Posts Tagged ‘African American children’
OBAMA!-THIS BLACK BOY HAS STOOD UP FOR ALL OTHER BLACK BOYS WHO HAVE LOST THEIR BLACK MOTHERS DUE TO POOR HEALTH CARE SERVICES FOR THE MASSES!-MARCELAS OWENS WE SALUTE YOU IN YOUR PROUD BLACK MANHOOD FOR BEING A FIGHTER!-HE WAS PRESENT WITH OUR BLACK PRESIDENT OBAMA AT THE HEALTHCARE SIGNING!March 24, 2010
Boy witnesses healthcare bill’s signing on behalf of mom
By Kim Murphy
March 24, 2010
Reporting from Seattle – He has been dismissed by the right as a prostitute for healthcare reform whose mom “would still have died” even with the newly passed healthcare legislation. But 11-year-old Marcelas Owens, who stood quietly next to President Obama on Tuesday as he signed the long-debated legislation, has kept the jitters at bay, friends say, by pretending his mom was sitting in the front row.
She wasn’t. She died three years ago of pulmonary hypertension, largely untreated because she lost her health insurance when she lost her job as an assistant manager at a Jack in the Box restaurant in Seattle.
“It’s tough not having my mom around,” Marcelas, a fifth-grader at Seattle’s Orca elementary school, said at a news conference with Senate Democratic leaders this month. “But she’s been with me in spirit every time I talk.”
Plenty of American families have succumbed to a combination of illness, unemployment and debt. Marcelas’ mother, Tifanny, fell ill in 2006 at age 26 with the crippling condition that causes abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs.
“If she still had her healthcare, she’d probably still be here,” Marcelas’ grandmother, Gina, told reporters.
The family’s troubles began when Tifanny Owens started missing work because of her illness, said Joshua Welter, who worked with the family at the Washington Community Action Network. Jack in the Box “let her go after she missed so much work,” Welter said.
Jack in the Box spokesman Brian Luscomb said the only Tifanny Owens in their records was a team leader, the equivalent of a shift supervisor, who resigned “for family obligations” in 2006. “She was not involuntarily terminated,” he said.
With no income, Owens couldn’t afford transitional health coverage. Owens would occasionally go to the emergency room, and in one visit, she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, which cannot be cured but can often be treated.
She was admitted to the University of Washington Medical Center in June 2007, and died a week later.
Marcelas, a plump-cheeked, soft-spoken youngster, became a celebrity of sorts after Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) began talking about his family on the Senate floor.
His prominence has attracted a backlash from conservative commentators, who accuse reform advocates of prostituting and exploiting him as he tells his mother’s story.
Marcelas isn’t paying much attention. He lives with his grandmother, along with his two younger sisters. The local PBS station, KCTS, filmed them one night gathered around the kitchen table in prayer.
“Mom, we miss you and we love you, and we hope you’re having a good time,” Marcelas said. “And I hope you’re getting a lot of rest.”
Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times
BLACK PEOPLE/AFRICANS!-SPEAK ONLY AFRICAN LANGUAGES TO YOUR CHILDREN IN YOUR HOUSE IF YOU WANT AFRICAN CHILDREN WITH AFRICAN BEHAVIOUR AND VALUES!-FROM ALL ALLAFRICA.COM WITH AFRIFebruary 15, 2010
Daily Independent (Lagos)
Nigeria: Enforcing Indigenous Languages in Homes
14 February 2010
Lagos — The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation appears to be set to encourage the use of indigenous languages in Nigerian homes.
The institute also frowns at the mode of dressing of most Nigerian children, which it described as ‘near nudity,’ blaming this on the nonchalant attitude of Nigerian parents and the lack of respect for Nigerian culture. It has therefore assured that it would use its medium to address the total emancipation of Nigerian cultural details and encourage its proliferation. This would, according to the institute, help to market the value of Nigerian culture, home and abroad, when the essence and awareness of the culture is encouraged.
Apparently, the recent visit of the executive secretary/chief executive officer of NICO, Dr. Barclays F. Ayakoroma to Lagos office was primarily designed by the institute to gear up arrangement to start off the new academic session of its cultural institute. It was during the visit that Ayakoroma, in his chat with the media, unveiled plans to take Nigeria culture to all the nooks and crannies of the country and to ensure that it yields positive results than ever. NICO was established by Decree 93 of 1993.
The Institute has the primary responsibility of harnessing Nigeria’s cultural resources to meet the challenges of social integration, peace, unity and national development. It also serves as vital force for promoting Nigeria’s programme of Cultural Diplomacy and energising the various cultural establishments in the new direction advocated by Nigeria’s Cultural Policy and the World Decade for Cultural Development (1988-1997) declared by the United Nations.
NICO has a vision to be the apex and leading Cultural Training Institute in Nigeria and Nigeria’s contribution to world progress and civilisation through research and documentation, cultural assets and services, both tangible and intangible.
NICO is also committed to train cultural development officers, motivators and communicators who would be grounded in Nigerian cultural realities, philosophy and practices that are essential for national integration, peace, unity and development in a multi-ethnic nation.
It would be recalled that the institute has presented for graduation, the first set of students in the Certificate, Graduate and Diploma in Cultural Studies. By November 2009, registration processes started for the second set. Ayakoroma visited Lagos to ensure the successful take off of the new academic session. According to him, he was satisfied with the current academic programme and expressed hope that sooner, the training school will be in its rightful place in the culture sector. The vision of NICO is to run a school that will produce graduands that will occupy strategic position in various cultural institutions.
