AFRICAN CULTURE, AN ABANDONED HERITAGE

There is currently a wide argument among youth around the continent concerning the relevance of the age-long African cultural heritage in the global community. Our correspondent went round the cities and rural communities to find out opinion of members of the public regarding this issue.

Read The Inspiring Story Of Africa’s First Blind Photographer And Her Amazing Shots

Prior to her photography training, Lawal, who believed that having a mind was enough for her situation, learnt a few trades which included bead-making and bag-making for four years. Her road to photography began with Emmanuel Effiong-Bright, the winner of the 2013 Verseidag Bowling Tournament, United Arab Emirates, who discovered her prior to the competition in Oshodi after she asked him to lead her to the bus park.

“She could have gone begging like others but she overcame all that. Our journey took 25 minutes instead of five minutes. But, it has been one of the best 25 minutes of the last 25 years of my life. I saw a blind person who spoke like someone who could see,” Effiong-Bright said.

Through his help and her photography instructor, Seun Akisanmi, Lawal began photography lessons which she initially thought was impossible due to her lack of sight.

One of her portrait – Twitter

Akisanmi, who runs the academy (Elophotos) where Lawal took her classes, said teaching her was interesting though challenging.

“One must be extremely patient. Training her is like two to three times longer than that of a sighted person. But I’m also learning from her. I didn’t know how sharp her other senses were, and she always looks happy. She’s a bright student and has learnt a lot. There are some settings we can’t teach her but she can use auto-mode. She knows enough to do a mini-session for someone, which is a good start, and she can take good pictures.”

The 39-year-old whose specialty is in street photography said: “Taking pictures makes me happy. Also, it has helped me forget my past sorrows when some people didn’t appreciate me and I endured a lot of insults.”

For someone who takes incredibly beautiful pictures despite her situation, this is how she knows she is aiming at a good shot:

“Whenever I take pictures, I know they would be beautiful because I see them in my mind.”

“If I want to take a picture, I would go to where the person is, and feel his location; then I would communicate with the person to sense the direction, as the sound of the person tells me where he or she is.”

Lawal and her twin, according to doctors, had only six years to live at the time of birth but the two have broken all barriers to become a success. Her twin is married with two children and Lawal continues to take the photography industry in Nigeria and Africa to the next level.

Taiwo (Right) at the 2013 edition of the Nigerian Photography Expo & Conference – Twitter

She has already met big names in the photography industry such as American Joe McNally and recently, she won an award at the International Day of Persons Living with Disabilities, which was held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

In 2013, the award-winning photographer had her first ever public exhibition that was arranged by NIPHEC (Nigerian Photography & Exhibition Conference).

Her story adds to the many amazing bling people out there on the continent who have overcome their limitations to contribute effectively to society. Abdallah Nyangalio from Mbagala, Dar es Salaam, lost his sight in 1989 from complications resulting from high blood pressure but he is now an independent tailor who has perfected his craft and boasts a roll call of clients that include former Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete and several members of parliament.

There are also the likes of the visually impaired Ethiopian woman, Yetnebersh Nigussie, who is a human rights lawyer; Endurance Otobi, a blind cobbler; and Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, a visually impaired reporter from Somalia.

Meanwhile, check out how Lawal snaps her perfect shots below:

California Wildfire Burns Down Caitlyn Jenner’s Hiltop Malibu House As Smoke Envelopes Lady Gaga’s Mansion

Caitlyn Jenner’s home in the Malibu hills has been destroyed by wildfires raging in Southern California.

According to TMZ, the 500 square foot, 4-bedroom pad overlooking the Malibu beach west of Los Angeles was engulfed in flames from the Woolsey Fire.
Jenner has owned the home since 2015 and it has been featured multiple times on her reality series.

Meanwhile Lady Gaga’s mansion nearby in Malibu was seen surrounded by a blanket of thick smoke as the blaze overtook the beachside city before moving along toward Oxnard.

California wild fire burns down Caitlyn Jenner

So far, over 150,000 residents in Southern California have been ordered to evacuate as the Hill and Woolsey Fires move westward toward the Pacific Ocean.

At around 7am local time Friday, officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for the entire city of Malibu as the fire was declared an ‘imminent threat’.

