Thursday, May 31, 2007

And the madness continues......

I am about to shut down for the day when i check my email. There are some comments from my blog and then there is this one which frankly took my breath away:

wetin dey special about this chick sef? people just dey wan dash am things. this blog just dey boring. a waste of cyber space. abeg jare. which work you dey do sef because e b like say that one go good pass. also all them stupid things wey you dey write wey u dey call poetry - dem dey make me laugh. who sai? no make am career because na only these kiss ass people wey dey comment for ya blog go buy am and them go dey lie sef.which kind designer you get sef? no be you talk say you fat? wetin you need designer for? abeg shut down this nonsense waste of space

Can i ask what is going on in this whole world? This comment was posted on my random musings post and i have to wonder what it is about that innocous post that inspired such a comment. I really have no words

Random Musings.....


* Should i wait? Should i give in? Is there even a chance? Just dont mess this up*
* I bit my tongue yesterday and it still hurts. Is there a cure for a hurt tongue?*
* How do i tell her - planning to get married next year that i think she is making a big mistake?*
* Should i even tell her?*
* Why the hell do i care so much about other people?*
* I wonder how i can get the new Harry Potter book almost as soon as it comes out?*
* Everything and everyone - irritating me but why?*
* No you cannot use my phone - dammit - using up all my credit*
* If i am supposed to be watching my spending, why did i just commission my "designer" to hook me up with some new outfits and paid half of said order?*
* Agggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh!

Monumental Soundbyte - 11


Sir Mixalot - Baby Got Back
First things first - I can edit my widgets so i am soooooo excited. Now the soundbytes can be heard on my blog again. Phew!
Remember this song? Hard to believe its a grammy winner....LOL.
Love this song for the fun of it. I mean a whole song dedicated back", "junk in the trunk", "Ikebe", "Idi", "Bom Bom" ...whatever you wish to call it. And it has such a funny video. I vaguely remember Sir Mixalot standing on a massive "back"....LOL
This song caused quite a stir when it was released. This video was banned for a while on MTV and the lyrics ---- he he he...
The song has also provided endless laughs for me in the movie Shrek and Happy Feet and let me not forget the episode of Friends where this is revealed to be Ross' "bad" song.
This song has some classic lines and i was going to put up some of my favorites but shucks, this song is soooo great, i am putting all the lyrics up....Enjoy!
*If you would like this song, leave an email address in the comments section*
[Intro]
Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her butt
It is so big
She looks like,one of those rap guys' girlfriends
But, y'know, who understands those rap guys?
They only talk to her, because,she looks like a total prostitute, 'kay?
I mean, her butt, is just so big
I can't believe it's just so round, it's like,out there, I mean - gross.
Look!She's just so ... black!
I like big butts and I can not lie
You other brothers can't deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in your face
You get sprung, wanna pull out your tough
'Cause you notice that butt was stuffed
Deep in the jeans she's wearingI'm hooked and I can't stop staring
Oh baby, I wanna get wit'cha
And take your picture
My homeboys tried to warn me
But with that butt you got makes me feel so horny
Ooh, Rump-o'-smooth-skin
You say you wanna get in my Benz?
Well, use me, use me
'Cause you ain't that average groupie
I've seen them dancin
'The hell with romancin'
She's sweat, wet,
Got it goin' like a turbo 'Vette
I'm tired of magazines
Sayin' flat butts are the thing
Take the average black man and ask him that
She gotta pack much back
So, fellas! (Yeah!) Fellas! (Yeah!)
Has your girlfriend got the butt? (Hell yeah!)
Tell 'em to shake it! (Shake it!) Shake it! (Shake it!)Shake that healthy butt!
Baby got back!
I like 'em round, and big
And when I'm throwin' a gig
I just can't help myself, I'm actin' like an animal
Now here's my scandal
I wanna get you home
And ugh, double-up, ugh, ugh
I ain't talkin' bout Playboy
'Cause silicone parts are made for toys
I want 'em real thick and juicy
So find that juicy doubleMix-a-Lot's in trouble
Beggin' for a piece of that bubble
So I'm lookin' at rock videos
Knock-kneeded bimbos walkin' like hoes
You can have them bimbos
I'll keep my women like Flo Jo
A word to the thick soul sistas, I wanna get with ya
I won't cuss or hit ya
But I gotta be straight when I say I wanna f**k
Til the break of dawn
Baby got it goin' on
A lot of simps won't like this song
'Cause them punks like to hit it and quit it
And I'd rather stay and play
'Cause I'm long, and I'm strong
And I'm down to get the friction on
So, ladies! {Yeah!} Ladies! {Yeah}If you wanna roll in my Mercedes {Yeah!}
Then turn around! Stick it out!
Even white boys got to shout
Baby got back!Baby got back!
Yeah, baby ... when it comes to females,
Cosmo ain't got nothin'to do with my selection. 36-24-36? Ha ha, only if she's 5'3".
So your girlfriend rolls a Honda, playin' workout tapes by Fonda
But Fonda ain't got a motor in the back of her Honda
My anaconda don't want none
Unless you've got buns, hun
You can do side bends or sit-ups,
But please don't lose that butt
Some brothers wanna play that "hard" role
And tell you that the butt ain't gold
So they toss it and leave it
And I pull up quick to retrieve it
So Cosmo says you're fat
Well I ain't down with that!
'Cause your waist is small and your curves are kickin'
And I'm thinkin' bout stickin
'To the beanpole dames in the magazines:
You ain't it, Miss Thing!
Give me a sista, I can't resist
Her red beans and rice didn't miss her
Some knucklehead tried to dis
'Cause his girls are on my list
He had game but he chose to hit 'em
And I pull up quick to get wit 'em
So ladies, if the butt is round,
And you want a triple X throw down,
Dial 1-900-MIXALOTAnd kick them nasty thoughts
Baby got back!
(Little in the middle but she got much back)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Monumental Soundbyte - 10



Bob Marley - Redemption Song

May 29th has come and gone and we as a nation usher in a new dawn. Enough has been said about the Obasanjo administration and much has been said about the farce called elections that held in April. That is all in the past. Our reality at this moment is that we have a new president.

I am one of the last to put up the proclamation on my blog since i took a much needed break over the last 2 days. After putting it up, i read Olawunmi's blog - which by the way got some mention in a BBC news article, and i instead of being filled with despair, i feel hope. Foolish hope? Who knows. But i really want to believe that things in Nigeria will get better, that Yar'adua will shock us all and in particular the man that picked him and actually do some good.

