Thursday, 23 November 2017
Items filtered by date: November 2016

Leicester City’s remarkable debut Champions League campaign continued as they reached the knockout stages with one game to spare by beating Club Brugge.

The Foxes needed a point to make the last 16, yet secured three to ensure they will finish top of Group G.

A smart finish into the top corner by Shinji Okazaki, after a fine cross by Christian Fuchs, set Claudio Ranieri’s side on their way.
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Riyad Mahrez doubled the lead from the penalty spot – for his fourth goal in five Champions League games – after Marc Albrighton was fouled by Dion Cools before Jose Izquierdo hit a wonderful consolation after a 40-yard run.

Leicester were unrecognisable from the side who have struggled in the Premier League this season.

They are the second English team, after Arsenal, to secure a place in the draw for the knockout stages on 12 December.

The Foxes sit just two points above the Premier League’s relegation zone after back-to-back defeats.

Yet Claudio Ranieri’s team cannot stop winning in Europe. Incredibly, they have picked up more points in the Champions League than the domestic league this season.

While they have lost to, among others, Hull City, West Bromwich Albion and Watford in the league, Leicester have beaten Brugge twice – as well as Porto and FC Copenhagen. It means they have 13 points from five games in Europe – yet just 12 from 12 matches domestically.

There will be disappointment that their run of four successive Champions League clean sheets is over.

Izquierdo’s thumping finish, following a terrific solo run, sparked a late Brugge surge and ensured a nervous finish, yet the Belgians could not force an equaliser.

-BBC

Published in Sports

SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, dragged the Chairman of Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited, Jide Omokore, before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, over alleged criminal diversion of over $1.6 billion belonging to the Federal Government under the guise of oil swap. Diezani Alison-Madueke According to court papers, Mr. Omokore and the others claimed they had the expertise and the wherewithal to procure crude oil from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and process same and deliver the monetary equivalent of 5,652,227 barrels of crude oil to them by the corporation.

However, the prosecution is set to prove to the defendants that they intentionally defrauded the government by taking the crude and not delivering the money or the crude back to the government. Omokore was arraigned along with Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, David Mbanefo, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Limited. They were re-arraigned on a nine-count amended charge of criminal diversion of about $1.6 billion alleged to be proceeds of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government. They pleaded “not guilty” when the charges were read to them. In view of their plea, prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial, and to allow the defendants to enjoy the bail earlier granted them by Justice Binta Nyako.

Counsel to the defendants did not object to the request of Jacobs, urging the court to accede to his request. Justice Dimgba, thereafter, fixed December 8 for hearing in the case, adding, “I, hereby, adopt the bail terms as mine.” It would be recalled that Omokore and his co-defendants were first arraigned before Justice Nyako, on July 4, but the case file was afterwards transferred to Justice Dimgba by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.

Count one reads: “That you Olajide Jones Omokore, Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Ltd and Kolawole Akanni Aluko (now at large) between May and October 2013, within the jurisdiction of this court, by false pretence and with intent to defraud, induced the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and the Federal Government of Nigeria to deliver to you 5,652,227 barrels of crude oil (Brass blend) amounting to the sum of US$616,013,615.27 through the medium of contract, which delivery was induced by the false pretence.”

Published in News & Stories

SPONSORED BY HIRING234.COM: Nigeria’s recession deepened in the third quarter and oil production fell, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Monday, as a dollar shortage kept Africa’s biggest economy in a stranglehold.

Gross domestic product contracted by 2.24 percent, the NBS said. A slump in crude prices led Nigeria’s economy to shrink by 2.06 percent in the second quarter, tipping it into recession for the first time in 25 years.

The NBS report comes a day before an interest rate decision, where analysts expect the central bank to hold benchmark rates at 14 percent, amid galloping inflation that hit a more than 11-year high of 18.3 percent in October.

Prices have been pushed up by the dollar scarcity in a country dependent on imports, which has been exacerbated by currency restrictions imposed by the central bank last year in an effort to defend the naira. Oil sales are the OPEC member’s main source of dollars to fund imports.

Last month, in a sign of growing disquiet, policemen and soldiers dispersed around 100 youth protesters who gathered at the central bank’s headquarters in the capital, Abuja, demanding the resignation of governor Godwin Emefiele over his policies.

