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Google celebrates Christy Essien-Igbokwe’s 58th posthumous birthday with a Doodle

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A Google Doodle is a special, temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s homepages that commemorates holidays, events, achievements and people.

Christy Essien-Igbokwe’s Google Doodle

“Born in Akwa Ibom state on this day in 1960, Christy Essien-Igbokwe was an actress and singer known as “Nigeria’s Lady of Songs.”

“Fluent in her native language of Ibibo, Essien-Igbokwe also spoke and sang in English, Yoruba, and Igbo giving her music a broad appeal across cultural and tribal lines.

“Among her many popular releases, the inspirational record “Seun Rere” became a rallying cry within Nigeria,” Google said.

Google said that she once recalled saying that her childhood was very challenging, she used to have a brother who was a soldier then and was always on transfer owing to the nature of his job.

It said Essien-Igbokwe was orphaned very early and her love of music inspired her to persevere.

“I didn’t know I could sing until I found myself doing so”, the great artist recalled of her experience being caught up in the spirit of music. I was like an abandoned child, my condition made me discover myself,” she was quoted as saying.

Google said that from humble beginnings to singing in clubs, she landed an appearance on a televised talent show, which led to a role on the popular TV show ‘The New Masquerade’.

“Essien-Igbokwe released her first record, Freedom, at age 17 and never looked back. Her 1981 album Ever Liked My Person became a smash hit. In 1987 the Akwa-Ibom artist recorded a song, “Akwa Ibom Mmi,” which became an anthem of pride for those sharing her heritage.

“Using her fame to highlight social issues, she appeared in the Hollywood films Flesh and Blood and Scars of Womanhood, which addressed the abuse of women and children.

“In 1981 Essien-Igbokwe helped establish the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria with renowned artists such as King Sunny Adé and Sonny Okosun, becoming the organization’s first female president in 1996.

“She was also a staunch supporter and advocate for the Performing and Mechanical Rights Society, often donating her own royalties to health and education programmes benefiting women and children as well as the handicapped,” it said.

Google said that using the same music that uplifted her to uplift her people, Essien-Igbokwe would go on to perform at 2009’s Inspire Africa Benefit Concert and received many awards in her lifetime in recognition of her contributions as an artist and humanitarian.

Essien-Igbokwe, a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR), died in Lagos on June 30, and was buried Sept. 10, 2011.

Happy Birthday, Christy Essien-Igbokwe!

(NAN)

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Lifestyle

Amina Mohammed, three other Nigerian women made 2018 “100 Women” list

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Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and three other Nigerian women made the 2018 BBC ‘100 women’ list.

She appeared alongside social entrepreneur/activist, Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin, a lawyer, Bola Tinubu and award-winning blogger and author, Chidera Eggerue.

The BBC list celebrates inspiring and influential women who have used their positions to spark actions in the review year.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in 2017, only two Nigerian women – singer, Tiwa Savage, and tech prodigy, Anne-Marie Imafidon – made the list.

This year, the list featured women around the world between the ages of 15 and 94 from more than 60 countries; including Messrs Mohammed, Ajayi-Akinfolarin, Tinubu and Eggerue from Nigeria.

57-year-old Ms. Mohammed, who is vocal about women’s empowerment and gender equality, told BBC that females should not be ‘grateful’ for opportunities given them.

“What I want to do is not apologise for being a girl and not to see it as something that is added on… or that we should be grateful for being at the table,” she said.

Speaking on Ms. Ajayi-Akinfolarin, BBC wrote, “Abisoye is the founder of GirlsCoding, an NGO that teaches girls how to code, design and build websites that help solve problems in their communities.”

The 33-year-old tech entrepreneur, who was recently named one of CNN’s ten heroes of 2018, is a women’s rights activist fighting to balance the gender gap in science and technology.

Meanwhile, the BBC honoured the 51-year-old Ms. Tinubu for her work in corporate law, especially in establishing the first free children’s helpline in Nigeria.

Also, Ms. Eggerue, 27, is a best-selling author and blogger at Slumflower and has been featured in many publications including British Vogue, Elle Uk, The NewYork Times.

