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I’m bringing a little Fela into Felabration in some style – Rex Suru

By BLESSING EBOIGBE

As the stage is set for another Felabration, a week-long music festival, initiated by the children of the late Afrobeat creator, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, to immortalized the legendary, iconic musician, many artistes of different genres are bracing up to strut their stuff to be part of the annual event. One of such artistes is San-Francisco, US-based, Nigerian artiste, known as Rex Suru.

Rex Suru, who was born Rex Olisuru Ogunniyi, arrived the country days ago, to be part of the iconic event. He said though he has other events lined up for him but the Felabration is the major reason he’s back in the country to honour one of his musical mentors. And he explains what the people should expect from his brand of music.


“We have a lot to give to the Nigerian audience musically, like you know, my music conveys a lot of positive messages. All I have to give to the people is positive messages and you know the state of the country right now.

When The Grass Next Door is Definitely Greener!(Opens in a new browser tab)

I’m not here to condemn any establishment or entity but I still think the people need a lot of enlightenment, especially spiritual and economical. All kinds of enlightenment is what you can give to the people, so through music I intend to deliver that on Thursday and Saturday at the Felabration at Freedom Park and The New Afrikan Shrine respectively. Also, people will get to experience a beautiful stage presence.

You know who Fela was, he was a very dynamic artiste and most artistes admire his style including myself, so, I intend to bring a little Fela into Felabration in some style which I admire about him, outlook wise, stage dynamics and presence. Although the music will be a little different because it is Afro roots reggae but the it will be full of Afrobeat elements.

Rex Suru, who has been doing music close to 30 years prides himself on being the creator of his genre of music known as ‘Afro-roots reggae’ and has over four studio albums to his name.

Kevin McCloud property firms face liquidation

People who put money into two businesses started by Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud face the prospect of losing almost their entire investment.

HAB Land Finance, named after Mr McCloud’s Happiness Architecture Beauty brand, raised £2.4m from 280 people.

But investors could be almost wiped out after the company and its owner, HAB Land – which was set up to buy sites for housing estates in Oxford and Winchester – called in liquidators.

Mr McCloud had advertised 8% returns.

However, according to KPMG, which has been appointed to liquidate the two companies, the firms were hurt by a period of “difficult trading”.

In 2017, Mr McCloud had told potential investors his company was delivering “triple bottom line returns with progress on energy positivity”.

Those potential investors were pitched so-called “mini-bonds” with 8% returns to crowdfund the projects in Oxford and Winchester.

Almost 300 people put their money in to lend HAB Land Finance £2.4m to build the estates.

But they have not seen a return on that investment.

In August, the firm wrote to bondholders to inform them that they could lose up to 97% of their investment.

A letter, published by the Guardian, said: “After final completion of the projects at both Kings Worthy and Cumnor Hill [in Oxford], the net return available to bondholders would be expected to range from £606,000 (best case) to £69,000 (worse case) which, in each case, is equivalent to 26 pence and 3 pence for every £1 of bond monies invested.”

Mr McCloud resigned from both firms in March last year.

Since then directors of HAB Land have reviewed the firm’s finances and reached the conclusion that “they may not be in a position to repay” bondholders, according to KPMG.

It said the directors wrote to the bondholders “putting forward proposals in order to repay them” but those plans were rejected.

As a result, the firm’s board decided to put the company into liquidation.

‘Considerable loss’

In a statement, one of the liquidators James Bennett said: “The directors have reported that higher than anticipated design and project management costs, coupled with delays to the delivery of the sites, resulted in the companies experiencing significant liquidity issues.”

He said the directors decided to liquidate the firm after they were unable to raise further finance or renegotiate existing debts.

“This has resulted in a considerable loss to mini-bond holders who largely financed the project,” he said.

HAB Land director, Simon Bullock, said in a statement: “With only 22% of the mini-bond holders voting for the resolution and having exhausted all other options we were left with no alternative but to commence proceedings to put these companies into liquidation.

“With respect to the current HAB development sites in Oxfordshire and Winchester, none of the homeowners are directly impacted by this change although the situation remains fluid and under review,” he said.

“This has meant that there is, what we hope to be, a temporary pause on the remaining works on the sites.”

The site in Winchester has been criticised because a road was left unsurfaced and promised facilities have still not been built.

Winchester City Council said HAB Housing had not built allotments, an orchard or play area at Lovedon Fields, Kings Worthy, Hampshire.

The BBC has contacted a spokesperson for Mr McCloud for comment.


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Why is Banksy vetting the customers of his online store?

Banksy has launched his own official online shop, selling the stab vest Stormzy wore at Glastonbury, a tombstone and housebrick handbags.

But as ever with the artist, there is a twist – he’s vetting potential buyers and wants to shut out art dealers.

Everyone must answer a question on the site to explain why art matters.

“An independent judge will examine the tie-breaker questions and select those applications which the judge finds to be the most apt and original,” it says.

His popularity – and the fact prices are low compared with what the works could fetch on the open market – means demand is likely to far outstrip supply.

The elusive Bristolian artist’s website adds: “Our judge is impartial and independent, and is a professional stand-up comedian.” That comedian is Adam Bloom, a statement from Banksy said.

The artist said: “We can’t ever weed out all the people who just want to flip for profit, but we can weed out the unfunny ones.”

The Art Newspaper correspondent Anny Shaw told the BBC: “It’s a tongue-in-cheek poke at the market while at the same time attempting to wrestle some control of it.”

Many items come from an installation he set up in an empty shop in Croydon, south London, two weeks ago. The artist has been embroiled in a legal dispute with a company that he said wanted to claim his trademark because he had not used it for his own merchandise.

What’s he selling?

Stormzy’s stab vest, described as a traditional English waistcoat “updated for modern times”, is on the Gross Domestic Product [GDP] website for £850. That’s a snip considering it was valued at “somewhere north of £200,000” by Joey Syer, co-founder of MyArtBroker.com, when it was revealed to be Banksy’s handiwork.

There is a T-shirt bearing his famous girl with a heart balloon – with its bottom part shredded, imitating the canvas he remotely shredded when it was sold at auction last year.

There’s a baby mobile featuring 19 mini CCTV cameras pointing at the cot, and a welcome mat made from life vests abandoned on the beaches of the Mediterranean. Cheaper items include £10 mugs painted by children based on his designs, and £30 charity shop T-shirts that he has tagged.

Can he really stop people selling them on?

“Please buy an item because you like it, not because you think it is a good investment,” the site pleads.

Some saw his 2018 shredding stunt – moments after that picture had sold at Sotheby’s – as a response to the eye-watering sums paid for his works. Art market adviser and analyst Ivan Macquisten says it was also “a terrific marketing exercise”. He adds: “Whether he intended it as such I don’t know.”

Banksy has “always been very controlling about his market”, Macquisten says: “He’s got this whole idea about the art market being exploitative… which is great for somebody who’s making so much money out of it!”

The online store’s small print says Banksy’s team have the right not to fulfil an order if the buyer advertises the item for resale before it’s dispatched, or if they suspect it will be afterwards.

“Ultimately, how are you going to tell?” asks Anny Shaw. “That’s why he’s having this little game with the question you have to answer in the application process. He’s playing with the vetting process. But there is a serious message, he is trying to police it to an extent.”

But ultimately, an artist can’t control who buys and sells their works, especially if there’s no dispute about the authenticity.

So he is setting up his own eBay

Intriguingly, one of the links on the site goes to “Bbay”, which is described as “the approved used Banksy dealership”.

It’s not live yet, and just has a photo of a man with eyes blacked out, who may or may not be Banksy (it’s probably not) selling Banksy pictures at a car boot sale.

It looks like he will try to persuade buyers and sellers to use Bbay in the future, giving him some control (and possibly revenue) over works that are resold.

