Welcome to Linda Ikeji's Blog: 05/10/2009 - 05/17/2009





Saturday 16 May 2009

CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2009 Finalists + Brown Heart Campaign

Finalists in the prestigious CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2009 Competition were announced some days back. This year, the competition received entries from 836 journalists from 38 countries throughout the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa.

There are 25 finalists from 12 countries and they are:
1. Ayodeji Adeyemi, TELL Magazine, Nigeria
2. Biaou Daniel Valérien Adje, ORTB - Parakou, Benin
3. Anas Aremeyaw Anas, The Crusading Guide, Ghana
4. Rajen Bablee, Samedi Plus, Mauritius
5. Ernesto Bartolomeu, TPA, Angola
6. Nicola De Chaud, Backyard Productions for Carte Blanche, South Africa
7. Ethar El-Katatney, Business Today Egypt8. Halden Krog, The Times, South Africa
9. Anna-Maria Lombard, Health-e News Service for 3rd Degree e.tv, South Africa
10. Paul McNally, Men's Health Magazine, South Africa
11. James Moturi Mogaka, KTN, Kenya
12. Fredrick Mugira, Freelance for Mail & Guardian online www.mg.co.za, Uganda
13. Sammy Muraya, Metro FM, Kenya
14. Boniface Mwangi, Expression Today, Kenya
15. John Benson Mwangi, KTN, Kenya
16. John-Allan Namu, KTN, Kenya
17. Elshadai Negash, Freelance for Fortune Newspaper, Ethiopia
18. Luís Nhachote, Zambeze, Mozambique
19. Tolu Ogunlesi, Contributing Editor for Glide Magazine, Nigeria
20. Violet Otindo, K24 Television, Kenya
21. Odette Schwegler, Backyard Productions for Carte Blanche, South Africa
22. Viviane Tiendrébéogo, Radiodiffusion Télévision du Burkina Faso
23. Beauregard Tromp, The Star, South Africa
24. Alain Zongo, L'Observateur Paalga, Burkina Faso
25. Hazel Friedman, Special Assignment, SABC, South Africa

The Brown Heart campaign
An evening where celebs where inducted as Young at Heart Ambassador to the BROWN HEART CAMPAIGN. A campaign to show love to the less privilege. 50 young Nigerians were inducted (including yours trully). The event held last weekend.
Check out the pictures...

Seun Oloketuyi...
Adandiigbo receives Ada Ikwerre


Happy weekend to you all!!!

Wednesday 13 May 2009

Zain Sack 300 staffers + HHWA Nominee Party Pix

Zain sacks staffers -Uche Olehi (Encomium mag)

Zain Nigeria, one of Nigeria's telecommunications companies, has fired 300 f it's staff. The company is also cutting some 450 other jobs via outsourcing.

Confirming the sack which is the biggest in it's history of operation in Nigeria, the Head, Corporate communications, Mr Emeka Opara, said Zain was joining operations across Africa and Middle East to implement their new business model, Drive 2011.

When fully implemented, Drive 2011 will position the telecoms company among the top ten global mobile phone operators, with 150million customers and six billion naira earning before interest, taxes and depreciation.

Before the current restructuring, Zain had been facing operational challenges ranging from epileptic call services to slow customer care service. Noe, they have downsized, sacking 300 and ready to cut 450 jobs via outsourcing.
Opara added that "the 300 employees affected by the internal restructuring have been offered exit packages in line with their employment terms and consistent with Zain's care philosophy of belonging, which promotes fairness and engenders a sense of community among employees, even if they have to exit the organisation"

Ali Baba wins car

Tetrazzinni foods, one of the fast rising eatries in Nigeria recently held a raffle draw for all their customers. Ace Comedian, Ali Baba, had the winning ticket and won a brand new Honda car pictured above. Congrats!

HHWA Nominee party pix
Dagrin and Wande Coal

Banky W performing

Banky W

Project Fame's Iyanya

Terry G and DJ Chi boy

YQ and DJ Neptune

Pix thanks to DJ Neptune
For Naija Ent News, go here...http://azuhamatus.blogspot.com/
More stuff coming...

