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Sunday, December 27, 2009

AMBASSADOR FEMI KUTI GETS ANOTHER GRAMMY AWARD NOMINATION

Afrobeat maestro, Femi Kuti, has been nominated for the 52nd edition of the Grammy Awards under the ‘Best Contempo-rary World Music Album’ category for his ‘Day by Day’ album.
Femi is currently signed to Mercer Street Records alongside his compatriot Asa. This is Femi’s second Grammy nomination.
Kuti, 47, is the first son of late Afrobeat creator, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.Thenetng reported yesterday that he is in contention with Amadou & Mariam, Bella Fleck, Oumou Sangare and Omar Sosar for the World music category.
Femi is one of the most remarkable performers from the African continent and has built a steady career since forming his positive force band over two decades ago.
His first Grammy nomination was in 2003 – for the critically-acclaimed album, Fight to Win. He lost the prize to Ruben blade from Mundo.
Nominees for the 2010 Grammy were announced , amidst performances on broadcast partners, CBS Network.Singer Beyonce leads the pack with a whopping 10 nods while Taylor Swift, who has had an interesting and eventful year, follows with eight nominations. Kanye West got six (all for his works with other artistes) while rave act Lady Gaga earned five nods.
Sunny Ade and Femi kuti are the only indigenous Nigerians to have been nominated for the Grammy’s.
Nigerian-born artistes who have won the award in the past are Helen Folasade Adu (who first achieved the success in the 1980s as the frontwoman and lead vocalist of the popular Brit and Grammy Award winning English group) and Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel (who was born on February 19, 1963 in Paddington London). Both are British citizens.
Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose” won a Grammy Award for Record of the year, Song of the Year in 1996, becoming his best performing single on the market.
Kuti was born June 16, 1962 and is an award-winning Nigerian musician and the oldest son of legendary afrobeat pioneer Fela.
He was born in London to Fela and Remi Kuti and grew up in Lagos. His mother soon left his father, taking Femi to live with her. In 1977, though, Femi chose to move in with his father. Femi eventually became a member of his father’s band.
Like his father, Femi has shown a strong commitment to social and political causes throughout his career, but he differs from his father in his religious views.
According to Wikipedia, in 2001, Femi collaborated on his album Fight to Win with a number of U.S. musicians, such as Common, Mos Def, and Jaguar Wright.
In 2002, Femi’s mother, who had played an influential role in Femi’s life, died at the age of 60. Femi’s 12-year-old son currently appears as part of his act, playing alto saxophone.
Femi’s voice is featured in the videogame Grand Theft Auto IV where he is the host of radio station IF 99 (International Funk 99, described as “playing a great selection of classics from West Africa, the US and elsewhere”).---By Paul Ohia

Friday, September 25, 2009

FELABRATION 2009: THE BLACK PRESIDENT

OMO BABA COMEDIAN AND FACE OF FELABRATION
OMO NAIJA GROUP ON STAGE
FADA BASI
PLUS ONE
ADUNNI AND NEFERTITI FEMALE SINGING GROUP

The stage at the New Africa Shrine looks so tame and innocent. It would surprise anyone who had been there. For a whole week, that stage was easily the hottest stage in all of Africa. The walls of the establishment were bursting at the seams and each successive performance threatened to blow the roof off the building.
The celebrations kicked off with a symposium, debate and interactive question and answer session which hosted entertainment mogul, Mr Ben Bruce, erstwhile politician and past governor of Cross River state, Mr Donald Duke, spokesperson for the Kuti family and debate moderator, Mrs Yemisi Ransome Kuti. The session also included Mr Idowu Mabinuori and renowned poet and writer, Mr Odia Ofeimun.Also present was the Boss of the NDLEA, Mr Iweajunwa. Each speaker on relevant societal issues which Fela had adressed
For the second year running, Felabration lent its support to the total eradication of poverty Stand up, Take Action.
The artiste line up is surely the longest that Nigeria has seen at any concert in her history. Tuesday saw the show kicking off in full steam. Apart from being quite lenghty, it was also populated by superstars on a galactic level. There were perfomances by King Sunny Ade, Fatai Rolling Dollars, Seun Kuti and Fela's Egypt 80, Lagbaja, Gangbe Brass Band, Wierd Mc, Aduni and Nefertiti, Nneka, Muma Gee, Pasuma, Sir shina Peters, Tunde and Wunmi Obe, Dele Taiwo, Kel, Sasha, Timaya, Terry G, Oritsefemi, Bigiano, Duro Ikujenyo, Nija sings runners up and winner, Da Grin, Konga, Sound Sultan and Baba Dee, Dj Vinnie, Dj Neptune, Wande Coal and The Prince, The Pulse, amongst so many performers.
The finale was surely one for the record books. Femi Kuti and Positive Force actually seemed to bring the spirit of Fela back to life. The crowd swayed and danced to the scyntilating rythms that pervaded the hall. Terry G who had the fans sweating it out in suspense was on hand to close the event. For most fans, nothing short of what they had seen,
But to move on from the razmatazz of the concert and it humongous superstar roll call, what has been the impact of Fela on this new generation of Nigerians? What are the effects that his showmanship, political ideology and philosophy have on the so called new democracy that Nigeria claims to run? What great good will this volatile fusion of music, politics and hero worship do for the generations to come? I guess we all just have to wait and see but surely from the writer's point of view, Fela truly does carry death in his pocket because from all indications world wide, Anikulapo is bigger, better, and truly a Legend ---TBLACK

