Category Archives: People

Hakeem Kae Kazim

African of The Week: Hakeem Kae Kazim

Photos credits: Blinkit Photography – Mike & Stephanie Gines
Stylist and Wardrobe by Manny J Styles at The Gents Closet

STARZ has only just aired the first episode of Black Sails and it is already been getting rave reviews.  The Hollywood Report claims, “Black Sails has a cast of solid actors and is it’s little own treasure”.  Hakeem Kae-Kazim stars as Mr Scott in this exciting series, which second series has already been commissioned.

Hakeem Kae-Kazim rose to fame in the Oscar Nominated film Hotel Rwanda playing George Rutugunda.  This talented actor has an impressive list of credits and grew a huge fan base when he played the villain Colonel Dubaku in Fox’s series 24.  He went on to play in many of Hollywood’s prime time TV shows and Blockbusters including X-Men: Wolverine and Pirates of the Caribbean.  Now he is to star in STARZ much awaited new series, Michael Bay’s original Black Sails. Continue reading

Serge Ibaka

African of the Week: Serge Ibaka

The Oklahoma City Thunder is certainly one of the top NBA Basketball team at the moment, featuring great and rising stars such as Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and our African player of the week: Serge Ibaka.

Serge Ibaka was born in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo and is the third-youngest of 18 children. He comes from a family rooted in the Basketball sport: his mother and father were both basketball players. Serge’s father played at the Republic of Congo with the Congolese national team, while his mother played for the Democratic Republic of Congo. His basketball devotion started at a very young age with his first club called Avenir du Rail. Continue reading

Lupita Nyong'o. Author: gdcgraphics

African of the Week: Lupita Nyong’o

If you have not yet heard of her, shame on you; you are unplugged from the rest of the world. Lupita Nyong’o has been lighting up the entertainment news lately and she has just started to warm up. The amazing 30 year old Kenyan-Mexican actress and film director has been captivating the media industry lately with her American film debut in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave as Patsey, for which she received critical acclaim.

Beautiful ( like most African ladies) and smartly elegant, she is poised to be the next Hottest Actress in Hollywood for this year and next. She’s been nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the upcoming  86th Academy Awards, which will take place March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. The show will be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

Quick Facts:

Born Lupita Amondi Nyong’o
March 1, 1983 (age 30)
Mexico City, Mexico
Ethnicity Luo
Citizenship Kenyan
Alma mater Yale School of Drama
Occupation Actress, film director
Years active 2004–present

Lupita won the Best Supporting Actress award last month at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards for her work in the film, 12 Years a Slave. Her next movie appearance will be in Liam Neeson’s upcoming film Non-Stop.

She’s building up momentum on her career and we wish her all the best. Words of advise to our new African pearl: Don’t do Drugs and Keep Shining!

Nelson Mandela: 1918 - 2013

Farewell Nelson Mandela – [1918 - 2013 ]

Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95, today December 5, 2013 in South Africa. Words can’t express how much his life has changed the lives of not only South Africans, but all Africans all over the world. Today we do not mourn, but we celebrate his achievements and contributions to Africa and Africans, and the rest of the world.

Nelson Mandela spent almost three decades in prison, fighting against racism. Mandela spent his life fighting to bring down apartheid in a peaceful manner, avoiding a civil war. What he achieved at the end was more than anyone could have ever expected, bringing political emancipation in South Africa. He later became the first black South African president in 1994. Africa has still yet to find another leader to come close to what Mandela has accomplished.

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US President Barack Obama said “Today he’s gone home, and we’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth.”

Yes, Mandela touched the world and showed us all that there is still hope for Africa. As we celebrate his achievement today, we pray that the rest of Africa leadership take positive actions towards the development of their countries and Africa in overall. They had a role model to talk to; Nelson Mandela. He may be gone, but his works remain with us to study, learn, and apply. Farewell Nelson Mandela. Africa will miss you dearly.

 

 

Tokunbo Kujore

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MISS NIGERIA IN AMERICA 2012 TOKUNBO KUJORE

Tokunbo Kujore

Tokunbo Kujore


Ms. Tokunbo Kujore of Los Angeles, California was crowned the 2012 Miss Nigeria in America on Saturday, September 1, 2012 adding her to a lineage of Nigerian American women who have served as ambassadors of empowerment for African women in the Diaspora. The following is an exclusive interview with this talented, intellectual and very beautiful lady. Continue reading

Yonas Michael

ETHIOPIAN SINGER/RAPPER YONAS MICHAEL PREPARES FOR NEW RELEASE

Yonas Michael

Yonas Michael


[tab name="Page 1"]It’s common knowledge that the cornerstone of great art is freedom of expression. An unimpeded autonomy to use any and every medium to flex one’s creative intuition. Yet even when that autonomy is perceivably impeded, the great artists of our time have defiantly traversed those hurdles, irrespective of rules and convention, unabashedly marching to the beat of their own drum. Continue reading

Lira

Exclusive Interview with LIRA

Lira

Lira

Over the past few years – buoyed by multi-platinum sales of her two studio albums and live DVD, a mantlepiece full of awards and support of fans – Lira has made no secret of her desire to find a global audience for her music.
The following is an exclusive interview with this fast rising African diva about her life and profession. Read about her now, because we guarrantee you will hear about her in the American music charts very soon as she tackles the world; Brace yourself America, for another powerful African sista! Continue reading

Katia Cadet

Exclusive interview – Katia Cadet

Exclusive interview with Katia Cadet

AM: Thank you Katia for taking the time to chat with ADUNAGOW Magazine and its
worldwide readers.

