The Ben Enwonwu Foundation: Point of View

The Ben Enwonwu Foundation in collaboration with the Society of Nigerian Artists and supported by Alliance Française /Mike Adenuga Centre Lagos, will on November 22, 2019 present the third edition of its monthly series talks Point of View. It will hold at Alliance Française/Mike Adenuga Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Drawing from other creative disciplines and experiences to take a broad helicopter view of the art scene in Nigeria and Africa, Point of View aims to encourage support and funding for the visual arts through public and private sector partnership while ensuring continuing artist’s professional development and empowerment.

Conceived as a collaborative platform, the third edition of Point of View titled Museums, Tourism and Urban Development will address key issues, trends and challenges in Nigeria’s cultural tourism sector.

Leading architects will share their insights on the most innovative construction and design trends, using completed, on-going and upcoming projects as examples. In addition, museum specialists will shed light on improving museum experiences, preservation and conservation activities, as well as the challenges they face while government authorities will highlight investment opportunities and speak on museum development and destination marketing.

Speakers are; Jumoke Adenowo, Principal, A.D. Consulting will present on Elements of an African Museum; Seun Oduwole, Principal Architect SI.SA, who will talk about the J.K. Randle Centre for Yoruba History & Culture, Pool & Arcade: A Case for Tourism and Destination Marketing; and Jess Castellote, Director, Yemisi Shyllon Museum at the Pan Atlantic University, who will speak on Yemisi Shyllon Museum: A Study in Innovation, Latest Construction and Design Trends.

The theme of the panel session is The Cultural Tourism Sector: Funding, Visitor Experiences & Technology. Panellists for the evening are; Aderenle Sonariwo, Consultant to the Ogun State Government on Arts, Culture and Tourism, and founder, Rele Gallery, Lagos; Tosin Oshinowo, Director, cmDesign Atelier (cmD+A) and Omotayo Adeboye, Curator, National Museum, Lagos. Jumoke Adenowo will moderate the session.

This event is supported by Business Day, Hundids Magazine, Connect Nigeria, WildFlower PR, Society of Nigerian Artists, The Sole Adventurer, Onobello and Omenka.

ILLBLISS AND WIFE SHARE THEIR EMOTIONAL JOURNEY OF 7 YEARS OF CHILDLESSNESS ON MERCY’S MENU EPISODE 7

One of Nigeria’s finest rappers and musician, Illbliss and his wife, shared the story of their journey towards getting a child on Mercy Johnson Okojie’s kitchen talk show ‘Mercy’s Menu’.

According to Munachi, the wife of rapper Illbliss, “At a point, I had to ask him, are you sure you want this? I felt the pressure more during my pregnancy that during the moments I was without a child”.

Watch video here

The couple, who are currently married for 10 years, said that for 7 years, they were without a child and they advised couples that tests should not be only for the woman, but the man as well. “You must be there (be her support system), and then you have to approach God as one team, as one family”, Illbliss said.

Speaking on the challenges with In-laws, Munachi explained that she was lucky to have a good mother-in-law who was understanding and supported her during the years. She is now a proud mother of a beautiful baby girl.

Mercy’s Menu is a kitchen talk show by award-winning actress Mercy Johnson Okojie where she cooks and talks to different guests about life issues over a pot of food. Mercy’s Menu airs every Saturdays on Africa Magic Showcase by 5.30pm (WAT).

LOLO TALKS LOVE, MARRIAGE AND BEING A SINGLE MUM IN EPISODE 6 OF MERCY’S MENU

In the latest episode of Mercy Johnson Okojie’s kitchen show, Mercy’s Menu, Omotunde Adebowale David, popularly known by her on air personality name Lolo1 and her role in Jenifa’s Diaries as Adaku, shared her opinion on marriage, love and domestic violence.

