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Saturday, 31 May 2014

You Went to a Funeral and Then You Went Home - Courtney Fitzgerald

I saw this article and felt I should share it. It gives you a different view and a picture into the hearts of those who have lost loved ones and are grieving. "When you go to a funeral, and are allowed to go home to life, remember that at least one person goes home to a new life that was NOT asked for, but handed to them." Read below:

You heard some bad news from a friend, relative, social media, church or maybe in a gossip circle. However you heard, you immediately felt bad, asked how to help, donated time, food, money or prayers. Whatever you did, the family was grateful, even if they didn't say it. They were blessed by your gifts. Life goes back to normal. The family sits on your heart. You pray, you ask, you follow the updates. You did what you could.

One day, you heard the really bad news: Death won and a family lost. Forever.Once again, you prayed, you helped, gave what you could. Even if you didn't know it, the family was thankful for you, your help, your prayers, your love and your support. You attended the funeral, cried some real tears, laughed some real laughs, enjoyed the memories of the one who is gone. Finally, you hugged the ones who lost the most. Once the funeral was over and the day was done, you went home. Back to life, back to love, back to those who make your world complete. You went to a funeral, and then you went home.

Happy Wedding Anniversary to Julius Agwu and Wife, Ibiere

Comedian Julius Agwu and his lovely wife, Ibiere are celebrating 6 years together as a married couple today.
Happy Anniversary to them and I wish them blissful and more fruitful years ahead together.


The Kenyan Journalist Who Quit His Profession for Farming

Meet Caleb Karuga, the Kenyan who quit his profession for farming. The Kenyan entrepreneur says that while he was good at his job, his true passion lay in farming, but he did not have the courage to quit his job. “I would pray with my wife every morning: ‘God, today I want to be fired.” But if  he quit his job Karuga would have had to forfeit KSh. 1.3m (US$14,800) in benefits, so he held on until last year when his employer retrenched him alongside dozens of his colleagues. Looking back, Karuga says this was a blessing in disguise.

Karuga who now runs Wendy Farms says that as a child he hated farming. It was while on assignment nearly 4 years ago interviewing a professional mole catcher, that he felt motivated to go into agribusiness. Farmers would hire the mole catcher to trap moles, which destroy crops, at a fee. Karuga notes that by his calculation the mole catcher probably took home at least KSh. 90,000 ($1,000) per month, some thousands more than he was making as a TV reporter.

Karuga leased a one acre piece of land in central Kenya and started Wendy Farms. Today he runs 3 farms where he keeps thousands of indigenous chicken, quails, guinea fowls and dairy goats and grows butternut, strawberry, sweet potatoes and sunflowers. Every Saturday, groups of 30-40 people visit Wendy Farms for training on poultry farming. Karuga charges KSh. 1,000 ($11) per person for one session. He says he started offering training sessions to help other entrepreneurs avoid making the mistakes he made.

24 Year Old Female Nabbed for Armed Robbery in Ogun State

According to a Punch report, a 24-year-old woman, Sherifat Bakare, has been arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Ogun State. She revealed that she was into prostitution before her boyfriend, Raji coerced her into joining their robbery gang. Bakare in company with 4 other members of her gang, were apprehended on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 by the men of Ogun State SARS, who had been on their trail after receiving a tip-off about the gang’s plan.

She said another member of the gang, Bola Onasile, had approached her boyfriend about the availability of N70m in a wealthy man’s house in Joju area of Sango, Ogun State.“Raji gathered other members and they snatched a vehicle (a Nissan Quest) around Iwo Road, Ibadan. We decided that the vehicle would be used for the operation.The gang asked me to sit in the front of the vehicle so that when we were stopped by policemen on the way, being a woman in the front seat would make them unsuspicious. But during the operation, the police cornered us and Raji was shot dead.”

“I am from Idofian in Kwara State. My father is late but my mother lives in Ibadan. She has no idea I do this kind of job and she does not even know I am in police custody.”Bakare explained that she was a prostitute in Lekki where she was making up to N5,000 per day until about 2 years ago. “Raji was a good helper to me. That was why I decided to leave prostitution when he begged me. When he introduced me to armed robbery, I asked him if there would be no problem and he assured me that there would be none. When we started dating, I did not know he was an armed robber though.”
The young lady said she learnt photography when she dropped out of secondary school but had not been able to practise the trade because she did not think she could make much money from it.

Friday, 30 May 2014

13 Year old Girl Writes and Publishes 2 books

A teenager in the US, Angela Content has written and self published 2 books. The 13 year old who loves to read became inspired to write her own stories that have now turned into 2 self-published books. One is a sci-fi fantasy titled “Awake and Alive,” and the other is a romance novel titled “Shattered.” Each book took her 3 months to write, with her latest novel reaching just over 200 pages. She also writes the stories by hand and explains that doing so helps create a constant flow of creativity.

Angela’s mother, Marie Content, says that she had no idea her daughter was serious about becoming an author until she approached her one day and was surprised to hear the news. “At first she said, ‘Mommy, I’m going to write a book. I'm writing my own book,’ I said, ‘OK.’ She said, ‘I'm going to publish it.’ I said, ‘OK,’. “And then finally one day she said: ‘Mommy, my book is going to publish. I already transmitted everything — it’s going to take 24 hours, they’re going to review it. I said, ‘OK,’” Marie Content said. “And then the next day, I heard it’s on Amazon. I’m like, ‘Oh my God!’”

After finishing both of her novels, Angela used the website CreateSpace to self-publish both of her books. They are now available on several websites, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Her mother says her daughter’s passion for reading was helped by the limited TV and Internet access she was allowed growing up and encourages other parents to instill similar discipline. “I wish all the parents can do the same, keep the electronic stuff away from the kids and talk to them more; hear what they have to say,” Marie content said. As for her advice to other kids, Angela said: “Continue to follow your dreams. You’re going to feel great once you actually accomplish what you set your mind to.”

Source - thegrio

Mark Zuckerberg and Wife Priscillia Pledges $120 million to Help Struggling Schools

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscillia on Thursday pledged $120 million to help schools in low-income Bay Area communities in the US. This amounts to their biggest publicly announced donation to a local cause. "The world's most innovative community shouldn't also be a home for struggling public schools," Zuckerberg said, announcing the pledge in an essay written for this newspaper's opinion section. "Helping improve the quality of public education in this country is something we both really care about," wrote Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have made headlines with big charitable gifts before: He gave $100 million to help schools in Newark, N.J., and the couple later donated stock worth more than $1.5 billion to a fund administered by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation which made them the nation's biggest charitable donors in 2013.  The latest gift, which also comes from that fund, will help "improve education for under-served communities" over the next 5 years, Zuckerberg said. 