“Just like the Federal Training School trains clerical officers all over the country, ASCON trains administrative officers, and NIPS trains top government officers in the civil service and the military, we are positioning ourselves to train cultural workers at the middle and top level of cultural administration,” he said.
The secretary observed that NICO would only gain its relevance in the scheme of things when it comes out with some programmes that will impact the lives of the generality of the people. At the national level, according to him, there are programmes lined up, but specifically, the indigenous language programme appears to be a strategic option. With the notion that many Nigerians are not intact, language wise and that most of Nigerian children find it difficult speaking indigenous language, because of inter-tribal marriages and so on, NICO has developed a programme that will encourage the speaking of the indigenous languages.
“If these children are given the opportunity to learn indigenous languages, they approach them with every sense of commitment. This programme has gained ground to some extent. In the last long vacation of Nigerian primary and secondary schools, the programme took place in the six zonal offices of NICO.”
The institute has set up an agenda to introduce a programme entitled ‘Language in the Barracks’ to support its vision to immortalize indigenous languages. This is with the intention of taking indigenous language training scheme to police and military barracks. It was discovered, however, that among some military or police families, the wives might be Yoruba while the husbands, Igbo. It boils down on the challenge of the particular language that the children will be disposed to speak. NICO therefore believes that with this programme, parents as well as children will have the opportunity to learn those languages. The institute has also concluded plans, according to the executive secretary, to start a television programme called ‘WAZOBIA Quiz’. They are looking at a scenario whereby the parents and their children come for a quiz programme based on culture such as ‘Nigerian People and Places’. Such segment will be in the three Nigeria major languages.
“If the father is speaking Yoruba and Hausa for example, and the wife is Igbo, we expect that one of the children that will appear with you for the programme will also speak one of the languages. We believe it will be an interesting programme and it will enhance or energise the study or interest of Nigerian languages,” he said. This, to an extent, might help improve the readiness of Nigerian families to cherish the more the indigenous languages. NICO declared its intention to encourage the speaking of indigenous languages at homes and offices in Nigeria and not having English as lingua franca in respected homes. Other roundtable programme of the institute include annual roundtable conference, workshop on ‘Repositioning Cultural Workers for Improved Productivity’, World Culture Day celebration in May among others. The secretary also intimidated the media about the plan of the institute to start cultural club in secondary schools. This will be taking to secondary schools to catch the young ones culturally, like the debating and literary societies. The intention of the institute is for the children to appreciate every area of Nigerian culture, be it music or dressing.
He expressed his disappointment on how Nigerian parents are showing lackadaisical attitude to the dressing mode of most Nigerian children. According to him, some of these children go on the street almost in nudity. “It is very worrisome. The jeans, T-shirts, and the type of short sketches that our children wear in the name of fashion are really worrisome. That is why we are also looking at organising a programme called ‘Nigeria’s Dress Culture’. We want to look at aspect of dress culture.”
Some Nigerian universities have been observed to institutionalised dress codes. Ayakoroma therefore appealed that such institutions should be encouraged, because if the students are allowed to dress the way they want, “very soon we will begin to see nude boys and girls on our streets in the name of fashion.”
NICO has vowed to step up actions on the creation of awareness on the essence and importance of culture in Nigeria. Culture, according to him, is what makes a man. He therefore warned that with the level of richness of Nigerian culture, it would be very unfortunate if Nigerian parents failed to carry their children along and sell them to the western world in the name of civilisation.
He also significantly pointed out that for Nigeria to move forward, there is a need for Nigerians to cooperate with the institute to appraise the level of corruption in Nigeria from cultural point of view.
Obama’s brother is in Bracknell
By OLIVER HARVEY
Chief Feature Writer
Published: 26 Jul 2008
HE may be living in a Bracknell council house, but soon he could be dining with his brother at the White House.
The Sun was the first newspaper to track down and speak to Bernard Obama, 37.
And he said of Democrat candidate Barack: “I’m very proud of my big brother.
Back Row L-R: Unknown, Barack Obama, Obama’s half-brother Malik, Unknown, half-brother Abo, half-brother Bernard. Front Row L-R: Half-sister Auma, step-mother Kezia, step-gran Sarah,
“It’s quite a funny feeling that he might be the next President of the USA.”
Muslim Bernard – an avid Manchester United fan and Sun reader – is staying with his bingo-loving mum Kezia, 67, who has lived in the Berkshire new town for six years.
He was glued to the TV news in the modest suburban bungalow last night as Barack, 46, was due to arrive in Britain.
Bernard leads a quiet life, running a car parts firm in Nairobi, Kenya.
But he is a regular visitor to the UK to visit Elvis fan Kezia.
She married Barack Obama Snr in Kenya in 1957 when she was a teenager.
He later left for the US and went on to meet Ann Dunham, who gave birth to his now widely acclaimed son.
Obama Snr, a Kenyan goatherd who became a leading economist in his east African homeland’s government, was killed in a car crash in 1982.
Barack Jnr was 21 and Bernard 12. He said: “Our father passed away when I was young and I didn’t get the chance to get to know him very well.
“When you lose your dad at such a young age, that’s when you really miss him.”
Bernard smiled when he spoke of his famous half-brother. He said:
I was around 17 when I first met Barack.
He was visiting Kenya and it was obvious from the way he spoke and his charisma that he was going to be a success.
He is charming, very good company and very charismatic.
I’ve met him since with his wife Michelle in Kenya. She’s very nice, a very strong and intelligent person. I don’t think we will see him on this visit to Britain. It’s official business and he’ll be very busy.Close_quote
Bernard is remaining with Kezia for the next month as she recuperates from illness.
Barefoot and dressed in cream shorts and red T-shirt, he said: “I love coming to Britain because I love football and I like reading about it in The Sun.
