Archive for August, 2014


August 29, 2014–Hear-Men-and-Fathers-from-Across-America-Talk-About-the-Million-Father-March–Men-an.html?soid=1101449490165&aid=fBNnGeBJeFw Att end One of the Best Back-to-School Parades in America
The 2014
Million Father March Parade
Saturday, August 30, 2014, 11:00 am
45th to 51st and Cottage Grove
Chicago, Illinois

Call 773.285.9600 for more information.
On Labor Day
September 1, 2014
6:00 am to 9:00 am CST
Tune in to WVON 1690-AM to hear
Men and women from all parts of America talk about the
Million Father March 2014
in their city and
the value of fathers in the lives
of their children

including a special interview with
Principal Kimberly Henderson
of Mollison Elementary School
Chicago, Illinois
as she discusses the exciting lessons and opportunities of the 2014-2015 school year for her students, parents and community
Monday, September 1, 2014
6:00 am central time
On WVON -1690 AM

Join us at 7:00 am Eastern; 6:00 am Central; 5:00 am Mountain; 4:00 am Pacific; 3:00 am Alaskan; 2:00 am Hawaiian. Call-In number at 773-591-1690
Listen to The Black Star Project’s
Internationally Acclaimed Radio Program
The Parent Revolution
Every Saturday on WVON 1690AM

Click Here to Tune In.
The Black Star Project thanks the Board of Directors of The Field Foundation of Illinois, the Board of Directors of Woods Fund of Chicago, Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Collins, Illinois State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford, Chicago Alderman Will Burns and Melody Spann Cooper of WVON for their generous support for our parenting programs. Fathers and Men!
Our Children Need You!

To meet The Black Star Project at Mollison Elementary School on Tuesday Morning at 8:10 am, September 2, 2014, at 4415 South King Drive, Chicago, Illinois, to welcome back the students of Mollison and to sign up to give 10 hours of service to our children this school year. Please call 773.285.9600 to let us know that you will be with us.
CDC Study Shatters Myth
about Black Fathers

Stacy M. Brown
August 13, 2014

(NNPA) – Terrence Morgan has heard the stories over and over. Black men are absent from their children’s lives. An African American woman stands more likely to be a single mom than any other race.
Morgan, 33, who has two sons, ages 6 and 4, lives in Southeast next door to a close friend who only sees his child once a week.
“I just couldn’t live peacefully without being active in my sons’ lives,” said Morgan, a medical assistant. “It’s in the inner-cities, all over the news, Black men abandon their children or Black women have to struggle alone. That’s just not me, though,” he said.
A 2012 federal government survey revealed that 15 million American children live in households without fathers; a stark increase over a 1960 study that showed just 11 percent lived in homes without a dad.
However, by most measures, Black fathers have proven to be just as involved with their children as other dads in similar living conditions – or more so – according to the latest study released in July by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics in Atlanta.
In fact, in its coverage of the study, the Los Angeles Times noted that the results, “defy stereotypes about black fatherhood,” because CDC officials found that African American dads are more involved with their children on a daily basis than fathers from any other racial group.
“Yes, there still are too many broken homes and too many fathers not living with their children, especially in the Black community. But it’s high time to put this myth about the absent Black father to rest.”
“In part, because I saw other fathers engaging their kids the same way.”
The CDC’s report further revealed that nearly half of Black fathers living apart from their young children said they played with them at least several times a week, 42 percent said they fed or dined with them that frequently, and 41 percent said they bathed, diapered or helped dress them as often – rates on par with or higher than those of other men living apart from their children.
Click Here to read Full Story

At the end of the day, the only thing Rochester does well is reinforce a socioeconomic caste system that keeps young black men and women at the bottom. Thanks to the district, they will have a good chance of being known to the criminal justice system.
By Michael Holzman
August 26, 2014

