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No jobs available as 1,300 graduate in South Sudan
November 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Juba, South Sudan – At least 1,300 students were graduated in different fields in the world youngest nation over the weekend, as the country is pursues a peace deal to end  five-years of conflict.

The 22nd Convocation of the University of Juba was presided by the country’s president Salva Kiir, who described the event as another achievement and milestones in the country’s human capital, which is ruined by the years of conflict.

University of Juba was established in 1975 following the Addis Ababa peace agreement in 1972 in then Sudan.

“This is great additional to our human capital – and that the new face has begun from this important day as they look forward to join the world of works – where they are going to serve our people in the areas of theirs interested and expertise,” said Kiir

South Sudan split away from Sudan in 2011 after decades of war but plunged into its own conflict at the end of 2013 after president Salva Kiir sacked Riek Machar as vice president.

After years of brutal, president Kiir and ex – rebel leader Machar signed a new fragile revitalized peace deal a year ago to end a civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced a third of the population and wrecked the country’s economy.

South Sudanese warring parties to the peace agreement failed to form a coalition government on November 12, 2019 after disagreements over the training and unification of forces. The leaders also failed to resolve the issue of the boundary and the number of states.

The conflict has also tumble-down a job opportunity in both public and private sectors across the country.

As a result, President Kiir and Machar last week extended the pre-interim period by 100 days to enable them narrow their differences, but president Kiir believe that with the formation of a unity government next year, will create a job opportunity for the graduates in the country.

 “I am optimistic that the unity government will be formed early in the new year to allow our country to move forward as one nation. And then our collective energy to economy and social development – peace will allow us to mobilize more resources to provide better education and health services. Moreover, will enable us to rebuild the infrastructure in form whether roads, provide clean drinking water and electricity to our cities, towns and countryside and connected the nation through high speed fabric optics network,” he said.

President Kiir also says “as the country, we are opened to the investment in agriculture, mineral resources, oil and tourism, among others which will definitely create job opportunities for our able youth, particularly to graduates and enable to deliver needed services to the people of South Sudan.’

Meanwhile, Chairman of the University’s Council, Manase Lomule Waya urged the graduands to put their papers in use as job creators and not job seekers.

Waya further asked the NGOs and private companies to employ South Sudanese graduates, citing a setback to the world youngest nation if the said human resource is not put into action.

“The graduates from the university of Juba have to and must be employed in order to reduce the level of unemployment in the country,” said Waya.

On the same event, representative of the graduands, Jacob Kuot said they faced a lot of challenges as a journey was too long, which some of his colleagues dropped out of the university.

He told president to create job opportunities for the graduates so that they will not join politics in the restive country.

“Mr. president, we have thousands of youth, graduates’ loitering on the streets – some of our wasting much of our time in tea places, playing cards, dominoes and Facebook [social media] – this is where of our youth spend usual time to build themselves – [and] that is why some of us join politics by all means as the last resort. Our situation here invited every youth to be politicians and talks about politics.

[therefore]

my appeal to the government is to creating more jobs for youth, especially graduates in the public and private sectors for you to coming out of learning institution, at least to get a job,” said Kuot

Multiple of graduands said they will usher their knowledges to rebuild the war – torn country in their specialized areas, but this will not be effective if the government don’t employ them in all sectors.

Exodus of University lecturers

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Juba has warned concerned government institutions of industrial action over delay in implementation of the new salary structure for lecturers.

In July, the Council of Ministers approved a new salary structure for all the public university lecturers.

The increment came after years of public outcry over little pay for lecturers since the Pound lost its value and the economy worsened.

“The delay of the implementation of the new salary structure threatens the academic stability of our public universities with mass exodus of the staff of worse of an upset of industrial action,” Prof. John Akech said during the 22nd Graduation Ceremony of the University of Juba at the weekend.

However, President Kiir says his government is committed to implementing the new salary structure for all the public universities.

“I will invest in our universities so that they produce the best civil servants and work for what our country needs and that is why my government is committed to implement a new salary structure for the staff at our public universities,” said president Kiir. “We will review and improve the pay structure of the top and mid-level civil servants so that our civil servants are free to devote their whole time to serving the country and creating public value without worrying much about their basic daily needs and that of their families.”

According to the approved salary structure, a professor would be paid over 500,000 SSP ($1,500) and a technician would earn over 100,000 SSP ($500) per month. This is a significant increase from the current structure where a professor earns an equivalent of $153 per month.

However, more lecturers have allegedly quit the profession due to the little – with some seen driving public service vehicles in the capital, Juba, as a new means of catering for their families.

Recently, President Kiir blamed salary payment delays on the ministry finance and economic planning.

Civil servants have not been paid for months despite daily oil production. According to the ministry of petroleum, the government roughly gets $165 million per month from oil sales.

Establish of institute

President Kiir his government will establish the petroleum institute of technology and applied sciences in order to build human resource to utilize the petroleum resources.

