THE MAGAZINE THAT PROMOTES UNION AND COOPERATION OF AFRICANS AROUND THE GLOBE, ENCOURAGING AN INFORMED, THINKING AND QUESTIONING AFRICAN SOCIETY.
JAN/ FEB 2008
THE HAITIAN: RULER OF MINDS
Meet the man behind the character
The African Cup of Nations - Quest of The Ultimate Title
2007 MISS AFRICA USA Showcasing the African Culture
FROM DREAMS TO REALITY
The Georges Malaika Foundation
py hap 8 200 r a e wy
ne Jimmy Jean-Louis
There comes a place where maps wonâ€™t help you. Only those who go by the compass will pave the way to innovation.
the Pioneering Spirit
A choice of Excellence!
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THE MAGAZINE THAT PROMOTES UNION AND COOPERATION OF AFRICANS AROUND THE GLOBE, ENCOURAGING AN INFORMED, THINKING AND QUESTIONING AFRICAN SOCIETY.
ADUNAGOW MAGAZINE “Reaching Africans Around The Globe” PUBLISHER: ADUNAGOW.NET EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Eric Adunagow CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Frank Ogadah Paul Usungu Rebecca F. Wong Michel Palasuka LAYOUT DESIGN: Eric Adunagow MARKETING DIRECTOR: Colombe Adunagow (714) 366-8167 firstname.lastname@example.org CONTACT US: email@example.com (714) 612-2057 voice ADUNAGOW Magazine is published bimonthly by Adunagow.net (Reaching Africans Around The Globe) at PO BOX 691728, Tulsa, OK 74169-1728. Telephone: 714.612.2057. Postage is paid at Tulsa, Oklahoma. U..S.. subscription rates are free to qualified subscribers. ADUNAGOW.NET and ADUNAGOW are trademarks of Eric ADUNAGOW. All contents are copyright © 2008 by ADUNAGOW Magazine. All rights are reserved. Right of reprint is granted only to non-commercial educational institutions such as high schools, colleges and universities. No other grants are given.
IN THIS ISSUE: Editor’s Column................................................................. 6 The Ultimate Multimedia Performance........................... 8
10 6 Ways to Stay on your Friend’s Radar Relationships
12 An Identity To Inspire Black History
14 The African Cup of Nations GHANA 2008
18 Meet the man behind the character The Haitian: Ruler of Minds
22 The Georges Malaika Foundation From Dreams To Reality
24 Showcasing the African culture 2007 Miss Africa USA
Africa 101 - From A to Z
SPOTLIGHTS 34 “The Haitian” on NBC Hit-Series “Heroes” Jimmy Jean-Louis
40 Congolese Supermodel Nöella Coursaris
Send address changes to ADUNAGOW Magazine, PO Box 691728, Tulsa OK 74169-1728. The opinions of our writers do not always reflect those of the publisher and while we make every effort to be as accurate as possible, we cannot and do not assume responsibility for damages due to errors or omissions. LEGAL STATEMENT: All information in this magazine is offered without guarantee as to its accuracy and applicability in all circumstances. Please consult an attorney, business advisor, accountant or other professional to discuss your individual circumstances. Use of the information in this magazine is not intended to replace professional counsel. Use of this information is at your own risk and we assume no liability for its use. 4
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THE MAGAZINE THAT PROMOTES UNION AND COOPERATION OF AFRICANS AROUND THE GLOBE, ENCOURAGING AN INFORMED, THINKING AND QUESTIONING AFRICAN SOCIETY.
Eric Adunagow Chief Editor
A New Year - A new Start - A new You
es, it’s true that you don’t have to wait for the beginning of a new year to better yourself, but it’s definitely a good way to motivate yourself and set a new benchmark. The fact of the matter is that change requires one thing: your will. As you embark on the New Year, feel free to set new principles and goals. As you consider setting new resolutions for 2008, please consider the following two points:
Take a Risk Nothing is accomplished by being a couch potato. Standing still or staying in the “safe zone” generates nothing but a routine life. Take a risk and affront the world. As you get yourself in motion, remember that in order to achieve evident solutions, you will need to perform at a higher intensity than usual. One of my favorite quotes comes from Albert Einstein: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” It’s easy to dream, but unless you take the first step towards your dreams, they will never come to past.
Let It Go There is no better power than the power of forgiveness, especially forgiving your self. Make this your new resolution. Let go of all your last regrets and deceptions. Many of us spend more time beating our heads against the wall for past mistakes that we have committed, forgetting that there is still life after failures. Letting go gives you the strength to carry on your life for new and better things. I encourage you to take a moment to look through your life and pinpoint the shackles in your life. Then, take a moment to picture yourself where you would like to be on this New Year. As we embark in 2008, I would like to personally thank you all for being such dedicated readers and participants. Please remember our goals and the mission of the magazine: (a) promote Union and cooperation among Africans and friends of Africa all around the globe; (b) Encourage an informed, thinking, and questioning African society; (c) provide a medium for all Africans to positively contribute to the development of Africa and each other. We are launching a full-thrust campaign for 2008, with the goal of bringing more exciting interviews and coverage. Africans are doing bigger and better things all around the globe and we will share them with you throughout this year. In return, we ask for your participation through comments, feedback, and spreading the word about the magazine. Let’s join together and get rid of the negative images the world have regarding Africans and Africa. With peace, love and understanding, we will bring out the real “Africa” into the surface. Thank you and God bless,
Eric Adunagow Please submit all Questions and Feedback regarding this article to Forum@adunagow.net or via our website at http://blogspot.adunagow.net
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The ultimate multimedia
Performance HOW TO GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR ELECTRONIC MAGAZINE Set your Acrobat Reader for Dual Page Display Your electronic magazine is designed exactly like a print version. Get the most out of it by setting up your Acrobat reader for a side-by-side viewing: From your Toolbar, go to View > Page Display > Two pages
Hyperlinks on Cover page, Table of Contents and Ads Your electronic Magazine has one advantages, hyperlinks to the internet and through the magazine help you navigate and enjoy your reading experience. Click on Ads and visit their websites at an instant. No need to write down information.
Get more with a valid subscription Want more? Subscribe to receive the Ultimate Performance. Our magazine comes with exclusive interviews, video clips, and much more! Get your subscription today by visiting our website at http://www.adunagow.net
“ Our reader is Professional, Hard worker, Goal Oriented, Dedicated to conserve
The African Heritage”
Around the Globe”
messages. But, keep in mind that there is nothing better than your own writing and message on the card itself.
This is great for family members. It’s always great seeing a photo of a distant relative after years of silence. A photo of yourself and your family to your unspoken friends and relatives go a long way. Now they can put picture you correctly when they do blame you for not calling or staying in touch. But, they will do get a fresh image of you for sure.
Photos for relatives should always be more than just a portrait. Send photos that show more than yourself. For example, a picture of you at Disney World throwing up after coming out of a thrilling ride. It will tell what you’ve been up to and what you did in your time of silence. Portraits are a no-no for family members, unless personally requested for an album or a special family wall exposure.
Relationships: 6 Ways to Stay On your friend’s Radar
1. Pick a day and Phone out or Text out
When we take a deep look at our so called busy schedule, we may fin that there are times that we are actually doing nothing but waiting on something else first to happen (for example, waiting for the delivery guy to show up at your door). These are times that we can use to phone acquaintances that are less talkative or also as “busy” as we are. Never call a chatter box when you’re only expecting to say hello and goodbye. So, during the dead times, pick up your phone and select someone that you can call and say hello without expecting long conversations. After all, you’re still busy. If you really need to get a hold of a “chatter”, send a text message rather than calling them live.
2. E-mail All your Mail contacts
This one should be easy for people that have access to e-mail at their place of work. Send an e-mail to your friends and relatives who do have e-mail 10
addresses and use them occasionally. Keep your e-mail short and simple. Don’t discuss anything that will force the other person to pick up the phone and call you for more information. Just say hello and goodbye. Never send a Spam e-mail to anyone you’re not in frequent communication with; it’s just wrong. Can you imagine opening an e-mail from a friend you haven’t heard from years, just to find out it was actually a spam e-mail about “10 ways to make a million dollar in one week”? Absolutely a no-no for junk e-mails. They may be funny to read, but unexpected “funny” e-mails are not funny at all.
3. Send an Holiday Greetings card
Holiday Greeting cards are nice icebreakers. Nothing put a joy to someone’s heart as a holiday card, especially from someone you haven’t heard from a while! Whether it’s a electronic or postal mail, your greeting card should always reflect enthusiasm and joy! Again, keep your words short and up to the point. Fortunately, many greetings cards will come with great
For friends, send close up. They want to see how cute or ugly you’ve become. So, always pick your best shot; and if in relationship, with your other significant one. It reflects that you’ve been happy during your hibernation from them and there is nothing for them to worry about. And, send just one or two: it shows that you are busy, but took the time to send them something anyway.
Ah… Everyone loves gifts. The idea of receiving a “freebie” has always been a positive experience, no matter what the actual gift is. We keep the good ones and share the bad ones. Sending a surprise gift to a friends or relative is encouraged, especially if it’s someone older and more mature than you. For example, if you haven’t talked to your father-in-law for quiet a long time, a surprised gift will be great. One thing to watch out with gifts is: they do have meaning. So, pick your gift accordingly. Don’t send a friend a box of chocolate and a bouquet of roses when you just want to say “what’s up”. It may mean more than that for him or her. Pick gifts that are considered “safe”. For example, send a gift from your company store (i.e. A pen, a hat, a key chain). Send something that reflects TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT
where you live. For example, if you live in Oklahoma, send a cowboy hat or boot. Stay away from sentimental stuffs. If you really deeply care about someone, why shouldn’t you be keeping in touch with them anyway?
For all our tekkies out there, video conference is the way of the future. All you need is a computer, a webcam, an internet connection, and voila. You’re in touch with friends and families. Dial in and chat like you were sitting next door. If you want to video conference with someone for a short time, make sure to let them know that you only have a few minutes so that they don’t feel bad when you hang up. The only disadvantage about this method is that it relies on them also being online when you’re connected. In conclusion, you’re never too busy to keep up with friends and relatives. There are many ways you can keep your relationships alive and in good terms. It only requires your will to do so and a little bit of creativity.
