Tag: London Digest


This is an article that holds a double edged sword for me and writing it will perhaps bring me as much opposition as it will bring supporters. However, at the end of the day, it is my duty and obligation to bring what has been brought to my attention to the awareness of my public.

My concern is about the ways and manners that the Nigerian diasporans are continuously being used as channels to milk funds and resources from the Federal government and other well meaning, or not so well meaning  establishments and institutions in Nigeria – possibly with the cooperation of officials in these same establishments.

I have often found the so called office of the Minister for Diaspora Matters a big joke and a highly unnecessary white elephant.

With all due respect to the current Minister who holds that portfolio and the persons  that created that office/ministry, I would however ask “Just what exactly does the Minister for Diaspora Matters do?”

Pose the question to an average Nigerian diasporan in London – as close as it is to Abuja or Lagos and maybe just 1 out of 10 will have a clue. In my “limited” understanding, shouldn’t the Minister of Diasporan matters be a direct link between Diasporans and the Federal Government back home? An office responsible for ensuring the welfare or plights of Diasporans reach the ears of the Presidency who must in turn find ways and avenues of caring for Nigerians outside the country? But then, many will assume that is the duty of the High Commission or Consulate…….

I met the Minister in charge of this ministry a couple of times over the past few years – but these were at high profile events and functions. But not once, have I come across them or have they been reported to have attended a grass root diasporan event – and this is in spite of the numerous visits they makes to the UK and the US.

In 2014, a group of community members and leaders in the UK came together to organise the Nigerian Centenary Awards to mark the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Nigeria. Although a ticketed event, each member was levied £100 each towards the organisation of the event and all other logistics that went into it. At an event attended by at least 450 guests, 100 outstanding Nigerians of different ages, fields and occupations were honoured and awarded and this event was graced by officials from the High Commission. However, not a single grain of support either financially or otherwise, came from any official Nigerian quaters towards the initiative. Yet, a multi million naira event was held in Abuja – and funded by public funds.

Many Nigerians living abroad will tell you they have never sought the help of the Consulate in the country they live in and this is mostly because they never knew they could; or are unaware of the help available to them from their embassies.  Here in the UK, until Baba Tafida, the former High Commissioner started his regional Town Hall visits, not many Nigerians had an idea of who he was and never thought they could step foot in the High Commission. As a matter of fact, venturing into the passport office often turned into highly traumatising experiences for many who needed to have their Nigerian passports renewed. The staff were extremely rude and unnecessarily arrogant with very little customer service skills and saw their jobs as doing the customer a favour rather that providing a service. Although, I have been made aware that things are a bit better now even if you have to add a £20 postal order for postage on top of the renewal cost!

Over the past decades, certain bodies and organisations have been set up and established to act as links between the High Commission in London and Nigerians living in the UK.

Now, you would expect that with the great and laudable task set before these bodies, at least 50% of Nigerians would at least have heard about them. Instead, the organisations have become exclusive clubs for only a few inner caucus members and only a select few actually see and enjoy fringe benefits from these organisations.

They leaderships of these bodies have reduced themselves to party gracing celebs and their leadership will take themselves in a convoy to events and occupy the highest tables without as much as leaving a token contribution or gift  towards the organisation of the events they attend.

Many of the events organised by these organisations are planned simply, it would seem, for the benefits of their own inner caucus members. Attend any one of them and you will hardly find 100 guests. The events are hushed up and given very little publicity therefore, very few get to hear or know about them. Yet, the executives of these groups will maintain that they are working for the community. There is very little transparency – if any – in the operations and even objectives of these organisations.

As for the Diaspora Ministry back home: a few weeks back, again a select few Nigerians attended the high profile Diaspora day celebrations in Nigeria. Now I only came to hear about this important event simply because of my position as a news person. But many others didn’t. I am still baffled as to why the Federal Government held a Diaspora day  – not in the diaspora – but in the country where the diasporans came from. My limited common sense tells me that a day celebrating diasporans should be held where the diasporans live – after all, it is about them…. But a handful of the UK diasporan “representatives” attended the hallowed event which also included a dinner at Aso Rock – with all expenses, I would assume, paid by the Federal Government either through the High Commission or through these “representative” organisations. Meanwhile, since the return of these reps, nothing regarding the thoughts or plans of the administration for diasporans has been heard except of course, the reiteration that diasporans are again being denied voting rights in Nigerian elections. Which means that our so called representatives simply went all the way to Abuja to bring back nothing of use to us. However, we do hear from time to time that the Government wants diasporans to keep plunging our hard earned and in some cases, meagre finances as investments into the country. Even though, we will have no say in who runs the country in which we are being asked to invest in….