I think this song is perfect. I was going to put something else up but this song (which was on my monumental soundbyte list) just seems perfect today. Robert Nesta Marley is a legend and one of my favorite voices. This song has been covered by Wyclef (which was hot as well), Majek Fashek, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder, Johnny Cash etc.

Mental slavery (a problem i think many Nigerians suffer from), prophets(leaders) being castigated while we just stand looking or in our case, complain and mutter in silence - this song is eloquent, simple with Marley and his acoustic guitar only and one that will remain relevant far beyond my time. Enjoy!

*If you would like this song, leave an emailo address in the comments section*

Nigeria - Making a statement


IN RECENT HISTORY, NIGERIANS HAVE BEEN OVERWHELMINGLY BETRAYED BY THOSE CHARGED WITH ADDRESSING THEIR NEEDS. INSTEAD OF SERVING THE PEOPLE, PUBLIC SERVANTS HAVE SERVED THEMSELVES TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE MASSES. THE RESULT IS A NATION LACKING ADEQUATE INFRASTRUCTURE, ORGANIZATION AND SECURITY.



THE INEFFECTIVENESS OF NIGERIAN LEADERS INDICATES A LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE CONSTITUENTS. NIGERIANS ARE NO LONGER RELEVANT TO THE LEADERS, THUS, LEADERS DO NOT FEEL RESPONSIBLE TO THEM.
THE RECENT FAILURE TO CONDUCT A FREE AND FAIR ELECTORAL PROCESS WAS YET ANOTHER ILLUSTRATION THAT THE NEEDS OF THE MANY ARE SECONDARY TO THE WANTS OF THE IMPORTANT FEW.



FROM THIS DAY, ALL NIGERIANS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS GREAT & POWERFUL COUNTRY. CONSEQUENTLY, ALL NIGERIANS MUST COMMIT THEMSELVES TO THE FOLLOWING:



WE MUST DEMAND THAT ELECTED OFFICIALS BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS AND IN-ACTIONS.



WE MUST EXPECT DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES TO BE HONORED, RESPECTED AND MAINTAINED.



WE MUST BELIEVE THAT ALL NIGERIANS ARE EQUAL UNDER THE LAW AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH.



WE MUST APPLY OURSELVES TO IMPROVING THE LOT OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL NIGERIAN REGARDLESS OF GENDER, RELIGION, TRIBE OR SOCIAL STATUS.



WE MUST STRIVE TO MAINTAIN A UNITED REPUBLIC DESPITE OUR DIFFERENCES.
ONLY UPON ACHIEVING THESE PRINCIPLES CAN WE AS A PEOPLE FULLY LIVE UP TO OUR POTENTIAL AS A LAND OF GREATNESS. FOR OURS IS A COUNTRY RENOWNED FOR ITS ILLUSTRIOUS PEOPLE, AMPLE RESOURCES AND SHEER PHYSICAL BEAUTY.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Idols West Africa....

Comes to an end and the person i routed for from Day 1 as BellaNaija will testify to won...Go Timi, Go Timi..............Agggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh

Monumental Soundbyte - 9

Obiwon - Onyinye

Odd choice for a monumental soundbyte some might say but this song is monumental for a different reason......

Other than the fact that i love this song and its by a Nigerian artist, its also a name song....This is the song that made it official for me - THERE HAS TO BE A SONG WITH MY NAME - UZO AS THE TITLE.

It really is just that simple. LOL....I mean there is Olufunmi, Omoshalewa, Dami, Charlene, Angel etc, why cant there be an Uzo song? I mentioned this to a friend that i shared this song with and even went as far as challenging him to write the song - i got silence as a response. I know that the letter Z in my name might be a challenge but hey....It can be done...LOL

So, watch out - in a little while, there will be a song Uzo on the airwaves and you all will have an ah ha moment - saying to yourselves - i know that girl....

Happy Monday!

*If you would like this song, leave an email address in the comments section*

Friday, May 25, 2007

Monumental Soundbyte - 8


The Police - Every breath you take
Yes this song is massive but has anyone really listened to the words of this song? I really like this song but i am amused when i hear people refer to it as a love song. It isnt. This song is dark and frankly a little scary. It has a stalker vibe - "every step you take, every move you make, i'll be watching you".....Not romantic at all.
Sting wrote this song and has confirmed that it was written in the wake of his divorce so it reflects the murderous thoughts he had at the time....LOL
This song is monumental in 2 ways. I know that Rolling Stone magazine recognises this song as one of the top 500 songs of all time but then Biggy got killed, Diddy got sad and took the hook of this song to make a tribute single (I'll be missing you) that was a commercial success and still gets us moving today.
Diddy's version was so sweet with all the members of the Bad Boy label doing their thing on it. Then the video with the meadow and Biggy's son and then Diddy falling off the bike and his dance move with him all in black leather and swinging around. I can still do that move and yes i love Diddy (in fact i dated a guy that looked just like Diddy....subject of a post for another day).
Then during a memorable MTV Video Awards ceremony, Diddy and the gang all in white performed this song and suprise, suprise Sting is there doing his thing....Amazing...Still get goose pimples thinking about it.
Anyway, this song is simply amazing and of course Sting is one of my favorite artists and emm after watching the Oprah Show when he and his wife over-shared and let us know about their love for tantric sex - let's just say i think Sting rocks even more now...LOL
Enjoy!
*If you would like this song, leave an email address in the comments section*

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Monumental Soundbyte - 7


The Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody

I will go out and dare anyone to deny the fact that this is one of the best love songs ever. Period!

A very short song - the orginal version is less than 3 minutes long but what a punch it carries....The lyrics are at the end of this post..

Interestingly, this song was recorded way before the Brothers did their version but their version is the best known especially after it was used in the movie Ghost. This song is often credited to just one member of the group - Bobby Hatfield who gained success as a solo act appearing on Had the time of my life - that so fabulous song from Dirty Dancing (wow, i think its time to re-watch these 2 movies).

When i did the soundbyte on Spandau Ballet's True, i mentioned that it was one of the most covered songs ever and Unchained Melody also shares this. This song has been covered by U2, Gareth Gates, LeAnn Rimes, Il Divo, Liberace and a whole bunch of other artists.

While this song is a commercial success and is a timeless classic, it makes my monumental song list for its sheer beauty, simplicity and eloquence on the topic of love. Ebnjoy!

