Commonwealth Africa Initiative – commonwealthafrica.com

NEPLF Diaspora Edition – London 30th January 2018 – 6pm

Venue: House of Commons, London United Kingdom

Organised as part of The Africa Forum 2018, The Diaspora edition of the Nigeria’s Emerging Political Leaders Forum is a one day non-partisan, high level, multi-stakeholder conference that will bring together African diaspora community in the UK to facilitate dialogue and action on the challenges facing Youth and Diaspora Participation ahead of the 2019 Nigeria’s General Elections, and the opportunities for Diaspora participation in the political process in Nigeria.

Confirmed Speakers/Panellist:

Senator George Sekibo – Fmr Senator Representing Cross River
Hon Abike Dabiri – Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs
Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila – Leader of the House of Representative, Nigeria and Diaspora Returnee
Mr Alistair Soyode – Presidential Aspirant and Nigerian Diaspora Stakeholder
Hon Lanre Oshun – Member Lagos State House of Assembly and Diaspora Returnee

Moderators:

Hon Dayo Israel

Mrs Michelle Akintoye

The event is hosted as part of a series of conscious efforts and action plans to fulfil the aspirations of the Agenda 2063 of an Africa whose youth shall be socially, economically and politically empowered through the full implementation of the African Youth Charter, An Africa of 2063 that will have full gender parity, with women occupying at least 50% of elected public offices at all levels; an aspiration achievable with the youth.

The Forum will provide a veritable platform for the generation of new Ideas, opportunity for networking, and ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all political levels in Nigeria.

The NEPLF has held in South West Nigeria, South East Nigeria, South South Nigeria and will hold in the 3 Northern regions of Nigeria as well as the Diaspora, especially Ghana, The UK and the United States. See report of past sessions on www.neplf.gleehdfoundation.org.ng

The London NEPLF is holding on the side-lines of the Africa Forum 2018 in London, on Tuesday 30th January 2018 from 6pm at the House of Common, Westminster, London, United Kingdom.

The NEPLF UK Edition is organised by GLEEHD Foundation UK in association with The Commonwealth Africa Initiative, BritAfrique, NSUUK and BEN Television.

To Register for free, visit www.casevents.org

“…And she gave herself with Reckless Abandon.” – Maryam Dan-Habu

It was a friend’s birthday dinner that evening and I knew I was going to be seeing her…my wifey! Well, okay, my Wife to be. A woman that had so captured my heart with her faith, trust, hope, hospitality, beauty, meekness and love of God! She didn’t talk too much, but whenever she did, she spoke with so much depth of knowledge and occasional sprinkles of humour. Everyone said “there’s just something about her…” no one could really point it out. There’s just something about her.

I arrive at our friend’s dinner and see her already seated already. I slide behind her chair and whisper “hey baby…” We share a long hug.

For the most part of the dinner, she was absent-minded, distracted and lost in her thoughts. I was about to ask her how the meeting with the wedding planner went when I called her name twice and she didn’t flinch. Lost in a world of her own, I stretched to hold her hands And I could feel them shaking. Weird.

“Hey, Mama… are you okay?” I asked as she lifted her eyes to look at me. They were a tad teary as she nodded in the negative and said: “we need to talk”.

Too many thoughts race through my mind… Did I say something? Did I do something? Did I forget something? No, her birthday is in two months, that can’t be it… Did I look at another girl someway? Naa, that can’t be it. No one is as beautiful as her here. What could be the problem? “Yh, sure. Outside?” I’m finally able to say.

