Play on Gen. Gowon to be staged in Lagos Aug. 24-25


A play, ‘GOWON’, which depicts the life of retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, former Nigeria’s military head of state, is to be staged in Lagos, from Aug. 24 to Aug.25.

A statement by the Duke of Shomolu Foundation, producers of the play, said on Sunday in Lagos that the play would focus on Gowon’s service to Nigeria and also take a ‘deep and cursory look at his tribe – Angas, in Plateau’.

‘It will run with the theme of unity and lean heavily on the Gowon era policy of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reorientation put in place at the end of the civil war to heal wounds,’ the statement said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the statement was signed by Mrs Mofoluwake Edgar, Managing Director, Duke of Shomolu Foundation.

‘The play will seek to celebrate the ‘No Victor, No Vanquished proponent,’ the statement added.

It said that the play was written by Prof. Ahmed Yerima, who would also direct the stage proceedings.

Yerima had written equally strong historical plays on Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Emir
Muhammad Sanusi II, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, and Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.

All the plays were produced by the Duke of Shomolu Foundation.

The statement indicated that the play had been in the drawing board in the last two years ‘waiting for the most auspicious time.

‘For the first time ever on a Nigerian stage, a play will feature accomplished British actress – Tayo Elesin – who will play the role of Victoria, Gowon’s wife.

‘Tayo, who was HID Awolowo in the play ‘Awo’, staged in London, had featured in many western stage plays and many critically acclaimed movies on Netflix.

‘She will bring to bear on the production her international clout and experience,’ the statement said.

The statement disclosed that the play is being sponsored by First Bank of Nigeria, Unified Payments, Orangeline and Sonora Capital.

‘The showing will be at the Agip Recital Hall of The Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos,’ it said.

NAN reports that Gowon, who became the nation’s head of state at 32, ruled Nigeria from 1966 t
o 1975.

His regime was terminated by a military coup with the late Gen. Murtala Mohammed taking his place.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

‘Beyond the Veil 2’, film on northern Nigerian women, premieres in FCT


The season two of ‘Beyond the Veil’, a TV series that depicts everyday life of northern Nigerian women, has premiered in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that filmmakers, industry stakeholders, as well as the cast and crew of the film, were present at the screening on Friday night in Abuja.

‘Beyond the Veil’ brings to the fore everyday life of liberal Northern Nigerian women, highlighting social issues such as polygamy, drug abuse, gender based violence, forbidden relationships and unstable family dynamics.

The story follows the lives of five resilient northern Nigerian women as they navigate the ups and downs of modern life, careers, friendships, romances and the occasional clash of cultures.

The series, which showcase the richness and diversity of the northern culture, follows the lives of five women living in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja as they navigate work, love, family and friendship.

The star-studded ‘Beyond the Veil’ is created by award-winning filmm
aker Nadine Ibrahim and Sifa Asani- Gowon and is produced by Naila Media.

The film directed by Ibrahim features seasoned stars including ace actress Jemima Osunde, Maryam Booth, Norah Ego, Ummi Ahmed, Ame Aiyejina and Rikadawa Mohammed.

Others include Blessing Uzoro, Caleb Richards, Sani Muazu, Nadia Dutch, Andrew Bunting, Yakubu Mohammed and Temitope Olowoniyan, among others.

The series Director told NAN on the sideline that the project represents an opportunity to showcase a different version of the Northern Nigerian woman.

‘Beyond the Veil’ is a show inspired by the urge to depict Northern Nigerian women in a new and liberating way; one that is bold, empowered, and unapologetically authentic.

‘It is about us sharing a fresh narrative and show the world that a northern woman comes in different spaces.

‘The story follows the lives of five young women living in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria and the show builds a refreshing narrative around them but does not shy away from exploring the realities the
y face.

‘All the women face ongoing challenges, some of which are layered and continued from the first season, many of which reach a climax and achieve some closure.

‘The recurring themes of friendship, love, healing, and even pain remain in it, and they must push past and grow through all these, making choices that hurt and step bravely into the unknown.

‘As a director, this project marks a significant milestone in my creative journey and it has allowed me to push boundaries, challenge conventions, and evolve artistically and personally,’ she said

Also, the co-creator of the show, Asani- Gowon said the ‘Beyond the Veil’ story was well accepted by Nigerians as it reflected realities Nigerian women face.

‘For the first season, the overall reactions were really good, although I was a little nervous about it, because I did not know how people would take it.

‘However, the overall response was so great, and I think that made it even more positive for me, especially the overall northern Nigeria response to th
e show and now we are unveiling season two,’ she said.

Ishaya Bako, Executive Producer of the film, said the story was a clear reflection of everyday realities that women have to cope with in this part of the world.

