Saint or Villain

The People’s Drug Lord

mug shot

He was a  Drug Lord in Colombia although his influence went beyond the boarders of his country. For instance, It is said that in the 70’s; he supplied 80% of the Cocaine in America. At some point, he was named by Forbes and Fortunes magazine as the 7th richest man in the world with an estimated worth of 24 billion dollars . This man had amassed so much wealth at the peak of his career; he owned private planes, a private zoo, mansions and apartments all over the country. He surrounded himself with an army of hooligans who carried out all his orders. His soldiers were so loyal such that most of them were ready to die for him. This man was  responsible for hundreds if not thousands of murders in Colombia. Well, this paints a picture of a villain, so you may be wondering why anyone would consider such as man, a saint.Read on and I will tell you the story of Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria

Most of the facts about Pablo sound fictitious. It is hard to imagine anyone having this kind of wealth but then again when you look at his lifestyle, it could all be true.

He was born in 1949 to a middle class family, a son of a peasant and a teacher. Despite his humble background, Pablo had big dreams and was known to have had ambitions of one day becoming the President of Colombia. Pablo  Escobar got into the the life of crime at an early age and it is said that he started with stealing gravestones. This sounds like such a heinous crime and you may wonder why anyone would steal gravestones. Well, it is said that Pablo used to sell them to panama smugglers but I’m not sure what the smugglers would do with them, probably resell them? Pablo eventually graduated to stealing  cars and finally got into the drugs business. From all the reports that i read, it seems that there was no record of Pablo using alcohol, cigarettes or even the cocaine that he was distributing. However, he started using Cannabis(i think that’s just weed) from an early age to his death.

Pablo made a name for himself in the drug world at around 1975 when he took over the leadership of the Medellin Cartel. So powerful was he that he not only controlled the drugs business but also other crimes around Medellin. Again, this all paints the picture of a villain. However, in 1980, Escobar was elected into congress. This gives a glimpse into the many personalities of the man.
Nevertheless, not everyone supported Pablo; they saw through his ‘sainthood’ and even rejected his appointment to congress but Pablo had a way of dealing with his enemies. It was called the ‘silver or lead’ option, translated from Spanish phrases of plata o plomo. Whenever he encountered opposition, Pablo would first try getting his way through offering bribes. This was ‘Silver’ option. If the bribing failed, he would shoot or issue of order to have them killed. This was the ‘Lead-bullets’ option.

Pablo had no mercy when it came to his enemies. There are hundreds of reported deaths with the highest number of  fatalities taking place on November 27th 1989 when he ordered the bombing of flight Aviance 203 killing 110 innocent people. The target for the bombing was a presidential candidate although it was later established he had not been on the plane.

Colombia to give first reparations to victims of Pablo Escobar

Pablo had a growing influence among the masses. He was particularly popular among the poor people of Medellin. He supported different charities, built schools, churches, soccer fields and even homes for them. At some point, it is said that he had so much money that he didn’t have anywhere to keep it and so he gave it out to the poor. This strategy worked. The people of Medellin were inspired by Pablo, a man from a humble background who had made a fortune but still remembered his roots and gave back to the community. He was considered as some wort of ‘Robin Hood‘ especially around the slums if Medellin. Pablo was quite manipulative that he managed to get the loyalty of his soldiers, the poor people of Medellin and even his wife who stuck with him despite his numerous affairs.


Houses built by Pablo Escobar in Medellin

It was hard to get Pablo brought to justice. He had ways of hiding from authority. In addition, he used intimidation, bribes and murders to escape justice. In 1991, there was so much pressure to apprehend Pablo and this led to a bizarre twist, previously unheard of in any part of the country. Pablo agreed to turn himself in to the authorities and in exchange, the government would allow him to build his own prison where he would serve a five years sentence. This prison had sporting facilities; a Jacuzzi, waterfall and even the prison guards were picked by Pablo and were loyal to him. The prison did not have any other prisoners and some of Pablo’s soldiers were the only ones behind walls with him. Pablo still managed to run his drugs empire while behind prison walls. This famous prison was called ‘La Catedral.’


