Ifeoma Fafunwa’s Hear Word! Goes On Stage In US, Germany

Nigeria experienced the biggest live performances as the highly anticipated stage play tagged Hear Word! returned to Lagos last December, at the MUSON Centre, Onikan Lagos.

The play, which was staged on December 28, 29 and 30th, was announced to be part of an international tour that includes New York, California and Hamburg. The critically acclaimed woman empowerment play, directed by Ifeoma Fafunwa, shares generational stories highlighting political, social and cultural factors that limit the lives of women. It is staged for the empowerment of women all over the world.

The play starring Nollywood icons Joke Silva and Taiwo Ajai-Lycett has other amazing cast members, including Elvina Ibru, Ufuoma McDermott, Omonor, Zara Udofia-Ejoh, Rita Edward, Odenike, Debbie Ohiri and Oluchi Odii. They are currently on an international tour of the United States, with stops in New York, California and Germany.

After their Lagos show, the amazing cast left for New York, to perform six shows at the world-renowned Public Theatre in Manhattan, New York City from January 3 -7, 2019. The team will then cross the USA to showcase at the Segerstrom Center in California January 10 and 12th, 2019 before heading to Thalia Theater in Hamburg, Germany.

Rihanna Sues Own Father For ‘Stealing Fenty Brand Name’

American pop singer and actress, Rihanna Fenty, has taken her father, Ronald Fenty, to court for stealing her ‘Fenty’ brand name to launch a business for himself.

According to TMZ, Rihanna claims her father, recently started a talent development company in 2017 called Fenty Entertainment and he is profiting off the reputation she has created with Fenty.

“Rihanna has already trademarked “Fenty” to use in a number of biz ventures, including her well-known Fenty Beauty line.

“In the court documents, Rihanna says her father and a business partner falsely advertised themselves as her reps to solicit millions of dollars.

“And tried to book her for 15 shows in Latin America in December 2017 for $15 mil… all without her authorisation.”

TMZ explained that Rihanna claimed that her father even unsuccessfully tried to file a trademark for “Fenty” to use with resort boutique hotels.

It added that the singer said she had sent multiple cease and desist letters to her father, ordering him to stop capitalizing off of her Fenty trademarks.

He however ignored them and continued to make money off of Fenty Entertainment.

“She is asking a judge to place an injunction on her dad using the name Fenty… and, of course, for damages.

“We’ve reached out to Ronald for comment… so far, no word back,” TMZ said.

Tourism: Lagos Economy Records Over N50Bn Cash Transactions In December

For the second year in a row, the Lagos State economy received a major, unprecedented boost in the entertainment, hospitality and creative sectors in four weeks of the yuletide season, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde disclosed on Saturday.

Trends and reports monitored by the Lagos State Government over the four weeks in December, especially during Christmas and New Year festivities, captured an estimated spending well above N50bn in cash transactions, a record slightly higher than December 2017 which also recorded a good run in travel, entertainment and leisure-related spendings.

The monitored reports attributed the positive trend to the peak in entertainment activities; huge influx of people from neighboring states, neighboring countries and holiday makers from abroad who either chose Lagos as their primary destination or transit to other parts of Nigeria last December.

In a press statement he signed, Ayorinde said various reports, statistics and analyses monitored across immigration office, banks, aviation, hospitality and leisure parks; food, beverage and distribution businesses as well as event venues, shopping malls and cinema box office earnings captured an estimated direct spendings of over N50bn within the entertainment and tourism sector in Lagos State alone.

He said reports monitoring the prevailing December trends showed an unprecedented footfall influx of more than three million people entering Lagos in December alone with a multi-billion naira spendings in tow in hotel lodgings, local in-bound flights and taxi/chartered transportation, alcohol and beverage consumption; culinary business; visits to resorts, parks, clubs and lounges, live theatre and cinemas; concerts and clubs as well as ancillary  businesses like fashion and clothing, kiddies’ games and toys, and private security guards, which are all now part of the tourism and entertainment ecosystem.

“Like in 2017, last December in Lagos was hugely creative economy- friendly, which again affirms the State’s preeminence not just as West Africa’s commercial hub but also its entertainment nerve-centre,” Ayorinde said, adding that the beauty of this assertion is that the surge in the creative enterprise over the yuletide period was felt by all and sundry; was statistically measurable and is now a subject of discussion among analysis.

The Commissioner said there was a slight correlation between the horrific gridlock in some parts of Lagos during the yuletide season and the huge trading by residents and visitors leading to seasonal job provision and economic gains.

According to him, the high volume of economic activity that were directly related to tourism-related visits, entertainment and leisure accounted for a significant chunk of the total value of transactions in the State of 21million residents whose estimated GDP of $136bn in 2018 is regarded as the fifth largest in Africa, after Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Algeria.

The statement attributed the State’s continued high performance in the creative economy to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s deliberate interest in and commitment to the development of infrastructure, security and ideas that impact positively on tourism, entertainment and shopping.

