Monday, October 31, 2005
I am back from the pageant I can see that anxiety is building over the mystery surrounding the event. As usual I wore my paparazzi cloak like I wear my skin so gist full ground no be small. Well It is no secret now that there was a huge blunder that resulted in the wrong name being announced(Ms. Liberia). How that happened is still beyond my comprehension. It was funny at first because of the confusion but it isn't for the person/persons who has/have to deal with the underserving embarrassment. The poor girl now has to go and start explaining why she didn't go home with the crown and all that. But God works in mysterious ways, depending on how this is handled by all parties, she could come of the better person in all of this. But you know what, who needs a crown to show that you are beautiful, gracious, intelligent or charitable. Puhlease, it's all fun and games but the reality is what you can really deliver by your deed and act. I hope the website will be updated with everyones information so the public can judge for themselves who deserves to represnet Africa, not based on beauty alone.
Having said that, all of those unforeseen incidences do not negate the fact that I, and I am sure I can say the same for all the other girls, had a fabulous weekend. I met about 20 wonderful young African women, who were really talented and proud to represent their country and culture. They each had great personalities and we all got along great. It felt like a glorified and stretched out slumber party. The fact that the hosts took very good care of some of us by 'feeding' us and 'transporting' us around made it stress free. Before I get to the real issue, which is what went wrong, I have to give a shout out to all my girls who held it down for the Motherland. Now I really see what Luda was talking about. First of all 'Salo Dey!!!' Thanks a lot Jeneba (Ms Sierra Leone) for getting my back at 4am when I could not get a hold of my friend in whose house I was supposed to be crashing. Jenny is just a little funny and crazy girl with way too much energy. My 'name hollering' partner Ms South AFrica whose name, Refiloe, just rolls off your tongue like this....RrrrrFeeeelll-U-Way. When you go to Africa be sure to watch her on Generations, i think on DSTV or MNET, the girl is an 'akutor', and the crowd loved her monologue. Same for future Def Jam Poet Fathia, Ms Gambia, don't be fooled by her quiet strength cos as she says 'Brooklyn-don't-play-that'. Then we go to those 'une belle filles, la Supermodel Frenchies' Ms Ivory Coast, Isabelle, aka Ms. Pari-Hollywood, killing everybody with her Haute-Couture (if it was in my power, I would have cancelled the show and just handed you the crown cos you are beautiful in and out) and Ms Cameroon, quiet looking, Anna Christie, another doll. As in forget learning 'American' I am going to learn French, in fact I need to learn french, not just for work, but so that I can get extra attention. I mean think about it, saying 'Hi, My name is Adaure, I'm like so tired' and sounding like a valley girl, versus, 'Bonjour, Je m'appelle Adaure, je suis fatigue', even with an african accent...HELLO!!!ordering new cds now. And Chi-chi, our Mama Africa, Ms Zambia aka Ms Congeniality who was like a big sister and making sure we got all the information and FOOD. Ms Kenya, Christie, just had to have her Martini...i don't blame you girl...I had to have my bottled water too. Ms Liberia, Telena was cool and everything was on point for her, it was no laughing matter for Asmeret, Ms Eritrea, cos ATL girls don't joke and Ms Niger, little Ms Binta Magenta, was not having no BS. I think Aida, Ms Mozambique, got lost on the way to 'Africa's Next Comedian', the girl was just a clown. All the girls were absolute dolls, Ms Zimbabwe, Congo, Ethiopia, Ms Senegal, Ms Guinea, I hope I am not forgeting anyone. You know how it is when you get with a bunch of girls you have not met before and you spot out the BIATCH in the group, I usually find them because we know each other...oops... may be that was me...hmh...I seriously doubt it because I was on my best behavior. Again may be this was different because these girls were not Nigerians, ya'll know some Nigerian girls can be evil Cruelas and Zeldas combined...yeah uh huh...ya'll know yourselves with you stank nasty attitudes. It's not necessary because you hide the true beauty in you masking it with that bitchy I'm too hot for foo-foo and garri attitude. Abeg life is too short to be fighting wrinkles from all that frowning, up-nosing and brow squeezing. Matter of fact, I think I am gonna start working on all the ones I accumilated. Botox anyone?
Anyways I am ABSOLUTELY glad i took part in this pageant. I was so close to quiting because of my clothes situation (My tailor's neice was the missing illinois state uni girl found dead in MS). Very sad so I had to employ my emergency outfits. As in I was so embarrassed for me, because I can't even where what I wore on that stage to go to church. I was looking like a house girl compared to all the other runway shindigs some of the other girls created, I mean how do I compete with Versace. I had to kill it with my talent to be in the running (so for those of you who said my clothes were busted, and yes I heard, nothing escapes the paparazzi, be glad I showed up). I just had to go and represent the land where green riegns supreme and I know I was on point with that. Anyway I'll still have my clothes made and just take some nice pictures with it, lol, after all we don't know when this compettion will be over. As in I can understand a recount for presidential election, but a beauty pageant...hmh... it is a serious matter. Who ever eventually ends up becoming Miss Africa International, if allowed, has a huge job ahead and by that I mean redeeming the image of this venture. Like they say great thinkers are not always great executors, so perhaps an EXECUTOR is needed to make things happen, to work accordingly and efficiently.
From the perspective of the contestants, everything was going fine, despite a few hiccups with the dance rehearsal (that only came together when we performed it on stage). We were already dressed and waiting for some judges and guess who else, the MC, Jim Iyke. He decided to be a diva and come late... showed up just before the second half. I hear he could not decide on what to wear. That shaved off one whole hour. I won't even say anything about his abilities as an MC. By the way, I have to make a disclaimer about some pictures that may surface. Understand that I was in a certain 'capacity' so there was no way I could reject a request. I guess I asked for it when I took that one picture for kicks. I guess my bride-price will tank back to normal for that.
