise popularly known as Debie-Rise on Wednesday 26th April, 2017 stormed Lokoja, where she was received by the First Lady of the state, Hajia Rashidat Bello and other stakeholders in the state’s entertainment industry.
In a chat with our correspondent, the initiator of the “Rising Nation” highlighted her home-coming plan as it pertains to the entertainment industry in the state.
According to her, it is payback time for the massive supports shown her by the majority of Kogi people while she was in the Big Brother game.
“I’m already starting on Friday by 4pm at Reverton Hotel Lokoja. I want us to make noise in this Kogi. Entertainment is one platform where you pull crowd, and you can pass a lot of messages.
“Thank God for the platform I got through Big Brother. On Friday, I’m going to be promoting Kogi talents by suggesting them through their performances, to dignitaries,” she said.
While identifying with her background, she stated that talents abound in Kogi which must be tapped.
“I’m a full Kogi girl and in fact, I can exchange pleasantries with the three major languages in the state. I grew up in Okene because I attended my primary school in Itakpe, secondary school in Kabba, and I have lots of Igala friends.
“In Kogi, we are so talented that when we stand out there, we do it well. My passion is for talented girls to be seen and be heard. The parents must understand that their girls are safe with me,” she stated.
The optimistic musician revealed that she is working towards her first Grammy, adding that some record labels in the industry have indicated interests in her, but she is keeping it on the low key before she gives a nod to her choice label.

Faraday Okoro And Biyi Bandele’s ‘Nigerian Prince’ Wins $1million Grant At Tribeca Film Festival, New York

A proposed new movie on Nigerian email scammers, Nigerian Prince, written and directed by Faraday Okoro and produced by Biyi Bandele and Oscar Hernandez-Topete, has won a $1million AT&T grant at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Nigerian Prince was announced winner on Thursday, April 19 at the film fiesta after a hard-fought pitching session tagged ‘AT&T Presents: Untold Stories’ featuring scripts from four other talented filmmakers.

The winning movie script swayed a Greenlight committee led by Fiona Carter, AT&T Chief Brand Officer, after listening to a pitch on its story idea, budget and film script. Also listed in the committee were Hollywood actors Jeffrey Wright and Anthony Mackie, Josh Deutsch (Chairman and CEO, Downtown Records), Lee Daniels (Film Producer), Len Amato (President, HBO Films) and Frida Torresblanco (Film Producer).

The session was the first edition of the AT&T and Tribeca new film initiative.

AT&T will provide funding of up to $1 million for Faraday Okoro and Biyi Bandele to create his film, and Tribeca will provide mentorship from seasoned industry professionals. In addition, AT&T plans to distribute the winning film across several of its video platforms, including DIRECTV NOW, AT&T’s streaming over-the-top service.

Nigerian Prince is based on the notorious email scams that have proved a plague to both local and international law authorities. The plot centres around a stubborn Nigerian-America teenager who is sent to Nigeria against his will. Things take an unexpected turn when the protagonist joins forces with an internet scammer, in order to return to the United States.

 Biyi Bandele is a famous Nigerian filmmaker, novelist and playwright. His trajectory into the creative sphere began in 1987 where he studied drama at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Spending the first 18 years of his life in Northern Nigeria, Bandele harboured a strong desire to be a writer from a tender age winning his first award at the age of 14.

Since moving to London in 1990 at the age of 22, he has worked with Royal Court Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Talawa Theatre Company, Royal National Theatre Studio, Bush Theatre and University of Cambridge at different times.

As a playwright, Bandele has published several works including The Man Who Came in from the Back of Beyond (1991) and The Street (1999) and Burma Boy (2007) which earned acclaim.

He made his directorial debut film Half of a Yellow Sun which was screened at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and Fifty which screened at the London Film Festival, both of them earning international critical-acclaim in Nigeria and the UK.  The director signed with the Temple Management Company in January.

Faraday on the other hand is a New York City based Nigerian-American filmmaker. He attended Howard University and NYU Graduate Film School. Faraday’s films have screened in numerous film festivals worldwide, including Tribeca, LA Film Festival, and the Palm Springs International Shortsfest. In 2016, Faraday was included in MovieMaker Magazine’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch.

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