Michael Holzman
The Rochester City School District enrolls just under 30,000 students, 61 percent of whom are African American and 25 percent of whom are Latino. [There are approximate 10,000 school-aged white residents of the city, two-thirds of these are not enrolled in the city’s public schools.] Eighty-five percent of the district’s students are listed as “economically disadvantaged.”
In 2012-13 there were approximately twice as many students enrolled in ninth grade as in 12th grade because of a “gate” assessment at ninth grade.
This high ninth grade enrollment is common among schools and districts serving children living in poverty, nearly unknown in wealthy communities. The large number of children spending more than one year in ninth grade can both be attributed to a lack of academic achievement in earlier years and be said to be a factor leading to the absence of a high school diploma four years later.
In the 2011-12 school year, the turnover rate of teachers with fewer than five years of experience was 51 percent. The turnover rate of all teachers was 28 percent, double the state-wide average. In a typical Rochester school, comparatively few teachers are highly educated, few teachers new to teaching are in the classroom after their second year, few of any teachers after their fourth year.
Statewide, 31 percent of New York students reach the National Assessment of Educational Progress Proficient (grade level) status in eighth grade reading, and four percent reach the Advanced level. White students score at Proficient or above 46 percent of the time; black New York State students reach Proficient or above 18 percent of the time. The New York State Department of Education believes that the new Common Core tests begun in 2013 are now aligned with NAEP.
In the 2014 administration of these tests, 5.7 percent of all Rochester eighth grade students scored at grade level in reading, level 3 or above (up from 5.6 percent the previous year). This was the lowest percentage at grade level of any of the state’s large cities. Among white students, 12 percent reached level 3 and 8 percent reached level 4. Among black students, four percent reached level 3 and none reached level 4 (due to rounding, the combined levels 3 and 4 totaled five percent). For black male students, 3 percent reached level 3 and none reached level 4. The failure of the district to teach its black students to read and write by eighth grade is nearly total. Monroe High School is one of Rochester’s dropout factories.
It appears likely that only about one or two dozen male black Rochester school district graduates go on to receive Associate’s degrees each year and something on the same order, at most, receive Bachelor’s degrees. If we compare these educational outcomes for African American residents of Rochester to those for White residents of Monroe County (including Rochester) we can see that nearly four times the proportion of the latter as the former have attained education to the Bachelor’s degree level or above and that the proportions reverse for the populations without high school diplomas. It is not too much to say that a college education for Rochester residents is a white privilege.
The Rochester school district brings relatively few of its black students to grade level in reading in eighth grade. It graduates just over a quarter of them. A few dozen earn Associate’s degrees, a relatively few Bachelor’s degrees and above. Without those qualifications their opportunities for successful careers are quite limited, their chances of economic mobility beyond the station in life of their parents scant.
At the end of the day, the only thing Rochester does well is reinforce a socioeconomic caste system that keeps young black men and women at the bottom. Thanks to the district, they will have a good chance of being known to the criminal justice system.
Click Here to Read Full Story

Simeon Electricity Shop
Program Restored
State Senator Jacqueline Collins told CPS officials “if the program was not reinstated they should not come to Springfield asking for more money”.

Simeon Vocational Career Academy Local School Council Meeting By J. Coyden Palmer
August 23, 2014

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) officials announced Wednesday afternoon they will be reinstating the Electricity Shop Program at Simeon Vocational Career Academy after weeks of being under duress from community leaders, Black politicians, students and the Black media. According to the release, CPS will be partnering with Local Union 134, which has committed to offer jobs to students who complete the three-year electricity program at Simeon, the only program of its kind in the District.
“We are looking forward to helping train and recruit the next generation of electricians,” said Terry Allen, Business Manager for IBEW 134. “IBEW is committed to offering employment towards apprenticeship and helping Chicago’s next generation workforce find job security and a path to the middle class.”

In a Crusader exclusive on July 17, the newspaper broke the story when it learned the program had been terminated via the program’s teacher Latisa Kindred. CPS officials said the decision was made by Simeon principal Sheldon House.

“We are grateful for this partnership with IBEW that will provide our students with an opportunity to continue to learn valuable skills,” said CPS CEO Dr. Barbara Byrd-Bennett in a press release.

State Senator Jacqueline Collins, along with State Rep. Mary Flowers, LaShawn Ford and State Senator Donnie Trotter, pushed for the program to be reinstated. Collins told CPS officials if the program was not reinstated they should not come to Springfield asking for more money. She said this situation shows what can happen when citizens, local community news outlets and elected officials work together.

“We’re glad CPS took the advice of the Simeon alumni, students and parents and reinstated the program,” Collins told the Crusader via telephone Wednesday evening. “This is a lesson of what can be accomplished when the community works in conjunction with their legislators for a program that benefits us all.”

