Friday, 20 May 2022

Items filtered by date: November 2021

Saturday, 27 November 2021 02:12


National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has commiserated with the family and professional colleagues of the late Mr. Babatunde Omidina, aka Baba Suwe, over his death.

Baba Suwe died on Monday in Lagos. His remains were buried in his Ikorodu, Lagos, home yesterday.

In a condolence letter released yesterday by his Media Office in Abuja, the APC leader described the late Omidina as “an indisputable ambassador of Nigerian culture, judging by the tumultuous acclaim he received from both Yoruba-speaking and non-Yoruba speaking audiences.”

Tinubu added: “By way of this letter, please accept my deepest condolences and those of my wife and children over the recent passing of your husband and patriarch of the family, Mr. Babatunde Omidina, aka Baba Suwe.

“An accomplished entertainer and actor, Baba Suwe deployed his rare God-given talent to bring joy to many hearts. He was a comedian of note with an amazing gift of spontaneous artistry.

“During his earthly journey, we met physically a couple of times. However, I encountered him many times through his amazing works. Baba Suwe redefined the Yoruba genre of comedy with his creativity and brilliance.

“He was an indisputable ambassador of Nigerian culture judging by the tumultuous acclaim he received from both Yoruba-speaking and non-Yoruba speaking audiences.

“Your husband’s death is not only a loss to you and the immediate family, it is equally a painful loss to millions of his admirers at home and abroad.”

“We may have another Babatunde Omidina but it will be difficult to have another Baba Suwe. This untimely departure has left a big gap in the entertainment industry in Nigeria.

“My prayer is that God Almighty comfort all of you that he left behind. May his buoyant, creative and boisterous soul rest in perfect peace.”

Published in Headliners

Governor Willie Obiano has told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that he will be relocating to his United States base when he leaves office next March.

Reacting yesterday to Wednesday’s placement of the governor on a watch list by the anti-graft agency, Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Don Adinuba, accused EFCC of acting a script.

He said his principal, currently out of the country, never disguised when he embarked on the foreign trip.

The commissioner said the governor has made it public that he would relocate to his U.S. residence at the end of his tenure.

“Nigerians were dismayed that the EFCC went a new low on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, when it sponsored media reports claiming that it has placed Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State on its watch list. The EFCC provided no details of how Governor Obiano has been placed on its watch list but made a reference to a letter it purportedly wrote on November 15, 2021, to the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) asking it to inform the anti-graft agency anytime the governor is travelling out of the country,” Adinuba stated.

Published in Business and Economy

Police Command in Kwara has rescued seven workers of Lafrcdeen Pure Water Factory, who were kidnapped by unknown gunmen at about 2300hrs of Nov. 19 in Sosoki village via Alapa.

This is contained in a statement issued by Police Public Relations Officers (PPRO), SP Ajayi Okasanmi, on Sunday in Ilorin.

He said that the gunmen stormed the factory and abducted seven out of eight workers including the owner of the factory, Mrs Fatimah Nurudeen.

“In a similar fashion, information was received by the Police in Okeonigbin Divisional headquarters about the abduction of one Olujala Adegboja, 56, on his way back from his farm in Olla by six armed men and was led into the bush by the kidnappers.

“On receipt of the information, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Tuesday Assayomo immediately unleashed the Command’s Tactical Teams with the local hunters and vigilante to the area to rescue the victims and arrest the hoodlums.

“The efforts, however resulted in the rescued of seven out of the eight abducted workers, the command is getting close to rescuing the remaining victims and possible arrest of the kidnappers.

” The Command assured the general public that the effort of combined team of police men, vigilante and hunters are still ongoing to liberate the victims.

He advised the public to always be conscious of whom they share vital information about their movements with and to be security conscious at all times especially at this period when the year is running to an end.

He added that everybody including the good and the bad ones would want to celebrate Christmas and new year with pockets filled with money, even as they have no explainable means of livelihood.

The PPRO said the command would not relent in her commitment in ensuring that the good people of kwara sleeps with their two eyes closed at night and also ensure the peace and safety of the people before,during and after the yuletide.

Published in Business and Economy

Vinicius Junior scored his 10th goal of the season as Real Madrid thrashed Granada 4-1 on Sunday to shoot back to the top of La Liga.