“I want to assure the university of Juba administration that my government is still committed to supporting the establishment of Petroleum institute of technology and Applied Science at the University of Juba. Whose mission is to utilized petroleum resources, to develop and embrace the national technological and managerial capacity for exploitation of our vast natural resources,” said president Kiir

The landlock country gets almost all its revenue from oil and has boosted output, as it struggles to rebuild its devastated economy after a five-year civil war.

South Sudan has the third-largest oil reserves in sub – Saharan Africa, estimated at 3.5 billion barrels and much more still remains unexplored.

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Gambia Music Union Clarifies ‘Peace Project’ by Gambian Musicians
November 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

Strongly advice artistes to distance themselves from politic

By Bakary Ceesay

Gambia Music Exco
Gambia Music Exco

The Music Union of the Gambia has reacted to the ‘Peace Project’ initiative by a group of Gambian musicians, presented to President Adama Barrow assured the full support of the state.


The musicians called on the president Adama Barrow over the weekend at State House to present the project with the hope enlisting the support of the state in promoting national unity, social cohesion, and harmony through the power of music.


Barrow said: “This peace project is very important; there can be no progress in the absence of peace and stability. As President, I and my government will support this project to its success. I have a mandate to the Gambian people and therefore take ownership of this project’’

However, on Tuesday in a press release from the Music Union of the Gambia is aware of the recent visit of a few Gambian Artists to the Office of President. We understand its was arranged and facilitated by President Barrow’s Youths For National Development together with Lamin Cham (DJ Champion Sounds)

The Artistes that were present went there at their own will on contract basis by the above mentioned bodies and had nothing to do with Gambian Artists or Music Union as a whole.

They presented a “Peace Initiative” Project which the Union isn’t against, we believe Maintaining Peace is key and the first step towards developing any nation and Gambia is not an exception to that fact.

What we are against is siding / working / affiliating with any political groups, parties or political related gatherings in the name of Gambian Artist or Musicians.

We believe there are right channels such as our line Ministry Of Youth & Sports or Ministry Of Tourism & Arts/Culture to facilitate such projects together with The Music Union Of The Gambia and National Centre for Art and Culture.

The Union is made up of different Artistes/Musicians with different tribes, backgrounds and political views, What brought us together is the music and we want to keep it that way.

Due to the present situation of the country, The Timing of the meeting and the Body Facilitating the meeting didn’t sit well for a lot of Artistes & the executives of The Music Union. Our believe is in order to strengthen the Music Union as an institution which has an executive with a mandate.

The Music Union Of The Gambia advices artistes to distance themselves from politics and if one wants to take part should do it on its own will and not in the name of Gambia Artists / Musicians / Music Union.

Our Music Industry lacks structure which we have been struggling to put in place and we believe working with the government could make this possible but only if its Channel to the right institutions/ offices.

We want to use this opportunity to inform all artists that the Executive will in a few weeks call on congress. We are equally happy to report that the constitutional Review committee will report on the drafted constitution for adoption and election of yet another executive to run the affairs of The Gambia Musicians Union in the years to Come. In the spirit of Peace and the Development of Gambia we salute you.

Peace

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Gambia:Deejay Limbo Releases ‘Le Debut’ EP
November 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Deejay Limbo

Deejay Limbo, awarding winning Austria based Gambian reggae and dancehall artiste has released and launched his debut Extended Play, EP entitled ‘Le Debut’ comprises of six tracks on 9th November, 2019 at Club Spielplatz in Linz.

The night featured feature two supporting acts namely Blady El-Puro and Darka Real Mandingo, Rooftop Movement, Boom Sound Diamond from Germany and Stefan Uhlir the Kings Crown Sound.   Fabala Colley, Limbo’s manager said Limbo is also on European Tour so far did concert in Germany, preparing for Italy and Austria.

Deejay Limbo is a dancehall/ reggae artist and songwriter. Born in a small town, Latrikunda-German in a West African country called Gambia.

He started DJing in Gambia around 2005 and started singing sometime around the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011.He has since relocated to Austria where he has been on the music scene since 2011 and has made a name for himself.

Limbo has collaborated with many dancehall/ reggae artists’ such as Jamaican born Jah Vinci and Ghana’s very own Stone Bwoy, Rebellion D Recaller, Vypa, ENC and Singhateh. Limbo once had the opportunity to be signed to G-Note Records, a record label in the United Kingdom, but due to circumstances things didn’t play out the way he envisioned, but he still did not give up.

He had the opportunity to work with some great producers like Hakim from Sunland Music and a former member of ‘The Boys’ group, Jugglerz Records producing hit like ´Smilling Coast´ and Stefario Brown producing hits like ´Mi Gyals Dem Badd and Overdose.

He won an award at the inaugural at the Wah Sah Halat Music awards in 2016. The Latrikunda German-born singer has already rubbed shoulders with big reggae stars like Etana, Romain Virgo, Tarrus Riley, Gyptian, Aidonia and Konshens all big names in the musical arena.

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Marahaba Music Expo Commends Burundi President for the support
November 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Marahaba Music Expo is an international music forum for Africa has commended Brundi’s president Pierre Nkurunziza for his support to Marahaba Music Expo for the second time to participate in Visa for Music in Morocco from 20 to 23 November 2019.

