Woman counsels `independent’ women against taking over headship of their homes

By Ada Dike

MINISTER OF WOMEN AFFAIRS AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, HAJIYA AISHA ALHESSAN

The President of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) known as Independent Women Initiative, Monique Ededuan, on Thursday counselled women not to use independence as an excuse to usurp the hierarchy in their homes.

Ededuan, who spoke in Lagos ahead of an upcoming empowerment conference organised by the group to help more women to be economically independent, said that her NGO empowers 30 women annually with start-up funds to enable them to be self-supporting in the society.

She emphasised that an independent woman should not become unruly or take over headship of her home.

Ededuan hinted that that this year’s conference, holding on July 29 in Lagos, aimed to take women through a journey from dependant to independent.

“Some marriages today have stood the test of time because the responsibility of catering for the home does not exclusively rest on man alone. Independent women have risen to become agents of positive change by becoming inspiration to people through the positive roles they play in giving back to these communities,” she said.

“The woman strikes a balance by being a responsible woman, submissive, supportive wife, excellent business and career woman.

An empowered woman with a vision finds fulfillment and achieves the impossible in her area of business and contribute to the nation’s economic growth,” Ededuan added.

She, however urged the three tiers of government to create an enabling environment for women to thrive in their businesses, adding that an empowered woman becomes a positive tool and an inspiration to others.

“When a woman is empowered, she supports her family, which creates a society and extends it to all people in the environment. When a woman moves from being idle to independent, definitely, she becomes an agent of change in the country,” Ededuan stressed.

Established in 2016, the NGO is a business and entrepreneurship network, with a vision to support women financially with startup business fund and business ideas, to contribute financially in their homes and country.

Tonto Dikeh gushes about being born again

By Ada Dike

Deletable actress, Tonto Dikeh took to Instagram today and declared that she was a proud born again Christian.

“I am a proud born again Christian. Christianity isn’t religion to me it’s a way of living. I am soaked in Gods Strength. No weapon formed fashioned against me or my son or my workers can/Shall prosper In Jesus Name Amen,” she said.

It was gathered that the actress is presently in Kenya for the Peace concert that will be held at Uhuru Gardens, a campaign aimed at ensuring Kenyans are peaceful during the forthcoming general elections.

 

Bisola Aiyelola looks stunning in new photos

By Ada Dike

BBNaija’s brilliant ex-housemate and actress Bisola Aiyeola, has unveiled some photographs of where she was featured on iPoshlooks beauty team.

 The media lady, who  premiered her latest movie, Pitch Perfect recently, sure looks stunning in these photos below:

Actress Chika Ike secures admission into Harvard Business School after trying for 5 years

By Ada Dike

A Nollywood popular actress, Chika Ike, has expressed satisfaction over her admission into Harvard Business School for her Masters after five years that she has been applying to study in the institution.

The businesswoman and former model, who announced the development in a post she shared on her Instagram page yesterday, wadys in state euphoria after she received news that she has been consider to study in the school.

“I finally got accepted into Harvard business school for my Masters. After trying for 5 years and getting rejected..Yes! The prestigious Ivy League University… Yippee ….I’m super excited….The good part is it’s an executive study so I can work as an actress, TV host and CEO and school…” she said.

She recalled that she started doing business at age 17 and has been doing it solely on self knowledge and instincts.

“I think it’s time to hone my business skills from the mother of all business schools so I can have a sustainable company. … God is awesome; he has done so much for me, looking at all my achievements so far,” Chika divulged.
“His grace has been with me all through. Doors that people said will never open, opened for my sake. …May He give you a blessing that looks like a lie such that people will question your blessings because of its magnitude. May your enemies be confused and in awe of your blessings,” she prayed.

“May He give you reasons to smile as you rise in style and in glory. God is no respecter of man and doesn’t care how anyone feels about your blessings. My story so far has truly been his divine Grace… one advice …Never ever give up!#harvard #EMBA #africadiva,” Chika added.

Meanwhile, some fans have accused the actress of lying, saying Harvard doesn’t offer executive Masters in Business Administration (MBA), but she responded with a dance.