MC Galaxy Premieres Ohaa Music Video, Gives Out N100,000 Cash Prizes

African dance music king, MC Galaxy has dropped a video for his new hit single “Ohaa”. This comes after the release of his most downloaded single, “Ohaa” released in August 2018 and has since become Nigeria’s urban anthem and the dance step, a custom routine.

The MCG Empire boss has also rewarded the first family to win the #OhaaFamilyChallenge with a cash prize of a hundred thousand naira. The #OhaaFamilyChallenge allows fans to recreate the Ohaa dance step in a personalized way with their families. Family dance video with the highest likes would be selected every week for a chance to win a N100, 000.

The sensational video “Ohaa” was directed by Mex, produced by Willbeatz, mixed and mastered by Selebobo with Fiokee on the guitar strings.

Watch video here: https://youtu.be/Xn3XTmxKkUk

https://youtu.be/Xn3XTmxKkUk

“Our Country May fallen Into The Hands Of Those Who Do Not Unity And Nation’s Building As Priority” – Dele Momodu

Dele Momodu, in his article this week which he titled ‘A Prayer for President Buhari and His Ruling Party’ said ‘our country may have fallen into the hands of those who do not see unity and nation-building as a priority’.

 

According to him, ‘It is not impossible for this administration to draw back from the precipice and the Buhari administration still has a few months to woo Nigerians again’.

 

See the full piece below…

 

Fellow Nigerians, I don’t know about you but I’m truly worried that our dear beloved country may have fallen into the hands of those who do not see unity and nation-building as a priority. Before I go on, let me tell a true life story. In 2014, I was on a bus ride with the current Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and a few others. We were on our way to view a suitable office for the Muhammadu Buhari Presidential Campaign office in Abuja. As always, discussions dovetailed from one topic to another.

The one I will never forget was when the then Governor of Rivers State, Amaechi, suddenly turned to me and asked my opinion on whether Buhari should drop the title ‘General’ from his name. Amaechi did not say what was behind that thought, but I suspected that many people felt it could be an albatross being a sad reminder of his days as a military dictator. Some young folks in the bus had apparently suggested this to the Governor as brand consultants but I responded by disagreeing vehemently.

 

“Why would a man drop his greatest achievement in life?” I asked rhetorically, with a straight poker face. There was pin drop silence. I fired on “so what do you now want to call Buhari, Mister, Chief, Dr. or what? I think the title ‘General’ can even be funkified by us by referring to him as “the People’s General…” I humbly suggested. There was general excitement and consensus, thereafter. That day, it was clear that we were all very happy and delighted to be working for the victory of a man we believed had learnt his lessons after being unceremoniously sacked in a military coup 30 years earlier.

 

For the sake of those who do not know what happened between 1983 and 1985, let me summarise the history and story of that period. On December 31, 1983, a military coup was heralded by a certain Colonel Sani Abacha. I had never heard his name before then, and I’m sure not many Nigerians did. The coup brought an abrupt end to the President Shehu Shagari government and its reckless and profligate ruling party, the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).

A general election held barely months to the coup had been heavily rigged by the NPN and such unheard of adjectives like “landslide and moonslide” were used to describe the outcome. Nigerians were shocked to their marrow, but the government of the day could not be bothered. Therefore, it was not a big surprise when the stern-faced Abacha made his announcement on the last day of 1983 and a Brigadier Muhammadu Buhari was soon declared as the new Military Head of State.

 

The Buhari regime immediately made a “war against corruption and indiscipline” its signature mantra. Draconian Decrees were promulgated. Military tribunals were set up and pronto, politicians, businessmen and journalists were thrown into detention, summarily prosecuted and convicted. Huge sentences were manufactured and handed out like popcorn or confetti. Many Nigerians initially welcomed this Messiah, Buhari, and his deputy, Angel Brigadier Tunde Idiagbon, who had come to rescue Nigeria from political demons and other prodigal children.

Everyone screamed “crucify them…” It was such a sweet refrain, but the honeymoon period was soon over, and Nigerians started groaning under the yoke of repressive laws, squalid and degrading detention camps, atrocious sentences, unjustifiable double standards, myopic and visionless economic policies, beggarly supplies, rationing of essential commodities, a mindless clampdown on the Press, and so on. Buhari and his deputy, Idiagbon were on rampage, out of supposed righteous indignation at the way Nigerians and Nigeria had been defiled and desecrated by the political class and businessmen. They studiously ignored all entreaties to temper justice with mercy.