Kindred thanked the Crusader for notifying the public what was taking place and believes without the news story last month; the results would have been a lot different. She said she is excited to get back into the classroom and work with her students.

The three-year program will have the capacity to enroll 28 students each year, beginning in a student’s sophomore year. Students enrolled in the program last year are eligible to return. The electricity program is one of more than 40 different Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, which offers industry-focused coursework for high school students to pursue, in addition to required core courses.

Click Here to Read Full Story

Note: Electricians in IBEW 134 will earn $50.00 per hour in the next three years.
Help Send the Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word to The White House by Clicking Here.

As America struggles with death of several more young Black men by the hands of police in the past week and the death of hundreds of young Black men at the hands of other misguided young Black men, the Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word have risen above America! PICTURES
Top Row – Michael Brown, killed in Ferguson, Missouri; Eric Garner, killed in New York City, New York; and Trayvon Martin, killed in Sanford, Florida. Bottom Row – Jonathan Ferrell, killed in Charlotte, North Carolina; Oscar Grant, killed in Oakland, California; and Jordan Davis, killed in Jacksonville, Florida. ***************************************************************


August 29, 2014

For the Falconets, this victory is personal

AUGUST 26, 2014
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He pressed his head to my bosom. I looked down. I observed some tears rolling down his little cheek as we sat on the sofa watching Nigeria engage Germany in a game of skills and wits. Then, he said (as if I did not notice), “Daddy, Germany has scored”. And I replied, “Son, it is ok; there is still some time. It is not over yet”. With a pack of Nigerian and Canadian friends gathered and routing for the Falconets, we kept hope alive. Eventually, after an eventful 120 minutes, the Germans took the gold, and left Nigerians with the silver. Some silvers are more golden. As far as I can say, the Nigerian women team that showcased exceptional talent and indomitable resilience in the just-concluded 2014 FIFA U20 Women World Cup tournament in Canada was the best side throughout and in each game. Many footballers and fans know that victory is not an exclusive entitlement of the better side. It is a combination of many other factors beyond the latter’s control. For the game against the Germans, I would refrain from further remark on the quality of officiating and not play a sore loser. The Nigerian young women and their coaching crew are anything but losers. They are champions in heart, skill and conduct. When juxtaposed with the performance of the Super Eagles in the June 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the Falconets were simply exemplary, unassuming, courageous and adventurous. And it paid off, big time, each time, with convincing victories.

I am compelled to seize the moment to reflect on the ramifications of the victory of the Falconets. Here in Canada, their presence has been a powerful symbol of positive press and social mobilisation among Nigerians in the Diaspora, their Canadian spouses, friends and their children; and indeed the soccer-loving world. No amount of government sponsored self-serving image laundering could accomplish what the Falconets did for Nigeria within so short a time, and with astounding credibility. From Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Alberta and Quebec, despite the comparative poor traction that women football currently garners, the Diaspora Nigerians and Africans rallied around the Falconets as they came close to the domains. Nigerians remained loudest voices in support of their team, even in sparsely occupied stadia across Canada. As the tournament progressed and the Falconets came into solid reckoning, there was little effort required for mobilisation and support.

Canada is a hockey nation, and not a football-playing nation. But it has a strong profile in women football. When the Canadian side was edged out by Germany, it was then not a tough call where a unified loyalty should lie for Nigerian-Canadian families, who may have been split temporarily. The Falconets enjoyed undivided goodwill for the most part when Canada dropped out of contention. But it is presumptuous to claim that football has no traction in Canada. For both male and female football, a lot is going on in Canada. A careful observation through my personal network reveals that Canadian youths of Nigerian ancestry have a powerful presence in the football revolution that is gradually sweeping across the nook and cranny of the exceptionally vast country of Canada. So, the month-long presence and extraordinary showing of the Falconets in Canada was a powerful symbol of inspiration to a section of Nigerian youths from Toronto, Halifax, Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and elsewhere. In a way, the Falconets affirmed Nigerians’ undeniable credentials at home and in the Diaspora as Africa’s football powerhouse.

