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|Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 4:16am On Mar 25, 2012|
This thread is dedicated to my successful brothers and sister in Nigeria and in diaspora.
Don't mind us while we're taking over.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 4:17am On Mar 25, 2012|
Africa's Hottest Tech Startups: Twinpine
Oduntan Odubanjo, a 28 year-old Nigerian Computer engineer is the co-founder of Twinpine, a startup Pan-African mobile advertising network which is currently generating a lot of buzz in Nigeria’s advertising and technology circles. In less than a year of setting up operations, Twinpine has already cornered lucrative accounts like MTN, Nokia, Google, Pepsi and Autodesk, among several other local companies. Twinpine doesn’t create the ads for mobile phones; it provides a way for those ads to be viewed on websites via mobile phones.
Odubanjo runs his company from its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. A few months ago, he opened another office in Nairobi, Kenya and he is planning to venture into Johannesburg and other major African cities. Twinpine is profitable, but Odubanjo declined to divulge just how profitable it is.
He recently explained his business model to me, walked me through his start-up story and gave me a glimpse into Twinpine’s big picture.
What Is Twinpine?
Twinpine is a mobile advertising network focused on Africa. It is different from other mobile advertising networks because we focus on the tangible value for advertisers and publishers on our network. We dont just serve impressions we work to deliver conversions and revenues to them respectively.
Recount your startup story
The journey for Twinpine so far has been very fast paced and exciting. Beyond trying to turn a profit, we are on a mission to propagate the message of mobile advertising. We have invested in events and initiatives that will expose and educate people on the potential of mobile marketing. One of these saw the sponsorship of the IEEE student professional awareness program last year at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. Its been an amazing journey filled with a great deal of learning, operational innovation and sense of achievement.
Explain your business model to my grandma. How does Twinpine work, and how do you make money?
Twinpine was founded to enable brands and businesses effectively reach their target audience with their message using the mobile advertising channel. We achieve that by aggregating the leading (in terms of brand and traffic) mobile sites and applications and advertise on them for our clients. That way, we also help our publishers make money by doing a revenue share with them on the advertising we place.
How many users do you have so far? Name some of the more prominent ones.
I’m glad to share that we have run campaigns for leading brands from the likes of MTN, Nokia, Google, Pepsi, Autodesk to fast growing companies like Jobberman, Wakanow.com, Vconnect and Jana. We also work with over 20 local and international digital advertising agencies to develop mobile advertising campaigns across Africa.
On the publisher side of the space we have leading local publishers in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana including Guardian, Vanguard, Jobberman, Businessday, Complete Sports, Standard Media, Daily Nation and Ghanaweb. We also work with international publishers like Opera, Eskimi, Ubersocial, Ebuddy,
Twinpine has delivered marketing goals from brand awareness to application downloads, event registration, product launch and site traffic boost.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 4:19am On Mar 25, 2012|
Nigerian Native, Agbede Owns Biggest Black Engineering Firm In The US - Career
Montana was not what Robert Agbede had in mind. A Nigerian native, Agbede long wanted to move to America, and in January 1976, he got that chance. He excelled in science and math at a private American high school outside his hometown of Lagos, and universities offered scholarships: Stanford, Penn State and the Colorado School of Mines, among others
Agbede chose Montana Tech in Butte because the school would let him start at once.
″I wanted to leave so bad,″ said Agbede, whose father died when Agbede was 8, leaving him to head the household that included his mother and three younger brothers. ″I had been taking care of my family. It was time to leave and enjoy myself.″
When he arrived in Montana, Agbede stared at the bleak, frozen landscape and wondered if he'd made a mistake.
″I had black platform shoes, a two-piece suit, bell bottoms. I grew a big afro. That was the era of 'Shaft,' and I learned how to walk like 'Super Fly,' ″ Agbede recalled. ″But I didn't even have a coat. Of all the places I could have picked... .″
Better days awaited him.
Agbede today heads Chester Engineers Inc., headquartered in Moon. On March 31, the National Society of Black Engineers will present him with its 2012 Golden Torch Award for Entrepreneur of the Year. The society said Chester Engineers is the largest black-owned environmental and engineering design company in the United States and the largest water and wastewater treatment plant design and management company in Western Pennsylvania.
″Every so often, I ask myself, 'Why me?' ″ Agbede said.
His unlikely rise strikes longtime friend Glenn Mahone, senior partner at the Downtown law firm Reed Smith, as mythical. In any good story, Mahone said, the hero comes from nothing. He embarks on an arduous quest, ends up in a strange, foreboding land and overcomes the odds through sheer determination.
″For a black guy from Lagos, looking like Shaft, to end up in Butte, Montana -- I mean, Butte, Montana! -- and eventually buy Chester Engineers? That takes courage, and it takes confidence,″ Mahone said.
Agbede spent six months in Butte before his uncle, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, convinced him to transfer.
″They said 'Pittsburgh is the smoky city,' but it was heaven to me,″ Agbede said. ″I loved it. My reference line was Butte. I said, let me get out of Butte, and I just left. I had an AMC Pacer, one of the worst cars ever, and I just left it there. In Pittsburgh, the cup was half full.″
In 1979, he graduated from Pitt with an engineering degree and entered the doctoral program while working for the research arm of the National Coal Council. Through most of the 1980s, he worked as an engineer with Babcock Co., and in 1987, his life changed, he said.
U.S. Steel called, seeking help with reducing dust from the longwall mining machine at its coal mine in Alabama, he said. The Mine Safety and Health Administration threatened to close the mine if U.S. Steel couldn't fix the problem.
″They asked how much I would charge to help,″ Agbede said. ″I didn't know; I said $1,000 because that number sounded nice to me. They agreed, and I came down for the weekend.″
In a Birmingham hotel room, Agbede could not sleep that night.
″I left the television on, and there was Jimmy Swaggart,″ Agbede said. ″He was on one knee, he was crying and saying, 'Lord, I have sinned; forgive me.' Well, I got down on my knees, too, and I prayed: 'Lord, don't use all your energy on Jimmy because I need your help, too!' ″
Underground the next morning, he quickly determined how to fix the dust problem, he said. Agbede designed a device he called a scrubber, which uses water sprayers to remove dust. He patented the design, one of several patent notices framed in the Chester Engineers offices.
″We walked out of the mine, we were wearing coveralls and gear, everyone was celebrating, and I was walking like Rambo,″ Agbede said.
Two days later, U.S. Steel asked for a proposal to work on seven other problematic mines, Agbede said. He was unsure whether he wanted to start his own business.
″I never prayed that hard in my life,″ he said. ″I called them and said, 'I need an advance' -- I was trying to make them tell me no. They said, 'How much?' and I said $17,500. They said, 'OK, go pick it up at Ross Street.' I went to pick up the check, and that's how I got started.″
He bought gear, rented an office in Monroeville and started Advance Technology Services Inc. The company grew steadily, and in 2003, Agbede bought Chester Engineers from U.S. Filter Co. Chester was founded in Pittsburgh's North Side in 1910. Today, Chester Engineers has offices throughout the country and does projects around the world. Agbede spent 225 days on the road last year.
He won't release financial numbers, for competitive reasons. He wouldn't even say how many people he employs.
He is more forthcoming about his efforts to help students. Agbede has not forgotten his roots. He established the Robert O. Agbede Scholarship at Pitt to help black students pursuing engineering degrees and has given more than $3 million in other endowments.
His desire to give back is one reason former WQED President George Miles Jr. took a position as chairman of Chester Engineer's board of directors when he and his wife planned to retire to Florida. Miles knows little about engineering, both men acknowledge, but Agbede wanted him as a mentor and moral compass.
″A lot of people work and make a lot of money, and then later on, they realize that their lives made no difference at all,″ Miles said. ″I'm about trying to make a difference. So is Bob. This company, if we're successful, we're going to make some money. But we're also going to make a difference. ... Bob takes that seriously.″
Today, Agbede's engineering firm is the largest African-American-owned firm of its kind in the United States.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 4:21am On Mar 25, 2012|
Nigerian named among top American Cardiologists
A top Nigerian cardiologist based in New York, Dr. Oluyemi Badero has been named among the top interventional cardiologists in the United States, according to a prominent rating organization for the medical profession here.
Castle Connolly, the organization which publishes an a leading annual publication of distinguished US doctors has listed Badero among the top US doctors based in the New York metro area which includes New York, New Jersey and Connecticut states.
The publication which is the 15th edition and dated 2012 was released recently, reporting that Badero, who earlier had been named among top US cardiologists, is one of the interventional cardiologists to reckon with in the US. Interventional Cardiology is deemed a rarefied specialty in medical practice, and fewer African-Americans and blacks are qualified in that field.