Marco Asensio and Nacho Fernandez put Madrid two up inside the opening 30 minutes at Los Carmenes, where Granada briefly made a game of it when Luis Suarez pulled a goal back, only to be blown away in the second half.

Vinicius finished off a sumptuous Madrid passing move and was then on the end of a rash challenge from Granada’s Monchu, who was sent off with 23 minutes left to play.

With the extra man, the lead was never really in doubt and Ferland Mendy made it four to complete a convincing victory, which sends Madrid two points clear at the top of the table.

Granada sit 18th, four points off the bottom.

Carlo Ancelotti now turns his attention to Wednesday’s Champions League game away at Sheriff Tiraspol, with qualification to the last 16 not yet secured.

Inter Milan are two points behind in Group D and Sheriff only one point further back.

Madrid, though, appear to be hitting their stride after recording their fourth consecutive win and extending their unbeaten run to seven in all competitions. They face second-placed Sevilla next weekend.

Vinicius has been key and the Brazilian was on target again versus Granada, making it double figures for goals in a season for the first time for Madrid. He already has four more than he managed in the entirety of last term.

With Eden Hazard ill and out of favour and Gareth Bale injured, the third forward position, alongside Vinicius and Karim Benzema, is one of those up for grabs in Ancelotti’s starting line-up.

Asensio furthered his claim with a smart goal in the 19th minute as Granada were dispossessed in midfield and Toni Kroos sent Asensio in behind the defence, the 25-year-old holding his finish until the last moment before poking into the far corner.

“There’s a lot of competition but when he plays, the most important thing is he has played well, he’s scored and he’s brought his best qualities,” said Ancelotti.

Nacho made it two six minutes later, diverting in off the crossbar at the near post after a slick short-corner routine between the impressive Kroos and Luka Modric.

Vinicius’ rougher edges were exposed for Granada’s goal as a sloppy touch allowed Suarez space to unleash from range, with a deflection off Nacho giving Thibaut Courtois no chance.

But any hopes of a comeback were quickly dashed as Vinicius made it three in the 56th minute and Monchu was sent off in the 67th.

Benzema could have gone for goal himself but played in Modric at the back post. The Croat then tapped inside for Vinicius, who had an open net.

A frustrated Monchu slid in on Vinicius giving Madrid added security. Casemiro played in Mendy, who duly tucked home a fourth.

Published in Sports

Tottenham needed a second-half fightback to launch Antonio Conte’s reign in charge with a 2-1 win over Leeds, while Manchester City swept aside Everton 3-0 on Sunday to go second in the Premier League.

A severely depleted Leeds remain just two points above the relegation zone after threatening to spoil Conte’s first home league game since he replaced Nuno Espirito Santo.

Tottenham had not even managed a shot on target in their previous two league matches and there was little change for the first 45 minutes.

Even without key men Raphinha and Patrick Bamford, a youthful Leeds were well worth their 1-0 half-time lead thanks to Daniel James’ first goal for the club.

Harry Kane scored back-to-back hat-tricks for England during the international break, but has still netted just once in the Premier League this season.

Kane was denied in a one-on-one with Illan Meslier and Son Heung-min’s deflected shot came off the bar as Spurs improved after the break.

But the goals came from unfamiliar sources as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s scuffed shot found the bottom corner to level just before the hour-mark.

Sergio Reguilon then grabbed the winner with his first Spurs goal after Eric Dier’s deflected free-kick came back off the post.

A first win in four league games takes Tottenham above Manchester United, who sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday, up to seventh in the table and within four points of the top four.

City cruise
City were far more convincing winners as goals from Raheem Sterling, Rodri and Bernardo Silva saw off Everton at the Etihad to cut Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table to three points.

“In general we controlled the game,” said City boss Pep Guardiola. “We played the game we should play to beat teams like Everton.”

Sterling netted on his 300th Premier League appearance as he turned home Joao Cancelo’s sensational pass with the outside of his right foot for his 98th goal in the English top flight.

Without the presence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front, Everton rarely threatened.

Rafael Benitez’s men have now taken just two points from the last 18 on offer in the Premier League to drop into the bottom half of the table and just six points clear of the relegation zone.

