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‘Bad boy’ Fabian Lojede craves Thomas Sankara role

Television’s ‘bad boy’, Fabian Lojede has revealed his intense passion to play the role of the charismatic Thomas Sankara, former President of Burkina Faso, on the big screen. The Nigerian actor may not have many well-known roles under his belt but his portrayal of the obnoxious Bola Abayomi in the hit drama series, ‘Jacob’s Cross’ […]

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Television’s ‘bad boy’, Fabian Lojede has revealed his intense passion to play the role of the charismatic Thomas Sankara, former President of Burkina Faso, on the big screen. The Nigerian actor may not have many well-known roles under his belt but his portrayal of the obnoxious Bola Abayomi in the hit drama series, ‘Jacob’s Cross’ has made him one of the most notorious bad guys on TV across Africa.

As one of the children of the late Chief Abayomi, an oil magnate, battling for Africa’s rich offshore oil resources, Bola is ruthless, unstable, and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Love him or hate him, Bola is so good at being bad that one cannot help but pay attention to each word he utters and each calculating move he makes.

Fabian was born in Lagos, but both of his parents hail from the historical and culturally-rich city of Abeokuta in Ogun state, Nigeria. He currently lives in South Africa and has a world of experience from all over the globe. Fabian runs a production company called 1 Take Media, which shoots TV commercials, drama, reality shows etc. He has not only proven to be a good actor when he is really bad, but has been a successful creative in the world of advertising. “I come from an advertising background and I still develop campaigns through my ad consultancy firm, Blujeans Communications”, he comment.

With his Bsc degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria Fabian has worked extensively in South Africa since 2003 on creative development, execution and production of major Pan-African campaigns. He has worked as a creative consultant for a number of agencies and production houses on Pan- African campaigns including velocity Films, FCB Africa, Leo Burnett SA, EXP Momentum Africa just to mention a few.

Jamati Online caught up with Fabian to find out about his career in advertising and acting; his aspirations, his thoughts on Nollywood among others.

How was growing up like for you?

Well I spent my first 5 years with my grandmother in Nigeria, then moved to join my parents in the UK and then came back to Nigeria to complete my secondary school and university education. Growing up, like most children I went through phases, but I think I’ve turned out alright. What do you think?

What kind of education did you have?

A very religious one–in the UK I went to a Catholic primary and secondary school. When I got back to Nigeria to finish up, I also found myself in a Catholic school. Luckily we didn’t have a Catholic university in Nigeria then, and even with the advent of private universities I am not sure if we have one now.

When did you get into acting and do you have any professional training in acting?

Well, I have been acting out things since I was a child and no, I don’t have any professional training. Talent cannot be taught but techniques can be taught.

What was the first role you ever played?

Full length will have to be Bola Abayomi.

How did you get the role?

Well I was slightly misquoted on this question once, I never said I didn’t audition for the part, everybody has to. But I was referred to the producers by a very good friend and fellow actor/director, Akin Omotoso.

What is the experience of working on such a popular series like?

Simply put, great, but anything that has to do with cross cultures will always have its ups and downs as certain things can be very sensitive if not handled well.

Did you enjoy playing the role of a bad guy?

I loved it!

What were some of the challenges you faced in playing the role?

Trying not to over act; it’s very easy to fall into that when the character is so energy-charged.

Is the series over?

There are plans to go into the next two seasons before the end of the year

Are you currently working on any other roles?

Yes I am working on a Nigerian feature which I’m writing and another feature to be shot.

What is your opinion of Nollywood production comparing with what you see in South Africa?

It’s just quality really. But the good thing is that’s the easiest thing to correct, with the right budget and hands that can be corrected. We need people to invest in our movies; we need the government to support the industry by providing infrastructure and promoting joint productions with other countries.

Have you been in any Nollywood production?

I am always asked that one. No I haven’t but am working on it.

Which African personality would you be and why?

I love that question man, I thought nobody would ever ask me that. There is only one African I would give an arm and a leg to play; he is the greatest African leader of post colonial Africa, my idol, Thomas Sankara. I will pay producers to allow me to play him that’s just how passionate I am about the man. Not only is his story of great cinematic structure, but it needs to be told, the world needs to know that this continent has produced incorruptible leaders that have truly had the interests of the people at heart. He was a visionary leader but most importantly he had something that most African leaders lack, that is love. He loved his people, and his African skin and heritage. So I would do anything to put the story of Sankara on the big screen, it’s my dream role.

