Archive for January, 2013

Tonye Princewill: What Is Political Being Generous?

Posted on January 29, 2013. Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , |

Tonye Princewill: What Is Political Being Generous?

By Odimegwu Onwumere

In my Igbo tribe we do say that why there is always an elder in the enlarged family compound is to guide children against catching vulture and misplace her for kite, oblivious that vulture was not meant to be eaten. It is on this foundation that I want to add my voice in the news making the rounds that the affably Prince Tonye Princewill was being generous for political reasons. Ordinarily, I do wave such bunkum with the wave of the hand, but for the records.

It is very bad to give a dog a bad name in other to kill her. Assuming that Princewill’s generosity was political, please can anybody tell me what is wrong with it since political scientists have characterised humanbeing as a political animal? You don’t throw the child with the bath out of sheer envy. Please, can somebody tell me what is not political in our world ranging from school to church, from family to village, from state to country? The list is endless.

Nevertheless, Princewill in his always gentle disposition had cleared the air that he was not showing generosity to people because of anything attached to politics; I think he explained this to untie the definition of ‘politics’ some Nigerians have given to his uncontrollably gesture in helping people in the society that he does not even know majority of them.

Was it also politics when Princewill was taken from in the event of the 2007 gubernatorial elections in which he contested and finally went to court with the PDP-declared winner of the election but later withdrew from the court peaceably when the present governor was after months announced winner of the election by the Apex Court? Is it also politics when a man chooses to be civil without entangling himself with the crude way many of our countrymen do Politics?

If Princewill was bias in the way many people play their own politics here, perhaps Rivers State would not be experiencing any forms of peace as can be felt presently in the state. This is a man who has seen that politics should be played above tribal and state sentiments. Was it also politics and he did not keep-up with his fellow Ijaw brother during the event of the 2011 presidential elections but kept up with a northerner? If people think that his being generous was political, then it should have been felt by only Rivers people; but his long hand for generosity even extends beyond the shores of Nigeria, let alone, Rivers State.

What happened when his fellow Ijaw man won the presidential election? Princewill congratulated with him and used his hard-earned money to draw nomenclatures in the media how he feels the president can contribute to the growth of the country. Princewill did not show any animosity against the president. If he were some people, they’ll not be talking to the president till now. But this is not Princewill. Why have nobody said that Princewill’s none political outing five years after he contested the guber race is also politics?

Princewill is one man who has incessantly used his hard-earned money to gather journalists and stakeholders in Rivers State to brainstorm on the ways forward that could assist the present government in moving the state to the next level. How many people noticed him when he preferred to be poor while the comment on his lips was, “Rivers State is important to me than anything”? Was that also not politics?

As a man who has shown that he is not pursuing self-seeking agenda, he had advised that “Politics is too important to be left for politicians.” If anybody thinks that Princewill was being political with his generosity, the person can hear this he had said and borrow a leaf from it: “I am not supposed to be playing politics but I cannot be watching what is going on around me and fold my hands and say that that is for them.”

Anybody who is slandering Princewill because of his kind-heartedness is just being unfaithful to nature; although, I had known that slander is the vengeance of cowards. Those who are fighting Princewill should understand that slanderers only succeed in building their ruins on the fame of another man. There is no gainsaying that Princewill is famous today and I do not think that he concerns himself with these flying ludicrous words against him, because as an intelligent man, he had known that whoever that is angry at slander makes the slanderer true.

It behooves well-meaning Rivers residents to support Prince Tonye Princewill in lure of attempting to pull him down. Let people stop being enemy of progress. Those whose stock-in-tread is to vilify the personality of others without any evidence should listen to what a Tryon Edwards was quoted as saying: “To murder character is as truly a crime as to murder the body: the tongue of the slanderer is brother to the dagger of the assassin.”

Prince Tonye Princewill should not be deterred by the vituperation of slanderers. I hope he knows what one Immanuel Kant Q was quoted as saying: “Have patience awhile; slanders are not long-lived. Truth is the child of time; ere long she shall appear to vindicate thee.”

Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV); he contributed this piece right from Umuahia, the Abia State capital. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

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STEPHEN .O. ABARA AND HIS LITERARY WORK (A PROFILE AND REVIEW)

Posted on January 23, 2013. Filed under: Arts and Entertainment |

STEPHEN .O. ABARA AND HIS LITERARY WORK (A PROFILE AND REVIEW)

By Nwaorgu Faustinus                                                                                   

Stephen Obinna Abara, Author and Poet, hails from Ngor-Okpala L.G.A in Imo State.  Born to the family of late Engineer Albert Abara, and Ezinne Eileen Abara of Umuene, Stephen is gradually but steadily creating a niche for himself in the literary sphere. His maiden book was published by OGUSA publication series 2000, entitled: A Historical Review of Education in Obiangwu (1900-2000).

A former President of Obiangwu Graduates and Undergraduates Association (OGUSA) from 2000 -2001, Stephen used his position at the time to champion the interest of students, graduates and people from his town by creating educational awareness  and community development.

Currently a Nigerian-Canadian Author of two books and a poet, Stephen founded the Glendon African Foundation Canada (GAF) where he serves as the GAF’s Chairman. Also a two-term Senator Representative at the York University and the winner of the Glendon African Poetry Competition at the University in 2008-09, Stephen is the Author and Editor of the ‘Best Selling book of African Inspired Poetry entitled,’ Anthology of African Poetry, U.S.A

He has performed Spoken and Heard Poetry across Canada both at the University, Toronto Library, Rise Poetry Group Scarborough, Up from the roots at Harlem, International Conferences, Nubian Spoken Word Events, Igbo Religious Events in Etobicoke, Afro Fest 2012, Poetry Express Book launch Accent on Eglinton. He has also performed at Rathburn Youth Centre event on Anti-Violence and Anti-Bullying among Youths in Canada; Healing the Wounds-Dreams Affected by Violence among Somalia’s organized by Somalia Student Association York University, and currently the Miss Black Beauty Canada 2012.

An award winner of the renowned Canadian Millennium Scholarship Fund, Stephen is a holder of bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy, Arts, International Studies and Political Science from Urban University Rome, University of Port Harcourt Nigeria, West Africa, and York University Canada respectively.

Stephen who often wears an amiable, inviting, and friendly facial expression is an adventurist, having traversed the length and breadth of Europe, America and Africa, and has never stopped learning new things while reading and writing poetry.

His love of poetry and writing has inspired his collection and creation of a range of poems (Anthology of African Poetry – reviewed by Yvonne Maria Phillip), fiction, drama and non-fiction. His forthcoming book is a drama entitled, OME IHE JIDE OFO! – A book with universal message of Peace, Truth and Justice

Get a copy of Stephen’s book at:

http://www.amazon.com, Barne & Nobles, Toronto Library Canada, Harriet Tubman Institute of Global Migration York University Canada, York University Book Stores, and Accent on Eglinton, and Xlibris.com

 

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Knowing and Discovering Africa (ANTHOLOGY OF AFRICAN POETRY) a Review

By Yvonne Maria Phillip

When asked what comes to mind when one thinks of Africa, the answers are as varied as the

Continent itself.  Africa is: History, Beauty, Richness, Majesty Sadness, Hunger,

Troubled/Struggle, The Beginning

In this ANTHOLOGY OF AFRICAN POETRY, published by Xlibris Corporation United States in 2012, edited by Stephen Abara, eight poets from Africa or of African descent, contribute poems about their beloved continent touching on some of the economic, cultural, and social issues facing Africa today. Stephen Abara is the Founder and President of Glendon Africa Network (GAN). The organization focuses a combination of diplomatic and highly rational methodologies, in order to curb and actually provide solutions for the social, economic and political problems of Africa today. At another level, GAN, in association with York University here in Toronto, aims to put in place strategies that would, in effect, inspire students to appreciate the expressive cultures of Africa and promote bilingualism and inter-cultural understanding among themselves.

These noble and timely objectives resonate among and within the poems in the anthology. The following describes the aesthetics of the books itself, and briefly highlights the intrinsic value brought to the anthology by contributing poets and poems:

René –Middet Gabiro : Mon Rwanda,

Melanie Lindayen: Nigeria,

Nadia Singiroh: Africa! Things will get better in the morning, To the Sister I wish to have had, Peace –Africa, Tender Love, Everlasting Love

Stephen Abara: The Huge Elephant: The Essence, Flames are high, Rational Trumpet

 Africa Dreams in Shamble

Marfo Bonsu M.K: She Cries

Junior Mandoko: Eloko ya makassi,

Aggrey Chepkwony: Anthem from the Hermit, The Slum, Night Runners, Sold Off

Robert René : Pinasse Du Temps, Pourquoi le Singe Ressemble ‘A L’Homme

The works by these selected poets and their peers showcase the real purpose of this book, which is to “improve understanding of African lifestyle and identity, foster knowledge about Africa through Afro-centric expressive cultural arts and spread the African culture and identity through the educational  sponsorship of African Children.”