We were fortunate to have make up artists and hair dressers to hook us up so we all looked good. May be that's what made it really hard to pick true favorites. Even the judges just could not decide who the winner would be because there were so many good looking and talented young women....Seriously. Left to the crowd of mostly Nigerians, Nigeria was the winner, but unfortunately this was no popularity contest. Perhaps if the event had started when it was slated to do so the interview section would not have been scraped off. But no matter how much preparation you make or how early you start, if there is no organization or presentation skills it would reflect. The girls put such hard work into the event, we did our part to give great entertainment and were the only good thing about that night, but the all the other unnecessary mess has distracted people from talking about the performances, which I hear was the best so far. Rather there is a buzz about the debacle that was the show. I give it to some people out there who present good-packages, but then again, appearances can be deceiving. People can have clean shows, bring all the super stars they want but still lack integrity, principles and are as dishonest as a fox. But it's all good, all things being equal, in a few years we'll all look back and say, remember when.... hopefully each of these pageants will grow from these experiences and learn lessons. Personal opinions and negative experiences aside, I wish 'em all nothing but luck. I am done with these, moving on to other avenues of focus, as in enough BS'ing around for the year, getting too old.
Meanwhile, I got two anonymous comments from some people hidden in one of the other posts. I really do not know what all that is about but seems like some people have a whole lot to say so I am bringing those up for you to read and digest.
It is a shame that you are showcasing such a bootleg production such as the Miss Africa International pageant on your website. As someone who is going to be a reporter one day, it seems to me that you would have done your homework on Ellen Dunbar and her nortoriously known pageant. This does not serve as an attack on you but merely a warning to another African sister. The pageant is a scam and Ellen talks a good game but can not deliver when it comes time to it. When the pageant fails like it has done for the third time in a row, it is everyone else who is left to blame but herself. I would be VERY careful in your dealings with this woman because she is not highly regarded in the D.C. metropolitan area AT ALL!!!! If you want evidence, ask her if you can speak to the other organizers from years past. Do you not think that if she treated people with respect that people would have stayed on to help her make this pageant a success? Has it ever crossed your mind as to why the pageant is not on the scale she led you and the other contestants to believe? Have you ever wondered why she is so disorganized and can not take you to her headquarters or a proper office? As a former organizer and someone who knew Ellen Dunbar, I can tell you she is a fraudster and someone who stole the idea of Miss Africa International pageant from another organizer in the D.C. area. But you know what, God sees everything. Hopefully, you too will see the kind of woman you are dealing with and then you will really understand. Please feel free to share this with anyone you please. Have a great day!
Whoever wrote the above...who are you? I hope you are not attacking the person who hosts this website!!! But I do agree with the person who wrote the above. I, too, worked for, with Ellen for some time and was utterly amazed at the level of confusion and disorganization reflected in the woman's character. She actually went out of her way to put organizers against each other so she could control EVERYTHING which happened until some unfortunate events with the contestants surfaced quite a bit of information. For one some of the contestants had paid $1500 only to get to D.C. and no hotel to be available for a day or so. To make matters worse, every problem which occured, Ms Dunbar was not willing to face the facts as the source of the problems. Hence, tension built up and anger arose. When Ellen was challenged, her response back was that SHE was the CEO and this was HER pageant. Mind you we were volunteers who leant our time, energy and even money to this cause because we all love Africa very much and are tired of the negative images which we see on television. The concept of the pageant is excellent but the execution of it is horrific and is in badly need of management. Seeing this pageant is why people (including other Africans) feel Africans can not do anything right. If you talk to Cynthia Kanema who went on to represent Zambia at Miss Universe, will she tell you about her reign as Miss Africa International? Why is it not mentioned when she does her interviews? Hmmm...let me think...a.) shame...b.) anger at having been duped...or c.)disgust for the Ms Dunbar and her unprofessional mannerisms? All of the above. If Ellen contacts you again, run for your life because she will use you to get what she wants and then drops you when you can not give her what she wants which is money.
This is interesting. I can imagine there are others out there who have a lot to say. Perhaps this could be a forum to 'constructively criticize' or air out your opinions. Although I differ on certain things, based on my own first hand experience, and perhaps it is still to soon to tell, this sort of information is not the kind you can google up. When I called certain people, no body was willing to share any information or say anything, lest they be labeled as haters. If people are afraid to speak up about things, then how do you expect unsuspecting people out there not to be taken advantage of. However I am glad I didn't know this until now because I won't sacrifice the experience for eanything because of the people I have met. I would say the same for the other pageant that I was in because I heard VERY negative things about the organizer before going into it, but that still didn't deter me from participating and I met nice people, although now I do regret not going by what I was told. I guess these things are what you make out of them, especially if you take initiatives, are a good sportsman and just want to have an alternative kinda fun. Since people can post anonymous comments, please air out your opinions, comments and criticisms, pithy, constructive or otherwise (contestants welcome). Perhaps if these pageant organizers know what opinions are held of them, then they can get their acts together and work on restoring their reputation and that of their ventures. May be this indeed is what is needed to hold each and everyone of them to account, because it also puts the contestants at risk of a tarnished image if we are going around promoting questionable people. It can also give people varying opinions so that the can judge best whether or not to be involved in this. The floor is open...post away your comments. More pictures will come as soon as I get them.
