African Voices: Episode 2

United African Organization’s second African Voices Podcast is here! In the November episode:

  • News and events from the African community in Illinois this month
  • Short interview with Masankho Banda, artists and performer from Malawi
  • How to access benefits and resources with the Immigrant Family Resource Program
  • Africans in Chicago oral history interview with Anslem John-Miller, from Nigeria
  • Music from Nomsa Mazwai, South African singer who won the South African Music Award for Best Newcomer in 2011

If you would like to contribute news, events, issues, interviews or music to our podcast, email us: or call: (312) 949 9980 between 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri.

Click the link below to see the full details of news, events and music featured on the podcast.

African Voices Podcast, Episode 2


This episode features the music of Nomsa Mazwai. Nomsa grew up in the Eastern Cape and in Gauteng provinces in South Africa. She is from a family of singers – her older sister is the mutli-award winning Thandiswa Mazwai. She is currently a Fulbright scholar, doing her Masters in Economics in New York City. Nomsa’s music is informed by her understanding of economic and social issues in Africa. In 2011, she won Best Newcomer at the South African Music Awards (SAMA), the South African equivalent of the Grammys. Songs featured in this podcast:

  • Nguwe
  • Supasta
  • With You
  • Cockroaches Fly

You can find Nomsa Mazwai on Facebook and Twitter. You can download her music on Bandcamp.

Look out for a special edition of African Voices on Nomsa Mazwai, including an interview with the artist.


The Immigrant Family Resource Program (IFRP) is an essential way for you to access benefits and resources. To find out if you are eligible for benefits, call the United African Organization on 312 949 9980 or come into our offices. We are located at:

3424 S. State Street, Suite 3C8-2
Chicago, IL 60616


Anslem John Miller was born in Nigeria. He is a member of MOSOP, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People. He came to Chicago as a refugee in 1996, to escape threats to his safety. He now works in the area of HIV Aids.

UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) Report on Ogoniland, Nigeria (at request of Nigerian government)

MOSOP’s website


  • ICIRR’s new hotline proving to be a success
    Since September, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, a partner of the UAO, has been running a 24-hour hotline for families who fear or are undergoing deportation. The hotline is the only one of its kind in the country. The line is completely confidential. It provides information and referrals to legal services, social services, ministers and help for immigrant families in crisis. The hotline is open to all. To call in from anywhere in the U.S., dial 1-855-HELP-MY-FAMILY – that’s 1-855-435-7693. You do not have to be living in Illinois. At the moment the hotline is available in English, Spanish, Korean and Portuguese.Article by the Huffington Post on the hotline
  • Spotlight: Alabama
    It has been a few months after Governor Robert Bentley signed a tough anti-immigration law in Alabama. As the ICIRR writes, the law “essentially turns educators, business owners, landlords and citizens into immigration officers, and punishes anyone caught hiring, housing or even giving a car ride to an undocumented person in the state.” Particularly worrying is that the law requires school superintendents to request that new students provide proof of US citizenship when they apply. Although federal law prevents undocumented children from being turned away from Grade school, Alabama’s law makes immigrant parents fearful of enrolling their children. The law flies in the face of legislation like the DREAM Act, which was passed in Illinois earlier this year. Under the provisions of the DREAM Act, qualifying undocumented youth ARE eligible for a conditional path to citizenship.Let’s keep an eye on Alabama, Arizona and other states targeting immigrants. And let’s stand in solidarity with these immigrants who, like us, make important contributions to the United States.Join solidarity with National Coalition of La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights organization, and their Affiliate, the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, in telling Alabama’s state legislature and governor that you stand firm against Alabama’s anti-immigration laws and the message it sends to our country.  Even if you aren’t from Alabama, you can send a letter to your federal legislators and tell them that Alabama is no example to follow; it’s an example of what we do NOT want to be.Click to find out how to take action


