NEW GRIME KING STORMZY LEADS THE PACK WITH 5 NOMINATIONS – INCLUDING BEST MALE, BEST ALBUM AND BEST GRIME ACT
RAP TITAN J HUS SCORES 4 NOMINATIONS – INCLUDING BEST MALE, BEST ALBUM AND BEST SONG
JORJA SMITH AND STEFFLON DON PICK UP 3 NOMINATIONS EACH – INCLUDING BEST FEMALE AND BEST NEWCOMER
SAMPHA EARNS NODS FOR BEST MALE, BEST ALBUM and BEST R&B/SOUL ACT
Jill Scott announces nominees for Best R&B/Soul Award https://twitter.com/missjillscott/status/920074251171794944
Sadiq Khan announces nominees for Best Male Act https://twitter.com/MayorofLondon/status/920197939670257664
MOBO AWARDS 2017 TAKES PLACE AT LEEDS FIRST DIRECT ARENA ON WEDNESDAY 29 NOVEMBER
Tickets now on sale at www.mobo.com
Tuesday 17 October 2017 London, United Kingdom – New Grime king Stormzy leads the 2017 MOBO Awards nominations, which was announced today at YouTube Space London. The 24-year old South London MC picked up a whopping five nominations for Best Male, Best Grime Act, Best Album for “Gang Signs & Prayer”, Best Song and Best Video for ‘Big For Your Boots’.
Stormzy has been on a steady crescendo of success since picking up the MOBO Award for Best Grime Act in 2014 and 2015, and Best Male in 2015. The MC references the moment he saw Krept & Konan win Best Newcomer at the 2013 MOBO Awards as the tipping point that pushed him to quit his job at an oil refinery and pursue a full-time career in music. He tweeted, ‘Krept & Konan just won a MOBO, I’m going studio.’
Fast forward four years from that moment and Stormzy’s debut album “Gang Signs & Prayer” has topped the UK Album Chart – becoming the first Grime album in history to reach #1. According to the OfficialCharts.com, it is also the biggest independent album of 2017 so far with over 220,000 sales. Stormzy has to date clocked up over 197 million views on his YouTube channel, 37 million of which are for the ‘Big For Your Boots’ music video directed by Daps.
While Grime may have well and truly captured the mainstream’s attention now, MOBO has been championing talents in this genre since 2001 when So Solid Crew put on a landmark performance at the Awards. With the movement teeming with unsung talent and demonstrating increasing cultural significance, MOBO formally recognised Grime as an award category in 2010.
After two years of solid underground appeal, East London rapper J Hus has broken through in a big way, picking up four nominations for Best Male, Best Album for “Common Sense”, Best Song for ‘Did You See’ and Best Video for ‘Spirit’. The 21-year old MC hit MOBO’s radar two years ago, which earned him a prestigious nomination in the Best Newcomer category and he followed up last year with a Best Song nod for ‘Friendly’. “Common Sense” – J Hus’ debut album – reached #6 on the UK Album Charts earlier this year and features the Top 10 hit ‘Did You See’, which has also amassed over 42 million views on YouTube.
Hotly tipped R&B singer Jorja Smith picks up three prestigious nominations for Best Female, Best R&B/Soul Act and Best Newcomer. In the last 12 months, the 20-year old singer-songwriter from Walsall has featured on Drake’s hit album “More Life” and even supported him on his UK tour. Her recent garage-infused banger with Preditah ‘On My Mind’ earned her rave reviews from music press far and wide.
Rising rap star Stefflon Don makes her MOBO debut with three nods in major categories for Best Female, Best Hip Hop Act and Best Newcomer. Mercury Prize winner Sampha receives three nominations for Best Male, Best R&B/Soul Act and Best Album for his critically acclaimed debut “Process”.
Elsewhere, the always front-running MOBO Best Newcomer category is brimming with 10 of the industry’s hottest future stars. Poised for a big night at the awards in Leeds next month is South London rapper Loyle Carner, who is also nominated for Best Hip Hop and Best Video for ‘The Isle of Arran’.