Rudo( Ms Zimbabwe)
Ms Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ms Gambia (Fathia)
Guinea, Kenya, Salo, Zambia, Congo and Gambia
(Details to come on Tuesday... just got in from work.. drove straight in from Maryland and so I'm a bit too sleepy to think or write coherrently)
Saturday, October 29, 2005
I am at the Sheraton Hotel in Beltsville MD. Got to the city at 4am on Thursday. The drive was not bad, I had my bloody accent reduction cds and that of my new nubian lover John Legend keeping me company. I am sure people driving past were like who is this crazy girk talking to herself.
Anyways I have met and SIZED up the competition. Just like Ludacris said, African girls are the best in the world without a doubt. We have 'Pari-Hollywood-Super-Model-Chick', 'South-AFrican-Erika' etc.
The one that I have to keep my eye on is Ms. Ivory Coast. I usually do not use overly qualifying adjectives to describe other how beautiful other women are, all I usually say is, yeah she's cute or pretty. But this time I have top say that this chick is one fine dime and she speaks french too. Yah...I up against someone who says 'oui oui madame, je pense que je suis fatigue.' TOUGH. She is the face of lux in the francophone countries, is also an actress (their Genevieve Nnaji), an absolute barbie and very bubbly. Typical model chick. Gotta love those. South AFrica is a star on the soap opera Generations and her voice is melodious. Ms Zambia and Ms Kenya are also LOOKERS. And what is up with everybody have a 'book'. I want a 'book' with super-model pictures too. We'll have to work on that when I get back to Tarheel Country. Genevieve bera watch out...that Lux contract of hers...hmh...that sucker is about to get the pink slip and the trump snake altogether.
But guess who I met yesterday...hmh.. JIM IYKE....my friends Ndidi, Singto and Ayisola know the inside joke on that one so you know I just had to take a picture with the guy, and It has nothing to with having a crush on nobody ok, but 'I shant' speak a word.' Anyways, I just woke up, I have to go and practice my spoken word performance and the dance routine, don't want to be caught sleeping. And since my outfits are according to my wardrobe meter, C-rated, I have to put in a bit more effort. We gotta watch out for Ms. Paris and all the 6 feet tall and skinny girls running around here. Thank God for BCBG Katchen pumps and the likes, that's a good 4 inches extra to work with.
Meanwhile, I trust my nigerians in the crowd will raise the roof for me and sway the judges a little bit. Regardless I am have a blast. Pageants are so much fun, not the stereotype we all qualify it them with. I am also watching out for potential sponsors because I want to also do Ms. NC-USA. I guess this is my new fun thing to do, but after I turn 27, I would be expired and retired from all this so I have to think on my feet, what to do , can't do that chewing gum now.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Anyways I will try to phone in some entries If I cant find a computer.
The most recent one that really really annoyed me was when a certain 'industry' someone who was supposed to be on my side and encouraging me told me to give up on the reporter dream and go for producing because he thinks that I don't sound like I have a good grasp of the English language. Hmh!?! Now you know I was livid upon hearing that but as much as I wanted to go ballistic, I had to hold my peace and ask for grace. Are you freaking kidding me? I DON'T HAVE A GOOD GRASP OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE? Do I sound like 'I don't have a good grasp of the English language?'. I probably have a higher vocabulary count that the person who told me that. How is someone who doesn't have a grasp of the English Language able to read the whole works of Shakespeare by junior high, get A's in English grammar, Literature and practically all my college essays, with the exception of the ones that I made 'intelligently' and 'independently' researched arguments, quite contrary to the professor's teachings (Yah!ITK--I too know). How is someone who doesn't have a good grasp of the English language able to read the adult versions of The Mayor of Casterbridge, Gulliver's Travels, Tom Sawyer, Jane Eyre and the rest. I am talking about the ones without pictures, that have italic footnotes at the bottom. How does someone who read about 7-8 Mills & Boons, Nancy Drews and Sweet Valley Highs per day, which when calculated is an average of 1 per hour, factoring in sleep, school and study time as well, has read the AP Stylebook four times, and is into the fifth read at section-H, not have a good grasp of the English language? Hmh!?! How does someone who knew Brighter Grammar Book 1, 2 & 3 cover- to- cover, not forgetting Macmillan with Edet, Simbi and Ali, Path-To-Success and was the 'Grammar-Queen', pun very well intended, correcting everybody's' English up and down, including that of my English teacher mother and professor father, not have a good grasp of the English language. Let me not even start telling you about the ORIGIN of the damn English language. I mean seriously, If you don't know anything about Brighter Grammar, you better not tell me I don't have a grasp of the English language? As in Google that!!
The sad part is in reluctantly taking their advice and trying to sound more American; the more I try to fake the funk, the more ridiculous I sound because I am not comfortable speaking that way. It's like this, every body has a speech music pattern and when you introduce a new pattern you sound like a broken record. It is unnatural and sometimes that's how I feel about this whole thing. Plus having an accent has not stopped the likes of Jeff Koinange, Christian Amanpour and all those other television people with foreign accents from getting to the top. So why am I getting such a hard time, it is not like I sound like I am speaking Swahili or even German at that. My accent is beautiful just like many others that sound different to the American ears. It's going to be my signature one of these days. People in this country just need to get over this phobia they have about all things foreign. The audience will not break into a riot if they see an African girl who sounds African reporting the local news. As long as I sound articulate, understandable and speak proper English, that equal opportunity employment thingy should also be extended to me.
Anyways, bitching about it is not going to get me anywhere, so guess what? I actually ordered accent reduction training CD's from Amazon. Two sets. They cost me about $50 and that s*** better be worth my hard earned cash. They want me to sound American? Fine. If that will pay the bills then so be it, they'll get American all right.
