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ENTERTAINMENT

How African Musicians Can Become Moguls — DJ Cuppy

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Prominent Disc Jockey, Florence Otedola, popularly known as DJ Cuppy Well, has urged Nigerian and African music makers to take advantage of laid-down structures that can help them become moguls.

Cuppy was a panellist at the Oxford Africa Business Forum put together by her alma mater, the University of Oxford. According to her, in addition to celebrating the fact that African creatives have this global presence, it’s also about getting their foot through the global door and staying there.

“I always get concerned when Africa, or the concept of Africa becomes a trend or it becomes some sort of, I guess, flavour, because it’s life to us. It’s what we know. And in terms of structures, there’s been so many exciting things happening and trust Africans to come up with the most creative ideas.

“We’ve seen partnerships come through. And I think you touched on particularly my country’s exchange rate. These sort of make it very hard to create structure and create lifelong careers and artists without support from the stakeholders that matter.

“So one of the things that I’m very passionate about, you know, I’m known for several different things, but actually, I would say that music isn’t what I’m mostly known for as far as creating it,” she said.

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Cuppy noted that despite not putting out music in five years, she somehow has been able to create revenue streams. “But what happens is you start to build a following and you make sure you service them.

“And I think that’s something that African artists need to look at.”

 

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ENTERTAINMENT

EU, UNDP Host Private Screening Of Feature Film, ‘Deafening Silence’

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Deafening Silence

The European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nigeria have hosted a private screening of the feature film Deafening Silence to advocate for gender equality and women empowerment in Nigeria.

The film which is a result of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative aligns with the government of Nigeria’s gender priorities as well as the European Union’s and the United Nations’ Gender Action Points.

“Deafening Silence” produced by the UNDP within the framework of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, leverages the power of storytelling to explore themes of Gender Equality.

The intervention is on gender equality, women’s Gender Empowerment, and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Nigeria.

The film aims to foster deep and honest conversations around these critical issues, to incentivize social change.

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The film seeks to raise awareness and inspire action to combat GBV, promoting a society where gender equality and empowerment are fundamental values.

Speaking during the private screening, Samuela Isopi, European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said: “Art is a powerful tool to promote behavioural change, fight stigma and create awareness around negative social norms.

“It is therefore my hope that this film will contribute to promoting gender equality and prevent g gender-based violence in Nigeria and build a more inclusive society”.

In her remarks, Ms Elsie Attafuah, Resident Representative of UNDP Nigeria, stated that “Deafening Silence is more than a film”, stressing that “it is a comprehensive communication, media and visibility intervention designed to challenge biased gender norms and inspire transformative conversations.”

She further added, “It harnesses the power of storytelling, communication, and mainstream media to catalyse societal change and promote gender equality.”

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On his part, a former Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, sought protection for women in other aspects of their lives.

“Our budget at the federal and state levels does not reflect the aspirations of women in the rural communities where we have over 60 per cent population,” he said.

The former minister also said most of the food consumed in Nigeria was being produced by women in the rural areas, stressing that when government policies exclude the rural areas, women are automatically excluded.

In Nigeria, the spotlight initiative was implemented in five states: Sokoto, Cross River, Lagos, Adamawa, and Ebonyi, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and ended in December 2023.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Fussion: An Emissary Goes Home (TRIBUTE)

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Late Fussion, a member of the Apostles Group

By Godwin Adindu*

It was at Akpu Rd, in a compound overlooking the popular Girls High School Aba, of the present Abia State that Fussion charmed me into a passion for rock music. Poor impressionable boy! I almost took to raps because I associated it with transcendental inspiration.

He would stand at the edge of a long chair, holding a burning piece of paper in his hand. He drew smoke from the rap, gaggled it in his mouth, and allowed it to percolate through his head’s nerves, tears streaming down his cheeks. Then he would gently place the rap on a couch and watch the smoke curl around and dissipate into the atmosphere. It was like a ritual. One would think there was something esoteric about the rap because he would suddenly jump into a burst of energy, elevating his entire body to a higher level.

Fussion would grab the microphone, his creamed afro hair hiding half of his eyes. Barry was already on the drum set, his two legs kicking, his two hands flogging, and his chest gyrating to the beats he was creating from the sets in front of him. The guitarists were flinging the bars, while the keyboardist had already been transported to an unknown world.

It was fascinating to watch The Apostles Rock Group perform their rehearsals. They never drove us away. We would look out the window, the smoke from the raps clogging our lungs.

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Then Fussion would sing a code that would bring the entire studio to a halt before quickly switching to a tenor voice that would re-energise the band. That seemed like a prelude. It was typically old-school music. Then he would move from the material to the elemental realm, seeing things you can not see, hearing voices you can not hear, and singing with extraordinary inspiration. He was expressing the paradoxes of life using primordial idioms that conveyed wisdom and truth. This was in the early 1980s, and as a teenage schoolboy at the nearby Wilcox Memorial, the Apostles Group became my heroes.

Looking at Fussion on stage, nodding his head, hitting the air, and kicking at nothing as he meanders his voice through extremely difficult chords, I saw a spirit in human form. I saw a supernatural emissary carrying a light and communicating a universal message of truth across time and generations. Odighi whe aka nrichala ya ato lo onu. (There is nothing the hand will eat and become stuck in the mouth.)

It is so sad that this emissary has completed his circle and returned home.
Fussion, there is a fire at Ekeoha. I have always borrowed from you to tell my brothers, “Nmeregiri bu ogu.” I will miss you.
Bye.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Diddy Apologises For Cassie Assault, Says ‘I Hit Rock Bottom’

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Sean “Diddy” Combs has apologised in a social media video for violently beating his then-girlfriend Cassie Ventura in 2016.

In an Instagram video, Diddy admitted to being fucked up and apologised for it.

“I mean, I have hit rock bottom. I make no excuses. My behaviour in that video is inexcusable. “I fully accept responsibility for my actions in that video.”

The music mogul claimed the incident prompted him to seek professional help, such as therapy and rehabilitation, and that he was “committed to being a better man every day.”

“I am not seeking forgiveness,” he said. “I am truly sorry.”

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Diddy’s Instagram post came two days after CNN released a harrowing video of the star repeatedly stomping Ventura as she attempted to flee their Los Angeles hotel room in 2016. The CCTV footage showed Diddy dragging her motionless body back into their room with her leg.

The footage sparked widespread condemnation, including from Ventura’s husband and Diddy’s rival 50 Cent. It may have prompted Diddy to close his fashion line’s website. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office found the video “extremely disturbing and difficult to watch,” but could not charge him due to expired statutes of limitations on aggravated assault.

Meredith Firetog, a partner at Wigdor LLP and Ventura’s attorney, criticised Diddy’s apology as “more about himself than the many people he has hurt.”

“When Cassie and other women came forward, he denied everything and claimed that his victims were looking for a payday,” Firetog wrote. “That he was only forced to ‘apologise’ after his repeated denials were proven false demonstrates his pathetic desperation, and no one will be persuaded by his deceptive words.”

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