The pages of the first part of book, is a blend of creamy beige and traditional white. The creamy beige starts out at the top and slowly moves down fading into a more traditional white, only to meet again with the solid lines of a double border: of which the top line is traditional brown in appearance, whereas the bottom line appears a lighter shade. Then again, the borders spread out in both directions to the edges of the page to curl around the numbers. The photos and artworks, of each poet, placed atop and centre of the pages are tasteful and aesthetically pleasing; that is, these highlight rather than clash with the overall color décor. Finally, the second half of the book completes and adds esthetic power to the book’s appearance, where the pages are a darker brown and the photos and scenes from the Glendon Africa Network are sharp and clear against the chosen backdrop.

Through the poems in ANTHOLOGY OF AFRICAN POETRY, the cultural, social, and economic concerns facing Africa are dramatized and the readers’ understanding of African lifestyle and identify between cultures is improved. Here are many examples of the complexity of forces and circumstances that saturate the African landscape and culture: the plight of children in whom the history of tradition is expected to be fulfilled even at the expense of their well-being, the social crisis of the homeless, despaired, and those trapped by the tragedy of war, and the economic poverty of many (where people live in perilous, poor conditions) existing alongside both extracted and untapped rich resources and commodities such as gold and diamonds and other minerals. Several selections provide a clear window into this unique experience.

Huge Elephant, by Steven Abara addresses Africa’s environmental concerns; referred to as the great elephant tusk–trapped, and urges Africa to shout out and embrace modernization to better showcase its potential strength. Then again, though other poetic gems add to the lustre of understanding and insight, there is a shift in framing the experience beginning with the poems by René-Mideet Gabiro and Melanie Lindayven. Definitely more sociological in scope, these address and reveal the plethora of cultural and social situations that shape the African people.

René-Mideet Gabiro’s poem Mon Rwanda written in French sings of Rwanda, her beauty, blessed by God, her sad history, her struggle for freedom and peace, and of National Heroes fighting for her good and her future. In mournful sequence, the rhythms speak to us about a Rwanda savaged by the hell of war, and where the land—the very thing Rwanda is known for—namely her mountains—could be a double-edged sword in troubled times. It’s also a poem of remembrances that lament the loss of lives and simultaneously highlights and confirms that the land, ever celebrated in song and rhyme for her rich beauty shaped in undulating mountains, could be the very thing that traps and destroys both life and landscape.

On the other hand, Melanie Lindayven’s poem entitled Nigeria is a lighter look at Africa’s social aspect. Set in a village-the very essence of social life, bound by a tight network, where one person is dependent closely upon the other-Nigeria, the poem, exemplifies images of power. Who can resist the strength of this stormy refrain when she speaks about the “…downpour deadening the mercantile cacophony of the crowd.”  But there is also an ominous feature of power, she warns. Are these the wings of angels or demons “clapping blackly in the sky with pious force”? In the end though, she soothes the sinews of the poem by invoking images of discovery, of what it feels like to experience the dual mix of rain and sun… After all, she seems to be telling us, life is about contrasts, where the wonders of being lies in a taste of the everyday, looking at the human person indulging in the not so secret desires of many to walk in the rain, umbrella-less, uncovered, and snatch a brief moment of freedom and the rare chance to share a oneness with the power and wonder of nature.

She Cries by Marfo Bonsu, brings a universal resonance to the work. It rather sends out a ‘call’    as it entreats, on behalf ‘Mother Africa’, that Africans around the world come together in remembrance, defence and understanding of home. Make no mistake. This is a call of love of self and neighbours and a deliberate attempt to foster pride in African nations. The message is threefold, consisting of a rallying cry for Africans to embrace unity, not strife; as well as a confident note that, though Africa’s children flee in the face war, they do not surrender; lastly, there is a kind of love that binds them to Africa that is entrenched deep within their hearts and that of their descendants, so whether they flee or stay, she is a their only source of hope when they despair.

