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Blackbird: A Short Poem image

Blackbird: A Short Poem

Blackbird

Why you wanna fly Blackbird, You aint ever gonna fly Blackbird

No place big enough for holding, all the tears you’re gonna cry

‘Cause your mama’s name was ‘lonely’, And your daddy’s name was ‘pain’

And they call you little sorrow, cos you never loved again

 

So why you wanna fly Blackbird you ain’t ever gonna fly

You ain’t got no one to hold you, you aint got no one to care

If you’d only understand dear, nobody wants you anywhere

So why you wanna fly Blackbird, you ain’t ever gonna fly

 

Blackbird – The Amazing Nina Simone

I watched a movie during the weekend, ‘Beyond the lights’, a black American movie, I’m not going to do review for it other than to say it’s a thoroughly enjoyable movie. What stuck with me from the movie till now is the lead actress doing a cover of the Blackbird song, twice, both as a kid and as a star. The song in itself is great but what left a lasting impression on me were the lyrics, which I’ve written above.

It’s a pessimistic view of the future of the black man, which in itself is astonishing seeing as those views still ring true even decades after she wrote this song. Just like the movie, I won’t be talking about the black man in general, a lot of people are doing that, I’m just here to appreciate the black women in all our lives.

This goes out to all the black women out there, you are beautiful, yes you are and I see what you go through.

It’s a poem in which I reworked the lyrics of Blackbird to give it a positive spin, I know Nina Simone’s version is perfect and I have no right to touch it so I apologize in advance.

 

PS: If you think the poem sucks, it’s because I suck at writing poems among other things.

 

 

Do you wanna fly Blackbird

Do you wanna touch the sky Blackbird

‘Cause your mother’s name was hope

And her mother’s name was dream

So they both strove to give you wings

 

Even if you never get to fly Blackbird

And you never did touch the sky

Make sure you strive to make your daughters fly

So spread your wings and fly Blackbird

And don’t stop till you touch the sky, Blackbird

 

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Photos From King Sunny Ade At 70 image

Photos From King Sunny Ade At 70

When you talk about music icons in Nigeria, you wouldn’t be wrong to put Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade in the same class. Last week Thursday, a Nigerian music icon clocked 70.

Sunday Adeniyi or KSA as you know him as was born on the 22nd of September 1946 and the self acclaimed King of fuji who is better known as the minister of enjoyment did his bit in ensuring the music scene can become what it is today.

King Sunny Ade has spent the better part of 5 decades doing what he loves best which is singing and dancing. As part of the celebrations, there was a party last Saturday just for the celebration of the Nigerian legend who the president saluted by saying “King Sunny Ade’s love for humanity, especially the less privileged, by setting up a foundation that caters for the needs of others.’’

Chief Tony Okoroji, the Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), described him as a trail-blazer in the Nigerian music industry and The COSON chairman told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that even at 70, Sunny Ade remains “an icon“, whose success should spur parents to support their children interested in making a career in music.

More praise followed on Saturday where Sunny Ade was celebrated and present that day was fellow music icon Ebenezer Obey. And at the scene of the crime, Mayowa for NG.

 

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Who Needs Friends When NEPA Is Giving Us Light Like This? image

Who Needs Friends When NEPA Is Giving Us Light Like This?

Saying power supply has increased over the last few months is an understatement. Areas where there has been little or no electricity supply all year have witnessed some of their finest power moments in years.

I stay in an area in Lagos where we average about 20 hours of light every week but all that has changed... There’s light on an almost constant basis and we now average 18 hours of electricity ever day.

It is safe to say that before May 2016, majority of us spent more time in the dark with the ever increasing fuel prices and the ever present power outage.

Over the years, one of the problems we faced as a nation was the issue of electricity. If all else doesn’t go right with Nigeria and we don’t have jobs to keep us busy, the least we can do is stay home and enjoy some decent television – we couldn’t do that before with the kind of power situation we had to endure.

There has been so much light over the past months, I have had to continue paying for my DSTV; something I considered a huge waste of cash back in February, and if things stay like this, I might just get myself the recently released play station 4 (If the dollar says so).

 

So now that there is so much light, if you’re wondering what you should do with it, here are a few suggestions... If you don’t have job, that is.

 

Video Games

This one can really ruin you so before you decide on this path, you have to make absolutely sure that you have no job, commitment or any(thing/one) depending on you for food or basic shelter. Video games are amazing when there isn’t NEPA to cut your joy in half just when your autosave is autosaving. There has been an amazing stream of video games this year alone and with the new play station 4 on the way, combine the 4k resolution with FIFA 2017 and you have yourself a My-Life-Is-Finished cocktail.

