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Where does it come from?
June 10, 2019 | 1 Comments

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

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Why do we use it?
June 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

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What is Lorem Ipsum?
June 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum

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BOOMPLAY AND UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP ANNOUNCE LANDMARK DISTRIBUTION PARTNERSHIP IN AFRICA
November 6, 2018 | 0 Comments

Universal Music Group becomes first music company to partner with leading African music streaming and download service

LAGOS AND SANTA MONICA, November 05, 2018  Boomplay, Africa’s leading music streaming and download service and Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment today announced the signing of a landmark licensing agreement covering multiple markets within Africa.

UMG is the first major music company to license its catalog to Boomplay, which has quickly established itself as the most popular streaming service in Africa. Under the terms of the multi-year agreement and effective immediately, Boomplay will distribute music from UMG’s world-renowned labels through its streaming and download platform in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. Boomplay currently provides more than two million songs and thousands of music videos to more than 36 million users, with nearly two million new users added each month.

Users will now have access to UMG’s extensive catalog of both local and global recording artists including Eminem, Tekno, Post Malone, Nicki Minaj, Lady Zamar, Lil Wayne, Bob Marley, Brenda Fassie, Wurld, J.Cole, Dr. Tumi, Nasty C, 6lack, Diana Ross, Hugh Masekela, Jon Bellion, Larry Gaaga, Tamia, Maroon 5, Aka & Anatii, TJAN, Jah Prayzah, Nonso Bassey, Mafikizolo, Cina Soul, Ella Mai,and Mr. Eazi.

Earlier this year, UMG announced the launch of Universal Music Nigeria, a new division within Western Africa to provide artists with comprehensive opportunities throughout the region and to provide pan-African talent the best possible launch pad for wider international success. UMG is accelerating the company’s focus on growing the entire African music ecosystem including recorded music, music publishing, production, live events, brand partnerships and merchandising efforts.

In making the announcement, Universal Music Group, Executive Vice-President, Market Development Adam Granite said, “We’re looking forward to working with Boomplay as we provide our African artists a range of creative, marketing and promotional resources to accelerate their careers within this vibrant and growing music market. This agreement will help UMG artists to reach new audiences, whilst boosting the African streaming experience to benefit both music fans, artists and songwriters.”

“This partnership extends our reach and makes our artists’ music accessible to millions of African music lovers,” said Ezegozie Eze Jr., General Manager, Universal Music Nigeria, “We are delighted to be the first global music company to partner with Boomplay and look forward to bringing the extraordinary creativity of our artists to as many Africans users as possible.”

Also commenting, Boomplay’s CEO, Joe He, said that Boomplay will continue to forge partnerships that enriches the digital ecosystem and connects music lovers with their favorite songs anytime and anywhere.

“Boomplay is determined to continue meeting the music passion point of Africans in a legitimate way, especially Boomplay users, and teaming up with a major music company in the global music industry like Universal Music Group, offers yet another significant opportunity for us to do so”, he said.

The Boomplay App, which is currently only available for Android users, is scheduled for release via iOS in the coming weeks. In addition, new Boomplay users will be able to obtain a free one-month subscription when they opt in for a monthly auto-renewable subscription plan.

About Boomplay

Boomplay is a music streaming and download service owned by Transsnet Music Limited.  Boomplay houses millions of songs and videos, connecting music lovers with their favourite songs anytime, anywhere. Boomplay currently has over 36 million users, out of which, over 10 million are from Google Play store, and the rest from global pre-installation on TECNO, Infinix & itel devices. The service is currently available for Web and Android use.  The app, which won the Best African App at the 2017 Apps Africa Awards, allows its users to stream and download their favourite songs and videos, as well as subscribe to a plan in order to save music for offline play. Over the years, different payment platforms have been introduced and music lovers are able to pay for music via mobile money, bank cards or Boomcoin cards. Boomplay aims to build the largest and most sustainable digital music ecosystem. Find out more here.

About Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company. Find out more here

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Rapper Falz’s ‘This is Nigeria’ video holds up a mirror for the country
May 28, 2018 | 0 Comments
Rapper Falz released a Nigerian cover version of Childish Gambino's 'This is America,' using it as means to address societal ills.

Rapper Falz released a Nigerian cover version of Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America,’ using it as means to address societal ills.

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)One of Nigeria’s biggest music stars, Falz, released a video this weekend as a cover version of Childish Gambino’s viral video, ‘This is America.’

