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How a Nigerian lady landed in Europe because of 80 naira sachet milk

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Sandra (Pseudonym) was trafficked to Ivory Coast in 2008. Before she left Nigeria, she was told that they are taking her to France only to end up in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast. Upon arrival, her madam (Trafficker) told her that she has to join other ladies in their prostitution work in other to reimburse what was spent in bringing her to the West African country. Sandra refused, and a problem ensued between both of them. However, she was able to escape from captivity through the help of a guy and she promised to pay her madam the agreed amount when she finds her feet in the country.

Life was difficult for Sandra, an inability to speak French also posed a problem for her. She used to beg us for money after the close of service at RCCG church. On one occasion, I told her to return to Nigeria and continue the vocational training which she had abandoned. After struggling for a year, the future looking bleak, the 22-year old Nigerian lady from Edo state decided to return to Nigeria. She bought the bus ticket that will take her from Abidjan to Cotonou, from there she will get a bus that will take her to Lagos.

One evening, after she had finished preparing dinner for the lady she was squatting with. According to her, she said she had a change of mind in regard to what she was going to eat. She stepped out of the house to buy a powdered milk in sachet which costs around 80 naira when converted so that she could make tea. On her way to the nearby kiosk in Treichville where she lives, she saw a distressed white guy who was staring at her. At first, she ignored but the guy kept staring that was when she asked the guy “What is the problem,?” the guy gave a gleeful chuckle and replied “Oh you speak English? ” Please I have a problem, he said” and he narrated his problems to Sandra

What happened was that he had been interacting with a pretty African lady online, and he fell in love with the lady which prompted him to fly down to Abidjan to surprise the lady with a marriage proposal. When he got to the airport he called the number that the supposed lady gave him but a man picked the call and as soon as he introduced himself, the man told him that the owner of the phone is not around. Actually, the man who picked the call was a scammer who poses as a lady to the white guy

After the white guy had finished narrating his ordeal, Sandra, being aware of what Nigerians are doing in Abidjan seized the opportunity and acted accordingly and told the white guy that she’ll come to his hotel to keep him company. To cut the long story short, the white guy fell in love with Sandra, engaged her, and later got married in a magistrate court. A week later, he took her to their country’s embassy in Abidjan and applied for her resident visa.

Thirteen years down the memory lane, Sandra who was once stranded and devastated in Abidjan is still happily married to the guy and they are living in one of Europe’s best countries. She has two kids. Last time I spoke with her, she told me that she has bought a house in her country of residence. Her hubby is wealthy, he has a fishing company and he loves black to a fault.

Sandra’s story from grass to grace is a testamental evidence of God’s favour. Sometimes, God shows up when all hope is lost. If she had not stepped out of her house to buy the powdered milk in sachet she wouldn’t have met the man whom God has destined for her. We all need a man (destiny helper) in our life.

I pray for you today, may you not miss the person you are supposed to meet in life

This is not a concocted story, but a true life incidence which I witnessed during my stay in Abidjan. Some of my old friends are aware of it

© Obiwest Utchaychukwu

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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