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Mali: Oumou Sangaré tops World Music Charts Europe
August 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Oumou Sangaré

Malian Oumou Sangaré has claimed the No 1 spot on the World Music Charts Europe(link is external) (WMCE) with her album titled Acoustic.

Acoustic rose 13 places after making its entry on the chart at No 14 in July. The offering is essentially an unplugged version of her 2017 release Mogoya. The album was released digitally on 19 June through record label No Format.

“I suggested to Oumou that she record this album after a show in London to celebrate 15 years of No Format,” No Format founder Laurent Bizot said. “At that concert, for the first time, she had agreed to try out this acoustic approach, which is all about letting go. The space it created for her voice was wonderful.”

The Pace Setters, a reissue of Ghanaian band Edikanfo’s 1981 LP, ranks second after its debut on the chart at No 7 in July.

Making its entry at No 4 is The King of Sudanese Jazz by musician Sharhabil Ahmed via the Habibi Funk label. The seven tracks were recorded in the 1960s and feature a mix of rock and roll, funk, surf rock, traditional Sudanese music and Congolese rumba.

Maghreb K7 Club: Synth Raï, Chaoui & Staiif (1985-1997) is another newcomer on the chart ranking at No 7. The album features an impressive compilation of music recorded and produced between 1985 and 1997 by musicians from the Maghreb region in Algeria.

Further down, Santrofi’s Alewa – the No 1 album in July – drops to No 9, while Tamotait by Tuareg band Tamikrest from Mali fell eight positions to No 13. The album was at the top of the chart in June.

At No 17 is Afropentatonism by Nigerien desert blues musician Alhousseini Anivolla and Ethiopian jazz guitarist Girum Mezmur. The pan-African project dropped six places after debuting at No 11 last month.

Nayda! by Bab L’Bluz from Morocco completes the list of African albums on the chart with a debut at No 18. Real World Records says the album features “a new wave of Moroccan artists and musicians taking their cues from local heritage, singing words of freedom in the Moroccan-Arabic dialect of darija (‘nayda’ means both ‘to rise up’ and ‘to party’) and mixing influences as and when.”

The WMCE features albums selected by radio producers and presenters across Europe. The albums are then played for a month on various radio stations, and an official poster is displayed in multiple music stores.

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Combat Covid 19: Top Gambian Artists Release Songs to Educate Public
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Jizzle and ST two award winning Gambian artists

Jizzle, Multiple awards winning Gambia’s Afro- pop artiste and ST, also awards winning Gambia’s finest Afro rap sensational have released songs songs to educate and sensitize the public on the Coronavirus.

They partnered with  Office of the First Lady and UNICEF The Gambia.

Fatoumata Bah Barrow, First Lady of The Gambia  hailed the collaboration with UNICEF and the two artists as an important milestone in the country’s fight against the Coronavirus.

She explained: “communication is vital to the containment of the spread of the Coronavirus. These songs will educate, inform and raise the awareness of the general public especially the youth and vulnerable members of society about the preventive measures and the symptoms of the virus.”

Since the Coronavirus was declared a global pandemic, First Lady Madam Fatoumatta Bah Barrow has made a personal commitment to reach out to Gambians with proper information about COVID-19 and how they can protect themselves.

“We need the power of positive thinking more than ever before and I hope that these songs will be shared, and that the messages contained therein would naturally address any element of doubt or misperceptions that people may have about the pandemic.”

UNICEF The Gambia Country Representative Sandra Lattouf believes the songs have the potential to awaken the public to the realities of the Coronavirus and motivate people to take action to fight the virus and keep The Gambia safe.

“These songs contain strong messages on preventive measures against the Coronavirus. We are confident that people will learn from these messages and be inspired to take action to protect themselves and others around them.”

UNICEF and the UN system in The Gambia continue to work with The Gambia Government and partners to keep the public informed about preventive measures and how they can contribute to the containment of the Coronavirus.

“As members of the national COVID-19 taskforce, we have identified strategic priorities to support the government in keeping the people safe from the virus. We are strengthening risk communication, supporting in proper coordination, case management and logistics to contain the Coronavirus and protect Gambians from the disease.”


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Zambia film up for three international awards
March 17, 2020 | 0 Comments

The Borderline, a Zambian story of love, betrayal and crime, has been nominated for three prestigious international awards, barely three months after its release.

The feature film is up for an award at the Festival International du Film Panafricain (FIFP) in Cannes, France, Best Trailer in the Rome Independent Prisma Awards in Italy, and is in the official selection for the International Film Festival of Detective Film and TV Programs in Moscow.

