March 22-25, documentary filmmakers and enthusiasts from around Africa and parts of Europe and the West, will converge on Lagos for the 2018 edition of the yearly I-Rep International Documentary Film Festival. Produced by the Foundation for the Development of Documentary Film Festival in Africa, the festival will be held at its traditional home, Freedom Park in central business district of Lagos Island. This is the eighth edition of the yearly feast of documentary films, which began in 2010.
The 2018 festival is set to build on the momentum from past editions; especially last year’s and will explore the theme: ARCHIVING AFRICA II: Frontiers and New Narratives.
The list of the Festival Special guests is eminent and resourceful. Renowned documentarist of the Nigerian film industry, Professor Jonathan Haynes from Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York City will present his new book, Nollywood: The Making of Nigeria’s Film Genre; Professor Paul Ugor from the Illinois State University will present a keynote and, also review Jonathan Haynes’ book.
Chairman of the iREP Board, Professor Awam Amkpa from the Tisch School of Arts, New York University, and Dr. Paul Nwulu, Programs Manager, Ford Foundation West Africa will also be key speakers.
A new addition to the programming content of the annual festival, will be a special artiste showcase that will reflect on the works of Professor. Niyi Coker, E. Desmond Lee Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Media Studies at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Focussing on the multi-skilled artiste’s work in Theatre/Cinema/New media/academia, the showcase is essentially designed to present Prof. Coker to aspiring young filmmakers, to make a career in the arts, especially the Film and the new Media. Prof. Coker has directed over 50 major stage productions around the world. His film credits include; The Black 14 (for FERPA PBS in 1995); Black Studies USA, Pennies for the Boatman, etc. His latest documentary film “Ota Benga: Human at the Zoo” like his previous works, has won serial awards at international film gatherings.
A second showcase will celebrate the life and career of famous filmmaker, Tunde Kelani, who will be 70 on February 26. Founder of the production outfit, Mainframe Opomulero, Tunde Kelani’s award winning works include Ti Olu Ni Ile; Ayo Ni Mo Fe; Saworoide; Arugba; Thunderbolt; Abeni; Maami; and lately Sidi Ilujinle, devised from Wole Soyinka’s classic, The Lion & The Jewel.
A three-day Training programme will precede the formal opening the festival. Starting on Monday March 19, the training will focus on Storytelling, and will be conducted by Mr Yinka Ogun, a well known television/radio content provider/consultant and producer., whose film credits include Abeni, directed by Tunde Kilani; Prince of the Savannah, directed by Bayo Awala, and Maroko, directed by Femi Odugbemi. His selected Television credits include Doctor’s Quarters, and Edge of Paradise, both MNET productions. He is the creator of the award-winning MNET soap opera ‘Tinsel’, and the multiple awards winning ‘Dear mother’.
Rationale/Motif behind theme:
Progress in Africa is still very much befuddled by a quavering attempt at measuring up to expectations of the West on what civilization should be. Africa's striving for progress cannot be isolated from the sense of identifying with values that have defined our humanity over time. African cultural materials are capsules of experiences that have moved us forward as a people and they are important archive of the progress we can make. It is sad, however, that these archives are locked in different museums outside the continent with evident little efforts or willpower by African political leaders to rightly request for the repatriation of such archives. And it is even more disturbing that African historians and researchers seem to show less concern and enthusiasm to trace the locations of the archives for the purpose of harvesting and harnessing the materials for educational benefits of the peoples, especially the younger generation of the continent.
Africa: Between Archives and Progress:
How do we even begin to talk about progress without understanding where it is taking them to, and how do we understand where it is taking us to if we have no sense of where it brought us from. A new demography of young African elite is emerging from the frontiers of new-age mantra of change, with new narratives of progress groomed by Western investment into controlling the culture space within which the minds of Africans operate. There has to be a counter-narrative that repurposes the perspectives of these new narratives, from mere puppets of the West, to expanding the humanity of Africa with its connections. Our investment in archiving our humanity is shamefully minuscular, and so, it has become difficult to extend it into the future and pass it on to the next generation that must continue the journey of progress.
