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Rise of Afro-Futurism: African Story from Different Perspective through Technology

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Jonathan Dotse - Ghanaian Afrofuturist and Science Fiction Writer

Fresh off the critical acclaim and success of Black Panther, Afrofuturism is experiencing a resurgence with the thirst for new perspectives on African stories in relation to technology to grab the attention of a wider audience.

 

Speaking on the focus on ‘Afrofuturism’, Jonathan Dotse – Ghanaian Afrofuturist and Science Fiction Writer presented his insights on the concept of Afrofuturism and its impact on Africa’s creative industries at the 5th edition of the Digital Dialogue, a thought-leadership platform established in 2012 and facilitated by MultiChoice to address various issues facing the video entertainment industry on the continent and share industry best-practice.

 

Dotse spoke about his influences behind his various works saying, “Back in 2009, I attempted to write science-fiction however, I was trying to write it from an Africa perspective but found it difficult to find a believable foundation to build my content. My ideas were based on a Western perspective so I began to think more about Africa and science-fiction in a constructive and realistic way while creating awareness for the lack of Afrocentric narratives in the genre.” Defining Futurism as “any mindset that predisposed society to express their belief in terms if something far larger than present and past,” Dotse explained further saying Afrofuturism is an ancient African cultural practice undertaken as ‘resistance to cultural hegemony and loss of identity’.

 

According to Dotse, the African-American diaspora has played a critical role in the recent resurgence of Afrofuturism, looking at various creative works including the Woyaya album by Ghanaian Afro-pop band Osibisa; American fiction writer Octavia Butler; American jazz composer Sun Ra; US music artist Janelle Monae as well as films like Les Saignantes by Jean-Pierre Bekolo; Pumzi by Wanuri Kahui from Kenya; Robots of Brixton by Kibwe Tavares; Kajola by Niyi Akinmolayan in Nigeria and District 9 by Neill Blomkamp from South Africa. “Expressions of Afrofuturism are present in all facets of African and African-Diaspora creativity. The African Diaspora has played a significant role in advancing defining Afrofuturism while various independence movements spurred much of the creative energy,” says Dotse.

 

Dotse also shared his belief that Afrofuturism has lead to a re-awakening of self-identity among African youth and its potential to grow the strength of ‘socio-political movements seeking to boost African representation in media’.

 

Dotse also expressed his belief that Afrofuturism will ignite and grow engagement of youth in science and technology and increasing accessibility to the tools of digital media creation and dissemination. He concluded his presentation by exploring the future prospects of Afrofuturism which include reconnecting traditional African culture with modern concepts of development and reconstructing the missing pieces of Africa’s lost history in technology to drive youth engagement in STEM and futurist thinking.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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Reps Seek Amendment of NBC Act for Radio/TV Assisted Learning

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A bill seeking to amend the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Act, to provide for radio and television contents targeted at improved education among Nigerian pupils, on Thursday passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

 

Tagged “National Broadcasting Commission Amendment Bill, 2018,” the amendment seeks to mandate every private and public radio and television stations in Nigeria to provide dedicated education programmes that will cover all subjects in the school curriculum.

 

Leading debates on the desirability of the amendment, its sponsors, Segun Odebunmi (APC, Oyo) and James Faleke (APC, Lagos), argued that every radio and television station in Nigeria would provide for such contents to cater for the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO) syllabuses.

 

“If amended, all radio and TV stations in Nigeria, including DSTV, Star Times, etc, will be legally compelled to dedicate channels and airtime to teaching students in line with approved school curricula.

 

“It is expected that qualified instructors will be engaged by the service provider to teach the pupils via online visuals to encourage learning and enhance standard of education in Nigeria,” the sponsors submitted.

 

Such innovation, the lawmakers further argued, would be more effective than books in teaching and learning.

 

According to them, the two-legged amendment, which covers Sections 1, 2, 5, 9, 11, 12 13, 14, 19 and 26 of the Third Schedule and Principal Act, also seeks to establish Digital Access Fund (DAF) in line with global best practices.

 

The overall aim, they noted, is to strengthen the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) as an effective regulator of broadcasting in Nigeria.

