As we bid 2013 goodbye and approach the new year with new vigor and optimism, Loladeville blog (LVB) brings to you 13 events, issues or people that shook the tiers of Nigeria in 2013. From the unforgettable AFCON victory to the heart-wrenching Associated Airline crash, these are 13 news stories that are worth reviewing before the year rolls over.
(1) Bisi Komolafe and Goldie’s death- the news of the untimely passing of a very vibrant actress, Bisi Komolafe broke on January 1st, 2013; the period the world was busy celebrating the New Year, exchanging messages, filling their hearts with new hopes and reaching out for new opportunities. She had been in admission for months and was responding well to treatment, Bisi’s death sent shock waves into many spines. A month after she was buried, another bad news filtered in. Free-spirited, friendly and hardworking singer, Susan ‘Goldie’ Harvey died few hours after returning from a trip in the US (Grammy Awards to be precise). She reportedly died in the arms of her best friend Denrele Edun at Reddington Hospital, Victoria Island. The death of these young, promising, ambitious and talented celebrities shocked not a few people this year.
(2) African Cup of Nations (AFCON) – the most touching part of the AFCON story is that nobody gave the team any chance but they braced up, fought hard and went all the way to win the coveted prize. The Super Eagles of Nigeria defeated the Stallions of Burkina Faso 1-0 on January 13, 2013 in Johannesburg to win the 29th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations. It was the third time Nigeria will be crowned African champions after 1980 and Tunisia’94.
(3) Endorsement deals- 2013 was indeed an amazing year for most Nigerian artistes as companies mostly telecommunication giants rolled out a good number of endorsement deals to A-list celebrities. Roll call of artistes who smiled to the bank include D’banj, Waje, Omawunmi, Lynxx, MI, Chidynma, Naeto C, Lagbaja, Bez, and Flavour, Iyanya, Olamide, Funke Akindele, Ufuoma Ejenebor, Praiz, Kcee, Wande Coal, Don Jazzy, Seyi Shay. Iyanya for example raked in over N100m from 3 different endorsement deals.
(4) Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde- The Quintessential Nollywood actress needs no introduction. Omosexy has fondly called is unarguably one of the strongest brands in the Nigerian entertainment industry. Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde added another feather to her cap, this year when she made the 2013 Time 100 world’s Icon list, as one of the most influential people in the world comprising artistes and athletes, leaders and titans and icons.. Here’s what TIME said about the super-talented curvy actress.
“Called OmoSexy by her fans, she has made 300 or so features, from the 1996 Mortal Inheritance to the 2010 superproduction Ijé, shot partly on location in Los Angeles. Married to an airline pilot she wed on a flight from Lagos to Benin, Jalade- Ekeinde brings a juggler’s grace to her roles as actress, singer, reality-show star, mother of four and philanthropist (the Omotola Youth Empowerment Programme). Success hasn’t spoiled Africa’s most renowned leading lady. Rather than going Hollywood, Omotola wants to stay Nollywood.”
(5) Mo Abudu – She goes for everything she wants at break neck speed and works hard at making things happen. Her Moments with Mo programme is the first syndicated daily talk show on African regional television. Mosunmola Abudu has gained acclaim for professionalism and drive.
She recorded a landmark success this year after she launched Ebonylife TV (Africa’s First Global Black Multi-Broadcast Network) on July 1st, 2013. Described as a woman revolutionizing pay TV in Africa. In October 2013, the trail-blazer made The Hollywood Reporter’s inaugural
25 most powerful women in Global TV list.
(6) Blessing Okagbare- First Bank ambassador and Nigeria’s Queen of the tracks brought glory to Nigeria and herself in 2013. Earlier this year, she
picked up two medals at the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) championships in Moscow. The 25 year-old Delta indigene helped Nigeria end her 14-year medal drought at the championships, she also became the only Nigerian athlete ever to have won the national championships five times. It will be recalled that in July 2013, she set a new African record at the Women’s 100 metres record at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games in London. Now all hopes are pinned on her to win gold in the 100 metres, 200 metres and women’s long jump at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
On November 27 2013, she clinched two awards (Track and Field Star of the Year, Sports Woman of the Year) at the Nigerian Sports Awards. She was also presented a N3m cheque by President Goodluck Jonathan and also considered for a national honour.
