Today July 13th, the 18th Annual IgboFest – the largest African cultural festival in the
City of Houston commences at the Discovery Green – 1500 McKinney starting at 2:30
pm. The colorful carnival which has been
around for over 15 years makes its Downtown debut to conveniently accommodate
thousands of Houstonians from a diverse culture who are enthusiastic about the
rich Igbo culture.
Friday, the organizer with a few performers were featured in two local Televisions appearances. They were featured on Great Day Houston, a local talk show hosted by Deborah Duncan, following CBS This Morning. Late in the evening, the group made it to the Isiah Factor Uncensored, a Fox 26 news talk show. Each appearance showcased a preview of today’s event.
Today’s event will showcase group performances ranging from traditional to acrobatic dancers. Other displays will involve very rare masquerades from the Igboland. The IgboFest experience will be sensational. Earlier in the month, Prof. Chris Ulasi, president of Ndi-Ichie Cultural Association, overseers of Ndi Ichie Youth Cultural Foundation told International Guardian that, “This event is free, so we are urging Houstonians to come out for an international experience and witness the award winning and most recognized Igwe Cultural Entertainment group, awe-inspiring dancers, fashion parade filled with authentic-traditional wears and to learn why the African heritage and indeed the Igbo culture are traditionally motivating and spiritually authentic.”
As part of this event, an Annual Igbo Language and
Communication Conference was held on Friday at the Crowne Plaza Houston. The theme of this conference was “Igbo Language Heritage: Communication,
Representation and Preservation.” The forum witnessed a lineup of
professionals, community and spiritual leaders with presentations focusing on
promoting, celebrating, and showcasing the Igbo culture.
Historically, Ndi-Ichie are a Council of respected
individuals that occupy a very high place in the Igbo society. They are
well-regarded personalities; they are elected individuals of valued demeanor;
honest, resourcefulness, with comprehensive moral reputations and other
virtues. They are believed to command special connectivity with the ancestors,
and at all times held in high regard. As a MISSION, Ndi-Ichie Cultural Club and
Ndi-Ichie Youth Cultural Foundation aim at reclaiming the cultural capital of
the Igbos where it’s been damaged or lost.
Guest are advised to arrive on time. For more information
about the group, please call: 281-788-8133
Serena Williams Poses ‘Unretouched’ For ‘Harper’s Bazaar’, Putting Bare Legs & Butt On Full Display
Jenna Lemoncelli (Hollywood Life) : Serena Williams, 37, showed off her incredibly athletic figure on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar for the magazine’s August issue. The cover, which is accompanied by numerous, unretouched photos and a candid essay, shows the 23-time Grand Slam winner in a sparkling gold dress by Stella McCartney. Inside the magazine, Serena bares her muscular legs and perky backside in a Ralph Lauren gold cape and Christian Louboutin heels.
The new issue, which celebrates “the strength and beauty of women in their most authentic states,” is all about Serena speaking her truth. She pens a powerful essay about her memorable loss to Naomi Osaka, 21, in the 2018 U.S. Serena not only becomes vulnerable about the “excruciating” match, but apologizes to her opponent after her own reaction to the loss overshadowed Naomi’s win. Nonetheless, the tennis legend doesn’t regret using her voice to stand up for change.
“This incident — though excruciating for us to endure —exemplified how thousands of women in every area of the workforce are treated every day,” Serena wrote for the August issue. “We are not allowed to have emotions, we are not allowed to be passionate. We are told to sit down and be quiet, which frankly, is just not something I’m OK with. It’s shameful that our society penalized women just for being themselves.”
Serena took to Instagram on Tuesday, where she expressed how happy she was to write the first-person piece. “I’m proud to use my voice and words to share an essay on the raw feelings I had during a match we may all remember,” Serena wrote on Instagram alongside a shot from the photoshoot.
George W. Bush’s Daughter, Barbara Bush, Just Got Married in a Secret Ceremony
Surprise! It turns out Barbara Bush got married in a small, secret wedding by the seaside over the weekend. According to a report from People, the former First Daughter and her fiancé, Craig Coyne, tied the knot at the Bush summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine, in what she described as a “very short, sweet ceremony” attended by only 20 people. The guests included former President George W. Bush, former First Lady Laura Bush, former President George H.W. Bush, and other family members from the bride’s and groom’s sides.
