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Ryan’s trip to a Youngstown soup kitchen backfires

ONUMBA.COM – It goes without saying that no Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio, which easily explains why the Romney campaign is pouring gobs of wampum in the Buckeye State. But just how bad does Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney really want to win Ohio’s 18 electoral votes? Apparently, bad enough that Romney said this, “We need to win Ohio. If we win Ohio, we take back America.” And bad enough that his 42-year old running mate Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan last week took over a soup kitchen in Youngstown for a photo-op without gaining permission from the president of the facility. Continue Reading

Obasanjo

Obasanjo speaks out for his tovarish, but he is wrong

ONUMBA.COM – Ah.  “Birds of the same feather” flock to defend each other. Apparently, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo is mad.  Hopping mad.  In his ‘holier than thou’ view, he feels that impertinent treatment is being meted out to ousted Hosni Mubarak by the mean-spirited Egyptian authority now prosecuting him for epic shenanigans and abuse of power. 

From Kenya, where he was attending a clambake with his fellow feckless African leaders, Obasanjo expressed the high-minded view that Egypt is transgressing for not showing disgraced Mubarak the ilk of respect befitting a former leader.  He loathed the 82-year-old Mubarak being wheeled into court in a cage and derided it as an infradig.  Accord him the “personal dignity” “befitting his status,” he demanded.  Worked up about this, he kvetched and fervidly assailed the conduct of the Egyptian authority as unbecoming and worried about this not being “good for the image of Africa.”

Isn’t that comical?  All that keelhaul, coming from a military-civilian hybrid with a pugnacious demeanor, whose glib acrobatic moves to cling on to power beyond his lawful duration blew up on his face and vividly exposed his power-gluttony and self-serving nature.  He and Mubarak probably swapped playbooks and his ranting caterwaul is claptrap and a mighty-bloody joke. Of course, Obasanjo is entitled to his sanctimonious opinion when he said that this is not good for Africa’s image.  But he is certainly not entitled to having his remarks go unchecked.  Obasanjo, if I may helpfully point out, still stokes tantrum in riled Nigerians who are still convinced he got away with his own catalogue of shady indulgencies while in office.  Some are still rabidly demanding investigation of his regime, though there’s very little chance of that happening since no one has the balls to go after him. What Obasanjo failed to mention in his irrational and unhinged harangue in Kenya was the ugsome truth about the factors really responsible for besmirching Africa’s image.  He should look elsewhere for why the global view of the continent is skuzzy, crummy, depressing and shameful.  The treatment that Mubarak is receiving is not it.  Perhaps, the pestiferous corruption, grand mismanagement by bumbling leaders and systemic ethics morass in Africa are the undeniable culprits.  They are the bunyanesque albatross ravaging hopes, bedeviling and dragging down the continent.  The opprobrious and pervasive culture of marauding and siphoning Africa’s exiguous financial resources into foreign bank accounts by greed-infested African governments, led by mindless byzantine charlatans do more to bedaub Africa’s image than anything else.  And then there are the vicious bloodcurdling conflicts wreaking havoc on folks and battering societies.  Jaw-dropping footage clips of morbidly skeletal-starving children of Somalia dangle as an emblem of infamy staining Africa’s image. The furious revolt that doomed Mubarak’s monstrous 30-year long dynasty was past due.  Just look at his appalling record. Continue Reading

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A conversation series: One-on-One with Ohio Black legislators debuts in the Call & Post, Onumba.com

ONUMBA.COM – The protracted paucity of fresh postings on onumba.com is obvious, to say the very least.  We certainly regret it.  Over the last couple of weeks, it may have appeared as though we dropped everything and embarked on a fun-filled vacation.  But that wasn’t it.  Actually, the explanation for our rare taciturn is quite contrary to such perfectly understandable speculation. 

