Dádìsì Speaks

Archive for July, 2012|Monthly archive page

In Honour of Babatunde Olatunji, Morehouse Man, Citizen of the World

In Culture, History, Music, the World, Thinking Africa on 23/07/2012 at 09:36

Morehouse college alumnus Babatunde Olatunji (April 7, 1927–April 6, 2003) was a Nigerian drummer, educator, social activist and recording artist.

Olatunji was born in the village of Ajido, a small town near Badagry, Lagos State, in southwestern Nigeria. A member of the Yoruba people, Olatunji was introduced to traditional African music at an early age.
In 1950, after reading about the Rotary International Foundation’s scholarship program in the Reader’s Digest magazine he applied for it, recived the scholorship and got a place at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia,

Olatunji won a following among jazz musicians, notably creating a strong relationship with John Coltrane and Columbia Records A&R man John Hammond who signed him to the Columbia label in 1957. With Coltrane’s help, he founded the Olatunji Center for African Culture in Harlem. This was the site of Coltrane’s final performance. In 1959 Olatunji released his first of six records on the Columbia label, called Drums of Passion.

In 1969, Carlos Santana had a major hit with his cover version of this first album’s “Jin-go-lo-ba”, which Santana recorded on his debut album, Santana, as “Jingo.” Olatunji favoured a big percussion sound, and his records typically featured more than 20 players, unusual for a percussion based ensemble. Drums of Passion became a major hit and remains in print; it introduced many Americans to world music. Drums of Passion also served as the band’s name. Notable band members included; Clark Terry, Bill Lee, Horace Silver, Yusef Lateef, Sikiru Adepoju and Charles Lloyd, among others.

 

Olatunji’s subsequent recordings include Drums of Passion: The Invocation (1988), Drums of Passion: The Beat (1989) (which included Airto Moreira and Carlos Santana), Love Drum Talk (1997), Circle of Drums (2005) (originally titled Cosmic Rhythm Vibrations, with Muruga Booker and Sikiru Adepoju), and Olatunji Live at Starwood (2003 – recorded at the 1997 Starwood Festival [1]) with guest Halim El-Dabh. He also contributed to Peace Is The World Smiling: A Peace Anthology For Families on the Music For Little People label (1993).

Olatunji recorded with many other prominent musicians (often credited as “Michael Olatunji”), including Cannonball Adderley (on his African Waltz (1961) album), Horace Silver, Quincy Jones, Pee Wee Ellis, Stevie Wonder, Randy Weston, and with Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln on the pivotal Freedom Now Suite aka We Insist, and with Grateful Dead member Mickey Hart on his Grammy winning Planet Drum projects. He is also mentioned in the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Free” as recorded on the album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. Olatunji composed music for the Broadway theatrical and Hollywood film productions of Raisin in the Sun. He assisted Bill Lee with the music for his son Spike Lee’s hit film She’s Gotta Have It.-  (Source: Wikipedia)

Gun laws need to be reconsidered and the NRA has too much influence

In Consider This, Culture, Politics on 22/07/2012 at 22:42

CONSIDER THIS: Our media more often than not spins and softens information before broadcasting it to the masses. Especially when it doesn’t fall in line with atypical ways of defining and describing individuals or events. I think this poster about sums this one up. What say YE?!!! #RIPColoradoShootingVictims

 

 

South African woman to lead African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

In Politics, the World, Thinking Africa on 19/07/2012 at 11:25

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, incoming President of the African Union

AFRICAN COMMUNITY PSA: Women are doing BIG things on the continent. CONGRATULATIONS to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to new President of the African Union. Continue to make us proud.

 

Excellence Awaits You!!!

In Consider This on 18/07/2012 at 17:08

I think Aristotle had it right. I approve this message.

R.I.P. Steven Covey

In Business, Culture, Leadership, Philosophies and Opinions on 18/07/2012 at 10:47

 

Habit 1: Be Proactive
Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life’s principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.

Habit 3: Put First Things First
Prioritize, plan, and execute your week’s tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluate whether your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you toward goals, and enrich the roles and relationships that were elaborated in Habit 2.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a “win” for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten his way.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, respect, and positive problem solving.

Habit 6: Synergize
Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone. Get the best performance out of a group of people through encouraging meaningful contribution, and modeling inspirational and supportive leadership.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes on exercise for physical renewal, prayer (mediation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to the society for spiritual renewal.

~ Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Rest in peace.

In 1959 See Left Us and is Missed: My Tribute to Lady Day

In Culture, Jazz, Music on 18/07/2012 at 09:47

MUSICAL PSA: On this day in 1959 Eleanora Harris aka Billy Holiday died at the age of 44. She is still missed til this day. R.I.P. to an original diva.

 

A Harlem Landmark Closing After 10 Years In Business – Hue-Man Bookstore

In Authors, Business, Thinking Africa on 18/07/2012 at 09:42

 

COMMUNITY PSA: I’m deeply saddened by news of the closing of the largest Black American owned bookstore in the U.S. Just finished listening to an interview on NPR with the owner Marva Allen about the state of her industry and why she had to make a tough business decision to close the store.

Simple answer, the “business model was no longer sustainable.” She said that while at the same time indicating that her gross profit margins were 37%. Bottom line, her store didn’t have enough traffic to boost sales to a point where they would allow for a more sustainable model.

One other note, the largest Black American owned company is not as large as the smallest Fortune 500 company. According to Allen this is largely because Black American owned business don’t have the same access to funding and investment that White owned businesses in America. Just something to seriously consider people.

We’ve got work to do.

Happy 94th Birthday to the One and Only Nelson Mandela

In Culture, History, Politics, the World, Thinking Africa, Uncategorized on 18/07/2012 at 09:37

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” ― Nelson Mandela

 

In Uncategorized on 10/07/2012 at 14:49

What’s going on Chicago? This makes no sense.

Life’s Transitions: On Becoming Your Passion

In About Me, Career Transitions on 04/07/2012 at 12:48

Me in the uniform shop purchasing my first Chef’s uniform

Becoming one’s passion is often and unfortunately the road less traveled.  Regardless of nationality or cultural upbringing, many people come from environments which are never open to them making drastic changes in their lives.  One such change is the change of chosen vocation.

When you spend years if not most or all of your adult life doing one thing, in my cased 25 years in the Information Technology industry, it’s difficult for others to see you in another light.  Well I say to hell with that.  I’ve never been one for fitting in a pre-defined box or a box that makes others comfortable.  I’m all about doing what you want to do in your life as long as it does no harm to others.

When it comes to making career changes, they tend to affect people in many different ways.  I recall years ago in Atlanta when I would host various parties and events at my home I would prepare the entire meal for everyone to enjoy.  Often the assumption would be that my wife cooked the meals or that they were catered.

I would then say, “no, I cooked it all. It’s my passion.  It’s what I do”.  Then they would turn to my wife in disbelief and ask her, “did he actually cook all of this?”  and she would respond, “yep, all I did was help put it on the table. He loves cooking. That’s what he does”

Curry Ginger Strawberry Spinach Salad with Grilled Salmon and Raspberry Vinaigrette.

Anyone who had been to my home on a regular basis already knew I could get down in the kitchen.  Many would even suggest that I should start a restaurant of my own.  And over the years I have serious considered the restaurant business but always told myself not now.  I’ll do it later.  After roughly 10 years of putting it off my passion has caught up with me and I have wholeheartedly embraced it.

I am now a chef, soon to be restaurateur and the new kid on the block. Starting over is never easy but the time was now and Carpe Diem is my motto. So look for great things from me, being a Chef is seriously hard work. And since making my decision I have developed a new found respect for the people who prepare and serve us our food.

I will be training for the next year or so. Getting the proper Chefery, yes I made that up, pedigree before I open my own restaurant in DC. Stay tuned. And don’t forget to chase your passions and never let anyone tell you you can’t do it because you can.  Stay thirsty my friends.