Inside the Private Life of Munachi Abii

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EX-BEAUTY QUEEN MUNACHI ABIIMesmerizing in beauty. Eclectic in artistry. Shrewd in the enterprise. Unforgettable in memories. She came. She saw. She is conquering. With her enchanting, fluorescent eyeballs, she makes everyone stop in their tracks; her seemingly sculptured, captivating body shape fits the image of a princess. Nigeria’s most beautiful girl she was but the passage of time has not eroded her grace, goodness, and gumption. Munachi Abii is an enchantress. An alluring personality both physically and mentally. As a beauty, she melts hearts. As an artiste, TV presenter, model, and songwriter, she dazzles them all. Most recently, Munachi shares with Funke Olaode her latest mission as an ex-beauty queen in a beauty product enterprise

Munachi Abii. That sure sounds like an exotic name. The bearer is an eclectic personality. One of Nigeria’s many women of substance. In her blossom of youth, she captured the imagination of the world simply but sensationally. As she carried her elegant, graceful figure, with an enduring smile flashing on her pristine face and a shimmering crown sitting delicately on her beautiful tresses, the audience bowed in ovation to the newly-crowned most beautiful girl in Nigeria. She was just 20 years old in 2007 when fame and fortune struck.

Mesmerizing in beauty. Eclectic in artistry. Shrewd in the enterprise. Unforgettable in memories. She came. She saw. She is conquering. With her enchanting, fluorescent eyeballs, she makes everyone stop in their tracks; her seemingly sculptured, captivating body shape fits the image of a princess. Nigeria’s most beautiful girl she was but the passage of time has not eroded her grace, goodness, and gumption. Munachi Abii is an enchantress. An alluring personality both physically and mentally. As a beauty, she melts hearts. As an artiste, TV presenter, model, and songwriter, she dazzles them all. Most recently, Munachi has her hands in the beauty product enterprise

Munachi’s rise to superstardom is often understated -understandably so. She’s not an attention-seeking, media-obsessive celebrity.

Munachi’s hard work, artistic ingenuity, pristine beauty, and business acumen have always spoken for her. Her true beauty, as time and events have attested to, is not skin-deep. Beneath her supple, glowing skin, shapely body and effervescent face is a brain that separates her from the pack. She is the pick of the pack.

Even at that, she remains an unsung heroine. And that, maybe, is her own doing. She makes privilege look like a right.

That moment that she was crowned Nigeria’s most beautiful girl in Nigeria, Munachi admits, was a defining moment in her life. As her life evolves, it will also appear that the moment has remained enduring, overlapping other facets of her life even more than a decade after.

“The crown gave me access to take my dreams a step further. For that, I am most grateful,” says Munachi.

Yet, Muna, as she is fondly called, had always been rising before that moment of crowning glory. Before she became a beauty queen, she had been rocking the microphone as a rap artiste. Her mellifluous voice, swagger, and artistry ensured that she was not just your average young lady. Munachi was part of the Port Harcourt-based rap group, The Specimen A. 

There’s more to her ingenuity. Muna also writes songs: J. Martins and Waje can testify to that. Back in the days, she featured in several music videos, most notably in the defunct PSquare’s song, Ifunanya.

It is on record that Muna was one of the female rappers to feature and represent Nigeria on the globally televised BET Cypher for the BET Awards in 2011, and in April 2012, Muna released two singles: Here To Stay and Down Down Low.

As a woman of substance and many parts, Muna’s creativity transcends just singing, rapping and writing songs. Her lungs are bursting with ideas.

“I still write and produce music,” she replies when asked if her foray into music had ended. “But my understanding of music has evolved to incorporate other things such as film and photography.”

Inasmuch as Munachi wants to stay a private person, she has often not been able to evade public glare. As an ex-beauty queen and an avant-garde rapper, it’s inevitable that she remains in public consciousness. How will she handle that?

“I’d love for Nigerians not to have any expectations when it comes to Munachi,” the former most beautiful girl in Nigeria says, adding, “and to just accept her, however, she chooses to present herself.”

As a youngster, born and raised in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, Munachi was encouraged and supported by her family to pursue her passion for music and arts. After obtaining her O level qualifications from the Federal Government Girls’ College, Abuloma, she studied International Relations and Diplomacy at the Benson Idahosa University.

Yet, life was not a bed of roses for Munachi. As she followed her heart and art, she had to contend with reality back then that the rap genre was not a Nigerian ‘thing’. But she stuck to her gun. In the end, Munachi became a source of inspiration to herself.  

“The only difficulty I experienced was the lack of proper promotion,” she explains. “I believe that anything is marketable with the right promotion. ‘Nigerian’ or ‘non-Nigerian’.”

Munachi also embraced modelling and became the face of a multinational, Unilever. She signed an endorsement deal as a model for Lux, thereby following in the footsteps of Patti Boulaye and Nollywood diva, Genevieve Nnaji.

Unassuming as she appears, Munachi has not been able to steer clear of glitz and grandeur.

Munachi joined a privileged league of celebrities who have set up various enterprises in the beauty industry as she launched her range of beauty products called BerryWorks. 

Munachi’s trajectory is like a beautiful tapestry. Munachi is the personification of reinvention. Her staying power lies in her belief: the belief that she can do it. And she does not just do it. She does it in style. 

BerryWorks was inspired by her need to find a product good for her body and will not have collateral damage on her skin.

“Well, I felt it was a natural path to follow,” she answers regarding the reason she ventured into skincare. 

“The beauty of it is that it is not restricted to my age alone. It is for every gender from age 18 to 45.” 

Some skin care products have not stayed long in the market. The reason is not farfetched. The beauty market is a stiff and saturated one. As one of the new entrants, people are wondering if Munachi has got what it takes to get her fair share of and remain in the competitive industry.

“Oh yes!” says Munachi enthusiastically.

Why is she that confident?

She explains: “Because BerryWorks is 100 percent organically sourced and produced. It is the only skincare product in Africa that consists predominantly of berries and herbs. Our customers can follow us on Instagram @berry.works to place an order.”

For Munachi, the last dozen years have gripped and shaped her. She has ridden the tide with panache and perseverance. What is her staying power?

“My staying power?” she begins. “I don’t know about staying power.

“I just live my life one day at a time. Again, my mental disposition is to constantly choose peace and respect for all I encounter.”

Munachi also points out that her life’s trajectory is not a byproduct of coincidence. As a well-organized and thoughtful young woman, she has always dreamt of her moves.

She attests to that saying, “Nothing is a coincidence. Everything I am today, I (have) always desired to accomplish.”

Munachi says further, “Well, we live in an era where it is advisable to have multiple streams of income which means, it’s a great moment in time for multifaceted individuals such as myself to thrive. 

“Munachi is an artist and as such, my passion will find its way through any spectrum of art it can pass through.” One of the hurdles Munachi had to cross was her desire to please everyone, leading her to give up at times.

Munachi recalls, “In the past, I concerned myself with timing and I was always anxiously pleasing people. In that mindset, I gave up many times. Now I follow what gives me joy and I share it with the world and leave the rest. 

“When your actions come from love, you never quit. And at times, the experiences become documented as art.”

Fame and fortune are things she does not consider synonymous with her name. Even though many Nigerians know Munachi, she says, “I still don’t consider myself famous and I don’t think about it.”

She adds, “I stay private.”

In Nigerian society, women are often considered ‘incomplete’ without a man by their side. But Munachi’s response to the question, ‘Who’s her ideal man?’, was an intriguing “I only concern myself with myself.”

That’s self-assured.

Well, what about how she wards off male admirers? Munachi answers matter-of-factly, “I ignore advances.”

So far, so good, Munachi believes her life has been. Nothing to change even if she had the chance to turn back the hands of time.

Munachi is a serious-minded lady. She hardly entertains frivolity. In society generally referred to as a man’s world, she holds her head high. She detests the idea that every success of a man boils down to hard work but every accomplishment of a woman can only be attributed to ‘bottom power’.

“I don’t pay attention to comments that don’t serve me,” says Munachi. With a fluorescent countenance, supple skin, Munachi’s skin radiates beauty. How does she stay beautiful? 

In three words, she reveals the secret: “I use BerryWorks.”

An eclectic woman used to the klieg light, Munachi keeps things simple in style. When she is not doing her arts, she sleeps, eats. Besides, she does yoga when she can and she loves to laugh a lot.

 Munachi is ending this year on a good note with her BerryWorks skincare products as she admits that life may pose its challenges, she will remain true to herself as she conquers her fears.

 

 

 

 

Focus

Opinion: Tiger Woods’ Epic Fall is Still Unmatched 10 Years After Infamous Car Crash

Christine Brennan, USA TODAY

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  1. 27, 2009 is a date that lives in the surreal outer reaches of sports infamy. It is a date that marks the most bizarre self-induced sabotaging of an athlete’s image, career and lifestyle in the history of sports.