“The ramp up in fiscal spending has been slower-than-anticipated, and the policy response in general remains weak,” said Cobus de Hart, economist at NKC Economists.

The NBS said oil production fell to 1.63 million barrels per day, down from 1.69 million in the second quarter. However, the non-oil sector grew by 0.03 percent in the third quarter, compared with negative growth in the first two.

The recession has been deepened by a series of attacks by militants on oil and gas facilities in the southern Niger Delta since January that has cut Nigeria’s oil production. Crude oil sales account for two-thirds of government revenue.

Attacks have ramped up in the last few weeks following a lull that lasted a few months while militants and community leaders, who want a greater share of Nigeria’s energy wealth to go to the region, held talks with the government.

“We were expecting a more shallow contraction,” Standard Chartered Africa chief economist Razia Khan said.

“Much of it seems to have been driven by the outsized contraction in the oil sector once again, with much lower levels of oil production than we had expected.”

She said FX reforms were needed to “restore positive momentum” to Nigeria’s economy.

In October, the NBS said the economy is likely to shrink 1.3 percent in 2016, a sharp downward revision of its estimates at the beginning of the year, prompted by dramatic falls in the currency. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that Nigeria’s economy will contract by 1.8 percent this year.

A senior Moody’s analyst told Reuters that Nigeria’s economy could expand by 2.5 percent next year as long it can produce 2.2 million barrels per day – the level at which the government made its budget calculations.

-Reuters

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: The Federal Government alleged on Monday that a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, on October 9, 2016, tampered with evidence likely to incriminate him while on bail – following his arrest by the operatives of the Department of State Service on corruption allegations between October 7 and 8. 

The Federal Government, in opposing the bail application which Ngwuta’s lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), argued after his client’s arraignment before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, stated that the evidence the accused allegedly tampered with were a cash sum of N27m and three exotic cars.

The prosecution alleged that after Ngwuta was granted administrative bail by the DSS in Abuja on November 9, 2016, he made a call to someone in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, to move the sum of N27m cash and three exotic cars to some other locations in order to conceal them.

The cars, which were said to have been recovered by the DSS from where they were moved to, were a Hummer Jeep, a Wrangler Jeep, and a BMW 5 Series sedan.

The government, however, stated that the N27m cash along with some vital documents moved in bags from the bathroom of the Abakaliki home of the justice of the apex court was not recovered because it had been “dissipated”.

Ngwuta, who appeared before a Federal High Court in Abuja, sporting a grey suit with a blue shirt and a red tie, was arraigned before Justice John Tsoho on 16 counts, including money laundering and offences relating to obtaining of multiple passports.

The justice of the apex court was allowed to sit in the dock.

But he stood up to plead not guilty when the charges were read to him at about 10.41am on Monday.

Following his arraignment, his lawyer moved his bail application which was opposed by Federal Government’s lawyer, Mr. Charles Adeogun-Philips.

Despite the prosecution’s opposition to the bail, the judge returned from about two-hour break to grant bail to the Justice of the Supreme Court in the sum of N100m to be guaranteed by his own recognisance.

The defendant, who only had to sign a bail bond worth N100m and guaranteed by his status as a Justice of the Supreme Court, was seen being driven out of the court premises in his official Mercedes Benz E350 at about 3.30pm on Monday.

The judge, after dismissing the fear expressed by the prosecution about the possibility of the defendant interfering with evidence and evading trial as baseless, fixed December 7 and 8 for commencement of trial.

However, while opposing the bail application earlier, Adeogun-Philips referred to the counter-affidavit which was filed on Monday narrating how Ngwuta allegedly committed more offences by trying to conceal the origin of the N27m and the exotic cars by instructing Chukwuebuka to move them from his Abakaliki house to other locations.

The counter-affidavit deposed to by Mr. Ganau Wando, an official of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, read in part, “That whilst on administrative bail between October 9 and 21, 2016, the defendant/applicant committed further offences.