*If you would like this song, leave an email address in the comments section*

Oh, my love, my darling
I've hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time
And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?
I need your love, I need your love
God speed your love to me

Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea
To the open arms of the sea
Lonely rivers sigh, wait for me, wait for me
I'll be coming home, wait for me

Oh, my love, my darling
I've hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time
And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?
I need your love, I need your love
God speed your love to me

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Interesting.....


Before my paternal grandfather died, he married the young lady that was brought in to take care of my maternal grandmother. My dad was the only child. Young lady G, papa's new wife went on to give birth to a set of twin girls when my grandfather was 72.
Fast forward 17 years.
Sadly, one of the twins died leaving U. U has spent all her life in Abia State and the the farthest she has ever been is to Aba. Well, she has reached the stage of her life where its time to go to university. My dad has decided she should take the entrance examination for Covenant University in Ogun State. So she landed in my house on sunday evening as she will take the exams from here and go back to Abia State on Friday.
U is my aunty seeing as she is my dad's sister. She is 3 years younger than my baby sister. U saw me on Sunday and dropped to her knees and said "Aunty, good evening". My aunty is calling me aunty. He He He
Hilarious, weird, disturbing and just so damn interesting....LOL

Monumental Soundbyte - 6



GrandMaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message
First of all, i have to apologise for the silence on my blog. I am having issues editing my widgets and i wonder if its just me. Damn Blogger...
When i did the post on LL Cool J's - I Need Love, Nyemoni commented about the first rap verse she learnt. Well this song was mine. I remember being really young and hanging out with my siblings watching a videotape of music videos. That tape had this song and the likes of New Edition etc on it. I was enraptured by this video - Grandmaster flash looking so cool in his faded skinny jeans and quite interesting hair. The beat moved me and my baby voice would just go along with: "Dont push us 'cos we're close to the eddddddddge, m trying not to lose my head ehn ehn ehnnnn"
Oh so amazing. I truly love this song and it is generally credited as the first rap song with a message. I think this group is the first and only rap/hip-hop act to be inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.
Defining song, monumental song and so so hard to resist. Enjoy!
*If you would like this song, leave an email address in the comments section*

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Question


A heated conversation/argument is raging in my office right now and it all started over this simple question:
Would you go out/marry someone who doesnt have a first degree?
What do you think?

Difficulties....

I am experiencing technical difficulties with posting and editing by soundbyte...hopefully its Blogger and not anything on this end. The Monumental Soundbyte Series will be back up later on today to tomorrow (hopefully)

Monday, May 21, 2007

I have a gift.....


Its this uncanny (to me anyway) ability to "JUST KNOW".
Let me explain this. Its not supernatural (LOL - dont worry), i think its more a heightened awareness about people, what is said, what is unsaid, body language etc and an ability to discern.
Its something i have discovered and worked with over the past 4-5 years. It isnt a big deal to me but the reason i have decided to do a mini post about this is to give a little bit of an inkling into who i am and this is one of those pointed posts (directed to a certain audience).
Whenever i act coy and dumb (acting like i dont understand), its really just for the other person's benefit. A lot of the time i already know will be said and or what has been done. Dont think i am a fool just because i am silent or ask the probing questions at the right time.
It really isnt rocket science - simply paying attention is the key.
Someone wrote me a cryptic email a few days ago. Stuff on his mind and a feeling of restlessness but just wanting to say hi. And the moment i read that email, i KNEW exactly what the matter was. I simply put certain things together and there it was. Clear as day. I called him and he walked around in circles and i simply listened and said something that pointed in the general direction of his angst. And he was silent and finally opened up and it was exactly as i thought.
This weekend, i was in contact with a lot of people including some people that i hadbnt seen in ages but communicated with via email or over the phone. This girl i have known for a few years gave me a hug but kept dancing around someone else. I looked at the 2 of them, and i just knew what was going on with them.
Its amazing really but oh so simple. I want to consider this post a message to certain people that really really think i am clueless as to what is going on or that my batting eyelash act with the appropriate baby voice somehow implies that i honest to God dont have the ability to grasp some of these "complex" things going on.
While i am flattered that my feelings are being taken into consideration in a particular situation, the truth is i really could care less. I am at a point in my life where i feel PEACE. A peace that is difficult to grasp but i think its this peace and contentment that has made me more in tune with people and has freed my heart from a lot of the dysfuntional strings holding it.
Would it be presumptuous of me to say that i look at people and feel sorry for the self inflicted drama that cause the angst and negativity i feel when i am around them? Maybe but its the truth.
I am no expert in life afterall what do i know? But here are some of the things i know for sure:
  • Life is too short. Seize each moment for that tomorrow may never come
  • Nothing is really that serious
  • People are not stupid. Treat each person with respect and come correct. Hiding things will only lead to disaster down the road
  • Open your eyes each morning, take a deep breath, thank your maker for being able to see another day and jump into life. Do not overplan every action and every thought
  • For those that this post is meant for - you dont have demons or issues. You really dont. What you have are hangups that you guys are holding onto as a shield so you dont have to confront real life. Its not that no-one understands you, you dont understand yourself. Its not that you cant be loved, its that you dont love yourself. Its not that you cant find love, its just that you follow the wrong people like puppies with misplaced trust and they hurt you over and over again. Its not that the world is against you, its just you hold on to past hurts and use them to justify not living.
  • And oh for the love of God, there is no such thing as a type. Finding love is special and to turn it away 'cos it doesnt fit your mould is a one way ticket to loneliness

There is so much to say but i think the points of this rant are:

  • I know a lot more than i let on so please dont think it will be easy to pull the wool over my eyes
  • Dont use my feelings as an excuse to not live your life
  • Life is not as complex as a lot of people make it out to be
  • Get over yourselves and just live

Enough said!

Monumental Soundbyte - 5


LL Cool J - I need love
Ladies Love Cool James. Yes we do with your pink lips and all....LOL
Happy Monday! Its a rainy day in Lagos which means traffic and general ickiness but i am determined to have a good day.
So onto this song....I think its just a sexy song and i have this song to thank for making me give LL a chance. I didnt like "Mama's gonna knock you out" so i pretty much dismissed him but this song sold me on him. This song is popularly referred to as Rap's first ballad and went on to win a Soul Train award i think.
Anyway, its monumental to me cos its by LL Cool J who i think will go down in history as having contributed significantly to the hip mhop genre, its a ballad of a different kind and shucks - i just love it....Enjoy!
*If you would like this song, leave an email address in the comments section*

Friday, May 18, 2007

Monumental Soundbyte - 4


USA For Africa - We Are The World

This song is a part of my childhood. I remember being younger and seeing the video for this, my parents having the record that had the words and me singing this song endlessly.

