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ENTERTAINMENT: Milestone as Burna Boy hits one billion views on YouTube

Grammy award-winning Nigerian artiste, Damini Ogulu popularly known as Burna Boy has hit a major milestone on YouTube as reported by PMnewsnigeria.

The superstar singer has crossed the one billion views mark on his YouTube channel, the first Nigerian artiste to do so.

The “Dangote” crooner was able to record one billion views courtesy of a compilation of the views on all his music videos.

YouTube made this known on Burna’s page, which showed a total of 1,006,338,859 views as at the time of filing this report.

His hit song “On The Low” contributed a massive 225M views while “Ye” recorded 159M views.

How others fared:

Davido – 963M
Wizkid – 960M
Tekno – 790M
Tiwa Savage – 318M
Olamide – 311M
Runtown – 306M

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ArtsCulture & TourismInterview storyInterviewsLifestylePersonality Interview

Imperial-Majesty Empress Elham Madani Reveals How She Became A Powerful Modern Queen of Humanitarians

In this Interview with African Development Magazine, Her Imperial Majesty, Dr. Elham Madani speaks about her life journey and experience during the war.  She also discussed her plan in unifying royal houses across the globe, service to humanity, women’s empowerment, engaging youths through art, culture, and tourism, and her lead role as “Princess” in the coming movie titled “Legends of Africa”.

Below are excerpts:

Can you tell us briefly about yourself, your family?

Thank you so much. I am the only child of medical physician parents and was raised to be very independent to rely on myself but during the war, I lost my mother and home and it is the reason that caused me a lot of emotional pain and trauma because my father had to take care many wounded patients in the war. I was facing and feeling a lot of pain from the people around me and that caused me to be different. Elham since my childhood as known from Elham to Empress Elham. I passed through tremendous difficult journeys and of course, the spiritual line of the God calling causes me to be very different in a positive way.

I was supposed to be a medical doctor but then I decided to be the eyes and vision of the people that suffered during the war in order to protect them. I chose to be the mental doctor to heal the spirits and I became the professor and a spiritual Queen.

You are the founder & CEO, WIND International Film Festival, Mighty Vision Pictures, INC, and World Cinema Academy, what are the motivation, vision, and mission of this great concept?

To save the world through art and culture, bring peace through creativity, to make people busy in their own self-power. Instead of destroying, we are building with the colour of their beautiful dimensional creative spirit.

Queen Elham Madani

You are popularly known as the‘’ Empire of Madani” can you tell us the secret behind it?

The way that Yoruba is Yoruba today. Madani is and shall be Madanis forever to come. My old Madani royal from Madani’s dynasty served the world thousands of years ago with dignity and hardworking, they were the highest educated in their society, to advance humanity and we shall be the same. I am hoping to see true Madani’s in the world through being connected to the Empire of Madani to build things right altogether.

It’s not a one-way road, you bring things, we build you and  use generation grow. It’s like that.

Promoting culture has been your priority, what motivated you into this?

To bring heal the people and to communicate to the world together through the art and beauty of God. The world is a gift to us and I try to let people be united by using their voices and visions through art, culture, and creative aspects. Though it consists of good and bad things but if we create more good things, we can create a weapon against the dark side of it that is why I celebrate and use this artistic weapon to unite the works with peace with love.

What do you like about African culture?

African spirituality path history mystery and historical roots and colourful traditional aspects of it

How many languages can you speak fluently?

English, Farsi, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu

Have you ever met with any Yoruba Monarch before, if yes, how would you describe Alaafin of Oyo and Ooni of Ife?

Although, I have not met him but through video conference and webinars, of course, Ooni of Ife is one of our imperial patrons of the Empire of Madani but a worldwide humanitarian role father and the traditional king which is being recognized many times through my royal awards since few years.

Alaafin of Oyo is our other great example a true powerful Monarch, highly cerebral who believe in education as Madani royal dynasty. We wish our Ambassadors and students to celebrate them through us and I have outstanding great news I shall tell in your next video interview about Empire of Madani and world Cinema Academy there

Do you believe in Yoruba culture, tradition, and heritage?

Of course yes, otherwise I would not serve my past 8 years, being in Hollywood and learning Yoruba, well it’s not easy it seems that you are president of a country but promoting another country.  (LAUGHS)

Are you a spiritual person?

Obviously! Do you think big things can be happening if we are not connected to the source?

How would you promote culture and tourism in your empire?

A lot of possible ways through the movie field, for example at my World Cinema Academy or Empire of Madani. Umbrella of many organizations collaborated with us, which is like a mother source for learners to know many possible ways to be connected the source of knowledge in acting, cinematography, modeling, directing, producing, and scriptwriting.

I am a co-Producer and co-director plus being the main lead actress of this epic adventurous historical feature movie that has about 20,000 casts and crew in few seasons the aim to make. The first part that is called the legend of Africa ( the land of bows) is going to be shot around early November 2021 in Delta state of Nigeria.

It is my privilege to come to Africa for the first time and associate with great movie makers Celebrities Royal House and Elites by adding value to African history through the Empire of Madani’s and World Cinema Academy …
I have faith this project will be amazing and invite many celebrities and investors to involve
Meanwhile, I am going to shoot a Feature a Documentary about the areas that I am going to visit Royal Kingdoms and what they want the World to know that can be Mainly the importance of the relation of traditional rulers with the people and the power of spirituality in unity in the world

L-R: Queen Elham Madani anchoring a show

These studies help them to build their own life, It’s not acting for the sake of acting but it’s acting for the sake of saving their lives from the slavery of their solo spirit in order to expand them to be a multi-directional and best possible version of what they can be about. So it’s not Acting but it’s making the person a true self, as stronger to be a depth in full spirit to understand themselves, to know themselves and the society knowing the character of each person in the movie allow them a pattern norm for many to learn from them.

