SPOILED BY GOLD AND BLOOD DIAMONDS
By Celestin Ngoa Balla, US Africa News. Updated 2014-04-12
Her French bulldog, Napoleon, wears one of his solid gold collars. An original Picasso painting adorns her bedside. At eight years old she paraded in the gardens of the impressive family mansion in Larchmont on the back of an African elephant. Among her collection of precious objects are dresses costing $2,640 USD, a chair that belonged to the monarch Henry VIII, a painting of Dr. Seuss, and a collection of Chanel bags.
You are mistaken if you think you are hearing about Paris Hilton or another of these girls robbed by fans in Hollywood films. Abimbola Fernandez, aka Bim, is a 24 year beauty of Nigerian ancestry. But she was born in France and lives in the USA. Though she has met Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan, among other icons of African political and diplomatic world, and posed with them in photos, they are not her inspirations. Her idol is Rihanna, the Caribbean girl whose golden voice is currently dominating American hip hop.
But Bim is not content with simply listening to Riri videos. She has signed a thirty million USD contract with SMH Records, a big company based in North Carolina. For Bim, this contract is proof that she has talent to spare and is being recognized, unlike other offspring of billionaires we have seen in the musical universe squandering their money to satisfy a whim. "Money does not get you a production contract. The money doesn’t create good music. One is a good singer or one is not, " said Bim who does not doubt that success awaits the upcoming release of her first hit, with the title track " Let's Take It Naked ".
At the age of four, Bim was already playing the violin. At thirteen, she picked up the guitar. But it was on her arrival in New York for graduate study that she began thinking seriously about a career in music. She became a member of Forever the Sickest Kids before joining Cobra Starship, which gave her the chance to sing back up on an album released in 2009. Four and a half years later, Bim now stands on her own. The death of her mother Aduke last year propelled Bim to make this in her honor.
Had it not been Bim’s obsession to make a name in music, the identity of one of the men who built a colossal fortune of more than eight billion USD on the blood of the Congo and the Central African Republic might never have been revealed to the public. Antonio Fernandez Deinde, now 80 years old, was the Nigerian Ambassador to the UN and, at the same time, the toast of the oil industry. When, in the mid 90’s, Sassou Nguesso and his Cobras landed in Congo to retake power, the Nigerian also saw his chance to reach out. According to his daughter, he is the one who supplied the rebels with food and other logistics. In return, he pumped Congolese oil and operated clandestine gold and diamond mines in Central African Republic.