Then i got older and my music obsession began, and i got the "inside scoop" on the phenomenon that is this song.

This song was written my Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie with the arrangements and orchestration done by Quincy Jones. USA For Africa is a mesh of artists from different genres and the aim of this song which was released as a single, was to contribute all proceeds to Ethiopia which was going through one of the worst famines in history.

This song is just amazing. The words are fantastic and apparently, after the American Music Awards of 84, all the artists got into their limos and headed to the studio as they were, donned white USA For Africa tshirts and recorded this song in one night. 45 artists including Bruce Springsteen, Lionel Richie, MJ, Cyndi Lauper, Darryl & Oates, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, Paul Simon, Ray Charles, Jeffrey Osbourne, Dionne Warwick etc.

MJ actually didnt attend the awards that night choosing to record the chorus for the song so each artist could just do their part. That man is a workaholic...

There is of course some drama with some artists having issues with some of the lyrics which were sorted out, some invited artists refusing to participate (Madonna, Prince, Sheena Easton etc - but they all participated the next year during the Live Aid concert) etc...

This song won a grammy and went on to inspire praise and criticism alike and has been parodied and covered endlessly. Last year, Shell (the oil & gas giant), covered the song and used some of its lyrics for their internal anthem which somehow got into the public domain. My views on this? ...Not for this post...LOL

I remember the video for this song. It was really a video of the live recording session - with shots of Diana Ross clad in black stretching, MJ looking so hot (i used to have a crush on him) and everyone singing into the microphones. Everytime i hear this song, i see the video and can see each artist singing their part. I think this song is a cultural phenomenon and everyone needs to know the words to this song and have it in their collection. Enjoy!

*If you would like this song, leave an email address in the comments section*

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The mystery of....


The gele.


I cannot tie my head except to go to bed at nite and for those occassions that i want to feel neo-souly (not a word or phrase i know...LOL).


When it comes time to get all decked up, i get dressed and go to my mom who makes me sit on the bed and then she does her thing. I usually urge her to make it really tight. The thought of having the gele fall off my head in public is really mortifying. So i look beautiful for the event but my brain cells are dying from lack of oxygen and my head hurts so bad that i think it will fall off. After she is done, i gingerly go down the stairs and plan the strategy of getting into the car. Bear in mind that usually these stunning outfits are usually made up of tight figure skimming long skirts, bustier style tops with my emm assets strategically arranged for a desired effect and heels at least 3 inches high. Then the gele. So imagine what getting into the car must feel like. Getting out requires almost the same strategy with the plan being - i get out of the car and still have like 2 mins to arrange myself and get ready for the photographers that pounce on you at these events. Designer sunglasses in place, purse in hand, gele tall, jewelery blinging, feeling like a diva i strut into the church/hall feeling the admiring looks follow me.


Yes those were the days.


Then my mom delivered a bombshell a few months ago. "You are a nigerian woman and you cant tie a gele? After al the time i have been tying them for you, you still havent learnt? Okay, i am not going to tie a gele for you again".


At the time i laughed seeing as she couldnt be serious. The next event came up, i went to her and she gave me a look that would have chilled the Ice Queen. I turned around and went back to my room to do it myself.


There it was - this perfect square of gold shiny crunchy fabric. I unfolded it and refolded it the way i had seen my mom do it and started the process. First of all, that crunchiness is not cool. Its so noisy. Then i couldnt find the 2 parts that you have to hold onto. Found them but i couldnt tie them. The damn thing just slipped off my head. After a lot of struggling that resulted in my arms hurting and me sweating in my air conditioned room, it was tied. Then came the arranging. I mean you tie first, then arrange abi? Looking in the mirror i looked a hot mess. Nothing like the glamorous works of art that my mom created or anyone else for that matter. So off it went. I tried again and still no luck. I flung that nonsense off my head. Re-arranged my braids and went out jare. No need for the stupid thing.


This new found strategy has worked for the past 6 months or so. I have an event that requires traditional wear. I simply get my hair done and dress my hair up - rosettes, jewelled pins etc.


The game is up now. One of my closest friends is getting married this weekend and i am a bridesmaid. The engagement is tomorrow and i have time off work. Mr Mohammed (my tailor) has done his magic and created a fabulous tea length dress in the pink dry lace that was chosen as the aso-ebi. I have my jeweled pink/lilac Enzo Angolini sandals with the 4 inch stiletto heels. I have my white/yellow gold anklet. I have my silver Movado watch with the pink face. My accessories - silver/pink/pearly necklace type thing with a stone that stops right at the stage of my cleavage. Matching dangly earrings and bracelet. And there is the PINK & SILVER GELE. I have to tie it tomorrow and my mom has promised me that there shall be no help this time.


*Sob* Help me...............

Monumental Soundbyte - 3


Meat Loaf - I would do anything for love (But i wont do that)
First of all, Meat Loaf used to scare me when i was younger. Everything that i thought Dracula would be and look like, he embodied. LOL
On to the song - WHAT A SONG. Dramatic video. All gothic. He seemed to be like a hunchback or Frankenstein. Some kind of creature dressed in ancient dress. With candles, and sheer curtains blowing. Ah Ah. And then there was a female vocalist on that track that sounded like Pat Benetar or Bonnie Tyler. She was someone called Ms Loud. Anyway, she appeared in the video like an angel.
The words to the song are so intense. "I'd walk right to hell and right back". BUT what is it that he wont do? I remember asking this same question and getting into long conversations with people about what it is he wont do. Please enlighten me if you know. I have concluded that what he wont do can be whatever cross a relationship carries. So i dont think there is one answer.
Sadly, this song was Meat Loaf''s biggest hit and everything he had done before or did after paled in comparison. He won a grammy for this performance as well. For some reason, i always assumed he was British because he was so huge in Europe but i just found out he is Texan....LOL. Imagine that. His album Bat Out of Hell is a massive album and the follow up Bat Out of Hell II (which has this song) did not do too badly either. He suffered bankruptcy and bounced back. I cant even begin to go into his dramatic life cos its just intense....But Meat Loaf is an icon.
Enjoy!
*If you would like this song, leave an email address in the comments section*
UPDATE: The Song answers the question. LOL. Yup! Went through the song lyrics and yes, the answer is indeed in ther song. Thanks Snazzy for the tip.....

