Balogun Rues FSV Mainz Home Draw Vs Wolfsburg, Urges ‎More Team Work

By Bamidele Boluwaji: Nigeria international, Leon Balogun, has described his team, FSV Mainz’s 1-1 home draw with Wolfsburg ‎in the German Bundesliga on Friday as an unwanted result, but says the team will keep fighting to avoid relegation, reports‎.
The Super Eagles’ defender who made his tenth league start of the season in the game wrote on his Twitter handle that the result was not what the team planned to achieve, but admitted it was better than losing the three points.
“Definitely not the result we wanted, but one point’s still better than none,” Balogun tweeted.
Bologun who is one of the defenders expected to make Nigeria’s squad to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, added that despite the result, Mainz team will keep fighting.
“On to the next one, we keep on going, we keep on fighting,” he stated.
Meanwhile, FSV Mainz are in the 15th position in the Bundesliga table with 24 points from 24 games, just one point above the relegation playoff zone.
Mainz 05 will host Schalke 04 on March 9 in their next Bundesliga game.

Moses In Fighting Mood Ahead Of Man United Clash

Nigeria star Victor Moses is in confident mood ahead of the Sunday’s English Premier League clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Moses who is in line for his 20th EPL game of the season for Chelsea posted two pictures of himself in training ahead of the showdown at the Theatre of Dreams and beneath added an emoji of flexed biceps.
The 27-year-old has scored twice and provided two assists this season.
“Training ahead of the big game tomorrow #CFC,” Moses tweeted.
A win for Chelsea will see them tie Manchester United on 56 points in the table in third and fourth places while a United win will take them back to second above Liverpool.

Falana Insists Only INEC Has Sole Right To Decide On Election Dates

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana has stressed that under the current constitutional dispensation, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has the sole right to fix dates for general elections in Nigeria.
He said this on Friday while addressing the controversial reordering of the 2019 election sequence by the National Assembly.
Mr Falana told Channels Television that the amendment made by the legislature in 2010 in sections of the Electoral Act to the effect that the National Assembly would have the last say on elections is illegal.
“It is the height of legislative absurdity to stipulate that the constitution of the country which is the granum will be read subject to an act of parliament, it’s the other way round.
“But since that alteration was made, all the cases that have gone to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court have been resolved in favour of the powers of INEC to fix dates for elections in Nigeria and that remains the law.
“In other words, the purported amendment or the insertion of the phrase ‘in accordance with the electoral act’ has not conferred the National Assembly with the power to fix election dates,” Falana stressed.
Presidential and National Assembly elections have always held (on the same day) before other polls, while the governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections follow.
But the lawmakers have amended the sequence such that the National Assembly polls would be conducted first, followed by the state lawmakers, and the governors while the presidential election should take place last.
Asked if the amendment can be implemented by INEC in the 2019 general elections, the National Commissioner, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Solomon Soyebi said: “Unfortunately, yes, if the amendment becomes a law now.
“If it’s assented to by the President, it becomes a law. We have no basis to disobey the law; we have to work within the law as it is.”
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Suarez Hat-trick, Messi Brace Lead Barca To Big Win Over Girona

FC Barcelona came from a goal down to annihilate Girona 6-1 who were without Olanrewaju Kayode in Saturday’s La Liga Santander clash at the Camp Nou.
Kayode is yet to feature for Girona in 2018.
Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick while Lionel Messi scored twice in the encounter. Philipe Coutinho also got on the score sheet.
Christian Portu gave the visitors the lead after three minutes, pouncing on an error in the Barcelona defence.
Suarez restored parity two minutes later when he was played through on goal by Messi.
Messi made it 2-1 in the 30th minute, skipping past his marker to slot home his 22nd LaLiga Santander goal of the season.
The Argentine skipper made it 3-1 with a cool finish six minutes later.
Messi has also scored 370 La Liga goals in 407 games, 68 more than Cristiano Ronaldo who scored a brace for Real Madrid in the win over Alaves earlier on Saturday.
Suarez made it 4-1 a minute before half-time, finishing off Coutinho’s squared pass.
Coutinho made it 5-1 in the 66th minute before Suarez earned himself the match ball, bagging his third in the game 10 minutes later to make it 6-1.
The strike took Suarez’s tally to 20 this season with six assists.

