Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'm Baaaack!

Writers get writers block; athletes get injuries; celebrities get overdosed on drugs and alcohol and are sent to rehab. What do young inspiring bloggers get? I don’t know but I had it. I’ve had it for almost two years but it has now been miraculously cured like Michael Phelps’ marijuana crisis. My writer’s drive has sprung up faster than Britney’s hair, oh wait; I meant to say faster than Usain Bolt when he broke the 100m world record. I don’t know where my drive went but it is back and I’m ready to work my fingers until the skin on them turn like they’ve been sitting in a bowl of water for hours.

I haven’t lost the ability to write nor have I lost the inspiration. I guess you can say it’s been the laziness bug. My absence has caused my blog to develop virtual spider webs but have no worries fellow blog followers, however low in number you may be because I’m back! I’ve put on my plastic yellow gloves and I've taken out my dusting cloths- all of them being virtual of course- and I’m ready to blog. Now before I start typing at the speed of light and giving you followers something good to indulge in on your free time, I must explain where this sudden inspirational rush came from.
I was sitting around a computer one fine evening (didn’t that sound like the beginning of a fine novel?), conversing with some people about blogging and I uttered “Hey I have a bog!” the words came out of me like a deep rooted spirit that my body could not contain any longer. I felt joy in spitting out those words. Every letter that flowed out touched my lips and it felt good. I needed to rejuvenate my mind with Afrika Today and I am getting my fix through every key I press during this post. After I declared possessing a blog I was subjected to laughter but it wasn’t humiliating. They were amazed that I had a blog. The idea of blogging or being a blogger was entertaining. I’m an entertainer I guess and I like that! I may not be at the level of perezhilton or tmz (I refused to make a link to those cites on purpose- healthy competition, right?) but I’m pretty sure I achieve the same joy that their writers receive when they make their renowned posts.
So I guess it’s safe to say that my inspiration to revive my blogging life came from seeing the smiles that were on the faces of the company I was with as the topic of blogging was discussed. I don’t promise 50 posts a week, that’s just absurd, but I promise more entertainment, more opinions, and more blogging! More post are to come. They’re all lined up in my mind and can’t wait to by typed.
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A new dream, a new beginning

So another school year has begun and I'm well into the academic trance that all students get into when September approaches. I've established my goals and given myself resolutions for this year but as well all know, because I'm a normal 19 year old male those resolutions don't last past september 30, the last day of the month. The weather here in this little town of North Bay, Ontario, where this minor university is located is fairly warm with temperatures slightly dipping in the cool evenings due to very near Lakes. Though things are flowing freely without any hazards in the way, something feels different. There’s a scent in the air around me these days that has got me in wondrous bliss. The African Canadian Cultural Club, it must be, this after all, what else can bring such excitement into my life at this stage of the year (maybe soccer and basketball).

What is the African Canadian Cultural Club or ACCC? It is a new beginning, a new dream, a huge step for the students of Nipissing University and the inhabitants of the City of North Bay. This little community is about to be shook with a new approach to the way diversity is handled. Diversity is not a baby that needs to be cradled nor is it an egg that needs to be wrapped in pounds of protecting foam; it is a force that needs to be understood, accepted, and devoured like it was a sugar filled treat.

The main purpose of this club is to educate! It is going to educate us all on the cultural, economical, political, and social matters that affect African Canadians in our society. The first thing I had to teach people about was the meaning of the words African Canadian. It doesn’t mean the club is for Africans and Canadians only nor does it mean it’s for Africans in Canada; you’ll be surprised at how much controversy this name has caused. I felt like I was in grade 8 all over again with people bickering and crying about the name…what about the PURPOSE of the club…is that not important? With all great things come great obstacles and I’m glad to say that this discussion on the name of the club has disappeared, of not, died down.Another problem that is still in our way, and I believe will be for a fairly long while until people are educated through this club, is that the ACCC is not a Black Only Club because if it was then it would have been named Black Only Club. There is no discrimination at all represented by the club or its executives, in fact, the more diverse this club is (in terms of the membership), the greater our accomplishments will be.

