Friday, 26 August 2011

PRESS RELEASE: BornTroWay Goes To Port Harcourt


The BornTroWay Project (, a creative arts training initiative which is aimed at promoting individual self-confidence, self-expression, teamwork and integration among 45 youths (aged 17-25) in disadvantaged areas of Nigeria’s main cities, will hold in Port Harcourt from September 5-10, 2011.

Interested candidates and aspiring artists can register free of charge from 20th to 30th of August at the Deli Spices Fast Food, Choba and at Ritola Integrated Services on 21 Potts Johnson Street, Port Harcourt.

Auditions - for registered candidates only!!!
Auditions will hold on September 2 at the Rumueme Senior Secondary School, Port Harcourt.  Workshop dates are September 5-9, 2011 at a location in the city to be communicated to the shortlisted candidates.  

The Workshop which uses spoken word, music, dance and acting, focuses on the issue of “waste”; physical (our relation with the environment) and human (our undiscovered, untapped or unutilized talent).  The training culminates in a mini show open to the public, which will display a performance created by the youth over the intensive one-week workshop. The show will also be attended by popular music artists from Port Harcourt in solidarity towards the aspiring talents.

BornTroWay in Port Harcourt partners with the Centre for International Volunteers for Youth Development, a Port Harcourt-based non-profit agency which is committed to remaining a point of reference for the trained youth even after the training, through mentoring and provision of rehearsal space among other things.

The Project – born from the inspiration of Music Matters (; a music movement promoting emerging and unknown Nigerian talents and Bantu ( - is made possible thanks to the support of positive individuals, corporate entities and institutes that believe in investing in the youth and in the arts as an instrument for empowerment.

BornTroWay was piloted in Ajegunle, Lagos from May 16-21, 2011 with extraordinary results[1] (see blog which are being collated in a short documentary.  After Port Harcourt, BornTroWay aims to travel to other Nigerian cities (Jos and Kano), following which the best acts and artists are to be selected to take part in the production of a musical show that will tour Nigeria promoting peace and unity and showcasing the talent of our youth living in marginal areas.

The Team

Creative Directors:        Petra Kron and Ade Bantu
Local Coordinator:        Tony Peterson (Choba) and Biebele Wokoma (Bundu)
Instructors:                     Ade Bantu (music), Dagga Tolar (spoken word), Ropo Ewenla (drama),
Segun Adefila (dance)
Producer:                        Ilaria Chessa (Music Matters)

Information and media relations: Aderemi Adegbite 07084287828 and


Petra Kron (Creative Director)
Petra Kron works as a cultural anthropologist and cultural pedagogue for various productions and projects. She does the production management for KABAWIL’s dance-theatres. She developed a concept for relation-oriented cultural works and productions. She designed and instantiated projects like Framewalk and the art of chatting in collaboration with artists from various countries, like Japan, Ghana, Turkey, Israel and Germany. She has a Ph.D. (ABD) in Cultural Anthropology from Mainz University and a state board examination in Fine Arts and English from Düsseldorf University. She is a dancer and has participated and performed in various productions.

Ropo Ewenla (Actor)
Ropo Ewenla is a culture, art and media consultant with Smiling Fortune Communications. He is an actor, writer and producer.  His recent projects include playing Siaman in Yeepa! Solaarin nbo, an adaption of Femi Osofisan’s Who is Afraid of Tai Solarin, and Ogunlola in Gbagan-Gbagan Yoruba radio drama. He is in the cast of Wole Soyinka’s Beatification of Area Boy coming up later in 2011, to be directed by the Nobel Laureate in person.  He is a voice over artist and member of CORA, AWON and AVOA. He was the anchor of the edition of PLAY in 2009 and 2010. He is currently the Secretary General of Pen Nigeria.

AJ Dagga Tolar (Spoken Word / Music)
Aj. Dagga Tolar is a spoken word poet, writer, teacher, frontline activist, and social crusader. He is the Publicity Secretary of the Campaign for Democratic and Workers Right and the 1st Vice chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teacher (Ajeromi-Ifelodun unit of the Lagos state branch). Dagga Tolar’s published collections of poetry include Season of Struggle (1997); This Country is not a Poem (2005) and Darkwaters Drunkards (2007). He resides in Ajegunle, a slum neighbourhood, which in no little way continues to affect and influence every sphere of his writing.

