Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Yesterday, Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a statement of regret at Britain's role in the slave trade. He stopped short of making a formal apology because this will open up claims of reparations from slave descendants.

Campaigners said his statement does not go far enough and have called for a full disclosure of facts and compensation for the families of African people who were sold for slavery.

After reading the news item, I went to Have Your Say and was astonished at the British attitudes to this expression of 'sorrow' and the apology. Some were going on that slavery happened 200 years ago so why should Britain apologies for something that happened so long ago. And some were saying British people should be happy that Britain was the first country to abolish slavery not apologies, and some were saying why do people only concentrated on Black slavery what about the slavery within Britain under Romans and Vikings. Well, the word I would use from reading the posts will be 'shocked'. The racist comments from these 'liberal' people was utterly shocking. But I wasn't surprised, these comments are part of the legacy left by slavery. The thought that these people do not know what it's like to have been under some one's thumb made me angry towards their attitude.

People, mostly people of European descendant are against apologising for slavery because they are afraid of reparation, economic reparation. The thought of them handing out money to Black descendants leaves them shaking in their boots. But they have to admit that slavery and colonialism played a role in the economic development of their country. Businesses, banks to be more exact, profited from the slave trade. African societies were ransacked and new societies were built on the labour and lives of Africans. Slavery and colonialism were carried out for the economic enrichment of Europe and its descendants. So these people who are crying out that they did not have anything to do with slavery and so should not apologise are enjoying the fruits of slave labour.

Stephen Smith said on an online discussion that 'refusing to give an apology is denying responsibility as a nation and serves to re-enforce racial divisions' and I agree. Racial attitudes and mindsets originated from slavery. It was these mindset that also created colonialism, where European countries saw Africa and Africans as mere objects to use and exploit. 'Slave mentality' that Bob Marley sings about in his redemption song derives from slavery. So surely people could see that repercussions of slavery still run deep today so to brush it away as something that happened 200 years ago is foolish and very detrimental.

An apology could be a starting point for people who benefited from slavery and colonisation to build bridges with the victims (slave descendants) of this brutality because living descendants of slaves have not forgotten that slavery existed. Africans have not forgotten that colonialism existed and we still celebrate our independence every year (Botswana's Independence is on the 30 September).

But I must admit some had a point in pointing out that some African chiefs had a hand in selling their people to the slave traders and this needs a proper evaluation of why people would exploit their own. And if reparations are ever made will their descendants pay they price.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

lupe fiasco ft jill scott daydreamin

Man, this song is sooo sick!Lupe is such a lyricist and Jill brings this song to another level.

At last, someone who has something to say! These days I've been sick and tired of the materialistic and sexist 'hip-hop' that has dominated MTV and the radio in these recent times. Artist like Mos Def, Nas and Talib Kweli are far and few and instead we are bombarded by people who have nothing to say but how many cars, houses and women they have. But finally Lupe Fiasco has landed in our shores.
Chicagobased Muslim MC Lupe Fiasco began rapping in Junior High School and joined a group called Da Pak. The group signed to Epic, released one single and split up. L.A. Reid signed Fiasco as a solo artist to Arista, but was fired (Reid) before anything of significance happened. Fiasco eventually landed at Atlantic Records where his debut album 'food and liquor' was released. He appeared in Kanye West's ''Touch the Sky' where he outshone Kanye with his metaphor based lyrics.
Boy can this guy write. He is poetry in motion just like J. Ivy. His lyrics flow and ebb and his storytelling is evident in his first single 'kick, push', a song about a love of skateboarding (something he has in common with Pharrel, who produced one of his songs in the album). One music review said the song is a 'unique song that unites hip-hop with skateboarding', something that I wholeheartedly agree with. It's not all the time that you see African-Americans (black people in general) talk about skateboarding, they make it seem like a white person's sport. But I disagree but that's another topic for another time.
Another song that I LOVE is the track ft Mz Jill Scott, 'Daydream' my favourite lyrics being 'daydream, where I sleep underneath the flowers, on a beautiful day'. This song, where I might borrow someone else's words which I think are quite adequate, is a 'colorful blend of poetry and bluest hip-hop' at it's most purest. It samples Monster's 'Daydream in Blue'.
Lupe Fiasco's album 'Food and Liquor' is a storytelling lyricism that outshines anything that is called 'hip-hop' sold today.
You can check out his band's website and his myspace to listen to some great tracks. If you live, breath hip-hop this is an album to have in your collection.

