African Voices Podcast: Episode 12!

  • Top news stories from Chicago and the African continent.
  • A music mix from Ugochi
  • Advice Box: Immigration: Petitioning for Family Members
  • Africans in Chicago interview with fashion designer Kadiatou Diallo
If you would like to contribute news, events, issues, interviews or music to our podcast, email us: podcasts@uniteafricans.org or call: (312) 949 9980 between 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri.
Click the link below to see the full details of news, events and music featured on the podcast.
Local News
To start off on August 15, 2012, thousands of undocumented youth or DREAMers, many of them African, gathered at Navy Pier to take advantage of President Obama’s Executive Order. This Executive Order allows eligible undocumented youth to apply for relief from deportation and enables them to get a work permit. The DREAM relief day was organized by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). The United African Organization is an active member of this organization. A total of 14,000 people came out for the relief day making Illinois’ event the largest in the US. Congressman Luis Gutierrez compared the DREAM relief day to immigrants passing through Ellis Island. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and many other key political figures also attended the event. Due to the overwhelming attendance, only 1,500 DREAMers were served that day. However, UAO and its partners in ICIRR are committed to serving all youth who are eligible to apply. If you are DREAM act eligible and need assistance, you can receive help from UAO by calling Sarah Travis at 312-949-9980 or emailing her at sarah.travis@uniteafricans.org.Later in August, Alie Kabba was joined by Sarah Travis, the Community Resource Specialist at United African Organization. In this episode, they touched on DREAM Relief, UAO’s upcoming Immigration Workshop (Sept. 8th), and other immigration issues.

UAO celebrated its first annual Back to School Picnic on Saturday, August 4, 2012!
Family and friends enjoyed food and great music at the fun-filled event. Over 1,000 reading books and school supplies were donated courtesy of Bernie’s Book Bank, Excel Reading and Classroom Products!
This generous donation allowed UAO to promote reading, literacy, and learning throughout their communities!

This month the United African Organization held a workshop on Women and Leadership. The workshop occurred on August 25th and discussed women’s leadership within a patriarchal society and outlined steps toward empowering women as agents of change in our community
The workshop was a great success! The discussion was led by Fasika Alem of the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago. Participants discussed women’s roles as leaders, how men and women lead differently, the barriers to women trying to get involved in leadership roles, and the challenges facing African women in leadership roles. We would like to thank Fasika Alem for facilitating the event, as well as all of our participants!

The Diaspora Council of Tanzanians in America held their 2012 convention from August 30 to September 2 at the Chicago Marriott Hotel at O’Hare Airport.

The Ethiopian Flag Day Ceremony was held on September 7th at Daley Plaza. They also held a Ethiopian New Year Bash at the Croatian Culture Center on September 8th from 8pm to 3am.

African News:
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi died this month after serving as the country’s prime minister for 21 years. On August 20th, Zenawi passed away while receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness. He was buried September 2nd. He was 57 years old.
http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/z/meles_zenawi/index.html

Angola held national presidential elections on August 31st. The elections were peaceful. Angola’s current President Jose Eduardo dos Santos won the election with 75% of the vote. Therefore, he will be in power for another 5 years. Santos has been in power for 33 years.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/01/us-angola-election-idUSBRE88005020120901

This past month South African miners have been joining together and demonstrating via strikes. The latest demonstration was held at Lonmin’s Marikana Mine. This is the same platinum mine where police shot and killed 34 miners last month. The miners are striking because they want a pay raise to 12,500 rand or approximately $1,500 a month. This pay raise is more than double their current salaries. The major labor unions signed a peace deal on September 6th, which brought about the release of more than a hundred miners who were being held in jail. However, the breakaway union and striking workers refuse to also sign the deal. They believe that the National Union of Mineworkers is ignoring the workers’ interests and instead trying to gain political ties to South African President Jacob Zuma. Zuma has ordered the formation of judicial commission to investigate the recent police shootings and strikes at the mines.
http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2019068596_apafsouthafricaminingviolence.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19487967
http://www.aljazeera.com/video/africa/2012/09/20129584616278329.html
http://www.aljazeera.com/video/africa/2012/09/20129673416467772.html

Most of Kenya’s teachers are currently on strike. They are demanding increases in their pay. The teachers  defied a recent court ruling declaring the strike illegal. The teachers are demanding a wage increase of between 100 to 300 percent. Professors and secondary school teachers have also threatened to join the strike when their school resumes. The government has yet to comment on the strike. The current situation has left 30 million Kenyan students without teachers, and with their primary school exams coming up next month many students and parents fear that their children will not be able to score well if school does not resume soon.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19463408
http://www.aljazeera.com/video/africa/2012/09/201293201748607107.html

Ten central African countries (Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe) have come together to protect the Congo Basin rainforest. This rainforest is the second largest  in the world. Therefore, these countries have come together to protect it from severe deforestation. They will be working together to create and implement better forest monitoring systems and training of local people in sustainable forest management, good forest governance, usage of forest resources, and monitoring of deforestation rates.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201209051238.html

Upcoming Events

African Unity Gala & Awards
The African Unity Gala and Awards will be held Saturday, September 22 from 6:30 PM – 9:30PM. It will be held at the IIT Tower Building which is located at 10 W. 35th Street Chicago, IL 60616. It will be an evening to celebrate African unity and culture and honoring the accomplishments of our 2012 awardees. To purchase tickets or advertise in our program booklet please visit our website at unite africans dot org. Your support helps UAO provide services to African immigrants and refugees. If you have any questions please contact Nancy Otchere at 312 949-9980 or email us at gala at unite africans dot org.

