BET Awards 2018: Nigeria’s Tobe Nwigwe rocks Super Eagles jersey to perform

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Nigerian-American musician, Tobe Nwigwe, showed solidarity with the Nigerian Super Eagles when he performed wearing the Nike designed jersey at the 2018 BET awards.

Nwigwe and his crew of dancers rocked the awards stage with the critically acclaimed jerseys and tracksuits to the admiration of the crowd.

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Nwigwe became the first artist signed on to ETA Records as an edutainer—essentially an artist who uses entertainment as a means to educate their audience on a particular subject.

The edutainer is well known for his nonprofit organization ‘TeamGINI’, a name derived from “Gini Bu Nkpa Gi?”—Igbo for “What’s your purpose?” which thrives to help people discover their life purpose.

Reminiscing on the show, he took to his Instagram handle on Monday @TobeNwigwe to thank Nike for gifting the World Cup kits to his crew.

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The Nike designed jersey, the away kit, the training kit, the floral joggers and the training jacket sold out on its first day of release.

The kits earned the Super Eagles recognition as the “team with the best travelling uniform” in Russia by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

The rating came after a world fashion magazine GQ rated Nigerian Super Eagles Jersey as the best for the 2018 World Cup.

(NAN)

IN OTHER NEWS

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Nigerian pop star Davido won Best International Act on Sunday in Los Angeles, United States at the BET Awards 2018 .

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The BET Awards, established by Black Entertainment Television to recognise the best in African American culture, maintains an international category for black music from outside the United States. Davido, 25, in his acceptance speech called for collaboration between African Americans and Africa.

Complete list of Winners

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Kendrick Lamar, Sza and the Black Panther Movie all recorded wins.
Best Female R&B/Pop Artist Award
Beyoncé *WINNER
SZA
H.E.R.
Rihanna
Kehlani
Best Male R&B/Pop Artist Award
Bruno Mars *WINNER
Chris Brown
The Weeknd
Khalid
Daniel Caesar
Best Group Award
Migos *WINNER
A Tribe Called Quest
N*E*R*D
Rae Sremmurd
Chloe x Halle
Best Collaboration Award
Bruno Mars /Cardi B – “Finesse (Remix)”
DJ Khalid /Rihanna and Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts” *WINNER
DJ Khalid /Jay-Z, Future & Beyoncé – “Top Off”
Cardi B /21 Savage – “Bartier Cardi”
French Montana f/Swae Lee – “Unforgettable”
Kendrick Lamar f/Rihanna – “Loyalty”
Best Male Hip Hop Artist Award
Drake
Kendrick Lamar *WINNER
DJ Khaled
Jay-Z
J.Cole
Best Female Hip Hop Artist Award
Cardi B *WINNER
Nicki Minaj
Remy Ma
Dej Loaf
Rapsody

Video of the Year Award
Drake – “God’s Plan” *WINNER
Cardi B – “Bodak Yello”
Bruno Mars /Cardi B – “Finesse (Remix)”
DJ Khaled /Rihanna and Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts”
Kendrick Lamar – “Humble”
Migos /Drake “Walk It Talk It”