The new version is titled ‘This is Nigeria,’ and it has generated a storm online, including a reaction from hip-hop musician and entrepreneur Diddy, who shared it on his Instagram page, propelling the video to worldwide recognition.
Falz, (real name Folarin Falana) has gained plaudits for tackling social ills in a country where pop stars rarely get political. Musicians tend to avoid political commentary, partly due to an ingrained fear of persecution from the powerful political class.

Revolutionary spirit

Falz’s ‘This is Nigeria,’ embodies the revolutionary and rebel spirit of Fela Anikulapo Kuti before him. Fela Kuti, the pioneer of the Afrobeat genre, was famous for his political activism during the country’s era of military dictatorships.
From his records ‘International Thief Thief’ (ITT) to ‘Zombie,’ Kuti exhibited a bold defiance against the Nigerian government and other corrupt officials of his time. Fela was a raging supporter of human rights, and his records, – often filled with verbal attacks – were against Nigeria’s military government in the 70’s.
It came at a great personal cost to him; he was frequently imprisoned and his mother was thrown off a balcony by an unknown Nigerian soldier during a raid.
After the passing of Fela, his sons Femi and Seun Kuti have carried on some of his activism in their individual music careers, but Afrobeat, as a genre of music has largely become niche.
Falz is known globally for his comedy-flavored hip hop hits but could he take on the political music mantle and fill the gap left by Fela?
The singer has a law degree and is the son of prominent Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana, so this suggestion is not as far-fetched as it sounds.
It is also not the first time that the rapper has included social commentary in his music with previous hits ‘Confirm’ and ‘Child of the World,’ so it would appear that the apple does not fall far from the tree, as the saying goes.

Complacent slumber

While the concept for the ‘This is Nigeria,’ video isn’t original, what Falz did was internalize the message, pass it through his own artistic filter and bring it home to Nigeria to highlight the country’s numerous social ills.
Almost as if to awaken Nigerians from their complacent slumber of acceptance.
“The primary motivation was to trigger an awakening among the Nigerian people about the numerous political and social ills that we constantly face as a country. And more importantly to spark a reaction in the positive direction,” says Falz via email.
With the help of stuntmen and extras, Falz walks us step by step through Nigeria’s major problems, central to this is what many perceive to be inefficient leadership by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Many believe he has failed to deliver on its promises of improving Nigerian lives and fixing the economy. which slid into a recession two years ago and is slowly starting to emerge out of it.
Nigeria is awash with petrodollars but much of this money does not trickle down to the average man and woman on the street. According to the World Poverty Clock, 82 million of the 180 million population (42.4 percent), live in extreme poverty.
Other problems include the country’s opioid crisis, normalization of insecurity such as frequent Boko Haram bombings and kidnapping of schoolgirls such as the Chibok girls.

A national mirror

The first thing you notice when you watch Falz’s ‘This is Nigeria,’ video is the strongest message contained in the video; Nigeria is a lawless country, guided by a constitution that is treated like an honorary document.
That’s why the first man, dressed in traditional Fulani attire would switch from being a happy musician minding his business, to a murderer in an instant. He abandons his Goje (popularly known as the ‘Hausa Guitar) for a machete, and instantly moves towards another helpless citizen who he kills without mercy.
It is this type of imagery that makes the video so powerful.
This is the first time in the recent history of the local pop scene that an artist with the influence and credibility of Falz has released such material.
While many commentators in the local space have been quick to dismiss it on the basis of it being a cover version, it doesn’t take away from the core message; Nigeria is a flawed country, with multi-faceted problems.
Falz captures this using cinematic techniques and concludes, just like the source material, by failing to proffer a solution.
Perhaps that is the point he’s trying to make. It is a national mirror, created to make Nigeria stare at itself and its problems, one more time.
Falz’s ‘This is Nigeria’ video and its impact has generated conversations around the world, and acts as a reminder of the power behind music, and how it can be used more effectively to inspire change.
It shows that contrary to popular opinion among local talents, there is a demand for conscious music.

Capturing their pain

Many musicians should follow his lead, and create art to reflect the times and the pulse of the people. While there are valid opinions against chasing activism as the sole focus of African music, the ability to balance it out, and create conscious music, while also feeding the people’s desire to escape is a crucial skill.

Falz’s video suggests that, as Nigeria moves forward, its musicians have a huge responsibility on their shoulders to create art that amplifies the state of the nation, and ultimately improves the society that nurtured them.

Their music is created for communities that are massively affected by these problems.