Traditionally, the MOBO Best Newcomer category has been the industry’s best foreteller of black music excellence. As an aspirational touchstone, winning this highly coveted award became the first step on the ladder for many artists who have forged a successful career, including Craig David (2000), Estelle (2004), Kano (2005), Chip (2008), Tinie Tempah (2010), Jessie J (2011), Rita Ora (2012) and Krept & Konan (2013).
This year’s MOBO Awards, supported by Leeds City Council and LeedsBID, will be hosted at Leeds’ First Direct Arena on 29 November. Performers and broadcast partners will be announced shortly. The third annual Pre-MOBO Awards Show – specially devoted to jazz, gospel, R&B/Soul categories – will be hosted in London. More details to come.
MOBO AWARDS 2017 NOMINEES
J Hus – Common Sense
Nines – One Foot Out
Sampha – Process
Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
Wretch 32 – Growing Over Life
J Hus “Did You See”
(Produced by JAE5)
Kojo Funds Feat. Abra Cadabra “Dun Talkin’”
(Produced by GA)
Not3s “Addison Lee”
(Produced by Malv On The Track)
Stormzy “Big For Your Boots”
(Produced by Sir Spyro & Fraser T Smith)
Yungen Feat. Yxng Bane “Bestie)
(Produced by ADP)
Bossman Birdie “Walk The Walk”
(Directed by Luke Davies)
J Hus “Spirit”
(Directed by Hugo Jenkins)
Loyle Carner “The Isle Of Arran”
(Directed by Georgia Hudson)
Mist “Hot Property”
(Directed by Oliver Jennings)
Stormzy “Big For Your Boots”
(Directed by Daps)
BEST HIP HOP ACT
BEST GRIME ACT
BEST R&B/SOUL ACT
Supported by Mi-Soul
BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT
BEST AFRICAN ACT
BEST REGGAE ACT
BEST JAZZ ACT
Supported by Jazz FM
BEST GOSPEL ACT
Supported by Premier Gospel
Volney Morgan & New-Ye
President Muhammadu Buhari will Wednesday depart for Istanbul, Turkey to participate in the ninth Summit of the Developing 8 (D-8) on Friday, October 20, 2017.
Prior to the D-8 Summit, President Buhari, at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, will participate in an official working visit to Ankara, the capital city.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina, In Ankara, the President will have a tete-a-tete with his Turkish counterpart while delegations from both countries will hold discussions in various fields including defence cooperation, security, educational and migration issues.
The Nigerian leader will also visit the Grand National Assembly of the Republic of Turkey in Ankara where he will meet with the Speaker, Ismail Kahraman.
While in Istanbul, the Turkish commercial centre, President Buhari will use the occasion of the D-8 Summit to bolster warm and growing ties across a broad range of areas of cooperation with leaders of the D8-member countries, namely Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.
The Summit with the theme, ‘‘Expanding Opportunities through Cooperation’’, will among other things, focus on cooperation in the areas of agriculture, trade, transport, energy and increased private sector participation among member-countries.
During the ninth Summit of the D-8, which will also mark the 20th anniversary of the organisation established to improve the developing countries’ positions in the world economy, the President will highlight the significant show of confidence in Nigeria’s business environment and economy.
He will also affirm Nigeria’s resolve to work with D-8 member-countries on many key areas, including peace and security, economy and trade.
At the end of the Summit, the Heads of State and Government will adopt a Communiqué, also known as the ‘Istanbul Declaration’.
The President will be accompanied on the trip by ministers, top government officials, including the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali.
The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde; a former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and key global experts have advised Nigeria, Argentina and other top countries battling corruption to use tools that can help reduce procurement costs by about 60 per cent.
They urged the countries to strengthen institutions, provide incentives against corruption and deploy more technology in order to overcome the hydra-headed problem of corruption.
They spoke during a panel discussion tagged, “Fighting corruption’’ at the World Bank/IMF headquarters in Washington DC, United States on Sunday.
Lagarde said, “We can ask finance ministers to use certain tools that will help them to save 60 per cent of the cost of projects.”
