By Ahmed Rahma
Foremost Nigerian writer, Ms Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has been described as an inspiration to many Nigerians, especially the womenfolk, that nothing can be difficult to achieve if they desire it.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Oscar Onyema, while welcoming Ms Adichie to a digital closing gong ceremony held in her honour recently, noted that the writer was a testament that Nigeria is blessed with talent.
He said it was in recognition of her literary exploits and successes that the exchange felt it necessary to honour her with the closing gong ceremony to inspire others to want to be like her.
“It is my pleasure to welcome one of Nigerian’s leading literary exports to the Nigerian Stock Exchange for our digital closing gong ceremony.
“Ms Adichie is a testament that Nigeria is a reservoir of talent. She is a mentor who consistently promotes equal opportunity and inspires women to believe in their ability to achieve set goals.
“As an exchange, our values align with the aspiration to create a world where gender is not a criterion for success, rather, the strength of a person’s character and their capacity to deliver in their engagements.
“We are, therefore, glad that our platforms offer opportunities to tell the Nigerian story of strength and brilliance as well as inspire the greatness in our unity and diversity,” Mr Onyema said.
In her remarks, the award-winning Ms Adichie said, “I am very delighted to be here today and it is my hope that my story inspires someone to know that you can keep trying and keep doing.
“I often speak about how important it is for women to be included not because we are doing women a favour, but because it makes economic sense to tap into the wealth and knowledge that is often underutilized, under-recognised and under-celebrated.
“I must, therefore, commend the policies of The Exchange in this regard. Ultimately, 2020 has been a strange year and it is my hope that next year will bring more clarity and I will be able to participate in this Closing Gong ceremony again, this time physically.”
Ms Adichie is a Nigeria writer whose works range from novels to short stories to nonfiction. She was described in The Times Literary Supplement as “the most prominent” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors [which] is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature”, particularly in her second home, the United States.
The exchange, which has continued to demonstrate that gender equality is at the heart of its Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) strategy, has contributed to strengthening diversity within the market.
It has also collaborated with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) on the Nigeria2Equal programme to help its listed companies close gender gaps within their businesses and ensure women are more represented on the board of these companies.
Temple Company Seals Marketing Deal With Zee World
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
A marketing deal has been signed between the Temple Company and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, owners of the Zee World TV channel.
It was gathered that Zee Entertainment picked the full-service creative agency based in Nigeria as its representative in the country and it is believed that it is to drive industry growth.
The Temple Company will interface with public sector organisations, looking to leverage its widely accepted platforms to their advantage.
According to the Indian television station, the partnership will present a unique advantage that decision-makers can leverage to better connect with Nigerians.
Speaking on the new deal, the founder of the Temple Company, Mr Idris Olorunnimbe, noted that the partnership was in line with the goal of the company to foster cross-border collaboration that will help drive growth for both Indo-Nigerian creative industries.
“We were ready for this collaboration long ago. When we launched The Temple Company, we had our job cut out to attract strategic collaborations that would impact positively on the creative economies across territories,” he noted.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, Sub-Saharan African and Indian Islands, Zee Entertainment, Mr Somnath Malakar, expressed optimism about the partnership and noted that this deal will promote Zee Entertainment goal to present sectoral growth.
“We are certainly excited to partner with The Temple Company which positions us to collaboratively unlock the opportunities presenting themselves in Nigeria, the biggest and fastest-growing TV market in Africa,” Mr Malakar noted.
Zee World debuted on the Nigerian television scene in February 2015 and has over the years proved to be a favourite among Nigerian families, especially the females.
This follows the latest MPS data ratings, which noted that the channel commands a viewership base of up to one-fifth of the entire Nigerian Pay-TV landscape, making it a desired platform for advertisers.
Zee World channel has been ranked as Nigeria’s most-watched TV channel across all platforms.
Nigerian-born Ayobola Kekere-Ekun Shines at 2021 Absa L’Atelier
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Nigerian-born Ayobola Kekere-Ekun has been selected as one of the winners of the prestigious 2021 Absa L’Atelier at an online event hosted on the Absa Art Hotspot.
The artist was among the finalists from Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya and Namibia.
She is among the one ambassador per group chosen from the three groups of African countries. The others are Adelheid von Maltitz from South Africa and Blebo Michael Jackson from Ghana, while the winner Absa L’Atelier Gerard Sekoto category was Abongile Sidzumo.
Absa, in partnership with the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA), hosts the event to celebrate African art.
