John Legend’s Wife Chrissy Teigen Shows Baby Bump

John Legend as always been known to keep his personal life private, but that changed when he got married to “drama queen” Chrissy Teigen.

Months earlier rumors had it that the couple’s marriage had hit the rocks, and Chrissy fueled the rumors online by calling John Legend out on Twitter for not picking her calls.

Seems all that was just a rumor as Chrissy is expecting her second child for her husband Legend. She took to Snapchat to share new selfies of her growing baby bump. The model and her husband,John Legend are expecting their second child .

 

Wizkid, Davido, Joshua Winners At Africa’s Future Awards

Wizkid, Davido, the undefeated heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, ace comedian, Kenny Blaq and Nancy Isime, emeged some of the winners at The Future Awards Africa 2017 held in Lagos on Saturday.

Below is the full list of all the winners and their profiles :

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

Winner: Olamide Bada (27)

After qualifying as a British solicitor specializing in industry law across several platforms, she set about the task of helming the consolidation of startup businesses in Nigeria.

Bada has set the tone for Black Friday events in Nigeria, planning and organising the Jumia’s 2015 Black Friday giveaway. Her superb handling earned her strong praise and proved that she was relentless even in stressful situations.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR COMEDY

Winner: Otolorin Kehinde ‘Kenny Blaq’ Peter (25)

Kenny Blaq is unanimously regarded as Nigeria’s most in-demand comedian due to his sold-out shows globally.

His anecdotal style, peppered with excellent music, which Blaq performs himself, speaks to his discipline as an artist, his impeccable comedic timing and his respect for his audience, particularly the women therein. He proves there is a way to do comedy without resorting to grotesquery.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR ART & CULTURE

Winner: Ayobami Adebayo (29)

Adebayo’s work has been reviewed by several publications such as Vogue, Guardian UK, The New York Times, The Financial Times, Essence, Guardian Life, Chicago Tribune, and The Wall Street Journal. She is the recipient of fellowships and support from institutions including Ox-Bow School of Art, Ledig House, Sinthian Cultural Institute and Hedgebrook.

With translation rights acquired in 13 countries and a loyal following, Adebayo has become a bright new voice for contemporary fiction out of Nigeria and voice for women everywhere.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR EDUCATION; ENDOWED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX

Winner: Samson Abioye (late)/ Oluyemi Oluwaseun Imole / Akanji Abayomi Gideon (26/29/23)

Pass.Ng, a web, desktop and mobile based CBT examination prep and testing platform created by Late Samson Abioye, Oluyemi Imole and Akanji Gideon has bridged the gap by addressing education through computer literacy.

Pass.ng originally started testing only for JAMB but several other tests have been added. As of August 2017, over 80 million tests have been taken on the platform. The exponential growth of the company attracted like Facebook, Wechat, Airtel, MTN and 9mobile in different capacities. In 2017, pass.ng helped 400 students from Makoko prepare for their exams and 230 of those students were successful in the UTME examination.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR JOURNALISM

Winner: Eromo Egbejule (27)

Eromo Egbejule has become somewhat synonymous with in-depth, exhaustive journalism in Nigeria, a feat in a country run over with copy and paste gossip bloggers regurgitating unverified gossip for a quick payout. He is unafraid to travel into the heart of conflict for a story but is just as much at ease chasing down the history behind illusive Nigerian vinyl records.

In 2016, his article “Streams of Fortune: How Indigenous Firms are Working to Make Music Streaming Mainstream in Nigeria” was nominated for the Maggie Eales Young Journalist Award at the 2015 CNN Africa Journalist Award, underlining just how much ground Egbejule had covered for 26 year old journalist operating primarily out of Nigeria.

THE EDWIN GEORGE PRIZE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY

Winner: Yagazie Eguare (30)

Her journey into photography started at The Future Enterprise Support Scheme (TFESS) and since then, her career into the photography industry is admirable. Since Eguare started professionally documenting weddings as a Wedding documentary and portrait photographer in 2013, she has grown exponentially, photographing 100 weddings in 200 plus weeks and rebranding to better suit her new image as an in-demand photographer.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR ADVOCACY

Winner: Ayodeji Osowobi (27)

Speaking up on rape was somewhat a taboo until three years ago when Ayodeji decided to change the narrative and create a platform where victims of rape could speak up and receive help. Stand to End Rape Initiative, a not-for-profit organisation creating awareness and changing community perception on sexual violence and providing psycho-social support to victims.

With her personal funds, her organisation has assisted over 250 victims with medical, post-traumatic, legal aid and empowerment assistance. Stand to End Rape Initiative is undoubtedly the most recognised and significant youth arm working to advance end gender-based violence in Nigeria. Ayodeji has worked in over 40 communities across Nigeria speaking against FGM, rape, teenage pregnancy and working with stakeholders to end the scourge.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR NEW MEDIA

Winner: Femi ‘Kraks’ Bakre (24)

Along with his team, Kraks TV became both loved and vilified, but ultimately inescapable. Bakre seeks to replicate this incredible success in other new media platforms through a private diversification programme that sees the company move towards the app ecosystem.

In the last one year, Kraks TV has moved from just an online media platform, and grown into a Digital Marketing Agency, started our e-Radio, e-food channels and now have a full Ltd company with a growing workforce and clientele. Kraks has also established a UK arm in a bid to connect Africa and Europe through comedy.

FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR ACTING

Winner: Sambasa Nzeribe (29)

Sambasa was a model while studying Creative arts at the University of Lagos, before he finally transitioned full time into acting. He made his debut in the multiple award-winning movie ‘A Mile from Home’, produced and directed by Eric Aghimien.

