Creative Sector Undermined

first_imgHas President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf transformed the creative sector (music, movie, fine arts, etc)? That was her promise: To bring out a new era in the creative sector that would empower a new generation of people. These budding new artists would then utilize their talents and innovations for their own wellbeing while at the same time contributing to the growth of Liberia’s middleclass.But in her recent annual message on the state of the republic, President Sirleaf may have proven critics’ arguments right – that she does not care about the creative sector – for failing to highlight the sector as she did all other sectors that have the propensity to contribute immensely to the economy, if prioritized.Many critics have argued over the years that surely President Sirleaf is aware of the revenue that can be generated from the creative sector; but the President has decided to ignore calls from artists for investment in their sector.Critics expressed disappointment that in all of President Sirleaf’s annual messages on the state of the republic, she failed to mention the sector, even in one paragraph, despite several of its members bringing accolades back to the country and gaining international recognition. Liberia’s Kanvee Gaines Adams is an internationally recognized and award-winning gospel artist, and is the sole Liberian nominee for 2016 Kora Awards (the pan African equivalent of the Grammy). Queen V won The Next Movie Star (2008). A winner of many accolades, Liberian-born Frank Artus was honored by the 5 Continents Awards as the Face of Africa and as a Humanitarian for 2015. Liberian Vice President Joseph Boakai was present at the ceremony, and an award was presented to the government of Liberia. In the Nigeria-based reality series, “The Next Movie Star”, Liberia’s E. Owusu Dahnsaw won the ‘Most Photogenic Competitor’ award, the ‘Mr. Game Changer’ Award and came third place overall. Critics pointed out that the creative sector was instrumental in helping Madam Sirleaf win both terms in office, and in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus. Liberian musicians, actors, cultural practitioners, producers, filmmakers and writers made their presence felt I the battle against Ebola with their various songs, short films, stories and drama presentations. “Ebola in Town” by Soul Fresh, F.A. and DenG was a hit, adding music to the warnings to the public about how to win the fight against the deadly virus. Arguably, without the creative sector, the fight against Ebola would have been even more of an uphill battle. As most skits and jingles were produced in Liberian parlance, otherwise known as “colloqua,” the messages were able to reach the masses both in Monrovia and in the hinterlands. The Ebola symptoms’ mural opposite Sam’s Barbecue was done by Liberian Artists Together for Advancement (LATA). Flomo Theater also produced radio skits and did performances in different communities. Crusaders for Peace, led by Ambassador Julie Endee, also produced musical and theatrical performances.The creative sector was instrumental in helping the President win both campaigns for the presidency. Most notable was Sundaygar Dearboy’s 2005 hit song, “Give us Hope, Ma Ellen”, a sampling of the original song, “Gimme Me Hope, JoAnna” by Eddy Grant; and a 2011 remake of the “Pressure” (Pressure Boys, Nigeria) song, for President Sirelaf’s second-term campaign. The President has downplayed the sector regardless of the fact she herself is the owner of intellectual property. As the author of “This Child Will Be Great,” the President’s autobiography, she has not ventured to sell her book on the Liberian market, perhaps due to the risk of users photocopying without purchasing it. The book is only available for purchase overseas.Local artists are facing the same intellectual property rights infringement problems here. Unfortunately, they are not able to market their music on Their music gets copied on the streets on USB drives for little or nothing since the government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Commerce, refuses to utilize the available technology and enforce the relevant laws. As such, their works become more of a labor of love than a source of income. They are famous in name only, but have not much to show for it in terms generating wealth and improvement in their standards of living. For them the big question now becomes, what can a president do to transform the creative sector? The copyright law has been repealed to meet international standards, and at some point in time her government allocated money in the budget for some creative sector organizations (collective societies).In response to the her recent annual message on the state of the republic, three creative sector veterans talked to LIB Life about the President’s negligence of the creative sector.Abraham Kallon is a veteran singer and a presidential aspirant for the Liberia Music Union. “We have a president who herself is an artist (author) and is aware of the difficulties facing creative people, but opts to always sideline this sector. From the onset, some of us knew that the new era envisioned could not work, [and] the President for the past ten years has failed to include the creative sector in her annual speeches and give her government’s support. This definitely means that she cannot help.“It is not about just repealing copyright laws and at one point allocating small budget for some collective society,” Kallon argued, “but helping to forge investments in the sector that can sustain the new era.“Now it is just a simple ideal, if [the] vast majority of this young generation, who are talented and innovative people, have been invested in by President Sirleaf’s government, they could in return invest in the economy by opening businesses and employing people as well as extending help to families; thus the middle class will increase.“This is totally frustrating, and the President has over the years failed to show some level of commitment to empower the creative sector, regardless who [they] are.” Leslie Lumeh is an internationally known Liberian artist who has been profiled by CNN. He is also Executive Director of the Liberia Visual Arts Academy (LiVArts).“That the President has disregarded the creative sector that could help to rescue the already struggling Liberian economy is not anything new,” Lumeh said. “And this is a clear indication from the President that creative people are not important in economic participation.“For years, we have been calling on this government to prioritize this wonderful sector. Countless proposals have been sent to her office detailing how investment can be made in this sector and the amount of revenue it can generate for government. Yet she has not dreamed a single day of making any such investment.“For renowned artists like me, we are aware that the Liberian leader will do absolutely noting to empower this creative sector until she leaves power, but this is also a warning sounded to [artists] not to use their talents to run campaigns for politicians.”Henry Johnson is the Vice President for Administration of the Liberia Movie Union.“Believe it or not, President Sirleaf does not care about the innovation and talents of young people,” Johnson said bluntly. “She reads the local dailies every time where we have constantly cried for investment [such as] public theaters [and other] creative avenues where the collective [creative] society can get loans to build modern studios, public galleries and other [creative industry support structures]. But still nothing has been done.“To let you know that President Sirleaf does not care at all, the Liberianization Policy and the Small and Medium-Sized Business Act under her presidency did not regard [artists] as people engaged in business (business owners), and there is no clause in these two laws that calls for a certain amount of the government’s budget to be invested in the creative sector annually.“Such a law that denies [creative] Liberians [opportunities] is totally disheartening; and if the President, who herself [has produced a book], can sit there without doing anything, means that creative people are doomed if [one] cannot fight for [one] self.“If the creative sector was supported, it would not only increase Liberia’s middle class, but would be a part of Liberian diplomacy that could make us exceptional people [and] help control the influence of some damaging western culture.“Today, our economy is struggling badly to the extent that ordinary citizens are the ones feeling the pain; but if this creative sector [had been] empowered long ago, things could have been different today.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Whittier’s Big One: 2 decades later