Ultimately, it shouldn’t only provide leisurely relief. It should capture their pain too.
*Source CNN
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Cameroon:Little Cindy Set For Buea Premiere
May 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Destiny Kwenchia

Executive Producer Alex Mbeaoh at CAMIFF 2018

Executive Producer Alex Mbeaoh at CAMIFF 2018

With a purely Cameroon cast and production crew his latest movie Little Cindy, Executive Producer Alexander Mbeaoh says the Cameroon film industry has come of age. Set for its Grand Premiere on May 11, at Chariot Hotel in Buea, the movie stars some of the best talent the industry currently has in Cameroon. Shot in Buea and Limbe, the movie is the fourth for Alexander Mbeaoh after Asarori, Ayomeh, and Silent Judge.

Your latest production Little Cindy is set for its premiere, what is the movie about?

It’s about a talented little 8 year old who wants to be honored by his parents during a party in their house but this girl gets missing and no one seems to know how. Besides the message in the movie that I would not like to let out now, I also want the world to know that the Cameroon film industry has come of age given that the cast and crew is 100% Cameroon

Where the movie shot, how long did it take was and what are some of the challenges you faced?

The movie was shot in Limbe and Buea and it took us slightly more than a month. Talking about challenges it’s the same we find on all sets but in addition, the film has to be in a single day so you can see the challenge of continuity.

Can you introduce the cast of the movie for us?

Some of the best breeds when in comes to movie making are involved some of them award winners like Chifor Valéry, Syndy  Emade, Ojong Solange, Tum Stephanie , Libota McDonald, Names like Obet Oben, Giscard Cedrick, Billy Bob etc are associated in one way or the other. Permit me use this opportunity to whole heartedly congratulate #teamlittlecindy for a brilliant job.

In the last few weeks a number of movie related events have taken place in Buea, how helpful are these events in moving the Cameroon movie industry forward?

Yeah the last few weeks have been characterized by premieres of other movies and the biggest being the Cameroon international film festival (CAMIFF) that brought film makers all-round the global hence giving the CFI  much needed visibility, publicity, and credibility.

Alex Mbeaoh with G-Class from London and part of team little Cindy

Alex Mbeaoh with G-Class from London and part of team little Cindy

What next from you after Little Cindy? A recurrent problem has been that of piracy , is the government now doing enough to stop people who want to reap where they did not sow?

After Little Cindy I think it would be a brilliant idea if this new found team gets back to the next project.The government in my opinion is doing little or nothing to combat piracy but we can’t just sit there crying every day and doing nothing. Consequently we are using other platforms to sell such as VOD and negotiating with some channels that can promote us. I should just use this occasion to let the public know that thanks to the deal CFI signed with BT Media, a channel called MyMovies is now created to carry only Cameroonian movies and or related. Also in the Little Cindy project we got one very important lady G-Class from London through whom we plan to hit the UK movie market. So we are now learning to count on ourselves.It’s also thanks to people like you who never miss the opportunity to promote us that we survive, for that we ever remain thankful

Get ready for the grand Buea premier of Billybob Ndive's new movie, "Little Cindy ". Taking place on May 11 at Chariot Hotel. For your tickets, watch this for details.#littlecindymovie #dcodedtvshow #dcodedtv #redcarpet

Posted by Dcodedtv on Wednesday, May 2, 2018

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Kenya bans Rafiki ahead of Cannes debut over lesbian scenes
April 28, 2018 | 0 Comments
Kenya Film Classification Board says anyone in possession of the film, Rafiki, would be found in breach of Kenya's law

Kenya Film Classification Board says anyone in possession of the film, Rafiki, would be found in breach of Kenya’s law

The first Kenyan film to debut at the Cannes Film Festival has been banned in Kenya due to its lesbian storyline.

The film Rafiki, which means “friend” in Swahili, traces the love story between two young women.

The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) said the film “seeks to legitimize lesbian romance”.

KFCB warned that anyone found in possession of the film would be in breach of the law in Kenya, where gay sex is punishable by 14 years.

The film’s director Wanuri Kahiu told the BBC: “I really had hoped that the classification board would classify it as an 18. Because we feel the Kenyan audience is a mature, discerning enough audience.”

“I feel like the banning of the film does not allow the Kenyan audience to have a conversation about the film, and doesn’t allow the Kenyan audience to even watch it and as adults decide what they think.”

The film, which will be shown in Cannes next month, is adapted from the 2007 Caine Prize-winning short story, Jambula Tree, by Ugandan writer Monica Arac Nyeko.

It follows two close friends, Kena and Ziki, who eventually fall in love despite their families being on opposing sides of the political divide.

