first African-owned U.S.-based professional newspaper to be published
on the internet, is listed among the world's hot sites by the
international newspaper, USAToday. USAfrica has been cited by the New
York Times as America's largest African-owned multimedia company.
8303 SW Freeway, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77074.
Phone: 713-270-5500. Cell direct:
Obama's Africa agenda, our business and democracy: Will Africa's Obamas emerge from U.S president's Ghana trip? By Chido Nwangwu
Nelson Mandela's political trinity: the man, the messiah and the mystique.
On the Prof. Chinua Achebe project, log on to www.Achebebooks.com
OBAMA named USAfrica MAN of the YEAR
Fela: The Life and Times of controversial Afrobeat superstar.
Heart failure and AIDS-related causes cited in his death.
Special Report by Chido Nwangwu, Publisher USAfricaonline.com
Summary of this essay: The African continent's most creative Afrobeat superstar,
anti-military dictatorship activist, social maverick and pan-Africanist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti
has died of AIDS-related reasons and heart failure. Fela's 58 years old, odd but very courageous
engagement with life was as controversial, irreverent, creative as he was sometimes confusing to
even his most ardent admirers. His social promiscuity and hyper-sexual relationships with women,
mainly his retinue of dancers were, at once, revolting to many, as he was also an object of curiosity
for all manner of people, Americans and Europeans, Africans and Arabs, men and women.
He was a genius, albeit, for lack of a better word, a usefully mad genius, a creative iconoclast.
Fela's genius as a musician had an unmatched stellar power, may be an acute acoustic verve and caustic provocations to the powers that be.
The military in Nigeria feared only one man in Nigeria: Fela.
Fela is dead, alright; but his music lives on. Long live Fela, Long Live the King of Afro-beat! Mon, 4 Aug 1997: The African continent's most creative Afrobeat superstar, anti-military dictatorship activist, social maverick and pan-Africanist Fela Anikulapo-Kuti has died of AIDS-related reasons and heart failure. "The immediate cause of death of Fela was heart failure but there were many complications arising from the Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome,'' Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, a medical doctor and Fela's older brother told a news conference in Lagos on Sunday August 3, 1997 announcing the death of a musical giant, social commentator and maestro. Fela's 58 years old, odd but very courageous engagement with life was as controversial, irreverent, creative as he was sometimes confusing to even his most ardent admirers. His social promiscuity and hyper-sexual relationships with women, mainly his retinue of dancers were, at once, revolting to many, as he was also an object of curiosity for all manner of people, Americans and Europeans, Africans and Arabs, men and women. He was a genius, albeit, for lack of a better word, a usefully mad genius, a creative iconoclast. In my opinion, there was just one Fela; there has never been any like him in his country; there will really never be another like him. Fela's imprints on the sand of our social time are permanent. Although Fela's (ab)use of drugs (hemp) did not help his health and focus on the other things that were important. He could have been better. But to some, it was all part of his eccentricities, a part of his mystique as Fela Anikulapo Kuti! No. The king of Afro-beat, the guru of strategic irreverence and pan Africanism, the master exponent of "Shakara" and the enchanting saxophonic rhythms and synthesizers which waft through his classic song "Lady" has joined his ancestors but his views on everyday, existential matters are relevant today across Africa. Fela, the king of socio-musical commentary is no more; one of the best jazzologists and creators of the most compelling and inimitable ethno-orchestra sessions of the 20th century is dead but his call that Africans get beyond "colonial mentality" and anti-corruption songs "Yellow Fever" are entirely valid. Coincidentally, a few hours after his death, I had the privileged of being the guest of creative events photographer Richard Dabon's at the Omni Hotel this August 3 weekend for the 1997 Houston Mayor's Jazz Brunch. Tunes reminiscent of Fela's saxophonic vitality and energies were played occasionally at the event. May be only a few persons at the Omni would have known the giant had passed. It all seemed like an unscheduled, unmentioned tribute to Fela-- with the likes of the very remarkable South African Jonathan Butler doing an incredible, elevating live jam session with the Houston Jazz Education All Stars. Fela would have been proud. But is he proud of the country (Nigeria) he left, dying of AIDS-related complications? Does anyone really know what the statistic and measures to make Nigerians and other Africans safe from the AIDS virus? What will happen to the hundreds, yes, hundreds of women who made a different kind of (bed) sheet music" with Fela? Is jazz, especially Afro-jazz, today in the African