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.

African History 101

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The Nok culture appeared in Nigeria around 1000 B.C. and mysteriously vanished around 500 AD in the region of West Africa. This region lies in Central Nigeria. The culture’s social system is thought to have been highly advanced. The Nok culture was considered to be the earliest sub-Saharan producer of life-sized Terracotta. It is suggested that the society eventually evolved into the later Yoruba Kingdom of Ife.

The refinement of this culture is attested to by the image of a Nok dignitary at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The dignitary is portrayed wearing a “shepherds crook” affixed with an elastic material to the right arm. The dignitary is also portrayed sitting with flared nostrils, and an open mouth suggesting performance. According to some accounts, based on artistic similarities to both early Yoruba art forms and Nok forms, there may be connections between them and the contemporary Yoruba people. Later brass and terracotta sculptures of the Ife and Benin cultures show significant similarities with those found at Nok.

Iron use, in smelting and forging for tools, appears in Nok culture in Africa at least by 550 BC and more probably in the middle of the second millennium BC (between 1400 BC and 1600 BC depending on references).

INTRODUCING NIGERIANS IN THE DIASPORA- Dr. Robert Okojie ” The Man Behind NASA Success Stories”

At first glance, he looks like your average Joe. Dr Robert Okojie is ” The Man Behind NASA Success Stories” has numerous engineering contributions to high temperature aerospace technologies, in particular, electronic devices based on silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors.  These techniques are now being licensed for use by a leading manufacturer of microsensors.

He has extended his silicon carbide expertise to batch fabrication of silicon carbide laminates for advanced fuel injectors that satisfy international civil aviation standards. His advance enables the use of this high performance semiconductor in the active control of engine combustion. He has even developed the first accelerated stress test protocol published in the IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium, the venue by which reliability testing is accepted by world industry.

Dr. Robert S. Okojie working with silicon wafer in NASA GRC clean room.

Dr. Robert S. Okojie working with silicon wafer in NASA GRC clean room.

These are the latest in an impressive list of Dr. Okojie’s achievements. Among his past successes, he demonstrated the world’s first thermally stable ohmic contact metallization on silicon carbide at record breaking temperatures for extended periods of time. In turn, this paved the way for high temperature sensors and electronics at these temperatures that can substantially improve safety and efficiency, as well as directly impacting the air quality around airports.

His many patented device contributions extend to numerous MEMS structures that can reduce air and noise pollution, provide new deep well drilling tools, and supply sensors for the temperature and chemical extremes of aerospace environments. Okojie’s work is a combined effort of the Aviation Safety and Fundamental Aeronautics programs under NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.

A descendant of royalty from Nigeria, Okojie came to the United States in 1986 to attend college. After a brief stint at Essex County College, Newark, N.J., he attended the New Jersey Institute of Technology, also in Newark, where he obtained his bachelor’s and master’s in Electrical Engineering in 1991 and 1993, respectively.

He, continued, and later earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1996. His grandfather, King Ogbidi Okojie of Uromi, Nigeria, was an ardent supporter of higher education.  While Okojie has achieved a type of technical celebrity status with his colleagues, after work he is just a regular dad who spends time with his family.

For more information on Glenn’s silicon carbide electronics work, visit http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/SiC

Sources ~ NASA AEROSPACE FRONTIERS

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.

 

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

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.

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/

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.

 

 

 

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.

Female Genital Mutilation – What You May Not Know

female2

What if I Refuse?

female3

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

female4

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.

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

 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Legacy

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

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

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

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

Harlem’s Nnamdi Okonkwo Nigerian Sculpturist

 

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

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

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

The following words from the sculptor:

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

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

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

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

http://shellielewis.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/nnamdi-okonkwo-1.jpg

http://shellielewis.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/nnamdi-okonkwo-2.jpg

 

Catching Up With Former Third World Percussionist – Willie Stewart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Legacy

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

Sport

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

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

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

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.

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

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Who is Waconzy? Take a listen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © Geobek . All rights reserved.

Press Release: Miss Nigeria Florida Cultural Pageant 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PATIENCE FAKA JONATHAN – A WOMAN OF VALOR

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

419 – Seeking Your Consent

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

What is 419?

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

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

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

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

AfriQtalk, Ras Kimono, Iktune Ny and Others wins award at the 2012 NPA USA Annual Summit

The 2nd edition of the Nigerian Promoters Association USA Entertainment Awards 2012 was held in AYVA  Center, Houston, Texas, May 25-27. The event was  filled with distinguished Nigerian celebrities, artists, models and ex-crowned beauties with a night of comedy and entertainment. The after party was hosted by Princess Belemzy at Face 2 Lounge, while the pre-award party was held at Zanzibar Lounge, Saturday May 26, 2012. Some of the award winners in attendance were  legendary Ras Kimono, Princess Asha okojie, Chisom Orgi, Emma Agu, Kenny Kay, Bolaji Dawodu, Eva Banks and Princess Belemzy.  (See full list below).

NPA Annual summit is an annual meeting of Entertainment Administrators who are members and non-members of NPA, such as; promoters, music producers, event planners, record label companies, Artiste managers, Deejays, Entertainment media personalities, film producers, fashion designers, Arts, sports e.t.c., coming together to share ideas and deliberate thoroughly on how to better improve the standard of Pan African Entertainment industry particularly in the North America.