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Monumental Soundbyte - 2


Minnie Riperton - Loving you
This is a classic by any standards.
Ms Riperton died in 1979 of breast cancer but she left some wonderful music behind. This woman could sing. I am not talking about the ability to sound good but she could really SING. If you know this song, then you know that there is a part of this song where her voice lifts and gets so high that trying to sing along is pure madness. Well, her voice could hit the whistle register - that note that allegedly can shatter glass. She was also an excellent imitator and could do anything with her voice including imitate animals. Phenomenal.
She also has a famous daughter....Her daughter Maya Rudolph is a regular on Saturday Night Live and they actually look quite a bit alike.
I first heard this song when Shanice did this song and i really liked it. I remember my dad coming into my room and asking who was singing. Then he said it wasnt a bad cover but the original was better. So of course after finding out from him who the original artist was, i went on a search to find the original and it has been one of my favorites since. If you are would like to hear more from Ms Riperton, i would recommend Here We Go and Inside my Love
What's not to love about this song? Its beautiful, her delivery is on point and the words are amazing.
Enjoy!
*If you would like this song, leave me an email address in the comments section*

Monday, May 14, 2007

It all started over...........


A ring tone.
This weekend had a little bit of drama.

My girl has been seeing this guy and we all assumed they were a couple. Anyway, we are all hanging out on saturday at a bar and having huge laughs. My girl had talked to her man earlier on in the day so his number was the last one she dialled. For some insane reason, her phone dialled the last number (his). And that's when the S**T hit the fan. All these modern phones allow you to use songs as specific ring tones.
We are sitting there when his phone begins to vibrate to the "sweet" sounds of Destiny's Child - Bug a boo. We all laugh and my girl says something about him being so mean and how he could set that as a ringtone for anyone. She grabbed his one off the table to see for herself who it was that had been assigned this special ring tone. It all happened so quickly and my girl just grabbed the phone expecting to see "plumber" or something. Instead, she saw her name.
It got well ugly at that point. Her man was thoroughly taken aback. The shouting started with us onlookers trying very hard to stare anywhere else but at the 2 of them or at the phone. My girl dials his number again to be sure and sure enough "you're a bug a boo, a bug a boo" came on. His explanation: well there were a couple. At first he said there had to be a mistake - he actually picked up his phone and started turning it around and looking at it in stupefaction. Then he said he had forgotten that someone (who?) was playing with his phone and must have done it. Eventually, he admitted that when they first met, my girl used to emmm, well be a little over enthusiastic and he assigned that tone to her THEN, but its not the same now. "You know i feel about you babe".
I made my exit at that point. But it got me thinking about technology and ringtones. I used to have a crush on this guy and i assigned Ray J's One Wish to him. And everytime my phone rang, i would smile. That was until a friend of mine met him and the first thing she said "Oh. You are Mr One Wish". Ehn, it took some clever verbal maneuvering to rescue that situation.
I hear phones go off around me and i hear tones like "Baby", "African Queen" and even that one that says "An idiot is calling" in a really stilted british accent. So i started wondering: what ring tone has been assigned to me? LOL
Damn technology to hell!

Monumental Soundbyte - 1


Lisa Stansfield - All Around the World
Oh this song. I remember it from birthday parties and dancing competitions. I remember the video for this song with this chic that had short hair.
I dont know much about Lisa other than the fact that she is British and that this song was her biggest hit. I remember another song from her - All Woman which i dont like very much but it did okay commercially.
I chose this song to get on the list simply because it was one on those songs in the early 90's that was a crossover success. It was also a song by a Brit to be in the top 10 on the US Billboard charts which is a thing that a lot of international artists strive for. Its danceable and i really like it. Weird but everytime i hear this song, i want to spin around with my hands out and make myself dizzy. LOL
Enjoy!
*If you would like this song, leave me an email address in the comments section*

Introducing..................


Happy Monday All.
This is one Monday that has me in a great mood because i have been working on something pretty special to me over the past few weeks. This Monday is the start of.........The Monumental Soundbyte series.
I am going to be profiling the top 200 songs to me. Monumental songs - songs that redefined a genre, a generation, stayed at the top of charts, broke records, made me cry, made me laugh, historic songs...The point is that these songs are all relevant in one way or the other. I have profiled some in previous soundbytes like - Rick James - Freak, Queen - Under Pressure, Whitney Houston - I will always love you etc but i aim to not repeat any songs so this will be an interesting challenge for me.
These are my choices so feel free to agree, disagree, leave me your opinions and thoughts and all. I just want to have fun with this and hope that i rekindle memories for some or introduce new music to others. The songs are not in any particular order as that will be too hard.
I have all these songs ready to be sent so if you are interested in adding any of these "classics" to your collection, leave me an email address in the comments section.
Enjoy!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Women's Issue - Involuntary Sterilisation

A friend of mine who knows about my interest in women's issues, sent me this article that chilled me to my core and i just had to share....

FELIPA Cusi was an unlikely victim of US international security policy. After suffering flu-like symptoms, the 30-year-old mother of five was taken to a rural medical centre near Cuzco, Peru. Once there, she was given anaesthesia and taken to an operating room where - without her knowledge or consent - she was sterilised.

In Tocache, another rural village, Magna Morales suffered an even worse fate. When government sterilisation workers canvassed the area, the 34-year-old mother of five desperately tried to evade them. After hiding in her house for several days, however, she went to a local market where she was spotted, seized, abducted and carried off to a makeshift clinic. She, too, was sterilised. Morales never recovered from the surgery, and died 10 days later.

More than a quarter million sterilisations were performed on Peruvian women between 1995 and 1997 - half during 1997. This June, the Latin American Committee on Women's Rights (CLADEM) issued a lengthy report describing 200 cases in which forced sterilisation was alleged. Renovaci—n, a conservative opposition party, has obtained affidavits from more than 1,000 women who say they did not freely consent to the tubal ligations they received in government clinics.

The campaign of mass sterilisations inaugurated by the Peruvian government three years ago has caused such widespread outrage that the US Congress recently began looking into the situation. The US provides most of the money used for national family planning programmes in Latin America.

Targeting fertility
According to Mark Schneider, Assistant Administrator for Latin America at the Agency for International Development (USAID), allegations that his agency is implicated in Peru's involuntary sterilisations are unfounded.

