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.

BBC Hosts Beyond Fake News Conference, Visits Buhari

On Wednesday, January 9, Jamie Angus, Director of the BBC World Service Group and Toyosi Ogunseye, Head, BBC West Africa, hosted over 300 guests at a Beyond Fake News Conference titled, Nigeria 2019: Countering Fake News. The event held at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) delivered the keynote address on the spread and dangers of fake news.

A distinguished panel made up of Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka; Founder, Bella Naija, Uche Pedro; President, Nigerian Guild of Editors and Editor-in-Chief, New Telegraph Newspaper, Funke Egbemode; Jamie Angus and INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Festus Okoye who represented the INEC Chairman, had a robust discussion moderated by Seriously Speaking Host and Publisher, Today’s Woman, Adesuwa Oyenokwe.

The engaging panel also had stimulating exchanges with the audience that included chairmen of political parties, lawmakers, civil society, diplomatic community, government officials, media owners/leaders and youth influencers.

In her welcome address, Ogunseye explained why the BBC was leading the conversation on Fake News, the importance of the conference and what the BBC will be delivering during the 2019 elections. They include: the Fake News conference, 10 governorship language debates in Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and Pidgin, weekly fact checking content from the BBC’s digital team in Lagos and Reality Check team in London and the largest deployment ever by the BBC in Africa- over 50 reporters will be covering the Nigerian elections. There will be a minimum of one BBC reporter per state.

One of the highlights of the conference was Jamie’s commitment to sharing all BBC fact checking content with as many media organisations as possible.

Later that day, Jamie, the News Editor for Nigeria, Aliyu Tanko and Ogunseye met and had a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at his private residence. They told him about their plans for Nigeria- BBC’s largest audience. President Buhari, in his kind and witty remarks, was full of praises for the BBC, especially its fight against fake news and its expanded presence in Nigeria.

On January 10, the BBC’s governorship debates was kicked off in Nasarawa and Kwara states. The interesting debates can still be watched on BBC Hausa and BBC News Yoruba websites and Facebook pages.

Next week, the governorship debates will hold in Lagos (Yoruba), Akwa Ibom (Pidgin) and Gombe( Hausa). Please see attached flyer for more details.


Apple To Release Three New iphone Models In 2019

Apple Inc. is planning to release three new iPhone models again this fall, including a successor to the struggling XR, the lower priced 2018 device with a liquid-crystal display that has fallen short of Apple’s sales expectations, people familiar with the matter said.

Apple plans to introduce some new camera features like a triple rear camera for the highest-end model and a double rear camera for the two other models, the people said.

Such cameras have multiple lenses that offer better-quality photos.


India Set To Hold Guinness World Sanitary Pad Record

Participants at a medical congress in India have set a new Guinness World Record for the longest line of sanitary pads, in a move aimed at promoting menstrual hygiene.

Five hundred people at the 62nd All India Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (AICOG) took seven and a half hours to lay out 10,105 sanitary pads in a line 1,078 metres (3,537 feet) long.

The feat in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, verified by Guinness World Record officials, also included the shape of a uterus under the slogan “Nothing’s more cuterus than your uterus”.

“Sanitary pads are required for every woman for her hygiene. Hygiene is so important otherwise they will have lot of pelvic infections, urinary infections and all those problems are there,” gynaecologist Geeta Pramod Shanbhag told AFP.

According to a National Family Health Survey (NFHS) report published in 2017, only 58 percent of women in India aged 15 to 24 use a hygienic method of menstrual protection, the Hindu daily reported.

In July India withdrew a controversial tax on sanitary pads following a vocal campaign led by activists and Bollywood stars to boost female education and empowerment.

One study by WaterAid and UNICEF found that more than a third of girls in South Asia missed school during their periods.

Adenuga Adds $3.9bn, Closes Gap With Dangote In Forbes Billionaires Ranking

Globacom Chairman Mike Adenuga Jnr, with interests in oil exploration and real estate has moved up, ranking next to Aliko Dangote as Africa’s second richest man.

