Monthly Archives: June 2012

Press Release: Miss Nigeria Florida Cultural Pageant 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PATIENCE FAKA JONATHAN – A WOMAN OF VALOR

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Silvy De Bie Bridging the Cultural Gap

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

419 – Seeking Your Consent

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

What is 419?

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