“That, in particular, following his arrest on October 7, 2016, and subsequent release on administrative bail on October 9, 2016, the defendant/applicant sought to obstruct the proper administration of justice, having tampered with the evidence likely to incriminate him in criminal acts by engaging one Mr. Nwamba Linus Chukwuebuka through a telephone call on October 10, 2016, to remove the properties from his private residence located at Engineering Close, Off Onwe Road, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State. The properties are as follows:

“A bag located in the defendant/applicant’s bathroom containing some vital documents which was initially concealed by Mr. Chukwuebuka at the residence of one Abraham Ezeani in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, on or about October 9, 2016, and subsequently recovered from there by investigators from the DSS in November 2016.

“A bag located in the defendant/applicant’s bathroom containing the sum of N27m in cash which was initially concealed by Mr. Chukwuebuka at the residence of one Abraham Ezeani in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, on or about October 9, 2016, following which it was subsequently dissipated by Mr. Chukwuebuka on the direct instructions of the defendant/applicant.”

The counter-affidavit added that the Hummer Jeep Sports Utility Vehicle, Wrangler Jeep Sports Utility Vehicle and BMW 5 Series Vehicle were “previously located in the compound of the defendant/applicant’s private home in Abakaliki and initially concealed by Mr. Chukwuebuka at the residence of an aunt to Chukwuebuka in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, on or about October 9, 2016, and subsequently recovered from there by investigators from the DSS in November 2016.

The prosecuting counsel, while arguing the government’s objection, said the prosecution “regrettably” had to oppose the defendant’s bail application because of his (Ngwuta’s) acts of dishonesty which he had demonstrated by also obtaining multiple valid passports.

 “There must be consequences for wrongful conduct. So many times, things have been done in our society with disregard to consequences,” the prosecutor said.

He added, “In counts 10 to 16 of the charges, the defendant is alleged to have maintained multiple identities.

“My lord, in any jurisdiction in the world, I cannot but reject him being released on his own recognisance or being released at all.

“On October 8, a day before the call was made to Abakaliki, the defendant was found with four valid passports. Two of those passports were diplomatic passports and two were standard. He didn’t stop there, investigation showed that earlier this year the defendant had declared two of those passports lost.

“Now we have this problem–we are confronted with such acts of dishonesty. We are confronted with offences that were committed while still on administrative bail.

“The objection is an outright objection. But I have also realistically identified that if your lordship is minded to grant bail, it should be on stringent conditions.

Replying on the point of law, Agabi, however, said the prosecuting counsel was merely repeating the content of the charges and urged the trial judge not to reach conclusions before trial commenced.

 

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: Mr Bagudu Hirse, former Minister of State (Foreign Affairs), has been kidnapped, his brother, Chief John Hirse, has confirmed.

“I got home from church to read the message informing me of the kidnap of my brother, Bagudu, on my phone,” John, former federal permanent secretary and currently District Head of Mangu, in Plateau State, disclosed in Jos.

John said that he was expecting further details “on the sad incident.”

“You have to exercise patience and call back later for more information and further developments,” he said.

Sources indicated that Bagudu was kidnapped “somewhere in Kaduna”.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: 

Background

I hail from Ogun State. I was born into a Christian home and I had a strict upbringing. Even though my parents separated, my childhood was fun and I have so many good memories.  While my mum has yet to remarry, my dad remarried and I lived with him for some time.

Education

I attended St. Benedict Nursery & Primary School, Lagos, and Federal Government Girls’ College, Akure. Afterwards, I studied Mass Communication at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye.

Acting

I became interested in acting when I was at the university. As an undergraduate, I used to feature in plays that were staged in school. Professionally, I started acting about 16 years ago. I joined Nollywood and took part in some English movies. I joined Oga Bello’s Awada Kerikeri Theatre Group, in the year 2000, and that was where I honed my acting skills.

Movies

In 2001, I featured in my first Yoruba movie, Baba Ologba, alongside Adebayo Salami, aka Oga Bello, and Femi Adebayo. Since then, I have featured in several others and I have played lead roles in many movies as well.

Challenges

Life is full of challenges and I encountered so many obstacles when I started acting. Firstly, my father was not happy that I became an actress. When he discovered, he was very angry because he thought I would get a proper job. Besides, nobody in my father’s family had ever become an actress. Most of them were doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.  My father and my stepmother did not support me and they tried to frustrate my ambition. At some point, he asked me to move out of his house if I was bent on becoming an actress. I went to live with my mum and even though she was not happy at what I had decided to do with my life, she did not fail to support me. Another challenge I faced was the poor remuneration. There were times when I was not even paid at all but I did not allow that to discourage me because of the passion I have for the job.

