Today in #TheLagosReview

Chigul open up on the Struggles of being a Comedienne in Nigeria on “The Cover”

In celebration of International Women’s Month, one of Nigeria’s most outstanding women in comedy Chigul was interviewed on Accelerate TV‘s “The Cover“.

In her interview, Chioma talked about being a comedienne in Nigeria, the struggles, her different personalities, dealing with body shaming and her plans for the future.⠀

She also thanked the comediennes who pioneered full-time comedy in Nigeria, the likes of Helen Paul and Princess who, according to her, paved the way for her in the entertainment industry.

An advice she gave young girls hoping to follow in her footsteps is to always imbibe the habit of professionalism in everything they do.

Watch her full interview below:

Music, Curves, and Ideas for Ayo Animashaun at 50 – by Ayeni Adekunle

I can’t remember how I got introduced to Soji Dehinde.

But it was he who in turn introduced me to a couple of gentlemen who would go on to become friends, brothers, and supporters as I tried to find my feet in the late 90s and early 2000s. I’ve shared before, of how he introduced me to the comedian and master of ceremonies, Tee A, when I was to debut Youths Awards for Excellence in Music (YAFEM) in 1998.

It was that same year that I had the pleasure of being acquainted with Ayo Animashaun courtesy of Soji Dehinde.

Soji passed on a few years later, but Animashaun and I have remained in touch, becoming friends, brothers, collaborators, and everything else.

When I met him in 1998, he was 28 years old, three years into his business HipHop World Magazine, and a celebrity in his own right. Everyone called him Nigeria’s youngest publisher and he had such larger than life image that it was a big surprise and disappointment when I got closer and realized he was just a struggling young man trying to make sense of the chaos called Lagos.

I should know. I was a regular guest in his Olusosun-Oregun one-bedroom BQ before he was evicted. I spent many nights with him sleeping in his Sahadatu plaza office off Allen Avenue, buying meals on credit, running from creditors, seeing assets confiscated, dragging his reluctant Volks Wagon beetle around Lagos and Kwara, and struggling to pay designers and printers to work on the magazine.

I was studying Microbiology at the University of Ibadan, but I had a passion for media and entertainment. Meeting Soji Dehinde, Ayo Animashaun, Tee A, Dayo Asaju, Ayo Oshun, Nseobong Okon-Ekong, Efe Omorogbe, Wale Oluwaleimu, and many more in those early days played a huge role in how I eventually turned out.

Take Animashaun: he gave me free unrestricted access to his home and office and resources. It was during one of the many weekends in his house I first saw and learned how to use a computer – teaching myself PageMaker, MSWord, Corel draw, etc. It was through him I met most of the early big names of the time – including the Plantashun Boiz, Dele Momodu, Kunle Bakare (who would later become my employer), and so many others.

I would come from school every weekend and stay anywhere he was staying. Of course he would be unable to fund my return trip to Ibadan. But a visit to Dele Momodu always did the job: Bob Dee would give us enough cash to take me back to school and carry Animashaun for a week or more.

I was not alone. Before he was 30, Animashaun was already a magnet for the entire pop and HipHop culture in Nigeria. His songbook, and later magazine, captured the imagination of young people around the country; and he became one of the most influential figures of a terribly misunderstood youth culture. So, it was not surprising that many of us were drawn to him: Efe Omorogbe, Anthony Anifite, Bayo Omisore, Solomon Dare, Loknan Dombin, Innocent Idibia, Augustin Ahmedu, Olusegun Babatunde, Ayo Oshun, Goke Oludare, Tosin Ogunderu, Matthias Aragbada, Olamide Adedeji, and so many more.

