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Buhari silent on many issues – Illbliss

Illbliss

By Rotimi Agbana and Tolulope Abereoje

Indigenous Nigerian rapper/hip-hop  recording artiste, Tochukwu Melvin Ejiofor, better known by his stage name as Illbliss, but fondly called ‘Oga Boss’, is not one Nigerian singer to meddle in political issues on social media except in his music. But he seems to have changed his position as he has expressed his disappointment with the Buhari-led government on his twitter handle.

Illbliss

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According to the ’40-feet container’ rapper, besides being confused if President Buhari is still in control of the Nigerian government, he is also silent on so many issues, which is not meant to be so.

“Mr. Buhari, are you still ruling us? You are mute on a lot of issues, I really don’t get you”, he said.

He added that because of President Buhari’s continuous silence on delicate matters, Nigerians have begun to feel like there is no government in power anymore. “We all feel like a ship with no captain, no direction”, he lamented.

Speaking further, while reminding President Buhari how powerful Nigeria is, he advised him to show some level of empathy by proving himself a true leader.

“This is a powerful country you have been installed to rule. Can you really just rule and show any level of empathy? Can you sir”, he said.

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How butt surgery boosted my self confidence – Tonto Dikeh

Tonto Dikeh

By Rotimi Agbana and Tolulope Abereoje

When controversial Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh, a.k.a King Tonto, went under the surgeon’s knife to enhance her butt, she came under heavy criticism for taking such a decision which many described as ‘fake life.’

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Tonto Dike

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However, the actress who is never afraid to air her opinion whenever the need arises has revealed that undergoing butt surgery boosted her self confidence.

“The major thing I disliked about my body before was my tummy. It was so big, and I love to put on high waist cloths. So, when I dress up the dress would be folding because of my big tummy. But since I did my butt surgery, my confidence has increased. I no longer put on my clothes at home; even people at home are tired of me. I’m always happy with my new look”, she said in an interview with BBC Pidgin.

Speaking further, she explained why she now flaunts her big butts a lot. “Men run after butts too much; once you have a big butt that’s how they would be running after you like something else. Who doesn’t know before that I have a good shape; if I don’t flaunt it now people would still criticize me so why don’t I just flaunt it?”

She added that as against African mentality, she would continue to talk about her sensuality to anybody who cares to listen. “Based on African mentality, people still haven’t come to terms with butt surgery. But why would I be ashamed to say I did butt surgery? I have broken away from that stereotyped norm that African women need to be silent about some things about their body.”

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What to expect at my show – Comedian, Efe Warri Boy

Comedian

By Rotimi Agbana and Tolulope Abereoje

Nigerian stand up comedian, Efe Warri Boy is set to hold the maiden edition of his comedy show tagged ‘They think I’m joking’.

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Efe Warri Boy

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Efe Warri boy who has a large fan base on social media has promised to give his fans undiluted, rib cracking jokes at the much anticipated comedy show slated to hold on Sunday at the Muson Center.


Recall that in 2018, the fast-rising comedian hosted his first comedy hangout event in Ajah, an event which attracted a huge audience.

However, he is mostly featured on DSTV hit series, ‘Flatmates’, as Officer Nosa and on BOVI’s ‘Back to school’ as Osio; with over a hundred comedy stage appearances which include AY Live, Laugh-Out-Loud, LaughUp, Forever Funny with Forever, to name a few.

Efe is also a high-level social media influencer and a comedy show anchor on Radio (City 105.1 FM) Lagos. He has shared the stage with the likes of Ay, Basket Mouth, Kenny Blaq, Bovi and many other A-list comedians.

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Beyoncé diet plan 'could be dangerous'

A diet endorsed by US pop singer Beyoncé “could be dangerous,” the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine has told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.

Subscribers to the 22-day plan pay $14 (£11.50) to access plant-based recipes.

But nutritionist Daniel O’Shaughnessy says the diet could lead to “nutritional deficiencies”.

Beyoncé’s trainer Marco Borges said the singer was “mindful of the importance of proper nutrition and exercise”.

‘I’m hungry’

The original diet was created in 2013 but the singer is now promoting Beyoncé’s Kitchen, the plan she followed in preparation for her comeback performance at the 2018 Coachella festival after having twins.

A promotional video released on her YouTube channel last month opens with a clip from her Homecoming film, showing her stepping on to some scales and saying her weight is “every woman’s worst nightmare”.

The video has been viewed 1.7 million times.

Beyoncé also says to reach her goals she must limit herself to “no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol… and I’m hungry”. She followed the plan for 44 days.

‘Vegg sandwich’

Her plan was devised by 22 Days Nutrition founder Borges, whom she describes as her “friend, trainer, exercise physiologist and New York Times bestselling author”.

Mr O’Shaughnessy questioned its stated nutritional values.