“I’m a big Manchester United fan but I think Barack’s more into basketball.”
Bernard converted to Islam 18 years ago. The dad of one said: “I’m a Muslim, I don’t deny it. My father was raised a Muslim.
“But it’s not an issue. I don’t know what all the hullabaloo is about.”
Barack is a staunch Christian. A recent cartoon in the New Yorker magazine caused a furore by portraying him as a turban-wearing Muslim and his wife as a terrorist.
In February, photos emerged of Barack in traditional Somali robes during a trip to Kenya in 2006.
But Bernard dismissed jibes about Barack’s religion and said there was no significance to the photos.
Barack Obama’s stepmother Kezia
He added: “If you go to Japan or Nigeria you put on the traditional dress. People are trying to look for ways to tarnish him.”
In his biography, Dreams From My Father, Barack told of meeting Bernard in Kenya.
He wrote: “That sweetness, the lack of guile, made him seem much younger than his 17 years.
“As we stepped into the street, Bernard draped his arm over my shoulder. ‘It’s good to have a big brother around,’ he said, before waving goodbye and vanishing into the crowd.”
The pair’s dad left Kenya in 1959 when he took up a US scholarship. Kezia, then three months’ pregnant with daughter Auma, already had a year-old son Malik to look after.
Barack Snr met Barack’s mum Ann in Hawaii, and she gave birth to the now presidential hopeful in August 1961.
The Democrat’s dad returned to Kenya in 1965 and Kezia subsequently gave birth to two sons, Abo in 1968 and Bernard in 1970.
Barack’s former brother-in-law Ian Manners, 55 – divorced from Bernard’s and Barack’s sister Auma – is writing a book about his in-laws.
Daughter Akinyi, 11, spent Christmas with Barack in the US. She said: “I asked him if I could meet Beyonce. He smiled and said he’d see what he could do.”
Barack Obama and wife Michelle with Ian’s sister Diane Meisl and nephew Julian Meisl at Ian and Auma’s wedding reception in Wokingham in August, 1996.
Barack attended Ian’s 1996 wedding to Auma and famously ran out of a pub in Wokingham, Berks, during Ian’s stag bash when a raunchy dancer took to the stage.
Businessman Ian said: “We were having a few drinks, then a stripper dressed as a St Trinian’s schoolgirl appeared.
“She was no Miss World and it was the last thing I wanted. As soon as Barack saw what was about to happen he made a hasty retreat.
“He was in politics already and left the pub immediately.”
Ian added: “I played a couple of rounds of golf with him in 1997.
“We had to go to a municipal course because golf clubs wouldn’ t have been keen on a black man playing on their course back then.
“He is very competitive and beat me both times. It was obvious Barack was going to get to the top.”
Bernard agreed, saying: “Barack is going to win the election, definitely, and I want to be in the US for his inauguration.
“He will be a breath of fresh air for the world.”
Frank SchaefferNew York Times best-selling author
Posted: October 8, 2008 02:45 PM
Obama Will Be One of The Greatest (and Most Loved) American Presidents
Obama is one of the most intelligent presidential aspirants to ever step forward in American history. The likes of his intellectual capabilities have not been surpassed in public life since the Founding Fathers put pen to paper. His personal character is also solid gold. Take heart, America: we have the leader for our times.
I say this as a white, former life-long Republican. I say this as the proud father of a Marine. I say this as just another American watching his pension evaporate along with the stock market! I speak as someone who knows it’s time to forget party loyalty, ideology and pride and put the country first. I say this as someone happy to be called a fool for going out on a limb and declaring that, 1) Obama will win, and 2) he is going to be amongst the greatest of American presidents.
Obama is our last best chance. He’s worth laying it all on the line for.
This is a man who in the age of greed took the high road of community service. This is the good father and husband. This is the humble servant. This is the patient teacher. This is the scholar statesman. This is the man of deep Christian faith.
Good stories about Obama abound; from his personal relationship with his Secret Service agents (he invites them into his home to watch sports, and shoots hoops with them) to the story about how, more than twenty years ago, while standing in the check-in line at an airport, Obama paid a $100 baggage surcharge for a stranger who was broke and stuck. (Obama was virtually penniless himself in those days.) Years later after he became a senator, that stranger recognized Obama’s picture and wrote to him to thank him. She received a kindly note back from the senator. (The story only surfaced because the person, who lives in Norway, told a local newspaper after Obama ran for the presidency. The paper published a photograph of this lady proudly displaying Senator Obama’s letter.)
Where many leaders are two-faced; publicly kindly but privately feared and/or hated by people closest to them, Obama is consistent in the way he treats people, consistently kind and personally humble. He lives by the code that those who lead must serve. He believes that. He lives it. He lived it long before he was in the public eye.
Obama puts service ahead of ideology. He also knows that to win politically you need to be tough. He can be. He has been. This is a man who does what works, rather than scoring ideological points. In other words he is the quintessential non-ideological pragmatic American. He will (thank God!) disappoint ideologues and purists of the left and the right.
Obama has a reservoir of personal physical courage that is unmatched in presidential history. Why unmatched? Because as the first black contender for the presidency who will win, Obama, and all the rest of us, know that he is in great physical danger from the seemingly unlimited reserve of unhinged racial hatred, and just plain unhinged ignorant hatred, that swirls in the bowels of our wounded and sinful country. By stepping forward to lead, Obama has literally put his life on the line for all of us in a way no white candidate ever has had to do. (And we all know how dangerous the presidency has been even for white presidents.)
