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Prof. Chinua Achebe says highlife legend"Osadebewas a priest"
Exclusive and Special to USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com,AchebeBooks.com, CLASSmagazine and The Black BusinessJournal
Prof. Chinua Achebe, novelist, poet, essayist and critic theauthor of the most widely-read book in modern African literature,ThingsFall Apart, has described the departed highlife music legend ChiefOsita Osadebe as "an artiste who played music with a message andmission."
Osadebe (in picture, right) lived as one of Africa's longest anddurable great talents. He played, sang and released melodious songssince 1956 until 2005.
Osadebe who hailed from Umuekeke in Atani, Ogbaru Local GovernmentArea of Anambra State was born in 1936. His family announced that hepassed on Friday May 11, 2007 and burial is set for this week.
Achebe, author of several landmark works told Houston-basedUSAfrica and CLASSmagazine Publisher Chido Nwangwu in an exclusiveinterview on Wednesday February 6, 2008 that "Osadebe was a priestwho used words and sounds. He lived like any of the greatestmusicians who are prominent in any culture; he lived as a greatmusician who used music to reach people in order to improve theirlives and make them happy. He had message for people to reflect upon.He had deep message in his music as much as he provided music forcelebration and be merry."
USAfrica (characterized by The New York Times as the largest andmost influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedianetworks) will on August 8 and 9, 2008 celebrateAchebe and 50 Years of his masterpiece THINGS FALL APART'' during the15th Anniversary of USAfrica's pioneering multimedia leadership ofthe bi-continental interests of Africans andAmericans. see www.USAfricaonline.com/usafrica15.html
By CHIDO NWANGWU
Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston
USAfricaonline.comand CLASSmagazine and The Black BusinessJournal
(First written on March 1, 2002, for USAfrica, updated for Prof.Achebe's 74th Birthday tribute on November 16, 2004, and published inCLASS magazine samemonth)
His globalist underpinnings and outlook are truly reflective ofthe true essence of his Igbo world-view, his Igbo upbringing anddisposition. Igbos and Jews share (with a few other other cultures)this pan-global disposition to issues of art, life, commerce,juridical pursuits, and quest to be republicanist in terms of thevitality of the individual/self. In Achebe's works, the centrality ofChi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology... itis a world which prefers a quasi-capitalistic business attitude whiletaking due cognizance of the usefulness of the whole, the community.I've studied, lived and tried to better understand, essentially, therigor and towering moral certainties which Achebe have employed inmost of his works and his world. I know, among other reasons, becauseI share the same ancestry with him. Permit me to attempt a briefsentence, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here,folks, what the world has known since 1958: Achebe is good! Eagle onthe Iroko, may your Lineage endure! There has never been one likeyou!
Ugo n'abo, chukwu gozie gi oo!
Chinua Achebe, Africa's most acclaimed and fluent writer of theEnglish Language, our pathfinder, the intellectual godfather ofmillions of Africans and lovers of the fine art of good writing, wasonly 28 years when he wrote the classic, Things Fall Apart, in 1958-- long before I was born. In the year 2005, that magnum opus of anovel by Achebe had been translated into 60 languages, sold almost 16million copies and loisted among the world's best 100 novels. He hasbeen translated in more languages than any other writer in thedeveloping world.
Reasonably, Achebe's message has been neither dimmed nor dulled bytime and clime.
Let's go back 30-something months ago. On February 18, 2002, adistinguished jury of scholars and critics (from 13 countries ofAfrican life and literature) selected Achebe as the writer of theBest book, 'Things Fall Apart.' In Achebe's works, the centrality ofChi (God) attains an additional clarity in the Igbo cosmology... itis a world which prefers a quasi-capitalistic business attitude whiletaking due cognizance of the usefulness of the whole, the community.I've studied, lived and tried to better understand, essentially, therigor and towering moral certainties which Achebe have employed inmost of his works and his world. I know, among other reasons, becauseI share the same ancestry with him. Permit me to attempt a briefsentence, with that Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here, folks, whatthe world has known since 1958: Achebe is good!
Let's go to October 15, 2004. I was informed that Prof. Achebe,hadtaken the extraordinary step of "declining to accept the high honorawarded me in the 2004 Honors List" by Nigeria's president, retiredarmy General Olusegun Obasanjo (born on March 5, 1937).
