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Ex-Big Brother Housemate, Tolanibaj, Speaks On Relocating To Nigeria5 minutes read

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Ex Big Brother Housemate, Tolanibaj, Speaks On Reason For Relocating To Nigeria

Tolani Shobajo aka Tolani Baj, and ex-Big Brother Najia housemate has spoken on her relocation to Lagos.

Born in the early 90s in Chicago, Illinois, U.S, Tolanibaj runs a modeling/event staffing agency called 234nextgen. She relocated to Nigeria in 2018 after finishing her studies in the US, before going into the Big Brother Naija house, she worked as an A&R. Some of the organisations she worked with include; Universal Music Group, Aristokrat Records, Tooxclusive, Pulsetv, among others.

In a recent interview, Tolani Baj disclosed that she had always dreamt about being a boss, and that dream can only be actualized in Nigeria because she has always had the gut feeling that that she would be great in Nigeria .
In her words, “I did not see myself building anything in America from start to finish. It was only Nigeria that I believed that if I want to have a house, I can build it myself, if I want to build a brand, its Nigeria that I can start from scratch and be somebody and I just always knew that it is Nigeria that I would become great. I got connected to people quickly, people ready to work with me, people ready to build something with me. So I’m just like I can come here, leverage on it and become someone successful so I took the chance, took the risk and here I am today.”

Explaining how she got into the entertainment industry, she said: “I would say showbiz started for me December 2016. That year, I made the many connections I have in the industry today. I took detty December more like a networking time. I would party with the coolest people, we’d vibe organically and viola! We become good friends. Energy is very important I always looked forward to December, from the beginning of the year soley to catch the next flight to lagos. I’m happier here because I have access to the resources that I need. That’s why I moved back home.”

Read also Big Brother Nigeria is Nigeria’s Most Effective PR Campaign

Tolani Baj has had her own fair share of controversies in the industry too. At age 21, she was arrested in the US for driving on a suspended license. She was also fired from Universal Music Group Nigeria for misconduct when she called out their apparent lack of direction.
Speaking on how A&R started for her, “I started consulting upcoming acts while in America via Instagram and email. I would A&R for free because I enjoyed it so much.

Then I developed a passion for presenting, I wasn’t able to secure a job in Nigeria because I needed to be on ground, so I decided to start a Youtube channel. This is where the era of Tolani Baj began. On YouTube, I would talk about new music, celebrity gossips & the nigerian culture.
After a year of consistency on youtube, I was recognized by bellanaija and tooxclusive. I became a tooxclusive affiliate without having to be on ground creating playlists on their platform. Fast forward to December 2018, I summoned the courage to relocate back to Nigeria after 9 years, to pursue my career in the entertainment industry, I took the risk, moved to Nigeria and flourished”.

On being a female in a male dominated profession, Tolani Baj said “The entertainment industry is fickle. Women have to prove themselves twice as hard in order to be respected. I believe I can acheive anything and everything I want in life If I put my mind to it.
Being a female in the industry is definitely challenging because you are being underestimated on a constant basis. All my skills work hand in hand thankfully, my personality makes it all easier because I am able to adapt to any situation. I also have a strong passion for entertainment hence it doesn’t feel like a job. I consider my vlogs more like an open diary.

I document my journey transitioning from living in America to living in Lagos Nigeria. I create insightful content for Africans in the diaspora to watch most especially because some of them are not able to visit Nigeria. I keep them updated with the Lagos lifestyle. I also have videos portraying Lagos, Nigeria in a positive way. You can watch my Detty December series on there and be entertained. I also would like you to view my videos as a documentary for my future kids. They get to see how fun their mom was as a youth/adult”.

Tolani Baj who is also in the healthcare line, and would probably have been into that if not for her passion in entertainment spoke about some of the challenges she faces in the entertainment industry, and her view on Nigeria and the music industry.

“The game is the game. Anybody can switch up on you at any given second. Always be on your toes because loyalty is non-existent. I know the importance of providing value in the industry. The more valuable you are the more access you have in the industry. We are all using each other in the industry one way or another – Record labels in Nigeria has a lot to learn. We have so many inexperienced music executives in Nigeria who are running labels with no direction.

