Dec 28, 2008


Today,Ghanians return to the pollS to vote in the run-off of the December 7 Presidential elections,which pitches Nana Akufo-Addo of the ruling National Patriotic Party (NPP) against John Atta Mills of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).Either men will succeed President John Kuffor.Going by the way election observers have hailed the earlier attempt,we are looking forward to a smooth election devoid of the fraud a.k.a wuru-wuru, mago-mago that has become the trade-mark of Nigerian elections.I wish Ghanians well and hoping that Nigeria and her electoral commision will learn some valuable lessons from this experience.

The junta in Guinea is talking tough and consolidating its hold on government.Capt. Moussa Camara has even pledged holding elections in two years time.Guineans are happy.Some African leaders are already embracing him.ECOWAS,AU and some other countries are condeming the coup.The more they talk,Camara bluffs.

Lets not be deceived.Guineans are happy with the junta because they were frustrated with Lansana Conte's government which for 24 years suffocated them down with poverty and oppression.They yearned for fresh air.In stepped Camara.Lansana came into power in 1984 via a military coup.
Camara is only threading a farmiliar path.Sieze power,the whole world will condemn you.You promise to conduct elections in the soonest possible time.The world relaxes its pressure.Two years time you conduct a 'democratic' election with you as the main or only candidate.You win a landslide.We know this song too well.
My fear now is that any group of ambitious military officers might just borrowing a leaf from the Guinean coupist and with ease truncate existing democratic structures.The already misruled,disenchanted,frustrated and hopeless citizenry will definately support such an intrusion.

The only thing I like in the Guinean is that Camara tends to remind me of the late Burkinabe's Thomas Sankara.I sure know that Camara has heard so much about him.I hope he gets to act like Sankara whose humility,dynamism and purposefulness still remain a benchmark in African leadership.

Dec 26, 2008


Some years back when I wanted to choose a name for my creative outfit I didn't waste time in coming up with one-Kente and Kwanzaa Productions.I was particularly thrilled by the sound of the later:Kwanzaa.It gave me pride.
I wanted an identity that very well and proudly connects and expresses Pan-African, African American and other diasporic values.
Kwanzaa,derived from the Swahili language,is a cultural holiday in the United states,created in 1966 by Dr Mualana Karenga in an effort to ''rescue and reconstruct'' the affirmation of the eccentric values that originaly defined Africa.Kwanzaa's celebration is organised around 7 principle: Unity (Umoja);self determination (kujichangulia);collective work and responsibility (ujima);cooperative economy (ujamaa);purpose(Nia);creativity(kumba) and faith(imani).
If Africa can get to apply a little bit of the Kwanzaa principles,this will bring about a stronger communal bond amongst her people,common identity and purposefulness,for a continent that has been badly battered by leadership and followership crisis.(I think the closest we got to this was when the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere did the Ujamaa thing in Tanzania.Thomas Sankara came quite close with his brand of socialism.)
As we stand on the treshold of 2008/9,there is no denying the fact that Africa needs to re-invent itself.Kwanzaa is it.Now is the time!

Dec 17, 2008


Nigerian multi-talented Photographer and founding member of the Nigerian photographers' collective, Depth of Field (DoF),James Iroha Uchechukwu,recently added a very big feather to his fast rising career when he took to the podium in the newly built Prince Claus fund office in Herengracht 603 Amsterdam,Netherlands to receive his prize after he was named as one of the winners of the 2008 Prince Claus Awards in the category of ''photography and film'',with his entry Fire,Flesh and Blood.The theme of the 2008 Award is Culture and the Human body.

Prince Claus fund describes Uchechukwu as ''the leading light of a new generation of Nigerian Photographer'' who has been able to ''expand the possibilities of photography,pushing local art in new directions'' through ''fusing the documentation of everyday reality with the creative language of imagery..His quality images depicts bodies in context,exploring the physicality of existence in the mix of cultures and influences that is 21st century Lagos,a megacity with urgent social issues''.