At a 25 February hearing before the House Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, he also assured lawmakers that officials at Peru's health ministry planned to 'discontinue their campaigns in tubal ligations and vasectomies', hinting that the decision was the result of USAID pressure.

But sceptics point to discrepancies. Indeed, on 25 March, exactly a month after Schneider's appearance, USAID posted a notice titled, 'Grant to Provide Voluntary Sterilisation and Related Services in Developing Countries'. The New York-based group awarded the money, AVSC International, will concentrate its promotional activities in several emerging nations, including five in Latin America - Bolivia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Peru. Under its five-year agreement with USAID, AVSC will get no less than $125 million.

Considerable evidence points not only to USAID financing Peru's sterilisation programme, but also to the US government spending an extraordinary amount of time and energy to create what bureaucrats call a 'policy environment' in which those sterilisations have taken place. Indeed, agency files suggest that Peru's Ministry of Health was virtually taken over by 'aid' operatives at the US embassy in Lima.

An internal USAID memorandum circulated recommended setting 'targets' for fertility reduction - 1.9 million new contraceptive users by the year 2000 and a reduction in average family size from more than four children per household to about two and one-half. It also mentioned efforts to engage Peru's government in a 'policy dialogue' on 'liberalisation of sterilisation laws'. The government of Peru formally approved the use of sterilisation as a population control measure in 1995.

In 1993, USAID launched a huge 'health sector' project in Peru costing $60 million. As a condition for receiving the funds, the government was obliged to create an 'Interagency Advisory Committee on Health Management and Financing' to recommend policy reforms to the Ministry of Health and assist in their implementation. The committee was to include representatives of Peru's health and finance ministries along with officials from USAID, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Given Peru's dependence on external funding for health services, it is not difficult to see how this commission could assume control of the ministry. In fact, a cable to the US Embassy in Lima, written seven months before the start of the project, urged USAID's Peru bureau to take 'optimum advantage of policy dialogue/conditionality opportunities' and suggested working with the World Bank and other donors on a 'unified series of policy conditiona-lities to their combined assistance'. The February 1993 communiquĊ½ suggested that the US 'could substantially increase its ability to leverage the kind of policy change that is critical to the success of this project'.
USAID funds allocated to the project were not given directly to the Peruvian health ministry, but rather expended on its behalf by USAID. In fact, the seven-year project is run by a US-based 'Institutional Contractor' hired by the agency's Lima office, and charged with general programme administration, staff training and orientation, field work supervision, data collection and evaluation, and a variety of other management-level functions. Activities not specifically assigned to the contractor are, for the most part, carried out by USAID personnel at the embassy. In the words of USAID's official project paper, two full-time in-house project supervisors are given a 'lead role in policy dialogue and interagency leadership and coordination'. They are authorised to prepare the 'scopes of work' that identify project activities and goals and provide 'technical guidance in the area of health financing'.

Although the project agreement is legally binding on Peru, no such stipulation applies to the US. The record also suggests that USAID authorities attempted to conceal from Peruvian authorities the fact that population control would be the project's major focus. Since much of the money would come from a budget 'earmarked' by Congress for population activities, according to the 1993 State Department communiquĊ½, the final project document 'must mention that family planning services are among those activities which will be supported'. An initial draft, the cable scolded, 'does not do so'.

Protecting Western interests
Spectacular efforts are needed to implement national population projects like the one in Peru, not to mention the deception and arm-twisting that goes on behind the scenes. And it can not be explained away simply as a misguided attempt to 'help' people who could arguably improve their lives by having fewer children. Similar USAID-initiated population policy 'reform' schemes are either in effect or in the planning phase for many African and Middle Eastern nations, virtually all of southern Asia, and most countries in Central and South America.

The agendas of the various US agencies involved in population issues have little to do with benevolent intent. Rather, the core belief is that unprecedented low levels of fertility in the 'advanced' nations of the West and relatively high birthrates elsewhere will lead to a shift in the balance of global power. This theory has been advanced consistently for a half-century by Western military officials, political analysts at the intelligence agencies, and the 'national security' establishment in general.

'Population has long been recognised as influencing national security and power,' wrote John Saunders in a 1986 book, Population Growth in Latin American and US National Security. 'Had it not been for unrestricted immigration and the contribution to national growth and development made by immigrants and their descendants, the population of the United States on the eve of World War II would have been less than half as large as it actually was and American national power significantly smaller. The consequences that this condition would have had for the history of Western civilisation are incalculable.'

Observations like this have been made frequently by high government officials since at least the start of the Cold War era. An 'outline plan of operations' prepared in January 1957 by a 'working group on Latin America' - including representatives from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Departments of State and Commerce, the US Information Agency and the military - was even more explicit about the 'threat' to Western interests posed by a growing census count south of the border.

'The rapid rate of population increase and economic growth in the area, with their implications for probable future strength and importance to the United States,' said the memorandum, 'should be taken into consideration in the execution of all programmes.'

Global power structure
In a 'Statement of US Policy toward Latin America' dated 15 November 1960, the National Security Council cautioned: 'We must never lose sight of the fact that the world population imbalance is heavily against us and is becoming ever more so.' Originally classified 'secret' and still only partially declassified, the memo predicted that high birthrates in the region could 'increase Latin America's population of approximately 190 million at present to some 500 million by the year 2000'.

A 1978 study by the Council on Foreign Relations worried about preserving the global power structure. Because differences in fertility nearly always favour the least economically advantaged group, the text declared, 'Population growth represents a threat to the status quo: to political dominance and economic and social stability.'

Perhaps most revealing of all was a research paper prepared in 1991 for the US Army Conference on Long Range Planning. That report, reprinted in the Summer 1991 edition of Foreign Affairs as 'Population Change and National Security', detailed changes in global demographics that are likely to result from below-replacement fertility in the West and high birthrates elsewhere. The study concluded that 'these projections point to a continuation of trends evident since the end of World War II. If these trends continue for another generation or two, the implications for the international political order and the balance of world power could be enormous.'

In regard to Latin America, the Army Conference research cited not a substantial increase of population in the region, but even more impressive economic growth. While the region's population multiplied seven times over between 1900 and 1987, the report said, per capita income increased by a factor of five. In other words, there were seven times as many people and, on the average, each of them had five times as much in terms of material resources. Thus, the collective wealth of the region was 35 times what it had been at the start of the century.