Video Director of the Year Award
Benny Boom
Director X
Ava DuVernay *WINNER
Chris Brown
Dave Meyers
Best New Artist Award
SZA *WINNER
H.E.R.
Daniel Caesar
Gold
LinkA
Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
Dr. Bobby Jones
Best Gospel/Inspirational Award
Lecrae / Tory Kelly – “I’ll Find You” *WINNER
Snoop Dogg / B Slade – “Words Are Few”
Ledisi and Kirk Franklin – “If You Don’t Mind”
Marvin Sapp – “Close”
Tasha Cobbs Leonard f/ Nicki Minaj – “I’m Getting Ready”
Best Actress Award
Tiffany Haddish *WINNER
Lupita Nyong’o
Issa Rae
Angela Bassett
Letitia Wright
Taraji P. Henson
Best Actor Award
Chadwick Boseman *WINNER
Michael B. Jordan
Donald Glover
Sterling K. Brown
Denzel Washington
Daniel Kaluuya
Young Stars Award
Yara Shahidi *WINNER
Ashton Tyler
Caleb McLaughlin
Lonnie Chavis
Marsai Martin
Miles Brown
Best Movie Award
“Black Panther” *WINNER
“Girls Trip”
“A Wrinkle in Time”
“Detroit”
“Mudbound”
Sportswoman of the Year Award
Serena Williams *WINNER
Venus Williams
Skylar Diggins-Smith
Candace Parker
Elana Meyers Taylor
Sportsman of the Year Award
Stephen Curry
LeBron James *WINNER
Kevin Durant
Dwyane Wade
Odell Beckham Jr.
Album of the Year Award
Kendrick Lamar – “Damn” *WINNER
SZA – “Ctrl”
Jay-Z – “4:44”
Migos – “Culture II”
Kendrick Lamar and Various Artists – “Black Panther: The Album”
DJ Khaled – “Grateful”
BET Her Award
Janelle Monáe – “Django Jane”
Lizzo – “Water Me”
Mary J. Blige – “Strength of a Woman” *WINNER
Remy Ma f/ Chris Brown – “Melanin Magic (Pretty Brown)”
Chloe x Halle – “The Kids Are Alright”
Leikeli47 – “2nd Fiddle”
Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award
SZA / Travis Scott – “Love Galore”
Cardi B – “Bodak Yellow” *WINNER
Kendrick Lamar – “Humble”
Drake – “God’s Plan”
Migos / Nicki Minaj and Cardi B – “MotorSport”
DJ Khaled f/ Rihanna and Bryson Tiller – “Wild Thoughts”
The Best International Act Award
Booba (FRANCE)
Cassper Nyovest (SA)
Dadju (FRANCE)
Davido (NIGERIA) *WINNER
Distruction Boyz (SA)
Fally Ipupa (DR CONGO)
J Hus (UK)
NISKA (FRANCE)
Tiwa Savage (NIGERIA)
Stefflon Don (UK)
Stormzy (UK)

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Meet the mathematician teaching maths in Igbo and Nigerian pidgin

In June 2017, Nigeria’s Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, reportedly said plans were being made to teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in indigenous languages.

There was an opinion as to why this was not a good idea. Even though this opinion had its own strong points, maybe there is more to consider.

Considering the low level of adoption of STEM subjects and career paths in Nigeria, teaching them in indigenous languages may not be a bad idea after all.

Even before the government made this announcement, a mathematics teacher in the Port Harcourt, Rivers State had already adopted the local language medium. Cynthia Onwuchuruba Bryte-Chinule has been teaching her students mathematics in Igbo and Nigerian pidgin for a while now.

Cynthia is a mathematics graduate of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Anambra State. She is the founder of PEEL Initiative, a non-profit organisation particularly interested in improving education in Africa especially mathematics and impacting the lives of underprivileged kids through education.

I chatted with Cynthia and she shared insights on STEM adoption in Nigeria, mathematics as a feared subject, marriage and revamping education in Africa.

Victor Ekwealor of Techpoint (VE)Where did the idea of teaching in indigenous languages come from?.

Cynthia Bryte-Chinule (CBC):  I run free tutoring programmes. Every Saturday I teach over 40 kids, on Thursdays at the Port Harcourt Remand Home. Most of them are school dropouts who do not understand the English language.

Apart from the fact that I studied Mathematics in school, I personally love the subject so I thought to spice things up a bit. I felt English language shouldn’t be a hindrance to learning mathematics. So I tried a different method.

I gave them the maths questions in Nigerian pidgin and concepts they could relate with. For example, trying to find the sum of 5+7 became;  ‘If you carry 5 yam join am with another seven yam, how many yam you go get?’ in Pidgin.

VEWhere did the Igbo language enter the picture?

