Thursday, October 30, 2008

Miss Africa USA 2008: The Roll Call and the Crown

Two more days and a new Miss Africa USA 2008-2009 will be crowned at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center in Jonesboro, Georgia. It's been quite a hurdle for the contestants; from thinking about it and getting prepared.

The Finalists: Daniele Ntahonkiriye (Burundi); Daniele Mingana Frankie Fochive (Cameroon); Andrea Mvemba (Democratic Republic of Congo); Aziza Eltieb (Ethiopia); Tanta Badjan (Gambia); Krystle Simpson (Ghana); Binta Binette Diao (Guinea); Victoria Njau (Kenya); Belloh Julius (Liberia); Esosa Edosomwan (Nigeria); Mariamma Brown (Senegal); Philippa Lahai-Swaray (Sierra Leone); Nyasha Zimucha (South Africa); Natalia Zambakari (South Sudan); Imat Akelo-Opio Uganda); Mutinta Suuya (Zambia); Busi Mlambo (Zimbabwe) and Kikelomo Togbe-Olory (Benin).

All candidates are without a doubt fit for the crown.

The show is being sponsored by No Pin Long Distance, Western Union, Estella Couture, African Independent Television, L Shandi Designs and many others.

The winner of the Miss Africa USA 2008 will walk away with a "total package up to $10,000."

Goodluck, y'all!

Go Africa Go!

Pascal Atuma Productions to produce a dramatic street thriller starring award-winning actress Taraji Henson.

Press Release from MINC Media & EMedia Wire

Hollywood, CA (PRWEB) October 29, 2008 -- Award-winning actress Taraji P. Henson is set to star in the upcoming thriller ''No More Bloodshed.'' The independent feature film about a paroled hit man determined to change his life and reclaim the son he's never known will be directed by Emmy winner Michael Ajakwe Jr., and was written by Ajakwe and Pascal Atuma for Pascal Atuma Productions (''My American Nurse'', ''Only in America'', ''Hurricane in the Rose Garden'').

Set in modern-day Los Angeles, the dramatic tale of sin and salvation follows the story of a freed convicted felon who vows never to go back to prison. After spending years behind bars and gaining a new perspective, he swears he's a different man. But in many ways, he hasn't finished doing his time.

Henson, who recently starred in ''Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys'' and alongside Brad Pitt in the upcoming Oscar contender ''The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,'' was recently named by ''Variety'' as one of ''10 Actors to Watch'' in its annual spotlight on emerging new talents. The announcement was made at the 12th Annual Hollywood Film Festival's Hollywood Awards. The award-winning actress will star as the female lead in ''No More Bloodshed,'' playing Beverly -- the ex-girlfriend of the ex-con with whom she shares a son.

Henson will be joined in the gritty street drama by TV and film stars Jason George (''Eli Stone'', ''Barbershop''), Mark Christopher Lawrence (''Chuck'', ''The Pursuit of Happyness''), and Tommy Ford (''Martin'', ''New York Undercover''). Grammy-winning R&B legend Deniece Williams will portray Henson's mother in the film. A search is ongoing for the male lead, with Emmy-winning casting director Robi Reed of Robi Reed & Associates heading up casting. Production on ''No More Bloodshed'' is scheduled to begin in March 2009 in Los Angeles.

Media Contact:
Ngozi Mba
MINC Media for Pascal Atuma Productions

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Enter Guinea's Binta Binette Diao

As Brittany Lyons of Jamaica clinched a spot to represent Jamaica in Miss World Pageant to be held on Saturday, December 13, 2008, at the Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a completion of a photo shoot at the Jamaican Pergasus Hotel in Jamaica last night, so too, is little known Binta Binette Diao from Guinea who might be popping in to the Clayton County Performing Arts Center in Jonesboro, Georgia, on Saturday, November 1, 2008, with a whole lot of surprises.

I've said it over and over again; it's anybody's night when all the fanfare and catwalks begins to showcase the most beautiful and glamorous African ladies in Diaspora. The after party is what I'm looking forward to, and for sure, it's going to be one of those nights.

For 21-year-old Binta who stands at five-feet eight inches and weighing 145 Ibs kind of would take the panel of judges to Tobacco Road where fierce competitions are made on a turf not fabricated but real. Everybody is a winner as long as you keep your head up to focus on what's out there for you. I will be wrapping up this series on the call sheet tomorrow before I take off, and I hope Saturday night in Jonesboro will be a night to remember.

Goodluck and keep the faith!

Go Africa Go!

CARTOON: Magomago & Wuruwuru Country


News Desk (Early Edition) Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ambassadorial nominee fails test on capital of Jigawa State

THE Senate yesterday commenced the screening of ambassadorial nominees with one of the eleven nominees failing to name the capital of Jigawa State just as the Senate disclosed its abandonment of its "bow and go" policy in its consideration READ MORE>>>

MOSOP tells Useni to apologise to Ogoni people over Saro wiwa

THE Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has told former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Lt-General Jeremiah Useni to apologise to the Ogoni for saying the late Ken Sarowiwa deserved to be hanged READ MORE>>>

Finance officer Peter Voser takes command at Royal Dutch Shell

Royal Dutch Shell, the world's second-largest oil company, named Peter Voser, its chief financial officer, as its new chief executive yesterday. Swiss-born Mr Voser, 50, will replace Jeroen van der Veer on July 1 next year. READ MORE>>>

Policemen defy IG, still mount checkpoints on Lagos roads

Policemen in Lagos still mount checkpoints on the highways in the metropolis in defiance of last week’s directive of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, that such acts should stop. READ MORE>>>

Yar’Adua drops 20 ministers

The much-awaited cabinet reshuffle by President Umaru Yar’Adua took place on Wednesday with the removal of eight full ministers and 12 ministers of state. READ MORE>>>

Happy Hour @ Lola's

I have not written about eating out in a while now, and as of last night, I had a good one with a friend. We had talked about where to hang out and eat some good food from one of Hollywood's restaurants and bars. My friend had asked me what was my favorite restaurants which is really the question being asked every now and then for those that frequent the pubs. To be precise, I have no particular or favorite restaurant. It all depends on my mood and where I'm hanging out at a particular time of the day or night.

But in this case, I landed at Lola's located at 945 North Fairfax Avenue in West Hollywood. While driving on Fairfax and heading along the Wilshire Corridor on Miracle Mile, the atmosphere changed and the smell of Hollywood began to surface along Fairfax stretching to the home of the unholy and all that Hollywood is known for -- I mean, the night life, the stars and the wannabes -- you know what I'm talking about.

Anyways, at Lola, as we landed and as usual, we were offered a table with the gesture of the waitress telling us 'the table is yours for the evening,' making us feel indulged. That was a good gesture, isn't it?

