The reenactment of one of Nigeria’s best-known musicals, OMG the Musical, was staged at Shell Hall, MUSON Centre. The show was a product of another successful partnership between the MTN Foundation and Ayo Ajayi, the producer of the musical.
The musical details the story of a fictional Gafuma, a woman marginalized by the patriarchy and denied opportunities she was qualified for, who time-travels to the past where she meets Nigerian icons, including Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Margaret Ekpo and Gambo Sawaba. The musical highlights the systemic oppression of women and its manifestation in form of female genital mutilation, rape and workplace inequality.
Reputable actor, Wale Ojo, who was spotted enjoying the show, described it as “excellent” and stressed the need to remember and celebrate the feminist icons that toiled hard to create change, “First of all, my rating of the show is like nine on ten. It is such an excellent show. I think it addresses some of the major ills of the Nigerian society at the moment which is “collective amnesia.”
The term “collective amnesia” means that we forget easily those who have shaped our future. Those same people are the strong women of yesterday – the Funmilayo Ransome Kutis, Margret Ekpos, Zulu Shofolas. They are the women that have shaped our future but we have forgotten them. We have deserted them. Most importantly, we have deserted our fountains of wisdom and teaching and this play teaches us to go back to that.”
Explaining why the MTN Foundation chose to support the project, the Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Odunayo Sanya, stated, “At the MTN Foundation, we are committed to promoting stories that are capable of positively shaping society. We believe that stories with messages that advance efforts towards creating a more equal and safer world for all women are very important because beyond entertaining the audience, they spark conversations on this very important issue. More importantly, we support the arts, especially young people like Ayo Ajayi because we believe in the youth and we see arts as a veritable tool for youth empowerment.”
Speaking on the challenges the production team and theatre industry face and MTN’s role in helping them overcome, Ajayi said, “The process of bringing this musical to the stage was very challenging. The problem we have in this sector is finance. People don’t believe in investing in this kind of thing and I can tell you that the greatest export that can come out of Nigeria is the arts. We are very good at what we do. Nigeria can create the next Broadway, the next West End.
“But are we thinking in that direction? Absolutely not! This production has actually brought together almost 100 youths from different fields – acting, dance, drama, light, designing, costume, amongst others. As such, without proper financing, things like this won’t happen. That’s why we really appreciate MTN for looking into this sector and they have been doing it consistently. Without organisations like MTN, this would not have happened.”
Further expressing his gratitude to MTN for its support and contribution to youth empowerment, he said, “I will like to say that I love MTN with all my heart. They are the greatest supporters of the arts industry in Nigeria. The thing is that when you support the arts industry, you end up supporting and empowering a lot of young people. What MTN is doing goes beyond the arts and culture sector, rather, I regard it as a full-blown youth empowerment scheme. Based on MTN’s contribution I’m sure a lot of people would still come into this sector. The youths of this country are our oil. We should focus on them because they show a lot of creativity ranging from digital media, light design, motion graphics, amongst others.”
ALAT by Wema Targets Young Nigerians With Wealth Management Talk Series
Nigeria’s leading digital bank, ALAT by Wema, on Thursday, July 15, 2021 hosted the first edition of its Talk Series. The session which was held on the social networking application Clubhouse was themed, “Wealth Creation and Wealth Management for Nigerians Under 30.”
The session was moderated by personal finance guru, Tosin Olaseinde with the Chief Digital Officer Of Wema Bank, Olusegun Adeniyi, and Popular Nigerian Vlogger, Sisi Yemmie as speakers.
The ALAT Talk Series is one of the many ways the bank is showing support for young Nigerians across the country – and at this first session, they provided an opportunity to discuss key issues such as money and finance, as well as business management, and entrepreneurship.
For Tosin, her foray into the promotion of financial literacy began when she kept getting broke despite earning a considerable wage. Yemisi Odusanya, popularly known as Sisi Yemmie on the other hand was able to monetise her skills and things she loves doing. Now, she is a renowned vlogger making money from her vlogs, meal plans, and recipes.
On his part, Olusegun Adeniyi shed more light on the role of the fintech industry in empowering young Nigerians. He also elaborated on ALAT by Wema’s role in supporting young Nigerians through various youth-focused initiatives. ALAT and Wema have jointly provided advisory services for small and medium scale enterprises through loans and other business support initiatives. “ALAT is truly with its customers all the way. Recently, we opened an SME school to aid the growth of SMEs in the ecosystem. We have our customers and the youths at heart and we will further support them in our capacity.“
Funmilayo Falola, Head, Marketing, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, Wema Bank commented on the bank’s decision to Launch a talk series targeted at young Nigerians. “As part of our commitment to continually support young Nigerians in their endeavours, we have decided to host this Clubhouse session. As a brand, ALAT by Wema strongly believes in the need to invest in young people who will in due time become seasoned professionals and experts in their respective fields. We are supporting them with capacity building initiatives, and programmes that will empower them,” she said.
According to a report published by the National Bureau of Statistics, 33.3% of Nigerians are unemployed. This means that about one-third of Nigerian youths are unable to find jobs. Sessions like the ALAT Talk series are essential to give young Nigerians a safe platform to discuss entrepreneurship, money management, and other issues that can help in bridging the employment gap and fostering innovative ideas to ease the heavy financial burden on Nigerians.
Airtel Reaffirms Commitment to Building Communities as ‘Touching Lives Season 6’Kicks Off
Photo: L-R: Chioma Okolie, Lead, Corporate Social Responsibility; Emeka Oparah, Vice President, Corporate Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility; Erhumu Bayagbon, Head, Public Relations and Olusina Adegoke, Regional Operations Director, Lagos Region all of Airtel Nigeria at the Airtel Touching Lives Season 6 Media Launch in Lagos.
Leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has reaffirmed its commitment to empowering and uplifting vulnerable people, building communities and creating value for all its stakeholders as it announces the commencement of the sixth edition of its flagship CSR intervention, ‘Airtel Touching Lives 6’
Speaking in Lagos on Wednesday, 14th July, during a media launch of ‘Airtel Touching Lives 6’, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, said a strong sense of purpose is driving Airtel Nigeria’s relentless focus on sustainable initiatives that can positively impact the various communities where it operates in.
According to Ogunsanya, purpose is powerful as it does not just define an individual or an entity, but drives its every action and decision. “A social license is the love, loyalty, friendship and affection you get from the communities where you operate as well as from your different stakeholders.
Airtel is committed to its purpose of empowering and uplifting people and making a positive and lasting impact in the lives of its stakeholders, thereby earning its social license.
“To realize this vision, the Airtel Touching Lives initiative was created to offer relief and hope to the underprivileged and downtrodden and also inspire the strong and the wealthy to support the vulnerable and the poor.”
The Airtel CEO also noted that Airtel Touching Lives 6 will continue to focus on the overall philosophy of the programme while taking cognizance of key events such as the global pandemic that has made life difficult for many people.
“In the last 16 months, our lives have dramatically changed with Covid-19 and its many variants and waves. In our approach for Season 6, we will pay attention to Covid-19 but we will also focus on education and other areas and we will not deviate from seeking out indigent and medically challenged persons who desperately need help,” he said.
Ogunsanya urged the public to be part of the initiative by nominating projects, persons and communities that require support.
According to him, “the nomination process is simple. Once you nominate an individual or cause, our team will review and assess the situation and determine if a follow-up visit will be required. The public can nominate individuals or projects in their communities by dialling 367 or by sending an SMS to the Shortcode, 367. Also mail can be sent to email@example.com ”.
Currently in its 6th Season, Airtel Touching Lives is Airtel Nigeria’s flagship corporate philanthropy initiative aimed at providing succor to the underprivileged, hard to reach, vulnerable and disadvantaged in the society.
Airtel Touching Lives takes the format of a reality television show, allowing the public to nominate causes, communities and underprivileged persons/people with special needs. Airtel thereafter evaluates and selects the causes to support and the activities are filmed and broadcasted on terrestrial and satellite television stations with the aim of inspiring other corporate organizations as well as well-meaning individuals to join in supporting the weak across society.
Airtel Touching Lives is about real people, real stories and the real effort of a corporate organization to uplift the needy and underprivileged, emancipating thousands from the shackles of poverty, despair and hopelessness.
Through the programme, Airtel has refurbished an ICT centre for a large community, built modern water borehole systems for large communities, refurbished cancer centers, refurbished a Library for Blind people, rehabilitated an IDP Camp clinic facility, set up small scale trade for underprivileged persons, paid medical bills of underprivileged children and women and flown many persons abroad for treatment, among others.
Danbatta, Others Extol Retired Deputy Director, Jerry Ugwu
The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta and other staff of the Commission, have commended the dedication, hard work and outstanding work ethics demonstrated by Jerry Ugwu, a Deputy Director, who recently retired from the service of the Commission.
Ugwu, a seasoned lawyer who has been described by all as a role model to many staff members of the Commission, exited the telecoms regulatory agency, at the mandatory retirement age of 60 years.
He joined NCC in 2010 as Chief of Staff in the office of the Executive Vice Chairman and has moved through the ranks, culminating in his last-held position as Head, Legal Registry Unit in the Legal and Regulatory Services (LRS) Department of the Commission,
Speaking at the valedictory session organised by the Commission in his honour in Abuja recently, Danbatta described the celebrant as a dedicated and exemplary staff with excellent work ethics.
Represented by NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu, Danbatta said Ugwu made significant impact in various capacities where he served in the Commission, adding that his dedication to work and gentleman posture are well acknowledged by Management.
“Jerry Ugwu is a pleasant personality; reserved but resourceful. He is a gentleman who is contented and has served the Commission creditably in the past one decade. We, therefore, wish you happy retirement,” Danbatta said.
Earlier in her opening address, Director, LRS, Josephine Amuwa, said Ugwu had “served meritoriously in various capacities over the years and contributed his quota to the growth of the telecoms sector.” She said Jerry’s great personal attributes, such as his analytical skills, deep understanding of the Law, devotion and dedication to work will stand him in good stead in his future endeavours, saying that all the staff of Legal and Regulatory Services Department, will surely miss him, particularly his calm disposition to work.
“This is a day of celebration not only for all you have accomplished but also for all the possibilities that will be unfolding before you. Congratulations! We pray that the Almighty God give you the wisdom and strength needed to fulfill all your personal aspirations, post-retirement. Enjoy the new chapter of your life and enjoy being your own boss; say ‘Goodbye!’ to tension and ‘Hello!’ to your pension,” she added.
In his remarks, Ugwu thanked the Commission for the opportunity given to him to serve his country and also appreciated his colleagues for orgainsing a befitting retirement. “I am humbled to hear all these good comments that have been said about me and I am grateful to all of you for organising this valedictory party in my honour,” he said.
The valediction was attended both physically and virtually by senior management staff including NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Ubale Maska; directors, deputy directors, assistant directors and other members of staff of the Commission, as well as family members. They took turns to rain encomiums on the celebrant and wished well in retirement.
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