In 2016, he won the Best Supporting Actor AMVCA 2016; also winning Best Supporting Actor Nigeria Entertainment Award 2016 in New York, and in 2017 the prestigious AMVCA in the Best Actor Drama Movie/Series for his role in “Slow Country”.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE IN PUBLIC SERVICE

Winner: Dada Olabisi Mary (29)

Dada Olabisi Mary’s job as a nurse at the Catholic Charitas Foundation of Nigeria, St. Dominic Catholic Hospital Chapter has challenged this notion for her and proven to herself that there are depths of service that only true empathy can plumb.

Her work with expecting mothers has also proven challenging but rewarding and being able to offer early diagnosis to 55 women with history of hypertension and guide them towards safe deliveries one of the highlights of her year. Dada Olabisi Mary is a modern day Nightingale, and hopefully her bushel is never hidden.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR TECHNOLOGY

Winner: Chris Kwekowe (24)

In the years since KweKowe launched SlateCube the number of students who return to the platform eager to master the online courses have increased.

Kwekowe’s 3000 monthly visitors are only a start for him. His plan is to produce 1.2 million Africans whose education is greatly supplemented or provided as whole by Slatecube, and to that end the team has already organized up-skill conferences in Nairobi, Kenya and Gaborone, Botswana.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR AGRICULTURE

Winner: Adetola Adeleke (31)

Adetola Adeleke began the Green Fairy Farms in Epe in response to the dearth of technologically savvy farming practices and profitable agriculture in the Epe region. With Green House technology, the farm offers agropreneurs the ability to regulate the climate within their ‘glass’ houses and grow a variety of crops that otherwise would not thrive in certain climates.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR BEAUTY

Winner: Anita ‘Brows’ Adetoye (26)

Her time studying journalism in the University of Belfast and Media production at the Lewisham College provided her insight that she turned to her true passion, beauty. She was one of the first Nigerian beauty entrepreneur to properly harness the power of social media, turning to then new image sharing platform Instagram, to build a following.

She was one of the first Nigerian beauty entrepreneurs to champion a ‘signature’ style; her cutting edge approach to make up, specifically the often hard to pin-down on-trend brow, earned her the name Anita Brows and made her the go-to beauty expert for celebrities like Annie Idibia, Vimbai Muthinri and Stephanie Coker.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR FASHION AND DESIGN

Winner: Bisola ‘Ladybiba’ Adeniyi (25)

As a second generation designer introduced to the art by an aunt, Lady Biba started making clothes to fill a niche; the struggle to find work appropriate clothing that also flatters the silhouette of the weather while impressing her counterparts.

As a writer, he has taken her fashion related knowledge and her perseverance and shaken them up into a cocktail of success, and a brand that is basically scripture among young working women.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR MEDIA ENTERPRISE

Winner: Timilehin Bello (25)

Timilehin Bello’s company Media Panache Nigeria has a team of 10 PR experts and boasts a wide range of adulated clients both in the corporate and entertainment industry – some of the corporate clients include: Bank of Industry (BOI), Ribena, Billionaire Bet, The Velvet Expression, MTNF, St. Ives Hospital, Jumia Market, Jumia Food, WhoGoHost and Simplified Corporate Logistics.

In mid-January 2017, Timi’s company kicked off a campaign entitled ‘Inspire Youngsters’. The campaign was targeted at secondary schools in Lagos state and commenced with Christ the King International School situated at Gbagada; where a number of thought-provoking topics, including the appropriate use of social media were discussed by the CEO, Timilehin Bello.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE IN SPORTS

Winner: Anthony Joshua (28)

With roots in Sagamu, Lagos, Joshua’s family relocated and naturalised in the UK. Joshua began representing England as an amateur boxer competing in the super-heavyweight division and represented Britain at the 2012 Olympics where he won a gold medal.

In 2014 he went professional and began to compete in pro-boxing competitions, quickly rising up the ranks and winning the British regional heavyweight titles in 2015 and 2016. Joshua faced Charles Martin the world heavyweight champion on April 9th 2016, and won with a surprise knock out in the second round, making him the world heavyweight champion. He also beat world champion Vitaly Klitschko in a TKO, cementing his place as the world’s best active boxer. Joshua retired temporary in late 2016, before making a comeback in March 2017.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR ON AIR PERSONALITY (VISUAL)

Winner: Nancy Isime (25)

Isime has quickly become one of the most readily recognizable faces on television, valued for her quick wit and her dexterity while drawing out her guests and getting them comfortable in front of a camera.

Such skills has become extra valuable when Isime has to work a camera either as an actress in one of the feature films she is attached to, or as an in-demand actress on the small screen.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR ON AIR PERSONALITY (AUDIO)

Winner: Tisan Jeremiah Bako (31)

Tisan Bako’s voice has become instantly recognizable to evening commuters who rely on him to provide them news, information, music and companionship as they return home from their diverse days and he has become so good at his job that he is often the only On-Air personality out of Northern Nigeria to be constantly rewarded for his excellent work as a presenter in National and International entertainment awards. He has been nominated thrice for the Nigerian Broadcasters Merit award in 2014 and 2015, winning once, and has been nominated for the Nigerian Entertainment Awards in 2015 and 2016 winning once as well.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR MUSIC

Winner: David ‘Davido’ Adeleke (25)

His first album “Omo Baba Olowo” quickly gained mainstream success and marked a significant turn in his career. In 2016, he became one of the new crop of Nigerian born musicians to sign lucrative record deals with international music labels.

Never one to be guided by fear, Davido cut ties with his label after a year and returned to Nigeria to rediscover his sound and audience in his old stomping grounds. His single “IF” catapulted him to realms of fame that no one thought possible and brought the international recognition he’d rejected the year before, but this time on this own terms.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR BUSINESS

Winner: Bisola Borha (31)

When she started her business Trendy Bee events in 2012, Borha had just left her position as an operational staff at Cotecna Destination Inspection. Working there had introduced her to the thrill of event planning and offered a network of vendors and associate industry professionals, a portfolio that came in handy when she established her own outfit.