This prison makes it sound like Pablo had gone on a five years vacation…

In 1992, the unimaginable happened, Pablo had two men brought into the prison, tortured and killed within prison walls for being disloyal. The government could no longer turn a blind eye to the dealings at La Catedral and so they planned to have Pablo moved to a normal prison. This led to his escape. There was a huge manhunt for the fugitive with the US government coming in and specially training a task force to bring in/down Pablo. In addition, an organization called ‘Los Pepes’ made up of victims of Pablo had also launched its own manhunt for him.

Pablo met his death on December 3rd 1993 at the hands of the task force bring an end to the two decade reign of terror. There are many innocent people who died at the hands of Pablo especially in the bombings. However, at his funerals, thousands of people showed up, crying and wailing for their fallen hero.

To this day, Pablo is described as both a saint and a villain. It all depends on who you ask.
So why did I decide to share Pablo Escobar’s story? Like most people, I thought he was an enigma. For man to commit so many crimes and still remain a saint among his people, I was fascinated by his story. I have always wanted to know how he manipulated the people for so long. His crimes are unforgivable, surely everyone can see this and yet to some people, he still is considered as a hero.

I first heard about Pablo from my younger brother Sam, who gave me the documentary called ‘The Two Escobars’. This documentary tells the story of Colombian soccer at the time of Pablo’s rule and the connection between the two. It also tells the story of another Escobar, Andres Escobar who was the Captain of the National team during Pablo Escobar’s reign of the drug world. You can read Andres Escobar’s story here
Other documentaries and movies made about Escobar include;

http://The Infiltrator-
Pablo Escobar- King of Cociane-
The True Story of Killing Pablo-
Sins of May Farther-
I am very intrigued by ‘Sins of My Father’. It is told by Pablo’s widow and his son. I am currently looking for this documentary.
Escobar; Paradise Lost-
There are number of books on the life of Pablo Escobar, these include;
Mark Bowden’s: Killing Pablo; The Hunt for the world’s greatest Outlaw


The reason as to why i decided to write Pablo Escobar’s story is because i have just finished the latest series on his life. If you haven’t yet watched Narcos, then you should check it out. You may assume that the show is boring and predictable especially if you already know about Pablo but trust me, it is not. I have watched so many documentaries on Pablo Escobar but still found the show quite interesting because it reveals details about his personal life and other events that have not been revealed in most documentaries. For instance, it is known that Pablo Escobar was behind the bombing of flight Aviance 2013. However, from Narcos, i found out about the bomber and his family. The man who Pablo got to carry out the crime. Its a heartbreaking story and I’m glad that Narcos brought out this angle of the story.– Checkout Narcos here. It has a rating of 9.1 of imdb which is quite impressive.


NB: This story was put together from researches from a number of articles online and documentaries. All images were from online sources.

With this ring


Last week on Friday night, I was home alone and bored so decided to take a break from reading ‘Nineteen Minutes’ by Jodi Picoult and watch a movie. I had just gotten ‘With this ring’ the previous day, it fit in perfectly with my plan. ‘With this Ring’ is a Lifetime romantic comedy based on a book titled ‘The Vow’ by Angela Burt-Murray,Denene Millner and Mitzi Miller.

With this ring is a chic flick, the kind of movie that women will enjoy and would make great for a girl’s movie hangout. The movie starts off at Elsie’s wedding (Brooklyn Sudano) which is on New Year’s Eve. At the wedding are three of her girlfriends are also her bride’s maids. There is Trista (Regina Hall), Vivienne ( Jillie Scott) and Amaya(Eve). These three women are all single and at that age where where everyone looks at you and then casts a furtive glance at the clock wondering when you plan to settle down.


The three women take a vow to all get married or at least engaged by the next New Year’s Eve. If they fail to get Mr. Right, they plan on settling on ‘Mr. Right Now’, whichever man will be available then and showing interest.

This is where all the drama begins.

Trista keeps falling for the wrong men and tries to settle down with the biggest douche bag of them all; Vivienne gives dating a chance but is really in love with her ex who is also her son’s daddy. Amaya is a mess; she is dating a married man who she keeps hoping will leave his wife for her.

The search for Mr. Right provides viewers with some funny, emotional, thoughtful but also SMDH moments that makes the movie enjoyable.