Segun Adefila (Dance)
Segun Adefila is a dance and performance artist based in Bariga, Lagos. He runs a youth dance theatre group, the Crown Troupe of Africa. The theatre company is made up of artists whose forte is the creation of new and socially relevant works. The award-winning troupe is famous for their ground breaking, unique and innovative rendition of works, which are flexible enough to be performed in conventional and unconventional performance spaces.

Ade Bantu (Creative Director / Music)
Bantu is a German-Nigerian artist who found home in music. An activist against racism and xenophobia, a fighter for Pan African unity, a traveller between continents and a man with dozens of projects, plans and ideas,  Ade Bantu is always ahead of his time, from the early beginnings of Hip Hop in Germany, to the influential Brothers Keepers project, to his album Fuji Satisfaction that earned him and his band two Kora Awards (the Pan African "Grammy") in 2005 as "Best West African Band" and "Best African Band", to various documentary film projects.  He is based in Lagos where he recorded his latest album "No Man Stands Alone".  Bantu is – with Petra Kron – the mind behind Framewalk, sketching the concept and implementing it in many countries around the world to promote unity and self-expression through art.

Ilaria Chessa / Music Matters (Producer)
Ilaria Chessa, founder of Music Matters, produced two international film festivals in Nigeria (ION International Film Festival in 2009 and Africa International Film festival in 2010) and their related training activities.  She is co-producer of a psychological feature drama titled Journeys of One and a music-based feature film titled Ghetto Red Hot aimed at promoting the music talent from Nigeria. She is the promoter of the BornTroWay project and fully donates her time and skills to it.

Music Matters
Music Matters is an Africa-based movement which recognises the centrality of music for achieving multiple objectives across the globe, including the promotion of universal love and peace.  Its vision is to contribute to celebrating Africa in her extraordinary diversity through the expression and recognition of her music talents across the continent and the world over. Music Matters believes in art as an instrument for positive change in society, self-expression, teamwork and unity. Music Matters is the promoter and co-producer (pro bono) of the BornTroway Project together with Bantu Crew and with the collaboration of Framewalk.  It is also the soundtrack producer for the feature film Ghetto Red Hot.

[1] Kemi Bakare (17 years) from the BornTroWay Ajegunle Team was invited to make a book review at the CORA Book Party celebrating shortlisted authors for 2011 NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature at the Eko Hotel and Suites on Sunday 14 September, 2011.  About the event, Kemi posted on Facebook: “I am now a celebrity due to the way I have been treated today @ Eko hotel. If not for the borntroway project, I won't have found the courage to face d audience like I did yesterday. Thank you very much really everything.”

Thursday, 17 February 2011

BANTU feat. NNEKA "I am waiting" from Relentless soundtrack by Andy Ama...


A haunting story about loneliness, love and self-discovery that explores Africa's throbbing megacity Lagos, and the effects of war and loss.

Obi, an orphan brought up by the military, becomes a peace-keeping soldier in worn torn Sierra Leone. He meets Blessing a Sierra Leonean woman and falls in love for the first time. His world and life are devastated when he finds Blessing mutilated by kid soldiers and rebels. His only option is to kill her misery.

On his return to Lagos after the war, he is an emotional autiste, sleepless and lonely. By day he runs a small security company with Ola his best friend and fellow war veteran, at night he walks the lonely streets of Lagos haunted by his past.

In one of his midnight walks, Honey, a runaway university student and high-class call girl falls into his arms, thrown down from a bridge to die by one of her clients. Obi is thrust back into reality as he once again is carrying a woman in his arms, another victim of violence, another life to save or let die.

But Honey is alive and enters Obi's world, opening up his mind again to feelings and emotions, but also ultimately leading him into committing another murder.

It's election time in Nigeria and a powerful politician claiming to be a friend to Obi's late father hands Obi's firm a lucrative contract to provide security for his candidate.

Obi and Honey, both in personal exile and struggling to get a hold on their lives are thrust into action as a course of events draws them together in the relentless and brooding city that is Lagos today.

As Obi comes to terms with his life and reality, he embarks on a journey of redemption and self re-discovery. We unveil an intimate portrait of a man battling with the scars of war.

The film explores the vast canvas that is Lagos today ‚ powerful, dangerous, alive and uncompromising; fraught with deceptions and corruption yet thriving with hope, strength and resilience.

