SPRING 2008

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The music of BEN OKAFOR is available worldwide for download.  78 SONGS!!!!!

Ben is currently playing the role of James Somerset in the play, “Rough Crossings.”  This story is about a group of former African-American slaves, who after fighting for Britain in the American war of Independence, struggle to find true freedom and a place in the world they can finally call home.

JOIN THE FIGHT

BEN OKAFOR seeks peace and justice, truth and love.  He is currently involved with the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Amnesty International, and many other organizations that work for the good of humanity.

We need YOUR help in this fight.

EVERY CHILD MATTERS (ECM) TOUR 2008

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In 2008 Ben is preparing to embark on a unique and vital Tour, performing a powerful programme of solo acoustic music and poetry, specifically to raise awareness of the needs of children affected by HIV & AIDS and to elicit a practical response. In partnership withThe Bethany Children’s Trust (BCT), he will seek to call Christians, churches and communities to play their part in restoring the lives of children affected by the disease.

JULY 2007 – NEW CD – “Child of Biafra” AVAILABLE NOW!

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The premiere performance of Ben Okafor’s stage production of “Child of Biafra” takes place on Thursday 19th July in the Contact Theatre, Manchester as part of Manchester University’s ‘War and our World’ seminar. “Child of Biafra” is written and performed by Ben and is co-written and directed by Justin Butcher and is a dramatisation in words and music of Ben’s childhood experiences of the Nigeria-Biafra War, during which Ben was a child soldier. Songs from the stage production are available on Ben’s new “Child of Biafra” CD (released 23rd July) which is available for pre-order in our on-line shop. For more details on ‘War and our World visit www.manchester.ac.uk/warandourworld  and to book tickets (£6/£7) or for enquiries please email ruth.daniel@manchester.ac.uk

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purchase book order plankton website myspace […]

CHILD OF BIAFRA’ TICKETS and CD on SALE NOW!!!!!

CHILD OF BIAFRA is inspiring, challenging, horrifying, exciting, highly amusing, desperately moving and generally takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster, with wonderful music, searing archive photographic images from the Biafran War, and breathtaking true-life testimony from Ben Okafor. The audience will leave feeling inspired, angry, enlarged, motivated to commit themselves to being better informed about the world around them and to campaigning for peace and justice.

The play also shares on a very intimate level the deepest emotions and experiences of Ben’s spiritual journey so that God’s Spirit will touch and delight and disturb and invade the souls through this performance – raising a challenge to all.

Politically the play is controversial and unapologetic, since it addresses the unacknowledged genocide (President Nixon’s word for it in 1968) perpetrated by the Nigerian military machine against the peoples of eastern Nigeria/Biafra.

Child of Biafra” is written and performed by Ben Okafor and co-written and directed by Justin Butcher.

Songs from the stage production are available on Ben’s new “Child of Biafra” CD (released 23rd July) which is available for pre-order in our on-line shop.  www.planktonrecords.co.uk

Featuring songs from the stage production, ‘Child of Biafra’ is the stage dramatisation in words and music of Ben Okafor’s own childhood experiences of the Nigeria-Biafra War, during which he was a child soldier. These songs reflect the origins of Ben’s musical career, his early childhood and his early journey through the fields and fortunes of war, and the influences of these experiences on his artistic and spiritual vocation to date. The musical arrangements and performances are poignant, earthy and acoustic based and truly reflect the African heritage from which they draw. The CJAM Choir (conducted by Segun Gilbert) add a further dimension to the CD in both their wonderful augmentation of Ben’s songs and in their performances of traditional Igbo pieces.

Track listing:  (approximately 58 minutes)

MAY 2007

bencrossrhythms_smallExcellent Article:
Ben Okafor: Redemption Songs From An Ex-Boy Soldier

A very in-depth article by Tony and Maxine Cummings in the CROSS RHYTHMS online magazine.

View Article [LINK]

 

 

MARCH 2007

March 25 (Sunday)

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Heaven & Earth Backstage  Heaven & Earth Performance

Ben appeared on the UK’s BBC1’s Heaven & Earth Show.  There was an extended interview where Ben performed a song from his latest album, “Acoustic Close-up.”

SITE UPDATE

The “RAISE YOUR CONSCIENCE” section of this site has new information added.  Information about The Bethany Children’s Trust (BCT) has been added to the HIV & AIDS heading.  Click HERE for more.

Ben Okafor delivers message at Commonwealth Day

March 12, 2007

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Photo: Ben Okafor and Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty greet Queen Elizabeth.

March 12, 2007:  Ben Okafor spoke before representatives from the 53 Commonwealth countrys’ political party leaders and the Queen herself at the Commonwealth Day Celebration.  He related his childhood experiences as a boy soldier in the Biafran army during Nigeria’s civil war.  Ben and his fellow-speakers received honorary memberships of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

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THE Queen stressed the need for mutual respect and understanding in her annual Commonwealth Day message today.

Her speech followed a week of claims of racism against Commonwealth soldiers in the British military and amid violence in Zimbabwe, where unrest continues four years after it pulled out of the club of former British colonies.

Queen Elizabeth, the head of the Commonwealth, called for diversity to be viewed as a source for celebration rather than conflict.

“By respecting the difference and promoting understanding, the future will be a better one for us all,” she told a special multi-faith service at London’s Westminster Abbey to mark Commonwealth Day.

“In today’s difficult and sometimes divided world, I believe that it is more important than ever to keep trying to respect and understand each other better,” she told the 2000-strong congregation.

“Let us as individuals actively seek out the views of others; let us make the best use of what our beliefs and history teach us; let us have open minds and hearts; and let us, like the Commonwealth, find our diversity a cause for celebration and a source for strength and unity.”

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Commonwealth Day celebrates the voluntary Commonwealth of Nations, set up in 1926 and reformed in 1949.