Artistes are silently depressed because of their labels. Some labels are hindering the success of their artists due to negligence. Companies will owe salaries and will terminate your contract as an employee if you voice out”.
Tolani Shobajo loves to travel, listen to music, dance and scout for new talents. The reality TV star has been featured on Ebonylife, Hiptv, to mention a few. Her modeling/event staffing agency, “234nextgen” is fast becoming a force in Nigeria. Some of the clients Tolani has worked with include Universal music group, Aristokrat records, Tooxclusive, Pulsetv, among others.

Tolani spoke on her relationship with her love interest Prince in an interview. She revealed that she loves chocolaty men and interestingly, Prince is someone she can have intellectual and intelligent conversations with.


The Afrobeat Legend

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Without much words, meet the pioneer of Afrobeat and the one who paved the way for the success and prominence of the African music and it’s industry. The great Pan-African.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti was born 15th October, 1938. He was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre and Pan-Africanist. At the height of his popularity, he was referred to as one of Africa’s most “challenging and charismatic music performers”.
Kuti is remembered as an influential icon who was brave enough to boldly voice his opinions on matters that affected the nation through his music. An annual festival “Felabration” held each year to celebrate the life of this music legend and his birthday.

Since his death in 1997, there has been a revival of his influence in music and popular culture, culminating in another re-release of his catalog controlled by Universal Music, Broadway and off-Broadway biographically based shows, and new bands, such as Antibalas, who carry the Afrobeat banner to a new generation of listeners.

Fela was born in Abeokuta, the modern-day capital of Ogun State in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, then a city in the British Colony of Nigeria, into an upper-middle-class family. His mother, Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, was a feminist activist in the anti-colonial movement; his father, Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, an Anglican minister and school principal, was the first president of the Nigeria Union of Teachers. His brothers Beko Ransome-Kuti and Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, both medical doctors, were well known in Nigeria. Fela is a first cousin to the Nigerian writer and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, the first black African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Fela attended Abeokuta Grammar School. Later he was sent to London in 1958 to study medicine, but decided to study music instead at the Trinity College of Music, the trumpet being his preferred instrument. While there, he formed the band Koola Lobitos, playing a fusion of jazz and highlife.
The musical style of Fela is called Afrobeat, a style he largely created, which is a complex fusion of jazz, funk, Ghanaian highlife, psychedelic rock and traditional West African chants and rhythms. Afrobeat also borrows heavily from the native “tinker pan”. Tony Allen (Fela’s drummer of twenty years) was instrumental in the creation of Afrobeat. Fela once stated that “there would be no Afrobeat, without Tony Allen”.

Afrobeat is characterized by a fairly large band with many instruments, vocals and a musical structure featuring jazzy, funky horn sections. A riff-based “endless groove” is used, in which a base rhythm of drums, shekere, muted West African-style guitar and melodic bass guitar riffs are repeated throughout the song. Commonly, interlocking melodic riffs and rhythms are introduced one by one, building the groove bit-by-bit and layer-by-layer. The horn section then becomes prominent, introducing other riffs and main melodic themes.

Fela’s band was notable for featuring two baritone saxophones, whereas most groups were using only one of this instrument. This is a common technique in African and African-influenced musical styles and can be seen in funk and hip hop. His bands at times even performed with two bassists at the same time both playing interlocking melodies and rhythms. There were always two or more guitarists. The electric West African style guitar in Afrobeat bands are paramount, but are used to give basic structure, playing a repeating chordal/melodic statement, riff or groove.

Fela’s songs were mostly sung in Nigerian pidgin English, although he also performed a few songs in the Yoruba language. His main instruments were the saxophone and the keyboards, but he also played the trumpet, electric guitar, and took the occasional drum solo. Fela refused to perform songs again after he had already recorded them, which also hindered his popularity outside Africa.

As Fela’s musical career developed, so too did his political influence throughout the world. In turn, the religious aspect of his musical approach grew. Fela was a part of an Afro-Centric consciousness movement that was founded on and delivered through his music. In an interview found in the Hank Bordowitz analysis Noise of the World, Fela stated: “Music is supposed to have an effect. If you’re playing music and people don’t feel something, you’re not doing shit. That’s what African music is about. When you hear something, you must move. I want to move people to dance, but also to think. Music wants to dictate a better life, against a bad life. When you’re listening to something that depicts having a better life, and you’re not having a better life, it must have an effect on you.”