NPA ENTERTAINMENT AWARD WINNERS

    CATEGORIES                                                                   WINNERS

1.         BEST MEDIA PERSONALITY                                Princess Asha Okojie

2.         BEST COLLABORATION                                        Kenny Kay

3.         BEST NEW ACT OF THE YEAR                            A Cue

4.         BEST GOSPEL MUSICIAN                                       Chisom Orji

5.         INDIGENOUS ARTIST OF THE YEAR     Yinka “Mr. Somebody” Quadri

6.         BEST R&B ARTIST OF THE YEAR                       Koleurz

7.         BEST DEEJAY OF THE YEAR (U.S.A)                Dj Donn

8.         BEST COMEDIAN OF THE YEAR                         Seyi Brown

9.         BEST FEMALE MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR    Titi Lo’kei

10.      BEST NEXT RATED ARTIST                                   Popasay

11.       BEST MALE MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR         Dking Rokan

12.       BEST POP ARTIST OF THE YEAR                         Gloria Maduka

13.       BEST AFRO HIPHOP ARTIST                                Maxpain

14.       BEST MALE ACT OF THE YEAR                          Oshine

15.       BEST RAP ARTIST OF THE YEAR                        Doggext

16.       BEST GOSPEL INSTRUMENTALIST                   Kelvin Najite

17.       BEST PROMOTER OF THE YEAR                         Adewole Lipede

18.       BEST ENT. PHOTOGRAPHER                              Trendy Africa

19.       ENT. PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR                   Emma Agu

20.       BEST MOVIE PRODUCER OF THE YEAR          Evalonia Banks

21.       BEST ACTOR OF THE YEAR                                  Pascal Atuma

22.       BEST ACTRESS OF THE YEAR                             Chisom OZ’ lee

23.       BEST MOVIE DIRECTOR                                        Oliver Mbamara

24.       BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR                                  Jj Bunny-This is  Houston

25.       BEST ENT. BLOG SITE OF THE YEAR                Coscanino-Underdarock

26.       BEST ENT. WEBSITE OF THE YEAR                   Emma Agu-Iktune

27.       BEST MUSIC SINGLE                                               SLV

28.       BEST FEMALE MODEL OF THE YEAR                Eeefy Ike

29.       BEST REGGAE/DANCEHALL ACT                       Cola Man

30.       BEST INDIGENOUS INSTRUMENTALIST          Bunmi Omega

31.       BEST FEMALE ACT OF THE YEAR                       Naira

32.       BEST PARTY PROMOTER OF THE YEAR            Princess Belemzy

33.       BEST FASHION DESIGNER                                    Kachi Designs

34.       BEST INTERNATIONAL MUSIC ACT                   Naeto C

35.  BEST INT’L NOLLYWOOD ACT                                  Funke Akindele

36.  BEST PROMOTION COMPANY OF THE YEAR       Emaginethat Entertainment

NPA HONORS HOUSTON 2012

1.  ACHIEVEMENT AWARD                         LANRE ARABA

2.  ACHIEVEMENT AWARD                         BOLAJI DAWODU

3.  ACHIEVEMENT AWARD                         RAS KIMONO

4.  ACHIEVEMENT AWARD                         BOLAJI AMUSAN

5.  HUMANITARIAN AWARD                      MARION AMANAMBU

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LINEO AND THE AFRO HIP HOUSE FUSION

 

Lineo may be pretty young, but he has come a long way and anybody neck-deep into Nigerian Hip-Hop scene would definitely not find this name strange.

Adekoya Adegboyega Fondly called Elepepe Master  for his somewhat successful single ‘After-party Obombo’and ‘Funky High’ which still make their fair share of rounds in Lagos’ Night clubs from Liquid Lounge in Ikeja all the way to Jay Jay Okocha’s Club 10 on the Lagos Island.

His charming looks, flamboyant accessories and electric dance steps stand him out. But it does not stop there as his brand of music is in itself revolutionary to say the least! Many of his enthusiasts believe he is slowly but surely forging a niche for himself by inventing a brand new genre of music self-branded ‘Afro Hip

 House’

This genre simply put is a mishmash of Afro beats, Funk and House! Now when you thought that was all; the above combination is fused with percussion and vocal effects! Sounds nerdy right? Well, in simple English, it’s a brand of music which intoxicates your brain, excites your ears, fires up your reflexes and electrifies your body!

Afro Hip House is sophisticated, sexy, provocative and stylish; it fuses African and European, urban and traditional, Afro-pop and Sangoma trance. It is hip, flash and proudly African. Experts agree that this new Nigerian genre spearheaded by Lineo is ideal for night clubs just like its close European cousins- Funk, Urban music and Dancehall!

Lineo- The Elepepe Master!

Because of these unique qualities and African blend, Lineo’s music tickled the Fancy of renowned America tabloid Metro which commented on one of Lineo’s performances in New York; “This is an audacious and wildly energetic fusion of the urban and traditional genres. It is an explosive night that will have the whole house on its feet and shaking their stuff… this exuberant show – part club night, part musical – is as much fun as you can have in a church hall before midnight.” – Metro Cruise Nigeria celebrates the immense creativity of the young musical genius who prides himself with being the founder of the genre of music. And he’s not stopping there! Besides largely successful tours abroad, Lineo has made impressive club tours in Lagos and uses social networks like Twitter and Facebook to pave the way for himself by inspiring social change and increased awareness to his brand of music.

LINEO and Tuface during the US tour And to wrap it up, this Online Music Marketing Genius revealed exclusively to Cruise Nigeria that he has just closed a digital distribution deal with Universal Music! And this young man doesn’t stop there; he has etched his name in the annals of history as being the first Nigerian Hip Hop Artist to perform at the New York Apollo theatre! Adding to this impressive resume, this hardworking lad has done songs with African musical Giants Tuface (Feel it in 2009) and Dagrin (Show me the money in 2010) as well as a successful US tour in 2009 alongside Olu Maintain, another US tour with Tuface in 2010 and bagging the prestigious ICON AWARD for Nigeria most promising artist in 2008.

The intimidating list of accolades goes on and on, but suffice it to say that Lineo who is currently in the United States of America performing at the Miami House Music Festival is a huge ambassador for exemplary Nigerian behaviour and artistic ingenuity in the world stage.

Below are a few of his songs which you can click to download

 http://hulkshare.com/ht5msbrijfff

 http://hulkshare.com/m5nj9kv1owiq

 

Press Release – Nigerian Promoters Association Annual Summit May 25th -27th, 2012, Houston, TX

NPA Annual summit is an annual meeting of Entertainment Administrators who are members and non-members of NPA, such as; promoters, music producers, event planners, record label companies, Artiste managers, Deejays, Entertainment media personalities, film producers, fashion designers, Arts, sports e.t.c., coming together to share ideas and deliberate thoroughly on how to better improve the standard of Pan African Entertainment industry particularly in the North America as a one point agenda by the year 2020. In addition, it should be categorically noted therefore, that the Nigerian promoters Association is not politically oriented and will not give room to be politically influenced by any politician or political party as the case may be.

