Africa’s Travel Indaba, Changing the African Narrative through Tourism

The noteworthiness of tourism to Africa and its economy was again established at the just concluded Africa’s Travel Indaba 2019, held at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban, KwaZulu Natal Province of South Africa from the 2nd May to the 4th May 2019. Africa’s Travel Indaba is considered one of the largest events in the African tourism calendar, bringing together over 7,000 exhibitors; including local and international buyers; tourism and business media; industry stakeholders; members of tourism associations and captains of industry from over 80 countries.

 

This year, we embraced the theme for Indaba 2019, which was: “Africa’s stories, your success”, this re-emphasizes the importance of telling our own stories and showcasing our successes to help boost tourism in Africa, and also change the world narrative of Africa as a continent that needs saving to one that is flourishing.

 

The Minister of Tourism in South Africa, Derek Hanekom, opened Africa’s Travel Indaba 2019 with great optimism about the future of tourism in Africa, he started by asking the audience if by 2030 the continent will be ready to invite 21 million international tourists. His own response to the question was a resounding ‘yes’. The minister stated that “Too often the real stories of Africa are not told and not heard,” in his statement compelling collaboration among African countries the Minister added that “We need to work together to replace the sometimes negative narrative of Africa with the real story of so many nations on the move, of people innovating and moving confidently into the future”.

 

South Africa president, Cyril Ramaphosa, during his speech at Africa’s Travel Indaba 2019 implied that “We are global citizens physically separated by borders. We are however united by our affinity and our love for this great continent Africa, the cradle of humankind”. He explained further that  “We must reduce the onerous and often unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that tourists who want to visit our country face. This requires us to streamline our tourist visa regime. We are in the process of radically overhauling our visa dispensation for the rest of the world and introducing a world-class e-visa system.” This statement revealed that the continent is working towards overhauling visa systems for travelers looking to visit various African tourism hotspot.

South African Tourism West Africa hosted trade and media delegates and stakeholders from Nigeria and Ghana at on a pre tour across the Gauteng and Limpopo provinces in South Africa. The hosting was aimed at strengthening existing partnership and collaboration in the continent, as delegates had an exhilarating experience exploring the beautiful city of Pretoria by getting their adrenaline pumped at the Adventure Zone in Cullinan for a day of fun activities such as Ziplining, Bike Riding and Archery. Entabeni Game Reserve in Limpopo where they got to see some of the ‘Big 5 animals’ and connect with nature. And Durban as they went shopping at the famous Victoria Street Market dubbed as Durban’s Oldest market.

AFRICANS HAVE THE POWER TO REHAUL AFRICA’S STORY

In a bid to boost tourism in Africa, it is time that we change our narrative from a continent that needs saving to one that is thriving. This was the key insight at Africa’s Travel Indaba Media Launch held at The Plant Venue Co., Durban on 3rd April 2019.

The media launch provided the opportunity for two of South African Tourism’s Hidden Gems, Jotham’s Place and Discover Durban Tours and Transfers, to tell their success stories. Other speakers included Acting Head of the KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Siza Sibanda and Councillor at eThekwini Municipality, Sipho Kaunda.

Keynote speaker of the day, Chief Convention Bureau Officer of South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB), Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, elaborated on this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba theme, Africa’s stories, your success, saying Africans must own their narrative so that they can embark on the journey of changing the continent’s story. “We no longer look to the world for affirmation or inspiration, the world looks to us. We are real, vibrant and driven to succeed. So, we invite the world to journey with us and tell the new story of Africa.”

Kotze-Nhlapo added that the responsibility of safeguarding Africa’s narrative is not only up to its storytellers but all Africans. “In this post-truth world, it is up to each of us to be vigilant about the way Africa is depicted. We can be the watchdogs of misrepresented stories and best of all, we have the digital tools to keep the narrative truthful.”

She said social media gives everyone the power to engage with media, influencers and other prominent individuals so that “we can change the narrative together and basically set the story straight”.

Her insights were backed up by South African storyteller, Victor Kgomoeswana, whose presentation ignited what is the new African narrative.

“The greatest story for us to tell is our own; the most effective way to tell it is the African way – because the centre of the universe, literally and figuratively, is in Africa,” he said.