“I am very excited that our film is already getting international recognition shortly after its release in December. It has always been my dream to see Zambian movies compete at global level. I believe this is just the beginning for us producing international blockbusters in Zambia,” said Dr Langmead.

The Rome Independent Prisma Awards is a monthly awarding and live screening ceremony that allows talented independent filmmakers across the world to compete for up to US$10,000 worth of prizes given out each month, since 2019, when the awards began.

Nominated films in the Italian awards win a three-month coupon with iPitch.tv, while winners get a 12-months coupon. iPitch.tv is a platform where filmmakers submit their ideas to the best producers all around the world.

Meanwhile, the FIFP is a platform that exhibits cinema and its professions, arts and entrepreneurship, as well as innovation, culture and events. It is a unique experience where Pan-African cinema and African cultures and those of its diaspora around the world get recognised.

The film festival was created and founded in 2006 by renowned French filmmaker and broadcaster Eitel Basile Ngangue Ebelle.
The 21st International Festival of Detective Films and Television Programmes on Law-Enforcement Themes “DetectiveFEST”, in Moscow. The festival contest considers feature films (full-length and short films), documentary films and TV series, animation films, thematic TV programmes and TV spots.

“Winning these three international awards will be a plus for the entire Zambian film industry. It will demonstrate that the industry is not just growing at a faster pace; but at a wider space too,” noted Dr Langmead, the writer and director of The Borderline.

The Borderline tells a tragic story of love, betrayal and crime in a riverside village that is terrorised as three brothers seek the truth about the childhood trauma that changed the course of their lives.

The motion picture pays homage to film noir – believed to be the first of its kind to be produced in Zambia. Film noir (or dark film) is a style of movie characterised by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace exemplified by Hollywood crime dramas.

The Borderline is the second feature film after Damyna The Musical to be produced by Langmead and Baker, a Zambian film production house based in the capital, Lusaka.

Damyna, Zambia’s first musical drama, was realised in 2016. It was screened at the Festival International du Film PanAfricain held in Cannes, France, where lead actress Josephine Kachiza won the Dikalo (2017) award for best actress.

The Borderline was shot on location in Lusaka, Chisamba, and the Lower Zambezi, with a local cast and crew directed by long-term resident Dr Peter Langmead and supported by renowned lighting cameraman, Denis Borrow, as Director of Photography, with assistant directors including Leelee Ngwenya, Tozya Botah and Kalenga Mwansa.

Mr Borrow is known for movies such as SupermanThe Queen at 80Richard Attenborough: A Life in FilmPiers Morgan On…, and William & Kate: A Royal Engagement.

The lead roles of The Borderline are played by talented upcoming actors Dixon Mumba and Mutinta Marie. Also, part of the cast is award-winning actress Nancy Handabile, who is well known for her exceptional performances in local drama series, Love Games and Zuba.

View Trailer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X3EcjEAFCI&feature=youtu.be

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Nigeria:Bond Ebigbo Stanley Publishes His Book “Grounded Ways To The Music Industry”
March 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

According to Bond, “this book touches on developing your talent, branding yourself both online and offline, carving a niche for yourself and building a formidable fan base. It also sheds light on networking as an artiste and building relationships within and outside the music industry”. Grounded promotions have been a force in the artiste and music management business for a long time and Bond Stanley the founder and CEO is well versed in the music business so any artiste, manager, enterainment practitioner, intending investor or label owner who gets a copy of this insightful book, reads and applies the principles outlined will benefit a lot from a well-experienced music executive.

 The music sector is one of the industries that houses the most number of personalities in need of direction on how to become a successful brand. Potential performing artistes are seeking knowledge on how to score hit songs and develop a marketable brand while indie labels are in pursuit of how to go about promoting unknown artistes into mega brands.

With all these in mind, Bond Ebigbo Stanley, the C.E.O of Grounded Promotions, with years of experience in managing some of the most successful artistes in Africa like Phyno and Runtown, authored his book titled “Grounded Ways To The Music Industry”. His experience in the music industry spans over a decade with diverse roles: artiste manager, promoter, blogger, PR person, event manager, booking agent and road manager. He tapped into these experiences to write this book with a view to helping both the established and upcoming artiste and also to contribute positively to the fast growing Nigerian music industry.

According to Bond, “with my wealth of experience in the music industry, I founded a mentorship class where I trained young people, including artiste managers, on how to become successful in the music industry”. I also created a Talent Search, GROUNDED TALENT SEARCH  – geared at discovering and encouraging new/young talent in music and mentoring them”. Indigenous hiphop act B Shine Akabuike based in Enugu was the winner of the maiden edition in 2017.

This book “GROUNDED WAYS TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY” isn’t just for upcoming artistes. It is for everyone and anyone who desires to make/have a career in the music industry either as a talent manager, curator of music or an artiste. Even outside the music industry, the guidelines in this book can be applied anywhere and in any field.

Bond, a native of Nnewi LGA of Anambra State, Nigeria, was born and raised in Enugu, Enugu State. He moved to Lagos state where he lived most of his life and acquired all his knowledge in the music industry.

He currently resides in New Jersey United States of America.

You can connect and interact with Bond via his social media platforms
TWITTER/INSTAGRAM @bondgrounded

Link to purchase the book (available in hard copies and eBook)- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0851MB3P5/ref=mp_s_a_1_7?keywords=grounded+ways&qid=1582358944&sr=8-7

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THE MARLEY FAMILY, UME AND ISLAND RECORDS ANNOUNCE YEARLONG 75TH BIRTHDAY COMMEMORATIVE PLANS FOR LEGENDARY ICON BOB MARLEY
February 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
LEGENDARY ICON BOB MARLEY

MARLEY75 To Feature Special Releases, Live Performances, Plus Rare And Unreleased Material from the Marley Family Vaults and Private Collection 

40 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF ‘REDEMPTION SONG,’ CELEBRATED WITH NEW MUSIC VIDEO PREMIERED ON YOUTUBE

(February 5, 2020 – Los Angeles, CA) The Marley family, UMe and Island Records have begun to roll out their yearlong MARLEY75 commemorative plans in celebration of the legendary cultural icon, Bob Marley’s 75th birthday and 40th anniversary of the timeless classic “Redemption Song.” 

In honor of Black History Month, now underway, and to mark the beginning of all MARLEY75 celebrations in 2020, the official music video for Redemption Song” premieres today on Bob Marley’s YouTube channel. Created by French artists Octave Marsal & Theo De Gueltzl, the breathtaking animation, featuring 2,747 original drawings, uses powerful symbols to amplify the magnitude of the song’s timeless lyrics and importance in today’s world. The video highlights Bob’s contribution to the empowerment of black civilization, as well as his manifestation of hope and recovery for all mankind. 

Inspired by Bob’s homeland of Jamaica, as well as insights received from his family, the artistic approach was to illustrate the imaginary world of Bob Marley in a way that highly stimulates self-reflection. “From the history of Slavery and Jamaica, Rastafarian culture, legacy of prophets (Haile Selassie the 1st, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X), as well as Bob’s personal life, we take the audience on a journey through allegories and representations.” Marsal and De Gueltzl reveal. The opening sequence invites the viewer into Bob’s guitar, a visual metaphor to Bob’s mind, and our own, in a quest for Redemption. Also, drawing from Rastafarian philosophy, another vital element of the video’s narrative is about valuing nature, our Earth and the Mother Land.

Watch the powerful visual for ‘Redemption Song’ HERE

The MARLEY75 celebrations will encompass all things music, fashion, art, photography, technology, sport and film, providing fans unprecedented access to archives from the legendary artist’s estate in new, thoughtful and innovative ways. Together with YouTube, new and exciting content is set to be released over the course of the year.

The inaugural MARLEY75 music festivities kick off this Spring, the first of many celebrations to come. Ziggy Marley and Stephen Marley’s Bob Marley Celebration will headline 
The BeachLife   Festival. This special, collaborative appearance will feature Ziggy Marley and Stephen Marley performing an extensive catalog of Bob Marley tunes in celebration of their father’s 75th birthday at the three-day immersive music, art, and culinary oceanside event.

In this digital era, Bob Marley remains one of the most followed posthumous artists on social media, and MARLEY75 will serve to bring his music and message to the digital foreground, reaching new audiences and perspectives with innovative content and groundbreaking technology. Special live events, exclusive digital content, recordings, exhibitions, plus rare and unearthed treasures will also be revealed throughout the year.

Bob Marley’s music continues to inspire generation upon generation, as his legacy lives on through his message of love, justice and unity, a sentiment needed more than ever in 2020. In conjunction with Tuff Gong and UMe, a division of the Universal Music Group, the Marley family will continue to ensure the highest quality, integrity and care is taken to honor Bob’s legacy and to celebrate one of the 20th century’s most important and influential figures.