Why you will enjoy this movie:

1. It’s awesome and relatable for many women whether single or married but especially single and at that ‘age’
2. It’s funny and makes an easy watch
3. The acting is really good; Regina Hall, Jill Scott and Eve give great performances. I think we need to see Hall in more movies. Gabrielle Union is also in the movie although not playing a major role
4. Plenty of eye candy
5. Happy endings that will melt your heart but are still realistic in that not everyone gets exactly what they want
6. The backdrop scenes are really beautiful, not sure where the movie was shot but it really did have a picturesque setting

What I didn’t like about it:
1. It’s a little over the top, the horrible dates are unrealistically terrible(i think that part was a bad attempt at being hilarious), the bad men are way too bad that you wonder what woman would be with them, people get heartbreaks that cause heart attacks.

I understand that it’s a chic flick but there are some really cringe-worthy scenes

2. Looses ends are tied up in very simplistic ways. If you are in love with someone who you can’t be with, I expect that there are obstacles that keep you apart. You just don’t tell the person that you love them and that’s it, happy ever after starts then. Conflict resolution in this movie was way too unrealistic

My favorite part of the movie was this monologue by Trista(Regina Hall):

“Do you, Trista Miller, realize that life is short and if you spend all your time waiting on a job or the One, that you waste a perfectly good chance to be happy. I do. Then by the power vested in you, I make a new vow that single or married, working or not, that you will never wait for anything outside of yourself to change, before you choose to be happy. You may kiss the new you”.

The movie has a 6.8 rating on 1dmb,it’s worth checking out


TV Series


If you haven’t yet watched Wentworth then I must tell you just how much you are missing out on one of the best TV shows right now. I know there are many great American TV shows based on prisons such as ‘ Prison Break’ and lately there is ‘ Orange is the new black’. ‘Wentworth’ is an Australian TV show on SoHo that stands at par with the two in terms of prison drama.

Wentworth is based on a female prison by the same name. Behind the high prison walls and massive fences, there are different women and correctional officers. Each with a story of their own on how they got residence at Wentworth and how they are spending their time behind the walls.There is also prison politics with inmates running different crews, trying to be ‘top dog’ and trying to live a normal life despite their current circumstances. There are also families left at home that bring their own twist to the plot. The correction officers also have their own personal stories which add to the interesting drama at Wentworth.

this one

The main character is Bae Smith (Danielle Cormack) who is remanded at Wentworth after being arrested for the attempted murder of her husband. Bae comes to prison all innocent expecting to await her trial in peace. However, she soon realizes just how prison works and discovers that she will have to toughen up to survive at Wentworth. The things that she goes through at the jail will break your heart and like a train wreck that you can’t tear your eyes from, you will be shocked to see just how much Bae’s life goes into a spiral. The Bae who walked into the prison is definitely not the same lady by the end of the second season. Prison changed her from a broken, abused housewife to something else. Or maybe it just revealed the real her.


On the other side is Frankie Doyle (Nicole Da Silva) who relishes the role of ‘top dog’ and would do just about anything to run the prison. She is a tough brunette lesbian who always finds a way to get people to do her bidding. Not only does she try to control the inmates but also tries out her power over the correctional officers.Frankie has a tough, mean side and you will find yourself really hating her at times such that her soft moments will catch you off-guard.


It is interesting to interact with the different characters in the prison. For instance, Doreen Anderson (Shareena Clanton) and Liz(Celia Ireland) take on the mother figures at the jail. They always watch out for the girls. Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine that they actually belong in the prison. Then there is Sue Jenkins (Katrina Milosevic) who acts as Frankie’s ‘muscle girl’ and we get to see her physically bully people although at the same time, it seems that Frankie takes advantage of her insecurities. My favorite guard is Will Jackson (Robbie Magasiva) who is a dedicated correctional officer and who also happens to have paid a very high price for his job. He loses a loved one in the jail and nearly loses his mind in the first season. Again, in season 2, he faces new afflictions that now threaten his life. He also has a very close friendship with one of the inmates, a friendship that I keep holding my breath hoping that it will lead to a romance.

Not all guards are good though, some of them are straight-up psychotic like the Warden in season 2, Joan Ferguson(Pamela Rabe) who does more to cause havoc than bring order to the jail. She not only interferes with the inmates but also the other correctional officers.


There are already 2 seasons of Wentworth with a total of 22 episodes. I promise you, once you start watching the first episode you will get hooked.


The series has a very high rating of 8.6 on imdb, check below link for reviews
Orange is the new black has a rating of 8.5
While Prison Break also has the rating of 8.6

If we are to go on the that then Wentworth is as good as Prison Break and better than Orange is the New Black. Definitely worth checking out.

