Friday, April 30, 2010

2010 Time's 100 Most Influential People

It's no surprise that the leader of the free world, my man, President Barack Obama was the opening shot of Time's 2010 100 most influential people in what dramatically is changing the world and how close, as the world becomes smaller and smaller with a fast-paced technology. Clearly, David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker and author of The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama points it out simply about the man who made history and have influenced us that "we can" under any circumstances. Remnick writes;

"When Barack Obama was still in his 20s and ran for the presidency of the Harvard Law Review, he won not least because he was able to attract conservatives as well as liberals. His capacity to project a receptive political personality attracted students who, although they saw themselves as ideological opponents, thought they could get a fair hearing from him. That habit of mind, which Obama made so conspicuous in the 2008 campaign, came up hard against the realities of U.S. politics as they are lived in the furious here and the partisan now."

Time's 100 list in "the people who most affect our world" has people from all walks of life which is quite fascinating. The list includes "Bad Boy" Bill Clinton, J.T. Wang, Don Bloom, Didier Drogba, my girl Liya Kebede, Prince, Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, Lea Michele, Elton John, David Chang, James Cameron, Zaha Hadid, Atul Gamande, Victor Pinchuk, Lee Kuan Yew, Deborah Gist, Lisa Jackson, Sonia Sotomayor; among others. Interestingly, social networking made the list which brings to the fore the powerful effect of Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and all the numerous networking families.

David Remnick on President Barack Obama

Humanitarian and Rock icon Bono on Bad Boy Bill

Tom Ford on My girl, Liya Kebede

Phil Donahue on Oprah Winfrey

Ebel Harrell on soccer maestro Didier Drogba

Jeff Koons on Steve Jobs

Nate Silver on "Social Networking Influence Index"

Billie Jean King on Serena Williams

Robert De Niro on Ben Stiller's amazing charity work in Haiti

Tom Dascchle on Atul Gawande

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nigerian Jungle Blues and Tuesday Cartoons

Palpable tension has gripped the House of Representatives, over plot to remove the Speaker, Dimeji Bankole. Bankole is among some notable Nigerians including no fewer than five governors who are currently stranded in Europe due to the volcanic ash, which led to cancellation of flights.
As members of the Nigeria First Forum (NFF) who are pushing for Bankole’s removal confirmed the plot and the scheduling of a meeting for last night to fine-tune their strategies, there is uncertainty over whether the House, which had been on Easter vacation would sit today... MORE @ SUN NEWS ONLINE




Monday, April 19, 2010


I had watched on Saturday evening, April 17, 2010, the resident drummer, Cornel Fowler, perform with a visting group of jazz musicians at the World Stage Performance Gallery before heading to 7th Street Bar on 7th and Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles where grafitti rock and things like that is now the order in an amazing, evolving generation of a new era.

But on Sunday, April 18, 2010, I had to come back to Leimert Park Village, the hood I have known for many years now, with a whole lot of stuff going on. As it happened and as usual, I bumped into filmmaker, motivator, and founder and director of the Kaos Network, Ben R. Caldwell, who spoke at length on how to keep the historical Leimert Park Village moving. He talked about everything related to the neigborhood. He talked about Laura Mae Gross, founder of the quintenssential blues bar and restaurant in Leimert Park who died last October at the age of 83 and why no major event had been scheduled in rememberance of what she did for the community besides extensive stories written about her by the Los Angeles Times, and the curiousness of tourists who troop the park to find out more about her.

Caldwell talked more about how the younger generation should carry on with the legacy of keeping Leimert Park Village afloat in meeting up with the challenges and what he called "incubating the park" positively and engaging activities. Caldwell is just a cool cat and was serious on what he was talking about.

Sika Dwimfo's Alley Catwalk Models Fashion Show behind the vacated Vision Theatre parking lot as part of the festivities that kept Leimert Park Village activities moving yesterday.