A threat to US interests
One might expect Western policy- makers to welcome such optimistic news from a historically 'under-developed' part of the world. However, that was not the opinion expressed in the report. 'By these projections a very different world would seem to be emerging,' the study continued. 'Such trends speak to pressures for a systematically diminished role and status for today's industrial democracies. Even with relatively unfavourable assumptions about Third World economic growth, the share of global economic output of today's industrial democracies could decline. With a generalised and progressive industrialisation of current low-income areas, the Western diminution would be all the more rapid. Thus, one can easily envision a world more unreceptive, and ultimately more threatening, to the interests of the United States and its allies.'
While public outrage in Peru may eventually halt its sterilisation campaign, at least temporarily, imposing population control on people in less-developed nations remains at the top of the Western foreign policy agenda. As the Army Conference study concluded, population trends throughout the world 'could create an international environment even more menacing to the security prospects of the Western alliance than was the Cold War for the past generation'.

Soundbyte!


Sonny & Cher - I got you babe

This amazing song is from the 60's and i absolutely love it. I am sure everyone knows that this hippie couple were also husband and wife and did quite well for themselves musically. They also had an incredibly successful show - The Sonny & Cher Show. This couple got divorced and Sonny went on to become a US Representative and Cher as we all know went to do the acting thing that garnered her an Oscar and a successful singing career.

Sonny died after a skiing acccident that had him running into a tree and i still have the image in my head of a very tearful Cher giving her eulogy. Amazing. This couple had been divorced for decades but there she was at his funeral, with their daughter Chastity and his new family crying so hard she had to lean on Mary's (Sonny's wife) shoulder. I guess its easy to forget once a marriage ends that there was once love there.

Anyway, enjoy this song...

*If you would like this song, leave me an email address in the comments section*

Thursday, May 10, 2007

True Champions - The Reds Rule


Guard of Honor....He He He

Soundbyte!


Lyfe Jennings - Must be nice
I am ready to share Lyfe with everyone.
Where do i begin? I fell in love with Lyfe Jennings about 2 years ago and i have just been so hooked since. Lyfe Jennings is simply amazing. His personal story is so inspiring - he was jailed for arson in 1992 and was released 10 years later and he has just done such huge things. I find his music so inspiring because its almost like he is talking to me and i hear his story but his struggles to re-adjust to being back out and building a relationship with God. That is on his first album where this song is from. Then he released The Phoenix and i actually cried when i heard the song "Goodbye".
I am jumping ahead of myself - his voice is so sexy. It has a husky gritty quality. A voice that gets its beauty not from affectations, adlibs or vocal training but from life and experience. Almost like seeing an old weathered face lined with wrinkles that is beautiful because its owner has lived a full life.
Lyfe is my constant companion. His cds i cant get enough of. Its hard for me to pick a favorite song but this one ranks very high on my list. Partly because its the first song i heard from him that started this love affair but also because me being me, the words pack such a powerful punch for me. The song title is deceptive but the words are intense. The lyrics are below so you can see what i mean - but he says "Must be nice having someone you dont have to show, they know exactly where it hurts". That is not just nice - its love. And the rest of the words are like that. Listen to this song and really really enjoy!
Must be nice
Having someone who understands the life you live
Must be nice
Having someone who's slow to take and quick to give
Must be nice
Having someone who sticks around when the rough times get thick
Someone who's smile is bright enough to make the projects feel like a mansion
Must be nice
Having someone who loves you despite your faults
Must be nice
Having someone who talks the talk but also walks the walk
Must be nice
Having someone who understands that a thug has feelings too
Someone who loves you for sho'
You just remember to never let 'em go
Even when your hustling days are gone
She'll be by your side still holding on
Even when those 20's stop spinning
And all those gold-digging women disappear
She'll still be here
Must be nice
Having someone you can come home to from a long day of work
Must be nice
Having someone you don't have to show they know exactly where it hurts
Must be nice
Having someone who trusts you despite what they've heard
Someone as mighty as a lion but still as gentle as a bluebird
Must be nice
Having someone you don't have to tell you don't want to be alone
Must be nice
Having someone you can grow old with until God calls ya'll home
Must be nice
Having someone who understands that a thug has feelings too
Someone who loves you for sho'you
Just remember to never let 'em go

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Ish - Sheer Randomness


I decided to sneak out of the office early to catch a movie by myself. Some me time, plus my brain was tired. Off i sped to the cinema with the sole intention of watching Spiderman 3. Got there only to find out that the 6.30pm show was sold out so i opted to see Perfect Stranger instead. I mean hot Halle Berry and the ever suave and adorable Bruce Willis. So i settled in with my popcorn and started the movie.
Suddenly after about 20 minutes, Halle's character has gone out in a thoroughly slutty but emm cool dress and returns with her ex-boyfriend who is played by the one man that really and truly takes my breath away. The man that i wish to dive in front of his car, then he rushes me to the hospital and then we fall in love and live happily ever after. The man with eyes that i swear can see right to my soul. The reason i watch CSI (okay, the whole show is cool and Grissom is sooooo cool) - Gary Dourdan.
What? I let out an audible moan and the person next to me actually looked at me. Whatever jare! I was taken aback cos i wasnt expecting to see him at all. And there he was - in all his 6feet 3 inch green eyes glory. And not only was he there, he was smoking - make that smouldering in a suit that just made me almost want to weep. And then he and Halle were getting it on. I dont mean slow kisses and stuff. I mean hot and heavy with a stand up sex session. Ah Ah! Let me just confess that i would have taken Halle's head right there and then.
I managed to simmer down and get back to the movie and then my beloved Gary appeared again - bringing Halle breakfast from Starbucks but his good morning to her was a hot kiss and then the damn phone rang. Hey. Again, he was wearing this suit that looked so right and did him a lot of justice. Ah Ah! Then he started to eat something from the bag and he licked his finger. Hey! Another sigh - make that a moan.
So the movie was just okay. But Gary in his 2 scenes plus a shot of him in some creepy room made me just ecstatic.
So i say to God - Thank you Father for creating the absolute specimen of male perfection for the world and especially for me. Sure, i feel lust in my heart when i see him but Father its more than lust. I believe that if You would deem it fit to bring this man my way, i want to love him and take care of him. It shall not just be lust. I shall use Gary's body for my pleasure but it will be a sanctified union so that is okay. We shall have tall, mocha complexioned babies with green eyes and live happily ever after.
Ish...That's all.....

Soundbyte!


