A few cool voices

By Obinna Abanah

The event was titled The Train and was only available on a Wednesday. There was only one terminus; just at the atrium of Silverbird Galleria, which is located in the central area of town. The ride usually commenced at seven PM every Wednesday and the anchor, Aisha, did not practice African Time. You could be a passer-by and get hooked on the ride or you could be there with an intention to enjoy the journey. How you turned up didn’t matter, what mattered is that you are young at heart and ready to mingle with the party. You could catch the ride in your work wear or you could show up in your casuals depending on your schedule, that was your prerogative. The menu was rich and the schedule usually thick. You couldn’t afford to be late as the ride usually slowed down three hours to midnight. It could all be over by 10pm and all you would get at that time would be the cheery faces of the last passengers as their voices echoed the memorable songs and jokes of the ride into night. Beautiful Aisha was the host and co-founding member of The Train. She anchored the event and also assisted in artist grooming and decision-making. Aisha is an entrepreneur by profession and promotes artists through her initiative called “The Art Recognition Concept”. She aspires to “change the lives of talented creatives” and was on the road to achieving that dream through her involvement with The Train and its partnering members. Meet some of the artistes that made The Train a hit at the Galleria.

Many artistes have been featured at this weekly event but we can only talk about some of the very best who have staged remarkable renditions of good music worthy of your time. One of them is Bamike Olawunmi from Ogun state. Bammy Bestowed as she is known on stage got into music “since I was 8years old” and has developed into a disciple of soft rock, afrobeat, gospel and jazz.

Yemi Alade, Fela, Omawunmi, Bethel music, Jesus Culture, Hillsongs and Adele are just a handful of the acts that have inspired her brand of music. In her opinion of The Train by Silverbird “It’s a great platform for artistes to express themselves, and I see them going places. They are a huge inspiration and Abuja will be thankful the founder ran with the vision, because they are going to take Abuja artistes global at the rate they are going. I am glad and deeply grateful for the train. Bammy can be reached on Twitter @bankysmiles.

ISEWEDE IKHIDE DAVIDI is from Edo state and his stage name is DACON. He has been into stand-up comedy for five years. Highly inspired by the international comedy act Kevin Hart, the guy just knows how to make people laugh and laugh out loud even with his mean demeanour. In his opinion, “The Train has really been an inspiration to many artistes and also a success story and am glad to be part of it. Few years from now I see the train as one of the biggest shows in Nigeria not just in Nigeria but in the world. When other artistes will be trying to be part of it by then I will already be a shareholder collecting my pension!! The train we are ready oya carry us to our destination”. You can catch more of his jokes on Facebook @ DACON D COMEDIAN.

Rap is still hot as acts like SOLOMON ABBAS can testify to. This lyrical prodigy from NASSARAWA STATE, who was born and raised in Jos call himself SOLEX. He’s been eight years dropping bars and he says he is an apostle of HIP HOP. He says he is inspired by ICE PRINCE (of course!) and KENDRICK LAMER. “They get me ınspıred anytıme I lısten to them. The Traın ıs a wonderful place to be and The Traın has gıven me more than privilege to express and show up myself to the world and am so grateful to almıghty God. Shower me blessıngs and dırect me to the traın. Glory be to God. Thanks and bıg up to my fans.” Catch Solex on Whatsapp on 08168738752

This one is a special act, Yoyo Ovi, from Delta State. Uyoyou Ovririe has been cutting her teeth with Alternative Rock in the last one year following motivation coming from acts like Pink, Taylor Swift and if we may add, Lady Gaga! She doesn’t talk too much but gives you enough for the eyes to feed on. “The Train is a super amazing entertainment showcase platform for all arts. It’s been a Life changing experience for me.” Gbam! Catch Ovririe on Instagram- @yoyo_ovi and you never know what could happen next!  


Top Rwandan model Alexia Mupende murdered

A prominent model and actress, Alexia Mupende, 35, was killed last month at her father’s home in Nyarugunga Sector, Kicukiro District.