We walk towards the parking lot in silence. Hand in hand, her’s is still shaking.
Once we get to the car, I draw her close and ask her what’s wrong. She can’t look me in the eyes, she’s blinking and says “I, I haven’t seen my period, last month and this…” I laugh in my head. Is this why this woman brought me outside? Small thing.
“it’s probably normal babes. Just google it or talk to your mum. Or just see a doctor tomorrow honestly. You’d be fi-”

“No Jay…” she cuts in. “I know- like I know this one. I know I’m not sick or anything. I don’t know if this makes sense but I’m pregnant. Like I’ve taken in and-“

“You’re what?” I ask almost choking in laughter. “Babe you actually need to stop nursing your primary school dreams of being an actress. Hahahaha. Preg where? Preg what? Preg who? You’re such a joke”

But she’s not laughing. “I know, I know this may sound silly, but I’m pregnant. I had a dream tha-“

“Babeee! You know people don’t get pregnant by dreams right? Well don’t worry we’re about to get married… you’d know how soon” I wink.

But She’s not having any of my cheekiness. She looks at me with this interesting confidence and says “No babes. I know what I’m saying…” she searches her bag and pulls out an envelope and hands it over to me. “That’s the ultrasound. See my name at the top.” She gives me a while to read through and interjects while I’m still trying to find my thoughts. She starts tearing up.
“I promise Jay, I kept our vows, I didn’t have sex. I swear baby, I’m still a virgin. I’m carrying a special baby. An angel told me I have been favoured and-“

“Ohh Mary just stop this cock and bull story you’re telling me” my anger rises. “It’s one thing to lie to me, another to cheat on me, break our vows and worst off, you’re lying on Yahweh! You’re just unbelievable! How could you!??” I raise my voice. My blood gets hotter. “How could you Mary!!?? Couldn’t you wait till we got married? You want me to be the joke of the town?? Church gossip?? How could you Mary? I trusted you with my heart, with my life, with my vows, my everything and here you are saying an angel or God or the Spirit got you pregnant!!!!?? You know better than to lie foolishly to me! You know bett-“

“I didn’t do anything with any man. I promise you.” Her words get mixed with tears but her face brightens. “I love you, but you know I love God more. I trust you, but I trust him more. I would never hurt you, but this is a fulfilment! The angel says I’m favoured. He said I’m blessed to have been chosen. He even told me the child’s name. He would be the son of God!! Can you imagine!!? Our child would be-“

“What is our?? Mary, what is OUR? Who and who? Who with you? What has come over you?? What?? You unclean Woman! I spit on you!”

“But Josep-“

“Don’t call my name please! I don’t have time to talk anymore woman. I have work tomorrow.” I get into the car and slam the doors.
———————

It’s a year later, I’m cradling Jay Junior… well, Baby Jesus. I kiss his forehead soaking myself in this surreal moment… I just kissed God.

I turn to Mary. A woman whose faith leaves me in absolute awe. For she undertook the risk birthing the saviour of the world and recognised the huge privilege it was too. Mary, a woman that gave herself to Yahweh with reckless abandon. She was ready to be called a whore and socially castigated if I didn’t marry her. She was prepared to go through scorn and mock even if people disbelieved her story of the angels’ visit. She knew that we had no knowledge of motherhood but trusted Yahweh for conception and delivery.
Mary trusted God with reckless abandon.

Are you ready to?

Article written by Maryam Dan-Habu

CHRISTMAS GIFT PROJECT 2017

In previous years Nigerian Community Leeds NCL has supplied Christmas gifts to selected families at this time of year. We would like to do the same this year, we would like to be a blessing to people you feel for whatever reason this gift would be particularly meaningful. We would therefore be grateful for your assistance in two ways:-

We would like to request for financial donations to enable us to execute this annual project (no donation from the heart is too small).

Please help us to identify and forward to us the details of families for whom you feel a gift would be meaningful at this time.

We would be grateful to receive your replies as soon as possible but no later than 10th of December .

Please contact welfare using email address welfare@nigerialeeds.org.uk or via telephone on 07440786882

NCL Board of trustees

Colour me Nigeria

 

Too many a times Nigerians are torn between contending which tribe is better, more skilled, educated, important or indispensable to the economy. So much focus has been placed on the differences amongst the many ethnicities in our country and the beauty in our diverse nature is all a blur. What if we weren’t Hausas, Yorubas, Igbos, Edos or Urobos and all we were was ‘Nigerian’?