 Visa For Music, the leading platform for music from Africa and the Middle East, is also a socio-cultural project that promotes strong human values and launches a debate on the recognition of the artist’s social and economic utility.

 Shabani  Jam, Director of Marahaba Music Expo said: “It is our pleasure to say thank you so much in Burundi to be proud for Mr. president of republic of Burundi to contribute the development of music industry of Burundi to support artists all the time, we are received full sponsorship from Excellence President Pierre Nkurunziza to participate at visa for music in Morocco from 20 to 23 November 2019. 

About -Marahaba Music Expo is an international music forum for Africa that happening every after two years involving musicians, organizers, agent bookers, producers and media at large from Africa and rest over the world.

 It is committed in facilitating dialogue between artists in Africa and from other parts of the world. The Expo comprises of workshops program, discussions, lectures and stage performances.

 The Marahaba Music Expo aims at educating the public, sharing innovation, promoting progress and fostering cooperation through music. The Expo invites other countries, companies, international organizations, the private sector, the civil society and the general public to participate in the music event.

 Marahaba Music Expo is a unique brand, rooted in the African Great Lakes region which includes Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and Tanzania with links across the region and beyond. For brands looking to create support based on a home-grown solution that speaks to identity and culture of not just the Great Lakes region, but Africa as a whole continent, Marahaba Music Expo is the right place to begin with. The African Great Lakes region is a true hub of trade, communication and cultural melting point.

 And Marahaba Music Expo is one of the top regions of entertainment and showbiz destinations and a cultural calendar with thousands of people attending every after two years. Musicians, producers, record label owners, agents, festival organizers, booking agents, music-lovers, tourists, entrepreneurs and local citizens all flock to this major fair of music in the region.

 Vision-Establish a vibrant major music forum contributing to sustainable development of the music industry in the African Great Lakes region.

 Mission- Our mission is to create and enhance a very important network and growth opportunities for musicians in the African Great Lakes region.

Objectives- Social and cultural aims To promote the appreciation of traditional culture and heritage.  To support music and the arts as effective educational tools.  To ensure access to the music and the arts for all.  To inspire creativity and cultivating emerging talent. Tourism and economic aims to increase music business opportunities for music makers.

To extend tourists length of stay during the music expo season. To showcase local and international music. To become a market place of world music of every kind.

Philosophical Direction Marahaba Music Expo will showcase music acts that not only entertain, but also progressive that empower, build capacity, educate, and seek to bring better and positive transformational changes for society through music performance and dialogue.

Thus, it is keen to collaborate with other organizations that contribute to Societies sustainable development.

 Core Values: Work in partnership with the communities in the African Great Lakes region to achieve desired goals.  Undertake genuine consultation on key issues as part of our decision-making processes to improve the quality, accountability and transparency of those decisions.  Promote a culture in which our services respond to community needs and aspirations.  Network for the growth of music in the African Great Lakes region.

The Founder Marahaba Music Expo is founded by Shabani  Jam, who is also an artist musician and festivals organizer who has participated in many music projects in Tanzania and International, like Visa for music in Morocco who is an ambassador, Dreams African festival in France as an committee member, so he has decided to create this music trade fair to showcase and contribute to the music industry and entertainment show biz of the region to a worldwide music scenario.

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‘Feel Africa’ As AFRIMA Unveils Exciting Events for 2019
November 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

All road leads to Lagos State, Nigeria as music lovers, cultural enthusiast and African stars in Africa and Diaspora gear up towards the upcoming 6th edition of the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, the continent’s biggest music event with the theme ‘Feel Africa’ is set to hold from November 20 to November 23, 2019.

The awards show will feature four days of thrilling and innovative programme of activities set to cater to a wide range of audiences from entertainment to music business to tourism and destination marketing.

Kicking off the 6th AFRIMA events is the AFRIMA Welcome Soiree on Wednesday, November 20 at the poolside of Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos from 6:00pm; a reception in honour of arriving AFRIMA nominees and delegates, African Union officials, members of the International Committee of AFRIMA, international and local media as well as other invited guests.

As part of its Social Responsibility Initiative, AFRIMA will visit a primary school situated in Lagos state on Thursday, November 21 to sustain the drive begun by the International Committee of AFRIMA in Gambia in 2015 to raise consciousness for the African child’s education and literacy on the continent. 

AFRIMA will be donating educational materials and musical instruments to a selected public school in Lagos. The visit also creates opportunities for motivational conversations between the pupils and the delegation consisting of various African music super stars, Nigerian government officials, African Union officials, AFRIMA executives, and many other invited guests.

Setting the stage for the entertainment value the awards brings with each edition, is the AFRIMA Music Village with a change in venue to the Agege stadium, Agege Lagos, slated for Thursday, November 21.

The AFRIMA Music Village is a 12-hour concert-style music festival which starts at 6.00p.m. with live performances from A-list and upcoming artistes including AFRIMA nominees, as well as past AFRIMA winners. This is will be opened to devoted music lovers and promises to be an evening of high euphoria and invigorating energy.

