Saturday, September 06, 2008

Millon Dollar Baby

When the IAAF Golden League Jackpot disciplines were designated last December, high jumper Blanka Vlasic was in the midst of what would become the longest unbeaten streak in the sport. And Pamela Jelimo, a virtually unknown quantity even in her native Kenya, had yet to contest her first 800m race.
Yet when the six-meeting series concluded at the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels tonight, it was Jelimo who would survive the grueling 14-week battle to win the $1 Million Jackpot, athletics biggest prize.
“I am happy, I realised my dream,” said Jelimo, who became the first sole winner of the prize since Tatyana Lebedeva went six-for-six in 2005. “This is the same happiness as in Beijing.”
So dominant was the precocious 19-year-old this year that perhaps the most difficult part of her Jackpot chase was waiting for the conclusion of the women’s High Jump, where Vlasic, her co-contender after five meetings, was struggling in one of the most compelling field event competitions of the year.
In the 800, Jelimo went fast from the gun, tailing pacesetter Svetlana Klyuka from the outset. By 400m, Klyuka, was fourth at the Olympic Games, was already labouring to keep a step ahead of the Kenyan; at the 600m mark, she finally stepped aside, with Jelimo then sailing home in 1:55.16, more than three-and-a-half seconds clear of runner-up Janeth Jepkosgei.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF

Friday, September 05, 2008

Naija Set To Invade Kenya!

For every 5 Africans in the universe, 1 is a Nigerian. So I guess it wasn’t going to take very long before Naija music began to infiltrate the Kenyan scene.
It started out pretty innocently with Two Face Idibia. The Naija balladeer mellowed us with his hit “African Queen” and went on to become one of Africa’s most celebrated pop artists. Unfortunately, Kenyans never got to experience 2 Face live on stage.
Then about two years later along came the twins (no pun intended), P Squared…what’s with Naija brothers and numbers or integers as part of their names? Aaaaaanyway, Peter and Paul Okoye came, saw and conquered Kenya on August 31st, performing to a frenzied crowd of about 3,000 people at the KICC grounds.
With the massive success both 2 Face and P Square have enjoyed in Kenya, one can only wonder which Naija act is going to rock us next. Actually, I predict it won’t be just one act or artist but a series of acts. Think of it like the Bongo invasion, only from the west. So this brotha with mojo is going to school you on the hottest acts in Naija right now, and the ones I think are gonna make it big in Kenya come the ’09.

When it comes to Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo - I am willing to put my money where my pen is! I can bet you that; if there’s one Najia cat that’s gonna blow in the 254 come the ’09 – it has got to be D’Banj! Dude has been around for a minute, and his music has been bubbling under for like 2 years now. His first Kenyan hit “Coco” or was it ‘Do you like the coco?’? got a lukewarm reception here – although for the life of me, I cannot understand why. This track was a banger! That said, I do believe that ‘Coco’ will have a sort of reinassance in Nairobi when D’Banj finally blows. His other hits have been the Afro-Techno hit ‘Move Your Body’ and ‘Why Me’ (most of you may remember it as “why me-oo!

Naeto C
He's got a mean swagga and a knack for three-piece suits. He’s quite an unorthodox hip hop artiste. And he’s probably got the hottest song in the continent right now – Kini Big Deal. A smooth rap joint with a melodious hook that sounds kinda like ‘Ina bidi, ina bidii, Chebii Chebii you’re on fire…” (at least that’s how my friend Chebii sings it). Naeto C’s also got another hit called ‘You Know My P.’ Interestingly, Naeto was actually born in the US, spent a lot of time in England before going back to Naija (courtesy of his dad, who was a minister back then). Naeto’s strongest asset is his ability to flow without sounding or looking fake. As far as African rap artists go, he floats amongst the top cream.

Believe it or not, Ikechukwu or Killz (as they like to call him in Naija) is Naeto C’s brother. The DMX look-alike actually pretty new in the game but he’s already gone very far, in fact, as far as getting a Channel O Music Video nod for Best New Artist in 2006. He’s also the guest artist in Naeto C’s ‘You Know My P’ joint, although he’s more famous for the track ‘Naija Boy.’