An Identity To Inspire
s an African immigrant, I struggle like every other immigrant to stay rooted to my identity particularly in a developed country like the United Stated of America where standing out in the crowd is a challenge when one does not have much knowledge about their own heritage or a grasp of their history. My children born here will have tougher time identifying themselves if my wife and I do not teach or make them aware of their history and heritage. One cannot talk about their identity without talking about their history – where they come from. You see my little daughter just turned five and was attending kindergarten. February, the National African American History Month was around the corner and I wanted to be ready to talk to her about my heritage, her heritage. Quite not having myself much knowledge about my family history, I turned to my grandma – Emma, now in her eighties. The language barrier was quite a challenge for me. She fluently spoke two dialects; while I, on the other end, easily
understood them but could not a have a full conversation without grabbing one word here and there. I spoke FrenchoSwahili-Tetela lingo. But overall, the transaction was very positive. As I listened to her, recounting stories after stories going back four generations, I became fascinated and captured by the details and especially her memory. One particular story I recalled was about my great-great-great father who entertained the king and his entourage for a living. Having earned the king trust, the king asked him to take care of one of his many wives he had just bought as a slave from the Arabs. Unfortunately for the king, my great-great-great father fell in love with her and soon married her. For fear to be killed by the king, they fled and settled in a small village in the Kasai region in Congo. What followed is a history full of untold stories, fascinating portray of strong family ties, culture and traditions passed from generation to generation by words of mouth.
Back home, stories like these are told in the evening around a camp fire. But, there she was in this little apartment in the Bronx taking me back on a captivating journey which helped me personally understand, appreciate and value my heritage. As we celebrate the National African America during this February, I will look back and think of my grandma and her story telling. It was my responsibility to pass on the family history to the next generation. She gave me an assignment to share with my children about our heritage and all of its richness which would help them stand in the crowd and be proud of their individuality, tradition and culture. Our teens are daily bombarded by stereotype and negativity unleashed by the media and we need someone like my grandma’s storytelling whether it’s in the Bronx, in Boston, Los Angeles, Paris, or any where who will reminds and inspires us all of our identity. Paul Usungu firstname.lastname@example.org
Born and raised in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Paul immigrated to the States in 1996. After getting his High school Diploma, he attended COA (College Of Aeronautics) in Queens, New York, where he graduated in 2003 with a major in Aircraft Maintenance. Paul works in the aviation industry as a Quality Control Inspector and currently live in Poinciana, Florida, with his wife Virginie and their two daughters Dalhia and Destiny.
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The African Cup of Nations - Quest of The Ultimate Title
Official Mascot of the 26th MTN Africa Cup of Nations Ghana 2008
he MTN Africa Cup of Nations Ghana 2008 draw was held on October 19 2007 in Accra, Ghana. The 16 finalists were divided into four groups of four teams. The 26th MTN Africa Cup of Nations, which will be taking place from January 20 to February 10, will be covered by approximately 16,000 accredited media personnel globally. This figure represents over 50 percent improvement from the previous event, which took place in Egypt on 2006. The surge of media personnel can be accredited to the fact that Ghana has been working hard on providing more and better accommodations for the media so that they can enjoy the best working facilities during the entire event. One example to mention, the Kofi Annan Centre for Information Communication Technology (ICT) will be serving as the main media centre for the tournament. Additional media centre have been positioned in all four stadium to be used by the tournament. Besides the media surge, Ghana also expects more than a million visitors to be part of the 26th MTN Africa Cup of Nations, with an estimated 4.2 billion viewers world wide, which will make the event the biggest viewership ever in the history of the competition.
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The Venues Four stadiums have been chosen as venues for the spectacular event: Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra, Sekondi stadium, Tamale stadium, and Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi. On December 14, 2007, The Accra Venue Organizing Committee (AVOC) conducted a simulation exercise to test the readiness of emergency facilities at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra. The same simulation was also carried out on the other three stadiums to assure that safety precautions have been taken into consideration. Part of the simulation included real-life issues such as evacuating and treating the injured by administering first aid service. Excitement in Ghana One thing is certain: Ghana is ready to host the event and Ghanaians are full of excitement as they were when the senior national team, The Black Stars, competed at the 2006 FIFA world Cup in Germany where they reached the last Sixteen before being eliminated. Soccer fans across the world are gazing at the beautiful city of Accra, Ghanaâ€™s capital in preparation of the games, and the party to follow the finals. The Teams
PREVIOUS CHAMPIONS 1957 - EGYPT
1984 - CAMEROON
1959 - EGYPT
1986 - EGYPT
1962 - ETHIOPIA
1988 - CAMEROON
1963 - GHANA
1990 - ALGERIA
1965 - GHANA
1992 - IVORY COAST
1968 - DEM. REP. OF CONGO
1994 - NIGERIA
1970 - SUDAN
1996 - SOUTH AFRICA
1972 - CONGO
1998 - EGYPT
1974 - DEM. REP. OF CONGO
2000 - CAMEROON
1976 - MOROCCO
2002 - CAMEROON
1978 - GHANA
2004 - TUNISIA
1980 - NIGERIA
2006 - EGYPT
1982 - GHANA
Ohene Djan Stadium, Accra (during construction)
The sixteen qualified teams are: Ghana (hosts), Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria, Mali, Guinea, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco, Zambia, South Africa, Namibia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Benin, and Angola. With four groups equally and wellbalanced, the 2008 Cup of Nations in Ghana is promising to be a great show for the year 2008.
Kumasi Stadium (computer rendered image)
Angola was the first team to qualify for the CAN 2008. The Palancas Negras shares a tough group composed of Tunisia, South Africa and Senegal. Benin Squirrels has qualified for their second ever appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations as the third best second place team. They will be affronting Nigeria, Mali, and Ivory Coast; another tough group.
Sekondi Stadium (Computer rendered image)
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are one of the favorites in the competition, reaching their fifteenth final unbeaten in five games. Cameroon currently ranks as No.1 in Africa and four-time champions TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT
Fixtures for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations Group A
GHANA | MOROCCO | GUINEA | NAMIBIA
NIGERIA | IVORY COAST | MALI | BENIN
JAN 20 2008: GHANA vs. GUINEA, Accra
JAN 21 2008: NIGERIA vs. IVORY COAST, Sekondi
JAN 20 2008: NAMIBIA vs. MOROCCO, Accra JAN 24 2008: GUINEA vs. MOROCCO, Accra JAN 24 2008: GHANA vs. NAMIBIA, Accra
JAN 21 2008: MALI vs. BENIN, Sekondi JAN 25 2008: IVORY COAST vs. BENIN, Sekondi JAN 25 2008: NIGERIA vs. MALI, Sekondi
JAN 28 2008: GHANA vs. MOROCCO, Accra
JAN 29 2008: NIGERIA vs. BENIN, Sekondi
JAN 28 2008: GUINEA vs. NAMIBIA, Sekondi
JAN 29 2008: IVORY COAST vs. MALI, Accra
QUARTER-FINALS FEB 03 2008: GROUP A winners vs. GROUP B runners-up, Accra FEB 03 2008: GROUP B winners vs. GROUP A runners-up, Sekondi THIRD PLACE PLAY-OFF
FEB 04 2008: GROUP C winners vs. GROUP D runners-up, Kumasi
FEB 09 2008
FEB 04 2008: GROUP D winners vs. GROUP C runners-up, Tamale
FEB 10 2008
FEB 07 2008: Winner quarter final 1 vs. Winner quarter final 4, Accra FEB 07 2008: Winner quarter final 2 vs. Winner quarter final 3, Accra
EGYPT | CAMEROON | ZAMBIA | SUDAN
TUNISIA | SENEGAL | SOUTH AFRICA | ANGOLA
JAN 22 2008: EGYPT vs. CAMEROON, Kumasi JAN 22 2008: SUDAN vs. ZAMBIA, Kumasi JAN 26 2008: CAMEROON vs. ZAMBIA, Kumasi JAN 26 2008: EGYPT vs. SUDAN, Kumasi JAN 30 2008: EGYPT vs. ZAMBIA, Kumasi JAN 30 2008: CAMEROON vs. SUDAN, Tamale
JAN 23 2008: TUNISIA vs. SENEGAL, Tamale JAN 23 2008: S. AFRICA vs. ANGOLA, Tamale JAN 27 2008: SENEGAL vs. ANGOLA, Tamale JAN 27 2008: TUNISIA vs. S. AFRICA, Tamale JAN 31 2008: TUNISIA vs. ANGOLA, Tamale JAN 31 2008: SENEGAL vs. S. AFRICA, Kumasi TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT
of the African Cup of Nations. They will be affronting Egypt (winner of the 2006 CAN), Sudan, and Zambia. Ivory Coast is back strong and ready to put up a showdown against Nigeria in Group B. The Elephants were runners up at the last event held in Egypt, where they lost through penalties against the host nations. With Didier Drogba leading the team, they are truly worth watching, as they compete in their seventeenth appearance at the African Cup of Nations. The Pharaohs of Egypt, winners of the 2006 Cup are ready to defend their title in Ghana. Egypt has appeared in every event since 1984 and is the only team that has made most appearances since the inception of the Cup in 1957, where they won the title as well. They will be clashing heads against Cameroon for a once-in-a-lifetime showdown. The two African teams are amongst the favorites. All eyes focus on the hosts team, the Black Stars of Ghana. The four-time Champions are among the favorites of the tournament as well. To make it even sweeter for Ghana, they have the entire country backing them up, as they play Namibia, Morocco, and Guinea in their own house. The hosts are promising another repeat of their first time appearance at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, where they shocked the world as they moved all the way to the last Sixteen. The Syli Nationale of Guinea beat Algeria during the qualifiers to make it to the event. It will be their ninth appearance at the event. The Eagles of Mali had to wrestle for their spot in the African Cup of Nations. Mali competed against Togo in what has been described as one of the toughest groups in the qualifiers, to reach their fifth appearance at the African Cup of Nations. The road to victory is certainly not an easy one for the Eagles, as they will be facing Nigeria, Benin, and Ivory Coast in Group B of the event.
