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Tag Archives: Nigeria

African Novelist Chimamanda Adichie Shares Her Story

“At about the age of seven … I wrote exactly the kinds of stories I was reading: All my characters were white and blue-eyed, they played in the snow, they ate apples, and they talked a lot about the weather: how lovely it was that the sun had come out. This despite the fact that I lived in Nigeria; we didn’t have snow, we ate mangoes, and we never talked about the weather, because there was no need to.”

These are the words of Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie as she presents at Ted Speaks about growing up and reading stories written by American and Britain authors who portrayed stories about life through their eyes — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story,” says Adichie. However, Adichie also discovered African writers like Chinua Achebe and Camara Laye that gave her hope and libration and realizing that there are young girls like herself with similar skin, hair and characteristics who also exist in literature

Adichie’s presentation highly demonstats the importance of story and how it be used to empower and to humanize. Check out Adichie’s prentation below.

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Henry Okah Sentence To 24 Years In Nigeria

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Let there be justice! Today Judge Neels Classen sentenced Nigerian terrorist Henry Okah to 24 years of jail time, but is that enough?  I’ve been following this news since I’ve first heard of it a few months back.

On January 21, Okah was found guilty on 13 counts of terrorism. The chargers were in relations to two car bombs in Nigeria. The first bomb took place on March 15, 2010 at a post amnesty meeting where one person was killed and 11 people injured. The second bombing took place on October 1, 2010 also known as Nigeria’s Independence Day where 12 innocent people were killed along with 36 injured people.

According to the South African Press Association (SAPA) Classen stated “the State had proved Okah’s guild beyond a reasonable doubt, and his failure to testify meant the evidence against him remained uncontested.”

So how did Judge Classen calculate the amount of years Okah should serve? Okah was given 12 years imprisonment for each of the bombings and 13 years for the threats made to the South African government after his arrest in October 2010. SAPA stated the 13 years would run concurrently with the 24 years.

I hope Okah’s hearing today serves a bit of justice to the families of the victims and most importantly the ones who survived the bombing.


Top 5 African Women Leaders

Some view Africa as a developing continent offering rich investment opportunities for the rest of the world, I see a Africa that is developing the next generation of world leaders. Today I want to focus on African women leaders. If I had to make a list of  my top-pick of leaders who I see as game-changers and trailblazers, these women would be on my list:

Joyce Banda, Malawi, President of Malawi

As fourth President and first female President, Joyce Banda is the definition of a true leader. I had the honor to interview President Banda for AllAfrica.com as she shared highlights of her life and what it means to be a leader. During our discussion she spoke about her experiences and her future plans for her country. As the first women President, Banda’s leadership style has been majorly influenced by her life experiences and hardships. When I think of inspirational African women letters that set great examples of what it means to have a fortitude attitude while uplifting and encouraging others without showing fear, I think of President Banda.

Biola Alabi, Nigeria, Managing Director, MNET Africa  

As Managing Director for multi-national cable and satellite content company, MNET Africa, Alabi is one of the most powerful women in African media. In 2012 the World Economic Forum named Alabi Young Global Leader, she has been at the forefront of the expansion of the AfricaMagic channels brand across the continent. Before becoming managing director Alabi served as director for international strategy at Sesame Street where her first project was working the Nigerian Sesame Street.

Isha Sesay, Sierra Leone, News Anchor & Journalist, CNN 

Sesay files reports for “African Voices” and “ Inside Africa“, CNN International’s award-winning, weekly program that covers political, economic, cultural and social trends in Africa. Sesay is also an anchor on CNN International and a contributor to CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and HLN’s nightly news show “Evening Express.”

Leila Lopes, Angola, 2012 Miss Universe

On September 12, 2011, Lopes was crowned Miss Universe, becoming the first Angolan woman to win the position, the fourth African to win the title (Miss South Africa took the title in 1978, Miss Namibia won in 1992, Miss Botswana won in 1999) and the second Black African woman to win following Mpule Kwelagobe from Botswana in 1999. As the reigning Miss Universe, Lopes used the platform for advocacy for HIV and AIDS patients worldwide.

Leymah Gbowee, Liberia, Peace and Women’s Rights Activist

The peace activist was one of three female recipients who were awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize “for non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.” Gbowee helped organize and lead the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, an alliance of Christian and Muslim women, in public protest during Liberia’s tumultuous times. Now, through her organization Women Peace and Security Network Africa, Gbowee trains and empowers women in Africa to bring peace to their own countries. Gbowee is a recipient of multiple awards including the Blue Ribbon Peace Award from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School, Gruber Prize for Women’s Rights, the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, the Medal for Justice from New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Women’s eNews Leaders For the 21st Century Award. 

“If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family (nation).” – Ghana


A Thin Line Between Death and Birth

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups and  has one of the highest child mortality rates. I just got done watching The Edge of Joy, a documentary that takes a look at the maternal deaths in Nigeria, and I want to share this moving documentary.

“The Edge of Joy follows doctors, midwives, nurses, and public health educators as they fight maternal death on every front, from preemptive family planning education to expanded blood transfusion services.”

Here is the link  The Edge of Joy – ViewChange.org. Let me know what you think.