For the first time in Indaba’s history, it will host the Green Stand Awards.   These awards have been successful at Meetings Africa in recent years and is now making its way to Indaba. It recognises exhibitors who go that extra “green” mile to build and design stands that are environmentally and socially sustainable.

Key numbers for Africa’s Travel Indaba 2019

  • 1,110 – Number of local, regional and international buyers already confirmed.
  • 890 – Number of exhibitors already confirmed.
  • 104 – Number of African exhibitors from 19 countries already confirmed.

“The above numbers clearly demonstrate that Indaba continues to grow and be the sought after platform for African tourism products,” concluded Kotze-Nhlapo.

 

Tourism in Africa – facts

According to 2018 reports from the United Nations World Tourism Organization and World Travel and Tourism Council:

  • The continent’s total foreign receipts in 2017 amounted to US$ 177,6 billion, contributing 8,1% of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • In 2017, Africa’s share of investment in travel and tourism was US$ 28,2 billion, or 5,7% of total investment in the continent.
  • In 2017, direct travel and tourism employment in Africa rose to 9,3 million, the equivalent of 1 in 11 jobs. This is an 11,2% increase from 2016.

 

South Africa at a glance

  • South Africa saw 10.5-million international tourist arrivals in 2018.
  • It translates to a growth of 1.8% compared to the previous year.
  • The World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) had recently announced that South Africa has the largest tourism economy in Africa having contributed 1.5 million jobs (9.2% of South Africa’s employment)
  • Tourism contributes 8.6% to the South African GDP.
  • 44% of the tourism spend came from international travellers, amounting to R128-billion.

56% of spend came from domestic travel, which translates to R163-billion.

Baby Mamas film, storms Nigerian theaters with the aim of breaking down the “baby mama” stereotypes.

On Sunday, February 24th, Filmhouse Cinemas hosted a private screening of Baby Mamas, the first ever South African film to show in Nigeria (set to premiere in Lagos on the 1st of March, 2019 at all Filmhouse Cinemas’ locations) at its Twin Waters branch in Oniru.

Directed by Stephanie Zwane, Baby Mamas takes a look at the daily lives of four young professional women, each in various phases of their own baby mama drama. Although the different themes of the film are approached comically, each message conveyed is unfeigned, candid and thought-provoking. As the four women explore the many dynamics of being baby mamas, the audience is brought into the world of their witty charms and how they tackle the strained relationships with the men in their lives. With an ensemble female cast of Salamina Mosese, Thembisa Mdoda, Dineo Ranaka, and Kay Smith, the film highlights sisterhood, female empowerment, friendship, family, pain.

Guests such as Vimbai MutinhiriYetunde WilliamsBolanle OlukanniTaymi BSasha P, and Paul Chisom were in attendance of the screening at Filmhouse Cinemas, Oniru  and could not wait to share all their thoughts and comments on the film after it was over. Before viewing commenced, the guests were addressed by Matilda Ogunleye, Marketing Executive of FilmOne Distribution and Production. She asserted that the film is very relevant to the Nigerian market as we all need to start telling and redefining “our stories.” The deep disapproval and condescension that is attached to being a baby mama, especially in the workplace, and especially in Africa, is something that needs to be tackled head-on in order to shift the narrative and start changing the warped mindsets and perceptions of society.

 

During the viewing, there were lots of reactions from the audience it was clear that film had indeed provoked quite a lot of thought which translated into a full conversation after the film ended. Guests stayed behind for the roundtable discussion hosted by Vimbai Mutinhiri. Tolu BallyAzuka OgujiubaTiti Olatunji and Abimbola Craig all chimed in, advocating for a definite upheaval of current systems in place so that sex education was more open, more talked about and beliefs of pregnancy without wedlock being shameful no longer existed.

