Friday, July 13, 2012

French Made Easy in print


FOR lecturers, teachers and students of French in universities, secondary and primary schools, as well as representatives in international communities, missionary schools and all classes of people who want to learn the French language afresh, there is now relief.
  In his book, French Made Easy, the author George Simeon, makes learning French both interesting and fun, as his graphic representation of the main facts through Key Points makes it easy for learners to follow the structure of the language couched in a simple elementary manner.
  The skillful and meticulous presentation and treatment of the subject is self-explanatory, and will help leaners solve problems relating to reading, writing and speaking of French in a relaxing way.
  Also, the author’s clear articulation of the subject matter and the presentation of facts undoubtedly stem from his wealth of experience as a teacher of French language. The 74-paged educational material serves as a lecture note and comes useful even without the help of a tutor. 
 French Made Easy comes highly recommend to all classes of French leaners, starting from beginners.

Keeping alive ancient traditions through narratives

Like Father Like Son is a story of a typical rural setting and communal life, and how traditional mores affect every member living in t. It centres on Onyonyo Aku, a town surrounded by hills. The story is about Ozoduru Nwokenkpo, a man who lives a life of an alcoholic and consorts with women of easy virtues. His death is also unsung due to his inability to listen to advice on the danger and the wrath of the gods based the town’s beliefs.
  Like the title suggests, Nwokenkpo’s only son Okoro is expected to redeem the battered image of his late father, but the reverse unfortunately happens. He not only tows the despicable path of his father but goes ahead to violate the sacred and revered customs of the people through his abominable behaviour.
  He impregnates Ogbonneye, the village belle, makes her to abort the first child and later abandons her with the second child on the way. This results in her untimely death. Her death becomes a source of many speculations in the village. While some condemn Okoro’s act of rejection by not taking responsibility for the pregnancy, others could not understand why she commits suicide for being pregnant again. The story mystifies the villagers.
  When the village eventually goes to war, the past seems to have faded away, and only stories of the war are on the lips of the people.
  Okoro becomes a hero of sorts and much loved by everybody. He excels in hunting, and this makes him loved by the ladies in the village. Like his father, he never takes his eyes off attractive ladies, especial those that play hard to get. Onugwuja Ike becomes his next victim. Heavy drinking and womanizing with both married and unmarried women, keeping late nights and staying away from home for long periods become his habit.
  After several warnings and his refusal to toe the right path, the wrath of the ancestors falls on him; it is without remedy. Although the gods are appeased, retributive justice no doubt takes its natural course as the gods of the land torment him, with the shadow of Ogbonneye and her unborn baby also haunting him to his death.
  The author paints the picture of rural peace in Onyonyo Aku. But he is quick to point out that such peace has been broken with the advent of Western lifestyles. He states that Onyonyo Aku people are “homogeneous, widely respected for their total devotion, honesty and industriousness. Their business moves them to places but in spite of all that, they remain loyal and faithful to the core. Their sexual interaction and enjoyment remains an exclusive reserve for their husbands, thus enjoying a pride of place in the hearts of their men.
  “Today, the story is different. Things have fallen apart as some of our women have thrown decorum to the dogs. The legendary Onyonyo Aku dignity is being dragged in the mud on the altar of women libration and Christianity”.
  This can well be explained in the face of modern developments. In Like Father Like Son, it is clear that tradition plays a major role in the village. Respect for tradition seems crucial. Repercussion from the gods in times of irreverence may take long but it comes nonetheless, as there are no sacred cows. For every offence there is always a day of reckoning; there is no sin that will go unpunished even though it is takes time coming.
  The book has many grammatical and spelling errors that mar its enjoyment. It would, however, enable a good many to learn about some traditions and how the forefathers and gods should be appeased when the need arises. One thing Like Father Like Son points out is that life is governed by tradition irrespective of the level of development.
  The author, Diyoke, should be saluted for giving insight into such area that is fast receding.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sport brands awards for July 15


TO appreciate the contributions of sports-loving brands to the development of sports in Nigeria, Sports Brands Nigeria Awards (SBNA) has concluded arrangements to host its first edition of the awards.
     According to the Chief Executive Officer of SBNA, Ojeikere Aikhoje, the award, which is the first of its kind in the country, is meant to boost the efforts of individuals and corporate organisations in revamping the economy and the nation at large.
   “We’re excited that it’s the first of its kind in Nigeria,” he said. “SBNA is a broad range of sports-related endeavours; this is the first opportunity to celebrate business achievements in sports.
   “Over the years, brands have done a lot to boost the sports industry without getting the desired recognition. This award will ensure that deserving sports brands are celebrated. It’s all about celebrating the impact of leading brands in the business of sports.”
   The award scheduled for July15 at the Sheraton Hotels & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos, will be in 14 categories. The Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, First Bank Nigeria Plc, Shell Nigeria, Proprietor of ABS FC, Senator Bukola Saraki, Chairman of Dolphins Basketball Club, Wale Aboderin, and Publisher of Complete Sports, Dr. Sunny Obazu-Ojeagbase, among others, will be honoured at the event.
   The role of sports brands in the development and evolution of sports on and off the field has been widely ignored, especially in West Africa. Nigerian former International, Victor Ikpeba, said: “I’m convinced that the Sports Brands Nigeria Awards has come at the right time; this will boost Nigeria’s sports industry.
   “With the emergence of SBNA as the major player responsible for acknowledging the special efforts in the industry, one can only hope that this will be the end to one unfortunate trend.”

