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MUSIC

Poetry: The Music in my heart….By Nkem Ekeopara

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4 poems for publication in Class
The Music in my Heart
My honey-coated tunes to your ears
Come not from the twisting of my tongue
Nor from the mere movement of my mouth
It is from the heart, my heart
Pumping all its fluids, issuing all its feelings
In celebration of our interlocking embrace
Your sight, the smiles melt me
I glow in those sparkling eyes and shiny skin
And the fragrance, of evenly presence
Gives me the pitch
Of these booming baritones
You love to hear me singing
Mine! You are the music, it’s your song
You are the feelings
You are this preferred fragrance
You are the stimulating strings and notes
You are my love, my light and my life
You are the music in my heart
A Voice in the Wilderness
Let the endearing feathers of the doves
Still hovering over our skies
Stick through the wings of the hawks
And indenture the drifting clouds
Let there be precipitations
In our lives and our nations
To calm our palpitating hearts
And cool our heated lands
Let there be peace
Let there be love
Let there be life
And let there be a future for our world
At Last my Petals Unfurl
I caught the brilliance
Of the sunshine
Dispersing through the morning dews
Sprinkled on the pollen grains
I waited for this brilliance
In its great intenseness
To unlock the chlorophyll clusters
And unfurl my petals
I tilted towards the beam
Of the moonlight
Creeping through the clouds
Glowing on the flowing waters
I waited for this beam
In its full vision
To cut through the haze
And unfurl my petals
I waited for the zebra
To appear from behind the hills
I waited to see it
Leap through lion-infested grassland
I waited to feel its Cape gannet stripes
I waited to see it
Lend its bewitching charm
To the unfurling of my petals
I waited for the eagle
To return from its migration
I waited to see it
Soar through a threatening sky
I waited to touch its priced feathers
I waited to see it
Breathe its undying strength
To the unfurling of my petals
I waited through the dawns
And waited into the dusks
To hear these tremulous trebles and tenors
I sniffed through hedges and thickets
To perceive these intoxicating scents
I waited all these ages
Behold these dazzling stars
At last, my petals do unfurl
Paintings of One God
Seen the Anthills of the Savannah?
That’s one shade of the coloreds
Seen the Ebony of the Amazons?
That’s the other shade of the coloreds
I have never seen anyone like snow
I have never seen anyone like tar
I have never seen anyone like snow and tar
Some are a little off the Anthills
Some are a little off the Ebony
Most are between the Anthills and the Ebony
So, there is no White, no Black
We are all shaded-paintings of the Greatest Artist
We are all One
We are all creations of One God
*These works are from my collection of poems, Flame of Freedom, which has just been published in Nigeria. The collection has been ready since 1999.

music

USAfricaPOETRY: FLAMES OF FREEDOM

BY Nkem Ekeopara

Special to USAfricaonline.com

The Music in my Heart

My honey-coated tunes to your ears

Come not from the twisting of my tongue

Nor from the mere movement of my mouth

It is from the heart, my heart

Pumping all its fluids, issuing all its feelings

In celebration of our interlocking embrace

Your sight, the smiles melt me

I glow in those sparkling eyes and shiny skin

And the fragrance, of evenly presence

Gives me the pitch

Of these booming baritones

You love to hear me singing

Mine! You are the music, it’s your song

You are the feelings

You are this preferred fragrance

You are the stimulating strings and notes

You are my love, my light and my life

You are the music in my heart

A Voice in the Wilderness

Let the endearing feathers of the doves

Still hovering over our skies

Stick through the wings of the hawks

And indenture the drifting clouds

Let there be precipitations

In our lives and our nations

To calm our palpitating hearts

And cool our heated lands

Let there be peace

Let there be love

Let there be life

And let there be a future for our world

At Last my Petals Unfurl

I caught the brilliance

Of the sunshine

Dispersing through the morning dews

Sprinkled on the pollen grains

I waited for this brilliance

In its great intenseness

To unlock the chlorophyll clusters

And unfurl my petals

I tilted towards the beam

Of the moonlight

Creeping through the clouds

Glowing on the flowing waters

I waited for this beam

In its full vision

To cut through the haze

And unfurl my petals

I waited for the zebra

To appear from behind the hills

I waited to see it

Leap through lion-infested grassland

I waited to feel its Cape gannet stripes

I waited to see it

Lend its bewitching charm

To the unfurling of my petals

I waited for the eagle

To return from its migration

I waited to see it

Soar through a threatening sky

I waited to touch its priced feathers

I waited to see it

Breathe its undying strength

To the unfurling of my petals

I waited through the dawns

And waited into the dusks

To hear these tremulous trebles and tenors

I sniffed through hedges and thickets

To perceive these intoxicating scents

I waited all these ages

Behold these dazzling stars

At last, my petals do unfurl


Paintings of One God

Seen the Anthills of the Savannah?

That’s one shade of the coloreds

Seen the Ebony of the Amazons?