Rastafarian and performer, Jamaiel Shabaka and friend pose for the camera at the park while brisk business was being made. Jamaiel's friend prepares African health-related traditional dishes for patrons and tourists who troop to the park.

This is one of my favorites as I walked around the park and in my conversations with Caldwell. It's kids stuff and inspiration...

Local ensemble The Hurricane Band entertains in "Blues at the Park."

Like a spiritual revival, Rene Fisher Mims leads the women group as they stomp and dance to the vibes of the hand blasting drums of Najite Agindotan and the Leimert Park Village Drum Church Circle.

Leimert Park Village hairstylist, Sherrie "Sirena" Tamu (left) poses with a vendor and a friend who made brisk business selling homemade old-fashion way variety of juices as part of encouraging small businesses in the community.

A motivator and parent instructs the kids as they begin to learn crafts in a variety of disciplines.

Shobiz promoter/model/poet, and resident 27th Street performer, Storm da Poet, poses with a vendor who traded in a variety of authentic African accessories.

Former Chief Priest Fela Kuti's hand drummer, Najite Agindotan and the Leimert Park Village Drum Church Circle entertains the audience at the park.

Afro-Cuban ensemble on the sidewalk featuring Wadada and Horold Lott on the sidewalk of Degnan Blvd and 43rd Street entertaining tourists.

Complete bargain and the provision of services, the African way.

Ben R. Calwell making his point on the incubation of Leimert Park Village.

One of the vendors is all smiles as brisk business is being made.

Motivational speaker and activist, Sista Paula Robinson who will be speaking on "Empowering Our Community" at the Los Angeles City Hall on April 22, 2010, invited by Councilman Bernard Parks and sponsored by Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs had a field day at the park speaking on "sisterhood and brotherhood" to make our community the best it could be in meeting up with the challenges ahead.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Nigerian Jungle Blues and Sunday Cartoons

When a religious crisis convulsed the city, a handful of fundamentalists were hot on his trail. They stormed his office and dragged him out by the scruff of his pastor’s collar to the back of his office. After beating him unconscious, his assailants crudely cut off his testicles with a sharp dagger and plucked out his right eye. They went away triumphantly with these vital body parts as a trophy and he was left to bleed to death. More @ Sun News

SOURCE: Sun News Online


SOURCE: Guardian

SOURCE: Sunday Trust

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Memorable Images and Time

The enigmatic and a man of unstated charisma, Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the Congo Republic, leaves the Idlewild Airport in New York, July 24, 1960, and escorted by United States Federal agents. Six months later, he will be toppled in a coup and murdered in the most brutal way. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Osagefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, President of Ghana and his wife, Fatima, pays homage to WEB Dubois. The pan Africanist was overthrown by a group of youngish military juntas led by Emmanuel Kotoka in an alleged CIA plot.

The greatest Muhammed Ali faces off against George Foreman, twice his size, for the heavyweight title belt in "Rumble in the Jungle" October 30, 1974. Ali floored Foreman in the eight round as he predicted.

From left: Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello and Obafemi Awolowo, founding fathers of the Nigerian republic as fabricated by the British Empire.

Nigerian Jungle Blues and Sunday Cartoons

Fresh troubles may be in the horizon for members of the kitchen cabinet of ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua as they are said to be explaining how they disbursed a whopping N70 billion allegedly on behalf of the former Katsina governor as security vote between November 2009 and January 2010. Sources claimed that two former close allies of the ailing leader who failed to make it back to the newly reconstituted cabinet by acting President Goodluck Jonathan, are said to be answering questions over the manner the money was spent and for what purpose... MORE @ SUN NEWS ONLINE

Posers Over Cleric's Visit to Yar'Adua: Thursday’s unexpected visit by four Islamic clerics to ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, has sparked fresh anxiety in the polity with questions now being asked about the propriety of allowing the clerics access to the President while same is denied Acting President Goodluck Jonathan... MORE @ VANGUARD




Saturday, April 03, 2010

Hoha! (Pointblank): The Talking Heads Speak Their Minds

“what we want in the post-Yar’Adua presidency is a Northerner, who will keep to the zoning arrangement of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and in 2015, the people of the South-South will produce the president. We don’t want somebody who will come and before you know it, uses the power of incumbency to destroy the arrangement and plunge this country into a political crisis of an unimaginable magnitude.”