Nice stories or even unparalleled courage isn’t the only point. The greater point about Obama is that the midst of our worldwide financial meltdown, an expanding (and losing) war in Afghanistan, trying to extricate our country from a wrong and stupidly mistaken ruinously expensive war in Iraq, our mounting and crushing national debt, awaiting the next (and inevitable) al Qaeda attack on our homeland, watching our schools decline to Third World levels of incompetence, facing a general loss of confidence in the government that has been exacerbated by the Republicans doing all they can to undermine our government’s capabilities and programs… President Obama will take on the leadership of our country at a make or break time of historic proportions. He faces not one but dozens of crisis, each big enough to define any presidency in better times.
As luck, fate or divine grace would have it (depending on one’s personal theology) Obama is blessedly, dare I say uniquely, well-suited to our dire circumstances. Obama is a person with hands-on community service experience, deep connections to top economic advisers from the renowned University of Chicago where he taught law, and a middle-class background that gives him an abiding knowledgeable empathy with the rest of us. As the son of a single mother, who has worked his way up with merit and brains, recipient of top-notch academic scholarships, the peer-selected editor of the Harvard Law Review and, in three giant political steps to state office, national office and now the presidency, Obama clearly has the wit and drive to lead.
Obama is the sober voice of reason at a time of unreason. He is the fellow keeping his head while all around him are panicking. He is the healing presence at a time of national division and strife. He is also new enough to the political process so that he doesn’t suffer from the terminally jaded cynicism, the seen-it-all-before syndrome afflicting most politicians in Washington. In that regard we Americans lucked out. It’s as if having despaired of our political process we picked a name from the phone book to lead us and that person turned out to be a very man we needed.
Obama brings a healing and uplifting spiritual quality to our politics at the very time when our worst enemy is fear. For eight years we’ve been ruled by a stunted fear-filled mediocrity of a little liar who has expanded his power on the basis of creating fear in others. Fearless Obama is the cure. He speaks a litany of hope rather than a litany of terror.
As we have watched Obama respond in a quiet reasoned manner to crisis after crisis, in both the way he has responded after being attacked and lied about in the 2008 campaign season, to his reasoned response to our multiplying national crises, what we see is the spirit of a trusted family doctor with a great bedside manner. Obama is perfectly suited to hold our hand and lead us through some very tough times. The word panic is not in the Obama dictionary.
America is fighting its “Armageddon” in one fearful heart at a time. A brilliant leader with the mild manner of an old-time matter-of-fact country doctor soothing a frightened child is just what we need. The fact that our “doctor” is a black man leading a hitherto white-ruled nation out of the mess of its own making is all the sweeter and raises the Obama story to that of moral allegory.
Obama brings a moral clarity to his leadership reserved for those who have had to work for everything they’ve gotten and had to do twice as well as the person standing next to them because of the color of their skin. His experience of succeeding in spite of his color, social background and prejudice could have been embittering or one that fostered a spiritual rebirth of forgiveness and enlightenment. Obama radiates the calm inner peace of the spirit of forgiveness.
Speaking as a believing Christian I see the hand of a merciful God in Obama’s candidacy. The biblical metaphors abound. The stone the builder rejected is become the cornerstone… the last shall be first… he that would gain his life must first lose it… the meek shall inherit the earth…
For my secular friends I’ll allow that we may have just been extraordinarily lucky! Either way America wins.
Only a brilliant man, with the spirit of a preacher and the humble heart of a kindly family doctor can lead us now. We are afraid, out of ideas, and worst of all out of hope. Obama is the cure. And we Americans have it in us to rise to the occasion. We will. We’re about to enter one of the most frightening periods of American history. Our country has rarely faced more uncertainty. This is the time for greatness. We have a great leader. We must be a great people backing him, fighting for him, sacrificing for a cause greater than ourselves.
A hundred years from now Obama’s portrait will be placed next to that of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. Long before that we’ll be telling our children and grandchildren that we stepped out in faith and voted for a young black man who stood up and led our country back from the brink of an abyss. We’ll tell them about the power of love, faith and hope. We’ll tell them about the power of creativity combined with humility and intellectual brilliance. We’ll tell them that President Obama gave us the gift of regaining our faith in our country. We’ll tell them that we all stood up and pitched in and won the day. We’ll tell them that President Obama restored our standing in the world. We’ll tell them that by the time he left office our schools were on the mend, our economy booming, that we’d become a nation filled with green energy alternatives and were leading the world away from dependence on carbon-based destruction. We’ll tell them that because of President Obama’s example and leadership the integrity of the family was restored, divorce rates went down, more fathers took responsibility for their children, and abortion rates fell dramatically as women, families and children were cared for through compassionate social programs that worked. We’ll tell them about how the gap closed between the middle class and the super rich, how we won health care for all, how crime rates fell, how bad wars were brought to an honorable conclusion. We’ll tell them that when we were attacked again by al Qaeda, how reason prevailed and the response was smart, tough, measured and effective, and our civil rights were protected even in times of crisis…
We’ll tell them that we were part of the inexplicably blessed miracle that happened to our country those many years ago in 2008 when a young black man was sent by God, fate or luck to save our country. We’ll tell them that it’s good to live in America where anything is possible. Yes we will.
Frank Schaeffer is the author of CRAZY FOR GOD-How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back. Now in paperback.
Follow Frank Schaeffer on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/frank_schaeffer
The Quiet Revolution
October 22, 2009
A few weeks ago, “Saturday Night Live” teased President Obama for delivering great speeches but not actually bringing change. There’s at least one area where that jibe is unfair: education.
When Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan came to office, they created a $4.3 billion Race to the Top fund. The idea was to use money to leverage change. The administration would put a pile of federal money on the table and award it to a few states that most aggressively embraced reform.