Our past must feed the present to shape a future and documentary filmmaking as a cultural tool must begin to curate the agenda upon which we can begin to define our humanity and measure our progress.
Submission of films opened December 15th 2017 and closed February 10, 2018..
iRepresent International Documentary Film Festival is the prime documentary-only film festival on the coast of West Africa. Since 2011, the festival has brought together the brightest minds in the genre in Nigeria and other parts of the world to showcase their works and as well share experiences through screenings, panel discussions, ‘Producers’ Roundtable’, training, workshops, and networking. Guests’ attendance has been from as vast and diverse countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Cameroun, Egypt, Algeria, Mali as well as the USA, Germany, France, and others.
Above pictures from iRep 2017
Intense rehearsals are going on right now FOR Wole Soyinka's King Baabu Play presentation by De-Park Theatre being directed by Toyin Oshiniake.. NOT TO BE MISSED!!!
A play written by the Nobel prize-winner Wole Soyinka. being interpreted by Toyin Oshinaike and Oxygen Koncepts
According to Toyin he says
"With this interpretation King Baabu, you'll be amazed yet amused, at the role 'the other room' plays, in a beastly quest for the pleasure of absolute power.
A comical exaggeration of a collective tragedy.
The Park Theatre has flipped the game,
Park Theatre and Oxzygen Koncepts present:
King BAABU is written by the Nobel Prize-Winner Wole Soyinka.
"General Basha Bash takes power in a bloodless coup d'etat and In the spirit of democracy re-christens himself King Baabu."
King Baabu, after the manner of despotic tendencies, satirically arouses an exaggerated imitation of our participation as a people in a funny yet absurd manner.
With King Baabu, we intend not to abuse nay accuse but rather to use the opportunity to infuse a level of Caution in our choice of leadership yet we also intend that you laugh it off. Easy laughter is a genuine tonic for recession.
Don't get cracked. ⚠
King Baabu features an ensemble of seasoned theatre players which include:
Directed by @toyinoshinaike
Sat'day 12th & Sun13th,
Sat'day 19th &Sun 20th,
& a Special Command Performance on the 27th of August 2017.
Venue: Amphi Theatre @freedompark
1, Hospital Road, Lagos Island (Former Colonial Prisons).
Follow them on their social space:
Facebook: Park Theatre Lagos
Support Theatre. Support wholesome theatretainment.
Share,like and get your tickets now!
This version which is being directed by Toyin Oshiniake is awesome just the rehearsals alone will make you giggle and laugh like a kid however the message is NOT lost...
Tickets are running out fast check check image for more details
Sat., Aug.12th & Sun.13th.7pm. @ The Amphitheatre, Freedom Park, Lagos.
The members of the Felabration committee held their press conference for Felabration 2017 on the 2nd of August 2017, This event took place at the Kalakuta Museum (former home of Fela Kuti). Felabration is an annual musical festival which was conceived by the eldest child of Fela, Yeni Anikulakpo-Kuti in memory and celebration of her great father who is most known for his human right activism and also as the pioneer of the Afrobeat genre of music.
The press conference which was well attended by members of the press kicked off with Dotun Ransome Kuti, a member of the Felabration committee, asking other members to join him on the high table, they included: Yeni Kuti, Theo Lawson, Kunle Kuti, Funke Kuti, Nike Nedum and Sam Onyemelukwe. Mr Dotun noted that this year is a special one for Felabration as it is the 20th anniversary, and also informed the audience that the aim of the press conference is to enlighten the public on what the plans of Felabration 2017 are, He said that there have been new additions like the dancing competition, children’s debate, the Dress Like Fela Pagent, street carnival, and the symposium and that we should be expecting a tight package this year, as this might be the best Felabration yet. A short documentary on the previous Felabration events was shown.
