Meet the First Female Governor of Abia State

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Dr Okezie Ikpeazu will today hand over the reins of power for 24 hours to 14-year old  Joy Ezechikamnayo.

The SS3 student and senior prefect of Intellectual Giants Christian Academy, Umuahia will be joined by members of her executive council drawn from all the Local Government Areas of Abia State.

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Born 18th March 2003, Joy Ezechikamnayo, is the first One Day Governor of Abia State and will be sworn in by Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu today.

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Governor Joy emerged as top performer after a rigorous essay competition that lasted over a week and she is currently attending a leadership retreat with members of her cabinet.

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The 20 top performers in the essay competition were designated as follows:

1st position-Governor
2nd position – Deputy Governor
3rd position – SSG
17 others are Commissioners

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It will be recalled that Abia State maintained top position in West Africa School Certificate Examinations for a consecutive 3 years leading to the emergence of the state as the number one state in Education in Nigeria.

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Products of Abia State Educational system are also remarkable top performance award winners at various international tertiary institutions including Europe and USA.

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Food Tourism: Africa’s Top Food Picks

African dishes are as colourful and diverse as the continent itself. Little wonder, many foreigners have chosen the continent as their choice destination for food tourism (culinary tourism).

Nigeria’s leading online travel agency Jumia Travel & no.1 online food ordering platform Jumia Food have identified 12 top dishes within the continent of Africa. So, whatever your purpose of traveling is, make it your goal to experience any of these dishes.

From Nigeria’s ‘Ofada rice’ which is best enjoyed with sauce and plantain, to Ghana’s ‘Waakye’ which is a rice & beans combination with spicy pepper sauce, to Kenya’s Nyama choma (barbecued meat), to Ivory Coast’s ‘Garba’ which is a popular dish made from Ivorian manioc sold in small street stalls.

Tell us which of these dishes is your favourite.

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9 Things to Do Right Now to Grow Your Company By John Warrillow

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A couple months ago you may have been surprised to see Stanislas Wawrinka beat Rafael Nadal to win the Australian Open. After all, Nadal was the clear favorite, having won all 26 combined sets in their 12 previous matches.

But Nadal’s lower back started to seize up in the first set, and Wawrinka was prepared to take full advantage. In fact, Wawrinka has been preparing for his moment in the sun since he was fifteen years old, when his parents pulled him out of school so he could focus on his tennis career. He turned pro back in 2002 and ever since then has been preparing for his shot at winning a Grand Slam.

Will you be prepared for your moment in the sun?

As a business owner, you too need to be prepared when opportunity strikes. The two most common reasons owners sell their business are:

Getting approached with an unsolicited offer; and
Having a health scare (e.g., heart attack, stroke, etc.) that lands them in the hospital.

In either case, you’re not in control of the timing, but you are in control of how prepared you’ll be when opportunity (or necessity) strikes.

Whether you want to sell in five or ten years, here’s my list of things to do right now to get your business ready to sell:

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1. Make sure your customer contracts include a “survivor clause,” stipulating that the obligations of the contract “survive” the change of ownership of your company. That way, your customers can’t use the sale of your company to wiggle out of their commitments to your business.

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2. Cultivate a group of a dozen “referenceable” customers that an acquirer could interview. When you sell, the buyer will want to speak with your customers; so you need a group of people – customers who are also friends – that would be willing to say good things about your company. In particular, the acquirer will be looking for assurance that the customer will keep buying after you leave, so make sure your referenceable customers are loyal not just to you but also to your business.

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3. Start tracking your Net Promoter Score (NPS). Increasingly, acquirers (both “strategics” and Private Equity Groups) have standardized on NPS as a way to predict the future of their portfolio companies.

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4. Write a “teaser.” A teaser is an anonymous letter an M&A professional uses to solicit interest from an acquirer to buy your company. Writing your teaser now will crystallize the important attributes of your company and ensure you focus on the right metrics in the coming years. Your teaser should cover the Who, What, Where When and Why of your business:

  • Who: describe why your management team is a winner.
  • What: describe what you sell and why customers choose you.
  • Where: where are you located and what is the potential to expand geographically?
  • When: how long have you been in business?
  • Why: What are the strategic reasons someone would want to buy your company? Do you have a niche? Is your product a world-beater?