Reactions from the audience

  • “We need to pay more attention to co-parenting and the effect it has on the children”  – Jayne Augoye
  •  “One of the biggest issues is the fact, that we need to learn to orientate our young boys and girls from the beginning on sex and results” – Abimbola Craig
  • “We have a lot of untrained men as compared to trained women in the society and we need to do better, so these men don’t shy away from their responsibilities.” – Paul Chisom

About FilmOne Distribution and Production:
FilmOne Distribution and Production Limited is the leading West African independent distributor of filmed entertainment. Based in Lagos, Nigeria, we distribute a wide range of mainstream, commercial pictures including international and indigenous titles. Since its foray into production, the company has also become one of the leading production houses releasing crowd-pleasing hits such as The Wedding Party Series, My Wife and I, New Money, Lunch Time Heroes, and Merry Men: The real Yoruba Demons. Further information on FilmOne can be found at www.filmoneng.com

Moët & Chandon’s “The Film Gala” honoring up and coming short filmmakers in the Nigerian film industry.

LAGOS – The inaugural edition of The Film Gala®, hosted by Osas Ighodaro-Ajibade,  2010 Miss Black USA Pageant winner and acclaimed actress, and by Toni Tones, singer, songwriter and actress, at the Wings Tower, Victoria Island, and presented by Filmhouse Cinemas, in partnership with Moët & Chandon, was held on the 26th of January, 2019. Filmhouse Cinemas, the premiere movie/film platform in Nigeria and Moët & Chandon, the official champagne of the Golden Globes, collaborated to bring to the forefront of the Nigerian film industry bodies of work that are breaking the norm in contemporary Nigerian cinema and inspiring really creative pieces of art. And as such, it was no surprise that the theme of the night was “Married To The Arts.”

 

Gracing the purple carpet of The Film Gala was the crème de la crème of the entertainment industry. The likes of Ngozi Nwosu, Chinedu Ikedieze, Shaffy Bello, Dakore Egbuson, Alex Ekubo, Kemi Adetiba, Iretiola Doyle, Oyeka Udoka, Waje, Omawumi, Abimbola Craig and Timini Egbuson were among the celebrities in attendance. Many more A-list industry stars, music luminaries and the upper echelon of Lagos society made their way to the gala in the most elegant fashion.

The Film Gala was curated to celebrate and honor the works of our game changers and groundbreaking members of our ever-blooming film industry. The gala featured the best of Nollywood and various initiatives that left strong imprints in the industry, and society as a whole. Most importantly, it was an event that reflected the continuity of support, promotion of opportunity and growth that the community has given to Nigeria’s growing film industry. In that same vein, the Film Gala awarded Michael Akinkunle Akinrogunde, an AFP Alumnus and filmmaker with Accelerate TV,  with a One Million Naira cash prize from VISA and Filmhouse Cinemas, a distribution deal on his first feature-length film, and with The Lady®, its official statuette, for his short film, “Penance.” The young filmmaker was voted ‘best short film director’ and his film voted ‘best short film’ by the audience via live visual audience votes after his film and other incredibly outstanding shorts, carefully selected and nominated, were viewed.

The Film Gala was curated to celebrate and honor the works of our game changers and groundbreaking members of our ever-blooming film industry. The gala featured the best of Nollywood and various initiatives that left strong imprints in the industry, and society as a whole. Most importantly, it was an event that reflected the continuity of support, promotion of opportunity and growth that the community has given to Nigeria’s growing film industry. In that same vein, the Film Gala awarded Michael Akinkunle Akinrogunde, an AFP Alumnus and filmmaker with Accelerate TV, with a One Million Naira cash prize from VISA and Filmhouse Cinemas, a distribution deal on his first feature-length film, and with The Lady®, its official statuette, for his short film, “Penance.” The young filmmaker was voted ‘best short film director’ and his film voted ‘best short film’ by the audience via live visual audience votes after his film and other incredibly outstanding shorts, carefully selected and nominated, were viewed.
Seyi Tinubu, CEO of Loatsad Promomedia, presented the award to Michael Akinrogunde, while the representatives of Filmhouse Cinemas, Lolu Desalu and of Moët & Chandon, Elizabeth Oputa, addressed the audience on this groundbreaking artistic partnership that will ultimately redefine award season in the industry and the film industry as a whole. Moët & Chandon has a long-standing affair with cinema and this innovative partnership with the foremost cinematic platform in the Nigerian industry, Filmhouse Cinemas, is sure to make luminous the magic in all the budding talent and art within the industry.