In five short years, Borha’s Trendy Bee Elite Events has risen to become one of the most respected event management companies in the country managing events in Dubai, Vegas, London and Zanzibar.

THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR YOUNG PERSON OF THE YEAR

Winner: Ayodeji ‘Wizkid’ Balogun (27)

In 2016, Wizkid signed a major publishing deal with international music giant Sony RCA records, going further by recording the biggest song of 2016 alongside Canadian mega star Drake and Asian pop star Kyla. One Dance shattered billboard records and gave Wizkid his first Grammy nomination as well as several billboard awards.

Wizkid’s 2017 album under RCA records “Sounds from the Other Side” was well received by international music critics and charted favourably across the world. Building on that success he was recently nominated for Best International and Best African act at the 2017 Europe Music Awards, and he returned to Nigeria in November to receive the award for best male artist at the Africa wide Afrimma awards.

#ENDSARS Horrible Experiences

Victims of SARS share their very bitter experiences, stressing the harzards the arm of the Police force has caused. Nigerians assaulted by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad officers share their stories.

‘SARS men hit me with a gun, passed my pants around’
It was July 15 last year and I was a student at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State at the time. I was attending a friend’s elder brother’s wedding. We had booked an OAU staff bus from Ile-Ife to the wedding venue in Ilorin, Kwara State.

On the way, we were stopped by four SARS officials on black T-shirts and jeans. Their Hilux van was parked on the other side of the road. Two of them crossed to the side of the road where our driver parked the vehicle. They pointed to the four of us to come down with our bags. We thought it would be the normal ‘stop-and-extort’ but it was beyond that. One of us, Aduke, was very sick. So, she sat beside a gutter by the roadside.

One of the officers threatened to slap her for sitting down. Meanwhile, they were already checking the bags of the guys. They asked for our identity cards and we showed them our OAU ID cards. They collected them and threw them into the back of their vehicle without checking.

They checked my bag and brought out my pants. One of them, a fair-complexioned guy, hooked his index finger into the strap of one of my bras and passed it to his colleagues and jokingly asked about the size I wear.

He also raised the pants and asked why I had G-strings if I wasn’t a prostitute. An officer checked a bag of one of us called Dare and picked his phone. He claimed that some pictures in the phone were incriminating. They didn’t even allow Dare to explain anything to the officer, who was still holding my pants, before they hit him with gun butt. They told our other friends, Aduke and Akin, to leave immediately or they would shoot them as they threw their clothes and bags at them.

About 7pm, they told us to get into the back of the vehicle. Dare refused, saying he didn’t commit any offence. I was scared. They hit us with the butt of their guns and handcuffed Dare’s hand to mine. My offence was that I complained about the way they were passing my pants around.

My friend’s head bled profusely and he looked tired. One of the officers asked me to help him. He removed the cuffs from my hand. I took the gown I intended to wear at the wedding and wrapped it round his head. He cuffed my hand back to Dare’s after I had finished helping him (Dare). They kept driving and it was getting dark. We couldn’t use our phones as they had collected them.

After they drove for some time, Dare slumped against the body of the vehicle. They eventually stopped in front of a deserted First Bank in a small town. They told us to come down. The officer driving stopped and they pulled Dare and me down from the back. I stumbled and fell on Dare. In the process, one of them kicked me with his boot. They asked us to give them money. We couldn’t object because they threatened to kill us. I made a withdrawal of N10,000 from my account and I requested for Dare’s PIN. I withdrew N30,000 from his account and we gave all to them.

They hit Dare as they collected the money from me. Blood flowed from his forehead and back of his head. I cried as he was losing consciousness. We were there for about 20 minutes before a vigilante came to help us. He took us to a native hospital

— Ola Eloquence

‘SARS officer tortured me for allegedly sleeping with his wife’
My story was all over the Internet on October 12 after a video showing how I was battered by a group of young men who accused me of having sexual affair with the wife of a SARS operative, Nagbama Egboigbe, aka Smally, went viral.

I was humiliated by the SARS operative. I was not having an affair with his wife as he alleged. The lady in question, Sarah, is just a friend. I met her at Randeki Gold Hotel, Benin City, Edo State, two months ago and that was where we became friends. It was a platonic affair.

The day Smally met me in her house, she called me to come take her in my car to her mother’s house. I was in her sitting room with her younger brother when Smally barged in. She was in her room and he went straight to her bedroom. Since I didn’t know him before, I approached him to know what happened.

The next thing I saw was that he brought out a gun. When I saw the gun, I was scared and could not talk to him. He left with one of my phones, so I called the line and asked him to return my phone. He told me to come so that he could confirm something from the phone. He told me to meet him at a car wash.

When I got there, I asked him why he left with my phone and he told me that he was married to the lady. I explained to him that I had nothing to do with the woman and demanded the release of the phone. The next thing I saw was a group of boys, who came out of his car and started beating me up. I manage to lure them from an enclosed place where they were beating me to an open area, so that if they wanted to kill me, they would do so in public.

He later took me to Ugbor Police Station where he detained me overnight and handcuffed me. The investigating police officer did not take my statement. He said that Smally was his friend. He refused to let my wife take my car home but impounded it at the station.

When the divisional police officer came the next morning and saw my vehicle, he asked for the owner and they (policemen) told him that I was the one but that I was detained for sleeping with a policeman’s wife. The DPO rebuked them and ordered them to remove me from the cell and bring me to his office to settle the matter. Sarah came and explained everything to the DPO. When Smally came, the DPO warned him never to go near me again because I did not have an issue with him. He later told me to go home — Ese Idehen, Businessman

‘A fellow SARS official killed my police brother’
My elder brother, Felix Yohanna, served with the Nigeria Police Force for 15 years in Lagos before his transfer to Kaduna last year. He was killed by his fellow SARS officers.

