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    AU Calls for AFRIMA Hosting Bids from Nigeria, South Africa

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    Following its successful outing in Senegal last year, the African Union Commission (AUC) has officially invited the governments of Nigeria and South Africa to take advantage of the hosting rights benefits of the next two editions of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA).

    In a letter signed by the AUC’s Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs, and Social Development, Her Excellency, Ambassador Minata Samate Cessouma, the AU said the call aligns with its policies for the strategic transformation of Africa through social integration, as outlined in AU Agenda 2063, the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance, and the AU Plan for Action on Cultural and Creative Industry.

    The AU describes AFRIMA as a global platform for celebrating and developing Africa’s diverse musical talents and cultural heritage, highlighting the significant opportunities hosting the prestigious awards presents for the selected host country

    “Since 2014, the African Union has been partnering and working successfully with AFRIMA to develop, celebrate and promote African music globally for the purpose of integration/inclusivity, economic prosperity and world peace via its seven core pillars: (1) Music Awards, (2) Music Festivals; (3) AFRIMA creative Academy; (4) Talent Discovery and Promotions; (5) Music Business Hub; (6) Advocacy; (7) Advisory and Policy Debates,” the letter reads.

    “AFRIMA is the biggest and longest running music award and platform in Africa, with a huge global appeal, diaspora audience, and youthful fans. The main events of AFRIMA are usually broadcast live to over 84 countries around the world after a continental and global road show, with thousands of music artists, actors, celebrities, members of the diplomatic corps, professionals in the creative space, tourists, media and fans from all over the world converging on the host country.”

    The hosting rights of AFRIMA are usually bestowed on a country that shows capacity and commitment to meet up with the requirements and conditions. Should Nigeria accept to host AFRIMA, “it stands a promising chance in elevating the country’s positive global presence, bolstering artistic, tourism and economic growth, fostering cultural exchange and job creation, and reinforcing a positive perception of our continent’s rich cultural heritage on a global scale,” reads a copy of the letter received by the Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, on behalf of the Nigerian government.

    The Acting Director for Social Development, Culture, and Sports Division, African Union Commission, Ms. Angela Martins confirmed the invitation and request to bid for the hosting rights extended to the two countries, urging the respective governments to seize the opportunity to strengthen intra-African collaboration (in line with AFCTA) within the music industry and enhance their international visibility positively.

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    Culture

    Renaming National Theatre after Soyinka a fitting recognition – NFVCB DG

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    Renaming National Theatre after Soyinka a fitting recognition – NFVCB DG

    The Director-General of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Shuaibu Hussaini, has commended President Bola Tinubu for renaming the National Arts Theatre in Lagos, after Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka.

    Hussaini, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, described the development as “the kind of recognition one will wish for a giant like Wole Soyinka”.

    Akonitv that the President disclosed this in a tribute personally written and signed by him on Friday in Abuja, to mark Soyinka’s 90th birthday.

    The President renamed the National Theatre as Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.

    It read: “Professor Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Literature Prize in 1986, deserves all the accolades as he marks the milestone of 90 years on earth.

    “Having beaten prostate cancer, this milestone is a fitting testament to his ruggedness as a person and the significance of his work.

    “It is also fitting we celebrate this national treasure while he is still with us.

    “I am, accordingly, delighted to announce the decision of the Federal Government to rename the National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, as the Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.”

    Hussaini commended the President for his interest and passion for the arts.

    “It takes somebody who is passionate to remember that this kind of man needs to be recognised with this kind of iconic structure like the National Theatre.

    “It is a welcome development. I am happy because there is nothing you want to name after Soyinka that will be enough compared to what he has done in the literary world.

    “So, this is a fantastic news and welcome development. It is also the President’s interest that made him create a separate ministry for arts, culture, and creative economy because culture has always been an appendage of the Ministry of Information.

    “For us in the arts, this is a fitting reward and recognition for the great feat that Wole Soyinka has achieved, not just for himself, but for Nigeria and Africa as a whole,” Hussaini said.

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    Events

    HMCA 2024 to gather Tourism Minister, 400 African hoteliers, 15 African countries in Lagos

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    HMCA 2024 to gather Tourism Minister, 400 African hoteliers, 15 African countries in Lagos

    The stage is set this week for the opening of this year’s annual Hotel Managers and Conference and Awards (HMCA) 2024, with Lola Ade-John, Nigerian Tourism Minister, leading delegates from over 15 African countries and 400 participants across Nigeria to Lagos for the hospitality industry gathering.

    It will be held from July 13 -14, 2024 at the Lagos Continental Hotel, with the theme; Innovative Strategies: Nurturing Resilience and Excellence in Guest Experience in African Hospitality.

    Ade-John is the chief host and is expected to deliver an address to the August gathering on Nigeria’s agenda for the industry, while over 400 participants from across Nigeria are signed up for the two-day gathering. For the first time, the event will attract delegates from African countries with over 15 countries registered for the event.

    The countries include; Kenya, Botswana, Uganda, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, and Rwanda. Also, attending the event are delegates from the United Kingdom.

    It is the sixth edition of the yearly conference convened by Olugbenga Omotayo Sunday, director general, Hotel Managers Conference – Africa.