first_imgDamage to businesses, homes, roads and utilities in 1987 was estimated at $358 million. In Whittier alone, the Oct. 1 temblor caused $100 million in destruction. Despite the widespread devastation, experts say the quake, which was felt in Las Vegas, offered just a taste of the power building up below the ground near Whittier. A Harvard geologist said in 2004 that the Whittier Narrows Earthquake ruptured only about 10 percent of the fault. The damage spurred the City Council to establish a 521-acre earthquake recovery redevelopment project area to help the city’s recovery a month after the event. The project area enabled the city to capture property taxes that would have normally gone to counties and schools. The city will be able to collect property tax from the project until 2037. Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital received 170 patients in the quake’s aftermath, according to hospital officials. City Hall was not damaged, according to Whittier officials, and was used as housing for essential employees in the immediate days after the temblor. Other cities sent aid. The city of Santa Fe Springs donated money, and the city of Los Angeles sent badly needed signs warning residents that buildings were not safe to enter. Whittier building officials received hundreds of inspection requests per day during the first few days after the quake. About 100 chimneys tumbled at homes in the city’s historic district, and 17 homes were destroyed. The inspections continued for a year. Some 1,000 people were evacuated from a square-mile area of Whittier and police stood guard to prevent looting. Most of the schools in Whittier were open to students except for the older, multi-story Whittier High School. It suffered $1 million in structural damage and did not reopen until five days later. Displaced people were evacuated to Red Cross shelters at the Whittier Community Center, 7630 S. Washington Ave., and at California High School, 9800 S. Mills Ave. A total of 9,000 people were displaced in and around Whittier, and about 10,000 structures were damaged and destroyed. (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It was the strongest earthquake to hit the Los Angeles area since the 6.6 Sylmar quake of 1971 that killed 64 people, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Whittier Fault runs from Chino Hills to Whittier to Yorba Linda and has a slip rate of between 2.5 and 3 millimeters annually. It is part of the bigger Puente Hills Fault, which stretches from west of downtown Los Angeles to the Puente Hills area. The Southern California Earthquake Data Center has estimated the Whittier Fault could generate up to a magnitude-7.2 quake. A magnitude-5.3 aftershock occurred three days after the 1987 Whittier Narrows quake. WHITTIER – Twenty years ago today, the city and surrounding communities woke up at the same time: 7:42 a.m. What was first reported as a magnitude-6.1 earthquake was later downgraded to 5.9, but for many the Whittier Narrows Earthquake was the Big One and still is. The temblor, which lasted about 20 seconds and killed eight people, occurred on a previously unknown, concealed thrust fault, according to the Southern California Earthquake Data Center. One of the deaths, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, was a Southern California Edison worker who was buried by a landslide in the Muir Park area of the San Gabriel Mountains while working with a crew installing footings for a high-tension power tower north of Pasadena. last_img read more