Africa. No one expected the Desert Hawks of Sudan to qualify for the finals; but they did. Indeed, they beat the 2004 winners, Tunisia for a spot to the finals. Sudan has not been in the finals since 1976. The Carthage Eagles of Tunisia will be making their thirteenth appearance. Tunisiaâ€™s only title to the African Cup of Nations came in 2004 when they hosted the event. The Chipolopolos of Zambia will be making their thirteenth appearance at the finals, facing a tough group C composed of the defending champions Egypt, the No.1 African team Cameroon, and the surprising Sudanese team. The 26th MTN African Cup of Nations will kick off on January 20, 2008 at Accra Stadium, with Ghana facing Guinea. All eyes are set on Africa as many foreigner analysts will try to associate the outcome of the event to the upcoming World Cup 2010, which is set to take place in Africa for the first time since its inception. Although not necessarily true, many reporters will associate any failure in security at the African Cup of Nations to the unpreparedness for Africa to hold a major event such as the World Cup. In either case, they are in for a big surprise. Africans are ready to demonstrate that they have been ready for the World Cup. Among all our difficulties and troubles - like any other continents in the world - Africa will put up a show that will mark this year and set wheels in motion for a successful 2010 World Cup event in South Africa. References: http://www.cafonline.com - Official CAF web site. http://www.ghanacan2008.com - Official Ghana 2008 CAN site.
The Atlas Lions of Morocco will be making their thirteenth appearance of the finals. They emerged unbeaten in Group 12 of the qualifiers. They are seeking their second Championship title. The Brave Warriors of Namibia reached the finals at the expense of the highly favored DR Congo. It will be their second appearance at the tournament. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they will be at the finals without their late Coach Ben Bamfuchile, who died last month while on holiday vacation in his native country of Zambia. The Super Eagles of Nigeria will be making their fifteenth appearance of the African Cup of Nations, facing Ivory Coast, Mali, and Benin in Group B at Sekondi Stadium. They will be seeking their third Championship title. The Teranga Lions of Senegal will be making their eleventh appearance at the finals in Group D facing Tunisia, Angola, and South Africa. The 1996 champions and 2010 World Cup host will be participating in the finals. It will be the seventh participation in the elite competition for the Bafana Bafana of South TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT
“I’m very curious as a person, and I always want to understand
things. I want to understand who we are, what we are, where we’re living.” — Jimmy Jean-Louis 18
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THE HAITIAN: RULER OF MINDS
Meet The Man Behind The Character Eric Adunagow
e led a simple life in a remote village in Haiti called Petion-Ville, where he was born. At the age of twelve, Jimmy moved to Paris to pursue a modeling career. He attended and finished school with a degree in Business.In his modeling pursuit, he started working in musical theatre in France and Spain, spending three years with a musical theater called “La Belle Epoque”. He eventually became a successful international model, which paved the road to his coming to America in 1998. In Los Angeles, Jimmy did not waist time before finding acting roles, although small, in major movies, such as The Bourne Identity, and Derailed. His multiple abilities and talents exposed him to much bigger roles, and eventually led him more roles among Hollywood top stars. He went on to shoot “Tears of the sun” with Bruce Willis and Monica Belluci, “Hollywood Homicide” with Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnet, “Monster-in-law” with Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez and “The Miracle match” with Patrick Stewart, Wes
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Bentley and Gerard Butler. He played the lead role in “Phat Girlz” starring opposite Mo’Nique Imes Jackson as her love interest. One of his favorite quotes from Jimmy sums it all up: “From a young boy growing up in Haiti, living with no electricity or running water, my journey to Hollywood has been rich with experience. I take little for granted and appreciate the beauty of life, knowing that there is so much more to learn.” By 2006, Jimmy was far from his first job, a Coca Cola commercial, which he landed after being spotted dancing in a club. He was a true Hollywood actor , completing 3 movies “Loaded”, “The Adventures of Power”, and “The Diary of a Tired Black Man.” The same year, he stars in the hit show that will bring him more success than all his previous endeavours combined; he takes the role of “The Haitian” in the NBC hit series “Heroes.”
“HEROES” On September 25, 2006, NBC premieres “Heroes,” an amazing science fiction drama television series created by Tim Kring. It tells the story of a group of people who gets to realize that they are more than just ordinary; they carry incredible powers that can alter the course of the planet. It does not take long before the show becomes a major hit. The series is pretty much like an American comic book coming to life, beautifully. The series is such a hit that it attracts more than 14 million viewers in the United States alone on its first season, the highest rating for any NBC drama premiere in five years. The second season premiered on September 24, 2007 with a much bigger audience. Although, like many others series, it is affected by the writer’s strike, which led the studio to only air 11 of the 24 shot episodes. “The HAITIAN” Jimmy plays the role of “the Haitian,” one of the fictional character on Heroes, which the name is still yet to be revealed. The Haitian carries multiples abilities, with the main one being the ability to inhibit other people powers. He controls the mind and can wipe out memories of his adversaries. He believes his powers are God’s gift and carries much respect on them. As a boy, he accidentally wiped out the heads of nearby villagers. His full abilities are yet to be revealed to the audience and we may see more of him in the upcoming Season 3. According to the Jimmy, the Haitian was originally supposed to be from New Zealand and referred to as “The Kiwi.” He also revealed to us that he originally auditioned three times for the role of D.L. Hawkins, which he did not get. After being chosen for the position, the writers had to readjust the character to fit Jimmy’s
backgrounds; thus, the creation of “The Haitian.” But there is more to the man himself. Jimmy’ s interview on page 34 will give you a close-up to the man behind the character. References: http://www.jimmyjeanlouis.com http://www.nbc.com
PARTIAL FILMOGRAPHY The Adventure of Power (2007) Loaded (2007) The Diary of a Tired Black Man (2007) Phat Girlz (2006) Monster in Law (2005) The Game of Their lives (2005) Chthonic (2006) Tears of The Sun (2003) Hollywood Homicide (2003) This Girl’s Life (2003) Derailed (2002) The Bourne Identity (2002) The Jar (2007) Life Outside of Pearl (2007) Le President A-t-il Le Sida? (2006) Cousines (2006)
TELEVISION Heroes (NBC) The Shield (FX) Dr. Vegas (CBS) Fastlane (FOX) The District (CBS) Arli$$ (HBO)
FROM DREAMS TO REALITY The Georges Malaika Foundation Empowering African Girls Through Education
he Georges Malaika Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping African girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to unlock their full potential by providing educational opportunities. The organization was founded last year (2007) by the well-known Congolese super model Nöella Coursaris Musunka. The organization targets young girls, between 5 to 18 years old, providing the necessary resources to help them attend and complete their education, in a country filled of cultural stereotypes toward women and greater illiteracy. “Education is the future,” says the founder, Nöella, whose life was saved from the same fate that surrounds many of these young girls. The story begins when Nöella lost her father, at the age of five. In Africa, fathers are considered as the source of life better yet, the sole provider - providing money, food, well-being, and protection. The concept goes awry when a family loses its sole provider, the father. Suddenly, the everyday common things that we take for granted becomes like a 22
drop of rain in a desert. And for families where the mother has no educational background to hold a decent job, life somewhat takes a 180 degrees turn from better to worse. On top of all these, cultural traditions and stereotypes exponentially aggravate the situation. Family members of the dying party somewhat assumes responsibilities of everything that their late member possessed, leaving nothing for the direct family member (the wife and children) of the departed. Fortunately for Nöella, her mother was smart enough to know what was coming in the horizon. She decided to send her child to live with relatives in Europe, thus giving her the chance to become someone. Nöella did not take her opportunity in vain. Instead, she made the best of it all by obtaining her business education in Switzerland and then later, moved to London, where she started her career in modeling. Now, the 21 year old successful entrepreneur and super model living in New York would like to provide the same opportunity to the girls in her native country of the Congo, who does not have the same
opportunity she received in her life: the gift of education. The foundation is named after her father Georges and the Swahili word Malaika, meaning “angel.” It seeks to empower African girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo primarily through increasing their level of education. One thing that the young entrepreneur did very well from the get-go is to surround herself with a great team; the secret No.1 for any business leader seeking success. The team is made of education and industry professionals, sharing the same goal with the founder herself. Coleman Ramer (Secretary & Chief Operating Officer) has more than eight years of experience in business management and has been involved with the foundation from day one. Adriana Henriquez (Chief Financial Officer) has more than five years of experience in the development and implementation of telecommunications sector of Africa. Having worked with many non-profits organization in the past, she strongly believes in empowering tomorrow’s potential leaders today by providing a TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT
Photo courtesy of Georges Malaika Foundation. Photo: Misengabo Esperance Kapuadi, Chief Program Development Officer of Georges Malaika Foundation visits Lubumbashi, Dem. Rep. of Congo.
positive environment and education today. Deron Jones (Director) has also been involved with the foundation since its conception, providing significant strategic and planning decisions regarding the operation of the foundation. He has more than twenty years of experience. Misengabo Esperance Kapuadi (Chief Program Development Officer) has experience in African education, having scouted and researched schools in Bamako, Mali. With an extensive travel experience in the African continent, she leads the ground research operations of the foundation in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo. In November 2007, she visited Lubumbashi, where the foundation will be implemented, for acquiring more data regarding building educational facilities and obtaining current information on local construction costs. Muteba Damas Mamadou (Program Developer Officer) organizes the operation of the foundation in Lubumbashi, where he currently resides. The board of Directors is composed of: Nöella Coursaris as Founder and CEO, Yamandou Alexander, and Deron Jones. The advisory board is made of Philippe Loral, Terry Barr, Donovan Tomlinson, and Quentin Vanden Bogaert (Chief Technical Officer).