One-quarter of all the Reggae listened to in the United States, is Bob Marley. Bob Marley’s Legend is the nineteenth-biggest selling album of all time and the fifth-biggest selling Greatest Hits package in United States history.

Throughout history, no artist has dominated the world of music quite like Bob Marley. A musical, political and spiritual icon of mythical proportions, both poet and prophet, Marley was the first Jamaican artist to give voice to the struggles of his people and the Rastafarian culture, and the first to gain worldwide fame. October 2020 will see the 40th anniversary of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” Released in October 1980 and taken from his ninth album Uprising (Island Records), the song was inspired by a speech from Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey’s “The Work That Has Been Done” and is considered by many as one of the greatest songs ever written in popular culture. In a time when political unrest and oppression feels more prevalent than ever, “Redemption Song” maintains a poignancy and power and acts as a long-standing testament to Bob Marley’s brilliance and voice for the people. Bob Marley’s music catalog has amassed billions of streams and sold millions of albums worldwide, while his hits compilation, Legend, remains the world’s best-selling reggae album and longest-charting album in the history of Billboard’s Catalog Albums chart.

Tune in and subscribe to the Official Bob Marley YouTube channel here for more upcoming content celebrating Bob’s legacy and contribution to the world.

Additional information on MARLEY75 events will be revealed soon.

ABOUT BOB MARLEY

Bob Marley, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is notable not only as the man who put reggae on the global map, but, as a statesman in his native Jamaica, he famously brought together the country’s warring factions. Today, Bob Marley remains one of the 20th century’s most important and influential entertainment icons. Marley’s lifestyle and music continue to inspire new generations as his legacy lives on through his music. In the digital era, he has the second-highest social media following of any posthumous celebrity, with the official Bob Marley Facebook page drawing more than 70 million fans, ranking it among the Top 20 of all Facebook pages and Top 10 among celebrity pages. Marley’s music catalog has sold millions of albums worldwide. His iconic collection LEGEND holds the distinction of being the longest-charting album in the history of Billboard magazine’s Catalog Albums chart and remains the world’s best-selling reggae album. Marley’s accolades include inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1994) and ASCAP Songwriters Hall of Fame (2010), a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award (2001), multiple entries in the GRAMMY® Hall Of Fame, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2001).  For more information visit: bobmarley.com and facebook.com/bobmarley.


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PAV Banjul Correspondent Nominated Media Personality Of The Year in Gambia
January 24, 2020 | 0 Comments
The award is a big milestone for Ceesay

Bakary Ceesay, correspondent of Pan African Visions in Banjul, Gambia, has been nominated as Media Personalty of the year in The Wah Sa Halat Music Awards Gambia scheduled to take place on 31st January at Penchami Hall of Paradise Suite Hotel.

Ceesay, one of the Gambia’s finest entertainment journalists is been nominated along Sally Jobe, anchor of Playlist at Kerr Fatu, Delz Campbell, anchor of GamVibes at QTV, Foday Jawara, alias Master Fo, anchor of 360 Show at Paradise Fm and Isha Elizabeth, Entertainment anchor at Block TV Gambia.

The awards are usually organised by Brand Plus to reward artists, producers, video directors and media practitioners who work extremely well on their songs and video events.

Reacting to his nominations, Ceesay, who has done public relations for many Gambians artists, event organisers and promoters said: “I felt honor to be recognised as Media Personalty of the year in 2019, after working with all the prominent Gambian artistes in their shows with huge turn outs”

“This nomination means a lot for me since the journey to contribute my quota in the music industry started seven years ago and the skepticism that many hard has given way for optimism and growing believe in the potential of Gambian music and this challenges me to work harder ,” Ceesay said.

He explained that seven years ago he took upon himself to promote Gambian music through the media with the motivation needed to tell stories about the rise of Gambian Artists to stardom.

He added that it took him sleepless nights in covering live music concerts and walking home for several miles .

He urged young journalists to have a keen interest in the area of arts and entertainment because there are lots of stories that need to be told worldwide on the talents of Gambian artists .

“This nomination is dedicated to The Voice Newspaper, Music in Africa, Block TV Gambia The Monitor Newspaper and Pan African Visions who gave me the platform to expose our talents across the globe. To my colleagues nominees ,we are not in a competition but we are all winners at the end of the day,” Ceesay said.

