Today in #TheLagosReview

Nigeria’s first female perm sec, Francesca Emanuel, dies at 86

Nigeria’s first female federal permanent secretary, Francesca Emanuel, has died at the age of 86.

Sources revealed that Mrs. Emanuel died on Tuesday night of natural causes.

Born Francesca Yetunde Pereira in Lagos on September 19, 1933, Emanuel was an accomplished public civil servant, administrator, singer, poet, actress as well as a distinguished woman of the arts. Francesca was

Franco, as she was popularly called, attend kindergarten classes at the Methodist Girls’ School, from 1938 to 1940; and primary school at Princess School, Lagos, from 1941 to 1945.

Thereafter, she gained admission to Holy Child College, Lagos in 1946. In 1952, after obtaining her Cambridge School Certificate in top grade, she was admitted to the University College, Ibadan (now University of Ibadan) where she studied Geography. In 1955, she obtained the Inter-B.A. after which she transferred to the University College, London for her main degree and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A): Honours degree in Geography in 1959. Mrs. Emmanuel had her professional career largely in the civil service. She went through the whole gamut of the various arms of the Federal Civil Service. She started as Assistant Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, 1959-1960, becoming, by this appointment, the first indigenous female Administrative Officer in the Federal Civil Service.

Between 1960 and 1961, she was at the Federal Ministry of Establishment from where she was transferred to the Police Affairs Division in the Cabinet Office from 1961 to 1964. In recognition of her outstanding performance, she was appointed Senior Assistant Secretary, Secretariat of the Morgan Commission of Nigerian Workers, in 1964; Under-Secretary, Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, 1964 to 1969; Deputy-Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, 1969-1973; she also served as Principal Secretary, Cabinet Office, 1973 to 1974; and Secretary, Federal Public Service Commission, January to June, 1975.

In July, 1975 she was appointed a Permanent Secretary in the Public Service Department of the Cabinet Office, thus becoming the first female Federal Permanent Secretary in Nigeria. She served for over thirteen years as Permanent Secretary, which took her to a range of strategic and sensitive ministries, departments and agencies. In all these positions, she served with distinction.

She retired from the Federal Civil Service in 1988.

Administration, however, was not the only area in which she excelled as she performed equally brilliantly in other areas. A gifted singer, her talent in this field was nurtured right from childhood. She started off from the Sunday School and later enlisted with the Little Star Band of Hope Meeting of the Methodist Church, Olowogbowo. This explains her active participation in the music industry in Nigeria. It is worth noting that while still in secondary school, she won first prize as soloist in many concerts, most notable among which were as Soprano Solo at the first Nigerian Festival of the Arts in Lagos in 1950. She was also a remarkable actress as well as a member of the pioneer group known as the Steve Rhodes Voices, which featured in some of Wole Sovinka’s earliest plays in the 1960s.

Later, she went on to win more prizes in music. She was also a well-known fashion icon who, with the famous designer Sade Thomas, first drew attention to Nigerian fashion and its suitability even for modern wear-whether Western or traditional. Francesca Emmanuel was a founding member as well as member of the Board of Trustees of the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON). She has also served on various pan is owing to her vast and rich experience in diverse fields. She once served as a Commissioner of the United Nations International Civil Service Commission, from 1987 to 1992, and has also been a member of several bodies among which are: Governing Council, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, 1989-1993; National Salaries and wages Commission, 1992-1994; National Merit Award Committee ,1989-1991; Harvard Business School Award Committe,1988-1997; Governing Board of the Federal Society for the Blind, 1992 to date; Governing Board of Holy Child College, 1989 to date; Board of the Special Olympic Nigeria, 1989 to date; Fund Raising Committee of the Nigerian Sickle Cell Foundation, 1977 to date; Governing Council of the Nigerian Conservation foundation, 1990 to date. She has also served as Trust to various organizations amongst which are: Women Law and Development Centre; National Association of Theater Arts Practitioners: and Nigeria Environment Study/Action Team. She has been Grand Patron of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Lagos Chapter (Since 1995), Patron of Nigeria Guild of Dancers since 2001, and was chair, National Film Festival, 2002 to 2003. In addition, Francesca Emmanuel was at different times the Director of the Board of some corporate organizations -Macmillan Nigeria Publishers Ltd. and Eco Bank Nigeria Pic, to name just two of them.

In recognition of these remarkable achievements, she has been honored with several prestigious awards, among which are: Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) (2000); the Retirement Award for Brilliant Performances and Outstanding Achievement by the Federal Directors-General (Permanent Secretaries), 1988; Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Management (1991); Most Distinguished University of Ibadan Alumni Award for Excellence in Service to Humanity (2000); induction into the Hall of Fame, National Centre for Women Development (2004); and the Glover Memorial Centennial Award for Services to Arts and Culture in Lagos State (2000).

She is survived by husband, Bosede Emanuel, and son, Muyiwa Emanuel.

Lady Gaga Covers InStyle Magazine; Talks Marriage & Kids.

Lady Gaga is the cover star for InStyle Magazine May 2020 Issue and she looks simply ethereal in an array of outfits that can only be pulled off by the style queen herself.

