First City Monument Bank celebrated the first-year anniversary of SheVentures, an exclusive proposition for women in business on March 5th.
It was a glamorous event that had in attendance dignitaries from various works of life including the First Lady of Ogun State, Her Excellency Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun; Managing Director, Rose of Sharon Group and Executive Vice Chairman, Famfa Oil, Dr. Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija who was the Guest Speaker (the richest woman in Africa) and former Deputy Governor of Lagos, Mrs. Sarah Sosan.
The Group Chief Executive of FCMB Group Plc, Mr. Ladi Balogun, described SheVentures as a vital part of FCMB’s quest to upscale the performance of SMEs.
According to him, “Many of the big companies today that FCMB has had the privilege of supporting started off as small companies with big aspirations. Many of have gone on to become household names in oil and gas, technology, food and beverage as well as other sectors. Our SheVentures initiative was created for the sole purpose of ensuring that women-owned businesses are not left out in the development of the country’s economy through their collective and individual contributions as business owners.”
Dr. (Mrs.) Alakija who is the guest speaker for the event in her speech captioned: ‘’Women Supporting Women’’ commended women entrepreneurs for their resilience.
She said: ‘’I have heard so many amazing things about the FCMB SheVentures and how it has been turning around the fortunes of female entrepreneurs. It is gratifying that women have continued to break barriers in the business and corporate world, despite the challenges.’’
The First Lady of Ogun State, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun urged female entrepreneurs to brace up to the challenges of the socio-economic realities. She advised the beneficiaries of the FCMB SheVentures initiative to consider it as an avenue for sustainable economic empowerment through which they would improve their productivity, increase their income level, become employers of labour and contribute to the growth of the country.
The FCMB SheVentures offers many exceptional propositions to Nigerian women who own or manage a business, including access to loans of up to N5,000,000 (five million naira) at zero interest rate. SheVentures is designed to inspire and equip women entrepreneurs to take bold steps that would enable them to become more competitive, productive and profitable, ultimately helping them achieve their business aspirations and contribute significantly to national development.
According to reports, over 2,000 women owned or managed SMEs in Nigeria have benefitted from FCMB’s SheVentures proposition since it was launched in March 2019. The benefits of the initiative include access to mentorship, capacity building, networking and zero interest loans of between N500,000.00 to N5,000,000.00.
The highlight of the SheVentures anniversary event was the presentation of interest free loan cheques, ranging from N3million to N5million, to another set of beneficiaries and award presentation to the best mentees from the SheVentures Mentorship Programme. Visit www.fcmb.com/she-ventures.
What a dramatic fight at Ghanaian bar ‘over a seat’ (video)
fight reportedly broke out at a Ghanaian bar known as Bloom Bar and located in the heart of Accra over the weekend.
A man reportedly locked horns with a woman identified as Yaa Asantewa on social media over a seat at the cocktail bar.
Eyewitnesses said the man had left his seat to meet someone outside the venue. When he got back, the lady had already taken his seat.
It was gathered that after he asked the woman to vacate the seat, it led to exchange of words which degenerated into a fight at the bar. Eyewitnesses said the lady’s boyfriend intervened in the fight and took it to another level.
It took the intervention of bouncers to break up the two men and escort them out of the premises. Some bystanders got hurt while others fled the venue without paying for their drinks.
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Tanzanians Petition: BET Disqualify singer, Diamond Platnumz from this year’s Awards
A section of Tanzanians on Twitter have launched an online petition to have singer, Diamond Platnumz disqualified from the 2021 BET Awards.
The Tanzanian music star was nominated in the best international act category alongside other African heavyweights.
The petitioners accused Diamond of ‘actively and publicly supporting deceased Magufuli’s regime’, but remaining silent when fellow Tanzanian artists were imprisoned and abducted in 2017-2018 over video clips deemed obscene by the authorities. Over 17,000 people have signed the petition.
This is a call to BET Awards hosted and produced by Black Entertainment Television (BET) to disqualify Diamond Platnumz
Diamond Platnumz is a world-renowned Tanzania music artist who used his popularity and his talent to whitewash and deodorize the brutal repression of the late dictator John Magufuli and his regime. Diamond is also a close friend and business ally of Paul Makonda the former Governor of Dar -es-Salaam who has openly persecuted and cracked down on LGBTI people. Makonda has also been designated in 2020 by the US State Department for gross violations of human rights including cracking down on freedom of expression and association.