This year, the African Union, AU and International Committee of AFRIMA have decided to take the music village to the community where the people reside. For gate entry to the music concert, get a branded AFRIMA T-shirt at just N2,000 = (USD5.5) on the AFRIMA website www.afrima.org or at the concert venue. Event will be broadcast live on DSTV channel 198, GOTV channel 29, Africa Independent Television (AIT), Raypower FM Network, Kennis FM, Silverbird Television (STV), HIP TV, amongst over 84 stations across the world.

Following on Friday, November 22 at the Grand Ballroom, Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, is the Africa Music Business Summit (AMBS) an annual summit of networking and interaction among music professionals, music executives, government officials and other stakeholders in the music, media and financial sectors of Africa. It sets an atmosphere for discussions on the potentials present in the African music industry and ways to harness its socio-economic gains. Attendance registration for AMBS is now open on the AFRIMA website, www.afrima.org

Later in the evening of Friday, the 6th AFRIMA Nominees party will hold. Tagged ‘Fire and Ice’, the exclusive party for this year’s nominees has a few surprises in store for the guests and it promises to be a night of extreme fun and social interactions.

Saturday, November 23 ushers in the main awards event at Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, which commences at 4.00 p.m. with the live Red Carpet where African music stars and other invited guests display their glamour and impeccable African fashion sense for the audience watching around the world while being interviewed by the 6th AFRIMA celebrity red carpet hosts. The live broadcast main awards ceremony following at 7.30 p.m. is conceptualised to celebrate African creativity and culture in all its splendour as well as reward African artistes who emerge winners in the 36 AFRIMA continental and regional categories ranging from the classic, contemporary to traditional genres of music. The awards ceremony programme will also specially recognise and honour African music veterans with the 2019 AFRIMA Legend Award.

Sharing her excitement, Associate Producer, AFRIMA, Adenrele Niyi said “we are excited about this year’s AFRIMA events as these are interesting times for African music and creatives. The entire music world is looking forward to November 20 to 23 in Lagos, Nigeria. I especially look forward to the Music Summit, where every attendee gets to part with some new knowledge of the African Music Industry. And we still reminisce on the high energy from the last Music Village experience in Ghana, with over 60,000 people packed in the Independence Square, Accra, the largest arena in Ghana. Lagos will surely leave us spellbound.”

 Also expressing huge expectations for the 2019 events, International Advisor to AFRIMA, Rikki Stein said, “AFRIMA has never disappointed my expectations, and I know that this year will reflect even more Africanness, as the theme for 2019 goes ‘Feel Africa’ the unique and beautiful essence of African music and culture will be portrayed to its fullest during the events”.

The British music executive has explored many parts of the African continent in his over 50 years career in the music industry. “Culture is a living, breathing ever-evolving entity. I’m amongst those who consider that Africa has a tremendous contribution to make in the world. Nowhere is this clearer than through its cultural manifestations, evidenced by the burgeoning global interest in its art, fashion, literature and, particularly, music.”, he added.

The premium 6th AFRIMA events will be star-studded with attendance from award-winning recording artistes, African celebrities, music professionals, creative/cultural industry experts, media practitioners, and public officials amongst others.

 The events will be broadcast live on DSTV channel 198, GOTV channel 29, Africa Independent Television (AIT), Raypower FM Network, Kennis FM, Silverbird Television (STV), HIP TV, amongst over 84 stations across the world and fans of African music globally can also catch the frenzy via the AFRIMA social media handles, live stream on the AFRIMA website, and the AFRIMA App. 

In partnership with the African Union Commission, AFRIMA is committed to the stimulation of conversations among Africans and between Africa and the rest of the world about the potentials of the cultural and creative economy for real enterprise on the continent, contributing significantly to social cohesion and continental integration as well as sustainable economic growth and development in Africa by lending its voice to promotion of education and campaign against extreme poverty and preventable diseases.

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Global Music Actors to Converge in Ghana
November 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Music industry professionals from more than 50 countries are set to travel to Accra, Ghana, for the much-awaited Music In Africa Conference for Collaborations, Exchange and Showcases (ACCES), taking place on 28, 29 and 30 November 2019.

Now in its third edition, ACCES is the leading pan-African music business event organised by the Music In Africa Foundation in a different African city every year. This year’s robust programme features an exciting roster of musicians and industry experts from all corners of the globe.

Global superstar Akon is one of the leading speakers at this year’s event. The five-time Grammy nominee joins a star-studded line-up that includes top Ghanaian musicians and experts such as SarkodieEfyaSaminiKyekyekuJohn Collins, Ebo Taylor, Bibie Brew and Wanlov the Kubolor.

