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Entertainment, FEATURES, M-I-NA AMBASSADOR

Our Made-In-Nigeria Ambassador of the Week, Genevieve Nnaj (born 3 May 1979) is a Nigerian actress, producer, and director. She won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2005, making her the first actor to win the award. In 2011, she was honoured as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic by the Nigerian government for her contribution to Nollywood. Her directorial debut movie, Lionheart, is the first Netflix Original from Nigeria, and first Nigerian submission for the Oscars.

Nnaji was born in Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria, and grew up in Lagos. She attended Methodist Girls College (Yaba, Lagos), before transferring to the University of Lagos, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in creative arts.

Nnaji started her acting career as a child actor in the then-popular television soap opera Ripples at the age of 8. In 1998, at the age of 19, she was introduced into the growing Nigerian film industry with the movie Most Wanted. Her subsequent movies include Last Party, Mark of the Beast, and Ijele. In 2010, she starred in the award-winning film Ijé: The Journey. She has starred in over 200 Nollywood movies.

In 2004, Nnaji signed a recording contract with EKB Records, a Ghanaian record label, and released her debut album One Logologo Line. It is a mix of R&B, Hip-Hop, and Urban music. In 2004, Genevieve Nnaji was with the most votes after contending with other celebrities for the search for the face of Lux in 2004.

In 2005, she won the Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) for Best Actress in a Leading Role, becoming the first actor to win the award.

As of 2009, Nnaji was one of the best-paid female actors in Nollywood. Due to her contributions to the Nigerian movie industry, she became the first actor to be awarded Best Actress at the 2001 City Peoples Awards, the award ceremony that previously had only recognized politicians and business conglomerates. She was also the first actor to be awarded as Best Actress by the Censors Board of Nigeria in 2003. In 2009, she was referred to as the Julia Roberts of Africa by Oprah Winfrey.

In November 2015, Nnaji produced her first movie called Road to Yesterday, later winning Best Movie Overall-West Africa at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.

On 7 September 2018, her directorial debut Lionheart was acquired by online streaming service Netflix, making it the first Netflix original film from Nigeria. The movie had its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, alongside Farming, the Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s autobiographical directorial debut where she starred in alongside Kate Beckinsale, Damson Idris, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

Genevieve Nnaji is a very strong girl and women activist. She advocates for Nigerian girls to be able to have a say in who they choose to marry. She is against early marriages for the girl child. She is strongly against abuse of women in society. Genevieve says she is a strong advocate for social justice. Further, Genevieve Nnaji is a strong feminist. She states her type of feminism is the woman who has the right to make her own choices and do whatever she feels like.

Nnaji has featured in several commercials, include for Pronto (beverage) and Omo detergent. In 2004, she became the “Face of Lux” in Nigeria in a highly lucrative sponsorship deal. In 2008, Nnaji launched the clothing line “St. Genevieve”, which donates its proceeds to charity. In May 2010, she was appointed to be the official “Face of MUD” in Nigeria.

Nnaji has received several awards and nominations for her work, including the Best Actress of the Year Award at the 2001 City People Awards and the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award at the 2005 Africa Movie Academy Awards.

In 2019, her movie, Lionheart (2018 film), was selected by the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC), as Nigeria’s submission to the Best International Feature Film Category of the 2020 Oscars. It was the first film ever submitted to the Oscars by Nigeria.

 

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Entertainment

Niniola Apata has received her Grammy nomination certificate for her work as a composer on The Lion King: The Gift. Popularly known professionally as Niniola, she describes her style of music as Afro-house, a blend of Afrobeat and house music.

Nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 62nd Grammy Awards in 2019, the 27-track album which drew inspiration from Disney’s animation, ‘Lion King’ features several music artists from a wide range of regions across the universe and most importantly from Africa, including Burna Boy, Wizkid, Yemi Alade, Tekno, Shatta Wale, Tiwa Savage, and Mr. Eazi. The album also has contributions from Jay-Z, Pharrell, Beyonce’s daughter; Blue Ivy Carter, Kendric Lamar, Childish Gambino, and Niniola.

 

The Nigerian singer and songwriter participated in the sixth season of Project Fame West Africa in 2013. After releasing her debut single “Ibadi” in 2014, she was nominated for Most Promising Act to watch at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.

Niniola released the Sarz-produced single “Maradona” in 2017. The song spent 13 weeks on South Africa’s Metro FM chart, retaining the number 1 position for 6 weeks. Niniola earned nominations at the 2018 BET Awards and SAMAs for “Maradona”. She received nods from Canadian rapper Drake and American record producer Timbaland.

In 2019, elements of “Maradona” were sampled in “Find Your Way Back”, a song from Beyoncé’s soundtrack album The Lion King: The Gift. Niniola is also credited as a songwriter and composer on the track.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Entertainment

Osinachi Joseph (née Kalu), known professionally as Sinach, has made history to become the first African to top Billboard USA Christian songwriter chart, the music industry standard record chart for songs published weekly by Billboard magazine.  Her song Way Maker, according to the data released in May, has dominated the chart for the past seven weeks. Chart ranking is based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

The Proudly Nigerian singer and songwriter has released other gospel hit songs, including “I Know Who I Am”, “Great Are You Lord”, “Rejoice”, “He Did It Again”, ” Precious Jesus”, “The Name of Jesus”, “This Is My Season”, “Awesome God”, “For This”, “I Stand Amazed”, “Simply Devoted” and “Jesus is Alive”.

 In March 2019, the visuals for “Way Maker” became the third Nigerian video to garnered 100 million views on YouTube behind Davido’s “Fall” and Yemi Alade’s Johnny”. “Way Maker” has been covered by multiple Christian artists such as Michael W. Smith, Darlene Zschech, Leeland, Bethel Music, and Mandisa. In September 2019, Sinach became the first gospel artist from Africa to tour India, headlining concerts with several thousand in attendance.