Forbes magazine said Adenuga’s net worth rose tremendously from $5.3 billion to $9.2 billion.

He is now just $800million away from Dangote Group President Aliko Dangote, whose wealth dipped to $10billion, from $12 billion last year.

However, Dangote retains the Africa’s richest man title for the eighth consecutive time despite.

BUA Group Chief Executive Officer Abdulsamad Rabiu featured on the list for the first time since 2015.

The merger between Rabiu’s Kalambaina Cement firm with the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled, in December, last year, was formally consummated in Sokoto earlier this week. He now owns 97 per cent of the entity.

Kalambaina, which operates a new cement production facility, started selling cement mid-last year just as Rabiu’s OBU Cement has expanded its operations, adding a new production line.

Forbes blamed plunging stock values and weaker currencies for the shrinking in the billionaires club in Africa.

It said: “Buffeted by plunging stock prices and weaker currencies, the number of African billionaires has shrunk to just 20, down from 23 a year ago.

“Four people fell off Forbes’ annual list of the continent’s richest since last year while one returned to the ranks after a four-year absence. All but four members of the list have smaller fortunes than a year ago.”

In a per country ranking, Egypt and South Africa are tied with five billionaires each, followed by Nigeria with four and Morocco-two.

Forbes found one billionaire each in Algeria, Angola, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

*Originally published by The Nation

Abdulsamad Rabiu Becomes Third Richest Nigerian On Forbes Africa’s Richest List

Becoming an entrepreneur extraordinaire is not mere lip service; it takes consistent effort and focus to grow from just being an entrepreneur with interest in a particular business to becoming a respected and renowned empire builder. Yes, cement mogul and chairman of BUA Group,  Abdulsamad Rabiu, is one of the few blessed men who started from the scratch, kept their nose to the grindstone and turned seemingly insignificant ideas into behemoth industries.

Yes, Rabiu is a man that would be sent to Mars and still treat it as a stepping stone to Saturn – the quality of constant invention and self-improvement that has earned him worldwide acclaim and prosperity.

However, in a year that saw many billionaires lose chunks of their money due to plunging stock prices and weaker currencies, with the number of African billionaires shrinking to 20 from 23 last year, the extremely wealthy industrialist, Samad, returns to the Forbes Africa’s Richest List. He was off the list in 2015 but his return was facilitated largely, according to the influential American magazine, by the merger of his Kalambaina Cement firm with publicly traded Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled. “Rabiu now owns 97% of Kalambaina, which operates a new cement production facility, and started selling cement in mid-2018. Separately, Rabiu’s OBU Cement recently expanded its operations, adding a new production line,” the magazine stated.

The President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, and the Chairman of Globacom, Dr Mike Adenuga, top Forbes’ Africa Billionaires List released on Wednesday. Dangote saw his wealth drop by $2bn from $12.2bn in January 2018 to $10bn in 2019. But Dangote retained his position as Africa’s richest man for the eighth consecutive time. Adenuga, with interests in oil exploration and real estate, moved up to be Africa’s second richest man, while Abdulsamad is the third richest Nigerian on the list. The American magazine said Adenuga’s net worth dramatically increased from $5.3bn to $9.2bn because he provided more detailed information about his assets.


Indeed, the BUA Group commissioned its $350 million Kalambaina Cement Plant in Sokoto State in July 2018 with an installed capacity of 1.5 metric tonnes per annum and is the largest single private sector-led investment in North West Nigeria.

Findings revealed that Samad is currently one of the very few economic giants and magnates enjoying the respect of several world leaders courtesy his enviable business culture. Rabiu simply focuses on his enterprise and applies himself to it conscientiously and with a towering sense of personal and professional business ethics.

From the ancient city of Kano, Samad, a silver spoon, is the son of Isyaku Rabiu, one of the richest and most influential businessmen in northern Nigeria in the 1970s and 80s. Apart from CCNN, BUA Cement Limited also owns a $2 billion cement factory at Okpella in Edo State in Nigeria, which has a production capacity of 6 million metric tonnes per annum. BUA Cement also owns Edo Cement Company and BUA Cement Port Harcourt, which continue to operate as private companies.