He was born Tajudeen Ayodele Animashaun on March 17, 1970 to a Christian mother Fatima Ajibike Animashaun, and a Muslim father Kehinde Sanni Animashaun (1938 to 1988) of Popo Aguda, Isale Eko, in Lagos. The family lived in Ilorin where he first fell in love with music and entertainment, alongside other shenanigans he got into with friends like Femi Opawoye, Dotun Adeboyejo and others. But it was while he was studying for a national diploma at Kaduna State polytechnic that he went big with his passion, running campus clubs, creating and distributing songbooks, and spreading the gospel of hip hop.

He became so successful I’m not sure he went back for his HND or his diploma certificate. He became so successful he left home to come to Lagos and pursue a bigger dream.

In Lagos, he found a home in FAME Weekly magazine, under the guidance of Sikiru Olakunle Bakare and Femi Akintunde-Johnson. But he was squatting in such remote places around Lagos island and Abule Osun, that he ended up spending most nights sleeping at the Fame office in Ikeja.

Colleagues would mock him for sleeping in the office; for being so audacious as to think he could attempt to become a magazine publisher; or for not being Lagosian enough.

He was young, ambitious, and promising. He was also getting fairly known through his weekly music column aptly titled Hip Hop World, inside FAME magazine. But he was also broke, homeless, frustrated, and tired.

It was time to give up.

Should he go back home to Ilorin where his late dad owned an estate and other businesses? Should he go back to school? Maybe forget about media and publishing and get another job?

He decided he’d keep going. It wasn’t a difficult decision to take because his bosses at the time believed in him and used their relationships to get newsprint suppliers, and printers to transact with him on credit. The rest, to apply the overused cliché, is history.

He published the debut edition of the magazine with Michael Jackson on the cover, in 1995. And he hasn’t looked back. HHW magazine was the leading music magazine in Nigeria for over 20 years, and since ceasing publication, no other journal has stepped in to take up the space it left. And then he launched Hip TV, first as a weekly 30-minute magazine show, before becoming a full channel on DSTV and GoTV. And then he set up HipHop World Awards (since rebranded as The Headies), which interestingly is also the only surviving Nigeria only music honours event.

He’s spent the past 25 years building a media and entertainment business that puts young people and pop culture at its heart. He’s himself remained young at heart, in physique, and character; and he’s not for once failed to remember that it was innovation that got him through the door in the first place. So, he’s moved from giving Nigerian entertainers their first proper red-carpet experience on home soil, to pioneering real-time simulcasts of weddings, events and festivals; and even attaching prizes to awards beyond the prestigious plaques.

There are few entertainment companies started 25 years ago that are still around and relevant today; few heavy players from the past 25 years still relevant and influential today. And I do not know a lot of Nigerians more instrumental to the development of contemporary Nigerian music than Ayo Animashaun. Along with Femi Aderibigbe, Alex Okosi, Tajuddeen Adepetu, Keke Ogungbe, Dayo Adeneye, Nelson brown, Jimmy JATT, Emmanuel Ugolee, Joke Jaiyesimi, and few others, the hitherto sceptical Nigerian audience, gatekeepers, brands, regulators, and government were forced to pay attention and align. And we owe them more than a debt of gratitude.

But I wish the business Ayo Animashaun built had become bigger than it currently is. I wish he would be able to raise some good investment, improve governance, take the company public, and if possible, go into other markets in Africa, Europe and America. I wish we would give the world our own Disneys and Viacoms and CNNs. And Animashaun is one of the few Nigerians who can make it happen.

I wish also that he would suspend being a teetotaler even if only for today, so he can experience what he’s been missing. Just like Tee A, Animashaun is famous for not having ever tasted a drop of alcohol. Imagine that. Not having ever tasted the joys of Heineken, Star and 33. Not having had the privilege of cognac and cigars, or Whiskey and pistachios. He’s never even tasted champagne. Just imagine!

What he lacks, in alcohol taste though, he more than makes up for in his impeccable taste and passion for gadgets, curves, squash, travelling, and cars.

I had a family friend once, Sunday Ologbese. May God rest his soul. Anytime he walked up to us for some chit chat in front of our gate in Okokomaiko, everyone knew what he was communicating, even without saying much.

