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No. 4. 8th February 2012 I Tel. 020 7300 7320; 020 7300 7321; 07846062331 I Email:

“I was burnt as a child because people thought I was Mammy Water�

Black players must stand up against racism

Exclusive interview with Eeefy Ike, Nigeria’s super sexy Hollywood actress and model pages 16-17


Tribes of Africa fashion show launched in London

Settling with your family in the UK Children and dependent relatives

page 3

Carla Palmer says that their silence makes it possible for racism to thrive in football pages 10 - 11

Interview with West African Idol Timi Dakolo

page 13

“Good Black Men & Good Black Women� showing in London

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No. 4. 8th February 2012

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“Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam” exhibition on in London The first major exhibition dedicated to the Hajj; the pilgrimage to Mecca (Makkah) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is taking place in London.

Hajj certificate (detail). 17th–18th century AD. Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art (Khalili Family Trust)

An evening with Ayanna at The Forge British vocalist, cellist and composer Ayanna will be on stage at The Forge in London on 7th March 2012. Ayanna is leading

ists Courtney Pine, Nitin Sawhney, Jason Yarde, Robert Mitchell, Nick Mulvey, Gwyneth Herbert and Fraser Fifield and a host of international artists including Chinese folk artist Xiao Juen and the Australian Indigenous musical force Black Arm Band. Tonight’s solo performance will contain works from her acclaimed EP “Truthfully”.

the way in Black folk music. She is the first non-American to win the legendary AN EVENING WITH Amateur Night at AYANNA the Apollo Theatre in Harlem – and 7th March 2012 one of only a hand- 7:00pm ful of people to win The Forge, 3-7 Delancey with an original St, London composition. NW1 7NL She has worked Tel 0207 383 7808 alongside UK art-

Tickets£7 + bkg

“Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam” will be on until 15th April 2012. The exhibition examines the significance of the Hajj as one of the Five Pillars of Islam, exploring its importance for Muslims and looking at how this spiritual journey has evolved throughout history. It brings together a wealth of objects from a number of different collections including important historic pieces as well as new contemporary art works which reveal the enduring impact of Hajj across the globe and across the centuries. The exhibition which has been organised in partnership with the King Abdulaziz Public Library Riyadh examines three key strands: the pilgrim’s journey with an empha-

sis on the major routes used across time (from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East); the Hajj today, its associated rituals and what the experience means to the pilgrim; and Mecca, the destination of Hajj, its origins and importance. It is laid down in the Qur’an that it is a sacred duty for Muslims everywhere, if they are able, to make the journey to Mecca at least once in their lives. This pilgrimage takes place during the last month of the Islamic year, known as Dhu’l Hijja. At the heart of the sanctuary at Mecca lies the Ka’ba, the cube-shaped building that Muslims believe was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael. It was in Mecca that the Prophet Muhammad received the first revelations in the early 7th century. Therefore the city has long been viewed as a spiritual centre and the heart of Islam. The rituals involved with Hajj have remained unchanged since its beginning, and it continues to be a powerful religious undertaking which draws Muslims together from all over the world, irrespective of nationality or sect. A wide variety of objects have been lent to the exhibition including significant material from Saudi Arabia such as a seetanah which covers the door of the Ka’ba as well as other historic and contemporary

artefacts from key museums in the Kingdom. Other objects have come from major public and private collections in the UK and around the world, among them the British Library and the Khalili Family Trust. Together these objects evoke and document the long and perilous journey associated with the pilgrimage, gifts offered to the sanctuary as acts of devotion and the souvenirs that are brought back from Hajj. They include archaeological material, manuscripts, textiles, historic photographs and contemporary art. The Hajj has a deep emotional and spiritual significance for Muslims, and continues to inspire a wide range of personal, literary and artistic responses, many of which are being explored throughout the exhibition. “Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam” exhibition takes place at the British Museum, Reading Room. Opening hours: 10.00-17.30 Saturday to Thursday; 10.0020.30 Fridays. Admission charge £12, children under 16 and Members free plus a range of concessions including group rates. Tickets are available to book through the box office by calling 020 7323 8181 or online at

“Good Black Men & Good Black Women” showing in London

“Good Black Men & Good Black Women”, a new play that challenges the negative portrayal of black men and women by TV and film will be staged at Kings Cross Centre and Westindian Cultural Centre. The play which is supported by Westminster Kingsway College students, explores the positive and the reality of the Black British experience. The play was written, produced and

directed by Ms. Lorna Blackman, the Managing Director of the Big People’s T h e a t r e Company which runs courses in central and north London. “Every year our plays attract a high percentage of wannabe actors from the Black community. This year Big Peoples Theatre is truly blessed with some of the most gifted and talented actors who have decided to come on board and commit to this production.” Ms. Blackman said that all the actors made sacrifices such as travelling sometimes from Birmingham, Southampton, changing their jobs and having to re-arrange their domestic commitments in order to prepare the play.

“I am so proud of all of them. My dream and my belief for 2012 is that the play will take off and can be seen on TV where the real Black British experience can be seen by all,” Ms. Blackman said. She confirmed that no funding was raised for this production and thanked ACLC, BB Promotions, and Big Peoples Theatre.

GOOD BLACK MEN & GOOD BLACK WOMEN 29th February 2012 Kings Cross Centre in the Theatre 7.30pm to 9:30pm 18th March 2012 Westindian Cultural Centre, 9 Clarendon Road, London N8 7.30 pm to 9.30pm Admission £5/students £3 For tickets, call 07948320299

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No. 4. 8th February 2012



Tribes of Africa fashion show launched in London Ncube: Event will bring together unique designers and stylists Tribes of Africa (TOA) show, a new platform for African haute couture has been launched in London. The UK-based charitable social enterprise iRock! UK which advocates for the social empowerment of women, recently unveiled plans of the fundraising fashion show which will feature the works of eight top African designers in London. iRock! UK founder and director, Viola Ncube said TOA is fashion with a mission. “We are aware of how fashion influences and inspires our society today and we know it can be instrumental to foster positive change for many young women whom we are working with and are in desperate need of opportunities to make something of their lives.” Ms. Ncube added that the Tribes of Africa fashion show to be held on 26th May 2012, will bring together an amazing set of

unique designers and stylists with diverse creative visions to celebrate African culture and heritage. “We are excited about this journey we are starting today and we look to make a positive impact to communities and individuals through our work from here on,” Ms. Ncube added. Some of the top designers who will showcase their work at the TOA debut event will be Nigeria’s Kemkem Studios, Chichia London from Tanzania, Ghanaian Beatrice K Newman, Tina Lobondi from Congo and Stacey Kidega from Uganda. “Secret Millionaire”, Caroline Marsh, 2009 CNN Hero award winner Betty Makoni and London 2012 mayoral candidate, Siobhan Benita, have given the TOA a resounding thumps up and pledged to support iRock’s programmes. “As a devoted mother I spend

a lot of time looking at ways to see how children, especially girls can have better opportunities than I had growing up,” said Ms. Benita. “We need to make more chance in improving the diversity situation and, in particular, gender equality, in the workplace and in society in general. I am excited of what iRock! UK has started and urge the corporate world and individuals to support this worthy cause.” At the core of iRock! UK’s aims are a dedication to see the healthy development of black women in the fields of business, art and education. “I think this project is really relevant,” said Ms. Marsh. “Being in business I know that financial success needs to be sown back into communities. As things are, there is also no denying that there is a disparity to be addressed on young women’s issues whether they’re linked to education, busi-

From left: Caroline Marsh, Viola Ncube and Siobhan Benita ness, careers and governance. iRock! UK and TOA will in a way kick-start that process.” The media and guests to the event held at London’s Grange Tower Bridge Hotel were treated to an eclectic performance of Zulu Traditional dancers to capture the mood of TOA, while

several mentees of iRock’s programmes were dressed in vibrant diverse African attire. The evening ended with guests walking away with special gift packs packaged in African material containing a variety of African delicacies, courtesy of Savannah South African Foods.

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No. 4. 8th February 2012

Nigerian air stewardess jailed for cocaine smuggling A Nigerian air stewardess who tried to smuggle cocaine into the UK has been jailed for five and a half years.

judge at Isleworth Crown court in west London on 2nd February 2012 sentenced her to five and a half years in prison. She will also face deportation at the end of her sentence. “The cocaine found here was of a very high purity and

Chinwendu Uwakaonyenma Ogbonnaya, 29, from Lagos had flown into London’s Heathrow airport as a member of crew on an Arik Air flight from Lagos on 18th December 2011. During searches by UK Border Agency officers at the airport’s crew clearance facility, searches of her luggage revealed that she was carrying a rucksack with a false back. Officers discovered packages of cocaine hidden behind the false back. Forensic tests later showed the packages contained approximately 2kg of high purity cocaine, which if cut and sold on the UK streets would have had an estimated value of £250,000. Ogbonnaya claimed that she had been given the bag by a friend and that she was unaware it contained drugs. She later pleaded guilty to attempting to import a class A drug, and a

there is no doubt that had this woman not been stopped it would have ended up being cut and sold on the streets of London,� Assistant director Pete Avery, from the UK Border Agency’s criminal and financial investigation team, said. “Ogbonnaya sought to abuse her position as a crew member by bringing these drugs in. As a result she now faces a long time away from home and behind bars.�

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Sussex Police: We are “actively� investigating Jay Abatan’s death Sussex Police have confirmed that they are still actively carrying out investigations into Jay Abatan’s death. Jay, 42, died five days after being punched to the floor in an attack outside the Oceans Rooms nightclub, Brighton, in January 1999. Sussex Police said that they have been in regular contact with Jay’s family and recently held a meeting with them and the CPS to discuss developments in the investigation. This follows the inquest where evidence was heard that had not previously been revealed to police. Following the inquest, which recorded a verdict of unlawful killing, a man was interviewed regarding the evidence he gave. He is currently on bail. “We understand the frustration of the family that no one has been brought to justice for this crime and we are determined to continue in our pursuit,� Chief Superintendent Steve Fowler said. “We have taken detailed legal advice from the CPS following the inquest into Jay’s death and have interviewed a man regarding his evidence at the inquest. We liaise closely with the family and are updating them on the progress we are making. Should new information come to

light we will investigate.� Sussex Police said they have apologised both publicly and privately to Jay’s family for shortcomings during the initial investigation into his death. “The force now operates totally different procedures for major crime,� Sussex Police said. On 29th January 2012, the Justice 4 Jay Abatan campaign held a vigil in memory of Jay outside Brighton Police Station. Black Activists Rising Against

Cuts (BARAC) UK is supporting the Justice 4 Jay Campaign in their struggle for truth regarding Jay’s murder. Jay’s family continues to campaign for those who killed him to be brought to justice. Jay’s brother, Michael Abatan, who was also attacked together with Jay and a friend said: “People will ask why I am still here asking for justice for my brother after 13 years. It is not just for myself and his family but the people of Sussex deserve a police force who are competent and transparent.� He said that many questions remained unanswered regarding the police re-investigation into his brother’s death. Michael wondered why his brother’s original homicide investigation was the only one in Sussex that year that was underfunded and so destined to fail. “Was it his race or some other reason?� he asked.

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Iris Management will hold a big social event for business people in London on 9th March 2012.


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Iris Management holds social event for business people

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The event is aimed at creating a social platform for businesses and business people, giving them the opportunity to network and socialise. Pamella Greaves-Bryan, Director of Iris Management said that the event will be full of “fun with a bit of glitz, glamour and sophistication.� Iris Management is a newly established company specialising on event co-ordination, personal, business and executive secretarial support. It also handles project co-ordination, appointment scheduling, bookings on clients’ behalf for hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, private members’ clubs, etc.

Iris Management provides entertainment, catering services for parties, event planning for example of hen/stag nights, children’s parties, 40th birthday parties, wedding co-ordination, etc.

“As a management company we can basically take away all the stresses of everyday life leaving individuals free to run their own businesses,� said Ms. GreavesBryan.



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No. 4. 8th February 2012

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Interview with West African Idol Timi Dakolo

“Don’t say it can’t be done, just try and do it” One international phone call that I desperately wanted to make amidst my busy schedule was to the one and only West African Idol winner in Nigeria. When I finally managed to make the call it was all worth it. His calm, poise and disciplined demeanour as well as his stage performance is world class, one that would win the accolade of royals. Simple yet inspirational, Timi Dakolo has broken through barriers and shot for the stars. Born to a Nigerian father and a Ghanaian mother, Timi’s rise to fame was unprecedented. Not even in his wildest imagination did he think he would be this celebrated. This Accra-born Nigerian grew-up in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State where he spent a better part of his life with his paternal grandmother. His journey as a singer began in the early 90s when barely in his teens, he joined his church choir. He went on to compete and win a talent competition in Port Harcourt titled G.E Facto. With the resolve to let his little light shine, Timi made an ecstatic appearance at the maiden edition of the West African Idol, the sub-region’s version of the globally popular Idols brand in 2007. He thrilled all with his renditions of Lemar’s “Time to Grow”, Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love”, and Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father” amongst others. Timi’s stint for excellence has taken his fame beyond the West African Idol. Earlier in 2010, this Bayelsan R&B Soul singer bagged the coveted HipHop Awards for the Best Recording of the year with his single – “Heaven Please” featuring MI. The timeless piece was inspired by his grandma Mrs. Ateni Dakolo, who passed-on few weeks into the Idols competition which undoubtedly spurred him to win the competition in honour of his grandmother. He achieved this feat with an overwhelming 63% - the widest margin in the history of the Idols final, anywhere in the world. Timi has performed at some of the biggest stages including This Day Music Festival, Africa Magic Anniversary, Pink Ball, Hennessy Artistry show, to mention but a few. And at every event, his stage craft has left audiences repeatedly clamouring for more. In a candid interview, this is what he revealed.

I was born in Accra, Ghana to a Nigerian father and a Ghanaian mother on the 20th day of January 1981. How did you get into the music industry and your journey to stardom? Actually my first encounter with music was during morning prayers or devotions. I grew up with my grandmother and morning devotion was mandatory and it always started with choruses. I think that’s just how I started singing. I grew up in a house where it was mandatory to go to school, get good grades, get a good job, settle down, marry a good wife and live happily ever after but I have always loved singing as it came effortlessly and I must say I enjoyed it. So in my child-like innocence I decided to break protocol, I started learning songs; stood before the mirror miming them and all that, but growing up with an elderly lady who was a petty trader I must say it wasn’t easy so more often than not, I

to guess. How do you keep your vocals so clean, distinct and pure? I honestly don’t do much; it’s God-given really. I just pray and do a little of vocal exercises to keep my voice healthy. Why did you enter a reality show to get your talent out there as opposed to just starting out like most Africans do? I actually stumbled upon the talent show… my friend came to me saying there was this Idols advert playing on the TV and that I should give it a try but I blatantly refused because I didn’t have the money to start going for any auditions so I just did not give it a thought. A few days later he was back persuading me to give it a try, after all what did I stand to lose? That’s how I went for the audition. While doing research for BEFFTA awards, one link led me to another and another and another then suddenly I came across your music. Why has the international market not picked up on your biggest asset, your incredible voice? I have actually been approached by a couple, but you know the deal has to be right for all parties to reach an agreement. Indeed they are missing out on your talent, but I’m sure you might be able to fit a trip or two to Europe, is that something you have thought about this year?

West African Idol Timi Dakolo says he never saw music as a career until he made it to the top ten of the West African Idols

West Africa knows you as Timi Dakolo, the winner of West Africa Idol with outstanding vocals, who is Timi? Please tell us more about yourself?

was at home instead of school like my mates; music was my only solace. I must state here that for a lady that old she gave me the best of everything; a soul, a belief, a push, faith, as a child, she was my biggest fan. I went ahead to sing in the choir for a while and sang in groups like archers of the Y.A.M (Youth Arrow Ministry), Purple Love. I never saw music as a career until I made it to the top ten of the West African Idols.

(Laughs!) My name is Timi Dakolo and I am from the south-south of Nigeria, Bayelsa, to be precise. I am the first of three children; I have a brother and a sister.