Some of the $120 million will help start new public and charter schools in the Bay Area while the rest will pay for equipment, training and other programs at existing schools. The first $5 million will go to needy schools in the Ravenswood and Redwood City school districts and other "high-need" neighborhoods of San Francisco. Zuckerberg, who turned 30 this month, is a Harvard drop-out who became one of the world's richest men. He's currently worth about $28 billion, thanks to his stake in the giant social networking company he co-founded in 2004. Chan is a children's doctor who once worked as a schoolteacher.

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Buy Donald Sterling's LA Clippers for $2 Billion

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a $2 billion deal is set to buy LA Clippers, after their previous owner Donald Sterling was given a NBA ban over racist comments. The sale comes just days before a NBA panel was due to meet to discuss revoking Sterling's ownership over the team.While the deal between Ballmer and Shelly Sterling has been agreed, it still has to pass the approval of a NBA panel.

ESPN reports that the agreement was signed Thursday and was sent straight to the NBA for final approval. Ballmer outbid former NBA star Grant Hill, who offered $1 billion, and a group of wealthy business people that included Oprah Winfrey. Ballmer's bid has also set a record price for an NBA team.

The likely new owner, Ballmer, retired from Microsoft in February after 14 years as CEO, and has an estimated fortune of $20.3 billion.  The team had been bought by Sterling for $12.5 million in 1981.
Before the deal can be sealed, it has to be approved by the NBA - and Sterling, who had dithered over whether he would allow his wife to sell the team he has owned for more than 30 years.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Powerful Life Lessons From a Navy Seal

Naval Admiral William H. McRaven returned to his alma mater, University of Texas last week and spoke to the graduates with lessons he learned from his basic SEAL training several years ago. They are powerful life lessons and #10 - 'If you want to change the world don't ever, ever ring the bell.' stood out to me. Go here for full text and read excerpts below:

I have been a Navy SEAL for 36 years. But it all began when I left UT for Basic SEAL training in Coronado, California. Basic SEAL training is 6 months of long torturous runs in the soft sand, midnight swims in the cold water off San Diego, obstacles courses, unending calisthenics, days without sleep and always being cold, wet and miserable. It is 6 months of being constantly harassed by professionally trained warriors who seek to find the weak of mind and body and eliminate them from ever becoming a Navy SEAL. But, the training also seeks to find those students who can lead in an environment of constant stress, chaos, failure and hardships. To me basic SEAL training was a life-time of challenges crammed into 6 months.

Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed. If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack—rack—that’s Navy talk for bed. It was a simple task, mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that we were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs—but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.

South African Entrepreneur Behind Aweza, a Free Multilingual App, Says He Taught Himself How to Build a Mobile App

Meet Glenn Stein, the 25-year-old South African entrepreneur behind Aweza, a free multilingual app for Android and iOS that translates phrases in all of South Africa’s 11 official languages. The app currently contains about 400 common phrases which can be translated into a selected South African language. The idea came to him while he was studying at college and wanted to create something that would overcome the language barriers that divides South Africans.

“We have a huge divide socially even though apartheid is 20 years past. There are still issues of segregation, just from a cultural point and I think language is an intrinsic part of culture. It is also, unfortunately, the hardest issue to tackle because to learn a language takes a lot of effort, dedication and time,” he says. But my dream comes from the idea that there was some tool that could really help to break down that language barrier and shrink the gap between 2 South Africans that come from 2 completely different cultures; to allow them to connect easier and facilitate this engagement.

Stein is also the co-founder of Speak Mobile, a company that builds apps. It is responsible for MediPhrases, another app that works similarly to Aweza, but is aimed at the medical profession. Its purpose is to help doctors communicate better with their patients across language barriers. According to Stein, the internet is one of the most valuable tools an entrepreneur has and can help them to do, or build, almost anything. “I taught myself how to build a mobile app purely through the internet. It has nothing to do with how smart you are, but rather how much time you are willing to put in to acquire the knowledge, and that is really all it takes.”

Meet the 12 Year Old Kid Entrepreneur Who is Redefining Fashion with His Bowties

Moziah Bridges is a 12 year old kidpreneur who is redefining fashion  with his bow ties. He decided to bring the classic and cool bowtie back by starting his business, Mo's Bows when he was just 9 years old. His bowties has gotten him attention from Steve Harvey, Forbes, British GQ, and even Oprah. Now his business has expanded to include over 20 different bowtie styles, and wholesale orders from over 10 luxury menswear stores.

Moziah's mother, Tramica, says, “He was 3 or 4 years old and I remember I let him dress himself and he’d come in a full suit and tie and I’m like, we’re going to the grocery store, what are you doing?”
Moziah says of his grandfather: “My grandfather would wear nice clothes just to go to McDonald’s. I absorbed it from him. I chose the bowtie because I couldn't find anything that I liked and I just wanted to look good and feel good…So I asked my grandma if she’d teach me to sew, and then I just started wearing them every day.”

His grandmother had been sewing for over 50 years and had lots of vintage fabrics and fun patterns to work with. Moziah started modeling his bowties at school, and though other kids found it “a little weird” at first, Tramica says he kept going. Soon strangers were stopping him on the street, asking where they could find bowties like his. It was after such an encounter that Mo first expressed an interest in starting a business. Tramica asked what he’d call his business and she remembers, “Right away he said, ‘Mo’s Bows.’ And I was like oh my gosh, that’s perfect.”

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

3 Young Nigerians Set to Launch MyMusic.com.ng

3 young Nigerians are set to launch a new music service called MyMusic.com.ng next month and they intend to crack the code of digital music distribution in Africa. Their idea is to offer a large collection of Nigerian music, both old and new on their mobile app /websites at a price of N30 per track, and allow people to pay for them with their phone credit.

Founded by 3 friends, Tola Ogunsola as CEO, Dolapo Taiwo as CTO, and Damola Taiwo as COO who all met about 14 years ago in the Department of Computer Science and Maths at Babcock University, the team says the platform is launching to the public with a bang. “We are of the opinion that nobody has yet been able to crack the code of digital music distribution in Nigeria. We believe we have a winning strategy, a combination of processes, ideas and best practices to help Nigerian artistes get the reward they duly deserve for their creative work as well as connect them to their rightful consumers, assuredly a global one,” Damola said.

“We had always known day jobs were not our thing. We had all been involved in some entrepreneurial engagement at one point or the other. We were just looking for the next big problem to solve when the issue of music discovery and distribution in Nigeria stared us in the face. We thought we could give it a good shot based on all our experiences and here we are today.”  He says the business model is simple and that though people who have the drive to steal music will continue to do so, the platform’s Mantra is to make stealing music more trouble than it’s worth by making digital music easy to find and purchase and price it reasonably, the vast majority of people will choose to buy rather than steal.

Celebrated Poet and Author Maya Angelou Dies at 86

American poet and author, Maya Angelou, died at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina yesterday at the age of 86. Her son, Guy B Johnson, confirmed the news in a statement and said,  "She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love."