‘‘Omo I just saw one babe off. Omo yen fineeee gaan mehn…’

Everyone proceeds to interpret ‘Fine’ in their brains as ‘dark, full-bodied, and tall.

When I met Animashaun years later, it wasn’t long before I realized that when he tells you of a lady he’s just been smitten by, you wouldn’t be wrong to picture her as TDC – tall, dark, curvy. With an emphasis on the curves. But we shall not talk about that today, for I do not intend to embarrass a responsible father-of-four who may have his family reading this.

So how about we replace the above paragraph with his love for his kids, other people’s kids, and how he’s raising some of the most brilliant and well-behaved kids I’ve come across in a while? You only need to meet his first child, Ayotomiwa, to have an idea of the good parenting I’m talking about.

It’s easy to look at Ayo Animashaun and see a casual, playful, exuberant media and entertainment executive who’s been unable to take his business global even after 25 years.

It’s easy to look at him as that guy who starts his awards shows late, who – insert whatever controversy you have heard. But I want to suggest an alternative view: This is a man who never attended business school, never raised any investments, built his company pre-social media and media tech, and who has stayed ahead of every technological evolution. How about looking at him as a pioneer, a visionary who walked so that many of us that came after could run and fly? If you like, you can even credit him as the guy who brought hip hop to Nigeria. I doubt anyone would argue.

Whatever you decide, I truly hope you take a minute today and pay tribute to the man as he clocks 50. He’ll be drinking water or Maltina, but I can assure you that some of us will finish a bottle of Delamain on his behalf. It is possible.

Ayeni Adékúnlé Samuel

It is possible

Universal Music Chief Lucian Grainge Hospitalized With Coronavirus.

Universal Music Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge has been hospitalized after testing positive for coronavirus, multiple sources exclusively told Variety. He is currently receiving treatment at Los Angeles’ UCLA Medical Center, sources said.

A UMG spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. Word of Grainge’s illness has rattled West Coast power players who attended his 60th birthday celebration on Feb. 29 in Palm Springs, multiple industry insiders said.

The likes of Apple CEO Tim Cook, veteran music manager Irving Azoff, and Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue attended the party 15 days ago as of Sunday, said sources. Symptoms of COVID-19, including fever and shortness of breath, can appear up to two weeks after infection. An Apple spokesperson declined to comment. A rep for Azoff did not immediately comment.

The event was held at La Quinta’s Madison Club, an enclave of private residences on a pristine golf course. Kris Jenner owns a $12 million, 7-bedroom mansion in the community. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West were recently linked to a land purchase nearby the matriarch, as was daughter Kylie Jenner. Additional residents include Rande Gerber and Cindy Crawford, Sly Stallone, Scooter Braun, Ray Romano and Alan Smolinsky, one of the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Communal facilities at the Madison Club have been shut down in response to Grainge’s illness, said two people familiar with the matter. This includes the lush golf course and club house, said insiders. Management at the Madison Club did not respond to Variety‘s request for comment.

UMG’s Santa Monica, Calif., headquarters were closed late Friday after an unidentified employee — who apparently was Grainge — tested positive for the disease. All staffers were directed to leave the buildings “in an orderly manner,” although the discovery was made toward the end of the day and a source told Variety that most of the staff had either left for the weekend or were already working from home.

An internal memo obtained by Variety reads in part, “Previously, we have committed that if there were to be a confirmed case of coronavirus infection in any of our offices, we would immediately close that location. We have just been informed that there is a confirmed case of infection in an employee based in our 2220 Colorado Avenue offices. Accordingly and out of an abundance of caution, we are immediately closing all of our Santa Monica offices, and all Santa Monica staff are required to work from home until further notice.” The source added that management already had planned to close the offices next week.

