Monday, September 28, 2009

Time People Birthday Musings

Image courtesy of Zcache

How does one explain all the madness in this universe and life's amazing journey? Just as one thinks about surviving the hostile environment of the world, time equally flies at the same time with a hub of global issues, grand and small; and a crablike personal problems that spreads all over.

I must admit, I am thankful to God for coming that far and able to reflect on the past which happens to have been the backbone of survival and engagement, and which also could always be traced from the strength that I have applied to keep on keeping on -- taking it easy and moving on despite all the battle wounds. life is beautiful and the best out of it is knowing one's value and determining what one's contribution to creation would be, depending on the path followed.

The last few months, I have been wondering what would one say about playing some roles in society and how does that tell about the person in particular. Would it be mid-life crisis, old age or just beginning, since life now starts at 60? Well, my mid-life crisis started long, long time ago and I am still in the trenches trying to figure the whole thing out.

Every being, without a doubt, has contributed one way or the other to the functioning of society. When you make someone laugh, that's a contribution and when you make someone upset, that is also a contribution. Life is a journey as every beginning has an end. And like any journey, sometimes it ends well and sometimes it ends on a sad note. Nevertheless, there is a comedy in all of us.

So, as it goes, I am just glad to be keeping on and grateful my well-wishers did check to see how I'm doing.

First on board was my childhood buddy, Eugene Onyeji, who had called me on Sunday, September 13, reminding me from his Beaumont, Texas home that my birthday is around the corner and that life goes on meaning we must always do the best no matter what the situation is. I had done everything with Eugene growing up on the streets of Accra in the company of our Ghanaian fellas and homeboys, John Bull, John Satorji, Hillary "Ahidjo" Akabuilo, Mamma Sani, Zachary, Haruna, Emmanuel while playing double dutch and the tap of fine leather on the playgrounds of Ruga Park by Kanda Estate. I vividly remember the times. Eugene and I spoke at length when he called me on that Sunday morning of September 13. We talked about the days of the Roman films of the sword and scandal 60s starring Mark Forest in "Goliath and the Dragon," "Hercules against the Barbarians," "Hercules on Chain," and "Maciste." We talked about the tv movies and series--Bonanza, The Lone Ranger and High Chaparral. We also talked about the folks in Accra we idolized.

Among our discourses generated a whole lot of the past. Eugene had left the shores of Accra immediately following the end of Yakubu Gowon's genocidal campaign against the Igbo nation. He had settled in Lagos and had enrolled at St. Gregory College, Obalende, with his older sibling, Theodore. I arrived "Nigeria" much later on and was catapulted to my native Amazano to learn more about my cultural heritage and of course the significance of my native tongue which I grabbed before anybody knew what was going on. It was a wonderful experience, and for that, I am very thankful to my parents who made it possible my homeward bound for culture and a much, much better understanding of my forebears.

But that was not all. I learned. I met my cousins from both sides. The matrilineal and patrilineal descent. A family and culture being an entity. And leaving the city everything changed.

The village and the villagers becoming home. The egwu onwa, moonlight plays and the joy of culture being whole and not parts; that culture is indeed an entity and cannot be separated. The joyous festivities of Oghu Festival coupled with the enduring masquerades. The trek to the stream to fetch some water.

The learning of the pogrom and displaced persons.The fact that the pogrom was built on coercion and theft and on a propaganda that led to the abandoned property; and a deliberate rape on Igbo treasures and the more insiduous measure of a regime that justified the slaughter of infants, women and children. And so it goes.

And that's some part of history which makes the rounds as time passes for we are where we live based on our neigborhoods. I don't buy that very concept sometimes because there are many things to it even though where you live speaks volumes about what you eat, drink, drive and even the way you think. When ghetto kids move to the posh bedroom communities they will still act ghetto; just like when the white trash leaves the inner-city for the blue blood estate -- nothing will change as they will still act trashy. Like me dining at Lola's on Fairfax in West Hollywood which I did some few days ago, doesn't really stop me from my regular ofe olugbo, and the varieties of meat and dry fish that comes along with it at the various African eateries on the Southside. From my humble viewpoint, the blue blood estates, the bedroom communities and the inner-city ghettos are all the same depending on the way you carry yourself.

And for all you folks who kept record of my birthday and sending me all the wishes I say thank you and also wish you the best. For Eugene and speaking with Eugene Jr., he made my day with a thrilling fun. For those who think we are in competition, just drop it for life is too short. For all the airheads, never mind, we're all in the same boat. Let's keep chilling for life is too beautiful with the best yet to come, for sure!

Ain't time flying?!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nigerian Jungle Blues

Sunday Trust Cartoon

"What a Country!" By Kunle Ajibade, The News

Source: Daily Sun

Truth of the Matter -- SOURCE: The Guardian

Trailer Kills Pregnant woman, 4 others in Lagos. Vanguard

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Campaign Speech for Chairman of the United Igbo Congress, USA

Podium courtesy of Faqs


Ladies and Gentlemen;

I would like to use this opportunity to salute my campaign managers Uzontiri Ijemere, Nchamere Nd'Igbo, Adannaya Okwuchukwu, Chidubem Udumotali, Otapiapia Ohiaukwu, Magnus Ibezim Onumaraekwu, Jacob "Nwa-Jesu" Garagara and uncountable others who had made this august event possible.

I would also like to thank my wife Lolo Adaure Nwanyioma and my children for their support.

I thank the Almighty God for all his mercies;

Now pay attention and listen to me carefully. I am talking to you from the bottom of my heart that if you vote for me I will make the life of my people better and I will ensure the effectiveness of transparency and accountability. You all know my track record. I am a man of few words, and I believe in action, action and action.

I need your vote and I believe in myself and I do not doubt your capacity to help turn things around in Igbo Diaspora and homeland when you give me your vote,
because I will be working together with you
and every penny will be accounted for.

You will elect me because I will watch your back
You will elect me because I have engaged in many morally outraged activities with most of you, if not all
So elect me and we can cover our ass to avoid any sex scandals and what we do behind closed doors at the strip joints;
You will elect me because I will defend all extramarital affair by way of attacking our enemies who snitch to our wives.
You will elect me because we have too much weird stuff and skeletons in our closets, and all that games we play is going to backfire on us if you don't vote for me.

But it is not only about covering our ass that I ask for your vote.
I will change the way business is conducted in Igboland;
I will make sure that more roads are built.
I will make sure there will be no more interruption of power supply in our communities.

I will build more American standard hospitals in our respective enclaves;
I will build more schools
I will help the poor and the elderly with bags of rice and anu ewu, goat meat
And school will be free at all levels if you elect me
I will build libraries and research centers in every district;
And jobs will be everywhere
There will be no more misery

For our roads to function effectively, I will construct more storm drains
I will provide a whole lot of job opportunities for our youths

I will ban homosexuals from our society
I will ban same sex marriage to be punishable by sex with the opposite;
I will encourage marrying as many wives as possible
I will encourage having uncountable concubines, like King Solomon

If you elect me I will encourage my wife to try other men in order to make it even
I will drink more akanaeme, spirits and the magani, pills that takes me to another level on bed.
I will make life easier with lots of enjoyment
I will revive bongo
with plenty of women
It is now a free world

[the crowd cuts in yelling: what makes you think you are qualified to be chairman with all the nonsense you are spewing?]

Yes, I am the most qualified
I have confessed my sins
I have been forgiven and life starts anew
I am the Omemgbeoji 1, Ishimiri 1, Ori ewu na azi 1, sir, chief, doctor, engineer, architect, accountant, PhD and Onyiriuwa 1 of Ugwumagala.

I have First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC), West African School Certificate (WASC), BA, BSc, MA, and another PhD in talkology;
I also have a degree in lootology and pornographic studies.

[he forgets to include driver as one of his haul of titles and degrees]

I am the man of the hour and our finest hour is an election away
I will make each and everyone of you chief and whatever title that you choose
I will not embezzle any of your funds
You all know I already have money and I have proof
I have mansions everywhere
I have fleet of cars in my garages -- home and abroad

I will establish an institute of ethnic African studies here in the United States to encourage and promote African cultural heritage.

I am asking for your votes because I am the only one who can make things happen in our communities.

I have balls and that is the reason why you should elect me;
I am a fervent believer in collectivity which ultimately leads to utopia meaning you must elect me because working together works.
I will not seek nku ukwa, the crumbs from the caliphates in Abuja for I shall demand a probe of the affairs of state in Igbo related states.

I will probe every unbecoming conduct within the Igbo elite
I will bring back the fold of Igbo Union; the days of profound leadership in Michael Okpara, Mbonu Ojike, Nwafor Orizu, K.O. Mbadiwe, Francis Akanu Ibiam, L.N. Obioha, Louis Mbanefo and the rest.