Nicknames

I have several nicknames. At the beginning of my career, I used to be known as Ronke AKO (Awada Kerikeri Organisation). I am also known as Becky, which was the character I played in Funke Akindele-Bello’s two-part movie, Jenifa. I think the nickname that has stuck with me is Flakky Ididowo. I got that pseudonym after I played Folake in a movie produced by someone I respect so much, Fathia Balogun.

Movie production

I am not only an actress, I am also a producer. I have produced several movies in the past and I just finished work on two movies. I like to make good films and that is why I don’t come out with movies every now and then. I am a professional and I know what a good movie should look like. I have set a standard for myself and I don’t want to disappoint my fans.

Physique

People say I have a provocative figure but I did not create myself. When I was younger, people used to taunt me and I would cry. Over time, I have come to love my body irrespective of whether I have unusually large breasts or buttocks. When I walk on the streets of Lagos, men look at me in a seductive manner but I don’t care as long as I am not indecently dressed. In fact, some people scream obscenities at me. Some call me Cowbell and I either laugh it off or just ignore them.

Fame

I do not care about fame. It has not changed who I am and it has not altered the way I relate with people be it my family, friends or fans. I am a very simple person and generally down-to-earth and forthright. To a large extent, I am an introvert and I like to spend a lot of time indoors. I rarely go out except it is very necessary.

Marriage

Being in the limelight has it disadvantages. One of the demerits of being in the limelight is that one finds it difficult to find true love. You can’t tell if that man or woman loves you for who you are or because you are a celebrity. I will get married when God says it is my time. My time has yet to come and that is why I am still single.  Anyone who rushes into marriage will definitely rush out, so I am taking my time. Unlike it was speculated sometime ago, I have never been married.

Pasuma and I

Not all relationships lead to marriage and such was my relationship with Pasuma. Even though we are no longer dating, we are still good friends. The fact that we are both celebrities may have been responsible for our inability to get married. A lot of times, celebrity marriages don’t work out because both parties are in the limelight. This breeds a lot of distrust and problems in the marriage.

Style

I like simple, nice and classy wear. I also like traditional wear because I look good in them and they are super comfortable.

Published in Parliament

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is looking for Mrs. Moji Ladeji, the sister of Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, over a N200m house located at 44 Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja, a highbrow area in the nation’s capital. 

According to court documents, the building, which has since been sealed off by the EFCC, was allegedly bought by Fayose from proceeds of corrupt practices but the title documents of the house bear the name of Fayose’s sister, a move the commission claimed was to cover the governor’s track.

Detectives told our correspondent that Ladeji, who is based in the United Kingdom, would need to explain her role in the alleged scam.

A source in the EFCC stated, “We have been able to establish that the house was bought from the proceeds of corrupt practices. The house was, however, bought in the name of Fayose’s sister. We need to question her to determine her level of involvement.

“We know that she is based in the UK but she comes to Nigeria quite often. We want her to come and tell us her side of the story.”

Fayose had sued the EFCC for freezing his bank account following an allegation that he received N1.219bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser through a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, as well as kickbacks from state contractors.

However, in a counter-affidavit, deposed to by Mr. Tosin Owobo on behalf of the EFCC, the agency said Fayose used the N1.219bn as well as alleged kickbacks received from the Ekiti State Government contractors to buy houses in Abuja and Lagos.

The governor allegedly received kickbacks from about four Ekiti State Government contractors – Samchese Nigeria Limited, Tender Branch Concept Nigeria Limited, Hoff Concept Limited and Calibre Consulting Limited.

However, instead of receiving cash, the governor allegedly instructed the companies to buy houses for him in Lagos and Abuja.

The houses located on Tiamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, are said to be worth about N1.1bn.

According to the EFCC, the houses were bought in the name of J. J. Technical, a company owned by Fayose and his wife, Feyisetan.

According to the EFCC, the houses in Abuja were bought with different names.

While the N200m house, located at 44 Osun Crescent, Abuja, was allegedly bought in the name of Fayose’s sister, another property, located on 32 Yedseram Street, Maitama, worth N270m, was bought in the name of a company.