For example, one of the recipes, a “vegg sandwich” containing 36g (1oz) of protein, actually contained just 24g, he said.

While another, a green smoothie, contained eight teaspoons of sugar.

Animal products

The NHS recommends men consume 2,500 calories a day and women 2,000 – but the diet supplies just 1,400.

“This is quite low for anyone, users will feel tired and exhausted particularly when adding in the exercise,” Mr O’Shaughnessy said.

“It could be dangerous for the average person to follow without a team of nutritionists and trainers like Beyoncé has.”

Excluding all animal products without any information on what nutritional issues the dieter may need to consider, such as replacing vitamin B12, iron or protein intake, was also problematic, Mr O’Shaughnessy said.

‘Easily susceptible’

And celebrities should be encouraging women to be comfortable with their bodies.

“Beyoncé is selling a dream,” Mr O’Shaughnessy said.

“This is worrying as she has a number of teenage followers who are easily susceptible.

“She is a gateway to millions of people.”

Beyoncé did not responded to a request for comment.

In a statement, Mr Borges, said: “Beyoncé used a combination of a whole food plant-based diet and daily exercise as part of her discipline and hard work in order to reach her personal goals in preparation for her Coachella performance…

“She achieved her goals successfully and was able to show up and give 100% for a performance which required nothing less.

“She continues to be mindful of the importance of proper nutrition and exercise as part of a healthy and happy lifestyle.

“We applaud her and are humbled by her courage to share her journey with others.”

Olamide, Pasuma, others for Ariya Repete grand finale

Ariya Repete

By Rotimi Agbana and Tolulope Abereoje

The Trans Amusement Park, Ibadan on Friday 2nd August played host to the Ariya Repete 2019 semi-final showpiece. There was no margin for errors as the successful semi-finalists slugged it out for a place at the grand finale in Lagos. In what doubled as both a competition and a cultural fiesta, lovers of indigenous and contemporary entertainment witnessed outstanding 5-star performances from the contestants and guest acts.

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olamide

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The show’s second visit to the city of Ibadan in the ongoing 2019 edition upped the ante with the inclusion of guest performers such as veteran musician and Afro-Juju maestro, Shina Peters, as well as renowned fuji act, Taye currency, who delivered a stunning musical performance. Nollywood star actor, Odunlade Adekola was the host of the night and the audience loved every minute of his time on stage.


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However, the show stopper was indigenous rapper and Zanku exponent, Zlatan Ibile, who got guests off their seats with an energetic musical performance.

At the end of the contest, nine contestants out of 15 semifinalists were selected as finalists for the grand finale slated for Friday, August 9, 2019 at the Ikeja City Mall, Lagos.

The grand finale would play host to King Sunny Ade, Taye Currency, Odunlade Adekola, Cool FM OAP, Dotun, and Pasuma; while Olamide would headlining the final concert.

The other contestants whose journeys came to an end were encouraged to keep on believing in themselves and continually pursue their dreams while they were rewarded with consolation prizes. Ariya Repete which is in its 7th edition is proudly sponsored by Goldberg Lager.

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Frank Turner excavates history's forgotten women

Frank Turner’s eighth album is dedicated to female spies, nuns and musicians that time has forgotten. It’s seen him accused of mansplaining history, “but I don’t see anyone else telling these stories,” he tells the BBC.

When he first started making music with hardcore punk band Million Dead, Frank Turner refused to join the nightly ritual of tour bus debauchery.

“I have a vivid memory of being in Belgium,” he recalls. “People were drinking anything that wasn’t nailed to the floor and I was sat on my bunk, reading my notes.”

It’s not that the singer had a puritanical streak – far from it – but the tour clashed with a deadline for Turner’s history degree, so every night, he’d hunker down to research the British-Bulgarian tobacco trade in the 1930s.

The paper eventually earned him a first-class honour – but his subsequent decision to quit and pursue music left his tutor unimpressed.

“She said, ‘You’ve done really well, ditch this stupid music stuff and come and do your Masters with me.

“And I said, ‘Music is my dream. No offence, but academia can wait’.

“Almost 10 years later, I was playing the O2 and I sent her an email saying, ‘I don’t know if you remember me, but we’re headlining the biggest indoor venue in London and I’ve got a box set aside for you’.

“And she replied, ‘I’m still not interested in this frivolous music of yours.'”

But maybe Turner’s new solo album, his eighth, will finally win over Professor Prazmowska.

Called No Man’s Land, it unleashes his “inner history nerd,” collecting the stories of 13 women who don’t always get their dues, from rock’n’roll pioneer Sister Rosetta Tharpe to dancer-turned-spy Mata Hari.

Initially planned as an EP, it blossomed into an album when friends got wind of the project, “and I got swamped by an enormous list of women who have not been recognised by popular culture”.

