This week’s brief news — Aug. 3 – The Sunflower



Shocker bowling lanes close temporarily

Bowling fans and pinhead pundits will have to find another place to bowl this week while the lanes at WSU’s Shocker Sports Grill & Lanes are temporarily closed. Located on the bottom floor of the Rhatigan Student Center, the bowling lanes will be out-of-service while new pinsetters are installed. 

The repairs, which began on July 31, will conclude by Aug. 12, and the lanes will reopen on Aug. 13. The lanes’ other services, such as its grill, arcade games and pool tables, will remain open and functional while the lanes are updated.

New process for WSU systems internet access

For university students, staff and faculty struggling to access the internet from WSU systems, WSU News has published a list of steps to troubleshoot and restore system connections with non-WSU traffic. The connectivity issues follow an update of expanded controls to protect university data and processes.

Those having difficulties accessing non-WSU systems can regain connectivity by visiting and signing into the Client Portal. Then users must search for “Firewall / Security Request” in the search bar and Request a Service with their WSU information.

For additional help or information, users can contact WSU’s Information Technology Services at [email protected].

Campus departments, organizations can register for Involvement and Community Fair

With the fall semester quickly approaching, WSU has began coordinating back-to-school and welcome-to-campus events for returning and incoming students. 

One such event, the WSU Involvement and Community Fair, is accepting registration for tabling from student organizations, campus resources and departments, and community partners and clubs. 

Groups will have the opportunity to recruit and present information regarding their organizations on the north patio of the Rhatigan Student Center on Aug. 31. 

Registration is due by Aug. 22 and can now be completed via the Involvement and Community Fair 2023 Registration link on ShockerSync.

Heskett Center to host pool party, RecFest events

Campus Recreation will sponsor a pool party at the Heskett Center later this month so WSU students, faculty and staff can beat the summer heat and enjoy the amenities campus has to offer. The party will be from 7-9 p.m. at the Heskett Center on Aug. 17. 

Additionally, a second pool party will be hosted on Aug. 23 and feature music, contests and popcorn.

RecFest, an annual showcase of intramurals, sport clubs and recreational activity groups, will also present at the Heskett Center later this month. On Aug. 22, students are invited to attend the free mixer from 5-7 p.m. to make new friends and participate in event competitions.

ITS to function remotely on Aug. 2 and 3

The WSU Information Technology Services (ITS) Help Desk and Desktop Support teams will temporarily shift to remote service on Aug. 2 and 3 due to construction in Jabara Hall. While Jabara Hall faucets are replaced, ITS will be available virtually until Aug. 4.

For questions or help with information technology-related services, ITS can be reached at [email protected] or 316-978-4357.

OneStop hours extended during August

OneStop Student Services, the “one-stop” office for registration, financial aid, admissions and student accounts concerns, will extend its operating hours during August to better accommodate the needs of incoming and returning students. 

OneStop will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Aug. 1 to Aug. 31 and can be found in room 112 of Jardine Hall.

Students can call, walk in or schedule appointments at OneStop at 855-978-1787 or through the self-help portal. Staff are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer calls and provide aid.

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Conway theater to stage Meredith Willson’s ‘The



‘Music Man’ in Conway

Red Curtain Theatre stages Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man,” 7 p.m. Thursday-Friday and Aug. 11-12 and 2 p.m. Saturday and Aug. 13, with a pay-what-you can, singalong performance at 2 p.m. Aug. 12, at Staples Auditorium, Hendrix College, 1600 Washington Ave., Conway. Tickets are $22, $17 for children 10 and younger, $39 VIP (includes preferred seating, a stage pass and the opportunity to take post-performance photos with cast members in costume and a show poster autographed by the cast). Visit

‘Little Women’ musical

The Royal Players stage “Little Women: The Broadway Musical” (music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Mindi Dickerson, book by by Allan Knee, based on Louisa May Alcott’s 1868-69 semi-autobiographical novel), 7 p.m. today-Saturday and Aug. 10-12 and 2 p.m. Sunday and Aug. 13 at the Royal Theatre, 111 S. Market St., Benton.

