for what we were, are and will be
Waiting to Excel
Grace Amah on STYLE
survive Femi Oyeniran on
Scratch the sky Album Review: 9ice
A new voice with nigerian roots Interview with Adama Planning for an Exciting Career
Fashion: Last Lap Fads
naijaTimes Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 1
6/24/08 7:07:35 PM
A season of change
Change is in the air; and also in the news. Or is there a better word to describe this air of expectancy, this atmosphere of it-will-soonhappen. This air has gingered excitement all over the globe, and Nigerians are not left out.
Publisher: Dayo Elegbe Managing Editor: Toun Aderele Deputy Editor: Lanre Idaomi Writers: Sope Williams, Tokunbo Elegbe, Kenny Joseph, Terry Adebambi, and Adeola Abulude Associate Writer: Omolola Ogunbadejo Advertising Sales (UK): Korede Atiba (Korede@naija-times.com) Advertising Sales (Nig): Wale Olarewaju (Wale@naija-times.com)
On the cover Singer/Song Writer - Adama Photography: Courtesy 4D People Records Illustration: Nick Lay
Poll “Yes, Hillary would have made a better US presidential candidate” No, Obama is the man for the job. To Vote YES Text “NTPOLL Yes”, If you think NO Text “NTPOLL No” to
UK: +44 7940286395 NIG: +234 8066638029 Visit www.naija-times.com everyday for lively discussions and more.
Photography: Olalekan Shoetan Art Director: Nick Lay Distribution: James Anthony
Contact Details NIGERIA: Toun Aderele 4th floor UBA House, 57 Marina, Lagos, Nigeria Tel: 234-1-2665469 Fax: 234-1-2665325 Mobile: (0802) 27696860, (0803) 3097426 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org UK: Dayo Elegbe 239 Old Street London, EC1V 9EY, UK Tel: 44 (0208) 1443403 Email: email@example.com Reproduction in full or part of any contents of NaijaTimes magazine (without prior written consent from the Publisher) is strictly prohibited. Individual advertisers are solely responsible for the content of their advertising
The race for the presidency of the United States of America has moved from the climatic ending of the primaries of the Democratic Party to the kick-off of the presidential elections proper. How does this affect non-Americans? Well, one word Obamania! The possibility of a black man emerging as the president of the United States of America, or as some will put it, the most powerful person in the world, has made us all realise that with some audacity and hope, “We Can”. Nigerians at home have followed this drama with a passion that can only be equalled by the
emotions with which we follow the English Premiership league. This hopefully would make us more interested, and participatory in the way we are governed. In this edition we interview a rising star Adama, whom some have called the next Sade. We review what is likely to be the smash hit album of the summer, 9ice Gongo Aso. We also have a story on Jim Ovia, the astute banker who founded and grew Zenith into one of Africa’s biggest banks, and whose latest foray into the telecommunication industry has sent tongues wagging. Let’s get inside this edition of change, before I disclose all. My hope as I sign off is that this edition will make you audacious enough to hope. Enjoy!
Points of View: Dangote: The Richest Man in Nigeria...Officially. “Now that Dangote is officially the richest Blackman will people see the potential in developing services targeted at Africa” Kemi. “I think Dangote should start to expand into markets like the US and Europe and give those foreign businesses a run for their money…” Shayo You know you are African if… “If your wallet has more phone cards than business cards” Nkeiru Ogbuokiri “If the temperature of your house/flat (in autumn/winter) is comparable to that of a sauna.” Sunday Franklin Visit www.naija-times.com to have your say
2 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 2-3
6/24/08 7:07:39 PM
“Everybody on this earth is born with the potential to make his or her dreams happen.”
In The Next Issue... - 9ice talks about drink and drugs - An Interview with the Roof Top MCs - The Unofficial Guide to the Notting Hill Carnival Make sure you don’t miss out, subscribe to NaijaTimes, and have your very own copy delivered to your door. Visit www.naija-times.com/subscribe-today for more details.
July 08 Interview with ADAMA
Top 5 Things to watch out for in July
1. Man Utd and Portsmouth set to play a friendly match in Nigeria
2. Rise 2008, 13th July, London. The largest anti racism music festival in Europe
3. Burundi, Malawi and Liberia celebrate their independence days on the 1st, 6th and 26th of July respectively.
4. Finals of the tennis Championships at Wimbledon
5. 12th Annual Nigeria Reunion, July 4th,
18 4 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 4-5
Baltimore, Maryland USA
Travel & Culture Equatorial Guinea Scratch the Sky Tinapa: Waiting to Excel Fashion & Lifestyle Grace Amah on STYLE Last Lap Fads Smell Right Looking “Trendy” in Pregnancy Fashion Show Down! Money Diary of an Angry Marketing Man Will Visafone survive
6 8 14
16 19 20 21 23
Careers & Development Career in the Spotlight: - Law Planning for an Exciting Career Par t 1
Entertainment Cover Story: A New Voice With Nigerian Roots - ADAMA Femi Oyeniran on AdULTHOOD 9ice Gongo Aso Mr. Fine Boy Daily Tonic
38 44 46 48
Directories WebFILE Featured Business IndustryFILE
52 53 54
6/24/08 7:07:42 PM
Travel & Culture
Guinea Written by Sope Williams Source Material – The World Bank
Equatorial Guinea is a small country in
West Africa that comprises the mainland, located between Cameroon and Gabon and two islands, one of which contains the capital, Malabo. The mainland was originally inhabited by Pygmies. The main tribes- the Fang and Bubi migrated there in the 17th and 19th centuries. In the 18th century, the Portuguese ceded the country to the Spanish and from 1827 to 1844, Britain administered Fernando Po, but it was then reclaimed by Spain and gained independence from Spain on Oct. 12, 1968. It is Africa’s only Spanishspeaking country. From independence, the then President, Francisco Macías Nguema, considered the father of independence, began a brutal reign, destroying the economy of the fledgling country and abusing human rights. Calling himself the “Unique Miracle,” Nguema is
6 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 6-7
considered to be one of the worst despots in African history. In 1979, Nguema was overthrown and executed by Lieut. Col. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Obiang has been gradually modernizing the country but has retained many of his predecessor’s dictatorial practices, including the amassing of personal wealth by siphoning it from the public coffers. In terms of its economy, before independence, Equatorial Guinea counted on cocoa production for hard currency earnings, however, the neglect of the rural economy under successive regimes has diminished potential for agriculture-led growth (the government has stated its intention to reinvest some oil revenue into agriculture). A number of aid programs sponsored by the World Bank and the IMF have been cut off since 1993, because of corruption and mismanagement. No longer eligible for concessional financing because of large oil revenues, the government has been trying to agree on a “shadow” fiscal
management program with the World Bank and IMF. Government officials and their family members own most businesses. Undeveloped natural resources include titanium, iron ore, manganese, uranium, and alluvial gold. A recent offshore oil boom resulted in extreme economic growth by 71.2% and this phenomenal rate of growth has continued. Large oil and gas deposits were discovered in the mid-1990s and their exploitation has driven the spectacular growth. In 2004 Equatorial Guinea had the world’s fastestgrowing economy. Between 2002 and 2005, the GDP skyrocketed from $1.27 billion to $25.69 billion. It is unlikely however, that the country’s new wealth will benefit the average citizen—the president’s family and cronies control the industry. A huge proportion of the petro-dollars are confiscated by the president while most of the 520,000 citizens subsist on less than a dollar a day, sewage runs through the streets of the capital Malabo, and there is no public transport and little drinking water or electricity. Despite
a per capita GDP of more than US$30,000, which is the second highest in the world, the country ranks amongst the least developed countries in the world - 121st out of 177 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index. Currently, politics within the country are dominated by tensions between Obiang’s son, Teodorin, and other close relatives with powerful positions in the security forces. The tension may be rooted in power shift arising from the dramatic increase in oil production which has occurred since 1997. In November 2004, Mark Thatcher, the son of ex-British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher was named as a financial backer of a March 2004 attempt to topple Obiang. However, the trial of the persons implicated in the coup attempt failed to produce conclusive evidence that a coup attempt had actually taken place.
6/24/08 7:07:49 PM
Travel & Culture
all the ingredients of a great movie The first lesson about this book is that you should not attempt to read it if you do not have the intellectual capacity to do so. If you do try and you cannot cope with it, you will discover very quickly that your connection with the book begins to fade by the end of the second chapter of each story. This means that there are two ways in which you can read this book:
Scratch the Sky Stories of life by Brian Browne Book Review By Foluso Phillips, founder and head of Phillips Consulting.