Grainge, 60, who gave a rare in-depth interview to Variety in December, has been with the company for nearly 35 years and was named chairman/CEO in 2011. He began his career in 1979 at April Blackwood Music Publishing and held senior roles at RCA Music Publishing and MCA Records before joining UMG in 1986 to launch PolyGram Music Publishing UK. Within five years, he had led the fledgling division to become one of the top three publishing companies in that country. He rose through the ranks via senior roles at Polydor Records, Universal Music UK and UMG International ensued until he was named CEO in 2010, with the chairman title added the following year.

Just months after taking the helm, he led the company into one of the biggest deals in music business history by acquiring EMI’s recorded-music division — home to artists ranging from the Beatles to Katy Perry — in a blockbuster $1.9 billion transaction that vaulted UMG far into the lead as the world’s largest music company. UMG, which was recently valued at $33.6 billion and sold 10% of itself to Chinese giant Tencent, is now the largest music company in history, with five anchor labels — Capitol, Def Jam, Interscope-Geffen-A&M, Island and Republic — and a roster that also includes Taylor Swift, Drake, U2, the Weeknd and Sam Smith, as well as iconic heritage acts like the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Chuck Berry and the Motown catalog.

L.A. City Hall Honors Author Larry Pye and Others At An Evening with African American Authors.

*Los Angeles Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti and Our Authors Study Club honored Author Larry Pye‘s debut book “The Twinkle Box” an Amazon #1 Bestselling novel at “An Evening with African American Authors” at Los Angeles City Hall, Board of Public Works Chambers.

Commissioner Mike Davis, Board of Public Works, Chair of the African American Heritage Month Committee called the prestigious event to order recently. Other authors who were honored included; Tsehai Essiebea Farrell, Rachel Howzell Hall, Jozanne Marie, Pamela Samuels Young, Esq., Dr. Jeffrey Stewart (College Professor), Arlene Walker, Michael Colyar (Comedian), and Erica Campbell (Grammy Award Winner Mary Mary).

Each author made a statement about what inspired them to write their books and shared dramatic passages from their books. The author’s books were made available via Malik Books in Baldwin Hills Mall, as authors signed their books for the audience of the packed chamber. The evening ended with all the honorees receiving Certificates of Recognition by Mayor Eric Garcetti and delicious food catered by Chef Marilyn.

Author Pye’s The Twinkle Box is a must-read! It tells the story of an engrossing psychological murder-mystery loosely based on a true story. The Father character is a charming, abusive, sadistic sociopath who could easily be your next-door neighbor. You will be intrigued by the deeply complex characters, each with a tragic backstory. When you step into this dark world of romance, suspense, and terror you might want to leave the lights on. Yet through all the madness, a valiant hero emerges, and the chilling and graphic contents of the Twinkle Box are revealed.

Author Larry Pye is a Retired Probation Officer, who also teaches Anger Management and Life Skills has written his debut novel, “The Twinkle Box”. In spite of the dark subject content, the book deals with romance, overcoming hardships, learning to trust and the beauty of friendships.

One reader stated, “Intense from beginning to end, The Twinkle Box is very different from books I usually read but is fantastic and extremely exciting to read. The stakes are high from the first pages to the last, and just when I think I know what’s coming next, Larry Pye reminds me who the master is. I love this book and I highly recommend reading it.”

Author Larry Pye, states, “There’s a story behind every person. There’s a reason why they’re the way they are. Think about that before you judge someone.”

He further adds, “Whoever reads my book, I hope they take from it that everyone has a backstory and no matter how we may appear, we all have problems. For better or worse, we are coping as best we know how.”

“The Twinkle Box” is currently available at Amazon.com, here’s the Link – https://www.amazon.com/Twinkle-Box-Larry-Pye/dp/0999497820?keywords=twinkle+box&qid=1529637070&sr=8-3&ref=mp_s_a_1_3

3 Musicians, 51 Strings: 3MA On Redefining African Musical Traditions.

The story of one of Mali’s most prominent musicians and how his instrument was destroyed in transit made news all over the world last month. Ballaké Sissoko accused the Transportation Security Administration of taking his kora apart sometime during a flight from New York to Paris. The TSA says it never opened the instrument’s case. But Sissoko and 3MA, the band he was touring with, are much more than a few weeks of international headlines.

