Ugandans Abroad http://ugandansabroad.org Where the Diaspora Gets Their News Tue, 06 Dec 2011 04:23:59 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 The Story Behind Black Star News: A Diaspora-Founded New York Weekly http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/12/05/the-story-behind-black-star-news-a-diaspora-founded-new-york-weekly/ http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/12/05/the-story-behind-black-star-news-a-diaspora-founded-new-york-weekly/#comments Tue, 06 Dec 2011 04:23:59 +0000 ugandansabroad http://ugandansabroad.org/?p=2596
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    By Ugandans Abroad Staff

    You may have heard of Black Star News, a New York-based and Ugandan-founded investigative newspaper, whose critical coverage of Uganda and metropolitan New York issues has made a name for its founder, Milton Allimadi.

    Ugandans Abroad wanted to pick his brain about the business, and share the insights he’s gleaned with other African entrepreneurs in the diaspora.

    Black Star News founder Milton Allimadi.

    Black Star News initially ran as a monthly metropolitan newspaper, but transitioned to a weekly newspaper so it could run more current movie listings, which has helped the publication to survive. Although there is a market in reaching advertisers who want to target black consumers in New York, the recent recession took a large hit on the investigative weekly.

    When the publication first started, it hit a chicken-and-egg scenario, where you couldn’t get ads without being known, but needed the revenue to invest in your publication.

    The publication was founded with an investment by Bill and Camille Cosby, after Allimadi sent them a copy of his business plan. Black Star News’ first ad came from the Independent Savings Bank, which had once advertised with the City Sun, where Allimadi had worked before founding his own paper.

    The bank, which is now part of Sovereign Bank, took out two full-page ads in the Black Star News.

    Getting the initial first corporate ad was a huge boon. “’You get them, and you want to show that to every other advertiser,” said Allimadi. To figure out the rates for his publication, he looked at rates for other established publications like the Amsterdam News, a black publication that launched in 1909, and discounted them. Back then, he says that it was a question of time.

    “Advertisers tell you from the get-go, come back in five years,” he told Ugandans Abroad. “I tried to make the calls as much as possible to sell ads, and do the writing and editing at night.” Now, he has staff members that sell ads full-time, freeing him to focus on journalism.

    “The call is very efficient now,” he said, since the paper has been building relationships with advertisers for years. Before, he says, he “was just calling and playing the numbers.” As the paper got scoops, they were featured in media outlets that ranged from CNN to the New York Post and the New York Daily News, which helped bolster his relationship with advertisers. “

    There’s some recognition,” he said. The recession, however, really damaged the relationships between publications throughout New York and advertisers, who slashed their budgets. “The recession was really, really bad on us,” Allimadi said. “It almost knocked us down.”

    To survive, the weekly reduced its page count and cut their paper size, and cut the frequency that they came out for a few months, combining some of their issues to make ends meet.

    Things have improved since the economy began to recover, to Allimadi’s relief. “It’s like night and day,” he said. In a 20-page newspaper, Black Star News typically sells about four to five pages of ads, some with multiple runs. They all sell ads on their website, which they hope to focus on more down the road. The newspaper is still “the bread and butter,” he says.

    Their pockets are not as deep as other publication, and they rely only on freelancers, which helps them control costs. “I think our market is relatively untapped for African-American readership,” he said. “You can operate a profitable daily.”

    The paper is focused on increasing its print runs and their advertising resources, and hopes to tap into a vacuum left by the Village Voice for investigative journalism. The Village Voice recently let go of veteran city reporter Wayne Barrett and lost Tom Robbins, a loss the newspaper might not survive.

    “You wouldn’t believe the number of stories we have in the pipeline,” he said. “We want it to be a decent paper and viable as a business.”

    For entrepreneurs interested in creating businesses that cater to African and Caribbean immigrants, as well as Latinos, Allimadi believes that the market is huge. “The demand is here,” he said. “Just create the medium.”

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    Ugandan Couple Weds In Baltimore http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/20/ugandan-couple-weds-in-baltimore/ http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/20/ugandan-couple-weds-in-baltimore/#comments Sun, 21 Aug 2011 01:11:49 +0000 ugandansabroad http://ugandansabroad.org/?p=2588
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    By Ugandans Abroad Staff

    The Ugandan community gathered in Baltimore to celebrate the marriage of Dubar Kamara and Apolo Ndyabahika today.

