Tag Archives: ayanda ayotunde

Wole Arisekola’s Ode To Humanity

-Ayotunde Ayanda
Every 4th of April is a special day in the life of businessman and the publisher of Street Journal Magazine, Bowale Wole Arisekola. It’s his birthday and a day he had set aside to touch the lives of his people in Ibadan and other areas of Oyo State.
Arisekola who was recently made the head of his clan as the Mogaji Ajenigi-Eye of Yemetu-Oje compound, Ibadan is a man that doesn’t joke with the well being of his people , thus informing the reason he has picked Monday, 4th of April, 2022 to launch a foundation in the memory of his late mother.
The foundation according to him will cater for the welfare of the aged, women and children in Ibadan and Oyo State in general.
He claimed the launch of the foundation is part of his effort to lessen the daily challenges the people face and he has mapped out plans to help in the areas of scholarship, health provision and job creation.
Arisekola is not new to giving and helping the people, the Wole Street Journal Platform he created a decade ago has touched the lives of many through youth empowerment, community development and employment.
The people of Oje, Beere, Mapo, Foko, Ita-Baale, Yemetu, Agodi, Agbadagbudu, Adeoyo and other parts of Ibadan still echo the support provided them by the foremost journalist and his team during the covid-19 pandemic.
The Mogaji who owns the Arryhan PR and Oke’badan Oil and Gas said the launch of the foundation will start with special prayers and designed to be a small affair of strictly friends and family members.

US Consulate, Morehouse College Hold Music Masterclass, Performance For Over 1000 Youths

The United States Government is committed to strengthening its bilateral ties with Nigeria through music, arts and film which brings diverse people together and creates space for discussion and exchange.


The United States Consulate General Lagos supported the Morehouse College Glee Club in Atlanta, Georgia, to organize music masterclasses and choral performances for more than 1000 secondary and tertiary students and choir directors in Lagos, Enugu, and Akwa Ibom states.


The Glee Club, which is also celebrating the 50th year anniversary of its first tour in Nigeria performed American songs, particularly African-American spirituals, which have roots in West African music with more than 30 student choral groups across the three states.


The music masterclasses and choral performances led by the Director of Morehouse Glee Club, Professor David Morrow, Morehouse Glee Club Vocalist, Professor Timothy Miller and Assistant Professor of Music and Director of the Africana Digital Ethnography Project, Dr. Aaron Carter-Enyi provided participants the opportunity to learn and improve their musical skills.


In her remarks at the grand finale held at the University of Lagos, U.S. Consul General Claire Pierangelo noted that the music masterclasses and choral performances showcased the U.S. Mission’s strong commitment to strengthening cultural relations between the people of Nigeria and the United States.


She underscored the importance of music as a powerful medium for fostering cooperation, dialogue, and promoting cross-cultural collaboration.


“We recognize that we have many common interests, especially in areas as diverse as music, film and the arts through which we create dialogue and exchange. The role of music in diplomacy cannot be overemphasized, especially with its emphasis on free expression, creativity and collaborative teamwork,” she said.


Pierangelo stated that the deep ties between the United States and Nigeria are extended through institutions like Morehouse College and other historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States, which have continued to serve as home for international students seeking education in the United States, including many from Nigeria.


She added that Nigeria currently ranks highest among African countries and 10th largest country in the world with students in U.S. institutions, and this has continued to expand U.S. and Nigeria’s international partnership, deepening our bilateral ties.


“We are thrilled to see and support this capacity building of emerging music makers. I know that these music masterclasses will enhance our cultural engagement with the people of Nigeria and highlight growing U.S.-Nigeria ties and the vast potential of African-American music to the African continent and beyond,” she said.


Fifty years ago, the Morehouse College Glee Club organized its first musical tour to Nigeria with the support from the U.S. Department of State and there were song exchanges between both countries. Today, U.S. high school and college choirs including the Morehouse College Glee Club often sing in Nigerian languages, showing the long-term impact of that exchange.