In Achebe's October 2004 letter to the presidency of Nigeria, theeminent writer and statesman Achebe informed President Obasanjo, that"Nigeria's condition today under your watch is, however, toodangerous for silence. I must register my disappointment andprotest...." Achebe pointed to the issues of Nigeria's leadersfailing to unite the country's diverse peoples and what he identifiedas "the silence, if not connivance, of the Presidency" in thedestabilization of parts of Nigeria and state governments bypolitical and business renegades.
He wrote Obasanjo "For some time now I have watched events inNigeria with alarm and dismay. I have watched particularly the chaosin my own state of Anambra where a small clique of renegades, openlyboasting its connections in high places, seems determined to turn myhomeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom. I am appalled by thebrazenness of this clique and the silence, if not connivance, of thePresidency." Achebe's concerns and principled position wereapparently validated only 3 weeks later when a murderous gang burntdown the (s)elected governors' office, legislative headquarters,elections organizing offices and other symbols resembling democraticquests in Anambra, the home of the great, late Owelle, Dr. the Rt.Hon. Nnamdi Azikiwe.....
Let's go back to Achebe the scholar and educator. I agree withPrinceton University's professor of philosophy, Kwame Anthony Appiah,who said recently that "In every English and non-English speakingcountry on the planet, if you ask a student to name just one Africannovel, it is most likely to be Things Fall Apart by Achebe. It is thebeginning of the African canon. it is difficult to think of anythingelse without it."
I believe and propagate the informed view that Prof. Achebe hasbeen a significant and binding source for an engaging understandingof African pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial history andrealities.
I believe that the Achebean ease and facility with the Englishlanguage insight made him a favorite of African-Americans, and otherscholars and regular folks in search of a better, realisticunderstanding of Africa.
In Achebe's works, the centrality of Chi (God) attains anadditional clarity in the Igbo cosmology. Similarly, in my letter tomy son, Chido Nwangwu II, on his first birthday on February 12, 2002,such core values and messages are embedded and made whole.
One of our web sites, USAfricaonline.com (first African-owned,U.S-based professional newspaper to be on the Internet), haspublished a number of essays about Achebe, and one by him concerninghis friend, novelist Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike.
Also, very insightful is the USAfricaonline.com exclusive essay byProf. Douglas Killam, one of the leading and pioneer publishers ofAfrican literature and a friend of the Achebes. I met Prof. Killamduring Achebe's 70th birthday event at the Bard College in New York.His piece is titled Since1958, Achebe's Things Fall Apart set a standard of artisticexcellence, and more. Killam's contribution is a very insightfuland valuable read for all and any serious student and writer onAchebe's works.
Some of Achebe's other major books are 'No Longer at Ease' (1960),'Arrow of God' (1964&emdash;rev. 1974), and more recently 'Anthillsof the Savannah' (1987).
See list of selected works of Prof. Achebe atwww.Achebebooks.com
Also, see commentaries atwww.USAfricaonline.com/chidoachebe.html
Literary giant Chinua Achebe returns 'home' from U.S., to love andadulation of community; Achebe turns 70; celebrates with Mandela,Morrison, world's leading arts scholars in New York.
Achebe's October 2004 brief letter to Obasanjo's presidencyreminded even the indifferent and the cynical that some of Nigeria'svery best cannot be attracted to the seductive allurements of Statepower and its increasingly sham honorifics. Again, the Eagle on theiroko proved why his message and timing are reflective of the ways ofa sage. In rejecting the award from the embattled presidency ofObasanjo, Achebe's symbolic point further drew the line between thetoadying apologists of Obasanjo and his critics.
Obasanjo's loud-hailers and hoary apologists attacked Achebe withsuch hideous ignorance and crass incivility. Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode,their lead attack-dog and privileged rascal who masquerades as"presidential adviser/assistant" to retired Gen. Obasanjo, dramatizedhis bovine ill-mannerisms to the international community. Butpresidential spokesperson Ms. Remi Oyo showed class by taking adifferent, mild approach. Achebe's decision to reject the 2004national honors from Obasanjo is not accidental; it's rooted in hisposition that a writer ought to see himself/herself as a part of thewider goal of building a better society. For him, there's an organicrelationship between writing as education and the building of abetter society. Recall that the prolific Achebe wrote in 1975 in hiswork 'Morning Yet on Creation Day' that "The writer cannot be excusedfrom the task of re-education and regeneration that must bedone "
Achebe has never shied away from speaking his truths to the faceof power, especially writing with such lucidity and accessibilitythat his essays and books have since become equalizers for thescholarly and the average reader. Essentially, there has never beenany one like Achebe.
