Monthly Archives: March 2021

The Physically Challenged in the Nigerian Entertainment Industry

Late Ray Charles had lost his sight at the age of seven and his younger brother, two years earlier. The world he was once saw and basked in its beauty and serenity had become dark and misty. In the face of hardship and seemingly insurmountable mountains as he travelled wearily on life’s path, he found solace in music which turned out to be an escape route that late Ray Charles walked upon triumphantly into stardom. Such was the life of this great artiste(though blind), who played the piano with dexterity that “RAY” a biopic movie was released in 2004 starring Jamie Foxx and directed by Taylor Hackford. Our parents would certainly have a nostalgic feeling, reliving hit songs such as “I got a woman”, “Georgia”, “Hit the Road Jack”, amongst others and with a dozen Grammy awards and others coupled with ground breaking achievements recorded in his profile, Ray Charles who passed on to glory on June 10, 2004 was truly a legend.

“This track is so delicious, I go by the way of Cobilicious” was the intro of the rap lyrics Cobhams Asuquo reeled out in Dekunle Fuji’s successful track “No Lele”, though many Nigerians were unaware of his ‘nil vision state’. His popularity soared amongst the populace when he performed the beautiful thought provoking chorus in the song “Lagi Mo” (The Roof Top MCs) which saw the song hitting the number one spot on some Nigerian chart shows. He won the HIP Hop world Awards 2007 for the “producer of the year category”, increasing the number of statuettes he’d already received. He is presently one of the highly sought after producers in the music industry, making guest appearances on TV programmes and reality show (Project Fame West Africa, season 1) along with the solicitation for his services which extends to Corporate bodies, banks (Sky bank’s advert with the Akuna matata song)

The icy hands of death almost took away Yinka Ayefele in 1999 when he was involved in an auto crash. The crash affected his spinal chord and sentenced him to life on a wheel chair. Through the fiery trials and the stop of the pity partying, he was bold enough to put the ordeal behind him, and bursting forth like water from a rock to quench our thirst with refreshing exciting gospel flavour. Fame, fortune, local and international awards have willingly found their way into his life.

The Nigerian music terrain can boast of this duo who have succeeded on its stage, but can the same be said of the movie industry. We’ve seen physically challenged roles (visually impaired/ lame) being performed by able bodied thespians to the best of their abilities, but wouldn’t it be a surprise to millions of movie viewers for medically proven, physically challenged people to naturally perform such roles assigned to their able bodied counterparts. Who says there are no talented ones among them whose acting skills can’t be brushed up, after all not every A-list thespian studied theatre arts or attended schools that specialized in harnessing such talents.

There are a lot of talented physically challenged people out there rotting away simply because no one has dared to give them a chance. After all the scripts can be converted into Braille letters for them to read, at least we know their sense of hearing is hyper functional than that of the sight seeing fellow. Quite a number of TV Reality shows have hit the screens these past couple of years (dominantly in the Entertainment sector) with new ones emerging by the day, such as Gulder Ultimate search, AMBO, Next movie star, The Intern, Maltina Family dance all, Star Quest, Football with Fash, The Twelve Ambassadors, Big Brother Nigeria, Apprentice Africa, Idols West Africa, Nokia First Chance, Project Fame West Africa.

No reality TV show has been made for the physically challenged probably borne out of fear of not securing sponsors (who are focused on making returns for their investments), or fear of outright rejection by the teeming viewers. Who says a reality show that the physically challenged can function in can’t be conceived and birthed, its all about ingenuity and who can tell whether such a reality show can end up being the best among the lot, nothing is impossible!

No one chooses to be born with a disability, a microscopic percentage makes a touch down on plant earth with disabilities, while a dominant proportion can be attributed to ‘the carelessness of man, accidents and in some cases ‘African remote controlled incidents. Stevie wonder and late Ray Charles were given opportunities to clinch the tickets to stardom, which they appreciatively did, simply because someone believed in them and created opportunities for them to show the world what they had. Let’s help the physically challenged live their dreams in Nigeria, for there is without an iota of doubt, ability in disability!.

So long… auggiepo@yahoo.com

Going Local Our Search Continues to Finding Help for Struggling Homeowners

What may be available in your state if you are struggling with your mortgage?

Florida being not only one of the states with the most foreclosed property in the country, but one of the many states that saw major increases in property value during the refinance boom
The amount of foreclosures in Florida alone is estimated to be over 300,000 easily. With the average home selling around $124,000. The state has tried to come up with creative ways to help struggling homeowners save their homes. From mediation services to a new service which was launched in 2010 by a collaborative effort of the Florida Bar, The Florida Bar Foundation, Florida Legal Services and the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section. This service called FASH is designed to provide pro bono assistance to distressed homeowners.

Florida Attorneys Saving Homes (FASH) has a toll free hotline to take calls during the week from 8am to 4pm. This service is for any homeowners that fears they may fall behind or maybe currently behind on their mortgage payments.

The pro bono lawyers will negotiate with the homeowner’s lenders on behalf of the homeowner with the hopes of creating a relationship and the end result for everyone, will be a loan modification, or some type of a resolution to assist the homeowner getting back on track with their payments.

With many programs available to struggling homeowners who are behind or may fall behind, a loan modification either from the lender directly or through the government’s program Home Affordable Loan Modification HAMP program can still help you stay in your home and lower your mortgage payments.

Many homeowners need the help of an attorney due to the nature of the loan modification process and understanding the lenders underwriting requirements and process. Foreclosures are slowing down but the need for legal expertise is still suggested due to the nature, and seriousness of foreclosure.

Fashion Accessories Suppliers Raring To Sell Online

“The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” – Eric Schmidt, CEO – Google.

On 17 Nov 2010, Google announced its foray into the online fashion industry by launching Boutiques.Com – A fashion centred search platform, which lets its users find and discover fashion goods/ accessories through a collection of boutiques customized by celebrities, stylists, designers, and fashion bloggers.

Experts say that, Google aims to become the first stop for online shoppers of apparel and accessories. As expected, Boutiques.com doesn’t sell the items on its own, it just guides the users reach the best possible purchase decision with the help of multiple parameters and its internal algorithm. The products listed, comes from hundreds of online merchants such as Ralph Lauren, Steve Madden and Juicy Couture and boutiques.com directs the shoppers to original merchant’s sites when they are ready to make a buy.

The big question many fashion industry experts asked – Why is Google taking such active interest in such a niche market. The fact of the matter is that, the online fashion market is a rapidly growing segment and is touted as the next big thing in the world of e commerce.

The retailers along with fashion labels have realised that now is the time to jump into the bandwagon and profit by becoming early adapters otherwise they will remain behind in the race and watch a golden opportunity being missed by a whisker.

Many fashion business houses including the exporters and manufacturers are trying to evaluate the pros and cons of such services and how much can they benefit from the same (after the hype).

Fashion accessories suppliers are more excited about this as their stuff like jewelry, gloves, handbags, hats, belts, scarves, watches, sunglasses is a relatively easy proposition to sell rather than the actual dresses or other high end products. These accessories have a predefined and widely accepted shapes and size and doesn’t need too much of a – personal look and feel experience, making it an attractive segment to sell/promote online.

Fashion accessories industry has given a thumbs up to Google’s initiative with a general feeling that it might become a turning point, in the times to come for the e-commerce industry. As Google itself say that – market for soft goods online is growing tremendously, its time for the fashion pundits to take a pro active approach and laugh their way to the bank.