Archive for September, 2008


Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on September 12, 2008 by ayenithegreat


Former Remedies star Tony Tetuila is not the kind of guy that looks for every opportunity to cause chaos or pick up a fight. But the 33 year old act lost his cool last Friday during a night out with friends.


According to eye witness accounts, Tetuila was partying in the VIP area of Club Papas (a night club domiciled in K’s Place, Victoria island, Lagos) when the incident occurred. ‘‘He got involved in a heated argument with one of the bouncers’’, said a source who was also lounging in the club’s VIP section. ‘‘The guy must have said something very nasty because Tony was very upset and he lost his cool’’.


More than two people got injured in the process, as Tony threw his wine glass, injuring one of the club’s bodyguards in the head. Attempts by friends to hold him back proved futile as he tried to break lose, and wrestle the bodyguard.


Club owner Frank Okamigbo was not seen on the scene. But known names who witnessed the altercation include Banky W, Kaha, Jude Okoye.


‘‘It was a complete show of shame’’, said a source who witnessed the incident. ‘‘No matter what happened, Tony should not have reduced himself to the level of fighting with bouncers, and even injuring one of them’’


It was claimed that one of his friends, a certain Kentro World act called Flo also threw a can of beer at one of the bouncers.


Police was not called in.


And Tony continued to dance away all night, as the injured bouncer had to excuse himself from work and treat his wound.




Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on September 12, 2008 by ayenithegreat

The 'QUEEN' of R&B/Soul has lost her royalty as far as Nigeria is concerned...

The Queen of R&B/Soul has lost her royalty, as far as Nigeria is concerned




American soul diva Anita Baker may have to meet the organisers of her foiled Nigerian concert in court, if se fails to refund the fees she was paid for the concert.


A director at Kilimanjaro, the organisers of the event Mrs Toyin Adekoya told me on Tuesday that the company may resort to legal action, if Baker’s representatives do not refund the performance fees through their booking agent.

Adekoya told me ‘‘we have made a request for refund through the booking agent we used, and they have not said they are not making refunds. So, the issue of legal action has not yet come up. If they do not make the necessary refunds, then we will decide what to do’’.


However, speaking the mind of her company, she expressed deep regrets over the failed concert, maintaining that the company will ‘‘never’’ secure the services f the 50 year-old diva again. ‘‘We chose her because of her wide fan base in Nigeria, but we were completely disappointed by her actions when she came over. Our main regret is the disappointment felt by all those who came to watch her perform and were disappointed’’.


Baker had ignored a high-profile audience waiting to see her perform at the Expo centre, Lagos on Saturday August 30, after her reps said she was uncomfortable with the hall arrangement and technical quality.


No one has been able to say whether a clause in her contract, or a rider to the organisers specified her preference for theatre-style settings as opposed to the banquet style which is characteristic of most high profile events in Nigeria.


Meanwhile, the organisers continue to make refunds to disappointed guests, as they count their losses and hope to get back a large chunk of Anita Baker’s fees to cushion part of the losses.



Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on September 12, 2008 by ayenithegreat

Alex, GM MTV Networks Africa

Alex, GM MTV Networks Africa


When MTV debuted on the African continent in 2005, the promise from the network’s officials was clear: with its 100th channel, and expansion into Africa, the aim was not just to do business, but to expose African talents to the rest of the world. It was song to our ears.


Artistes and music industry heavyweights scrambled to be at the February 22, 2005 launch in Abuja. Tell an average Nigerian act that you would expose him internationally, and he’ll gladly give you his birthright.


But it didn’t take too long to realise that MTV was not interested in breaking African music into Europe or America. That wasn’t the brief the executors of MTV base Africa got from their bosses. What base has done since inception is to play urbane African music to young, impressionable Africans, while it continues to feed them with an overdose of music from America and Europe. They’re not showing Nigerian videos on MTV Europe or MTV America. Yet they’re promoting videos from these regions to us in Africa; continuing the neo-colonialism that Femi Kuti calls second slavery.


Apparently, the network follows the same ethics for its famous music awards. For the three years they had a category for Best African act at the MTV Europe music awards, the African prize was presented before the main ceremony, and the category is exempted in later broadcasts in Europe and America. That’s why, despite having had heavy rotation on MTV base since 2005, and having won the first ever MTV EMA best African act, 2face Idibia is still struggling to find his way into mainstream international music circles.


