2019: Tuface, Banky W, others March for voter Education in Lagos

Ebun Francis || Tuface Idibia and Banky W, Nigeria’s celebrity singers along with dozens of civil society activists on Friday marched in Lagos for voter education of Nigerians.

EnoughisEnough, EiE Nigeria, the organisers of the rally, said the mass voter mobilisation drive, which is taking place simultaneously in 18 other states across Nigeria, is to encourage citizens to protest at all tiers of government with their votes.

Banky W, said, “We are here to mobilise as many new voters as possible”.

“We feel like Nigeria has remained facing some of the same issues Fela sang about 40 years ago and the only way to cause real change is to get involved, we want every person that is eligible to vote to go out and register to vote.”

“Now the first 100 people that actually get a 100 people, like a 100 new registered voters, we’ll give then N10,000. We are not telling you who to vote for, we don’t even care who is running at this time, we just want a new voting bloc. We want millions of new voters to be registered so that now they have to pay attention to what the people want.

“Nigeria is the same way because of failed leadership, but also because of citizen apathy, citizens just don’t care, we are used to it, we are used to the same problems but insanity is doing the same thing all the time and expecting a different result.

“So if we continue to sit around and complain and tweet and talk, and that’s all we do, there’s never going to be any change. 40 years from now our children are going to be facing the same problems.”

Last year, a similar rally to protest the worsening living condition of Nigerians held across Nigeria.

Tuface Idibia, who show up late for the march – accompanied by his wife, Annie Idibia – said he was out to encourage Nigerians to vote.

He said, “We are just here to encourage Nigerians to encourage Nigerians to go and get their voter’s cards, make sure that they vote during the election.”

“Many people sit at home, at the end of the day they complain, somebody that doesn’t vote, you don’t have any voice to speak about who was elected or what they are doing but when you vote, if the person ‘dey’ misbehave, you fit talk, so let us be involved.”

An official of the commission, Adegboyega Oyewale, while recieving the group, said the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner and other principal officers were “unavoidably absent.”

He said, “But we commend your efforts at ensuring that INEC does its best at the forthcoming election.”

I died but woke up on my way to mortuary –Julius Agwu

Julius Agwu, the Rivers State born comedian, said he would have been a dead and forgotten man by now but for the Grace of God.

In an exclusive interview with Saturday Beats, the petite commedian narrated how he had died but woke up as he was being driven to the morgue.

Agwu said he knew he was dead because while he was unconscious, the people he encountered were all dead people he knew while they were alive and would have remained dead but for his late father who chase him back to the land of the living.

Agwu narrated his experience thus, “The truth is that I would not have been alive if not for God. I died and woke up; I literally died and woke up. I say that authoritatively because I know that I had an encounter with people that I know had died during that period. I saw my father who died about 12 years ago; he was the one that came and chased me back to the world because it was not my time. I died here in Nigeria but woke up when they were taking me to the mortuary. That was the first time I had a seizure in my house but my wife stood by me. God would keep on blessing my wife; I believe that God gave me my wife and I always thank him for her. I bless God that she stayed despite everything that happened to me. They were taking me to a mortuary but to God be the glory, my hand moved and that was the point they returned me to the hospital. Here I am today. The encounter made me realise that there is nothing as good as rest. It is very important to sleep. I work so hard and I believe that of all comedians in Nigeria, I am the only one with so many brands, I have Crack Ya Ribs, Laff for Christ’s Sake and Festival of Love.”

On his second visit to the hospital over the tumours in his brain, he said had a relapse because he did not rest properly after his first surgery. “What happened was that they did an MRI scan and they detected that I had two growths. They removed a tumour at the back of my head which was the size of a golf ball and the other tumour was close to my brain. They advised me that if they touched the other tumour, it could be fatal. They gave me drugs to shrink the tumour but I did not rest well and that is why it came back last year. I did not rest at all, after my surgery in America, I resumed doing my shows. I thank God for everything.

“The truth is that I am back and better. I just want to use this opportunity to tell the people that God is great and this is a time we should all reflect on our life. I would not lie to you, things are not easy in the country and many people are running away from Nigeria. ‘Crack Ya Rib’ was the first Nigerian show that went to London and after that, everybody started taking their shows there. I thank God that ‘Crack Ya Rib’ paved the way for other shows,” said Agwu.

