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Community leaders launch rapid rebuttal unit to defend the majority from smears

Your next NIGERIAN WATCH available from April 25th

NIGERIAN WATCH April 11th 2014




US approach to be piloted in London thanks to Toyin Idowu Page 3



Nigeria’s Ambassador Dr Dalhatu Sarki Tafida delivers on his ‘modernising’ action plan

Introducing Edel Meremikwu, who has made the big leap Page 15 WHY WE MUST HEED REEVA STEENKAMP – Women’s Watch

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NIGERIAN WATCH Publishers tevin Jemide & Victor omosevwerha Publisher/Managing Director Maryanne Jemide PR Director Ilonka omosevwerha Managing Editor Jon hughes Art Editor Cathy Constable Contributors obah Iyamu; harriet ogbeide; AJ James; Ayo Akinfe; funmi odegbami; Samuel Kasumu; Ngozi Mbana; Ekanem robertson, Jessica onah, laura Adenuga Chief Cartoonist harold ogbeide Office address Nigerian Watch Chartwell house 292 hale lane Edgware Middlesex hA8 8NP Email Website tel: 020 8588 9640 fax: 020 7160 5232 Nigerian Watch is a monthly newspaper owned by green World Media ltd. Views expressed in this newspaper do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher.

Prince’s surprise silver wedding party

PRINCE Taju Adeniyi, the Special Assistant to Nigeria’s ambassador to the UK Dr Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, OFR, CFR, was treated to a surprise party by his children on Saturday March 29 to mark his landmark silver wedding anniversary. Caught unawares, Prince Adeniyi returned home from the AGM of the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK to discover his his home had been decorated, guests were waiting and a cake had been prepared for him. Colleagues from the High Commission, including head of the consular section, Minister Shina Alege, were among the guests. Nigerian Watch joins all the other members of the 2m-strong diaspora community in the UK in congratulating Prince Adeniyi and wishing him many more years of a happy and blissful marriage.

In the last edition of Nigerian Watch under the headline “Achebe inspired a generation” we reported on the hugely successful memorial lecture staged in London to mark the first anniversary of the literary icon’s passing. We have since been asked by the executors of Mr Achebe’s estate, the Wylie Agency, to make the following clarification to this story and others published on our web platform in the run-up to the event. “Please be advised that this event took place without the knowledge or approval of Chinua Achebe’s family, his Literary Estate, or the Chinua Achebe Foundation. On behalf of our clients, I must ask that you now correct the story by publishing the following clarifications: 1. This event took place without the knowledge or authorisation of the Estate of Chinua Achebe or the Achebe family. 2.Neither the Estate of Chinua Achebe nor the Achebe family has any relationship with the Chinua Achebe Memorial Committee. 3. While Ubaka Alex Achebe has a familial connection to the author, he is not a part of Chinua Achebe’s family and is not qualified to speak on their behalf.”

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Conference to open door to investment in booming Africa

A conference to demystify how to undertake international trade and make investments in Africa and the Caribbean will be staged at the Great Hall, Kings College London, on the Strand, on April 17. With a host of experts set to speak this is a golden opportunity to learn more about how to enter this burgeoning market. A recent World Bank report stated Foreign Direct Investment into Africa grew by 16.2% in 2013, taking the total figure to a $43 billion. It also predicted that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Sub-Saharan Africa will grow from the 2013 figure of 4.7% to 5.3% in 2014 and if ‘strengthening external demand’ continues this will then rise to 5.5% by 2016. Furthermore UK Trade and Investment statistics reveal that Africa imported £10.4bn worth of products from the UK in 2012, rising from £8.6bn in 2010. Given the natural resources, growing middle class consumer culture, educated workforce, developing infrastructure and strategic location, it is no wonder that interest in both regions is rapidly growing. Conference delegates will get the opportunity to meet and network with business owners, diplomats, investment and trade experts and entrepreneurs, to discuss and gain an insight in how to engage effectively in International Trade with Africa and the Caribbean.

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GANGS SUCCESS FOR NIGERIAN COMMUNITY LEADERS AS THE MET ACT the Metropolitan Police (MPS) are set to study the gangbusting methods of a US criminologist with a view to piloting his methods in four london boroughs later in the year. It marks a positive resolution to a longstanding campaign by Nigerian community leader Dr toyin Idowu, who has been pressing for just such action since last November, as reported by Nigerian Watch (see left). She announced this progressive step at the AgM of the Central Associaton of Nigerians in the UK on March 29. It was confirmed to this newspaper by a Met Police spokesman, who said, “the MPS is currently in dialogue with Professor David Kennedy from the Centre for

model which he developed in America can be applied to london. Plans are being arranged for David and colleagues to visit london later in the year to progress this further. “gang Call Ins are an integral part of the group Violence Intervention model and have been used by some london Boroughs as a way to demonstrate to those involved in gang offending that the MPS and partners are jointly determined to tackle gang violence. “the MPS continues to be committed to learning and implementing good practice gathered nationally and internationally to maximise all opportunities available to tackle gang violence in the capital.”

GANGBUSTERS (L-R) Dr Toyin Idowu, barrister Clement Idowu and author Eze Nacho Crime Prevention and Control, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New york, to explore and develop how the group Violence Intervention

BUSINESS IS BOOMING THANKS TO ASPIRATIONAL DIASPORANS Nigerians in the UK are among the top 10 diasporan job-creators, an authoritative report from the Centre for Entrepreneurs think tank in conjunction with Dui Dell, a company specialising in business intelligence and Centre UK Companies Started for Research in Ethnic Minority by migrant entrepreneurs Entrepreneurship, has found.


Of 155 immigrant groups in the UK Nigeria comes in at number 10 in the entrepreneurs’ league, credited with developing 15,165 small and medium enterprises – defined as companies with a turnover of between £1m and £200m and who file employee numbers. The Irish top the league with 56,327, followed by India in second with 32,304, with in descending order Germany, America, China, Poland, France, Italy and Pakistan. “We find that entrepreneurial migrants are behind one in seven of all UK companies,” the report entitled Migrant Entrepreneurs; Building Our Businesses Creating Our Jobs states. “Their entrepreneurial activity is near double that of UK-born individuals.” It continues, “The evidence is clear. Britain relies heavily on entrepreneurial migrants to launch businesses, create jobs and help the economy.” Migrant-founded companies in the UK employ a total of 1.16 million people out of a total of 8.3 million. This, as with company formation, shows migrants are responsible for what the report calls “an impressive” 14% of SME job creation. The report was commissioned to look at the role migrants play in UK life. Often maligned as people who take from the state, through benefits, social housing, NHS and so forth, the report set out to quantify the positive impact migrants have on the economy. The freeloader stereotype is a myth, the report says. “Immigration is one of Britain’s most fevered debates. Sadly it is rarely informed by evidence.” Its findings show that on balance


of all UK companies

AVErAgE AgE of ENtrEPrENEUrS non-UK UK nationals nationals



years old

years old


non-UK nationals start own companies


UK nationals start own companies Number of UK Compaines started by non-UK nationals India 32,304 Nigeria 15,165

the majority of migrants are driving the economy rather than depressing it. “While popular perceptions of immigration involve migrants arriving in the UK to take jobs and depress wages, migrants actually tend to be highly entrepreneurial. Many want to launch businesses and create jobs. As we map our economic future we can no longer afford to ignore such an important source of economic dynamism. “The current tone of hostility towards immigration – even with mainstream political debate – could prove damaging to the future of job creation in the UK, especially in high-growth entrepreneurial sectors. Instead we should appreciate that migrant entrepreneurs have overcome significant challenges to develop enterprises in the UK, the odds have been stacked against them. Yet still they thrive and triumph. Migrant businesses generate jobs and opportunities for local people, they form valuable social hubs, and they provide important services and goods for communities around the country. They give Britain a competitive edge in the global market place. It’s time to celebrate their contribution.”







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Champions out to protect children and help parents Children’s charity Africans Unite Against Child Abuse (Afruca) held a special seminar at Enfield Town Hall on March 29 as part of its rolling campaign to educate African parents on the dangers of child abuse. Organised by former Mayor of Enfield Councillor Kate Anolue, the seminar attracted dozens of participants who discussed the various challenges of parenting in the UK. This included the risk of having children taken into care, children being abused by those close to them and appropriate ways of chastising a child.   Over the last year, Afruca has been running a series of child protection workshops aimed at encouraging members of the black and African community to work with it to protect children and prevent child abuse and harm in a bid to end the disproportionate representation of African children in care. Under its Children’s Champion initiative scores of volunteers have been trained to help promote better parenting in their communities.   Councillor Anolue said, “It is important that we debate these matters indepth so we are aware of what the law says. Many African parents get into trouble and have their children taken into care because they are not aware of what is illegal and when chastisement becomes child abuse.  