“It looks like he is announcing an approved outlet for secondary market works, which is quite a departure and quite a bold move,” Shaw says.

Is this about trademarks – or one big art stunt?

“For the past few months I’ve been making stuff for the sole purpose of fulfilling trademark categories under EU law,” the artist said when he opened the Croydon installation. “Its not a very sexy muse.”

Arts lawyer Mark Stephens, who has advised him, said at the time: “Banksy is in a difficult position because he doesn’t produce his own range of shoddy merchandise and the law is quite clear – if the trademark holder is not using the mark then it can be transferred to someone who will.”

But he has turned the fulfilment of EU trademark law into a typical Banksy event. “It’s all very meta isn’t it?” says Shaw.

“There are these very serious market messages and this trademark legal dispute – all very boring, turgid things if you look at them in isolation. But he’s managed to flip it into something rather brilliant.”

Macquisten says: “Damien Hirst has always said that the marketing of his art is part of the artistic process – in fact possibly the most important part. With Banksy, this whole idea about control is becoming part of the artwork itself.”

And perhaps he will turn the responses to the question about why art matters in a new artwork of its own. The T&Cs on the online store point out. “You retain copyright in your response to the tiebreaker question, but you agree that we may (but shall not be obliged to) use or publish it in any media.”

And the site even suggests punters may get less than they bargained for. “You are advised that GDP may prove to be a disappointing retail experience – especially if you’re successful in making a purchase.”

Analysis – BBC arts editor Will Gompertz

The shop, like a lot of Banksy’s work, first appears as a whimsical publicity stunt: a joke to poke fun at the establishment.

But the reason his art penetrates public consciousness and endures is because there’s usually more to it than first meets the eye. Art is about revealing truths – Banksy’s almost always does that.

With the shop, he’s trading on familiar ground – the relationship between art and commerce. Are they the same, as Andy Warhol famously said? Why does anybody want the product he’s offering, which he warns might disappoint? What other shop would you go to which said its stuff might not be very good?

And yet a lot of people will. As you’ll soon find out on eBay…

Scott Mills to host 5 Live Saturday morning show

Scott Mills and his radio sidekick Chris Stark are to host a new show on BBC Radio 5 Live, as part of a shake-up to the station’s weekend line-up.

The long-serving Radio 1 presenter will take over the 09:00-11:00 BST slot vacated by Danny Baker following his dismissal in May.

Baker was sacked over his tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby, for which he later apologised.

“Expect lots of laughs and of course Chris Stark,” joked Mills of the show.

The pair are have presented together for seven years and enjoyed success with features like Innuendo Bingo – “the nation’s favourite spit water on each other game”.

The new show will start on Saturday 9 November, however Mills will continue to host his Radio 1 weekday show and the official chart show, while Stark will stay on at the station too and continue to co-present 5 Live’s That Peter Crouch Podcast.

“I’m so delighted to be joining BBC Radio 5 Live!” said Mills, who was awarded music radio personality of the year at 2010’s Sony Radio Academy Awards.

“I love my Radio 1 show and covering for Claudia on Radio 2 which I’ll still be doing. But I’m now ready to bring a whole different show to 5 Live.”

Baker, whose 5 Live show included his trademark “sausage sandwich game”, was sacked after being accused of mocking the duchess’s racial heritage.

The 61-year-old claimed it was a “stupid gag” but the corporation said his tweet went “against the values we as a station aim to embody”.

Baker tweeted “it was a genuine, naive and catastrophic mistake”, admitting he was “foolish” to later try to make light of it.

He denied that there was racist intent behind the post but admitted he is now “paying the price… and rightly so”.

New slot for Pienaar’s Politics

Further changes to the 5 Live weekend schedule will see the BBC’s deputy political editor John Pienaar’s Sunday programme move to the earlier time of 09:00. It will be followed at 10:00 by Laura Whitmore, who is “thrilled” to return on a permanent basis to follow him with “big name guests from the worlds of politics, music and showbiz.”

