Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Girl Like Me

Saw this on Iquo's page. Thought it was interesting. Thoughts?

In 35 days, Ghana will be 50!

I heard Kofi Annan is back in Ghana. He gave the first series of speeches last week to commemorate Ghana's 50th anniversary.
Olu mentioned that there's a football match between Ghana and Nigeria in London, Feb. 6th. Ariztos' staff is taking bets.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Beninese actor didn't deserve an award??

Djimon Hounsou and his co-star Leonardo DiCaprio celebrate Tuesday's UK opening of the film Blood Diamond, set during Sierra Leone's civil war. One of our admin staff (don't worry, Sade, I won't mention your name) says we don't talk about these two actors enough...
Djimon's role in that movie was superb.

Nigeria, it is time for family planning!

President Olusegun Obasanjo says Nigeria's population growth rate needs to fall in order to improve the economy. Census figures show that Nigeria's population is more than 140,000,000. Obasanjo has declared the situation critical and has suggested that the rate of poverty correlates with large families.

Hmmm....I guess that's it. Nothing really to do with bad governance.

Presley Chweneyagae to face a fraud charge.

According to BBC News, Presley Chweneyagae, the star of Oscar-winning South African film Tsotsi, has appeared in court in Pretoria to face a fraud charge.

In the film, Chweneyagae plays a tsotsi (gangster), who heads a gang of armed robbers in a Johannesburg shanty town.

The 22-year-old actor was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly possessing a fake driving licence.
Police said he was arrested after applying to convert a forged Ivory Coast licence into a South African one.

Tsotsi, by South African director Gavin Hood, won the 2006 Oscar for best foreign language film.

Getting cast as Tsotsi was Chweneyagae's big break. "I grew up in a township so I knew guys like Tsotsi," he said last year as the Oscar news was announced.

On Wednesday he appeared in Pretoria district court in a smart black suit, attracting cheers from a crowd of female fans, the Pretoria News reported.

The case was postponed until 27 February to allow Chweneyagae time to complete work abroad.

Ghana to head A.U.

The African Union chose Ghana to head the 53-member bloc, turning aside Sudan's bid for the second year in a row because of the worsening violence in Darfur.

"By consensus vote President (John) Kufuor of Ghana has been elected to the presidency of the African Union," Alpha Oumar Konare, the A.U.'s chief executive, told reporters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Go Forest

With wife Keisha Whitaker. He won best actor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. I have a feeling we'll be talking about about Forest again...

Friday, January 26, 2007

black sweat.

Prince's video for "black sweat"
...she's nigerian. didn't know that, but our ariztos writer is very excited :-)

Africa Unite 2007 in South Africa.

Next month, Ariztos will be on hand to cover the event (still waiting for final confirmation). Let us know if you'll be there this year.

Mrs. Rita Marley on behalf of The Bob & Rita Marley Foundations announced at a press conference in South Africa today that in February 2007 they will bring "Africa Unite 2007" to South Africa. Through a series of benefit concerts, symposiums, fund raisers and events, Africa Unite 2007 will encourage peace, education and empowerment for youth in Africa while reinforcing the significance of Bob Marley's Songs of Freedom to manifest change throughout the world. Africa Unite 2007 is Executive Directed by Mrs. Rita Marley.

This year, Africa Unite will join forces with the Emerging Leadership Programme, initiated by the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre, which honors the peacemaker and iconic Nobel Peace Laureate, Desmond Tutu. The Emerging Leadership Programme grooms young leaders with value-based leadership for reconciliation, transformation and peace in global communities. Africa Unite 2007 will also support the Shanduka Foundation's Adopt-a-School Programme that is committed to providing quality education to all African children, and the Ubuntu Institute that is dedicated to the development of young social entrepreneurs on the African continent who are committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Each organization will contribute their combined resources to Africa Unite 2007 and share in the singular goal to unite Africa through peace, education and empowerment for all people.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Akon smackin' that white girl

Nelly and Akon performed at Park City, Utah and Tara Reid was also on stage.

Even Akon's DJ got in on the fun and started to dance with Tara from the back.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Nollywood Actress Wummi Pleads Guilty To Drug Charges

Yoruba Home Video Actress , Taiwo Akinwande [from Nigeria], popularly called Wunmi, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to a criminal one count charge of drug trafficking brought against her by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDELA).

Read more here.

Brand Spanking New T-Shirts...

Style out, while showing support, and get some Ariztos gear here. Choose your own design, colors, etc. We update frequently, so check back with us.

God grew tired of us...