In Lagos, stakeholders canvass review of outdoor regulation

THE grievances, many practitioners, agencies and clients, in the outdoor sector of the advertising industry had bottled up in the past couple of years were laid bared at the 2012 Advertising Forum held in Lagos, last week.
  The forum organised by Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) for hours looked at the germane issues in the outdoor business. And it was not just coincident as the theme of the day focused on regulation and control in the outdoor.
 From the various speakers to the comments by the participants, it was clear that the practitioners were not happy about the state of things in that sector of the advertising industry. They did not just air their opinions, the tone with which their opinions were delivered, was one that signal an aggrieved group.
   As they took turn to talk, they maintained that the present trend of regulation and control cannot continue, otherwise, they will soon be out of business and in no long distance, the economy will also suffer. This, to them, is why something should be done urgently because the trend is not something encouraging whether for operators or advertisers.
  Although, only one state regulator was on ground, he defended his state’s action and promised that as a practitioner, he knew what his colleagues went through in the Lagos experience, so he would not want to inflict more pains on them.  
   Setting the tone for the day’s discussion, the Chairman of APCON, Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi, in justifying the reason for the choice of the topic and the focus on outdoor in his welcome address, aptly voiced the position of many of the stakeholders when he said, “Outdoor is a major component of the advertising practice which in recent years has suffered some decline especially as a result of various regimes of regulation at various levels resulting in high costs of operations for the practitioners, making the hoardings too expensive for clients who have gradually been investing their budgets in other media.”  
   The President of Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Mr. Charles Chijide, in his paper, also re-echoed some of the positions of the Chairman of APCON.
    In conveying the position of his association about the state of things, he said, “Let me confess that I am touched and impressed by the choice of this year’s theme, as nothing would have been more appropriate at this time when outdoor advertising is enmeshed in the quagmire of statutory regulations and controls. It is indeed like swimming in sharks-infested, highly troubled water. There is no contesting the fact that issue of regulations and control is obviously a universal phenomenon as no social organisation or business environment survives in an atmosphere of indiscipline, disorder and anomie.”
   Expressing the downturn in business as a result of state regulation, control and monitoring of the outdoor business driven mostly to increase Internally Generated Revenue by most states, Chijide disclosed that over 70 per cent of operators’ hoardings are now vacant while many agencies had reduced their staff strength by over 50 percent.
   Besides the local, state and federal governments levies, he said the challenge of street urchins or miscreants had become a great threat and dangerous development to the outdoor advertising practice, “because most times not less than twenty thousand naira are paid to the area boys when his members need to put up something on their hoardings,” he lamented. 
  Also speaking on the theme, the Director General of Oyo State Signage Advertising Agency, Mr. Yinka Adepoju, who observed that to a good number of people, the moment regulation and control is mentioned, people become jittery because of the so many factors associated with the subject matter.
  “To some, regulation and control is scary because of the weight it carries while to others it is a punitive measure. Of course, you and I know that it is not.”
 Adepoju, who went down memory lane to give an insight into efforts by some government officials to clean up the city, which negatively rubbed off on the outdoor business, said that the deplorable conditions of outdoor boards and signage in many of the states including Oyo, has forced the government on some of these states to align with the local government councils to combat the challenge of clusters and restore sanity to the state landscape.
 “Without being unnecessarily biased, the pattern of outdoor in existence before the emergence of some of these regulatory agencies was nothing to write home about.”
   Using his state as an example, he gave a pictorial account of what he met on ground when he came in and also gave a pictorial insight of where they hope to be.
   “When I assumed office two months ago, the outdoor environment was in a sorry state. But, because we needed to quickly turn around the deplorable outdoor space, we immediately embarked on cleaning up exercise though not without resistance to make our environment aesthetically appealing.
  “State governments are now very conscious of their environment thus they not only see as top priority the setting up of agencies to control the practice of outdoor advertising in their state, which to them, is key especially in line with environmental laws, they also see it as another cash cow importantly as a tool of increasing their internally generated revenue to support other developmental projects in the state.
   “Another major concern for many responsible governments would be to ensure a safe, descent and billboard friendly environment for its citizenry and visitors into the state. Such environment no doubt will be conducive for business and other economic activities that would make the state to develop fast,” OYSAA boss said.
   The lead speaker, Mr. Tony Idigbe SAN, gave a brief about the regulation and control of outdoor business in United State of America, pointing out areas where the Nigeria could learn and borrow ideas from.
   Idigbe listed multiple regulations and taxes, uncertainty in regulation, absence of compensation for arbitrary intervention as challenges confronted the sectors.
  According to him, some of these actions had promoted impunity while some of the agencies had gone beyond regulation to providing the service. He requested for the passage of a law that nothing should be removed without payment of compensation. This, to him, will stop the arbitrariness.
  For the President of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria, (ADVAN), Mr. Kola Oyeyemi, all stakeholders must tread softly so that the whole process will not collapse and nothing will be available.
   “We have said different kinds of things from the issue of the rate, that are quite expensive and driven a lot of advertisers out of the outdoor media. We talk about the multiple regulation and taxation, which has also affected the practitioners and how advertisers use the space. We also talked about the conflicts between certain sector in the outdoor industry, sites between military formation and how that affects advertisers. 
   “We also talked about the ultimate impact of this on the economy, if businesses are crippled because of this high cost, it means people are going to lay off at some point and that has a huge impact on the economy.
  “It is important that the relationship among all the various arms of governments and regulators is harmonise to the extent that we are able to form a proper way forward for the industry so that we do not just get the cost exorbitantly because it will be eventually passed to the consumers, and we all are both consumers and service providers,” said the General Manager of Consumer Marketing of MTN. 
   The Chairman of the forum, Senator Enyinnanya Abaribe, who is also the Senate Committee Chairman on Information, disclosed the Senate’s willingness to work with the stakeholders to move forward and make the necessary positive change in the advertising industry.