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NCC Drags COSON, Okoroji, Others to Court for Operating Without Approval

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The Nigerian Copyright Commission has filed a criminal charge against Copyright Society of Nigeria, Chief Tony Okoroji, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji, Mrs Bernice Eremieghe and Miss Anne Okomi for carrying out the duties of a collecting society without the approval of the Nigerian Copyright Commission.

In Charge No FHC/L/338C/18, filed on 8th October 2018 at the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, the accused persons were alleged to have performed the duties of a collecting Society by demanding and collecting royalties from Noah’s Ark of 9 Sowemimo Street, GRA, Ikeja Lagos and carrying on the business of negotiating and granting licenses on behalf of Copyright owners without the approval of the Nigerian Copyright Commission and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under sections 39 (4), (5) and (6) of the Copyright Act Cap C 28 Laws of the Federation of Nigerian 2004.

It will be recalled that the Nigerian Copyright Commission had on 30th April 2018, pursuant to relevant provisions of the Copyright Act and the Copyright (Collective Management Organisation) Regulation 2007, suspended the license it granted to COSON to operate as a collecting society following the refusal of the management of COSON to comply with directives of the Commission issued after an investigations into a lingering dispute in the governing board of COSON which led to conflicting claims by two groups as the legitimate governing board of the society.

The Management of COSON has continued to disregard the directive of the Commission, and also acted in violation of the Order of suspension of its operating license as a collective management Organization.

The provisions of Section 39 the Copyright Act requires any person wishing to operate as a collective management Organization to obtain prior approval of the Nigerian Copyright Commission.

In May 2010, COSON was granted approval to operate as a Collective Management Organization for Music and Sound recording, Pursuant to the said   provision, and the provisions of the Copyright (Collective Management Organizations) Regulations 2007.

The Nigerian Copyright Commission is empowered to sanction a collective management organization for failing to comply with the regulatory provisions regarding its operations or refusing to comply with the directive of the Commission. Such sanctions may include suspension of the operating license of a Collecting society and in appropriate cases, revocation of the License.

Furthermore, it is an offence under the Copyright Act to operate as a collecting Society or otherwise carry out the functions of a collective management Society without a valid licence of the Nigerian Copyright Commission.

The criminal charge filed against COSON and some members of its management team, followed an investigation by the Nigerian Copyright Commission, the outcome of which showed that COSON has acted in violation of the relevant provisions of the Law.

The Director General of the Commission has continued to reassure copyright owners in the music and sound recording industries of the commitment of the Commission to entrench a transparent and accountable system of Collective management, to enable right owners receive duly earned royalties without being short-changed.

Users of musical works are also encouraged to obtain appropriate copyright licenses from only approved collective management organizations.

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GOtv Marks 7th anniversary, Begins Open Week for Subscribers

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GOtv a digital pay television offering on the digital terrestrial television platform has announced the commencement of its open week for their subscribers in celebration of its seventh year anniversary.

 

GOtv Open Week will start from, Friday 19 October to Friday, 26 October, 2018. Customers on GOtv Plus bouquet will be treated to a special offering of a week-long access to over 65 channels on GOtv MAX bouquet.

 

GOtv Plus customers will be treated to GOtv MAX’s wide variety of sports and entertainment content such as La Liga on SS Select 4, Fox Entertainment, Sony MAX, CBS Reality and more during the open week period.

 

All these come just before the El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, La Liga’s top game, on October 28, and will be broadcast live exclusively on GOtv MAX.

 

Speaking on the anniversary and open week activities, John Ugbe, managing director, MultiChoice Nigeria said: “We are glad to celebrate this milestone with our customers, who have always been the core of our business. This celebration is indeed a testimony to our commitment to put our customers at the heart of everything we do.  As we continue to grow, we will continue to make improvements and add more value to our GOtv customers”.

 

Ugbe explained that GOtv MAX was introduced as a continuation of the GOtv’s desire to keep widening entertainment options for subscribers.

 

GOtv has four bouquets; GOtv MAX for N3200 monthly with over 65 channels, GOtv Plus bouquet which goes for N1900 monthly with over 50 channels, GOtv Value for N1350 with over 30 channels and GOtv Lite for N400 with 21 channels.

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