But haven said that, it won’t be entirely true to say these reps come back with nothing. Reliable sources tell me that some of these reps” travel often to Nigeria and “make presentations” to the government on behalf of their fellow diasporans. Many meet with high officials and politicians in Abuja and place endless proposals for diaspora community initiatives and programmes before them. A number of these initiatives it would seem, would meet with the approval and acceptance of those officials who it is claimed, would put millions of naira towards the so called initiatives. Also contributing towards such initiatives are state governments, banks and big companies and other such establishments. But on returning to the UK, the nairas end up in someone’s personal account and into someone’s personal projects. Sometimes, some poorly planned and cheaply organised community event is put on just as a smokescreen and for records purposes – but as an experienced event organiser, I know for a fact that the cost of putting on these shows are tiny, compared to the actual funds that have been donated towards them.

Many of us in the diaspora cry out loud against corruption in Nigeria.  But the fact of the matter is that some of these crooks we have in power used to live in the diaspora and many of them perhaps started their training from being diasporans representatives, scamming the same people they were meant to be representing.

I would at great risk to myself, ask us in the UK diaspora, to look a little closer to home and focus on our own leaders living among us in the diaspora. seeing as the folks back home really don’t have our interest at heart or have very little clue about what is going on in the diaspora.


Jummy Ariyo

September 2015


naija djs
This week, I am giving a shout out to those who thrill us in the City of London. The guys who weekly, get stuck behind the decks and thrill us with the best dance tunes and floor fillers at our parties and in our clubs. There is a  massive pool of highly talented DJs in London – many of them having reached cult, show biz celebrity status. Without these showbiz stars, our parties will be no parties at all. 
These are, in no particular order, my Top 10 London-Naija Disc Jockeys

Deejay Abass 

DJ Abass is one of the most known Nigerian faces in theUK. He started off as one the pioneers of the London-Naija entertainment scene in the early 90s. DJ Abass is also one ofthe founders of the Nigerian corner of the Notting Hill carnival – a street  corner party where Nigerians congregate to rave during the world known annual event. 
He also works as a TV presenter, events organiser, events marketer, media and events consultant.

DJKC Firstchoice

DJKC Firstchoice
 has been a DJ since the early 80s and recently celebrated 30 years in the industry with a massive bash that hosted over 500 revellers. One of the most famous Naija DJs, he founded and hosted the extremely popular Jeans Carnival and the Black and White  Carnival in Abeokuta, Nigeria before moving to the UK in the early 90s. DJ KC is very highly in demand and he guest plays at various events, major clubs and venues in and outside of London. He is the resident DJ at The Bosk Lounge in Wembley. 

DJ Omo Whyte 

Omo Whyte is another highly famous and well known DJ whose career started from Benin City Nigeria where he played the famous Limit Nite Club in Benin City A contemporary of DJ Abass an DJ KC, he also moved to the UK in the 90s and has established himself as a top DJ whose 
shows are usually packed to the fullest.

Kashif Da Flash

Kashif Da Flash is a prolific events organiser as well as a DJ. Popularly known as the Famous Turntablist, hiscareer stared back in Nigeria in the 80s. In the early 2000s, he organised the mammoth Nigerian Carnival whichboasts of crowds of thousands of Nigerians and other nationalities. He has since established himself as one ofthe most preferred DJs at events, parties and clubs. Heis nowadays mostly known for the highly popular monthlyOld School Nation parties. 

Segun ShyShy

Segun Shillol or ShyShy started as a radio DJ with OGBCAbeokuta in the 80s. He has worked as a club promoter as well as events organiser since moving to the UK. A close ally of Kashif, he co-organises the Old School Nation parties among many others.

Deoba Authentic

DJ Deoba Authentic started his career in the 90s after being mentored by the likes of DJKC. He is now a Radio DJ/Radio Presenter and plays at high profile events andvenues in and outside of the capital. Recently, Deoba has also ventured into music, his first love, and has released a number of singles including the floor filer “L'agbo Tiwa” He currently resident DJs at Broadway Lounge in South East London and has a weekly show on Colourful Radio. 

