Monday, 29 April 2013

Tired of his social situation, an Italian guns down two Police officers and a pregnant woman

“I wanted to shoot a politician but not seeing any of them, I then shot Police officers”, said the Luigi Preiti who yesterday opened fire before an Italian Parliamentary palace. The young Sicilian said he was motivated to do so after losing his job and being left by wife and children. The 49 years shooter who, from all indications had no past criminal record, said to have bought his gun four years ago, in a black market at Alexandria.
From the ex-wife, from whom he separated three years ago, he is not mentally disturbed. He is a very good man but actually in difficulties, she added. The ex-wife and the family of Preiti said they are shocked by the act and are really sorry for all the victim of the act of their brother.
Luigi is said to have lost his job and had to turn back to the family, just like many other young Italians tormented by the present economic crisis. He said to have chosen yesterday, 28th April so as to send a serious note to the whole world. And in order to do so, he decided to go directly to the "Quirinal", on the day that the new Italian Prime Minister was swearing in. The two Police officers, Giuseppe Giangrande and Francesco Negri who received his grievance, are actually undergoing treatment. There was also a third victim. A young pregnant woman passing by was also wounded by his shot.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

"The black women's hair is political" Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The long awaited Novel of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Americanah, is out. From the tips I have read so far about it, it is not just powerful but full of novelties and humour packed. Chimamanda, as all those who know her work will understand, did not forget to speak of hair styles and influence that hair types plays in every society.  As a matter of fact, she made a very serious, deep and philosophical affirmation here that surely will open up a new debate on gender, race, culture and why not, on her newly area of interest, feminism. If we are to believe Chimamanda, then "The black women's hair is political".                                                
In fact, one of those things that should be noted about her recent development and impact in the literary world, not only in this work, but also in most of her recent speeches and papers, is that Chimamanda is not just that young brilliant Nigerian author, but a full fledged writer and speaker whose voice cannot be ignored any longer. Starting from her thought provoking TED-Talk, The danger of a single story, through her two recent speeches, "We should all be Feminists" and "black women's hair is political", Chimamanda has made it known to the whole world that she is determined to make her way into the history of Literature. 

Here is the Book Depository description of his recent work, the Americanah. and her chat with Jon Snow, Journalist of Channel4.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Feminism à la Chimamanda! "We should all be feminists" - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in her normal way, has come up with another topic of great interest. She has thrown up a new debate that might not be welcomed by many, not just because it's not true but because it's so true that it cannot be easily swallowed. "We should all be feminists"!
Chimamanda surely is not airing her view on feminism for the first time on this particulare moment as she has always made it clear in all her write-ups and speeches, in this particular talk, she has chosen it as a topic. What is more interessing here is not just her take on the matter but the way she progress with arguments and facts. It will be easier to understand her better without taking a stand ahead of the talk.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie a renowned Nigerian novelist was born in Nigeria in 1977. She grew up in the university town of Nsukka, Enugu State where she attended primary and secondary schools, and briefly studied Medicine and Pharmacy. She then moved to the United States to attend college, graduating summa cum laude from Eastern Connecticut State University with a major in Communication and a minor in Political Science. She holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and a Masters degree in African Studies from Yale University. She was a 2005-2006 Hodder Fellow at Princeton, where she taught introductory fiction. Chimamanda is the author of Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the 2007 Orange Prize For Fiction; and Purple Hibiscus, which won the 2005 Best First Book Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the 2004 Debut Fiction Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. In 2009, her collection of short stories, The Thing around Your Neck was published. She was named one of the twenty most important fiction writers today under 40 years old by The New Yorker and was recently the guest speaker at the 2012 annual commonwealth lecture. She featured in the April 2012 edition of Time Magazine, celebrated as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. She currently divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.

''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Americanah of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The long awaited Americana is ready to be published on 11th April. From all indications, it will be a best seller as the author of The Purple Hibiscus took five years to coin this his new born baby. It sounds sweet as that will not only be his first book on America but also his first of race. One of the features that probably do not lack in his writings, whether the book has a Nigerian setup or not is a long description of hairstyles. The reason is obvious as Chimamanda explains:
I am obsessed with hair!’,  ‘As you can see I have natural, negro hair, free from relaxers and things. My hair story started when I was a baby. My mother had boys and she desperately wanted a girl, a girl with hair. I came out with a lot of hair and she was thrilled. As I was growing up she would do things to my hair but what I loved the most was when she stretched it with a hot comb. I was terrified too, because when the comb touched your ear it was so painful, but I loved the idea that my hair would then be straight. So when I was three years old I already had the idea that straight hair was beautiful and my hair was ugly1.

