September 21, 2016

A women's empowerment event not to miss


AWIEF is bringing together the best of African women leaders under one roof at this year's forum in September


AWIEF is here again! The 2016 edition of the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum is around the corner and it is billed to make unprecedented strides in AWIEF’s Pan-African campaign to accelerate the economic empowerment of women in Africa’s best interest.

AWIEF Founder and CEO, Mrs. Irene Ochem, speaking to reporters at AWIEF offices in Lagos confirmed the participation of Lagos State as Official Partner and Host State Government with the Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode giving the keynote speech and welcome address at the opening ceremony on the 29th of September 2016.

AN EVENT FOR AFRICAN WOMEN LEADERS

Mrs. Ochem went on to say that a major highlight of the event has been occasioned by AWIEF’s partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB). The AfDB in a special dedicated high-level panel will be unveiling the modalities and details of African Development Bank’s USD-300 million Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) program. AWIEF is committed to not just talking about the issues affecting African women’s economic empowerment but, most importantly, AWIEF is committed to taking action and engaging in programs and initiatives through AWIEF NGO and social enterprise that will create that positive impact and actually change the African Woman’s economic fortune for the better.

The event is holding on the 29th and 30th of September at The Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. Pre-conference workshops powered by GOOGLE and LEAP Africa to be held on the 28th of September 2016. Registration is ongoing online at www.awieforum.com or by email to: info@icoconferences.com.

For Sponsorship, registration or other participation call +234 814 376 9875/+234 814 760 7909/+234 818 570 1455.


September 17, 2016

Myra Maimoh's sophomore album is one of hope

MYRA MAIMOH HEALS THE WORLD WITH HOPE, AN EMPOWERING NEW VIDEO AND A VOICE YOU WILL NEVER FORGET


Myra Maimoh is like a flower in full bloom always radiating a sweet contagious essence. You just seem to always find a smile emanating from her mouth and the most inspiring words from her lips but altogether life has never been this picture perfect for her. In fact, Myra as she tells it has gone through a lot of experiences which have helped shape her to the positive person she is today. As they say with life, you can choose to be bitter or you can be better with your experiences and Myra Maimoh certainly chose the latter.

Myra Maimoh was born in Bamenda, the North West Region of Cameroon (in West Central Africa) where she grew up in an average Christian family home with her parents and siblings. With her mother being her greatest musical influence through the records she owned, Myra Maimoh grew up with artists such as Skeeter Davies, James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong. She was also heavily influenced by her Mother’s love for African blues through to Country music, traditional African music to Jazz and pop and it was no surprise that Myra started singing and dancing, while still in preschool at the age of 3.

Myra Maimoh was not only a high profile studio vocalist recording in some of the country's greatest studios for the biggest artists, she was among the most hired doing everything from background vocals, lead vocals to jingles for national and private radio stations.

When Myra Maimoh released her debut album “Answer’d Me” in 2010, she was ready to put aside all her negative experiences and to embrace hope. She was ready to inspire her audience to believe in themselves, to come out from their shadow by “sharing her generosity of spirit wrapped up into a perfectly packaged unit.” “This 11-track testament to the sheer joy of Myra's music is the perfect introduction to a young woman who uniquely combines the passionate music of her African roots with the pop, rock, soul and Jazz sensibilities of the West.” Stated Funk Sanctum Radio.

Myra Maimoh then took almost 5 years off to live life. During this period, she got married and had 2 children. Through 2015, Myra Maimoh was ready to get back to work and to focus on her music by embarking on her sophomore album Uniq. The album was recorded in the US and sent off to the UK and Cameroon to be perfected and immersed through mastering in the sounds which Myra and her team wanted to offer to her audience,

Uniq incorporates her RnB and African influences. On this 6 tracked album she brings to the table a plate full of positive inspiration and a cup filled with hope, patience and faith speaking to audiences battling terminal illnesses, depression or low self-esteem in the song Uniq which is also a girl power anthem with an empowering stance (link attached below). A message of encouragement is sent to fans to emerge with power from whatever crisis they may be in and not to be defined by their status quo as in the song Feh Vitavivi. Myra also adds some light entertainment and jiving as in On Va Danser which has a celebratory upbeat vibe.

You only have to listen to the unforgettable voice of Myra Maimoh to understand why Célia Faussart of Les Nubians stated she was inspired by Myra and also stated “Myra Maimoh, she’s like the Cameroonian Jill Scott, and Franck Biyong.”



        FIRST PUBLIC REVIEWS

The Uniq album is exactly what it says it is. Every track is different and unique from the one before. Love that it has so many different slants on life. Great music and great lyrics. Well done!” 
I got the album CD on the website and I can't stop playing the instrumental version of A No Go Tire. The music is Masterfully put together! A No Go Tire and Uniq for me; the former for the soul in Myra Maimoh's voice and the amazing musicality, the latter for its inspiration, hiphop jive and how Myra Maimoh stretched and showed her vocal prowess with adlibs.” 
Well done petite sœur. The whole album is wonderful but like my better half the song that stands out for me is Far Away. It’s very soulful and is very deep and uplifting at the same time. You are a true talent and l really hope this Uniq album propels you to the heights that you deserve.” 
The album as a whole takes you through life journey and various faces and stages of life. It's a Uniq mix of afro pop, afro soul, RnB. The diversity in the songs and use of languages and musical expressions shows the the level of exposure of the artist as one who has so many cultural influences. "Beau Parleur" is my personal favourite song on the EP. It has almost all the characteristics of a [hit] song, it has that catchy chorus. The beat is some good afro pop and it is appealing to ladies which is what they want to hear.”

