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NOTTINGHILL 2014 CANIRIV FLOAT BUILT IN RECORD TIME

 

Members of Team Zmirage were on ground in London to lighten up the Nottinghill Carnival 2014. Arriving in groups from 20th August 2014, the 8 man team comprising of MD/CEO Teju Kareem, Lillian Amah-Aluko also included other staff members such as Bola Adejumobi, Kunle Jimoh,  Jide Adekeye, Saheed Moshood, Sherif Yekini and Lynda Amadi. They joined the Zmirage UK team of financial director Mrs.Taiwo Kareem and executive director Shabaka Thompson.

 

Their brief was to participate in the float building/decorating workshop handled by Shabaka Thompson who was mandated to build and deploy the CANIRIV float which the RSTDA team from Rivers State in partnership with Peoples World carnival band were putting on the streets of Nottinghill for the 3rd year running. After a really nice outing in 2013 which saw the host band Peoples World emerging 1st  and winning the trophy for the first time in 25 years, Team Zmirage was ready to better its best.

 

Completed in record time of eighteen hours, the 40 x 8ft truck was beautifully decorated with approximately 100 faces of African Icons ranging from Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou to Ahmadu Bello, Fela Anikulapo Kuti  and Malcom X. Standing at just 1 foot below the prescribed height of 14ft 2inches, the imposing truck drew crowds of revelers dancing and taking photographs all through the winding Nottinghill streets.

 

Also on hand were 4 time award winning carnival band leader Yibo Koko and Dr. Sam Dede, veteran actor and Director General RSTDA whose State led by the visionary Rotimi Amaechi believed enough in promoting unity through tourism to put money behind the drive to promote tourism in Rivers State by putting a float in the Nottinghill carnival for 3 straight years. The beautiful costumes of the State were regally worn by Carnivalistas who were mobbed by fans seeking photographs as rhythmic Nigerian and African music blared out from the speakers tucked away in the back of the float. Branded in CANIRIV colors, the float also carried information on CANIRIV coming up from 14th to 20th December 2014. With flyers inviting guests to CANIRIV being handed out by licensed distributors along the carnival route, Dr. Sam Dede hoped to see a further increase in visitors to the carnival which has witnessed an influx of International visitors in the last three years. Other advertising modes employed by CANIRIV included the London Bus campaign and newspaper advertising in various London newspapers.

 

Nottinghill 2014 was a cold, wet and very rainy event. That however did not deter the crowds of Africans in Diaspora who in the past few years have identified the CANIRIV Float as home away from home. The identity of the average African in the Diaspora which had been battered by years of psychological stripping was suddenly rekindled as the Africans who used to be onlookers suddenly became the stars. The world class beautifully decorated float as it paraded the 6 miles of carnival trail behind the Peoples World Carnival band legitimized the existence of the hitherto 2nd class Africans who previously only had the Nigerian corner to call their own. In the words of Teju Kareem "We who were onlookers, suddenly became the stars as the crowd followed us all the way from the judging point to the end of the route taking in the float and the beautiful costumes."

 

LILLIAN AMAH-ALUKO

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Zmirage, four states celebrate Soyinka @80

AS the countdown to Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka’s 80th birthday on July 13 continues, Zmirage Multimedia Limited, backed by the Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Rivers state governments have unfolded plans to celebrate the quintessential artiste in a loud way.

The platform for the celebration, as usual, is the Open Door Series of the Project WS (Wole Soyinka) and International Cultural Exchange (ICE) initiated five years ago by the chief executive of Zmirage, Teju Wasee Kareem.

Activities for celebrating the landmark age, that have since commenced in April, were shared with newsmen at a media briefing at Soyinka’s Kemta, Idi Aba home in Abeokuta on Wednesday.

The Secretary to the Ogun State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Yewande Amusan, Kareem and the producer, Lillian Amah-Aluko, took turns to speak on what will happen this year.

Adeoluwa said Kongi was worth celebrating because he had put the name of the state positively on the world map and that he had achieved a significant feat by joining the octogenarian class, having lived as a non-conformist. “For a man who has led a non-conformist life to live to be 80 years is a significant feat. It is worth celebrating,” he said.