Briane Browne the former United States
Consul General to Nigeria, is an African-American truly passionate about Nigeria and Africa. He is married to a Nigerian and currently resides in Nigeria. “Scratch the Sky” his new book is published by SON OF AFRICA and available at most leading bookstores. This book contains two stories - No Beauty in a song unsung and Eyes of compassion tears of hope – two for the price of one! Two great stories, two plots, in two locations, with
The first is to go for the plot and the story by skipping many paragraphs and seek for the ‘action’ and not the words; and the second tougher but most fulfilling route is to read the book thoroughly and patiently, with a dictionary beside you and a readiness to make a few re-takes on some pages or paragraphs in order to understand the depth of meaning or appreciate the message of the moment. You will have to concentrate and appreciate very early in the book, the coaching and mentoring embedded in the words that seemingly on the surface describe the ‘action scenes’, but really say a lot more. Like most books, the author not only takes you into the minds and thoughts of the characters, but also analyses the experiences, implications and circumstance in which they play their roles; and will sometimes go further to tell new stories within a story, which eventually create a context for the plots. This is where Brian for me, did a
“Two great stories, two plots, in two locations, with all the ingredients of a great movie” 8 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 8-9
brilliant job. This book is almost like watching a DVD, in which the narration option on the DVD is selected so that as you see the images you still hear words that describe a lot more than you think you see. This was how the book worked for me. It is very difficult to separate the author Brian Browne from his book. To read a book by an author you know personally has its pros and cons. It was Brian’s voice that I heard throughout the book – narrating the stories to me and yet, the style of the book and this narration sounded so different from the person I know to be Brian Browne. It was not the implied intellectual capacity that went into the stories that caught me off balance but the emotional and even spiritual expression which philosophized so much on the stories of life. I had a continuous feeling of – “Hey Brian – where on earth did all this come from?” Sometimes, one’s inability to express thoughts and emotions similar to that which I experienced in the pages of this book, results in frustrated silence, knowing that your power of expression is not adequate to do justice to what the heart needs to say. Reading this book and knowing that I had to review it created a double jeopardy for me, the first was to read and see if I enjoyed the book or not and the second to explain my reasons for either of the choices. There were a lot of personal experiences I am sure Brian shared in this book. They had to be personal because some were so trivial and yet could only be expressed in the detail that he did through personal experience and not the outcome of the study of another’s writings
Sometimes Brian was just too descriptive. I will confess that I was tempted on several occasions to skip some paragraphs so I could move on with the story instead of acknowledging the literary power of the author. My mind kept saying “Okay Brian, I know and acknowledge your power and mastery of the English language – now please can we get on with the story, I promise I will come back and read the heavy philosophy and idioms that you are so very good at. I do feel frustrated that I cannot tell you the stories because I will end up depriving you of the pleasure of discovery and the thrill of anticipation that accompanies the reading of such literary masterpieces. More over, I will make the purchase of the book so pointless for you, which is the opposite of my intentions. To tell the stories would be almost like walking into your living room seeing the family watching an exciting and captivating movie that you’ve seen before and you blurt out how it ends – literally killing the climax that crowns the effort of the investment made in going so far. The same applies to my restraint in talking about the characters in these two stories, which If I were to do so would more than ruin it for you also. The personalities were so true to life that it was easy to identify and make strong value judgments about their actions. My discovery of the personalities in each story was a gradual process, which allowed me to form an opinion and even stand in judgment of the decisions and actions of each person. So many lessons were taught by our author philosopher. I would love to share with you the many quotations deserving of mention, but I honestly found that there were too many
6/24/08 7:07:51 PM
Travel & Culture
things to quote and they would not mean much to you because each was always in the context of the story and the plots as they evolved. You just have to read the book to understand what I mean. The plots in the two stories – especially the first – No Beauty in a song unsung, would make an absolutely great script for the proliferation of the Nollywood movies for which Nigeria now has a new claim to fame. Trust me that I do not take away from the brilliant work that Brian has done. Instead Brian should take all the Nollywood movies and enhance them by converting them into story books, which, through his lucid writing he will be able to philosophize, analyse, teach, mentor, guide, counsel and lead the reader through the plots that are true stories of life, but from which little or no lessons are learnt on celluloid. This first story reveals Brian’s connection with Nigeria and the Nigerian Psyche. The first story would pass as a true foreigner’s guide to ‘understanding Nigeria’ and maybe a more descriptive version of Enaharo’s “How to be a Nigerian”. Brian did a great job analyzing our people by finding in the various characters, an opportunity to personify the many parts of a true Nigerian as we know him to be today – if truth be told. There were so many interesting characters and personalities, which in playing their role, I had to smile more for Brian’s accuracy and observation than the incidences described. What words came to mind as I tried to summarize in my thoughts what I got out of this book? Philosophy Proverbs
10 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 10-11
Spirituality Insight Relationships Love Young love Affection Innocence Trust Integrity Honesty Honour Friendship Reliability
Regrets Politics History Memories Reality Old & young Mother & father Youth Freedom Emancipation Deceit Lies Showdown
You must agree with me that if all these words describe the content of this book, then surely there must be something truly in store for you in reading the book. These words summarize all the emotions, feelings, characters and actions that were packed in the 384 pages of ‘Scratch the Sky’. There is a ‘Yoruba’ saying that literally translated means ‘Proverbs are the backbone of words, when we are at a loss for words, we find our meaning through proverbs’. Clearly, whilst I cannot confirm which tribe sold Brian’s great grandparents into slavery, there is no doubt about the genetic confirmation of his antecedence through his prolific use of proverbs to find the words that he seeks. The African in Brian shone right through the book by the proliferation of proverbs and sayings, which added meaning to the words that were already finely crafted. In both stories, youth played a great part and indeed created one of my slight concerns about the author’s style. It was difficult for me to reconcile the depth and complexity of thought and speech, which were attributed to the young people who played a major role in both stories at one time and another.
I could see the author eager to pass on the wisdom of his philosophical teachings through the speech and thoughts of the characters. I kept trying to match these words with the character and had a problem doing so. Remember I mentioned the need for a good dictionary beside you – preferably Oxford, to not only appreciate the dexterity of Brian’s command of the written word, but to understand the message he was trying to get across. In both stories, there was romance and its pain; there was action, fear, excitement and anticipation – so much so that I got to a point where I could not put the book down. I shared my personal experience with the author when in my bid to make for lost time and not miss the excitement building up - I brushed my teeth and shaved while I read the book because I just could not put it down. The plots of the two stories were so unexpected and hardly predictable, which heightened the anticipation and even anxiety of the reader on behalf of the characters in the book. What did I enjoy the most about this book? The idioms! (Oxford defines an idiom as “an expression whose meaning is different from the meanings of the individual words.”) I have never been so amused, fascinated and even impressed by the use of idioms that Brian mastered so well. It takes a lot of creativity to come up with such expressions. So when you combine a proliferation of proverbs with a strong dose of idioms, you truly begin to challenge and tease the intellect of the reader. The author Brian Browne must have been inspired to write this book and this initiative has been enhanced by his undisputed
power of expression, which allowed him to personify his experiences through the raw philosophy scattered all over the book. The question is whether this is a literary work of art or a philosopher’s outing? I would call it a Philosopher’s work of art. It is a book for literary students and those seeking a new approach to studying philosophy. This book reveals more of the character and personality of the author – almost like there are two sides to him – the Brian Browne I know in person and the now newly discovered author. Brian Browne took the opportunity to express his views, veiled in his character’s thoughts and words, about religion, spirituality, innocence, integrity, the righteous path, purity and so much more through the many soliloquies, which for the unrefined reader will mean its time to skip the page! I once again claim the fifth amendment on this book review of mine and hide under the canopy of ‘ it’s the first time I have ever done this’. That is my excuse – which ever way you take it. If you do not believe all I have said about the book, then obviously you have to read the book to prove me wrong, so – read the book, but once again I do warn that you must possess the intellectual capacity to read, absorb, understand and enjoy all that is packed into each and every one of those pages. To Brian I say well done, your work has only just begun, but then you are one of the lucky ones. There are many that are still searching how to bring true meaning to their lives. Congratulations and Good Luck.
