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NNPC Raises The Alarm Over Fake Authorisation Letters in Nigeria

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Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has raised the alarm over the circulation of fake letters of authorization purportedly from the NNPC to buy and/or sell Nigerian crude oil.

The Corporation yesterday called on members of the public to be wary of persons with fraudulent intents circulating letters authorizing the lifting of Bonny Light crude oil from Nigeria.

According to a statement signed by NNPC group general manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ohi Alegbe, a paragraph in one of the fake letters of authorization in circulation reads:

“We hereby confirm that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has entered into contractual arrangements directly with Lavi International Corp to supply Bonny Light crude oil to the Lavi International Corp Associated Refineries and or Global Traders, and that the Lavi International Corp has the power and authority to sell or otherwise deal with the Bonny Light crude oil, the subject of those contractual agreements.”

The NNPC, however, stated that Messrs Lavi International Corp is not one of its crude oil off-takers for the 2014-2015 Term Contract Period and, therefore, has not been allocated any crude oil volume as speculated in the fake letter of authorization.

It further noted that the list of local and international companies duly approved as NNPC’s crude oil off-takers for the 2014-2015 Term Contract Period had been widely publicized and called on members of the public to avail themselves of such information to avoid being duped by unscrupulous elements.

“Meanwhile, we are working closely with relevant security agencies to track and bring to book all those behind these nefarious activities,” he said.

Nigerian-American to Represent GA at the 26th Annual National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C.

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Eight-grader, Nigerian-American, Ansel Ahabue  will represent Georgia at the 26th Annual National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C., May 19-21. The top 10 finalist will compete in the May 21 final round, moderated by award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, and taped to air on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD at 7 p.m.  May 22, and later on public television.

Ansel brought onlookers to tears, when he surprisingly & boldly asked to speak when he was awarded The National 2014 ALL- STAR AWARD at Trickum Middle School in Lilburn, where he passionately dedicated his 2014 All Star Win to the Nigerian missing girls (#BRING BACK OUR GIRLS).

According to his mother, Blessing Ituah- Ahabue, Ansel stressed the fact that all kids regardless of where they are born deserve a good education,   “I am sure that the people of Nigeria appreciates you as well” we appreciate you, Ansel,  you made us proud! said One of the officials. 

On behalf of AfriQtalk, we wish you the best in D.C. You make Nigeria Proud Ansel.

FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE: FACE Africa to Showcase Nigerian Culture, and Tourism in US

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Festival of Arts and Cultural Expo Africa, 2014 Press Conference was held at the Consulate General of Nigeria, 8060 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30350 on Friday 28th at 4:00 pm, hosted by AfriQtalk, PAN African Chambers of Commerce and the organizing team of FACE, in collaboration with the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Atlanta.

The Ambassador Geoffrey I. Teneilabe. Amb./Consul-General lead the Press Conference on Culture, and Tourism Investment Opportunities. Theme; “Harnessing Culture for Competitive Advantage” Other speakers were CEO of AfriQtalk “Culture Beyond Borders” Princess Asha Okojie-Osazuwa, Mr. Toks Onabanjo, Chairman of Pan Africa Chamber of Commerce, and William Stewart, Chairman of Embrace Music Foundation, Miami, Florida.

The objective is to celebrate African and African-American influences on global cultures, promote culture, and tourism investment opportunities for exchange of information to enhance bilateral trade, create awareness, bridge the cultural gap in education, technology, research, business, entertainment.

This year FACE Africa will showcase Nigeria’s cultural heritage and tourism, aptly described as the ‘Giant of Africa’ and the heart of Africa for a good reason. It is richly endowed with ecological and cultural resources, which are of universal recognition from threads of history, diversity, legend and conquest.

With Nigeria’s booming tourism industry, its development and growth must meet international standards, awareness must be created, other cultures must be made sufficiently known not only because the world has become a global village but because people appreciate what they understand, according to Princess Asha Okojie-Osazuwa, one of the organizers of FACE 2014.

The platform will create the environment to network, do business and capitalize on the fast growing hospitality and tourism sector in Nigeria. There will be a star studded events, live performances from local and international artists, entertainers, celebrity guests, and a movie premier, including; cultural dance groups, beauty contest pageantry, and activities that promise to give you a fulfilling weekend.

Endorsed by Nigeria Ministry of Culture & Tourism National Orientation, Abuja, Nigeria. The two day culture and tourism investment expo & award is expected to attract more over one thousand attendees, dignitaries, delegates and people from all walks of life to the city of Atlanta from around the world.

The two day culture and tourism investment expo & Award will be held from May 2-3, 2014 at Sheraton Gateway Hotel Atlanta, 1900 Sullivan Road, Atlanta, GA 30037, by the organizing team of FACE, CEO, Princess Asha Okojie-Osazuwa, AfriQtalk, CEO, Toks Onabanjo, Pan African Chambers of Commerce, Kingsley Ituwe, DJK Consult, CEO, Temidayo Babalola, Prime Media, and CEO, Adekoya Adegboyega Yusuf, Dengit Music, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Nigeria, Atlanta, endorsed by Nigeria Ministry of Culture & Tourism National Orientation, Abuja, Nigeria.

Organizations such as Association of Nigerians Organization in Georgia, Association of African Women in the Diaspora, Nigeria in Diaspora organization, Upward African Women, and Arik Airline will be recognized for their support in the African Diaspora.

The symposium will consist of workshops, conference and break out sessions. The exhibition will display quality products and services on a single platform, ideal for profit comparison. The cultural expo entails cultural displays, business networking, health education, pageantry, fashion show, comedy, movie premier and cultural dance, including local and international exhibitors, wide range of products and services catering to a diverse audience, domestic and international clientele with a view to promoting culture and tourism.

The outcome will create e-commerce shoppers for goods, products and services, online business directory, comprehensive tourism resources, travel guide and tourism, online reservation for tourist destination, accessibility to travel agencies and tourism investment forums. These efforts will help boost tourism and enable tourist and investors gain confidence and insights to travel destinations for sustainable tourism and foster the spirit of friendship and harmony between the two countries.

The Pre-event and Award will be filled with a night of cultural entertainment, celebrities, comedy, acoustic music, cultural dance, drama, fashion show and performances. The cultural expo entails cultural displays, business networking, health education, pageantry, fashion show, comedy, movie premier and cultural dance, including local and international exhibitors, wide range of products and services catering to a diverse audience, domestic and international clientele with a view to promoting culture and tourism.

Invited Keynote speakers, moderators, sponsors, special guests and those on panel discussions will make presentations, participate and attend the Award Gala. Prior to the Award night, the new search will be on for FACE of NEHITA, a cultural beauty pageant that is designed to motivate and inspire young women to become leaders of tomorrow, instill self confidence by empowering them with knowledge, maximize their talents, and leadership skills to create awareness through beauty, intelligence, and diversity to achieve personal growth and development.

FACE Award 2014 will be hosted by Joseph Benjamin Chibuzor and Lawrence Akhidenor (MC LARRY D). There will be a star studded events, live performances from local and international artists such as Bez Idakula, Ayoola Johnson, Joel Amadi, (Joe El), Majekodunmi Ibrahim Olayiwola (General Pype) Joseph Chibuzor, Oko, Waconzy, Kola Gbedu Master and cultural dance groups during the award.

The Award ceremony is scheduled for May 3, 2014, designed to celebrate Indigenous heritage & in recognition of excellence in service, outstanding achievements, leadership, contributions and honor individuals and organizations that have dedicated their lives and time to the continued growth and promotion of culture, heritage, language, libraries, archives, museums, awareness, and preservation of language, environment, arts in schools, and educational programming in Africa and African Diasporas.

The Nominees for FACE 2014 AWARD are as follows:

1. BEST DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS/ACTOR
1. Austeen Eboka
2. Merlisa Determined
3. Bridget John
4. Chiege Alisigwe-Clinton

2. BEST ACTOR/ACTRESS IN FILM
1. Ramsey Noah
2. Beverly Naya
3. Mercy Johnson Okojie
4. Elechi Wordu

3. BEST DRAMA/FILM
1. Domino Effect
2. God Daughter
3. Adora
4. Maami
5. False Engagement
6. When One Door Closes
7. Mother’s Betrayal
8. A Mother’s Love

4. BEST PRODUCER/DIRECTOR
1. Robert Peters
2. Tunde Kelani
3. Uche Nancy
4. Eve Ikuenobe-Otaigbe
5. Austeen Eboka
6. Chijindu Kelechi Eke

5. DISTINGUISHED AWARD
1. Aliko Dangote, Dangote Group, Lagos Abuja
2. Nduka Obaigbena, CEO This Day Live, Lagos, Abuja
3. Andrew Jackson Young, Atlanta GA
4. Tony Elumelu, Founder Tony Elumelu Foundation

6. IMAGE AWARD
1. Kese Lawal,CEO of CAMAC International Corporation
2. Mayor, Kasim Reed of Atlanta, GA
3. His Excellency Rabiu Kwankwanso, Governor of Kano State
4. Nyema E. Weli, Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Environment

