On Saturday, February 23, 2019, Nigerians will file out en masse for the presidential elections. The election was earlier scheduled to hold on the February 16 but was shifted for logistic reasons. The election will mark another milestone in the country’s democracy. Previous elections have witnessed pockets of violence that are often fatal. However, popular musicians want this time around to be different.
One of the musicians that have consistently led the campaign for violence-free election is Innocent Idibia, popularly called 2Baba. 2Baba started the “Vote Not Fight” campaign and in the past and has enjoyed the support of fellow musicians in the past. This time around, the multiple-award-winning superstar is collaborating with the Nigerian Police Force (NPF). The musician in the company of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, appealed for calmness. In a video posted on NPF official Twitter handle the superstar can be heard saying,
“Vote not fight. Election no be war.”
— Nigeria Police Force (@PoliceNG) February 14, 2019
Wizkid joins other celebrities to sensitize electorates
Sensational music star, Wizkid has also joined the growing number of celebrities calling for a peaceful election. He took to his Snapchat story to ask fans to reject any attempt by anyone to influence their votes. He said,
“Don’t let anybody wey don collect (that has taken) money influence your vote. Vote who you like. Vote wisely. If you’re old enough to get a PVC, you’re old enough to think. Don’t sell your vote. Your vote can make a difference. Go out and vote.”
The unguarded utterances of politicians
Part of the reasons for the tense atmosphere is the insensitive utterances of some politicians. Nigerian politicians are often accused of name-calling rather than issue-based campaigns. On Wednesday 13th February 2019, the presidential candidates were at the International Conference Center (ICC) to sign a peace accord. Sadly, some politicians in the past have failed to keep to similar agreements. Therefore, Wizkid also sent out a message to politicians to act right. He said,
“And politicians wey dey enter (that will win) stop joking with people lives! U’re responsible for the lives of millions of people and your decisions affect all. Help us make Naija a better place. Make una use una head! One love!”
There are a total of 72 presidential candidates. However, the front runners are candidates of the All Progressive Congress (APC), People’s Democratic Party PDP), Young Progressive Party (YPP), and Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN).
All Progressive Congress
The presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress is incumbent Muhammadu Buhari. President Buhari is the current democratically elected president of Nigeria. He came into office on May 29, 2015. However, he is also a retired major general in the Nigerian Army. He was the military head of state from December 31 1983 to August 27 1985. Before becoming the democratic president he had unsucessfully ran for the office in 2003,2007, and 2011.
Peoples Democratic Party
Atiku Abubakar is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party. He has also served the nation as the vice president from 1999 to 2007. Before becoming the vice president, he was the elected governor of Adamawa State. Atiku is the founder of the American University of Nigeria and Adama Beverages Limited.
Young Progressive Party
Professor Kingsley Moghalu is new to the political scene but will hope to cause a major upset come February 23, 2019 as the presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party. Kingsley founded the Institute for Governance and Economic Transformation in 2016.
Alliance for New Nigeria
is also a new name in Nigerian politics. However, he is famous as the president of the GEMSTONE Nation Builders Foundation. Fela is also a motivational speaker and a leadership expert. On February 23 polls, Fela as the presidential candidate of the Alliance for New Nigeria will hope to become the next president of Nigeria.
Not for sale
Late January 2019, 2Baba teamed up superstars including Chidinma Ekile, MI Abaga, Teni, Waje, Cobhams Asuquo, and Umar Shareef for a song titled “Not for Sale”. The main idea of the song is to discourage vote-buying, a practice that is gradually becoming a norm. Part of the lyrics read, “The power to change the nation for the better is in everyone of us.”
You can watch the video below.
Check Out The Song That Took ‘Song Of The Year’ At The 2019 NAMA
It was a night of glitz and glamor on Saturday 13th April 2019 at the Harare International Conference Center for the 18th National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA). Celebrities and dignitaries were spotted at the center in scintillating outfits. There were musical performances by music stars like Enzo. However, the climax of the event was the award of plaques in different categories for outstanding works.
The music category always draws the most attention. However, this year had lots of surprise entries. The gospel sensation, Mai Patai was voted the best in the People’s Choice category. Patai recently broke the jinx in the Coca-Cola Radio Zimbabwe Top 50 by becoming the first woman to make it to the top three. Another female gospel musician whose hard work continues to pay off is Janet Manyowa. Manyowa won the Outstanding Female Musician award.