    A special Ugandan-Senegalese wedding, in Baltimore.

    Ndyabahika’s family hails from Kabale in Uganda, and Kamara is from both Kabale and Mufore in Sierra Leone.  The ceremony incorporated both cultures.  A cultural group also performed Kiganda dance.

    Winnie Byanyima and Dr. Kizza Besigye came as honorable dignitaries to the event.

    Kamara was the first in her village to graduate from college.  She went to John Hopkins University.  Ndyabahika studied at Messiah College.

    The couple plans to settle in the Washington metropolitan area.

     

     

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    The Revolution Will Not Be Televised http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/16/the-revolution-will-not-be-televised/ http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/16/the-revolution-will-not-be-televised/#comments Wed, 17 Aug 2011 05:37:23 +0000 ugandansabroad http://ugandansabroad.org/?p=2578
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    The murder trial of Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak is in its early stages but it already took a worrisome swerve in the eyes of his opponents.

    Presiding Judge Ahmed Rifaat ruled to deny Egyptians the comfort of seeing their former leader in a cage by ruling that the trial will no longer be aired on state television starting with the next session on September 5, citing “public interest.” He also decided to merge the cases of Mubarak and former Prime Minister Habib el Adly, who is also accused of murder and whose trial has been going on since February.

    Hosni Mubarak and Judge Ahmed Rifaat. Egyptian state television.

    On the one hand, these rulings could be positive for the plaintiffs. By merging the trials, Rifaat has satisfied a major prosecution demand and acknowledged that both men are allegedly responsible for the same crime – ordering the killing of 850 protesters during the revolution. The lack of cameras might also make the court proceed in a more orderly fashion and guarantee greater protection for the witnesses.

    But analysts have found that these decisions could hurt the plaintiffs as well. They remove the highly important element of transparency before all of Egypt and make it easier for Mubarak to slip the noose.

    “This is like some hilarious joke – [The government said] ‘we are going to clear the protesters out of Tahrir but in exchange, we’ll show you Mubarak behind bars. This was the unwritten agreement,’” said Tarek Mounir, an Egyptian reporter and activist.

    “I mean for god’s sake, they didn’t succeed to act as if they’re doing a free trial for more than two sessions,” he added.

    Rifaat did not explain his decision to stop the broadcast but there’s wide speculation that his decision stemmed in part from the behavior of the prosecution lawyers at the trial. They acted rancorous, entered shouting matches with their opponents and made dramatic speeches that looked tailored to the camera. Rifaat called a recess three times because of the lawyers’ intransigence. Some members of the prosecution also wanted the court not to air certain testimonies for the safety of the witnesses. However, most did not call for cameras to be banned entirely.

    Though some people in the courtroom applauded when the judge read his decision to stop the broadcast, many Egyptians outside the police academy where the trial was held and across the country expressed their frustration on social media networks.

    The trial of an Arab political leader, which may lead to his execution is unprecedented in the region and is a major event in Egypt’s history. The activists and revolutionaries are focused on transparency and accountability and see the camera ban as backsliding into the secretive days of the old regime. People are also concerned about the impartiality of the judge who was appointed by the same president he’s in charge of judging right now. Hassan Mohamed Abdel Fattah who lost his son to a police bullet called it “unfair.” Amnesty International also released a statement calling for transparency.

    “One of the most emblematic symbols of government working is a trial,” said Carlos Gonzalez, a lawyer with Diaz, Reus & Targ, a Miami-based law firm. “Seeing it on TV says ‘we have just undergone a revolution.’ The notion of banning cameras is seen as… a lot of the usual.”

    Rifaat did grant the prosecution one of its main demands—from now on, Mubarak and El-Adly will be co-defendants. This means that if one of them gets convicted, the other must be convicted as well.

    But Gonzalez said that this doesn’t necessarily bode well for people who want to see Mubarak hang or receive a life sentence. With co-defendants, blame can be apportioned unequally. As such, El-Adly can be sacrificed in order for Mubarak to receive a lighter sentence. “It can be a bad thing if the other co-defendant is found to be more culpable,” said Gonzalez.

    The effects of Rifaat’s rulings will not be visible until September 5, when the trial resumes. Though the trial will not be aired on state television, select reporters are still allowed inside the courtroom. However, Egyptians against the decision, find it a meager comfort.

