Category Archives: Everyone

PRESS RELEASE – IAAN 2013 GLOBAL SUMMIT ON NGO EMPOWERMENT 09/5-8/13

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Over 1000 participants from various parts of Africa, Caribbean and Latin America will attend the International Association of African Non-Governmental Organizations (IAAN) 2013 Global Summit on NGO Empowerment scheduled for September 5th 2013 to September 8th 2013 at the Hilton Hotel Rockville MD, in the United States of America. The theme of this conference is “Empowering NGOs in the Age of Globalization” Attendees include NGOs, Business men and Women, Political leaders, Philanthropists, Investors and other stake holders.

IAAN believes that NGOs are at the center of sustainable social and economic development, poverty reduction and environmental protection. When NGOs are empowered societies benefit. In today’s complex world, it’s increasingly important for NGOs, the private sectors and governments to work collaboratively to help meet the Millennium development goals (MDGs) as it relates to issues concerning women and children. NGOs in developing nations face major challenges in their efforts to meet the MDGs, largely due to lack of resources and funding. These NGOs are typically founded by individuals, who despite their financial challenges are doing the best they can to better the lives of their fellow man.

IAAN strives to create global awareness and harness resources internationally to enhance their services to various communities. For this year’s conference we are bringing together NGOs, the private sector and political leaders from various parts of Africa, Caribbean and Latin America and philanthropists to engage in discussions on how to work collaboratively to help meet the Millennium development goals (MDGs) as it relates to issues concerning poverty in
developing nations. The conference will also feature International speakers with a variety of topics, ranging from Human Rights issues to Global Health, Information Systems Technology, Climate Change and Sustainable Technology.

At the award night, the NGOs that have shown excellence in their service to improve the lives of the poor will receive awards and grants to enable them continue the good works. IAAN is the voice for thousands of NGOs in developing nations who are doing great charity work. IAAN creates global awareness for our member NGOs, through networking regionally and internationally, while assisting them in enhancing their programs and activities; this includes restructuring the NGOs if need be, for global competition. We share a vision in which African people are empowered to improve their daily lives.

Additional information can be found at our website at www.inafricangos.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – THE 4TH ANNUAL NIGERIAN LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2013

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THE 4TH ANNUAL NIGERIAN LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2013

New York, NY – June 12, 2013: On August 16-17, 2013, LEAD Nigeria will host the 4th Annual Nigerian Leadership Summit at the Hotel Pennsylvania, downtown New York. Guided by the theme: “Developing a Roadmap for Engaging the Nigerian Diaspora in Development”, the summit will provide an opportunity for Nigerians in the diaspora especially the youth to extensively discuss and equip themselves with strategic information, knowledge and resources necessary to make viable contribution to Nigerian development by acquiring the skills and tools needed for engaging their fellow peers in good governance and societal development.

Specifically, this year’s summit will focus on how the Nigerian Diaspora-based and Nigerian-based youth can work together to generate and share new ideas, learn about best practices of creating empowerment programs and project management, create opportunities to collaborate and forge partnerships that will enhance the prospects of developmental change within the Nigerian youth population, while shaping a broad development vision as the center piece and framework of cooperation between youths and the government.

As part of the leadership summit, from August 12-15, 2013 – Lead Nigeria in partnership with The Council of Young African Leaders will host 40 Nigerian youth leaders and activists from Nigeria for a 3 day Leadership Empowerment training retreat focused on building their leadership, organizational and community service skills with the goal of designing and organizing a project of choice to be carried out in Nigeria, a project that will impact the lives of members of the community within a year.

A special feature of the Nigerian Leadership summit 2013 will be the launch of the LEAD Nigeria fellowship program. The LEAD Nigeria fellowship program will provide selected Diaspora Nigerians annually with the opportunity to participate, intern, volunteer or work on a program of choice in Nigeria for 3 months in areas such as youth empowerment, leadership development, entrepreneurship, media, healthcare, education and vocational skills training, providing an in-depth understanding of issues threatening the survival and development of youths and young people with an intensive mentoring and training module to develop relationships with on-going projects and highly committed and accomplished youth leaders working collaboratively to motivate and inspire their fellow peers in particular and their community in general

The Nigerian Leadership Summit is expected to attract about 200 participants from across the United States, Canada, the UK and Nigeria, with emphasis on providing opportunities for current youth leaders and professionals leading developmental change campaigns and initiative to actively be involved and engaged in the programs dialogue.

To register for the Nigerian Leadership Summit 2013, Click Register Here

For sponsorship, partnership and all other form of support and inquiries, email events@leadnigeria.org

For more information about past Nigerian Leadership summit programs, Click Here

People with dementia may not be able to tell the truth from lies

People with dementia may not be able to tell the truth from lies

People in the early stages of dementia may not be able to tell the truth from lies and sarcasm from sincerity, a new study finds.
The findings could help doctors diagnose dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, earlier, study researchers said.
“If somebody has strange behavior and they stop understanding things like sarcasm and lies, they should see a specialist who can make sure this is not the start of one of these diseases,” study researcher Katherine Rankin, a neuropsychologist at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a statement.
Rankin and her colleagues asked about 175 people, more than half of whom had a neurodegenerative disorder like dementia, to watch videos of people talking. The videotaped people would sometimes drop in a lie or use sarcasm, which they signaled with body language and verbal cues. After watching the videos, the participants answered yes and no questions about what they’d seen.
Healthy older participants did fine at distinguishing the truth from lies. But older adults with dementia affecting their frontal lobes — the seat of judgment and self-control in the brain — had a hard time telling the difference between sarcasm, lies and truth. People with frontotemporal dementia, which strikes the frontal lobes, had a particularly hard time, while those with Alzheimer’s disease did somewhat better.
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the researchers found that the inability todetect sarcasm and lies matched up with the amount of damage in the parts of the frontal lobe responsible for that judgment. Sudden gullibility should be recognized as another warning sign of dementia, Rankin said.
“We have to find these people early,” she said.
Rankin reported the findings on April 14 at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Hawaii.
This article was originally written by LiveScience.
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What Is Dementia?

Dementia is the loss of mental functions, such as thinking, memory, and reasoning, that is severe enough to interfere with a person’s daily life. Dementia is not a disease itself, but rather a group of symptoms that may accompany certain diseases or conditions. Symptoms may involve changes in personality, mood, and behavior.

Dementia develops when the parts of the brain that are involved with learning, memory, decision-making, and language are affected by injury or disease. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which is considered responsible for at least half of all cases of dementia. However, there are as many as 50 other known causes of dementia, but most of these causes are very rare.

Recommended Related to Brain & Nervous System

Although many diseases that cause dementia are not curable, some forms of dementia may improve greatly when the underlying cause is treated. For instance, if dementia is caused by vitamin or hormone deficiencies, the symptoms may resolve once the problem has been corrected. Therefore, dementia symptoms require comprehensive evaluation, so as not to miss potentially reversible conditions. The frequency of “treatable” causes of dementia is believed to be about 20%.

What Causes Dementia?

The most common causes of dementia include:

Types of Dementia

Dementia can be split into two broad categories — the cortical dementias and the subcortical dementias — based on which part of the brain is affected.

  • Cortical dementias arise from a disorder affecting the cerebral cortex, the outer layers of the brain that play a critical role in thinking abilities like memory and language. Alzheimer’s and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are two forms of cortical dementia. People with cortical dementia typically show severe memory loss and aphasia — the inability to recall words and understand language.
  • Subcortical dementias result from dysfunction in the parts of the brain that are beneath the cortex. Usually, the forgetfulness and language difficulties that are characteristic of cortical dementias are not present. Rather, people with subcortical dementias, such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and AIDS dementia complex, tend to show changes in their speed of thinking and ability to initiate activities.

There are cases of dementia where both parts of the brain tend to be affected, such as multi-infarct dementia.

~ Sources from WebMD

Miss Bayelsa Crowned Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria 2013

Miss Bayelsa is MBGN 2013

Anna Banner crowned MBGN 2013. The 18 year old Anna Banner was crowned the 2013 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria and would represent Nigeria at the Miss World 2013 Finale in Jakarta, Indonesia. The 26th edition of the pageantry took place in Yenagoa, Bayelsa.

Anna Banner

Stephanie Okwu
The 1st runner-up 19 year old Stephanie Okwu representing Imo state, will represent Nigeria in the Miss Universe 2013  competition in Moscow, Russia

Powede Lawrence

20 year old Powede Lawrence representing Adamawa State, will represent Nigeria in the Miss Tourism 2013 competition.

Child Marriage In Nigeria-A Travesty of Justice

I first wrote about Child marriage back in May 28, 2013. The controversial Senate’s passage of a resolution to retain the provision of Section 29 (4) (b) of the 1999 Constitution. Under the section, a married underage girl is deemed to be an adult is very troubling and hits really close to home for me because my mother was a victim of child marriage due to firmly held traditions by my grand father. She was married to my father, who was about thirty years her senior, and was the third of four wives.

Although, she had some level of education, she was robbed of her childhood and dreams. I thank the U.S senators and all those that made it possible for passing the bill against child marriage, contrary to the Nigerian senators who voted on the resolution on July, 16 2013. I’m outraged and appalled, the facts is that there are people who practice this inexcusable behavior, where a  girl child becomes a victim of pedophiles all in the name of culture.

How Did We Get Here?

Child Marriage in Nigeria, particularly, Northern Nigeria has some of the highest rates of early marriage in the world. The Child Rights Act, passed in 2003, raised the minimum age of marriageto 18 for girls. However, federal law may be implemented differently at the state level, and to date, only a few of the country’s 36 states have begun developing provisions to execute the law.

To further complicate matters, Nigeria has three different legal systems operating simultaneously—civil, customary, and Islamic—and state and federal governments have control only over marriages that take place within the civil system. Domestic violence is a widespread problem; some studies report that up to 81 percent of all married women admit experiencing some form of verbal or physical abuse by their husbands. (One study of Demographic and Health Survey data suggests that the lower the age at marriage, the higher the risk of domestic violence).

A high prevalence of child marriage exists
Nationwide, 20 percent of girls were married by age 15, and 40 percent were married by age 18. Child marriage is extremely prevalent in some regions; in the Northwest region, 48 percent of girls were married by age 15, and 78 percent were married by age 18. Although the practice of polygamy is decreasing in Nigeria, 27 percent of married girls aged 15–19 are in polygamous marriages.

Married girls receive little or no schooling
Virtually no married girls are in school; only 2 percent of 15–19-year-old married girls are in school, compared to 69 percent of unmarried girls. Some 73 percent of married girls compared to 8 percent of unmarried girls received no schooling, and three out of four married girls cannot read at all.

Large spousal age differences are common and may limit married girls’ autonomy and decision making ability
The younger a bride is, the greater the age difference between her and her spouse. In Nigeria, the mean age difference between spouses is 12 years if the wife marries before age 15, compared to 8 years if the wife marries at or after age 20. Spousal age differences are even greater when the girl is a second or third wife. In polygamous marriages, the mean age difference between spouses is 15 years, compared to 8 years in monogamous marriages.

First births have elevated risks; the youngest first-time mothers and their children are especially vulnerable to poor health outcomes
Eighty-four percent of first births to adolescent girls in Nigeria occur within marriage. Among married girls aged 15–19, 62 percent have already given birth. Almost one out of four married girls gave birth before age 15.

O V E R V I E W   O F   C H I L D   M A R R I A G E

Child marriage is a fundamental violation of human rights. Many girls (and a smaller number of boys) are married without their free and full consent. By international conventions, 18 years has been established as the legal age of consent to marriage. If the timing of marriage does not change, over 100 million girls will be married as children in the next ten years.

Child marriages is closely associated with no or low levels of schooling for girlsIn West and Central Africa, girls with three or fewer years of schooling are five times more likely than girls with eight or more years of schooling to marry before age 18. Poverty leads many families to withdraw their daughters from school and arrange marriage for them at a young age. These girls are denied the proven benefits of education, which include improved health, lower fertility, and increased economic productivity.

Child marriage, in many instances, marks an abrupt transition into sexual relations with a husband who is considerably older and unchosen. 
The younger a bride is, the larger the age difference between her and her spouse. Parents frequently arrange marriages for their daughters without their input or consent; in Pakistan, only 3 percent of married girls had some say in choosing their spouse. In some settings it appears that the younger a girl is when she gets married, the less say she has in the choice of her husband.

What Can Be Done To Stop This  Travesty of  Justice?

  • Encourage state-level authorities to adopt the federal law that establishes 18 as the legal age of marriage for girls.
  • Engage communities through public campaigns, pledges, or incentive schemes.
  • Raise the awareness of parents, community leaders, and policymakers about the health and rights implications of young girls marrying much older men.
  • Develop special social and health support structures for young, first-time mothers.
  • Encourage governments and communities to commit to getting girls to school on time and to keeping them in school through the secondary level. Being in school during adolescence has important health and development benefits for girls.
  • Develop social and economic programs for out-of-school girls, including nonformal education programs.

The “Mad’ Dictator’s Pleasure

MAD
By KC

Long speeches and a silent audience are the hallmark of my magnetic atmosphere.

I come to you with great concern, for this tide we must address; for its time has come.

My appearance may not be pleasing to the eyes, but make no mistake I control the Army to my right.

Long speeches this crowd must stand to give an ear, though under this hot tropical sun rays your weathered skins must bear.

Though you curse me in the silence of the night.

Our confidence is challenged, our budget is small, my resources are limited, and to the East and West we have become the center of attention.

My real weapon may be my idea logy, wrong as it may appear; for I want nothing else to compare.

Loyalty is to my country, though i may part with some natural resources in late night Ambassador four course dinner discourse.

My spoken words are out of anxiety, so please contemplate automatic alacrity and make no light of our austerity.

Your silence is a testimony to your attention to this tale of a story.

Tonight at your Family dinner tables you will wonder about my policies, yet at this moment your ears hear me out while your frame of mind is my point of reference.

Meet The 34 Contestants – Most Beautiful Girl In Nigeria 2013

MBGN

Originally known as Miss Universe Nigeria, it was renamed Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria. One of these girls will take the crown from last year’s winner Isabella Ayuk at the grand finale billed to take place on Saturday 20th July 2013 in Bayelsa. What do you think, ain’t they just gorgeous?

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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is not a writer at loss for a word, a thought, a next move. Her assured and humbling career owes to the continued spark of a lifelong curiosity with the people of post-colonial Nigeria. The author and 2008 MacArthur Fellow first attracted considerable attention a decade ago with her haunting debut Purple Hibiscus. Sophomore effort Half of a Yellow Sun confirmed early promise with prestige, all for which she is gracious and little for which she probably cares, really. Her unflinching, multi-arc redemption stories bridge the gap between Africa and the West, in a vein perhaps only comparable to that of the late, missed Chinua Achebe. Here is a precise author compelled and suspicious, like the great ones are, of lasting happiness on and off the page.

After two novels chronicling familial and political upheaval in her native Nigeria, Adichie goes abroad for her new book, Americanah. The author’s fiercely clever stand-in, Ifemelu, follows the racial indignities she encounters as a college-educated African immigrant in the US with an uneasy return to Nigeria and her old flame, Obinze, now married and wealthy yet unfulfilled. Spanning the borders and histories between these two outsiders, Adichie defines the sum of disparate cultures with new clarity, while questions of identity and love remain elusive as ever.

Get a copy of  her new book, Americanah at Amazon

About The Author:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is himamanda Ngozi Adichie (born 15 September 1977) is a Nigerian writer. She is Igbo and has been called “the most prominent” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors that is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature”. Born in the town of Enugu, she grew up in the university town of Nsukka in southeastern Nigeria, where the University of Nigeria is situated. While she was growing up, her father was a professor of statistics at the university, and her mother was the university registrar.

Adichie studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. During this period, she edited The Compass, a magazine run by the university’s Catholic medical students. At the age of 19, Adichie left Nigeria and moved to the United States for college. After studying communications and political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, she transferred to Eastern Connecticut State University to live closer to her sister, who had a medical practice in Coventry. She received a bachelor’s degree from Eastern, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2001.

In 2003, she completed a master’s degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. In 2008, she received a Master of Arts in African studies from Yale University. Adichie was a Hodder fellow at Princeton University during the 2005-2006 academic year. In 2008 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. She has also been awarded a 2011-2012 fellowship by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. Adichie, who is married, divides her time between Nigeria, where she teaches writing workshops, and the United States.not a writer at loss for a word, a thought, a next move.

Her assured and humbling career owes to the continued spark of a lifelong curiosity with the people of post-colonial Nigeria. The author and 2008 MacArthur Fellow first attracted considerable attention a decade ago with her haunting debut Purple Hibiscus. Sophomore effort Half of a Yellow Sun confirmed early promise with prestige, all for which she is gracious and little for which she probably cares, really. Her unflinching, multi-arc redemption stories bridge the gap between Africa and the West, in a vein perhaps only comparable to that of the late, missed Chinua Achebe. Here is a precise author compelled and suspicious, like the great ones are, of lasting happiness on and off the page.

After two novels chronicling familial and political upheaval in her native Nigeria, Adichie goes abroad for her new book, Americanah (Knopf). The author’s fiercely clever stand-in, Ifemelu, follows the racial indignities she encounters as a college-educated African immigrant in the US with an uneasy return to Nigeria and her old flame, Obinze, now married and wealthy yet unfulfilled. Spanning the borders and histories between these two outsiders, Adichie defines the sum of disparate cultures with new clarity, while questions of identity and love remain elusive as ever.

