Monday, 11 November 2013
Saturday, 2 November 2013
R&B star BankyW shared his tough grass to grace story over the weekend with Vanguard.
It's hard to believe he went through all this to get to where he is now, but this story proves to show that one should be strong and adamant when in pursuit of a dream, even if there are obstacles, believing in that dream, and believing that the achievement will be great is the ultimate key.
“One of such is to think big but start small”, “Everybody knows me to be the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of EME, but what people do not know is that EME started when I was in my third year in university in New York. You see, we all dream dreams, but it is important to think very big and start where you are because God never gives you everything but gives you enough to start. At that time, I knew I wanted to do music, but of course I understood nobody starts by selling a million CDs or the big screen!”, Banky stated.
Indeed his tale solidifies his emphasis on little beginning because to achieve his dream of becoming a music superstar, Banky had to take up to three jobs while also in university!
He said: “I worked in fast foods outlets, clothing stores and as a knife salesman, selling knives from door to door. That way, I gathered money to pay for studio recording time. I was recording with a close friend at that time.
Begging at saloons...
“After making that music, we printed a thousand CDs though we didn’t have any fan. I had one battered car that broke down virtually everywhere, so, we would print black and white posters, stick them on the sides of the car, sell from the car’s trunk and drive to salons to do marketing. We would walk to the owners of the salons, greet politely, and ask them to let us entertain their customers. Sometimes, some would kick us out and sometimes some would say yes. If told yes, after singing for a minute or two, we would sell our CDs to the customers! That was the beginning!
“A lot of people see you on stage and see the success but do not know what you had to go through! I never had one really big break; it was always two steps forward and a couple backwards. But I just decided that I was going to make music work for me. That was why I moved on to a new salon each time any salon rejected me! I just kept going because I believe failure is when you give up. Albert Einstein said he tried a hundred times to make the light bulb. When he was asked what kept him going during the 99 times, he said: ‘I didn’t consider those 99 times as failure; rather, I considered them 99 ways that it didn’t work!’ We went about selling CDs and, on the days we couldn’t sell much, we would sit down and be broke together. I remember my friend was a member of a church that usually served food after service. So, on the days we didn’t sell CDs and were too broke to buy food, we would attend service in that church so we could pack rice and store in the fridge.
Work, school, music...
“At a point, being a student of industrial engineering, I was working for an engineering company and was recording as well. I would go to work from 7am till about 2pm and then go to school till about 8pm, and then drive two and a half hours to New York City where the studio that would let us record for less was, and record until about 2am. I would then drive two and a half hours back home to be back at work at 7am the following day. One day, I was driving home from work and was so tired that I fell asleep while on a bridge. I would have driven off from the top of the bridge to God knows where, if not for an on-going construction work. God really saved me!”
After a while, Banky’s hard work began to pay off and, even while in school, he began winning awards, beginning with the ‘Albany Idol’ competition. Other international awards soon followed.
Returning to Nigeria...
In 2008 when he decided to move to his home country Nigeria after the completion of one of his albums, Mr Capable, Banky was consistently told his genre of music ‘would never appeal to Nigerians and therefore wouldn’t ‘sell’. As he turned down pressure mounted on him and his manager to change their genre of music, Banky strongly held on to another long-standing principle which had taught him to stand out by being unique rather than trying to imitate anyone’s skill. He therefore insisted on sticking to R&B, and this paid-off as he soon became a household name in the Nigerian entertainment industry!
He advised: “You cannot say enough about the grace of God and I therefore do not want to claim any form of glory. Falling down is inevitable but getting back up is optional! Frankly, you can’t appreciate sunshine if you’ve never been through a heavy rain. Yes, life is tough, but what do you do in those tough moments? Do you learn the lesson, stand up again, consider yourself stronger and keep going? Or do you sit down and feel sorry for yourself? The graveyard, they say, is the richest place in the world because therein lies so many who died with their dreams. So, my advice is, do not give up! If Banky can be where he is today, you can be where you want to be if you put to mind to it.
Top musician Essence recently had a chat with Joan Omiona Wele, about her career, and life story. Read on.... Oh, her real name is Okoro Uwale, Essence is her stage name, ok, read the interview below....
You’ve been around for a long time. How was it like starting as a female in the Nigerian music industry?