He joined Kaduna SARS and he was promoted to the rank of inspector this year. We received a call that my brother went on an operation with his team and the O/C of SARS. We heard that they were attacked by Fulani herdsmen at a village in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State. The claim was that my brother was shot by Fulani herdsmen.

We later received a call from Kaduna SARS office that my brother went on an operation with his team to recover illegal arms acquired by the herdsmen. A Fulani terrorist was arrested in connection with the attack.

The Fulani terrorist operated in Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Niger and Niger Republic. Last week, I learnt that a Fulani herdsman was arrested with a police gun and he said that it was the police that sold the gun to him. He confessed that the police killed my brother. My brother was killed by his fellow SARS officer because he was against taking a bribe to free the Fulani terrorist. They knew he might expose them. Another thing that proved to me that they killed my brother was that after they reported that he was killed by a herdsman, they brought his mobile smeared with blood.

Angrily, I asked a deputy commissioner of police in the state how they were able to recover his phone yet couldn’t recover his body. It is four months and three weeks after his death but we are yet to see his corpse.

I know the Lord will fight for us. My brother was sincere as a police officer — Ayuk Yohanna

SARS officers beat me mercilessly in my kids’ presence — OparaekochaThey came to my house in the morning, looking for me and I introduced myself. I demanded who they were. One of them just flashed his identity card and informed me he was from SARS. After that, he called two of his colleagues who were apparently waiting outside. Those inside the room had AK47 rifles. My children were all in the house at the time. I did not want them to see people with guns inside the house, so I told the SARS men to move out.

I only told them to do so because I was worried about how my kids would feel if they saw armed men inside their home.

But the SARS operatives refused to move out, instead, they started beating me. They were hitting me with their guns, I was brutalised and they even tore my clothes.

At that point, I started shouting to draw the attention of my neighbours. As this went on, I got in touch with the Chairman, Enugu State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Mr. Rex Arum.

The officers also manhandled Arum when he got to my house. Afterwards, they handcuffed me and took me to their office.

Luckily for me, on getting to their office, the person in charge knew me and he was aware of my innocence in the matter the officers came to arrest me for.

He (their boss) told them to release me, adding that he knew I was innocent because he had investigated the case. I was beaten up and wounded for doing nothing.

They don’t do any investigation. In fact, the case that they got involved in was already in court.

People use SARS to settle scores — in most instances, where there is a misunderstanding between two people, all it takes is for one of the parties to know somebody in SARS. They will take sides against the other person — James Oparaekocha, Journalist.

A Frolic On The Red Sea, By Femi Adesina

 a gust of chilly wind that said Akwaaba (welcome, in Ghanaian language) to me in the Jordanian city of Aqaba, that night of December 1, 2017. We had flown for about five hours from Abuja, as President Muhammadu Buhari was to attend a summit on combating terrorism in West Africa, convened by King Abdullah II of Jordan.

The presidential plane touched down at King Hussein International Airport at 8.15 p.m local time (7.15 p.m Nigerian time) and a cold embrace was what Aqaba offered. It was winter, and the city gripped you in a forceful bear hug that was icy cold. Nobody taught me before I made a dash for the vehicle that was to take me into the city.

I had checked the weather condition online before we left Nigeria. I was told 11 degrees cold. I was ready, but nearly not ready enough. That cold hug was more like six degrees. Incidentally, that turned out to be the only very cold evening, till we left Jordan three days later.

Three state governors-those of Osun, Kogi, Niger- had accompanied the President on the trip. I was in the same car with Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State. Did the protocol people know that this was my own very governor, or it was mere coincidence? Well, we had a good conversation as we rode into the city. The governor talked about the historical significance of Aqaba, how some ceasefire had been negotiated in the city in the past, how it is the economic nerve centre of Jordan, how the country has no petroleum or many other mineral resources but was quite prosperous, and above all, how Jordan was an oasis of peace in a region characterised by almost perpetual turmoil. I was intrigued, and decided to write a travelogue after the trip.

So, this piece you are reading, was inspired by my discussion with Gov Aregbesola of the State of Osun, during the 15 minutes ride from the airport to the Intercontinental Resort, Aqaba.

Presidential trips are normally busy, very, very busy, as you have to keep Nigerians back home and those in the Diaspora updated on the activities of their President. But this trip was peculiar, in that it was about security, and not everything needed be reported. There was, therefore, some time for leisure. I used it. Wouldn’t you?

My room at the hotel overlooked the Red Sea. You only needed to draw your curtains (which I did on Saturday morning) and you were confronted by the majesty of the sea, with the waters shimmering in the early morning sun. The poet, John Keats, had written about feasting one’s eyes on the glory of the sea.

“O ye that have your eyeballs vext and tir’d,
Feast them upon the wideness of the sea.
O ye whose Ears are dinned with uproar rude,
Or fed too much with cloying melody-
Sit ye near some old Cavern’s mouth and brood,
Until ye start as if the Sea Nymphs quired.

And that was what I did. I feasted my eyes on the wideness of the sea. It was blue, expansive, as far as the eyes could see.

Blue? But this one was supposed to be red. Well, in 2011, I had visited Israel, and while heading for the Taba border to cross into Egypt, for an expedition to Mount Sinai, I had passed by the Red Sea. It was blue, and I had taken our tour guide to task. This was how I conveyed the explanation in a piece published in Daily Sun on December 2, 2011:

“But is that sea really red? Not actually. Why is it then called the Red Sea? The water is actually bluish, as in any other sea, but the surrounding mountains are brown in colour, something like the hue that is called ox blood. So, in the afternoon hours, when the sun is at its peak, the mountains cast a reflection on the waters. The incandescence turns the waters almost red….So, what better name for the sea? The Red Sea.”