Rodri’s stunning long-range drive into the top corner 10 minutes after the break ended the game as a contest.

City were then content to cruise for the final half-hour with one eye on Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

Sterling should have slotted home his second of the afternoon from Riyad Mahrez’s inviting cross, but was instead denied by international teammate Jordan Pickford as he tried to round the goalkeeper.

City did get a deserved third five minutes from time when Silva followed up after Cole Palmer’s shot was blocked.

Published in Headliners

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted fresh consignments of cocaine and heroin weighing 16.85 kilograms and worth more than N4.9 billion in street value.

This is contained in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja by NDLEA’s Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi.

Babafemi stated that NDLEA operatives intercepted the consignments at the Apapa Seaport and at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

He added that four persons were being investigated for the 13.65kg cocaine seized on board a ship, MV Karteria that came into the Apapa Port from Santos, Brazil, on Sunday, Nov. 7.

This, he stated was barely three weeks after 32.9kg of cocaine was intercepted at the port on another vessel, MV Chayanee Naree, also from Santos, Brazil.

According to him, in well-coordinated follow-up operations, five persons have been arrested in different parts of Lagos and Delta in connection with the shipment.

“A consignment of 3.2kg heroin was found on a passenger, Christian Osondu at the E-Arrival Hall of the (MMIA) on Friday, Nov. 5, during the inward clearance of Air Peace flight from South Africa.

“A swift follow-up operation on the same day led to the arrest of one Ude Onyeka at Mafoluku area of Oshodi in Lagos.

“Onyeka confessed that his elder brother, Ikenna Ude, who is based in South Africa, had instructed him to collect the bag containing the drug.

“He confessed also that he was to hand over to another person who was supposed to come from Delta,’’ he said.

Babafemi said that a second follow-up operation led to the arrest of Innocent Abanjo who came to Lagos from Delta to pick the bag around “Cele’’ Bus Stop, Okota, on Saturday, Nov. 6.

“Abanjo also confessed that he was contracted by one Oseki Chinedu, who is based in South Africa to travel to Lagos to collect the bag and to take it to Agbor junction in Delta.

“The third follow-up operation led to the arrest of Ihator Isioma at Agbor Junction on Sunday, Nov. 7,’’ Babafemi explained.
In another development, NDLEA operatives arrested one Emeka Obeluo on Saturday, Nov. 13 with 600 grams of heroin in Bayelsa.

Babafemi said that the suspect, a motor spare parts dealer hails from Anambra West Local Government Area but based in Douala.

Obeluo arrived in Yenagoa by sea to waybill the substance to an undisclosed address in Lagos.

The NDLEA spokesman also stated that four suspects were arrested and different quantities of cocaine, Indian hemp, tramadol and Methamphetamine seized from them during weekend raids in parts of Rivers.

“Those arrested are Elizabeth Iniama, Sir King Emmanuel, Godgift King and Amadi Bright.

Babafemi stated also that 18.51kg of illicit drugs were recovered on Saturday, Nov. 13 when operatives raided Bayan Gari and Sir Ahmadu Bello Way in Bauchi.
Two suspects, Gabriel Iwagbunan and Ms Cecilia Ezena were arrested during the raid.

“A 23-year-old Hadiza Ibrahim was also arrested on Friday, Nov. 12 on the Okene-Lokoja Highway with 54kg of Indian hemp, while one Sunday Nnam a.k.a Idowu was nabbed same day in Emene area of Enugu with 45kg also of Indian hemp, Babafemi stated.

In Gombe, one Umar Muhammad was arrested with 25,700 capsules of Tramadol weighing 15.1kg in Tudun Hatsi area of the state capital.

Babafemi said that following credible intelligence, two suspects, David Oduku, and Ifeanyi Raphael, were intercepted on Ore-Shagamu Expressway with 364.98kg of Indian hemp being conveyed in a blue Toyota bus.

He said that two suspects Buhari Jamiu and Ajibola Jimoh were also arrested on Sunday, Nov. 14 with 189kg of Indian hemp at Olorunlagba, Bode Saadu area near Ilorin.

Published in Headliners

The Defence Headquarters says the publication by an online newspaper claiming that the Nigerian military had warned politicians and officers against a coup was false.

“It is a malicious attempt to bring the military to disrepute.