The ban has been criticised by the film’s supporters on social media, as well as Kenya’s National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC).

The commission used the hashtag, #KFCBbansLesbianFilm, in a tweet announcing the ban. The hashtag sparked a number of supportive tweets from Kenyans who criticised homosexuality.

The KFCB banned several American children’s programmes last year, including The Legend of Korra and Hey Arnold, stating that they showed “disturbing content glorifying homosexual behavior”.

In 2014, it banned the Oscar-winning film Wolf of Wall Street for its “extreme scenes of nudity, sex, debauchery, hedonism and cursing” and in 2016 it forced Coca-Cola to scrap a kissing scene in a television advert because it “violated family values”.

Kenya’s ‘moral policeman’

Larry Madowo, BBC Africa business editor

Ezekiel Mutua, head of the Kenya Film Classification Board, sees himself as the moral police of Kenya and compares himself to US civil rights activist Martin Luther King.

While the role of his government-funded body is to classify content and promote the film industry in Kenya, he draws his mandate from an outdated law that gives him vast powers to ban whatever he considers offensive or immoral.

He once asked Netflix to classify all its movies and TV shows to Kenyan standards before being allowed to operate in the country and has also lashed out at “gay” cartoons, lions and house parties.

Critics accuse Mr Mutua of censorship, which they say is virtually impossible in an era of the internet, instead of selling the country as a filming destination

*BBC

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Claudio Oben On Defying The 6TH
April 6, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Destiny Kwenchia

Claudio Oben

With the world premiere set for the USA on April 8th, Actor and Producer Claudio Oben discusses Defying the 6th, his latest production. I have grown and gotten better from when I started 8 years ago, thus by default making DT6 my most experienced work yet, says the hard working actor who also stars in Defying the 6th.

Your latest film defying the 6th hits is set to premiere in the days ahead, what is the movie about?

The movie is about the causes of suicides, struggles and trauma that people deal with that eventually if not strong enough drive people to commit suicide.

What message do you seek to convey in that film?

For this film, I seek to start a conversation with people in dark places in their lives or with people who know someone in a dark place that we hear them, we can share their pain and ending one’s life if not the only way out.

Where was the movie shot and could you introduce the cast for us?

The movie was shot 90% in Cameroon and 10% in the United  States. Main Cast: Claudio Oben (Myself), Berlinda Nahbila, Malvis Ann, Lucie Memba and Libota MacDonald.

Where would you rank Defying the 6th in terms of other movies you have produced and starred in?

To me, it’s really not a matter of ranking but more of growth and like anything we do in life, the more you do it, better you get at it. So, as a filmmaker, I believe I have grown and gotten better from when I started 8 years ago, thus by default making DT6 my most experienced work yet

What were some of the challenges faced in the production of the movie?

Besides the regular challenges you face when dealing with schedules of a hand full of people, it was more so filming in Cameroon, something I had not done in my career yet. I had to learn and understand the way it is done there and at the same time implement my findings on set on the fly, so it was a huge experience that made me learn a lot.

You have been one of the key actors trying to promote the put Cameroon film industry, how is it

doing and what else needs to be done to get it better?

The Cameroon Industry, just like every industry on cooperation that is belt on talent, art and passion has grown a great deal and it just keeps getting better. That is very evident with the quality and quantity of good film being produced under that umbrella so its a good time to be part of that family.

And for what else needs to be done better: We the artist, be it producers, actors, directors and all need to remember that without us the art dies, so we need to concentrate more on the art and forget about fame and recognition. Those things come by default when the work is done right.

Could you share more information about the Premiere, venue, fees, and any other side shows taking place ?

DT6 will be premiered in MD this Sunday, April 8th, 2018 at the Old Greenbelt Theatre from 7pm-11pm. Tickets for that are $20 even and can be purchased at the gate or on eventbrite. Thereafter, it will be premiered in Cameroon. on Saturday, April 21st, 2018 at the Mountain Hotel in Buea. Tickets for those are: 5000 cfa-Regular, 10.000 cfa-VIP (Comes with 2 drinks), Tables- 50.000 cfa.

 

What next for Claudio Oben after Defying the 6th, any other projects coming up?

After the premieres and film festival runs, Claudio Oben and Zeallmatic pictures will get back to work, if not already in the works for the spin-offs of DT6. That’s all I am allowed to reveal for now.

Thanks for talking to PAV                           

Thank you so much for having me and hope to see you at the premiere. Stay blessed.