It is the date that Tiger Woods ran his car into a fire hydrant at the end of his driveway, triggering a cascade of scandalous revelations that forever altered the way tens of millions of people around the world viewed him as a golfer, pitchman, husband, father and cultural icon.

In other words, the 10th anniversary of Tiger’s drive off the metaphorical cliff is one that undoubtedly will pass without his celebration.

Some might believe that because Tiger has won several high-profile tournaments since those dark days of 2009 – including, finally, another major at this year’s Masters – he has bounced back to where he once was and that everything is the same today as it was the moment before he tore out of his house in his Cadillac Escalade in those early morning hours after Thanksgiving.

That assumption would be wrong. Go ahead and cheer for Tiger all you’d like. Revel in the comeback story of the year, if not the century. Applaud him for acting more like a normal person now, if only because he couldn’t have acted less like a normal person for years.

But make no mistake about it. For Tiger Woods, nothing is the same as it was in those heady days before the world found out who he really was.

Many of us are old enough to remember that the act of turning on a television or walking through an airport often put us face to face with the most prominent athlete of the early days of the 21st century. Tiger’s endorsement deals were legendary: AT&T, Accenture, American Express, Gillette, Buick, General Mills and Gatorade, among others.

Nearly all are long gone. Those companies signed Tiger believing he was what he portrayed himself to be: a fearless athlete with a sweet smile, a storybook marriage and a lovely young family. When he admitted that it was all a clever ruse – “I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated.” – they dumped him as fast as they could and have never come back.

Most of the companies to stick with him to this day are golf or sports-related companies like Nike. Tiger clearly doesn’t need the money, so it doesn’t really matter, but what he lost as a corporate spokesman who transcended sports is incalculable.

Something else also disappeared as one mistress after another appeared on TMZ or in the National Enquirer to tell her tawdry Tiger tales: Trust.

From the mid-1990s until November 2009, Americans saw a lot of Tiger. They felt that they knew him like a member of their family. They were traditional sports fans, for sure, but also grandmothers who couldn’t care less about any other athlete but who planned their Sundays around Tiger’s tee time.

Over the years, a blind reverence developed for Tiger, an adoration that was shaken to its core by the run-in with the fire hydrant. Over time, it has been replaced by a public wariness that wisely extends beyond Tiger to all well-known athletes. If you couldn’t trust Tiger, who could you trust?

We also know that Tiger’s golf game suffered greatly in his very public fall from grace. The humiliation Tiger suffered shattered his aura of athletic invincibility. All of a sudden, he was beatable on a golf course.

The day of the accident, he had won 14 majors and 71 PGA Tour titles. Ten years later, those totals are 15 majors and 82 titles. Not bad, but certainly not what we would have predicted for Tiger had we ventured a guess on Thanksgiving Day 2009.

To be sure, the dominance of a 33-year-old golfer would have been expected to tail off over the next 10 years of his career, especially for a man prone to injury. But certainly not that dramatically. There had even been heady talk of Tiger winning several majors in 2010 to get close to Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 because his favorite courses were hosting that year: Augusta National, Pebble Beach and St. Andrews.

But it was not to be, a familiar refrain in the 10 years that have passed in the life of Tiger Woods since that fateful day in 2009.

  • This article originally appeared on USA TODAY

FEMI OGUNDORO

His Steady Climb to Success

Vanessa Obioha writes that serial entrepreneur Femi Ogundoro’s TV ambitions were fired up at a young age, and he is inching closer to dominance on the TV landscape 

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e was going to change the TV landscape. He swore as he flipped the channels that fateful day in 1998. Having just written his JAMB exams, Femi Ogundoro was in that delicate stage of his life where he needed to make the right decisions. But he got little guidance from his parents who were unwilling to share the hard truths about life. The media which was supposed to enlighten him didn’t have his age group on their radar. Most programmes then were family oriented. All these pissed the young Ogundoro. There were many challenges he was going through at the moment. Sex, alcohol, cigarettes were some of the issues he and his age mates grappled with but no one was willing to mentor them. 

“A lot of things that defines that young man, that person that you call a teenager is usually within that window of age 14 and 18. If you miss out on mentorship, the real guidance that they should get, then you will have a broken society because these guys, they would go the other way,” he said behind the mahogany table that separated us on a rainy Tuesday afternoon. We were in his office in Gbagada where he runs his media company, Maxima Media Group. 

Angered by the dearth of youth programmes on TV to address these issues, Ogundoro set out to fill this void, all the while nursing a passion for acting. His first opportunity was to create a show on AIT called ‘Youth Forum’. He also created other shows and got a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes in Tunji Bamishigbin’s produced TV drama, ‘The Palace’. By 1999, he played a role in another series by the producer, ‘Schemes’ starring TV icons like Antar Laniyan. His notable character is playing Suara’s son in the Wale Adenuga’s Super Story series, ‘Oh Father, Oh Daughter.’

With the little fame that came with his TV appearances, Ogundoro was still unsatisfied. This time, his discomfort came from the lifestyle of the actors.

 “I loved the fact that I could go on set, read lines and deliver it. I loved being on location and all but I knew there was more to it because most people I see around me were — in quotes — not wealthy people. They were very popular but there was no financial backing. They were not rich; they were not ‘there’. A number of them came to location on buses, they were broke half the time that we were on location. They would nag, I don’t like those things. I could remember getting on buses and then people would be like ‘is he the one?’ and then they decide to pay for my bus fare. It happened a number of times. I didn’t like it. I just felt, they have all the fame but there was no money behind it. That made me focus on what I wanted to do on campus, which was being an accountant. I studied Management and Accounting in Obafemi Awolowo University in Ife. I was very clear by 300 level that I wasn’t going to work anywhere.”

True to his word, Ogundoro has never worked for anyone. He doesn’t even have a CV or remember where his first degree certificate is. Though the walls of his office are decorated with frames of his professional certificates.

Yet, he admitted that it was never a smooth sail as a young entrepreneur in the university. He produced an entertainment magazine, sold the popular beverage drink Zobo when the school banned Coca-Cola, and organised some entertainment shows. He was hardly in campus. While his friends were busy thinking of how to hunt banking jobs when they graduate, Ogundoro was thinking of running his own business. He tried his hands on some projects. Some were successful, some flopped. Yet, he never gave up his dream to revolutionise the TV landscape.

 “I was still  going to do a series about young people because there were a lot of things we were saying as young people that our parents didn’t understand. So, I created a show called ‘The Bridge’. ‘The Bridge’ was meant to bridge the communication gap between our parents and their children. It took me almost a year and a half to raise over a million naira to produce this.  I’m sure I wrote to about 500 entrepreneurs in Lagos. I wrote to everybody. I am not scared of anybody; I can speak to Trump and I will tell him what I want to tell him, it is left for him to take it or not. I went everywhere, raised it, we did a pilot of two episodes but we couldn’t get on TV because you have to pay the TV stations to get your show on TV. Then it was N3.9 million to pay for airtime. I had a contract with Tajudeen Adepetu of Soundcity. His business name was called Alpha Vision, a multimedia in Ogba. So I had a contract for about N350,000. He gave me some equipment and I paid part of the money and all but I couldn’t get it on TV, I tried 2002, 2003, 2004, I couldn’t get it on TV. Time was going and a lot of young people that felt we were going to be the first that was going to do this in this country started losing their faith in us. At a point, I felt so too and decided to something else.  I shot another short movie between 2004 and 2005, but couldn’t finish it. I have quite a number of people working with me on the project. By the way, each of these projects at the time had some of the best talents today. They were not known then. Like Clarence Peters was my assistant director.”

It didn’t take long before fortune came knocking on his door. A chance meeting with one of Globacom top managers landed Ogundoro his first major job but that suffered a setback when they didn’t deliver on time. That was in 2005. Then PZ came knocking on his door in 2007 for the Power Fist concert that landed the artiste D’banj his first endorsement. Though that too had its glitches, it gave Ogundoro the needed financial resources to build his company. He became actively involved in branding while still pursuing his interest on TV. He finally berthed ‘Views and Tunes, a music programme that aired on 14 TV stations at the time.

  “It was the gap in the market. A lot of artistes will come up with their songs and beg to have it played on air but there was no feedback mechanism to gauge their success. We felt we should give the consumer the right to speak as well. The show talked about the lyrics of songs, the video. We criticised some, praised others and all. And it was doing well,” explained the young man from Ekiti State.

‘Views and Tunes’ turned out to be the springboard that launched Ogundoro’s company. Today, he runs a branding outfit that caters to mostly FMCG companies, owns a studio for  TV content productions, runs an agency that has big brands like Nigerian Breweries Plc on its client list, and now has a dedicated edutainment channel for millenial called ‘Views’ on Startimes. The channel recently celebrated its first anniversary. 