Commenting on his listing this year by the Castle Connolly list regarded as eminent among US medical professionals, Dr. Badero said the recognition will further spur him to do more and do better, adding that “I feel highly honored.”
Badero is among a handful of US Black doctors and Nigerians on the Castle Connolly list. Some of the other Nigerian doctors who have featured on the list include Professor Ferdinand Ofodile, Dr Ola Akinboboye and Dr Chukwuma Okadigwe.
Badero’s training in Africa was noted in the publication, as he graduated with an MBBS in 1984 from the then University of Ife. However it added that Badero had two residency programs in the US both at the State University of New York between 1990-1994. It was also highlighted that Badero had two post-residency fellowships at SUNY and Yale, between 1994-1998.
Besides, the publication also noted his three levels of America medical board certifications in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology.
The publication stated that the process of selecting the top doctors "begins with the identification of a selected pool of board-certified physicians from the total numbers of doctors practicing in a given area." The process involves a survey of already distinguished and leading physicians and hospital CEO's and medical directors, who are asked to nominate top doctors on an annual basis.
Moreover, it is noted that selection is predicated on an extensive nomination procedure and a set of standards "which each nominated doctor was required to meet ie respect of their peers and academic excellence."
Specifically the nominees are asked to suggest names of doctors, "especially those to whom they would refer their patients and their own family members." The publication noted that only doctors who deliver outstanding patient care" are chosen
Badero, who has also won acclaim in the community both Nigerian and American communities including US churches, one of which awarded him “The Knighthood” by Knights of Columbus, an organization of the Catholic church. He was inducted into Knighthood by Knight of Columbus and earned the admirable title of "Worthy Sir Knight, Dr Oluyemi Badero"
Besides, his private practice, Dr Oluyemi Badero, a board Certified Interventional Cardiologist was the Chief of Cardiology at Saint John’s Episcopal Hospital, South Shore, New York between 2003 and 2007, and also Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, at the State University of New York Health Sciences Center in Brooklyn. He is the President and CEO, Cardiac Specialists of Brooklyn, LLC
Few years ago, the 108th session of the US Congress praised Badero’s “outstanding accomplishments in the field of medicine,” and “one of the very few African-American specialists in his field.”
In that Congressional Record submitted by US Congressman Ed Towns, it was stated that “Badero has reached the highest levels of medicine in our country, all the way from Nigeria, and he has used his expertise to improve the lives of his community.”
Badero himself noted that “when you are devoted to do your very best, the recognition will come,” he says adding that “if you seek the kingdom of excellence, everything else will follow.”
According to him however, “success is what you do to others, not just for yourself.”
Badero who is in his early 50s, was also listed among the top 50 US and Canada-based Nigerians recognized by Nigerians abroad during Nigeria’s 50th independence celebrations in 2010.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 4:25am On Mar 25, 2012|
Tamar Awobotu: 24 Year Old Wins Top Model Worldwide 2012 - Fashion
On Saturday 17th March 2012 at 1pm GMT it was the turn of the Top Model Worldwide finalists to take to the runway in an amazing
three hour entertainment and fashion show spectacular that featured a truly international mix of stunning contestants.
Nigerian beauty TARMAR secured the winners podium in a thrilling finale, with a host of
other awards being presented to competing finalists from all corners of the globe.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 4:26am On Mar 25, 2012|
Femi Emiola, Actress With Nigerian Roots Emerged Face Of Toyota Camry
Femi Emiola is an award-winning actress based in Los Angeles, United States. Born to Nigerian father and Filipino mother,SEYI GESINDE,
in this piece, x-rays the background of Femi, who once emerged the face of marketing campaign for Toyota Camry.
An American-born, Nigerian-Filipino actress,Femi Emiola is one of the few film-makers abroad whose works, upcoming artistes now wish to emulate. She is best known for her role as Lani Walker in My Network TV night-time telenovela, Wicked Wicked Games which premiered on December 6, 2006 and aired to completion (65 episodes) in March 2007.
She is also familiar to audiences as the actress behind “Bianca Turner,” the fashion designer who is the centre of the popular web series, If Looks Could Kill.
Born in Iowa City, Iowa to a Filipino mother and a Nigerian father, Femi got enrolled at the Theatre Arts Department of Iowa State University, where she graduated with a degree in Theatre Arts and later studied in New York City in the United States.
She actually took after her parents who both bagged Ph.D degrees at Iowa State University. It was at this same school, that Femi’s parents, then as Ph.D students met as course mates and friends before they later got married. Both of them are chemists.
Femi, who grew up with her parents spent most of her early life in both the Philippines and Nigeria, but returned to the United States as a teenager to further her studies.
During her training at both the Iowa State University and in New York City, Femi worked with director and acting teacher, Wynn Handman, who was also a former colleague of Sanford Meisner and artistic director/co-founder of The American Place Theatre.
Femi’s relationship with these top film producers yielded a big result as this later launched her to making her debut in an award-winning short film The Living Silence.
Her distinguished performance in the film was said to have helped the filmmaker, Tanya Steele, garner a Directors Guild East Coast Student Filmmaker Award.
She appeared on the television shows ER, Ghost Whisperer, Scrubs, Las Vegas, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, and The Practice. In 2000, Femi posed for the artist Meredith Bergmann.
Her profile became the foundation for Bergmann’s Phillis Wheatley, which was part of the Boston Women’s Memorial, unveiled in 2003 on Commonwealth Avenue Mall in Boston.
The sculpture which included Lucy Stone and Abigail Adams, is crafted from bronze and granite, and is Bergmann’s largest public commission.
In June 2008, Femi became the face of a marketing campaign for the Toyota Camry. The campaign, launched on June 9, 2008 targeted affluent African-American women between the ages of 25 and 40.
There were no television commercials; instead Toyota created an interactive website, which included a video series and an online game. The online campaign was also supported by billboards and radio ads with Femi’s voice prompting listeners to logon to the website.
The $5 million campaign centered on the website and a six-episode video series, promoted as “where espionage and high fashion collide.”
The target audience for the campaign was African-American women with an annual income of $70,000 and up. Femi starred as Bianca Turner, a fashion designer and Toyota Camry owner who becomes unwittingly involved in an espionage plot.
Viewers could navigate within scenes and play along, picking up clues to assist Bianca as she tries to solve the mystery. Print and online adverts also supported the campaign which ran from June 9 through July 27, 2008.
She now resides in Los Angeles, where according to her, she “continues her pursuit of truth and imagination.”
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 4:35am On Mar 25, 2012|
Teju Cole wins $10,000 prize for first novel
NEW YORK — Author Teju Cole has won this year's Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for a "distinguished" first book of fiction.
PEN New England, a regional branch of the international writers organization, and the Hemingway Foundation announced Tuesday that Cole, 36, would receive $10,000 for "Open City." Cole's story of a Nigerian doctor's physical and spiritual journey also is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award. The author grew up in Nigeria and currently lives in New York City.
The Hemingway award was founded in 1976 by Mary Hemingway, widow of the Nobel laureate. Previous winners of the Hemingway prize include Marilynne Robinson and Edward P. Jones.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 4:52am On Mar 25, 2012|
Marines showed extraordinary bravery 'when the world became fire'
Quantico, Virginia (CNN) -- Capt. Ademola Fabayo and Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez-Chavez are both immigrants to the United States, both Marines and, most important of all, both heroes of a rare order.
On Friday, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus presented both men with the Navy Cross during a ceremony at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The Navy Cross is the second-highest award for valor in the military, surpassed only by the Medal of Honor.
They were on a mission with two platoons of Afghan troops and some other U.S. Marine and Army trainers to meet village elders in Ganjgal, Afghanistan, on September 8, 2009. They knew the village was in a dangerous valley.
"The valley, which is located very close to the Pakistani border, is a known approach route for insurgents," Mabus said at Friday's awards ceremony.
Their fears were realized when some 50 Taliban fighters attacked their column.
"As that column approached the village, just before sunrise, every light in the village went off. And minutes later the world became fire," Mabus said. "From three sides of the column, over a distance of two-thirds of a mile on either side, rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire began to rain down."
Fabayo, a lieutenant at the time and commander of the mission, was on foot when the attack started. He and the troops he was with fired back, but they were trapped for about two hours. When he called for close-air support, he was told that the fighting was too close to the village and civilians would be at risk. So Fabayo organized a team of Afghan soldiers to attempt to break out of the ambush and head back to the rear and relative safety. He got them to cover, treated their wounds. But four of his Marines were missing.