 

 

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Davido’s ‘If’ hits Diamond, ‘Fall’ goes Platinum
February 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

NIGERIAN popstar ‘Davido’ Adeleke‘s 2017 hit songs ‘If’ and ‘Fall’ have gone diamond and platinum respectively.

Davido at the Columbia Records office

Davido at the Columbia Records office

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), this means ‘If’ has been sold or streamed one million times and ‘Fall’ has reached ten million record sales.

Davido shared a photo of himself with his awards and plagues on Tuesday through his Instagram page @davidooficial, writing:

“‘IF’ is officially Diamond and ‘FALL’ is officially Platinum in sales!!! My trophies finally came in as well! GOD IS REAL! Thank you Guys for making this happen!! Just getting started!!! Bless to my team @efe_one@asaasika@missamadi@sirbanko.”

The singer signed a record distribution deal with Sony RCA in the United States in 2016, a move that has led to his huge record sales.

The Plaques were presented at the Columbia Records UK office and Efe Ogbeni who executed the record deal for Davido with Sony was present.

The Managing Directors and President of Columbia UK Stacey Tang, Manish Arora and Ferdy Unger-Hamilton. Vanessa Amadi (Management) and Michael Ugwu were also present during the presentation of the Plaques.

Davido’s win came in shortly after he sold out his Brixton ‘O2’ Live show in London, on Sunday.

The ‘Fall’ crooner was recently won the Soundcity MVP award including ‘Best African Act’ and ‘Best Worldwide Act’.

The singer, who owns music label Davido Music Worldwide (DMW), recently released a new hit ‘Flora my Flawa’.

(NAN)/Real News

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‘Black Panther’: Why the relationship between Africans and black Americans is so messed up
February 18, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Larry Madowo and Karen Attiah*

Finally! “Black Panther” weekend has hit the United States. Marvel’s newest superhero film was one of the most anticipated movies in 2018, and already it is poised to shatter box-office records (the film is expected to rake in about $250 million this weekend) and Hollywood stereotypes about black movies not being marketable. Black audiences in the United States are planning special outfits and parties and raising funds to take children to see the film. But how do Africans feel about this fictional tale of Wakanda, especially when black people in the United States and Africa don’t always seem to understand one another? I decided to talk to Kenyan journalist and broadcaster Larry Madowo to get his thoughts on the film, Wakanda and… those accents. Enjoy! — Karen

Karen Attiah: Okay, so I know we are basically going to be talking about Wakanda, this fictional African country in “Black Panther.” I finally saw it on Tuesday, and I still feel like African Americans and Africans have still been speaking in silos about the movie, and not to one another.

So as a Kenyan, what did you think about the movie? How did you feel about Wakanda?

Larry Madowo: So Wakanda looks like a place I want to be a citizen of, because it looks like such a beautiful, egalitarian society, where the women wear their hair natural and they are powerful warriors. It is beautiful in that sense, as a utopia of sorts. Considering the mess so many African countries are in, it’s an escape to see what we can be: the richest country in the world, everything, vibranium in excess. And if you just think, if you build a model for the perfect African country, Wakanda is that.

Karen: With everything that Kenya is going through right now politically, with the messiness over elections, what did you take away from Wakanda?

Larry: It did make me think about Kenya because many of the problems that we have in Kenya — and in most African countries — are a byproduct of colonialism. … Wakanda was not colonized, so they had a chance to build a society that was free of European influence, whether British or French. We call ourselves Francophone Africa versus Anglophone Africa. We categorize ourselves based on who our oppressor was. I always find that a strange thing. Our identity is so deeply tied to our oppression.

Karen: What were the parts of the film that did bother you as a Kenyan? What did you think of the accents?

Larry: The accents are all over the place! It was jarring and annoying to me! They wanted to base the accents on Xhosa from South Africa, but some of it sounded Nigerian, others sounded more Ugandan. It was very confusing, and I understand perfecting an accent is difficult, but oh, my goodness, it was so messy! I really liked the costumes. They were great. But ultimately, Wakanda, at least in the film, is an approximation of African culture, an outsider’s version of what African culture might be like — the rituals, song and dance, the rites of passage.

Karen: Or even the ancestors thing.

Larry: As an African, I didn’t feel accurately represented in “Black Panther.” There was only one African artist whose song played in the background — her name is Babes Wodumo, she’s South African. I have nothing against Kendrick Lamar, but it would be good to be more representative of African music. It was a missed opportunity to shine a spotlight on African musicians on a huge platform. It would have enriched the story.

