Thursday, 26 November 2015

MABS 2015: LOOKING FORWARD FROM THE PAST

MUSIC AFRICA BEACH SPLASH 2015 (MABS 2015) -- THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS:

It's 25 days to the biggest beach rock-down in Lagos, the Music Africa Beach splash 2015.  These are some of the images from the 2014 show:

















LUCKY















video

Monday, 16 November 2015

AND LAGOS STATE ONCE AGAIN SHOWS US HOW GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE:



AMBODE HANDS OVER MILE12-IKORODU BRT EXTENSION TO THE PEOPLE

In many ways the governments of Lagos state (since 1999) have consistently shown to Nigerians the ultimate value of governance -- continuance in delivering tangible assets to the industrious people of Lagos State.

NEW BRT BUS DEPOT AT MAJIDUN, IKORODU


While in many other States of the federation a transition from one regime to the other (even within the same party)  almost always results in countless abandoned projects, revocation of contracts and a re-kindling of 'bad blood' among politicians and civil servants alike, Lagos state on the other hand,  continues to sprint on a different track ensuring that baton handovers do not blur the view of the end point :  In 2003, the Jagaban of Africa, Asiwaju Bola Hamed Tinubu  and his team including these 3 key players -- Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, (then Commissioner of Works, Lagos State now Governor Osun State), Akinwunmi Ambode ( then Accountant General of Lagos State, now Governor of Lagos State) Dr. Dayo Mobereola (then MD Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority now Commissioner of Transport , Lagos State) set out a  road map to redefine the infrastructural landscape of Lagos. Working mainly from revenues earned within the State itself, (The Federal government withheld funds from Lagos State at the time),   the then governor of Lagos State took the first giant strides in this transformation journey.

PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE & BUS SHELTER


In 2007 Babatunde Raji FASHOLA (now Federal Minister of Works Power and Housing ) took the baton as Governor of Lagos State and 'bolted' with it .

In 2015, the current governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode has already indicated his commitment to the vision (of which he was a part in 2003), by ensuring ongoing projects receive the support they need from his government.

Generator /Power House at AGRIC BUS STOP, IKORODU 


EXPANDED MAJIDUN OGOLONTO LINK BRIDGE



On Thursday 12th November, 2015 Governor Ambode officially opened and handed over the massive Mile 12 to Ikorodu BRT extension project, a project which has virtually elevated Ikorodu to the status of a city . The atmosphere at the Majidun BRT Depot, Ikorodu was electrifying. 
AT THE OPENING/HANDING OVER  OF THE MILE 12-IKORODU BRT EXTENSION






The people could not control their joy at seeing the real architects of this transformation right in front of them: The Jagaban himself, Aregbesola also , and of course Governor Ambode. People jostled and pushed, almost trampling each other just to touch "Aregbe" as his convoy drove into the venue. There was even greater excitement when the Jagaban's convoy drove in too. It was unbelievable: A cult like following for these three  and there in that instant I got the message : In Africa, in Nigeria, we do not ask for 'heaven on earth' from our leaders but just the basics and they will be our heroes for a long time to come.  

Victor O. Sawyerr

13/15/2015

Friday, 13 November 2015

AND BUHARI TOUCHES THE PULSE OF NIGERIANS


           " Here on the pulse of this new day,
             You may have the courage to look up and out,
             And upon me ,
            The Rock,
            The River,
            The Tree,
            Your Country.
             No less to Midas than the Mendicant,
             No less to you now than the mastodon then
             Here, on the pulse of this new day,
             You may have the Grace to look up and out,
             And into your sister's eyes,
             And into your brother's face,
             Your Country,
             And say simply,
             Very Simply,
              With hope-- Good Morning!
                                          -------- Maya Angelou
                    (Award Winning African American Poet)

There on the Pulse of that fine day in 1993  award winning African American Poet Maya Angelou read this Poem to the world at the inauguration of Bill Clinton as America's  42nd President,  vocalizing the hope of Americans that the Clinton administration would bring freshness into governance.  