Carry your teaser around with you and update it constantly. Keep making decisions for your business now through the lens of how the results of your decisions would be perceived by a potential acquirer down the road.

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5. Identify 10 companies with a strategic reason to buy your business. Once you have a short list of potential buyers, study their M&A activity. What do they buy? What do they list as the strategic reasons for their acquisition in their media releases? Who are their lead corporate development executives?

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6. Do business with your short list. Once you have a short list of potential acquirers, try to do business with as many of them as you can. Companies buy companies they know; so if you can find a way to work with a potential acquirer (either as a partner, supplier or customer) it’s a chance for them to become familiar with your company.

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7. Professionalize your bookkeeping – there’s nothing that freaks a buyer out more quickly than sloppy books.

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8. Protect your gross margin. Oftentimes, when leading up to being listed for sale, businesses grow by chasing low-margin business. You tell yourself you need top-line growth, but when an acquirer sees your growth has come at the expense of your gross margin, she will question your pricing authority and assume your journey to the bottom of the commoditization heap has begun.

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9. Stop doing the selling. If you’re the rainmaker, nobody will buy your business without a soul-crushing earn out. Keep in mind that sales people take time to train and to hit their stride. Depending on your industry, it may take them a year or even two to start cranking out deals, so now is the time to hire and train them – not six months before you want out.

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John Warrillow is the author of Built to Sell: Creating A Business That Can Thrive Without You published by Penguin in 2011.

“Not defining their USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and not understanding the target market are some of the challenges faced by hotel administrators in Nigeria’’ – Ijeoma Ugamah, General Manager, Maison Fahrenheit

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In this exclusive interview, Ijeoma Ugamah shares some insights on challenges faced by hotel administrators in Nigeria and some useful advice for students and upcoming hotel administrators in the hospitality sector.

Tell us a little about yourself, as it relates to your function in Maison Fahrenheit?

My name is Ijeoma Ugamah  and  I am  the General Manager  of  Maison Fahrenheit Hotel. Being the general manager means I oversee the day to day running of activities in the hotel and ensure that all works as it should for the pleasure and comfort of the guests.

What amenities can guests hope to enjoy from a hotel like yours? Any idea on some of the fun activities they engage in while they lodge here?

The lobby of the Maison Fahrenheit is an architectural delight and a poignant source of admiration for guests. The LA Spiga restaurant is a nice private spot in the hotel where guests can enjoy diverse and exotic drinks, as well as mouthwatering local and continental cuisines like Lamb Curry etc. Maison also features a private outdoor pool perfect for water aerobics and tropical Pinacolda, as well as the ever popular outdoor rooftop lounge.

In a few words, tell us what makes Maison Fahrenheit unique compared to other hotels and suites?

Well, first of all, Maison Fahrenheit is the first lifestyle hotel in Lagos, meaning we are more than a boutique hotel.  Maison has an Eat. Play. Stay culture embedded into the hotel’s operations to ensure guests enjoy their stay from the moment they walk into the door. Our service culture is also unique, as we are willing to go above and beyond to ensure that we offer guests impeccable service all through their stay in the hotel.

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What can you say are some of the major challenges faced by hotel administrators in Nigeria? Any words on possible solutions to these challenges?

Not defining their hotel’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and not understanding who their target market is. Hotel administrators need to be able to define their USP and understand their target market, otherwise they are going to get it wrong and fall short in the delivery of impeccable and satisfying service to guests.

As a manager of this hotel, can you share one or two of the lessons you have learnt on travel and hotel management that can useful to students and upcoming hotel administrators in the hotel and tourism sector?

An important lesson I have learnt is the importance of defining your target market as a hotel. It simply boils down to the fact that as a hotel, not everyone can be your guest. The sooner you understand that as a hotel administrator, the easier it’ll be to keep your guests happy and deliver exceptional service to them. Also, it is also necessary to invest in marketing. After spending all that time defining your target market, how are you going to reach out to them or connect with them if you don’t market? Investing in marketing can help take your hotel out of obscurity and bring it into the ‘line of sight’ of your target market. Additionally, you should be strategic in your  thinking. As a hotel administrator, you should always have a plan because anything can happen and you have to be prepared for it.

