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African Development Magazine



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40 Americans traced ancestral roots to Nigeria, take new Igbo names

Forty students and faculty members from Morehouse College Glee Club in Atlanta, United States of America, USA, on Wednesday, took Igbo names and declared their ancestry to the Igbos of South East Nigeria.

Some of the students disclosed that they traced their Igbo ancestral roots through DNA tests conducted on them.

While performing the Igbo-name-giving ceremony at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, the traditional ruler of Ibagwa-Aka community in Igbo-Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State, HRH, Igwe Hyacinth Eze, expressed happiness over the reunion of the Igbo-Americans with their ancestral brothers.

The monarch said he was also happy because of the spiritual, cultural and economic exchanges which would happen as a result of the reunion, adding that he is willing to provide lands for those are willing to live in his community.

Also, while speaking during the ceremony, the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo,  Enugu State chapter, Prof. Fredrick Eze, said the reunion would help in the development of Igbo communities.

However, the Public Affairs Officer, United States Consulate General, Lagos, Stephen Ibelli, said the Club came to Nigeria to mark the 50th anniversary of its first visit in Nigeria in 1972.

He equally explained that the Club would tour Abuja, Enugu and Lagos States to strengthen US-Nigeria cultural ties through music, arts and film.

“The Morehouse College Glee Club, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first tour in Nigeria, will offer public concerts in Lagos, Abuja and Enugu. In addition, the group will visit universities and high schools, meet Nigerian students, and explore their historical ties to Nigeria.

“The 1972 visit to Nigeria infused African music into the Glee Club’s tradition and American Choral music in general. Fifty years later, choirs across the United States sing in Nigerian languages, highlighting the long-term impact of that exchange.  The Morehouse College Glee Club has since learned a variety of songs in Edo, Yorùbá, Hausa, and Igbo, including a piece specifically composed for them by Igwe Laz Ekwueme, famed Nollywood actor and University of Lagos professor.

“During the visit, the Morehouse College Glee Club will carry out a dynamic exchange of musical knowledge with the broad spectrum of the Nigerian society, singing in Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba languages,” the statement made available to Saturday Vanguard by Ibelli revealed.

U.S. Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard noted that the visit will strengthen the longstanding ties between American and Nigerian institutions of higher learning, and further expand the scope of academic and cultural relations between the United States and Nigeria.

“Cultural exchanges such as the  visit of the Morehouse College Glee Club will help contribute to strengthening the bonds of friendship and collaboration through music and arts, offering an opportunity for Nigerian students to learn about academic experiences in the United States,” Ambassador Leonard added.

Many of the student members of the Morehouse College Glee Club described their visit as an opportunity to connect with their African roots.

“I love the culture of Nigeria,” 19-year-old Schneider Grandpierre, a junior third-year student studying Music and Computer Science at the Morehouse College said of the trip.  “It is  such an enriching and amazing experience to be able to reconnect with our cultural roots and sing Nigerian music in different languages. I look forward to an extended stay here even after this tour.”

Expressing his excitement about the visit, 23-year-old John Batey, a Business Administration major and tenor singer for the choral group said he has been able to trace his roots to Nigeria through a DNA test. “We will be exploring the Nigerian creative and entertainment industry. I am excited about the  tour,” Batey said of the trip.

Director of the Morehouse College Glee Club, Professor David Morrow, explained that the choral group will perform a repertoire of African and American songs particularly African-American spirituals which have roots in West African music traditions.

Professor Morrow noted that the Morehouse College Glee Club is rooted in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s legacy. Dr. King who sang in the Morehouse College Glee Club was one of the notable alumni of the Historically Black College in the United States.

Some of the Igbo names given to the Igbo-Americans include: Ezuomike, Ogalanya, Odenigwe, Anyim, Ifeanyi among others.


Source: Vanguard

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Looming health crisis in Horn of Africa as food insecurity worsens- WHO

WHO is scaling up its operations in eastern Africa as the region faces acute food insecurity caused by conflict, extreme weather events – including the worst drought in 40 years – induced by climate change, rising international food and fuel prices and the impact of the pandemic.

Over 80 million people in the eastern African region are food insecure and resorting to desperate measures to feed themselves and their families. Acute malnutrition is high, especially among children.

While the clear priority is to prevent people from starving, we must simultaneously strengthen our health response to prevent disease and save lives

As malnutrition increases, the health needs in the region are mounting, especially among children, and clean water is becoming scarce. As people leave their homes in search of food, they can no longer access health services, and become more at risk from disease outbreaks.