Anyone who knows you can tell your voice from a distance without even seeing your face the same way you can tell Michael Jackson’s tunes without having

I was in London last year to open up for Shalamar at the Indigo2, it was awesome, that memory gives me the hunger to do more. I also performed at 2Face Live: Breathless & Buckwyld also at the Indigo2. I have a whole lot of performances lined up in the US in a couple of months or thereabout. Who are your biggest inspirations in life and in music? My grandma - she was a wonderful person. She always, I repeat, always warned me saying “Don’t say it can’t be done…just try and do it.” Nelson Mandela - how he did it against all odds and got to the top without losing his integrity or selling his conscience. Every time I think of his story I get greatly inspired. In music, every great musician; living and of blessed memory. Do you write and produce your own

music? I write most of the times, you see tunes come to me randomly so I put it down as it comes…sometimes it wakes me up in the middle of the night. I also write with friends too; I don’t produce but do know exactly how I want the song to sound. Most of your songs send out a message of love, hope and unity, is there a reason why you chose to go down this path with such a soulful rich voice? Yes, I always want to leave my audience with something to ponder about, not just excitement. Any new album planned for 2012? I just released my album “Beautiful Noise” in September 2011, but I never stop writing so I have a truck load of songs set for my next album already. Most musicians are performing artists who branch out into acting? Are you one of them? Wow! I haven’t given it serious thought (smiles) but it did cross my mind. What opportunities have motherland presented you with that you are most grateful for? We are not as advanced as these other continents in terms of marketing, promoting, etc, so it makes us work twice as hard to get it going, it’s the extra effort to stay on top with the little resources we have. Find latest news and gigs by Timi Dakolo on his Facebook page: https:// By Pauline Long Pauline Long’s Celebrity Corner THE AFRONEWS To be featured here, please drop an email to: or Tel: +44(0)7704193590

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No. 4. 8th February 2012


Adopt humane migration and asylum policies, Europe asked Europe must be determined to guarantee human rights, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, has said in his annual report. “Europe must move with more determination from rhetoric to enforcement of human rights standards,” he said. Attitudes towards asylum-seekers and migrants have gradually become more negative, the Commissioner observed. “Political leaders have all too often preferred to follow – rather than lead – public opinions, thus feeding xenophobic movements. Europe should adopt a more humane migration policy and asylum procedures based on human rights principles,” he said. He also pointed out that Roma people still live in abject misery and suffer alienation in many European countries. “Urgent measures must be taken to ensure more humane housing conditions for Roma families, access to quality education and foster social inclusion,” Mr. Hammarberg said. “It is crucial to guarantee that all Roma, in particular children, have personal identity documents and are no longer treated as

stateless. It is imperative to put an end to the wide-spread anti-Gypsyism, to which some politicians have also contributed.” Commissioner for Human Rights also criticized marginalisation and stigmatisation of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons in some countries saying that they “deeply impinge” on their everyday life. “It is particularly important that opinion makers address these prejudices and take the lead in fighting discrimination against LGBT persons,” he said. Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Mr. Hammarberg also critCommissioner for Human Rights icized the justice system which is dysfunctional in sevhamper their independence and pluralism. eral member states. “Corruption, political “In a number of European states media interference and lack of resources erode freedom is undermined through criminalithe independence and credibility of the sation of defamation; law-induced censorjudiciary. Strengthening the rule of law is ship; intimidation, harassment and even essential to rebuild public confidence in murder of journalists. These factors have a the justice system,” he said. detrimental effect on our democracies,” he The Commissioner regretted the said. increased pressure on the media, which He further pointed out that persons

with disabilities remain largely excluded from key sectors of life, including access to adequate and humane health care, decent work and housing, public places, transportation, quality education and sometimes even civil rights, such as the right to vote. “The needs of persons with disabilities are still given low priority in state and municipality budgets. More recognition, protection and social inclusion should be ensured for them,” Mr. Hammarberg said. The Commissioner’s report revealed that despite some progress in awareness and legal protection, discrimination against women persists in employment, education and political participation. Violence against women and children remains a scourge in Europe. “Taboos, ignorance and machismo still surround the issue of domestic violence, contributing to its persistence,” Mr. Hammarberg said. The living conditions of older persons are a major concern, the Commissioner stressed. “The elderly have suffered, more than others, by the recent economic crisis and austerity budgets. I have seen signs of deep old-age poverty in several countries. A deeper discussion on the rights of older people is needed, he said.”


No. 4. 8th February 2012

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©Amnon Shavit

Comprehensive legislative and preventive efforts needed to end FGM

A coalition of human rights organisations has called for the adoption of more human-rights based legislation to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). International Organization for Migration (IOM), the InterParliamentary Union (IPU), the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC) and the Geneva Human Rights Office, made the call as the world marked the 9th International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. The International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation is held each 6th February to encourage the world to become aware of Female Genital Mutilation (also called ‘cutting’) and to promote its eradication.

On 30th September 2011, the Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation modified its penal code to explicitly ban FGM. By taking this important step forward, Switzerland joined other destination countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, all of which have changed their legal frameworks to address FGM. Migration has resulted in the once relatively remote practice of FGM becoming a reality in most developed countries hosting migrants from FGM-practicing communities. According to the European Parliament in its 2009 resolution on “Combating Female Genital Mutilation in the European Union,” some 500,000 cut women currently live in Europe and every

year approximately 180,000 women and girls migrants undergo, or are in danger of undergoing, FGM. “The attitude of traditionally practicing populations does not evolve simply because of migration. Sometimes, adherence to the practice of FGM is maintained and this is why countries of destination must proactively address this issue if we are to succeed in our global commitment to end this practice in one generation,” said Ambassador William Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration. A comprehensive and humanrights based legislative framework is one of the effective tools at the disposal of host countries. As part of its work on the Rights of the Child as well as on Violence against Women, the InterParliamentary Union has for many years urged parliaments to enact and enforce such new legislation on FGM. “Adopting new laws is an important first step, but full implementation needs to be encouraged,” said Mr. Abdelwahad Radi, President of the IPU. The four partners stressed that for legislative reforms to play a positive and sustainable role in the abandonment of FGM, they need to be introduced in a manner that changes the way that people perceive the practice, ensuring that the communities themselves decide to abide by the law because they see the benefits of respecting the health and human rights of

their daughters and wives. Engaging FGM-practicing communities in dialogue and offering human rights education programmes is one way to achieve this. “Ultimately, what really matters is to bring about a deep and sustainable social change, originating from within the communities,” said Fabienne Bugnon, Director of the Geneva Office of Human Rights. In the canton of Geneva, her Office and IOM have conducted non-stigmatizing sensitization campaigns with Ethiopian, Sudanese, Somali and Eritrean communities. The IPU has also mobilized parliaments and legislators, most recently in Mali, to promote public consultations that ensure acceptance by the population, prior to the introduction of new legislation.

“Adopting new laws is an important first step, but full implementation needs to be encouraged” Mr. Abdelwahad Radi, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union African countries and NGOs, such as the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, which has

Get serious with fight against Female Genital Mutilation, UK urged and other professionals and engaging The UK has been urged to jected to it. Over 66,000 women and girls living in affected communities so that we can work develop a long-term, comprehensive strategy to tackle Female the UK have already undergone FGM. together to end FGM.” While FGM has largely been perceived as FORWARD has welcomed the recent Genital Mutilation (FGM). The Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development (FORWARD) and the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKRWO) made the call as the world marked the 9th International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. FGM is a form of violence against women and girls and a human rights violation. The practice is illegal in the UK and is classified as a form of child abuse, yet in 2007 it was estimated that more than 32,000 girls were at high risk of being sub-

an African problem, new research has revealed that it is also widespread in some Asian and Middle Eastern countries. In January the first conference on FGM in the Middle East found that FGM is practiced in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. “Until now, action on FGM in the UK has been piecemeal and only focused on African communities,” said Naana OtooOyortey, Executive Director of FORWARD. “The UK needs a more holistic approach, with demonstrable commitment on educating social workers, school teachers, doctors

been advocating for the abandonment of FGM since 1984, have also been active in global efforts to legislate against FGM. “In July 2011, African Heads of State, meeting in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea during the 17th African Union Summit, decided to support a draft international resolution on FGM to be presented at the 66th ordinary session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. It calls to develop and strengthen regional and international legal instruments and national legislation to address FGM,” explained the IAC Director, Dr. Morissanda Kouyate. With an estimated 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide currently living with the consequences of FGM, the need for all countries - including coun-

establishment of an All Party Parliamentary Group on FGM. “FGM is a serious crime under UK law, but we know that the practice is continuing within Middle Eastern and African communities,” added Diana Nammi, Director of IKWRO. “Greater effort is needed to raise awareness within affected communities of the impact that FGM has on physical and mental health, and to convince parents that FGM is a violation of girls’ rights which will not be tolerated and should be stopped.”

tries hosting practicing migrant communities - to renew their commitment and join forces to end FGM is more pressing than ever.

Conference on ending FGM in Bristol FORWARD in partnership with Refugee Women of Bristol invites you to a community conference: ‘Ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Together’. The conference will take place at Muller Hall, 39 Seymour Road, Easton, Bristol on Wednesday, 29th February 2012 from 10.00 am till 3.00 pm. It is organized in association with Refugee Women of Bristol, NHS Bristol, and Lankelly Chase. Lunch and refreshments will be provided and onsite crèche will be available. Kindly RSVP Mrs Layla Ismail by email: or mobile: 07983428077.

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Green: UK only open to brightest and best brains Immigration Minister Damian Green has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to create a sustainable selective immigration system that encourages the brightest and best to come to the UK. In a speech at the Policy Exchange on 2nd February 2012, the minister expressed a desire to “raise the tone of the immigration debate” and start building a national consensus on how immigration can be made to work for Britain. He committed to pressing on with sweeping reforms that impose restrictions on migrants the country does not need, while developing a greater selectivity to attract those migrants the country wants. “We need to know not just that the right number of people are coming here, but that the right people are coming here. People that will benefit Britain – not just those who will benefit by Britain,” Mr. Green said. “We have laid the foundations for a sustainable system where we get numbers down and keep them down. Now we shall make it work for Britain.” The government has made a commitment to reduce net migration numbers from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands.