I would say it was very difficult. It was like trying to cultivate on virgin soil. You didn’t know what sound to go with because there was basically no sound. R&B was a hit-or-miss case, unlike now that it’s widely accepted. I should say we suffered for what is now being enjoyed. But we thank God.
How did you get into the Nigerian music industry?
I started music professionally in 2004; but before that, I had been doing background vocals for various artistes and soundtracks for soap operas, including Super Story, Dominoes, Secrets and Scandals.
What has Essence been up to lately?
Essence has been diversifying into other aspects of entertainment. I am also venturing into hospitality, because I have my own ushering outfit called Hello Events.
What is your fashion indulgence?
Perfumes. I can’t do without them. I also love to read; I have a lot of books.
How often do you pamper yourself?
I will confess I don’t pamper myself at all. The most I do is curl up and lose myself in a good book. I don’t like massages, because I don’t like strangers touching me.
What’s your typical day like?
My typical day starts at 6:00a.m. I wake up, pray, do some exercise, make relevant calls and pursue them if need be. If I need to go to the studio, I go.
What outfit do you feel most comfortable in?
I’m most comfortable in long, flowing gowns these days.
You once said that the music industry is unfair to female musicians. What exactly do you mean?
The industry must have heard my pleas because more females are being recommended for jobs and endorsements. So, my complaint worked, abi?
What have been your highest points as a singer?
I’m still looking towards that high point as my sight is set higher than my current achievements. I’ve performed before presidents and governors and, most importantly, my fans. Those moments have been memorable.
What’s your educational background?
I am a graduate of Performing Arts from the Delta State University, Abraka.
What can you tell us about your growing up days?
I am the last of seven kids and so I was a ‘mommy and daddy’s girl’. Growing up was an adventure and very physical. We played lots of games on our parents; on ourselves. We also got punished and rewarded for various wrongs and rights. It was fun.
What’s your definition of style?
Style is personal. People don’t have to understand it and no one has the formula. I remember earlier in my career, I was on a blond weave and some so-called style experts gave me grief over it; but what is prevalent now? Even before Keri Hilson started her two-toned blond and black, I wore it; but people who didn’t understand that style is art trashed it. Now they are rocking it and calling it ‘Ombre’. Style is an expression of you; so, nobody has the right to diss.
How many tattoos do you have?
I don’t have any tattoos. I fear needles.
How much of your skin can you bare for music?
I can bare my legs for music – I said legs, not thighs o!
What’s your view on nudity generally?
Whatever you think is all fun and game now will come back and bite when you are sober.
Can you do a tummy tuck for your fans?
If I choose to, I would; but remember I fear needles.
When will wedding bells chime for Essence?
When Essence gets married, she gets married.
What kind of man sweeps you off your feet?
Only children get swept off their feet by men. I’m a woman and my man would solidify everything about and around me before anything.
We hear you are planning to change your Toyota RAV4 for a bigger toy. Are you also one of those celebs who believe they need to be flamboyant to compete with peers?
If I choose to change my car, it’s for my own comfort. I’m not a kid. Kids compete on mundane things. A car is a means of getting from point A to point B. I have no need to prove anything, but that does not mean that when the need to change my car arises, I won’t.
How did you manage to scale through that rumour that you were Kenny St Brown’s lesbian lover?
I always scale through any stupid rumour by God’s grace. It has taken a while, but I’m very comfortable now.
If you could, what would you change about yourself?
I wouldn’t change a thing about myself. I am very comfortable in my own skin.
You’ve been keeping a low profile for a while now; why is that?
I keep a low profile because that’s what creative people do. I’m not a socialite.
Friday, 1 November 2013
This sheer white dress was what Kim wore to a chat with Leno at his show.
Kim Kardashian has been proudly flaunting her post baby figure lately, sending a very clear message to her 'haters', that her super hot bod is back!
Kim Kardashian proudly flaunts her post baby bod at any given time. I'm actually loving her look 100%ly,...
Speaking with Leno, Kim revealed how pained she was as she was criticized by people for calling her fat and all sorts of name during her pregnancy, that it really hurt her soul.
Got this information from a reliable source.
THE Director-General of National Biotechnical Development Agency (NASRDA), Dr Saidu Mohammed, has said the solar eclipse, which will occur on November 3, will come with mild darkness across the 36 states of the federation.