My friend had requested a glass of French Martini, a signal Lola's was the original home of French and apple martinis. Now I know why there are too many martini freaks in Hollywood. I ordered some appetizers to make my body and soul one. I had a bowl of sauteed calamari with beans, corn and asparagus in a shell to start the evening of pub-crawling around town. While sipping that strong martini, my friend ordered cornmeal crusted fry oyster with lemon aioli and steamed rice on the side. I ordered my regular drink -- two shots of cognac.

The evening had just begun.

As we sat joyously eating and drinking, we talked about a whole lot of stuff. We mentioned the Jam in Atlanta on Saturday, November 1st, which will make Mt Zion Parkway look like the carnivals on Hollywood Boulevard. We talked about how death had taken away some of our finest musicians and songwriters -- Isaac Hayes, Levi Stubbs and Norman Whitfield.

In fact, we mentioned the days of Motown and how Berry Gordy Jr. built that great empire that produced The Jacksons, Temptations, Undisputed Truth, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross & The Supremes, Smokey Robinson and many others.

At Lola's, it was not a night of trick or treat. It was a night of hanging out and the earlier you go the better chances you would have to grab one of the Leopard print couches on the front.

I loved it and it was just fun!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CARTOON: Economic Meltdown in the Kitchen


Four Tops' Levi Stubbs Mourned By Motown

Abdul Fakir, right, known as Duke, the last surviving original member of the Four Tops, greeted guests at the funeral for Levi Stubbs at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit on Monday. (Carlos Osorio/Associated Press)

If you grew up in the 70s and never heard of Motown, you must be living in some kind of woods. Motown, to me, is not a fairy tale. It's an empire founded by Berry Gordy which brought the best musical cast of all time. For Levi Stubbs who died October 17 and buried yesterday in Detroit his was a magic. Growing up in the 70s and listening to the Four Tops I have fond memories, though most of their hits were released in the mid to late 60s.

They had a string of soul hits beginning with "Baby I need Your Loving" which caught the eyes of the hippies and funksters of the day. "I Can't Help Myself" which vibrates with a follow up "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch" made methink "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch" was the real track.

Stubbs, Renaldo "Obie" Benson, Duke Fakir and Lawrence Payton formed the Four Aims in 1956 in Detroit and later on would change the band's name to the Four Tops after signing a contract with Chess Records. At Chess Records, nothing much happened in terms of producing a successful album which led the band to team up with Berry Gordy Jr, the founder of Motown. At Motown, everything the legendary baritone voice of Stubbs and the Four Tops touched was gold. Hits upon hits were made. Stubbs vocals made Four Tops a world famous group.

Adios Stubbs, your voice is still alive.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Kikelomo Togbe-Olory To Represent Benin

Ain't she already a model with that kinda look? You bet!

I had said it was going to be explosive that November 1st night at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center in Jonesboro, Georgia; and quite frankly, the best is yet to come especially when you have the 1984 Alaska Beauty Queen Maryline Blackburn and movie producer Marlon D'Wayne aka Marlon Campbell co-hosting Miss Africa USA 2008.

For 21-year-old Kikelomo Togbe-Olory who just checked in, it's all for grabs and she is determined to do her best in serving the African Continent by way of humanitarian and worthy causes to make the entire continent a better place.

Standing at five-feet eight inches and weighing 105 Ibs, her stats tells a whole lot about her physique and how ready she is for decision day. Kikelomo is currently studying Architecture at the University of Maryland, College Park. Kikelomo plans to move back to Benin when through with academics to start up an architectural firm that would build homes to help the less fortunate in her native land. Good luck!

Go Africa Go!

CARTOON: Questionable Characters


Movie Producer Marlon D'Wayne To Co Host The 4th Annual Miss Africa USA Scholarship Pageant

From The Open Press

Marlon D’wayne, aka Marlon Campbell to Co Host the 4th Annual Miss Africa USA Scholarship Pageant.

(OPENPRESS) October 27, 2008 -- With much of the nation’s attention duly focused on finances and how the upcoming elections will affect the country’s future, movie producer Marlon D’wayne, aka Marlon Campbell is responding by serving families and communities throughout the country. Marlon D’wayne announced his dual role as Humanitarian Ambassador to the Millenia Hope Foundation and Good Will Ambassador for the African Women’s Development Foundation, official producers of the Miss Africa USA Scholarship Pageant. On Saturday November 1, 2008 Marlon D’wayne and Miss Alaska 1984, Maryline Blackburn will host The 4th Annual Miss Africa USA Scholarship Pageant, at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center in Jonesboro, Georgia.

President and CEO of the African Women’s Development, and also the executive producer of The 4th Annual Miss Africa USA Scholarship Pageant is Lady Kate Njeuma. The Miss Africa USA Pageant is open to delegates from all 53 countries that make up the continent of Africa, the motherland. Pageant delegates are simply ordinary women of African descent living in America and facing every day challenges of growing up in two different cultures. Each year a strong team of volunteers and supporters of the pageant from the community commit time and effort to make the pageant a great success. This years Annual Miss Africa USA Pageant proceeds will benefit women and children in Education, Healthcare and children’s Rights in Africa and the USA.

As Ambassador to The Millenia Hope Foundation, and Good Will Ambassador to African Women’s Foundation, Marlon D’wayne will assist the private foundation with a global mission of supporting indigenous people who have contracted tropical infectious diseases, in particular, AIDS, and Malaria. Millenia Hope Foundation addresses the distresses of undeveloped countries. Presently, Africa.

“I am in complete agreement with the process of self-actualization of the African people to determine their own destiny. The goals of MHF, is to first raise funds for the needy, the impoverished, the dehydrated and the sick of Africa. Secondly, provide medical and educational help, medicine, medical supplies, water, pumps and filtration systems, educational supplies and services. Thirdly, teach them how to become self sustaining in this beautiful world of ours. The mission of Millenia Hope is so exact for humanity and perfectly suits the objectives of the UN’s Millenia Development goals. The team at Millenia Hope is committed to research and development to deliver on global medical needs and to bring hope through healthcare solutions. I am honored to be a part of both the MHP and ADF.” Marlon D’wayne, states.

Marlon D’wayne is currently gearing up for his highly anticipated major motion picture film Oblivious. With an impressive cast including actor Bokeem Woodbine, Michael B. Jordan, Lauren Barrett, Eric Martinez, Sahara Garey, the film is scheduled for a summer 2009 release.

ABOUT: Millenia Hope Foundation (MHF) is a non-for-profit organization established in 2004. Through national and international collaboration and partnerships, MHF acts as a catalyst for realizing the full potential of therapeutic healing for various tropical diseases such as Malaria. MHF, now has access to products that may greatly lessen the burden and eliminate an enormous toll on human health, well being and the economies of various southern continents.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Southland-Bred Eritrean-Ethiopian Model Lydia Asghedom

Lydia Asghedom was born in Addis Ababa and moved to San Diego at the age of 10 to join her mother and other siblings. Here, in the Southland, she was discovered to have significant potentials while in high school. While growing up in the San Diego area, Lydia was involved in many sports but wrestling was her major target, and it did take her places.

