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UNDP Partners With The Tony Elumelu Foundation To Empower 100,000 Young Entrepreneurs In Africa

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the global development network of the United Nations, has partnered with the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) — Africa’s leading philanthropy committed to empowering entrepreneurs — to train, mentor and financially support 100,000 young entrepreneurs in Africa over 10 years towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

The TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Programme, which is expected to mobilize support for businesses, aims to generate millions of new jobs and contribute at least $10 billion in new annual revenues across Africa.

This was announced today at the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU), where TEF Founder, Tony Elumelu and UNDP Regional Director for Africa, Ahunna Eziakonwa joined African Presidents at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Business Forum, where the agreement was signed. The President of Niger, H.E Mahamadou Issoufou joined UNDP and TEF to launch the programme.

The partnership will target young Africans in under-served communities, starting with the Sahel, given the region’s opportunity as the youngest population in the world with 194 million people under 25 years of age (64.5% of the total population). The TEF-UNDP Sahel Youth Entrepreneurship Programme will be implemented through TEF’s flagship Entrepreneurship Programme, which has already benefited 7,520 local entrepreneurs across 54 African countries in just five years of existence. Similarly, the programme builds on UNDP’s YouthConnekt initiative. The aim is to increase job creation through dynamic entrepreneurship and create sustainable economic growth that anchors the development of communities and states.

Speaking on the partnership, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Africa stated that: “We see Sahel as a land of many opportunities and investing in the youth is a pre-condition to stabilizing the region. The youth should be at the heart of any development agenda. We need to invest in their potential, talent, energy and enthusiasm and create the opportunity for them to fully realize their dreams. That is why UNDP is co-creating development solutions by investing in entrepreneurship models to promote inclusive growth. Partnership with the Sahelian youth entrepreneur is a catalyst for transformation and sustainable development. We call on other private sector entities to join the Tony Elumelu Foundation to support young entrepreneurs”.

On her part, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu said: “Our partnership with UNDP is welcome and timely – it will directly assist entrepreneurial success in a number of fragile areas and is a testament to the validated approach to philanthropy we have pioneered. Africa needs partners that do not only believe in the potential of its private sector to champion economic development, but backs this with commitment. With this agreement, UNDP has proven to be a true partner to Africa’s entrepreneurs and has demonstrated its commitment to work with us to scale up the impact of this initiative and eliminate poverty on the continent”.

The TEF-UNDP programme is fully aligned with the 1 Million by 2021 Initiative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat. Launched in April at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, the 1 Million by 2021 Initiative aims to concretely reach 1 million African youth from across the continent with opportunities and interventions in the key areas of Education, Entrepreneurship, Employment and Engagement (4Es) to accelerate Africa’s socio-economic development.

The Chairperson of the AUC speaking at the launch of the 1 Million by 2021 initiative said: “The1 Million by 2021 initiative is an African call to action that aims to ensure that no young persons aged 15-35 is left behind. The initiative adopts a Pan-African outlook and facilitates strategic partnerships to open up new opportunities for young people on the continent…The AU has the expertise, convening power and continental reach at our disposal but that

alone cannot guarantee success. We need commitment from our public and private sector partners to achieve success. In the face of our overwhelming task, a collective effort is necessary to stand and succeed. In Africa, we say, ‘Broomsticks bound together are difficult to break. This is the approach that I implore us to take”.

Through the TEF-UNDP partnership, the selected applicants will each receive a maximum of $5,000 non-refundable seed capital, access to mentors, a 12-week business training and networking opportunities. They will join the previously announced 3,051 beneficiaries of the 2019 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

The applications will be run on TEFConnect, the largest digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs and forms will be available in any of the branches of the United Bank for Africa (UBA). Following the end of the application window, an initial longlist of 5,500 applicants will be selected to undergo the 12-week business training. After the training, the final shortlist of 2,000 applicants will be announced to join the previous 2019 TEF cohort.

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Hymnodia Season 2: Ediomo Akpan Emerges Winner As Show Came To A Hymntacular End

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Hymnodia Season 2, the triple E, entertainment, education and edification, reality TV show built around hymns and worship has come to a spectacular (hymntacular) end with Ediomo Akpan emerging the winner (Hymnodian) of the grand prize of an Asaph (a specially designed award named after David’s chief musician), a brand-new car and N5 million.

The grand finale, known as Hymncert, was held in grandeur on Sunday, 13th September 2020, in Lagos. Due to prevailing circumstances of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Hymncert was not open to the general hymn-loving public like before, but what it lost in the crowd, was more than gained in glamour and entertainment (hymntainment).

Minstrel Sarah Thompson set the tone for the evening with her soulful rendition of worship songs which got the few guests lifted in spirit and soul, after which came to the battlenodia (battle) for the prize. Five contestants (Hymntestants) made it to the Hymncert but only four contended for the prize.

The two Hymntestants with the lowest votes, Johnson “Json” Ikpeama and Yinka Odunayo, engaged in a contest for the judges to decide who would join the trio of Frank Okoye, Duke Asuquo and Ediomo Akpan in the grand finale, a situation that saw Odunayo outwitting her counterpart in a fierce battlenodia of hymns.

Other highlights of the show were the performances made by The [email protected] DemiladeAdepega and the legendary Kunle Batik, who thrilled the audience to melodious tunes with their saxophones.

The Hymncert proper started with Duke’s rendition of “Conqueror through the Blood” and followed by Ediomo’s performance of “Christ Our Mighty Captain”. Part one of the hymncert was Victory hymns all the way then followed by the Pidgination of hymns segment.