The Director-General, who made this known during a press briefing, last Thursday in Abuja, also advised Nigerians to remain calm, as the eclipse would not affect satellite communications or air services.
The eclipse, however, will be characterised by a flush of sunlight and mild darkness during its peak. The agency has, therefore, made available at its headquarters, sunglasses, which will serve as filters for the effect of the sun.
Dr Mohammed added that: “It will be like any other day, but its effect will be felt at its peak. It is recommended you wear sunglasses. There is no need to panic,” he concluded.
Earlier in his presentation, the Director of Centre for Astronomy, University of Nsukka, Professor Felix Okpara, who outlined the various times of the eclipse across the nation said, in Abuja, the eclipse will begin by 1:03 p.m. It will be at its maximum by 2.40 p.m and it will end by 4.03 p m in the evening. In Lagos, it will begin by 12.50 p.m, its maximum level will take place by 2.40 p.m and end by 4.01p.m.
In Ibadan, the eclipse will start by 12.52 p.m, the maximum level will be witnessed by 2.32 p.m and it will end 4.01 p.m. In Port Harcourt, the eclipse will begin by 1.03 p.m, its maximum will be experienced by 2.43 p.m and by 4.09 p.m, it will end. In Uyo, the eclipse will begin by 1.06 p.m, its maximum will be experienced by 2.45 p.m and by 4.10 p.m, it will end.
In Enugu, the eclipse will begin by 1.04 p.m, its maximum will be experienced by 2.43 p.m and by 4.07 p.m, it will end and in Kano, the eclipse will begin by 1.07 p.m, its maximum will be experienced by 2.40 p.m and by 4.01 p.m, it will end.
An eclipse is an astronomical event that occurs when an astronomical object/objects is temporarily obscured, either by passing into the shadow of another body or by having another body pass between it and the viewer as seen from the earth.
Solar eclipse was previously recorded in Nigeria concurrently in 1945, 1959, 2001 and 2006.
Actress Lizzy Anjorin has finally decided to explain the reason she converted to Islam. She also dropped her name Elizabeth and announced that she would like to be addressed as Aisha....
Liz tells City People
"It happened in a miraculous way which I have been expecting for long, not that I woke up yesterday and decided to change my religion. By birth, I was half Muslim and half Christian. My father was Christian while my mum was Muslim. Growing up I went to church because of my father. I didn't have a choice at the time but I have always had interest in Islam so immediately my father died I switched over to my mum's religion. It is a religion I love so much. Also Aisha is now my official name though Liz is still my name and I will continue to use the name to do movies."
Guess he's planning to quit music after 10 years,
Davido granted an interview with punch where he said Wizkid is not a threat to him, Skelewu is already big and some people are just starting out at 30 but he is already a success and threat at 20. Read on....
“Wizkid is not a rival. I see nobody as competition or threat. God is behind me, so I just go into the studio, do my music and everything is fine. I develop and write most of my songs in the studio. I’m not afraid of competition or the fact that some person will just appear on the scene and take the shine. After all, I did it to some people, so I expect that it is something that must happen to everyone because you can’t be shining forever. But once you are good to others, make good music, have loyal fans, that’s all that matters. Continue below.
I have plans to go into oil and gas business with my elder brother next year. I want to do music for 10 years. By that time, I will be 30, and free to rest. Some people are just starting out at 30 but I am already a success and threat at 20. Fame at a young age is a plus because I still have like 10 years to ball while some people are just starting at 27 and 30.”
“The song is big already; so whatever we do people are still going to talk anyway. I shot the video like a movie and there are three videos, so people can watch whichever one they want.If you don’t like the instructional video, you can watch Sesan’s, if you don’t like that one; you can watch Moe Musa’s. If people want, I will shoot one more video, it’s not easy.”
On his dad
"Yes my father is rich, but the truth is some people only knew who he was after I released my song, ‘Omo Baba Olowo’. I want people to know that the song was not a hit because of my father but because it was dope. I didn’t sing ‘OBO’ because of my father’s wealth – contrary to what people think. My father and family always keep me grounded. They call me from time to time to ask about my welfare. My father actually visits all these blogs to read and see all my nonsense. Just like the typical Yoruba father, he scolds me and whenever he does that, I will say, ‘Daddy cool down, what’s going on, relax.’ Although he is also very proud of me, he is scared and happy for me at the same time.”
