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CLASSmagazine: QueenKay Anadu-Amamgbo on new book, remarrying and moving on

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CLASSmagazine and USAfricaBOOKS Series on new Writers and Artistes • www.USAfricaonline.com

QUEENKAY: MY WORLD. QueenKay Anadu-Amamgbo on new book, love and moving forward.

Interview by Dr. Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher, USAfrica & CLASSmagazine, Houston:

Congratulations on your first book to  be released in a few days, this August 2011. Please tell the readers of USAfrica and CLASSmagazine about what motivated the writing of the book, The Reconstruction and
Transformation of QueenKay?

QueenKay: After losing my husband of 6 years Charles Amamgbo in 2007 to bone marrow cancer here in the U.S, I felt empty; like my life was over. He was my life and I didn’t know where to start. During the last 3 plus years of grieving, I couldn’t help but reflect on the past and deal with some unanswered questions to tie lose ends to my life. It gave me a chance to look at the timeline of my life and where I was headed and where I started. I felt like this would be not just a healing experience for me but also for others.

Chido: Did you , shall we say, exhale… and what did writing the book do in that regard?
Yes, I did exhale and continue to exhale. The book helped me deal with a lot of issues which needed to be faced. I cried a lot during the process and felt a lot of relief. Sometimes, when I would read over a passage, it would be as though the things described happened to someone else.
It was cathartic.

Chido: How hard or easy is it to write especially a book?
I have so much respect for writers of any kind. This book was extremely difficult to write. It was emotional and I had to work myself up sometimes to keep going.

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Chido: You are driven and work very many parts to be and remain successful. What is success for you? Success for me is simple. When I derive joy from doing what I am passionate about, constantly improving myself and reinventing the way I approach things. When someone tells me, “Just seeing the way you have held up, run your business and raise your sons, inspires me” That to me is a sign of success. It’s relative.
Chido: What inspires you to success?
Love. passion. The desire to make a difference.

Chido: You have described yourself as a “Mother, Multi-faceted Entrepreneur, writer, dreamer, do-er, hard worker, positive, joyful, peaceful, fun loving, carefree, kind hearted, very optimistic and enthusiastic…” What and who else is Queenkay?
I am still under construction and in transformation. I know there is a lot more I am learning about myself. For now I will say, I am truly at peace and loving this journey I am embarking upon. I would say I lived before now but now I am living in High Definition.

You are versatile and creative and stylish and business savvy. How do you balance all those with raising two energetic, very young boys?
Wow! Thanks for acknowledging that it is a balancing act. I am grateful to have my mum here with me who is my backbone and helps me with a lot more than raise the boys. I am riding on God’s grace because I believe in my spirit, he is looking out for us. These boys mean the world to me. I loved their dad with a love unimaginable and I love them even more knowing that I have to be dad and mum at least for the time being. I want the best for them and to give the best, you have to be the best. I push them so hard because I know that they have seeds of greatness waiting to be fertilized and I don’t want them to waste a moment of their lives not living up to their full potential. The stylish aspect is a work in progress. Business has always been in my DNA, it just needed an outlet to flow through. I’m passionate about creating things. If it becomes a business venture, then even better. But the passion has to be there. Right now, I have so many channels it is flowing to and from. I feel blessed.
Chido: What motivated you to become a writer?
I never thought when growing up, I would write professionally although in retrospect, I was always writing. I was more of an artist and through art, I expressed my innermost feelings without feeling or caring if I was judged or not. When I look at it all, there is so much more writing, art and creativity in me than I can imagine. Writing allows me to express myself in ways that speaking or sketching may not be able to. It challenges me to express words in a way the reader feels alive with the words and can relate to every word I am saying almost like a synchronized dance.

Assess the reading habits of the Nigerian and African communities.
I think Nigerians and African Communities are great at academia. But reading for pure knowledge or novels is becoming extinct. I remember as a young girl everyone I knew read. I had no choice but to read too. Most people I know read quick articles if any and get their information from the television and the internet. I still have a few friends who love to engage in a good book every now and then. But perhaps it’s because we don’t have a lot of younger generation writers that broke barriers like Chinua Achebe. But I am beginning to see a new wave of Nigerian Writers from back home and abroad that are bringing our various stories to life in this new technological age.
Chido: Who are mentors, favorite artistes and writers?
My mum would be my number 1 mentor. A woman of substance, character and resilience. She raised us as a single-mother and we all turned out very well. She gave me strength as a child to see that I could do the impossible even when I didn’t have a word for it. I have a lot of people in the arts I look up to for various reasons, to mention them and the impact they have made would be a whole new interview.
Since I have lived in America, the catalyst for pushing myself to my fullest potential would have to be Ms. Oprah Winfrey. Others that have inspired me in their fight against injustice and inhumane treatment are Fela, Mandela, Martin Luther King. As far as writers, Growing up, I read Chinua Achebe’s books, which examined my culture and what we were dealing with especially with the advent of colonization. I read Cry Freedom a book by Donald Woods about the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.
Somehow, I have always been drawn to stories like that. I also admire those who have gone before me to make it easier to tell my story. I still read a lot. One of my new Favorite books is the profoundly written The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I also love non-fiction with elements of romance, drama, mystery, suspense and action in it. I enjoy reading books by Nicholas Sparks and on the Political Genre, I loved Obama’s Audacity of Hope. It dared me to dream.