“‘Views and Tunes’ is what has metamorphosed into Views Channel. The content is more focused on the millennial and Gen Z. It is what they want that determines what we put on the channel. So, if you look at it, there is TVC, there is STV and all of those stations. But when you want to speak to young people, the agency will tell you to go to Soundcity.  When you look at Soundcity, it is a music channel, but young people want more than music. They want music, they want drama. If you check the millennial report for 2018, it showed that they love music, lots of movies and TV series, and they love food. We have a lot of content for food. I don’t know anyone that can beat us to that. We have over 47 original shows for food alone.”

Now that he is in a position to bridge the gap that was lacking in his youthful days, Ogundoro believes that the work needed goes beyond the sight and sound medium.

“We are not developing and investing in our people. No matter the billions we spend on road constructions, infrastructure, these people would destroy everything. So? What is key for us is to invest in people. There was a time that I gathered that history was cut in our curriculum. Kids of today don’t know what happened yesterday. They don’t have an idea of what is going on right now. The only thing controlling their emotions, controlling everything that they do now is social media. Unfortunately, it is vanity. Social media is driven by vain people, which is not the real world. More than half of the people – some, don’t get me wrong – are rich, they are doing very well. I knew AY (Ayo Makun) when he was struggling. I knew Peter and Paul of the defunct P-Square when they were living in Ilupeju. I interviewed them. I noted that they have worked, but nobody is talking about that work, they are looking at the fame. You know that fame is what the young people want almost immediately, and I think that is the gap. It is also the responsibility of the media to do the needful by educating people. Entertainment is great, don’t get me wrong. But look at foreign content, there is a lot. For every movie you watch, they are passing a message. Just a few of our movies actually have something to hold on to at the end of the day. So, it is important to build the mind – the value that we are giving back to people,” he advised.

Socialmediabits

Last week, social media rebuked an ex-governor for wanting N10 million monthly, the president’s wife berated governors for non-performance, and the president asked to borrow more money…  

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ast week gave us another instalment of the contradiction that is Aisha Buhari. The President’s wife, who has criticised her husband’s government on a few occasions, slammed state governors for failing to provide basic social amenities and infrastructure two days ago.

But her populist pronouncements go against her actions. Nigerians on social media have questioned her posturing, considering that she was at the forefront of campaigning for Kogi State governor, Yayaha Bello, who has the unenviable reputation as the poster boy of governors that owe workers a backlog in unpaid wages.

Maybe these criticisms are being Mrs Buhari’s support for the “anti social media bill” which – as you can expect – has been vehemently opposed on social media.

Her logic that if China can regulate over a billion people on social media, then Nigeria can regulate 180 million was met with scorn. She was reminded that Nigeria, unlike China, is a democracy (or meant to be), while China has also executed corrupt officials, something Nigeria can’t lay claim to.

President Muhammadu Buhari is certainly losing no sleep over the comments of his wife, or any other matter apparently.

As was rightly noted by Salihu Tanko Yakasai, a media aide to Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, the president is looking better by the day, which goes against the grain of leaders developing grey hair due to the onerous task of directing the affairs of state.

President Buhari seems not to have a worry in the world and not even Nigeria’s piling external debt – which has increased 400 per cent under his watch – is enough cause for concern as he insists on borrowing more billions.

 Meanwhile transportation minister, Rotimi Amaechi, gleefully announced the commencement of free rides on the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line. Somewhat ironic is that around the same time, news filtered out of passengers having to get down and walk in the dead of the night after the Abuja-Kaduna train broke down.

We hope the whispers of a third term agenda will “break down” before it gains traction. The president has reiterated that it is all hot air, as the APC blows hot, vowing to expel anyone who pushes the agenda.

 But as Aisha Yesufu tweeted, the president’s denial of interest in another term doesn’t put the matter to bed since he has gone back on his word on a few occasions.

There’s a reason why Nigerian politicians want to sit tight on office. They can hardly live without the juicy perks. It isn’t enough earning a pension that is commensurate to how much they earned as governors (along with other mind blowing benefits; cars, personal staff, furniture allowances et al).

The immediate past Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, had the temerity to protest the non-payment of  N10m monthly as “upkeep allowance,” which he claims he’s entitled to in addition to a pension equivalent to the salary he was receiving while in office, which means he’ll be earning more than the current governor for doing nothing!

This may be of no difference to him, since he has been accused of doing absolutely nothing while governor, as the state was run over by bandits.

Highlife

Here Comes the Wedding for the Books

The breakneck speed with which the year 2019 is drawing to a close is something to marvel at, along with the thrills, tremors, and tragedies that characterize any other taciturn year. Barely into it and it seems the year is already pushing humanity forward onto its elder 2020. No matter! There are more than enough jollifications to tend ageing hearts and aching bones with. And because the best things come last, the year cannot possibly end with a louder bang.

There is a case study of a wedding of the year featuring persons of interest: Dr. Nkenna Odom and Dr. Richard Ajuwah

There is no other bind a man willingly and grinningly walks into, no other venture of unambivalent risk and wrinkle. And there is not even a smidgen of doubt that this is the case with Nkenna and Richard. These guys are sashaying towards the well-decorated aisle of matrimonial adventure and have already stirred more than a few nests of interest – little thanks to their excellent plumage.

The two lovebirds hail from notable families. On one end is the bride-in-waiting, daughter of Abia champ and former FCT Minister of State, Chuka Odom. Richard is from Delta State. In other words, the wealth and commerce of the South-East against the oil wells of the South-South. Little wonder the approaching union is raking up a storm in the upper echelons of high society.

But the couple themselves are as much to blame for the attention. Leaving aside their status as gifted sawbones, the story goes that Nkenna and Richard met at medical school and underwent extra education at the hands of love. So saying, they graduated from school with a medical certificate at hand and a marriage certificate in view.

With both of them practising outside Nigeria – Nkenna at Maryland, USA, and Richard at the West Indies – the wedding guest list is definitely going to include more than a few up-and-up folks who will be there to congratulate Richard on ‘carrying both his eyes to the market’. 

In any case, December 21 is the day the wedding bells stop ringing, and Richard and Nkenna start ringing. Officially.  

Titans, Tycoons Light Up Tayo Ayeni’s Lavish Birthday Party for Wife

Everything and anything can be awesome from the right perspective. Jilted love can be awesome when it eventually heralds new opportunities that were otherwise unavailable. A prompt reprieve can be awesome too when it stops a running mouth or a loose tongue. Ageing can be awesome too when there is love to go all around and nothing missing or broken.

This is the case of Adetutu Ayeni who has just joined the clique of the 50s having recently clocked the golden age. If it were some other person, some other personality, there wouldn’t be this much celebration. But life is good when all there is to it is a healthy and regular dose of merriment with the man you love. And the man of Madam Adetutu’s dreams and reality is none other than the chief and boss of Skymit Motor Limited, Tayo Ayeni.

Letting alone the matter of the birthday party, the story of these two personalities is a refresher. Theirs is a tale of many sittings, one that calls upon itself equal envy and admiration from an audience of equally fortunate folks.

The story goes that oga Tayo met his heartthrob at the age of 17. At the time, she was an undergraduate student of Law at Lagos State University. Being an intelligent man and already exercising the foresight that makes his business ventures stand out, oga Tayo resolved to claim the dark beauty as his own and see her walk by his side. Smart decision that one. 

Because the coming years saw them walk side by side. She as the fierce Adetutu Ayeni, lawyer and managing director of Space Property Limited. He, as the chairman and chief executive of Skymit Motors Limited. Alone, they have marked their individual career territories with a skill born out of fortitude and talent. Together, they have raised the bar of lasting love, career success and familial accomplishments.

So is it surprising that her 50th year sees her walking shoulders tall with her man? 

The party naturally resonated with the warm personality of the celebrant. And the presence of the up-and-ups of high society. Folks ranging from billionaire magnates like Alhaji Aliko Dangote to Governor Dapo Abiodun, Babatunde Fowler, Hajia Bola Shagaya, Senator Kashamu Buruji were all there, to mention a few. And on the band was Nigerian music maestro, King Sunny Ade. This is how to grace the age of 50.

 

Patoranking, Tekno, Illbliss, Timaya Light Up Onitsha for Hero Fiesta 

A-list music artistes including Patoranking, Tekno, Illbliss, Zoro, Timaya, Sunny Bobo, Rudeboy and several others lit up the commercial town of Onitsha at the weekend, during the Hero fiesta.

Hero fiesta is an annual music event sponsored by International Breweries which is a part of the AB InBev family to celebrate one of its brands, Hero Lager beer.