THE NPA ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS

The NPA 2012 event is planned to be bigger and better holding in Houston Texas U.S.A., from the 25th to 27th of MAY, 2012, of the “Memorial weekend”. The NPA Entertainment Awards is an event to recognize, to celebrate and to further promote the African entertainment exponents based in the United States of America and in Diaspora.

This way more talents will be discovered because of the competition it will definitely create, while the already discovered talents will also have reason to do better to remain relevant in the industry.

NETWORKING VISION

The NPA event is designed to create networking platform where attendees with various ideas will meet and share great ideas among each other. To also preserve African cultural heritage. An Entertainment platform to exhibit and promote various works to both locals and Africans in the United States of America, thus broadening networking beyond boarders business wise and defining new markets for creative arts and Entertainment business.

– Open more entertainment business opportunity to business owners in Africa that are out for partnership with investors in the United States of America.

– A platform to show case African talents and multi cultural diversity to the world at large.

NPA ENTERTAINMENT AWARD CATEGORIES 7 NOMINEES 2012

BEST COLLABORATION WITH VOCALS

Mr. Flint ft Edrino- Bami Jo Baby

A cue ft Oxygen2- Moti Moje

in Houston , TX T-Money ft Tekkno – Waka Waka Girl

Max Pain ft. K-Solo – Waa Tee Eh

Kenny Kay ft MC Skillz-Nigerian Girl

Cap B ft YQ-Workaholic

BEST MUSIC SINGLE OF THE YEAR

Tmoney Jasi1time – I am dagrin

Kenny Kay-Nigerian Girl

Tolu Playar- Halleluya

SLV-Fayawood

Titi-Lokei-Buss my brain

Mr. Flint ft Edrino- Bami Jo Baby

BEST NEW ACT OF THE YEAR

Rukus

Mateo Vic

Kenny Kay

Doggext

SLV

A cue

BEST GOSPEL MUSICIAN

Tahila Praise

Falu phalu

Kate Igodo

Chisom Orji

BEST INDIGENOUS ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Dking Rokan

Melloh Melodious

Dele Thomas

Latunde Silver

Yinka “Mr. Somebody” Quadri

Prince Afolabi a.k.a Oba Ara

BEST R&B ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Rotimi

Meaku

SLV

Koleurz

BEST DEEJAY OF THE YEAR (U.S.A)

DJ Donn

DJPhemster

DJ Obi

DJ Fineboy

DJ Shinski

 BEST REGGAE/DANCEHALL ACT

Popasay

Julian Abey

Fa raw

Cola Man

BEST FEMALE MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Titi Lokei-Buss my brain

Gloria Maduka-Illusion

Nenna Yvonne-Go around Remix

Naira-Ink Dreaming

BEST NEXT RATED ARTIST

Gloria Maduka

Oshine

SLV

Naira

Tmoney

Popasay

BEST PROMOTION COMPANY OF THE YEAR

TribeX Entertainment

Townkrier Entertainment

Ovacommedia

Princess Belemzy Entertainment

Emaginethat Entertainment

Backhome Productions

BEST COMEDIAN OF THE YEAR

Seyi Brown

Pascal Atuma

Nwamilele

Michael Blackson

MC PC Polycarp

BEST MALE MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Tolu Playar-Halleluya

Tmoney-Iam Dagrin

Dking Rokan ft Seinde Jo-Ori

Kenny Kay ft MC Skillz-Nigerian Girl

Mateo Vic-Cinderella

SLV-Fayawood

BEST POP ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Nenna Yvonne

Eno Will

Ajah Onuh

Gloria Maduka

Tolumide

BEST AFRO HIPHOP ARTIST

Tolu Playar

Maxpain

A-cue

Kenny Kay

Oshine

DSP

BEST MALE ACT OF THE YEAR

Oshine

Tolu Playar

DSP Oyinloye

Kenny Kay

SLV

A-cue

BEST FEMALE ACT OF THE YEAR

Naira

Nenna Yvonne

Gloria Maduka

Titi Lokei

Qslimz

Koleurz

BEST RAP ARTIST OF THE YEAR

iLLmyk

Tmoney

Doggext

Cap B

Naira

Qslimz

BEST GOSPEL INSTRUMENTALIST

Abraham Ogunlade

Onome Ovwori

Najite

Agboola Shadare

Vic ‘Mr VSAX’ Oyedeji

BEST ENT. PHOTOGRAPHER

Bode Ojo-Golden Icons

Rasheed Handsome-(HON)

Tunde Majek-Tmaj Photo

Chucks-Media 5 Photographer

Trendy Africa

BEST PROMOTER OF THE YEAR

Harrison Nwozo

Igwe “Ciba”

