The journey to find West Africa’s top bartender kicked off with auditions on the 30th of January with over 80 competing bartenders from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone & Liberia. The judges included Head Judge and Show Creator Caesario de-Mederios, Spirits Industry Professional, Founder AHL Marketing – a niche spirits activation agency operating in Nigeria, Ghana & Ivory coast, also a certified wine & spirits Educator, Lara Rawa, Lawyer & bartender, founder Enti cocktails and Lagos cocktail week & Chris Beaney, President of the Ghana Bartenders Guild and ex Manager Crazy Homies & Lucky 7 London
Experienced Spirit industry professional and TV Presenter, Mark Barrett also joins the cast of The Barman TV as Show Host
The season starts filming in April 2017.
“The Barman TV is a reality series born out of the idea that Africa is in need of a platform to develop and raise respect for the craft, this we feel will have more success than attempting to enlist African bartenders to international competitions as it does not provide a level playing field. We infused this serious agenda with a little bit of entertainment, nightlife and fashion and the TV show was
born”explained Co creator , Chioma Onyenwe of ‘Ha! Ha! Media.’
The show has managed to attract the interest of several respected industry greats like; Hidetsugu Ueno who will be joining us from Tokyo, Dale Degroff, author of The Craft of the Cocktail and The Essential Cocktail and Tom Dyer multiple world flair champion who will be joining us from London to teach flair.
NKECHI BLESSING, PAPA AJASCO ARE NIGERIA CARNIVAL USA AMBASSADORS
As preparations for its second edition enters top gear, organisers of the Nigeria Carnival USA have unveiled its ambassadors.
At a media event in Lagos recently, the organisers announced Nollywood actresses, Deihlar Musa and Nkechi Blessing Sunday, also known as Omoge Lekki, and prolific comic actor, Abiodun Ayoyinka aka Papa Ajasco, as flag bearers of the annual event.
Also unveiled as ambassadors are Kannywood star Abdul Mohammed, teen reality TV prodigy, Ibukunoluwa Ayomikun Sobowale, and comedian, Kelly Ighoyota, also known as Kelly Blind.
The carnival, a yearly Nigeria music, cultural and comedy event in the United States of America, is an initiative of TKY Global Investment Limited. The one-week long 2017 edition of the carnival, slated for July 23 – 31, 2017, will hold in Maryland, U.S.A.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Mr. Benson Akinkuebi, Chief Operating Officer of the carnival, said the aim of the organisers is to promote Nigeria diverse rich culture and hertage.
“Apart from sports, there is no other thing that can bring Nigerians together than culture and entertainment. We are bringing Nigerians together through culture and make them cherish their culture like the Chinese and other culturally-inclined countries. We also want to sell our culture to the people of other culture across the world,” Akinkuebi said.
He noted that while many did not believe in their dreams when the project debuted last year, yet, they thank God that the maiden edition suceeded beyond their expectation as the carnival recorded over 300 participants and hope that there will be a significant increase this year.
Akinkuebi however allayed fears over the emergeance of President Donald Trump whose immigration policy has created a lot of concerns for visitors and US citizens alike.
“The law is there to guide everyone. America is a country where true federalism is practiced. And besides, the Nigeria Carnival is a legitimate concern, more so, we are in the business of promoting culture, thus we have nothing to fear about the new administration of Mr. Trump,” he assured.
On the choice of ambassadors, Akinkuebi said, “ Since it’s a pan Nigeria thing, we have to bring everyone together. We picked Kelly Blind to represent the South-South region and also the physically challenged persons; Papa Ajasco from the South-West, Deihlar Musa and Abdul Mohammed to represent the North-Central and North-east, and Ibukunoluwa, who is 11 years old, to represent teenagers.”
Also contributing, Nollywood star actress, Foluke Daramola Salako, who is also the Public Relations Officer of the carnival, said: “The first edition has only one person (Yemi Blaq) as ambassador but we decided to expand it this year to capture nearly the whole Nigerian region. We were specific and precise in picking the ambassadors for the carnival so as to carry along everyone and to appeal to brands and relevant government agencies.”
She noted that as part of the activities leading to the Carnival, the team will be visiting royal fathers in different parts of the country to intimate them of the programme and the main carnival.