I am the great communicator
I will knock on the doors of every household to find out about the goings on
I will not be caught sleeping with my best friend's wife even if I had the intention to or even if I did.

Like Mohandas Gandhi, I will fight for your liberation from bondage;
Like Martin Luther King, Jr., I will take you to the mountain top;
Like the Chief Priest, Fela Kuti, I will use everything within my reach to fight the establishment against injustice and oppression;
Like Peter Tosh, I will author and sponsor a proposition to legalize goof, Indian hemp, for its medicinal purposes;
And like President Barack Obama, it is a new dawn and change will come to our communities

For all you naysayers who called me a thug and imbecile;
take a look at the previous leaderships
They screwed your wives, bragged and told their friends about it
They poisoned their minds
They are a wicked people
They forced your daughters into prostitution because of their vulnerability
They screwed your live-in partner because you had no money to pay for her abortion
They took advantage of you for being handicapped
They exploited you in every aspect of life

You swore not to tell anybody
You have destroyed yourself despite my efforts
to scrap the stubborn layers of fat around your mind
I told you I will come back and lead
There are no leaders but me
I am God and you must elect me if you really want change

How soon do you forget
they raped your women
they desperately starved your children to death
they demolished and plundered your homes
And you did nothing

You now dine and wine with them
the evil that destroyed your entire household
you have forgotten so soon
the bigotry and hatred
And how can you forget such an atrocity

So you must elect me to fight for you
I am pulling you to be up
The next generations must know about it
Because it is all that you have
you must keep the records intact

for their awareness
And never to happen again
If it repeats
the price will be high, and
the consequences more ominous

Well that ends my speech and I do hope some lessons would be learned not just for me being elected or any other thing but for a change in our respective communities which borders on what I earlier said about building community through collectivity. I have seen it all and I also believe the change is now or we will perish as a people.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

EHIRIM FILES FALL BOOKS



COUNSELOR: A Life At The Edge Of History
By Ted Sorensen, Harper Publishers

"At a time when Americans are cynical about politics, this gripping, candid memoir illuminates a revered era in American history, stoking our idealism and rekindling our imagination about what this country can achieve when we're summoned to a common purpose."

------ President Barack Obama

Hitler's Beneficiaries: How The Nazis Bought The German People
By Gotz Aly, Translated by Jefferson Chase Verso, 448 pp; 19.99 British Pound Sterling

"Aly asks at the outset what drove ordinary Germans to tolerate and commit historically unprecedented crimes against humanity, in particular the murder of millions of European Jews?' His answer is that ordinary Germans cooperated in Genocide because they benefited from it in material terms. According to Aly, the Nazi dictatorship was built not on terror but on a mutual calculation of interest between leaders and people. This claim entails a further shift in our understanding of the regime; not only did it serve the welfare of the common people, but if there was fear, it was the fear the regime felt of the people, not the other way round. Top Nazi leaders worried that their regime would be toppled by popular unrest if the people's mood soared; their 'satisfaction had to be purchased everyday."

------ John Connelly, London Review of Books, 27 August 2009

Successful Societies: How Institutions and Culture Affect Health
Edited by Peter A. Hall and Michelle Lamont; Cambridge University Press

"...Forces us to challenge common modes of reasoning. This book is wonderful piece of collaborative public intellectuals.' It should be read all over the academy and by the general public."

------ Peter Gourevitch, UC, San Diego

Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer's Life
By MJichael Greenberg, Other Press Publishers

"Michael Greenberg regales us with his take on the life of a writer trying to practice his craft or simply stay alive. He creates poignant subtexts involving fundamental human values and emotions like love, desire, honesty, and malice..."

------ Kirkus Review

Darfur and the Crisis of Governance in Sudan: A Critical Reader
Edited by Salah M. Hasan and Carina E. Ry. Foreward by Andrea Eshete; 522 pp $39.95, Cornell University Press

"Incorporating Sudanese voices, the book is a comprehensive discusiion of the many dimenssions of Darfur and will certainly challenge preconceived and oversimplified narratives about the war."

