Wednesday, April 28, 2010

23-yr-old girl dumps baby in toilet

A 23-year-old girl, Vivian Oghenero, was, yesterday, paraded by the Police in Edo State for dumping her baby in a pit toilet in Benin-City.

Oghenero, who hails from Delta State, lives at Eyeanogie Street, Benin, the state capital, where the incident occurred.

Parading the suspect before newsmen, Edo State Police image maker, Mr. Peter Ogboi, disclosed that it was a good Samaritan who alerted the police on discovering the baby in the pit toilet.

… and the child died

He explained that efforts made by the Police to ensure that the child survived failed as the baby later gave up the ghost.

Ogboi advised young girls against unwanted pregnancies and dumping of their babies in toilets or in uncompleted buildings after birth.

He described the action of the suspect as criminal.

The suspect, Oghenero, in an interview with newsmen, regretted her action and begged for forgiveness.


Related stories: Man arrested for burying daughter alive

Mother murders two-day old son 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Highlights from 2010 African Movie Academy Awards


53 countries compete for 24 film nominations represented in the 2010 African Movie Academy Awards. CNN's Christian Purefoy walks the red carpet and talks with Nigeria's stars and filmmakers.

Related stories: Why Figurine stole the show at AMAA

Nigeria's Entertainment Industry

Piracy in Nollywood 

Interview with the father of Nollywood

Nollywood in Retrospect - Video Documentary

Nigeria opposition slams BBC over Lagos documentary

Nigeria's main opposition party, the Action Congress (AC), has condemned the 'Welcome to Lagos' documentary, aired by the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC2, in the UK on 15 April, which portrayed Lagos as one huge slum and ignored world-acclaimed efforts by the state government to uplift the city.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Al haji Lai Mohammed, the party commended Nigeria's High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. Dalhatu Tafida, for his prompt and robust response to the documentary, saying he had shown that he was a true representative of all Nigerians.

``The timing of the documentary, which is being aired in a series, is inauspicious and the motive highly suspect,'' the party said, wondering why the BBC - which trumpets its professionalism to high heavens - chose not to balance its story by also documenting the great efforts of the state government in the past 10 years to change the face of Lagos.

``Much as we try to think otherwise, it is difficult not to feel that the BBC is acting out a script, as the voice of a colonialist that has long passed its prime and is now nostalgic about its past, which includes holding a whole people down and portraying them as incapable of managing their own affairs.

``It is nothing short of poor judgment on the part of the documentary's producers to give a big play to the disappearing slum in a city that is fast rising to global prominence, thanks to relentless developmental efforts of the state government,'' AC said.

The party noted that every city had its own share of slums, whether it is Lagos, London or New York, and wondered why those areas were given prominence over and above the cleaner parts of the city anytime Lagos was involved.

``Thankfully, other international media organisations have done a more professio nal reporting on Lagos. They have documented the 'miracle of Oshodi' and the 'greening' of Lagos. They have shown the massive road construction projects and other infrastructural development efforts, all of which the BBC has ignored!' it said.

AC urged other Nigerian Ambassadors/High Commissioners to emulate Dr. Tafida, who promptly protested against the unfair BBC documentary, adding: ``A slight on any part of Nigeria is a slight on all of Nigeria.''

Afrique en ligne

Related stories: Documentary 'Welcome to Lagos'

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Nigerian police identify Lagos,Ogun,Kaduna as hotspots for ritual killings

Africa's Tallest building to be built in Lagos,Nigeria

Lagos ranked 5th worst city in the world

Documentary on rebranding Nigeria

Monday, April 26, 2010

Newcastle forever I'll cherish - Ameobi

Shola Ameobi says Premier League-bound Newcastle United will not lose sight of the work ethic and togetherness that helped them defy their doubters to win the Championship.

The striker, a Newcastle supporter since childhood, spoke of feeling "privileged" at being part of the memorable title celebrations at Home Park - an evening Ameobi says will live with him forever.

The team toasted their superb achievement long into Monday night before taking to the team bus for an eight- hour drive back to the North East.

They had a midweek off-day but returned to training with a view to ticking two more goals off - topping 100 points and finishing the season unbeaten at home. From the way the players reacted on Monday night it is clear that this is a closely-knit group that has bonded over the course of a gruelling campaign. With a strong core of senior players, no one has been allowed to slack off and all have made a contribution to helping confound the critics - who predicted Newcastle would follow Leeds United into free-fall.

That work ethic was not always the case in the Premier League relegation season - turmoil at the top led to frictions in the dressing room.

Ameobi feels that having worked hard to create unity, it must not be allowed to happen again. He said: "It's great to get promotion but to win the Championship with two games to spare, the whole of the club, the fans, everyone can be proud.

"For me it's very emotional in terms of last season's disappointments. To get back up first time is something I will cherish for the rest of my career and for the rest of my life.

"As a Newcastle fan, I have been part of this as a player, and I feel it is a real honour just to be part of that. After the partying we are under no illusions, we know that it will be difficult. We came down last year and will have to strengthen. I am not the manager, I don't want to delve into his business, that's his job.

"But I know there's a core of players right now and we will give everything we have got. We didn't have a God-given right to win this league, we have had to give every ounce of effort to win it and that's what we will be trying to replicate in the Premier League." As for securing an immediate return to the top flight, Ameobi added: "I don't think as players we doubted it.

"We knew we had the quality and if we applied ourselves we knew we could come back up.

"There were eyebrows raised and people talked about us doing a Leeds, dropping down the divisions.

"But the belief in the dressing room has always been the same. We knew we had the quality to win the league."

"We knew it would be tough with the likes of West Brom, Middlesbrough and obviously Forest coming through.

"But we have shown the real steel and the endurance, which has been lacking in recent seasons. That will hold us in good stead next year."

Next up for Ameobi and Newcastle is their coronation as champions at St James' Park on Saturday against Ipswich - a game which already has the striker licking his lips.

"We knew if we won the last three games we would be champions and we wanted to have that trophy handed to us at St James' Park in front of our fans," he said.

"It will mean a lot to have them all there. That's what carried us through.

"We wanted to show the fans that trophy and it will be a great day for us.

"What we have done is won a trophy for this club and that's not happened for a while.

