Banky W

Thanks to George da Soulchold for this piece. I love Banky W’s latest hit ‘Yes/No’. Here’s all about him!

Olubankole Wellington born March 27, 1981, known under the stage name Banky W, is a Nigerian R&B artist. Wellington was born in the United States to Nigerian parents, but the family moved back to Lagos Nigeria when he was five years old where he began singing in his church choir at the age of 8. After completing his secondary school Education at Home Science Association Secondary School, he moved to New York to attend college on a scholarship; earning a degree in Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

While still in college, he won the ‘Albany Idol’ competition, which catapulted him into the spotlight. He overcame many personal trials and obstacles to quickly become an in-demand artist on the local music scene; performing alongside major acts on tour. He wowed audiences with his silky smooth voice while building a loyal following; he established the Empire Mates Entertainment record label as a platform to get his music to his fans and began work on an EP. The company now houses one of Nigeria/Africa’s biggest talent including Wizkid and Ice Prince.

The EME boss, Banky W has got a brand new scorching single “Yes/No”. The new single is set to capture more hearts with its music video. The video captures a love story beginning from secondary school which was shot at his Alma Mater- Home Science School. 14 years after, the love birds rekindle their relationship.

The video was co-directed by Clarence Peters and Banky W and featured British-Nigerian model, Angela Tokunbo Daniel as the leading lady. It also has cameos by Niyola, eLDee and Uche Odoh. The song and video has continued to get very good reviews some say this might his biggest hit since his 2006 mega hit song “My Regret”

He has 5 albums to his name

2003: Undeniable (EP)
2005: Back in the Building
2008: Mr. Capable
2009: The W Experience
2012: R&BW


Hotels And Nollywood

Nigerian movies are very much something I expect my teenage daughters to be watching when I get home from work at night, but the last thing I expected to pop up on HotelInteractive one of my very favourite hotel sites. With hotel chains in Nigeria ‘chasing the business’ it makes one wish that Zollywood would start in Zambia and bring that business here. No doubt the Victoria Falls – just 10 kms away from our lodge – would make an awesome backdrop to some dramatic scenes! Here’s the piece by Caryn Eve Murray.

“The plot is the stuff of movie-screen dreams: a young and well-liked upstart struggles in the complex realm of the entertainment world, hoping for that big break, whether in the form of a kindly casting director, a friend-of-a-friend with an eye for talent, or – in a more magical vein – an alignment of the planets in the heavens. To fans and followers of the Nigerian movie industry, Nollywood could well be that wide-eyed young understudy. Nollywood, which produces, by some estimates, more than 2,000 popular films on famously low budgets, is the nation’s second-largest employer, according to the research group, Consultancy Africa Intelligence. And lately, Nollywood is being cast by many as the potential catalyst for fame and upbeat fortunes for growth, especially in travel and tourism.

But whether the planets align for this still-nascent industry, creating that ripple effect, remains to be seen. With commercial movie theaters less ubiquitous throughout the African continent, and film distribution channels still immature, Nollywood instead relies heavily on its robust sales of videos for home viewing. Published estimates place the industry’s value at well above $250 million. In recent years, a number of hotel companies have not only become Nollywood fans but are auditioning to become its best supporting players – among them, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which already has five hotels in Nigeria and is poised to open two more in 2014 and another in 2015.

Nigeria has become “the company’s largest growth market on the African continent,” said Penny Biram, a Starwood spokeswoman. “Nollywood’s popularity has become a major growth driver in the leisure sector – and in turn boosted Nigeria’s tourism sector,” Biram said, writing in a recent email from South Africa. “Arrivals to the country are growing and this trend is expected to flourish even more over the next few years, attracting film fans and business travel boosted by the growing economic importance of the film industry,” Biram said. “Euromonitor recently reported that in 2013, the region is poised for continued strong growth in arrivals, incoming tourist receipts, air travel and hotel value sales. Intra-regional travel is crucial for the African tourism industry, due to strong business, linguistic and cultural links between many countries.

“As Nigeria’s movie industry develops and produces films of improving quality, movie stars will also become another attraction for tourism in the region, so it is imperative that hotel groups expand to meet this demand.” But for such projections to become reality there needs to be expansion in one crucial area: public safety, said international consultant Peter Tarlow, a specialist in tourism risk management. “I think the real issue for them is can they get their security under control,” said Tarlow said.