Rodriguez-Chavez, driving an armored Humvee as part the column's security element, called Fabayo and begged to drive up and help, Fabayo said no. He wanted no more Marines in the kill zone
Eventually, Rodriguez-Chavez did drive into the ambush three times, evacuating two dozen Afghan troops and Marines.
"As the only vehicle moving anywhere, particularly into the fight, their Humvee became the most obvious target on the battlefield and it was hit again and again. But with no other way to get to their friends available, they kept going, returning fire entire time," Mabus said.
By now Fabayo was with Rodriguez-Chavez in the Humvee as he drove into the kill zone a fourth time under heavy fire. With Fabayo in the gun turret, the most exposed part of the truck, they found the four missing Marines. Unfortunately, they all died fighting off the ambush. Nonetheless, Fabayo, Rodriguez-Chavez and several other Marines and soldiers risked their lives to get the four fallen Marines off the battlefield.
Fabayo is now a trainer at Quantico, where new Marine Corps officers go through basic training. Rodriguez-Chavez is also a trainer, at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri.
Fabayo was born in Nigeria but considers himself a New Yorker. Rodriguez-Chavez is a native of Acuna, Mexico.
Mabus noted that these heroes were fighting for their adopted nation:
"Neither of the recipients of the Navy Cross today were born in this country. But through their active service, both have demonstrated a deep and enduring love for the United States of America and a commitment to defend everything it represents."
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Ngodigha1(m): 10:49am On Mar 25, 2012|
Celebrate every Yoruba.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 2:58pm On Mar 25, 2012|
•First Black Woman To Publish An Article In The Annals Of Mathematics Founded In 1884.
SEYI GESINDE x-rays the life and achievements of Dr Katherine Adebola Okikiolu, an associate professor of Mathematics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in the United States, who as a mathematical analyst focuses most of her research on the area of spectral geometry, to solve problems in spectral geometry.
Katherine Adebola Okikiolu is a British-born Nigerian Mathematician living in the United States of America (USA), who recently emerged the first black to win the most prestigious young person’s award in Mathematics, the Sloan Research Fellowship. She has been described as “a brilliant mathematician” by authorities in Mathematics in the US, and currently, she is an associate professor of Mathematics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in the US.
Mathematics seems to be a family heritage of the Okikiolus, as both parents of Katherine who she obviously takes after are mathematicians. Her father, George Okikiolu is a mathematician and an inventor said to have written more mathematics papers than any African mathematician, while her mother, a Briton, Hans Lindblad is also a mathematician.
Born in England in 1965, Katherine studied Mathematics at the prestigious Cambridge University and left with a Bachelor of Arts degree, while she left for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for her post-graduate studies where he bagged her Ph.D degree.
It was at UCLA after her Ph.D that she teamed up with two of her colleagues to propound a theory which is aimed at solving what they termed: “A problem concerning asymptotic of determinants of Toeplitz operators on the sphere and a conjecture of Peter Jones, characterising subsets of rectifiable curves in Euclidean n-space.”
This propelled them to exhibit what is described by authorities in mathematics as a “first rate mathematical abilities.” Two years after their attempt at solving the problem, Katherine became a teacher and an assistant professor at another Ivy League university in the US, the Princeton University where she stayed for two years.
Thereafter, she became a visiting assistant professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). For her exemplary scholarly activities, Katherine, in 1997, got the status of a full resident of the United States. And as if that year was marked as a year of honour for her, in June of the same year, Katherine was decorated as the first black to win the Sloan Research Fellowship, the most prestigious award for young Mathematics researchers in the US.
She later left MIT to work with professionals at University of California at San Diego (UCSD) as an associate professor of mathematics.
A catalogue of Katherine’s achievements apart from a Ph.D, postdoctoral work at Princeton’s Institute of Advanced Study and MIT and the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship she won in 1997, she is also a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers with a $500,000 prize.
In 2001, she became the first black woman to publish an article in the Annals of Mathematics, a journal of research papers in pure mathematics founded in 1884. She speaks further about herself and programme:
What it entails to be a mathematical analyst.
I am a mathematical analyst, and most of my research is in the area of spectral geometry. Problems in spectral geometry are also studied by various kinds of geometers, number theorists, applied mathematicians, mathematical physicists, and others.
What is Spectral geometry?
Spectral geometry most usually means the study of how the geometry of an object is related to the natural frequencies of the object. These are the frequencies at which the object can vibrate. A vibrating object often produces a sound, and the frequencies can be heard as the dominant tone and the overtones of the sound. The well known question highlighting what spectral geometry is all about is the question “Can one hear the shape of a drum?” I am a mathematical analyst, and most of my research is in the area of spectral geometry. Problems in spectral geometry are also studied by various kinds of geometers, number theorists, applied mathematicians, mathematical physicists, and others.
In mathematical terms, the natural frequencies of an object (or rather their squares) are the Eigen values of a partial differential operator called the Laplacian. This Laplacian takes each function defined on the object and differentiates it twice to give a new function. The Eigen values of the Laplacian form an infinite sequence of numbers tending to infinity. In spectral geometry we study how these numbers depends on the shape of the object.
For people who like to know the full story, I should mention that many spectral geometers (including me) who work on the Laplacian on smooth manifolds study the whole sequence of Eigen values of the Laplacian. Now the low Eigen values can give accurate values for the frequencies at which a real life object vibrates, but the very high Eigen values do not correspond to genuine physical vibrations of the object because of molecular forces and damping. These effects are not included in the model where the vibration is driven by the Laplacian alone. This means that my research is rather different from that of an engineer who wishes to model precisely the vibrations of a real life object. In actual fact the questions I work on are more closely related to mathematics arising in quantum physics and string theory. In addition, I don’t always study the Laplacian, but also the Eigen values of other operators, which might represent other physical quantities than the frequencies of vibration. I mostly study spectral geometry for nice smooth objects such as spheres and tori, but some people work on rough objects and even discrete objects like graphs.
Latest research works.
In the last eight years, I have worked mostly on the spectral zeta function, which is an infinite sum of powers of the Eigen values. In particular, I have worked on the zeta-regularised determinant, which is used in topology, quantum field theory, and string theory. Recently, I have been very interested in the sum of squares of the wavelength of a surface, which is related to all kinds of different things including vortex theory.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 3:01pm On Mar 25, 2012|
Nigerian Mathematician wins AU Science award
A Nigerian, Professor Oluwole Daniel Makinde,presently a Senior Professor of Applied Mathematics and Director of Post Graduate Studies at Cape Peninsula University (CPTU) in South Africa has emerged winner of the African Union Kwame Nkrumah 2011 Scientific Award for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation.
The award was presented on Sunday, January 29 at the African Union Commission Headquarters during the formal opening ceremony of the 18th AU Summit, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Professor Maryke Tine Labuschagne also bagged the Life and Earth Science Award.
Makinde, who obtained his B.Sc and M.Sc degrees from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), and a Doctorate from the University of Bristol has contributed immensely to the upliftment of previously disadvantaged groups in Africa especially in the area of mathematical science research and training.
The African Union launched the AU Scientific Award Programme on September 9, 2008. Renamed as the “African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Awards” in July 2010, the award “is one of the holistic and deliberate measures taken by the Commission to maintain science and technology on top of Africa’s development, co-operation and political agenda. The objective of the programme is to give out scientific awards to top African scientists for their scientific achievements and valuable discoveries and findings.”
President Goodluck Jonathan in a congratulatory letter to Makinde described his achievements as “a source of pride to all Nigerians, particularly worthy of emulation by the younger generation”, adding that the winner is “a very gifted scholar, an achiever, and a man of impressive credentials.”
Makinde a past winner of the Young African Mathematician award in 2003 was also appointed Secretary of the African Mathematics Union in 2009.
During his visit to the Nigeria in 2010, he was at the Covenant University.
Prior to joining CPUT, Prof Makinde headed the Applied Mathematics Department for more than ten years and became a Full Professor at the University of Limpopo in South Africa.
Makinde in an interview published in CPUT Newsletter described mathematics as the “precursor of science and technology and the indispensable single element in modern societal development.”
According to him, mathematics education is therefore indispensable in nation-building.
His key focus area for research is in Computational and Mathematical Modelling of Engineering and Biological Systems.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 3:06pm On Mar 25, 2012|
Nigerian Born America Ofers Students scholarship Worth N5million
Nigerian born American, Mr. Bob Agbede, has offered scholarship worth N5 million to indigent Nigerian best graduating engineering students, spread over the next 10 years.