Corporate Nigeria to Spend $100M Annually on Music-related Endorsements + HHWA's Nominees Party Pictures

Nigeria's hip-hop stars reveal growing consumer culture By Matthew Green

It’s Saturday night at the Jade Palace in Lagos and Killz, one of Nigeria’s hottest hip-hop artists, steps out of a swirl of dry ice and disco lights to launch into his new song, “Shoobeedoo”.

Shaven-headed, wearing a bespoke French-cut suit with cashmere lapels and exuding attitude, the aspiring impresario could be forgiven for thinking that he is already living the lifestyle of a US rap star.

At the bar, men favour the classic American gangsta-rapper look: oversized designer sunglasses worn indoors, at night. Ice buckets rattling with the bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne beloved of the Lagos elite ensure the gig retains at least a dash of Nigerian flavour. Held to launch his new album, Life & Times of Killz: Volume I, the party was a snapshot of a trend sweeping sub-Saharan Africa: a growing hunger for a local version of the hip-hop and R&B music that defines youth culture in the west.

Nowhere is this phenomenon more apparent than in the continent’s most populous nation, where the star power of artists such as D’Banj, 2Face and P-Square has grown in parallel with the gradual re-emergence of Nigeria’s once vibrant middle-class.

This nucleus of young professionals is already seen as a lucrative market for products from financial services to consumer goods and telecoms. The craze for home-grown hip-hop suggests that investors may do well to brand their products in a way that recognises the strength of the new pop culture in “Naija” – youth slang for Nigeria.

“There’s been a reawakening of Nigerian identity,” says Obi Asika, chairman of Storm 360, a media content provider that promotes Killz. “Any investor who wants to come into Nigeria must understand that, if they want to sell products and communicate with Nigerians.”

A collapse in prices for Nigeria’s oil following the global downturn and a prolonged bear market on the country’s stock exchange, coupled with the slow pace of economic reform under Umaru Yar’Adua, the president, suggests that the new cadre of better-off Lagosians may face some tough times.

In a country where most people live in poverty, gains made by a few can pale in contrast to the deprivation suffered by the many.

In the long run, however, anecdotal evidence suggests that more Nigerians will start to embrace the kind of globalised consumer culture dominant in the US and Europe. As Killz puts it in “Shoobeedoo”: “I know they say the best things in life are free. But money will take you places I know you wanna see.”

Fast-food outlets have proliferated here. UAC Nigeria, a food, property and logistics conglomerate, says the number of its counters, including the Chicken Inn franchise, has risen to about 230 from 150 in 2004. Promasidor, the food group, says the proportion of its sales made up of the larger tins of powdered milk favoured by better-off families has noticeably increased.

The small middle-class is also driving growing demand for Nigerian media content. HiTV, a Nigerian satellite television company, has made rapid inroads in a market dominated by South Africa’s DSTV, partly with the help of its “Nigezie” Nigerian music channel. Screen Digest says a period of rapid growth has seen the number of Nigerian households taking paid-for television content rise to 430,000 by late 2008.

Some of Nigeria’s biggest companies are discovering that the new hip-hop culture is a particularly effective channel for targeting the fast-growing telecoms and beverages sectors. In a country where some 45 per cent of the population is under 15 years old, today’s teenagers will be tomorrow’s shoppers. Mr Asika puts the potential annual spend by corporate Nigeria on music-related endorsements, events and television shows at up to $100m (€73m, £66m).

Perhaps the most notable example is a deal signed by D’Banj, one of Nigeria’s best-known music stars, to promote Globacom, a mobile phone operator keen to stress its Nigerian roots in contrast to its main rival, South Africa’s MTN.

The appeal of D’Banj and other artists lies partly in their skill at combining the sound of a rap scene that originated in New York and Los Angeles with language that resonates in Lagos. “Let me be your semovita,” Killz implores a woman in “Shoobeedoo”, comparing himself to the Nigerian staple of coarse wheat flour and corn.

The irony is that for all the Nigerian feel, many of the artists regard their homeland as a springboard to fame in the US. Killz – whose real name is Ikechukwu Onunaku – cruises the city in a black Range Rover with KILLZ inscribed on the number plate. “If you’re not big in the United States, you’re not big,” he says, between bumping over potholes. “What I am doing is championing Nigeria.”