Finally, Aggrey Chepkwony’s contributions: Anthem from the Hermit, Slum, Sold Off, and Night Runner compile an unapologetic look at some of the darker social and cultural situations that define Africa. Social issues like homelessness punctuated in Anthem from the Hermit, where many live the day-to-day fight for the basics of shelter, food, and clothing, add to those fears governed by war and despair and life in even more desperate living conditions and the impoverished take a double whammy impact in Slum. Not only are the two poems a comment on the social and cultural experience of Africa, they also integrate their disposition with the state of another major area of life, which is the economy, and seems to reinforce the orthodox correlate: that better economies naturally lead to better life situations.

Night Runner tries to show how cultural appeasement takes place in the face of pressures from both old traditions and modern ways of thinking and doing things, and how government officials today participate within, and indeed negotiate, these realms. We learn about traditions and apparently unbending policies that permit the ‘selling off’ of young girls into marriage to adult men. This is poignantly captured in the poem Sold Off, which is written from the point of view of one who had first-hand experience of being sold and unable to prevent the same from happening to a sibling. Their despair highlights the plight of our littlest human beings who are seen as commodities rather than as beloved children.

These poets sing the same songs, of love and loss, loss of a continent, loss of a country and of community when families must flee the place of home to foreign lands. But even when they learn new cultures and mix the old with the new they still try to preserve what was there before.  Their window of hope comes out in songs that caress the heart of the only home they knew, mother Africa. This treasure trove of poems makes us believe that we can speak about Africa only when we have sat in her bosom. Africa is a mystic, mythic continent, truly speaking the whole world of feelings, hopes and dreams. Now when one is asked what comes to mind when one thinks of Africa, the answers may still be varied and confirm some original views, but new ones more down to earth and comprehensive may come to mind as well. Africa is:

Love-Desired, Undeterred, Time Worthy, Beauty, Magical, Rich UNITY

Contact Author and Poet S. Abara @Glomac Services Canada, and Glomac LTD UK to order copies of an African Inspired Poetry titled: Anthology of African Poetry, Edited by Stephen Abara. Also, Copies can be ordered from Xlibris.com, Amazon.com, Barne and Nobles, York University Book Stores, Glendon African Network, Accent Book stores Toronto, and you’re local Bookstores.

http://anthologyofafricanpoetry.com/

http://glomac-anthologyofafricanpoetry.blogspot.com

http://glo-mac-services.com

Nwaorgu Faustinus, Media Representative to Stephen Obinna Abara

Email:ngorokpalaresearcher@gmail.com

 

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P’sien Storms Ngor/Okpala as he unveils his Maiden Album

Posted on January 22, 2013. Filed under: Arts and Entertainment | Tags: , , |

P’sien Storms Ngor/Okpala as he unveils his Maiden AlbumP'SIEN AlBUM JACKET

Peter N Claver, aka P’sien, a young potential artiste from Ngor/Okpala is set to unveil his maiden album with the title “From No Where To Some Where (Am Blessed).

The inauguration which is scheduled for 30 of December, 2012, will have all roads leading to Umuodagu Ntu Primary School, the venue of the event in Ngor/Okpala LGA of Imo State, Nigeria.

Peter Claver, 24, is the last born in a family of three, and an undergraduate of the University of Port Harcourt where he is studying Political Science.

A burgeoning artiste, P’sien as he is fondly called by his numerous fans, admires and the likes, is gradually and potentially carving a niche for himself as his song with the track name “The Finest”among others has in the past few months taken over the airwaves of some FM stations based in Imo and Rivers States by storm.

The event which is in two phases, will first witness the Launching of the album at 12noon-5pm to be followed by an all-night show that showcase performance from other regional budding artistes.

album launchOn why he prefers to launch the album in a quiet and serene village instead of in a hotel hall, this was his reply. “You know I am one of the believers in the saying that charity begins at home. This is the reason am launching my first album in my community. The launch of other subsequent albums by the special grace of God may have urban setting”

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My Son Has Immortalized Me – King Prof. TJT Princewill

Posted on January 22, 2013. Filed under: Politics, Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

My Son Has Immortalized Me – King Prof. TJT Princewill
By Nwaorgu Faustinus

 

Following the commissioning and donation of a modern Pavilion Complex built by Prince Tonye Princewill to his father recently, King Prof TJT Princwill CFR, Amachree XI and Amanyanabo of Kalabari has described it as an act of immortalization bestowed on him by his son.