"It's only the Championship trophy, but as players and as fans - you can see how much it made everyone happy."

Daily Champion

Related story: Obafemi Martins gets career back on track at Wolfsburg

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Why Figurine stole the show at AMAA

Kunle Afolayan looms large in Nigerian film industry. And having hit international fame as a distinguished director, actor and producer, his second feature film, 'Figurine" recently put other African film makers on their toes, as it clinched five awards at this year's African Movie Academy Awards.

Afolayan believed that the landslide victory his film recorded at AMAA was as a result of his commitment to setting a standard for African film makers. For him, "Figurine" was a product of experiment to see how he can give Nigerian film makers an edge over other film makers from across Africa.

Speaking in an interview with HVP after his victory at AMAA during the week, Afolayan urged film makers in Africa to pay attention to details, picture quality and sound effects.

"My work speaks for me, simply because what I have been able to learn while growing up as well as when I was in the film school, coupled with the experience I have acquired in the last one decade has given me that edge over every other film maker within and outside the shores of Nigeria."

Afolayan said he learnt a lot after producing his first feature film, "Irapada' which also won the Best Indigenous Award at 2007 AMAA.

"For me, Figurine was an experiment. I wanted to see how I can add value to film making in Nigeria. After producing, "Irapada", I learnt a lot of lessons, which I tried to improve while shooting "Figurine". I didn't even totally achieve what I wanted to achieve in "Figurine". It wouldn't have come out better than what it is today because of a lot of hitches, which we recorded here and there. I thank God that the film is still a success. But I'm sure it would have done much better if those hitches were eliminated," said the celebrated film maker.

Figurine, he continued, "was purposely done in that class to prove to my colleagues and entire African film makers that if we take our time and add a few things here and there to our production, we can stand the chance of placing our films side by side with any film from either Hollywood or Bollywood."

The big budget film, which premiered in the UK and US cinemas, took Afolayan four years to produce. "Shooting the film took us three months, while post-production and pre-production took us four to three months respectively. Also, it took us almost a year after the script was ready to complete the production process.

The budget of Figurine was very huge compared to the budget of an average Nollywood film. It was higher because the set was huge. I had a huge cast and crew. We moved from location to location which really gulped a lot of money in return: on logistics and catering for the welfare of the team."

However, with a lower budget, Afolayan said he can still achieve the same standard as Figurine. Figurine parades top Nollywood stars like Ramsey Nouah, Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi, Tosin Sido, Omoni Oboli and Muraina Oyelami. It was shot on 35mm, not celluloid but digital, HD using 35mm adaptor and film prime lenses.

Afolyan said he is making efforts to release the film on DVD/VCD to give it a wider spread. "Figurine has costed me a fortune, over N50m. Right now, it had gone to the cinemas all over the world. We are looking for a platform where we can sell more than a million copies. Once that is in place, we will not hesitate to release the film on DVD/VCD. The film has got good production value and picture quality that gives it an edge over other films, and also make it to appeal to the international audience.

Five awards won by Afolayan's "Figurine" during this year's AMAA included Heart of African Award for Best Film from Nigeria, Best Picture, Achievement in Cinematography, Achievement in Visual Effect, and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role which was won by actor Ramsey Nouah.

Afolyan wondered why he did not win the AMAA Best Director Award, because,, "I see no reason the film that won theBest cinematography, Best picture and Best visual effects, the three key categories in film making, would not win the best directed film. I'm glad at our victory at AMAA. I was really expecting to win the best director award but it did not happen," he lamented.


Related stories: Nollywood will win international award

Nigeria's Entertainment Industry

The lives of African immigrants explored in 'Soul Diaspora'


29 yr-old man organizes own funeral while alive

The people of the Otuasega community were last Thursday taken aback when a young man chose to organise his own funeral vigil before his demise. The action of the man, aged 29, identified as Donald Banono, was said to have caused a stir in the sleepy Ogbia settlement with the elderly staying away from the ceremony seen as abnormal.

It all started as a joke when this reporter received a phone call from a long time acquaintance who incidentally is a Roman Catholic priest from the area of the bizarre development.

At the venue, youths observed the wake keep with the supposed 'dead man' whose obituary posters were pasted at the arena. Music blared out from giant loud speakers mounted at the venue with bottles of local gin, popularly called ogogoro being passed round to those present.

The 29 year old school leaver said his supposed obituary party was a symbolic protest against the hardship faced by majority of the youths from poor background.

He noted with sadness that, "it is only when a man drops dead that relations come out to waste their money on the frivolities of organising burial, instead of providing assistance when the person needed their help. "I decided to organise my wake keep while alive. When you are alive nobody wants to help you but when you die relations and others will come and donate for burial," he said.

A top government official from the area who spoke anonymously told Saturday Vanguard that he had to run away from the wake keep ground when the celebrant approached him for a handshake.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Chinese blame businessmen for fake goods

China has blamed Nigerian businessmen for the fake and sub-standard products coming into Nigeria from China.

Consul-General of China in Lagos, Mr. Guo Kun, made the allegation at an interactive session between the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and a delegation of Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) held at NIIA, yesterday in Lagos.

Mr. Kun said some Nigerian entrepreneurs compel some Chinese companies to produce sub-standard goods and Chinese companies consent because they do not want to lose good business.

"It is a real problem for a product that is say 10 dollars (about N1500) of standard quality, some of the [Nigerian] entrepreneurs went to China, and asked the host to make it thinner and cheaper. At the very beginning, some of the [Chinese] companies were very reluctant to produce for them. But later, you know they are entrepreneurs, they want to make money. These host factories don't want to make for them, to produce for them. Finally they [Nigerian entrepreneurs] went to many factories, at least they can find one or two factories to make for them sub-standard goods and they bring it back [ to Nigeria]," he said.

When asked what Chinese government is doing to stop the production of sub-standard goods in China.

Mr Gun said: "We have regulations. We also educate Chinese entrepreneurs. As I am a government official, I also talk with Chinese in the so-called China Village and with those in Balogun market, 'don't bring these to the Nigerian market".

He promised that the Chinese government will strengthen its products quality control system in order to stop the production of sub-standard goods in China.