3MA stands for Madagascar, Mali and Maroc — Morocco in French — and the band is comprised of three musicians from three different African nations playing three different stringed instruments. Rajery is from Madagascar and plays an instrument called the valiha; the second “m” is for Malian kora player Ballaké Sissoko and oud player Driss El Maloumi is the Moroccan.

“It’s not music from Morocco, not from Madagascar or from Mali,” El Maloumi says. “It’s, at the same time, [using] our culture to make something completely different.”

The trio first came together 12 years ago and each of the musicians also has a successful solo career. Ballaké Sissoko is probably the best-known internationally: He’s the son of Djelimady Sissoko, a renowned kora player. The instrument traditionally has 21 strings and that number has a specific meaning.

“Seven strings represent the past, seven the present and seven the future,” Ballaké Sissoko explains. He says he adapted the instrument slightly to play with 3MA, plus he added an extra string to honor the luthier who made the instrument.

“I created the chromatic kora with two and half octaves for this project, to dialogue better with other instruments,” he says. “I think music and instruments should evolve and not remain static.”

Sissoko’s bandmate Rajery plays the 18-stringed valiha, considered Madagascar’s national instrument.

“It’s made of bamboo. In the middle there is a fissure that separates the two parts,” Rajery explains. “A series of movable bridges tune the instrument: You slide the bridge upward to get the bass sound or downward to get the treble sound. It has two octaves.”

Last but not least, there’s Driss El Maloumi’s oud, an instrument that’s played all over North Africa and the Middle East. It has 11 strings (in case you’re keeping track, that’s 51 strings under the fingers of 3 musicians). El Maloumi picks his oud with a plectrum, which is sort of like an elongated guitar pick.

For even longer than El Maloumi has been performing with 3MA, he’s been touring and recording with ancient music scholar Jordi Savall. In 2014, Rajery and Ballaké Sissoko joined El Maloumi for The Routes of Slavery, Savall’s large ensemble project exploring the cultural impact of the slave trade.

Ballaké Sissoko says the project wasn’t just about music. “Jordi’s personality helped me understand that music is not about virtuosity,” he says. “It’s about wisdom.”

Driss El Maloumi says working with Savall also helped 3MA as a whole.

“Jordi Savall played a very important role in this group. He is all about wisdom and history and he’s a great teacher,” he says. “As three cultures coming together in our trio, we came to understand how our countries have been deeply affected by the pain that humanity has gone through.”

El Maloumi says 3MA’s music is all about spirit.

“For me the question is in l’esprit,” he says. “Because if you are open in your spirit, you can make anything, and you can go and you can make evolution.”

And that’s exactly what the trio wants to do says Rajery: present a new image of an ancient continent.

“Mali, Madagascar and Morocco are together to show that before anything else, we are human beings,” he says. “We are united through the universal language of music. We want to show Africa from a different point of view: three cultures, three musicians and three emblematic instruments.”

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And you may remember a very unfortunate story from last month involving a renowned musician from Mali. Ballake Sissoko arrived in Paris after a U.S. tour, opened the case for his precious stringed instrument and found his kora in pieces. Sissoko compares the loss to a destroyed Stradivarius and blames the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA denies that it ever even opened the instrument case. Happily, though, you’ll get to hear that kora pre-destruction in this next piece from Betto Arcos. He met with Sissoko and his group 3MA while it was on tour.

BETTO ARCOS, BYLINE: Three musicians from three different African nations playing three different stringed instruments.

ARCOS: 3MA stands for Madagascar, Mali and Maroc – Morocco in French. Rajery is from Madagascar and plays an instrument called the valiha. The second M is for Malian kora player Ballake Sissoko. And oud player Driss El Maloumi is the Moroccan.