“The cost of inaction is high,” said Dr Ibrahima Socé Fall, WHO Assistant Director-General for Emergency Response.  “While the clear priority is to prevent people from starving, we must simultaneously strengthen our health response to prevent disease and save lives. Even one life lost from a vaccine-preventable disease, diarrhoea, or medical complications from malnutrition in today’s world is one life too many.”

Dr Fall was speaking in Nairobi where WHO convened a two-day meeting [26-27 June 2022] to plan its response across the seven countries affected by the health emergency – Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda – and coordinate with other UN agencies and partners.

WHO’s emergency response is focused on ensuring affected populations can access essential health services, treating sick children with severe malnutrition, and preventing, detecting and responding to infectious disease outbreaks.

WHO is setting up a hub in Nairobi, from where it will coordinate the response and organize the delivery of life-saving medical supplies to where they are needed most.  These supplies include medicines, vaccines, as well the medicines and equipment needed to treat children who are severely malnourished. Other than providing these critical supplies, WHO is working with ministries of health in the affected countries to set up robust disease surveillance systems to be able to quickly detect and respond to disease outbreaks.

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FIBAN Thanks Gov. Makinde Over Olalomi’s Appointment

The leadership of the Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN) Oyo State Chapter has expressed its gratitude to the executive governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde over the appointment of one of them; the ace broadcaster, Alhaji Olobe Amole Olalomi, as First Commissioner/Board Member of the Local Government Service Commission.

This was contained in a statement issued and signed by the Chairman of the body,  Comrade Seun Awodele and made available to newsmen where FIBAN described the gesture as a good development considering the significant role broadcasters had played in entrenching the democratic system of government in Oyo State and Nigeria as a whole.

Awodele also extended his appreciation to the former Speaker in the state, Senator Monsura Sumonu for her caring disposition to Oyo FIBAN and the motherly interceding role she’s been playing for its members.

“I want to use this medium to appreciate our governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde for considering one of us, Alh. Olalomi Amole, is worthy of important responsibility in his cabinet, hence I am conveying our gratitude to our Patroness too, Senator Monsurat Sumonun for her motherly role.

Speaking in the same vein, some of notable and elders of the association which include Bashorun Gboyega Lawal, Mogaji Kola Olootu, Yemi Sonde, Akinboade Ologbojo have all on behalf of FIBAN thanked the Governor for his good gesture the broadcaster saying the appointee will not let the government down.

The newly-appointed first Commissioner, LG Service Commission, Olalomi Amole, is a renowned AOP with over four decades practicing experience and a former Chairman of the Oyo State chapter of Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN).

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Sports News: Expert Sensitizes Golfers On Importance of Spa To Golfing

An expert, Catherine Anifowose, expert in body-wellness and CEO of Fiefie Spa has emphasized the importance of spa as a performance enhancer and a key to the wellness of a golfer.

Anifowose who partnered with the prestigious Ibadan Golf Club (IGC) during its recently held Captain Inaugural Tournament disclosed this while addressing golfers during a sensitization session organized on the first and arrival day of the event.

While speaking during the session, the esthetician described golf as a beautiful game noting that, as beautiful as golf is, it’s also a very strenuous game as well as a game that affects the whole part of the body, and as we know the body.

“The words spa and wellness tend to be interchangeable and their use varies from country to country. Spa refers to the wide range of facilities that can be enjoyed by individuals looking for a relaxing, stress-relieving, invigorating or feel-good experience.

“And contrary to popular belief, golf is very physically demanding. An effective golf swing requires strength, stability, explosive power, flexibility, and athletic ability to perform a movement that produces some of the fastest club head and ball speeds, so taking a spa for golfers is often encouraged.

“As we all know golf is a beautiful game but as beautiful as it is it’s a very strenuous game as well is a game that affect whole part of the body and as we know the body is supposed to be rejuvenated and relaxed, but when the body is not in that state you can’t give the best for your game.

“But Fiefie spa is here to give relaxation to your body after each game you play, we sets your feet, we sets your shoulder and feat your arm because after each game there are so many injuries incurred and most of these players don’t know and that was why we oganised a sensitization session on the arrival day where we let them understand that their body might be in danger even though they’re enjoying their game, so inculcating the spar into golfing is a very important thing”, said Anifowose.

When asked how often can golfers engage in spa, the expert said Spa is a day-to-day activity, describing spa as life, and like water, that someone cannot keep away from, adding that is why she’s trying to create that awareness among golfers, that it should be a routine with their golfing activities.

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