Georges Malaika Foundation 244 5th Ave, Suite N225 New York, NY 10001 tel. +1 212 726 1089 fax. +1 212 726 3109 URL: www.gmalaikaf.org
For more information regarding each member of the GMF, please visit their website at http://www.gmalaikaf.org. With such a great team, success is definitely in the horizon for the sprouted foundation. Nevertheless, this is a task that requires more than a great management team. The participation of the public, especially the African community all around the Globe will tremendously improve the success of the foundation. By providing donation to GMF, we are assuring the future of the young girls in Africa, starting with the ones located in Lubumbashi, D.R.C. “Any donation is welcomed,” says Nöella. The foundation welcomes any monetary participation from the public. With the donation, the foundation has a better chance to reach their goals and make a difference in the lives of these young girls. The Georges Foundation has been developing a system of providing educational grants, sponsorships, and provision for tuition and school materials to the sponsored girls, in order to help them succeed in their education. The goal of the foundation this year is to put at a minimum 15 girls at school by September 2008. Although the Georges Malaika Foundation is currently focusing in Lubumbashi, DRC, the foundation’s vision is to expand throughout the Congo and Africa.
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2007 MISS AFRICA USA PAGEANT
Showcasing the African culture Eric Adunagow Pageants Bio Info and photos courtesy of Lady Kate Njeuma - Miss Africa USA Beauty Pageant
n November 3, 2007, The Shrine of Africa Inc. delivered once more an outstanding event - the third Annual Miss Africa USA Beauty pageant at the Ashok International Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The event, co-hosted by the well-known Congolese Super model Nรถella Coursaris Musunka (see her interview on page 40) and the Sudanese actor/model Digol Deng, was a wonderful showcase of the African cultural wealth and beauty. A total of Seventeen attractive and talented delegates participated in the event, each representing their respective native African country. At the end, the 21 year old Miss Nigeria Mfonobong Essiet was crowned 2007 Miss Africa USA by Teizue Gayfor of Liberia, Miss Africa USA 2006-2007. The road to victory was definitely not an easy one. The first
round of the competition kicked off with the pageants introducing themselves. The judges observed and rated each pageant for specific characteristics such as Confidence, poise, grace, presence, oratory skills, and their platform. For the second round, the pageants were each asked to showcase their talent, with judges rating for originality, presentation, entertainment skills, creativity, artistic skill, and cultural expression. Physical beauty and fitness came on the third round, with judges looking at the beauty of the face and body, personal grooming, grace, and elegance. The fourth round displayed African fashion. The top five finalist of the event were then selected by a distinguished panel, comprising of the Executive producer of Project Runaway AFRICA - Ms. Clarissa Aban, the Director of Miss America Queen Pageant of Georgia - Ms. Sonjia Burks, and TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT
promotional features, and many other prizes from various sponsors. From that moment, the event captivated the hearts of the public, which demanded more. And more was given to them. Due to the popularity of the event, the Miss AFRICA Georgia team decided to take a step further by making the pageant a National event and opening doors to participants from all around the United States. On October 2006, over 800 guests showed up in Stone Mountain, GA to witness the African Showcase of beauty, culture, and elegance. Backed by the support of the city of Atlanta, GA Mayor - Shirley Franklin, Lt Governor of the State of Georgia – Mark Taylor, State Senator - Emmanuel Jones, and State Representative – Douglas Dean, the 2006 Miss AFRICA USA Beauty Pageant was a successful hit. 21 contestants from around the United States came to represent several African countries, captivating the public with an image of African never seen before in the U.S. The Liberian Miss Teizue Gayfor from Boston MA wowed the entire audience and the judges by winning the crown and becoming Miss Africa USA 2006-2007. She was awarded with a scholarship of $3000, a trip to Africa, promotional features and many other prizes from various sponsors.
Photo courtesy of Miss Africa USA Beauty Pageant Miss Nigeria Mfonobong Essiet was crowned Miss Africa USA 2007-2008 on November 3, 2007 at the Ashok International Concference Center - Atlanta, GA.
the President of Greene Investments - Mr. Anthony Greene. With each finalist stepping forward for their onstage interview, the judges graded for confidence, poise, eloquence, knowledge, and charisma. Miss Nigeria Mfonobong Essiet graciously took the title of 2007 Miss AFRICA USA, with Miss Sierra Leone Elizabeth Mbalu Conteh as First Runner Up, and Miss Eritrea Yordanos Gidey as Second Runner Up. About the Miss Africa USA Pageant The Miss Africa USA Scholarship pageant was conceived and created by Lady Kate Atabong Njeuma. The beautiful
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woman from Cameroon had a dream and vision of uniting African positively in a productive ways, creating union and cooperation. The Pageant is founded with the idea of advancing the African Cause in the United States, redefining the image of the African woman and providing a better understanding of the African continent and its multicultural wealth. The first pageant took place in 2005 at the Impact Center in Georgia under the title Miss Africa Georgia 2005. Miss Liberia Hariette Ayodele Thomas won the title and became the first Miss Africa Georgia 2005-2006. She was awarded with $1000 scholarship,
What’s next for the Pageant event? The audience has not been deceived with the previous pageants and will be waiting for more thrills and spectacles. With the current strikes of success, it won’t be long before it becomes a national televised event, with all 53 African countries being represented and much bigger prizes in play. The most important thing is the fact that Africa and African women are being seeing differently in the American public. The delegates are not just beautiful, but extremely intelligent and professional. From nurturing mothers to aspiring lawyers, they come from various professions with one goal, to showcase the cultural riches of the African continent, at the same time, exposing the many challenges facing the African women living in the motherland. Support and participation from the public will help bring these causes to a much higher level; to the eyes of the people governing this country. JAN/FEB 2008
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SOUTH AFRICA COMFORT DUDZAI DONDO A senior at an all woman’s college in MN (College of St Catherine ), she was raised in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Comfort is the current Miss Africa MN. She calls herself a Womanist because she believes in empowering little girls. “I do not go with Feminist because it sounds too strong, but I am actually a Pre-med and Women’s Studies major.” The 23 year old young lady is currently working with girls from Sub-Saharan Africa. Comfort’s main goal is empowering girls by fostering the importance of an educated African young woman. She believes on having faith first and the rest will be done for you supernaturally.
As a certified Medical Assistant currently majoring in Nursing, Coumba chose this field because she’s a caring person, always ready to help people in need. She wants to take part in the fight of making Africa a better place to live. “I want to introduce and promote the beauty and diversity of the cultures that define Africa to the whole world.” She’s a sensitive, ambitious and generous individual focused in realizing her dreams yet very laid back and fun to be around. Coumba is the reigning Miss Senegal USA 2007-2008.
SIERRA LEONE ELIZABETH MBALU CONTEH Born on November 2, 1987 in Atlanta, Georgia, Elizabeth is currently a sophomore at Emory University with dual majors in International Business and Marketing in order to pursue her dreams of one day helping her country of Sierra Leone. Elizabeth stands strictly on education, believing that in order to alleviate many of the issues Africa faces, the people must gain the education and knowledge with proper supplies and educators. Elizabeth is very involved in her community, belonging to the Youth for Sierra Leone Improvement organization, African Dance Company for Emory University, Oxford Business Club, and donates to many causes that help Africa.
GHANA JEWEL NANA THOMPSON From Ghana, the 20 year old Jewel attended Oglethorpe University, where she graduated with a degree in Marketing. Her plan is to become a lawyer. “Through life’s journey I have endured the hardships of trials and the testament of blessings. There have been times were my mistakes have out numbered my corrections and times where the purity of my heart could be seen in my loving actions. Through everything God has placed me in, I have grown. My long term goal is to continue to be a positive reflection of a empowered and intelligent African woman for the youth-- the future-- to be inspired by.”
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GUINEA MAKALE SY Makale Sy was born and raised in Guinea. She’s currently a sophomore at Howard University majoring in Accounting. She’s very passionate about people, loves poetry, music, and sports. Her goal is to get a Bachelors degree in accounting at Howard University and become a Certified Public Accountant(CPA), then obtain an MBA. “My next path in life will be to go to back to Guinea and help the young men and women there to get better education by providing scholarships. My other goal is to cooperate with the government to be able to develop Guinea into a better country and I will also definitely try to stop circumcision of girls in Guinea.”
Born in Burundi, the 29 year old mother of one, was raised in a family of seven children in a very deeply religious family. Her childhood was interrupted by civil war in Burundi. Marie is currently enrolled at Middlesex Community College in Bedford Massachusetts majoring in nursing. “My hope and dreams is that these orphans and lost children of Burundi will one day have stable homes and have hope for the future. Most importantly, I hope they can know that in spite of the difficulties in their lives, there are people who care for them. The future of any country lies in their children.”
SUDAN MARY DOUR A 19 years old Sudanese, Mary has been living in Buffalo NY for seven years now, with her mother and younger sibilings. She’s a student at Eire Community College and currently studying Social Sciences/ International Relations. “My goal is to work in the Human Rights field specialiazing in helping women and children. Another one of my goals is to make a difference in the whole African continent, especially the countries that been affected by civil wars. “
Rachel is a 21 year old African woman, born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. Her aim being to become a successful marketing entrepreneur, She holds an associates degree in Business Information Technology (Dip BIT) from Strathmore University, a Kenyan University, and now pursuing a degree in International Business Administration at the Miami Dade College. She loves learning new languages and speaks four of them, English, Swahili, Kamba and German. At 19 years old she became Miss Kenya Universe 2005, and was fortunate enough to gain support to take part in many humanitarian activities, something that she holds dear to her heart.
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NIGERIA MFONOBONG ESSIET Raised in Nigeria, Ms. Mfonobong Essiet is an energetic and multifaceted 21 yearold Barry University graduate student in the Biomedical Sciences Program, pursuing a future career in cardiac surgery. She produces several community events for promoting HIV/AIDS awareness and Youth Education in the United States and abroad, while serving as the Program Director for The Miami Children Foundation, Inc. Her humanitarian spirit led her to produce several HIV/AIDS Awareness Fashion Shows, where she amazed the audience with her clothing designs of Action Against HIV/AIDS, while spreading knowledge about prevention and the impact in our modern society.