702 - Where my girls at
One of the many female R&B groups that made waves in the 90's. I remember they burst onto the scene with "Steelo".
I think these ladies were sassier than the likes of SWV and oozed confidence and massive doses of sex appeal. A little background on these ladies - the name of the group comes from their area code and they were discovered by Sinbad the comedienne. They did their thing with 2 albums. This song is from their sophmore effort and was their last massive hit. The group has split but i read somewhere that a comeback is likely.
Anyway, everytime i hear this song, i see the video with them strutting their stuff in leather. Very hot. Its a blast from the past so enjoy!
*If you would like this song, leave me an email address in the comments section*

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Help Needed!

I need Betty Boop images please. If you find it in your heart to help this silly woman with her minor obsession, you can send the images to uzo.amuta@gmail.com. I will profile each image and the sender i think (emmm, can you tell i am a bit nutty today?) and then i choose my favorite image which will then be my secondary avatar (i have confused myself). I will use the other avatars on other posts of course.

Cheers!

Emm - The Prayer for Today


The Lord is my Operating System, I shall not hang. He makes me to boot normally without errors. He loads my routing table with cool links; he restored my path. He routed me to the server of righteousness, for His domain sake. Even though I browse hackers’ sites, I will fear no attack, for he is my Firewall. Thy antivirus and Intrusion Prevention System, they comfort me. Thou preparest a link before me in the presence of time-outs; thou connected my links with fiber optics. Surely solid connection and replies shall follow me all the period of my pings. And I shall telnet from the server of the Lord for ever and ever. Amen !!

Monday, May 07, 2007

News

MBANGA-PONGO, Cameroon - Aviation officials said Monday that a plane carrying 114 people nose-dived into a thick mangrove forest over the weekend, disintegrating on impact and making it unlikely any passengers survived.

Villagers wielding machetes and chain saws cleared the way Monday for searchers setting out into a central African swamp where the Kenya Airways jetliner crashed Saturday.

"The plane fell head first. Its nose was buried in the mangrove swamp. It's very unlikely that there are any survivors, but until we have completely surveyed the area, we are not going to announce that," said Thomas Sobakam, chief of meteorology for the Douala airport.
He said the search continued, however. Two other aviation officials in Cameroon, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an official determination had not yet been made, also said it was unlikely anyone survived.

The plane had taken off from Douala, Cameroon's commercial capital, and its wreckage was found just 12 miles from the town's outskirts. The cause of the crash remained unclear.

The Nairobi, Kenya-bound plane was carrying 105 passengers and nine crew members from 27 different countries.

Among the passengers was Nairobi-based Associated Press correspondent Anthony Mitchell, who had been on assignment in the region.

Other passengers include executives from the South African cell phone giant MTN and the nephew of Indian tycoon Ramesh Chauhan, the owner of Parle Products, a leading manufacturer of cookies in India.

The wreckage was found southeast of Douala, along the plane's flight path from the Douala airport — more than 40 hours after the Boeing 737-800 lost contact with the airport. The crash site was concealed by a thick canopy of trees, Titus Naikuni, chief executive of Kenya Airways, told a news conference in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi Sunday.

While the site where the plane went down was not remote, it was in a dense and hard-to-access mangrove forest. The road in was dirt track, its ruts filled with water Monday after heavy overnight rains. The last stretch to the site could accommodate only foot traffic — a large Douala airport truck had become mired in the mud overnight.

A U.S. Embassy official who saw the crash site from a plane Monday said it would have been impossible to have found from the air without coordinates provided by searchers on the ground. He said searchers in planes saw nothing when they flew over before sunset Sunday after hearing reports the plane could have gone down in the swamp.

"It's not what you expect, a bunch of trees knocked down and charred," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters. "It's just a big muddy hole, like many others out there."

The U.S. and France are among the nations providing aircraft and other equipment to help the Cameroonians search.

Guiffo Gande Adolphe, a 35-year-old Douala resident, said Monday he went to see what he could do after hearing wreckage had been found, and ended up among a handful of volunteers and soldiers who spent the night at the site. Adolphe said he had seen one body and a body part.

Flight 507 had departed from Douala airport early Saturday, an hour late because of rain. The plane issued a distress call, but then lost contact with the radio tower between 11 and 13 minutes after takeoff, officials said.

It was not immediately clear if the plane deviated at any point from its flight path.

The search initially focused on the thickly forested hills near the town of Lolodorf, about 90 miles southeast of Douala. Officials had been led to believe the plane had crashed in the vast, hard-to-access forest because of an incorrect satellite signal, possibly emitted from the plane, said Sobakam, the meteorology chief.

Fishermen living in the swampy mangroves near the Douala airport reported hearing a loud sound at the time of the crash.

"It was the fishermen ... who led us to the site," Sobakam said. "It's close enough that we could have seen it from the airport — but apparently there was no smoke or fire."

Drenching rains also might have camouflaged the smoldering wreck in the nighttime hours immediately after the crash, officials said.

Officials said it was too early to tell what caused the plane to go down so quickly after takeoff.
"Whatever happened must have happened very fast, which is usually a sign of catastrophic structural failure," said Patrick Smith, a U.S. based-airline pilot and aviation expert.
"A plane never takes off into a thunderstorm, no crew or carrier would allow that," he said. "But it is remotely possible that the plane could have inadvertently gone into some extremely turbulent air and suffered massive hail damage or a sudden structural failure."

One of the many unanswered questions is why the plane stopped emitting signals after an initial distress call. The plane is equipped with an automatic device that should have kept up emissions for another two days.

An exhausted battery could be one reason, said Capt. Paul Mwangi, head of operations for Kenya Airways. "It is very unlikely, but the device can actually be destroyed. The impact would have to be very, very severe," he said Sunday.

Family members of passengers and crew gathered in Nairobi and Douala, many weeping.
"Oh my last born, my last born, where am I going to go?" Kezzia Musimbi Kadurenge, the mother of a missing crew member, said in Kenya. "I'm finished."

Kenya Airways is considered one of the safest airlines in Africa. The Douala-Nairobi flight runs several times a week, and is commonly used as an intermediary flight to Europe and the Middle East. The airline said most passengers were to transfer to ongoing flights in Nairobi.
Naikuni said the plane was only six months old.

The last crash of an international Kenya Airways flight was on Jan. 30, 2000, when Flight 431 was taking off from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on its way to Nairobi. Investigators blamed a faulty alarm and pilot error for that crash, which killed 169 people