Abdulsamad Rabiu, one of Nigeria’s most successful businessmen, is the founder of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate that has interests in sugar refining, real estate, edible oils, logistics and port operations. Rabiu, one of Nigeria’s largest private property owners, also owns homes in South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. Despite the shield and myth that money has created around him, Samad is reportedly a down-to-earth family man.


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.

Michelle Obama’s Book Is No. 1 In US, Finland, Singapore and Portugal

Since so few books are published in December, the best-seller lists don’t change much this time of year. John Grisham’s “The Reckoning” remains atop the fiction list, and Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” still holds the No. 1 nonfiction spot.

But it is something of a surprise to see Obama’s memoir, which has been translated into 23 languages, selling so well the world over. In Finland, for example, the former first lady’s book has been at No. 1 on the bookseller Akateeminen Kirjakauppa’s nonfiction list for weeks, followed closely by “Paranoid Optimist,” a memoir from the Nokia chairman Risto Siilasmaa (clearly that title works better in Finnish than it does translated into English). Next door in Sweden at Svensk Bokhandel, “Becoming” is at No. 2, edged out by Hans Rosling’s “Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think,” which was one of Barack Obama’s favorite books last year. Sweden is a Scandinavian outlier, though; “Becoming” is No. 1 in both Norway and Denmark. It tops the lists in other European countries, too, including Germany, Portugal and England.

[ In this essay, Isabel Wilkerson brings all her narrative firepower to Michelle Obama’s “Becoming.” ]

“Becoming” is No. 3 on Ireland’s combined list, where it follows “Normal People,” a novel by the hugely popular Irish writer Sally Rooney, and “At All Costs,” a memoir from the hurling manager and player Davy Fitzgerald. It is No. 4 in both France and Spain; in Italy, where most of the books on the combined top 10 list are by Italian authors (Elena Ferrante commands the four top spots), “Becoming” is No. 9. It’s No. 14 in Poland and No. 20 in the Czech Republic, and it seems to be selling briskly at bookstores in Albania.

In fact, the only European country where Obama’s book sales seem weak is Greece, where the No. 1 book is Xenakis Stefanos’s “The Present” — “Every day is a Gift. Open it. Do not throw it away.” “Becoming” doesn’t appear on Greek nonfiction lists at all.

Obama’s memoir is selling well elsewhere in the world, too, including Japan, Australia, Israel and South Africa. It’s No. 1 in Singapore and No. 4 in South Korea. It’s a hit in South America, though in Brazil its sales trail those of “Lessons,” a memoir by the Brazilian-born supermodel Gisele Bündchen. But “Becoming” doesn’t seem to have caught on in Peru, where it doesn’t make the lists — like one from bookstore Planeta de Libros — at all. The No. 1 nonfiction title there is Jessica Vega Puch’s “Yoga or Clonazepam? Emotional Emergency Kit.”

Gov Tambuwal and Wife, Hajia Maryam Mairo Welcome First Child

Wife of Sokoto state Governor, Hajia Maryam Mairo Aminu Tambuwal has been delivered of a baby girl. 

The baby arrived in the early hours of Wednesday, 2 January, 2019, at a highbrow hospital in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. 

It is the first child for Hajia Maryam Mairo and her husband, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who clocks 53 on Thursday, 10 January. 


Warning Alert: Fake 100 Dollar Bills Are In Circulation!

This is to alert the general public to watch out for counterfeit one hundred dollar bills that may begin to appear throughout the county. 

In one of the fake 100 dollar bills being circulated, the word ‘states’ is written as ‘STTES. And hundred is written as HUNDED. 

According to the United States Department of Treasury, an estimated $70 million in counterfeit bills are in circulation, or approximately 1 note in counterfeits for every 10,000 in genuine currency, with an upper bound of $200 million counterfeit, or 1 counterfeit per 4,000 genuine notes. However, these numbers are based on annual seizure rates on counterfeiting, and the actual stock of counterfeit money is uncertain because some counterfeit notes successfully circulate for a few transactions.