For those looking to work in the hospitality sector in Nigeria, what will be your advice to them?

I’ll say they should have a passion for service. The hospitality sector is a service industry and you need to have a passion for service to thrive in it.

4 Best Foods To Eat When in Ghana

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Ghana is a beautiful and brimming West African country that is rich in culture, tradition and delicious cuisines.  A lot of Ghana’s culture reflects in its local cuisines and you can clearly see the brilliant way Ghanaians induce the use of local crops and food sources to produce their tasty and mouth-watering cuisines.

Here are 4 awesome and best cuisines to eat when in Ghana:

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1.Banku

This is a popular traditional Ghanaian dish that basically consists of cooked fermented corn, which is served as orange sized balls along with often highly and deliciously spiced soup or sauce and fried fish or meat. Banku is frequently served alongside boiled rice, fried plantain or yam.

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2.Waakye

This delicious meal is pronounced by the Ghanaians as ‘Wa Chi’. This meal shows the love of Ghanaians for rice and beans and is one of the spicy Ghanaian foods that can be eaten with either fried fish, egg, spaghetti or fried chicken. Waakye is really one Ghanaian dish you shouldn’t miss eating when you’re in Ghana. It offers a truly memorable culinary experience for your taste buds.

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3.Kyinkyinga

This is a popular street food in Ghana and is one of those foods that best portrays the ‘taste of Ghana’. Kyinkyinga is basically beef kebab and is typically prepared using steak meat or liver and is crusted with peanut flour. The meat is typically first marinated in chilli marinade and coated with peanut flour, before it is cooked on skewers that are placed vertically in front of a fire. The peanut floor gives the kebab a crunchy texture, and the sweetness of the flour helps to counterbalance the spicyness of the chilli marinade.

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4.Shoko

This is Ghanaian beef and spinach stew and is another awesome meal from Ghana. This is one traditional Ghanaian meal that has remained significant and popular over the years. It is an easy to prepare meal that is also very affordable. It’s ‘hearty, spicy and full of greens’, which makes it a very healthy meal option. It basically consists of a combination of red tomatoes, peppers, leafy green spinach and of course beef.

Culinary Tourism: Enugu Hosts Nutritious Food Fair 2017

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People travelled for different reasons in the past. Some travelled to visit families, others to attend a ceremony such as a wedding or birthday or a religious programme, while some others travelled to enjoy a few days of quiet and relaxation at some place far away from home. In the last decade, people have started traveling for a different purpose: to discover and taste the food in cities, rural areas and countries throughout the world. This type of travel has become what is now known today as culinary tourism or food tourism. Its purpose is to visit destinations primarily to taste and experience different foods that are popularly growing in different countries.

From November 28-30 2017, mega livelihood and income generating opportunities will be facilitated for 3000 participants during the Nutritious Food Fair holding at the Michael Okpara Square Enugu. This will ultimately pave the way to success for a new generation of micro-, small- and medium-scale businesses and investors in the nutritious food sector.

HarvestPlus conceived the Nutritious Food Fair (NFF) as an umbrella advocacy and enterprise platform to drive the production, marketing and consumption of nutritious foods in Nigeria. The Food Fair has as primary objective to strengthen public and private sector partnerships to increase and sustain the production and consumption of more nutritious foods, promote and encourage investment in the nutritious food sector and stimulate government’s policy support for nutrition interventions.

Learn Four Creative Ways to Take Pictures

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Pictures are what makes the memories of the good times in our lives practically everlasting. However, there are some creative ways to take pictures that would help capture our memorable experiences in more stunning ways than we ever thought possible. Here are 4 creative ways to take pictures while on vacation.

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1.Take Your Pictures From a Distant Vantage Point

This is a great way to show how massive and breathtaking your surroundings are while sizing down the people in your frame. Distant vantage point pictures will make the figures in your photo look more or less like mini-figurines, while exaggerating the width, depth and height of your surroundings, making its beauty more striking. If you ever want to take a picture that primarily shows how great the surrounding of the place you’re in is, the distant vantage point is one of the best ways to do that.

