Saturday, December 17, 2005

Dr. Randal Pinkett, Phd. is The Apprentice 4

Congratulations to Dr. Randal Pinkett, Ph.d for winning The Apprentice 4. That’s the show on NBC where Donald Trump puts 18 candidates through an extensive 13 week job interview. After different tasks he eliminates them one by one with the infamous line, “You’re Fired!”

Even before his win, Randal was a positive role model for Black America and its youth.
Check out his website at:

But, Randal is not just another Apprentice, he is the first Black Apprentice. The win should have been a glorious occasion for Randal. His hard work paid off and if you followed the show there was no question that he truly deserved the win. But the joy of the win was soured, when after he was hired, Mr. Trump stopped the fanfare and asked Randal if he would hire the runner up, Rebecca. Randal said no, as there was only supposed to be one Apprentice. I’ve watched all four series and wonder why Mr. Trump chose to ask Randal that question. He never asked any of the other three winners that question. In fact Mr. Trump himself has said over and over again that there can only be one apprentice.

After the stumper question Randal said, "I firmly believe this is The Apprentice. ...That there is one and only Apprentice and if you're going to hire someone tonight, it should be one. This is the Apprentice, not the 'Apprenti.” Randal was right and why should he ruin or share his win. Knowing how finicky Mr. Trump is he could have turned around and said, “Well then Randal you’re fired and Rebecca you’re hired!” Only the Donald knows what he’ll pull out of his hat. This season saw many surprised including four apprentices fired at once.

Rebecca proved to be a strong candidate but in no way did she come close to matching Randal. Randal is extremely well educated, nice, well mannered and smart. Like Mr. Trump said you can rarely meet such a person. He won all of his three challenges and garnered respect from all his teammates. Rebecca lost two of her challenges and the one she won, Randal was her assistant. On the final challenges, Randal raised $11,000 for charity while Rebecca raised $0 yes, not a penny!

Judging by the chatter on the net since Randal’s win, this has now turned into a race issue. A lot of white people are angry that Randal ‘denied’ Rebecca a chance for a job. Then again a lot of white people are angry at Trump as well for the stumper. But don’t forget that Randal didn’t deny Rebecca a job as everyone knows that Rebecca could be hired anyway, its Mr. Trump’s company. He can hire her if he wants, but why should it spoil the limelight for Randal. Is Miss America asked to share her title with the runner up. What about athletes? I say kudos to Randal for standing his ground.

Looking back at past Apprentices, in the first series, Kwame, a talented and skilled Black man came runner up to Bill, and many thought Kwame should have won. Bill wasn’t asked if he would hire Kwame.

In Series 2, there was black guy called Kevin who was also oustanding, but he came in number 4, and many felt that he was shorted of the win. Then in Series 3, there was a black guy called Craig, who was robbed of the win. Craig came in number three, even though he came up with so many creative money making ideas it was incredible. And I’m sure the company’s he worked with made money off his ideas. Yet in the end, Mr. Trump let some snooty white CEO’s tell him the Craig wasn’t educated enough for the job. It all boils down to the fact that in America the black man has to work five times harder than the white man in order to be seen as doing something.

And to be honest a lot of people including myself were angry at the Donald because it seemed that he would never give a black person a chance to be the Apprentice. He proved us wrong but at the same time we’re left in dismay. No we wonder if Mr. Trump didn’t feel a black man could have the title to himself, or he couldn’t handle the job himself. We’ll be wondering for a long time why Mr. Trump asked that unfair question.

There is no doubt in my mind that Randal was the clear winner of The Apprentice 4 no matter what anyone says. Rebecca has already been offered high profile jobs and many other companies are making her offers to ‘amend’ her loss…the loss of a white woman to a black man.
Yes, America is still a racist society, though it is more subtle than in the past. And to the white folks who tell me, get over it, I say, paint yourself black for a week, try and live your same life and see if you still feel the same afterwards

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Acting in Tusamehe

Well, after I saw the film Bongoland (filmed mainly in Minnesota), I e-mailed Director Josiah Kibira and told him that I was interested in participating in his next project. I soon found out that the next film would be about AIDS in the Tanzanian/African community. Josiah asked for my talent credentials and I e-mailed Josiah a link with my talent info, and got offered the part of Mama Kurusumu. The part is small but hopefully when you see me I will leave an impressionon you. I flew out to Minneosta twice, it was supposed to be three times, but they decided to omit a scene. This project is dear to my heart because of the theme. I like all Tanzanians have lost family and friends to AIDS.

As an experienced actress I have to admit that I was highly impressed at the quality of acting that I saw from the Tanzanian actors. For most it was their first time acting but seeing them you wouldn’t know! Kudos to Fundi Kibwana who plays the main Character, Bilantanya and Blandina Donald who plays his wife, Salome. What tough roles for first timers. By the way is was Blandina who graciously hosted me in Minnesota!