The team behind the gala, Filmhouse Cinemas, and Moët & Chandon, definitely brought the theme of the event to life with the decor and ambiance that depicted classical art and opulence. They also presented fine dining to their guests through the exquisite and sumptuous dishes of chef extraordinaire, Chef Eros. Guests were served a four-course meal consisting of Lobster Bisque, Duck Salad, Poached Chicken and an assortment of desserts. All the meals were paired with the finest selections of champagnes within the Moët & Chandon’s range.
The post-gala after party followed immediately after this exclusive event, which was held by the waterside of the Wings Tower, a specially extended section outside the main auditorium the gala event was held in. It began with an explosion of fireworks as guests danced and mingled, popping Moët and Chandon champagne and Hennessy bottles, revelling in the magic and grandeur of the lit night sky. And what a beautiful night it was!

Seun Ayeni recreates Ekiti song in ‘Olorun Abo’

Taking a trip down to his Ekiti origin, Seun Ayeni fondly called GGG (Godly Gorgeous Genius) releases a new gospel track titled ‘Olorun Abo’

The song is a remake of a household gospel song originally written generations ago in Ekiti dialect.
With verses sung in English language and chorus in Yoruba, the song is bound to make you appreciate God’s guidance and protection over your life.

MI, CHIGUL, 2FACE and and many others at Joyful Joy’s LAUGHFEST – a variety show fundraiser SUCCESSFUL for a worthy cause

Lagos, Nigeria, – December 20th, 2018 – The Joyful Joy Foundation and its founder, Osas Ighodaro Ajibade, held the successful ‘LaughFest’ variety show fundraiser to an excited and supportive audience raising funds towards the fight against malaria.

 

Terra Kulture Arena provided a state of the art backdrop for the evenings fundraiser. Opening the event was singer, Precious Emmanuel, with a beautiful rendition of national anthem and a dance performance from ‘Squad 1 productions’. The host for the night, Chigul, kept the audience smiling and laughing throughout the entire show. The energy was high with comedy acts from Basketmouth, Bovi, Buchi and Kenny Blaq. The stage was then electrified with performances from 2Baba, M.I., Falz, MartinFeelz & GreyC. The audience was highly entertained with DJ Obi on the mix and the celebrity date bid featuring Don Jazzy, Falz, Dillish Mathews, Toni Tones, Sharon Ooja, Timini Egbuson, Lynxxx and Cynthia CeeC Nwadiora. It was such a successful part of the evening keeping the audience on their toes with shouting and screams of bids raising over N2 million naira collectively. The winning bidder had a date with the chosen celebrity at the Pearl Lounge in Eko Atlantic sponsored by Moet & Chandon.

In attendance included Shaffy Bello, Annie Idibia, Tola Odunsi, Uru Eke, Debola Williams, Dolapo Oni, Jimmy Odukoya, Michelle Dede, Alexx Ekubo, Kaylah Oniwo, Ebenezer Eno, Lilian Afegbai, Iyke & Florence Okechuckwu, Eniafè Momodu, Tiwa Works, BamBam, Ini Dima-Okojie, Mimi Onalaja, Jimmy the Entertainer, Tomi Odunsi, Kene Okwuosa, Moses Babatope, Melvin Oduah, Deyemi Okanlawon, Erica Okundaye, Regina Giwa, Rekiya Yusuf, Chinyere Adogu, Taje Prest, Olumide Oworu, Kanayo Ebi, Elizabeth Pam, Omowunmi Akinnifesi and many more.

Laughfest 2018 raised over 2 million naira through ticket sales, celebrity date bids and donations. The Joyful Joy Foundation is to have it set to hold the malaria outreaches throughout 2019. We are excited to prepare for ‘Laughfest 2019’ fundraiser event slated for December 19th, 2019 in Lagos, Nigeria.

Laugh Fest symbolizes a variety show with a heart. Guests experienced a great time while knowing that their support will have a long-term impact on saving lives. JJF has been visiting vulnerable communities in Nigeria since 2013, and has positively impacted over 30,000 lives. JJF looks forward to impacting more lives in the coming 2019 year.

Joyful Joy Foundation sends a big thank you to their sponsors Access Bank, Jumia Travel & Moet & Chandon.