The Bollywood rumour mill has been working overtime with the allegations of marriage between Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. Apparently the 'couple' went to the temple late last night to get married, though the priest of the temple denied the rumours.
Abhishek Bachchan is the son of Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and Rai is a former Miss World turned actress. She and Abhishek have starred in two movies this year, 'Amrao Jaan' and 'Dhoom 2'.
I must say, if they are dating or married, they make a damn fine couple physically. And Abhishek is sure is a hottie.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I created this blog mostly to write down what I find interesting and this is mostly music, films and unfortunately I know(but I can't help myself), celebrity gossip.
So today I wanted to write down my thoughts on my most favourite actor that is out there in silicone village and that is Gael Garcia Bernal (photo on the left). I first laid eyes on Gael and his acting abilities of coz on Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's film 'Amores Perros (2000). I was captured by Alejandro's directorial brilliance and Gael's beauty and acting and I knew that these two men will go on and make fantastic movies and I wasn't wrong. Alejandro went on to make the Oscar acclaimed movie '21 Grams' with Sean Penn and now the Oscar buzzed film 'Babel' starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and also Gael Garcia Bernal (poster on right).
Babel entwines multiple story lines linked by circumstance and blood. The first story is set in Morocco and it focuses on two young goatherds with a rifle. The second on an American couple (Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett), the third a rebellious deaf Japanese teenager and her father, and the fourth on a Mexican nanny who, without permission takes two American children across the border. Alejandro says this movie is about miscommunication and how many problems are caused by us not listening to each other.
It is not the first time that Gael acts in a movie that has political issues. He starred in the acclaimed film 'The Motorcycle Diaries' as the young revolutionary Che Guevara and Alfonso Guarons 'Y Tu Mama Tambien' which on the outset seems to be about two young men who are after an older women but has political themes like homosexuality, circumstances arising from poverty and a theme that every human has to deal with, death.
Gael was born in 30 November 1978 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He began his acting career as a child, working with his parents in a variety of plays which is where he also met his close friend and business partner Diego Luna, who he acted with in 'Mama Tambien' (Interviewers had a field day asking them how it was kissing their best friend in the film. Gosh they never are original are they in asking questions). 'Amores Perros' was his first major feature film which catapulted him into stardom.
Gael and Diego own a production company called Canana (name comes from a bullet belt that revolutionaries wear) in Mexico. He has also gone and directed a film called 'Deficit'. Not only is he gorgeous but he is a man with a social conscience and he has worked with Oxfam on issues affected our world today.
Can't wait to go and watch 'Babel', will be on the front row drooling on Gael.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

When I was getting my usual dose of news from BBC, I read that Lilly Allen was third in the list of coolest women in music according to NME which is funny because she gives a very angry statement about it in a her blog page.
I was happy to see the article in BBC because I hadn't known her name. I had seen her video SMILE on MTV Base but hadn't registered the name. I loved the song from the first time I heard it because I think it is a hilarious account of joy that you feel when you see someone who has hurt you go through a trouble time, something I'm sure a lot of us has gone through. The chorus goes: At first, when I see you cry, it makes me smile, yeah it makes me smile/at worst, I'd feel bad for a while, but then I just smile.
Since I enjoyed the song smile I'd thought I'd check out some of her other tracks and since the album is not out yet in Botswana, I went through Google to see if I can hear some of her tracks online (which is why I'm so grateful for the Internet). I managed to hear a few and I loved all of them. Her sound of laid back reggae sound with pop and garage underlined with cheeky lyrics is fantastic. The critics call her sound Ska which is what's popular in Britain at the moment with bands like The Streets and Arctic Monkeys. The Streets is one of the bands that I also enjoy even though Mike Skinner's 'rapping' could pince the nervous a bit.
The other track that I heard was 'Alfie' a song which sounds like there was a big brass band that was commissioned to be on with a sample from an old French children's song. The song is about her younger brother and I read that her brother throw out her laptop out of the window because he was pissed about it. Which is something you would understand after hearing the song as she goes on about how's his a twat and won't get laid if he doesn't stop playing TV games.
She also does a great cover of Kaiser Chiefs song 'Oh my god'. I can see why NME named her in the coolest list because her sound is so refreshing compared to what's out there in pop now days. To me British music has always been a trendsetter because they are never afraid to be original with their sounds which in the end everyone else follows. Case in point, M.I.A who's sounds got everyone talking and now artists like Fergie and Gwen are embellishing the sound.
If you are from Botswana or Africa for that matter and have no idea who I'm talking about, you can check out her music webpage and her myspace.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What a week I have been having. My chauffeur (my mother) has taken some days of work and now I have to deal with the dreaded public transport.
Having to wake up an hour early, I have had to gain some education when it came to the transport jungle. Upon arriving at the bus stop, you have to stand in front of the masses of people waiting for the same thing (a mode of transport that can safely transport them to their workplaces), and the impatience is engraved in their faces to having to wait for so long. The standing in front enables you to grab the first vehicle, either it be a private car or the bus , before you are crashed by the wave of people desperate to get in.
The mode of transport that everyone fights for are the private cars. The private cars are fast, comfortable and don't smell of burned diesel so I have learned that when you have managed to wave one down make sure you are in a position to make a sprint to the door and have your elbows up so that nobody is able to hip-bump you out of the way. When you have successfully opened the door and managed to squeeze yourself in, then you can relax and take a breather to the workplace.
Never had going to work been such a hassle, I'm so knackered from the early morning battle of arms that I'm ready for a holiday. What I would give for a warm ocean breeze and colourful drinks at my disposal.

