Monday, December 29, 2008

City Blues

A street once full of life, and
a whole lot of activities
on the store fronts with busy sidewalks
and pedestrians excited sightseeing
and window shopping;
bargaining for items in a bouyant economy
economy takes a downturn
and low turnout of events
lay-offs a commonplace, and
traders lose points
market slows down,
customers gone and stores emptied
going out of business on every booth
customers vacate the sidewalks
on a dead economy

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The New York Times On Foreign Priests

Laurie Goodstein, the religion reporter at The New York Times, has begun what promises to be a fascinating series on the surge in "foreign" priests here in the United States. There are probably few parishes in the States who have not been touched by this underreported phenomenon, and few Catholics who haven't wondered exactly how Father from Nigeria or Father from India made his way to our suburban parish. READ FULL STORY>>>

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Turmoil Christmas

All 'has' been well
a great expectation, and
good Christmas
coming with good spirit

Shopping spree and happiness
and all the gifts
Christmas Carrol
a one family

Celebrations and jubilations
joyous festivities
good feelings,

Not anymore
depression has set in
the joy is gone
gains and treasures gone

A miserable life
frustrations and loneliness
hopelessness and temptations;
on Skid Row and hungry

Paradise lost,
not to be regained
the pain is enormous, and
a disappearing oneness

war is in the hood
taken over by greed
exploitation the means
sex commerce

Vulnereable and gullible
survival of the fittest, and
all options exhausted
tight time and economic meltdown

A game of gangsters
crooks thriving on chaos
of bitterness and disappointments
government full
of deceit

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CARTOON: Just The Fact


Maria Fuema @ Oscar de la Renta

Photo by Don Ashby and courtesy of Style

This past Summer American-born model Maria Fuema was at the Oscar de la Renta Resort runway for the pre-fall 2009 fashion that's already in the markets. Fashion statement, huh? It has become a trend and business as it looks is not affecting the fashion industry and more designers and models are popping up by the day. The industry is waxing strong with newer arrivals.

Although I am one who agrees that there are still not too many black models on the cultural landscape of the fashion industry, methink a lot of improvements have been seen quite lately especially with the showings of the 2009 collections by noted designers despite the fact that an estimated $20 billion is spent on apparel every year by black women. Now you know!

Great expose!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Rewinding Back That Heavy Metal Invented By Deep Purple

I was going through my music library (I do that quite often, not bored though) and discovered I haven’t listened to any Deep Purple cut in a while. I looked and asked myself, what happened to “Woman From Tokyo” and “Smoke On The Water?” Some brilliant guitar works by Ritchie Blackmore who had bragged he could wipe any floor with his guitar and a powerful lyrics of an arrogant Ian Gillan coupled with the organed magic of Jon Lord just to know how I got my humble self into all these mess and starting something I couldn’t finish ending up probably losing my hearing from attending heavy metal concerts.

Read Full Story >>>

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Images of Storm in Southern Cali

Snowboarders trudge through freshly fallen snow in Green Valley Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains. Photo by Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times

trucker heading north on the 5 Freeway has a view of snow-dusted mountains in the Angeles National Forest north of Sylmar. Photo by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times

As the sunrise illuminates the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains, a person captures the scene while on a morning walk at Bolsa Chica State Ecological Reserve in Huntington Beach. Photo by Allen J. Schaben/ Los Angeles Times

Palm trees drooping under the weight of snow greeted shoppers at the nearly deserted Antelope Valley Mall. Photo by Brian Vander Brug/L.A. Times

CARTOON: Still Inept and Corrupt


Of all ex-governor Lucky Igbinedion did in Edo State looting an entire state treasury, he is walking away without jail time as a doctored and bastardized judiciary found him guilty of one count charge some hours ago in an Enugu court room presided over by Justice Abdulahi Kafarati on the grounds of a so-called Section 18 Subsection 1 of the Money Laundering Act 2004, which gave him an option of a fine. That country, Nigeria, is something else.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It Sure Rains In Southern California

Who made that song "It Never Rains In Southern California"? Well, you go figure that one out because I'm not in the mood to trace it all the way back when Tony, Toni Tone, the Oakland-based group had it going on in the nineties cracking us up that no rain in Southern Cali. They sure brought the rain and ever since it's rain, rain, rain. Now we are all like, rain, rain go away.

It's been pouring here like crazy and the City of Angels is all wet. Since Monday, December 15, the rain would not just go away and driving is not pleasant under the rain. It has slowed me down and I'm not doing much to catch up with my schedules. But don't get me wrong though; I love the rain and it seems to be the best weather at this time of year when the spirit of Christmas is all over and the feel of winter gives us hope that life is just good never minding all that's been going on with the Global economy as a turmoil Christmas approaches.