Fayose: Governor hits at Buhari 2 days after meeting president

The governor blamed the president for what he termed his inability to curb the insecurity and economic problems in the country. Governo Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state has blasted President Muhammadu Buhari again barely two days after meeting him in Abuja.The governor blamed the president for what he termed his inability to curb the insecurity and economic problems in the country.In a statement issued by his spokesman, Lere Olayinka, the governor said the abduction of 105 pupils of Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state and Nigeria’s regression in Transparency International’s perception of corruption report were further proof that the president needs to “take a bow”.He said: “President Buhari promised Nigerians that he will bring back the missing Chibok Girls and defeat Boko Haram within three months. After more than 32 months in office, Boko Haram is still killing Nigerians, with herdsmen also on killing spree.“Painfully, the same Boko Haram they claimed to have defeated suddenly became strong enough to kidnap over 100 students. Now, Nigeria is not only looking for the remaining Chibok Girls, another over 100 innocent students have joined, this is unacceptable.“Funny enough, a few days ago, the President called on all Nigerians to be prepared to pay the ‘ultimate price’ for the progress and unity of the nation and I wish to ask him what other price he wants Nigerians to pay.“Already, Nigerians are sacrificing their lives by getting killed while seeking what to eat. Some have even committed suicide. Yet, the same President who is enjoying all the benefits of his office is calling on Nigerians to forego personal pleasures and pay the ultimate price. Buhari lacks achievement to campaign for a second termFayose also said the president has nothing to campaign with ahead of the 2019 elections.The governor said: “When President Buhari mounts the campaign podium, what will he tell Nigerians? Will he tell Nigerians that corruption and insecurity has not worsened than it was in 2015? Will the President say that Nigerians deserve to be buying petrol that they were buying at N86 per litre in 2015 at N180 now?“Is President Buhari going to justify that within 30 months, Nigeria’s debt that was N12.06 trillion in 2015 increased by over N10 trillion?“Fact is that Nigeria is under a rudderless federal government. Everything is now upside down, with everywhere in the country becoming insecure. What Nigerians expect in a situation like this is a clean break from this calamitous government and new breath of life, not continuation of a government lacking a direction.

List of winners at 68th Berlin film festival

Here are the winners of the main prizes awarded Saturday at the 68th Berlin film festival:
– Golden Bear for best film: “Touch Me Not”, Adina Pintilie, Romania/Germany/Czech Republic/Bulgaria/France
– Jury Grand Prix Silver Bear: “Twarz” (Mug), Malgorzata Szumowska, Poland
– Silver Bear for best director: “Isle of Dogs”, Wes Anderson, Britain/Germany
– Silver Bear for best actress: Ana Brun in “Las Herederas” (The Heiresses), Marcelo Martinessi, Paraguay/Germany/Uruguay/Norway/ Brazil/France
– Silver Bear for best actor: Anthony Bajon in “La Priere” (The Prayer), Cedric Kahn, France
– Silver Bear for best screenplay: Manuel Alcala and Alonso Ruizpalacios for “Museo” (Museum), Mexico
– Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for work that opens new perspectives: “Las Herederas” (The Heiresses)
– Best documentary: “Waldheims Walzer” (The Waldheim Waltz), Ruth Beckermann, Austria
– Best first feature film: “Touch Me Not”
– Golden Bear for best short film: “The Men Behind the Wall”, Ines Moldavsky, Israel
– Teddy for best feature film with gay or lesbian context: “Tinta Bruta” (Hard Paint), Marcio Reolon and Filipe Matzembacher, Brazil
– Teddy for best documentary film with gay or lesbian context: “Bixa Travesty” (Tranny Fag), Claudia Priscilla and Kiko Goifman, Brazil
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Iwobi fit to play against City

Contrary to speculations that  Arsenal striker, Alex Iwobi will be out of today’s League Cup final, Iwobi will be ready and dressed up to play against the Premier League table toppers Manchester City.
The fast rising Super Eagles attacker was seen training with the rest of the squad yesterday even as manager Arsene Wenger confirmed that he was fit to play.
Iwobi was replaced in the dying minutes during their shock 2-1 loss to Swedish minnows Ostersunds in the Europa Cup. Arsenal limped into the last 16 of the Europa League on 4-2 aggregate.
“He wasn’t injured. He only got a cramp,” Wenger said of Iwobi.
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Bovi: Comedian would rather be jobless than have a 9-5. Here’s why

