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Monday, 2 January 2017

Celebrities relive their unique experiences in 2016



By Paul Ukpabio

The year 2016 has come and gone but the memories linger on, at least for the first few days of the New Year, before heavy work resumes in year 2017. Can you recall one of your high moments in year 2016? For some they were very many high moments and for others, well, the year just rolled by...

For celebrities, 2016 was some kind of year, lucky breaks, new business deals, transformation and so on. We spoke to a few celebrities at the tail end of year 2016 and these were their responses:

Kenny Saint Brown (Musician)

My unique experience this year was the fact that I was able to create my own platform after a long while. The beginning of the year 2016 was rough for me, so also was the middle of the year. But towards the end of the year, everything picked up momentum and November and December has been most amazing for me. I had an event in November at Victoria Island. The concert was an all female gospel concert which has now become very popular. And we will be having it every year now. It has turned into a big brand for me now. Also I am part of the Lagos State end of the year music fiesta; I performed two days ago, and will perform again before the year ends. So it’s been a great year for me.
As regards next year, it’s going to be music, music and music.


Bashorun Dele Momodu (Publisher and ex-Presidential candidate)

My unique experience was my involvement in Ghanaian politics. Earlier this year Sky Ghana asked me what my experience was on President Mahama’s tenure in office, I simply innocently replied that I was amazed by the work he had done in the last four years. It went viral on the internet. And people said he had paid me to campaign for him. But it wasn’t so. But that gingered me into doing a story on him in Ovation. We eventually circulated this all around Ghana, a major project undertaken by Ovation magazine this year. So many people liked what we did and of course some other people did not.

Others wondered what a Nigerian was doing in Ghanaian politics. But then we have always been supporting the presidency in Ghana at least the last four governments. I am proud that we were able to do that work. He may have lost the election, but I know that in future, Ghanaians' will be proud of his contribution in all the development areas that we featured in Ovation magazine.


Adewale Ayuba (Musician)

My most unique experience was that God was with me throughout this, I was able to create digitalised fuji music. I tried to bring fuji back to dance hall and during this year, I finally achieved that: But to achieve that I had to open a new digital studio and even an analogue studio. I eventually got both. I had to do both together. Fuji music comes from analogue. I had to create the digital but without the analogue I couldn’t do that. I thank God that He made me to achieve that.
Also I had a single released from the digital fuji studio titled: Bonsue fuji from Africa. It’s a single. Next year we will do another single before we eventually put everything together to make an album.
I also thank God because I was also able to keep in touch with God. I got closer and closer to God and I dedicated myself more to Him. I depended more on God.



Wale Thompson (Musician)

Taking my music to Canada was not something that I expected to do in 2016. I was not expecting to travel out of the country this year. I was busy promoting my music when i got a call from Canada. So I had to put myself together and off I went to Canada. The show in Canada was fantastic.
In 2017, I’m looking forward to promoting my music and also hoping that more calls come from promoters abroad.



Femi Lasode (Film/Music Producer)

I had many unique experiences because God has been kind to me. I was able to travel to America after a long time. I traveled to America where I attended a global business conference. There I delivered a paper; my topic was on the international distribution of Nollywood movies. The theme of the conference was advancement in globalisation which fell in line with what my PhD is on, which is the impact of globalisation on the distribution of the Nigerian movie. I gave them the abstract of my PhD work. That was a unique experience for me. Before then, I had not traveled to America in about ten years. That conference gave me the opportunity. 

Also in 2017 I am looking forward to be involved in tourism thrust or programme. Whatever programme they are involved in I will be involved in hat one way or another. Tourism is a hidden jewel which will be a good earner for this country. That will be my goal in 2017.


Funmi Ajila-Ladipo (Fashion Designer)

My unique experience this year was the clothing of 5000 children within a month. And that was achieved between me and my friends and colleagues in the industry. After being in the industry for three decades, I can tell what clothing means to an individual. We had gone beyond the wearing of clothes; it was about covering the body for the children at the five IDP Camps we went to in Abuja and sent some to in Maiduguri. They needed clothes to cover the body. It was a time to clothes people who are not celebrities but are celebrities in their own rights: People who in later life may become celebrities. Covering the body from the hazards of the environment had become a total necessity to people in the camp and I’m glad that we were able to meet that need to a great extent.

More importantly also, this year has been good to us as a designer’s body. A division of the World Bank came knocking on our doors recently. Little did we know that we were being watched from afar. They came all the way from Washington DC and they came to ask us about our challenges as fashion designers in Nigeria. They told us that they want to partake and assist us in the different areas that we may be having challenges. We thank God for that. We know that next year will be greater for us as fashion designers because as it is now again, there is much to be done.


  
Princess Bunmi Jegede (Business woman)

For me, my unique experience this year has been the way President Mohammadu Buhari has been carrying on with the affairs of the country. True we know that things have been tough but we still need to have patience with this government. Despite the recession, we have been able to learn from our past mistakes. Now we know that we Nigerians have been caused our present problems. The President I can see is trying to make us repent and trace back our footsteps So we need to be patient with the government. For instance, this Christmas, Nigerian branded rice became popular unlike past yeas that we import rice. It cannot be easy turning around the country in one year, after so many years of rot and decay in the systems. It took more than sixteen years to get the nation to this situation that we have found ourselves.

We can see that President Buhari means well for the nation. The situation definitely is tough for many people right now but the victory is just round the corner. Once we encourage him and he gets it right, we will all begin to enjoy this country.

I thank God, business may have not been fantastic, but I know God is taking this country to a good place very soon.



Ayo Balogun (Musician)

My unique experience this year was that I was involved in many celebrations this year. Also this year, I worked harder, I was healthy and I give thanks to God for that, and I was able to get more and more engagements throughout the year despite the recession. My genre of music was able to get more and more attention and is still making waves. My colleagues were also able to enjoy patronage, and during the year, we got more and more people coming into the industry. That also means that there are more upcoming juju musicians in town now. I am proud of that, and again the 70th year celebration of King Sunny Ade brought throughout the year, brought us together more and we were out celebrating and enjoying ourselves. As a musician body, we will keep moving to greater heights in 2017. 




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