Chido: Share with us a brief bio-sketch/profile of you. My full names are Nkem Ifeoma Nneka. When I was kid everyone called me KayKay. When I got older my added names were names of women of strength: Queen, Queen of Sheba. I was born in Columbia in Missouri in 1974. I’m a mother of two young boys, Chika and Lota, a multi-faceted entrepreneur, writer, enthusiast, and optimist.  I moved to the United States from Nigeria when I was 18-years-old.  After living in the Washington, DC area for a few years, I relocated to Los Angeles, California. My desire to realize my creative passions led me to seek opportunities in Hollywood. Before any of those goals took off, I took a detour, to follow my heart’s pathway… falling in love and getting married….

Chido: To say that you have been dedicated to the years of healing from the pains of your loss of your late, very young husband will be a polite summary. You practically refused  to allow a ventilation into the future. What informed that position, after several years?
I will be the first admit that I didn’t think it was possible that any man could possibly get my attention after Emeka passed. But, I know he wouldn’t want me to be grieving for ever. I am open to the possibilities that life brings but I am also fragile (after such a big loss) and wouldn’t want anyone to ruin what I have built with my sons but rather enhance it and love me unconditionally regardless of “Queenkay”.
Chido: A few days ago, the first week of August, I saw on your facebook page, you announced a new beginning…what’ s that all about, why, who and wherefore…?
The New beginning I was referring to is the journey that the release of this book will take me. No man in the picture yet. My life is full and I am overjoyed with where I am so far. If for some reason I never get married again, I would not be disappointed because the 10 years I knew Emeka, where like a lifetime. Some people married for 50 years may never experience that. If I were to be blessed again, I would thank God forever. For now, I am loving life and living it like I said, in HD.

Chido: Remarkably too, on the cover of your new book, you have a wedding gown on at a construction site in the Oakland Bay area (I hope my reading of the background environment is right). You are sending another complex message. Can you tell us; rather, would you tell us?
Well, Look at it this way. I was a young woman in love when I got married. No woman marries with a back up plan, “well, if he dies, I can marry my high school sweetheart” But when we take those vows, we should seriously consider the magnitude of the words. “In Sickness and in Health”. My husband was sick and I stood loving by his side until his last breath. I took on the role of a man and with my construction gear, I broke a lot of ground. I have a dual role now, to be a feminine loving mother and to be firm with my boys so they grow up to be strong young men. I am forging ahead like the winds are beneath me, pushing me farther than I can think or imagine. The wedding dress says, “look, I am a woman, soft and gentle, but if I have to be strong and do what I have to do, I will step up to the plate” Life is full of complexities and challenges. We have to rise to the occasion.
Chido: Are you remarried, remarrying or …Who’s privileged…?
No. I’m not in a relationship and of course not married yet. I will if Mr. Real steps up to the plate. No suitable suitor in the picture, but I am very optimistic.
Chido: One wish…
That I will live life to the fullest potential possible. We are all born with seeds of greatness, I want mine to grow beyond my wildest imaginations.
Chido: One regret, or what you would do differently? I think I would have preferred to have flowed more in life and not to have fought for everything I wanted.  Besides that, I am happy with the choices I have made so far.
Chido: Your favorite artiste/singer/group? I love love love music. I love music from my father’s generation to current. Favorite Genre includes, Jazz, Afro beat, Afro Pop, African High life, R & B, Hip Hop, soul, reggae, rock. The singers or performers are too many to name any. We can start with these few, Hugh Masekela, Whitney Houston, JZ, Elton John, P-Squared, Awilo, Fela, Celine Dion, Alicia Keys…it goes on & on. I especially love lyrics that move me to think deeper about love & life.
Chido: Thanks
No, I should Thank you for the opportunity. I feel honored that you want to feature my book on your USAfrica multimedia networks and CLASSmagazine. May God continue to expand your networks and give you favor. Amen. ©USAfrica 2011. E-mail: Chido247@Gmail.com. Wireless: 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Ike chikwem

    August 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I AM QUITE IMPRESSED WITH THE DISPLAY OF INTELLIGENC, HUMANNESS,OPENNESS AND DOWN -TO-EARTH TOUCH TO LIFE BY ALL IN THIS SCENERIO. LIFE IS PRECIOUS AND MUST BE LIVED TO THE FULLEST.