NAN reports that Chelsea Clinton, vice-chair of the Clinton Foundation, and Senegalese-born Fatma Samoura, first female FIFA secretary general, were also included in the list.

(NAN)

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Politics

Eti-Osa Politics: Read Banky W’s full campaign speech

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Olubankole Wellington, also known as Banky W, on Saturday declared his intention to contest for the House of Representatives in 2019.

The entertainer is currently seeking to represent Eti-Osa local government area in Lagos on the platform of the Modern Democratic Party (MDP).

Read his full speech below.

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen… my name is Olubankole Wellington.

I’d like to start by saying a very special thank you to who is to me, on the inside and out, the most beautiful and incredible person in the world.. my wife, Mrs Adesua Etomi-Wellington.

For myself, and the team behind this MDP movement – the Modern Democratic Party, I can honestly say, that tonight is a dream come true. I’ve seen that happen many times, you know? I’ve seen dreams come true; and it’s amazing everytime. I am, infact, living proof, that the unlikeliest of dreams can indeed come true.

In 1981, I was born to a father from Lagos, and a mother from Cross Rivers – both of whom struggled and were it not for the Grace of God, had no business receiving University educations abroad. My Dad was an orphan, who was shuffled from relative to relative, and depended largely on a combination of street smarts, book smarts, and athletic abilities, to put himself through school, using a combination of scholarships, student loans, and multiple part time jobs.

My mother’s story was not much different… born in Calabar, to a single mom, she was sent off to live with her relatives in Lagos. Through her belief in God, a lot of hard work, and sheer force of will, following her secondary education, she too earned and worked her way through University.

Neither of them grew up in particularly fortunate circumstances… but they held on to a set of beliefs that I have since inherited… we believe that what you lack in wealth, privilege and connections, you can make up for with hope, hard work, and determination. My parents taught me that if you believe in God, believe in yourself, never give up hope and work hard, dreams that seem impossible, CAN indeed come true.

In 1985, our family returned to Lagos. Like most families with a limited income, sacrifices had to be made. My parents realized at that time, that they couldn’t afford to rent a nice flat AND send us to a good school at the same time – it would be one or the other. And so we attended Corona Primary school in Ikoyi, while we lived on the ground floor flat of a sinking building in Akoka, Yaba. We were classmates with children of the rich by day, and playmates with children of the street by night. I remember during the peak of the raining seasons, our flat would literally get flooded and come up to about the knee level, and so Momsie would wake us up early to scoop water in buckets out of our home, before heading off to school and work.

But I went from Corona Primary school to Home Science Secondary school, and in 1999, just like my parents did, I gained admission into a University in the USA that the family really could not afford. But again, just like my parents did… by the grace of God, I used a combination of scholarships, student loans, and every job under the sun that you can imagine.. to put myself through school. It took focus, prayers, a lot of hard work – everything from working in Mcdonald’s restaurant, to at one point being a door to door knives salesman – and a whole lot of hope. That courage to Hope in spite of circumstances is what helped me earn a Bachelor’s Degree from one of the top Engineering schools in the USA.

Hope is what my best friend and I held on to in 2002, when we were crazy enough to start a record label in my University Dorm Room. We had no idea what we were doing, or what it would take… we didn’t know one single person in the music business home or abroad… but that’s kind of what hope and faith is all about, isn’t it? It’s about taking that first step even when you don’t see the entire ladder, or where it leads. You dream big but you start small, and you never let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big.

It’s incredible what can be achieved with a dream, the willingness to work hard, and the courage to hold on to hope in spite of the odds. I’ve seen rock bottom create champions. I’ve seen grass watered until it becomes known as grace. “Hope” is almost always the common denominator. Hope is what helped a former househelp/plantain seller and a kid born blind at birth become 2 of the most internationally acclaimed and successful Music Producers, from this same Nigeria. Hope is what convinced 2 young Nigerians that they could take a company that at one point, wasn’t worth the paper it was registered on, and build it into one of the foremost Media and Entertainment Empires in the country. Hope is what convinced me that a scrawny little kid from Ojuelegba Shitta could one day become the biggest Artist on the African continent. Hope is what has helped me through 3 separate battles with skin cancer.