    “Egyptian media is under control of [the military] – this is about controlling the message. It’s going to be compromised,” said Mounir.

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    East Africa Times Launches September 1st http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/15/east-africa-times-launches-september-1st/ http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/15/east-africa-times-launches-september-1st/#comments Tue, 16 Aug 2011 01:12:37 +0000 ugandansabroad http://ugandansabroad.org/?p=2570
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    Our dedicated team has decided to expand Ugandans Abroad to cover the East African diaspora, and is launching a new website called The East Africa Times to cover East African immigrant communities around the world.

    We are part of many diverse communities abroad, but always connected to East Africa.

    The new site will launch on September 1st, and www.ugandansabroad.org will be rerouted to www.eastafricatimes.org.  Older content will still be able to be accessed at our new home.

    East Africa Times will focus on telling diaspora stories, and reporting on business and immigration issues.  We will offer life and style coverage (world literature and music, book reviews, fashion, cross-cultural relationships), education reporting, stories on religious diaspora communities, health reporting, coverage of gender issues, and reporting on the White House, U.S. state department, other international agencies, and much more.  We will offer a metro section representing our base in New York City, but cover diaspora stories all over the world.

    We are eagerly recruiting writers, photographers, and are eager to hear your story ideas and tips.  Most of all, we want to hear your story!  We’d also love to come to your events.  Please shoot us an e-mail at eastafricantimes@gmail.com.

    Ugandans Abroad started as a pilot project of the Ugandan diaspora community and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in 2009.   We are grateful to the Ugandan and East African community, as well as their friends, for their support since our inception.  Thank you so much.

     

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    What’s The Latest News Abroad & Home This Week? http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/15/whats-the-latest-news-abroad-home-this-week/ http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/15/whats-the-latest-news-abroad-home-this-week/#comments Mon, 15 Aug 2011 23:50:27 +0000 ugandansabroad http://ugandansabroad.org/?p=2564
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    Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) forensics lab. Photograph by ICE.

    Compiled By Ugandans Abroad Staff

    -Employer Crackdown on Undocumented Workers.   More than 2,300 U.S. companies have been audited this year by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, to see if they have been employing undocumented workers, the Wall Street Journal reported

    Chiplote Mexican Grill, for instance, recently laid off 450 undocumented employees after being audited.  The audits have forced many undocumented workers further underground.

    -U.S. Community Meetings Scheduled On Secure Communites Program.  The Security Communities Program,  a federal task force that lets immgration authorities access the fingerprints of people who have been arrested, is holding a Los Angles community meeting to hearing from immigrants and advocates.  Other similar community meetings have been scheduled after Immigration and Customs Enforcement has told state governments that the program is mandatory, despite many refusing to get involved with the program, the Washington Post reported.

    Some of Security Communities’ critics say many of the undocumented immigrants arrested have not committed criminal acts, and immigration enforcement should focus on violent offenders.  The program was initially voluntary.

    “The recent actions constitute a crisis not only for our civil rights but our democracy as a whole,” said Pablo Alvarado, director of the National Day Laborer’s Organizing Network, according to reporting by the Huffington Post.  “Governments cannot rule by decree.”

    Kenyans Living Abroad Have Opportunity For Absentee Ballot.   A bill in Parliament could allow Kenyans living in the diaspora to vote next year during the Kenyan presidential elections, Capital FM reported.  About 3 million Kenyans live abroad in the diaspora.

    -The U.N. is investigating whether aid for famine victims is being stolen and sold in markets, the Daily Mercury reported.  The Security Council has called on governments to meet a $2.4 USD billion appeal to cope with drought in East Africa.  The U.N. World Food Program said it would suspend any parties responsible that work with the agency.  A special force has also been set up to protect food and distribution to starving people.

    -Mabira Controvesy.   President Museveni said he would allow  a public-private sugar corporation to farm 7,100 hectares of old-growth forest  for sugarcane, Reuters Africa reported.    The Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL) is owned by the Ugandan government and Indian privatei nvestors.  Mabira Forest has about 30,000 hectares of old-growth forest, and is home to many rare monkeys, birds, butterflies, and shrubs used for medicine.  In April 2007, the government attempted to give the land away for sugar farming, triggering demonstrations that lead to the death of three people and many injuries. 

    Butterflies in Mabira Forest. Photograph by Tom Tarrant.

    Tamale Mirundi, the spokesperson for President Museveni, said that part of the forest has been degraded and can be used for development. 