The thing is, because we pride ourselves in pursuing topical news to offer our readers quality product, not just chucking stuff out there just to fill up the space, we have been busy working to bring you a healthy mix of news reporting, political analysis and most recently, the best of interviews with newsmakers in Ohio, including our plan to offer a rare penetrating peep into the life, career and thinking of the men and women who represent the Ohio African-American community in the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. We have been putting all of this together and the result is something that has never been done before, certainly not to our knowledge.  And that is, Ike Mgbatogu, the Call & Post and Onumba.com columnist will be sitting down with each member of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC), in a wide-raging, meaty conversation over a gallimaufry of subjects including their background, politics, faith, future plans, their dreams and aspirations growing up.  The lawmakers will also discuss a miscellany of other issues including diversity and inclusion, their heroes, their views on Malcolm X, what they think about Africa; whether they have been there or even care to go. The parley on politics and government will navigate the shoals of party partisanship as it interfaces with the anfractuosity of governance, where each member will tell us what they make of Gov. Kasich, his first 100 days in office, his policies, and his support for controversial Senate Bill 5, House Bill 1, and the $55.6 billion biannual budget.  They will tell us whether they have met the governor one-on-one and how that played out, obviously, mindful of the frosty and tumultuous nature of the relationship between Kasich and members of the caucus. So, the next time you see Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard, who recently had her one-on-one with Ike, fighting and defending programs for the poor, the middle-class and the minority communities, think of her as an intensely progressive politician who, believe it or not, never planned to be in politics, but rather, was earlier in her life on a confident trajectory to become a ballet dancer, an actress and a singer, the “next Lena Horne,” if you will. 

Also, think of her as a profoundly devoted public servant who was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., (not in Akron where she grew up) with a Godfather from Nigeria, friends in Ghana and a ferocious desire to travel the African continent she holds exceedingly dear as her beloved ancestral home. The full interview of each member will appear each week in the Call & Post Newspaper, with intriguing excerpts posted here in Onumba.com that week, and then the full interview the week after. Continue Reading

Adiop

Central Ohio Woman is very passionate about African culture

ONUMBA.COM – Anita M. Diop is an African– American born and raised in America.  But she has a unique way of describing herself:  “I’m an African born in America.”

That uncommon Africentric, Pan Africanist portrayal of herself speaks volume about a woman who is ferocious when it comes to her passion for African people and culture. For starters, Diop is married to an African immigrant from Senegal.  Her college education focused entirely on Africa.  First, was a Bachelor’s Degree in Africana Studies and Speech Communications, followed by a Master’s Degree in African History, with a specialization in Arts and Culture, all from Wayne State University, Detroit. “I love myself and I love my people,” she told Onumba.com in an interview last week. And that’s not an empty cliché, either. Indeed, Diop is profusely involved in a smorgasbord of activities which expresses that love. Continue Reading

Davante

Columbus teen formed group to help homeless veterans

ONUMBA.COM – Davante Goins is only 15-years old.  But he is not your typical 15-year old. 
Goins is a 10th grade sophomore at Mifflin High School.  When you talk to him, he sounds every bit like a teenager.  And he probably does many of the same things folks his age do. But Goins, notwithstanding his youthful age, is a young man on a mission:  to help homeless veterans. Referred by the officials of the Columbus School District, the Call & Post called Goins up last week to find out the kind of things he is up to these days. He is up to a lot.  

Goins told the Call & Post he was looking forward to a big meeting on his calendar with the officials of the Columbus Veterans Affairs.  There, he would discuss his plan to help homeless veterans. 

NBC4 TV has featured his story.  He has had meetings with the Columbus City Council and other government leaders to share his plans for helping homeless veterans. 

And those plans tell the story of a focused young man with a noble goal. Goins is the chief executive director of ‘Operation Shelter 4 Homeless Veterans,’ an organization he established to help place homeless veterans in ‘transitional homes.’

The group’s website, ‘operation4homelessveterans.org,’ says its mission is “to get homeless veterans off the streets of Columbus, Ohio.”   A huge part of that, said Goins, is to refurbish “vacant and abandoned properties, to be remodeled into transition homes for the homeless veterans to reside in.”

“We want to clean up Columbus and get homeless veterans off the street,” he told the Call & Post.  He pointed to the “5,700” abandoned and vacant homes in Columbus that could be converted into homes to house homeless veterans.  And “the number is still growing,” he said. 

His goal is to repair these homes for homeless veterans. Continue Reading