African Development Magazine would like to be part of your team, and showcasing your activities, will you give us this chance, and what will be your commitment?

Definitely YES! Perhaps you know I am so picky and you’re going to be given a lot of commitment and tasks. I hope you can do that. I hope so yes!

Memories are unforgettable; can you share with us the most amazing memory?

I have a lot, which one, spiritual ones or physical ones? By this God-calling responsibility as the Empress and a guru on my way, I move forward and have forwarded many to their success.

I passed tremendous difficult trials that are almost not possible for human beings, I did not lose my hope and never quit, which made me very strong and be the fearless Queen that people call “Queens of all warriors” or  Empress to Impress or Phoenix Empress.

That is the power of spirituality I enjoy assisting others indeed to be the same way and I get things done even no one is with me because I know I have God and I go forward.

My Techniques in teaching actors as a director is I make them to know themselves better and get the depth of personality of the characters easier therefore they’re not going to act for the sake of acting they change themselves to be the character that is of course very hard but will give the steps to the character to be connected with the viewers

What advice would you give the younger ones?

To believe in their real self, do not relent. Use the mentorship of their chosen mentors

Thank you for sharing with us.

Thank you too. We want Success for all.  It’s great for all to join us. Thank you once again African Development Magazine. We are connected to God. Be the one to serve and build the nation with love www.empireofmadani.org

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ArtsCulture & Tourism

AGBADA /DASHIKI: Promoting cultural heritage through ‘Agbada style revolution By Adewale Adenrele

Historically, Agbada was a long gown worn by African men on special occasions or informal places. But today, this traditional Nigerian style has been adopted by “Agbada” and obsessed women, which has become regular attire for men and women for special events like weddings.

Women look extremely beautiful and elegant in this three-piece outfit. When we find people with Agbada, we look at them with admiration because the attire is unique and extraordinarily cool.

Agbada are usually knee-length or full regalia tops, which also reflect a bit of the Yoruba style. Nowadays, women are in contest with men irrespective of culture, ethnics or tribe when it comes to the trendy Nigerian clothing style Agbada.

Colour is another important factor to be considered when choosing Agbada. If you choose the right colour, you are going to love your outfit. Gone are the days when it was only white colour that makes the cut when it comes to dressing in Agbada.

In the recent revolution of Agbada outfits, any colour can be used in making an Agbada. We have seen men make use of feminine colours like pink, red and purple in creating a fashion scene. Another great innovation is the embroidery design on the Agbada (Hand-weaving or Machine design). The design concept is what makes the difference when it comes to dressing in this gorgeous outfit.

Both men and women look fashionable in this traditional outfit and are easily noticed in the crowd especially the Yoruba royal kings in the midst of their chiefs. There are places where you will visit and everyone is dressed in expensive outfits, one of the ways you can beat the crowd is by using an Agbada with good colour and great design.

The world is moving swiftly when it comes to African dressing, creativity and style. Looking good is everyone’s business which is one of the reasons why we have come to appreciate the beauty attached to every outfit. When you are ready to make a move or getting set for cultural events, wedding party or office events, Agbada can be your best option.

 

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ArtsCulture & TourismInterview storyInterviews

We must rewrite Africa’s true story, history to encourage tourism for greater economy- Bokang Kholu Ramoreboli

Bokang Kholu Ramoreboli speaks about her biggest heartbreak that claimed her brother’s life and her plans to improved healthcare in Lesotho to honor her little brother. She also share her life experience and lifestyle, the All Flo  brand and journey to fashion industry with ADEWALE ADENRELE (African Development Magazine)

Below are excerpts:

Can you tell us briefly about yourself, your family and educational background?

My name is Bokang Kholu Ramoreboli. I was born in the district of Mafeteng, where both parents originated from, to Koena Mokhachane, a Royal Princess, and Moshoeshoe Ramoreboli, a Son of a highly respected and powerful Politician and member of the Parliament of Lesotho. I grew up in Maseru, the Capital city of Lesotho. I was blessed enough to have my paternal Grandfather, the Honorable G.P Ramoreboli provide a privileged life that has been fundamental to who I am today. He taught me how to be an entrepreneur, patriotic, serve and fight for the betterment of Lesotho. My Maternal Grandmother the Chief of Matlapaneng and neighboring villages, installed in me philanthropist values, humility, love, and dedication. She served her people her till her very last day, April 2020.

In the mid-’80s my Mother was deployed as a diplomat to Germany. There I completed my High School Studies. I also took a German language course and went on to study Fashion Design at Robert-Wetzler Shuele, Bonn, Germany and later moved to London to further my studies at Hammersmith & West London College. One of my favorite professors suggested I consider moving to the USA where he felt I fit in best. Eventually, I took his advice and moved to NY, Queens. I have lived in all parts of NY for over 20 years. Upon my arrival, I identified the opportunities at hand. The beauty industry was at its peak. I soon became a wife and mother to my oldest daughter. Real-life soon set in. I was divorced and a single parent so I joined New York’s hustle World. It was no brainer that I became a hairstylist. I’d been doing hair since I was 6 years old. I made enough to have my daughter attend private schools and live a decent life. 10 years later my last daughter was born. In 2007 I got back to my first love, Art. I was a part of a NY Organization, Chashama ,Jamaica Queens, New York. USA