Karen: For me, it was visually exciting. It was like, “Try to find your culture somewhere!” It was like I was in African history class. I could hear the Nigerian accent. As a Ghanaian, I was like, “There’s kente cloth,” or, “Look, Shuri is wearing aggrey beads!”

Larry: It was like African bingo of sorts!

Karen: I was excited because I’m not used to seeing African elements on the big screen. Even African Americans here do not know that history or those cultural elements. I can see both sides, as someone who has to explain to white people and African Americans about the beauty of African culture and history. So in a way, “Black Panther” is a one-stop shop, get it all in an hour!

Larry: You know the worst thing? There hasn’t been an African premiere for “Black Panther.”

Karen: Wait, but wasn’t there a screening in Kenya, in Lupita Nyong’o’s home town?

Larry: That was arranged by a local movie distribution company and Lupita’s dad, who is the governor of Kisumu. But there has been no African premiere where the cast and crew came to an African city like Nairobi or Kampala, Johannesburg or Lagos — like they have done for South Korea, like they did in London or like in L.A. So this film that celebrates blackness has not had an African premiere!

Karen: But maybe that could be in the works? Lagos, Johannesburg and Accra? These cities represent the growth that Africa is experiencing, the modernity of Africa, which is represented in “Black Panther.”

Larry: I could see why they might not have an African premiere. There are less movie theaters in all of Africa than in just in the U.S., so you might not make that much in the grand scheme of things. But it would have been a huge symbolic thing for a movie that unashamedly elevates blackness. I have friends who are going in full Masai wear to the theaters! They feel represented, and yet, the promotion efforts kind of snubbed them.

Karen: So on tribalism and politics: When Killmonger ascends the throne and you realize that this man is an existential threat to Wakanda, you realize the other tribes don’t see things the same way. For me, when I went to Ghana for the elections in 2008, I was struck by how much tribalism played into politics, that the Ashantis were tied to one party, other tribes to other parties, etc.

Larry: Even today, African political parties have tribal vehicles. They will have a tribal chief who will have the power to determine elections. It is very rare across the continent to find a party that is national in nature. A lot of the conflicts across Africa are tribal. Look at Somalia, which has not had a functional government — so much about the clans. Killmonger, King T’Challa and the Jabari Tribe and how they all want different things — that is what goes on in Africa.

Karen: What did you make of the white characters in the film, the Americans?

Larry: When I was in the theater in Nairobi, and the scene where Jabari did not allow [CIA operative Everett Ross] to speak, the audience clapped! Africans and other black people are tired of seeing white men in white-savior roles. This time, a white man was the sidekick. He was getting his instructions from a black woman, Shuri (Letitia Wright). The representation was satisfying. Let us see some black saviors for a change!

Karen: The role of America is interesting in “Black Panther.” Killmonger, who was trained in U.S. military tactics knows how to destabilize countries going through tricky political transitions or right after coups. In history, you think of Patrice Lumumba’s assassination, and Kwame Nkrumah’s fall in Ghana, which the CIA had a hand in. It’s interesting that in the movie, it was Ross, the CIA agent — converted — who came to see the light about Wakanda and becomes an ally in their fight.

Larry: It was appropriate. Yes, for all the Americans who are upset about Russia interfering in elections, I’m like, “Really, America? You’ve been meddling in African elections since the beginning of time! And you don’t hear us complaining. It’s payback time!” The American in the movie knew how to destabilize and just meddle, because that is what America does best.

Karen: A big part of this film is the relationship between Africans and African Americans, and it’s probably the most complicated relationship in the film.

Larry: It was very indicative of the current relationship between Africans and African Americans. There’s so much animus or competition that I have never quite understood. Both groups use derogatory names to refer to each other. In Africa, African American culture is very big and influential in terms of how people speak and dress. But in creating “Black Panther,” Africans and African Americans came together to create art that black people around the world are proud of. But in everyday life, there is no such unity. I think it’s a vision for what can be possible when the two groups work together.

Karen: In some twisted ways, I identified with Killmonger. Growing up, part of my exploration into where my parents came from, I felt a sort of anger towards Africa. Like, how did colonization happen to you? And the poverty? How are these leaders not doing more? And being black in America, when we are going through fights with racism, police brutality, we wonder if Africans even care. And I think, “Well, African nations can’t help us. They can’t impose sanctions on America for its treatment of black people.” Which is why Wakanda is so amazing: It has the power to help other countries.

Larry: When it comes to African solutions … African countries gave aid to Haiti during the hurricane, Rwanda is taking in unwanted African migrants from Israel. But yes, there is so much more we can do.