The Chairman of the members of the Felabration committee, Theo Lawson in addition to what Dotun Kuti discussed, touched upon what they (members of the committee) strive to do, which is to keep the legacies Fela stood for. Mr Theo announced the theme for this year: THE PROPHECY which is in line with the fact that all of the issues Fela spoke about in his day are still very much happening in our society today. “Nothing has really changed”. He added that the members of the committee hope to act as catalysts to get some positive change which hopefully the 20th anniversary of Felabration will initiate.
Theo Lawson announced that Lagos state has promised to support the event, and also for the very first time they will be a part of the Notting hill carnival coming up later in August, also other cities abroad like Argentina, Brazil, Japan, London, New york and Ghana will be taking part in the Felabration 2017. Furthermore, he highlighted that the members of the committee are planning a tourist package for those who will like to be a part of the festival from abroad, and in respect to this, there are rooms on the top floor of the Kalakuta museum which are being worked on to become boutique hotels where the tourists can lodge comfortably. In conclusion, Mr Lawson shed some light on the importance of the symposium which will be held on the first day of Felabration and encouraged everyone to attend.
Yeni Kuti, gave the vote of thanks and we all proceeded to take a tour of the Kalakuta museum which was an awesome experience, there were interesting sites like Fela’s bedroom in its original state, photographs of the family, and clothing items that belonged to Fela. Now we look forward to an exhilarating Felabration 2017.
Lagos State is 50 years this year, Festac was 40 years ago and Fela Anikulapo Kuti joined the ancestors 20 years ago. That year, the world watched as almost a million people trekked with Fela's remains from TBS to his resting place at Kalakuta. Yet Fela lives, he lives in many of us through his music, his felasophy, his activism and his charm. We must continue to keep his memory and message alive and that is what Felabration is about.
This year’s theme is 'The Prophecy' as it was foretold by our 'Chief Priest', Black President, Original Sufferhead, Fela long ago.."suffering and smiling", "no bread...no light...no water". The official theme song is “Pansa Pansa”!
To mark the 20 years, Felabration is bigger and better; Join us to give a befitting global celebration to the true African hero. Dates are October 9-15. We expect to entertain and engage over 250,000 people this year with over 30 events in 20
Some of the key highlights are listed below and we are excited to announce that we will give updates every few weeks leading up to the Festival.
Lagos State participation and support – Lagos has supported Felabration in the last but this year, His Excellency, The Executive Governor and the entire State Government has stepped up to officially recognize Fela’s iconic status and legacy.
-Tourist package – We are in the final phases of organizing a Tour package to capitalize on the power of Fela’s celebrity to benefit the local economy. The package will help Fela fans across the world travel to Lagos for Felabration. We will make more announcements about this in the coming weeks with Lagos State.
-Crowd funding – As Felabration continues to evolve and modernize, we are leveraging on technology to offer Fela fans across the world the chance to get involved by contributing.
-Trace TV partnership – The FOC has partnered with Trace to raise the profile of Felabration and the Tour package on their channels in 160 countries across Africa and beyond. Trace is also producing a new Felabration documentary. The FOC and Trace will have more announcements in the coming weeks.
“Fela is the single most important foundation for Nigerian and African music and social movement. His life, music and message have paved the way for creatives over the last five decades and it is our honor to partner to celebrate and remember the legacy and “The Prophecy!” Said Sam Onyemelukwe, Managing Director, Trace Nigeria. -Island and Abuja concerts – For the first time ever, we will be holding crowning versions of Felabration on the Island and Abuja this October with details to be announced before the end of the month.
We have licensed Felabration events are being planned in Europe, the US, Asia, other parts of Africa and Nigeria.
Secondary Schools Debate Competition- Topic; African History; Curriculum Necessity or Not. Participating schools are Dowen College (last year winner), Cayley College Kings College, Vivian Fowler. Apata Memorial College, Vettland College, Oke odo Senior Secondary school, Wesley Girls Senior Secondary school, Ogudu Senior Secondary School, Epe Girls Senior Secondary School.
Felabration is now listed on Fest300.
New Felabration events include the Felabration Artwork competition in which entries from as far as Japan and France have been received. The winning entries will be displayed throughout Felabration.
