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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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
Meet Chike Ohanwe,- the first dark-skinned Jussi Award winner
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.
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.
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
I’m passionate about changing the negative narrative of Africans in Finland says “Obiwest Utchaychukwu” The Face of African Queen founder
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
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
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.
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
Finnish celebrity photographer “Nikita Tikka” to take photos of Face of African Queen Top 10 finalists
Last Saturday, July 25th, Face of African Queen beauty pageant organizers had the much-anticipated casting to pick the top 10 finalists who will slug it out in the Grand Finale of the beauty contest opened for Afro-Finns. The finals and main event comes up on November 14th, 2020.
Recall that about 45 ladies from all over Finland applied for the Face of African Queen beauty contest. This was made known by the founder,
Obi-west Utchaychukwu, the publisher of Diaspora Glitz Magazine https://www.foreigner.fi/articulo/news/diaspora-glitz-magazine-wins-best-media-at-the-afro-finns-achievement-awards/20191113155952003461.html
After the screening, 25 ladies made it to the semifinals and 21 showed up at the casting where the judges led by Sini Sabotage (Finnish top rapper) picked the Top 10 finalists.
The casting took place at SKOHAN, Helsinki.
Find below the Top 10 finalists by country :
Ghana 🇬🇭, South Sudan🇸🇸, Angola🇦🇴, Nigeria 🇳🇬, Gambia 🇬🇲, Cameroon 🇨🇲, Sudan 🇸🇩, Rwanda 🇷🇼,
Sierra Leone 🇸🇱, Congo 🇨🇩
The Cofounder of Face of African Queen Finland Miss Kelly Kalonji ( Miss Helsinki winner, 2013) posted on her Instagram handle the partnership with Nikita Tikka, a celebrity photographer in Finland.
Nikita Tikka has been a Miss Helsinki 2013 tour photographer, Miss Finland as a photographer. He takes photos for TV commercials and modeling agencies.
He is one of the most respected photographers. He has done some works for We Women, Iltasanomat, Iltalehti, Seiska, Koti, and many other magazines.
The Face of African Queen casting was featured in Seiska magazine. https://www.seiska.fi/Uutiset/Missikaunotar-Kelly-Kalonji-toteutti-unelmansa-perusti-uuden-missikilpailun-Suomessa
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