She said this while making the “Black Soup”, a food popular to the Uromi people where Mercy Johnson Okojie’s husband hails from. The actress told the host that she “would not describe marriage as hard, I would rather describe it as challenging, because when you have challenges you can work on it and surmount it; you have your victories and failures”.

Watch episode here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNxi1B0HQME

The mum of four who is a divorcee explained that her life revolves around her children, she advised young girls going into the institution to “know yourself and shine your eyes. Marriage is like a school you never graduate from”, she explained. She also stated that being a single mum was challenging and spoke about domestic violence and other issues.

Mercy’s Menu is a kitchen talk show by award-winning actress Mercy Johnson Okojie where she cooks and talks to different guests about life issues over a pot of food. Mercy’s Menu airs every Saturdays on Africa Magic Showcase by 5.30pm.

WOMEN TAKE THE LEAD ON DAY 2 OF THE US CONSULATE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL

It was a day of intense emotions, crying, laughing and sharing of different experiences as different groups of people especially women came out to share their stories on body shaming, mental illness, the need for inclusion of all people, and human trafficking on the second day of the US Consulate Documentary Film Festival which held on the 20th of August 2019 at the Silverbird Cinemas in Lagos.

The women who were the major players in the discussions for the day had a lot of emotionally filled messages and insightful discussions to relay to the audiences. The stories ranged from loving your body no matter the size and shape in Jenny Macquire’s documentary film, ‘Straight/Curve’, to human trafficking and child abuse in Mary Mazzio’s documentary film, ‘I am Jane Doe’.

The first screening of the day was Jenny Macquire’s documentary film, ‘Straight/Curve’, immediately followed by a panel session featuring Dija, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Jane Michael Ekanem, Alice Kingsley, Matthew Gordon, hosted by Latasha Ngwube. The all women and one man panel discussed issues of mental health and how the stereotypes about body sizes affected each individual especially women. An awareness was created about the need for designers and Africans to love all shapes no matter what size and to create the appropriate clothing for all sizes so that whether you’re big or skinny, you can fit in to the fashionable world without fear or shame.

The second screening of the day was Mary Mazzio’s documentary film, ‘I am Jane Doe’, immediately followed by a panel session featuring Mary Mazzio, who joined in via Skype, Comfort Sanni, Tobore Ovuorie, Chioma Afe, Mary Joseph hosted by Kemi DaSilva-Ibru. The panel was very emotional as the women discussed issues of human trafficking, rape, murder and child abuse especially as it affects women in the society. Two women shared their stories of their experience in the hands of traffickers and how the trauma had affected them such that it had a lasting effect. The message passed was that the traffickers may come in disguise and promise all sorts of bogus claims to get people to leave the comfort of their homes to travel for a better life; however what is out there may be worse and can lead to severe suffering or even death. It was decided that there is a need to continue the conversation and the Nigerian government was called upon to intervene and help aid in preventing the prevalence.

The film festival runs from the 19th to the 22nd of August at the SIlverbird Cinemas in Victoria Island, Lagos. It is presented in partnership with Ascend studios and supported by MTV Base, WARIF, IMagneto Dance company and WildFlower PR.

US CONSULATE KICKS OFF INAUGURAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL IN LAGOS

The US Consulate in Nigeria launched its inaugural 4-day Documentary Film Festival from the 19th to the 22nd of August 2019 in Lagos. The festival brings award-winning contemporary American documentaries, independent narrative films, and storytelling know-how to its audiences in order to highlight the value of film in fostering understanding and cooperation.

Declaring the event open, the US Consulate Public Affairs Officer Russell Brooks stated, “Film offers a powerful tool for people to people engagement. We hope that these films help us to recognize that what we share in common is so much stronger than that which attempts to divide us.”

The first screening of the festival was Robin Hauser’s documentary film, ‘Bias’, immediately followed by a panel session featuring Debola Williams and Dr Maymunah Kadiri-Yusuf hosted by ‘Oma Areh.


