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The Blackman Akeeb Kareem “Why I Shunned Nigeria For 34 Years,Gave My Life To Christ At 51”

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It was like a beautiful homecoming for once famous Afro folk singer, composer, guitarist and band leader from 60’s to the ’80s , Akeeb Kareem popularly known as Blackman Kareem as he made a surprise appearance at a concert put together by the Beautiful Nubia, where he performed alongside others to the admiration of his fans who trooped out to welcome him. Beautiful-Nubia-2Blackman Akeeb Kareem, Beautiful Nubia and Chris Ajilo on stage.

The venue was the Eniobanke Art Centre in Ikeja, Lagos, and as expected fans who have longed to see him after over 30 years since he left the country, were not disappointed as he performed some of his old hits to their delight. Though, he is no longer playing the folk songs as he is now into gospel music, but his voice and the lyrics were enough to remind many of the great Ameboism fame. But he was not alone at the show, as the likes of Chris Ajilo, Larry Williams, Obadika brass band and Segun Akinlolu, aka The Beautiful Nubia and his Roots Renaissance Band performed too, but in what looked like a collaboration between the ancient and the modern, Akeeb was able to release some of his famous songs in Yoruba and Twi languages.

It was a wonderful night as people especially lovers of good music stayed tuned in the night and enjoyed the melodies from the masters.

The atmosphere was nice, while the moon provided the light, the cool breeze and with the special palm wine which kept many busy throughout the night. Blackman Kareem one of the Afro pop singers that made considerable impact as a singer, had a brilliant musical career but his relocation to Europe sort of closed a chapter in the musical scope of Nigeria.

After the performance, Blackman who just  clocked 69 when the show held over a year ago, revealed why he relocated to Europe at the height of his popularity, how things have been since then and why he abandoned his root music for gospel music.

“Part of what made relocated from the country was the same thing that is still happening to you and me. In this nation we don’t recognize people who are doing great work in their different departments.” According to him, “It was a painful encounter I had with a certain Nigerian records company(names withheld) that forced me to leave Nigeria.

“When I started my music career in the 1960s, I started recording with the defunct EMI, a company run by Europeans. At that time, every time the company sold our records in any part of the world, we received cheques or statements confirming the sales and given details of where they were sold, as well as how many records were sold and every kobo earned.
” The same thing happened when I left EMI for Decca. That was the story, until, a Nigerian businessman who owned a recording company approached me and asked why we were still recording our works with European companies instead of the ones belonging to fellow Nigerians.

“So I joined and recorded one of my best album , titled Amebo, it did not only become an instant hit in Nigeria, it was also well received in other parts of Africa and that happens to be the biggest mistake of my musical career.

“The album was the first that I recorded with an indigenous records company in Nigeria. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a dime for my labour and creativity. I didn’t get any message or letters from the company, even when my record sold like hot cake in the market. It sold so well that, at a point, people started calling me ‘Amebo man’, instead of Blackman.

“When I went to the records company to find out why they had delayed in paying me my due royalty, I got the shock of my life. They told me that Amebo did not sell. After that experience, I learnt a lesson that if you want to progress, you have to look elsewhere, so when the opportunity came up I did not hesitate to leave the country.

“I was planning to leave the country to go to America, and then I got an invitation from France, Paris in 1984 they wanted my band to perform, when I got there, I only sang in the hotel where I was staying, I had not yet performed for what they called me for, they were screaming

“what a wonderful voice” I got a recording company which recorded my song in ’84. It went straight to the top 10 in France 1984. You know, music is an International language, whatever language you sing in, if the rhythm or melody is good, it will sell, so I just phoned my wife and told her to come and join me. I did not come back for 25years.”

That marked the beginning of Blackman Kareem’s sojourn overseas. Looking at the past 31 years, the singer said he had no regrets for leaving Nigeria.

In Europe, he claimed, his music was well received – especially by predominantly white audiences – and he was opportune to work in an environment that was more enabling and conducive than what he left behind back home.

Akeeb who only came home because his mother-in-law turned 80, also revealed how he became a Christian over there.