Felabration Afrobics Dance Competition. Date of entry to the competition closed on the 31st of July 2017 and qualifying rounds will take place in September 2017. The winners will perform at Felabration.
There' are plans for a Dress Like Fela Day during Felabration and details will be announced soon.
Authorized merchandise dealers will make their products available during Felabration. There's a plan to live stream F17 and more details will follow.
Other Features – The Symposium: "40years after Festac, 20years after Fela; wither the Pan African dream?" Keynote speaker: Prof. Patrice L.O. Lumumba (Kenya), celebrated speaker on African issues. School debates and a street carnival will be announced shortly.
Felabration 2017 will feature in the Notting hill carnival and in many cities around the World.
Visit www.felabration.net for more information*
The annual tree planting campaign day in Lagos state took place at the State Junior High School (special) on the 14th of July 2017 at 10am. This event is an initiative of the Lagos state Government, adopted for restoring the ecological glory of the state and combating the impact of climate change. It also aims to enlighten the general public on the many benefits of tree planting in our society.
This event which was anchored by Lanre Babatunde commenced with an invitation of dignitaries to the high table amongst which were: The representative of the Governor of Lagos state, Dr Babatunde Aweleje, The chairperson for the council of arts and culture in Lagos state, Mrs Polly Alakija, representative of the commissioner of environment Honorable Sherrif Balogun and few others. All guests then proceeded to recite the national anthem.
The first speaker of the day was the public affairs officer for Lagos state office of disability, Mr Adeniyi Adebowale , He explained that the reason why the event was held at the State Junior High School for special students is because those living with disabilities are not to be left out in this initiative.
The representative for the commissioner of environment, Honorable Sherrif Balogun welcomed guests and also congratulated Governor Ambode for this development which has been on for a decade. He explained that the theme for this year which is Think green, Plant trees and Live green is to inculcate Lagosians on the habit of tree planting. He added that the over population in Lagos has caused tree planting to reduce and how the government has been able to plant 1.5 million trees in 2016, which helped to create 27,500 new jobs. Honorable Sherrif made it very clear that cutting of trees without the permission of LASPARK is an offence which is punishable by law. He concluded by urging Lagosians to team up with the government to help reform the environmental sector.
Students of the State Junior High School presented an impressive cultural dance display as well as a drama presentation which left the guests in awe of their talents. The last speaker of the day was the representative of the Governor of Lagos state who read out the speech which was sent by the Governor. In this speech Governor Ambode noted that the annual tree planting campaign is critical to the administrative agenda. He also stated that the theme of this year is in line with environmental sustainability and that over 6 million trees have been planted in the state so far. He added that trees are essential as they provide food, shelter, health benefits and also they are the cheapest mitigation options.
Governor Ambode concluded his speech by appreciating loyal partners of this event like Eco bank and urged them to sustain their support, so together they can achieve their aim. He wishes all Lagosians a happy tree planting day. The event closed with closing remarks form the principal of State Junior High School Mrs. Osude.
A Bit of Mississippi History - C.M.Carrier’s Lumber and Manufacturing Company and “The Carrier Line”. By David Dickerson
Before railroad development opened up the region, the area known as the Mississippi Delta was covered in virgin hardwood forests. The area between the Yazoo and Mississippi Rivers, and between Memphis and Vicksburg is generally a flat alluvial flood plain interspersed with many meandering rivers and bayous. Even though there were some cotton plantations in the region, it wasn’t until the building of the railroads that region began to develop. The Illinois Central mainline between Jackson, Grenada and Memphis skirted well east of the delta region. The Louisville, New Orleans & Texas RR was built through the heart of the region in 1882-4, and acquired by IC subsidiary Yazoo & Mississippi Valley in 1892. Y&MV built a network of branch lines throughout the delta. As railroads were built in the region, timberland was bought by lumber companies and sawmills built in the region. Land was cleared and cotton planted in the rich soil in the region. Few people today realize the area once was home to many sawmills and logging railroads.