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Living The Dream Life: Africa’s Next Top Model Bello Frasher On His Journey to the top and 2020 vision
January 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

The Cameroon born Bello Frasher has taken the fashion world by storm

Impossible it is to walk downtown Washington DC, Paris, Canberra or some exotic destination in Europe and not catch billboards or posters adorned with Bello Frasher, a superb model who might just be the next big thing the fashion industry is bracing for.

The Cameroon-born international sensation has over the years groomed himself and is now taking the Fashion industry by storm.

A brand influencer with distinction, catalog model, brand ambassador and face of CONNAISSEUR PARIS,Bello Frasher squeezed time off his hectic schedule to talk about his career and plans for 2020  with Pan African Visions.

Why modelling and the fashion business?

My love for fashion started from childhood. I have always love to look good and I always stood out among my friends. I will wear something and my friends will want to  know where I got it from hence that’s how I developed a passion for modeling and luckily for me, the camera loves me

What have your experiences been so far, may we know some of your challenges, success stories and deceptions?

Modeling is a very challenging field that I will say to get into you must be passionate about it. Especially being a male model, sometimes you got to change around strangers in an open space. Though things are getting better now, its still a very discriminatory field. As an African or black in New York trying to break into the fashion world which is predominantly white, I faced a lot of challenges ranging from my color & even my sexual orientation. But the fashion industry opens doors to a lot of fun opportunities, I get to travel around the world and mingle with high profile personalities. 

You are the face of CONNAISSEUR PARIS , can you shed light on this fashion label and the nature of your collaboration?

CONNAISSEUR PARIS is a European men fashion brand that started about six years ago with our head office in Paris and branches in several states in America. As the global face, I represent the brand in and out of the States. I’m the poster boy you will see on billboard ads in Paris & other locations and even on the website. I speak on behalf of the brand & host fashion shows to showcase our products. 

Why CONNAISSEUR PARIS when with the reputation you’ve built top players in the industry are after your business?

What most people don’t know is I did not start my fashion career with CONNAISSEUR Paris before Joining the team, I used to work for H&M as well as a catalog model for their summer look book and with top man. 

Bello Fraher is the brand Ambassador and face of the famed fashion label CONNAISSEUR PARIS

I choose CONNAISSEUR Paris because they were not just offering me a job but they were bringing me on board as part of the team. Beside the brand is true to itself by always putting the customer first and providing them with the best quality & high fashionable Italian fabrics at an affordable price

How challenging was it for you to get a breakthrough in this line of business here in the West coming all the way from Africa?

The higher you climb up the fashion ladder be it as a model, designer or fashion brand it becomes more difficult because the industry is almost completely white. So, imagine 

being a black-own fashion brand competing with some of the big fashion brands. They couldn’t have it and they tried everything to kick us out of business because they were scared of the high value of our products and its affordable price. Who won’t want to pay less for a high-quality suit! 

In terms of remuneration, how lucrative has the modelling business been for you and is Bello Frasher comfortable telling us what income bracket he is on or what it takes to get his services?

I will tell others not to go into modeling for money. It has to be a passion and of course your passion will always bring you money if you channel it properly. It’s a passion for me, I love what I do. So, I will say it’s very lucrative if you are passionate it and it makes you happy. I can’t put a price to happiness and if anyone requires my service, hit my PR team up and you will find out that I’m very affordable.

As challenging as it it is,the fashion industry opens doors to a lot of fun opportunities around the world, says Bello Frasher

You’ve inspired a lot of young people who some of whom are looking to emulate your path, what advise do you have for them, any tips for success?

Not everyone tends to discover their true potential or what they are passionate about. To the young ones out there, if you truly know what you are passionate about, don’t give up. Believe in yourself even if people around you say you can’t make. Be consistent & hard working and that passion of yours be it modeling or whatever will take you places.

Modeling requires staying fit and in shape, what is your own recipe for that?

Hahaha my recipe for staying fit is knowing your body well. I’m a pescatarian meaning I don’t eat meat. I don’t drink alcohol; I eat very healthy and I drink a gallon of water a day. You see! I didn’t talk about workout because it’s the last on my list. So, the secret of staying fit is what goes into your body then you can work out to torn the physique.  

Exposure from your career certainly earns you lots of female admirers, how you cope with attention from female fans…

Hahaha who no like Better thing! Honestly this exposure and the fame has tamed me. I get a lot of attention especially private messages but I don’t get carry away by that. I have been handling it well with no pressure lol,

You are also into acting and a budding TV sensation. Should we expect any movies from you to hit the big screens soon?