first_imgErrigal College students with AIB’s Noreen Fox-Doherty.Errigal College in Letterkenny has completed the wrap up of a very successful partnership with AIB through the skills@work programme, that had been running at the college for a number of years.Students at Errigal gained an insight into one of our local financial institutions AIB, and are given the knowledge and power to positively embrace the world of work.The programme had been run by Noreen Doherty-Fox, Retail Manager at the bank. “Our vision at the Business Department at Errigal College is to empower our students to take control of their futures and to develop an appreciation for education” said Mr Mc Fadden Business teacher at the college.The Skills@Work programme, run by the Schools Business partnership regional Co-odinator Elaine Mc Fadden, provides students with a unique insight into the world of work.Over five sessions, students are provided with the opportunity to learn about their partnering company AIB and its business and to consider career and further study options available to them when they finish school.Errigal College is always looking at ways to involving our local community and bridging links with our local businesses in Our community. We would like to take this opportunity to thank both Elaine Mc Fadden and Noreen Doherty-Fox for the committment to the programme.  LETTERKENNY STUDENTS BANKING ON LIFE OUTSIDE SCHOOL! was last modified: May 9th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:AIBerrigal collegelast_img read more

Inter Milan to make first move for Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe with £60m bid

first_img1 Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring for Monaco Inter Milan are preparing a £60million summer swoop for Arsenal and Manchester United target Kylian Mbappe.The 18-year-old has burst onto the scene in sensational style this season, notching 21 goals in 20 appearances in all competitions.Arsenal and Manchester United have now set their sights on landing the Frenchman, who has been dubbed the ‘new Thierry Henry’, this summer.Inter though, according to reports in Italy, are trying to beat them to Mbappe and will submit an offer of £60m for him.The Italian club are set to embark on a major recruitment drive this summer and attacking reinforcements are on their hit list.Monaco, however, are reluctant to sell Mbappe and want to keep him for at least one more season.last_img read more

Kane nets dramatic winner for St Johnstone in Dingwall

first_imgSaints lost midfielder Murray Davidson after 13 minutes to an injury – he was replaced by Keith Watson.At the other end both Martin Woods and Liam Boyce had shots charged down in front of goal in quick succession, then Curran cut into the box but his shot was deflected for a corner.The hosts wasted a glorious chance in the 27th minute when Curran and Boyce linked up in the box – but when the ball fell for Michael Gardyne he blasted over from close range.County had claims for a penalty turned down on the half hour mark when a Woods free-kick appeared to be handled in the box but nothing was given. The opening goal came at the other end a minute later. Wotherspoon flicked the ball on for Alston, whose ball back across goal was swept home by MacLean from eight yards.The visitors created another opening in the 35th minute when Watson floated over a deep cross for MacLean but his downward header was easily held by Fox.Watson knocked another inviting ball into the box three minutes later but this time Wotherspoon failed to get enough power in his header to trouble Fox.Saints escaped in the 40th minute when a hopeful ball from Kenny van der Weg found Gardyne, whose effort came off the upright.However, the visitors hit back seconds later and Brian Easton fired a left foot drive over the bar.County had the last chance of the half when Boyce turned Watson 20 yards out and flashed a shot just wide of Saints’ keeper Zander Clark’s left hand post.The second half started with a snapshot from Saints’ Liam Craig which flew well wide of target.County made an early swap with Jason Naismith replaced Van der Weg in the 53rd minute.A fast flowing move just before the hour mark finished with an effort from County’s Milan Lalkovic which was deflected behind for a corner.Saints came close to doubling their lead in the 64th minute when a Keith Watson header from a Wotherspoon corner was blocked on the line by Woods and Fox tipped the loose ball over the bar. The visitors were left claiming Woods had handled the ball but referee John Beaton saw nothing amiss.County made another couple of changes and it seemed to spark life into them and they drew level in the 73rd minute when Woods threaded the ball through to Curran, who took a touch and slotted the ball past Clark from 10 yards.The home side came close to edging ahead in the 83rd minute when County skipper Andrew Davies just failed to connect with a Woods corner in front of goalThe game looked to be heading for a draw but in stoppage time Wotherspoon won the ball back and when the ball went into the middle substitute Christopher Kane lashed the ball high into the net from just outside the 18-yard box.County had another chance to level just before the full time whistle when Alex Schalk forced a save from Clark – and Davies blasted the rebound well over. St Johnstone substitute Christopher Kane hit a dramatic stoppage time winner as Saints maintained their fine away form with a 2-1 Scottish Premiership win at Ross County.Steven MacLean gave Saints the lead just after the half hour mark but Craig Curran levelled with 17 minutes remaining.However, in added time Kane flashed home a shot from outside the box worthy of winning any game.Saints’ Blair Alston had the first chance of the game when he forced a fine save from Scott Fox in the fourth minute. David Wotherspoon sent an inviting ball into the box and Alston’s backheel was touched onto the post by the County goalkeeper.last_img read more