But enough with the bad news, lets get to the good stuff already! Firstly, I am happy to say that on the third day of recruitment for the ACCC we have gotten 58 members! This is extremely good news for the beginning stage of this association because the one thing we need is the support of the student body because without it, I must admit, we will crumble. Secondly, my position right now as President is at a standstill. I am awaiting the decision of NUSU (Nipissing University Student Union) to determine whether or not they will umbrella the ACCC and give us funding. We have provided a strong case and I truly believe that we will gain the support of NUSU’s executive body. And thirdly, the first projected club meeting is set for Monday, September 24, 2007 the time and place has not been concluded as of yet.

The activities that have been laid out are not cemented and therefore sharing them now in detail will be unnecessary but I will give some of the activities planned so far. The major project for this inaugural year is Nipissing University’s first ever black history month presentation/celebration! This is still in the works and will be a great time for all. There are a number of bake sales which will be used to raise money as well as a fashion/talent show. The speaker series and debates will generate a lot of academic fellows and will bring a lot of opinions to the table.

This club is magnificent and in the long run will benefit the whole world. I will continue to keep all my fellow bloggers and readers in the know as this wonderful idea progresses.
“A journey of a thousand steps begin with just ONE”
“ACCC: We have a dream”

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Friday, September 7, 2007

The Minority

Before coming to North Bay, Ontario for school, I had never considered myself as a minority. Infact, I considered myself apart of the majority because living in Brampton, east of Toronto, I saw many people and things that I could relate to as well as be apart of. Now that I'm living here in the northern parts of Ontario there are a lot of things that I do not and cannot relate to; like what? Well, I cannot say to myself that it's Friday night so I'm going to get a nice, fresh and clean hair cut at the barber shop because there are no barber shops...well not the kinds that cut "black hair".

I remember walking into First Choice Hair Cutters ( a "white hair" barber shop/salon), and being asked by one of the lady barbers "umm, are you here for a cut"? WELL DUHH!!! I wouldn't walk into a restaurant if i didnt want food, would I? But, I don't blame her, especially after conversing for a little while and realizing that no one there had ever cut a black person's hair before so they couldn't cut mine. I appreciated the honesty because I didn't want to be an experiment for anyone. Not being able to get a hair cut is not the only thing that has made me realize that I am a minority, I take a look at myself and I can plainly see that I'm different from most people around me...I'm black (or as I like to say, sweet chocolate complexioned, hehe).

In 2005 I could count all the black people that I had seen in North Bay with my ten fingers and one toe but it's 2007 and I can't go anywhere without coming across an African American. It seemed like it was only international students who came to the city for schooling but not anymore, there are many people coming from the big cities in Canada like Toronto, Ottawa, Peterborough, and London.

It is almost three years now from the day I first set foot in North Bay and I can proudly say that I have not come across a vivid racist individual. The people here are extremely nice, maybe a tad bit too nice which can be scary at times, and despite the constant 2 minute stares I recieve from by-passers I don't have much to complain about. So far being a minority hasn't brough to me the hardships that most people of minority face but I still miss being a majority. I miss the all black stores (the african and jamaican restaurants), the black television stations (BET/CTS), and most of all I miss the black churches, the one place that made me feel loved and apprecited no matter what I was going through! I miss the barber shops and the juicy conversations that are brought up. I miss the ghettos, the gangsters who walk around town with their pants sagging and chests out. I miss the slang that I hear and speak. I miss the multiculturalism that I saw everyday when in Brampton. I miss the majority. I feel different here but the feeling is good. I'm accepted and appreciated just as I am back in my home town. I guess I'm not an ordinary minority.
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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Soccer Fever

The 2010 World Cup of Soccer is not but a little under 3 years away but I still can't seem to stop thinking about it. The whole world's attention will be placed directly on the most diverse and most beautiful continent in this world but the sad part of this is that only 5 African nations are going to be represented at these festivities; very depressing.

