January 16, 2014 |
The protagonist of Okey Ndibe's unforgettable new novel, "Foreign Gods Inc.," is a failed immigrant. Ike (pronounced EE-kay ) is a New York City cab driver who brings in lots of cash but can't hold on to it for very long. His mother back home in Nigeria lives with the shame of having an American son who doesn't send her any money. An article in New York magazine offers Ike hope. He reads about an art gallery in lower Manhattan that specializes in statues of foreign deities, with the most impressive specimens commanding six-figure prices.
December 6, 2013 |
By the time Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, the path to ending South Africa's political crisis through the abolition of apartheid was known, even if it would not be easy or straight. Solving the country's economic crisis was another story. It still is. When I first visited the country a few months after Mandela's release, the white overclass was just beginning to come to grips with the scale of the challenge. A Johannesburg economic firm had released a paper warning that South Africa's self-image as a big economy preparing to take its place on the world stage with Great Britain and Germany was a dangerous delusion--better to think of itself in terms of a second-tier economy like Belgium, they wrote. The idea came as a shock, and the implications were stunning.
May 4, 2012
Imagine a well-appointed table on a stone balcony overlooking Italy's storied Lake Como. Red wine, white roses, Rande Gerber and Cindy Crawford, perhaps a drop-in from Brad and Angelina — it's a possible scenario for Oscar-winner George Clooney, who will celebrate his 51st birthday Sunday and has a home there. Those Angelenos not invited to Italy can still enjoy a meal themed for the date, however, at Santa Monica's Locanda del Lago, which specializes in Italian cuisine. For the second year in a row (the 50th birthday was a big deal)
January 10, 2012 |
Unrest continued to spread across Nigeria on Tuesday amid new sectarian violence and a nationwide strike over fuel prices and government corruption in the oil-rich country. Police said one person was killed when a mosque and Islamic school were attacked in Benin City, in the south of the country. Ten people were reportedly arrested in the attack, the latest religion-fueled violence in a country divided between a predominantly Muslim north and a largely Christian south. In recent weeks, the radical Muslim sect known as Boko Haram, which seeks the implementation of sharia , or Islamic law, has attacked churches and other civilian outposts.
November 20, 2011
You can fly from LAX to Lagos, the onetime capital of Nigeria, for $910 round trip, including all taxes and fees, on KLM. The special fare is subject to availability; you must stay over a Saturday night. The fare is available for travel from Jan. 1 to March 29, 2012. Info: KLM , (800) 225-2525. Source: Airfarewatchdog.com
June 5, 2011 |
Reporting from Lagos, Nigeria — The white house on Gbemisola Street has a circular grave with a granite pyramid instead of a headstone and no name. It isn't needed. Everyone here knows Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Nigeria's revered protest musician arrested by Nigeria's military rulers some 200 times for his defiant lyrics, jailed and beaten on countless occasions. He's been dead 14 years, but Nigerians still go misty-eyed at Fela's name. He's loved not just for his music but because he was one of the few brave enough to attack the country's loathed military rulers.