Bovi has had the same reaction most people have to Lagos traffic, the one where they wish they could just resign and sit at home all day.The ace comedian shared a video of the traffic he had found himself stuck in, noting that he would rather be jobless than have to face that kind of traffic on a daily basis.ALSO READ: Is there a conspiracy to make our city look badSee the post below:  The hustle and bustle that is LagosWe asked Pulse readers about their thoughts on the reason behind Lagos’ legendary traffic and they agree with us that bad roads are the reason for it.We asked readers what causes traffic in Lagos state, bad/substandard roads or LASTMA officials. 66.7% said bad/substandard roads were to blame for traffic while only 33.3% chose the officialsThis poll shows that people agree with the state government who just blamed substandard roads for the increase in traffic. According to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Ajibade Bade–Adebowale, the traffic is caused by roads that are not well designed.ALSO READ: How Governor plans to solve traffic problems”This was also the reason for the persistent gridlock experienced by motorists on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway. This road is substandard compared to the pressure it is subjected to. The volume of vehicles plying the road daily is massive.”Despite all of the above, some readers are blaming Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for the increase in traffic.According to them, traffic has gotten worse since Governor Ambode became the governor of Lagos state.

Ifeanyi Odii: Business Mogul launches Ultimus Entertainment

Ultimus Entertainment will be a major player in the fast growing Nigerian entertainment industry as it has huge interests and business dealings as a record label, movie production as well as theme parks. Nigerian Business mogul, Ifeanyi Odii has just launched Ultimus Entertainment, a broad based firm that provides and produces all related high-demand entertainment solutions. The new outfit will be a major player in the fast growing Nigerian entertainment industry as it has huge interests and business dealings as a record label, movie production as well as theme parks.In the words of the CEO, Ifeanyi Odii, ‘Ultimus Entertainment will disrupt the global entertainment industry to be Africa’s leading entertainment provider. It won’t be business as usual as we have engaged the best minds in the industry coupled with our years of research and experience we are sure to make an amazing impact’.At the moment, Ultimus Entertainment has signed two talented acts – Slick and Reflex with respected entertainment consultant, Theophy Esuike currently on board as the manager of the record label arm of the company.Esuike who has developed a lot of talents in the music industry has worked with vast number of successful artistes. Being the head of Ultimus Entertainment’s record label, he noted that the world of entertainment will be stunned by the operations of the label.

Insurgency: Nigerian Army tasks media on objectivity, collaboration

Major Gen.David Ahmadu ,Chief of  Training and operations Army headquarters disclosed this while addressing news men shortly after inaugurating some infrastructures at the Nigeria Army Corps Artillery Kontagora. The Nigerian Army on Saturday  reiterated its commitment to closer collaboration with the media and community based approaches  in the ongoing counter insurgency operations in the northeast.Major Gen. David Ahmadu, Chief of  Training and operations Army headquarters disclosed this while addressing news men shortly after inaugurating some infrastructures at the Nigeria Army Corps Artillery Kontagora.He said that such working relation was imperative to ensure the successful implementation of the campaign and restoration of peace in some part of the country .He explained that is high time for the mass media to come out with more educative programmes that would sensitise  rural communities come forward with require intelligence information on bad elements in their midst.He urged the media while reporting to put the nation interest at first while discharging their constitutional responsibilities.He said that the Nigeria Army would continue to introduced security measures that would crush the insurgency once and for all.He also tasks the media to create more awareness on the ills of the Boko Haram ideologies and fast track de-radicalisation process.” We will vigorously  pursuit the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists wherever they might be in enhancing peaceful coexistence among Nigerians ”He also called on Nigerians to be vigilant and cooperate with the military to enable them to win the war against insurgency.On the  rescued efforts of  some of the girls missing from the Government Girls Secondary School in Dapchi, Yobe State,  by Boko Haram fighters said troops will do every thing humanly possible to rescue the school girls.He called on members of the general public to come forwards with information that will assist troops in the rescue mission.He said that the troops had been tracking the insurgents since the attack to rescue  the students.