She won a full scholarship to study business management and psychology at Menlo College in Atherton, Northern California. Lydia started modeling after graduating from college and was offered the modeling job for Soma Model Management before switching to City Model management in San Francisco which she did for quite some time, then relocated to Dusseldorf, Germany and now represented by Divina Models management.

Lydia's hands are full with series of endorsements running here and there in the United States and elsewhere on the Globe. Who said that Southland cannot make stuff happen? Of course, the Southland rocks and Lydia is out there to prove it. So you go girl, and keep rocking!

CARTOON: Mr & Mrs Hemehe


News Desk (Early Edition) Friday, October 24, 2008

Obasanjo, U.S., UK Conspired To Kill Me - Alamieyeseigha

Diepreye Alamieyeseigha suspended his longstanding silence this week to recall his ordeal as a resource control agitator marked down for execution by Aso Rock, the United States and the United Kingdom, all of which he said were convinced his activities could frustrate world oil supply. READ MORE>>>

3 Nigerians nabbed in alleged fraud involving Bank of Ethiopia

( - According to news reports, 3 Nigerians were arrested in Seoul, South Korea for allegedly swindling Citibank out of millions of dollars with a "fake Ethiopian central bank document". The suspects were able to deceive Citibank in New York to transfer $30 million to several banks in six countries including South Korea. READ MORE>>>

NNPC workers suspend planned strike

The two inhouse workers’ unions representing the 9,000 workforce of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which had two weeks ago threatened to go on strike over the planned sale of Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) READ MORE>>>

SSS confirms Elendu’s arrest

The State Security Service has said it arrested United States-based Nigerian blogger, Jonathan Elendu, for matters relating to sedition. READ MORE>>>

FBI: Nigerian Fraud Ring Milking Banks

Authorities say they are currently focusing all of their manpower on the group's top dog -- Tobechi "Tobe" Onwuhara. Agents say Onwuhara is the mastermind ... READ MORE>>>

CARTOON: Playing Games


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Around Los Angeles With Ambrose

Quite often, when I say L.A. is the place people get to wonder why. I will come to that. The city is just amazing. Starting the week, I've done a whole lot of stuff from the nerve wracking Monday Night Football, pub-crawling, screening of feature films coupled with the pundits who are now caught in between the Barack Obama and John McCain campaigns which seemingly looks very much Obama is making a headway in the polls. Did I say that? AP says they are running neck and neck. My mistake.

But we should realize Obama is interestingly showing every bit of his eloquence in terms of being well-prepared to handle any situation that may arise from the McCain camp. I have done some soul searching and my hunch tells me it's going to be a landslide on Obama's favor. It's just less than two weeks away and we shouldn't be counting our eggs when not yet hatched.

It's mid-week and I'm still hanging in there. I was given a special invitation for the sneak preview or is it the world premier of 'Boiler Maker' directed by Paul T. Murray and starring John Savage, Jack McGee and Arie Verveen. Savage, McGee and Verveen did a good job. That was yesterday and it was great. The screening was at Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills and I couldn't believe the turn out. Everybody showed up and Robert Amico, my good friend, who was part of the production crew was glad to have me around and the fun really began after the movie inside the lobby of the theater when hugging, kisses and champaign became the order. I will be reviewing the movie right here and elsewhere in the upcoming weeks. So stay tuned.

A Look At Cameroon's Danielle Mingana Frankie Fochive And Miss Africa USA 2008

Well, it's closing up. The D-Day is just around the corner and from what it looks like the contestants are not taking anything for granted. Much has been said already and the panel of judges are now battling with the anxiety stuff in what they probably think would be a fair judgement to the winner on that Saturday that starts the month of November in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Eight. How about that?

For 21-year-old Cameroonian-born Danielle Mingana Frankie Fochive, it's anybody's game and she is battle-ready to a gathering that brings down the house where Africans are doing some great stuff to help Motherland Africa, the origin of man in scientific terms.

Danielle has done pretty much besides her academic pursuits of being an eye doctor or oncologist based on how she makes up her mind in the course of her studies at Montgomery College at Takoma Park in Maryland. Volunteering in churches, 'participatring in bible study with children, ' organizing in fund raising activities to help kids during the Christmas season and helping to feed the hungry during Thanksgiving tells a whole lot about a girl who had humble beginnings and raised by her aunt from a country that has one of the highest literacy rate on the African Continent.

Danielle has a dream and that dream is to be crowned Miss Africa USA 2008 on November 1st at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center in Jonesboro, Georgia. I will be there and I will be cheering to all the 17 beautiful African contestants that have so far shown that black is beautiful as the magic of blackness unveils on Mt Zion Parkway.

Goodluck Danielle!

Go Africa Go!

CARTOON: Doing The Right Thing?


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Liberia's Belloh Julius And Determination

For sure, the clock is moving real fast and I'm yet to pack my stuff for the journey that will make Mt Zion Parkway look like Hollywood Boulevard on that Saturday, November 1, at Clayton County Performing Arts Center in Jonesboro, Georgia when Miss Africa USA will be crowned for 2008.

For Liberia's 23-year-old Bellow Julius, I think she came a long way and determined to give it her best on that day. Standing at five-feet nine inches and weighing 127Ibs, she's got a shot like any other contender based on how hard she'd worked over the years. Now nearing completion toward her bachelor's degree in Interior Design at the Art Institute of Atlanta, her pastime is just amazing. She enjoys drawing, painting, writing poetry and modeling.

Also, she has done a lot of volunteer work and specifically for the Liberian Association of Metropolitan Atlanta Health Fair and the Women of Fire Liberian Children's Family Day. Her resume speaks volumes and she is in.


Go Africa Go!

CARTOON: Abuja, the most corrupt City


The All Star Cast Of "The Secret Life Of Bees"

Much has been said and reviewed about this all star cast "Bees" based on Sue Monk Kidd's novel (I did not read the novel)in a story that is centered on Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning) who had been troubled and not getting along with her father played by Paul Bettany. Lily Owens runs away with her caregiver and only friend Rasaleen Daise (Jennifer Hudson) to a South Carolina town that has the secret of her mother's past.

The film is set in 1964 South Carolina and Owen curious about her mother's mystery while in the company of her nanny Daise, the duo ended up in a little town on a move to discover the mystery which never occured, rather they found a giant pink house, a honey company and three sisters. The three sisters were May Boatwright (Sophie Okonedo), June Boatwright (Alicia Keys) and August Boatwright (Queen Latifah).