Olumide Anjorin

Anderson Obiagwu

Adewole Lipede

Bolaji Dawodu

BEST MOVIE PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

Chisom Oz lee

Pascal Atuma

Jj Bunny

Oliver Mbamara

Eva Banks

Papa Gee

BEST PARTY PROMOTER OF THE YEAR

Nkem Oji-Emaginethat Entertainment

Princess Belemzy Entertainment

Vogue Entertainment Group

Shekpe Knights Entertainment

Bolaji Dawodu World Audience Promotions

Yaz Ibekwe-Townkrier Entertainment

ENTERTAINMENT PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR

Harrison Nwozo

Emma Agu

Tiwa Works

Marion Amanambu

Lanre Araba

Izzy Obayagbona

BEST ACTOR OF THE YEAR

Pascal Atuma

Chet Anekwe

Rasaq Adoti

Oliver Mbamara

Hakeem Kae Kazim

Valentine Ekweanua

BEST ACTRESS OF THE YEAR

Chisom Oz lee

Jj Bunny

Seun Maduka

Determined Merlisa

Dee Dabira

Eva Banks

BEST MOVIE DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR

Oliver Mbamara

John Uche

George Kalu

Boyce Uboh

Pascal Atuma

Stanley Chinedu

BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR

This is Houston-Jj Bunny

Okoto the Messenger-Pascal Atuma

The return of spade-Oliver Mbamara

Culture TV Series-Oliver Mbamara

BEST INT’L NOLLYWOOD ACT

Funke Akindele

Ini Edo

Mike Ezuronye

Uche Jumbo

Kunle Afolayan

John Dumelo

BEST ENT. WEBSITE OF THE YEAR

Mixmasterbrown-Afrijamz

Ike Orizu-Trusport

Peter Uko-Afrogist.Tv

Emma Agu-Iktune.com

BEST MEDIA PERSONALITY

Harriet T.Arokoyu-AMC-TV

Nikky Roberts-Talk Time Africa

Lamin & Lamide-Sound of Africa

Elizabeth Amani-Lizmani.com

Princess Asha Okojie-Afriqtalk

BEST ENT. BLOG SITE OF THE YEAR

Afriqplace.com

Notjustok.com

Underdarock

Golden Icons

Naijaprince Entertainment

Trendy Africa

BEST FASHION DESIGNER OF THE YEAR

Kachi Designs

Estella Couture

Afrik Couture

Chianu Int’l Fashion

MO’CO’LATEE Fashions

BEST INDIGENOUS INSTRUMENTALIST

Bunmi Omega

Kolade Oyediran

Laja Gbadegesin

Dele Thomas

Isahia Arijo

Alli Mohammed

BEST FEMALE MODEL OF THE YEAR

Nnena Agba

Tracy O’bonna

Kemi Shade

Eeefy Ike

Venessa Obonna

BEST INTERNATIONAL MUSIC ACT

Iceprince-Nigeria

Naeto C-Nigeria

  MO Eazy-United Kingdom

  Cola Man-Austria

Jjc Skillz-United Kingdom

The Case for Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has an unmistakable grain of sociopolitical and economical authenticity. An Igbo woman from Umu Obi Obahai Royal Family of Ogwashi-Ukwu. Okonjo-Iweala was educated at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude with an A.B. in 1977, and earned her Ph.D. in regional economic development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1981.

Prior to her ministerial career in Nigeria, Okonjo-Iweala left her position as vice-president and corporate secretary of the World Bank Group to join President Obasanjo‘s cabinet as Finance Minister on 15 July 2003, determined to make developing countries play remarkable roles in decisions that affect them instead of being silent observers.

Although some controversy surrounded Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment as Finance Minister, she left that administration at the end of August 2006. On October 4, 2007, World Bank President Robert Zoellick appointed her to the post of Managing Director, effective December 1, 2007.

In 2011, Okonjo-Iweala was reappointed as Minister of Finance with the expanded portfolio of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy by President Goodluck Jonathan. She took a lot of heat, more-so than any other government official for the unpopular fuel subsidy removal policy by the Nigerian government which led to Occupy Nigeria protests in January 2012.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala left a record of debt-forgiveness, -the only finance minister to have done so. The then senator Obama was very skeptical at the suggestion of debt-forgiveness from the Paris club. She buttressed her opinion with remarkable points and persuasive arguments. The whole was convinced.

This is a woman who poverty motivated to be all she could be; her gender notwithstanding. Obama knows about determination and going for what you believe in, his wife, Mitchell knows that too. I really think president Obama should uphold the American values among which decisions based on merit is one.

CHANGE was the key word President Obama campaigned with. Well, it is time to show that you are ready to change the way the informal agreement which sees an American as the president of the World Bank and a European as the president of the IMF.

This decision has operated since 1940s. Things have changed since then and we all know it. America has block votes in the world bank and America will prove that she is not afraid to say: ‘when the time for change has come, we must bow to it’ This is what your children will be proud of president Obama, this is what your wife as an accomplished woman will be proud of – You stood up to be counted when it mattered the most.

Real power is the ability to retrace your step when no would have been easier. Indeed, it is time that a woman, who is also, a naturalized U.S citizen, an African with a proven track record on international problem-solving skills and happens to be a woman becomes the president of the world bank.

How will you and Mitchell feel if Sasha one day qualified for a position but was told that the position has been informally agreed to be occupied by non-Americans and men? We are talking about her effectively shedding more light on the problems in developing countries.

I believe that she will encourage direct investments, help remove infrastructural problems by enabling funding into infrastructure and above all the electricity problem that has bedeviled Nigeria for so long-popularly referred to as POWER. It is time that Africa as a continent rises.

Nigeria has done so much in terms of securing peace in Africa. We are still faced with challenges even just now. Some international interest groups definitely benefit from the problems of most developing countries. Why can’t we be great as a continent?

Why can’t we be in a position to do business on equal and mutually benefiting terms with the rest of the world? Why must we be notorious for poverty, disease, hunger and underdevelopment? Women have the numerical strength but lack the corresponding positions of higher responsibilities like the men? Men and women are co-partners in governance.

An only woman who is highly qualified in the person of Dr. Ngozi Okojo-Iweala deserves to be the next president of the World Bank.

By Princess Gloria Okojie-Fritz

Seun Kuti and the Egypt 80 to Atlanta – April 4th, 2012

WORLD AUDIENCE PROMOTIONS- PRESENTS SEUN KUTI, LIVE IN ATL WED. APR. 4, 8PM
By popular demand, Atlanta welcomes Seun Kuti and the Egypt 80 to Atlanta – April 4th, 8pm Concert. 1099 euclid ave, little 5 points. Don’t miss it.  It is going to be HOT!!!  Like Father like Son.

Seun KUTI & Egypt 80
Wednesday, April 4, 8pm,

After many, many successful performances in Europe.  We are bringing Seun to you for US Tour.