How does your work in advertising shape your acting?

It doesn’t shape it at all, apart from my production company which puts me in the seat of a producer at times, and thus makes me more understanding as an actor with the producers of the show.

You have done a lot of production on HIV/AIDS, what has been the impact of these campaigns?

I like to believe quite strongly our tag line “An HIV-Free Generation Is Possible. It Begins with You”. It seems to have caught on, the rationale behind the campaign is to make Africans understand that they are individually responsible for their actions.

Would you ever consider writing a film or TV script?

I am working on one right now with some friends. I love films with a social, political or historical message, from an African perspective though that’s how I think.

Do you see yourself doing acting full time?

If it pays the bills

Which subjects generally excite you as a person?

Africa, world politics, and history – history of everything from science to the arts. Knowledge excites me, I love to learn and discover new things

Ameyaw Debrah: Who are your favourite actors/actresses?

Sean Penn, Denzel Washington, Al Pacino, Sidney Poitier, Angela Basset

What are your top 10 movies, all time?

That is hard oh. Okay here goes: ‘Midnight Express’ (It is old and it starred Brad Davis), ‘Scar Face’, ‘American Gangster’, ‘Brave Heart’, ‘25th Hour’, ‘Scent of a Woman’, ‘Goodfellas’, ‘City Of God’, ‘Pulp Fiction’

And your Best African movies?

Lynx’, and ‘Saworoide

And your best African actors?

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Joke Silver, Olu Jacobs

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Gospel singer QueenLet share how her SOKAAT music genre is making impact on lives

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Rising gospel artist, QueenLet, is gradually making waves on both local and international music scenes with her Soaking and Atmospheric (SOKAAT) music genre. (more…)

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How American tour operator, Rashad McCorey found a creative solution to tourism during COVID-19

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The tourism industry was one of the most affected during the COVID-19 pandemic but for American tour operator, Rashad McCorey it was a blessing in disguise.
(more…)

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INTERVIEW: From Ghana to Italy and back, Shadowboy Myzic recounts his almost decade-long journey, new single ft. Kelvyn Boy and more

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The Ghanaian-Italian Afrobeat star may not be one you’ve heard enough of, but with his new single ‘Better’ out now, the floodgates are officially open. He’s keen on bridging the gap between Europe and African music; particularly through Afrobeat and his latest release featuring Kelyvn Boy is the plug.
Join us, as Shadowboy Myzic expounds on his enigmatic name and self, all down to a fiery Italian freestyle.
Enjoy.

Thanks for making time for us Shadowboy Myzic. It’s always a joy to host a new face. We can’t help but ask, why Shadowboy Myzic? What’s the story behind such an enigmatic name?
The name Shadowboy Myzic is spiritual blessing from my lovely mother. She used to call me (sunsum) when I was a child simply because my mother is very known in the city of Palermo and a market woman. She owns African shops and restaurants in Palermo. In my childhood, I was the personal assistant to my mother, whenever she goes out of the shop, I assist her until she returns. During that period, being a child growing I need time to play with my friends so as soon as I see my mother returns, I have to vanish to join my friends to play and the old woman will look for me everywhere but will not find me then she will be like you are indeed (sunsum) because you can vanish in a twinkle of an eye. From there I got ‘’sunsum’’ attached to my name.

Looking for a stage name, I felt ‘’sunsum’’ was a blessing from my mother because our shadows follow us everywhere. That’s where I got Shadowboy and Myzic simply means in our own interpretation, (my music). That’s where Shadowboy Myzic was generated.

You featured Kelyvn Boy on your new single, ‘Better’ and some fans may be wondering; “Who’s this new guy?” Mind telling us about yourself and Myzic Empire?
Daniel Kyei is my name, I was born in Ghana and raised in Palermo, Italy. I started writing music at the age of 9 but I got my first opportunity to record at the age of 18 – my first mixtape which then gave me the energy to do more and also set up a record label called Myzic Empire Records. Thanks to my first mixtape that I launched in 2012, I got some attention from my community Palermo where I got lots of compliments but no one was ready to give me a big push so I continued slowly with my friend, Kwamzizy who was the only one who supported me in when I needed to shoot videos for my mixtapes back then. In our little ways we managed to get noticed by some people in our city where we grew up but it wasn’t enough to get to the big platforms.