The film is not afraid to subtly question Nigeria’s peace keeping troops in Sierra Leone, the tragic history of Biafra, the silent plague of human sacrifice, mass government inefficiency and corruption. This is also a film that celebrates Nigeria and Lagos as an African city bustling with the energy, music, vibrant, full of culture and humanity.

Andy Amadi Okoroafor, the writer and director, born in Nigeria, pursued his education and a very successful creative career in Paris and is returning to Nigeria to fulfill his lifelong ambition of making great films about contemporary Africa for a world audience.

Visually edgy and expressionist, the film will explore the boundaries of digital cinema, embracing and harnessing digital technology to enhance good storytelling. It will be controlled, beautifully framed and composed, visually sumptuous and emotional touching, portraying Lagos and other African cities, as they have never been seen.

Relentless has an official powerful soundtrack featuring Nigerian and international artists - Bantu and Nneka "I Am Waiting"

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Reviving POETRY POTTER in 2011

Dear Sir/Madam,

Compliments of the season.  

Happy New Year to you, may you have reason to cherish this season.   As in the culture of our organization, this is the honest report of our activities through 2010.

Change of Name
Since inception, January 2006,we have produced Poetry Potter, the monthly literary and performing arts event under the auspices of Kowry Kreations Media without proper registration with CAC and other relevant organizations. We tried ourbest to retain the name at the point of  registration in 2010 but wecould not cope with the rigor and process.Hence, we decided to changethe name and now we are IMAGE & HERITAGE. This name in our own opinion projects the aims and objects of the organization.

2010 Review
Last year was a mixed success for us. We recorded only two (but successful)editions of Poetry Potter and one edition of P.A.G.E.S in 2010. Thiswas the least we ever recorded in a year since 2006. And the reason forthe erratic production throughout, in spite of our conscious awareness of the problem, was the old administrative structure.

We shall henceforth produce all our projects (Poetry Potter, P.A.G.E.S,Fashion Revolution and others) under the name: IMAGE & HERITAGE. We are also registered with the Federal Inland Revenue.
Registration No: YBV130012069469
Tax Identification No: 09199816-0001
We are indeed grateful to our sponsors. Thank you as you are one ofthem.We apologize for the stress we have put you through over the yearswhenever you endeavoured to send us money for our events. We are happyto announce to you that we now have a current account with theGuarantee Trust Bank PLC; you can now send money to us from all partsof the world.

We have collaborated with reputable organizations in the past; these organizations include Association of Nigerian Authors, Lagos Chapter (ANA, Lagos),Committee for Relevant Art (CORA), Center for Contemporary Art, Lagos(CAC, Lagos) Ben Tomoloju & Company, organizer of GTB PoetryFestival and others. We look forward to a fruitful and fulfilling collaboration this year.

Please feel free to contact us through for your query and enquiry.

POETRYPOTTER, a unique platform created for poets, storytellers,folksingers,folk-dancers, artists, art promoters, cultural workers andarts journalists, to display their creative ingenuity, free of charge.

P.A.G.E.S,the confluence of literature, art works, comics and photography bringstogether patriots and compatriots in dialogue with their country -Nigeria- with their art and literature. This programme is designed toalign fictional writers, poets and playwrights, arts and literarylovers at Art Exhibition Halls around the world to give literaryinterpretation to the works being exhibited and dialogue around it atall time.

FASHIONREVOLUTION - The project is targeted towards creating opportunities forless privileged and
also to showcase young talent in the Fashionsub-sector of the Creative Industry. For the maiden edition, we chosethree young talented, dynamic and unlimited creative Fashion Designers,to give life to the theme:“Fashion Revolution.” We built on thesuccess, and in April 2009 we had the second edition of the fashionwhich was tagged: “Fashion Revolution Reloaded,” in collaboration withGML Entertainment at Club O2. We are proud indeed of the outcome ofthese two events and this is the reason why we are currently working onits third edition and scouting fashion designers to do justice to thetheme: “Fashion Revolution Metamorphosis.”

Our Plans for 2011

Wehave come up with another concept in which you can support ourorganisation- The goal of Image& Heritage is to generate funds inorder to be able to embark on arts projects for which public funding are not available in Nigeria.We hope to raise N1,000,000 for us to be able to run our projectswithout break throughout 2011. Therefore we are looking for Two Hundredpeople to give usN5,000 ($34) each.

