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Dignitaries Honour UBA’s Abiodun Coker at Grandma’s Burial

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UBA's Abiodun Coker

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Friday, October 22, 2021, will remain fresh for a long time for Mr Abiodun Coker, a journalist, public relations expert and core member of the media relations department of United Bank for Africa (UBA).

It was a day for the burial of the grandmother of the former reporter with a foremost business newspaper in Nigeria, Business Day, in Lagos, Mrs Joanna Tokunbo, who was born on August 31, 1934, died on September 23, 2021, at the age of 87.

The three days event kicked off with a Christian wake on Tuesday, October 19, service of songs on Wednesday, October 20 which was followed by a requiem mass and interment on Friday, October 23 at Ikoyi Cemetery.

The memorable Requiem Mass was held at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Lafiaji on Friday and was attended by family and friends of the deceased who came out in their numbers to pay their last respect.

The event climaxed with an elaborate shindig which saw guests, including eminent personalities from all walks of life, being entertained at NAF Base, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

In his tribute, Mr Coker extolled the virtues of his late grandma, describing her as compassionate and an epitome of love that cared for all. He said Mama’s humility and selfless service to God and humanity were second to none.

“My special Grandmother, may you rest in the bosom of the lord till we see to part no more.

“These words felt like a dagger to the chest, knowing that you are gone. But I know you will never be forgotten.

“I know for a fact that I will never forget you and how much you’ve impacted my life. Not only that but also the lives of every single person you came across. I know for a fact that you touched many lives. Little wonder you were adored so much and I know that they will all miss you to bits.

“You truly were a special, special woman! You may have passed on, but your memories are etched in my heart. In there you will always live on.

“As I write this piece, I do it with a lot of struggle. Losing you on that 23rd of September brought a pain that cut so deep! Thank you for your sacrifices, your care and concern, your love, compassion and everything that you have done for me.

“Wherever you are, I look back to when I was very much younger when you put me on your back to pound Jero while mum was at work and also attended to the neighbours who depended on you for so much because they were not lettered.

“You worked so hard and multi-tasked, doing so much at once yet perfectly, helping others. You were more like a rallying point for all the neighbours who all came to you for help, support and guidance. I guess it’s from you and Papa that my Mum and we the children learnt how to be passionate and dedicated to any course we embarked upon.

“You loved your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren unconditionally. You were truly the epitome of love and taught us all how to effortlessly stand by others genuinely and selflessly. l am proud to have had you as my grandmother. Mama General, I will miss you sorely! I know it is important to be strong for others so as to advance your wonderful legacy.

“When I summoned up the courage to tell Fadekemi about your passing after she asked about you repeatedly, I was shocked when she hugged me and said, I know my great-grandma is resting in heaven and God will look after her. Without a doubt, I know an angel spoke through her and I am certain that indeed you accomplished all that God sent you here to do and he has called you to be with Him.

“I am consoled by the fact that you are in a much better place!

“Love you Mama General. You truly were a treasure to all of us,” he penned.

UBA's Abiodun Coker1

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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What’s Behind Nigeria’s Love of Local Music?

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Nigerian music Local Music

Music is an integral part of Nigerian life and there’s no doubt that Nigerians love music — whether it’s local or international. But in recent times Nigerians have consistently demonstrated their love for local artists, with many of these musicians outranking their foreign counterparts in the West, including those who are the biggest names in entertainment.

This is borne out by data from Spotify Wrapped — their annual round-up of the top artists, albums, songs and playlists of the year as streamed by users on the platform from around the world.

That love of local can even go down to city level, as proven by the fact that Lagos native Wizkid was the most streamed artist in Nigeria’s biggest city this year. And what other country on the planet would celebrate its cities’ notorious traffic jams with a four hour-long playlist primarily comprising local artists?

Given that the music and entertainment industry is set to generate around $8-billion for the economy this year, it’s a phenomenon that should undoubtedly be celebrated and encouraged.

But what drives this passion? Music from Naija (as Nigerians lovingly refer to their country) is going places and gaining worldwide popularity. This is thanks to a new wave of Nigerian artists who are creating innovative music and drawing interest from beyond the region’s borders by showcasing the vitality of the local music industry.

Afrobeats, the heavy-beat, electronic music from Nigeria, has become pop music gaining a global fan base and establishing a path to worldwide domination. Thanks to the Afrobeats’ growing popularity, renowned artists like Snoop Dogg, Drake and Ed Sheeran have collaborated with Nigerian artists, bringing them worldwide attention.

This is a point of pride for Nigerians and could provide a clue as to why they prefer local artists and music, whether they’re listening in nightclubs, at weddings or music festivals, or just through street DJs.

In Spotify’s recently released Wrapped data, Nigerian artists singing and rapping in the Afropop genre dominated the local music scene, with artists like WizKid, Burna Boy, DaVido, and  Olamide topping the list of five most-streamed artists. International singer Drake is the only foreign hitmaker in the top five list.

The fact that these artists’ songs tend to revolve around love, wealth, partying, and some of society’s vices — like online fraud — all things which Nigerians deal with on a daily basis may provide some context as to why they resonate more than songs by foreign artists. .

