Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mama G and Flavour Nabania Rock America via AIDS Concert

Article and photos By Deardra Shuler

Nigerian actress Patience Ozokwo was trying to get a few winks after having appeared at the “Live and Lets Live World AIDS” concert in America as part of the SACAIDS organization’s efforts to raise awareness for their work in introducing workshops, providing education and focusing on the plight of AIDS throughout Africa and America in an attempt to combat the deadly disease.

The Save Africa Concert Foundation for AIDS Relief (SAC-AIDS) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2000 in the US and Nigeria with the goal of mobilizing local communities around entertainment as a tool to raise awareness about and prevent HIV/AIDS.

The main mission of SAC-AIDS is to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS through comprehensive prevention programming, utilizing behavior change education as well as entertainment as a form of community mobilization and education "edutainment".

Seizing the opportunity to talk about her work to inform fellow Nigerians and Africans throughout Africa and across the Diaspora about HIV/AIDS, Patience, although exhausted, discussed her efforts to meet and talk with those willing to listen to her lecture about AIDS prevention via use of condoms. She is proud that she has been able to break down some myths and change some uninformed and entrenched mindsets about the lethal disease. Taking one step at a time and via each concert, Patience has been instrumental in overturning the misconceptions and poor hygiene that has allowed the deadly disease to spread.

Although widowed, the beautiful Patience has opened her heart and home by adopting motherless children in an effort to help youth who to a large degree have become helpless victims to the disease. She now has 4 children. She also works with women aiding them in finding job opportunities, uplifting their self-esteem and encouraging them to take greater responsibility for their lives.

“I travel a lot and that is hard because it separates me from my family. I have two smaller children at home so I have nannies but of course it is not the same as being there myself. So every chance I get, I spend with my children. I plan to fly back to Africa this evening but will not go to Nigeria quite yet since I have other engagements. However, once I get home, I hope to stay in Nigeria for a while,” said the exhausted actress as she prepared to head for the airport.

“I have appeared in many movies. Sometimes we work night and day to complete the film which generally we get done in less than two weeks. I enjoy doing films and having a music career but sometimes I miss being able to go shopping or walk down the street without being recognized. Here in America, I can enjoy my anonymity. While there are many Africans in America who recognize me, it’s still nice to go into a store where I can be free to shop and not be recognized like I am in Nigeria,” said the popular singer and AIDS advocate.

Well known as a Nollywood actress who oftentimes plays the villain in her movies, Patience is also a popular singer who sings under the moniker Mama G. Her CDs “National Moi-Moi” and “National Moi-Moi 2” which contains her hit single “Nothing Do You” has enjoyed wide national and international appeal.
Flavour Nabania, the Eastern Nigerian musician known for his track Ashawo (Nwa baby) and songs Nabania, Nwata, and Oyi (I dey catch cold) also joined Ms. Ozokwo at the “Live and Lets Live World AIDS” concert. He talked with this reporter about his music and plans for the future. Mr. Nabania is a newcomer to the business of music having appeared on the music scene in 2008. His career caught fire immediately after he introduced his single “Nwa Baby” as part of his debut album “N’abania.” The album was an instant hit topping charts across Nigeria. His fluency in the dialects of Igbo and Pidgin has enabled his star to shine bright and has given the talented singer an edge over his competition.

“I play highlife music. It’s a form of native African jazz” explained the 27 year old Flavour. “I used to listen to the old music so I take the old and blend it with the new. I can bring Reggae to high life as well as rap and hip hop so my high life is for the new generation. I involve myself with humanitarian projects when I can so it was a pleasure to perform with Mama G at the “Live and Lets Live World AIDS concert on Saturday, November 27th in New York organized by the Save Africa Concert Foundation. I also performed in Dallas on Thursday, November 25 and Friday November 26th in Houston, Texas, as part of the Live and Let Live AIDS World Tour,” explained the international singer concerning his visit to America.

“Recently, in attempting to cross over my music to various markets, I have been shooting videos to support my album “My Woman Is Gone,” said Flavour who has a CD out entitled Flavour Uplifted” and a single entitled “Mo Fire,” which is a fusion of reggae and high life danceable music.

“Music is comprised of so many things. When doing videos you read a script so acting plays a role in my business as well. I sing ballads, fusion and jazz and am known in Europe and throughout the Diaspora. I would like to introduce my music to the American marketplace.

I hope to return to America in February in order to introduce America to my sound,” said Flavour at Kennedy airport as he waited to board his plane.

For those who seek booking information and info about SACAIDS, Mama G, Flavour Nabania, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde and other African notables within the TuffGig Entertainment stable of artists, contact Hardy Jimbes at Tuff Gig Entertainment via

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Legendary Intruders Onstage in Harlem

By Deardra Shuler

On Friday, December 10, the Legendary Intruders got the fans on their feet dancing the night away at the St Marks Church on 138th Street, off Lennox Avenue in Harlem.

The thrill of hearing the group perform prompted the ladies in the audience to yell out their names and asking just to touch their singing idols as Legendary Intruders Mac McKenzie, Lee Bradley, Jubar Jones and Johnny Waiters (aka LJ) sang their hits "I Wanna Know Your Name,"Cowboys to Girls," and "I'll Always Love My Mama," among others.

Wine, sodas, fried chicken and macaroni and potato salads graced the tables of audience members who came out to eat and be entertained and it seemed by their reaction they were sated both musically and gastronomically.

Before the night ended, Legendary Intruder Jubar Jones and Johnny Waiters bowed to customer requests at the legendary Harlem jazz spot "Showmans" on 125th Street off Morningside and St. Nicholas Avenues)by singing "Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Since I Fell For You." In fact, so impressed were the owners they engaged the Legendary Intruders to perform at the club in May 2011. We may also catch the group at the world famous Apollo Theatre in May as well.

Fans of the Legendary Intruders can also catch them at the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on January 15, 2011 at the renowned Paradise Theatre in the Bronx. Once the date is confirmed, Boston fans may catch the singers performing during the February 12th Valentine Day weekend. Further info to be announced.