Popular Nigerian singer and songwriter Wizkid’s highly celebrated album “Made In Lagos” has been listed among The Guardian UK‘s Top 50 Best Albums of 2020, making it the only African album on the list.
According to the publication, the list is drawn from votes by Guardian music critics – each critic votes for their top 20 albums, with points allocated for each placing, and those points tallied to create this order.
The 14-track album not only envelops listeners in the unique sounds, live instrumentation and vibes of Lagos but celebrates Wizkid’s love and appreciation for where he comes from and his inspirational journey with standout tracks such as “Blessed” and “Reckless.”
The project includes features from an incredible group of chart-topping artistes – Burna Boy, Skepta, Damian Marley, H.E.R., Ella Mai and Starboy Entertainment’s youngest signee Terri.
“Nigerian pop continued to establish itself more firmly on the international stage in 2020 with successful albums by Burna Boy, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Tems and more. The best of them all was this lilting, versatile record by Wizkid,” the Guardian said in its article.
“Guest stars from across the Black Atlantic – Skepta and Ella Mai from the UK, HER from the US, Damian Marley and Projexx from Jamaica – create the sense of a diasporic dialogue, where reggae, dancehall, rap and Afro-swing seamlessly and sensually intertwine.”
Within one week of release, Made In Lagos broke several African streaming records. It became the first African album to debut on the Spotify Global Album chart, and within the top ten at that. The album surpassed 100 million streams across five platforms nine days after release, a huge milestone for an Afrobeats artist.
It debuted at no. 15 on the UK Albums Chart with over 4,100 album-equivalent units and no. 80 on the US Billboard 200 with over 10,000 album-equivalent units. “Ginger” became the only charting single off the album in the first week of release, peaking at no. 67 on the UK Singles Chart.
Congratulations are in order for Wizkid, as he recently won BET Soul Train Awards for the second time. Honouring artistes across 12 categories, the 2020 “SOUL TRAIN AWARDS” recognised Summer Walker (Album of the Year), Megan Thee Stallion (Rhythm & Beats Award), Brandy (Soul Train Certified), Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, Saint Jhn & Wizkid (Video of the Year), Snoh Aalegra (Best New Artist) and Kirk Franklin (Best Gospel/Inspirational Award) for their special contributions to the genre.
Temi Otedola Wins Best Actress at Ghana Movie Awards
Nigerian fashion blogger and actress, Temiloluwa Elizabeth Otedola known as Temi Otedola, won the best actress (African Collaboration) at the just concluded 10th edition of Ghana Movie Awards (GMA).
Announcing her win on Twitter, Temi Otedola wrote: “I just heard I won the Ghana Movie Award in the category of Best Actress (African Collaboration) for my role in Citation!!! So so grateful! Thank you for this honor”, she also appreciated Kunle Afolayan, the producer of the movie. “also, congratulation @Kunleafolayan who won for best movie (African Collaboration), so happy for the entire citation family”.
The awards ceremony which held virtually, awarded Temi Otedola as Best Actress (African collaboration) category for her acting debut role in “Citation” competing with Ini Edo in the same movie, Eucharia Anunobi in the movie Foreigners God and Ivorian actress Alexandra Amon in the movie ‘fix us’.
Kunle Afolayan also won the Best Movie (African Collaboration) with the Citation, competing in the same category was “fix us” – Yvonne Nelson, Ogbozo – Destiny Omon & Ama K. Abrebese and “Foreigners God” – Ifan Michael
With over 30 nominees, here are the winners for the 2020 Ghana Movie Awards:
A PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Bernard Aduse-Poku — Heroes of Africa
A PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Van Vicker — Heroes of Africa
A PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Habiba Sinare — 18
A PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Roselyn Ngissah — Ogbozo
Michelle Attoh – Fix Us
SOUND EDITING AND MIXING
Fix us — Bernie Anti
Heroes of Africa — Frank Fiifi Gharbin
18 — Kobby Okyere
Ogbozo — Solomon Tamakloe
Fix Us — John Passah
COSTUME & WARDROBE
Heroes of Africa — George Atobrah
MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING
Heroes of Africa — Zion Train
Heroes of Africa — Bismark Gyamerah
MUSIC ORIGINAL SONG
Ogbozo — Blakk Rasta
MUSIC ORIGINAL SCORE
Fix Us — Berni Anti
BEST ACTOR – AFRICAN COLLABORATION
Sam Dede — Foreigners God
BEST ACTRESS – AFRICAN COLLABORATION
Temi Otedola – Citation
BEST MOVIE – AFRICAN COLLABORATION
Citation — Kunle Afolayan
BEST SHORT FILM
Wrong One — Kobby Maxwell
BEST ANIMATION MOVIE
ILL-MINE — Divine Jones
Irene Logah — Fix Us
WRITING ADAPTED OR ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Fix Us — Pascal Amanfo
Heroes of Africa — Frank Fiifi Gharbin, Matilda Asare
French MPs Approve Return of Stolen Artefacts to Benin, Senegal
France’s Members of Parliament have approved the return of historical artefacts stolen from Republic of Benin and Senegal.