Oh, Christmas is just eight days away and I'm writing as if I'm done with my Christmas or Holidays shopping, whatever that means. The markdowns have seen its lowest in years and it's quite interesting shoppers are not even excited for the woes a bad economy brought to their families coupled with the shenanigans at Wall Street. Wall Street shenanigans have made the third world countries, especially Naija, look like saints.

Anyways, the rain in Los Angeles will probably soften our hearts and we'll probably kind of take different meassures on how we do stuff and how things could come up better. And that is strategy. The point of making life meaningful by loving, sharing and caring.

Not much has been going on these days except this week's predicted rain and my tailing of filmmaker Pascal Atuma whose agents are on the trail for a lead male role in his upcoming movie "No More Bloodshed" about to start shooting here in Los Angeles beginning March 2009. I also spoke briefly with the style guy, Ike Ude who should be hitting my neck of the hood soon. There are series of stuffs coming up, too. Interviews and interesting episodes of my line -- I am not going to say what it would be looking like; just keep watching out -- and not anything close to the hood rats who did change the way things are done. Is it called popular culture? I like "them" hippie era and all that stuff that changed our world.

However, the rain is here and we should do the best out of it as the spirit of Christmas comes along with it the spirit of good feelings in a troubled world and economic mess.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ike Ude and "Style File"

Photo courtesy of New York Social Diary

The Nigerian-born Ike Ude is just everything. He is a filmmaker. He is a photographer. He is a writer. He is an artist. He is a publisher (aRude Magazine) and all in all, author of a new book titled Style File: The World's Most Elegantly Dressed published by Collins Design and on deck for sixty-five bucks. Ude compiled fifty-five impressive lists of style makers he adores or admires. Among the list includes Oscar de la Renta, John Galliano, Frederic Malle, Isabella Ferrari, Mark Pullin, Dita Von Teese, Diane von Furstenberg, Seydou Keita, Leon Tally and Francesco Clemente.

Ude writes about image and how looks make a statement.

"The creative possibilities of dress as a personally expressive medium are available to us all... Because even a gesture suggesting an inattention to fashion -- say, pulling on an unwashed T-shirt with sweat pants and flip-flops to pick up the Sunday morning paper -- is a statement of attitude and identity. Nuanced narratives are articulated through dress and position us in relation to others."

Keep jamming the Big Apple; and keep looking good, my man!

News Desk Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nigeria Depreciates Naira Rate in $200 Million Currency Auction

The central bank sold $190 million dollars, $10 million less than offered, in foreign reserves to the nation’s commercial banks today, making it available at a rate of 132.5 per dollar, according to Leon Myburgh, a fixed-income and currency strategist for sub- Saharan Africa at Citigroup Inc. READ MORE>>>

Nigerian court to rule on presidential election

Abuja, Nigeria -- The Supreme Court will hand down its verdict Friday in a lawsuit by top Nigerian political opposition leaders who seek an annulment of the 2007 election won by President Umaru Yar'Adua, lawyers involved in the case said. READ MORE>>>

Nigerian Cholera Outbreak Kills 10 People in Rivers State

(Bloomberg) -- An outbreak of cholera in the riverine community of Kula in Nigeria’s Rivers state killed 10 people, a health official said. READ MORE>>>

U.S. sailor says not guilty in Japan slay

Attorneys for Seaman Olatunbosun Ugbogu, a 22-year-old Nigerian national serving in the U.S. Navy, say he was not mentally competent when he fatally stabbed taxi driver Masaaki Takahashi in Yokosuka, Japan, this year, Kyodo News reported Wednesday. READ MORE>>>

Bomb scare in Delhi's CP, cops seize bag with safes

Senior police officers said that from his description, the men seemed to be of Nigerian origin and initial investigations revealed two electronic metal safes inside the bag. The safes could not be opened for a long time as officers present at the spot thought it unsafe to do so till the bomb squad arrived. READ MORE>>>

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Catwalk Hollywood To Hit Abuja Runway

In a remarkable success of the African Red Carpet Summer Bash held this past Summer at the John Henson Studios complex in Hollywood, California, and a first fashion event of its kind, River Naija Productions is launching a cross-country model talent search in Nigeria. The event will mark the first of such project and hope to deliver fresh new stars to the world's biggest catwalks.

Commenting on the launch of the project was River Naija Productions founder, Gregory Iheanacho, who says that Catwalk Hollywood cross-country project will be the most enduring fashion show in the country.

Meanwhile the scouting judges and selection crews, among them, some Hollywood bigshots and known international fashion designers have been confirmed. The selection crew will commence its scouting process beginning December 15, 2008 until the end of the casting sessions to be announced by the program co-ordinators between March and April 2008.