Senator Chris N. D Anyanwu – A Woman With a Mission

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I first had the distinct pleasure and honor of meeting Senator Christiana Anyanwu at a private dinner reception, hosted by the Nigerian Consulate-General Office, Atlanta, GA. Her brief visit was also, to receive an award bestowed upon her by NWAG, (Nigerian Women Association of Georgia) at the fundraising and awards banquet, held at ST. Philip AME Church on 07/29/2013. For those of you who may not know her journey so far, below is her biography, list of accomplishments, and why she is a woman with a mission.

Senator Christiana Anyanwu was born in October 28, 1951 in Ahiara. She is a Nigerian journalist, publisher, author, and politician, hailed as one of the female pioneers in Nigerian journalism and broadcasting. She was elected Senator for the Imo East constituency in 2007. She attended Owerri Girls Secondary School before moving to USA where she acquired a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and a Masters Degree in Mass Communication from the University of Missouri and Florida State University respectively.

After graduating, she returned to Nigeria, and worked for the NTA and the Imo Broadcasting Corporation. She was appointed in 1987 as Imo State commissioner for Information, Youth, Sports, Culture and Social Welfare. Following her tenure as commissioner, she became the publisher/editor-in-chief of TSM (The Sunday Magazine).

Anyanwu was arrested following the publication of a story about a failed coup d’état against the government of Sani Abacha – whom she had refused to endorse as president – She and other Nigerian journalists were accused of being “accessories to facts of treason”. Anyanwu was prosecuted in camera by a military court and sentenced to life imprisonment, later reduced to 15 years in October 1995 following pressure from national and international human rights groups. While being held in deplorable conditions in Gombe prison, she went partially blind.

Shortly after her imprisonment, she received the International Women’s Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award, making news around the world. Anyanwu was released by Abacha’s successor General Abdulsalam Abubakar on health grounds. She embarked on a two-year break in Virginia where she wrote the book Days of Terror, based on Nigeria’s struggle during dictatorship. In 2005, Anyanwu opened her radio station and was featured in the PBSFrontline production titled NIGERIA – The Road North;

In 2007, during the Nigerian general election, Anyanwu was elected to the Senate on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party as a representative of Owerri Zone, Imo State, Nigeria. After taking her seat in the Senate she was appointed to committees on Women and Youth, States & Local Government, Millennium Development Goals, Health, Environment and Defense & Army.

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What’s next for Senator Chris N.D Anyanwu? The Imo State 2015 Governorship race is not ruled out.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: High Class Hair Extensions Launches Its First Hair Show in Atlanta

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High Class Hair Extensions (HCHE) launches its first show in Atlanta with the finest hair quality. The 100% unprocessed and chemical free human hair extensions keeps customers satisfied. If you’re a professional, entrepreneur, home maker or student, invite a friend or if you’re looking for an opportunity to make extra income, mark your calendar, you don’t want to miss this event.

Over the years, HCHE loyal customers continues to ask for more of our quality hair extensions, which has grown the company. HCHE weave comes from India and South America. It’s silky and lustrous in texture, which is the reason why HCHE weave is the best selling product in the market. At affordable prices, we sell the same human hair weave/extension wore by celebrities such as Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter and Rihanna to mention but a few. See below photos.

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With proper care, HCHE weave will not mat or tangle no matter how long you wear it. Each pack is 3.8 oz, the tracks are well-enforced, less shedding and tangle free. HCHE caters to customers worldwide and have a reputation for delivering quality products with good rating standard. According to CEO of HCHE, Mrs. Tracy Omon, “Every woman needs a good hair day. HCHE weave can be reused over a period of 2 years”.

Perhaps, you are loosing hair due to chemical damage, age/medical reasons or can’t find the right type of hair extension/weave to go with your new looks, hair color, facial bone structure or skin tone. HCHE stylist will give you a free consultation and because we know what works best for you, HCHE cares have created a payment plan and lay away process for 60 days. Are you looking for real human tangle free hair at an affordable price or have any questions? HCHE dedicated team are readily available to meet your needs 24/7.

HCHE hair range includes: Body Wave, Deep Body Wave, Straight, Baby Curls, Curly is available from #8 to #36 inches. 100% HUMAN BRAZILIAN, AMBODIAN,EUROPEAN VIRGIN, INDIAN, ITALIAN VIRGIN, MALAYSIAN, MONGOLIAN, PERUVIAN, SPANISH HAIR EXTENSIONS, LACE WIG, AND SILK CLOSURES. Distributors/Contractors all over the world are welcome to join the HCHE team.

Venue: Metro Fuxon
Location: 554 Piedmont Ave NE Atlanta, GA 30308
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Date: June 15, 2013
Admission fee: Free for everyone before 10:30 pm.

For more info visit our website: http://highclasshairextensions.com.

See event video and pictures below:

I Am African

I am African

By Thabo Mbeki

I am an African. I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land.

My body has frozen in our frosts and in our latter day snows. It has thawed in the warmth of our sunshine and melted in the heat of the midday sun. The crack and the rumble of the summer thunders, lashed by startling lightning, have been a cause both of trembling and of hope.

The fragrances of nature have been as pleasant to us as the sight of the wild blooms of the citizens of the veld. The dramatic shapes of the Drakensberg, the soil-coloured waters of the Lekoa, iGqili noThukela, and the sands of the Kgalagadi, have all been panels of the set on the natural stage on which we act out the foolish deeds of the theatre of our day.

At times, and in fear, I have wondered whether I should concede equal citizenship of our country to the leopard and the lion, the elephant and the springbok, the hyena, the black mamba and the pestilential mosquito. A human presence among all these, a feature on the face of our native land thus defined, I know that none dare challenge me when I say – I am an African!

I owe my being to the Khoi and the San whose desolate souls haunt the great expanses of the beautiful Cape – they who fell victim to the most merciless genocide our native land has ever seen, they who were the first to lose their lives in the struggle to defend our freedom and independence and they who, as a people, perished in the result.

Today, as a country, we keep an audible silence about these ancestors of the generations that live, fearful to admit the horror of a former deed, seeking to obliterate from our memories a cruel occurrence which, in its remembering, should teach us not and never to be inhuman again.

I am formed of the migrants who left Europe to find a new home on our native land. Whatever their own actions, they remain still, part of me. In my veins courses the blood of the Malay slaves who came from the East. Their proud dignity informs my bearing, their culture a part of my essence. The stripes they bore on their bodies from the lash of the slave master are a reminder embossed on my consciousness of what should not be done.

I am the grandchild of the warrior men and women that Hintsa and Sekhukhune led, the patriots that Cetshwayo and Mphephu took to battle, the soldiers Moshoeshoe and Ngungunyane taught never to dishonour the cause of freedom.My mind and my knowledge of myself is formed by the victories that are the jewels in our African crown, the victories we earned from Isandhlwana to Khartoum, as Ethiopians and as the Ashanti of Ghana, as the Berbers of the desert.

I am the grandchild who lays fresh flowers on the Boer graves at St Helena and the Bahamas, who sees in the mind’s eye and suffers the suffering of a simple peasant folk, death, concentration camps, destroyed homesteads, a dream in ruins. I am the child of Nongqause. I am he who made it possible to trade in the world markets in diamonds, in gold, in the same food for which my stomach yearns.

I come of those who were transported from India and China, whose being resided in the fact, solely, that they were able to provide physical labour, who taught me that we could both be at home and be foreign, who taught me that human existence itself demanded that freedom was a necessary condition for that human existence.

Being part of all these people, and in the knowledge that none dare contest that assertion, I shall claim that – I am an African. I have seen our country torn asunder as these, all of whom are my people, engaged one another in a titanic battle, the one redress a wrong that had been caused by one to another and the other, to defend the indefensible.

I have seen what happens when one person has superiority of force over another, when the stronger appropriate to themselves the prerogative even to annul the injunction that God created all men and women in His image. I know what if signifies when race and colour are used to determine who is human and who, sub-human.

I have seen the destruction of all sense of self-esteem, the consequent striving to be what one is not, simply to acquire some of the benefits which those who had improved themselves as masters had ensured that they enjoy. I have experience of the situation in which race and colour is used to enrich some and impoverish the rest.

I have seen the corruption of minds and souls as (word not readable) of the pursuit of an ignoble effort to perpetrate a veritable crime against humanity.I have seen concrete expression of the denial of the dignity of a human being emanating from the conscious, systemic and systematic oppressive and repressive activities of other human beings.

There the victims parade with no mask to hide the brutish reality – the beggars, the prostitutes, the street children, those who seek solace in substance abuse, those who have to steal to assuage hunger, those who have to lose their sanity because to be sane is to invite pain. Perhaps the worst among these, who are my people, are those who have learnt to kill for a wage. To these the extent of death is directly proportional to their personal welfare.

And so, like pawns in the service of demented souls, they kill in furtherance of the political violence in KwaZulu-Natal. They murder the innocent in the taxi wars. They kill slowly or quickly in order to make profits from the illegal trade in narcotics. They are available for hire when husband wants to murder wife and wife, husband.

Among us prowl the products of our immoral and amoral past – killers who have no sense of the worth of human life, rapists who have absolute disdain for the women of our country, animals who would seek to benefit from the vulnerability of the children, the disabled and the old, the rapacious who brook no obstacle in their quest for self-enrichment.

All this I know and know to be true because I am an African! Because of that, I am also able to state this fundamental truth that I am born of a people who are heroes and heroines. I am born of a people who would not tolerate oppression.I am of a nation that would not allow that fear of death, torture, imprisonment, exile or persecution should result in the perpetuation of injustice.

The great masses who are our mother and father will not permit that the behaviour of the few results in the description of our country and people as barbaric. Patient because history is on their side, these masses do not despair because today the weather is bad. Nor do they turn triumphalist when, tomorrow, the sun shines.

Whatever the circumstances they have lived through and because of that experience, they are determined to define for themselves who they are and who they should be. We are assembled here today to mark their victory in acquiring and exercising their right to formulate their own definition of what it means to be African.

The Constitution whose adoption we celebrate constitutes and unequivocal statement that we refuse to accept that our Africanness shall be defined by our race, colour, gender or historical origins. It is a firm assertion made by ourselves that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, Black and White.

It gives concrete expression to the sentiment we share as Africans, and will defend to the death, that the people shall govern.It recognises the fact that the dignity of the individual is both an objective which society must pursue, and is a goal which cannot be separated from the material well-being of that individual.

It seeks to create the situation in which all our people shall be free from fear, including the fear of the oppression of one national group by another, the fear of the disempowerment of one social echelon by another, the fear of the use of state power to deny anybody their fundamental human rights and the fear of tyranny.

It aims to open the doors so that those who were disadvantaged can assume their place in society as equals with their fellow human beings without regard to colour, race, gender, age or geographic dispersal. It provides the opportunity to enable each one and all to state their views, promote them, strive for their implementation in the process of governance without fear that a contrary view will be met with repression.

It creates a law-governed society which shall be inimical to arbitrary rule. It enables the resolution of conflicts by peaceful means rather than resort to force.It rejoices in the diversity of our people and creates the space for all of us voluntarily to define ourselves as one people.

As an African, this is an achievement of which I am proud, proud without reservation and proud without any feeling of conceit. Our sense of elevation at this moment also derives from the fact that this magnificent product is the unique creation of African hands and African minds.

But it also constitutes a tribute to our loss of vanity that we could, despite the temptation to treat ourselves as an exceptional fragment of humanity, draw on the accumulated experience and wisdom of all humankind, to define for ourselves what we want to be.

Together with the best in the world, we too are prone to pettiness, petulance, selfishness and short-sightedness. But it seems to have happened that we looked at ourselves and said the time had come that we make a super-human effort to be other than human, to respond to the call to create for ourselves a glorious future, to remind ourselves of the Latin saying: Gloria est consequenda – Glory must be sought after!

Today it feels good to be an African. It feels good that I can stand here as a South African and as a foot soldier of a titanic African army, the African National Congress, to say to all the parties represented here, to the millions who made an input into the processes we are concluding, to our outstanding compatriots who have presided over the birth of our founding document, to the negotiators who pitted their wits one against the other, to the unseen stars who shone unseen as the management and administration of the Constitutional Assembly, the advisers, experts and publicists, to the mass communication media, to our friends across the globe – congratulations and well done!

I am an African. I am born of the peoples of the continent of Africa. The pain of the violent conflict that the peoples of Liberia, Somalia, the Sudan, Burundi and Algeria is a pain I also bear. The dismal shame of poverty, suffering and human degradation of my continent is a blight that we share.

The blight on our happiness that derives from this and from our drift to the periphery of the ordering of human affairs leaves us in a persistent shadow of despair. This is a savage road to which nobody should be condemned. This thing that we have done today, in this small corner of a great continent that has contributed so decisively to the evolution of humanity says that Africa reaffirms that she is continuing her rise from the ashes.

Whatever the setbacks of the moment, nothing can stop us now! Whatever the difficulties, Africa shall be at peace! However improbable it may sound to the sceptics, Africa will prosper! Whoever we may be, whatever our immediate interest, however much we carry baggage from our past, however much we have been caught by the fashion of cynicism and loss of faith in the capacity of the people, let us err today and say – nothing can stop us now!

Thank you.

 

 

CITY OF CARSON APPOINTS 3 NIGERIAN CITY COMMISSIONERS

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The Mayor and the City Council City of Carson at a meeting on 5/7/13 appointed the

following  Nigerian-Americans as Commissioners in City Commissions

1. Chike Nweke

Publisher Life and Times Magazine and Media Director of Nigerian American Public Affairs

Commission -Appointed as Commissioner in the City Public Relations Commission

2. Stephen Anyaka

Educator, Former Candidate for City of Carson Council -Appointed Commissioner in the City Public Utilities and Budget Commission

 3. Engr Anayo Akametalu

Senior Civil Engineer with CALTRANS -Appointed as Commissioner  in the Citywide Planning Commission

 

US plans $250m fertilizer plant in Edo State

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United States Consul-General to Nigeria, Mr. Jeffry Hawkins

According to the Social media & Public Affairs, Governor’s Office in Benin-City, the Consul-General of the United States to Nigeria, Mr. Jeffry Hawkins has disclosed plans by the United States government to establish a $250 million fertilizer plant in Edo State.

Mr. Hawkins, who described Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as one of the most effective governors in Nigeria made the disclosure during a courtesy call and inspection of projects in the state, yesterday.The Consul-General said the $250 million fertilizer plant is being planned by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the United State Government.

“We are here because we are proud that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation of the US government is involved with the Green Petrochemical Company which is making a $250 million investment , and we are happy that this important fertilizer plant will have the support of the United States Government. It will create about one thousand five hundred jobs. That is something we are hoping to take a look at when we are here,” he noted.

According to him “the United States have had a long relationship with you way back before your time in politics and your activities as one of Nigeria’s premier labour leader and we are very happy to continue with that relationship.

“We are happy that people of your state obviously think highly of you and your re-election is what we in America call landslide. You are someone many people point to when answering the question, who is the most effective governor in Nigeria, often the answer is Comrade Adams Oshiomhole”, he added.

The Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole thanked the United State government for the planned investment in the state noting that “We trust we can count on your support.

“I am happy for the good news, that a US agency is supporting a fertilizer plant here and this shows the confidence and we are happy about that. We are also able to attract one of Nigeria’s foremost investors, Dangote group, and they are constructing a factory somewhere in Edo North behind the bank of the river Niger. That is the largest fertilizer plant in this part of the continent.

“In addition, we also believe that we can easily be a hub for power generation, supply and distribution if the Federal Government gets its policies right. Strategically located we have gas which is the resource for power generation. We realize that building institutions rather than strong men, we are already looking at Edo state after my tenure,” he added.

The Governor maintained that, “we think we can strengthen institutions rather than regardless of the character of the person. We are making investment in ICT, trying to deepen transparency and avoid waste in our system.

According to him, “For too long the Nigerian electorate has been taken for granted. This is the only country somebody is elected and has not finished four years in office, you are already predicting you will win the second term as if your performance is irrelevant. When you have a system like that in a democracy you can’t be sure of the future.”

The Consul General later joined the Governor on a tour of some of the projects in Benin metropolis.

Speaking in an interview after the tour of projects, the Consul-General said, “I specially want to thank the Governor for his kind heart. We have seen a number of things that he is doing ranging from roads, health, education and drainages. He has worked hard to develop the infrastructure of the state.”

The Consul General noted that, “by far the most impressive of the projects are the drainages. It is a high prestige project. In a city like Benin it makes all the difference. The state government has paid a lot of attention to it and is working very hard to address the issue of flooding.”

What Nigeria needs is not more strong men, it needs good governance. Without a doubt, Governor Oshiomhole has demonstrated leadership in his commitments to create job opportunities for the people of Edo-State. On behalf of AfriQtalk, we give kudos to ACN, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

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ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT – A hard look at the state of Nigeria’s shipping sector

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A journalist’s account of how the growth of Nigeria’s shipping sector is impaired by politics and inconsistent policies. Arrested Development takes a hard look at the state of Nigeria‘s shipping sector and concludes that the sector has failed to live up to expectation. Inconsistent government policies, mediocrity, poor planning, and a general lack of understanding of the role of shipping in national development have all contributed to the sorry state of the shipping sector.