Four sisters and their mother cope with life in Concord, Mass., while their father is serving as a Union Army chaplain during the Civil War. As the March sisters, Hannah Blacklaw plays aspiring writer Jo with Kinsey Potts as Meg, Madison Cavanaugh as Amy and AnnaMarie Cobb as Beth. Candice Aipperspach plays their mother, Marmee, with Ashley Merrill as Aunt March and Brazos Brooks as Laurie Laurence.

Sponsors are Stilwell Insurance & Financial Services and Roberson & Associates Insurance. Tickets are $18; $15 for senior citizens 60-plus, $8 for members of the military and college students with valid ID. Call (501) 315-5483 or visit


Top of the Rock

Female barbershop-style ensemble Top of the Rock Chorus, the chorus’ Sing Like a Girl campers and performers from Andrea’s School of Dance in Bryant will “Turn the Radio On,” exploring 100 years of music — from the Roaring Twenties to current day — 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Sylvan Hills High School Performing Arts Center, 484 Bear Paw Road, Sherwood. Tickets are $15. Visit

Fiddle, banjo championships

The Ozark Folk Center State Park, 1302 Park Ave., Mountain View, hosts the Arkansas Fiddle & Banjo Championships, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday in the the park’s 1,000-seat indoor music venue, the Ozark Highlands Theater. Banjo players will compete in the morning; fiddlers will compete in the afternoon, culminating in the park’s annual Fiddle & Banjo Music Show, 7-9 p.m., including feature performers Betse & Clarke, Fiddlin’ Banjo Billy Matthews & the Old Time Players, Roger Fountain and the Ozark Folk Center Square Dancers. Tickets are $15, $8 for children 6-12, $35 for a family pass. Visit Musicians wishing to compete must register in the theater lobby of Ozark Highlands Theater on the day of the competition and pay a $10 cash registration fee. Doors open at 9 a.m. Visit


‘It’s a Sin’

“It’s a Sin,” stylized portraits by Little Rock artist Michael Shaeffer that “confront the idea of personal identity and social status within American culture,” according to a news release, opens with a Thea Art Department reception at 5:30 p.m. today at Thea Foundation, 401 Main St., North Little Rock. Food will be by Heritage Catering; there will also be beverages and a DJ. Presenter is Delta Dental. Admission is $10. The exhibition remains up through August, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 5-8 p.m. during Argenta’s Third Friday Art Walk, Aug. 18. Admission is free. Call (501) 379-9512 or visit

Studies and developed works

Artist studies and examples of more developed work by Mark Blaney, Randall Good, John Lasater, Laura Raborn, Gary Simmons and Emily Wood remain on display through Aug. 30 at Justus Fine Art Gallery, 827A Central Ave., Hot Springs, which hosts a monthly Gallery Walk reception, 5-9 p.m. Friday. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and by appointment. Admission is free. Call (501) 321-2335 or visit


Critical minerals

Doug Hanson, geologist with the Arkansas Geological Commission, will discuss Arkansas’ “Critical Minerals” — focusing on the history, future and potential of the 17 minerals essential to the economy and the supply of which may be disrupted — 10 a.m. Friday at Thunderbird Center, 62 N. Lakeshore Road, Cherokee Village. It’s the fourth talk in the Spring River Gem & Mineral Club’s “Only in Arkansas” series. Admission is free; a “dutch treat” lunch at the Pizza Hut buffet will follow. Call (870) 847-3109.