Beginning in Lagos the project will take Catwalk Hollywood team to 10 Nigeria cities including Owerri (Imo State), Port Harcourt (Rivers State), Calabar (Cross River State), Enugu (Enugu State), Benin (Edo State) and Abuja (Federal Capital Territory). At each stop in every designated state and at the end of the casting session, the participants will have the opportunity to meet with the governor of the state in a special diner, photo shoots and interviews.

At the Calabar Resort, the fashion savvy businessman Iheanacho, and his team of Hollywood casts will host several rounds of auditions, at which the participants will be taken on a tour of the beautiful resort with the governor of Cross River State as special guest of honor.

From Calabar, the participants will head into the glittering Federal Capital, Abuja, where they will be able to meet with the Minister of Tourism and Culture in another round of diner sessions, photo shoots and interviews.

In Nigeria, registration forms are available at Oceanic Bank, Zenith Bank, Mr. Biggs and GB Studios, Owerri. Online registration is also available at the following websites: NCOCUSA, Catwalk Hollywood and River Naija Productions.

For inquiries:

Nigeria: 07026118723

United States: (323)299-1335

Monday, December 08, 2008

News Desk (Early Edition) Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Author Roddy Doyle in plea for Nigerian family

A NIGERIAN woman fighting deportation on the grounds her two young daughters would risk being subjected to genital mutilation on their return should be allowed stay in Ireland, novelist Roddy Doyle has argued in a letter to Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern. READ MORE>>>

FCT: On Nigeria's Failed Space Expedition

Against the backdrop of Nigeria’s failed space expedition, which has triggered a huge drain on the nation’s treasury, proactive measures should be put in place to guard against hurriedly investing in highly expensive projects that do not have any significant direct impact on the lives of the citizenry READ MORE>>>

Soludo Allays Fears Over Oil Price Crash

Whilst there have been concerns about the Nigerian economy in the face of crashing oil price, Chukwuma Soludo, governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has declared that the fall is no threat to the country’s growth.
Speaking at the annual bankers’ night in Lagos

Sergio Pessolano's "Mother and Child"

I like this expression captured by Sergio Pessolano. It is original and a symbol of the true nature of Motherland Africa.

CARTOON: National Assembly Members for HIV Test


A Portrait of Mother and Child by Jerry Taliaferro

Black, indeed, is beautiful. The above portrait is one of photographer Jerry Taliaferro's captures. Taliaferro was born in Brownsville, Tennessee. He joined the army and later entered the United States Academy at West Point. His photo works was discovered while stationed in Germany.

I can imagine how this amazing portrait of mother and child brings back memories of the origin of true black women and as a tribute to our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters.

Newsroom Update

Indicted Representative William Jefferson of Louisiana Loses Seat in House Runoff Election

The investigation of Jefferson began in 2005 when Jefferson was videotaped by the FBI receiving cash in leather briefcases in Virginia for a deal in Ghana that he wanted a financial stake in. The money was to be split with the Nigerian Vice President to insure that their contracts would go forward. READ MORE>>>

Nigeria opposition doubts Yar'Adua's electoral reform

Lagos, Nigeria - Angered by the recent praises heaped on the embattled Nigeria's electoral boss Maurice Iwu by Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, the country's opposition has expressed doubts that the government is serious about its much touted electoral reform. READ MORE>>>

Jailed: The prayer group fraudster who swindled worshipers out of tens of thousands of pounds

A pensioner who used 'prayer sessions' to help defraud a church minister and a worshipper out of tens of thousands of pounds, has been jailed for 18 months.
Serial fraudster Richard Abeson, currently wanted by Belgian police for a similar con, claimed he was a wealthy Nigerian oil trader READ MORE>>>

From Refugee to State Rep

Of all the people running for state Representative this year, Richard Komi was probably the only one who listed "refugee camp survivor" on his campaign literature. Before arriving in Manchester, he spent over three years in a camp in Benin after fleeing his native Nigeria. READ MORE>>>

IT helps spread African democracy

Technology’s capacity to further electoral democracy in Africa first grabbed attention in 2000. Mobile phone coverage had spread across Senegal, allowing reporters to phone in results before they were announced officially, and independent radio stations were flourishing. READ MORE>>>

Asia's age-old battle with the pirates

The recent seizure of a giant oil tanker off Somalia may be one of the most audacious attacks by pirates, but for people here in South East Asia, it's an old and familiar story. READ MORE>>>

Early Ghana presidential election results show tight race

ACCRA - Early results on Monday from Ghana’s presidential vote, widely seen as a test of Africa’s ability to conduct a democratic election, signalled a tight race that may require a run-off. READ MORE>>>

Saturday, December 06, 2008

CARTOON: Nuhu Ribadu Wanted Dead


Bizarre Happenings Around The Globe

You’re not gonna believe this. The Japanese workers have been told to leave work early to avoid demographic disaster on the basis many couples are simply too tired to have sex after long hours cracking their laptops. In a conducted survey, many couples said they haven’t had sex in a couple of months because they did not have the energy.