Here is a link to another review of the show by Telegraph.

Empire (TV Series)

Mid Season-Review


Well if you haven’t yet heard , there is a new TV show that everyone is talking about. Empire is an American TV series on Fox. It debuted on January 7th 2015 and is already on its 7th episode. I watched all 7 episodes on one evening; that is how interesting the show is. The show has a rating of 8.1 on imdb.

Empire revolves around a music (hip-hop) entertainment company owned by the Lyon family. The company CEO is Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard). Lucious was in the drug business before getting into music. He is now an iconic artist in his own right and his company, Empire, has made a name for itself in the music industry. Lucious’ does not have the typical rags to riches story. His past seems to have caught up with him and his future also doesn’t seem too good especially considering his medical condition. He is engaged to Anika and was married to Cookie (Taraji Henson) though clearly there are unresolved issues between the two.

The Lyon family has, Andre (Trai Bryers) the eldest son who runs the finances for the Empire Company. He may seem like the responsible one but man, does he have too many demons.In addition, Andre is the only son who doesn’t have any musical talent. Jamal (Jussie Smollet) is a talented RnB artist; he is also gay which makes him the black sheep of his family since his father doesn’t accept his sexuality. Bryshere Gray (Hakeem) is Lucious’ youngest son, a hip-hop artist like his dad and clearly his father’s favorite son. However, Hakeem is out-of-control, always running rogue, saying the wrong stuff in front of cameras.Honestly, i can’t imagine him running the company but he still is a top contender.


Immediately the show starts and we are introduced to the family, Lucious informs his sons that he will be leaving his company to one of them who he will start grooming to take over. Immediately this is said, the drama starts to unfold as each of the sons seeks to be the heir. If this is not enough drama, Cookie, the mother of the three comes home after a 17 years stint in jail for drug trafficking adding to the family chaos. Well if that hasn’t convinced you to watch the series, check out the below list.

Why should you watch this series?

1. Family drama– Drama is fun and the Lyon’s family has plenty of that. A former drug dealer for a dad, ex-convict mum and three sons who all want the Empire, great recipe for fun drama.

2. The Scheming– I love the fact that everyone seems to have their own secret agendas on this show. The biggest puppet-master seems to be Andre who is hell-bent on getting Empire. It’s interesting to watch him scheming against his own family. Anika seems to have a few schemes up her sleeves mainly against Cookie. This just makes the plot more engaging.

3. The Personalities- The Character development is awesome giving the show some big personalities. There is Cookie who is the Queen Bee, Andre who is straight up psycho and Jamal who is endearing. You will find yourself either loving or hating the different characters who are quite polarizing. The actors do a terrific job in bring out the personalities.

4. Twisted Relationships– I have seen some twisted relationships in the past but nothing quite like what I saw on this show. My favorite relationships include:

a) Lucious and Cookie- divorcees who seem to still have feelings for each other despite Lucious being engaged to Anika. I also love their story of how they started out together with nothing.
b) Cookie and Hakeem- They are supposed to be ‘mother and son’ yeah supposed is the key word here. Hakeem openly can’t stand Cookie.
c) Hakeem and Camilla (Naomi Campbell)- This is totally weird. I won’t even explain why, just watch it and see what Hakeem calls Camilla and the relationship between the two.
d) Andre and his wife- There is something very wrong mentally with Andre. There is definitely something wrong with his wife too. They are one creepy couple.

5. The Music- Timbaland has done a great job with the music in this show. There are some great performances throughout the show. Both Jamal and Hakeem are pursuing music careers and so they have a number of performances. What I really love about this show is that the characters are actually really musically talented and so they portray the artist-bit really well. My favorite performances were by the two brothers together. They are really great when working together which unfortunately is not always the case.

Together, their music is simply awesome
Together, their music is simply awesome

6. Bonus ( Top Models)– Naomi Campbell is a cougar on this show, say what you want but Naomi will forever remain fierce. Guess who else is on the show, AzMarie Livingston from America’s next top model! She has small repeat roles but is doing a great job and plus Az is so fabulous . I hope to see Az more in future.

Still fierce…

AzMarie is perfection
AzMarie is perfection
Another pic of Az,killin'it
Another pic of Az,killin’it

Season 1 of Empire has 12 episodes so if you are not already watching it, you better start now. This is one show that you don’t want to miss.