The author traced the history of Nigeria‘s shipping sector from the precolonial era to the present time and concludes that a lot more needs to be done if meaningful development of the sector is to be attained.  This book is available on Amazon http://www.amazon.de/Arrested-Development-Journalists-Nigerias-Inconsistent/dp/1477238212

For more info about the author, visit http://www.bolajiakinola.com/

Rape-aXe: The Anti-Rape Condom

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A South African woman working as a blood technician with the South African Blood Transfusion Service, during which time she met and treated many rape victims. The device, known as The Rape-aXe, is a latex sheath embedded with shafts of sharp, inward-facing microscopic barbs that would be worn by a woman in her vagina like a tampon.

If an attacker were to attempt vaginal rape, their penis would enter the latex sheath and be snagged by the barbs, causing the attacker pain during withdrawal and (ideally) giving the victim time to escape.
The condom would remain attached to the attacker’s body when he withdrew and could only be removed surgically, which would alert hospital staff and police. This device could assist in the identification and prosecution of rapist.

South African inventor Sonette Ehlers demonstrates her new anti-rape female condom in Cape Town. The device, concealed inside a woman’s body, hooks onto a rapist during penetration and must be surgically removed. Ms Ehlers said the rape trap would be so painful for a rapist that it would disable him immediately, enabling his victim to escape; but would cause no long-term physical damage and could not injure the woman.

The United Nations says South Africa has the world’s highest per capita rate of reported rapes – 119 per 100,000 people. Analysts say the total, including unreported rapes, could be nine times higher. A majority of women surveyed said they were willing to use the device, which will go into production next year and sell for one rand (20 cents).

 

 

Award winning African-pop duo “Vast of Bracket” Diagnosed with Lymphoma-Cancer

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Award winning and top selling contemporary Nigerian-style African-pop duo “Vast of Bracket ” diagnosed with Lymphoma- cancer of the blood, after suffering from body pains, headaches, non stop coughing, loss of weight and weakness while in Paris for a show. Recently, he was recognized by the City and State of Philadelphia at the African American Museum, U.S.A. African-music-festival-featuring-bracket

 

Prior to his admission in London at the Wellington Hospital in February, he reportedly went to doctors in Nigeria, who were unable to diagnose his ailment, resulting to delays in treatment. Thankfully, he is responding well to  the 4 circles of chemotherapy treatment received. He will do a few more with each circle costing about N1.4million before returning to Nigeria next month. On behalf of AfriQtalk, we wish you a speedy recovery.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- ‘WEDLOCK OF THE GODS’ MAKES ITS DEBUT IN ATLANTA

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INTRIGUING WEST AFRICAN THEATRE PLAY ‘WEDLOCK OF THE GODS’ MAKES ITS DEBUT IN ATLANTA,GEORGIA DURING AFROXPLOSION 2013

 WRITTEN BY NIGERIA‘S FIRST FEMALE PLAYWRIGHT, DR ZULU SOFOLA;

DIRECTED BY ACCLAIMED BRITISH NOLLYWOOD ACTOR, WALE OJO

 Atlanta, Georgia (April, 2013) — As the ‘Fela on Broadway’ show makes its impact in recent times, US audiences continue to look forward to more of African Theater in the Diaspora.  In light of this, following a very successful London tour, the literal work of Nigeria’s first female Playwright, Dr Zulu Sofola, titled WEDLOCK OF THE GODS comes alive in theatre in Atlanta, Georgia at the SouthWest Arts Center located at 915, New Hope Road SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30331 on May 30 to June 2, 2013 during AfroXplosion 2013.

Brought to Atlanta by Zulu Sofola Productions and Chi Ife Productions and directed by acclaimed British Nollywood Actor, Wale Ojo; WEDLOCK OF THE GODS is a must see for all, for art lovers who seek something different and who yearn for a cultural connection to the continent.

Before Nollywood boomed, (Nollywood is the second largest film industry in the world, after Hollywood); there was classic West African theatre, which Nollywood derives its elements from; it is always full of drama, intensity and suspense. Atlanta art lovers and audiences will enjoy a firsthand stage experience of what true and original West African theatre is.

Ife Okwumabua of Chi Ife Productions says of the play – “Wedlock of the Gods is a production that is close to my heart because it was written by my Aunt, Dr. Zulu Sofola, and also it is a wonderful presentation of authentic African theater, something rarely seen on stage in the US. As a second generation Nigerian who grew up in America, it has been hard to find ways to reconnect to the continent. Wedlock of the Gods has been my journey back to my homeland through the arts. It is my hope that audiences will be moved by this West African love story and desire to see more culturally diverse bodies of work that is relatable and reconnects them to the performing arts” 

WEDLOCK OF THE GODS is a dramatic love story about how true love defies all earthly bonds. A story reminiscent of Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet tale, WEDLOCK OF THE GODS shows how the story of Romeo and Juliet would have happened if it took place in West Africa during more traditional times. Zulu Sofola’s personal story is very much like the play, in that she broke many barriers in her life as a female playwright and even in love. She passed away in 1998, six months after the loss of her beloved husband Adeyemi Sofola. Their love was inseparable. We invite you to explore the works of this celebrated artist. For Atlanta tickets, please visit – http://wotg.brownpapertickets.com/

ABOUT ZULU SOFOLA

Dr Zulu Sofola is one of Africa’s foremost female writers, renowned for giving a voice to the voiceless through poignant characters and the empowerment of women at grassroots levels. A modern pioneer in her own right, Zulu Sofola’s writing theme embodied the rich African traditions as portrayed through the culture of her people.  Her work also captured the perceived conflicts between the western culture and African value systems.

A prolific Writer and Director, she recorded seventeen plays, fifteen of which are published.  A distinguished Academician, Professor Zulu Sofola wrote numerous articles and presentations, and is still considered one of the great minds of African Literary Arts. Zulu Sofola’s plays challenge the political, spiritual, and traditional norms of Nigerian society.  For more information, visit www.zulusofola.com.  Email: zulusofolaproductions@gmail.com . Facebook – ZuluSofolaProductions, Twitter @ ZSPPro

 ABOUT WALE OJO

Wale’s acting career spans over two decades. Wale Ojo began acting with the first television station in Africa as a child prodigy and star. He turned professional in the United Kingdom at the age of 21. He is the pioneer and founder of the New Nigeria Cinema whose aim is to improve the quality of Nigerian films. To date, he runs a yearly festival titled New Nigeria Cinema day at the British Film Institute in London. A great lover of Shakespeare, he is at the moment researching an African movie adaptation of one of the Bard’s plays.

His recent television credits include The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency with Gill Scott and playing a Niger Delta militant in the new NBC series “The Philantropist” with James Purefoy. He also acted in the British film ‘Johnny English Reborn’.  His other recent screen accomplishments are as the main actor in the Nollywood film – ‘Phone Swap’ and the London TV Series ‘Meet The Adebanjos’,  in the works are the film- ‘The Guard’ with Don Cheadle, ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ with Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton, and a film production about Afro-Beat. Wale Ojo also directed ‘WEDLOCK OF THE GODS’ in London, UK in 2011.

ABOUT AFROXPLOSION 2013

AfroXplosion 2013 is a four day celebration of Afro-cultural Arts in the Diaspora; presented by Chi Ife Productions and DreamWeavers Entertainment in conjunction with the Fulton Arts County South West Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia. AfroXplosion  2013 will present the music concert AFRODREAMFEST on May 31st at 6pm and the theatrical production – WEDLOCK OF THE GODS on May 30 and June 1  at 8pm respectively and 5pm on Sunday, June 2, 2013.

For Ticket information on WEDLOCK OF THE GODS, visit

www.zulusofola.com  – www.afrodreamfest.com

Location: Fulton COunty Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Rd SW, Atlanta, GA 30331

Show times:                          

Thursday, May 30th at 8pm

Saturday, June 1st at 8pm

Sunday, June 2nd at 5pm

Tickets for all shows are only $35 students and $20 Students/Seniors.

Group discounts are available.

 For information or to purchase tickets visit www.zulusofola.com.

To purchase tickets by phone or for group rates and information, please call (678) 995- 3756 or zulusofolaproductions@gmail.com.

Tickets are also available in person at the door.

For Press inquiries and for more information, please contact Chi Ife Okwumabua, 678-662-8889.

 

 

 

THREE WIVES AND A SCORE OF CHILDREN THE AFRICAN WAY

In a culture where infant mortality is outrageously high and the average woman has fifteen children, most of whom do not survive, polygamy has been practiced to not only show a mans wealth, but also to assure the continuation of the mans family. It is also considered a strong indicator of a mans virility and need for sexual satisfaction.

Men can also accumulate wives as a result of inheritance. If a mans brother dies, he would take over the family of his brother, including his wives. These women would be distributed among the surviving brothers, based on the preferences of the men and the widows of their brother. It is also common for a man to take the youngest wife of his father upon his death, and a father will take the wife of his son upon the death of his child. This keeps the extended family together and guarantees that the children of the family are raised within the fathers family.

In the common African community, life is hard and women have long seen the advantages of having co-wives to help share the burden. This allowed a division of labor, in which there were more women to build the family home, which is considered a female responsibility, and other work. It also eased the burden of child bearing, as each wife was not carrying the burden of the family procreation alone. Few women wanted to be a lone wife in a marriage, given the multiple burdens society and tradition would require of her.

Women, also being in the position of being held responsible for the sex of their children, risked being returned to their parents for not producing children of the sex desired by their husband. Therefore, women were far more secure in a polygamous marriage where there was less attention on a single woman and the sex of her children. Being returned in disgrace to ones family not only was an embarrassment to her and her parents, but it was also a hardship as the bride price paid to her family had to be repaid.

Women are also responsible for weeding the family food garden, and due to the large size of these gardens, it was not a job for one wife. By tradition, the husband will invite friends and clan members to assist with this chore, so women do not only have help weeding their family garden, but are also obligated to help the women who help them. As this family chore is considered “womans work,” there is no thought of hiring outside labor to accomplish this task.

Despite the dependence of the wifes on each other to accomplish the burden of work and child bearing, there is always unavoidable conflict. A man showing preference for one woman over another, showing more love or favoring her children, would result in jealousies, although actual fighting is very rare. Fighting could result in the demand of the bride price being returned from the offenders family, which could be devastating to her family as the cost to them could be as much as 20 head of cattle, sheep, goats, and chickens. Because the bride price received for a young woman would enable her brothers to pay a bride price for his own wife, it could be very difficult to repay the price paid. This often results in the women finding a way to stay in the marriage without altercations.

In order to reduce conflict, the man often will rotate his nights among his wives, sleeping in each ones house in turn. When purchasing clothes, the same quality and style would be purchased for each, as would be done for their children. Unfortunately, this does not prevent the wives from instigating problems among the children.

Fortunately, this way of traditional marriage is declining, and victims of this in-fighting among the children of polygamous marriage are fewer. But although they share a father, the children always stay with their mother, in their mothers home. Fights and hatred fueled by their mothers is common. If a wife dies, her children are often taken in by the wife she was the closest to, regardless of any prior antimosity.

My father has three wives. I am the oldest child of his first wife. Unfortunately, my father developed a preference for his second wife, which resulted in preferential treatment for her and her children. My birth mother is very close with my fathers third wife, although we, her children, are closer to his second wifes children as we grew up together during a time in which our mother was away from the family.

Education, an important commodity, is also often unevenly distributed. In rare cases, when a man is wealthy enough to provide equally for all of his children, this is not an issue. But usually, the children of a favored wife are given more educational opportunities than the rest.

It is difficult to live in the polygamous family. Grievances are never forgotten, and there are deaths of parents and children resulting from poisoning and witchcraft that overshadow what could be a wonderful experience for a large family. Wives will practice witchcraft in order to eliminate the other wives and gain favor for themselves and their children. And, even worse, some children will kill their father, in order to inherit his wealth and afford more benefits for their mother and siblilings.

Wives practicing witchcraft  to eliminate one another and charm their husband to win over his heart for their to themselves and their children. Children in many occasions kill their father to assume heir of the family so they can have a big share of the family cake with their mother.

Although this form of marriage has benefits to both the men and women involved, it is often hardest on the children, who often end up the pawns of manipulative parents. Being a child of a polygamous marriage myself was difficult, and I feel the opportunities for the potential of a wonderful supportive experience was wasted through petty jealousy and unequal educations for us. I was fortunate to find a sponsor to continue my education, but many of my siblings have not been so fortunate.

Article by Peter Wadri 
Journalist

BLACK INVENTORS By Keith C. Holmes – A Must Read

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Black Inventors, Crafting Over 200 Years of Success identifies black inventors from five continents, over seventy countries, including almost all fifty states in the United States. Citing a number of black inventors from 1769 – 2007, this book is one of the most comprehensive works on black Inventors since Henry E. Baker’s research on Black inventors in the early 20th century.

Overall, the book shatters the ongoing myths about Africa whose history is limited to its continent’s colonial past, and about Africans who have contributed little to the development of world science, technology and agricultural innovations. Black Inventors demonstrates that the inventors, innovators, designers and labourers of African descent, in Africa as well as throughout the African Diaspora, were instrumental in the development of western technology.

Black Inventors, Crafting Over 200 Years of Success is available in over 800 national, state, university and public libraries (over 150), as well as in museums, schools and bookstores in 27 countries (primarily in North America). Black Inventors was selected as part of the reading list by the National Council of Teachers of English for the National African American Read-in since 2010.

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The author, Keith C. Holmes is of African-American, Native American and Jamaican ancestry.  In 1972, he went to the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick as a Liberal Arts Major. In 1980, he earned a certificate in computer programming and system designs at the Control Data InstituteKeith Holmes was born in Queens, New York and lives in Brooklyn. He is married and is the father of four children, three of whom went to university; the youngest is aspiring to do the same.

He has spent more than twenty years researching information on inventions by Black people from Australia, Barbados, Canada, France, Germany, Ghana, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, just to name a few. For 25 years, he worked professionally in the satellite communications industry, and since 1977 he has worked with computers, from main frames to personal computers.

He has lectured in Barbados, California, Canada, Illinois, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, DC. Holmes is currently working on several projects regarding Black inventors.  This book highlights the work of early black inventors from almost all fifty states in the United States.

The book cites famous inventors of color from around the world, giving librarians, teachers, students and parents a global view than can be included in African History, Black History Month and Caribbean History. Black Inventors documents a number of the inventions, patents and labor saving devices conceived by black inventors. It gives details about the first Black inventor who obtained a patent in both the Caribbean and the United States.

Africans, before the period of their enslavement, developed: agricultural tools, building materials, medicinal herbs, cloth and weapons, among many other inventions. Though millions of black people were brought to Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America and the United States in chains and under the yoke of slavery, it is relatively unknown that thousands of Africans and their descendants developed numerous labor saving devices and inventions that spawned companies which generated money and jobs, worldwide.

The focus of this book is to introduce readers to the facts, that inventions created by black people, both past and present, were developed and patented on a global scale. This also means that there are inventors in every civilization whose ideas have been turned into inventions. In the past the focus has been on American and European inventors.

Today, the new giants in the patenting process are Brazil, China, India, Japan, Nigeria, South Africa and South Korea. Mr. Holmes documents the creativity of black women inventors from Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and the United States, and provides readers with a comprehensive view of the ground-breaking achievements of black inventors – both male and female.

This is one of the first books that address the diversity of black inventors and their inventions from a global perspective. The material available in this book is an introduction to the world of black inventors. It gives the reader, researcher, librarian, student, and teacher materials they needed to effectively understand that the Black inventor is not only a national phenomenon, but also a global giant.

For more information visit  http://www.globalblackinventor.com

Mercy Obeime, M.D “SERVING THE UNDERSERVED”.

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In January 2004, Mercy Obeime delivered about $800,000 of donated medicine and supplies to her homeland, Nigeria. That was during her ”spare time“ as director of the Mercy Foundation, a non–profit healthcare organization she and several classmates from medical school started in 2001 to help fight HIV—AIDS in Nigeria, which she confides is “a big, silent problem, with lots more out there.”

During her normal “nine–to–five” life and well beyond, of course, like the deeply caring family physician she is, Obeime can be found at the Saint Francis Neighborhood Health Center at Garfield Park, where she has served as Medical Director since 1996. She was nominated a Local Legend by Representative Julia Carson [D–IN–7].

In prior recognition of her dedication and commitment to the inner–city residents of Indianapolis, Obeime was chosen as a National Winner of the 2003 Spirit of Women Awards in the Healthcare category. She is committed to treating the whole person, regardless of ability to pay. “It is very important to treat people with compassion and dignity,” she says “to listen and find out what it is they want. Along with all the technology of American medicine, there is a need for faith and values, especially with older people.”

The Health Center is a family practice providing primary and preventive care to families who cannot afford health insurance and who are charged only what they can pay without compromising their financial integrity. During the past five years, the number of patients served has ballooned three times to 2,500, with almost 70 percent being uninsured.

“The Health Center has been a successful mission for Saint Francis,” says Obeime. “Saint Francis has made health care services more accessible to the Garfield Park community, especially to those individuals and families who don’t have insurance coverage. Every day we’re challenged to do more with limited resources, yet every day we see progress toward a healthier community.”

In addition to managing clinical operations, Obeime aggressively pursues the grants that keep the Center’s doors open. She was instrumental in the Center’s designation as a Hoosier Healthwise enrollment site, part of a state–funded health care insurance program for low-income families, pregnant women and children. With assistance from the Wishard Aesculapian Society for African American Physicians  she also helped institute a health care tracking system for indigents in the Indianapolis area.