“It is obvious that the online newspaper which published the mischievous story has its own sinister intention to cause confusion.

“The military high command hereby warns all mischief makers and their proxies not to draw the military into their engagements,’’ Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, stated in Abuja on Sunday.

He stated that the publication which attributed the source of its story to Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, was the handiwork of mischief makers.

Onyeuko added that the publication was also the handiwork of enemies of state as well as a deliberate and calculated attempt to mislead the public to cause disharmony in the polity.

According to him, the online newspaper manipulated, with the intent of disinformation, a previous message released in May by the then Director of Defence Information, who is the current Army spokesperson.

Onyeuko stressed that the Armed Forces of Nigeria would remain apolitical.

He added that the military would not hesitate to deal decisively with any person or group of persons that planned to tarnish its image or draw it into partisan politics.

He stated also that the armed forces also remained loyal to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari.

Onyeuko stressed that the military had sworn to defend democracy as well the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Published in Business and Economy

By Lawrence Njoku, Southeast Bureau Chief/ GUARDIAN.NG

As 2023 beckons, it remains to be seen how the All Progressives Congress (APC) would make its most talked about inroad into the politics of the southeast region going by the outcome of the November 6, 2021, governorship election in Anambra State.

APC, currently in control of power at the federal level, had seen the southeast as the missing link in its quest to become a truly national party. Although it had exercised control of Imo State in 2015, winning the governorship, and some National and State House of Assembly seats, that victory was briefly truncated during the 2019 general elections, as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the declaration of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) won the election. It took the declaration of the Supreme Court several months after for the APC, which came a distance fourth in the election to be adjudged the winner, a development that is still seen in many quarters as “miscarriage of justice.” Its candidate, Hope Uzodinma became the ultimate beneficiary as he was declared the governor of the state.

Uzodinma’s victory was seen as springboard on which the APC would be fully integrated in the region as the 2023 general elections beckon. After his declaration and assumption of office, it did not take long for several politicians in the region to jettison their original political parties to pitch tent with the party. Such bigwigs as Governor Dave Umahi joined from Ebonyi state; former BOT member of the PDP, Joy Emordi, Senator representing Anambra north, Stella Oduah, and incumbent Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke, among others, joined from Anambra State. Earlier, the likes of former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; former governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime; ex-senator Ayogu Eze among others joined from Enugu State and several others in Imo State.

But in the build-up to the 2021 governorship election held last week in Anambra State, the APC had vowed that it would use the process to launch itself into the politics of the southeast region. It believed that it would do so with the influx of members from other political parties who had joined from the zone since the conclusion of the 2019 general elections as well as the development strides the party had achieved in the zone since it came to power.

However, the outcome of the governorship election conducted on November 6 and 9 indicated that the party still has a long way to go in the zone and would need to review its strategies in convincing people to embrace the APC.

At the conclusion of the election process, the APC ended a distant third with 42,285 votes behind the APGA, which garnered 112,229 votes to win the election and the PDP, which secured 53,807 votes to come second. It did not win in any of the 21 local councils of the state, including the home council of its governorship candidate, Chief Andy Uba. A total of 249,631 votes were cast during the election.

APC’s Failure At Guber Polls Not New
The outcome of the 2021 governorship election was not the first time APC was being rejected in the state during governorship elections. Specifically, the party was rejected first during the 2017 governorship election. In 2017, governorship election, its candidate, Tony Nwoye had contested against the incumbent governor, Willie Obiano of the APGA. Nwoye then polled 98,752 votes to emerge second in an election won by landslide by Obiano who secured 234,071 votes.

It could be said that more people in Anambra state voted for the APC in 2017 than they did in 2021, even when the governorship candidate of the party (Uba) hailed from the zone slated to produce Obiano’s successor. The scenario was the same when Nwoye challenged Obiano in 2017. The difference then was that the political equation favoured a continuation of Obiano for another four years than a fresh mandate for another candidate from the same zone.

However, several factors are being touted to be responsible for the inability of the APC and its candidate to win the state despite earlier permutations of being the one to beat in the elections. The Guardian gathered that the troubles of the party began with the conduct of its governorship primary in June this year. Uba had emerged out of the 14 aspirants as candidate in controversial circumstances. Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun-led APC governorship primary committee had claimed that Uba muscled 230,201 votes of the 348,490 votes cast in the exercise to beat others.