Achebe's poignant letter to Obasanjo and the "powers that be" intoday's Nigeria follows in his decades-old commitment to call theleadership to do better for a long-suffering people - especially inNigeria and the rest of Africa.
I recall flying back to the U.S. (from South Africa directly toNew York) to attend Prof. Achebe's 70th birthday at the historic BardCollege (November 3-4, 2000) and its related conference titled, "Homeand Exile: Achebe at 70" - where Achebe made a similar point.
In the midst of his friends and some of the best writers in theworld, he mentioned how everyone was speaking so nicely of him inhonor of his birthday; then he joked that were he a military dictatormay be those two days of November would have been declared nationalholidays. He burst into laughter.... That's vintage Achebean sarcasm.He has been richly blessed by the iron-clad support and love of hisoutstanding wife, Prof. Christie Chinwe Achebe.
In 1983, Achebe wrote the often quoted pamphlet, 'The Trouble withNigeria.' In the latter, he cited the litany of failures of theleaders and pointed the way forward. In rejecting Obasanjo's 2004award, he's making a statement about the direction and quality ofleadership in Nigeria, today. The sage picked the fitting moment toset his revered, valuable company and name apart from a list whichdoes not separate dealers from leaders. With Chinua Achebe, Eagle onthe Iroko, you may never mistake his message.
Permit me to attempt a brief sentence, if you may, with thatAchebean simplicty and clarity. Here, folks, what the world has knownsince 1958: Achebe is good!
CHOOSING ACHEBE'S NOVEL AS AFRICA'S BOOKOF THE CENTURY
THE scholarly jury of Africa's great minds chose Achebe's ThingsFall Apart as the Best Book of the century. They made their selectionof Africa's 100 best books at a meeting in Accra, Ghana and theirdecision was announced at the Golden Tulip Hotel Accra on TuesdayFebruary 18, 2002.
According to the team and statement on the book fair web site,they considered at least "five hundred nominations, from the originalone thousand five hundred and twenty-one nominations proposed frommany sources all round the world. Prior to the meeting in Accra,members of the Jury had already reduced this list, via electronicdiscussion, to a more manageable number. An initial meeting to setthe guidelines for the process of selection was held in HarareZimbabwe in August 2001."
The group credits distinguished professor of African history andcultures, Ali Mazrui, with pushing the idea of a list of Africa's 100best books of the twentieth century during the Zimbabwe InternationalBook Fair in 1998. "His vision was to find a way to directthe spotlight of the world on the achievements of African writerswho have had their works published in the twentiethcentury."
The organizers note that "the books considered were in threecategories: children's writing, non-fiction/scholarshipand creative writing, which further divides into shortstories, novels, poetry and drama. Books were consideredin Afrikaans, Arabic, English, French, Gikuyu, Portuguese,Sesotho, Shona, Swahili, IsiXhosa, Yoruba and IsiZulu."
In summarizing their effort and goal, the jurors and the book fairstate "We believe it is time to celebrate a century of superbachievement in African creative writing, scholarship andchildren's literature. We believe that this list willprovoke debate and lead to republication, translationsand curriculum inclusion. We can look forward to the next100 years of an Africa brimming with creative energyacross the entire continent."
The top twelve best books selected by the jurors are listed below,with a brief on its content and value by thescholars:
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, 1958
This book has moved from its setting in a small Igbo village intouniversal prominence as Africa's most widely read novel.Its portrayal of the impact of British colonization on thelife of a settled African community makes it a classic onthe clash of cultures.
Meshack Asare, Sosu's Call, 1999
This book received the 1st UNESCO Prize for Children's Literaturein the Service of Tolerance in 2000. It is a wonderfulstory about a physically disabled girl left in villagebecause she is ìgood for nothingî. Shehowever manages to alert the surrounding villages ofcoming floods through the miraculous use of talking drumsand this way saves them all. The book is beautifullyillustrated by the author.
Mariama Ba, Une si longue letter (So Long a Letter),1979.
A spellbinding book which paved the way for contemporary women'svoices being heard through francophone literature. Thecentral character in Ba's novel narrates her life througha letter to her friend, and manages to succinctly capturethe everyday frustrations that many womenundergo, especially after the death of theirspouses.
Mia Couto, Terra Sonambula 1992
In this novel, Couto has managed to blend, in a very unique way,African oral tradition and the Portuguese literarylanguage. The way the plot unfolds (a boy and an old manread together a diary they found on a ravaged bus) takesthe reader to an unexpected end, as the boy himself was partof the story and, thus, boundaries between reality andfiction become blurred. More than a novel about the recentcivil war in Mozambique, this is a book in which brokenand fragmented identities are exposed.