This cat rocked the house recently during the Nelson Mandela birthday bash in London. 9ice has a very unique blend of Afro Pop (which he usually sings in Yoruba), dancehall and hip hop. His style makes him one of the most identifiable Nigerian acts out there today. You’d probably recognize his music from his biggest song thus far ‘Gongo Aso.’ He recently released a new joint with 2 Face called ‘Street Credibility’ – that one’s off the chains (probably gonna blow in Nai).

Arguably one of West Africa's finest vocalist and songwriters, Faze has locked down the region’s Hip-hop, R&B, Reggae and blues genres and with a unique blend which he tags "Universal Flavour". Faze was a member of Naija’s super boy band Plantashun Boiz which comprised of 2Face and Blackface. So if you liked 2Face, wait until you sample Faze. He’s biggest hit to date is a nutty dancehall joint known as ‘Kolomental’.

Other Notable Naija Cats

1. Wande Coal (he did a collabo with Ikechukwu called ‘If You Like’
2. Asa (Naija’s answer to India Arie)
3. Pheel
4. eLDee
5. Weird MC (she did that crazy song called ‘Ijoya’)

Sorry Ain’t Enough Akon

Even after apologizing profusely in his hit song 'Sorry' Akon will most likely face a jury in December on charges stemming from an incident in which he allegedly threw a 15-year-old fan off the stage during a concert in June 2007. If found guilty of all charges, he could spend up to a year and 15 days in jail.
Andrea Zellan, Akon's lawyer, told the US media in a statement, "We are pleased that Judge Epstein adjourned the case to a date certain for either a trial or a negotiated resolution. Akon looks forward to putting this incident behind him, and in the meantime he will continue to meet every requirement set forth by the court."
The US media also reported that Dutchess County Assistant District Attorney Anthony Parisi offered Akon and his lawyer the opportunity to resolve the matter before the trial begins and prior to juror notices being mailed out, which will occur in the next two weeks.
Although Akon didn't say anything to the press when he arrived at the courthouse on Wednesday, he smiled and gave a thumbs-up sign.
He was not required to attend the hearing because he had made an initial appearance in December when he pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree harassment and endangering the welfare of a minor. If convicted on both charges, he could face a year and 15 days in jail.
There was no shortage of concert controversy for Akon in 2007. In May, he lost his Verizon tour sponsorship for aggressively randy onstage conduct with an underage girl. And in late October, his planned show at Atlanta's Emory University was canceled after several people, including his drummer, were injured while setting up for the gig.

OMG! Ciara Bares All Her Goodies...

According to MTV's Newsroom website, the Princess of Crunk, Ciara has posed naked on the cover of Vibe magazine...(say it ain't so!!).
It seems Ciara has found a failsafe way to focus attention on her forthcoming third LP, Fantasy Ride: The singer appears nude (albeit with parts of her body strategically covered) on the cover of the October issue of Vibe magazine.
And the revelations don’t end there: The 22-year-old singer — who has been rumored to be romantically linked with Fiddy - also talks about fame and her love life in the magazine, which hits newsstands on September 16.
Keep it here for the full 411 on the interview on September 17th.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hottest High School Celebs

It's finally here people! The official "Who's Who" in the high school celeb scene. What am I going on all about? The latest issue of The Insyder mag baby. On the cover of the September '08 issue of your favourite addiction are Ian Wafula, 404, (Bush) and Diana Kinyua, 404, (Kahuhia Gee), two celebs who made the cut. Find out which teeniez are rocking the world be it in sports, dance, academics, name it!
In other September issue news; we delve deep into the School Unrest crisis, where we dissect the issues and find out the true causes of the recent school strikes. We talk to all the stakeholders including teachers, paroes, celebs and even ma-pastor! We truly believe that it is time we ended these unecessary school unrest, au sio?
For those of you with the fetish of layering your wall with your favourite idols (and I ain't talking 'bout the Buckwheat looking dude from Zim), you'll go bezerk to find out that this month we're featuring a mega-zega poster of Luda!
We also go one on one with Gospel group of the moment MOG and their take on the controversial topic of born again Christians dorning dreads...which brings us to our topic of the week:
Should people who are Born Again Christians rock dreadlocks? Holaaaaa...i'm out like a pickpocket on Tom Mboya Street....Zing!!