  2. Mbabbaoye

    August 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Proud of you Nkem Ifeoma Nneka!!!

  3. Nweke Chike

    August 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    great interview..Good job Chido
    Chike Nweke http://www.lifeandtimesmagazine.com

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AFRICA

World SOCCER SHOWDOWN: South Africa backs Morocco; U.S under pressure

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  • USAfricaonline.com  •  @Chido247  @USAfricalive

“It is an old myth that Africa doesn’t have the capacity, and naysayers should stop using the political argument. Africa hosted the best Fifa World Cup ever and with good support, Morocco can emulate South Africa,” said the SAFA president Jordaan.

Johannesburg – South Africa Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan has promised Morocco that South Africa will give its unqualified support to secure another World Cup on the African continent in 2026.

Morocco is vying to stage the world’s biggest football prize against a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

The Moroccan delegation comprises ex-Senegal and Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf and former Cameroonian goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell.

Jordaan said it would be great for Africa to have a second bite of the World Cup cherry, adding Morocco’s bid was Africa’s bid.

Jordaan assured Morocco that he would personally lobby for the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) and the rest of the continent to rally behind the Moroccans.

In his remarks, Antoine Bell said Morocco had all the ingredients to host another spectacular World Cup.

“South Africa showed the way and I am confident Morocco will follow suit. The country has international standards, from the stadiums to top infrastructure. Morocco can compete with the best in the world,” he said.

By giving Morocco its support, South Africa’s voice would make all the difference on the continent, Bell said.

“When South Africa talks on the continent, the rest of the continent listens hence it is vital for South Africa to support Morocco. South Africa has the experience and Morocco will use this experience to win the 2016 bid,” added Bell. African News Agency

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AFRICA

USAfrica: Catholic priest Etienne killed by militia in DR Congo, after a wedding mass

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  •  @USAfricaLIVE

Goma – A Catholic priest was found shot dead hours after he said mass in Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive North Kivu province, a member of the church told AFP.

“Father Etienne Sengiyumva was killed [on] Sunday by the Mai Mai Nyatura (militia) in Kyahemba where he had just celebrated a mass including a baptism and a wedding,” father Gonzague Nzabanita, head of the Goma diocese where the incident occurred, told AFP.

The Mai Mai Nyatura are an armed group operating in North Kivu, in eastern DRC.

Nzabanita said Sengiyumva, 38, had had lunch with local faithful before “we found him shot in the head”.

North and South Kivu provinces are in the grip of a wave of violence among militia groups, which often extort money from civilians or fight each other for control of mineral resources.

Last week unknown assailants kidnapped a Catholic priest in North Kivu, demanding $500 000 for his release.

Eastern DRC has been torn apart by more than 20 years of armed conflict, fuelled by ethnic and land disputes, competition for control of the region’s mineral resources, and rivalry between regional powers.

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AFRICA

USAfrica: Nigeria’s LOOTERS LIST and Buhari’s selective corruption targets. By Majeed Dahiru

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PDP vs APC Looters List and Buhari’s selective corruption targets

By Majeed Dahiru

Special to USAfrica {Houston] • USAfricaonline.com • @USAfricaLive

 

Timipriye Silva, a former governor and PDP chieftain, who became a founding member and financier of APC, had his corruption charges quashed by a federal high court and Buhari’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to appeal the N19.5 billion fraud case.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to Nigeria’s First and Second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, the PDP appointed former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from [Buhari’s Information Minister] Lai Mohammed’s list.

For a party that has been accused of destroying Nigeria by squandering accrued oil revenues estimated at over $500 billion in sixteen years, it is confounding that Lai’s list is not only exclusively comprised of PDP looters but also captures the last two years of PDP’s last lap in power and included just Goodluck Jonathan’s associates, who supported him against candidate Buhari, while also relating only to funds used in the last electioneering campaign of the PDP.

Whenever the obviously abysmal performance of the Muhammadu Buhari administration appears to be gaining sustained attention, and leading to murmuring within the rank and file of his supporters, a tale of humungous looting by opposition elements is usually spun and thrown into the public space to distract people away from the core issue of the failure of governance.