The celebrated poet and author was to be honored this Friday with the Beacon of Life Award at Major League Baseball's Civil Rights Game when she fell ill and had to cancel. Angelou has received more than 30 honorary degrees from universities around the world. She published 7 autobiographies,
including the 1969 memoir 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings', 3 books of essays, and several books of poetry.

Angelou was born April 4, 1928, in St. Louis. She grew up between St. Louis and the then-racially segregated town of Stamps, Arkansas. The famous poet got into writing after a childhood tragedy that stunned her into silence for years. When she was 7, her mother's boyfriend raped her. He was beaten to death by a mob after she testified against him. "My 7-and-a-half-year-old logic deduced that my voice had killed him, so I stopped speaking for almost six years," she said. From the silence, a louder voice was born.

Woman Turns Viral Video of Herself Learning to Dance to a Successful Start-Up

Karen Cheng  was once a designer at a start-up in San Francisco, Exec. and a Program Manager at Microsoft Excel. She also designed the Seattle traffic app, 520 or 90. But when a video she made of herself learning how to dance over the course of a year went viral in July of 2013, attracting over 4 million YouTube views, she saw an opportunity to start a business.

So Cheng began filming herself in order to play back and watch her own moves but soon she realized that “I could put all these videos together to show my progress and that others might want to see how far I've come, too.” It was then that Give It 100 was born: a website, a community and a supportive platform for others to accomplish their goals just like Cheng. The site now has 40,000 users and growing, including several stories that have gotten their own share of attention, including a woman who has lost over a hundred pounds, and someone who has learned to walk again after being paralysed.

“I guess you could say I'm a skills vampire,” says Cheng, who from a young age has enjoyed learning new things. “In the 7th grade I saw some boys spinning a book on their finger like a basketball. I went home and tried to learn and eventually got to the point  where I could spin it and that was when I realized that things that look like magic are really just dumb practice.”

Tolulope Aladesuyi on Entrepreneurship and Influencing Teenagers for Greatness

Meet Nigeria's Tolulope Aladesuyi, a young female entrepreneur and a graduate of Crop, Soil and Pest Management from the Federal University of Technology, Akure. She runs Eso-Ara, an outfit that deals in the sales of fashion accessories and costume-jewellery, a business she started in 2011 during her national youth service. In an interview with the vanguard, she talks about her business and how she is influencing teenagers for greatness. Read excerpts below:

Tell us about your venture?
The Eso-Ara brand is associated with excellence and we are carving a unique niche in the beauty industry in Nigeria. Primarily we run an outfit that deals in the sales of fashion accessories and costume-jewellery as well as a growing chain of distributors who deal in the same products. Beyond sales, we have a plush sense of beauty and unmatched customer service delivery; these things are responsible for our growing customer base and influence. Our business also powers the Make-A-Future initiative for teenagers.

Apart from the Esoara brand, I also run the MAKE-A-FUTURE (MAF) initiative – An initiative targeted at building visionary teenagers that will affect their world positively. Our vision at MAF is delivered through skill acquisition, peer mentoring and experience sharing. These teenagers will in turn become youths very soon and I believe what we are doing at MAF is very profound in that we are imbibing the right ideals in our teenagers. We have taught over 200 teenagers in 2 cities of Nigeria 3 different skills ranging from cake making to snacks making and Ankara accessories training. We are currently planning something bigger this year to impact more teenagers.

Super Eagles Player Ogenyi Onazi Says He Narrowly Escaped The Jos Blasts

Super Eagles player Ogenyi Onazi, who is currently in London preparing for today’s friendly against Scotland, says he feels lucky to be alive after he narrowly missed last week’s bombings in the city of Jos. The blasts at a crowded bus terminal and market killed at least 118 people.

Onazi, 21, who was born in Jos, had just left the popular Jos Main Market last Tuesday, when the first blast rocked the area. Recounting his lucky escape, he told BBC Sport: “It was just like an ordinary day. Happy faces and friendly warmth that makes you feel happy to be back home. We had gone to the railway market to get something. I think it was 15 minutes later when we heard the loud blast from the place. And suddenly, people were just running."

“There was chaos and pandemonium. There was smoke, I was confused, lost and just wondered what had happened. I had no idea what was going on and it was scary. All my life I have never heard a bang or boom like that.” A week later,  Onazi insists the unrest back home has made it difficult to focus on football. “Some will say I should be happy to be alive but I just feel concerned about the security challenges in Jos and Nigeria as a country,” he said. I was born and bred in a peaceful Jos. I may be fortunate enough to live outside the place right now, but I still have my family and friends who live in the city. I always get worried when there are reports of terrible incidents there on a regular basis. It’s sad and depressing to live with this.

Delegates at Ongoing Conference Vote for Payment of Tax by Churches and Mosques

Delegates at the ongoing National Conference on yesterday voted that religious organizations in the country should pay tax to the government. The decision came up when a delegate representing civil organisations, Mallam Naseer Kura, during his contribution on the report of the Committee on Religion, said that religious leaders were making much money and should be taxed.

Kura complained that pastors were making too much money at the expense of the people and that many of them owned private jets and universities. He said with the amount of money that the religious leaders made, they should be made to pay tax to the government. 

If the recommendation is passed into law by the National Assembly, it means that churches and mosques in the country will begin to pay tax to the coffers of the government. When it was put to vote, the delegates in unison voted ‘yes’ in support of the motion that religious bodies should pay taxes.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Sudanese Woman Sentenced to Death for Marrying a Christian Gives Birth to Baby in Jail

The Sudanese woman, Meriam Ibrahim, who is facing execution in Sudan for marrying a Christian has given birth to a baby girl in prison. The baby was born in the hospital wing at Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison in North Khartoum and is said to be healthy. Meriam who has spent the past 4 months shackled to the floor in a disease-ridden jail, gave birth 5 days prematurely.

The female doctor was sentenced to death by hanging earlier this month after being found guilty of converting from Islam to Christianity and marrying a Christian man, U.S. citizen Daniel Wani, who lives in Manchester, New Hampshire. She will receive 100 lashes before she is executed within the next two years. Before the birth, Meriam made the defiant claim that she would rather die than give up her faith.

In a heart-wrenching conversation with her husband during a rare prison visit, Meriam told him: 'If they want to execute me then they should go ahead and do it because I’m not going to change my faith.’ She insists she has always been a Christian and told her husband she could not 'pretend to be a Muslim' just to spare her life. She told him: 'I refuse to change. I am not giving up Christianity just so that I can live. I know I could stay alive by becoming a Muslim and I would be able to look after our family, but I need to be true to myself.’

New Documentary Film Relays Kudirat Abiola's Struggle

A new documentary film on the ordeal of the late Hajia Kudirat Abiola, wife of the late business mogul and winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Bashorun MKO Abiola, by an American film-maker, may be released in Nigeria soon.