Projects and Time
We hope to start Poetry Potter and P.A.G.E.S by March 2011.
We intend to have an edition of Fashion Revolution (Fashion Revolution Meta-more-forces) in June.

We shall keep our blog - http// until we are through with our website.

We are happy to announce to you that Poetry Potter is now online. This ispart of our 5th year anniversary. You can now read some poems presentedat our previous events on this site. Also, this site we will createequal opportunities to all by publishing your poem, short drama andshort fiction works on the site.

For the maiden edition, Amatoritsero Ede is the Guest Artiste. You cannotafford to miss his account of poetry. Sage’s Rage is on the Spokenword page, OmosunSylvester, Senator Ihenyen, Plumbline (Jaiyeola Jeffrey)and Aderemi Adegbite are poets you will enjoy reading their poems onthe Poetry page.

We are open to all forms of literature and arts. Please read our submission page. Here is the link:

Toni Kan                              10,000
Ahmed Maiwada                  25,000
Mirian Travis                          5,000
Ayodele Arigbabu                  5,000
Juwon Hasstrup                    10,000  
Total                                    55,000

Thank you for your commitment and support in 2010 and Image & Heritage hopes it can count on your support in 2011.

Aderemi Adegbite
Image & Heritage Lagos, Nigeria.
Tel: +234 708 428 7828
Blog: http//

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Marching To Aso - Poetry | Reviews | Interviews

Marching To Aso - Poetry | Reviews | Interviews

CORA Holds Book Industry Conference on the ‘Bring Back the Book’ Initiative

All lovers of the book, human capacity and Nigerian development are hereby invited to the 1-day Book Industry conference to discuss President Jonathan’s ‘Bring Back the Book’ initiative.

DATE – Monday 17 January, 2011
VENUE – Banquet Hall, Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos
TIME – 9.00 a.m.

According to CORA, “While CORA realises the value of the media event of 20 December, 2010 in demonstrating the full faith and weight of the President in the campaign, we take the view that the real task of building the critical citizens’ framework for its sustenance has just begun. Based on our experience in organising intellectual events around book and culture in the last twenty years, the industry has faced a lot of challenges which militate against the return to the era of robust book
production, acquisition and reading culture.” The President’s campaign can be benefitted by industry insights.
The conference will draw stakeholders from the entire breadth of the industry including Writers, Publishers, Booksellers/Distributors, Printers, Policy makers, Social Entrepreneurs and CSR officers. One of the objectives is to obtain suggestions on what steps may be taken to address the challenges of the waning reading culture, such steps including –

• any cultural/economic policies
• legal/regulatory frameworks
• market/supply-side innovations; and
• civil society initiatives.
The outcome will be the industry contribution to the 'Bring Back the Book' initiative and will be presented to the coordinators of the campaign for that purpose.


Contact Aderemi Adegbite on 07084287828


CORA Holds Conference On Bring Back the Book Initiative

As a follow-up to the ‘Bring Back The Book’ initiative of the administration of President Jonathan, the Committee for Relevant Art, CORA, has resolved to stage a one-day conference of stakeholders in the Book industry and the creative and educational communities to fashion out an implementable document that could guide the President and his team in the quest to encourage reading culture and as well place importance on the Book as a source of knowledge acquisition and manpower development, according to Deji Toye, CORA’s Project Director and coordinator of the Conference.

The conference holds on January 17 in Lagos and is expected to attract a fairly large congregation of stakeholders in the relevant Indus tries, including from governmental agencies, said CORA’s programme team.

The theme of the one-day conference is When the President Wants to Bring Back the Book: So What’s To Be Done Now? And it is billed for the Banquet Hall, Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos; 9am – 6pm.

The ‘Bring Back the Book’ campaign had been launched on December 20 with the President joining the Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka in a reading session for over 400 students drawn from as many as 100 schools around Lagos. At the Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. The programme also witnessed the formal presentation of the book President Goodluck Jonathan: My Friends and I, Conversations on Policy and Governance via Facebook, during which about five top Nigerian hip-hop musicians performed to a crowd of about 5000 people at the new Expo Hall of Eko Hotel.

According to CORA , the January 17 conference is a desired follow-up to ensure that the dream behind the project is kept alive even as the country gradually slips into the mood of electioneering “when we tend to forget every other critical aspects of our national life”.