The lucky recipients would be free to pursue Masters Degree in the field of Engineering at any US University of their choice, beginning from this year.
Mr. Agbede, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Chester Engineering, made the disclosure in Pittsburgh, USA, when the former Institute of Directors, IOD, President Mr. Chike Nwanze and a group of Nigerian Chief Executives from the organised private sector met him at the Allegheny conference.
He said that the gesture was part of his way of giving back to the Nigerian society and apprciation of the goodness of God upon his life.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 3:08pm On Mar 25, 2012|
Kase Lawal: Not your average oil baron
Nigerian-born entrepreneur Kase Lawal is the epitome of the American dream. Arriving to the US a young, idealistic student, Lawal has carved a name for himself in one of the most competitive industries in the world: Oil.
Now head of a multi-billion dollar empire, his Houston-based company, CAMAC, is one of the largest black-owned businesses in the U.S., generating over $2 billion dollars a year.
Founded nearly 25 years ago, Lawal built CAMAC (which stands for Cameroon-American) from a small agriculture business into a global oil company. But it's taken a lot of hard work, determination and guts to get him to the top.
Born and raised in Ibadan, Nigeria in 1954, Lawal became interested in America and its civil rights movement during his teens. After finally persuading his father, a local politician, to send him to university in America, Lawal headed to Georgia and then Houston, where he attended the Texas Southern University.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering in 1976, Lawal, like many of his classmates, started out as a graduate in the energy industry. First as a chemist for Dresser Industries (now Halliburton) and then as a chemical engineer with Shell Oil Refining Co.
During this time he met his wife, Eileen through a mutual friend and had his three children.
Now married and settled, it wasn't long before the innovative young Nigerian started to implement his business ideas.
In 1986 he established CAMAC, a company trading agricultural commodities such as sugar, tobacco and rice. In the early 90s he made the leap into the energy sector after the Nigerian government started to develop its energy market.
With his knowledge of Nigeria and his Houston address, Lawal was ideally positioned to attract major oil companies. In 1991 CAMAC made a deal with the oil giant Conoco, agreeing to jointly operate and share production from any Nigerian discoveries.
This turned out to be Lawal's big break.
With his political contacts, local market knowledge and now with the backing of a major oil firm, Lawal's Houston-based company became an instant player in the energy industry.
As Lawal told CNN: "That partnership I believe was the cornerstone of the CAMAC that you know today. Subsequently with that credibility and the advantage of partnering with Conoco, we were also able to partner with BP and also with Statoil of Norway and currently we have made a partnership with Eni, the largest Italian company, which is one of the top five oil companies in the world."
Now CAMAC has offices in London, Johannesburg, Lagos and Port Harcourt, Nigeria and is involved in oil exploration, refining and trading.
He was awarded the USAfrica Business Person of the Year in 1997 and in 2002 CAMAC was named the largest African-American owned company on the Black Enterprise 100s list.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 3:12pm On Mar 25, 2012|
African Style: Nigerian Native Naima Adedapo American Idol Finalist
Nigerian-born Naima Adedapo, whose name means exotic flower is the daughter of Milwaukee area jazz singer Adekola Adedapo.
She moved to Milwaukee with her family when she was just 10 years old. It was around this time when young Naima got involved with the Ko Thi dance company and went on to appear on P.Diddy’s Making The Band. After graduating from college, Naima majored in Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
“She is an artist, by the truest definition of the word. That young woman can’t be anything else but that,” said, Ferne Caulker, a teacher and Naima’s godmother.
Naima auditioned for the tenth season of American Idol in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was not one the five female vote getter in the semi-final round to advance to the Top 13. She was one of the six selected to sing for a wild card and advanced to the Top 13. Adedapo performed a reggae-infused rendition of Rihanna’s hit Umbrella on Wednesday March 9th before judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson.
This eccentric young lady is a wife and mother of two little ones and very proud of her roots as we have seen her pay tribute to her African heritage through her style.
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FAB Fashion: Nigerian Actress, Adepero Oduye Graces the Cover of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Issue – By Ola Ebiti
February 2, 2012
The Vanity Fair Hollywood issue is a yearly issue dedicated to Hollywood and its effect on popular culture. The issue usually focuses on established and up and coming actors in Hollywood, and also showcases people who are likely to be nominated or have been nominated for an Academy Award.
This year, the magazine features the likes of Rooney Mara, Elizabeth Olsen, Paula Patton and Nigerian Born Actress Adepero Oduye. Oduye recently gained a lot of buzz for her lead role in the independent movie Pariah, in which she plays a teenager who “quietly but firmly embraces her identity as a lesbian”. The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in which it was awarded the ‘Excellence in Cinematography Award’, and has been in the press ever since.
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Nigerian Student Wins Award In Economics Competition In U.K
Nigerian-born Anu Omotunde-Young, an economics student at the Lancaster University Management School has won second place in The Economics Network Student Challenge 2011 , a national competition for economics students in the U.K.
In this year's competition, students were asked to send in creative entries on the topic "Why Study Economics @ University?" Anu who is in the second year of her BSc Business Economics degree, wrote a poem about Nigeria followed by a creative analytical writing. In addition to her academic studies, Anu is currently editor for Lancaster's Economic Society Journal and volunteers through LUSU Involve on the Schools Partnership Programme, in which she tutors Year-3 and Year-6 children in English and Maths at a local primary school. She has completed internships at the British House of Commons and the Nigerian Government on World Bank and United Nations Development Assistance programmes. Ultimately she sees herself as an aspiring economist – perhaps a chief advisor and specialist on economic growth and development in Africa. I read the poem and analysis and it was indeed an interesting and insightful piece.
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The CAA Emerging Writer Award
For the Canadian (or permanent resident) writer under 30 deemed to show most promise in the field of literary creation
The 2011 winner is Titilope Sonuga, Edmonton, Alberta, for Down to Earth (self-published). Prize: $500.
Titilope Sonuga is a Nigerian-born spoken word poet and author of a collection of poems called Down to Earth. Titilope is currently based in Edmonton, Alberta, and plays an active role in the local and regional poetry community as a member of the board of directors for the Edmonton Poetry Festival and SpoCan (Spoken Word of Canada). She is the founding member of the Breath in Poetry Collective, a group of poets and poetry enthusiasts that create spaces for artistic expression in the Edmonton community. Titilope is currently completing an artist residency in Cape Town, South Africa. Visit www.escapetown.wordpress.com.
Words of Acceptance
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Canadian Authors Association for this recognition of my work. My dream as a writer and a poet is that any person can find a thread of their own truths in the every story that I tell. To receive the Emerging Writer Award means to me that I am one step closer to that dream. I would like to congratulate all the nominees and award winners honoured here tonight. In the words of Anais Nin, The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. Thank you all for giving us voice through your work.
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Nigerian agriculture economist wins a science award
An African scientist has won the communications award of the USA-based Council for Science and Technology (CAST) for the first time since it was established in 1986.
The winner, Nigerian agricultural economist Akinwumi "Akin" Ayodeji Adesina, is vice president of the policy and partnership programme for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) at its headquarters in Kenya, Nairobi, where he helps set policy and advises former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan, the Ghana-born chairperson of the AGRA board.
The award "puts an even greater weight on my shoulders to advocate for what I believe in and that is to end poverty and hunger from where I come from - Africa,'' Adesina said, according to an AGRA press release.
"For me, it is a mission to ensure all Africans have access to better food and nutrition. Farmers in particular have waited way too long for their lives to improve,'' he added.
In June, Adesina was appointed by United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-Moon as one of the 17 world leaders in the high-profile advocacy group for the Millenium Development Goals.
Adesina is one of four Africans on the panel, which is co-led by Rwandan president Paul Kagame and includes Kenya's Nobel peace prize laureate and environmental activist Wangari Maathai and Mozambique-born advocate for women's and children's rights Graça Machel. The panel is meant to push for the goals to be achieved by their 2014 deadline.
Adesina is also immediate past president of the African Association of Agricultural Economists, which held its third meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, last month. (Nick Vink, chairperson of the agricultural economics department at South Africa's University of Stellenbosch, is the new president.)
Adesina obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics from Nigeria's University of Ife (now renamed Obafemi Awolowo University), and a doctorate in agricultural economics from Purdue University in the USA.
He has worked in senior research positions at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, the West Africa Rice Development Association and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture.
In 1998 he joined the Rockefeller Foundation in the USA as a senior scientist for Africa and later served as the representative for Southern Africa, based in Harare, Zimbabwe, before leading the foundation's programme on raising incomes of poor farmers in Africa. He has also worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to the CAST website.