Like a fit of deja vu, the recently unveiled list of looters by Lai Mohammed, a fellow who comes across as more of President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief propagandist than a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria in charge of information and culture, didn’t come as a surprise. The list is all too familiar as the unveiling was a summarised rehash of politically exposed individuals who are members of the opposition party, close associates of former President Goodluck Jonathan, particularly his appointees in government, who have been named and shamed several times in well-coordinated media trials.

First on Lai’s list is Uche Secondus, the chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Lai had this to say of Secondus: “On the 19th of February 2015, he took N200 million only from the office of the NSA”. An unidentified former financial secretary of the PDP was similarly accused of “taking” N600 million from the same office of the National Security Adviser. Lai Mohammed also re-revealed that frontline member of PDP and media mogul, who deployed his media power to promote Goodluck Jonathan by de-marketing the Buhari candidacy in the run up to 2015 presidential election, Raymond Dokpesi, is on trial for “taking” N2.1 billion from the office of the then NSA. Lai also reminded Nigerians that his shouting match and former spokesman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh is on trial for “collecting” N1.4 billion from the same office of the NSA.

Lai Mohammed’s expanded follow up list included the usual suspects – former ministers, PDP state governors, service chiefs, presidential aides, associates and family members of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who were collectively accused of looting Nigeria of close to $2.1 billion through the office of the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.).

The choice of words like “took” and “collected” deployed by Lai to describe the manner in which those named received these monies was deliberate for the maximum effect of propaganda, portraying the accused persons as looters who broke into NSA vault and catered away boxes of cash at something akin to a gun point.

While the clamp down on PDP looters who supported Goodluck Jonathan and are still members of the former ruling party has been heavy handed, others who decamped from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the eve of the 2015 elections and supported candidate Buhari’s campaign with their share of loot have been forgiven. For example, former NSA, Sambo Dasuki is being treated as an apostate for his role in the disbursement of funds that were used to oil Goodluck Jonathan’s electioneering effort. He has been kept in detention illegally and in defiance of several judicial rulings. Judging by the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption standard of an accusation being tantamount to guilt, in clear contempt of court proceedings by the resort to the naming and shaming suspects even before investigations and criminal prosecution are concluded and convictions obtained, it becomes curious that Lai’s list didn’t reveal any new name. Rather some names were either missing or omitted from what is a familiar list. This appears so because the bulk of PDP bigwigs who “destroyed” Nigeria in sixteen years of national rule are firmly in control of the APC, from its elected national executives to the National Assembly and appointed members of the federal executive council. The majority of APC-elected governors were also former members of the PDP. Even recently decamped PDP members to APC, such as Musiliu Obanikoro and Sulivan Chime, who have been prominently named and shamed in the recent past, were conspicuously missing from the released list of looters.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to the first and second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, a former PDP appointed managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from Lai’s list. Also missing on that list is Bola Shagaya.

Arguably one of Africa’s richest women, with a reputation for close business and political ties to all first families in the past two decades, Bola Shagaya was exceptionally close to the Goodluck Jonathan family. Often described as a bosom friend of former first lady Patience Jonathan, she has been accused, in numerous instances, allegedly, of acting as Patience Jonathan’s front for the laundering of illicit money estimated at over N13 billion, while engaging in other fraudulent activities involved in state capture. All that may be in the past now as she has found her way back to reckoning with the marriage of her son, Seun Bakare to Damilola, the daughter of Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo. Little wonder then, Bola Shagaya’s name is not on Lai’s looters list.

In a clear display of the arrogance of ignorance, the Buhari administration has narrowed its war on corruption to the hounding of members of the Jonathan administration, other individuals and organisations that were known to have worked against the emergence of the President [Buhari] in the 2015 presidential elections. This is clearly evident in the selective nature of the current anti-corruption effort.

The tone of generalisation of the PDP as the problem of Nigeria, as an indicator of corruption, should make all members of PDP (both former and present) and their collaborators in other parties guilty, hence qualifying them for naming and shaming, while being liable for criminal prosecution.

Therefore, Buhari’s list of looters is devoid of integrity, because his selective war on corruption is indicative of corruption in itself. All that is required of a former PDP looter is to get baptised into APC and profess Buhari as the saviour of Nigeria. This is precisely responsible for the failure and ineffectiveness of the war on corruption. Nothing has changed as the current APC looters continue to loot Nigeria, while the redeemed former PDP looters continue to enjoy their loot in hibernation under the abundant grace of the infallible Buhari.

• Dahiru is based in Abuja 

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