Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, Blogger, Speaker

Missing Girls Three Years Later

Boko Haram Protest

April 15 marks three years since nearly 300 girls were kidnapped from their school in Chibok, northern Nigeria. Most parents are still waiting to hear the fate of their missing girls. They still have hope. On April 14 they protested again in Abuja, the capital.

Boko Haram has been driven back by the military. But suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism continue.

“On Thursday, Nigerian government officials said they were negotiating the release of more of the nearly 200 girls who remain captive. But the government is known for exaggerating its successes against Boko Haram. Officials made the same statement months ago, so the new one generated little optimism among family members,” the NY Times article says.

Will we ever see the missing girls? Can Boko Haram be defeated, or at least rendered less able to inflict harm? Such difficult questions for the Nigerian government and military.

Sustainable Agriculture

My husband Clem was unhappy that I didn’t write more about Kola Masha’s organization and sustainable agriculture. He was concerned that the methods Kola is proposing are capital-intensive, thus driving out the small farmers.

I’ve read several member stories. Half their featured stories are about women. I liked the one about Naomi Michael.

Babban Gona helps the small-scale farmers by supplying low-cost fertilizer and seeds, giving advice, and perhaps most importantly connecting farmers directly to buyers.

They are not advised to change their farming methods to use capital-intensive means. So relax, Clem, they seem to be intent on keeping the small-holders on their farms, just earning more.

Jackie Robinson

I received an email today from Randy, a friend and a member of our Beloved Conversations group that is meeting for eight weeks to address racism.

He said, “If you have a moment today to check in on any baseball game please do. The Mets (this evening) channel 60 and Yankees are on 73 now.

Jackie Robinson and the number 42

Jackie Robinson and the number 42

“For the non-baseball fans all you have to do is watch for a minute or two to note that all the players are wearing #42, Jackie Robinson’s number. It is the only number that has been retired across baseball and only worn every April 15th, today, the day 70 years ago, that Jackie broke into the major league.”

Denny, another friend and member of the other Beloved Conversation group (we have two going on) replied right away. She said, “I was there! Ebbetts Field, Empire Blvd., Brooklyn! With my brother and my Dad!”

I love the history we have in our midst. Denny is in her early 80’s. She has many memories to share. I value every one I hear.

I am definitely in the non-baseball fan category. But I turned on and went straight to Channel 73. I saw all the players with their number 42! The game has just finished with the Yankees winning.

“For the Yankee fans Marino was the last player to be able to wear 42 and when he retired recently no one in the major leagues is allowed to wear 42 except today when everyone does! Homage to Jackie Roosevelt Robinson!”

Thank you, Randy.

Easter and Passover

Do you celebrate Easter or Passover, or both? Our church honors both. On Sunday we’ll celebrate Easter, though we’re not strong on the Resurrection story. Tomorrow morning our choir will sing for both services at the Unitarian Church in Westport. Lots of ‘Alleluia’s.’

My favorite is the Jazz Alleluia by Thomas Benjamin. You can hear it sung by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fayetteville, Arkansas on Easter 2010. The video is pretty jumpy but the sound is great.

Passover

In honor of Passover our hostess for my Mount Holyoke book group on Monday evening says she is making a flourless meringue.

400 Years of Nigerian History

Clem is in Florida with our daughter Beth and her family. He loves lying on the beach. I don’t. And I needed to stay home to prepare for the first session of my class on 400 Years of Nigerian History at the Fairfield Bigelow Center for Senior Activities on Monday.

Olaudah Equiano 1747 to 1797

Olaudah Equiano 1747 to 1797

The slides I used two years ago for the class at Norwalk’s Lifetime Learners needed updating. I also wanted to get a single color theme. No, the history hasn’t changed, but I rearranged the sections to take out most of pre-1600 history and expand the information on the period from 1600 to 1800.

I’m including Olaudah Equiano, a freed slave who came originally from Nigeria. He bought his freedom from a Quaker master. He became active in the abolitionist movement in England in the late 1700’s. I knew his story a little, but had to do some research. I love Wikipedia which has a great article about him.

Mother’s Day Gift

My memoir Nigeria Revisited My Life and Loves Abroad is available at Fairfield University Bookstore on the Post Road in Fairfield CT. It would make a lovely Mother’s Day gift. Of course you can also buy it online at Amazon in print or Kindle edition.

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.

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