Don’t be fooled. MTV is not the vehicle we need to sell trado-modern African music to the rest of the world. MTV is not the vehicle that’ll expose our talents to Asia, America, Europe or the Carribean. American music, ideas, lifestyle and culture are taking over the world. And, just like CNN, MTV is one of the evangelists propagating the gospel. As I write, fresh videos (called ‘Spanking New on MTV) from Joe, Wyclef and others are playing on my MTV. But, will a music lover somewhere in America ever get to say if, say a new video drops from Psquare or Pasuma today? Of course not!


MTV base’s business starts and ends in Africa. They’re getting so much attention and patronage that very soon, they’ll be asking their strategists why it took them so long to come over here. And truth be told, they’ve helped our artistes and their directors to up the quality of videos. They’ve brought in fresh ideas and caused homegrown networks like Soundcity and Nigezie to sit up. Even Channel O is tightening its loins, not willing to lose out in the battle.


But MTV can and should do better. And infact, I am inclined to believe the want to do better. They’ve already set up an award dedicated to Africa, and they’ve put up a series -Advance Warning- expected to help upcomers find the limelight.

However all that will come to naught if base and the guys at MTV Networks Africa do not find a way to get music videos from Africa on MTV channels all over the world. Doing an award, or advance warning or paying artistes royalties are OK. But they can be compared to foreign governments and the UN giving aids to Africa.

What most countries on the continent need is investment, not aid. And right now, what our industry needs is structure and investment. Only proper exposure to the global community can ensure that.

Only adequate exposure to the global community can help our ideas, lifestyle, and music influence America and Europe. Right now, that’s about the only way we can create true global music stars that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Jay Z, Alicia Keys or Madonna. It’s only that kind of buzz, matched with efforts by industry practitioners to put the industry in shape, that can attract major labels, major markets, and help tell the modern African story in the right perspective.


So, while I join others to congratulate MTV on the advance warning initiative, and while I am glad for the likes of Terry Tha Rapman, OD, Terry G, Durella and many others who are finally getting their voices heard, I insist that the major task MTV should face, is that of exposing these talents, and many more, to the world out there. The world outside Africa. If it won’t do that, then it should stop feeding us with an overdose of videos from outside Africa.


If not, then we might as well begin to consider MTV’s coming to Africa a rip off; an attempt at exporting American music to an inquisitive, populous continent strictly for business reasons. Only time will tell…


Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on September 5, 2008 by ayenithegreat




If it happend in the United states of America, she would- by now- have had scores of court papers piling on her doorstep. She would have suffered the backlash and her publicists would be running around, doing damage control.

But last weekend in Nigeria, 50 year-old soul singer Anita Baker kept fans in an African city waiting all night; eventually not showing up, in spite of the fact that most of the fans had paid between $500, $1000 and $9000 to see her perform.


It happened in Lagos, a cosmopolitan Nigerian city regarded as the headquarters of showbusines in Africa.

She was in the country as part of a tour that had been advertised on her website since June 2008.

She had reportedly cancelled a gig in South Africa, from where she boarded a South African airways flight for Nigeria, West Africa.

And in Nigeria, fans who had coughed out as high as 100,000 Nigerian naira to see her perform had their expectations cut short after the 50 year-old multi-platinum singer refused to hit the stage, following an alleged disagreement with the organisers over the hall’s sitting arrangement.


Ohio-born Baker, who arrived the country on Wednesday August 27 aboard a South Africa airways fight, was scheduled to perform at the Expo Centre of Eko Hotels on Saturday August 30th.


A day earlier, she gave a surprise performance at a private 40th birthday shindig for Kemi Bolaji Balogun, wife of one of Subomi Balogun’s sons.


But on the D-Day, sources say she blatantly refused to step into the hall, after complaining that the arrangement was ‘banquet style’. The veteran singer is believed to favour concert style settings. And may have been upset by the sitting arrangement and the fact that tables had been sold.


Guests waited and waited. And the organisers -Kilimanjaro Events and Chapelhill Denham- prayed and hoped she’ll calm down and change her mind. The compere Basketmouth and rising act Nikki Laoye provided nerve-calming entertainment. But Guests (which included Tunde Okoya, Toyin Subair, Rosemary Kensington Adebutu, Dejare Adegbenro, Mina Okoloko, Stella Okoli and Lanre Nzeribe) grew increasingly impatient; sensing that ‘all was not well’.