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions, 1988
An excellent portrayal, exposition and interpretation of anAfrican society whose younger generation of women strugglewith varying degrees of success and almost fatal failure,to wrest it from the unrelenting complexity of patriarchaldomination and colonialism. Unique in African writingfor portraying anorexia, an eating disorder that affectsone of the central characters.
Cheik Anta Diop, (The African Origins of Civilization: Myth orReality)
An outstanding multi-disciplinary work leading the thesis thatthe founders of Pharaonic Egypt and, in particular, the1st Kingdom, were black Africans. His is a theory that hasstood the test of 50 years of international scholarship inthe area.
Assia Djebar, La'Amour, La fantasia, 1985
Djebar is an outstanding contemporary writer from Algeria. She isalso a filmmaker. L'Amour, la fantasia is a literary workof mixed genres, historical and autobiographicalnarratives, and interlaced with memories of youth andchildhood. It speaks of the conquest of Algeria and the warof Independence from a woman's perspective and in such away as to produce a real feminist literarymasterpiece.
Naguib Mahfouz, The Cairo Trilogy, 1945
The Cairo Trilogy is a panoramic three-part work written toexplain the sensitivity and mentality of the people wholived in Cairo from the 1900s to the 1940s. It gives arich description of their daily lives while portrayingthis as part of a wider historical process. Mahfouz wonthe Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990.
Thomas Mofolo, Chaka, 1925
This truly continental masterpiece explores the theme of powerand its effect on those who have too much of it. The sweepof Zulu history and the central figure of that history,Chaka Zulu, is very impressive. In the hands of Mofolo theSesotho language reveals its natural poeticbeauty. Published in 1925, this novel from Lesotho hasinspired generations of African writers across thecontinent. Its abiding quality is it evocative beauty andits insight into the relationship between character andhistory.
Wole Soyinka, Ake: The Years of Childhood, 1981
The evocation of the wonder of a child's discovery of the worldand his place in it is a classic autobiography ofchildhood. It is a remarkable insight into the growth of awriter's imagination as well as an enchanting portrait ofnatural and human environment of a great writer'sbeginnings.
Ngugi wa Thiongo, A Grain of Wheat 1967
This is one of four novels written in English by Ngugi wa Thiongowhich depict some of the dilemmas that face an emergentnation. In this novel, Ngugi moves away from the Christianliteralism of his first books while retaining respect forthe moral values which religions instill. Hisrich characterization, complex narrative and deep humanityweave together to form one of the most ambitious and fullyachieved African novels ñ one which is widelystudied and admired in nAfrica and beyond.
Leopold Sedar Senghor, Oeuvre Poetique 1961
Leopold Sedar Senghor, who died only recently at the age of 97,was one of the founding fathers of modern Africa. Hispolitical achievements as the first President of Senegalshould not be allowed to obscure his poetic genius. OeuvrePoetique is, without doubt, one of the expressions ofAfrican cultural identity. In poems which have beentranslated into many languages and which appear inanthologies throughout the world, Senghor exploresthe mythic origins of the African persona. His negritudephilosophy influenced every subsequent African author,especially those of the 1950s and 1960s who followed inthe wake of his first poems in this mode. In Frenchof magisterial resonance, Senghor revealed the soul ofAfrica to Africa itself, to French literature and to theworld.
The scholars offered and listed for for Special Commendationthe UNESCO General History of Africa vol. I VIII . Thiswork received a special commendation from the Jury both for thewealth of new information it marshals as well as the newinterpretations it brings to bear on African History.Published over nearly two decades from 1981 to 2000, ithas established itself as an indispensable source on all periodsof African history. It was not included in thelist of Africa's 100 best books only because it fallsoutside the Jury's terms of reference in that it is edited,and includes chapters by Non-Africans. The Jury notedhowever that the International Advisory Committee for theUNESCO General History of Africa was two-thirds African inits composition and that the editors of each of thevolumes were African.
The chairperson of the Jury is the disnguished Professor NJABULONDEBELE, a Noma Award winner and Vice Chancellor of theUniversity of Cape Town. The book fair site notes that "his specialinterest areas are creative writing, cultural studies,critical theory, communication skills and expositoryprose. As an internationally respected author, he haspublished numerous, short stories and novels as well asessays, articles and chapters in books. His books include Death ofa Son, 1996; Sarah, Rings and I, 1993; The Prophetess,1992; Bonolo and the Peach Tree, 1991; Rediscovery of theOrdinary, 1991; and 'Fools' and other Stories, 1983. Hisbook "Fools" and other Stories was the joint winner of theSANLAM prize for outstanding fiction in 1986."
