Sunday, 30 April 2017

86th birthday of Chukwuemeka Ike

(Born 28 April 1931, Ndikelionwu, Biafra)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

Novelist, university registrar, academic, Africa west region principal pre-college qualifying examination board (WAEC) administrator, one of the leading intellectuals in defence of the people during the Igbo genocide, phases I-III, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970, carried out by Britain and its Nigeria client state during which 3.1 million Igbo or 25 per cent of this nation’s population are murdered in this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa; Anglo-Nigeria launches phase-IV of the genocide on 13 January 1970 and this has continued unabated with tens of thousands of additional Igbo murdered; Igbo genocide is the longest, most gruesome, and most ruthless genocide in contemporary history
(New York Art Quartet plays “Mohawk”, a composition by Charlie Parker [personnel:  John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Roswell Rudd, trombone; Reggie Workman, bass; Milford Graves, drums; recorded: Nippon Phonogram, New York, US, 16 July 1965]) 

81st birthday of John Tchicai

(Born 28 April 1936, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Ingenious alto (and tenor) saxophonist, composer, bandleader, one of the most outstandingly ethereal soloists in the repertoire
(The New York Contemporary Five plays John Tchicai’s composition, “Trio” – [personnel: Archie Shepp, tenor saxophone; Don Cherry, pocket trumpet;  Tchicai, alto saxophone; Don Moore, bass; JC Moses, drums [recorded: live, Jazzhus Montmarte, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15 November 1963][note particularly Tchicai’s ethereal solo - first - at this session])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Saturday, 29 April 2017

118th birthday of Duke Ellington

(Born 29 April 1899, Washington, DC, United States)
Pianist and bandleader and one of the preeminent composers of the 20th century
(1. Two masters at work: Duke Ellington & John Coltrane, “Take the Coltrane) [personnel: Ellington, piano; Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Stdudios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 26 September 1962)]) 
(2. Three masters at work: Duke Ellington Trio“Fleurette Africaine” {“African flower”} {“African flower”} [personnel: Ellington, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Max Roach, drums; recorded: Sound Makers Studios, (New York, US, 17 September 1962)])
(3. Three masters at work: Duke Ellington Trio, “Warm valley” [personnel: Ellington, piano; Mingus, bass; Roach, drums; recording and other details as in“2”  above])
(4. Three masters at work: Duke Ellington Trio, “Money jungle” [personnel: Ellington, piano; Mingus, bass; Roach, drums; recording and other details as in “2” above])
 Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Nnamdi Kanu must be released unconditionally

(Nnamdi Kanu: ... leader of Indigenous People of Biafra and freedom broadcaster, Radio Biafra ... must be released unconditionally)
NEWS REPORTS from Vanguard, Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday 25 April 2017, and filed by Ikechukwu Nnochiri, state that Nnamdi Kanu has been  “granted bail” by a gulag court facility sitting in Abuja, genocidist Nigeria. Nnamdi Kanu and several other Biafrans of the resolute freedom movement have been detained illegally by the Muhammadu Buhari genocidist regime since October 2015 and must all be released unconditionally at once. They must all walk away free – free to Biafra.
(Sonny Rollins Trio, “The freedom suite” [personnel: Rollins, tenor saxophone; Oscar Pettiford, bass; Max Roach, drums; recorded: Riverside Records, New York, US, 7 March 1958])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

100th birthday of Ella Fitzgerald

(Born 25 April 1917, Newport News, Virginia, US)
Celebrated vocalist with a phenomenal vocal range and an illustrious recording career spanning six decades
(Ella Fitzgerald and the Tee Carson Trio, “Summertime” [personnel: Fitzgerald, vocals; Carson, piano; Ketter Betts, bass; Joe Harris, drums; recorded: live, Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany, 11 February 1968])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Monday, 24 April 2017

France: Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron advance to second and final round of presidential poll. There isn’t a more opportune time for African peoples to embark on an Africa “francophonie”-exit

 (Marine Le Pen, front national)
(Emmanuel Macron, en marche!)
Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe 

(Charles de Gaulle, [Brazzaville, 1944]: “Self-government [restoration-of-African-independence] must be rejected – even in the more distant future)

(François Mitterand [Paris, 1998]: “Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century”)

(Jacques Chirac: [Paris, 2008] “[W]ithout Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third [world] power”)

(Jacques Godfrain, head of French foreign ministry: [Paris, 1998] “A little country, with a small amount of strength, we can move a planet because [of our] … relations with 15 or 20 African countries)

For the first time since the 1958 founding of the French 5th republic by Charles de Gaulle, two supposedly outside politicians not from the alternate “right” (spectrum of Gaullist republicans) and “left” (socialists) parties of the country’s political establishment have won the stipulated first round of the French presidential election. Marine Le Pen of the front national and Emmanuel Macron of the en marche! (not totally an “outsider”, having been economy minister in the outgoing, unpopular Hollande government, quitting in August 2016 to form his so-called centrist movement) will now go on to contest for the decisive second round in a fortnight.