DRISS EL MALOUMI: It’s not music from Morocco, not from Madagascar or from Mali. It’s – and the same time, our culture and to make something completely different.

ARCOS: The trio first came together 12 years ago. Each of the musicians has a successful solo career. Ballake Sissoko is probably the best known internationally. He’s the son of Djelimady Sissoko, a renowned kora player. Ballake says the traditional instrument has 21 strings.

BALLAKE SISSOKO: (Through interpreter) Seven strings represent the past. Seven’s present and seven the future. I created the chromatic kora with two and half octaves for this project to dialogue better with other instruments.

ARCOS: He demonstrates.

SISSOKO: (Playing kora).

ARCOS: Sissoko’s trio mate Rajery plays the 18-stringed valiha, considered Madagascar’s national instrument.

RAJERY: (Through interpreter) It’s made of bamboo. A series of movable bridges tune the instrument. You slide the bridge upward to get the bass sound or downward to get the treble sound. It has two octaves. (Playing valiha).

ARCOS: Last but not least, there’s Driss El Maloumi’s oud, an instrument that’s played all over North Africa and the Middle East. It has 11 strings – C, G, D, A, F and C. In case you’re keeping track, that’s 51 strings under the fingers of three musicians. El Maloumi picks his oud with a plectrum.

MALOUMI: This is real important for Arabic music like that. (Playing oud).

ARCOS: For even longer than El Maloumi has been performing with 3MA, he’s been touring and recording with ancient music scholar Jordi Savall.

ARCOS: In 2014, Rajery and Ballake Sissoko joined El Maloumi for “The Roots of Slavery,” Savall’s large ensemble project exploring the cultural impact of the slave trade.

ARCOS: Ballake Sissoko says the project wasn’t just about music.

SISSOKO: (Through interpreter) Jordi’s personality helped me understand that music is not about virtuosity. It’s about wisdom.

ARCOS: Driss El Maloumi says 3MA’s music is about spirit.

MALOUMI: Because if you are open in your spirit, you can make anything, and you can go on. You can make evolution.

ARCOS: And that’s exactly what the trio wants to do, says Rajery – present an evolved image of an ancient continent.

RAJERY: (Through interpreter) Mali, Madagascar and Morocco are together to show that before anything else, we are human beings. We are united through music. We want to show Africa from a different point of view. Threes culture, three musicians and three emblematic instruments. Now, that’s fantastic.

Source: Boise State Public Radio

Tarwa N-Tiniri: A Youth Music Band That Represents Morocco Internationally.

The story of Tarwa N-Tiniri, a youth band from the remote areas of Ouarzazate, is one of struggle, hardship, and great success.

The band’s journey began in 2012 with six young friends, passionate about music, using homemade instruments. Drawing inspiration from the culture centered around the desert, the band decided on the name “Tarwa N-Tiniri.”

“Tarwa in Tamazight (Berber language) means people born and raised in the desert and Tiniri is used to indicate the Sahara,” the band’s members explained to Morocco World News.

“We are the generation of the desert, the generation that must take responsibility for restoring the culture, dignity, and trust of the people of the desert.”

Tarwa N-Tiniri began creating music with the aim of giving their region and culture a voice.

The group was inspired by other desert music groups such as Tinariwen, a Tuareg band from northern Mali that has seen tremendous success in the music industry and, most importantly, in communicating Tuareg culture to a larger international audience.

Tarwa N-Tiniri are following in the footsteps of Tinariwen to promote Morocco’s Amazigh (Berber) culture and represent the North African country abroad. That’s why the six young musicians decided to create a band different from any other group in Morocco, with a unique, innovative style of its own.

The band began its musical journey by participating in festivals throughout Morocco and sharing their passion and love for music.

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“The majority of Tarwa N-Tiniri songs are written and composed by the band members, while some melodies are written by Amazigh poets,” Tarwa N-Tiniri told MWN.