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“When a couple fight and argue for instance, they need to be aware of the fact that the violence could have an impact on their children. I do a lot of work with families who have got into trouble because they were not aware of the consequences of what they were doing and by the time they found out, it was too late." Ben TV presenter and Nigerian Watch columnist Ekanem Robertson, who moderated the event, added that child abuse covers a wide remit, including physical chastisement, verbal assaults, domestic violence and punitive denigrating. She took participants through a series of slides showing Afruca’s recommendations about how to address many of the challenges Africans in the UK face with parenting.   Afruca executive director Debbie Ariyo (pictured) said that one of the challenges Africans in the UK faced was merging what they see as certain cultural and traditional values with the realities of modern European life. She added that under the Children’s Champion programme, Afruca proffers advice on how cultural practices impact on the safeguarding of children in the UK. For more information and to register interest about becoming a children’s champion, visit 

loCAl hEro BABAtUNDE loyE

The elevator

Ever-dapper, ever in demand and ever dignified, Babatunde Loye has throughout his stellar career used his position to help elevate and inspire his fellow Nigerians. A world renowned Insurance Consultant with the UK’s largest insurer, Met Life, Mr Loye manages a team of 150 people from his base in London’s Canary Wharf. He has a string of awards and accolades, including number one consultant out of 75,000 worldwide. He also won two worldwide awards as a sales manager. But it his commitment to using his own success to elevate his fellow Nigerians and Africans that makes him a standout and stand up local hero. He is the founder of the Association of African Insurance Professionals UK (AAIP), launched to recognise and support the diverse range of African professionals in the industry. Within the industry Mr Loye is acclaimed for recruiting, training and coaching hundreds of consultants and is recognised as “an excellent agent for change”. His drive to inspire and encourage others is commendable. One of Mr Loye’s famous sayings is, “If I can do it, anyone can.” He says he has built his entire executive career on that definition. And he adds that one of the things he most enjoys in life is helping others to reach their full potential. He asks of his fellow Nigerians, “What are we doing with all our titles? When I started at Met Life I set out to employ 200 Nigerians. I am currently at 125. I will not stop and I will

continue to empower the people. When we all make that commitment and do that then we will stop the crime and violence among our youth that is blighting our communities.” If you want to work in the insurance industry then Mr Loye wants you to call him. He told Nigerian Watch, “Met Life has started recruiting now so if anybody wishes to work with an insurance company, they should give me a call on 07985422506, or my PA on 02070388346.” Do you know a local hero? Let us sing their praises and help their cause by writing to

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WHO ARE YOU CALLING A 419-ER? PLANS FOR AN ASSERTIVE AND ACTION-PACKED YEAR ANNOUNCED AT CANUK AGM The Central Association of Nigerians in the UK is to establish a rapid rebuttal unit to defend Nigerians in the UK against being portrayed as little more than a community of fraudulent 419-ers. The initiative is one of a number that were announced by CANUK chairman Chief Bimbo Folayan Roberts at the Annual General Meeting held at the High Commission on Saturday March 29. Around 100 people attended across the day, representing ethnic organisations, professional and trade bodies and businesses, and delegates came from Manchester and Birmingham. The High Commissioner to the UK, Dr Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, OFR, CFR, was represented by his Special Assistant Minister Prince Adeniyi and head of consular and welfare desk, Minister Alege. Minister Adeniyi told the meeting, “His Excellency extends his goodwill and support to all of you and commends you for doing a good job.” He added that it was recognised within the High Commission that “if we did not have CANUK it would be much more difficult to reach out and assist Nigerians in the UK.” thE ChAIrMAN'S rEPort Chief Bimbo Roberts opened proceedings by delivering his annual report which was peppered with many great achievements despite the past year having been “the most challenging one” for the organisation. Shortly after the CANUK executive was constituted after the AGM in 2013, soldier Lee Rigby was killed by two men of Nigerian descent, which occasioned the scrapping of the organisation's planned programme as the community leaders mobilised to firefight the backlash against the Nigerian community. Mr Roberts told the meeting, “Immediately after this incident information reached us that fellow Nigerians living in the Woolwich area were being targeted and attacked by members of some extremist groups. “We immediately swung into action and organised a rally to disassociate our community from extremism and from the attackers and campaigned widely to show that Nigerians are peace loving people who are opposed to terrorism.” It was this experience and the effectiveness of the campaign that has led CANUK to launch its rapid rebuttal unit. Mr Roberts explained, “The planned rebuttal unit will help us respond to negative stories written or broadcast about Nigerians in the UK. The purpose is not to cover up but to correct any misrepresentation about us. We will do this at some point this year. The 419s and other anti social elements are a tiny minority but the way newspapers and mainstream TV sensationalise stories


about Nigerians make us a target and reinforces a stereotype about Nigerians as fraudsters and anti social people. This is not done for other communities and we must work to stop this.” Endeavours to regroup and get the year back on track were then stalled by several members of the executive committee losing loved ones. The chairman himself lost his brother and father in law and days before this year's AGM the chairman of the welfare Committee, Dr Edwin Sawacha, lost his wife. Nevertheless CANUK registered NIGERIAN WATCH Throughout the AGM, Nigerian Watch was praised for elevating the Nigerian diaspora, working to counteract the negative stereotype and supporting community campaigns, particularly in publicising the community’s response to the killing of Lee Rigby and for its “excellent” campaign in support of Dr Toyin Idowu’s drive to change the way gangs are policed.

some notable achievements. The CANUK Emergency Relief Agency in collaboration with the High Commission collected and sent much-needed aid to flood-stricken areas of Nigeria; in response to the incessant killings of Nigerian youths CANUK established a Youth Crime Prevent Network under the chairmanship of Toyin Idowu; assisted the Nigerian Women Prays initiative; participated in the commemoration of the late Chinua Achebe; mediated in the teacher and lecturers strike in Nigeria; successfully campaigned against the £3000 visa

bond; and mobilised the community to support the Association of Spouses of African High Commissioners and Ambassadors in the UK to raise funds for education projects across Africa. “CANUK has built a reputation as an organisation that speaks out against injustice and we successfully mobilised and joined campaigns against the brutalisation of women, Boko Haram killings and other acts of injustice in Nigeria.” MoVINg AhEAD In the year ahead CANUK is to redouble its efforts to catch up for lost time and reinvigorate its membership. A key element of this will be a Town Hall roadshow to engage with Nigerians outside the capital. “We have discovered our community is too fragmented and CANUK has perhaps become too London centric. “In the coming year CANUK will be travelling around the regions and reaching out to organisations to discuss our common agenda. We have already started to contact different communities.” Another initiative will see CANUK reach out more to Nigerian youths, to tackle the gangs issue and help mentor them “for the good of society”. Two important dates were also announced. On August 23 CANUK aims to stage its annual family fun day. “We intend to make it the biggest and the best ever family fun day, considering this is a very important year for Nigeria as we mark our centenary.” To mark the centenary CANUK will also be holding a celebration dine and dance on October 25, at the Regent’s Park Hilton.

FROM L-R: CANUK Chairman Bimbo Roberts; delegates from the Nigerian Police Forum, Nsikan Etuk and Paul Orhiere; Prince Adeniyi of the High Comission; Prof Chike Oduoza from Wolverhampton; and Ade Arogundade from Manchester

Delegates to the CANUK AGM were asked what issues they wanted to see raised by the UK diaspora’s delegates to Nigeria’s National Conversation. The delegates, Chief Adebayo Oladijemi and Christian Udechukwu, have left for Nigeria to make their contribution but they will be informed of CANUK’s position. The issues agreed upon at the AGM included: reparations for the damage caused by colonialism; greater autonomy to the States to control their own resources, with a 5% surcharge to the Federal Government; a whistleblowers’ charter, to give legal protection to those who blow the whistle on corrupt practices; to change the constitution that disenfranchises us and secure the right of the diaspora to vote in elections; change the constitution to allow independent candidates to stand; have a funded opposition; and funnel more resources to help the youths of Nigeria.


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LAMBETH MAYOR’S PARLOUR (R-L): Lambeth acting Mayor Cllr Adedamola Aminu, who hosted the Lagos delegation at the Town Hall, with Senators Tinubu and Babafemi Ojudu

Igbo and BLN conference dates The theme of the third annual Igbo Conference is ‘Igbo Heritage’ and will focus on the contributions of Igbo culture and heritage to the political and cultural landscape in Igboland and abroad. The two-day conference is to be held at the School of Oriental and African Studies over the weekend of May 2 and 3. For more details and

to register visit Meanwhile, the Black Labour Network is staging a fringe event – The transforming agenda for increasing black representation across public life – at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Black Workers Conference, this Saturday (Apr 12), from 12.452pm at Congress House, Great Russell Street.

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Lagos Senator Oluremi Tinubu has donated $20,000 to launch a hardship fund for Nigerian students in the UK, to help those struggling to meet their tuition and accommodation fees. She announced the launch of the fund at a special gala dinner staged by the Association of Nigerian Academics in the UK (Anauk) in recognition of her achievements in creating educational opportunities for disadvantaged children in Lagos State through her New Era Foundation. Receiving the honour on April 5 at the Hilton Metropole in west London, Senator Tinubu said, “I am very humbled by the kind gesture. Development in other nations of the world is advancing so rapidly but Nigeria as a nation is still grappling with gross poverty, unemployment,

insecurity, corruption, crime and poor infrastructure, while other challenges to development continue to plague us. “Wherever you and I stand today, we can be an agent of change and work with others towards actualising the Nigeria of our dreams. This recognition award will help renew my commitment and will also inspire others to do more for the improvement of society.” Among the speakers on the night was University of Cambridge post-graduate student Ezenagu Alexander, who was a beneficiary of Senator Tinubu’s scholarship, which saw him through his undergraduate studies in Nigeria. Anauk president and acting mayor of Lambeth Councillor Adedamola Aminu and the council leader Councillor Lib Peck, presented the award.


It seems that Twelve Years A Slave Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o is set to take on the starring role of Ifemulu in a blockbuster movie version of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s latest award winning novel Americanah. In a recent interview with Arise Entertainment 360, Ms Adichie revealed, “Lupita was a very early fan of Americanah, and so before

she was sort of well-known in the way that she is now, she wrote me the loveliest email, a very long and passionate email about Americanah. I’m going to do the mysterious thing and say that Lupita might be making an announcement very soon,” she said, adding coyly. “I don’t know. That announcement might well be about Americanah.”


