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.

 

10 Examples of Gender Inequality Around the World

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Originally posted 05/30/2013 By Molly Edmonds

1: Education Attainment

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

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

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

3: Freedom to Marry and Divorce

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

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

4: Access to Health Care

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

5: Feminization of Poverty

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

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

6. Restricted Land Ownership

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

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

8: Violence

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

9: Limited Mobility

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

10: Professional Obstacles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aids- A Global Issue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The key challenges to be addressed are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Illustration by CDC:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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THE 4TH ANNUAL NIGERIAN LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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.

 

BLACK INVENTORS By Keith C. Holmes – A Must Read

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

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

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

keth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

Discover Who You’re

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

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

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

 

Cocka-Doodle-Doo Before Dawn

Cocka-Doodle-Doo Before Dawn

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Princess Asha © 2012  AfriQtalk. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I dream of Africa

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

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

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

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

~ K. Okojie

Florida.USA

 

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bez Idakula Set To Take America By Storm

Bez Idakula Africa’s John Legend is set to take  America by storm with his style of music. He’s one artist that sure knows how to promote and brand himself. The name Bez is steadily becoming a household name in the U.S entertainment industry. He recently, kicked off  a U.S tour by showcasing in places such as SOBs in New York, The Apple Store, in Soho. He will be featured as a guest on Society HAE, live radio broadcast on May 22nd, 2012, ending his tour May 23rd at the Shrine in Harlem, New York.

He was also the first African artiste to premiere a music video on BET International’s “106 & Park” for his hit single “That Stupid Song”. When I first heard  his songs of love, vocal prowess and saw his masterful guitar playing, it reminded me of John Legend. This charismatic young man with his five man band plays intimate acoustic. Bez has opened up for international acts like Tuface, Mike Aremu, South African based Judith Sephuma Asa, Angie Stone, Yolanda Brown, Nneka, and M.I.

The video ‘More You’ single is one of my favorite. Bez is a young rising singer, songwriter and guitarist from Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Born on November 10, 1983, Bez makes alternative soul, a combination of soul, jazz and R&B music.He was educated at Loyola Jesuit College in Abuja and Covenant University, where he graduated with a Bachelors degree in Information Technology. Bez is an amazing performer and a talented young man.

I want to say a big thank you to Antonio Ocampo

I want to say a big thank you to Antonio Ocampo for disregarding his bid for the presidency of the world bank. This leaves the contest between Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and president Obama‘s nominee, Jim Yong Kim. I wish Oprah could read this and tell me how she feels as an accomplished woman who wept the day the day Obama became president of the United states.

This is not about Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, it is about change for the better, change because it demonstrates openness and transparency, change because it is the right thing to do , change because the US ought to allow for an election to the most important institution in the world, the World Bank to be based on merit and set a remarkable example, change because she is the only non-American female who is qualified and Jim Young‘s experience pales before hers.!!

I do not mean his paper qualification, I mean his experience. EXPERIENCE is what the World Bank needs. The developed world seemed more ready to dump ideas and Aids on Africa rather than make Africa a worthy partner in global governance. This has got to come to a screeching halt because the more developed countries we have in the world, the better for World Bank.

I say to the Europe and and those countries that want to blindly follow president Obama , and especially the US to wake up and have rethink. Please do not set a precedent that you cannot defend before generations born and yet unborn.

The out dated practice of having an American only lead the World Bank and a European lead the IMF is absolute nonsense and has no place in today’s fast paced world anymore. The day Obama became President meant that the Americans saw this: change has come and an American who happens to be white must not occupy the WHITE HOUSE, an African American whose father is from Kenyan is qualified to do so. We see his vision and we are ready to follow him.

 

By Princess Gloria Okojie-fritz

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

Two Brides & a Baby USA Premiere and Screening by SnapFlix- Nollywood Cinema Series

THE NOLLYWOOD CINEMA SERIES KICKS OFF IN AMERICA WITH THE PREMIERE OF BLESSING EGBE’S ‘TWO BRIDES AND A BABY’ IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA ON SATURDAY, APRIL 14, 2012.

Two Brides and a Baby is a must see movie. I really loved the way that this movie was brillantly done by Blessing Egbe, the cast were fantastic.  I love how Blessing was able to bring emotional nuance to her role in the movie.