This was the concept behind the second edition of “Colour Me Nigeria”; The Nigerian Students Society at the University of Leeds hosted Colour Me Nigerian II, an fashion event which was launched last year by its former Events and Logistics Manager, Ubokhobong Mmah. It held at The Function, Leeds University Union on the 12th of November.

The event begun by 6pm with red Carpet as invited guests like the Committee members of the Nigerian Community Leeds (NCL) were invited to have their pictures taken with a beautiful Ankara material as back drop. Props like “Igbo”, “Hausa”, “Yoruba”, “proudly Nigerian” and many more were available as friends, members, volunteers and guests posed.

The event kicked off with a soulful rendition of the national anthem by the MC, Arinze Ngonadi. Thereafter the President of the Society, Maryam Dan-Habu, welcomed everyone to the program and thanked the NCL members for gracing the event, the designers of contemporary African Wears that were going to be showcased and everyone that had taken time out to celebrate alongside with the Society Nigeria’s culture. She admonished her very hard working and supportive committee members and concluded by promising a fun filled and educative evening for everyone!

True to her word, the guests witnessed a first catwalk by beautiful models showcasing very classy Ankara Fashion, by Ebun Pension-Smith (a second year Business Student) . Thereafter the modern type of Geles and headgears by Preye Ombu of My African Hairitage Style (MAHS), Ankara Ruffles by Abigial Egwunyeng (A final year Art and Design Major).

The highlight of the day which was also the most anticipated catwalk was the showcase of the traditional Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa Fulani, Edo, Tiv, Idoma, Itsekiri tribes. Models in singles and pairs cat-walked in so much African pride and splendid down the red carpet as hey were continuously cheered by the audience and accompanied with great music by DJ Tuwack.

These fashion show was spiced up with Music performances by Nick Bailey and Tracey; friends of the Society. Whilst thought provoking spoken word and poetic renditions were given by Rosemary Osuya, Adetunyori Okupe and Arinze Ngonadi as they spoke around appreciating and understanding the beauty in nigeria, loving Nigeria as a youth in diaspora and most especially, . To add more flavour to the beautiful event was a poem by Oghenetega Ugboduma following a dance drama to ‘Love don’t care’ by Simi, was presented by Maryam Dan-Habu, Glory Ayara and Victor Enedo.

A handover of Electoral Commissioners of he Society as carried out by Mr Jonah, a member of the NCL. On behalf of the Society he recognised and thanked Oluwafemi Omoniyi, who had been the electoral Chairman for 4 years; for his endless work, his transparency and dedication towards the success of society’s previous elections. The mandate was thereafter handed over to Miss Oluwasegun Kayode to continue the good work, even as the Oath Of Affirmations were taken.

The Chair of NCL and he special guest of the program, Mrs Victoria Ajayi, gave a speech with which she introduced the NCL as a community, expressed her continuous support for the NSS society whilst looking forward to more collaborations with the students through the Society.

Marvina, the Founder of Angel of Youths Charity; an organisation devoted to encouraging youths and young people in the society, chaired the best dressed competitions as in the end, the female winner was given Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Highlighter while the guy was presented with an Arsenal football Ticket.

To close, the president expressed her endless gratitude to everyone that had taking time to honour the Society with their presence, Sponsors from NCL, the designers, models, volunteers, committee members, performers, photographer, Dj, and Oghenetega Ugboduma, an invaluable friend of the Society. She wished everyone a great night and a safe drive home.

In all, Colour me Nigeria was an evening showcase of rich African modern and traditional wears, soulful music, humour filled Dance and Drama and great Nigerian culinary; small chops for starters, Jollof rice, Chicken, beef, gizdodo and Chapman to wash it down 😉
If you weren’t there, you definitely missed

Article written by:  Oluwabunmi Adaramola & Maryam Dan-Habu