AM: For those who don’t know you yet, can you present yourself?
KC: My full and real name is Katia Cadet, and I’ve also performed music under the alias “Baby Kat”. I am a singer-songwriter, vocal producer, vocal coach, philanthropist, businesswoman, and I have a great passion for fashion. I was born in Haiti, grew up in Montreal, and today I am between Montreal and New York.

AM: How many languages do you speak? Which ones?
KC: I speak French, English and Creole and I dabble in Spanish and Italian, dabble… I love languages, if I could and devoted myself to it, I’d make it my business to know them all.

AM: Something about you that people will never guess?
KC: I have the bad habit of fixing things like picture frames, mirrors, flyers or cards in public establishments like the bank for example, or even someone’s home, so they can be neat and perfectly straight. I certainly have a degree of OCD.

AM: When you’re not working, what are your favorite things to do?
KC: I read, listen to music, workout, watch movies, and spend time with my family.

[YOUR MUSIC]
AM: When did you start singing? What captivated you to becoming a performing
artist?
KC: I don’t remember a time that I didn’t, put it that way. I was compelled to perform because I felt I had something different to offer, that there was a lot of me I wanted to share and besides writing, this powerful connection between an audience and an artist, I wanted to discover for myself. I did and I’m hooked!!

AM: What’s the first song you ever remember hearing that made you want to become a singer?
KC: “The greatest love of all” by Whitney Houston, might not have been the first, I really can’t remember that exactly, but this is one that had a great impact on me.

AM: Can you tell us about your breakthrough to the music moment? When and where did it happen?
KC: It’s hard to say that one thing made it happen, I really believe that a series of near perfect and consecutive events occurred which led to a few unexpected and quite amazing things. One of them being meeting Wyclef Jean and co-writing the hit tune 911 which would lead to my first Grammy nomination. Another big one was getting signed to my current label Heavytone Records, I believe I’m finally home. I guess you can call it destiny.

AM: What style of music do you prefer most and why?
KC: You will never get only one genre out of me, this is where I get greedy, I love all music, really I do , all!!

AM: You’ve worked with a lot of stars musicians. Tells us which ones were
memorable to you?
KC: When you get to work with the best of the best, it all becomes memorable, many of those collaborations have surpassed my dreams. But performing with Whitney Houston at the David Letterman show, performing with Stevie Wonder and Mary J. Blige at the Carnegie Hall, and working on what would have been Michael Jackson’s last album would have to be it.

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AM: Can you tell us what artists have influenced you most in your career?
KC: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Bob Marley, Ella Fitzgerald, oh Lord so many!!

AM: What can you tell us about your upcoming studio album “BOUNDLESS”? What do you portray in this title? When is it coming out?
KC: “Boundless” really is a culmination of my life experiences, musical influences, and a real love for music and my roots. It’s an album that honors and celebrates Afro-Caribbean Rhythms with a commercial Pop/R&B twist. The inspiration for the concept of “Boundless” stems partly from not wanting to be put in a box as an artist, and it also speaks to the endless human potential, why set limits, boundaries, why? I applied that notion musically all the way. My diverse influences and versatility allow me to write and perform a wide range of styles. I never wanted to again, “limit” myself to just one genre, one language, or one style, I am multi-dimensional and I wanted for my fans to have a complete view of me from the very start. On my album you’ll find sounds of Reggae, Dance Hall, Soca-Dance, Zouk, Kompa and Coupé Décalé all with a strong R&B edge, in French, English, Creole, Italian and Portuguese. It has no barriers, no limit, there’s something for everyone. It’s Pop Urban World if you must put it in a category, it’s simply “Boundless”. I will be proud to introduce my first album to you this coming summer.

AM: I listened to your single “With you.” It’s phenomenal. Should we expect more of this style and more on your upcoming album?
KC: Thank you so much. Expect nothing, but expect everything!!

Katia Cadet

AM: Is your family musical?
KC: My mom has always sung around the house and most likely would have had a career as a singer or as an actress, if it wasn’t for our big family. And my dad is a singer-songwriter and musician, my siblings are big music lovers, just not performers.

AM: Do you get nervous before a performance?
KC: I was crippled the first time, or the first few times I stepped on stage, it was horrifying!!! I thought I might not have been made for it. Now I get the healthy normal jitters, and I use it for fuel.

AM: What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
KC: Preparation is everything!! Be a great student of music, learn your instrument, it does wonders for your confidence. It is hard work and resilience that will get you there.

AM: What do you like most about your profession?
KC: Performing, writing!! It’s my therapy, I get to have the best outlet to express my inner most intimate thoughts, it’s a beautiful thing. To do what you love and be able to make a living with it is incredible, it does not get any better that.