It was a night of fun and excitement as popular Nigerian music artists took to the stage to thrill and entertain an already expectant crowd at the fifth edition of Hero Lager Fiesta at Chuba Ikpeazu Stadium, Onitsha, Anambra state. 

In what can best be described as a night of fun, artistes one after the other thrilled the crowd performing their fans favorite songs, delivering on good music and performances. The fiesta kept on till the early hours of the following day with party goers thoroughly enjoying a night with Hero.

Speaking at the event, the Marketing Director, International Breweries, Plc., Mrs. Tolu Adedeji said the Hero fiesta has come to state, as it will continue to be held annually.

He said, “Every year, the Hero Fiesta is held to appreciate loyal fans of the brand as well as connect the brand with its teeming consumers and customers. 

“Onitsha has always been the venue for this annual festivity to show gratitude to the people who welcomed the Hero beer into their family and made it their own.

No Cause for Alarm…Buruji Kashamu Parties Hard

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he renowned writer, all-round genius Oscar Wilde tells the story of a man whose freedom is limited by cold bars and colder iron cells. The prisoner was rumoured to have killed the thing he loved and naturally needed to be remunerated for his loss. And so he was condemned by the authorities but admired by his gallows’ mates for the serenity and buoyancy with which he faced impending and certain death.

It goes without saying that chaps like that prisoner are a rare stock of humanity and exist millennia apart. As they should. Except they do not. They crop up in the most uncertain of places, doing the most uncertain of things, and generally bulldozing even the bluntest minds towards existential philosophy.

The story of Buruji Kashamu has been on the airwaves for some time now. Typical of the buzzing bee which artfully bamboozles the unsuspecting before dashing in for a stinging thrust, the truth about the matter is coming from all directions. But that is really nothing new.

Mr. Kashamu has been the treasure item of rumour rings for a while now. Since the 1990s, his business operations have attracted the attention of governments at home and abroad. Not only has there reportedly been a United States extradition request but repeated announcements and attempts by Nigerian authorities to deport him to the US. 

But Mr. Kashamu is other things too. The businessman and politician who hails from Ogun State occupied the Ogun East senatorial seat for some time. With various unproven allegations that one is the linchpin of some illicit business operations, an average individual would have cowered and hidden in the shadows. Not Buruji Kashamu.

He was recently sighted at the birthday party of Adetutu Ayeni, wife of Skymit boss, Tayo Ayeni. Exuding the archetypal charm and confidence of a lounging wild cat, he looked nothing like a man spotlighting the attention of two nations. Or a man with accusations for a shadow and guilty soup-stains on his brocade. He wore a white agbada to the party.

Billionaire and Philanthropist Olu

 Okeowo Honoured for Largesse

One of the most overused proverbs in the Nigerian dialectical ensemble is that all fingers are not equal. This is used so often it is akin to a proverb for proverbs. But the general idea is that people are not the same. Or rather, wealth is not distributed equally across individuals of the same age group or some other shared characteristics.

But wealth is really the guilty and yet unfeeling party in this tale. Although a significant chunk of the affluent class basically attracted wealth to themselves through sheer business gravitas, wealth seems to reside permanently with these folks alone and none other. So fingers remain unequal.

Sir Olu Okeowo is one of those fingers. In fact, he is the superlative of fingers sitting astride an ensemble. Sir Okeowo is the model mogul and wears the signature paraphernalia of Nigerian moguls: a fancy title to a lyrical tribal name, a clean face without Hagrid-type beard or a moustache that frames the lips like a new wife with standing akimbo, and a head sporting an even distribution of grey hairs (as if to say wisdom has taken permanent residence here).

There’s also the archetypal squatting flock of houses and fleets of fast cars, all of which testify to the truth that much money makes one a passionate connoisseur. But, Sir Okeowo is distinguished in one respect and that is that the people love him. And that is because he is a generous and philanthropic uptown guy.

More than every other thing about Sir Okeowo, his charity and largesse are what truly stand out. In fact, people who know him and have eaten more than the crumbs from underneath his table would have him depicted as an atypical Yoruba chief in a large multipocketed agbada, filling this one’s hands with new grains of millet and that one’s bowl with a multiplicity of cowries.

Recently, Sir Olu Okeowo was recognized for his philanthropic ways – no matter how much he tries to avoid such accolades. This time, he could not hide away from the attention and recognition of the Grand Patron of the Association of Radiographers of Nigeria at its 51st Annual Conference and Scientific Workshop where he was awarded for his immense contributions.

Good deeds are a fragrant scent and Sir Olu Okeowo stinks to the highest heavens with them.

Stephanie Aderinokun Has a Baby Girl 

There are a limited number of events from which one can harvest basket after wagon after silo of joy. There’s the joy of first love (which often ends, when it does with swollen eyes or swollen egos); there’s the joy of a first job (not one of those back-breaking sort, but one where passion and pocket are in merry agreement); and then there is the joy of new birth. This is the one embracing Stephanie Aderinokun at the arrival of her baby girl. 

The Aderinokuns are not loudmouths and so relatively few folks know them. However, the arrival of baby Aderinokun has cast floodlights in their direction. Daddy of baby Aderinokun is none other than Olumide Aderinokun, the sharp businessman reported to have interests in properties and real estate industry. The man has an interesting family tree, most notably including the late Tayo Aderinokun, one of the founding pillars of the illustrious banking giant, Guaranteed Trust Bank (GtBank). In other words, baby Aderinokun is barely a month old but already has more connections than the average Nigerian. 

Mummy Aderinokun is the more popular of the two parents. Stephanie Coker-Aderinokun, TV and media personality and good friend of filmmaker Kemi Adetiba. By all indications, another power couple that is evidently changing its status to a gang, with baby Aderinokun heralding the arrival of more Aderinokuns. 

Recall that the year 2017 was slammed shut with a bang following the traditional wedding of Olumide and Steph. Lagos trembled under the weight of their union and they bathed in each other’s glory and walked with clasped hands and touching shoulders amidst a sea of cheering friends and relatives. But that was not the real deal, deliciously colourful and it was.

The real deal took place in Mykonos after the engagement ceremony in Lagos. The Grecian city obviously featured as a more suitable background to the matrimonial convivial. And almost two and a half years after that enviable wedding, baby Aderinokun arrives to complete their circle.

Mother and daughter are reportedly fine and still in the UK where the birth delivery took place. Kemi Adebita – who is currently the winning candidate for godmother – is not keeping quiet about the whole affair. She has already asked her Steph-Steph – new mother – to finish up and bring home her boo-boo – new child. A most joyous affair indeed.

 

End of an Era: Wasiu Sowami  Set to Rebrand Forte Oil, Ardova Plc

The year 2019 is seeing a great deal of change all around. From individual lives to industries and even national economies, it would appear as if whoever is running the world is running out of time and consequently facilitating transformations from one bulging corner of the globe to another.

The most recent of these transformations is set to take strides from Forte Oil Plc, one of the leading establishments in the Nigerian oil industry. According to reports, the ruffling plumage of change is really taking this company by storm especially because of the radical nature and long-reaching implications of the change. Forte Oil is set to become Ardova Plc. 

Naturally, the scoop itself was released following a regulatory disclosure on the twenty-fifth of November when the administrative board announced that it would hold an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) at the Bespoke Event Centre on Lekki-Ajah Expressway, Lagos. As expected, corporate parties of interest are already conferencing on whether to promptly jump aboard the titanic Forte Oil PLC, or wait until the final resolutions are made. Obviously, there are pots of gold at the end of this road. 

Recall that not too long ago, the former face and rock star of Forte oil, the prestigious Femi Otedola made his unexpected chessboard move that left his sea of corporate competitions gaping and uncertain. What he did was simply sell off his fraction of company shares. But it isn’t so simple.

Being the majority shareholder of the oil firm, Mr. Femi Otedola had precedence over 75 percent of the company shares. That is three-quarters of a company that basically dominates the oil market in many Nigerian cities. And so Oga Otedola sold off all 75 percent of his equity stake in the company to the new owners in a transaction reported to worth N65 billion. That is 982,971,950 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, sold at a rascally price of N66.01 per unit. Billionaire thinking at work. 

Reportedly, Billionaire Otedola’s returns from the timely deal have been put to work and invested into the budding power generation company, Geregu Power Plc.

Allegedly, these actions from the old boss are partly responsible for the new changes expected to rock the oil firm, starting with its new name. With the Chairman of Ignite and Chief Executive of Prudent Energy Services Limited, Mr. Abdulwasiu Sowami, now on board, speculations are flying around on what other adjustments are up the company’s sleeves.

 

 

What’s Up with Modupe Ozolua?

