Monday, 26 July 2010

Summer Party With The Twist July 2010

It's funny - just when you don't think you could meet any more nice people in Banking ;-) along come a Cluster to upset your preconceptions. This was true when I met a nice new Lady Client whom was looking for a Venue to throw a Summer Party for her Boss. Unfortunately due to sending out the wrong message a lot of Banks have slashed their Entertainment Budget. So this French client took it upon himself to spend c. £18 k of his own money to throw a party for his Wife's Birthday, Colleagues and Clients. I salute you Mr A! After Site visiting about 10 venues I finally stumbled on a gem of a venue called Royal College Of Physicians in Regent's Park. Awesome for conferences and Summer Parties alike. The staff, food & professionalism impeccable.
My Clients wanted something different with a cool twist..... So we devised not just a standard summer party but threw in some live music, superstar dj and dancers. The ingredients were mixed together and we concocted a winning formula. South African Braai, Champagne, Jamie Archer ( X Factor) singing, Femi Fem DJing and Patricia & the Brasillians dancing - I love my job! Just seeing people happy and enjoying themselves does a lot for the soul me thinks. So the day before I shot off to Egypt I threw this f**k off party that was deemed a noteable success! Thanks Celine, Jane & Antoine for the pleasure....see you soon x

Thursday, 8 July 2010

FIFA World Cup 2010 Final Tickets - Sign Of The Times !

I am so proud of what SA is doing to dispel all those arsey critisizers that prior to the games said " Oh it's going to be so dangerous, it's going to be a mess". Well up your Vuvuzela is what I say!

It is also a big shame that due to the world economic climate Clients cannot be seen to be taking gifts from their Suppliers especially when it comes to tickets and hospitality for the World Cup.

So it saddened me when a lovely Client called me earlier this week and said due to her Boss's work commitments and the lack of their Customers willing to take up the Full Flight & Hospitality Packages they had on offfer 6 x VIP World Cup Tickets & Full Hospitality Packages worth $5,000 each needed to be sold.

When I advertised them with "Les Gens Que J'Aime", you can imagine what kind of interesting offers I was getting. Due to time decay and the tickets being here with me in Blighty I will have to bulk and sell them at a fraction of their true worth so at least my Client gets something back.

Oh well C'est la vie! A sign of the times we live in - perculiar but sweet: One man's poison is another man's remedy..........who ever gets these tickets is one lucky duck!

Come on Holland!!!!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Fela Kuti - The Legend Lives On

This morning as I was trying to shed some ponds on the treadmill ( yeah yeah - I do go to the gym :-) a beautiful song came on my Ipod called "Zombie" by the everlastion Afro Beat Legend Fela Kuti. Wow what a genius. Still loving your work Guru!!!!

Here are some details on the great Man!!!