And it was with a heavy heart that the MC announced that the singer would not be showing up. ‘‘all foods and drinks are now on the house’’, the MC announced to a bemused audience.


Baker or her reps have not offered any explanations or apologies.


But according to findings, she returned to the US on Sunday August 31; leaving the organisers to count their losses, and manage the issues the incident has thrown up.


Expectedly, opinions are divided on the diva’s action. Industry watchers continue to debate; some argue that the organisers may have ignored a condition on her rider; while others insist she ‘‘should have put her fans first’’, especially having come all the way to Nigeria, where she was billed to perform for the first time.



Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on September 5, 2008 by ayenithegreat

the arrogant diva stood her Nigerian audience up, refusing to show up on stage after high-calibre fans had paid over $1000 each to see her

the arrogant diva stood her Nigerian audience up, refusing to show up on stage after high-calibre fans had paid over $1000 each to see her

Dear Anita,


Greetings to you from the association of ex-Anita Baker fans in Nigeria.


Hope your flight back to the US was fun and eventful – and hope the pilot allowed the cabin crew and all passengers to stand on their chairs and hop to the sound of your music. Was the pilot kind enough to allow you use the cockpit as in-flight stage?


I ask because I know those are the kind of things you like; the kind of treatment we mere mortals should give higher beings like yourself. And I know that, usually, for us to prevent you from having what you like, is dangerous – not for you, but for us.


And at this point, permit me to congratulate you on your exploit during your recent trip to Nigeria. You arrived the country on Wednesday August 27 and left on the 30th, yet no one could lay eyes on you – not those nosy reporters who like to intrude your privacy; not the jobless fans who left their homes to come and watch you perform. We are still rejoicing on your behalf, because this is a feat no other act has been able to perform. Not Beyonce. Not Mary J. Not Missy Elliot. Not even Diana Ross!


The organisers set up the hall Banquet style, expecting you to jump on stage and do your thing. You, a whole you? Anita Baker? Where were the screaming fans? The wailing ladies and drooling men? How can they even take you to the Expo Hall, when they could have hired the national stadium in Surulere? When the Tafawa Balewa square in Lagos is still standing? What an insult. How can some mere mortals be wining and dining while you, the almighty Anita are busy performing? What part of Anita Baker don’t they understand?


Well, blame them not. Let’s assume they don’t have access to google. Or perhaps they thought that at well over 50, having been there and done that, you’ll be a warm, kind mother figure who’ll have mercy upon them and forgive their trespasses.


But you, dear Anita, goofed. Let’s not call a spade by any other name. And that’s why we’re all dumping our Anita fan card and joining the anti-Anita campaign. After several decades in the business, you should have known by now that fans and the media are very important to any artiste’s career. Toy with them and pay the price. Yet you choose to spit in the face of Nigerian journalists while you told fans to ‘go to hell’.


To ignore fans that have paid as much as N100, 000 each to see you perform, for very flimsy reasons, is to claim that we are all a nuisance; lesser beings not worth carrying the sole of your shoes. And to refuse honouring an earlier scheduled meeting with Journalists very unbecoming of someone of your calibre.

Why then did you travel all the way to Nigeria? 


 Yes ma’am, you had a rider. Yes, the organisers may have violated some terms and conditions. And you had every right to throw a tantrum if things were not looking the way you’ve been assured they would. But in a world where consumer is king; where the end, most times justifies the means, wouldn’t it have been just proper to show up and honour fans who have waited for you all night?


Dear Anita, showbiz is about the Love and the money. You got both on your trip to Lagos: You got paid in full; high calibre fans showed you mad love when you first landed Lagos. Many more were waiting to show you unrestrained love on the night on Saturday august 30… They came out with their families; the media was waiting, just to capture the moments. What did you give in return? You threw their love back in their faces; throwing a tantrum that’ll make Kanye West look like a nice, reasonable dude.


Why did you let your ‘beef’ with the promoters overwhelm you reasoning? Why would you come all the way to Nigeria, for a gig you’d been preparing for since June, and refuse to appear on stage, because of some details that could have been sorted?


And I blame you not, madam. I blame my people who treat anything from America as superior. If not, why would anyone risk their funds on a yesteryears act like you? You may never have heard of Onyeka Onwenu or Salawa Abeni. But they are our own home-grown divas. Just like you, they have paid their dues and come of age. And they can fill TBS and the national stadium – if only our promoters will look their way instead of shopping abroad for over-pampered divas like you who think the world begins and ends with them; and that fans are just a burden.