Bako, renowned for directing award-winning documentaries like ‘Fueling Poverty’, ‘Silent Tears,’ and ‘UP NEPA’ said the series was a continuous story.

‘Our culture in Nigeria is very vast and rich so we should always tell stories that are vibrant and diverse to reflect issues that affect us,’ he said.

NAN reports that the first season of ‘Beyond the Veil’ was released on Amazon’s Prime Video in March 2023

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Jamaica mulls audio-visual exchange with Nigeria


The Jamaican government says it intends to pursue a robust collaboration with Nigeria in the film and animation industries.

The Jamaican High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Lincoln Downer, disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, in Abuja.

This is contained in a statement by the minister’s media aide, Nneka Anibeze.

Downer emphasised the strong relations between Jamaica and Nigeria, highlighting the existing creative industry exchanges and expressed enthusiasm for expanding these collaborations.

He noted that Nigeria had supported Jamaica through the technical eco-programme, which had facilitated exchanges in areas like Batik and jewelry-making.

‘There is a lot of scope for collaboration, particularly in the area of film and animation.

‘Nigeria has supported Jamaica over many years in the creative industry through the technical eco-programme, where artisans have been dispatched to Jamaica for exchanges in areas of Batik and jewelry-ma
king.

‘We are hoping that sometime in the future, these collaborations can be expanded. We also note that Nigeria and Jamaica are in very close relations when it comes to entertainment.

‘A lot of Nigerian entertainers like Burna Boy and WizKid, have come to Jamaica, and even Victor Thompson who was in Jamaica last month. We are looking forward to these sorts of exchanges between both countries and to see how we can establish a framework for deeper collaboration between the two countries.

‘On Monday, we celebrated 54 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Jamaica.

‘We are interested in future collaborations with Nigeria because we recognise Nigeria as not only the cultural hub of Africa but of the globe. We also have a rich culture so we are interested in forging a stronger alliance with Nigeria,’ he said.

Musawa welcomed the proposal, expressing interest in the audio-visual film production agreement and Jamaica’s film development initiative.

She also highlighted Nigeria’s
IDICE programme, which provides financial support to creatives.

‘There is a natural partnership between Nigeria and Jamaica especially in arts and culture.

‘I am happy about the cultural exchange being proposed by the Jamaican government and the positive values that can come out of that.

‘We are interested in the audio-visual film production agreement proposed by Jamaica. I am excited about your film development initiative which is just like Nigeria’s IDICE, which empowers creatives to flourish through financial support.

‘We are looking forward to discussing other opportunities that can support creatives in the industry,’ she said

Also, the Director of International Cultural Relations, Mrs Zainab Ali-Biu, sought Jamaica’s support for proposing an International Day for Afrobeat music to UNESCO.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Namibian fashion designer praises late Geingob’s iconic style


WINDHOEK, 13 FEB (NAMPA) – The late President Hage Geingob was not only renowned for his leadership but also his impeccable sense of style.

His attire, carefully chosen for every occasion, whether domestic or international, left a lasting impression on many, including local fashion designers who admired his fashion sense.

Namibian fashion designer, Melisa Poulton shared her insights on Geingob’s iconic style and the impact it had on the fashion scene in the country, saying: ‘He was a true style icon. His choice of clothing always exuded confidence and sophistication. His preference for tailored suits, often accessorised with vibrant Namibian fabrics such as Oshiwambo-inspired patterns or the bold colours of the Damara/Nama people, became a signature of his style.’

She added that Geingob’s attention to detail, from perfectly coordinated ties to polished shoes, set a high standard for sartorial elegance, saying that he understood the power of clothing as a form of self-expression and representation.

She sai
d that his attire conveyed a sense of pride in Namibian culture while embracing global fashion influences and was a testament to his ability to bridge traditional and contemporary aesthetics.

Poulton stated that if she had been accorded the opportunity to design or style the late president, she would have jumped at the chance since that is what she has strived for her entire career.

Whether attending official State functions or representing Namibia on the international stage, President Geingob’s wardrobe choice was always meticulously curated, reflecting his status and the value of the nation.

‘As Namibia mourns the loss of President Hage Geingob, his legacy lives on not only in his contributions to the country but also in the enduring influence of his distinguished style. Fashion designers and enthusiasts alike will continue to draw inspiration from his timeless elegance and commitment to representing Namibia with grace and dignity on the global stage,’ Poulton noted.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency

Kwara felicitates 36 brides at Awon wedding festival

The Kwara Government has felicitated 36 brides who were joined to their grooms at the Awon mass wedding festival in Shao, Moro Local Government Area of Kwara.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Awon mass wedding festival is a yearly cultural festival celebrating women of marriageable age who are joined to their spouses in large number simultaneously.

