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    Why slave descendants want the Benin Bronzes to stay in US

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    A group of African Americans has filed a lawsuit to stop the return of some Benin Bronzes from the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC to Nigeria.

    They claim that the bronzes – looted by British colonialists in the 19th Century from the kingdom of Benin in what is now Nigeria – are also part of the heritage of descendants of slaves in America, and that returning them would deny them the opportunity to experience their culture and history.

    “It is a very interesting argument,” says 93-year-old David Edebiri, after laughing for about 15 seconds straight.

    He is part of the cabinet of the current Oba of Benin – the king or traditional ruler in southern Nigeria’s Edo state.

    “But the artifacts are not for the Oba alone. They are for all Benin people, whether you are in Benin or in the diaspora.”

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    Most Nigerians with whom I have discussed this US lawsuit have burst into laughter.

    But Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, the founder and executive director of the Restitution Study Group (RSG) which initiated it, is dead serious.

    The 56-year-old founded RSG, a not-for-profit institute based in New York, in 2000 “to examine and execute innovative approaches to healing the injuries of exploited and oppressed people”.

    More than 103,000 slaves brought to the America were from ports once controlled by traders from the kingdom of Benin, such as Lagos, says Ms Farmer-Paellmann.

    She is quoting records from the Transatlantic Slave Trade Database hosted by Emory University in Atlanta – and recent testing showed that 27.7% of her DNA is linked to these people.

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    This, she believes, gives her and the millions of others with similar ancestry the right to lay a claim to the bronzes.

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    Her argument hinges on manillas, brass bracelets introduced as a form of currency by Portuguese traders, who from the 16th to the 19th Centuries purchased from Africans a variety of agricultural produce and local goods – and also human beings.

    The thousands of sculptures known collectively as the Benin Bronzes that were looted after the infamous punitive attack on the palace of Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi in 1897 were made with a combination of metals, such as brass and copper.

    The kingdom itself did not produce enough metal to supply its casting industry, and relied on imports – including the brass metal from these bracelets, which were melted down to create works of art.

    “Fifty manillas would buy a woman, 57 would buy a male slave,” says Ms Farmer-Paellmann.

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    “What we are saying is that the descendants of the people traded for these manillas have a right to see the bronzes where they live,” she says

    “There is no reason why we should be obligated to travel to Nigeria to see them,” she said, citing US travel warnings. “I don’t want to get kidnapped.”

    ‘Afro-pessimism‘

    Critics of the case, like Mr Edebiri, argue that not all manillas used in Benin were from the slave trade.

    He has written a book about his great-great-grandfather Iyase Ohenmwen, who was prime minister for the Oba in the early 19th Century, detailing how he traded in ivory and European clothes.

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    “He would take these manillas to Igun-Eronmwon, a village in Benin that manufactured all these artifacts. They would then make them into bronzes and other fanciful things.”

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    Acclaimed Nigerian-American artist Victor Ehikhamenor, who is from Edo state, argues that while history is complicated, one matter is simple: “The exact land from where these things were taken has not shifted.”

    For Nigerian art historian Chika Okeke-Agulu, a professor at Princeton University and an activist at the forefront of the campaign to return looted artwork, Ms Farmer-Paellmann’s comments “sound like the arguments that white folks who don’t want to return the artifacts have made”.

    “The lack of safety strikes me as another version of Afro-pessimism that we’ve heard for a long time,” he says, pointing to the thousands of African Americans who now travel to south-western Nigeria every year for the famous Yoruba Osun Osogbo festival.

    Agitation for the return of the bronzes to Nigeria has been ongoing since the 1930s.

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    “Being in the British Museum, which is a world repository of heritage, allows people to see it,” said Oliver Dowden, a former British culture minister, last year.

    But since then some institutions in the West have finally started to return them.

    The Smithsonian Museum of African Art, in a ceremony on 11 October, transferred ownership of 20 of them to Nigeria, while nine more will remain on loan to the museum.

    Another 20 are with the Smithsonian’s Museum of National History, and the process that could lead to their transfer has begun. The Restitution Study Group’s lawsuit hopes to stop that.

    ‘We are suffering from shame’

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    Ms Farmer-Paellmann has long been fighting for justice and reparations for the black descendants of slaves in the US.

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    In the 1990s, she started compiling evidence to show how 17 companies had amassed wealth from slavery, such as the insurance firm Lloyd’s of London. The legal proceedings floundered in the end in the 2000s as RSG ran out of funding.

    However, following the global Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, Lloyd’s of London apologised for its past links to the slave trade and committed to making financial investments to promote the welfare of black, Asian and ethnic minority groups.