The film, 'The Supreme Price', directed by Joanna Lipper, a lecturer at Harvard University, United States, traces the evolution of the pro-democracy movement in Nigeria and efforts to increase the participation of women in leadership roles. “I set out to make a film that honours the personal and professional sacrifices that Kudirat and other women activists make on a daily basis as agents of change in Nigeria,” said the documentary film-maker.

Lipper uses Hafsat Abiola as the central character of a story that talks about the challenges of transforming a corrupt culture of governance into a democracy capable of serving women – a people considered as the most marginalised population. Determined not to let her parents’ ideals die with them, her experiences as an activist following the annulment of her father’s victory in the June 12, 1993 election and her mother’s assassination by agents of the military dictatorship, among other pro-democracy issues, form the substance of Lipper’s documentary.

Happy Children's Day - Give the Nigerian Child a Future and a Voice

Today is Children's day!!! It is a cold and rainy morning and I know this will limit the activities lined up today by many schools and organisations. Many of these children are ready to have a great day filled with activity, dance, food and laughter. But after all of that, what does the future really hold for the Nigerian child?

Children are the bedrock on which every society stands. In every nation, every race and every culture, the same purpose holds. They are the future and play a major role in determining the voice and strength of a nation. Yet my heart weeps for the Nigerian child whose future is being swayed in the hands of poor leadership. The pictures they see in their little hearts today are the pictures they will likely grow up to believe and accept.

Over 200 school girls who were abducted over a month ago in Chibok are yet to be released. This is just one of the sad tales of the Nigerian child. Many children still die at childbirth in a country where our leaders allocate huge sums of money to themselves after they leave office. Many children still do not have access to quality education, they hawk and trade on the streets trying to make ends meet, they have no jobs after getting their degrees, they are raped and abused, they are hungry and without shelter. And even for those that are privileged - kidnapping, accidents on bad roads, poor healthcare and the latest which is bomb blasts. So is this the Nigeria we are leaving for our children?

As we reflect today and celebrate our children, let the voices of these children speak. Let us become true role models they can look up to. Let us teach them that true leadership is about service. Let us stand up and make laws that will protect them. Let us improve their living conditions. Let us give them hope and faith for tomorrow. Let us invest in their minds. Let us place premium value on their lives even from the moment they are born. Let them feel safe in their own country. Let them have cause to dream again. Let us leave a lasting legacy of love, service, compassion and dedication. But it all begins with you and I. From our homes, to the schools, workplace, organisations and government. Nothing will change until we commit ourselves to give our children a voice. May God help us.


Ufuoma Fijabi


Monday, 26 May 2014

GTB Named 2014 African Bank of the Year

Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has been named the “2014 African Bank of the Year” for the 2nd consecutive time by African Banker Magazine. The announcement was made last week at the awards ceremony held in Kigali, Rwanda.

Receiving the award on behalf of GTB, Mr Kunle Sonola, the managing director of GTB Kenya, said, “the award is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the board, management and staff of the bank. It is also a challenge and a call to do more to project the global relevance of the African banking industry.” He also used the medium to thank the bank’s customers for their continued trust and support and also assured them that the bank would continue to strive to deliver beyond stakeholders’ expectations at all times.

The award recognises financial institutions that are industry leaders, consistently report strong financial performance and significantly contribute to the quality of service offered by the financial services industry within their country and across the African continent.

Spectacular Cake Creations from a Former NASA Engineer (Photos)

BethAnn Goldberg who has a masters degree in engineering, is a 41-year-old retired NASA engineer. After she left her job at Nasa, she didn't want to dump her keen eye for detail. So this mother of 2 from California, USA, started experimenting in her kitchen and ended up crafting spectacular cakes which will simply blow your mind away.

Her amazing creations, which can take days to make, include the likes of muddy trainers, record decks, rusty cars and even a replica of the Disney character Wall-E. Her first cake  was a 3D caterpillar which she made to celebrate her daughter's first birthday. But after impressing her family and friends with her incredible creation, orders started pouring in. Ms Goldberg now works full-time bringing amazing scenes to life using icing and sponge.

She has outgrown her kitchen and now works from a studio. She also says her Nasa background is to thank for the intricate detail which is a trademark of all her cakes.She said: 'NASA taught me about passion and dedication - I met the most innovative and creative people there who didn't have big budgets or fancy labs but had the dedication and grit to learn and understand.' I learned natural problems had natural and graceful solutions. Cake design is not a dramatic change in my mind, it's just applying the methodology I soaked up from a wonderful institution to another medium.  'I'm passionate about problem solving and I adore cakes - completely logical step in my mind.'

Finnish Designers Create Swimsuits For Breast Cancer Survivors

Many women simply want to feel normal again after battling breast cancer. They have fought hard to stay alive and just want to enjoy their bodies while not being ashamed of it. Elina Halttunen who is a breast cancer survivor herself decided to design a bikini that fit her perfectly even after she had a mastectomy. So, along with 2 other artists, they developed a line of swimwear that would help more women like her feel more in tune with their own bodies. 

“The idea of Monokini 2.0 was born out of a need for clothing down as much as possible during a persistent heat wave. Having only one breast made finding fitting bikinis difficult, therefore I fashioned my own Monokini. Having done that, I thought that maybe there would be others out there like me, women who wanted swimwear that would not make them feel that they were missing a breast. Besides, being one-breasted creates great possibilities for cool swimwear design,” said Elina. See more images below:

How I Built My Business With N10,000 - Eseoghene Odiete of Hesey Designs

While many young today use social media for negative vices, some it use as a tool to empower themselves and turn great ideas to businesses. Eseoghene Odiete is the CEO of Hesey Designs, and one of the winners of Google Africa Connected Competition. In her interview with the Tribune she shares about how she started her business with just  N10,000 and the benefits she is reaping today.

How were you able to use Google Search and YouTube to learn how to create handbags?
As a young entrepreneur, starting up was difficult. I started after the university and didn’t have an idea of how to go about running a fashion label. So I read up a lot of articles and business management books from the Internet. Books and articles on how to start and run a fashion label especially with little funds. I watched several bag production videos on Youtube and I used to follow, made a few errors and got better. After creating the first set of products, selling them became an issue. So I searched for different fashion blogs and sent each of them a mail about my designs. The response was unbelievable and I was in business. Today, not only is the business growing fast within Nigeria, I am currently receiving and processing orders from different countries.

How and when did you develop the passion for making handmade bags and shoes? What gave birth to Hesey designs and how much was your starting capital?
I have always been intrigued by the fashion industry, even as a child and have always wanted to build a fashion brand, that would promote the Nigerian economy. I passionately believe that trade not aid is key for Africa’s development. I decided to set up a fashion brand with a mission to promote Nigeria and Africa, so Hesey Designs was born and I started the business with my savings of about N10,000. I produced a few bags, sold them and used the money to produce more.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Mrs Chinelo Okeke on Buidling a Rewarding Enterprise Selling Ice Blocks

Mrs Chinelo Okeke, reveals that her decision to delve into the production and sale of ice blocks has handsomely paid off.  Initially, she only produced and stored small packs of ice blocks, so that her freezer maintained its chilly temperature.

