Ara Returns to Atunda Entertainment

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  • Joins Olomidan Bata and Anu to promote Ethiopia

Nseobong Okon-Ekong

After many years of going their separate ways, Ara, Nigeria’s sensational talking female drummer has returned to the stable of Otunba Wanle Akinboboye-owned Atunda Entertainment, where she was nurtured and packaged for a rewarding career in music.

During the break-up between the mentor and promoter, Akinboboye and his protégé, Ara, who hitherto benefited from his guidance, support, experienced and influence, he always expressed the hope that they will be united again and rejected the temptation to pull the rug off her feet.
Akinboboye who exposed Ara to major world platforms, that gave her an opportunity to perform at the UN General Assembly, UNESCO and before several world leaders, also helped her to get the keys of many cities in the United States of America. He was quoted many times saying that he could not destroy what he had built with his hands.

Following the exit of Ara from Atunda, Akinboboye started to nurture two female entertainers, using the same similar template of making them proficient in an identified Nigerian musical instrument. Thus emerged, Anu, the Lady Ekwe, a former beauty queen turned player of the wooden gong (Ekwe) and Olomidan Bata. Like the successful experiment with Ara, the attraction was to make them entertain with a Nigerian musical instrument normally associated with the male folk.
With this reconciliation, Atunda Entertainment has become more formidable, offering the best of African themed entertainment, showcasing the orchestra of Atunda Entertainment and the fantastic trio of Anu, The Lady Ekwu, Olomidan Bata and Ara. The synergy among these artistes could be observed at the recent formal launch of Motherland Beckons Ethiopian destination, Al Nejashi/Lalibela. Al Najashi is a Muslim site considered by some Muslim faithfuls as the first Islamic settlement in Ethiopia; while Lalibela is famous for its rock-hewn churches which has been named a word heritage site by UNESCO.

Performing together, perhaps, for the first time, the three female lead artistes of Atunda Entertainment gave a powerful and moving rendition of both Nigeria and Ethiopia national anthems, which were well received by the audience. The launch event was attended by the Founder and President of Motherland Beckons, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye and the Ethiopian Ambassador to Nigeria, Samia Zekaria Gutu as well as the General Manager of Ethiopian Airlines, Nigeria, Solomon Begashaw, other guests and the travel media.

Akinboboye then enlivened and captivated his audience with his iconic narrative of the concept of Destination Al Nejashi/Lalibela as he spoke extensively on the historical and economic derivatives of the project. He paid glowing tributes to Ethiopia nation for standing against the divisive war of the colonialists by resisting every attempt at colonising it.

He opened the minds of the audience to the symbolism of the war won by the Ethiopians and made reference to Al Nejashi, which is a mountainous region and what it meant to the people playing on the symbolism and slogan of the people known as ‘Gara le Gara’ or ‘Mountain to Mountain.’

According to him, the bridge building process would be in two parts with the first being the creation and promotion of tour packages to Al Nejashi and Lalibela, two great historical sites in Ethiopia with each having their respective strong attractions for the people.

The tour packages would involve the long stretch of value chain in the travel business with Ethiopian Holidays serving as the ground handlers, Ethiopian Airlines as the official carrier and Mountain –
Ice – Consultancy, Travels and Tours Limited as the tour company, all working closely with Motherland Beckons to achieve the aim of the amalgamation.

The second part of the deal as revealed by Akinboboye is the building of La Campagne Mountain Resort Al Nejashi. The resort, which is soon to commence construction, he said would be a themed resort that would utilise extensively the cultural materials of the people of Ethiopia and the region. Ambassador Gutu in her remark further amplified Akinboboye’s submission, giving credence to the amalgamation project, which according to her, is opening her country to the world even as she insisted that Ethiopia has a lot to offer to the world.

Given its historical and political antecedents, as a country that was never conquered by the colonialists, she said that Africans and the world have a lot to learn from the country hence the country is teaming up with Motherland Beckons to promote two of its most revered locations.