My acting career is still very young but I’m grateful for the opportunities and the path fashion has open for me. I’m currently in negotiation  with some movie directors in Nigeria  in Nigeria and I’m working with the director of Fatal Attraction for a role on his show on TVone.

The hard working and multi talented Bello Frasher is slowly but steadily making a foray into the movie industry

What other plans does Bello Frasher have for 2020 and his career, in what ways do you think you can improve and any other big dreams you will like to achieve?

I entered this 2020 with some big paid ads’ partnership. I will be doing a lot of paid collaboration with big lifestyle this year and I’m excited. I’m starting for this 2020 with a personal project to give back to less privileged kids, orphans and internally displaced people from the English party of Cameroon. I will be in Cameroon in March for this initiative called #bfgives2020 and I have a gofundme to raise $5,000 for this project.

I will be doing a media tour in Cameroon during this time. My desire is to work with big brands in Cameroon like MTN, Guinness, Camtel, orange and the rest. You will be seeing me a lot on the cover of fashion magazines this year. So many goals and dream to achieve this year and I’m excited because I see a clear path to success.

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A Tale of Courage, Resilience & Hope For Justice in Wendy Bangura’s “Tears, Trials, and Triumphs”
January 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

With roles in successful  movies like Entrapped, Blood Brothers, Koming from Africa, Twisted Brain, Royal Dilemma 2, Diary of a serial Killer, Njidika in America, Busted Life, Greedy Realtor, and Ekei among many others, Award winning actress Wendy Bangura  has carved a niche for herself on the International and African film scene. From her native Sierra Leone to stardom in the USA, it has been an agonizing tale of heart-breaking experiences, courage, and resilience for the sultry actress chronicled in  her book titled “Tears, Trials, and Triumphs.”

According to Wendy Bangura, the book is a true-life story of the unexpected tragedy that struck her family during the calamitous civil war of the 90s in Sierra Leone. In the book, Wendy Bangura shares the tears, and tribulations she went through and how prayers, great determination, hope and big dreams ultimately led her to triumph in the face of all odds.

Wendy’s triumph is a reminder to always have faith, believe in divine providence, have hope, work hard and even the worse adversity would be overcome

While she talks a lot about the divine provision of God, Wendy Bangura dedicates her triumph to the memory of her late father Captain Hancil Bangura, a man she considers as her hero. The man described in the book as noble, hardworking, generous, patriotic, and a most loving husband to his wife and kids was summarily executed on 29 December 1992. Captain Bangura, Quartermaster of the Sierra Leone Army was executed alongside 29 other individuals without a trial or any due process.

Accustomed to living a stress-free life with all the pecks from her doting father, Wendy’s world came crashing. She gives graphic details of family activities on the day of the incident up to the point where a group of soldiers came and took her father to the military headquarters for a meeting. A meeting he never came back from.

Initial efforts by the family to get answers yielded no fruits, no one had answers for anything. To make matters worse, her family was not only placed under house arrest, but everything was also carted away by the power drunk soldiers. Vehicles were seized, property confiscated, and bank accounts frozen.

Wendy Bangura dedicates her triumph to the memory of her late father Captain Hancil Bangura, a man she considers as her hero

For the young girl that Wendy Bangura was, the experience was traumatizing. A good Samaritan working in the military learnt of additional plans by the military government to further hurt the family and facilitated their escape.

Later in the book, Bangura says several sources eventually fingered a certain Sergeant Musa of the NPRC regime as the brain behind the killing of her father and other Northerners in the army as a way of trying to restore Southern (Mende) rule. The book details the reign of terror of the NPRC and its eventual collapse.

From 1992 when tragedy struck to 1997 when the family had the opportunity to move to the USA thanks to the Diversity Visa Lottery program, Wendy Bangura sheds light on the challenges faced by her family to survive. While  Bangura again gives top credit to divine providence for the survival of her family under the miserable conditions which stood in stack contrast to the princely life they had when her father was alive, a number of benefactors are equally acknowledged for been there for them.

While Wendy and her family may have braved the ordeal, their hope for some form of justice remains largely unfulfilled. In January 2013, a delegation of families of victims of the December 1992 massacre led by Julius Bombay Kamara Jr son of the Former Inspector General of Police James Bombay Kamara tabled their case before then President Ernest Bai Koroma.