CBC: I am Igbo so that was a no-brainer. Even though I could not teach all my students in Igbo because of their diverse ethnic backgrounds, I still made short video tutorials on Facebook and YouTube in Igbo and Nigerian pidgin.

VEHow did you compress whole mathematics topics into short videos?

CBC: The thing about the videos is I don’t teach regular classroom maths in them, they’re more like maths tricks and hacks to make the subject more interesting and relatable. Like showing you how to multiply 9999 by 89 in a few seconds.

VEHave you been able to measure the impact of these videos?

CBC: The comments and feedback I get on my Facebook and WhatsApp groups and the community on Instagram show that people love them. I see a lot of interest is being stimulated and that is the sole essence of the exercise; to show people maths is not that difficult.

I made Igbo and Pidgin versions of videos and tutorials on mathematics but I discovered the Igbo ones got wider acceptance. This generation of ‘slay kings and queens’ do not really know how to speak their language, so most want to learn. In my very first Igbo video, I used some English words to gauge engagement and people commented and gave feedback on the Igbo equivalents of the words.

VEThere’s a problem with STEM subjects and fields in Nigeria. Do you think using local languages as an instructional medium will change anything?

CBC: I think local languages have a great role to play in teaching STEM subjects in Nigeria, especially mathematics. I remember the first time I made a video in Igbo language, it was trending within my community and outside, people shared it and were excited.

For instance, the kids I teach are from different ethnic backgrounds, and most do not understand English. I discovered teaching in English was a waste of time. Most do not know what “addition” means so you have to tell them “join am together”. To make STEM subjects widely accepted and understood in Nigeria, language mediums that are easily understood by the students have to be employed.

VEEven though they naturally thrive in STEM courses, there is an even lower level of participation for the girl child in STEM careers in Nigeria. What do you think is the reason for this and how can this be remedied?

CBC: The Nigerian system, culture and parents do not really encourage girls in STEM. They mostly always say things like, “You’re a girl, do a ‘soft’ course”. When I was in the University, we were only four girls in my class studying mathematics. We always got weird looks and jokes, but I knew mathematics was just like any other course.

Guess what, I graduated as the best in my department with a First Class. Even though this isn’t really a gender thing, it shows that girls can be even be better in STEM. Women are usually better than men with details and this gives us an even better disposition to STEM courses.

We need to continually encourage the Nigerian girl child.

Being a long-term mentor to these girls is also very important as a one-day seminar cannot change this mindset. They have to be continually guided and disabused of these toxic notions. I authored a book, “Academic Without Tears”, and I have my contact details behind it. I give this book out during my programmes too. I create a platform for effective communication with these students as mentoring cannot be overemphasised. Academic and career mentoring is key.

At the PEEL Initiative, we have annual leadership conferences where we are intentional about this. Also there are motivational rounds in secondary schools where we tell girls they can be all they want to be, STEM or not. Just help them be bold enough to do what they want.

VE: What exactly does the PEEL initiative do?

CBC: We empower and provide quality education, develop leadership potential and meet the human needs of the youth. For education, we want to revamp Africa’s educational system especially in mathematics and make sure underprivileged kids get an education. We have an annual scholarship scheme for the kids.

VEHow do you know what kids qualify for these aids?

CBC: It is very hard determining eligibility but we stick with kids that are still in school, showing signs of seriousness and unable to keep up with their fees. It is very important they are still in school; I tried to help kids that were out of school but I had lots of challenges. One is that with them, you might not be able to determine seriousness when the person is already out of school so it was hard for me because of all the wasted money, effort, and time. So now, we go as far as paying the fees ourselves and verifying at the schools and homes of these students.

To qualify for the scholarship, we have a summit and over 600 students write an exam. The exam consists of basic maths and an essay on why they need the scholarships. For the essay, we are grading their reasoning over grammar and English correctness.

After the exams, some people get academic scholarships while others get skill scholarships in bead making, web design, blogging and others.