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QUESTION TIME WITH A BIG DIFFERENCE ... THE AUDIENCE IN PARLIAMENT IS PACKED WITH YOUNG PEOPLE FROM BME BACKGROUNDS The scene: the Wilson Room in Portcullis House, the modern annexe to the House of Commons. The panel: two eminent MPs, Jeremy Lefroy (Con) and David Lammy (Lab); police commander Gideon Springer; Simon Messenger of Pinnacle Housing Association; TV and radio presenter Richard Kays; barrister Anne Crossfield; Southwark Councillor Michael Shitu; and Sean Cooper of mentoring agency Lighthouse. In the audience: around 50 young people, taking advantage of the Speak Out initiative from Britafrique, the charity founded by Michelle Akintoye – who has received a British Empire Medal for her tireless work on their behalf. The main objectives of the initiative are to break down barriers and motivate young people to engage in public life. And engage they did on April 7 when they had two hours to question people in power. The questions from the floor were hard-hitting and covered a range of subjects from trust in the Metropolitan Police through to mentoring and job opportunities.

L-R: Commander Springer, Michelle Akintoye and David Lammy MP

On trust in the police the panellists and majority of the audience believed that on balance of probabilities – routine successes against sensational failures – the answer was yes. But many concerns remained. David Lammy said, “The vast majority of police are trustworthy but when a cabinet minister can be framed (Andrew Mitchell of the infamous “plebgate” affair) then we’ve clearly got a problem. When the parents of Stephen Lawrence can be spied on we have a problem. There are big ques-

tions to be answered and big challenges ahead.” One of those challenges is getting the Met to look like the people they serve – yet Mr Lammy said only 868 officers out of 32,000 hailed from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds. Commander Springer said the Met were currently recruiting, with 5,000 officers being south, of which “we hope up to 40% will be from BME backgrounds.” From the floor there were clear con-

cerns that young people’s first contact with the police was hostile, with stop and search being identified as a major cause. All agreed that greater effort must be made to make young people’s first contact with police a positive experience. Mentoring was another big issue with many panellists seeing it as the way to steer young people away from trouble, and particularly gangs. Although Mr Lammy warned he was worried that mentors might have a negative impact. “The reformed gang leader scenario worries me,” he said. “I grew up on the Broadwater Farm – I probably wouldn’t be here if I’d had mentoring from a reformed gang leader. We need broader horizons, higher aspirations.” The audience were also very concerned about a lack of job opportunities with many talking of working free for years in the name of getting experience. Mr Shitu agreed with their concerns, saying, “We have to establish a new social contract so young people can feel confident if they work hard they can get a job.” There was much support for Mr Lefroy and Ms Crossfield who wanted

the school curriculum changed to contain business and finance studies and political structures so students know more about the world they are entering into and can look forward more optimistically. Watching the whole session was global beauty expert Erica Freemantle who delivered a straight message to the young people present. She revealed that she had always been the joker at school and not only left without any qualifications but unable to read. “I only learnt to read when I was 30,” she said. A Jamaican by descent she added that she had returned to her motherland “which, to me, is Nigeria, to help empower the young people there. They haven’t got a quarter of what you have but they have the drive and ambition.” As, it must be said, did many in the audience. There was a firm belief in self-reliance and self-improvement on all sides. It would seem that greater communication and practical information about how to access existing opportunities would resolve many issues. But as an exercise in introducing young people to power and making those in power hear from the young the evening was an unqualified success.

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Madam Amebo Big Brother’s watching SOCIAL networking sites have increasingly proved to be the ultimate bridge between Nigeria and the UK diaspora. They have a way of taking people into the houses of friends and family, sometimes without the other person even knowing. It is thus advisable to always be careful about what you are posting online, especially on Facebook, that most notorious of all the networking sites. Teenagers think they are smart but one young lady in Belvedere was recently caught out by her parents when she decided to get up to mischief while her parents were visiting Nigeria. Mum and dad had to dash off for a family engagement, so they stocked up the house with food and flew to Lagos for a few days. No sooner had they left than their teenage daughter called all her friends round for a party. They emptied the wine rack, finished all the food and partied until the early hours of the morning. Unfortunately for our young friend, one of her friends took several pictures and posted it on her Facebook wall, tag-

ging some of her friends. Good old mummy decided to log on to Facebook while in Lagos and hey, she could not fail to recognise her own living room. A quick phone call to Belvedere soon followed.

A bird in hand oVEr recent years, the Nigerian diaspora in the UK has gone award-crazy, with one ceremony or the other organised virtually every month. In fact, awards are so cheap these days some say they are worth little more than two a penny. things are so bad that even if you are the most unsavoury character on the planet, all you have to do is book a hall, hire an event organiser and bang, you have an awards ceremony. As you are the one paying for the do, you can tell the organiser how many awards you want to be honoured with on the night. recently, one dignitary came in from Nigeria for an award and as part of the ceremony, the event organiser decided to throw in a few local ones too. During the organising, the event planner asked one of her friends to

join in planning the event but on the understanding that whoever was on the planning committee would not be eligible for an award. however, her friend declined the invitation because she wanted to receive an award herself and show off the pictures of her standing with the dignitary holding plaques together. Unfortunately for her, despite being nominated, she did not win an award. to make matters worse, she also missed out on the largesse which was handed to the organisers for putting together such a successful event. talk about falling between two stools but, as they say, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

Long distance wahala LONG distance relationships have always had an inbuilt tendency to lead to trouble as they epitomise that old saying, “While the cat's away, the mice will play”. One IT expert recently relocated to Nigeria, leaving his family in London in the hope that they would soon join him if he got an extension to his contract. Alternatively, if he did not, he


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would return to the UK and things would be back to normal. However, as it often the case with IT, things are not certain and your contract gets extended on a monthby-month basis. Our friend from Woolwich thus found out that he could not invite his family over and neither could he return to London as he was virtually living day-to-day. However, when one month leads to six and then to a year and then to two years, things start getting complicated. It was only a matter of time before his London wife became a distant memory and hey, you guessed it, he ended up putting another lady in the family way. Can you imagine the shock on the faces of his children who he eventually met after three years when they visited him and discovered they had a younger brother? However, kids being what they are, they embraced and loved their sibling. I doubt their mother felt the same way.

Wardrobe malfunction hoPPINg around from one Nigerian event to another in london can be a

full time job if you are one of those community activists who also happens to be a socialite. Saturdays in particular can be very hectic and there are several such community leaders who end up going to between four and six events in one day. It is thus not surprising to find the ladyfolks in particular load their cars with numerous changes of clothes. one east london community activist recently had such a hectic Saturday and packed her bag for the day but she had one major problem; three of the events were in central london, so she could not travel by car. In her dash not to be late, she hopped on to the tube with her bag full of different attires. however, one of the events was a funeral and she found out that she had forgotten her black dress and everything else in her armoury was flowery. hugely embarrassed at having to wear a flowery dress at a funeral, she could not wait for the event to be over and quietly sneaked away. In fact, she was so flustered she made it her last engagement for the day.

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Letters to the Editor Let us know what you think. Put pen to paper and send your letters to: the Editor, Nigerian Watch, Chartwell house, 292 hale lane, Edgware, Middlesex hA8 8NP, or email us at: Letters to be included in the next issue must be received by no later than April 16, 2014. Anonymous letters will not be published. Please include your full name, postal address and contact telephone number. Names and addresses can be withheld, if preferred. Letters may be edited for publication.

“Biyi has told our Nigerian story well� – we must support him Nearly two years ago, I sat in a screening room in Soho with an audience of 20 people, watching the first screening of Biyi Bandele’s film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun. As the lights came back on, and the room erupted in applause, I joined the small group of people clustering round the director and the

producers, congratulating them. As I approached Biyi’s outstretched hand, I found myself pulling him into a hug and, embarrassingly breaking into deep heaving sobs. There had been many moving scenes in the film, but I hadn’t realised how moved I was by them until I wet Biyi’s shirt with tears. A few months later, I watched it again in the same small room, this time sitting behind Chimamanda who was in London to speak at TEDxEuston and who had insisted that I accompany her to the screening that had been arranged for her. There were only a handful of us in the room, and when it finished, Chimamanda turned to me and said “Biyi has told our Nigerian story well�. The next day at TEDxEuston, we had the privilege of showing the trailer of the film as a surprise towards the end of the conference, giving our audience the opportunity of being among the first people in the world to see it. They received it with whoops of delight, giving the one and a half minute clip a standing ovation. That reaction and the association of the film with TEDxEuston, was not unexpected. At TEDxEuston, we have worked over the last five years to inspire new ideas about Africa, to create spaces where we can tell our own stories, which is what the Half Of A Yellow Sun film project has also been about, largely financed by Nigerians and shot on location mostly in Nigeria, it is an important project with symbolic

Of Winston Churchill and President Goodluck Jonathan I read the quote, “I won’t preside over a Nigerian break up� credited to President Goodluck Jonathan in the Guardian of February 25. It recalled for me echoes of the then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who, quite confidently, on November 10, 1942, said, “As the King’s First Minister I am not going to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.� Churchill lost the elections that followed in 1945 and by 1947, with India, the “crown Jewel� of the British Empire, granted Independence, we saw the beginning of the “liquidation of the British Empire�. The truth is Nigeria is just like an Empire. So many small countries tied together. I observe that Churchill and Jonathan are Black Hat (Bowker and Fedora) wearing lead-

ers, belonging to the conservative school of politics, and they are both November children, having been born on November 30, 1874, and November 20, 1957, respectively. They are both associated with a drink problem. Churchill was in the midst of the Second World War (against the Nazis) when he declaimed, as Jonathan is in the midst of a war with Boko Haram. Some might say placing Jonathan beside Churchill is silly but the tools available to Jonathan were not in existence during the times of Churchill. Churchill would have been prepared to kill to get a smart phone of today. I hope things go well after the general elections of 2015 Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth, via email

