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AMAE’s Artistic Rendition Exposes the Beautiful, Ugly sides of Nigeria’s Maritime Industry



AMAE's Artistic Rendition Exposes the Beautiful, Ugly sides of Nigeria's Maritime Industry

Art as a beautiful way of creating awareness has been used to showcase both the beautiful and ugly sides of Nigeria’s maritime industry.

This artistic impression of what the industry looks like was depicted at the maiden edition of the African Maritime Art Exhibition (AMAE).

Industry players commended AMAE for providing maritime industry stakeholders and other national and continental participants tangible artistic reminders of Africa’s shipping domain, its major challenges and numerous opportunities.

AMAE's Artistic Rendition Exposes the Beautiful, Ugly sides of Nigeria's Maritime Industry

Ezinne Azunna (middle) flanked by Maritime Stakeholders on Saturday, in Lagos

Held on Saturday at the Alliance Française, Mike Adenuga Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, AMAE is curated by Hazi’s Art, an arm of Maritime TV Africa to tell Africa’s marine/ maritime story using images and artistic impressions, painting, drawing, digitised photography, textile print, sculpture and many more.

Despite having the 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy) which is a coherent long-term multilayered plan to enhance maritime viability for a prosperous Africa, the artworks exhibited at AMAE depicted the realities of the menace of marine litters, disorderly seaport terminals, value for aquatic life, coastal and riverine communities, and other maritime issues.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and former Continental President of African Women in Maritime (WIMAFRICA), Mrs. Jean-Chiazor Anishere, while sharing her experience at the event observed that “there is a clear distinction between the media or an operator telling you about the maritime industry and an art exhibition through pictures, designs on fabrics, among others.”

She commended the organizers for the novel initiative which also brought to everyone’s immediate notice the beautiful and the ugly side of the maritime industry as she appreciated various artworks on canvass showing either Tin Can Island or Apapa Port container depot with cars littered all around.

According to her, such a terminal shouldn’t have too many cars because it isn’t a RORO terminal and cars shouldn’t be littered that way, even if it is a RORO terminal.

Anishere pointed out that the artist is showing what a Nigerian container terminal looks like and invariably saying that it isn’t the ideal scenario. She praised the organizers for not just getting art about the maritime sector but seeking to correct the anomalies by telling compelling stories via art.

In his own speech, CEO, Genero Engineering, Capt. Suleiman Baiyee described AMAE as a beautiful and innovative way of raising awareness about core maritime issues, even as he encouraged organizers of major national and regional shipping conferences to create a platform for AMAE.

“In life, there are different ways of raising awareness of things we seek to change or improve. Art is a very beautiful way and it is a permanent medium for raising awareness. Art is unique because everyone would have a different way of interpreting one picture, whereas one speech can only give one message.”

“Since art is a powerful tool, I see this exhibition as a unique way of promoting the maritime industry. It is also special because art isn’t a popular medium for promoting things in Nigeria. Therefore, I commend the people who organized this, but I would recommend that AMAE doesn’t stand on its own. Every major maritime event in the nation should have a section like this attached to it. This way, everyone who attends a major event would be exposed to the exhibition. So, from the position of raising awareness, we may need to consider partnering with other national and regional summits,” Baiyee posited.

The Chairman of AMAE 2022, Pioneer of Maritime History in Nigeria, Distinguished Professor Ayodeji Olokuju remarked that the Maritime Art Exhibition isn’t only about beauty but also tells stories about continent’s history and environment.

Olokuju informed that Lagos had ports long before the Colonial masters arrived as Badagry was a trade port several years before colonialism.

He averred that the seas should be treated with more seriousness and there should be more awareness, saying that over the years,  governments, universities and institutions have marginalized the seas.

“Until 2006, when I started a course at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), nobody ever taught a course in Maritime History. Until this year, no one ever taught the history of the seas in relation to West Africa, but that has changed,” he said.

He expressed his delight to find children among the participants at the event, emphasizing the need to catch them young as they appreciate art, even as they learn the historical developments in the maritime sector.

“This particular event is unprecedented and I want to especially thank all the participants who decided to honour this occasion and give it the priority it deserves. Out of a population of over 20 million people living in Lagos, the number of participants here tells the story of the nation. It’s a situation maritime scholars describe as sea blindness.

“Most Nigerians aren’t aware of the importance of the seas and most residents in a coastal state like Lagos don’t have any concern about the seas. Sea blindness isn’t limited to Lagos, it’s a national issue because most of the government policies focus on other modes of transportation like land, while the seas are treated as an adjunct of land-based matters. Today’s outing corrects that impression,” the professor explained.

Earlier, the lead curator, Ezinne Azunna stressed that the intent of the AMAE is to make Africans more conscious of the maritime sector, asserting that it is also a subtle way of educating people about global issues, policies, regulations and how best to manage the industry.

“Africans are said to be alarmingly and unforgivably sea blind. Our waters are notoriously described as one of the biggest unexploited industries, as much as lands are our heritage, the waters are too, we should truly embrace our waterscapes. At Hazi’s, our portraiture is focused on the human interface with the waters, aquatic life and vice versa. We launched in 2021 with over 30 digitised oil paintings, many of which are displayed today.

“Africans have been accused of not paying enough attention to the seas, but I think that opinion is fast changing with the African Union’s AIMS strategy and Blue Economy. However, some of these initiatives don’t connect to the common man and that’s where art comes in because art reaches everyone. Whether it is a bracelet one is wearing or a t-shirt with maritime prints, it resonates differently. We want people to have a vivid memory of what we are talking about when we talk about marine pollution, aquatic life, coastal communities, among other maritime issues”, Azunna stated.