Earlier in his address, the leader of CPAFFC delegation, Mr Feng Zuoku, who spoke through an interpreter, said the visit is to strengthen bilateral relationship with Nigeria given the strategic positions both countries occupy in their respective continents and in the world as well.

Mr. Zuoku said future co operations between the two nations are very broad since their respective leadership have continued to share similar positions on global issues and have shown increasing commitment to work together.

Receiving the Chinese delegation, the Director-General of NIIA, Prof. Osita Eze, said Nigeria has a lot to learn from China, given China's increasing ascendance as a global force in political and economic issues. "China is a major power in economic and political issues in the world. It is about the second largest economy in the world and is a member of the United Nations Security Council. You just cannot ignore China in today's economic and political arena. Nigeria must learn from China, how to bring about development in all its facets," he said.

Prof. Eze expressed the hope that the visit will not just stop at NIIA, but extend to all areas of our national life given the shared experiences between the two nations.

In his address, the founder and chairman Nigeria-China Friendship Association (NICAF), Ambassador Vincent Chibundu, expressed appreciation at the expanding and deepening bilateral relationship between Nigeria and China. In his words: "You need to go to the Consulate-General of the PRC [People's Republic of China] or the Embassy in Abuja to witness the long queues applying for visas to China for all sorts of businesses and positive relationship between our two countries is indeed flourishing."

The Chinese delegation comprises local government officials, entrepreneurs and a journalist.

Daily Champion

Related stories: Nigeria sign deal with China to stop import of fake products

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Video report of Nigerians rioting in China

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nigeria's multi-million failure

CNN's Christian Purefoy heads to Tinapa, Nigeria, where a $450 million investment fails to live up to its billing.

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Government borrows $1 billion from world bank

The Federal Government has borrowed US $915 million from the World Bank to finance an expected deficit in the 2010 budget, it emerged yesterday.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan sent a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives seeking approval to borrow the money.

Jonathan said the money was needed because Nigeria was in dire need of funds to finance an infrastructure deficit, which he said is critical to rapid development. He also said the credit is highly concessionary, offered by multilateral agencies to which Nigeria belongs and commits substantial resources as affiliation fees.

Jonathan said in the letter, "The World Bank portfolio of the facilities totalling $915 million out of which $179 million would be drawn in fiscal 2010 is of particular essence as it would be deployed to Urban Water and Transport, Human Capacity Development and Power infrastructure projects across the country." He said the borrowing plan was in consonance with due process and appealed to the House of Representatives to approve it. The total budget deficit in the 2010 budget stands at N1.3 trillion naira, while the whole budget is N4.06 trillion naira.

Meanwhile, the Acting President is expected to sign the 2010 budget at 10am today at the Presidential Villa. This followed a meeting between him and the leadership of the National Assembly on Tuesday, during which the lawmakers agreed to remove projects that were inserted in the budget without the knowledge of the executive.

Jonathan was reportedly not happy with the padding of the budget by the appropriation committees of the two chambers, saying they might have taken advantage of President Umaru Yar'adua's illness.

Passage of the budget, which was approved by the National Assembly and forwarded to Jonathan last month, has been delayed for weeks due to differences between the Presidency and the lawmakers.

Minister of State for Information and Communications Labaran Maku, while briefing reporters shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting yesterday, said the budget would be signed before the week runs out. He said Jonathan was unable to assent to the budget because of certain discrepancies which he said have to be sorted out.

But later yesterday, Jonathan's spokesman Ima Niboro came up with a terse statement saying the budget would be signed today by 10 am. "Budget to be signed tomorrow by 10 am", Niboro said in the statement.

"The Acting President told us that the National Assembly has forwarded the approved budget which the executive arm is looking at, so from what the Acting President told council, the leadership of the National Assembly and the presidency are discussing on the areas of discrepancies and we expect that between now and some few days, the budget will be signed into law because we do not have a lot of time to wait. Already we are in the month of April, the nation is expecting a lot of activities to regenerate the economy and give life to socio-economic activities in the country," Maku said.

The budget aims to increase expenditure by 50 percent this year as Nigeria tries to spend its way out of a downturn, but the increase risks pushing the country to a budget deficit of more than 5 percent.

On the golden jubilee anniversary, Maku said the council had received the report of the presidential committee chaired by the Secretary to Government of Federation Mahmud Yayale Ahmed.

He said the council called on Nigerians to be mobilized to celebrate the golden jubilee of the nation. "The state governments are expected to draw up their own programs as well. The logo would also be unveiled very soon," Maku said.

On the recent trip of the acting President to United States, foreign affairs Minister Odein Ajumogobia said the trip had tangible benefits to Nigeria. "The tangible benefit of the Acting President's trip to US is something we have to work on In terms of follow up, in terms of trying to engage our partners to address our domestic issues of power, infrastructure and so on and that is what this trip did," he said.

Daily Trust

Related story: World Bank states 18 million Nigerians will become poorer in 2009

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Historical Ife art on display in British museum

From the 12th to the 15th centuries, Ife was a powerful, wealthy and cosmopolitan city-state in West Africa, in what is now Nigeria. The people of Ife developed a distinctive style of sculpture, which is on display in London to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Nigerian independence. Selah Hennessy reports on the art of this historical city-state.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pregnant woman swallows 350 grams of cocaine

Apart from the criminal implication, tell me, what could be more undignifying for a woman to ingest hard drugs for whatever reason, knowing full well the health implication?" queried the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Alhaji Hamza Umar.

The anti-drug agency boss continued, "This drug barons and couriers have no respect for their own lives; neither do they respect the dignity of their children. This is the height of desperation by drug barons and their associates."

Ms Osatohamwen Esohe was arrested by operatives of NDLEA at the airport while passengers were being screened for Alitalia flight to Rome. Incidentally, Osatohamwen in Bini translation means "God have mercy on me", but in this present situation, it is doubted whether the same God will have mercy on her, having gone contrary to the ordinance of God.

At the departure lounge of the airport, the 29 years old expectant mother had submitted her luggage for screening, optimistic that she may never be detected. But the scanning machine proved her wrong as some black spots were spotted in her intestines.

