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A Cameroonian in Finland bags PhD in law from the University of Helsinki

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George Forji Amin, a Cameroonian was in a joyful mood on Thursday, June 18th, 2020 after the successful defense of his Ph.D. at the University of Helsinki. Family members and friends were also around to share in his happiness. George is the new kid on the block of Cameroonians in Finland with a Ph.D.

George Forji Amin defending his thesis

The topic for his Doctoral thesis is Encountering Underdevelopment: International Law, Capital Accumulation and the Integration of Sub-Saharan Africa into the World System (1492-1900) and you can download it on this site; https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/315286

George Forji Amin

Diaspora Reporters was in touch with him, to congratulated him for his resilience and doggedness towards accomplishing his dream. Find below the few questions we asked him:

George Forji Amin after the successful defense

Please introduce yourself?

My name is George Forji Amin (LL.D) from Cameroon, I’m a University of Helsinki graduate with a LL.Lic (Licentiate of Laws—Mphil equivalent), and an LLM (Master of Laws). I am also a Harvard Law School IGLP Alumni.

What motivated you to go for a PhD

I was motivated to undertake the PhD because of a number of reasons: I naturally have a strong passion for research and teaching. I also have a special interest in the socio-political problems of Africa and wanted to develop the necessary scientific skills and voice to champion these causes. 

From left: Dr Thomas, Josephine Atanga and George

Tell us about your journey throughout the doctoral level. Was there a time you wanted to give up

I faced several ups and downs while conducting my research, especially with regard to stable funding. I had to suspend my studies a couple of times, because I needed to work in order to make ends meet. However, my dedication to the cause kept my spirits up.

How were you able to defend your Doctoral thesis

I faced the most difficulties during the first 2 years into my doctoral studies. However after building a number of academic networks and collaborations, things naturally began to take shape, and it became evident to me that it was just a matter of time before i defend the project.

Tell us how you feel now

I feel fulfilled and elated to have come to the end of the tunnel with my philosophy officially validated into legal science.

DIASPORA NEWS

Nigerian community in Finland hold ‘EndSARS’ protest in Helsinki

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On Thursday, 22nd October 2020, the #EndSARS protests that has gripped Nigeria for more than two weeks took place in the city of Helsinki. Nigerians in Finland came out en mass to protest against police brutality, extortion, extrajudicial killing, illegal arrest, and detention of youths by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the police force.

EndSARS protesters in a peaceful walk to the Parliament Building
Photo Credit: Wealthyshezzy

#EndSARS protest was reignited following the shooting of a youth reportedly in front of a hotel in Ughelli, Delta State, in broad daylight by some FSARS operatives who drove away from his Lexus Jeep. The police have said the youth didn’t die. Recall that the protests began on 7 October with mostly young people demanding the scrapping of a notorious police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

At the Senate Square
Photo Credit: Wealthyshezzy

Although President Buhari said it had been dissolved on 11 October, the protests have carried on, and broadened to include demands for broader reforms in the way Nigeria is governed. The protests were intensified when Nigerians in the diaspora joined in the protest.

Organizers of the protest
From left: Everest, MostWanted, Obiwest, Sola

On Tuesday 20th October, security forces opened fire on hundreds of peaceful protesters in Lagos, killing at least 12 people in the capital, according to Amnesty International.

At the Parliament Building
Photo Credit: WealthyShezzy
A Protester passing a message
Photo Credit: Wealthyshezzy

 The #EndSARS protest in Finland was organized by four Nigerians and they are; Everest Obatitor, the Chairman of the Nigerian Football Team in Finland, Obiwest Utchaychukwu, the publisher of Diaspora Glitz Magazine, MostWanted aka Mustardseed a hip-hop/afrobeat artist and Olusola Ogunluyi a community leader.

At the Parliament Building
Photo Credit: WealthyShezzy
A protester displaying his placard
Photo Credit: Wealthyshezzy

Many Nigerians came from different parts of Finland, some came from neighbouring Estonia to show solidarity with Nigerians back home. The protest began at the Senate Square with the singing of the Nigerian National Anthem and after that a minute of silence was observed in honour of those who lost their lives during the protest. From the Senate Square, the protesters accompanied by the Finnish Police matched down to the Parliament building where they made their voices heard and passed the sublime message of #EndSARS

Protesters at the Senate Square
Photo Credit WealthyShezzy

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DIASPORA NEWS

Meet Chike Ohanwe,- the first dark-skinned Jussi Award winner

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History was made on Wednesday night when Chike Ohanwe was announced the winner of Jussi Award for Best Male of the Year for his role in the film Aurora. This is unprecedented since 1944 when the Jussi Award was established to recognize excellence in the Finnish film industry.