D.R. CONGO ORELIE SODOLO Orelie was born in Democratic Republic of Congo in 1987, but was raised in France and currently living in Silver Spring, Maryland. She loves to sing, dance, act, and model. Orelie is well educated and ambitions when it comes to accomplishing her goals. She currently attends Montgomery College in Takoma Park, Maryland with a 3.O GPA. Her major is business management. “One day I plan on building my own community in Africa just like they have in here in the USA. I want to build homes, shopping malls, and community centers for young children. I want to be a mentor to young men and women.“
CAMEROON OSUNGU OSONG Osungu is a 23 years old young female from Cameroon. During her first year in the USA, she attended Richland College while working for her dad’s company as a medical biller associate. Later, she followed her dreams to become a model. She’s been working locally and nationally as a model for 3 years now. In 2005, she started her acting Career at the Garland civic theatre, Theatre 3, MAAI in Las Vegas, MSA in New York, and TSA in California. “I love singing, dancing, reading, writing, tennis, soccer, running, cooking, swimming, roller coasters, and of course performing in live theatres and fashion shows.”
RACHEL ANDERSON TEMU
Rachel Temu was born February 27th, 1982 in Arusha, Tanzania. She’s currently attending Arizona State University studying International Relations and Politics. She was crowned Miss Africa California U.S.A. for 2007-2008. She is now involved in several activities that carry responsibilities at national and international levels. At the national (Tanzania) level, she is serving as the youth permanent member of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). Rachel is currently among the Co-Founders of Tanzania Youth Parliamentary system. In addition, she is the panel member for Tanzania Tourism after she became the 1st Runner up on Miss Arusha 2002. She is an instructor volunteering on teaching the Swahili language.
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GAMBIA SADIA NOAH Sadiah is a first year student at the University of Baltimore School of Law. She received her Master’s degree last year from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Bachelor’s degree in 2004 from American University in Washington, DC. “I am very ambitious and I strive for the top in everything that I do. I am a big proponent of education, as this has been instilled in me by my mother who was very strict on education ever since I was a young child. “ My platform focuses on education and healthcare for all Africans, but African women in particular who are often deprived of these necessities.
UGANDA SERA NAKAMYA LUBOWA Sera Lubowa was born September 11, 1986 in Kampala, Uganda. At a very young age, Sera was determined to become something BIG. When she was 6 years old, Sera moved to Paris, France and then to Texas to live with her mother who had moved away earlier. At age 7, Sera was enrolled in Kedal Dance Studio to learn Ballet and Jazz. While in High School, Sera was enrolled at KD Studio Actors Conservatory in Dallas, TX. As she graduated with honors from L.D. Bell at age 17, she also graduated from K.D Studio with a Performing Arts Degree in Acting, Singing, and Dance. She continued on to dance and soon mixed hip-hop dance into her style.
ETHIOPIA SORETTI HUBENA Soretti was born on February 13, 1987 in Addis Ababa , Ethiopia. She’s currently attending Columbus State Community College, majoring in nursing. After that, I plan on going to a four-year college to finish my major in nursing. Her goal is to become caregiver because she loves to help patients, especially children, bringing them hope and encouraging them to look forward into their future. On her free time, she volunteers at a Children’s Hospital. The issue close to my heart is lack of medication in Africa. I would like to see the health medication system improve; innocent children are dying everyday in Africa because of lack of medication.
ERITREA YORDANOS GIDEY She made the long journey to the U.S. and has built a successful life for herself alongside her parents and five siblings. She has been raised in Illinois but despite the distance from Eritrea, her parents still raised her to have a traditional background and to admire and be swollen with pride for her beautiful country. Yordanos’ hard work and determination in school has brought her to be a current student at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN pursuing a degree in communications. In spite of all the time being put into her education, she has made time to stay heavily involved in her community with various non-profit organizations.
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The 24 year old Alumna of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a double degree in Political Science and Psychology is currently attending the American University in Washington, DC pursuing a Master’s degree in Education, with hope of becoming a school Administrator/Principal. At the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Karen assumed numerous leadership positions. Currently, Karen maintains a 4.0 GPA at American University, while working full time at Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, a non profit organization in Washington, DC. She is also a model, who has graced many fashion shows and is currently Miss July in the Liberian Calendar Girls 2007 edition.
2007-2008 MISS AFRICA USA PAGEANT RESULTS
The Queen Prize: Miss Africa USA 2007-2008
Miss Africa USA 2007-2008 - Mfonobong Essiet, NIGERIA
The Official Miss Africa USA Crown
1st Runner Up - Elizabeth Mbalu Conteh, SIERRA LEONE
The Official Miss Africa USA Pure Kente/Adinkra Sashes
2nd Runner Up - Yordanos Gidey, ERITREA
The Official Miss Africa USA Trophy
3rd Runner Up - Rachel Temu, TANZANIA
An Elegant Floral Bouquet
4th Runner Up - Karen KouKou, LIBERIA
An Elegant Queen Jewelry Set By Bling Queens Fashions of Las Vegas
Viewers Choice Online Poll - Elizabeth Mbalu Conteh, SIERRA LEONE Leadership Award - Rachel Temu, TANZANIA
A Comprehensive Scholarship Package RUNWAY AFRICA COVER MODEL 2008 (sponsored by RUNWAY AFRICA)
Humanitarian Award - Jewel Thompson, GHANAv Miss Spokesmodel - Rachel Marete, KENYA
SPONSORED TRIP TO AFRICA: on humanitarian project for children
Miss Culture - Mfonobong Essiet, NIGERIA
A Major role in a Movie Project by Shrine Motion Pictures LLC
Miss Natural Beauty - Elizabeth Mbalu Conteh, SIERRA LEONE Miss Supermodel - Osungu Osong, CAMEROON
A Professional Modeling Portfolio by Kevin Stewart of Black Eye Photography
Miss Congeniality - Soretti Hubena, ETHIOPIA Miss Talent - Coumba Diop, SENEGAL
A Professional Photoshoot by REM Photography
Miss Photogenic - Yordanos Gidey, ERITREA
Promotional Features in the Media Exposure to Talent Scouts: BILLBOARD MODELS OF ATLANTA
Deputy Miss Africa USA 2007-2008 The Official 1st Alternate Tiara
The Official 1st Alternate Miss Africa Kente Sash
A GoodWill Ambassador for Africa, Guest Appearances at High Profile
An Elegant Jewelry Set Sponsored by Bling Queens Fashion of Las Vegas
Events representing good Causes for Africa.
A moderate Scholarship Package Assist in role As Deputy Miss Africa USA A Professional Modeling Portfolio by REM Photography “I
recommend to any African-American that has never been to Africa to just make it to the Pageant until you get a real chance to get to Africa. The experience is mind-blowing and educational ! ” — Sunjia Burk, Director of Miss America Queen Pageant of Georgia 30
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“We must reclaim our past, so that we can move forward, understanding how and why we came to be who we are today. ”
—Mfonobong Essiet , Miss Africa USA 2007-2008
Photo courtesy of Miss Africa USA Beauty Pageant. TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT
Prizes: Special Awards Miss Culture 2007 The Official Miss Culture Sash A 5 yard Exotic African Fashion Fabric Special Gift Basket Most Artistic / Miss Talent The Official Miss Africa Best Talent Sash Special Gift Basket Miss Spokes Model The Official Miss Spokes Model Sash Gift Basket An autographed copy of the Book Tear Drops by renowned Sierra Leonean Writer. Miss Photogenic The Official Miss Photogenic Sash A Professional Photo shoot for modeling Portfolio Miss Congeniality The Official Miss Congeniality Sash Special Gift Basket
All Contestants Receive The Official Afro Sash of their Respective countries A Miss Africa USA Participant Trophy Natural Beauty products sponsored by Natural Beauty Specialist Nahbila Tutuwan An Autographed copy of the Book Welfare to Millionaire by Award winning Entrepreneur Sarian Bouma. Special gift Baskets of Siana Mystique Body Products, sponsored by Award winning Entrepreneur Mrs Sarian Bouma: Maryland’s Top 100 Women. www.siannaproductions.com Special Skin Care and Beauty Products by Behold Me Cosmetics sponsored by Behold Me. Excellent Exposure via Press and Media covering the 2007 MISS AFRICA USA PAGEANT. GREAT EXPOSURE TO TALENT SCOUTS: BILLBOARD MODELS OF ATLANTA Movie Production Opportunities by SHRINE MOTION PICTURES per CASTING.
It takes a great efforts and a lot of supports to pull such a magnificent event; no one can do it alone. A big “Thank You” to all the 2007 Miss Africa USA Beauty Pagent sponsors: Western Union, MoneyGram, Bling Queens Fashions, American Corporate Society, BeholdMe Now cosmetics and Sianna Productions and all media partners.
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From L to R: Lady Kate Njeuma, the Executive Producer and Anna Chiricco of Bling Queens Fashions, one of the official sponsors of 2007 Miss Africa USA Beauty Pageant. 2006-2007 Miss Africa USA Teizue Gayfor passed the torch to the New Queen On November 3, 2007.
Host Sudanese actor/model Digol Deng poses with Miss Africa USA 2006, Miss Black Georgia Teen 2007, and Miss Black Georgia during the 2007 Miss Africa USA Beauty Pageant at Atlanta, GA.
2007-2008 Miss Africa USA Miss Nigeria Mfonobong Essiet.
Miss Lady Kate Njeuma, the Executive Producer posing with Miss Natural Beauty Elizabeth Mbalu Conteh, SIERRA LEONE.
SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE
JIMMY JEAN-LOUIS m eet th e r ea l h a iti an Photo courtesy of JJL
hank you Jimmy Jean-Louis for taking the time to respond to our interview questions.
from Haiti, but from New Zealand.
AM: About the show Heroes, are you surprise it’s such a big hit?
JJL: Exactly, which is perfect, me being Haitian, to be able to portray a Haitian on a hit TV show. It’s great.