Their ideas were good, and their speeches were beautiful. But that was never the problem. The real challenge was going to be standing up to the teachers’ unions and the other groups that have undermined nearly every other reform effort.
The real questions were these: Would the administration water down their reform criteria in the face of political pressure? Would the Race to the Top money end up getting doled out like any other federal spending program, and thus end up subsidizing the status quo? Would the administration hold the line and demand real reform in exchange for the money?
There were many reasons to be skeptical. At the behest of the teachers’ unions, the Democrats had just shut down a successful District of Columbia voucher program. Moreover, state legislatures around the country were moving backward. They were passing laws prohibiting schools from using student performance as a criterion in setting teacher pay.
But, so far, those fears are unjustified. The news is good. In fact, it’s very good. Over the past few days I’ve spoken to people ranging from Bill Gates to Jeb Bush and various education reformers. They are all impressed by how gritty and effective the Obama administration has been in holding the line and inciting real education reform.
Over the summer, the Department of Education indicated that most states would not qualify for Race to the Top money. Now states across the country are changing their laws: California, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Tennessee, among others.
It’s not only the promise of money that is motivating change. There seems to be some sort of status contest as states compete to prove they, too, can meet the criteria. Governors who have been bragging about how great their schools are don’t want to be left off the list.
These changes mean that states are raising their caps on the number of charter schools. When charters got going, there was a “let a thousand flowers bloom” mentality that sometimes led to bad schools. Now reformers know more about how to build charters and the research is showing solid results. Caroline Hoxby of Stanford University recently concluded a rigorous study of New York’s charter schools and found that they substantially narrowed the achievement gap between suburban and inner-city students.
The changes also will mean student performance will increasingly be a factor in how much teachers get paid and whether they keep their jobs. There is no consensus on exactly how to do this, but there is clear evidence that good teachers produce consistently better student test scores, and that teachers who do not need to be identified and counseled. Cracking the barrier that has been erected between student outcomes and teacher pay would be a huge gain.
Duncan even seems to have made some progress in persuading the unions that they can’t just stonewall, they have to get involved in the reform process. The American Federation of Teachers recently announced innovation grants for performance pay ideas. The New Haven school district has just completed a new teacher contract, with union support, that includes many of the best reform ideas.
There are still many places, like Washington, where the unions are dogmatically trying to keep bad teachers in the classrooms. But if implemented well, the New Haven contract could be a sign of perestroika even within the education establishment.
“I’ve been deeply disturbed by a lot that’s going on in Washington,” Jeb Bush said on Thursday, “but this is not one of them. President Obama has been supporting a reform secretary, and this is deserving of Republican support.” Bush’s sentiment is echoed across the spectrum, from Newt Gingrich to Al Sharpton.
Over the next months, there will be more efforts to water down reform. Some groups are offering to get behind health care reform in exchange for gutting education reform. Politicians from both parties are going to lobby fiercely to ensure that their state gets money, regardless of the merits. So will governors who figure they’re going to lose out in the award process.
But President Obama understood from the start that this would only work if the awards remain fiercely competitive. He has not wavered. We’re not close to reaching the educational Promised Land, but we may be at the start of what Rahm Emanuel calls The Quiet Revolution.
8 YEAR OLD BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY WENDY KASUMU MAKES US PROUD WITH HER WORLD BEAUTY TITLE!-FROM THE LONG HARMATTAN SEASON.BLOGSPOT.COMSeptember 24, 2009
8 Year Old Wendy Makes Nigeria Proud
By Ahaoma Kanu
Six years after the world stood still for Agbani Darego as the winner of the Miss World beauty contest, history was made again this time by an 8 year old Grade 4 Pupil of Taurean Private School, Surulere, Miss Wendy Kasumu in far away Antalya, Turkey when she was crowned Little Miss World Model 2007 recently.
She beat 36 other contestants from different parts of the world to grab the crown at the 7th International Children of Beauty and Talents tagged Little Miss World and described achieving the feat as, “very exciting”
Wearing a charming smile befitting an international beauty queen, Wendy said that her interest in modeling was inspired by her desire to become an ambassador of Nigeria.
“I got interested in modeling because I saw I would have a chance to win one day and make my country proud,” she said.
The sensational and talented Wendy who hails from Abeokuta in Ogun State joined Nigerian Kiddies Modelling Club (KMC) two years ago after a visit from the President of the Club to her school.
Seeing the opportunity lying in pageantry, she decided to enlist after she got the nod of her parents and participated in local beauty pageants where she is the reigning Little charming Princess in Nigeria as Best Mini Model and Best Cat Walker 2007 in one year.
On winning these crowns, she became a kid celebrity of sort and appeared as guest celebrity at the recently concluded face of Ogun State University and the Nigeria Super Model contests this year.
As the reigning Little Catwalk Queen, she participated in her first International competition and clutched the crown as Little Miss World Model 2007.
According to the National Director of the Little Miss World in Nigeria, Mrs. Frances Oho, Wendy was at her best forum during her talent display, cat walking and was greeted with a standing ovation for her outstanding performance which also made her become a toast of the media in Europe where she graced the covers of international beauty magazines and newspapers as well as many agencies clamouring to sign her immediately but she decided to return home to Nigeria and finish her education.
Wendy described her best moment as the time she was crowned and disclosed her advantage over other contestants who she never regarded as threats.
“My advantage lies in the fact that we Nigerians are always bold and have the ability to make our country proud.” She said adding that having passed through the grooming of model instructor, Modella, she was very confident in herself.
A straight-A pupil, Wendy said she did not find the task of combining both rehearsals and her studies difficult as she is naturally brilliant.