In Ibadan: Hausa Community pledges support for unity of Nigeria

Alhaji Ahmed Zungeru, the Sarkin Hausawa of Ibadan land, made the pledge at a ceremony held at the Ibadan Recreation Club open field. The Hausa Community in Ibadan on Saturday pledged its unflinching support for a united Nigeria, cautioning all citizens to eschew acts detrimental to the nation’s unity, peace and progress.Alhaji Ahmed Zungeru, the Sarkin Hausawa of Ibadan land, made the pledge at a ceremony held at the Ibadan Recreation Club open field.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event also coincided with Zungeru’s 25 anniversary as the Sarkin Hausawa of Ibadan land.Zungeru said his community was desirous of living in a united Nigeria where every citizen enjoyed equal rights and privileges irrespective of tribe, religion and political belief.“It is on record that the leadership of Hausa and Arewa communities in Ibadan stands for peace and unity of this country. We regard Ibadan and the South-West as our second home,’’ he said.He called on the Federal Government and the National Assembly to assist where necessary in putting an end to the incessant demand of restructuring by majority of the populace.The Sarkin Hausawa of Ibadan land noted that the call for restructuring was not needed at a time the nation was still grappling to be one.He called for concerted efforts to ensure a successful and crime-free 2019 general elections.On the establishment of state police, Zungeru said that the nation had since 1993 agitated for the creation of state police, and described the call as timely.“We are calling on the state governments across Nigeria to encourage the establishment of state and local government leadership committee where the major tribes should have a say.“The effort is for us to arrest unforeseen conflicts. This would assist government rather than the use of force in the maintenance of law and order wherever there is ethic squabbles,’’ he said.He said the Sarikin Hausawa of Ibadan land had since Dec. 21, 1951 been officially recognised as head of the Sarakunan Hausawa (Political Head of the Hausa Community) of different towns in Yoruba land.“We appreciate the Oyo State Government and the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji for treating us as sons and daughters of Ibadan land.“We appreciate the traditional rulers in Oyo State as well as the south west region for their hospitality toward non-indigenes. We pledge our support and cooperation to you all.“Our fore-fathers were born in Ibadan and have always applied wisdom in dealing with us and other ethnic minority groups without inter-tribal disagreement or crisis,’’ he said.He, particularly appreciated the Olubadan for recognising him and his subjects as part of Ibadan, pledging to further strengthen the relationship.According to him, I always put myself in a very quiet and uneasy condition anytime I hear about the intermittent menace of herdsmen and farmers crisis, especially in the south-west.“My thinking is that the various state governments in the southern part of the country give total recognition to most of the herdsmen leadership without finding out their backgrounds.’’Zungeru urged government not to relent in its efforts toward proffering lasting solution to the crisis.NAN reports that among the dignitaries honoured with various titles at the event were the Governor of Katsina State Alhaji Aminu Masari.Also honoured were former Inspector-General of Police, Sir Mike Okiro, the present Chairman, Police Service Commission, Col Kabir Gambo (rtd), Prof. Kyauta Ibahim and Alhaji Yahya Baba-Ahmed among others.The event was attended by Justice Mamman Nasir (rtd), a former President, Court of Appeal and Sarkin Shasha, Alhaji Maiyasin Katsina, the Chairman, Arewa Traditional rulers in 17 southern states.The event was also attended by Mr Abdullahi Kure, the Oyo State Director, Department of State Services, some Yoruba traditional rulers and hosts of Hausa Chiefs.