Following the huge success of Nollywood films in cinemas across Africa and the UK, Movie lovers in the US, Canada and Caribbean can now enjoy Nollywood in American Cinemas courtesy of SnapFlix Incorporated, a distributor of African media content in the USA. The new brand, the ‘Nollywood Cinema Series’ is an ongoing showcase of new breed, top quality Nollywood movies (being referred to as the “New Nollywood”) in Cinemas across major cities in the Americas. The initial lineup of cities for the series include Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, DC/Maryland, Toronto and Kingston, Jamaica.

The series took off in style with a red carpet premiere event of the widely acclaimed, award-winning drama ‘TWO BRIDES AND A BABY’ on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at the Hill Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30309. TWO BRIDES AND A BABY’ is a beautifully crafted romantic comedy drama starring Stella Damasus, Kalu Ikeagwu, Keira Hewatch, O.C Ukeje, Chelsea Eze, Okey Uzoeshi and Blessing Egbe. It is written and produced by model/actress/producer Blessing Egbe and directed by the famous Nollywood director, Teco Benson.

The movie has received rave reviews and has to date received a total 16 nominations from ‘The Best of Nollywood Awards’ 2011, Abuja Film Festival 2011 and AMAA 2012. ‘TWO BRIDES AND A BABY’ also bagged 5 awards at the Best of Nollywood Awards in 2011, including awards for Best Director, Achievement in Sound, New Female Act, Best Screenplay and Movie of the year. The main cast and crew were in attendance and also at an exclusive after party at Cream Ultra Lounge (home of The African Experience) located at 3249 Buford Hwy, Atlanta, GA 30329. More details at www.snapflix.net.

SnapFlix also launches its brand new website WWW.SNAPFLIX.NET. The new website will provide information about Nollywood Cinema Series theater locations in each city, film schedules, show times and box office information for current and future showings of movies from the Nollywood Cinema Series. Visitors to www.snapflix.net will find the new site informative. Site visitors can watch trailers of current and upcoming films, get movie details, share and interact with friends on upcoming films using Facebook and Twitter, buy tickets for upcoming movie premiers and screenings, and get information about Snapflix and the Nollywood Cinema Series.

SnapFlix founders, Deji Eniojukan and Jide Akanbi say “This is a grand landmark for Nollywood and the beginning of a new revolution of film in African Entertainment Industry. We are meeting the entertainment needs of Africans and lovers of Africa in the diaspora, a need for a cinematic presence of Nollywood movies in North America. Launching a structured distribution of Nollywood films to American cinemas is filling a major gap in the industry, this is also key to ensuring the producers and content owners are able to recover quality returns thereby encouraging investment in the Nollywood Industry based on the performance of these quality films in American cinemas.

It’s a big breakthrough and it’s been a long journey, but we are excited about the future of Nollywood and we’re glad to be part of it”. Producer of TWO BRIDES AND A BABY; Blessing Egbe says “There is a proverb that goes ‘when one door closes, another opens’. I am excited that a new door has opened for Nollywood films in the US via Snapflix distribution. These are a new crop of distributors with good intent for content owners. They have unlocked the strong doors of some US theaters and I hope that thousands of Nollywood fans and supporters will walk through these doors to enjoy the selected movies showing in these theaters.

Producers will no longer face the problem of selling their content to some persons who take advantage of the laxity in mainstream distribution in the diaspora. I am happy for the innovation and look forward to the launch. I am even happier that my film is the one that will launch the series, Glory be to God!”

ABOUT SNAPFLIX/ THE NOLLYWOOD CINEMA SERIES

SnapFlix is a distributor of African and Caribbean media based in Atlanta, GA. A media and entertainment company with operations in USA and Africa, we distribute movies via multiple channels including theaters, online rentals and sales, wholesale to retail outlets, and streaming rights sales to legitimate online streaming companies for African and Caribbean content. SnapFlix is the media and entertainment subsidiary of Sinet Technologies Inc. (www.sinettechnologies.com), a global technology and media conglomerate with operations in US,Canada, Caribbean and Africa.