continent, in Black America and the rest of the world better than when his likes put the genre on the globe? Is his country, Nigeria, moving towards what he hoped for in his music and views? In fact, it must be asked did he contribute to the decay of the country's morals and direction by his multiple sexual devotions? Fela was no angel or saint, to be sure. But Fela's genius as a musician had an unmatched stellar power, may be an acute acoustic verve and caustic provocations to the powers that be. His courage to speak his truth, his strong, unvarnished views to the face of power and "all dem oppressors" will be missed by millions of other Africans and people of the world. He remained a tower of guts, even while his pants were barely on! According to USAfrica The Newspaper's correspondents in Lagos , the death of Fela has left a mournful pall over the country while soaring sales for his records/compact discs. A Lagosian, Adetiba Omowale told one of our reporters "this is the death of an original, an African original. Fela was unequalled." Ikenna Ibeneme said "he was the best. He had style and guts." He died on Saturday August 2, 1997 after several weeks of illness at the age of 58. Fela resided in Ikeja, operated and played at a famous joint called "The Shrine." He has toured the U.S (including our city, Houston) and dozens of European cities. Before his death, Fela refused treatment for his deteriorating health. He rejected both Western and traditional Nigerian medical services insisting it was on grounds of "principle." The Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency led by Gen. Bamayi tried without success to stop him from using marijuana with threats of legal incarceration. After their efforts failed the NDLEA agents released (see USAfrica The Newspaper April 25 1997 edition) Remarkably, and unusually too, Fela has not made major, if any, effort to challenge or criticize Nigeria's current military ruler Gen. Sani Abacha, despite the fact one of his brothers, Beko Ransome-Kuti, a democracy activist, is serving a prison sentence for involvement in an alleged "coup plot." Beko Ransome-Kuti turned his 57 the same Saturday Fela died. He is reportedly removed from news and radio access. He has also been actively opposed to military dictatorships in Nigeria. Fela's social and political activism led to his forming a political party called Movement of the People (MOP) during Nigeria's militarily aborted attempt by civilians in 1978/79 and the early 1980s to establish a democratic government. Fela never shied away, until few years before his death, from stating his opposition to military men and ordinary soldiers whom he referred to, pejoratively, as "zombies". He paid for his vocal, and critical stance. Even his mother, a noted nationalist was a victim of military-police brutality. Jailed presidential claimant Moshood K.O Abiola did not escape the lethal, no-holds-barred and bazooka-like biting attacks on Nigeria's ruling class from Fela. In fact he called Abiola "a Thief" while categorizing the ITT for which Abiola served its interests in Nigeria and the Middle East as nothing more than "International Thief, Thief." That was simply a tip of Fela's acerbic directness. His kinsman and now detained former head of state of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo did not escape his peppery barb. Fela is dead, alright; but his music lives on. Long live Fela, Long Live the King of Afro-beat.
Chido Nwangwu, former member of the editorial board of the Daily Times of Nigeria and recipient of the Journalism Excellence award (1997), is Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com (first African-owned U.S.-based professional newspaper to be published on the internet), USAfrica The Newspaper, CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal, USAfricaTV, AchebeBooks.com, and several blogs/e-groups, has been a participant at the World Technology Forum in San Francisco by PRI/BBC and contributing analyst to CNN's Inside Africa, VOA, Mail & Guardian of South Africa, and several newspapers/sites. He has served as an adviser to the Mayor of Houston on international business (Africa) and appears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, NPR, CBS News, NBC and ABC news affiliates. www.USAfricaonline.com/chido.html
Linking to this report is appreciated. Archiving on any other web site or newspaper is unauthorized except with a Written Approval by USAfricaonline.com Founder.
-- USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com (characterized by The New York
Times as the largest and arguably the most influential
African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks) established May 1992,
our first edition of USAfrica magazine was published August 1993;
USAfrica The Newspaper on May 11, 1994; and CLASSmagazine on May 2,
APPRECIATION: A young father writes his One year old son: "If only my heart had a voice...."
Kuti brings the roof down at Ravinia music
festival. By Pamela Mojekwu, Chicago-based
contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com CLASSmagazine
INSIGHT: Why America should halt the genocide in the Sudan.