 

To cut a long story short, Nigerians groaned and moaned and cried for deliverance from this bitter, brash and brutish government. This was the opportunity Ibrahim Babangida and company needed to strike and they took full advantage, sacked the Buhari government almost effortlessly in a palace coup.

 

Upon learning of the cataclysmic fall of that government, Nigerians spilled into the streets in wild jubilation. History would record many reasons the government failed woefully. Let me briefly mention a few. The discipline it sought to instil was lopsided and discriminatory. In a country that is totally neurotic about ethnicity and religion, President Shagari was placed under house arrest, but his Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, and many other Southern politicians were kept in prison under the most excruciating conditions, in a most bizarre act of man’s inhumanity to man.

Many of the prisoners, like Governor Bisi Onabanjo of Ogun State, became human skeletons and walking corpses. Some, such as Governor Ambrose Alli of Bendel State, suffered irreparable or even fatal damages to their health. Laws were made in typical Orwellian fashion, in which all animals were supposed to be equal, but some were more equal than others.

The Big Brother kept watch over the animals, but allowed some to enjoy unbelievable privileges,  including, allegedly, the Emir of Gwandu, who contrived to bring in 53 suitcases into the country without being searched, contrary to Buhari’s law at the time, because his son was the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to Buhari. Fela, the legendary musician was jailed under the flimsiest of pretexs. Two journalists, Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor were jailed as warning to other would be troublemakers. The list of atrocities was long and endless.

 

The government ran a voodoo economic misadventure and the economy nosedived and collapsed with debilitating consequences. It was a policy of “do as I say and not as I do…” Babangida crept in and dismantled the unfriendliness of that government. In fact, Babangida’s attraction was being the opposite of what Buhari represented. Babangida assembled the most cerebral Nigerians and ran a government of intellectuals who could challenge him, policy for policy. Even known critics were attracted to work for their countrt. Back to Buhari, the regime went into oblivion and a sad place in our history, or so it seemed.

 

Babangida’s government itself ended tragically by overstaying its welcome. Perhaps, had Babangida allowed the 1993 elections to hold in peace, and not in pieces, Nigeria won’t be in this mess today. Over-tinkering with the political process led to endless conflagration.

 

It is not known at what point Buhari started nursing his ambition to run back to power. He probably suffered from withdrawal syndrome like other Generals who at different times attempted to return to the hallowed corridors of power. For example, Major-General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua (died without realising his dream), General Olusegun Obasanjo (returned by the conspiracy of the military Mafiosi and almost bagged a third term, in the kitty), General Ibrahim Babangida (couldn’t muster enough support from Obasanjo, the capo di tutti capi, and others, so quickly beat a hasty retreat), Lt. General Aliyu Gusau (silent power house, highly regarded in intelligence circles). In the event, General Buhari contested a record four times and eventually won in 2015.

 

It is ironic that a man who was brusquely booted out of power 30 years earlier was brought back in a haze of glory. His triumphant re-entry into the Nigerian political sphere and space will remain one of the most mysterious miracles of this century. The best way to describe it would be that Nigerians were victims of mass hypnotism and “collective amnesia”. Please, let me succinctly explain, again. Today is a day for going down memory lane. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) handed power on a platter of gold to Buhari.

Some of us had written all the English in the lexicon warning of the danger ahead if the ruling party did not reduce its profligacy and pugnacity. Just as the Party went on a binge and wasted resources, it also suffered another calamity by not keeping its house in order. Nigerians got increasingly frustrated and desperately wanted a terminal end to a ruling Party that boasted it would rule eternally. It was this desperation that catapulted Buhari back to power, warts and all.

 

I remember some of our deliberations after Amaechi and company stormed out of the PDP. That was the beginning of the end. PDP, in its state of cockiness did not envisage the catastrophe that awaited it in the near future. Amaechi and friends tactically aligned with a few other parties like ACN, ANPP and CPC to form APC. I will forever salute the total commitment of two people in particular, Amaechi and Dr Bukola Saraki, the current Senate President. The combination of both was lethal. I was honoured to participate in a few of their meetings.

They were responsible for attracting a lot of the younger folk to Buhari. Many of the questions people asked about Buhari included: does he have intellectual capacity to run a modern government?; what business did he run in the last 30 years?; will he discriminate or seek revenge against supposed enemies?; has he purged himself of dictatorial tendencies?; will he be an ethnic bigot?; a religious fanatic coming to Islamise Nigeria?; etc,.