Uchechukwu's winning entry,Fire,Flesh and Blood,a group of photo images depicting open-air abattoirs in Lagos, had earlier won the Elan Prize from Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) at the Rencontres africaines de la Photographie of Bamako in 2005.The Fire,Flesh and Blood photo series is among other collections of his on exhibition at the new office of the the Prince Claus fund that will run till 1st March 2009 in Amsterdam.

James Iroha Uchechukwu has been invited to an artist in residence programme by the Thami Mnyele Foundation in Netherlands,where he will be working on a new project at the foundation's studio.He had erlier worked at the Thami Nyale Foundation from 27 November till 7 December 2008.The Themi Mnyele Foundation seeks to promote the exchange of arts and culture between Africa and the Netherlands.

Dec 14, 2008


Richard Oburu(left)

Richy(left) with some participants at the ESCR meeting recently.

Nigerian Rights activist, Richard Oburu was in Nairobi,Kenya for the International Strategy Meeting on Economic,Social and Cultural Rights-ESCR-Net 2nd General Assembly's annual conference titled:Challenging Poverty and inequality through human Rights,where he and more than 200 participants from over 50 countries brainstormed on ''new strategies and exchanged information with concrete plans for implementing collective action towards the full implementation of economic,social and cultural rights..''

Richy,from the Nigeria's oil-rich,but troubled region of Niger Delta, said the Kenyan meeting was a very wonderful opportunity to share ideas on and about economic,social and cultural rights as they affected participants and their people.He particularly made a strong presentation for the people of the Niger Delta region.
Richy has since left Nairobi for Egypt,where he will be attending another conference.It is hoped that Richards efforts will impact greately on the overall attempt to bringing a lasting solution to the problems in the Niger Delta.

Dec 10, 2008


These pictures speaks.Why is the rest of the world watching hopelessly as Robert Mugabe ruin Zimbabwe? The time to get the beast out of Zimbabwe is now!!!

Dec 9, 2008


As sanity creeps back into Jos,Nigeria, after what is fast turning into a routine orgy of brothers killing each other in the name of politics,religion and ethnicity,I am very disturbed that the Nigerian government is not in any way interested in averting further mayhems both in Jos and elsewhere in Nigeria.What is happening right now is only a pause in this genocidal rave that would be errupting the next moment in God knows where. It is a sign of failure on the part of the system that has abandoned its own citizens to their fate.Jos,that once used to be the melting point of Nigeria's unity has now turned into a time-bomb that explodes at will.Jos is only a microcosm.
It is so sad that in Nigeria a slight provocation with either political,religious or ethnic undertone is cabable of claiming several innocent lives,displace hundreds of thousands of people and wanton destruction of properties worth several millions of Naira.
Nigeria is indeed a good example of a failed state.The British writer Karl Maier aptly captured this bizzare failure in the title of his book This House Has Fallen taken from a quote attributed to Nigeria's foremost writer,China Achebe:
This is an example of a country that has fallen
down;it has collapsed.This house has fallen.
The unfortunate incident in Jos this past week is only a reminder of how fragile the things that holds us together,the things we so hold dearly in Nigeria, are.
Love... for mankind has since taken flight here.

Dec 8, 2008


The only place in the whole world where I would want to be,this time tomorrow,9th December 2008, is at the Salamander Cafe,Wuse II,Abuja, where leading Nigerian writer Toni Kan will be reading from his latest collection of short stories Nights of the creaking Bed.

The book,published by Cassava Republic have been enjoying rave reviews from literary writers both in and outside Nigeria.Molara Woods in her review described the collection as ''a cohersive,stylish collection,with athmospheric scenes and noir elements.Toni Kan's stories look behind shuttered windows to express the unspeakable in the everyday.''

I look forward to Toni Kan clinching all the available literary prizes both locally and internationally, come 2009.

