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By Ehi Braimah
(Braimah is a public relations and marketing strategist based in Lagos)
VANGUARD Nigeria. Saturday, March 23, 2019
Nigeria's music culture ignites fire from Lagos to Accra, Nairobi, Dubai,
Johannesburg, Cape Town, London, Toronto, Houston and Atlanta
On election day for governors in 29 States and State Houses of Assembly seats on Saturday March 9, 2019, my family and I were having a late breakfast at about noon and Trace Naija, the popular music channel on DSTV, was on and featuring songs by top Nigerian artistes.
Then I popped this question to no one in particular: who is your favourite Nigerian music artiste and why? My daughter, a keen music follower with her eyes on media arts as a possible future vocation, answered me and announced Wizkid and Davido because of the lyrics, beat, tempo and rhythms of their songs. Wow, I exclaimed! She explained further that their songs are popular and relate well with a youthful audience.
From Lagos to Accra, Nairobi, Dubai, Johannesburg, Cape Town, London, Toronto, Houston and Atlanta, just to name a few places, Nigerian music, sometimes branded as Naija music, has created a new culture of entertainment, excitement and enjoyment as popular dance hall music in those places. Be it a bar, nightclub, lounge or restaurant, music lovers gyrate to the beat coming out of the sound monitors that are recognised and celebrated as Nigerian music.
Two years ago in Nairobi, my host Uche and I visited Club 40/40, Kiza Lounge and Black Diamond where 'Naija' pop music is played steadily. I had the same experience in Atlanta, USA, last October when Ernest, Ralph and I visited Sage restaurant, Little Lagos restaurant, Buckhead Loft, Whiskey Mistress and Regent Lounge.
I'm told that new lounges and restaurants such as Blue Lagoon and Ace also celebrate Nigerian music by Wizkid, Davido, Run Town, Olamide, Tekno, Burna Boy and so on. The effect is usually spontaneous – you just get up and begin to shake your body without any prompting to the unmistakable beats in the songs. The beats give the songs a unique Nigerian identity - a product exported from Nigeria.
When Dr. Reuben Abati interrogated this subject about 10 years ago in the Guardian as the newspaper's editorial board chair and columnist, he wrote that the lyrics in the music by most Nigerian artistes were meaningless and disgusting. The reactions from different quarters, especially the music industry, were swift and defiant and the matter became highly controversial at the time.
The artistes and their promoters fought back vehemently, challenging Dr Abati to a dwell in the court of public opinion and he had to publish countless rejoinders on the matter. Between then and now, the successes of our pop music stars have been remarkable and their achievements profound, thereby earning recognition globally.
Even if you do not agree with content and messaging strategy of the lyrics, the fact remains that the music produced is very popular, enjoyable and hilarious to the music consumer, and very danceable, too. There was a gap our artistes identified which they filled and the result was the big bang effect - they suddenly became popular and began to make waves, and they have never looked back since then.
Popularity and celebrity status varies among the music stars. Fame, which usually comes with a price, may come too early for some of our rising and well established stars, and when there is no consistency in their respective musical repertoire or when the successes achieved are not properly managed, it could spell trouble and declining fortunes may set in.
Stardom means experiencing a new world of bling bling, living in luxurious homes, making significant fashion statements, driving exotic cars and hiring private jets. For the male folks, women are never in short supply; being super stars actually means living life to the fullest. As the discussions continued over the late breakfast, my daughter revealed a Vanguard newspaper story where Mark Dayton, governor of Minnesota in the United States of America, declared October 6 every year as Wizkid Day. That's truly a big deal. It is remarkable.
~Punch Nigeria. Sunday, April 29, 2018
Zimbabwe has legalised marijuana for medical and scientific use, thereby becoming the second African country to legalize marijuana after Lesotho.
The country’s Minister of Health health in a government notice said that individuals and businesses would be able to apply for licences to cultivatecannabis for medicinal or scientific use on Friday.
The five-year licences will clear growers to possess, transport and sell fresh cannabis, cannabis oil, and dried product, reports Harare Herald.
Applicants for the licenses must submit detailed plans of their proposed production site and yield, according to the government notice published in the Harare Herald.
Individuals applying for licenses must beZimbabwecitizens or residents or have a waiver issued by the minister.
Those previously convicted of drug offences will not be allowed to apply.
Even with the legalisation of cannabis usage, recreational use is still illegal in the country.
The tiny state of Lesotho issued Africa’s first license for medical marijuana productionlast year.
~Punch Nigeria. Wednesday, July 26, 2017.
Three women have appeared in court after a pastor said they raped him.