6/24/08 7:07:51 PM
Internet Phone Did you know you can use the Internet to make free to cheap international and national telephone calls. This is all possible through the revolutionary Voice Over IP technology. technolo together with its NaijaConnects.com utilises this technology, powerful set of applications to offer members telephony services through their internet connection. All you need is a Laptop or PC, a microphone and some speakers and away you go! Calls to other members on Naijaconnects are absolutely free, whilst calls to fixed lines and mobiles are very cheap. Join the Revolution now. Tell friends and family and start connecting. NaijaConnects.com “Now we’re talking” Social Networking disc Meeting and discovering new and old friends online can be very exciting. NaijaConnects.com acts as a social networking platform that puts you in contact with people like you. Discovering new people on NaijaConnects.com is very easy, you can even search against Schools, Universities and Work places for friends you might have known but lost touch with. You can share memories by up loading and sharing photos with your friends and family. They can even leave you comments You can share and discover new music as well as share your home made videos online all for free!
12 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 12-13
6/24/08 7:08:28 PM
Travel & Culture
Tinapa: Waiting to Excel
espite its bewitching scenery, Tinapa, Nigeria’s biggest tourism venture in years, is struggling to reach its potential. Conceived by the former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, it is one of Nigeria’s greatest selling points at the moment. But official indifference and logistics problems are stifling its progress. Tinapa is located in Adiabo, in the outskirts of Calabar, the state capital. To foster trade, economic growth and attract tourists its location was designated a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) by the government. Built on the twin concept of business and leisure, the resort was planned to provide investors with a healthy platform on which to participate in Nigeria’s rapid economic growth. Trading is expected to take place in state-of-the-artfacilities while a regime of tax benefits and access to large markets, both in Nigeria and regionally, was to create a once-in-a-life time opportunity for businessmen to maximize investment returns. The first phase of work at the resort was completed a few months to the end of the
14 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 14-15
Duke administration. The areas completed were a cluster of five warehouses located within the Calabar FTZ; an integrated shopping complex of over 80,000m2 of retail and wholesale emporiums, plus an entertainment centre which includes cinemas, food court, games arcade among others; and a 150-room two star hotel, and outdoor leisure. The project was commissioned by expresident Olusegun Obasanjo on April 2, 2007.
from all federal, state and local government taxes, levies and rates. These exemptions are not strange because some of the places that Tinapa was modelled after in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and other places, enjoy this status. However, altercations between the Nigerian Customs Service, which is insisting that duties must be levied on all goods in the zone, and traders who demur have almost turned Tinapa into a ghost town.
In building Tinapa, Duke’s plan was twofold: he wanted Cross River to be the location of Africa’s premier tourist centre and he planned to use the windfall to jumpstart the state’s economy. At the moment none of the two goals is being achieved. With Duke’s departure from power, the passion and dedication with which the state government had prosecuted the project has ebbed. This has slowed the phase of its development. With all this, the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, which ought to be championing the course of Tinapa, seems unbothered.
Watchers say the state government needs to do more to ensure that the Tinapa dream does not die. For one, Cross River is one state with one of the country’s best tourism centres. Such centres include the Agbokim Waterfalls, Cross River Wildlife Park, Afi Wildlife Sanctuary and the Obudu Cattle Ranch, whose undulating mountain is home to herds of well-fed cattle. Calabar, the state capital is also a tourist delight. Besides being an ancient historic town, it is also blessed with a rich culture.
Tinapa’s problems started when a controversy ensued over its Free Trade Zone status. Within the zone, investors were to enjoy exemption
However, with the more than 350 million dollars expended on it, so far, Tinapa deserves to live, and the state and federal government hold the key to its future.
Currently, to boost the profile of the Tinapa, there are series of activities lined up to draw the focus back to Tinapa and what it represents. The Tinapa business Expo has already been held. Other activities coming up include a football march between the English premiership champions, Manchester United Football Club and Portsmouth . It is tagged Tinapa International Soccer Fiesta, also to hold there is the Tinapa Style Week. Tinapa could not be said to be in full swing as the top most business and relaxation resort that it was envisioned to be, but there is no doubting the fact that is still the boldest effort by Nigeria to join the league of top tourism destinations in Africa and also reap the economic benefits that comes with tourism. However, though not fully operational, Tinapa and indeed Cross River and its tourism spots, are always places to visit. While waiting for the business section to be fully operational, the place is still worth visiting, for the scenery and ethereal peace.
6/24/08 7:08:35 PM
Fashion & Lifestyle
appreciate and embrace the beauty of African prints. As for casuals, I am a jeans person. Colours Red and fuchsia pink. Most outstanding fabric Ankara, the texture is very nice. It is flexible and it can be experimented with. Either on its own or when stylishly mixed, once you get your creativity right, it will bring out the best in you. Moreover, Ankara is good for our weather.
Grace Amah on STYLE ‘Style is what you make out of nothing’
t the recent Nigerian Music Awards, petite Grace Amah, one of Nigeria’s foremost Nollywood actresses, looked smashing in a simple, yet stylish, mint green Pharaohnic dress. In this interview with Kenny Joseph, she says one doesn’t need a fortune to look good. Fashion Style is what you make out of nothing. It’s what gives you a unique look, a trend that others will follow. One doesn’t have to break a bank vault to look good. It is not where I got it from or how expensive it was that matters, it is the creativity that went into bringing out the beauty in me that’s important. I wear more of African fabrics and accessories. In as much as I want to be stylish and trendy, I like being simple. Gone are the days when African fabrics and fashion accessories were relegated to the background. Now, people have come to
16 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 16-17
Bags I love bags, big or small. Where I am going and my dress’ design determine the kind of bag that I carry. I can’t carry an oversized bag to a dinner party. So, my style and the event determine what bag I use. Beauty Thank God, naturally, I am blessed with very good skin. I take lot of water; this rejuvenates and detoxifies the skin. Also, I use my Clear Essence body cream religiously. Then at night, I make sure that I take my shower, cleanse my face and then apply my night cream. That is all, I don’t have any special beauty practice. Her spotless and unblemished skin There is no magic, I can’t really say this is what I use. There are times I don’t go out with what I normally use, I just make use of whatever is available. Make-up I like variety. For the sake of variety, I can decide to use something different because I want a change. I don’t think there is actually anything I can’t really do without.
6/24/08 7:08:38 PM
Fashion & Lifestyle
“boldness and outrage were the biggest themes in design last year” Last lap fads
What to watch out for in the latter part of 2008
You need not peer into a crystal ball to know what will be in, in the last six months of 2008. All you need is to be abreast of the fashion happenings of last year, the fads that dominated in the last six months, and what’s been the rave since the beginning of the year. So, what will dominate the scene in the next six months? Well, boldness and outrage were the biggest themes in design last year, and they are yet to recede from the scene. Designers didn’t just stop at the usual themes: allure, class, elegance and style, but stormed the scene with works that made buzz-adjectives like unusual, crazy and out-ofthis world resonate far beyond our shores. Elements from the old school made a splash
18 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 18-19
while local fabrics, especially Ankara, soared to unusual heights. For example, Ankara is now used to sew Western style dresses of the 50s, 60s and 70s mode. So, without looking at the crystal ball, this is what to expect in the other half of the year. • metallic pump shoes • wedge shoes • Ankara: either as a stand-alone fabric or in combination with others • LBD: Little Black Dress • Clutch purse: the dinner delight • Oversized handbag: every woman’s companion • Skinny jeans • Abortion belt and medium size belt with big buckles • Maxi gown • Corset top and gown • Kimono top • Big cuff bangles • Chandelier earrings
6/24/08 7:08:41 PM
Fashion & Lifestyle
“mothers are changing the face of maternity wear” Looking trendy in pregnancy
re you pregnant for the first time, or a pro that’s about to have another baby? You don’t have to be worried about looking trendy. With a little care and expertise you can look gorgeous as you looked before your tummy started bulging.
Perfumes, a mixture of sweet smelling
essential oils and aromatic compounds give the human body, objects and living spaces a pleasant and inviting smell. A perfume with a stunning scent oozes an overwhelming and irresistible aroma that hardly fades. But care should be taken when using perfumes. Some have allergic reactions to fragrances in general and these cause damage or injuries when applied directly on the skin or on broken skin. Some perfumes also cause permanent stains on some clothing. Perfumes are used for different purposes and producers have learnt to make perfumes with people’s needs in mind. Some are for seduction, others are used to make fashion statements, enhance sensuality feeling and what have you. In all, the aim is to wear
20 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 20-21
enough fragrance to feel good and make the right impression. Wearing it right: *Spray on the pulse points (usually the wrists, the neck and the throat). But do not overapply thinking that the scent should stay strong all day long. Soft touch is the key to proper application. *Do not rub wrists together afterwards, this flattens scent. Just allow to dry out. *Restrain from spraying more perfume, periodically, throughout the day. *Put some perfume on the nape of the neck and shoulder for intimate moments.