Salah Takes Liverpool To Second, West Brom Cut Adrift

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring the team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 24, 2018. Oli SCARFF / AFP
Jurgen Klopp described a near perfect Liverpool performance as a “joy to watch” as Mohamed Salah scored for the sixth straight game in a 4-1 thrashing of West Ham at Anfield on Saturday.
Klopp’s men moved up into second in the Premier League by edging a point ahead of bitter rivals Manchester United, who host fourth-placed Chelsea on Sunday, as Emre Can, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were also on target.
“I don’t think as a manager you can expect a game like this, you can hope for it but it’s very rare you get it. We got it. It was a joy to watch,” said Klopp.
“It was intense, it was aggressive, it was angry, it was full of desire. I saw everything I wish to see in a game of football and it’s not often you see that.”
Salah also drew level with Harry Kane on 23 Premier League goals in an outstanding debut season at Liverpool in the battle for the golden boot.
The Egyptian was inches away from opening the scoring inside three minutes when he struck the post, but did have a hand when Can’s bullet header from Salah’s corner broke the deadlock on 29 minutes for Liverpool’s 100th goal of the season in all competitions.
Salah doubled Liverpool’s lead when he steered a shot into the far corner on his favoured left foot after the break from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s through ball.
Moments later it was Firmino who beat West Ham goalkeeper Adrian to Can’s pass before slotting into an empty net.
Substitute Michail Antonio pulled a goal back for the Hammers just a minute after coming on, but Mane ensured all of Liverpool’s prolific front three were on target when he converted Andrew Robertson’s cross 13 minutes from time.
“We always thought we had a chance of scoring today but we couldn’t keep their front players quiet,” said West Ham boss David Moyes. “Ultimately we are playing against a team in real form.”
More West Brom Woe
At the other end of the table, promoted Huddersfield and Brighton moved clear of the bottom three.
West Brom are now seven points adrift of safety at the foot of the table as Huddersfield struck twice in eight minutes at the start of the second period through Rajiv van La Parra and Steve Mounie to win 2-1 at the Hawthorns.
Brighton moved up to 12th thanks to Glenn Murray’s double and late goals from Anthony Knockaert and Jurgen Locadia to end Swansea’s 10-match unbeaten run in a 4-1 thrashing that drops the Welsh side back into the relegation zone.
Dwight Gayle also scored twice, but Newcastle failed to back up their stunning win over Manchester United as they blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Bournemouth. Adam Smith and Dan Gosling struck for the hosts in the final 10 minutes.
Southampton also salvaged a point late on to edge out of the drop zone on goal difference.
Manolo Gabbiadini came off the bench to level in stoppage time and grab a 1-1 draw at Burnley, whose wait since December 12 for a Premier League win continues.
Earlier, Stoke boss Paul Lambert hailed Jack Butland as the “best goalkeeper in Britain” despite an own goal from the England international costing his side the chance to move out of the bottom three in a 1-1 draw at Leicester.
The visitors, who remain 19th, led through Xherdan Shaqiri’s long-range strike until Butland fumbled Marc Albrighton’s cross into his own net 20 minutes from time.
Watford moved into the top half of the table as captain Troy Deeney’s strike 11 minutes from time edge a low quality encounter 1-0 over Everton.
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In Ajegunle: NGO tasks residents on proper waste disposal

The ACI made the donation during its Beyond Waste Programme in the community. Africa Cleanup Initiative (ACI), an NGO, on Saturday distributed food items, clothes and mosquito nets to residents of Mosquito Village in Ajegunle, Lagos, to encourage them to be environmentally responsible.The ACI made the donation during its Beyond Waste Programme in the community.The ACI Chief Environmental Officer, Mr Alex Akhigbe, said that a clean environment had numerous health benefits.“We want to raise environmentally responsible citizens.“To a large extent, people feel that keeping the environment clean is the sole responsibility of the government but everyone has a part to play in keeping the environment clean,” he said.According to him, ACI desired that communities should dispose refuse properly.“Our volunteers go house-to-house to talk to the people on proper waste disposal and other things they have to do to keep their environment clean.“We give food items, clothes and mosquito nets to families,” he said.Mr Folorunsho Ashogbon, a Leader of Mosquito Village, hailed the ACI for the efforts.He called on Lagos State Government to do more in disposal of waste in the community.“Waste disposal vehicles do not come to our community to pick waste.“We want the government to help in bringing the vehicles to come and pick up our refuse,” he said.A school teacher, Mr Olusanya Olowoekere, said that the residents dumped faeces into canals because they had no alternative.He called for the state government’s intervention in the community.

BLACK PANTHER’ SENSATION: I got a bigger role than I anticipated!