Bush’s father walked her down the aisle, while her aunt, Dorothy Bush Koch, served as officiant, People reported. Her twin sister, Jenna Bush Hager, was matron of honor, while the roster of flower girls consisted of Hager’s daughters, Margaret and Poppy—who was also the ring bearer—and Coyne’s niece Emma. Laura Bush also did a reading.
Meanwhile, Coyne’s brother, Edward, was the best man, while his mother, Darlene, and sister, Katie, each read as well.
The bride, who wore a custom Vera Wang wedding dress, according to a press release from the bridal label, featuring ivory silk crepe, spaghetti straps, and a cowl draped neckline. Bush completed the look with an Italian tulle floor-length cape and a floor-length Italian tulle veil. She also incorporated a memento from her late grandmother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, who passed away earlier this year, as reported by People. “It’s really sweet,” Bush said. “The ‘something borrowed’ that I’m wearing is this bracelet that my grandfather gave to my grandmother on their 70th anniversary.”
According to People, the surprise nuptials are the first time Bush and Coyne have gone public with their relationship. The couple revealed that they got married after a five-week engagement, and have been an official couple since New Year’s Eve, after meeting during a blind date orchestrated by their friends last November. Bush told the magazine that Coyne proposed in Kennebunkport over the summer, in the same spot where George H.W. Bush had proposed to Barbara Bush 75 years prior.
“It’s just been a very sweet romance,” Bush told People. “And we’ve been long-distance for most of it — he’s been in L.A. and I’ve been in New York — but we’ve gotten to spend a lot of time together.”
♦ Culled from Glamour
Aretha Franklin left no will or trust, attorney says
Franklin’s attorney says at this point it’s impossible to place a dollar figure on the value of her song catalog.
The finances of an intensely private Aretha Franklin soon will become very public in Oakland County Probate Court because she apparently left no will or trust.
Her four sons filed a document Tuesday afternoon listing themselves as interested parties in her estate. Franklin’s niece Sabrina Owens asked the court to appoint her as personal representative of the estate. The case is assigned to Judge Jennifer Callaghan.
“I was after her for a number of years to do a trust,” said Los Angeles attorney Don Wilson, who represented Franklin in entertainment matters for the past 28 years. “It would have expedited things and kept them out of probate, and kept things private.”
As Franklin’s attorney in copyright matters, song publishing and record deals, Wilson said he would have been consulted about her holdings for any estate planning purposes.
Wilson said that at this point it’s impossible to place a dollar figure on the value of her song catalog. He did say that she maintained ownership of her original compositions, which include well-known hits such as “Think” and “Rock Steady.”
The Voice of Evangelism International launches a counselling center in Houston
The Voice of Evangelism International in Houston, Texas (VOEI) has inaugurated a public spiritual counselling center in Houston, TX. The center on 6464 Savoy, Suite 790, Houston, TX 77036 is a faith based initiative which offers spiritual advising and prayers to individuals seeking God with trust as antidote to challenges of livelihood.
Overseer of the ministry, Bishop Dr. Agwu said that opening VOEI Counselling Center is just one out of many spiritual assignments directed by the Holy Spirit for the year, 2018. “We have always done counselling in our Worship Sanctuary on Willcrest which was limited to our church members. But creating this venue allows the public or those who are not members of our church to have uncontrolled access to this service,” he said.
Counselling Center is just a fulfilment of that responsibility,” Bishop Dr. Agwu said. The Ministry said that Visits to the VOEI Counselling Center is strictly by appointment. “By design we urge that visitors make appointment. This is to ensure that the setting is both more professional, and confidentially convenient,” Bishop Dr. Agwu said.
Members of the public who wants a one-on-one counseling with the Man of God could call 281-857- 2073 to make appointments. The Voice of Evangelism International Ministry was established in 2006 as a nondenominational worship center. VOEI Counselling Center is on 6464 Savoy, Suite 790, Houston, TX 77036. For more information, please call 281-857- 2073, or email the Man of God directly by clicking >>>
Osteen and McIngvale: between preaching Christ, and practicing the values Christ lived
“Pastorship” is an office; pastor is a position. Both bear no relevance to the spiritual values of salvation of individual souls. The divine implications of the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25 – 37) illustrate the true meaning of “neighbor,” demonstrating that proximity does not justify goodwill.”