He said the entertainment and tourism industries, as well as local governments, must follow the example set by Nigeria’s leading industry – crude oil production – and invest in measures to ensure adequate policing in a region well-known for its crime rate. Protecting workers, as well as travelers arriving to do business with the industry, is critical, he said. “Just filming a film is not going to bring people to Nigeria,” Tarlow said. “What they are going to have to do is really change their image. I would say to them, ‘get your safety under control.’ It won’t happen any other way. A film will give a temporary boost to a place if it is a world smash film and people want to see that particular place. But if travellers get there and are ripped off or if it is crime-ridden, that will boomerang into something negative.”

Some view one recent Nollywood release, “Streets of Calabar,” as a signature for change. The film received acclaim throughout Nigeria, and not just from movie critics. The comedy-thriller was hailed for its departure from the norm for being a higher-budget, more painstakingly produced, slicker movie than its predecessors. “Streets of Calabar” scenes showcase tourist magnets throughout the Nigerian state of Cross River, a feature that moved the country’s Minister of Culture and Tourism Edem Duke to herald the production as a blockbuster. Duke endorsed it as well for its portrayal of strong local law enforcement – a clear and not-so-tacit message in the film, designed to present an image of greater physical safety.

“The film portrays Nigeria and especially Cross River State to the outside world as a good tourism destination, also shows Calabar [the state’s capital city] with adequate security,” said Paz Casal, travel and tourism analyst for Euromonitor International. Euromonitor had forecast Nigeria’s growth as a travel destination in its Global Trends Report and released those findings last year at the World Travel Market.
But images, even positive ones, are the stuff of dreams and movies and still do not change reality, said Tarlow. And in his eyes, entertainment needs to go beyond the amusement factor to take root in a meaningful way to grow business and to ensure safety.

“The film-industry alone,” he said, “no matter how slow-growing at this point, is not going to be the sole engine of hospitality growth. Without added security measure, it just won’t happen. For it to really grow, you need political security, economic security and physical security.”

Well said!!!


Cowbell and Entrepreneurship

Loved this from Emmygees Uwakina on Facebook

MTN came to Nigeria at a time when nobody wanted to invest in Nigeria, at a time when Nigerians did not have phones. Even Zenith Bank refused to lend MTN cash to operate, UBA rejected MTN’s offer – but today see the difference. Millions of Nigerians, and Africans have cell phones and many use MTN!

And, we all know the story of the only civilian unelected President in Nigeria – Goodluck Jonathan. We know how people said he was not going to be President, they even made him acting President. Today the rest is history!

What about Cowbell? When they came to Nigeria, they made milk in a sachet. Peak laughed at them – they said Cowbell was milk for the poor and they were right! 3 million poor people could afford N10 a day for a sachet of milk. Do the math – 3 million people buying milk at N10.00- that was N30million every single day. In a month they grossed N900million (almost N1billion). Even Peak have had to make sachet milk in order to survive in the market.


So what have people told you? What have they said you cannot do, that you are not qualified to do, or for that matter do not have the experience to do? They told Cowbell, they told Goodluck, they told MTN, but today the story has changed.

Success is not about where you graduated from, but what graduates from you!

Keep the spirit!


Not Exactly Flavour Of The Month!

George da Soulchild, co-presenter of our weekly radio show, The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient reports:

For years to come, Zambians, particularly Lusaka residents, will live to remember the night when Nigerian singer Chinedu Okoli (above), better known as ‘Sawa Sawa’ or Flavour, performed a K120 million show at the Chrismar Hotel. They will remember him fondly not for his catchy and infectious sing-along hit, but because the West African presented an emphatically shoddy performance as an international artiste.

Well, we have seen talent coming from Nigeria before performing for the same US$25,000 or less. In 2007, P-Square braved heavy rains at Sunset Stadium to make their Zed-six to-six performance pay cheque worthwhile and even if only a dozen fans watched the twins’ concert, the duo travelled back home with a free conscience. The same cannot be said about last Friday evening’s show at Chrismar Hotel where Flavour and his ‘elastic’ dancing maniac duped patrons into a broke long weekend.

