Lola Shoneyin


The Federal Government has congratulated media entrepreneur and filmmaker, Mo Abudu, over her partnership with leading global streaming service Netflix to create two original series as well as multiple Netflix-branded films.

In a statement issued in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the partnership, for on-screen adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s Death and The King’s Horseman and Lola
Shoneyin’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, adds another feather to Mo Abudu’s already well-adorned creative cap.

The minister also described the deal as a big boost for the country’s creative sector, at a time the industry is reeling from the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

”Coming after Netflix’s first Nigeria original film, Lionheart, this is a great recognition of the immense creative talents that abound in Nigeria and the provision of a global platform for Nigeria storytelling,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed expressed the hope that this partnership will signal the beginning of a bigger, mutually beneficial working relationship between the streaming service and Nigeria’s Creatives.

Death and the King’s Horseman is a play by Wole Soyinka based on a real incident that took place in Nigeria during British colonial rule: the horseman of a Yoruba King was prevented from committing ritual suicide by the colonial authorities. In addition to the British intervention, Soyinka calls the horseman’s own conviction toward suicide into question, posing a problem that throws off the community’s balance.

It builds upon the true story on which Soyinka based the play, to focus on the character of Elesin, the King’s Horseman of the title. According to Yoruba tradition, the death of the king must be followed by the ritual death of the king’s horseman as well as the king’s dog and horse, because the horseman’s spirit is essential to helping the chief’s spirit ascend to the afterlife. Otherwise, the king’s spirit will wander the earth and bring harm to the Yoruba people. The first half of the play documents the process of this ritual; with the potent, life-loving figure Elesin living out his final day in celebration before the ritual process begins. At the last minute, the local British colonial ruler, Simon Pilkings, intervenes, the suicide being viewed as barbaric and illegal by the British authorities.

While The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives is set in an enclave of modern-day Nigeria where tribal custom and witchcraft still rub up against rationality and science. Ostensibly about polygamy in old Africa, it is a far more universal story of the shifting power-play inside a marriage and sexual envy between women.

African Women in the Media 2018 Conference, which has ‘Visibility’ as theme will host female journalists delegates from around the world at University of Ibadan Conference Centre from June 21 through 22, 2018. The event is organised by award-winning Nigerian journalist based in Birmingham, U.K., Dr. Yemisi Akinbobola. It promises to empower delegates through panels, workshops and networking.

Delegates will experience keynote presentations, industry panels with leading names like Eugenia Abu, Lola Shoneyin, Funke Osae-Brown, Ijeoma Onyeator, Ayobami Ojebode, Yinka Ibukun, Funke-Treasure Durodola, Stephanie Busari, Aisha Mwilu, Gabriela Torres, Hannah Ojo, Kunle Afolayan and much more, as well as academic panels and numerous training workshops.
“There are three tracks running simultaneously at any one time during the conference,” saidAkinbobola. “We don’t want to just talk about the issues, but through the workshops, pitch zone and networking opportunities, we are putting actions into place to empower attendees.”

The African Women in the Media group aims to impact positively the way media functions in relation to women, both in the industry and media’s representation of gender issues.

“Action is key here and we are so grateful to all our sponsors for their support,” adds Akinbobola. “We are particularly excited to launch the AWIM/NRGI Award, which comes with a $1,000 cash prize.”Among AWIM18 Conference highlights include CNN’s Nima Elbagir as keynote speaker, Prof. Abigail Ogwezzy as academic keynote speaker, three industry panels – Gender, Security and Election Coverage, Women in Media Leadership, and Role of Fictional Content on Society’s Perspective of Women in Leadership. Three academic panels: Break the Silence: Health, Violence and Media, Women Behind and In-Front of Camera, Women in Media: Participation, Advocacy and Youth. Ten training workshops: Data Journalism, Digital Marketing, Reporting in Conflict Zones, Newsroom Leadership, Vlogging for Change, Oil and Gas Reporting, PR, Rethinking Content, Self-editing, and How to listen, engage and tell stories on social media to grow female audiences.
The pitch Zone, hosted by BBC and the Natural Resource Governance Institute which is funding the AWIM/NRGI Award, where delegates can win £1,000 to produce their gender-focused natural resources story. Dinner parties and networking on both nights and roundtable discussions with speakers.

African Women in the Media (AWiM) is a Facebook group that convenes annually. The first convening event took place in Birmingham, U.K. with panels from both academia and industry. The AWiM17 keynote speaker was Minna Salami. The group wants to challenge the way media functions in relation to African women, and seeks to inspire, support and empower its members.
Conference convener, Akinbobola, is an award-winning journalist, academic, and media entrepreneur. A Nigerian living in the U.K., her work is Africa-focused, covering stories from rape culture in Nigeria, to an investigative and data story on the trafficking of young West African football hopefuls by fake agents. The latter won the CNN African Journalist Award 2016 (Sports Reporting). Yemisi holds a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from Birmingham City University where she is the Course Director for MA Global Media Management, and her research interest is in digital journalism and African feminism.

She is the founder of Stringers Africa, which connects freelance journalists in African countries with newsrooms worldwide, and she runs the African Women in the Media group. Founder also of IQ4News, a multimedia production company, she has freelanced for publications, including UN Africa Renewal magazine. Akinbobola she has several years’ experience in communication management for charities.