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meaning for our continent. The film’s journey to our screens, I am told has faced the many obstacles that others have faced in trying to tell our own stories in our own way, to our own audiences, within spaces where our perspectives have often been absent or curated in ways unfamiliar to us. As the film opened in Australia last week, and in the UK and Nigeria this month, questions still continue to pour in from all over the world, asking when will it be released in the US, in Ghana, in Kenya, in South Africa, in India. It appears that distributors are unconvinced that there is a market for the film. Telling our own stories it seems is not enough, we must also develop the channels for distribution and show the world that there is an audience hungry for these stories, these perspectives. I urge you to go and see this film, and ask your friends, families and colleagues to see it, not least because of the sacrifices that the executive producer and team have made in ensuring that our story is told, but also because as writer Toni Kan said in his review for African Magic, “If Yewande Sadiku and her co-producers make a success of this, the era of big budget Nollywood movies that would compete well on the international scene would have arrived.� Ike Anya, via email

ave we diasporans in the UK ever been more in demand? I ask that question because it seems everyone has woken up to our value in society. As we report on page three there is an increasing awareness of migrants’ value to the UK. We are job creators, economy drivers. that Nigerians feature in the top 10 of the Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurs’ league, out of a 155 ethnic minorities, reects who we are and where we are going. It is for this reason we are also wanted back home. Weekly, we are exhorted to bring our expertise back to help fast-track the development of Nigeria. that is a big leap for many of us. Edel Meremikwu has risen to the challenge; a new job, a new soon-to-be “worldâ€? city, a new life. She will be sharing her experience with us in a regular column. It might inspire others to follow. It is a pathway that many students of African descent are considering. Whether to stay or go is for you to decide. Wherever we go we will clearly make a positive contribution to society. Maybe it is Easter, but I sense the green shoots emerging of this actually being Africa’s century.  Maryanne Jemide, MD


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6 years of successful transformation Next month marks the sixth anniversary of Dr Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, OFR, CFR, being admitted to the court of St James as Nigeria’s Ambassador to the UK.

Early into his tenure Dr Tafida set out what he hoped to achieve in the role, telling freelance journalist and Nigeria’s former minister for information and culture Philip Ideh,

“With all sense of sincerity and humility, I would want my tenure of office at the Court of Saint James’ to be remembered for five important things. These are: the promotion and protection of Nigeria’s national interest, including the interest of all Nigerians in the United Kingdom, irrespective of shades of opinion, status, religion and ethnic origin; the

better than I met it; to elevate Nigeria’s economic relations with the United Kingdom to the same, if not higher level of political relations, so that Nigerians can reap greater economic benefits from our country’s relations with the United Kingdom.” That legacy is assured as over the past six years Dr Tafida has exceeded his own ambitious hopes and transformed the mission in London. All are welcomed through its doors and heard with respect. Community organisations, ethnic groups, businesses, whether large or small, all are afforded an audience and most leave with the support they sought and very often with a smile on their face. And, as the page opposite clearly shows, Dr Tafida encourages the next generation with a rare generosity of spirit. The ambassador has a fantastic sense of humour and often uses this to great effect to make visitors feel at home. And also to rebuke anyone who dares to be late. He is the prototype modern Nigerian; revered equally in

‘Dr Tafida is the prototype modern Nigerian; revered in the north and south’ promotion of cordial and warm diplomatic and consular relations with my host country, the United Kingdom; immigration and consular reforms and enhanced service delivery in these areas; leaving the High Commission, including the physical structures, operations and methods,

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the north, form where he hails, and in the south, and particularly Lagos, where he was a medical student. As the chairman of CANUK Bimbo Roberts said at the organisation’s recent AGM, “I want to thank the High Commissioner, who is our patron, for his fatherly love for the community and his team of ministers and staffs. They have rarely refused us and if they haven’t done things we would like it is because we haven’t asked.”

VISA NOTICE Submission of visa applications has moved from Nigeria high Commission to online Integrated Solutions (oIS) located at: 56-57 fleet Street, london, EC4y 1JU tel: 020 78320001 opening hours: 9.00am – 5.00pm


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A POET’S EYE VIEW OF DIASPORA LIFE The credits had rolled on the recent premier of Labo; Life is a Journey at the High Commission; food was being served and the mood was celebratory when two young poets were generously afforded the opportunity to perform by the High Commissioner Dr Dalhatu Sarki Tafida. Within seconds you could hear a pin drop as they each in turn captivated the room. As the applause died down, the consensus among the more than 100 strong audience was we had witnessed something special. laura Adenuga caught up with poets

Selective Sight I know you see me. I know you see me when I walk past you in the street, You may not believe me but your heart makes a mighty beat, Or when you’re sitting in traffic and I am simply passing by, Then all of a sudden my image imprints in your dilated eyes, Chuck-Chuck goes the lock…shhhhoop up goes the windows, As if to say if I wanted to get in your car my boot through your window wouldn’t be so simple, See, I’m not mad with you for the crimes of the past, But I’m definitely vex with you now because you rolled up that incy wincy little bit of glass, Furthermore my hoodie gives you the false right to label me a member of a gang, And yet that was the official uniform of the Ku Klux Klan, Plus I am sure that I am the most popular guy in the department store, “This is a staff announcement: Please keep your eyes on the guy in aisle four”, I’ve had enough of this crap, I’m going home, taking the tube, And true to form, you all persist in being so rude, It’s rush hour and we are all packed like sardines in a tin, But sitting in a seat either side of me would be the ultimate sin, It’s a classic how you lot go on in the elevators, But fortunately for you, your pink handbag doesn’t match my attire, So loosen your grip on your Gucci bag, I would not even want that negative karma, And if what I’ve said so far is incorrect then I challenge anyone to call me a liar, Your perceptions of me are about as brilliant as a car with four flat tyres, Tired. Tired of the assumptions that I am the boom-box stereotype, Along with the gold chains, baggy jeans stereotype, Kind of an oxymoron but I am the new and improved prototype, Pro two types of dealing with your selective sight, Either walk in the shadows of my stereotype and your ‘proven foresight’, Or step out of my supervening shadow and you regret your actions in hindsight. Now let me touch a bit on my genetic appearance, Non-apologetic for the lack of social adherence, Proud of my polypeptide chains of keratin bliss, Simultaneous with the melanin paint of my epidermisSurface, you may see what you are programmed to see, But sub-surface…is… the real… me, The me, the I, the presupposition of my self with a brain The me with haemoglobin and organs just the same – Regardless of the frame, irrespective of my name, Yet I am type casted and bear your imaginary blame, It Is A God Damned Shame. When I get the opportunity to showcase my intellect it’s a surprise to many, The realisation that you can exploit my talent, skills and brain, oops…there drops the penny, No I don’t smoke, surprised? Not a kind of any, Yes, your thoughts are right, I am one of a kind, but also one of plenty, So I pass the test of your employment criteria, And desecrated your views of me being inferior, Now I shall not parade my victory acting superior – But… I know you see me… do not be a selective sight sinner.

HEARTFELT SPOKEN WORDSMITHS More than... It’s more than a blazing sun or dust between your toes More than street potholes or tradesmen selling goods JOLADE OLUSANYA Although Jolade Olusanya, 23, was born in Hackney, he was sent to Nigeria to be schooled when he was seven years old. Jolade attended boarding school in Ogun state and Oyo before coming back to England when he was 13. Jolade told Nigerian Watch, “Going to Nigeria as a London kid was hard because people assume you know nothing about the culture. Nigeria definitely helped me to know myself. The education in Nigeria is definitely challenging. Kids younger than me can be in university.” In 2009, Jolade went to Buckinghamshire New University and studied BA Film and TV Production. During his time at university, his friends encouraged him to perform. After graduating in 2012, he did just that. After reaching the final six in the Young Poet Laureate for London competition last year, his talent was recognised and resulted in Jolade performing at the Houses of Parliament for the Mayor of Lon-

don and meeting the Queen. Jolade said, “All my work is about everything I have experienced or thought about. I do not write about things I do not know about. I can never forget my years in Nigeria. “In a sense, culture is all we have left to define our identities. It lets you know your heritage, values and helps you find yourself as a person.” Jolade is a softly spoken yet intense performer who uses his poetry to ask the difficult questions. Last year, he lived in the Gambia for three months. “‘More Than…’ is a poem about my Gambian experience,” he said. “I have always been a creative person. When I told my mum I wanted to be a writer she supported me. Spoken word came from trying to make sense of life.” Jolade currently works for London Live as a technician. You can follow Jolade on Twitter: @Joladespeaks, and see him perform at Youtube: Jayelmedia

MIGHTY POET The talented and energetic British born Mighty Poet is of Cameroonian descent and the 23-year-old, who grew up in Luton, Bedfordshire, astonishingly only started writing late last year. Yet he is already winning competitions – such as the recent ‘CanIHaveAMinute’ Open Mic contest in Islington – and acclaim on social media sites. He is something of a rock n’ roll performance poet of verve and distinction. A major theme of his is unity. MP graduated from Brunel University in 2011 with a BA in psychology and currently

divides his time working with autistic children in Finsbury Park and at a self-defence school. The British born poet visited Cameroon for the first time last year, where he shot his first video for his poem I’m Just A Poet. MP told Nigerian Watch, “What I write about comes from what I have experienced and what other people tell they have experienced. Selective Sight is about what I have experienced. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.” See the video and follow Mighty Poet on Facebook

between alleyways of cars More than wood carvings, cowrie shells, mosquito nets More than bad power supplies, high petrol prices or fenced verandahs More than the pyramids they can’t explain The rocks in Nigeria that my ancestors named Most than coloured wax prints and traditional head wraps More than beats, cultural names and bead-chains More than pollution and beaches, knock off Gucci belts and village chiefs laced in riches More than give one pound a week charity schemes, more than yellow fever and Hep A, B or C vaccines More than the afro beats scene, more than where Mandela took a stand More than where my mother sends clothes I don’t wear no more More than Supermalt More than ticking Black African on application forms Street masquerades Long weddings where money is exchanged and sprayed More than the first thought when people mention corruption More than the land of jeeps and potholes that make even bigger holes in your soul when you hear your exhaust go: skkkrrr More than where they send children who’ve forgotten themselves It’s more than a hiding place, make it rich quick scheme or a retirement home

It’s where stars actually serve as lamps unto our feet Where origins are traced from Where people go when they have nothing Where music comes to find it’s sound Where English takes a back-seat Where my name gets said properly for once Where laziness comes to die Where the libraries are the tongues of grey haired men and women on doorsteps sharing knowledge with children through song and story because TV doesn’t stimulate as much as story telling does Where Hollywood depicts as the last refuge for mankind when viruses break out cos let’s face it: it’s way too hot for a zombie attack Where Women look to find definitions and examples of queens And where western Men are forced to redefine their definitions of struggle Where struggle is actually just character building and if you can get through one day, you can get through the rest of them anywhere else. Where Black isn’t a word that you say with caution. You don’t even have to say it at all. Where we take things literally so think before you speak if you want to eat that week Where weeks move quick cos over there man doesn’t wait for time Cos he knows he doesn’t have it. The time is now. So whilst you watch seconds tick by, they’ve taken on a second hustle. One on roads and the other in a classroom And maybe a third keeping the house clean with a straw broom. Where the West you adore comes to our shores hiding the fact that they’ve run out of what we have ‘more’ Need I say more? I could but how could you try to define a continent with words? You can’t. It’s more than you could ever imagine. It’s Africa.