The Sardis and Delta Railroad was one such line that was built as a logging railroad. The owners came south to Mississippi as the great white pine and hemlock forests of the northeast were depleted. Even though the railroad lasted almost 30 years, far longer than most logging railroads in the region, it eventually met the same fate as the rest after the timber was cut.
The story begins as C. M. Carrier’s hemlock sawmill at Carrier, Pennsylvania, cut out and closed in 1897. As an investment, Carrier purchased a tract of 35,000 acres of hardwood timber land in Panola and Quitman Counties, Mississippi. After a cruise was made to determine the value and quality of the timber, Carrier decided to build a sawmill to cut this timber instead of selling it as originally planned. The business was known as C. M. Carrier & Son. A single band sawmill was built on the south side of Sardis, a town on the Illinois Central mainline. This mill opened in September 1901, and had a capacity of 60,000 feet of lumber per day. The plant also had the standard auxiliary equipment- a planing mill, dry kiln, and electric light plant. Later a hardwood flooring factory, veneer mill, and box factory were added.
As the timber was located in the flat bottoms several miles west of Sardis, a railroad was necessary to bring the logs to the sawmill. The Sardis & Delta Railroad was incorporated on December 13, 1900, and built westward to the timber holdings in 1901-2. The railroad’s capital stock of $100,000 was issued to the parent lumber company in payment for the property. The standard gauge railroad was built westward through rolling hills as economically as possible to reach the edge of the company timber holdings in the flat delta. With a minimum of grading, the line was curvy and hilly. Grades on this section were up to 2 per cent. The railroad was laid with new 60-pound rail. Ballast was minimal- dirt with a few stretches of cinder ballast. A logging camp was built at Baptist, in the hills on the edge of the delta, to avoid the mosquitoes prevalent in the swampy areas in the delta.
The lumber company was officially incorporated as C. M. Carrier & Co. in early February 1903. A year later R. M. Carrier, J. A. Reichman, and W. B. Burke bought the interest of C. M. Carrier. In 1905 R. M. Carrier bought out his associates, and the name of the company was changed to Carrier Lumber & Manufacturing Co. R. M. Carrier served as president; A. P. Steele, secretary, and T. B. McCormick, general manager.
By 1908, the railroad equipment of the Sardis & Delta consisted of 3 locomotives, 60 log cars, 1 coach, and 3 flat cars. The railroad extended 28 miles to a point known as Red Gum. Two short branches extended from Red Oak to Dye and from Burke Jct. to Eckles, each being about two and a half miles long. Logging spurs were built from connections with the Sardis & Delta into company timber holdings. The lumber company used oxen, horses, and mules in logging operations, along with two Lidgerwood combination skidder-loaders. The company was cutting cypress, oak, ash, gum, and hickory. In 1913, the company purchased a 3-drum skidder from Clyde Iron Works. A McGiffert loader was bought from the same firm in 1920. By 1917, the mill capacity had been increased to 75,000 feet per day, and a large logging camp was built at Lake Carrier, 21 miles from Sardis.
Call for Auditions !!! It's "The Africa Boku Talent Showcase" Taking place at the Freedom Park in Lagos!!!
Starting January 2017, a talent show (similar to the X-Factor) starts at the Freedom Park, Lagos, Nigeria, culminating in June 2017 where final winners will be selected.
Participants will have the opportunity to showcase their African creativity:
Gate is N200 per person.
Sponsors and advertisers are welcome. For more info contact Mr. Bola Browne, producer. Raymond@brownehillradio.com.
The inaugural show will take place on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, from 5pm – 8pm.
Africa Boku Talent (ABT) is an NGO founded in 2014 in Los Angeles, California USA with a mission to showcase and support African creativity in music/dance, film/stage, fashion/style and more. www.abtinc.org
Freedom Park Lagos, born out of the ruins of Her Majesty’s Broad Street Prisons, was reconstructed to preserve the history and cultural heritage of the Nigerian People. Freedom Park Lagos is a National Memorial, a Historical landmark, a Cultural site & an Arts and Recreation center. www.freedomparklagos.com
FREEDOM PARK LAGOS is located at Old Prison Ground Broad Street, Lagos Island. Nigeria Tel: +2348095006567.