Inside the magazine, Lady Gaga talks her sixth studio album “Chromatica,” but before it can be released, Gaga is tending to the world by raising millions with advocacy organization Global Citizen to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

On what she wants out of life:

“Marriage,” says Lady Gaga who is currently dating tech entrepreneur Michael Polansky. “More music, more movies, more charity with the Born This Way Foundation [a nonprofit dedicated to empowering youth and supporting mental health and wellness]. I want to do way more philanthropy. I want to help fund more research about fibromyalgia and neuropathic and chronic pain by putting a team of doctors together. I have a lot of dreams and hopes. What I will actually accomplish, I have no idea, but I know that I’ll be doing it with the people I love.”

On one day starting a family:

“I will say I am very excited to have kids,” Gaga admits. “I look forward to being a mom. Isn’t it incredible what we can do? We can hold a human inside and grow it. Then it comes out, and it’s our job to keep it alive. It’s so funny everyone works out of my house every day. When they come in, I always say, ‘Welcome to the Womb!”

On her mental health struggles:

“I’ve been depressed and been at the grocery store and seen photos of myself and gone, ‘Well, I look like everything is good.’ But I was secretly freaking out, and the world had no idea. Or some people in the world. I hate using that phrase ‘the world.’ It’s so egocentric to assume the whole world thinks about or knows about me. It doesn’t.”

On her love-hate relationship with social media:

I post some things from my personal life, I post some things from my business life, I post some things from my musical life. But I will say that I’m not super obsessed with reading comments or counting likes or making sure everybody loves everything. Honestly, sometimes I wonder if the people who invented social media all got in a room and went, ‘Let’s start something where nobody has to be brave and everybody can hide and be mean.’ It’s not all bad, but a significant change has happened in culture as a result of it. This idea to social network was supposed to bring us closer, but it built a bunch of walls and made it harder for us to be ourselves around each other.”

Kobe Bryant’s “The Wizenard” Tops Book Charts.

The latest installment in Kobe Bryant‘s “The Wizenard” book series was released in March, following his death at the beginning of the year. The book is the new installment of Kobe’s New York Times best-selling series which focuses on a young basketball player who dreams of being a basketball superstar.

Remarkably, the book has soared to the top of the book charts and Kobe’s wife Vanessa is marking the proud moment on Instagram.

Sharing the book’s cover, she wrote:

5 championships 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆. 5 NYT bestsellers 📖📖📖📖📖. The Mamba strikes again. 🐍👑. My husband @kobebryant would have been so proud to see his work continuing on with The #Wizenard Series: Season One. Thank you for supporting his legacy!!!! 🧡#GranityStudios

50 Cent To Produce Black Mafia Family Drama Series.

The streaming platform that hosted 50 Cent’s ‘power’ Hip Hop OX Starz has confirmed its commissioning of up-coming ‘Black Mafia Family’, 50 Cent’s much talked about up-coming drama series.
According to Starz CEO, Jeffery Hirsch Starz confirmed the streamers involvement in a press release where he shared that they were passionate about partnering with 50 cent on the project especially as its story has all the hallmarks of a great drama.
The upcoming drama is based on a drug trafficking gang founded in Detroit around the 1980s. The gang led by Big Meech had endorsed the production of the Black Mafia Family drama series.
The drama series will be co-produced by Liongate TV and 50 Cent’s G Unit team.

Blitz the Ambassador Named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow.

The Ghanaian artist and filmmaker is among 175 “individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.”
Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador has been named a 2020 Guggenheim fellow.

The musician, artist and director behind he critically acclaimed film The Burial of Kojo, announced the news via social media on Thursday, writing: “Super excited to announce I’ve been awarded the Guggenheim 2020 Fellowship. Truly grateful and inspired.”

He is among 175 scholars, “appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation’s ninety-sixth competition,” says the Guggenheim.

Beginning in 1925, the prestigious fellowship awards “individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.” This year’s list like the others includes a group of fine artists, writers, photographers and more.

Past Guggenheim include renowned Nigerian writer Teju Cole in 2018 and Ghanaian filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu, who was awarded in 2015.

OkayAfrica spoke with Blitz back in 2018 about the power of creativity in rewriting African narratives. “Usually movies about Africa are very dystopian, more about survival mode,” he said. “We never get a chance to break down our people. We just end up with a war, and in a war you can’t show nuance in family relationships—the film is about survival. The hardest thing to do is humanize a people that has little history in cinema. Hopefully this film brings father and daughter closer, especially back home.”

Congrats to the artist on this accomplishment.

Apple Music Launches ‘Stream Local’ initiative To Support South African musicians

Apple is hoping to provide support for South African artists during the fear and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, through Apple Music.

Apple Music’s ‘Stream Local’ initiative will support South African musicians

South Africa has seen its coronavirus cases on the rise in the past few weeks, with nearly 1900 confirmed cases and 18 deaths at the time of publishing. Like many other countries affected, the country is under strict lockdown to help “flatten the curve,” or limit the community spread of COVID-19.

With fewer live shows and concerts happening, the music industry has begun to see a negative impact across the board. Apple Music’s new initiative should offer a bit of financial relief, as well as serve as a way to help artists reach new listeners through curated playlists.

The initiative, dubbed “Stream Local,” is set to launch on April 11, and serves to provide a platform for South African music, including chart-toppers and newly-released titles. Some of the artists included will be Elaine, Blaq Diamond, Kabza de Small, and Ami Faku.

Playlists to be featured on “Stream Local” will include, among several others, Mzansi Hits, Mzansi House, Amapiano Lifestyle, Afrikaanse Treffers, and Mzansi Soul, according to Okay Africa.

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