Born on November 8, 1985, the actress  made her film debut in Sweet Love in 2005 and has featured in many movies including  ParadiseMirror of BeautyTo Love a StrangerGirls Cot ReloadedHappy EndingYes We WillAnointed Queen,  The Prince and the Princes, Heart of a Fighter, The Assasin, Beautiful Bride and The Weak Heart.

How miss Nigeria, Chioma Obiadi, utilizes her position to educate girl child on environmental issues

For advocates of a girl child including current Miss Nigeria, Chioma Obiadi, there are so much beliefs that every female children needs to be randomly sensitized particularly, in the area of environmental issues, which could bring about positive change and development in Nigeria.

The 40th Miss Nigeria, in an interview with  Ada Dike bares her mind on her Green-Girl project, an initiative which is aimed at increasing the preservation and sustainability of our environment, being a project she inherited from her predecessor. She also discussed other riveting issues, including how she has commenced pushing more educative programmes towards the direction of the girl-child.

 As latest miss Nigeria who inherited Green-Girl project, aim to educating girls and women on environmental issues, from her predecessor, how have you been able to sustain the thread and continue the laid down programs for the project?

After emerging as new Miss Nigeria, I looked into the Green-Girl project goal and objective, been laid down by my predecessor,Pamela Peter-Vigboro Lees,  after it was passed onto me, I realized that matches my dream, which is to educate both girls and women folk on environmental issues

The Green-Girl Project is a Miss Nigeria project aimed to increase the preservation and sustainability of our environment. 

It started with my predecessor and it is a five-year project we are doing to increase the awareness in Nigeria about environmental issues. We have a lot of environmental issues which we are not aware of because we neglect it and tend to see it as Nigeria’s problem.

With my project, I have been educating girl-child on issues such as that of  epidemic in Nigeria, dysentery, diarrhea and even cancer caused by water pollution.

I also used this project to warn people against environmental issues.

Many people have lost their lives and properties because of erosion. Some hectares of land were lost in the North in the past as a result of desertification. A lot of children are born with defects. There has been severe pollution in the South-South due to gas flaring which has resulted to sickness and diseases. These problems are not Nigeria’s problem but our problem. We should take it as serious as we take financial issues, because any issue that can affect our way of life, been it health, child’s health and mother’s health should be treated as an important issue.

It is time for us to speak up as one Nigeria and fight for our environment because the mother earth has blessed us in ways beyond our imaginations that we now have zero natural disasters. Let us not keep hurting mother earth. Let us stand together and protect her to serve us better.

 It is believed that there are challenges attached to every position, is Miss Nigeria excepted of the stereotype, and if not,  what is the reign like as a queen?

It has been awesome. The 60-year-old pageant has a lot of weight on my shoulders. It has been amazing. I have built my intellectual strength from being the queen.

I am presently still in school. I am a 200 level student of Geography and Meteorology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State. I think my background in Geography has helped my driving force when it comes to environment.

Emerging as the entire nation’s queen has to do with determination, did you have any premonition that you were going to win and how did you get into the competition?

While growing up, my mother was always calling me Queen because she said I have a queenly look and demeanor, coupled with the fact that I was always opinionated. I need a platform to project my voice to be heard. So when I realized that Miss Nigeria embarked on a project, I recollected it is a pageant I like which has to do with environment I am grounded in, I decided to contest for Miss Nigeria pageant.

Chioma Obiadi

I am a confident person. When I go for something I built confidence that I would win. Of course, I saw a lot of beautiful and smart girls that I looked at and felt that they were really smart. I did not allow that to wear me down. Moreover, my mother encouraged me to pray and do my part.

I am a 22 years old from Neni in Anaocha Local Government Area, Anambra State, born into an average family of one girl and three boys.

Growing up for me was smooth. I have amazing brothers. Boys are very strong and agile so we had a nice playing together. Most times, they hot me because they were stronger than me. I have good parents which have always been supporting me. so i do not see anything been too challenging to try.

 Since your dream is to touch both girl-child and women folk lives through which capacity available, is there inspiring message that has always keeps the focus moving.

