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Ethiopians bid farewell to slain rapper Nipsey Hussle

With poems and speeches, Ethiopians have held an emotional farewell for murdered rapper Nipsey Hussle, whose roots in neighbouring Eritrea won him admirers in both countries.

Known for his Grammy-nominated debut album, Hussle was shot dead last week in front of the clothing store he owned in the US city of Los Angeles, whose violence-plagued neighbourhoods he had tried to revitalise.

On Friday, 29-year-old Eric Holder pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder over the shooting that also wounded two other men.

At the Saturday evening memorial in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Hussle was remembered as a rare entertainer who bridged his American upbringing with his roots in the Horn of Africa.

“When we heard there’s an Eritrean rapper out there, we were fans before we heard his music,” said Ambaye Michael Tesfay, who eulogised Hussle at the event held in a darkened parking lot. “He was an icon for us.”

Before his 2018 debut album “Victory Lap” scored a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album, Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, had won the attention of rap fans from both Ethiopia and Eritrea for his embrace of his father’s Eritrean heritage.

 

Eritrea was a province of Ethiopia until 1993, when it voted for independence after a decades-long independence struggle, but both countries still have close cultural and family ties.

“It’s just really tragic what happened,” said Tezeta Solomon, an Ethiopian living in Los Angeles who attended the memorial in Addis Ababa.

“When he first came out, we were all so excited. To know there was a habesha rapper out there definitely sparked some pride,” she said, using a common term to describe people from the Horn of Africa.

Hussle embraced his Eritrean heritage, visiting the country last year and telling state media, “More than anything I am proud of being Eritrean.”

The relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea has often been tortuous, and the countries were not on speaking terms for years following a 1998-2000 border war that ground into stalemate.

That ended with the signing of a peace agreement last year that restored ties between the neighbours.

The frosty relations did little to dampen Ethiopians’ pride in Hussle’s success.

“We’re all one people,” said Nemany Hailemelekot, an organiser of the memorial.

The crowd of hundreds gathered in the parking lot observed a moment of silence for the slain rapper, who was 33.

Then by the light of candle-like sticks known as twafs held by attendees, speakers came onto a stage erected before the crowd to eulogise Hussle and read poems in his honour.

 

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American tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott rescued from kidnappers in Uganda, authorities say

An Orange County woman and her driver who were kidnapped at gunpoint by a group of men in a Uganda national park last week have been rescued from their captors, authorities said Sunday.

Kimberly Sue Endicott, 56, an aesthetician from Costa Mesa, and her driver, Congolese national Jean-Paul Mirenge Remezo, were rescued by security services, the Ugandan government tweeted. No other details about their rescue were available.

Their kidnappers had demanded a $500,000 ransom for their release.

Endicott was traveling in a car on an evening game drive with Remezo and two other tourists in the national park on Tuesday when four men held them at gunpoint. The other tourists, an elderly couple, escaped, but the gunmen took Endicott and Remezo, said Uganda deputy police spokeswoman Polly Namaye.

 

The tour vehicle, which belongs to Wild Frontiers Uganda, was left parked and the kidnappers took the key, Namaye said.

Pam Lopez, who met Endicott through her work as an aesthetician, said it was her friend’s lifelong dream to go on safari in Africa to see gorillas. Lopez had been following Endicott’s trip through photos her friend posted on Instagram. One image she posted showed four armed soldiers who were guarding the group.

Ugandan police said Wednesday that they had dispatched an elite group of police officers, military personnel and wildlife authority officials to assist in the search. The park’s Ishasha Wilderness Camp area, where the ambush occurred, is a popular tourist destination close to the border with Congo. Joint security teams have cut off all exit areas on the border between Uganda and Congo to search for Endicott and the tour guide.

Uganda recorded a surge in kidnapping cases last year, prompting street protests by activists who said security agencies weren’t doing enough to protect residents. However, officials recently stressed that it is unusual for a tourist to be kidnapped in Uganda, which has a thriving tourism industry stemming from its wildlife and national parks.