7. BEST CULTURAL CONTRIBUTION
1. His Excellency, Ronald Duke, former Governor of Cross River State
2. Chief Edem Duke, Hon. Minister of Culture,Tourism and National Orientation
3. His Excellency, Chief Godswill Apkabio, Governor of Akwa Ibom State​
4. Kola Anidugbe, General Manager of Olumo Rock Tourist Complex

​​​8. OUTSTANDING ROLE MODEL PROPROJECTING CULTURE
1. Alahaji Teju Kareem, CEO, Zmirage Multimedia Limited
2. Ogugua Geoffrey Olisa, BHF MAGAZINE AFRICA
3. Asiwaju Titus Babajide, CEO, Oppressor Petrol ltd
4. Barr. Richard Mofe-Damijo, Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Culture & Tourism

9. OUTSTANDING ORGANIZATION/NETWORK
1. Alliance of Nigeria Organization in Georgia (ANOG), USA
2. Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDO USA)
3. Nigerian American Chambers of Commerce, Nigeria
4. Positive Run Way, USA
5. DAASART Children’s Channel, Abuja, Nigeria

10. OUTSTANDING ENTREPRENEUR/EXECUTIVE
1. Ken Nwaelene, KCN Holdings
2. Hollywood Celebrity Jewelry designer, Monalisa Okojie, Nehita
3. Margaret Andega, Afrocentric Network
4. Robert Brunner, Arik Airlines

11. BEST STAGE DRAMA/PERFORMING ARTS
1. Wedlock of the Gods
2. Fela on Broadway
3. ​Rhythms of Africa
4. TY Martin Studios

12. MOST PROMISING ARTISTS OF THE YEAR
1. Kaha Nzemeke
2. Kenny Kay
3. Jrhyma Baba
4. Filon Jay

13. EXCELLENCE AWARD
1. Robert O. Agbede, CEO Chester Engineers
2. Dr. Robert Okojie, Research Electronics Engineer, NASA
3. Taiwo Emmanuel Oluwatoyin, CEO Pemman Oil/Nikitel Int. Ltd
4. Prof Austin Esogbue, President AESO Systems, Inc.

14. LEADERSHIP AWARD
1. His Excellency, Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State
2. His Excellency, Sullivan Chime,Governor of Enugu State
3. His Excellency,Liyel Imoke, Governor of Cross River State
4. His Excellency, Chibuike Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State
5. His Excellency, Sen Ibikunle Amosun FCA, Excecutive Governor of Ogun State

15. ADVANCE CULTURAL ROLE MODEL
1. His Royal Majesty, HRH Zaiki Anselm Edenojie (The Ojuromi of Uromi)
2. Hon. Olusegun Olulade, Ambassador for Yoruba Language
3 His Royal Majesty, Oba Kayode Olugbenle, the Paramount ruler of Yewa Land Ogun State
4. His Royal Majesty Oba Lamidi. The Alaafin of Oyo

16. BEST ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY/MEDIA PROJECTING CULTURE
1. Temis Prime Media Ventures
2. AMC TV Nigeria
3. CKN Nigeria
4. Nigerian FM
5. Peoples Culture Magazine

17. BEST LITERARY ARTIST
1. Eve Ikuenobe-Otaigbe
2. Ehi Ike
3. Keith Holmes
4. Chika Unigwe

18. BEST VISUAL ARTIST
1. Enotie Paul Ogbebor
2. Onyeka Ibe
3. Nnamdi Okonkwo
4. Julie Mehretu

19. BEST INDIGENOUS ARTIST/GROUP
1. Kola Bata
2. Kola Ogunkoya
3. Seun Kuti
4. Rokan Dking Adekola

20. BEST SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
1. Sunday Oliseh
2. Gifted Cole
3. Blessing Okagbare
4. Steven Kechi

21. BEST ARTISTIC FACILITATION/PROMOTION COMPANY
1. Ovacom Media
2. All Star Promoters All Star
3. Ebenovbe Elvis Ogie
4. Dare Mr.Dejavu Akanbi
5. Rita Mbah

22. OUTSTANDING CULTURAL/GOSPEL ARTISTE
1. Benita Okojie
2. Princess Pat Akpabio
3. Oga Otumala
4. Mercy Masika
5. Dele Thomas

23. MOST PROMISING GOVERNOR
1. Raji Fashola SAN, Lagos State Governor
2. Dr.Olusegun,Mimiko, Ondo State Governor
3. Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, Bayelsa State Governor
4. Comrade, Adams Oshiomhole, Edo State Governor
5. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, Gombe State Governor

24. BEST CULTURAL MUSIC PROMOTER/DJ
1. DJFLY Atlanta
2. DJ Ecool
3. ​DJK Entertainment
4. DJ Neptune
5. DJ Mighty Mike
6. DJ Fully Focus

25. BEST INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS
1. Adekoya Adegboyega a.k.a Lineo
2. Bez Idakula
3. Echo Elijah
4. Waconzy

26. BEST COMEDIAN
1. Ayodeji Richard Maku, aka AY
2. Innocent Wamilele
3. Bright Okpocha, aka Basket Mouth
4. Seyi Brown

27. PUBLIC INTERGRITY AWARD
1. Sarah Jubril, SA Office of the President, Nigeria
2. Mrs Sally Mbanefo, the Director General of NTDC, Abuja, Nigeria
3. Hon. Mike Onolememen, Minister of Works, Abuja, Nigeria
4. Ambassador Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Spain

29. BEST ENTERTAINMENT/MEDIA PERSONALITY
1. Chris kehinde Nwandu, CKN Nigeria
2. Marion Amanambu,Celebrity Network
3. Abiola Fashina, My Faith TV Network
4. Osamoje Issac, NAIJA FM 102.7

30. BEST INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS ARTISTS
1. Flavour
2. Timaya
3. Kcee
4. ​Duncan Mighty

RECIPIENTS OF FACE ESTEEMED AWARD 2014

LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

1. Barrister Oladipo Okpeseyi, Senior Advocate of Nigeria
2. Ambassador Geoffrey Teneilabe, Nigeria Consulate Office, Atlanta GA

Who should sponsor:
Hotel operators, Hospitality Consultants, Health & fitness operators, Cultural Organizations, Higher Institutions, Small Business, Entrepreneurs, Property consultant, Security Law firms, Architects, Interior designers, and Cultural Entertainment Industry.

Who attends:
Private and public sector agencies, cultural organizations, consular agencies, business community, institutions, foundations, local and international organization, property developers Hotel operators/brands, Hotel owners, Private equity Hospitality, Tourism authorities, Banks and financial institutions, Architects & interior designers, Hotel technology providers, Lawyers, independent Artists, Academicians, Hospitality consultants, Property consultants, Health Experts, Company Executives and Entrepreneurs.

FOR SPONSORSHIP INQUIRIES –

Please contact: Princess Asha at info@faceawardusa.com|Phone: 770-891-5204| or visit http://www.faceawardusa.com

FOR PRESS INQUIRIES –

Please contact: Toyin Amokomowo| Email: info@faceawardusa.com| Phone: 770-617-1966

For further details, or to RSVP, kindly contact Kingsley Ituwe | Phone:404-432-4008

or visit us at http://www.faceawardusa.com

 

Immediate Press Release – Sensational Gospel Singer and Grammy’s Academy Award Member Shines

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Immediate Press Release – Sensational Gospel Singer and Grammy’s Academy Award Member Shines  with her Third Album ” Yes You Can” Who is Princess Pat Akpabio? Princess Pat is an Evangelist who has touched the lives of people in her home town of Akwa Ibom and around the world through her message of Hope, Love, and Worship. The Nigerian- American gospel singer, song writer, producer and actress will have her Album Release Party and Concert on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 3099 Breckinridge Blvd, Duluth Georgia 30096.  To know more about Princess Pat Akpabio click here.

Click here to heck out Princess Pat Akpabio Album Release Pictures

PRESS RELEASE: NIGERIANS DOMINATE SHORTLIST AS FORBES AFRICA PERSON OF THE YEAR NOMINEES GO TO POLL

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  NIGERIANS DOMINATE SHORTLIST AS FORBES AFRICA PERSON OF THE YEAR NOMINEES GO TO POLL

Forbes Africa, today announced it has narrowed down a shortlist, dominated by Nigerians, for the 2013 Person of the Year Awards, due to take place in Nairobi, Kenya at the beginning of December this year.

Following suggestions from Forbes Africa’s readers and social media audience, official voting in the form of a poll http://forbesafrica.com/person-of-the-year/voting.html on  is now open to the public who can make their selection of the individual they deem most worthy of the Person of the Year title.

The Person of the Year Awards celebrate ‘the individual who, for better or worse, has had the most influence on events of the year gone by’ and Forbes Africa has welcomed the participation of the public in what is fast becoming one of the most momentous and anticipated annual events in Africa.

“Every year, we are excited to decide the Forbes Africa Person of the Year. We want to honour the big hitters of the continent who are making a difference in people’s lives and we hope that in doing so, it will inspire others,” commented Chris Bishop, the managing editor of Forbes Africa magazine.

The shortlist, comprising of three Nigerians, one South African and one Zimbabwean, is as follows:

1. South African mining magnate, Patrice Motsepe, plans on giving away more than half his fortune over the next five years.

2. Akinwunmi Adesina is Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and his vision is to make Nigeria a self-sustaining, food-producing nation and register 20 million farmers by 2015.