JJL: Well, a little bit. When you get called to do a TV show like that, you go do your thing and hope that it will be successful, even though everybody, the cast and crew understood that we had a great script to start with. But we did not expected it to be that big. It’s really big, not just in America, but all over the world. AM: Tell us: How did you land the position of “The Haitian” in the show? JJL: I first read for the character of D.L. I read for the part three times, but never got it. When it was time to cast for the character of the Haitian, I came back into the picture. But really, the character that I play was not even supposed to be 34
AM: So, they had to re-adjust the character for your part?
AM: About your character, it appears that he’s mysterious and powerful. Although, the audience has yet to experience his full potential. What do you think of the Character? JJL: Well, obviously he is very powerful and very intriguing. We don’t know him…yet; even after a year and a half. We still don’t know too much about him. And I like that about The Haitian. But, I would like him to do a little more, hopefully he will, in the next season, because we need to get to know him in depth so we can understand who he is and why he does what he does. AM: Yes, because he’s so mysterious that every time he shows up, we’re all captivated. TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT
they’re asking for. They’re the ones creating everything that you see on TV. As in HEROES for example, we have a team of about ten very talented writers. That’s how the show is being created. Ten people stuck in a room together, writing the show. They’re bouncing ideas all day long.
AM: Do you think he will be playing a major role further down in the show? JJL: I hope so, because he has the potential. He can come up with a lot of answers to the story. And because he comes from a different culture, he will bring something completely new. And obviously he represents not just Haiti, but I will say the black race, as we speak, on the TV show. Currently, he‘s the only black character that started on the show that is still on the show.
AM: When not shooting the series, do you keep in touch with the rest of the casts?
AM: and He’s playing a major character as well… JJL: yeah, and he looks like an African; the African guy, all together. You know, it’s a good thing to be able to be associated as a hero on a hit show. AM: And you’re actually playing it really well. Ok, we know that “The Haitian” has been acting on the good side in Season II, but still, I can’t seem to figure out if he’s really one of the good guys. What’s your thought on this? JJL: I don’t know if we can characterize him as good or bad. But, I don’t believe that he’s there just to do what he is told. I’m pretty sure he’s got his own agenda. He comes from far away; from Haiti. He finds himself in The Company and he has a life over there. So, at some point they will have to give us his back story so we know what he’s doing and why he’s doing it. So, is he good or evil? I hope I’m good. I want “The Haitian” to be good. He must be doing bad things, but for good causes. AM: So far he’s being on the neutral side, creating a lot of vibes due to the fact that he is very powerful. JJL: This is a downfall for him, being so powerful. That’s probably why they don’t use him as much. He can stop a lot of those guys’ powers and also he can erase their memories. AM: Can you tell us a little bit about the people behind the show Heroes? How many writers do you have? JJL: We have a lot of people behind the scene; hundreds of them. I think around 300. Of course, you do have the actors, the producers, and the writers that are doing an amazing job. Down the line, TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT
you also have the crew, the technicians, make up artists, the wardrobes, the catering people, and many more. It’s a good set to work on.
JJL: Not necessarily. The reality is at the end of the day, it’s a job. You go there and you do your part, then you go back home. It’s like any other jobs. From time to time, you hang out with one or two other people from your job. They are quite a few people that I see outside of the show such as Jack Coleman (Mr. Bennet) and Santiago Cabrera, the painter, because we play football (soccer) together sometimes. But apart from them, I see the rest of the crew whenever there is an event going around.
AM: With the recent Writers strike in Hollywood, how does it impact the future of the show? JJL: Oh yeah, completely. First of all, we stopped shooting on November 5, 2007. We had to stop shooting the minute the writers started the strike. And also, since we were not sure of what is going to happen, we had to create a season finale right away. AM: So, they were more episodes after that? JJL: Yes, there were some more episodes after that. Actually, we had shot two episodes already, twelve and thirteen. But we had to scratch those. Because we readjusted episode eleven so that we have a finale. So, definitely it affected us directly, and it still affecting us because nobody is working, whether it’s the writers, the producers, the actors, anybody. It’s actually pretty bad. Nobody wants to strike, but I guess they have to keep striking until they get what they’re asking for. AM: Well, we hope resolutions are being made as we speak. What do you think the writers’ strike?
Nevertheless, we get along very well on the set; it’s a great chemistry. AM: Will we see more of the Haitian in the new season? Obviously everyone talks about him and wants more of him. JJL: I think we will because he’s still around. I think the next chapter is called The villains. And within the villain section, we have Sylar, the Sensei Adam, and then we have the people working for the company. Bob, Mr. Bennet, and The Haitian. I’m pretty sure that you’ll see more of the Haitian. I hope so anyway.
JJL: We know the writers deserve what JAN/FEB 2008
AM: When will they reveal his name? Does he have one actually? JJL: We don’t know yet. He does have a name. They gave me a name from the very beginning on the show. But for some reason, people really enjoy the name of “The Haitian”. They react from it. They ask questions about him. They wonder about “The Haitian.” And it makes the character even more mysterious. As far as I’m concerned, I like that. AM: and the good thing is that you are also from Haiti JJL: Yes. I represent the country. It’s probably the best way to clean the image of Haiti internationally. The same way I played the character Tunde for the Nigerians (in Phat Girlz). Nigerians were very happy to see such a character, being a doctor, very educated, very elegant on a big screen. As you know, most of the time when the media speak of Nigerians, it’s always in the negative aspects of them. For me to play “The Haitian”, and to be associated as a hero, it’s great.
AM: What position do you play? JJL: It depends actually. I play midfielder. I can also play any other positions. I love the game. It keeps me in shape. AM: Talking about soccer, what are your thoughts on the upcoming Soccer World cup to be taken place in South Africa in 2010? Is Africa ready for the event? JJL: Well, I will be optimistic and say yes. I want Africa to be ready for the event. Logistically speaking, let’s see what’s going to happen. I think South Africa is big enough to hold a world cup. They have enough resources and we also need to give them all the help necessary. I think they’re ready. If they can hold the African cup, they can do a world cup. Africa is ready for that. Africa needs that.
Come on, how many years of world cup have we had? And not once it has been in Africa. So, yes, it’s about time and I hope to be there. AM: What team will you be cheering for, assuming they make it to the world cup? JJL: Assuming? (Laughs) it will have to be Haiti… assuming (laughs). I mean, Haiti has only been in the world cup once in 1974, which isn’t bad because some countries have never been to the world cup. AM: What team besides Haiti? JJL: It all depends. It depends on what African teams make it, you know. Within Africa, there are few teams that I admire and I think they’re doing very well. Among them will be Nigeria, Ghana,
AM: You are definitely our hero. JJL: Thank you. AM: The ladies love the Haitian’s body (physique); we know. What do you do to stay this fit? JJL: (laughs) it’s a combination of things. First of all, I have always been active as a person. I used to work in a musical theater. So, I would dance for about two hours every night. I did it for almost four years. I also play football. That’s what keeps me in shape as we speak. I play maybe three or four times a week. Also, I’m very careful with what I eat. I don’t eat a lot of junk foods. I don’t eat meat, beef or chicken. I only eat fish, and a lot of veggies. Yam, plantains, you know; all the good things. AM: Do you play for a team? JJL: Yes. I play for a team called Hollywood United. AM: Is that the team made of celebrities? JJL: Yes. Actually, about three weeks ago, we had a game against Galaxy, against Beckham, Cobi Jones, and the rest of the team. 36
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Senegal, Ivory Coast, and of course Cameroon. We have some good teams over there. But at the same time, I’m still a fan of Brazil (laughs); they always come correct with the best players and the best game as well. AM: One thing I like about Brazil is that they keep the art. It’s not just about scoring, but it’s about showing what soccer is all about. JJL: Exactly. They have fun with it. They love what they do and they show you that they like it. It’s not just about winning and making the money. It’s about enjoying what you’re doing. AM: For sure your popularity in Haiti has risen exponentially. Are you still doing work over there? Or, are you concentrating in the U.S. and Europe? JJL: To be honest with you, I’m not concentrating anywhere. I’m just floating. Wherever there is work, and if I believe it’s a good piece of work, I will go and do it. I am based in L.A. because that’s where the business is really. But at the same time, I do projects on other countries as well. Yes I still go back to Haiti sometimes. I did two movies in Haiti already. One is The President has AIDS, which won the prize at the FESCAPO film festival. And the other movie is Cousines. Both movies have been traveling around the world. For me, it’s one way to showcase Haiti a little bit to people that don’t know anything about Haiti besides the political unrest and the rumors that AIDS came from Haiti. AM: What other projects are you involved in currently? JJL: I have just been back from Martinique, where I did a movie in French called “Le Mystere Josephine”. I’m scheduled to do a movie in Bali, Indonesia. I have a couple of movies that will be come up this year. One of them is “The adventures of Power” and the other is “Loaded”. Also, I’m currently doing a comedy movie called “The Penthouse.” AM: Can you tell us something about you that people would never guess? JJL: I don’t know (laughs). I mean, there are a lot of things nobody will never guess about me because they don’t know me. They know the characters that TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT
I play, but they don’t know who I am. But I would say one thing: I’m really a big clown. I know I don’t look the part, but I am a clown in reality (laughs). AM: When you’re not working, what are your favorite things to do? We know soccer is one. JJL: I like the beach. I always go to the beach to boogie board, and just lie down and relax. And any of the sports really, volley ball, Frisbee, basket ball, and tennis. So, I do all these things. And if I’m not working for a long time, I go back to Haiti and see my relatives. AM: One more thing that is amazing about you compared to many other actors out there is that you are very educated and talented. How many languages do you speak? JJL: I speak five languages. It just happened to be like that because I lived in various places. I’m from Haiti, so I speak Creole. I grew up in Paris, so I speak French. I lived in Spain so I speak Spanish, and I also lived in Italy; so I speak Italian. I have been traveling around, so I also speak English. It wasn’t meant to be, but searching for life, it just turned out to be like that. AM: What can you say about the transitions from Haiti, Europe, then America? I do come from a place where I didn’t have too much to live with. So, as a kid, in my neighborhood, I did not have any electricity. Meaning: no TV, no fridge, or anything like that. To actually find myself here in Hollywood, it’s such a long stretch and from there to here. I have stopped in so many places, you know. I’m like a train that stops in every single village (laughs) just to get to its final destination. I’m not an express at all AM: What kept you motivated? JJL: Maybe life. I’m very curious as a person, and I always want to understand things. I want to understand who we are, what we are, where we’re living. Also, I‘ve always wanted to know about different cultures and languages. So, I just keep on going. I believe that if I find myself in a routine, I don’t have a life anymore. So, I’m trying not to have a routine. I know a lot of people would love that, but I don’t. I like to be surprised by what’s going to