The IMF MD also said, “Nobody should give up on the people, no matter how corrupt a place is. They must take stand against it. At the IMF, we have had to take steps when we identified corruption. Unfortunately, we had to suspend programmes because documents indicated that we were not receiving the truth on the accounts and statistics.”
Okonjo-Iweala, in her remarks, said corruption was not peculiar to any culture, adding that institutions and incentives could help shape the behaviour of people.
She said, “In terms of the fight against corruption, incentives and institutions matter. My experience has been that people in one place are no more corrupt than the other; but if the institutions are not there or they are very weak, then the incentive to be corrupt is stronger. So, if you have a financial management system that is still cash-based, you open the door for people to manipulate or be able to intrude into the system.
“If you can introduce more technology, if you can have systems and processes that guide government, if you can make e-procurement,
the more of that you can build institutionally, and strengthen the institutions and then have the institutions of the rule of law alongside that, I think the more you will be able to fight corruption. We really need a systematic plan about fighting corruption.
She added, “The bid stories about scandals about corruption are really what people want to read. But actually, fighting corruption
and putting those systems in place are very ‘unsexy’; it takes time. It took us 10 years to try and build the Government Integrated Financial Management System in Nigeria, to get way from cash-based transactions. When you say the Government Integrated Financial Management System, it is so boring; nobody wants to hear. But that is what needs to be done. So, that is my one mantra. I think it is all about strengthening institutions.
“Now, coming to the private sector; yes, the private sector is part of the problem; there is no doubt about it. The World Economic Forum estimated that bribery adds about 10 per cent to the cost of doing business. So, they are undoubtedly part of it. But I also want to say that the private sector is beginning to see that they are part of the solution, and that the world has changed. There are responsible private sector people and organisations that want to be part of the solution and part of that change.”
A professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University in the US, Susan Rose-Ackerman, in her remarks at the panel, said, “People have to decide to make a difference in every society regardless of how corrupt they are. We have had historical situations of highly corrupt countries that people made a difference. It has to do with how values are placed.”
The Secretary of Public Ethics, Transparency, and Fight Against Corruption, Argentina, Laura Alonso, said, “It took us 10 years to build a new society of people who are ready to fight corruption in Argentina.”
|Calls for land tax for unused agricultural land or underutilized agricultural land|
|DES MOINES, United States of America, October 17, 2017/ — Africa holds the key for feeding the nine billion people that will inhabit this planet by 2050, the President of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) and 2017 World Food Prize Laureate, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said during his Norman Borlaug Lecture delivered on World Food Day.
The Laureate also called for land tax for unused agricultural land or underutilized agricultural land to provide incentives for faster commercialization of agriculture and unlocking its potential in Africa.
In a lecture titled “Betting on Africa to Feed the World,” delivered on Monday, October 16 before a large international audience at Iowa State University in Des Moines, Iowa, Adesina stressed why, more than ever before, the world must help Africa to rapidly modernize its agriculture and unlock its full potential.
“Africa sits on 65% of the uncultivated arable land left in the world, so what Africa does with agriculture will determine the future of food in the world,” he emphasized. “African farmers need more than a helping hand. They need a policy lift,” Adesina said.
He also highlighted how the challenge of addressing global food security is greatest in Africa where close to 300 million are malnourished. It is also the only region of the world where the proportion of the population that is food insecure has increased, he said.
The AfDB President paid tribute to Dr. Norman Borlaug, whom the lecture series was named after, and recalled how Africa was the last frontier for the late Borlaug.
Borlaug, the Founder of the World Food Prize, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for a lifetime of work to feed a hungry world.
Adesina stressed that despite the progress globally in food production (including in Africa, Latin America and Asia), the world still has 700 million people languishing in extreme poverty. This, he added, includes 800 million with chronic hunger, 2 billion people with micronutrient deficiency, and 150 million children under 5 years of age who are suffering from stunting.
He described the challenge of feeding the world as immense, with need for rapid increases in global food, feed and biofuel production to feed a global population of 9 billion people by 2050.
“If Dr. Borlaug alone could feed one billion people, we definitely can feed 800 million people globally and we definitely can feed 300 million Africans. Dr. Borlaug would be disappointed if we couldn’t and with all technologies and innovations, from gene revolution to ICT revolution, at our disposal, we won’t be able to face him and say we didn’t.”