Other high-profile speakers and facilitators at ACCES 2019 will be Chocolate City vice-president Aibee Abidoye (Nigeria), Ditto Music founder and CEO Lee Parsons (UK), Airforce1 Records managing director Joe Chialo (Germany), Gallo Music Group general manager Rob Cowling (South Africa), Boulevard Festival co-director Hicham Bahou (Morocco), TRUE Africa founder and editor-in-chief Claude Grunitzky (Togo/UK), Simfy OTT music services head Oye Akideinde (Nigeria), Boomplay Ghana manager Elizabeth Ntiamoah (Ghana), Nyege Nyege Festival co-founder Derek Debru (Belgium/Uganda) and Grammy-nominated musician, author and rights activist Mark Levine (US), among many others.

ACCES offers delegates a wide variety of activities, including carefully curated panel discussions, exhibitions, networking and pitching sessions, production workshops and showcases (live performances) by musical acts from Africa and the diaspora. ACCES 2019 will be spread across three venues, namely the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (for the conference programme), Alliance Française (for evening live performances on 28 and 30 November) and the Gold Coast Hub (for performances on 29 November).

 Showcases

ACCES 2019 will feature an eclectic and bold line-up of showcasing artists. Confirmed artists are Mokoomba (Zimbabwe), Songhoy Blues (Mali), Gato Preto (Mozambique and Ghana but based in Germany), Arka’n (Togo), Sibusile Xaba (South Africa), Ifrikya Spirit (Algeria), Lúcia de Carvalho (Angola but based in France), and Bholoja (eSwatini), as well as locals Yaa YaaKyekyeku & Ghanalogue HighlifeFOKN BoisCina Soul and FRA!

Gato Preto, Songhoy Blues and Lúcia de Carvalho will perform at ACCES 2019 courtesy of ACCES’ reciprocal partnership with Reeperbahn Festival International – one of the most important meeting places for the music industry worldwide and Europe’s largest club festival based in Hamburg, Germany.

Workshops

As with previous editions, ACCES will offer highly interactive workshops designed for musicians, producers, sound engineers, as well as film and videogame composers. The ACCES workshop programme reflects the conference’s vision to embolden music professionals with new knowledge and skills. The trade event will feature two distinct training workshops that will explore music production essentials, and music for film, facilitated by Kofi ‘IamBeatMenace’ Boachie and Stephan Eicke respectively.

Exhibitions 

ACCES 2019 will host a curated exhibition area where innovators and service providers in the music industry will get to present their products and ideas throughout the duration of the music conference. This year sees the introduction of the Exhibitor Hubs, an innovative, tech-oriented space where companies and organisations will present their new products and services.

ACCES will also programme a number of Pitch Sessions, which are ideal opportunities that startups can use to present their ideas to an audience of potential partners, collaborators, clients and funders. Pitchers get 10 minutes to present their concepts, answer questions and get feedback from the audience members, many of whom will be industry leaders on the lookout for the next big idea.

Honouring Ghanaian music legends

ACCES 2019 will kick off on 28 November with the Music In Africa Honorary Award ceremony where Ghanaian legends Ebo Taylor and Bibie Brew will be awarded for their outstanding contribution to their home country’s music industry and that of Africa as a whole. They will join previous award recipients Baaba Maal (2017) and Eric Wainaina (2018).

About ACCES

ACCES is a pan-African trade event for music industry players to exchange ideas, discover new talent and create business linkages. ACCES is held in a different African city every year, attracting active music industry players from across the globe.

ACCES is organised by the Music In Africa Foundation, a non-profit and pan-African organisation, in partnership and with the support of Siemens Stiftung,  Goethe-Institut, Reeperbahn Festival International, Alliance Française, BMG, MediaSound Hamburg, the Multimedia Group, Africa Art Lines, Afrikayna, the Gold Coast Hub, the Year of Return, the Prince Claus Fund and the ANT Mobility Grant from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

This year ACCES has a partnership with Reeperbahn Festival. The partnership creates a framework for the festival to collaborate with ACCES in facilitating sustainable business engagements and exchange between European and African music businesses and professionals, as well as the provision of performance opportunities to musicians in both territories.

BMG is the new model music company founded in 2008 as a response to the challenges of the digital revolution in the music industry. As part of its unique approach, BMG represents the traditionally separate music publishing and recording rights off the same platform internationally. The company is the world’s fourth biggest music publisher and one of the first new global players in the recordings business. BMG has 15 offices across 12 core music markets, representing over 3 million songs and recordings, including the catalogues of global stars such as Chrysalis, Bug, Virgin, Mute, Sanctuary, Primary Wave and Talpa Music, as well as thousands of artists and songwriters.

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AFRICAN UNION TO HOST 6TH ALL AFRICA MUSIC AWARDS IN NIGERIA
October 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Picture Credit Afrima

The African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Committee of AFRIMA have announced that the 6th edition of the All Africa Music Awards themed ‘Feel Africa’ will be hosted in Lagos State, Nigeria from November 20 to November 23, 2019 in association with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Nigeria.

In partnership with the African Union, AFRIMA is a youth-focused music property that celebrates Africa, recognizes and rewards the work and talents of a myriad of African artists across generations.