Since there was some time on our hands, before the bilateral meeting between President Buhari and King Abdullah II, on Saturday, I called some of the media people on the trip: Abiodun Oladunjoye, a deputy director in the Media Department of State House, Ismaila Chafe of News Agency of Nigeria, Rashidat Yusuf of Mitv, and her camera man, Kelvin Okeke. “Let’s go tour the city!” They were game.

We trooped into a bus, accompanied by a guide named Mustapha Abughalion. For the next hour, we were footloose in Aqaba, seeing many points of interest.

First port of call was the bank of the Red Sea. Aqaba is a desert city. In fact, it is said that it experiences rainfall only about twice or thrice a year, but God has compensated with the Red Sea, which brings some moistness to the atmosphere. And the sea is the source of commerce for the country. Different holiday resorts dot the long coastline, and these are patronized by people from all over the world. In 2010 alone, it is on record that Jordan received over 8 million visitors. Aqaba was also named the Arab Tourism City for 2011.

There is also the Port of Aqaba, which is the only one in Jordan. It was rated as Best Container Terminal in Middle East by Lloyd’s List in 2006, and we saw brisk business going on there.

Jordan is located on the tip of the Red Sea, between Asia, Europe and Africa. Aqaba is in southernmost Jordan, with a population of about 200,000 people. Another major city and capital of the country, Amman, has about 4 million people. In a country of about 9 million, Jordanians are five million, while the rest is made of people from Palestine, Syria and Iraq, most of whom came as refugees. Jordan is quite hospitable.

Aqaba is neat, squeaky clean. Street sweepers are seen on duty, picking even the tiniest specks. The traffic is very sane, with disciplined drivers. No stress.

A city called Petra is a World Heritage Site. Other tourist attractions, about 100,000 nationwide, include the Dead Sea, near Amman, the River Jordan itself, where Jesus was baptized, in fact, Jordan has been custodian over some holy sites in Jerusalem since 1924.

The two main world religions, Christianity and Islam, have venerated sites in Jordan. Al-Maghtais is believed to be the site where Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan, while Mount Nebo, Madaba and Machaerus, are also in the country. Moab, Ammon, and Edom, in biblical times, were located in today’s Jordan.

Archaeologists have found what is believed to be the site of the world’s oldest church in the country. It dates back to 3rd Century AD, slightly older than the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Both date back to 4th Century AD.

Though Jordan is about 98% Muslims, there is an indigenous Christian minority, about 5,000 of whom live in Aqaba. The city has several churches, and one Christian school, Rosary Sisters School.

Among holy Islamic sites in Jordan are shrines of Prophet Muhammed’s companions (Peace be upon him) like Abd Allah ibn Rawahah, Zayd ibn Harithah, and Muadh ibn Jabal.

Aqaba is about 20 minutes away from Saudi Arabia, and we drove till we were five kilometres away, before turning. One could see the longing in Rashidat Yusuf’s eyes. She would have given anything to be able to get into Saudi, and perhaps, do a quick Umrah. Some other time, Hajiya.

Surrounded by tumultuous countries, bordered directly by Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Iraq and Syria, how come Jordan is so safe? Apart from the November 9, 2005 bombing of three hotels in Amman by Al-Qaeda, killing 60 people and injuring 115, there have been no incidents. Internal security is quite high, and Jordan has good relationship with the West. It also has a peace treaty with Israel. King Abdullah II is known as a man of peace.

Health care in Jordan is world class. In fact, medical tourism yielded over 1 billion dollars in 2010. Jordan is rated top in the region, and 5th world overall.

I had some options in my spare time on the third day. I could go scuba-diving, or take a cruise on the Red Sea. Scuba-diving? I shouldn’t be like the cricket that got so well fed, and burst its own tummy. Any form of diving was ruled out. You go diving so faraway from home, and mischief happens to you, the wailing wailers would have a field day, laughing till they fainted.

With Oladunjoye and Chafe, we paid for a cruise in a glass boat on the Red Sea. Why is it called glass boat? The bottom is made of glass, so you could look at the seabed. One could see all sorts of creatures in the sea, the flora and fauna. We saw different species of fishes, water snakes, sea turtle, sea weed, wreckage of boats, and so many other things. Under the sea is a treasure trove.

The boat was captained by a teenage boy named Yahaya. I could feel my heart moving into my mouth as we got into the middle of nowhere. Coward! Yes, I agree. I have sailed on the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and many other seas. But I am still a coward where water is concerned. Chinua Achebe wrote that we often stand in the house of a coward, to point at the ruins of the house of a brave man. I agree. Yahaya obviously saw the fear in my eyes, and he gestured that I should not panic.

I chuckled as I remembered my wife. If she could see me, she would have exclaimed: “This man, is this what I sent you to Jordan to do?” But she didn’t know until I was back from the voyage. Men and their escapades!
Human beings can fear, instead of exercising faith. It is natural. In the middle of the deep, I began to scare myself. What if a mighty wave came, and submerged the boat? What if the engine suddenly stalled? What if fire broke out? What if the boat ran out of petrol? What if… Get thee behind me, Satan!

The only fright we had was when we met a military gunboat on patrol. It was at top speed. The waves it created made our boat bob up and down, and it was an uneasy experience. It subsided after some time.

To appreciate the glory of God, take time to go out on the sea. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament His handiwork, says the Good Book. In another place, it says “they that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; these see the works of the Lord, and His wonder in the deep.” Every man needs that experience.
There were big seafaring vessels we met. Only God knows what part of the world they were coming from, with all sorts of names. Chakra. Costa Mediterranea. Shark’s Bay. And many others.

