Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, Blogger, Speaker

Agriculture in Nigeria

President Buhari Praises Agriculture in Nigeria

I’m happy to see President Muhammadu Buhari back in action. He cut the ribbon to inaugurate, “Africa’s biggest hatchery and feed mill,” according to Premium Times.

Nigeria must feed itself – Buhari

The project is in Kaduna in northern Nigeria. It was built by Olam Grains, “at the cost of over $150 million,” the article said.

Buhari’s remarks included comments about the importance of agriculture in Nigeria and about the improving climate for investors. He said, “the inauguration of the company is a testimony that growth is serious and lasting growth is taking place in the economy.”

He says growing what people need is critical. “The aim, Mr. Buhari said, was to ensure that Nigerians have access to food, better life, and better hope for their future.” I’m all for that.

Olam the Company

The company name was new to me. I was curious so I looked at their website. The company was established in 1989 and now is in 70 countries with 47 products. Here is what Olam says about how they operate:Olam Logo

‘Growing Responsibly’ describes how we do business. It is embedded within our entire business framework and we believe that it is only by doing business ‘the right way’ that we can create long-term sustainable
value for us and all our stakeholders.

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk

Our book for discussion at tonight's Mount Holyoke Book Group

Our book for discussion at tonight’s Mount Holyoke Book Group

My Mount Holyoke Book Group is meeting tonight. Every year one of our members invites us to dinner at her lovely yacht club. We will dine and discuss The Girl Who Wrote in Silk. 

Here’s the promo that is probably on the book jacket. I didn’t see the “real” book because I read it on my iPad. I borrowed it through Freading, a book loaning system from my public library.

“Inara Erickson is exploring her deceased aunt’s island estate when she finds an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden in the house.”

I was intrigued by the story, and stayed up late a couple of nights to finish it. The embroidered sleeve is Chinese. The story takes place in two time frames.

The author Kelli Estes acclaimed for her debut novel

The author Kelli Estes acclaimed for her debut novel

The author, Kelli Estes, learned about the horrific events that happened to Chinese people in Seattle and other places in the late 19th century. She weaves the story of people involved then with people in today’s world.

“Inspired by true events, Kelli Estes’s brilliant and atmospheric debut serves as a poignant tale of two women determined to do the right thing, and the power of our own stories,” her website says.

Her debut novel has received lots of praise. She is a USA Today Best Selling Author. I’m glad we read it.

Amnesty for Undocumented People – Not Who You Think!

You may be able to guess who the “undocumented people” are from the picture!

Native American Council Offers Amnesty to 240 Million Undocumented Whites

The phrase “large, illegal European population,” is wonderful. This reminds me of a cartoon I saw once around Thanksgiving time. It showed a group of Native Americans welcoming the very first Europeans coming off the boat. “Will you be staying long?” the Native Americans say.

The article from City World News says, “Despite the large number of Europeans residing in the United States, historical scholars mostly agree that indigenous lands were taken illegally through war, genocide and forced displacement.”

But not all Native Americans agree with the amnesty plan, the writer tells us. “Despite the council’s decision, a native group called True Americans lambasted the move, claiming amnesty will only serve to reward lawbreakers.” Where have I heard that?

The crimes we committed against Native Americans, many at the same time as the crimes against the Chinese recounted in The Girl Who Wrote in Silk, are almost unbelievable. The twisted thinking that allowed people to enslave other people was at work – those “others” are not real people like us, with real families and values.

It’s hard to imagine. Yet it was not so long ago that Hitler targeted Jews. And today I think of the Rohingya fleeing from Myanmar. Many have been killed, villages were burned, and women raped.

“Cumulatively, the evidence indicates that Rohingya homes have been deliberately targeted in what foreign governments and human rights organisations have largely condemned as ‘ethnic cleansing,’ ” I read in The Guardian.

How can Bangladesh, already heavily populated, handle the 370,000? And the number seems to increase daily. Will the UN act? The General Assembly is meeting soon. Is there anything they can do?

And is there anything any of us can do to make up for past crimes against humanity, meaning crimes against real people? I believe I have to speak up when I can, defend people treated unjustly, and try to stay involved in political life. What about you?

Author: Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, blogger, speaker. Born in New York, grew up in mid west United States, lived in Nigeria for 24 years, back in U.S. since 1986. Advocate for racial justice.


  1. Greg Jones is President of Friends of Nigeria. He wrote this in an email: for the last 3-4 months I have read each and every one of your blog posts. Great job! Very interesting posts.

    Thank you, Greg!

  2. HI Cathy, Very thought-provoking and excellent blog post. It’s great to have the news about Buhari and agricultural development in Nigeria. I would like to know more about Olam and what its role is. I will seek to look it up. I fear that too much of my view is clouded by the devastation caused by Boko Haram in the northwest of the country. The Native American Council’s declaration is wonderful! I want to share it with others. Your book group’s book sounds interesting — and you tie it so well to the anti-immigrant perspectives. Also I like the on-line borrowing system of your library. Finally, the genocide against the Rohingya in Myanmar is tragic and awful. I have been to Myanmar where many of the hills peoples are my denomination, Baptist. We have lots of refugees from the tribal strife there (in this case usually Buddhist versus Christian) in Hartford and other places in the United States. In the past I have supported the new leader but am changing my view about her. Thanks!

    • Thank you, Lowell. I really appreciate reading your comments. Hearing another person’s perspective helps me. When I write the next posts I know others are tuned in! I did not know there were refugees from Myanmar in Connecticut. There must be interesting stories about how people in Burma became Baptist! Like Igbo people meeting the Anglicans in Things Fall Apart?