-------Former military junta Ibrahim Babangida's camp on the former dictator's consultation of ex-military junta Olusegun Obasanjo and the schedule to meet Southern leaders in Babangida's quest for the 2011 Presidential election

"Some close friends and associates of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua reportedly sighted him on Tuesday. On Thursday, four Muslim clerics also saw him in the presence of his wife and security aide and they had a prayer session with him. I don't have a problem with this, I grant a benefit of the doubt, assuming the clerics are willing and ready to lay their hands on the Holy Quoran and swear that indeed the man they saw and who sat down and could not utter a word, but was strong enough to raise his hands in prayer was President Umaru Yar'Adua. However, there are questions to be asked. Are these persons who have been given the special privilege of selective sighting of the President more important than other Nigerians? If the President is strong enough and can shake hands, the more dignified approach would have been to put him on national television and have him smile and wave at us. Given the amount of emotion that Nigerians have expended on the matter of his ill-health and invisibility, we would be satisfied to know that he is still alive, first, before other posers are raised. Besides, he is receiving medical treatment and has been on a protracted leave at the taxpayer's expense. Are the privileged ones who have been allowed to see the President more important than his mother who was reportedly prevented from seeing him? Surely, if he is strong enough to receive visitors as they claim, his mother should be more than happy to see him recuperating. Are the privileged visitors who are now advertising their access to the unseen President Yar'Adua as if it were a status symbol, also more important than Acting President Jonathan who now calls the shots in the Presidency but who has not been allowed to exercise control over the Presidential Villa by President Yar'Adua's very powerful handlers?"

-------Reuben Abati of President Umaru Yar'Adua marginalizing the country and the recent sensationalism on claims of muslim clerics paying homage to Yar'Adua in his Sunday column of the Guardian Newspapers.

"The present confusion in Jos and the Niger Delta are manifestations of the border game; because there are places where indigenes are the poorest in the country, in lands which are amongst the most fertile or resourceful, and therefore attract the poor from everywhere else. It sets up the poor indigene against the poor non-indigene, each side patronised by the rich indigene and the rich non-indigene. Neither side is wrong because one side says, we want our customary rights, the right of the citizens; the other side says, we want our citizens’ democratic rights, we are Nigerians, we have the right to stay anywhere in Nigeria. Both sides are right. The problem is, we have decided to play the game by two sets of rules which contradict one another, one which is the right of the indigenes and the other the rights of the Nigerian citizen. You can’t have both. I always tell those who say the problem is leadership that the problem is bigger. Any leadership you put in charge will not be able to play the game by both rules. You have to change the rules. It’s a larger problem. Societies usually get an opportunity to change the rules after a big crisis. The Americans changed the rules after the civil war."

-------Columbia University Professor, Mahmood Mamdani in an interview with The News on Odia Ofeimun's 60th birthday ceremomy

"For now, I’m not thinking about going into coaching now, but I can still do some other things that are related to football. It’s not like I don’t have interest in coaching, I think it’s too early for me to go into coaching now because I might not be able to handle the pressure coaches go through all the time. I was always under pressure during my football career and to add more pressure by becoming a coach now could be suicidal. I think my family still needs me alive...We learn everyday, and the truth in life is that nothing is impossible. I can’t rule out coaching entirely, but I’m not looking forward to it now? So now, I can give no for an answer, but I might change my mind tomorrow..."

-------International soccer superstar Austen "Jay Jay" Okocha on being a coach in an interview with Sun News Online