The movie opens tomorrow at all theaters and was produced byLauren Shuler Doner, James Lassiter, Joe Pichirallo and Will Smith. A Fox Seachlight release and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sierra Leone's Philippa Makoni Lahai-Swaray

23-year-old Philippa Makoni Lahai-Swaray's story and her bid for the Miss Africa USA is quite interesting considering how far she came and at this point still waxing strong and never giving up. Standing at five-feet four-inches tall and weighing 130Ibs, Philippa was born in Sierra Leone but spent her younger years in London excelling in sports to a point she was one of "London's top school athletes."

Majoring in Criminology at Alabama State University, she was a member of the track and field team. Though, briefly at ASU, she was awarded full schorlarship at East Tennessee State University in track and field. Tragedy struck Philippa in an automobile accident at East Tennessee keeping her off tracks with 'broken legs and shattered left ankle.' She survived and moved on.

Still at East Tnnessee State, she aspires to attend law school with specialty in International Corporate Law. And with all that courage and surviving the battle wounds, Philippa wants to use herself as a model by 'proudly representing the Africa Diaspora' in the event she captures the crown.

I salute your courage and goodluck!

Go Africa Go!

CARTOON: Life Goes On


News Update

USAID Project Treats Nigerian Women with Reproductive Tract Afflictions

Helping USAID in its effort is an NGO called ACQUIRE – or Access, Quality and Use in Reproductive Health. Together, they are working to prevent and repair fistula, or V.V.F. It’s an abnormal opening or passageway between the birth canal and one of the internal organs, including the bladder. READ MORE>>>

Nigeria set to Launch Nigcomsat - 2 and 3

As part of Nigerian Communications Satellite's coverage expansion project, plans have reached advanced stages for the launch of NigComSat-2 and 3, according to managing director Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai. READ MORE>>>

W.Africa Crude-Nigeria quiet, Angolan loadings due

One trader said that premiums for West African crude have risen since October but this has more to do with the fall in Brent prices than fundamentals, since global demand for crude oil is falling. READ MORE>>>

Dramatic Images Of Southern California Fires

Irfan Khan of the Los Angeles Times captures the above image of a firefighter pouring water on a structure at the Sky Terrace Mobile Lodge in Lake view Terrace.

Francine Orr of the Los Angeles Times captures the above image where firefighters 'attempt to keep flames from crossing' Sesnon Blvd. east of Balboa Blvd in the San Fernando Valley.

Firefighters protect homes late Monday night on Beaufait Ave., south of Sesnon Blvd. and north of the 118 in Porter Ranch. A mandatory evacuation was ordered on Beaufait.

Fire lights up the hills of Camp Pendleton as strong winds sweep flames toward Fallbrook in the Marek and Senson fires.

Los Angeles Times Irfan Khan captures Kenny Wilson as he 'uses a garden hose to wet the dry brush behind his home in Granada Hills.'

As smoke, dust and dirt is whipped up by harsh winds, animal care technician Jacob Miller walks by the many horses that were brought to the Hansen Photo by Karen Tapia-Anderson

Al Seib of Los Angeles Times captures Maribel Miramontes and her son Adrian evacuate their home in the Lake View Terrace neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Courageous Andrea Mvemba and Miss Africa USA

We probably will be seeing one of the most in-demand in the global world of fashion and modelling based on the African context when the winner of the 2008 Miss Africa USA is announced at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center in Jonesboro, Georgia on Saturday, November 1, 2008.

The festivities is coming much closer and exciting. It is becoming more engaging especially when all the contestants are looking forward to a sound and progressive future with either their academic pursuits or dedication to improving their lives and helping others.

For Democratic Republic of the Congo contestant, 19-year-old Andrea Mvemba is showing it's anybody's game when it comes to unique events like the one that will be unfolding on Mt Zion Parkway. Standing at five-feet seven inches tall and weighing 125 Ibs, no question, she has the statistics to make it.

Andrea is currently a shophomore majoring in psychology at Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia. She aspires to obtain a PhD in Clinical Psychology by the time she is through with academics. Hang in there and Goodluck!

Go Africa Go!

The Critics and M-Net Face Of Africa

Hamamat Montia & Kate A. T. Menson -- Daily Graphic File Photo

While 20-year-old Hamamat Montia and 22-year-old Kate Aba Techie Menson were last week picked to represent Ghana in Face Of Africa contest, there has been all kinds of stuff popping up from the rumor mills that the casting crew and scouts weren't living up to the creed of the draw from the moment it began about ten years ago when then 17-year-old Nigerian-born Oluchi Onweagba captured the crown in its debut.

Reports last week echoed by Zimbabwe's The Herald, Trust Khosa had pointed out that 20-year-old Gamuchirai Tawengwa and 23-year-old Rudo Ndugu did not make the draw during the casting held in Zambia on the ground the 2005 Face Of Africa winner, Botswana's Kaone Kario who has been on the helm of affairs in this year's castings and scoutings had used her position to deny them the privilege of sailing through.

Meanwhile, Gamuchirai and Rudo weren't happy from what had unfolded and as a result, they threw all sorts of insults at Kaone. With the final casting that took place at the Hotel Alvalade, Luanda, Angola, last weekend, the finalists will now head to Zanzibar's Scenic Island where the ten finalists will emerge for the catwalks and eventual winner of the contest.

The results not being announced or revealed on time from the various cities is not adding 'spice' to the contest, according to the critics. Hopefully, all the results will be revealed in a timely fashion with the best announced as winner in the view of the casting and scouting crew.

Go Africa Go!

News Desk (Early Edition) Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Obasanjo rejects power probe report

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has rejected the report of the House of Representatives Committee on Power, saying its conclusion contained unsubstantiated allegations. READ MORE>>>

Files on ex-governors missing, says EFCC

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mrs. Faraday Waziri, on Monday said that the former state governors investigated by the commission were still walking about freely because files on their alleged misdeeds were either “missing or distorted.” READ MORE>>>

Africa and the taming of terrorists

Radical writer cum human rights activist, Mallam Shehu Sani is at it again. Following the publication of a bizarre work entitled, Political Assassinations in Nigeria, two years ago, the social critic is out with another breathtaking work. READ MORE>>>

Alleged N5bn fraud: EFCC threatens Rivers officials

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday threatened to declare wanted, the Rivers State’s commissioner for Finance, the accountant-general and the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance. READ MORE>>>

Nurses condemn state of primary health care

National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives has decried the situation at the primary health level, describing it as “very pathetic” and therefore called on the three tiers of government to intervene immediately before the total collapse of the sector. READ MORE>>>

The Achebean Restoration

By Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

(paper presented at the Conference on Things Fall Apart at 50, School of Advanced Study, Institute of English Studies, University of London, Friday 10 October 2008)

“Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond”

