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Onyeka Owenu, The Elegant Stallion4 minutes read

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Onyeka Onwenu blew the hearts and minds of Africans in the early 80s when she started her music career while still working with the NTA as a broadcaster.
She was born 31st January, 1952 and hails from Arondizuogu, a small town in Ideato North, Imo State. She was raised in Port Harcourt. She is the youngest daughter of Nigerian educationist and politician D.K. Onwenu who died when she was four years old in an auto crash a week before his appointment as Minister for Education, leaving his widow, Hope, to raise five children alone after her husband’s family denied her access to his property (The song “African Woman” from Onwenu’s fourth album One Love is loosely inspired by her mother).


Onyeka is a Nigerian singer/songwriter, actress, human right activist, social activist, journalist, politician, and former X Factor series judge. Dubbed the “Elegant Stallion” by the Nigerian press, she is a former chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture. In 2013 she was appointed the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Women Development.


She possesses a BA in International Relations and Communication from Wellesly College, Massachusetts, and an MA in Media Studies from The New School for Social Research, New York. She worked for the United Nations as a tour guide before returning to Nigeria in 1980 to complete her mandatory one-year national service with NTA where she made an impact as a newsreader and reporter. In 1984, she wrote and presented the internationally acclaimed BBC/NTA documentary Nigeria, ‘A Squandering of Riches’ which became the definitive film about corruption in Nigeria as well as the intractable Niger Delta agitation for resource control and campaign against environmental degradation in the oil rich region of Nigeria.

A former member on the board of the NTA, she has also worked as a TV presenter, hosting the shows Contact in 1988 and Who’s On? In 1993 both on NTA Network. Originally a secular artist, Onwenu made the transition to gospel music in the 90s, and most of her songs are self-penned. She wrote and sang about issues such as health (HIV/AIDS), peace and mutual coexistence, respect for women rights, and the plight of children.

She began her music career in 1981 while still working in NTA, releasing the album For the Love of You, a pop album which featured an orchestral cover of Johnny Nash’s “Hold Me Tight”, and her second album Endless Life was produced by Sonny Okosuns. Both records were released on the EMI label.


Her first album with Polygram, ‘In The Morning Light’, was released in 1984. Recorded in London, it featured the track “Masterplan” written by close friend Tyna Onwudiwe who had previously contributed to Onwenu’s BBC documentary and subsequently sang back-up vocals on the album. After her fourth release, 1986’s One Love which contained an updated version of the song “In the Morning Light”, She collaborated with veteran jùjú artist Sunny Ade on the track “Madawolohun (Let Them Say)” which appeared in 1988’s Dancing In The Sun. This was the first of three songs the pair worked on together; the other two – “Choices” and “Wait For Me” – centred on family planning, and were endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria who used “Choices” in their commercials. Her final release on Polygram was dedicated to Winnie Mandela, the subject of a song of the same name which She performed live when Nelson Mandela and his wife visited Nigeria in 1990 following his release from prison.
Onyeka diverted to Benson and Hedges Music in 1992 and released the self-titled Onyeka!, her only album with the label, after which she made the transition to Christian/gospel music.


Onyeka didn’t stop at the broadcast and music industry but also went in to the movie industry and still did beautifully well. She featured in numerous Nollywood movies, and in 2006 she won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in the movie “Widow’s Cot”. She was also nominated that same year for African Movie Academy Award for “Best Actress in a Leading Role” in the movie “Rising Moon” In 2014. She was in the movie “Half of a Yellow Sun” with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton, she was also in “Lion Heart” with Genevieve Nnaji who happened to be the producer.


Her most popular songs are Iyogogo, Kosi, Oh Woman and more.
Onyeka was and still is a great woman!


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“I may not run for office but I’ll join a political party that aligns with my values”- Diary Of A Naija Girl

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Brand cinematic story teller, Ife, popularly known as Diary of a Naija girl has revealed her utmost displeasure to the system of governance in Nigeria stating categorically things she would do and things she would not do after the president’s address on Thursday night.


“Last night, I chose to calm my spirit and sleep early. This was after I had cried in frustration in the shower. I’m up now and after a deep soul search, I have made the following decisions: I may not run for office but I’ll join a political party that aligns with my values. I will take it as my sole duty to encourage youths to join a political party that aligns with their values. I will make it my sole duty to encourage youths to get their voters card and vote. I will spend my resources to support youths who have the right values to get involved in the governance of this country.”

Here’s what I will not do:I will no longer spend one more moment of my energy, emotions and time feeling bad or angry at this government .Even though I’ve lost faith in the government, I have faith in myself and my capabilities because I know that when I set my mind to something, I’m unstoppable, no matter the challenges.

For now, I’ll go back to my business to regain the time I’ve lost while enveloped in the #Endsars movement. I hope that in your own time, you’ll join me in this resolve to make REAL change happen in Nigeria by starting with yourself and participating in your little way because it truly does start with us. And because enough is enough! No more wallowing in defeat and/or self-pity, A LOT IS AT STAKE. May the souls of those we’ve lost in this fight, rest in peace. Amin.


https://instagram.com/diaryofanaijagirl?igshid=p3pbnxolm795


Ife ‘s hope of a new era seem to have been dashed. Few days ago, DANG made it known how optimistic she was that change had truly begun. In her exact words, I was moved to tears by the unity amongst us, the real pain in people’s eyes and the desperate hope in their voices. This is happening, we may have reached the peak of “anyhowness” from our Govt. I think change has begun”


However after the President’s speech, she lost hope against hope.
“Did you watch the President’s speech?I watched it and heard him pay tribute to fallen policemen but didn’t hear him mention anything about the #LekkitollgateMassacre .Or was there a point he did this and maybe I was distracted? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

I was at that protest almost every day and on Tuesday as well. It could have been me that was shot dead and this is how everyone will act helpless, just the way I feel helpless now. This means those people too who were killed, that’s it. They’re gone and that’s it?” The content creator said disappointed.

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Feminist Coalition Stops Receiving Donations, States Plans For The Remaining Funds

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Feminist Coalition, a not-for-profit organization and one of the leading supporters of the #EndSARS campaign, has informed all financial supporters of the campaign to stop sending funds to the group, while also revealing plans for the remaining donated funds.


The group disclosed this in a statement titled “A Statement from the Feminist Coalition”, issued and co-signed by Damilola Odufuwa, Odunayo Eweniyi, Layo Ogunbanwo, Ozzy Etomi, Ire Aderinokun, Fakhrriyyah Hashim, Oluwaseun Osowobi, Jola Ayeye, Laila Johnson-Salami, Karo Omu, Obiageli Alintah, Tito Ovia, Kiki Mordi and FK Abudu.

The group, which also urged protesters to stay indoors and observe the curfew in their respective states, stated that it received a total of N147.8 million cash donations in favour of the #EndSARS protests against brutality and extrajudicial killings by men of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.


It stated, “The funds were raised through the generosity of well-meaning people and concerned Nigerians who want their voices to be heard and their demands to be met.”
According to the group, it decided to stop all donation inflows following the speech by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday evening.







“The rest of the donations will go towards funding medical emergencies, legal aid for wrongfully detained citizens, and relief for victims of police brutality and families of the deceased.


“The past two weeks have been tough for many Nigerians, most especially the last two days. Many lives have been lost and properties destroyed at the height of what started as peaceful marches for the end to police brutality.
“The Feminist Coalition condoles with every Nigerian mother, father, son, daughter who has lost a loved one in these trying times. These Nigerians share the same vision for a better country as we all do and should be duly recognized as heroes.


“Following the President’s address, we hereby encourage all young Nigerians to stay safe, stay home, and observe the mandated curfew in your state.
“The Feminist Coalition has made a decision to henceforth stop all donation inflows for the #EndSARS peaceful protest. The rest of the donations will go towards funding medical emergencies, legal aid for wrongfully detained citizens, and relief for victims of police brutality and families of the deceased.”
Breakdown of funds received over the past 14 days:
* Total received – ₦147,855,788.28 (includes donations in USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, GHS, KES, and BTC)



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Nigerian celebrities in the diaspora lend their voices to the End SARS protests in Nigeria

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Yvonne Orji, Uzo Aduba, Jidenna, Cynthia Erivo, Jackie Aina, and a number of other Nigerian celebrities at home and in the diaspora have lent their voices to the #EndSARS protest.

Some even recorded a video raising awareness about the injustice Nigerians face in the hands of officers charged with protecting them, and they called for an end to police brutality. Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, DJ Spinall, and a number of other Nigerian celebrities recognized internationally also featured in the video


John Boyega


The Star Wars actor, who passionately spoke at Black Lives Matter protests over the summer, said of the travesty: “I don’t know what to say. To wage such war on your own people…They must pay.” Later adding on his Instagram Stories, “The world must see. The Nigerian government has failed its people. THEY MUST GO.”


Uzo Aduba




Alongside sharing a video explaining the situation in Nigeria (in which she can be seen referencing the first wave of anti-SARS protests in 2017), the Orange Is The New Black star wrote: “Enough is enough! We are united and stand in solidarity as one Nigeria. This is a chance to redefine our future and we join the call for the Nigerian government to act now to create a country that we all can be proud of.”



Phenomenal popular beauty blogger Jackie also appears in the above video with Uzo Aduba. She shared it on her own social media channels, along with the names of many victims: “I don’t know how else to say this but I don’t know how anyone who follows me can see what is happening in Nigeria and not feel compelled to share. Nigerians are literally fighting for their lives. Initially what started with peaceful protests to end police brutality in Nigeria has ignited much larger conversations and much more. NIGERIA NEEDS HELP and has needed help for a long time.”


She continued, “No more people should have to die for BASIC human rights. It makes me sick that the government in Nigeria would much rather inconvenience an entire country and pushback on the demands instead of doing the right thing. Nigerians deserve a better Nigeria, point blank period. There is just….a lot. A lot more that I can’t convey on this post but if you remember anything, remember that Black Lives Matter all the time, Nigerian Lives Matter too, and when we say Black Lives we MOST CERTAINLY do not and will not exclude the LGBTQ community from this conversation, no matter how much the nation may try to!”


Dave


The rapper, who won Best Album at The BRITs earlier this year, joined thousands tweeting out their support. He wrote, “THEY ARE KILLING OUR PEOPLE. OUR HEARTS ARE HEAVY. #EndSARS”
If you’d like to donate to help those campaigning to #EndSARS, visit the Feminist Coalition and Connected Development, or find out more information at Amnesty International. You can also write to your local MP urging them to take action.

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