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2.Look for a ‘Striking Pop of Colour

This ‘striking pop of colour’ is all around you, you just need to look for it and capture it in what is sure to turn out as a great shot. This type of picture is really quite simple to take, all you need to do is find a colour that stands out in a bold and beautiful way amongst other colours in your surroundings and take a shot of it. It can be as basic as a bright coloured car or brightly dressed person  that stands out amidst the slightly duller colours of the surroundings.

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3.Change Perspectives

Rather than taking your pictures with only one perspective, why don’t you make it more interesting by switching it up a bit. Consider other stunning perspectives like the bird-eyes perspective (taking a picture from a view above, like a bird would see it in a tree), or the worm’s eye perspective (opposite of the bird-eye perspective where you take the picture from below or from the ground as if you were looking up, like a worm would see it), and so on.

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4. Try Capturing Silhouettes

Shortly after sunset, towards or during the evening time, is the best period to take this kind of picture. Capturing silhouettes of people or objects in your surroundings gives your pictures a dramatic, beautiful and standoffish effect. This way, you can take some stunning and totally Instagram-worthy pictures that would really capture your experience in a breathtaking way.

Algeria vs. Nigeria: Where the game will be won and lost

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 What factors will decide the game that has little or nothing riding on it?

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Algeria and Nigeria lock horns at the Mohamed-Hamlaoui Stadium on Friday with nothing much to play for, apart from pride for the hosts following a disastrous qualifying campaign that saw them fail to live up to expectations as group favourites when the draws were made.

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For the Super Eagles, the desire to end the series unbeaten has to drive them on in this heavyweight encounter. With both sides set to clash in Constantine, how do they match up against one another?

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In goal for the Desert Warriors should be Abdelkadir Salhi, deputizing for the absent Rais M’Bolhi. With the veteran goalie missing from Rabah Madjer’s first squad, nothing is set in stone, however, and the goalkeeping slot is there for the taking. Faouzi Chaouchi and Chamseddine Rahmani would definitely fancy themselves to stake their claim between the sticks.

The Super Eagles have found solace in Ikechukwu Ezenwa since the unavoidable absence of Carl Ikeme.

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The Ifeanyi Ubah stopper has handled what’s come at him with minimal fuss, and has looked the part for the West African giants.

Having already secured qualification, Gernot Rohr could opt for either Daniel Akpeyi or Francis Uzoho, giving either man the opportunity to stake a claim and challenge Ezenwa.

It’s a bit of a cliched line of thought now, but Akpeyi doesn’t inspire confidence when selected. His underwhelming performance in the Nations Cup qualifier against South Africa is still fresh in the memory, too, and it might be a while before he gets another game for the Super Eagles.

Uzoho meanwhile is a youngster whose burgeoning reputation has definitely caught the eye in recent weeks. Still relatively wet behind the years, though, the 18-year-old is unlikely to be thrown into the deep end by Rohr. Yet, with nothing at stake for the visitors, perhaps the German tactician could thrust him into the limelight.

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Statistically, the Fennecs’ defence has been their Achilles heel, and shipping nine goals in five games is nowhere near good enough for a side of their quality.

It even makes for stranger reading when you take into account that the Algeria side tend to dominate possession in their games (they had 77% of the ball in their last home game against Zambia… yet lost!). Perhaps that has somewhat put them at a disadvantage as they’ve been open to the odd counter attack due to the defence being caught high up the pitch.

The Nigeria attack will be out to exploit this supposed weakness and expect them to be up for the battle.

With Victor Moses and Moses Simon set to miss out, Alex Iwobi and Henry Onyekuru could be deployed out wide.

Iwobi’s ability to play between the lines and find pockets of space in the channels would trouble the Greens’ backline, while Onyekuru will be deployed on the left flank, where he’s got the chance while in possession to either hug the touchline or cut in to his favorite right foot which gives him the option of finding a teammate with a pass or having a go himself.

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With Anthony Nwakaeme expected to lead the line for the Super Eagles, the Algeria centre-backs could be in for a long afternoon.

The burly forward is a handful physically, but offers much more than just being a one-dimensional battering ram. The Hapoel Be’er Sheva forward’s link-up play is underrated and while he’ll always make himself available for the pass into feet, his lateral runs aimed at drawing people out of position with the objective of opening up a bit of room for his teammates to operate will be something to look out for.

