By Modupe Gbadeyanka
It was a mixed grill of nervous expectations at the 2017 edition of the City People Music Awards when sensational Islamic singer, Alhaja Rukayat Gawat-Oyefeso, beat other top Islamic musicians to clinch the ‘Best Islamic Artiste of the Year’ award.
She got this year’s recognition is coming back-to-back from the last one she won in 2016 when she was also crowned as the Best Female Islamic Musician by the City People Magazine.
Gawat, who became very famous after Ogbe Okan, produced about four years ago was described as the new face of the Islamic music by the publisher of City People magazine, Mr Seye Kehinde.
“We decided to merge both the male and the female categories together this year and we were also very surprised that Alhaja Rukayat Gawat won, very fairly.
“We discovered that she is now the most popular and also the most accepted among all her colleagues.
“Her albums and other collaborations are also doing very well in the market, according to our studies.
“So, it is with pride that we are giving her this award again this year for the second time in a row. She won for the female category last year and she is winning for both the male and the female categories this year,” the renowned journalist said.
While thanking the management of City People Magazine, Gawat said, “I am very humbled by this award. I give glory to the Almighty Allah who made it possible for me to be alive to be this decorated. I dedicate the award to God and to my missing father, Alhaji Aremu Gawat.
“I also use this opportunity to thank my husband for giving me the chance to aggressively pursue what makes me happy and also to my marketer, Esan Sunday, Okiki Films for his investment and believe in my brand.
“This award is like a clarion call for me, never to rest on my oars. I promise my fans both in Nigeria and abroad to continue working assiduously towards making them happy. The best is yet to come from me,” she said.
Mother of two, Gawat is the daughter of popular TV personality, Alhaji Rasaq Gawat, who got missing five years ago.
She attended Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, where she studied Mass Communications.
So far, she has produced more than six albums among them are: Aye Le, My Father, Imole, Arinakore, Temitope and also a joint collaboration effort with other Islamic music artistes and Fuji musicians like Alao Jowujowu, Odun Ayo, Ogbe Okan, Eto Obirin, Agbokol’ori, Iyawo Obun, to mention a few.
She also has some outstanding finished jobs that are yet to be released. Some of them are Oba Nla and Ijo Ope, Ododo Eye, Igbatiwa among others.
She is also currently in the studio working on her next album, entitled ‘My Time’, which will be launched on 19 November 2017 during an event tagged Imole Day 2017. The album is to be marketed by Okiki Films and Productions.
EFCC Grills Actress Simi Gold for Spraying New Naira Notes
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A fast-rising actress in Nigeria, Ms Oluwadarasimi Omoseyin, otherwise known as Simi Gold, has been quizzed by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Lagos for allegedly spraying the new Naira notes.
A statement issued on Friday by the anti-money laundering organisation disclosed that the movie practitioner also stepped on the country’s legal tender, which the EFCC said was against Section 21 (5) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act, 2007.
It was stated that the suspect was arrested by operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Fraud Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, along Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, following an intelligence report.
She was reportedly questioned by the EFCC on Thursday, February 2, 2023, for further investigations after she was handed over to the agency by the ICPC.
“The 31-year-old was arrested after the video of her spraying and stepping on the newly redesigned Naira notes at a party surfaced online.
“In the viral video, she was also seen flaunting wads of the new Naira notes,” the statement today said, noting that, “Items recovered from her at the point of arrest include a Range Rover and iPhone mobile devices.”
“The suspect will be charged to court once investigations have been concluded,” the commission declared in the statement.
Emerging Artists to Watch Out For in 2023
Few things are quite as exciting as discovering new talent to listen to on repeat, add to your favourite playlists and lean on for emotional support over the course of the year.
For fans of African music on Spotify, 2023 promises another roll call of amazing artists ready to break through to fame and mainstream streaming success.
If anything, African music has consistently unfurled waves of new, fresh talent every year who have propelled the global interest in Afrobeats, Amapiano and its many other sub-genres. 2022 was a breakout year for artists like Buju, Costa Titch and Asake, whose success propelled them into Wrapped top lists at the end of 2022.
And while those talents took their voices to the main stage, a slew of rising stars was also laying the groundwork for their own breakout year. Some of these musicians are primed to release their best music in the coming months. Others have enjoyed early success on Spotify and show many indications of even greater success on the horizon. Others are relatively new elements, developing new takes on familiar sounds that harken towards major shifts in popular music.
Hailing from Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with a wide array of styles, cultures and perspectives, these artists are, according to Spotify data, the ones to watch out for in 2023.