That’s the other shade of the coloreds

I have never seen anyone like snow

I have never seen anyone like tar

I have never seen anyone like snow and tar

Some are a little off the Anthills

Some are a little off the Ebony

Most are between the Anthills and the Ebony

So, there is no White, no Black

We are all shaded-paintings of the Greatest Artist

We are all One

We are all creations of One God

•Ekeopara, a contributing writer for USAfrica The Newspaper and USAfricaonline.com since 1996,  has published his latest collection of poems, Flame of Freedom, in Nigeria. Several of his essays are on the USAfrica archive/google/

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CHIDO

Aretha Franklin’s melodious voice, dignity and clarity were triple drivers of her artistic excellence. By Chido Nwangwu

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@Chido247

I believe that Aretha Franklin’s melodious voice, dignity and clarity were triple drivers which continue to make her artistic excellence a trans-generational gift to humanity.

Aretha Franklin who made an outstanding entry into both gospel and soul music with the release of her first album in 1956, titled ‘Songs of Faith’, died today, August 16, 2018, at her home in Detroit. She was 76 years old.

Aretha was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee.

She is the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and affectionately and deservedly called the Queen of Soul — especially in high regard for songs such as “Respect.” She was a part of the U.S civil rights movement.

I believe that Aretha Franklin’s melodious voice, dignity and clarity were triple drivers which continue to make her artistic excellence a trans-generational gift to humanity.

By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica [Houston], USAfricaonline.com and author of the soon-to-be-released 2018 book titled MLK, MANDELA & ACHEBE: Power, Leadership & Identity

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CHIDO

“I’m BLESSED” gospel video Charlie Wilson, ft T.I show timeless skills [USAfrica]

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Charlie Wilson’s timeless, creative skills are evident in this new gospel song  titled “I’m Blessed” – with superstar rapper T.I coming in to attract more of the younger demographics.

The performance was at a recent 2018 ‘ShowTime at Apollo’ -hosted by Steve Harvey. Wilson gained world-wide respect and recognition as a member of the multiple platinum hits group Gap band.

He has shared his story of moving from being a millionaire to homeless and then picking up, changing his lifestyle and reorganizing….

In many ways, however different our circumstances, join me say to say [and sing] it, again: I’m Blessed!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com [first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet], is completing a book titled “MLK, MANDELA & ACHEBE: POWER, LEADERSHIP & IDENTITY  Follow him @Chido247

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AFRICA

USAfrica: Rwanda’s presidential elections point to another Kagame victory

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Special to USAfrica, Houston. AFP

Rwandans go the polls Friday in a presidential election in which strongman Paul Kagame is widely expected to cruise to a third term in office.

The 59-year-old leader faces two little-known candidates who were given only three weeks to campaign against the incumbent, who has kept a tight hold on power since his rebel army ended the 1994 genocide.

Observers say Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party — the only permitted critical opposition party — and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana face an unwinnable battle. Kagame has said the result is a foregone conclusion.

While the nation has been colourfully covered with the red, white and blue of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and posters of Kagame, there has been barely a trace of the opposition.

“They told us we cannot put our banners or flags where the RPF’s things are, but unfortunately the RPF put theirs almost everywhere,” Habineza told AFP during a recent rally in the south of the country.

He was standing in front of a small stage, surrounded by about 100 people, including many children drawn by the booming music.

“I came out of curiosity, but he has no chance. Kagame has delivered everything he promised, there is no one but him,” said Sabin Nkundukozera, 66.

Farmer Sylvain Mutaimukunda, 38, was similarly dismissive.

“It is the first time I have heard of this man, I couldn’t even tell you his name,” he said of Habineza.

In contrast, thousands flock to Kagame’s rallies, where the president has repeated that “the election is over”.

His confidence comes after 98 percent of Rwandans approved a constitutional amendment in a 2015 referendum that granted him the right to run for a third term in office.

Observers condemned the reform, which could potentially see Kagame retain office twice more if re-elected this time and allow him to stay president until 2034.
Kagame, a lanky former guerilla fighter, was just 36 when his rebel army routed extremist Hutu forces who slaughtered an estimated 800,000 people — mainly minority Tutsis — and seized Kigali.

He served first as vice-president and defence minister, although he was widely considered the de facto leader of the country and was appointed as president by lawmakers in 2000.

He was first elected to the post in 2003 and again in 2010 with more than 90 percent of votes.

He is credited with a remarkable turnaround in the shattered nation, bringing order, stability, infrastructure and annual economic growth of about seven percent.

However rights groups accuse him of ruling through fear, relying on a systematic repression of the opposition, free speech and the media.

Critics have been assassinated, jailed or forced into exile, and some observers believe the only reason Habineza and Mpayimana have been allowed to run is that they pose no threat.

“There is no election in Rwanda, there is a coronation declaring Kagame the king,” said outspoken local journalist Robert Mugabe.

“The real opposition, the people with the real voices, cannot be around,” he said.

However political analyst Christopher Kayumba said Kagame remains popular, with Rwandans seeing him as a guarantor of stability after his military victory brought an end to the genocide.

“There is no way you can compare the stature of President Kagame, the resources of the RPF, with the Green Party. The opposition will be beaten hands down. There is no question about that.”

There are 6.9 million registered voters across the tiny east African nation, known as the Land of a Thousand Hills. Polling stations open at 0500 GMT and close at 1300 GMT.

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