By Nneka Chile, Reuters Sensei Uche has earned a living for the last three years as a "hype man" in Nigeria's entertainment capital Lagos, standing alongside the DJ in bars and clubs and whipping up dancers' enthusiasm. But the coronavirus pandemic has cut off his livelihood. Nigeria's government, like others across the globe, has shut bars, nightclubs and restaurants since late March to curb the spread of the virus. "Now we have to start thinking if this will become our reality," Uche said. He is now plying his skills online. Wielding a microphone, he works alongside a DJ playing music for "isolation parties" at weekends. The party-goers are the 1,000 people who typically watch the videos posted live on Instagram of Uche and the DJ. But while the online parties keep
By Nneka Chile and Libby George Reuters, Lagos Two dozen Lagos healthcare workers in scrubs and face masks rushed outside the isolation tents and, making sure to keep six feet apart on the bright green grass, danced and swayed as a saxophone and trumpet struck up the band. Inside the tents, some of the patients, all battling the coronavirus, watched through plastic windows and, if strong enough, danced and swayed along with them. Abolaji Banjoko, a 32-year-old also known as BeejaySax, typically would have spent the day playing to a crowd of thousands at a packed megachurch in Nigeria's thrumming commercial capital. But this was no ordinary Sunday. Lagos was under lockdown, mass gatherings were banned and Banjoko and his musicians were under special orders from the state to play their gospel tunes
Nigerian drummer and composer Tony Allen, who worked closely with musician Fela Kuti as a pioneer of the Afrobeat genre, died in Paris aged 79, his manager said. The Afrobeat sound, which rose to prominence in Nigeria in the 1970s, combined organ riffs with West African drum patterns and brass instruments. Allen's drumming was a key part of the rhythmic structure that underpinned the fusion of jazz, funk and West African melodies. Allen died on Wednesday evening in Paris of a heart attack, National Public Radio (NPR) cited his manager Eric Trosset as saying on Thursday. "Farewell Tony! Your eyes saw what most couldn't see. You are the coolest person on Earth! As you used to say, "There is no end," Trosset said in a tribute posted on Facebook. Allen recorded more
By Emmanuel Abanah There is a popular assumption amongst professionals and business owners in the entertainment and hospitality industries; that their industry is the only industry that cannot be completely automated, the only industries that cannot be completely subjected to the assumptions of artificial intelligence. Human interaction and emotional intelligence are priceless in their theory and reality. As such, these industries remain some of the highest employers of human labour; humans must do the jobs of serving and entertaining humans, right? So human interaction and socialization are the bedrocks of these industries. Without face to face interlocution, without sound and aroma, without intimate interactions, without smiles, without courtesy, without service culture, without recognition and the hee-haw, what would life be in the entertainment and hospitality
By Aleksandra Michalska Reuters, New York It starts as it has around the world with people leaning out of windows and standing on balconies clapping, cheering and banging pots and pans to honor essential workers still operating during the coronavirus pandemic. And then a rousing collective rendition of the Bill Withers 1972 song "Lean on Me" begins. "It's amazing," said Robert Hornsby, director of fundraising at the Peace of Heart Choir non-profit in New York City, after he had finished playing the song from his window in Manhattan's Upper West Side. "The amount of energy that we've received, and the amount of energy that we're giving, has really lifted the spirits of New Yorkers, and we hope people across the nation, too." Organizers of the "New York Sings Along" event said the goal was
By Andrew Ijogi Covid19 may stop economies, seize lives and cause trepidation but, it cannot stop music and its inherent powers to heal, to inspire and to gladden one's soul. You see, the great legend Bob Marley (1945-1981) once said, "one good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain”. I couldn't agree with him more. Away for a minute from all the negative trending news. News that induce fear and depression. Away with it this minute so that there can be room for some positive vibe. Vibes like the one I'm listening to, while scribbling these lines you now are reading. Vibes of rising music maestro Isaac Bliss a.k.a I B Gold whom I like to describe as the man that redefines Afro Pop and R&B.
By Sangmi Cha Reuters, Soul A South Korean K-Pop star on Wednesday pulled an April Fool's prank announcing that he had contracted coronavirus, and later removed the Instagram post after triggering a backlash. Kim Jae-joong, a member of boyband JYJ, posted on his Instagram account with 1.9 million followers that he was hospitalized after coming down with the virus. "I have been infected with COVID-19. It is a result of my negligence, disregarding the cautionary words of the government and my friends," he said. After several hours, the 34-year-old Asian pop idol edited the post to say he had gone too far for "April Fools' Day", but thanked his fans who had worried about him. "I don’t think of this as an April Fool’s prank...I wanted to tell you that protecting yourself is protecting the
Grammy-winning country singer Kenny Rogers died late on Friday night at the age of 81, his family said on Saturday. The American singer "passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family," a statement on the singer's website said. However, the mega star is going to get a very private funeral to the dismay of millions of his fans who would have loved to attend his funeral or at least see full coverage on television. But that may not be the case as his family has put the dangers of spreading coronavirus above the need to have a celebrity burial. "The family is planning a small private service at this time out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency." Rogers embarked on
By James Livingstone Just five years down the line, Jam Rock is topping the charts already. With persistence, perseverance and love from awesome Abuja people, the Jam Rock annual music concert that started just five years ago is now a sell out each time out. This year’s edition was indeed a pleasant and memorable one as two current chart toppers in Nigerian music, Fireboy and Rema were the main acts of this year’s event. The title Jam Rock truly defines what the event is all about. It all started with music blasting from different DJs with a lot of hyping to keep the atmosphere on a high. DJ Mobi was the first man on the wheels before DJ Barbie took over from him.