 

Watch Television

This sounds like a regular advice but chill... There’s so much good stuff on DSTV these days (If you pay for it). If you watch cartoons, there are new episodes of Regular show, Adventure Time, Gumball, and Clarence to start your day. I wouldn’t advice to switch over to the movie stations (There’s laptop for that) but if your DSTV Catch up works, you can binge watch TV shows and re-watch every gruesome minute of Arsenal’s win this weekend.

Ps, if you didn’t get the memo, with 6,000 you can watch all the football you want and in HD too if you buy a Zapper decoder for 9,900.

 

The Only Thing You Need Friends For Is To Collect Movies

Since there’s almost always light, your PC never really runs low so the best thing you can do for yourself is to stock up on motion pictures... Movies, shows... Anything that works for you. The worst thing that can happen to you is to have a fully charged PC that cannot deliver simple entertainment. If you need a list of movies to see check this compilation but if you’re a series person, check this.

 

Start A Blog

If there’s one thing you’d quickly realize, it’s that boredom is just boredom regardless of how much fun things you think you’d rather be doing. Sometimes, the best way to handle it is to write down your thoughts and a very productive way of doing that is by starting a blog. Take this serious and you might just become the next Linda Ikeji.

 

You’ve Been Using The Internet Wrong

If all you do with the incredibly cheap internet we have today is tweet, snapchat and whatsapp, then you’ve been using the internet wrong. The most fun you can have online is on YouTube. Head on to YouTube and enter the keywords “Honest Trailers”, “Elders React”, “Teens React”, “How It Should Have Ended” and be marvelled by the amount of great stuff you’ve been missing on.

 

Find A Way To Pay Your Bill

If you’re living with your parents, this might not be for you but if you don’t then you probably should think about finding a way to pay for all the electricity you want to blow on playing Video games, Binge watching shows, and watching YouTube funnies all month.

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11 Incredible Benefits of Green Tea image

11 Incredible Benefits of Green Tea

Dating back to 2737 BC and originating from China, Green tea is the healthiest and oldest beverage on the planet.

Green tea was used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to control bleeding, heals wounds, improve heart and mental health, aid digestion and many more. Made from un-oxidized leaves, it is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have positive effects on the body.

Here we take a look at the benefits of Green tea that have been confirmed in recent human research studies, maybe they can convince you to ‘’go green’’.

Fat Burner

If you look at the ingredients lists for any fat burning supplement, chances are that green tea will be on there. Green tea has thermogenic and catechins properties that increase fat oxidation and raises metabolic rates. However, some studies don’t show any increase in metabolism, so the effects may depend on the individual. Don’t be too sad about this regular green tea is 99.9% water and provides 1 calorie per 100 ml serving, just replace your sugary drinks for green tea anyway.

 

Cancer Fighter

According to the National Cancer Institute, the polyphenols in tea have been shown to decrease tumour growths. Researchers believe that it is the high level of polyphenols in tea can help kill cancerous cells and stop them from growing. The direct mechanism of cancer prevention hasn’t yet been fully established but the good news is there is a relationship between cancer prevention and tea consumption.

Dr Katherine Crew, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University, also conducted a study in men with prostate cancer and found that green tea drinkers had markedly lower prostate-specific antigen, which is linked to prostate tumour growth.

 

Oral Health

Streptococcus mutans is the primary harmful bacteria found in the mouth. It causes plaque formation and is a leading contributor of cavities and tooth decay. The Catechins in green tea inhibit the growth of bacteria, which lowers the risks of infections and improves dental health. The antioxidants also work as anti-inflammatory on the gums and help reduce the chances of oral cancer while reducing bad breath.

 

Diabetes

Type II diabetes is a disease that has been affecting more people in the past decade with about 300 million people worldwide having blood sugar problems. Some controlled experiments have shown that green tea can cause mild reductions in blood sugar levels, which lowers the risk of developing type II diabetes in the long term. One study in Japanese individuals found that those who drank the most green tea had a 42% lower risk of developing sugar related problems.

 

Heart Health

A 2013 review of studies found that green tea helped prevent a range of heart related issues, from high blood pressure to congestive heart failure and even strokes. Green tea also dramatically increases the antioxidant capability of the blood, which protects the LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is one part of the pathway towards heart disease. Given the beneficial effects on risk factors, it is not surprising to see that green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the Harvard Heart Letter doctors found that those that drank green tea had significantly wider arteries, meaning lower risk in heart diseases like atherosclerosis.