By Anthony Obi Ogbo | Houston, TX
Besides Justin James “J. J.” Watt, the popular American football defensive end for Houston Texans, the two most familiar faces on the local TV screens are Joel Scott Osteen, Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, and Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, businessman and philanthropist, and owner of the Gallery Furniture retail chain. Both have benefited immensely from Houston’s largess as fourth largest city in the United States; they may have also received grants through Not-for-Profit engagements, and in turn, facilitated millions of dollars in charitable ventures that benefited not only individuals, but also the development of the social system.
But Houston is not inconsiderate. The Clutch City population shower both the Lakewood Church and Gallery Furniture with unprecedented patronage while the media accord unimaginable coverage to their activities. Equally, the city government has been supportive too allowing both entities flexible policy actions and intangible rewards.
In the social community, both men however, are indeed perceived differently. The smooth-talking pastor, Reverend Osteen is viewed as a man of God who presides over more than 50,000 congregation members – dispersing sermons televised to over seven million viewers weekly and over 20 million monthly in over 100 countries. Mr. McIngvale known as “Mattress Mack” remained the unapologetic business guru who would tell you how he built his business from just about nothing and propelled it to the top. He is an innovative manager who singlehandedly designed his business transformation strategies and made his money, one-dime-at-a-time, to attain his current accomplishment. For instance, in 2014, McIngvale conceptualized, designed, and launched his new line of “Mack-O-Pedic” therapeutic mattresses.
In summary, both Rev. Osteen and Mr. McIngvale are successful businessmen – one making money by trading on ‘Scriptures’, whereas the other sells his skills in furniture production and sales. So, when the news of how both men handled their ‘faith’ during the deadly Hurricane Harvey, the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005, the social media went agog. Discussion threads rendered outspoken appraisal of actions and inactions; they specifically lambasted the supposed ‘Man of God’, Rev. Osteen for a lack of empathy in the face of the devastation and monumental emergency outcome following the disaster.
Harvey was not a Hollywood Movie. She made good all her threats and ravaged thousands of victims. For instance, just in four days, some Houston areas received more than 40 inches of rain with thunder, earth-shattering wild wind, and calamitous flooding. Hundreds of thousands of homes were displaced, while more than 30,000 people were endangered. But at the beginning, and in fact, peak of the moment, Houstonians were sleepless offering helps at various capacities. From Houston’s Mayor, council members and officials, to the media, church leaders and humanitarian organizations – all hands were on the deck. Emergency workers took calculated risks to save lives of many trapped and traumatized by the calamity. Business owners who were trapped broke their company protocols and gave verbal approvals orders for emergency workers to break into their facilities and use them for shelters.
This was when Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria chose to go to the twitters to offer prayers for the shattering moment. But their prayers were still normal, because worldwide, Houston received similar blessings. What gave the Osteens up for public denouncement was the report that they ‘refused’ to open their facility for relief activities because “the neighborhood was badly flooded and inaccessible”. A videos of Lakewood posted in the social media, however showed the opposite – revealing that the area was very accessible, and in fact, justifying the claims that the church leaders actually shut the door of a facility that could have provided shelter for up to 16,000 or more people given the size of Lakewood Church.
To make matters worse, Reverend Osteen took the mainstream media where he had much influence to stage-manage a defense of his ungodly action or inaction. Finally of sheer shame, he opened the doors out his church, called in church members and leaders, and went to the media to announce relief services. Of course, members of the church launched an image-redemption attack in the social media in their worship center and their Pastor.
Conversely, Mr. McIngvale who had been committed to rescue and relief activities even before Harvey, immediately turned his showroom into a shelter for victims when hostile storm did hit. He had welcomed those flooded out of their homes into his two Houston gigantic stores, holding about 400 survivors at some point. Victims were allowed to use exquisite and expensive brand new beds, beddings and sofas; relief workers were even seen taking nap-breaks in-between their hectic duties at McIngvale’s.
While these moments are still trending in the social media, the lessons of life may have again explained the thin psychological line between preaching Christ, and practicing the values that Christ lived and addressed. “Pastorship” is an office; pastor is a position. Both bear no relevance to the spiritual values of salvation of individual souls. The divine implications of the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25 – 37) illustrate the true meaning of “neighbor,” demonstrating that proximity does not justify goodwill. In reality, the process of church may be seen as downright business, and has no connection whatsoever in defining individual characters.