MR BEN MURRAY BRUCE SPEAKING ON THE TOPIC :THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL INFLUENCE OF FELA ON OUR SOCIETY
MR MABINOURI IDOWU AUTHOR OF BOOKS ON FELA
MR FEMI ODEBUNMI CO-ORDINATOR OF THE SYMPOSIUM
MR ODIA OFEIMUN POET AND WRITER
EX-GOVERNOR DONALD DUKE ANSWERING QUESTION FROM THE PRESS
THE AUDIENCE WERE ALSO PART OF THE SYMPOSIUM THEY FEILDED QUESTIONS AND CONTRIBUTED
MR SEGUN SANGO MAKING A CONTRIBUTION
FORMER GOVERNOR OF CROSS RIVER STATE MADE A PRESENTATION ON THE SYMPOSIUM TOPIC.
MR FEMI FALANA SPEAKING ON THE TOPIC, BEHIND HIM IS THE NDLEA BOSS(MR IWEAJUNWA)
HEAD OF THE ANIKULAPO-KUTI /RANSOME KUTI FAMILY, YEMISI RANSOME KUTI
CHEIF FEMI ESHO ALSO MAKING A CONTRIBUTION
MR BEN MURRAY COMMENTS ON THE TOPIC
THE INTELLECTUAL FORUM AUDIENCE
MR BEN MURRAY BRUCE, MABINOURI IDOWU,DONALD DUKE, YEMISI RANSOME-KUTI,FEMI FALANA.
AMBASSADOR FEMI KUTI DISCUSSING WITH MADAM SONIA RANSOME KUTI(WIFE OF LATE PROF. RANSOME KUTI)
AMB. FEMI KUTI AND MADAM YENI KUTI
PANEL STAGE VIEW
AUDIENCE VIEWING PICTURES OF FELA EXTRACTED FROM THE FILM -THE BLACK PRESIENT
MORE PICTURES OF FELA
FROM RIGHT TO LEFT MR THEO LAWSON, DR. DOTUN RANSOME KUTI AND A FELABRATION 2009 COMMITTEE MEMBER
Felabration in an annual festival commemorating the life and times of our own musical icon “Fela Anikulapo-Kuti”, whose music and ideologies transcended all boundaries. The week-long event features various Nigerian, African and International artistes, including Street Floats, “Felamatrics”, the unique Fela Trivia Competition, Exhibitions and other exciting activities to relive and honor his memory and contributions to the evolution of African emancipation and Afro Beat genre. Felabration 2009 which takes place in October is tagged “The Black President” coinciding with the year America elected its first black president. This name was also a tribute to Fela during and after his lifetime. As an Afro beat Maestro, Poet, Philosopher and Social Critic, Fela became a hero to many. Felabration 2009 will be celebrating his ideologies and his contribution the Nigerian society through his political ideology, social emancipation and empowerment of Nigerians and the black race as a whole. This edition is the 12th in the annual series and it has been listed and endorsed as a Tourism Calendar event by the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism. Already, the festival is being marketed globally and artistes confirmations already being received. More than 100 artistes including D Banj, Olu Maintain, PSquare, Majek Fashek, performed at Felabration 2008 and attendance records show over 20,000 fans and visitors from within Nigeria and abroad. The 2009 edition promises to be much bigger as we plan to hold a symposium to discuss Fela’s impact on our collective’ psyche with speakers from the polity and academia, amongst other creative and relevant activities. ARARARARA ORORORORO EVERYBODY SAY YEAH YEAH
video