    According to Sunday, ‘‘The Hotel Managers Conference and Awards was envisioned for hotel managers in Africa for skills upgrade, networking and hotel job opportunities.

    ‘‘It recognises the important roles hotel staff play in sustaining standards in Africa and globally. Hence, the conference seeks to upgrade hotel business operations in Nigeria and Africa to match what is obtainable in other hotels internationally.’’

    “Our core focus is building capacities in the human resources across hospitality brands in Africa both international and Indigenous brands, in administration and general operations standards.’’

    On the choice of the theme for this year, Sunday, who is also lead consultant at Tojum Hospitality, noted, “In the dynamic landscape of hospitality, innovation becomes the cornerstone for fostering resilience and achieving excellence in guest experience. This conference will unravel groundbreaking strategies that go beyond conventional approaches.

    ‘‘From harnessing cutting-edge technologies to cultivating a resilient mindset, attendees will explore how innovation becomes the catalyst for elevating guest experiences to unprecedented levels.’’

    Some of the speakers expected at the conference’s panel sessions include; Karl Hala, group general manager, Continental Hotels in Nigeria; Olufemi Abayomi, CEO/founder, Nethermentor, regional chairman, Institute of Hospitality (UK) Nigeria Region; Lydia Akuna, lecturer, Department of Hotel and Hospitality Management, Moi University-Eldoret, Kenya; Michael Pinder, general manager, JS Signature Hotel, Port Harcourt; Ekene Nnabuihe, group chief executive officer, Boulevard Hotel Group Lagos; Justina Ovat, national president, Women In Hospitality Nigeria; Molly Apion, chairperson, Hotel General Manager’s Association, Uganda and general manager, Arch Apartments and Hotel, Uganda; and Amir M. Adamu, founder and executive director, Hospitality Innovation and Leadership Forum, Cameroon.

    The conference, which will climax with the Hotel Managers Awards Night, on the second day of the event, has as headline sponsor; LG Electronics Nigeria and idsnext as co-headline sponsor as well while other sponsors include; Lagos Continental, Providus Bank, Radisson Hotel Group, Wakanow, Old English, BusyRooms, Nigerian Bottling Company, Ikogosi Resorts, Presken Hotels Group, Eko Hotels and Suites and Bizedge.

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    Events

    Afropolis, a 9 day cultural event set to hold in Lagos

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    Afropolis, a 9 day cultural event set to hold in Lagos

    In partnership with a dance company, Q Dance, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture would be staging a cultural event tagged:”Afropolis” which would run for 9 days at Onikan, Lagos Island.

    According to the lead organiser of the event and brain behind Q Dance, Qudus Onikeku, at a town hall meeting held at J.Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History, Onikan, on Wednesday, 10th July 2024, the event which would be running between October 26th and November 3rd, would be a world-class cultural event that would showcase talents, ideas and creativity in which technology would also play a key role.

    Speaking further, Onikeku explained that his Q Dance Company is a pre-eminent creative agency that uses dance, music and creativity as capacities for human development, operating as a community centre in Lagos, Nigeria. And it, therefore, was not a surprise that Onikeku could come up with such a concept like Afropolis in collaboration with the Lagos State Government.

    Explaining the concept of Afropolis further, Onikeku said, ” it is proposing an Afrocentric technocultural approach for future making, through collaboration between emerging technologies and emerging artists, who perceive technology not as a solution but as a tool for understanding and imagining a balanced future.”

    And on collaborating with the Lagos State Government on the project, Onikeku rationalised that, ” sincerely, this is an idea and project that we cannot execute alone due to the huge financial implications. I appreciate Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu, through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture for being a partner. This indicates a government that is ready to support the youths and help them grow.”

    In her keynote address towards the tail end of the town hall meeting, the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, emphasised that, “Afropolis is not just an event; it is a celebration of our rich cultural heritage, creativity, and innovation. It is a platform where African creatives can come together to showcase their talents, exchange ideas, and collaborate on groundbreaking projects. This festival is a testament to the vibrant and dynamic spirit of our continent.”

    Speaking further, the elegant Commissioner asserted that, “Lagos, as the host city, is proud to be at the forefront of this cultural revolution. Our city is renowned as the largest black cultural melting pot in the world, and we continue to lead in various creative sectors such as music, fashion, gaming, tech, design, film, dance, AI, and research. Our young talents are making significant strides on the global stage, and events like Afropolis provide them with the visibility and opportunities they deserve.

    “Over the past few years, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture has been committed to supporting and nurturing our creative industries. We have made significant investments in infrastructure, such as renovating key cultural sites and establishing new venues for arts and performances. These efforts ensure that our artists have the platforms they need to thrive.

    “The essence of AFROPOLIS lies in its ability to bring together a diverse array of creative minds. Imagine the vibrant fusion of traditional and modern expressions that will be on display, from indigenous crafts to cutting-edge digital art. This melting pot of ideas and talents promises to be an unforgettable experience for both participants and attendees.

    “As we gather here today, it is also important to reflect on the historical significance of Onikan. This area has long been a cultural hub, and hosting Afropolis here is a fitting tribute to its legacy. The J.Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History, in particular, stands as a beacon of our rich heritage and offers the perfect backdrop for this celebration.” She explained.

    There was a question and answer session before the town hall meeting moderated by popular stand-up comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka, came to a close.

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