Matthew 7:12 forms the basis for the Golden Rule: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (NIV). This Golden Rule decodes the moral philosophy of life irrespective of individual beliefs. In addition, the Ten Commandments invokes the ultimate distinction of religious practice and dovetails both the Mosaic Law, and the Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, charging the need for human decency, love, and kindness.
Reverend Osteen has indeed lavished time, money, and resources trying to clean his errors; this act brings to question his leadership competence in matters of faith and spirituality. Hurricane Harvey has indeed tested his spiritual sure footing, and without the klieg lights and camera cosmetic flashes, the bareness of Osteen’s natural face is clearly viewed. Many Lakewood Church members may have been mortified by the actions of their ‘revered pastor’; they still believe that ‘something went wrong’. But confession augments apology – thus, a public confession for falling short in his spiritual and moral responsibilities and a simple apology – rather than the thoughtless self-defense campaign, would have subdued the impending embarrassment. Is this confession late? Absolutely not.
As Harvey submerges Houston, local officials defend their calls not to evacuate
Through Monday morning, Harvey continued to unleash record levels of rain on Houston, causing “catastrophic” flooding in the city and in surrounding Harris County, where at least six people appear to have died as a result of the storm.
Some parts of Harris County have received more than 30 inches of rain since Friday, according to the National Weather Service. The NWS warned of “additional catastrophic, unprecedented and life threatening flooding” through this week and placed flash-flood emergencies for all of Southeast Texas.
As the much-anticipated storm pummeled the country’s fourth-largest city — overwhelming the 911 system and sending some residents, against the advice of officials, into their attics to flee floodwaters — many asked the question: Should Houston have been evacuated? If so, why wasn’t it?
At least one top official thought it should have been.
On Friday, before Harvey made landfall, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) encouraged residents to evacuate low lying and coastal areas, even if a mandatory evacuation order had not been issued.
“Even if an evacuation order hasn’t been issued by your local official, if you’re in an area between Corpus Christi and Houston, you need to strongly consider evacuating,” Abbott said at a news conference. “What you don’t know, and what nobody else knows right now, is the magnitude of flooding that will be coming.
“You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you could be subject to a search and rescue.”
The governor’s warning was in sharp contrast to the advice local and county officials had been dispensing for days: Shelter and stay in place.
And it set off a scramble by local officials on social media to tell Houston-area residents otherwise.
“LOCAL LEADERS KNOW BEST,” Francisco Sanchez, spokesman for the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, tweeted in response to Abbott’s warning.
There were no evacuation orders in Houston, and orders only existed in a few communities in Harris County, Sanchez stressed on Friday afternoon.
In a follow-up tweet, Sanchez urged residents to heed the advice of local officials, such as Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, rather than the governor.
On Saturday morning, as Hurricane Harvey’s powerful winds and rain caused severe damage to coastal communities, the Houston mayor warned people there would be heavy rain and flooding in the city for the next four to five days — but once again emphasized they did not need to evacuate.
Turner also addressed concerns that Abbott and local officials had sent conflicting messages about what was safer: fleeing or staying in place.
“Quite frankly, leaving your homes, getting on the streets, you’ll be putting yourself in more danger and not making yourself safer,” he said. “And so, we’re just asking people to hunker down.”
The following day, as the storm’s devastating toll came into better focus, Turner defended his call for people to stay in place.
“There was a lot of conversation about the direction in which hurricane Harvey was going to go,” he said at a news conference Sunday. “No one knew which direction it was going to go. So it’s kind of different to send people away from danger when you don’t know where the danger is.”
He added that trying to evacuate the city in such a short time would have been logistically “crazy,” as history has shown.
“Remember the last time we evacuated, there was a great deal of confusion, great deal of chaos,” the mayor said. “There were people that were going to Austin that were on the road 10 to 12 hours, if not longer. There were people who ran out of gas on their way — a great deal of confusion.”
Turner was referring to the city’s evacuation ahead of Hurricane Rita in 2005, a disastrous effort that resulted in dozens of deaths and widespread criticism of the authorities.
Emmett, Harris County’s chief executive, echoed Turner’s thoughts Sunday, telling reporters there was “absolutely no reason” to evacuate the city before the storm.