Under the canopy of the 29 Memorial Foundation for Justice and Development. The group indicated that the families had suffered for so long and it was time  to serve justice by atleast seeking to get the truth of what actually happened. From the book, we learn that President Koroma attributed inaction to the politicization of the issue. He assured the families that he understood their emotions and sorrow and pledged to do all in his second term to address the issues ……

Despite the palpable pain and sorrow manifested by Wendy Bangura in the book, one can see in her the proud and patriotic flare she probably inherited from Captain Hancil Bangura. For those who know nothing about Sierra Leone, the book gives 101 lessons on the rich history and culture of that West African country. From the people to its own tales of slavery, colonial legacy, and checkered political history, Bangura gives the reader a good feel of the history of her country.

Intended or not, Wendy Bangura equally gives the reader a reason to be curious about visiting Sierra Leone. From its healthy cuisine, the unparalleled beauty of its women, spectacular beaches, great view of the Atlantic Ocean, Bangura’s description of Sierra Leone is one of a country that lovers of tourism must add to their list. The depiction of Sierra Leonians as Killers in the movie Blood Diamond is wrong says Bangura.

“It is hard to see my people scorned by the world when the majority of us are peaceful, fun-loving, and God-fearing people,’ she writes.

The multi talented Wendy Bangura does is not only a famed actress but a talented producer as well.

Wendy Bangura who has equally produced successful movies like The Unforgettable Words ends the 142-page book with pictures of her family and some of her works. The book is easy to read. Been the fiercely ambitious and goal getter that Wendy Bangura is, one would not be surprised if someday the book is adapted to film.

As Sierra Leone continues its march forward from the chaotic past with despicable acts from the civil war, Bangura’s book is a reminder that nothing should ever be taken for granted. It is a call for introspection on values that should guide a modern society, a society where tribalism has no place, a society which recognizes and encourages hard work, one where people are not sentenced and killed without trial and one where justice delayed is justice denied. Wendy’s triumph   is a reminder to always have faith, believe in divine providence, have hope, work hard and even the worse adversity would be overcome.

Tears, Trials, and Triumphs,” is available on Amazon , and other online book distribution networks.For information on how to get autographed copies from the author, contact bwendy2012@gmail.com

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A Wellness and Sexual Revolution in Nigeria with Omoshola’s Empire
January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

Omoshola’s Empire is a unique blend of Day spa and sexual wellness spa, stepping in to meet the challenges of today’s major skin and sexual crisis.

Today’s man/woman is one who is mindful of not just how they appear but also their health, fitness and sexual lifestyle.

Some relationships and even marriages fail because couples don’t talk about sex and what they can do to improve their libido or ensure mutual satisfaction.

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At Omoshola’s Empire, we help our client’s experience the benefits of sexual wellness and Massage Therapy, including reduced pain, improved circulation, increased immune efficiency, enhanced focus, and more. A member of our team is always on hand to assist you with booking and scheduling your appointments for consultations and treatments appropriately. We prefer to attend to clients by appointment via phone or through our website. But
we also attend to customers who walk into our offices without any previous appointments.

At OMOSHOLA’S EMPIRE our goal is to ensure every relationship or married couple enjoys the full benefits of general well being.

* FOR QUESTIONS & INQUIRIES:omosholaaa@gmail.com

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Gambia: Gov’t, Diaspora agree to advance Development
January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Senior Government officials and Diaspora meeting

Banjul, The Gambia January 8, 2020 – A high level meeting between permanent secretaries, senior government officials from departments and other agencies, and the GK Partners have been considering ways to implement a shared vision of the the need to significantly advance The Gambia.

The meeting, presided over by the Secretary General and Head of the Civil Service, Muhammad B.S. Jallow, was convened at the State House on Wednesday, January 08, 2020. It discussed strategies to decentralise focal persons for the Migration and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Programme of the National Development Plan( NDP) in all sectors across government.

The MSDG project is part of the NDP, and many of the activities within it are part of the flagship programme. As part of the GK Partners’ agreement with Gambia government, there is a whole month dedicated to celebrating the country’s diaspora which is considered its eight region.

“Besides the creation of a Diaspora Directorate at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there has been some pronouncements at both policy levels and non-state actors to realising the set objectives of the MSDGs. Now, it is thought prudent to set up focal points for this programme across all government sectors,” Secretary General, Mr. Jallow told the meeting.

GK Partners have been organising annual diaspora forum for the third executive year this year. This new strategy will ensure that there is decentralisation of the programme throughout government institutions.

Professor Gibril Faal, the Director of GK Partners and the Migration and SDGs Programme in The Gambia project, explained that the programme came through extensive consultation.

The programme has widely consulted the Diaspora, the business community, NGOs and government through meetings, workshops, webinars, and online researche. It tried to understand how the government can engage the diaspora to partake in the NDP in an enhanced manner.