Henceforth, there shall me no more Nigerian movies for me, and if you know your accent is equally as jacked up as mine, Biko, Please, Jo n'tori Oloun, do not come and talk to me without trying to speak through your nose as well, because I will 'chin-your-paks.' I will only make limited exception with Church and Family. So all my other telephone-buddies, ya'll better get with the program and not try to mess up my flow. If I begin to sound funny at least you'll understand why. My own case is different because there is a purpose for it. This just reminds me of when I had to get rid of that tinge of British accent I had way back when, because everyone was asking me where I got that from. I thought about it and was like, Ok I've never been to London, my parents are not British and I don't know any Englishman so where the hell did I get the British accent from and why the hell do I sound that way in the first place. Television. It felt very unauthentic so I had to flip the script sharply, so now I just sound confused. As one guy put it, like a cross between a Jamaican accent and a very very bad British accent. You wanna know what I say to that? Piss off!!
Anyways here are the titles of the accent reduction kits I got in case anyone out there is going through the same thing as I am, would like to work or improve on your speech or even get your children to learn 'American' (like it's a language). I am sure there are others out there with the British accent and I bet those would be more fun to work with because I do prefer the British accent to the American accent; it has a melody to it. For those of you who want to sound Nigerian just go to the nearest African food store and pick up a copy of a 'Nollywood' production. You'll start sounding Nigerian by the time you get to the fifth VCD. Trust Me.
'Accent Reduction Made Easy' by Jane Wellborn, $19.95
'American Accent Training' by Ann Cook $39.95
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
It is so sad what has happened and I feel so sorry for our president because it was obvious that he really loved 'this' wife from the very bottom of his heart. Stella became a household name because everyone took a liking to her for her style and flambouyance. In fact I hear there is a hairstyle named after her, "Irun Stella", an up-do that mimics her signature afro. In Nigeria if you have a hair style named after you, you have landed. The circumstances surrounding her death are trickling in, but I will reserve my comments about that until after she's been laid to rest. I just hope we as a people will learn from some of these things, be content and thank God for the small mercies that he shows us every day. Below are some pictures and a link that I stumbled up on that answers some questions about Stella as a perosn and the legacy she leaves behind. At first when the question, what will Stella be remembered for, was asked, the only thing that came to mind was Stella as a fashion icon. But reading the information in the link below has softened that approach and I am finding out more about our late first lady than i'd known before.
My dear country people it is with heavy burden and an aggrieved heart that I hereby announce that I shall no longer do business with Nigerians. Yes, I said It and I am supposed to be Miss Nigeria International. I know it is not the best way to speak about a country you are representing, but this is far becoming outrageous and I see it in every thing that involves nigerians. My beef is with this tailor in New York. Can you believe that this woman skipped town, firstly without sewing my clothes and secondly without calling to say she was going out of town for a family emergency. Apparently the missing Nigerian girl in Illinois is her niece so she left town the week that they reported the girl missing, to go be with the family. Ironically, if not coincidentally this is the same girl that I blogged about last week. Her reason for being out of town is fair enough to shutdown business. I don't have any qualms with that, in fact I sympathize with her, but where I have a problem is the complete and utter disregard for common courtesy in the form of a phone call, an out going voicemail message with your contact information or tell your husband to answer the phone or return your calls. Instead she told her husband and kids not to answer the phone and when ol'boy saw that everybody in New York was looking for his wife over their clothes, he pulled the phone out of the plug. You can just imagine how livid I was. I and my friend staked her house for like an hour on Saturday. Oh by the way, that Saturday started out very interestingly. I was supposed to wake up and 4.00 am to leave the house and get to the airport to catch the 5.30 am flight. Bros, why did I wake up at 6.30 am? I apparently slept through my alarm until it shut itself up. I later got on an 8.30 flight that got me into La Guardia at 9.30 am.
Anyways, Sunday I had to think on my feet, literarily, while walking in New York City. Speaking of which, all the people in that city are mad; from the ones flossing flip-flop in frigging fifty degree Fahrenheit weather to the ones that can't drive like human beings. I eventually ended up buying a dress and upon my return to NC, the tailor now called me to tell me she had in Chicago. I was like you know what, just overnight my fabric to me. Four years in college I had been eyeing my friends outfits that this tailor made and swearing that I would have her make mine too. I guess I am jinxed because every body has good experiences until I get involved. I just hope that none of the contestants at the pageant will have a replica of the dress I bought, otherwise the ground will have to open up and swallow me. But darn... I was told to come correct which I attempted only to be screwed over by another unreliable Nigerian. On a good note, this is just a test of how well I can work and think under pressure and since one of my biggest fears is being embarrassed, I am putting in more thinking time to figure something out. But I am sure that whatever I show up in, whether rags or otherwise, that constant huge shiny smile that I always accessorize my self with accompanied with one of those pageant waves will have the potentials to seal the deal. On more serious note, these pageants are more than just what you wear or what you look like, but more about believing that you are a winner through to the very end and that the experience is a fun and memorable one. Trust me it's already gone down in the books for me.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
OLAMIDE has been missing since thursday. Not sure why it took a week for this information to get out. Please pray for her safety and that no harm has been done to her.
Below is an article from ABC NEWS
Foul Play Suspected in College Student's Disappearance
Student's Personal Items Found in Nearby Lot
Oct. 20, 2005 — - Police in Illinois are searching for a 21-year-old college student who vanished from her off campus apartment last week.
Olamide Adeyooye, a senior at Illinois State University, was last seen on Thursday. She was to graduate in December with a degree in criminal laboratory sciences and planned to return home to the Chicago area to work at a hospital lab.