     However, during a government-organized trip for journalists of the area, guides were unable to find degraded parts of the forest to show reporters after 90 minutes of searching, and National Foret Authority officials called off the hunt for degraded areas, the Daily Monitor reported.

    “The parts that I passed I could see some free and bare places at a distance,” said Flavia Nabugere, the minister of Environment, who was nearby at the Colline Hotel, to the Daily Monitor. “If a nation is to develop, it must exploit the environment.

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    New NYC Engineering Campus Needs More Focus On Students of Color http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/14/new-nyc-engineering-campus-needs-more-focus-on-students-of-color/ http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/14/new-nyc-engineering-campus-needs-more-focus-on-students-of-color/#comments Mon, 15 Aug 2011 02:10:16 +0000 ugandansabroad http://ugandansabroad.org/?p=2559
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    The opinions expressed here are those solely of the writer, not of the Ugandans Abroad staff.  Interested in having your voice heard? E-mail us at ugandansabroad at gmail.com.

    By John C. Liu

    The Mayor’s recently announced plan to build a government-sponsored, engineering and science campus in New York challenges us to deliver training and jobs to the many talented young men and women of color that our economy has left behind. It is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg is to be commended for launching the ambitious Applied Sciences NYC initiative that seeks to partner with a top-tier engineering school and establish a cutting-edge science and technology campus here.

    An op-ed by New York City comptroller John C. Liu.

    The Bloomberg Administration projects that the new institution will generate billions of dollars of economic activity, spin off hundreds of new companies, and create nearly 30,000 jobs. This addition to New York’s economic and intellectual capital will only reach its full potential, however, if it directly addresses the glaring opportunity gap facing women, African-Americans and Latinos in science and engineering.

    According to the National Science Foundation, just 6 percent of graduate engineering students are African Americans or Latinos. Women hold just 24 percent of the jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — a shameful statistic that has not budged in a decade and that US Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank has rightly described as “unacceptable.”

    It is encouraging that the Mayor has included some conditions to support the involvement of women and underrepresented minorities. But the initiative as it is proposed presents a rare chance to level the playing field even more.

    The schools that hope to benefit from this partnership with City government should be required to demonstrate their commitment to expanding opportunities to all New Yorkers. The institutions applying to build a science campus here should be measured on their track record with minorities and women in areas such as student recruitment, graduation rates, and job-placement; their hiring and promotion of faculty and staff; and their success in turning academic breakthroughs into spin-off companies owned by minorities and women.

    Schools should also provide detailed plans for outreach and partnership with underrepresented communities moving forward.

    The City should also consider appointing more underrepresented minorities, as well as more women to the Advisory Committee for the Applied Sciences NYC initiative. Currently, there are nine members but no African-Americans or Latinos on the committee.

    Lastly, the review process should be as open and transparent as possible. The Advisory Committee should hold public hearings, applicant submissions should be accessible to the public, and scoring criteria should be publicized. The better informed and involved the public is in this process, the more successful it will be.

    Aggressive support for the science, technology and engineering sectors is critical to diversifying the City’s economy, which has relied heavily on the volatile financial sector in the past few decades.

    But as a government-sponsored initiative, Applied Sciences NYC has a responsibility to provide all New Yorkers with greater opportunities to acquire new skills and find jobs in emerging industries. If we are not fully utilizing more than half the talent in our City, we are not going to get close to realizing our full potential.

    Fairness, diversity and opportunity should be the values that drive our economic development and job creation programs. Bringing diversity to this project —and all of New York’s economic development — will keep our city on top for the 21st Century and beyond.

    New York City Comptroller John C. Liu is a product of NY public schools including the Bronx High School of Science and SUNY Binghamton where he studied Mathematical Physics.


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    Ugandan Shilling Hits Greatest Low in 18 Years http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/11/ugandan-shilling-hits-greatest-low-in-18-years/ http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/11/ugandan-shilling-hits-greatest-low-in-18-years/#comments Thu, 11 Aug 2011 18:53:50 +0000 ugandansabroad http://ugandansabroad.org/?p=2551
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    The shilling is the worst-performing currency against the dollar in the world so far this year, depreciating to 2,780 per dollar around 4 p.m. today.  Oil importers and telecommunication companies have played a strong role in the demand for U.S. currency, Bloomberg reported.