Some participants at the event

Speaking at the occasion in Shao on Friday, Bolanle Olukoju, the state Commissioner for Communications, who represented the Kwara Government, expressed delight at the gathering.

“Today is a great occasion and we give glory to the Almighty God as we gather to celebrate the annual Awon mass wedding in Shao.

“This event, which brings together the community’s sons and daughters, has gained widespread recognition, attracting people from all corners of the state and country.

” It serves as a testament to the diverse and vibrant cultural heritage of Kwara State,” she said.

She also congratulated the people of Shao on the coronation of Oba Job Atolagbe as the new Ohoro of Shao.

She said the administration remained committed to the preservation, sustenance and promotion of the state’s rich cultural heritage such as Ilorin Emirate Durbar, Patigi Regatta and Ganni festival.

The commissioner expressed the ministry’s ” profound appreciation to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for his unwavering support and dedication toward the support and promotion of various cultural festivals across the 16 local Governments Areas of the state. ”

Also speaking to NAN on the sidelines of the event, Abel Adewole, the Chairman of Shao Cultural Committee, said the wedding festival provides an opportunity to showcase the community to visiting dignitaries.

“ The 2023 Awon Mass Wedding is as remarkable as any other yearly event as it is a festival that the people of Shao are proud of because it has to do with our cultural heritage.

“We are proud of our heritage because every Shao indigene looks forward to it as it is a period when all sons and daughters of Shao from every part of the country meet.

“We discuss the shortcomings of the previous year and the development for the incoming year.

” We are trying as much as possible to get more sponsors just like in the past when MTN sponsored the event, donating new umbrellas to the brides together with other items.

” The present government is interested in promoting cultural heritage.

” Consider the presence of the people in government here like the Speaker of House of Assembly, Danladi Saliu, and some lawmakers, the Commissioner for Communication and other dignitaries.

” We normally give the brides incentives, empower them with things like sewing machines, hair driers, grinding machines and other equipment to appreciate them after the wedding.

” This is to make our daughters have a source of income on getting married,” he said.

One of the brides and mother of one, Ayoola Olaitan, said she was happy to be married, adding that all wishes come alive on wedding day.

“I am a Muslim but I decided to marry through Awon wedding because I don’t want to forget Shao customs and tradition coupled with the fact that all prayers are answered on wedding day.

“We, however, want government to assist us in Shao community and provide for our needs as well as empower brides who undertake Awon wedding,” the 32-year-old said.

Another bride, Omolayo Gbenga, said that she was very happy to be among the celebrated brides after many years of waiting.

The mother of four said: “My first born is 14 years old and I have four children with the same husband I am getting married to today.

“Brides usually get different gifts after the Awon wedding like money and vocational equipment depending on area of specialisation.

“We call on corporate organisations to continue to sponsor this event, ” she said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Oriental Brothers, Kabaka’s new album ranks 50th on Apple Music 100 chart

Kabaka and His Oriental International Brothers’ new album, “Abialam”, has surged to the 50th position on Apple Music Top 100 chart worldwide less than 24 hours after its release.

Amarachi Anyanwu, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Derda Promotions, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.

“In a groundbreaking moment for African highlife music, after its release. this monumental achievement makes “Abialam” the first highlife music album from Africa to ever reach this global milestone.

“Abialam, which means “I have returned”, is an intricate tapestry of traditional rhythms and modern beats, capturing the essence of highlife music while resonating with a broad international audience.

“The album features six tracks that pay homage to the highlife genre’s rich history, while also incorporating contemporary elements that make it accessible and relevant to today’s music scene.

“We are beyond thrilled to see this level of engagement and support from our fans around the world,”Anyanwu said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Godwin Opara, fondly called Kabaka, is a famous guitarist and the leader of the Oriental Brothers International Band.

The band has been famous in Eastern Nigerian highlife scene for several years.

The 77-year-old singer, composer and instrumentalist noted that ‘Abialam’ aimed at restoring the highlife genre.

“It’s an honour to represent highlife music on a global stage and make history with this album,” he said.

Some of his major albums with the Oriental Brothers include ‘Uwa Atualamujo/ Ihe Chinyere,’ ‘Ihe Oma,’ ‘Isichim nyara gi,’ ‘Five Fingers,’ ‘Oriental Special,’ ‘Osa enwe akwu,’ ‘Onyeoma nmadu eji egbuya,’ ‘Anam ele chi,’ ‘Hallelujah,’ “Madu bu aja’ and ‘Abialam’.

Abialam” has not only topped charts but also garnered critical acclaim from music critics, who lauded the album’s rich instrumentation, lyrical depth, and innovative sound.

Fans can stream “Abialam” on Apple Music and all other major streaming platforms. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Source: News Agency of Nigeria