By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The biggest food and drink fiesta in Africa, the Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) Plc Food and Drink Festival is returning this year after being shelved in the past due to COVID-19 restrictions.
A statement from the organisers disclosed that the showpiece event, in its 5th edition, will take place at the GTCentre on Plot 1, Water Corporation Drive, Oniru, Lagos, from Saturday, April 30 to Monday, May 02, 2022.
The Group CEO of GTCO, Mr Segun Agbaje, while commenting on the event, explained that, “The primary objective of the GTCO Food and Drink Festival is to showcase our diversity and industry as a people whilst delivering a sumptuous culinary experience to food enthusiasts across the continent.”
“As our contribution to the development of local SMEs, we want to see our retail customers who also own small businesses thrive by giving them more opportunities to connect with consumers from around the world,” he added.
Mr Agbaje further said, “At GTCO Plc, we are committed to offering our customers and communities great experiences with every interaction and will continue to promote viable enterprises, particularly in the food and fashion industries, given the massive capabilities and countless multiplier effects inherent in these critical industry segments.”
The GTCO Food and drink festival brings together the biggest chefs and food lovers from all over the world in a celebration of all things delicious with family and friends.
Over the years, the programme has hosted millions of people and featured enlightening and engaging masterclasses by world-renowned chefs and food business experts.
This year, the free to attend the three-day festival will feature cooking masterclasses of cuisines chosen from all around the world and over 140 free retail stalls showcasing everything from the best of Nigeria’s street food to bite-sized gourmet treats and fresh farm produce from the farmers’ market.
The well-fitted play area is designed to add another layer of excitement for children and keep them meaningfully engaged.
GTCO is a leading financial services company providing banking and non-banking services including payments, wealth management, and pension fund management, with a presence across 11 countries spanning West and East Africa as well as the United Kingdom.
The Group operates a diversified, Proudly African franchise and is renowned for its innovative approach to customer service and stakeholder engagement which has endeared the brand to millions of people across Africa and beyond.
Over the years, many customers have benefited from its unique loan products including the food industry credit and fashion industry credit designed specifically for businesses in the food and fashion industry.
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Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN’s Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Kenyan singer, Maya Amolo, has become the first-ever Fresh Finds Africa artist of the flagship programme of Spotify established to support and spotlight emerging independent African artists.
Centred around the Fresh Finds playlist, the initiative focuses on helping emerging artists to learn and grow by giving them the tools for long-term and sustained career success.
The Fresh Finds playlist serves as a launchpad for up-and-coming artists to get exposure while also catering to fans and industry tastemakers who want to discover fresh new talent.
Maya Amolo, 23, is an alternative R&B artist from Nairobi who cut her teeth on SoundCloud, collaborating with internet producers to create sad boi tunes including “U Wanna” and “Where Tornados Flew”. Maya’s sugary vocals and soft harmonies quickly amassed her a dedicated listenership and grabbed the attention of local producers and musicians.
Maya headlines the inaugural Fresh Finds Africa playlist housed in Spotify’s Fresh Finds hub to showcase tracks from other up-and-coming African artists. In addition to being playlisted with the rest, she gets a one-on-one workshop on the best practices for using the Spotify platform as well as in-app and social support to help her grow her career.
“Fresh Finds’ artist selection is informed by a combination of data and editorial decision making, with our curation team choosing artists that are showing momentum both on and off Spotify,” says Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s head of music for Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Spotify has always been committed to connecting fans to up-and-coming artists and the music they love. The Fresh Finds programme is an enhanced version of that,” adds Okumu.
Since its global launch in 2016, Fresh Finds has playlisted over 25,000 artists, with their average monthly listeners increasing by 108% within a month of their songs being included in the playlists.
“For an upcoming artist like Maya, these figures promise an increased audience and opens her up to new opportunities which might not have been possible without Fresh Finds,” concludes Okumu.
Maya’s first body of work, Leave Me At The Pregame, which takes the listener through a melodious journey of self-acceptance and healing, was released in mid-2020. Maya has since gone on to establish herself as one to watch, having been covered by NPR, The Native Mag, Okay Africa and TANGAZA Magazine. She is set to release the first single from her forthcoming project on March 31.
“I am honoured to be chosen as the first artist to launch Fresh Finds in Africa. This is a much-needed platform for upcoming artists and I am excited for the growth that will come as a result of this,” says Maya.
Fresh Finds Africa will be a monthly programme, with a new artist selected every month by the Spotify music team, and forms part of Spotify’s continued commitment to support the African music industry, through initiatives such as EQUAL and Radar.
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The much-anticipated live show of the Nigerian Idol Season 7 commenced last weekend and the audience did not disappoint as they wowed the audience and viewers with their sterling performances.
The contestants gave it a whirl in their separate performances in an attempt to woo Nigerian Idol viewers and fans for votes as the two contestants with the least votes would be eliminated in the next round.
Abigail opened the floor of the evening with an astonishing rendition of Rain on Me by Lady Gaga. The highlight of her performance was the uniqueness of her voice that synergized with her backup singers.
Faith surprisingly took ownership of Olivia Rodrigo’s Driver’s License, and her performance is incomplete without mentioning the elusiveness in her voice that was miraculously infused with emotions. She literally gave life to her performance and showed the audience and viewers that she deserves to be the next Nigerian Idol winner.
Jordan continues his impressive run in the Nigerian Idol with his electrifying performance of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep. He had the judges amazed by his vocal ability right from his first audition and got another standing ovation at the live show.
Banty’s rendition of Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud was one of the highlights of the show, her performance and energy were thrilling, with a standing ovation from the judges.
Precious raised the bar further with Ckay’s hit single Felony and was advised by the Judges not to sacrifice her vocals for performance. Itohan also performed Baby Dragon by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s single Shallow. Her performance drew admiration from the judges who felt honoured to have her on stage. The last performance of the night was that of Debby who performed Lojay and Sarz’s hit track Monalisa.
This week, the contestants will look to further impress the-person judge of Obi Asika, D’Banj and Simi. Viewers can catch a glimpse of this on African Magic Family GOtv (channel 2), Africa Magic Showcase DSTV (channel 151), Africa Magic Urban Dstv (channel 153), Africa Magic Family Dstv (channel 154) from 7 pm.
By Adedapo Adesanya
As Afrobeats music continues to gain traction and acceptance in the global sphere, a music charting platform, Billboard, has partnered with music festival brand, Afro Nation, to launch the first-ever United States chart for Afrobeats music.
In a statement on Tuesday, it was stated that the Billboard US Afrobeats Songs chart will go live on Billboard.com on March 29.
The chart ranks the 50 most popular Afrobeats songs in the country based on a weighted formula incorporating official streams on both subscription and ad-supported tiers of leading audio and video music services, plus download sales from top music retailers.
Speaking on the partnership, Mr Obi Asika, Afro Nation founder said, “The last decade has seen Afrobeats explode into a worldwide phenomenon, influencing culture and fashion across the globe and I am humbled to have made a contribution to growing the genre alongside many talented and passionate people.
“There is still so much more potential within the scene and the community that has grown around it and I believe it is vital that with Billboard, we now have a US chart that reflects this growth and provides a platform for emerging artists from every continent to showcase their talent to new audiences.”
On his part, Mr Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard’s SVP of Charts and Development, said “Billboard is excited to collaborate with Afro Nation on the launch of the Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart.
“As with much of the world, Afrobeats has grown tremendously as a genre in America and we are proud to showcase the top songs and artists with this new weekly ranking.”
Afrobeats has become a success story with wider audiences with the likes of Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, and Fireboy DML among the current proponents.
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