And to me, that’s what tonight is all about… it’s about this generation having the courage to hope again, and the will to work towards making our dreams for Nigeria, a reality. That’s what we are attempting to do with MDP – the Modern Democratic Party.

You see, subconsciously, we’ve kind of given up, haven’t we? As a generation, we have essentially accepted that things will never change. We’ve lost hope. It’s why more people vote in Big Brother Africa than in our General Elections. It’s why most of us are too busy to register for a PVC, but we’ll stand in line for days at the VISA Center – further proof that nowadays, for the average citizen, the ultimate Nigerian Dream is the one in which you get to escape Nigeria.

For many years, I’ve been a vocal critic of leadership and bad governance in Nigeria, and a vocal proponent of young people participating in the political process. And yet, the turn out is never good enough, because we simply just don’t care enough to do what it takes.

I realized that all my years of Activism in Nigeria, didn’t amount to much more than my plight as an Arsenal fan. You see, as Arsenal fans, we love our club, but we knew it was time for change. We complained, we tweeted, we held up banners at the stadium, we shouted and hashtagged for many years. But until the people who were a part of the system – the board, the shareholders, the executives etc – until THEY decided that it was time for change, all of that noise would not have amounted to anything. Our former coach could have remained in that position until the day that he died.. and there’s not a damn thing any of us could have done about it.

The same can be said for Nigeria. Until the day that we decide as a generation, to get involved with the affairs of our country, nothing will EVER really change. The time has come for us to play our part. We can no longer afford to remain mere spectators. Getting a voter’s card alone is no longer enough; because that does not give you a say in putting up the kind of candidates that you believe in. We must take things one step further by building a new political platform for this generation. One that is not built for selfish interests.. but one that is built off of a shared vision and ideals. One that will put up the right kind of candidates: people with Integrity, the right intentions and the intellectual capacity to lead. People with vision and the ability to execute.

Make no mistake, WE ARE a generation in a battle for the soul and direction of our country, BUT we ARE stuck in a lose-lose situation. But when you’re in a lose-lose situation, you don’t pick sides. You change the situation. It’s time for us to do that. It’s time for us to hope and believe again. It’s time for us to work and build.

25 years ago, the majority of Nigerians overwhelmingly bought into a vision called “Hope ‘93”. We had the freest and fairest elections in our Nation’s history, and elected a great man called MKO Abiola into the Presidency. May his soul rest in peace, and his sacrifice not be in vain. Our Country’s trajectory might have been very different, had he been allowed to live and assume his rightful position.

Back then, it didn’t even matter that he fielded an all Muslim ticket… because poverty, lack, and suffering do not discriminate. Unemployment, lack of infrastructure, a declining educational system, poor healthcare, gender inequality… these are issues all Nigerians are struggling with whether we are Christian, Muslim, or Atheist… Yoruba or Igbo, Hausa or Ijaw, Edo or Delta, Efik or kanuri.

Our generation does not really believe in the existing powers that be on both sides of the divide.. and for good reason. We have been taken advantage of and lied to.. we are tired and disenfranchised. We are frustrated and suspicious. We don’t believe in our current political options, so it’s time for us to build our own. We want a seat at the table of Governance in Nigeria, but we must bring our own chair. Because if we are to get in to leadership, it MUST be on our own terms and conditions, with our own vision and set of ideals… otherwise we risk being marginalized and handcuffed by the same systems we are criticizing.

And this vision is for beyond 2019, and for more than just the office of the President. It’s about every electable office in this country. We must start now to build a movement towards 2023 and beyond, otherwise, in every election we will find ourselves in this exact same spot.

We want to fix Nigeria, but we must begin by rebuilding our communities. Everybody seems so obsessed with the Presidential race – it’s one of the most frequent suggestions I get – “Banky W, run for President”. But see, like I said earlier, I do believe in dreaming big, but I believe in starting small, and working your way up. Hope is what we needed in ’93. 25 years later, hope is what we’ll need in 2019. And it is with the greatest sense of humility, purpose and destiny, that I announce my candidacy for the 2019 Federal House of Representatives, in the Eti Osa constituency of Lagos State.

