Two days after the first Anti-Racism demonstration was held at Senate Square, another demonstration that was more impactful and objective also took place in Helsinki on Friday 5th June 2020 but this time it was from the newly founded African Anti-Racism Society.
The African Anti-Racism Society is a community of Africans and people of African descent, activists, and community leaders living in Finland. One of the reasons why the African Anti-Racism Society was founded is that African descent living in Finland wants to speak for themselves, they want to tell their own story by themselves while collaborating with other organizations in racial discrimination and institutional racism our community face in Finland. Recall that there are some associations that claim to be fighting for the rights of Africans or people of African descent and the leaders are not Africans.
The demonstration began at Pasila Police Station on Friday afternoon in honour of George Floyd who died in the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis. The Black Lives Matter demonstration is aimed at seeking redress to police brutality, racial discrimination, ethnic profiling, etc as it concerns blacks in Finland.
Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Corporation was on ground to conduct interviews. The association’s founding member, Ufoka Eugene who is also a human rights activist told Yle journalist that “Our black community wants to improve its interaction with the Finnish police – that we do not have to worry if the police follow us while driving.
Dr. Faith Mkwesha, one of the great African voices in Finland who also took part in the demonstration. She wrote on Facebook “At a demonstration organized by a group of activists, NGOs and the African diaspora and African Descendants, different individuals calling ourselves African Anti-Racism Society. We gave the petition to the police. The police received it. My talk was “Africans just want to breathe.” We also knelt with one knee Following @colinKaepernick and in honor of Floyd and Samuel and others.
In its demonstration, the African Anti-Racist Society called on the government to take action to eradicate structural racism, ethnic discrimination, Afrophobia, hate speech and ethnic profiling by the police, Yle reported.
According to Yle, the association founders handed over to Helsinki Police Commissioner Jarmo Heinonen their proposals to halt the discrimination experienced by people of African background in Finland. The commissioner thanked the organizers for their exemplary activities.
Source: Yle News
Finland based Nigerian narrates how he was once humiliated because of poverty
A Nigerian, Obi-West Utchaychukwu who is the publisher of Diaspora Glitz Magazine recounts how he was embarrassed by a supposed rich man because he asked him for help in other to publish a book. The inspiring true life story was shared on the magazine Instagram account. https://www.instagram.com/p/CJRBdIVhBfQ/?igshid=4e0vh20b31mu
Find below what he posted
In The Joy Of Christmas – May Our Dreams Come Through – Read my inspiring story
Everyone desires to see their dreams come true. I have always wanted to become a publisher because of my penchant for writing. My interest in writing had a huge boost when my article was published by The Punch Newspaper in 2011. The title of the top-notch article was “The many ills of the nation.” In the article, I criticized former president Goodluck Jonathan’s plan to put ex-presidents of Nigeria on a lifetime pension at a time when Nigeria was in a profound economic crisis.
That same year, during my wilderness experience in Lagos, still fighting hard to disentangle myself from the claws of poverty, I wrote a book on the African Odyssey. The 200 pages book was a compilation of the experiences I have garnered vis-à-vis life outside the shores of the country. I took the manuscript to a publisher for him to read and see if he could publish it for me on pro bono. A week later, he returned the manuscript to me and told me he can’t publish it for free and he advised me not to give my manuscript to anybody just like that, that they could steal the content.
I went to the office of The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) at Ikeja and they collected the manuscript from me and told me that they will send it to their head office in Abuja. Three days later, the office in Abuja contacted me to acknowledge the receipt of the manuscript and that they will get back to me within two weeks.
After two weeks, I got a reply from them that someone has read the manuscript and the person approved it. I was told that the agency is willing to publish the book because it’s informative, educative, and articulate as it would go a long way in warning young Nigerians about the dangers of traveling through the desert and other illegal means just to get to oversea. The agency asked me how much do I need for the publishing and I told them N2 million naira for thousands of copies (I can’t remember the exact figure) and they agreed. They told me that they will invite me to Abuja to sign some papers to enable them to release the fund. That week I was in an ecstatic mood, little did I know that my bubble was about to burst.
The following week, I received an email that shattered my life. They said they can no longer sponsor the publishing of the book because of paucity of funds, “but it was a fallacy.” Someone from the office told me that the reason why they jettisoned the initial agreement to help me was because of my tribe. If I were a Northerner, they would have supported me.
I took the manuscript this time to a very wealthy man from my village who is in the race to become the next King of my community. When I got to his office at Ikeja, Lagos State, I met his absence and I waited for almost two hours before he came. As soon as he was about to enter his office, I stood up, greeted him, and introduced myself to him. I gave him the manuscript with tears almost dropping from my eyes, i told him to assist me in publishing the book. He flipped through the manuscript and handed it back to me. His statement was “I’m very busy, you can come another day” instantly, I developed cold feet, I didn’t know what to do. I never expected a harsh response from him. In summary, because of poverty, I abandoned my manuscript in the hands of people who might have published the book without my knowledge and made money from it.
Today, I give God Glory because my dream of becoming a publisher has been fulfilled. Everyone knows me in Finland because of my Diaspora Glitz Magazine which has maintained consistency and quality. The quarterly magazine is the official producer of The Face of African Queen Finland, a beauty pageant for ladies with African backgrounds. The magazine has launched me into limelight.
I can publish whatever I want to publish because Grace has made it possible. You can still achieve your dreams if you don’t lose focus because of the challenges of life. Merry Christmas to all
Nigerian community in Finland hold ‘EndSARS’ protest in Helsinki
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
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