“After being a devout Muslim for 51 years, a pastor friend of mine asked me to pray with him sometime in 1997.

“In the process, I had a vision without even closing my eyes. I heard the voice of God telling me to leave what I was doing, stop singing in hotels or parties and to serve him and that he will give me three things. Peace of mind, Joy and happiness beyond human comprehension.

“It was a physical experience. I heard the voice as though I was listening to a visible human being. After that experience, I converted to Christianity and quit playing secular music. I became an evangelist. From that day, I have a full time ministry known as Abeeb Kareem Media Ministry and I have been touring parts of the world, preaching the word of God. On his performance with Beautiful Nubia in Canada. I was invited to minister in Canada for two weeks, then by the grace of God, when I got there, I stayed for three months. In Nigeria, when you are talking about the musicians who are still seriously trying in African music, he is one, so I respect him. When I got to Canada, I told him I was in Canada and during my ministration, we met and he told me about the show and we performed together in Canada last year. After that, he said we have to come home and sing together. I have not performed in Nigeria for 34 years, but Beautiful Nubia won’t leave me alone”

By JAPHET ALAKAM

Entertainment

Nollywood actor allegedly Abducts, Defiles 14yr-Old Girl In Canaanland

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NOLLYWOOD

While Nigerians are still grappling with a popular Nollywood actor’s alleged defilement case in court and the rude shock that accompanied it, an unpopular actor may be walking the route of spotlight without paying his due.

 

 

Aliu Oladele Gafar, a filmmaker and chief executive of Main Page Concept, a feature film and television production company, has been accused of allegedly abducting a 14year old girl and took sexual advantage of same.

 

The girl, Aina Bolarinwa, went missing late on Thursday evening, July 29, 2021, in Sango area of Ogun State and investigations by the her guardians revealed that she was in the movie maker’s custody till the following day.

 

 

It was shocking to realise that contrary to the dictates of the producer of Peregun’s profession, the girl was not scripting nor acting; the actor allegedly used her to satisfy his sexual desire.

 

 

Peregun, which featured the producer himself, Ibrahim Chata, Yewande Odukoya, Dupe Jaiyesinmi and many others, boasted of being selected for the New York Independent Cinema Awards, according to a July 10, 2021 post by the producer on his Facebook account.

 

 

“It’s PEREGUN year … I’m honored and excited… New York Independent Cinema Awards selected PEREGUN to be included in festival…. Alhamdulilahi 🙏🙏❤️❤️ Thank you all for the love … Second selection of the month ❤️❤️🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸,” he wrote excitedly.

 

 

Either due to the excitement or a way to boost his chances at the awards, Gafar allegedly decided to defile an underage girl in his house behind the popular Canaanland, the campus of Winners’ Chapel (Living Faith Church), an Evangelical megachurch in Ota, Ogun State.

 

 

According to the victim’s foster mum, Oluwakemi Sunday, who narrated the girl’s ordeal to Freelanews’ correspondent, Ade Oluwaferanmi, it was confirmed that the filmmaker, who is popularly known as Boda Ali in Peace Estate, Zone 4 Arobieye, abducted the girl.

 

 

“In the evening of Thursday, July 9, 2021, my daughter, Aina, said she wanted to go and fetch water at Boda Ali’s house and I told her not to go as it was already late. I instructed her to do that the following morning before going to work. Boda Ali usually allowed the community to fetch water for free in his compound.

 

 

“She then returned the bucket and went outside to monitor a small shop I operate outside the house with her sister. We usually close the shop around 10pm daily.

 

 

“According to the story her sister later told me, while at the shop, Boda Ali came around and beckoned her over. Aina went to him and they started chatting. Suddenly, they disengaged when they noticed that someone was approaching and Aina returned to the shop where I sell breads and other petty things.

 

 

“Later around 10:30pm, Boda Ali called Aina again when the coast was clear and they continued their discussion before Aina returned to the shop.