For more information contact

Bolaji Dawodu
CEO, World Audience Promotion

Tel. 404-944-0972

OR
Princess Asha
CEO, AfriQtalk

Tel. 7701-891-5204

Young At Heart Poetry Vol 9 – A Special Bond One Cannot See

A special world for you and me

A special bond one cannot see

It wraps us up in its cocoon

And holds us fiercely in its womb

Its fingers spread like fine spun gold

Gently nestling us to the fold

Like silken thread it holds us fast

Bonds like this are meant to last

And though at times a thread may break

A new one forms in its wake

To bind us closer and keep us strong

In a special world, where we belong

Although tomorrow is not promised

Everyday is a blessing to be thankful for

Every moment is an opportunity given

Knowing that tomorrow may never come

And if tomorrow ever comes

In your warm embrace, I wish to stay

For you remain my best friend

In a special bond one cannot see

 

By Princess Asha

OJUKWU – THE STATE OF THE RISING SUN

By Dickson Nnamdi Iroegbu

Is there anyone left in our land like Ojukwu? Is there anyone in the STATE OF THE RISING SUN who can uphold the values of our Clan like IKEMBA? In the giant of Africa, who amongst our present leaders will attest to the test of times like EZEIGBO GBURUGBURU, holding on tenaciously to morality and uprightness to the very end; refusing to compromise for immediate crumbs from corruption and power drunkenness? The irked vacuums the Troy and our IKEMBA sleeps! Is there anyone left?

In the Biafra uprising he never came to bow, he came to conquer! Jolted and willing, recruiting combatant ready and available army of the people, hoisting the flag with the RISING SUN reinvigorated all and sundry, the anthem inspiring and re-engineering hurting hearts, consoled by an ebullient orator. The perception by any that your love for Nigeria is monetarily induced may provoke a reawakening to revolt against the land again and again. Is there anyone left? Questions in quests of honest answers as DIM will give. Is there anyone left?

He refused to be the dumpy in the history books of past glory. What does it matter anyway, there is nothing to lose or gain; the land is desiccated, lacking men with character and purpose like IKEMBA. Have we lost it all to a glorious misadventure to nationhood? Is our blood and sweat garnishing the GIANT OF AFRICA without any meritorious appreciations? Will our commitment and loyalties be ridiculed with borrowed robes of ignominy? Is there anyone left?

My mother was only six years old when IKEMBA made public his escapes as we lost patriots and loved ones to the cold hands of death caused by neighbors of yesteryear. There was a river flowing eastwards, a river of the blood of Ndi-Igbo, flowing towards the sustenance of Nigeria. And a cry from that river emanated in our hearts the picture of a wailing child whose glorious dreams are punctured in the womb of a pregnant mother; both slaughtered in the land they are told is their fathers. That cry so loud it came, evacuating sleep and peace! Is there anyone left?

Where did we go wrong? CHUKWUEMEKA arose to the demands of that cry, brandishing his gallantry and skills, the peoples General chanted for the STATE OF THE RISING SUN where Igbo’s rightly belong. EZEIGBO GBURUGBURU called for the STATE OF BIAFRA immediately and we went to war! Is there anyone left?

At least down there in Biafra we would not have been hounded by our acclaimed Neighbors; life would not be snuffed out of defenseless people; women and children by senseless blood thirsty demons in the name of tribalism. Is there anyone left?

Arise and shine you proud citizens of the State of the Rising Sun! Our love for Nigeria was rewarded with hatred by our Neighbors. We have moved to every part of this country Nigeria and developed everywhere without fear or Favor, yet, none of our supposed brothers and sisters or their children can proudly say they have any meaningful investment across the Niger Bridge. Some of our sons and daughters may have desecrated the land, but home is always sweet-home. Is there anyone left?

As IKEMBA sleeps, the elders of our clan must be reminded that these seven important needs of mankind shall keeps us awake; RELIGION, EDUCATION, MONEY, HEALTHCARE, FOOD, INFORMATION AND PROTECTION. Adieu! Adieu!! ODIMEGWU adieu!!!

Pastor Ituah Ighodalo – From Grace To Grace

Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, founder of Trinity House Ministries, Lagos, Nigeria was recently appointed as member of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force to probe oil earnings. The new committee is designed to enhance probity and accountability in operations of the Petroleum Industry in charge with the following terms of reference:

  1. To work with consultants and experts to determine and verify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues (taxes, royalties, etc.) due and payable to the Federal Government of Nigeria;
  2. To take all necessary steps to collect all debts due and owing; to obtain agreements and enforce payment terms by all oil industry operators;
  3. To design a cross debt matrix between all Agencies and Parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources;
  4. To develop an automated platform to enable effective tracking, monitoring, and online validation of income and debt drivers of all Parastatals and Agencies in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources;
  5. To work with world-class consultants to integrate systems and technology across the production chain to determine and monitor crude oil production and exports, ensuring at all times, the integrity of payments to the Federal Government of Nigeria; and,
  6. To submit monthly reports for ministerial review and further action.”

Observers believe the appointment of Ribadu is to buy credibility for Allison-Madueke and also tie the hands of EFCC from doing any serious work. It is also believed that the latest move may be to counter whatever is going to be the outcome of the house of reps committee which appeared more determined to expose all the culprits involved in the scam going on in the petroleum ministry headed by Allison-Madueke.

Other members of the panel are:

FULL LIST OF MEMBERS

1.   Mallam Nuhu Ribadu                     -Chairman

2.   Mr. Steve Oronsaye                         -Dep. Chairman

3.   Mallam Abba Kyari                         -Member

4.   Ms. Benedicta Molokwu                 -Member

5.   Mr. Supo Sasore, SAN                     -Member

6.   Mr. Tony Idigbe, SAN                     -Member

7.   Mr. Anthony George-Ikoli, SAN  -Member

8.   Dr. (Mrs.) Omolara Akanji          -Member

9.   Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN            -Member

10.  Mr. Bon Otti                                   -Member

11.  Prof. Olusegun Okunnu             -Member

12. Mallam Samaila Zubairu           -Member

13. Mr.Ignatius Adegunle                 -Member

14. Mr. Gerald Ilukwe                        -Member

15. Rep. of FIRS                                     -Ex-Officio

16. Rep. of FMF Incorporated           -Ex-Officio

Kudos to Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, a friend and mentor, who has inspired me over the years because I believe he will not only do his job diligently, but will bring about transformational change for the benefit of Nigeria  and Nigerians. Pastor Ituah, gave his life to Christ in 1993 and was ordained pastor in 1995. He has worked as Associate Pastor of Freedom Hall, (later renamed Hope Hall) as well as the City of David Parishes of R.C.C.G. and has been involved in international missions, helping to pioneer several Redeemed Christian Church of God parishes abroad. He is married to Ibidun Ighodalo.