Startled, the other aspirants, in unison, had protested the outcome of the exercise, insisting that there was no governorship primary in the state. They had seen the emergence of Uba as an imposition that did not take into account the will of the people. Their appeal was supported by INEC officials who were sent to monitor the election, which clarified that primaries did not hold.

The national leadership of the party had, however, upheld the exercise. This brought controversy as almost all the aspirants decided to quit the party and picked the forms of other political parties. Those who stayed behind were said to have refused to work for the success of the party at the poll, just as Uba was said to have done little or nothing to pacify the aggrieved aspirants.

Sources said that the grievance led to the institution of a suit in court by one of the aspirants in the election, Chief George Muoghalu who sought the nod of the court to compel INEC to delete the APC from the ballot, alleging that there was no primary election that produced a governorship candidate for the party in the state. The matter was billed to be decided few days to the governorship election but was deferred allegedly on the promptings of leaders of the party following its timing.

At the election proper, it became obvious that the party lied against itself when the over 230,201 delegates which it said allegedly voted for Uba during the governorship primary were no where in the state. There were also no 348,490 members of the APC in the state.

“How do you expect the people to vote a party that has continued to lie against itself? How do you reconcile 42, 000 votes with the over 300,000 votes the party claimed it got during the governorship primary? We want to deepen this party to enable it to be owned by the people. That is the way to go. Otherwise we will continue to lose elections,” a chieftain of the party, Chief Nonso Udeogu told The Guardian.

It was gathered that though the governorship candidate poached and secured several members of other political parties to join the APC before the election, the efforts never paid off as many of those who decamped had a shaky foundation. An account of the election indicated that they moved into the APC to partake in the largesse from the party and not necessarily to work for its success in the election as none of those who decamped could win in their polling units.

Another source also hinted that it was difficult to sell the candidature of Uba to the electorate against tested technocrats who had risen to the pinnacle of their career by hard work. References were made to the public debate, which exposed the inefficiencies of the candidate as one unprepared for governance, adding that he could not feature as the best choice from a local council that has two other first class materials gunning for the same position.

APC’s Weakness In Southeast Ahead 2023
The verdict of the Anambra State election is that the APC is yet to find its footing in the politics of the southeast region. Observers expressed the view that with the poor showings made in the two governorship elections, the party is yet to be accepted by the people of the state.

Beyond the façade of the party’s poor showing in the Anambra election, what is now being interrogated is how the APC would rekindle itself and strike a winning streak that could enable it upturn the PDP in the southeast in the 2023 general elections. Does the party possess the capacity to do so?

If winning membership is part of the scorecard of political parties, then the APC should raise its head high as one that should win several awards in the southeast. The truth is that since winning the presidency in 2015, the APC has not stopped gaining new members from the southeast zone.

Such names as former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu; former Minister, Emeka Wogu; former Senator Nkechi Nwogu; Minister Uche Ogar, Chief Ikechi Emenike; Major Gen Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd); former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, former governor, Sullivan Chime, ex-senator Ayogu Eze; Fidel Ayogu; ex-Speaker Eugene Odoh; ex-Speaker Stanley Ohajuruka; incumbent governors of Imo, Hope Uzodinma and that of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi; former BOT member, PDP, Chief Joy Emordi; ex- senator, Margret Okadigbo; Senator Stella Odua; incumbent Anambra Deputy governor, Nkem Okeke, Linda Ikpeazu and Chris Azubuogu, among several other bigwigs have joined the party.

But most of these politicians have come into reckoning as “Popes without Cathedrals” by their inability to win elections even in their wards. Some lack political structure but needed to anchor on the APC for greener pastures. They rarely believe in the party. This is the challenge in the southeast. During campaigns, they are rarely seen in the field campaigning for the APC.

This has seriously weakened the APC in the zone that it is now doubtful if the party can win any election in the zone in 2023, even with the array of politicians in its custody. Most of the state chapters are in crisis by the scale of anomalies that occurred in their congresses, leading to the enthronement of parallel executives.