She did it consistently until, “one fateful day, when my husband called inquiring about the ice blocks in the freezer. He told me that certain people were in need of it and were willing to pay for it. I went and brought out the five packs that I had and sold them for N50 each. I made N250 and was amazed that one could earn such amount after selling just few blocks of ice. That spurred me to seriously consider the prospects of production and sale of ice blocks,” she said.

Armed with the basic knowledge of the venture,  and her N250 , she invested N70 of it to purchase nylon bags and started announcing her business by erecting a small signpost informing her neighbours and passers-by about what she does. And “before I knew it, people started trooping to purchase ice blocks. I was selling at N70 per block. And in no time, I sold all my blocks and from the N70 I invested, I got more than N1000”, she declares. And today, the N70 she sowed into ice block making has multiplied into a cash base of over N350,000. Mrs Okeke is now the proud owner of Mabel Concept, a 3- year-old profitable enterprise located at Adelabu Street, in the Aguda, Surulere area of Lagos.

Kids Who Are Turning Creative Ideas Into Money Making Ventures

In the United States, some young children are turning their big, creative ideas into money-making businesses. And their parents, schools and business leaders are cheering them on. Lily Warren was just 8 years old when she decided to start her own business with her younger sisters. When their parents started bee-keeping at their home in Littleton, Colorado, the girls found the inspiration they really needed.

While they weren't able to harvest enough honey to sell, the sisters noticed that their parents always collected a significant amount of beeswax. Instead of throwing it away, they thought they could find a way to use it. The girls researched what could be made at home with beeswax. By 2009, Lily, Chloe and Sophie were in business as the Sweet Bee Sisters, making lip balm in flavours like strawberry and root beer, and lotion bars in lavender and bamboo.

They sell their products at local stores and, for the last 3 years, at their own stall at the entrepreneurs' marketplace that inspired them. In 2013, the Warren sisters were named finalists in a young entrepreneurs competition and were awarded $250 and mentoring from a business leader. "Their ability to speak confidently with customers, to make decisions collectively, to work hard for something they want and to designate and fulfill responsibilities has all been enhanced through their business experience," said Lisa Warren, the Sisters' mom.

22 Year Old Mother Sells Her Baby for N430000 in Enugu

A young mother sells her baby off to a willing buyer, who has been barren for years, the buyer even went as far as borrowing to acquire the new baby.  A 22-year-old woman, Chinelo Huma, has been arrested by the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Enugu State Police Command for selling her 1-month-old baby. 3 other women, Nkechi Ugochukwu, Maria Asomba and Esther Obi, who allegedly played roles in the sale of the baby were also arrested.

Chinelo said: “I am a prostitute. When I became pregnant and it was close to 9 months, my boyfriend rejected it. I decided to sell the baby. When I gave birth on April 13, 2014, one lady whose name is Maria Asomba, arranged for the baby to be sold to Mrs. Nkechi Ugochukwu, and she paid N430, 000, but Asomba gave me N150,000. When the police arrested Ugochukwu, I told them I didn't want the baby again, because I already have 2 children and my mother is taking care of them.”

Expressing her pain at the turn of events, Ugochukwu lamented: “I have been barren for years and I needed a child. My husband’s kinsmen have been maligning and making jest of me because I don’t have a child. I borrowed N430,000 to buy the child; my husband is aware of the baby. The baby was brought to me on April 17, 2014. When I took the baby to my compound all my neighbours congratulated me over the new baby; policemen came and took the baby from me. I don’t want my money back. I need the baby. I have named the baby Chinasa and I am already planning to dedicate her in church.”

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Paralyzed Bride Ready To Start a Family 4 Years After Tragic Accident

 Just a month before her wedding in 2010, Rachelle Friedman Chapman was celebrating at her bachelorette party when one of her best friends jokingly pushed her into the pool. Her head hit the bottom, breaking her neck and paralyzing her from the chest down. 4 years after that tragic accident, she and her husband Chris Chapman, want to start a family. And one of her friends has offered to be a surrogate mother for them.

Rachelle who lives with her middle-school science teacher husband in Knightdale, N.C., postponed her wedding for a year after the accident, but is now happily married dealing courageously with the challenges of rehabilitation and marital intimacy. She has also written a book about her ordeal: "The Promise: a Tragic Accident, a Paralyzed Bride and the Power of Love, Loyalty and Friendship."

"We had been together so long and it was nice to finally know that could not be taken away from me. I always wanted family and it was the first thing I asked the EMT after I was hurt at the side of the pool, 'Can I physically have kids?'" But because she takes powerful medication for her low blood pressure, she can conceive, but not safely carry a child, so the couple began a search for a surrogate. "I had a friend from college I hadn't seen in 4 years who stepped forward,"  she said. Fertility doctors have already grown embryos from the couple's own eggs and sperm to begin implantation. They are currently undergoing genetic testing of the embryos.

Jeans Not Meant to Be Washed Says Levi's CEO

Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh says if you want your pair of jeans to last longer, step away from washing all the time. He revealed this at Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference in Laguna Niguel, California. He recommended spot cleaning jeans with a sponge or toothbrush and a bit of detergent, then air drying. He says you should very seldom machine wash. "If you treat them right, they'll last a long, long time, probably longer than most people's waistline."

Chip Bergh had told the audience: “These are one of my favourite jeans, they are maybe a year old, and they have yet to see a washing machine. I know that sounds totally disgusting… but believe me, it can be done! You can spot clean it, you can air dry it, and it's fine. I have yet to get a skin disease or anything else. It works."

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Bollywood Actor Shah Rukh Khan is 2nd Richest Actor in The World

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan has emerged as the 2nd richest actor in the world. Wealth-X's Hollywood and Bollywood Rich List released on Wednesday puts comedian Jerry Seinfeld on top of the list, with an estimated net worth of $820 million, the 60-year-old emerged as the wealthiest actor.

However, Shah Rukh Khan, was the only Indian actor in the top 10 combined rich list. Khan was found to be richer than Hollywood giants like Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Clint Eastwood or Adam Sandler.  Wealth X said, "Khan is estimated to be worth $600 million. Immensely popular around the globe as well as in his home country, India, Khan is also a producer, TV host, co-owner of an Indian cricket club and a philanthropist. He has appeared in more than 50 Bollywood films and is a regular at the annual Cannes Film Festival".