All over the world, millennium expectant mothers are changing the face of maternity wear. You don’t have to give up your style because of that baby. What you wear while you are pregnant doesn’t have to be dull, boring, long-flowing, and drippy. Today’s ‘preggies’ now spot trousers, stylish gowns and casuals like jeans trousers and simple tops. Other items of clothing you can pick from include stretchy gowns, tops (camisoles and tank tops) and trousers like Capri’s jeans. And the good thing is that some of these items can still be used even after pregnancy.
6/24/08 7:08:48 PM
Fashion & Lifestyle
You are what you wear.
Fashion Show Down.
So What Are You Wearing?
Two law students, living in two different continents,
each with a unique sense of style, but whose style do you prefer? Let us know what you think by visiting www.naija-times.com/whatareyouwearing Adure, 20yrs old, Law Student, University of Ibadan, Nigeria Top-atmosphere Jeans-Next Sunglasses â€“ Christian Dior Accessories: New Look Wristwatch- JACOB&Co(Replica)
Oluyombo, 21yrs old, Law Student, University of Nottingham, UK Shirt- T. M. Lewin Knitwear- Zara Jeans- True religion Bag- Sergio Rossi
Send us your picture, describing what you are wearing via email to: WhatAreYouWearing@naija-times.com and you could get featured on the website or even in the magazine. The best submissions will also get a chance to win exclusive naijaclothing merchandise.
22 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 22-23
6/24/08 7:08:55 PM
I am often extremely vexed when I see or
Dayo Elegbe, Managing Partner, One Naija
hear about companies that waste a lot of money on ineffective forms of marketing; clinging on to old myths like “I know half my advertising doesn’t work am just not sure which half it is”. Well in this day and age of advanced technology and thinking, an advertiser really should have more than a good idea as to what is working for his or her company.
The Results Driven Marketing and Technology Services Company. Dayo@naijasounds.com
Number one on Chris Cardell’s “Essential strategies to ensure that your advertising is a success” is – If your Advertising isn’t
DIARY OF AN ANGRY MARKETING MAN!
24 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 24-25
“If your Advertising isn’t working – STOP IT.”
6/24/08 7:09:02 PM
“Companies should also ensure that they have the right proportion of direct response advertising to brand advertising” working – STOP IT. I could not agree with this sentiment any more strongly. This rule might seem obvious, but as a magazine publisher with many years experience running integrated marketing campaigns both on the client and agency sides, I have seen too often people pour good money after bad advertising programs. So how do we ensure we eradicate waste in our advertising? By making sure our advertising is measurable, and by setting key performance matrices that we can measure and monitor our performance against, right at the beginning of any advertising program. The legendary Ad man David Ogilvy is quoted as saying “The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST. If you pre-test your product with consumers, and pre-test your advertising, you will do well in the marketplace.” I would go as far as saying even when your advertising is in the marketplace, you should continue testing your messaging with the aim of constantly improving it. Companies should also ensure that they have the right proportion of direct response advertising to brand advertising. This proportion will depend on what stage of development a particular company is at. Direct response advertising, like the name suggests, is advertising that produces a clear response, and is almost always characterised by having a clear call to action. Potential
26 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 26-27
customers are called to request brochures or call a specific toll free number or even send a text to the company. Brand advertising, on the other hand, is an important tool used by brand managers to communicate the ideals and values of a company/product, thereby increasing the company/product’s perceived value to the customer. The benefits of developing or maintaining a strong brand is that it should lead to increased sales, by making a comparison with competing products more favourable. It may also enable you to charge more for the product, thereby increasing your profit. The most effective form of brand advertising is one that engages with its intended audience. The level at which it engages a particular target market is measurable, contrary to what some people might have you believe, it simply requires a different set of matrices and tools to that of direct response advertising. Strong brands, like Rome, are not built in a day and many relatively small companies, are likely to be less interested in investing in activities that do not have an immediate impact on sales. They are more interested in generating an income now, and surviving, than anything else. Direct response advertising would be more appealing to such a company; as sales generation and developing a healthy sales pipeline is often the number one priority. To this effect you might want to employ in addition to direct response advertising other marketing strategies - telemarketing, direct mail, search engine marketing, email marketing,
“Strong brands, like Rome, are not built in a day”
direct sales, PR, strategic alliances, and affiliate marketing. Remember, however, that you can always build your brand in other non-advertising ways. Responding quickly and effectively to inquiries, maintaining a quality website and providing good customer-centric marketing materials can often enhance your company’s image more than a 30sec brand ad. Now, I don’t want you to think I am against brand advertising, far from it. It just isn’t always the right option for all companies, and recognising that will save a lot of advertisers, advertising agencies and media owners a lot of hassle. A proper appreciation of the place of brand advertising will help advertisers make more informed decisions about the type of advertising they should be doing so they can direct their ad agencies better. This in turn will help ad agencies focus their creative energy on coming up with messages that not only resonate with their target audience but work – to borrow again from Ogilvy “it’s not creative if it doesn’t sell”. In all this, media owners will be happy as their advertising clients and their respective ad agencies see an improvement in their businesses – which in turn will lead to greater revenue.
“At the centre of brand advertising, should be a brand idea.” be a brand idea. The bigger the idea, the better. A brand idea takes its lead from the philosophy that drives the company, in fact it is at it’s best when the two are indistinguishable. When they aren’t, the company runs the danger of coming across as either inconsistent or worse, insincere. Either way trust is eroded, and trust is vital when building a brand. Many commentators have asked the question whether brand ideas are too big for traditional notions of brand advertising. Can you really communicate the entire essence of a brand within a 30 second ad spot, and how do you balance that with the very important objective of most advertising, which is to sell the benefits of the product to the target audience. Well, I submit that you can’t, and why would you want to? In an age where people consume media through a variety of channels from the conventional to the not so conventional, an integrated approach that utilises the various strengths inherent within these multiple channels is what is called for. Brand values are reinforced with each encounter a consumer has with the brand. This goes a long way in building up the story of the brand within the target audiences mind.
One of the most recognisable brands in the world, Coca Cola, a very important brand advertiser, in its early days was one of the early pioneers of direct response advertising, distributing thousands of coupons for a complimentary glass of Coca-Cola through newspaper ads. It eventually went on to create an incredible brand. At the centre of brand advertising, should
6/24/08 7:09:04 PM
There is no better way to get through to your hard to reach customers.
Call: (UK) + 44 20 8144 3403 or (Nig) + 234-1-8765994, + 234 8028360592 for a Media Pack.
naijaTimes www.naija-times.com/advertise 28 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 28-29
6/24/08 7:09:08 PM
“founder and Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank, one of Nigeria’s ten biggest banks”
Will Visafone make an impact?
For sure, Jim Ovia doesn’t care about head
starts. If he does, he would have listened to those who tried to dissuade him from launching, Visafone, a cellular firm, many years after the major players in the sector came on the scene. Although lucrative, the Nigerian telecoms sector is very competitive and it is dominated by two of the continent’s biggest telecoms firms, South Africa’s MTN and Nigeria’s Globacomm. MTN, Africa’s biggest cellular operator, started operations in 2001 and has since snapped up almost half of Nigeria’s 42 million cellular subscribers, while Globacom, which launched in neighbouring Republic of Benin this year, has been described as Africa fastest growing network. Hence, the question in several quarters is whether Visafone will be able to survive in a field where these two aggressive players hold sway.
