Queen of Indian Cinema, Sridevi, Dies At 54

Veteran Bollywood actress Sridevi has died suddenly in Dubai at the age of 54.

Citing family sources, the Press Trust of India reported Sridevi died late Saturday night after suffering a cardiac arrest in the United Arab Emirates city, where she was attending a family wedding.
Born August 13, 1963, Sridevi made her Bollywood debut in 1979 with the Hindi film “Solva Sawan,” but broke through to the list of Bollywood’s most highly sought-after actresses with the film “Himmatwala,” four years later.

Sridevi’s credits include some of the most watched films of the ’80s and ’90s, including “Mawaali” (1983), “Tohfa” (1984), “Mr. India” (1987), “Chandni” (1989), “Lamhe” (1991) and “Gumrah” (1993).
Sridevi attends the "English Vinglish" premiere during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.

Sridevi took a break from the limelight to raise two children with her husband, producer Boney Kapoor, before returning to star in the 1997 film “Judaai.” In the film, she plays an ambitious housewife who inadvertently marries a man who can’t afford the lavish life she aspires to lead.
The film was a box office hit, but it was Sridevi’s performance in Gauri Shinde’s 2012 hit, “English Vinglish,” that really confirmed her comeback as one of Bollywood’s most treasured and enduring talents.

Sridevi took the starring role of Shashi, an Indian housewife who only speaks Hindi but is thrust onto the streets of New York to help arrange her niece’s wedding. After a series of humiliations, Shashi decides she needs to learn English and enrolls in a four-week crash course.

“The way the character has been crafted by Shinde, and interpreted by Sridevi, is gloriously feminine, and uniquely Indian,” a review in the Hollywood Reporter said at the time.
Singer Adnan Sami expressed his shock at Sridevi’s death on Twitter, describing her as “India’s sweetheart.”
“I am at a loss for words & jolted as if struck by lightening at this late hour of the night to learn about the shocking & tragic news & untimely demise of #Sridevi ji. Heartbroken. She was India’s sweetheart, an incredible artiste & a beautiful human being. Gone too soon,” Sami tweeted.

As India woke to the news Sunday, social media lit up with tributes to the woman described as a “rare superstar.”

Sridevi’s impact was felt far beyond India, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan also paying tribute to the actress, whom he met last December.
“Really enjoyed meeting Bollywood icon Sri Devi on my recent trip to India. So sad to hear the news of the death of such a terrifically talented actress, performer and producer,” he said on Twitter.

Sridevi is survived by her husband, Boney, and daughters Jhanvi and Khushi Kapoor.


Gbaareniyi Day: Special Reception In Honour of Aare Gani Adams

This year’s edition of Gbaareniyi Day, was hosted to celebrate the newly installed Yoruba Generalisimo, Aare Gani Adams. The event was held on Friday, 23 February, 2018 at the Blueroof Event Centre, LTV Premises, Agindingbi, Ikeja, Lagos.

The event featured a special lecture with the topic – The Essence and Stool of Aare Ona Kakanfo In Yoruba Nation, Past, Present and Future. The Guest Speaker was Emeritus Professor, Michael Omolewa OON.

While delivering his speech, Aare Adams said the promotion of Yoruba culture and unity of Yoruba race will continue to be his priority. He said he will continue to promote and sustain the identity of the Yoruba race as well as harness the potential of Yoruba nation and Yoruba in the Diaspora.

Popular Fuji musician, Saheed Osupa, Dele Gold and other notable music acts were on ground to emtertain guests at the event.

Warren Buffett Backs Stocks Over Bonds

World’s third richest man,  Warren Buffett prodded ordinary investors on Saturday to stay invested in United States stocks, ignoring price swings, guidance from people with fancy credentials and the temptation to load up on bonds.

Buffett, with net worth estimated at $86 billion by Forbes,  said it is a “terrible mistake” for investors with long-term horizons – among them, pension funds, college and endowments and savings-minded individuals – to measure their investment “risk” by their portfolio’s ratio of bonds to stocks.

The long-time bull on U.S. companies and the economy issued his latest letter to Berkshire Hathaway Inc shareholders on Saturday.

Treasury yields have been rising since the start of the year, stemming from brewing inflationary pressures and massive bond supply to help fund U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul.

Higher rates have kept U.S. equity markets under selling pressure, as investors worry borrowing costs could hurt companies’ profitability.

Earlier this month, stocks suffered their first 10 per cent pullback since early 2016.

High-grade bonds, he said, can increase the risk of an investment portfolio as inflation eats away at the return.

“There is simply no telling how far stocks can fall in a short period,” Buffett said.

“As an investor’s investment horizon lengthens, however, a diversified portfolio of U.S. equities becomes progressively less risky than bonds, assuming that the stocks are purchased at a sensible multiple of earnings relative to then-prevailing interest rates.”

For its part, Buffett said Berkshire is sitting on 116 billion dollars of low-yielding cash and government bonds – whose average maturity was 88 days as of year-end 2017.

They are struggling to put that money to work because of a “purchasing frenzy” by deal-hungry chief executives employing cheap debt that pushed “prices for decent, but far from spectacular, businesses” to “an all-time high.”

Known to fans as “the Oracle of Omaha,” Buffett, 87, has suggested U.S. stocks are probably the best bet over time, encouraging people to make easy choices and stick with them, eschewing high-fee fund managers, for instance.

In 2014, Buffett said he plans to put 90 per cent of the money he leaves to his wife, Astrid, when he dies into an S&P 500 index fund, and 10 per cent in government bonds.

Buffett in 2007 bet a founder of the asset management company Protégé Partners LLC one million dollars that a Vanguard S&P 500 index fund would outperform several groups of hedge funds over a decade. He won that bet last year.

The proceeds were given to Buffett’s charity of choice, Girls Inc of Omaha.

Yet his own unease with market prices comes as other investors have struggled with the same problem after a near-decade long bull market.

“Though markets are generally rational, they occasionally do crazy things,” said Buffett.

He added that investors need “an ability to both disregard mob fears or enthusiasms and to focus on a few simple fundamentals” even if makes them “look foolish.”


Hajj 2018: NAHCON Issues March 31 Deadline For Pilgrims Payment

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Saturday directed all intending pilgrims in Nigeria to pay their hajj fare by March 31 or miss the 2018 pilgrimage.

Alhaji Abdullahi Muhammad, the Chairman of the commission, gave the directive at a message to a sensitisation programme on Hajj 2018 in Kaduna.

Muhammad was represented by Alhaji Abdullahi Saleh, the agency’s Commissioner in-charge of Operation.

According to the NAHCON chief, every intending pilgrim in the country is expected to pay the hajj fare by March 31, which is the closing date for payment of the fare.

Muhammad, who appealed to all intending pilgrims to pay their money within the stipulated time, said that the commission was undergoing reforms for easy operation.

He said that Saudi Arabia had introduced the inclusion of biometric data capture of all intending pilgrims for the 2018 hajj.

“We have centres to capture pilgrims’ data in Kano, Lagos and Abuja.

“The centres are not enough because of the large number of pilgrims, but the government is appealing to Saudi Arabia to expand the centres in the country because of our population,” Muhammad said.

The commission’s chief also urged all stakeholders to enlighten intending pilgrims on the laws of the Saudi government, adding that states pilgrims’ boards should conclude their arrangements on schedule.

Muhammad said that the agency was committed to a successful 2018 hajj.

In a related development, Mr Namadi Musa, the Director-General Interfaith in Kaduna State, said that so far, 1, 300 pilgrims in the state had paid their money for the hajj.

Musa commended NAHCON for organising the enlightenment programmes to keep intending pilgrims well informed on new developments.

“Challenges in Hajj is inevitable, though they are dynamic, we expect one problem or another, but the ability to surmount that problem will always make it surmountable,” he said.

2018 World Congress: IPI Director, Barbara Trionfi, Meets Saraki, Elumelu, Others

The Executive Director of the International Press Institute (IPI), Barbara Trionfi, was in Nigeria last week. She met President of the Senate, Senatoir Bukola Saraki in Abuja. She also met with the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, alongside some executives of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Lagos.

Trionfi said she was in Nigeria ahead of the IPI’s Abuja World Congress to engage with stakeholders and individuals who support journalists’ cause towards building a better-informed society. “The IPI Abuja World Congress is one of those opportunities that we felt will enable journalists across the world to share their ideas. It’s our desire to use our journalistic tools to bring forward our ideas which you as a person and your foundation will like to support,” she said.

 It will be recalled that the IPI is a global network of editors, journalists and media executives who defend media freedom and the free flow of news across the world.


Femi Kuti Releases 10th Album ”One People One World”

Nigeria’s Afrobeat legend Femi Kuti has released his 10th studio album ”One People One World”. The singer says he has become more optimistic about the future of the African man.

Two singles off the album, ”Na Their Way Be That” and the title track One People One World which has been released have already gained wide acceptance.

Femi and his Positive Force band, recorded much of the album in Lagos and it is distributed in Nigeria on all major digital platforms by Chocolate City Music

Governors Who Can’t Pay Workers Should Resign – TUC

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) on Saturday advised state governors who could not address workers’ problems to resign.

The TUC President, Mr Bobboi Kaigama, said in Lagos that workers could no longer vouch for state governments that non-payment of salaries was as a result of lack of funds.

He said that the non-payment could be due to corruption.

Kaigama made the TUC’s views known while addressing journalists after the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.

He said that it was only the Lagos State Government that had been regularly paying workers’ salaries and allowances.

“All the other states have one issue or the other in terms of salaries or benefits of their workers.

“You will discover that it is 13 months’ arrears of gratuities or pensions that have not been paid.

“In some cases, it is the contributory pension deductions that have not been remitted or promotions arrears and death benefits not been paid,” he said.

He advocated a return to regional government, saying that state governments were failing in their responsibilities.

“The trust we have in state government has eroded.

“If it is for the purposes of payment of salaries and infrastructure development such as provision of health facilities, roads, rail transportation and others, we are better off with regional government,’’ Kaigama said.

The union leader noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved bailout funds and budget support funding to enable states to settle workers’ salaries, to no avail.

Kaigama said that accountability in Nigeria was weak, and called for the strengthening of anti-graft agencies.

On national minimum wage, Kaigama said that state governments should be determined to pay the wage when approved.

He also called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the power sector due to its deteriorating condition.

”No nation can develop without power,” he said.

The labour leader urged the government to arrest and prosecute killers of innocent Nigerians in the guise of herdsmen and militia in different parts of the country.

Sade Adu Sings Again After 8-Year Hiatus

Helen Folasade Adu, a.k.a Sade Adu, Nigerian–British soul singer, has recorded a new original song for the upcoming American film, ‘A Wrinkle in Time’, her first in eight years.

A Wrinkle in Time is an upcoming American science fantasy adventure film directed by Ava DuVernay from a screenplay by Jennifer Lee, and based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle.

The film set for release on March 9, stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Storm Reid and others.

DuVernay shared the news on Wednesday on her twitter page @ava, she wrote: “I never thought she’d say yes, but asked anyway. She was kind + giving.
“A goddess. We began a journey together that I’ll never forget.”

The song, titled ‘Flower of the Universe’, will be the first new music from Sade since her eponymous band released its sixth album ‘Soldier of Love’ in 2010.

The soundtrack to ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ will also feature music from DJ Khaled, Demi Lovato, Sia, Kehlani and Beyoncé proteges Chloe x Halle.

Iranian-German composer, Ramin Djawadi – best known for writing the score to ‘Game of Thrones’– will provide original composition.

The movie follows a young girl who sets off on a quest, with the help of three astral travellers, to find her father, who went missing after discovering a new planet.

DuVernay was announced as director of the film in February 2016, making her the first woman of colour to direct a live-action film with a production budget of more than $100m.

Sade, 59, was born to Helen Folasade Adu in Ibadan, Nigeria. In 1983, she left the band ‘Pride’, in which she was a backing singer to form her own band.

Band members include guitarist and saxophone player, Stuart Matthewman, keyboardist Andrew Hale, bassist Paul Denman and drummer Paul Anthony Cook.

Their debut single, Your Love Is King, was released in February 1984, followed by their debut album, Diamond Life, that July.

The album has been certified four times platinum. In the Queen’s 2017 birthday honours list, Sade was awarded a CBE for services to music.

Police Give 2 Weeks To Lagos Gun Owners To Verify, Re-validate Licence

The Lagos State Police Command has given two weeks ultimatum to individuals with ‘pump action firearm’ and other guns to submit their arms, licenses for verification and re-validation.

The order was contained in a statement by the command spokesman, Chike Oti, stressing that the exercise became necessary in view of security challenges in the country.

“Those issued with licence to bear pump action firearm or other repeating firearm operated by a slide action mechanism, by the Lagos State Police Command Firearms Registry(D7), are to submit their weapons and Licences to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the closest Police Station for verification, confirmation and revalidation.

“The move is to enable the command update its data base with information about the owners, licences, and state of the firearms.


“The owners of these firearms types are given two weeks grace period from the date of this publication(Feb. 24) to ready themselves for the exercise which will last till March 29.

“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, enjoins all licenced gun owners to take advantage of this revalidation programme as firearms found in the possession of anybody or group who did not participate in the exercise would be deemed as illegitimate.

“Such an individual or group would be arrested and charged for unlawful possession of firearm(s) in accordance with the provisions of Prohibited Firearms Act 2004, Laws of the Federation,” Mr Oti, a superintendent of police, said.