AM: What do you like least?
KC: The financial uncertainty that comes with it at times… It’s hard to predict like big waves that take time to get use to riding, it’s up and down…

AM: How has becoming an artist changed your life? How have you changed?
KC: I have simply not, I’m still the down to earth, head on my shoulders, hard-working girl I always was.

AM: What are you listening to lately?
KC: Who can avoid Adele? But seriously, world music takes the cake these days…

AM: What song of yours are you most proud of? Why?
KC: “Lan mo devan’m” because it is purely from my heart and it brought together some of the most talented musicians I’d been waiting & wanting to work with for a long time. Anthony Cedras (co-writer, keys, guitar, horn, voice), Manny Laine (drums), Robert Aarron (keys, horn), Paulo Coelho (guitar), Ramon Bruiyn (bass), Tiga Jean-Baptiste (conga). They along with Majestic studios, all gave their hearts and donated their time to produce this song benefiting Haiti after the devastating January 12th 2010 earthquake. It’s a very meaningful song to me.

AM: Are there any songs you’ve done that you wish you hadn’t?
KC: No.

AM: Do you censor yourself? Have you ever written anything and then decided it was “too much?”
KC: No.

AM: What would you be doing if you weren’t a musician?
KC: I’d be in fashion, I’d paint, I’d run some business.

AM: Other than people you’re with now, if you could get any musician, living or dead, who would be in your “Dream Band?”
KC: Sade’s band & Kassav’s band.

AM: You look gorgeous for a singer. Have you ever been approached from someone in the Film business?
KC: Thank you. I’ve actually have, but my focus is music, for now…

AM: Will you consider a career in acting if you had a chance?
KC: Not a full on career but I’d like it if the role was perfect for me.

Katia Cadet

[ABOUT AFRICA]
AM: In your opinion, what’s the number one issue to deal with in Africa? What’s your take (solution) on it?
KC: The AIDS pandemic which Kill millions of people and orphans, and gender based crimes that are committed. Educating the masses with more grass roots based projects to reach more of the population and providing adequate health services.

AM: About Africa: what will you keep? What will you change?
KC: I would keep the traditions and values and might want to change certain mentally on various issues through education.

AM: Have you ever visited Africa? If so, where?
KC: Not yet, but I’m really looking forward to it.

AM: What’s your favorite summer vacation?
KC: Great South African friend of mine, and co-writer Anthony Cedras which also happens to be Paul Simon’s Musical director told, me that I had to visit Cape town, South Africa. It’s on my to do list.

AM: What do you think of African music? Dance? Food?
KC: Love it, love it, I’ve yet to discover the variety!!!

[THE MIC IS YOURS]
AM: Looking at who you’ve become now, how much do you have before you become who you want to be? Or, are you there already?
KC: I don’t believe that I’ve peeked, it is a journey that keeps unfolding and I’m all in for the ride.

AM: What will you say to your younger self if you could go back in time?
KC: You should take yourself more seriously, have more discipline, and stop procrastinating.

AM: How hard do you push yourself?
KC: Today, I charge like a bull.

AM: When are you completely satisfied with your work?
KC: Never.

AM: What’s the magic formula for success?
KC: Keep writing, keep releasing your music, it does no good if kept in your head, or in your computer, you have to get it out there, it serves no purpose if not shared, the rest takes care of itself.

AM: Any words of wisdom for all our aspiring singers out there?
KC: As I mentioned previously, hark work and resilience are key. Believe in yourself and do not hesitate to pursue your dreams. Dream big, the bigger the dream the better!!! Make sure you are well studied and prepared, and do not let anything or anyone get in your way or discourage you. You can make anything into a profession, if you love it and work hard, you’ll be successful at it and that’s no lie. But be smart, cover your bases, make sure you have something to fall back on.

More on Katia:
bookings@katiacadet.com
www.katiacadet.com
www.facebook.com/katiacadet
www.twitter.com/katiacadet

Thank you Katia for taking the time to chat with us. We wish you plenty of success and wisdom in your career.

Claret Onukogu

Exclusive Interview with Claret Onukogu

Claret Onukogu Exclusive Interview

Claret Onukogu talks about her debut in Nollywood in this exclusive interview with ADUNAGOW Magazine.

AM: Thank you Claret for taking the time to chat with ADUNAGOW Magazine and its worldwide readers. This is your second time to appear in our Magazine.
Claret: Yes. Thanks for the opportunity.

AM: How have you been since the last time we met you (MNIA 2009)?
Claret: I have been doing wonderful and blessed with the favor of God.

AM: Tell us what you have been working on lately?
Claret: I have been working on my PhD in Epidemiology; I have also been taking some classes for film production and screenplay writing. I will like to venture into the production aspect of entertainment, particularly filmmaking. Humanitarian work is still a priority in my life regardless of how busy my schedule might be; I create time to do charity work. I am currently shooting a program in the U.S that will be shown on Nigerian television networks.

AM: Awesome. We hear that you are now an actress in Nollywood? is that true?
Claret: Yes, that is correct.