Despite these difficulties, I continued to push my music 24/7 through the DJ nights and shows I use to play in Palermo. Thank God in 2017 my manager, Mr. Kenneth decided to take me, my music and Myzic Empire to another level. The same year 2017 I released my first single recorded in a professional studio with a music video which revived everything. The single was titled ‘Higher’.

In 2018, I launched an EP titled ‘’Genesis’’. With that EP, the whole Team Myzic Empire and myself went on tour in Ghana for some works and radio tour. In Ghana we managed to connect to some artists and people in the industry where we did some jobs and many other things. In 2019 on our return to Italy, though, we stopped releasing due to studies and some other things, I always continued to work hard for my music and on many other projects that soon the world will witness.

In 2020, I released some freestyles whiles planning on releasing my new projects, all of a sudden Coronavirus shut the world down. The pandemic got me paused, but at the same time got me work harder on many other projects at home. During the pandemic, I was at home with a Ghanaian producer called, Almighty Streetbeatz whom was in my city at that time we worked and created a lot of good music for the world.
This is a little about me and Myzic Empire.

9 years is a long time to be doing music. Any experiences or advice you’d like to share?
Absolutely, yes 9 years is a long time, but as I said in my previous answer the main reason was because, I did not have enough support at that time and I think everything has it’s time and God was still preparing me for the world. My little advice to all my fellow young artist is, do look down on yourself, give you your talent a chance to work though you, be humble and respectful.

Is there any other artist in the diaspora you’re keen on working with soon apart from Kelyvn Boy?

Yes, I would like to collaborate with all the possible artists with whom I can. I’m opened and ready to work with any artist so we can explore the Afro music in Italy, Europe and the globe.

How receptive have Italians been of your music and Afrobeat in general? Enlighten us.

Doing Afro songs in Italy was very difficult back then. The majority of the population of Italians was ignorant about our culture, the rhythm of the Afro songs sounded very wired to their hearing because of the language barrier. Now thank God things are changing, new things are being learnt and the Italians are ready to accept the Afro music in so many ways, that’s why my team and I thought of strategizing the ways of productions by mixing multiple tongues to also make it favorable for everyone to understand my communications with them through my music.

I can gladly say I’m welcomed everywhere I go in Italy especially in my city (Palermo) where this adventure of mine started. The new generation have accepted and embrace Afro music, thanks to our hard work now you can hear Afro music playing in Italian clubs, parties, restaurants, bars, shopping malls etc. I’m so grateful for this day.

We doubt learning Italian was a walk in the park, especially coming from an Anglophone and Asante background. Gist us.

Hehehe :). Oh, frankly speaking, Italian language one of the most beautiful, sexiest and jovial languages I’ve ever known on earth, though it’s difficult to learn, I love and I’m very proud of myself that I can speak, read and write this language. The importance is knowing how to eat and dress Italian will bring your back from the park into an Italian classroom, hahahahahahaa.

Now, the moment everyone’s been waiting for. Mind free styling in Italian for us?

Sputo fuoco come un drago Sono cercato come un ladro Non mi prendi fossi mato Nella moto vado vrom
Con gli amici vroom vroom

Sono il nero siciliano
Suona strano, molto strano Sono il nero siciliano (huh)

Ho visto la morte lo visto sul ponte
Mi ha reso forte c’è scritto sulla fronte

Divina commedia e stato come Dante Non parlo tanto tu sai chi hai di fronte

Haha. That’s a mouthful. Any big plans before 2021 ends? What moves are you making and how can fans keep tabs you?

Yes, I have many projects in progress. I am working on some projects which will be released soon. This one with Kelvyn Boy is one of the first but after that we will fly with lots of other works. Though I still have a long way to go, this does not disempower me because my mind is made up to do good music and my new projects are something new in Italy, Africa and it will be new in the whole universe soon so I invite all my fans and everyone to supporter and fasten their belts, we are about to start.

Listen to Shadowboy Myzic’s new single ‘Better’ featuring Kelvyn Boy here: https://afrisounds.lnk.to/ShadowBetter and watch the video below.

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INTERVIEW: Dove Nicol opens up on her adventure so far, debut single and more

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Dove Nicol, a new and probably the most exciting artist to grace the Ghanaian music scene is confident in winning fans over with her debut single ‘Calm Down’. She’s dedicated to becoming one of Ghana’s most streamed artists and with a voice as authentic as hers, the songbird is all set.