30 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 30-31
But Ovia is not an upstart businessman. He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank, one of Nigeria’s ten biggest banks. He has a reputation of being thorough, bold, imaginative and ICT-centric. According to his online profile, he is “the founder of the ICT Foundation for Youth Empowerment, which “focuses on improving the socio-economic welfare of Nigerian Youths by inspiring and motivating them to embrace Information and Communication Technology. He is the Chairman of the Nigeria Software Development Initiative and also Chairman, National Information Technology Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Governing Council, Nigerian Investment Promotion Council [NIPC] and also a member of the Honorary International Investor Council.” Zenith is reputed to be Nigeria’s most tech-savvy bank, with a vision that is wholly technology-driven. It has 180 business offices and is one of the largest and most profitable
banks (post consolidation) in Nigeria with total assets plus contingents of over N714.5 billion as at 30 June 2006. In March, it announced a profit before tax of N40.63 billion for the nine months ending March, 2008, a 111 per cent jump over the N19.25 billion recorded for the same period in 2007. The bank’s unaudited results for the period also showed a 70 per cent increase in gross earnings from N70.76 billion to N120.30 billion and a profit after tax rising to N33.32 billion from N14.08 billion, a 137 per cent jump. But some observers who believed that Ovia, who has spent 25 years in banking, will be operating in a new and untested terrain still expressed doubts. But the earliest indication that Visafone’s potential might have been underestimated emerged after its surprise win of a hotly-contested-for auction for a mobile licence in a field of local and international telecommunication firms. The companies, which competed with Visafone for a 3-carrier 800 MHz spectrum licence, included South Africa’s national telecommunication company, Telkom’s Nigerian subsidiary Multilinks; GiCell Wireless Limited; and TC Africa Telecoms Network Limited. Before then Visafone had caused a stir in the industry by acquiring three telecoms firm, Cellcom, Bourdex and Cell Communications shortly after been granted a Unified Access Service licence by
the Nigerian Communications Commission. The spectrum licence, which will be valid for an initial period of five years, offers frequency spaces totalling 3.75MHz in the 800MHz band. The regions covered by the licence are Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti Benue, Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kogi, Niger, Nasarawa, Taraba, Plateau, Kwara, Edo, Delta, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, States and the FCT, Abuja. Visafone also secured a $200 million start-up fund from a consortium of 13 local banks comprising Access Bank Plc, Afribank Plc, Bank PHB Plc, Eco Bank Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank, Fidelity Bank Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, First Inland Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc. The company has also said that it will employ close to 5000 people in five years and its commencement of 3G services immediately after its launch (none of its predecessors did that), a development that is certain to help it tap into the popularity of the Internet among Nigerians is a plus. However, the Nigerian telecoms sector is the graveyard of many an upstart company. Would Visafone, which has launched already in 12 states so far, go their way? Are the firm strides, which the company has made since its debut, indicative of a bright future? Ovia says yes. Speaking at a news conference to mark the launch of the company’s service some months back, he said, “We have tested the network over and over again and are sure that we have a network that can deliver good services.” Adding a personal testimony, “I have been using only my Visafone line for more than a month now and haven’t got a hitch whatsoever. That is to tell those that have been trying to reach me on my former phone numbers that I have changed lines.”
6/24/08 7:09:09 PM
Careers and Development
Union and provided training on international humanitarian law and international criminal law to diplomats, military officers and other government officials. In addition, he has advised and assisted counsel in several cases before international and national courts. NT: Why did you decide to study law? Also, give brief information about your academic background Dapo: I’ve always had an active interest in current affairs, international relations, law, politics stuff like that. So I always knew from childhood that I would either study law or
question is the same as the first. My area of law is public international law which mainly deals with the law that applies to the relations between States but increasingly also applies directly to individuals and corporate entities, for example in the area of international criminal law and the law of foreign investment. NT: What are the benefits you have from working in your particular field? Dapo: I certainly enjoy my work - that is the greatest benefit. There’s nothing like doing what you enjoy. So for me, picking up
“There’s nothing like doing what you enjoy” international relations. I guess international law combines both very well.
Career In Spotlight: Law Written by: Sope Williams
We interviewed two high profile legal
professionals to get an insight into what it is like pursuing a career in law. Dapo Akande, Yamani Fellow and Lecturer in Public International Law; University of Oxford Dapo Akande, is a University Lecturer in Public International Law. Prior to his appointment in Oxford, he held full time academic appointments at the Universities of Durham and Nottingham and was a Visiting Professor at the University of Miami School of Law. He has also taught at the London School of Economics and Christ’s and Wolfson Colleges, Cambridge. He has varied research interests within
32 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 32-33
the field of international law and has published articles on aspects of the law of international organizations, international criminal law and international dispute settlement. His article in the 2003 volume of Journal of International Criminal Justice was awarded the Giorgio La Pira Prize. He has acted as Consultant for the African
“ always knew from childhood that I would either study law or international relations”
So after I finished secondary school at International School Ibadan, I went onto study law at University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife, Nigeria. From there, I headed to Nigerian Law School and qualified as a barrister/solicitor. Immediately after, I left for England to do an LLM (Master of Laws) at London School of Economics, University of London. I’ve always enjoyed teaching as well, and I knew I wanted a career as an academic. I actually started teaching quite early in my career because I used to give tutorials to the first and second year law students when I was in the final year of my undergraduate degree. NT: What area of law are you currently in and how did you get into this line of work Dapo: So obviously the answer to this
a journal of international law to read a good article is not work, it is actually pleasurable reading - most of the time! Also, it means that I meet a lot of interesting people from all over the world - some of them are very important people. It is great to mix with academics from Universities all over the world. The nature of the subject also means that one is teaching, writing about or practicing are issues which are being discussed in the news and in the pages of newspapers . NT: In your opinion, what are the benefits of a law degree and choosing a legal career? Dapo: Well, first of all, in England, you don’t need to do a law degree in order to have a legal career. But doing a law degree certainly trains your mind to think in a particular way. You learn to extract important issues very quickly and it develops your analytical skills. So I would say that studying law is a subject that has good transferable skills. It can prepare you for a career in politics,
6/24/08 7:09:12 PM
Careers and Development
accounting, the media etc. You’ll notice that many US presidents and Vice Presidents have law degrees. Remember that Tony Blair is a barrister. In terms of the benefits of choosing a legal career, well if you work as a lawyer in a big firm, you’ll be well paid. I guess that is what most people find attractive. But also, it is a respectable career, you’ll find that lawyers can or at least can pretend to talk intelligently about anything. It develops your self confidence. The fact that you have to keep on studying during your career means that you will keep your mind active for a long time. You find that many judges and barristers practice well into their seventies. NT: What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about studying law? Dapo: What advice would I give? First, be sure that it is something that you’re interested in. There’s nothing worse than doing a job that you don’t enjoy. If you have no commercial awareness and no interest in the business world, then perhaps a career in commercial law is not for you. Second, you’ve got to be prepared to work hard and be disciplined with your work. Lawyers work long hours - that applies both to practitioners and academics. Finally, a bit of mental toughness is helpful. Develop your self confidence. Funke Adeyemi, Head of Legal and Company Secretary, Virgin Nigeria Airways PLC NT: Why did you decide to study law? Also, give brief information about your academic background
34 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 34-35
“I have always been plagued with what I term an inherent sense of fairness and justice” Funke: I have always been plagued with what I term an inherent sense of fairness and justice and as a child I was profoundly affected by perceived wrongs witnessed from family relations, movies, books and indeed the school playground! In addition, my father is a professor of law and he manifestly lived and still lives by the law and its core principles such as integrity, fairness, equity and justice. So I suppose you could say it was inevitable I would become a lawyer. I studied law at the University of Lagos where I obtained my LL.B (Hons) degree (nursery, primary and secondary school were all in Unilag too) and was called to the Bar in 1999 after attending the Nigerian Law School. I proceeded to the University of Cambridge for my LLM where I obtained a Masters in International Commercial Law in 2001. NT: What area of law are you currently in and how did you get into this line of work Funke: I am currently immersed in Commercial and Corporate Law, with emphasis on Aviation. I currently head up the legal department at Virgin Nigeria Airways and am also its Company Secretary. I guess the journey here is one of those rare twists of fate that just turn out so well - I had
been working as a barrister and solicitor in F.O. Akinrele & Co, one of Nigeria’s leading law firms, since my return from Cambridge, combining the intricacies of corporate and commercial law with the rigours of commercial litigation. In 2004, the firm was briefed to conceptualise the company that became known as Virgin Nigeria and I was on the transaction team for the 8 months it took to conclude all the background work required to establish the company that is
amazing and talented people both within the company and externally. It would be remiss of me not to mention that for one that loves to travel, I have been blessed with a role that has afforded me the opportunity to visit parts of the world I had always wanted to go - for example I was in Brazil last month closing off a transaction. So all in all, I’d say it’s been a fantastic journey so far with so much more to come by God’s grace.