AFRIMA is committed to the stimulation of conversations among Africans and between Africa and the rest of the world about the potentials of the cultural and creative economy for real enterprise on the continent, contributing significantly to social cohesion and continental integration as well as sustainable economic growth and development in Africa by lending its voice to promotion of education and campaign against extreme poverty and preventable diseases.

‘Feel Africa’, is an initiative aimed at showcasing the African essence through its music and culture and inviting everyone to share in the experience of African unity, African passion and African creativity.

The theme takes inspiration from AFRIMA’s mission to change negative perspectives of Africa by promoting the cultural uniqueness of Africa as a means to counter issues hindering the unity, peaceful co-existence and economic growth of the continent.

Lagos State, rated as the largest music, entertainment and commercial hub in Western Africa and also renowned for its bubbly and hip lifestyle has hosted previous editions of AFRIMA from 2014 to 2017 with the support of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Nigeria.

 The support of the Government of Lagos State as AFRIMA Official Host City in 2016 and 2017 also fostered the smooth execution of the various AFRIMA events and facilitated the seamless engagement of corporate sponsorship/partnership at various facets of event planning and execution.

In her statement, Head of Culture, African Union Commission, Angela Martins says, “Nigeria playing host to the 6th AFRIMA is indicative of the beneficial relationship the country has developed with the AU & AFRIMA as we use this continental awards platform to strengthen Africa’s culture industries while also promoting the cultural identity and integration of Africans.

We are also appreciative of Lagos State Government for hosting 4 previous successful editions of the annual awards programs of events. We are confident that hosting AFRIMA in Lagos state, Nigeria will in no small measure constitute significant achievements for the promotion of African Union’s cultural objectives through the AFRIMA platform”

Meanwhile, fans, followers and lovers of African music artistes have started visiting the AFRIMA online voting platform Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. that opened on Sunday, September 1 to cast votes for their favorite 6th AFRIMA Nominees.

This voting process, which closes on November 22, will determine eventual winners in the 36 AFRIMA awards categories to be recognized at the main awards ceremony scheduled to hold on Saturday, November 23.

 Also expressing high anticipation for the 6th awards ceremony, Associate Producer, AFRIMA, Adenrele Niyi comments, “The 6th AFRIMA finds home in Nigeria for the 2019 awards ceremony and we could not be more excited for this edition.

 We are coming out of a super successful 2018 edition in Ghana -the 5th AFRIMA was a milestone year for us. These are interesting times for African music as more of our creatives are defying the imaginary limitations of cultural diversity to collaborate and create magical music. Many of these works would be showcased at the awards events such as the AFRIMA Music Village concert and the Main Awards Ceremony.

Needless to say, the accomplishments of African music are far-reaching beyond the continent and we intend to create a 6th AFRIMA showpiece inspired by Afro-modernism. it is shaping up to be the best event Africa has ever seen”, Niyi added.

The 6th edition of AFRIMA will continue in the tradition of a four-day fiesta of music, glamour, Afrocentricism, and entertainment which will be experienced in the city of Lagos.

Commencing with the Welcome Soiree on Wednesday, November 20, followed by AFRIMA Music Village on Thursday, November 21 by 6.00 p.m. prompt; Africa Music Business Summit on Friday, November 22 from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.; and the live AFRIMA main awards on Saturday, November 23 at 7.30 p.m. preceded by the live Red Carpet at 4.30 p.m.

The AFRIMA Music Village, Red carpet, and main awards events will be broadcast live to over 84 countries around the world including live streaming on the AFRIMA website and other online partner platforms.

All Africa Music Awards is the biggest music event on the continent. It offers benefits that would help in raising the continental and international profile of the host city, including an opportunity to tap into the millions of participants and followers of the growing African music.

 AFRIMA

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Gambia to Host Drama Fest-Gambia 2019
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Drama Fest 2019

Drama Fest 2019

Gambia is expected to host maiden edition of Drama Fest-Gambia 2019 on 25-26 October, 2019 at Ebunjan Theatre in Kanifing.

Organised by Stage and Screen Entertainment Africa is a premium Entertainment Art network that seeks to nurture, promote, develop and engage the vision of creative and performing art in Africa.

This was revealed during a press conference which attracts writers, playwrights, directors, actors at West Africa Insurance Institute on 7th September, 2019.

Milton Kamanda, coordinator of Stage and Screen Entertainment Africa The Gambia explained that the event will showcase an array of cultural diversity through drama, music, dance poetry and arts exhibition which will feature creative and literary work done by renowned playwrights and directors from the Gambia.

According to him, this year the festival will show case home grown talents from the different facets of art.

He added that: “Our goal is to use Art Edutainment as a means of sustainable livelihood for upcoming and established artist, artiste thereby showcasing the work of creativity, craft and art to the world”

Miss Monica Davies, Chairperson Drama Fest-Gambia said they want to empower the next generation of art through leadership training.

She pointed out that Drama Fest want to promote arts entrepreneurship in Africa, through training, mentorship and networking platforms, to appreciate and celebrate the diversity of African arts.