3. Aliko Dangote is Africa’s richest man and his net worth has significantly increased on the back of his continued business success, allowing him to better the lives of millions.

4. Strive Masiyiwa is the founder of global telecoms group, Econet Wireless, and through Capernaum Trust he educates tens of thousands of Zimbabwean orphans.

5. Jim Ovia established Zenith Bank Group in 1990 – now West Africa’s second largest financial services provider. His focus has turned to helping grow Africa’s budding ‘techpreneurs’.

2013 has been an exciting year for entrepreneurs and business across Africa. Who do you believe has made a real impact in business by stimulating economic growth, creating employment, spearheading innovation and bringing new technologies to the continent? The top five candidates will comprise a portion of what will be the Person of the Year Awards judges’ final decision. Go to http://forbesafrica.com/person-of-the-year/voting.html to vote now. Voting closes 4 November!

About Forbes Africa:

Forbes Africa is the continent’s first-ever international business publication localized for the African executive. With levels of affluence and influence in Africa steadily climbing, ABN 360 saw it fitting that its ABN Publishing wing be the operating entity that established Forbes Magazine in Africa. Titled “Forbes Africa magazine”, the monthly publication is the continent’s first-ever international business publication to be localized for the African executive. Forbes Africa – which has been on the shelves since October 2011, encompasses both the detail and the personality, bringing a unique perspective to business media reporting that is delivered in a sharp, in-depth and engaging fashion. As the sixteenth English-language edition of the highly successful FORBES magazine, FORBES AFRICA has distinguished itself as a key title renowned for its many lists based on the levels of global wealth and power.

About ABN360:

ABN 360 offers a holistic approach to telling Africa’s business story – first. With much-esteemed international brands such as CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa providing a broadcast and print platform respectively, the ABN 360 conglomerate also offers resources to organize world-class events across the African continent, through ABN Productions. The recently-launched ABN Training Institute boasts state-of-the-art facilities to provide media training among many other courses, while ABN Digital is the company’s online presence for your up-to-date business and markets news. Through its sub-brands, ABN 360 aims to be Africa’s leading aggregator and distributor of business and economic news.

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10 Examples of Gender Inequality Around the World

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Originally posted 05/30/2013 By Molly Edmonds

1: Education Attainment

Of the children that aren’t in school right now, the majority of them are girls. Women make up more than two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults. When it comes to education, girls worldwide get the short end of the stick. Girls may be kept out of school to help with household chores, they may be pulled from school if their father deems it’s time for them to marry, or there may only be enough money to educate one child from the family — and the boy assumes the responsibility.

This gap in educational attainment becomes particularly maddening when you consider the numerous studies that have been done which show that educating girls is a key factor in eliminating poverty and aiding development. Girls who complete school are less likely to marry young, more likely to have smaller families and exhibit better health outcomes in relation to maternal mortality and HIV/AIDS. These women also go on to earn higher salaries, which they then invest in their own families, thus ensuring that future generations of girls get to go on to school. Indeed, it’s addressing the inequalities in education that may solve many of the other problems on this list.

2: Political Participation
Analysts often posit that many of the issues on this list could be solved if women had higher levels of political participation. Despite making up half the global population, women hold only 15.6 percent of elected parliamentary seats in the world. They’re missing from all levels of government — local, regional and national. Why is it important that women take part in politics? A study that examined women in leadership in Bolivia, Cameroon and Malaysia found that when women could take part in shaping spending priorities, they were more likely to invest in family and community resources, health, education and the eradication of poverty than the men, who were more likely to invest in the military. Some countries have experimented with quota systems to increase female participation, though these systems are often criticized for getting women involved simply because they are women, as opposed to their qualifications.

3: Freedom to Marry and Divorce

In the United States, love (and the lack of it) is a subject for romantic comedies and conversation over cocktails. In other countries, love may not enter the discussion at all when it comes to marriage. In many countries, young girls are forced to marry men two or three times their age. According to UNICEF, more than one-third of women aged 20 to 24 were married before they turned 18, which is considered the minimum legal age of marriage in most countries. Child brides give birth at early ages, which increases the chance of complications in childbirth and the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.

When a woman wants out of a loveless marriage, her options are limited in many countries. In some places, courts automatically grant custody of children to the husband, and women often have no chance of receiving any measure of financial support. In other places, such as Egypt, women don’t even have access to a court. While men are allowed a divorce after an oral renunciation registered with the court, women face years of obstacles to get in front of a judge. For this reason, many women around the world are trapped in abusive marriages.

4: Access to Health Care

In many countries, a pregnant woman in labor can head to any hospital, confident that she will receive assistance in delivery. That seems like a luxury to women in developing countries, however. According to the World Health Organization, one woman dies in childbirth every minute of every day. That’s more than 500,000 deaths every year, many of which could have been prevented if the woman had been allowed to leave her home to receive treatment, or if she’d had a skilled attendant by her side. Childbirth is but one example of how women receive unequal access to health care services. Another example is the growing number of women infected with HIV/AIDS. For many years, men comprised the bulk of new infections, but in Sub-Saharan Africa, women now form half of the infected persons. One reason for this growth may be laws that force women to stay married, even when their husbands are adulterous and engaging in extramarital sexual activity that could bring the virus into the marriage.

5: Feminization of Poverty

As we mentioned on the previous page, women in some countries have no right to own the land on which they live or work. Not only can such a state trap women in abusive marriages, it also contributes to a phenomenon that economists have deemed the “feminization of poverty.” More than 1.5 billion people in the world live on less than one dollar a day, and the majority of those people are women. The United Nations often cites the statistic that women do two-thirds of the world’s work, receive 10 percent of the world’s income and own 1 percent of the means of production

Women can be left destitute if they’re denied access to land, as we discussed on the previous page, but inability to claim land also perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Let’s consider the case of a woman who is essentially managing a farm due to an absentee husband. Land is a major factor for securing credit from financial associations or co-ops, which means that a woman can’t apply for loans that would allow her family to expand its business. Without financial support, the woman can’t upgrade her equipment, expand her production or keep up with competing farmers. Many female entrepreneurs have been foiled and left to dwell in poverty because of restricted access to basic legal rights.

6. Restricted Land Ownership

In some countries, such as Chile and Lesotho, women lack the right to own land. All deeds must include the name of a man, be it the woman’s husband or father. If one of those men were to die, the woman has no legal claim to land that she may have lived on or worked all her life. Often, widows are left homeless because the deceased man’s family will throw them out of their homes. And some women remain in abusive marriages so that they won’t lose a place to live. Such restricted rights can be particularly frustrating in rural areas where agriculture is dominant. Women may spend their entire lives cultivating and harvesting foodstuffs for no pay, only to lack a safety net when the father or husband leaves or dies. The inability to hold land is a factor in the next item on our list.

7: Feticide and Infanticide
You’ll often hear expectant parents say that they don’t care if they have a boy or a girl, as long as the baby is healthy. In some countries, such as China and India, a male child is more valuable than a female child, and this gender bias causes parents to care very much if they have a boy or a girl. Thanks to advances in genetic testing, parents can find out if they’re having a boy or a girl, and they may elect to end a pregnancy that would yield a female child. And if the parents don’t receive advance notice, they may kill the child after its birth. As a result, the gender ratio in some countries is skewed; in India, for example, there were 927 girls per 1,000 boys in 2001. The female fetuses and infants who are killed are sometimes referred to as the world’s “missing women.”China’s one child policy may have led to many sex-selective abortions.

8: Violence

In 2008, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reported that one in every three women is likely “to be beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime”. In both the developed and the developing world, violence against women in the form of rape, spousal abuse, child abuse or spousal killing is such routine behavior that it rarely even makes the news anymore. In conflict zones, rape of women and children is increasingly used as a weapon of war. In other countries, marital rape is condoned, and some countries have laws that require a certain number of male witnesses to testify before a court will acknowledge that a rape has occurred. Even in developed countries, women are often blamed and questioned about actions if they become the victims of rape or physical abuse, while their attackers may not face such questioning. Because of the stigma of reporting any form of abuse, we may never know the true extent of this problem.

9: Limited Mobility

Saudi Arabia provides the most extreme example of limited mobility for women: In that country, women are not allowed to drive a car or ride a bicycle on public roads. The strict Islamic law in the country prohibits women from leaving the home without a man’s permission, and if they do leave the home, they can’t drive a car. Doing so would require removal of their veils, which is forbidden, and it could potentially bring them in contact with strange men, another forbidden practice. While Saudi Arabia is the only country that prohibits women from driving a car, other countries restrict women’s overseas travels by limiting their access to passports, and even women in developed countries may complain of limited mobility. While these women may have the legal right to drive cars and ride planes, they may elect not to go out by themselves at night due to the threat of rape or attack. We’ll discuss such violence against women on the next page of this article. Women in Saudi Arabia inspect a new car. The women are allowed to own cars, but they are not allowed to drive them.

