By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A veteran actress in the Yoruba movie industry, Sidikat Odukanwi, otherwise known as Iyabo Oko, has passed on.
One of the children of the deceased, Ms Bisi Aisha, who is military personnel, confirmed the death of her mother.
“May ur soul Rest In Peace mummy,” she posted on one of her social media pages.
Also, one of the colleagues of Iyabo Oko in Nollywood, Mrs Foluke Daramola-Salako, posted on Instagram the death of the prolific actress, who reportedly breathed her last Wednesday evening.
Iyabo Oko died after battling with an illness, which kept her away from movie locations. She finally succumbed to the illness yesterday.
“And finally, we lost her.. rip Iyabo Oko, we did our best but God knows best,” Foluke Daramola-Salako wrote.
In 2021, when one of the daughters of the late actress, Olamide, revealed that her mother was diagnosed with ischaemic stroke about five years ago but kept her health issues away from the public, some thespians rallied around with financial assistance to get her back on her feet.
Pictures of her on the internet showed the state of her health and spurred more reactions from fans and colleagues. She was treated and later discharged from the hospital. Thereafter, not much was heard about the 61-year-old actress until her death on Wednesday.
Iyabo Oko was born on November 15, 1960, in the Iwo Local Government Area of Osun State. She acted in several films before bowing out the stage.
Q4 2021: Nollywood Records 1.9% Rise in Movie Production
By Adedapo Adesanya
A total of 382 movies was produced by the Nigerian film industry, otherwise known as Nollywood, in the last quarter of 2021, up from 375 in the third quarter, indicating a 1.9 per cent growth quarter-on-quarter.
This was disclosed by the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) in a statement signed by Mr Adedayo Thomas, Executive Director/CEO of the board.
According to him, the figure was made available by the Department of Film Censorship and Classification of the board in its fourth-quarter report for the year, which captured all films submitted to the board from across the country.
Mr Thomas said that Lagos State had the highest number of movies produced for the period with 181, while Onitsha followed with 96 movies and Abuja with 87 movies.
The analysis by locations further showed that Kano had seven, while Port Harcourt and Jos recorded three respectively and Benin had five movies for the period under review.
“The report is for onward submission to the relevant Federal Government authority for compilation of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the fourth quarter (Q4), 2021.
“We are happy that the industry is picking up again, having survived the harsh impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on every sector of our economy, including the creative sector and the motion picture industry in particular.
“We introduced virtual censorship platforms to keep the industry running so as not to jeopardise the business interest of stakeholders, and that has become an integral part of our operations,” he said.
NFVCB is a federal government body that regulates the films and video industry in Nigeria. The board is empowered by law to classify all films and videos whether imported or produced locally.
It is also the duty of the board to register all films and videos outlets across the country and to keep a register of such registered outlets, among other functions.
Ghana’s Amaarae Joins Spotify EQUAL Music Programme
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The prestigious Spotify EQUAL Music Programme has announced Ghanaian breakout star, Amaarae, as the January Artist of the Month.
The red-gold-green nation’s global sensation is the cover of Spotify’s EQUAL Africa playlist, which compiles music from “the fiercest African women making waves”.
Spotify EQUAL is a pledge to amplify the voices of women in the music industry, as only 25 per cent of artistes on the charts are female, according to a study by Spotify-funded USC Annenberg.
The EQUAL programme spans seven categories, which include the EQUAL Artists of the Month and the EQUAL local playlists, where Amaarae represents the January 2022 selection.
“I’m incredibly proud to be EQUAL’s Artist of the Month in recognition of all the barriers my creative work looks to break. It’s a win for Ghanaian and African female creators,” Amaarae enthused.
New York-born Ama Serwah Genfi is creating R&B, Soul, and Afropop fusions that have global appeal. Amaarae, who is a strong advocate of gender equality, is fast achieving fame.
The rise of The Angel You Don’t Know album maker on Spotify is phenomenal, with more than 10 million monthly listeners, and over 116 million streams for her Sad Girlz Luv Money remix alone.
With this viral hit, which features Kali Uchis and Moliy and which debuted at #80 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in November 2021, Amaarae became the second Ghanaian to break into the Billboard charts – 50 years after Ghanaian-English Afro rock band Osibisa first paved the way.
Today, the entertainer known to her social media fans as Fountain Baby follows in the footsteps of fellow Ghanaian female star Gyakie who, with her selection in April last year, became the first African woman to partner with Spotify for EQUAL.
Other African artistes to have been featured on EQUAL include Kenya’s SSARU and Muthoni Drummer Queen, Nigeria’s Ayra Starr, and South Africa’s DBN Gogo.
Entries Open for Second ALAT Food Challenge
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Food lovers in Nigeria now have the opportunity to apply for the second edition of the ALAT Food Challenge sponsored by Wema Bank Plc.
According to the Head of Marketing Communications and Investor Relations at Wema Bank, Ms Funmilayo Falola, the company’s drive-in organising another edition of the ALAT Food Challenge was to “lift the spirits of Nigerians, especially following a difficult year.”
“It was exciting to see how Nigerians reacted to the first contest and we hope that we can replicate that joy on a much bigger scale with this edition,” she added.
On Monday, January 17, 2022, ALAT by Wema confirmed that the challenge will even improve on the successes of the previous edition and will leverage the excitement of the new year season.
The challenge will give young Nigerians another opportunity to express their excitement following an eventful year. The partnership with popular social media food influencer, Ayo the creator of the food eating show – Nigerians vs Food, will continue this season.
This challenge, which will feature two episodes, is open to all interested persons between the ages of 18 to 35 and requires all challengers to sign up on the ALAT app (via Play Store or App Store) using the referral code ‘FOOD’. Following a successful registration, challengers are expected to visit the bank’s verified social media channels to complete the process.
ALAT has built a customer base of over 600,000 customers in the past four years, investing over N2 billion in various youth-oriented initiatives such as Talk Series, SociaLiga, GameOn Turf Football Competition, Social Media Week, and many more since its launch.
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