The MPs voted for a limited restitution to the two countries on Thursday.
Both countries, colonised by the French in the 19th century lost lots of historical artefacts to their colonial master. There are about 90,000 looted and artefacts in France at the point.
Benin will receive 26 of its stolen artefacts in the restitution with one of them being the throne of the last king of Dahomey, Behanzin.
Senegal will receive a sword owned by a 19th-century Sheikh El Hadj Omar. The sword and its sheath is in the museum of the French Army but had been loaned to Dakar Museum on a long-term.
A total of 48 MPs voted for the restitution, none voted against while there were two abstentions.
The vote for a restitution of the artefacts has been described as a “strong act towards African and Afro-descendant youth”
Historical museums like the Quai-Branly Jacques Chirac museum and several British institutions continue to face pressure to return stolen artefacts back to their roots.
In France, there are at least 240 artefacts which have their roots currently under investigation.
Germany also opened a museum on Wednesday with criticisms greeting the event as artefacts from Benin Kingdom, Nigeria and other African countries were found there.
Law Student, Maryam Umar, Wins BBC Hausa Story Writing Competition
Maryam Umar, a 20-year-old student law student in Sokoto, Northwest Nigeria, has emerged the winner of the BBC Hausa women’s short story writing competition for 2020.
Umar, a student at the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, won the competition with her story entitled: ‘Rai da Cuta’ – meaning ‘Life and Sickness’ in the English Language.
Umar’s ‘Rai da Cuta’ tells the story of Azima whose husband returns from a trip exhibiting all the symptoms of the (COVID-19). Although his wife is heavily pregnant, he refuses to isolate himself and remains in denial of the virus.
Azima locks him up in a room but soon finds out she has already contracted the virus from her husband. This eventually leads to the loss of her baby and a long battle for her life.
Umar, who expressed happiness for emerging the winner said, “I have always loved books as a little girl. I would hide to read books.
“Growing up, I would assemble my friends and tell them about a book I read, but in truth it was always a story that I made up in my head.
“I have always been someone who loves to solve problems. I enjoy finding solutions in innovative ways.
“Then I found the internet – the easiest way to deliver my message. That’s how I began to write.”
Surayya Yahaya, a 25-year-old indigene of Kano State, emerged the first runner up in the competition with a book, titled “Numfashin Siyasata,” (My Political Life).
The book tells the story of a young woman, who goes into active politics to save the people of her village from underdevelopment but she is turned down by the same people she was keen on saving because she was a woman.
Her determination to represent her people leads to the death of her parents and she almost loses her own life.
Yahaya, who expressed joy for emerging first runners in the competition, said since her father died, she had not been able further her education beyond secondary school.
She stated that she would like to further her education if she could get support from well-meaning Nigerians or corporate organisations.
Rufaida Ibrahim, a 25-year-old student of the Federal College of Education, Kano State, came third with a story titled, “Farar Kafa” which literally means “The Wife Who Brings Bad Luck”.
Her book tells the story of Ramatu, who is considered ‘the bringer of bad luck’ after her husband experiences losses shortly after their marriage.
His business crumbles due to poor financial decisions just as his small shop is destroyed by fire.
He divorces Ramatu because he believes she is the cause of his bad luck.
Her second husband dies just a week after their wedding and this causes more trouble for her.
Marina Forsythe, the BBC World Service Group Communications Publicist, explained that the contest which began five years ago was introduced to give female writers a platform to tell and share their stories.
She quoted the Editor of BBC Hausa Service, Aliyu Tanko as saying: “I’m thrilled that this year’s awards were won by very young writers which show how our primary targets have embraced this competition.
“Many writers have been empowered by these awards over the past five years which is a testimony to how we value our young female audiences.”
Bilkisu Funtua, the Lead Judge, said: “To me all the writers are winners.
“We see a sharp change in the themes and writing styles from what is typically seen in Hausa women’s writing. But Maryam Umar’s ‘Rai da Cuta’ is outstanding.
“This writer was able to incorporate wit and humour in what could have easily been the saddest story.
“She brought to the fore front the nonchalance of our people toward the coronavirus pandemic in a unique style.”
Also speaking, Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye, Head of BBC West Africa said the organisation was pleased to support the competition.
According to Ogunseye, it is important to provide female Hausa writers with the platform to tell their stories.
“This year’s winner highlights a story that everyone can relate to in these unprecedented times.”
BBC Hausa is part of the BBC World Service that offers a breadth of multimedia content which reaches 24 million people across the world on a weekly basis.
It broadcasts to Hausa-speaking audiences, providing radio, online, and TV content in West Africa as well as to diaspora audiences.
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