She was promptly asked to excuse others for profiling. Initially, the woman was said to have screamed at the officers operating the machine that she was pregnant and therefore, should not be disturbed. Her shout did not however make any meaning to the officers who told her gently that she had to be examined.

After observation, she expelled 27 wraps of substances that tested positive to cocaine weighing 350 grammes.

At the airport office of the anti-drug agency, Osatohamwen who was visibly full of remorse, broke down in tears, attributing her ordeal to poverty. She claimed she was once jilted by the man who had promised her marriage but gave in to the present one whom she said was responsible for her pregnancy because he promised to take her to the altar shortly.

Continuing, Osatohamwen said, "I discovered again that the man responsible for my pregnancy changed overnight, saying he was no longer interested in the relationship. At that time, I discovered that I was three months' pregnant, and since the man who put me in this condition refused to take responsibility and I am jobless, that was why I had to go into this drug deal.

The people that gave me the drugs promised me Euros 2000 and to me, that is a big money. This is the first time I am smuggling drugs. I only need enough money to take care of my unborn baby. That is all."

Related stories: Couple arrested for concealing cocaine in twins 

Drug traffickers stuff cocaine in roasted chicken

Nigerian drug enforcement agency arrest 50 year old woman with 585g of cocaine 

Friday, April 16, 2010

South Africa deports 100 Nigerians

A group of 100 Nigerians has arrived back in their country after being expelled from South Africa for violating immigration laws, an airport official said on Thursday.

"The Nigerians, consisting of 99 men and one woman, arrived the Murtala International airport Lagos on a chartered flight from Johannesburg yesterday," Wale Dada told AFP.

He said they were accused of living in the country without valid resident and work permits.

Last December, some 325 Nigerians were deported from Libya for similar reasons.

Hundreds of Nigerians use north Africa as a transit route to Europe and America in search of jobs.

News 24

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One year to change Nigeria

CNN's Christiane Amanpour talks to Nigeria's acting president Goodluck Jonathan about the issues currently facing Nigeria.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Years after death, Fela nears mainstream appeal

Fela, the late Nigerian musician and political agitator, fascinated millions and had fans around the world, including legends like Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Yet he was, and still is, largely unknown to popular audiences, especially in the United States.

That's slowly changing. More people are starting to know the name, music and struggle of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. His story is reaching thousands through the Broadway musical ``Fela!'' In addition, his albums are being rereleased and a film about his life is planned.

But during his life, Fela wasn't interested in becoming a global star. His songs would last 10, 20 or 30 minutes long — not suitable for regular radio play. He also toured with a band that had 70-plus members. And Fela didn't want to compromise to fit the mold of the pop sensation.

``He used to say, 'I don't care what you do but don't (expletive) around with my music man,''' said Rikki Stein, Fela's last manager before the singer-composer died of AIDS in 1997 at age 58.

``(Fela would say), 'I'm writing African, classical music, and you don't (expletive) around with Tchaikovsky so why you going to mess with me?' And that's something that reverberated through me over the years,'' continued Stein.

Fela, who was born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, was known as the founder of Afrobeat music. He created that genre in the 1960s by combining African sounds with a fusion of rock, R&B, jazz and soul music. He performed at his nightclub in Lagos, The Shrine, and also around the globe.

But Fela, who's father was a Protestant minister and mother an activist, didn't just want to be a musician — he also wanted to be the voice of the oppressed. In 1979, he formed the political party Movement of the People and over the years, he repeatedly staged unsuccessful runs for president.

His songs and lyrics battled what he saw as corruption and oppression by the Nigerian government at the time. He paid a price for his activism, though. He was beat and jailed over 200 times, while soldiers threw his mother out of a window; she died from the injuries.

Michael Veal, the author of 2000's ``Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon,'' called Fela ``one of the most important musicians of the post-World War II era, and one of the most important musicians in the world of black music.''

``He's as important as James Brown or Bob Marley and it was a story that had to be told,'' continued Veal, who is also professor of music at Yale University.

Veal says that Fela is ``as popular as he needs to be.''

``People want to try to force these artists into the model of the Western pop star, and that's not (Fela's) model. His career basically unfolded the way he wanted to. He never wanted to cut his songs down to be popular on the radio, he wanted to present his music the way he presented it ... and it stood the test of time, and people are appreciating his music on his own terms.''

Fela's dramatic life was recently introduced to a large audience in the United States when the musical about him debuted off-Broadway in Sept. 2008. A year later, it arrived on Broadway to mostly positive reviews.

``There's been more publicity, more attention, more recognition of him in the last four months than there has been in the previous number of years,'' said Stephen Hendel, a lead producer and co-conceiver of the play.

Jay-Z and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith signed on as producers-investors when the play joined Broadway. ?uestlove of the Roots has been actively promoting it on his blog, and big names like Madonna, Denzel Washington, Sting and Robert De Niro have gone to see it. The play is also set to run in London later this year.

Knitting Factory Records released ``The Best of the Black President'' in November. The first batch of his album catalog arrived in February; the second batch will be out May 11.

Many top artists like Nas, Missy Elliott, Fatboy Slim, Common, Mos Def and the Roots have sampled Fela's music for their songs. Ian Wheeler, the label manager for Knitting Factory, hopes their fans will catch on and recognize Fela's influence.

``It's the sort of thing where kids, younger kids, younger audiences especially, are hearing the kind of intricate hooks and I'm hoping one day the dots will come and connect and they'll realize, 'Hey, that's Fela,''' he said.

A film on Fela, who had more than two dozen wives and numerous children, is in the works with Focus Features. It is being adapted from Veal's book. Film producer Lydia Dean Pilcher said production is expected to begin in the fall with a hopeful release in 2011.

This year PBS also featured Fela in a segment of the new program ``Music Without Borders,'' also highlighting his youngest son, Seun, who released his debut album in 2008. Fela's oldest son, Femi, is also a performing musician.

Fela's brother, Beko, an activist and doctor, was recently honored in Lagos with a statue. According to the Nigerian newspaper The Vanguard, Lagos State Governor Raji Fashola described the Kuti family as the Kennedy family of Nigeria, commending the family for providing the country with great heroes.

``When he died I remember sitting on his first wife Remi's bed in Lagos and reading these letters from the top, top people, the top in the administration and they weren't just letters of condolences, they were testimonies to a great man,'' Stein said.