C

hange is a hard coin that is rarely exhausted. It is almost a proverb to have folks lining up in the latest campaign, parade or pageant, raising and stirring emotions in the name of a new change. As if all change isn’t new. And yet time is an even harder coin to spend. So the rowdy chap that only yesterday bulldozed the opinion of the public to his own interests might undergo a Balaam-type transformation, now willing to expend his last breath to protect the rights and privileges of his charges.

Both of these options are available to Modupe Ozolua, the blue-blooded descendant of Oba Ozolua of Benin who was appointed as the senior special assistant on NGOs to deputy senate president not too long ago. The public and other interested parties are very much anticipating the moves of the American-Nigerian philanthropist and entrepreneur, especially because transformation is second nature to her.

For those who are not up close and intimate with Princess Ozolua, she isn’t just a pretty face with charm to match. Modupe Ozolua is an enterprising individual whose efforts pioneered the first body enhancement establishment in all of West Africa. Daringly, she branded the company Body Enhancement Ltd. as if to challenge African traditional creed and doctrine of beauty. Take note that eye pencils were still a thing when Princess Ozolua levered up her company.

Since that time, her successes have inspired different women to seek out the best ways to be themselves, without fear of what society thinks of them. Even at the expense of a few extremists among them looking like Chinese mummies after an untimely exposure to the unrelenting glare of the sub-Saharan sun.

Thus, radical and revolutionary makeovers are not a new thing to the princess, explaining why there was dread and anticipation when she assumed her political role. What if she decides that men that answer to her only appear in flattering silk robes, centimeters of make-up and a barefaced determination to remunerate the entrepreneurial industry?

But Princess Modupe has none of that on her agenda. Not yet, anyway. In the meantime, there is a palpable expectation of her first move. Will she break the Chessboard, or soothe the public with a toothless project? Hurry up already!

Funke Fowler: A Tale of Daddy’s Girl

Love has many faces and different forms. Gone are those days when love only wore the affections of young love. Even further back are those days when all that was known of love were tales of princesses walking barefoot on the hearts of besotted kings and Lanceloting right-hand army lords. There was even that one about the face that launched a thousand ships. All fetching narratives of what can be. But all that is a form.

Much older than the love of romance is the love of family, one of the noblest forms of love that continues to endure even in these present times. It is quite rare to witness these forms in interaction, but Funke Fowler has managed it.

Recently, the 50th birthday party of the Adetutu Ayeni, the wife of Skymit CEO and boss, Tayo Ayeni saw a host of corporate, political and social trailblazers, the likes of which only congregate when nation-transforming schemes are afoot. This time though, these personalities were in attendance only to celebrate with Madam Tutu.

With moguls like Dangote swallowing the guest spotlights, it was easy to miss the gentle and yet steady presence of Funke Fowler and her equally steady husband – Aig-Imoukhuede – and father – Babatunde Fowler, the boss of Federal Inland Revenue Services.

Seeing the group brings to mind the journey of Lady Funke, a narrative that deserves an audience of its own. From bridges that were burnt to invite her knighting in brilliant armour, to a marital union that is the stuff of wild dreams for many envious persons, Lady Fowler has since dominated the airwaves.

Not too long ago, Aig-Imoukhuede and Funke presented the model-image of honest love to prying eyes when they attended another fiftieth birthday party (there is a lot of those going on). Lost in their own world, the couple whispered whatever lovers excite themselves with, paying little heed to the happenings around them. This time, the organization was slightly different.

Lady Funke sat close to her father, Oga Tunde while her hubby dotingly kept close guard. Evidently, Funke is still daddy’s girl after all these years. Whatever the case, nobody dies from being loved too much, and so Lady Funke has little to worry about with hubby and daddy beside her. 

Toyin Collins is Over the Moon 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the tango of love is as the swaying dance of venomous snakes: it is all very enchanting until the crawling beasts up and decide to get personal, leaving men and women jerking back precious body parts. Many a man has been broken from the slings and spears of love. William Walsh writes about one such character who comes to a timely conclusion that love once forsaken a new love may get, but a neck when once broken may never be set.

But necks and hearts and marriages and fortunes are broken on the terrace of love on a regular basis. It takes divine stocks of fortitude to weld a broken heart and live a subsistent, ordinary life. What it takes to make repeated attempts is yet to be discovered. But that is exactly what Toyin Collins has managed. 

It has not been that long ago when the news of the crashing marriage of Toyin Collins to popular socialite, Tayo Alakiu. Nobody expected the hitherto celebrated union to hit a wall, much less go up in flames. Take note that the marriage lasted over two decades. But rocks collapse just as easily as cards when they must, except that they leave injuries in their wake and tell-tale signs that something died here. 

Following the folding of that old life, there were speculations that the famous society lady and beauty cognoscenti would retire to a quiet life. Maybe even write a few prosaic narratives dressed up as memoirs, as people are wont to do.

Very few people, if any at all, foresaw her picking up the pieces, sewing back her life with resolute strokes and recovering the charm and titillating splendour that made her an attractive force in the first place.

Which explains how in the blink of an eye, there were already strings of suitors at her doorstep. Which explains how she chose the best of them, Debo Collins, and became Madam and Queen of his clan. Since then, it has been good tidings after good tidings.

Evidently, her glow is still on hand to rouse jealousy from outsiders as she was seen recently at an event with her man, looking every inch the happy woman, the one who was broken but kept at it until she overcame.

 

 

Glad Tidings… Former Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji’s Twin Honours

There are so many lessons to learn from living that there is really no time to jot down the full curriculum. On the one end are lessons about life in general, about seasons and places and people. Another end features traditional, socio-cultural lessons: how not to frown at a retreating elder, or the proper procedures to split kola nuts.

And then there are lessons within the four walls of classrooms which always seem to require thirty – plus some – hours a day. Which explains why young people just starting out dominate such environments. Not accomplished bosses. And yet Adeyemi Ikuforiji has refused to let boys handle the rigours alone. Boss has even gone ahead to best the young at their own game. A quick recap.

Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji has a retinue of descriptions, chief among them indicating that he is a Nigerian economist, lawyer, politician and former member of the fifth, sixth and seventh Lagos State House of Assembly from 2003 until 2015 – he was the speaker for eight years. In other words, he is primarily a mover and shaker with the brain and political brawn to step on the same river three times and come out glistening.

The 61-year-old has in recent times tried out for the office of the governor but lost the party ticket at the primary. Since then, not much was heard or seen of him. Other than the occasional outing with the boys, Baba Ikuforiji did not so much as stir the lakes he once dominated as shark lord. Trending news is however making it clear that he was not caring about mangled claws – as was supposed by many. Rather, he was improving the colouration of his multicoloured coat. 

This became the gist of the month when it was revealed that Adeyemi Ikuforiji had bagged a doctorate degree in Leadership from Liverpool Business School, John Moores University, in Liverpool, England. And then was called to the Bar in Abuja, having passed the Law School exam.

The man is simply setting a high standard for young and old alike. Only a few notable individuals have attempted to add more education to an already-established life. But Ikuforiji is blazing the trail. A few years may yet see him ascend the political pedestal once again. Who knows what the outcomes will be this time?

 

For Ayo Fayose… Good Timesa are Here

There is a popular jazzy song of the 70s that luck is a lady with a very unladylike way of running out. Hers is the shared narrative that countless persons inadvertently identified with, whether they be sovereign or subject, rebel or rajah.

And yet there are those few that luck appears to have taken a special liking that hasn’t been snuffed out yet. They are the errant ones that might be caught with hands stained with soup and still be overlooked when the search for the proverbial meat begins. 

This is the unique narrative of Peter Ayodele Fayose. This oga has acted every conceivable and enviable part in the political scene. Better depicted as a lord in his own right, Fayose’s special propensity for walking out of crisis unscathed and with a private chuckle has earned him respect from all tiers of society. More than respect, his consistent victories have secured him a reputation as one of those mystical folks who simply cannot be understood while the earth endures.

The latest strings of victories from the former governor of Ekiti State do not apply directly to him but to members of his family. From every indication, the divine powers protecting, sustaining and promoting Ayo Fayose buffer his family as well.

The first of these goodies is the eightieth birthday celebration of his mother, Prophetess Victoria Fayose. This is the first woman who stood by him through high mountains, tumultuous valleys, and rampaging rivers. But Mama Fayose wears more than the identity of the mother of Ayo Fayose; she is a well-known Deeper Life ‘prophetess’ whose love and support for her children saw them through school and one of them on the seat of government. Twice. So those absent from the party can only imagine how Mama was celebrated. 

Then there was the wedding of his son, Funsho Fayose to sweetheart Oluwakemi Owolabi. That too was another occasion that brought to glaring spotlights the unique temperament of the Fayose clan.

Although the old tiger has taken a seat from all political aluta, he is still the subject of gossip and tittle-tattles within Ekiti State and beyond. But all parties agree to one point, and that is that Fayose is having it good, regardless of the attention of monochrome eagles constantly at his tail.