I participated in numerous exhibitions and grew stronger as an artist. The makeup artist was born and most times incorporated hairstyling in my work. I knew I ultimately desired to design. Unfortunately, I couldn’t shake off the discouraging advice I got from a teacher back in high school. She explained that the fashion industry is already overpopulated and the competition is too grand for me to even attempt. So I figured I’d satisfy my passion by working backstage. That didn’t last too long. In 2010, I was diagnosed with severe Asthma & had to give up all I loved and made a living out of the hair business and Fine Arts. While fighting for my life, I lost my “little brother “to AIDS. We grew up together as siblings. Our fathers are brothers but we knew our grandfather as our Dad. It was the biggest heartbreak I ever experienced. He was talented but hopeless because of the African system/ mentality. If it’s not academic it’s only a hobby. There aren’t many if any resources outside of basic education. His death was preventable. But the stigma was a greater obstacle, so he died in shame and fear. This broke me into pieces! I was angry.  Depression sank in and felt like a failure. I was fully dependent on my husband and that didn’t sit well with me. Being a full-time housewife wasn’t me but I did love being there for my daughters 24/7. I couldn’t stop thinking “what can I do to change things in Lesotho to honor my little brother?”

Les A.R.T.S was born. Lesotho Artistic Recreational Therapy Services and Shelter. This would incorporate the arts & recreation as a form of therapy, along with education and medical assistance for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. It would also act as an extension to schools for the arts & recreation. Adults infected/ affected by HIV/AIDS would be the top priority employees. Consequently, hope and financial stability would be restored. I hosted fundraising art shows around NY City. Then my T-Shirt line came along and was highly successful. It was a cost-effective option for those who wish to own my artwork but cannot afford an actual painting. Unfortunately, shipping to Lesotho was too challenging especially with immigration restrictions at the time. That never deterred me from my mission to keep raising awareness, collecting school supplies & clothes, and promoting Tourism by putting my little beloved country on the map.

In 2011. I joined the African Day Parade committee and represented the Southern Region of Africa. I was also part of the stage production team as an artist/designer. At this point, I had elevated to being a full-blown African-inspired accessory designer as All Flo. (Nickname I got for doing it all). I made shoes, jewelry bags, and some home accessories. I wanted to always represent Africa anywhere I was seen. I introduced African fabrics in nightclubs and lounges. Made-Africa “chic “. My brand grew very fast! I would soon be invited to showcase during New York Fashion Week. This was HUGE! I can finally showcase the beauty of Africa and make Lesotho shine. What could be better than that!!

Business cards were made with my new logo and officially I was a designer. As though this wasn’t big enough I was told that I could only showcase if I find a clothing designer or produce my own. I had never made any clothes. I didn’t even know how to operate a sewing machine. I was NOT going to miss this opportunity of a lifetime! NO WAY. My mother paid for me to showcase the entire weekend. And just like that I cut & sewed 25 pieces, made 30 pieces of jewelry, and 25 pairs of shoes. I was the only designer with everything and had most pieces. This was done in about 2 weeks. My ancestors carried me all the way!! I was also the only one that received a standing ovation in the end. It was surreal. Such a high! I was bombarded with media personnel and the audience with loads of questions and applause. All I could think was if only my “Mom was here” and I literally felt my little brother smile at me and that was the beginning of Allflo Couture.

What is the most challenging moment while growing up in Lesotho before the sojourn abroad?

My siblings and I were raised mainly by our Grandfather in Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, while my father lived in the village. I hardly spent time with my father until he became ill. His illness meant that he had to stay in the main hospital in Lesotho at the time, which happened to be in Maseru. Throughout his hospital stay, I was glued to his side. He’d take me practically everywhere on his adventures in and out of the hospital. I guess he knew that he didn’t have much time to live and wanted to make up for lost time. I enjoyed watching him dance and entertain people with his impeccable storytelling abilities and witty humor. He was a social butterfly and so full of life. Unfortunately, he battled with lung disease for about two years until he passed when I was 12. Losing my father while preparing for my final exam in primary school was one of the most challenging moments in my life.
A few months after his passing, I started catholic boarding high school far away from home. This school was very mentally and physically challenging. My Grandfather demanded that I attend because it was the number one school in Lesotho. Though incredibly arduous, I managed to graduate that year. Shortly after, my Mother was deployed to what was then known as West Germany to work for the Lesotho Embassy in Bonn. I had to make a decision. Stay in Lesotho to be close to my recently departed father or move away from my home to be with my Mother and sister, whom I love and missed immensely. Leaving my dad behind seemed unbearable, so I stayed. As I mourned my father and longed for the day I would reunite with my Mother and sister, I grew increasingly conflicted. To stay or to go

As soon as winter break arrived, I rushed to my aunt and begged her to fly me out to Germany. She prepared everything, and in no time, I was on a flight to Johannesburg. This was the first time I’d ever been on a plane, and I was also alone. The morning of my trip was so surreal. My mind was busy with apprehension, curiosity, and raw excitement. It was somber knowing I was leaving behind my other siblings and couldn’t tell them to avoid complications. Nevertheless, I hopped on the plane wide-eyed and filled with wonder for this foreign place. Finally, it took off, and I sat in the bittersweet reality of my departure. I waved goodbye to my lifelong home and embraced my new life in Germany.

Who influenced you the most in life and why?

