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World Culture Day: Lai Mohammed stresses needs for social integration



World Culture Day: Lai Mohammed stresses needs for social integration

Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has urged Nigerians to develop, promote and imbibe the culture of social integration.

Mohammed in his speech at an event to celebrate World International Day for Culture, yesterday in Abuja, said such integration would enable Nigerians live together in unity and peace irrespective of religious, ethnic and cultural differences

The minister was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Grace Gekpe.

“Social integration is the remedy in addressing the inequalities that exist among the different ethnic groups and cultures in the country.

“Therefore, building culture into our development process is a pivotal remedy to the present state of our nation as culture provides the necessary platform to create jobs, reduce poverty and enhance the socio-economic empowerment of the populace.

“Today’s event underscores our unique strength as a nation with diverse and rich cultural heritage, which can be harness in transforming the minds, attitudes and behaviours of our citizenry for national development.

“The absence of sustainable peace in any society is a threat to peaceful co-existence, growth, prosperity and national development; thus culture plays a significant role in promoting sustainable peace and social development.

“For any economy to develop and thrive, certain conditions must be met which include good governance, corrupt-free society, conducive business environment, promulgation and enforcement of laws.

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“The present administration has taken steps in the right direction to re-orient our people with the `Change Begins with Me Campaign’ in 2016 and the Ease of Doing Business Policy to attract foreign investment, fight against corruption and others.

“I wish to call on all well-meaning Nigerians and stakeholders alike to consciously promote the culture of peace and cultural diplomacy to enhance national growth and development,’’ Mohammed said.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay said a diverse world was not only more peaceful but prosperous and equitable.

Azoulay, who was represented by Ms Adele Nibota, the Culture Advisor, UNESCO Regional Office, Abuja said today is an opportunity for all to celebrate the cultural diversity we cherished and strive to promote.

“The year 2019 has been declared the International Year of Indigenous Language by the General Assembly of the UN, an initiative to bring awareness to the importance of linguistic diversity.

“There are over 7, 000 languages spoken across the world; the majority of which are spoken by indigenous people.

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Khaid, Tempoe, Poco Lee Among Emerging Artistes for 2023- Spotify 




Spotify, an online streaming platform has announced Khaid, Tempoe, Poco Lee and more as emerging artistes, music lovers could look out for in 2023.

Phiona Okumu, Head of Music, Spotify’s Sub-Saharan Africa disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

Okumu said that according to Spotify data,  some other emerging artistes across African continent were: Bayanni, Brume, YKB and Kaestyle.

According to her, the Ghanaian emerging artistes were: Reggie, Snypa, Mellissa, Beeztrap, Kotm and Samsney.

“Emerging artistes from Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda are: Wanavokali, Kinoti, Misee, Billions, Njeri, Anjella, Killy, Phina, V-BE, Liam Voice and Axon.

“From South Africa, we have Pabi Cooper, Boontle RSA, Uncle Waffles, Nkosazana Daughter, Young Stunna, Jay Jody, Blue Tape, Khanyisa, Lwah Ndlunkulu, Will Linley, Droomsindroom and Officixl.

“Few things are quite as exciting as discovering new talent to listen to on repeat, fans can add to their 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 artistes, ready to break through to fame and mainstream streaming success,” she said.

Okumu noted that African music had consistently unfurled waves of new, fresh talent every year who have propelled the global interest in Afrobeats, Amapiano and its many other sub-genres.

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She said 2022 was a breakout year for artistes 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 shown many indications of even greater success on the horizon.

“Some others are relatively new elements, developing new takes on familiar sounds that harken towards major shifts in popular music,” she said. (NAN)

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Joke Silva Becomes Member of Actors Guild Board of Trustee




The Chairman, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Board of Trustee, Chief Emma Ogugu, on Monday announced Veteran Nollywood Actress, Joke Silva as a member of the board.

Ogugu, who made the announcement during a media briefing held in Lagos, said that this had made Silver the first female board member representing the South West Zone.

Responding, Silva expressed her excitement and commitment to advance the course of the guild.

“Thank you for the honour, this profession is one of the most interesting pillars in the performance industry and it is one that can galvanise this country to where it should be by way of we telling our stories the best way we can.

“I pledge to do my very best to advance this industry,” she said.

Earlier, Emeka Rollas, National President, AGN who was recently re-elected in Benin city, rolled out his cabinet members who would pilot the affair of the guild with him.

He appointed Ifeoma Okeke as the Chief of Staff, Kevin Uvo as National Task Force Chairman, Agility Onwurah, the Chief Protocol officer, Deyemi Okanlawon as Director, Planning and Strategy and other officers.

“The Actors Guild of Nigeria has been built on strong leadership foundation since I was elected in November, 2019, along with other indefatigable and dynamic executive members to sail the ship of the guild.

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“I can confirm that in three years, we have toiled and worked tirelessly to grow the guild to an enviable position as we have been able to change the skewed perception about the guild to a more positive and purposeful one.

“I commend the effort and good works of those who served with me in the last dispensation,’’ he said.

Rollas added that they were part of the growth of the guild with their great ideas, thoughts and dedication to duty.

He also welcomed and congratulated those newly elected to the council and assured the members of his support, time and resources towards attaining the guild’s vision to establish and sustain a first class guild

Rollas noted that the underlying philosophy of his tenure would hinge on membership development, structural projects, especially AGN national secretariat in Abuja, training and capacity development, Youth programmes, health education and Award and Reward programmes.

“I humbly request for your support and guidance, which would be crucial in bringing about the positive change that we all desire.

“I see a resilient AGN with a great future, not only for Nollywood but one that would be a significant part of the transformational journey of our country in particular and continent in general.

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“We are in the process of making the guild more supportive and beneficial to our members, the underlying philosophy of our tenure would be hinged on the followings.’’

According to him, part of my objectives in the next three years is to evaluate and enhance the leadership structure and style of governance.

 “I believe in team work and spirit of “oneness, so I have carefully selected some of the best brains in the guild to be part of a formidable think tank group of my kitchen cabinet,” he said.

Rollas hinted that as part of his plan in advancing the guild in the area of digital transformation, an official website had been created.

” I am glad to inform you that we have now successfully re-designed a very functional and comprehensive website for the guild; the website address is now

“It has facility of e-mail addresses that everybody can use to reach the executive members; we encourage members and non-members to make good use of this website.

“We will not fail in our oversight responsibilities to drive the process of ensuring that members become more efficient and are able to employ data analytics in most things we do.

He added that the guild’s culture of change initiatives would be led by the Human Capacity Development.

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The National President called on the Federal and State Government as well as the organised private sector to help invest in capacity building in the motion picture industry.

According to him, this will enable practitioners tap into the unlimited and juicy opportunities available in the industry. (NAN)

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Tems Becomes First Nigerian Artiste Nominated for Oscar Award




Popular Nigerian singer, Temilade Openiyi, a.k.a Tems, has been nominated for the 95th edition of the Oscars award, scheduled to hold on March 12 2023.

This was announced in the 2023 nomination list released by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Twitter handle on Tuesday.

Tems was nominated in the category of Best Original Song ahead of the 95th Academy Awards scheduled to take place in Los Angeles.

She received the Best Original Song nomination for her collaboration with Rihanna on the song ‘Lift Me Up’. The duo was nominated in the ‘Best Original Song’ category.

‘Lift Me Up’ was one of Marvel’s ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ soundtracks. Rihanna co-wrote the soulful song with Tems, and the music was produced by Ludwig Göransson, and directed by Ryan Coogler.

The singer’s nomination has excited many Nigerians as it comes barely a week after famous American rapper Snoop Dogg asked to work with her.

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