SOCIETY WATCH

Ex-Ogun Governor Daniel’s Triumphant Moment

If Otunba Gbenga Daniel, a former governor of Ogun State, was a clairvoyant, he wouldn’t have worried so much when he was being reportedly persecuted by the government of Ibikunle  Amosun .

The Sagamu, Ogun State-born engineer had faced  many challenges when he left power in 2011.

His successor who came under the umbrella of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Amosu, had allegedly literally inflicted so much pain on him, as many of his property, including his multimillion naira hotel in the state, were allegedly seized.

All this, it was gathered, had been a big shock to the two-term governor and it gave him serious headache.

 Amosun had, a few months after he was sworn in, set up a truth commission to probe the activities of Daniel and his aides between 2003 and 2011.

Eventually, the committee made its recommendations and the Amosun government revoked the certificates of occupancy (Cs-of- O) granted to Gateway Front Foundation (GFF) and the Golf Resort Hotels in Abeokuta, the state capital. The recommendations were contained in the Ogun State of Nigeria Gazette No. 6 Volume 37.

The gazette stated that the government of Ogun was taking over the said properties in the public interest, “as there is allegation that state funds were used in the construction of the hotels.”

The government, however, maintained that “no money shall be paid as compensation to Daniel, GFF or Golf Resort Hotels Ltd until the said allegations are determined.”

Consequently, the hotel was taken over by security personnel, who barred the former governor from gaining access to his private property.

The hotel, which is located at Presidential Boulevard along Oke-Mosan, opposite the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, was said to have been erroneously constructed on an illegal land belonging to Golf Resort. 

It will be recalled that both were once jolly good fellows who had teamed up to wrest power then Governor Segun Osoba in 2003 election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The political partnership between Amosun and Daniel had worked out as both of them achieved their political desires.

While Daniel emerged the governor of the state in 2003, Amosun clinched the seat of the Ogun Central Senatorial district.

But, as they say in politics, “There is no permanent friend or enemy but permanent interest.”

The “romance” ended due to some irreconcilable differences between them. It was learnt that, there was an agreement between the duo that Daniel would hand over to Amosun after his first term.

For some reasons, the arrangement changed dramatically; hence, the battle line was drawn.

 But today, Daniel can’t be happier. How? Amosu is being made to face the flip side of power, having failed to impose his successor.

Following the emergence of Prince Dapo Abiodun as the governor, the hotel that had almost fallen into ruins and was already taken over by weeds, has been turned into an architectural masterpiece named Conference hotel.

It will be officially opened on Friday, December 6, by the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

 

 

Transcorp Hilton Hotel Boss, 

Valentine Ozigbo’s New Dream 

Valentine Ozigbo is widely regarded as a boardroom guru, with years of experience in retail banking.

 Ozigbo, an accountant, used to have everything at his beck and call.

Also, highflying Ozigbo is also one of the successful businessmen in the country, who have met with the high and mighty, globally.

But many did not know that the Anambra State-born has an ambition; he is desirous of ruling his state someday.

Last Sunday, he officially threw his hat into the ring for the governorship election of the state coming up in 2021 on  the platform of Peoples Democratic Party PDP.

Ozigbo had reportedly made the declaration at a meeting with members of the party in Amesi Ward, Aguata last Sunday.

Ozigbo, who is the President and Chief executive officer but transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, said he joined the race to bring governance closer to the masses.

Addressing his supporters, Ozigbo said he decided to join the governorship race to impact the society positively and take governance to an unprecedented level in the state.

The businessman, whose campaign revolves around youth empowerment, scholarship, business empowerment and seasonal concerts, also called for a free and fair primary election, stating that imposition would not do the party any good.

Ozigbo, a first-class graduate, returned to the University of Nigeria to obtain a Master’s degree in Business Administration with specialisation in Banking and Finance in 1997.

In 2003, he won a Chevening scholarship to study Finance at UK’s Lancaster University, graduating in 2004 with a distinction.

He has also obtained professional qualifications from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (1998), the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (2000), and Institute of Credit Administration (2015).

 Ozigbo, who boasts about 16 years of professional banking experience, had worked in some of the biggest banks in Nigeria.

He was the head of commercial banking at Diamond Bank Plc for five years between 1995 and 2000, before proceeding to United Bank for Africa where he worked for a year (from 2000 to 2001) as a Business Manager.

 Between 2001 and 2003, Ozigbo was the Acting Regional Director of FSB International Bank. He later left this role and returned to United Bank for Africa in 2004, where he worked for four years as Head of International Banking.

In 2008, he left UBA for Keystone Bank for what would be the last leg of his nearly two decades-long career in the banking industry. He served as the General Manager of the bank’s Global Transaction operation.

In 2011, Ozigbo chose to leave behind his years-long career as a commercial, retail, investment and global banker. His next move was to delve into the hospitality business as the CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc, the parent company of Transcorp Hilton, Abuja and Transcorp Hotels, Calabar.

 

Though Transcorp is understandably a major task, he seems to handle it well, judging from the numerous accolades he has received so far.

 

Some of his key strategic functions as CEO include actualising business expansion objectives, initiating and supervising facility upgrades/renovations when necessary, overseeing mergers and acquisitions, and ensuring the overall success of the company.

 

Top Jeweller Martha Najoma Celebrates At 57 

If there is one thing popular city jeweller, Martha Najoma, enjoys, it is the celebration of her birthday.

Little wonder, last Sunday didn’t go without some celebration  as the beautiful woman profusely expressed her gratitude to God for making her attain the age of 57 in a blaze of glory.

Though it was a low-key affair, many of her friends went to her palatial residence to celebrate with her.

The stylish and beautiful woman showed her sense of hospitality as her friends who joined her in the celebrations had so much to eat and drink on the occasion.

The CEO of Seraphina Gems, Martha is unarguably one of the biggest jewellny sellers in Nigeria. She is everything you would wish to be in life.  Providence, no doubt, has literally lavished its favour on her.But success, greatness and fame were never thrust on her laps on a platter of gold. She actually worked hard for it.

The beautiful woman who is married to Captain Chris Najomo had the picture of how rich she wanted to be in her head, but was slightly unsure of how to actualise it, until she started her jewelry business way back in the university.

Today, her clientele includes First Ladies, Senators, high-net-worth women as well as high-flying socialites. 

 

 

Natty Group Boss, Lanre Oladeebo’s Entrepreneurial  Acumen

Olanrewaju Oladeebo, MD/CEO Natty Group, is a familiar name in Nigeria’s social circle.

He has won a lot of garlands for his outstanding contributions to nation- building, youth empowerment and philanthropy.

In recognition of his worthy deeds, he was honoured by Image Music Global Network on November 17 in Lagos.

Prior to the award, Lanre had been honoured by the National Association of Polytechnic Students, NAPS, with ‘Humanitarian Award of Excellence.

Given his passion, vision and mission in making impacts influencing the less privileged in society and his immense support of youths and students, he is leaving a big mark on the sands of time.

Oladeebo grew with business acumen through his late parents and he’s now a successful entrepreneur.

A graduate of the Lagos State University, he has continued to nurture his flourishing Natty Group, and is now diversifying.

Already, his NATTY CTS Savings and Loans, Scopenatty Oil and Gas Ventures, Task Oil, Lansman Fingers Food, Group Natty CTS Agency, Beauty and Spa, are all generating interesting discourses among their loyal patrons. 

Sen. Solomon Olamilekan Adeola’s Most Cherished Ambition 

Anywhere in the world, the unexpected sometimes occurs in politics.

So, it is a case of the unexpected being expected to play out in politics any time.

In the build-up to the Ogun State governorship election, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, otherwise known as Yayi, was considered as the likely successor to the  outgoing governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosu, owing to his financial war chest, connections, popularity as well as his sound political experience.

A deep pocket, Adeola is an incurable dreamer. And luckily, most of his dreams have come true, as evidenced by his current position.

But the senator representing Lagos West had many hurdles to cross and the odds against him were literally mountainous.

Initially he remained unfazed. But when the reality dawned on him, the Yewa-born member of the National Assembly chickened out of the race; and he hurriedly ran back to Lagos as the odds against him grew.

It was gathered that his sudden U-turn was the result of political alliance among his major backers -former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba and  his godfather, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and Amosun, who had earlier vowed that the Lagos Senator would never realize his ambition of governing the state while he is alive.

Consequently, he came back to Lagos to retain his seat as the  senator representing Lagos West.

However, a source disclosed that he has not completely renounced his ambition of becoming the number one citizen of state.

It was gathered that he is working behind the scene to realise his most cherished ambition.