``At the time, I said, '...All his life you gave him nothing but grief and now he's gone and you're calling him a great man.' But anyway I think the time is coming now where they're starting to recognize the need to pay tribute.''

Valley Morning Star

Related stories: Hollywood making Fela movie

 FELA! on broadway

Femi Kuti nominated for a grammy

Nigerian authorities shut down Afro Beat Mecca

Femi Kuti answers sensitive questions pertaining to Africa

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Janet Napolitano on Nigeria security


CNN's Christian Purefoy sits down with Dept. of Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano to discuss her recent visit to Nigeria.

Related stories: Jonathan asks Obama to revisit Terror Blacklist 

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U.S. blacklists Nigeria

Hitler defends Nigeria

Animated short 'Planes Immigration Nigerians' 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Power generation drops to 3,200MW

The Power generation in Nigeria has dropped to 3,200 mega watts (mw).

Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) at the weekend confirmed this, maintaining that that power generation in Nigeria reduced by 400 MW from the current 3,600 MW generations.

The company stated this in a statement made available to Daily Independent, and blamed the drop on the shortfall in gas supply to its thermal stations.

The management of PHCN, the statement read; "regrets to inform its esteemed customers that it has received notice from the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) that it will commence a four-day accelerated maintenance work on Oben and other gas pipelines on Friday, 9th April, 2010.

"As a result of the maintenance work, daily power generation will drop by 400 MW, from the 3600 MW of electricity currently being generated.

"However, we are informed that at the completion of the maintenance works more gas would be made available for additional electricity generation.

"In the circumstance, we appeal to our esteemed customers and other stakeholders, especially the mass media for understanding and cooperation as there will be substantial improvement in power supply nationwide after the maintenance of the gas pipe lines, as Geregu, Sapele and Olurunsogo Power Stations currently being restricted will come up fully to contribute to the overall generation to the national grid."

Daily Independent

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Jonathan meets Obama

AFTER several unsuccessful attempts by a Nigeria leader to personally meet with an American President, which many believed would have averted Nigeria's recent listing among terrorist countries by the US, Acting President Goodluck Jonathan last Night met with the President of the United States, Mr Barrack Obama.

Clad in Ijaw, his native tribe, black coloured attire, with a black hat and a pair of shoes to match, the Acting President held one-on-one meeting with US President, a feat Nigeria achieved last during the Obasanjo era; thereby bringing the two nations, once again, together to directly discuss issues of common interest.

Several international engagements involving the Nigeria Government, which ordinarily would have provided an ample opportunity for a Nigeria leader to meet with immediate past American President Gorge Bush and current Obama were never attended by Nigeria's President.

Representatives of Nigeria's President sent to such conferences, such as the immediate past Minister of Foreign Affair, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, never had the opportunity of meeting with the  American President one-on-one.

Although details of the historic meeting was very scanty as at press time, Vanguard gathered the direct talks between the two world leaders which commenced exactly 11:30 local time held behind closed doors.

The talks took place at the prestigious Blair House, across from the White House, the venue of Obama's meeting with other world leaders including the South African President Jacob Zuma. Others included Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

According to reports, the Nigeria's Acting President is among some of the 40 world leaders currently attending World Nuclear Summit aimed at finding ways to secure the world's nuclear stockpile.

Jonathan's talks with Obama, it was learnt, focused on Nuclear Security  and terrorism as well as democracy among others.

Obama was quoted as saying that "if al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations acquired nuclear weapons it "would have no compunction at using them,".

"The single biggest threat to U.S. security, both short-term, medium-term and long-term, would be the possibility of a terrorist organization obtaining a nuclear weapon," Obama said. "This is something that could change the security landscape in this country and around the world for years to come."

"If there was ever a detonation in New York City, or London, or Johannesburg, the ramifications economically, politically and from a security perspective would be devastating," the president said.

"We know that organizations like al-Qaida are in the process of trying to secure nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction, and would have no compunction at using them," Obama said.

The Nuclear Security Summit of more than 40 world leaders in Washington this week is aimed at securing "loose nuclear material," Obama said. He was holding one-on-one meetings Sunday with several of those leaders.

He said other world leaders including Acting President Jonathan have offered "very specific approaches to how we can solve this profound international problem."

Hails South Africa

Obama singled out South Africa for giving up its nuclear program, and said it "has been a strong, effective leader in the international community on nonproliferation issues. South Africa has special standing in being a moral leader on this issue."

"I feel very good at this stage in the degree of commitment and a sense of urgency that I have seen from the world leaders so far on this issue," Obama said. "We think we can make enormous progress on this, and this then becomes part and parcel of the broader focus that we've had over the last several weeks."

Earlier in the week, Obama approved a new nuclear policy for the United States, vowing to reduce America's nuclear arsenal, refrain from nuclear tests and not use nuclear weapons against countries that do not have them.

Obama said securing loose nuclear arms is "a central part of the process, but probably the most urgent one and the one we are most concerned with in the short term."

After his remarks, Obama met with Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. Obama smiled and shared a laugh with Gilani, but the Pakistani leader's words were not audible.

As reporters entered the meeting room, Obama was telling Gilani, "We've made some progress since then." It was unclear what Obama was referring to.

Pakistan has a troubled history with the United States, and anti-American sentiment runs extraordinarily high among ordinary Pakistanis. U.S. leaders  went out of their way to assure Pakistan that the United States will not walk away from  improving relations with the country , and Congress has committed billions of dollars  in new aid to the  Asian nation.


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Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'll run for 2011 Presidential Polls, says Babangida

Former military President General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) on Saturday declared his intention to run for the 2011 Presidential election.

IBB who spoke to newsmen at the Benin Airport while on his way to Asaba, Delta state, to attend the commissioning of Mariam Babangida dual carriage way and a lecture in honour of his late wife, said the persistent rumour by most Nigerians including his political associates and admirers about his intention to return to Aso Rock as a civilian President "is correct".