Nelson Mandela's political trinity: the man, the messiah and the mystique.
Tiger Woods is no Nelson Mandela! By Chido Nwangwu
What I saw as one of the 20,000 at the Obama 'Yes, We Can' movement, live in Houston....
Blog notes by Chido Nwangwu
DEMOCRACY WATCH: What Bush Should Tell Obasanjo.... By Chido Nwangwu (Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com)
Can Africa live a future without war? An Open Letter to Mandela. By Fubara David-West, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor
FLASHPOINT! In 15 years: Nigeria could collapse, destabilize entire West Africa - U.S. intelligence analysts claim; Obasanjo calls them "prophets of doom...."
VIEWPOINT: Obasanjo, Go! Just go! Prof. Wole Soyinka
Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide. By Chido Nwangwu
INSIGHT: Destruction of property and human massacres are always traumatic events in a community, saddening and enraging, but the organizers of the beauty contest, as well as the participants, must understand that they are totally free of guilt. The guilty are the storm troopers of intolerance, the manipulators of feeble-minded but murderous hordes of fanaticism. By Prof. Wole Soyinka
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
AFRICA AND THE U.S. ELECTIONS Beyond U.S. electoral shenanigans, rewards and dynamics of a democratic republic hold lessons for African politics.
Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror?
Africans reported dead in terrorist attack at WTC
September 11 terror and the ghost of things to come....
Arafat's duplicity, terrorism at the heart of Israeli-Palestinian crises. By Barry Rubin
Will religious conflicts be the time-bomb for Nigeria's latest transition to civilian rule?
Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burden mounts with murder charges, trials
Conflicting emotions, feeling of disappointment, timing of revelation that Rev. Jackson fathered a child with former aide lead to charges of "right-wing orchestration."
Nigeria's Presidential Election: Is it just for the Highest Bidder?
Nigeria at 40: punish financial thuggery, build domestic infrastructure
Is Obasanjo really up to Nigeria's challenge and crises? By USAfricaonline.com contributing editor Ken Okorie. Commentary appears from NigeriaCentral.com
Africa suffers the scourge of the virus. This life and pain of Kgomotso Mahlangu, a five-month-old AIDS patient (left) in a hospital in the Kalafong township near Pretoria, South Africa, on October 26, 1999, brings a certain, frightening reality to the sweeping and devastating destruction of human beings who form the core of any definition of a country's future, its national security, actual and potential economic development and internal markets.
22 million Africans HIV-infected, ill with AIDS while African leaders ignore disaster-in-waiting
Wong is wrong on Blacks in Houston city jobs
Why is 4-year old Onyedika carrying a placard against killings in Nigeria?
How Nigeria's Islamic Sharia crises will affect the U.S.
USAfrica INTERVIEW "Why African Catholics are concerned about crises, sex abuse issues in our church" - a frank chat with ICCO's Mike Umeorah
Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu The Economics of Elections in Nigeria
HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY How far, how deep will Nigeria's human rights commission go?
Rtd. Gen. Babangida trip as emissary for Nigeria's Obasanjo to Sudan raises curiosity, questions about what next in power play?
COUNTERPOINT 'Why is Bill Maher spreading racist nonsense about HIV/AIDS and Africa on ABC?
Hate groups' spin by Lamar Alexander benefits anti-Blacks, anti-Semites, and racists
Annan, power and burden of the U.N
The Civilianizing of African soldiers into Presidents
At 39, Nigerians still face dishonest stereotypes such as Buckley's, and other self-inflicted wounds.
JFK Jr.: Death of a Good Son
'Why is Bill Maher spreading racist nonsense about HIV/AIDS and Africa on ABC?
National Summit on Africa, Congresswoman Jackson-Lee hold policy forum in Houston
'100 Black Men are solutions-oriented' says Thomas Dortch, Jr., Richard Johnson and Nick Clayton II as they share perspectives with USAfrica's founder on the national organization.
Community Service Awards bring African-American, American policy and business leaders together with African community at Texas Southern University
110 minutes with Hakeem Olajuwon
Cheryl Mills' first class defense of Clinton and her detractors' game
Nigeria, Cry My Beloved Country
Will the rash of Ethnic Violence disrupt Nigeria's effort at Democracy?