Real Reason Adebutu Kessington  “Loves” Shagaya 

Did you know that the Odole Oodua, Sir Adebukunola Adebutu Kessington, and stylish business woman, Hajia Bola Shagaya, share some things in common?

Apart from having multibillio-naire businesses scattered all over the world,  they are both generous and can do anything for humanity.

The foregoing may not be news, what is interesting, however, is that many find it very amazing the mutual respect they have for each other.

Both have exhibited this on several occasions. In particular, when Hajia Shagaya celebrated her 60th birthday bash at the highbrow Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, in October, many had thought that the gaming mogul,Adebutu, would not attend the event  because he was being conferred with a chieftaincy title as the Asalu of Ode-Remo same day.

But to the amazement of many, the Premier Lotto boss graced the event in company of his family members.

Indeed, many wondered why ‘Baba Ijebu’ as he is fondly called, would leave the venue of the ceremonies in Ogun State for Hajia Shagaya’s birthday bash in Lagos.

A source disclosed that Baba Ijebu does not toy with anything that concerns the shrewd businesswoman.

The source added that they had chummed up a few years ago when  Adebutu visited former President Goodluck Jonathan at the Aso Villa.

According to the source, when Adebutu sauntered into the villa, he saw Hajia seated in company with the former first lady, Patience Jonathan, and some aides while having a meeting.

“Typical of a well-trained woman, Hajia, on sighting Baba Ijebu, immediately went on her knees.

“Adebutu was amazed, pulled her up and greeted her in return. He was amazed and thankful for that gesture. Those present at the scene concluded that Adebutu must be a special and well-respected man for Hajia Bola to have accorded him so much respect.

“She then introduced Baba Ijebu to the First Lady.”   

Tam Ibiama’s Inspiring Efforts 

When the story of Nigeria’s contemporary entertainment industry is written, the contributions of Tamunotonye Ibiama, Founder/ CEO, Grafton Entertainment Limited, will definitely be given a good mention.

Very unassuming, Ibiama, fondly called Big T, is like an unsung hero, who has quietly changed the fortune of hundreds of youths in the Niger Delta area of the country.

Though he has invested significantly in sports and security both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, it is his investment in the area of music that has brought out the essential Ibiama.

As an influential figure in the Niger Delta, he had discovered an array of musical talents in this region in need of entrepreneurs who could pick them up and hone their skills to fame.

Interestingly, the Bonny Island, Rivers State-born took up the gauntlet and set up Grafton Entertainment solely to nurture these budding talents.

So far, he has groomed and also launched the careers of many artistes including The Indispendables, MTrill and Mr. 2kay, among others.

Though many of these great talents have left his stable, he still keeps his relationship with each and every one of them intact.

Society Watch gathered that he is extending the successes he had with Niger Delta talents in the music industry to sports. His Grafton Entertainment is partnering Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, to discover sporting talents in the South-South state and mould them to become international stars.

 

Already, there have been frenetic activities in Bonny Kingdom since Saturday, November 23, as Grafton and NLNG started the hosting of a football tournament on the island. It will end on December 7.

 

The host, King Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple 111, the Perekule XII, a one-time footballer, has been working so hard to create a vibrant sporting community on the island as part of ways of engaging the youth to take their minds off social vices.

 

“This is part of the Corporate Social Responsibility of the NLNG. Apart from giving back to the community, we also want to create a lucrative world of football. There is an abundance of talents on the island who are waiting to be developed and our task is to discover and mould them. We are also working with local scouts and administrators and I can assure you that this is the beginning of an exciting era in our sports annals,” said Ibiama , who was recently honoured by King Edward as the Amasenibo (Titled Citizen of Ancient Bonny Kingdom).

 

 

 

Keyamo Excites Youths in Delta

Festus Keyamo, SAN, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, is seen by many as a vibrant lawyer and a courageous activist.

But beyond his brilliance as a lawyer, Keyamo, on November 14 empowered 1,700 unemployed Delta youths and women under the National Directorate of Employment’s Micro Enterprise Enhancement Scheme – MEES -in line with the federal government directives on job creation.

The event was graced by dignitaries, including Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; Director General, National Directorate of Employment, Dr. Nasir Mohammed Ladan Argungu and royal father of Uvwie Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Emmanuel E. Sideso, OON, JP ABE 1, among others.

The National Directorate of Employment, NDE, is one of the parastatals directly under Keyamo’s supervision.

Its mission is to design and implement job creation programmes that will promote attitudinal change, employment generation, poverty reduction and wealth creation.

The event coincided with the grand homecoming reception organized by the royal father of Uvwie Kingdom, His Royal Majesty Emmanuel E. Sideso, OON, JP ABE 1 at his GRA, Efunrun palace.

It was gathered that, that was the first time Keyamo would come since he was appointed as a minister some months ago by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Allen Onyema – I Hold My Peace

You know me I can always come from a different angle and that is why some people will be calling me ‘crazy’. Well when the news hit, one name jumped out – Ejiro Eghagha. Well me I have one Ejiro Eghagha in my Command set and just the previous week, me and him went to my friend Tobe Okigbo’s birthday dinner organized by his beautiful wife Chioma Okigbo. When we got there, Ejiro said he was hungry. I was surprised because we were coming from Yinka Rhodes’ party in Surulere and between both of us we had finished like eight plates of Asun. So when Ejiro said he was hungry again at Tobe’s, I was kind of amazed. Well, it was me and Voke his Elder brother that showed him the way to the lush food Chioma had set on the table. Ejiro took one very big fish with a lot of lettuce which was well garnished. Mbok not to be left alone I jumped into the Afang and pounded yam. You see when you see well-cooked Afang it will be calling you. The green will be exotic, the snail will be begging you to taste me and then to kill me, they use crayfish and not those artificial cubes they advertise in molue buses. Well we ate o and downed the food with good wine. Tobe and Chioma really know how to take care of people. The next invite I will carry six people from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria so nobody will accuse me of tribalism. So you can imagine my shock that Ejiro had left Oniru and gone to America to buy $20m worth of aircraft still in that Ankara he was wearing. Vex want to kill me o. This Urhobo boy is crafty o. So he can launder this kind money and he no involve me? He come leave me they suffer with NLC waiting for minimum wage that cannot even pay dowry for a light-skinned curvy chic from Uyo? I read the thing three times with increasing anger. God saved him because by the time I went in on the Group’s Alumni ‘whats app’ thingy, he had sent in a statement saying it was not his own Ejiro. In fact the thing wey I for do am ehnnnnn, he for beg FBI to come carry am. This poverty is debilitating and na for every roof he dey pour. Well that is my own take on the Air Peace, Onyema/ American drama. So all of una wey dey call me that they are waiting for what I will say, I don talk and will not talk again until I am very sure of what is happening. For now, all I will say is let’s all calm down especially EFCC wey I hear say don want jump as usual. Let us be calm and see how things will unfold. For now, he is my brother.

WITCHES’ CONFERENCE – I NEED AN INVITE

Before I could look up, I heard this epoch-making event has come and gone. Can you imagine? I was struggling to get an invite and posted it looking for assistance. People were doing me yeye asking me to stand naked on Third Mainland Bridge at midnight that Linda Ikeji will fly to me on a broom with the invite. I just tire for Nigerians. Anyways I hear the conference has come and gone and that a Catholic priest gave the opening prayer. Apparently, they wanted to evaluate the role of witchcraft in society which saw the Christian Association of Nigeria kick against it. Well, if you know that the main value proposition for Nigerian Christendom is the ‘battle against witchcraft’ you will understand their stance. If we demystify witchcraft, then we don kill church be that o. Church like MFM go get recession and they will downsize because as far as those ones are concerned na witch cause everything including inability to impregnate your wife. So my people, I saw my father blame his joblessness on witches and wizards despite the fact that he had only a school certificate when he was working with a bank. All explanation to him that he was under-educated with the level he was holding and that at 60 he could not compete with fresh graduates with master’s degree in the evolving banking system fell on deaf ears. I saw the pastors and prophets make a fool of my father hinging all on witches and ancestral curses. The idiots milked him of all he had, making him go on horrendous fasting lasting for weeks which damaged his health and eventually led to his untimely death. So you see why I was interested in this matter? We need to understand witchcraft. Is it real or is it just a figment of our collective stupidity as a people? What is the difference between witchcraft and juju, are they the same thing?  what of the occult? All these need to be unravelled especially with the way we have built mega churches on the back of the fear of these things by our people. Please, when next are we having the conference? I have some questions to ask.