This 11-worded dramatic opening sentence in Things Fall Apart on the life and times of Okonkwo is as defiant as it is engaging in establishing the African presence and interests in history right from the outset in the novel. For Chinua Achebe, the restoration of the African as the central focus of deliberation and agency is a crucial task of the African narrative on the morrow of the European conquest and occupation of Africa. As a result, Achebe accomplishes two crucial goals in this endeavour. First, he ensures that there is no universal loss of memory of the historic realities of African sovereignty and independence, prior to the conquest, nor on the regenerative seeds of African freedom which survive the occupation. The germination of these seeds, subsequently, would radically define the parameters of the African struggle for the re-establishment of its sovereignty. Secondly, Achebe counters the conquest literature of the aftermath. The latter achievement cannot be exaggerated because in its totalising quest to “rationalise” or indeed “justify” the conquest and its devastating aftermath, the European World’s pervading historiography on Africa (in the arts, science, technology, philosophy, etc., etc) expunges or at best marginalises the creative and driving force of the African humanity in the historical process. The apogee of this project was of course the historiography’s construction of the fallacy that “Africa had no history”, epitomised most outrageously in what Basil Davison has categorised, quite succinctly, as “Hegel’s nonsense” of the 19th century. Achebe’s own careful choice of the wordings of the title of the District Commissioner’s book of conquest at the very end of his novel is a deft reference to this development. Yet, this choice of the towering title of imperial self-conceit was in itself a devastating parody of eurocentric ahistoricity. Even though it appears that the District Commissioner has the last word in Things Fall Apart with the commanding space of the title of his text, the groundings of his conquest architecture of control and consolidation are at best tenuous. So, contrary to the bombastic title of an anthropological treatise, the future of history is not in fact dependent on the District Commissioner nor his nascent occupation regime nor indeed the headquarters of his imperial state back home in Europe. Unquestionably, Umuofia, Africa, still lays claims to this initiative, despite the conquest of the era.

A number of critics have stated over the years that Achebe’s desire to become a writer acquired some urgency following his confrontation with Joyce Carey’s Mister Johnson, whilst at university in the 1950s. It should be recalled that Time magazine had in October 1952 described Mr Johnson most ecstatically as the “best novel ever written about Africa”. There is evidence of Mr Johnson’s impact on Achebe’s mission but this is far less sentimental than some have observed. It is the case that the importance of Mr Johnson, for Achebe, was that the underlying philosophical and historical assumptions of the novel and the techniques employed in its execution, were part of the composite portrait of the eurocentric conquest historiography on Africa that had written Africa out of the reckoning of events. This was the picture that was encapsulated in the endless shelf-rows of literature-of-African agency-denial that made up the curriculum that Achebe had to work through as an African undergraduate in a university college located in Africa. As exemplified in Mr Johnson, for instance, Lyn Innes has correctly noted that Joyce Cary’s “European characters belong to history; their psychology is understood in terms of cause and effect, and they learn and change within specific social and historical situations.” “In contrast,” Innes continues, “African characters like … Mister Johnson do not learn; they behave in certain ways because they are what they are, and ultimately they remain true to their assigned racial characteristics” (emphasis added). For Achebe, it was not just the “infuriating principal character, Johnson,” that he found objectionable in Mr Johnson but a “certain undertow of uncharitableness just below the surface on which [Cary’s] narrative moves and from where, at the slightest chance, a contagion of distaste, hatred and mockery breaks through to poison his tale.” Achebe recalls the occasion of a party in the novel that Johnson gives for his friends which is described in the following grisly prose by Carey: “the demonic appearance of the naked dancers, grinning, shrieking, scowling, or with faces which seemed entirely dislocated, senseless and unhuman, like twisted bags of lard, or burst bladder.” Achebe’s response is quick and to the point: “Haven’t I encountered this crowd before? Perhaps, in Heart of Darkness, in the Congo. But Cary is writing about my home … isn’t it? In the end I began to understand. There is such a thing as absolute power over narrative. Those who secure this privilege for themselves can arrange stories about others pretty much where, and as, they like.” Talking of Heart of Darkness, Achebe would later in 1977 publish his celebrated African-centred reading of Conrad’s text under the caption “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness”.


“Okonkwo was well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond.” In contrast to the extant literature-of-African agency-denial, Things Fall Apart begins with this uncompromisingly evocative statement, proclaiming the re-entry of the African subject of history in this long-overdue reconstructionary narrative. No more are we stuck with the mummifying escapades of the lobotomised creature called Mr Johnson. Instead, we begin to interact with an African who operates from a clearly recognisable centre of their choosing – we have no difficulty whatsoever in recognising and understanding Okonkwo and his land and his people and his humanity. Indeed by the end of chapter one, which is just four pages long, the author establishes a discerning profile of Okonkwo: his upbringing and family ties, his friends, his achievements, and a fascinating overview of the juridico-spiritual and political economic foundation of Umuofia. The rags-to-riches triumph of Okonkwo’s phenomenal personal struggle to succeed in life, despite his modest background, offers a breathtaking insight into the sociology of Igbo meritocratic society; but we also engage with the weaknesses and the intricate balances between the conflicting, and at times contradictory, frames and processes of everyday life that Umuofia has had to construct, such is Achebe’s unwillingness to project a merely romantic canvass of Igbo pre-conquest history. Achebe’s is a remarkably straightforward, disarmingly effortless and a non-convoluted enterprise. It shows that the African story of restoration does not require some pretentiously nor ornamentally turgid sociological or narratory oeuvre. As Robert Wren has cogently observed, “much of Achebe’s fiction, like the greatest fiction, has something of the compression of poetry, which says much in little.” At the end, Okonkwo, the valiant general of his people’s past wars, loses the opportunity to lead his people in the historic resistance battle against the impending European invasion of Umuofia which he has long relished. He commits suicide when he is convinced that “Umuofia would not go to war.”

Kole Omotoso has argued that unlike the Yoruba who view the British invasion of their country as a “mere episode, a catalytic episode only”, the Igbo see the British invasion of Igboland as a confrontation with a “strange Difference, an Other, a Contradiction, an encounter that can only be negative in terms of the effects on Igbo culture and its ways.” Umuofia surely appreciates the grave implications of this archetypal “clash of civilisations” that Omotoso depicts. The Okonkwo-Obierika studied deliberations on the horrific massacre of the people of Abame by an ever-expanding European invading military force and the impact of the event on Umuofia’s national sovereignty is highly illustrative. Indeed, the continuing independence of Umuofia is threatened by this invasion. This gives rise to calls for a steadfast defence of their homeland by its people, despite the military superiority and the ruthlessness of the enemy it faces as historian Obierika is keen to stress: “Have you not heard how the white man wiped out Abame?” He adds, ominously, “They would go to Umuru and bring the soldiers, and we [Umuofia] would be like Abame.” For Okonkwo, the obvious overwhelming military odds against Umuofia notwithstanding, the country must defend its sovereignty resolutely: “We must fight these men and drive them from our land.”