And on the pulse of another fine day,11th September, 2015, here in the business hub of Africa, Africa's most populous Nation,  the collective pulse of all Nigerians was touched by President Muhammadu Buhari for the first time since his inauguration as he allocated portfolios to his Ministers.  Although many felt disappointed by the " THE LIST" of ministers from the Executive, the allocation of portfolios evoked a different set of emotions altogether.





In much of Surulere, Lagos many were fixated on their TV sets  watching with rapt attention as President Buhari inaugurated his Ministers. Then he began allocating Ministries  to each and there was silence --- until he called out : Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister of Works, Power and Housing -- and cheers erupted. People started clapping -- it was as if Nigerians were watching their under-seventeen National soccer team,  the Golden Eaglets score a winning goal in a FIFA world cup final. It was simply a spontaneous outburst of joy -- the first re-kindling of  hope that seemed to almost have been lost many a months ago. Two other names that drew some sort of applause also were Rotimi Amaechi (Former Rivers State Governor) named Minister of Transport and Kayode Fayemi (Former Ekiti State Governor ) named Minister of Solid Minerals.


For many with Fashola as Minister of works there is hope that at least some of this government's programmes will touch the lives of the masses in a positive way; there is hope that the many abandoned Federal Road Projects all over the country will be swiftly dealt with; there is hope that the national monster called Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) will be swiftly and comprehensively dealt with once and for all ; there is hope that the National housing policy will really and truly be available to all Nigerians, not just those fortunate to have 'godfathers' in high places.


And maybe we can re-echo Maya Angelou's words: "On the pulse of this new day, we did have the grace to look up and out, into our sister's eyes, and  our brother's face, our Country-- Nigeria, and say simply, very  simply, with hope-- Good Morning! 


                                        Victor O. Sawyerr
                                         12/11/2015


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

OLISEH SLAMS SOCIAL MEDIA

OLISEH SLAMS SOCIAL MEDIA

"If 10% of what you hear that Coach Sunday Oliseh says on Social media or newspaper is true, that means I will be granting interviews every day. "

Nigeria's Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh on Wednesday 21st October slammed social media for the current controversy over striker, Emmanuel Emenike's alleged retirement from the National team.


Speaking on Nigeria's leading sports radio channel --BRILLA Sports, Sunday Oliseh said refuted claims that the Fernabache striker who is currently on loan to Al Ain Fc of the City of Abu Dhabi has retired. Coach Oliseh said:

"It was a big shocker for us, a big shocker for me personally, and personally I still don't accept that he has retired because  em, officially I have not heard anything from him and I  don't think also the Federation have heard, only what we've heard is what we've seen posted on the social media and em we've made trainings part of our re-building process, infact he's got more playing time than any other striker we've had, so I don't -- em-- I'm very very surprised that he has decided to retired."

Oliseh however also indicated that he is going to treat everybody equally. There will be no favorites. In a country where professional footballers who ply their trades abroad have huge egos this will definitely be read differently, and can account for EMENIKE calling it quits with the National team within three weeks after former Captain Vincent Enyeama declared that going forward, he would have no further part to play in the Super Eagles team as a player. 

With two key senior players out of the National Team it remains to be  seen how many will be left in the squad by the end of this year.

Victor O. Sawyerr
21/10/2015


Thursday, 8 October 2015

THE LIST





“If this factory ever produces a shell that can actually be fired, I’ll be very unhappy.” --                                                SCHINDLER'S LIST
                                    Schindler (to his accountant and right-hand man, Itzhak Stern,                                      about his munition factory):

We waited! For  some of us, it was with bated breaths. For others, the period waiting, was also a period scheming to get their names into the List. Somehow the most prominent schemers, whose plans even played out on social media, have won no success as yet -- ( it is hoped there would be an addition to this List, and they may yet succeed) .  