“What is sustainable is an approach which brings the numbers down but at the same time targets those whom Britain needs to attract to create a dynamic economy. Those who have the knowledge, ideas and the skills to make us a more productive place, and therefore a place where it is easier for UK citizens to find a job. This means developing a system which chooses carefully who we allow to come, and who we allow to stay” Immigration minister Damian Green Mr. Green pointed to the most recent published figures as an early positive sign. “The beneficial effects of these policies are just beginning to show up, with an 11 per cent fall in student visas and a 17 per cent fall in work visas in the latest quarterly figures compared with a year previously,” he said. The government will soon announce further changes to family migration and reforms to settlement, breaking the link between temporary and permanent migration.

It will also be completing the changes to the student visa route. The government is currently reviewing the annual limit on skilled economic migrants. Mr. Green said that the ‘points based system’ of the past should ultimately be replaced by a ‘contribution-based system’ where migrants are checked to ensure they will add to quality of life in the UK. “What is sustainable is an approach which brings the numbers down but at the same time targets those whom Britain needs to attract to create a dynamic

economy. Those who have the knowledge, ideas and the skills to make us a more productive place, and therefore a place where it is easier for UK citizens to find a job. This means developing a system which chooses carefully who we allow to come, and who we allow to stay,” Mr. Green said. The ‘contribution-based system’ is already being implemented with the development of more selective routes for entrepreneurs, investors and those with exceptional talent alongside existing routes for entertainers, trainees

and researchers. Mr. Green confirmed the introduction of a new route for international graduate entrepreneurs international students who have engaged in innovative entrepreneurial activity during their studies and want to stay on afterwards to develop their business ideas. The government also plans to improve the system for some short-term business visitors and entertainers to ensure world-class performers are encouraged to come to the UK.

Selective immigration policy criticized The REC has criticized the government’s selective immigration policy saying that it may have a negative impact on the country’s economic growth. Reacting to Immigration Minister Damian Green’s speech on increased ‘selectivity’ for immigration policy, Gillian Econopouly, Head of Public Policy, said: “The government keeps saying that the UK is open for business, yet some of the sectors targeted by the government as high growth and with huge export potential are struggling to bring in the talented people they need.” She warned that such policies risked forcing many businesses to abandon the UK. “Our members in sectors such as IT and Life Sciences report that international clients are seeing how cumbersome the Points Based System can be, and are locating their offices outside Britain in order to access the global talent pool. Raising ‘selectivity’ in an already highly selective system will mean more businesses moving employment and growth overseas,” Ms. Econopouly said. She added: “Fundamentally, the system needs flexibility in order to be agile enough to quickly respond to changing market con-

ditions. At the same time, it is imperative immigration, abandoning checks at our can come to the UK to work, and for people that we equip our resident workforce with border during the summer, stopping the who want to settle in the country to contribthe skills and attitude employers need.” routine fingerprinting of illegal immigrants ute positively to the country. “But the Prime Labour Party also criticized the govern- trying to enter the UK through the Channel Minister needs to be honest with people ment’s rhetoric on immigration. “There is Tunnel, and seeing the number of people that he will not deliver on his promises and still a massive gap between the govern- removed for breaking the rules going down also take much stronger action on illegal ment’s rhetoric and the reality on immigra- not up. That is undermining trust in the immigration instead of weakening our bortion,” said Chris Bryant MP, Labour’s immigration debate,” Mr. Bryant said. ders. As long as the rhetoric doesn’t match Shadow Immigration Minister.”We agree He added that the Labour Party agreed the reality, the government will not build we should build a national consensus on with the government on the need for con- consensus or trust in the system,” Mr. 1 02/12/2011 11:21:52 immigration but the Prime is still trolled immigration, for strict rules on who Bryant said. making promises that he has no policies to deliver. And the govT-TALK ernment is still weakInternational Calls from your mobile ening action on illegal immigration as we saw in the borders fiasco last summer.” Mr. Bryant said the government had no Same rates 24/7 ! workable proposals to Use your existing pay deliver their promise of monthly or PAYG SIM. bringing down net For more details visit migration to tens of thousands by the end of the Parliament. He said: “the government is still weakHelpline: 020 8497 4622 ening action on illegal

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Black players must stand up against racism Carla Palmer says that their silence makes it possible for racism to thrive in football Black players in the UK can play a key role in fighting racism in football, says Carla Palmer, a freelance writer. She observes that their silence makes it possible for racism to thrive in football. Carla was born in Scotland to a Jamaican father and Scottish mother. She was brought up in Nottingham from the age of nine. Carla spent six years working as a teaching assistant in an inner city primary school where she studied for a Foundation Degree in Education Support and a BA (hons) in Education. Andrew Palmer, Carla’s husband, has been a prominent figure in the mid to lower level coaching structure of English football but his being black, has made it difficult for him to break through into the professional levels of the game. A mother of three, Carla is passionate about education and social issues. Here’s an exclusive interview she granted The AfroNews. Carla, racism is widespread in football in the UK but black players hardly react to it. Why do you think this happens? The time has come in football for black players to use their influence to make a

stand against racism in the game. There has been a lot of discussion in the media about racism recently. From issues relating to racist abuse of black players to controversy over the lack of black managers the issue of racism is clearly not going to leave football any time soon. The problem has been a feature of football for many years. The strangest thing about the whole issue is how quiet the black players have remained about the matter. It has to be asked how much the majority of black players are actually disturbed by the racist treatment they receive by fellow players, officials and fans. Have they accepted racism as an inevitable feature of the game that cannot be changed? Have they given up trying to fight for their rights to be treated with respect? Or do they fear taking action in case they lose their jobs? Whilst there have been some players who have spoken up about racism and lent their support to campaigns and initiatives to eradicate racism, most of the players seem content to play on regardless. On top of that they appear to be reluctant to speak out about it openly. Do you think the silence of black players has made it possible for racism to thrive in football? This silence is no doubt one of the reasons why some people, even fellow play-

ers feel bold enough to racially abuse players so brazenly. We might think that in the Internet, social media obsessed and information sharing times we now live, white players would be afraid to racially abuse others publicly, surely they would fear the backlash. But recent evidence in the world of football and the media suggests otherwise. It would appear that black footballers have become defeated from having to work so hard to get where they are and given up fighting for what is right. Whilst there is much talk about kicking racism out of football there is not a lot of the type of drastic action needed to bring about change. When the players abused during the England v Spain game in Madrid in 2004 played against a backdrop of monkey chants, what made them continue to play? There are not many other places of work where a black professional would continue to do their work with a monkey chant soundtrack being played in the background. They would take serious offence and insist that something be done about it. What is different in football? Is there a secret in the football world that we don’t know? As long as players and officials in football bodies such as Sepp Blatter (FIFA President) know they can explain away racist abuse, apologise or pay a fine that doesn’t significantly affect their financial status, racism will continue and worsen. This leaves the responsibility of doing something to change the situation on the players themselves. Why do you think black players can play the leading role in fighting against racism in football in the UK? Footballers are influential enough to have thousands of followers on Twitter and to market £300 football boots to children so they are certainly influential enough to kick racism out of football. The rise in the celebrity status of footballers in the modern era allows them the perfect opportunity to have an influence on the attitudes that permeate the game. The real rulers of football are the players. They hold more power and influence than anyone else. If they refuse to play there is no game and the fact that games were stopped in Holland in the past due to racism shows that there is a potential for change through action. Black players should capitalise on this and make a concerted effort to influence attitudes by refusing to play whenever racist incidents occur. How would the English FA or FIFA like to see a dramatic drop in the amount of money lining their pockets as a result of mass walk outs and refusal to play? The answer is they wouldn’t and black players stopping to play would be a sure way to get people to sit up and pay attention. It shouldn’t be done in a form that suggests they are running away from the problem but more as if they are

taking a stand against something in principle. Surely many white players and officials who are sick of racism in the game would also support this action since figures such as David Beckham, Neil Warnock and Gordon Taylor have already demonstrated by commenting that they lend their support to the cause. This type of united movement would also give the support that is needed to bring in rules that would protect the rights of black coaches similar to the Rooney Rule in the American National Football League (NFL). There is the temptation for black players to give up battling for anything once they have achieved their dream. However, they must be reminded that money cannot make a man. Nor can it make it OK for fellow players to wantonly hurl racist abuse around. If high salaries and jet setting, playboy lifestyles are allowed to cloud players’ vision in relation to their value as black men in the game there is no hope of seeing a better world for future generations. What can be done to effectively fight racism in football? Time has passed when the likes of John Barnes, Cyril Regis, Larry Cunningham and Viv Anderson had to put up with racist abuse because they were in a powerless minority. Black players make up around 25% of