The Jussi Awards are Finland’s premier film industry event, recognizing annually the past year’s excellence in Finnish film making by directors, actors, and writers. It is just like The Oscars in the United States.

Chile Ohanwe
Photo credit : MTV News

Chike is a Nigerian-Finnish, his father is from Imo State in Eastern Nigerian while his mother is a Finn. His father, Mr Augustine Ohanwe came to Finland many decades ago for studies and he had since returned back to his native country Nigeria. He is an outstanding author and his best selling book on Amazon is The Legend of Mount Zebrue.

MTV News reports that after receiving the award, Ohanwe gave a speech of thanks, which certainly impressed many. Even after his first sentence, Ohanwe received long-standing, great applause. 

Chike’s dad Mr. Augustine Ohanwe
Photo credit: Facebook

With applause, Ohanwe became visibly more sensitive and aired the Jussi Award in his hand on the gala stage. In addition, the tear-eyed Ohanwe thanked his old teachers in his speech. 

– Your dune, what you have done for cultural education in general, it is measured not in money, but in people. Thank you. 

– At the age of 11 I started doing theater and I kind of knew from then on that if I wanted to make a career out of this, I had to press a lot of dune. And I have to put people around me who … if there are roles that the girl plays in, if they don’t come, then maybe there are people with whom she can do them.

Ohanwe continued his speech, still moved, a tear running down his cheek. 

He joins the likes of Lola Odusoga, the first dark-skinned winner of Miss Finland in making the minority Afro-Finns community proud

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DIASPORA NEWS

I’m passionate about changing the negative narrative of Africans in Finland says “Obiwest Utchaychukwu” The Face of African Queen founder

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The publisher of Diaspora Glitz Magazine which is dubbed the Voice of Afro-Finn, Mr. Obiwest Utchaychukwu has expressed his desire to change the negative narrative associated with the people with African background living in Finland. He made this known during the press day of the Face of African Queen beauty contest, a beauty pageant he co-founded with Miss Kelly Kalonji, the winner of Miss Helsinki 2013

The Founders of The Face of African Queen addressing the press.
Photo Credit: Bleumonde photos

In the history of the African community in Finland, there hasn’t been any beauty pageant of a high standard that could compete with other top beauty pageants elsewhere. The Face of African Queen which was founded late last year is produced by Diaspora Reporters ry.

The beauty pageant kicked off on an enviable level with some partners and sponsors showing interest in the project. Amongst the sponsors of the beauty pageant is SKOHAN, one of the biggest clubs in Helsinki, their facility was used during the casting and they also gave free drinks to the contestants and the judges, while Hesburger supplied foods and drinks

The finalists
Photo Credit: Bleumonde photos

According to Obiwest, the grande finale of the beauty contest will take place on November 21st and the event will attract the creme de la creme of the African community in Finland and top Finnish dignitaries.

We can change the negative story by doing what is right, inculcating in the hearts of Africans in Finland that we have a role to play in the society. We should be the change we desire, Obiwest says. He also advised people of African background to leverage on the plethora of opportunities available in Finland for the growth of the country.

Press Day host, Sara Chafak, Miss Finland winner 2012 with Obiwest
Photo Credit: Bleumonde photos

Obiwest said the goal of The Face of African Queen is to provide young African women who were born or live in Finland with a platform to showcase their beauty, culture, abilities and creativity. We want to encourage them to be more confident, goal-oriented, he added.

Like other Miss competitions, the Face of African Queen competition has a talent competition, a swimsuit tour, an interview, and an evening dress tour. In addition, in one round, participants present the culture of their own country, for example by wearing their country’s national costume.

He further said that one of the constraints of The Face of African Queen is finance. This is the first edition of the beauty pageant and it’s getting popular each day, everybody wants to get to know us, our Instagram account and other social media platforms are growing rapidly. Kelly and I have put a lot in this project, our resources, time, and attention

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