I always say to people that if they dream it, they should do it . I dreamt of being Miss Nigeria and I am Miss Nigeria now. So whatever one dreams to be is who becomes.

While growing up, I wanted to be Miss Nigeria because it is ambassadorial. I would like young people looking up to Miss Nigeria to know that it is not about beauty but, for projection of peace and unity in Nigeria.

 

Young female entrepreneurs turn hobbies to lucrative business

By Ada Dike

“No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him or her; it is the amount of excellence of what is over and above the required that determines greatness,” -Charles Kendall Adams

Being successful in career has much more to do with how deep a person loves as profession and the level of commitment towards it. Several entrepreneurs in Nigeria today such as Tara Fela-Durotoye, Kaffy and others worked on their hobbies and became successful, over time.

 Tara Fela-Durotoye

Is the Chief Executive Officer of House of Tara International with about 20 studios and over 3000 representatives is known as the pioneer in the bridal makeup profession in Nigeria. She studied Law in the Lagos State University, Lagos.

Born on March 6, 1977, she launched the first bridal directory in 1999, set up a state-of-the-art makeup studio and established the first makeup school. Through her craft, she has bagged many awards including Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

 Ugoma Adegoke

At times, someone may have a juicy job she collects fat salary but don’t derive satisfaction in doing it.

For instance, artworks curator, organiser of film festival and a fashion designer, Ugoma Adegoke, is the brain behind Zebra Living and also the managing director and co-founder of Life House alongside her husband, Dayo.

She worked for four years in the financial sector but had to resign because her mind was telling her that she did not belong there.

She studied Economics, graduated in 2001 and did her Master’s degree in Manchester, United Kingdom also in Economics in 2003. Along the line, she was restless and curious, coupled with the fact that her stay in Manchester opened her eyes concerning deriving satisfaction in the job one is doing.

“There, one person can do two jobs just like what is happening in many banks where someone goes with some clothes and gifts to sell to his or her colleagues. When I moved back to Nigeria in 2006 and saw how people were working hard to survive, it endeared me to try a bit more. While working in a bank, I asked myself “Is this what you really want?” she explained.

She also revealed that when she left her job, everybody including her father thought she was mad, asking why she should leave a paying job and chase after fashion, despite the fact that she doesn’t know much about fashion as a profession.

“I knew that it‘s what I have passion for and I have always been interested in aesthetic things. I know how to make things look good, be it decoration or furniture. I always rearrange my home and also do it for my friends for free. I have learnt that there is no boundary to what one can do, that is why I do fashion, art exhibition and organize film festivals,” Ugoma said.

“Within the few years we started Life House, its success has spread beyond Africa. My husband was in New York sometime ago, some people who visited Nigeria and attended our events recognized him and complimented him,” she added.

Chimere Emejuobi

Another example is a popular gospel artiste and soundtrack producer, Chimere Emejuobi. She wanted to be a broadcaster because she used to admire ladies’ beautiful faces on television when she was younger, that is why she studied Mass Communication at Oko Polytechnic, Anambra State.

Chimere Emejuobi

Chimere said she used to take music which she said is in-born as her hobby and decided to do it as her profession. She was a back-up singer for musicians such as Majek Fashek and Obi Nwankwo, before she released her songs.

Popularly known as “Nollywood’s queen of soundtrack”, she is the only female musician who has devoted her time, talent and strength to produce many soundtracks for movies in Nigeria. She did her first soundtrack in 1992 for a movie, A Cry for Help. Since then, she has produced over 100 soundtracks and some of them include: Warrior’s Heart, Magic Cap, Sleep Walker, Corporate Maid, Love My Way, Comfort My Soul, Face of Woman, Next Door Neighbour and Shakira.

Apart from producing soundtracks, the Imo State born lady is widely known as a worship songs singer and her songs appeal to emotion, thereby connecting people to God.

Initially, most people don’t know her face but they know her name and her music because her manager did not put her picture in her first album.