The others are: WANGUI wa GORO, DR. ALASTAIR NIVEN, DR. FATOUMATAKEšTA, PROFESSOR FATIMA MENDONÁa, DR. ATO QUAYSON, DR.ZIFIKILE MGUNI-GAMBAHAYA, PROFESSOR ALI MAZRUI (Initiator of theProject), PROFESSOR HELGE RONNING, PROFESSOR BANKOLE OMOTOSO,PROFESSOR ELDRED JONES, MR. BERNARD MAGNIER, DR. ADOTEY BING, DR.NANA WILSON-TAGOE, MR. SAMIR SAAD KHALIL and PROFESSOR ALOIS SIMONMLAMBO (ex-officio member and a trustee of the Zimbabwe InternationalBook Fair).
USAfricaonline.com has published a number of essays on Achebe.Also see the website, Achebebooks.com.
I'm equally privileged to speak with the distinguished ProfessorAchebe, a number of times a year, for some time now. As I'veindicated on a number of platforms and interviews, he's one of mymentors.
I believe and propagate the informed view that Prof. Achebe hasbeen a significant and binding source for an engaging understandingof African pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial history andrealities. Hence, the fact this latest honor validates his nearly 5decades of capturing the true essence and dynamism and cosmology ofAfrican life via his Igbo nation and realities.
I believe that the Achebean ease and facility with the Englishlanguage insight made him a favorite of African-Americans, and otherscholars and regular folks in search of a better, realisticunderstanding of Africa.
Also, see my reports/commentaries: Literary giant ChinuaAchebereturns "home" from U.S., to love and adulation ofcommunity; and Achebeturns 70; celebrates with Mandela, Morrison, world'sleading arts scholars in New York
The point is Achebe's cultural contexts are at once globalist andlocal; hence, his literary contextualizations soar beyond theconfines of Umuofia and any Igbo or Nigerian setting of his creativeimagination or historical recall. His globalist underpinnings andoutlook are truly reflective of the true essence of his Igboworld-view, his Igbo upbringing and disposition. Igbos and Jews share(with a few other other cultures) this pan-global disposition toissues of art, life, commerce, juridical pursuits, and quest to berepublicanist in terms of the vitality of the individual/self. InAchebe's works, the centrality of Chi (God) attains an additionalclarity in the Igbo cosmology. Even, in myletter to my son, Chido Nwangwu II, who turned One on February12, 2002, those values and messages are embedded and made whole.
Also, Achebe captures the Igbo world taking due cognizance of theusefulness of the whole, the community. I've studied, lived and triedto better understand, essentially, the rigor and towering moralcertainties which Achebe have employed in most of his works and hisworld. I know, among other reasons, because I share the same ancestrywith him. And, reasonably, Achebe's message has been neither dimmednor dulled by time and clime. He has been translated in morelanguages than any other writer in the developing world. He's ourpathfinder, the intellectual godfather of millions of Africans andlovers of the fine art of good writing.
Any wonder, that our Eagle on the Iroko, Chinua Achebe,effortlessly utilizes his rich, moralistic and dynamic Igbo ancestry,on south eastern Nigeria, to speak to the world.
Permit me to attempt writing a brief sentence, if you may, withthat Achebean simplicty and clarity. Here, folks, what theworld has known since 1958: Achebe is good!
Eagle on the Iroko, may your Lineage endure!
There has never been one like you!
Ugo n'abo, chukwu gozie gi oo!
ChidoNwangwu, recipient of the Journalism Excellence award(1997), is Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com (firstAfrican-owned U.S.-based professional newspaper to be published onthe internet), USAfrica The Newspaper,CLASS magazineand TheBlack Business Journal. He has served as an adviserto the Mayor of Houston on international business (Africa) andappears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, NPR, CBS News, NBC and ABC newsaffiliates.
This USAfricaonline.com commentary is copyrighted. Archivingon any other web site or newspaper is unauthorized except with aWritten Approval by USAfricaonline.comFounder.
CLASSis the social events, heritage excellence and style magazine forAfricans in north America, described by The New York Times as themagazine for affluent Africansin America. It is published byprofessional journalists and leading mulitmedia leaders andpioneers.