A lot of people here supported Black Lives Matter and don’t think police should be shooting black people in the U.S., but they are perfectly okay with the Kenyan or Zimbabwean police cracking down on protesters violently. You speak out against an injustice half a world away, but when there’s injustice right on your doorstep, you’re okay with it because of the party or politician you endorse.

Karen: At the end, when Killmonger is dying, he says wants to be buried in the water with his ancestors, who would rather jump off slave ships than be in bondage. It seems then he personally identifies with slaves as his ancestors and not the ancestors of Wakanda. That’s how deep the divisions are [between Africans and African Americans].

Larry: It reminded me of Kunta Kinte from “Roots,” who was a warrior that was taken away. There are people who say of slavery, “I would have not allowed myself to be taken.” I see what he was trying to do there — my ancestors were brave. It is a sort of misplaced bravado.

Karen: And gender in the film? How women are depicted?

Larry: Africa is a deeply patriarchal society. In this film, women are equal to the men. They protect the king! They have a mind of their own. Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) doesn’t want to just get married and be a trophy wife.  All the women wear natural hair. In the continent, where weaves and wigs are big business, it’s a legacy of colonialism that kinky hair is not seen as professional.It’s not what you get married in or wear to the office.

Karen: Ah, so you are #TeamNatural! And the power of the women doesn’t diminish King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman). Africa has had societies in which women played more equal roles before the British came with their Victorian ideas about gender divisions. It made me think that Wakanda’s strength is how it capitalizes on the strengths of both men and women. In this #MeToo moment, part of the tragedy of sexism is that it denies women opportunities to be participants in society. Conversely to how women are treated in Wakanda, Killmonger, he’s this hypermasculine, destructive force. He kills his girlfriend who helps him on his mission.

Larry: I think he’s the personification of toxic masculinity that is so prevalent in black culture.

Karen: I think there’s a very American flavor to his type of anger, but I think of this especially in the wake of the Florida shooting yesterday, in which a teenager walked into a school and killed 17 people. He abused his ex-girlfriend and stalked another girl, before unleashing his anger and violence on others. But yes, I know sometimes that even Africans have an stereotype that black Americans are gangsters and violent.

Larry: Maybe that’s the one overriding stereotype about African Americans here that’s reinforced by hip-hop and quite a few movies. When Africans say, “I’m gangsta,” they’re always referring to the African American caricature.

Karen: Well, thanks so much. Here in the U.S., we’ve gone through a year of Donald Trump. We’ve seen overt anti-black racism. We’ve seen KKK marching in the streets, the attempts to keep out and/or deport black and brown immigrants. The filmmakers could not have predicted that this would be the political moment we would be in; it has come at a moment where we’ve needed something empowering.

Larry: After the kind of year you all have had in America, no one should take this moment away from you. No one should try to diminish it. From those of us from the outside looking in, finally we have a beautiful celebration of blackness. You all absolutely deserve it!

*Culled from Washington Post

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African multinationals join forces within the AfroChampions Club to foster Africa’s growth and development
October 19, 2017 | 0 Comments
Dangote Group CEO Aliko Dangote, President Thabo Mbeki and President Olusegun Obasanjo organised a successful inaugural meeting in Lagos, which brought together CEOs from 13 African countries
Samba Bathily, Michael Kottoh, Aliko Dangote, Albert Muchanga, AfroChampions Press panel

Samba Bathily, Michael Kottoh, Aliko Dangote, Albert Muchanga, AfroChampions Press panel

LAGOS, Nigeria, October 18, 2017/ — The AfroChampions Initiative  has just taken a new step with the official creation of the AfroChampions Club, a new platform to mobilise African multinationals to accelerate the economic integration of the continent. At the invitation of Mr. Aliko Dangote, Founder and CEO of the Dangote Group (www.Dangote.com) and President of the Club, key business leaders, representing a total of 13 African countries, met in Lagos to attend the inaugural meeting. High-level personalities, including His Excellency Mr. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Mr. Thabo Mbeki, former President of the Republic of South Africa and President of the AfroChampions Initiative, and His Excellency Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Patron of the initiative, also joined the event.

AU Commissioner, Albert Muchanga

AU Commissioner, Albert Muchanga

Participants at the inaugural meeting have launched two workstreams. The first one focused on gathering recommendations from various African multinationals on best approaches to achieve the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). These recommendations will be shared officially with the African Union, which was represented at the meeting by His Excellency Mr. Albert Muchanga, Commissioner for Trade and Industry.  Discussions focused on visa waivers and trade facilitation between African states. The second workstream focused on drafting an AfroChampions Charter aimed at defining how African multinationals can best contribute to the development of the continent. By working with the local ecosystems, supporting infrastructure projects, fostering industrialization or helping populations enter the digital era, African economic champions can indeed play a strategic role.