Emejuobi, who dominates soundtrack business and also has full control of her career, has her own record label called DEMIDEE Entertainment Company, which serves as a music production unit and engages in artiste management and modelling.

One of her songs, African Praise is a medley she sang in many languages including Nigerian, Ghanaian and Swahili languages. She is glad that her hobby turned talent has taken her to many countries including Ghana, France, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, the United States of America and so on.

“My experience in all these places was fantastic. At the Berlin Film Festival in Germany some years ago, I mingled with famous Hollywood and Bollywood actors and producers including Titanic’s Dicaprio,” she recalled.

Kaffy

In the past, dance was not regarded as a career. No parent would ever advise his or her children to choose it because they did not see any future in it. Moreover, dance could be regarded as a hobby.

Kaffy

Today, the reverse is the case. A Nigerian lady, Kafayat Shafau, popularly known as Kaffy hit the Guinness Book of World Records for dancing for 53 hrs, 30 minutes in Nokia Marathon Dance in 2006.

“I have a Diploma in Data processing. I have a certificate for fitness training. It’s not about certificate but about expertise and ability to get a desired result in anything you want to achieve in life. I can never stop dancing. I use it to make money and at the same time make people happy. I don’t have to be on stage at all times. I could be a choreographer. I also run a dance school called “Imagnato Dance Company”. It offers services like teaching young people how to dance for fun or for commercial purposes. We have older women and business class for those who want to keep fit. We also do personal training, total and general body weight loss, diet plan and nutrition analysis, among others.

“Choreography lasts forever. We teach and guide people on how to dance. It does not end on a dance floor. There is a lot of moral guidance I can instil to people through it. A lot of them don’t know the right thing to do to themselves. It’s a school for ethics, moral upbringing and dancing,” said the choreographer who hails from Epe in Lagos State.

Nike Okundaye journeying through Batik

By Ada Dike

There are few African women that have made tremendous impact towards development and promotion of creative arts. One of them is Nike Davies Okundaye, an artist, batik originator, singer and dancer.

Spurred by a strong desire to set up a gallery where Nigerians, Africans and tourists would learn and appreciate Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage, she built a state-of–the-art gallery in Lekki, Lagos State. The gallery houses artworks, cloths and bags. The bags and cloths are made with locally made fabrics.

Born on May 23, 1951, she lost her mother at the age of six and went to live with her grandmother who died the following year. So she went to stay with her great grandmother who was the then head of fabric weaving.

“Because I lost my mother early in life, one of my mother’s sisters had to bring me to Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria. Osogbo has rich art and cultural heritage and was one of the centres for Yoruba artistic heritage. It was while I was in Osogbo as a young girl that I heard about the late Susanne Wenger and her husband Ulli Beier.  Up till today, I consider them the major catalyst of Nigerian art movement,” Okundaye said

She explained that extra-moral classes that Beier conducted in those days was what helped art in Nigeria to blossom.

“They identified those talents and built them in arts. Today, as you know many of them have become international artists.”

For her, Susanne was the one she derived inspiration from specifically, likewise other artists. Okundaye said  it was then that she decided to go and grow up with her because of the way Beier embraced everybody including Yoruba religion and culture.

“Honestly, she truly inspired me during my stay with her. That was how I started with arts. But let me equally say that from the very beginning, my family is into craft art especially, where I come from in Ogidi Ijumu, Kogi State. My first effort was in weaving, then from weaving I moved into Adire (indigenous textile designing), but later, I discovered the Batik, which I called the loss wax method,” she said.

Okundaye explained that Batik is also called campalla.

She noted that due to her avowed love for weaving indigenous textile designing, she was dubbed   Mama Adire, adding that Adire making has taken her across the globe .

“The Adire has carried me to so many countries of the world,”  says Okundaye.

She stressed that though she loves Adire, she also does oil and acrylic paintings which she all exhibited at her gallery.

“We have held so many exhibitions in my gallery since we opened. Some featured my works and other Nigerian and foreign artists,” Okundaye said.

Her Lagos art gallery is one of the highly patronised tourists’ centres in Nigeria. At present, she has more than 7000 artworks in her gallery in Lagos, though not all of them are for sale.