  photo  Henry Kempf of Mountain View competes in the junior division and Johnnie Hensley in the senior division of the Arkansas State Fiddle Championship at the Ozark Folk Center State Park. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
  photo  Bauxite, an aluminum ore, is one of Arkansas’ critical minerals and the Arkansas state rock. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
  photo  “Study for Moonlight on Cedar Brake” by Mark Blaney, “Study No. 4 of Environmental Artist, Reece Camp Carter” by Laura Raborn, “Study No. 5 of Environmental Artist, Reece Camp Carter” by Laura Raborn and “Gesture Study” by Gary Simmons are on display through August at Justus Fine Art in Hot Springs. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
  photo  “Study for Moonlight on Cedar Brake” by Mark Blaney, “Study No. 4 of Environmental Artist, Reece Camp Carter” by Laura Raborn, “Study No. 5 of Environmental Artist, Reece Camp Carter” by Laura Raborn and “Gesture Study” by Gary Simmons are on display through August at Justus Fine Art in Hot Springs. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
  photo  “Study for Moonlight on Cedar Brake” by Mark Blaney, “Study No. 4 of Environmental Artist, Reece Camp Carter” by Laura Raborn, “Study No. 5 of Environmental Artist, Reece Camp Carter” by Laura Raborn and “Gesture Study” by Gary Simmons are on display through August at Justus Fine Art in Hot Springs. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
  photo  “Study for Moonlight on Cedar Brake” by Mark Blaney, “Study No. 4 of Environmental Artist, Reece Camp Carter” by Laura Raborn, “Study No. 5 of Environmental Artist, Reece Camp Carter” by Laura Raborn and “Gesture Study” by Gary Simmons are on display through August at Justus Fine Art in Hot Springs. (Special to the Democrat-Gazette)
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Watch Gunna Race Down “rodeo dr” in New Music


Drawing from O.J. Simpson’s infamous car chase, Gunna‘s new music video sees the rapper cruising through Los Angeles in a white Ford Bronco. The rapper recreates Simpson’s 1994’s on-road saga in the visuals for a Gift & a Curse track, “rodeo dr”, as he dodges paparazzi and crazed fans alike.

Directed by Spike Jordan, the video opens with “fukumean” playing – another notable cut from a Gift & a Curse that recently matched “Drip Too Hard” as Gunna’s highest-charting Hot 100 single. A voiceover of a news reporter then kicks off, as she updates listeners on “one of of the most interesting stories in hip-hop history. Of course we are mindful of the situation with Y.S.L. – ” before the “rodeo dr” beat interjects. Gunna delivers bars from the back of the SUV, as the car swerves down the LA highways, making no stops for the slew of street-side reporters and excited onlookers.

“Helpin’ the P out, I’m beamin’ on Narcos, thinkin’ I should take the Bronco (yeah) / OJ (yeah), gotta go get it tomorrow / I’m sellin’ out The Apollo, inside my body is hollow,” the rapper recites from the backseat. Grainy, vintage-esque footage is intermingled with high-quality close-ups, all pieced together with hypnotic visual effects and cinematography.

The video closes with the same reporter from the beginning, as she delivers a Breaking News segment regarding the YSL case. “This is something we’ve never seen before… He’s number one. No features. They call him ‘Wunna’. He’s one of one.” Stream the music video above.

In other music news, Travis Scott has unveiled his latest offering of UTOPIA merch and also announced his CIRCUS MAXIMUS Rome show.

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FACT CHECK: Did Blake Shelton Cancel A $30 Million


A post shared on Facebook claims country singer Blake Shelton has canceled a $30 million project with Country Music Television (CMT).

Verdict: False

The claim is fabricated. It originates from a website that identifies itself as satirical.

Fact Check: 

CMT recently pulled country musician Jason Aldean’s music video after it garnered widespread attention for controversial lyrics and the video’s depiction of Tennessee courthouse where a black teenager was lynched in 1927, according to NBC News. Fans of Aldean have shown support for his song, helping it reach number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, Newsweek reported.

The Facebook post claims Blake Shelton has canceled a $30 million project with CMT after siding with Aldean. The post shares this news in text and shares an image of each of the singers side-by-side.

“Blake Shelton Cancels $30 Million Project With CMT: “Jason Is My Friend,’” the caption reads. “Country Music Television (CMT) is still paying the price for canceling Jason Aldean’s video ‘Try That In a Small Town’ In what may be the most crushing blow yet, country megastar Blake Shelton has announced that he’s backing out of a $30 million project with the network.”