  • “Renaissance for Somalia” – Fashion-Show Fundrasier
    Date: Saturday, November 19th, 2011
    Time: 3pm-5pm
    Venue: Esther Smith Hall, New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1252 W. Wolcott Avenue, Chicago IL 60608
    Tickets are $30 (your donation is tax deductible)To purchase more tickets, or for more information, call the United African Organization on 312 949 9980 or email You can also call the East African Community Center on: 773 681 0801Somali Refugees urgently need medical aid, high-protein/high-energy food, clean water, shelter. Show your support by coming to this event.
  • Citizenship workshopThe UAO has teamed up with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to bring Citizenship workshops to the African community in Chicago. Repeat workshops are held throughout the year. November workshops will be held on:Date: Sat, Nov 5, 2011
    Time: 9:00 am-12:00 pm
    Venue: Indo American Center
    632 N. California Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60659Date: Sat, Nov 19, 2011
    Time: 9:00 am-12:00 pm
    Venue: Truman College
    1145 W. Wilsen Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60640At the workshop, participants will receive:
    ~Free assistance to complete the application for naturalization
    ~Free legal consultation with an immigration attorney
    ~Free information on how to apply for application fee waiver
    ~Free study materials to prepare for the test and interviewTo register for either of these free workshops or for more info, contact Cheikh Diop: or call (312) 949 9980
  • Leadership workshopThe UAO held its 2nd Leadership Workshop on October 15th. Leaders from various African community organizations came together to engage with the idea that community organizing is a tool for social change. The workshop was facilitated by Oscar Chacón, Executive Director of the National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities (NALACC).The next leadership workshop focuses on Strengthening Organizational Capacity. It takes place on Saturday, November 19th, 2011 from 9:00am – 1:00pm at 10 West 35th Street, 6th floor, Chicago, IL 60616.To register for this FREE workshop, email OR call us on (312) 949 9980. View Leadership Schedule on our website.
  • Tinariwen concertMalian band Tinariwen will be in concert in Chicago on
    Date: Friday, November 25, 2011.
    Time: Doors: 8PM / Show: 9PM
    Venue: 3730 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60613 (Two blocks North of Wrigley Field)
    Cost: $26 advance, $29 day of show. Tickets are on sale now at the Metro Box Office and online at and UAO has two tickets for the concert to give away. Keep an eye on the UAO website, as well as our blog, twitter and facebook pages to for the competition announcement!
  • Film Screening: ‘Elevate’
    An award winning documentary film, ELEVATE, is coming to Chicago. The documentary about four tall West African teens who, based on their hard work, merits and dedication, are selected to play basketball at American prep schools and hope to one day play in the NBA. ELEVATE will be opening in Chicago at the AMC River East 21 on November 11th, 2011. Keep an eye on the UAO website, www.uniteafricans.orgto find out how to get special tickets.Click for the trailer
  • Film Screening – “Blacks Without Borders: Chasing the American dream in South Africa”
    A groundbreaking documentary that takes a heartfelt look at the emotional journey of a group of African Americans who called it quits in the U.S. to start a new life in South Africa. With 4 to 5 million immigrants coming to America every year to pursue the American dream why are they leaving? Blacks Without Borders answers that question and more.Date: Sunday, November 13, 2:00-4:00pm
    Venue: DuSable MuseumGo to the DuSable museum website for more info.
  • Performance by Masankho Banda
    Masakankho Banda, a performer from Malawi, currently living in California, will be in Chicago this month to do two workshops. Masankho uses performance, music and story-telling to build peace, create harmony, and inspire diversity.Dates and Times:
    Friday, Nov 4, 7pm
    Sunday, Nov 6, 2pmVenue: St Pauls United Church of Christ
    2335 North Orchard
    Chicago, IL 60614Cost to enroll is: $195Masankho Banda is also giving two PUBLIC performances:Dates and Times:Friday Nov 4, 7pm-9pm
    Cultures of Peace performance by Masankho and guests (non participants- 5 dollars suggested donation)

    Sunday Nov 6, 1pm-2pm (Free-Open to the Public) A Cultures of Peace Dance.
    Venue: St Pauls United Church of Christ
    2335 North Orchard
    Chicago, IL 60614

    You can catch more from our interview with Masankho in our next podcast episode. Visit his website

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  1. Pingback: African Voices: Special Edition on MOSOP and multi-nationals in Africa | African Voices Podcast

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