THE LIST 

It was to be an earth shaking, game changing list. When it came, it tip-toed in with a whimper -- Nothing earth shaking about it.
It came as if in a distant reverse directional echo to  Oskar Schindler's command to his accountant, a paraphrase of which would be like : 

"If this engine room  never produces a  
game-changing machinery, I will be very unhappy!!"

It would be the hope of the Nigerian masses though, that  this engine room may really  in spite of the odds be able to produce a real, game changing machinery , and ultimately engineer the country to the path of transformation.

While many have criticized the President's proposed LIST of Ministers, and many more have defended him, no one can deny that it is the President's responsibility to provide such a list . Except for journalists who have to create content  and talking points by stoking the flames of criticism at this point , I would think it is altogether too late for this now. The man was voted in. He should be left unshackled to perform his responsibilities to the best of his ability, only then can we have authority to evaluate   the performance of this nation under his watch without bias. 

So what's my point  writing about this List? My point is that we should begin to look at the possibilities for transformation that this engine room may  provide for us? One name in the List that stands out for me is Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) who has  been mentioned in various circles as favored to be Minister of Justice. No doubt this  Senior Advocate of Nigeria is eminently qualified  to head this Ministry but I think Nigeria needs him in a more vital Ministry -- either Power and Steel or Works and Housing. 

My reasoning? He demonstrated as Governor in Lagos for 8 years  that he could put a team together  and supervise the execution of  actual projects that can really touch on the everyday lives of the masses. Consider that Lagos State has a massive 18 Million peoples with over half of them a hub of constantly moving masses -- people who move and do business 'at the speed of light' -- people who congregate and occupy spaces at the snap of a finger -- you would understand the challenge of actually executing projects that touched their lives.  I absolutely believe it is a man like him, who can pick up the baton and run with it, that we need in either of these Ministries.  

And then the others can be given whatever the President wishes that they try their hands on.

"I could have got more out. I could have got more.... If I'd just...I could have got more." Oskar Schindler
"Oskar, there are eleven hunred people alive because of you , look at them" -- Itzak Stern

"I could have gotten one more person... and I didn't! I didn't" -- Schindler
                                     
                                        Victor Omotayo Sawyerr
                                                     7/10/2015


Monday, 28 September 2015

WHY THE TRUMP FARCE MUST BE STOPPED:






"Pull off a Coup and You're a National Hero; Fail and you're an evil criminal. In Business it's the same difference between bankruptcy and making a fortune"              

..... Jeffery Archer                    
A Quiver full of Arrows -- "The Coup"




WHY THE TRUMP FARCE MUST BE STOPPED:

The world today is a global village. Throw a pebble into the centre of the global pool and the ripple effects will reach even the tiniest  creeks around the world. Like it or not, whatever happens in Europe or America is of absolute importance to the rest of peoples all over the world.

Flashback to the 1970s, only 10-20 Billion Dollars worth of National Currencies were traded (against the dollar) on a daily basis. Fast-forward to the early 21st century : Over 1.5 Trillion Dollars worth of diverse National currencies including African Currencies are traded on a daily basis against the dollar. This simply means that whatever happens to the American  government and economy will impact the other economies of the world and by extension the very existence of many of the worlds marginal survivors. 
  
For purposes of simplicity let us make a very wild supposition: Suppose the American Government  were to decide that considering the state of its economy, it will declare bankruptcy. Suppose also the government then goes on by some strong arm tactic, to impose itself on the rest of the world declaring  that it would for the next 3 years, NOT pay any of its global or internal debts.  The chaos I guess is unimaginable.
Now let us here make some 'less wild' suppositions and see if we can begin to imagine the consequences:
Suppose Americans were to vote as President a man who, by his wiliness and craft has manipulated America's bankruptcy laws again and again. A man who by his own writings declared:
        "I have used the laws of this country to pare       debt..." --- Donald Trump
Suppose Americans were to vote as President a man who has craftily engineered his businesses to  declare Bankruptcy more times than any other, while technically shielding his  own personal wealth.