Snapflix’s operation encompasses film/music distribution, motion picture production, motion picture financing, and talent management. As organizers of the Nollywood Cinema Series, SnapFlix brings the new breed of high quality Nollywood/African movies to movie theaters in North America. Visit www.snapflix.net for more information. Fans can also stay updated via social media by following @snapflix on Twitter and by liking the Fan page at www.facebook.com/nollywoodcimenaseries.

SnapFlix Inc – Bringing the world to a big screen near you.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR PRESS INQUIRIES –

Please contact: Tosin Taiwo | Email: tosin@snapflix.net | Phone: 404.418.5400 |

info@snapflix.net |

WWW.SNAPFLIX.NET

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

Papa- Jay Ghartey

.

Jay Ghartey also known as Kweku Gyasi Ghartey is a GhanaianAmerican music producer, singer, and songwriter based in New York City. Jay was born in the United States. He moved to Accra, Ghana at the age of 9 where he spent 5 years. While in Ghana his grandmother, a famous West African singer taught him the importance of singing with sincerity and from the soul he studied music with his grandmother, an established musician. He began performing at the age of 10, originally as a rapper. He formed a group called Chief G and the Tribe, which included current stars like Kwaku T and Abeiku. He returned to the United States at the age of 14 to finish high school in Brooklyn, NY, and later attended college in Boston.

He has since settled in NYC to pursue his musical career with his business partner and brother, Joe Ghartey. He recently described his album as smoothly transitioning between R&B, Hip Hop, Highlife, Hiplife and Pop. Jay writes, arranges and produces almost all of his own music with his brother and business partner Joe. His first album, a 12 track titled Shining Gold, was released in December 2009 in Ghana. He has noted his reason for releasing the album in Ghana as, “He is inspired by Ghanaian music, especially those of Kojo Antwi and George Darko, and he wanted to use his music to attract US attention to Ghana music.”

The video for Jay Ghartey’s first single, “My Lady” was nominated for 3 awards and won the award for, Best Male Video” at the 2010 Ghana Music Video Awards. Jay was also nominated for 5 awards at the 2011 Ghana Music Awards and won the award for “Best Video”. In November 2011 Jay was nominated for 5 Ghana music Video Awards. Jay music is available at music stores in Ghana, and online on itunes and most major digital retailers.  He lives in both Ghana and New York.

Young At Heart Poetry Vol 8- Thoughts of You

Thoughts of you keeps surfing on my mind
As moonlight shines into the sea
My heart beats a million times with thoughts of you

Thoughts of you keeps surfing on my mind
And the sea waves lurk memories of you
For I am thankful for everyday that we have

Thoughts of you keeps surfing on my mind
Indeed love has preserved it’s own
Nesting you close to the left artery of my heart
Nesting me close to the right artery of your heart
For our hearts beat as one

Thoughts of you keeps surfing on my mind
Through the storm and raging sea
Unconditional love kept us afloat
And friendship built on trust brought us closer

Thoughts of you keeps surfing on my mind
Your reasoning and not judgment is the bedrock of our love
Your passion defines your strength
And your caring nature echos in your voice

Thoughts of you keeps surfing on my mind
Your geniality blows away wind of doubts
Your love forever binding in your solemn promise to me
Comforting is your sense of humor and love for nature

Thoughts of you keeps surfing on my mind
Embedded in the radiant of your love
Sustained by truth, you have unearth the hidden treasures of my heart
LOVE is all that there is

~Princess Asha

© 2011  AfriQtalk Entertainment. All rights reserved.

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”.

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

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).

Diversity Visa Lottery For 2013 is Here Again!

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

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

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

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

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

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

A high school education or its equivalent; or

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

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

Good luck to all DV applicants.

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.

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!

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

Intuit

I was born without a manual, but I knew what my God given instincts were, so I cried when I was hungry, smiled when I was happy, and slept because I felt secure. Now that I am older, I have learned what my God given choices are, to Love, Provide and Respect.

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

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

When I

Originally Posted 09/11/2011

On September 11 2001, evil birth compassion and nations came together. As we remember the victims of 911, let’s not forget others who may have met similar fate around the world. This poem is dedicated to victims of  911.