AM: So, do you live in Nigeria now? Or are you still in the States?
Claret: I still reside in the United States, but I visit Nigeria occasionally.

AM: Tell us about your first time acting in Nollywood? How was it?
Claret: My first acting experience in Nollywood was exciting and intriguing. I did not know what to expect but the producers, directors and my colleagues were very supportive and nice. It was a rewarding and wonderful experience. It was swift and almost unbelievable how I was able to accomplish so much as a newcomer in the industry in a year. I had the opportunity to work with veteran producers, directors and actors who I used to watch on television and in movies as a child. I was elated. My acting experience was vast in areas such as soap opera, cinema (big screen), home videos, and even co-hosting a music show on television. My dreams came alive.

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AM: So, what do you like most about your new profession?
Claret: I like being able to portray different characters that are from various backgrounds and age groups. Assuming the role of a character and bringing it to life is a great feeling especially when it is done well and people appreciate my work; having the privilege to work with veterans as well as very talented new actors, actresses, directors and producers in Nollywood was wonderful and now that I am back in the United States, I miss the industry and my colleagues.

AM: So, what do you like least?
I did not like dismissing work late at night especially considering the security issues in some parts of Nigeria.

AM: How has becoming an actress changed your life? How have you changed?
Claret: I had mainly theatrical experiences before venturing into the mainstream media in Nollywood. Now, I am able to add professional acting experiences beyond theatre on my resume. Acting fulfills the urge in me to exercise my talent in the most useful way. It has always been a part of me since childhood but I wanted to extend my education to at least the graduate level before I professionally pursue an acting career. Acting is “Destiny Fulfilled” for me. When I get on set, I feel like I am having fun and getting paid. It is an amazing feeling when I wake up in the morning and actually look forward to heading to locations to work. When I am not working, I miss being on set.

AM: How much do you draw on your own experience when you act?
Claret: Many times I do because acting comes from a place of truth so it becomes easier to display certain emotions while portraying a character.

AM: What are you watching as far as movies lately?
Claret: I have been watching lots of Meryl Streep’s movies lately. I admire her ability to gracefully and effortlessly portray her characters.

AM: What was your first impression when you went back to Nigeria?
Claret: I was very excited to be home especially considering the fact that I received so much love, support and attention from individuals inside and outside Nollywood who really admired my courage to make an impact in the lives of the less fortunate and appreciated my talents and the work that I do. I had people, including queens from other countries, writing and encouraging me to continue the good work and despite my zeal to pursue an acting career and engage in humanitarian work, their support really boosted my energy level. I was particularly amazed at how Nollywood welcomed and believed in me because initially, before I became a part of the industry, there was a feeling of uncertainty in terms of acceptability, but everything worked out better than I ever expected. Thank God.

Claret Onukogu Exclusive Interview

AM: How is Nollywood now compared to Nollywood 5 years ago?
Claret: The industry is changing. Nollywood is now in cinemas and I happen to be one of the faces appearing on the big screen. Many producers are taking the risk to redefine and create new faces of Nollywood. There are young and talented actors and actresses on the rise. Some of the actors and actresses who have been in the industry for a while have ventured into filmmaking and most of them attend renowned schools to study the art and perfect their skills. I was very impressed at the work ethics and professionalism, talent, enthusiasm and educational backgrounds of some of the rising producers and directors that I was fortunate to work with; they were simply amazing and continue to search for ways to introduce new materials and reinvent the ones that are already in existence. I am definitely impressed at the frequency of growth of the industry.

 

THE MIC IS YOURS
AM: Tell us something about you that people will never guess?
Claret: I am family-oriental, spiritual, charismatic, focused, and very humble. Also, people are usually amazed that I am incredibly down to earth and have strong interpersonal skills.

AM: When you’re not working, what are your favorite things to do?
Claret: Considering the fact that I am usually busy, I like to spend time with my friends and family during my leisure time.

AM: Are you in any relationship at the moment? If not, why not?
Claret: Unfortunately, I cannot answer any question pertaining to my personal life at this time. I will rather keep it private.

AM: Fair enough. If you could star in a re-make of a classic film, who would you want to play?
Claret: The classic film will be “Cleopatra.” I would like to play Cleopatra because I think that it will be interesting to portray a woman who was an actual queen and made decisions that mattered in her country although she was in the midst of men.

AM: What work are you most proud of?
Claret: In terms of humanitarian work, I am proud of the work that I did in Nigeria during and after my reign as Miss Nigeria in America. I got involved with well-known charity organizations around the country such as motherless babies’ homes, homeless shelters for the destitute, and was actively involved with the World’s Aids Day 2010 event held in Benue State, Nigeria that was supported by the UNICEF. As an actress, I played a role as an “Abuja High Class Lady,” in her thirties named Cordelia in a Nigerian soap opera called “Secrets and Scandals.” She was a rich, single business lady and had much affluence in her community. She was also the leader of a high class women group and had the ability to manipulate people into doing what she wanted. They called her “Standard Mama.” The character was strong with so much power. There was a big contrast between “Standard Mama” and Claret. It was a supporting role that I played alongside an actor and actress that had been in Nollywood for more than a decade. It surprised me how much the director/producer of that particular production believed so much in my abilities that he gave me such a strong role. At the end of the day, I portrayed “Standard Mama” well and my efforts was recognized and appreciated.