On the lighter side, the man who cant help being a comedian, said that some people including his dear friend and colleague, Okey Bakassi, believe that his illness was a spiritual attack simply because he once showed interest to contest as the governor of Rivers State. “We live in a country where people are funny. Remember there was a time I made it public that I wanted to contest as a governor for my state, now, people have advised me not to try it again because they believe that my illness was a spiritual attack. We live in a country where people test your power when you announce that you want to contest for an office. My good friend, Okey Bakassi, told me that the illness was a spiritual attack and pleaded with me not to try it again. He said that there was a time he also thought of contesting for a political office but that something happened to him which he said he would never forget. I just kept on laughing,” he said.

Nollywood loses actress Nora Nkiruka Ugo

Ebun Francis || Nollywood movie industry over the weekend lost one her fast-rising actress, Nora Nkiruka Ugo.

The actress lost the battle to an undisclosed ailment over the weekend in Lagos.

One her colleagues, actress Ruth Kadiri took to social media to pen an emotional tribute to the fallen actress.

Kadiri wrote, “I’m so scared of putting this picture up, not sure if it’s the right thing to do. You were that girl that made my life change. U where that girl that made me laugh a lot you where that girl that I got so mad at. You where that girl that was friend to all. I spoke to u last week.

“You were the strongest sick person I know. I’m hurt by your death. My head still aches. Wish death was a thing that could be undone. I know God will have a new angel that makes him laugh all day and puts a smile on his face. Gone too soon. Rest in peace Nora. And look over all on earth that were genuinely connected to you. #RIPNora”.

Funke Akindele to star in US superhero film ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

Ebun Francis || Nigeria actor and movie producer, Funke Akindele has been listed among the cast of new Marvel movie ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.

Akindele is set to play ‘Dora Milaje’, a member of the Black Panther’s guards. She will star as one of the women fighters recruited from all the tribes in the fictional Wakanda.

There are a total of 80 cast members in the movie which would be released in May.

It is the sequel to 2012’s ‘The Avengers’ and 2015’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’.

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, the movie also stars Bradley Cooper, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Zoe Saldana, Chadwick Boseman, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Robert Downey Jnr, Don Cheadle, among others.

Akindele, who became famous for her role in television series ‘I Need to Know’, got married to singer/producer, Abdul Rasheed Bello, better known as JJC Skillz, in London in 2016.


“I Wear Anything Whether Clothes For Men Or Women, “ Nigerian Male Singer Who Started New Skirts For Men Trend

In an interview with TheReporter Ng, the singer shared the inspiration behind the new “Skirt for men” fashion, while sharing photos to prove that other Nigerian male fashion lovers and artistes should embrace the trend.

Read excerpts below…

On the inspiration behind the “Skirt for Men” trend,

Just when we thought we had seen it all in 2017, we have met with yet another funny but crazy occurrence in Nigerian fashion and entertainment industries. This is one which if care is not taken, would change the fashion game in Nigeria over the next few years.

A Nigerian male artiste and fashion influencer Swazzi has been trending on social media over the past few days after he started a new trend of rocking skirts, a new style he says would be in our faces at red carpets in 2018 and beyond.

The outfit gained, even more, attention after he rocked it to a beach shoot recently.

Not only did he say rocking skirts is a trend he has invented for other fashion lovers and entertainers, he claimed to be way better than Adekunle Gold when it comes to dress sense.

In an interview with TheReporter Ng, the singer shared the inspiration behind the new “Skirt for men” fashion, while sharing photos to prove that other Nigerian male fashion lovers and artistes should embrace the trend.

Read excerpts below…

“As a boy from Africa, whose dream is to standout among crowd, my dressing and fashion sense is my number one priority because I know dressing speaks volumes and makes people know who you are even without introduction. Being a musician and fashion designer whose ambition is to promote Africa, its music, languages, and fabrics, I can wear and rock anything I like”.

On why the “Skirt for men” trend, and where exactly it leads to,

“This trend makes me better than every other person. I rock anything made in Africa as long as it’s called cloth, whether made for male or female because my fashion sense has no boundaries which is why I am better than Adekunle Gold and many other artistes that are afraid of wearing anything for motherland because they are afraid. I’m not scared and I think more Nigerian males that love fashion should embrace skirts. It is liberating and expressive.”

On why he chose to wear skirts and the origin of his new trend,

“It all began with my stylist Maurice. Thank God for blessing me with such a stylist who is passionate about styling and who’s ready to go the extra mile in making sure I look glamorous. I won’t forget the day he styled me with a see through Pants from my fashion line “LEBS ” without wearing anything underneath at all, for a red carpet at a recent event. Wearing skirt makes me feel comfortable and free even though most times I wear it without undies but it makes me feel free more than I feel in trousers.”