President Thabo Mbeki

President Thabo Mbeki

“We have chosen to work on issues of interest to all Africans. The African Free Trade Area will give us the ability to travel and work easily across the continent; it will also foster the creation of regional value chains, integrating SMEs and building capacities in our countries”, said Aliko Dangote. “As for the AfroChampions Charter, it is a commitment by African multinationals to invest more and better in Africa in those projects with strong economic and social impacts. Our primary responsibility is to give our youth jobs and a future. I was very pleased to hear the consensus on this issue and I expect the Charter to be signed by many of my fellow CEOs in the near future,” he added.

A member of the Executive Committee of the AfroChampions Initiative, Edem Adzogenu highlighted the quality of the discussions at this inaugural meeting. “We talked about the role that African multinationals can have as ambassadors of the continent and its talents, and ways to work better with the public sector. This new dynamic of dialogue is precisely what we want to put in place.” A progress report on the work of the AfroChampions Club is planned for the next African Union summit in January 2018.

The emergence and cross-border activities of homegrown African multinationals have contributed significantly to regional integration through intra-Africa investments and regional value-chains. The AfroChampions Initiative is designed to support and harness the emergence of these champion companies for Africa’s transformation. It also aims at facilitating strategic engagements on how these companies can grow from pan-African champions to African global giants.

The Dangote Group (www.Dangote.com) is an emerging African conglomerate based in Nigeria, West Africa, driven by a mission to touch the lives of people by providing their basic needs. Current interests of the Group, which started as a trading company in 1978, include cement, sugar, salt, pasta, beverages and real estate, with new projects underway in the oil and gas and agricultural sectors of the economy. Some of the Group’s 13 subsidiaries are listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). They include: cement, sugar, salt and flour. The Group operates in 16 other African countries and is fully involved in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.

The AfroChampions (www.AfroChampions.com) Initiative is a set of innovative public-private partnerships and flagship programs designed to galvanize African resources and institutions to support the emergence and success of African private sector multinational champions in the regional and global spheres. The Initiative, driven by the AfroChampions Organization, was founded by the advisory firm Konfidants; and is Co-Chaired by President Thabo Mbeki and Mr. Aliko Dangote, President and CEO of Dangote Group (www.Dangote.com) The Initiative is headquartered in Accra, Ghana, and works with regional and global partners and governments, with the support of other corporate and institutional partners including ADS Group (http://APO.af/8woL9C), the Djondo Fellowship (http://APO.af/HHQjus), Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (http://APO.af/R7tAcC) and Thabo Mbeki Foundation (http://APO.af/Kt2zhJ

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4 Multi Talented Contestants from Lagos Zone qualify for FACES OF GOD TALENTS Semi Finals
August 29, 2017 | 0 Comments
The search for God given talents continued as 4 contestants from the Lagos region advanced to semi-finals of Faces of God Talents (FGT) Season 1. The talents were selected after thrilling performances by contestants who had earlier emerged from preliminary auditions.
The contestants delivered a colorful and spectacular display of distinct talents in singing, dancing and drama which got the audience present asking for more.
At the end of the day, those that received the judges nod to advance to the semifinal of the talent show slated for Abuja are as follows ; Afinni Precious, Onafuye Oluwakemi, Afolabi Olasubomi and Aroye Jesu (a music and dance group)
These four contestants will compete with the following 9 other semi-finalists who made the cut earlier in Ibadan; Raji Adeola, Emmanuel Joshua, Ibirinde Adetola Mary, Gospel Flow, Amadiegwu Augustine, Olufikayo Abioye, Adejunwo Olamide, Glorious Vision Dance Drama Ministry, as well as Kiddies dance sensations,  The Chrysolite Crew.
FGT semi-finals will feature other acts to be picked later from Port Harcourt and Abuja zones for a chance to advance one step closer to the grand finale and stand the chance to win the STAR PRIZE of a car, album recording deal and other empowerment prizes.
FACES of GOD TALENTS(FGT) is a unique youth gospel talent competition and an initiative by an NGO- The Faces of God foundation, in partnership with The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Elshaddai Parish, Gwarinpa, Abuja; Nigeria.  
The FGT Foundation that is focused on identifying, nurturing and celebrating talents in children and young adults from age 10 to 40 years.
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