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ASF partners with the Ooni of Ife, Swedish Embassy Nigeria, ViacomCBS Africa, The YD Company for the WIFTI Summit 2022 in Nigeria

L-R – Bada Akintunde-Johnson (Country Manager, ViacomCBS Networks Africa), Inya Lawal (Secretary, WIFTI), Carl Michael (Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria), HRM Ogunwusi Adeyeye Enitan (the 51st Ooni of Ife), Helene Granqvist (WIFTI President), Nicole Ackermann (President, WIFTI German Chapter), Yetty Ogunnubi ( CEO, The YD Company).

In anticipation of the Women in Film and TV International (WIFTI) Summit set to take place in Africa for the first time, WIFTI has appointed Ascend Studios Foundation (ASF) as the implementing partner for the WIFTI Summit 2022.

Ascend Studios Foundation led by Inya Lawal is working closely with WIFTI led by Helene Granqvist, Women in Film and TV Africa (WIFTA), Forum of Women in Film and TV (FWIFT) led by Joke Silva to build alliances and partnerships with local and international organizations.

Ascend Studios Foundation (ASF) has announced its partnership with His Imperial Majesty the Ooni of Ife, the Swedish Embassy in Nigeria, VIACOM CBS Africa, The YD Company as some of the organizations supporting the Summit to its maximum potential.

The summit is a bi-annual event that provides women an enabling environment, access to film and TV funds, reduces gender stifling barriers, and positions women in places of power within the entertainment industry.

Themed “Telling Unique Stories with Film, Music, and Dance”, this summit aims to incorporate the aspects of film, music, and dance to advance the funding, creation, and distribution of stories that reflect the thriving, socially aware film culture around the world. To achieve this, various multicultural diversity in film, music, and dance will be established to serve reflection of various cultures of arts, stories, and values.

The Summit will train thousands of creatives, have a significant international presence, and host attendees, partners, and film offices from all over the world. The Summit will also feature an incredible line-up of A-list Film/TV Actors, Musicians, Dance players, as well as International and Local organizations interested in the creative economy.

As a part of the event, there will be networking and facilitated training sessions, both in-person and virtually, by industry experts with significant aspects of the industry to learn, while also introducing new trends, strategic thinking, and business models to drive the ever-evolving entertainment industry.

Speaking at the Courtesy Visit held at the palace of the 51st Ooni of Ife, the Secretary of WIFTI, Inya Lawal, commented on the significance of these partnerships. “It is such an honor to have His Excellency – the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, as well as other executive members of WIFTI from Germany and Swede; the Country Manager for VIACOMCBS Africa and the CEO of the YD Company at today’s Courtesy Visit to His Imperial Majesty – The Ooni of Ife. Having this summit in Nigeria is truly reflective of the grace Africa carries and the potential that is yet untapped. I look forward to attendees from all over the world experiencing the beauty and richness of our culture in person, and fostering business relationships” she stated.

In addition, the 51st Ooni of Ife, the imperial majesty Ogunwusi Adeyeye Enitan, expressed his support for causes related to women empowerment, especially Nigerian women. He went ahead to thank the WIFTI Summit team for bringing this event to Nigeria.

Bada Akintunde Johnson, the Country Manager for VIACOMCBS Africa, emphasized the need to tell untold African stories highlighting that VIACOMCBS Africa over the last 16 years on the continent has stood strongly for empowering young Africans and amplifying their amazing stories to the rest of the world through their channels like MtvBase and BET as well as the MTV Africa Music Awards. Partnering with WIFTI is another way to demonstrate our belief in crafting and sharing a positive African narrative to the world through the exploits of women in film and television.

Carl Michael, the Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, while highlighting the Swedish government’s commitment to this initiative, he explained that the government is always interested in women’s empowerment programs and WIFTI is the right platform for the cause, being a major organization. He also added “Economically, countries struggled with the pandemic and lots of women lost their businesses. This is a great opportunity for those in Nollywood to solve some logistics concerns while they journey through the path of recovery from the pandemic economically.”

The President of WIFTI, Helene Granqvist thanked the Ooni of Ife for the warm reception and partnership opportunity to promote film and TV in Nigeria. She added, “At WIFTI, we have three important pillars Connection – to connect all members; Knowledge – to share knowledge, experiences, and industry information; and Visibility – to be seen and acknowledged. The start of the Forum of Women In Film and Television in Nigeria is great and very symbolic for carrying out this vision to the rest of the world.”

Giving the final note at the courtesy visit, Nicole Ackermann, President, the German chapter of WIFTI, revealed “we are building the bridge from Germany to Nigeria where you can share your story about the rich culture and heritage in Nigeria and Africa. So, we are building this bridge to bring everyone together through the vision of WIFTI”.

For more information on sponsorship, partnerships send an email to info@ascendstudiosfoundation.org


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LAGOS TO LONDON BOOK LAUNCH – BRITISH DEPUTY HIGH COMMISSION IKOYI

Author, Lola Aworanti-Ekugo

The physical launch of the fictional novel, ‘Lagos to London’ by Lola Aworanti-Ekugo took place on Tuesday the 30th of November 2021.

‘Lagos to London’ book tells a story of the reality in Nigeria today where most people are leaving the country in a bid to seek greener pastures. The novel takes readers on a journey of two Nigerians, Remi Coker and Nnamdi Okonkwo from different backgrounds. They leave the shores of Nigeria full of hope to further their education abroad. Remi, who is from the prestigious Coker family is expected to return home after her law degree to run the family law firm, while Nnamdi, frustrated by the federal university, strikes plans to escape Nigeria and never to return. The story follows their journey of newfound freedom, the realities of life in the United Kingdom, and the dilemma of whether to remain or return to Nigeria.

The event was an absolute success and was graced with the presence of dignitaries and important guests such as the Chief Host, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Llewellyn-Jones; the Keynote Speaker, Architect Tonye Patrick Cole mni; Lead Pastor of the Elevation Church, Pastor Godman Akinlabi with his beautiful wife, Pastor Mrs. Bolarinwa Akinlabi, Pastor Kola Fayemi, Lead Pastor of TEC Ikoyi; Sir Olutoyin Okeowo and his wife, Lady Adejoke Okeowo; Deputy Managing Director of First Bank Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Shobo, Managing Director, Ecobank, Mr. Patrick Akunwutan and a representative of the Honourable Minister of State- Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu S. Ogah, to mention a few.

Also present were students from Chalcedony School with their principal, Mr. Odeniyi Odewale.

The launch, anchored by MC SACO, began with art exhibitions from various artists namely, Oyelade Oyewole, Kareem Oyeneye, and Merenini Williams, who through their artworks, gave their interpretations of ‘Lagos to London’, and promoted the relationship between both cultures, and a beautiful saxophone performance by Fikun Saxofix.

The opening remark was given by Ben Llewellyn-Jones, the British Deputy High Commissioner, and Chief Host of the event. He expressed his love for the book and the story it tells. He said, “Lagos to London touches on relevant discussions, speaks to the cultural exchange and how the relationship between the two countries can grow.”  He went ahead to encourage people to buy the book.

The author, Lola Aworanti-Ekugo, then stepped forward to give a short remark about the background of the book and expressed gratitude for the support and participation of everyone present. She noted that Lagos to London was inspired by her story of leaving Nigeria during her teenage years. In her words, “While it was beautiful to leave the country, it can also be difficult, and many people lose their way. This is a book that inspires you to follow your dreams and find your own path whether it be in Nigeria or abroad”.  Lola hopes that her novel will impact lives and help people discover themselves. She hopes that one day it will be incorporated into the school curriculum given its emphasis on shaping and empowering young minds.

The Keynote Speaker, Architect Tonye Patrick Cole mni co-founder, and former group executive director, Sahara Group went ahead to praise Lola’s artistry, acknowledging that he could easily relate to almost all the characters in the book. He expressed, “The writing was truly delightful, the tension from Remi was poignant and real. The book tells a story of each of us.”

Afterward, excerpts from the book were read by Africa, Development Finance & Corporate Government Expert, Mrs. Cecelia Akintomide.

Following this was a short book review session anchored by Oreoluwa Lesi. The book reviewers include Lanre Fatimilehin, President Oxford & Cambridge Club of Nigeria; Chiamaka Obuekwe, Travel & Entrepreneur/CEO Social prefect tours; Chioma Nwachukwu, Student of Chalcedony School; and Richard Ajayi, Founder, House of Dairy. For Richard, “This book encourages young people to be tenacious.” According to Chiamaka, “This book is phenomenal.” Chioma said, “It’s hands down one of the most relatable books I’ve ever read.” Lanre reiterates a major theme in the book. He says, “The book is about choices.”

Sir Olutoyin Okeowo did not hesitate to praise the author’s artistry. He commended her for a job well done.

The book was officially launched at 7:10 pm, after which Mr. Chibuzor Duru, the representative of the Honourable Minister of State- Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu S. Ogah, gave the goodwill message and noted that some copies of the book will be shared to people.

Giving the vote of thanks, the mother of the author, Chief Mrs. Oyenike Aworanti, described Lola as multi-talented and narrated her journey into becoming a published author as a great achievement.

The book was virtually launched on the 30th of October 2021 by the Chief Launcher, Fola Oyeyinka, Partner, Blackrose Group, and Former Presidential Advisor, who described the novel as “a well-written book with potential for great impact”.

Proud partners and sponsors included Sweet Sensation Nigeria, BellaNaija, The YD Company, Globuf International Consults, and Lake Investment Partners.

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Back To Business.

Back To Business.

We’re open and ready to serve you.

Dear Friend,

Happy New Year!

Flipping the last page of the 2020 calendar brought us all to a simple realization that the new year is here and without any intent to recount the happenings of that period, it is clear that we are greater together.

Those partnerships and work support we failed to celebrate in the past moulded the pillars upon which we survived 2020. It is indeed an exhilarating ride for us.

From the deepest base of our hearts, thank you for being part of our 2020 and we are using this opportunity to inform you that, at YD, 2021 is going to be more wins for all us.

Your public relation needs, brand management concerns and communication bits are still our core responsibilities and we will always attend to them with the utmost professionalism, loyalty and integrity, just talk to us today and again, let’s soar together!

The entire YD team is super stoked to make magic for your brand, reach out to us today and let’s soar!

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LLF Digital was a Blast!

THE LLF DIGITALEXPERIENCE!

After four incredible days of brilliant conversations, extremely insightful masterclasses, and a fascinating 3D exhibition experience, we are super excited to have made history by bringing you Africa’s first digital leather fair.

Just in case you missed any of it, here are highlights of the event:

We featured 24 leather designers from across West Africa in a specially curated 3D virtual exhibition, some of which included: Shekudo, Aaboux, Pere Lei, Apaart Africa, Toss Bags, Zashadu, FemiHandbags, Marte Egele, Sole Inspiration,and Detail Africa.

The exhibition is still live for a couple more weeks. Click here to visit.