Affiliations:

SIAO, Courage Education Foundation, The Lydia Grace Foundation, Timeless NewsPaper, Heritage Homes, Timeless in Time (Radio), Timeless In Time on The Web, Jordan Transformation fellowship, Stephen Adams Social Reformation Foundation, Trinity Leadership Sc.http://pastorituahighodalo.com/vps2/index.php?option=com_seyret&task=videodirectlink&id=4&Itemid=14

Black Money Teaser Nollywood U.S.A – Coming Near You

Black Money

The movie is about one of the biggest scams pulled off by foreigners in the US. Starring Van Vicker, John Dumelo and  Divine Shaw.The movie is about a boy named Chidi, who hails from Enugu in Eastern Nigeria. He is an intelligent young man with a bright future. At the tender age of 14, Chidi loses both of his parents in a ghastly car accident, leaving him to be raised by his sister, Chinyere, who is only 19 years old.

In trying to overcome the devastating death of their parents and make ends meet, Chinyere lands a job as an account manager in a bank. With her income, she is able to raise Chidi and pay his tuition up to the university level, where he graduates with a degree in Engineering. While at the university, Chidi opts to join the RISERS, the most feared fraternity on campus. At this juncture, Chidi’s life begins to spin out of control, landing him into all kinds of scams and escapades.

These scams subsequently get him to America where his delinquent behaviors continue after he realizes that he has to quit college due to money shortage. Given the aforementioned circumstances, Chidi turns to a life of crime where he hustles credit cards, stolen goods, and subsequently “Black Money”.

GENRES

BY CAESAR IHEJIRIK

In the dialectics of the enigma ;  man.
Of the various classifications of  him
There emerges two genres of man.
They cut across educational  lines                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They are oblivious to wealth and poverty
Or even religious biases
In simple terms, it is a dichotomy of human dignity.

Those who have the consciousness of being “human”
And those who do not.
Those who see themselves as smart creatures
And those who know they are part of creative force.
Those like animal creatures i.e. animal instinctive.

Who’s only instinct and drive is survival. At all costs.
Survival of their animal nature .
Nothing else matters. Nothing else.
Everything is justified in this pursuit
Owing to their feral origins .

A lot like rudimentary organic life forms.
Whom the term ‘Principles’ have to be invented for.
From eclectic reasoning  we discover
That man has a dual  nature.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       An  animalistic character
And a companion divine nature.
From whence comes  Inspiration and intuition.
Anything lacking of the divine attribute
Is simply  sub-human .

On the other hand you have
Those who are able to perceive
From a divine perspective
Their whole dual nature.
They don’t have to grovel for base survival                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        They are able to strike a balance in the cosmos
Not just in the flight from want
They are constantly aware
Of the finer pursuits.
Much unlike animals ,

Members of  the base specie
Products of inchoate evolution .
They exhibit no limit to their appetites.
They are forever ravenous.
They easily can consume even their own
In a mad display of frenzy.Because of them
We hear of the depletion of the Earth’s resources
The world is peopled by both types
Though in varying proportions
And by some tragic twist

The country Nigeria is teeming with;
Albeit infested with
A lopsided proportion
Of these vapid creatures.
A situation that gives rise to strange phenomena                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              With deprecating consequences.
Such as the culture of profligacy.
Where people pillage and plunder ,
Whatever resource or asset they may find .

Much like pack mice,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Forever foraging and  pilfering .
The popular dictum has it that
There is some good in everyone.
Of Nigeria, I would say
Rather sarcastically that
There is some bad in every one.

You also hear of four-one-nine
The hoodwink fraud.
Ritual murders etc.
Rulers clinging on to power
When they don’t know,
Even the meaning of leadership.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 All these and other varied forms
Of inordinate greed avarice and ambition .

Our only recourse, then is,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We have to hold out the banner
Of that which makes ‘Man”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           We don’t have to begin anew
The moyen of evolution.
It is a quest, just for the dignity of man
Just to realize what being human is all about.

The Doctrine – Subsidy Reinvestment Blue Print

~We Initiate The Conversation and Let You Decide.

(From the left) Nigeria Consulate Gen, Teneilabe.  Hon. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Prof Mrs.Viola Onwuliri and Former Austria Ambassador, Jerry Ugokwe with Nigerian Community in a Town Hall Meeting, 01/17/2012.

Many have argued the case for and against the removal of oil subsidy.  Nigeria is a country with many bright minds, intellects and a diverse culture. It’s not so much of what divides us, but that which unites us can find common ground ~Princess Asha.

Corruption, Greed and Power,  an unseemly parasites that corrode our country.  Conspiracy theory? Think again! Oversize government, security concerns, lack of good infrastructures and wasteful spending has crippled the economy, while unemployment is the underlying cause of  juvenile and adult delinquencies. The question then becomes, who is to blame? Well, there is enough to go around, ultimately  “The Buck Stops Here“!  Nigerians should engage in a constructive dialogue and say no to corruption.

Federal Government Subsidy Reinvestment Blue Print

Akon Make Good on Promise – 2Face, Wizkid and P-Square?

At first, it was between Kanye West‘s GOOD Music and D’banj of the Mo’hits record in August of 2011. Although, a deal was made with Mo’hits, it’s rumored that record producer and singer Akon recently signed Nigerian artistes: Wizkid, Tuface and P-square as representatives of his record label Konvict Muzik in Africa. The Senegalese-American singer and music producer, who is currently in Nigeria, make good on promise, his new energy drink ‘Citron’ was launched over the weekend in Lagos, which took place in footballer Jay Jay Okocha‘s club Number 10.

Akon, tweeted online “In Nigeria with my brothers about to take over Africa with @2faceidibia and @wizkidayo Big up to Psquare”. Okay! What does this mean?  They join international artistes; Brick and Lace, T-Pain and Lady Gaga in the Konvict Muzik family as representatives of his record label Konvict Muzik in Africa. Kudos to my brother Akon, doing big things in Africa! Oshey.