“I was able to cope up with my studies because I am brilliant and very intelligent. I am a straight A Pupil so it wasn’t so difficult for me,” she said.
Natalya Kovalyova, President of the Little Miss World show who presented Wendy with Sashes, her certificate as a queen amidst other gifts said one of the aims of the competition is to bring children from all parts of the world to meet themselves and learn from each other and to this part, Wendy said she made many friends.
“I made many friends,” I met a girl from Georgia, she won Little Miss Georgia and a have a best friend called Christiana from Russia and another Isabella, from Brazil. I also made friends with Eliana from Belanis and another little friend, Helen from Armenia. It was so exciting and I loved every moment I spent with my friends,” she said excitedly.
With a dream of becoming a top model and a medical doctor which will enable her help humanity Wendy said the main focus of her reign as a world queen will lie in helping the less priviledged especially the motherless babies.
“My first task is to become a goodwill ambassador to children and be a role model to them, and also, my pet project will be focused on the motherless babies. I will donate to Orphanages because they always touch my heart whenever I see them which make me want to cry,” she revealed with compassion in her young eyes.
Wendy who was accompanied to Europe alongside her mother, Mrs. Adekubi Kasumu described her family as her greatest asset.
“My father, Mr. Olaiwola Kasumu and my mother encouraged me a lot. My elder brother too, Olamola Jnr. was also one of my greatest influence.”
Her mother, Mrs. Kasumu disclosed that no member of her family had participated in pageantry said that she is happy to have allowed Wendy take up on modeling at a very young age.”
“I allowed her to join the modeling club because I wanted to give her a chance to exploit her talents and today she had made me very proud.”
According to her father who is an artiste as well, he is prepared to support Wendy to actualize whatever dream she aspires to achieve and called on the government and corporate society to support Wendy’s pet project.
Posted by Ahaoma Kanu at 15:31
its great to hear of nigeria in the news again for the right reasons.she indeed made nigeria proud.its however a shame that no tv station in nigeria deemed it fit to showcase her achievement or follow her advancement through out the period of the competion.she should be celebrated and recognised by the govt.what she has achieved will go a long way in laundering nigeria’s image abroad.
23 November 2007 12:09
I feel very proud because I kno wonder why non of our Tv stations could not beam this type of event. I am not surprised at this young girl grand achievment. The hand of God is upon you, just remember your creator in all your doings that what you do must glorify God alone as you grow to become Miss World/Universe. Congratulations!
25 November 2007 20:36
“ARCHAEOLOGISTS FIND GIANT STONE-AGE AXES IN AFRICA…”-FROM THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA,SEPT.17,2009September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Archaeologists find giant Stone-Age axes in African lake basin
A GIANT African lake basin is providing information about possible migration routes and hunting practices of early humans in the middle and late Stone Age periods between 150,000 and 10,000 years ago.
Oxford University researchers have unearthed new evidence from the lake basin in Botswana that suggests that the region was once much drier at certain times and wetter at other times than it is today.
They have documented thousands of stone tools on the lake bed, which sheds new light on how humans in Africa adapted to several substantial climate change events during the period that coincided with the last Ice Age in Europe.
Researchers from the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford are surveying the now-dry basin of Lake Makgadikgadi in the Kalahari Desert, which at 66,000 square kilometres is about the same size of present day Lake Victoria.
Their research was prompted by the discovery of the first of what are believed to be the world’s largest stone tools on the bed of the lake. Although the first find was made in the 1990s, the discovery of four giant axes has not been scientifically reported until now. Four giant stone hand axes, measuring over 30 cm long and of uncertain age, were recovered from the lake basin.
Equally remarkable is that the dry lake floor where they were found is also littered with tens of thousands of other smaller stone-age tools and flakes, the researchers report.
Professor David Thomas, Head of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, said: ‘Many of the tools were found on the dry lake floor, not around its edge, which challenges the view that big lakes were only attractive to humans when they were full of water.
‘As water levels in the lake went down, or during times when they fluctuated seasonally, wild animals would have congregated round the resulting watering holes on the lake bed. It’s likely that early human populations would have seen this area as a prolific hunting ground when food resources in the region were more concentrated than at times when the regional climate was wetter and food was more plentiful and the lake was full of water.’
This work is part of an ongoing project investigating the complex history of major changes in climate in Africa. Co-researcher Dr Sallie Burrough has dated the sediment and shorelines of the lake basin, which has shown that the mega lake was filled with water on multiple occasions in the last 250,000 years. The research team has also investigated islands on the floor of the lake – remnants of former sand dunes – which suggest the region’s climate has also been both windier and markedly drier than it is today.
Thomas said: ‘The interior of southern Africa has usually been seen as being devoid of significant archaeology. Surprisingly, we have found and logged incredibly extensive Middle Stone Age artefacts spread over a vast area of the lake basin.
‘The record the basin is revealing is one of marked human adaptation in the past. Early humans saw the opportunity to use the lake basin when it was not full of water, but at least seasonally dry. It shows that humans have adapted to climate change and variability in a sustained way.’
Many archaeologists believe that equivalent lakes in the North African Sahara desert played an important part in the ‘Out of Africa’ human expansion theory, as the ancestors of all modern humans would have chosen a wet route out of Africa. The new research is the first time that this giant Botswanan lake basin in southern Africa has been the focus of scientific research, and these findings could provide new evidence to support the theory about a hominid migration through and expansion from Africa.
Thomas and Burrough are planning further research into how the lake was formed and how it came and went. They say that the most likely explanation is that sustained periods of greater rainfall in the Angolan Highlands resulted in much greater flow in the Zambezi River, with the water being diverted into the lake basin due to a quirk of geology.