Uniq is now released and available on all major online platforms

Connect with Myra 

September 12, 2016

Vreezy Ville's latest track features Askia


Vreezy Ville Features Cameroon’s Rap Diva Askia in “Shakiti -Dab” Collabo.


US based Franco Records protégé Vreezy Ville teamed up with Cameroon’s female rap diva Askia on this hit collabo titled “Shakiti-Dab.” Talking to fans in Maryland, Vreezy Ville told fans he is very excited about this track as it brings out another aspect of his lyrical power.

This track is actually a blend of African and western culture via their various music trends in which Shakiti is a song and dance created by Nigerian artist Olamide and Dab is an American dance currently trending all over the world. The song also has a little bit of hip-hop, jazz and reggae not forgetting the afrobeat in it which makes it unique in style and content. This could easily be a club banger. It is written and recorded by Vreezy Ville and it features Cameroon female rapper Askia. Track is produced by Big Joe and mastered by Salatiel.


Follow VILLE on twitter @VreezyVille237 and on Instagram @Vreezy_Ville.
For Bookings contact: info@francorecords.com / +011-281-728-4374.
@Vreezyville237 @Francorecordz

August 31, 2016

Does South Africa's naked festival exploit young girls?


Ever heard of Umhlanga?


South Africa's Reed Dance is an eight-day annual festival in late August, early September that takes place in the royal palaces of both the kings of Swazis and the Zulus, in Ludzidzini Royal Village in Swaziland, and Nongoma, South Africa respectively. This event draws tens of thousands of virgin girls from the respective regions, as well as spectators from all over the world to the event. Umhlanga was created by a Swazi mornach back in 1940, an adaptation of a much older traditional rite from the 1800's called the Umchwasho, a traditional chastity rite for young girls. The King of Zulu land, Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu adopted this tradition in 1991. Since then, it has quickly grown into a highly anticipated event with Southern Africa's dignitaries in attendance and a yearly tourist attraction.

A test for virginity?


So, the purpose of this festival is to ensure chastity before marriage which is highly regarded in the culture and as a way to fight sexually transmitted diseases, namely HIV/AIDS. The eight-day event proceeds with a number of rituals, namely, virginity testing which all unmarried and young girls must undergo to be able to participate. A highly regarded madame would be responsible for conducting this test, which is rudimental at best since there's no medical professional involved. The girls spread their legs open for a hymen check. Others include the girls traveling to the fields for reed picking. The girls must pick the strongest and the tallest reeds so not to risk them breaking, for broken reeds mean the girl has been sexually active. The reeds they must either present to the king or the queen mother during the ceremony to help repair the royal compound's perimeter. The girls would gather and bathe in a body of water the day before they present themselves to the royals.

All unmarried virgin girls are expected to participate in this, including the royal family. They are usually distinguished by their feather crowns and usually play prominent roles during the entire ceremony. During the ceremony, the girls proceed to the palace in traditional attire made of beaded tassels and pieces of cloth worn around the waist, as well as beaded neckwear, bracelets, anklets and colorful sashes. Breasts and bottoms are exposed. They dance in procession towards the palace with their reeds in tow. They may also carry the bush knives used in cutting the reeds as a symbol signifying their virginity.




Here's the head scratcher


King Goodwill Zwelithini introduced this festival to the Zulus as a way to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic by delaying sexual activity until marriage. The decades long tradition in Swaziland encouraged chastity and fostered solidarity among the women. What I'm not able to understand is why so much emphasis is placed on the women? If you happen to be curious, look up Southern Africa's virginity testing on YouTube (how about I give you a head start here?) that they conduct on girls as young as twelve. The madame performs the test with her bare hands sometimes with men looking on. What I would like to know is how this tradition averts the act of sex amongst teenagers and how an intact hymen is a sure-fire proof that a girl has not had sex. It has been reported that these girls have been known to avert failing the test by stuffing meat and lace in their vaginas. From my research on this subject the emphasis on educating boys and men on the matter of sexual abstinence is not nearly enough. While it's almost taboo for the girls to engage in sexual intercourse before marriage, it is okay for boys. While this may be effective in scaring the young girls straight, what about the violation of her privacy and the right to her own body? A girl has to be subject to such public scrutiny while a boy doesn't. What about the many incidences of rape or child sexual abuse perpetrated in higher percentages by men? In Africa, this is as high as twenty percent compared to the rest of the world. In South Africa alone a child under seven is being raped every three minutes, infants have been gang raped by men, causing the need for reconstructive surgery. A twelve year old girl is ashamed and afraid to speak up on sexual abuse. What it does at best is cause emotional turmoil for the girls that fail the test who may have to live out the rest of their lives as women scarred with the stigma of sleeping around, a lower value is placed on them, their bride price lowered, they become societal moral pariahs. 

Here's another, on the one hand, this tradition continues to enforce moral chastity while on the other hand thrives on exhibitionism when these girls are not allowed to wear any clothing as they parade themselves for the general public. The excuse to maintaining the tradition at status quo is that the tradition that exists today and that from the past is inextricably linked, it is not in their place to change it. It has been rumored that the king of Swaziland attends these events to find a bride, he's currently on wife #15.

This annual event has attracted perpetrators from across the globe who take images obtained at the festival and release to pornographic sites. 

Girls marked as virgins become the target of men infected with HIV/AIDS who think that sleeping with a virgin will cure them of the disease.

Women have long been exploited in many parts of the world in the confines of religion and tradition for their bodies, many want them covered and not to show a sliver of skin, others like this one, want full exposure, all in the name of keeping them out of trouble. 

We very much live in patriarchal societies where women continue to be viewed as properties and commodities. In the debate of men vs. women, what's good for the goose is not good for the gander.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...