•Nigerian-born Sope Aluko opens up on how she starred in Hollywood’s 200million –dollar-movie
•Dreams of working with Nollywood’s Genevieve, others
Weeks ago, Nigerians were elated to hear that a Nollywood actress had made her Hollywood debut in Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War”. The excitement was short-lived after it was discovered to be a fluke.
However, Nigeria finally got a stake in a Marvel Studios film with the release of one of 2018’s most anticipated movies, Black Panther, after Sope Aluko, bagged a major role in the film.
•Sope Aluko
The movie, which carries an estimated $200 million production cost, has a historical importance because it is the first Marvel film to feature a black protagonist, a black director and a predominately black cast.
The mother of two teenage boys plays the role of Shaman, a powerful primal leader who calls upon nature spirits for aid or guidance in Black Panther. A Hollywood star, her credits include supporting roles in feature films like Identity Thief, Pitch Perfect 2, 96 Minutes and Grass Stains.
In this interview, the multilingual actress speaks about her career and landing a role in the Black Panther movie.
Could you tell us about your role in Black Panther?
Sope: I play the role of Shaman and my teacher is Zuri, which is played by Forest Whitaker. He is also a spiritual leader like I am and counsels the king, T’Challa. I had to make sure I was fit for the role because one of my scenes that was going to involve some physical activity – I can’t say [which scene] exactly so you have to see the film. But that was pretty much all I did from a physicality point of view. And then for my role, I had to speak in a different accent. I made sure I did my research about the accent. Although we had a dialect coach, I wanted to make sure I was prepared prior to coming on set.
What did it feel like to star in a Hollywood movie that finally portrays Africa in a positive light?
Sope: It felt so good to finally be part of a film that really positions Africa in a positive and inspirational light. This is something that I have been waiting for a long time in Hollywood and I think a lot of black people; African and non-Africans have been waiting for (it) so I think that is the reason the buzz is so much. Black Panther is such an incredibly well put together film and it’s coming at a time when Africa is attracting a lot of bad press especially here in the US.
Is it right to say that Black Panther is your biggest movie role yet?
Sope: Absolutely without a doubt, the Black Panther is the biggest feature film I have worked on and it’s incredible. I’m just blown away by how well it’s been received. I knew it was going to be something super special with all the other actors that were on set. We all wanted to be sure we honoured the African continent in a very respectful way and I know that we did it with this film.
Breaking into mainstream Hollywood as a black actor is no small task. How did you clinch the role?
Sope: It was an extremely competitive movie set; everybody wanted to be part of the movie immediately the auditions were put out. Everybody was trying to clinch a role in the film and it’s just so ironic because I initially had auditioned for Spiderman a year ago and the (at) last minute, I didn’t get the role. My children and I were very disappointed so when Black Panther came along I was like, ‘well, Lord this is the kind of movie I really would love to star in’. I actually auditioned for four roles – individual roles and different roles, and I didn’t get any of them for various reasons. I was too young or maybe too old, I don’t know. And then I got a call to audition for a smaller role, and I went to the director session with the director, LA (casting,) local casting as well as the producers for Marvel. I auditioned for the role and didn’t hear anything for a few weeks. And all of a sudden, I got a call from my agent and they said: ‘Oh, you didn’t book that role, but they have created a role for you and it’s this, and it’s a bigger role.’
Do you have your eyes on Nollywood?
Sope: Yes, I would love to work in Nollywood. I would definitely love to work on a collaborative project between Nollywood and Hollywood. I am a huge Nollywood fan and I would love to work on something from my home country so let’s see how things pan out. I place it in God hands.
Are there any particular Nollywood actors you would like to work with?
I would love to work with a number of actors like Genevieve Nnaji, would be nice to work with her. You know I have seen a lot of Nollywood films. I just saw ‘Wedding Party 1 and 2’. I’m so excited to see, you know, we are so proud of our heritage, myself, my family and friends so it would be wonderful if I can feature in a Nollywood project so let’s just watch and see.
In what ways are you looking to give back to your roots?
Sope: I would love to give back to my roots. I always believe that to whom much is given much is expected. And when I do have that opportunity to do that, I would love to do that, especially the youth
who are trying to break through into the entertainment industry. I mean, I had my own fair share of struggles while trying to break into the industry and I don’t feel we all have to go through everything like I did. Everybody’s path is different of course but I would love to be able to help in any way I can and hopefully that would come full circle at the appropriate time.
Could you tell us about your journey to the top?
Everybody’s journey is different but for me, personally, I got into TV and acting full time after I left corporate America about nine years ago. It was very hard for me because I was a misnomer as they felt. I was Nigerian born, British grown and I spoke different languages and all that stuff and they were like where do I put her? What box? And I didn’t fit a box. I rocked it because this industry is not about being in a box it’s about being different because that is how you book your role but that’s what it was then.
I have seen a recent move, (a) shift, in the last couple of years in terms of the need for more diversity and representation in characters. For instance, if Black Panther movie was shot nine years ago you probably
won’t even see any real African actors in it. You would see a Coming To America prototype. But here we have everything aligned appropriately; we have a director who was very intent on researching and honorably
being respectful to the African continent by getting African actors involved. And he brought his entire team together who all had the same feeling and thought.
So, what’s next for Sope?
My dream and goal is to have a sustaining, thriving career as a working actress in Hollywood. I just want to be able to make a living from this. I am hoping that featuring in Black Panther would open doors for me that have never had been opened before. I hope to bag more lead roles that I have never had been considered for. So, I am looking forward to some positive things in the future. I am also looking forward to producing and that brings me back to my Nollywood conversation earlier. I would love to co-produce on a project with Nollywood directors and actors. That is my dream; I would love to do that in addition to being an actor. It’s all about you creating your own content nowadays so I definitely want to do that.
Why is any Nollywood actor yet to break into Hollywood?
Sope: I really don’t know why Nollywood actors have not broken through in Hollywood but I can only speak from my perspective. I really am not sure that I am equipped to answer that question.
With your engineering background, how easy was it switching from the sciences to the arts?
Sope: Like I said earlier I always wanted to be an actor, it was my passion. However, I knew I had a knack for Maths, Chemistry, and Physics so my parents wanted me to be a doctor. They just didn’t feel
acting was going to be right for me so I decided to go to the part of engineering because I didn’t want to be a doctor. I ended up studying Production Engineering and that had some industrial management perspective to it so I moved in that area. It was a four years course and on my third year, I worked in a company’s marketing department and I loved it so I thought it was a way for me to exhibit my creativity in marketing and advertising so that was where I gravitated towards. I finished my degree in engineering and decided to pursue my masters in brand marketing and management and that’s the field I worked in for good 10 to 15 years.
You have enjoyed a scandal free career so far. What’s the secret?
Sope: I am thankful I don’t have any scandals and I thank God but I also know that the acting industry is so different from it was 10 years ago. Now, we have social media and that just opens an actor to so many things. Things can be seen and heard simultaneously around the world and wrong information can be misconstrued on social media. The only thing I try my best to do is to be very conscious and I also
keep my family close because I know that they are most important to me. I just ask the Lord for discernment and wisdom for every single step that I take and I pray I continue to be scandal free.
Source: Premium Times
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Yusuf Adebay: NAHCON sensitises intending pilgrims on early preparation for 2018 Hajj