“A lot of them are displayed for Nigerians and tourists to see the creativity in Nigeria just like in museums abroad. People pay money to enter museums abroad but we do not collect money in my gallery because it is a foundation and it is a dream that came to fruition,” she revealed.

Artists are happy to see their works displayed in my gallery. Each artist works with a spirit that drives him. We don’t see what they are seeing till they are through with their works,” she said.

On how she makes fortune from her gallery, she  said:  “I actually make money within and outside Nigeria. I do workshop in many countries such as Austria, France, Spain and so on. That is how I succeed with my work, but I derive joy and satisfaction of doing it in Nigeria. My gallery enables Nigerians to learn and develop their cultural heritage. I want to leave the gallery as a legacy after my death.”

What is the major challenge facing her gallery? she was asked. “Funding has been my major challenge so I hereby appeal to individuals, private and public organisations to come to my aid. I know that government cannot do everything for us but I want them to assist us in any way they can,” Okundaye said.

When she was asked to predict how art as a profession in Nigeria would look like in the next 10 years, she said with the help of the Ministry for Art and Culture, Nigeria would be known as African art depot in the next 10 years.

“We have over 30,000 registered artists in Nigeria which is quite intimidating compared with other countries. I am sure that the unregistered artists are more in number than the registered ones,” she said.

According to her, “Artwork is a therapy, If you see a work in which a mother is carrying her baby, it means love and warmness. If you look at an artwork, you would forget your problem.”

The cool and calm woman who is on a mission to reposition Nigeria and indeed Africa’s rich culture in people’s minds advises young artists in Nigeria to be honest in anything they do.

“Whatever you are doing, do it well. Let your work advertise your name. Market yourself in a good way. When you make money, save for the rainy day. Divide it into three parts-for your needs, family, then save the third part for your future. Above all, pass the knowledge to your children. Spanish painter and sculptor, Pablo Picasso was not a millionaire before he died but his works are now in many countries,” Okundaye added.

Though she did not have formal education, she has two doctorate degrees from schools in the United States of America. The second is on performing art.

“I am also a singer and dancer too,” she said with a smile.

The proprietress of the nationally spread cultural centres said her vision for opening art centres in Osogbo, with branches in Lagos, Abuja and Ogidi Ijumu is to promote artists, empower rural women and provide training opportunities for those interested in learning the practical aspect of art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nigerians mourn Nollywood actor,Moji Olaiya

By Newsdesk

Nollywood family who were terribly shock at the death of one of their rear gem, Moji Olaiya, have been expressing their heart felt grief over the death of the actor.

Olaiya, 42, died on Thursday in Canada of cardiac arrest. She was said to have given birth in Canada two months ago.

Those close to her said before her death, Olaiya made some comments on her Instagram wall.

Just two days ago, she wrote on her Instagram page: “Allhamdulilahi to you Allah. I give all the glory for all you have done. I will forever praise and worship you. It’s not by power but the Grace of Allah. Thank you for the gift of life. Thanks also to all my friends and family my fans for your supports and prayers. Love you all.”

In another post, she made after, she announced to her fans that OkikiApp is now available on all App Store, read watch she posts; “watch movies from me and other great actors for free.”

When her Instagram account page–@mojisolaabikeade, with 240,000 followers, was searched, the page turned out to be full of lamentations and condolences, from her fans

Veteran actor, Yinka Quadri, reeked that her death has robbed Nollywood family and the entire entertainment industry of a talented actor and expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased.

For Director of Public Relations and Media Affairs of the Theatre Arts and Motion Picture Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), Yomi Fash-Lanso confirming the death of Olaiya in a statement said:

“It is with a heavy heart and sad disposition to hear about the sudden death of our colleague; friend and sister, Moji Olaiya, whose death occurred few hours ago in Canada, few days after giving birth. According to reports that we gathered, we learnt she had heart seizure and couldn’t make it,’’ he prayed.

“We pray, that her soul finds eternal rest with her creator and pray to Almighty Allah to comfort the family she left behind and give them the fortitude to bear this great irreparable loss’’.