Here are the wealthiest actors in Hollywood and Bollywood, according to Wealth-X.
1. Jerry Seinfeld - $820 million
2. Shah Rukh Khan - $600 million
3. Tom Cruise - $480 million
4. Tyler Perry - $450 million
5. Johnny Depp - $450 million
6. Jack Nicholson - $400 million
7. Tom Hanks - $390 million
8. Bill Cosby - $380 million
9. Clint Eastwood - $370 million
10. Adam Sandler - $340 million

Novak Djokovic Donates 100% of Tennis Tournament Cash to Serbia Flood Relief

Tennis star Novak Djokovic has donated 100% of his prize winnings from the just concluded tennis tournament in Rome to flood relief in Serbia. Djokovic who is originally from Serbia defeated Rafael Nadal to win the Rome Masters in Italy on Sunday.

He went on to dedicate his victory to the people who have died in the massive flooding in the Balkans.
He also announced he was donating the entire cash prize from the tournament €549,000, which is roughly $750k to the Serbia flood relief.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Nigeria's Michael Adukeh - Breaking Free From The Shackles of Failure to Exploring His Creative Side

It is one thing to have a child and another thing to guide that child towards maximizing his God given potentials. Meet Michael Adukeh, CEO Twisted Classic Concepts-cum-Legends Theatre, he is also a director and ace compere. He reveals in this interview with Konnect Africa about his turbulent years as a teenager, suffering inferiority complex and why parents must dedicate time to nurturing their children's potentials. Read excerpts below:

Education or the Lack of It…
I attended Bereton Montessori, Federal Government College, Port Harcourt and the Rivers State University of Science and Technology [UST] where I initially studied Computer Engineering because my Father thought it was an important-sounding course that could be proudly spoken of at family gatherings. My school years were the most miserable years of my life. I was constantly bullied by my peers and betters, and I had no home support because my parents were pre-occupied with a failing marriage and financial challenges. 

I suffered massive inferiority complex and struggled through school because I didn't feel smart and my grades bore witness to that; I totally had no motivation from any source. Somehow, I was in Secondary School, and then the University, studying a course I had no zeal for, totally conscious of the fact that I was failing my way through school. Issues with regularising my registration made the authorities withdraw my admission in my 3rd year, and I was actually ecstatic; the torture would finally end I thought to myself, but my respite was short-lived.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Confessions of a Former Prostitute - 'I Have Infected Many Men With HIV'

According to a Daily Post report, a 32 year old prostitute who has spent most of her life as a sex worker has made a shocking confession on how she infected more than a thousand men with HIV. She made her confession at the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Lagos-Nigeria. Prophet T.B. Joshua gave her the sum of $1,500 to restart her life in Namibia. Read her confession below:

She said, “I was very angry with every kind of man, anyone that called himself a man… It’s only that I could not manage to hunt and kill them but my desire was to use any weapon to kill men – because one of them killed me. Inside me, I said to myself, ‘I will never tell them my status. Whoever comes to me, I will finish him. The way they infected me, I must infect them also.’ I don’t know how many men I infected but they are thousands.”

Growing up in a rural village in Tanzania, the thrills of ‘city life’ grew increasingly more attractive for Francis, a 14 year old who hated school and was notoriously rebellious. Striking a plan with friends, she abandoned school one fateful day and set out for Dar Es Salaam, the Tanzanian capital, leaving her home and family behind. “When we reached the city, I found a lot of girls who were older than me who were in this business of prostitution,” Francis explained. “They introduced me how to behave in order to seduce men and get clients.”

Heart Breaking Portrait of Dying Australian Girl Wins Photographic Prize

A heart-breaking photograph of a sick young girl, being cared for by her family shortly before she died, has won the top portrait prize in Sydney's Head On Photo Festival competition. Photographer Joe Wigdahl took the image of Kirrilee Edwards, in November 2012, the same month she died. The 12 year old girl had suffered a seizure which left her with irreversible brain damage.

The picture titled 'Family Loss', captures the heartbreaking depiction of a family's love for their dying daughter. 'I wanted to capture this sense of family, this warm, loving, humorous family that connect with one and other through touch,' said Wigdahl. He also said he was going to donate half his prize winnings to the Edwards family, who spent a fortune on the care and support for their daughter.

The winning photo depicts the love Kirrilee received from her parents and 6 siblings. Touching!!!
'They are the human face of a mystery illness that robbed their daughter of a normal life and changed their own lives forever,' said a report about the family's plight. The Head On Portrait Prize is the major event in Sydney’s annual Head On Photo Festival, run by photographer Moshe Rosenzveig.
Richard Wainwright won 2nd place for his portrait of Syrian refugees titled Life and a Suitcase, while 3rd place went to a photo titled Vicki, which featured a woman after a mastectomy operation taken by Heather Tichowitsch.

Billionaire Mark Cuban Funds Dream Wedding for Couple After Cancer Wiped Out Their Savings

Billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban who also stars on "Shark Tank" definitely has a compassionate side to him. Cuban offered to help Monica and Leroy Wilkinsons dream come true after learning of the their devastating setbacks, which include multiple miscarriages, a stillborn daughter, and, in January, Monica's diagnosis with stage 4 ovarian cancer.

"It just was seeming like every dream we had was just completely out of reach for everything," Monica said, reflecting on how their struggles had wiped out their finances. But at the last minute, Monica says she got a phone call out of the blue from Cuban's assistant, saying he'd help pay for their wedding. "I was completely floored," Monica said. "I thought it was a joke."

The two were finally married in April, and they have a message for Cuban: Thank you. "I got to feel special and it was all thanks to Mark Cuban," says Monica, who added now she has "a reason to smile." The generous act is only the latest in a long line of donations by Cuban. Last week, he sent a sizable check to a volunteer fire department that has run into some tough times.

Husband Returns to Sudan to Save Wife From Death by Hanging

Husband to the Sudanese woman Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag, who was sentenced to death by hanging by the Sudanese government, has returned from the US to try to save his wife.

Daniel Wani who is a Sudanese man with U.S. citizenship has been living in Manchester, New Hampshire and his wife became the focus of worldwide news last week after the Sudanese government sentenced her to death. She is 8 months pregnant. The Islamic court considered Ishag a Muslim and did not recognize her marriage to Wani, a Christian. That constituted a crime of adultery and she was sentenced to receive 100 lashes. The court also found her guilty of apostasy by converting to Christianity and sentencing her to be hanged.

The flogging and the death penalty were to be delayed until after she gave birth.Wani and his brother, Gabriel Wani, grew up in Sudan but moved to New Hampshire. His brother said that Daniel has returned to Sudan to try and save his wife's life. “I’m just praying for God. He can do a miracle,” he said. “Everyone is depressed. You don’t believe it. It’s shock.”

Nigerian Girl Emerges as Best Graduating Student in The US

A Nigerian girl Merrilyn Akpapuna, has emerged as the best graduating student at the Dillard University, New Orleans, USA. The 20 year old Psychology graduate did not only obtain the highest academic honour Summa Cum Laude (1st class), she also emerged as the best graduating student in the ivory tower. As the institution’s valedictorian, she shared the podium with Michelle Obama, during its convocation.

