Tag: Africans in America

U.S. indoor climate similar to that of west central Kenya

By Mick Kulikowski

What do you do to remain comfortable in your home?

If you’re like the American citizen scientists who reported information about their home climate, you make it as close as possible to the outdoor climate of west central Kenya, according to a new North Carolina State University study.

The survey of U.S. indoor climate preferences in 37 states shows that, on average, Americans keep their home climate similar to the outdoor climate of northeast Africa, with outdoor conditions in west central Kenya the most similar to conditions in American homes. That generally means that it’s warm inside with low humidity.

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AFRICOM Commander engages with African leaders in Washington

The top U.S. commander in Africa met with African leaders in Washington D.C. recently to discuss U.S. Africa Command’s role in the new National Defense Strategy and the value of partner capacity.

Marine Corps Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser engaged with 21 defense attachés and the African Union Ambassador to the U.S. in a wide-ranging discussion at the Africa House, addressing various strategies and common challenges on the continent, Africa Command said.

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Liberians in U.S. face tough choice as immigration program ends

Magdalene Menyongar’s day starts with a 5:30 a.m. conference call with women from her church. They pray together as Menyongar makes breakfast and drives to work, reflecting on everything they are thankful for.

But lately, the prayers have turned to matters of politics and immigration. They pray with increasing urgency for Congress or President Trump to act before Menyongar, 48, faces deportation to her native Liberia, where she fled civil war nearly 25 years ago.

In less than six weeks, the order that has allowed her and more than 800 other immigrants from the former American colony in West Africa to live in the United States for decades will end, the result of Trump’s decision last year to terminate a program that every other president since George H.W. Bush supported.

Come March 31, Menyongar will face a choice: Return to Liberia and leave behind her 17-year-old daughter, an American citizen, or stay in the United States, losing her work authorization and becoming an undocumented immigrant.

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Americans taught African churches that being gay is a sin, they listened

The United Methodist Church, like the Anglican, Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran and Presbyterian churches, proselytized Africans and taught them Christianity. For hundreds of years, these Christians taught them that women were not equal, that slavery was permitted and that being gay was a sin. Today in Africa, even as women’s rights are being expanded, members of the LGBTQ community face harsh treatment.

Here in the United States, all these churches, except one, have stopped teaching that slavery is permitted by the Bible, that women are inferior to men and that being gay is a sin.

That one is the United Methodist Church, which recently refused to remove language from its discipline that being LGBTQ is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” It has stopped denying women equal rights, and has stopped claiming that slavery is permitted.

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Week of Prayer: Reaching Africa through Minneapolis

By Brandon Elrod,

Philip Nache could have given in to despair. Boko Haram, the jihadist militant group located in Nigeria, had threatened his life, martyred a convert to Christianity and continued to intimidate Christians.

But despite the danger, Nache expected to return and serve the people he’d spent nearly 20 years ministering to, pastoring and planting churches among. He had come to the United States to attend Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, a moment of divine timing that coincided with Boko Haram’s first threats on his life.

As he contemplated whether and how to return to Nigeria, another divine appointment redirected his steps.

At that time, God opened the door for me to come to Minneapolis,” Nache said. “When I was told about the need here in the Twin Cities, I was still thinking of Africa, but after praying, I felt convicted to go to Minnesota.”

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Major League Soccer: African representation bolstered by new signings

By Mark Gleeson

When the new season of Major League Soccer kicks off at the weekend, all but three of the 24 teams in the north American league will have representation from Africa.

A total of 44 players are drawn from 19 different countries and do not include the players of African heritage who have gone on to play for either Canada or the United States at national team or junior level.

It is a significant representation for the continent whose numbers have been bolstered by several high profile signings.

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African Union ambassador brings Wakanda vision to Minnesota

By Tom Gitaa

Less than 24 hours after the movie Black Panther took home some Oscars, the African Union ambassador to the United States, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, was in Brooklyn Center to share the AU’s mission to build a real Wakanda in Africa.