US Celebrates 20 Nigerian Designers

Written by Ayanda Ayotunde
The U.S. Consulate General on the 29th of September, 2021 honored 20 emerging, mid-career Nigerian fashion designers who recently participated in the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP), a flagship U.S. government exchange program.

Through the virtual IVLP project titled, “Promoting Economic Growth and Trade in the Fashion Industry” the 20 participants had the unique opportunity to connect with their U.S. counterparts and enriched their knowledge of entrepreneurship, business development, and innovation in the U.S. fashion industry.

The goal of the IVLP is to provide first hand knowledge about U.S. society, culture, and politics while cultivating lasting professional relationships. By introducing current and emerging leaders to their professional counterparts in U.S. communities, the IVLP creates opportunities for business, professional, and academic collaboration, and offers direct exposure to American systems and values.

In her welcoming remarks, U.S. Consul General Claire Pierangelo explained that the U.S. Mission created this IVLP program focused on the fashion industry to strengthen economic and commercial ties between the United States and Nigeria through sustained engagement with creative industries that are centered in Lagos.

“In the last few years, Nigeria and the United States have witnessed growing cultural ties,” Pierangelo said. “This fashion IVLP project is a fantastic example of our strategic economic outreach to Nigeria’s creative industries to further strengthen economic ties through culture and fashion.”

FG Seizes Former Governor’s House 24 Hours After Floating Rescue Nigeria Project

-Ayotunde Ayanda


The former Governor of Kwara State, Fatai Ahmed was shocked to the bone when he received a call that his house in Ilorin, Kwara State had been taken over by AMCON.


The politician who was still in Abuja where he had a programme to launch the Rescue Nigeria Project received the shocker via a phone call from one of aides in Ilorin who updated him how a team of 35 armed mobile policemen and lawyers stormed the house located at GRA, Ilorin, drove out the occupants and placed it under lock.


At the Rescue Nigeria Project event, Fatai, the convener decried the recent development in the country by saying ‘the change Nigerians embraced in 2015 is not what they are getting now…’ he also complained the high level of nepotism and lack of inclusiveness in this government.


In a short video taken by AMCON lawyer, Barrister Robert Nwoba, the legal counsel informed that the former Governor through his companies Trans International Properties and Trans IT are owing about 5 Billion Naira which the politician refused to settle.


He also claimed the debtor was asked to negotiate his plans of payment and he refused, leaving the debt management commission with no other alternative than to seize his sprawling mansion. He also stated that there is a plan to extend the seizure to his houses in Lagos and Abuja.

‘What I Learnt From MKO Abiola’-RMD

Written by Ayanda Ayotunde


On this week’s episode of #WithChude was all about acting mogul and Nollywood legend Richard Mofe-Damijo, popularly known as RMD. The legendary actor, writer, producer and lawyer discussed different aspects of his journey to fame, including; how he has dealt with slanderous remarks, turning 60 and transitions between Journalism, Politics, Law and Nollywood. 


Starting out as a simple Warri boy who came to Lagos to hustle, Richard Mofe-Damijo wasn’t one to give up on his dreams. The talented actor revealed that despite being a big dreamer, he never anticipated all he has achieved in the past few decades.  


“I didn’t see all of it. All I said to my mom, standing before her as she was crying was, ‘Mama, don’t worry. You go see me for television.’ I knew I wanted to be in that box. That’s all I wanted”, he said.  


Richard Mofe-Damijo got more than what he wanted as he has somehow been in the headlines since 1989 when people peddled tales about him being a gold digger. The accusations began when he began dating the late Mrs. May Ellen Ezekiel Mofe-Damijo, who was older than him and at the peak of her career as a journalist at the time.  


