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American Actress Tawny Kitaen Dies at 59

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American actress Tawny Kitaen who appeared in “Bachelor Party” and provocative 1980s rock videos, has died in California.

Kitaen — whose real first name was Julie — died on Friday at home in Newport Beach, according to a release from the Orange County Coroner’s Office.

The cause of her death was  not yet revealed.

In 1984, she co-starred in an early Tom Hanks comedy, “Bachelor Party.

She then appeared in music videos for heavy metal bands Ratt and Whitesnake, including in “Back for More” and “Is This Love.

Kitaen memorably performed the splits and other moves on two Jaguar hoods in Whitesnake’s HereI Go Again”  and later married the lead singer, David Coverdale.

She appeared on TV shows like “The New WKRP in Cincinnati,” “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and reality shows such as “Celebrity Rehab with Dr Drew” and “Botched.”

Kitaen was born Julie Kitaen in San Diego,California on Aug. 5, 1961. (NAN)

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How Can You Hide a Love Child?

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By Bunmi Sofola

Bukky was busy giving the big bedroom a long-overdue clean. She was running the vacuum cleaner over her husband’s side of the bed when the flex caught the corner of a partially opened drawer.

  

It had been loose for months and Mati, her husband, hadn’t come round to fixing it yet.   As she crouched to free the flex, something shoved amongst the odds-and-ends in the drawer caught her eye.

A long brown envelope of the type of school reports came in.   Whose report could this be?   She opened the envelope and saw the surname was her husband’s, but the first name was none of their five children.

  

 She went on: “I slumped on the bed and stared at the piece of paper.   Suddenly, realization dawned – Mati had another child!   In spite of the fact that I’d ignored one or two of his indiscretions, the result of my husband’s affairs now stared me in the face.  

The report was from a private secondary school.   The child, a girl, now in her teens, had been born just after we had our second child!   Way back when I thought we couldn’t be happier.  

Bastard!   Did he still see the mother?   Is this the only child from her?   Heaven knew how many other women were holding on to his children!  

Suddenly, everything about my marriage I’d held dear looked like a sham. “I wanted to get to him, to demand answers.   But he was away at a family do.   As soon as he came in, I threw the school report in his face.

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“Apart from the report, there were other incriminating documents in the drawer and he had no choice but to confess.   The mother of the child was a professional with her own financial means, he told me.  

They had had a relationship and she wanted the child.   She’d promised she wouldn’t be any trouble to my family and had kept her words.   Most of the financial expenses of raising the child had been borne by her.  

 As he made his excuse, it seemed as if he was bragging that he was proud to have fathered the child of a rich woman desperate to have her own child!

“I don’t know what hurt more – discovering my husband’s bastard child or his keeping in touch with mother and child, been supportive father to their daughter – and keeping the sordid secret from me.   Part of me wanted to confront this woman – but Mati refused to tell me where she lived because he said he was scared of what I’d do if I saw her.

“Not knowing more shock was in store for me, I called the three eldest children and solemnly told them what I’d just discovered.   They didn’t look surprised.  

On the contrary, they looked quite relieved, as if a huge burden had been lifted from their shoulders. My first daughter said they’d known about this girl all along. Their dad had told them and had sworn them to secrecy.  

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How dared he involve my children in this stupid charade?   I was furious that my children could even agree to such a deception.   Were they actually happy they had a half-sister?

 “Days later, my daughter, an undergraduate, came to have a word with me. I was sure it was at the insistence of Mati.   Their father wasn’t a coward, she pleaded, rather he wanted to spare my feeling.  

 You can always regret an affair, but could you really wish away a child?   All I know is that I’m still hurting.   There is nothing as depressing as knowing that whilst your husband is lovingly trying to make a baby with you, he is doing the same thing with another woman behind your back!”

As bitter as Bukky was, I made her realise that once a secret was out in the open, you do your utmost to live with it.   Cases like hers abound and, short of snuffing the life out of her step-daughter, she had to acknowledge her existence just like her children had “Step-daughter?”, she shrieked, “you do take your liberal attitude a bit too far at times.