10: Professional Obstacles

Women fought for decades to take their place in the workplace alongside men, but that fight isn’t over yet. According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Census, women earn just 77 percent of what men earn for the same amount of work. In addition to this gender wage gap, women often face a glass ceiling when it comes to promotions, which is evident when you survey the lack of women in leadership positions at major companies. Women who have children often find themselves penalized for taking time off; if they’re not dismissed, they may face discrimination and outdated ideas of what a woman can accomplish if she’s pregnant or a mother. Also, jobs that are considered traditional women’s work, such as nursing and teaching, are often some of the lowest-paying fields.

Still, women in the workplace have one right that women in other countries lack — the right to leave their own homes.

Diversity Visa Lottery (DV-2014) Entry Status Available until September 30, 2014

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The online registration for DV-2014 began October 2, 2012 and concluded on November 3, 2012. Entrants who completed online DV-2014 entries can check the status of their entries by returning to the website at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov starting at noon (EDT) on May 1, 2013.

Even if you are not selected on May 1, 2013, you should keep your confirmation number until at least June 30, 2014. The Department of State may select more DV-2014 entries on or around October 1, 2013.

Entry Status Check will be the ONLY means by which DV lottery winners/selectees will be notified of their selection for DV-2014. Additionally, Entry Status Check will provide successful selectees with instructions on how to proceed with their application and provide the date and time of the immigrant visa appointment.

The Kentucky Consular Center no longer mails notification letters and does not use email to notify DV entrants of their selection in the DV program. Review the DV Program 2014 Instructions ”Selection of Applicants” section, which provides detailed information about the DV process.

If you have been selected for further processing in the Diversity Visa program, after you receive instructions, you will need to demonstrate you are eligible for a diversity immigrant visa by successfully completing the next steps. When requested to do so by the Kentucky Consular Center, you will need to complete an immigrant visa application, submit required documents and forms, pay required fees, complete a medical examination, and then next be interviewed by a consular officer at the U.S. embassy or consulate to demonstrate you qualify for a diversity visa. Please note that the Kentucky Consular Center will provide application information online ONLY through the Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website www.dvlottery.state.gov.

It is expected that the next application period for the DV Lottery (DV-2015) will be between October and December this year. Official dates, rules and eligible countries should be announced by late September. For more information, go to the official US State Department website at www.dvlottery.state.gov. You may also contact our office in the early fall for more information and assistance to complete another application. Be aware that the application for the DV lottery is free and you do not need to pay any agency to enter.

Aids- A Global Issue

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There are millions of faceless people whose lives have been impacted by AIDS/HIV,  especially in  Africa.  Yet there are some who believe that AIDS is a hoax.  An estimated 33 million people worldwide were living with HIV in 2007, of whom 67% were in sub-Saharan Africa. The Region also accounts for 75% of global AIDS deaths. Approximately 9.1 million people were newly infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa in 2007.

Information about the epidemic and its impact on the people of Africa are often not told, because Aid meant to combat the spread of HIV and poverty in Africa has been complicated by corruption among political leaders with a few notable exceptions. The prevention measures have been hampered in Africa due to traditional beliefs, political and religious authorities.  Both Muslim and Christian leaders found prevention campaigns such as condom promotion difficult to reconcile with their teachings.

In Sub-Saharan Africa women are disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic in comparison with men, with the proportion hovering around 60% over the last five years and nearly 90% of all children living with HIV/AIDS. The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa is occurring in a context of increased poverty, food insecurity, indebtedness, poor economic performance, gender inequality, gender-based violence, conflicts, natural disasters, ignorance, fear, stigma and discrimination.

Almost invariably, the burden of coping rests with women. Upon a family member becoming ill, the role of women as carers, income-earners and housekeepers is stepped up. They are often forced to step into roles outside their homes as well. Older people are also heavily affected by the epidemic; many have to care for their sick children and are often left to look after orphaned grandchildren.

It is hard to overemphasise the trauma and hardship that children are forced to bear. As parents and family members become ill, children take on more responsibility to earn an income, produce food, and care for family members. More children have been orphaned by AIDS in Africa than anywhere else. Many children are now raised by their extended families and some are even left on their own in child-headed households.

The toll of HIV and AIDS on households can be very severe. It is often the poorest sectors of society that are most vulnerable. In many cases, AIDS causes the household to dissolve, as parents die and children are sent to relatives for care and upbringing. AIDS strips families of their assets and income earners, further impoverishing the poor.

The epidemic adds to food insecurity in many areas, as agricultural work is neglected or abandoned due to household illness. HIV and AIDS are having a devastating effect on the already inadequate supply of teachers in African countries. The illness or death of teachers is especially devastating in rural areas where schools depend heavily on one or two teachers.

In many countries of sub-Saharan And West Africa, AIDS is erasing decades of progress in extending life expectancy. The biggest increase in deaths has been among adults aged between 20 and 49 years. AIDS is hitting adults in their most economically productive years and removing the very people who could be responding to the crisis. As access to treatment is slowly expanded throughout the continent, millions of lives are being extended and hope is being given to people who previously had none. Unfortunately though, the majority of people in need of treatment are still not receiving it, and campaigns to prevent new infections are lacking in many areas.

Prevention efforts are beginning to bear fruit, with indications of behavior change and declines in HIV prevalence rates in a number of high-burden countries. Many countries have also made significant progress in expanding access to ART. About 2.1 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy in the Region at the end of 2007, and regional coverage increased from barely 2% in 2003 to 30% in 2007. Despite this significant progress in ART there is still need to cover all the people in need and improve some areas such as HTC and PMTCT.

The key challenges to be addressed are:

  • Scaling up of key HIV prevention intervention, particularly HIV testing and counseling (HCT) including Provider Initiated Testing and Counseling.
  • Increasing access to affordable treatment and care in order to sustain the achievements so far on ART.
  • Increasing Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) as the coverage of these interventions is still unacceptably low (34 % in 2007).
  • Identifying innovative approaches to respond to the high levels of HIV discordant couples.
  • Introducting male circumcision in countries where this procedure is not currently practiced requires well-thought strategies, capacity building efforts and good communication strategies.
  • Weak health care delivery systems that are hindering expansion of quality HIV care and treatment services to lower level health facilities.
  • Ensuring sustainable financing for key priority interventions in order for Member States have to achieve Universal Access.

In July 2001, the National Institute of Health (NIH) of the United States Government released its report on the Scientific Analysis on Condom Effectiveness for STD prevention”. The report, which is an analysis of 130 studies conducted over some decades, differentiates between condom efficacy (the protection which the users would enjoy under ideal conditions, this depending primarily on the properties of the condom) and condom effectiveness (protection offered under actual usage; dependent on the characteristics of the device and its user).

The conclusions of the report? Apart from Gonorrhea (in men and not for women) for which there was some risk reduction, condom use for Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, chancroid, syphilis, genital herpes and Human papilomavirus showed no clinical proof of effectiveness from the available studies (more studies are necessary to determine its effectiveness). According to the studies, “condoms provided an 85% reduction in HIV/AIDS transmission risk when infection rates were compared in always versus never users”What about the remaining 15%? Is that percentage alright for you? Since the condom has not been sufficiently proven to be effective in preventing some of the common STDs listed above, there is an added risk of infection with HIV if there is an STD present.

In view of the findings of the report, the CDC has made some changes in its fact sheet, which says amongst other things that “The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases is to abstain from sexual intercourse, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and you know is uninfected. For persons whose sexual behaviors place them at risk for STDs, correct and consistent use of the male latex condom can reduce the risk of STD transmission.

However, no protective method is 100 percent effective, and condom use cannot guarantee absolute protection against any STD . In order to achieve the protective effect of condoms, they must be used correctly and consistently. Incorrect use can lead to condom slippage or breakage, thus diminishing their protective effect. Inconsistent use, e.g., failure to use condoms with every act of intercourse, can lead to STD transmission because transmission can occur with a single act of intercourse”

In our society today, is it possible for a normal, healthy person to resist sexual urges until marriage and then maintain a commitment to faithful, monogamous marriage? Can an entire nation dramatically reduce its AIDS incidence rates largely as a result of abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage?   The answer is ‘”YES WE CAN”

Illustration by CDC:

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Sleep Paralysis- A Nightmare Spirit

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Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon known by all cultures throughout the world, in which people, either when falling asleep or wakening, temporarily experience an inability to move in the middle of the night, often you are woken suddenly with a feeling of evil surrounding you, you can’t breathe and your chest is heavy, like someone pressing down on you, trying to suffocate you or holding you down, you can’t move! You think you can hear voices and see a dark shadowy figure swooping around your bed and you wonder why? If you’ve had this experience, you’re not alone, it’s is a classic example of what has become known as the “old hag” syndrome that comes from the superstitious belief that you may be hunted by the devil or a witch.

In African culture, it’s commonly referred to as “the witch riding your back.” Ogun Oru is a traditional explanation for nocturnal disturbances among the Yoruba of Southwest Nigeria; ogun oru (nocturnal warfare) involves an acute night-time disturbance that is culturally attributed to demonic infiltration of the body and psyche during dreaming. Ogun oru is characterized by its occurrence, a female preponderance, the perception of an underlying feud between the sufferer’s earthly spouse and a ‘spiritual’ spouse, and the event of bewitchment through eating while dreaming. The condition is believed to be treatable through Christian prayers or elaborate traditional rituals designed to exorcise the imbibed demonic elements.