 WHEN I

When time comes, I’ll be your strength

When time comes, I’ll be your hope

When time comes, I’ll be your comfort

When time comes, I’ll cheer you on

I see your name in living colors

I hear your footsteps in gatherings

I see your reflections in rain drops

I hear your laughter, while truth beckons

In memories you’ll forever stay young

In dreams your Innocence quickens

For fate has brought us closer

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

When Royalty meets Entertainment “Dking” is born

Rokan Adekola was born in 1967 at Iboropa Akoko in Ondo State, South West of Nigeria to the Adekola Royal Family, a.k.a, DKing.  Rokan attended St Mark’s Primary School Iboropa Akoko and Fadeyi Primary School 3 where he completed his primary education and moved on to Birch Freeman High Schoolin Lagos for his secondary education. Because of his passion for music, he enrolled in His Grace School of Music, Lagos where he became a full time percussionist.

Popularly known as King Rokan is a US-based Nigerian songwriter, recording artiste and performer. His music is a contemporary mix of Afro-juju, Fuji and Gospel Highlife with a soulful touch of traditional Yoruba rhythm. His songs are mostly in his Yoruba mother tongue and inspired by the desire to uplift and promote the rich indigenous culture of Africa.

Dking has performed at very important events around the world including; the opening ceremony of the 1996 Olympics and black history month. He has entertained three presidents; President Bill Clinton at the White House in 1993 with Bolu and the Roots of African Percussion and two former Nigerian presidents; Gen. Abdusalemi Abubakar in Washington DC and President Olusegun Obasanjoin Ohio.

Also, he performed live at the grand opening of Animal Kingdom in Disney world Orlando Florida. After Losing his parents at the tender age of 10, at 12 years old he was determined to work hard and be successful. King Rokan became the choir master of Eternal Order of Cherubim & Seraphim Church, Alpha ET Omega Ilasamaja in 1983. In 1986 he moved to the branch at Esuola Okota as music director.

In 1994, he relocated to Atlanta where he started the band King Rokan & The Royal Crew in 1997 and was the first Nigerian to start a live band in Atlanta. In 2001, when he released “Rock On”; he scored another first as the first Nigerian artiste to release an album and a video the same day in America. “Showtime” followed in 2003, “4GveDem” in 2005, “Thank U God” in 2008 and “Oba Tide” in 2010 which was produced by Yinka Ayefele and Puffy Tee.

As a promoter and music entrepreneur, King Rokan started Rokan Entertainment, a music promotion and artiste management outfit. On this platform, he has worked with and promoted Late DR Sikiru Ayinde Barrister- , Gen. Kollington Ayinla,Sir Shina Peters, Obesere, Adewale Ayuba, Yinka Ayefele, Just to mention few including K1 D Ultimate(King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall) who gave him the title of Oluaye of Georgia in 2002.

King Rokan’s eclectic style earned him the best Indigenous Artist of the year award at the N.P.A summit in Atlanta GA. He has a new single, recently launched in Lagos, Nigeria 12/15/2011, FT 2FACE “MAGBAGBE”(NO 4GET) PRODUCED BY FEMI OJETUNDE(FEM DOUBLE PRODUCTIONS). Kudos to you Dking http://facebook.com/kingrokan. You rock!

Benin Art of Ancient Nigeria

By Eno Louis Enobkhare

For once, here is a product from Nigeria that has no negative connotations and we are arguing about who said what and who went where. The article by Appolos, Oziogu is well put together. However, there are flaws here and there which ought to be addressed. First and foremost, the Bini people did not settle at Ife but there was a contact with Ife through the son of the last Ogiso. These topic I will not delve into in this article. We can not dwell in the past forever even though as the late Bob Marley reasoned, “in this great future we can not forget the past” We know that the Bini kingdom produced and still produces master peices no doubt, but can we answer the following questions? Ekpu wrote that Igbo Ukwu had a tradition of bronze casting, what happened to it? Iguaghae is a Benin name, how could he have been sent to his home land? What is the future of Bronze casting? This last question is what all of us should put on the front burner, not who sent who or who started what.

The issue of the burial rite of a Bini Oba is a closely kept secret that Egharevba could not have had access to. We must support postulation with empirical evidence. The mobile phone was invented by Scandinavian, so that people in their mountainous rural areas could communicate with each other. My immediate senior brother’s company in California designs chips for Nokia. All that is now history.Has the whole world embrace it? Bronze casting has been accepted as a world class product, so let us move on from there. It must not go under like it probably did in Igbo Ukwu and Ife. The ancient art of bronze casting is gradually going into extinction in Benin. There are outcry about lack of patronage, lack of raw materials. This is making brothers rise up against one another. We all have a collective role in preventing this catastrophe.