    The shilling is the weakest against the dollar that it has been since July 1993.  The U.S. dollar has been strengthening significantly on the international markets as well, despite the S & P downgrade of the United States, due to international financial turmoil, particularly in the Eurozone.

    Besigye and opposition supporters mourn the loss of a toddler shot by security agents, before pledging to restart the walk-to-work demonstrations. Photograph by Edward Echwalu, www.echwaluphotography.wordpress.com.

    In June, the shilling traded at sh2735/2750, but a Central Bank intervention strengthened it to sh2400, New Vision reported.

    President Museveni spent one-third of the state budget—or 1.3 billion USD—in just the month of January 2011, shortly before the national elections.  $720 million was also spent on buying six Russian fighter jets, the Council on Foreign Relations reported.

    Ugandan opposition leaders vowed yesterday to begin protests over the rising cost of living, particularly fuel and food, AFP reported.  Inflation last month reached 18.7 percent.

    Kizza Besigye and other opposition politicians pledged to restart the walk-to-work protests at a candlelight vigil in Masaka for a toddler shot by a security officer in April.  Besigye was recently cleared of all charges against him connected to the demonstrations early this year.

    As opposition supporters went to lay a wreath at the home where the child was shot, the army and police fired teargas into the crowd.  The Ugandan police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba said any protest would be stopped for security reasons.

    Kikuubo Lane, during the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) strike. Photograph by Edward Echwalu, www.echwaluphotography.wordpress.com.

    The Minister of Security, Wilson Muruli Mukasa, said that the opposition is using Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube as part of a “grand plan” to topple the government, BBC News reported.  Social media was being used, he said, to “psychologically prepare the people, especially young people, for armed insurrection”.

    The government has voiced concerns that Besigye will organise an Egypt-style uprising gain power through the streets after losing elections in February, according to BBC News.

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    Violence in U.K. Causes Fear In African Immigrant Communities http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/10/violence-in-u-k-causes-fear-in-african-immigrant-communities/ http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/10/violence-in-u-k-causes-fear-in-african-immigrant-communities/#comments Wed, 10 Aug 2011 18:13:03 +0000 ugandansabroad http://ugandansabroad.org/?p=2547
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    Cities in England suffered a fourth night of violence, causing fear and anxiety in many African immigrant communities in London, Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Nottingham, and Birmingham.

    Many Africans living in London are concerned for the security of their family, friends, and businesses.

    Uganda’s deputy High Commissioner to London, Isaac Sebulime, told the Daily Monitor that the mission has closely monitored  the impact of the riots on the Ugandan diaspora, but have heard no reports of Ugandans being affected by the violence yet.

    Three men from the Asian Muslim community were killed after being hit by a car in Birmingham on Tuesday night as they tried to protect their property, BBC News reported.  ”There are pockets of our society that are not just broken, but are frankly sick,” David Cameron said.

    Over 800 people have been arrested, and more than 250 charged so far.  Some London courts are staying open all night to charge people with disorder and burglary.

    “They are burning buses and cars- people are having a hard time trying to get to work or move around,” Brenda Atieno, a Kenyan living abroad in West Drayon, told the Nation.

    Capital FM reported that many Kenyans in the U.K. were staying inside their homes or taking shelter with their friends to escape the violence.

    Nigeria and Ghana also canceled a friendly match, to the disappointment of organizers and spectators, due to the violence in London, the Vanguard reported.

    Riots began on Saturday after a peaceful protest in Tottenham after Mark Duggan, 29, was shot and killed by police.

     

     

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    Somi Launches Live Jazz Album in NYC http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/09/somi-launches-live-jazz-album-in-nyc/ http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/09/somi-launches-live-jazz-album-in-nyc/#comments Wed, 10 Aug 2011 04:55:06 +0000 ugandansabroad http://ugandansabroad.org/?p=2541
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    By Ian Kavuma

    Somi, the New York daughter of Rwanda and Uganda, celebrated the release of her first live jazz album last night  in New York City.

    She recorded the album over two nights of performances at a jazz haunt on East 27th and Park Avenue, called the  Jazz Standard.   The live music is based on performances from her last two studio albums, as well as covers of Bob Marley and Abbey Lincoln.

    Teju Cole, a Nigerian-American writer who just published her first novel “Open City,” introduced her at the show at (Le) Poisson Rouge, a performance space in Greenwich Village.  The evening was a mix of Somi’s performances, a jazz chamber ensemble, and literary excerpts.