Samantha Troha, Adeyooye's best friend, said her friend "isn't the type of person to run away" and not tell anybody.
"We spoke every day last week up until the day she disappeared," Troha said. "She would call somebody. She has too many people that love her, and she loves too many people."
Police initially considered the disappearance a missing persons case but now have declared it a criminal investigation after discovering personal items in a nearby lot.
"When you get this type of information it's time to shift focus and go down the criminal road here," said Lt. Mark Kotte, of the Normal, Ill., Police Department. The FBI and Illinois State Police have joined the investigation.
"We have persons of interest," he added. "We still have some more people to interview."
Kotte said that some of the people being interviewed by police were known to Adeyooye and some were not.
Police believe Adeyooye visited a video store before she disappeared. Police say her car, a green 1996 Toyota Corolla, is missing, as well as a comforter from her apartment. Her family says her cell phone was left on the couch and the lights were still on in her apartment. A video she apparently rented on Thursday was still in the VCR.
Last Saturday, her parents called police when they didn't hear from her.
"Let her come home. I know she misses me. She misses her brother and her family. All my family are praying for her to come back," said her mother, Oluwayianka Adeyooye.
Troha said the student's friends and her family are hoping that Adeyooye is still alive.
"If someone does have her, let her go," Troha said. "She's the most gentle and kind person you're ever going to meet."
Copyright © 2005 ABC News Internet Ventures
I don't know what it is with me and tailors. I hope this is just a fluke, a matter of somebody forgot to erase the old messages on the phone. So I haven't bene able to get a hold of the tailor in New York all week long, and she is the reason I am going there. To pick up my clothes for the pageant. Hmh, this is just too sinister, like dejavu all over again. This is pretty much what happened last year when I was getting ready for the other pageant and two christmases ago in Lagos. I don't know why II have never had a clean happy dealing with a tailor, something always goes on. Either they don't interprete the style you want in the fabirc or they just destrory the frekaing thing. Below is an entry form my old blog where I was bitterly bitching about the tailor in Raleigh that I had given my fabric to.
Sent: 10/1/2004 9:58 PM
First of all, i was highly disappointed with the tailor who made my clothes. I just don't understand why nigerians don't handle business in a professional manner. it baffles me sometimes at the level of unprofessionalism, the poor service and the haughtiness that comes afterwards when they try to justify their bad business conduct. I gave this tailor my fabric a month and a half to the pageant with the impression that she would start on time so that i would have time for fitting and fixing. Would you believe that even after talking to her several times, sending her the deposits and getting assurances that my clothes will be ready a week before the pageant, i went there on the 20th and this woman had anly made 2 skirts out of six outfits. At that point i sought the grace of God to control my anger and not let my disappointment be visible as i felt that would only make her do an even worse job. As someone who is also involved in craft and works of talent, there is nothing more discouraging that to have someone putting pressure, berating or 'dawging' your craft, and that was what she was gonna get if we were in a different location, say 'Lagos'. Hmh... i would have gotten all market woman on her in a hot minute, just like the emergency tailor in Sabo Market two christmases ago who decided to mix up me and my sisters sizes and have each perosn end up with the wrong styles. She even wanted to 'prove sense' by saying 'you wanted it tight now'...WHAT?May be i am not meant to have good luck with tailors but this is fast becoming a jinx.Anyways back to the tailor in Raleigh, even til the very minute that i had packed up my car on my way to Maryland, this woman still had not finished, i had to sit in her house for an hour and a half while she finished up the final outfit that i had to have with me. It was so obvious the rush job she did because the clothes did not fit properly and i would have walked out of that house calmly had she not asked for her money. HELL NO YOU DIDN'T, at that point i was like, don't even ask me for your money right now, because you have done a lousy job. I did give her the check but not after i gave her a piece of my mind. i'd tried to reason with her by telling her i will see her when i get back, because she had guests in her house and she was an older woman and i have been taught not to disrespect grown folk, but this woman had to get it from me that afternoon. But anyways that is my story, i wasn't too happy with the job but the clothes fulfilled their purpose and even though there were a lot more fancier outfits at the pageant i got far enough to a point where i knew that even if i showed up in rags, i would have still been happy[ok may be that is a stretch, but you get my point]
Trying to get the ticket however was like trying to walk from Kano to Timbuktu. Could not find any thing affordable..they were in the high hundreds, even saw some coach seats going for $1500. I refuse to pay that amount to travel to Nigeria that is millions of kilometers away, then it is now New York that I would now pay such exorbitantly overpriced fare....'Isi gbowakwa ha' (may their heads break).
And Biko, why was the ticket on Amtrak a good hundred dollars more than the fare i'd found on Air Tran. Why in tarnations would I pay $380 to be on a freaking train for like 12 to 15 hours. For that amount there'd better be a chinese buffet, a nail-shop, a cabin with a queen size bed and 'room service'... i guess you can call that 'cabin service'. Thanks to my friend Des for saving the day. She helped me find a ticket for $150 on cheaptickets.com. I mean I was prepared to really take the GreyHound to the Big Apple. Did I hear you say What? Abeg, desperate times call for desparate measures. Plus, it ain't like I aint rode the 'Grey' before. Dude... like that was my ride way back when I used to have to go to Charlotte.
In fact my first trip to New York was on a GreyHound and I freaking got lost trying to find my Aunt's house in Rockland County. There had been some miscommunication. I was supposed to wait at Penn Station for my aunt and her husband and not try to find their house. But I thought I had it all mapped out o. Knew what bus and train to take. I had mastered the freaking New York City transit system all tha wy in Nigeria because I always thought that's where I was headed. Much to my surprise though, my trip took a turn for the worse. I got lost and the bus driver was just taking me all over freaking Rockland, Westchester and Orange Counties.