The solid performance of the Falconets could not have come at a better time. Before that victory, many Nigerians in Canada struggled to convince their curious and innocent interrogators that the experience of the over 200 abducted Chibok girls was not the norm. As much as the abduction was symptomatic of deviant and perverted religious extremism, most unknowing Canadians needed better evidence of how Nigeria treats its young female population. Thanks to the Falconets. This victory goes to remind us about the plight of the Chibok girls. It should help to re-fuel the #BringBackOurGirls campaigns that seem to have lost steam. Any of the Chibok girls could well have been in the line for the glorious expedition in victory and courage that the Falconets displayed in Canada for the whole world as worthy bearers of Nigerian banner; not as Boko Haram sex slaves.

While the tournament was going on, the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa (including Nigeria) attempted to becloud the gallant strides of the Falconets. Nigeria was again an ugly focus of unpleasant news. Canadian media was awash with reportage of quarantined suspected Ebola infected Nigerian returnees to Canada and elsewhere in the United States and Europe. It is telling to observe how the media would insist upon calling folk out as Nigerians when the news is negative while turning a blind eye to the “victims”’ other citizenships which are perhaps most appropriate in the given circumstance. Despite the pervasive trend in what I call immigration racism of the Ebola outbreak, the Falconets kept a positive media spotlight on Nigeria, which climaxed on Sunday, August 24, 2014, when they took the Golden Silver. It was a delight to be a witness to their extraordinary character and courage as a team, including the coaching crew. Their success reflects the enormous possibilities that lie within Nigeria’s national horizon despite our pathological inclination to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as a sage once observed.

On a more personal note, my little one overcame his tears and smiled along when he saw Nigerian, French and German women football players being called out for individual awards. I told him that they were all winners and that’s part of the reason we call football the beautiful game. Then, he asked me, “Who’s that man in a hat and suit with a long scarf?” I replied: “His name is Chief Ojo Maduekwe. He is Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Canada”. It was a positive optics, even though our President was in Germany when the Falconets took the Golden Silver in a stiff contest against the Germans. I wondered what he was doing that hour; how he felt.

•Oguamanam is a Law Professor, University of Ottawa, Canada. @chidi_oguamanam

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BLACK PEOPLE! — BLACK BOYS’4 KILLED BY POLICE LAST WORDS!– “Here Are 10 Images. By The Time I Reached The Third One, I Was Crying. By The 10th, I Was Furious.”-FROM UPWORTHY.COM

August 25, 2014 furious?c=upw1

Here Are 10 Images. By The Time I Reached The Third One, I Was Crying. By The 10th, I Was Furious.
Normally, a picture is worth a thousand words. I’d say each image here is worth millions of words. And millions of tears.


Our fact-checkers gave a thumbs-up to all the dates and ages above. But many of you, I’m sure, would like to know the backstories to the chilling images. Here they are.

John Crawford was holding a toy gun as he stood in the toy section of a Walmart. Before the police shot him to death in that same aisle, John managed to say, “It’s not real.” But it was too late for John.

Sean Bell was going to get married. One night, he was driving away from his bachelor party with his friends, Joseph and Trent. Suddenly, he hit a minivan. Four undercover police officers from the minivan began to shoot at them without warning, firing a total of 50 bullets at the three unarmed men. A wounded Joseph turned to Sean and said, “S, I love you, son.” Sean’s reply: “I love you, too.” Joseph and Trent survived, but their best friend, Sean, didn’t make it.

One of the witnesses in the Trayvon Martin trial, Rachel Jeantel, was on the phone with Trayvon moments before the scuffle with George Zimmerman that ended his life. One of the last things she heard the unarmed Trayvon say to the man who was following him with a gun that fateful night: “Why are you following me for?”

Michael Brown died August 2014. Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson shot him at least six times, twice in the head. Michael was not armed. His friend and eyewitness reported that Michael said: “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting.” Minutes later, he was on the ground, bleeding. Dr. Michael M. Baden, the man who did Michael’s autopsy, told the New York Times, “In my capacity as the forensic examiner for the New York State Police, I would say, ‘You’re not supposed to shoot so many times.'”

Amadou Diallo died right outside his own apartment in the Bronx. He was unarmed. Four police officers shot 41 bullets, hitting Amadou 19 times. Later, they claimed that they had mistaken Amadou for a serial rapist. That same day, some of the last words he said to his mother as he spoke over the phone were, “Mom, I’m going to college.”