As for my children, I just prayed nothing like this happens to them in future.   It is then they’ll feel my pain”.   What pain was there to feel?   This poor girl’s mother is loaded.   All she wanted was for the father of her daughter to acknowledge her existence. 

READ  HAGHER’S LATEST NOVEL, "THE CONQUEST OF AZENGA" ARRIVES FEBRUARY.

  What if the mother had been one of these scheming gold diggers who deliberately go after well-heeled men so their children would have a slice of the pie when such men croak?   I asked Bukky to put herself in the position of a step-daughter who will forever be on the outside looking in.

“And it is that outside she’ll be”, she spat.   “Let both mother and child stay in their corner, I’ll stay in mine …” Beware of what you wish for   (Humour) The door opened and a huge 6’5″ man walked into the restaurant and up to the bar.  

He was almost as wide as he was tall with a neck the size of a tree trunk – but he had a tiny head.   The barman was unable to hide his curiosity and addressed the stranger. “Look, I’m sorry about this but I have to ask.  

You’re such a big man, yet you have such a tiny head.   How come?   The man shook his head in dismay.

“You’ll never believe this,” he replied.

 “I was walking along the beach last Sunday and I found a magic lamp.”   “Why, what happened”? asked the barman.   “Well, I rubbed the lamp and this beautiful genie appeared.

She asked me what I wanted and I said I’d like us to have a shag.   Well, you would, wouldn’t you?” said the big man confidently.  

 “Yeah, yeah,” gasped the barman, “so what happened then?” “She said genies didn’t shag so was there anything else, and I said, okay then, how about a little head?”

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COVID-19: Enugu museum postpones activities to mark ‘2021 International Museum Day’

The National Museum of Unity, Enugu, says it will no longer hold the proposed activities to mark 2021 International Museum Day on May 18.

The Curator, Mr John Kachikwu, said this on Sunday in Enugu that the activities will be put on hold due to a directive from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 limiting the number of persons in a gathering.“ We do not want to flout the PTF directive that limits the number of persons in a gathering to 50.“So we are shifting the event to a new date which will be communicated later.
The theme of this year’s International Museum Day is “The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine”.The International Council of Museums (ICOM) established International Museum Day in 1977 to increase public awareness of the role of museums in the development of society. It is celebrated  annually every May 18. (NAN)

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Iyorwuese Hagher’s The Conquest of Azenga: A Review

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By Ayila Orkusa

The Conquest of Azenga, is a successful verbal discourse on imperialism and its attendant consequences today. This debut novel of Iyorwuese Harry Hagher comes with a profound emotion, yet with an objective vigour towards its subject of concern.

Hagher, the academic, diplomat, politician, and social justice activist, has graciously portrayed the gloom picture of colonialism in a lively manner that his readers are torn between its sinister feeling and such a successful portrayal. This work elicits despair, anguish, and despondence on one hand, but on the other hand,  wonder, hope and adoration.
Not just these, it is direct, explicit and intelligible in its combination of research and creativity. Call it a historical novel, or an allegory. The Conquest of Azenga is a clearheaded confession of an imperial collaborator who wants to absolve himself of the guilt he carries as a result of his involvement in the suppression and later on, the despoil of an African state by the adventurous whites. Azenga, as I call it for short is about an imperial struggle, with the white supremacist on one front, the Azenga people on the other; while some tribes kowtowed to the whites as stooges that unleashed the colonial mayhem on their ‘own’. It harps on those legacies that colonialism left in Africa that haunts the entire world today.

The text opens with Lord Payne,a villain (can be mistaken for a protagonist) who is lost in thought after reading his recall letter from the imperial office in London. Payne is an ambitious loafer who failed in almost all he tried in life until he finds his strength in the imperial mission. He quickly settles and becomes a draconian imperialist. By chance he marries a sagacious, pushy British journalist who would later name the new country, Sofalia, after the two rivers, Lafa and Solomogou. Like Lord Payne, Isabel, later addressed as Lady Payne is power hungry and must use any means to enter back into an aristocratic circle she had lost. So they both find perfect partners to marry their ambitions. But Payne is losing grip on his colonial control back home and Isabel is coming at the right time. She would use her journalistic prowess to lobby for a better position on behalf of Lord Payne. In this way Payne has succeeded to subdue all the primitives of the lower Solomogou except, a certain tribe called, Azenga; a tribe very notorious for chivalry, proud, persistent, and would not submit to any group. Payne’s ambition locks horns with the pride of the Azenga. To conquer Azenga for Payne is to consolidate British domination over the savages, but for the Azenga the struggle is a fight for the soul of their nation, culture and identity, a fight for the life of the tribe. 

