Thursday, June 16, 2005

Birthday Tribute

On this day, June 16, 1971, a little baby boy was born to a Panther activist young girl named Afeni Shakur.
19 years later, the little boy, who growing up was close friends and school mates with the likes of Jada Pinkett-Smith, laid the foundation that cemented his iconic status as a thought-provoking multi-talented poet, lyricist, actor, activist, screenwriter, rapper, entertainer, revolutionary and an Oscar-nominated autobiographer.
From coast-to-coast, across all nations and transcending cultures, his image, message and voice is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable in the world. No other rapper dead or alive has received as much coverage and been studied at more universities. Few musicians dead or alive have been sampled as often or positively influenced so many budding and established musicians.
His fans span highly diverse socio-political, racial and economic strata and it should come as no surprise that the likes of the great Nikki Giovanni-the poet & activist, and Naughty By Nature’s Treach have tattoos honoring him, highly reputed professors like Michael Eric Dyson keep writing books and teaching about him, highly regarded and inspiring musical legends like Quincy Jones publish books & magazines about him, as well as these two long-time fans, carry on his legacy:

Today, as we light candles and ‘Pour Out a Little Liquor’ in observance of your day, I’m sure your wide & diverse circle of friends ranging from the UK’s Tim Roth & Thandie Newton, to your roaddogs Snoop Dogg & Dr.Dre, Jada Pinkett, Suge Knight, Treach, Scarface, The Immortal Outlawz, Method Man & Redman,Madonna, Mickey Rourke, Tony Danza, Jasmine Guy, to…the list is infinite…we say:
Thanks Tupac Amaru Shakur for touching our hearts, urging us to look within ourselves and our societies to make a change. As we do that we heed your words:
"Just think of all the people that you knew in the past
that passed on, they in heaven, found peace at last
Picture a place that they exist, together

There has to be a place better than this, in heaven
So right before I sleep, dear God, what I'm askin
Remember this face, save me a place, in thug's mansion "
**Your true fans don't say R.I.P, we say: T.I.P 2Pac**

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Joginder Connection

Thanks to encouragement from a blogger friend, I got the guts to post this fanatical tale.
As a little pre-nursery school kid, I was so much into the Safari Rally craze that I would sit for hours by the radio or in front of the Tv and attentively follow the rally updates. This was mostly around the time Joginder Singh was winning the annual rally like it was his homemade game or something. I don't know who, or what influenced me to get into this whole rally fanaticism but little as I was, I liked Joginder so much that every time he won, I would be happy for days on end. I bet anyone would be forgiven to think the rally legend was splitting his winnings with the silly boy that I was, lol!
Anyway, as I think back, the Kericho born “Flying Sikh” must have been a superhero of sorts to me (the way Amerikans have Superman, Batman, The Hulk, et al)& there was no way in my mind that Joginder could possibly lose. After all, he always came out the winner, so, he was the rally & the rally was him riiiight? Well, I learnt the truth the hard way.
Much later when I was a little grown, my parents told me that when Joginder finally lost (to Shekhar Mehta I think, don't remember too well when this was), I was in front of the Tv as usual and as soon as they broke the news that my hero had lost I wailed sooo hard, sooo long & sooo much you'd have thought I was bereaved! I was literally depressed for days! (no jokes!)& wouldn't want to go out & play, I refused to eat & worst of all I hated watching Tv for weeks on end. My dear parents weren't much help either, coz they had a ball as they teased me about it for weeks AND years.
I was barely out of nursery school when this happened but every time family or relatives mentioned ‘Joginder’ I thought they were out to tease me. It was both hard & silly but you know I never heard the last of it since the rally happened each year. I just couldn’t avoid being ridiculed. Up to the time I went to college, my mom (I love her to bits) would try & sneak in a Joginder joke that had everybody bursting with laughter, only this time I too found it very funny. Donnoh if that taught me to deal with losses or not but it sure left a mark on my childhood & gave me a reason to laugh at myself years later:)