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Berklee Partners Afrinolly Creative Hub on MTN Y’ello Star Project

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Berklee Partners Afrinolly Creative Hub on MTN Y’ello Star Project, SiliconNigeria

Berklee College of Music will take part in Y’ello Star, the latest music reality project by MTN Nigeria, with Afrinolly as Technical Partner. Members of the Berklee community will serve in various capacities on the project, and the winner of the music project will record their debut single at the Power Station at BerkleeNYC. 

 “We’re excited to work with MTN and Afrinolly Creative Hub on the Y’ello Star Project,” says Berklee President Roger H. Brown. “This is a great opportunity for artists from the vibrant Nigerian music scene to get advice and mentorship from Berklee’s knowledgeable professors while broadening awareness of Berklee in the region through MTN’s large audience. We look forward to hearing all of the talents and welcoming the winner to the Power Station at BerkleeNYC.” 

 MTN Nigeria created Y’ello Star to search, discover, nurture and launch music talents in the young Nigerian community. Over 10,000 contestants submitted entries for the project, and just the top 16 contestants will make it to the hub for the competition.

 Commenting on the project, the Acting Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Anthony Obi emphasized the unique difference between MTN Y’ello Star and other music reality TV shows. “This project goes beyond discovering talent in the Nigerian entertainment industry. MTN Y’ello Star is a conduit for capacity building within the creative industry, empowering the contestants and industry with the relevant practical knowledge to compete on a global scale. We are thankful for partners such as the Berklee College of Music who share this vision.”

 “It is time for Nigerian Music to take its rightful place in the global community,” says Chike Maduegbuna, CEO of Afrinolly. “With partners like MTN and Berklee, Afrinolly Creative Hub is excited to bring our technical expertise into the discovery of emerging music talents, cultivating and helping them grow. I am excited that Berklee College of Music is here to help us launch them on to a global stage.”  

The live shows will start November and run till December, 2020. Three judges, including popular Nigerian musicians and six-time Grammy award winner, actor and producer will bring on board their years of experience to bear on the show.  Berklee’s Jason Camelio, assistant vice president for Global Initiatives also remarks,

“The global pandemic is creating many challenges for artists to continue their studies, to engage with one another creatively and to move towards their artistic and career goals. Yet, it is presenting us with opportunities to innovate and connect in ways that are expanding our reach. The collaboration between Berklee and Afrinolly through the 2020 MTN Y’ello Star project allows us to build on our commitment to learning, cultural exchange, mentorship and entrepreneurship.”

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Danbatta Condoles with Emirs of Kano, Bichi over Mother’s Demise

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Danbatta Condoles with Emirs of Kano Bichi over Mother’s Demise, SiliconNigeria

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta on Friday, April 30, 2021 led a high-powered delegation of the Commission to condole with the Emirs of Kano and Bichi, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero and Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero respectively over the demise of their mother, late Hajiya Maryam Ado Bayero, Mai Babban Dakin Kano. 

Danbatta, who also submitted two letters of condolence, one on behalf of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ali Isa Ibrahim Pantami and the other on behalf of the Management and Board of the Commission, stressed that the delegation was in Kano at the behest of the Minister.  

The EVC, who personally led prayers for the repose of the soul of the late Mai Babban Daki during the visits, described her death as a monumental loss not only for the two emirates but also the whole country. 

“An epitome of motherhood, a fountain of inspiration, a symbol of humility, a promoter of peace, unity and national integration, Late Mai Babban Daki was not only a mother of two Kings, but much more as she’s remembered for her virtues which stood her out like a pearl. Her life will continue to be celebrated by generations to come,” he observed.  

Receiving the delegation at his palace in Kano, the Emir of Bichi expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Emirate to both the Minister and the Commission for the visit. 

“We deeply appreciate the visit. We thank you for coming, and we hope you would convey our gratitude to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy,” he said. 

The EVC was accompanied by the Director, New Media and Information Security, Dr. Haru Alhassan; Director, Human Capital and Administration, Usman Malah and the Director, Public Affairs of the Commission, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde as well as his Chief of Staff, Hafiz Shehu.

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SystemSpecs Unveils 2021 Children’s Day Essay Competition Judges, Extends Deadline

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SystemSpecs Unveils 2021 Children’s Day Essay Competition Judges Extends Deadline, SiliconNigeria

SystemSpecs, Africa’s leading financial and human capital technology powerhouse, has revealed the list of inspiring personalities who will serve as judges in this year’s edition of its annual Children’s Day Essay Competition.

They include Bayo Adekanmbi, MTN Nigeria’s Chief Transformation Officer; Jumoke Lawoyin, techpreneur and Chief Executive Officer at Lucy.ng; and Emeka Okoye, Chief Semantic Architect and Knowledge Engineer at Cymantiks Nigeria.

This disclosure comes as the deadline for the submission of entries into the essay competition was also extended till April 30th, 2021. The extension is in response to requests by schools and students affected by the irregular school terms regime across Nigeria, to enable them participate in the competition.

