Beyonce Performs In India As Asia’s Richest Man, Mukesh Ambani Hosts Daughter’s Wedding

US singer Beyoncé has performed as part of the lavish festivities at the latest extravagant Indian celebrity wedding.

Isha Ambani, the daughter of India’s richest man, is tying the knot with Anand Piramal, son of another Indian billionaire, this week.

Beyoncé was one of many celebrities flown in, along with Bollywood stars and figures like Hillary Clinton.

It comes on the heels of several recent Indian weddings competing for glamour, excess and attention.

The Ambanis themselves recently attended the wedding of Bollywood actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.

And last weekend, Isha Ambani was a bridesmaid at the wedding of actress Priyanka Chopra to US singer Nick Jonas.


The actual wedding of the daughter of business tycoon Mukesh Ambani is on Wednesday but the festivities leading up to it kicked off over the weekend.

It is likely to be one of India’s richest and most glamorous weddings, and the many guests include former US First Lady and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, media giant Arianna Huffington, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal.

According to media reports, guests had been flown in on 100 chartered flights.

Celebrity bloggers, entertainment writers and lifestyle magazines have been scouring Instagram to keep up with festivities.

Beyoncé took to the stage on Sunday night for the sangeet, an evening of music and dance that typically precedes the wedding.

She shared photos on her Instagram account of her jewel-studded outfit and elaborate gold jewellery.

Her fee hasn’t been made public, but would likely not have been a problem for the Ambanis. Mukesh Ambani, managing director of Reliance Industries, has a personal fortune of around $47bn (£37bn).


Queen of African TV, Mo Abudu Hosts High Society To Grand Premiere of Her New Movie, Chief Daddy

Last Sunday, December 2, 2018, Lagos was charged with awe and grandeur as Ebony Life TV boss, Mo Abudu, treated the coastal city to the grand world premiere of  Chief Daddy. 

The event which held at the popular Oriental Hotel, was graced by a long guest list of dignitaries, celebrities, members of the diplomatic corps, business heavyweights, socialites, politicians and lovers of arts.

Commenting on the movie which will be in cinemas from Dec. 14th, EbonyLife Films CEO, Mo’ Abudu explained that the movie, ‘Chief Daddy’ is centered on the life of an extravagant and larger-than-life billionaire industrialist, Chief Beecroft, who is known to be a pillar of the society. All seems well in the Beecroft household until Chief Daddy passes away and suddenly the ‘wheels begin to turn’ and things go awry.

The film stars Nollywood veterans and new faces including, Nkem Owoh, Bisola Aiyeola, Ini Edo, Joke Silva, Dakore Akande, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Folarin Falana and Patience Ozokwo.

At the event, Nigerian celebrities stepped out in their traditional attires. The cast members and guests alike, took the theme ‘Opulently Nigerian’ seriously and showed up representing various ethnic groups in the country.

The premiere was also attended by the wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo,the Deputy Managing Director of Keystone Bank Limited, Mr. Abubakar Sule, Executive Director, Corporate Banking & South, Keystone Bank Limited, Mr Yemi Odusanya, Dr Taiwo Afolabi, CEO Sifax group and a valuable Customer of Keystone Bank, Lagos APC 2019 governorship candidate, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and wife, Lagos PDP 2019 governorship candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje and wife, Mr. Oscar Ibru, President of African Public Relations Association, Mr. Yomi Badejo Okusanya, amongst others.


Africa Magic Celebrates 15 Years of Entertainment

Africa Magic, the leading provider of entertainment content for Africa by Africans, is celebrating 15 years of magic, quality content and the continuous development of the local African television entertainment industry. According to the Channel Director, Africa Magic Channels, Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu:  “For 15 years, the Africa Magic channels have entertained viewers and audiences with the best content coming from some of the most amazing talents behind and in front of the cameras. In doing this, we have also undoubtedly led the development of the current African television entertainment scene, a role we continue to play.” Beginning with just two channels in 2003, the Africa Magic channel roster now includes six channels with three local language channels: Africa Magic Yoruba, Africa Magic Igbo and Africa Magic Hausa. Speaking on the milestone, the CEO of MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr John Ugbe said: “The celebration of Africa Magic is also the celebration of Africa’s film and television industry. The growth witnessed in the industry can be linked to the impact of the Africa Magic channels in operation across 53 countries on the continent. The Africa Magic channels have also consistently proven to be a platform for the unearthing, promotion and celebration of existing and up and coming film and TV talents, and the channels’ various means and models of industry partnerships ensure a steady line of critical investment in the industry.” Over the years, Africa Magic has developed original content that continues to entertain Africa: from the flagship TV drama, Tinsel, which already holds the record for the longest running series in Sub Saharan Africa; to the Pan African drama series, Jacob’s Cross, magazine shows 53 Extra and Jara; and comedy series, The Johnsons and Hustle. The channels also include the telenovelas which have become television staples over the years including Hotel Majestic, Hush, Battleground, Ajoche, Forbidden and Eve.

#TOEWAY: 5 Tips for Young Professionals – Elumelu

Still in a great mood from the UBA Red Tv rave over the weekend, I spent my Monday with five outstanding young men and women – Daniel, Ifenlota, Francess, Olaoluwa and Nnamdi from the United Bank for Africa. I’d like to think of them as part of the next generation of young leaders at the bank.

Throughout our informal session and our open conversation over lunch, I listened to them talk about themselves, their families, their careers and ambitions, and some of their concerns as young people in today’s Nigeria. We spoke about work, the economy, their futures and even migration overseas! Lol. It was so much fun to share stories and trade perspectives with them, while gaining insights and useful suggestions from their experiences working with us. In order to build to last, an organisation must cultivate systems and feedback mechanisms to encourage this type of dialogue. Open, frank discussions to listen, learn, inform, engage and educate.

As I answered their questions around my childhood, my days as a young banker, the merger experience between STB and UBA, and how I balance work, family, faith, exercise and my love-hate relationship with food (lol), I recognised in their eager faces myself thirty years ago, keen on beginning my career and buying my very first car. That familiar streak of ambition and passion to succeed against all odds. Spending this time with these young ones is always worth it. Leaders who do not do so are failing in Leadership 101.


PHOTO NEWS: Rio De Janeiro Culture Secretary Visits Lagos Ministry Tourism, Arts and Culture

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture received a delegation of Nigeria- Brazil Culture and Business Initiative (NBCBI) today. The team led by the Culture Secretary of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Mrs. Nilcemar Nogueira, was in Lagos as part of an ongoing effort to promote cultural exchange and business between Nigeria and Brazil

Dangote Group Wins Two Sustainability Awards

Dangote Industries Limited, DIL, has received two awards at the 12th edition of the annual Sustainability Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAS).

The awards were in recognition of its 2017 Sustainability Report and progress in Sustainability Best Practices and Reporting in 2018.

“Two DIL subsidiaries received the SERAS Sustainability Awards for ‘Best Company in Hunger & Food Security’ as well as ‘Best in Supply Chain Management’ categories.

“In special recognition of its pioneering Sustainability Journey in 2018, Dangote Group was also named by SERAS one of the Top 5 ‘Most Responsible Business in Africa/Overall Winner.’

“The conglomerate also received two Certificates of Recognition for the work of its Sustainability and Governance Function,’’ said a statement released on Wednesday by Mr Abimbola Akosile of the Corporate Communications Department, of Dangote Group.

Mr Akosile said the company was recognised for embedding a culture of sustainability across the Group, tagged “The Dangote Way.”

He said: “The Dangote Way underlines the importance of People and Stakeholder Engagement on its journey towards better financial performance through responsible and sustainable business practices.

“Dangote’s seven pillars of sustainability include the Economic, Social, Environmental, Financial, Cultural, Operational and Institutional (encompassing Governance, Risk, Compliance).’’

He said these aligned with the GRI Standard, Global Compact, IFC Performance Standards and SDGs, and were designed to ensure sustainability data embedded at the core of business processes and corporate culture.

According to him, the founder of SERAS, Ken Egbas, acknowledged the visible and inspiring impact of the Dangote Way.

He added that the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote had also described the Dangote Way as unique approach towards engendering sustainability across all operations.

He said hundreds of employees volunteered to further the Sustainable Development Goals across Dangote Cement Plants in 12 cities across Africa.

The countries, he said included Ghana, Congo, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Senegal, Zambia and Nigeria’s Cement plants located at Obajana (Kogi), Ibeshe (Ogun) and Gboko (Benue).

Union Bank Shines at Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAs)

Union Bank has won the Best Company in Environmental Excellence Award and the ‘Peoples’ Choice Award for the Most Outstanding Company in CSR/Sustainability’ at the 2018 Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAs).

The awards were presented at the SERAS ceremony which took place recently at the MUSON Centre, Onikan in Lagos.

Following an extensive vetting process that included on-site inspection of applicants’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability projects and initiatives, Union Bank was nominated across seven award categories including The SERAs Innovation Prize, Best Company in Education and Best Company in Sustainability Reporting.

Commenting on the two awards received by the Bank, Ogochukwu Ekezie-Ekaidem, Head Corporate Communication and Marketing at Union Bank said: “Corporate citizenship is a core pillar of our brand and business strategy. We are committed to being a sustainability champion in Nigeria and we are always improving our business operations, social engagement and innovation practices to ensure beyond compliance, we are leading the charge to deliver a sustainable future for Nigeria. We thank the SERAS team and all members of the public who recognise the work we are doing.”

Now in its 12th year, SERAs is an annual project organised by TruContact CSR, which aims to promote and raise awareness about the roles organisations play with emphasis on their responsibility towards stakeholders and the social development of Africa. The theme for this year’s edition was ‘Poverty Eradication through sustainability: Turning Challenges into Opportunities’.

As part of its Citizenship and Sustainability efforts, Union Bank represents Nigeria on the global financial inclusion working group at the World Economic Forum. The bank is a member of the Business Call to Action (BCtA) group and United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), and has recently published its first UNGC Communication of Progress report .

Union Bank also publishes an annual Citizenship, Sustainability and Innovation report which highlights its strategic approach, initiatives and impact made in these areas within the last year.



Lanre Shittu Motors Builds ‘Most Standard Assembly Plant’ In Nigeria

The automobile industry has received a major boost as one of the leading auto firms, Lanre Shittu Motors (LSM), has started the local assembly of JAC trucks at its multi-million dollar assembly plant in Lagos.

Located at Amuwo-Odofin on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, the plant, it was learnt, has, with the technical support from JAC China, churned out 150 units of JAC trucks.

The plant has the capacity to produce over 1,800 trucks yearly.

It has also the capacity to assemble six units of trucks in one shift or 12  in two shifts depending on market demand, and can also roll out about 150 units monthly.

LSM Group Executive Director Mr Taiwo Shittu, who led auto reporters to inspect the plant, said the company invested in the assembly plant to support the Federal Government’s auto policy.

The plant is expected to be unveiled early next year.

Shittu described the plant as the most standard assembly plant in Nigeria.

Operated by local technicians with two JAC technicians on supervision, it carries out semi-knocked down (SKD) assembling.

Shittu said the plant has the capacity to carry out complete knocked down (CKD), adding that the trucks being rolled out from the plant are of equal quality as the ones produced from any JAC assembly plant abroad.

He added that the company is working on another assembly plant in Mekun on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for the production of buses, cars and pickups and another line for support vehicles like trailers, tanks, among others.

“In this assembly plant, all the equipment were imported from Germany. We believe in auto policy and we believe it has come to stay. The government is really focused on the policy,” he said.

The journey to achieving this historic milestone started about a year ago and was successfully completed this year with all the trappings of a modern truck assembly plant found in any part of the world.

Also, officials from JAC truck manufacturers from China, are in Nigeria overseeing the daily assembly at the plant. The team is expected to work with the aim of transferring requisite skills to local engineers in Nigeria.

“We believe genuinely in the JAC brand; it has come to stay; and very soon it will take over the market demand for trucks because of its quality and our experience in the automotive business in the last 38 years in Nigeria. Already, we have received orders for hundreds of units of these trucks from fleet customers, including BUA Group, and many others. On daily basis, the lists keep growing,” Shittu said.

He expressed support and strong confidence on some of the stringent measures taken by the Federal Government to streamline auto assembly processes and procedures, whereby nobody is allowed to set up an assembly plant without satisfying the full requirement of the mandatory assemblers’ bonafide certificate.

Sales Manager, Medium and Heavy Truck Department of JAC, Shaun Yu, said the JAC trucks were specially designed for Nigerians, noting that most of them have been running for eight years, and they are still in good condition.

Yu said the partnership with LSM is a win-win, adding that the future is bright for the two firms.

In a related development, the dealership has completed and opened its ultra-modern three-S (sales, service and spares) facility in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Shittu said the company is training 40 Nigerians as a way of giving back to the society.

“Prior to the recruitment of these set of people, they are majorly unskilled people, but have passion to develop themselves. Some of them are university graduates, while others are secondary and primary school leavers,” he said.

When they are selected, they are sent out to the various training schools  in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt set up by Lanre Shittu Motors.

Upon graduation, they are employed and paid salaries by LSM for   one, two or three years on a graduated salary structures based on performance evaluation metrics conducted by the company.

After four years, these skill sets are seconded to work with LSM’s  customers, other auto dealer workshops or corporate fleet clients with large fleets based on a negotiated pay package, including their accommodation, if they are going to other parts of the country between LSM, which is the skill set providers and the clients.

Unforgettable Folake Ani-Mumuney At 50, By Mike Awoyinfa

Some interviews simply stay with you and forever remain classic. Long after, they play back nostalgically in the recesses of your memory. One of such classics is my interview with Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, the marketing and corporate communications guru and diva who turned 50 recently and jointly celebrated it with her “twin” bosom friend.
I met her October 6, last year, while I was conducting series of high-profile interviews with those who should know, for a forthcoming motivational business management and leadership book: HOW TO THINK LIKE DANGOTE. When you have somebody like Folake Ani-Mumuney who easily buys into what you are doing and goes on to describe it as “a rich tapestry that should be captured”, it sounds like the sweetest music in the ears. “He is one man who has woven into the entire fabric of the Nigerian society,” she says of the subject. But this is not a Dangote interview. You will have to wait for the book any time it is ready.
Picture her sitting with me for the interview at the Lagos Motor Boat Club, backing the serene Lagos lagoon where the yachts of the rich and famous are moored, bobbing up and down, struggling to be free, in the solitude of their watery open prison. Listen to the sounds of the angry waves and winds thundering, blowing strongly and demonically as she talks, sometimes trumping her voice and my tape recorder like Donald Trump.
Here is the lady who made waves in the UK, working as the first black woman in a top management position in the British Airways, charged with marketing functions in Europe and Africa. One of the innovations she initiated was online ticketing and online checking. For her sake, Europe and Africa were merged and put under her dominion because of her expressed interest and love for Africa. She was even brought to Nigeria as an expatriate in charge of British Airways’ West Africa market.
“What I found was that the merger of Europe and Africa didn’t allow me focus on Africa,” she tells me. “Europe would suck you in. Because it is just so large. Africa was only about 14 countries at the time, my total region was 59 countries and you needed to visit each one at least every quarter which meant you were on the flight literally twice in a week.”
“I came to British Airways in a consultancy kind of role. I came in as a graduate trainee, I was put on the fast track and the idea was to create a business analyst who would provide business solutions for the airline at the time. We did amazing things. We conceptualized a whole idea of moving everything online—online ticketing, online checking. People said it would be impossible but we did it. I was a big part of creating Terminal 5. It was a huge, huge project, to be able to bring everything in, bringing the network and everything. From a solutions perspective and developing markets, one of the things that I enjoyed was that when I was posted to West Africa, I was able to look at some of the challenges we had here and proffer solutions. I introduced this concept of you being able to buy ticket in a bank. And it was the solution from Nigeria which was then exported to other parts of the world by British Airways.”
Hey, what I think is that Folake should write her own autobiography. I will buy her book. I will love to read it. It will inspire many youths in Nigeria. In the autobiography or memoirs, you will find the story of a precocious girl who started school at age three or so.
“I have always been that precocious child,” she tells me. “So from day one, my older sister was going to kindergarten, I cried that I must start school. So I started school very early. I therefore also finished very early. At age 15, I got admitted to study law at the University of Ife. And my parents were like: under no circumstances would any daughter of theirs would be going to university at age 15. But eventually I had a lovely uncle who convinced them that ‘Folake is actually quite mature. It’s okay, let her do so.’ In fact, they had put me in Queen’s College to do my A-levels. So I was actually doing my first term before my uncle was able to convince them, saying: ‘I agree she shouldn’t study law, let’s use the American system where you first of all start by doing a first degree before you go and study law.’ And they spoke to quite a lot of their friends who were in the legal profession and they all seemed to agree. So they decided I will study philosophy…
“So at 15, I was studying philosophy in Unilag. I finished and carried on to go and study law in England at the University of Buckingham. When I finished, I realized that I had missed out in the whole of the Internet stuff.”
She then went to do a diploma in computing. From business computing, she learnt SQL (Structured Query Language) “which is what a lot of the Oracle platforms are built on and I learnt to code and so on. And it’s logic. It helped me to become what I have become today, which is solutions provider. I don’t say I am a marketer or I am a strategist or I am a business analyst, which are all things I have done. I provide solutions. In whatever field I find myself, I try to provide solution. The only thing I don’t think I can do is maybe brain surgery or rocket science. But everything else, there is a principle, there is an approach, and if you don’t know, go find out who knows and put it all together. That is what management consultancy teaches you.”
After making her mark globally, including organizing the Mandela 90th birthday party in London from South Africa where she was based, she was headhunted by the Dangote Group and was swayed by the persuasiveness of Alhaji Aliko Dangote who asked her to come and be part of a good Nigeria story. She came and played her part in rebranding the organisation. She tells it all in my book. She recalls how “in less than two minutes he (Dangote) helped me make up my mind. I knew I wanted to be a part of something great, I knew I wanted to be part of taking a Nigerian brand to the global stage. After all, I was doing that for an international brand. And I did it very successfully such that I won awards and accolades. But he said: ‘Come and do it. Because if we don’t do it, if we don’t take Nigeria to the world, then the negative narrative on Nigeria is what we would hear—we would never hear the positive stories out of Nigeria. So come and do this. Come and join me.’”
After playing her part in rebranding the Dangote Group, she made her move to join FirstBank as the head of marketing and corporate communications. The rest of the story would have to be told by Folake Ani-Mumuney in her book, if she ever writes. Meanwhile, I wish the first female ADVAN President happy 50th birthday, long life, good health and more accolades in the corporate world.

Iceland Logistics Brings Good news for Aspiring Pilots

There is no better time than now to be an aspiring pilot in Nigeria. Thanks to the collaboration between Iceland-E Logistics Limited and the world-renowned Mach 1 Aviation Academy in Brankpan, Johannesburg, all those who nurture ambitions of becoming trained aviators can now actualize their dreams with the minimum of fuss.

Iceland-E logistics, under the able leadership of Akin Eric-Garuba was recently appointed the country representative for Nigeria by Mach 1, flying Academy one of the foremost flight schools on the continent. With this development, Iceland-E, which also specializes air and sea logistics, is in sole charge of sourcing and recruitment of student pilots for the prestigious school.

As part of its commitment towards making the path to Mach 1 as smooth as possible for those interested, Iceland-E will be running English proficiency tests and medical tests. The company located in Omole Layout, Ojodu-Isheri Road, will also run comprehensive guidance programmes and even help facilitate a 2-year Student visa who secures admission through its representation.

Aware of the reality of an economic downturn, the Akin Eric-Garuba-led company has secured from Mach 1 an economical and flexible payment plan for the 18-months training programme which comprises Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) for the 18months . Through its uncompromising and quality service delivery, it will ensure that all aspects of the training course will be taken care of.

At a time when safety concerns have become the biggest topic in the Nigerian aviation sector due to recent ill-fated happenings, the partnership between Iceland-E and Mach 1 is a welcome development. It is the opportunity of a lifetime for budding pilots in Nigeria to acquaint themselves with the knowledge, experience and flight hours in a first-rate training school before graduating on to legendary careers in aviation.