Producer: Mr. Raymond Bola Brown Raymond@brownehillradio.com
Associate Producers: Sadiq Ayuba and Seyi Obagun
Executive Producer: Dr. Peter Deji Osilaja Founder/CEO, Africa Boku Talent
Executive Producer: Mr. Theo Lawson, Founder/CEO, Freedom Park
High-Waves Video Mart in Conjunction with El Klassic Concept releases their 1st film for 2017 "ENI OMO SIN" Grab your Copy now
A brand new Home video from from the stables of High-waves Video Mart Now Available in Video markets around you....
PoPbeachclub is seeking to raise funds to meet the minimum order requirements (10,000m) to buy certified recycled polyester to be used in the production of board shorts
Talented saxophonist Daniel Chia is one of Singapore's fastest rising young talents in the contemporary jazz scene today.
Although classically trained in the music of Bach, Mozart, Chopin and Bartok, Chia's work is also deeply influenced by the work of jazz legends like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk, alongside the R&B and soul music of the 70s' and 80s'.
The burgeoning musician has been impressing in America recently where he was invited to session for famed guitarist Zoux, and also played live with smooth jazz luminary guitarist Peter White and Grammy-nominated vocal group DW3.
But he's no stranger in his hometown either, having cut his teeth with hip-hop group SIXX, pop and R&B stars like Sezairi and Gareth Fernandez, and many others within the English and Mandarin adult contemporary music landscape. Furthermore, Chia is also Singapore's youngest saxophone artist signed to Yamaha, and a Silverstein's first pro artist signing from Singapore.
Now ready to go solo, Chia has just recently finished recording his debut album In The Moment in Los Angeles under the guidance of two-time Grammy award winning producer Paul Brown. Featuring his special brand of "disco jazz", the forthcoming record has already got insiders buzzing thanks to his smooth compositions and an all-star band of internationally recognized musicians.
Recently, Chia took to Kickstarter on 17 November to get his record off the ground, hoping to reach a stated S$10,000 goal. Now barely a week into his campaign, the smooth jazz prodigy has already amassed well over his aim, earning S$13,231 as of this publication. And with four days left to go, fans can still continue to pledge to help him out even further.
As you can see, support for Chia from the music scene is pretty healthy at the moment, and with very good reason. Check out a preview of In The Moment below to find out more.
Zanderland Asante . . . CEO/Founder
Zanderland (Zan) Asante is the founder and CEO of Poet in Flight Studio, Poems in Bloom Academy, Creative Seasons Music Publishing, BMI, and UP Ministry. She has served as a communication professor at Morgan State University and Howard University; talk show producer at WBAL radio (Baltimore) and WBZ radio (Boston); and development director & announcer at WEAA radio (MSU). With a love for music, she is a voting member of the Recording Academy (Grammy Awards) and a member of BMI (Performance Rights Organization). Zan holds a B.S. in Communication Studies from Morgan State University and a Master’s in Public Relations from Boston University. She has been a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. for nearly 30 years.
The Poet . . .
Zan’s writing style is comforting, inspiring, and healing and many describe her voice as velvet that soothes the soul. Her poetic melodies are gracefully being shared throughout the world. As a spoken word with music artist, she did not wait for record labels, rather decided to start her own music label and publishing company to market her unique gift. Her latest CD “Poems in Bloom” is a fresh collaboration of poetry, music, Psalms, and other Scriptures to inspire, refresh, and heal. It is a reflection of her healing journey through faith, strength, and courage. “Poems in Bloom” was included on the first round ballot of the 59th Grammy Awards and received positive acknowledgement from Grammy Award winning musicians.
Family . . .
As a wife and mother, Zan says family is precious! She has been married to Minister Tony for 23 years and they have two beautiful children (Kofi, 22 and Zanbria, 20).
The Minister . . .