Claret Onukogu Exclusive Interview

AM: What was your most challenging role? Why?
Claret: I don’t really have a most challenging role. Although I have been able to portray different characters well, most of the roles that I played so far have been challenging because they are all out of my character, but the first time I shot an intimate scene was a bit awkward for me because there were so many people in the room and it was my first time meeting that particular co-star who played my boyfriend/ husband in the movie and we had to shoot the bedroom scene immediately, but we played the scene very well.

AM: What will you say to your younger self if you could go back in time?
Claret: I would tell younger Claret “well done girl for carefully and strategically planning your future. Continue to put God first.”

AM: Any words of wisdom for our aspiring actresses out there?
Claret: Please ensure that you put God first because I held on to him tight and he did not disappoint me. Believe in yourself and your abilities because if you do not, it will show whether you are on stage or in front of the camera and welcome criticism. Always maintain a good and positive attitude toward the challenges that might come your way and to everyone even the individual with the least position on set because it will take you a long way. Talent and beauty are not enough in the entertainment world. Be principled, humble, respectful and pliable and maintain a good work ethic. Do not sacrifice your body for an acting role because chances are, it might become a cycle that you cannot break. Remember that people are always watching you on and off set.

AM: Thank you Claret for taking the time to chat with us. We wish you plenty of success and wisdom in your career.
Claret: Thanks

Naira

Exclusive Interview with NAIRA

NAIRA - Exclusive Interview on ADUNAGOW Magazine

Recording artist NAIRA blends love, pain, strength, and energy into one powerful punch with her FEARLESS style of music, self-coined Urban-Soul. Pulling from influences of blues, afro-pop, hip-hop and r&b, she is the pulse of everything urban. Her youthful and dynamic energy aligns with the mantra: “Be brave. Be Inspired. Be YOU… Be FEARLESS”.

AM: Thank you NAIRA for taking the time to chat with ADUNAGOW Magazine and its worldwide readers. For those who don’t know you yet, can you present yourself? (where are you from, where do you live and how long, and what do you do)
NAIRA: I am Nigerian American currently residing in Atlanta, GA and I am a recording artist, songwriter, and cinematographer.

AM: “NAIRA”: What’s the meaning of your name?
NAIRA: My name is an acronym that stands for “Nigerian American I Represent Africa”

AM: How many languages do you speak? Which ones?
NAIRA: I speak 3 languages – English of course, Yoruba and Spanish

AM: Something about you that people will never guess?
NAIRA: (Laughing) My favorite pair of shoes are Pokemon slippers.

AM: When you’re not working, what are your favorite things to do?
NAIRA: I love love love to read, bake, sleep! I’m always busy doing something so 10-12 hours of sleep is not always an option, but when I can its marathonesque. Me and my bed are in a long distance relationship!

YOUR MUSIC
AM: When did you start singing? What captivated you to becoming a performing artist?
NAIRA: My professional career or development stages started when I was a Sophomore in high school. I recorded my first songs on a bootleg tape deck in my room with the doors locked and my first real composition was on an old electric piano. There’s this feeling that you get when you create something that can move you and someone else simultaneously. That connection is electricity up and down your spine! That feeling is what captivated me and performing live set it all in motion.

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AM: Can you tell us about your breakthrough to the music moment? When and where did it happen?
NAIRA: Throughout my senior year in high school, I was on tour with an organized called ARCH Productions (Artists Raising the Conscious of Humanity). We performed for thousands of people including the Mayors and such. I felt my life was purposeful and my direction in the creative arts was set. Gbammm! I said, “This is what I wanna do mom and dad” and forward I went.

AM: What style of music do you prefer most and why?
NAIRA: I don’t have a preference. I just love great music. I grew up listening to music from almost every popular genre: fuji, pop, gospel, alternative rock, funk, jazz, hiphop, soul, afrojuju etc…

AM: Can you tell us what artists have influenced you most in your career?
NAIRA: Sade, Prince, Lauryn Hill, Fela Kuti, and Michael Jackson

NAIRA - Exclusive Interview on ADUNAGOW Magazine

AM: What can you tell us about your 3rd studio album “FEARLESS: The Art of Letting Go”? What do you portray in this title?
NAIRA: Its a very personal project… Every song is like a layer of clothing being removed off of me and when its completed I’ll be bare. Heart and mind exposed. Its about the process of channeling fear and transforming it into courage. The courage to dream, to create, to live, to love, and push past my current reality and make a new one based off my dreams.

AM: Is your family musical?
NAIRA: No, not exactly. My parents are big music lovers and initially I was the only one bit by the music bug, but now my sister has also been honing her skills as a producer and songwriter. She actually produced a song on the album titled “Naked”.

AM: Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?
NAIRA: Yes!

AM: What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
NAIRA: Remember that even if the crowd knows the words to your songs they’ve come to see you do it a bit differently. Use your that to your advantage and an opportunity to have fun. Before I hop on stage I try to tap into that feeling I got when I created the song so I can deliver it with that same passion.