VEThis scholarship and support scheme is restricted to Rivers State and until the students leave secondary school. Any plans to expand its geographical and class scope in the future?

CBC: Even though I have been volunteering and doing social services for more than 7 years, I have been concentrated on this niche for 4 years now. PEEL was registered in August 2016 so, we are still young.

There are definite plans to expand this programme in every way in the nearest future. We tell our students on scholarships they can renew it by maintaining good grades.

VEYou are away Thursdays, Saturdays and some other days of the week. As a married woman, has your choice of career ever caused any sort of friction with your husband?

CBC: It has not in any way whatsoever. My husband has actually been very instrumental to my journey so far. Apart from being a very understanding person, he is luckily a public servant in terms of volunteers. He understands my schedule and even offers to help with my free tutoring classes sometimes.

VEWhat have been the challenges been so far?

CBC: Funding. We are bootstrapping and most of the monies that go into these projects are from my own pocket, there has not been any external funding so far. When I had a full-time job, I put all my earnings back into the project.

We have currently reached out to organisations to help and are waiting for them to respond. But I believe I don’t have to wait for funds to do what has to be done. I’ll keep on at the level I can. Now we have a maths tutoring programme, Maths Afrique, that is going to be a sustainability model for the whole structure. Maths Afrique offers paid mathematics tutors for students.

Even with Maths Afrique, there is still the challenge of clients not fully understanding the services on offer and trying to underpay. But we will overcome with time.

CREDITS: This article is written by Victor Ekwealor. It was first published on https://techpoint.ng/2018/01/18/cynthia-bryte-chinule-maths-teacher-igbo-pidgin/

Five Reasons Nigerian Children Are Not Speaking Their Mother tongue

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In the past children spoke Nigeria’s indigenous languages namely Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa fluently and unashamedly. However, today, the complete opposite is the case. Kids can barely communicate in Efik or Idoma without adding a bit of English.

The consequences of this are that many of these languages are facing extinction while some of them have gone extinct. A research that is cited by those concerned to lend credence to the import of indigenous languages is that of former Minister of education, Prof. Babs Fafunwa.

The late Prof made a case for the mother tongue as the medium of education for the first 12 years of the child’s life. Through an organized mother-tongue education program, they discovered children taught in the Yoruba language performed better. Regardless, it has not changed the fortunes of these languages because kids have refused to communicate.

In line with this, we share five reasons children are not speaking their mother tongue.

1.Parents don’t speak the languages to them

Parents don’t speak their mother tongue to their children anymore. In fact, some of these parents when they go for attending events one of the best hotels in Lagos, they order their children not to speak the language. How can such a child learn the language? Parents should speak more to their kids in their mother tongue.

2.It is tagged vernacular

In some schools today, Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo among other languages are banned because they are considered vernacular. A child who speaks his or her mother tongue would be penalized. So from the formative years of these children, they already have the perception that speaking their mother tongue is bad.

3.They are uncivilized

Many people believe that you are uncivilized or local if you speak your mother tongue. So, in other to join the bandwagon and be accepted, they ditch Ibibio for English. This is all in the name of being civilized. Children have also been caught in this web

4.It is not compulsory in primary and secondary schools

While English is compulsory in secondary schools today, the indigenous languages are not even though a child must study one of these languages. Children will think the languages are a joke. Hence, they won’t bother to learn or speak it.

5.Technology

The engagement or interaction of children with technology is entirely in English. Their smartphone, video games, laptop and other tech gadgets are in English. So since many of them spend so much time with these gadgets, they don’t have anything to do with the languages. This is a challenge to Nigerian developers to design tech gadgets in the indigenous languages.

Top 5 Places to learn Igbo History and Culture

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The Igbos, one of the main ethnic groups in Nigeria, are known to have a rich culture and remarkable history. While modernization has ensured the erosion of certain aspects of their culture, much of its history has been preserved, including relics from the past which reveal its heritage.