My Mother had me in her late teens and had to be a single parent for most of my life. She worked very hard to provide for us. Our home held great significance in Music and Fashion. She’d often design our clothing and incorporated the Ankara fabric, which at the time almost no one wore in Lesotho. This definitely sparked my love for both Ankara patterns, detailed and one-of-a-kind designs. Both Maternal and Paternal Grandmothers exhibited strength, grace, confidence, and leadership. My Maternal Grandmother was appointed as the Chief (Queen) of my Grandfather’s home early into my childhood after my Grandfather’s passing. She dedicated her entire life to leading, developing, and caring for multiple neighboring Villages. My home, also known as the Palace, served as the courthouse, shelter/home for those in need, prayer house, and community center. Her regal, yet ever so humble disposition was inspiring to all!  My paternal Grandfather was a highly respected and feared Politician. While a Parliament member as the Minister of Law and Justice, he also led his Political party. Lesotho and its betterment were his passion and mission. A true Patriot!

You have visited many countries, what would you advise the African leaders?

Having lived abroad, it’s clear that the key to prosperous countries is their cultural-conscious strategies when developing their lands, investments in youth, and involvement of their women. African leaders need to return to African roots of respecting their women as leaders and refrain from the European notion of patriarchy. They must create Africa’s future by creating platforms for innovative projects. Diversifying and upgrading the existing/conventional educational system is the only way to broaden the economy. Africa can easily be the World’s leading Nation!

You were very angry at Africa continent when you lost your brother, can you tell us why and what triggered your anger?

HIVAIDS is still a pandemic in Lesotho. The traditional beliefs and stigma are the main reason for this. For instance, for a wife to suggest that her husband uses protection when having sexual intercourse would result in a possible divorce or, worse, physical altercation. As for those infected, they are shunned and labeled as promiscuous. This makes it impossible to seek necessary medical treatment. My youngest Brother/Cousin died unnecessarily because of this. His death made me resent Africa! I couldn’t help feeling like Africa failed him and us his family.

As the founder of Allflo Couture, tell us what motivated or inspired this great concept and the success stories recorded so far?

My dream is to establish an African school of Arts, Fashion, and Creative Designs as a tool to reduce unemployment in Africa and restore hope in its youth. I showcased in numerous NYFW shows and around the US ,Canada, Suriname, Guyana ,Lesotho etc.  I have also won awards for best designer and African Philanthropist.
My designs were featured on multiple US & International newspapers and magazines
Some of My artworks are part of exhibition in NY Museums which is huge success for the brand

African ethnic groups and tribes have customs and traditions that are unique to their culture. What do you like about African Culture?

African culture is unique and beautiful! I love that we have strong morals, spirituality, family pride and values, gratitude, unity, and recognition of our ancestors who paved the way for us. As we say,” u munthu ka bantu” or “o motho ka batho” meaning you are who you are because of others.

As an African woman who had lived, worked in abroad for over decades, what can you tell the world about Lesotho, the people and their culture?

Lesotho is Africa’s best-kept secret. Landlocked within South Africa lays its breathtaking snow-capped tall mountains in the snow, high altitude, and abundant land. It owes its long history of political autonomy to the mountains that surround it and protects it from encroachment. Almost all Lesotho plants are medicinal.  It’s the first African country to grant a license for the cultivation of medical cannabis that is also exported to the European Union. Home to one and only ski resorts in Southern Africa, Lesotho is the place to go to for skiing and snowboarding adventures. Afriski Mountain Resort, situated in the Northern Highlands, has something to offer for every snow lover, both activity and scenery-wise.

 

The famous Sani Pass is one of the most challenging yet rewarding 4×4 routes in the World. The Pass begins at 1,544 meters and submits at 2,876 meters. Sani Mountain Lodge boasts the highest pub in Africa. In addition, the prehistoric caves and the Subeng dinosaur footprints are preserved in sandstone and feature the prints of a variety of prehistoric animals which lived approximately 200 million years ago. Located 24 kilometers from Maseru, is the Thaba Bosiu Cultural Village. This is a national monument and birthplace of the Basotho people. The sandstone plateau is home to a fortress established by King Moshoeshoe 1, the founder of the Basotho Nation, and is considered by the locals to have magical powers. Thaba Bosiu meaning Mountain at Night is believed to grow larger during the night, protecting inhabitants from enemies and intruders

In tourism, we have aspect of tourism like educational tourism, religious tourism, medical tourism which area can Africa be on a selling point of tourism to world especially Lesotho?

Lesotho’s people, Basotho, have a rich culture. Their origins can be traced back to prehistoric times. The Basotho, also known as Sotho speakers, are said to have originated from the north of Southern Africa. They made their way down as various tribes settled in different parts of the country. Today these groups are respectively known as the Batswana, Bapeli, and Basotho tribes.
Basotho people associate and identify themselves through the use of their clan names, which specify their ancestral origins; namely the Bataung, Basia, Bafokeng, Makholokoe, and Bakuena. The royal family of Lesotho is largely made up of Bakuena.

Basotho’s oral history can be found deep-rooted in their usage of totems or family odes (liboko), praise songs or poems (lithoko), and storytelling (litshomo). Liboko refers to the names of families, clans, or totems. In these, a clear history, philosophy, and the origins of each tribal group can be found. Family odes are used to identify and differentiate one clan from another. Litshomo were traditionally told by grandmothers to their grandchildren while sitting by the fire at night. The purpose of these stories was to guide and warn the young children about harmful things surrounding them.

Basotho are known for their unique style of Fashion. Hats and Blankets are big statement pieces in Basotho Fashion. Their overall style is conservative/ classy with an edge.

African Development Magazine would like to be part of your team reporting your activities, promoting your brand and tourism promotion for Lesotho; would you consider partnering with us and what will be your commitment to ADM?

I love and support the vision and mission of African Development Magazine and it is my passion to support and promote the African brands. I am a firm believer that all Africa needs to reach its full potential is the right support by Africans. Firstly and most importantly Africans must start rewriting Africa’s true history and stories to encourage tourism for a greater economy.