The affidavit reads in part, “The applicant (Fayose) also used the name of one Mrs. Moji Ladeji (the applicant’s sister) to acquire a property situated at 44 Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja, from the proceeds of the alleged offences of receiving gratification and kickbacks.

“Apart from fraudulently retaining the sum of N1,219,490,000.00, being part of the N4,745,000,000.00, stolen from the treasury of the Federal Government through the Office of the National Security Adviser, the applicant (Fayose) has also received gratification in form of kickbacks from various contractors with the Ekiti State Government such as Samchese Nigeria Ltd., Tender Branch Concept Nig. Ltd., Hoff Concept Ltd. and Calibre Consulting Limited.”

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday arrived Akure Airport amidst tight security for the All Progressive Congress (APC) campaign rally for the Nov. 26 governorship election in Ondo State.

Buhari arrived the airport at exactly 10.09 a.m. and was received by Governor Olusegun Mimiko.

Also on ground to receive the president were Dr Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Solid Mineral Development; Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former governor of Osun and Sen. Tayo Alasoadura, member, representing Ondo Central at the Senate.

Others were Alhaji Alli Olanusi, former Ondo deputy governor; Mr Isaac Kekemeke, former chairman of APC in Ondo State; Mr Jamiu Ekungba, a contestant in the APC primary election that produced Chief Rotimi Akeredolu.

In the entourage of the president were Alhaji Lai Muhammed, Minister of Information and Culture; Gov. Umar Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa State and Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.

Also present at the airport were former Gov. Joshua Dariye of Plateau and former Gov. Adams Oshiomole of Edo.

The security details of the Nigerian Police was led by Mrs Hilda Ibifuro, Commissioner of Police in Ondo State.

Other security operatives present included men of the Immigration Services, FRSC, Nigeria Police, NSCDC, the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Air Force.

Buhari inspected a guard of honour mounted by men of the Nigerian Army before leaving the airport.

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the APC National Chairman, John Odigie Oyegun, arrived at different times after the president had left the airport.

Published in Politics

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: Fatima Askira is the founder of Borno Women Development Initiative; a Maiduguri-based NGO working with women victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in Internally Displaced Persons camps and host communities in Borno state. In a chat with with Women of Rubies , the 26 year old graduate of Botany speaks about her efforts of alleviating the sufferings of the women, most of whom have lost their husbands 

Growing up with a passion
Actually no. I grew up with an ambition to be a medical doctor, unfortunately, growing up, I find things changing and I start to develop passion through looking at how people live, from their day to day activities especially from the poor perspectives. I really do not have an idea of how or what I want to do with that, but I feel I should do something.

Meet Fatima
Fatima Askira was born and brought up in Maiduguri, I attended my primary education in Maiduguri, Secondary school at F.G.G.C Potiskum, Yobe state and University of Maiduguri, where i studied Biological science, Botany. She single living with her family in Maiduguri. From this little background, you will understand that my childhood didn’t in anyway prepare for the work I am currently doing now. But growing up, life changes its faces and then, one has to make a choice of being who is.

Inspiration behind Borno Women Development Initiative
Borno Women Development Initiative was inspired by my passion to protect/support women and make them independent. As a result of insurgency, people from surrounding towns and villages of Maiduguri found themselves fleeing from their homes, into the state capital (maiduguri). My observation at the time was, the majority of the people coming in were women and children, and they come in half covered, because they had to run for their lives. This situation made posed for a second to think of a way I can be of help to these vulnerable women. Then, IDPs mostly lived in an under-resourced camp, before the camps become official. I started to collect clothes from family and friends to donate to some of the displaced women and their children. With the help of a social media campaign, my charity drive took a turn from a small-scale local collection into a national volunteer network which brought about many people reaching out to me to donate clothes, toiletries and food to the internally displaced persons from across Nigeria. As a result of the network I was building, I felt the need to formalize the process, so that people will feel safe, and through the process access wider network of support. Then I started an organization “Borno Women Development Initiative’ (BOWDI).

Rehabilitating the women
Rehabilitation and Reintegration is quite a difficult program to run, especially looking at it critically from challenges of stigmatization and fear in our communities today, but if you hold to your mission, gradually you get to a point where you convince people to accept reality. In some cases, it has been successful as some of the women were reintegrated into camps, and those who are successfully returned back to their communities. But in other cases, some of these women are still being kept safe in isolation, until further arrangements are made for reintegration.