Dr Maymunah Kadiri-Yusuf , Debola Williams and ‘Oma Areh

Speaking on the event, the festival director, Inya Lawal, said, “We are excited to bring this to Lagos. “These stories all have elements of social familiarity across different cultures from the USA to Nigeria.  The audience should expect to laugh, cry, be moved and get motivated from the exceptional stories these films will tell” she added.

The inaugural launch had in attendance, media partners as well as prominent guests including Debola Williams, Group CEO Red Africa; Dr Kemi Dasilva-Ibru, Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), Dr Maymunah Kadiri-Yusuf, founder of Pinnacle Medical Services Limited; Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Nigerian Film Maker and Managing Director of Brickwall Communications Limited; Chef Fregz, Nike Majekodunmi and a host of others.

The film festival runs from the 19th to the 22nd of August at the SIlverbird Cinemas in Victoria Island, Lagos. It is presented in partnership with Ascend studios and supported by MTV Base, WARIF, IMagneto Dance company and WildFlower PR.

WOULD YOU STAY IF YOUR HUSBAND CHEATS? OMAWUMI DISCUSSES MARRIAGE, IN-LAWS AND HER OUTSTANDING CAREER IN EPISODE 4 OF MERCY’S MENU

Award winning singer, Omawumi, revealed that she was not going to leave her home if her husband cheats on her, in the recent episode of Mercy Johnson Okojie’s kitchen talk show, Mercy’s Menu.

The musician made this known while cooking a delicious meal of “Ukodo” and discussing with Mercy Johnson Okojie about marriage and the issues concerning the institution. “I can’t leave because of one error”, she exclaimed.

When asked if she would prefer if her in-laws tell her about her cheating spouse or educate her partner, she explained emphatically, “They have to educate him about cheating, because if they tell me, I will kill him”

Watch Episode here

Omawumi who has been married for 5 years revealed to Mercy Johnson Okojie that she had issues with communicating in the past and she has since then learnt how to overcome it. The star further stated about cheating “You will not want me to cheat on you, so why would you cheat on me? Because if you cheat on me again, you can be sure that I will cheat on you”.

Omawumi recently launched a PR firm, Hermanes Media, with partner Waje, following their foray into movie production. The singer spoke about her career and business on this episode of Mercy’s Menu.

Mercy’s Menu is a kitchen talk show by award-winning actress Mercy Johnson Okojie where she cooks and talks to different guests about life issues over a pot of food. Mercy’s Menu airs every Saturdays on Africa Magic Showcase by 5.30pm.

“Because I am female, I am seen as a Weaker Person”, Maraji talks feminism, Instagram and food on Episode 3 of Mercy’s Menu

Instagram Influencer and Comedian, Gloria Oloruntobi, popularly known as Maraji, in episode 3 of Mercy Johnson Okojie’s Kitchen talk show, Mercy’s Menu, talked about her career as an influencer, her opinion on feminism amidst cooking with the Nollywood actress.  

The 23 year old influencer emphasized the need to be seen as an “Influencer” first before being tagged as a “female”. She explains, “A lot of people feel like feminist are fighters but I feel that feminism is all about fighting for equality… just because I am female, I am seen as a weaker person, I am not! I am actually equally as strong as a man. I am an influencer before you see me as a ‘female’”.

Watch episode hereh   

Mercy’s Menu Season 1 Episode 3

While speaking on her job as an Instagram influencer, Maraji revealed that “I always used to think that I will have a lot of trouble picking a talent that I will settle on, but I realized that I could do that. With technology and social media, I can create different personalities and creativities, just put them into different people.”

Maraji thrilled fans with her jovial personality while cooking ‘Rivers Native soup’ with Mercy Johnson Okojie. There were so many educative and funny moments where the two stars showed their fans how interesting their personalities are; from Mercy Johnson Okojie teaching Maraji how to add fish in the pot in a romantic manner, to Mercy showing Maraji how to suck out a periwinkle, the episode was indeed an exciting one.

“DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS” – CHIGUL DISCUSSES COPING WITH CHRONIC PAIN IN MERCY JOHNSON’S DEBUT EPISODE OF MERCY’S MENU

Popular comedienne and actor, Chioma Omeruah also known as Chigul has revealed that she has been living with a chronic pain condition for while during the course of her work. She made this known in the first episode of Mercy Johnson Okojie’s kitchen talk show ‘Mercy’s Menu’ while preparing a sumptuous meal of ‘Banga Jollof rice’ with the movie star.

The funny woman spoke about her daily struggle with chronic pain, explaining that she has been taking medication to help cope with it. She encouraged people who are also going through the struggle,  “Don’t just look at the glory, also look at the story, maybe you might want to stay in your lane … don’t be afraid to allow yourself to dream, don’t settle for less, let the reality live in your head and let your life catch up to it.”

It was also a hilarious episode with Mercy Johnson and her guest sampling the different names for food items and ingredients.

Watch the full Episode here

Mercy Johnson Okojie launched the first season of her kitchen talk show “Mercy’s Menu” where she invites different celebrities as well as her fans to her kitchen to discuss issues that affect each individual. The show which launched on July 20, 2019 airs every Saturday at 5.30pm on Africa Magic Showcase.

Tips For Handling Negative PR

RSooner or later everyone has to deal with negative publicity, perhaps a competition releases or sponsors a negative report or an angry customer releases a bad review about your business. The popular saying goes “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”, but we know that negative publicity not properly handled can adversely affect anyone or business. It is vital to handle bad press with poise so it doesn’t spiral out of control and when handled properly you can turn it around for your benefit.

Here are three (3) effective tips in handling negative publicity:

1.  Be honest and welcome feedback:

Where there has been a misdoing, acknowledge the error, apologise or restitute where necessary and welcome the opinion of others. It helps to take a reconciliatory approach as this also helps connect with your audience and rebuild trust.

2. Respond, don’t react:

Reshape and refocus the conversation by countering with good publicity. Drown out your detractors by releasing press statements, social media posts etc. that show your accomplishments. This helps to control the narrative in your favour.

3.  Fix the problem:

Trace the source of the issue and make the necessary decisions to address it. This also helps the public know that you are listening and can be trusted.

It is important to know that any brand can have a positive comeback from a negative press, the difference between those who do and those who do not is in how they handle and respond to it.

HOW TO MAXIMISE YOUR PRESS RELEASES.

A press release is an official statement given to the media to give information about an organisation’s official view or stand on a topic. Press releases have various uses, which range from correcting public information to getting people buzzed about a brand’s new direction and products etc. Press releases are important for any organisation serious about its public perception especially in the social media age where information spreads quickly and public opinion swings like a clock’s pendulum, an apt example would be GTB which recently released an official statement to clarify that they were not asked by the Supreme Court to pay an Automobile company any amount so as to correct an ongoing public rumour about the takeover of the bank.

In the past, brands have relied on print house and traditional media houses to pass across official information to the public, however, in the wake of social media the world has evolved to also using social media influencers and popular social media channels to also push press releases.

Here are tips for maximizing your press releases:

  • Use a catchy topic and introduction.

Your topic and lead paragraph should be interesting enough for the audience to want to read your statement and should also provide a “hook” for the journalist and contain information about the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, “why” and “how”.

  • Don’t bore your audience.

Studies show that people prefer to get information as concisely and accurately as possible, so keep your information short, simple and straight to the point. You could refer to this tip as the triple S.

  • Include a quote from the organization.

Make use of at least a quote from a top executive as this lends credibility and legitimacy to your release and this convinces the public of the legitimacy of the official document.

  • Make use of Social Media Influencers.

Influencers have a loyal following and this would help you reach their audience without much convincing needed. It is however vital to make sure the influencer’s brand story aligns perfectly with yours.

  • Honesty still sells.