It gets a bit more interesting in midfield for both sides, where Algeria’s Nabil Bentaleb is a player that can dictate the tempo of a game from deep.

With the North Africans expected to have the lion’s share of the ball, what instruction Rohr has to nullify him from controlling the game will certainly be under the microscope.

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The Nigeria boss has mainly elected for a midfield trio of Mikel John Obi, Wilfred Ndidi and Ogenyi Onazi.

The latter, for all the criticism sent his way, will be a huge miss. Onazi’s tenacity and ball-winning skills are underrated, and together with Ndidi, gives the team a bit more solidity which in turn protects a defence that can be got at.

Rohr has often brought on Mikel Agu – a controller – in the last couple of games, but you’ve got to wonder if this game would be more suited to someone of the ilk of Oghenekaro Etebo. The midfielder has the legs to go up and down the pitch while offering a bit more creativity in the final third.

Up front, the trio of Islam Slimani, Riyad Mahrez and Yacine Brahimi are going to be a handful for the West Africans.

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The FC Porto man especially will be a real threat with his pace, dribbling and, even more so, his impressive close control. He’s capable of picking out a pass, and Abdullahi Shehu will have his hands full if he’s to keep the fleet-footed wideman quiet.

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Ola Aina is expected to play at left-back, and will be asked to do a job Mahrez in what will be his full debut. The Leicester City man likes to cut inside to his stronger left foot, and that’s something that may be to the advantage of the Chelsea loanee, who’s a right footer.

Slimani may not be setting the world alight, but he’s a handful on his day, and the duo of Leon Balogun and William Troost-Ekong will need to stay touch tight to the forward, especially at set-pieces or from crosses.

With a little at stake going into this game, it may not be the most emotionally engaging affair, but it’s certainly got a few fascinating subplots, and it will be interesting to see how it all pans out.

African Music Superstars Battle for AFRIMA 2017

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The All Africa Music Awards is set to reward the best of African artistes
from the continent. This has led to a massive voting campaigns by
nominated artistes of different countries who rely on the love from music
lovers at home and in diaspora to win the 23.9 Carat plaited gold AFRIMA
trophy. The AFRIMA 2017 main awards ceremony is scheduled to hold on 12th
November 2017 at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos by 4PM.
The nominated artistes are pulling up their sleeves to slug it out with
their regional and continental music contemporaries and legends at the
event.
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Southern African female nominess have some scores to settle at the 2017
AFRIMA Awards. Amanda Black and Babes Woduno started a fresh beef at the
South Africa Music Awards23, when Amanda Black beat Babes Woduno to SA’s
Best Female Artiste of the Year awards 2017.  She might get her rep back
if she sweeps all contestants to win the Best Female Artiste in Southern
Africa at AFRIMA 2017.

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Old rivalries in SA might rear its head at the Awards as AKA gets nominated in the same category as Nasty C and Emtee.
Other stars battling for recognition and rep are SA Jah Prayzah, Legend
Jazzist, Hugh Masekela, and Nduduzo Makhatini.

The Cameroonians divas claim to run the show in the Central Africa region,
as five nominated music divas bring to battle their different musical
styles to win the 23.9 carat gold award. The Gabonese Popstar, Bussine and
the Angolan pop queen, Nsoki is in the game to burst their bubble and win
the award for their home countries. Meanwhile the King of Central Africa
will emerge when Angola’s star RnB Sensation, Anselmo Ralph and Hip Hop
star, Big Nelo while charges against DRC Makossa star, Fally Ipupa and RnB
International Ke Black and Pop Star, Maitre Gims and the Cameroonians Pop
artistes, Jovi and romantic RnB singer, Mr Locko.