Okonkwo’s forthright response to Obierika’s apparent reticence about how to respond to the impending British invasion of Umuofia shows clearly that years of enforced exile from home have not in any way diminished the hero’s patriotic instincts and distinctions. Okonkwo’s position on this subject has been the source and focus of criticism by some scholars who think it is reckless, given the preponderant military superiority of the invader; nothing else. Ernest Emenyonu notes: “He [Okonkwo] stubbornly clings to his delusion, does not admit defeat until ‘tied to a stake’.” Solomon Iyasere agrees: “Compelled by his own uncompromising attitudes ... Okonkwo turns to the only means he knows – violence – to solve the problem.” Kalu Ogbaa writes: “Okonkwo seizes the call to arms as a welcome opportunity to demonstrate once more his patriotism and valor without discretion. He understands how to ‘root out this evil’ without regard to the danger ...” Richard Priebe reflects on what he terms “Okonkwo’s unbending will” which “inexorabl[y]” leads to the “tragic end” of the hero’s suicide. In the same breadth, Abdul JanMohamed feels that Okonkwo is “blind to the virtues of flexibility and accommodation” which leads the latter to “impulsively” kill the envoy sent by the invading European-led army (positioned outside Umuofia at the time) to disband a crucial mass meeting of Umuofia ohanaeze (people and leadership) called to discuss the grave emergency of the impending European invasion. This subject of “inflexibility” in Okonkwo’s response to the emergency at stake is a theme pursued by Abiola Irele who describes it as a “tragic flaw” in the hero’s character which he also reckons is a “reflection of his [Okonkwo’s] society.” Gareth Griffiths, finally, is particularly contemptuous of Okonkwo’s unquestioning disposition to defend his homeland from the European aggression: “Okonkwo is destroyed because he performs more than is expected of him, and sacrifices his personal life to an exaggerated, even pathological, sense of communal duty.” Yet, bound by the sole preoccupation on the balance of military forces of both sides, these critics lose sight of the salient features in history that characterise the defence by peoples, any peoples, of their homeland from external invasion whatever the odds – even when this defence might appear “too obviously suicidal”, to quote from C.L.R. James. As history has shown, each and every invader of some other person’s country is potentially militarily superior to their would-be victims. But the latter’s response to the event is the defence of the homeland under attack despite the odds and even when these are known by the defenders as overwhelming.


The Abame massacre and those Umuofia debates on its aftermath crucially map the spectrum of milestones that would define the trajectory of the British 100 years’ war against the Igbo and the variegated frames of Igbo resistance to it. This war culminates in the 1966-1970 Igbo genocide when 3.1 million Igbo, a quarter of the nation’s population then, were murdered. This was the foundational genocide of post-European conquest Africa, effectively inaugurating the age of pestilence which, by and large, characterises contemporary Africa. Soon, the killing fields from Igboland expanded almost inexorably across Africa as the following haunting reminders of slaughter during the epoch illustrate: Uganda, Zaire/Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, southern Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Sudan. Twelve million were killed in these 13 countries. Added to the 3.1 million Igbo dead, Africa has had a gruesome tally of 15.1 million people murdered by its genocide states in the past 42 years.

Britain was a central operative, along with the Nigerian state, in the planning and execution of the Igbo genocide right from its outset in 1966 to its concluding phases in 1969/1970. It was Britain’s “punishment” of the Igbo for its audacious lead of the struggle for the freeing of Nigeria from the British occupation that began in the 1940s. Twice during that struggle, the occupation regime had casually watched two organised pogroms against the Igbo in north Nigeria – in 1945 and 1953. These murders, which also included the looting and destruction of tens of thousands of pounds worth of Igbo property and businesses, were carried out by pro-British political forces in the region who were opposed to the restoration of African independence but who Britain would hand over supreme political power of the country on the eve of its so-called departure from Nigeria in 1960. The pogroms were clearly dress rehearsals for the subsequent genocide.

Without British complicity, it was highly unlikely that the Igbo genocide would have been embarked upon in its initial phase by the Nigerian state with such unrelenting stretch and consequences between May and October 1966. Without the massive arms support that Nigeria received from Britain especially, it was highly improbable that Nigeria would have been in the military position to pursue its second phase of the genocide – namely, the invasion of Igboland – between July 1967 and January 1970. Harold Wilson, the British prime minister at the time, was adamant, as the slaughtering worsened, that he “would accept” the death of “a half a million” Igbo “if that was what it took” the Nigerian genocidists on the ground to accomplish their ghastly mission. Such was the grotesquely expressed diminution of African life made by a supposedly leading politician of the world of the 1960s – barely 20 years after the deplorable perpetration of the Jewish genocide. As the final tally of its murder of the Igbo demonstrates, Nigeria probably had the perverse satisfaction of having performed far in excess of Wilson’s grim target … In the wake of the genocide, Igboland remains occupied by the Nigerian military. Several thousands more Igbo have been murdered in Nigeria since 1970 by the state and its varied agents, some who now organise unrelentessly from the platform and under the banner of religious fundamentalism. Forty years on, Nigeria has imposed on the Igbo and Igboland the most dehumanising raft of socioeconomic package of non-development and deprivation not seen anywhere else in Africa. In essence, the genocide savagely goes on …


Finally, we must pose the following question: When will Umuofia re-establish its lost sovereignty? The restoration of Umuofia freedom is arguably the most eagerly awaited development in Africa of the new century. The precise formulations and circumstances of such an outcome, with consequences of immense epochal proportions, are impossible to predict or indeed prescribe. Interestingly, historian Obierika reminisces on the future of Umuofia, albeit cryptically, in those solemn moments as he reassures the world of the great life of his fallen dear friend. One component in this seeming puzzle is however certain. In one of those fascinating but intriguing quirks that occurs in the course of history, the restoration of freedom, for Umuofia, will, again, amount to things falling apart. Umuofia’s current geopolitical status, as everybody knows, is completely untenable for its people. This second time around, unlike the cataclysmic events of 140 years ago, a far-reaching social transformation of the nation is at once distinctly inevitable and historically liberatory. Umuofia’s restoration of sovereignty will herald the much-sought process across Africa for the dismantling of the constellation of genocide and kakistocratic states embedded in post-European conquest Africa of which Umuofia is presently forced in. The African renaissance would have begun in earnest.