OJB thanks everyone.
OJB Jezreel has finally been discharged from the hospital after being successfully treated of a kidney ailment. The star musician and producer promised to be back in the country soon and thanked everyone for their prayers and support in the message below......
Dear fellow Nigerians,Greetings from far away India! I am sure this note from me will catch you with a little surprise. I have been reading a lot of news about me being published on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and different blogs by my good friends. I thought I must take out a quick moment and let you know that I am officially discharged today from the hospital, after a successful Kidney Transplantation Surgery, by God’s Grace.I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Nigerians for your prayers and good wishes, without which all this would not have been possible. I also take this opportunity to thank my friends, fans and family for all the love, prayers and good wishes for a Speedy Recovery!! Be home with you soon…….Thank you once again sincerely,
Your very own OJB Jezreel.
I'm very sorry for being out of the radar for quite sometime now, some things just can't be handled.
I've just learnt a bitter lesson, but I'll try to move on, regardless of the pain.
Because I believe in a new beginning.
Guess I'm back and better, can't say about consistency, but I hope to bring all the juicy details to your view.
Saturday, 28 September 2013
Governor Fashola tendered his apology at a ceremony to mark the Silver Jubilee anniversary of Aka Ikenga, an Igbo social-cultural group in Lagos. He said:
“The truth is that I do not have a problem with the Igbos, they know that because the largest herd of cattle I received during my father’s burial came from the Ndigbo. Those people who came under their many colours are not people I have a problem with, they are my kindred and my people. Also, there were people who did not clearly understand me and they have misunderstood words said or misrepresented actions taken in the way that it has pleased them to do so. To those people, I owe an explanation, not a defence of what has happened and that is partly why I am here.
“We have built a relationship based on tolerance, mutual respect, trust and love. That relationship was started by our ancestors, it was handed over to us and we have nourished it with a lot of trust, with a lot of understanding and with a lot of fidelity.
“Those who misunderstand that relationship, think that there is no value in that relationship, I have come here to correct that because I place a lot of value on that relationship. If those people have misunderstood me or they have misunderstood actions taken by our government, here, now and today, I offer an unqualified and unreserved apology."
“Why should people feel compelled to migrate from one place to the other? Is there one part of this country that is less endowed whether in human or natural resource? Is that the problem? Is it the case that perhaps some parts are so endowed or not adequately managed?"
“Those are the honest debates that we must have. The political storm is gathering and allusions have been made to the issues I address, not only by the chairman, but by the President of Ohaneze Ndigbo. How can development be so difficult in the part of Nigeria that gave us Ike Nwachukwu, Chinua Achebe, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Odumegwu Ojukwu, Alex Ekwueme and so on, how can development be so difficult in that part of this country? I think those are the real issues.”
“I think we have been in the news of our relationship for the wrong reasons in the last few weeks, but if you listen to the voices of those who speak the loudest, you would see that they do not speak about us, they do not speak about the problems, but about themselves. The majority of us are concerned about how to make it better, that is what concerns us always in Lagos, and it is not an easy decision for me.”
"The pursuit of making it better makes us adopt policies which are always subject to the human text of fallibility”.
Genevieve Nnaji and her friend Ella Martins who is an actress from Benin Republic, are in the middle of a dirty controversy. Some people will not just give up with all these rumour spreading, can you believe the lie? She and Genny spent some time in Genny’s apartment not too long ago and somehow the story leaked, and rumors starts flying high..
When asked about the alleged affair between she and Genevieve actress Ella said:
"Genevieve is a very good friend of mine…we met way back in 2004 and we have been good friends since then. The story that we are lovers must have come from another female friend of hers. I am saying this because since 2004, there have been no such lesbian stories but suddenly it sprung up.
Towards the end of last year, I came to Nigeria and I stayed with Genevieve. Although we stayed under the same roof, we slept in different rooms.
There was a time during my visit that we both went to see a friend in a hotel in Lekki and people saw us going in. We later went clubbing that night with the friend and which I think is a normal thing for girls to club if they want to. But that was when the rumours got worse, that we went into the hotel to sleep with each other!!!"