Scholarship
“The Sergeant Albert Dono Ware Memorial Scholarship” honors the memory of Sgt. Albert Dono Ware, who died from wounds sustained when his vehicle was attacked with an Improvised Explosive Devise (IED) in the Arghandab River Valley of Afghanistan on December 18, 2009. Originally from Liberia, Sgt. Ware’s exemplary service to his adopted homeland, United States of America, lasted for six years in the military. He was assigned to the 782nd Combat Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, FortBragg in North Carolina.
All Africans planning to enroll in university are encouraged to apply. For more details and the 2012 application packet you can visit our website at uniteafricans dot org. You can also e-mail scholarship@uniteafricans.org or call (312) 949-9980 for more information.

Eniyan
Nigerian playwright Wale Ogunyemi and director Sina Odukoya will be presenting their adaption of the classic Nigerian play Eniyan  or Everyman at the Iyanze African Restaurant from September 14th to the 16th. The restaurant is located at 4623 N. Broadway and parking will be available. The show starts at 8pm on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday at 4pm. You can purchase tickets for $20 at brownpapertickets.com or at the door. For more information, you can call (773) 417-9997.

Citizenship Workshop
UAO will be holding a free citizenship workshop on Saturday, September 29th from 9 to 11 am at Truman College. From more information, please call Brent Hamlet at (312) 949-9980 or email him at brent.hamlet@uniteafricans.org.

Fashion Show
On September 15th Kadiatou Dialllo, a fashion designer from Guinea, will be holding a fashion show. The event will be located at The W Hotel on 644 North Lake Shore Drive. General Admission is $45 in advance and $50 at the door. VIP tickets are $65 and $70 at the door.

South African puppet company in Chicago for shows in September

Tony-award winning South African puppet company, Handspring, will be in Chicago to bring their play Woyzeck on the Highveld to Chicago audiences. The show is playing at the Museum of Contemporary Art from September 27-30. Renowned South African artist William Kentridge directs the show, and also has his art featured in it. The play tells the story of a migrant worker in 1956 in Johannesburg. To buy tickets online, go to www.mcachicago.org or call 312-947-4010. 

Advice
Today’s advice is on how to petition for your family members to receive a visa to come to the US. US Citizens may petition for their spouse, children, parents, siblings, fiancé, and spouse’s or fiancé’s children to receive a visa or green card. In order to begin the process, you must first visit the USCIS website and download the proper forms. To petition for a family member to receive a green card (permanent residence), you must submit the following: Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative), proof of your U.S. Citizenship, evidence of the qualifying relationship, and proof of any legal name change for your or the beneficiary. If your relative is currently living in the US, they must fill out the I-485 form to become a green card holder (permanent resident). If your relative is living outside the US, your petition will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). Then, it will be forwarded to the US consulate. When the visa is available, your family member must report to the embassy for specific instructions on how to get their visa. Your family member’s preference category determines how long they will wait to receive their immigrant visa number. For immediate relatives of US citizens, visas are always available. Therefore, parents, spouses, and unmarried children under the age of 21 can always receive visas.Recipe
Making red-red. Red-red is a popular food in Ghana.
Step 1: Gather the ingredients: gari, cowpeas, palm oil, and plantains.
Step 2: Boil the cowpeas for approximately 2 hours, or until they are soft and ready to eat. Then, you add salt to taste.
Step 3: Peel and cut plantains in diagonal slices and add a pinch of salt. Then, heat oil (vegetable or olive) and fry the plantains until they look like the picture below.
Step 4: Heat the palm oil until it is melted.
Step 5: Combine all the finished ingredients together (First, take some beans, then add some palm oil, next add some gari, and top it all off with some fried plantains) and enjoy!

Kadiatou Diallo interview
And now it’s time for our Africans in Chicago segment of the podcast. In this segment we interview Africans living in Chicago about their lives and work in the city. This month’s interview is with Kadiatou Diallo. A Muslim fashion designer from Guinea, West Africa. Diallo is the designer and founder of La Merveille (me vray). La Merveille is a French word which means exceptional quality. Diallo graduated in 2011 from the International Academy of Design & Technology in Chicago where she studied fashion. Upon graduation she decided to start designing clothes that will help women dress more comfortably. Since then she has designed her line to showcase that women can be both conservative and fashionable.
Diallo’s designs will be featured in a fashion show on September 15th at the W hotel in Chicago.

For more information about Diallo and her designs you can visit her website at www.lamerveille-kd.com (la me vray). Her fashion show will be held on September 15 at the W Hotel which is located at 644 North Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL. General admission is $45 in advance and $50 at the door. VIP tickets are $65 dollars and $70 at the door.

Music

This month’s featured African artist is Ugochi. Ugochi is a Nigerian American singer based in Chicago. Her music blends jazz, soul, Afro-beat, and reggae together for a unique sound she has coined as Afro Soul. Ugochi will be performing at the United African Organization’s African Unity Gala and Awards event on Saturday, September 22 from 6:30 PM – 9:30PM at the IIT Tower Building. In the following interview, Ugochi discusses her music, poetry, influences, and the importance of her Igbo heritage.You just heard an interview with Ugochi. Ugochi is a Nigerian American singer based in Chicago. Her sound blends jazz, soul, Afro-beat, and reggae together for a unique sound she has coined as Afro Soul. Her most recent album is called the African Soul Effect. Ugochi will be performing at the United African Organization’s African Unity Gala and Awards event on Saturday, September 22 from 6:30 PM – 9:30PM. This event will be held at the IIT Tower Building which is located at 10 W. 35th Street Chicago, IL 60616. It will be an evening to celebrate African unity and culture and honoring the accomplishments of our 2012 awardees. To purchase tickets or place an advertisement in our program booklet please visit our website at unite africans dot org. Your support helps UAO provide services to African immigrants and refugees. If you have any questions please contact Nancy Otchere at 312 949-9980 or email us at gala at unite africans dot org.

 

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