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe is a leading scholar of the Igbo genocide, 1966-1970. His books include Conflict and Intervention in Africa (Macmillan, 1990), Africa 2001: The State, Human Rights and the People (IIAR, 1993), African Literature in Defence of History: An essay on Chinua Achebe (African Renaissance, 2001) and Biafra Revisited (African Renaissance, 2006)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

News Update

Oil falls $2 as demand concerns outweigh OPEC

NEW YORK, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Oil prices fell more than $2 to below $87 a barrel on Thursday as expectations that the financial crisis could further slow demand outweighed calls by some OPEC members to cut output to prop up prices. READ MORE>>>

French author wins Nobel Prize

Le Cle{aac}zio's first novel, Le Proces Verbale (The Interrogation), published when he was just 23, was short-listed for the Prix Goncourt and won the Prix Renaudot. It made him an instant star in the French literary firmament, from which he kept his distance, saying in a 1965 interview, ''Not sure yet if writing is a good manner of expression''. READ MORE>>>

Nigeria official says innocent in $40 mln graft case

LAGOS, Oct 9 (Reuters) - A senior official from Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta pleaded not guilty on Thursday to embezzling $40 million in public funds, in a corruption case being closely watched by militants in the restive region. READ MORE>>>

Krystle Simpson, Faith in God and Miss Africa USA

Standing at five-feet eleven-inches tall and weighing 125 Ibs, 20-year-old Krystle Simpson, the current Miss Ghana USA will be representing Ghana at the Miss Africa USA on November 1 at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center in Jonesboro, Georgia. The "D-Day" is fast approaching and for sure, the contestants are gearing up for this unique event which will have Mt. Zion Parkaway jammed on that very day with Africans from all walks of life showcasing one way or the other the African cultural heritage.

For Krystle, who lives in Germantown, Maryland and a pre-med major at Montgomery College, she is not leaving any stone unturned and her guiding light to the crown has been her faith in God to realize that dream of becoming the next Miss Africa USA.

In the event she wins the title, Krystle would like to use her wealth of experience in the United States and coachings from her mother to help her people in the African Continent by way of providing resources in knowledge-based programs about diseases and its prevention.

Krystle describes herself as a team player, loves basketball and is pursuing a modelling career alongside her academic pursuit. Goodluck!

Go Africa Go!

CARTOON: The Business Man


News Desk Thursday, October 9, 2008

Prof Jay to vie for MTV Africa Music Awards

The nominations were revealed at a VIP soirĂ©e at Planet One, Lagos, Nigeria by Alex Okosi, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, MTV Networks Africa and Norman Moyo, Chief Marketing Officer, Zain Nigeria, in the presence of nominees D’Banj, Wahu, DJ Cleo and Naeto C. READ MORE>>>

Veep receives Golden Star of Africa Award

Security Watch Africa, has nominated Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, as recipient of the joint "Golden Star Award for Development and Stability in Governance in West Africa". READ MORE>>>

NYC trial date for claims against Shell

NEW YORK (AP) — Victims of the Nigerian government's violent 1990s-era crackdown on residents of oil-rich lands where Royal Dutch Shell had drilling operations may finally reach their goal to challenge the deaths and injuries in a U.S. court. READ MORE>>>

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Hamamat And Menson To Represent Ghana In Face Of Africa

Hamamat Montia -- Ghana Web File Photo

As the final casting venue for the Face of Africa comes up at the Hotel Alvalade in Angola, 20-year-old beauty queen, Hamamat Montia and 22-year-old Kate Aba Techie Menson were chosen by the model scouts in Accra, Ghana, held about a couple of weeks ago.

With casting now almost complete, the showdown begins in earnest as all the contestants heads to the Scenic Island of Zanzibar where 10 finalists will emerge for the catwalk and runway shows in Sun City, South Africa on Saturday, November 29.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Nathalia Zambakari and Beating the Odds

The conflicts and power struggle
The war torn Sudan
The refugee camps and squatting
The relocations and a world full of uncertainties
A world filled with starvation, drought and famine
The children, the women and Genocide

This sounds very familiar with 21-year-old Nathalia Zambakari who grew up in Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda before relocating to the United States. That movement unquestionably has given her the "opportunity to learn more about different but similar cultures."

No question, she's in for the contest and on November 1, 2008, she will be representing Sudan on Mt. Zion Parkway at the Clayton County Performance Arts Center in Jonesboro, Georgia where she will be joining her fellow African ladies in the bid for the crown -- Miss Africa USA 2008.

Nathalia loves soccer and does a lot of volunteer work by way of community service. Goodluck girl, I like your spirit and keep your head up!

Go Africa Go!

CARTOON: The "Big Blind Country"


News Update

Kevin Keegan rejects Newcastle United return under Nigerian consortium

The return of Keegan, whose resignation last month plunged Newcastle into turmoil, would be hugely popular with the club’s fans. And should any consortium succeed in getting Keegan 'on board', its bid would rapidly gain momentum. READ MORE>>>

Bishops discuss challenges of evangelization in Africa, Asia, and Oceania

John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria, described the state of the Church in Africa, remarking that some of the earliest centers of Christianity, such as Alexandria, Carthage, and Hippo, were in Northern Africa. READ MORE>>>

OPEC exports down 50,000 in 4 wks to Sept 21-LMIU

LONDON, Oct 7 (Reuters) - OPEC seaborne oil exports, excluding Angola and Ecuador, fell 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the four weeks to Sept. 21 and were down sharply from Gulf suppliers, Lloyd's Marine Intelligence (LMIU) said on Tuesday. READ MORE>>>

Ransom demanded for Ukrainian ship dips from $20 mln to $8 mln

NAIROBI, October 7 (Itar-Tass) -- Somali pirates that seized the Ukrainian Faina vessel carrying tanks and other weaponry intend to reduce the sum of demanded ransom from $20 million to $8 million. READ MORE>>>

Monday, October 06, 2008

Zimbabwe's Busi Mlambo

Harare-born 27-year-old Busi Mlambo arrived the shores of the United States eight years ago and has a whole lot to show for it. A graduate of Political Science and a Law Degree from the University of Texas School of Law indicates how strong she has been in character. She graduated in May and was a Parliamentarian at the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society, a local chapter of the National Black Law Students Association. Her devotion to law "was to be an advocate for the promotion and protection of women's rights in the neediest regions of the world."

She has many reasons for the road to Mt. Zion Parkway at the Clayton County Performance Arts Center in Jonesboro, Georgia on November 1, 2008. And considering herself 'fortunate,' and as Miss Africa USA, she '"would promote the education of African women." Without a doubt, it's anybody's game as the clock is tickling real fast for the showdown on Mt Zion Parkaway.

Go Africa Go!