In 2004, Adesina spoke on fostering economic growth and improving markets at the Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020 conference organised by the International Food Policy Research Institute in Kampala, Uganda.
And in 2006, he was a driving force behind the African Union's ministers of agriculture summit in Abuja, Nigeria, in which 40 African nations committed to improving the supply of organic and inorganic fertilisers across the continent.
Adesina accepted the award in the United States last month at the 2010 meeting of CropLife America, which was established in 1933 and represents the chemical companies that develop agriculture and pest management pesticides and other products to protect crops.
The CropLife Foundation, which in the past year has expanded its focus beyond the US to look at the devastating weed problem in sub-Saharan Africa and the need for herbicides, sponsored this year's award.
The award was handed over by Todd Peterson, the president of CAST, a non-profit organisation from Iowa that works on issues of animal, food, plant and soil sciences.
Previous winners of the CAST communications award include Pedro Sanchez of Columbia University's Earth Institute and Per Pinstrup-Andersen, former director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute.
The communications award is also named the Borlaug award after Norman Borlaug, the American agronomist and Nobel peace prize laureate who has been called "the father of the Green Revolution" for developing high-yielding, disease-resistant wheat in Mexico, Pakistan and India.
*Justus Wanzala, who is based in Nairobi, has been an editor and journalist at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation since 2002. He currently works as a freelance writer for Research Africa, where he completed a nine-month fellowship through Canada's International Development Research Centre in 2008. He was a member of the first intake of African and Arab science journalists in the two-year-long international mentoring programme beginning in 2006 by the World Federation of Science Journalists. He qualified at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication in Nairobi and is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in development studies by distance learning with UNISA (University of South Africa).
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First Black to win a Sloan Research Fellowship
K. Okikiolu: Born to Nigerian and British parents, but educated in the U.S., Katherine Okikiolu (was once on Princeton's faculty) received special distinction in 1997 when she was the first Black to win a Sloan Research Fellowship. Later in 1997, she won the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers for "Innovative research in geometric analysis, particularly the determinant of the Laplacian under smooth perturbations, and developing student workshops and mathematics curricula for inner-city children." This particular award is worth $500,000 and is only granted 60 scientists and engineers in the U.S. per year. Okikiolu's work on elliptical differential operators is considered a major contribution, going well beyond what experts had considered feasible, given the current state of knowledge. Her 2001 publication Critical metrics for the determinant of the Laplacian in odd dimensions in the Annals of Mathematics, is receiving high acclaim. She is Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of California at San Diego
Who are the young mathematicians whose careers exhibit extraordinary promise?
Mathematicians of the 21st Century
I had anticipated delaying this section until 2007 and young folks had begun to publish. However, as a winner of the AMU/ICMS 2003 Young African in Mathematics Medals, one individual has changed my mind.
Oguntuase: Currently in Italy, Nigerian born and soley Nigerian trained, James Adedayo Oguntuase earned his Ph.D. in 2001, but has published 18 papers in mathematics since 1998. This promises to be a stelar career.
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Nigeria dominates 2012 AMAA awards
NIGERIA reclaimed its leading position in motion picture production in the continent, a position it had hitherto lost to Congo, Ghana and Kenya at previous editions of the African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) when it grossed 52 nominations for this year’s edition of the awards, which will hold in Lagos on April 22.
The nominations were announced at a colourful ceremony, which held at The Kairaba Beach Hotel in Banjul, The Gambia and was witnessed by top celebrities, filmmakers and government officials, including the Deputy Prime Minister, Momodou Joof; Director General of the Gambian Tourism Board, Fotou Beyai; Minister for Works, Construction and Infrastructure, Francis Liti Mboge and Noah Touray, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, who represented the minister.
The Nigerian historical epic piece, ‘Adesuwa’, directed by Lancelot Oduwa Imaseun, led in the nomination haul among films from Nigeria entered for the awards. It hauled whopping 10 nominations including a nomination for best picture, best director, best costume, best visual effect and the best promising actress.
South Africa placed second on the nomination table with 45 nominations followed by Ghana, which got 17 including the best actor nomination for sterling actor, Majid Michael.
Kenya received 14 nominations. Others are Uganda with five, Tanzania with three and countries like Algeria, Cameroun, Guinea, Rwanda and Zimbabwe with one and two nominations. There were also nominations for films made by Africans residing abroad and for films made by Africans in Diaspora including those from Guadalupe and Jamaica.
However, it was South Africa whose films got the most nominations. Three of their successful films—-Otelo Burning, How 2 Steal 2 Million and the Nigerian-South African co-production, Man of Ground, directed by Akin Omotoso, received 13, 11 and 7 nominations while Ghana’s entry on the Civil War question in Africa ‘Somewhere in Africa’ as directed by Nigerian-born Frank Rajah and Kenya’s Rugged Priest received 7 and 6 nominations.
The other Nigerian films in nomination include Kunle Afoloyan’s Phone Swap, Izu Ojukwu’s Alero Symphony, Tade Ogidan’s Family on Fire and Tope Oshin-Ogun short film, Young Smoker.
AMAA 2012 Head of Jury, Asentewa Olatunji, disclosed that the AMAA secretariat in Lagos received over 328 entries from 28 countries across the continent, including Diaspora in the short film, documentary, animation and narrative feature category for the 2012 awards. Asentewa, a lawyer, film programmer and director at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, noted that only 34 films made it to the final stages of the award and that the board of jurors will decide the winners and announced at the award ceremony in Lagos on April 22.
The African Movie Academy Awards is reputed to be Africa’s most prestigious film award and indeed Africa’s answer to the Oscars.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the award, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, disclosed that the theme of the 2012 award is ‘African Rising’. She explained that the theme was chosen because of the diversity of the entries for the awards and the nominations, which as she further explained, is a clear demonstration of potential of African Cinema to contribute to African economy.
At the nomination event on Saturday, The Gambian government, through the Ministry of Tourism, expressed its desire to host the 2013 edition of the awards. “We shall not only host but we shall also host to win”, Noah Touray said.
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Adesokan, scientist, wins MIT's World Top Young Innovators Award
While several young Nigerians are busy complaining their country has not done anything for them, 35- year- old US- based Nigerian born researcher, Yemi Adesokan, has put his country's name on the map of nations of innovation.
Adesokan's discovery which has potential to change the way mankind responds to disease pathogens, according to experts, may bring an end the era of increased burden of drug resistance in the world particularly, in sub Saharan Africa.
When he moved to United States in 1996, little did the young innovator have realise that he was going to rub shoulders with some of the greatest names in scientific technology.
But today, Adesokan who has been listed by Technology Review, an independent media company owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT) USA. as one of the TR35 Award of the 2011 World top innovators. Past recipients have included Sergey Brin (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and Konstantin Novoselev (later a Nobel Laureate in Physics).
Adesokan is being so specially honoured for his work in the application of next generation sequencing to clinical diagnostics. Adesokan, who is also the founder of Pathogenica Inc., was selected as a member of the TR35 class of 2011 by a panel of expert judges and the editorial staff of Technology Review, who evaluated more than 300 nominations.
By this recognition, he will be joining other TR35 honorees in discussing their achievements at the Emtech MIT 2011 conference, taking place at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, October 18 to 19, 2011.
In this chat with Chioma Obinna, he speaks on the award and the benefits of his innovation in the diagnostics world.
What it is all about
This work is being carried out by a biotechnology startup that I founded with Prof George Church of Harvard Medical School DNA technology. The Pathogenica's test kits are able to identify the presence, allowing for physicians to screen for multiple diseases with accurate results and a rapid turnaround.
I founded pathogenica with genomics pioneer and Harvard Prof George Church in 2009 in order to commercilaise applications of pathogen sequencing.
Sequencing technologies have improved a million – fold in the past seven years, bringing scientists a wealth of individual genomics and the key now is to employ the data to improve clinical practice. The DNA sequence of each individual or organism is unique, and is the most detailed signature for identification.
This year marks one decade since the completion of the Human Genome Project, a three billion-dollar effort to sequence a human genome.
A major issue in Nigeria today, is that some sterilised water may contain harmful pathogens. The technology is useful in screening a range of pathogens in water, livestock (poultry, etc.), and in food manufacturing. The key point for this technology is its high multiple. As it scales up, we actually see a reduction in price.
With the innovation, the cost of DNA sequencing has dropped more than 40,000_fold since that time to just $5,000 today. The price continues to drop. We are applying this fast, inexpensive technology in a unique way to improve routine clinical diagnostics.