Mr Yusuf Adebayo, the NAHCON’s Commissioner in charge of Policy, Personnel Management and Finance, made the call at a stakeholders’ meeting on the 2018 Hajj in Lagos. The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Saturday called on intending pilgrims for the 2018 Hajj to make early preparation to avoid unnecessary challenges.Mr Yusuf Adebayo, the NAHCON’s Commissioner in charge of Policy, Personnel Management and Finance, made the call at a stakeholders’ meeting on the 2018 Hajj in Lagos.“Most of the challenges we usually face are due to late preparation and the Saudi Authorities have taken stringent steps to ensure that they do not recur in 2018.“This informs why a deadline of March 31 has been fixed for all hajj payments, because all payments are expected to get to Saudi Arabia by April,’’ he said.Adebayo urged the pilgrims to always adhere strictly to the regulations guarding hajj exercise so as to enjoy full spiritual benefits of the exercise.“We have also observed that some Nigerians do not know the importance of hajj; when they get to Mecca they engage in unwholesome activities that have no spiritual benefit.“Saudi Authorities have recommended that intending pilgrims should be tutored on the importance of hajj before they embark on the pilgrimage.“We implore all states Pilgrims Boards to rise up to the challenge,” he said.Adebayo also advised the pilgrims to stop the idea of absconding after pilgrimage, saying that Saudi Authorities would always find them out, saying there is no hiding place in Mecca.He regretted that 900 Nigerians absconded after the 2017 hajj.“We have also observed that some Nigerians do not return with their state contingents after the pilgrimage; some do not even perform the hajj rites before absconding,’’ Adebayo said.Also, Mr Muftau Okoya, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Muslims Pilgrim Board, assured NAHCON of his board’s cooperation in all areas of preparation for the hajj.Okoya urged intending pilgrims from the state to take advantage of the little time left to conclude their payments for the 2018 Hajj.“I thank NAHCON for bringing this stakeholders’ meeting to Lagos.“I assure the commission that we shall always cooperate with them.“It is barely one month to the deadline, and I urge intending pilgrims from Lagos State to take advantage of the little time left to conclude their processes,” he said.NAN reports that the stakeholders’ meeting was attended by NAHCON officials from Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Osun.