GOD GREW TIRED OF US: THE STORY OF LOST BOYS OF SUDAN is currently out in selected theaters. Once in the U.S., Panther Bior and Daniel Abul Pach (who were sent to Pittsburgh) and John Bul Dau (who went to Syracuse) deal with survivor's guilt as well as culture shock and financial travails. Ultimately, John gets news that few of his fellow lost boys ever will: Some of his family is still alive. This leads to a reunion that caps the documentary, giving the dismal tale an uplifting outcome. In theory, it may seem inappropriate that any account of Sudan's lost boys would have a happy ending. In practice, however, it's altogether satisfying. Directed by Christopher Quinn.

Monday, January 22, 2007

God's Own Country

Check out this new film coming out soon.

If you're on myspace (like the rest of the world), please add!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

#1 movie in America by Robert Adetuyi

Stomp the Yard, that movie with the youngin's engaging in a "street dancing" competition was the number 1 movie in America last weekend (actually it's called "stepping," Mr. Wall Street Journal movie reviewer). The writer, Robert Adetuyi, also has the movie Code Name: The Cleaner coming out in theaters this month.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Religion and Politics in Africa???

Just browsing through some news. Came across a discussion on BBC's News site. Some religious leaders are using their "power" for good. Others are not.

From BBC: In Nigeria a religious leader has been arrested for ordering the burning of churchgoers as punishment. In Malawi a Catholic priest has quit to marry his lover. In Sierra Leone a Muslim leader has told worshippers to who to vote for in the upcoming presidential election, and in Kenya a prominent preacher and want-to-be MP is embroiled in a scandal about her marital status.

Also, Bishop Francis Oboko of Nigeria has warned worshippers that they will be turned away from church if they do not register for April's elections.

Ali is 65 today.

Recognized as "The Greatest," I like how an English reporter put it when she said, "another bold prediction that turned out to be spot on."

We are currently listening to...

Shusic- Shu
Back in the building- Banky W
Baaba Maal and Wandama (a tape one of our writers found in Senegal)
Africa Plays On- Various artists
Saul Williams- Saul Williams
Carnival 2006- (a mix from our DJ friend)
The New Sound of Gospel- Various Artists

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

OBAMA is running for President of the U.S.!

"I certainly didn't expect to find myself in this position a year ago," Obama said in a video posting. "I've been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics. So I've spent some time thinking about how I could best advance the cause of change and progress that we so desperately need."

Obama announced on his Web site, www.barackobama.com, that he was filing a presidential exploratory committee. He said he would announce more about his plans in his home state of Illinois on Feb. 10.

Can he be the nation's first black to occupy the White House?

The Making, and Unmaking, of a Child Soldier- Ishmael Beah

Sometimes I feel that living in New York City, having a good family and friends, and just being alive is a dream, that perhaps this second life of mine isn’t really happening. Whenever I speak at the United Nations, Unicef or elsewhere to raise awareness of the continual and rampant recruitment of children in wars around the world, I come to realize that I still do not fully understand how I could have possibly survived the civil war in my country, Sierra Leone.

Most of my friends, after meeting the woman whom I think of as my new mother, a Brooklyn-born white Jewish-American, assume that I was either adopted at a very young age or that my mother married an African man. They would never imagine that I was 17 when I came to live with her and that I had been a child soldier and participated in one of the most brutal wars in recent history.

In early 1993, when I was 12, I was separated from my family as the Sierra Leone civil war, which began two years earlier, came into my life. The rebel army, known as the Revolutionary United Front (R.U.F.), attacked my town in the southern part of the country. I ran away, along paths and roads that were littered with dead bodies, some mutilated in ways so horrible that looking at them left a permanent scar on my memory. I ran for days, weeks and months, and I couldn’t believe that the simple and precious world I had known, where nights were celebrated with storytelling and dancing and mornings greeted with the singing of birds and cock crows, was now a place where only guns spoke and sometimes it seemed even the sun hesitated to shine. After I discovered that my parents and two brothers had been killed, I felt even more lost and worthless in a world that had become pregnant with fear and suspicion as neighbor turned against neighbor and child against parent. Surviving each passing minute was nothing short of a miracle.

Read on from the NY Times. His book, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, is available on amazon.

Golden African [Globe]...

The best actor in a drama film was Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin.

Babel won best film..

...And some Africans at the Golden Globes (will update periodically)

Seal (yes he is African) and his wife, Heidi Klum.

Brad and Angelina...okay I consider them Africans.

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf...progress?