Meanwhile my aunt was looking for me all over the city. I had tried to call her house, but their nanny was haitian and only spoke french. Being the idiot that I am I too tried to rap some fake french with her... didn't fly because my aunt had also called the house several times and the girl did not even tell them I had called. Eventually I told the bus driver to take me to the nearest police or sheriff's department. At least I learnt that one through movies that the police is your friend. He took me to the police station and I was just crying and wailing that I am from Africa, This is my first time in NY, I've only been in the US six months and I am lost. The officer on duty was like calm down, wash your face and relax, I'll take you to your aunt's houseand then gave me a can of sprite and some oreo cookies from the vending machine. That was a relief because I was hungry and had spent all my money by then... I think... I may have had one or two hundred dollar bills that my uncle gave me, but i've been told if i wasn't Ibo, I would be an Ijebu (nigeiran metaphor for stingy, frugal, tight handed). Anyways I gave him my aunt's address and the guy took me there in his patrol car. Imagine going up to a nigerian policeman, not officer, with some 'i'm lost' BS, the guy will tell you 'Ehn if you are lost find yourself now' or 'Am I the one that lost you' or 'Don't worry, nobody is looking for you'
Well I am glad to be returning to the Big Apple. The last time I was there was this summer for my friends sister's wedding. It was fun hanging out with my old class mates, but boy did that trip reveal a different side of NYC than what I was used to....obviously watched too much Sex and the City. I am sure I'll have some stories to tel about that... might even call my entries in. That ought to be fun fun fun!!!!
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Men as I am looking at these pictures E go be like say my papa go try raise that bride price small, because this is one hell of an 'omalicha akwanwa of an adanma'...holla!!!! That is ehn...na my mama get right hand...lol
Had a wonderful time with this photo shoot. First it was a very impromptu arrangement and as God would have it He blessed me with a generous and well talented photographer and not to mention the make up artist who did a wonderful job, even though he was not too satisfied because I was rushing him as I had to go to work. I had to wear all this make up on my face looking like a drag queen to work, becaue I had to come back later on to finish up. And boy is there a lot to applying make up. Forget all that nonsense that I used to do and disguise as make up. That was just like using a crayon to draw 'jaga-jaga' on a paper versus a painting on canvas. I am about to emplpy the techniquies I've learned so don't be concerned that you had to take a double look. Anyways Rick is also a traveling photographer so you guys should patronize him. Visit his website at http://www.pixbyric.net/ to see his work. I have like a hundred pictures so please indulge my vanity, ego-centricism and self-absorbtion for the next few months as I dazzle ya'll with my various $50 dollar face pictures. I am just not used to seeing this sort of transformation of myself. ANyways It is time to go to bed (3am) that means washing $50 down the sink...chai!! Let my father not hear this. By the wayshould I not be sleeping with this face... I mean skipping one night of the facial routine won't kill. I mean If I convert that $50 to Niara that is some serious suya-chops that I am smelling right now... How ad why that is I don't know.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Nigerian President Obasanjo with Miss AFrica International 03, Taiwo Ariyo and Pageant CEO Ellen Dunbar
Miss Africa International 03 (Nigeria) Taiwo Ariyo
Miss Africa International 04, Cynthia Kanema (Zambia)
Adaure Achumba (Nigeria) "Miss Africa nternational 2005???"
We'll see about that Oct 29th
Hats off to the high-achieving women representing twenty-two African countries in the upcoming Miss Africa International pageant. On October 29, 2005 the Warner Theatre will be packed with fans wanting a first-hand glimpse of the amazing show to be put on by those stunning African beauties. Our favorite Nigerian actor, Jim Iyke, will host the show as ten celebrities from the Africa Channel, CNN and other facets of the community decide who will become Miss Africa International 2005.
Africa holds the largest deposits of the world’s most valuable resources and on October 29, 2005 the world will see that Africa also boasts the world’s most beautiful women.
Elegance and versatility are the highlights of the evening! The contestants will make a splendid presentation of evening attire, followed by an exciting segment of various talent performances. Then the audience will be glued in their seats as the contestants introduce the hottest in African haute couture as the show culminates in the African Attire presentation. With each contestant, there's a different style. All at the beautiful, world-renowned Warner Theatre in the nation's capitol!
Event: MISS AFRICA INTERNATIONAL PAGEANT
Date: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2005
Time: 8 O'CLOCK P.M.
Venue: THE WARNER THEATRE, 13th Street, between E and F Streets, N.W., D.C.
$35 upper balcony
$50 regular seating
$100 premium seating
Early arrival is encouraged. For an evening of fun and excitement, buy your ticket now and be there to select your Miss Africa International!
Our humanitarian efforts are focused on Africare, a charitable institution helping famine victims in Africa. A portion of the proceeds from each ticket will be donated to Africare’s program for famine victims in Niger. Note: Mokoli Productions, Inc. is a separate entity from Africare.
Who Will Be The Next Miss Africa International
In August I was selected to represent my country as Miss Nigeria International in the upcoming Miss Africa International Pageant. If crowned I will become more than a beauty queen and title holder, but an ambasador of the continent. The event will be taking place in Washington DC on October 29th 2005 at the Warner Theatre. Please visit the website at www.missafricainternational.com for more information. Tell your friends to come out and support me and if you cannot make it out please make a donation on my behalf by contacting the pageant office.
I'll be chronicling the next two weeks as I prepare for the challenges that beauty pageants are (trust me)and juggle real life's challenges. WISH ME LUCK!!