NIGERIAN WATCH 11-24 Apr 2014

POLITICS Watch Analysis

International aid and elections Governments of democratic developing countries are using international aid to support their election drives, new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has concluded. Dr Ryan Jablonski, an Assistant Professor in LSE’s Department of Government, tracked the spending of aid across Kenya from 1992, when multiparty elections began, to 2010. His research, published in the journal World Politics, reveals that electorally strategic voters receive higher levels of foreign aid over those who may be more in need but support the opposition. Individuals in constituencies that most strongly support the incumbent party benefit from more than three times the amount of aid as those in constituencies supporting opposition parties, or about US$1.50 more in World Bank and African Development Bank aid each year on average. The research also reveals a clear ethnicity bias, with individuals in constituencies that share the ethnicity with the country’s leaders receiving about twice the aid, or about US$0.80 more per year as those that don’t. In total this means that these constituencies receive more than US$4,000,000 more in aid each year on average. Dr Ryan Jablonski wrote in the journal, “By following the money in Kenya, I found a clear pattern of international aid being allocated according to the political allegiance of the beneficiaries. Aid is being spent on projects that benefit the supporters of those in power, rather than people who may be more in need but who would vote for the opposition parties. An ethnic bias was also shown, which, as ethnicity plays a clear role in how Kenyans vote, also indicates that electoral strategy is a clear factor in deciding how aid is spent.” This political bias has risen, Dr Jablonski argues, because aid agencies often lack the information required to identify how best to allocate aid and so delegate this responsibility to the leaders receiving the funds. The development community’s belief that donors should cooperate with government agencies also encourages this bias. In nearly all but the most unstable political environments, donors cooperate with government agencies in order to allocate aid. This method of operation is enshrined in the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the World Bank’s policy is to rely on government systems for financial management and oversight unless the government has demonstrated its inability to manage these tasks. Another cause of bias is the fact, he states, that, “democratic leaders of any country govern with an eye on winning re-election.” This enables us to extrapolate that this political bias is not relegated to Kenya alone. “Donors lack the knowledge required to allocate aid directly, and so delegate this responsibility to recipient governments” Dr Jablonski said. “Delegating aid allocation, however, has perverse consequences. Governments may care about economic development, disaster relief or other development objectives, but their first priority is to remain in power. As a result, governments are using their informational advantages over donors in order to allocate a disproportionate share of aid to electorally strategic supporters, allowing governments to translate aid into votes. “My findings do not indicate that international aid is never benefiting those in need, but do suggest that agencies should exercise caution when relying on the advice of governments on how to distribute aid. This is true even in democratic countries since electoral competition can create incentives for governments to lobby for the misallocation of development aid.” How Aid Targets Votes: the impact of electoral incentives on foreign aid distribution by Dr Ryan Jablonski appeared in the journal World Politics.

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Blogger and social media activist Japeth omojuwa was among seven people detained by Nigeria’s security service (the NSCDC) during a protest on April 2 calling on President goodluck Jonathan to sack Abba Moro, the Minister of Interior, following the fatal recruitment drive he masterminded that resulted in 19 young people being killed. Widely credited with mobilising and leading the successful fuel protests of January 2013, omojuwa is described by femi fani-Kayode as “one of the most forthright voices in the land and he cannot be silenced”. the arrests resulted in a twitterstorm and have raised tensions in the country where omojuwa is hugely respected as a voice of reason and force for good. the protesters took to the streets outside the ministry building to symbolically deliver the dead to the minister’s door, in the form of coffins. While they were awaiting for them to be delivered, large numbers of NSCDC officers moved in, ordering them to leave. the protesters however refused and instead, waving a large Nigerian flag before them, marched towards the interior ministry. Subsequently, the Nigeria media reported, a pha-


lanx of officers moved in and scuffles erupted between them and the protesters. these same media reports quoted the security chief leading the NSCDC operation on the ground as saying, “I have told these people to leave this area; I got an order twice not to allow the protest. When the order came first, I ignored it, then it came the second time and now I have to obey. It wasn’t even from my oga. It was from someone very strong.” omojuwa, who was released later that evening, blogged, “We are doing this because on the 15th of March it wasn’t us but on the next recruitment exercise, it could be any one of us.

We are doing this because we want to live in a just and equitable society and we can’t achieve that until government stops rewarding the greedy and incompetent. We are protesting to remind you that over 17 people died because of the greed of a few. And we should all stand up until justice is served.” Meanwhile notable Nigerians took to twitter in support of the activist. former education minister, obiageli Ezekwesili expressed her shock at the arrest. “Every democracy that must succeed must have citizens like omojuwa and Uche Briggs, fearless in agitating for public good. Better release them,” she said.

Mallam Nasir Elrufai, the APC leader and former fCt minister who also confirmed the incident said he was in lagos but sent lawyers to the police station where omojuwa was being detained. he further said that “we have alerted the National human rights Commission of this gross violation of constitutionally guaranteed right to associate/protest.” he later added, “We must all respond to this unlawful detention with condemnation and further action unless it abates forthwith.” Mr omojuwa and his colleagues were released that evening.

BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS Japeth Omojuwa’s fellow blogger and social media activist Azeenarh Mohammed explains why the protest against Abba Moro was called

Seventeen Nigerians died. They died due to the negligence and greed of Abba Moro. Abba Moro is yet to be prosecuted and we are here to remind Nigerians that 17 people died. They will of course try to discredit us. They might send down thugs to start a screaming fit within our lines. They might even start a fight or two so their police and civil security men can intimidate, harass, and possibly arrest us. They will do anything they can to take attention from what matters: that greed and negligence resulted in the death of 17 of our comrades. They won’t tell you that 20 people died in this same exercise in 2008 and Abba Moro was warned by the board of the Immigration Service to postpone the exams so as to prepare adequately and avoid casualties; they won’t tell you that he refused to spread the exercise to universities and polytechnics to avoid the crowd; they won’t tell you that he knew all the venues were above capacity, they won’t tell you that he insisted on awarding this contract to Drexel Technologies LTD, a

company that hasn’t filed returns since 1994, a company that benefited at least N693m from this exercise and that has ties to the minister himself. Instead, they will write in the papers and claim we are sponsored by the opposition. That we are trying to stir up trouble. What they won’t tell you is the hours we spent sending emails, DMs and SMS organising what time and date worked for most. They won’t tell you of the hours spent under the sun arguing about price, watching carpenters build coffins from scratch in Kugbo. They won’t tell you that we are just Nigerians who only want the rule of law to be applied. And we don’t ask for much: the prosecution of the Minister of Interior Mr. Abba Moro for murder. They won’t tell you that P.A donated 1000, J.O donated 12000 and a further 30000. They won’t tell you that M.Y donated 10000, F.H donated 5500, K.A, M.A donated 1000, Q.A donated 1000, S.A donated 1000, A.M donated 10000, A.S donated 3000, D,O donated 1000, S.B donated 1000, J.A 1000 and

we are still raising money for next week’s protest. They won’t tell you we spent 7000 last week on paint, 2000 on transportation, 60000 on coffins (6000 per coffin), 5000 for transport (from town to Kugbo twice) and 4500 to deliver the coffins to Moro’s place, 7000 on two buckets of paint (oil and emulsion) or that we took our lunch hour and sacrificed personal time to make this happen. They also won’t tell you that we aren’t doing this just for those who died or got injured. Only the protesters can tell you why we did this, and why we won’t stop until we get justice. We are doing this because on 15th of March it wasn’t us but on the next recruitment exercise, it could be any one of us. We are doing this because we want to live in a just and equitable society and we can’t achieve that until government stops rewarding the greedy and incompetent. We are protesting to remind you that 17 people died because of the greed of a few. And we should all stand up until justice is served.

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At last, I’m going back to my roots Journalist Edel Meremikwu has done what many of us dream of – relocated to Nigeria. Here, in the first of what will be regular despatches about her new life in Lagos, she explains why she made the big leap


o, you want to move back to Nigeria?” These were my father’s exact words to me when I told him that I wanted to return home. His voice sounded normal but his response was uncertain. He said, “Are you sure you can live in Nigeria? It’s not a holiday.” “Yes, Daddy, I am sure,” I replied. As a journalist and editor I have always been a free-thinker, nononsense, break-the-rules wanderer, believer and traveller. If I took a new job in London it would have been a horizontal move, one that brought me centre stage with more shops and boutiques in which to squander my money. I knew deeply that any move at this stage in my career had to be a vertical move, almost like a quantum leap of faith, because I knew that I needed much more than just a bigger paycheck every month. I needed a fresh start and a new challenge. These were my reasons. I wanted to break the norm and try what seemed impossible.

