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Meet Amanda Gorman, youngest poet to read at US presidential inauguration

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At 22, Amanda Gorman made history on Wednesday January 20, as the youngest poet in history to read a poem at a United States presidential inauguration.

The Los Angeles-born writer, who was also named the first-ever national youth poet laureate in 2017, dazzled the world on with her sheer confidence as she delivered ‘The Hill We Climb’, one of her latest poems, at the presidential inauguration.

For Gorman, where there is a will, there is way. Born in 1998, Gorman had a speech impediment as a child  – a challenge she shares with Biden.

But the young daughter of a school teacher was determined to overcome the odds as she worked round the clock to improve her public speaking skills.

To overcome her speech impediment, she started writing. At 14, she joined WriteGirl, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organisation that helps teen girls discover the power of their voice through creative writing.

Gorman’s first shot at public speaking was a second-grade monologue in the voice of Osceola of Florida’s Seminole tribe.

The development, she said, marked a watershed in her passion for written and spoken word.

“I’m sure anyone who saw it was kind of aghast at this 15-pound Black girl who was pretending to die on stage as a Native American chief,” she told Los Angeles Times.

“But I think it was important in my development because I really wanted to do justice to the story and bring it to life. It was the first time that I really leaned into the performance of text.”

Her tenacity and dint of hard work soon shot her into the spotlight. At 16, the young lady became Loss Angeles’ youth poet laureate.

She thereafter continued to pull the strings, becoming the national youth poet laureate — about three years later — while studying sociology at Harvard.

In 2015, Gorman published ‘The One For Whom Food Is Not Enough,’ her debut book. She is also expected to put out ‘Change Sings’, her forthcoming literary project, later in the year.

“I don’t look at my disability as a weakness. It’s made me the performer that I am and the storyteller that I strive to be,” she added.

“When you have to teach yourself how to say sounds [and] be highly concerned about pronunciation, it gives you a certain awareness of sonics, of the auditory experience.”

Pushing for a new America

Much of Gorman’s poems have been about charting a new course for the society, particularly America.

‘The Hill We Climb’ was inspired by the Capitol Hill invasion on January 6 and how to move America forward.

Her impressive stint and quest for societal rebirth had informed her invitation to the presidential inauguration by Jill Biden, the president-elect’s wife, who had seen a reading she gave at the Library of Congress last year.

Standing before a large audience at the US Capitol on Wednesday, Gorman again delivered a healing message, stressing the need for unity in moving America forward.

“And so we lift our gazes not what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside,” she said.

“We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. We seek harm to none and harmony for all.”

“If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lighten the blade. But in all the bridges we’ve made, that is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare it, because being American is more than a pride we inherit.

“It’s the past we step into and how we repair it. We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.”

Gorman’s performance was widely praised on Twitter

 Oprah Winfrey tweeted: “I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise! Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou is cheering—and so am I.”

Hillary Clinton tweeted: “Wasn’t @TheAmandaGorman’s poem just stunning? She’s promised to run for president in 2036 and I for one can’t wait.”

-The Cable

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Kim, Kanye divorce papers show real reason for break-up

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Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s divorce papers have revealed the real reason the famous couple split, shocking fans and Hollywood alike.

The Sun exclusively revealed on Friday that the couple’s marriage ended when they had a huge blowout fight about where to go for vacation during the summer.

In the court documents obtained by The Sun, Kim cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason why she was ending her marriage to the rapper.

The papers further confirmed that Kim, 40, is seeking joint physical legal custody of their four children: North, seven, Saint, five, Chicago, three, and Psalm, one.

The divorce papers also revealed that the SKIMS founder has also requested that the ability to award spousal support by either herself or Kanye be terminated.

According to the insider, a prenup is already arranged to handle the pair’s massive $2BILLION fortune and neither party is contesting the agreement.

It was added they’ve made it so far along in the legal proceedings, the couple is in the stages of reaching a property settlement agreement.

According to Forbes, the TV personality turned business owner is estimated to be worth around $900 million.

Meanwhile, the Grammy-winning artist has a reported net worth of over $1.2bn due to his music and design career.

Following the news, a source revealed to The Sun that Kanye had been telling his friends that Kim was “bluffing” with their divorce, which infuriated the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star.

A source alleged to The Sun: “Kim had visited the idea of divorce so many times that she already had the paperwork drawn-up and ready to go, when she finally actually filed.

“The move came as a bit of a surprise to her family because they know how much she loves Kanye and knew she didn’t really want to go through with it. They all knew she felt she had no choice.

“Some closest to the family feel this isn’t Kim definitely calling it quits, this is more a strategic move to make Kanye wake-up and see that he could lose her if she doesn’t change.”

The insider continued: “She wants him to step up and be the husband and father she is asking him to be. “But sadly, the bold move doesn’t seem to be getting the response she was hoping for.

“Kanye is apparently telling friends Kim is bluffing about the divorce and that their marriage isn’t really over. Kim is infuriated.

“She felt he would take it seriously and instead he is confiding in friends he knows what she is up to.

“Kanye shares everything with his entourage of childhood friends and he talks to his own family for support. They are his biggest support through difficult times, they all stand behind him.

“That makes it very hard for Kim because he doesn’t turn to Kim and her family for help.

“The Kardashian family usually likes to be in charge but that is close to impossible with Kanye. He has his own plans.”

A source told The Sun: “Friends have been told that the final straw came when Kim and Kanye were making family summer plans and they couldn’t agree.”

The source continued: “What seemed like nothing more than a simple conversation over dates and locations escalated, and sadly it turned into a huge blowout argument.

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Highlife legend who composed ‘Eko Ogba Gbere’, Pa Ajilo, dies

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Legendary highlife singer, Pa Chris Ajilo, who composed and sang what has become the Lagos anthem, “Eko OGba Gbere,” has died at the age of 92.

He died in a hospital Saturday morning, according to the singer’s caregiver, David Ekanem.

He said Pa Ajilo had been battling malaria since last week.

Ekanem said, “What happened is that he had malaria last week, so, we gave him malaria medication. The malaria persisted, and as there was no improvement after three days, we rushed him to a hospital at Ilesha (Osun State).”

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Nollywood actor Ernest Asuzu slumps, dies

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Nollywood actor Ernest Asuzu slumped and died on Tuesday evening.

President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Emeka Rollas, has confirmed his death, according to a Punch report.

Rollas said, “Yes, Ernest Asuzu is dead. I am trying to reach his wife to get the full details. I will get back to you.”

Asuzu began his acting career in the ’90s and rose to prominence after he starred in the 1997 Nollywood classic, ‘Rituals’.

He was the toast of Nollywood until his career nosedived after he came down with a stroke in 2015 and it affected his speech. He was also bedridden for three years.

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