(7) ASUU Strike – needless to say is one of the issues that have always plagued the Nigerian education system. Members of the union embarked upon an indefinite strike on July 1st 2013 to press home demands for implementation of agreement reached with the Federal Government in 2009, few institutions who pulled out of the strike had their classes disrupted and some of the officials harassed. Well, rather than engage in untoward activities, some Nigerian students saw the strike as an opportunity for financial empowerment; those who didn’t learn one trade or the other took up temporary jobs. The strike was later called off early this month after a marathon meeting held at the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, Niger State. ASUU and the federal government will meet again in 2014 to resolve the last remaining issues.
(8) Associated Airline Crash- Nigeria witnessed a tragedy on October 3, 2013 when an Associated Aircraft conveying the corpse of former Governor of Ondo State, Chief Olusegun Agagu from Lagos to Akure for burial, crashed less than 10 minutes after it took off at Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos. 13 out of the 20 persons on board lost their lives in the tragedy, while seven others survived. Surprisingly, the casket bearing the remains of Late Olusegun Agagu was brought out unscathed. Ondo State former Commissioner of Culture and Tourism, Deji Falae; Olatunji Okusanya, Executive Director, MIC undertakers, his son Tunji jnr&four members of staff, to mention a few lost their lives in the ill-fated plane. May their souls find repose. Amen.
(9) Stephen Keshi- the success story of the current Super Eagles team will be incomplete without ample space being accorded the Super Eagles Head Coach- Stephen Keshi; a major participant in Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations victory and qualification for the World Cup finals in Brazil. The 51 year-old who was appointed coach of the team in November 2011 following the dismissal of Samon Siasia helped Nigeria end her 19-year wait for her third Cup of Nations. The ex Nigerian forward is the first Nigerian to win the Cup of Nations as coach. His hardwork and passion for the team hasn’t gone unnoticed& from what we’ve seen so far, he’s deeply committed to building and maintaining a strong, formidable team for Nigeria.
(10) Oga at the Top- the massively popular interview of NSCDC Commandant, Obafaiye Shem with Channels TV is one that cannot be forgotten in a hurry. Infact it emerged one of the most-watched youtube videos of 2013 in Nigeria. What was considered to be a national embarrassment became the subject of jokes and an anthem on the lips of both old and young for some time. The “my oga at the top” mantra went viral to the extent that t-shirts and face caps with the insignia were produced.
(11) U-17 World Cup- Nigeria recorded another huge victory on Fri November 8, 2013 at Abu Dhabi. The Golden Eaglets won the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup and also set a new world record of highest number of goals scored during the tournament; they netted a total of 26 goals. Nigeria has now won the competition four times (1985, 1993, 2007 and 2013).
(12) 2face, Peter Okoye and Tiwa Savage’s weddings- Although so many celebrities tied the knot this year but you’ll agree that some ceremonies stood out. After his shocking proposal to his fiancee on Feb 14, 2012; 2face Idibia and Annie decided to make it official this year, their superlative wedding was held in Dubai on March 30th, 2013. Peter ‘Psquare’ Okoye/Lola Omotayo and Tiwa Savage/Tunji TeeBillz Balogun’s strictly-by-invitation tradition wedding ceremonies took place at the same venue; The Ark Vicinity, located at Okunade Bluewater, Lekki, on November 17th and 23rd 2013. Dunno much about Peter’s white wedding for now but Tiwa’s will take place in Maldives next year.
(13) Open Letters- December 2013 was indeed the month of open letters. The first open letter penned by former president Olusegun Obasanjo was directed to the incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan. Few days later, GEJ replied. The most shocking letter was the one written by Iyabo Obasanjo; the first daughter of President Olusegun Obasanjo to her dad.