He charged all members of TAMPAN and friends to be calm as the association awaits further reports.

President of Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Emeka Ibeh, was among the earlier mourners who expressed their condolences. Ibeh prayed God to grant the family that Moji Olaiya left behind and begged God to give them the fortitude to bear the loss.

Ibeh said that the artiste would continue to live in the memories of her fans because of her contributions to the development of Nollywood.

“In her little way, she contributed to the development of Nollywood and she will be greatly missed by her fans. I pray that God grants her family members the strength to bear this loss at a time like this,’’ he said.

Ibeh urged other actors in the country to continue to impact positively on the entertainment industry saying that their good works would definitely live-on after them.

Also, the founder, Different Aesthetics, Arts and Culture Management based at the National Theatre, Lagos State, Tope Babayemi condoled with the family of the deceased.

Babayemi said that the entertainment industry has lost another bright talent that had contributed greatly to the popularity of the local movies.

Actor Femi Branch said: “We were just mere colleagues until the day we had a certain discussion in Sagamu with Aunty `Fali Werepe` and you rose in my defence.

“I have recounted this tale to more people than I can recall and in every instance, the mention of your sincere intervention was the highlight of my tale. That day, I knew the good hearted Moji Olaiya and for as long as I have the gift of memory, Mojisola Olaiya will remain embedded in my heart,” he added.

“Sleep well `Mj’. May God erect a canopy of protection over your children and the family you left behind. Lord, please take away this hand of death moving over our industry and please open our eyes to know that life belongs to you and only you can give it in abundance”.

To Funke Adesiyan, it’s still a tale-tale story. Here her. “Days like today should not exist. I refuse to believe the news of your untimely demise. I still don’t get why good people don’t last. You were a true soul”, she lamented.

“Beautiful in and out with absolutely no space in your heart to hate or pretend to love. You were so genuine. May Allah rest your soul and give your family the fortitude to bear this loss. It’s a sad day,’’ she said.

Ask Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Okiki Films Sunday Esan, how he feels, he would tell you that he is in shock.

“I’m currently in a state of grief and shock. Is it true that Moji Olaiya is gone? My good friend is no more; I will miss her personality, talent and humility.’’

The late queen of the screen, Moji Olaiya was said to be the daughter of a popular highlife musician, Victor Olaiya.

Her journey to Nollywood began her with Wale Adenuga Production (WAP), starring in the popular family TV drama series of Super Story, where she played the role of Ireti in “No Pains, No Gains”.

She also featured in other movies such as: “Agunbaniro”, “Sade Blade”, “and Nkan Adun ’’and“Omo Iya meta leyi”.

Moji received awards for her diligence in Nigeria and abroad. She was nominated as the Best Supporting Actor of the Year 2003 for the Reel Award.

She also won the Best New Actress award and she said then that such awards were always motivating her to put in her best in any roles assigned her during movie productions.

500 Nigerian women to attend International networking conference

no fewer than 500 women will attend maiden edition of the International women networking conference in Abuja, aimed at inspiring the participants to inculcate noble values and empower them with necessary skills to succeed in any chosen endeavour.

The conference organised by Women International Networking (WIN), a Switzerland based organisation and Human Resource Working Partners (HURWORPS), a Non-governmental Organization (NGO) in the country, would commence on Tuesday.

In a statement made available to newsmen by HURWORPS on Sunday, said that the two-day conference is aimed at inspiring noble values and develop integrated leaders is also designed to empower women with necessary skills to achieve maximum success both for themselves and organizations they work for, among others.

“At WIN, we wholeheartedly believe that change must happen in a paradigm, where feminine values such as compassion, win-win approaches to negotiate, empathy, caring and sharing are protagonist roles,’’

“Moreover, our programme is carefully designed to inform participants of the realities faced by leaders working in different business markets, sectors and countries in relation to themselves,’’ the NGO was quoted saying.

According to HURWORPS, the conference is in line with Federal Government’s Sustainable Development Goals for Women being implemented by Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.

The statement added that the conference is being sponsored by world reputable companies and women’s network worldwide.