There’s no substitute for truth. The audience has to trust that whatever comes from you can be depended on as accurate and factual, always.

Overall, keep evolving with the times and ensure that you stay relevant and in touch with innovative ways to reach your target audience.

Chimamanda Adichie joins Bill Clinton, Mother Teresa and Christiane Amanpour as the first African to address the Harvard University Day Speech 

Chimamanda Adichie joins Bill Clinton, Mother Teresa and Christiane Amanpour as the first African to address the Harvard University Day Speech 
 
 
 
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie just became the first African ever to deliver the Harvard University Class Day Speech which is a major feature of the university’s annual graduation events. Class Day speakers are selected by the students themselves.
Previous speakers include last year’s speaker, former US Vice President under President Obama, Joe Biden; former President Bill Clinton; Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mother Teresa; legendary music producer Quincy Jones; Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke; CNN Host Christiane Amampour; and Corretta Scott King, the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who delivered the very first Class Day speech in 1968 (Dr. King accepted the invitation before he was assassinated in April of that year, and his wife spoke in his place.)
Chimamanda’s speech on Wednesday at Harvard, included the importance of seeking to tell the truth in today’s world. She also spoke about while it is very important for people to be outraged, that it is crucial for one to understand the context in which an event took place or a statement was made- and the intent of the protagonist or speaker- before becoming offended or outraged. She exhorted the graduating students to be courageous in speaking the truth, as it may often mean that one is criticised for it, but that they will be able to gain true satisfaction from having maintained their integrity.
‘There is nothing more beautiful than to wake up every day holding in your hand the full measure of your integrity,’ she said. She received a standing ovation from the audience of approximately eight thousand people. 
Click the link below to watch full video 

Mercy Johnson Okojie Becomes Spokesperson For Mr. Chef Salt

Nollywood star Mercy Johnson Okojie has just signed an endorsement deal with Mr Chef Iodized salt as she becomes it’s brand ambassador. The event took place hours ago in Lagos.

Mercy Johnson Okojie took to her Instagram page to make the announcement.

“I’ve been teasing you for a few days I know…Say hello to the new brand ambassador for Mr Chef iodised salt!

We will be cooking up a storm very soon and I’ll be sharing all the delicious and healthy details!

I’m very excited about this new relationship with Mr Chef iodised salt and I can’t wait to tell you how using iodised salt has literally changed my life!”

This endorsement is the actress’ first for 2018.

Bringing The House Down! Laughs All Around as Potato Potahto Holds Star Studded Premiere in Nigeria

After several months of sold out, award winning screenings in some of the biggest film festivals across the globe, West African romantic comedy ‘Potato Potahto’ on the 16th of November held a star studded premiere at the IMAX cinema in Lekki.

In attendance were industry icons and a roll call of stars including Olu Jacobs, Mo Abudu, Biola Alabi, Kate Henshaw, Hilda Dokubo, Betty Irabor and others. They joined the film’s A list cast and crew including Shirley Frimpong Manso, Joselyn Dumas, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Lala Akindoju, Nikki Samonas and Inya Lawal. Other stars in attendance included Ufuoma Mc Dermott, Deyemi Okanlawon, Kunle Remi, Tope Tedela, Omoye Uzamere, Lilian Esoro, Ndidi Nwuneli and others.

The premiere was hosted by rising star actress Ade Laoye who opened the screening with a fun rendition of the Potato Potahto chorus off of ‘Louis Armstrong’s ‘Let’s Call it off.’ There were a lot of laughs at the end of the gripping romantic comedy.

Joke Silva who doubled as costar and producer also expressed her gratitude; “Nigeria finally gets to see our labour of love, I am incredibly grateful for the turnout and the strong support from our colleagues, friends and family, we hit the cinemas next!”

“I am thankful for the support of our amazing cast and crew and all our partners who believed in the vision and supported us in bringing our ideas to life, explained producer Inya Lawal. Thank you, thank you all! She added.