“Recognizing distinguished accomplished personalities in the arts fraternity in the Gambia and Africa at large. Promote arts as a positive tool for social and economic transformation in Africa. To use creative and performing arts to address the ills in our communities. Giving preferences to promote and support local talents. Engage relevant stakeholders in the arts industry within the region with the implementation of policies that benefits its people,” Davies a prominent actress in Gambia said.

She noted that the event will be in a form of trade fares, concerts and art exhibition as one of the medium to showcase African arts to the world, by encouraging government to create state funds to support arts in school and tertiary levels.

 

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Gambian Rapper Killer Ace, 6 youth receive 700,000 bail bonds
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Adama Makasuba

Killa Ace

Killa Ace

A High court has  granted bail to remanded Gambian rapper Killer Ace whose real name is Ali Cham and six youth asking each of the accused to pay a sum 100, 000 dalasi with two Gambian surety and their travelling documents.

Presiding over the case, vocation judge Basiru Mahoney said: “I am here by granting the seven accused persons a bail in the sum of 100,000 dalasi each. They should tender their travelling documents to the registrar of the high court and sureties of two Gambians each.”

He said despite the case is transferred to the high court; he added that the charges are not yet read in court.

Meanwhile, the accused persons were represented lawyer Antuman Gaye, Lamin S Camara, Saliu Taal, Kombeh Gaye and Patrick Gomez while the state was represented by A. Yusuf and Muhammed Sowe.

After applying for bail for the accused, Lawyer Antuman Gaye, also applied that one Muhammed Fadia’s name was not in the new list and applied that his name to be captured in the new list.

The  youth have been in remand at mile two prison for weeks after they were arrested for allegedly taking part in July 24 protest. Their case was last week transferred to the high court by Kanifing Magistrate court after it said it cannot hear the case of the youth. Thirty youth have been released.

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RedOne pays tribute to Africa with the new hit “WE LOVE AFRICA”
September 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
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Rachid Taha leaves us Je Suis Africain
August 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

Rachid TAHA, Paris, 2004

Rachid TAHA, Paris, 2004

A posthumous record? “Nothing to declare!” as Rachid would have said, leaning on the bar counter, with messy hair, bright eyes, and a raspy voice. He’s there, you can’t miss him. He may be laid to rest in Algeria, but he hasn’t left us. He knew that those who are allegedly missing are well and alive: “Do you really know the others?” the master of rock-Chaâbi once asked, quoting the greats Johnny Cash, Oum Kalthoum, and Andy Warhol in a prophetic song titled Andy Walhoo. He wrote this arabic-punk-electro piece with guitars, balafon, and mouth harp before succumbing to a heart attack on September 12, 2018. “I was there with you last night, you told me to come. Every week you tell me, I’m waiting for you in my slum, there’s a Picasso exhibition, go see him. What a bastard, he had a nice mirror, I saw Jean Cocteau kissing Jean Marais,” he sings, ending with a big laugh. So nobody is gone, they live on in us.

With boundless energy, Taha wrote eleven songs together with Toma Feterman for his eleventh solo album, diving deep into his roots as usual. First, Algerian Chaâbi, so subtle, yet so complex. Then rock, which took the world by storm during the postwar period, and punk, its offshoot, in the style of The Clash. Finally, electronica, the musical revolution of the late twentieth century, as hypnotic as the Gnawas guembris or Sufi trance sounds. Rachid was influenced by all of it.

Youyous, flutes, women’s choirs, metal riffs: the French-Algerian, however weakened by the paralyzing effects of Chiari malformation, which he suffered from, created whirlpools, deluges, torrents. He invited us to dance with Andy Walhoo, and also with Like a Dervish, his “first song in English, I know I’m cheating, my English is not so rich.” His plays on words were irresistible: English, backich, dervish, merlich… The troublemaker of the “alternative Koran” also used to speak francarabe, a mix of French and Arabic, which he used to both celebrate and mock the Jewish masters (Lili Boniche, Reinette l’Oranaise, Line Monty…), humming their oriental boleros, such as Chérie je t’aimechérie je t’adore and Bambino.

That’s why his new record, which he had been working on for two years before he was buried in the Sidi Benziane cemetery, had to be in mandoline-embellished French. One of the songs is called Minouche: “Minouche ma minouche, pourquoi tu te fâches, ne prends pas la mouche, ma jolie peau de vache… Minouche, donne-moi ta bouche” (Minouche, my little Minouche, why are you upset, don’t get into a huff, my pretty vixen… Minouche, let me kiss you). A popular dance tune for sure, with words sculpted by Jean Fauque, who worked closely with Bashung and Erwan Séguillon.

The rough voice and wild blend of styles don’t give an accurate description of this son of immigrants (born near Oran, Algeria, he was raised in eastern France and later settled down in Lyon). Rachid the rebel built bridges, “introducing beautiful people to the world” by singing Charles Trenet’s Douce France with his first band, Carte de séjour (French for “resident permit”), in 1986 to mock French integration while the Marche des Beurs (March of the French Arabs) was being broken up and François Mitterrand was celebrating the creation of SOS-Racisme (a movement of anti-racist NGOs founded in France in 1984). In 1998, he created a transgenerational hit with the album Diwân, which included a cover of Ya Rayah, the anthem of Algerian immigrants composed by the Chaâbi idol Dahmane El-Harrachi (1925-1980).