It is a hard task to classify The Conquest of Azenga either as an allegory or historical novel as have attempted above. Nevertheless, one thing is sure; it is a novel with rich historical, social, and political materials for literary discourse. The text presents as a confession of crime against humanity by a race that had arrogated upon itself the civilizing mission, a task that makes it assume a ‘higher’ moral position, yet deeply enmeshed in different forms of criminality. However, The Conquest of Azenga shows that this self-assigned civilizing role is a pure capitalist endeavor by individuals, hoist on Africa and other third world nations. Of course, this grows into unwarranted wars against the natives, mainly in Africa and its subsequent plunder by the Europeans. The text shows how those capitalists-turned-missionaries of civilization indulged in crimes varying from assaults, killing and even maiming of the people beyond their fifth generations.

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The Conquest of Azenga engages the unresolved tensions of coloniality as it became one of the cumulative factors of insecurity among many empires, particularly in Africa. Hagher creatively gives the topmost view of the whole colonial mess in the text such that both the ‘hunter’ (colonizers) and the ‘game’(colonized) have nothing to hide. Thus, the reader has access to the nakedness of colonialism through an eye-of-God voice. By so doing, both the ‘hunter’ and the ‘game’ have to tell their versions of the same story through a terse dialogue. Thus, every reader becomes a judge, with his/her conscience as the constitution. But unlike most narratives on colonialism, The Conquest of Azenga presents both the colonized and the colonizer with their weaknesses as humans. Yet, the intolerance of the colonizers, in this case the British towards cultures and values they least understood as represented through Lord Payne and his collaborators is overwhelming. A case in point is the trial of Achir Gbagir on the case of killing and eating his son in the text. After the Resident-turned-magistrate, Captain John Edward heard the witness for the accused as he (the witness) used the analogy of the Christians holy communion to explain the meaning of killing and eating the human flesh in Azenga context, Captain Edward confessed that:

If what you tell me is the truth, then we the British have killed many innocent people and have irreversibly trampled over a unique culture which is in every way like our own. Let the accused be taken back into the Maximum prison. The police officers and the witnesses should go to the home of the accused and exhume the body of the son and if the body had not been tampered with; then, the accused should be discharged and acquitted… (Hagher 170) 

When the grave is finally opened and the corpse found complete, no part tampered with, Captain Edward realized that “The British were judging where they had no authority to pass judgment”. He confesses that “We [himself and the entire empire] are maniacal, diabolical and monstrous dispensers of nightmares to the world” (195). Yet, he continued with the Naakaa, the British scheme for collecting wizardry emblems and arresting witches across Azenga. Hagher has shown that this brazen act of imposing one’s ignorance on others with a sense of superiority as shown by the Europeans became the most mangled form of rape on other cultures in the late 18th to the early 20th centuries.

Thus, the text raises stake for decolonization. The story is no longer about the ‘hunter’ and his valour but about what actually happened. Therefore, attention is drawn to the criminalities of the imperial authorities, which became institutionalized through the vestiges of colonialism, then neocolonialism that leads to the present fresh scramble for Africa in the 21st century that extend beyond Europe to China. 

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The geography of the text heightens its literariness as Hagher picks familiar environments in the real world and defamiliarizes them, what Viktor Shklovsky calls ostranenie. Some of such examples are the confluence of Rivers Solomougou and Lafa,

Also interesting is that the dominant characters in the text can simply be identified as Africans. The genealogy of one of the characters, Lusetor for instance bears affinity with more tribes in Nigeria and beyond – from West Africa to Southern Africa. The story is in principle, an African story not a story about a tribe in Africa. This attribute is rare in African novel, thus making Hagher a Pan-African novelist. 

