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All Africa, All the Time.

The Nigerian government  of Rivers State has awarded Burna Boy with the Distinguished Service Star  (DSSRS) award to honor him  for winning the August Grammy Award. Burna Boy won the "Best Global Music Album" Grammy for Twice as Tall album. The honour was reportedly conferred in his hometown of Port Harcourt this past weekend. This follows Burna Boy's astounding win at the 63rd Grammy Awards two weeks ago for his critically acclaimed album Twice As Tall. According to reports, the DSSRS is the state's second-highest distinction award and is given in recognition of exceptional service or performance in any field of human endeavour. In accepting the award from the Governor of Rivers State Wike, Burna Boy said:



"I have collected honours everywhere in the world, but it feels different when you get it from home. This is my most humble moment and I thank each and every one of you. I thank the best Governor I have ever experienced. I don't like politics and politicians but my Governor has shown me that there is hope for the youths and there is hope for us. This award is not only for me but for all of you and the future Burna Boys. I love you Port Harcourt, everywhere I go, I carry you with me''


Burna Boy homecoming: Damini Ogulu AKA "Burna Boy" Grammys homecoming  concert fotos from Port Harcourt - BBC News Pidgin

Burna Boy homecoming: Damini Ogulu AKA "Burna Boy" Grammys homecoming  concert fotos from Port Harcourt - BBC News Pidgin

Governor Wike criticized for spending millions on Burna Boy, others,  despite owing workers 5 years salaries - DNB Stories Africa

The milestone has since drawn congratulatory messages from colleagues and high-profile Nigerian politicians including President Muhammadu Buhari and World Trade Organisation director-general Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.


“Congratulations to Burna Boy on being conferred the 2021 Grammy, the world’s most prestigious musical awards,” Buhari said. “He has made notable contributions in the field of music which have brought glory to Nigerians at home and abroad. We are proud of his path-breaking achievements.”



“We are exporting so much of our creative arts abroad and this seems to be encouraged,” Okonjo-Iweala said about Burna Boy’s win.



“This is a big win for my generation of Africans all over the world,” Burna Boy said about his Grammy during his acceptance speech. “This should be a lesson to every African out there: no matter where you are, no matter what you plan to do, you can achieve it no matter where you’re from, because you’re a king.”

 

 

 

Credits

NOBANTU SHABANGU   OKAY AFRICA

Gabriel Myers Hansen  MUSIC AFRICA

Prince William's Black friend Is a Nigerian Seyi Obakin.  He defends him  amid speculation about racism in the royal family

Prince William's brother and sister-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, caused a stir earlier this month when they claimed there were "concerns" about the colour of their son Archie's skin before he was born, though they didn't state which member of the royal family had allegedly made the comments.






And William's friend, Nigerian-born Centrepoint CEO Seyi Obakin, insisted he and his family have always been treated with "decency, dignity and respect" by the prince. He said:  "I have never seen a hint of racism. Never. I have worked with him in close proximity for years. He has met my family. He's never treated us with anything other than decency, dignity and respect."





William, 38, became patron of the homelessness charity when he was just 23, and has always been hands-on with the organisation but he and Seyi bonded further when they slept rough overnight together in 2009. Seyi recalled to the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "He said, 'If I'm going to do it I need to understand how this stuff works, can I volunteer?' He came along a number of times and worked as part of a multi-ethnic team serving a multi-ethnic group of young people, talking to them about their housing benefit problems and ringing up the benefits office.



"One of the young people came in and said, 'You look like somebody famous,' and he replied, 'Yeah, people have said that to me before' and just carried on. The kid was none the wiser." But the executive didn't expect William to agree to "sleep out" himself to mark the organisation's 40th birthday in 2009. He laughed: "Never in a million years did I think he would say yes. Then I thought, 'My god, what have I done? I've just invited the future king of England to sleep rough on the street."




But William - who has three children with wife Duchess Catherine - didn't want to take part on Centrepoint's annual sleep-out for supporters.  Seyi recalled: "He said, 'If I'm going to this I don't want something genteel, something protected. I want an authentic experience. We agreed not to tell anyone. I did not even tell my wife. "People said to me afterwards there must have been security but there wasn't. There was just us.




"We did exactly what a young person who has nowhere to live would do. If you are sleeping rough, people spit at you, people kick you. So we walked around looking for a spot and found this little cul-de-sac and got some wheelie bins to mark out our space. "He said [afterwards] he'd realised the noise of the city goes on all night. You can't really get any sleep because you're alive to it every time someone walks past. He said it had been a challenge for him, with some military experience, to sleep out for one night and that if you were a young person with nowhere to go, doing it night after night after night, with no structure and purpose for the rest of your day, that would create havoc on your mental well-being."





And Seyi recalled how much William laughed at him when he struggled with the cold December temperatures.




He said: "He poked fun at me endlessly because I don't do well in the cold. He'd camped out with the army. I said, 'It's all right for you, I'm older and I'm not a soldier!' We both laughed. That's the Prince William I know."



Credit   Bang. Asiaone

 

Nigerian younger generation has demonstrated that they were not held hostage by the lethargic and intellectual deficits of the older generation by continuous reinvention of themselves.  They invented Nollywood  and are now in competition  with Hollywood and Bollywood. Then they reinvented Afro beat music and took off from where the great Fela stopped. Now Afro beats or Afro fusion have become a household music around the world. Africans are no more consumers of outside music but exporters of hip and cool tunes with Afro indigenous  touch.