Throughout these years of experience—which also marked the rise of Oranian Rai music, which Rachid sang the traditional way, following in the footsteps of the great Cheikha Rimitti—he worked with Steve Hillage, whom he met in 1984. The former Gong guitarist was a lover of looped electronic rhythms, and starting in 1997, he infused his energy into the creation of Voilà, voilà, an anti–Front National, anti-xenophobic song that Rachid would never stop singing.

And ever since this sensory overload, Rachid continued to speak to us, and jostle us, in Arabic, French, Franglish, and even Spanish, through the limpid voice of the young Flèche Love (Amina Cadelli, born in Geneva of an Algerian mother), whom he discovered on YouTube after finally being introduced to the digital tablet. This extraordinary tattooed and esoteric artist accompanied him on Wahdi, a song with Gnawa rhythms, to which he added a Mexican trumpet, evoking Ennio Morricone.

The album was produced and co-written by Toma Feterman, a gifted multi-instrumentalist and founder of La Caravane Passe, a band that mixes rap, gypsy jazz, Balkan fanfare, alternative rock, and electro.

Toma and Rachid hung out at the same bars and clubs in the north of Paris (Bellevilloise, Cabaret Sauvage), following their friend Remy Kolpa Kopoul of Radio Nova (a French radio station created in 1981, which played non-mainstream and underground artists of various musical genres), whose death in 2015 left Rachid feeling orphaned.

Toma then asked him to sing Baba, a song that he had just written for Canis Carmina, his band’s next album. Over the course of one night, the two friends recorded a dozen tracks. “I used the recordings from this first session,” Toma said, “without needing to make him sing again, because there was nothing to change.” They improvised, and it was the beginning of a frenetic, productive adventure, of nights partying at Toma’s or Rachid’s, or spent in the studio. Hours of creation and surprises shared with his son Lyes, his friend Toufik, his mandolin player Hakim Hamadouche, and his former keyboard player Yves Fredj Aouizerate, who was also his last manager.

It was a club, a family, a community, a trip. The adventure even passed through studios in Bamako, because Rachid is African, having been born in Algeria, bordering Mali, the Mandingo musical empire. Je suis africain(I am African), the song that gives its name to the album, is an homage to the sounds of this great continent, that weaves together soukouss guitars, an Arab-Andalusian orchestra, Middle Eastern violins, balafon, and talking drums. “I am African, from Paris to Bamako, from New York to Congo”—the magnificent joker is having fun, playing with elegance. He takes the accent of a “fantastical” Africa and quotes Marley and Malcom X, Kateb Yacine, Franz Fanon, Patrice Lumumba, Angela Davis—all of them “African.”

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Universal Music Nigeria releases Jizzle’s Debut Album, ‘Finally’
August 17, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Jizzle

By: Bakary Ceesay
Jizzle

 Finally, Universal Music Nigeria releases Gambia’s afro pop artiste  Jizzle’s 1st album, Finally.  There have been many months of anticipation for the album, from the Biggest In The Game artist. 

 The album is made up of twelve tracks representing the sounds of Afro pop, Afrobeat, and Afrofuzion with elements of Hip Hop.

The lyrics are very catchy with a sing along type of vibrations with topics that all elements of his fans can identify with.  As a multi-talented artist, Jizzle has produced five songs on the album with the production from top Gambian producers Shyboy, Endy Official, and J Live Music. Machine Man Tim from the UK and J Masta from Sweden also make hot beats on the album.

Jizzle is dubbed as the artist in the Gambia that can take Gambian music to an international market and make it successfully on the mainstream platform.  “My main goal with my music is to take Gambian music to the next level.  Finally means the world to me and I put a lot of myself in it for the world to love and enjoy,” expresses Jizzle.

He features a number of West African Artists, Dip Doundou Guiss, Samba, Peuzzi, Bm Jaay, and Hakill from Senegal.  Shaydee represents Nigeria and Gee from The Gambia.  Jizzle is a very unique type of artist and his style is very different compared to a lot of artists. He is able to capture his audience through a variation of different languages from English to Mandinka, Fula, and Wolof.

 “I am very happy with the response that I have been getting from my first album, Finally.  I feel like the whole world loves this project. The outpour of love and support for my first album has been breathtaking. I am humbled by my fans and ask that continue to buy my music,” explains Jizzle in jubilation.

 Jizzle does not take for granted his natural musical ability and quality. He employs both exuberance and brainpower to pull off conscious, sweet songs viable in today’s pop-culture. Finally, is a testament to Jizzle’s love for music and natural star quality.

 He  is currently embarking on a three-week European Tour in Sweden, Italy, and Germany to promote Finally.  All of his shows will display his dynamic stage presence and performance. ALBUM DOWNLOAD LINK: https://umgafrica.lnk.to/finally

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