The Conquest of Azenga is full of symbolic characters and prominent among them is Imohime who stands at the threshold of the new dawn. He goes out from the homestead on adventure to find opportunities in the new world to help his people but the hope of his return is deferred… like the hopes of independence in most of the black nations. And as the proverb goes, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when the dreams come true at last, there is life and joy” (Prov.13:12 LB).

The text presents the reality of absurdities created by the colonial influences, which divide the African continent into such groupings like Francophone and Anglophone-Africa, putting them against each other as it is expressed through an existential challenge of herdsmen versus farmers in the West African sub-region today. Such absurdities are prevalent. There is a privileging of some tribes over others not on the basis of productivity and morality but on the foundation of subservience. These and many other issues in the text point to the fact that the instability in most African nations long after independence were orchestrated on purpose. Payne for instance tells his wife that:

I conceived this country as an unbelievably valuable real estate. And it was under this agreement that I persuaded, in fact cajoled the Royal Solomougou Trading Company to sell the land and its people to the British Empire. I was merely the broker…. The British Empire paid to the Royal Solomougou Trading Company the sum of eight hundred and sixty-five thousand pounds for this beautiful piece of real estate for 99 years. After which the real estate goes back to the trading company to invest in it any way they deem fit. (268) 

This is the general view of the Europeans on their relationship with their colonies even long after independence today.

Payne later makes the Caliph signs a document he the Caliph did not read, in exchange with the promise to hold sway after Lord Payne, and perpetually keep Sofalia under the control of the British government. “He takes it [the agreement] out of the file and places it in the Caliph’s laps. “Here you are, just sign here and you own the country perpetually” (272). In response to the tilted arrangement that favoured one tribe over the rest, the Caliph says: 

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Oh, my brother the Governor General. You should have explained to me plainly that in the agreement, power will always go to the Kilan. This agreement I can sign blindfolded. Give us power any day and you can take the rest. I will sign right away.” He signed all the 20 copies of the bound agreement. (273)

The political tensions among tribes in most African nations today could be traced to this misbalance that had been created by the colonizers for political and economic reasons. The Caliph signed the document without reading it provided Lord Payne had explained that power will perpetually remain with the Kilan, the Caliph’s tribe.

The dint of irony in the text is amusing. In one instance, the ‘powerful’ Lord Payne through his wife wins over the influential and well informed House of Lords to keep his hold on Sofalia. He continues to kill at will and nothing hinders him from doing what he wants with the natives. However, this ‘powerful’ Lord Payne is cuckooed, and the person involved is not even a fellow White-man but one of those he calls savages. Again, Payne without pretense shows his dislike for Africans but could not leave Africa. Even when he finally retired and went back to England, his wish is to come back and die in Africa and become an ancestor in order to sustain his control on Africans, as the African world view prescribes. How could a civilized Payne wish to be part of a ‘damnable’ believe from a barbaric culture? But here he is, nostalgic! Back there in London he had no privilege to die and remain an ancestor so as to continue his control over the living, a right he so desires but couldn’t have. Yet, the “godforsaken” individuals like Chiajina Abanyam, Achir Gbagir, Lusetor and many others are enjoying this right in the text.

The Conquest of Azenga is a marriage of art and ideology with the capacity to generate literary discourses on culture; trappings of history; colonialism; post-colonialism; literary activism; religion, Gods man and society; and so many others. Hagher has affirmed through his ingenuity that literature, As Nicholas Amechi Akwanya observes, can look “over the entirety and the depth of human existence as well as regarding realms outside it” (Akwanya 27). In this way his characters are not just about politics but some of them could go beyond the universe of material existence. The text also depicts man as putting Gods in contest of superiority, a reverse order prevalent in the religions of the world today. Like Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Hagher’s The Conquest of Azenga has a community (Azenga) as its protagonist and like Okonkwo, Azenga (a tribe) stands alone to resist the colonial power until she is broken. The Conquest of Azenga is an immeasurable site for discourse. 

Dr Iorkusa is with the University of Ngaoundere, Cameroon

Department of English and Modern Letters

johnmustardsage@gmail.com

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