Today in #TheLagosReview

Ufuoma McDermott’s USM launches channel for children

The USM Company has launched a YouTube channel to engage children with beneficial videos.

“The USM Kids channel will feature a variety of programmes that are of interest and benefit to the target audience,” the company said in a statement.

USM, producers of the ‘USM Show with Ufuoma’, says the channel can be assessed via

According to the company, the new channel will help to engage children positively.

They said the channel would also assist to correct the negative narratives about children’s use of social media.

One of directors of the USM company, Ufuoma McDermott, said part of the things to be taught on the channel were African culture and norms.

McDermott said the USM understood the important roles of culture in the upbringing of children and would not deny children access to such on their channel.

“The idea behind the USM Kids channel is to use media to engage kids in fun and general learning but also subtly teach them about our African norms and culture,” the director added.

The Managing Director of Daati’s Pride School, Mrs Azuka Ekpe, said the channel would give a balanced life to children.

She said, “A kid’s life is not all ‘school’ and must be balanced with play and other activities as they grow.”

During the official launch, the lead actors of the channel, Isio and Kesiena McDermott, expressed excitement when welcoming their friends, classmates and a few parents.

The children were also delighted to have such a channel as they settle down to have loads of fun, play, sing-alongs, lots to eat and drink.

They were also allowed to have a glimpse of some of the videos.

“From October 10, videos have been consistently uploaded to the channel to engage children,” USM added.

Follow @usmkids on Instagram and like the Facebook page USM Kids

Subscribe to on YouTube for notifications on new videos.

Link to a video:

Susan Choi, Sarah Brook, Edmund White & Others Win 2019 National Book Awards.

The evening ceremony took place in New York City and was hosted by LeVar Burton, the star of the educational children’s program ‘Reading Rainbow’ and ‘Star-Trek: Next Generation.’

Burton kicked off the event by touching on the power of storytelling: “If you can read in at least one language you are, in my definition, free”.

Susan Choi won the best fiction prize at the 70th National Book Awards ceremony for her book Trust Exercise.

Susan Choi won the best fiction prize for her fifth novel, ‘Trust Exercise’, about teens attending an elite drama school in the south during the ’80s which was praised for its bold experimentations with narrative and form.

‘Trust Exercise’ beat out ‘Sabrina & Corina’: Stories by Kali Fajarado-Anstine; ‘Black Leopard, Red Wolf’ by Marlon James; ‘The Other Americans’ by Laila Lalami; and ‘Disappearing Earth’ by Julie Phillips for the top prize.

During her speech, Choi thanked past last year’s winner, Sigrid Nunez, for convincing her to sit down and write the book. “This book is collaboration more so than any other book I’ve written,” Choi said. “Given what we’re all facing today I find it an astonishing privilege what I get to do every day. I get to lead a life centered on books and bring other people into that world.”

The Guardian called Trust Exercise a “masterly study of power and its abuses” that touched on themes of “consent and its ambiguity” in a #MeToo era.

The top prize for nonfiction went to Sarah M Broom for The Yellow House, a touching memoir that tells the history of Broom’s family in an impoverished section New Orleans.

Broom accepted the award by acknowledging her mother, who raised 12 children, and thanking her for nourishing and supporting her love for words. “I am in this room; and so is my mother,” she said.

The prominent queer writer Edmund White received the medal for distinguished contribution to American letters. The famed queer director John Waters presented him the medal.

White is best known for honest portrayals of the AIDS crisis and gay romance in his work. The prolific writer has released 13 novels, five memoirs, four biographies, and one play over his five-decade career. He is best known for seminal LGBT works such as the semi-autobigraphical A Boy’s Own Story (1982) and sex manual The Joy of Gay Sex (1972; co-written with Charles Silverstein).

Past medal recipients include Oprah Winfrey (1999), Stephen King (2003), and Ursula Le Guin (2014).

During his acceptance speech, White touched on the homophobia his first novels experienced in the ’70s. He recounted a New York Times Book Review calling his work “too gay”.

“To go from the most maligned to a highly lauded writer in a half century is astonishing,” White said, emotional.

The National Book Awards, now in its 70th year, was established in 1950, but has existed in its current iteration since 1989.

Winners of each category are awarded $10,000, while finalists take home $1,000.

In other awards of the evening, Arthur Sze took home the top prize for poetry for his work Sight Lines.

László Krasznahorkai took home the award for translated literature for Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming, translated from Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet. Translated literature was introduced as a new category last year. Last year’s inaugural winner was The Emissary by Yoko Tawada. A key stipulation of the category is the work’s original author and the translator must be living.

The winner of the young people’s literature award was Martin W Sandler for 1919: The Year That Changed America. The non-fiction book examines the crucial year in American history, taking in prohibition, women’s suffrage, and labor strikes. The move was a surprise, as the majority of past winners in the category have been fiction novels.