Brooklyn Center in November elected the first mayor in the metro area born in Africa when it elected Mike Elliot.

The ambitious project, dubbed Wakanda One Village Project, will consist of five African Centers of Excellence in each of the five regions of the African continent, the ambassador told a rapt audience. She first unveiled the project a year ago.

How to fund the ambitious project was the focus of a lunch meeting with African immigrant community and business leaders on Monday. The goal is to have one center of excellence going in the shared Victoria Falls border between Zambia and Zimbabwe where both countries have pledged land to that effect, the ambassador said.

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Somali native gives up American life for military service in his birth nation

It surfaced during his childhood in a typical American suburb setting replete with friends, video games and extracurricular sports.

It lingered in high school with a growing comprehension of his good fortune and a burgeoning understanding of world affairs.

It persisted as he entrenched himself in study at the University of Southern Maine and further gained a sense of what would give life purpose in his adult years.

African-born Mohamed Yusuf Mohamed had nurtured constant suppositions about his fate had his family not immigrated to this country from war-torn Somalia in 1990.

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Egyptian-American Rami Malek wins Best Actor Oscar

Egyptians and Africans all over the world are celebrating over Rami Malek’s rapid rise to stardom and recognition at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

Rami Malek has won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Bohemian Rhapsody for his portrayal of late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in the musical.

Malek is just the second actor of Arab descent nominated for an Oscar, after “Lawrence of Arabia” star Omar Sharif. Malek is the first to win.

He took a moment to thank the band Queen and acknowledged the extraordinary story of Mercury’s life.

In his acceptance speech he said:

“I am the son of immigrants from Egypt, a first-generation American. And part of my story is being written right now. And I could not be more grateful to each and every one of you, and everyone who believed in me for this moment. It’s something I will treasure for the rest of my life”

Ghanaian-American CJ Sapong joins MLS club Chicago Fire

The Chicago based club have announced the signing of the deadly goal poacher ahead of the new Major League Soccer season.

American-born of Ghanaian descent Charles ‘CJ’ Nana Kwabena Sapong has completed his move to MLS side Chicago Fire in the ongoing transfer window.

The 30-year-old has joined the Fire club for the 2019 season around a transfer fee of $200,000 with an option of renewal.He featured for Philadelphia Union last season where he netted four goals with three assists in 33 appearances.

“We also believe that he will increase our scoring capabilities. We’re looking forward to working with him this season.”

He was born to Ghanaian parents in USA.


UC Berkeley needs to support African language programs

By Martha Saavedra and Leonardo Arriola

Every semester, UC Berkeley offers many new courses. The Amharic language course offered this spring is especially noteworthy. Except for a brief pilot program in 2006, this is the first semester students are able to take a course in Amharic, one of the languages of Ethiopia, which is spoken by nearly 26 million people worldwide. The course, which only opened for enrollment the week before the spring semester, was nearly full by the end of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, just before classes started.

Clearly, there was a pent-up demand for this language. Student motivations include plans for research, study, travel and work, as well as deepening cultural and familial connections. Amharic stands out as a new course at UC Berkeley with many motivated students.

Students studying African languages at UC Berkeley — currently, Arabic, Amharic, Chichewa and Swahili — are poised to participate in one of the most significant global developments unfolding in the 21st century: the increasing importance of Africa demographically, economically, socially and culturally.

Africa currently constitutes about 17 percent of the world’s population. It is the youngest continent in the world, and the youth population is only increasing. Significantly, this means that the world’s working age population will be largely African. Economically, overall growth rates on the continent are relatively high, with the International Monetary Fund reporting 3.76 percent real GDP growth. Ethiopia’s rate is an extraordinary 8.49 percent.

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Nigeria’s first supermodel, Yemi Fawaz, dies at 64 in New York

Nigeria’s first supermodel, Yemi Fawaz is dead at the age of 64.