In Zimbabwean Shona culture the word Madzikirira is used to refer something really pressing one down. This mostly refers to the spiritual world in which some spirit—especially an evil one—tries to use its victim for some evil purpose. The people believe that witches can only be people of close relations to be effective, and hence a witches often try to use one’s spirit to bewitch one’s relatives.

In Ethiopian culture the word ‘dukak’ (ዱካክ – Amharic) is used, which is believed to be an evil spirit that possesses people during their sleep. Some people believe this experience is linked to use of Khat ( ጫት ‘Chat’ – Amharic). Khat users experience sleep paralysis when suddenly quitting chewing Khat after use for a long time. In Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, the word ‘dukak’ taken out of the context of Khat withdrawal related sleep paralysis, means depression.

The evil spirit ‘dukak’ is an anthropomorphism (anthropomorphic personification) of the depression that often results from the act of quitting chewing Khat. ‘Dukak‘ often appears in hallucinations of the quitters and metes out punishments to its victims for offending him by quitting. The punishments are often in the form of implausible physical punishments (e.g., the ‘dukak’ puts the victim in a bottle and shakes the bottle vigorously) or outrageous tasks the victim must perform (e.g., swallow a bag of gravel).

In Swahili speaking East Africa, it is known as jinamizi, which refers to a creature sitting on one’s chest making it difficult for him/her to breathe. It is attributed to result from a person sleeping on his back. Most people also recall being strangled by this ‘creature’. People generally survive these ‘attacks’

What is SP?

Research shows that SP is linked with REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. When in REM sleep you are usually dreaming, your body does not act out your dreams as you will hurt either yourself, or someone else, so evolution has worked its merry little way of getting your brain to switch off your muscles (so to speak) and relax you while dreaming, essentially paralyzing you to a degree.

The cause for a state of SP is when your mind wakes up, usually still in a semi-REM state, but your body is still relaxed and semi paralyzed, bringing sometimes a horrifying sensation of being paralyzed while still in a semi-dream state yet awake. The consequences of this state are usually nothing short of terrifying to individuals with their dreams suddenly becoming reality as they are trapped in an in between sate of consciousness. The usual result is panic to try to release oneself while sleep creeps around your brain like a slow fog trying to drag you back down to it’s depths again.

More formally, it is a transition state between wakefulness and rest characterized by complete muscle atonia (muscle weakness). It can occur at sleep onset or upon awakening, and it is often associated with terrifying visions (e.g., an intruder in the room), to which one is unable to react due to paralysis. It is believed a result of disrupted REM sleep, which is normally characterized by complete muscle atonia that prevents individuals from acting out their dreams. Sleep paralysis has been linked to disorders such as narcolepsy, migraines, anxiety disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea; however, it can also occur in isolation. When linked to another disorder, sleep paralysis commonly occurs in association with the neuromuscular disorder narcolepsy.

Of a recent survey it is suggested that between 25-30% of the general population has suffered some form of SP with 95% of these experiencing a perceived horrifying event. It is now considered to be a common disorder among the population, but not many people admit to suffering SP. Yes, it does run in the family, if you have suffered an episode, chances are there’s a member within your close family who has also experienced this. People often feel they are experiencing something paranormal with SP due to the bizarre symptoms and don’t realize that they are in fact suffering from something many others have experienced with a perfectly reasonable explanation.

I S T H I S C O N D I T I O N H A R M F U L ?

General medical research shows SP is not generally harmful and will only ever last from a few seconds, to maybe a few minutes. Of course reality is severely altered in this state and sufferers can have a feeling of being trapped in a state of SP for what seems like hours, when in fact it is merely minutes. Further research does indicate that a predisposition to something more traumatic, such as social problems due to lack of sleep and a disruption to normal daily life, may be a result of many episodes of SP.  If you feel you need more help or more information about any health issue including SP seek out further medical help with a licensed practitioner.

C A U S E S

The most commonly reported cause of SP episodes is in fact stress. It’s believed that stress can seriously alter sleep patterns, causing episodes of sleep paralysis. Another cause can be your sleeping position. Reports and research by Dr. J. A. Cheyne show that sufferers sleeping in the face up position are five times more likely to suffer an episode of sleep paralysis than others who attempt to sleep in a different position during normal sleep. Avoidance of sleeping on your back and attempting to not roll over into this position during the night is strongly advised. The use of a small squash or tennis ball placed behind your back can sometimes help with this.

P R E V E N T I O N & R E S C U E

Prevention is all about sleeping in the correct position (not face up), not eating large amounts of food, drinking caffeine or excessive smoking before sleep. Reducing stress levels in your life is also another key factor to preventing SP as mentioned before, stress can severely alter sleep patterns inducing SP episodes, insomnia, sleep deprivation, and an erratic sleep schedule.

A good way of trying to release yourself when caught in a state of SP is attempting to concentrate on moving a body part, whether it be your finger, toe or even blinking your eyes, this works quite well and is a common remedy for most SP sufferers as the instant a body part moves, the SP episode should cease. You can also do this in your mind if you cannot move any body part, merely trying to imagine shaking your head or moving a body part can keep your mind active enough for your body to catch up and be able to move for real, essentially fully waking yourself up and again ending the SP episode.

Treatment

Treatment starts with patient education about sleep stages and muscle atonia associated with REM sleep. Patients should be evaluated for narcolepsy if symptoms persist. The safest treatment for sleep paralysis is for people to adopt healthier sleeping habits. However, in serious cases more clinical treatments are available. The most commonly used drugs are tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Despite the fact that these treatments are prescribed for serious cases of RISP, it is important to note that these drugs are not effective for everyone. There is currently no drug that has been found to completely interrupt episodes of sleep paralysis a majority of the time.

Prognosis

Sleep paralysis poses no serious health risk to those that experience it, despite the fact that it can be an intensely terrifying experience. SUNDS is a deadly disorder believed to be related to sleep paralysis; however, they are still considered completely separate disorders, so sleep paralysis sufferers should not be alarmed.

Conclusion

Several circumstances have been identified that are associated with an increased risk of sleep paralysis, stress, overuse of stimulants, physical fatigue, as well as certain medications that are used to treat ADHD. It is also believed that there may be a genetic component in the development of RISP due to a high concurrent incidence of sleep paralysis in mono zygotic twins.

Also, sleeping in the supine position is believed to make the sleeper more vulnerable to episodes of sleep paralysis because in this sleeping position it is possible for the soft palate to collapse and obstruct the airway. This is a possibility regardless of whether the individual has been diagnosed with sleep apnea or not. There may also be a greater rate of microarousals while sleeping in the supine position, because gravity exerts a greater amount of pressure on the lungs.

While many factors can increase risk for ISP or RISP, they can be avoided with minor lifestyle changes. By maintaining a regular sleep schedule and observing good sleep hygiene, one can reduce chances of sleep paralysis. It helps subjects to reduce the intake of stimulants and stress in daily life by taking up a hobby or seeing a trained psychologist who can suggest coping mechanisms for stress. However, some cases of ISP and RISP involve a genetic factor—which means some people may find sleep paralysis unavoidable.

 

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

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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.

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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:

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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.
1 Comment

Female Genital Mutilation – What You May Not Know

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What if I Refuse?

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The Child Weeps

By Menassah Imonikebe, a well-known Nigerian painter from Edo State, he has many solo and group exhibitions to his credit

female genita

The Ugly Hand that Maims

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The Midnight Act

By Wande George, born in 1962, he earned the N.H.D. at Auchi Polytechnic in painting and illustration. Wande George presently works as a visualiser/illustrator at Lintas: Lagos, Nigeria‘s best known advertising agency. He has participated in several group exhibitions.

According to the World Health Organization, the most common type of female genital mutilation is excision of the clitoris and the labia minora, accounting for up to 80% of all cases: the most extreme form is infibulation, which constitutes about 15% of all procedures.

The WHO estimates that, around the world, between 100 and 132 million girls and women have been subjected to female genital mutilation. Each year, a further 2 million girls are estimated to be at risk. Most of them live in 28 African countries, a few in the Middle East and Asian countries, and increasingly in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America.

A 1998 WHO Overview on Female Genital Mutilation provides details of their physical, psychological and sexual consequences for women and girls. Physical consequences include: death, haemorrhage, shock, injury to neighbouring organs, infection, severe pain, failure to heal, Abscess formation, dermoid, cyst, keloids, scar neuroma, painful sexual intercourse, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and other bloodborne diseases, pseudo-infibulation, reproductive tract infection, dysmenorrhea, urine retention, urinary tract infection, chronic urinary tract obstruction, urinary incontinence, stenosis of the artificial opening to the vagina, complications with regard to labour and delivery.

There was this girl, a friend of mine, named Vokke who I went to school with. She hails from Delta State Nigeria. I remember, she got circumcised at  the age of 12 by her parents. Vokke went through a gruesome ordeal, like the little girls in the video, you are about to watch. Vokke was cut with an unsterilized sharp object without anesthetics, after which she suffered numerous infections. She almost lost her life.

Female Genital Mutilation is a traditional practices that are deeply entrenched in many cultures and traditions worldwide. The practice is more prominent in Africa including Nigeria, where many belief that female genital mutilation makes the girl more fertile and aid easy delivery, while some does not regard a female as a woman until she undergoes female genital mutilation. The general belief is that genital mutilation reduce level of promiscuity in women.