Adesina decried the current situation where Africa spends US $35 billion annually on food imports, describing it as unacceptable. By his estimates, if the current trend continues, Africa is estimated to spend US $110 billion by 2030 on food imports.
“There is therefore absolutely no reason for Africa to be a food-importing region. Africa has huge potential in agriculture, but, as Dr. Borlaug used to say, nobody eats potential!”
Unlocking that potential must start with the savannas of Africa which covers “a mind-boggling 600 million hectares of which 400 million hectares are cultivable,” Adesina said.
Africa’s savannas, he said, are better than the savannas of Brazil, because their soils are not acidic and therefore do not need liming, which had to be done at massive scales in Brazil.
“Yet, while the savannas of Brazil feed the world, those of Africa cannot even feed the farmers there,” he lamented. He further highlighted how technologies, innovations, research and development, mechanization, modernization of agriculture, policy support and massive investments in infrastructure made the difference to turn the savannas of Brazil and those of Northern Thailand into a food powerhouse.
To transform its agriculture, Africa needs to make a decision to develop new agrarian systems − one that combines smallholder farmers with a new dynamic generation of medium and large commercial farmers.
He also canvassed land tenure systems that make it easier to get access to land, and for smallholder farmers and their communities to have secured land rights.
A top priority must be to mechanize agriculture in Africa, he added.
Over 1,200 people from more than 65 countries will address cutting-edge issues related to global food security and nutrition at the 2017 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, October 18-20, 2017.
What is it about South African President Jacob Zuma and statues? Two statues in one month– generating controversy from the streets of Pretoria to the streets of Owerri in Nigeria. In the first week of October, a 30-feet monument was unveiled in honour of President Zuma in the North West region of his country. South Africans had opposed the idea of the statue since it was first proposed in February 2017. When it was eventually unveiled, and labeled a monument, the attendant outrage was bitter and loud because it was actually a glorification of Zuma, disguised as a tourist project to preserve the site where Zuma and 45 others were arrested by the apartheid police as they travelled out of the country for military training in 1963.
The Premier, Supra Mahumapelo who commissioned the statue was accused of bad governance and insensitivity. The Zuma statue at Groot Marico has a borehole attached to it, whereas there is no potable water in the city in which it is located. Aggrieved South Africans recommended that the Statue should be pulled down, with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) offering to take the lead. Jacob Zuma is not one of Africa’s most loved leaders despite his having won election twice and leading one of Africa’s most historic political parties; the African National Congress. His Presidency has been scandal-ridden, from allegations of abuse of office to a personal life characterized by much burlesque. The biggest threat to state reconstruction in Africa has been the ego and misconduct of African leaders. Compared to those he succeeded as South African President, it is hard at this point to imagine Jacob Zuma’s eventual place in South African history.
This is the same man that Rochas Anayo Okorocha, the Governor of Imo State in Nigeria has chosen to honour. In the course of a just concluded two-day visit to Imo state, Nigeria, Zuma received the state’s highest honour, a traditional chieftaincy title- Ochiaga (Great Warrior), a street named Jacob Zuma Road, and wait for it- a life-sized statue! Governor Okorocha may not be able to convince anyone that he is not aware of the controversy over the Zuma statue in North West South Africa, and yet another piece of art that showed Zuma scantily-clad. The Premier of North West South Africa, actually wanted a life-size statue of Zuma in bronze, but public objection compelled him to rename the project a monument, but it remains a statue because the only man it celebrates is Zuma, whose obelisk is projected skywards over 6 metres.
Okorocha probably decided to embark on his own project in Nigeria to tell the anti-Zuma South African crowd that if they do not appreciate Zuma, he would be celebrated abroad; after all a prophet has no honour in his own home. The monument in Groot Marico is reportedly a R1.8m bronze structure; the one in Owerri, Nigeria is a N520 million bronze statue, both standing at over 25 metres! President Zuma could not get exactly what he wanted in South Africa, a sculptural piece that was meant to show him in his full height and majesty. He now has it in Nigeria, even if the imbecilic artist did a bad job. Standing in front of that towering Owerri statue, Jacob Zuma must have indeed felt like a giant. In his mind, he must have like Ozymandias said to himself: “I am a god! Go and tell them on the streets of South Africa!”