Tanzania has suffered brutal repression and roll back of democracy since 2016 when (late) President Magufuli ascended into power. His regime curtailed democratic freedoms, basic human rights and Tanzanians witnessed never-before experienced atrocities like enforced disappearances, bodies bound and gagged washing ashore the Indian ocean, mass illegal detention of opposition politicians, critics and businessmen, crackdown on independent media, intimidation of creative people including musicians, actors and comedians. A particularly shocking event has been the brutal gunning down of opposition legislator Tundu Lissu in broad daylight. Lissu survived with 16 bullets in his body to tell his story. He is currently living in exile in Brussels, Belgium.
In 2020, Magufuli ran for re-election under his party Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) . Mr Lissu risked his life and returned to run against Magufuli under his party’s ticket – CHADEMA. The election was marred with irregularities, violence including killing of innocent civilians by forces acting for or on behalf of the regime. In the immediate aftermath of the election, Magufuli and his henchmen arrested the leaders of the opposition party and threatened them with treason charges. Some opposition leaders saw family members killed. Today several opposition leaders live in exile, while hundreds still languish in jail on trumped up charges.
Magufuli was also a rabid COVID19 denier whose repeated refusal to follow internationally accepted guidelines on prevention and treatment of COVID19 resulted in many deaths that remain undocumented to date due to the refusal of the government to publish any figures related to COVID19 since May 2020.
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Diamond Platnumz’s role:
In 2016, Diamond made Paul Makonda the Patron of his music label and media company called Wasafi. Makonda has used the Wasafi Festival for publicity and to sanitize his image. Also throughout the increased level of repression when fellow artists were imprisoned and abducted Diamond remained silent. In 2017, he deliberately released a single called “Acha Nikae Kimya” (Let me remain quiet) as a response to the increasing demand from the public to speak up and condemn the crackdowns. Diamond to-date has not condemned or spoken up on any of the atrocities committed.
Diamond Platnumz is a self-avowed CCM party member and was the lead musician for the CCM campaign in 2015 and 2020. In 2020 despite a huge outcry locally and internationally against Magufuli and his regime, Diamond endorsed this brutal dictator, dedicated a song to him (“Magufuli Baba Lao”) and several times took to stage with him during campaign. In October 2020 during the #EndSARS protest in Nigeria, Diamond tweeted solidarity with Nigeria but deliberately chose to remain quiet on the atrocities happening in Tanzania during the elections.
After the BET Awards 2021 nomination for best international act, Diamond took to the media and spoke disparagingly of activists, then paid a visit to his party’s headquarters CCM whereby his nomination was hailed as some sort of achievement for the party and the nation.
Why Diamond should be disqualified:
- Diamond Platnumz has failed to show basic concern and publicly express any solidarity with his fellow artists like Roma Mkatoliki, Nay wa Mitego and Idris Sultan who suffered at the hand of the dictator Magufuli.
- Diamond Platnumz chose to protect and expand his personal and business interest by praising and using his star power to soften the image of a brutal dictator and his collaborators.
- BET awards have been always held in high esteem by many Africans for its recognition of talent of exemplary artists. The international act which was established in 2018 has consistently gone to artists who have been very conscientious and stood up for justice for African lives. Both Davido (2018) and Burna Boy (2019 and 2020) have been in the frontline at the #EndSARS protests using their star power and fame to shed light on injustice and even protect civilians from police brutality. Diamond Platnumz is a selfish, greedy opportunist and an apologist of a repressive regime who chose to deliberately turn a blind eye to atrocities and associate, praise and collaborate with renowned human rights violators like Paul Makonda and John Magufuli.
We believe that once BET independently verifies these facts, it will be clear that Diamond Platnumz does NOT deserve ANY recognition in these prestigious awards.
Nigeria marks World Culture Day Thursday
By GistFlash News
May 25, 2021
Nigeria will on Thursday join the rest of the world to mark the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
The day, also known as World Culture Day, was set aside by UNESCO to raise awareness every year on the role of culture in ensuring sustainable socio-economic growth and development.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the day also provides a veritable platform to celebrate culture’s manifold forms as well as an opportunity to reflect on how these contribute to dialogue and mutual understanding.
NAN reports that Nigeria, through the Ministry of Information and Culture, is celebrating the day with the theme: “Cultural Diversity in the COVID-19 Era.”
A road walk to sensitise residents of Abuja would hold on Wednesday while the World Culture Day Celebration would take place at the National Press Centre, Radio House, Abuja, on Thursday.
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