 

Commissioning the modern Pavilion Complex during the opening ceremony of the 2013 Annual Port Harcourt International Polo Tournament, the King pronounced the event as a legacy he would never forget. According to the King, “today, my son, Prince Tonye Princewill has immortalized me by this act. So far as this complex exists, my name will be attached to it”. King Princewill mesmerized the audience with his wisdom and mastery of the game of polo when he recalled with pride his polo playing days as a member of the Vom Polo Club in Jos in the 70s. He stated further, “How my son came about this initiative still stands as a mystery to me as I have never briefed him about this aspect of my life as he was so small when I played the game in the 70s. I feel fulfilled today as this event apart from reminding me of my days playing polo has made me a proud father.”

 

According to an online statement issued by Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, has it that the King after commissioning the Pavilion Complex, declared open the 2013 Annual Port Harcourt International Polo Tournament involving clubs from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, South Africa, of course Nigeria and others.
In his remarks, Prince Tonye Princewill, who spoke through his legal adviser, Soalabo West Esq thanked the management of the Port Harcourt Polo Club for giving him the opportunity to donate this edifice. He challenged other great individuals from the State to assist in promoting sports as the State Government cannot do it alone. The pavilion complex is made up of a covered stand for important dignitaries to watch the Polo Game in Port Harcourt, modern media gadgets, an auditorium, offices, conveniences and a host of other world class facilities.
The President of the Club, Engr. Ibifiri Shehu Bob-Manuel who expressed sincere appreciation at the magnanimity of the Prince in donating the complex expressed his gratitude to him for the zeal and commitment in delivering the edifice in such a short period after making the pledge only last year. He added that the game of polo in the State has never had it so good since its inception in 1974 and that the club can now comfortably host international tournaments. He went on further to say that there were over 100 players participating in this championship with countries like South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and great Teams from all over the States in our country. He then added that by this we are also promoting tourism and attracting foreign investments to the State”.

 

The tournament goes on for a week with major prizes on offer for the best of the world class teams. Some of the elite cups being competed for in this tournament are the General T.Y. Danjuma Cup, the President’s Cup, Governor’s cup, Roland Cookey-Gam Cup and the Talevera Cup.

 

It is noteworthy that on 12th January, 2013, history was made in Port Harcourt, Rivers State of Nigeria when Port Harcourt Polo Club founded in 1974 by General T.Y. Danjuma was handed its first modern Pavilion Complex built and donated by Prince Tonye T.J.T Princewill.

 

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Princewill Clears Air over Philanthropic Activities

Posted on January 22, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Princewill Clears Air over Philanthropic Activities

 

Frontline Rivers State politician, Prince Tonye Princewill, has dismissed insinuations that his philanthropic activities have a political undertone. He cleared the air while speaking on a Silverbird TV network programme documentary entitled Man, Mentor, Maverick.

Aired from 9pm Nigerian time, the documentary monitored in Enugu by one of his Media Aides, Faustinus Nwaorgu told the story of the life and activities of Prince Tonye, showcasing his massive philanthropic activities that include his interventions in lifting the lives of orphans, empowerment of both women and youths and assistance to various organisations and clubs, the latest of which involved providing relief materials for flood victims in Rivers State.

 

“It is not for political reasons,” said the Kalabari Prince while dismissing claims by critics that his generosity is meant to soften the ground for his eventual entry into the River State gubernatorial race in the run-up to the next political dispensation. “My passion to help in uplifting the standard of living of our people instead is the driving force,” he added. He promised not to relent in his desire to assist people in dare need no matter the part of the world they may come from. The Prince who donated over N130M through the Melody Shelters last year to stage the first Orphanage Dancing Competition in Nigeria promised to do more in 2013. “I hope to improve on what I donated to the Orphanage Homes in the country by this year”, the Prince enthused.

 

In the documentary, he highlighted his relationship with, Atiku Abubakar, Gov. Amaechi, Asiwuji and Alaibe whom he described as the politicians who thought some basic elements of politics and played key roles in shaping him to be whoever he is today.

 

He also defended why he supported Atiku before the PDP primaries and later campaigned for President Jonathan when he became the PDP Flag-Bearer as he was better than both General Buhari and other Flag-bearers of other political parties during the 2011 presidential election.

 

Princewill, who clocked 44 on January 4, 2013, was the gubernatorial candidate of the Action Congress in 2007 in Rivers State. Presently of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, his Princewill Political Associates (PPA) is making waves across the state, leading some to conclude that he may be eyeing the Government House once more.

 

 

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