Here's your first chance to get to know me upclose before the event.
University Of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A. Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communications, Minor In Theater Arts, 1999- 2002
Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, 1997-1999
University of Lagos International School, Akoka, 1997
University of Lagos Staff School, Akoka
Ambition: To Become a News Correspondent or Anchor on CNN, Publish My Own Anthology of Poems and a Novel....life would be a lot easier if i just became a Super Model or a Hollywood Star
Talents/Hobbies: Writing Prose and Poetry, Reading, Dancing and Performing, Meeting New People, Painting, Watching the News, Public Speaking,
National Association of Black Journalists, Member
National Association of African Journalists, Member, Election Committee
Triangle Association of Black Journalists, Member
Nigerian Business Forum, Triangle Regional Representative
Carolina Week, International News Reporter
Organization of African Students Interests and Solidarity, Co-President, (2001-2002), Publicity Secretary, (1999-2001)
Awards and Accomplishments:
Edward Kidder-Graham Award for Leadership, International Organization
1st Place in Feature Writing For 'Hans Massaquoi: Black Nazi', Electronic News Association of the Carolinas
Charities: Co-Founder, Liberation Association by Women of Nigeria
Firstly, bringing awareness to domestic violence and sexual abuse against women and girls in Nigeria and Africa is a topic I am very passionate about. I feel that it is not being given due attention and urgency because it is justified in many cultures, many policy makers in Africa are culprits themselves and women are culturally stigmatized, too ashamed and afraid to talk about it.
I particularly want to create a media campaign, using data and testimonials of real victims in order to reduce stigmatization and get the issue on the table of discussion.
I also want to facilitate setting up centers to provide counseling (psychological, legal and otherwise) and shelter to victims, because these are lacking in our society, as well as persuade lawmakers to see that laws are enforced and enhanced towards protecting women and prosecuting offenders.
Secondly, I would like to see Nigeria and many African countries raise the age of consent to 18 and enforce statutory rape laws and laws against child marriage by convicting and heavily penalizing culprits.
Sports: Played basketball, soccer, volley ball and ping-pong growing up but now I only enjoy watching college basketball and soccer occasionally
Why I am participating in Miss Africa International Pageant:
I am participating in the Miss Africa International Pageant because I am aware of the opportunities it will provide me in achieving my goals. The exposure will put me in contact with policy makers and government officials in Africa who after hearing what I have to say may return home and enact some changes in their different jurisdictions. It can possibly accelerate the humanitarian agendas that I am very passionate about.
What I hope to achieve during my reign:
If I am crowned Miss Africa International I plan to use the platform to champion the causes I have mentioned above. I would like to engage in public speaking events where I talk and make presentations about domestic violence in Africa. I hope to align with a media group on the continent to pursue my media campaign project and galvanize women in their different communities, especially those in higher institutions, to take an educative approach by re-educating society about the roles both women and men can play towards combating domestic violence and sexual abuse. I would also like to change the negative perception that speaking out against this issue and raising awareness is about basic human rights, not western feminism. One year is not adequate time enough to pursue these goals, so even after my reign I would undoubtedly use the contacts and vast network that being Miss Africa International would have provided to continue working on achieving these goals, expanding my scope to other humanitarian causes, continuing the work with my charity organization and more.
Bragging about my country:
I have a popular saying for many of my American friends, "even though I carry a blue passport, my blood is very green."
Nigeria is my home and it stands as one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world, with more than 250 ethnic groups. We are rich in land resources and cultural histories and traditions that attract tourists and researchers in various fields.
Nigeria is a country, if given a leveled playing field, has the potentials to lead Africa out of its underdeveloped state.
With the government’s continuous focus on eradicating corruption, Nigeria is now widely attracting investors in every sector, from multi-national oil companies to service oriented corporations.
Nigeria is also a testament to the important role small businesses play in growing economies. Nigerians are very industrious and enterprising and this has kept many cities sprawling, and the economy bustling.
Nigerians are also the most optimistic people who seek happiness and remain hopeful in the face of despair
More on Me
My name is Adaure Agnes-Chiaka Achumba and I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina 25 years ago to Walter Iheanyi Chukwu and Comfort Chiaka Achumba. I am from Umunjo-Uburu Ekwe, an Ibo town in the Isu local government area of Imo State, Nigeria however I was raised in the metropolitan city of Lagos. I currently reside in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and I’m an associate producer and assignment editor ***. I recently started an internship with the Chapel Hill Herald Newspaper and aspire to become a news reporter or anchor on CNN, covering international news, like humanitarian, political crises, and even wars, with an emphasis on Africa. A self-proclaimed news junkie, I would have to say I am addicted to CNN and often dedicate hours at a time to watching its broadcasts.
In May 2002, I graduated from the University of North Carolina with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in Theatre Arts. While at Carolina, as the first international news reporter for Carolina Week, an Emmy award winning student news cast, I won first place in the Electronic News Association of the Carolinas Award for Best Feature category for a piece titled "Hans Massaquoi: Black Nazi".
A large part of my time at Carolina was spent championing causes and issues that affected Africa through my position as publicity secretary and eventually co-president of the Organization of African Students Interest and Solidarity www.unc.edu/oasis. During my participation in OASIS, I made it a priority to revamp the organization and turn it into a formidable voice on campus. I established and hosted the university's first Africa Awareness Week, and organized events ranging from guest speaker panels to culturally explosive performances. Expressing Africa's cultural diversity through my playwriting, direction and performance in several plays and dances carved a path for OASIS to become one of the most desired organizations in the Chapel Hill community. I was also instrumental in fundraising efforts for several charity projects, including for a foster home and women's shelter in war-torn Liberia. My role in OASIS and towards improving Carolina's diversity eventually earned me the Edward Kidder Graham Award for Outstanding Leadership in the International Organizations category.