Find below a list of the 2019 National Book Award shortlist & winners:

Winner: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi,

Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

The Other Americans by Laila Lalami

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

Winner: The Yellow House by Sarah M Broom,

Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom

What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance by Carolyn Forché

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treue

Solitary by Albert Woodfox with Leslie George

The Tradition by Jericho Brown

“I”: New and Selected Poems by Toi Derricotte

Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky

Be Recorder by Carmen Giménez Smith

Winner: Sight Lines by Arthur Sze

Young people’s literature
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

Winner: 1919: The Year that Changed America by Martin W Sandler

Translated literature
Death Is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa; translated from Arabic by Leri Price

Winner: Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming by László Krasznahorkai; translated from Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet

The Barefoot Woman by Scholastique Mukasonga; translated from French by Jordan Stump

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa; translated from Japanese by Stephen Snyder

Pajtim Statovci, Crossing; translated from Finnish by David Hackston


Unusual Praise 2019: Anticipation rises for ‘biggest praise concert in Nigeria’

Anticipation is approaching fever-pitch for Unusual Praise 2019, the annual religious praise concert organized by the Catholic Church of Divine Mercy.

Widely regarded as the biggest praise concert in Nigeria, Unusual Praise 2019 holds on Friday November 29th at Periwinkle Estate, Freedom Way Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

Unusual Praise is the one of the most eagerly anticipated and well attended praise concerts in Nigeria. Currently in its 9th edition, Unusual Praise 2019 will feature amazing performances from a star-studded cast of ministers, with attendances drawn from all over Nigeria, including worshippers from other denominations, faiths and countries. 

A night of soul-lifting worship and unusual praise, attendees will be treated to an unforgettable experience marked by spiritual connection, glorious edification, masterful worship, as well as refreshing and divine upliftment.

The popular praise concert will be televised live to a global audience by broadcasting giant, MultiChoice. Specifically, the event will be streamed live on DSTV Channel 198 and GOTV Channel 2. The action begins at 5pm.

Already, a high-profile cast of gospel ministers have been lined up to deliver soul-lifting ministrations on the day. They include Chioma Jesus, Nathaniel Bassey, Tope Alabi, Chinyere Udoma, Sir Jude Nnam, Bukola Bekes, Akanchawa, Mercy Chinwo, Panam Percy Paul, Joe Praize, Grace Eze, Osinachi Nwachukwu, BJ Sax, Big Bolaji, David G, Chukwuemeka, Phillip O, Olumide Dada and a host of others.

Further raising the excitement for Unusual Praise 2019 is the availability of free Wi-Fi at the venue for worshippers. In addition, free transportation has been provided for attendees, with air-conditioned buses to convey worshippers from eight locations.
They include Festac (Holy Family Catholic Church), Maryland (St. Agnes Catholic Church), Alaba (St. Patrick’s Catholic Church), Ikorodu (St. Augustine), Ogba (Our Lady of the Holy Rosary), Akowonjo (Christ the King), Surulere (National Stadium) and Yaba (St. Dominic’s Catholic Church).

Unusual Praise has the mission “to promote evangelisation by creating an unforgettable praise experience, utilising live music and praise as a tool to inspire and challenge people from all backgrounds to share the message of Jesus Christ.”

AFRIFF Annual Globe Awards: 2019 Winners Announced

AFRICA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (AFRIFF) in partnership with US CONSULATE, LAGOS and ACCESS BANK announced its winners for 2019 at its annual Globe Awards.

At the annual GLOBE AWARDS which took place at Twin Waters, Oniru, Lagos last Saturday, the AFRIFF competition winners were announced in front of an audience of Filmmakers, industry tastemakers, special guests such as Peter Obi – Former Governor Anambra State and PDP Vice Presidential candidate 2019, Herbert Wigwe – Group Managing Director, Access Bank Group and the US Consul General, Claire Pierangelo and other dignitaries.

The night capped off a great week that revealed some very special filmmakers and showed once again why AFRIFF is definitely a staple in the global festival circuit. The night of awards was rounded off by a special award to a true SHEROE in Lizzy Ovoeme!

Here’s a list of the winners of the night.


Special Mention
UNITED KINGDOM: Appreciation by Tomisin Adepeju

Best Student Short

Best Animation
NIGERIA: Malika – Warrior Queen by Roye Okupe

Best Short
ITALY: My Tyson by Claudio Casale


Best Documentary
KENYA: In Search by Beryl Magoko


Special Mention
GHANA: Gold Coast Lounge by Pascal Aka

Best Male Performance

SOUTH AFRICA: Bongile Mantsai in Knuckle City

Best Female Performance
NIGERIA: Kate Henshaw in The Ghost & House of Truth

Best Screenplay
RWANDA: Ramata Sy for Our Lady of The Nile

Oronto Douglas Award for Best Nigerian Film
The Ghost & The House of Truth

Best Director
NIGERIA: Akin Omotoso for The Ghost & The House of Truth

Best Feature Film
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Rattlesnakes by Julius Amedume

Audience Choice Award:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Rattlesnakes by Julius Amedume

Special Jury for outstanding film
BURKINA FASO: Sankara is Not Dead by Lucie Viver

Peter Obi Legacy Award for Female Excellence
Lizzy Ovoeme

The Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) conceived by Ms Chioma Ude is a world class showcase that presents a complete immersion into the world of film making with participation from local and international, actors, directors, scriptwriters, cinematographers, sound engineers, musicians, editors, light engineers, students, equipment manufacturers and businessmen.

The objectives are to develop the film industry to a level where the products compete favourably with their contemporaries all over world; provide a growth opportunity for these film industry professionals to eventually export their products to the world; facilitate access to investors, equipment, technical and skill acquisition through Festival organized fora and several capacity development workshops; complement government’s efforts at revamping small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).

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