The problem then became one of research, sifting through sources (“on Google! I’m not going to claim I was in cotton gloves in the archives of the British Library”) until Turner found 13 suitable stories.

Mansplaining?

“The interesting thing is, you can’t just put a name on a piece of paper and go, ‘Write a song about her’. There has to be a hook,” he explains.

“So, for example, I am fascinated by the story of Amelia Earhart – she was gay, she was the first woman who flew trans-Atlantic, she crash-landed in the desert, no-one knows where she’s buried – but I couldn’t quite find the way in, so I very reluctantly put that one on the backburner.

“Whereas, with someone like [Egyptian activist] Huda Sha’arawi, there’s a moment where she arrives at Cairo train station in 1923 and removes her face veil and says, ‘Enough!’

“Well, there you go: There’s your central image, there’s your chorus.”

In keeping with the album’s feminist spirit, Turner hired an all-female backing band, and asked Catherine Marks, one of the UK’s few prominent female producers, to helm the recording sessions.

Despite that, he’s been accused of “mansplaining” history, perpetuating a pattern of male writers telling stories that belong to women.

“By positioning himself at the centre of proceedings, he’s inadvertently fishing for a pat on the back,” wrote El Hunt in one such column for the NME.

Turner acknowledges “there are sensible, intelligent questions being raised about my presentation of this record”.

“But I don’t feel I’m crowding out other voices, I don’t know of anyone else who’s writing songs about Huda Sha’arawi right now.

“I mean, I can write a record about lesser-known historical men if you want, but it doesn’t seem particularly worth my time.”

More broadly, he says, it’s important for men to acknowledge how women have been subjugated and mistreated.

‘Shocking and surprising’

Take, for example, Jinny Bingham, a 17th Century landlady whose ghost is still said to haunt Camden pubs.

“In her early life [she] was a vibrant member of the community,” says Turner, “and simply by becoming old and being single, she became a hate figure who was accused of witchcraft”.

“There’s an injustice there that cries out, and of course I find it shocking and surprising – but it’s an experience I have to think myself into because I have the privilege of my gender.”

To explore these stories more thoroughly, Turner created a podcast where he interviews (predominantly female) historians about his album’s characters.

In one episode, he travels to Dodge City to learn more about Dora Hand, a vaudeville performer who was accidentally shot to death by a small-time outlaw.

To his amusement, Lynn Johnson, who runs the local museum, ended up fact-checking his lyrics.

“I was like, ‘Dora Hand’s funeral was a huge event,’ and Lynn went, ‘Actually we don’t know anything about her funeral, or even where she’s buried.’

“Of course at that point I plead artistic license,” he laughs, but the haziness surrounding Dora’s death raised a serious point the neglect of women’s stories.

“There is just one book in total about Sister Rosetta Tharpe,” says Turner, “but a lot of these women stand out, and there’s something bold about that.

“For their names to ring out despite the ravages of time and bias, it makes me in awe of them.”

He’s particularly taken with the story of Kassiani – an enigmatic poet who lived in 9th Century Constantinople.

She was chosen to be the Emperor’s wife but rejected his proposal with a withering put-down and ran off to form a convent.

As an abbess, she continued to defy Emperor Theophilos, an iconoclast who was smashing up works of art and religious images.

“Legend has it that Kassiani was quietly redrawing them in her cell and stashing them under the bed for when his reign was over,” says Turner.

“She’s also the earliest female composer whose music has survived to the present day, and one of only two women whose signatures we have from the pre-modern era.

“There’s something remarkable about her.”

In tribute, Turner repurposes one of Kassiani’s melodies as he recounts her story, on one of No Man’s Land’s stand-out tracks.

But the record closes with a more personal story: That of his mother, Rosemary Jane, who held his family together in spite of a husband, “who was dead to himself and everyone else”.

Turner says he was estranged from his father, a city investment banker, for a decade. Their relationship only thawed recently, after the death of his uncle, “who was sort of a surrogate father for me”.

“In his sickness there were some moments of conciliation,” says the singer, “but the story is long and complicated, and something that I’m not yet prepared to discuss publicly.”

Which raises a problem for the final episode of his podcast…

“I don’t want to discuss our collective family trauma on the series, so the idea we’ve come up with is that my mum is going to review the album – and I’m now terrified,” he says, only half-joking.

“I think she’s gone deep – she keeps texting me questions. And having been a primary school teacher for 40 years, there’s a certain tone of voice she can switch on which still makes my blood run cold, so I’m a little nervous of that podcast.”

And what about his disapproving history tutor? Could she be persuaded to review No Man’s Land?

“Oh God, we should get her on the podcast, too!” Turner gasps.

“I’ll definitely send her a copy of the album… But she still won’t come to a gig.”

No Man’s Land is released on 16 August by Xtra Mile / Polydor.