Monday, November 20, 2006


I just had to blog my congratulations to my home girl Tebby Gasenelwe for becoming the first Survivor Africa winner.

Tsholofelo Gasenelwe, the 24-year old who hails from Kanye, Botswana was crowned survivor after 21 days playing the game at Panama. Here in Botswana everybody is delighted with the results and I'm sure the whole city will be there at the airport waiting to sing her home.

We are a very small country with little happening here and when something like this happens we all celebrate together because it brings joy to us all.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Yesterday I was watching THS investigates on E! Entertainment and they were discussing anorexia and bulimia among young women and men. It was interesting because they started off with the trend in Hollywood of actress being extremely thin and how this could affect the average American. But of cause they couldn't say for sure that there is a causal link between thin celebrities and an increase in eating disorders in America.

I say that the recent trend of celebrities being so thin that you could count their rib cage is extremely disturbing. Of cause, young women look up to these women because they are being hailed as 'IT' in the media. The media will show a picture of an emaciated celebrity and go 'oooh' and 'ahh' and 'how great they look now they lost how many pounds' that makes you sick. When the celebrity gets to a point where the media themselves can't agree with the way she looks, they trash her and tell her to eat something. Forgetting that they encouraged her to begin with.

We have to admit that we as women do not look the same. We have different body shapes. Why are we then trying to all look like stick figures? It was amazing to read about how many celebrities have eating disorders and how some of them died because of it. But I wasn't surprised. If you were always on the spotlight with zoom lens on your cellulite wouldn't you stop eating? So I guess I'm saying the blame partly lays with the media, the media that idolises 'thinness' and unattainable beauty. The media that always tells us how to dress, how to wear make-up, how to loss weight and doesn't celebrate the greatness that is diverse humanity.
The other blame I put squarely with designers. Why do they make dress sizes of 00 and 2 when they know that is ludicrous? Today I read a heartbreaking statement from Ana Coralina Reston's mother who lost her daughter to complications caused by Anorexia. She was a 21 year old model who starved herself to wear beautiful cloths and walk down a runway. Apparently the fashion world is trying to stop this by enforcing a certain weight on models but I think the designers will then take their designs to celebrities, I mean they are more then willing to stop eating. I mean look at Kate Bosworth. She had such a health looking athlete built in 'blue crush' and now she looks like her arm will come off if you just happened to grab it. It's really sad. And the fact that they don't get that impressionable kids are copying them, is even more depressing. I sometimes wonder how we can stop this trend, but has long as designers and the media work hand in hand in praising this phenomenon, then it will never end and we will keep having young women and men die trying to look good.