I QUIt So, a few weeks ago I quit London in search of greener pastures, a more certain weather forecast and less grey

thoughts. This was not an easy overnight decision; this was a twoyear-long-suffering-what-shall-I-donext type of decision. Now before you say here we go again another returnee story, please hear me out. I love London, it’s a world class city and tourist destination and one of the best places to live, visit, shop and dine out. Truly, there is nowhere in the world like it, every corner of the globe can be found in London and at night the South Bank is one of the most beautiful places in the world. However, if like me you have lived here all your life, you will know when it’s time for something completely new. I guess you could say that I was just tired of the system of London, or in other words the rat race. This rat had become a one legged rat, hopping

half-heartily from one day to the next. I was desperately in need of a change of environment. I knew I wanted to live and work back home.

SWItChINg lANES So one rainy forgotten day last year, whilst wondering “what if” I had a light bulb moment when driving back from Sainsbury’s after an interesting conversation with an elderly cashier, who had told me to travel the world. She made me realise that with all due respect to people who work long term in one place, they are not dedicated staff members, they are people who had decided not to take risks and do something different in life. I shuddered at the thought. Refusing to let that to be my fate in London I made up my mind that I must do what I love or die trying.

I slowly began to realise that those that had left these shores for warmer climates and different lifestyles did not as my father liked to say “have three heads”. So, with the mantra that “if you have tried you have not failed” firmly planted in my head, I decided enough was enough, somehow, some way, I must try to live and work in Nigeria. I began quietly to work hard to prepare for a change that I knew in my heart had to take place lest I perish an unfulfilled and poor intellectual in this cold place. I became something of a door-todoor sales woman, downsizing big time, giving clothes to charity, friends and relatives and selling some of my assets on eBay. I stopped driving and even sold my beloved Audi A3 in preparation for what was to become one of the most exciting phases of my life so far. Looking back, clearing my house and getting rid of some of the stuff I had acquired over the years lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and somehow helped me to focus on relocating somewhere new. I was applying for jobs in Nigeria, France, Dubai and the US for a year. 2013 ended but my hopes and dreams did not. At the start of this year I got

a phone call about a job I had applied for in Nigeria. Overwhelmed, I accepted the offer, which was almost too good to be true. At the back of my mind I considered perhaps taking sabbatical leave as a safety net, as it dawned on me that I did not have a Plan B. This was the logical thing to do. I mean what the heck was I going to do if it didn’t work out? Well honestly I did not know, but I didn’t want to have a Plan B either because I knew secretly that it would sabotage my Plan A; I would always feel I could potentially back out. Looking back it was a huge emotional rollercoaster of a decision to make but when I finally embraced it and signed on the dotted line, I knew I had to make it work. As I write this now, I am sitting on the terrace of a beautiful restaurant nearby my office, sipping an ice cold Chapmans drink. I realise that in taking this leap of faith, if nothing else it has made me stronger and taught me not be afraid even when the stakes are high. Like the ancient Chinese proverb says, “the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”. So here I am. I have taken the first step.

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NIGERIAN WATCH 11-24 Apr 2014


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Ekanem Robertson is co-presenter of The Woman TV Show on Ben TV. Write to

ER with the eagle eye

DoMEStIC VIolENCE IS All oUr BUSINESS This article is about domestic violence and abuse. The victims of this phenomenon are predominantly women. For the record, I acknowledge that men are sometimes unexpected victims and children suffer too, either directly or vicariously. However, the traditional image of domestic violence is that of man-on-woman and that is the focus here and, for brevity, reference to domestic violence shall include domestic abuse and vice versa. The home to which many women return on a daily basis is more like a battleground, rather than a loving refuge. I have a close relative who suffered domestic violence for many years. When I look back, I remember that I did not like her husband from the moment I first set eyes on him, but he was her choice! The relationship started well enough but deteriorated rapidly. She was regularly beaten and verbally abused by him in the presence of their children. I remember her telling me how anything could spark the violence. She had no control over what happened to her daily; women living with domestic violence often say that their lives are not their own. Their relationship spiralled from her being beaten up, going to the hospital, reporting the situation to the police, logging the complaint and then returning home again, only for the cycle to start all over again. And it was not just the physical violence; there was also a lot of psychological ill-treatment, which, on top of the physical injuries, finally caused her to suffer from acute depression. This story gives you my personal brush with domestic violence. While researching this article, I wondered about the nature and frequency of domestic violence in the wider Nigerian community in London. So, I spoke to a Nigerian social worker and she told me that of the 20 black and ethnic mi-

nority cases that she was dealing with currently, 10 of the cases involved Nigerians and all of them involved domestic violence. If this is an indication of the experience of other social workers in London, there is much work to be done. Last month (March 2014), saw the publication of a major report on the police response to domestic violence in England and Wales. The report entitled Everyone’s Business: Improving the Police Response to Domestic Abuse is indeed timely, and it signposts a new push by the establishment to tackle what has become universally acknowledged as a blight on our society. According to the report, “On average the police receive an emergency call relating to domestic abuse every 30 seconds.” So, how did we get here? Well, all of the blame has been put at the doorstep of the police by stakeholders; victims of domestic violence, their helpers in voluntary and community organisations and members of the general public. They have, over the years admonished the police for paying only lip service to the need to curb this menace and for treating domestic violence like a second rate crime, not worthy of their time. Now, in this HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) report, which was commissioned by the Home Secretary, the police have manned-up. They concede that, “The overall police response to victims of domestic abuse is not good enough.” The report also contains recommendations which will help the police focus more on improving outcomes for the victims. There is a caveat, however. The report insists that if we are to see a significant reduction in domestic violence cases and an improvement in the effective protection of victims, the responsibility must be shared with all other stakeholders in society. This thinking is reflected in the choice of title for the report, Everybody’s Business.

In line with this all-hands-on-deck approach, I would like to suggest a few ways in which we, women, can help ourselves. I do not want to concentrate on the blame game, I want to look at what we can do – as women, as a group and individually – to help ourselves. In the first instance, I think that women have a certain amount of control over the type of men that they allow into their vicinity and their lives. We have to exercise this power more intuitively. While listening to an episode of the Oscar Pistorius case, one of the pieces of evidence that leapt out at me, was the fact that Reeva Steenkamp (the

This is for the court to decide. All I am saying is that it is clear from Reeva’s own words that she was aware that she was in a stormy and sometimes even scary relationship, but she held on to it. Enough said, as the case continues. Ladies, let the truth be told. When you first start going out with a new man it is important to be vigilant and remain vigilant before making a final commitment. Most women, who are abused by their partners, will tell you that, in truth, when they look back, the signs were there. They simply ignored them. Please do not ignore things that you see or make you feel uncomfortable. Talk to

“It is clear from Reeva’s own words that she was in a stormy, sometimes scary relationship” girlfriend he is accused of murdering) had sent him a WhatsApp message in which she said to him, “I’m scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and of how you will react to me. You make me happy ninety percent of the time and I think we are amazing together.” It occurred to me that Oscar Pistorius had revealed important traits in his personality with which she was not too comfortable, i.e the 10%. Sometimes that’s all it takes for a tragic end, just 10%, or less. The case in court is to determine whether Mr Pistorius’ shooting of his girlfriend was premeditated.

someone else about it if you are not sure. It is possible that your view is clouded by what you feel for him. If you speak to him about his actions, he may just convince you that it was a mistake, or that he was too drunk at the time or he really did not mean it and, pricelessly, that he does these things because he loves you so much!!! Generally speaking, abusers know exactly what they are doing and are usually ace manipulators. I know it is often not easy to take a step back. Often, with the biological clock ticking loudly, women are drawn in to dodgy

relationships, like the proverbial moth to the flame. So ladies, what signs should we look for? These men may be irritable and some show clear signs of aggression. Pay attention to the way that he handles other people; if he treats them badly then do not ever think that he will not do the same to you, just because he says he ‘loves you’ or because he buys you gifts and makes you laugh. It is just a matter of time before he will treat you the same way. Take note immediately. This man is unconsciously ‘leaking’ out warning signs for you to see. Do not ignore them. How many times have you heard a woman say, “I thought he would change.” Forget it. He may NEVER change, or at least not in time for you. I am sure that you have heard the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” There is a saying that is even more apt for this subject matter, “When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them!” My father used to ask me when I was growing up how many times I had to experience something before I would learn the lesson. I realised then that once was enough. But I have lived long enough now to realise that it is even wiser to learn from other people’s experiences. In the second instance, we have those of you who are already in abusive relationships; you must seek help. You too, can do with a measure of selfhelp. For example, please read the HMIC Report and keep yourselves informed of developments and new interventions that you can tap into to help you escape the cycle of abuse. I hope the promise of the HMIC Report and renewed commitment from all stakeholders will take us to a time when domestic violence becomes the exception rather than the norm. To read the HMIC report visit

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NIGERIAN WATCH 11-24 Apr 2014


The Fortnight What to see and do over the next 14 days...

Take your spring style to the next level with clever styling and a nononsense approach; effortless chic is always great for this time of the year. Our picks for this fortnight are both essential and purse friendly


White tee Get some extra use of your basic white tee by styling it with your favourite off-duty attire, denim. Or spruce up a clean white flawless tee shirt by pairing with luxe pieces for that laid -back-butpolished sophisticated appearance. If your wardrobe is lacking this indispensable item of clothing this is the opportunity to pick the perfect one. Buy the best quality that you can afford because it is as timeless as life itself. The trick is to go for the right cut for your body shape. Think unadulterated cotton in a cut that shows off your best assets. Mesh This 80s wonder is enjoying a renaissance as a layering piece this season; creative crochet-like items offer a modern update on grandma’s talent. From dresses to accessories mesh will be offering an airy option to your summer style. Wear layered now to keep the look fresh out of the park, or pick up a co-ord pair for a dedicated nod to the trend. A mesh skirt lined in a contrasting fabric speaks serious fashion cred. Handbags, shoes and even hats are appearing on the streets, paying homage to this tricky trend.