RMD did not allow these challenges to get to him. In his words, “they have not given birth to the man that will make me feel inferior in this world.” Though it was not a walk in the park, as the remarks intensified before their wedding, he, however, disclosed that he was held up by the words of a prominent businessman, late M.K.O. Abiola, who stood as a support system for him through these times.  


“He said to me, ‘it is better that they wake in the morning, they are searching the papers to see what else you have done. Don’t be one of those who would go and search the paper to see what others are doing. So, make sure you give them stuff to think about every day,” he disclosed.  


The veteran further unveiled the different parts of his career journey, discussing his journeys into Journalism, Film, Law and politics, with each stint being marked by such excellence and eminence that have left many envious.  


Despite serving in these enormous capacities, RMD seamlessly transitioned to Nollywood and continued dominating the screens like he had never left. Speaking on this transition, he said, “It was an attitudinal thing. I didn’t leave Delta State to come back with a chip on my shoulder. It was like it was done, dusted and that was it. And I transitioned into what I love to do without asking for handouts, without asking for any special treatment or anything.”  


Despite his impressive 37-year career across multiple industries, RMD continues to remain humble. According to him, “I am just a simple warri boy that came to Lagos and found some fame and I am grateful for it.” 


As he celebrates his 60th birthday, Richard Mofe-Damijo keeps fascinating many as he effortlessly maintains relevance in the box he always dreamed of.  


U.S Committed To Improvement In Visa Applicant’s Experience (renovates Consular pavilion)

-Ayanda Ayotunde


On Friday, 5th March, 2021, the United States Consulate General in Lagos unveiled its newly expanded and renovated consular pavilion that seeks to improve the experience that visa applicants and American citizens in Nigeria receive.


Speaking during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, United States Consul General Claire Pierangelo noted that the renovated consular pavilion will provide a new safe space for visa applicants to socially distance while waiting for their appointment.


She said the Consulate is working hard to reschedule the visa applicants that were affected by the pandemic, adding that the new consular pavilion will go a long way in helping to achieve this goal.


“For most Nigerians and U.S. citizens in Nigeria, their main interaction with the U.S. Consulate is through our consular section.  The consular customer experience is something we continuously improve on.  This new pavilion is an example of that effort.  From the pavilion to the interview, we want our customers to have a positive experience,” Consul General Pierangelo said.

In her remarks, Consular Chief Liliane Hudspeth explained that the new consular pavilion offers visitors a larger, more comfortable covered waiting area, protection from sun, rain, and inclement weather as well as a great view of the Lagos lagoon.


She added that the consular section has introduced a range of measures to meet the increased expectation of safety. “We have put in place safety measures that not only protect our visa applicants but also consular staff who serve those applicants,” Consular Chief Hudspeth said.


Management Officer William Bridgeland lauded the cooperation between the U.S. Consulate Facility Maintenance team and the local Nigerian construction contractor.    “Over the past six months, our team and the Nigerian contractor have worked tirelessly to construct this comfortable waiting area.  We thank them for a job well done,” Bridgeland added.


The U.S. Consulate General Lagos is one of the busiest consular sections in sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Consulate General Lagos received an average of 1,000 visa and American Citizen Services customers per day.

‘Our Plans For Liberty Stadium’ -Sports Minister, Sunday Dare

-Ayotunde Ayanda

The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr Sunday Dare has hinted on what the Federal Government plans to do revive the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium Complex, Ibadan.


While speaking to journalists at the seminar for online media hosted by the Southwest Group of Online Publishers (SWEGOP) at the Ilaji Farms and Resorts, Akanran, Ibadan, the Minister claimed there is an effort to work on the stadium.


In his statement, Sunday Dare said ‘I may not be able to come there and speak on the plans because I don’t want to start receiving calls. The approach we want to adopt is what we are doing with the National Stadium, Lagos. We are trying to look for people that will partner with the government on that project. They will build, operate and return to the government after running it for 15 or 25 years. We achieved what we have done with the National Stadium with the partnership with Chief Kessington Adebutu and that should be ready in June.