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“Black players make up around 25% of the money makers for teams in the Premiership. If they get together and stand up against racism this will make a huge impact on everyone involved and following the game. The fans who choose to chant monkey noises wouldn’t be happy to see their hard earned cash paid for a ticket to watch the beautiful game go down the drain because black players are walking off the pitch and refusing to continue to play. This is the sort of drastic action needed on the part of black players” Mrs. Carla Palmer are racially abused are perfectly justified in exercising their democratic rights to protest, boycott and refuse to play. They are respected and revered by many people including black and Asian coaches and young children who aspire to be like them. This makes their reaction to racist abuse important for themselves and future generations of football

the money makers for teams in the Premiership. If they get together and stand up against racism this will make a huge impact on everyone involved and following the game. The fans who choose to chant monkey noises wouldn’t be happy to see their hard earned cash paid for a ticket to watch the beautiful game go down the drain because black players are walking off the pitch and refusing to continue to play. This is the sort of drastic action needed on the part of black players. They need not fear that they

will be sacked from their team since they will certainly have the support of millions of fans including many who are white and cannot stand the way that racism is spoiling football. Many parents would warmly support the actions of players that their children look up to for an example of how to behave properly when playing sports. No amount of hush money paid to footballers can replace the right to be treated with respect by fellow players, officials and fans. If the head of FIFA can make racist remarks and remain in his position, the black players who

players and followers. The increased celebrity status that footballers have enjoyed in modern times and the popularity of many black footballers makes them powerful enough to have a significant impact on changing the way the society deals with racism. History tells us that action is what eradicates racism. It’s time


for black footballers to give up keeping quiet and enjoying the luxuries of being a well-paid sportsman and show that they will not stand it any longer. The old adage “sticks and stones” is just that; old. It’s both outdated and foolish to believe that what we say to people does not really hurt them. Research by social scientists has proven this to be false particularly in relation to children who are hugely impressionable. Children growing up hearing racial abuse being tossed around on football pitches and seeing examples of people repeatedly getting away with racially abusing others are seriously damaged by this in many ways. They will believe that this is an unchangeable part of life or that it is OK for them to allow such words to come out of their mouths when angry or frustrated during a game. The appeal from all educated followers of the game is its time for less talk and more action to kick racism out of football once and for all.

Carla and her husband Andrew Palmer

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No. 4. 8th February 2012


Settling with your family in the UK Children and dependent relatives

Once in the UK, they will be able apply for permission to settle permanently (indefinite leave to remain).

in one of the following ways: • widowed parent or grandparent aged 65 or over; or • parents or grandparents who are travelling together, if one of them is aged 65 or over; or • parent or grandparent under the age of 65 if living alone outside the UK in the most exceptional compassionate circumstances and mainly dependent financially on relatives settled in the United Kingdom.

They will need to prove that

Who can apply for a family member settlement visa? Your children aged 18, elderly relatives and other dependent relatives (under exceptional circumstances) are eligible for permission to enter and settle with you. They can apply from the country they are living in if they meet the following criteria.

Children under age 18 If both parents are living and settled in the UK or are applying for settlement, your children can join you if you can show that they: • are not leading an independent life; • are not married or in a civil partnership; • have not formed an independent family unit; and • are aged under 18. If only one parent is settled in the UK or is applying for settlement, children can apply only if: • one parent is dead and the other is settled or coming to settle here; or • that parent has the sole responsibility for looking after them; or • there are serious reasons why they should be allowed to join their parent in the UK. For all of the above, ‘parent’ includes: a step-parent where the father or mother is dead; either the father or mother of an illegitimate child; and, in certain circumstances, an adoptive parent.

Elderly dependent relatives An elderly relative can apply for a settlement visa if they are related to you

• they are joining or accompanying a settled relative or a relative who is on the same occasion being admitted for settlement; and • they are financially wholly or mainly dependent on that relative; and • they will be accommodated adequately, together with any dependants, without recourse to public funds, in accommodation which the settled relative owns or occupies exclusively; and • they will be maintained adequately, together with any dependants, without recourse to public funds; and • they have no other close relatives in their own country to whom they could turn for financial support.

The required hard copy visa application form (form VAF4A) for a settlement visa can be downloaded from here: uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/visas/ vaf4a.pdf Alternatively, you can obtain a copy from your nearest visa application centre or British Embassy. The application may be done online too, depending on their country of residence. Find out the options in your country from here: Online applications need to be made on the official British Government website for online visa applications: Visa4UK You will need an email address to complete the online forms and a printer to print out a hardcopy of your application.

Other dependent relatives If there are exceptional compassionate circumstances and they are mainly financially dependent on their relative settled in the UK, the following relatives can apply for a settlement visa: • sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, uncles and aunts over the age of 18. They will also need to show the required evidence listed above.

Settlement visa application Your family members will need to apply for a settlement visa to travel here at the visa application centre closest to where they live. Check the nearest centre here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice. Depending upon the facilities available in the country they are applying from, they will need to complete either an online visa application or a hard copy visa application - the latter being preferable as it is a lot more straightforward and convenient.

your visa application. If you apply online, the supporting documents will need to be submitted at the time you attend the biometric appointment, along with the printed application form. Send the original documents, if you have them, not copies. In exceptional circumstances, Home Office will accept a photocopy that is certified as an accurate copy by the body or authority that issued the original, or by a notary but you must include a letter explaining why you are providing a certified copy rather than the original document.

Settling in the UK: Indefinite Leave to Remain Once in the UK, your relatives can apply for permission to settle in the UK (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) as a family member of a permanent resident. Make sure their application is made before their current permission to stay in the UK expires. They must be in the UK to apply. The required form for the settlement application can be downloaded from here: Form SET(F) - Your husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner will need to use a different form: Form SET(M) - http://www.ukba.homeoffice. applicationtypes/applicationformset(m)/ When they apply, they will need to show they have a good knowledge of language and life in the UK (KOL) unless they are aged under 18 or 65 and over. ©

If you are a permanent resident in the UK and currently living here or if you are a British citizen, you can apply for permission for your children under age 18 and dependent relatives to travel to the UK in view to settle with you on a permanent basis (settlement visa).

A good grasp of the English language is required to complete an online visa application: the questions are not as clear-cut and can be easily misread and therefore answered incorrectly, albeit by accident. Visa application forms are available only in English and must be completed in English. Be careful: It is very important that no mistakes or errors are made when you complete your visa application form, as even the smallest error could result in your visa application being refused and you could be banned from coming to the UK if the Entry Clearance Officer thinks you deliberately provided incorrect or misleading information.

Supporting documents for settlement visas A substantial amount of supporting documents must be submitted to support

By Federica Gaida, Excerpt of “The Migrant Guide” Disclaimer: The above article is meant to be relied upon as an informative article and in no way constitutes legal advice. Information is offered for general information purposes only, based on the current law when the information was published in this newspaper.

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Ghana to host Africa Investment Forum 2012 Atta Mills: It will showcase best investment opportunities in Africa The 10th Africa Investment Forum will be held in Accra, Ghana on 3rd and 4th April 2012.


The event which is being organized by the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), in partnership with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), will take place at the International Conference Centre. It will be hosted by the President of Ghana John Atta Mills. Building on the last Forum held in Accra in 2010, this year’s theme “Partnering with ECOWAS to Accelerate Investment” will focus on the opportunity to access the growing regional market in a continent of one billion people. The Forum will offer networking opportunities and the space to discuss prospects in key sectors like Agriculture, Infrastructure, Banking and Financial services, Tourism, Manufacturing, Energy, Oil and Gas. “Africa and its regions are showing strong economic growth with many countries achieving more than 5% per annum and a growing middle-class with rising purchasing power,” said President Atta Mills. “The time is now ripe to build a bigger African internal

“Africa and its regions are showing strong economic growth with many countries achieving more than 5% per annum and a growing middle-class with rising purchasing power. The time is now ripe to build a bigger African internal market driven by new investment. The Forum will therefore bring together business and government leaders from Africa, Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, to work towards this goal” President of Ghana John Atta Mills

market driven by new investment. The Forum will therefore bring together business and government leaders from Africa, Europe, North America and AsiaPacific, to work towards this goal.” Speakers will include Heads of Government, Ministers and senior officials, as well as Chairs and Chief Executives of businesses, investment funds and

other industries. Some of the speakers so far confirmed are: Ewan Cameron, Chief Executive Officer at Lonhro Hotels; Amrei Botha Head - SME Banking at Standard Bank (South Africa); Anthony Sykes, Deputy General Manager, Business Development at SMBC Europe Limited; Marc Whittingham, President at Canadian Commercial Corporation; Jerry Parkes,

Managing Principal at Injaro Investments; Keith Palmer, Executive Chairman at Ag Dev Company; Hamid Malik, President and CEO at Global Resources; and Ashish Thakkar, Group Managing Director at Mara Group. “This Forum will showcase the best investment opportunities that Africa and the ECOWAS region have to offer. The Forum presents a platform for investors and project partners to explore and discuss investment opportunities with ECOWAS Heads of State,” President Atta Mills added. The event will also include

business round tables and plenary dealing with issues from Energy: Power Generation & Transmission; Tourism, Private Equity, Entrepreneurship & Venture capital; Manufacturing and Consumer Goods; Telecoms and Transport: Roads, Rail and Ports. The Africa Investment Forum is one of the longest standing international business events on the continent. By bringing in new international investors and partners, over the last decade, the Forum has made a practical contribution to economic development in many Commonwealth African countries.