“You cannot put, in the city of Houston, 2.3 million people on the road. … That is dangerous,” the judge said, according to CNN. “If you think the situation right now is bad — you give an order to evacuate, you create a nightmare.”
And during a record breaking flood, one expert said, inside a car is one of the most dangerous places to be, which complicates the decision to evacuate.
“People disproportionately die in cars from floods, so evacuation is not as straightforward a call as seems,” Marshall Shepherd, a program director in atmospheric sciences at the University of Georgia, tweeted Sunday.
Still, reports and images from Houston and Harris County showed it was increasingly difficult for people to stay off the streets.
As The Washington Post reported, Texas officials had begun to get a sense of the full magnitude of the storm, including its effect on rivers and levees
The Brazos River, which runs southwest of Houston, is expected to reach record heights in the coming days. National Weather Service models showed the river rising to 59 feet by Tuesday, topping the previous record of 54.7 feet.
“A flood of this magnitude is an 800-year event, and it exceeds the design specification of our levees,” Fort Bend County Judge Robert Hebert said in a statement Monday.
The National Weather Service — which tweeted the “beyond anything experienced” description that morning — was predicting that parts of Texas could receive nearly 50 inches of rain, the largest recorded total in the state’s history.
FEMA Administrator William “Brock” Long said Monday that Harvey could force 30,000 people into shelters, and he anticipated 450,000 people would seek some sort of disaster assistance.
“We have not seen an event like this,” he said. “You could not draw this forecast up. You could not dream this forecast up.”
[Trump praises storm response as millions brace for historic flooding]
Houston and Harris County officials who urged people to stay home before the storm may have been remembering that the city government was strongly criticized after the disastrous evacuation before Hurricane Rita in 2005.
In the hours before Rita struck the Houston area in September 2005, government officials issued an evacuation order, and some 2.5 million people hit the road at the same time, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Officials later reported more than 100 deaths connected to Hurricane Rita — and at least 60 of those deaths were linked the evacuation itself, according to a 2006 report to the Texas House of Representatives.
Dozens were injured or died of heat stroke waiting in traffic for nearly a full day. Fights broke out on clogged highways. A charter bus carrying people from a nursing home exploded on the side of Interstate 45, killing 24 people inside.
Meanwhile, the fear from Hurricane Rita turned out to be unfounded. It weakened from a Category 5 churning in the Gulf of Mexico to a Category 3 by the time it made landfall in East Texas — and resulted in a fraction of the damage and deaths as Hurricane Katrina, which had ravaged New Orleans three weeks earlier.
After Hurricane Rita, many in Houston returned to their homes after hours of languishing on the highway “and found the house was fine and the street wasn’t flooded,” according to Madhu Beriwal, the president and chief executive of IEM, a disaster planning and prevention company who has worked in Harris County. Her company wasn’t involved in planning for Hurricane Harvey, and she said she did not advise officials about whether to evacuate the city.
In evacuation planning, public officials are trying to find “the course of least regret,” Beriwal said. Traveling by car has inherent risks, and any mandatory evacuation order comes with the grim understanding that people will die trying to get out, she added.
“We know that there’s going to result in a certain number of deaths just by having so many people on the road,” Beriwal told The Post. “When you have evacuation traffic, it’s even more difficult, because you have people that are very vulnerable traveling. … The people that tend to die in bigger numbers (during evacuations) are generally the elderly — people that wouldn’t normally be on the road anyway.”
But no matter which path officials decide to take, Beriwal said, “It is always better to speak with one voice so people know what the officials think is the best thing to do.”
After Rita, officials began changing laws and government programs to improve future evacuations.
The state’s emergency management division began to work more closely with municipalities to coordinate hurricane response plans, the Texas Tribune reported, “including finding ways to restore power sooner.”
Lawmakers amended statutes to make it easier for emergency workers from other parts of the state to help during a crisis, the Tribune reported, and removed liability worries that hindered mutual aid.
Now, state and local authorities participate in drills to reverse the traffic flow on the highway to “ensure various agencies stay familiar with the process.”
On Monday, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo was asked by a Fox Business Network anchor whether it was a mistake not to order an evacuation ahead of Harvey.
“Oh lord, you know I love the backseat quarterbacks,” he said. “I absolutely support the decision of our mayor and the county judge to not evacuate. Where do you take … 6.5 million people, where do you send them? Especially in a state that is so prone to flash floods on our highways, we haven’t been able to get resources here because highways have been blocked throughout the state of Texas.