“study hard and choose your schools with care. There are no shortcuts to success. now Virgin Nigeria. After the company was duly constituted, the firm was asked to assist with setting up a legal function within the company and I was thus seconded to Virgin Nigeria from March to July 2005. I ended up staying on and the rest, they say, is history. NT: What are the benefits you have from working in your particular field? Funke: The main benefit my role provides is the exposure to a multiplicity of issues, concepts and documentation, some of which I had never had to deal with or was even aware of before I took on my current role. It’s a steep learning curve which I believe has provided me with invaluable experience as a lawyer and a senior manager in a world class organization. I have also had to conceive and articulate company wide and role specific strategies for supporting the business. I have been initiated into the cult of numbers- that hitherto sacred realm where most lawyers fear to tread, and I must confess I now wonder what all the fuss was about. - numbers tell a story! Of course, I have also met some of the most
NT: In your opinion, what are the benefits of a law degree and choosing a legal career? Funke: I am firmly of the view that going through the rigours of becoming a lawyer does 2 things to a person - at worst, it hones one’s mind to becoming analytical, logical, objective and meticulous and at best, it shapes one’s character into strength, courage, integrity, courtesy and fineness. These traits above all else are to be highly priced, cherished and nurtured and I would therefore recommend becoming a lawyer any day. This not to say that the world should be full of lawyers (God forbid!); I’m simply partial to the profession. NT: What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about studying law? Funke: Go for it, study hard and choose you schools with care. There are no shortcuts to success.
6/24/08 7:09:12 PM
Careers and Development
Planning for an Exciting Career by Tayo Omisore
The best way to avoid harping, lamentably,
on a dream career when you are on the wrong side of 40 is to make the right decision when you are, at most, two decades younger. Discovering an exciting and, eventually, satisfactory career path is a task that is a function of your ability to skillfully manoeuvre through and leverage the major factors that influence career choice These influences or factors can be broadly categorized as: 1. Parental nudging; 2. Peer pressure; 3. Economic trends; 4. Sexism 5. Cultural beliefs; and 6. Personal interests. 1. Parental Nudging: Nowadays, the influence of parents on the career decisions of their wards is less assertive, although it used to be quite strong years earlier. This might largely be hinged on the level of awareness created by
access to information through technological development within the last two decades. Still, some successful parents are often faced with worries about the continuity of their businesses and thus mount pressure on their children to follow in their footsteps. On the other hand, some still delude themselves with the now disproved myth that Lawyers, Medical Doctors, Accountants, Engineers etc. are the most successful.
2. Peer pressure: As with the parental influence, peer pressure is a very strong force that acts on the will of even the strongest among us. At some point in our lives, especially as a teenager, you most probably have been nearly stifled by this global phenomenon. In more matured circles, this pressure is found in the desire to own what people believe is necessary to belong to particular social strata. It is natural to feel pressured by what your peers are doing but utterly foolish to base your decisions on such. In choosing an exciting career, you don’t gamble with your options, you carefully plan your way into them. 3. Economic trends: In many developing economies of the world and more so in Nigeria, certain career paths are more lucrative than others. Indeed, quite a number of these professions are beginning to lack succession plans simply as a result of poor turn out of graduates in these areas. 4. Sexism: The impact of sexism on career choices is a complex phenomenon that is fast being addressed for the sole purpose of gender equality (including gender stereotypes).
A number of civil societies and non governmental organisations have sprung up to fight this cause. 5. Cultural beliefs: This is not so pronounced in Nigeria. There are areas in which cultural beliefs that do not support certain career choices border on sexism. Examples can be found in the case of Saudi Arabia where women are not allowed to drive or be pilots. 6. Personal interests: This is the most interesting factor and the most crucial to finding and securing an ‘exciting’ career. Personal interests simply refer to the specific activities that arouse the interest of an individual. For instance, someone who is naturally inquisitive may choose to be a reporter or a scientist. The general idea is that doing whatever arouses your interests, or the things you get passionate about will always help in making you feel rewarded and contented. In the second part of this article, we will examine in detail, how to plan for an exciting career based on your own interests.
you don’t gamble with your options, you carefully plan your way into them.
36 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 36-37
6/24/08 7:09:20 PM
Interview By: Tokunbo Elegbe
eet Adama, a sensational new singer songwriter born in London, based in New York, with a parent from Nigeria. Adama is seriously talented and brings a fresh approach to R&B/Soul. NaijaTimes met up with her and this is what she had to say. NT: Please introduce yourself to anyone not in the know about who Adama is? Adama: I’m a singer-songwriter and performer, born and raised in London, England. My father is from Cornwall, England and my mother is an Igbo Nigerian. Over the past four years I’ve been moving around between the United States and the UK. Recently I recorded my debut album ‘Delicate Dragon’ by the Dead Sea desert in Israel. Right now I’m currently residing in New York City where I’m performing with my band. NT: Your sound is often compared with another great Nigerian export - Sade, but how would you describe your style?
ADAMA 38 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 38-39
Adama: My style is not easy to describe because I do not think it sounds like anything out there. A lot of people say that I have some of the same tonal quality in my voice as Sade which is not surprising as we both have Nigerian roots. I would describe my album as pop but it’s unique as I write from my own spiritual and imaginary world. Every song I write has deep meaning to me and was written from my heart. My sound incorporates many flavours like electronic music, jazz to classical music. All in all it is my own style.
NT: So your new album, ‘DELICATE DRAGON’, tell us a little about that, how did it come about? Adama: ‘Delicate Dragon’ is my debut album and it is how I have always wanted to represent myself as an artist to the world. The making of ‘Delicate Dragon’ has been a journey in itself. I had always wanted to record it in some exotic place away from the city. After I signed with 4Dpeople Records I went out with my producer, Gili Wiseburgh (Frou Frou Sugar Babes), to a studio by the Dead Sea to record the album. We worked with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and other world class musicians on my album, which was a real blessing. NT: Why did you choose to call the album ‘DELICATE DRAGON’...dragons seem far from delicate? Adama: Yes, you are quite right! The name came to me whilst I wrote a song called Delicate Dragon. It ended up being the title of the album. The lyrics are about my emotions and my soul; fierce and strong yet vulnerable and fragile. I have been through quite a bit of hardship in my life and found myself channelling my energy in many different ways. When I was younger I was very into martial arts and ended up so devoted to it that I entered and won the UK Kung Fu Championships and represented the UK in Hong Kong. At some point I made a transition from that into making music and the way I channel myself is with the same passion. NT: Wow a martial arts expert as well, I will make sure I stay on your good side for the
6/24/08 7:09:22 PM
rest of the interview. So who would you say are your musical influences? Adama: My all-time favourite band is Heatwave. They were and still are my biggest influence as a writer. Rod Temperton (of Heatwave) wrote great songs such as ‘Boogie Nights’ and ‘Always and Forever’. He also wrote songs for Michael Jackson, such as ‘Thriller’. My mother got me listening to the music of Bob Marley when I was a kid. She also played a lot of Nigerian music such as Cardinal Rex Lawson and His Mayor’s Band of Nigeria. My mother also loved Western pop music and she had thousands of records. I listened to them all! Today I still love music of past times, as most of the music today - that I love - is more production driven. There’s nothing wrong with that, I love cutting-edge pop production, but I find that that is what I like about much of the music today, as opposed to the richness of the songs themselves. Jeff Buckley wrote some incredible music. He’s another big influence. Kate Bush is another. Fleetwood Mac to me is timeless. My musical tastes are varied and eclectic. I’ve been listening to a lot of Autechre, who are from England.Their music is so very inspiring, kind of electronic soundscapes with beats.The list goes on and on. NT: I read somewhere that your song writing comes from your dreams. That you ‘receive’ everything from melodies to string arrangements whilst you are sleep, how does this happen and how long have you had such a gift? Adama: This is a subject that’s close to my heart. I have started to write a book about it. It all started when I was three years old. At least, that’s my first memory of dreaming music. In the dream I was a man wearing
40 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 40-41
“Pride will never get the better of me because i know where i’m coming from and where i’m going.” early 19th century style clothing, rushing to conduct an orchestra. I understood what each section of the orchestra was playing. In real life I had never seen or heard an orchestra before, at that time and I didn’t know what an orchestra was. Ever since then and to this day, I still dream music. I receive several pieces of music each night but so far I can only bring one song or piece with me when I wake up, so I have to choose which one whilst I’m sleeping. I can dream heavy metal, classical, pop, rock, folk, world music, and I get all of the instrumentation, lyrics (if any), and arrangements. It’s endless and infinite like the stars in the sky. It’s a magical place where I feel closest to God. Sometimes I jam with the ‘forces’, so I’m collaborating. Other times it’s a purely receptive process and less ‘lucid’. I use the term ‘lucid’ as it describes the way you can control your dreams. I guess sometimes it’s lucid and sometimes I’m channelling. NT: You are on the cover of magazines, on TV, but you are also very active online, why is this medium so important to you...and why aren’t you on NaijaConnects.com? Adama: NaijaConnects.com? I must check it out! Thanks for the heads up! Yes, I am very active online. The Internet has given me a
way to communicate directly with fans. It’s a beautiful thing to hear from people from all over the world that they are feeling my music. It’s impossible for me to stay in touch with every single person as the community has grown to the tens of thousands, which I am so fortunate for. However, I do my best to read my mail and reply to fans because they are very important to me. So I’ll conclude by saying God bless the Internet! NT: So there is a lot of momentum building up behind you right now, how do you stay grounded and what advice would you give artists coming up? Adama: I stay grounded by remembering that everybody has an opinion of me as an artist and of the music I make, be it a good one or a bad one. I like to remember that if I touch somebody with my music, even one person, I have been successful. Everybody on this earth is born with the potential to make his or her dreams happen. For that I’m no different to everybody else. The advice I would give to up and coming artists is the same advice I got from a very successful singer a long time ago. That is to be yourself. Have confidence in your own voice and style, even if nobody is doing what you do and you appear different. That is your strength, don’t forget it. Also, learn about the business of music. If you want to put your music out there and do shows, etc, it is still a business, and the more you learn the more effectively you can protect yourself, whilst making the best decisions for your career. Lastly, don’t forget to nurture yourself artistically. At the end of the day, it’s all about your creativity. I recommend buying the book ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron.