My commitment to ADM is being their Southern African Ambassador through Arts, Fashion, and Tourism both in Africa and the USA. I  would like to introduce/support Eco-tourism to Lesotho in particular to ensure the preservation of its environment, history, and culture.

Amazing memories are unforgettable; can you share with us most amazing memory?

In 2016 I visited Lesotho for the first time after almost 30 years. It was such an emotional trip on many levels. Finally, I could see my family again. This also meant that now I would face the fact that I have lost almost all of my Father’s family.

I can still remember vividly the feeling I got as I landed on South African soil. I could hardly breathe. Tears of joy poured down my cheeks and the lovely South African woman sitting beside me gently asked “are you alright dear?” Chocking with emotions I nodded my head and she rubbed my shoulder and said “breathe”. As I exited the plane, I literally heard my ancestors say “welcome back our child” I smiled and wiped off my tears. I felt a sense of belonging and security.  I stayed in Johannesburg for a couple of days. On the third day, we left for Lesotho. Mafeteng (my birthplace) to be exact.

As soon as we approached the border into Lesotho, it rained cats and dogs! It was a sign that the Gods were pleased with me. The sign Khotso Pula Nala at the border brought me to my knees. I stepped out of my Aunty’s car and kissed the ground. Despite the night’s darkness, I noticed some familiar places as I stared out the window like a toddler with a grin on my face. I felt free and as though all my worries and hardships I’d endured abroad were completely lifted off of me. I was HOME where I belong.

What advice would you give the younger ones?

I have been blessed to be invited as a guest speaker to local schools in Lesotho and I often tell the youth that education is fundamental for a better life. However, going to school to get hired is no longer the way things work. Innovation is the key to success! With innovation, one can create job opportunities and improve the country’s economy. School is only to prepare and guide. In other words the beginning not the final destination.

Thank you for sharing with us.

You are welcome. I appreciate ADM

 

 

 

 

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ArtsCulture & Tourism

A 2-DAY TOURISM, ARTS AND CULTURE WORKING SUMMIT ORGANISED BY LASG

Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, organizers of the Working Summit strategically selected Amb. Nneka Isaac-Moses the Managing Director of the multiple-award-winning Media and Tourism brand, Goge Africa to moderate the event that took place at Dover Hotel in IKEJA, LAGOS.

The first day, witnessed impressive presentation from Dr. Adun Okupe, Tourism Consultant, Red Clay Tourism Advisory and Faculty, Strategy Lagos Business School on Harnessing the transformative potential of sustainable tourism, while Amb. Ikechi Uko, Organiser Akwaaba Africa Travel Market presented on The best of Lagos.

In the course of the two-day summit, notable stakeholders also shared their thoughts and made presentations. Some of them include, the Lagos Zonal coordinator NTDC Mr. Rotimi Aiyetan, the CEO of Goge Africa Amb. Isaac Moses, G.M of Marriot Hotel Ikeja, The CEO of Tarzan Jetty Mr. Tarzan Balogun, The CEO of Jara Resort Mr. Mark Slade, Mr. Opeyemi Owoeye of Epe Resort and Spa, Lady Ime Udo Vice President NATOP, Michael Balogun of Tour2Nigeria, Anago Osho, Kenny Saint Brown among others.

RESOLUTIONS:

Efforts should be geared towards fine-tuning our strategy that will showcase and sell “The Best of Lagos” to potential tourists who are desirous of finding the best experience of entertainment, fun and relaxation and value for their money;

Strengthening and improving on innovation by offering authentic, affordable experiences also having packages that meet the needs of potential local travellers will play a pivotal role in achieving our intention to reposition tourism activities in the State;

To Create tourism desks in all our local council areas where it will be easier for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to take the inventory of the various tourism sites in these localities and put in place necessary plans and provisions for them towards developing domestic tourism;

The Summit should hold quarterly in the Five Divisions of the State, driven by Stakeholders because it has proved to be a veritable platform for cross fertilization of ideas and the development of Lagos State’s position on Tourism growth and development;

In view of the crucial role and contributions of Lagos State Tourism as the 3rd most visited tourism City in Africa, it is essential for all the Tourism Stakeholders to collaborate with the Ministry in order to make Lagos a choice destination for tourists;

Explore Community Based Tourism by focusing on our Culture, Festivals, Heritage and further explore tourism sites to attract more tourist;

The State Government’s focus on Tourism Infrastructure will be the quickest way to enhance the development and sustainability of Domestic Tourism;

Reinforce what Lagosians already see and Scale them up. eg. Entertainment, Weddings, Owambe of all Kinds, Night outs, Beach activities and Religious Holiday activities to mention but a few:

The focus on domestic tourism should expand the leisure economy, recognising that residents within the state also require leisure activities which in turn can then be made available to visitors and tourists visiting Lagos State;

In an attempt to convert 20million Lagosians into Tourists, we need to draw a new picture, open new Vistas and reintroduce Lagosians to the real Lagos in order to change the narrative and retell the Story of Lagos;

Take advantage of 20million Prospects.in order to boost Lagos economy thus making Tourism one of the major contributor to the revenue generation and GDP growth;

Explore Eco-lodges, Luxury Beach Resorts, Watersports activities to enhance domestic tourism in all the Divisions;

Make Conscious and Deliberate Efforts to grow Clusters in Lagos, Identify the Demographics that are suitable for each Cluster. Package Daycations and Staycations for Each Cluster and market to all the 20 Million People of Lagos;

Make Lagos attractive for investment and connect with long term capital for long term investment needs;

All Stakeholders should start working with schools, universities, organizations and also ensure that our deliveries present rich storylines that connect us with Lagos, its history, its potentials and how we fit into all of this. It is time for more harmonisation and deepening of Partnership relationships;

Stakeholders should focus on the budget/economy and mid -scale segments – pricing as a key issue;

Stakeholders should leverage on the strong educational opportunity embedded within tourism in order to expand our horizons and enhance our quality of life from the supply side of the industry;

Spend more on harmonizing all the tourism sub sector to achieve a robust tourism destination for ultimate tourist experience.