EP condemns sexual violence against women in armed conflict The European Parliament has strongly condemned the use of sexual violence against women as a weapon of war. Twelve years ago, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, calling for the protection of women who have suffered from sexual violence. However, despite best intentions and efforts this commitment has yet not been fulfilled. Persistent violence against women in conflict-affected countries has not ended. The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) MEP Norica Nicolai who drafted the report which was adopted by the Parliament said: “My report should be the starting point for more assertive involvement of the European Union in women, peace and security. The shocking

situation in Congo, where on average 14 women per day are being raped, or in Columbia, where in most cases, the perpetrators of sexual violence go unpunished demonstrate the urgent need to scale up efforts in the fight against sexual violence.” There can be no peace without justice, Ms. Nicolai emphasized. She said that perpetrators of sexual violence must be brought and tried in criminal courts. She also called for strengthening of the justice systems by providing training for judges and prosecutors in the investigation and punishment of cases of sexual violence. Prosecution cases should be highly visible and well-publicised, as a means of spreading the word that such practices are intolerable, Ms. Nicolai said. Local civil society groups, particularly women’s groups, can fulfil their role as

watchdog, especially in the context of failing states. “The European Union should imperatively push for the inclusion of more women in the prevention, mediation and resolution of conflict,” Ms. Nicolai said. “Women’s participation remains below a disappointing 10%. However women at the negotiating table provide an invaluable gender equality perspective, allowing for empowerment and better interaction at grassroots level.”

“My report should be the starting point for more assertive involvement of the European Union in women, peace and security. The shocking situation in Congo, where on average 14 women per day are being raped, or in Columbia, where in most cases, the perpetrators of sexual violence go unpunished demonstrate the urgent need to scale up efforts in the fight against sexual violence” MEP Norica Nicolai

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No. 4. 8th February 2012


Former Jamaican PM honoured for service to Country and Region Mrs. Simpson Miller said. The Prime Minister added that Mr. Patterson began the transformation of education and presided over many of the country’s social reforms. “Your steady hands, non-confrontational style and consultative Speaking at a celebratory banquet held approach guided the settling down of our at the Round Hill Hotel, in Hanover, on 4th once volatile democracy and electoral sysFebruary 2012, Prime Minister, the Most tem,” Mrs. Simpson Miller told the retired Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller, said that Mr. Prime Minister. Patterson was able to journey from the parMr. Patterson served as Prime Minister ish of his birth, Hanover, to Jamaica House from 1992 to 2006, when Mrs. Simpsonas the nation’s 6th Prime Minister, through Miller succeeded him. diligence, and that his contribution to the Guest speaker at the event, Prime people of Jamaica is distinguished not only Minister of St. Lucia, the Hon. Dr. Kenny by his length of service, but his tenure was Anthony, described Mr. Patterson as a stalof unquestionable integrity, commitment wart of Caribbean affairs for most of his and quality. adult life, and that his presence and influ“Because of your significant contribuence is discernable at virtually every miletion to the development of the country and stone marking the recent evolution of the prosperity of our people, the Jamaican region. infrastructure landscape is dotted with “His team spirit and his obvious enduryour finger prints, and you have a lasting ance in the marathon of party politics… legacy as the infrastructure Prime Minister,” signals his appreciation of the transience of political power as something that one “This is a time when we have to embrace holds for a while and then people of different religious views, of dif- passes hopefully to worthy team ferent orientations, of different back- another member to continue the grounds to make ourselves a nation that race,” he said. “Such dedication to can prosper and grow” the larger cause, the longer race, ennobles one’s Most Hon. P. J. Patterson, work and life, and proFormer Jamaican Prime Minister vides both a point of departure and a sense of

destination. In the case of P.J. Patterson, it has also given him the core of his p h i l o s o p h y, which manifests itself again and again in the articulation of a broad, enlightened political perspective. This in turn grants him the ability and the resolve to grapple successfully with issues at home, within the region, and Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson in the wider (right), about to accept a Citation from Member of world,” Dr. Parliament for Eastern Westmoreland, Hon. Luther Anthony said. Buchanan (left), who is also State Minister in the In his Office of the Prime Minister response, Mr. Patterson used peace, of justice and afford citizens at the occasion to call for unity in the society. Citing the every level - the poorest, the most powerrecent general election, which was won by ful - a sense of self-respect and human the People’s National Party (PNP), he said dignity. This is a time when we have to whatever position persons held at the time, embrace people of different religious they should now “recognise that the time views, of different orientations, of differhas come when all of us have to work ent backgrounds to make ourselves a nation together to take our nation upward and that can prosper and grow,” he said. forward.” By Garfield L. Angus, “We can build a country of unity, of JIS Reporter


Former Jamaican Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P. J. Patterson, has been honoured for his contribution to Jamaica and the regional integration process.

Young Jamaicans urged to get involved in Agriculture ©

Clarendon, on 1st February, Mr. Clarke said that in the face of these developments and as Jamaica finds itself grappling with issues such as job losses, the nation must “look to agriculture as a means to our prosperity.” “I am of the belief that, without food, we will all die. And I have always said that as long as people have to eat to live, agriculture will survive. It is a way of life for many people, and like any other job, requires time and energy. It is, in fact, one of the foundations of any society, because it facilitates the nourishment of the society, provides employment and generates wealth,” the Minister argued. Mr. Clarke said statistics published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in its global employment 2012 report ‘Preventing a Deeper Jobs Crisis’, pointed to a serious employment challenge of creating some 600 million jobs over the next decade. Additionally, some 20 million youth, aged 15-24 years, were among the unem-

Jamaican Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, has called for greater involvement of young people in agriculture. This comes against the background of what he says are “worsening” global food insecurity challenges being experienced by many countries, which is compounded by the economic crisis. Speaking at the handing over of a refurbished poultry abattoir at the Garvey Maceo High School, at Vernamfield, in

ployed during 2011, and this cohort was “disproportionately” among the “working poor.” He said the report also noted that as the number of young people withdrawing from the workforce continues to rise, there was little hope, on the present course, for a substantial improvement in short term employment prospects for young people. The Minister informed that a 2007 agricultural census showed that only six per cent of the local farming population was under age 25, while the 25 to 35 age cohort accounted for only another six per cent. “What this tells me is that we are not attracting enough young people who possess vim, vigour and vitality, in the sector. This government and this Minister want that to change. I am making a push for these young people to be engaged in agriculture, because we cannot have a sustainable industry without their input. Their involvement gives me hope that the sustainability of the sector is in good hands,” the Minister said. Mr. Clarke urged students at Garvey Maceo High, especially those involved in

agriculture, to give consideration to starting their own business, instead of just “looking a job,” when they graduate. “Farming could be the start to your own independence and wealth creation,… be entrepreneurs. I charge you, the young ones, to achieve excellence in whatever you do, irrespective of the odds. If you become a doctor, be an excellent one; if you become a teacher, be an excellent one; if you become a farmer, be an excellent one. Because it is only when we achieve excellence in whatever we do, that we will be able to compete and co-exist in a harsh global world,” Mr. Clarke stressed. The poultry abattoir at Garvey Maceo High School was refurbished through a US$10,000 funding facility provided by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) from its Telefood Special Fund (TSF). This facility aims at assisting grassroot level projects in developing countries, by providing direct funding assistance to groups engaged in small agricultural projects. By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter


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No. 4. 8th February 2012


“I was burnt as a child because people thought I was Mammy Water” Exclusive interview with Eeefy Ike, Nigeria’s super sexy Hollywood actress and model women’s empowerment. Here’s the one on one chat Eeefy had with Nollywoodgossip’s Deputy Editor Delia Innoma.