Zan is a prophetess, intercessor and pre-marital small group leader. She and her husband teach classes and mentor couples. “We are thankful & trusting in The Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Athlete . . .
A 4 time All-American athlete, Zan ran track for more than 10 years. Excelling in the 100, 200, 400 meters, 4x100 & 4x400 relays she competed in high school (Fowler in Syracuse, NY) and college (Morgan State Uni.).
Testimony . . . In Her Own Words
“At the age of 8, life changed for me as my lens went from colorful rays of childhood happiness to a view that struggled to find the sun and rainbow. My father died of a massive heart attack at the age of 44 and less than one year later my mother was murdered (a victim of gun violence). “I am always thankful for the love and embrace from my big brother, grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and mentors.
Although I continued to move through my journey with those who loved me, I still did not have the skills needed to process these tragedies and realized later in life that the grieving journey is manifested in several stages. In retrospect, I experienced all of them, including shock (denial), anger, depression (loneliness), restoration, and acceptance & hope. Running served as therapy for me.
It represented both physical and spiritual hope and healing. Physically, the exercise helped to boost my mood and often relieved grief. Spiritually, I embraced God’s Word, ‘run with endurance the race set before you.’ God has truly blessed me and I thank Him for His Son Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of my Faith.”
"My message . . . Don't give up! Stay in the race"
Tawana Lael is considered a triple threat in the entertainment industry and she is quickly claiming her place on the world's entertainment radar. Her song, "Plan B" from her debut album 'Journey To Love" was recognized as one of the top songs in Billboard's 17th Annual World Song Contest.
Kristinia DeBarge knew she wanted to be a singer at the age of three. She grew up listening to strong female vocalists like Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, and Alicia Keys. She credits DeBarge, Mariah Carey, Prince and Aaliyah as her musical inspiration. As a young girl, DeBarge had big dreams of being a singer but kept it from her father until he took her into a recording studio at age twelve. They worked until 4 A.M. recording a duet, which made him realize she was serious about beginning a singing career. At thirteen, she appeared on American Juniors, a younger version of the wildly successful American Idol. She made it to the Top 20. At fourteen, she met Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and spent the next four years developing her voice and writing skills. At nineteen, DeBarge signed a record deal with Sodapop/Island Def Jam.
Her debut album, "Exposed" was released on July 28, 2009. The album debuted at number 23 on Billboard's top 200. Her first single, "Goodbye" debuted at number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and later reached number 15 on the charts. And in Canada, it reached number 15 on the Canadian Hot 100. The single sold over 2 million copies reaching Platinum status and later reaching Gold twice. The music video received an MTV VMA nomination.
DeBarge's second single, "Sabotage," was sent to radio a week before the release of "Exposed." The remix of "Future Love" (featuring Pitbull) was released as the third single. This remixed version was released on November 2, 2009 in the UK and November 10, 2009 in the US. "Exposed" received positive reviews from major critical websites, such as Blues & Soul, People Magazine, and AllMusic. DeBarge opened up for pop singer Britney Spears, during the 2009 world tour, "The Circus Starring: Britney Spears" and received an NAACP Image Award nomination for "Outstanding Artist." In November 2009, The Wet Seal, Inc., a leading specialty retailer to young women, announced a partnership with her.
She independently released a single entitled "Cry Wolf." The music video was featured on VEVO. She was also featured on Redrama's single, "Let Go," which reached number 3 on the charts.
DeBarge made her acting debut in Christmas in Compton (2012), starring Keith David,Omar Gooding,Eric Roberts and Sheryl Lee Ralph. DeBarge played the female lead (Anastasia) in a film written and directed by Nick Cannon entitled School Dance (2014). DeBarge was cast as the female lead (Melody) in The Mint (2015).
In early 2016, DeBarge starred in Growing up Hip Hop, a reality TV series on the WE network, with Boogie Dash, Egypt Criss, TJ Mizell, Angela Simmons and Romeo Miller; and its second season is currently airing.
Kristinia is currently collaborating with some of the industry's top producers and songwriters in anticipation of releasing her third studio album.