happen next. Even if I put myself in weird situation, I still like it because there is something exciting about not knowing what’s going to happen. I think that’s what life is all about: the excitement. AM: Obviously you really have a lot of talents. What actor did you admire most when growing up? JJL: I’ve always thought of the past and career of Sidney Poitier; a black actor from the Caribbean in the U.S., when it was really hard for African Americans to achieve such positions. So, he definitely motivated me mentally, just to keep going and never accept a No for a no. Sidney Poitier. AM: Let’s talk about Nollywood: What’s your say on it? JJL: Nigerians. These guys are pumping a lot of movies. I’ve had a chance to attend a Nollywood convention here in L.A. two years ago. I met a lot of Nigerian directors and actors. Also, I have seen a few Nigerian movies here and there. I think it’s a good thing that’s going on in Nigeria. It just need to be more JAN/FEB 2008
structured. AM: What do you think will help Nollywood finds it way to the U.S. Big screen? JJL: Well, first of all, the movies that they’re making are mostly appealing just for Nigerians and blacks in Nigeria and Africa. The format is very different to the world format, because they do it in video and quickly. The technical side of it is very poor and I think that’s what is stopping them from growing and being accepted as a real competition to Hollywood or even to Bollywood. I think they need to switch gear. They need to start doing a few movies on film, you know. The quality has to change; It’s a big thing. The image has to be beautiful. And the actors have to be actors as well. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it can be too theatrical. I’m sure they can do it, but they have to get there technically. AM: Definitely they do have stories, but lacking quality. Do you think all these have something to do with the rate of piracy in African movies? JJL: Yes, directly. I can understand why somebody doesn’t want to spend a lot of money to do a movie over there because they know that they’re not going to be able to recuperate the money that they’ve invested because of the piracy. It’s a big scare for everybody. The bootleg is killing the business. I don’t know if they have a solution for that but the it is a big problem. Like you said, they have good stories, and I believe they do have good directors as well, but the quality definitely has to be better. AM: Where in Africa have you been and what would be your ideal African trip? JJL: I have been to Ivory Coast, South Africa, Namibia, the Seychelles, and Nigeria. Anywhere in Africa will please me, to be honest with you. I would like to go to Ethiopia, because of its history. And of course, the entire east coast of Africa. These places are said to be beautiful. AM: In your opinion, what’s the number one issue to deal with in Africa? What’s your take (solution) on it? JJL: Man, there are so many. The thing that always comes in my mind is the 38
inferiority complex that we still have as black people, believing sometimes that we have to rely on the Western world to do what we have to do. So, I think that it is people’s mind in Africa that needs to change. Not just in Africa, but in every single black country all over the world. I think we need to get rid of that issue first; accept who we are and be proud of who we are. And if you can pass that, it’s going to be easier to deal with the rest of issues. AM: What needs to be done in order for African to have a strong impact in the American media, like the Hispanics? JJL: Seriously, we’re dealing with big issues; mentally, as far as Blacks are concerned here in America. Yes, it will be good to have our good channels, our own television, our own media, so that we can service our own people. But, I guess it will happen one day, we just need to be patient. Let’s not forget that slavery was here not too long ago. We want to run, but we have to walk first. We have to take it easy and just do the right moves and I think we’ll come together. And as far as Africans here, they should definitely always check with back home. They should always have relationships with Africans here and Africa. The Africans here can definitely help Africa. They have the vision, the resources, the connections, you know. They have to go back and forth and do whatever needs to be done for their countries.
crap, you know. I don’t wait for the new year to do what I think is good for myself. I try to do it on a daily basis. AM: That’s amazing. JJL: Yes. If I see it, I try to fix it straight away. I’m not going to wait for a specific time. I don’t do those things. AM: Maybe that’s why most of us are still behind because we wait for the New Year for a fresh start. JJL: I guess we wait for society to tell us what to do it and when to do it. And that’s the biggest mistake. OK, it is the New Year; now it’s resolutions. Ok, it’s Christmas and now we have to do this and that. Ok, its thanksgiving and now we have to share food. Come on, you don’t need society to dictate you what you need to do. AM: Any last word for our African Community in the world? JJL: I think I said it all: one love; Africa Unite. AM: Thank you Jimmy Jean-Louis for taking the time to chat with us. We wish you plenty of success and wisdom in your career.
AM: Any words of wisdom for all our aspiring actors out there? JJL: If you like what you do, then don’t give up. It has to come from the heart. It doesn’t matter what you do, it has to be something that you love. Don’t do it because you want to make money or anything like that. Do it because you really love it. And if you do that, then automatically you’re a winner because you’re doing something that you love doing whether you succeed at it or not. And most of the time, you will end up succeeding at it. And believe in yourself. It’s one universe, one world, and it should be one love for everybody. AM: Your New Year resolutions? JJL: I don’t have any resolutions, man (laughs). I’m not dealing with any of that
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Photo courtesy of JJL
MORE ON JIMMY JEAN-LOUIS www.jimmyjeanlouis.com www.myspace.com/jimmyjeanlouis
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SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE
Nöella Coursar is
A FR ICAN S UPER M ODE L
Photo courtesy of Nöella Coursaris - Photographer: Kevin Joseph.
tanding only at 5 feet, 8 inches tall (relatively short in the modeling world), Ms. Nöella Coursaris Musunka has been very successful in London, working for various Editorials such as Bolz, Gat, Black beauty, Black hair (just to name a few) - and publications such as GQ, new Women, Men’s health, Tense, and many more. Her talents has been recognized and validated through all her works. Now, she’s bringing her magic in America. Daughter of a Congolese mother and Cyprus father, this gorgeous and attractive young Congolese is shaking the world of fashion modeling and photography. Talking with Nöella gives you a different perspective on supermodels and the modeling world. Indeed, she is in a category of her own: humble, down to earth, very hard working, and always grateful.
Gifted with a gorgeous and sexy physique, her true beauty lies within. Nöella is a great humanitarian with a heart and passion for her Africa and fellow Africans. Noella is very active in the African non-for-profit scene and has raised tremendous visibility for many events designed to help young women and the people of Africa. And when you think it all ends there, she’s got more: passion-driven, goal oriented, she is also very educated, holding a degree in Business. Very Inquisitive, with an eager to explore and learn, Nöella is definitely someone to keep on the look-out for the New Year. In this exclusive interview with ADUNAGOW magazine, you will get to know her personally.
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Photo courtesy of Nöella Coursaris - Photographer: Stanley Debas
AM: How did you get started in modeling? Nöella: A lot of people always stopped me and asked me if I was interested in doing modeling. But I decided to study first. So I finished my studies, and then I wanted to learn English. So, I went to London. And in London I hear about this competition for a lingerie company that I could try. I sent them my picture because it was for the Agent Provocateur Campaign. Then it came back that I was chosen for the campaign. And after that, I signed with an agency and started doing a lot of editorials for different companies. Now, I work between London and New York.
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AM: That is awesome. Has it always been your dream while growing up to become a supermodel? Nöella: Modeling was something that I wanted, but I always wanted to study first. I like modeling, but I like to create most. I like Business. I love to keep my mind occupied. Modeling is one thing, but I like doing many things. AM: So, you were born in Congo (former Zaire)? Nöella: I was born in Congo. I grew up in Belgium and Switzerland. AM: At what age did you leave Congo? Nöella: I left the Congo at five, because my dad died.
AM: Who are your role models in the fashion world? Nöella: Iman (Iman Abdulmajid) is fantastic, Lya (Liya Kebede), Alec Wek. They’re all great. AM: What’s a typical day for you? Nöella: Typical. You get up, and then either go to a client or to a photo shoot. When I’m not working in my modeling, I work on my Foundation (The Georges Malaika Foundation). AM: Can you say it’s a very hectic lifestyle? Nöella: Yes, it’s very hectic, because I travel a lot. You know, you get home, and then you have to leave again. So, It can be very hectic sometimes. JAN/FEB 2008
AM: And when you’re not working, what are your favorite things to do?
AM: What are the pros and cons of the fashion industry?
AM: What’s the best food you crave for always when you visit Africa?
Nöella: I love watching movies. I love to read, and I love music.
Nöella: The pros: you meet a lot of people and travel a lot. I always great to travel and discover different countries and different mentalities; also, to be flexible to live anywhere in the world. The cons: in the modeling business, you never know how long it will last; you know.
Nöella: I love the palm oil chicken. I like the Fufu, the plantain, the beans (laugh), the Tilapia (laugh). Pondu, Fumbua, Ngaingai…and of course “La chikuange”
AM: Currently, where is home? Where are you located presently? Nöella: London and New York. AM: Tell us, how can someone get involved in the fashion world? How do you become a supermodel like yourself? Nöella: (laughs) I’m a good fashion model. But, the word “supermodel” in the fashion industry I believe does not exist anymore (laughs). I will say, you need to be very focused, be positive, and just go for it. Get a good agency and just believe in yourself and then move on. But it is always important to have an education besides. AM: How do you promote and market yourself? Nöella: I have an agency in London and in New York.
AM: In your opinion, what’s the number one issue to deal with in Africa? What’s your take (solution) on it? Nöella: I think Education and Health. I’m more humanitarian than politic (laughs). For me it’s very important to look after the future generation. Hence, Education should be the first target, then economy stability.
(At this point, the conversation took a little curve on the side when Nöella discovered that I myself was also originally from the Congo. Never put two Congolese and Fumbua in the same conversation!) Nöella, like any Congolese - or better yet, like any African - is very passionate about her country and have a great heart for the motherland. After catching up with the good old time, we were able to get back on track and continue with the interview).