“So I don’t think they understand the complexity, they don’t understand just how widespread this entire emergency has been.”
Texas State Rep. Armando Walle, who represents a district that stretches from northern reaches of Houston into unincorporated parts of Harris County, told The Post on Monday the decision against ordering evacuations probably saved lives.
“You would have had a calamity of biblical proportions; that’s not an overstatement,” he said. “If you put 1 million cars on the road when every major road in this region is under water, it would have been a disaster. There are challenges in any disaster, but that decision not to call for mandatory evacuations was the right decision. I believe that you would have had thousands of people perish. … People have listened to their local leaders and are paying attention.”
The Influence of Love – Book on Emotional Complexities and Resolution debuts September
The Influence of Love, a life episodes of emotional complexities and resolution written by Nellie Onwuchekwa is ready for the bookstands. Written in episodes, this book uses true-life events to invoke the power of INFLUENCE in emotional entanglements. Passages accentuate the powerful dynamics of INFLUENCE, which directly affects decisions of partners in relationships. Each episode reflects individual emotional struggles, conflicts, and sometimes, painful resolution processes.
Of great importance is the author’s key principle that “a relationship without invisible underpinning influencing variables is chaff at best”. Enjoy exploring the depth of pain, emotion, pleasure, and rationality that form the building blocks of stable relationships via the Influence of Love.
According to Onwuchekwa, “Man is a bundle of emotions. Our Emotions play critical roles on how we think and behave – and respond to stimulus or events around us. Different interplays of elements impact our emotional responses, and influence the outcome of our relationships. Incidentally, emotions can be really complex, and, response to emotional stimuli – rational or irrational, may have life-changing impact on our lives.” The Influence of Love thus broadens the reader’s perspectives on complexities of Love and emotions; and offers positive resolution paths.
Nellie Roselynde Onwuchekwa, B.Sc. M.ILD, is Vice President of US-based Guardian Solutions and Group Chief Executive Officer of Afresh Group in Nigeria. An entrepreneur and philanthropist, Nellie is the founder of Afresh Global Foundation and Chief Sponsor of ‘Emotionally Yours Show’ and ‘Growth Café Seminars’, which has provided learning for over 10,000 youths annually. She has continued to provide professional guidance and support for victims of emotional trauma.
Nellie Roselynde Onwuchekwa, B.Sc. M.ILD, is Vice President (Business Development) of US-based Guardian Solutions and Group Chief Executive Officer of Afresh Group in Nigeria. A Security and Risk Management Expert, Nellie spent 20 years managing threat matrixes, business integrity, compliance issues and environmental complexities in the Oil and Gas industry for Mobil Producing Nigeria, an ExxonMobil Subsidiary in Nigeria. Dealing with in Business Continuity Planning and Execution, Process and Compliance, Risk Management, Security Surveying and Designs, Project Management Assessment, Due Diligence Investigations and Personnel Background Vetting provided the basis for issues-centered ‘emotional escape program’ – the ‘Emotionally Yours Show’ on UNILAG FM. During the last ten years, Nellie has been committed to emotional counseling and supporting families undergoing various levels of emotional crisis.
An entrepreneur and philanthropist, Nellie is the founder of Afresh Global Foundation and Chief Sponsor of ‘Emotionally Yours Show’ and ‘Growth Café Seminars’, which has provided learning for over 10,000 youths annually. She has continued to provide professional guidance and support for victims of emotional trauma. Communications Director for Western Nigeria Union Conferences and Board Member of Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Nigeria, Nellie Onwuchekwa’s commitment to the development of Nigerian youth remains unparalleled.
Spectacular photos of Dr. & Dr. Mrs. Ugwu’s 39th Anniversary Reception – Houston, Texas
Remarkable moment as Dr. & Dr. Mrs. Ugwu renewed marriage vows with 39-yr anniversary celebration
Presided by Dr. Roger DeYoung, Dr. David E. and Dr. (Mrs.) Patricia I. Ugwu, on July 22, 2017 renewed their marriage vows with a 39-year anniversary celebration. Event started with a church service at the Hope Church on Pinloch Drive, where the wedding ceremony took place, and progressed to an all evening grand reception at the Gardens on Beamer Road.
