By Sean Yoes, Baltimore AFRO Editor, [email protected] Kilpatrick, the former Detroit mayor who began his political career with so much promise, has spent the last seven years incarcerated, on a 28-year-sentence after being convicted of 24 felonies.Now, Kilpatrick is reaching out to Donald Trump for a presidential pardon.Kwame Kilpatrick, 48, the ex-Mayor of Detroit, is currently serving a 28-year sentence for corruption. He is currently being housed in the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia. (Facebook Photo)“Our country has always been the land of 2nd Chances!” reads the Facebook post signed by Kilpatrick. “I am hoping, confidently expecting, that I will have the opportunity to boldly move into the next season of my life; outside of these prison walls…I pray that I will receive the opportunity for Pardon/Clemency from the President of the United States as well.”Kilpatrick is seeking a Trump pardon, as the president has recently dangled the possibility of high profile pardons for Martha Stewart and Rod Blagojevich (former Gov. of Illinois), both former contestants of Trump’s former reality show, “The Apprentice.” Last month, Trump posthumously pardoned Jack Johnson, the first Black heavyweight champion of the world. Early this month he pardoned Alice Johnson, who was convicted of drug charges, after being lobbied by Kim Kardashian West.Kilpatrick, a Democrat, was first elected Mayor of Detroit in 2001, at the age of 31, the youngest mayor in the city’s history. But, Kilpatrick resigned his office in 2008 after being convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice revealed through a text messaging scandal between Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty, his chief of staff, (the duo were engaged in an extramarital affair). Kilpatrick was sentenced to four months in jail and released on probation after serving 99 days.In 2010, he was sentenced to 18 months to five years in state prison for violating his probation. In 2013, Kilpatrick was convicted of 24 felonies (connected to his time as mayor), including wire fraud, mail fraud and racketeering and was sentenced to 28 years.“Yes, I have made some very bad decisions in my life. Yes, I betrayed my wife and family because of my own lust and sin. Yes, I failed to deliver on the promises and opportunities that was given to me by the people of Detroit, Michigan. And yes, I have been severely punished for it,” wrote Kilpatrick. “My family has forgiven me. I have asked the people of the city of Detroit for forgiveness many times. And most Detroiters have forgiven me as well…I pray that I will receive the opportunity for Pardon/Clemency from the President of the United States.”A Trump pardon of Kilpatrick would wipe out his convictions, clemency would shorten his prison sentence.If he served his full sentence, the earliest Kilpatrick, who is married with three children, could be released from prison is 2037 at age 67.
The colours and sounds of Africa came alive here last week through the mesmerising music of Peki Emelia Nothembia Mkhwebane, known as the African queen of Ndebele music.The Ndebele musical tradition derives from the culture of the ethnic Zulu people of South Africa.Makhwebane enthralled a near-full house at the FICCI auditorium Saturday evening on the final day of the Days of South Africa in India festival, organised jointly by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and South Africa’s Department of Art and Culture. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’To repeated cries of encore, Mkhwenabe and her band gave a spectacular performance combining music and song with an energetic, spellbinding dance. She led the performance with her high pitched, soulful voice and electric guitar while the dancers entranced with their traditional costumes, coloured in vivid hues with intricate bead and metalwork.With songs like Angekhe Angijhiye (Jesus is great, will always be with me) and Igama (I have worked for my name), all sung in Ndebele with backup vocals, the performance was a vivid demonstration of how South African music is a dialogue with various forms and their hybridisation. ‘My music takes from both rural and urban traditions,’ Mkhwebane, who composes her songs, said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘Music is a vital part of everyday life in Africa. It is always there in religious ceremonies, festivals, and social rituals. Everyone plays an active part in the musical life of the community,’ she said.For someone who has taken Ndebele culture to the world, Mkhwebane’s life mirrors the history of multicultural South Africa. Orphaned at the age of five, and unable to have a formal education, she learnt to play the reed flute from her grandmother and the guitar from her uncle.Mkhwebane has travelled extensively abroad, performing in the United States, Europe and Australia. She has many awards to her credit. These include the Tourism Ambassador for South Africa, the South African Music Award and more.
Advertisement Banks and micro-finance firms, located in Ethiopia, are set to launch mobile money services within the country. According to Netherlands-based company BelCash, the move is intended to assist individuals – who have little or access to banking services – to gain the ability to access these services.BelCash is offering a technology called helloCash, while MOSS ICT, mainly owned by an Ireland-based firm, is rolling out M-Birr the nation. In both cases, Ethiopian banks and institutions will offer the service to customers and hold the cash deposited, in line with government policy that bars foreign firms or banks from investing in the financial sector or the telecoms industry.In a statement made to Reuters, “One of the things that the government wants to do is ensure there is financial inclusion,” said MOSS ICT deputy general manager Kidist Negeye, adding M-Birr would help reach rural areas. “Another aspect is the mobilisation of domestic savings. The government wants to increase the number of deposits.” – Advertisement – According to BelCash chief executive, Vince Diop: “BelCash’s helloCash service could have 2-3 million users this year and 10 million by 2017 or 2018.” In the statement, Diop added that BelCash would receive a fee for each transaction made.Two of Ethiopia’s 16 private banks, Lion International Bank and Cooperative Bank of Oromia, as well as a micro-finance firm, have signed up for helloCash. Two more banks have yet to submit applications to the central bank, Diop revealed.Credit: ITNewsAfrica