She connects resources with under–served populations, seeking funding and treatment for all. In collaboration with the Marion County Health Department, the Saint Francis Neighborhood Health Center at Garfield Park operates a B.A.B.E. [Beds and Britches, Etc.] Store, part of an incentive program to encourage mothers to engage in healthy behavior. By participating in a variety of activities—prenatal exams, practical parenting classes, smoking cessation courses, well–baby and well–child check–ups and immunizations—mothers earn B.A.B.E. vouchers that can be exchanged for diapers, baby, car seats and even baby furniture.

Whether at home in Indianapolis or back home in Nigeria, Obeime’s strong commitment to public health enhances the quality of life for women, their children and families, and their communities.

This article originally appeared on http://www.nlm.nih.gov

Chinua Achebe, The Father of Modern African Literature Dies at 82

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Professor Chinua Achebe was born in Ogidi, AnambraNigeria November 16, 1930. He was a novelist, poet, professor at Brown University and critic. He is best known for his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), which is the most widely read book in modern African literature. Raised by Christian parents in the Igbo town of Ogidi in southeastern Nigeria, Achebe excelled at school and won a scholarship for undergraduate studies.

He became faci
nated with world religions and traditional African cultures, and began writing stories as a university student. After graduation, he worked for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service and soon moved to the metropolis of Lagos. He gained worldwide attention for Things Fall Apart in the late 1950s; his later novels include No Longer at Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1966), and Anthills of the Savannah (1987).

 Professor Achebe writes his novels in English and has defended the use of English, a “language of colonizers”, in African literature. In 1975, his lecture An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” became the focus of controversy, for its criticism of Joseph Conrad as “a bloody racist”. When the region of Biafra broke away from Nigeria in 1967, Achebe became a devoted supporter of Biafra independence and served as ambassador for the people of the new nation.

 The war ravaged the populace, and as starvation and violence took its toll, he appealed to the people of Europe and the Americas for aid. When the Nigerian government retook the region in 1970, he involved himself in political parties but soon resigned due to frustration over the corruption and elitism he witnessed. He lived in the United States for several years in the 1970s, and returned to the U.S. in 1990 after a car accident left him partially disabled.

 Professor Achebe’s novels focus on the traditions of Igbo society, the effect of Christian influences, and the clash of values during and after the colonial era. His style relies heavily on the Igbo oral tradition, and combines straightforward narration with representations of folk stories, proverbs, and oratory. He has also published a number of short stories, children’s books, and essay collections.

 Though Professor Achebe spent his later decades teaching at American universities, most recently at Brown, his writings — novels, stories, poems, essays and memoirs — were almost invariably rooted in the countryside and cities of his native Nigeria. His most memorable fictional characters were buffeted and bewildered by the competing pulls of traditional African culture and invasive Western values.

Achebe died at age 82 following a brief illness on Thursday, 22nd day of March, 2013 in Boston, MassachusettsUSA.

 

  • Apr 10, 2013: 

Senate of New York State, USA  has passed a resolution

J1186-2013: Mourning the death of paramount novelist Chinua Achebe, founder and pioneer of African literature

Sponsor: Parker J1186-2013 Actions

 

Same as: / Versions: J1186-2013Sponsor: PARKER Law Section: Resolutions, Legislative
 LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION  mourning the death of paramount novelist Chinua
 Achebe, founder and pioneer of African literature

 WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to pay tribute to  the
 lives  of those esteemed individuals of international renown who distin
 guished themselves through their life's work; and
 WHEREAS, Foremost novelist, Professor Chinua Achebe, died on Thursday,
 March 21, 2013, at the age of 82; and

 WHEREAS, Born Albert Chinualumogu Achebe, on November 16, 1930, Chinua
 Achebe was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic; he was best
 known for his 1958 novel, THINGS FALL APART,  selling  over  12  million
 copies  around  the world, and having been translated into 50 languages,
 making him the most paraphrased African writer of all time; and

 WHEREAS, Raised by his parents in the Igbo town of Ogidi in southeast
 ern Nigeria, Chinua Achebe excelled academically and earned  a  scholar
 ship  for  undergraduate  studies; he became fascinated with world reli
 gions and traditional African cultures, and began writing stories  as  a
 college student; and

 WHEREAS,  After  graduation,  Chinua  Achebe  worked  for the Nigerian
 Broadcasting Service (NBS) and soon moved to the metropolis of Lagos; he
 gained worldwide attention for  THINGS  FALL  APART;  his  later  novels
 include:  NO  LONGER  AT  EASE (1960), ARROW OF GOD (1964), A MAN OF THE
 PEOPLE (1966), and ANTHILLS OF THE SAVANNAH (1987); and

 WHEREAS, When the region of Biafra broke away from  Nigeria  in  1967,
 Chinua  Achebe  became  a supporter of Biafran independence and acted as
 ambassador for the people of the new nation; the war ravaged  the  popu
 lace,  and  as starvation and violence took its toll, he appealed to the
 people of Europe and the Americas for assistance; and

 WHEREAS, When the Nigerian government retook the region in 1970, Chin
 ua Achebe involved himself in political parties, but soon  resigned  due
 to  frustration  over  the  corruption and elitism he witnessed, thereby
 deciding to devote himself to academia; he lived in  the  United  States
 for  several  years in the 1970s, and returned there in 1990 after a car
 accident left him partially disabled; and

 WHEREAS, Chinua Achebe's novels focus on the traditions of Igbo socie
 ty, the effect of Christian influences, and the  clash  of  Western  and
 traditional  African values during and after the colonial era; his style
 relies heavily on the Igbo oral tradition, and combines  straightforward
 narration  with  representations of folk stories, proverbs, and oratory;
 he also published a number of short stories, children's books, and essay
 collections; and

 WHEREAS, A David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and  Profes
 sor  of  Africana  Studies  at Brown University, Chinua Achebe worked up
 until the time of his death; and
 WHEREAS, New York's Bard College,  with  a  distinguished  history  of
 supporting Chinua Achebe's work and legacy, will continue to be a prima
 ry home for his projects; and

 WHEREAS,  Professor  Achebe's global significance lies not only in his
 talent and recognition as a writer, but also as a critical  thinker  and
 essayist who has written extensively on questions of the role of culture
 in Africa along with the social and political significance of aesthetics
 and analysis of the postcolonial state in Africa; and

 WHEREAS,  Chinua Achebe distinguished himself in his profession and by
 his sincere dedication and substantial contribution to  the  welfare  of
 his community; and

 WHEREAS,  Chinua  Achebe's commitment to excellence, and his spirit of
 humanity, carried over into all fields of enterprise, including charita
 ble and civic endeavors; and

 WHEREAS,  Chinua Achebe is survived by his wife, Christie, their chil
 dren, Chinelo, Ikechukwu, Chidi, and Nwando as well  as  his  grandchil
 dren, Chochi, Chino, Chidera, C.J. (Chinua Jr.), Nnamdi and Zeal; and
 WHEREAS,  Armed  with  a  humanistic spirit and imbued with a sense of
 compassion, Chinua Achebe leaves behind a legacy which will long  endure
 the  passage  of  time  and will remain as a comforting memory to all he
 served and befriended; now, therefore, be it
 RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause  in  its  deliberations  to
 mourn the death of paramount novelist Chinua Achebe, founder and pioneer
 of African literature; and be it further
 RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran
 smitted to the family of Chinua Achebe.

Arik Air Playlist – Relax’n’Vibe

Arik Air mixtape

Exclusive: Arik Air Playlist – Relax’n’Vibe – from iROKING

Arik Air and iROKING have compiled the most relaxing vibes the Nigerian music scene has to offer, releasing a stunning new mixtape, Relax’n’Vibe

This exclusive playlist, featuring superstars including 2FaceTiwa SavageWajeP Square and Flavour, is sure to bring any hectic moment to a standstill with super-smooth beats and mellow vocals.

Taking these vibes all the way to the skies, this is THE play list of the moment and will be sure to be on repeat for Afrobeats lovers on both sides of the Atlantic. This is the ultimate celebration of African talent in its rawest, most beautiful form – sure to evoke love, happiness, contentment, chilled vibes – it’s all there!

 The full track listing:

2Face –  Spiritual Healing

Flavour – Ada Ada

P Square –  Beautiful Onyinye

Tiwa Savage – Ife Wa Gbono

Omawumi – Stay Alive

Ajebutter 22 – Omo Pastor

Olu Maintain – Hypnotize

Waje  – Na the Way

Duncan Mighty – Whine It

Slow Dog  – Omeleme

 BONUS OLD SCHOOL CLASSIC

Victor Uwaifor – Joromi

Download the Relax’n’Vibe playlist for FREE on to mobile: http://iroking.com/album/1606/relax-n-vibe 

 Bloggers – make sure you embed the track using the exclusive iROKING music player

 View on YouTube http://youtu.be/MlcvLsmN_Z4 

 #Relax’n’Vibe #ArikiROKING

 Arik Air – Connecting West Africa

iROKING is Africa’s number one online platform for FREE music and downloads, anytime anywhere.

Oh My Africa

Africa

Oh My Africa, your situation is deteriorating, you’ve watched your brothers and sisters killed in sectarian and domestic violence across the continent, extremism is on the rise. Their mission? To destroy!

Oh My Africa, crimes and kidnapping has become a routine bringing a grim future to what was once bright; there is no help in sight, your children are left in the hands of ignorant helpers.

Oh My Africa, your justice system remains ineffective. Your leaders are corrupt. Violence and rape against your mothers, sisters and children are on the rise, no one dares to speak the truth because truth seekers have no place in history.

Oh My Africa, illiteracy has enslaved you, the land has becomes barren. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Maybe you reaped what you sowed because you choose to forget history.

Oh My Africa, you torture your own; you have no respect for human lives and properties. Your young are sacrificed to appease your gods. Those who ran, left to find peace and justice in a foreign land.

Oh My Africa, you were the cradle of civilization, blessed with natural resources, you had diamond, silver and gold but you gave them away. The looters came back and took that which was once yours.

Oh My Africa, I had another kind of revelation. I saw a generation of new leaders emerging, it somewhat reminded me of the Israelites when they left the land of Egypt into the Promised Land.

 

Discover Who You’re

When was the last time you sat down with your friends, family or perhaps your kids to talk about your family history or heritage? When things happen, we often talk about it, except our history, unless we go back in time, which should be the exact opposite. Our experience may differ, but we’re interconnected by our destiny. We always look at important figures, important events, important groups, ideas, and movements but not within ourselves.

When we start sharing our history, we can then educate others who do not know much about their history or about your culture. Our birth right is in our DNA, our culture is in us and history is in our destiny. Whether good or bad, we share the same experience through similar events, relationship, cause and effect. Therefore, our past, present and future is shaped by our history. Your understanding of culture is what defines you as a person, so understand the basic concept of history and who you are as a person.

~ Princess Asha Okojie
© 2011  AfriQtalk Entertainment. All rights reserved.

 

What is in your seed?

What is in your seed? To get ahead in life, you must plant what you desire to reap. If you plant tomatoes, you will reap tomato harvest. If you plant apples, you will have an apple harvest. If you plant kindness, you will receive a wave of kindness for we reap what we sow. ~

© 2012  AfriQtalk Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Cocka-Doodle-Doo Before Dawn

Cocka-Doodle-Doo Before Dawn

I hear your cry in the dark, in your form you filled my emptiness,  I bless the day that you were born.

I feel birth pains at the mention of your name, In your absence,   I long to hold your hands.

Like yesterday, I remember the sleepless nights that I held you in my arms.

I gave you, a love that binds, you strengthened me in a world that sets us apart, so I held on.

In your darkest moments, I pray that you’ve courage, in life’s ups and downs, I pray that you’ve patience.

Today, I speak restoration into your destiny, by faith, I proclaim victory in the battles of life as you hear, Cocka-Doodle-Doo Before Dawn.

~ Princess Asha © 2012  AfriQtalk. All rights reserved.

Manage Better Foot Care with Diabetes

Roberta Kleinman, RN, M.Ed., CDE

by Roberta Kleinman, RN, M.Ed., CDE

Hello !

This week I consulted with a new patient who was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The only thing he could focus on during the hour long education session was proper foot care.

The reason is – he has a family who had 3 male generations of diabetes and each member of that family had an amputation either on their toes, the entire foot or the lower leg and foot. He knew this was his wake up call to start paying close attention to overall prevention of complications.

According to the C.D.C., “half of diabetes related amputations can be prevented by patient education and regular foot exams.” Recent research notes that we are making progress with better foot care, but there is still room to improve. Once an amputation is performed because of diabetic neuropathy, there is a 50% increase for a second amputation within the next 3 years.

After a second amputation there is an 80% death rate within the next 5 years. Learning correct foot care after a diabetes diagnosis can change these statistics dramatically. This particular gentleman came to his visit in flip flops since we live in sunny hot Florida. Looking at his toenails was an automatic reason to get into foot care quickly.

The obvious was that his nails were thick, yellow and splintering from fungus and it was impossible for him to trim them properly. They were way too long and made it uncomfortable to put on his shoes and socks. He is Medicare age which allows him several monthly covered visits per year to a podiatrist for nail care.

He already felt better! Since he is still employed as a car salesman and on his feet most of the day we discussed the need for proper shoes and diabetic socks. He was also pleased to find out that Medicare will cover a pair of sturdy safe shoes with certain criteria established by your physician or podiatrist.

I explained what neuropathy is (nerve damage with lack of sensation), as well as P.A.D. – peripheral vascular disease – or reduced blood flow. Because of these conditions there is less blood and less oxygen to the tissue. There are fewer white blood cells to help fight off infection.

We discussed the need for diabetic socks which he never realized was that important. Things to keep in mind when purchasing diabetic socks are:

Socks always provide a layer between you and the shoe. An extra layer is very important.

Fabric – Diabetes socks should be a blend. Cotton is good for comfort and its natural allergy free properties, but it should contain some other fabric such as acrylic, spandex, polyester or synthetic material to help with a good fit and to stay in place. A good blend would be 50% cotton and 50% blend. The fabric should have some anti-static properties to help prevent rubbing which creates blisters. Blisters can lead to diabetic foot ulcers if not treated.

Colloidal silver – The silver is woven into the sock to help pull moisture away from the skin and actually absorbs the moisture. People with diabetes are more at risk for infections like athlete’s foot or other fungus infections as well as bacterial infections, and perspiration will increase that risk. Any product that helps wick away moisture and has an anti-microbial property would be a benefit. Roughly 80% of the general population experience athlete’s foot with the largest number coming from people with diabetes. The anti-microbial fibers will also reduce foot odor.

Elastic content – Athletic socks generally have large amounts of elastic which tends to constrict especially around the lower leg and ankle. This impairs blood flow and circulation – a danger to people with diabetes. Make sure you do not have skin indentations. Diabetes socks tend to have less elastic.

Fit – Try to find socks that are like a second skin to your foot. You should not have bunching or wrinkling which will cause blisters sores, hot spots, pressure points or ulcers.

Seams – Diabetes socks should not contain seams. They tend to create pressure points that also increase foot problems like ulcers. They are also uncomfortable. Even, smooth surfaces should rest against the foot.

Color – Depending on your needs, white socks are always the best when you have diabetes and foot issues. They allow you to quickly notice blood or discharge when sensation is diminished. White socks do not contain artificial color dyes or additives which could bleed into your skin when perspiring. Make sure the socks do not contain latex which causes allergies in a majority of people. Purchase a few pair of dark diabetic socks for special occasions.

Cushioning – Diabetes socks do offer extra comfort due to extra cushioning in the sole of the sock especially in the heel and toe area which lessens pressure. The toe area should be wider to give extra space and not cramp toes. Along with well fitted shoes cushioning can really protect diabetic feet.

Care of diabetic socks – The guidelines generally suggest that you wash your socks after each use with either cold or warm water on a gentle machine cycle with a mild detergent like Ivory. You can dry them on a short gentle cycle or air dry on a clothes line.

It is suggested you purchase new diabetes socks at least every 6 months or when you notice signs of wear. If the elastic starts to pull, the cushioning starts to shrink or the fibers start to split- think new socks. Order a few pairs at a time. They may seem like an investment but your feet are worth it.

These are just a few tips for better everyday foot care. Remember to always cover feet – even in your own home. Accidents happen quickly and can easily be avoided. Think prevention!

For more Health news, visit  our Health and Wellness page.

UNGUARDED – PREMIERES IN NEW YORK CITY NOVEMBER 3, 2012

 

Synopsis
Elvin (Ramsey Nouah), an apparent successor to Software Solutions, a multi-million dollar company, is dropped into the deep end after he finds out that his undeniably clever, manipulative fiancée, Natasha (Edosa Edosomawan), has been sleeping with his father. Out of his despair, he convinces himself that every woman is despicable and resolves to take his own pound of flesh against women from every continent.

With his warm, charming personality, Elvin craftily weaves his way through the hearts of these women and successfully stands each of them up at the altar. In other to get to his last victim, an African journalist, Jane (Uche Jombo), Elvin takes up a job as a cleaner in Cool’s magazine company, same company Jane works for. Somehow a genuine romantic entanglement ensues between them.

Caught in the heat of the moment, Elvin proposes to Jane. His proposal triggers sudden unexpected visits and calls that sow seeds of skepticism in Jane’s mind. Undeterred by the circumstances, Elvin insists on winning Jane over even if he has to undergo a personality transformation.

Directed by Desmond Elliot, and Bethels Agomuoh. Produced by Chisom Oz-Lee, featururing Ramsey Nouah, Uche Jombo, Desmond Elliot, Chisom Oz-Lee, Chet Anekwe, Ebbe Bassey, and Edosa Edosomwan. MOVIE OFFICIALLY PREMIERES IN NEW YORK CITY ON NOVEMBER 3, 2012 @
TRIBECA CINEMAS

 

Taken Away By Ehi Ike – A 15 Years Old Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ehi Ike, is a 15 years old freshman at St. George’s Independent School  and author of the book  Taken Away. She loves to read and write. Ehi has been writing ever since she was old enough to put pen to paper. She began writing short stories in elementary school but had trouble completing a project because she was continually coming up with new story ideas. It wasn’t until the eighth grade, when history teacher Traci Erlandson taught a lesson about the Trail of Tears and the forcible removal of Cherokee Indians from their homeland in 1838, that Ike determined the storyline for her recently published novel, “Taken Away.”

Ehi started writing Taken Away when she was 13 years old and in 8th grade. She sat down during the winter holiday break to write the fast-paced thriller about a 14-year-old girl snatched from her home by government officials after Congress passed a law forbidding children from lower-income families to live with their parents.She finished it in about 2 months while going to school.

Once she finished it, she decided to send the manuscript to a publishing company without telling her parents at first. Ike, with no agent and no clue about how to go about publishing her 170-page novel, researched the process online and sent her story to Tate Publishing. A short time later, her father received an email stating that Tate Publishing was happy to accept her manuscript, and the editing process began.

Her favorite books in early elementary school were the Junie B. Jones series. One time she wrote a book on paper called The Colorful Fish but stapled it wrong.   As she got in higher grades, her teachers started making her write short stories. She loved writing short stories and reading books by Meg Cabot and J.K. Rowling. She knew she wanted to be an author since she was in elementary school. Now, at age 14, her book is published. She plans to write a sequel to Taken Away and many others in the future.

Ehi’s book is published through Tate Publishing, a mainline publishing house dedicated to working with aspiring authors and giving their book its best chance in the marketplace. If you’ve ever thought about publishing a book, you should visit http://www.tatepublishing.com. Taken Away is a fast-paced thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Teens who love a good suspenseful adventure won’t be able to stop turning the pages as they walk with Mimi and her new companions through the uninhabited wilderness.

Ehis book can be found in the following bookstores.

Tate Publishing Bookstore

Barnes & Noble Bookstore

Amazon Bookstore

The Importance of Self Esteem – Why It Matters

The Importance of Self Esteem – Why it matters by Karl Perera

I think self esteem is central to everything you do. It affects your behaviour and thoughts. It changes how you feel about and value yourself.

Can you imagine anything else so important?

Why should self esteem matter to you?

Self esteem can be the difference between success and failure

Esteem can affect your thinking, causing your outlook to be positive or negative

Esteem affects your confidence

It affects your self image

If you do not value yourself how will you be able to value others?

Self esteem enables you to have the right attitude to succeed at work

It affects your happiness

Let’s take a moment or two to look a bit more closely at what  I’ve said above – and then I hope that you will appreciate just how important self esteem is to you.

Your potential to achieve what you most desire is directly related to your self esteem. On the other hand, failure is much more likely when you suffer from low self esteem because you will believe others when they tell you why you cannot succeed. Work on building your self esteem and success can be that much easier.

I’m sure you realize the importance of positive thinking. Increase your esteem and you will become more positive. This will benefit you in every area of your life. Read more about optimism here.

Do you Have a Problem with Self Confidence?

Self esteem affects your confidence, how important is that? If you want to rise to any challenge you must believe in yourself. Without confidence in what you can do and in who you are what chance do you have of happiness or success?

Want to increase your confidence and fell better about yourself? Download feel better about yourself now.

Self image is another important part of how you feel about yourself. Low self esteem means that you will have a poor image of yourself and this will result in a loss of confidence. Your social skills will also suffer and you will find it harder to socialize because others will respond negatively to your lack of confidence.

To learn more read this page about feeling good about yourself.

Self esteem will also help you at work. Your confidence and positive attitude will enable you to look and feel your best. You will have no trouble presenting yourself in a favorable light because you will be full of self respect and comfortable with who you are.

Do you Value yourself?

Value yourself, your ability and your contribution in the world because you are unique. Do you understand this? You cannot value and respect others unless you first value and respect yourself.

Finally, one last reason why your self esteem is so important. It will help you be a happier person.

Rising Hip-Hop Star Lineo Ignites Ghana Music Industry Nite

Rising hip-hop star, Adegboyega Yusuf Adekoya, better known as Lineo, excites the fans with his newly introduced style of music, Afro Hip House, at the first Ghana Music Industry Nite held at Accra, Ghana, recently. Lineo  was at his best with brilliant performances alongside Hypertek Music and 2Face Idibia’s protege, Dammy Krane. At the industry nite was also R2Bees, Chidinma and others to mention but few.

“Funky High is a song that is dear to me. It is a complete deviation from the regular Nigerian contemporary hip hop. The song is a blend of Afro beats, Funk, Hip and House Music,” said Lineo. The Elepepe Master ignites the fans with his newly introduced style of music, AFRO HIP HOUSE. However, the Ogun State born singer, “LINEO” experiment with his new single FUNKY HIGH. ‘ The experiment has been awesome.

A lot of music buffs love it that is why we released it.  The song is a blend of Afro beats, Funk, Hip and House Music’, he said “Funky High is a song that is dear to me. It is a complete deviation from the regular Nigerian contemporary hip hop. It is new, it is fresh and above all, it is fun! It’s a song my team strongly believe would open a new chapter in Nigerian music.

The Afro Hip House chapter!”

It may interest you to know Lineo is one Nigerian artiste that understands the essence of the social media in music promotion on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, YouTube, Google. Having his own online-based Tv channel with over 200,000 views. In fact,the single, Funky High is already on Spinlet, a mobile application platform to distribute music.

The Icon award winner, Lineo is being Signed to Dengit Music Group under Dengit House Productions.

Kindly Download  #FunkyHigh can be downloaded by clicking on the link: http://bit.ly/KGXhoD . Also Available on www.spinlet.com # DengitHouse. You can follow @MyLineo on Twitter. Email : Dengithouse@gmail.com.

King Jaja of Opobo – England’s Affair With Him And The End Of It


Born in Umuduruoha, Amaigbo in Igboland and sold as a slave to a Bonny trader at the age of twelve, he was named Jubo Jubogha by his first master. He was later sold to Chief Alali, the head of the Opubo Annie Pepple Royal House. Called Jaja by the British, this gifted and enterprising individual eventually became one of the most powerful men in the eastern Niger Delta.

In the nineteenth century—after the abolition of the slave trade in 1807—the trade in slaves was supplanted by the trade in palm oil, which was so vibrant that the region was named the Oil Rivers area.

The Houses in Bonny and other city-states controlled both the internal and external palm oil trade because the producers in the hinterland were forbidden to trade directly with the Europeans on the coast; the Europeans never left the coast for fear of malaria.

Astute in business and politics, Jaja became the head of the Anna Pepple House, extending its activities and influence by absorbing other houses, increasing operations in the hinterland and augmenting the number of European contacts. A power struggle ensued among rival factions in the houses at Bonny leading to the breakaway of the faction led by Jaja. He established a new settlement, which he named Opobo. He became King Jaja of Opobo and declared himself independent of Bonny.

Strategically located between Bonny and the production areas of the hinterland, King Jaja controlled trade and politics in the delta. In so doing, he curtailed trade at Bonny and fourteen of the eighteen Bonny houses moved to Opobo.

In a few years, he had become so wealthy that he was shipping palm oil directly to Liverpool. The British consul could not tolerate this situation. Jaja was offered a treaty of “protection”, in return for which the chiefs usually surrendered their sovereignty. After Jaja’s initial opposition, he was reassured, in vague terms, that neither his authority nor the sovereignty of Opobo would be threatened.

Jaja continued to regulate trade and levy duties on British traders, to the point where he ordered a cessation of trade on the river until one British firm agreed to pay duties. Jaja refused to comply with the consul’s order to terminate these activities, despite British threats to bombard Opobo. Unknown to Jaja, the Scramble for Africa had taken place and Opobo was part of the territories allocated to Great Britain. This was the era of gunboat diplomacy, where Great Britain used her naval power to negotiate conditions favorable to the British.

Lured into a meeting with the British consul aboard a warship, Jaja was arrested and sent to Accra, where he was summarily tried and found guilty of “treaty breaking” and “blocking the highways of trade”.

Jaja was forced into exile at St. Vincent, as a political prisoner, and placed on annual income of 800 pounds which was far below estimated at 50,000 pounds income per annum in Opobo, and where he enjoyed a lavish life style, in his three storey pre-fabricated house imported from Liverpool. He was to remain is St. Vincent, against his will, for three years, and for four additional month in Barbados, from where it was decided he should return home to Opobo from exile.

Meanwhile, Jaja’s health in exile began to deteriorate to the extent that his doctor in St. Vincent reported in 1899 that, the more Jaja was retained in St. Vincent the nearer he would approach his grave. Jaja report was threatening to commit suicide unless he was allowed to return.

It took another two years for Jaja to be evacuated from St. Vincent , from where in February, 1891, he was transferred to Barbados. He was to remain in Barbados for another three months before he was conveyed to Spanish colony of Teneriffe, instead of Sierra Lone, on May 11, 1891. The plan was for him to remain there until the arrival of the British consul, Macdonald who was to take him back to Opobo, but, due to an outbreak of epidemic in the island, Macdonald did not arrive in June as expected.

Consequently Jaja waited hopelessly and in abject misery, soon contracted dysentery from which he died on July 7, 1891, after nearly four years in exile. His body was buried at Teneriffe. But in October, 1892, his body was exhumed and taken to Opobo where on October 12, it was received by a fleet at 60 war canoes each carrying each of the old warriors of King Jaja.

Years after his exile in St. Vincent Jaja, is still remembered in anecdotes, today in the West Indies, as he stays there made the land favourable impact on the people of St. Vincent and Barbados. To them Jaja remained a legendary figure. He is remembered for upholding the diginity and self respect of the African even in the most difficult conditions in which he found himself while on exile in Caribbean.

Based on the illegal exile of King Jaja of Opobo in the Caribbean, the situation in the Delta today is not different. The same vicious struggle for the control of the oil resources in the Delta has continued in a post colonial and independent federal Nigeria. The British Buccaneers have been replaced by non-indigenous local predators, that in collusion with the big foreign-owned oil companies have seized control of vast oil resources in the Delta area in a manner that can not be said to serve the economic interest of the people of the Delta. Like Jaja, the people of the Delta want to control their own resources.

This is what is responsible for the rebellion of the people of Niger Delta and the continuing violence in the area. What the situation call for is some restitution with the people of the Delta through real fiscal federalism.

Legacy

King Jaja was exiled for many years in Barbados, the West Indies. Then due to immense civil unrest caused by the presence of King Jaja by the enslaved people of Barbados and after years of campaigning for his freedom. Jaja was moved to the island of San Vicente, Cape Verde, West Africa. To prevent the possibility of a slave revolt.

When Jaja eventually won his liberty after years of fighting against his wrongful abduction and consequent exile by the British. It was agreed by Parliament that he could be reunite to his Kingdom State of Opobo. Jaja now an old man and after years in exile in San Vicente, his health had deteriorated but this did not deter him from embarking on a British vessel bound for Opobo.

His health had failed and on his way back to his beloved Opobo Jaja died due to ill health. He was then shipped instead to Tenerife where he was buried. Due to the anger and fury felt by his people on the chain of events that had preceded, Opobians made the demand for the body of their King which was promptly exhumed and transported back to Opobo where Jaja was buried.

As a loved King his people never forgot about him nor gave up hope that one day he would return. When his body was returned they proceeded to honour him in a manor befitting a much loved & Powerful King (Amayanabo) with 2 years of mourning and with a ceremony immortalising Jaja as a deity.

African Destination- Meet The Himba Tribe

 

By Alex Ohan

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The Himba; are an ethnic group of about 20,000 to 50,000 people living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene region. Recently they have built two villages in Kamanjab which have become tourist destinations. They are mostly a semi-nomadic, pastoral people, closely related to the Herero, and speak Otjihimba, a dialect of the Herero language.

The Himba breed cattle and goats. The responsibility for milking the cows lies with the women. Women take care of the children, and one woman will take care of another woman’s children. Women tend to perform more labour-intensive work than men do, such as carrying water to the village and building homes. Men handle the political tasks and legal trials.

Members of an extended family typically dwell in a homestead, “a small, circular hamlet of huts and work shelters” that surrounds “an okuruwo (ancestral fire) and a central livestock enclosure.” Both the fire and the livestock are closely tied to their belief in ancestor worship, the fire representing ancestral protection and the livestock allowing “proper relations between human and ancestor.”

The Himba wear little clothing, but the women are famous for covering themselves with otjize, a mixture of butter fat and ochre, possibly to protect themselves from the sun. The mixture gives their skins reddish tinges. This symbolizes earth’s rich red color and the blood that symbolizes life, and is consistent with the Himba ideal of beauty. Women braid each other’s hair that they extend with plastic hair that they usually have to purchase, and cover it except the ends, in their ochre mixture.

Modern clothes are scarce, but generally go to the men when available. Traditionally both men and women go topless and wear skirts or loincloths made of animal skins in various colors. Adult women wear beaded anklets to protect their legs from venomous animal bites.
Boys are generally circumcised before puberty, to make them eligible for marriage.

Because of the harsh desert climate in the region where they live and their seclusion from outside influences, the Himba have managed to maintain much of their traditional lifestyle. Members live under a tribal structure based on bilateral descent that helps them live in one of the most extreme environments on earth.

Under bilateral descent, every tribe member belongs to two clans: one through the father and another through the mother. Himba clans are led by the eldest male in the clan. Sons live with their father’s clan, and when daughters marry, they go to live with the clan of their husband.

Himba woman

Himba Girls Bilateral descent is found among only a few groups in West Africa, India, Australia, Melanesia and Polynesia, and anthropologists consider the system advantageous for groups that live in extreme environments because it allows individuals to rely on two sets of families dispersed over a wide area.

The Himba are a monotheistic people who worship the god Mukuru. Each family has its own ancestral fire, which is kept by the fire-keeper. The fire-keeper approaches the ancestral fire every seven to eight days in order to communicate with Mukuru and the ancestors on behalf of his family. Often, because Mukuru is busy in a distant realm, the ancestors act as Mukuru’s representatives. However, the difference between Mukuru and the ancestors is that while Mukuru only blesses and never curses; the ancestors do both.

The Himba traditionally believe in omiti, which some translate to mean witchcraft but which others call “bad medicine”. Some Himba believe that death is caused by omiti, or rather, by someone using omiti for malicious purposes. Additionally, some believe that evil people who use omiti have the power to place bad thoughts into another’s mind or cause extraordinary events to. But users of omiti do not always attack their victim directly; sometimes they target a relative or loved one. Some Himba will consult a diviner to reveal the reason behind an extraordinary event, or the source of the

 

Harlem’s Nnamdi Okonkwo Nigerian Sculpturist

 

THREE WOMEN FRIENDS Sculpture by Nnamdi Okonkwo, Harlem, New York City

“Three Friends” is a sculpture by the Nigerian born Nnamdi Okonkwo that currently resides at the front of Fifth Avenue on the Park, a condominium building in Harlem.
Nigerian sculptor Nnamdi Okonkwo created this monumental sculpture that stands outside of Fifth Avenue on the Park, a condominium building in Harlem area of New York City.

The condominium overlooks Marcus Garvey Park and is located at 120th Street and Fifth Avenue. This bronze sculpture was installed in July of 2010 and truly beautifies the front of the building and the entire area.

The following words from the sculptor:

I believe that life is not ordinary, but that there is a heroic, monumental, and divine capacity to the human spirit. Sculpture is an avenue for me to express this beauty and nobility that is inherent in humanity. In short, I seek for the sublime in the emotions and feelings, which my figures evoke. I have chosen the female form to portray this magnificence of the soul, because in my indigenous culture, womanhood is venerated, and “mother is supreme.”

I believe that the noble virtues such as serenity, love, hope, humility, charity, and inner strength, which enable us to face and transcend the adversities of life, are best exemplified in womanhood. The voluminous shapes are aesthetically pleasing and intoxicating to me, but they also serve to emphasize the largeness of soul of womanhood.

Born in Eastern Nigeria in 1965, Nnamdi is the first of three sons. He currently reside in Fayetteville, Georgia with his  wife and three children. After obtaining a Degree in painting in Nigeria, basketball became the avenue for Nnamdi to come to the United States because of his height.

He was recruited by BYU-Hawaii where he played from 1989-1993, and graduated with a BFA in Sculpture. After which he enrolled in the graduate program at BYU-Provo and received an MFA degree in sculpture in 1997.  His work is represented in galleries across the country, and can be seen in individual and public sculpture gardens as well.

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Catching Up With Former Third World Percussionist – Willie Stewart

http://youtu.be/tKRJlmqXPVY http://youtu.be/EcJ61-pee70 Have you ever wondered what became of the group Third World ? Well! I had the pleasure of catching up with former Third World Percussionist – Willie Stewart through a phone conversation. Willie is the founder of Solution in Music, he has shared his brilliant talent in rhythm and percussion with kids through his foundation. In my conversation with him, I realized that his excitement was not in past tales of his world travels, multiple Grammy nominations nor his celebrity status twenty-two years ago as the drummer for Third World band, but rather, his passion to bring music to people – especially children. “It’s not about me and what I can play, he said, “It’s about using the programme to make the people feel like they achieved something – to be inspired, to be motivated.”Children are our most treasure asset, we must love, protect and nurture them so that they may realize their dreams.