Station controller Heidi Dawson said: “Scott Mills is one of the best broadcasters in the business and I’m excited about the new show he and Chris Stark will be bringing to Saturday mornings.

“Laura Whitmore has done a fantastic job across a number of shows on 5 Live and it’s brilliant that we can now offer her a show every Sunday morning. Laura is a fantastic new radio star who has already made a great impact with listeners.”

BBC sports presenter Eleanor Oldroyd gave Mills a warm welcome to the “Saturday morning family”, while his former Radio 1 colleague, Mark Chapman, gave him a slightly frostier reception.

Justin Bieber sued for sharing paparazzi photo of himself on Instagram

Justin Bieber has found himself the target of a lawsuit after he shared a paparazzi picture of himself earlier this year on Instagram.

Justin Bieber sued for sharing paparazzi photo of himself on Instagram


As E! News reports, photographer Robert Barbera has filed a lawsuit against the popstar for copyright infringement. The photo in question, which shows the singer with his friend Rich Wilkerson, was posted on Bieber’s Instagram in March, but Barbera has only just got around to filing the legal documents.

In the court documents, Barbera asserted that Bieber is guilty of “unauthorized reproduction and public display” of his photography. “Barbera is the author of the Photograph and has at all times been the sole owner of all right, title and interest in and to the Photograph, including the copyright thereto,” the documents read.

Barbera has stated that Bieber did not attempt to “license the photograph” from him at any point, and as such he did not have the “permission or consent to publish” the picture.

The post Bieber is being sued for can be seen below

Toro Entertainment Company rebrands, unveils new corporate strategy

Toro Entertainment Company, a frontline entertainment company in accordance with its revised corporate strategy has decided to rebrand its corporate identity to reflect the global outlook of the brand. The corporate identity change also reflects the organisation’s broader commitment to deploying its transformative expertise across the local and international entertainment value chain.

From Left: Efe Omoregbe, Chief Executive Officer, Hypertek Digital; Innocent ”Tuface” Idibia, Artiste, and Adetoro Fowoshere, Founder, Toro Entertainment Group at a press briefing in Lagos.

The company will carry over its current service offerings while assuming a new all-inclusive role of ensuring that the full entertainment gamut—sponsors, creators and consumers—obtain maximum value from the process.


“Our new and improved blueprint pivots around the determination to make entertainment as basic to everyone in a similar manner to human rights. We repine for individuals, regardless of their gender, race or religious affiliations, to have access to qualitative entertainment. Nevertheless, we are aware of the profitability aspect of the business and as such are well-equipped to guarantee clients, sponsors and content creators, high reward for investments of all kind,’’ states Adetoro Fowoshere, Founder/CEO, Toro Entertainment Company.

LASU operates new era of discipline, rule of law ―Spokesman

As part of the rebranding process, Toro Entertainment Company will release a new logo and launch a new company website at www.toroec.com. The expertise of the firm traverses the delivery of innovative services in Concert Management, Show Promotion, Event Management, Talent Management, Media Production and Marketing.

Toro Entertainment Company boasts of a diverse partnership with various brands, consisting of first-rate firms across different sectors including Pepsi, First Bank, Guinness Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries & Johnny Walker among others. In the Concert Management industry, the brand has successfully organized and promoted groundbreaking events worldwide such as the first three installments of Olamide Live in Concert (OLIC), 30 Billion Concert, Burna Live, One Night Only to name but a few.

Similarly, remarking on the development, Chena Onuorah, Project Coordinator, Toro Entertainment Company, observes: ‘’Creating invaluable experiences for clients and consumers is at the crux of our activities, hence, this exercise serves to emphasize our overarching value-driven perspective. Providing premium quality to clients and the target audience is pertinent to this distinctive approach.’’

Since 2014, Toro Entertainment Company has continued to deliver unparalleled service delivery to its teeming partners, customers and other stakeholders in keeping with our brand promise.