Participants included the Chairman, House Committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Commissioner, Special Adviser, Permanent Secretary, Senior Special Assistant to Mr. Governor as well as Management Staff of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter (FTAN), Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO), Hotel Owners & Managers Association of Lagos, (HOMAL) Tour Operators, Tour Guides, Lagos State Boat Operators, Beach Resort & leisure Owners and Tourism Practitioners.

 

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AfricaAfrica AsiaArtsCulture & Tourism

Culture & Tourism: Germany to return Benin Bronzes looted during colonial era

Germany is returning hundreds of artifacts known as the Benin Bronzes that were mostly looted from West Africa by a British colonial expedition and subsequently sold to collections around the world, including German museums, authorities said Friday according to reports from AP.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas welcomed a deal reached with museums and authorities in Nigeria to work on a restitution plan for a substantial number of artifacts, calling it a “turning point in dealing with our colonial history.”

Germany’s minister for culture, Monika Gruetters, said the Benin Bronzes were a key test for the way the country deals with its colonial past.

Gruetters said the goal is to contribute to “understanding and reconciliation” with the descendants of those whose cultural treasures were stolen in colonial times. The first returns are planned for next year, she said.

A historian welcomed the plans, but said they don’t go far enough.

“Sadly, there is neither a precise time plan nor an unconditional commitment to restitute all looted artifacts,” said Juergen Zimmerer, professor of global history at the University of Hamburg.

He also noted it’s not yet clear how many objects will be returned, or whether there will be any recognition of the efforts by civil society groups that had called for the restitution.

A British colonial expedition looted vast numbers of treasures from the royal palace of the Kingdom of Benin in 1897, including numerous bas-reliefs and sculptures.

While hundreds of artifacts ended up in the British Museum, hundreds were also sold to other collections such as the Ethnological Museum in Berlin, which has one of the world’s largest collection of historical objects from the Kingdom of Benin, estimated to include about 530 items, including 440 bronzes.

The British Museum doesn’t currently have plans to return parts of its collection.

“The devastation and plunder wreaked upon Benin City during the British military expedition in 1897 is fully acknowledged,” the British Museum said in a statement, adding that the circumstances around the acquisition of Benin objects is explained in gallery panels and on its website.

“We believe the strength of the British Museum collection resides in its breadth and depth, allowing millions of visitors an understanding of the cultures of the world and how they interconnect over time – whether through trade, migration, conquest or peaceful exchange,” it said.

But Zimmerer, who has done extensive historical research on the Benin Bronzes, said the decision by Germany would likely affect the wider debate about how institutions in former colonial countries should handle such artifacts.

“The pressure will grow, because the British position of simply not addressing the issue of restitution is no longer sustainable,” he said.

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A Life Without Culture is Empty- Oriyomi

Oriyomi Joseph is a multi-talented performing artiste who is vast in the area of Dance, Drums, Acting, Recitation, Singing and Chanting. He is also vast in the creative art in craft, design, drawing and painting.

Originated from the royal lineage of the Ojomu of Ajiran, Ikota, Ajah,Eti-osa local government, Lagos, Nigeria. Had his elementary school, college and higher institution in Lagos, and graduated from the Department of Theatre Arts and Music, Lagos State University, Lagos Nigeria with a Second Class Upper Credit on Bachelor of Arts Degree.

Popularly known as ORí has remarkable experience in media arts, radio, Tv and film. Oriyomi Joseph has worked as a trainer on quite a number of television reality shows eg. Airtel Nigeria’s Got Talent, Pepsi’s Nigerian Idol, Glo X-Factor, Lasu’s Got Talent(as a judge).

His credits also includes certain international functions; International YouthArts Festival(UK) where he led a group of performers to showcase artistic excellence in the light of promoting Nigerian culture and Africa at large, Cultural Exchange in Ghana, Republic of Benin, Togo and Ivory Coast on Theater workshop, fellowship ..

In this interview with Adewale Adenrele (African Development Magazine) , Oriyomi speaks about his experience , challenges and  lifestyle :

Promoting culture has been your priority, what motivated you into this?

As a child, I grew up watching my father sings, play certain musical instruments like Membranophone (skin drums), Harmonica, Accordion, Godjé(the   local stringed acoustic box that produces melodious sounds which is  also common among the Hausa people.

His Yoruba poetry known as Ewì and oral praise chant –  Oríkì entices me a lot with the way people react when he recites it.  Mostly, when done in a church setting being a devoted Christian. The chanting is regarded as Oríkì Elédùmarè’’ (Praising and chanting for GOD).

It is evident that my dad influence on me is huge I could completely say it was my father who motivated me into appreciating culture in the first place. Despite that my growing up was knitted around the city of Lagos, from the elementary school named Ahoyaya Primary school now Victoria Island Primary school Lagos.

I was an active member of the cultural club. The way people doled out money to me while rendering oriki at that formative period of my life, coupled with the ovation gave me lot of courage..

What are the challenges you faced while doing this and how did you overcome them?

Apparently, I didn’t really understand what it means to prioritize culture while growing up.  I was just observant to what was going on around me.  The way he greets people, talking in parables, stories he told us about our heritage were quite extensive.