Burna Boy arraigned for ‘armed robbery’, granted bail

Ebun Francis || Nigerian singer, Damini Ogulu, aka Burna Boy, was on Monday arraigned before an Ikeja chief magistrates’ court for allegedly being an accessory to armed robbery.

According to the prosecution counsel, Peter Nwangwu, Burna Boy, connived with others to rob Abiye Jimbo, a fellow musician better known as Mr 2kay, in his room at the EKO Hotels and Suites.

Nwangwu alleged that Burna Boy committed the offence on October 24, at 11.20pm alongside others who are now at large.

The prosecution further alleged that the accused conspired with his accomplices to commit the offences and also did not disclose information of the said attack to security agents.

“This is in contravention of Sections 411 and 415 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2011,” Nwangwu said.

The instructions to rob Mr 2kay, according to the prosecution, were allegedly given to them by Joel Kantiock, Burna Boy’s road manager.

He pleaded not guilty to a two-count charge of conspiracy and accessory to armed robbery.

The chief magistrate, Aje Afenwa granted the musician bail in the sum of N100,000, with two sureties in like sum.

She adjourned the case till December 29 for hearing.

Police arrest Musician “Burna Boy” for robbery

The police in Lagos have arrested a pop musician, Damini Ogulu, a.k.a Burna boy, over an alleged robbery at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island.

The spokesman for the command, SP Chike Oti confirmed the arrest to reporters on Friday evening in Lagos.

Oti said the musician was arrested over an alleged robbery attack on another popular musician, Mr 2kay at the hotel on Oct. 12.

“”He reported to the police today (15/12/2017) at about 5 p.m. He was subsequently arrested, interrogated and detained and would have his day in court on Monday 18/12/2017,” Oti said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, had on Nov. 20, requested Damini Ogulu to report to the Police for questioning over an alleged attack on a fellow musician.

He gave the name of the musician as Abiye Jombo, popularly known as Mr 2Kay.

The police boss said that Mr 2Kay had reported that he was robbed by four armed men of his valuables, including a gold wristwatch, jewellery, and phones, in Room 847 on the eighth floor of the hotel.

According to him, the incident happened during the Buckwyld & Breathless concert.

“”Four armed robbers carried out the attack and detectives were able to arrest one of their girlfriends, identified as Matejero, which led to the capture of the others.”

“The suspects apprehended by the Police reportedly mentioned Burna Boy and his manager, Joel Kantiock, who was arrested in Zaria, Kaduna State.

“They claimed they received a part payment of N50,000 before the job, and another N50,000 after the job was completed,” the police boss said.

Wizkid, Davido shine at Mobo awards

The Nigerian artist Wizkid on Wednesday night beat a strong field including Jay-Z, Drake, Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar to net the best international artist prize at the Mobo awards in London.

Another Nigerian artist Davido also emerged the best African Act of the year.

He beat a field of artists, including Wizkid to get the award. The other artists in the pack were: Eugy, Juls, Maleek Berry, Mr. Eazi, Sarkodie, Tekno, Tiwa Savage and Wande Coal. Wizkid won the award in 2016.

The night belonged to Stormzy, the charismatic British grime MC who scooped three prizes.

He scooped best male artist, best grime act, and best album, for the chart-topping Gang Signs & Prayer.

Stormzy was nominated in the five categories. He fought off competition from Sampha, J Hus, and Skepta to be crowned Best Male Act and Best Grime Act.

The MOBO awards, which started in 1996, is Europe’s music award event. It is the most important and influential event for music makers and fans, perhaps Europe’s equivalent of Grammy. It recognises and honours the artistic and technical achievements of exceptional British and international talent in the musical fields of Hip Hop, Grime, RnB/Soul, Reggae, Jazz, Gospel, and African music.

Full list of 2017 MOBO Awards winners:

Best Male Act: Stormzy

Best Female Act: Stefflon Don

Best Album: Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer

Best Newcomer: Dave

Best Song: J Hus – Did You See

Best Video (in association with Link Up TV): Mist – Hot Property

Best Hip Hop Act: Giggs

Best Grime Act: Stormzy

BestR&B/Soul Act (supported by Mi-Soul): Craig David

Best International Act: Wizkid

Best African Act (in association with The Beat London 103.6FM): Davido

Best Reggae Act: Damian Marley

Best Jazz Act (supported by Jazz FM): Moses Boyd

Best Gospel Act (supported by Premier Gospel): Volney Morgan & New-Ye

No Grammy for Nigerian artists, Jay Z leads nominations

No Nigerian artiste made the Grammy nomination list Tuesday. Not Wizkid who made it last year via a collabo with Drake. And not Davido, whose 30 billion song has made big impression worldwide.