Music promoters will have to share the blame for the losses recently suffered as they created rivalry between the Chrismar gig and the Sound Check concert at Barclays Sports complex.

Nevertheless, let’s talk about what went wrong at Chrismar.

Pegged at K100,000 per head, the show was expected to be one of the best, especially that the foreign artiste is currently topping continental music charts with his Sawa Sawa hit. Fans, predominantly young, trooped to the hotel early to catch the artiste’s full performance but he did not show up until in the dead cold of 01:00 hours on Saturday when the braziers went out to conquer the icy breeze.

When Flavour finally appeared on stage, the girls screamed in his support as he quickly greeted the audience and went on to introduce the first song which he mimed in his native Iigo.

Yes, he did not play any live music despite the equipment which was stylishly dumped on the podium as Qfm DJ Tony Rollercoaster squeezed the beats out of the No Parking Band CD player with the help of the guest artiste’s brother and manager Benjamin.

The night’s climax came a moment later when the dread-locked singer played his second and more popular Sawa Sawa track and since it was the only song he prepared for the night, the DJ had to play it twice for good measure.

Flavour’s dancer, looking highly inebriated, uncontrollably displayed her nimble-legged performance much to the delight of the fans… but that was it for the night, two songs and the show was over. Despite coming at the right time when Zambians still have the appetite for his Sawa Sawa, Flavour has ironically left a sour taste in many patrons.

Oh dear!


Jerry & Carol Evans

45 years married, with 3 sons and 5 grandchildren, meet Jerry and Carol Evans (pictured above) from Denver, Colorado, USA, guests on the latest edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild – our regular Sunday night radio show airing between 20.30 and 21.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s popular local radio station. 107.7 fm broadcasts 24/7 to a radius of about 75 kms from the city centre which is just 10 kms from Victoria Falls in Zambia. Our show is a lively mixture of music and chat.

“We’re mini missionaries” replied Carol when Milli Jam asked this warm and interesting couple what they were doing in Zambia. “We’ve come out to your country for a short time, voluntarily, to help at the Rafiki Mission in Chongwe near Lusaka” she continued “and we just had to come to Livingstone to see the world famous and amazing Victoria Falls”. Jerry and Carol went on to explain that they were helping tutor children at the orphanage especially those who were behind with their spelling, grammar and maths! They were also assisting with the construction of more cottages to house the children at the mission, which at the moment catered for 50 live-in orphans and loads of day children as well. As if this wasn’t enough, Carol was also involved in establishing a children’s library at Rafiki.

Rafiki operate in about 10 African countries and Jerry and Carol have been to several, including the one at Jos in Nigeria, they told listeners. This interested me, as I was general manager of Plateau State Hotels Board based in Jos in the 70’s prior to coming to Zambia. Sadly, Carol and Jerry told us that some of the orphans at the Rafiki Mission in Jos were there as a result of losing family in the recent unfortunate troubles between Christians and Moslems in that city.

The music on the show was a nice mixture of new, not so new and local. We played ‘Chasing U’ by Akon and ‘The Apple’ by Eminem which are both pretty new, together with ‘White Flag’ by Dido and ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley which are not. ‘Crazy’ used to be our theme tune on the show before we updated to ‘Candy’ by Aggro Santos. The local selection starred Brian featuring Exile with ‘Mailo’ and Marky II featuring Petersen with ‘Gelo Wanga’. Milli Jam chose Shayne Ward’s ‘Just Be Good To Me’ and Wiz Khalifa’s smash ‘Black And Yellow’.

Carol and Jerry told listeners that Jerry was a retired banker and that while they were in Livingstone they’d had a ‘delightful’ sunset cruise on Lady Livingstone and found Victoria Falls ‘wonderful’ even though they’d got soaking wet! On their last morning, the following day, they planned to go on the lion encounter, as they wanted to see the new white lion cubs at
Mukuni Big 5. Luckily we were able to get them a short notice booking!

We gave away the usual dinner for 2 to the first listener to tell us which mission these good folk were involved with – that tricked the listeners who thought I would ask where the couple came from, though sharp Jak did win! We greeted staff and guests at the lodge and in closing Jerry and Carol thanked Zambians for giving them such a warm and wonderful welcome to their country.