Irish defender Jake Carroll set for Motherwell move

first_imgMotherwell have secured the services of former Partick Thistle defender Jake Carroll for the next two seasons.The Irish left-back will join the club from Cambridge United in June, when his current contract expires.Manager Stephen Robinson said the 27-year-old had “great attributes” that would “bring a lot” to the squad. “He’s quick and he’s a strong defender,” he said. “But he will come here and have to earn the right to play, as we’ve got competition in his position. “We’re making a lot of early progress in getting players signed, with Jake joining Declan Gallagher and Liam Polworth in committing early.“We’re continuing to push to get our business done early, both with players we’ve offered contracts to and with others we have identified.”Carroll started his professional career with St Patrick’s Athletic in 2011, spending two seasons with the League of Ireland and picking up experience in UEFA Europa League qualifying games against Karpaty Lviv and Hannover 96.A move to Huddersfield Town followed, where he also spent time out on loan at Bury and briefly in the Scottish Premiership with Partick Thistle, making 13 appearances. He then moved on to League Two side Hartlepool United before switching to Cambridge United in January 2017.“I’m looking forward to getting started in the summer with the club,” Carroll said.“I know there’s a lot of competition for places, but I’m coming to be part of the squad and looking to establish myself.”last_img read more

Starfish Dinners of Hope

first_img9 May 2005The Starfish Greathearts Foundation is challenging South Africans – along with individuals from around the world – to host a dinner in their own homes to raise funds for children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/Aids.Over 13 000 people from 17 countries took part in the Starfish Dinners of Hope in 2004, raising over R800 000.This enabled Starfish to give nearly 2 000 children nutritional, primary care giver and educational support in the communities of Alexandra (Gauteng), Kwa-Ncgolozi (KwaZulu-Natal), Grassroots (Mpumulanga) and the rural area served by Gcinosapho Outreach (Valley of a Thousand Hills, KwaZulu-Natal).According to Starfish’s Lucille Onofri, the charity aims to raise R1-million by December.“This is your event”, Starfish says on its website. “Host a dinner at your home, book a restaurant, have a picnic, throw a party. Invite two people or two hundred. Where and how you dine is up to you.“Encourage your guests to make a contribution, and the money you raise will help to secure the future of orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa.”For more information, visit Starfish Dinners of reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