It’s not just the latest club bangers driving Nigeria’s love of local music either. They’re also streaming local albums much more regularly than their international counterparts. Of the top 10 albums streamed by Nigerian Spotify listeners, seven were local. WizKid’s rave of the moment album Made in Lagos topped the chart, beating international artist Justin Bieber’s Justice.

Interestingly, the Wrapped data shows that Nigerians also enjoyed their local music to make the most of the time they spend in traffic.  On the top five car data charts, homegrown talents and music dominated the list with LADIPOE’s  Feeling topping the chart, followed by Essence, Wizkid featuring Tems, and   Bounce by Ruger. Lojay’s Monalisa and DaVido’s  Ke Star Remix ranked fourth and fifth respectively.

The Wrapped data shows that the love of Nigerian music cuts across age groups too. Even Gen Zs, who’ve grown up with easy access to international artists, show a strong preference for local performers. Top on the list of these artists and songs are Gbese by Yung Felix and Positivv,  Feeling by LADIPOE and  Bounce by Ruger.

Across the African continent, other data from Wrapped shows that Nigerian artists also ranked among the top 40 artists in sub-Saharan African countries like Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

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GUS Viewers Anticipate Return of Evicted Contestant With Boomerang to Camp

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Yankari Evicted Contestant With Boomerang

By Dipo Olowookere

Viewers of the ongoing Gulder Ultimate Search (GUS) season 12 are looking forward to when they would have the rare opportunity to vote to return an evicted contestant with boomerang back to the Amorokin Camp.

This edition of the show gave GUS viewers the avenue to return one contestant back to the television reality series to partake in the search of Akolo’s chest, which was lost a long time ago.

It was a twist introduced in the GUS Age of Craftsmanship, with boomerangs scattered around the jungle, allowing contenders who find any of them and are evicted to have the opportunity to return to the show with the support of viewers.

Among those who have been evicted so far, Esitima, Tosin and Osas have boomerangs and have the opportunity to return to the jungle. Viewers would be able to vote for one person that would return to Amorokin camp to fight for the N50 million prize.

Before now, evictions marked the total end of the road contestants until the introduction of the boomerang, which the host, Toke Makinwa, informed the warriors of.

Last week, Yankari and Esitima were evicted from the show, leaving only five in the jungle.

Esitima, who found three boomerangs during her stay at the camp, but had to let go of two, has the opportunity to return if voted by viewers.

With less than two weeks left to end the programme, one question of the lips of viewers is; when will we have the opportunity to vote one of our favourite evicted contestants back to Amoroki camp? This is left for the organisers to answer.

But the show producers have promised that viewers will surely have the opportunity to vote back their favourite warrior when voting is open and the contender with the highest votes will return to the jungle to participate in the final task in the search for Akolo’s chest.

More than 20,000 Nigerians applied for the Gulder Ultimate Search Season 12 Age of Craftsmanship and after a regional selection process followed by a two-day trip to the Sea School, the number was pruned to just 18, who made it into the jungle and were divided into three clans of Amo, Irin and Iroko.

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Nigerian Music Has Spiralled Out of Control—Yemi Alade

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Yemi Alade Nigerian music

By Dipo Olowookere

The music scene in Nigeria is unarguably one of the biggest in Africa. In fact, it is like what the American music industry is to the world and the key stakeholders are loving the attention.

A popular female artiste, Yemi Alade, attested to this when she told CNN International in the latest episode of Africa Avant-Garde that, “The music industry in Nigeria is ever-growing, it is huge. The music has spiralled out of control. It’s international, the entire world is into it, the spotlight is on Africa and we’re loving it.”

Unfortunately, the outside world sees the sounds from Nigeria as purely Afrobeats, which some people like Yemi Alade, who gained limelight after she won the maiden edition of a now-rested Peak Talent Hunt in 2009, said was worrying.

“I like to call my genre of music Afropolitan. For me it’s a mix of highlife, Afrobeats, R’n’B and pop,” she stated.

“I’m not an Afrobeats artist, my own genre of music is Afro House. Afro House is a fusion of African music, there’s the African influence in terms of the beat, and my vocals – I love to sing in Yoruba language,” another female singer and songwriter, Niniola, said.

Afrobeats is the sounds produced from West African and was made very popular by late music legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and music executives, Kenny Keke Ogungbe and Dayo D1 Adeneye, who started Kennis Music, one of Nigeria’s best-known music labels, in the late 1990s, cautioned that not everything should be grouped under the Afrobeats label,

“I hope as we keep moving, the world will learn to recognise that everything that comes out of Nigeria is not Afrobeats,” the submitted.

As for Mr Obi Asika, the founder of Yam Carnival, a festival in London, England celebrating Black music, culture, and food, he is hopeful that African music will continue to grow in popularity internationally.

However, he cautioned that the genre shouldn’t lose its African roots, “I hope that it keeps its foundations strong, and I hope that African people remain stakeholders in it – that it’s not just gobbled up by the industry, because then it will last forever.”

A renowned music producer and founder of Mavin Global, Don Jazzy, said streaming is increasing the popularity of African music globally.

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