“The music is performed in the Amazigh language describing the social conditions of nomadic people in mountains and in the desert, but also love, friendship, and peace.”

The band released their first song, “Taryet,” in March 2017. The song has accumulated two million views on Tarwa N-Tiniri’s YouTube channel.

In 2019, the band released its first complete album, “Azizdeg,” with the Canadian label Atty Records.

The band told MWN they aim to show the world their Amazigh culture and transmit joy through their music, “because the best way to communicate with the world is through music, the universal language.”

Tarwa N-Tiniri’s music is rooted in traditional Amazigh sounds and Gnaoua, and blended and intertwined with world music such as jazz, reggae, and the quintessential blues.

Tarwa N-Tiniri Youth Music Band That Represents Morocco Internationally
Youssef, a member of the Tarwa N-Tiniri.
The band delivered their first international performance in 2018 with a tour in Norway.

“It was a new experience to show and to play for the first time to the Norwegian audience the desert blues music, as the southeast of Morocco,” the band remarked.

“Showing Amazigh culture in Norway was a huge honor for the band. The Norwegian audience was absolutely amazing and one of the concerts was sold out.”

The young band’s second international tour was to France in 2019.

Reflecting on the French tour, Tarwa N-Tiniri described the joy they feel bringing Amazigh music to a foreign community.

“International concerts allow the world to know more about the Amazigh culture as one of the great and oldest cultures in Morocco and the world in general.”

The first album of the band, “Azizdeg,” achieved international success. The album hit 3rd place in the charts in Mexico, 36th in the US, and 83rd in the UK on Spotify and other streaming platforms.

“Tarwa N-Tiniri is a promising band, and the future of desert blues,” says Arneg Berg is Norway’s NRK Radio P2.

The future of Tarwa N-Tiniri is very promising, as the young musicians, international ambassadors of Morocco and Amazigh culture, are capturing hearts around the world by combining their Moroccan roots with global influences to create an innovative blend of Saharan blues.

‘Promises’, a MultiChoice Talent Factory Movie Shot by East African Students Wins AMVCA

It was an emotionally charged night full of entertainment, glamour and red-carpet extravaganza as Africa’s biggest film and television stars gathered at the Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos for the seventh edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs).

Hosted by the duo of IK Osakioduwa and AMVCA newbie Amina Abdi Rabar, the event held on Saturday, March 14, and is organized by Africa Magic in association with MultiChoice. The 7th edition of the AMVCAs was also sponsored by Amste

‘Promises’ is moving story about a boda-boda driver who struggles to raise his children after the death of his wife during childbirth. The film was directed by Casey Lugada & Karanja Ng’endo, produced by Jane Moshi and Fisehatsion Nibret was the Director of Photography (DOP).

“All the films nominated in the MTF category were remarkable for their technical experience and their storytelling. The winning film from East Africa, Promises is an especially poignant tale, told with verve and strong visual aesthetics. It signals a great future for visually storytelling in African cinema,” says Femi Odugbemi, AMVCAs Head Judge.

When asked about the Promises win, MTF East Africa Academy Director Njoki Muhoho had this to say “This win is a confirmation of the passion, energy, enthusiasm, hard work and teamwork that was exhibited by the team. The MTF East Africa Academy team couldn’t be prouder. May the MTF experience and this recognition by the best in the industry be a catalyst for these young creatives to ignite Africa’s creative industries.”

The biggest winner of the night was Nigerian thriller ‘Living in Bondage’, which walked home with seven awards including Best Overall Movie and Best Director which went to Nollywood legend, Ramsey Nouah. Timini Egbuson won Best Actor in a Drama whilst Toyin Abraham won in the Best Actress in a Drama, both wins for their performances in the movie ‘Elevator Baby’. Meanwhile, The MultiChoice Academy award went to East Africa for the movie ‘Promises’.