DELTA TAKES NOLLYWOOD TO THE AIR
First it was Hollywood, then Bollywood and now Delta Air Lines is bringing Nollywood to the skies with Nigerian-made movies on board its flights.
The genre is being rolled out across Delta’s inflight entertainment system Delta Studio and will be complete in April. The first films to be shown will be Bambitious andA Place Called Happy, with more titles coming later in the year. The movies will be available on 339 aircraft flying both internationally and on U.S. domestic routes, including Delta’s daily service between Lagos and Atlanta.
“As a global airline, we listen to our international customers to shape our product and services to offer what they want,” said Bobby Bryan, Delta’s Commercial Director for East and West Africa. “We already offer African menus and the introduction of Nollywood films shows our commitment to this region and offering local customers popular local entertainment.”
Ayo Makun, producer and lead actor of ‘30 Days in Atlanta’, which is named in the Guinness World Records 2017 as Nollywood’s highest domestic grossing film said: “I applaud Delta for bringing Nollywood to a new global audience. Our films are already popular in Africa but I’m looking forward to more film fans becoming lifelong Nollywood fans too.”
Delta’s in-flight entertainment system, Delta Studio™, more than 1,000 hours of entertainment, including up to 300 movies, 750 TV shows, 100 foreign film titles, 2,400 songs, 18 channels of live satellite TV on select aircraft and a selection of games, podcasts, and audiobooks. Entertainment can also be watched in the palm of your hands thanks to on-demand Wi-Fi available on all flights, enabling a selection of films to be streamed to laptops as well as mobile and tablet devices.
Delta flies to four points in Africa, Accra, Ghana, Dakar, Senegal and Johannesburg, South Africa as well as Lagos, Nigeria. It also has sales offices in a number of additional markets, including Kenya and Uganda.
ACCELERATE TV LAUNCHES THE SHADE CORNER
Leading Nigerian online hub for entertainment and news, Accelerate TV recently launched a lifestyle talk show called The Shade Corner which features five young, interesting Nigerians from different creative industry sectors. The Shade Corner, which hit the screens on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, is considered an open discussion forum where young folks can express their opinions on different topics ranging from entertainment to lifestyle and further down to happenings and trending topics from all over the world.
The show’s cast, nicknamed the Shady Bunch, brings different perspectives to the table owing to their different professional, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Akah Nnani is a fast rising actor, TV host/presenter and blogger with a great sense of humour and a degree in Mass Communication from Covenant University. Makida Moka is an Egyptian-born Nigerian actress and model who won the inaugural “Face of Sleek Nigeria” in 2009 and featured in Emem Isong’s Code of Silence in 2015.
Adebayo Oke-Lawal is a well-known Nigerian designer behind the menswear fashion brand, Orange Culture, whose designs have featured in various magazines such as Genevieve Magazine, TW, FAB Magazine. Adebayo has also dressed celebrities such Tiwa Savage, Mo’Cheddah, and Ice Prince amongst others.
University of Maryland alumnus, Noble Ezeala is a lawyer and also a blogger for Style HQ, while Camille Shaiyen, a French-speaking brand consultant who holds a degree from the American University of Paris, works as creative director for a couple of fashion brands.
Speaking on why these individuals make the perfect hosts for The Shade Corner, Head of Accelerate TV, Colette Otusheso says, “Different industries especially entertainment overlook the importance of constructive criticism and open discussions in Nigeria. This is why these five young and eclectic personalities were chosen to represent the voice of Nigerian millennials who want to have a say on topical issues and trending topics.”
The first episode of The Shade Corner which premiered on Accelerate TV includes a review of some of the less-than-flattering works of Nollywood actors who had ventured into music in recent times. Rare clips from music videos by Omotola Jalade, Nkem Owoh, Genevieve Nnaji, Jim Iyke and even Cossy Orjiakor were unearthed and played back with hilarious commentary and review by cast members.
With this show, Accelerate TV aims to further engage directly with its target audience of Nigerian millennials, by covering trending topics, controversies and news on celebrities that they care about, in a no-holds barred, bold and direct manner.
Considering the tide of television viewing is gradually shifting from regular home screens to web and social media, Accelerate TV is well prepared to take a position as an online haven for young Nigerian creatives, doers, thinkers, champions and even the misfits with shows like The Shade Corner.