Celebrating Women – “Matriarchs & Protégés”

Genevieve Nnaji CEO of St. Genevieve Clothing & Monalisa Okojie CEO of Nehita Jewelry.

It’s refreshing to see women in the spotlight. A couple of weeks ago, an event was put together by TW Magazine celebrating the ” Matriarchs & Protégés” of the Phoenix Gala to honor great Nigerian women who have made tremendous contributions to shaping our society in Lagos, Nigeria. A champagne brunch was held at Medici in Lagos hosted by Veuve Clicquot. In attendance was our very own Monalisa Okojie of Nehita Jewelry, Los Angeles, California, Genevieve Nnaji , Joke Silva,Bella Niaja, including  other celebrities  from  academia to entrepreneurship and artist. Kudos to you Monalisa and women of excellence all over the world.

Below are some pictures taken at the Champagne Brunch, exclusively brought to you by AfriQtalk.

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Leroy Bamidele Fagbemi – An Advocate For People With Disability

Leroy Bamidele Fagbemi, “aka” Mr. Flint” is an American based Nigerian entertainer, born to the Fagbemi family of Lagos. He is also, an advocate for people with disability for a good reason.  Leroy Bamidele Fagbemi, sustained a spinal cord injury from a road accident, late 90’s in the United States (USA), which confined him to the wheel chair, not giving up his dreams, he returned to his first love, music.

As a successful hip hop artist, Mr. Flint is back with good news for the physically challenged, his foundation “Second Chance in Life”  is an organization that is all about helping  people with disabilities to discover their passion and help them achieve their dreams in whatever career they want to pursue. Fagbemi’s  new video “You think my life is easy”  shows a young man, who deals with everyday challenges but not deterred.

In my conversation with Mr. flint, he expressed his frustration with celebrities, artist and governments in Africa for not doing enough to bring awareness about disability, especially in Nigeria, where people with disability are often discriminated against or seen as liabilities. ” Handicaps are humans beings, they do what normal people do, but the difference is that they can’t walk”.

As for any his future projects, Mr. Flint’s goal is to see that the Nigerian Government gets involve in disability awareness campaigns and foundations, provide adequate rehabilitation facilities and infrastructures to ensure that people with any form of disability live a normal life, learn life coping skills and are accepted by society.

He emphasized, how such programs has helped him to become independent. However, Leroy Bamidele Fagbemi, believes that appealing to corporate organizations and Nigerians in the diaspora is key to supporting his pet projects in Nigeria. For more information, contact Mr Flint at http://facebook.com/lfagbemiskinnyjoe

Facts About Disability in Africa

According to The World Bank, 20% of people with disabilities make up the poorest of the poor, which translates to approximately 260 million people with disabilities living in absolute poverty.  The unprecedented level of poverty among this group and the associated hunger leads to Malnutrition, which in turn can result in a number of disabilities, such as stunting, blindness, and diabetes. Also, hunger is a driving force, which push disabled persons into street begging. Generally speaking, disabled people are seen as ‘good for nothing’ and they suffer severe psychological problems in Africa.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that about 500 million people live with disability worldwide, with about 75% living in the developing countries (Mickailakis, 1997; Lang and Upah, 2008). In Nigeria, WHO estimates put the number of people with disability at 19 million or approximately 20% of the country’s population (Lang and Upah, 2008).

There are no credible and robust statistics in Nigeria about most things, including disability. There is therefore a big knowledge gap that needs to be bridged.The Nigerian government supported the UN standard rules on the equalization of opportunities for people with disability. There was also a decree promulgated in 1993 to enhance the social and societal position of people with disability.

Nigerians living with disability are no better off when compared with others living in other parts of the developing world, in terms of the challenges they face — they are poor, marginalized and excluded (The Guardian, April 12, 2009; Lang and Upah, 2008).

Despite the declaration of full participation in the disability agenda of the United Nations by the Nigerian government, Nigerians with disabilities are still faced with these challenges (The Guardian, April 12, 2009; Michailakis, 1997). A recent review of disability issues in Nigeria identified many factors why the disability agenda continues to suffer.

Notable among them were: the absence of disability discrimination laws, lack of social protection, poor understanding of disability issues by the public, and poor access to rehabilitation services. The report recommended, among others, the collection of robust and reliable data, and advocacy for the passage of the disability bill into law (Lang and Upal, 2008).

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!

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.

Young At Heart Poetry Vol 1: Beauty Beyond Memory

When memories cry

When memories fade and die

I’m going to grow old

My passion, my fiery passion

My flaming lust is going to grow cold

But my heart will always flow with molten, love lava

In your name this lava flows through my veins

My heart beats for you

My heart will never cease to beat your name

When I lose my charm and my glamour

When I lose my physique and my game

When I’m old and wrinkly

When I cannot look myself in the mirror

I’ll still stare at you

When memories fade, when I forget the days of the week

And the months of the year

When I mix names, and faces

The memory of you will always shine bright and clear

For your image has been engraved to my memory

I will never forget your radiance and beauty

I will die happy with the image of your sweet smile on my mind

And love on my lips and in my heart your sweet kiss remains.

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

The Rebirth of AFROBEAT MUSIC (Like Fela On Broadway) Coming to ATL Oct 1, 2011

Like Fela on Broadway, Kola Gbedumaster will be performing  the original afrobeat sound with his extraordinary energetic dancers in celebration of life and freedom bringing about cultural appreciation on Nigerian Independence day celebration, Saturday, October 1 at 6:00pm – October 2 at 1:00am. This vibrant concert displays African culture at it’s best, featuring special guest Artist Kenny Ninghtingale, Eme Awa , Kalakuta Mozak and Award winner MC DJ Chilliout.

