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MUSIC

This Somali sister act is set for superstardom

Iman and Siham Hashi fled Somalia as kids following an outbreak of civil war. Now in LA they are ready to take on the music world.

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Iman and Siham Hashi fled Somalia as kids following an outbreak of civil war. Now in LA they are ready to take on the music world.

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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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