Rather Jay-Z led the Grammy race with eight nominations, followed closely by fellow rapper Kendrick Lamar with seven, in a striking embrace of hip-hop for the music industry’s top prizes.

Jay-Z, who has won an impressive 21 Grammys over his career but has never before been nominated in a major category as a solo artist, is up for Album of the Year for his “4:44” as well as for Record and Song of the Year.

“4:44” marked a return to music by the 47-year-old multi-millionaire after years focused on business ventures.

The album put on display an unusually vulnerable Jay-Z, who acknowledged his infidelity to wife Beyonce, revealed his mother’s closet struggles as a lesbian and tackled the state of US race relations.

Lamar’s seven nominations came for “DAMN.,” an album which switched back to a more traditional hip-hop style after the 30-year-old Los Angeles native’s experiments with jazz, electronica, and spoken word.

Bruno Mars, the fun-loving funk revivalist, also fared well with six nods including Album of the Year for his “24K Magic.”

“Despacito,” the viral hit that tied for the most weeks ever on top of the US singles chart despite being in Spanish, was nominated both for Record of the Year, which recognizes the overall performance, and Song of the Year, which honors the songwriter.

If it triumphs, “Despacito” would again make history as the first song in a language other than English to win in either category since Italian songwriter Domenico Modugno’s “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu” — popularly known as “Volare” after its chorus — at the very first Grammys in 1959.

The Recording Academy, which consists of more than 13,000 music professionals, will vote to decide the winners who will be unveiled at the annual Grammys gala on January 28.

The ceremony will take place in New York, Jay-Z’s hometown, to mark the awards’ 60th edition after 14 years in Los Angeles.

– First time hip-hop dominates –

The awards mark the first time that the majority of nominations for Album of the Year, the most prestigious prize, hail from the world of hip-hop.

The breakthrough comes after years of criticism about how little the entertainment industry recognizes African American artists.

In the past, only two rap-dominated albums have won Album of the Year.

In 2016, Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” — a widely acclaimed album that featured an unofficial anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement — controversially lost to Taylor Swift’s “1989.”

And at the last Grammys in February, Adele expressed embarrassment over winning Album of the Year for “25” over Beyonce’s experimental and narrative-rich “Lemonade.”

This time, Swift was only nominated in two side categories, although her chart-topping new “Reputation” came out too late for consideration for Album of the Year.

Ed Sheeran, who has enjoyed nominations annually since 2013, was also shut out in the major categories despite the strong commercial performance of his latest album “Divide.”

And Katy Perry, the world’s most followed person on Twitter, was completely absent as her latest album “Witness” struggled to match the impact of her earlier hits.

Among other rappers, Childish Gambino — the stage-name of comedian Donald Glover who infuses funk and psychedelic R&B into his hip-hop — is up for Album of the Year and Record of the Year.

– Lorde sole woman for album –

Lorde is the only woman in contention for Album of the Year with “Melodrama,” the 21-year-old New Zealander’s sophomore work, a dance-pop exploration of the challenges of adulthood.

The contenders for Best New Artist include the quickly emerging young singers Alessia Cara and Khalid, who are also nominated for Song of the Year for the anti-suicide track “1-800-273-8255” — the title refers to a US telephone helpline.

Also up for Best New Artist are the fast-charging rapper Lil Uzi Vert, prolific songwriter turned breakout pop star Julia Michaels and the innovative R&B singer SZA.

In classical music, Dmitri Hvorostovsky — the Russian baritone and sex symbol of the operatic world — received a nomination a week after his death at age 55 from a brain tumor.

The spoken word category features audiobooks by several figures beloved of the entertainment industry including rock legend Bruce Springsteen, left-wing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and late “Star Wars” actress Carrie Fisher.

Agency report

PHOTOS: Banky W, Adesua Etomi’s traditional marriage in Lagos

The marriage between Nigerian singer, Oluwabankole Wellington, aka Banky W, and actress Adesua Etomi, took place in Lagos on Sunday.

At the event were showbiz personalities including, Bovi, Basket Mouth, Ebuka, Kemi Adetiba, M.I Abaga, Lynxx, Juliet Ibrahim, Dotun Kayode, Toolz, Tunde Demuren, Chigul, among others.

Marriage Photos below…