Influenced by most of the artist he worked with, such as Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Dr Victor abimbola Olaiya ,  King Sunny Ade and many other Nigeria artist, Kola Ogunkoya is no doubt a world-class musician who has evolved new sounds and combined elements of pure artistry in his lyrics and arrangement. He combines eclectic blend of jazz, Afro beat, highlife, juju, funk and traditional Yoruba music, using horns, guitars and keyboards along with traditional Nigerian instruments in his AFROBEAT Music.

His music genre is Afro beat with a mixture of  Calypso beat, High-life  and Afro smooth jazz. Kola and his 15 piece Afro jazz Ensemble, which includes female dancers, have performed all over the globe, He also have a six piece group for smaller Engagements. Kola is no doubt a world-class musician who has evolved new sounds and combined elements of pure artistry in his lyrics and arrangement.  Kola’s unparalleled creativity in his music makes him one of the greatest musicians of this generation.

Admission Fee: $20.00 at The Atrium Box Office. Don’t miss it. Come feel the difference!

Young At Heart Poetry Vol 2. – When You

When you crossed my path, it never occurred to me you’ll be back again

When you danced with me,  I never noticed your weakness

When you held me close,  I never read your mind

When you laughed with me,  I didn’t see the hurt inside

When you asked for patience, I didn’t mean to be in a hurry

When you reached out for peace, I didn’t intend to fight war

When you cherished my world, I didn’t mean to shatter yours

When you applauded me, I danced from a distance

When you stood by me ,  I saw shadows behind

When you laid beside me, I heard our heart beat as one

When you kissed me, I realized how deep I’ve fallen

But when morning came, memories of yesterday became wishes of today

For you were gone without a trace into my dream of last night

 

© 2011  AfriQtalk Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Democracy and Good Governance in Nigeria

My candid chat with members of  Nigerian Federal National Assembly. The Ten newly elected Federal House of Representatives  from Abuja, Nigeria visited Atlanta, GA. The visit was organised by U.S department of State  to participate in a three-week International Visitor leader Exchange Program entitled “Democracy and Good Governance“, September 6-23, 2011.  They will explore the U.S. political process, in addition to the principles of transparency and accountability in government and business.

The exchange program is to promote democracy building around the world.  Take a listen to my interview with Hon. Adamu Enuto, Benue State, Hon. Udo Oluchi Ibeji, Abia State  and Hon. Hassan Saleh, Benue State about the  political atmosphere in Nigeria and change you can believe in!

Abuja – My Africa

Abuja, officially Abuja Municipal Area Council or AMAC, is the capital city of Nigeria. It is located in the centre of Nigeria in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Abuja is a planned city, as it was mainly built in the 1980s and officially became Nigeria’s capital on 12 December 1991, replacing the role of the previous capital Lagos. As of the 2006 census, the Federal Capital Territory has a population of 778,567.

Abuja’s geography is defined by Aso Rock, a 400-metre monolith left by water erosion. The Presidential Complex, National Assembly, Supreme Court and much of the town extend to the south of the rock. Other sights include the Nigerian National Mosque and the Nigerian National Christian Centre. The city is served by the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, while Zuma Rock lies nearby. Abuja is known for being the best purpose-built city in Africa as well as being one of the wealthiest and most expensive.

In light of the ethnic and religious divisions of Nigeria, plans had been devised since Nigeria’s independence to have its capital in a location deemed neutral to all parties. The location was eventually designated in the centre of the country in the early 1970s as it signified neutrality and national unity. Another impetus for Abuja came because of Lagos’s population boom, that made that city overcrowded and conditions squalid. The logic used was similar to Brazil building its capital Brasília. Construction broke ground and was dedicated in the late 1970s, but due to economic and political instability, the city in its initial stages was not complete until the late 1980s.

The master plan for Abuja and the Federal Capital Territory was developed by IPA (International Planning Associates), a consortium made up of three American firms: PRC Corporation; Wallace, McHarg, Roberts and Todd; and, Archisystems, which was a division of the Hughes Organization. The master plan for Abuja defined the general shape and major design elements of the city, however a refinement of this design was accomplished by Kenzo Tange, a renowned Japanese architect, along with his team of city planners at Kenzo Tange and Urtec company.

Most countries moved their embassies to Abuja and maintain their larger former embassies as consulates in the commercial capital, Lagos. In addition to a major governmental centre, Abuja is the headquarters of the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS. It also has the regional headquarters of OPEC. Abuja and the FCT have experienced a huge population growth; it has been reported that some areas around Abuja have been growing at 20 – 30%.

Nigerian National Assembly Plays Soft Ball With U.S Congress

The members are participating in a three-week International Visitor leader Exchange Program entitled “Democracy and Good Governance,” September 6-23, 2011.  They will explore the U.S. political process, in addition to the principles of transparency and accountability in government and business.

On Thursday, September 8, 2011, the group of eight newly-elected members from the Nigerian National Assembly had one-on-one exchanges with two U.S. Representatives and a U.S. Senator, Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ) who gave them a good piece of advice: “always remember you are in office to serve the people, not to serve yourself.” While Representative Price (D-NC) elaborated on good governance stating the importance of capacity building and security in Nigeria.

Congressman Price, also emphasised the value of parliamentarian exchanges to promote democracy building around the world.  In addition, the group were impressed by Senator Coons (D-DE) enthusiasm to support the political process and promote bilateral relations between the U.S and Nigeria. Kudos to democracy!

AfriQtalk © 2011

Immediate Press Release – AfriQtalk Entertainment Presents: Snippet of “Lovin Her” by William Blaze

Will Tawo Okojie (Born October 29, 1993), better known by his stage name William Blaze, is the next big sensational teen, who knows one or two things about being an entrepreneur. Born in Miami, Florida, William is a an American born Nigerian. He lived his early years in Africa, loves the food and culture. Having had a taste of both world, William can identify musically with the African and American culture. His musical influences are Eminem, Michael Jackson, New Edition, J.Cole and Drake. He is the co-executive founder of I Teenz, a brand that entertains and caters to global youth culture. Williams is also, a song writer, upcoming actor and a hip hop artist. William is a high school senior, and loves to travel. If he is not working or at school he is behind the camera. William Blaze’s debut single”Lovin Her” is set to be released on September 16, 2011.

Follow William at www.twitter.com/williamtblaze