Friday, May 13, 2011

Stevie Wonder "If It's Magic"

I just love this song so much! Happy Born Day, Stevie Wonder!

Love & light,

Happy Born Day Stevie Wonder!

Today is Stevie Wonder's birthday and I am truly glad to be able to have lived in the same time/space/continuum. Why? Because his music is amazing. As a children growing up in our household, our Mother would put on one of Stevie Wonder's albums, playing them until they warped!
Some would say that Stevie Wonder's music is prophetic, therapeutic and can cause you to reflect on your life - Lyrics that soothe the soul, make you happy, making you want to jump up and dance, put you in the mood for love, or, sit down and make you take a long hard look at the World; Stevie Wonder's music can make makes you think about current events, religion, the sun and the moon, rocket jets, or even random acts of kindness - your present life and contemplate on one's future.

Side bar: I met Stevie Wonder in the lobby of the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel) - thus the photo of the lobby.

So I'm taking a moment to reflect, with Sissy(my sister), on the life and the legacy of Stevie Wonder. Congratulations Stevie, on receiving an honorary degree from Tulane University, New Orleans, LA!

We love you Stevie Wonder!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day - A Native San Franciscan's Perspective

There were no birther issues - I was born in San Francisco, CA - the 31st State to be admitted to the Union, at Letterman General Hospital located on the Presidio Army Base -to Gladys and Albert Spells Thomas Sr. My Father proudly served in the Navy and my Mother worked in private industry.

My Mother had a clear job description for us children; be respectful and obedient to your parents and grand parents, respect other adults, do your house work and home work, get good grades and have f-u-n!

It was our job.

Why? Because my parents believed that since childhood is such a short period of time, children should not have to worry about adult problems.
I clearly remember the mornings that my Mom got us bathed, clothed and fed, and my Dad took us to play in Golden Gate Park in the mornings. My grandfather would pick us up after school on Wednesdays and take us to Golden Gate Park to play as well. It was our routine.

It all seems like yesterday.

My father was in a terrible car accident that rendered him a quadriplegic 6 months after my brother, Stuart's death - SIDS - and my Mother had to deal with the death of a child and a husband with special needs and raise her surving children. Wow. Mother, you are my Super Hero. You still found time to love and care for us, despite the other things crowding in on our time/space/life. Without your love, we don't know where we'd be.
Mother, we'd like to thank you for always being there for us, making sacrifices for us and making sure that we as siblings were taught to care for, like and love one another - look out for one another. Mother, Al, Carla, Valerie, Detroit, Rebecca and Malisa love you very much - This I know for sure.

Hats off to you women that took the time to realize that children don't ask to be born, but once here, they deserve quality time, love and attention.

To all of the Mothers whose hearts allowed enough space in them to love and nurture children that were birthed by another Mother, but loved by you -
May you continue to be blessed 1,000 fold.

Truly with love & light,

A Bridge to Strawberry Hill - Stowe Lake - Golden Gate Park -

Sunday, May 1, 2011

2011 African Goodwill Recognition Awards - Ambassadors of Goodwill

Saturday evening, April 30, 2011, in African tradition, African Focus, Inc.,
Hosted its 8th Annual African Goodwill Recognition Awards Ceremony 2011, honoring the "Ambassadors of Goodwill" at the Veterans Memorial Complex, in Culver City, CA.

The MCs for the evening were Monie Mon, Michael Coylar and Razaaq Adoti, were keeping the audience on our feet with lots of laughter and entertainment! Keith David (Voice of the character, Dr. Facilier in The Princess and The Frog) was one of the Presenters as well as Lara Okunubi.

Her Excellency Josephone Elechi - Wife of the Governor of Ebonyi State Nigeria

I sat at my friend, Dawn Sutherland - VP Finance /Controller at Xerox Corporation's table; also seated at Dawn's table, the South African Consul General Cyril S. Ndaba and guest, Jessie -Entrepreneur, Karen - A Writer for International Travel/Tourism, Darrell G. Smith - VP Marketing, The Africa Channel, Roni D. Williams of Pramount Pictures, and a gentleman from Zimbabwe.