One of the highlights of the night was a family affair as a cinematic father-son duo took home awards. The Industry Merit award was presented to veteran broadcaster, Peter Igho who is best known for his achievements with the Nigerian Television Authority where many of his produced works laid the foundation for the Nigerian film and television industry. Breakout Living in Bondage star, Swanky JKA won the 2020 Trailblazer award.

Another highlight was the performance by award winning African music icon Innocent ‘2baba’ Idibia who performed a medley of his popular songs, whilst talented vocalists Mercy Aghedo, Adeniyi Timilehin Adeola, Ighwiyisi Jacobs also gave special renditions of songs nominated for the Best Soundtrack award.

Promises, one of the movies in which the Ugandan MultiChoice Talent Factory Alumni students premiered at MultiChoice in Kololo last September emerged the winner of the Best MultiChoice Talent Factory Film.

Ugandan student Cissy Nalumansi who is in Nigeria for an internship with the Tinsel crew, following her outstanding performance at the academy received the award on behalf of the East African students, at the Award Ceremony last Saturday.

The four Ugandan students contributed to the movie as follows:

Casey Lugada – Director

Aaron J. Tamale – 1st Assistant Director

Hilda Awori – Production Coordinator/Scriptwriter

Cissy Nalumansi – Music Composition

The movie is currently showing on Pearl Magic on DStv and GOtv.

DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards announce 2020 winners.

Kabza De Small was the biggest winner with two awards in the Favourite Rising Star and Favourite DJ categories.

Prince Kaybee took home the Favourite Song of the Year Award while King Monada triumphed in the Favourite Music Artist/Group category, which had pitted him against Prince Kaybee, Sjava (withdrawn nomination), Sho Madjozi and Dr Tumi.

Other winners in different categories are Khathide ‘Tshatha’ Ngobe, Moshe Ndiki, Siyanda Maphumulo, Warren Masemola and Sindi Dlathu.

Below is the full list of winners:

Favourite Song of the Year

Gugulethu – Prince Kaybee ft Indlovukazi, Supta & Afro Brotherz
Shesha – De Mthuda & Njelic
Umama – Sjava (nomination withdrawn)
SMA (Vol. 1) – Nasty C ft Rowlene
Kokota – Kaygee DaKing & Bizizi ft Killer Kau

Favourite Rising Star

Kabza De Small
Wiseman Mncube
Simthandile ‘SimTiger’ Tshabalala
Thato Moeng
Larona Moagi

Favourite Music Artist/Group

King Monada
Prince Kaybee
Sjava (nomination withdrawn)
Sho Madjozi
Dr Tumi
Favourite DJ

Kabza De Small
DJ Maphorisa
DJ Speedsta
Prince Kaybee
DJ Sumbody

Favourite Radio Personality

Khathide ‘Tshatha’ Ngobe
DJ Fresh
Kgomotso Matsunyane
Siphiwo ‘Spitch’ Nzawumbi
Seipati ‘Twasa’ Seoke

Favourite TV Presenter

Moshe Ndiki
Motshidisi Mohono
Nomsa Buthelezi
Thomas Mlambo
Jub Jub

Favourite Comedian

Siyanda Maphumulo
Mpho Popps
Celeste Ntuli
Khanyisa Bunu
Skhumba Hlophe

Favourite Actor

Warren Masemola
Molefi Monaisa
Bheki Sibiya
Presley Chweneyagae
Masoja Msiza

Favourite Actress

Sindi Dlathu
Dawn Thandeka King
Zola Nombona
Florence Masebe
Tsholofelo Matshaba
Favourite Sports Personality

Siya Kolisi
Thembi Kgatlana
Percy Tau
Bongiwe Msomi
Refiloe Jane

Favourite Personality of The Year

Bonang Matheba
Somizi Mhlongo
Anele Mdoda
Nomzamo Mbatha
Sho Madjozi
Ultimate Viewers’ Choice Awards

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Short Story Writers get in here! Commonwealth Writers Prize Deadline is Nov 1