New research, beginning in 2010 and funded by the Leverhulme Trust, will investigate possible links between the lake basin and the Zambezi River, while initial discussions are in hand for setting up a major international geo-archaeologist programme to further unravel the complexities of human-climate-environment interactions in this important and under-researched region.
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MARLON JACKSON’S VISIT MAKES CONNECTION OF THE JACKSON’S TO THEIR ROOTS IN NIGERIA!-FROM THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPERS AND THEBJOSHUAFANCLUB.FILES.WORPRESS.COM-with UPDATES ON THE JACKSON’S PLANS FOR NIGERIAAugust 27, 2009
Slave Route project reunites Jacksons with their Badagry root
By Anote Ajeluorou
ACTIVITIES will commence tomorrow, Saturday, August 22, 2009 for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the ‘International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition’ in the ancient slave port of Badagry. This year’s celebration will assume a distinct dimension as the famous Jackson’s family has identified the ancient town, famous for slave trade in the 18th century as their place of ancestral origin.
To this end also, an oracular pronouncement has identified Alaga, a sub-tribe from Egun in Badagry as the home of the Jackson’s from the Ajanemusan family (shortened ‘Ajanesan’). This was revealed in a world press conference, which the organising committee for the Badagry Folk Festival addressed on Tuesday at the Badagry Local Government Council Secretariat, Ajara, Badagry.
As a result, the late music superstar is now called Michael Jackson Ajanesan in Badagry. According to a traditional priest from the Egun community, the fame that Michael Ajanesan attained in the US had long been foretold by the deity to which the family belonged as Michael Ajanesan was a deity himself. He claimed that it was only a god that could perform the feat that Jackson Ajanesan attained in life, and that he deserved to be given proper traditional rite of passage to join his ancestors peacefully.
And to properly accord their late superstar kinsman the burial rites befitting of a god, his yoko or spirit will be ritually invoked in the form of sand particles taken from his graveside and brought to a shrine or yoho for ritual internment. It is from this yoho that the necessary rites of passage will be performed to lay his spirit to rest among his ancestors from which the Ajanesans, taken into slavery these several years will again be reconnected to their kin.
Giving an account of how this bit of history was reconstructed to trace the Jacksons family back to Badagry, Special Adviser on Tourism at the Badagry Council, Hon. Prince Yomi Ajose gave account of his meeting with Marlon Jackson in Michigan, US, back in 1996. He stated that then it appeared as a haunch to the superstar’s elder brother, who said he strongly felt that his ancestry was from Badagry. He was to match his belief with action when he made a dramatic visit to Badagry in 2008.
At that visit, Jackson undertook to visit the infamous slave trade route. On getting to the Point of No Return, Prince Ajose recalled, “Marlon became hysterical beyond words. And at the spot where slaves were buried alive, where no grass or tree has grown ever since, Marlon completely broke down”. These manifestations became the first intimations that the Jacksons had their roots from Badagry. But beyond a possible DNA test to finally confirm this assertion, Prince Ajose also stated that with the consent of His Majesty De-Wheno Aholu Menu-Toyi, the Akran of Badagry, the oracle was consulted to resolve the Jacksons ancestral link.
It did; hence the Ajanemusan connection to Alaga at Egun.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Family Reunion’. For the people of Badagry, this year’s remembrance day is significant as it will reunite them with their long lost kinsmen, particularly Michael Jackson Ajanesan, whom Prince Ajose said had personally pledged to visit Badagry after the proposed London show, which did not materialise before he passed away in a heart-attack that is still shrouded in suspicious circumstances.
Now instead of receiving Michael Ajanesan in person to perhaps give further historical significance to the ancient sleepy town, it is only his yoko that will be received. But to Badagry people, such is life. Whether in death or alive, they are treating the event with so much emotional attachment, particularly the reunification with a part of the Diaspora.
The Badagry people are also thrilled that at last the Lagos State Government has finally recognised the historical and tourism significance of the town and was deploying resources to developing them. The long neglected ‘Slave Route’ will now receive attention and plans are underway towards developing it into an international resort and tourism centre. Work has started at the Marina Beach line. Lekki Beach Resort Limited, a sports and recreation developer has started work to transform it into a world class golf course.
The Jackson Ajanesan family is not left out either in this quest to turn international attention to this otherwise sleepy town with a lot of history behind it. With their Motherland Group Inc, USA, the Jackson Ajanesan family, according to Prince Ajose and Sunday Balogun, who represented the Badagry Local Council chairman, Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu, are partnering with the Lagos State Government to build the Badagry Historical Resort that will also include the Michael Ajanesan Museum, where memorabilia from the late superstar will be kept.
The Badagry Folk Festival will add colour to the commemorative event that is a collaborative work of Badagry Local Government, African Renaissance Foundation and Ijinla Tours. The Badagry Folk Festival will include activities such as Zangbeto festival in Ajido, Vothun festival in Ajara, Water Sports in Gbaji and Royal Carnival procession in Badagry will mark highlights of the celebration.
However, the traditional funeral rites for the late Michael Ajanesan will start on Saturday 22, 2009 starting from 6am. A candle light procession will commence at 9pm of the same day in memory of the slaves, who were forcibly taken away from their homelands to unknown destinations. The following day Sunday 23, a drama presentation Wailing from Badagry will be performed at the Badagry Town Hall from 3pm to end with a lecture on slave trade. The drama is the initiative of African Renaissance Foundation. The celebration will finally climax on Saturday 29, 2009 at the Badagry Grammar School playground with a cultural exhibition, musical performance and book presentation.