------ Ahmad Sikainga, The Ohio State University

Inventing The Job Of President: Leadership Style From George Washington To Andrew Jackson
By Fred Greenstein, Princeton University Press, $19.95

"Captivating, inventing the job of president teaches about the past so that old events take on a contemporary significance. It is a book that introduces readers to the wonders -- and good fortune -- of this nation's first decades. Greenstein is handsdown the best, most careful, and wisest presidential scholar."

------ William Ker Muir, Jr.

Transforming Toxic Leaders
By Alan Goldman; Stanford University Press, $24.95

"The swollen literature on good leadership is gradually being tempered by the growing literature on bad leadership. This correction is both necessary and long overdue -- which is why Alan Goldman's book constitutes a contribution to the cause. He explores some bad leaders in some considerable depth, and provides pragmatic possibilities to remediation."

------ Barbara Kellerman, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School

Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard's Fight For Civil Rights and Economic Power
By Dvid T. Beito and Linda Royster Beito; University of Illinois Press

"Civil rights crusader, surgeon enterpreneur, big game hunter, promoter of spectacles, self help champion. Without T.R.M. Howard, we may have never heard of Medgar Evans, Fnnie Lou Hamer, and Rosa Parks. Long before Martin Luther King, Jr., Howard organized successful boycotts against Juim Crowe,publicly took J. Edgar Hoover, fought for truth in Emmett Till's murder, provided affordable health care to the poor, and helped kick off the modern civil rights movement. Black Maverick tells the story of an American renaissance man."

------ Harpers Online

Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe
By Gerad Provier, Oxfor University Press, 529 pp $27.95

The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa
By Rene Lemarchand, University of Pennsylvania Press, 377 pp... $59.95

The Congo Wars: Conflict, Myth and Reality
By Thomas Turner, Zed Books Publishers; 243 pp..., $32.95

Evangelicals and Democracy in America Vol 1: Religion and Society
By Steven Brint and Jean Reith Schrordel, editors. Russell Sage Foundation Publishers; $49.95

"The sociologists and political scientists assebled for this project are first rate; what they write may be, collectively, the wisest words yet published on the character of 'the new Christian right."

------ Mark A. Noll, University of Notre Dame.

Letters To My Father: William Styron
Edited by James L.W. West III; Foreword by Rose Styron

"These informative letters to an encouraging father provide a touching portrait of the earnestness and dedication of a budding master and place Styron squarely in the war years during which he came of age."

------ Philip Roth, Southern Literary Studies

For The Thrill Of It: Leopold, Loeb, And The Murder That Shocked Jazz Age Chicago
By Simon Baatz; Harper

"Mr Baatz... has done meticulous research, and he writes extremely well. His book on the Leopld and Loeb case is the best we'll have for a long, long time."

------ New York Times

Beginning To End Lord Jesus Christ: From Alpha To Omega
By Rev. Doris M. Malone; Xlibris

"From Alpha To Omega: Beginning To End Lord Jesus Christ is the result of thirty five years of prayer and the study, prompted by the rise of flwed doctrine on the second advent of Christ to the determent of even some elect. Its central theme is about the miraculaous relationship of God using the tribulation to cleanse and purify of the Church 1 Peter 4: 17-20. Readers will find inspirational poems that answer countless prayers laced with varied references from the Holy Bible. Ultimately, this richly-layered release strongly emphasizes the core values of Christianity."

------ Biblical View

Jesus and Justice: Evangelicals, Race and American Politics
By Peter Goodwin Heltzel; Forewod by Mark A. Noll; Yale University Press

"With this head-turning first book, Peter Helzel emerges as the most provocative new interpreter of American evangelism. Jesus and Justice will change the way we think about Christianity and politics."

------ Charles Marsh, University of Virginia

The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
By Chinua Achebe; Alfred A. Knopf, 192 pp, $25.95

"The idea that personal narrative is too small, too inward, too individual to reflect our grander collective concerns, is a variation on an attitude that Achebe once observed among critics of fiction. Because the drama in some African novels depended upon the fate of a group, not an individual, these works were dismissed as being too local in their reach..."

