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Grand Oak partners PMAN in celebrating Nigeria’s 55th independence anniversary


Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), in conjunction with Grand Oak Limited, producers of Calypso Liquor, Swagga Gin, new product, Black Mystique Whiskey, was launched into the local bar at Quilux Nite Club, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Thursday, October 1, 2015.

It was in celebration of Nigeria’s 55th independence anniversary. The colourful event attracted both old and new skool generation of entertainers across the country. More than 25 artistes performed at the show held at Freedom Park, venue of the event. The after party held at Quilux Nite Club, Victoria Island, Lagos. It was a full house.

ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with the president of PMAN, Pretty Okafor, category Manager, Grand Oak (Black Mystique Whiskey), Yinka Amuwo and Brand Manager, Grand Oak, Jacob Akaada.


Pretty Okafor, PMAN President

What informed this partnership?

Pretty Okafor

Pretty Okafor

We brought this event together so that we could establish a corporation, merging the young and old together. For like 12 years, there have been protracted crises, where everybody was doing his or her own individual thing.

So, when we came on board, we had different ideas, this is like the eighth events in nine months so that every artiste would have a platform to express himself.

How much support and interest have the other artistes shown in this event?

Many of the artistes are in support, from old to young musicians, from MI, 2Face, Patoranking, they were never part of the organization until we took over. What we did was to create a platform on which the artistes would operate. If they allow the association die, they would be fighting on their own. So, we put an enabling structure on ground for the new association to be successful.

Would you say all artistes are on board with the new PMAN now?

Yes, all the artistes are on board because we have an attractive structure and platform to operate and now they call us new PMAN because of our new initiative.

Now let’s look at the new PMAN, what is the new thing you are bringing on board different from what old PMAN used to do that did not work for them?

Structure, they never had a structure in the system. Now, we have introduced biometric system where you register as PMAN member and you are entitled to welfare, medical insurance and pension insurance. We are not asking the artistes to contribute, the union contribute for all musicians once you are registered.

When you register, you have a network which PMAN has purchase under the watchful eye of Central Bank. This is to prove that we have other alternative resources government is talking about.

How much support and interest have you gotten from private sector?

It is mind blowing. With the help of Microsoft, banks and now Calypso from Grand Oak, it is mind blowing.

Why the choice of October 1 and Freedom Park as venue?

Because today is our independence anniversary day. And Freedom Park is a historical site where heroes were locked up to discuss independence.


Yinka Amuwo, Category Manager, Grand Oak

What informed this initiative?

Yinka Amuwo

Yinka Amuwo

The initiative is from the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) in collaboration with Lagos Music Urban Festival on October 1, at Freedom Park. Top of today’s event is the performance of many artistes that are coming today just to celebrate Nigeria’s independence anniversary and it promises to be fun.

When we are talking about fun in Nigeria, Calypso is a brand of liquor that is appropriately called the spirit of fun.

What was the reason for supporting this event, even on a short notice?

Yes, indeed, it was on a short notice but considering the number of artistes that are going to perform, Sir Shina Peters, Ras Kimono, MI, 2Face and Olamide, etc. you will agree with me that it’s worth it/

Why the choice of today?

Today is our independence anniversary day, enjoying freedom given to us 55 years ago, and to put a lot of fun together. And do not forget we are launching a brand new product called Black Mystique Whiskey.


Jacob Akaade, Brand Manager, Black Mystique Whiskey

Can we meet you?

Jacob Akaade

Jacob Akaade

My name is Jacob Akaade, the Brand Manager of Lord Dry Gin and Black Mystique Whiskey, the new guy in town. We are here this evening to expose the brand to the target audience. This is the first time officially we are doing activation, sampling in the bar.

Whiskey has good potential in the market. We formulated our own blend with the finest Premium Black Mystique Whiskey. Consumers that have tasted this brand have given us feedback that it is number one. In no distant time, we would be a market leader because the brand will stand the test of time.

Apart from what you mentioned, what makes this brand outshine the others?

We have designed our own brand in such a way that it outshines the other brands. We have taken note of the strength and weakness of our competitors and that has given us confidence that we would overtake the market.

What are your plans to dominate the market?

First, we have given our consumers a very good taste and aroma and we promise to be consistent. We are still going to place this brand in the face of our consumers. There will be adverts, jingles on radio, adverts on TV stations even at consumption points and open markets.


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