Nov 27, 2008


Folks in theUS are marking Thanksgiving Holiday.They always have enough reasons for this.Against the backdrop of a global economic crisis,eclipsed by a historic presidential election,the Americans should be happy to grace their dining Tables with plenty of Turkeys.
In India,some mad,I mean very crazy, Terrorists are ripping Mumbai apart...definately this babaric act doesn't fit in at all.
At home here in Nigeria things are not just looking up for good.Hope is getting dimmer by the tickling of every second.This still won't stop us from being thankful to God.Being thankful is about keeping hope alive,with the firm belief that Nigeria go better.
Someday,we will have course to mark a Thanksgiving holiday here.

Nov 25, 2008


Been mourning the untimely death of a very dear cousin,Friday Azogs.I was jolted out of my Hospital bed sometimes last week by the shocking news of Friday's demise.He was on admission at Othibor Okhai Teaching Hospital,Irrua,Edo State,for some chest related ailments.We were all praying and hoping that Friday would get well soonest and get back to being his active self once again.Alas,the cold hands of death snatched him...too soon

He will be dearly missed..

Adieu Fryo!

Nov 8, 2008


Check out the way Rihanna is holding tight to her chest during the video recording of her current single 'Rehab'.I think the babe is being very cautious to avoid any attempt by Justin Timberlake to re-enact those 'wardrobe malfunctioning' stunts he pulled on Janet Jackson some years back.
Stay smart Girl!

Nov 5, 2008


Obama's people in Kenya didn't have to wait for my much talked about Phone call which I blogged about here on August 30th before they went agog celebrating victory.Good one.


My Phone has not stopped receiving text messages and calls since I unofficially assumed the role of a US Presidential Election monitor and announcing the news of Obama's victory to friends.Emenike and I are yet to catch any nap just to make sure we didn't miss out as history unravelled.

My ex-class mate,John Anaweokhai texted:Breaking news:America now wears a new look! Barack Obama elected d 44th president of America.

My Boss,Victor Kayode sent in this funny one:

.....And the

winner is...


KAYODE....Oh sorry,the winner is BARACK OBAMA.Welcome the 44TH American president.

Jude Agho,Professor of African Literature,Edo state University,Ekpoma sent in this one: This is a very monumental victory!Our country(Nigeria) should learn from this.

Amina Gabriel sent in a text about holding a prayer session in our homes,offices and business places 7am to mark the Obama victory.

Another friend,Chinenye called in from Lagos giving a vivid description of the frenzied celebration in her neighbourhood over the Obama victory.


My colleague,Emenike Ejekwu and I are up monitoring the US Presidential election results live on the net.From the latest Electoral College votes,Obama is leading McCain by 195 to 90.From projections,there are every indications that Obama is coasting to victory.Amina Gabriel,another of my colleague based in Lagos earlier told me that people have embarked on all night 'fasting and prayer sessions' for Obama to win this election.
Nigerians eagerly look forward to this new dawn...with hopes that one day a similar situation will happen in their country when an 'Obama' will be voted into power.This just sums up the enthusiasm being expressed far from the American centre stage.

Nov 4, 2008


Today,history beckons on America and Americans as they cast their votes in a historic Presidential election that pitches a charismatic and enigmatic Sen. Barack Obama against Sen. John McCain.Obama is the first African-American to have come this far in the US White House race.The odds are favouring him.The Americans has today to decide.
America and the world needs Obama,for a change.
Africa's democracy needs this inspirational effect and challenge.
Americans will decide.

Oct 31, 2008


The story of a Nigerian born sculptor who is making much impact in the US would make any Nigerian proud.According to Nnamdi:

I was born in Eastern Nigeria in 1965.I am the first of three sons.I currently reside in Fayetteville,Georgia with my wife and three children.