The former military President who was dressed in a white Babariga, landed at the Benin Airport in a charted airline with registration number 5N-BLW at about 9:30am and was greeted by the Governor of Delta state, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan and the deputy governor of Edo state, Dr Pius Odubu. The Governor of Niger state, Alhaji Aliu Babangida was also in the entourage of the former President. Other dignitaries at the airport included Senator Ehigie Uzamere, Chief of Staff to the Edo state government, Osarodion Ogie and John Mayaki.

It would be recalled that the former military president who ruled Nigeria from 1985 - 1993, had told Nigerians during the 54th birthday of Otunba Gbenga Daniels, Governor of Ogun State that he was still consulting with his friends and allies on whether he would contest the 2011 presidential election.

Only recently, former President Olusegun Obasanjo was reported to have held secret meeting with Babangida on the 2011 presidential election. Asked what he was going to do in Delta state, IBB asserted that "I am going to Delta State because of the special love I have for it and courtesy of the Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. I am looking forward to going to Delta state because that is my ancestral home. I think that is enough for today".

Governor Babangida who also spoke to newsmen, stated that Nigerians look forward to the thorough implementation of the Justice Uwais report on the electoral reform in order to enthrone a transparent electoral process before the 2011 general elections.

He said the reform exercise was the only panacea for the emergence of credible leaders without questions about their character and ability to deliver on the dividends of democracy. "All of us are looking forward to it (electoral reform) because we want a legitimate election. We want an election everybody will accept. We want leaders that will emerge, that can say stop these things. We don't want people whom we will doubt whether they are actual leaders".

Other dignitaries with General Babangida included the former National Chairman of the United Nigeria Poeples Party, Alhaji Saleh Jumbo and the former Director of military Intelligence (DMI), Halilu Akilu and several others.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pregnant woman arrested with cocaine at airport

Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have apprehended a pregnant woman and four other suspects for ingesting 6.265 kg of narcotic drugs at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos.

The pregnant suspect Osatohanwen Esohe, 29, was detected to have ingested illicit drug with the aid of scanning machine during the screening of passengers on Alitalia flight to Rome. After observation, she expelled 27 wraps of substances that tested positive to cocaine weighing 350 grammes. Apart from one Chukwuma Kingsley Uchemadu that ingested 1.430 kg of heroin, Esohe and three others were smuggling 4.835 kg of cocaine when they were caught.

The NDLEA Airport Commander, Alhaji Hamza Umar who confirmed the arrest of Esohe described her action as weird and unbecoming. He expressed shock at the strange act, stressing that drug suspects have no respect for human lives. "They do not have respect for their own lives, neither do they respect the dignity of their children. This is the height of desperation by drug barons and their associates," Hamza said.

The commander also gave the names of the four suspects that were recently nabbed by the Agency. They include Arovo Moses Amaso, 42, that ingested 1.725 kg of cocaine, Darlington Nwanwere, 48, that ingested 1.300 kg of cocaine, Okeke Anthony Maduabuchukwu, 46 that ingested 1.460 kg of cocaine and Chukwuma Kingsley Uchemadu, 34 that ingested 1.430 kg of heroin.

Esohe who hails from Benin City, Edo State told anti-narcotic officers that the man that impregnated her rejected her and she needed to fend for herself. In her words, "I am three months pregnant. The man that impregnated me refused to take responsibility and I am jobless. That was how I got involved in drug trafficking. They promised to pay me 2,000 euros. This is my first time of smuggling drugs; I only needed money to take care of myself and the unborn baby".

Okeke Anthony Maduabuchukwu a trader that sells frozen foods at Mile 2, Lagos was nabbed on March 19, during the screening of passengers on Virgin Atlantic flight to London. He ingested 72 wraps of cocaine weighing 1.460 kg and was to be paid 4,000 pounds. Chukwuman Kingsley Uchenmadu the only suspect that ingested heroin was to be paid the sum of 5,000 euros for ingesting 95 wraps of heroin weighing 1.430 kg. Darlington Nwanwere, an automobile technician residing at Alagbado, Lagos was also cajoled into swallowing 92 wraps of cocaine weighing 1.300 kg. He was to be paid the sum of 400,000 naira.

All the suspects will soon be charged to court.

This Day

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Nigeria's leader swears in new cabinet

Nigeria's Acting President Goodluck Jonathan installed his new cabinet on Tuesday, appointing senior Goldman Sachs executive Olusegun Aganga as his new finance minister. Jonathan also named former mines minister Deziani Allison-Madueke and Godsday Orubebe as the new oil and Niger Delta ministers.

With his own team now in place, Jonathan can assert his authority and revive key reforms that have stalled since ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua stepped away from the public eye last November.

With only 13 months of the presidential term left, Jonathan has focused the OPEC member's political agenda to include electoral reforms, security in the oil-producing Niger Delta, providing more reliable electricity and fighting corruption.

The new ministers, which include 13 returnees from the outgoing cabinet, will be critical in achieving these goals in Africa's most populous country.

Washington Post

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Nwankwo Kanu PSA - Kick polio out of Nigeria


Football legend Kanu aims to kick polio out of Nigeria with a public service announcement that urges parents to immunize their children.

NIGERIA'S soccer captain Nwankwo Kanu has two goals for 2010: he wants Nigeria to shine at the upcoming World Cup, and he wants to eradicate polio from Africa.

"Ive scored many goals for my country," the 33-year-old striker says in a series of Public Service Announcements now airing across Nigeria on radio and TV. "But theres still one goal I want to score: I want to kick polio out of Nigeria."

Polio Eradication

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Catholicism in Nigeria

Christian Purefoy reports on the new frontier for the Catholic church in Nigeria. Africa has become the fastest growing region in the world for the catholic church.

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World Cup ball arrives Nigeria April 8

Legendary football "The Ball", presently on world tour will be a special guest of the Special Olympics Nigeria (SONigeria) from April 8-14 as part of the activities put in place to enrich the 2010 World Cup to be hosted by South Africa.

Special Olympics Nigeria (SONigeria) Chairman, Victor Gbolade Osibodu, who disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing the media on SONigeria activities lined up for the 2010-11 said "The Ball" will be received on April 10 at the Astro-Turf 2000, Ikoyi, Lagos.

According to him, a novelty unified 5-aside soccer match featuring athletes with and without intellectual disability will be played in the spirit of the game to help create communities of tolerance and inclusion in Nigeria. The novelty 5-aside match will feature SONigeria athletes and COPA Coca-Cola players playing as a team.