SA musicians sing for peace

first_imgPerfomance poet Lebo Mashile is one of the South African artists who have lent their talents to the campaign.Janine ErasmusThe majority of South Africans feel deep shame and anger about the criminal acts of so-called xenophobia perpetrated by just a few. Millions of rands worth of donations and contributions have poured in to relief organisations across the country. Now a group of local musicians is taking action in the way they know best – they have come together to record a song urging South Africans to unite against violence.The Not in My Lifetime campaign launches at the end of May 2008. Recording of the title song is complete, and the song is expected to hit the airwaves within weeks. The campaign’s name alludes to the outrage that most ordinary South Africans have felt towards the brutality visited on those whose only crime was to have been born in a foreign land.The aim of Not in My Lifetime is to reinforce the positive image that South Africa has earned through years of hard work, and to project the message that constructive values and fighting injustice is the answer to achieving peace on the African continent.The campaign, co-ordinated by Ugandan-born Lee Kasumba of youth radio station YFM and Siyabonga ‘Slikour’ Metana of award-winning hip hop group Skwatta Kamp, has a multi-faceted approach that will drive home the message as effectively as possible.“I’m really excited about all these artists being on one track,” said Kasumba. “These are powerful and influential individuals and people take more notice if the person that they respect is involved in such a cause.”Not in my lifetimeKasumba revealed that the campaign came about through a conversation she had recently via text message with award-winning singer Thandiswa Mazwai. “Thandiswa was saying how really hurt she was about the xenophobic attacks, and I SMSed back to say that I can’t believe this is happening in our lifetime.” Out of that comment came the inspiration for the campaign.The likes of rappers and R&B stars Simphiwe Dana, Hip Hop Pantsula or HHP, DJ Sbu of YFM, Skwatta Kamp, MXO, Kwela Tebza and Tumi Molekane, among others, have turned their talents towards supporting victims of the violence.In addition to the artists, a host of other entertainment industry players have been enlisted to deliver a series of televised public service announcements that will be distributed to people in South Africa and internationally, through various broadcasters. These include sports broadcaster Udo Carelse, performance poet Lebo Mashile, Metro FM DJ Bad Boy T and his real-life partner Unathi of YFM, singer Thandiswa Mazwai and Swazi prince Ntsika Dlamini.Radio stations and websites will receive sound clips delivering the campaign’s message. Political science student turned successful photographer Liam Lynch is set to produce a collage. A music video is scheduled for filming in June although a release date has not been set. A range of merchandise will soon be available, with all proceeds going towards victims of the violence. Finally, a poster bearing the campaign’s slogan will be made available in different languages.A desperate situationOver the past two weeks 62 people have lost their lives, according to the latest reports, and thousands driven from their homes. It is not known exactly how many people are living in refugee camps at the moment but figures range from 35,000 to around 70,000.Mozambique has declared a national emergency as thousands of destitute citizens return home. The National Emergency Operations Centre, the operational wing of the Mozambican government’s relief agency, has initiated disaster management operations. Thousands have already poured across the border and there are many more in temporary shelters in South Africa awaiting transport. Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .Related storiesUbuntu against xenophobiaMbeki condemns attacks‘I am deeply, deeply sorry’: TutuUseful linksLevi’s Original MusicYFMSkwatta KampThe Wild Frontier – list of relief organisations702 – list of relief organisationsSA Red Cross +27 11 873 6364Doctors Without Borders +27 11 403 4440United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees South Africa +27 12 354 8300Gift of the Givers +27 33 345 0163last_img read more

PTO is Not Always a Week at the Beach

first_imgOn my day off, I attended my first yoga class. I have a couple of friends who are instructors and they gave me some tips about what was the right class for me. Plus, I got 2 weeks free (well, I bought a $9 yoga mat for an extra week.) While there were a few nerves before the class, the experience was fantastic. There was no judging, the instructor was super helpful, and I left the class feeling refreshed. For one hour, in the 105 degree heat, I was able to focus only on me. Now, I’m not going to go all “namaste’” on you here, but this will be something I’m going to try to incorporate into my goals and routine. Originally published on John P. Hudson blog. I encourage you to view your PTO not only in terms of a long getaway, but also as a short break from your routine. Take a long weekend somewhere to enjoy a sunset. Take a Wednesday off and be a tourist in your own city. Delete the email client from your phone on this day. Volunteer in your community or at your child’s school. Go have coffee at your local coffee shop. Do something different or try something new. It’s late February and many employees have just had their last corporate paid holiday, President’s Day, until Memorial Day. That’s almost four months away until we get to enjoy another three-day weekend. Pack in some cold and cloudy days for a many parts of the world and you can see the stress levels rise. For HR professionals, this time of the year can really tempt the blood pressure. Many are rolling off a tough open enrollment period, most are in the thick of annual performance management and compensation conversations. And all are dealing with the every day employee relations issues and unplanned fire drills in the HR trenches. During these stressful times, it’s important to remember to take some time to reset and relax and dig deep into those PTO banks. So I took my colleague’s advice and took last Wednesday off. My wife was traveling for work and we were going through the various activities for our children and trying to balance the work and the life. Instead of trying to manage all of this and manage work, I decided to take the day off. And, it was wonderful. I had a little bit of a plan, but my main goal was to stay away from my work email and to try something new. And, who knows, by taking more time off, you may get that big raise you’ve been looking for! These past several months have been a little more stressful than usual, for me. There have been a few changes at my job and a few things, personally, that have been more than a distraction. More times than not, I’ve been bringing the work issues home with me, adding to that stress. Recently, I was having the conversation with a colleague about our “busy season” and the need to get away. She let me know that she was taking a long weekend in Florida to get away. This wasn’t a week-long vacation, but a nice four day weekend to unplug, unwind, and reset. Hearing this got me thinking about how we tend to view PTO. We think of PTO or vacation time as a week or two spent sipping fruity drinks on beautiful beaches.last_img read more