Tag Archives: Africa

Undefeated Nigerian Superstar – Gifted Cole

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Gifted Cole Chiori, is an undefeated professional boxer based in the United States- originally from Nigeria. Gifted is a welterweight fighter, with a current record of 11-0. He has fought professionally In Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and the United States.

His last bout, was internationally televised by Super Sports from Accra, Ghana, and was attended by President John Mahama, and over 25,000 spectators. The fight was stopped in the 6th round, as his opponent could not continue.

Gifted won the official Intercontinental WBF Title by way of knockout on November 9, 2013, against German opponent Tom Reiche. The self- promoted event in Atlanta, was graced by thousands of his Nigerian supporters and dignitaries from all over the United States. He has earned the respect and admiration of fans all around the world, and continues to entertain them with his unique style of fighting. Chiori was also honored by the Minister of Works Honorable Arc Mike Onolememen at the prestigious ‘Face Award USA’ for Sports Athlete of the Year in Atlanta, GA, and has many U.S. based Nigerian fans who greatly support his efforts.

Gifted is currently training to fight his next opponent this July in Australia and plans to promote several more fights before the end of the year in the United States, and possibly in Nigeria. He sees the potential for the growth of boxing as a major source of entertainment, and has his eyes set on bringing boxing back to Nigeria in a big way. His campaign to ‘Bring Vegas to Nigeria’, will require stakeholders that share in his vision to make Nigeria a desirable location to breed and promote elite professional boxing.

Gifted is proud to continuously provide guidance for less fortunate youth through his charity work in Nigeria. He has single- handedly funded and promoted boxing clinics and tournaments for at risk youth, and does his part to provide them with the necessary equipment and facilities to sharpen their skills in boxing. Many of the participants are being groomed by Chiori’s team for a career in boxing, with hopes of bringing them to train and fight in America in the form of an exchange program. Chiori is looking forward to partner with anyone who shares in his vision, and welcomes all support.

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For more info about Cole contact us at afriqtalk57@yahoo.com or visit our contact page.

Called To Serve – Ayo Abimbola For House of Representative

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Called to serve his country, Henry Ayo Abimbola is running to be the next house of representative in Ogun State, Nigeria. Election will be held on Sat, March 28, 2015. Henry Ayo Abimbola is a native of Ijebu Remo origin who was born at the Lagos Island Maternity Hospital, Lagos Island, Lagos State, Nigeria on April 20, 1964 to High Chief Festus Olatilewa Abimbola and Princess Agnes Okalo Momodu. His early childhood was mostly spent between Lagos and Edo States. He attended his primary school education at Government School Irrua, Edo State as well as Government Demonstration School, Gbaja, Surulere, Lagos.

He received his ordinary levels secondary education at the Annunciation Catholic College, Irrua and completed his advanced levels secondary education at Parkadale Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He joined the United States Navy’s elite Hospital Corpsman career field where he received medical and hospital management training before he attended the United States Marine Corps’ Field Medical Service School (FMSS) in order to serve with U.S. Marines of the Fleet Marine Force (FMF). He later attended the Joint-service Defence Medical Readiness Training Institute (DMRTI) for specialized Instructor training on Combat Casualty Care Course (C4), and served as a Joint-service C-4 Instructor, from where he later retired from active duty status into veteran status. He has trained and variously worked in the sociological, medical management, and public health fields.

He attended Georgia Perimeter College and Texas Southern University to study Health Information Management. A graduate of Saint Leo University in the USA, and a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, his leadership, management and analysis expertise in government and healthcare sector spans two decades; including prior service with the former National Provident Fund Management Board in Nigeria in the mid to late 80s. An avid social commentator, freelance columnist, writer, and civil society leader, he has authored numerous pro-democracy features published Online. He is on the Board of three US-based civic organizations, and he is founder and president of a US-based national non-profit Veteran Service Organization, which operates shelters for homeless U.S. military veterans.

He is also the founder of International Reform Order of Nigeria (IRON), a Texas-based political think tank. He currently serves as executive director of Citizens for Nigeria (CFN), a civil society organization which operates and runs Againstbabangida.com web site. Ayo currently manages War Casualties Tracking (WCT) programs for the United States Marine Corps’ Wounded, Ill and Injured Tracking Systems as a Recovery Care Coordinator by way of Armed Forces Services Corporation (AFSC) in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. Ayo’s administrative, organizational and analytic skills will bear positively at the Nigerian National Assembly, on his people in Ogun State, and on Nigerian nation as a whole. Ayo is happily married to Mariam Bukola Abimbola (nee Lekuti), and they are blessed with children.

 

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:

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

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/

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.