Impact on clinical practice
The utility of the innovation in clinical practice lies in the low error rate, thereby reducing the number of inaccurate diagnoses due to false positives or the emergence of drug resistance mutations undetected by current methods. This reduces the occurrence of patient mortality (death) due to misdiagnosed infections.
In addition, the technology does not require cultures as samples. Tuberculosis (TB) samples can take over one week to culture. We can demonstrate diagnostic results in a single day. This would reduce the spread of Tuberculosis In the case of HPV, which causes cervical cancer and other types of cancers, this technology can be used for detection with a very low occurrence of error. The error rate is very low.
Plans to bring it to Nigeria
We are very interested in finding partners in the Nigerian private and public sectors, particularly as TB is not an issue in the US market. We plan to visit Nigeria around November to give some presentations on the utility of our technology, particularly in the case of drug-resistant infections.
The TR35 award is presented each year to 35 innovators under the age of 35 whose "accomplishments are poised to have a dramatic impact on the world. The TR35 recognises the world's top innovators, spanning energy, medicine, computing, communications, nanotechnology, and other emerging fields.
It is given by MIT's Technology Review Magazine. Needless to say, Technology Review has an excellent track record in predicting innovative technologies. Pathogenica, Inc., was selected for this award based on my work on the development of fast DNA sequencing technologies for clinical diagnostics.
Nigerian government and Research
I think more can be done, especially in encouraging young innovators. The establishment of technology incubators to nurture and fund young companies would be a good starting point. There is need for the government to send science and technology representatives to scout out new innovations worldwide, and encourage private sector venture capitalists to invest in local technology innovation.
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BUNMI KOKO IN WORLD CLASS FASHION SHOW!
British King of Fashion storms Nigeria
…Rides into Lagos in style, hosts maiden Int’l luxury trunk show
* 150 high profile celebrities to attend show
* Tickets almost sold out
* Witness best collection of Nigeria/Scottish wears
* Owns the biggest fashion house in London
* His show stopper from New York, to South Africa & Nigeria
* Contracted by ITV news for Prince William royal wedding
* Designs for First Lady Michelle Obama, Nelson Mandela, Others
* Senator Ita Giwa chairs ceremony, Theodora Ibekwe in attendance
* Voted amongst Britain’s 100 Most Influential Black People
. Plus his exclusive interview with Nigeria Standard Newspaper.com
BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/Editor-in-Chief
HISTORY is about to be rekindled in Nigeria’s fashion industry come September 28 in Lagos, as Francis Udom and Bunmi Olaye a.k.a., Bunmi Koko, Nigerian award-winning fashion experts in London, friends of Prince Nduka Obaigbena, The Duke, Publisher of ThisDAY newspapers and President, Nigerian Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), a household name in couture garments and evening wear with a feel of Nigeria/Scottish culture in Europe and America will showcase their talents.
150 top celebrities ready for the show
In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, Bunmi Koko explained that as at today, his management has received assurance from 150 top celebrities in the political circles, business sector and entertainment industry that are ready to witness the ‘magic of his trends,’ in Lagos. His words: “It is a world class fashion show for the elites in the Nigerian political, business, entertainment sectors who appreciates the power of style, elegance and panache.”
High Expectation for the event…
In a press statement made available to Nigeria Standard, it reads “At the end of October 2011, London based emerging fashion and lifestyle brand Bunmi Koko will be hosting its first international luxury trunk show and a ‘Day with Bunmi Koko’ at Victoria Island, Lagos.
The event will include a seminar on “how to be successful in the creative industry” and talks with our Nigerian born Creative Director, Bunmi Olaye – “From college to runway” and how you can too. This is designed to help and encourage those people wanting a break into the creative industry and also help people understand about the industry.
There will be a talk/session by International Colour Coach – Alexandra Agboke (Former London’s West End Star who starred in the hit musical “The Lion King” and has a vision to help women worldwide discover and fulfill their destiny). A very special guest who will also be in attendance is Senator Florence Ita Giwa, to be assisted by Theodora Ibekwe, an upwardly rising entertainment specialist.
Also on the agenda will be Private Bunmi Koko Bridal and Couture Consultations (For Brides, Bridesmaids and Mother of the Brides with 30% discount on all orders placed).
The brands new Bridal designs produced ahead of the Royal Wedding of HRH Duke of Cambridge and HRH Duchess of Cambridge after Bunmi was invited to give comment on the ITV Royal Wedding Coverage and presenting her designs for The Royal Bride will be shown. Please see www.bunmikoko.com
As well as this, there will also be exclusive champagne receptions, canapes and an exclusive chance to purchase from the Bunmi Koko collections with discount on ready to wear stock available at the time, up to 50% off. There will also be a final trunk show/sale in the evening open to guests. The sale will feature items from all three Bunmi Koko collections, Geishas Reform, Matriarchy and Kaleidoscopia.
Due to the huge demand for this rare chance, these appointments will only be available on a first come first served basis. Tickets for this exclusive high profile fashion experience are £100 only. This includes access to all day Bunmi Koko event.
• You have to be registered by email through our Event Management company – firstname.lastname@example.org, by stating your full name, contact address and telephone numbers etc
• A ticket of £100 or equivalent in Naira or dollars for this exclusive event is non refundable
• A proof of payment, a valid ticket and a proof of identity at the door before entry
Early reservation is recommended. Please contact Danielle Jennings - email@example.com for reservation forms. Venue details and sponsors will be announced in mid September
Show train moves from New York, to South Africa & Nigeria
Koko, acclaimed by Western press for his exotic designs and prestigious press coverage further New York is presently playing host to his exquisite designs, while the fashion train will berth in South Africa by September 23 and move to Nigeria just five days later in a show that will be a talk-of-the-town for a long time to come.
Background of Bunmi Koko
Bunmi Koko is an international award winning luxury fashion and lifestyle brand based in London with a Nigerian/Scottish heritage. They specialize in ready to wear and couture garments for bridal and eveningwear and special corporate gift designs.
Designs for Michelle Obama, Nelson Mandela, Others
Bunmi Koko has rocked the fashion world with highly acclaimed fashion shows and prestigious press coverage. His designs have also caught attention of numerous celebrities and fashion icons including First Lady Michelle Obama, Her Royal Highness, Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge and Nelson Mandela.
Bunmi Koko was also invited by His Royal Highness, The Prince Of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to represent Africa at a reception held to celebrate West African Culture at the St. James palace on 20th July, 2011.
Most recently Bunmi Olaye, Creative Director at Bunmi Koko, was requested to join the panel during the ITV Royal Wedding Coverage to discuss the fashion of the day and most importantly, to comment on the most anticipated dress of the decade, the wedding dress of the new Duchess of Cambridge.
Based in London, the brand designs stem from Bunmi's and Francis’ Nigerian/Scottish heritage. Bunmi Koko also stresses “diversity and inclusion” as part of their mission statement. The joint work of Bunmi and Francis has resulted in the creation of Longitudinal Caissons: a new method of creating tubular silhouettes in fabric. In addition to that, print technology is a key strength and unique selling point for the brand. This is due to the fusion of Bunmi’s fashion skills and Francis’ engineering skills, resulting in innovative and structured designs which caught the attention of a growing number of celebrities including former Spice Girl Mel B, Michelle Obama, members of Destiny's Child, top fashion writers like award-winning Fashion Director of The Telegraph, Hilary Alexander. In the second year, The Bunmi Koko brand became one of the most talked about emerging brands.
Bunmi Olaye was born in Nigeria and came to the United Kingdom (UK) to study at St Margaret's School, Bushey in Hertfordshire. Her first fashion degree was an undergraduate foundation course at Wimbledon School of Art where she gained a National Diploma in Art & Design. She went straight on to study Fashion Promotion at the Kent Institute of Art & Design, which led to her working as a fashion stylist and illustrator in London. Bunmi then went on to work for luxury companies such as Anne Fontaine, Harrods and Prada before going back to study at the London College of Fashion, where she undertook the FdA Styling & Photography course.
She also ventured off to take a Fashion Design & Marketing Degree at the University of East London, where she was awarded a special prize for Female Entrepreneurship in 2010 and currently appointed by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patrick McGhee, as their ambassador for Female Entrepreneurship. Whilst studying, she made clothes for individual clients, most notably former Spice Girl - Mel B and in her sandwich year, she worked with couture designer Allison Rodger and Alexander McQueen and the luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton under the LVMH group. While in Aberdeen, Bunmi Olaye met Scottish based engineer, Francis Udom (CEO) and their union inspired them both to start Bunmi Koko. Bunmi is now the Creative Director of the luxury brand, Bunmi Koko.