I have spent the majority of my life in Eti-Osa. It is where I went to Primary school and part of Secondary School. It is where I have built my home, and my business; it is where I plan to spend the rest of my life, with my wife and the children I pray God blesses us with. Most of the friends I have, most of the businesses I admire, and even most of the businesses that inspire our entire country are based here.

The economy of Eti Osa is central to the Nigerian Economy, with a GDP contribution that dwarfs several states combined. And yet in spite of all this, it’s no longer a secret that much like Nigeria at large, the people in our neighborhoods are yearning for better representation, across local, state, and federal levels. Eti-Osa is infact, a microcosm of Nigeria as a whole. It is home to people from various backgrounds… it is home to the Market women in Ajah, the billionaires in Banana Island, the creatives living in Lekki, and the multicultural ethnicities in Obalende.

We have people from various tribes and tongues, people from all walks of life.. extreme wealth, and extreme poverty. There are things that we should be proud of, and there are plenty areas for improvement. This is the headquarters of Corporate Nigeria, a model that has continued to encourage investors both local and foreign to sow into our country. And yet we still have residents who cannot afford 3 square meals a day.

Everyone knows that we have generated trillions of Naira at our toll gates, yet we still have potholes. We have the very best and worst of education in our school system and the same could be said of the healthcare in our hospitals. However this is not the time to point fingers and accuse.

It is the time for all our leaders and citizens to come together, across party lines, and work with each other to love, rescue and rebuild our society. If Nigeria is to work as a country.. then Eti Osa must first work as a community. We must team up, with each of us playing our part, to make this the most desirable local Government in the country, and that will inspire others to do the same.

My legislative agenda and detailed manifesto will be shared on my website, and I encourage you to please take a look at it in the coming weeks and engage me on the issues of job creation, gender equality, youth inclusion and empowerment, affordable healthcare, and education. I would love to hear from my constituents, current leaders in Government, regardless of background or affiliation – we can do this, if we do it together. That is how we can fix Nigeria, one community at a time.

Our generation needs a realistic rallying point. We need to begin in community, earn our way into the system and up the ladder. We need someone to stick their neck out and pave the way. The problem is that we’ve always looked only to our leaders for change… instead of looking in the mirror and at the neighbors around us. Isn’t it ironic that we are the ones we’ve been waiting for all along?

I have shared this vision with quite a few people. Some have been incredibly supportive, but some have advised against it. I am under no illusions that this run will be easy. Considering the machines we are going up against, some THINK it is impossible.

They said we don’t have the money to run.. we say we our strength lies in our numbers. They said we don’t have the structure, we say we will attempt to build it. They said “what if you lose”? I say, what if we win?

You see, my entire life has been a story of just dreaming dreams, praying about those dreams, setting goals, and working until they come true. I can live with trying and failing. I can not live with not trying.

So while we may not have a godfather, we do have God. And we have vision. And intellectual capacity. And integrity. And the right intentions. And last but not least, a whole lot of hope.

At the end of the day, hope may be all we have, but I believe that it is all we need. Thank you and God bless Nigeria.

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Lifestyle

OAP, Tosyn Bucknor has died aged 37

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Oluwatosin ‘Tosyn’ Bucknor, an on-air-personality with Inspiration FM, has died aged 37.

Bucknor was found dead by husband, Aurelien Boyer, when he arrived at home from work on Monday night.

Onome Obruthe, husband of her sister Funke Obruthe-Bucknor, confirmed the demise of the petite media personality.

“It is very sad,” he said when a call was put through to him Tuesday morning.

The media personality, a graduate of law from the University of Lagos, was born with sickle cell anaemia.

In November 2015, Bucknor and Aurélien Boyer had their traditional wedding surrounded by family and friends in Lagos.

Five months later, they had their white wedding in France, Boyer’s home country.