In an exclusive interview with Nollywoodgossip, the stunning beauty from Nigeria said her burns and treatment slowed her journey into the entertainment industry. Eeefy has done television commercials for major brands such as Gillette shaving cream for men, Burger King, Keglevich Vodka, Sauza Diablo Tequila, Comcast High Definition, Diesel Jeans and many others, including a Nokia International product launch. She is currently in Nigeria to network, launch her new book as well as to commission a school of Ethics for

Eeefy is from Egbema, in Area Ohaji/ Egbema Local Government of Imo State, born to the family of Sir, Chief Wilfred and Lady Gladys Ike. Reared in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and grew up in Europe and America, where I now reside and work as a model, actress, image consultant, designer, author, host and a motivational speaker.


Eeefy Ify Ike, a Hollywood actress, model and author has revealed that she was burnt as a child because people thought she was Mammy Water (goddess of the sea).

Eeefy, please kindly introduce yourself to our readers.

Tell us of your journey into the entertainment world. My journey into the entertainment industry was slow, and I worked sporadically due to my struggles with burns and treatments. I never wanted to indulge the industry, because I was afraid that it could fragment my healing that was already in progress by rekindling me with pain or afflicting me with more emotional pain. Some jobs and offers naturally did repress my soul because they reminded me of my limitations. Your movies? I just ventured into acting, so I’ve only done a few movies and I have a couple of them releasing this year - “La Femme” a Hollywood documentary about women healing the world and “Who’s The Man”. At the moment, I’m working on a comedy film called “The Queen of the Jungle in Beverly Hills” which will bridge Hollywood and Nollywood. Which


have you modelled for? I’m more into TV commercials and have campaigned for major brands like Gillette, Burger King, Vodka, Comcast HD, Tequila, Nokia, etc. What message does your book “Peering through the depth of life” send? My book sends a message of hope to those that are struggling. What inspired the book? My eagerness to heal and lift up souls inspired my writing. Apart from English, do you speak any other languages? Yes, I do. I speak fluent Italian, a little Spanish and French. Will your book be translated into another language? Yes, my book will be translated into a few languages, but starting with Italian. My ex-husband and Angel was Italian and I have many adopted Italian families both in Italy and in America, so I have a special bond with Italy. Will you be visiting Italy this year, if yes, please tell our Italian readers where and when? Yes I’ll be visiting Rai Studios in Rome as soon as my book is translated into Italian because I have a pending interview. I hope to strengthen the bond I have with Italy. How was growing up like? Growing up was excruciating, but God granted me the peace, fortitude, knowledge and wisdom to take authority over my challenges. You said you were burnt as a little child of four years old. Could you please brief us on what happened? I thought I was four years old when it occurred, but my parents just told me that I was barely three years old when I was afflicted. Unfortunately, I was burned by strangers that were never identified, so no one to hold responsible for it. However, the rumours that sprang forth during the years were that the people wanted to get rid of me because I’m supposedly Mammy

Water (goddess of the sea). Ironically, many Africans home and abroad still refer to me as Mammy Water. Such ignorance that governs the soul of man! What drives your passion to make it both in acting and modelling? My desperate need to be a voice for the broken children across the world and to build burn centres that will provide care for poor burn victims are the driving force behind my adventures. Which of your jobs catapulted you to Stardom? Gillette Campaign. Apart from acting and modelling, what else do you do? I’m also a motivational speaker, image consultant, style icon, designer and event host.

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you haven’t provided a cushion for them. How could you operate on me without norming me first to prevent more sufferings, even though the intention is to heal me of the affliction? The problem is more extensive than it seems, because the people think that the government has no credibility, due to their experiences with past governments. And also, that the governments are not consistent with their laws and actions even when they seem to be considerate of the people, thus provoking pandemonium in the country and prolonging the sufferings of the people. The militants and all other sectors didn’t just appear from space. They are angry citizens yearning for care and change, though reacting irrationally and causing more harm to innocent souls. But how can we expect rational behaviour from people whose souls have been repressed for so long? Though the government is supposed to be responsible for developing the nation, the government cannot do it all, hence the people should assist the government, because it takes a collective effort to fix national dilemma. Often times we cry for change, but seem to lack the attitude to effect that change. It takes a healthy attitude and a vision to effect a change. Do you have a potent attitude and what’s your vision for your nation? Consequently, I

“Though the government is supposed to be responsible for developing the nation, the government cannot do it all, hence the people should assist the government, because it takes a collective effort to fix national dilemma. Often times we cry for change, but seem to lack the attitude to effect that change. It takes a healthy attitude and a vision to effect a change. Do you have a potent attitude and what’s your vision for your nation?”

Yes I do have a clothing line, but not yet released to the public, as I’m still exploring my designs and concept to define the line. When is your happiest moment? I’m most elated when I can elevate souls. You are in Nigeria now. Is it for job or pleasure? I’m in Nigeria to network, launch my book and also to commission a school of Ethics for women empowerment. How are the newest developments in Nigeria affecting your business? I assume you are referring to the fuel subsidy removal and the security challenges. I would say that the subsidy removal is actually a prudent idea and should aid the growth of Nigeria. However, it’s of grave consequence to the masses when

want to urge Nigerians to give this government a chance and support its policies. I believe in it. If you have an opportunity to change anything in Nollywood, what will that be? I will change the quality of their videos and make them more marketable internationally. Favourite actress?




Olu Jacobs and Joke Sylva. Have you ever dated anyone in Nollywood? No darling. Nollywoodgossip wishes you the best. Thank you so much for having me. By Delia Innoma Read more about Eeefy Ify Ike on her bio page on Nollywood Celebrities at


Ms. Eeefy Ify Ike, Hollywood actress, model and author We heard you have a clothing line too.


No. 4. 8th February 2012


“The Story of Lover’s Rock” released on DVD “The Story of Lover’s Rock” will be released on DVD on 13th February 2012. Often dubbed ‘romantic reggae’, Lover’s Rock is a unique British sound, developed against a backdrop of racial tension, the Brixton riots and sound systems in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. It went from being a small UK scene to become a global phenomenon that defined a generation through artists such as UB40 and Maxi Priest. Directed by award winning director/producer Menelik Shabazz, “The Story of Lover’s Rock” combines comedy, live performance, interviews and

archive footage to shed light on the music and the generation that embraced it. Contributors to the documentary include UB40; Maxi Priest; Levi Roots; Linton Kwesi Johnson; comedians Angie Le Mar, Robbie G and Eddie Nestor, alongside new artists such as Ava Leigh and Lovella Ellis. Lover’s Rock was the feel good music at parties and clubs that brought intimacy

for young people in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The music allowed them to experience intimacy and healing through a dance known as “scrubbing”. They identified with the music as it spoke to their notions of romantic love and formed a coping mechanism for what they were experiencing on the streets. Despite international success, the genre has been hugely ignored by the British mainstream. Yet the

music went on to influence a number of successful bands in the ‘80s such as Culture Club, Sade, and the Police. Today the music is being embraced by young talent such as Ava Leigh and Lovella Ellis, daughter of the legendary reggae artist Alton Ellis. A sleeper hit when it was released in cinemas in late 2011, “The Story of Lover’s Rock” looks back with affection at a musical phenomenon that has an enduring appeal for audiences of all ages.

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No. 4. 8th February 2012

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How do we challenge institutionalised racism if the system is not in our favour? The term institutionalised racism has reemerged but for many of us it never actually disappeared. The truth is that institutionalised racism is still, as it ever was, a growing issue in British private and public sectors, and is submerged in many of our working lives. When the former NHS director, Elliot Browne, won his tribunal case for nearly £1million in damages for discrimination he faced by his employers, it was a gentle reminder that many of us are still being discriminated against in own work forces. And I use the word gentle because nothing can compare to the years of intimidation and discrimination he experienced. The numerous stories we hear of people being discriminated against and denied opportunities