Although, he left the Third World band nearly 20 years ago, drummer Willie Stewart is still making rhythmic noise in South Florida. His commitment to continue to work hard and stay committed to empowering  our youth and communities. The power of music has definitely earned Willie recognitions in Jamaica, the U.S and in South Florida, where he currently reside.

Willie is among the recipients of the 2012 Jamaica Diaspora Honours which were recently announced by Jamaica’s Consul General, Sandra Grant-Griffiths. Through his non-profit organization, Embrace Music Foundation (EMF), Willie conducts percussion workshops in schools and communities.

EMF’s latest programme is Rhythms of Africa/Music Around the World, seven two-hour workshops that unite musical concepts such as rhythm and tone, with ethnic studies and language. The London-born Stewart started his career in the early 1970s as a member of the popular Inner Circle band, then toured with Byron Lee (his older brother) and the Dragonaires.

Willie joined Third World in the mid-1970s, playing on the band’s landmark albums such as 96 Degrees in the Shade and Journey to Addis, as well as the hit songs, Now That we Found Love and Try Jah Love.

I asked Willie ‘ do you see yourself coming to perform in Nigeria any time soon? It’s been in the radar, he replied, “I had a good time in Lagos, Nigeria and would like to give something back to the people of Africa.

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Nigerian Political Independence and Pro-democracy Icon- Chief Anthony Enahoro

TODAY, I REMEMBER ONE OF THE TITIANS OF NIGERIA’S STRUGGLE FOR POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE AND PRO-DEMOCRACY ICON, MY UNCLE, CHIEF ANTHONY ENAHORO.  AS WE PREPARE TO CELEBRATE NIGERIA’S 52 INDEPENDENCE DAY ON OCT 1, 2012, LET’S NOT FORGET THE MEANING OF SACRIFICE, FREEDOM, UNITY AND PATRIOTISM. ……….ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY. R.I.P PA.

Chief Anthony Enahoro (22 July 1923 – 15 December 2010) was Nigeria’s foremost anti-colonial and pro-democracy activists. He was born the eldest of twelve children in Uromi in the present Edo State of Nigeria. His Esan parents were Anastasius Okotako Enahoro (d. 1968) and Fidelia Inibokun née Ogbidi Okojie (d. 1969). Chief Enahoro has had a long and distinguished career in the press, politics, the civil service and the pro-democracy movement. Educated at the Government School Uromi, Government School Owo and King’s College, Lagos, Chief Enahoro became the editor of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s newspaper, the Southern Nigerian Defender, Ibadan, in 1944 at the age of 21, thus becoming Nigeria’s youngest editor ever. He later became the editor of Zik’s Comet, Kano, 1945–49, also associate editor West African Pilot, Lagos, editor-in-chief Morning Star from 1950 to 1953.

And In 1953, Chief Anthony Enahoro became the first to move the motion for Nigeria’s independence and consequences,he has been regarded by academics and many Nigerians as the father of “Nigeria State” Though his motion was rejected by Parliament and the northern MP’s staged a walkout as a consequence of the attempt. The actual successful movement of the motion for Nigeria’s independence did not take place until 1958. After Enahoro’s initial attempt in 1953, Chief S.L. Akintola attempted to move the second motion for Nigeria’s independence in 1957 and though his motion was passed by Parliament it was not acquiesced to by the British colonial authorities and it therefore failed.

The successful moving of the motion for Nigeria’s independence did not take place until August 1958 and this was done by Chief Remi Fani-Kayode. Fani-Kayode’s motion was not only passed by Parliament but it was also acquiesced to by the British. His motion had called for independence to be granted to Nigeria on April 2, 1960 and though it was passed by Parliament and acquiesed to by the British a slight amendment proposing that the month of independence should be moved from April 2 to October 1 was proposed by a fourth motion to Parliament by Sir Tafawa Balewa in 1959 and it was passed.As a consequence of that Nigeria gained her independence in 1960.

He was born the eldest of ten children in Onewa village, Uromi, in the present Edo State of Nigeria. His Esan parents were Anastasius Asuelinmen “Okotako” Enahoro (d. 1968) and Fidelia Inibokun née Ogbidi Okojie (d. 1969). Chief Enahoro has had a long and distinguished career in the press, politics, the civil service and the pro-democracy movement. Educated at the Government School Uromi, Government School Owo and King’s College, Lagos, Chief Enahoro became the editor of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s newspaper, the Southern Nigerian Defender, Ibadan, in 1944 at the age of 21. AS a student then at the famous Kings College, Chief Enahoro plunged into the Nigerian turbulent liberation struggle against colonial rule in the early 1940s, leading to student revolts at the college, in Lagos where he was a student leader. He was prominent in politics at a time of rapid change. He was twice jailed for sedition by the colonial government, for an article mocking a former governor, and then for a speech allegedly inciting Nigerian troops serving in the British army. The British marked him as a firebrand, but even as he was jailed for a third time, he was beginning to reassess his position.

During the Nigerian crisis that followed the 1966 coups, Chief Enahoro was the leader of the then Mid-West delegation to the Ad HocConstitutional Conference in Lagos. He later became Federal commissioner (Minister) for Information and Labour under the General Yakubu Gowon Military Government, 1967–74; Federal Commissioner for Special Duties, 1975. He later became member of the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, 1978–83. He was the president, World Festival of Negro Arts and Culture, 1972–75.

Chief Enahoro was the chairman of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), a pro-democracy group that fought dictator Sani Abacha till Abacha’s death. Chief Enahoro was conferred with the national honour of Commander, Order of the Federal Republic, CFR, in 1982, and is the chairman of the Movement for National Reformation, MNR; as well as the Pro-National Conference Organisation, PRONACO. He was awarded honorary DSC by the University of Benin in 1972. Among his publications include the treatise Fugitive Offender. Chief Enahoro played golf and followed cricket ardently. [1][2][3] Chief Enahoro was a delegate to most of the constitutional conferences leading to the independence of Nigeria in 1960.

During the 1962 crisis in the old Western region, he was detained along with other Action Group members. Accused of treason during the Awolowo alleged coup trial, Chief Enahoro escaped via Ghana to the United Kingdom in 1963, Nigeria requested Enahoro’s extradition under the 1881 Fugitive Offenders Act, preventing his application for political asylum. Early in 1963, the new leader of the Labour party, Harold Wilson, detected the embarrassment caused by Enahoro’s arrest and imprisonment. Labour went on the attack in the Commons, with support from some Tories, backed by a media furore. He was once one of the best-known Nigerians in Britain. He was the “fugitive offender” who triggered days of debate in the House of Commons in 1963 as he battled against extradition.

“The Enahoro affair” became an issue of human rights versus the government’s pusillanimous wish not to offend Nigeria, and put the Tory prime minister, Harold Macmillan, and his home secretary, Henry Brooke, in a difficult position.

He was extradited from the UK and imprisoned for treason. In 1966, he was released by the Military Government.

Legacy

In 1953, Chief Anthony Enahoro initiated the self-government motion in the Western House of Assembly, which eventually led to Nigerian Independence on the 1st day of October, 1960.

Sport

Chief Enahoro came from a sporting background. He excelled in sports at King’s College and is credited with being the first Nigerian National to gain membership of a golf club in Nigeria. He managaged to bring his handicap down into single figures during his long golfing career. He was also the driving force behind bringing FESTAC to Nigeria in the 1970s, during which time both Muhammed Ali and Pele visited the country to widespread acclaim.

All his children excelled at sport during their schooling and University years, playing Football, Rugby, Golf and Tennis. Currently, Kenneth and Eugene are avid golfers and founding members of the Saturday Society at Benin Golf Club. Annabella practices Pilates and Gabriel is an avid cyclist.

Chief Enahoro is survived by his wife Helen (née Ediae),their five children; Kenneth Enahoro, Eugene Enahoro, Victor Enahoro, Annabella Enahoro and Gabriel Enahoro and several grandchildren.

TEXT OF BILL CLINTON’S ADDRESS TO THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

Former President Bill Clinton waves as he arrives to address delegates during the second session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte,N.C., Sept. 5, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Here is the text of President Bill Clinton’s speech to the Democratic National Convention as prepared for delivery and released by the convention’s press office:

We’re here to nominate a President, and I’ve got one in mind. I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty. A man who ran for President to change the course of an already weak economy and then just six weeks before the election, saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the Great Depression.A man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on the long road to recovery, knowing all the while that no matter how many jobs were created and saved, there were still millions more waiting, trying to feed their children and keep their hopes alive.

I want to nominate a man cool on the outside but burning for America on the inside.  A man who believes we can build a new American Dream economy driven by innovation and creativity, education and cooperation. A man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama.I want Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States and I proudly nominate him as the standard bearer of the Democratic Party.In Tampa, we heard a lot of talk about how the President and the Democrats don’t believe in free enterprise and individual initiative, how we want everyone to be dependent on the government, how bad we are for the economy.

The Republican narrative is that all of us who amount to anything are completely self-made.  One of our greatest Democratic Chairmen, Bob Strauss, used to say that every politician wants you to believe he was born in a log cabin he built himself, but it ain’t so.We Democrats think the country works better with a strong middle class, real opportunities for poor people to work their way into it and a relentless focus on the future, with business and government working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity.  We think “we’re all in this together” is a better philosophy than “you’re on your own.”

Who’s right?  Well since 1961, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24.  In those 52 years, our economy produced 66 million private sector jobs.  What’s the jobs score?  Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 million! It turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics, because discrimination, poverty and ignorance restrict growth, while investments in education, infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase it, creating more good jobs and new wealth for all of us.

Though I often disagree with Republicans, I never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate President Obama and the Democrats.  After all, President Eisenhower sent federal troops to my home state to integrate Little Rock Central High and built the interstate highway system.And as governor, I worked with President Reagan on welfare reform and with President George H.W. Bush on national education goals. I am grateful to President George W. Bush for PEPFAR, which is saving the lives of millions of people in poor countries and to both Presidents Bush for the work we’ve done together after the South Asia tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake.

Through my foundation, in America and around the world, I work with Democrats, Republicans and Independents who are focused on solving problems and seizing opportunities, not fighting each other.When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics but in the real world, cooperation works better.  After all, nobody’s right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day.  All of us are destined to live our lives between those two extremes.  Unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the Republican Party doesn’t see it that way.  They think government is the enemy, and compromise is weakness.

One of the main reasons America should re-elect President Obama is that he is still committed to cooperation.  He appointed Republican Secretaries of Defense, the Army and Transportation.  He appointed a Vice President who ran against him in 2008, and trusted him to oversee the successful end of the war in Iraq and the implementation of the recovery act.  And Joe Biden did a great job with both.  He appointed Cabinet members who supported Hillary in the primaries.Heck, he even appointed Hillary! I’m so proud of her and grateful to our entire national security team for all they’ve done to make us safer and stronger and to build a world with more partners and fewer enemies.

I’m also grateful to the young men and women who serve our country in the military and to Michelle Obama and Jill Biden for supporting military families when their loved ones are overseas and for helping our veterans, when they come home bearing the wounds of war, or needing help with education, housing, and jobs.President Obama’s record on national security is a tribute to his strength, and judgment, and to his preference for inclusion and partnership over partisanship. He also tried to work with Congressional Republicans on Health Care, debt reduction, and jobs, but that didn’t work out so well.

Probably because, as the Senate Republican leader, in a remarkable moment of candor, said two years before the election, their number one priority was not to put America back to work, but to put President Obama out of work. Senator,  I hate to break it to you, but we’re going to keep President Obama on the job!

In Tampa, the Republican argument against the President’s re-election was pretty simple: we left him a total mess, he hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in. In order to look like an acceptable alternative to President Obama, they couldn’t say much about the ideas they have offered over the last two years. You see they want to go back to the same old policies that got us into trouble in the first place: to cut taxes for high income Americans even more than President Bush did; to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future bailouts; to increase defense spending two trillion dollars more than the Pentagon has requested without saying what they’ll spend the money on; to make enormous cuts in the rest of the budget, especially programs that help the middle class and poor kids.

As another President once said – there they go again. I like the argument for President Obama’s re-election a lot better. He inherited a deeply damaged economy, put a floor under the crash, began the long hard road to recovery, and laid the foundation for a modern, more well-balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibrant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for the innovators.Are we where we want to be? No. Is the President satisfied? No. Are we better off than we were when he took office, with an economy in free fall, losing 750,000 jobs a month.  The answer is YES. I understand the challenge we face.  I know many Americans are still angry and frustrated with the economy.  Though employment is growing, banks are beginning to lend and even housing prices are picking up a bit, too many people don’t feel it.

I experienced the same thing in 1994 and early 1995.  Our policies were working and the economy was growing but most people didn’t feel it yet.  By 1996, the economy was roaring, halfway through the longest peacetime expansion in American history.President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did.  No President – not me or any of my predecessors could have repaired all the damage in just four years.  But conditions are improving and if you’ll renew the President’s contract you will feel it.

I believe that with all my heart. President Obama’s approach embodies the values, the ideas, and the direction America must take to build a 21st century version of the American Dream in a nation of shared opportunities, shared prosperity and shared responsibilities.So back to the story.  In 2010, as the President’s recovery program kicked in, the job losses stopped and things began to turn around. The Recovery Act saved and created millions of jobs and cut taxes for 95% of the American people. In the last 29 months the economy has produced about 4.5 million private sector jobs.  But last year, the Republicans blocked the President’s jobs plan costing the economy more than a million new jobs.

So here’s another jobs score: President Obama plus 4.5 million, Congressional Republicans zero. Over that same period, more than more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created under President Obama – the first time manufacturing jobs have increased since the 1990s.The auto industry restructuring worked.  It saved more than a million jobs, not just at GM, Chrysler and their dealerships, but in auto parts manufacturing all over the country.  That’s why even auto-makers that weren’t part of the deal supported it.  They needed to save the suppliers too. Like I said, we’re all in this together.

Now there are 250,000 more people working in the auto industry than the day the companies were restructured.  Governor Romney opposed the plan to save GM and Chrysler. So here’s another jobs score: Obama two hundred and fifty thousand, Romney, zero.The agreement the administration made with management, labor and environmental groups to double car mileage over the next few years is another good deal: it will cut your gas bill in half, make us more energy independent, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and add another 500,000 good jobs.

President Obama’s “all of the above” energy plan is helping too – the boom in oil and gas production combined with greater energy efficiency has driven oil imports to a near 20 year low and natural gas production to an all time high.  Renewable energy production has also doubled.We do need more new jobs, lots of them, but there are already more than three million jobs open and unfilled in America today, mostly because the applicants don’t have the required skills.  We have to prepare more Americans for the new jobs that are being created in a world fueled by new technology.  That’s why investments in our people are more important than ever.

The President has supported community colleges and employers in working together to train people for open jobs in their communities. And, after a decade in which exploding college costs have increased the drop-out rate so much that we’ve fallen to 16th in the world in the percentage of our young adults with college degrees, his student loan reform lowers the cost of federal student loans and even more important, gives students the right to repay the loans as a fixed percentage of their incomes for up to 20 years.That means no one will have to drop-out of college for fear they can’t repay their debt, and no one will have to turn down a job, as a teacher, a police officer or a small town doctor because it doesn’t pay enough to make the debt payments.  This will change the future for young Americans.

I know we’re better off because President Obama made these decisions. That brings me to health care. The Republicans call it Obamacare and say it’s a government takeover of health care that they’ll repeal.  Are they right? Let’s look at what’s happened so far.Individuals and businesses have secured more than a billion dollars in refunds from their insurance premiums because the new law requires 80% to 85% of your premiums to be spent on health care, not profits or promotion.  Other insurance companies have lowered their rates to meet the requirement.More than 3 million young people between 19 and 25 are insured for the first time because their parents can now carry them on family policies.  Millions of seniors are receiving preventive care including breast cancer screenings and tests for heart problems.  Soon the insurance companies, not the government, will have millions of new customers many of them middle class people with pre-existing conditions.

And for the last two years, health care spending has grown under 4%, for the first time in 50 years. So are we all better off because President Obama fought for it and passed it? You bet we are. There were two other attacks on the President in Tampa that deserve an answer. Both Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan attacked the President for allegedly robbing Medicare of 716 billion dollars.Here’s what really happened. There were no cuts to benefits. None. What the President did was save money by cutting unwarranted subsidies to providers and insurance companies that weren’t making people any healthier. He used the saving to close the donut hole in the Medicare drug program, and to add eight years to the life of the Medicare Trust Fund.

It’s now solvent until 2024. So President Obama and the Democrats didn’t weaken Medicare, they strengthened it.When Congressman Ryan looked into the TV camera and attacked President Obama’s “biggest coldest power play” in raiding Medicare, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  You see, that 716 billion dollars is exactly the same amount of Medicare savings Congressman Ryan had in his own budget. At least on this one, Governor Romney’s been consistent.  He wants to repeal the savings and give the money back to the insurance companies, re-open the donut hole and force seniors to pay more for drugs, and reduce the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by eight years. So now if he’s elected and does what he promised Medicare will go broke by 2016.  If that happens, you won’t have to wait until their voucher program to begins in 2023 to see the end Medicare as we know it.