Meanwhile, other judges appointed to the evaluation panel are Wale Fatade, accomplished journalist and country commissioning editor at The Conversation; Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr., technology entrepreneur, business coach and returning judge of the competition; Jide Ayegbusi, a social entrepreneur and founder of the tech-led education-focused platform, Edusko; and Funmi Oyatogun, celebrated travel experience creator and environment crusader.

“At SystemSpecs, we are convinced that a strong technology foundation is necessary to reposition Nigeria to compete favourably in the comity of nations and thrive in contemporary times. Through our Children’s Day Essay Competition, we seek to stimulate young Nigerians to become more technologically aware and better positioned to creatively apply technology as a natural response to everyday challenges around them,” said ‘Deremi Atanda, an Executive Director at SystemSpecs.

Bayo Adekanmbi, the Chief Transformation Officer of MTN Nigeria, also doubles as the convener of Data Science Nigeria, a non-profit that seeks to build a local AI-led ecosystem that will position Nigeria as a global outsourcing hub for Big Data projects.  At MTN, he leads the team that proactively introduces specific measures to help accelerate the company’s business performance and innovations. Before then, he was the firms’ Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer.

A lawyer by training and a tech entrepreneur, Jumoke Lawoyin is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lucy.ng, arguably Nigeria’s largest online gift store. She is a graduate of the University of Ibadan and the University of London. At Lucy.ng, she combines her cherished experiences in procurement, research, business development, management, and critical thinking to drive the day-to-day operations of a business that powers the gift procurement needs of a large number of organisations in corporate Nigeria.

Emeka Okoye is the Chief Semantic Architect and Knowledge Engineer at Cymantiks Nigeria. He helps governments, private organisations and cities become smarter by using semantic technology to harness their data and information assets through contextual data modeling, knowledge representation and ontology engineering to exploit the opportunities possessed by data, AI and analytics for digital transformation.

Other judges on the evaluation panel are from various walks of life including technology, security, law, media, and the arts. They are financial and tech journalist, Abubakar Idris; media consultant and author, Ayodele Arowosegbe; co-founder of LeedsNG, Dr. Hafis Bello; tech content provider of repute and returning judge of the competition, Ifeoluwa Ogunfuwa; UK-based IT Governance, risk and control advisor, Dewale Otolorin; health law and bioethics enthusiast, Olo Egbokhare; and Chief Communications Consultant at The Comms Avenue, Adedoyin Jaiyesinmi.

It is the duty of the distinguished panel of judges to evaluate and select winning entries for the top prizes in the junior and senior categories of the competition. They have the responsibility of bringing to national consciousness and recommending implementation options of the bright ideas espoused by participants from across the country.

SystemSpecs, the organiser of the annual competition, is the 29-year-old software giant known for its innovative payment solution – Remita, payroll and HR solution – HumanManager, and Paylink – an e-commerce platform for SMEs, non-profits, and individuals.

Winners of the 2021 edition of the SystemSpecs Children’s Day Essay Competition will be announced on Children’s Day, May 27, 2021.

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Trans-African Youth Initiative Honours Tim Akano and New Horizons With Awards

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Trans-African Youth Initiative Honours Tim Akano and New Horizons With Awards, SiliconNigeria

The Trans-African Youth Initiative (TAYI) has honoured information technology expert and Mnagaing Director of New Horizons Nigeria, the world’s largest private information technology and e-business training company with the African Patriotic Leader of the Year award.

 His company, New Horizons Nigeria was also awarded the ‘Most productive ICT Company in Africa’.

Country Representative of TAYI, Bakare Luqman, while presenting the awards, said that the awards were in recognition of the contributions of New Horizon in the development of ICT and nation building in Africa. He added that students of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana in the TAYI’s youth convention held recently nominated Mr. Akano.

 He noted that the dream of building a better society is sacrosanct and tedious but can be achieved through a collective and collaboration effort from all parts of the society.

 “A society can be moved to greater heights and higher ideas only by the number and strength of dreamers, thinkers, and achievers available to it. Giving expression to these dreams require continuous dose of patriotism, selflessness, determination and courage to trudge on against all odds, as being exemplified by our recipient of today’s award,” he stated.

Responding after his investiture, Akano said with what the Africa youths are doing in the financial technology segment and startup ecosystems, the continent would not be left behind in the emerging fourth industrial revolution.

  “To go far in life, you must pay the price. Don’t look for quick success but lasting one because the deeper your roots the difficult it becomes to eliminate you. And this depth is gotten through exposure to knowledge. Our brain capacity is as big as that of the whites, but the missing link is in the development of our mindset,” he said.

Akano added that instead of blaming the leaders, efforts should be made towards individual mindset development. “If you decide to be focused in achieving your goals, nothing can stop you. What has been affecting us is that we have small ambition, and believe the lies the western world has sold to us of incapability. The danger with that is that we would not go the extra mile,” Akano said.

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