As preparations for the third edition of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) enters top gear, there is a likelihood of shift in venue from Lagos which hosted the past two editions. Nseobong Okon-Ekong reports

The 2016 edition of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA)-the third in the series is likely to be the last time Nigeria will have the honour of hosting the Pan-African reward event for the creative industry; having hosted it for the maximum number of three times allowed any country. From its maiden show in 2014 at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos to the 2015 edition at Eko Hotel in Lagos, the organizers have set a standard of excellence that can only grow in the coming years.

Scheduled for November, hosting of the third edition of AFRIMA will be a keen contest among four Nigerian cities. According to a disclosure at the recent Africa Union Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Committee of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) named the four potential hosts as Calabar (Cross River State), Lagos (Lagos State), Port Harcourt (Rivers State) and Uyo (Akwa Ibom State).

The Commissioner for Social Affairs, African Union Commission, Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko said, “The main purpose of the host city partnership is to showcase the tourism and economic potential of one of the great cities in Africa and promote its strengths to global audience which in turn adds to the GDP of the state and the continent at large.”

While urging the considered cities to passionately vie for hosting privileges, the AUC official pointed out the immense advantages for the host city which include ‘long term investment and job creation; adoption of new benchmarks for city development; increased civic pride and community empowerment; increased tourism and publicity’.
“Ultimately, there is an opportunity to tap into the millions of participants and followers of the booming African music,” said Kaloko.

Also, AFRIMA Director of Sponsorship/Communication, Ms. Matlou Tsotetsi, explained that these four states are capable of creating global brand equity for Africa.
She said, “The host city will be one that is willing to create value and deep brand equity not only for Nigerians but Africans. It must have the most motivation to host AFRIMA in line with its values; have the strongest vision in tourism, culture and entertainment; have the most adequate facilities, surrounding infrastructure, security and tourist attraction to host the event and should have hosted successful events in the past that attracted both national and or global audiences.”

Another significant development which Dada said would further the course of AFRIMA is the recent launch of a single, common electronic passport (e-Passport) for all Africans.
It also applauded the ultimate goal of the single passport which is set to realize the dream of visa-free travel for African citizens within the African continent by 2020.

Reacting to this development, President/ Executive Producer, AFRIMA, Mike Dada, said, “The African Union’s plan to allowing free movement of citizens within the African continent is a stepping stone towards building.”
Meanwhile, submission of entries for this year’s edition of the continental awards which opened on Monday, May 30 closed on July 30.

During the period, the AFRIMA secretariat was flooded with a deluge of entries, suggesting a huge increase in awareness and anticipation for the award in the past couple of years. This was confirmed by the enthusiastic response of African music artistes, music professionals and journalists who have flooded the AFRIMA website with entries from across the continent and from Africans in the Diaspora for the 2016 All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA tagged “AFRIMA 3.0”.

Explaining further, The Regional Director, Central Africa, Ernest Ewanee, said: “I must say we are impressed with the level of participation by African artistes especially the big artistes. This is an encouraging success marker for us considering the fact that we have surpassed the number of last editions.”
Speaking further on what to expect, the President and Executive Producer, AFRIMA, Mike Dada said, “We would not want to distort the calendar for this year’s edition.”

The 13-person AFRIMA jury which represents the five regions of Africa, the Diaspora and the African Union Commission will use one week in August for the adjudication process for the crucial responsibility of screening, categorising, assessing, adjudication and selecting nominees from the body of works submitted for award consideration. Concluding the adjudication process, on August 22 will be an announcement of the nominees.
pix: South Afircan singing sensation, Busiswa.JPG

New ‘King’ of Fuji Emerges

K1 de Ultimate
Tope Ajani from Akure, Ondo State has won the Season Four of Goldberg Fuji t’o Bam music talent contest, after months of rigorous drills, excitement and tension,
The final showdown was witnessed by over 1,500 fans at the Trans Amusement Park in Ibadan, Oyo State. Ajani, whose stage craft and renditions excited everyone at the event – will now wear the Wura 1 crown which comes with a cash reward of N1,000, 000.

Saheed Ishola, from Sango-Ota, grabbed N750,000 as the first runner up, while Mufutau Alabi, from Ibadan went home with N500, 000 as the second runner up after the battle of wits where three other contestants, Shina Akanni; Kuteyi Sikiru; and Alausa Olalekan, also tested their mettle.
The night kicked-off with Ewi rendition before the contestants took turns to display their mastery of various Fuji theatrics to the admiration of the judges and the audience that thronged the venue of the event.

The high point of the event was the impressive performance by the International Fuji icons, King Wasiu Ayinde (KWAM1), 9ice and Pasuma, who thrilled the fans with various hit songs from their rich repertoire.
The night also witnessed a gathering of the best of Fuji celebrities and respected Yoruba movie actors and comedians like Odunlade Adekola, compere of the event; Alhaji SK Sensation, Adebayo Faleke and the winner of the third season of Fuji t’o Bam, Akeem Okiki.

Doris Unveils Christian Movie
Doris Ariole, a Nollywood filmmaker has unveiled her captivating Christian romance movie titled ‘Benevolence’ in Orlando Florida at an African Art Gallery and Event Centre called the 3-Mask Inc. She relayed the experience on the phone to this reporter.
Doris who is increasingly known for making movies that celebrate God’s love and grace in every situation, described her genre the as ‘Christian Romance’.

‘Benevolence’ is about a young woman called Ruth, her tenacity to hold on to her faith in God despite hard times, to keep her hope alive for a better tomorrow and insist on the kind love that she believes she deserves. It’s partly inspired by Ruth and Boaz’ story in the Bible. Doris is currently in Orlando Florida, promoting the movie. A world premiere is scheduled for August 12, followed with screenings for two consecutive weekends in August.