After about an hour, when we sighted our hotel right by the seashore, it was pure relief. The sail had been good, I’ll recommend it to anyone who has the heart for it. It sure has therapeutic value. But was I glad to step on solid ground again? All other ground is sinking sand. This was terra firma. Water was terra incognita. I’ll rather have my feet planted on solid ground at any time.


  • *Femi Adesina is Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari

Meghan Markle To Learn Karate For Self Defence

Bride-to-be Meghan Markle, will be learning some Karate skills, and has reportedly hired Michael Jackson’s former bodyguard to learn how to defend herself.

According to TMZ, Matt Fiddes, a celebrity security adviser and trainer, who was a former bodyguard to late Pop king Michael Jackson, will teach the Suits actress martial arts and self-defense ahead of her wedding in May 2018.

Matt’s a natural fit for Meghan. He owns one of the biggest martial arts franchises in the world — Matt Fiddes Martial Arts — and works with tons of celebs, including Tom Cruise.
He’s also got close ties with the Royal Family — MJ was tight with Princess Diana, and he became part of her inner circle. Plus … he’s a Brit, so he’ll be geographically desirable.

We’re told Meghan’s endgame is not about fitness — sources close to Matt tell us Meghan hired him specifically to learn self-defense.

 

 

Meek Mill Makes Money In Jail

Meek Mill might just be one of the people who know how to survive in every situation. He is serving a 2 to 4 years at the Pennsylvania’s SCI Chester, for violating probation from his 2009 drug and weapons case, is part of the general labor crew in jail and carries out his functions diligently.

According to a Thursday report by TMZ, the 30-year-old rapper – real name, Robert Rihmeek Williams, cleans the cell block, tidies up prison grounds and washes dishes. He also cooks food and serves it up too.

The site also revealed that the Philadelphia rapper who earns just 19 cents per hour, does all his work with a smile.

A source says ‘he’s a model inmate who gets some juicy perks due to good behavior.’ The insider added that the ‘All Eyes On You’ hitmaker gets access to electrical and carpentry shops, and he’s waitlisted for some therapy courses.

 

Ed Sheeran Emerges As Most Streamed Artist Of 2017 Globally

English singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran, is the most streamed artist of 2017 globally, and remains the most-streamed artist on Spotify with 45 million monthly listeners. Spotify streaming service has revealed its annual Year in Music lists, showing the top artists, albums, tracks and moments of 2017.

His “÷” (“Divide”) was the most-streamed album of the year worldwide with 3.1 billion streams, and “Shape of You” became the most streamed track of all time on Spotify, now with over 1.4 billion streams.

“There is no doubt that 2017 was The Year of Ed Sheeran, and we are thrilled that so many millions of music fans have discovered, listened to, and shared his music on Spotify. Congratulations to Ed on an amazing achievement,” said Stefan Blom, Spotify’s Chief Content Officer.

According to their reports hip-hop listening increased 74% over the past year, and Latin music increased by 110%, with two Latin tracks hitting #1 on Spotify for the first time: “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber and “Mi Gente” by J Balvin and Willy Williams. Yankee also held the No. 1 position on Spotify in July, a first for a Latin artist.

See  full breakdown of 2017 below:

Most Streamed Artists

Sheeran leads with over 6.3 billion
Ed Sheeran
Drake
The Weeknd
Kendrick Lamar
The Chainsmokers

Most Streamed Female Artists

For the third year in the row, Rihanna takes home the title of most streamed female artist.
Rihanna
Taylor Swift
Selena Gomez
Ariana Grande
Sia

Most Streamed Male Artists

Sheeran dominates, but for the first time Daddy Yankee claims a spot in the Top Five Most Streamed Male Artists list.
Ed Sheeran
Drake
The Weeknd
Kendrick Lamar
Daddy Yankee

Top Five Breakout Artists

2017 was a big year for artists in groups breaking out on their own to go solo: Fifth Harmony’s Camila Cabello and One Direction’s Harry Styles and Liam Payne hit it big on their own as the top 3 breakout artists of the year.
Camila Cabello
Harry Styles
Liam Payne
Lil Pump
Trippie Redd

Most Streamed Groups

Coldplay’s collaboration with The Chainsmokers on “Something Just Like This” put them at the top of the groups list.
Coldplay
Imagine Dragons
Maroon 5
Linkin Park
Migos

Most Streamed Tracks

Sheeran’s “Shape of You” surpassed Drake’s “One Dance” to become the all-time most-popular song on Spotify, with over 1.4 billion streams.

“Shape of You” – Ed Sheeran
“Despacito” (remix) – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber
“Despacito” – Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee
“Something Just Like This” – The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
“I’m the One” – DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne

Most Streamed Albums

Sheeran’s album has racked up over 3.1 billion streams on Spotify since its release in March, making it the most streamed album of the year.
“Divide” – Ed Sheeran
“More Life” – Drake
“DAMN.” – Kendrick Lamar
“Starboy” – The Weeknd
“Stoney” – Post Malone

Emerging 2017 Genres:

Melodic Power Metal
Chaotic Black Metal
Chillhop
Trap Latino
Future Funk
Jumpstyle
Serialism
Cinematic Dubstep
Vintage Swoon
Gamecore

U.S. ONLY

Top Five Artists in U.S.
Drake
Kendrick Lamar
Future
Ed Sheeran
The Weeknd

Top Five Females in U.S.

Rihanna
Taylor Swift
Nicki Minaj
Ariana Grande
Halsey

Top Five Males in U.S.

Drake
Kendrick Lamar
Future
Ed Sheeran
The Weeknd

Top Five Tracks in the U.S.