IN THE HOUSE OF MANDELA: A SILLY CRY FOR REPARATIONS By Prof. Chimalum Nwankwo
Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.
EndGame in Kinshasa: U.S must boot Mobutu for own interest, future of Zaire and Africa
PetroGasWorks Shell picks Leslie Mays as VP Global Diversity
Why Nigeria and Africa's
leaders are leading us to nowhere. By
Professor Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe,
contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com,
author of the highly-acclaimed African Literature in
Defence of History: An Essay on Chinua Achebe and a
visiting fellow at the London School of
How Obasanjo's self-succession charade at his Ota Farm has turned Nigeria to an 'Animal Farm.' By Prof. Mobolaji Aluko
Is Obasanjo ordained by God to rule Nigeria? And, other fallacies. By Prof. Sola Adeyeye
Obasanjo was not sworn in merely to "mean well" for Nigeria. By Obi Nwakanma
Obasanjo's 'prayers' and the Abacha path of staying in power. By Nkem Ekeopara
Creative writing, publishing and the future of Nigerian Literature. By Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike
A young father writes his One year old son: "If only my heart had a voice...."
Nigeria, a terrible beauty. By Chido Nwangwu
Anambra's rigged 2003 elections: Chris Uba's confession at WIC 2004 in Newark, USA. In a matter-of-fact manner, PDP's chieftain in Anambra Chris Uba stood up and astonished all that were present in Newark when he said, "We, the PDP, did not win the election (of 2003). I have gone to church to confess. The election had no document. I called the result before 12 midnight. I gave INEC the money and asked them to call the result." The revelation caused an uproar as well as some applause in the hall. "The person we took his thing is here," Uba said, pointing at Peter Obi (the APGA candidate) who was sitting among the audience, in the back row.
USAfrica The Newspaper voted the "Best Community Newspaper" in the 4th largest city in the U.S., Houston. It is in the Best of Houston special as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press, reflecting their poll and annual rankings.
DEMOCRACY WATCH: Obasanjo raped Nigeria's constitution by suspending Plateau Assembly and Governor. Prof. By Prof. Ben Nwabueze, leading constitutional scholar in the Commonwealth for almost 45 years, former Nigerian federal minister and SAN.
OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse?
Investigating Marc Rich and his deals with Nigeria's Oil
Through an elaborate network of carrots and sticks and a willing army of Nigeria's soldiers and some civilians, controversial global dealer and billionaire Marc Rich, literally and practically, made deals and steals; yes, laughed his way to the banks from crude oil contracts, unpaid millions in oil royalties and false declarations of quantities of crude lifted and exported from Nigeria for almost 25 years. Worse, he lifted Nigeria's oil and shipped same to then embargoed apartheid regime in South Africa. Read Chido Nwangwu's NEWS INVESTIGATION REPORT for PetroGasWorks.com
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post?
Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa
Nnamdi Azikiwe: Statesman, Intellectual and Titan of African politics
Bush's position on Africa is "ill-advised." The position stated by Republican presidential aspirant and Governor of Texas, George Bush where he said that "Africa will not be an area of priority" in his presidency has been questioned by USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. He added that Bush's "pre-election position was neither validated by the economic exchanges nor geo-strategic interests of our two continents." These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.' Nwangwu, adviser to the Mayor of Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S., and immigrant home to thousands of Africans) argued further that "the issues of the heritage interests of 35 million African-Americans in Africa, the volume and value of oil business between between the U.S and Nigeria and the horrendous AIDS crisis in Africa do not lend any basis for Governor Bush's ill-advised position which removes Africa from fair consideration" were he to be elected president. By Al Johnson
The Life and Irreverent times of Afrobeat superstar, FELA
Reuben Abati's fallacies on Nigeria's history and secession. By Bayo Arowolaju
How Abati, Adelaja and others fuel the campaign of hatred against Ndigbo. By Jonas Okwara
"Obasanjo, secession and the secessionists": A response to Reuben Abati's Igbophobia. By Josh Arinze, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor.
Abati and other anti-Igbo bigots in Nigeria. By Chuks Iloegbunam, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor and author of Ironsi
CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy was livecast on February 19, 2002. It involved Nigeria's Information Minister Prof. Jerry Gana, Prof. Salih Booker and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. Transcripts are available on the CNN International site.