It is not only by writing articles in newspapers and creating controversy that leads us nowhere. My friend Peavey from Erkron, Ohio once said “the only way you can attract a white man’s attraction is by placing a monetary value to a hat you are selling. We can sell Benin bronze works, so how can we protect it’s production? Luckily,these objects are like Italian shoes, it cannot be mass produced. It has to go through the displays wax process for it to be authentic. Igun street where this masters pieces are produced, supervised by a strict guild employs families about 200 of them. It is by and large their only means of lively hood. This is their contribution to the nation’s GDP income what may. They need to be protected, patronised, promoted and subsidised and of course, celebrated. For once, here is a product from Nigeria that has no negative connotations and we are arguing about who said what and who went where.

Nigeria oil is not Ogoni oil and so is bronze casting. In more organised climes, Igun street will be a federal territory. All children from there will be on scholarship and study marketing skill in higher institutions to march their inherited skills. With a Minister of Culture, Mr Edem Duke, who seems to know his onions, we might get some results. The Edo Bronze Festival must be put in the calendar of festivals of Nigeria. This festival makes more sense than some heavily financed festivals that comes and goes without adding any value to our culture and traditions. The last 5 editions of the Bronze festival highlighted our potentials as a sophisticated people being debated on tweeter and face book, which let to the cancellation of an auction of a Benin bronze object by sothebys. “This is neat as Americans, will say.”

All government cultural agencies,private sector and enthusiasts, should please join hands with us to move this world class product forward. The corporate affairs Gtbank for instance, even after the demise of it’s boss, Mr. Tayo Aderinokun, a great outlaw, is still proud to associate with  the sponsorship of the Edo Bronze Festival.

Press Release – 2011 ANOG Image Award Winners Announcement

Atlanta, GA. USA. August 23rd, 2011: 
The Alliance of Nigerian Organizations in Georgia (ANOG), the umbrella organization of the Nigerian community in Georgia, USA, today announced the winners of its annual service & Image Awards, which recognize the top distinguished Nigerians, resident in Georgia
The 2011 winners of ANOG Image Award are
  1. Prof. Juliet Elu Juliet U. Elu, Ph.D., MBA., MPA.,
    She  is a Nigerian Professor of Economics at  Morehouse College, Atlanta, and the President, National Economic Association in USA. She was the Vice-Chairperson & Director, Management and Organization, Program, in the Department of Economics at Spellman College. She is a member of Ndokwa Association of Atlanta, member of Ika Association as well as NICORE.  Prof. Juliet Elu was also a pioneer member of the Nigerians In Diaspora Organization (NIDO)
  2. Prof. Charles Ume
    Prof Ume (NNOM) is a Nigerian Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Director, Advanced Electronic Packaging and Laser Processing Laboratory, Mechatronics Instructional Laboratory and George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  He is an elected Fellow of Nigerian Academy of Science (2006), and received the Nigerian National Merit Award (NNOM) in 2003. He is an active member of the Igbo Union of Atlanta.
  3. Engr. Rufus Oladapo
    Engr. Oladapo is a Nigerian Civil Engineer in the State of Georgia. He is the Founder and President of Kemi Construction Company, Inc., a company formed in July 1987 serving the State of Georgia in areas of site utilities and roadway construction.. Engr. Oladapo has assisted several  Nigerians with employment and business opportunities and has mentored  other fellow countrymen in the construction business.  He is a founding member of Ondo State Association
This recognition demonstrates their exceptional accomplishment and appreciation for what they have done for our community.  The entire Nigerian Community in Georgia express congratulations and appreciation to these Image Awards Winners, for their dedication and exemplary conduct. We are confident that they will continue serving the community for many more years to come, leaving a strong legacy and shining model for succeeding generations of Nigerians at home and in the diaspora.
 