AM: What do you like most about your profession?
NAIRA: I like being able to affect someone’s life positively and the creative process as well. Its like a new pair of wings.

AM: What do you like least?
NAIRA: The notion that you have to be exploited by someone in order to be successful. Success is a process. There are wins and also losses.

AM: How has becoming an artist changed your life? How have you changed?
NAIRA: I’ve always been an artist in some way, but as I’ve developed

AM: What are you listening to lately?
NAIRA: My current playlist consists of a mix of Iman Omari, J*Davey, Mickey Factz, Kanye West, Muhsinah, Ryan Leslie, Kendrick Lamar, Asa, Theophilus London and Naeto C.

AM: Are there any songs you’ve done that you wish you hadn’t?
NAIRA: No

NAIRA - Exclusive Interview on ADUNAGOW Magazine

YOUR AFRICA
AM: In your opinion, what’s the number one issue to deal with in Africa? What’s your take (solution) on it?
NAIRA: Corruption, because its so deeply rooted in the hearts of Africans at large the only solution is for the people to revolt. I think we’ve forgotten the power that we have when we you unite for a common cause. We did it almost 52 years ago…

AM: About Africa: what will you keep? What will you change?
NAIRA: Our culture is one of the most precious things we as Nigerians have. When our principles align with our intelligence, charisma and confidence anyone that’s met a Nigerian anywhere in the world has a lasting impression. I sound really arrogant hunh?! By far I’m not, but SEE! Gbam!! I’ve got your attention Hmmmm… Nigerians!

AM: Do you often visit the motherland?
NAIRA: Yes

AM: What’s your favorite summer vacation?
NAIRA: I’m usually working and travelling during the summer, but when I need to air out my head and rest I like visit family in California or Sharpsburg.

THE MIC IS YOURS
AM: How hard do you push yourself?
NAIRA: Sometimes too hard! When I’m passionate about something I go for hours and hours without sleep or food. Not quite the healthiest approach, but tell that to my heart! Its a perfectionist that goes hard for what she believes in.

AM: When are you completely satisfied with your work?
NAIRA: Its just a feeling of completion… Can’t quite explain it.

AM: What’s the magic formula for success?
NAIRA: When opportunity meets preparation.

AM: Any words of wisdom for all our aspiring singers out there?
NAIRA: Music and Entertainment are no stroll in the park. Dedicate and groom yourself for greatness in every way possible. A king/queen is very different from your average person. They’ve been groomed for the position to hold for a lifetime not a season. Your career is the same.

Thank you NAIRA for taking the time to chat with us. We wish you plenty of success and wisdom in your career.

MAR/APR 2012 Issue

ADUNAGOW Magazine: MAR/APR 2012 Issue

MAR/APR 2012 Issue of ADUNAGOW Magazine. Exclusive interview with Recording artist NAIRA. Also in this issue, the new South Africa’s Afro-Soul Queen Lira’s bio, and coverage of the upcoming Africa Movie Academy Awards 2012. Much more inside!

Find out more on MagCloud

Lira

South Africa’s Afro-Soul Queen Lira

Lira - ADUNAGOW Magazine

SONY MUSIC Africa recording artist LIRA is following in the footsteps of the legendary Miriam Makeba & Letta Mbulu, releasing four platinum albums and a triple platinum Live in Concert DVD making her one of South Africa’s highest selling acts – now the Afro-Soul vocalist makes her cinematic debut in the Antonio Falduto directed film, The Italian Consul and prepares a new live in concert DVD Lira: The Captured Tour filmed during her sold-out 2011 South Africa Tour.

(Los Angeles, CA – March 29, 2012) Elegant. Soulful. Radiant. Few words come close to describing the rich, silky sound of South Africa’s preeminent female vocalist of the 21st century, LIRA. Widely regarded as one of South Africa’s top adult contemporary artist, LIRA has racked up an impressive series of achievements since launching her musical career nearly a decade ago, blazing a trail of accomplishments that few artists in the history of the continent can lay claim to like releasing the first blu-ray, gracing the covers of an infinite number of fashion and lifestyle magazine and maintaining the largest Facebook following of any African born musician, with over 325,000 fans. Her flawless dossier boasts a multitude of accolades and nominations from South African Music Awards, MTV Africa Awards, Channel O Awards and MOBO Awards as well as Glamour Magazine South Africa’s “Woman of the Year” – all of which have left an indelible impression on Africa-at-large.

LIRA is already a beloved superstar in her homeland, where her first four albums and her first live DVD have achieved platinum and multi-platinum status. Now the charismatic songbird is ready to introduce new ears to her elegantly yet earthy Afro-soul fusion. “Within South Africa, I almost feel like I’ve done everything, I need to spread my wings and fly. I’m thirsty for it. I’m enthusiastic about it. I almost feel like I needed to take this long to get ready, to grow as a musician and a performer. Now I feel like I have something to offer.” In recent months, global media outlets have been taking notice, with Essence magazine naming LIRA one of “Five Unique Artists Set to Change Music” in its December 2011 issue.