Click image for the latestcover editions of CLASS magazine click here. Subscribe@Classmagazine.tv-- 8303 SW Freeway, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77074.Phone: 713-270-5500. Cell direct:832-45-CHIDO (24436)
DEMOCRACY WATCH: What Bush Should Tell Obasanjo.... By Chido Nwangwu (Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com)
FLASHPOINT! In 15 years: Nigeria could collapse, destabilize entire West Africa - U.S. intelligence analysts claim; Obasanjo calls them "prophets of doom...."
VIEWPOINT: Obasanjo, Go! Just go! Prof. Wole Soyinka
Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide. By Chido Nwangwu
INSIGHT: Destruction of property and human massacres are always traumatic events in a community, saddening and enraging, but the organizers of the beauty contest, as well as the participants, must understand that they are totally free of guilt. The guilty are the storm troopers of intolerance, the manipulators of feeble-minded but murderous hordes of fanaticism. By Prof. Wole Soyinka
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
AFRICA AND THE U.S. ELECTIONS Beyond U.S. electoral shenanigans, rewards and dynamics of a democratic republic hold lessons for African politics.
Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror?
Africans reported dead in terrorist attack at WTC
September 11 terror and the ghost of things to come....
Arafat's duplicity, terrorism at the heart of Israeli-Palestinian crises. By Barry Rubin
Will religious conflicts be the time-bomb for Nigeria's latest transition to civilian rule?
Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burden mounts with murder charges, trials
Conflicting emotions, feeling of disappointment, timing of revelation that Rev. Jackson fathered a child with former aide lead to charges of "right-wing orchestration."
Nigeria's Presidential Election: Is it just for the Highest Bidder?
Nigeria at 40: punish financial thuggery, build domestic infrastructure
Is Obasanjo really up to Nigeria's challenge and crises? By USAfricaonline.com contributing editor Ken Okorie. Commentary appears from NigeriaCentral.com
Africa suffers the scourge of the virus. This life and pain of Kgomotso Mahlangu, a five-month-old AIDS patient (left) in a hospital in the Kalafong township near Pretoria, South Africa, on October 26, 1999, brings a certain, frightening reality to the sweeping and devastating destruction of human beings who form the core of any definition of a country's future, its national security, actual and potential economic development and internal markets.
22 million Africans HIV-infected, ill with AIDS while African leaders ignore disaster-in-waiting
Wong is wrong on Blacks in Houston city jobs
Why is 4-year old Onyedika carrying a placard against killings in Nigeria?
How Nigeria's Islamic Sharia crises will affect the U.S.
USAfrica INTERVIEW "Why African Catholics are concerned about crises, sex abuse issues in our church" - a frank chat with ICCO's Mike Umeorah
Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu The Economics of Elections in Nigeria
HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY How far, how deep will Nigeria's human rights commission go?
Rtd. Gen. Babangida trip as emissary for Nigeria's Obasanjo to Sudan raises curiosity, questions about what next in power play?
COUNTERPOINT 'Why is Bill Maher spreading racist nonsense about HIV/AIDS and Africa on ABC?
Hate groups' spin by Lamar Alexander benefits anti-Blacks, anti-Semites, and racists
Annan, power and burden of the U.N
The Civilianizing of African soldiers into Presidents
At 39, Nigerians still face dishonest stereotypes such as Buckley's, and other self-inflicted wounds.
JFK Jr.: Death of a Good Son
'Why is Bill Maher spreading racist nonsense about HIV/AIDS and Africa on ABC?
National Summit on Africa, Congresswoman Jackson-Lee hold policy forum in Houston
'100 Black Men are solutions-oriented' says Thomas Dortch, Jr., Richard Johnson and Nick Clayton II as they share perspectives with USAfrica's founder on the national organization.
Community Service Awards bring African-American, American policy and business leaders together with African community at Texas Southern University
110 minutes with Hakeem Olajuwon
Cheryl Mills' first class defense of Clinton and her detractors' game
Nigeria, Cry My Beloved Country
Will the rash of Ethnic Violence disrupt Nigeria's effort at Democracy?
IN THE HOUSE OF MANDELA: A SILLY CRY FOR REPARATIONS By Prof. Chimalum Nwankwo
Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.
EndGame in Kinshasa: U.S must boot Mobutu for own interest, future of Zaire and Africa
PetroGasWorks Shell picks Leslie Mays as VP Global Diversity
Why Powell's mission to the Middle East failed. By Jonathan Elendu
General Tunde Idiagbon: A nationalist, an iron-surgeon departs
Abiola's sudden death and the ghost of things to come
Gen. Shehu Musa Yar'Adua's prison death, Nigeria and The Ghost of Things to come .....