News Desk (Early Edition) Tuesday, October 7, 2008

We are curbing crude oil theft - Military

Nigeria’s military assured on Monday it was making significant progress curbing crude oil theft, an illegal trade worth millions of dollars a day and the financial lifeline for militants in Africa’s top producer. MORE>>>

Ribadu: Sacrifice on the Nigerian altar

John Adams, son of Deacon and Susanna Adams and the first American president to live in the White House prayed with his wife, Abigail, as they entered into the lavish U.S. presidential residence on November 1, 1800 that “Lord, bestow the best of blessings on this house MORE>>>

Transparency International’s annual corruption perceptions index

Togo, Sao Tome and Principe tied with Nigeria in the 121st place. At the top of the list three countries tied for the first place, namely, Denmark, Sweden MORE>>>

North has World's highest illiterate children —World Bank

ABUJA—The Northern Nigeria Economic and Investment Summit, kicked off in Abuja yesterday with the World Bank, saying that Northern Nigeria has the highest number of children not going to School in the world. MORE>>>

Yar'Adua's secrecy oath, slap on Nigerians — Mudiaga-Odje

CONSTITUTIONAL Lawyer, Dr. Akpo Mudiaga-Odje, has described the oath of secrecy on some public officers appointed by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as a slap on the face of the entire Nigerian citizenry. MORE>>>

10 Nigerians begin economic dev. training in S/Korea

A News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN ) Correspondent in Seoul reports that the programme is sponsored by the South Korean government to complement President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s seven point agenda in the area of Human Capacity Development. MORE>>>

M V Faina, The Hijacked Ukranian Ship

M V Faina, a hijacked Ukranian ship carrying 33 tanks, is seen from a US Navy Ship in the Gulf of Aden. The pirates, from rogue state Somalia who hijacked the ship last week are demanding a $20 million ransom.


PHOTO OP: Nigeria's Money Managers

Governor of Central Bank, Chukwuma Soludo is flanked by the Chairman of Nigeria Stock Exchange, Oba Otukedo (left) and Minister of State for Finance, Aderemi Babalola (right)as they chat on the nation's finance at a Townhall meeting organized by This Day Newspapers in Abuja during the weekend.

Photo courtesy of Jide Oyekunle

Editorials Monday October 6, 2008

The killing medical centres

In a case of emergency, it takes these ‘demigods’ a decade to attend to emergency cases. These doctors pose, with different type of pens hanging on their crests. The nurses, many of who are quacks, are too lazy to sell the hospitals admittance cards to a patient. [DAILY SUN]

Managing the economy with seriousness

THE Central Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) held a special meeting three weeks ahead of its regular meeting fixed for October 7, 2008 apparently at the instance of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Capital Market... [GUARDIAN NEWSPAPERS]

For peace in the Niger Delta

The “ceasefire” recently declared by the leading militant group in the Niger Delta, The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, ought to be seen as an opportunity to permanently defuse the lingering tension in the embattled region. [THE PUNCH]

Sunday, October 05, 2008

News Desk Sunday, October 5, 2008

Niger Delta gives me nightmares —Yar'Adua

PRESIDENT Umaru Musa Yar’Adua yesterday said that the Niger Delta crisis gives his administration nightmares. He regretted that the crisis in the region had become a major concern to the Federal Government...MORE>>>

Presidency, Senate Begin Fresh Probe Of Oil Companies

THE probe of the activities of the nation's oil industry may enter a new gear within the next few weeks when the Senate turns its searchlight on the international operators of the upstream sector. MORE>>>

Fraud: Pastor sells landlord’s house for N13m

Delta State Police Command, Asaba, has again recorded another major breakthrough when its men apprehended a man of God who thought his long-conceived ambition to join the millionaire pastors had been achieved. MORE>>>

Corrupt leaders should be executed — Northern CAN scribe

Secretary of the Northern Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Elder Saidu Dogo has advocated death sentence for corrupt leaders as the only way to checkmate corruption in the country. MORE>>>

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Aziza Elteib and the Road to Mt. Zion Parkway

"Fun" is now the operative word for the 4th Annual Miss Africa USA slated to be jamming on Mt Zion Parkway, at the Clayton County Performance Arts Center in Jonesboro, Georgia on November 1. I have quite been asked what designer clothing am I going to be putting on that day, and guess what? Absolutely no Prada, Armani, Fioravanti, Joseph Feiss, Kenneth Cole, Yves Saint Laurent and the rest hyped-up designers -- you know what I am talking about.

I will be going local since all politics are local according to Tip O'Neil. I will be having on a well tailored suit by my own African brother, Ghanaian-born designer, Oswald Boateng, the guru at London's Saville Row. Being a fashion freak and since life is already too short, I do not think it will be appropriate for me to patronize some foreign designers any further, particularly on an African night where my beautiful African sisters on African attire will be catwalking and showcasing the stuff of African cultural heritage on the runway in a contest every contender will be a winner -- and in your face --with the State Rep Mike Glanton (D - Jonesboro) appreciating the night of blackness and the magic of happiness which is the symbol of Motherland Africa.

I am a regular at the cafes and bars at Little Ethiopia by the Wilshire Corridor on Miracle Mile, here in Los Angeles. Ethiopians are cultural and easy going fellows with an awesome night life habits. Their bars and restaurants are always packed with a whole lot of smiling and beautiful faces you could not even imagine.

And just last night, as I was hanging out, the talk about Aziza Eltieb popped up. So when 21-year-old Aziza pops up as the choice for Ethiopia for the final showdown on November 1, I know what to expect based on my pub-crawling on Fairfax, the main hub of the Ethiopian community in Los Angeles. These guys on Fairfax talk as if it is NCAA Basketball when the struggle to Tobacco Road becomes a game of wits and all that. It's not so. Aziza is heading to Mt. Zion Parkway for a shot to the crown -- Miss Africa USA 2008.

Standing at five-feet-nine inches tall and weighing 125 Lbs gives her the 'great pride to represent Ethiopia.' and what motivates her is the ambitious nature to uplift her community in Ethiopia. Goodluck!

Go Africa Go!

CARTOON: The Bad Omen of Smoke


News Desk (Early Edition) Friday, October 3, 2008

Nigeria's jobless eke a living from garbage heaps

KATAGUA, Nigeria (AFP) — As a rickety garbage truck rattled to a halt and discharged its contents Francis Adigwe, an unemployed textile engineer turned scavenger, rushed over and emerged with his find of the day, a piece of metal he estimated will bring in more than two dollars. MORE>>>

Nigeria drifting to a failed state —Buhari

In a message to mark the country’s independence, Buhari, who is currently in the Supreme Court to quash the election of President Umaru Yar’ Adua, said it was depressing that Nigeria is still regrettably classified among Low Income Countries Under Stress (LICUS)…" despite its stupendous wealth. MORE>>>

RSVM: Nigeria Joins the rest of the World

Aircraft with the required Minimum Aircraft Systems Performance Specifications (MASPS) and approved by their respective States (in Nigeria NCAA) for RVSM operations will be permitted to fly in RVSM Airspace. MORE>>>

New Ministers: Senate insists on federal character

There are strong indications that the Senate will insist on a strict adherence to the Federal Character principle in Yar’Adua’s choice of ministerial nominees. MORE>>>

Yar’Adua fires back at Buhari

President Umaru Yar’Adua on Thursday said he had not made overtures to the presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party in the April 21, 2007, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, because he believed that he (Buhari) was “swimming against the tide.” MORE>>>

Weeping for Nigeria at 48

Last Wednesday, Nigerians once again, in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), gathered to undergo the rituals of celebrating independence. This time, the nation is 48 years old MORE>>>