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Africans in Finland remembers Samuel Dolphyne who died in the hands of the Finnish Police

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Just like the Arab Spring protest that began in Tunisia and later spread across much of the Arab world, the Anti-Racism protest in honour of George Floyd, the 46-year-old African-American who died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed face down in the street has equally sparked widespread protests against systematic racism not just in the United States alone but other major cities of the world.

Late Samuel Dolphyne aka Sly Tee

The funeral of George Floyd who died on May 25th, 2020 was held on Thursday, June 4th, 2020 in Minneapolis and it was attended by a large number of political leaders, celebrities, family members, and friends. A spectacular speech was delivered by Rev. Al Sharpton where he opined that “The reason we could never be who we wanted to be and dreamed of being is you kept your knee on our neck,” “It’s time for us to stand up in George’s name and say get your knee off our necks,” he added.

The second phase of Anti-Racism demonstration will take place in Helsinki today and it’s being organized by the African Anti-Racism Society, a community of Africans and people of African descent, activists, and community leaders living in Finland. The African Anti-Racism Society is committed to fighting racism and promoting the full inclusion of people of African descent in all spheres in Finland. According to Mr. Eugene Ufoka, who is among the organizers, the time for the peaceful solidarity march is 16:30 and it will end by 18:00. They will gather on the roadside in front of Tripla Mall in Pasila then march to the Pasila police station to deliver their speeches and make demands.

The funeral invitation:
Source: Late Samuel Dolphyne facebook page

One of the demands of the African Anti-Racism Society will be justice for Samuel Dolphyne, a Ghanaian who died in the hands of the Finnish police on November 18th, 2018. Recall that the African community in Finland was thrown into mourning when the death of the 45-year old broke out. The deceased was a resident of Austria who came to Finland to see his friend Kwaku Ofori. The sad incident happened around 23:30
on Saturday 18 November in Helsinki, after the deceased and his friend Kwaku Ofori had gone to a mini Christmas party organized by the Ghana Eastern Region (Koforidua) Association of Finland.

According to Ofori’s statement that was obtained by GhanaWeb, a Ghanaian media outfit, he said he was in the same car with Samuel Dolphyne and that after they were stopped by the Finnish police, Dolphyne was asked to blow into the alcoholometer, which he did. The police officer asked him to do it for the second time and he obliged. The police then asked him how much alcohol he has consumed, to which he replied “one bottle of beer”.

Furthermore, the police turned to Kwaku Ofori and asked him if what his friend is saying is the truth and he affirmed that his friend took just a bottle of beer. Ofori’s statement stated that Samuel stepped down from the car with the intention to beg the police officers to allow them to go home since it was already late. After a while, Ofori who was still sitting in the car, also stepped down to check why the deceased has kept long. Ofori recalls Dolphyne lying on the ground with the two policemen on top of him trying to handcuff him.

According to Ofori, the deceased was shouting for help. “He was shouting and calling my name: Ofori! Ofori! they are killing me! I can’t breathe! I have asthma!” Ofori claims that by the time the deceased lost consciousness, only one of his hands was cuffed and Dolphyne was confirmed dead later

The narrative from Ofori which was published by some Ghanaian media has it that a local newspaper in Finland, Ilta Sanomat reported that the dead Dolphyne, who left behind a young daughter, was aggressive towards the police and that he refused to blow into the alcoholometer when he was stopped by the police.

The African Anti-Racism Society will seek justice over the death of Dolphyne this was made known to Diaspora Reporters by one of the organizers.

Source: GhanaWeb, Police photo: Helsinki Times

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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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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