Adama: Every day that I’m alive is perfect. It may sound cheesy but it’s just great to be alive. Any day I write music is perfection too! NT: So what have you got playing on your MP3 player? Adama: It’s a vast library, but my recent listens are The Art of Noise, Autechre, Dire Straits, Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, Heatwave, Jeff Buckley, Toto, The Planets by Gustav Holst (1914), Leonard Cohen, Timbaland, Biosphere, Gypsy music, Middle Eastern music, Ali Farka Toure, Mahavishnu Orchestra to name a few! NT: Very eclectic, so what are you looking forward to? Adama: My album being released and doing lots of shows across the United States! Listen to samples of Adama’s latest album on www.naijaconnects.com
NT: Describe your perfect day?
6/24/08 7:09:23 PM
42 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 42-43
6/24/08 7:09:25 PM 15/3/08 17:12:20
“I don’t have a manual or formula but I know hard work pays off.” picked up Mcing/Rapping in the playground and now I’m preparing to do it in a big way. I return to the studio on June 9th and we hope to finish my album ASAP and hopefully we negotiate a record deal, if not we’ll work it ourselves.
NT: So apart from acting you are also a Musician, and soon to be Lawyer....is there anything else you still want to have a go at?
Written by:Omolola Ogunbadejo
t seems 20 year old Femi Oyeniran can tell us a lot about AdULTHOOD. AdULTHOOD is the sequel to the widely acclaimed and very successful British hit movie Kidulthood. Barely out of his teens, this remarkable young man set to graduate from the London School of Economics with a degree in Law, has two hit movies under his belt and a burgeoning music career, Femi is certaintly not kidding around. NT: So AdULTHOOD your new movie, tell us what it was like revisiting the character of “Moony”, which you first played in Kidulthood? Femi: It was a good experience. Showing the character development; since you rarely get to do that. Adam Deacon(who plays Jay) and I sat down together for a few days and went through the characters. We also had rehearsals with the director Noel Clarke; just to fine tune the character.
NT: Both movies reflect on what it is like to grow up in 21st century Britain. What was it like growing up for you, especially coming from Nigeria? Femi: It was alright. It was a major shift and at first the kids would tease me about my accent but I eventually adjusted. I went to a boys school called St. Aloysius Secondary School. That was a defining experience and thankfully I got As/A* at GCSE and went on to do 4 A levels and managed to study law at one of the best universities in the world (LSE). Growing up in a North London Council Estate could have been detrimental to my progression but I knew that I wanted to be successful. One of the potential means of achieving that was striving for excellence at school. NT: Do you still identify with Nigeria? Femi: Most definitely. That’s who I am. Most
“two hit movies under his belt” 44 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 44-45
of my family still live in Nigeria so I definitely identify with Nigeria. NT: You are obviously making a name for yourself in the British movie industry, but what do you think of Nollywood and does it figure in any of your plans ? Femi: I’m waiting for that Nollywood phone call! NT: Tell us a bit about your other passion, music? Femi: I record under the moniker Blazay. First and foremost check out www.blazay.com for my blogs, my music video, and much more. That details everything about my music and the more people support it the more I know I’m doing big things. Leave your comments and send me messages. It’s basically the best way to contact me. Whilst at secondary school I
Femi: Hopefully God opens up more and more avenues for me. You never know what’s round the corner. If you told me when I was 16 that I would have made 2 movies before I turned 21 then I would have called you a liar; so it’s all in God’s hands. NT: What advice would you give up and coming young performers, based on your experience? Femi: I don’t have a manual or formula but I know hard work pays off. Hard work is the catalyst to all the great things achieved in this world. NT: What’s next? Femi: God knows better than I do. A Blazay album. More movie, theatre and television roles. Hollywood! Nollywood! Bollywood! Bring it on!
6/24/08 7:09:28 PM
“Gongo Aso has made a name for him as top African artiste” There is also Ati jelo which featured Pasuma Wonder. In a rather ironic twist, Pasuma was not singing in Yoruba, but rapping. Wonders shall never end one may say.
9ice Gongo Aso This album was a joy to listen to. 9ice, real name Abolore Akande, has a “voice depth” unlike many local singers. In his latest album “9ice-Gongo Aso”, 9ice’s voice is very distinct, a feature that first got him noticed on the Ruggedman album “Ruggedy Baba”. In Gongo Aso, the title track, 9ice not only showed this quality, but displayed an endless flow of music skills which only a person who is naturally gifted can possess. His rich sonorous voice is backed by good instrumentation with heavy percussion that only a dead man could afford not to nod and sway to. And then what many have seen as the most distinctive asset of 9ice, the deep grasp of his native tongue comes to the fore. His deep and rich command of Yoruba would make anyone think it was back to ‘old school’ but with the infusion of the street slang showed where he is coming from.. All put together the result is a monster hit that no one seems to get tired of. It has relegated
46 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 46-47
top songs like Olu Maintain’s Yahoozee and and X-Project’s Lori Le to the background. The album opens with Kinda Life, which is a display of 9ice’s language dexterity and unique sonorous voice. It was an admixture of pidgin English and Yoruba language. The song has a predilection towards R and B. It puts one in mood good enough to want to have more from the same stable. Then what followed is an Afro hip-hop remix of King Sunny Ade’s Pamurogo. Street Credibility, a duet with Tuface Idibia is a another good track to listen to. Bachelor’s Life featured Reminisce, XP and Six O.
“His rich sonorous voice is backed by good instrumentation with heavy percussion”
Other tracks such as Wedding Day, Photocopy, Jule, Party Rider are all tracks that lovers of music especially dance hall music would be at home with. Born January 17th, 1980 as Abolore Akande, 9ice, who many close friends described as really nice, is currently riding on the crest of musical popularity. At the age of fourteen, the artiste whose father wanted him to read law in the university, started music, writing and composing songs. He later formed a boy band and released a demo. In 2000 he embarked on a solo career and released his freshman album The Certificate. While his freshman’s album made people take notice of his, his latest album, Gongo Aso has made a name for him as top African artiste. No wonder the awards are rolling in. To rate and comment on this album review, as well as submit your own visit www.naija-times.com/albumreview
6/24/08 7:09:31 PM
Mr. Fine Boy
blog little things he does.” Me I was bored outta my mind but I no wan eff up the chances of booty now, ah ah! So I played along o.
Mr Fine Boy’s Tonic from the www.naijafineboy.blogspot.com
I’ve been having an amazing holiday o. I
hadn’t been back to the States since I moved to England, and I’ve fallen in love with this place all over again. In fact I wonder how I survived in London for a year. Enjoyment dey Yankee, kai! I’ve spent a couple of weeks in my old city just reliving my college days. These Yankee babes no fit change. Lord have mercy. I don’t know if it’s the food or the weather, but God definitely spent extra time on these girls men. I’ve been getting my Denzel on HARD over here o, in fact I wish I could give you the full gist but this is a PG blog.
friday out here, let’s call her Giselle. Correct looking babe o, she looked kinda like a black Giselle Bundchen. No lie. We had a couple of phone conversations and hooked up one sunday night to get dinner. All through the date, the babe just kept on talking about her baby Roscoe. Roscoe this. Roscoe that. Roscoe’s so cute. He’s so smart, he’s so discerning, I love him. Blah blah blah. Ask me who Roscoe be o? Her dog. I said na wa. I just kept nodding my head like I was really interested in the mutt. She now told me that she broke up with her last boyfriend because the guy didn’t respect Roscoe. Chei. I wasn’t about to act like I didn’t send the dog o. Na so I begin ask questions. “How old is Rossy?”