These winning artists now take on the title of Absa L’Atelier Ambassador 2021 received trophies that depict hands, symbolising the physical manifestation of creation, designed, and produced by established South African artist Roberto Vacarro, while the Gerard Sekoto trophy depicts a bull, representing prosperity and resilience.
Since its inception 35 years ago, Absa L’Atelier has showcased and continues to invest in some of Africa’s finest young artists between the ages of 21 to 40.
This year, the competition established itself as the first African art competition to be hosted completely virtually; from entry, submission and adjudication of the artworks, to hosting a series of masterclasses and a mentorship programme for the 2019 Absa L’Atelier ambassadors, culminating in the online awards ceremony.
Entries were received from across Africa and judged by an independent panel of adjudicators including acclaimed artist and Director at BKhz, Banele Khoza as well as Armelle Dakouo, independent curator and artistic director at AKAA Art & Design Fair.
Criteria for selecting the Ambassador included technical execution, conceptual and thematic engagement, the freshness of artistic vision within the context of the contemporary African art landscape; as well as aesthetic appeal.
Established 17 years ago, the Gerard Sekoto award goes to a South African artist, aged between 25 and 35 years, who has continued to demonstrate integrity in the quality of their artwork.
The award is made possible by the Embassy of France in South Africa, the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), which is the cultural arm of the Embassy, and the Alliance Française network in South Africa.
“With our partners Absa and SANAVA, we are proud to support the Gerard Sekoto award and to accompany young artists to share their work both nationally and internationally.
“We believe in this award which grants a talented young South African artist an amazing opportunity: to expand his or her horizons with a 3-month artistic residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, and, of course, gain greater exposure as a result.
“The artists are inspired and inspire. They learn, and they teach. They explore, and exhibit, allowing people in France and in South Africa to learn more about their individual style and vision”, says Aurelien Lechevallier, who is France’s Ambassador to South Africa.
Though COVID-19 provided its challenges, the past two years were likewise a period of innovation and technological progression.
“The pandemic has allowed us to advance our digital art presence with the launch of the Absa Art Hotspot. This unique virtual experience platform made it possible for us to host live events such as webinars, art exhibitions, art masterclasses, and art auctions, while certain elements of our art-related sponsorships and partnerships such as this year’s awards event were also migrated to the platform,” says Paul Bayliss Senior Specialist Art Curator at Absa.
Hosting the competition digitally allowed for the removal of any barriers to entry as all the artist required was a smart phone or access to the internet.
“With this year’s theme The Act of Art, we called our continent’s fearless creators to act and to enter. This years’ competition once again provided an opportunity for visual artists to respond and make their voices heard.
“We are committed to putting the basic building blocks in place to ensure that young artists from across the African continent can reimagine their futures and bring their possibility to life,” says Bayliss.
SANAVA President, Dr Avitha Sooful, commended her partner, Absa, for forging ahead and continuously seeking ways to impact the African visual arts scene even during the ongoing pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic derailed our plans for 2020 but through some innovative thinking, we were able to come back stronger this year and we actually have more entries than we have ever had for this competition. I commend the work that our partners, Absa, have done in making sure that African artists continue to reap the rewards of their hard work,” Dr Sooful said.
“We look forward to working with this year’s ambassadors and Gerard Sekoto winner and providing the next generation of young African artists with the support, recognition, and exposure they need to solidify their careers and build their brands,” concluded Bayliss.
Glo Promises Dance Competition Winners N84m
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
Telecommunications solutions service provider, Globacom, has announced that it will be giving out N84 million to winners of the Glo Battle of the Year dance competition.
This was revealed by the company at a press conference on Wednesday, October 14 in Lagos. The firm, which is sponsoring the dance show, assured that the competition would redefine the entertainment industry in Nigeria.
According to the Director at Globacom’s Communications, Mr Andre Beyers, the contest will offer unlimited opportunities for Nigerian youth to pursue their passion.
“In line with our commitment to promoting the Nigerian entertainment industry and youth talent development across the country, we are excited to unleash the unlimited potential of Nigerian dancers and provide the platform for them to showcase their abilities on the world stage,” he noted.
Apart from the N84 million, the winners will get a chance to represent Nigeria at the international Battle of the Year contest in Germany.
The competition is scheduled to take place across six states, with intending contestants required to upload a 30-second entry video, after which the top 20 entries in each category would be selected to partake in the competition.
The Battle of the Year competition is an annual international breakdancing tourney that began in Hannover, Germany, over 20 years ago.
The regional qualifying tournaments are held worldwide and culminate in the world finals, usually held in Germany, with over 12,000 visitors across the world. It is widely regarded as the World Cup of breakdancing.
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