Although, the party could be said to have taken control of two states in the zone – Imo and Ebonyi, it is on record that the Ebonyi State governor, Umahi took the mandate he got from the PDP into the APC in November last year. As it is, however, the festering crisis in the state chapter since he joined to assume leadership of the party has continued to weaken the party and cast doubts as to whether APC would retain Ebonyi in 2023.

In the run up to the Anambra governorship election, Imo State governor, Uzodinma was appointed to head the party’s campaign council. He was assisted by other governors and some ‘prominent’ politicians in the zone. But no sooner had his appointment been announced than Ngige rose against it, insisting that it was a serious error that could affect the chances of the party in the election.

Those who read the lips of the Minister said that the comments meant that inspite of being governor, Uzodinma’s pedigree has been under serious questioning since his emergence, based on the way the supreme court ruling was decided in his favour.

Speaking on the challenges of the party ahead of the 2023 elections, a former governorship candidate in Imo State, Chief Uche Nwosu, stated that APC should go back to the drawing board and reconcile new members with the founding members of the party. He also said that the party would find it difficult to win elections in the southeast because many of those who joined it have no electoral value.

Nwosu, who stated that the Mai Bala Caretaker Committee was brought in to reconcile grievances in the party, expressed reservations that the committee had succeeded in the assignment and cited the various camps in his Imo State being led by Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, Rochas Okorocha and Hope Uzodinma as examples.

Nwosu also attributed the failure of the party in Anambra State governorship election to the problem inflicted by the party leadership. He said: “What happened to us in Anambra State was self inflicted. We had primary and out of all the aspirants, 90 per cent of them were complaining. I was expecting the party leadership to call them and reconcile them. Those people paid a whopping N23 million non-refundable fee each and they were telling you that there were no primary and you ignored them.

“George Muoghalu complained. Dr Chris Ngige complained. I don’t think the party was able to reconcile them before we went for the election and you think you can create magic. Any how you look at it, anybody that bought form to participate in that election has supporters and when you undermine the strength of these supporters, it hurts. I think the party should retrace its steps and come back to the drawing board so the party could move ahead.”

Another chieftain of the party, Obinna Ogwuma, corroborated Nwosu’s views, saying that, “we are yet to see those who love this party in the state.”

According to Ogwuma, “If APC ended up the way it did in the Anambra election even with all the people who defected to the party before the election, it means that there are no true party members in the state. It is a sad development.”

Published in Politics

RISING Nigerian Afropop teen act, Phatiah, has returned with a new song after a brief hiatus.

After the release of her first two singles, ‘Itesiwaju Eko’ and ‘Education,’ Phatiah has returned to the scene with a new single, ‘Jeje.’

The young singer takes her music in a new direction to show a capacity for alchemical world-building. Phatiah made the new single in tandem with the popular street-hop act, Destiny Boy and had 2T Boyz as producer.

Published in News & Stories
Sunday, 14 November 2021 17:53

Ayra Starr gets Spotify honours

By Gbenga Bada/ THE NATION

AYRA Starr, the 19-year-old songstress on Don Jazzy’s Mavins record has gotten the attention of one of the leading global streaming platforms, Spotify.

The streaming platform has announced its decision to celebrate Ayra Starr through the Spotify Equal music programme as the Equal Africa Artist of the Month.

This announcement comes off the back of Ayra’s popularity and fame since the release of her smash hit, Bloody Samaritan, from her debut studio album ‘’19 and Dangerous.”

“Our aim with the Equal programme is to create a space on the platform that allows us to solely amplify the work of female creators,” says Spotify’s Head of Music for Sub-Saharan Africa, Phiona Okumu. “Ayra represents the rise of new-age female artists whose creativity and determination breaks barriers between genres. She possesses the boldness and swagger that we’re used to seeing from pop artists but has an edge that feels symbolic of the listening habits of Gen-Zers. We aim to amplify more confident female voices like hers through Equal.”

Ayra welcomed the acknowledgment saying, ‘’It feels good to be a part of the generation that is changing the narrative and being appreciated for our contribution to society, irrespective of the sector and age. I’m grateful to Spotify Equal for this feature that shines a light on women in a male-dominated industry. It makes me feel seen, and I’m sure it’s done so for everyone who has been featured before me.”

Published in Arts & Culture
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