Check out more on TUSAMEHE at

Kudos to Josiah Kibira for pulling off something which many might have said was impossible!

Friday, September 30, 2005

In the Metro (a smaller commuter newspaper) of 7/20/05 there was a letter to the editor on the Boston Red Sox baseball team, David Ortiz. Someone called Payola Reyes, expressed concern over Red Sox slugger, David Ortiz, being called "a Black Man". Reyes says that David Ortiz is "not black but his skin is just dark" and "he is Latino." Well, there is no denying that he is Latino, but denying that he is black is a joke. Ortiz’s features look very African, even more than some African Americans.

I’m sure that David Ortiz could easily trace his heritage to some village in West Africa, just like most Black Americans. The heritage of most Black South Americans and Caribbean people is West and East Africa…their ancestors were stolen from Africa and forced to work as slaves (similar to Black Americans). In the USA, anyone with any known African ancestry is deemed an African American. That’s just the way it is. So many white or white looking people have gone through great lengths to hide or even forget their black heritage. Maybe if it weren’t for the horrible legacy of slavery and its aftermath, Reyes wouldn’t feel so bad about Ortiz being called a Black Man. Then again, a lot of Black people of Latino/Hispanic origin don't want to be called black. It's such that on forms there is a category called Black Of Hispanic Origin.

Reyes is concerned that blacks are stereotyped as being the same. I don’t know how that can be changed, because unfortunately human nature judges by appearance first. And in America it’s worse as people judge people first by the color of their skin, then whatever next.

Like Ortiz, I have foreign heritage, and I proudly call myself a black woman. I don’t need people making excuses for why I shouldn’t called, ‘black’.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

On Hurricane Katrina…

Many people put stuff they don’t want in the cellars of their homes and then forget about it. Then one day they go down there open the door and see what’s down there and they say, I had forgotten all about it.

Well Hurricane Katrina pulled the door off the cellar of the USA, exposing its contents to the world. In this case, it was a huge community of poor mostly African Americans in New Orleans, the home of Jazz music and a popular tourist destination as well. Then with the world watching the USA allowed these people to drown, die and exist in intolerable conditions for days.

Thanks to heavy news coverage, the world watched as babies and the elderly died of thirst and heat exhaustion on live TV. They watched as people starved and were forced to live in squalor without basic necessities. They watched dead bodies, bloat and decompose in front of their eyes on American streets! A lot of commentators said the scenes from New Orleans looked like a Third World Country likening it to the Sudan or Ethiopia.

Then we even saw a few people in despair kill themselves because they believed that there was no hope. No hope in America! Well Excuuuuuuz ME! This is the US of A which claims to be the world’s policeman and the best place on earth to live. It’s the land of plenty. It’s the same USA which can fly food and water and other aid to other continents in a matter of hours. Yet, as we saw it couldn’t do the same for people in need on US soil!

Rapper Kanye West, stirred up controversy when he said in an unscripted moment during a fundraiser for the Hurricane victims, “George Bush doesn’t like Black People”. This raised all sorts of commentary about the President not being a racist, and why is West turning this into a race issue. Well truth be told, New Orleans was a race issue. If the bulk of the victims had been middle class white folks, they would have had their Aid within hours, just like the victims of last years Hurricane’s in Florida. As to Bush not liking Black people, I would say that he doesn’t care about black people or the poor for that matter. That was probably instilled in him by his Mom Barbara Bush. She made some awful, snobby, heartless comments about the poor being better off because of Hurricane Katrina. How can anyone be better off living on a sports field with thousands of other, waiting in long lines for food and the bathroom, no privacy whatsoever and sleeping on a cot.

And while the President ate cake and strummed a guitar (yes he did) New Orleans drowned. Then the President told the now disgraced former head of FEMA, “You’re doing a heck of a job Brownie”! This is the same Michael Brown who hours earlier claimed on national TV not to know of the desperate thousands at the New Orleans Conference Center. Now he’s trying to throw the blame on New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and the Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco. He should be a man admit that he made mistakes and is sorry!

Maybe Hurricane Katrina was God’s way of exposing the truth about the Good Ole US of A.

On a positive note we saw a humane side to America. In shelters, blacks were helping whites, and whites helped black. Later, people took in perfect strangers. We saw white families taking in black families, black families taking in white families. People opening their wallets hoping that the money can indeed be used to help their fellow Americans in need. We saw kids selling lemonade and donating the proceeds to victims. We also saw Texas take in the bulk of Hurricane victims, while other states took in some. Politics and the Bush mess aside, this is the Spirit of America.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Well this Blog thing is new to me. I've been reading about how it's gotten people into trouble.

I've decided to give it a try and will blog in English and Swahili.