About ANOG Image Award.
The  ANOG Image Award is given to distinguished Nigerians, resident in Georgia, who have projected positive “Image” of Nigerians in their professional and community activities, who have made notable contributions for the advancement their communities, locally and abroad, and who, by their conduct and reputation, have provided a shining example to succeeding generations of Nigerians, home and abroad.
This year’s awards recipients will be honored at a colorful awards ceremony at the Nigerian Independence / Awards Banquet on Saturday October 8th, 2011 at the Presidential Ballroom, 4001 Presidential Parkway, Atlanta, GA, 30340. Special Guests expected at this year’s celebrations include:
  1. His Excellency, Nigerian Ambassador to USA, Prof. Adebowale Adefuye (who personally attended in 2010),
  2. Prof Oye Ibidapo-Obe (Former Vice Chancellor  of University of Lagos, who has accepted to be the Guest Speaker),
  3. The Consul General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Atlanta, Hon. Godfrey Teneilabe.
  4. Members of Government, counties, the diplomatic corps and intelligentsia in Atlanta, GA
About the Alliance of Nigerian Organizations in Georgia (ANOG)
ANOG (www.anogusa.org)  is the umbrella organization of all Nigerians resident in Georgia with membership across all community, tribal, ethnic, educational, social, political and economic lines. The objectives of ANOG are to create an inclusive Nigerian Community in Georgia, to advocate, protect and advance Nigerian culture, to promote the advancement and welfare of Nigerians and to cultivate political awareness and civic responsibility among Nigerians.

For more information contact,  Titus Olowokere, President @president@anogusa.org

 or Yakubu Azi, General Secretary @secretary@anogusa.org

ATL Host Nigerian Promoters Association 2nd Annual Summit!

Atlanta is set to host  Nigerian Promoters Association 1st business award summit (NPA) This event is planned to be unique and huge. Bringing celebrities around the world, and guess who is coming to town?  Belgian’s Music Billboard top 10, pop recording artist, Silvy De Bie with the group Sylver.

The Annual summit is an annual meeting of Nigerian Entertainment exponents coming together to meet and deliberate thoroughly on how to better improve the standard of the Nigerian Arts and Entertainment industry as a one point agenda by the year 2015.

While the Arts and Entertainment Business Awards is to recognize, celebrate and to further promote the Nigerian Arts and Entertainment exponents based in the United States of America and in the Diaspora and to preserve Nigerian cultural heritage by providing a space for Business opportunities.

EVENT INFO

FRIDAY–(DAY 1)
MEET & GREET MIXER
(Pool Party Affair)
(Sheraton Gateway Hotel Atlanta Airport)
1900 Sullivan Road Atlanta GA 30337
Date: September 2nd, 2011
Time: 8.00pm-11.00pm

SATURDAY–(DAY 2)
NPA 2ND ANNUAL SUMMIT MEETING
Date: September 3rd, 2011
Time: 2.00pm-4.00pm
Dress code: Corporate & Classy

TOPIC
How Nigerian & African artistes can get Published & Publishing money in America.
Hosted by: Femi Ojetunde, Grammy Chapter Atlanta, ASACP Publishing, BMI Publishing, Entertainment Lawyers, Artists
Speaker: Manuel Seal Jr
* Entertainment Business 101 Discussion Panel
Time: 4.00pm-5.00pm
Hosted by: Bishop A.
Speaker: Taiwo Lawrence

MOVIE PREMIERE
Comedy Movie ( Okoto the Messenger)
Produced by: Pascal Atuma
SEPT 3RD, 2011
(Movie Premiere & After-Party)
Time: 9.00pm-11.00pm
* After-Party—Time: 11.00pm-3.00am

SUNDAY–(DAY 3)
PRE-AWARD PRESENTATION
Red Carpet photo shoot/Media
Date: September 4th, 2011
Time: 6.00pm-8.00pm
SEPT 4TH, 2011
(Award Ceremony & After-Party)
AWARD PRESENTATION
Date: September 4th, 2011
Time: 8.00pm-11.00pm

FAREWELL PARTY—Time: 11.00pm-3.00am
Dress Code: Upscale, Classy Native wear, GQ & Sexy

OTHER EVENTS
* Artists Showcase
*Respect The Dee Jay BBQ & Pool Party
* Dee Jay Battle
*Fashion Showcase

For tickets visit http://wwwnpa.ticketleap.com/npa-awards-atlanta-2011/. An experience you don’t want to miss! Africa Let’s Go! or visit: www.npa-usa.com for more information.