We list 5 of the places where the culture and history of these people who dominate the eastern part of Nigeria can be discovered.

lgbo-Ukwu Museum

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The Igbo-Ukwu museum is in Ngo village, Igbo-Ukwu, Anambara state. The town, Igbo-Ukwu is of great historical and cultural significance in Igbo land as it is notable for bronze artifacts from a very sophisticated bronze metal-working culture centuries before other known bronzes of the region. It is in recognition of this that the Federal Government in Nigeria granted approval for the hosting of an annual National New Yam Festival in Igbo- Ukwu to promote the culture and tradition of Ndigbo and new yam festival. The festival takes place at National Yam House built by the Federal Government in Igbo- Ukwu since 2005. The Igbo-Ukwu bronze treasures were accidentally discovered by a worker who was hired to dig a cistern by Mr. Isaiah Anozie during dry season in 1939 . Subsequent archaeological excavations of the area led by Professor Thurstan Shaw led to the discovery of other sites , making a total of three sites: Igbo Isaiah (a shrine), Igbo Richard (a burial chamber), and Igbo Jonah (a cache). Among the recovered object include a ritual Pottery Vessel,Scabbard, Pendant with rams head, Human face with scarification, Bronze bowl and a pear – shaped bowl. While some of these artefact have been exported and some lost, the Museum plays a significant role in preserve the remaining Igbo ukwu pieces, indigenous productions, which are vital in discerning the ancient history of not only Igbos, but of the human existence within ancient Africa. lgbo-Ukwu Museum has remained an attraction to tourists mostly because of its bronze artifacts. It is great place to visit as the bronze pieces are a sight to behold.

The Long JuJu Shrine of Arochukwu

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Arochukwu is the third largest town in Abia State (after Aba and Umuahia) in southeastern Nigeria and is a famous tourist destination as the cave of the famous long juju oracle is a particular attraction. It is originally, a religious centre with a well-laid down administrative structure headed by a Chief Priest. The cave is believed to hold the long metal pipe through which the gods speak to the people, and was used to judge the perpetrators of crimes in the old time. A dark kilometre-long series of tunnels, some deeply mysterious features of the shrine include the Throne of Judgement, where Chukwu would decide on the fate of a person, the Tunnel of Disappearance, and the Red River, which would turn coloured when a person was killed. What makes this shrine, also known as Ibinu Ukpabi, a spectacular historical site in the region is the role it played in the slave trade era and thus the impact it made in Nigeria’s history.In the 15th Century, when the slave trade was introduced, West African middlemen used it to their advantage, as the condemned were no longer killed inside the shrine, but secretly sold on into slavery. The mystic Long-Juju shrine, the slave routes and other relics of the slave trade era have become important tourist attractions in the area as a result of what they represent in Nigeria’s history.

Mbari Cultural Centres

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Mbari is a traditional arts and crafts center retained by the Imo State council for Arts and Culture. Situated at Ikenegbu in Central Owerri, Mbari, it is an open air museum that houses monumental arts depicting the culture, tradition and history of the Igbo people. Sometimes referred to as the ‘house of gods’, it is a huge tourist attraction. Although Mbari is a monumental art sacrifice to “ALA” the earth goodness, it also shelters artistic representations – artefacts as well as sculptures- which tell of the prevalent social life of the Igbos and images of other prominent deities that inhabit the traditional Igbo cosmic system. These deities include Amadioha (the god of thunder), Ogwugwu (the god of the forest), Nwaorie (the goddess of Nwaorie River), Ahiajoku (the god of harvest), etc. Closely attached to each deity are images of animals such as monkeys, tortoise, rams, snakes and owls, believed to represent errand spirits or mystical messengers of the deities. There are also images of Ikoro, the Igbo traditional instrument for communicating messages; unfamiliar creatures such as the ostrich (Enyi Nnunu); a certain tall figure representing Alakuko, allegedly the tallest man in Igboland; ‘Onye afo toro’, a man whose stomach became bloated because he committed an abomination against Ala, etc Contrary to general assumption, Mbari is neither a centre for idol worship nor an idol in itself. It is an art form that has its origin very deep in Igbo cultural and religious beliefs and practices. The Mabari cultural centre is a three dimensional cultural facility, made up of the Mbari House, Mbari Museum Kitchen and an amphitheatre, and definitely a must-see location.