She said it’s not the first time the Press would label her a lesbian but she has developed a thick skin and so it doesn’t bother her because she knows she is not a lesbian!
"Genevieve and I have known each other since 2004 and she really is a nice person if you get to know her. We talk on phone a lot and we discuss life’s issues like normal girls do…she is a wonderful person. I guess it’s because she is a famous person that some undesirable elements want to tarnish her image…and mine too. The Press make things worse too. There was a time I performed with Tony Tetuila and there were rumours after then that we were dating. But I just want to emphasize here that Genevieve and I are not in any form of sexual relationship, we are just good friends."
Friday, 27 September 2013
Friday, 9 August 2013
“When it comes to fashion, I’m a person who isn’t scared to take risk. I tell people you won’t be young forever, so I don’t mind taking risk and showing off a little skin. When I’m older and married I won’t even want to allow myself show off my husband's property but right now, I’m single, I’m singing and I’m young so I want to be as comfortable and fashionable as possible. It’s 2013 and people are accepting new trends! I’ll take judgments from some views but that’s part of being an entertainer, you want people to talk.”
Pregnant actress Stephanie Okereke and hubby catching fun in Europe. They've been in Maine for three days now. cute couple living the life....
More photos after the cut.......
Kenny Saint Best has obviously had her topsy-turvy times as a gospel artiste and a single parent. Despite the fact that gospel music has been relegated to the background, she has been able to lend her voice to the less vibrant genre of gospel music. She opens up on her evolution, her TV show, her yet-to- be launched book and other sundry issues in this ,interview with AHMED BOULOR.
WHAT necessitated your change from doing contemporary gospel music to urban gospel music?
I would say that it was God’s divine plan which I found out by being inquisitive and also trying to come out from the low ends of my life. It was also borne out of the need to search for a way forward; it was also
meant to be a search light into why gospel music is being relegated to the background in that it is not being played on radio.
I sometimes find it hard to realise why people enjoy gospel music for the beauty of it. These are some of the things that necessitated my change from doing contemporary gospel music to urban gospel music. I also found out that I was getting bored because there was a whole lot of recycling going around and I am also partaker in that aspect too. I felt we limited God because we tend to want to praise Him only with recycled songs.
What have you been up to in the last six months?
I have been involved in a whole lot in recent past; aside promoting my latest single Bragado which is the 5th single after my evolution into being an urban gospel artiste, after collaborations with Terry G, Eldee, Dagrin and LKT. I have been building on that brand so that when people think of that brand of music they readily think of me. We are also working on the new song titled No Jonzing which will be followed by a video. Also, as part of celebrations for my 15th year on stage, I am also working on launching my book titled ‘My Turnaround Story’. It is about my story from zero to hero; that is in the pipeline. I am also working on a TV production; I have come to realise that I have too much energy and creativity in me. Music alone is not my niche, I have something else to offer and that’s why I am veering into TV production. I am also branching into mentoring and giving kids some kind of positive direction in life. The teenage age is the habit-picking age and you need to positively guide youngsters in their everyday dealings so they don’t mix with the wrong set of people.
What have been your frustrations in the last 15 years?
There have been a lot of frustrations in the last 15 years; there was a time we staged a Kennis Music Easter Fiesta and I was billed out of the show because they said I could not perform because I am a gospel artiste. It was our own show but the sponsors didn’t want me to perform simply because I am a gospel artiste. This was a show that was organised by my brother but I was billed out of the show because of the fact that I am a gospel artiste. That was one of my biggest frustrations; but I realised it wasn’t peculiar to Kennis Music alone, it was everywhere. The more I wanted to push the more they told me to forget about the idea simply because I do gospel music.
Actors' Guild of Nigeria headed by Ibinabo Fiberesima celebrated Nollywood actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde on Sunday August 4th at Ikeja, Nigeria for being named one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Among the guests were Fred Amata, Olisa Adibua, Rita Dominic, Ini Edo and husband, Chidi Mokeme, Keppy Epkeong Bassy and wife, Zeb Ejiro and wife, Emeka Ossai and wife, Kelechi Amadi Obi, Dimeji Alara and many others.
Ini Edo and hubby Philip Ehiagwina
More photos after the cut.....