    Each time I have written about the legacy of slavery in Africa, I have received hundreds of messages from African Americans expressing worry that my stories might affect their quest for reparations from white descendants of slave owners, who might use stark evidence of African involvement in the transatlantic slave trade as an excuse to wriggle out of blame for their ancestors’ atrocities.

    Therefore, I was surprised that a group like Ms Farmer-Paellmann would be openly highlighting this fact through its lawsuit.

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    “There’s a lot of shame,” she admits. “It’s almost like a child reporting their mother for child abuse. That’s a hard thing to do.”

    “But we are suffering from the shame while the slave trader heirs are walking off with the treasures.”

    She calls for a more understanding outlook: “This is an opportunity for Nigeria to take a stand, one of the biggest places where descendants of enslaved people come from – about 3.6 million of us – and say that the honourable thing to do today is to share these bronzes.

    “Nigeria would be celebrated for doing something like that.”

     

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    Africa

    Three Best Electrical Wires and Cables in Nigeria 2024

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    Cables come in different materials, casing, and sizes to accommodate different electrical loads and different conditions in which they’ll be used. While they can be made of aluminium or other materials, most electrical wires are copper.

    Safety is the most important factor to consider when choosing an electrical cable. Because cables are the primary carrier of electricity in your home, you need to make sure every aspect of safety is taken into account. Electric wires are designed to withstand constant electrical current, which means they won’t cause a fire in the event of an accident/short circuit.

    Power cables and wires are one of the most common causes of electrical failure. People often overlook the importance of this material. A good power cable must perform better in the event of electrical failure, overload or sudden electrical spikes. It should also be fire-retardant in the event of any danger.  We have put together the best 4 electrical wires in Nigeria for 2024.

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    Nigeria is home to a wide variety of wire and cable brands, most of which are produced in the country. We have compiled a list of the best wire and cable brands to help you find the right one for your needs.

    1. Zobis Cables & Wires is a leading brand of electrical cables. It specializes in the development and deployment of advanced house-wiring and industrial cables to meet the needs of energy and industrial companies. Their range of technologies and solutions are revolutionizing the way the industry operates today and into the future. They guarantee safety through quality and technology, and their cables are designed to withstand extreme conditions.

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    ZOBIS ELECTRICAL WIRES AND CABLES. PROUDLY MADE IN NIGERIA! | Facebook

    2. Cutix wires and cables represent a pinnacle in electrical engineering, tailored for both advanced house-wiring and industrial applications. They cater to energy and industrial sectors seeking heightened efficiency, reliability, and safety in their operations. With a versatile range of technologies and solutions, Cutix is reshaping the industry landscape, guaranteeing safety through top-notch quality and innovative technology. Designed to thrive in harsh conditions, these cables epitomize durability and resilience.

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    3. Coleman wires and cables stand out as the premier choice for electricity distribution across Nigeria. At Coleman Wires and Cables, we prioritize excellence in manufacturing, dedicated to producing wires and cables that consistently surpass our customers’ needs. Our commitment extends to aligning with key stakeholders and adhering to ISO 9001:2015 standards, ensuring our products consistently deliver the highest quality possible.

     

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    Entertainment

    10 things you should know about Sisi Quadri

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    1. The late Quadri Oyebamiji was well-known as Sisi Quadri in Yoruba films.
    2. He was born December 26, 1979, in Iwo, Osun State, Nigeria.
    3. He attended primary and high school in Ore, Ondo State.




    4. Before becoming a celebrity in the entertainment industry, Quadri was a Muslim, a skilled makeup artist, and a fashion designer.
    5. He began acting in 2002 with the film ‘Koto Aye,’ directed by the late Alhaji Ajileye.
    6. Sisi Quadri, who was well-known for his humorous personality and consistently played roles recognized for their keen wit and mocking.
    7. In addition to performing, he worked as an entertainer and comedian.




    8. He appeared in several Yoruba films and even invested in a tailoring company. Quadri was also sought after as a Master of Ceremony (MC) at parties.
    9. Sisi Quadri’s personal life revolved around his family.
    10. He was married with four children: three sons and one daughter.



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    Business

    Boosting Business Productivity and Profitability with Advanced CRM Software Development

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    In today’s competitive business landscape, organizations strive to enhance their productivity and profitability through the efficient utilization of cutting-edge technology. One such transformative tool is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. By investing in advanced CRM software development, businesses can streamline their operations, improve collaboration, and ultimately boost productivity and profitability.

    Streamlined Communication and Collaboration

    One of the key benefits of advanced CRM systems is the facilitation of seamless communication and collaboration within an organization. By centralizing customer data, communication history, and transaction details, teams can access real-time information, reducing the need for multiple touchpoints. This fosters efficient collaboration, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working towards common goals. With improved communication and collaboration, productivity is enhanced, leading to increased profitability.