Weird Al

I've been a fan of this dude ever since I heard Amish paradise and fat. He's very funny. I love his take on Chamillionaire's song 'Ridin Dirty'.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

So, it really is over? TMZ has reported that Reese has filed divorce papers against her hubby, Ryan Phillippe. The couple were married for seven long years (which is a pretty long time in Hollywood) after meeting at Reese's 21st birthday party.
Reese is asking for joint legal custody for their two children, with her being the primary caretaker. What is it with Hollywood and divorce? It's like a long happy marriage is an unknown thing to them. Marriage is about compromise, you give and receive. Actors are so used to receiving they don't know how to give (emotionally).
They say it's the Oscar curse. Women who have won Oscars end up being divorced months later. Well, I say, what does that say about the men? So shallow they can't even be happy for their wives? Or do the women turn around and throw the Oscar winning in their faces? 'Well I have the statue, what do you have? Look at your career, might as well stay home and look after the children.' (looking after children is something women did for centuries, why can't they?) Well, I guess we'll never know what really happened. It's just sad though. Rumours are that Ryan had(or is having ) an affair. You know how it is, rumours always turn out to be fact in Hollywood.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Wow, what is it with couples breaking up now dayz? First we hear that the golden couple of Hollywood is separating (Reese and Ryan), and now Britney Spears has filed for divorce from her hubby, Kevin Federline.
From what I can gather, Britney caught Kevin by surprise by filing the papers. I bet he didn't see the gravy train leaving the station so soon especially now that his album is a totally bomb (not in a good way). It's reported that after filing the papers, Britney went celebrating by ice skating. I guess she was imaging skating away from Federline's greedy clutches. That marriage was weird from the very beginning. I'm even surprised it lasted this long. It's just sorry that there is two children involved in this whole mess.
Talking about the children, Britney wants sole custody which is something Federline is planning to fight (with what I wonder? He has no money!).
Can you image being 24 and twice divorced? That Britney sure is a busy woman.
Justin was right when he sang "What goes around...Comes around". Wonder what he thinks? Probably laughing while he is cleaning up his EMA awards.

Simpsons 2006 Treehouse of Horror Clip

Nice take on the Iraqi War.

Monday, November 06, 2006

On Saturday 4 November 2006, my sister, a friend and I went to see the Bollywood movie 'Umrao Jaan'. First of all I have to say that I am a huge fan of Bollywood and Rai is one of my favourite Bollywood actress so I was really looking forward to seeing this movie.
We arrived in a rush because we were a few minutes late and I have watching a film that has already started but since these films are 3hours long I knew I'll have time to catch up. As I settled down I got lost in the colour and cinematic brilliance that was 'Umrao'.
The film was a re-make of an 80's movie that was a hit in India. The screenplay is based on a book that recounts this popular Indian fable. It has Aishwarya Rai acting as Umrao and her real life boyfriend Abhishek Bachchan (son of Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan) as the love interest, Nawab Sultan.
As I write this I can recall the heavy heart I had while watching this movie. A lot of films have dealt with loss, loss of family, friends and love and 'Umroa' had all of these and more. Rai played the character so well that a glance at her sorrowful eyes had you weeping as a baby. I'm not an emotional person when it comes to movies but this movie had me wiping off a tear or two.
'Umroa Jaan' is really a masterpiece of cinema.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Gnarls Barkley - Smiley Faces

Finally in these day and age, a music video with some imagination. I'm glad someone sat down and actually thought about what they were going to do and this video really captures the music. It's fantastic!

Give it up to me-sean paul ft keyshia cole

I really like this guy's songs and the original was good but somehow the vocals of Keyshia make this version explosive.

Sean Paul is a pretty good-looking guy but what is with the shaved sides? It just looks weird.

I went to watch 'Step Up' after seeing this video but what a disappointment! I wanted my money back but I guess we all make mistakes.

Madonna admitted on Newsnight that she offered to 'support' David's father so that he could be able to raise David and he refused. She then decided to adopted. She even plans to learn his native lingo, so that means she will be teaching him his culture. Well, if that is the case then what of our objections? We can only then wait and see what happens next.


When I saw that John had released another album I was a bit taken back because I'm still enjoying his debut album 'Get Lifted' so I went out of my way to hear is new project 'Once again'.

Well, what can I say, from the first beats of 'save room' to the drum, choral sounds of 'coming home', I was never disappointed. I'm even tempted to say that this album even beats the three Grammy winning debut album with its musicality and its maturity.

In this album, John Stephens flys solo with no collaborations (except in producing) and for this I commend his boldness and belief in himself and makes this product unique compared to what's offered in R&B today.

Truely John is indeed a Legend and he will be with us for a long time to come.