“HUMBLE.” – Kendrick Lamar
“XO TOUR Llif3” – Lil Uzi Vert
“Shape of You” – Ed Sheeran
“Congratulations” – Post Malone
“Despacito) (remix) – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber

Top Five Albums in the U.S.

“DAMN.” – Kendrick Lamar
“More Life” – Drake
“Stoney” – Post Malone
“Starboy” – The Weeknd
“Divide” – Ed Sheeran

 

Naya Rivera Files For Divorce Again

Naya Rivera has filed for divorce from her husband Ryan Dorsey for the second time

This is after her arrest for allegedly hitting her husband of three years about two weeks ago. Naya cites irreconcilable differences for ending the marriage.

In her legal docs filed by “Disso Queen” Laura Wasser, she asked for joint custody of their 2-year-old son, Josey and also wants the court to block either of them from getting spousal support.

The first time she filed for divorce from her husband was in November 2016, but she later dismissed it.

Naya was arrested in Nov. 25 for domestic battery after allegedly hitting Ryan in the head over a dispute involving their son.

Interestingly, in her divorce docs, she listed the date of separation as Nov. 24.

 

Conor McGregor’s Heart Has Been Captured By Rita Ora

Pictures of Rita Ora and MMA fighter Conor McGregor has taken the internet by storm. The pictures posted by the musician Rita got some backlash from fans who knew Conor had a partner.

Conor’s partner has been with him for over 9 years and the picture according to fans was a disrespect to his partner.

Although there’s no confirmation that Rita Ora and Conor are in a relationship, the pictures just say it all.

House Of Cards Returns Without Kevin Spacey

Netflix has announced that one of its hit show “House of Cards” will be returning for its sixth and final season without star Kevin Spacey.

Netflix’s content chief Ted Sarandos made the announcement, saying Robin Wright will be the season’s lead. Production for the season had been suspended indefinitely after Spacey was accused of sexual harassment by actor Anthony Rapp.

Recall that others also came forward with allegations of harassment at the hands of Spacey, including 8 current and former “House of Cards” employees. Netflix had in November said they would no longer be working with Spacey, after being pressured to cancel the show. “We are excited to bring closure to fans,” Sarandos said.

 

Finally, Toyin Lawani Speaks On Bobrisky’s Arrest

Serial entrepreneur, Toyin Lawani has released a statement addressing her saga with Idris Okuneye, a.k.a Bobrisky.

According to her statement, Bobrisky was arrested after she reported him to the police after she suspected him of sending strange cars to trail her and her kids. She also shared screenshots of the chats a concerned friend sent to warn her about plans to kill her and her children.

Read her statement below…

Ms Lawani who has reached out to the appropriate security agencies to investigate the alleged assassination plot wondered how things could have degenerated so badly and narrated her first encounter with Bobrisky when he came to her for help.“Bobrisky came to Tiannah’s Empire as a customer sometime in 2015 and pleaded with my attendants that he wanted to meet me as he needed some remedy for his bad skin. After administering treatment on the skin and was cured of his skin irritations, he testified that people would not stop asking about where and how he got his skin treated. He then told me he was a student at University of Lagos (UNILAG) and would love to market Tiannah’s Glow natural products. As he was a living testimony, I began by giving him some of the products and allowed him to earn 40 percent on the products he sold. I also recommended a full body polish via Tiannah’s spa which helped to treat his skin infections and cleared his dark knuckles. I also advised him on how to take care of his body odour as my clients started complaining and would usually have to spray air fresheners every time he stepped into the fashion floor at the Empire. He took offense that I advised him about his body odour but the truth was that it was really bad and caused us a lot of embarrassment at some events including a top society wedding he forced himself to attend with me,” Ms Lawani said. The Tiannahs Empire CEO further explained that as a non-judgmental person, she initially opened her doors to Idris (as he was then simply known) because he appeared relatively stable, only unusual. He was not cross-dressing at the time but wore makeup, fixed lashes and nails. However, when she realized it was bad exposure for her son; her kid started begging to wear makeup and heels, she told Idris to desist from wearing makeup to her office; a request that angered him.

“He worked with me for only about two months but even in that time period, he caused a lot of harm than good… He was also manipulative and was always trying to cause problems between me and my staff or friends. On one occasion, we went out together and there were complaints about his appearance which I told him about. I subsequently received a text message from an unknown number expressing admiration for Idris and his eyelashes, also asking me to introduce them. I suspected he sent the message because he spelt ‘lashes’ as ‘latches’ having seen him make the same mistake several times publicly so I confronted him. He initially denied it but subsequently admitted and apologised following which I banned him from entering my Empire again. At that point, I realised I needed to put him at arm’s length. It also coincided with the time a lady came to my store to allege that Idris claimed to be the one mixing my beauty products for me. It was a ridiculous claim because my mother started the business over twenty (20) years ago and it has grown beyond the phase of mixing products with hands. We have machines doing all of that in our factory,” she said.

Concerning claims made by Bobrisky that Ms Lawani swindled him of the sum of N250,000 he allegedly paid for the purchase of souvenirs for his birthday, the stylist clarified that Bobrisky made a deposit of N150,000 but failed to pay the balance of N100,000 as agreed which initially prevented her from placing the order for the items and that the delayed balance she made with her money caused a corresponding delay in the shipment of the items and he couldn’t balance her money on time, which made the Tiannah’s Empire CEO decide to withhold the goods to him and suspend the plan to sell the items to him.

“He was owing my company almost N200,000 around the time after repeatedly buying clothes on credit and I informed him that I would use the money he paid towards the purchase of the speakers as his balance which would leave him with a balance of N65,000 and I gave him a cheque for that amount,” Ms Lawani said.