------ Eula Biss, Columbia Journalism Review

Recommendations on further reading:

Damage: The Personal Costs of Political Change in Zimbabwe
Edited by Iren Stauton; 542 pp; Weaver Press

Millennium Development Goals: Achievements and Prospects of Meeting the Targets in Africa
Edited by Francis Nwonwu

This book reviews the progress, prospects and challenges of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa. Each chapter corresponds with one of the eight goals of the Millennium Declaration. The introduction sets the stage for the discourse contained in the main text while the conclusion forms an opinion from the findings and prescribes the way forward. The goals, in sequence, include:

• Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

• Achieve universal primary education

• Promote gender equality and empower women

• Reduce child mortality

• Improve maternal health

• Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

• Ensure environmental sustainability

• Develop a global partnership for development.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Death of African Marketplace and the Birth of Leimert Park Village African Art & Music Festival


Art drawing courtesy of Aziz Diagne




The festival has been on for so many years with lots of African cultural heritage, fanfare and some good, good stuff to promote botany from motherland with the ideal the origin of man began from the African continent, from the passing of Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens, the modern man, as scientific anthropological evidence had it.

For the past 12 years or so, I have never missed any of the events, and, I have encouraged others to keep up with worthy nature by paying homage every year to the African Marketplace and Cultural Faire which ends all summer events, sort of, normally on Labor Day.

From the playgrounds and fields of Rancho La Cienega Park and Dorsey High School to the umiversity village of Exposition Park where the Los Angeles Sports Arena and Colliseum sits -- all on the academic landscape of USC; the carnival had been home to African Marketplace and Cultural Faire, moving from location to location over the years.

The talk had gone on for months coupled with the uncertainties of an economy gone bad nobody knew what the organizers of a model Orie Amigwe, the typical marketplace in motherland every commodity is bagained for. The African Marketplace had the same resemblance of Orie Amigwe in post-Nigeria-Biafra Civil War era.

But something had happened and the organizers, this year, decided to call it quits, blaming a bad economy and the city's budget shortcomings for its woes. What has a bad economy got to do with culture and especially when race is still a factor in America? Why would the organizers turn the other way when African-Americans are desperately eager to know more about the African culture and traditions which has never been part but always an entity? So what's going on, and why are the vendors and merchants who'd played a significant role in these events not asking questions? Probings like "we demand to know what's going on and what happened to the funding by the city and other big corporations to keep our cultural heritage on the shores of this land viable and intact."

"Nothing spoil," as some folks would lament in fractured English indicating "that's life" and life goes on, no matter which ever way one looks at it even as we keep losing base as a people who did come a long way.

As it happened, the death of African Marketplace and Cultural Faire ushered in the Ist Annual Leimert Park Village African Art and Music Festival sponsored in part by 8th District Council Member Bernard C. Parks, Community Build, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and KJLH 102.3 FM. KJLH is owned by Stevie Wonder.

In a move to bring Leimert Park back to life as a tourist center and a culturally-based entity, Senegalese-born artist Aziz Diagne took the humble task of putting a whole lot into perspective and in conjunction with Sika and Jackie Ryan who represents Leimert Park Village Association and advocates for the merchants causes, had African art and vibes brought back to leimert Park Village over the Labor Day weekend.

From September 5 through the 7th, Degnan Boulevard, 43rd Street and 43rd Place was turned into the Orie Amigwe hub of Black Township, stretching all along the Crenshaw thoroughfare in Los Angeles. There's the World Stage Performance Gallery, home to jam sessions, jazz lessons and scholarship. There's Kumasi Gift Shop, home to the Nana Prempehs, Komfo Anokyes, the golden stool, Frafra gears and Kente fabrics. There's African Heritage and Antique Collection Gallery, home of original African fine arts, prints, lithographs, African beads of Antiquity, old tribal arts, okwa mkpuru, masks -- Tuareg outfits, mud clothes from Mali, babariga and Igbo traditional clothings. There's Papa West Breakfast Club and casts of blues and jazzy-funk performances. There's the Zambezi Bazaar, known for its authentic African accessories, ethno-cultural books and numerous African artifacts. There's Sika and uncountable collection of jazz music and other African-related products.

On the westside of Degnan Bl. sits Fine Arts Gallery Plus, Eso Won Books, Heroik Entertainment, Africa By The Yard, New Orleans Vieux Carre Creole Cuisine where tasty sea foods and Big Easy dishes are found. Strolling down further sits Adassa's Island Cafe & Entertainment and Ackee Bamboo Jamaican Restaurant run by the energetic Marlene Beckford.

On 43rd Street sits Lucy Florence Art Gallery, Academy of Martial Arts, Gaynale Beauty Salon, Tip O Nail, Regency West, Philip's BBQ and Mary's Salon.