The 2010 World Cup of soccer is not but a little under 3 years away but I still can't seem to stop thinking about it. The whole world's attention will be placed directly on the most diverse and most beautiful continent in this world but the sad part of this is that only 5 African nations are going to be represented at these festivities; very depressing. I've always wondered why Africa is only allowed to send five countries when other continents are allowed just as much even though they don't have half as many countries. There are 205 countries bidding for a spot in South Africa and a quarter of these cuntries are from Africa. Come on FIFA, give us a break for once! Among the 53 lucky nations is my mother land Ghana, the Black Stars of Africa. Their previous World Cup achievments has layed a very strong foundation in the hearts of all Ghanaians and they are expected to follow up such a magnificent achievement with another great showing on the world's stage come 2010.I guess the reason why i can't seem to relieve myself of the 2010 fever is because I'm playing soccer for Nipissing University, a team with just 4 African players, resembling the ratio of the African countries able to participate in South Africa. There are 2 Gambians, a Zambian, and a Ghanaian (me) so with a team like ours we're sure to do great things this year in the OUA (Ontario University Athletics). Soccer fever is running through my blood and only the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa can heal me. Go Africa Go!
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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The MP's Mother

Is there too much freedom for criminals in Africa?! This is the question I asked myself this morning as i was reading a headline story on the BBC News website labeled 'Gunmen seize Nigerian MP's mother. ' The headline caught me by surprise and made me raise an eye brow, i would have raised both eyebrows if i had the ability to. I shook my head, had a little giggle and said to myself: "only in Africa!!"

Imagine seeing such a headline in a Canadian or American newspaper for example, the next line after that would either be: Gunmen shot dead after police encounter or Gunmen, believed to possibly be terror suspects, found and arrested. The second option is what you would probably see in the Canadian paper. American's don't tolerate garbage like this at all. I would never ever imagine hearing on CNN that Barack Obama's mother has been taken by gunmen who are against his believes to not legalize same sex marriages; it would be a national emergency. We hear about kidnapings and abductions in North America and these cases are dealt with very seriously, sometimes holding the top spots in our daily 6 O'Clock news broadcasts but i guess there are more important things to worry about in Africa. We have to worry about our cabinet ministers who are stealing government money and sending their children to rich private schools abroad, so when there are 'important' issues like that, what time will we have for gunmen and gangsters who are ruining the mother land?

It starts off as 3 gunmen involved in an armed robbery or kidnappings but this leads to militia and eventually civil warfare. Criminals have too much freedom in Africa (yes this is a generalization but a lot of criminals aren't dealt with), even though the ones who are caught are punished like savage animals.

What ever happened to strikes and protests, the peaceful ways of getting an important message across to those who hold power? This cannot continue. Read more!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Interview Number Three

This is the third and final interview. The interviewee is one Miss. Pamela A; she's 17 years of age and has lived in Africa for a considerable amount of time and has also lived in Canada and the United States for extended periods.

I understand that you have lived in more than one country, can you share with us where you have lived and which one of those places you would consider your 'home'?
Pamela A: I've lived in Ghana, Brooklyn, USA and Canada and I would consider Ghana to be my home because I feel at rest when I'm there plus thats where I grew up

Afrika: Do you consider yourself to be an African, Canadian or a mix of both and why?
Pamela A: Africa! I still have my African customs...I'm just living here..thats all
Afrika: As an African living in Canada, what disadvantages are presented to you due to your status as a non-white?
Pamela A: Jobs, there was a time when I applied for a job at a clothing store and, well, there was only white workers, and after applying with my friend who was white, and had no job experience, i didn't get a call back for an interview but yet she got the job but then got fired a few weeks later. I'm sure i was more qualified and would have done a great job. I still think to this day that I didn't get it because I was black
Afrika: Do you believe that there is still racial profiling?
Pamela A: Yes, and there always will be because there are always going to be stubborn and arrogant people out there
Afrika: Being an African living in Canada,do you believe you possess more advantages than a youth in Africa?
Pamela A: I absolutely do because from my experiences living there, i came to the conclusion that even though there are eager people there who want to be educated, they cannot afford the proper education
Afrika: You have traveled and have absorbed a lot; do you see a significant difference between the lifestyles of the youths in Africa, specifically Ghana, and those in North America?
Pamela A: Of course there education. the kids here treat education like it's nothing. In Africa, getting education is a not a right but a dream!