 

Nectar of Youth

Of course, we all have to die eventually. That is inevitable. However, given that green tea drinkers are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, it makes sense that it could help you live longer. As mentioned earlier, green tea is packed with antioxidants, and one major cause of aging is oxidation by free radicals. According to the San Francisco Gate, a study from the University of Campbell found that Japanese practitioners of a green tea ceremony showed longer life spans. If you think that’s the best part green tea can also make the skin more resistant to premature skin aging due to the catechins found present in it.

 

Anti- Anxiety and Relaxation

Have you ever heard Sheldon from big bang theory say the best thing to offer a stressed person is a cup of tea? Well he’s not too far from the truth, offer them green tea and marvel at the results.

A study published in the Journal of Trends in Food Science & Technology by Dr.Juneja and team states that theanine acts as a neurotransmitter that increases alpha waves in the brain. Alpha waves are considered to be an indicator of relaxation. Human volunteers were given 50-200 mg of l-theanine and were shown to have increased alpha waves without drowsiness.

So it appears you can drink green tea to help mellow you out, without falling asleep.

 

Anti Bacterial

Green tea contains other antioxidants called catechins. According to a study published in the Food Science Technology Bulletin, these catechins specifically epigallocatechingallate (EGCG) and epicatechingallate (ECG), can hinder development of many bacterial species. These catechins can stick themselves into the films that cover the bacteria. By lodging into the outside layers of bacteria, EGCG and ECG may upset the bacteria from doing what it is supposed to, which is making you ill.

 

Brain Enhancement

Green tea does more than just keep you awake; it can also make you smarter. Green tea contains amino acid L-theanine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. It also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain

A research team said their findings suggest that green tea could be promising in the treatment of cognitive impairments associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as dementia.

 

Anti oxidants

Well, when we eat, our bodies have to turn food into energy. As a result, this generates some by products within our bodies called free radicals. These chemicals are pretty awful, and can severely damage our bodies through a process called oxidation. Free radicals are also, theoretically, the main driver in aging.

But have no fear, we can combat the negative effect of free radicals by consuming antioxidants, and one great way to do this is by drinking green tea. It is loaded with polyphenols like epigallocatechingallate (EGCG), flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants. These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage.

Try to choose a higher quality brand of green tea, because some of the lower quality brands can contain excessive levels of fluoride. That being said, even if you choose a lower quality brand, the benefits still far outweigh any risk.

 

Memory

Green tea boosts the neural juice that fuels memory. Well according to a study from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Basel Switzerland, sipping on green tea enhances memory.  Until last year, the effects of green tea on cognitive function were speculative, but with the improvements in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Dr. Stefan Borgwardt could view the increased connectivity in the cortices of the brain after consumption of green tea. Specifically, green tea drinkers showed increased connectivity in key parts of the brain associated with memory. It’s important to underscore that the researchers used green tea extract, and you’d have to drink several cups of regular green tea to get the same amount of the active ingredient that’s most likely responsible for the effects which is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).

 

If green tea were a celebrity, it would already sit near the tippy top of the A-list. Its active ingredients have been linked to an array of health benefits. Definitely worth going green.


Written for NG by Aisha V Hashim

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OAMA Is Taking Bead Craft To Another Level image

OAMA Is Taking Bead Craft To Another Level

Ayomide is the CEO of the OAMA Empire. Born in New York, USA Ayomide is a former student of the Apostolic Faith Secondary School. After foundation year at the Oxbridge Tutorial College, Ayomide is currently studying Business Management at the University of Bradford, UK. Here is his story... In his own words

OAMA Beadz formerly known as the OAMA bead biz was created July 2011. It all started as an examination for JSCE (junior school certificate examination). A fine art practical JSCE in which my art work became second best in the whole of Lagos State. Afterwards bead making became a thing of leisure to me, well not until after I made my first sale on an art work. I was given a job to do the logo of Mutual Benefit Assurance Plc from which I earned a large amount from. From that moment on became the beginning of OAMA Beadz.

OAMA was coined from my initials, at first it sounded weird but later on everyone got used to it. My motivation however, has been a special someone and if not for her... I rest my case. Through OAMA Beadz I have been able to start a movement and establish a fast growing market for OAMA Beadz and other affiliate companies of the OAMA Empire. Through the audience OAMA Beadz attracted, I have been able to start my own football league here in the UK. I am presently working on my fashion line which will drop soon as well as my fashion show. 

