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Ayo Ajayi, MTN Foundation Celebrate Nigeria’s Icons and Promote Youth Empowerment in OMG the Musical

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Ayo Ajayi MTN Foundation Celebrate Nigeria’s Icons and Promote Youth Empowerment in OMG the Musical, SiliconNigeria

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.”

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Bossbus Technologies Partners Jim Iyke On New Movie

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Bossbus Technologies Partners Jim Iyke On New Movie, SiliconNigeria

L-R: CEO, Bossbus; Oluwatobi Johnson Fakayode, Actor and Movie Producer; Jim Iyke and Chairman, Board of Directors, Bossbus; Felix Achibiri at a Bossbus press conference in Lagos recently.

Revolutionary transport technology company, Bossbus has announced a partnership with Nollywood Actor and Movie Producer, Jim Iyke for his debut production and film, Bad Comments.

This partnership, one of the many projects Bossbus plans to take part in this year, is focused on providing safe luxury transport tech services to Sixth Sense as they drive home the message of the movie, Bad Comments.

While speaking at a press conference after signing a contract with Bossbus in Lagos, Jim Iyke expressed his love for the brand. In his remarks, he stated that “Bossbus is like family. This union goes way beyond the call of business. We will take Bossbus to the next level because I don’t see any better brand to partner with asides from this one.”

For Bossbus, the relationship with the entertainment industry is the beginning of a new journey. Addressing pressmen on the collaboration, CEO, Bossbus; Oluwatobi Johnson Fakayode explained that the transport tech company will be promoting the movie and the entertainment industry due to the latter’s ability to showcase Nigeria’s innovation to the world.

He stated that “The entertainment industry is the biggest ambassador of Nigerian innovation and tech industry.”

Reflecting on Bossbus’ connection to the Nollywood Actor, Mr Fakayode said, “There’s no other person that depicts the image of a ‘Boss’ rather than Jim Iyke. Jim Iyke is a very humble and forward-thinking man and there’s intermediation between our services and the movie. We’re very proud to be associated with him and Sixth Sense.”

Bossbus has been at the forefront of transforming the transport and technology industry with its integrated charter services, ride-hailing or fleet optimization program that provides safe, reliable, affordable and comfortable commuting experiences for its many customers.

The tech company’s mandate is not just to aggregate the majority of underserved sectors of the transportation industry like the vehicle, water, boat and air charter and rental services but to uplift the tech ecosystem by providing and promoting growth for technology developers and experts, especially in Nigeria.

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ALAT by Wema Targets Young Nigerians With Wealth Management Talk Series

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ALAT by Wema Targets Young Nigerians With Wealth Management Talk Series, SiliconNigeria

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.

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Airtel Reaffirms Commitment to Building Communities as ‘Touching Lives Season 6’Kicks Off

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Airtel Reaffirms Commitment to Building Communities as ‘Touching Lives Season 6’ Kicks OPff, SiliconNigeria

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 touchinglives@ng.airtel.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.

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