Sunday, November 30, 2008
The 1st of December, World AIDS Day, is the day when individuals and organisations from around the world come together to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic. 2008 marks the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day. Whilst we have come a long ways since 1988, there is still much more to be done.
To show support wear red.
For more information log on to http://www.worldaidscampaign.org/
Monday, November 24, 2008
Kelly and Nigerian artist D'banj performed together
Wahu was emotional as she collected her prize for best female
Nigerian artists dominated the MTV Africa Music Awards (the Mamas) on their own turf in the capital city Abuja, scooping six of the 10 awards.
D'banj won both the artist of the year award and the best male award, crowning a successful year for the self-proclaimed "entertainer".
Fellow Nigerian rapper Naeto C won best new act, while 9ice won the best Hip-hop award.
Kenyan singer Wahu, who was overcome with emotion, was named best female.
She tearfully dedicated the award to her husband, fellow musician Nameless, and to her daughter who, she said, "is too young to understand how much she inspires me".
BBC 1Xtra's Trevor Nelson hosted the show in front of a crowd of 5,000 fans in the stylishly shaped Abuja Velodrome.
Nigerian duo P-Square, who had five nominations, only managed to take home one prize for best group.
Despite not winning, the disappointed twin brothers thrilled the crowd with their stage act.
South Africa hip-hoppers Jozi won the award for the best live performers.
However, Ghanaian artist Samini revealed he was not happy the live award had gone to a "group that plays CDs and mimes".
He added: "If you say 'live' then the music has to be with a band.
"I'm not picking names but I think that the best live performer should go to a live band artist.
"I'm sorry if I'm being harsh here but I'm trying to be straightforward. If I watch you on TV and I see you with a live band, then you better do it on stage for me."
There was a cameo appearance by US rapper The Game, who gave a brief medley of his hit songs.
There were also performances by the rapper's compatriots Flo-rida, and Kelly Rowland.
Other live acts included Seun Kuti, 9ice, as well as HHP from South Africa, but it was the assortment collaborations that stole the show.
HHP came back on stage to join Nigerian singing sensation Asa on her song Jailer, and Rowland performed alongside D'banj.
But the biggest fusion was that of South African rockers Cassette, Kenyan rapper Jua Cali, and Ikechukwu and Naeto C.
American R&B singer Alicia Keys gave a video acceptance speech for winning the best R&B award, as did South African band Seether, who won the best alternative award.
The legend gong went to the late Fela Kuti, the Nigerian pioneer of Afrobeat. The award was received by the star's children, Yemi and Seun.
Speaking of Kuti, Nelson said: "He was the first man I ever heard, all the way from the UK, when I heard African music for the first time it came from this man.
"There could only be one person, only one recipient."
Kuti's children joked in their acceptance speech that they would "not take this award to him yet".
"We'll keep it in our house, and when the times comes then we'll take it to him."
Out of the 11 awards given out on the night the legend award was the only one that was not chosen by the fans.
Winners were selected by fans sending text messages.
There was also a tribute to "Mama Africa" Miriam Makeba, the South African singer who died just over a week ago.
Winners each received a Golden Microphone trophy, which has a futuristic microphone emerging from a globe of the world, with the African continent symbolically placed at the top of the world.
Even though this was an African event there were some non-African artists nominated in different categories, including Lil Wayne, The Game, Coldplay, and Keys.
African music videos were also recognized, with Nigeria's Ikechuku winning the award for the best video for his song Wind am well.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
US tennis star Serena Williams gives laptop tips to pupils at the Serena Williams Secondary School which she opened 160km east of Nairobi on Friday, November 14.
Where was the hoopla about this in the media? Oh well "we's" the media, so more grease to your elbows Serena.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Miriam Makeba, the South African singer who wooed the world with her sultry voice but was banned from her own country for more than 30 years under apartheid, died after collapsing on stage in Italy. She was 76.
In her dazzling career, Makeba performed with musical legends from around the world -- jazz maestros Nina Simone and Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon -- and sang for world leaders such as John F. Kennedy and Nelson Mandela.
"Her haunting melodies gave voice to the pain of exile and dislocation which she felt for 31 long years. At the same time, her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us," Mandela said in a statement.
He said it was "fitting" that her last moments were spent on stage.
The Pineta Grande clinic in Castel Volturno, near the southern city of Naples, said Makeba died early Monday of a heart attack.
Makeba collapsed on stage Sunday night after singing one of her most famous hits, "Pata Pata," her family said in a statement. Her grandson, Nelson Lumumba Lee, was with her as well as her longtime friend, Italian promoter Roberto Meglioli.
More online at cnn.com
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Just days before the US elections, it is unlikely that US presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain will be sharing a stage.
But in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, their characters will be singing and dancing together when Obama, The Musical opens on Sunday.
The hour-long play is hotly awaited in a country where Mr Obama, whose father was Kenyan, is a wildly popular figure.
Those involved in the production are doing little to hide their sympathies.
Mr Obama, who has never lived in Kenya and has only come to the country on visits, is a national hero. A local beer has been named after him.
Scriptwriter and director George Orido complies with Kenyan preferences in his casting of Mr McCain, his running-mate Sarah Palin, and President George Bush.
"McCain comes in as the villain, the chief villain. His supporting cast are George Bush and Sarah Palin who are standing in Obama's way," the director says.
The 30-strong cast is made up of young actors and actresses - their average age is 21 - who are very excited to be a part of the production.
Eric Makori, who plays Mr Obama, says he feels privileged to have the role. He too supports the Democratic candidate.
But so does Paul Kamau, who plays Mr McCain.
And while he is content to play the Republican candidate, Mr Kamau says he would rather be cast as his rival.
"Obama is more fun to portray than McCain," he says. "I hope he will win."
Message for Kenyans
The play tells the story of Mr Obama's life.
It begins with his father's move to America to study and his meeting with Barack Obama's mother, before covering the events of the young Obama's life.
Mr Orido says he came up with the idea of the play three years ago, as Mr Obama rose to prominence.
"Music is the universal language and Obama is a universal figure," he said.
"If you want to tell his story, you have to tell it in a universal language so that everyone can understand."
A variety of musical genres are used - traditional and contemporary Kenyan music, as well as some country songs.
The lyrics of some of the songs have been changed to suit the story line.
The play ends with an enactment of Mr Obama's acceptance of the Democratic nomination, shying away from predictions about who will emerge victorious after the 4 November elections.
But Mr Orido is not quite so reserved about Mr Obama's prospects.
"He's going to win, why not?" he says. "Americans cannot be cheated, they know the right thing to do."
He says he wants everyone who watches his play to understand Mr Obama's story and learn about the virtues of hard work, selflessness, democracy and public service.
The message is especially important for Kenyans, he stresses.
In January, Kenya was rocked by post-election violence that left more than 1,500 people dead and 300,000 homeless.
"We were fighting each other because some of us thought certain people from certain communities could not be leaders... [Obama's story] is a big lesson for us," Mr Orido says.
The play will run until 5 November, and Mr Orido does not rule out a sequel.
He says there have already been invitations to perform in the UK and South Africa.
"This is just the beginning," he says.