But his compatriots back in South Africa are not impressed, except may be the compromised South African Presidency which enthusiastically celebrated the deification of Jacob Zuma in a corner of Nigeria. Nigerians and the people of Imo State are unimpressed too. The Owerri statue has only achieved the effect of focusing attention afresh on the shortcomings of the two men at the centre of the drama: President Zuma and Governor Okorocha. “Instead of a statue”, wrote one South African, “Nigeria can keep the real thing”. Well, we don’t need your President. We have our own and nobody has erected a giant statue of his. Another South African wrote: “It’s only fair that Nigeria built a statue of Zuma. After all, under his leadership, we took in a million of their citizens”.
Point of correction, sir: Governor Okorocha, not Nigeria, built the statue with public funds. You “took in a million Nigerians?” Or South Africans killed hundreds of Nigerians due to xenophobia? Your statement is actually part of the reason Nigerians are angry: why honour a man under whose watch South Africans are killing Nigerians in South Africa? If you must know, like your Premier of the North West, Governor Okorocha has been accused of wasting public funds on a statue of the South African President when Imo state teachers and pensioners are being owed salaries and arrears for months. To worsen matters, Governor Okorocha is setting up in Owerri, the equivalent of a political Jurassic park. Alongside Zuma’s statue are other statues, draped in national colours of Nigeria and other African countries. My personal worry is that when those other statues are unveiled, we may just discover that Governor Okorocha has included in this emerging park, statues of himself and his wife! African leaders who erect statues are ever so tempted to erect one or two of their own. Okorocha may even one of these days have a brain wave and erect a bronze statue of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe on Nigerian soil. You have your Zuma. We have our Okorocha.
He has tried to justify the present gaffe but his explanations sound hollow and false: “We in Imo State have chosen to identify with this great leader who meant well for his people…” We? Which we is Okorocha referring to, please? Did the state House of Assembly deliberate over the decision to establish a political Jurassic Park in Owerri? And who discussed and approved the honour’s list? We? Is Mr. Okorocha referring to his own sycophantic State Executive Council or the local government staff called traditional rulers who gave Zuma the title of Ochiaga? Many Nigerians in fact believe that Nelson Mandela’s statue would have been preferable, especially as Governor Okorocha praised President Zuma as “a great leader who meant well for his people, who had to toil, struggle and fight for the liberation of his people, not minding the consequences thereafter. This to me is courage. This to me is strength of character…” Who are the brainless speech-writers penning these cliches? Nelson Mandela is the one whom these words best describe. President Zuma is the one the South African system is accusing of Constitutional violations, 783 corruption allegations and wanton abuse of the people.
The Governor in the long run pretended that there was something positive out of the entire show. In a press statement, we are told: “President of South Africa, Mr. Jacob Zuma has said that a South African must not kill a Nigerian and a Nigerian must not kill a South African, adding that the relationship between Nigeria and South Africa should be stronger than any other part, for the sake of the continent of Africa.” Nobody should kill anybody, Nigerian or South African, in the first place. Murder is inexcusable. Xenophobia defeats the goals of African integration. President Zuma is very adept at telling people what they want to hear. What did he do while South Africans killed Nigerians under his watch? How many South Africans have been convicted for promoting xenophobia and taking the laws into their hands? What has President Zuma done in concrete terms to promote bilateral relations and people-to-people diplomacy between our two countries? Governor Okorocha may have been trying to be a good host but to import a bronze statue of President Zuma, which South Africans rejected, and then physically implant him on Nigerian soil is an insult and overkill!
Mr. Okorocha is of course, a master of the overkill. He does everything, good and bad, with the same level of enthusiasm. When he followed President Muhammadu Buhari to the United States in 2015, and got a sideline chance to shake the hands of President Barrack Obama, it became what seemed like the biggest event of his life. Billboards of him and the two Presidents suddenly started popping up all over the state capital with the inscription – “Behold the new faces of change”. How? Please, how does a mere handshake with Obama translate into change in Nigeria? In a particular billboard showing Okorocha and President Obama, he is described as “a true Igbo leader”. The same Okorocha who cannot even say a kind word about his own brothers who are asking for equity and justice for all Igbos? He was also once accused of naming a government building after his own daughter, that daughter’s husband is reportedly a member of the Imo State cabinet. When the Governor turned 55 recently, 27 women representing the 27 local governments in Imo State serenaded him with 27 cakes as gifts. Okorocha obviously has enough cake to last him till he leaves office, but he should be careful because too much sugar is not good for anybody’s health.
This same Okorocha -when journalists asked him to publicly account for the state’s revenue and expenditure since 2011 when he assumed office, he threatened to deal ruthlessly with the journalists and chase them out of Imo State. President Zuma and Governor Okorocha obviously have a lot in common. They both love entertainment. They both think they are smart. They both don’t like criticism. They consider themselves very good politicians. They both like to be celebrated too. On this latter score in an official citation, Okorocha is described hyperbolically as a “Professor of Philanthropy!”
But I must pause a little, here, to say this. I don’t have any personal axe to grind with either President Zuma or Governor Okorocha. I am in fact aware that Okorocha has been described by Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana – “Grand Counsellor of Imo State” – as “a gift to humanity”. Of him President Olusegun Obasanjo, Chairman of the Rochas Foundation, has also said: “Rochas does not only love education, he has passion for the education of the underprivileged… I doff my hat for him for his great strides in education.” President Obasanjo made this statement at the 10th graduation ceremony of the Rochas Foundation Colleges. In 1998, Okorocha established the Rochas Foundation to provide free education to the children of the “poorest of the poor”. President Jacob Zuma has a similar Foundation known as The Zuma Foundation. This is what brought the two men together in the first place. President Zuma visited Nigeria to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the Zuma Foundation and the Rochas Foundation. He spoke about the need to support the African Child.
Between 2011 and now, the Rochas Foundation has established a total of five colleges – 2 in Imo state, one in Ibadan, one in Jos, and one in Kano. Tagged Project #55555, this free education programme, targeting orphans and the displaced, has reached about 15, 000 children from 55 African countries. The students’ population at the Rochas College in Kano alone is over 500. In the course of his visit to Nigeria, President Zuma interacted with Rochas Foundation students. Both men claim that they are determined to give to the African child, the same privileges and opportunities that they could not have, in the belief that it is better to use one’s achievements to raise the underprivileged. Zuma is a man of little education. Okorocha used to sell second-hand clothes while his mates attended school. He got to where he is by practically hustling through life. On the surface of it, both men can be said to mean well.
But the tragedy of their recent meeting in Nigeria is that nobody believes the nice statements they both made. Africans no longer trust their leaders even when they openly profess good faith. They have learnt to suspect every move that they make. Across Nigeria, it is not surprising that the question is being asked: what is Okorocha’s next game? In South Africa, the same question is being asked of President Zuma. The people are no longer as stupid as African politicians assume. They are tired of being used as stepping-stones. I put myself in their shoes and I share their pain. Let Zuma and Okorocha stay away from funny billboards, the casting of bronze statues and castles of personal glorification. When in doubt, let them read Percy Shelley’s sonnet – Ozymandias. Statues will crumble, brought down by the opposition or ruined by the vagaries of weather and the ravages of time. But good deeds will endure and history will speak.
In response to what has been described as a reprisal attack by some herdsmen in Plateau State, President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed the military and the police to not only bring the violence to an instant end, but to draw up a plan to ensure that there are no further attacks and reprisal attacks by one group against the other.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and publicity Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari received with deep sadness and regret, news of the recent killings of at least 20 people in the state stating that this madness has gone too far.
According to the statement, the President is devoted to the sanctity of Nigeria’s unity, and he encourages Nigerians of all groups to learn to live together in peace and harmony..
He commiserates with the governor and people of Plateau State, and with those who lost their loved ones, friends and family: May God comfort them as only He can.
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