Amusan, on her part explained that the state government was not supporting the celebration because Soyinka is an illustrious son of Ogun but because “he has been an untiring fighter for social justice.” She added that the celebration “symbolises a continuation of the life of an inspirational man who has fought and is still fighting for the dignity of man, the rights of individuals, unity and security of his country.”

Kareem expressed happiness that organisers have begun to realise some of the objectives of the WS/ICE project. He listed the essay competition among secondary school students from all over Nigeria, children’s creative and cultural presentation, tours of landmark places, conferences on national life and state of Africa, poetry performances and plays as some of the programs that will happen.

Kareem added that this year’s celebration has an international slant as representatives from Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago, Belgium, UK and the US will all be in Nigeria to honour Soyinka. 

Amah-Aluko, who gave an overview of the project, disclosed that the 80-day countdown to July 13 has since started. 

Some of the programmes holding this year include the WS80/ICE Exhibition tour around Nigeria. Abeokuta, Osogbo, Port Harcourt, Lagos, Jos and Igbale Aiye, Republic of Benin are some of the designated places. The tour will happen in Port Harcourt from June 27 to 29, Freedom Park in Lagos from July 1 through 7, Terra Kulture, Lagos on July 9, Ibadan from July 15 to August 15, Jos on July 19 and Igbale Aiye from August 17 to September 17.

A number of Soyinka’s plays will also be presented. ‘Alapata Apata’ directed by Tunde Awosanmi will be staged on July 9 at Akin Olugbade Centre in Abeokuta, ‘Death and the King’s Horseman’ on July 10 at the University of Lagos, ‘Lanke Omu’ on July 12 at June 12 Cultural Centre, ‘Oba Koso’ on July 12 and  ‘Madmen and Specialists’ on July 19.

The performance of Soyinka’s political satire, ‘Dance of the Forest’, will be the icing on the cake. It will be performed on July 14 at a yet to be disclosed venue.

80 spoken word performers including Mutabaruka from Jamaica, Javon Johnson from the US, Efe Paul Azino and Jumoke Verrisimo amongst others will feature at ‘The Soyinka Impulse and Education-Path to Freedom and the Future’ conference at Freedom Park on July 10 while the essay writing competition will hold in the morning of July 13.

A visit to Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun and spoken word performances and a stage play will end the celebration on July 14.

Akintayo Abodunrin

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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WS80 International Cultural Exchange Program Presents Dialogue Through Spoken Word

 

The Wole Soyinka Project in partnership with Unchained Voices, www.digitalblackonline.com, Taruwa and Freedom Hall presents Dialogue Through Spoken Word. This event will be taking place on the 11th of July 2014 at the University of Lagos Main Auditorium, and on the 13th and 14th of July at the Cultural Centre in Abeokuta . 

Dialogue through Spoken Word will consist of a constellation of performance poets coming together as part of the series of events marking the 80th birthday of Prof. Wole Soyinka. 

The fifth Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange Project tagged Open Door Series is a product of Zmirage Multimedia Limited led by Mr. Teju Kareem. 

Producer of the project, Lillian Amah-Aluko, stated that groundwork is being done to ensure that this year’s edition of the event will be memorable and hopes that it will supersede past events in quality and standard. 

‘‘We are working hard so that we can have a well-packaged event of international standard. When the event starts between July 7 and 14, it will be seen that it has become a major brand not only in Nigeria but across the world. WS 80 is very significant to us at Z-mirage for two reasons. 

First, the project will enter its fifth year as a cultural advocacy initiative and two, the face of the project will be 80. It is going to be a landmark event because there are so many individuals that will be involved in it,’’ Amah-Aluko stated. 

This event will feature renowned poets both nationally and internationally such as Mutabaruka (Jamaica) Javon Johnson (USA) Efe Paul Azino, Sage Hasson, Jumoke Verissimo, Dike Chukwumerije, Donna Ogunnaike, Wana Udobang, Jeffrey Jaiyeola Plumbline and many more

Elizabeth Ayoola

CONNECT NIGERIA

 

 

 

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