       1991: Trump Taj Mahal -- Bankrupt
       1992: Trump Plaza Hotel -- Bankrupt
       2004: Trump Hotels
       and Casino Resorts          -- Bankrupt.
       2009: Trump
       Entertainment Resorts --   Bankrupt.
       2014: Trump
       Entertainment Resorts --   Bankrupt
 Surely if this were "The Apprentice " he would have been fired countless times.

For a man who says :
       "I like making deals, preferably big deals. That's how I get my kicks" ... Donald Trump   
The only deals he seems good at making are deals that WILL ULTIMATELY GO BANKRUPT.

On another level entirely let's take a closer look at this man and the huge undertones of "crime family associations" that are still unclear to those of us who make it a point of duty to research these things. Suppose Americans were to vote for President a megalomaniac who felt no qualms doing business with organized crime families. Suppose Americans were to vote for President a man whose "Trump Tower" was built with  concrete from firms owned by the heads of the Genovese  and the Gambino Crime families. What could happen if such a man were to wrest grip of this hallowed chambers ?  I  shudder to imagine in my wildest constructs, an American Presidency controlled by the Mafia. 

Let's take our suppositions a step further: Suppose Americans were to vote for President a man who technically may be called a political 'whore', a man who has vacillated between political parties more than any other in recent times: 

                     Before 1999 -- Republican
                        1999-2009 -- Reform
                        2001-2009 -- Democrat
                        2009-2011 -- Republican
                        2011-2012 -- Independent
                        2012 to present Republican

Suppose such a man were to occupy the most powerful office in the world today, and by his own ambivalent nature be willing to 'suck' up to any regime or tactic, or exploit any freak law  that would feed his 'kicks'.  Even Americans would find it hard to 'contain' such a man because he would have the awesome power of that office to, (as we say here in Africa),  "do and undo".


Will the world be a better place to have such a man in the White House? Hmmmmm!!

Saturday, 19 September 2015

MUSIC AFRICA BEACH SPLASH 2015

MUSIC AFRICA REVS UP TO ROCK LASGIDI AGAIN



As the 'ember' months kick in and work accelerates to a frantic pace for all of us, somewhere at the back of our minds we are already planning for the yuletide -- strategizing on what would be the best way to catch some fun with friends and family.
For Music lovers all over the world, beach parties , indoor and outdoor music shows are the 'in-thing' and for Nigerians, Music Africa is already on a high-drive, pulling all the stops, to rock them once again at the Music Africa Beach Splash .
David Nwachukwu is the project Manager, Music Africa Beach Splash.





DAVID: In 2014, our first show, the theme was "Enjoy the Music". Music Africa simply wanted people to come out and have fun in a safe, secure outdoor environment. Something they had not enjoyed for close to 2 decades now in Lagos. We will keep the 2015 theme close to our chest for now until the full campaign kicks off soon but I promise you , this year's Music Africa beach Splash will rock like no other event has in a long, long while.

Will MABS 2015 be full of the same old, same old ?



DAVID: Here's the thing, In 2014 we gave our audience the likes of OritsheFemi, Jaywon, Malaika, LKT and many other show stoppers, but this year's show is going to be a once in a lifetime show : Think Ghanaian acts, think Tanzanian musicians, and a few other African countries plus a lot of your own home boys: Think Tu-Face, Vector, OritsheFemi, Olamide and a lot of others and comedians too, all on one platform. Tell you something, Music Africa Television has always prided itself in being Afro centric so we have decided to bring the African Music community to Nigeria, show them our beautiful country and generally have fun together.


That's a lot of different personalities to keep on one platform...

DAVID: Of course, but the show will be hosted by personalities that are guaranteed to keep the oil in the groove. It will be a mix and match no one can afford to miss.


Now that you mention it why does Music Africa integrate so many Fresh Artistes into its programmes and shows?