 

Osinachi Kalu, Born30 March 1973 in Afikpo South, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. She started singing for family and friends in 1989 as a hobby while working as a staff and choir member in Christ Embassy Church.

She studied Physics and graduated from the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. She considered relocating from Nigeria after her University education but was advised against it by pastor Chris Oyakhilome.

As a child, Sinach stated she had dreams, where she saw herself singing to large crowds, but didn’t actively pursue anything musically as a career besides joining the choir and also working as an administrative staff in the Church. Sinach had written many songs before she released her first album, Chapter One in 2008. Her song ‘This Is Your Season’ won the Song of the Year award in 2008.

Speaking on how she came by her stage name Sinach, she said: “I chose that from my name Osinachi because it is easy to pronounce and catchy”.

In 2016, Sinach was the first recipient of the LIMA Songwriter of the Decade Award, recognizing her contribution to gospel music in the previous decade. Her songs were being sung in many countries, translated to many languages, around the world. That same year, she received the African Achievers’ Award for Global Excellence. Also that same year, for the second time in a row, she won the Western Africa Artist Of The Year by Groove Awards in Kenya and was listed by YNaija alongside Chris Oyakhilome, Enoch Adeboye as one of the Top 100 Influential Christians in Nigeria.

As a songwriter, Sinach has written over 200 songs and won several awards. Her song ‘This Is Your Season’ won the Song of the Year award in 2008. One of her most popular songs is ‘I Know Who I Am’.

Sinach has performed and headlined concerts in over 50 countries including Kenya, Dominica, South Africa, United States, Canada, Antigua & Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Grenada, Uganda, Barbados, The British Virgin Islands, Zambia, Saint Maarten, the United Kingdom, and India

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Entertainment, FEATURES, M-I-NA AMBASSADOR

 

At MINA-Online, as part of our Advocacy for Made-In-Nigeria, we will be profiling some great proudly Nigerians as our Ambassador of the week. The idea is to celebrate our living Ambassadors, projecting the best of Nigeria to the world. We understand that the world is readily available to report our negatives, we must make a conscious effort on our part to project your positives to the world.

Our Made-In-Nigeria Ambassador (M-I-NA) of the Week is no other than Innocent Ujah Idibia (born in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria), known by his stage name 2Baba, is a Proudly Nigerian singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, humanitarian, and activist.

He is one of the most decorated and successful Afro pop artists in Africa and is also one of the most bankable performing music artistes in Africa. With over 2 decades in the industry, 2Baba remains influential in the Nigerian and global Entertainment space.

A serial award winner, 2Baba has received several awards that include; one MTV Europe Music Award, one World Music Award, five Headies Awards (Hip-hop award), four Channel O Music Video Awards and one BET award for his musical work, four MTV Africa Music Awards, one MOBO award, one KORA award, 3 Afrima Awards, and numerous additional nominations.

A true Made-In-Nigeria Ambassador, 2Baba has also been an ambassador for quite a number of brands including the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.

2Baba established an NGO called the 2Baba Foundation, centered around nation-building, peaceful co-existence, and accountability in governance.

2Baba was a member of the Plantashun Boiz. He released his debut solo album Face 2 Face (2004), which established him as a viable solo artist after the disbandment of the Plantashun Boiz the same year.

Following the release of his debut album, he released his second album Grass 2 Grace in 2006, which contained hits “One Love”, “True Love, “4 Instance”. He is the founder of Hypertek Entertainment.

In 2006, his song “African Queen” was used in the soundtrack for the film Phat Girlz, which was released internationally.

In 2010, 2Baba released an “International Edition” under the title The Unstoppable International Edition making him the first Nigerian artist to have an appropriately priced international album. The international edition of the album won two awards at the 2010 SoundCity Music Video Awards. He also won the Channel O Music Video Awards Best African Western award and the MTV Africa Music Awards for Best Male and Artist of the year.

 He is part of the Sony All African One8 Project alongside seven other musicians across Africa recording a single with R. Kelly and Prince Lee titled “Hands Across the World”.

He is the first non-Liberian to become an honorary member of the Liberian music society in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the growth of music in Africa. He has been named Red cross ambassador society of Nigeria. 2Baba has several collaborations all over the globe, giving his collaborators the opportunity to win any awards for each duet such as street credibility by 9ice, possibility by p-square, and lots more. He is adored by his colleagues and every entertainer in the Nigerian music industry as a role model. 2Baba and heavyweight American Rapper Jay Z met in NYC 2014.

In 2009, he was presented with the prestigious International Youth Ambassador for Peace Summit and the Nigeria Youth Merit Award by the National Youth Council of Nigeria in recognition of his contributions to youth development in Nigeria.

In January 2017, 2Baba announced a partnership with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He made an initial donation of over US$11,000 to UNHCR for IDPs and returnees. In June 2017, he released a dedicated IDP-awareness song titled Hold My Hand to mark the World Refugee Day and promised 60 percent of the proceeds from the song to the IDP cause. He has also collaborated with other NGOs like The Nigerian RedCross Society, Enough is Enough (EiE)(Office of the Citizen campaign), Youngstars Foundation, and National Democratic Institute (for Vote Not Fight campaign).

In May 2016, 2Baba received an honorary Master of Arts in Music degree from Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, Nigeria.

In March 2019, he was awarded an honorary fellow of the school of music by the Music Department, Obafemi Awolowo University. This made him the pioneer recipient of the award which was presented to him at the first public lecture and fellowship award, held on the 20th of March 2019.

 

@MINA-Online we celebrate our  Made-in-Nigeria Ambassador of the Week Innocent Ujah Idibia ( 2Baba).

 

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