Activities of BOWDI

 BOWDI is currently running many projects like; 1. mitigating and preventing Sexual and Gender Based Violence(SGBV) within camps and communities around MMC, Jere, Konduga and Mafa Local Government Areas of Borno State. The consequences of every war has its negative effects on the society, as a result, young girls, boys and women are vulnerable to all acts of violence . Child labour, rape, exploitation, domestic violence and many more are few to mention among many other effects. Therefore, BOWDI felt the need to protect the vulnerable groups through sensitization and educating these groups by conducting interactive sessions focusing on effects and ways to protect themselves from falling victims of abuses, we also provide them with the referral pathways to report all cases and get medical and all forms of support for victims. After every Session, we provide them with basic materials for their immediate needs. 2. BOWDI is running 24 non-formal learning centers in Konduga Local Government Area, under education intervention, providing access to education for children, Adolescent girls and youth. From this particular project, I believe that it is not the people who do not want to go to school, but it is lack of access, or necessary teaching and learning facilities. 3. BOWDI is also economically empowering 833 women with business startups as Small Loan Associations across Mafa LGA.

Funding
Like every organization, BOWDI apply for funds through call for proposals and expression of interest by donor agencies, Previously, when the capacity of the organization was very low, we solicit for donations from individuals, philanthropists, etc. through fund raising activities and distribution of fliers in various communities, within and outside Maiduguri, and with my personal income to sustain the organization.

Award and Recognition
Over the years, the smile on the faces of those I helped had been my greatest reward. Until recently when I was awarded a peace award by the 2face foundation together with couple of other peace workers across Nigeria.

Being a young woman from the Northeast
Some of the challenges I have faced through this work was how to start and moving forward, especially being a young woman from the Northeast, it was very difficult for me trying to get people support the process, as most people initially thought it will not work out. I had to prove that determination leads to success by trying and trying harder until I was successful. Another Challenge is in trying to finance some of the organization’s activities at the beginning.

If I have an audience with the President
If I have an opportunity to ask the President one thing on behalf of these women, I will request on their behalf for a social investment platform created specifically for their benefits, a project that is sustainable which would exist from gov’t to gov’t. Some of these women are young girls that happened to be victims of early marriage, some of them have a bright future, some can be enrolled back to schools, some are business oriented, they can be supported with startups, some have already existing skills, they can be supported with basic equipment for support. Such platform I am requesting on their behalf will serve both as empowerment and a method to prevent violent extremism in our communities, especially now that we have thousands of unaccompanied children, roaming on our streets because their female parents cannot afford to cater for all their needs.

Support from Nigerians
To be honest, Nigerians have been supportive to our people, but to be precise about the women, there haven’t been specificity in looking at their situation. I can say this may have happened because of the overwhelming situation of insurgency in the region, which left everyone in need of support. But, for these women, i personally feel there is need for a special intervention and support from everyone, especially our women representatives both in government and private entities. I was hoping to see a movement from women all over the country standing out to bring smiles and hope to the faces of these broken women. I am still yearning to see such and optimistic that women all over the world would realize the need to assist.

I am a Woman of Rubies inside out
I grew up looking at successful women and hoping to be like them somedays, but in a way I define my success as the ability to touch the lives of the less privileged in a way no matter how little, put a smile on a woman’s face. Even though, I am not only inclined to women, BUT I give them a priority because I see them as a backbone of development that are always neglected or sidelined, and therefore, the society suffered from the consequences of leaving them idle. My work to inspire women and build them into independent/resourceful women, and also a role model to most young women makes me a ‘woman of rubies’.

Advice to women
I would love to close by telling all women around the world that, we all are responsible for our growth, We are responsible in making our societies prosperous and violent free by empowering and supporting each other through our little different ways. Also, we have to form a bond of sharing our innovations and ideas which i believe will help us transform each other and build more on our individual work in our various fields and communities. And lastly, for our elderly women to consider young girl’s contributions and carry them along as we may have great ideas to share.

 

 
Published in News & Stories

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: Tomorrow in London, the spotlight would beam on one of Nigeria’s most sought-after actresses, Nse Ikpe-Etim.