Eric Garner died July 2014. He was unarmed. Police officers were trying to arrest him for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. Eric suffered from asthma, and as a police officer put his arm around Eric’s neck during the arrest, he managed to gasp, “I can’t breathe!” The New York City medical examiner’s office ruled Eric’s death a homicide, pointing out that the officer’s chokehold might have been a big factor.

Jonathan Ferrell had been in a traffic accident and was knocking on a homeowner’s door for help. He was unarmed. A video later used at the trial showed that when police officers approached him, Jonathan held his hands out in a non-threatening manner. The police officers never identified themselves. They fired 12 times, and 10 of those bullets hit him. Even as Jonathan lay on the ground, bleeding and dying from 10 gunshot wounds, the officers handcuffed him. Jonathan’s dead body remained handcuffed all the way to the medical examiner’s office.

Oscar Grant was on a subway train in Oakland when a police officer forced him out of the car and onto the subway platform. Oscar was lying down when a second police officer shot a bullet into his back. “You shot me! You shot me!” Oscar yelled before he died. That officer later testified that he meant to use his Taser on Oscar instead of his handgun. A court later ruled that the two had no legal reason to get Oscar — who was unarmed — off the train.

Kimani Gray was standing on a street in Brooklyn when police officers approached him. The officers claimed that when they approached Kimani, he pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at them. But one eyewitness, Tishana King, said Kimani never pointed a gun. She also said the police officers didn’t identify themselves when they approached. Police officers shot Kimani at least seven times, even though Kimani hadn’t shot a single bullet. One witness said some of Kimani’s last words were, “Please don’t let me die.”

Kendrec McDade died after a man called Oscar Carillo made a phony 911 call, telling police officers that he had just been the victim of an armed robbery. He later admitted that he had lied about the guns. The two officers eventually found Kendrec in an alleyway. They began shooting after Kendrec apparently moved his hands to his waistband. But Kendrec didn’t have a gun on him. All he had was a cellphone in his pocket. Court documents show that Kendrec’s last words were, “Why did you shoot me?”

Final fact check: All 10 of these men were black.

I’m forever thankful to Shirin Barghi for giving me permission to repost these graphics. You can follow her on Twitter and keep up with her on Imgur. Please check out the conversation #LastWords on Facebook and Twitter to see people chime in on these images. The thumbnail image is by Flickr user Shawn Semmler, used under Creative Commons license. It shows an Anonymous protestor at a demonstration in Ferguson, Missouri, where Michael Brown was shot dead in August 2014.

While there’s been a lot of talk about black men who have unjustly died at the hands of police officers, there have been many black women who also died from police brutality. You can read more about it in these articles at Role Reboot and Dame Magazine.

Andrea Garcia-Vargas

BLACK PEOPLE!–IFA HAS CURE FOR EBOLA!–“We Have Cure For Ebola- Traditionalists” | –FROM The Gazelle

August 25, 2014

We Have Cure For Ebola- Traditionalists
Respite appears in horizon for the treatment of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) as traditionalists on Friday, 15th August, 2014 claimed they have secured a cure to Ebola even as they asked citizenry to adhere to preventive measures.
The president of Traditional Religion Worshippers Association in Osun state, (TRAWSO) Chief Idowu Awopetu while addressing a press conference in Osogbo on the activities slated for the 2014 Isese Festival holding in Osogbo, said a liquid herbal medicine called “Epa” will cure Ebola.
According to Chief Awopetu, Ero (traditional antidote) and herbal soap would also go a long way in curing EVD maintaining that prevention is better than cure.
While urging the public to be wary of whom they shake, touch and what they eat, Awopetu argued no honest Nigerian would suffer from Ebola Virus Disease adding that only those who had erred against the gods had died from Ebola.
On how they got the claimed cure for Ebola, Chief Awopetu argued that the oracles revealed the cure to Ifa worshippers calling on Nigerians to be prayerful and adhere strictly to the tenets of the traditional religion.
He said there are one thousand and one disease on earth saying that “Sonponan” is Ebola.
Awopetu also claimed that the cure the traditionalists sought for HIV/AIDS has helped in reducing the scourge maintaining that the oracle has also revealed the cure to Ebola.
The TRAWSO president while disclosing that the three day Isese Day event will hold in Osogbo between Monday August 18 and Wednesday 20, 2014 said it was expected to attract 10,000 worshippers from the state, Nigeria, Europe and America.
He then called on the state government to put necessary machinery in motion for the take off of the teaching of Ifa religion in the state public primary and secondary schools and also for the state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola to inuagurate Traditional Religion Board in the state.