We hope and pray you never return to Nigeria. For, we will hire boys from Mushin, Ajegunle, and Okokomaiko. We will equip them with stones, pure water sachets and a certain plant called werepe. Don’t ask me what they’ll do with it. You. Just. Come.


Once more, thanks for insulting the Nigerian media. Thanks for ignoring your fans in Nigeria. Thanks for achieving a feat that’ll now make our promoters begin to look inwards when they have big-budget concerts to execute.

Your former fan.


Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on September 5, 2008 by ayenithegreat


Zeal, looking really heavy, at an autograph-signing session last month

Zeal, looking really heavy, at an autograph-signing session last month

Elizabeth Akinlabi, the soul singer known as Zeal has put to bed.

The young singer, who shocked many with her pregnancy early this year, delivered her baby at Reddington hospital, a private clinic in Victoria island, Lagos.

Sources close to the singer say she put to bed at about 6pm Nigerian time, and did not stay ‘too long’ in labour.

Zeal and her friends have continued to shroud the identity of her fiance in secrecy, but there is no doubt she’s having a very serious affair that may lead to marriage.

‘She’s very serious with this guy. He’s always by her side, and he has wormed his way into the hearts of her mom, her siblings and even her friends’, a source close to her told me last night.

Zeal moved to Nigeria around 2006, after living in Cyrus for several years. She belongs to the category of young acts who are looking beyond Nigeria; making music with a global slant.

Not weighed down by her pregancy, she continued to honour engagements and make public appearances up till last month.

No she's not carrying my baby! (like i really owe you an explanation...)

No she's not carrying my baby! (like i really owe you an explanation!!!)

However she turned down a magazine photoshoot around July, because, according to a source, ‘she would not display her pregnancy’ in front of the camera.

As the industry prepares to meet Zeal’s baby officially, many are keeping thier ears close to the ground, waiting for more baby news. Peter Okoye (of Psquare) and his lover Lola Omotayo are also expecting thier first baby. Sources say her EDD is ‘very near’, and she may have travelled abroad to have the baby.


Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on September 2, 2008 by ayenithegreat




The daring singer's break is just around the corner. But with marriage- and a baby- on the way, will everything still work as planned?

The daring singer



 Neo-soul singer Kween Onokala disclosed to AyeniTheGreat exclusively last week that she has stayed back for so long in London for ‘‘very important reasons’’.


The fast-rising singer was based in London for several years until she returned home in 2006. And it’s taken nearly two years for Nigerians to accept her again, after she disappeared in the late 90s after her popular single olurounbi.


But now, tongues have been wagging about her return to London at a point when her career was just beginning to take shape again.


At a chance meeting in London last week, she denied reports that she had moved back to London. ‘‘I’m only here for a while. I really want to come back home. But I’ve been busy shooting videos and working’’.


‘‘But most importantly’’, she told me, ‘‘I’m processing some documents and I have to see it through before returning’’.


Kween’s only son Tyresse lives in London with her parents and it is believed she will continue to have a soft spot for the city for as long as her family is there.


What she left unsaid, and what’s unknown to many is that she’s pregnant again; and preparing to say ‘‘I do’’ to the man who means the world to her.


 Investigations by AyeniTheGreat revealed that- though she may not say it- one of the most important reasons she’s staying back in London for so long, at a very sensitive point in her career, is because she has taken-in again.


The identity of the father of her first son Tyresse remains unknown. But we can authoritatively reveal that the man for whom she’s going to have her second baby is named Dotun Omotoye. The young, bespectacled entrepreneur is one of the owners of La Cachette, a popular hangout in Lagos.


Already, mutual friends say the couple are planning to get married in a matter of weeks. ‘‘He has proposed and she has agreed to marry him’’, a source close to the couple told me during the week.


It remains uncertain how the pregnancy and the upcoming wedding will affect the singer’s career. But it is worthy of note that her career was in a coma for nearly five years after she had her first baby in London. ‘‘She’s going to come back home and pursue her career; there’s no stopping her now’’, one of her close artiste-friends told ME on phone, while also confirming that ‘‘she’s expecting’’.


Her publicists at AO21 Media declined to comment.


Her long-anticipated debut Kweendoncome is scheduled for a late 2008 release.