Other highlights of my college experience included volunteering as an orientation counselor for the U.N.C International Center every fall, and teaching students in both the Orange County, Chapel Hill-Carrboro and Durham County schools about Africa and African cultures.
Before attending U.N.C, my summer in 1998 was spent campaigning for the Clean Water Act and other environmental causes as a volunteer with the Sierra Club of Charlotte. This prompted an increase in my desire to help members of my community/society back in Nigeria and thus, before I graduated, I, along with a few of my Nigerian friends and acquaintances, formed in a charity organization, Liberation Association by Nigerian Women (LAWN), which aims to help less fortunate women and children and raise awareness about domestic violence and human rights abuse. In December 2002, LAWN coordinated our Feed the Needy Project, where packaged meals were provided for several homeless people living under a bridge in the Lagos Marina area. We also raised funds to purchase items for the Motherless Babies Home and a retired civil servants shelter.
Public speaking, writing and performing original poetry and prose, acting, blogging on various subjects, Bollywood and Bhangra music are among my many interests and hobbies. I am a very thorough, optimistic, tenacious and free-spirited free-thinker, who when not busy focusing on my career and personal enrichment, loves to meet new people, spend time with friends and attend church regularly at Jubilee Christian Church International. I credit strong family and cultural values, a network of caring and loving friends, passion and drive for my profession and heritage, and most especially God for keeping me grounded and giving me strength and grace to remain cheerful in the face adversity and tackle challenges head-on. I am a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of African Journalists, and am in the throes of initiating a Carolina African Journalist Association to bring together journalists of African descent who attend or have passed through U.N.C's Carroll School of Journalism. I hope to eventually further my studies and attain a Master's Degree in Journalism.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Saturday October 1st was yet another Independence day for my dear country Nigeria. At 45 she has been a dutiful wife, typical of the continent, taking all sorts of battering and abuses, but still holding her head high, hanging tight and hoping for a happier future.
In the normal Nigerian tradition of celebrating anything, including funerals, I joined the bandwagon and attended a party in Charlotte. Yes, I was in Charlotte again and ok so I really didn't mean to wish death on anyone (heard of metaphors), I love and appreciate everyone I know in Charlotte like I love my brothers and sisters, I was just upset that I had to vent. Having said that though, I still don't like Charlotte.
But back to that Nigerian party, turns out the organizer wasn't who I assumed it would be. Turned out to be some juvenile, under 21 junior eagles type and that made me highly irritated because of all things I actually went to go and shop for green and white outfit, when I could have just worn T-shirt and jeans and rolled out in my usual I don't give a rats attitude. I mean I wanted to slap my self twice for that.
Meanwhile, I amazed myself when I didn't dance until the very last song, and that was because it was Awilo, the only African song they played. How can you have a Nigerian Independence party, that's supposed to be an appreciation of Nigerian culture, without Fela? Haba!! As in really, I wanted to choke someone, because I made an effort to come out, something I've kinda put an end to. The funny thing though was looking in disgust and brows turned up at some of the young girls, the ones in college, backing it up to dudes, simulating moves meant for the bedroom, rumping and grinding and just praying to God that I did not look that way back then way back when I used to be wild and crazy. Oh God please!!! I would hope I did all that 'tastefully' with some level of class and decorum, because what I saw was close to soft porn. But then again, perceptions are relatively subjective so I am sure some guys were enjoying the view. Not to sound judgmental or anything, but I guess you get to a certain phase in life when you just look back and you think to yourself, what in the hell was I thinking when I did that, or say 'been there, done that, ain't hot'. Perhaps I am at that phase, where I am now looking in from the outside and being very, if not overtly, cynical.
But the unfortunate part is that I think I have become my worst nightmare, a 'blahddy' wallflower. You know the ones, in Nigerian parties, that make you wanna barf. The ones that don't want to break a sweat, that stand around with their nose turned up, eyeing every chick that passes by and scoping every bloke in the room, and once in a while hating. The ones that take up space, crossing their legs and bench warming as if they don't have chairs in their house(stole that line). The ones that sip on the same drink you saw them with 4 hours ago (like I was with my water). The ones that make you go, 'Abeg! Abeg! Who the hell does she think she is'. Yes and much to my chagrin, I was officially inducted into the wall flowers club, the senior sisters Inc. I am not sure how I got to this point, did one of those guest pastors in church cast out those dancing demons or am I just getting OLD!!! I know I was thinking about going back to my 'being a snob' days, because i think I am a bit to friendly that people take it for granted sometimes, but I doubt that can ever happen. I mean really... this is Adaure we are talking about.
I remember, last summer, when my friends and I would hit up Walt's African party at Abbysinnia in Raleigh, every Friday and Saturday night. We killed the dance floor with the latest Makossa moves till 3am and still made it to church on Sunday. I kinda miss those days, but thinking about it, I don't think I have that energy or motivation anymore. I just wanna chill and sip on my 'water on the rocks.' I guess I need to just find another social outlet because I don't think i'll be able to stand myself as a wallflower. Ooh... an idea just came up, I think i'll be the butterfly amongst the wallflower ( i'm killing it with my profound metaphors). Yes, that's what i'll be, since I know I can't do the dance floor thing, it seems a bit too juvenile; guess that's what quarter-life crisis would do to you. Having said that, 'slacker wallies' better watch out now, cos this butterfly is coming to a town near you!