Courtney Pine

I want to work in Africa

International jazz legend Courtney Pine CBE makes his annual visit to harrow Arts Centre. Bringing together musicians from Africa, the Caribbean and Europe, you can expect vibrant exchanges and an exhilarating mix of Meringue, Ska, Mento and Calypso. Harrow Arts Centre, Fri 25 Apr, 8pm, £18

Frances William’s book I Want to Work in Africa will be launched with stories of enterprise, creativity and commercial success. Following the remarkable turnaround in the Africa story, the author and panel will ask what this means for people with an interest in working in this most exciting and diverse continent. many different types and meanings of hairstyles worn by Nigerian women.


Images of Black Women Film Festival The pioneering film festival, which promotes race and gender equality both in front and behind the camera, returns with a fantastic line-up for its 10th anniversary. Deported

This documentary explores the controversial issue of what happens to deportees from Canada and the US who are forcibly returned home to their homeland Haiti, an issue currently affecting migrants in the UK. Followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker Laurence Magloire and Jacqueline Mckenzie from Hibiscus Initiatives, an organisation that supports deported migrants in the UK and abroad.

Royal Festival Hall, Until Sun 27Apr, FREE

and societal pressures and how it continues despite being illegal in the UK.

Sat 12 & Sun 13 Apr, at 3pm and 2.30pm respectively Tricycle Cinema

Life will not give you what you deserve but rather what you demand. Making satisfactory progress in life, comes by a determined press, for everything remains at a state of rest until a force is applied. That is why Jesus said in Matthew 11:12; “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Life is a forceful adventure and faith is a fight. Paul told timothy in 1Timothy 6:12; “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…” To get to the top and remain there, you must be determined to do what is demanded. I always say give life what it takes and not what you have got. There is a blessing in front of

you, there is a promised land ahead of you. But just like in the bible days every promised land has giants and only the fearless and determined will eventually inherit the land. An interesting story in Deuteronomy 2:24 says; “Rise, take your journey, and cross over the River Arnon. Look, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to possess it, and engage him in battle.” Though the land was given to them by God they still needed to fight for it before they could possess the land. fAIth IS Not PASSIVE

Waiting for a breakthrough in any area of your life or endeavour is an exercise in futility. God will move on the behalf of those who move in

Join DJ Afrodeesia for some seriously danceable tunes from Nigeria, Ghana and Ethiopia. CCA Glasgow, 19 Apr, 8pm KIDS

Hairstyles and Headdresses

Digital Ghosts/Children Of The Revolution

This is the first UK exhibition by renowned Nigerian photographer

J.D. Okhai Ojeikere. The Hairstyles series began in 1968, driven by a desire to document the


Super Africaine


the Cruel Cut

This film is a passionate and exuberant exploration of the complex world of Female Genital Mutilation that gives an insight into the cultural


determination to lay hold on their dreams. Many times in the bible Jesus commended the desperation and forceful efforts of men and women as faith. So faith is a violent, aggressive force not a passive, laidback, pitiable attempt at your pursuits in life. So if you really believe in your dreams, then arise and take it by force as you go forth and prosper. For Prayers and Counselling You can contact Rev. Craig Isa at The Citizens of Heaven (The Ark) Scintilla – Km 20, Lekki-Epe Expressway. Between Chevron & Oluwaninsola Estate, (Eleganza) Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria E-mail: Phone: +234(0)8091110893

Children take centre stage in these stage productions. Do we actually communicate? Digital Ghosts asks whether, deep own, for all our technological progress, are we ok? Children of the Revolution imagines a world in which young people take control and being old enough to vote is bad for your health. It takes tongue-in-cheek look at the Generation Gap, media stereotyping and the revolution we never had. Southwark Playhouse, 16-19 Apr, 7.30pm, Age 16+, £6

Circus Family Workshop Have fun tumbling, flying, swinging and spinning with your children

SOAS, Wed 23 Apr, 6-8pm, FREE

The Pan-African History of Basil Davidson: Episode 3 ‘Caravans of Gold’ Co-produced by the Nigerian Television Authority, this award-winning series first aired 30 years ago. In this third episode, Basil Davidson re-traces the network of

long-distance routes of Africa’s gold trade and looks at how kingdoms changed as a result of trade and cultural exchanges. The screening is followed by a Q&A.

SOAS, Tue 29 Apr, 7-9pm, FREE

Wole Soyinka @ 80 Marking his 80th birthday, Soyinka joins editor and critic Margaret Busby to reflect on his large body of work and the relationship between culture and politics, exploring how literature and the arts speak to the contemporary African experience. This event also marks the launch of Essays in Honour of Wole Soyinka at 80 edited by Ivor AgyemanDuah and Ogochukwu Promise. The British Library, Thu 8 May, 6.30-8.30pm, £10

Bringing good food closer to you


Cafe and African Restaurant

Famous Tuwo / Amala Abula Spot

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285 – 287 Heathway Dagenham RM9 5AQ TELPHONE: 0208 984 8141 Opening hours Sunday – Saturday 11:00am – 9pm

in this family workshop led by Vicki Amedume, Artistic Director of Upswing.

The Albany, Sun 27 Apr, 12pm & 2.30pm, Age 3+, £14

Tasty Authentic West African Flavours at Affordable Prices



NIGERIAN WATCH 11-24 Apr 2014

w w w. a f r o - h i t s . c o m

gAllArDo – rUNtoWN ft DAVIDo this new offering from Penthauze records is set to cause a stampede on the dance floors. With a sombre yet pulsating production style, accompanied by a dark but vibrant video, Gallardo does justice to its name, extolling the virtues of the lamborghini car of its title. With Mr Peters on director duties this video shows runtown to definitely be an artist to watch, especially as he’s on the same label as Phyno of Parcel fame and these guys ain’t known for doing things by halves. Just check the roll call. Slick visuals – check. hot ladies as extras – check. Brilliant production – check. great vocals – check. What more do you want? Check it out on the Afrohits Charts.

AfrohItS ChArt 1 Magic System ft Chawki - Magic In the Air 2 fuse oDg - Million Pound girl (Badder than Bad) 3 Kcee ft Wizkid - Pull over 4 tiwa Savage ft Don Jazzy - Eminado 5 Iyanya - le Kwa Ukwu 6 os Detroia - Bela 7 timaya - Ukwu 8 Kcee - hakuna Matata 9 olamide - Anifowose 10 r2bees love 11 Uhuru ft Dj Buckz, oskido, Professor And Uri-Da-Cunha y -tjukutja 12 olamide - Sitting on the throne 13 Shatta Wale - gal Wuk It 14 runtown ft Davido - gallardo 15 DJ Clock ft Beatenberg - Pluto (remember you) 16 Sneakbo ft l Marshall - her Name 17 goldie ft J Martins - give It to Me 18 Dee Moneey ft Sarkodie & J town finish line 19 May D ft Davido - Ur Eyes 20 Castro ft (Asamoah gyan) & Kofi Kinaata - odo Pa

BEAUTYWATCH by Funmi Odegbami

New beauty discoveries

This has been a truly interesting week for me full of new product discoveries, and I could not wait to tell you all about it. First off I went to a MAC makeup masterclass – I haven’t been to one of those in about four years – and learnt about some of their lush new products, well new to me. I coloured my hair with organic henna that I ordered from Amazon; I confess that I am a true Amazon addict; I tried out two new products for my hair and achieved some great results. And I held a fun makeup masterclass at MiNK London HQ, where my students and I had an interesting discussion about eyes and eye care. So I do have a lot to share with you in this edition of Beauty Watch, so please bear with me. MAC MAKEUP DISCoVErIES We have all heard about blot powders and most of us will have used one at some point in our lives. However I have just discovered that in addition to providing essential shine control, MAC’s blot powder also sets foundation like a dream and because it doesn’t contain any talc you do not get a cakey build up of product on your face regardless of how often you top up. The blot powder contains Mica and Silica to absorb excess oils and reduce shine on the skin’s surface. If you are a studio fix girl this is also perfect for touching up your studio fix powder throughout the day. If you already knew this, then please excuse me for stating the obvious but this was a completely new discovery for me. MACADAMIA oIl Having a product that’s nearly perfect and versatile is hard to come by. macadamia oil is one. First off, macadamia oil is highly nutritious and it contains a very high amount of Palmitoleic acid (an omega 7 fatty acid), which is what helps skin stay young looking. It is nongreasy and lightweight, and absorbs into the hair easily instead of it causing build up or residue. Macadamia oil, compared to other oils like flaxseed, coconut oil, sunflower and olive, is the premium oil in comparison. This and argan oils are the best oils of choice for your hair. Your hair will experience wonderful results. I know that mine has. PUrE orgANIC hENNA Henna is a reddish-brown dye made from the powdered leaves of a tropical

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shrub, used to colour the hair and decorate the body. However henna is also a hair growth remedy and it has many

properties that benefit natural hair. Henna won’t stop damaged hair from breaking or splitting. It will not mend split ends – nothing will. Henna will, however, fortify your strands, reduce breakage and prevent the damage that causes split ends in the first place. It mimics a protein treatment which is why you must use a moisturising conditioner immediately following a henna application to keep your hair soft and pliable. ShEA BUttEr Shea butter restores moisture and softness to thirsty tresses from the root to the tip. It is even beneficial for dry, itchy

scalp. Shea butter has also been known to tame and “clump” curls, as well as reduce frizz – so it’s a natural pomade! It will also protect your hair from damage due to the weather, dryness and

brittleness. Having recently discovered shea butter, I have also started to use the stuff on my natural hair. It is one of the few products that help to keep the hair on my head soft. AlBA BotANICA KUKUI NUt orgANIC hAWAIIAN BoDy oIl No matter what time of the year it is, keeping your skin properly moisturised can be difficult. In the winter, the lack of humidity and cold air causes your skin to get a little dry, while in the summer extra exposure to the sun leaves your skin in need of more hydration. My new favourite body oil at the moment is Alba Botanica Kukui Nut Organic Hawaiian Body Oil. Made from Kukui nut, this body oil is high in essential fatty acids, and works its magic to nourish, hydrate and protect skin from moisture loss. Sweet almond, coconut, flaxseed and sunflower oils douse skin in silky perfection and leave your skin smelling divine. Best of all it is all natural with no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or artificial colours. You have to try it to believe it and I love it. VIVA glAM rIhANNA lIPStICK I’m not one to jump on the band wagon of a celebrity endorsed product; however I have to say that Rihanna's new blue-red VIVA Glam lipstick with a frost finish is pretty awesome. What do I like about it? It looks expensive! It must be the tiny gold flecks in the lipstick, but there is something really chic about this offering. It’s a limited edition product so make sure you get your hands on it while it is still available.

