Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Home-made helicopters hit northern Nigeria

I needed this thing this morning with the crazy traffic!!

KANO (AFP) - Mubarak Muhammad Abdullahi, a 24-year-old physics undergraduate in northern Nigeria, takes old cars and motorbikes to pieces in the back yard at home and builds his own helicopters from the parts.

"It took me eight months to build this one," he said, sweat pouring from his forehead as he filled the radiator of the banana yellow four-seater which he now parks in the grounds of his university.

The chopper, which has flown briefly on six occasions, is made from scrap aluminium that Abdullahi bought with the money he makes from computer and mobile phone repairs, and a donation from his father, who teaches at Kano's Bayero university.

It is powered by a second-hand 133 horsepower Honda Civic car engine and kitted out with seats from an old Toyota saloon car. Its other parts come from the carcass of a Boeing 747 which crashed near Kano some years ago.

For a four-seater it is a big aircraft, measuring twelve metres (39 feet) long, seven metres high by five wide. It has never attained an altitude of more than seven feet.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sad sad news: Lucky Dube shot dead!

JJ just sent this to me:

From BBC News:

Fans across the world are mourning the South African reggae star, Lucky Dube, who has been shot dead.

He was dropping his teenage son and daughter off in a Johannesburg suburb when he was attacked by car thieves.

Local radio stations have been flooded with tearful callers expressing outrage at the murder and renewing demands that the authorities act to curtail crime.

South Africa's leader paid tribute to him and called on people to "confront this terrible scourge of crime".
Alongside Bob Marley, Lucky Dube was thought of as one of the great reggae artists - singing about social problems.

He was also one of the apartheid regime's most outspoken critics.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Blog of the week- Awesome Tapes from Africa

I've been going through the blog, Awesome Tapes from Africa, for like a week now (which explains my lack of work productivity). Check it out...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Ex-child soldier raps about hellish life"

My dreams are like torment, My every moment.
Voices of my brainOf friends that were slain,Friends who died by my side of starvationIn the burning jungle and the desert plain.But Jesus heard my cryI was tempted to eat the rotten flesh of my comrade.

JJ sent me his story on CNN.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Another "Rumble in the Jungle?"

I don't understand the tighty-whites neither, but I saw this on BBC this morning.

The organiser of "The Rumble in the Jungle", one of the world's greatest boxing fights, says he would like a similar contest in Africa again.

Don King made the famous fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in 1974 happen, in what was then called Zaire.
"Without a question of a doubt I have to go back to the motherland," the US boxing promoter told the BBC.

He made the comments as Nigeria's Samuel Peter looks to defend his World Heavyweight Boxing Championship title.
King said that Peter may be considered for a future WBC fight in Africa.

But first, he said, the Nigerian boxer had to defend his title against US opponent Jameel McCline, in New York's Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

King told the BBC's Network Africa programme that a victory by Peter would make both Nigeria and the African continent proud "and the world will be respectful for a great champion".

The 1974 fight, in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, saw Ali make a comeback by defeating Foreman, the reigning heavyweight champion.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Mandela announces new South African HIV/Aids gig

Source BBC News:

Former South African president Nelson Mandela has announced an international concert to be held for World Aids Day in Johannesburg on 1 December.

The aim is to raise awareness about HIV/Aids in a country with one of the world's highest HIV prevalence rates

More than five million people are HIV positive in South Africa.

Fifty thousand people are expected at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg. More than 30 local and international artists will be performing.

For the past four years, Nelson Mandela has allowed his old prison number 46664 to be used as a banner in the fight against HIV/Aids.

Several 46664 concerts have been held around the world and Mr Mandela said 46664 would continue to organise major events to highlight the problem.

"I am very delighted that we are engaging the youth in schools, communities and through the media, breaking the silence and stigmas around HIV and Aids, and making them realise that the power to beat the pandemic, lies in their own hands," he said.

Since his retirement from politics, Mr Mandela has thrown himself into the struggle against Aids with determination.

In 2005, the cause took on a tragic personal dimension for him when his only surviving son, Makgato, died of Aids.