The northern part of the park remains open to tourists, but the U.S. Embassy has warned Americans in the area to be careful.

Endicott, who has had an aesthetician’s license since 1998, runs a skin care business in Costa Mesa. A review from a customer posted on the business’ website highlights Endicott’s professional talent and also describes her as a “wonderful and caring person.”

 

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Rihanna honors her mother, Monica Braithewaite, amid ongoing lawsuit with her father

Rihanna’s mother, Monica Braithwaite, got a special shoutout from her daughter in honor of her birthday on Friday, April 5.

“Happy Birthday to my sweet beautiful mother,” Rihanna tweeted Friday morning, sharing the same throwback pic of Monica she posted on Mother’s Day back in 2017.

“Thanks for teaching me that strength, love, forgiveness, sacrifice, hard work & helping others in any way you can is what true beauty looks like,” the singer continued. “Love you & appreciate you! Thank You God for choosing this wonderful being to be my mom!”

(Rihanna’s Clara Lionel charity foundation is named in honor of Monica’s parents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite.)
Happy Birthday to my sweet beautiful mother. Thanks for teaching me that strength, love, forgiveness, sacrifice, hard work & helping others in any way you can is what true beauty looks like. Love you & appreciate you! Thank You God for choosing this wonderful being to be my mom! pic.twitter.com/IFeNFfTLi7
— Rihanna (@rihanna) April 5, 2019
According to DailyMail.com, Rihanna’s loving tweet about her mom comes amid ongoing legal problems with her dad, Ronald Fenty.

 

Rihanna, born Robyn Fenty, sued Ronald in January over his use of the family’s last name for his Fenty Entertainment business. She feared the name would conflict with her Fenty product lines and claimed in the docs that he was using it in an attempt to profit from his daughter’s celebrity status.

The documents also claim Ronald has been pretending to be the singer’s agent and that he booked her for a $15 million tour in Latin America. She also alleged he booked two concerts in the U.S. in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

She’s reportedly asking for unspecified damages in addition to an injunction to prevent him from continuing to operate his business with the Fenty name attached.

Ronald’s legal problems worsened last week when Harvey Justice, who makes parody videos as “Chef Henny” (the main ingredient being Hennessy), filed suit against Ronald for misrepresenting Rihanna’s role in Fenty Entertainment, according to TMZ.

Though she’s not involved in the venture, Harvey says he was led to believe she’s “central” to the work the company does.

Monica and Ronald divorced when Rihanna was a teenager.

The Mail reports the two still communicate in spite of the lawsuit.

 

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Ariana Grande urges fans to protect their energy

Ariana Grande has urged her fans to “protect their peace and energy”.

The ‘god is a woman’ hitmaker took to social media to share a sweet message to her 150 million followers as she told them not to “run themselves to the ground and exhaust themselves”.

In a video posted to her Instagram story, she said: “Hi everyone! I’m in L.A. I just finished my first 10 shows on tours and I’m rehearsing for Coachella and getting ready, but I just wanted to say hi and remind you guys to protect your peace and your energy and to not forget to take care of yourselves and protect your space, because we have a lot of work to do here and a lot of family and friends and love and important s**t to take care of. I just want to make sure you don’t run yourself to the ground and exhaust yourself. And remember to protect your energy and do things that are good for you. And that you are loved and not alone. You deserve the best there is, and I love you. I have a lot of f***ing followers and it’s weird, so if I can use that to spread any kind of positivity or light, I just wanted to send it your way. Remind you life is beautiful if you allow to be and if you put your energy in the right place. So here I am, reminding you.”

 

Ariana had previously thanked her fans for always being there for her in a series of posts to her story.