The conference, states CORA, aims to “Gain the insight of stakeholders in the book industry on the current practical challenges of conceptualisation, production, distribution and consumption of books in Nigeria and its impact on the reading culture; and;

i. Obtain suggestions on what steps may be taken to address the said challenges with a view to reversing the waning reading culture, such steps including –

· any cultural/economic policies
· legal/regulatory frameworks
· market/supply-side innovations; and
· civil society initiatives.

Deliberations and suggestions at the conference will be presented to the ‘Bring Back the Book’ coordinators in the Presidency. It should also provide a reference point for a pan-industry advocacy for the revival of the reading culture and the revitalisation of the book industry“.

“Participants are to be to be drawn from the entire value chain of the book industry including the following: Publishers, booksellers and book dealers, authors, printers, libraries/librarians, book and literary event organisers/promoters (book clubs, literary festivals etc), educationists, renowned corporate promoters of book and literary initiatives, book and education-focused MDAs and Nigerian Academy of Letters”, stated CORA.

The culture advocate organisation, which prides itself as ‘Culture Landscapists’, stated: “This event will be regarded as significant in at least the following three respects:

* To our knowledge, it is the first time in the last few decades that a Nigerian President has given a public, uncontroverted support to the campaign to return the book and the cultivation of its reading to a pride of place. This is significant in Nigeria where the success of any initiative often depends on a perception of interestedness or, better still, championship at the highest levels of government.
* Equally significant is that a sitting President has now drawn a link between book reading and literacy and even onward to national economic development. Trite as that connection might appear, we are not aware that recent economic recovery programmes and various visioning projects have made book reading as central to human capacity development (which has itself been often touted as core to the achievement of economic prosperity) as we see encapsulated in the above-quoted speech of the President delivered at the campaign event.
* Even more significantly, the strategy of taking the campaign ‘to town’ by the President will be recorded as a first, in which a matter of such communal significance will be canvassed on the streets before being thrown at policy bureaucrats. Indeed, Mr. President was reported as having dubbed the campaign a “citizens’ framework to bring back the book.”

“In the last twenty years, the CORA Art & Cultural Foundation (otherwise ‘Committee for Relevant Art’ or ‘CORA’) has sustained the campaign to place the book in the front burners of national debate and literacy at the heart of national development agenda. Indeed, we have always maintained our key annual event, the Lagos Book & Art Festival as a testament to our commitment that “the only way to translate the ‘teeming population’ of Nigeria into true human capital is to develop their minds” ( Mr. President’s speech at the ‘Bring Back the Book’ campaign launch shows how much consensus has now grown around this idea.

“While CORA realises the value of the media event of 20 December, 2010 in demonstrating the full faith and weight of the President in the campaign, we take the view that the real task of building the critical citizens’ framework for its sustenance has just begun. Based on our experience in organising intellectual events around book and culture in the last twenty years, the industry has faced a lot of challenges which militate against the return to the era of robust book production, acquisition and reading culture. Some of the challenges arise from the following factors:

* Standard of education and its impact on the quality of content and creative expression emerging from the Nigerian local literary community in the last few years
* Quality of technical expertise available to the industry following the exit of the multinational publishing companies and its impact on the technical quality of outputs in the Nigerian industry in the last few years (CORA has held a series of book editor’s clinics as a modest attempt to address this challenge)
* The discouraging economics of book production and distribution in Nigeria and the gradual erosion of local book printing and production in preference for Asia
* Issues of curriculum/syllabus development and quality of reading lists in Nigerian educational institutions; and
* The environment for the support of civil society efforts at promoting book and reading culture in Nigeria.

CORA states that the conference will follow the popular parliamentary style now associated with CORA-organised deliberations, although Position Papers will be presented by key stakeholder groups drawn from the following four major sectors of the industry:

· Business: Publishers, book sellers/dealers/distributors/printers
· Creative: Authors
· Educational: Librarians, teachers, school proprietors, NUC, NAL
· Promotional:
- Government (MDAs);
- NGOs/CSOs (book clubs, literary festivals, poetry salons, book fairs etc);
- Corporate donors (companies with bias for literary CSR commitments).

There will be interventions from other industry participants and from the general house.

Deji Toye
Conference Director (+2348023624647)