Kuti was a political giant in Africa from the 1970s until his death. He criticized the corruption of Nigerian government officials and the mistreatment of Nigerian citizens. He spoke of colonialism as the root of the socio-economic and political problems that plagued the African people. Corruption was one of the worst political problems facing Africa in the 70s, if not the worst; and Nigeria was among the most corrupt countries of the time. Its government was responsible for election rigging and coups that ultimately worsened poverty, economic inequality, unemployment, and political instability, which further promoted corruption and thuggery. Fela’s protest songs covered themes inspired by the realities of corruption and socio-economic inequality in Africa. Fela Kuti’s political statements could be heard throughout Africa.

Kuti was outspoken; his songs spoke his inner thoughts. His rise in popularity throughout the 1970s signaled a change in the relation between music as an art form and Nigerian socio-political discourse. In 1984, he harshly criticized and insulted the then authoritarian president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari. One of his popular songs, “Beast Of No Nation”, refers to Buhari as an animal in a madman’s body; in Nigerian Pidgin: “No be outside Buhari dey ee, na krase man be dat, animal in krase man skin ii”. Kuti strongly believed in Africa and always preached peace among Africans.
A legend!
Rest on!

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The Egyptian King of the Generation

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Egypt has produced many great singers who are thriving beautifully in the world of music.

Meet one of them.

Tamer Hosny
Tamer Hosny Sherif Abbas Farghaly was born 16th August, 1977 and is known by his artistic name Tamer Hosny. He is an Egyptian singer, actor, composer, director and songwriter. He first came to public attention when he appeared on mix tapes with other Egyptian artists. Hosny launched his solo career with his 2004 album Hob, becoming a successful singer of romantic music and was given the nickname “King of the Generation” by his fans. In December 2019, Hosny broke the Guinness World Record for the most contributions to a bulletin board.

Tamer Hosny was born in Cairo Unlike his father, Hosny Sherif Abbas, Tamer Hosny grew up with an interest in football and played the sport for five years.Tamer Hosny had his first directorial experience in 2010 when directing his music video “Sa7eet 3la Sotha”. Tamer had a long-held ambition to become a director and to make his own music video. Hosny starred in the 2003 Egyptian film Halet Hob (A State of Love). In 2006, he was arrested for forging military papers to avoid serving in the army. He received a one-year prison sentence, yet he only stayed in jail for six months.

In 2012 he released “Omar & Salma 3”, the third sequel to the Omar & Salma films. Hosny has frequently stated that he was not satisfied with the film. In a recent interview on the Set El Hosn program, he admitted that “I’m not happy with how the movie turned out, although many people love it and it was a box office success. I don’t blame anyone else for that, I take responsibility for it. We had to make major plot changes due to financial reasons.”

After three years away from the movie industry, he released Ahwak alongside Ghada Adel and Ahmed Malek. It is a romantic comedy about a young plastic surgeon who falls in love with a divorced woman. The film was a success at the box office, with total revenue of 22 million Egyptian pounds.

In 2017, Hosny released Tesbah ala kher (Good Night), a comedy drama about a wealthy entrepreneur who suffers from depression and hallucinations. Falcon films – the company responsible for distributing the movie in the Arab world – released an official statement saying that the movie has topped the box office in the Arab world.

Tamer sang Bokra “Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me)” a charity single that was released on 11 November 2011 at 11:11 pm, along with Rim Banna, Akon, Diana Karazon, Marwan Khoury, Latifa, Souad Massi, Hani Mitwasi, Saber Rebaï, Kathem Al-Saher, Waed, Sherine and other Arab Artists. The single will distribute the proceeds of its donations to various organisations, institutions and charities with arts and culture programs. The eight-minute song was written by Majida El Roumi, and produced by Quincy Jones and RedOne.

Tamer Hosny has recorded a new duet song with Shaggy, named “Smile”. The song, written and composed by Tamer Hosny, wasdistributed all over the world. The music video was released at the beginning of 2012; the music video was shot in New York City, and it has achieved huge success; it achieved more than one million views in only 3 days on YouTube, and for this exceptional growth rate, YouTube awarded the music video a trending medal.

Tamer decided to make his Egyptian/Arab identity present in these collaborations, So he made Snoop Dogg appear in their music video wearing Egyptian traditional cloths known as Jellabiya and also wrote Snoop’s name in Arabic on the car appearing in the video.
Tamer performed “Right Where I’m Supposed to Be” as the Official Song of the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in collaboration with Ryan Tedder, Avril Lavigne, Luis Fonsi, Hussain Al Jassmi and Assala Nasri openly presented by Public figure Hilal Al- Battashi.

Because of Tamer’s famous charismatic stage presence and creativity, his fans now call him “King of the stage”. In an interview with Sherihan Abu Al Hassan on her program Set El Hosn, Tamer said that he doesn’t pay much attention to the titles given to him by the fans like “King of generation” although he does appreciate the “King of the stage” title due to his efforts to improve the stage appearance in Egypt. “I’m no king, I’m not a fan of titles at all, I only appreciate the fact that my efforts to improve Egypt’s stage appearance are acknowledged by the fans ” he said, “My favorite title is just being called an Egyptian Arab artist when performing abroad.”

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Nomcebo shoots herself in the foot.

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Reports have it that Jerusalema star Nomcebo Zikode has landed herself in trouble after she allegedly ignored Covid-19 lockdown regulations and performed at a packed venue.
Ironically, the musician is the one who snitched on herself when she posted a video of her performance on social media.

In the video posted by the musician, she can be seen leading a sing-along and encouraging audience members to sing into her microphone. Nomcebo was also flanked by dancers who pressed up against her while she was performing. The crowd of excited fans could be seen huddled together with no social distancing and no wearing of masks.
Posting the video on Twitter, Nomcebo wrote; “Thanks a lot, Thavhani Mall News Cafe, Thohoyandou, Venda,”

Nomcebo later realized the folly of her actions and deleted the video. By then, however, it was too late. She had already snitched on herself. One of her fans had already downloaded the video and uploaded it onto Youtube.

When questioned about the faux pas, Nomcebo’s management denied any responsibility for the events which occurred saying that it was the venue’s responsibility to ensure adequate health and safety protocols were kept. In an interview with TshisaLive, Bongani Dube said;
“If we are called for performance, whenever, wherever, it is the owner or management of the venue who are supposed to ensure requirements for Covid-19. As a performer, Nomcebo does not have the power to do all those things. Where were the police if the venue was overcrowded? I don’t like that people are saying she participated in it. She is a performer. It was at night. We did one song. We did our show and we left. We did not stay there,”

News Cafe brand manager Varina Singh said the company had since launched an investigation into the matter.
“We have been made aware of the concerns regarding an event hosted at News Cafe Thohoyandou over the weekend, and as the franchisor, we have launched an investigation.
“As a brand, we take non-compliance very seriously, especially since we have taken the necessary steps to minimise Covid-19 risks and exposure at all our stores with strict adherence. Pending the outcome of the investigation, the required action will be taken”.
Nomcebo Zikode is popularly known by her mononym Nomcebo, is a South African singer and songwriter. She is known for her collaboration with DJ Ganyani on their hit single “Emazulwini” and globally for her and Master KG’s hit gospel single “Jerusalema”.

She worked mostly as a back-up singer for other South African artistes like Deborah Fraser, Zahara, Lundi Tyamara and Nhlanhla Nciza for more than 15 years. She was also signed under Ganyani Entertainment, where she provided vocals for songs like “Emazulwini”, which received a nomination for the Record of the Year at the South African Music Awards, “NTO” and “Jabulile”, but as she did not own the songs, she was not allowed to perform them without the consent of the label. Her style of music is Gospel-house.
She gained worldwide popularity after working with DJ Master KG on his 2020 hit single “Jerusalema” for which she provided vocals. She had met Master KG after falling out with Ganyani Entertainemnt. After the success of “Jerusalema”, she released her debut album, Xola Moya Wam. On the album, she features Master KG on the title track, Bongo Beats on two tracks and Makhadzi on another track.

She has released an album titled Xola Moya Wam. She made a collaboration with Master KG and Makhadzi in some of her songs. “Xola Moya Wam”, the title track, is getting much air play and has reached the gold status on Risa. Another popular song on the album is “Siyafana”.

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