We devised a general and standard response to the myriad of thought-provoking queries – “General Buhari is a born-again democrat…” – and we stuck to our guns, even if not totally assured or convinced about the true nature and status of the last saint standing. We were driven by our blind faith and the hope that Baba must have learnt useful lessons in 30 years and had had time to reflect on the things he did wrong in the past and what he plans to do right in the future.

 

The clincher for many of us was the invitation and inclusion of Professor Yemi Osinbajo, a renowned scholar, legal luminary, seasoned administrator and revered priest of the Christian faith. To every known or imagined defect in Buhari, we found a foil, an antithesis, and counter-solution in Osinbajo. We assumed their relationship was going to pan out like that of the symbiotic relationship of Buhari and Idiagbon, and that Osinbajo would be the guiding spirit and stabilising force of the government. No one reckoned with a hidden cabal while Amaechi, Tinubu, Saraki and others sweated profusely to make Buhari President. Not that we were not warned by those who should know because they were close to him, once upon a time.

 

Anyway, the rest is now history. Baba realised his ambition and we were all elated. But as in the proverbial death of the elephant, no sooner did Baba assume office than everyone, including strangers to the party, surfaced with knives and plates to cut their portions. I was stunned when, systematically, even Amaechi was being blocked by some of those who used to loiter in his corridor begging for mobilisation. A new power block suddenly emerged. On several occasions, I approached Amaechi and sympathised with his gradual and steady banishment from the inner caucus, but my man had, and still has, incurable faith in Buhari. The President is his hero who could do no wrong, so he ignored all the other distractions. The tragedy of APC was in alienating most of the powerful forces that brought it to fruition. Things fell apart too quickly. Ill-health also slowed Baba down and threw up some over-zealous and ambitious people who seized upon the lacuna to govern by proxy.

 

I also suspect the existence of a fifth columnist within government who programmed everything to fail. The many fractious and fracticidal wars that broke out were totally unnecessary. Again, the battle against corruption could have been fought differently. Before the election, there was a tacit understanding that the Change government was going to tackle the scourge of corruption differently, that it was not going to be selective and that the priority would be on recovering the loot across board, irrespective of party affiliations. Punitive measures were only going to be unleashed on those who refuse to give back a substantial chunk of their loot.

 

Baba was going to demonstrate his new avowed embrace of democratic and nationalistic credentials in order to dispel the fears of those who believe a leopard can never change its spots. It is strange and inexplicable how the massive goodwill was frittered away in no time. Today, the President and his Party are merely struggling to put up an appearance. Even his most fastidious supporters admit in private that only a miracle and unprecedented rigging can bring them back to power in 2019. The objective ones agree that those who did not vote for Buhari in 2015 will never vote for him in 2019, while many of those who did will no longer do so next year.

The ruling Party has been shattered into smithereens. Not even PDP was this divided in its journey towards Golgotha. I don’t know, since I’m not God, what game plan APC has for the rest of its first-term, but these are perilous times for a Party that willy-nilly blew its humongous chances on the altar of intolerance, vengefulness, selfishness and disregard for the rule of Law, such that very few now seem to care about the giant strides and major achievements of the government.

Nigerians need nationalists, democrats and performers, not ethnic jingoists, vengeful autocrats and struggling performers. It is not impossible for this administration to draw back from the precipice and the Buhari administration still has a few months to woo Nigerians again. Those who can still pray should intercede on its behalf. As for me and my house, we shall offer The Lord’s Prayer…

‘I don’t Have A Relationship With My Mother Because She Allowed Me And My Sister To Be Abused And Protected Our Abuser’ – Woman Recounts Sad Tale

A South African woman has narrated how she and her sister were sexually abused and her mother threatened to send them out of the house if they reported their abuser.

The Twitter user said her mother allowed the abuse to take place and refused to stop it.  Other relatives knew about it and did nothing. She said this is the reason why she and her sister are dealing with depression.

Read her tweets below.

"I don?t have a relationship with my mother because she allowed me and my sister to be abused and protected our abuser" woman recounts sad tale

"I don?t have a relationship with my mother because she allowed me and my sister to be abused and protected our abuser" woman recounts sad tale

"I don?t have a relationship with my mother because she allowed me and my sister to be abused and protected our abuser" woman recounts sad tale

“Stop Bugging INEC With Unnecessary Affidavit, Go And Submit Your Certificates If Any” PDP to Buhari

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged President Buhari to show proof of his vaunted integrity by presenting his academic documents, if he has any, to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and put to an end his certificate saga.