A statement from the council chairman read, “This year’s celebration christened ‘Family Reunuion’ is the 10th celebration since 1999 of this programme and it is dedicated to the repose of the spirit and soul of one of Africa’s legends Michael Joseph Jackson (Ajanesan), whose ancestors have their roots in Badagry and are spiritually attached to us. A mega tourist resort known as the Badagry Historical Resort will be constructed in Badagry by members of the Jackson’s family and some prominent African Americans. We are once again joining countries of the world in celebrating the UNESCO declared International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition (every August 23) with a series of activities including the Badagry Folk Festival”.
Prince Ajose lamented the long awaited development of the Slave Route in Badagry into a world heritage site. He stressed that while those in other parts of West African coastlines such as Ghana and Senegal had been developed and were contributing meaningfully to the economies of those countries, the one in Badagry, perhaps the most famous, was yet to enjoy similar status. The result being that the town is as impoverished as was possibly during the slave era. He maintained that the late realisation of the potentials of the Badagry Slave Route, and consequent action being taken to redress it were due to the nation’s reliance on oil as the sole foreign exchange earner for the country. He expressed happiness at the late attention the ancient town was enjoying from the international arena, saying that though long overdue, it would finally put Badagry at her rightful historical place.
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July 24, 2009
Marlon Jackson is in Nigeria (talks about Michael)
Filed under: Uncategorized — bhullarg24 @ 5:44 pm
Michael Jackson’s older brother Marlon was in Lagos, Nigeria, on Wednesday, July 22 and had an interactive session with journalists at the press centre of the International Airport. He was received by former Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) presidents, Tee Mac Omatshola and Bolaji Rosiji.
The event began with a short musical performance by Debina Abraham, a Michael Jackson impersonator and up-and-coming artiste who performed a song he had specially composed for the late pop icon.
Jackson, who was visibly still mourning, dressed in a yellow track suit and black shades, briefly expressed gratitude for the kind words and condolences shown his family. While speaking on the Badagry Historical Project, which he was working on, he revealed that his late brother had a special interest in it.
“Michael was interested in the Badagry project because he had never been to Nigeria and looked forward to the completion of the project because he wanted to come and see things for himself”.
He also added that it was imperative that the historical artefacts such as those in Badagry be preserved, so that the generation yet unborn will get an opportunity to appreciate the sufferings of our forefathers who were part of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
The Niger-Delta issue also came to the fore at the event and Jackson said he looked forward to a peaceful resolution of the crisis and was willing to meet with the Nigerian government and representatives of the Niger Delta militants, in order to reach an amicable understanding between both parties.
Tee Mac also intimated journalists of plans to stage a major charity concert which will be held on Michael Jackson’s birthday, August 29.
“It is going to be one of a kind African affair; a gathering of major African and Nigerian artists. It is basically to celebrate the life and achievements of one of the world’s greatest entertainers. Proceeds form the event will be channelled to major charities around the world as advised by Marlon.”
Tee Mac also added that the celebration will be an annual event.
When asked if his late brother had converted to Islam before his death during the Q&A session, Marlon said he wasn’t aware of that as all he knew was that his brother was a Christian until he died. He also hinted that the Jackson 5 had considered touring together once more before Michael’s untimely death. He said that what was primary to the Jackson family was to provide a secure future for his late brother’s children.
On circumstances surrounding Michael’s death, he said the family was not going to comment on that since the case was still being investigated.
The lingering PMAN crisis seems to be far from over as not only was the body absent at the event but all attempts by this reporter to get either Bolaji Rosiji or Tee Mac’s comment on why the body was not present at the gathering proved abortive.
Rosiji however said, “these are the kind of things PMAN should be doing but they are not here. When I was the PMAN president I used to organized a legends night, where we celebrated some of our late music icons like sunny okosuns and Oliver de Coque.”
Marlon left after about 20 minutes saying he had another appointment to catch up with. However Tee Mac hinted that Marlon will brief the press one more time before he leaves Nigeria.
“As you know my family is still mourning and hurting over the death of my brother and it is something that I will learn to live with. I want to tell a little story. I was here in May, 2009 and went back to the United States of America (USA) on May 14 and that same day, my family had a function for my mother and father and the entire family, including Michael Jackson, was there. That was the last time I saw my brother alive,” Marlon said.
Marlon added that Michael had promised him that he would come to Nigeria to see the project he is undertaking in Badagry.
His words: “He knew I had just come back from Nigeria and he asked what I went to do in Nigeria because he had never visited Nigeria and I told him about the historical Badagry project that we are doing in Nigeria and he felt the same way I felt; he felt that the project must be done because it is imperative that we understand what our forefathers and fore mothers went through.
“He looked forward to the finishing of the project because he wanted to come and see it and I assured him that we would get the project done. The only thing is that when we do finish this project he will not be there physically, but he will be there in spirit.”
Marlon also revealed that his organistaion, Study Peace Foundation, has resolved to wade into the Niger Delta crisis and negotiate peace between the militants and the Federal Government
According to him, the group, and managers of the Study Peace Foundation would work towards reaching a peaceful resolution on the Niger Delta crisis.
Another sibling of Michael Jackson has come forward to speak about the singer’s sudden death. Marlon Jackson recently told Jet magazine that he believes his brother is finally resting in peace. He admits it has been extremely tough to accept Michael’s passing, but credits prayer and his strong faith for helping him to understand it.
“That’s where I find my comfort because I really do feel that he’s at peace now,” said Marlon. “I feel in my heart that the Lord had to call Michael to come home because he had finished what he wanted him to do on planet Earth.”
He said the entire Jackson family is “still in a state of shock” because “none of us saw this coming.” But they are working though the pain to accept the loss of Michael.