Where to track the works of Bunmi Koko
Below are some of the websites you can visit to track the electrifying works of this great Nigerian nominated as finalists for The Scottish Fashion Awards for Retailer of the Year along with many other celebrated awards such as Winner of Emerging Designer at the African Fashion Awards 2010 and voted into the Power List 2011 – nominated as finalists for The Scottish Fashion Awards for Retailer of the Year along with many other celebrated awards such as Winner of Emerging Designer at the African Fashion Awards 2010. He was also voted into the Power List 2011 – Britain’s 100 Most Influential Black People sponsored by J.P. Morgan. The links are:
Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week contract
As a result of these huge achievements, Koko has been given a show slot in Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week to showcase the new marine inspired collection which will be unveiled on September 15, 2011. According to Koko, “We will be showcasing this collection in both London and Paris too, which is an extremely exciting opportunity for us to be invited to such prestigious events.”
For the records, just last year, his fashion house showcased ‘Matriarchy collection’, after the huge support his firm received. They were honoured to receive a personal invite to meet with Nelson Mandela at his private home in Johannesburg, which led them to collaborate with the United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP). The UNWFP was introduced to them by Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of WFP with the initiative to ‘Fill the Cup’, which his firm championed.
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Queen Honours Nigerian-Born Debbie Ariyo With OBE Award
Nigerian-born Debbie Ariyo has been honoured by the Queen of England with an award of the Order of British Empire (OBE) for her advocacy work for the rights of African children.
Ariyo, the Executive Director of Africans Unite Against Child Abuse (AFRUCA,) a non-governmental organisation, was one of two Nigerians honoured by the queen in 2011 for their works on youth and children development.
The other recipient was Mr Richard Taylor, the father of Damilola Taylor, the Nigerian youth murdered by some youths 10 years ago.
Taylor also received an OBE from the Prince of Wales at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace on Thursday.
Reacting to the award, Ariyo said the recognition ``was a huge incentive for me to continue working fearlessly for children across the world.
“It is fulfilling to see that our work over the past 10 years campaigning for positive changes for African children is being recognised at the highest level,’’ Ariyo said in London on Friday.
She said that over the years there had been a disproportionately high number of African children referred to the child protection system by the British authority.
Ariyo attributed the development to abuses linked to cultural and religious practices; child trafficking and exploitation.
He said since 2001 AFRUCA’s sensitisation and campaign efforts had led to various changes in government policies
“We have been very vocal in advocating for changes in policy and the law to criminalise the branding of children as witches,” she said.
She listed such policies to include the enactment of a new law, Section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, which makes it an offence to hold someone in slavery or forced labour.
Another policy is the establishment of a National Working Group on Witchcraft and Safeguarding by the UK Minister for Children.
Ariyo also said that AFRUCA had trained more than 1,000 practitioners on child protection among African children and families across the UK.
She said the body was currently collaborating with 10 faith-based organisations across the UK to develop, implement and monitor child protection policies and provide advice and support on child protection to parents, who required it.
She also said the organisation recently launched a project that would promote the rights and welfare of vulnerable children in Nigeria.
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Breaking News: Wizkid Becomes Youngest MOBO Award Winner!
Banky W protégé, Wizkid has become the youngest artiste to win the prestigious Music of Black Origin(MOBO)Award in history.
Wizkid won the Best African Act at this year’s edition of the award held in Glasgow, Scotland few hours ago.
The award was broadcasted live on BBC3 and hosted by wave making Pop artiste, Jason Derulo and Model cum singer, Alesha Dixon.
The fast rising hiphop act, who became popular with his first hit song, ‘don’t dull’ beat other artistes like Dbanj, Seun Kuti, Cheik Lo, Smmod, Owiny Sigoma Band, Fatoumata Diawara, Liquideep, Spoek Mathambo and Viewux Farka Toure to win the award this evening.
The singer who was not physically present at the award is in the studio recording with Mo’hit’s Star, Wande Coal for the latter’s upcoming album.
But he was quick to announce to his twitter followers after the announcement, ‘#TeamWizkid we did it!!!… Now let’s get the EMA!!! God Bless everyone dat voted….. wow’, he tweeted.
Presenters at the award include, Chipmunk, Nigerian born Olympic medalist Phillips Idowu, Fazer of N-Dubz and ex-Sugarbabe Keisha Buchanan.
Other Nigerian acts that has won the award include 2face Idibia, Nneka and 9ice.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 3:49pm On Mar 25, 2012|
Meet Nigeria’s King of Television, Greg Odutayo
Interview by Ameyaw Debrah of Jamati. Visit Jamati online here
Nigerian television is growing fast and one of the biggest forces to reckon with is Producer /Director, Greg Odutayo. Together with his wife, Debbie Odutatyo, their Royal Roots Production Company has made an impressionable mark on the Nigerian television landscape and continues to set the bar in quality TV productions in Nigeria and across West Africa.
Royal Roots has emerged from the early days of radio production and event management into a formidable force in television across Africa. Their first Television content was a cooking programme, ‘Global Cuisine’ and after that came the phenomenal comedy series, ‘House A-Part’ which won Royal Roots a lot of accolades. With their imprint of quality clearly becoming evident, they received some funding from the French Film Fund to produce a 26 episode series ‘Tides of Fate’. Soon came a much bigger break when M-Net commissioned them to produce the hit family drama series, ‘Edge of Paradise’. M-Net wanted to commission one programme but found Greg’s proposals too irresistible so they commissioned two programmes – ‘Doctors Quarters’ and ‘Edge of Paradise’. Fully aware of the huge potential of reaching thousands of homes across Africa via M-Net, Greg and his team gave Edge of Paradise all that they had.
“We bought the best available equipment and assembled a close knit and professional team. By the time we finished 26 episodes, we barely made any money but we were equipped to produce wonderful programmes and to top it all, we were asked to do a Season 2. That was the icing on the cake”, comments Greg. Edge of Paradise got nominated at the 47th Monte Carlo Television Festival alongside series like ‘Desperate Housewives’, ‘Lost’, and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. It lost the award ‘Lost’ but went on to clear almost all available Television Awards in Nigeria.
Royal Roots has developed several TV content which have been syndicated across Africa, as well as established an outreach in Ghana. Jamati online got in touch with outspoken Greg Odutayo, who is also the President of National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) to talk about his journey, the future of television in Nigeria, challenges working with a Ghanaian cast, funding among other very engaging topics.
You seem to have found your niche in producing sitcoms. What draws you to comedy?
Let’s be realistic, people face challenges everyday in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. The challenges of everyday living are quite daunting so television for many people is to relax and acts as an elixir. Entertainment is key before information and education. Sitcoms achieve this for me, because we are thinking of the needs of the audience first and foremost. We make them laugh at other people’s situation and circumstances and then relate it to themselves later. We choose sitcoms particularly because of the exigencies of recording. Sincerely because of the way we like to work – having 100% control of our environment – sitcoms is the way for us. We work conveniently in one situation.
How did it all start?
Royal Roots is 13 years old now, so we have been at it for a while. The dream was long before that. It was systematically plotted but at the precise time that God wanted this to happen, we got commissioned for a 26 episode radio programme for a distillery in Nigeria. That was the big beginning for us. Before then, we were doing commercials and promos – little things here and there. We also did a lot of Events Management for big projects and carved a niche for ourselves in this sector. So the beginning was radio. I have a deep passion for radio because you can really have fun with the medium. From there we made some money and bought our first set of television production equipment. My deep belief is that for you to enjoy Television production and do it with all the attentions and details that we desire, you need to own your own equipment. This way you are not in a crazy hurry due to budgeting constraint. You are able to be creative.
What are some of the other productions that you have done?
I also had the privilege of producing and directing ‘Deal or No Deal Nigeria’. We were commissioned by MNET and ENDEMOL South Africa. ‘DOND Nigeria’ was produced by an entirely Nigerian crew headed by me and my wonderful wife and we did well. DOND was another great experience for us. We could feel the fear from the South African guys as ENDEMOL does not usually allow other people to do their formats but we put in everything and in the end it was a huge success. After that we started our Ghanaian outreach of Royal Roots named Hot Shot Production. Hot Shot produced ‘Soul Sistas’ and ‘About to Wed’; and we have since produced ‘My Mum & I’. I think it’s the first TV content to be produced on High Definition in sub Saharan Africa. I stand to be corrected.
Which is your favourite production so far?
My obvious favourite will definitely be “Edge of Paradise”. We kicked some ass with that production.
Which has been your most challenging?