   DAVID: Music Africa has always taken pride in developing artistes. How can we sustain the tempo that the entertainment industry has today, if we do not support fresh artistes? The entertainment industry in the country today is contributing hugely to the country's GDP and it is responsible for the reduction of non-graduate youth unemployment. This infact is the thrust of my boss's passion, the MD of Music Africa, Philip Trimnell.
  He says to me all the time: "David we have to give some of these fresh acts opportunity. That's all some of them need -- opportunity."
  And that's why you see them a lot on our shows and our programmes. We know that if we do not provide a platform for some of these talents they will just fizzle out. So we give them that platform to showcase their talent -- to perform alongside the established Stars and learn a few things from them. We give to them their 15 Minutes of fame and hope they will yearn for more.



 Tell us about the Venue:

  DAVID: Before I say anything about the venue let me say this -- The Miiusic Africa Beach Splash caters to the family. We plan it in such a way that you can come out with your whole family and enjoy the show, have fun and stay as late as you can afford to without worrying about security, or where to buy food and drinks or long drive back home?


The Chaka Beach resorts is a secure and safe environment. It offers a beautiful landscape view and a serene atmosphere, and If at the end of a long, exhilarating day you decide you want to give your family a 5-star treatment in a first class facility, the hotel gives a decent discount for the yuletide season. If on the other hand you decide you simply want to laze on the beach, it costs you nothing. You are secured.
CHAKA  BEACH RESORTS -- AERIAL VIEW

CHAKA HOTEL SWIMMINF POOL VIEW (NIGHT SHOT) 

So why should anyone partner with you on bringing on a show like this ?

DAVID: Think about this: Music Africa Television alone commands a proven 6 Million Viewers on a daily basis ,
  and an approximate daily cumulative followership of 20,000 on facebook, twitter, Instagram and the Music Africa Online TV.

We have strong media partners , Silverbird Television, Trace Urban Television, and several Radio Stations. If you partner with the Music Africa Beach Splash, you have a choice of these platforms to showcase your products. But I tell you this, nothing beats branding the venue with your products: Not only will you have the attention of the audience, but every time snippets of the show is aired you're likely to get an infinite mileage. Trust me people are more receptive during the festive period, and we provide the platform that would give your product the mileage you'd love for it to get.
Thank you David.
  DAVID: Thank you. It's been great talking to you. Make sure you come party with us at the Music Africa Beach Splash 2015. Don't miss it , or you'll miss out.

               

Thursday, 23 July 2015

THE AMAZING STORY OF AN OSHODI KID ON HIS WAY TO STARDOM

THE AMAZING STORY OF AN OSHODI KID ON HIS WAY TO STARDOM




He was born in Lagos. Grew up in Oshodi without a silver spoon in a terrain that's as tough as in AJ city, Nigeria's crudest resource ground of exceptional artistic talents -- and, to put it in perspective, may be even tougher than Harlem, America's version of AJ city. His name is Lucky Okuhe

 LUCKY: My mother used to wake me up at 4:00 in the morning. At the age of 6 or 7, I was already working. Growing up wasn't easy. I did everything. In the morning before going to school I had to help prepare the food she was going to sell that day. I worked till 7:00 in the morning before going to school. After school I sold sachet water in the streets, sold poly-bags , ice-cream and yoghurt and I also as a bus conductor.
In Lagos cut throat competition was the name of the game. As a matter of fact cut throat competition is always the name of the game.
 LUCKY: Just to make ends meet and pursue my music career I had to learn a job. I became apprentice to a mechanical engineer in my neighbourhood. Life was a struggle. Things were bad. Where I was learning the work, the equipment were old and dangerous. One day an alternator cut my finger, and that was it. I knew that was not what I wanted to do. For two months I was in and out of hospital. I nearly lost my hand. When I got well I spent 2 years looking for a job. On and off I hung out with my friends in the hood . We played music and had fun but it was nothing serious.