Directed by award winning Ghanaian film maker Shirley Frimpong- Manso; the film stars OC Ukeje, Joselyn Dumas, Joke Silva, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Chris Attoh, Lala Akindoju, Adjetey Anang, Victoria Michaels and Nikki Samonas. The movie tells the story of a divorced couple, whose plans to share their matrimonial home results in chaos after the husband, Tony, brings in an attractive female house help. When his ex-wife, Lulu, then hires an attractive young man to help her out, a roller coaster ride of laughter, jealousy and tears ensues.

Potato Potahto is a co-production of Ascend Studios, 19 April Entertainment Virgo Sun Ltd and Lufodo Productions . It hits Nigerian and South African cinemas on the 24th of November and makes its way to Ghanaian screens on the 30th of November.

Check out images from the Premiere below:[btx_gallery images=”1214,1215,1216,1217,1210,1219,1220,1223,1222,1225,1224,1218,1213″]Potato Potahto Lagos Premiere[/btx_gallery]

Potato Potahto Premieres at the Chelsea Film Festival |Bags 4 Awards at the Toronto Nollywood International Film Festival

Shirley Frimpong-Manso’s Potato Potahto, the first Nollywood film to ever premiere at the Chelsea Film Festival in New York, premiered on 21st October and had in attendance Shirley Frimpong-Manso, Ken Attoh, Joselyn Dumas and Nikki Samonas. 72 short films from 19 countries were screened at the 5th edition of the festival which was founded by Ingrid Jean-Baptiste.[btx_image image_id=”1198″ link=”/” position=”center”][/btx_image]

A day before this premiere, the movie bagged four awards at the inaugural edition of the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada. Awards received include Best Feature Film (Nollywood), Best Costume, Special jury awards for best actor (OC Ukeje) and Best Actress (Joselyn Dumas).

Potato Potahto tells the story of a divorced couple whose plans to share their matrimonial home results in chaos after the husband, Tony (OC Ukeje), brings in an attractive female house help. When his ex-wife, Lulu (Joselyn Dumas), then hires an attractive young man to help her out, a roller coaster ride of laughter, jealousy and tears ensues.

Already screened at five other international festivals, including the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and the Durban Urban Film Festival, Potato Potahto is a collaboration between Ascend Studios, 19 April Entertainment, Virgo Sun Ltd, Lufodo Productions and WB Entertainment.

The movie is set for release in Nigeria and South Africa on the 24th of November and Ghana on the 30th of November.[btx_gallery images=”1199,1201,1202,1203″]Insert gallery caption[/btx_gallery]

Tope Oshin’s Documentary ‘Nigeria: Shooting It Like A Woman’ To Air On BBC

Award-winning screen director Tope Oshin celebrates a new generation of Nigerian women film-makers who are currently reinventing Nollywood, the largest and most prolific film industry in Africa. She explores their distinctive approach to telling stories which aim to better represent women’s lives and aspirations in Nigeria today.

Tope pays tribute to the popular and inspirational film-maker Amaka Igwe, who died in 2014, and meets some of the key women now shaking up gender stereotypes and winning awards and audiences. These include the formidable and outspoken Mildred Okwo, director of the political satire The MeetingMichelle Bello, director of the hit romcom Flower GirlKemi Adetiba, who directed last year’s box office winner The Wedding Party; and Remi Vaughan Richards, whose drama Outspoken cast a searing spotlight on the issue of child brides.

The directors reflect on how women are succeeding in a male-dominated industry, despite the failure of the Nigerian parliament last year to pass the Gender Equality Bill which would give legal support for equal pay and equal rights for women in Nigeria.

The Documentary is a part of the 2017 season of BBC’s 100 Women. It will be aired on BBC World Service Radio between 11.30am – 12 Noon on Wednesday, 25th October

Also available to listen online and to download as a podcast from BBC iPlayer