In a statement released by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party urged President Buhari to fulfil his obligation like other Presidential candidates, instead of bugging the commission with affidavits. Read the remaining part of the statement below

The PDP said while its Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has submitted his educational and other relevant documents to INEC, President Buhari is rather seeking ways to short-circuit the system, instead of complying with set rules.

Indeed, a situation where President Buhari has been dodging the certificate issue raises huge questions of integrity, which demands that he makes available his credentials, or apologize to Nigerians, if he has none, so that the nation can move ahead.

President Buhari knows by now that Nigerians are no longer interested in his claims in an affidavit wherein he stated; “I am the above-named person and the deponent of this affidavit herein. All my academic qualification documents as filled in my Presidential form, APC/001/2015 are currently with the Secretary of the Military Board as of the time of this affidavit.”

PDP maintains that integrity strictly demands that President Buhari, particularly as the commander-in-chief, writes to the military authorities directing them to forward his claimed credentials to INEC, as requisite evidence of compliance with a key requirement for election into the Office of the President, under section 131 (d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

That President Buhari and the previous INEC succeeded in circumventing the law in 2015 does not make such acceptable in our current electoral process.

Moreover, President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) must realize that even their followers, that were beguiled in 2015, are currently not prepared to accept ‘NEPA bill’ as WAEC certificate in the 2019 elections.

This is particularly as the certificate scandal contributes to the erosion of Mr. President’s rectitude to check the humongous corruption, ineptitude and recklessness among his officials which has brought the nation to its knees under his administration.

Furthermore, President Buhari’s failure to tidy up such grey areas also contributes to his inability to cultivate and earn the productive followership of the youth and the respect of the international community, resulting in retardation in national productivity and dearth of international development partnership in the last three and half years.

This situation has even been worsened by the revelations that President Buhari’s ministers and aides parade forged certificates.
No country makes meaningful progress with persons with this educational pedigrees in it’s leadeership.

The PDP, therefore, urges President Buhari to do the needful so as not to cause any frictions that will put INEC under further pressure ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Vera Sidiki Exposes Her Boyfriend, Otile Brown On Instagram As She Dumps Him Again Over Money

Kenyan socialite, Vera Sidika has broken up again with her boyfriend, singer Otile Brown after he asked her for a financial assistance.

The curvy model took to Instagram to reveal that they are no longer together just two days after they reconciled after their initial break-up. She also shared screenshots of her conversation with Otile, where she blasted him for asking her for money to buy a Mercedes.

According to the socialite, it is a turn off when a man keeps asking a woman for money and she believes the reason Otile came back was because of her money.

She wrote:

‘ As much as we love so deep. Women do find it a turn off when a man keeps asking for money. Regularly. From week 2 of dating. This time it happened 2 days after a break-up reconciliation and it ended up looking like the only reason he came back was for the money. I have been in this situation before & I refuse to be used financially or for fame. If such a person walks away coz u didn’t give them money …it’s more like good riddance to bad rubbish

Below is the screenshot of her post:

Vera Sidika exposes her boyfriend Otile Brown on Instagram as she dumps him again over money

NNPC Denies Funding Buhari’s Re-Election Campaign

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has denied reports of releasing funds from the oil corporation’s account to fund the re-election campaign of President Buhari.

Reports were rife online this week with claims that the corporation released a large amount to the spokesperson of the campaign organization, Festus Keyamo, for the execution of the president’s campaign. Keyamo in a statement released on Thursday October 25th, denied the claims.

Reacting to an allegation on the matter, NNPC’s General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, said the allegation was politically-motivated. Ughumadu in a statement released, said

“The allegation was not only false, but runs against the prevailing gale of transparency and accountability pervading the operations of the NNPC since the advent of the current administration. With no regard for the cherished investigative reporting ethos of balance and confirmation of story, the allegation, without doubt, come across as a kindergarten execution of an ill-thought political brinksmanship.”

NNPC called on all well-meaning members of the public and oil and gas industry stakeholders to disregard the report, noting that its management is focused on delivering the aspiration of the current administration.