 

 

“A friend’s daughter, who was on her way to buy something at my shop, later told me she had to run back out of fear when she saw someone hiding in push, whispering ‘Aina, se kia! Aina, se kia!’ (Aina, hurry up!)

 

 

“She went back home to call her sister to accompany her because she was afraid of someone hiding in the bush around Aina’s house. On getting to the spot, they realised it was Boda Ali who they greeted and they all went their ways,” Oluwakemi narrated.

 

 

Freelanews corespondent, Oluwaferanmi, was informed that when Aina’s foster mum became worried when she suddenly realised Aina was not in the house sleeping with her siblings.

 

 

She told us that she went to outside to wake her to lock the shop and come inside thinking maybe she must have slept off.

 

 

“I was initially annoyed and sat in front of the house waiting for her, wondering when she started being wayward.

 

 

“While waiting, I saw Boda Ali who greeted me and walked on. Few minutes later, he walked past the shop on his return journey,” the foster mum, who didn’t see anything strange in that at the time, narrated.

 

 

After a long wait and no signs of Aina, she placed a call across to her own friend whose children are also Aina’s friends to find out from them if they had seen Aina; their responses were negative.

 

 

“On Friday’s morning, I went to the woman again and told her the girl didnt sleep at home. The woman now called her children, who later told us they saw Boda Ali hiding in the push and whispering Aina hurry up. And my daughter, who was with Aina at the shop also claimed that she called Aina twice when she was chatting with Boda Ali because it was getting late but she didn’t answer her.

 

 

“So I went to Boda Ali’s house and asked him if he had seen Aina because she came to fetch water yesterday. And he replied that he had not and wondered why she wouldn’t return home ‘when she is not a small girl; a girl of 16 to 17years old’.

 

 

“I told him that Aina may be endowed with breasts but she is just 14years old,” Oluwakemi countered Gafar.

 

 

So immediately, the filmmaker volunteered to search for the missing child with the mum while he kept comforting her to calm down that he was convinced Aina was okay.

 

 

“I hope you have not raised alarm,” Gafar allegedly asked the mum and she answered that she had not.

 

 

Late in the evening of Thursday, the physically depreciated Aina was seen wondering along the road far away from her home when a bike headlight shone on her and a friend of the mum recognised her.

 

 

“My friend brought her back to the community and I was sad to see how haggard she was looking,” she explained.

 

 

Aina narrated how Gafar lured her into his house and disflowered her forcefully.

 

 

“I’m appealing to the relevant authority to please come to our aid and ensure that justice is served,” Oluwakemi wailed.

 

 

According to our correspondent following up on the case, Freelanews can confirm that movie maker has been missing since the case leaked and calls made to his number didn’t connect as at the time of publishing this report.

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UBA’s RED Radio, Another Innovative To Bring People Together

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UBA

AFTER recording massive success with REDTV, Nigeria’s United Bank for Africa, UBA is set to replicate similar feat with RED Radio.

 

 

The development is a further demonstration of the bank’s unalloyed commitment to ensuring premium services as well as reaffirming its dominance in Nigeria and across Africa.

 

 

The decision to kick off a radio arm is on the heels of the innumerable success that REDTV has recorded with countless globally respected, first rate productions that have been churned out under the supervision of Bola Atta, executive producer, REDTV and UBA’s Group Director for Marketing and Corporate Communications.

 

 

Only recently, REDTV’s ‘The Men’s Club’ emerged winner of Gage’s Award for Web Series of the Year 2020. A testament to the expertise and quality of production, supervised by Atta.

 

 

Following a thorough audit by the organisers of the awards, TMC which was nominated alongside four other popular online shows, clinched the award and was announced as the winner in an elaborate virtual event which was held on Saturday, April 24th, 2021.

 

 

As technology continues to drive innovation, the broadcast media, especially radio, is also devising ways to make the radio experience worthwhile for listeners. And RED Radio is positioned to offer the sterling experience.

 

 

In its short existence, RED Radio has positioned itself as one distinctive radio platform known for creativity, innovation, uniqueness, and style.