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Reared on a steady diet of American soul luminaries LIRA’s music is a glowing testament to her immense growth, eschewing poignancy and despair for lyrics replete with hope, love, and a profound sense of interconnectedness. One listen to her music will confirm why LIRA has been enthusiastically embraced by audiences around the world. The multi-lingual young artist’s distinctive, effervescent song craft combines breezy melodicism, irresistible rhythmic drive and uplifting, personally-charged lyrics that allow such memorable tunes as “Feel Good,” “Believer,” “Ixesha” and “Hamba” —all of which have been hits in South Africa—to fulfill her goal of making music that’s “beautiful, uplifting, empowering and celebratory.”

LIRA’s music offers a persuasive testament to the human spirit’s ability to transcend in the face of obstacles and seemingly insurmountable odds, and her confident and vibrant, inspired performances bring the songs’ upbeat lyrical sentiments to life. While LIRA’s music reflects her abiding love for such seminal influences as Miriam Makeba, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone, and sits comfortably alongside the contemporary work of such performers as Sade, Maxwell and Lizz Wright, but LIRA’s singular voice and deeply personal perspective make her a one-of-a-kind recording artist, as well as a top-flight concert attraction – selling out venues across Africa and Europe.

During her recent sold out 2011 Captured Tour in South Africa, Lira filmed a live in concert production Lira: The Captured Tour. The release is expected to be an even larger success than her 2009 telecast Lira; Live a Celebration which was tuned in by nine million South Africans, subsequently the DVD and Africa’s first Blu-Ray went on to secure 3x multi-platinum certification becoming the country’s fastest and highest selling music videodisc, supplanting international diva Celine Dion’s reign at the top: Live in Las Vegas; A New Day.

MAR/APR 2012 Issue - ADUNAGOW Magazine

In May 2012, Lira makes her cinematic debut as the support lead in the Antonio Falduto directed drama, The Italian Consul (Il console italiano). The film premiered at the Taormina Film Festival in Italy where Lira became only the second African vocalist to grace the Teatro Del Greco stage since Miriam Makeba. The singer stars in a lead role opposite Italian actress Giuliana de Sio – as well as Edwin Angless and Anna Galiena, while the film centers around the trafficking of girls in Europe.

As part of a new cadre of African artists making waves stateside such as K’Naan, Nneka, and D’Banj, LIRA sees herself as an ambassador of the new Africa: a land where, despite a recent history filled with obstacles, a future brimming with infinite possibilities lies. LIRA feels that this pressure to thrive outside of convention has bred a unique brand of ingenuity that will propel her and her fellow artists to the world stage.

“We’re proud of being African, but there’s also a desire to be a part of the world. Part of the way we can raise the consciousness back home is when people see us rise on the world stage. We don’t do it for the individual, we do it for the entire group.”

LIRA has yet to take her eyes off one of the main objectives of her plan: to conquer the globe with Afro-soul; An urbane, sophisticated genre described as “a fusion of soul music, elements of jazz, funk, and African languages.” Now, after years of triumphant transcendence, prestigious accolades, and record-breaking milestones in her homeland, LIRA is poised to take the world by storm.

MAR/APR 2012 Issue - ADUNAGOW Magazine

About LIRA:

Growing up in the Daveyton township in Johannesburg’s East Rand, LIRA’s world was shaped by the harsh realities of South Africa’s formerly ubiquitous racial and socioeconomic arbiter: apartheid. However, the sociopolitical constraints leveled at her generation did little to inhibit the urbane aspirations and dampen their resilient spirit of transcendence.

“In South Africa, we became very integrated with not only other black cultures, but people of all backgrounds. This made us thirsty to integrate into the world. My generation was the first to break free of our mental limitations and physical boundaries and set ourselves free in a true sense. It celebrates the human spirit, which can never be caged completely. A person can put you in a cage and hurt you, but they can’t touch your spirit and your mind. It’s celebrating those freedoms.”

MAR/APR 2012 Issue - ADUNAGOW Magazine

In 2003 LIRA’s debut album All My Love earned the grand distinction of dethroning an international superstar from the top spot, the title track knocked Beyonce’s “Dangerously in Love” off the #1 position on South African charts, marking the first time in history a local song had been played as frequently. LIRA went on to release three more platinum selling albums including Feel Good (2006), Soul in Mind (2008) and Return to Love (2011) while the title track to her debut album “Feel Good” officially became the first music video from a South African artist featured on VH-1.

In 2010, LIRA demonstrated her international popularity with her movie debut, playing a prominent role in director Antonio Falduto’s The Italian Consulate. That summer, she joined Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas, Shakira, K’Naan and John Legend at the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert to perform a rousing rendition of Miriam Makeba’s crossover classic “Pata Pata.” Soon after, she was selected to perform as part of former South African president Nelson Mandela’s 92nd birthday celebration telecast. Her performance of the popular Labi Siffre anti-apartheid tune and Mandela favorite “(Something Inside) So Strong” with the Soweto Spiritual Singers proved to be one of the most stunning live vocal performances in her career to date.

