#BringBackOurGirls — now?

Today’s news reports claim the Nigerian government and Boko Haram have reached a truce, and that the girls kidnapped six months ago will be returned. I want to believe. I want this to be true. And as much as I want to believe, I know that parents and families of 200+ girls want so immeasurably more for this to be true, for their girls to return. Continue Reading

Minnesota rallies in support of abducted Nigerian girls

A May 10 rally condemning the abduction of more than 200 students from a school in Chibok, Nigeria brought members of the state’s Nigerian population and the broader African Diaspora together in St. Paul. Held in the State Capitol rotunda, speakers at the rally voiced concern for the victims, questions about the Nigerian government’s level of accountability, and the potential role the United States could play in securing their return.

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A whisper

The sappy cards and flowers and pretty boxes of chocolate in every store I see mock how I feel on this particular Mother’s Day. Over 234 girls were stolen from a place that was supposed to be a safe haven, a place where girls could learn in order to create a better life for themselves and their families. I just don’t know how to think about this. All I can think of is a moment I had a few nights ago with my own daughter. Continue Reading

Stinky tofu, Nigerian fufu, and an update on the Twin Cities’ best veggie burgers

My quest for the Twin Cities’ best veggie burgers is turning out to be a bigger project than I had expected. My requests on Facebook have drawn over 50 suggestions so far, and some of the Twin Cities’ top foodies have chimed in. Dara Moskowitz recommended Icehouse, as did Lee Zukor, who also recommended Bewiched, Birchwood, and French Meadow. Niki Stavrou recommended the black bean burger at Victor’s 1959 Cafe—but she might be biased, since she owns the joint. Same goes for Luke Shimp, who recommended the veggie burger at his Red Cow—as did a couple of other readers. I’ll give you a full report in a week or two, but in the meantime, keep those recommendations coming in.Best veggie burger I have sampled so far is probably a three-way toss-up between the Thai tempeh burger at the Modern Times Cafe, the Bryant Burger at The Lynn on Bryant (50th and Bryant), and the veggie burger at Icehouse. Continue Reading

Nurses fight domestic violence

“I have killed the woman that mess my life up,” Michael Collins Iheme, a 51-year old Nigerian immigrant, said in a phone call he made to police in St. Louis Park, Minnesota in July last year. Iheme had just shot his 28 year old wife Anthonia Iheme as she returned home from her nursing home job. Later in his February week-long trial, Iheme claimed that Anthonia admitted to him that he was not the father of their youngest child. His defense argued that he killed his wife in a fit of rage. Continue Reading

Nigerians in Minnesota to build “Nigeria House”

A town hall meeting convened by Nigerians resident in Minnesota heard many voices from a number of their community leaders endorsing the desire for Nigerians to build a “Nigeria House” to promote economic and cultural endeavors of the immigrant population. The meeting took place over the weekend at the Center for Families in North Minneapolis. The President of Minnesota Institute for Nigerian Development (MIND), Dr Richard Oni using MIND as an umbrella organization to unite Nigerian immigrants in the US issued a strong plea for contributions towards the setting up of a cultural and development center for Nigerians. It is estimated that there are 10,000 Nigerians living in the US. “As the saying goes, you bloom where you are planted. Continue Reading

Nigerian Independence Day: Scholar Asks President Yar’Adua to Resign

A Nigerian-born Minnesotan scholar called on Nigeria’s newly elected President Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to step down and call for fresh elections to save face and clear the mystery surrounding his nomination. Addressing fellow compatriots in Minneapolis on a Saturday Oct. 6 celebration to mark the West African country’s 47th year of independence, Anthony Okubue, a professor of Environmental Science at St Cloud State University, asked Yar’Adua “to do the honorable thing” and resign from office to prepare for a fresh free and fair general elections for the benefit of all Nigerians and the African continent at large. “I personally admire the Yar’Adua family,” Okubue said. “They are good people and have played a pivotal [role] in the country’s political history, but what I am simply saying is that why remain in office when you confess publicly that the elections were fraudulent?” Continue Reading