My parents were my major setback; I guess we all know Nigerian parents and their parentin skills... But I know they just want the best for me and they carry out their parenting duties just the way they know how to. My vision is to build an Empire of my own comprising of diverse fast-growing companies. And by the age of 25, I want to be the youngest billionaire in Africa, worst case scenario Nigeria. I want to achieve everything Dangote achieved but at a young age.

Finally I’m just going to drop a quote of mine “Success is the ability to live your life to the fullest, doing what you love doing and making the best of it. Ensure not to exclude God."

 

So I guess that was an amazing story. Honestly I have never seen bead art this good. Ayomide happens to be one of the very few free-spirited people I have known. Although it has been an on-phone affair via what's app, I can tell he is an amazing person. See more of his works here

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Dice Ailes’ “Miracle” Is That Feel Good Jam

Dice Ailes (pronounced Ales) of Nigerian/Ghanaian decent is a versatile Artist with a Rap/Afro Pop sound. Born and bred in Victoria Island, Lagos as Shasha Damilola Alesh.

 

Signed to Chocolate City where there’s a lot of expectation, this young man is doing his part to justify his position at the label with his new song “Miracle” featuring Lil Kesh.

We’re pretty sure this is going to be the best song you hear all week..... and wait for the Lil Kesh verse.

Download mp3

 

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What Are We Supposed To Do With The New Snapchat Glasses? image

What Are We Supposed To Do With The New Snapchat Glasses?

Surely they don’t expect us walking around with these ridiculous spectacles.

Snapchat, the company responsible for the whole of humanity’s recent hunger for filming their every activity, yesterday unveiled its new name Snap Inc. It also unveiled a new piece of hardware; glasses that come with inbuilt cameras that capture videos you can upload immediately via the Snapchat app.

WELL, THANKS TO SNAPCHAT SNAP, YOU CAN NOW HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE AT A WIZKID CONCERT AND SHOW THE WORLD AT THE SAME TIME

 

This makes me think, what am I supposed to do with this? Does it even have a preset for me – I’m short sighted and I don’t suppose you just have it in your pocket till you need to film a Snapstory.

According to Wall Street Journal, when you slip Spectacles on and tap a button near the hinge, it records up to 10 seconds of video from your first-person vantage. Each new tap records another clip.

That’s how it works but what happens when you run out of battery?

Well, you simply put in inside its special case to charge again.... when fully charged, it can film an entire day’s worth of events according to Verge

The glasses will cost $130 (that could be anything between 40,000 to 500,000 these days), will come in one size, and be available in three colours: black, teal, and coral.

How do I transfer the video?

Apple iPhone trumps Droids... yet again. “If you have an Android device, you have to transfer them via Wi-Fi. If you have an iOS device, they will transfer by default via the glasses' Bluetooth connection. Or, you can choose to can transfer them at a higher resolution over Wi-Fi”. That’s what Verge said.

The glasses Spiegel refers to as a “toy” is designed to be worn for “kicks” during fun activities that require active participation like an outdoor barbeque or something like that. Spiegel also admits it will take some time getting used to “We’re going to take a slow approach to rolling them out... It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and seeing how they like it.”

With Instagram joining in the game, CEO Evan Spiegel is hoping this can re-establish Snapchat’s dominance as the one true annoying video exchange platform.

So back to the original question, what are we supposed to do with this piece of hardware?

Wear it clubbing and get reminded that there’s no sun inside?

 

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Chocolate City First Lady, VICTORIA KIMANI Returns With “GOTA” image

Chocolate City First Lady, VICTORIA KIMANI Returns With “GOTA”

Victoria Kimani has released her first official single off her soon to be released “SAFARI” album. The track titled “GOTA” is the singer/songwriter’s first ever song in her native Swahili language, and it was produced by Chocolate City Producer Reinhard, and features Congolese band AIRLINE.

“GOTA” was premiered earlier today on Kiss FM Nairobi and received positive reviews from listeners who called in and sent in messages of support on social media.

Victoria Kimani who recently released “All The Way” featuring Khuli Chana says “I am excited about this song because of the energy and passion with which it was made. I know it is something my fans across Africa will be proud of”

The singer who has been influenced by Nigerian, Kenya and American cultural influences just concluded recording her first ever album which is due to be released before the end of the year. The album “SAFARI” lends credence to her image as a wholly pan-African artiste with a global sound who is proud of her African roots.  

“GOTA” is available on iTunes and other major music platforms globally.

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