BOBRISKY – A SOCIETY IN DECADENCE

Idris Okuneye was a skinny and not so good-looking boy mired in the same poverty we all find ourselves. Barely literate, although claims to have attended the University of Lagos and audacious. With hormones  raging in confusion, he decided that he was a girl and not the boy that he was originally meant to be. He started lightening his skin and dressing like a woman and today he is even more beautiful than most women. Even me I confuse as to what he really is. Today sha my talk is not on what he carries under but the evolving nature of society. We pride ourselves as a conservative, correct thinking one. We even have laws against sexual deviancy and will not do anything to support ‘abhorrent’ sexual acts. But this ‘boy’ has smashed that myth. He has shown that society is evolving in a very fast and almost uncontrollable way. I have heard that one out of every five of our women have and are indulging in lesbian acts and it is even growing. Whole industries are peopled by these ‘types’. A cursory look at Bobrisky’s followership and you will see 1.5 million Nigerian youths following him and admiring him. Now juxtapose the followership with at least that of the Executive Governor of Lagos state and you will see a little over two hundred thousand people and you begin to ask yourself what is going on. Let me bold to say that in five years, homosexuality will be accepted and fully integrated in the system. Abuse me if you want, that is your business. The 1.5 m people following Bob will grow up to be leaders and they will make this happen. Our society is DEAD. Our values totally eroded and destroyed and the voice of people like Otunba Runsewe is being buried in the cacophony of debauchery. This is sad, we have lost our soul and Bobrisky is leading the charge supported by the mindless corporates who are throwing their dirty products at him to endorse thereby selling their souls for a buck.  We have been overtaken by the weird sexuality of modernity and the rest of us who still believe in the missionary style are gradually being drowned into obscurity. Sad.

ELVINA IBRU – THE URHOBO WITCH

Shebi today it is witchcraft that we are talking about. Well, let me single out one very big one for serious attention. Elvina is a big witch o. Come and see the way she will be looking at you with those sleepy eyes daring you to cross the line. When I ask her, she will say – you just dey know? I be mammy water. She is beautiful, tall and elegant and a serious actress, simply the biggest today. If you have not seen her on that stage wonder – Hear Word or in Bolanle Austen Peters Bling Lagosian which delivered over N72m in ticket sales a few months after its release, then you have a unique opportunity of seeing her in real life at the showing of Emotan my new play. Elvina would be in the forefront of bringing this story to the stage. If what I have seen during rehearsals is anything to go by then I simply love this witch o. Na better witch, make CAN go siddon. Elvina is simply meteoric and powerfully engaging. Just wait till Dec 22 when she will shake this country. See you then.

BURNA BOY – GO GET IT

Be like say we are a people struggling to be humiliated within the global committee of nations. We fall from one global fiasco to the other. From our assembly men getting involved in  some sex scandal in America to them sleeping on the international stage and the recent one where we went to submit a movie in a category that was very clear in its criterion that it must be in a foreign language, but we entered one with 95% English spoken. The most annoying thing was us now even arguing that English was our language because we were colonised by English people. Can you imagine such? Make I no talk. Of all the over 600 indigenous languages spoken in this our country including the universal Pidgin English, we still went to submit a movie with passable Queen’s English filled with all sorts of bastardised American accent as our own symbol of unity. Of course it was thrashed in the dustbin where it truly belongs. But you know God loves us, the way a mother loves a premature child. He has given us another opportunity with the Grammy nomination of this boy, Burna boy. This boy is doing things o and I see him on international platforms doing us proud. Even though he dresses like a masquerade, I still love his music, his boldness and his ability to mainstream a music brand pioneered by the Abami  Eda himself. My prayers are with him and I am sure that this time round God will let us smile again in this country and about time. Kai.

THE BABCOCK SEX TAPE – MY QUESTION

So I saw the video and it was graphic. It was someone’s daughter being pummelled by one boy like that o. Please if you have not seen the video mbok don’t bother it can derail you if you are a born again Christian or break your fast if your prophet has asked you to go on a dry fast to chase away the demons that keep giving you bad luck. Anyways my issue here is the knee jerk reaction to things. Before you say Jack Robinson, the school  expelled the young lady and announced with glee that the boy had been expelled ‘since February’. Now I have sent for the school rule book that is expected to guide behaviour while in school to see what chapter of the rule book says that I cannot have sex as a student with whoever I want and wherever I want. I can decide to film it for later enjoyment and even knock my boyfriend head while at it. So expelling this girl is not sitting with me o. Even if she had signed a rule book that stopped her from sexual gratification so she can get a first class certificate I still think the school had gone over its head by expelling her. This is playing to the gallery in its worse kind of way. First I hear the act did not happen within the school compound, it was a deliberate consensual, loving act between two people who cared about each other and much more importantly, she was not the one who released the tape. Babcock, she is the VICTIM . Which kind kobo kobo professors be this one o? The young lady needed their protection and possible therapy; but what did they do? They threw her out. You see what we have been talking about arbitrariness. Well, let me hold until I see the rule book, then we will do the part two of this article but for now Babcock, you miss this one.

SIR VICTOR UWAIFO AND  JOROMI BLUES

So I have gained 9kg. I now weigh 89kg. 9kg above my recommended weight. The doctor says I must keep at 80kg at my height and age to starve off BP which is now the scourge of most Nigerians above 40. So, that means I must stop the nightly afang and fufu once again and go into liquid diet and vigorous exercise. Now the problem is that anytime I do this I will be having nightmares.

So I knew I was in for a roller coaster ride this night. That was how I saw myself by the beach o. Not the one that they had turned into Eko something where the Lebanese-monied man was caught by EFCC recently. This one na for Iyana Oworo with all the dirt and dead fish beside me. The mermaid had asked me to meet her there at midnight stark naked preparatory to impregnate her since nobody could do same inside their water kingdom. She had heard about my prowess and exploits and was very confident that I could not only impregnate her but would have her enjoy it like no one else. My gain? She would give me the Presidency in 2023. I will just release Sowore, release all political prisoners, close borders indefinitely and make Aisha Buhari the most powerful Vice President ever. Nobody will sack her staff. So I was ready, come and see me on the beach naked and ready for action. That is how I heard a big sound – bang and the thing started appearing. I first saw the afro, I no panic, I think say na Ibibio mermaid dey come. We speak the same language, finally na Sir Victor Uwaifo I see o. He wear pant and no shirt with afro and big glasses. I say nooooooooo. Na 14years o. Please I want to wake up, I no do again o. Help me ooooo. The man catch me and say the only way he will release me na if I produce Joromi on stage with him as lead star. I quickly agree before the man start something else. I jump up from bed with fear. I wake up and start to bind and cast away the spirits that follow me. But I come get idea. They say Sir Uwaifo see mammy water for dream sing about am become millionaire, me I have seen him in dream, I will do the play and move myself from poverty. So guys after speaking with my Director William Benson and the great Bini actor, musician and painter Eno Louis – Joromi should be hitting you next December, 2020. But this night, na me and afang before  Magu come pursue me with pant for dream. I cannot shout.

FOLUKE SALAKO AND NOLLYWOOD VETERANS

Foluke is my friend. I can say that we are family friends because her sister Titi Oshodi with her husband Demola Oshodi are very close friends. I used to go and eat in their joint the Nook somewhere in Alausa and run away without paying and Titi will be shy to be asking me to pay. Anyways, Foluke who is quite iconic in the industry is hosting a major pensions and welfare scheme for Nollywood veterans. I think it’s about time. Daily, we see news footage of these people who have put smiles on our faces go down with avoidable but dreaded illnesses. They will now be pleading for help from the public. With this Foluke’s new initiative they will be better taken care of in their old age. I support this initiative fully and offer my services as an investment banker who knows one thing or two about pensions and investments as a consultant to this initiative. In fact I just collect my pensions from Leadway Pensure. Please all Nigerians, let’s put hands together to try and solve some of these problems, government cannot do it all. They are not even doing anything. Let’s help ourselves o.

SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE ABUBAKAR ALIYU – WELL DONE

The OCP ‘X’ Squad of the police is truly a gallant officer. It is no wonder that the Crime Reporters Association is giving him an award for gallantry. The man gallant no be small o. If you are a fervent follower of this column, you would have seen where I wrote about how the man saved me from the hands of a combined team of rogue policemen and Lastma officials who had robbed me under the bridge at Ojota on my way to go and see somebody – don’t ask me who. When SP like I call him got to the crime spot, come and see the way these policemen took to their heels. Aliyu just shout,  ‘catch them and he jumped into the field to lead the pursuit; gun in hand, screaming at the top of his voice and running the race of his life. As they were running towards Iyana Oworo, I ran the other side towards Ketu – no be for my old age stray bullet will hit my pelvis. When I was sure everything was calm and the suspects had been apprehended, I came out. SP was gallant that day. A true police officer, the kind we hardly see. So I was not surprised when I got the news of this award. He truly deserves it and God will keep him and protect him so that he can train so many of our men who are like him but unsung. The Nigerian police, I can confirm has thousands of Aliyus, we just never hear about them. This is the beginning I tell you. Welldone my brother.