Today in #TheLagosReview

Jumoke Verissimo shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2020

Congratulations to Jumoke Verissimo, whose debut novel, A Small Silence has been shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2020! A Small Silence explores what happens when one chooses to live in isolation, and the impact that human connection can have, making it an especially poignant read today.

A Small Silence brings Lagos to life in all its chaos and hustle. In their review of the novel, Brittle Paper wrote ‘…what gets lost in all the visual spectacle and exhilarating velocity of Lagos life are stories about silent and invisible suffering. A Small Silence is an invitation to listen for the sounds within silences so that we can be perceptive even in places where our eyes fail us.”

Source: Cassava Republic

Spotify launches curated podcast playlists to make the platform more customized.

Spotify’s officially trying to solve the podcast discovery problem while also trying to help podcasters reach new audiences. The company announced today that it’s rolling out three human-curated podcast playlists in six countries: the US, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Mexico, and Brazil. The three weekly playlists are called Best Podcasts of the Week, Brain Snacks, and Crime Scene. They’ll each be localized to the countries and will be populated by curators in each location. Spotify hired podcast curators around the world specifically for this feature.

The playlists are meant to get people who already listen to podcasts to “build a habit around listening on Spotify,” says Courtney Holt, VP, Global Head of Studios & Video. The audio platform first tested podcast playlists last year and spent the time since observing how people use them. Holt says Spotify is also looking for these playlists to engage people who have never listened to a podcast and to help people searching for something new.

Of course, the playlist rollout comes at a fraught time for the world, and one in which podcasters are watching to see if disappearing commute times affect how often people listen to their shows. Holt says Spotify has seen habits change, like people listening to shows at different times of day, but he says the company expects behavior to return to usual as the pandemic eases up.

“I think that a lot of people are changing behaviors for a limited time, but we also have signals — we look at our platform globally — and we’re seeing different datasets in different markets who are in different stages of pandemic response,” he says. The playlist rollout would have happened with or without the pandemic, he says, so the company is keeping with its podcast plans.

Spotify’s curation efforts might make some in the broader industry nervous. Apple, the original and biggest name in podcast platforms, features editorial lists, not playlists that cycle through every recommended episode. The industry largely respects that team’s opinions, mostly because Apple isn’t making its own podcast content. Spotify, however, is. It owns Gimlet Media, Parcast, Anchor, and its own Spotify Studios, all of which are designed to produce different podcasts. People in the industry might worry that Spotify will use its playlists to amplify its own voices. Holt says people shouldn’t worry.

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The April Edition of Media Room Hub Is Dedicated to “The Frontline Soldiers”

The latest issue of Media Room Hub’s magazine spotlights the young health workers in the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria. The April cover is a special tribute to all the frontline doctors, nurses and healthcare workers all over the world battling to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

The issue features five vibrant young frontline soldiers, Dr Adefunke Ayeni, Dr Akin Faminu, Dr Etiobhio Samuel Ose, Dr Bukola Ogunyemi and Dr Gbadamosi Adefemi (Foladavid) who are risking it all for us to stay safe as the world fights the pandemic. They are Nigerians and they are all medical doctors.

They spoke about the COVID-19, the risk of being at the front line, their dreams, aspirations and the disappointing state of health infrastructures in Nigeria amongst others.

Meet the young frontline heroes:

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Eminem Celebrates Major Milestone In Journey to Sobriety

Legendary rapper Eminem is celebrating a major milestone on his journey to sobriety, after staying alcohol-free for 12 straight years. The rap king, who has come a long way following his struggles with drugs and alcohol, is now clean and living his best life.

Taking to his Instagram to celebrate the special moment, Eminem shared a photo of his 12-year sobriety chip and wrote: “Clean dozen, in the books! I’m not afraid.”

“The Set Up” Movie Debuts On Netflix This Week

In case you missed the Niyi Akinmolayan‘s 2019 blockbuster “The Set Up” in the cinemas, or you’ve watched it and still can’t get enough of it. Not to worry! The suspense-filled drama is coming to Netflix this Wednesday.

It follows the life of a young woman who gets more than she bargains for and is drawn into a web of deceit when she is hired by a socialite to assist with his scheme to marry a wealthy heiress.

“The Set Up” is a movie directed by Niyi Akinmolayan and produced by Inkblot Productions in collaboration with Filmone Distribution and Anakle Films. It stars Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Jim Iyke, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Tina Mba, Joke Silva, Kehinde Bankole, Ayoola Ayoola, Marie Humbert, Damilare Kuku, Wendy Lawal, and Uzor Arukwe.

Watch the trailer here.

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