How can the process of putting an end to female genital mutilation be accelerated, especially when victims do not speak out against it because of family or religious traditions? One way is by encouraging men to take action alongside women to challenge religious, cultural and traditional arguments used to justify this practice.

On March 4, a new game on Facebook, inspired by the book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,” will be introduced, with a focus on raising awareness of issues like female genital mutilation and child prostitution.

Half the Sky Movement: The Game, more than three years in the making, is one of the most ambitious efforts yet to entice a mass audience to social media games with the goal of social change. It is a concept, however, that even its supporters say is largely untested.

The game seeks to engage new audiences not reached by the 2009 book, written by the married team of Nicholas D. Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times, and Sheryl WuDunn, a former Times journalist.

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.

1 Comment

Stuck By Cupid’s Arrow

Love at first sight may be attributed to Cupid love. The name Cupid itself was derived from the Latin word “Cupido,” meaning love, passion, desires, yearnings, wanting or longing. Cupid is the most famous of Valentine symbols and everybody knows that boy armed with bow and arrows, and piercing hearts . He is known as a mischievous, winged child armed with bow and arrows. The arrows signify desires and emotions of love, and Cupid aims those arrows at Gods and Humans, causing them to fall deeply in love. Cupid has always played a role in the celebrations of love and lovers. In ancient Greece he was known as Eros, the young son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. To the Roman’s he was Cupid, and his mother was Venus.

Sounds like a Mythological tale?

Well, Cupid just happens to be a part of one of the great love stories from Classical Mythology. Cupid, the Roman God of love was the son of Venus the Roman Goddess of love and Mercury, the Roman messenger God. He is believed to carry two types of bows in his quiver. The ones made of gold represent true love whereas the ones with lead tips stood for wanton lust. This makes him the God of both romantic as well as erotic love. Cupid is generally believed to have ignited romance in unsuspecting hearts. But the result of his actions didn’t bring pleasure at all instances. He is also known to have struck love between odd couples and then enjoyed watching them work out the situation. However, Cupid himself gets trapped in the game of mismatches which is evident with his love story, and just who is this great lover that he pricked with his love arrow?

There was a beautiful princess named Psyche means “butterfly” and also means “soul”. In many ways, what Psyche goes through is symbolic of the path of each woman’s soul in life. Psyche was so adored by the people that they began to forget about Venus. Venus grew so jealous of this that she sent her son Cupid on a mission to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest man alive. But upon seeing Psyche, Cupid was so overcome by her beauty that he dropped his arrow on his foot and fell passionately in love with her. He visited Psyche every night and the couple became lovers. There was one condition, however, that Psyche was not allowed to see Cupid. She was forbidden to look upon him. One night, Psyche’s curiosity overpowered her so she took a peek at Cupid as he slept. But he soon awoke to catch Psyche looking at him and he left her because he feared his mother’s wrath should she discover their affair. Psyche spent years searching the world for Cupid with a broken heart until finally Jupiter granted her immortality so that she could remain with Cupid forever. The couple eventually had a daughter, Voluptas (Pleasure) and Nyx (Night) and they lived happily in their castle. Despite the antiquity of Cupid – God of love and beauty, he is still known by human beings as one that ignites love and passion in mortals. He has become synonymous with Valentine’s day and is commonly represented as shooting arrows at hearts of individuals.

Ironically, the origin of Valentine’s Day comes from the life and death of a Christian martyr, Saint Valentine a Roman who was killed for his faith on February 14, 269 A.D. He had refused to worship pagan gods, and some stories say he was a priest who would marry young lovers in secret because they did not have parental permission. Prior to his death, Valentine continued to minister in prison by witnessing to his prison guards. One of the guards was a good man who had adopted a blind girl. He asked Valentine if his God could help his daughter. Valentine prayed and the girl was given her sight. The guard and his whole family, 46 people, believed in Jesus and were baptized. When the Emperor heard about this he was furious that Valentine was still making converts even in prison, so he sentenced Valentine to death.

Also, Valentine is associated with love because he fell in love with the daughter of his jailer, and would pass notes to her. The tradition of sending love notes grows out of a letter written by St. Valentine to his jailer’s daughter on the eve of his execution. The young Christian wrote a note to the jailer’s daughter, signing it, “From your Valentine.” The first valentine was really a Christian witness. On the contrary, instead of us remembering the content of the original Valentine’s card which was a message of unconditional devotion to Christ, we participate in a custom of sending cards to people we love. In Italy, St Valentine’s Day became the traditional day to be engaged. Young Romans would spend Valentine’s day gathered together in gardens to listen to romantic poetry and music. Also, around the world, Valentine’s day is celebrated, I’m sure you’ll notice all of the hearts, the flowers, the chocolates, the plush toys, the greeting cards, the special lingerie, and the romantic getaway packages being advertised and offered in the stores.

Statistics shows that people find true love when they least expect it. Have you ever experienced a warm passion? Feelings of contentment that is unexplainable? unconditional love? not lust or imaginary desires, I’m talking about agape love. If so, there is a 100% chance that you’ve being stuck by Cupid’s arrow, the ones made of gold, which represent true love. Some may call it, finding their soul mates. Whatever it may be, It’s an experience that one out of a million people may encounter, once in their life time . Facts or fiction? You decide.

© 2011  AfriQtalk Entertainment. All rights reserved.

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.

 

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

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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.

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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.

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.

Janelia’s McNair Sanya – “Love Song in Yoruba”

Janelia McNair Sanya is the daughter of an American father and Nigerian mother, a Nigerian singer who was born in Houston and raised in Nigeria. Janelia brings a unique vibe to her mix of Adult Contemporary music. Her musical influences include; Sade, Bob Marley, Fela Kuti & Barbra Streisand. Janelia  have performed at numerous clubs, colleges, concert series, theatres and festivals including Artscape, Marylands’s biggest arts & music festival. She’s  performed opening act for artist such as Kindred Family Soul, Raheem DeVaughn, and many more.

Janelia sometimes address socio-economic problems through her music.  She’s played at Africa Malaria Day concert in Washington, DC to help raise funds for malaria treatment and prevention in Africa. Janelia’s “Love Song in Yoruba have been well received by fans across the globe, her video is set to air on BET International, and other African network stations such as AIT, Sound City, LTV, MITV, TV Continental, Music Africa and other Nigerian stations.  Janelia performed  at the F.A.C.E List Awards in New York on March 26th, 2011 where Africans committed to excellence were honored. Her music is for the grown & sexy. You go girl!

Food For Thought

By Switz Chef (Olufemi Sweet)

Click to find out  AfriQtalk’s Pick of the day @ Palmview Manor Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Nigeria


To have a free recipe for my pick of the day, email me at afriqtalk@yahoo.com.

Diversity Visa Lottery For 2013 is Here Again!

If you’re planning on migrating to the U.S, here is an opportunity to visit:  www.dvlottery.state.gov.  Every year, the U.S. Government makes available 50,000 permanent resident visas to citizens of countries that have a low rate of immigration to the United States, known as the Green Card Lottery. The Diversity Visa Lottery is mandated by the U.S. Congress and administered by the Department of State.  The purpose of the Visa Lottery is to diversify our immigrant population in the U.S. Therefore, the Visa Lottery is open to countries whose natives number is less than 50,000 immigrants during the previous five years.

Also the number of eligible countries change from year to year. According to Deputy Assistant Secretary for services David Donahue, there are a few changes to the program this year, South Sudan and Poland will participate in the 2013 program,  while Bangladesh no longer qualifies and will therefore not participate this year because of high rates of immigration to the U.S.

The online registration period for the 2013 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2013) began on Tuesday, October 4, at noon, eastern daylight time and will conclude on Saturday, November 5, at noon, according to the department’s website. There is no charge to complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form, as usual fraudulent websites are posing as official U.S. government sites.

Some companies, even Law firms are posing as the U.S. government and asking for money  to complete DV entry forms. Any e-mail requesting an applicant pay a fee up front is fraudulent. The entire process will be done electronically, from registration to the interview scheduling process.  It is very important that you keep and save your confirmation, or registration number.  If you are selected, the website will also be where you  should go to find information on the date, location, and time of your visa interview.

You will need to complete the immigrant visa application, submit required documents and forms, pay required fees, complete a medical examination, and be interviewed by a consular officer at the U.S. embassy or consulate to demonstrate you qualify for a diversity visa. While those who file for adjustment of status in the United States will receive separate instructions on how to mail DV fees to a U.S. bank.  Any omissions on the application, particularly names of dependents, may result in disqualification of the applicant.

The Kentucky Consular Center will provide application information either by mail (for DV-2011 selectees) or online through the Entrant Status Check on the E-DV website www.dvlottery.state.gov (for DV-2012 selectees). After you receive instructions, you will need to demonstrate you are eligible to receive a visa by qualifying based on education, work, and other requirements. The law and regulations require that every DV entrant must have at least:

A high school education or its equivalent; or

Two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years’ training or experience.

