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Swaziland King honors Akinwumi Adesina, African Bank president

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Akinwumi Adesina and Swaziland king

Mswati III, the King of Eswatini and head of the Swazi Royal Family, has honored the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, at a traditional royal reed dance event.

The annual weeklong ceremony is a traditional dance event where up to 40 000 Swazi maidens gather and dance for the Queen Mother.

This Swazi cultural event is performed as a tribute to the Royal Family and dates back centuries in time.

Swaziland is a small, landlocked monarchy in southern Africa.

Adesina is the first Nigerian to be honored by the head of the Swaziland royalty.

The former Minister of Agriculture shared the news on his official Twitter page on Saturday alongside photographs from the ceremony.

“King Mswati III of Eswatini (Swaziland) gave me the greatest honour ever: to be dressed like the king and jointly march during the traditional royal reed dance event. Thank you Your Majesty. Proudly African. Confident in Africa’s future.”

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Entertainment

Nigerian kids turn global explorers at Culturfied in Washington DC

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Green-white-green was among the splashes of colors that bathed the excitement and fanfare that took place in the Washington DC metropolitan where Nigerian-American kids gathered with their counterparts from other countries.

Nigerian traditional wears, dances, arts, cuisine, and others were on display in the Nigerian booth—to the delight of the kids, including those from other cultures.

“I am happy to be here today representing Nigeria. I am proud of my country,” one of the kids said.

Identity and understanding is the big picture behind the event themed Universal Explorers, which the Culturfied Foundation, a Washington DC-based non-profit, hosted in the community.

Collaborating with embassies, the foundation focuses on children, nurturing their understanding of the world as diverse as it appears, and united as it should be.

“We at the Culturfied Foundation are proud to follow in the footsteps of the Meridian International Centre, which last held the festival in 2012,” said the communication department of the foundation.

No fewer than 6,000 participants attended the Meridian event.

“We believe that the need for such a child-focused cross-cultural event, and its popularity and reputation will only grow, and we are honored to ring it back to the Washington audience.”

The 2019 edition provided Washington and surrounding area families with a unique exposure to diverse cultures brought together in one place.

The kids were able to move around, exploring different cultures from booth to booth as they taste international cuisines, make traditional arts and craft, learn about regional geography of the world, and enjoy international dances, music, comedy, and all.

Some of the older Nigerians who participated in the 2019 edition advised the nay-sayers among their compatriots to be positive about Nigerians in spite of what the outside world thinks.

The Foundation has been on a mission to create inter-cultural peace and tolerance by celebrating cultures and their differences through educational programs and exposures.

Its flagship educational program is Culturfied Kids, which enlightens children on the need for cross-cultural harmony.

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Entertainment

Youths in New York chart way to solve Nigeria problems

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The Nigerian House in New York became a house of inspiration as Nigerian-American youth, under the aegis of the Nigerian Youth in the Diaspora Engagement Forum (NYDEF), gathered to discuss the Nigerian brand as the nation celebrated its 59th anniversary of independence.

The consular hall was filled with young Nigerians living in the United State, and others from Nigeria, discussing solution to the Nigerian image challenges in the Diaspora. This was a marked departure from discussions in other forum centering largely on the problem.

All the speakers agreed it is not enough to grumble and complain about the problems.

“Complaints have never helped,’ said Bankole Omisore, an aide to a former Senate president in Nigeria.

“We must away from a complaint standpoint to a solutions standpoint,” Chocolate Music boss told Being Nigerian at the end of the event. “We can’t keep complaining about everything, about our government. We are a reflection of those who rule us in Nigeria.”

He advised young Nigerians to change their orientation and begin to see what they can do to change the situations they don’t like, the government they don’t like.

“With this change of mind, slowly but surely, things will start to fall in perspectives,” he added.

There’s no doubting the seriousness of the challenges in Nigeria—unemployment, insecurity, economy and others.

Chocolate City Music boss Audu Maikori agreed that the youth are already frustrated, and forums like NYDEF are taking the situation seriously now. The means to the end are there, after all.

“In every four Africans you will find a Nigerian, meaning we are stronger together. We also have the potential to empower one another, educate ourselves so we can be better informed to serve society,” Maikori said.

According to him, whatever the challenges are, the solutions lie with Nigerians as long as they get informed.

“If you are not happy with your leaders, get involved in politics; if you are not happy with the economy, start your own business; religious crisis—get to know other religions so you can live in peace.”

Amongst the means—solutions—available to change the Nigerian narrative is entertainment.

Stella Damasus, Nollywood star and one of the speakers, explained how music can easily make impacts by reaching the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time..

She cited one of Beyonce’s songs—Brown Skin Girl—which has greatly discouraged bleaching among black ladies dissatisfied with their skin color.

“This shows music alone can change the mindset of a generation,” she said. “If we can dedicate 30 percent of our entertainment content to positive issues like these, we will change a lot of minds.”

Apparently, the forum was about re-engineering and changing of mindsets—from complaints to solution, negative to positive, selfishness to public-spiritedness.

“If there’s only one thing you must remember later about this event, let it be about our change from ‘meism to weism’” said another speaker and music star Lamboginny.

But from what the NYDEF convener Bola Afeez Alao observed, there was plenty of things to remember about the event.

According to him, Nigerian youth in the Diaspora had been yearning for an outlet to articulate their views and pool up their expertise to help solve the problems Nigerians face back home.

“As you can see, a lot of people are inspired. They have been looking for an avenue like this. They didn’t see any one they could join. Now they have found one, they are ready to work with us,” said Alao.

Nigeria’s Consulate-General Ben Okoyen, who spoke on rebranding Nigeria, the theme of the event, said the consulate supports the NYDEF initiative and others like it since that is he only asset Nigeria can take to the marketplace of the world.

He said the consulate is also looking i the direction of empowering Nigerian youth, especially those in the diaspora, to contribute to development back home.

“As a program of the consulate, we are going to honor those contributing positively to Nigeria’s image and development back at home,” Okoyen said.

NYDEF is a platform Alao founded to bring together initiatives and projects Nigeria youth breaking trails abroad can undertake, using their expertise and global exposure, to help development back in Nigeria.

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Big Brother Nigeria

Mercy Eke wins Big Brother Nigeria season four

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Mercy Eke has become the winner of BBNaija season four.

The ‘Queen of Highlights’ was crowned winner during the finale on Sunday.

This win makes Mercy the first woman to win the Big Brother Naija reality show since inception.

Popularly known as ‘Lamborghini’, Mercy was touted as the possible winner for the season by show fans and celebrities alike.

The light hearted diva made the top two with her show best friend, Mike Edwards, who emerged first runner up.

As winner, Mercy walked home with cash prize worth over 40 million Naira, brand new Innosson SUV, Dubai trip for two and other prizes.

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