The already over-crowded awards closet of the Akpabio family will have a newer addition soonest. This time around, it is the Peace Ambassador Agency that will be honouring Chief (Mrs.) Ekaete Unoma Akpabio, the first lady of Akwa Ibom State with ‘The Woman of the Year Award’ as she marks her 43rd birthday on June 9, 2014.
Fondly called Mother Teresa by her admirers and followers, she has been an ‘uncommon pillar’ and a supportive partner to the administration of the husband, Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio. Her NGO (Family Life Enhancement Initiative) has embarked on several domestic projects that have impacted on the lives of women and youths.
From the office of Ambassador Kingsley Amafibe, the Executive Director of the Peace Ambassador Agency, we learnt that Akwa Ibom State has been chosen as the host for the centenary edition of Nigeria’s most peace-driven pageantry, the Miss Ambassador for Peace Nigeria and its infusion, the Peace Ambassador Achievers Awards.
Lest we forget, last week at a very colourful ceremony held at the Sheraton Hotels, Abuja, the reigning 2013 Miss Ambassador for Peace Nigeria, Queen Irene Onwuka unveiled her book The Young Emeralds to the public.
WHEN REGINA ASKIA BREEZED INTO TOWN
Pioneer and erstwhile major Nollywood player and, of course, former most beautiful girl in Nigeria, Regina Askia Williams (nee Usoro) was in Nigeria two weeks back. She has since returned to the US where she lives with her family.
The former beauty queen and actress was invited by the AKS Governors’ Office to be a part of the Diaspora Unity Team 2014, that attended a memorial service in honour of the innocents accused as saboteurs by their kinsmen, tortured and slain in the civil war aftermath as well as tour and make a critical appraisal of the “uncommon transformation projects” in the state.
A source said she was penciled down for the tour based on the fact that as a famous AKS daughter, she through her work with Africanviews.com, a radio program on community health services, has brought recognition and pride to the state.
Highlights of the tour were the tours, lectures, interviews and an after-event dinner at the State House. On the last day, because of the inability of the Governor to interact with them due to his busy schedule, they were whisked from Uyo to Abuja on board Arik Air to meet with him at the Governors Lodge in Abuja.
But her problem was that her flight back to New York City on board Delta Airlines to JFK via Atlanta was billed for 9:15pm same day, just some six hours away. And she never allowed the opportunity to meet with the Governor pass up.
We learnt that at the meeting with Governor Akpabio was Mr. Roland Chagoury, billionaire businessman and titan of industry. Our source volunteered that it was Chagoury who bailed her out. On the governor’s request, he offered her a ride on his private jet into Lagos to catch up her NYC-bound journey on Delta Airlines.
While at home, she also had time with her family members who warned her to be mindful of her utterances concerning the governor’s senatorial aspirations after his tenure in 2015. The position is zoned to the Abak 5 area where she is a constituent. And the Askia Usoro Family which has never been involved in political activities is scared that she might be used as a pawn in the game through her position being misread as an endorsement.
A University of Calabar graduate who also holds a second degree from the University of Lagos, Askia on relocation to Uncle Sam’s country studied Nursing at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York, and as a registered nurse now works at the Oncology Department of the New York City Hospital.
BETWEEEN APOSTLE CHIBUZOR CHINYERE, OPM AND FREE SCHOOL
That Port Harcourt-based-Omega Power Ministries (OPM) and its General Overseer, Apostle (Dr.) Chibuzor Gift Chinyere, is running a tuition-free school Omega Power Ministries (OPM) Free Nursery and Primary School, is no longer news. The progress that the school has made in so short a time is now an item of most discussions in the Garden City.
And last Monday, history was made as the school held its first inter house sports competition. The event brought together all of the ministries’ free schools located at Ohanku in Abia State, Eleme, Etche and the headquarters branch which is sited within the complex.
At the end of the keenly-contested events, yellow-uniformed Ivory House emerged overall best with cumulative points of 41. They were closely followed by Silver House which donned pink tops on red shorts, with 38 points while red-shirted Diamond House ran away with 37 points to place 3rd.
And for the GO, his joy knew no bounds as he was all smiles, hugging and shaking hands with the future sporting champions, many of whom are as little as 3 years of age. Some of the events competed for included match past, filling the bottle, filling the basket and 100 meters race.
It was equally comic relief as parents were called up to compete in an inter-parents race. Although the event moderator, Deacon Isaiah Gogo-Ogute declared all participants tied in ‘first position’, they had some mothers who kissed the sandy pitch to the amusement of the spectators, before hitting the finish line. The competition, we heard, was solely funded by the church including the kitting of the over 400 child athletes.
We have it on good authority that OPM has resolved to replicate the gesture of free schooling in all the LGAs of the country. OPM free schools are open to members and non-members alike.
Over the years, the GO has grown to become a hardline campaigner against men of God who use church offerings and tithes to enrich themselves, buy jets and build schools that the members would not afford to send their children.
NOMINEES FOR PARADISE MUSIC AWARDS ANNOUNCED
The list of nominees for the 2014 edition of Paradise Music Awards, the hottest entertainment event in the tourism-state of Cross River, has been released. And guess who and who made the list?
The list of nominees is quite long and caters for Album of the Year; Singles of the Year; Music Producer of the Year; Music Video of the Year; New Discovery of the Year; Female Artiste of the Year; Most Promising Act of the Year; Gospel Artiste of the Year; Best Collabo of the Year; Best Reggae Artiste of the Year; Best DJ of the Year; Best Rap Artiste of the Year; Best Lyricist/Songwriter of the Year.
Cross River has been at the forefront of the musical scene over the years and has consistently produced amazing talents, from Inyang Nta Henshaw, Kingsley Burstic Bassey, Peter Effiom to Blacky, Feladey, Sunny Neji and more recently Iyanya to mention but a few.
These awards, organizers say, recognize the abundance of wonderful music coming out of the state, as well as those (producers, studio and sound engineers) who make these performances happen. And voting has already started. There are also provisions for Lifetime Achievement and Merit Awards The mission according to the managers of the awards is to create an enabling music environment where creativity is revered and properly remunerated. To also contribute to the overall development of vulnerable youths in the society through talent discovery and development programmes.
T-CROSS RELEASES ‘LET’S GO TO BRAZIL’
It is the latest hit currently rocking the South South airwaves. Let’s go to Brazil, produced by Saankay Rellis is an inspirational song to inspire the Super Eagles of Nigeria to excel at the world football stage holding in Brazil in the next few weeks. His message is simple, ‘I know the challenges are tough but you, the Super Eagles should play with style to win all of your matches during the World Cup in Brazil’.
According to the artiste, his belief that the national team can make a mark is what fired his passion to do a song that will motivate the entire team, the coach and the fans.
T-Cross whose real names are Akpoguma Oghenechavwuko Matthew is an Afro Pop/Hip-Hop Artist currently based in Warri, the commercial nerve center of Delta State. Presently, the upcoming artiste, who professes so much love for his country, Nigeria and intensely campaigns for Africa to excel at the World Cup, is in the studio putting the finishing touches to his album billed for release in the next quarter of this year.