Many thanks to our supporters and media partners: House of Tara, Angle Villa, MedPlus Pharmacy, Sweet Kiwi, Some Solutions, Link Deeds Company, Girl Hub Africa, Echo it Out, Byrd Lagos, Bailamos Dance Company, Squad 1 Productions, Nolly Nolly Popcorn, HipTV, Accelerate TV, Beat 99.9 FM, Bella Naija, PulseNG, FuzeNG, Ynaija, Aforevo, Africa Movie Channels

 

 

JANUARY SWEET TREATS: SHERATON LAGOS HOTEL CELEBRATES A SWEET JANUARY

LAGOS – Jan 03, 2019 – Sheraton Lagos Hotel is excited to announce the start of the New Year with their indulging array of sweet treats to delight Patrons and Customers.

The hotel will activate their offerings from the 27th of January 2019 with the celebration of International Chocolate Cake day at the Pumpkin Leaf Restaurant.

According to the Deputy General Manager equally in charge of Food & Beverage – Mr. Farrukh Maqbool “Everyone will agree that chocolate cake is a rich and good for the soul. We are happy to give all our diners the opportunity to savor our delicious desert during our Sunday brunch and dinner”. Chocolate cake will be served all through in its variations”.

“We trust that both children and adults alike will enjoy this and leave very satisfied with what our experienced pastry chefs whip up”.

“Our second sweet treat will be available on the 30th of January, 2019. This will be in celebration of ‘world croissant day’.

Sheraton Lagos is known for its tasty varieties of croissant options and to celebrate; everyone who orders a cup of tea or coffee at the lobby bar will get a free croissant of their choice.

“This crescent shaped pastry known for its buttery and flaky feel is enjoyed by many and with the new additions to the croissant menu we trust it will be a hit with our guests.

“Our Sheraton Lagos teams are geared up to ensure that every bite is a delicious memory” Says Maqbool.

“At Sheraton Lagos Hotel we go beyond in being innovative when it comes to food and it delights us to offer something to our loyal customers which is eclectic and not currently in the market”.

By doing this, the hotel believes that it will be cementing its place as a hotel not just for business travelers but also as a venue that creates experiences for leisure seekers too.

With the hotel’s proven success and exceptional reputation in culinary expertise, The Sheraton Lagos Hotel looks forward to celebrating January with everyone.

Indomix, African China, GT da Guitarman, Seun Ayeni push community service through Battle of the Sounds Amuwo

Artistes, celebrities, influencers and their friends have come together to execute a community service and youth empowerment in Amuwo Odofin via an initiative created by BizzybodyNG – an event tech solutions company headed by Seun Ayeni.
Seun Ayeni delivering the Opening Speech at BOTS2018

             

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The initiative – Battle of the Sounds is a month long music competition which had over 60 contestants battle in five popular and vibrant genres of music including Reggae-Dancehall, Fuji, Afropop, Acapella and Hardcore Rap.
In a statement by Seun Ayeni, he said, “This concept was born out of the same objectives we hoped to achieve with sports when we started the Mini Sports Festival tagged AmuwoGames in 2017. The energy is out there, the youths are ready to dissipate it, we just need to create a positive media to channel this energy. Music is as good as sports when it comes to getting these objectives achieved, and so, here we are”.
The Grand Finale of the Battle of the Sounds held on November 25th at an Amuwo Odofin Community playground sharing borders with the popular Amuwo Odofin Primary School in Jakande Estate, Mile 2.
Resident celebrities like GT da Guitarman, Indomix, African China and Kpeace and their friends were present as judges and special guests at the Grand Finale and on different days of the competition. Faze, who was also a judge at the opening was unavoidably absent at the finals due to logistic reasons. Other celebrities at the closing were Lafup the Comedian, Babahkay, Kobi Mighty and others.

Performances at the ceremony included music acts by Sheun Natural, Runnjozzy, Pablow and many other resident artistes in Amuwo Odofin.
The presence of the Amuwo Odofin LG boss – Engineer Valentine Buraimoh was also felt through out the competition, as he was represented by delegates at different times, especially by Hon ‘Aquarium’ Ojomo who was also present at the closing ceremony which witness a huge crowd of about 2000 persons.
Prizes of N100,000, recording deals given to contestants were further augmented by prizes which also included cash from African China’s – Cash prizes for 1st and 2nd runner ups in the five categories, Indomix and Kobi Mighty’s cash prize for 1st and 2nd runner ups in the Hardcore Rap categories, recording and studio session deals from Indomix, 4th April Beats and Festac Mag’s bosses – Destiny Orimidu and Ameen respectively and free music video shoot for one of the Acapella groups.