He cited the State’s “innovative Calendar of Arts and Culture events which was released in January 2018 specifically to assist both local and foreign visitors in planning their visit to and around Lagos with a detailed guide of festivals and art events available in each month.”

Ayorinde said: “December has always recorded the busiest footfall in Lagos from figure obtained from immigration and aviation authorities. Aside the One Lagos Fiesta which drew over two million visitors cumulatively across its five venues over eight days from December 24 to 31st, other big concerts like those by Davido, Whiz Kid, Burma Boy, Adekunle Gold, Rhythm Unplugged and Sound City Awards also attracted large crowd into Lagos and of course huge spending.

“Hotels were filled to capacity in most parts of the State and we are aware that Lagos and Calabar benefited from additional scheduled flights due to the huge attractions of Calabar Carnival, OLF and the A-list Concerts in Lagos.”

He added that virtually all the entertainment sub-sectors recorded huge spendings in billions over the yuletide period with 15 top foreign and local box office hit films released across the state hitting a record N3bn revenue in December alone; while parks, beaches and other resorts also recorded remarkable, sometimes unprecedented patronage from reports made available to the state government.

The statement added that the December 2018 high creative economy spending in the state corroborates the two key important global tourism industry indicators that were favourable to Lagos in 2018.

First was the British report in Daily Mail of London in April 2018 listing Lagos alongside Nairobi, Kenya as the top non-European destinations among British travelers planning for summer holiday. The second was the MasterCard Global Travel Index released in October 2018 ranking Lagos as the most visited city in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018.

The Commissioner said these remarkable global recognition and last December’s good business outlook in the creative sphere were in tandem with the vision of Governor Ambode to make Lagos the creative hub in Africa and “to assure corporate institutions and investors that the State security and social infrastructure can support the ever growing entertainment and creative landscape in Lagos.

“The night economy has fully returned and every part of the state duly felt the impact of a vibrant tourism, art and entertainment eco-system In December.”

Falz Releases New Hit Single, “Talk”

Nigerian singer and rapper Folarin Falana, popularly known as Falz, has started the New Year with the release of his single tagged “Talk”.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the video of the song, which is directed by Prodigeezy, features Falz driving alongside his guys with different scenes relating to the lyrics played out.

‘Talk’ is a socio-conscious record that addresses critical happenings and advises the youths to be wary of ‘greedy politicians.’

As the 2019 general election draws near, the artiste uses lyrics of the song to address critical leadership issues and advised Nigerians, especially the youths, to speak up for what they truly want.

Falz, now popularly known by industry watchers as a ‘Music Activist’, had earlier hinted fans that he would release an album titled ”Moral Instruction” on Jan. 15.

He said of the album: “There is a dire need for us to redefine the concept of humanity and morality.

“There is a pressing need for re-education and re-orientation of the people, for this is the only way we can restore sanity.”

NAN reports that Falz, a lawyer turned singer, began his professional career as a music artiste in 2009, and currently owns an independent record label called Bahd Guys Records.

He is the son of Femi Falana, a Nigerian human rights activist and lawyer.

The music artists came to limelight after his song “Marry Me” (featuring vocals from Poe and Yemi Alade) won him a nomination in the “Best Collaboration of The Year” category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.

In 2018, Falz released a controversial audio/visual song “This Is Nigeria”, a mock-up of American rapper Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”.

It addresses societal issues prevalent in Nigeria, including SARS brutality, codeine abuse, and killings in some parts of the country.

The video of the song highlights the nation’s issues  especially violence and corruption in politics, policing, and religious bigotry.

The song was, however, banned by National Broadcasting Commission, NBC.

The New York Times Reviews Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart

The notion that streaming services afford wide audiences a chance to sample overlooked pockets of world cinema gains some support with the release of “Lionheart,” a Nigerian feature now on Netflix. For many American viewers, the film will be an introduction to Genevieve Nnaji — one of the biggest stars of the Nigerian movie industry, or Nollywood, who has more than 100 credits.

In “Lionheart,” which is also her directorial debut, Nnaji plays Adaeze, the logistics director of a family transportation business that is working to win a critical state contract. Her father, Chief Ernest Obiagu (Pete Edochie), publicly praises Adaeze’s abilities at the pitch meeting — then suffers an apparent (but nonfatal) heart attack on the spot. That contrivance offers a sense of the movie’s storytelling, which tends toward the earnest and the functional.

“Lionheart” is only partly a movie about how a woman takes charge of a company in a sexist society. While recuperating, Adaeze’s father unexpectedly passes over her to appoint Godswill (Nkem Owoh), his brother, as the acting head, igniting odd-couple tension and comedy between the managers. But as a clock ticks down on settling the company’s debts, with an unscrupulous competitor (Kanayo O. Kanayo) circling, Godswill’s brash, transactional style meshes well with Adaeze’s measured approach.