During my days in the high school I was at some point made the leader of the “Drama and literature society” whilst there I dug deep into understanding culture and it’s values. So, I became more passionate, I attended events, I also realized I was having more adults as friends than those of my contemporaries.

At certain stages, I was feeling unacceptable from friends and some relatives, even quite a number of immediate family members who are my blood relations seemed to have negative feelings about me, the fact that I began to wear beads on my neck and wrists instead of a chain or bracelet, I use cowries as part of my accessories on bags, shoes, finger ring, shirt button etc. to make me feel very African, these seemed really funny to them, even other people looked at me like I’m a ritualist or a son of a herbalist.

I can remember vividly in the year 2000, I was privileged for the first time to take part in an event showcasing live Theatre performances  organized by the association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP) called “Artistes Night”. I was able to perform amidst notable professionals, the event was aired on a national television station, and people began to reckon with me. In other words, I began to talk about culture and its value wherever, whenever i get the chance to apart from performances and events, my commitment and passion for cultural promotion drove me into studying Theatre Arts in the university.

What do you like about African Culture?

Africa is a continent consisting people of many countries, its strength lies in its cultural foundation. I choose to promote African culture anywhere in the world for it is a very strong means of identification. Culture is the might and ego of Africa; it is the bedrock of its historical value. The only thing that brings out the originality in us as Africans is our culture.

Are you a spiritual person?

Yes, I am Christian, but nothing stops me from promoting my culture and acknowledging my tradition.

You are popularly known as ‘’ORI” can you tell us the secret behind it?

This is still based on cultural consciousness. I was named Joseph Oluwafemi Oriyomi. From childhood everyone calls me Joseph, but at a point in life , I began to explore into my culture and understanding its worth, i realized that ,  i needed to be tagged with something stronger, a name that has more depth.

Apparently, my father named all his children according to the bible, from the first child to the last. For instance, we have Emmanuel, Benjamin,Christiana, Solomon, Matthew, Joseph and Samuel.

The name Joseph has an amazing meaning which is “Increase” according to the Hebrew. but then, it does not identify  me as Yoruba.

So, right before i left secondary school i instructed everyone around me to call me ORIYOMI (which is actually my surname) since then. Also, knowing fully well that my father was born into an Islamic background, he changed his name from Tajudeen Raji to Moses Atanda Oriyomi. It can be funny …very funny …laughs!

In a nutshell, i took the first three letters “ORI” as my own brand name, throughout my university days, people call me Oriyomi majority feels it is actually my name, and in the Art business I am popularly called ORí. Having said this. ORí in the Yorùba mythology and spirituality means a lot.

The mystical power of intuition,  the source of every mankind, the head, the solicitor, leader, fate, creator, one’s spirit, mystery etc.

Ori1 240x300 8409684Is there something you stopped doing, even though you loved it?

Apart from adopted name. I had to do away with some people who looked down on me, people who sees me as educated but uncivilized, like girlfriends particularly (lol)…… Ladies can be funny when you are expected to be on the social scene and you promote culture.

Although, some of these characters now marvel at the exploits I have made so far in my career as a cultural ambassador.

Amazing memories are unforgettable; can u share with us your most amazing memory?

My experience at youth conference  at Eko Hotel, Lagos in year 2002. with lots of international delegates and i was spotted out amongst over 500 youths in attendance due to my outfit. I wore a dàánsíki with the cap, a neck bead, my bracelet had a bit of cowries, wristwatch strap was beaded. That day i was awarded with the sum of N20,000 9Twenty Thousand Naira Only)

. I had an interview that was aired on NTA in the year 2003 after drumming at an inter-house sport opening ceremony, my mother saw me on television and shed a bit of tears but tears of joy.

At the Lagos school, a play was staged by the Blue Print Vision with the wife of former Lagos State deputy governor in attendance Mrs. Jumoke Pedro, who was amazed about the character i played alongside dancing and drumming which also gave me an amazing moment.

In 2012 i attended International Youth Arts Festival in  UK. I went with  my team  and we were on the street for publicity to create further awareness of our show on the festival. People met with us, they invited us for dinner, lunch, shopping and so on, to express their happiness, gratitude for making them feel home yet again.

In the year 2016, I was privileged to have a performance with my troupe at the governor’s office in Osun State. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Executive governor of Osun State stood up from his sit to give me a hand shake after several comment and excitement about my performance on the drums; he walked towards me and gave me a hand shake saying… “Well done, well done and well done my friend”. Laughs…

You have participated in certain international functions and events  promoting Nigeria’s culture, can you tell us the value in Nigeria’s culture?

One cannot comprehend the magnitude of the value our culture abroad, I have only been to London anyway, yet, I could tell how passionate the people are to see us display, showcase or exhibit our cultural diversity. The same appreciation  is replicated  even in our African countries during my visit Togo, Benin, Ghana and Ivory coast.

You are a performing artiste, what kind of music genre do you sing?

Highlife and Folklore.

Do you have any musical tracks and album to your credit?

No. I haven’t done any record, I perform live on stage

Can you sing for me now?

Yes, I can

Have you performed for Yoruba Monarchs who are custodian of Yoruba culture and heritage by reciting and chanting?

I haven’t really been privileged to do that, but I have performed in several events where there are Monarchs, governors, clergy men and women.

Can you recite in 2-3 sentences for Alaafin of Oyo and Ooni of Ife?

I can.