3 other Nigerians Victor Ogburie, Stephen Igwe, and Emole Anyadimgba also made a 1st class in their chosen disciplines. Akpapuna also won 2 other awards for highest academic achievements for the College of Arts and Sciences and College of General Studies. She notes, “When I first got to Dillard, I had to learn the differences in the spelling of certain words and adjust to a new metric system. These constituted challenges but I was able to overcome them by putting in extra time to study. I also faced some difficulties due to the difference in the education system. In Nigeria, the teaching system follows the British pattern, which is different from the system in the United States."

“However, despite these challenges, my cumulative grade point average is 4.0/4.0. In other words, I made an A in every course I took during my 4 years study in the university.” Following her success at the Management Education Training, Ikeja where she took tutorials on Scholastic Aptitude Test, she received full scholarship to study in the university. Before then, the 3rd daughter of a dental surgeon, Emmanuel Akpapuna, had excelled in the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination, coming tops of her class at the Reagan Memorial Baptist Girls Secondary School, Yaba, Lagos.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Helen Paul aka Tatafo on Her Journey to The Top

It is always such a great encouragement when one comes across inspiring stories of success. This story was done by Konnect Africa last year but it is still very timely and relevant. Nigerian female comedian Helen Paul took the entertainment industry by storm and has continued to be a force to reckon with. From her endearing baby voice to her keeping you glued to your radio and TV, there is surely never a dull moment with her. But all these did not come on a platter of gold, she had her own share of challenges but refused to give up. Read below:

Helen Paul was brought up by her grandmother, and did not attend the best of schools or have the choicest opportunities. After her Primary education at Omiyade Primary School, she traversed Jibowu High School, Maryland High School and Bejide Memorial College, all in Lagos, in pursuit of a secondary education. Lack of funds prevented her from proceeding to a tertiary institution after her secondary education. In a bid to raise funds, she became an exam ‘mercenary’-writing exams for others until she learnt of the possible repercussions.

Thereafter, she got a job as a receptionist at the rate of N10, 000 per month which was insufficient to meet her needs. A night job was added on to supplement her meagre income, which soon rose to a grand sum of N40, 000. That baby voice we all know so well was discovered when Helen was all grown up. She realized that she could talk like and mimic kids, and constantly caused havoc at the radio station where she was employed. Her breakthrough came when a client needed a replacement for a baby’s voice in a radio program, her manager recommended her, and the rest as they say is history.

Michael Jackson Comes Alive at 2014 Billboard Music Awards

The late King Of Pop, Micheal Jackson came alive on Sunday when his hologram rocked the stage at the just concluded Billboard Music Awards.

The hologram, which was so real, performed 'Slave To The Rhythm', one of the songs on his latest album. The hologram danced around the stage in a golden jacket and red trousers with fire shooting all around him,  and even moonwalked across the stage before appearing alongside several dancers.

The on-stage resurrection of the King of Pop got a standing ovation by the massive star-studded audience, who were clearly moved by the performance nearly 5 years after his death.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Grammy Nominated Singer Deryck Whibley Warns Fans of The Dangers of Heavy Drinking (Photos)

Grammy nominated Singer Deryck Whibley, who used to be married to Avril Lavigne, was hospitalized for over a month after collapsing at home. The front-man of the rock band Sum 41 has warned his young fans of the dangers of drinking, after his liver and kidney collapsed. 

In an emotional post on Friday, he revealed he had been seriously ill in hospital, and had spent a week unconscious and attached to an IV drip.  'I was drinking hard every day. Until one night. I was sitting at home, poured myself another drink around midnight and was about to watch a movie when all of a sudden I didn't feel so good,' the musician wrote in a post. His fiancée rushed him to hospital, where he was later told that his kidneys and liver had collapsed.

'Needless to say it scared me straight. I finally realized I can’t drink anymore. If I have one drink the doc’s say I will die,' he said. The singer added: 'I’m not preaching or anything but just always drink responsibly. I didn’t, and look where that got me.' Whibley has a clear cut approach to his recent health scare, telling fans: 'The reason I got so sick is from all the hard boozing I've been doing over the years. It finally caught up to me.' While the self-confessed hard drinker can no longer have any alcohol, he has said being forced to quit drinking has renewed his creativity.

Tanzania's David Mwendele on How He Broke Out of Abject Poverty to Empowering Young People in His Community

Meet David Mwendele, a young man who was born into abject poverty, but is today giving other young people in his community skills and a voice. He was born in Morogoro,Tanzania by a teenage mother who suffered immeasurable rejection in the hands of her people, she had been thrown out of the house by her parents who didn't want to be associated with their daughter’s unwanted pregnancy; David grew up with the feeling many young people in his community struggled with; the feeling of being unwanted and uncared for.

At age 6, his mother disappeared in a manner his young mind could not retain, leaving him to confront his battles alone. In his plight, the poor boy was forced to move in with his uncle, a farmer who eventually sent him to Dar es Salaam where he lived with a poor woman who became a mother figure to him. He and his foster mother struggled to get by each day. After his primary education, David took a job at a counter book factory, in a bid to support his family and also raise some money to pursue a secondary education. All his effort still wasn't  yielding enough dividend and his dream of going to secondary school seemed bleak.

But then there was still an option left, it sure looked like his only hope at the time, but taking it would mean leaving his family and going after his dream while staying back with his family meant perpetual penury. David took the challenge and joined Hananasif orphanage and in the same year, he gained admission into Hocet orphanage secondary school located at Mkuranga, Coast Region in Tanzania. 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

'Married Women Taking Care of Their Husbands and Children are The Real Super Women' - Yeni Kuti

Yeni Kuti, daughter of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, who is currently in her early 50s has in a recent interview opened up about her failed marriage and why she may not remarry. See excerpts below:

I am still single because I have lost all interest in marriage and I don’t believe in the institution any more. Nigerian men are too controlling and overbearing for me and I am already set in my ways. Besides, I have been on my own for too long. My major concern is training my daughter. I praise married women; I think they are the real stars of this country. 

Women in their husbands house looking after their husbands and children are amazing especially the ones with nine to-five jobs who come back home tired and still go to the kitchen to cook for their husbands. These are the women that women magazines should be celebrating because they are the real super women. Men are not easy to look after; I can’t do that so I duff my hat for such women. When my only child clocked 2, I was separated from my ex-husband. 

Nigerian Graduate Who Makes a Living From Scavenging

Ade Ogunbowale is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from one of the universities in the country. The 31 year old said that when he could not secure a job after his degree, he began scavenging rather than join the legion of unemployed graduates in the country, 

According to him, he carved a niche for himself and became a scavenger at a dump site in Oke-Afa, Isolo. Through this business he fends for his wife and 6 children, while also sponsoring his siblings education. He said, “I pick up plastic bottles that litter the streets along my way as well as metals to make a living. Although, most people see the job as dirty, I am feeding my family from it”.