The most challenging was ‘My Mum & I’, because we had become tired of the entire accolade from Edge of Paradise and we wanted to do something that will surpass that. It was tough but I think we were able to achieve that. We are still waiting for the audience to judge.
What inspires or influences your work in television?
I draw on inspirations like the erstwhile ‘Village Headmaster’, ‘rooster crow at Dawn’ which ran in Nigeria in the nineties. I also draw a lot from sitcoms like ‘Cosby’,’ Two and a Half Men’, ‘Desperate Housewives’ etc. We have sought to raise the bar of TV production where ever we find ourselves. Quality is our watchword in our productions as we strive to do things differently from the way everybody else works. It’s been challenging but fulfilling.
What is your production team like and how do you ensure that you remain relevant in television?
We have been working with about the same production team we started with. People come in and go but we hope that they imbibe our values. It is a little difficult to work with us in Royal Roots because of our attention to details. Therefore, to work with us, you have to probably be trained in the way we will work. It is easy to reach the top than to stay there. With all sense of humility, we are on top of our game but to remain there, we have to constantly re-invent ourselves. We work very hard as a team but our values are the same.
How does the husband and wife team work for you and Debbie?
We work extremely well. It’s not just a wife working with her husband; it is rather that I have a bloody good producer working with me. I am allowed to create because producing is taken care of. We have boundaries and we both work within the boundaries. In addition, we are best of friends. We do not carry our home to work and vice versa. So it’s all cool.
Do you get sponsorship for your productions?
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than to get sponsorship for productions. We place a lot of emphasis on our value system in Royal Roots as such; we cannot bribe our way through. We will not do this. Sponsorship in Nigeria largely is dependent on the number of asses you can lick and we cannot do that. We would rather have our work speak for us. Until sponsors learn to call pitches when they want to commission programmes and ensure best practices in such commissioning, we will continue to churn out low quality productions. So basically, we run it as a business, we invest our own money and resources in producing, buy airtime from our stations (I like to call them airtime vendors – because that is all they do – vend airtime) and put it on air. We then source spot support for the programmes. It is tough but what can we do? We have had the grace of God on our side. However, I will definitely welcome another commissioning as we had with M-Net. We will like that very much but until then, we soldier on.
How would you describe the state of television in Nigeria currently?
The Television industry in Nigeria is on a roll on the creative side. There are a lot of quality programmes being churned out, although the crappy ones are also there side by side. There is still a lot of room for improvement. This is occasioned by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) rule that stipulates that all stations in Nigeria must only run local content programmes from 7pm – 10PM everyday. This is prime time in Nigeria and it has somewhat driven away the foreign soaps etc to other times. We are however still far from the ideal, producer still have to pay through their noses for airtime and this is not good for creativity. This has to change for the industry to achieve true growth. Stations must go back to commissioning programmes. That is the way the industry must be structured. The risks borne by producer right now are monumental and unhealthy.
How many others countries show your programs?
All of our sitcoms have run in Ghana, because Hot Shot and Royal Roots have worked together seamlessly. We run in Kenya, we are on Africa Magic (which runs all over Africa), and in the UK. We have opened discussions with many other countries but many broadcasters are not willing to pay. They come up with a whole lot of crap about payment ceilings. They actually want to pay the same rate as they pay for other low quality programmes and that is not good for us. We have invested a lot into our programmes and as such always only sell to those who appreciate our quality and are ready to pay for it.
Are you working on new productions currently?
We just rounded up shoot on 78 new episodes of ‘About to Wed’. We are also starting in February at least 52 new episodes of ‘My Mum & I’. We also have a couple of franchise for Nigeria and Ghana – ‘Identity’ – a game show. It’s going to be very exciting. We also have Nigeria & Ghana’s Next Producer, a franchise from NBC’s ‘America’s Next Producer’, and a lot more. We are on the road to being West Africa’s No 1 when it comes to Content Creation, Production and Studios. We are working hard at achieving that.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 2:26pm On Mar 28, 2012|
Dayo Okeniyi Plays "Thresh" in "Hunger Games". He represented district 11
Dayo Okeniyi who plays Thresh, the tribute boy from District 11, sports the Mockingjay pin on the black carpet. When one of the photographers on the press side told him to turn around and take a picture with the fans, he happily obliged both media and fans.
INTERVIEW WITH ESSENCE:
ESSENCE: You’re new to Hollywood. Share your background for those who don’t know.
DAYO OKENIYI: I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and I moved to Anderson, Indiana, in 2003 to go to school. I finished high school in America, then I went to college. I studied graphic design and advertising. But while I was there I did plays, so acting has always been my true love. And I did theater in Nigeria, too — I did a ton of plays when I was home.
ESSENCE: The Hunger Games is your first major movie. How did you land the role of Thresh?
OKENIYI: I moved to LA a couple years ago and I was lucky to land an indie feature right away. At that time, I was tipped off that there was a casting director looking for young actors. So, I followed up and performed for him and he was really impressed. He was like, “Who’s your agent, I’d love to get in touch. I have roles I’m casting for right now and I think you’d be perfect!” I was like, “Sir, I don’t have any representation.” He then made a phone call and set me up with a manager. It was a victory just getting representation. The first audition my manger sent me on was The Hunger Games, and I got the role.
ESSENCE: For those who are unfamiliar with The Hunger Games, how would you describe your character? Also, did you have any challenges preparing for the part?
OKENIYI: The biggest challenge was the physical aspect of the role, training and getting in shape for the film. I would describe Thresh as this huge colossal figure. He’s definitely one of the favorites to win the Hunger Games. But he really has a soft heart. He doesn’t want to partake in the games, unlike those who actually train their whole lives and look forward to getting selected to go. Thresh doesn’t want anything to do with it. He tries to avoid conflicts at all times. But if he’s backed into a corner, he can do some damage. He’s not out for blood, he just wants to make it through the game and make it back to see his mom and his sister.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 2:34pm On Mar 28, 2012|
Hope Adjoko Olubunkonla Olaide Wilson
Jump to: Actress | Self
Hide Actress (13 titles)
2012 Girl Soldier (pre-production)
2012 The Philosophers (post-production)
2011 Solace (short) (completed)
2012 Southland (TV series)
– Identity (2012) … Jamaica
2010 Lie to Me (TV series)
– Delinquent (2010) … Amber (as Hope Olaidé Wilson)
2010 Faith and Dreams (short)
2009 Cold Case (TV series)
Chandra Patterson '70
– Soul (2009) … Chandra Patterson '70 (as Hope Olaide' Wilson)
2009 I Can Do Bad All by Myself by Tyler Perry
2009 Dark Blue (TV series)
– August (2009) … Neighborhood Girl
2009 Life Is Hot in Cracktown
Girl in Closet
2008 Crenshaw Nights (short)
2007 The Unit (TV series)
– The Outsiders (2007) … Jackie (as Hope Olaïde Wilson)
2006 Untold Stories of the ER (TV series)
– Officer Down (2006) … Princess Njinga (as Hope Wilson)
Hide Self (3 titles)
2010 41st NAACP Image Awards (TV movie)
2009 Straight from the Horses Mouth (video)
2006 Blood Diamonds (TV documentary)
Lovette Freeman (voice)
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by ifyalways(f): 3:22pm On Mar 29, 2012|
Rev. Mrs Dele George(Yoruba by marriage),founder of Strong tower mission and little saints orphanage.A trained accountant but left all for Charity.If ever there is a word like a "successful orphanage" then little saints is the word.Her honesty,tenacity and humility in the face of storms and trials is awesome.I love this woman.
Bimbo Akintola,an actress.I just love her.Her carriage,smile,face,everything about her makes me smile.
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by Nobody: 5:03pm On Mar 29, 2012|
^^^ Thank you
Richard Ayoade Achieves Highest UK Per-Screen Sales, Wins Bermuda Film Festival
he roll of achievements and great reviews from "Submarine", the big-screen directional debut movie of Nigerian British writer-director and comedy genius Richard Ayoade, just won't stop.
In case you missed it, "Submarine" finally hit the cinemas on March 18, where it quickly achieved the highest per-screen ticket sales of any film released in the UK. Also, as the month ended, the movie was named one of the two big winners of the Bermuda International Film Festival Awards 2011.
Popular in the UK as an actor, writer and director, in various TV and Film comedy productions, especially for his roles in "Nathan Barley", "The Mighty Boosh", and geek IT technician, Maurice Moss in "IT Crowd", "Submarine" is Richard Ayoade's first big-screen movie. And if its great reception is anything to go by, it won't be his last!
|Re: Successful And Admirable Yorubas by MoAfrica: 11:09am On Aug 09, 2013|
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