Alaafin: A ki rọ’ ba fin la lẹ de Ọyo, O ya ẹ jẹ a lo ree ki Alaafin, Ọmọ a jowu yọ kọ lẹnu, A bi Ila tọ-tọ lẹhin

Pan-du-ku bi soo ro,Ibi ti wọn ti ni ki Olowo gbowo, Ki Iwọfa sọ tọ wọ rẹ nu, Ṣe ko le ba di’ ja, ko le ba di apọn ,Ki Ọba Alade le ri n jẹ, Ọyọ mọ l’ afin Ojo pa Ṣẹkẹrẹ, ọmọ Atiba

Ooni:  Kabiyesi Ooni Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi Ojaja Keji Omo Ojaja fidi ote jale Omo Ayi kiti Ogun Omo etiri Ogun Kare o Leyoo aje okun Ooni Ajere aboju jojo

I have done research by understanding their eulogy and to be sure of the right words to say because there are a lot of misconceptions going on about oral praise of most powerful personalities in Yorùba race; there are loads of different versions.

Have you attended, performed at Nigeria festivals, what can you say about it?

I have performed in several festivals in my country one don’t get to be privileged in showcasing in certain events if one doesn’t have good link who can solicit, most especially when one is not famous yet. regardless, I was part of the performers alongside Lagos State Council for Arts and culture for the opening and closing ceremony at the Lagos international sports festival, Lagos international Jazz festival with Biodun and Batik, Poetry Laughter And You (PLAY) for the International Peotry Rendition Competition by Guarantee Trust Bank in 2012(which my group came first), Osun Osogbo festival, Ojúde Oba festival in Ijebu, Drum Festival Ogun State etc.

Special thanks to our Amiable Honourable Abike Dabiri ,SSA to the President on foreign affairs and diaspora for her support  also for believing in me and my performing arts group. ORÍGÍNAL CREATION.  We were privileged to showcase our artistic prowess at the last Badagry Diaspora Festival 2017.

Above all, festivals in Nigeria are very significant because during festivals the people have the opportunities to experience real masquerades, tradition, songs, drums, rituals, spirituality, magic and much more.

How many tourist site have you visited in Nigeria and Africa?

Ikogosi waterfall and the cold  warm water spring, Osun Osogbo  groove(Osun State)  Orioke Olorunkole (ìbàdàn) ,Olúmo Rock Abeokuta(Ogun  State) Badagry Slaves Depot (Badagry Lagos) Zuma Rock(Abuja) the Ooni of  Ifè’s palace Ilé Ifè(Osun State)  to mention a few.

What would you do tomorrow if you would become president today?

I grew up with a lot of challenges, when you grow up without your father. I was much younger when my father departed to join his ancestors; I know what it means to grow without a father, without a helper, with hardship and so on. Meanwhile, I have seen quite a lot of people in the same situation even those whose parents are still complete.

As a president, I would provide free access to education for citizens, provide technical colleges and training centers for different disciples, job opportunities, electricity, empower women and children, create centers where citizens can be enlightened on various  aspects, eg. Marriages, business, politics, environmental awareness, media policy, academic value, health and likes.

What advice would you give the younger ones?

Stay focused, don’t give up regardless of whatever situation, Honesty, Faithfulness, Be real, Be truthful with yourself, appreciate your creativity and people around   you. Be humble, , be respectful to elders, work hard, exercise, drink water, pray hard,  believe in  yourself, don’t be deceived, trust your journey, learn, be open to criticism and corrections, respect women, love children, play.

Ori4 300x300 3033898Can you tell us more about theatre for development (TFD)

Theatre For Development (TFD) is a programme designed specifically for community development, it is mostly done in rural communities that are under- developed.   It is actually a curricular activity where we have students at their third year in the university studying Theatre Arts to go on a 10 day community research.

They live with the people; learn their culture, their music, tradition, art, business, family history, source of livelihood, kingship, politics, clubs, youths, women, children, men, festivals, rites, religion, and temperament. All these will enable participants to explore into whatever the challenges are and why the community is under developed.

There is a time for data collections, data analysis, prioritization, and scenario  building. After all these things, participants must arrive at putting up a play. This play must address all they have gathered from prioritization, it    must address the community people, it will mirror their problems, the cause and possible solutions.

This play will be presented with dances and songs (most of these will be from their own culture) for them to be carried along with better and quicker digest.

Also, community leaders both of government, monarch, villagers, the entire community. Although, there would have been a notice through public announcement by the Baálè or  Kábíesi about the ceremony.

As a matter of fact TFD is to help a dying or slow growing community diagnose its problem, analyse it, sought for solutions and of course draw government’s proper attention.

Do you think the federal government should establish university for cultural activities as a means for people who are multi-talented, gifted and beginners?

This is an amazing question. African is dying today because majority of our youth knows nothing about their culture, the one who make efforts to explore into it have nothing or less to motivate or encourage them. If not the fact that there is university offering Theatre Arts as a course of study i wonder what would have happened to someone like me. Though, passion is passion but if there are no elements of driving force it becomes only a person.

If we can have an academic center for cultural studies and activities with good facilities and cultural gurus who also have depth knowledge of history, i can assure you that we’ll secure the future.

Our future is threatened if youth and children can’t speak indigenous languages, can’t express themselves verbally in their native tongue, some can’t even explain the meaning of their names, alot cannot explain how marriages, naming ceremonies, burial, coronation, festivals are being done traditionally from their respective home towns. It is absurd for our people not to confidently recite their own Oríkì  let alone understanding their origin.

Whoever does not know his/her culture has no understanding of his/her history and not knowing ones history simply means there was no origin at all.

As a matter of fact, government should make indigenous languages compulsory for students in all academic levels, if possible.

Thank you for your time and sharing your experience with us.

You are welcome . Thank you .

 

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