 

 

The RED Radio routinely broadcasts to several thousands of unique listeners on live web traffic throughout existence in several countries across Africa and the world.

 

 

Atta says the RED Radio, which is available 24/7, is a dynamic and creative online radio channel, that provides round-the-clock informative and entertaining content while striving to bring out the best of Africa.

 

 

She also explained that the platform is an affirmation of the leading role that UBA is playing in the innovative space on the African continent as the bank keeps seeking more ways to reach out to and galvanise people.

 

 

“RED Radio can be described as a meeting place. It is an avenue to discuss all kinds of issues that affect the youths on the continent, whether it be business-related, health, relationships, sports, lifestyles, anything,” she began.

 

 

Continuing, Atta says, “As we bring people together, we also entertain them with music from across the continent.’ ‘it’s such a cool and diverse platform with shows in different languages to appeal to a wide section of listeners. I leave it on quietly on my iPad constantly, catching up with anything I have missed.’

 

 

Noting that radio plays a critical part in the development of a country and the continent at large, Atta says RED Radio would leave nothing to chance but contribute positively to the course.

 

 

One of the flagships shows on RED Radio that has been getting positive reviews includes the ‘Barbershop Chronicles,’ a talk show featuring Shody, Sess, Alhaji Popping, and Femisoro. For the programme, the four co-hosts discuss life matters from the perspective of men.

 

 

Another programme that is fast becoming rave of the moment is the ‘Diary of an Africana.’ The programme follows the journey of a young African woman as she manoeuvres through various obstacles whilst she explores her true self.

 

 

‘The Red Pill,’ is another programme whose format provides exciting news and music from the Congo.

 

 

Beyond lip service, the bank, which is known for its culture of excellent service, has continuously innovated all of its business segments, whilst delivering top-notch operational efficiencies and best-in-class customer service. In recent time, the reward for creating such superior value has come in form of customer satisfaction and numerous local and international awards, thus consolidating their leadership position in Africa. For the bank, those awards are evidence of the diligent execution of its strategic initiatives geared towards customer service fulfillment.

 

 

There is no gain saying that over the years the bank which is passionate about customer satisfaction has proven to be in the forefront of numerous cutting edge innovations in a bid to effectively satisfy its increasingly growing customer base, placing it ahead of its contemporaries in terms of innovation and overall customer well-being.

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Van Vicker Finally Bags Varsity Degree — 24 Years After Secondary Education

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Van Vicker

Van Vicker, the multiple award-winning Ghanaian actor, has finally bagged a university degree — about 24 years after completing senior secondary school.

 

The 43-year-old movie director, who is a renowned face in Nollywood, took to his Instagram page to recount the touching tale of his educational journey.

He said while his secondary schoolmates were enrolling at the tertiary institution in 1997, his single mother couldn’t afford to send him to school.

 

He also accompanied the post with a photo in which he could be seen wearing a graduation robe of the African University College of Communication (AUCC).

 

 

Vicker said he bagged first-class honours in Strategic Communications and was named the overall best in his set.

 

 

“21 years later, here I stand before you with 3 achievements during my graduation; to God be the glory. 1. 1st class honors. 2. Best Student in Strategic communication. 3. Best Communication Student Award,” the actor wrote.

 

“The above is within the context of my 2021 post on social media and is in no way presumptuous but uprightly to inspire. I could not enroll at a tertiary institution in 1997 because my single mother did not have the funds.

 

“If free SHS was available back in the day, most likely I would have graduated in 2000/2001. My career took off and I have been blessed but as someone who relishes education getting that degree was just a matter of time.

 

 

“I complete my Masters program this December and I am sorely motivated and committed to going even beyond, God willing. I thank all those who supported me and are supporting me during this journey.”

 

Vicker has appeared in hundreds of films including ‘My Soul Mate’, ‘Heart of Fire’, ‘Popular King’, ‘Gambling with Marriage’, ‘Harvest of Love’, ‘Stolen Will’, ‘The Joy of a Prince’, ‘Discovered’, ‘The Kingdom’ and ‘Against The Law’.

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