As far back as I can remember I have always been drawn to art.Later on I realized that my artistic sensibilities were best expressed in the three dimensional art of sculpture.Around the same time I was introduced to Basketball,which suited me well as I am six feet nine inches tall.After obtaining a Degree in painting in Nigeria,Basketball became the avenue for me to come to the United States.I was recruited by BYU-Hawaii where I played from 1989-1993,and graduated with a BFA in sculpture.

Immediately after that,I enrolled in the graduate programme at BYU-Provo where I received an MFA degree in sculpture in 1997.While going to school in Provo,I met and married my wife,Dedra,who is from Idaho and graduated in 1996 with a Master of Accountancy.

I now work full time out of my studio in Fayetteville.My work is represented in galleries across the country,and my large scale monumental work can be seen in individual and public sculpture gardens as well.

You can view some of Nnamdi's work here.

Oct 30, 2008


Believe me if you want to -now I know why the soles of Barack Obama's shoes have been 'filing'.He has been practicing some Wacko Jacko dance steps ahead of the victory party come November 4th.Do not say I told you.

Oct 28, 2008


After the Devil released his grip on Rwanda in the genocide frenzy of 1994,the entire world let out so much Crocodile tears.Today,the Devil is running haywire in the Democratic Republic of Congo where General Laurent Nkunda's troops, close to overrunning the Regional capital town of Goma and the Congolese Army are making a killing field of Eastern Zaire.The about 17,000 UN forces are not providing any hope .
As is the character of such wars,innocent civillians suffers brutal killings,tortures and rapes.Why is the whole world not showing any iota of concern for the plight of the Congolese? Why has African leaders abandoned the innocent citizens of DR Congo to their fate? Why are we just waiting for the last exhausted refugee to die or be killed? Why are we waiting to make another Hollywood blockbusters to be titled Hotel Kinshasa or Sometimes In October from the plight of these people? Why? Why? Why?
Its high time the world take a decisive action on the attrocities in DR Congo and Dafur.Its time to bring an end to these meaningless wars.Africa should take the innitative.

Oct 27, 2008


I am an avid reader of the inspirational Magazine,Guideposts.The recent edition of the mag which has a smiling Jennifer Hudson on its cover speak so much,against the backdrop of the tragic murder of the DreamGirls star's Mum,brother and Nephew by yet to be identified killer(s),was kind of consoling.Even though the Magazine did the cover well before tragedy struck,it is quite symbolic.The cover picture and its headline ''My Grateful Heart'' reassures us that no matter how terrible the circumstances we are faced with,we need to rise up and keep moving on.
To Jenny:Be strong.Dry the tears and Keep the smiles.

Oct 26, 2008


This is no time for long talks.
President Yar'Adau should please direct whichever state security agency(ies) holding Jonathan Elendu of Elendureports since 14th October when he arrived Nigeria from his US base,to release him.
We treaded this path in the dark days of military dictatorship.We cannot afford to go that way again.Nigeria has got more pressing issues to tackle than arresting Bloggers and closing down media houses.Yar'Adua's democracy should entail freedom of speech and expression.Free Jonathan Now!
(Picture courtesy of BBC News)

Oct 22, 2008


I am short of words about this picture.I laughed my heart out when I first saw it.John McCain seems to be tip-toeing towards Obama.The expression on McCain's face is like saying:''Yuck!I got to push this 'Bama boy out of my way...''

Oct 17, 2008


Since Collin Powel couldn't resist the urge to boogie down to Olu Maintain's hit track 'Yahooze' during the African Risin Festival,at the Royal Albert Hall,London,criticism have been flying like squad missiles over what has been termed his endorsement of advaced-fee email crime popularly called 419.Haba!!
Some sections of the international media,especially the British press are only being unnecesarily mischievious and myopic.Powell should be given kudos for proudly showcasing his Africaness.I wonder what would have been said of him if he had danced to the lewd lyrics of fuji act,Abass Akande Obesere or even seen near the popular Ohafia war dancers.On the other hand,if Powell had done this in a Justin Timberlake's or Eminem's performance,that would have been good headlines for the press.