Dove Nicol’s rise from Sierra Leone to Ghana is a unique adventure worthwhile and in this exclusive interview, we take time to explore her very lively character as she updates us on the adventure so far and her debut single, among other gists.

 

Hello Dove and welcome. It’s great to have you around. Like every music fan out there, I’m quite curious. Who is Dove Nicol? Blow our mind.

Dove Nicol is a creative, a pioneer who believes in the power of the African sound, music, culture, heritage and its influence in the world stage. I believe Africa is on the rise and we are living in the era of the African creative industries global domination and worldwide takeover and as a creative blessed by God with the talent of music, I am merely just playing my own part in the fulfillment of this reality.

You’re finally out with your debut single ‘Calm Down’, mind sharing the story behind it?

‘Calm Down’ is a song about love and relationships. The idea behind it places focus on the internal struggles we go through as lovers. It places focus on two sides of a spectrum. On the one hand, you hear the willingness of both partners wanting to love each other and be loved. And on the other, the anxiety and uneasiness that comes with the feelings of mistrust and insecurities that they have both experienced from past relationships which overshadows their ability to fully love and fall in love with each other. The chorus then comes in to serve as a stress reliever telling both parties to calm down, just be at peace and fall into love with each other. The song generally gives a soothing peaceful feeling to the ear.

It seems you were destined to have a career in music growing up. How is it going and what has your greatest challenge since taking it head on been?

Yes, I do believe I was meant for music and it has been the source of my livelihood since I was a child. If I’m been honest, I have received several challenges along the way to getting here. The biggest challenge I believe is getting others to believe in your dreams as much as you do. I can see the vision of where I want to go and who I can become but because I do not have the resources or avenue to get people to see that possibility, it’s hard and sometimes almost impossible to get others to believe in that dream too.

Alot of people only want to be a part of your success, when you have achieved it but are not willing to help you get there. The journey can really be a great struggle for a lot of aspiring artists who have the talent for it but no external backing to let their voices be heard. For me, I was only able to defeat this challenge through perseverance, the Grace of God and my belief in myself to continue going-on no matter the odds.

Are there any Ghanaian artists you admire and hope to work with sometime soon?

There are a lot of Ghanaian artists out there that have really helped shape the future of Ghanaian music and their relentlessness and tireless efforts have paved the way for emerging artists like me to go after our goals. People like Efya, Sarkodie, Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, Kofi Antwi, Bibie Brew, Wiyalaa, Kwesi Arthur, King Promise and many many more talented souls I will definitely see myself working with during the course of my journey in the industry.

Beyond the world of music, where else does your passion lie?

Beyond music I have always aspired to become a philanthropist and a humanitarian. I want to create charitable organizations and help children that are less privileged to achieve a better future. Africa has the largest youth population and majority of them are multi-talented in areas they themselves are not even aware of. If only we had more institutions that can cater to the needs of less privileged children and our youths growing up, our economy will flourish immensely.

What is a day in your life is like?

A day in the life of Dove is typical – wakeup, pray, shower, eat and eat a lot, do my daily routines, some reading, attend to any business calls or meetings I may have during the course of the day and make time to speak with family before the end of the day. Oh, and go to the gym at least 4 times a week to keep fit.

There’s still a lot of ground to cover in 2021. What are your plans? Should fans expect more?

Yes, definitely. Expect a lot from Dove in 2021 but expect a lot more from Dove in 2022. I want my supporters to know that I’m ready and prepared. ‘Calm Down’ was just the ice breaker. I have a ton of creative content ready to flood the market. It’s just a matter of timing. But in due time they shall receive all that I have to offer and will get to know more and more about me as my story unfolds.

I can’t wait to meet the world and for the world to meet Dove. It’s going to be a productive year definitely.

 

Dove Nicol’s ‘Calm Down’ is available on all digital streaming platforms globally here: https://lnk.to/dovenicol-calmdown/

 

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Onyeka Nwelue captures E.T Mensah’s pioneering role in highlife music in controversial biopic, ‘Other Side of History’

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Nigerian author and filmmaker, Onyeka Nwelue continues production for his upcoming biopic, ‘Other Side of History’, after wrapping up with additional scenes shot in Ghana. (more…)

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WATCH: How Ghanaian drummer, Abass Dodoo became a regular choice for the British Royal Family

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Abass Dodoo became a regular choice for the British Royal Family

UK-based Abass Dodoo is professional Ghanaian musician, performer and music teacher, whose skills earned him several opportunities to perform for the British Royal Family. (more…)

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