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

PICTURES OF REDBULL STREETSTYLE QUALIFIERS @ THE NEW AFRICA SHRINE: 8/6/09

CONTESTANTS AWAITING THEIR TURN TO PLAY
REDBULL SECTION

WITHIN OUR HALL BEFORE THE EVENTS PREPARATION


1ST RUNNER UP DURING THE CHALLENGE



JUDGES SECTION-HERE THEY DETERMINE THE WINNER OR LOSER

1ST RUNNER UP AND CHAMPION (IN THE NEW AFRICA SHRINE) POSE FOR A SHOT WITH BOY ALINCO AND DJ LEXY


REDBULL STREETSTYLE TURF


TO GIVE A RED CARD INDICATES THAT A CONTESTANT HAS BEEN ELIMINATED


FANS AT THE QUALIFIERS POSING WITH A CAN OF REDBULL


QUALIFIERS IN PROGRESS AND THE JUDGES WATCHES KEENLY TIME OUT WITH REDBULL GINIKA AND KOLA(BOTH STAFF OF REDBULL INTERNATIONAL) COMPETITORS, FANS , JUDGES ENJOYING THE CONTEST OUTSIDE DURING THE QUALIFYING ROUNDS POSTER FOR THE EVENTSTHE PRINCE OF AFROBEAT OMORINMADE ANIKULAPO-KUTI CAME BACK FROM SCHOOL TO WATCH THE QUALIFIERSBOY ALINCO POSING FOR A SHOT WITH ONE OF THE CONTESTANT TO THE ADMIRATION OF THE FANS CONTESTANTS IN ACTIONA CONTESTANT POSES WITH A REDBULL HEADGEAR FANS AT THE UPPER GALLERY ENJOYING THE CONTEST

LAUNCHING OF RED BULL STREET STYLE 2009 IN NIGERIA
3 Minutes, 2 Players, 1 Ball and The Whole World Red Bull Street Style is an introduction to a unique sport for all Soccer Players around the world. With a strong focus on today’s younger players, freestyle soccer carries some key developmental aspects to the game of Soccer. Individual creativity is vital. The selection process at the country elimination contests may vary, but the rules for the final are set.3 minutes, 2 players, 1 ball: In each “battle”, two players square off in a one-on-one duel against each other. They take alternating 20-second turns with the ball, using their time to show-off the best of their artistic moves to the sounds of break-dance and hip-hop music.
In the finals, the judges will be evaluating the three minutes flow based on control, creativity and style. The winner advances to the next round. There are no limits; other than the standard prohibition on the use of hands and a requirement that the ball and performer stay within a 7-metre wide (27-foot) competition area. The Winner will be the person who does the best tricks using imagination, balance and athletic moves while keeping control with the soccer ball. Great ball control is essential. Creativity and stylish finesse are vital for success.
In 2007 Red Bull Reaccion offered a platform for most talented ball artists in South America. Red Bull Street Style now opens the stage for Nigeria’s youngsters to showcase and battle. Qualifications took place in different regions within Nigeria, starting in Benin (28, 29 & 31 May), Kano (2 & 3 June), Abuja (4, 5 & 6 June), ending in Lagos (8, 9 & 10 June).
Top Winners of each qualification competed against each other in the finals in Lagos on June 13.Using the rules of the game, the event was held with a panel of three judges looking for the following elements: control/technical skills, style and creativity. Besides having a very competitive event, there was a top DJ playing variety of music to encourage the athletes to perform best football tricks. Music plays a very important role as it reflects the game’s culture.


Habeeb Abdulfatai To Represent Nigeria in Red Bull Street Style World Finals
The best local football freestylers performed at the Red Bull Street Style Nigeria Finals that took place on June 13 at Silverbird Galleria.

Habeeb Abdulfatai, a young freestyler, managed to outperform Chomaf Emmanuel, as he impressed the judges with his excellent skills and moves. Abdulfatai came first, Emmanuel ranked in 2nd place, while Obanor Mccarthy came third at the competition.
Habeeb Abdulfatai is the person who will represent Nigeria at the world finals that will gather the best freestylers from all over the world in South Africa in March / April 2010.“I love freestyle football, I did not expect to win today, but I have trained well and was prepared for the finals”, said Habeeb. “It is really a dream to participate at the World Finals in South Africa. I fear nobody and I am ready for the next challenge”, he concluded.

Many participants gathered for the kick-off of the Nigeria Finals, 16 only qualified to the second round then 8 to the quarter final.

The competition was at its utmost when Abdulfatai beat Emmanuel after a tough head to head battle; Impressive moves and maneuvers were displayed in front of the judging panel and Habeeb obviously clinched the title when he seduced both the spectators and judges with his amazing tricks.

Participants were evaluated upon three different criteria: The control, the creativity and the style.
The Results of the Red Bull Street Style Nigeria Finals

1- Habeed Abdulfatai
2- Chomaf Emmanuel
3- Obanor Mccarthy
-write up was culled from Redbullstreetstyle.com