NEWS: OBASANJO'S FAILED 3RD TERM POWER-PLAY IS GOOD NEWS TO NIGERIANS, ABROAD AND HOME.... USAfricaonline.com and its correspondents in Nigeria and across the major cities of the U.S are reporting an increasing tally of anti-3rd term phone calls and e-mails from our readers. By a margin of almost 7-2, USAfricaonline.com data show that an overwhelming majority of the politically active citizenry are happy that Nigeria's Senate halted retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo's stealthy, unpopular, behind-the-scenes-wink and nod power plays to secure an "unrequested" 3rd term as president of Nigeria (a total of 12 consecutive years).
Many Nigerians still feel disappointed that a man (Obasanjo) who had gained so much from Nigeria would cling so tightly to power, even against the popular will of the people, moreso with age, energy and fresh ideas for a new era not on his side.
More baffling many Nigerians we interviewed recall are the lessons of the excesses of the late Gen. Abach who jailed Obasanjo while the former schemed to remain in power.
How Obasanjo's self-succession charade at his Ota Farm has turned Nigeria to an 'Animal Farm.' By Prof. Mobolaji Aluko
Is Obasanjo ordained by God to rule Nigeria? And, other fallacies. By Prof. Sola Adeyeye
Obasanjo was not sworn in merely to "mean well" for Nigeria. By Obi Nwakanma
Obasanjo's 'prayers' and the Abacha path of staying in power. By Nkem Ekeopara
Creative writing, publishing and the future of Nigerian Literature. By Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike
A young father writes his One year old son: "If only my heart had a voice...."
Nigeria, a terrible beauty. By Chido Nwangwu
Why Nigeria and Africa's leaders are leading us to nowhere. By Professor Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com, author of the highly-acclaimed African Literature in Defence of History: An Essay on Chinua Achebe and a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics.
Anambra's rigged 2003 elections: Chris Uba's confession at WIC 2004 in Newark, USA. In a matter-of-fact manner, PDP's chieftain in Anambra Chris Uba stood up and astonished all that were present in Newark when he said, "We, the PDP, did not win the election (of 2003). I have gone to church to confess. The election had no document. I called the result before 12 midnight. I gave INEC the money and asked them to call the result." The revelation caused an uproar as well as some applause in the hall. "The person we took his thing is here," Uba said, pointing at Peter Obi (the APGA candidate) who was sitting among the audience, in the back row.
USAfrica The Newspaper voted the "Best Community Newspaper" in the 4th largest city in the U.S., Houston. It is in the Best of Houston special as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press, reflecting their poll and annual rankings.
DEMOCRACY WATCH: Obasanjo raped Nigeria's constitution by suspending Plateau Assembly and Governor. Prof. By Prof. Ben Nwabueze, leading constitutional scholar in the Commonwealth for almost 45 years, former Nigerian federal minister and SAN.
OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse?
Investigating Marc Rich and his deals with Nigeria's Oil
Through an elaborate network of carrots and sticks and a willing army of Nigeria's soldiers and some civilians, controversial global dealer and billionaire Marc Rich, literally and practically, made deals and steals; yes, laughed his way to the banks from crude oil contracts, unpaid millions in oil royalties and false declarations of quantities of crude lifted and exported from Nigeria for almost 25 years. Worse, he lifted Nigeria's oil and shipped same to then embargoed apartheid regime in South Africa. Read Chido Nwangwu's NEWS INVESTIGATION REPORT for PetroGasWorks.com
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post?
Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa
Nnamdi Azikiwe: Statesman, Intellectual and Titan of African politics
Bush's position on Africa is "ill-advised." The position stated by Republican presidential aspirant and Governor of Texas, George Bush where he said that "Africa will not be an area of priority" in his presidency has been questioned by USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. He added that Bush's "pre-election position was neither validated by the economic exchanges nor geo-strategic interests of our two continents." These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.' Nwangwu, adviser to the Mayor of Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S., and immigrant home to thousands of Africans) argued further that "the issues of the heritage interests of 35 million African-Americans in Africa, the volume and value of oil business between between the U.S and Nigeria and the horrendous AIDS crisis in Africa do not lend any basis for Governor Bush's ill-advised position which removes Africa from fair consideration" were he to be elected president. By Al Johnson
The Life and Irreverent times of Afrobeat superstar, FELA
Reuben Abati's fallacies on Nigeria's history and secession. By Bayo Arowolaju
How Abati, Adelaja and others fuel the campaign of hatred against Ndigbo. By Jonas Okwara
"Obasanjo, secession and the secessionists": A response to Reuben Abati's Igbophobia. By Josh Arinze, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor.