It is important to understand that as soon as you confirm that you have been successful in the process, you should pursue the immigrant visa immediately because it must be completed by the deadline of September 30, 2013. If the deadline is missed, so will the opportunity to immigrate. Also be aware that typically more than 55,000 winners are selected, but only 50,000 visas may be issued, so there is a rush to complete the process. It is a first come, first served basis.

Good luck to all DV applicants.

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October is the perfect and pinkest time to bring awareness about Breast Cancer

News Release:

For more than 25 years, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been a time to reaffirm our commitment to fighting breast cancer and to remind ourselves of the importance of prevention and early detection. Breast cancer remains one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers among American women and despite remarkable advances in treatment and prevention, it remains the second leading cause of cancer death. This year alone, it is estimated that more than 230,000 U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and nearly 40,000 will die of the disease.

Regular mammography screening can help lower breast cancer mortality by finding breast cancer early, when the chance of successful treatment is best. If 90 percent of women 40 and older received breast cancer screening, 3,700 lives would be saved each year. Costs, even moderate co-pays, deter many patients from receiving these important screenings. Under the Affordable Care Act, women’s preventive health care – such as mammograms and screenings for cervical cancer – is covered with no co-pays or other out-of-pocket costs.

In addition to regular mammography screening, there are steps that women can take that may help reduce their risk of developing breast cancer. Women should talk with their doctor about their personal risk for breast cancer, when to start having mammograms, and how often to have them. Women should also try to maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and reduce their intake of alcohol. If a woman is found to be at increased risk of breast cancer because of her medical history or a known high-risk gene mutation, she should talk with her doctor to decide what her best options are to reduce breast cancer risk might be. With the release of new Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines, a well-woman visit is available to women to have an opportunity to discuss her health care needs with her medical provider—at no additional cost to her.

The Affordable Care Act is also helping women who are going or have gone through costly breast cancer treatment. Beginning in 2014, it will be illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against anyone with a pre-existing condition. In the past, insurance companies could deny coverage to women due to pre-existing conditions such as breast cancer, and if coverage was attained, insurance companies set lifetime and annual limits on what the companies would spend for benefits. We have done away with lifetime limits, offering women the peace of mind that their health insurance will be available when women need it most. We are also phasing out the use of annual dollar limits over the next three years until 2014 when the Affordable Care Act bans them for most plans.

These changes are making real differences in the lives of American women and families. Prevention, coupled with continued research, will help save more lives and improve the quality of life for all of us touched by breast cancer.

~ U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Health & News – President Proposes $320 Billion in Health Care Cuts

 September 29th, 2011

As part of a plan to reduce the federal budget by more than $3 trillion over 10 years, President Obama has proposed $320 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Most of the savings ($248 billion) would come by slowing the projected growth of Medicare in the coming decade, according to the White House. The remaining $72 billion would be shaved from Medicaid and other health programs.

Details of the plan include:

  • Pharmaceutical companies would be required to lower their rates to some beneficiaries. The change would allow the federal government to receive the same brand name and generic rebates for low-income Medicare patients as are provided to Medicaid beneficiaries. This proposal accounts for the single biggest savings for Medicare, an estimated $135 billion over 10 years starting in 2013.
  • New beneficiaries would be required to pay higher deductibles. The current, inflation-adjusted deductible ($162/year) would increase by $25 in 2017, 2019, and 2021.
  • Medicare premiums would increase by approximately 30 percent for new beneficiaries who buy private insurance to help fill gaps in Medicare. The protection afforded by Medigap policies “gives individuals less incentive to consider the costs of health care and thus raises Medicare costs,” according to the White House.
  • Starting in 2017, some new beneficiaries would be required to make co-payments for home health care, which is now exempt from such charges. The co-payment would be $100 per episode (defined as a series of five or more home health visits not preceded by a stay in a hospital or a skilled nursing home).
  • Higher-income Medicare beneficiaries would pay higher premiums for Medicare Part B and Medicare prescription drug plans.
  • Medicare payments to nursing homes, home health agencies, and rehabilitation hospitals would be reduced. Medicare payments to nursing homes with large numbers of hospitalized patients (because the patients did not receive appropriate care in the nursing home) would be reduced even further.
  • Doctors would have to seek approval from Medicare for the most expensive imaging services.
  • A revised formula for calculating Medicaid payments to states would save a projected $15 billion over 10 years (but would shift those costs to the states).
  • Over the next decade, $3.5 billion would be cut from a prevention and public health fund created by the 2010 health care law.
  • Medicare would cut payments to hospitals and other providers for bad debts that result when beneficiaries fail to pay deductibles and co-payments.

The President’s proposed savings would represent less than 3 percent of what the government expects to spend on Medicare and Medicaid in the next 10 years, but nevertheless generated protest from many quarters. The drug companies, through the industry group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), lashed out against what it called “price controls” for the Medicare prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D).

Senior groups also denounced the plan. “AARP reiterates its strong opposition to any proposals that would raise costs or cut the hard-earned Medicare benefits that millions of seniors depend upon every day for their health and retirement security,” said Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president of AARP.

“The cuts to the Medicaid program in the president’s proposal … shifts the burden to states and ultimately onto the shoulders of seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income families who depend on the program as their lifeline,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of the consumer advocacy group Families USA.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) also criticized the Obama proposal, saying that reduced Medicaid and Medicare provider rates would lead to 200,000 job cuts by 2012 for hospitals and businesses they support. Rich Umbdenstock, AHA president and CEO, called the president’s plan, “The wrong prescription to create a healthier America and sustain job growth in a sector of the economy that is actually adding jobs.”

Medicare and Medicaid insure more than 100 million people, and account for nearly a quarter of federal spending.

Behind The Scene “Rebirth of AFROBEAT MUSIC”

Check out this video on Youtube of Kola a.k.a Gbedumaster during rehearsals, performing the original Afrobeat sounds of his native country, Nigeria with some of his extraordinary energetic dancers and Orchestral band, brought to you exclusively by AfriQtalk. Enjoy.

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U.S.- Nigeria Bilateral Relations! What does it mean?

On April 6, 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Nigerian Secretary to the Government of the Federation Yayale Ahmed signed the U.S.-Nigeria Bi-national Commission in Washington, D.C.  That Agreement created four thematic working groups intended to meet periodically to enhance bilateral cooperation on four key areas:

(1) Good Governance, Transparency, and Integrity

(2) Energy and Investment

(3) Niger Delta and Regional Security, and

(4) Agriculture and Food Security

According to U.S. department of State, an estimated one million Nigerians and Nigerian Americans live, study, and work in the United States, still the democratic and economic progress in Nigeria is challenged by poor governance, entrenched corruption, internal conflict, ineffective service delivery, and pervasive poverty. While there has been notable progress in macroeconomic policy reform over the past few years, these reforms have yet to bring measurable improvements to the lives of the people.

U.S. – Nigeria Bilateral Relations! What does it mean? The  U.S department of State selected ten newly elected Federal House of Representatives to take part in a three-week International Visitor leader Exchange Program entitled “Democracy and Good Governance” from September 6-23, 2011. The member of the Nigerian National Assembly explored the U.S. political process, learned about Good governance,Transparency, integrity and accountability in government and business.

To promote bilateral relations, the U.S is addressing these challenges by engaging civil society and government partners to battle corruption; increase professionalism of the military and law enforcement agencies; strengthen health and education systems to deliver quality services; growing the non-oil economy; and improving the environment for regional and international trade.

A MUST READ! EGOS AND EGOMANIACS – Film Making and Film makers in the Diaspora.

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Left to Right; Kingsley Ituwe, CEO, DJK Ent. Consult, Princess Asha Okojie-Osazuwa, CEO, AfriQtalk, Amb./Consul-General of Nigeria, Geoffrey I. Teneilabe, Willie Stewart, former Third World Reggae Group/Chairman of Embrace Music Foundation, and Dr Toks. Onabanjo, Chairman, Pan African Chambers of Commerce holding FACE Press Conference at the Nigerian Consulate-General in Atlanta, USA, April 20, 2014.

REPOSTED 05/16/2014

- By Austeen Eboka

EGOS AND EGOMANIACS – Film Making and Film Makers in the Diaspora.

First, reference the recently concluded FACE Awards ceremony in Atlanta, I greatly applaud the organizers for their selfless, generous and noble efforts at putting together such a prestigious and glamorous event. It was highly impressive, and humbling to be in the same room with such high-powered personalities. Thank you Princess Asha Okojie of AfriQ’talk Culture Beyond Borders and the FACE team. I pray more blessings and God’s continued favor on you all.

For some time leading to the FACE awards event, it had come to my hearing that some individuals attempted to sabotage the ceremony by instigating some negative responses and acceptance of the prestigious affair which, by the way, was not only well attended but, graced by Ministers from the continent, a US Senator, the Nigerian Consular General himself, Arik Air Vice President, some notable US TV Network personalities, entrepreneurs and several highly placed dignitaries both here and abroad.

Not to mention a written congratulatory message from Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed to both the organizers and award recipients. These incorrigible elements, I understand, had the boldness to go as far as to challenge the authenticity and validity of the awards, the organizers as well as the recipients. What height of impertinence.