On April 12, a street soccer match will feature Search & Groom team against Special Olympics Nigeria athletes.

While in Nigeria "The Ball" will visit some corporate organisations who have partnered with SONigeria over the years.

Speaking further on the event, Osibodu, called on members of the public to be part of the events and join SONigeria in hosting the World Cup Ball's journey to South Africa as tickets have already been made available free.

He commended Guaranty Trust Bank, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Publicis, Soulcomm, Astro Turf 2000 and Search & Groom for supporting the hosting of "The World Cup Ball" Every four years, a legendary football "The Ball" makes a journey from Battersea Park, London (where the very first FA rules football match was played) to the opening ceremony of the football world cup

In January "The Ball" left Battersea Park to make a 10,000 mile pilgrimage to South Africa through west and east Africa. In Africa "The Ball" will travel through morocco, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa in June 2010 for the world cup.

Daily Champion

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Couple arrested for concealing cocaine in twins

Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency have apprehended a 46-year-old man, Jimoh Oladega Bashir, his wife, Jimoh Mulikat Adebukola and six-year-old twins for trafficking 4.050 kg of cocaine.

According to a statement signed by Ofoyeju Mitchell, head, Public Affairs of NDLEA, and made available to Saturday Champion, the family of four was to board an Arik flight to London Heathrow airport on Sunday, March 28, 2010, when they were found with the illicit white powdery substance.

Though the man had no drugs on him, the wife concealed 3.350kg in almost every part of her body. She had some on her breast and under-wear. The innocent six-year old twins were also used in packing 700 grammes of the illicit drugs.

With a supermarket at Ajah, Lagos-to earn a living, they still engaged in the illicit act. Their reason was that they were duped the sum of N2.2 million and needed to smuggle the drugs to enable them pay the school fees of their children.

According to Jimoh, "we were to be paid 3,000 pounds while some quantity of the drugs would have been given to us. Initially, I rejected the suggestion but they convinced my wife who persuaded me to do it. My son is at Fountain University, Osogbo, and I need to pay school fees."

The wife also blamed their involvement on school fees and other family financial responsibility. In her words: "I have problem of my children's school fees. I have six children and I intend to give them good education. I also have younger ones and aged parents to take care of. They asked me to swallow the drugs but I was afraid that was why I packed them on my body," she stated.

Jimoh, the NDLEA's spokesperson further disclosed, hails from Oko town in Kwara State, adding that the children have been released to the family members. The couple, he added, will soon be charged to court.

Daily Champion

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Brothers charged with stabbing Nigerian teenager in Ireland

Two brothers have been charged in connection with the death of 15-year-old Nigerian, Toyosi Shittabey, in West Dublin, Northern Ireland on Friday night.

The teenager was found lying on the street and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.

He was pronounced dead in hospital a short time later. Paul Barry (aged 38) with an address in Pearse Street in Dublin 2 is charged with the manslaughter of the young Nigerian in an altercation in the West Dublin suburb of Tyrrellstown.

His brother and co-accused, 23-year-old Michael Barry, with an address in Ringsend in Dublin 4 is charged with being in possession under Section 11 of the Firearm and Offensive Weapons Act.

The two unemployed men declined to say anything at the Dublin District Court at 4 pm yesterday when they were charged. They spoke only through their lawyers.Paul has been remanded in custody in Clover Hill prison until Tuesday while Michael, who recently returned to the country from Canada, has been granted bail on the condition that he surrenders his passport.

Shittabey moved from Nigeria to the Irish Republic with his family 11 years ago and was said to be a promising footballer for Shelburne under 15's. About 300 people attended a memorial service in Tyrrellstown for the deceased yesterday.

The Irish Minister of State for Equality and Integration Mary White has, however, expressed profound sadness at the fatal stabbing of Shittabey.

White said: "I sincerely regret this attack on a member of one of our new communities and wish to extend my deepest sympathies to the Shittabey family.

"I hope that Toyosi's assailants swiftly face the justice they deserve and I call on anybody that may be able to help the Gardaí's investigation to do so without delay."

People with vital information on the teenager's murder have been urged to contact the Irish police.

This Day

Thursday, April 1, 2010

UK to invest £30m in Nigerian public transport system

Anyone who has experienced the "molues" and "danfoes" - the notorious buses and minibuses of Lagos - will understand the word anarchy. They carry huge numbers of people round the African mega-city but they respect no traffic lanes, bus-stops or policemen, many are falling apart and they belch some of the the dirtiest smoke in Africa.

But Britain is hoping to bring some order to the city of legendary traffic jams and road rage by trying to rationalise its public transport system. Over the next few years it will invest more than £30m increasing the number of bus routes, bringing in bigger buses and helping to build two new train lines to go through some of the most densely populated areas of Lagos.

Lagos has a population of 16 million but the Nigerian government expects this to grow to over 25m in the next 20 years, leaving the city authorities unable to provide clean water and electricity, or to keep pace with the growth of slums. Unless investments are urgently made in the infrastructure, says the UK's Department for International Development, the situation will become critical. It now plans to invest in improving slum areas in other African cities.

The switch to investing in the urban environment rather than rural areas marks a significant shift in approach to combating poverty. Until very recently most aid has been directed at rural areas to try and stem the flow of people to cities and boost agriculture. But there is a new understanding that hunger in large cities and poverty is now as bad in cities as in rural areas.

"Investing in urban areas is a different set of challenges," said international development minister Gareth Thomas. "We have watched the rise of the mega-city, especially in Africa. Places like like Addis Ababa, Cairo and Johannesburg will all see massive expansion over the next 20-30 years. Unless we act now people will only live in slums.

"People find it difficult to access work outside their own impoverished areas due to lack of transport and potential industry around the slums is hampered by unreliable electricity sources," he said.

UN predictions show that, by 2030, 700 million people will live in towns or cities in Africa and of them, 70% will live in slums.

The Guardian

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Jonathan asks Obama to revisit Terror Blacklist

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan has urged President Barack Obama to revisit the classification of Nigeria by the United States as a "country of interest" on the terror list following the botched Christmas day bombing of an American aircraft by a Nigerian, Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab.

The acting president's message was conveyed by Nigeria's new Ambassador to the US, Prof. Adebowale Adefuye, while presenting his letter of credence to President Obama at the White House, Washington DC yesterday.

Adefuye, who noted that the incident of December 25, 2009 is condemnable and had been condemned several times by Nigeria, said he had been asked by Acting President Jonathan "to again convey Nigeria's shock at this and urge you to revisit this issue as soon as possible".

The ambassador said: "This event, serious as it is, is a one-off incident and ought not to have warranted the classification of Nigeria as a country of interest in the fight against terrorism."

Speaking further, the envoy said: "On our part, we promise our continued cooperation with United States institutions in the fight against terrorism while pledging to sustain ongoing efforts in Nigeria aimed at effectively preventing terrorist networks from operating within our borders as well as West African region."

While noting that US is one of Nigeria's closest allies and a country which has identified with the nation at all times, Adefuye said: "Indeed, the history of Nigeria's 50 years of statehood will be incomplete without a mention of the proactive role of the United States in supporting us in our quest for sustainable political stability and economic development. The United States' interest in our economic and political well-being has been one of the critical factors for the progress recorded in our effort to consolidate our democracy and deliver its dividends to the people of the country."

He said these underscored the uniqueness of the relationship between the two countries. Justifying the basis for continued cordial bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the US, Adefuye said both countries command influence and respect in the comity of nations; they are endowed with enormous human and natural resources; both countries are made of people from different backgrounds and cultures found in different parts of the world and out which have emerged a large Diaspora population; and because "both countries represent how strong nation-states can emerge out of pluralised subsets due to the spirit of equity, tolerance and determination".

He said as a leader in the African continent, Nigeria has consistently worked with the US in protecting and promoting sustainable global peace and security and that the country is proud of her immense contributions to United Nations peace keeping activities.

"This factor has helped in fostering peace and sustainable development in the African continent and has contributed significantly to international peace. An estimated one million Nigerians and Nigerian-Americans live, study, and work in the United States, while over 25,000 Americans live and work in Nigeria. These populations have played tremendous roles in enhancing social and economic co-existence for both countries. They have further cemented our relationship by their contribution to sustainable economic and social development in our two countries," he said.

Taking the American president down memory lane, Adefuye said: "Nigeria is known as a notable supporter of ideas and ideals championed by the United States at international fora, toward contributing to sustainable development in the world. The government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria acknowledges the tremendous contributions made by the United States towards supporting Nigeria in the entrenchment of sustainable regional security in West Africa.

"We also acknowledge United States' support in our fight against corruption and economic crimes; public health development; support for infrastructural development; capacity building in the oil sector; support for strengthening democratic institutions and counter-terrorism initiatives among others. The Federal Republic of Nigeria requests that these initiatives be sustained and even increased in the following years. We look forward to the successful implementation of the objectives of the Nigeria-United States Bi-National Commission that will be launched in a couple of days."

The envoy who said the acting president also asked him to convene Nigeria's gratitude to the US for its continued support for the nation's democracy, especially during the absence of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua due to ill-health, said Nigeria looks forward to sustained cordial relationship between the two countries.

In his response, President Obama said the US is encouraged by the acting president's public promises to strengthen democratic reforms, improve the economic environment, and address the ongoing violence and impunity seen in the Niger Delta and Jos.

Commenting on the political situation in Nigeria, he observed that "the prolonged absence of President Yar'Adua has triggered much uncertainty in the country", but said "in this difficult time, we applaud Nigeria for taking steps to restore confidence in the country's political system while adhering to democratic principles".

Obama said Nigeria has important role to play as a regional and global leader and that Nigeria and US "must continue our efforts to fight terrorism and violent extremism so as to make West Africa a safer place."

He also said Nigeria's participation in peace-keeping efforts on the continent has helped to stabilise "once troubled regions and allow the people who suffered in those conflicts a chance to rebuild their lives".

The American leader said Nigeria and US have a tradition of positive bilateral relations based on a mutual commitment to development and peace, adding that "the upcoming launch of the US Nigeria binational commision illustrates our desire to further enhance this relationship".

This Day

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The lives of African immigrants explored in 'Soul Diaspora'

"Soul Diaspora," a new feature film by Nigerian filmmaker Odera Ozoka, recently won the Audience Favorite Narrative Feature Award at the annual Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, California.

The film centers on the life of Saidu, a Fulani/Nigerian immigrant living in Los Angeles. His life of solitude as an African immigrant is interwoven with memories of trauma in Nigeria.

Ozoka, who wrote, directed and produced the film, succeeds in making the character's loneliness palpable on screen.

As the film progresses, a variety of characters intersect with Saidu's life, each affected by their own memories and loneliness. Some come to play important roles in his life, such as the Afghan father and son, owners of a car repair shop, and an exotic dancer, Latisha, with whom Saidu finds the possibility of love. Latisha has her own wounds and through their relationship he begins to deal with some of the pain associated with his family in Nigeria.

His relationship with the repair shop owner, Ziman, and his son, Reza, evolves into a strange but strong friendship strengthened by his isolation in Los Angeles and their shared immigrant experiences.

Their lives are changed by the September 11 attacks that trigger feelings of patriotism, anger and fear, forcing Saidu to make some life-changing decisions.

Odera Ozoka shot the film over the course of 10 days in the Los Angeles area and blends powerful, sometimes uncomfortable images to tell a story that is as far removed from Hollywood as it is from Nollywood.

Saidu is played by Fulani actor Sadiq Abu, who manages to reflect the complexities of this conflicted and at times humorous man.

Ozoka has several other projects lined up. He is currently working on a pilot for a television show called Maison Blanch, a
comedy about an African-immigrant couple living in the US who decide to start a new business.

He is also working on two feature film projects. One is a drama set in Houston, Texas, and the other a film set in Nigeria's Niger-Delta.

Ozoka is excited about shooting a film in Nigeria. The film will focus on the impact of violence in the region and the planned action drama will be a mix between Blood Diamond and Munich.

He also works on projects with Sacred Drum Company, a coalition of pan-African artists that produce several projects a year, including films and plays.

All Africa

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