Mrs O’s food odyssey

How to keep an African man happy Pepper soup, that most delightful of dishes capable of fighting off any cold, aches and pains, tiredness or just any bland, English rainy day… the possibilities are endless and a steamy, hot bowl of pepper soup is sure to keep any Nigerian man very happy indeed! Isn't it strange therefore that I had never so much as attempted to make pepper soup before? The unfamiliar ingredients, the unusual scents… Time therefore to grab the bull by the horns and throw myself in the deep end. Like Jollof rice, pepper soup comes in many varieties, comprising local spices and herbs depending on your tribe. It can be made with fish, beef, chicken, goat, offal, anything that tickles your man’s fancy, really. For those of you unfamiliar with some of the ingredients, here is my lowdown on the key ones: Pepper soup mix The main ingredient that gives the soup its distinctive flavour is of course pepper soup mix, which most shops sell ready-to-use. While it is possible to grind your own spice, I struggled to find information on some of the ingredients, let alone finding

them in a shop (aziza and ahuru seeds for example). herbs and spices ground Uda seed: a pungent and aromatic spice with a bitternutty taste. The seeds grow inside pods on the ‘peppertree’, an evergreen in West Africa. Uda seeds can be substituted by a mixture of half pepper / half nutmeg. Utazi: a bitter-tasting pale green leaf that should only ever be used sparingly. It can be used as a substitute for bitter leaves. Uziza: West African pepper from climbing vines native to central and West Africa. It gives the soup heat and a spicy, pungent aroma. Plus Pepper seed, Knorr powder, aziza and ahuru seeds Uziza leaves These are the glossy leaves from the climbing vines that also give us uziza seeds. The leaves have a spicy scent and a wonderful aroma.

Join me on my journey and if you have any suggestions for dishes that I should try then email me on

I am a fan of crispy skin but otherwise prefer fish without the skin. I have incorporated this in the recipe below, perhaps ‘westernising’ it a little, but if you prefer to leave the skin on then just leave the fish in the pot.



200g yam 1 large onion, chopped 1 tbsp. oil 1 Tilapia (or other firm flesh fish; Sea Bream, Red Snapper, Catfish) 1 tbsp. pepper soup spice mix

1 Scotch Bonnet pepper, finely chopped or 1 tbsp. dried African hot pepper 500 ml water 1-2 Knorr stock cubes 1 tbsp. dried uziza leaves 1 tbsp. ground crayfish Salt to taste

Cooking Instructions

1 First, slice, peel and cut the yam into large chunks. Bring them to a boil in a pot with a little salt until cooked. This should take 15 minutes or so. Drain and set aside. 2 In another pot, heat the oil and soften the onions for 5 minutes on a low heat. 3 In the meantime, wash and cut the fish into steak-like chunks of about 1” wide. Add to the softened onions, together with the water and Knorr stock cubes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the fish is cooked. With a slotted spoon, take the fish out and remove the skin. Set aside. 4 Add the pepper soup mix, chopped Scotch Bonnet (or dried African pepper), and ground crayfish to the liquid and cook for a further 5 minutes. 5 Then add the uziza leaves, boiled yam and cooked fish and heat through for another five minutes before serving.

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Emmanuel Osamudiamen Idahor describes his decision to come to a British university after high school in Nigeria



fter I finished high school, I knew what I wanted from myself and what I really wanted to study but I didn’t know where I was going to get it. I knew I was going to study engineering but I didn’t know where I wanted to study it. This became very confusing. There are so many countries and universities where you can get the best education, but it’s not about the best but about the level of being the best which now became a matter of choice for me. As we all know engineering degrees are always completed in 5 years in most countries but in the United Kingdom it’s all done in about 3 years (without foundation) or 4 years (with foundation). Why study for 5 years when I can get the same degree in three or four years? So I opted for the UK. We all know there are lots of good universities in the United kingdom but I had to look at certain criteria; 1 I needed a university close to london. It’s definitely one of the greatest cities in the world with great cultural diversity. 2 I didn’t want to attend a university in london because it’s really busy and you have rush hour every morning. It isn’t really my way of life. 3 A university among the top 20 universities in the UK. 4 A top modern university and among the top 15 in engineering.

I looked nowhere else than the University of Hertfordshire. It has everything I needed and I didn’t think twice in making my decision. Admission application was quite fast and easy and on arriving in the UK it was like a dream come true, a very beautiful environment with world-class facilities and structures. I’m majoring in Digital Communications and Electronics Engineering and am loving every bit of it. The average class size is 20 students

Study Law at the University of Reading and it’s not just learning theoretically, you learn practically. The students are really friendly, irrespective of their nationality. I love football, so I wanted to see the football pitch and as I expected it was awesome and of course we have varieties of football pitches. The social life is not something to be over emphasised. We have the University Forum, which is a lovely place to relax and have fun every day, or you could take a train or bus down to London. Like I said, a lot of options to pick from. I’m still enjoying every bit of my stay here. You should come find out for yourself. You won’t regret it. I hope students who are graduating from high school all over the world would want to come here and study at the University of Hertfordshire. Don’t think too much, make your decision now. I was in your shoes and I have already done the thinking. You would love it here – just the way myself and every other student from other countries do and have done. I really do hope to see you soon studying with us. Come join us, you won’t regret it. Emmanuel Osamudiamen Idahor is an international student from Nigeria, studying at the University of Hertfordshire. He is currently studying B(Eng) Digital Communications and Electronics Engineering.

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NIGERIAN WATCH 14-27 Mar 2014




TEAM AFRICA TAKE LEAD INTO SAN FRANCISCO Invest Africa has taken the lead in race 10 of the round the World Clipper challenge, heading to the San francisco finish line at the time of going to press. Invest Africa are just ahead of their nearest rivals, great Britain, with both teams expected to cross the line under the golden gate Bridge within hours of one another. In their best performance so far in the Clipper 2013-14 race, will it be third time lucky

for the African sponsored entry as the team vies for their third podium position? Skipper rich gould says; “All eyes are now on the weather forecast, which predicts that the wind is expected to decrease to almost nothing, for now the weather is holding out, and we’re keeping up good speed.” Watch the race unfold on the Clipper round the World website race viewer;

A young Nigerian football prodigy is at the centre of the storm that has resulted in Barcelona being banned by FIFA from signing any players for next season after being found guilty of repeatedly breaching transfer regulations. The heavy sanction, which covers the summer and January transfer windows, followed an investigation into the Spanish champion’s signing of players under the age of 18 from 2009-13.

The origins of the ban can be traced back to the improper signing of 10 players, including Nigeria’s Bobby Adekanye, whose parents live in the Netherlands. FIFA only sanction international youth transfers if the player’s parents have moved country for their own, non-related reasons; the move happens within the European Union and the player is aged 16-18; or the player’s home is less than 50km from the national border crossing. Adekanye, aged 15, who has reputedly received mentoring from Lionel Messi and is

considered a footballing prodigy, has also been banned from taking part in competitive games along with several of the other young signings involved in the investigation

since February 2013. He is currently training with his team mates at La Masia (Barcelona’s youth academy). Barcelona have 90 days to ‘regularise the situation of all

10 minor players concerned’. What this implies for Adekanye’s future in Spain remains to be seen as the club are expected to appeal against the decision.


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NIGERIAN WATCH 15-28 Feb 2014

SPORT WATCH April 11th - 24th 2014



“SEE THE HUNGER” The hunt to find young Nigerian footballers to contest the first-ever U-15 African Nations Cup UK drew a staggering 150 players from across the UK to the trials at the Meridian Sports and Social Club in Charlton over the weekend (April 5 and 6). “See the hunger to represent their country,”

By AJ JAMES declared a delighted head coach David Doherty. “There are so many talents here, some have come from academies in Manchester and Birmingham. “This is why Nigeria should be engaging with

us at grassroots level. This is where the strength is, where the future is. They should be looking at how they can support these people.” Of the 150 who turned up at the trials only 24 will be selected to contest the Cup. The lucky ones will get to represent the U-15 Super Eagles UK in a number of friendlies, before entering

the cup run. Eight countries will compete for the inaugural U-15 African Nations Cup UK title; Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Morocco, Kenya, Zanzibar Island and Gambia. And the final will be staged in May at Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road stadium.

Read the Edel Watch column on p15. Apr 11th 2014,Issue 27, UK Edition  

Nigerian Watch is a free, bi-monthly newspaper for the Nigerian community in the UK and the Diaspora. It is the largest African publication...

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