She explained that every piece of art at the exhibition connects with the sector and shows how crucial the maritime industry has become to our everyday living and in linking Africa to the rest of the world.

While the enjoyable informal ambiance provided an opportunity for stakeholders to share insights on the maritime industry, the compelling stories in the artworks were clear reminders about the current state of the region’s marine domain; from ports and jetties to ships and the sea, rivers and estuaries, coastal communities, beach scenes, seafaring, marine life and science, seascapes telling the story of various eras in Africa.

Some of the maritime industry stakeholders at the exhibition were; the Chairperson, Nigerian Ship-owners Forum, Barr. (Mrs.) Margaret Orakwusi; President, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung; President, African Marine Environment Sustainability Initiative (AFMESI), Dr. (Mrs.) Felicia Mogo; Convener, Lagos International Maritime Week, Mrs. Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore.

Others were; former Assistant Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), ACG Charles Edike; Founder, Committee of Friends for Humanity (COFFHA), Mrs. Carol Ufere; Secretary, Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria, Mrs. Chizoba Anyika; Public Relations Officer, WISTA Nigeria, Arit Nwokedi; Director, Operations and Administration, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Mrs. Vivian Chimezie-Azubuike; Founder, Ocean Ambassadors Forum (OAF), Mrs. Violet Olaitan Williams; among others.



Osun-Osogbo Festival: Govt working to improve, ensure cleaner Osun River- Official



The Osun Government says it is working on de-polluting and improving the Osun River to be cleaner and safer for drinking by residents, especially the Osun River goddess devotees.

Mr. Abiodun Bankole-Ojo, State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism,  highlighted this on Friday while addressing journalists at the grand finale of the annual Osun-Osogbo Festival in Osogbo.

According to him, Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has already set up a special committee,  comprising the state Ministries of Water Resources and that of Environment, toward ensuring that the Osun River is free from pollution.

He said though the state government was working to clean, and ensure the water is potable, devotees believe that the water cures them, irrespective of its colour, state, or appearance.

“The governor is concerned about the safety of the water, and he has set up a special committee,  headed by the Ministry of Water Resources and Environment, to ensure the pollution is removed.

“If you look at the water now, it is far much better than last year, and I am assuring you that by next year, it will be much more better.

“Our people believe drinking this water cures them. Even though we don’t want poison added to what our people drink, we know that practically and technically,  nobody can stop devotees from drinking it.

“We will, however, do our best to improve the quality of the water,” he said

Speaking on the Osun-Osogbo Festival,  the commissioner said the festival is the source of the Osogbo people, and by extension, the Osun people, as the state derived its name from the Osun River.

“Osun State derives its name from the Osun River, while the Osun River is the home of the Osun goddess, the goddess that the people, (devotees) are coming to worship.

“Gov. Adeleke has, however, put so much into the festival, to ensure the groove is accessible,  beautiful and usable.

“We are putting a lot of effort into making the festival great, spiritually,  socially, and in terms of tourism culture, ” he said. 

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Adekunle Gold’s music most streamed in U.S., Nigeria, UK – Spotify



Adekunle Gold

Spotify, an online streaming platform, says Adekunle Gold’s music has been observed to be mostly streamed in the U.S. in the last 28 days.

Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Head of Music for Sub-Saharan Africa, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos.

Okumu also said Nigeria is the second nation where the artiste’s music is most streamed followed by the United Kingdom.

She said the data was released in celebration of Adekunle’s grand success as he released his 18-track album, “Tequila Ever After”, on July 28.

According to her, the album features  Adekunle’s released tracks like ‘Party No Dey Stop’ featuring Zinoleesky;  “Omo Eko”, “Do You Mind”? and ”Ogaranya”

“Spotify data shows that fans are already loving the releases, with Party No Dey Stop landing as his fifth most streamed track of all times, just four months after its release.

“It is also the most exported track globally among 18-35 year-olds, followed by High, the Davido-featured track.

*Adekunle Gold

“There is no doubt that Adekunle is well-loved in Nigeria, after all, his single “Omo Eko” is a love letter to Lagos, his native city.

“Interestingly though, Spotify data over the last 28 days shows that the United States is streaming his music the most.

“Nigeria is second, followed by the United Kingdom. AG Baby, as he is also known, just announced a U.S. and UK tour starting in September.

”So, it’s likely that the listeners in these two countries are streaming in readiness for the tour,” she said.

Okumu noted that a true testament to Adekunle’s growth over the years could be seen in his streaming numbers.

She revealed that Adekunle’s first track to hit 10 million streams was “Something Different”, one year and four months after it was released.

She hinted that “Party No Dey Stop” already had 20 million plus streams on Spotify and it only took a little over four months after release.

“Adekunle Gold is constantly reinventing himself, which is what makes a great artiste. We have seen the growth from his first album, “Gold to Tequila Ever After”,  where he samples a variety of genres, but still stays true to himself.

“We are excited to continue supporting artistes such as Adekunle on their journey to conquering the global stages,” she said

According to Okumu, collaborations within the music industry serve as a way to merge fan bases, hence, increasing a song’s chances of success.

She said Adekunle is no stranger to collaborations as four out of his five top-streamed songs on Spotify were collaborations.

“For Tequila Ever After, he has tapped his wife and fellow artiste Simi, fast-rising star Odumodublvck, American artists Pharell Williams, and Khalid among others, proving that this is an album for all music lovers.

“When it comes to playlisting, his songs appear in over two million user-generated playlists, with “High” being the most popular song on playlists.

“Surprisingly, males between the age of 23 – 27 are the ones streaming his music the most according to Spotify.

“Adekunle Gold’s Tequila Ever After is now available to stream on Spotify,” she said.

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LIGHTER MOOD: E no too far o…!




E no too far joo

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