But it gets worse.  They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming decade.  Of course, that will hurt poor kids, but that’s not all.  Almost two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for seniors and on people with disabilities, including kids from middle class families, with special needs like, Downs syndrome or Autism.  I don’t know how those families are going to deal with it. We can’t let it happen. Now let’s look at the Republican charge that President Obama wants to weaken the work requirements in the welfare reform bill I signed that moved millions of people from welfare to work.

Here’s what happened.  When some Republican governors asked to try new ways to put people on welfare back to work, the Obama Administration said they would only do it if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20%.  You hear that? More work.  So the claim that President Obama weakened welfare reform’s work requirement is just not true. But they keep running ads on it. As their campaign pollster said “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.” Now that is true. I couldn’t have said it better myself – I just hope you remember that every time you see the ad.

Let’s talk about the debt. We have to deal with it or it will deal with us.  President Obama has offered a plan with 4 trillion dollars in debt reduction over a decade, with two and a half dollars of spending reductions for every one dollar of revenue increases, and tight controls on future spending. It’s the kind of balanced approach proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.I think the President’s plan is better than the Romney plan, because the Romney plan fails the first test of fiscal responsibility: The numbers don’t add up.It’s supposed to be a debt reduction plan but it begins with five trillion dollars in tax cuts over a ten-year period. That makes the debt hole bigger before they even start to dig out.They say they’ll make it up by eliminating loopholes in the tax code.  When you ask “which loopholes and how much?,” they say “See me after the election on that.”

People ask me all the time how we delivered four surplus budgets.

What new ideas did we bring? I always give a one-word answer: arithmetic.  If they stay with a 5 trillion dollar tax cut in a debt reduction plan – the – arithmetic tells us that one of three things will happen: 1) they’ll have to eliminate so many deductions like the ones for home mortgages and charitable giving that middle class families will see their tax bill go up two thousand dollars year while people making over 3 million dollars a year get will still get a 250,000 dollar tax cut; or 2) they’ll have to cut so much spending that they’ll obliterate the budget for our national parks, for ensuring clean air, clean water, safe food, safe air travel; or they’ll cut way back on Pell Grants, college loans, early childhood education and other programs that help middle class families and poor children, not to mention cutting investments in roads, bridges, science, technology and medical research; or 3) they’ll do what they’ve been doing for thirty plus years now – cut taxes more than they cut spending, explode the debt, and weaken the economy.  Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left.  We simply can’t afford to double-down on trickle-down.

President Obama’s plan cuts the debt, honors our values, and brightens the future for our children, our families and our nation. My fellow Americans, you have to decide what kind of country you want to live in.  If you want a you’re on your own, winner take all society you should support the Republican ticket.  If you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibilities – a “we’re all in it together” society, you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. If you want every American to vote and you think its wrong to change voting procedures just to reduce the turnout of younger, poorer, minority and disabled voters, you should support Barack Obama.  If you think the President was right to open the doors of American opportunity to young immigrants brought here as children who want to go to college or serve in the military, you should vote for Barack Obama.

If you want a future of shared prosperity, where the middle class is growing and poverty is declining, where the American Dream is alive and well, and where the United States remains the leading force for peace and prosperity in a highly competitive world, you should vote for Barack Obama. I love our country – and I know we’re coming back. For more than 200 years, through every crisis, we’ve always come out stronger than we went in.  And we will again as long as we do it together. We champion the cause for which our founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor – to form a more perfect union. If that’s what you believe, if that’s what you want, we have to re-elect President Barack Obama.

God Bless You – God Bless America.

P-Square and Bez Tops Headies 2012 Nominee List

*Psquare and Bez

Giant pop singing duo Psquare and soul stirring jaz recording artist Bez lead the park in another star studded nominees list just revealed for the annual music awards…the Headies.

After a deafening successful music year, they both have approval to gun for six top awards respectively.

Psquare released their fifth album last year with heart thumping singles ‘Chop my money’ and ‘Beautiful Onyinye’ knocking everyone into blistering ecstasy before going on to garner remixes from international recording acts Akon and Rick Ross respectively.

Paul and Peter or their album as the case may be, is nominated for ‘Album of the Year’, ‘Artiste of the Year’, ‘Song of the Year’, ‘Best Pop single’, ‘Best R&B-Pop Album’ and ‘Best Collabo’ categories.

28 year old Bez on the other hand who is signed to Cobhams Asuquo’s C.A.M.P is nominated in the ‘Recording Of The Year’, ‘Best R ‘N’ B Single’, ‘Best R ‘N’ B/ Pop Album’, ‘Best Collabo’, ‘Best Vocal Performance’ and Hip Hop World Revelation of the year categories.  Observers are keen that his successful debut single ‘Super Sun’ released in mid-2011 which holds hit ‘Stupid song’ is a major contender to Psquare.

Bez and Psquare are closely followed by A-listers Wizkid, Davido and Ice Prince who grabbed four nominations each. Praiz, who continues to grow steadily as a singer to court, also got four nods from the awards committee.

Davido, Eva Alordia, Praiz and Chuddy K will battle stiffly in the popular ‘Next Rated’ category which comes with a brand new car.

Musical works under review will be those released into the Nigerian market between March 2011 and February 2012.

PLEASE SEE FULL NOMINEES LIST BELOW…

HEADIES 2012 NOMINEES LIST
As released by the screening committee on Tuesday August 28, 2012. Only music materials released into the Nigerian market between March 2011 and February 2012 are eligible for nomination for Hip-Hop World Awards 2012.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Best album (solo or group) in year under review, that meets judges’ requirements of excellence (in every realms: songwriting, production, rendition and promotion) and acceptability (sales, popularity)

Everybody Loves Ice Prince           – Ice Prince
The Invasion                                          – P-Square
Superstar                                                 – Wizkid
Super C Season                                     – Naeto C

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Most critically and commercially adjudged artiste in the year under review Overall most successful artiste for the year under review.

P-Square
Wizkid
Ice Prince
Naeto C
D’Banj

SONG OF THE YEAR
Most popular song from an album in year under review. Decided by voting

Chop My Money                         – P-Square ft. Akon & May-D
Dami Duro                                     – Davido
Oliver Twist                                   – D’Banj
Gaga Crazy                                     – Chuddy K
Kukere                                             – Iyanya

RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Best single recording (on-air only or released) by artiste or group in year under review. Originality and production very essential

Stupid Song                                 – Bez
Private Trips                               – Wande Coal
Ara                                                 – Brymo
I Love You                                   – Praiz

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
The individual responsible for producing the most acclaimed songs/album in the year under review. His CV for the year includes top-notch tracks and production credits no one can fault.

Cobhams                                     – Stupid Song (Bez)
Tee-Y Mix                                   – Super C Season (Naeto C)
Shizzy                                            – Dami Duro (Davido)
J Sleek                                           – Private Trips (Wande Coal)
Jesse Jags                                    – E.L.I (Ice Prince)

BEST MUSIC VIDEO (AWARD GOES TO DIRECTOR)
Best conceptualised, best edited, best picture, best directed and most exciting video in year under review as voted by fans and decided by the jury.

5 & 6 (Naeto C)                                             – Clarence Peters
Chop My Money Remix (P-Square)      – Jude Okoye
Ara (Brymo)                                                   – Ajeh
Kosorombe (Dipp ft. Da Grin)                  – Mex

BEST R ‘N’ B SINGLE
Best R&B single in year under review (by single individual or group)

Private Trips                                   – Wande Coal
Stupid Song                                     – Bez
Nawti                                                 – Olu Maintain
Soundtrack                                     – May D
Love Me (3X)                                 – Tiwa Savage

BEST POP SINGLE
Best pop single in year under review (by single individual or group)

Dami Duro                                     – Davido
Oliver Twist                                   – D’Banj
Gaga Crazy                                     – Chuddy K
Chop My Money                         – P-Square
Kukere                                          – Iyanya

BEST R ‘N’ B/ POP ALBUM
Best R&B or pop album in year under review (by single individual or group)

Superstar                         – Wizkid
Super Sun                         – Bez
Versus                                – 9ice
The Invasion                   – P-Square

BEST RAP SINGLE
Best single released on-air recording of a rap song

Too Much Money           – Iceberg Slim
Shutdown                         – Phyno
Angeli                                  – Vector ft. 9ice
Oh My Gosh                       – Yung6ix
Young Erikina                  – Olamide

BEST RAP ALBUM
Best album by a rap artiste or group in year under review

E.L.I                                                 – Ice Prince
The Dreamer Project                – Show Dem Camp
Rapsodi                                        – Olamide
Super C Season                          – Naeto C

LYRICIST ON THE ROLL
Rap Artist with best lyrical depth and performance on a single song or album

Vector                                  – Angeli
Yung6ix                               – Oh My Gosh
Iceberg Slim                      – Too Much Money
Phyno                                     – Shutdown
Erigga                                    – Mo Street Gan

BEST COLLABO
Best R&B, Pop or hip hop collaborative track (including cameos) in year under review

Chop My Money remix               – P-Square ft. Akon & May-D
Angeli                                                 – Vector Ft. 9ice
Carolina                                            – Sauce Kid Ft. Davido
Stupid Song                                     – Bez Ft. Praiz
Orobo                                                 – Sound Sultan Ft. Excel & Flavour

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (MALE)
Single male artiste with most outstanding vocal performance on a single song or album

Wande Coal                         – Private trips
Banky W                                 – Low Key
Praiz                                     – I Love You
Brymo                                  – Ara
Bez                                       – Stupid Song

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (FEMALE)
Single female act with most outstanding vocal performance on a single song or album

Tiwa Savage                               – Love Me, Love, Love Me
Chidinma                                     – Kedike
Ijeoma                                           – Oloomi
Waje                                                – Na The Way

AFRICAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Non Nigerian category

Sarkodie (Ghana)                         – Azonto
Camp Mulla (Kenya)                   – Feel No Pain
D-Black (Ghana)                            – Get On The Dancefloor
Zahara (South Africa)                  – Loliwe

BEST STREET HOP
The most popular street-hop single in year under review

Kako Bi Chicken             – Reminisce
Gaga Crazy                       – Chuddy K
Akpako                              – Terry G
Roll                                     – Rayce
Mo Street Gan                – Erigga

NEXT RATED
Most promising upcoming officially unreleased act in the year under review

Davido
Eva (Alordia)
Praiz
Chuddy K

HIP HOP WORLD REVELATION OF THE YEAR
Best New artiste in the year under review

Wizkid
Ice Prince
Bez
Timi Dakolo
Olamide

HEADIES HALL OF FAME
Special recognition for excellence and outstanding impact to the entertainment industry.

Femi Kuti

AWARD WINNING NIGERIAN MUSIC DUO BRACKET HONORED BY THE CITY AND STATE OF PHILADELPHIA

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Award winning and top selling contemporary Nigerian-style African-pop duo Bracket, after receiving citation from the city and State of Philadelphia at the African American Museum on Friday August 3rd, 2012, highlighted the exciting stage line up at the 5th Annual ACANA African Festival on Sunday, August 5th, 2012 from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. The festival took place at the River Stage on the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, a part of PECO Multicultural series.

Stage performances represented the African countries of Nigeria, Liberia, Congo,  Sierra Leone, and many others. They performed along with the musical sensation Bracket will be the sensational LIB Queen from Monrovia, Liberia, Rafiya, a Congolese artist, and Jay Q from Sierra Leone.

Other performers throughout the day included: Black Diamond, Peter Cole, Chillton Jah James, Rotimi & De Afrophonik Crew, and Sista Rose. Dance is also an important highlight of the ACANA African Festival. Also, taking the stage was the world famous Universal Dance & Drum Ensemble.

In previous years, ACANA Cultural Festival had brought on stage such big name artists like Maxi Priest of Jamaica, Trinidad’s queen of soca music Joan Tigress Rowley, as well as Liberia’s Gebah Swaray of the Safari Band. This year’s event featured Bracket who were set to repeat the success of the previous festivals, until they got rained in during their performance. See the below preview of concert.

Along with presenting sponsor, PECO, the festival is also sponsored by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts through the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, AfriQtalk, Brown Family Shop Rite, Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health, Children Crisis Treatment Center, , Arik Airlines, Western Union, Cozen O’Connor, Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on African & Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, The Welcoming Center, Chester Ave. Business Association, Funtimes Magazine, Liberian United Women In Progress,  PNC Bank, and IT Solutions.

Bracket is one of the top selling contemporary Nigerian-style African-pop musicians. Bracket’s music is a composition of traditional Nigerian rhythms with contemporary pop and hip-hop influences.

I dream of Africa

I dream of  Africa as my mind manifests  over  all its greatness that matters. I hear of stories  imagined and true; from far away empires  and palaces.Are things as they are,? Kingdoms  spread  all over domination, across deserts and thick forest lands. Mothers   telling stories under moon light Coconut  compounds.

So i asked myself, why  the infighting,? from the North to the South, from the Eastern sea shores to the western trade zones. Wars, famine and unrest, caused by  greed, selfishness and hatred.

Where are the noble men and wise women of generations past?, have your daughters gone to the hill tops to fetch water from the spring crops.?Are your young men still waging battles among their brothers? for if you trade your  resources for your gun sources; in the morning you will find  out  you have no life force.

My Africa, your lands have no men to harvest your grains crops; yet the harvest is due and  the young and old cry out  for food.So  I kept my dream of Africa alive, “pregnant with patience” until her Sons  and Daughters return and spend time close to their father and Mother, their towns kins men and women.Then tears will stop for then all Will understand that their hearts have  come to stay  and engage.

~ K. Okojie

Florida.USA

 

For Immediate Release: Geobek Entertainment Presents -The Dairy of WACONZY

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Who is Waconzy? Take a listen

As you know, the history of the Nigerian Music industry would not be complete without mentioning the name Waconzy who maintains the fastest fan growing base in Nigeria, Africa and internationally.  With his knowledge as a project manager, Waconzy has built a strong social media fan base with hit songs that cut across various ages, genders and geographical boundaries currently making him one of the most popular and sought after Artists in Africa and beyond. As one of Nigeria’s A-List Artist internationally managed by Geobek Entertainment (South Africa) and published by Youngane Productions (South Africa), Waconzy is ready for international entertainment business, endorsements, collaborations, live performances, tours and more award nominations.

You know him very well as Waconzy but he is also Obinna Kelvin Anyanwu, born on the 10th of August in Port Harcourt city of Nigeria. Waconzy is a blend of two English words, “Wacko” and “Zany” which describes his style of music as Afro-centric by combining Western and African rhythms in creating a marvelous blend of music for all Living Standards Measure (LSM).

In 1998, Waconzy recorded his first song while he was still in high school. Waconzy released his first commercial single in 2008 titled IKEBE SUPA, which gained huge nationwide response from fans who enjoy rich African music. This inspired Waconzy to be a commercial and original Artist of his own kind of music which built a fan base of young and old Afro-pop music lovers in Nigeria. Over the years, Waconzy has grown from an upcoming Artist to a pace setter in his industry by creating a niche of his own music. Waconzy is in a league of his own with little room for competition as he says “the sky is big enough for all birds to fly”.

With Waconzy’s creative style of delivering remarkable lyrics that cut across all ages, some fans now call him “Supa Dupa Nigg#”, while others call him “Awah”. Also, sometimes his fans refer to him as “Mr. Tumble the stage”. Waconzy has been able to carve a niche for himself in the international music scene, with his success, money and fame one would expect him to be arrogant with ‘diva tendencies’ but yet the handsome young man prefers to be seen as your best friend as he remains grounded and humble.

Waconzy is a multiple Glitz and Odudu award winner and among his accolades include, Song of The Year for “Ikebe Super” in 2009 and the same award in 2010 for “I Celebrate” at the Glitz awards. He also collected the Best collaboration award at the 2010 Odudu awards among others. With such accolades, it’s no wonder he has an ever increasing fan base.

Waconzy is popularly known for his song I CELEBRATE, a song fused with rich African rhythm, Naija Pidgin English and English language, generally accepted by all African music lovers. Since the release of the “I Celebrate” album (listen here: http://www.reverbnation.com/waconzyworld), Waconzy has gained huge recognition in Nigeria as one of Nigeria’s A-List Artists, having performed in several major concerts Nationwide and international.

For further information, booking, publishing and interview requests in the North America email: afriQtalk@yahoo.com or call +1-404-432-4008. To find out more about the Europe tour email: george@geobek.co.za.

Copyright © Geobek . All rights reserved.

Press Release: Miss Nigeria Florida Cultural Pageant 2012

The Miss Nigeria Florida Cultural Pageant will be held on Saturday, June 30, 2012 at North Miami HS Auditorium (13110 NE 8th Ave. Miami, FL 33161) at 7:30PM (doors open at 6:30PM). After Party,  Playwright in Gulfstream Park (901 S. Federal Highway. Hallandale Beach, FL 33009) at 10PM. The event promotes the Nigerian culture through beauty, fashion, music and entertainment and continues to support women’s empowerment.

Featured guest, Patience “Mama G” Ozokwor (Nollywood Actress – Comedian – Singer) will be live at this year’s Miss Nigeria Florida Cultural Pageant. $20 pre-sale tickets can be purchased at Sheri Restaurant in Miami Gardens- 16595 NW 27th Ave, Miami, FL 33054. Tickets will be $25 at the door.