A Battle For Experience And Fame
One of the keenly contested categories at NAMA is the Outstanding Male Musician. Three superstars Baba Harare, Enzo Ishall and ExQ contended the award. However, many believe the ‘Nzenza’ crooner ExQ’s longevity and experience set him apart from his competitors. It was double honors for ExQ as his album ‘Tseu Tseu’ won the Outstanding Album. Although losing out of this category, Enzo’s hit track, ‘Kanjiva’ won the ‘Song of the Year’. Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style Enzo said,
“It is such a great honor to receive this award which I dedicate to my son and I would like to thank friends, family, and my fans as well as my producers for supporting me.”
Surprise Name On The Award List
One of the surprise names on the NAMA Award list was Long John, a rib-cracking comedian. Not many saw this coming. From John’s reactions, it is obvious he did not see it coming too. The vibrant comedian took to his Facebook to share his joy.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m in shock. I’ve never won anything in my life. But today I am so happy to announce that I’ve just Won the Outstanding Comedian Award. This is so unreal. I even have a certificate and everything. Thank you so much, everyone, for your support #VillageBoy.”
List OF NAMA Award Winners
Spoken Words Award
- Outstanding Poet: Likhwa Ncube
- Outstanding Comedian: Learnmore “Long John” Mwanyenyeka
Literary Arts Awards
- Outstanding First Creative Published Book: Gather the Children by Batsirai Chigama (Ntombekhaya Poetry)
- Outstanding Children’s Book: The City Girl by Elisha July and Tendai K. Rudanda (Pass-Point Publishers)
- Outstanding Fiction: Mazai Emheni by Daniel Mutendi (DanTs Media Publishing)
- Outstanding Actor: Teddy Mangawa in Ukama
- Actress: Qeqeshiwe M’thembo in The Hostel
- Outstanding Theatrical Production: Ukama by Savanna Trust
- Outstanding Director: Lloyd Nyikadzino for Zandezi
- Outstanding Female Dancer: Vein N Alfazema in Black Sheep
- Male Dancer: Martin Chabuka in 100% Afro
- Outstanding Dance Group: Real Flex Dance Group directed by Martin Chabuka
- Outstanding Choreographer: Macintosh Jerahuni and Chaleen Chimara – Iwe Neni Tinebasa
- Outstanding 2 Dimensional Work: The Demolition by John Kotze
- 3 Dimensional Work: Zvirimudombo by Shelton Mubayi
- Outstanding Mix Media Work: The Watchman and the Fence by Greg Shaw
- Outstanding Exhibition: The Grotesque by Alan Sibanda and Talent Kapadza
Film and Television Awards
- Outstanding Actor: Eddie Sandifolo as Clive in Bhachi
- Special Mention: Admire Kuzhangaira – in Death and Other Complications
- Outstanding Actress: Tendaishe Chitima as Anesu in Cook Off
- Outstanding Music Video: Dzamutsana ft. Jah Prayzah produced by Vusa Hlatshayo (aka Blaq)
- Outstanding Screen Production (Television Series): Kuchina The Genesis directed by Blessing Gatsi
- Special Mention: Gaza directed by Ben Mahaka
- Outstanding Screen Production – Short Film: Bhachi directed by Shupai Kamunyaru
- Outstanding Screen Production – Full-Length Film: Cook Off directed by Thomas Brickhill
- Outstanding Journalist – Print: Fred Zindi – The Standard
- Television: Patience Nyagato – ZTV
- Radio: Babongile Sikhonjwa (aka uMrifiti) – Sky Metro FM
- Outstanding Online Media: Capitalk
- Outstanding Female Musician: Janet Manyowa
- Male Musician: Enoch “ExQ” Munhenga
- Outstanding Album: Tseu Tseu by ExQ
- Outstanding Song: Kanjiva by Stephen “Enzo Ishall” Mamhere
- People’s Choice Award Winner: Mai Patai
- Artist in the Diaspora: Danai J. Gurira
- Outstanding Promoter: Unplugged Zimbabwe
- Arts Personality Award of the Year: Mokoomba
- Arts Service Award: The Standard Newspaper
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Charles Mungoshi
Mo Abudu Is First African To Receive Prestigious Médailles d’Honneur
On 8th of April 2019, celebrities across the globe gathered in Cannes, France for the MIPTV ceremony. MIPTV recognizes and honors senior executives for their impact on the global television industry. Among those honored at the event is Mosunmola ‘Mo’ Abudu, the CEO of EbonyLife Media. This makes Mo Abudu the first African to receive the prestigious Médailles d’Honneur award.
Mo Abudu is one of the most prolific producers in the continent. However, she launched EbonyLife TV in 2013. The TV network became the first global network for black entertainment and lifestyle. However, EbonyLife TV is notable for a slew of original features and series including ‘The Governor’, ‘Sons of the Caliphate’ and ‘Castle & Castle’.
Recipients of the MIPTV Award
Congratulations, #MIPTV 2019 Médailles d’Honneur Mosunmola "Mo" Abudu @MoAbudu, EbonyLife Media; showrunner @ilenechaiken; Stéphane Courbit @scourbit, Banijay Group; and Jane @millichip, @sky_vision_. MIPTV was honoured to recognise your unique TV industry impact this evening! pic.twitter.com/VE32RizJs9
— MIP Markets (@mip) April 8, 2019
Mo Abudu is not the only media executive to receive the award. She shared the stage with Jane Millichip (managing director of Sky Vision), Ilene Chaiken (producer, writer, and showrunner), and Stephane Courbit (chairperson of the Banijay Group). While on stage to receive the award, the obviously emotional Abudu said,
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank MIPTV for this incredible award. My big dream was and still is, to change the narrative about my continent. As a continent, Africa has remained creatively silent for centuries. Our stories seldom told outside of our families and villages and often from the perspective of ‘someone’ looking in. It is therefore with great pride that we, at EbonyLife Media, bring our stories to the world with our TV series and our films.”
Mo Abudu’s Previous Recognitions
Mo Abudu is not a stranger to accolades and awards. CNN described her as “Africa’s Queen of Media who conquered the continent”. Forbes, on the other hand, labels her “Africa’s Most Successful Woman”. Consequently, she also featured on the 2018 Powerlist, a selection of the most influential people of Caribbean and African heritage.
In 2018, the convener of the Emmy Awards, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, named Mo Abudu as a director. However, in the same year, she was honored with the honorary degree of Doctor of Arts by the University of Westminster. The honorary degree was in recognition of her contributions to the Nigerian broadcasting industry.
Achievements and Future Projects
Mo Abudu currently heads five divisions of the EbonyLife Media which encompass EbonyLife Productions Limited (UK), EbonyLife Studios, EbonyLife ON, EbonyLife Films, and EbonyLife TV. Consequently, she has produced Nigeria’s highest grossing movie including Chief Daddy (2018), The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai (2017), The Wedding Party (2016), and Fifty (2015).
Mo Abudu has international collaboration with Netflix. However, she recently entered a 3-project deal with Sony Pictures Television (SPT). The deal is the first of its kind in the continent. A movie based on the women soldiers that served in present-day Benin over 200 years ago.
Zimbabwe Artists Unite To Raise Funds For Cyclone Idai Victims
Last week Thursday, cyclone Idai hit Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe destroying human and properties on its path. It is said to be one of the worst disaster to hit the south-eastern African region. According to statistics, over 2.6 million people are affected across the three countries. Subsequently, the cyclone led to devastating flooding. The cyclone hit the port city of Beira in Sofala province at over 177 km/h (106 mph). Consequently, the port city of Beira which was once home to 500,000 people is now an ‘island’.
The President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi on Tuesday announced three days of national mourning. The official death toll as of Monday across Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique are 56, 98, and 200 respectively. However, many are still missing. President believes over 1,000 people may have been killed in the disaster. Consequently, the real death toll may remain unknown for many months as the disaster unfolds.
The urgent need for humanitarian services
There is an urgent need to rescue people still trapped within the devastated cities hit by cyclone Idai. Also, the survivors will be relying on humanitarian aid for survival. In the ‘new island’ people are clinging to trees and house roofs for survival. Speaking about the disaster, Manuel Rodrigues, Manica province governor, said,
“We saw people besieged and asking for help… on top of their roofs made up of zinc sheets. Others under flood waters. We can only imagine that they had been there for more than two or three days, without food and without clean drinking water.”
Several aid agencies in Mozambique are complementing government efforts in the distribution of food. Over 3,800 families are taking refuge in Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Management.
Zimbabwe musicians rise for cyclone Idai victims
Veteran Zimbabwe musicians have taken to their social media pages to solicit for donations to assist the victims. They also used the medium to share their condolence with the victims. The hip hop icon, Ex Q, Jah Prayzah said,
“Let’s join hands and help those who have been affected by the cyclone Idai. No donation is too small to make a change. Anything you think can assist those in need right now in Chimanimani please bring it over… to 31 Hebert Chitepo in Belvedere.”
Michael Mahendere, a renowned gospel musician wrote,
“Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by the cyclone Idai. The scenes are saddening but we know that there is Hope in the God we pray to. The relief that comes from Him is permanent and we stand with them during this devastating season.”
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