African Focus, Inc., Uchenna Nworgu, Founder - Executive Director, gave a very compelling opening address, encouraging us all to focus on Mr. Nworgu's organization's Mission Statement:
"Our focus is to promote growth and well being of Africans all around the world through knowledge and appreciation of one another as well as building a bridge of love and understanding with other people."

Moza Mjasiri-Cooper, born in Zanzibar, Tanzania was selected as one of the Honorees for 2011. Moza is an accomplished, very intelligent, well spoken, well read woman that is a Princess and a Warrior - a woman of strength, courage and wisdom; she is remarkably kind and has a heart and a happy spirit, and I count her as my friend. Congratulations, Moza and family -

I salute you - as well as your fellow recipients and their families.

The Host African Countries:
Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Sierra Leone

The Host families : Mr. & Mrs. Damiania Kigoye, Elder Uzoma N. & Mrs. Ijeoma Nwasu , Dr. Solomon & Mrs. Henrietta Egbuho, Mr. Ikechukwu & Mrs. Chika Onyebalu, Mr. Ike and Mrs. Chika Onyebalu, Arthur & Mrs. Vanessa Ssembusi, Mr. Mboyo Djweya, Dr. Daniel & Mrs. Hope Williams, Honorable Dr. Hillary & Chief Mrs. Uloma Ihenacho, Dr. Tom Spencer-Walthers and Chinelo Udo.

The welcoming of His Royal Highness King Julius I. Osuchukwu, Obaire of Eziama Obaire, Imo, State of Nigeria, the 2011 Induction Presiding King, was something one can never forget - it was an honor to stand and cheer the entire court.

Special acknowledgment of appreciation goes to Professor Adebowale Adefuye, Nigerian Ambassador to the USA.

Inductees - Countries:
Assemblymember Steven C. Bradford - Uganda
Betty Arnold - Nigeria
Orlando Love - Nigeria
Caroline V. Brown - Uganda
Linda Smith - Nigeria
Vincent Southerland - Nigeria
Rosalind Pennington - Nigeria
Dr. Zyra McCloud - Nigeria
Mel Hughes - Sierra Leone
Sherice Norris - Nigeria

My friend Dawn Sutherland was also the Presenter of Betty Arnold's Ambassador Award - congratulations, Betty Arnold and family!

All of the tables were full to capacity, there were hundreds of well dressed men, women and children on hand to celebrate the past, connecting it to the present and into the future lives of the 2011 African Goodwill Award Honorees.

The 2011 Honorees were:
Bishop Noel Jones - City of Refuge - The Brothers Keeper Award

Omotola J. Ekeinde - Goodwill & Achievement Award

Ambassador of Goodwill Award
Her Excellency Josephone Elechi - Wife of the Governor of Ebonyi State Nigeria
Namdi Asomugha - NFL Cornerback
Betty L. Arnold - VP, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt - Xerox Corporation
Moza Mjasiri - Cooper - CEO - Black Art Los Angeles, Non-Profit Organization

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the AFI Vision, the event was a success! Thank you, Emmily Alexander, Co-Founder & President of the Homecoming Study in Africa, Board Member, Carol Barton-Forbes - CEO and the entire Executive Working Committee of AFI - Especially Patrick Anyawoke for all of your help - Hats off to you all for a job well done!

Entertainment Line up: Marva Smith, Vivian Love, Young Wisdon, Melissa McCloud, Vivian Nwokocha, Jamorra Styles, Precission Dance Company and Akalaka Dancers Dancers.

Award Models: Daisy Noelle, Ada Azubuike and Lovelyn Alobwede

Sponsorship : The Africa Channel, in conjunction with Ethiopian Airlines, Toyota, Hansen's Natural, UnionBank, MoneyGram, OurWeekly Magazine, Avlon, The Immigrant Magazine, Clear Essence, A&A International Shipping Inc., Healthline Foundation, Africa House ,
Marine Enterprise African Gift Store - Rodney Garcia 310.874.4952