Before you start talking long story, Fineboy is single at the moment o. So allow me. AND NO QUESTIONS PLEASE! Gbe boruns. But on the real, I understand why people stick with one partner for years and years. The number of weres that you meet when you’re dating eh? Kai. I met some chick on my first
48 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 48-49
“What’s his favorite game?” “Does he do tricks?” The babe was getting excited o. She was really describing the dog and all the “funny
She said, “We should hang out at my crib tomorrow. So Roscoe and Princess can get used to having a man around the house. I think you’re gonna be their new daddy.”
everywhere. Na wa o. I thought to myself “E be like say na this one and dog go dey sleep on top bed.” The female one just appeared from nowhere and landed on my lap, wagging its tail like crazy. See disrespect. My first instinct was to slap this rat-lookalike off my lap, but the chick sat down next to me, smiling.
“Aww, how sweet. She likes you.”
Na your own papa go be dog daddy. I didn’t say that o. I just smiled and said, “Oh of course.”
I was cringing men. E be like say the dog dey smell sef. The dog now started coming closer to me, licking and all sorts. Ah ah! This dog no fear sha.
Kai, things we do for yansh.
“She wants a kiss.”
I drove up to her apartment the following night. The whole time I was thinking she’d have the dogs leashed on her patio or balcony or something. Men, not so o. These two little devil animals were running up and down her apartment. When she opened the door, I was stunned. They were tiny! I don’t know if I missed the part when she said they were Chihuahuas, but these things were ugly as hell.
From who? E no go better for dog and owner men.
Na so I siddon on top couch o. See dog hair
Ah ah! I was just imagining this happening in Nige. Them never born any dog to come and be standing on it’s oga’s lap. The slap wey e go chop ehn? I kept trying to avoid the thing’s tongue, I swear it was just licking my hand and everything. I wan throw up men. When Giselle got up to go get something from her bedroom, if you see the way I threw the dog off me ehn? Americans don crase.
6/24/08 7:09:38 PM
We ended up ordering pizza, and when it came, na so the dogs begin dey dance o. Wagging their tails and everything. I was thinking in my head, “Why are these ones celebrating? You’re not getting shishi out of this grub men.” Giselle put the pizza on the center table and opened the box and omo, both dogs just jumped on the couch and started staring at the box. Ah ah. Me I quickly pulled out a big slice and bit into it, because I wan make sure say I chop at least one before one of these ugly bingos begin put tongue on top my pizza. Giselle- No baby, you can’t have the crust. Okay here’s a piece of beef. She took off a chunk of ground beef and put it in Princess’ mouth. The dog took it and licked her finger. This girl took that same hand and rubbed it on the couch! Yeeeee! I couldn’t believe it. Roscoe started standing upright on its hind legs begging for grub too. She took off another piece and put it into his mouth, then she licked her finger. Jesus Christ! God forbid say I go kiss this one. Emi ko. Not me.
I kicked the mutt away from the box. It yelped and came back. I gave it another nice Jackie Chan kick and it rolled to the side of the sofa. Bastard dog. My people, please don’t think I’m cruel to animals o. In fact I love dogs, but these ones no get respect men. When Giselle came back, the dog started barking loudly. I didn’t even answer the were, I just kept on chopping my pizza. Giselle- Aww, what’s wrong Ros? You know you can’t eat the crust because of the gluten. Okay here’s a piece of beef baby. I looked at her. In my mind, I was just thinking, “Plus you o, plus your dogs o, all of you don crase.” Who talks to dogs like they’re human beings? Come dey explain diet for them again. Me- Why can’t they eat the crust? Giselle- Because gluten’s bad for dogs’ digestive systems. They can’t eat bread. Me- All dogs? Giselle- Yeah. Dogs don’t eat bread.
The babe left the room to answer her phone one time and I saw that Roscoe dog going towards the box. Me- Kai! Kurombe! Roscoe- Growl Me (whispering)- My friend gerraway from there!!!
Mumu. My dogs in Nige dey chop bread, egg, yam, stew, anything. In fact I remember one dog that Akinzo had like that, Muritala. This dog used to eat cake with icing. I swear. Men, when we finished the pizza, I noticed that the chick didn’t even wash her hands. She now wanted to be hugging me and kissing on me. See the way I exited the place ehn? Nonsense.
Roscoe- Grrrr..... Me (whispering)- You’re growling at me. You think you can fight me?
50 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 50-51
6/24/08 7:09:43 PM
Webfile Naija Times Site To Watch:
a map with business descriptions of shops in the computer village, is a website that every Village first timer, and regulars, needs to visit before making a trip. It provides the locations of the Village’s best shops and some other information that would help in making a successful buy. It also divides the shops into speciality-based categories, with sections like computer sales and accessories; computer repairs; laptop sales; laptop repairs; songs and software downloads; networking; security systems and others.
Other Sites Worth A Visit: www.villageyell.com
PureFoto Picture Gallery www.purefoto.com
For a first timer, Nigeria and West Africa’s biggest computer and associated accessories market, the Computer Village, is always a huge maze; a beehive of trade, confusion and babblers.
Sturvs Social Bookmarking www.sturvs.com
Walk into any of the five streets that make up this market, which is located in the heart of Ikeja, one of Lagos’ top commercial hubs, and you are sure to be mobbed by chattering canvassers and touts bent on ensuring that you buy that personal computer, ink cartridge or webcam from a shop they will recommend. Touts, in particular, are always on the prowl for first timers who often end up with poorly cloned computers and fake accessories. Villageyell.com, an online business directory with loads of addresses, phone numbers and
52 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 52-53
Bellanaija Fashion/Lifestyle Blog www.bellanaija.blogspot.com Point Blank News Breaking news and views www.pointblanknews.com Apprentice Africa TV Show www.theapprenticeafrica.com Naija Jams Music Blog www.naijajams.com
BQM Consulting is a multi-disciplined management consultancy, based out of Bristol, UK. Specialising in a range of disciplines from business strategy to leadership development, BQM Consulting also boasts of a range of public and private sector clients of various sizes in the UK. The company describes its culture as one that delivers uncompromising value, excellence and integrity. Its founder and managing director Jimi Ogunnusi describes himself as a hybrid Leader - a strategist, motivator, enforcer, technocrat and an entrepreneur all rolled into one. For further information on BQM Consulting visit www. bqmconsulting.com, and for a free consultancy paper “Effectively Empowering Your Business”, email firstname.lastname@example.org BQM Consulting’s telephone number is +44(0)117 917 5217. “If you have an interesting business you believe we should feature, or would like to be included in the IndustryFile, please send a brief email describing your business including the relevant contact details to email@example.com.
“uncompromising value, excellence and integrity”
6/24/08 7:09:48 PM
May Foods African Foods 16C Market Row, Brixton, London. 07863309258
Sinto & Biggie Afro/European Hairstylists 721 Old Kent Road, London. 020 76357340, 07984385090
Domemerit Store General Goods Store 396 Cold Harbour Lane, Brixton, London 02077372958
Barber D’s Barbershop and Internet Café 4 Manor Park Parade, Lee High Road, Lewisham 07939933757
Park ‘N’ Shop General Goods Store Eleganza Plaza Libra Block 1 Commercial Rd Apapa. 01 4975046
Naturally Nice Beauty Salon 21 Rushcroft Road, Brixton 02077338891
Blacker Dread Music Store 406 Cold Harbour Lane, Brixton 02072475095, 07956946495
Beautiful Gate Unisex Salon Beauty Salon Shop A3, Falomo Shopping Complex, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos 01 2682617
Atlantic Bar & Restaurant Restaurant and Bar 14B Adeola Hopewell Street, Victoria Island, Lagos 01 2610584, 0802-3271564
Bliss Kolection Fashion and Accessories Shop 8, 12-13, Alade Market, Allen Avenue, Ikeja Lagos 01 4976805
Katch A Fire Restaurant and Bar 64-68 Atlantic Road, Brixton, London. 07904280733
Fay Fashion Design and Tailoring 52 Granville Arcade, Brixton, London 07828419894
Ayus Restaurant Resturant 2 Ibiyinka Olorunimbe Close, Off Bishop Oluwole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos 08033162543
54 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 54-55
6/24/08 7:09:49 PM
56 Naija-Times-Issue2-redo5.indd 56
6/24/08 7:09:50 PM