 

National War Museum Amafor Isingwu Umuahia 

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National War Museum Amafor Isingwu Umuahia is a museum set up to exhibit relics used during Nigeria’s Civil war of 1967. The museum has the largest collection of the Nigerian civil war weapons that are no longer in used. The weapons are from both the Nigerian military and the defunct Biafra. Commissioned in 1985, the museum is located at Ebite Amafor in Isingwu Autonomous Community in the Umuahia North Local Government Area. The museum’s location was chosen because it was where the bunker housing the famous shortwave radio “the Voice of Biafra” was transmitted from. It has three galleries featuring items on the traditional warfare, armed forces and Nigerian civil war weapons. War relics in the museum include weapons used during the pre-colonial civil disturbances, warfare materials used during communal and inter-tribal wars and those of the Nigerian civil war. The Museum Complex opens at 10am and closes at 6pm daily with a gate fee of N100.  For those who did not experience the civil war, they may not get a mental picture of how it occurred without visiting the  museum. And for those who did, they could relive the period by visiting the museum. It is a perfect way to gain firsthand knowledge of the civil war, a huge part of Nigeria’s history. It is certainly a place to go.

Mungo Park House 

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Mungo Park House, also known as National Museum Asaba, is tucked behind the Delta State High Court and the state Library Board complex along Nnebisi Road, Asaba,  Delta state Nigeria. Although named after Mungo Park, the man who discovered River Niger, the prominent colonial vestige of pre-fabricated wooden storey building was never owned or visited by Mungo Park. The house was constructed by the Royal Niger Company (RNC) in 1886 and served as the first British administrative headquarters in the country and invariably the first government house in Nigeria. The Mungo Park House offers education on Nigeria’s rich historical background (mainly that of trade and investment in pre-colonial era) and journey to civilization.  Although some parts of the building are slowly dilapidating due to the elements (weather corrosion), it is definitely a place to visit. The museum is also just a few blocks from the popular Grand Hotel, Asaba.

 

Saving Nigeria’s mother tongue from extinction

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The ability to speak in your mother tongue cannot be overemphasized.  It is the glue that binds Nigerians together and enables us communicate our fears, feelings, values, traditions and culture, Jovago has found.

However, with the recent trend where parents interact with their children in the language of the British, the tendency for the next generation to sideline the local dialect for English language is raising gnawing concern among historians.

According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Nigeria has 521 languages out which 8 are extinct. They are Ajawa (Bauchi State); Basa-Gumna (Niger and Nasarawa states); Kpati, Kubi, Mawa (Bauchi State), Auyokawa, Teshenawa (Jigawa State); and Gamo-Ningi (Ningi Local Government, Bauchi State) languages.

Even in Nigeria’s multiethnic context, these numbers are alarming, therefore, all hands must on deck to prevent unpopular languages from fading into extinction.

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To check the current trend, the erudite scholar, Babs Fafunwa has recommended a viable solution which highlights the importance of teaching children to speak their mother-tongue for first 6 years in school. He believes that this will significantly expose them to these intricacies of these languages.

Based on a report he made public, when a deep look at the result of the exam of students taught in English language and in their mother-tongue were compared, those taught in their indigenous languages came out tops.

Sociologists who have studied the additional benefit associated with posit that the viable solution would be to teach our local languages as aggressively as we teach English. Although English is considered the language of business, they state that room should be made for verbal flexibility at the workplace.

In addition, parents should endeavour to communicate with their children in the indigenous language at home.

Finally, government and stakeholders should develop a workable primary and secondary school curriculum that fully integrates local languages and other relevant international lingos to give our future leaders a wholesome identity and experience.