    Morley, an American singer and songwriter from Jamaica, Queens, opened the show around 8 p.m.   The lovely muscician works with kids around the world, from Northern Ireland to Rwanda and Southern Sudan, and most of her songs are insipired being around them

     

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    Africans Abroad Rally In New York For Famine Victims http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/09/africans-abroad-rally-in-new-york-for-famine-victims/ http://ugandansabroad.org/2011/08/09/africans-abroad-rally-in-new-york-for-famine-victims/#comments Tue, 09 Aug 2011 23:53:09 +0000 ugandansabroad http://ugandansabroad.org/?p=2534
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    Staff report.

    NEW YORK (Ugandans Abroad)— More than a hundred African immigrants, as well as friends of Africa, mobilized in Times Square over the weekend to raise awareness of the devastating famine in the Horn of Africa.

    Africans in the diaspora gathered in Times Square to rally for the Horn of Africa. UgoCentRiC.com photography

    United in New York City, participants from Somalia, Sudan, Ghana, Togo, Kenya, India, Uganda, Trinidad, Mali, Nigeria, Spain, United States, and many more held a rally filled with stirring speeches and music.

    Peter Kerre, a New Yorker from Kenya known as DJ Xpect, organized the rally with the organization iRelief, a nonprofit that works in New York, Minneapolis, and Nairobi on relief, rights and empowerment.

    Kerre spoke about how the African diaspora in the city can raise awareness, volunteer their times at events that help victims of the famine, and donate money.  “There are 12 million people affected by this famine,” he said.  “We have to do something about it.”

    Peter Kerre, a Kenyan community activist, speaks to the crowd. UgoCentRiC.com photography

    iRelief partnered with African People Alliance, Inc., Mezesha Entertainment, and FindingMyRoots, among other organizations, as well as the East African diaspora communities and friends of Africa.

    Pius Bugembe, the chairman of the Ugandan American Association of Greater New York, as well as a member of the African People Alliance, a Bronx-based advocacy organization, spoke out at the rally. 

    “We cannot stand by and watch others,” he said.  “We have to take initiative and help our fellow brothers and sisters.”

    Bugembe emphasized the importance of the global human family, and recalled the biblical story of the Good Samaritan.  He also pulled out an Endingidi, a one-stringed instrument indigenous to Uganda, and
    played a song for the crowd.

    Pius Bugembe, head of the Ugandan American Association of Greater New York, speaking out for his brothers and sisters in the Horn of Africa. UgoCentRiC.com photography.

    “I don’t want anyone walking away from the rally, and saying there was nothing authentically African about it,” Bugembe said.

    A Muslim community leader spoke strongly about drawing upon the lessons of Ramadan to help in the Horn of Africa.  Hussein A. Ibrahim, an imam in a Muslim African community in the Bronx, spoke to the crowd about the importance of helping your neighbor. 

    “It is time to open up our hearts and give to others,” he said.  “It is our responsibility if we believe in God to help others, and we cannot forget our brothers and sisters in the Horn of Africa.”

    Djounedou Titikpina, the president of the African People Alliance, told the crowd that it was difficult for him to break the fast of Ramadan after seeing images of hungry children and families on television.  “I had to stop.  I could not continue,” he said.  “We as Africans and friends of Africa have to do something to help others who do not have food to eat,” he told the crowd.

    He led the crowd in a call and response, reciting the pledge of his community organization.  He put his left hand over his heart, and his right hand up, and said, “We Are Africans.  One People, one nation, under God.  With God, everything is possible.”

    Djounedou Titikpina, the president of the African People Alliance, told the crowd that it was difficult for him to break the fast of Ramadan after seeing images of hungry children and families on television. UgoCentRiC.com photography.

    Ole Pertet, a Kenyan community leader, spoke about the need for all Africans and friends of Africa to continue in their efforts to help children affected by the disaster.

    Joe Ugochukwu Ofili, an American-born Nigerian that runs an organization called FindingMyRoots that helps second-generation children of African immigrants embrace their parents’ culture, told the crowd that individuals needed to join together and collaborate in this time of need.

    Many Africans abroad came to raise awareness of the famine in New York City, such as Joseph Sellman, the secretary of the New York City chapter of Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.  Bourema Niambele, a Malian native active in the Bronx-based African Advisory Council, also took part, among many other immigrants.

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