Episode 33: Evelyne Keomian wasn’t supposed to go to school, but now she runs schools on two continents

When Evelyne Keomian was growing up in Côte d’Ivoire, she was told that there was no need for girls to go to school. She tells us how she refused to listen and went to school anyway — even when she wasn’t enrolled — and how her painful pursuit of education made her an advocate of quality education for every child.

Today, Keomian is an educator, and the founder of the Karat School Project, a direct service nonprofit organization with the mission to help break the cycle of poverty through education. Since it was founded in 2018, the organization has served over 1,000 children and women in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

A class meets outdoors at the school Evelyne Keomian founded in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Photo courtesy of the Karat School Project’s Instagram account.

Episode 32: Meet Chris Wachira, the Kenyan-born doctor who makes wine

Dr. Chris Wachira has a job most people would envy, but it’s not enough for her. Dr. Wachira, who is a fellow at Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, is also the founder and executive director of the Institute of Clinical Excellence-Africa, (ICE-Africa), a nonprofit she founded to enhance the quality and delivery of healthcare through technology. But that’s not all. Dr. Wachira is also an entrepreneur, one of the few black winemakers in the San Francisco Bay Area. She speaks to us about her journey from central Kenya to Stanford, and how she manages to juggle her many roles.

Dr. Chris Wachira (right) at one of her wine events. Photo courtesy of Wachira Wines.

Episode 31: Prof. Mchombo on decolonizing education by teaching African languages

In a world where the dominant use of European languages has eroded the prominence of indigenous ones, Dr. Sam Mchombo still believes that African languages can play a critical role in determining the continent’s future. Mchombo, an associate professor at the University of California at Berkeley, has spent his entire career of nearly half a century teaching linguistics, Swahili, and Chichewa. He tells us how, during his university studies a call from Kamuzu Banda, the first president of Malawi, sabotaged his ambition of becoming a mathematician, but made him an ardent believer in the use of African languages in decolonizing education.

The words “Constitutional Court” in South Africa’s 11 official languages. Photo: Andre-Pierre du Plessis.

Episode 30: Meet the woman who quit her corporate job to open San Francisco’s first Nigerian restaurant

Most African immigrants go to graduate school hoping to land a great white-collar job. Not Simileoluwa Adebajo. The 24-year-old Nigerian woman quit her job as financial analyst to open a restaurant and bring her country’s food and culture to Americans. Opened in 2018, Eko Kitchen is San Francisco’s first Nigerian restaurant and catering company. We spoke with her about her passion for food, and how her young business is navigating these unpredictable times of the coronavirus pandemic.

A picture of a Nigerian dish prepared by Chef Simileoluwa Adebajo of courtesy of Eko Kitchen.

Episode 29: Dr. Chemtai Mungo on being an African black female doctor on two continents

We speak with Dr. Chemtai Mungo about why she has committed her career to serving women in her country of birth, Kenya, while at the same time working as physician in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Dr. Chemtai Mungo (in red top) at work in western Kenya. Photo: Courtesy.

Dr. Mungo, an Obstetrician/Gynecologist, is passionate about using research, advocacy, and public health to advance women’s health in Africa. As a Global Health Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, she is working in western Kenya to help address the double burden of HIV and Cervical Cancer among women. Her work is funded by the National Institute of Health and the University of California.

She received her bachelor’s degree with Honors from the University of California, Berkeley, before heading to medical school at UCSF, one of the most prestigious institutions in the United States. Dr. Mungo also has a Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health.

Episode 27: Meet the Woman Who Has Spent Decades Fighting to Protect Africa’s Image

In 2012, President Barack Obama honored Nunu Kidane as a “Champion of Change”. Kidane, who is the executive director of San Francisco Bay Area-based Priority Africa Network, talks about her unconventional  journey as an African immigrant advocating for the continent and its  people in the Diaspora. Kidane, also speaks about the census, its history and why it is important for Africans to make sure they get a complete count in the 2020 U.S. census.

Africans in Oakland, California getting ready to participate in a caravan protest organized by Africans for Social Justice and Equal Rights. Photo by Khaboshi Imbukwa

African Immigrants Join Fight for Social Justice in America

The plight of black people in the United States is well documented. In fact, it started with slavery, centuries before the country was founded. Slavery ended in the United States following the Civil War. But that would no be the end of the suffering of African Americans. Jim Crow laws were enacted in the southern states, which had fought against the abolition of slavery and lost. The era of segregation and systemic racist violence and lynchings of black people lasted from 1877 to 1960. Segregation should have ended with the President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing or the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

Continue reading “African Immigrants Join Fight for Social Justice in America”

Episode 26: Examining International Response to George Floyd’s Death and Systemic Racism in America

Our guests, Nigerian-American Dr. Amanda Felix, and Ghanaian-born Prof. Kwesi Wilson spare no one in their critique of the world’s response to George Floyd’s death in the hands of Minneapolis Police. Africans, Europeans, Asians — everyone gets a fair share of the venom.

A man in a Maasai shirt protests the killing of George Floyd, whose death in the hands of Minneapolis police has sparked protests worldwide. Photo: Fibonacci Blue.

Episode 25: African Immigrants Increasingly Protesting Against Racism in the United States

Protests continue in the Unites States over the murder of George Floyd, another unarmed black man killed in police custody. Our guest Tom Gitaa, president and publisher of Minneapolis-based African community newspaper, Mshale, about why African immigrants are increasingly rising to protest racism in America.

Protesters take to the streets in Washington, DC. Photo: Cool Revolution
As more and more Africans chose to stay and raise families in the United States, many of them are realizing that the fight for civil rights is our fight too.