The article stems from a parody article on the Dunning-Kruger Times. On its “About Us” page, the website describes itself as a “subsidiary of the “‘America’s Last Line of Defense’ network of parody, satire, and tomfoolery, or as Snopes called it before they lost their war on satire: Junk News.” Check Your Fact has debunked multiple other claims originating from the site. 

There are no announcements of the alleged partnership on Shelton’s website or his verified social media accounts. Likewise, Check Your Fact found no credible news reports to corroborate the claim. (RELATED: Did Garth Brooks Cancel His Tour Over Bud Light Boycott?)

Check Your Fact has reached out to representatives for Shelton and CMT for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received from either source.

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Guy Sebastian Announces First New Music In Three


More Guy Sebastian More Guy Sebastian

Yesterday (1 August), one of Australia’s most successful musicians, Guy Sebastian, revealed that he’s about to release his first new music in three years.

Taking to Facebook and Instagram, the Choir singer uploaded a video to share the news. Telling his fans that it was pre-5 am when he filmed the video (“not my normal operating hours,” he said), the singer shared, “I’ve got some exciting news. I am finally releasing some new music – it’s been about three years since I’ve released new music.”

He added, “I’ve got a brand new single called I Choose Good – I wrote it in LA with [Sydney-based artist] Chelsea Warner and Oak Felder [songwriter and record producer for Demi Lovato, Alessia Cara, Rihanna, Sabrina Carpenter] – what a team! I can’t wait for you guys to hear it; you can actually pre-save it now or pre-add it; it’s officially out August 18th.”

Earlier this week, Sebastian posted a teaser clip of new music, which you can watch below, likely for I Choose Good, which contained soulful undertones. You can pre-save the song here.

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In June, Guy Sebastian’s former manager, Titus Day, was released from jail after his lawyer successfully appealed a point contributing to his sentencing.

The 50-year-old manager was arrested on embezzlement charges in 2020, and the trial carried on until November 2022. In court, a jury found Day guilty of 34 counts of embezzlement, adding up to a total of $624,675 of earnings that should have made it to Sebastian between 2013 and 2020.

The $187,524 that Sebastian was owed from his 2013 tour supporting Taylor Swift was included. Day was sentenced to a maximum of four years in jail, ineligible for parole until he’d served two-and-a-half years.

“I’ve got this new sense of purpose in the way that I write and the way that I make music,” Sebastian told The Music upon releasing his October 2020 album, TRUTH.

The album features some of the Malaysian-born songwriter’s most recent hits, including Before I Go, Let Me Drink and Choir, the latter of which The Music revealed as one of the most streamed songs by an Australian artist in 2020.

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The Millheim SummerFest ‘brings the community


The 2023 Millheim SummerFest kicked off at 10 a.m. on Saturday featuring live music and local food and drinks through 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Around 20 musicians participated in this year’s SummerFest across three locations, including the Elk Creekside, the Millheim Hotel and the Pisano Winery, according to Pisano Winery Owner Andy Pisano.

The annual festival began to “bring the community together” and raise money to support the Millheim community post COVID-19, Pisano said.

Many people gathered in Millheim for SummerFest, from “regulars” to visitors from State College, Lewisburg and Mifflinburg.

The festival offers a “good mix of music” for spectators, according to Pisano. From the electric piano to guitar solos, and bluegrass to classic rock and heavy metal.

Sixteen vendors participated in this year’s SummerFest, according to the Millheim SummerFest website. Pisano said it was challenging to coordinate with businesses and set up advertisements, which “takes a lot of volunteers a lot of time.”

“We were gathering and cleaning up [to prepare for the festival]; we marked our spots for the vendors; we coordinated with the vendors to make sure we had enough space,” Pisano said. “We make a lot of extra slushy mix and different mixes that we use in our drinks, and we try to stock up the wine racks ahead of time — it’s a couple of days of preparation.”

 Pisano said another “big event,” Merry Millheim, will be held around Christmas, which will include music and food.

Artist Karl Leitzel said the Pisano Winery, Millheim Hotel and Elk Creekside connected musicians from their network. Leitzel said people could “move around” to see musical performances with “not much overlap” between the three venues.

In addition to over 30 years of painting experience, Leitzel said he plays guitar, saxophone and harmonica, and hopes to “enjoy the festival” and play music on the streets.

“The last two years, I was busy with more things I needed to do during [SummerFest], as well as I had my stand selling musical instruments,” Leitzel said. “This year, I can actually enjoy it.

Freestyle Fiber Artist Samantha Statham said it was “a really nice experience” to see “a lot of participants and unique artwork.” She promoted her crochet artwork business, SunnyDazeWith Sam, and talked with over 20 people.

Statham said she spent “most of her life” in Millheim, “a great place” with “a lot of good people.”

She prepared her crochet artwork and stickers after receiving the invitation one month ago. Preparing items for the SummerFest and her “small business orders” were the most challenging, and she “got everything ready” on Friday night.

Statham said Millheim “has great vibes,” bringing different business entities together during the SummerFest.

“They have so many different arts and music festivals going on [and] so many different opportunities to mingle all the breweries, wineries and cider houses. They all host different events, it’s a really good time,” Statham said.

For Karen Baxter, who came to the festival to support her husband Ken Baxter, there were “lots of nice things” to “explore” at SummerFest.

Baxter said her husband plays “soft rock” and he is “very good at writing songs,” with many original songs correlating to his life.

“He [has had] a lot of life challenges, and he’s always been able to put what has happened to him into his music,” Baxter said. “His music is very, very deep.”

She said her husband raises money for a foundation to help “awaken the public’s awareness” in saving lives, which is a part of his “life mission.” 

Baxter felt the “relaxed and loving” atmosphere in the Millheim community, saying it was a very “family-oriented place.” She said the winery’s arrangement was “very smooth, streamlined and [had] no issues.”

Baxter said she hopes the Millheim SummerFest can attract more people.

“As the day goes on, more people come out in the afternoon and the evening, but I really hope that [SummerFest] could continue to grow,” Baxter said.

Attendee Carolyn Bryant hopes for more advertisements to attract more people. Bryant came to Millheim to visit her brother, who has been living in Millheim for 45 years, “specifically to see Biscuit Jam,” a music band with Kelly Countermine and Mark Hill.

Countermine and Hill played American Folk for the Millheim SummerFest, and Bryant said they have “spectacular voices.”

“[Hill] plays ukulele, mandolin and guitar — I play guitar,” Countermine said. “We both sing and harmonize, and try to play music that people will enjoy and sing along to.”

Originally from State College, Countermine and Hill like visiting counties where the locals “don’t always get as much live music.”

“We love getting out and seeing the people, playing live music and watching people enjoy [themselves] — it is the best feeling ever.”


Penn State Berkey Creamery celebrates 25 years of Penn State World Campus with ice cream

The Penn State Berkey Creamery temporarily renamed its birthday cake-flavored ice cream to c…


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Northern Ireland’s largest multi-cultural event to


By Rebecca Black, PA

Northern Ireland’s largest multi-cultural event is set to celebrate diversity with events across nine days.

The 17th Belfast Mela Festival is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors to enjoy displays of music, dance, arts, theatre, wellbeing and food later this month.

This year a vivid coloured powder-throwing event Mela Colours will be added to the offering on Saturday, August 26th ahead of the main day of festivities on Sunday, August 27th.

At the launch of this year’s event, the Lord Mayor of Belfast Ryan Murphy said the Mela Festival “encapsulates our city and its welcoming spirit, while also celebrating the diverse, dynamic and fantastic mix of cultural diversity”.

“The nine-day festival is an important platform that will allow minority ethnic communities to share and express their identity and embodies our collective vision for a shared future in Belfast,” he said.

Dr Nisha Tandon, founder of Belfast Mela and Director of ArtsEkta said the event has come a long way from its first year in 2007 which was attended by 300 people.

“It’s now an incredible nine-day festival which now attracting more than 60,000 people and representatives from more than 20 nationalities who have made Belfast home,” she said.

“ArtsEkta has taken enormous strides towards positioning Mela as a festival which can make a significant impact on the lives of members of our new and established migrant communities who remain seriously under-represented in civic life.