Two of the women are alleged to have pinned the man down on a bed, while the third carried out the sex attack.
A magistrates' court in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, was told that the victim was owed money by the attackers and he went to their home to collect it.
They invited him into the house, but once he was inside, he said, he was grabbed around the waist and his trousers were pulled down by a second who then groped him.
The women Sandra Ncube, 21, Riamuhetsi Mlauzi, 23, and Mongiwe Mpofu, 25, denied rape, but pleaded guilty to indecent assault.
One of them said they were 'just playing around.’
Prosecutor, Mr. Petros Shoko, said: “On July 14 at 7pm, the complainant went to the accused persons’ residence to collect money which Mlauzi owed.
“They forced him to lie on the bed and undressed him. Ncube sat on his chest and he tried to push her away. However, Mlauzi held his legs together and sat on his top, pressing him against the bed.
“Mpofu was in another room and brought condoms and placed them on the complainant’s manhood and helped to hold him down.
“Ncube had sexual intercourse with the complainant once without his consent,” Shoko said.
The three denied raping the pastor but admitted indecent assault.
Ncube said: “We were just playing around, Your Worship. I did not think that he would take it seriously.”
Mpofu denied taking part, but admitted bringing the condoms saying: “We keep them around the house and I just brought them.”
Mlauzi said she wanted to 'fix' the pastor who she claimed had a habit of walking in on the women when they were bathing.
She said: “He always walks in on me bathing and claims to be unmoved as a man of God. I just wanted to see if he was going to be aroused or not.
“I did not plan to execute the whole rape thing Your Worship.”
Magistrate Lungile Ncube was told by Mlauzi that she just wanted to prove to the pastor that he had 'feelings like everybody else.'
She said: “I wanted him to see that he was not special and was not immune to sexual arousal.
“When I touched him, he immediately got aroused; and that is all we wanted to see,” she said.
The complainant was taken to Mpilo Central Hospital for a medical examination and the report will be prepared for the magistrates.
All three were remanded in custody until August 7 for a full trial.
Earlier this month, a 39-year-old teacher was hospitalised in Zimbabwe after claiming a gang of three women kidnapped, drugged and raped him for two days.
The man from Makoni in Chitungwiza was left with severely bruised genitals and doctors at Waza Hospital found other signs of sexual abuse after he was dumped by the roadside.
Police are still trying to find the three women who are allegedly part of a 'sperm bandit' gang preying on hitchhikers and travellers and steal and sell their semen for 'good luck.'
There is no suggestion the two alleged crimes are related.
~Vanguard Nigeria. Friday, December 2, 2016.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who is set to stand down next year after 38 years in power, is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.
The continent is home to many men who have held office for two decades or more, and dos Santos is currently second overall, just a month behind Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.
Here is a rundown:
– African leaders for more than 30 years –
– In tiny, oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, President Obiang is Africa’s longest-serving leader, at 37 years.
Obiang came to power in a coup on August 3, 1979, ousting his own uncle, Francisco Macias Nguema, who was shot by a firing squad.
– Dos Santos is next in Angola, having taken up his post on September 21, 1979.
– Robert Mugabe, 92, rounds out the podium at number three, having run Zimbabwe since its independence in April 1980.
Mugabe is the only leader to have ruled since independence, and has now been either prime minister or president (since 1987) for more than 36 years.
– In Cameroon, Paul Biya has 34 years under his belt. He became president on November 6, 1982 after serving seven years as prime minister.
– Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso has spent 32 years in office, but not in one go. He first served from 1979 to 1992 and then came back to run the country in 1997 at the end of a civil war.
Sassou Nguesso was re-elected in March 2016 and could run again when the current term expires.
– In Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has been in power for more than 30 years. He took office in January 1986 after winning the war that ousted Idi Amin Dada, with help from neighbouring Tanzania.
He was elected to a fifth term in February 2016 amid allegations of fraud.
– King Mswati III of Swaziland is Africa’s last absolute monarch. He acceded to the throne of the tiny southern kingdom in April 1986.
– In power for more than 20 years –
– In Sudan, Omar al-Bashir has ruled for 27 years since he staged a successful coup in June 1989.
– Chad’s leader Idriss Deby took over the north-central African nation in December 1990, giving him 26 years in power. Deby won a disputed fifth term in April 2016.
– Eritrea’s head of state Issayas Afewerki has been around since 1993.
– Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh has ruled for 22 years since he staged a coup in July 1994. However, he was defeated by opposition leader Adama Barrow, failing to get a fifth five-year term in Thursday’s election.