Monday, 1 April 2013

The Boko haram saga: Bishop Hassan Kukah throws up a challenge to the Nigerian government

bokochrmusAs the debate over according amnesty to the deadly Nigerian Islamist group, The Boko Haram continues to tear apart sections of Nigeria intellectuals, politicians, religious leaders and ethnic groups, a prominent Nigerian, whose franc-speaking and courage has been noted at the international level, Mgr Hassan Kukah, the Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese puts forward his thought provoking argument on why there is need to accord the so called unknown group amnesty. The Boko haram is said to have giving the amnesty as the condition for them to stop their deadly bombings which have left dead not less than three thousand Nigerians and set ablaze unquantifiable amount Nigerian economy.

The bone of contention over the amnesty saga has been on whether to accord amnesty to a group who has never shown up openly and who has never had an authorized representation.

In fact, Boko Haram members could be rightfully regarded as ghosts, to use the expression of President of Nigeria, Mr Goodluck Jonathan in his reaction to the amnesty demand, as they have no known representation or a spokesman.

The question now is whether it is right to grant amnesty to a group who has no representation? Who is going to be held responsible is the pact is not respected?

Amidst all these, Bishop Kukah propose another way of valuating their demand. He approaches the question from another optic in his Easter message. Here is what he has to say on the matter.


Amnesty, Repentance, Forgiveness And Reconciliation - Mgr Kukah

Although the Church in her wisdom gives us 40 day’s notice ahead of Easter, we often have our minds fixed more on the mundane plans for the social calendar of the holiday period. Yet, these 40 days are meant to be days of sober reflection, meditation and prayer, with the joys of Easter being the climax. The spirit of the risen Christ, the assurance of our own resurrection and its joy are, in reality, supposed to be the reward for the penitential period.

Sadly, for us as Christians today, the Lenten season has become a rather routine and perfunctory period that we simply walk through. Christians tend to try to explain to their Muslim brothers and sisters that Lent is their equivalent of the Muslim Ramadan.

Papal Regina Coeli (Angelus) of 1st April 2013. Italian Audio with English subtitle

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Easter to you all! Thank you for coming today, in such large numbers, to share the joy of Easter, the central mystery of our faith. Let us pray that the power of the resurrection of Christ might reach everyone - especially those who suffer - and every place that is in need of trust and hope. Christ has conquered evil fully and finally, but it is up to us, to people in every age, to embrace this victory in our lives and in the realities of history and society. For this reason it seems important to point out that today we ask God in the liturgy: “O God, who give constant increase to your Church by new offspring, grant that your servants may hold fast in their lives to the Sacrament they have received in faith.” (Collect for Monday in the Octave of Easter). Indeed, the Baptism that makes us children of God, and the Eucharist that unites us to Christ, must become life. That is to say: they must be reflected in attitudes, behaviours, actions and choices. The grace contained in the Sacraments Easter is an enormous source of strength for renewal in personal and family life, as well as for social relations. Nevertheless, everything passes through the human heart: if I allow myself to be reached by the grace of the risen Christ, if I let that grace change for the better whatever is not good in me, [to change whatever] might do harm to me and to others, then I allow the victory of Christ to affirm itself in in my life, to broaden its beneficial action. This is the power of grace! Without grace we can do nothing – without grace we can do nothing! And with the grace of Baptism and Holy Communion can become an instrument of God's mercy – that beautiful mercy of God. To Express in our lives the sacrament we have received: behold, dear brothers and sisters, our daily work – and, I would say, our daily joy! The joy of being instruments of the grace of Christ, as branches of the vine which is Christ himself, inspired by the sustaining presence of His Spirit! We pray together, in the name of the dead and risen Lord, and through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, that the Paschal mystery might work deeply in us and in our time, in order that hatred give way to love, lies to the truth, revenge to forgiveness, sadness to joy.

''The truth might be hard to say, painful to bear or even drastic for the truth sayer but still needed to be said''. ALISON.