WILL ARINZE BE THE FIRST POPE of RECENT AFRICAN ORIGIN? To our Brother Cardinal Arinze: May your pastoral lineage endure!
The Democratic Party stood for nothing in 2002 election cycle. By Jonathan Elendu
EVA champions efforts to combat AIDS among Nigerian youth. By Jessica Rubin
Pros and cons of the circumcision debate. By Ngozi Ezeji, RN
Prof. Chimere Ikoku: Remembering the legacy of a pan-Africanist, scientist and gentleman. By Prof. Chudi Uwazurike
SPORTS: Tiger Woods makes more history with another golf Masters win. He shot 12-under-par 276 and a final round 71 at Georgia's Augusta National Golf Club event and collected $1,008,000, on Sunday April 14, 2002. With it, the world's golf phenom added another green jacket to his array of championships and titles, placing him, in this instance, in the same respected Masters' league as Nicklaus (winner 1965 and 1966) and Nick Faldo (1989 and 1990). The three are the only men to win back-to-back Masters. At 26, Woods has since become the youngest golfer to win his seventh professional major championship. He was joined by his parents and his 22 year-old Swedish model girlfriend, Elin Nordegren.
Impeachment process shows Nigerian democracy "is alive... being tested." Nigeria's president retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the impeachment process shows that "democracy is alive, is being tested, and being tried.... What they (the legislators) have tried to do in the democratic way, which is not easy, would probably have been done by taking arms or by -- with bullets. So, but with democracy, of course, some people feel that this is the way this should be, and then I have an opportunity to defend myself. There is discussion. There is dialogue. There is a decision. There is fairness." He made these comments when he appeared on Tuesday September 17, 2002 on CNN International to discuss the issues of impeachment facing him, the allegations of corruption, abuse of the constitution and deployment of soldiers ina civilian environment which led to the "massacre of civilians" in Odi (Bayelsa) and Zaki Biam (Benue). On the charges by international human rights organizations and Nigerian media that his government has been involved in actions which have led to the deaths of thousands of Nigerians, the retired General gave a surprising answer. He was asked that "as many as 10,000 people, it's being reported, have been killed in Nigeria (in) communal rivalries, and the number is believed to be increasing. And people are saying that although President Obasanjo has done a lot of good for Nigeria, you're accused of not -- accused of failing to halt that spiraling violence."
Obasanjo: Let me say this to you, when you put the question
of 10,000 -- 10,000 people dying in Nigeria, of course, for
a population of over 120 million people...."
But USAfricaonline.com Founder and
recipient of the Journalism Excellence award (1997),
Nwangwu, who appeared on the same program as as a CNN
International analyst (Africa) pointed out that "when
(President Obasanjo) answered that in a country of 100
million that 10,000 people are said to have died, as if that
was a small number, that in itself reflects a disconnect
with the concerns of Nigerians. The second one is that when
the risk is civil disagreement, the police are required to
intervene in the country. And the deployment of the armed
forces of Nigeria requires at least some consultation,
however modest, with the parliament." Nwangwu,
former member of the editorial board of Nigeria's Daily
Times continued that "the third
factor that is equally important to underscore is that the
armed forces of Nigeria moved in for a punitive action
rather than just containing a civil
disagreement." He noted in USAfricaonline.com
backgrounder "it was revealing and interesting interesting
discussing Nigeria's issues with its leader - under the
current circumstances of an increasingly out-of-schedule
elections and the gathering storm of an impeachment process
by a majority of the members of the National Assembly,
predominantly by Obasanjo's party members." See
transcript of the CNN
International news program.
Steve Jobs and Apple represent the future of digital living. By Chido Nwangwu
The coup in Cote d'Ivoire and its implications for democracy in Africa. By Chido Nwangwu
(Related commentary) Coup in Cote d'Ivoire has been in the waiting. By Tom Kamara
Why Powell's mission to the Middle East failed. By Jonathan Elendu
General Tunde Idiagbon: A nationalist, an iron-surgeon departs
Abiola's sudden death and the ghost of things to come
Gen. Shehu Musa Yar'Adua's prison death, Nigeria and The Ghost of Things to come .....