August 20, 2014


August 18, 2014

On 8/18/14, yeyeolade wrote:
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> 17.Aug.2014 DISQUS_COMMENTS Lanre Adewole
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> I celebrated Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s re-election, possibly to his > consternation, if he got to know, and his supporters’, who are always > riled by my constant critical appraisal of his administration and > political activities. To the governor, despite being a younger > brother, I was an enemy. Weeks to his re-election, he laid into me at > the launch of Professor Wale Adebanwi’s book in Lagos. The > condescension in the public upbraid reeked revenge. I spent the night > of the day “working” his re-election. Yes, I collaborated with some of > his own to do “covert campaign”. Campaigns everywhere cost time, money > and energy. Mine was not an exception. I have strong commitments of > those involved not to breathe an air of it to him. What I did would > also not be of public knowledge until his exit, God willing, in 2018. > He, however owes me nothing, because he sent me, on no errands. > ADVERTISEMENT
> Yes, my support for him was partly clannish, but not
> ethnically-periscopical. He loves governance. He has passion for > leadership. He is ambitious to be a legend in public service. Even > when he is not going in the right direction, he is always in a hurry > to deliver. Because he loves to dare, I was convinced he could be > different.
> But I refused to be persuaded to turn this space to his mega-phone. It > was and still is, the only avenue to tell him hurtful truth anytime > his hurrying holes a gulf between him and the led. God willing, > nothing will change for the next four years, because he must be helped > to finish strong. The grossly-miscontrued, stomach-rumbling > three-series “Before Osun Falls” was to save him from himself. >
> First message for Mr. Governor, don’t be too quick to lock down names > on enemy-list. Your supposed enemies, particularly in PDP, won > re-election for you. Sycophants would always be around you, racing > your endorphin, the feel-good hormone. But it would be fool-hardy to > believe them that O’this, O’that alone got you re-elected. Information > at my disposal says five local governments were won for you by PDP > “renegades”, excellent outing in another three local governments was > also due to fifth columnists within opposition fold, particularly > those who could not swallow Iyiola Omisore’s candidacy but didn’t want > to defect and the required two-thirds, in another two local > governments. The mathematics of all these not being part of your > votes, is obvious.
> You said to me during the Lagos encounter that because I am younger in > age, I wasn’t qualified to critique your acts in government. Without > necessarily re-opening old wounds, the education reform that nearly > cost your job, was hewed by an Octogenarian Nobel Laureate. Those who > modified the acceptable version were of perceivable inferior intellect > and younger in age. If the mindset that received my admonitions, was > same upon which aides’ counsel were poured in the past, the time for > change is now.
> Sir, it is cool to be working “the enigma” concept with aides, but > making those lower in status and age, feel worthless, won’t be the way > to go. I am sure the governor will appreciate his own better now, > because bits of that victory belonged to different efforts. Being a > studious person, given to logic, the governor must have by now, done > an objective analysis of the election figures. If the winning > percentage is a measure of the projected awesome performance of the > governor, then something would be amiss. It is either that performance > is over-hyped or not totally appreciated by the people. That means > there are things to be done differently but the good news is the > spread of the winning votes, which would translate into proportionate > governance delivery across the state. Without impugning the person of > the first runner-up, a lesser baggage-laden candidate with humility to > woo offended party members, could have possibly consigned the governor > to the “parallel government” option. I say this because of those who > would keep singing “Aregbesola ma basere lo (keep doing things same > way). Apart from Osogboland and Ijesaland, other areas where the > governor had impressive figures, had obvious imprints of last-minute > beautiful brides, courted to divorce PDP. He should find out why O’ > Performance was not enough in those places. In the build-up to the > election, he was badly lacerated with religion, capital-flight, debt > profile, school re-classification, public service welfare and > comportment horse-whip.
> Infact, it was a last-minute snatching from Omisore’s jaw. His subdued > visage the day after the election, is a testament to a victory forged > on the altar of compromise, bending backward and forward, sensible > sacrifices and humbling letting-go. That is why political promises > made in the heat of re-election moments should be fully redeemed > because one may run to the same shelter twice to escape being soaked. > I know commitments to heavyweights like Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Isiaka > Adeleke, Fatai Akinbade (Aregbesola did not win his Olaoluwa LG for > free), Olubunmi Etteh et al, would alter APC’s equations
> substantially, but the outcome of Kayode Fayemi reneging on Ayo Fayose > senatorial promise, should communicate enough lessons.
> A pre-election poll put Aregbesola ahead of his party in popularity. > It means any other candidate would perform below his average > performance in the election. Does this communicate anything to APC > about its future in the South-West? It is now getting down to > personalities and not platforms. It should guide Aregbesola as APC > leader in picking candidates for other elections in the state in 2015. > The party may be also headed for a worsting in Yorubaland in 2015 if > internal democracy is not embraced.
> Aregbesola may consider it an impunity for a younger brother to > counsel him on governance but he would have no choice in the next four > year because I have a vote to protect. It was my aged mother’s. She > got out by 7:13 am to vote him. May I also remind him that only > genuine brothers speak the truth to one another.
> —