Other prizes presented included Samsung Nigeria’s mobile phone gift for three outstanding persons in the competition, Instant cash and t-shirt souvenir prizes by Baudex – a resident social media influencer to freestyle winners on competition days, Globacom’s freebies to audience at the opening ceremony and FestacOnline’s discounted social media promo package for all contestants.
It was indeed a novel initiative and should be replicated in various communities if possible says the Publisher of Inside Watch Africa – Seyi Adegoke-Adeyemo.
For more news, videos and pictures from the event, please visit battleofthesounds.com or just follow @battleofthesounds or @bizzybodyng on social media.

FELABRATION 2018 APPOINTS FLYBOKU AS EXCLUSIVE TOURS PARTNER

Felabration Organizing Committee has announced FLYBOKU as the “Exclusive Tourism Partner for Felabration 2018”. This was recently announced by the Founder/CEO of the Felabration Brand Ms Yeni Kuti represented by the Project Manager for Felabration 2018 Mr Peter Clarke during a round table meeting between the two organizations. Both FlyBoku and Felabration team have been working together to ensure a great Felabration tours experience for all guests.

As part of this year’s edition of Felabration, the committee also emphasized that in celebrating the Afrobeat icon Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s 80th posthumous birthday an exclusive tour will be dedicated to exploring the life and history of Fela. These tours will be handled by FlyBoku and the Tour includes:

  • Tour to Freedom park which is the historical prison where all the notable leaders of Nigeria were imprisoned and the history of Nigeria
  • Tour to Kalakuta republic which was Fela’s personal house before he died which is also now a museum show casing all of the icon’s history and musical instruments as they were when he died
  • The Ransom-Kuti family house in Abeokuta which has now become a museum showing all the works of all the Kuti children including Fela’s history as well.
  • The Africa Shrine which the headquarters of most of Fela’s performances

The Felabration 2018 which is commencing on the 15th of October ends on the 21st of October, 2018. The week long events will include:

  • Symposium themed African Leadership in the Millennium with notable speakers across the government.
  • Musical concert with star performance by Yemi Kuti
  • Art competition
  • Afrobics competition
  • Tours (organized with FlyBoku)

The CEO/Founder of the Felabration Brand; Ms Yeni Kuti said “I am really excited and proud to be associated with the FlyBoku brand. A brand that is notable for providing top notch tourism services and promoting African culture both within Nigeria and globally. I am convinced that FlyBoku team will make the Felabration Tour an adventure that would not be quickly forgotten.”

Also, the Chairman of FlyBoku Mr Abiola Lawal (AKA Mr BOKU) said “I am indeed honored to be associated with the icon Fela Kuti and also the Felabration brand and organizing committee. Just as Bob Marley is to Jamaica and the world; an unforgettable figure, so is Fela Anikulapo Kuti to Nigeria and the world. He meant a lot to all of us which are the reasons Felabration is organized and recognized globally”. Furthermore he says that “with Mr Boku and his team joining force with Felabration, we will continue to tell the story of this great icon to the world.”

To celebrate the Afrobeat Icon, the FLYBOKU team has put together an adventurous Felabration packages for everyone to partake in, which includes:

  • Full Day Lagos Tour
  • Full Day Abeokuta Tour
  • Full week Lagos tour package for international guests
  • Full week combo tour (Lagos and Abeokuta) tour package for international guests as well.

In addition, FlyBoku has also declared a special Felabration discounted rate on all of their services during the week. Customers are expected to quote “Boku Felabration” to be eligible for the 5% special discount on their invoice for FlyBoku service exclusively during the Felabration week(October 15th – 21st 2018). The services are:

  • Domestic Flights
  • International Flights
  • Airport Transfers
  • Car hire services
  • Hotel Bookings
  • Visa Services
  • Tour Packages

Mr Abiola Lawal has promised that all attendees of Felabration 2018 will have an unforgettable Adventure experience with Mr Boku and Felabration.

#Mr Boku will take you there and must surely bring you back.