Despite the tenor of the epigraphs (above) that illustrate, definitively, the role of Africa in France and French life, Africa hardly features as a substantive subject in French elections, not least yesterday’s. Apart from the course and consequences of non-EU immigration in the country and tangentially islamist terrorism which is viewed more as one in a range of manifestations of the aftermath of its history with the Middle East/islamist world, French politicians, irrespective of ideological/political leanings do not find France’s relationship with Africa any contentious. Whatever may be differences in the “vision” of the future of France between Le Pen and Marcon, for instance, in the wake of the tumultuous “anti”-establishment aftermath of yesterday’s poll, both accept the salient formulations encapsulated in each of the epigraphs on Africa and France, beginning with the founder of their 5th republic, a right-wing politician, and including that of the respected socialist Mitterrand. 

Equally, the duo Nicholas Sarkozy (“right”) and François Hollande (“left”) illustrate this trend. Even though Sarkozy belongs to the so-called establishment right, his thinking on Africa (see, for instance, in the link below, his infamous Dakar, Sénégal, address to students, academics, state officials, and specially invited members of the public at the Cheikh Anta Diop University, 2007) is more gratuitously racist and dehumanising than anything Le Pen or indeed Jean-Marie Le Pen, her father, founder of front national, both members of the “non-establishment right”, have said or written on this very subject.

WHAT IS PRECISELY at stake here, for the French state, is that incorporated in the provisions of the 1958 5th republic conceptualisation, following the humiliating defeat and collapse of its “French Indo-China” in 1954, its agelong French-occupied African states and peoples, a total of 22 countries, become effectively la terres richessewealthlands, to serve France and the French in perpetuity.


This is why the French have such a supercilious antagonism to any conceivable notion of African restoration-of-independence and sovereignty (“Francophonie Africa works!”, This is the background to Gary Busch’s excellent study in which these countries which France still controls, occupies, calls “francophonie”,  “deposit the equivalent of 85% of their annual reserves in [dedicated Paris] accounts as a matter of post-[conquest] agreements and have never been given an accounting on how much the French are holding on their behalf, in what these funds been invested, and what profit or loss there have been” (see link above).

This is why the French military has invaded this African enclave 53 times since 1960 (see link above). Such invasions provide the French the opportunity to directly manipulate local political trends in line with their strategic objectives, install new client regimes, if need be, and expand the parameters of expropriation of critical resources even further as unabashedly vocalised by many a sitting president in Paris wishes. For the French president and policy to “francophonie” Africa, from de Gaulle in 1958 to Hollande in 2017, all members of the French establishment, the operationaling plaque for action in the Elysée palace has been: invade, intimidate, manipulate, install, antagonise, ingratiate, indemnify, expropriate, invade, intimidate...

THIS PLAQUE awaits either Le Pen or Macron, “non-members of the French establishment, to implement as usual as it has been in the past 59 years, irrespective of which of them wins the 7 May second election presidential poll. Except, of course, African peoples in the 22 states bring this staggering expropriation and indescribable servitude to a screeching halt.

“Francophonie”-exit: freedom

The first move of the Africa “francophonie”-exit from this debilitating conundrum couldn’t be more predictable: do not transfer your hard-earned revenues, the “85 per cent”, not one euro, to that dedicated Paris bank account. This transfer must stop at once, now. One mustn’t ever be a party to their own subjugation. The African publics in Bujumbura, Yamoussoukro, Dakar, Bamako, Ouagadougou, Ndjamena, Buea, Douala, Brazzaville, Kinshasa, St Louis, Bangui, Lome, Younde, Cotonou, Abidjan, Touba... should at once embark on consultations with their varying state officials to work out the parameters of implementing this great freedom movement and other interlocking features in each and every space of this occupied hemisphere. “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” must surely be for all…
(Andrew Hill Sextet, “Refuge” [personnel: Hill, piano; Kenny Dorham, trumpet; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone; Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone; Richard Davis, bass; Tony Williams, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 21 March 1964])

80th birthday of Joe Henderson

(Born 24 April 1937, Lima, Ohio, US)
Prodigiously influential tenor saxophonist, one of the leading lights of the instrument in the jazz repertoire underscored so classically with his The State of the Tenor: Live at the Village Vanguard, Vols. I & II (1985)
(Joe Henderson Trio, “Beatrice” [personnel: Henderson, tenor saxophone; Ron Crter, bass; Al Foster, drums; recorded: live, Village Vanguard, New York, US, 14-16 November 1985])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe