While not viewing the entire Spice act, Foster’s Fairplay can comment on that portion which was seen or heard. There was an accusation of virtual nudity on the part of the entertainer. Those who spoke in defence claimed that she wore a skin-coloured material under a transparent outfit, which simulated the effect of a bare body. This columnist rejects that explanatory response. If it is to be countenanced, why not have a performer of any gender, placing tufts of artificial hair in places where they would appear naturally, claiming that it is not the real thing? The minister also referred to Spice’s ability to create alternative lyrics to supposedly inappropriate songs, which would be more in keeping with the occasion. Isn’t this not a way of saying that this particular performance was not one for the moment? Another argument put forward to justify what this column sees as a ‘wrong place, wrong time’ choice is this: the athletes, who were the toasts of the three nights, asked for Spice. In response to that, Foster’s Fairplay asks the question: Would these same athletes say to a Stephen Francis or a Glen Mills, who are the orchestrators of their preparation programmes to prosperity, “Sir, I am doing three 300m runs this evening instead of the customary eight.” Think not. To have booked Spice was not in the interest of what ought to be fed to a gathering carrying the full age spectrum. To stop short of describing that spot on the show as lacking in propriety can be explained. It’s a crazy, mixed-up world. Who really knows and can honestly say if it is one thing or the other? – Feedback: Email email@example.com During the past week, Foster’s Fairplay has been reminiscing on times that were somewhat less complex than they are now. So much has changed in moral terms, to the extent that what was formerly deemed to be decidedly wrong and unacceptable has taken on a more positive and acceptable image. Of course, that can be reversed to make the right way seem not to be the path to follow. As a part of the look back, a lot of time was allotted to a song called “If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another”. It was gifted to music lovers by Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields and came from a 1982 album. Fields, in reflecting on some of the happenings at the time, included in his mind-stimulating lyrics “It’s a crazy mixed-up world”. That assessment, from which several inferences may be drawn, brings this columnist to a situation that has been played out in the written media since the Rio Olympics celebrations over the Heroes weekend. The discourse, controversy, or whatever it can be appropriately called, on the booking of the dancehall act, Spice. She performed at the Rio Sports Gala at the National Indoor Sports Centre on the second of three nights over which the ‘thank you’ event was held. Despite having delved into music for entertainment from an early age, this columnist confesses almost total lack of knowledge and, by extension, appreciation for the now-popular art form. However, there is no difficulty in making the call as to whether Spice and what she brings to the stage should have been considered in the first instance. The series of functions was conceived by the Government and executed through the relevant ministry, managed by a veteran soldier in both sports and entertainment, Olivia Grange. ‘Babsy’, as she is affectionately called, has strut the sporting arena in previous administrations, as well as in Opposition. In either dispensation, her voice has been just as strident and scholarly in matters relevant to the games that people play. She has managed the welfare and affairs of a variety of entertainers and in that regard, studios and stages are her familiar stomping grounds. With all that in mind, her choices should be respected. On the particular occasion to which invitations were issued, the expected mix of the audience was never in doubt. It was comprised of persons picked from various backgrounds and cultures, the accent being on an affiliation to sports and the glory and honour which the Rio participants – able-bodied and handicapped – had showered on the nation. MIXED AUDIENCE NOT THE REAL THING?
The beloved family, friends loved ones, fellow Liberians ladies and gentlemen. It is with deepest sympathy that I stand here in the midst of this memorial service to pay tribute to the late Al Brown Sr. – the African-American businessman who, in his life, manifested nothing short of a devotion to the African Continent and an upliftment of its peoples, through the insurance business, whether in Liberia, Cameroon, Togo or elsewhere on the continent, as far back as the 1960’s.My tribute today is in my capacity as former Minister of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Liberia over the period of April 2006-2007 September when the Administration of the new Government of Africa’s first democratically elected female President Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was faced with a major crisis that threatened to derail the security of the state- that crisis is referred to as the “Rice Saga”In Liberia, as we all know, our staple food rice, was what led to the fall of the first Republic and mutated into a civil war that lasted some 14 years, destroying in its wake the social fabric of our country’; let alone some 250,000 deaths; destruction of basic infrastructure and services as well as the flight of our human resources in the wake of the carnage that ensued.Nature of the Crisis• Upon assumption of my portfolio as Minister of Commerce and Industry on 6 April 2006, I met with the major Suppliers of rice in the country-primarily foreign traders.• Only 1/3 of the normal monthly requirements of 350,000 bags of rice needed in first half of the year had been ordered by Suppliers.• There were also no pending orders, i.e. no orders in the pipeline.• The implications were that there would be people in the streets of Monrovia by August or September, as there would be shortages of rice.• The traditional Suppliers wanted to increase the price of rice (at the time $22.00 per bag for the popular butter rice) but we refused. It would have been suicidal.• We needed urgent action to source critical supplies in order to avert the looming crisis.• I met with Liberians in Washington, D.C. in July 2006 where I lead the Liberian delegation to the AGOA conference, at the Liberian Embassy in Washington, D.C.• I also met with Al Brown, the African-American businessman, who was able to meet the capital requirements necessary to respond to our needs under certain conditions and made us an offer.That we were able to weather the storm- nothing short of economic sabotage against the interest of the nation- what I call “commerce under siege” by the foreign traders that basically controlled the economy and in particular rice, a strategic commodity, was due to the implementation of the offer from the late Al Brown, through his company Sinkor Trading!Ladies and Gentlemen the late Al Brown saved the day; He provided us 6 months supply of rice at a stable price when the major importers were holding GOL hostage for an increase in the price of rice with no orders, in the pipeline, he provided us two months’ strategic reserves of rice, that had never happened before; under the arrangement we had a unique opportunity that was not only 100% Liberian owned but arrangements were worked out for other Liberians to participate for the first time in the rice market under new modalities. Above all we were able to make available rice to the southeastern part of the country with the assistance of the UNMIL vessel Katarina at affordable price as never before, during a period of heavy rains when there were severe shortages of food in the Southeast, i.e. Cape Palmas and Sinoe.At the end of the day, this entire experience that I have just related represents an act of Patriotism by Al to his adopted country (Liberia). This act avoided a crisis that would have taken the country back almost 30 years. Indeed not only did he genuinely believe in putting the economy back in hands of Liberians; in Liberians regaining our pride and dignity, but he took concrete action (that cost him) to make this a reality in a strategic sector of the economy. We believe then and still believe that is was and remains unacceptable that a strategic commodity like rice remains in the hands of powerful non-Liberian interest. In this regard, when I left the Ministry of Commerce in September of 2007, there were 6 importers of rice, 5 of whom were Liberians – a first in the history of our nation!As I close, I want to say to Al, “thank you Al” – thank you plenty for what you did for our country – Liberia- your adopted country. To the bereaved family, we say “never mind yah”- To Al, our nation owes you! May God rest your soul and may light perpetual shine on you!I ask the congregation to stand and Salute this fallen Patriot by singing twice the refrain of our foremost patriotic song “The Lone Star Forever” by the late Edwin J. Barclay, the 18th President of Liberia!Refrain:The Lone Star forever,The Lone Star forever!O Long may it floatOver land and o’er seas!Desert it! No Never!Uphold it, forever!O shout for the lone starr’d banner-all hail!Tribute by:Olubanke King-AkereleFormer Minister of Commerce and Industry,Former Minister of Foreign Affairs,Republic of Liberia11 April 2015Reston, Virginia, 2015Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Two major Donegal bus companies are vowing to drop students at their college’s main student accommodation on the late Sunday night services.This allays the worries parents may have about their children traveling on public transport late at night, particularly first years who may not be familiar with Dublin, Galway, or Sligo yet.Bus Feda and Mc Ginley’s say that as students prepare to begin their new college term, Donegal parents may be concerned about how their children are getting home from the bus stop. Bus Feda has promised to deliver students to main student accommodation areas in Galway, Sligo and Letterkenny (NUIG, GMIT, IT Sligo, LYIT) with Mc Ginley’s vowing to drop students at DCU, UCD, St. Pats and NUI Maynooth in Dublin/Kildare.A spokesperson for Bus Feda says; “This means that students don’t have to get another bus, taxi or walk too far when they get off the Bus Feda Bus.”James Mc Ginley of Mc Ginley Coach Travel said; “all indications are that the numbers of students traveling to Dublin this year are increasing, we have seen huge numbers of students traveling on our services over the last few weeks looking for accommodation and getting ready for their return to college”.“On Sunday night we drop at DCU, UCD, St. Pats and NUI Maynooth and students find this college drop-off service particularly useful, it’s very reassuring for parents to know that their teenagers are being dropped off at the college campuses in most cases,” James added. McGinley’s have been operating this service since 1986 and serve most parts of North Donegal from Annagry in the West of the county to Inishowen and Derry.McGinley’s operate a daily service to Dublin – for more information check www.johnmcginley.com or call 074-9135201.Bus Feda operate a daily service to Galway via Sligo – for more information check www.busfeda.ie.Parents’ relief as Donegal buses to drop students at campuses on late Sunday night runs was last modified: September 1st, 2017 by Staff WriterShare 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:donegaldublinfeda busGalwaymc ginleyssligo