Afripol’s Emeka Chiakwelu has dubbed them the “Energetic Generation” for with great momentum they have launched their talents and intellectual endowments in the global mainstream. They do not give excus to fail but pull temselves by any means necessary. They are comfortable in their African skin and are not intimidated by any historical propaganda and generational injustice.


Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy Twitter war finally settled - Vanguard News




There are many skillful and talented Nigerian Afro beat musicians including Davido, Phyno, Tekno etc .  But Burna Boy and Wizkids with their exceptional radiant and enriched melodies have won the Grammy Awards. The breakthrough in winning the prestigious awards buttress that Nigerian superstars are ready and willing to play on the global stage and triumph in the game.   



For their exceptional talents, energies and chutzpah, AFRIPOL has therefore highlighted their great achievements by honoring
Burna Boy and Wizkid as AFRIPOL PERSONS OF THE MONTH.

 

 

 

Saturday, 13 March 2021 19:40

Yale lab develops vaccine for malaria

Yale lab develops revolutionary RNA vaccine for malaria



A Yale researcher has partnered with the pharmaceutical company Novartis to develop an RNA vaccine to protect against the malaria parasite. The vaccine has the potential to save over one million lives and improve living conditions for hundreds of millions more.



The vaccine patent, originally applied for in 2014 by the researchers, was published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark office this year on Feb. 4. The Yale School of Medicine Chief of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology Richard Bucala ’79 and his lab used self-amplifying RNA, or saRNA, technology in order to improve the effectiveness and speed of production of the vaccine by decreasing the amount of genetic material needed in each shot. sRNAs are pieces of genetic material which contain the code for the protein to be targeted by the body’s antibodies after getting the vaccine, but also hold the code for an enzyme which allows the genetic material to replicate itself several times. This means that a much smaller amount of genetic material needs to be injected for the vaccine to provide adequate immunization.



“[The ability to self-replicate] may be critical as an effective malaria vaccine will need to be available to billions,”  Thomas Holowka, a resident at the medical school and former doctoral candidate in the Bucala lab, wrote in an email to the News. “And by greatly reducing the amount of genetic material for each vaccine it may be possible to mass produce the vaccine on the scale that is needed.” 




According to Bucala, one of the issues with developing a malaria vaccine is that there is no natural sterilizing immunity — which prevents reinfection in the long-term or, ideally, throughout a person’s lifetime. This means that vaccines developed against malaria will usually provide only a short protection period or provide low immunity. The RTS,S vaccine, which was developed about two and a half years ago, grants about 30 percent protection, which decreases very quickly in about two to three years, Bucala said.




Also, different from many other diseases for which there are currently vaccines, malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite rather than a virus, which means the organism has a larger number of genes and has developed more mechanisms to trick the body’s immune system.




“The malaria parasite has evolved elaborate strategies to circumvent destruction by the host immune system, complete its life cycle and be passed on by mosquitoes to another person so they can be infected,” Bucala said.



The main target of the saRNA vaccine is the parasite’s PMIF protein, which enables the organism to suppress the host’s immune response and prevents it from producing memory T-cells, which generate immunity. By inhibiting the activity of this protein, the vaccine will allow the body to attack the parasite naturally and to generate longer-term immunity to the disease.



Bucala’s lab developed the new RNA vaccine in partnership with Andrew Geall, former RNA vaccine platform leader at Novartis Pharmaceuticals. According to Geall, he had worked previously with Bucala on malaria research and has been interested in developing a vaccine for some time. However, the team faced challenges because of the novelty of the saRNA technology, which was tested for the first time in humans a year ago.



“The main challenge was getting the work published,” Geall wrote in an email to the News. “This is a new concept and the mode of action for the vaccine is very different to the current approaches.  Reviewers required extensive data validation.”



According to Bucala, Geall and Holowka, if the vaccine is approved, it could be revolutionary to the pharmaceutical field. Holowka, who has studied the similar Leishmania parasite, believes that the development of this vaccine could lead to a dramatic increase in availability of vaccines for similar parasites that greatly impact many countries around the world.




According to Geall, the technology behind this vaccine could also significantly boost pharmaceutical companies’ abilities to produce the genetic material and distribute the shots, given the fact that less RNA is required in each dose. This aspect of the vaccine is critical for a disease that infects such a large number of people each year. “[Malaria is] the second leading cause of infectious disease death in the world last year, about over 400,000 individuals died,” Bucala said. “They’re usually young children under the age of five.”



According to Bucala and Geall, who is now working at a pharmaceutical company Precision NanoSystems, the two are currently discussing a partnership to start research on a saRNA vaccine for COVID-19. The advantage of this type of vaccine against the coronavirus is the much more efficient production process, which would make it easier for pharmaceutical companies to keep up with the rapid viral mutations of SARS-CoV-2.





Bucala believes that with the development of mRNA vaccines such as the ones created by Pfizer/BioNtech and by Moderna, regulatory agencies such as the FDA will be “more welcoming” towards the innovative saRNA technology. This new technology has already helped progress research on the malaria vaccine, and could also represent another pathway for COVID-19 vaccines.




“If this vaccine works effectively in humans it could provide a breakthrough to save hundreds of thousands of lives, particularly in developing nations,” Geall wrote to the News.  According to the World Health Organization, children under the age of five account for over 67 percent of worldwide deaths each year.

 

Credit - Beatriz Horta | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

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HOUSTON °F
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