Abati and other anti-Igbo bigots in Nigeria. By Chuks Iloegbunam, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor and author of Ironsi
CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy was livecast on February 19, 2002. It involved Nigeria's Information Minister Prof. Jerry Gana, Prof. Salih Booker and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. Transcripts are available on the CNN International site.
WILL ARINZE BE THE FIRST POPE of RECENT AFRICAN ORIGIN? To our Brother Cardinal Arinze: May your pastoral lineage endure!
The Democratic Party stood for nothing in 2002 election cycle. By Jonathan Elendu
EVA champions efforts to combat AIDS among Nigerian youth. By Jessica Rubin
Pros and cons of the circumcision debate. By Ngozi Ezeji, RN
Prof. Chimere Ikoku: Remembering the legacy of a pan-Africanist, scientist and gentleman. By Prof. Chudi Uwazurike
Can Africa live a future without war? An Open Letter to Mandela. By Fubara David-West, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor
Tiger Woods is no Nelson Mandela! By Chido Nwangwu
SPORTS: Tiger Woods makes more history with another golf Masters win. He shot 12-under-par 276 and a final round 71 at Georgia's Augusta National Golf Club event and collected $1,008,000, on Sunday April 14, 2002. With it, the world's golf phenom added another green jacket to his array of championships and titles, placing him, in this instance, in the same respected Masters' league as Nicklaus (winner 1965 and 1966) and Nick Faldo (1989 and 1990). The three are the only men to win back-to-back Masters. At 26, Woods has since become the youngest golfer to win his seventh professional major championship. He was joined by his parents and his 22 year-old Swedish model girlfriend, Elin Nordegren.
Impeachment process shows Nigerian democracy "is alive... being tested." Nigeria's president retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the impeachment process shows that "democracy is alive, is being tested, and being tried.... What they (the legislators) have tried to do in the democratic way, which is not easy, would probably have been done by taking arms or by -- with bullets. So, but with democracy, of course, some people feel that this is the way this should be, and then I have an opportunity to defend myself. There is discussion. There is dialogue. There is a decision. There is fairness." He made these comments when he appeared on Tuesday September 17, 2002 on CNN International to discuss the issues of impeachment facing him, the allegations of corruption, abuse of the constitution and deployment of soldiers ina civilian environment which led to the "massacre of civilians" in Odi (Bayelsa) and Zaki Biam (Benue). On the charges by international human rights organizations and Nigerian media that his government has been involved in actions which have led to the deaths of thousands of Nigerians, the retired General gave a surprising answer. He was asked that "as many as 10,000 people, it's being reported, have been killed in Nigeria (in) communal rivalries, and the number is believed to be increasing. And people are saying that although President Obasanjo has done a lot of good for Nigeria, you're accused of not -- accused of failing to halt that spiraling violence."
Obasanjo: Let me say this to you, when you put the question of 10,000 -- 10,000 people dying in Nigeria, of course, for a population of over 120 million people...." But USAfricaonline.com Founder and recipient of the Journalism Excellence award (1997), Chido Nwangwu, who appeared on the same program as as a CNN International analyst (Africa) pointed out that "when (President Obasanjo) answered that in a country of 100 million that 10,000 people are said to have died, as if that was a small number, that in itself reflects a disconnect with the concerns of Nigerians. The second one is that when the risk is civil disagreement, the police are required to intervene in the country. And the deployment of the armed forces of Nigeria requires at least some consultation, however modest, with the parliament." Nwangwu, former member of the editorial board of Nigeria's Daily Times continued that "the third factor that is equally important to underscore is that the armed forces of Nigeria moved in for a punitive action rather than just containing a civil disagreement." He noted in USAfricaonline.com backgrounder "it was revealing and interesting interesting discussing Nigeria's issues with its leader - under the current circumstances of an increasingly out-of-schedule elections and the gathering storm of an impeachment process by a majority of the members of the National Assembly, predominantly by Obasanjo's party members." See rush transcript of the CNN International news program.
Steve Jobs and Apple represent the future of digital living. By Chido Nwangwu
The coup in Cote d'Ivoire and its implications for democracy in Africa. By Chido Nwangwu
(Related commentary) Coup in Cote d'Ivoire has been in the waiting. By Tom Kamara