“Many of us still talk with friends and family regarding the discrimination we face in our working life but some of us find it difficult to broach the issue to employers for fear of losing our jobs and yet is that not the reason why policies are put there in the first place. If policies are not working as they should be then perhaps we should all be following in the same vein as Elliot Browne to ensure our voices are heard” Ms. Samantha Watson, Online Editor for The Afiya Trust for training, personal development and opportunities to progress within their respective fields is compounded by the fact that the number of black and minority ethnics in senior positions within politics, media, the police force, health and social care is still not representative or visually seen. I

wonder whether equality in the work force means anything today, particularly in a society driven by a government that is dictated with an individualised agenda. I am sure that many of you have seen or read the number of equality guidelines and policies that are hashed out in your organ-

isations, and perhaps even realise that to be honest there is no guarantee that any complaint procedure you make will be followed or actioned upon. We all see policies stuck on to walls or placed in a folder of other policies hidden away until an allegation of discrimination comes to light. But shouldn’t there be a customary guidance on the use of discrimination policies and regular equality training? Why is equality training pushed down to the bottom of a barrel in an organisation’s list of priorities irrespective of budget cuts? To be honest it was not budget cuts which failed Elliot Browne. The policies and procedures put in place in the allegations of his discrimination case failed for many reasons; one being it was one individual against a management. This is why robust systems need to be put in place and monitored to ensure an effective and fair procedure. A change in organisational practice is needed but also for those who communicate and advocate on issues of equality. I recently read a document produced by the trade union Amicus, entitled ‘Combating racism and achieving race equality at work a negotiators guide’. The use of language with words such as “negotiator” unconsciously reveals an intention regarding an approach to combating race equality at work; basically the

underlining message is that managers need to negotiate equality in their work settings. In a sense, why do we need to negotiate for equality in our offices? The question we all need to ask is how do we ensure that equality policies work for us so that we are not denied training or career progression? Will more of us have to take cases of institutionalised racism to tribunals? Central Manchester NHS Trust’s decision to challenge the tribunal decision made in Elliot Browne’s favour shows a distinct lack of acknowledgement of issues present within the trust despite the evidence in front of them. I would be keen to look at how thorough the trust conducted their internal investigation on the case. I would agree to some extent that things have changed but institutionalised racism is still visibly here. In a “fair” society Elliot Browne should not have needed to go as far as he did to be heard. We can go on and on, year after year and we may still have the same conversation that we have had three decades ago. In the next decade I want to discuss how we are challenging the system and how it is working for us all. So what is the solution? We become more vocal in our organisations. Many of us still talk with friends and family regarding the discrimination we face in our working life but some of us find it difficult to broach the issue to employers for fear of losing our jobs and yet is that not the reason why policies are put there in the first place. If policies are not working as they should be then perhaps we should all be following in the same vein as Elliot Browne to ensure our voices are heard. By Samantha Watson, Online Editor for The Afiya Trust

SEND US YOUR LETTERS We welcome letters on topical issues, your experiences, and or any article you have read in the AfroNews. Letters, not exceeding 600 words, must include your full name (not necessarily for publication), address and telephone numbers for verification. Letters may be edited for publication. E-mail:

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No. 4. 8th February 2012


Churches called to be peacemakers in Africa The church leaders made the call in a presentation on “Burning issues of insecurity in Africa” at a World Council of Churches (WCC) consultation in Kigali, Rwanda. The consultation was organized by the WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) and the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC). Participants addressed the theme, “Peace and Security in Africa: Ecumenical Responses” from 28th January to 1st February. The church leaders presented case studies from Africa demonstrating the increase in conflicts and human rights violations in countries like Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe. They showed how people in these countries are living in conditions of extreme vulnerability. In this situation, they stressed the need for stronger peace and reconciliation engagement by the ecumenical family. “Millions of Somalis continue to suffer. Helping them is increasingly difficult due to escalation of violence and polarization of both Somali and international actors,” said Dr. Agnes Abuom, member of the WCC Executive Committee from Kenya and ecumenical accompanier of AACC’s special mission for peace-building in the Horn of Africa. “A group of ecumenical actors with a long history of engagement in peace-building have come together under the AACC to search new ways out of the predicament posed by the current situation in Somalia,” said Dr. Abuom. Rev. Ibrahim Wushishi Yusuf, general secretary of the Christian Council of


Amidst increasing security issues in several African countries plagued by violence, political turmoil, religious intolerance and lack of democratic governance, churches are called to engage in peace-building, African church leaders have said.

From left to right: Dr. Agnes Abuom, Rev. Suzanne Matale, Rev. Ibrahim Wushishi Yusuf, and Ms. Joy Kwaje at the WCC consultation on “Peace and Security in Africa” in Kigali, Rwanda Nigeria, expressed concern over the security situation in his country. “The security of the people of Nigeria has never been so dangerous, and stretched to a limit of extreme anxiety, as we are experiencing right now,” he said. “The armed forces were considered points of safety for the citizens in our country at the time of violence and crises. But today even the military barracks are under attack from extremist forces and bandits, increasing violence and insecurity in Nigeria,” Rev. Yusuf added. Joy Kwaje, member of the Senate of the South Sudan, thanked African churches and the global ecumenical movement for accompanying the people of Sudan. “Since the independence of South Sudan in July 2011, competition among foreign companies to exploit the wealth and resources of the country has increased,” Ms. Kwaje pointed out. However, she said that “the people of Sudan need peace and security. They need a stable political situation that will ensure

harmony among various communities.” She observed that “Tens of thousands of Southerners who were born and brought up in South Sudan but forced to live outside the country for years are now returning to a new country, which they know nothing about. “The safety and security of all these people need to be ensured. In this, the international community should continue to play a vital role for peace-building.” Itayi Ndudzo, member of the WCC Central Committee from Zimbabwe, talked about his country’s security situation. He described it as “relatively calm” now. However, a political crisis following the general elections, he said, can be expected. “Zimbabwe needs political will and respect for human rights to address the pressing concerns of people to reduce organized violence and torture,” said Mr. Ndudzo. “Churches and the ecumenical community should help Zimbabwe foster a

Cameron asked to take strong action on alcohol pricing A coalition of national Churches and Charities has written to the Prime Minister David Cameron asking him to introduce a minimum unit price on all alcohol sold in Britain. The Government’s alcohol strategy is expected to be announced later this month. Mr. Cameron has indicated that he may be willing to introduce a minimum price of 40 – 50 pence per unit on alcohol, but the group is worried that these plans may be dropped under pressure from the drinks industry. A survey conducted in

December last year revealed that 61% of UK adults believe that excessive drinking is a problem (from minor to major) in their neighbourhood. The survey commissioned by the Methodist Church, United Reformed Church and Baptist Union of Great Britain asked people to judge the effects of alcohol on the area within walking distance from their home, or where they use local facilities. “We believe that action on pricing must form the central element in the Alcohol Strategy which your Government is due to publish in February,” the Churches and Charities say in the letter. “There are various factors

involved in problem drinking, but numerous studies have shown that price is the key determinant. Unless you include strong action on per unit pricing, other measures such as a ban on below-cost sales, a special tax on strong beers or a voluntary code for advertising are likely to be inadequate.” As part of the ‘Measure for Measure’ campaign, the group is also encouraging individuals to write to their MPs, highlighting the problems caused by cheap alcohol in their local area and asking them to support per unit minimum pricing.

culture of peace and nonviolence, tolerance and respect for human rights,” he added. Rev. Dr. Andre Karamaga, general secretary of the AACC, shed light on the significant role played by the African churches in their quest for peace. “Realizing the importance of the role of African churches to protect, respect and uphold the dignity of all Africans irrespective of their ethnic or religious identities, the churches in Africa are fully committed,” said Dr. Karamaga. He said that African churches will initiate a comprehensive ecumenical accompaniment programme to promote peace, security and dignity in the region. “As part of this ecumenical commitment, the AACC has already appointed an ecumenical accompanier for Zimbabwe. Similar initiatives will develop in future that will help with facilitating capacity building for peace initiatives by African churches,” said Dr. Karamaga. Anna Alvazzi del Frate, director of Small Arms Survey in Geneva, spoke about the proliferation and trade of small arms and light weapons in Africa. “Reducing the availability and use of small arms in conflict-affected areas as well as in post-conflict situations has become increasingly important to achieve the goals of peace, security and development in Africa,” she said. As a follow-up to the consultation, a training of trainers on “Healing of Memories” was held from 1st to 3rd February in Kigali. Dr. Manoj Kurian, the WCC programme executive for Health and Healing, coordinating the training, said that, “wars, repressive regimes and human rights abuses inflict emotional and psychological wounds on individuals and communities.” He added: “In these circumstances, churches need to consolidate their efforts to provide spiritual accompaniment that can help in overcoming conflicts and violence.”

Research: Heart failure patients risk forgetting to take medication The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has advised heart failure patients to find a way to make their meds a part of their daily routine. BHF made the call after Australian researchers linked heart failure with a decline in mental processes and a loss of grey matter in the brain. These changes could make it difficult for heart failure patients to remember instructions such as taking the correct medication at the right times. Patients with heart failure were found to have poorer immediate and long-term memory and reaction speeds than those without it. Heart failure was also associated with changes in brain regions that are

important for memory, reasoning and planning. Natasha Stewart, BHF’s Senior Cardiac Nurse, said: “Heart failure can affect people in very different ways. More research is needed to confirm the effect on mental processes, so that treatment can be targeted to look after patients in the best possible way. “The biggest implication of this research is that patients may find it difficult to stick to treatment regimes and forget to take their medication. It is important to speak to your GP and your heart failure nurse about what is best for you. Together you can find a way to make your meds a part of your daily routine so that they are less easily forgotten.”

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TheAfroNews No. 4. 8th February 2012  

TheAfroNews No. 4. 8th February 2012