DJ Shola Bee

Shola Bee is another extremely well know Naija DJ in London. He works as a Club Promoter who's linked to venues such as Steam Bar and My Tribe Club where he also plays regularly. He is also an event  organiser responsible for shows such as Ankara carnival. 

DJ Ladi

Dj Ladi came to the UK in the 80s and was a major player at the major West End clubs at the time that there were very few Naija DJs in the UK. He was resident DJ at 
Steam Bar Paddington for many years. 

 DJ Ade

 Ade is another of the pioneer brigade of Naija DJs in the UK. Having been around since the 80s. He was the first ever DJ to play at the Naija Corner of the Notting Hill Carnival. DJ Ade is now the resident DJ at My Tribe Club in South East London. 

DJ Unbeetable 

The King of the new generation of Naija DJs in London, Unbeetable is a full time DJ who is very popular among younger Nigerians and the preferred choice to play at weddings and other events featuring 
young people. He plays the Annual Universities Spring Break festival and the Afrobeats Festival . He plays at the Steam Bar on Saturdays and on Sundays, he plays regularly at the Black and White Lounge . 

Copyright Jummy Ariyo 

London Digest Column for City People Magazine June 2015


sam onigbanjo iiSam Debo Onigbanjo is one of the most charming, witty and down to earth men one can ever meet.

But he is also one of the sharpest and brightest Nigerian minds outside the country. He is one of the most influential Nigerians living in the UK today and it is often said if you need to make business connections, Sam is the person to kmow,

The University of Lagos graduate reurned to UK, the country of his birth in 1993.

Around 1995, he  started his first business exporting mobile phones to Nigeria when the market just opened but being unable get his hands on enough phones at the right price, he soon left that business.
But Sam with hindsight, says “I wish I had a better network and a great mentor because that was a massive opportunity I left there”
In 1995, Sam went into partnership with Ferick Derrick and they opened Lefez nightclub in New Cross, South London. The club was highly successful and in 1998, was voted the most exciting night club in South London.
Sam recollects that the night club business was great business. Cash flow was instant on a Friday night with the top icing being all the fun and partying as a single young man.
However, in the early 2000s, IT as a business had started to bloom so Sam decided to leave the entertainment business and try his hand in IT.
He got a City Corporate IT  sales job at Net visions Global and soon after started his own IT consulting firm Consulting4London.
Through his business, Sam won major public sector tenders and successfully delivered multiple, million pound contracts for UK establishments such as the then Department of Trade and Industry, Business Links, Lambeth Council, University of Greenwich, London development agency, Thames Gateway, LEGI  and many more.
His success brought him to the attention of the Business Links University (BLU) who featured him on the cover of their magazine – the first and only black man to achieve this honour.
In 2006, he was elected and was to become one of the youngest people to become a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

During a period of self eveluation, Sam discovered to his horror that he felt a  sense of disconnection from Nigeria and Nigerians, and suddenly realised no one was waiting for him as, the “Naija” game had moved on.  So he decided to rebrand himself, become a, true “Niaja” man and resolved to serve and contribute his own quota in Nigerian circles both in the UK and in Nigeria.

In 2012, he, with his wife Tola, founded Women4Africa – the largest and most successful African Awards organisations in the UK which seeks to recognise and honour outstanding African women worldwide.
Today, Sam is a expert business communicator and coach. A strong public speaker and passionate advocate for Africa and African development he also strikes a cord as a conveyor and networker amongst key leaders and Influencers. He is the Founder of and head coach at the Marketing academy – GBP Business Club, a Global business club designed to connect and bring people together. 
An author of many papers and self help manuals, Sams new book “37 Business thoughts” is the current buzz within the Entrepreneurial circuits.

In 2014 Sam was recognised as one of the 100 most Influential Nigerians in the UK at the Nigerian Centenary Awards UK, presided over and signed by the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Dr Dalhatu Tafida and Mark Simmonds MP, UK Minister for Africa.

In March 2015 at the African Achievers Awards. held at the at the House of Commons and hosted by Rt.Hon Sir Gerald Kaufman, MP for Manchester, Sam  was also recognised as on the one hundred most Influential Africans in the UK.

Sam also holds a Post graduate diploma from the chartered Institute of Marketing and is a Student Member of the Securities and investment institute.

He is happily married to Tola whom he calls “The Chick” and they are both blessed with children.

Copyright Jummy Ariyo

July 2015