LIRA has added brand ambassador to her impressive resume, with appearances in major ad campaigns by MAC cosmetics, Audi, Shield and Blackberry.

MAR/APR 2012 Issue

ADUNAGOW Magazine: MAR/APR 2012 Issue

MAR/APR 2012 Issue of ADUNAGOW Magazine. Exclusive interview with Recording artist NAIRA. Also in this issue, the new South Africa’s Afro-Soul Queen Lira’s bio, and coverage of the upcoming Africa Movie Academy Awards 2012. Much more inside!

Find out more on MagCloud

splash_vanny

Vanny Reis – Exclusive Interview

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Vanny Reis Exclusive Interview

Interview Exclusive with Miss West Africa International Beauty Pageant 2012 winner Vanny Reis. Only at ADUNAGOW Magazine.

AM: congratulations on winning the Miss West Africa International 2011

VR: Thank you.
AM: What do you want people to know about you?
VR: I´m Ivanilda Reis,also known as Vanny, someone Who Love living and all the good things that life as to offer. I love traveling, and sport. I´ve a degree in Physical Education. I´ve started to teach 10 and 15 years old kids. I´m enjoying the experience of teaching sports. I Love to travel. A place that amazed me a lot is Chapada Diamantina in Brasil; I like to be in touch with nature. I´m a workaholic and I early conquered my independence, living by myself. I Love my freedom.

AM: Wow. you’re quite a busy lady should we say?
VR: I don’t like doing nothing. I don’t like the big city rush, and run out exercise.

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AM: tell us about some of your past experience work in this business
VR: Well, I’m now Miss West África Internacional 2011. I was also Professional Model in TEAM Brasil until 2010, São Tomé e Príncipe Fashion Week, Angola Fashion Business 2010, Agencia Hits produções Model, Brasil 2008 Miss Sao Vicente 2004 and contestant in miss Cabo Verde and Top Model LG Cape Verde in 2003.

AM: Very impressive. How many brothers and sisters do you have?
VR: I have 2 brothers and 4 sisters

AM: Where are you from originally?
VR: I was born in Ribeira das Patas Porto Novo Santo Antão- Cape Verde.

AM: When you’re not working, what are your favorite things to do?
VR: I love being in my place, listening to good music, spending time with my friends and going to the gym.

AM: Currently, where is home? Where are you located presently?
VR: I presently live in Praia, Cape Verde’s capital city

AM: What are your favorite sports/hobby? Why?
VR: I Love Basketball. I’ve played it throughout college and also with the Cape Verde’s national team. I´ve always known people Who played basket and that’s why I can say that it’s the Sport that I Love. As far as hobbies: I Love going to the beach, walking
throughout the sand, and enjoying a sunny Day.



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Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day – The Day for Love

Happy Valentine's Day

HAPPY Valentine’s Day to all our readers. This is probably the only day where bad weather means nothing – we’re happy, and we’re planning on getting lots of loving. Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. Here are some fun facts about valentine’s day that you can tell your other significant ones and keep the day jolly.

Valentine’s Day Facts

  • Did you know that Mother’s day and valentine’s day are the two biggest occasions on which flowers are given?
  • Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine.
  • In Finland Valentine’s Day is called Ystävänpäivä which translates into “Friend’s day”. So, you can celebrate Valentine’s day with your pals and not feel odd receiving gifts for them either.
  • In some Latin American countries Valentine’s Day is known as “Día del Amor y la Amistad” (Day of Love and Friendship).

Valentine’s Day Cards

  • Every year around 1 billion Valentine cards are sent across. I’m guilty of one of them myself. But, still, Valentine’s day card sales comes after Christmas as the single largest seasonal card-sending occasion. Women loves cards.
  • Did you know that Teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards? Amazing; our kids love their teachers, and they love themselves too. Children between ages 6 to 10 exchange more than 650 million Valentine’s cards with teachers, classmates, and fagmily members.

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Valentine Flowers/Roses

  • 73% of people who buy Valentine’s Day flowers are men, while only 27 percent are women.
  • A single perfect red rose is the preferred choice for most for giving on Valentine’s Day, anniversaries and birthdays.
  • The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. The color red stands for strong romantic feelings making the red rose the flower of love.

Cupid

  • Cupid is a symbol of Valentine’s Day. Cupid was associated with Valentine’s Day because he was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid often appears on Valentine cards and gift tokens holding a bow and arrows as he is believed to use magical arrows to arouse feelings of love.

Valentine’s day and Africa

  • Valentine’s Day in South Africa is celebrated with great passion and enthusiasm. The day is celebrated on 14th February every year. The craze and verve for the festival is like any other festival in South Africa. The geographical location of the country has made it one of the most romantic destinations. Thousands of tourists get attracted towards the beauty of the place when it comes to celebrate the festival of love.
  • More than 70% of all cocoa beans are grown on African soil, so your Valentine chocolates are likely to have originated in Africa.Around 800 million flowers will be making their way from Kenya’s Lake Naivasha region to markets throughout Europe for the Valentine’s day rush. Flowers are Kenya’s biggest export earner, and growers employ more than 70,000 people.


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