Afrika: Why do you think youth today are running away from their heritage and absorbing only that of the Canadian society’s?
Pamela A: i think this is due to the workings of the media. The only time Africans get to shine is during black history
Afrika: What is one word you would use to describe Africans?
Pamela A: Bold! When you think Africa, we're warriors. we're not afraid to push for what is ours. we will always be fighting.
Afrika: What is one word you would use to describe North Americans?
Pamela A: I believe They are open hearted
Afrika: When you think of the name Africa, what comes to mind?
Pamela A: Development
Finally, who would you be supporting in a football match if it was between Canada and Ghana?
Pamela A: Definetly Ghana, thats a very simple answer. By the way, I believe Ghana will win the 2010 world cup in south Africa, that team really did well in Germany and I know they will only do better this time around.
Afrika: Amen to that sister. Read more!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Interview Number Two

Interview 2 with Mr. S; an 18 year old male from Nigeria, a student at York University; residing in Canada for the past 11 month.

Afrika: Before coming to Canada, where did you reside
Mr. S:
I resided in Nigeria, that is where I was born and grew up.
Do you consider yourself to be an African, Canadian or a mix of both and why?
Mr. S: I consider myself to be a "pure African" because that is where I was born, bred, and that is where I received all that i have today (my achievements etc.)
Afrika: After coming to Canada, what disadvantages are you meeting due to your status as an African abroad?
Mr. S: Probably the stereotypes about Africans and also the fact that non Africans (the whites in general) see Africans as people who do not have much.
Afrika: Do you plan on living in Canada the rest of your life or do you see yourself returning to Nigeria?

Mr. S: I plan on going back to Nigeria because I want to impact and improve my own country with the knowledge that I've received here. I believe I am only here for a better education and I plan on going back to Nigeria in the next 4 or 5 years.

you familiar with Nigerian politics or even the general activities going on in back in Nigeria
Mr. S:
Yes everyday. I make sure to check and read up on the happenings of my own country, for example the Nigerian website where i visit daily:

Afrika: Why do you think youth today are running away from their heritage and absorbing only that of the Canadian society’s?
Mr. S: well, most youths, when they watch t.v they only see the negative parts of Africa, I mean as a youth you don't want to be associated with those negatives and therefore we abstain from our heritage. I also blame the white community for portraying such images and creating such a stereotype on Africans.
Afrika: What is one word you would use to describe Africans
Mr. S: Exquisite; civilization started in Africa, not too many countries can boast of that.
Afrika: What is one word you would use to describe Canadians
Ms. P: Friendly; they are very accomodating.
Afrika: When you think of the name Africa, what comes to mind?
Ms. P: I see Africa as a continent that has a lot of needs and despite the fact that it has a lot of social unrest, people still go there to live and there is still a lot of money in Africa
Afrika: Alot of Nigerians have been associated with scams. Does that effect your pride at all?
Mr. S:
Nope, not at all because in the bible Jesus says "let the man with no sins step forward."; No one is perfect in this world.
Afrika:Why do you think Africa, apart from being so rich in natural resources,remains poor todate?
Mr. S: The western world is always exploiting our people and we still fall into their traps. Lets take a look at the war in Dafur, the weapons all come from the Western world. they are influencing us to kill ourselves so we may be easily exploited.
Afrika: If you were to compare the youths in Africa to those abroad, perhaps here in Canada to be specific, what can you say about them
Mr. S: There's basically no difference. I guess it all depends on how one is brought up; there's actually no difference
Afrika: Who would you be supporting in a football matching if it was Nigeria competing against Canada?
Mr. S: Definetly Nigeria...DEFINETLY!!!
Afrika: The 2010 FIFA World Cup of soccer is quickly approaching, and seeing that South Africa is the host nation, what effect will it have on the rest of the African teams
Mr. S: I believe that an African team will win the cup because we have the home support. I can see Ghana taking the cup. Read more!