    Enhanced Customer Insights




    Understanding customer needs and preferences is essential for delivering personalized experiences and building long-lasting relationships. Advanced CRM software goes beyond basic data storage, offering sophisticated analytics tools. By harnessing data analytics, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer behavior, enabling targeted marketing strategies and personalized engagement. This deep understanding of customers not only enhances satisfaction but also increases the likelihood of repeat business, driving overall profitability.

    Automation for Efficiency

    Automation is a cornerstone of advanced CRM systems. By automating routine tasks such as data entry, lead nurturing, and follow-ups, businesses can significantly reduce manual effort and minimize human error. This not only frees up valuable time for employees but also ensures that critical processes are executed consistently. Improved efficiency translates directly to increased productivity and, consequently, higher profitability.

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    Seamless Integration with Other Tools

    An advanced CRM system seamlessly integrates with other business tools and applications, creating a unified ecosystem. Whether it’s integrating with marketing automation platforms, e-commerce systems, or project management tools, a well-developed CRM system ensures a smooth flow of information across all departments. This integration eliminates data silos, enhances overall business efficiency, and allows for better collaboration between teams.

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    Real-Time Analytics for Informed Decision-Making

    Timely and informed decision-making is crucial for business success. Advanced CRM software provides real-time analytics and reporting, allowing stakeholders to make data-driven decisions. Whether it’s identifying sales trends, assessing marketing campaign performance, or tracking customer satisfaction metrics, having access to up-to-date information empowers businesses to adapt quickly and stay ahead of the competition. Informed decision-making based on real-time analytics leads to increased productivity and profitability. Find more here

    Customization for Specific Business Needs

    Every business has unique requirements and processes. Advanced CRM software development allows for customization to meet specific business needs. Whether it’s creating custom workflows, adding industry-specific features, or integrating with existing systems, a tailored CRM solution ensures that the software aligns perfectly with the organization’s goals and processes. Customization maximizes productivity by providing a solution that is specifically designed to address the challenges and requirements of the business.

    Mobile Access for Remote Productivity

    In today’s mobile-centric world, remote work has become increasingly prevalent. Advanced CRM software development includes mobile access, allowing employees to access critical information and perform tasks on the go. Whether it’s updating customer details, reviewing sales pipelines, or responding to leads, mobile access to CRM systems ensures that productivity is not hindered by physical location. This flexibility enables businesses to maintain productivity and profitability, even in remote work environments.

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    Training and Support for Optimal Utilization

    To fully leverage the benefits of advanced CRM software, organizations should invest in training and support for their employees. Proper training ensures that employees understand the features and functionalities of the CRM system, enabling them to utilize it to its full potential. Ongoing support and guidance from CRM experts can help businesses overcome any challenges and optimize their usage of the software. By providing the necessary training and support, organizations can maximize productivity and profitability.

    Data Security and Privacy Measures




    With the increasing importance of data protection and privacy, advanced CRM software development prioritizes robust security measures. CRM systems employ encryption, access controls, and regular backups to safeguard customer data and sensitive business information. Compliance with data protection regulations, such as GDPR or CCPA, demonstrates a commitment to data security and builds trust with customers. By ensuring the security and privacy of data, businesses can focus on productivity and profitability without compromising sensitive information.

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    Scalability for Future Growth

    As businesses grow, their needs and requirements evolve. Advanced CRM software is designed to scale alongside the organization, accommodating increased data volume and user demand. Scalability allows businesses to continue utilizing their CRM system efficiently, even as customer bases expand and operations become more complex. By investing in a scalable CRM solution, organizations can ensure long-term productivity and profitability, without the need for a complete system overhaul.

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    Integration with AI and Automation Technologies

    The integration of AI and automation technologies with advanced CRM software opens up new possibilities for productivity and profitability. AI-powered chatbots can handle customer inquiries, freeing up human resources to focus on more complex tasks. Automated workflows and predictive analytics can identify patterns and opportunities, optimizing sales and marketing efforts. By harnessing the power of AI and automation, businesses can achieve higher levels of productivity and profitability.

    Conclusion




    In conclusion, investing in advanced CRM software development is a strategic move for optimizing business processes, improving collaboration, and ultimately boosting productivity and profitability. With streamlined communication, enhanced customer insights, automation, seamless integration with other tools, real-time analytics, customization, mobile access, training and support, data security measures, scalability, and integration with AI and automation technologies, businesses can unlock new levels of efficiency and profitability. Embracing the power of advanced CRM solutions allows organizations to thrive in today’s dynamic and competitive market, achieving sustained growth and success.

    Remember, the success of CRM software lies in its implementation and utilization, so choose a reputable CRM software provider that understands your business needs and offers comprehensive support throughout your CRM journey.

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