The screen queen, as Nse has been variously dubbed, would discuss her career and the Nollywood star system in a special event, dubbed, ‘The Beyond Nollywood Weekender,’ which was curated by Nadia Denton, in association with the BFI’s popular African Odysseys strand.

Scheduled to hold at the BFI Southbank in London on Sunday, November 20, most fans are looking forward to this special event with the award-winning star actress, who was voted Best Actress at the Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards in 2014.

They consider it the right icing on her career cake and recognition of her immense contributions to pushing the acting boundaries in Nollywood.

They agree that Nse is without a doubt, an actor’s actor of not just vast, but quality credits.

A writer, world-class chef and an engaging compere, Nse is a multiple award-winning actress with a strong and loyal following in Nigeria.

Popular for her roles in Mr. And Mrs., Phone Swap, Black November, and Inale, her recent work, A Hotel Called Memory, with Akin Omotoso, and South African film, Shushh, with Meg Rickards, are due for release before the end of the year.

A Theatre Arts graduate of the University of Calabar, where she was known for her outstanding stage performances, Nse has won several acting awards, including the Best Actress in Drama award at the 2014 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards for playing “Nse” in Journey to Self.

Described by critics as one of the very few versatile actresses that have brought freshness to Nollywood, Nse’s amazing talent as an actor sucks viewers right into the character she interpretes.

She has over time shown ability to immerse herself into her role and bring the character’s essence to life.

Till now, viewers still talk about her role as Kate in Fifty by Biyi Bandele.

Kate it was who battled with a life-threatening illness that plunged her into religious obsession. And Nse played the role to the hilt. She showed stuff and was steady.

When she is not on set, Nse engages in charity work, as well as in humanitarian and mentoring efforts.

She has also lent her time and voice to causes against civil unrest, poverty and malaria.

In fact, she recently received an award in recognition of her contribution to youth development from the Cyprus International University.

Besides, Nse runs an organisation called The Nurtured Ones, which focuses on family and youth development.

Outside all these, she spends her other off work period attending to her husband and ‘cooking.’

She said: “I cook to unwind and most times, I cook when I am stressed out. I love cooking. I have a huge passion for it. It is like a hobby for me.

“I love writing and it has remained an integral part of my entire being. I can’t stop writing.

“Also, I read when I want to relax and I watch movies a lot. Most times, I love seeing my movies just to criticise them and to improve more on places I think I need to do more.

“So, I often take out time to rest if I have a small window to do so.”

Clearly one of Nollywood’s leading ladies, who is sought after by film makers locally and internationally, Nse revealed that though she loves to write, but she loves being an actor more.

As she puts it: “Although I write, I don’t see myself going behind the camera anytime soon. I love being an actor and for now, I don’t have any plans to divert.

“I am comfortable with where I am in acting and I love what I am doing. I love putting a smile on people’s faces.

“We need to remind people that things have happened and it is only acting that reveals that.”

Asked to state her most challenging role yet, Nse simply replied that her most challenging role hasn’t come yet.

She also said: “I am grateful to the directors I have worked with and their impact on me.

“I am also grateful for those productions, but I still think that we can go further. I haven’t reached the point that I will say I can’t do this anymore.
“So, I think I still have the most challenging roles ahead of me. It is still yet to come.”

Described by friends as caring, friendly and amiable, Nse recalled that she spent most of her formative years- primary and secondary schools- in Jos, Kaduna and Ilorin.

“Growing up was very good for me. I enjoyed my childhood a lot because I come from a close-knit family and a lot of love abound.

“My dad and mother encouraged us a lot to always speak our minds. Growing up made me realise that there was no need to polish anything; it is either black or white.

“Also, I grew up at a time when there was nothing like Nollywood. Back then, we went to Calabar to train and study and then I joined the industry, did some work and branched out to something else and then returned and gained acceptance after I played the role of Omoze, wife to super-actor, Ramsey Nouah, in Emem Isong’s thriller, Re-Loaded,” she recounted.

Nse’s career ambition is to continue to live her dreams and to continue to be of service to God and humanity.

“I want to continue to be the best in all I do. I want to serve God and serve humanity.

“I want to mentor people and to help people in any way I can. There is so much I want to do and will do with my NGO, funds and time permitting,” she said.

 
Published in Entertainment
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