“Central to our work is the use of the arts to generate creative responses to social problems at a local level, helping communities to develop a sense of belonging and a more open, welcoming and vibrant society where all communities in Northern Ireland thrive.”

Highlights of this year’s event are set to include a carnival parades through the city with participants from more than 20 different cultural groups, a mini Mela at Belfast City Hall as well as the main festival at Botanic Gardens on Sunday, August 27th.

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15 pieces of good news from Nigeria in July that


In view of celebrating the goodness that shines through even in the most trying times, we’ve curated an exclusive collection of 15 heartwarming and extraordinary news stories from Nigeria in July.

Bank of America’s President of International, Bernard Mensah, visited President Bola Tinubu in Abuja on July 4, 2023. Mensah praised Tinubu’s early economic measures, expressing enthusiasm for their potential to bolster the nation’s economy. This indicates that the economic future is bright for us despite economic pains of today. Stay hopeful!

In an exciting move, The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) now allows recipients of remittances from abroad to receive their funds in naira. Great news for Nigerians living abroad and their families back home, remote foreign employees.

Living a brigher present from her past, Joy Bishara, one of the schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists in 2014 from Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State is engaged to her lover, James in the United States. We wish them a blissful future.

In a landmark display of accountability, the ECOWAS Court’s ruling on July 10, 2023, compelled Nigeria’s Federal Government to compensate Sunday Ayodeji with ₦60 million. Ayodeji, a victim of police-inflicted tragedy, suffered an amputation. This verdict follows President Tinubu’s recent crowning as ECOWAS President, signaling a commitment to justice and responsibility within the region.

The renowned singer gifted Kekwaaru Ngozi Mary, an Eko hotel and suites staff member who demonstrated exceptional honesty to a customer. Two lessons; being good eventually pays off; not all Nigerians are thieves.

Yes! this is indeed good news for Nigeria’s economy. The significant increase in portfolio investments in the equity market during the first quarter of 2023 indicates renewed investor confidence in the country.

By deferring the implementation of changes in the Finance Act and Customs, Excise Tariff, citizens and businesses are given ample time to adjust to arbitrary taxation policies signed by the previous adminstration.

This is good news particularly for the genuine civil servants and the government’s efforts to tackle fraudulent activities within the system. The lesson here is that citizens too need to be held accountable for bypassing processes.

For the Nigerian citizens who were concerned about the proposed increase in electricity tariff, the House of Representatives’ are lowkey fighting your battles.

Being only the second Nigerian artist to achieve this milestone puts him in esteemed company alongside Grammy-winning megastar Burna Boy, further highlighting Nigeria’s prominence in the global music scene.

Nigerian food and culture left a positive impression on a globally renowned figure like Malala Yousafzai.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has announced a remarkable achievement, surpassing expectations by recording a total tax revenue collection of ₦5.5 trillion in the first half of 2023.

The allocation of funds to key areas such as innovation finance, agro value chain development, and agro-industrial processing zones will likely have a positive impact on the agricultural sector, creating opportunities for farmers, businesses, and entrepreneurs.

Many may have concerns or reservations about the inclusion of Lai Mohammed’s feat on this list, considering that his previous role as a Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism was not without controversy or criticism during his tenure.

However, some Nigerians, like this author, may view this appointment as a positive development, as it reflects international recognition of a Nigerian figure in a significant position within a global organisation; and here, we celebrate ALL Nigerians who achieve credibly.

Joseph Agboola achieved the feat after a grueling two-hour examination that tested his skills and knowledge in deploying, troubleshooting, and development on the AWS cloud platform.

Amazon Web Service Certified Developer showcases knowledge and understanding of core AWS services, uses, and basic AWS architecture best practices, and proficiency in developing, deploying, and debugging cloud-based applications by using AWS.

In bidding farewell to July, let’s carry these heartwarming stories with us, reminding ourselves of the resilience, compassion, and triumph of the Nigerian spirit. In a world filled with challenges, these uplifting moments from Nigeria inspire us to stay hopeful and celebrate the achievements, big and small, that shape our shared future and narratives.

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