Segun Bucknor, her father who was a popular musician and journalist, died in 2017.

Tosyn, as she was popularly called, previously hosted the morning show at Top Radio FM.

She started her OAP duties with Tee-A at Eko FM. She was also an intern at Cool FM where she hosted the ‘Fun Hour Show’ on Saturdays.

Bucknor joined Top Radio after her youth service in 2009 as the only female handling a morning show.

Tosyn Bucknor was nominated for several awards including Future Awards, ELOY Awards, and Best of Nollywood.

TheCable

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Lifestyle

ArtX: A tale of how Lagos housed Africa’s largest Art Exhibition

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ArtX: When Lagos housed one of the largest Art Exhibition in Africa and it was artistic. Enjoy the read.

Days have gone by and the beautiful memories of art, conversations, meet-ups, body languages as well as lectures during ArtX 2018 remains pleasurable. My experience balanced all activities outlined above and more. Importantly, the event held from November 2 – 4 at Civic Center, Lagos.

I chose to visit on Saturday, 3rd November 2018 which meant that I traveled from outside the state on a Friday and return on a Sunday. For every ‘good unplanned factor’, I got to Lagos by 1 am Saturday morning. Yet, my exhibition started taking its shape from the relative silence, brightening, and cleanliness of Berger Park, to the artistic contents of the wall across the roads that I plied. Busy, crowdy and noisy Lagos gave way to my first hall of the art showroom. It was a tired day but amazing one.

Artmazon: Where African art lovers meet art, artists and nature

Because sleep is a form and a source of art, it was relieving moments that gave strength. This strength fueled my zeal for the reason that I came into Lagos, ArtX. By 12 pm I was walking the hallways of Civic Centre, lined with pieces of works from galleries. Some works were hanging, laid down, televised and even shown on 3D cameras. Everywhere I turned, reminds me of how creative human minds can exceed.

Though the exhibition timed 10 am I was still an early bird and by 5.30 pm when I took my leave, people were still coming in, in their numbers. My most priced moment was seeing “Tutu”, an artwork by Nigeria’s best-known modern artist, Ben Enwonwu, painted in 1974. It was a welcoming showpiece. Enwonwu painted three versions of the portrait. One is in a private collection in Lagos, while Peppiatt is hunting the third in Washington.

The painting entitled “Tutu”, an artwork by late Nigerian artist Ben Enwonwu, is pictured at the Art X Lagos fair. Reuters

Enwonwu’s ‘Adetutu’ breaks record, sells for more than N500 million

Music brought me back to reality and Yinka Shonibare’s was my next stop. Using African craft to tell a European story is rare and Yinka did not disappoint. With 18 stands representing different foreign and African art galleries, an art lover, wouldn’t get enough of the works displayed.

Children were not left out as I witnessed the attentiveness that a group of them gave their tour guide/instructor. They murmured words at some works, asked questions on some while they merely enjoyed the pleasant view that many others had to offer. A particular child with her mum kept asking about a piece of work while her mum patiently dished out the basic content of the piece in words that the little admirer can understand. Such a sight to see.

After a walk around, I dropped by the restaurant place to grab a snack and drink but importantly meet new people. I met an interesting lady who is a doctor and a documentary photographer. We conversed on how just a few people get to have the same career and passion. We shared our insight on the day’s event and we took professional pictures.

Wealth insights from Nigeria’s largest private art collector, Yemisi Shyllon

An art lecture organised by the event on Contemporary Art was next. The guest, an Art Critic Writer, and an Art Professor shared from their wealth of knowledge on how the media is unprepared for an Art Specific Reporting and the quality of university education. Both, as was discussed, affect the way Nigerians absorb and perceive the concept and quality of Art. They recommended that art should be projected just as much as other sectors like fashion, gets massive attention.

They touched on the scarcity of female art journalist, child art specialty, art academic protégé, art and science, old and new art reviewers, art and politics, art publicity; art, Biafra and Nigeria, art as a continuum for humanity and much more.

In all, I will remember ArtX 2018 for telling an Art Story in Lagos.

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