Check out more reviews of the show on Imdb.

Empire has a facebook page on:
This may contain spoilers though so don’t go to the page until you have watched the show

American Horror Story: Freak show

The Freak show is the fourth season of American Horror Story. Other seasons include, Season 1: The Murder House, Season 2: The Asylum and Season 3: Coven. I really enjoyed season 1 but was not too keen on season 2. The Asylum location did not hold too much appeal for me. However, I recently saw the fourth season at the movie store and decided to give it a shot although I hadn’t watched the third season.

Freak show will have you glued from the start. I watched all 12 episodes in quick succession. The setting of the series is a circus in a town called Jupiter in Florida where the ‘freaks’ live together and put up shows for the community. It is clear to see that the community is not very accepting of the ‘freaks’ maybe that is why they stay on their own. There is so much discrimination against them and they are openly treated as “nature’s mistakes”. The ‘freaks’ are not only people with odd features such as the lobster hands, bearded lady or the dwarfs but also other people with different handicaps.

Society also treats them as commodities whereby people openly try to purchase them. There is a museum even set aside for ‘freaks’ where they are murdered and then displayed for other people’s amusement. There are a lot of storylines intertwined in the show all revolving around the ‘freaks’ that attracted all kinds of visitors to Jupiter. I also enjoyed learning the background story of the characters.

The Freak show allows you to look into the lives of what society back then called ‘ freaks’ or as Elsa called them ‘monsters’. You get to see life from their point of view. You also get to share in their fears and joys. The show is thrilling with a lot of suspense and twists that will keep you on the edge on your seat. There is also some gruesome murders and lots of scary scenes, it is American Horror Story after all.

Favorite Characters

One of my favorite characters was Ma Petite. She said few words and did not feature so much in the show but to me, she was the most memorable. I loved her smile and always made up face and I thought she was simply adorable to the end. I found it odd when Elsa used her to cuddle but I guess she is just that sweet to be around.


Ma Petite hold the Guinness World Record for being the smallest woman in the world, below is more information about her

I also loved pepper and the storyline behind her character. Although potrayed as a monster, we do learn that she had a kind and wonderful spirit. She hardly said any words but she was really sweet. As I watched the series, I decided to read more about the ‘real’ paper and was pleasantly surprised. Naomi Grossman does a wonderful job as Pepper.

Pepper 2

The Transformation is crazy

I really liked Pepper and Ma Petit

Bette and Dot played by Sarah Paulson were also some of the main characters in the series. I was impressed by how well Sarah played the role of the Siamese twins. I also loved the story line of Bette and Dot, the two were so different and this came out very well in their thoughts, personalities and also their facial expressions. I also loved the relationship between the two girls. I was curious about how they would date and experience such things such as intimacy. In the series, only Neil Patrick Harris seemed attracted to both women and so it was mind boggling imaging one of them falling in love and her twin going with it though she did not feel the same.

bet and tet

This pic shows how Bette and Dot were so different

Paul(Mat Fraser) was one of my favourite characters, deep, thoughtful, tough yet sensitive.

Every great story has the heroes and the villains. In this one, there is murderous clown and then there is Dandy Mott(Finn Witrock). I just love how his character was over the top psycho. It was exaggerated but in a good way. His facial expressions and even just the way he talked was very animated almost ‘cartoonish’ but it was brilliant.He played the role of villain, the rich spoilt psychopath with a seemingly very weird relationship with his mother. I was a little perturbed by how his feet were always facing each other though hence giving his this really odd walking style.


Other characters who made the show great include; Jimmy Darling(Evans Peters),Elsa( Jessica Lange),Ethel(Kathy Bates),Dell(Michael Chiklis) and Desiree(Angela Basette).
Main Cast

Reading about the actors playing the different roles was also quite en lighting. For instance, Mat Fraser who is disabled with ‘seal hands’ was a skate boarder, drummer and travel the world with different bands at sometime. Jyote who is an Indian actress was quoted saying how she dreams of one day acting in Holywood, well here we are Ma Petit. It is also interesting to know how Sarah Paulson and Naomi Grossman manage to transform and potray their character shich is not quite easy.

Next week, ill start watching “Coven” which was season 3. I do hope that it will be just as enjoyable.

Nb: All Images courtesy of Google images