Four Tanzanian divas are gunning for the awards for the Eastern region,
Vanessa Mdee, who won the 2014 AFRIMA awards in the same Best Female
Artiste in Eastern Africa category. She is pitched against Tanzanian love
singers Feza, Lady Jaydee, and Nandy. Uganda’s Juliana Kanyomozi is a
music big fish who will clash Kenya’s Victoria Kimani despite her West
African and East African base. The singer and TV celeb, Chess Nthussi is
also nominated alongside Ethiopian Grammy nominee, Wayna Wondwossen.  The
rest is up against Diamond Platnumz who might add another AFRIMA award to
his shelf this year? The multiple AFRIMA winner is up against his fellow
Tanzanian arch rival, Ali Kiba. The Kenyan DJ and Pop star, Mura KE, and
Hip Hop star, Octopizzo are also going to challenge the Tanzanian. Other
stars in this category are Kibrom Birhane, Sinishaw Legesse and Henok &
Mehari Brothers from Ethiopia and Uganda’s Eddy Kenzo.

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West Africa boasts of a huge media presence, crisp videos and ecletic
sounds. The Nigerian music divas on the list, Aramide, Seyi Shay, Tiwa
Savage, and Yemi Alade will contend with Ghanaian pop-star, Becca, Malian
Grammy Award winner, Oumo Sangare and Senegalese Pop-singer, Viviane
Chidid, to prove which star has the most dynamic voice to win the gold
trophy.  Nigerian Arch-rivals, Wizkid and Davido may have yet another
face-off at AFRIMA. Other stars ready to upturn the game are Cote
D’ivoire’s DJ Arafat, Guinea’s MHD, Nigeria’s Mr Eazi, Runtown, Tekno
and YCEE.

The Female and Male music stars from Northern Africa may have the
advantage of votes from their rave ratings on Youtube. These northern
artistes trump their regional counterparts with popularity as huge as
Algerian singer, Cheba Maria’s 4 million views to French Montana’s
487million views.

The awards ceremony is a world-class event that hold annually with live
performances from star-studded artistes and television broadcast to 84
countries around the world. Tickets can be purchased on the AFRIMA
website, nairabox.com, and ariyatickets.com.

Jumia Travel, Jumia Food to Reward Customers Big at Black Friday Concert

Nigeria’s leading online travel agency, Jumia Travel and Nigeria’s number 1 online food ordering website, Jumia Food have revealed plans to reward both their new and returning customers with fantastic giveaways and deals at the upcoming Jumia Black Friday concert scheduled for November 18, 2017 at the King’s College, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The companies made the announcement through their Head of Public Relations, Olukayode Kolawole while addressing journalists in Lagos on the expectations from this year’s Black Friday festival which will kick off November 13th and end December 13th, 2017. “This year’s Black Friday will be the biggest sales event ever experienced in the country as there are as high as 80% discounts across all the Jumia platforms: Jumia Mall, Jumia Travel, and Jumia Food,” Kolawole said.

The exclusive 2-in-1 concert and shopping event will feature Nigeria’s finest artistes including Simi, Falz, Wande Coal, 9ice, Mayorkun, Niniola, Sound Sultan, Skales, Lil Kesh, Pencil, Jimmie DJ Consequence, DJ Cuppy, Nedu to thrill attendees to exclusive app flash sales and lots of exciting giveaways including a N500,000 shopping voucher.

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Speaking on some of the special offers on Jumia Travel, Omolara Adagunodo, Managing Director of Jumia Travel said there will be up to 80% discount on hotel & flight bookings; over 20 holiday packages to choose from (local & international) and lots of fantastic deals. “There will also be lots of giveaways at the concert, such as a free night stay at a 4-star hotel in Lagos, a free return ticket from Lagos to Accra and many more,”Adagunodo added.

On the other hand, Jumia Food Managing Director, Olamide Bada described the deals that will be available on Jumia Food as mouth watering. “We have a long list of vendors on our platform who have offered us amazing discounts and giveaways in the spirit of the Black Friday festival. While many of our customers will have direct and face-to-face interactions with us at the concert, others who might not be able to attend can still benefit from these offers. For instance, we will be offering a buy-one-get-one-free on Sharwama & Co between 11th  November through Dec 12th; 30% off the entire menu at Beleful; and many more.”

“There will also be lots of offers on Jumia Party. For instance, you can buy one Martell Blue Swift and get 24 Apparel Hat with Purchase; Martell XO – Free Holiday Bag with purchase; Chivas Extra – Free TT Dalk Wallet or card holder with purchase,” Bada added.