According to him, “Waste recycling is a business that if you decide to go into it today, you are sure of making money. The fun of it is that you might even decide to start now with nothing and still make more money from the business.” He explained that, “most of the scavengers pick used materials at various dump sites and elsewhere. They look out for objects that include glass, paper, metal, plastic, textiles and electronics. The materials are then taken to a collection centre where they are sorted, cleaned and reprocessed into materials bound for manufacturing.”

This 35 Year Old Man Needs N4m for Reconstructive Surgery

I saw this report in the Punch and felt I should share it. Mobolaji Adeyemi is a 35 year old man who developed ‘adenocarcinoma’ around his neck which led to the removal of his lower jaws in a surgery in May 2013 at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital, Ikeja. According to the family, the surgery cost about N1.6m  an amount that was donated by friends, classmates, and other good samaritans.

But after this surgery, Adeyemi could no longer eat well nor speak properly like he did before going for the operation. However, to solve this problem, doctors said it would be required of him to go for a reconstruction surgery at Apollo Hospital in Ahmedabad, India. His family have not been able to meet up with the financial requirements to go for the surgery which will cost $25,000 (N4m). The amount covers consultancy fees, anaesthesia, surgical fees by the chief consultant and two assisting surgeons, post operation care/treatment, various laboratory tests as well as therapy after operation. It also includes cost of obtaining visa, feeding and moderate accommodation covering 3 good months.

His wife Titilayo said, “It has been a terrible situation in my family since my husband developed this disease. We have spent all we had on him, yet he has not been able to eat or talk with his mouth. I hereby appeal to people to come to our aid. He is really suffering. I cannot even remember the last time we talked together as husband and wife again. I want to see him express his love to me again by talking. Please come to our aid.” You can go here for more details or reach his wife via 08057310451. God bless you as you do.

Meet The Chinese Painter/Decorator With One Leg Who Runs a Successful Business

Li Shuang, lost two third of his left leg to a cancerous tumour in 2005. He feared that he would be an unemployable cripple for life, unable to work and a burden to his family, when he was forced to amputate his leg. But the 39 year old simply refused to give up on life.

'But sitting around moping and feeling sorry for myself is really not my style,' he declares. So I decided that one legged, or no legged, I was going to persevere and make something of my life. And that is what I did.' Shuang now employs a number of disabled people struggling to find work and plans to expand.

Known to the people of Changchun, north east China, as 'Hoppy', he made a name for himself by offering to work for free. When they saw that he was as good as able-bodied competitors, the work flowed in. Today he has a team of 40 employees and his dream is to change society's view of disabled people. 'They deserve the kind of chance that I found for myself,' said Li. My dream is to keep on expanding the business and keep on employing people who have disabilities who can't work anywhere else. 'This is a positive way of showing society that the handicapped have just as much to offer as anyone else.'

Friday, 16 May 2014

Sudanese Woman Gets Death Sentence for Marrying a Christian

A Sudanese court has sentenced a pregnant 27 year old woman, Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag to death by hanging by for apostasy (renouncing ones faith or religion) after marrying a Christian man .
Mariam, whose father is Muslim but was raised a Christian by her mother, was earlier sentenced to death by hanging on Sunday May 11th but was given till yesterday May 15th to have a rethink and convert back to Islam before the verdict would be enforced. 

However during a court appearance today, Mariam maintained that she's a Christian. She calmly told the judge: "I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy." Sudan has a majority Muslim population, which is governed by Islamic law. "We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged to death," the judge told the woman."

The judge also sentenced the woman to 100 lashes after convicting her of adultery because her marriage to a Christian man was not valid under Islamic law. Amnesty International has condemned the sentence. Western embassies and rights groups have also urged Sudan to respect the right of the pregnant woman to choose her religion.

Meet the Egyptian Table Tennis Star With No Arms

Egyptian table tennis player Ibrahim Hamato lost his two arms in an accident when he was 10, this tragedy forced him to invent a new way to play his favourite game. He now plays table tennis with a racket in his mouth, swatting at balls with a flick of his head. "I hope this shows people that nothing is impossible as long as you work hard," he says.

He was Guest of Honour at the 2014 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Tokyo, where he looked impressive in rallies against some of the world's best players including world number 2 Ma Long and former champion Wang Hao. There is indeed ability in every disability if we can only search within. Very inspiring!!!

Nigerian Student Honoured in The US

A pupil of Doregos Private Academy Ipaja Lagos, Miss Adebola Duro-Aina, has been selected as a member of National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) of the United States of America (USA).
NSHSS Founder and Chairman, Claes Nobel, said he was honoured to recognise the hard work, sacrifice and commitment demonstrated by Adebola to achieve this exceptional level of academic excellence, stating that she is now a member of a unique community of scholars – a community that represents our very best hope for the future.

The society which was founded in 2002 in the United States of America (USA), has over 950,000 members spread across over 160 countries of the world, enjoying benefits such as scholarship opportunities, academic competitions, free events, membership-only resources, publications, participation in programmes offered by educational partners, personalised recognition items, and publicity honours.

The proprietor of Doregos Private Academy, Mrs. Clementina Doregos, explained that education remains the foundation of greatness for any nation and called on governments at various levels to pay particular attention to developing a virile educational system. She also congratulated Adebola on the achievement, urging her not to relent in her efforts. The recipient, Adebola, who was happy over the achievement encouraged other pupils to always strive for excellence, saying Nigerians are high achievers.

Many Nigerian Artistes Lead Fake Lives – Duncan Mighty

While many of our artistes are busy flaunting material acquisitions on social media, some people are solving problems and brainstorming on how to make the world a better place. Someone said, ' The crisis in your generation is an opportunity to bring about change.' I really wish our artistes who have been given the power of influence and resources will start now and truly make visible impact in our nation rather than focusing on mundane things.

Nigerian reggae/dancehall artiste Duncan  Mighty, is often considered to be Nigeria’s most ‘famous anonymous artiste’, by music critics. This irony stems from the fact that despite his hits, Port Harcourt Boy, Obianuju, Dance 4 Me, Kolliwater, Sanko and Jesus Bu Eze, his face is not seen everywhere like that of other successful singers in the country.

The singer wants his colleagues to be modest in their dealings, considering the ostentatious lifestyle of most Nigerian artistes. “A lot of Nigerian artistes’ lead fake lives. They claim to be what they are not, just because they want to meet up their peers and fellow artistes. I live in my own house (it has a swimming pool, lounge and studio) and I make bold to say I didn't buy it. I built it from the scratch. But a lot of these artistes will claim they bought a house for N300m or N400m".