AM: About Africa: what will you keep? What will you change? Nöella: I will implement Free education; a very good education program for free. And Hospitals as well.
Photo courtesy of Nöella Coursaris - Photographer: Jordan Mighty 42
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Photo courtesy of Nöella Coursaris - Photographer: Stanley Debas
AM: What can Africans do in order to create a strong presence in the America media? What are we lacking? Nöella: We definitely need to have a better internet communication, strong Media, and telecommunication development. That will be a big help. AM: Do you collaborate with other Africans as well? Tell us a little bit about your recent collaborations? Nöella: Yes, of course. I’m always open to work with other Africans because if we don’t help each other, the African market will never grow. So, it’s very important for us to help each other. (Nöella co-hosted the 2007 Miss Africa USA competition that took place in Atlanta in November).I give interviews for African online magazines such as yours all the time. It is very important that we collaborate together. I think it’s time for us to show that we have solidarity. AM: What do you see in the future for Africa? Nöella: I think we are growing. We should more nationalize our products. It’s good to work with international companies, but we should be more in control of our businesses. AM: Can you tell us something about you that people would never guess? Nöella: I love sweets. I love candies (laughs) AM: Tell us, what is the craziest thing you ever done? Nöella: (laughs) let me think about that …and maybe I will reply to you by e-mail (laughs) AM: Since this is the JAN/FEB issue, which covers Valentine as well, what’s the perfect valentine’s gift for you? Nöella: Shoes. I love shoes (laughs)
Nöella: This is a difficult question (laughs). From Tom Hanks to Denzel Washington…
website of my foundation and I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for everyone that has interest in my work.
AM: Will you consider acting in the future?
AM: We definitely wish you success in that path as well.
Nöella: Yes. I do consider acting in the future. I do sometimes work as extra on some movies. I just did an interview of the singer 2Face for Afro Entertainment Caribean TV. I would love to host a TV show as well.
AM: What is your New Year resolution(s)?
Thank you Nöella for your time. We wish you success in all your endeavours and we will keep you in our radar.
AM: In the acting world, who would you want to work with, if you had your choice? 44
Nöella: Give more time to my foundation. AM: Any last words? Nöella: Be positive. Try to accomplish the best of each day, and it’s been a pleasure doing this interview with ADUNAGOW Magazine. Please visit the
MORE ON NOELLA - LINKS www.noellacoursaris.co.uk www.myspace.com/noellamodel www.oxygenmodels.com - Her Representent agency www.gmalaikaf.org - Her foundation TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT
“It is very important that we collaborate together. I think it’s time for us Africans to show that we have solidarity ”
Special Shirt designed by I J O Design
Photo courtesy of Nöella Coursaris - Photographer: Benoit Lamothe TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT
1 0 1 A C I R
Blessed with abundant natural resources, including petroleum, diamonds, agriculture and fishing resources, Angola has the potential to be one of Africa’s brightest stars. Angola has a population of over 11 million people and a territory of about 1.2 million square kilometers (481,350 square miles), which makes it about twice the size of Texas. Angola is already America’s third largest trading partner in Sub-Saharan Africa and the U.S. has also become Angola’s number one investor. There is no question that the U.S. and Angola share important interest, including economic ties and that U.S. and Angolan companies can contribute to the economic development and stability of Angola. Geography Location: southern Africa bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, Congo, Namibia, Zaire and Zambia. Total Land Area: 1,246,700 sq. Km (approximately twice the size of Texas). Total coastline: 1,600 Km. Climate: semiarid in the south and along the coast to Luanda. In the north of the country there is a cool, dry season (May 46
to October) and a hot, rainy season (November to April). Natural Resources: petroleum, diamonds, iron ore, phosphates, copper, feldspar, gold, bauxite, uranium. Land use: forest and woodland, 43%; meadows and pastures, 23%; arable land, 2%; other, 32%. Government Type: transitional multiparty democracy with a strong presidential system. Capital City: Luanda Administrative Divisions (provinces; capitals in parentheses): Bengo (Caxito), Benguela (Benguela), Bie (Kuito), Cabinda (Cabinda), Cuando Cubango (Menongue), Cuanza Norte (N’Dalatando), Cuanza Sul (N’Gunza), Cunene (Ondjiva), Huambo (Huambo), Huila (Lubango), Luanda (Luanda), Lunda Norte (Lucapa), Lunda Sul (Saurimo), Malanje (Malanje), Moxico (Luena), Namibe (Moçamedes), Uige (Uige), Zaire (M’Banza Congo). Constitution: 11 November 1975; revised most recently on August 26, 1992. Legal system: based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law; undergoing modification to accommodate political pluralism and
free markets. Suffrage: 18 years; universal Executive Branch: Chief of State: José Eduardo dos Santos (since September 1979), Cabinet: Council of Ministers (appointed by the president, last series of appointments January 1999). Legislative Branch: National Assembly (220 seats; members elected by proportional vote to serve four-year terms); elections were last held 29-30 September 1992; percent vote by party-MPLA 54%, UNITA 34%, others 12%. Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the president. Political Parties & Leaders: Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), led by José Eduardo dos Santos along with the party’s Secretary General João Lorenzo, is the current ruling party in power since independence in 1975; National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), led by Jonas Savimbi. Diplomatic Representation in the US: Ambassador Josefina Perpetua Pitra Diakite; Chancery location: 2108 16th Street, NW; Washington, D.C. 20036. Telephone: (202) 785-1156 FAX: (202) 785-1258; TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT
Consulate location: 2100 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036. Telephone: (202) 452-1042 Fax: (202) 785-1258. Diplomatic Representation from the US: Ambassador Christopher Dell; Embassy location: No. 32 Rua Houari Boumedienne, Miramar, Luanda. People Population: 10,864,512 (1998 estimate). Population Growth Rate: 2.84% (1998 estimate). Birth Rate: 43.58 births/1,000 population (1998 estimate). Death Rate: 16.79 deaths/1,000 population (1998 estimate). Ethnic Groups: Ovimbundu 37%, Kimbundu 25%, Bakongo 13%, Mestiço 2%, European 1%, other 22%. Religions: indigenous beliefs 47%, Roman Catholic 38%, Protestant 15% (1998 estimate). Languages: Portuguese (official), Bantu and several other African languages. Literacy: total population 42%, male 56%, female 28% (1998 estimate). History The earliest people of the area were Khoisan hunter-gatherers. They were largely replaced by Bantu tribes during Bantu migrations, though small numbers of Khoisan remain in parts of southern Angola to the present day. The geographical areas now designated as Angola first became the subject to incursions by Europeans in the late 15th century. In 1483 Portugal established a base at the river Congo, where the Kongo State, Ndongo and Lunda existed. The Kongo State stretched from modern Gabon in the north to the Kwanza River in the south. In 1575 Portugal established a colony at Cabinda based on slave trade. Slavery was practiced in Africa before the beginning of the Atlantic slave trade. The African slave trade provided a large number of black slaves to Europeans and their African agents. The Portuguese gradually took control of the coastal strip throughout the sixteenth century by a series of treaties and wars forming the country of Angola. The Dutch occupied Luanda from 1641 to 1648, where they allied with local tribes to consolidate their colonial rule against the remaining Portuguese resistance. TO SUBSCRIBE VISIT
Independene Leftist military officers overthrew the Caetano government in Portugal in the Carnation Revolution on April 25, 1974. The transitional government opened negotiations with the MPLA, FNLA, and UNITA, concluding separate peace agreements with each organization. With Portugal out of the picture, the liberation movements turned on each other, fighting for control of Luanda and international recognition. Holden Roberto, Agostinho Neto, and Jonas Savimbi met in Bukavu, Zaire in July and agreed to negotiate with the Portuguese as one political entity. They met again in Mombasa, Kenya on January 5, 1975 and agreed to stop fighting each other, further outlining constitutional negotiations with the Portuguese. They met for a third time in Alvor, Portugal from January 10-15. Roberto, Neto, Savimbi, and the Portuguese government signed the Alvor Agreement on January 15, setting November 11 as the date for independence. Alvor marked Angola’s transition from the war for independence to the war for Luanda. Portuguese authorities deliberately excluded the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) and Eastern Revolt from participating in the negotiations to ensure Angola’s territorial integrity, in direct opposition to the de Spínola’s plans for Angola. The coalition government the Alvor Agreement established soon fell as nationalist factions, doubting one another’s commitment to the peace process, tried to take control of the colony by force. Civil War The civil war, one of the largest Cold War conflicts, lasted 27 years, ravaging the economy. Over 500,000 people lost their lives, mostly in the 1990s, as the three main factions and several
smaller ones struggled for supremacy. Today, all parties to conflict are active politically, but the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola’s (MPLA) victory in the war prevents any opposition candidate or ethnic group from challenging dos Santos and the Kimbundu’s “de facto “ control of the country. The MPLA’s base is among the Kimbundu people and the multiracial intelligentsia of Luanda. The National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA), based in the Bakongo region of the north, allied with the United States, the People’s Republic of China and the Mobutu government in Zaïre. The United States, apartheid South Africa, and several other African nations also supported Jonas Savimbi’s National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), whose ethnic and regional base lies in the Ovimbundu heartland of central Angola. Cease Fire On February 22, 2002, Jonas Savimbi, the leader of UNITA, was killed in combat with government troops, and a cease-fire was reached by the two factions. UNITA gave up its armed wing and assumed the role of major opposition party. Although the political situation of the country began to stabilize, President dos Santos has so far refused to institute regular democratic processes. Among Angola’s major problems are a serious humanitarian crisis (a result of the prolonged war), the abundance of minefields, and the actions of guerrilla movements fighting for the independence of the northern exclave of Cabinda (Frente para a Libertação do Enclave de Cabinda). While most of the internally displaced have now returned home, the general situation for most Angolans remains desperate, and the development facing the government challenging as a consequence.
Research Sources: The World Factbook; Center for International Research, U.S. Bureau of the Census; The Columbia Encyclopedia; The World Book Encyclopedia; Encyclopædia Britannica; U.S. State Dept., and various newspapers. Population figures are supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau.
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