“We spoke to them on the difficulties and practical challenges they face in their attempts to engage with development policies and practice in The Gambia,” he said.
   
It also explored the difficulties faced by actors on the ground who are on the receiving end of dealing with the diaspora. That is why the programme is developed in such a manner that opportunities and challenges on both sides have been recognized.

The commonality and the shared vision is the fact that there is consensus that The Gambia needs to significantly move towards advancement. It becomes a question of what each actor can do towards this objective, Faal explained.

“Given that there is so many diverse and difficult things to do, it leaves much room for innovation and complementary action rather than undue competition,” Professor Faal concluded


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Government sign the IATA Billing and Settlement pact
December 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Uzman Unis Bah

The Sierra Leone Government has signed the Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) with the International Air Transport Association (IATA); an Agreement for the establishment of a single standard interface for invoicing and payment between travel agents and airlines.

A system Operating in 181 countries, the BSP is set to facilitate and simplify the selling, reporting and remitting procedures of IATA Accredited Passenger Sales Agents, as well as improve financial control and cash flow for its approximately 400 participating airlines.

Signing the agreement, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kabineh Kallon described the initiative as a laudable venture that will create the enabling environment for tourism and trade to blossom, adding further that the government of Sierra Leone spends an annual fortune on foreign travel due to huge variances in ticket sales to the same destination. 

“Having a BSP in Sierra Leone will allow for the domestication of global standards that ensures the security and reliability of funds among participants in the air travel and trade value chain. It will also enhance accountability in revenue management for the National Revenue Authority and the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA),” the Minister said. 

In his statement, the Director General of Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), Moses Tiffa Baio said the signing of the BSP agreement is a testament of government’s commitment to make the aviation industry competitive in the sub-region. He added that the BSP is another step taken to reduce air ticket burden on Sierra Leoneans as it strives to stabilize the fluctuation of the exchange rate.

“I am happy to announce that Sierra Leone is the first country to sign the BSP agreement within the Sub-region. The BSP will provide immense benefit for the government and the people of Sierra Leone in that it provides predictability, certainty and sanity for ticketing, reporting and remittance generated from Foreign Travel Tax (TAX) and other taxes levied on airlines, travel agents and other aviation service providers,” he said. 

“The BSP will not only benefit travel agencies, but also the country and those tourists who would want to visit Sierra Leone. While we commend the SLCAA Boss for his effort, we assure the government of Sierra Leone that the BSP will be a success,” John Rogers, Head of Sierra Association of Travel Agencies (SLATA) said.

The Secretary of the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR), Edgar Lacle thanked the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, noting that it is a step in the right direction. He assured the government and the people of Sierra Leone of the board’s continued support to not only BSP initiative, but also any project that seeks to develop the aviation industry.

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Minister’s Report Beams a Light on the Fiasco of the Education Ministry
December 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Uzman unis Bah

Moinina David Sengeh - Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education
Moinina David Sengeh – Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education

Freetown, Sierra Leone, a report by the newly appointed minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Moinina David Sengeh has shed light on the derelict condition of the ministry.

In his report, the minster highlights urgent needs for rehabilitation of the structure itself, and the need to upgrade the wash system of the ministry, which is in fiasco.

Sengeh compiled a report on what obtains at the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), days upon bearing the portfolio of a full cabinet minister; in the report, shocking revelations highlighted a failing system; consequently, years of failure in the educational system.

The report highlights issues the Minister observed in and around the Ministry surroundings, including but not limited to trash all over the building, broken furniture, abandoned equipment, no system of operations and poor sanitation facilities.

Relating to the attitude of the workers, Minister Sengeh stated in this report that staff were idling around the ministry, watching Movies in the office and speaking Krio, a local dialect, which is not the country’s official language of communication. “Staff speak krio mindlessly in the office, there is no resource library and staff do not have access to (haven’t read) policy document of MBSSE” the report states.

“The report shed a beam of light on poor staff attendance, “About half of all senior management were not at their desks between 10:40AM to 12:30PM. In addition to the Permanent Secretary who asked for permission to travel that morning, and the head of human resources, there were entire teams that were absent from their units including Informal Learning, it was also apparent that many senior technical leaderships were out of the country/office at the time” the report reads.

The minister recommends the allocation of resources to swiftly, rectify some of the issues he has outlined. As the report concludes, “if the ministry cannot solve these problems, it can’t lead a transformation in education”. Education is the flagship priority of the New Direction government.

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