Other special guests to include celebrity jewelry designer, Monalisa Okojie (founder/CEO of Nehita), Princess Asha of AfriQtalk, (Nigerian Promoters Association 2012 Best Media Personality of the Year), DJK International, Izzy Entertainment and Nosa Productions will be doing a teaser of Jozi Kings movie coming to theaters near you, esteemed Dignitaries, entertainment moguls, artist performance by Filon Jay and many more.

Immediately,  following the pageant, Ankara Miami will be hosting Fit for a Queen: The Official After Party for the Miss Nigeria Florida Cultural Pageant and Award Bash Celebration with Princess Asha, NPA’s Best Media Personality of the year will be at the Playwright in Gulfstream Park (901 S. Federal Highway. Hallandale Beach, FL 33009) at 10PM.

The pageant’s 2012 kick-off reception held on April 28, 2012 took the time to honor four Women of Distinction, recognized Nigerian women in South Florida through their service to residents of Miami-Dade County and the Nigerian community at large. The team would like to thank Professor Folake Adeagbo, Mrs. Josephine Akinbiyi, Ms. Annabel Brewster and Mrs. Funmilayo Giwa for their professional accomplishments and remarkable community service.

As the pageant team continues to reach out to women and Nigerians in the corporate sector, among other audiences, to raise awareness of our mission to embrace our heritage and display our pride in our Nigerian culture, they would like to provide additional companies/vendors the opportunity to advertise and market to a community within the African Diaspora.

Sponsors for the pageant include: Murphy’s Laaw, the Nigerian-American Foundation, Ankara Miami, Inc., Deep Blu Media, Tru Life, Fabian & Mom Fantastic African Fabrics, KechThis, Inc., Trend Homehealth, and Josmar Medical Staffing.

For more information or details about partnering with the pageant, please contact: MissNigeriaFlorida@gmail.com or (305) 489-4313.

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Sponsored in part by Deep Blu Media Productions. Prepared by Ankara Miami, Inc. on behalf of The Miss Nigeria Florida Cultural Pageant 2012.
Contact: Info@AnkaraMiami.com or (305) 924-2071 * https://www.facebook.com/AnkaraMiami

Pre-sale tickets are available via: http://fitforaqueen.eventbrite.com/.

PATIENCE FAKA JONATHAN – A WOMAN OF VALOR

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Mrs. Patience Jonathan started her career as a teacher at the Stella Maris College, Port Harcourt and Sports Institute Isake. She then moved to the banking sector in 1997, where she established the first community bank in Port Harcourt called the Akpo Community Bank.

She served as Marketing Manager of Imiete Community Bank. She returned to the classroom briefly again as teacher. Eventually she was transferred to the Bayelsa State Ministry of Education, where she served until 29 May 1999 when her husband became the Deputy Governor of the state. She and her husband have two children.

Well known for her active participation in her husband’s political campaigns, the First Lady is involved with many charities in Nigeria that work mainly with women and children. She is also the founder of several non-governmental organizations such as the A.Aruera Reachout Foundation, which focuses on educating middle-aged women. She is also known for her entertaining public speeches.

Patience Jonathan has won several accolades, in particular the 2008 Beyond Tears International Humanitarian Award New York for her work with charities. Despite her reputation for philanthropy, Mrs. Jonathan has been subject to several investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission related to the money-laundering of several millions of dollars, although she firmly denies all allegations and says she was framed.

Mrs. Jonathan has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally for her philanthropic work and political pragmatism. She received the “Beyond The Tears” International Humanitarian Award New York, USA, in 2008, for her role in the global fight against HIV/AIDS; the African Goodwill Ambassador Award (Los Angeles, USA, 2008) and the recipient of the “Wind of Change” Award from the South/South Women’s Organization. Patience Faka Jonathan, a woman of valor, love her or hate her.

Conclusion:

AfriQtalk is a fair and balanced media, and we do not belong to any political group or organizations. We try to separate politics from people’s individual lives. We initiate the conversation and let you decide.

The Pain and Agony of Hon Ike C. Ibe: Dana 153 Plane Crash

Submission of Rt. Hon Ike C. Ibe to The National Assembly Committee on Aviation on The Dana Airline Crash of June 3, 2012

Mr Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to speak at this public hearing. I have come neither as a regulator nor as an operator, neither did I come as an official or stakeholder. I came because I’m involved, and I’m involved because I’ve been dazed by Dana. Half of my family – my wife Nancy, my daughter Jennifer and my wife’s Aunt Maria were victims of the Dana crash.

On January 1 1997, I married an angel called Nancy Echendu Ibe (nee Okwulehie). God blessed us with a warm and caring family and sent two other angels to the world through us named Jessica and Jennifer aged 13 and 11. On Sunday June 3, 2012, I drove my family to the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport for Nancy and Jennifer to catch a flight to Lagos on their way for a family event in India. They were joined by another family member, Mrs Maria Okwulehie. They were to be away for ten days. Now they will be away permanently.

When I decided to move my family back to Nigeria from the United States, many people thought I was crazy and that I would regret the move before long. They were right. Here I was, yanking my family away from a society where everything works, where life is good, where the government works, where rules and regulations are obeyed, where there is a high level of certainty of public and private actions, where schools are highly rated, where hospitals are properly equipped and very well staffed, where drivers are intelligent enough to pass junctions without relying on traffic wardens or lights, where there are hardly potholes in the roads, where official corruption is hardly present, where leaders are trustees of the people’s power and people are the custodians of the power. I was dragging my family out from this society and taking them to Nigeria where everything seemed entirely and sadly apocalyptic.

My wife and my daughters tried so hard to adapt after the first year, but it was tough for them. Of all things, my family couldn’t understand the constant blaring of horns by drivers on the road, nor why there were always traffic jams, especially at intersections. They did not understand why there was constant power failure and blackouts, or why we always had to generate our own home electricity, pump our own water and hire our own security personnel.

They could not understand either why we had to spend hours on fuel queues, or why people were always angry and desperate on the roads. They wondered whether Nigeria will survive, whether our people will ever be happy, whether our officials will ever be responsible, whether the legal system will ever work, whether the ordinary masses will ever benefit from our vast natural resources, whether there will ever be electricity or good schools or running water or good roads or clean hospitals or safe skies. They wondered whether the street children who hawk goods will ever leave the roads and go home to comfortable environments where government will provide their needs.

In the last several months, my family had become more worried each time I set out to travel. They would always be curious about where I was going. “Dad!” they would always yell. “Don’t go to the East, they will kidnap you.” Or, “Don’t go to the North, Boko Haram is bombing there.”

I dare not let my kids see my travel tickets and each time they did and saw an endangered territory written on my ticket, I tried to assure them that I would come back safely, even though I couldn’t be sure of that myself. Whenever I was out of town, they would call a hundred times a day to check whether I was safe.

Nancy, my wife, was a medical laboratory scientist and a public health specialist. Since she relocated from the United States of America barely three years ago, she had not held any paying job. The last position she held in America was head of blood transfusion services at the Laurel Regional Hospital in Maryland.

She devoted her three years in Nigeria to charity work and philanthropic activities. She spent her time traversing different rural areas with her groups, giving medical assistance, public health education, food, money etc. to the most vulnerable people in the communities, especially women and children. She spent her time campaigning about the issues that matter most to the ordinary person, the voiceless, the weak and hungry. Week after week, the lowest of the low looked up to seeing them for their salvation.

These people will never see Nancy again. She had written to many government agencies and organizations, making suggestions and giving ideas about how to make life better for ordinary Nigerians. These letters have never changed anything, but she has touched many lives in amazing ways. Nancy believed in her cause in Nigeria. She gave her time, her money, her sweat and now her blood.

Jennifer my daughter was just 11 years old. She was innocent, pure and angelic. All she did was sing, smile and make people happy. She took to the stage early – in kindergarten in America and all the way to Nigeria and up until her last day in International Community School Wuse, the weekend before she boarded the Dana aircraft that fateful June 3rd afternoon. Jenny will never sing again here on earth.

Mrs Maria Okwulehie was a consummate administrator who turned the Federal Government College Bwari from nothing into something. Her family loved her dearly. Her students loved and admired her, but they will never see her again. They have also been dazed by Dana. So have the families of all the other victims; each will never see their loved ones again. This crash was one too many. Enough!

All kinds of commentaries have been written and all shades of reasons have been adduced for the Dana crash. I have read stories that the black box has been recovered and taken abroad for analysis. If my wife were to be here, she would tell you that there is only one reason that the black box will give for the crash and that is corruption.

I agreed with my wife on many things during our 15 years of marriage. I would have agreed with her on this. I will therefore not bother to speak on the reasons for that crash. It is very clear that over the years, the Nigerian system and structure has broken down. For every disaster or incident in Nigeria the same templates have been adopted, being investigation, recommendations, white papers etc.

There is never implementation until the white paper turns brown, or another disaster happens and the template is dusted off as the cycle continues. In Nigeria, operators are regulators and regulators are operators. Government officials are contractors and contractors are government officials. There has never been a shortage of investigations of corruption. More often than not, investigators unearth massive fraud in the system, but end up also committing their own fraud. The tendency has been for the investigators to end up being investigated and the beat goes on, as if government is one huge joke.

I am therefore here today on behalf of Nancy Echendu Ibe, Jennifer Ibe, Maria Okwulehie and all the other victims as well as our dazed families and friends, to charge this National Assembly and indeed this nation, that the bloodshed from corruption has got to stop. I have been to many countries of the world. I have flown in all manner of aircraft, long haul and short haul flights in all regions of the world.

The aviation sector is very tightly regulated and controlled. But here in Nigeria, it’s all about business and profits. Many questions are left hanging. Was the Dana airline qualified to be an operator in our country? Were its aircraft worthy, or were they just certified with money? Was their technical crew qualified? Were their planes a danger to our people? It is obvious now that from all the information available, my wife, my daughter, my sister-in-law and all the other victims of the ill-fated flight walked into an untimely death once they boarded that flight.

They didn’t know it, but the regulators knew it. Safety is the least of our considerations. Unnecessary loss of life has occurred because regulators in this country close their eyes to even latent irregularities, because money usually changes hands. I have been a legislator for over twenty years, I have practiced law for over twenty-four years in different jurisdictions and I have participated in congressional public hearings in the United States.

I can state, therefore, without prevarication, that the real last hope of the common man is the effective and responsible use and application of the nation’s legislative powers. This Legislature has often cried that their resolutions and laws are not implemented by the government. I also watch with amusement how the Legislature does not apply its constitutional powers to ensure that things are done properly.

I have often wondered whether it is because of the climate of corruption also.
Mr Chairman, I came here today not to cry, because my wife already cried a lot for Nigeria. I am not here to sing praises, because my daughter sang enough.

I am here to formally tell Nigerians what my wife has been trying to tell us all these years. Her voice was not heard by our leaders during her lifetime, perhaps it will be heard now that she has paid the supreme price of dying in and for a nation that did not bother to do anything for her.

Will these investigations give us hope as the chairman answers, or are we going to continue to be a hopeless nation? Only time will tell. But I am certain of one thing, the blood of my wife Nancy, my daughter Jennifer, Aunty Maria and all the other victims will be a wake-up call for this nation, so help us God.

Silvy De Bie Bridging the Cultural Gap

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AfriQtalk Welcomes! Silvy De Bie, Belgian Music Billboard top 10, pop dance recording artist to Atlanta. The Belgian singer is best known for being the vocalist for the dance band Sylver. With them she eleased five studio albums and 20 singles. Between 1990 and 1994 she also released over 10 singles with band “Silvy Melody”.

Silvy became a Flanders child star when she was nine years old. She sung Ben, a song of Michael Jackson, in the Flemish showbizz TV Show De Kinderacademie (child academy). This show was not a contest, it was just an entertainment program where children between 4 and 12 years could perform an act (sing act, dance act, telling a little fairy tail or poem,…) Silvy’s performance was so good, an independent recording studio gave her a contract. Under the name “Silvy Melody” she recorded some songs (including a Dutch version of Ben) as solo-artist and also some numbers together with other famous Belgian singers. Many of her songs were in top 10 charts. Her career as child star stopped abruptly in 1994 due to Belgian law. She did too many activities, performances, and broke the law regarding child labour which is forbidden in Belgium.

In 2000 Silvy became the female vocalist for the dance band Liquid feat., later in 2001 the band’s name was changed into Sylver. Alongside the successes with Sylver, she started also solo.

In 2001 she worked with MNC, with him she covered the Eurythmics song Sweet Dreams. She also worked with the dance formation Milk Inc. (she is friends with Singer Linda Mertens). In 2004 the Track I Don’t Care came out, the single reached the Belgian Top Ten. In 2007 the Single Time alongside with 4 Clubbers in Belgium, she composed and wrote the song “Lovesong” from the Crossroads album.

In my conversation with Silvy, I find her to be somewhat adventurous and intellectually engaging. Do you see yourself working with Artiste from Africa? I asked, she replied! “I am ready to collaborate with artiste of different genre” including artist from Africa. Now that’s what I call bridging the cultural gap.

 

Press Release – BRACKET To Receive Honorary Award from the City of Philadelphia

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The group Bracket is fast becoming a house hold name in North America, thanks to their fans and supporters. The Enugu born duo is poised to receive a Honorary award from the city of Philadelphia at the African American Museum of Philadelphia in a Banquet event, August 3, 2012. They will join the likes of Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey who received a similar recognition in Boston.

Nominated for Best Indigenous Artist/Group at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards in New York, September 2, 2012. The group has won many awards, including NMVA 2009 Best Hi-Life Video Wedding planner song of the year award 2009 Museke Africa Song of the Year award 2010, Soundcity Nominee for Discovery of the year 2009 and becoming the most sought after artistes by show promoters in the African Disaporas and around the globe .

They aren’t slowing down and are taking North America by storm with their new album release, girl featuring award winning Wizkid BET best international act, even though Yori Yori still remains indisputably the most popular. Also, they will be performing at the 5th Annual African Music Festival, September 5, 2012. A three days event kicking off a one month tour in the U.S. Click the following link for more info http://t.co/XzWuuefW

Bracket is brought to you by ACANA and AfriQtalk in collaboration with the African American Museum of Philadelphia, Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, and Peco Energy. Sponsored by the Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on African & Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, Department of Behavioral Health & Intellectual Disabilities, Children Crisis Treatment Center, Browns Family Shoprite, Cozen O’Connor, The Welcoming Center, Chester Avenue Business Association, Funtimes Magazine, and Liberian United Women in Progress.

Who is ACANA? African Cultural Alliance of North America Inc., ACANA was founded in Southwest Philadelphia in 1999 in order to bridge the gap between African immigrants and the existing African American communities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an area of the city where most of the agency’s targeted clients, (African refugees, asylum seekers, and other immigrant populations) have been resettled. ACANA was originally started by Voffee Jabateh, MSW, as a cultural organization to support African artists/ musicians in their efforts to establish themselves within the United States.

The goal is to help African immigrant artists ensure continuity within their new location, as well as to assist in cultural preservation within this new environment. However, due to overwhelming requests for additional help by the ever-expanding population of African refugee, asylee and immigrant community members in dealing with the stressors associated with adjusting to their new community; ACANA was incorporated in 1999 as a non-profit social service agency. For information about BRACKET-MANIA TOUR  click here  http://t.co/XzWuuefW. To purchase your tickets for  3 days ACANA African Music Festival, click the following link http://acanafestweekend.eventbrite.com/. A family event that you don’t want to miss.

419 – Seeking Your Consent

419 – Seeking your consent to present you to my bank as BENEFICIARY of $18.6M. Once consent is given, all legal document will be prepared on your name ( details attachment above): Unfortunately, after reading through the letter, I contacted Mr. Danielson Khupane but to no avail and  later learned that he died in Con Artist 419 plane that crashed in Scammer Island. He is survived by one  son, Losers, age 10. R.I.P

What is 419?

the name “419” actually said as “four one nine” derives from the section of Nigerian law that con artistry and fraud comes under. OFTEN CALLED A NIGERIAN 419 SCAM BECAUSE THE EMAIL SCAM PROMISING A PERCENTAGE OF THE CASH IF YOU HELP MOVE MONEY OUT OF THE COUNTRY. My point? If you’ve received such email or similar letters from unknown recipient, be cautious because it is all a scam. Please be advised 419 is not peculiar to Africa alone.

Mama G Live at Miss Nigeria Cultural Pageant 2012, Miami, FL

We’re specialized in promoting African culture, art of fine living, entertainment and networking. We work with organizations, promoters, small businesses, independent artist, celebrities, beginners and established personalities. AfriQtalk is a market place for client referrals for the delivery of products, goods and services. We handle diverse range of PR projects, with the launching of our new platform, AfriQtalk African Treasures TV (ATAT); we are repositioning Africa in the 21st century.

MURPHY’S LAAW ENTERTAINMENT OFFICIALLY BRINGS MAMA TO THE US. MEET MAMA GEE UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL AT MISS NIGERIA FLORIDA CULTURAL PAGEANT, USA MIAMI. AFTER THE PARTY IS AN ALL WHITE AFTER PARTY. COME CELEBRATE MY AWARD BASH PARTY WITH ME, IZZY ENTERTAINMENT AND AFRIQTALK CREW IN THE HOUSE. OH LADIES DON’T FORGET TO BRING YOUR BEACH SWIM SUITES IT’S GOING TO BE OH MY GOSH…..CRUNKED UP! FRIDAY, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY.