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MTN Y’ello star and the hope for a richer entertainment industry in Nigeria

The Y’ello Star is a project initiated by MTN to empower the youths and launch their talents to the world.

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When the MTN Project Fame West Africa disappeared from the screens some three years ago, many aspiring contestants were heartbroken, and even more so the viewers who looked forward to the yearly shows, auditions, suspense and all the excitement. After almost three years, during which there was practically no music reality TV show on the screens, the telecommunication giant resurfaced with the Y’ello Star, another entertainment show and musical competition targeted at unearthing musical talents in the country.

It is easy to see that this new show is not just about entertaining the audience or shooting some unbeknownst talent into super stardom. The prizes won from the competition are indeed an indication that this is beyond showbiz. The telco giant has added a capacity-building package to the prize for all sixteen contestants and the six finalists.

Anthony Obi, Acting Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria while commenting on the completion of the premiere season, reaffirmed MTN’s commitment to developing the capacity of Nigerian youths. “We believe in Nigerian youth and are happy with the outcome of the project. Creativity is crucial to the overall development of the nation and they are the human resources for achieving this. We are committed to turning up their drive to succeed,” he said.

All 16 contestants enjoyed a Virtual Music Training Program from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, as well as a Creative Entrepreneurship Training Program certification by Henley Business School. Irrespective of how raw these talents might have been before they were discovered in the show, both training would refine and polish them in the art and business of music. Importantly, the scholarship awarded to the top six finalists to attend Berklee 2021 Summer Music Program at the Berklee College of Music would give them an extra advantage, arming them with the knife they need to cut their share of the $6.4 billion which Nigeria’s entertainment industry is projected to rake in in 2021.

Besides the N5 million cash prize, brand new fully furnished apartment with an in-house recording studio and a brand-new car, the winner also gets to record and produce a song at Berklee World-class Studio in New York, USA.

Reacting to this move, show judge and superstar musician Banky W commended MTN for “making sure that empowerment remains key on the show”. He further expressed his delight with the show’s format saying, “It’s not just about winner-takes-all, it’s about helping this generation (of talents) achieve something and I am proud to be a part of this.”

Convert these prizes into monetary equivalent value and you begin to have a clearer picture of what MTN is investing into Nigeria’s entertainment industry. While the apartment and the furnished in-house studio is estimated to be worth about N60 million, the cost of recording and producing a song at Berklee World-class Studio in New York as well as the scholarship for the top six finalists to attend Berklee 2021 Summer Music Program in the USA will run into thousands of dollars converting these amateurs into music professionals.

From previous shows like the Project Fame for instance, we have seen situations where winners of the competition release a debut album and go into oblivion soon after. This time around, the telco is taking extra measures to see that the contestants and finalists are trained and equipped to soar in the now competitive global entertainment industry. Sharing his thoughts on the entire experience, Dotti winner of the debut season said, “I am sincerely grateful to MTN for the rare chance to develop my talent. I could not have done this alone. The coaching and business training I have received through MTN Y’ello Star from the Berklee College of Music and the Henley Business School will help my career immensely.”

Richard Iweanoge, General Manager, Brand and Communications, MTN Nigeria said, “The Y’ello Star project is unique. It is different from what the audience is used to from previous music talent programmes. It is a project initiated by MTN to empower the youths and launch their talents to the world. The show is designed to groom musical talents by providing a lifetime opportunity to turn their dreams and aspirations into reality.”

It is not just a winner-takes-it-all situation, as it can be seen from past music reality TV shows like the Project Fame and Idols that several contestants went on to become famous singers even without winning the competition. Through this initiative, the ICT giant reaffirms its dedication to spearheading value creation in the entertainment industry.

The long-term effect of this would be an overall advancement of the Nigerian music industry and the economy, as these contestants use the provided platforms and their newly gained popularity to translate their dreams into reality. Such shows in the past produced artistes like Darey Art Alade, Timi Dakolo, Omawunmi, Chidinma, Niniola, Olawale, Praiz, Iyanya, and Johnny Drille; and with the added benefits in the MTN Y’ello star, we can look forward to a richer music industry in the coming years.

NM Partners represent articles published in paid partnerships with corporate organisations. They include press releases, targeted content, and other forms of corporate communications on behalf of our Paid Partners.

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Pension transfer window is open but not all PFAs are good for you…

The Transfer Window now opened by PENCOM gives you the opportunity to jump ship.

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Just like birthdays remind us of how old we are getting; it should also remind us of how close we get to retirement.

Many young people have vigorously started saving for their retirement with their referred or prefered choice of Pension Fund Administrators (PFA), but if you are one of them, are you sure that PFA is good for you? PENCOM has opened a Transfer Window so you can freely change your PFA if you feel they are not doing well or if they are not right for you.

Now comes the next questions, “Is my pension safe? how do I know which PFA is good for me?”. Don’t fret, this short article and chart from http://naijapension.com/ was written to help you.

The list contains the performance of the retiree fund of key PFAs. If your PFA is currently lagging on this list, you have nothing to worry about. You can easily switch to a better PFA and avoid stress later on; the Transfer Window now opened by PENCOM gives you the opportunity to jump ship. Funds to note are Funds II which is the default fund for RSA holders of 49 years and below and Fund III which default fund for RSA holders of 50 years and above.

Other Funds like Fund IV are only for retirees while Fund 1 is request based only however NOT accessible to Retirees and active contributors of 50 years and above

Your preference may differ, but we’d love to know what you think of the list.

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Ecobank to pay customers N5 for every dollar received 

Ecobank will pay N5 on every Dollar so beneficiaries will not only get the foreign currency sent from their family and friends abroad, they will also get extra Naira.

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Ecobank, Ayo Adepoju's appointment, Ecobank Transnational Inc. records 24% increase in Profit After Tax for Q4 2020.

Ecobank has implemented the CBN scheme which offers N5 for every Dollar received into domiciliary accounts or as cash over the counter.  Korede Demola-Adeniyi; Head, Consumer Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, who announced this in Lagos stated that the decision is in line with the CBN directive and fully aligns with efforts to encourage the inflow of diaspora remittances into the country. She noted that the “CBN Naira 4 dollar scheme” is an unprecedented incentive for senders and recipients of international money transfers.

Korede Demola-Adeniyi said that the scheme takes effect from 8th March and will run till 8th May, 2021. “Ecobank will pay N5 on every Dollar so beneficiaries will not only get the foreign currency sent from their family and friends abroad, they will also get extra Naira”, she stated.

Only recently, Ecobank had a first of its kind virtual Diaspora Summit to discuss opportunities for Nigerians living abroad and the various platforms available to assist them with their investment decisions and remittance needs. The event had major players in the remittance space, diaspora audience, government officials and notable stakeholders in attendance.

Further, the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has disclosed that apart from consistent engagement with Nigerians in the diaspora, Ecobank is leveraging its digital technology to make remittances to Nigeria and Africa easy, convenient and affordable.

Mr. Akinwuntan stated that growing evidence has shown a positive relationship between diaspora remittances and economic growth. “Ecobank will continue to pursue its mandate of helping to enhance the economic development and integration of Africa, through the 33 countries where the bank operates on the continent. Ecobank’s Rapidtransfer and mobile app (Ecobank Mobile) enable Africans, wherever they are,  to easily and instantly send money to bank accounts, mobile wallets and agent locations across 33 African countries”, he stated.

Ecobank Nigeria, a member of the Pan African Banking Group is committed to supporting Africans in the diaspora by providing advisory services, remittance solutions, investment options and financial planning schemes. The bank also offers mortgages, treasury bills, capital market instruments, among others.

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