Benevolence was selected and nominated for ‘Most Inspirational Feature Film’ at the International Christian Film Festival in Orlando last April. After it screened, she was approached by Ronyai Hawkins and Nicole Hawkins who offered to put together the premiere and screening events.

Going back to her growing up years to understand how she became a film maker, Doris recalled watching movies like Sound of Music, Grease and the James Bond series. In nursery and primary school, she featured in school plays. At 13, she started weaving up stories and went on to be the president of the Drama Club and Debate Society in my senior high school, which was a surprise as she tended towards the sciences. Therefore, the natural expectation from family and friends was that she will study a professional course like Medicine or Law or Pharmacy. Unable to summon the courage to live her dream, Doris went through university only wishing should could write and act, but never being able to do it.

She took an irreversible step in 2006 when she sold her first script. “I discovered I preferred being behind the camera in 2007 when I started professional training in filmmaking under the late Amaka Igwe. Initially I majored in writing and production, directing was later on. In Christmas 2007, I was home alone and was lead to read the book of Esther. I did so many times. That was how I got the name Hadassah, as my studio name. It happens to be Queen Esther’s Jewish name.

Nigerian Teams Contest for World Hip Hop Crown
Nigeria will be represented by two teams, The Clique and The Future at the World Hip Hop Dance Championship in Las Vegas, USA which begins today. This will be the first time that Nigeria will be represented by two teams since inception of the World Dance Olympics in 2002.

The contest is produced by Los Angeles based Hip Hop International (HHI), which is famous for producing the popular MTV’s Randy Jackson presents America’s Best Dance Crew, the World Battles and Urban Moves Dance Workshops. Hip Hop International is represented by official licensees in 50 countries who conduct their events and competitions under the auspices of Hip Hop International and also qualify street dancers and dance crews to represent their country at the World Hip Hop Dance Championship and World Battles (Bboy, Popping, Locking and All Styles). Hip Hop International Nigeria (HHIN).

Team Nigeria had been sourced amongst dancers from The Craft, FFD Reloaded and Bold5ive, who are incidentally the winner, first and second runners- up respectively at the 2016 Nigerian Hip Hop Dance Championship. The team will be led by the Technical Director of Hip Hop International Nigeria, Mr. Mike Oseghale.

The Country Director for Hip Hop International Nigeria, Ademola Owolabi stated that this is the third time that his organization will sponsor dancers from Nigeria to the championship, adding that preparations had been in top gear since May.
Although he is optimistic that the dancers would made Nigeria proud, he expressed his displeasure for that fact that the initiative is yet to enjoy support from Nigerian government and the corporate sectors.

“Greatest Movie Ever Made”
M-Net Movies channels on DStv have created a fun-filled, unique new competition, inviting undercover movie stars of Africa to participate in the “Greatest Movie Ever Made” casting competition. While the twelve best aspiring actors will get the opportunity to live out their dream opposite well-known stars in a short M-Net Movies production, the winner of this competition will win a seven day trip to Hollywood for them and their partner, all of which will be filmed by the M-Net Movies team.

This competition is open to DStv Premium customers older than 18years. The shoot will take place in the week of 26 September. The first step is to show-off your acting skills by re-enacting a scene from any movie currently showing on the M-Net Movies Channels: M-Net Movies Premiere (Channel 104); M-Net Movies Smile (Channel 105); M-Net Movies Action + (Channel 106), M-Net Movies Showcase (Channel 107); M-Net Movies Action (Channel 110); M-Net Movies All Stars (Channel 111) and M-Net Movies Zone (Channel 139). Thereafter, you need to upload a video of your re-enactment onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #MMGreatest. And then, very importantly, you have to go to www.mnet.tv to fill out an entry form to validate your entry. This needs to happen within the first week of posting your video on social media.

The closing date for entries is Saturday, August . panel of experts will pick the top 24 actors from these casting videos, who will then go up for the public vote. M-Net Movie fans will be able to vote for their favourites from Tuesday 23 August and the twelve actors with the most votes will find themselves stepping into the opportunity of a lifetime – acting in a real production, spearheaded by the reputable television and film production company Bomb Productions, whose success stories include dramas like Isibaya and Jacob’s Cross.

The Difference is Jata
Jata Event and Resort Hotel, one of the latest hospitality establishments in the Awoyaya area along Lekki- Epe Expressway has been described as a different neighbourhood that is so alluring.
From the cooling sea breeze that whistles and gently caresses one, the absolute tranquility that envelopes one as he alights from the vehicle and the general mien, all look so enthralling; and many have come to salute the vision of Alhaji Jamiu Bosun Salau, a business mogul who at first contact was struck by the serene environment and decided to build a resort on it. The edifice was conceived as a befitting relaxation centre to cater for people like him who cherish quietness and peaceful milieu.

Today, the two-storey building with a detached twin duplex, stands imposingly in the area and provides first class hospitality to lovers of nature. Situated at Km 39 Lekki-Epe Express way, opposite Coscharis Motors – Awoyaya, Lagos, Jata Event and Resort Hotel prides itself with 36 luxuriously furnished rooms and houses six conference rooms, one of which has a gallery and can conveniently sit over 1000 guests. The exquisite setting is simply better experienced than imagined.

“Jata Events and Resort is a hospitality concept developed out of insistent and urgent need for an exquisite all-in-one event and entertainment resort. We recognise the need for a serene environment, that is why Jata is tucked away from the busy cosmopolitan traffic of the city and offers extensive comfort and luxury in the true tradition of hospitality,” Salau said.