At 17, Khaid is a Gen Z starboy in every sense. His debut, With You, was an instant darling, evoking a syrupy teenage love story at its crescendo. As part of a generation of artists first discovered on social media, Khaid’s songs resonate with a core online audience, inspiring many viral challenges. His Afrobeats inspirations come to the fore on songs like Akpako, but Khaid also shows his emo-trap side on Ski, a fave among young Nigerians in 2022.
Known for his producer tag, MAD!, the young producer is behind some of Afrobeats’ biggest songs. A long-term friendship with CKay birthed the global smash Love, Nwantiti, now certified double platinum in the United States. 2022 showcased a new pace to Tempoe’s hit churning powers; he produced Joeboy’s viral hit, Alcohol and performed in Soweto, the global sensation by Spotify RADAR alumnus, Victony. With over a hundred million Spotify streams under his name, Tempoe is primed to deliver more hits this year.
First introduced to fans for his dance skills, Poco Lee has since applied his skill set to crafting some of the biggest street pop hits of 2022. Poco Lee has built a huge fanbase by backing some of the most interesting emerging talent – including Bella Shmurda and HotKid. Whether it’s his ear for a future hit or his ability to put the right creatives in the same space, Poco Lee has blessed hit records like Otilo and YARD. Wherever Afrobeats goes this year, you’ll find Poco Lee cooking close by.
Bayanni has hit 2023 running. The newest artist from Mavin, the house that produced Rema & Ayra Starr, introduced himself with an eponymous four-track EP in September 2022. Ta Ta Ta has risen on the shoulders of a viral social media challenge to become almost inescapable. And it has not stopped there, finding its way into the dressing rooms of Manchester City, where Algerian footballer, Riyad Mahrez, chose the song to celebrate a stellar performance.
With just one release under his name, Brume is still a mysterious entity to some. His song, Workaholic isn’t. Released in 2021, the unassuming hustler’s anthem extols the virtues of perseverance and hard work as the young singer pursues his own holy grail. Brume first drew attention with occasional freestyles on social media before Workaholic, and as 2023 kicks off, ears are perked for what new music Brume has to offer.
Formerly known as YusufKanbai, YKB is an eclectic artist on many Ones to Watch lists. He’s released a number of cult favourites over the years and built a steady community while winning The One, a competition by online publisher Clout Nigeria. YKB levelled up with 2021’s Before I Blow, spinning fan favourites like Practice Patience and Oshofree. He’s converted even more fans with 2022’s San Siro, a football-themed love story that has many convinced it’s YKB time.
Kaestyle boasts a certain dexterity with words and narratives that, aligned with soothing melodies, has eased him into the libraries of many music fans. The singer‘s debut EP, Kae’s Study shows his ability to play in different lanes, offering drill on Moving Mad and some groovy Afropop on Blessings. His collaboration with Victony, True Love, is an early fan pick, and fans will be eager to stream more easy hits from Kaestyle.
Here below is the list of other emerging artists on the continent.
GHANA EMERGING ARTISTS
KENYA, TANZANIA & UGANDA EMERGING ARTISTS
SOUTH AFRICA EMERGING ARTISTS
Funa Maduka, 15 Other Jurors for 2023 Sundance Film Festival
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A Nigerian filmmaker, Ms Funa Maduka, has been announced as one of the 16 jurors granting awards at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. She is one of the three jury members of the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, alongside Shozo Ichiyama and Annemarie Jacir.
The jurors of the 2023 edition are Jeremy O. Harris, Eliza Hittman, and Marlee Matlin for U.S. Dramatic Competition; W. Kamau Bell, Ramona Diaz, and Carla Gutierrez for U.S. Documentary Competition; Shozo Ichiyama, Annemarie Jacir, and Funa Maduka for World Cinema Dramatic Competition; Karim Amer, Petra Costa, and Alexander Nanau for World Cinema Documentary Competition; Madeleine Olnek for the NEXT competition section; and Destin Daniel Cretton, Marie-Louise Khondji, and Deborah Stratman for the Short Film Program Competition.
According to a statement, the festival kicks off on Thursday, January 19, in Utah, the United States, and will end on Sunday, January 29, 2023.
The jurors will grant awards to filmmakers for feature and short films. The winners are expected to be announced on Friday, January 27.
Ms Maduka is an award-winning filmmaker and the former head of International Original Films at Netflix, where she worked with the world’s top global and emerging filmmakers.
Over six years, she was positioned at the frontline of the company’s global expansion, managing the launch of the film offering across 100+ countries. She pioneered Netflix’s move into international film production, building a development slate across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Meanwhile, her film acquisitions brought Netflix its first film nominations at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards.
Previously she worked at Participant Media, developing and managing campaigns for film and television projects.
Ms Maduka is an award-winning filmmaker credited with writing, producing and directing the first Nigerian film to world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences. She holds a BA from Cornell University and a Masters from Harvard Business School.
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