With the Japanese birth rate dropping dramatically and the fear of population instability, Japan's labor ministry now plans to exempt employees with children under the age of three from working long hours, so they could have enough energy for procreation. Ain't that something?

Japan has the lowest birth rate and if it continues, its population would drop by almost 30 percent by 2050, and that would be a serious demographic problem. Whatever happened to Viagra and those dangerously fantasized pills? I did not make this up. Seriously!

Well, if the labor bill passes with paid time off to guarantee a greater sexual drive, the Japanese population may explode to nearly 200 million by 2050.

Now hear this. In another related survey conducted by the Singen Institute of Condom Consultancy, a German consultancy group that provides counseling on condoms, the study showed the French need the largest condoms which suggest they have penis measuring about 6.09 inches or more while the Greek had a moderate size.

The survey was conducted by asking 10,500 men from 25 different countries to measure their penis and enter the number into a database. I wonder if Nigerians, Liberians, Zairians, Ghanaians, South Africans and Cameroonians were in this survey because of their increasingly desire for sex. Amazing!

The Mexican drug lords are scarring every part of that Latino enclave to death. The hospital scene in “The Godfather” has, for sure, been replicated in a typical Michael Corleone saving his hospitalized father from a deadly hit squad. But the difference here is that in Mexico doctors are caught in the middle of fierce drug war where an estimated 5,000 people have died so far this year.

In Nigeria, politics of intimidation has become the order of the day with the continuous harassment of the nation’s former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Czar Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, who for the past couple of weeks has been on the eye of the microscope concocted by the fat cats of allegedly the James Ibori gang and Orji Kalu's demonic gangsters who have been in a position to buy politicians by reason of their loots from the treasury and their illegal campaign contributions.

As the bizarre intimidation of Ribadu continues making a mockery of our democratic dispensation, I see the press for not rising to the occasion. The press is not doing much which makes Nigeria journalism dangerously weak.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ghana's Kate Menson is Africa's New Face

Photo courtesy of African Futurist

A highly criticized "Face of Africa" contest came to an end Saturday, November 29 when Ghana's 23-year-old Kate Aba Techie Menson beat the other nine finalist in Sun City's Super Bowl, South Africa. The nine finalist were Alli Balogun (Nigeria), Hamamat Montia (Ghana), Hiwot (Ethiopia), Joana (Angola), Lucy torr(Uganda), Maria Hiwilepo (Namibia), Noxi (Zambia) and Sasa (South Africa).

Menson who was discovered in Accra earlier this year takes home $50,000 plus a modelling contract from Oluchi Onweagba-Orlandis' O Model Africa.

Kamala Harris for 2010 Primaries

Kamala Harris last month announced her intention for the post of California Attorney General for the 2010 primaries upon Barack Obama's election victory, there are now talks Obama might invite her for a post at Washington before her anticipations for California's top cop. She has already filed her papers for the June 2010 primary election. Harris is also the first Black woman district attorney in California.

In Harris tenure, more than 1200 domestic violence offenders have been convicted in San Francisco. She is just another woman of substance and her dedication to servive is paying off.

News Desk (Early Edition) Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The travails of Nuhu Ribadu

SINCE his appointment as Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the country’s anti-graft body in 2003, Malam Nuhu Ribadu was able to cut a niche for himself as a fearsome anti-corruption czar who used everything at his disposal to do the job he was assigned by the Obasanjo administration. READ MORE>>>

Bakassi: Nigeria embarks on aggressive boundary demarcation exercise

To avoid future agonies and traumatic experience of the ceding of the oil rich Bakassi peninsula to Cameroun Republic, the Federal Government has embarked on aggressive boundary demarcation exercise in order to ensure that her boundaries between other African countries are properly demarcated. READ MORE>>>

Homeless W/Cup: Nigeria Shock Italy

A Nigerian selected by Search and Groom- Youth for Development Centre from the just concluded Street Soccer League Cup team comprising players from the slums in Lagos, Ajegunle, Abesan/Ipaja, Agege, Ikorodu, Ikeja and Ibadan are doing the country proud in Melbourne, Australia at the moment. READ MORE>>>

Nigeria should generate 10,000MW from nuclear sources’

Nigeria’s quest to generate electricity from nuclear sources should be ambitious, with the target being to generate 10,000 mega watts, the Director-General, Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Prof. Shamsideen Elegba, said on Tuesday. READ MORE>>>

CARTOON: The Party is Over