Fela was born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria[2] into a middle-class family. His mother, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a feminist activist in the anti-colonial movement and his father, Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, a Protestant minister and school principal, was the first president of the Nigerian Union of Teachers.[3] His brothers, Beko Ransome-Kuti and Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, both medical doctors, are well known in Nigeria. Fela was a first cousin to the famous African Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, the first African to win a Nobel Prize.
Fela was sent to London in 1958 to study medicine but decided to study music instead at the Trinity College of Music. While there, he formed the band Koola Lobitos, playing a fusion of jazz and highlife.[4] In 1960, Fela married his first wife, Remilekun (Remi) Taylor, with whom he would have three children (Femi, Yeni, and Sola). In 1963, Fela moved back to Nigeria, re-formed Koola Lobitos and trained as a radio producer for the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation. He played for some time with Victor Olaiya and his All Stars.[5] In 1967, he went to Ghana to think up a new musical direction.[3] That was when Kuti first called his music Afrobeat.[3] In 1969, Fela took the band to the United States. While there, Fela discovered the Black Power movement through Sandra Smith (now Izsadore)—a partisan of the Black Panther Party—which would heavily influence his music and political views and renamed the band Nigeria '70. Soon, the Immigration and Naturalization Service was tipped off by a promoter that Fela and his band were in the U.S. without work permits. The band then performed a quick recording session in Los Angeles that would later be released as The '69 Los Angeles Sessions.
After Fela and his band returned to Nigeria, the band was renamed to Africa '70 and the lyrical themes changed from love to social issues.[4] He then formed the Kalakuta Republic, a commune, a recording studio, and a home for many connected to the band that he later declared independent from the Nigerian state. Fela set up a nightclub in the Empire Hotel, named the Afro-Spot and then the Afrika Shrine, where he performed regularly. Fela also changed his middle name to Anikulapo (meaning "he who carries death in his pouch"),[6] stating that his original middle name of Ransome was a slave name. The recordings continued, and the music became more politically motivated. [citation needed] Fela's music became very popular among the Nigerian public and Africans in general.[7] In fact, he made the decision to sing in Pidgin English so that his music could be enjoyed by individuals all over Africa, where the local languages spoken are very diverse and numerous. As popular as Fela's music had become in Nigeria and elsewhere, it was also very unpopular with the ruling government, and raids on the Kalakuta Republic were frequent. During 1972 Ginger Baker recorded Stratavarious with Fela appearing alongside Bobby Gass.[8] Around this time, Kuti was becoming more involved in Yoruba religion.[9] In 1977 Fela and the Afrika '70 released the hit album Zombie, a scathing attack on Nigerian soldiers using the zombie metaphor to describe the methods of the Nigerian military. The album was a smash hit with the people and infuriated the government, setting off a vicious attack against the Kalakuta Republic, during which one thousand soldiers attacked the commune. Fela was severely beaten, and his elderly mother was thrown from a window, causing fatal injuries. The Kalakuta Republic was burned, and Fela's studio, instruments, and master tapes were destroyed. Fela claimed that he would have been killed if it was not for the intervention of a commanding officer as he was being beaten. Fela's response to the attack was to deliver his mother's coffin to the Dodan Barracks in Lagos, General Olusegun Obasanjo's residence, and to write two songs, "Coffin for Head of State" and "Unknown Soldier", referencing the official inquiry that claimed the commune had been destroyed by an unknown soldier.[10]
Fela and his band then took residence in Crossroads Hotel as the Shrine had been destroyed along with his commune. In 1978 Fela married 27 women, many of whom were his dancers, composers, and singers to mark the anniversary of the attack on the Kalakuta Republic. Later, he was to adopt a rotation system of keeping only twelve simultaneous wives.[11] The year was also marked by two notorious concerts, the first in Accra in which riots broke out during the song "Zombie", which led to Fela being banned from entering Ghana. The second was at the Berlin Jazz Festival after which most of Fela's musicians deserted him, due to rumours that Fela was planning to use the entirety of the proceeds to fund his presidential campaign.
Despite the massive setbacks, Fela was determined to come back. He formed his own political party, which he called Movement of the People. In 1979 he put himself forward for President in Nigeria's first elections for more than a decade but his candidature was refused. At this time, Fela created a new band called Egypt '80 and continued to record albums and tour the country. He further infuriated the political establishment by dropping the names of ITT vice-president Moshood Abiola and then General Olusegun Obasanjo at the end of a hot-selling 25-minute political screed titled "I.T.T. (International Thief-Thief)".
In 1984, he was again attacked by the military government, who jailed him on a dubious charge of currency smuggling. His case was taken up by several human-rights groups, and after 20 months, he was released from prison by General Ibrahim Babangida. On his release he divorced his 12 remaining wives, saying that "marriage brings jealousy and selfishness."[11] Once again, Fela continued to release albums with Egypt '80, made a number of successful tours of the United States and Europe and also continued to be politically active. In 1986, Fela performed in Giants Stadium in New Jersey as part of the Amnesty International Conspiracy of Hope concert, sharing the bill with Bono, Carlos Santana, and The Neville Brothers. In 1989, Fela and Egypt '80 released the anti-apartheid Beasts of No Nation album that depicts on its cover U.S. President Ronald Reagan, UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and South African Prime Minister Pieter Willem Botha with fangs dripping blood.
His album output slowed in the 1990s, and eventually he stopped releasing albums altogether. In 1993 he and four members of the Afrika '70 organisation were arrested for murder. The battle against military corruption in Nigeria was taking its toll, especially during the rise of dictator Sani Abacha. Rumours were also spreading that he was suffering from an illness for which he was refusing treatment. On 3 August 1997, Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, already a prominent AIDS activist and former Minister of Health, stunned the nation by announcing his younger brother's death a day earlier from Kaposi's sarcoma brought on by AIDS. (Their younger brother Beko was in jail at this time at the hand of Abacha for political activity.) More than a million people attended Fela's funeral at the site of the old Shrine compound. A new Africa Shrine has opened since Fela's death in a different section of Lagos under the supervision of his son Femi Kuti.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

African Business Awards 2010 Grosvenor House

The last week I have been lucky enough to be invited to a most inspirational series of Events and Conferences put together by the African Business Magazine about Trade Finance in Nigeria and across the Sub-Saharan African Continent. Our time is here to turn potential into productivity. Being Nigeria's Golden Jubillee year there are a plethora of Events and Gatherings that you can participate in. As Project Manager for the Events Logistics & Implementation of the Nigeria At 50 Golden Jubilee Celebrations I will be listing all the pertinent Events you can join it imminently.

But hats off to the African Business Awards Team for a most proficient and positive set of Events......Inspirational!!!

Now in its third year, the African Business Awards is the key annual event for the African business world and its accolades are much sort after by Africa’s leading companies and entrepreneurs. Organised by IC Publications, publishers of African Business magazine, and the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), the African Business Awards has become a platform to celebrate excellence and best practices in African business and recognises those who have driven Africa’s rapidly transforming economy.

"The African Business Awards are a demonstration of the strong interest in business in Africa. The enthusiasm and confidence of investors and business leaders in Africa is palpable." Paul Skinner, Chairman, Rio Tinto