August 18, 2014


August 17, 2014


August 17, 2014

POLYGAMY IN NIGERIA-“I won’t advise anyone to have more than one wife –OJB Jezreel”–BUT HE MARRIED 3!–FIND OUT WHY!–FROM PUNCH NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

August 13, 2014 have-more-than-one-wife-ojb-jezreel/

I won’t advise anyone to have more than one wife –OJB Jezreel


OJB Jezreel
Music Producer, Babatunde Okungbowa popularly known as OJB Jezreel, tells ‘Nonye Ben-Nwankwo about his health challenges and why he is married to three wives

City People Entertainment recently honoured you, would you know why it decided to celebrate you?

I think the organisers felt if you have been in business for over 20 years, you deserve to be celebrated. I am not the only one, we are many.

So you have really clocked 20 years in the industry just like that?

I have actually clocked 28 years.

Even before you had the health challenge, you were at the background for some time, nothing much was heard about you. Could it be because the younger ones came and overtook you?

It had nothing to do with the younger ones coming to overtake me. Even if you look at it like that, my prints are still in the younger generation’s works. They all passed through me. My influence is crested in that generation. It had nothing to do with my health. I had to take a breather. I had to be away from activities. You have to reinvent yourself. It mustn’t be work all the time. You have to reinvent your personality and your general persona. I was losing weight as well and I had to work on my weight. That was part of what happened then.

The younger ones also came and changed the face of music, how would you rate the crop of producers we have now?

I am happy with the trend of things. It shows we did our home work well. We have given birth to new generation and new sound. At a point, we were like that. It is an age thing. The older they get, the more they would want to redefine the music. Also look at the way the economy is, people just want something fast. It is affecting music and that is why the current type of music can’t last.

Your latest song, Not Afraid, was it released based on the health challenges you had?

Funny enough, I had done that song even two or three years before the health issues came up. It was just like a prophecy. The older you get, the more you become realistic with life. That was a stage in my life when I was known and popular yet I struggled to pay the rent. When I released the song, so many people said I was talking to them. Celebrated and popular people confided in me they could relate with the song because they were having such issues.

But how come you weren’t able to pay your rent?

The bottom line is that when you come out as an artiste and you don’t ‘blow’ immediately, you have to climb the ropes. But even when you are so popular, it doesn’t mean that you are earning the money that is equated to the popularity. You find that it is hope on hope. But I am here now, I own my property and it is a different ball game entirely. At that time, it was just hustling. People would shout OJB, OJB but really, the OJB behind was nothing.

Regarding your health, how are you feeling at the moment?

I would say that I am a lot better than how I was last year. But post surgery experience is different in different people. Some people get lucky and they don’t experience anything mega. But I have had some ups and downs. But those are just challenges that when you weigh them, they are still better than what they were last year.

Your ill health generated a lot of publicity, wouldn’t you have preferred nobody heard that you were ill?

As a person, I would have loved it if it was quiet. But when you think of the fact that I am alive today, I don’t really care about the publicity. Things happened that shocked me and those things showed the power of the brand. People printed T-shirts and were selling them to raise funds for OJB. People from all over the world were contributing. I didn’t even realise the brand was this big. I think the publicity has two ends to it. I learnt the humble way. You have to let go of your ego. My daughter was sick before then and we needed to raise $50, 000. I didn’t tell anybody to raise it for me, I raised it myself.