Her sudden death first circulated on social media with a message calling on members of the public to help arrest her alleged killer, a 23-year old domestic worker who worked at their home. Mupende was the General Manager of Waka Fitness, a popular fitness centre in Kigali. Preliminary reports showed that Mupende succumbed to her injuries following stabbing by the domestic worker. It also emerged that Mupende was set to get married this month and her wedding invitations had been released.

She will be remembered for, among other things, showcasing Rwanda’s clothing brands on the international scene. As part of the Mashirika Performing Arts Group, Mupende entertained audiences across the country and beyond and was part of the entourage that recently travelled to India and Sri Lanka for performances themed around humanity.

On January 3, Mupende, tweeted her intentions of “growing closer to God” this year in response to renowned American gospel singer Don Moen’s question to his followers, “What you are praying for and working towards in 2019?” Born in Nairobi in 1984, Mupende did her formative education in Kenya and graduated from Mount Kenya University (MKU) with a Business Information and Technology (BBIT) degree.

“I am Rwandan. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya but fortunately I was able to return back home,” she told rwandaclothing. Standing at 5’10,” Mupende bagged Miss Junior crown three times and Miss Intermediate twice. She was the first Rwandan model to grace the Africa Fashion Show Geneva (AFSG) in 2015 during the competition’s third edition.


Taekwondo is cool: Pascal

By Emmanuel Abanah 

Taekwondo is actually a cool sport; o yes it makes you cool, I mean cool headed and disciplined. When you apply those two attributes to other things you do success is bound to come after you. That’s exactly the story of Mr. Pascal Emeka Amadi who attained the rank of black belt before he lost interest in Taekwondo and directed all that he learnt from the sport towards his technical trade which is Cooling Technology. Pascal specializes in refrigeration and air conditioning in particular. He has been trained by several professional organisations both in Nigeria and abroad with several years of practice in both industrial and residential cooling technology. This interesting chap with a knack for a good job happens to be married to another Taekwondo gold medalist while his daughter has won medals in Taekwondo as well.

“I started training taekwondo after I married my wife” says Pascal with a wry smile as he spoke to GG.           “I started Taekwondo after marrying my wife and not for ranking” he repeats. However, he eventually attained the pinnacle of Taekwondo ranking, the black belt, before his interest began to wane due to his increasingly busy schedule as a cooling technologist. The young man has made quite a contact list for himself since going major with his cooing technology business. Hotels, restaurants, estates, blue chip individuals are among clients who entrust him with planning, installations, servicing and repairs of their industrial and residential refrigeration and air conditioning appliances.

According to Pascal, as the Harmathan is here, “the advice I have for the people regarding their cooling systems is that they should try and service their cooling system every three months and also use power surge protectors like AVS and Stabilizer. People should also learn to shut down all their cooling systems when going out”. He does not mean you should shut down your refrigerator though, except it is empty or you will be away for a long while.  

Pascal is happily married “to Mrs. Amadi Chiamaka Onumonu and with two children which one of them is the number one in her weight category in Nigeria”. Wow, the guy has got some gems at home. His daughter won a gold medal at the just concluded National Sports Festival and his wife did the same representing Rivers state at the annual national games. If not for Taekwondo probably Pascal and Amaka would never have met each other. “Yes I meet her doing Taekwondo” Pascal quipped when asked about how they met. And thinking about the fact that two fighters live together makes one to imagine if they sometimes fight each other or not. “No! Taekwondo makes us a disciplined couple” Emeka emphasizes as GG enquired.

Tell us about your children do they also fight Taekwondo, GG asked. “Yes, one of my children does Taekwondo named Okoko Chidinma Helen. She has even won a medal for Nigeria at the Junior All Africa Games held recently.” According to Pascal, some of the common errors people make with their Air Conditioners and Refrigerators “is the use of bad gas and bad servicing which reduces the lifespan of these appliances”.