Fawaz who pioneered professional modelling in Nigeria and became Nigeria’s first supermodel died, February 20th at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital.

Fawaz’s daughter, Magadelene Oluwatosin, broke the news on Facebook.

Ms Fawaz became a model in the late 70s. She also established a modeling school and did a lot for the fashion industry in Nigeria. She left Nigeria in 1997 and did not return until 2016.

Fawaz was born in Nigeria to a Lebanese father and a Nigerian mother.

For over 30 years, she had a successful career as a fashion and photographic model, beauty promoter/consultant, fashion designer, trade show organizer, chef and a restaurateur.

She opened the first modeling school and professional modeling agency in Nigeria and in West Africa.

She was diagnosed with enlarged heart, also known as congestive heart failure in 1999.

Fawaz is survived by her 33-year-old daughter.

Ghana-born power executive views heritage from both sides of the Atlantic

By Anna B. Mitchell

With an easygoing smile, Duke Energy executive Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe navigates effortlessly between the worlds of his parents and his children.

Ghartey-Tagoe, whose first name is pronounced “kojo,” grew up in Ghana on the west coast of Africa, the son of a renowned national television journalist.

His home nation won independence from the British on March 6, 1957, just six years before his own birth. For his three daughters, Independence Day is the Fourth of July.

One of his few regrets: Having traveled only once as a family with his wife, Phyllis, and all his girls to visit their parents and extended family in Africa. He met Phyllis in Washington D.C., but they are from the same part of Ghana.

“People who don’t know each other tend to fear each other,” he says. “And once you get to know them, you tend to find out there is nothing to fear and they are very much like you. They have families like you, they love their kids like you do.”

The 55-year-old power executive has risen quickly in corporate America since graduating from Duke University law school in 1988. He practiced privately in Washington, D.C., and Virginia for 14 years, mastering federal and state utility law and representing water companies, power companies, gas companies and phone companies before joining Duke Energy in 2002.

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Before basketball in Woodbury, Oturus were playing ping pong in Nigeria

Word is starting to spread across the Big Ten basketball scene this winter about Daniel Oturu. He’s making people notice, on and off the court.

The Gophers basketball team’s 6-foot-10 freshman center from Woodbury, Minn., and Cretin-Derham Hall made the short trip to the U as one of the nation’s top recruits in the 2018 class. And through 25 games, he has established himself as one of the most promising young players in the conference.

Oturu’s size, including a 7-foot-3 wingspan, comes from his 6-foot-1 mother Deborah, and his athleticism comes from his 5-foot-6 father Francis, who was a member of Nigeria’s top table tennis team in the 1980s.

He was born Akinfayose Daniel Oturu in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1999 to Nigerian immigrants who arrived in the U.S. in 1990.Daniel has shown a precocious poise around the basket in his first collegiate season, leading Big Ten freshmen in field goal percentage (56.5), as well as rebounds (7.3) and blocks (1.6) per game. But with a pingpong paddle in hand, he can’t hang with his 61-year-old dad.

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Meet Gilbert Mulamba: The Congolese musician who records with US luminaries

By Lins Honeyman

Last October saw the release of the long-awaited second album from Congo-born, Dallas-based pianist, arranger and producer Gilbert Mulamba.

The release’s inlay card describes the project as “a mosaic of cultures, sounds and grooves for the ultimate worship experience” and, with recording having taken place in the US, Congo, France, South Africa, Mexico, Haiti, Israel, China and as many more countries, it’s a truly international affair.

Impressively, Gilbert secured cameos from big name artists such as Joel Kibble of Take 6 fame and Grammy-winning saxophonist Eric Marienthal whilst Dove-nominated pianist Ben Tankard and CeCe Winans’ bass player Thaddaeus Tribbett also lent their substantial talents – all of which adds to the rich tapestry of sound contained within the album’s 13 mostly instrumental tracks.

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Telling the story of native-born Africans living in the Americas
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