The ‘7 Rings’ hitmaker wrote: “U make everything better. thank you for your energy. truly. I love y’all, so much. u have no idea how much y’all help me / how happy u make me. sharing a state / this life with y’all is so beautiful. thank u so much for being here. and for reminding me why i am too! (sic)”

 

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FG finally intervenes in Zamfara violence, bans mining activities

The federal government of Nigeria has announced a total ban on mining activities in Zamfara state and its environs.

The decision is part of fresh measures to restore peace to the state bedevilled by banditry. Hundreds of people have been killed or kidnapped by the bandits in Zamfara in the past year.

There have been suspicions that the criminality is a fallout of the artisanal mining of gold and lead in the state, Premium Times reports.

 

The new measure banning mining was announced by the Inspector General of the Police, Mohammed Adamu, while briefing State House correspondents on Sunday, April 7, in Abuja.

Adamu said the government took the decision because it found out there was a relationship between the bandits and illegal miners. Adamu also announced that “all foreigners within mining sites are to leave immediately.”

He said all the sites will be taken over by a special task force comprising of relevant security agencies.

The briefing was also attended by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; the Director General of the State Security Services, Yusuf Bichi; and the Director General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai.

 

The decision also comes a day after dozens of people led by a prominent journalist, Kadaria Ahmed, marched in Abuja to protest the violence in Zamfara.

 

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Africa’s richest man withdrew $10 million just to look at it

Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, known as Africa’s richest man, told a forum in Ivory Coast on Saturday how he once took $10 million in cash out of the bank just to look at it and get it into his head that this was real money, not just figures on paper.

“When you’re young your first million is important, but after, the numbers don’t mean much,” Dangote, a manufacturing tycoon with a range of companies spanning cement to flour, told the Mo Ibrahim forum in Abidjan.

“One day, I cashed 10 million, put them in the boot of my car I put it in my room. I looked at them and thought ‘now I believe I have money’ and took it back to the bank the next day,” he told his audience.

 

Anecdotes aside, Dangote said that the two most promising sectors for Africa’s future were agriculture and new technologies. But he advised young African entrepreneurs not to get carried away by the first flush of success.

“Often in Africa we spend our projected incomes. There are ups and downs” in business, he warned.

Dangote said he regretted the customs and administrative problems that hamper business development throughout the continent.

As an example he cited the difficulties his cement group faces in exporting to Benin from Nigerian factories 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the border. Benin imported “more expensive” cement from China instead.

 

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R. Kelly welcomed by fans at club appearance

R. Kelly received a warm reception from ravers at an Illinois club on Saturday night (06Apr19) as he made a rare public appearance in the wake of his sexual abuse scandal.

The I Believe I Can Fly hitmaker was booked to attend the Dirty South Lounge in Springfield this weekend, and while he didn’t perform, he happily talked to fans and gave out hugs, and posed for photos with the partygoers.

He was even pictured pulling out a cigar as he enjoyed the positive attention – a far cry from the backlash he has received in the media since he was indicted on 10 felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in February (19). He stands accused of behaving inappropriately with four victims, three of whom were allegedly minors at the time of the incidents.

Kelly has denied all allegations, and hours before he was due to arrive at the Dirty South Lounge, he took to Instagram to beg members of the press to leave him in peace so he could fulfill his club commitments.

 

“Yo, this is your boy Kells and I got an event to do tonight in Springfield, Illinois, so I want the media to take it easy on me, man,” the 52 year old said in the clip.

“This is how I got to get paid for right now. So if you see me in the club, with a couple of drinks in my hand, and chilling, please, take it easy.”

The singer previously claimed he has been struggling financially in light of the negative press he has received since longrunning sexual misconduct accusations were revisited in the damning docuseries Surviving R. Kelly.

Revelations made in the show, which aired in January (19), prompted prosecutors in Illinois and Georgia, where he has property, to launch investigations into his alleged conduct.

He also had to rely on associates to bail him out of jail following his indictment, and again in March (19) after failing to settle his child support debts with ex-wife Andrea Kelly.

 

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