Wow...it's been a year since Mama Africa had her first female elected head of state. BBC reported that the economic situation is still bad, and Liberians are waiting (hoping) for a change. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has one of the the most difficult job in trying to rebuild Liberia and she needs time. Let's hope it's sooner than later and she's getting all the support that she needs.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Iron Chef Morou

A native of Ivory Coast, currently residing in Washington, D.C., Chef Morou was on the Food Network's Iron Chef America last night. Not sure it was a new episode (what? you guys don't watch that show every Sunday?). He was the winner of the Iron Chef America competition in D.C., and came to compete with Iron Chef Flay in the hour long competition. He didn't win, but he mixed in a lot of African flavor to his meal- some egusi (melon seeds), use of some west African "equipment," and some other African spices. Former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams is one of his biggest fans, and he came along to support. Check out the air time schedule on the Food Network.

Happy MLK Day!!

The world could use another Martin Luther King, or two.

I thought this was an interesting image from google's homepage.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Seen Blood Diamonds yet?

You should.

Exclusive in the upcoming spring issue of Ariztos Magazine.

Friday, January 12, 2007

So what's going on with Kenyan's national dress code?

Remember, a couple of years ago when Kenyan government decided it'll be fun to have a National Dress Code. The government had the public choose the winning design back then. A move from the colonial dressing is always good (see Nigeria's President Obasanjo).

But, apparently, the dress code ain't working. For one, the "national dress" wasn't comfortable for the younger generation. Also, the designers apparently copied a common Nigerian style and Kenyans didn't like that. Oh...and the clothes are very expensive.

Polygamy in Africa outdated? Don't think so!!

Cameroon's government has organised a mass wedding of more than 50 couples, most already living polygamously.

Cameroon's first lady Chantal Biya offered gifts to the newly weds, mostly Muslim couples, at the all-expenses paid ceremony in the capital, Yaounde.

The women's affairs minister said the event was aimed at providing legal protection to concubines.

Many couples are choosing not to wed as they fear a wedding will be costly and to register the union costs up to $25.


Madonna urges more people to adopt from Africa

Madonna has urged more people to adopt children from Africa, sidestepping comments by actress and fellow adoptive mother Angelina Jolie about only adopting from countries with clearly defined adoption laws.

Madonna, 48, who is in the legal processes of adopting a 1-year-old boy from Malawi, was accused by adoption groups last year of using her celebrity status to bypass laws about foreigners adopting from Malawi.

"There's over a million orphans in Malawi, and in my opinion the laws need to change because these children need to be rescued," said Madonna.

Only two countries in Africa - Ethiopia and Kenya -- had clearly defined adoption rules with other African countries not used to dealing with such issues.

I thought it seemed sketchy at first. And didn't like the idea that African babies seemed to be used as accessories in 2006. But...let's face it. African kids need to be "saved" at times.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

RAW TALENT- Vieux Farka Toure!!

Dude is awesome!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Apparently, the high pitched crooner is outselling his competition from ALL GENRE'S...
After only 8 weeks he has sold an outstanding 1.2 million CD's, compared to 1.2 for Jay-Z after seven weeks, a cool million for Ludacris after 15 weeks, 1.2 million for Fergie after 16 weeks and 800K for John Legend after 11 weeks on the chart.

Artists are desperately seeking at least one collaboration with Akon. We would love to see him do more collaborations with African artists. Put them on the charts. And stop the nonsense talk about polygamy being okay with all Africans.


Will Smith wants to move home...to Africa.

The 'Bad Boys' star filmed Muhammed Ali biopic 'Ali' in South Africa and wants to relocate there with his family. He told Britain's Empire magazine: "We want to move to Africa. Actually, I found a house in South Africa, but it was before 9/11 and when that happened, we thought, being Americans, it was a time to be home. But I just loved South Africa.""I definitely felt like there was magic there and it was a magic I wanted my family to experience." Despite his plans to leave the US, Smith is still fiercely loyal to his native country.

He knows where the real home is.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

What are we listening to?

Konvicted- Akon
Women of Africa- Various
Africa Unite: The Singles COllection- Bob Marley & The Wailers
Hip Hop is Dead- Nas
Afro-Latin Party- Various
Umu Africa- Various
The Best of Fela Kuti- Fela Kuti

See what our friends are listening to here.

2006...Africa took center stage.


Last year, some films drew attention to African countries. This year, we are excited about the many films unveiling in 2007. Some by fellow Africans. Stay tuned.

Forest Whitaker is Nigerian.

Okay okay...I know how Africans like to claim. But on Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio, he said he traced his father's ancestors to Nigeria, from the Igbo tribe. During the show, he also talked about how he really admired the director of the movie Last King of Scotland, for pushing to do it in Uganda instead of South Africa (where they have a better "filming infrastructure"). The movie wouldn't have been as great. In the latest issue of the magazine, we have a great review you should read. Find out why this role, was a "role of a life time" for Forest.