It is instructive to note that shortly after Bobrisky was given the cheque, he was sternly warned by the police to desist from visiting Tiannah’s Empire or going near Ms Lawani following complaints about the lies and negative stories he was peddling about the Tiannah brand. He was at the time compelled to delete Ms Lawani’s pictures and videos on his social media pages which he had been using to create a false impression that he was still engaged by the Empire thereby obtaining payments from unsuspecting clients for Tiannah products and supplying inferior products from a certain Mama Tega after which he blocked the clients. When Ms Lawani got wind of Bobrisky’s many attempts at passing off fake beauty products as Tiannah beauty products, she again reached out to Bobrisky to desist from the act but his next action was most baffling. Narrating the experience, Ms Lawani said:

“Few days after I issued him a warning, Idris came to Tiannah’s Empire with a black polythene bag and the security guards prevented his entry. I went downstairs to ask what he wanted and he said he had come to apologise for his misdeeds. He handed me the polythene bag and when I opened it, I saw white clothes and a guinea fowl inside. I threw the bag on the floor and asked one of my employees, Dayo, to burn it while also warning Idris to never again visit me with such gifts. I collapsed the next day and started bleeding heavily following which I was rushed to Ave Maria Hospital. I was informed the incident was linked to pre-existing concerns with fibroid but I believe it was caused by the diabolical items Idris brought as a supposed gift. I had a surgery and remained in the hospital for two months before I was discharged. As soon as I returned to work, Idris showed up at the Empire, saying he heard I was ill but that he came for cash as the bank did not pay him because they could not reach me to confirm the cheque while I was hospitalised. I took the cheque from him and gave him cash then bid him bye,” she said.

A few months after Bobrisky received the cheque and was told to stay off the Tiannah’s Empire premises, an aggrieved woman arrived with policemen one afternoon, claiming a Tiannah cream had ruined her skin. It was difficult to reconcile her claims with the praises generally heaped on Tiannah’s glow natural products for its positive effects on both dark and light skin ranges as she had horrible stretch marks as well as a burnt face, knees and knuckles. Upon examining the products which the woman said Bobrisky had sold to her claiming they were from Tiannah’s Empire, it was discovered that they were fake products.

In a related incident, another lady sent a message on Instagram threatening to pull down Tiannah’s Empire after buying fake products from Bobrisky which badly affected her skin and which Bobrisky had falsely claimed were from Tiannah’s Empire. Ms Lawani contacted him and warned that he could be arrested for damaging her business reputation through his fraudulent activities but he replied with threats and called her kids bastards.

Another spurious claim Bobrisky made on social media, which we are constrained to respond to prevent lies from wearing a toga of truth, is that he paid N26,000 for Ms Lawani’s meal because she supposedly could not afford to buy herself a meal. The claim is not only untrue and ridiculous but a wicked manipulation of events by an ingrate. Ms Lawani has over the years empowered a lot of individuals, providing them food and shelter while also helping many young entrants into the entertainment industry find their feet and attaining success. The truth is that Bobrisky forced himself into a group of guests Ms Lawani was taking to lunch on a particular afternoon. Ms Lawani directed her personal assistant (PA) to pay for the meals but the latter however only realised that he had forgotten the debit card with which payment was to be made, at the point of making payment. Idris volunteered to help out but the moment they returned to Tiannah’s Empire, a cash withdrawal was made at a nearby ATM and Bobrisky’s money returned to him that very night. Bank statements reflecting the various transactions mentioned were printed and shown to the police when a complaint was made against Bobrisky in November.

“I reached out to Idris to reprimand him but he only responded with threats. I initially dismissed the threats but I had to eventually report to the police when I noticed strange cars trailing my kids and I on different occasions. He has also been trying to pull down my brand, sending messages to my clients that I sell substandard materials to them or that I intend to have affairs with their spouses. He also falsely claimed that I was not paying my staff, of which I have almost 100 members of staff working for me, who I also support in many ways such as sending their kids to school and starting businesses for them. None of my workers can honestly claim I owe them salaries, so I really had no choice but to report Idris to the police,” Ms Lawani said.

It would appear that the turn of events between Bobrisky and Ms Lawani reflects the extent to which ungrateful individuals will go in setting back their benefactors especially with the help of unprofessional bloggers who fail to clarify statements made by such characters as Bobrisky before brandishing them as truth. Ms Lawani has done nothing to Bobrisky but be of help to him, accepting him at a time when he most needed validation and support. He has recently claimed to have benefitted nothing from Ms Lawani but there is a video clip of him profusely thanking the Tiannah CEO for transforming his looks and helping him attain a better skin.

It is most shocking to see Bobrisky who has benefitted from Ms Lawani’s generosity and compassion turn around to persistently attack her and her businesses. His persistent defamation of her character with false claims of fraud recently led to the loss of an endorsement deal and the cancellation of a property transaction. Ms Lawani as a hardworking woman and mother who has built her businesses with a record of integrity for over 20 years has tried to avoid joining issues with Bobrisky but his persistent attacks can no longer be left unaddressed in the face of baseless and uncharitable comparisons now being made by some segments of the media. It is an indisputable fact that Ms Lawani is an accomplished business woman and Bobrisky can only dream of achieving some proportion of her success if he suspends his baseless attacks and actually tries to build a genuine business. His threats against Ms Lawani and her children have been previously reported to the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) for which reason he was arrested and taken to the police headquarters in Abuja for questioning and subsequently counseled on his conduct. Contrary to his claims on social media, he was not arrested for supposedly poaching Ms Lawani’s customers but rather for making threats to Ms Lawani’s life among other criminal acts. His persistent insults, lies and threats directly and indirectly through his affiliates are worrisome and reflect an unacceptable disregard for the law and constituted authority. The police is therefore urged to be alive to its responsibility in guaranteeing the safety of Ms Lawani and her family as well as her businesses.

Signed

Monday, 3rd December, 2017

Media Team,

Tiannah’s Place Empire