On 43rd Place sits Klub Kaos, the decaying and abandoned Vision Theatre, Eugene's Creative Designs, Studio 3345, O' So juicy N' Tasty Burgers, Leimert Park, New Star Beauty Supply, The Herb and Vitamin Center, 3H beauty and Universal College of beauty.

I had thought the launching of Leimert Park Village African Arts Festival might have some hiccups since I wasn't familiar with the organizers and what they had been up to. But I did talk to Diagne from time to time as the planning unfolded, and, eventually, the show was a success with an amazing turnout. Though with some hiccups due to lack of proper funding, I was able to talk to one of the organizers, Jackie Ryan, who runs Zambezi Bazaar with her brother and sister, Mary Kimbrough. Ms. Ryan who had been trading in Leimert Park the last fiteen years said the event was "culturally good, and economically could be better," insinuating an outrageous real estate and the highly overrated properties on the complex which made it difficult for people to sustain" especially the merchants who could barely meet up with a staggering high rent, suggesting rent in the community shouldn't be more than $500 and not the thousands of dollars collected by the property managers and landlords. "That would be just and fair," Ms. Ryan said and concluding, the community from her observations has sustained their businesses through its "loyal customer and cultural base."

According to Ryan, the event was independently produced with the city helping in providing "certain things like stage, chairs and tables." She applauded KJLH for its enormous contribution acknowledging "everybody helped, everybody was creative and everybody who worked on the committee was wonderful. We did it ourselves; there were no banks, no big funding -- we just had our own treasures so we don't have to borrow from anybody."

She also used the opportunity in our chat to thank the Los Angeles Sentinel for being very supportive by way of distributing over 30,000 flyers and postcards. "The volunteers were helpful for putting in their immesureable time for the event's success and there is hope there will be a commemoration of the event, come next year."

It seemed almost impossible to take the organizers seriously because of the timeframe on the sudden absence of the African Marketplace and Cultural Faire. The city had no value for cultural events and Ms. Ryan and her colleagues had no choice but to pull the bull by the horn in order to get things done. It worked and I think a 2nd annual event is very likely to hold based on the success of the opening shot.

Talk about the jam sessions. The stage at the carnival was explosive with performances by Azar Lawrence, Medusa, Wadada, Dwight Trible, Steel Fusion Musik, Walli Ali, Phil Ranelin, Andre Russell of LTD and World Stage Sextet. Lawrence, we all know had been around and had played alongside Miles Davis and McCoy Tyner in the 60s. There was also storytelling, spoken word, dancing, fashion shows, food courts and lots of people happy to see Africa come alive in Leimert Park.

Everyone I talked to seems to agree that the organizers, Leimert Park Merchant Association, took a bold step in not letting the uniqueness of African culture disappear in Los Angeles on the absence of African Marketplace and Cutural Faire. And many who came said they loved it and would come back again. Maxie Viltz who runs African Imports Village Treasures on Linden Avenue in Long Beach and who had invited me to stop by her shop and "check things out" said she enjoyed the three day show and liked what she saw, particularly the artifacts and okwa mkpuru, the masks displayed at the African Heritage & Antique Gallery owned by UC Bekerley trained criminologist turned trader, Obinne Emmanuel Onyeador. I also had spent enough time with Valeri Adams whose Help U Sell Resale program did some brisk business in front of Papa West Breakfast Club. Business was generally good and the merchants smiled all the way to the bank.

Harold Lott, who makes and fixes traditional handdrums in the community alternatively pointed out that the show was brilliantly well done, and that the community needs to keep up with working collectively towards achieving its goal of bringing everybody together, citing Community Build which helps young people in the community. Onyeador, who had earlier sold James Currey's "Africa Writes Back: The Africa Writers Series and the Launching of African Literature" to visiting University of Manchester students Laura and Josephine, said "the show wasn't bad at all," meaning brisk business was made considering the bad economy.

Enter researcher Gloria martinez who is working on a project regarding the 70s ragtag clothings told me she never expected the turnout to be that huge. She had bought some Michael Jackson t-shirts and beads down the street before bumping into me at the event. The best part of the event was the little corner between Papa West and African Heritage where my homies -- Kalu ezikpe, Obi Onyeador, Kenny Oriyomi, Ogbonna Nkelu and several other homeboys -- had gathered and discussed matters of interest related to the nasty politics of the day commonly found on the continent of Africa. Besides, the hangout was an event to remember.

Al in all, the festival was a remarkable success.