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Ghanaian Exec Bozoma Saint John Leaves Uber For Entertainment Company, Endeavor

After a year at Uber, the high-profile Ghanaian exec will take her talents to Hollywood as Endeavor's new CMO.

Bozoma Saint John has left Uber for the entertainment conglomerate Endeavor, where she will act as Chief Marketing Officer.

The high-profile exec was named Chief Brand Officer of Uber Technologies last June, amidst a slew of widely-publicized scandals involving sexual assault accusations, management woes and questionable organizational culture. "Boz joined Uber at a time when the company was hurting—but her energy, optimism and creativity have been a key part of our ongoing turnaround. Endeavor is lucky to have her, and I'm excited to watch her work in her new role," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told TechCrunch.


Saint John will undoubtedly be a major asset to Endeavor, the parent company of the talent agency WME, which reps some of the industry's biggest names, including Drake, Adele, Idris Elba, and Rihanna to name a few, IMG, UFC and more. "Boz's strong creative vision has the power to create cultural moments that are transformative for brands," said Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel. "We're excited for what it means when her vision comes face-to-face with our client roster and portfolio of brands who are shaping the cultural conversation around the world every day."

Before starting at Uber Saint John led Apple's global consumer marketing division.

The seasoned exec was named one of OkayAfrica's 100 Women in both 2017 and 2018.

'54 Silhouettes' at the British Council of Nigeria's Lagos Theatre Festival. Photo: Drive Adebayo.

'54 Silhouettes' Is the One-Man Play Exploring What Happens When Other People Tell Our Stories

The play is the first from Nigeria to show at the international United Solo Theatre Festival in NYC.

Playwright, screenwriter, and theatre director Africa Ukoh's award-winning play 54 Silhouettes has made its way to New York City as part of the United Solo Festival, the annual international festival, highlighting solo theatre performances through a "variety of one-person shows."

The one-man play stars the award-winning Nigerian actor Charles Etubiebi as a struggling actor who thinks he's landed his big break when he gets a major role in an upcoming blockbuster, he becomes conflicted, however, when he learns the film is yet another stereotypical "war in Africa" production—the type of film he vowed to never do. "Caught between career ambitions and ideals of his African identity, he must decide whether to do the film or ditch it," reads an official description of the show.

"The play explores African representation in global media and asks questions about creative responsibility, with tensions of cross cultural relations at the center of it all," Ukoh tells OkayAfrica. "It explores the inherent complexities in culturally unique stories being told by people of different cultures and how this intersects with power dynamics, commerce, and artistic ideals."

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Interview
Sarz. Photo: Manny Jefferson. Courtesy of the artist.

Interview: Sarz Has Powered a Generation of Nigerian Music—and He Isn't Stopping Anytime Soon

We talk to the star producer about his role in the rising global popularity of Nigerian music, spanning his production on massive singles from the likes of Wizkid, Skepta, Drake and more.

"I think more than the music, the narrative is more important these days," says Sarz as he sits at the offices of his press agency. "So one great song with an amazing narrative can get you farther than five great songs sometimes."

When Sarz talks about music, his eyes light up. They dart with excitement as he runs through topics like sounds, production, trends, and innovation. These are all words that represent his life's work of impactful music production, which has powered a generation of music in Nigeria, and is currently playing a role in its international future. Sitting at the offices, decked in a white t-shirt, red trousers and Nike kicks, he makes a point that he rarely grants interviews. And when he does, it's in spaces like this, in rooms and studios where his business is conducted, and his work is birthed and refined for public impact.

Born Osabuohien Osaretin, the 30-year-old music producer discovered sounds by accident when his ears would automatically pick apart music and focus on the beat. Interestingly, he discovered that he could remember every beat in detail. It was the entry point to a career that took off in 2010 when he scored his first hit on Jahbless' "Joor Oh" remix—during the formative stages of the current Nigerian pop success—and has provided sounds that have shaped the culture and given it its biggest moments.

With afrobeats' global ambitions taking off, Sarz's production is playing crucial roles in celebrated cross-cultural projects. He's helmed Drake's "One Dance," unlocked the chemistry between Wizkid and Skepta on "Energy (Stay Far Away)," and added composition on Beyoncé's Lion King: The Gift album.

"I'm inspired by the thoughts of how far I can take music. Just thinking about where this music can take me to," Sarz says, taking swigs from a water bottle. The producer has also worked with the biggest stars in afrobeats, and a look through his catalogue has hits every year since 2007.

He talks passionately about his work, the source of inspiration, where good music originates from, and how he identifies where to direct his energies. He runs an academy that has been a vehicle for delivering new producers to the culture. Sarz converses with range, a brimming energy, and a humility that is tied to purpose and achievements. He never shies away from topics that examine his revered place in this ecosystem, admitting without bragging that he is no one's mate. Even his 2019 SINYM EP is affirmation that "Sarz Is Not Your Mate." He has seen a lot and has a lot to say.

Sarz. Photo: Manny Jefferson. Courtesy of the artist.

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Watch Yemi Alade's New Music Video for 'Shake' Featuring Duncan Mighty

The "Nigerian Queen of Music Videos" does it again.

Yemi Alade returns with the visuals for her single "Shake," one of the many infectious tracks from her latest album Woman of Steel.

In the Paul Gambit-directed music video, the singer shows off her sensual side, first posing on a bed in an elegant powder blue mesh gown, before heading into several dance sequences. As usual, the singer serves in a number of stunning, eye-catching looks.

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