What was wrong with her?

She had heart disease. We didn’t beg anybody for that. It is not so easy for a man to sit back and people contributing money for his health. But after this experience, I realised that the ego should be forgotten. Life is better to be saved than ego.

Some people may have thought the fund raiser was a quick way of enriching yourself…

Well, at the end of the day, we came out and said people should stop contributing because we had got what we wanted. If we had wanted to turn it to a money spinning thing, nobody would have known. The governor of Rivers State, (Rotimi) Amaechi, didn’t want anybody to know that he completed the money for us. So we could still have gone ahead to collect more money from people because more people were ready to give. But we had to stop. The essence was life. I will categorically tell you that we didn’t make anything extra. If we had made so much, I wouldn’t be staying in Surulere (Lagos), I would have moved out and bought the latest car.

Would it be correct to say you now have more affection for the wife that donated her kidney to you more than the others?

Definitely. In fact, affection is not even the word to use. I don’t even know what to say. She just did it. It wasn’t as if she was supposed to do it. I was shocked. I just look at her and I don’t say a word. I am not the kind of person who feels that she must donate her kidney because I am her husband, no. Such decisions should come naturally. Right now, I have more than affection for her.

Your health challenge opened up a whole lot about your personal life; most people didn’t even know you had more than one wife and may be still counting…

I have reached the bus stop, there is no other wife coming.

Was it by choice or design that you have three wives?

It is everything. But predominantly, I think it is by design. Some people believe in destiny while some others don’t. I think it was destined to happen. I believe in destiny. I don’t think I would have survived it if it weren’t destined to be. People get shocked that I have three wives because I don’t live like somebody who has three wives. Come to think of it, there is no particular way to live life. Am I supposed to wear three shirts because I have three wives? I don’t even advise people to have three wives and when I talk about it, they are shocked.

But you married three?

Oh yes I did. When I was growing up, I even said I was not going to get married. I said I would just have children. But see, it is not the same story now. I just feel it is destiny.

Don’t you regret it?

There is no regret. Initially, you would tell yourself that if you had one wife, this would have happened or that would have happened if you didn’t. But then again, you have to check and understand that life is in stages. I am appreciating life the way it is. Out of the marriages, I have eight beautiful children. When I look at them, I am happy. They are my investment.

Still on your health back then, was there a time you lost hope?

There was a time I felt I wouldn’t come up with the money. The risky thing about raising funds is that you still have current expenses you have to service. When I saw what was coming in, I felt this is where God wanted me to be. I felt I had done my bit and that was it. I started thinking of how my property would be shared. Even when the funds were coming in, I still lost hope somehow.

Did friends desert you during the health crisis?

To a large extent, it happened but I think it happened because of misconception. The impression they had was that I was capable of taking care of myself. It was just a perception. When the reality dawned on them, they started to come back at the last minute. But then, we had raised what we wanted.

So what are you doing at the moment?

It is still music. I will drop a single soon featuring Ice Prince. I have another one with J Martins. This is just what I do. I don’t intend to dust my certificate and go to the bank. It has always been music except when I was a primary school teacher. I taught for one year.

You stayed in the UK for a long time, why did you come back to Nigeria?

It was a case of having a burning idea that I needed to express. I couldn’t penetrate in the UK industry because I wasn’t part of the setting. I had so many ideas. I felt if I came back home, I would express the idea better. I was inspired.

When did the big break come?

So many people felt it was with Tuface’s African Queen. But no. it was the biggest job but the break came when I was able to produce songs that could be played alongside foreign songs. The first song they played alongside foreign artistes’ was from a group called TF. Nobody even knows them. That was in 1994/1995.

Before now, some people felt you carried on airs around you…

That would be strange. I have never been known for arrogance. There are some producers who are on top of their game and you need to see the way they are introduced when they are about to enter a club. I didn’t have such airs. There was no need. By the time we made it, we had even become grown men, we even had families. So it wasn’t like that at all.

Was it fame that made you to marry three wives?

I don’t think it has anything to do with fame. There are people without fame yet they married more than three wives. Those people are not even rich. I think it is destiny; there is no other way to explain it.

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