Returning Hymntestant, Stephen Nwosu, in his melodious voice also featured, singing and dancing with his performance of “Gukongozigi”, — Count Your Blessings in Igbo.

After the performances, came the moment of truth, as Gbenga Badejo & Company, the collation agency handed the results to the host, the Dean of the Hymnstitute (show’s house), Ben Ogbeiwi, who kept the guests longing to know the Season 2 Hymnodian.

Frank Okoye was declared the 3rd runner-up, Yinka Odunayo the 2nd runner-up, while the moment of truth for the real winner was held in a little suspense, which kept the audience eager to know what would follow.

Duke and Ediomo were invited by the Dean to join him on the diamond platform and there were palpable tension and anxiety in the hall. The two men standing were visibly gripped by tension and the Dean allowed it to build by inviting the dignitaries who would present the prizes onto the stage before announcing the winner.

Pastor Kenny Folarin of Day Star Christain Centre was to present the Asaph, The Very Reverend Olushola Makinde to present the car key while the Producer and Executive Producer, Kufre and Mrs Ezinne Kufre-Ekanem were to present the N5million cheque.

With all the dignitaries on stage, the Dean of he Hymnstitute and Host for the Show, Dean Ben Ogbeiwi, bellowed ‘the winner and true Hymnodian of Season 2 is Ediomo’.
The hall erupted with applause.

Ediomo was momentarily shocked but when he realised what had happened, overcome with emotion and sunk to his knees as other Hymntestants swarmed him.

A graduate of the ABRSM Advanced Chorale Singing programme, Ediomo has sung in several choirs over the past nine years and was never on probation for the whole period of the Season 2 show, with the favourite hymn, A Mighty Fortress is our God
He is a pseudo-polyglot, speaks English, Spanish and his native language Annang. He is an Akwa Ibom-born, Lagos-bred soloist with proficiency on the classical flute. He is a chorister, a tenor, at the House on the Rock Church, Lekki, Lagos.

In his remarks, Kufre Ekanem, expressed gratitude to God for his awesomeness in making Hymnodia Season 2, a success, and wished to see Season 3, which will take place in 2021.

The reality TV show on hymns and worship was a one-hour programme on Lagos Television (Channel 256 on DSTV, Channel 90 on GoTV and Channel 113 on Startimes) with a magazine show on the same channel on Wednesday evening. It was also streamed live online via the LTV App available on the app store and on the dedicated YouTube channel, Hymnodiahq.

The show was also viewed on GITV, Kaduna; Anambra Broadcasting Service, Onitsha; Ondo State Radio/TV, Akure; ITV, Abuja and Cross River TV, Calabar. Others are Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation (AKBC); Kwara TV, Ilorin and Plateau Radio TV, Jos. All the stations aired Hymnodia on the same days (Sunday and Wednesday) but at different times.




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Nigerian Pornstar, King Tblak Arrested For Shooting Porn Video Using Ifa Worshippers’ Items At Osun Osogbo Shrine

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Popular Nigerian porn star, King Tblak has been apprehended in Osogbo for using Ifa worshippers items in his porn video which was shot at the Osun Osogbo shrine.

It was gathered that the adult movie star whose real name is Tobi Jolaosho used White Beads and Opele in one of his videos and this however prompted a herbalist, Amoo Awosunwon, to order for his arrest.

Awosunwon reported the case to the police after seeing a sex video on social media of Tblak allegedly dressed in Osun Osogbo attire with a naked lady at the Osogbo shrine.

Police spokeswoman Yemisi Opalola confirmed the arrest on Sunday.




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Mouka Reaffirms Commitment to Consumers’ Well-being, Quality Product

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Mouka, Nigeria’s foremost manufacturer of mattresses and beddings has restated its commitment to consumers’ Wellbeing by delivering quality products that enhance sleep and ultimately sound health.
This was the submission of the Chief Executive Officer, Mouka, Raymond Murphy, at a virtual stakeholders’ engagement where he unveiled some of the plans of its fiscal year, on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, in Lagos.
Murphy said the frontline company would continue to engage its stakeholders which comprises consumers, employees, business partners, agencies, and the media, to ensure Mouka delivers on its promise to add comfort to life.
According to him, Mouka in its giant stride would keep on innovating and renovating its product portfolio to keep it exciting and appealing to consumers. In addition, the company will continue to give its teeming consumers more value for money by deploying value-added promotions and producing durable products.
This, he affirmed, would be through intensive research and development (R&D). The Mouka boss declared that the company has invested a great deal in equipping its state-of-the-art laboratories to ensure the production of quality mattresses and other bedding products.
“This is why Mouka brand is unique, and the leader in its industry,” Murphy stated.
On other initiatives, Mouka’s Chief Executive Officer pointed out that the company will remain dynamic and responsive to consumers’ needs and preferences.
Giving back to society through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives was also highlighted as one of its cardinal focuses in this fiscal period. Recently, the company donated over 1,000 mattresses to Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo State Governments for the enhancement of their isolation centers for the treatment of infected persons.
The frontline company introduced campaigns such as #StayhomewithMouka to educate, engage, and support its consumers during the lockdown. Also, Mouka partnered with the Nigerian society of physiotherapy on the #SleepBetterStayHealthy campaign to raise awareness for the importance of quality sleep in building a healthy immune system, especially during a pandemic.
On its stables are quality brands such as Wellbeing orthopedic mattresses, Klinic waterproof hospital mattress, Dreamtime water-resistant mattress, and Mondeo Spring mattress as well as a wide range of pillows for a comfortable sleep.




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