Secondly, some of us are privy to the unfortunate egocentricity currently pervading our beloved Nollywood industry where some do not understand the concept of team work, professional etiquette and collaborative ventures. There seems to be constant squabbling for dominance in terms of the quantity of movies they churn out yearly. To these individuals, quality and professionalism are foreign. Meanwhile, the ‘real filmmakers’ continue to struggle to accomplish their objectives and get the required resources to achieve their goals of producing quality work. But, change will definitely come when the wheat will be separated from the chaff.

Having said this, I do not comprehend the reason to have Nollywood validate Diaspora filmmaking. Basically, the coinage of the term “NOLLYWOOD USA” denotes just that. Common sense tells us that Nollywood relates to Nigerian Film Industry; just as Bollywood is to India. But then, here in the USA, where we have a mesh of artistes from across the continent coming together for the purpose of creating art, we still call this congregation Nollywood?

Is this deficiency due to a lack of intellectual capability or competence to actually device a more appropriate title for Diaspora film making? Try DIASWOOD, if you are so inclined to having the ‘wood’ attached. And, by the way, there is a DIASWOOD NETWORK in existence, ably put together by one of our very own here in the USA, ATL to be precise; a very well rounded professional in the industry, known across the world, whom I have been blessed to have worked with and continue to work and associate with. But, being who we are, because we did not initiate it, we cannot be a part of it. So, we’d rather become conniving, slippery and antagonistic towards such efforts. We’d rather tie our loins to someone else’s who has no bearing whatsoever on your existence or what you do here.

Furthermore, in relation to the Arts, there are over 2,000 film festivals organized yearly just here in the US. We never see or hear one party running the others down, asking such stupid questions as, “Who gave you the right”, “What qualifications do you have” to set up shop? If anything, there is support across the board. Also, there have been a few African awards shows done here in America that some of us do not even relate to. But no one has openly challenged or questioned the validity of such organizers, some of whom know nothing about the Arts. Of course, I do commend such efforts.

May be someday, we would have the good sense to merge all these different cells together to form ONE reputable, world class African Awards Body. Frankly, I am at a loss as to where to place my judgment on such. Whenever I hear that term – Nollywood USA – it takes all the fibers of my being to keep me from screaming out loud. Try ‘Hollywood Africa’ or ‘Bollywood Asia’ for good measure. I never heard of such intellectual mediocrity in conceptualizing a term or title.

It usually is not in my character to openly express my disgust at the some human follies, as no one is perfect. However, when some elements tend to continually indulge in heedless and irrational exhibition of their absurdities, it becomes imperative for me, and incumbent upon me to call some of this recklessness to order. And, at the end of the day, I DARE anyone of these individuals to tackle or challenge me with regard to my stand on this matter.

Some even had the temerity to confront one of the award recipients, and another member of the organizing body to accuse them of having rigged the whole thing. SERIOUSLY? What impudence! Half education is dangerous; no education at all, especially in the field of one’s endeavor is catastrophic. If you want to debate me on this issue or, any other relating to the Arts, please, let me know the date and time and I shall be there. I only need a 5-minute notice.

To the organizers, and my fellow recipients, do not let your spirits be dampened. In the same token, do not also let such awards get to your heads as humility is the key to achieving greater heights. Just be thankful to God that your efforts, no matter how little have been recognized and appreciated by others. Being nominated is not only gratifying but, a motivation to go out and do bigger things, because the world is watching. Even the Good Book says to rejoice with whomever is rejoicing and be happy for others so that, in like manner, you also may have others rejoice with, and be happy for you.

Film making is not the sole prerogative of any one entity, person or group. Organizing award shows likewise, should not be anyone’s birthright. That some nonentities have decided, out of their indecisive decision to claim “ownership” of not just the African film making industry here in the USA but, to also arrogate to themselves all power and office to decide who or who does not have the right to initiate such ventures is most unbecoming.

To realize that, as much as we are trying to build an industry of and for artistes in the Diaspora, some of us are filled with a mixture of animosity, avarice, self-aggrandizement and a bit of momentary goodness, if any at all, is not a pleasant discovery. It is on record that, one of the very first African movies, if not the first shot here in the US, I was a part of. This was in New York in 2004. The producers of this movie have not claimed proprietorship of Diaspora film making. Who then is it that has placed him/herself as the governor of African film making in the Diaspora?

Ordinarily, I would not have bothered myself with such trivialities as they do not merit any response from me. But, I feel pained that, here we are, Africans, instead of coming together to form a team, pulling our resources to encourage, stimulate and promote African Art, and Films, and those who have the courage to engage in same, as is typical, we embark on destroying, castigating, back-biting and undermining each other.

I ask, who the heck gives YOU the RIGHT or the PLUCK to challenge, dispute, question or contest other people’s well-meaning gestures? What gives anyone the impetus or audacity to claim ownership of any of these ventures? Winning an award, as far as I am concerned, is only a testament to the fact that your peers recognize and appreciate your contribution. It does not mean you are the best as there are so many out there doing great and greater things yet unknown. It is humbling and inspiring as well. However, what does it cost for us to be happy for, and rejoice with one another? Is it in the African DNA to be naturally antagonistic and unprogressive?

As a pioneering member of the Nollywood industry, with over 30 yrs in the field, both stage and screen, I can confidently, and in all modesty say that, none of those referred to here can claim to have been in this field as long as I have or paid as much dues as I have. Not to mention the fact that some of them do not know a thing about the arts. But I do not go around degrading their efforts or questioning them about their works. And there are so many out there like me or even much more experienced in this field whom we are yet to come across.

They are not running around provoking their peers or contesting some of the award shows being put together by others. Be mindful, though, it is not the length of time one has expended on an enterprise that matters but, our objective, dedication, zeal and passion. Some of my fellow award recipients, I know for a fact, have likewise put in a great effort at their craft. And they keep working at it. There are still many more out there, unknown to us who are achieving a remarkable lot.

So, do we undermine them because they do not belong to our clique or yours? How do we grow if we cannot support and motivate each other? But you feel others must come seek permission from you in order to shoot a film, organize an awards ceremony? So, I ask again, WHO THE HECK ARE YOU? What credentials or qualifications do you possess that make you the sole proprietor/proprietress of this supposedly honorable and wholesome institution? For the purpose of decorum, I have decided to refrain myself from calling out the individuals involved as none of them has had the courage to confront me.

However, it is said that, “When dry bones are mentioned in a proverb, the old woman feels uneasy.” It would be wise for these ludicrous elements to nip this idiocy in the bud before it festers uncontrollably. Nonetheless, our people also say that, “The head of an old man is not good for knocks; but may they not give us reason to reverse that saying.” If anyone feels the need to take me up on this, please be my guest. I live there. To succeed, one needs to follow the footsteps of those who have succeeded. I do not know that Hollywood engages in such squabbles, bickering and egocentric ranting. Here we are, in our infancy, power-struggling. Yet, we know NOTHING.

Please, let us all sit on our EGO. Your attitude determines your altitude…

Mayor of the Month- Richard Arnold of Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany

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By Tann vom Hove

After representing Baden-Württemberg, Germany’s second most prosperous state, at the European Union (EU) in Brussels for nine years, Richard Arnold could have moved to any number of senior government positions in either Berlin or Stuttgart. Instead he decided to return to his hometown of Schwäbisch Gmünd to run for mayor. In an interview with City Mayors, Mayor Arnold explained that at local level a politician is not only closest to ordinary people but can also influence and implement cutting-edge changes. “I cannot imagine anything more rewarding than to be able to be part of and help shaping these changes in my hometown,” he said.

Richard Arnold was born in 1959 in Schwäbisch Gmünd, a city of some 60,000 people, 50km east of Stuttgart and, following his education at a local high school, studied public administration at the universities of Konstanz and Frankfurt. After a scholarship year at one of America’s elite universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology“ (MIT) in 1988, Arnold worked for two years at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels as expert on EU agricultural and environmental policies. Before returning to Brussels in 2000, he occupied several senior posts with the state government of Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart. From 2000 until 2009, Arnold headed the representative office of Baden-Württemberg at the EU. In 2007, during the German presidency of the Council of the European Union, Arnold was voted one of the best-known and most influential Germans in Brussels. In May 2009, Arnold defeated Schwäbisch Gmünd’s incumbent Social-Democrat mayor in the first round of the election.

Mayor Arnold is a member of Germany’s centre-right Christian Democrat Union (CDU) and one who cherishes his Christian, liberal-humanistic values. He considers people and their concerns central to all major decisions. “Whatever we aim for, we have to achieve it for the people and not regard them as a means to an end.” He believes in a modern conservatism that recognises that more and more people no longer want to be dominated by a cold, soulless, purely profit-orientated technocracy.

During his years outside Germany, Arnold embraced globalisation – he now speaks German, English, French, Dutch and Spanish – but also learnt that in an increasingly mobile, outward-orientated society, the role of the local community was more important than ever. Even while working in Brussels, he never cut the ties that bound him to his hometown. As an accomplished tenor, Arnold was particularly keen to remain part Schwäbisch Gmünd’s cultural scene.

Recently the mayor has attracted national and international attention for his advocacy for greater rights for refugees. At Schwäbisch Gmünd he regards himself as mayor of all people including asylum seekers and believes they should be allowed to participate more actively in society. “Forced idleness can lead to apathy and even crime.”

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