Along the way, “Lionheart” offers sidelong observations about the importance of preserving a family legacy; the need for comity among Nigeria’s classes and ethnic groups; and the wisdom of older generations, even when change is necessary. It is globally minded filmmaking that is also comfortingly familiar.

Funke Akindele Gives First Glimpse of Her Twins

Fans went wild with joy when news broke that popular Nollywood actress and producer, Funke Akindele has welcomed a set of twins a couple of weeks ago.

Now the screen star and her husband, JJC Skillz are giving fans the first glimpse of their twin boys.

In a family photo which sees Akindele posing alongside her husband, the newly born set of twins and Skillz’s other children is an adorable one as the family is full of smiles.

The “Jenifa’s Diary” star shared the photo on her Instagram page

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To God be all the glory!!!

A post shared by Funke Akindele Bello (@funkejenifaakindele) on

It is noteworthy that the arrival the babies came a few years after a popular Lagos-based pastor, Olagorioye Faleyimu, said that Akindele, may not have children of her own, and might end up with another broken home. Responding to the prophecy, however, Skilz reaffirmed his love and commitment to his heartthrob saying she gave him a new life.

Niyi and Angela Adebayo’s First Daughter, Morenike, Welcomes First Child In London

Barely six months after her wedding, Morenike Agbe-Davies has welcomed her first child, a baby boy. She was delivered of the child on 28 November, 2018, at a highbrow hospital in London. The arrival of the baby was marked with a has since been named Aiden Temidayo

Morenike, the first daughter of former Ekiti State Governor, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo and his wife, Erelu Angela (née Da Silva), an accomplished lawyer and boardroom Amazon, got married to Oladele Agbe-Davies on Thursday, 28 June, 2018, in Lagos.

Her husband, Olafele is the son of Mr Fela and Mrs Sunmbo Agbe-Davies. His mother is from the prominent Ajose-Adeogun family of Lagos Island; and is the younger sister of Chief (Mrs) Lande Dekalu-Thomas, (aka Lady Cobbler) a grand dame of the Nigerian social establishment.


FirstBank Vibes With The Stylish Kids At Nativeland

It was a denim affair at the Nativeland festival on Friday, December 28 where four lucky cool kids got to vybe, VIP style, with FirstBank.

The cool kids won VIP tickets from the #FirstBankIssaVybe, #DecemberIssaVybe promo on social media.

One of the winners, Kenneth Donatus, could not contain his excitement at his win.

“I was having a bad day, wondering how to make it for the festival when I saw the post (announcing the ticket giveaway) on Instagram, took part and won,” he said.

Throughout December, FirstBank has given out free VIP tickets to lucky followers of its social media pages on Facebook: First Bank Nigeria Limited, Instagram: firstbanknigeria, and Twitter: @firstbankngr. By using the hashtags, #FirstBankIssaVybe and #DecemberIssaVybe, tagging friends to posts and giving correct answers to quizzes, the coolest kids got to win tickets to Burna Boy Live, Wizkid Made in Nigeria, Davido Live in Concert etc.

“I can’t commend FirstBank enough for this initiative,” another winner, David Amelia said. “They have really proven that December is truly a vibe.”

A third winner, Kaine Ugochukwu, looking sharp in his white shirt over dark jeans, talked about watching Burna Boy perform, adding that the promo had made him learn more about FirstBank and to appreciate its brand.

#FirstBankIssaVybe and #DecemberIssaVybe is geared at connecting with hard working young people -achievers, go-getters with a dream – who know how to work hard, play hard. Because apart from being a financial institution that can help them achieve their financial goals, FirstBank also takes care of them away from their boring work lives, helping them achieve their lifestyle goals: comfort, style, leisure and travel.

Burna Boy, Olamide, Tiwa Savage, 2Face Idibia Headline OLF’s Star-Studded Closing Night At Eko Atlantic City.

Top a-list artistes, including multi award winning artistes, Tiwa Savage, Olamide, 2Face Idibia, Burns Boy and other music stars are set to grace the stage at Eko Atlantic City to thrill fun seekers as the flagship yuletide revue of the Lagos State Government, also known as One Lagos Fiesta (OLF) closes today.

Other confirmed artistes that will headline the event are: Grammy award nominee Seun Kuti; Timaya; Duncan Mighty; Adewale Ayuba; Harrysong; Adekunle Gold; Simi; Teni Entertainer; StylePlus; Mayorkun; Lil Kesh; Sound Sultan, Mr. Real and Slimcase among others.

DJ Spinnall, DJ Big N and DJ Cuppy will be on the turntable.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode will be the chief host as Lagosians countdown to the New Year.

Mr Ambode will hand over cheques to winners of Lagos Grows Talents and key of a brand new car to the lucky Lagosian for the OLF raffle draw.

Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Art and Culture, Steve Ayorinde, says the star-studded event is in line with this year’s theme of giving Lagosians a December remember.

The 2018 OLF closing night will also hold simultaneously at the other four venues in Epe, Agege, Badagry and Ikorodu.