Life in places like Oshodi, Aj city, Mushin, and Obalende provides the local brew for talent grooming: Nigeria's football magician, Austin Jay Jay Okocha grew up in AJ city. Daddy Showkey, African China, Fuji maestro Alabi Pasuma, The Oluaiye of Fuji, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall (KWAM 1) all have their roots from the less affluent places in Lagos.

 LUCKY: Music took the better part of my time. Hipop attracted me. Then Fuji. Then Rand B. For a time my friends and I stuck to hip-hop. Then we switched to Fuji and then we tried to do a blend of everything we had. We were just having fun. Finally in my mind I decided that a blend of Fuji-Hipop was what I really wanted to do. My mother was disappointed in me . She handed me to my Uncle who took charge of me and said if music was what I wanted to do then he would get me to meet someone.
Sometimes kids get lucky breaks and their careers take off like meteors. Lucky got a little break.


 LUCKY: After a few months, my Uncle took me to see Mr. Philip Trimnell, the MD/CEO of Music Africa, one of Nigeria's leading Music Video Programme on television, with a viewership of almost 20 Million viewers every day. I started at the bottom at Music Africa. I do all kinds of jobs in the office but I stay focused on my music. It is hard work. At night I would go to the studio and work on my voice. In the day time I do what I have to do in the office.
Countless artistes will tell you that making music is fun but it's also a lot of hard work and sleepless nights. Some find that it's easier to kick off with collaborations.
 LUCKY: In 2013, me and two of my friends , Tope and Tosin formed a group called TLT. We released a single called "Egbe ni mo gbe ". It got some attention but didn't hit much because we were new in the game. But at least we had a video and people began taking notice.
Unfortunately in this country, groups don't last long. A million and one things connived to pull them apart.
 LUCKY: Later that year we, the group TLT broke up. I started 'night-owling' again -- sleeping in the studio at Night , working on my voice and learning the basics of music. I spent a lot of time creating my songs in my head. It was so tough I fell sick that year. While I was on sick bed that day I saw a herbal medicine seller, "alagbo" and I decided to try the medicine.
Creative people know that inspiration can come from diverse sources -- sometimes from the most unlikely of sources.

 LUCKY: After taking the medicine that day, I felt better the next day. I was able to go to work. After work that night, while I was sleeping, some thoughts crammed my head and I decided to do a song about the herbal medicine seller. Two days later I told my boss Mr. Philip Trimnell, the CEO of  Music Africa  that I wanted to go to the sound studio to do a song. He gave me his backing. The next day, I talked with a Producer friend of mine. He is also a sound engineer. I told him the ideas I had created in my head. He loved them. I sang it out for him. He created the beats . We worked for a whole night and finished the song that night. But on and off we worked on fine tuning the song. We were night owls.


Throughout all this period I got full moral support from Music Africa. Then I completed the track about the time of my boss's birthday. At the party I gave the DeeJay my CD . When the track came on people just loved it. It was the first time my boss would hear the song too. He was impressed. My friends everyone rocked to the music and they asked me to perform which I did there and then. People who didn't know me kept asking "Who's this guy, who's this guy?" I was happy.
History and life teaches us never to despise small beginnings.

 LUCKY: In 2014 I got my first big opportunity to connect with a large crowd. Again it was my boss Mr. Philip Trimnell who gave me the opportunity to perform at the Music Africa Beach Splash alongside Stars like Oritshe Femi, PatoRanking and many others. Before I was tipped to go on stage I was nervous. But when I got on stage the mood changed. I connected with the crowd and we hit it big. It was a big experience for me. I know the future is bright for me. I am not there yet but I am sure I am on the way to stardom and I am ready to work to get there. I thank Music Africa's CEO, Mr. Philip Trimnell for providing his total support. I promise all my fans that I am on the way up. Just watch me!    

STARDOM : videos of this interview will come up soon on YOUTUBE.

                                                         Written  by Victor O. Sawyerr

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