Courtesy of: Matthew Green
West Africa Correspondent,
Financial Times

HHWA Nominees Party
The 2009 Hip Hop World Award nominees party held last Saturday May 9th at Ajibogun Village in Otta, Ogun State.
Check out some of the pictures...will bring you more.

The village masquerade

Photographer, Kelechi Amadi-Obi

Actor Kunle Afolayan

Pix thanks to Ade Oluseyi

More pictures coming...

Tuesday 12 May 2009

They learned...

Hey people, hope y'all had a great weekend? Mine was great just 'cos of a discussion I had with my younger sisters.

You see I started modeling at 17, immediately I left secondary school, so I got kind of exposed at a very early age. One of the things that I got exposed to was propositions from men. You know men who will offer you this and that just to sleep with you or keep you as a mistress. Even at 17 I knew that was not the life for me, so I never lived it. Not even in the worst of times. I used to believe that once you sleep with a man for money, you've lost your dignity as a woman...now I am a bit more flexible. I don't condone it but I understand it. And I don't judge girls who live that kind of lifestyle like I used to judge them. Now I believe in live and let live.

So this weekend, I heard my younger sis, Laura, talking heatedly with someone on the phone. What caught my attention was when she said 'If you like make it a billion Naira, you're wasting your time. I've told you to stop calling me". So curiously I asked her what was going on, she wasn't going to tell me at first but I persisted 'til she told me the whole story.

If you remember some weeks back I introduced my younger sister to you all. I told you guys she'd just started her own dance school/group and is also a fitness instructor. (She has a diploma in Human Kinetics and Health Education). So a few days after I put her pix and details on my blog, one male reader of this blog called her.

You see my sis does home service ONLY for women who can’t or won’t come to the gym to train...and she charges 50grand to go to their homes three times a week for three months, plus you pay another 4grand to register with her. She works real hard for her money!!!

So this guy wanted to know Laura's fitness payment structure which she told him but explained that she doesn't render home services to men (I'm sure y'all know that's dangerous). Then the guy offered to give her 54grand to spend one night with her. He said something like...you don't have to suffer for three months, I'll pay you all that money for just one night. Laura politely declined. A few days later he doubled the offer to 104grand...Laura still said thanks but no thanks...and he kept bugging her until this past weekend when he tripled the money to 154grand...she was telling him off when I heard the conversation.

When she told me about this guy and how much he'd been bugging her I felt responsible 'cos I was the one who put her out there...her picture, her number, you know. I also felt like she should have come to me with what was going on, when I asked her why she didn't, my younger sister looked at me and said "Because I can handle it. I've seen the way you've handled these men over the years...let's just say I learned from the best."

I can't begin to explain to you all how that made me feel; hearing that from my younger sister. I don't think I've had a prouder moment in a long time. I mean, it's one thing to live a lifestyle, it's another thing for people to emulate you. Especially people who mean a lot to you.

My sisters and I gathered and shared our experiences, how we shouted at the men, made fun of them and their offers, how we basically dealt with their propositions. In everything my younger ones said, one thing was unanimous...they all learned from their big sister, who started at 17, to turn down offers upon offers.

I see the way these girls are negotiated and treated by men, and I can only be grateful that my sisters aren’t in that market. No one of you out there would want any girl you know or care about to live that life ‘cos it’s the most degrading thing ever. You should see what these girls are subjected to. I’ve seen and heard a lot that I can’t disclose here; my only happiness is that I set an example many years ago that my younger sisters felt was worthy of emulation.

Having said that, here's a piece of advice to all 'those' young girls out there

I'm not a saint, my sisters aren't, nobody is...God knows we all have our shortcomings, but when it comes to the issue of our bodies, we should know where to draw the line. Being broke is not a crime; neither is living within our means. We should learn to carry ourselves with pride and always remember that money and all the fine things of life isn't everything. When we leave this world, none of us will leave with the things we've acquired. The only thing that remains after we are gone is our legacy...what do you want yours to be? Think seriously about that when next a man puts a price on God's temple...your body.

You see, if you work hard, you can even be as rich as these men + you walk around with your head held up high, knowing you never sold yourself cheap. Believe me, you don't need their money, you can make yours if you discover your talent, full potential and work very hard.

There's dignity in labour...even for a woman

Naija Ent News next

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