Besides the couple, the Train was spectacular too, with Mrs. Comfort Okoh, the Mother of Bride; Ms. Vivien Iweanya, Maid of Honor; Sir Nick Chukwu, Best Man; Mrs. Helen Okonkwo, Ms. Adaeze Ugwu, Mrs. Gloria Enwere, and Mrs. Lynda Ejiofor as the Bridesmaids; and Kanayo Ugwu, Chiugo Ugwu, Oguejiofor Ugwu, and Chief Dr. Ikeddy Enwere as the Groomsmen.
Photos: Gregory Oraelosi (Gofmora Pictures)
Region where “Every woman who gives birth has one foot on her grave”
Pregnant women back home do not have the minimum required medical assistance during pregnancy, childbirth and after giving birth
By Ollia Njibaloh
Today’s post is going to be on a more serious note and good kind of seriousness, I promise. I found the title online and it is supposed to be derived from an African proverb. It resonates with what I am about to discuss next, so read it carefully one more time.
I have always “flirted” with the idea of being engaged in a cause or fight for something other than myself. With age, and “some” life experience, the desire seems to grow even stronger. As a human, I feel that at one point in your life, with gained wisdom and maturity, you need to fight or stand for at least one thing bigger than yourself. I truly believe that it is necessary especially if you are religious or/and somewhat spiritual because it takes you out of your comfort zone and it is super powerful.
I will admit that in my early twenties, I didn’t really feel strong about anything and always wondered when I saw people gathering to manifest about something; I was like “They do have time!” I didn’t understand why and how.
Like most times in life, change occurs and you involve. I am sure that if some of you had to rewind to your young days, you’d probably be wondering what was wrong with you then. It is all good, no need to be embarrassed, we all went through that.
Very cliché but after having my daughter and going through to some hardships as a single mother, it all came together, I finally started “feeling” and I knew that sooner or later I would get involve with: mothers, babies, Cameroon, Africa and/or USA. Cameroon because it is my country of birth and the USA because it is my country of adoption that has made my American Dream come true and it is the land of my daughter.
Not long ago, I came across this wonderful organization called “ Life for African Mothers” (http://lifeforafricanmothers.org). It is a charity created in 2006 by a lovely lady called Angela Gorman. I am not sure if some of you are aware of the fact that the maternity and infant mortality rates are extremely high in Sub Saharan African due to lack of basic medication and adequate nurse/midwife training programs. Life for African mothers provides medications to treat eclampsia and post partum haemorrhage and support hospitals and health centers across Africa. They also facilitate midwifery-training programs in several countries to help update qualified midwives to enhance their clinical skills in caring for mother and baby. Unfortunately, on top of the lack of medication, there is also a lack of education and most pregnant women unlike in the USA do not go for regular check ups during their pregnancy. Consequently, any abnormalities are not detected in the early stages of the pregnancy and by the time they go to the hospitals, it is too late to safe the baby and/or the mommy.
I grew up in Cameroon therefore, most of the information I gathered during my discussion with Angela wasn’t really surprising. A while back if some of you recall, there was a horrible video of a woman dying in front of a hospital while giving birth that went viral on social media. This incident occurred in Douala the economic capital of Cameroon. The woman was denied medical assistance because she had no money. She died and so did her babies.
Pregnant women back home do not have the minimum required medical assistance during pregnancy, childbirth and after giving birth. I do not think that certain difficulties that a new mother could face such as post partum depression is recognized in Cameroon, no mother would ever bring that up that after giving birth: fear to be ridiculed or shame perhaps both. It is even more surprising that maternity care improvement is not part of most African countries’ policies or agendas, SHAME; I am sure objectives are being thrown here and there but no follow up as usual.
Today I have found something worth fighting for, and I am glad I did because I just added one more “ To Do” to my life’s purpose list. After discussing with Mrs. Angela Gorman and going in depth on the work of Life for African Mothers ( in Cameroon especially). I made a decision to make a donation of 15% of the yearly Mila Christina Cashmere for Babies net sales. My clothing line is still in the start up stage, I believe there is nothing as too small when it comes to helping. I would like to think of it as: if I am able to save at least 1 mother’s life and/ or her baby’s, for me that would be a lifetime accomplishment. And I am happy to brag about this, because, I feel good!
One more proverb from Malawi before ending and you can meditate on this one: “Mother is God number two.”