African Voices: Episode 3

United African Organization’s third African Voices Podcast is here! In the December episode:

  • News and events from the African community in Illinois this month.
  • Information about the UAO’s free ESL (English as a Second Language) classes.
  • Feature on Liberia and Sierra Leone: Interviews with authors Jonny Steinberg from South Africa (Little Liberia) and Bobby Gboyor from Sierra Leone (Clouds of a Ghoulish War). Full versions of the interviews will be available soon.
  • Music from the new album Tassili by Malian band Tinariwen, who played in Chicago recently. Look out for next week’s Special Holiday Edition of African Voices Podcast, featuring an interview with Tinariwen and more of their music.

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 3


This episode features the music of Malian band Tinariwen. The band was in Chicago over Thanksgiving to play a live show at Metro. Tinariwen has an unusual story. Most of the band members began playing together in southern Algeria in the early 1980s. When the Touareg rebellion broke out in Mali and Niger, several of them joined the Touareg army. In 1994, they put down their arms but their music, about the plight of the Touareg people, continues. Look out for the Holiday edition of African Voices podcast, including an interview with Tinariwen. Songs featured in this podcast:

  • Iswegh Attay
  • Imidiwan Win Sahara
  • Imidiwan Ma Tennam

You can find Tinariwen at their own website, Facebook and Twitter.


The UAO runs free ESL (English as a Second Language) classes three times a week, from Mon-Wed, 10:00 am-12:00 noon. The classes are open to all. If you are interested in taking ESL classes, arrange an appointment at the UAO office by calling (312) 949-9980 or email Or come in and see us:

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


In a feature on Liberia and Sierra Leone, we interviewed authors Jonny Steinberg (from South Africa) and Bobby Gboyor (from Sierra Leone).

Jonny Steinberg, Little Liberia
Jonny Steinberg is a world-renowned journalist and writer. Jonny Steinberg was born and grew up in South Africa. He has a doctorate in political theory from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Steinberg is two-times winner of South Africa’s premier nonfiction literary award, the Sunday Times Alan Paton Prize. His previous books include The Number, Midlands and Sizwe’s Test. His most recent book, Little Liberia, follows two community leaders, Jacob and Rufus, in the Liberian community in Staten Island, New York. In the book, Steinberg weaves the personal stories of Jacob and Rufus with the history and politics of immigration in the United States and the Liberian civil war. Steinberg is currently based in the African Studies Department at the University of Oxford. He is working on a book about Somalian refugees in South Africa.

Buy the book here.

Bobby Gboyor, Clouds of Ghoulish War (interview originally aired live on Legend Talk Radio)
Bobby Gboyor was born in 1962 at Bambawo village, Eastern Province of Sierra Leone. He is a graduate of Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone and London South Bank University Department of Law in the United Kingdom. In 2007, he completed an LL.M program in International Law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C. As a journalist, Gboyor covered the civil war in Sierra Leone, collecting personal stories from individuals and families. Gboyor was a case-manager for the International Court on Sierra Leone, where he handled the Charles Taylor case. In his recent book, Clouds of a Ghoulish War, Gboyor writes about advent of the civil wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia in the 1990s, through the eyes of those who experienced it first hand. Gboyor currently works in the Office of the Attorney General in Washington D.C.
Buy the book here. Listen to the podcast to hear a discount code Mr. Gboyor gave out to listeners of African Voices and Legend Talk Radio!


  • UAO joined with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights in December to host a free citizenship workshop. These workshops take place every month. The next workshop will be on Saturday, January 14, 2012. Go to for more info.
  • Tanzanians in the Chicagoland area came together over the weekend to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Tanzania’s Independence. Friday, December 9, 2011 marked the 50th year, to the day, that Tanzania gained its independence from Britain. The Tanzanian Community Association of the Midwest (USA) hosted an event to recognize this special anniversary. You can see pictures from the event at the Tanzanian Community Association Facebook page. Congratulations to our Tanzanian brothers and sisters! Pleasant Travels and Tours to this podcast. Pleasant Travels and Tourism (877-508-1927), a company on Clark and Devon that connects people to airline flights, gave away an airline ticket in honor of the Tanzanian community.
  • Cameroonian Brotherhood Association of Chicago is holding a Christmas party and gift-giving ceremony for children in the community. The CBAC also has a blog, regularly updated with articles on affairs in Cameroon – if you are interested, go to: and click ‘Mboa news’.
  • We congratulate our Kenyan brothers and sisters on the 48th Anniversary of their Independence on December 12.
  • WBEZ (Worldview) this month did a feature on African Food in the United States. They interviewed African immigrants and refugees in Chicago, and asked how they adapted foods from home to their US setting. Go to to listen!
  • This week the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on Arizona’s tough immigration laws. The Court will decide whether or not Arizona is allowed to implement its anti-immigration law, SB 1070. These laws require police to question anyone they stop in Arizona about their immigration status. Immigrant rights activists pointed out that the law would result in wide-spread racial profiling. The state of Arizona’s push to make life difficult for immigrants has continued, despite the recalling of Russell Pearce, architect of SB 1070 and President of the Arizona State Senate. The struggle for immigrant rights continues!
  • Congressman Bobby L. Rush (Dem, IL) will receive the prestigious Leon H. Sullivan Foundation’s Champion of African Diaspora Economic Growth Award on Thursday, December 15, 2011.  Rush will be honored for his work in Congress towards strengthening U.S.-Africa trade relations. In accepting the Sullivan Award Rush says he believes the reconnection of Africans and African Americans is essential. Rush said, quote:“The African Diaspora constitutes a growing economic force for the U.S. economy, including African immigrants, who census data reports are the most highly educated of any immigrant group in this nation.  I believe the reconnection of America’s workers with Africa’s workers will spark economic growth and development that will benefit us all.”


  • Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago (ECAC) Xmas Party
    Date: Sat 17 Dec 2011
    Time: 2-6pm
    Venue: ECAC 1730 West Greenleaf Avenue, Food, music and gifts. Bring food to share. For more info contact M’aza Dowling-Brown: 773-508-0303 ext. 118 or visit
  • From the Cameroonian Brotherhood Association of Chicago: PII Foundation for Social Development presents
    2012 New Year’s Party
    Featuring DJ Josman
    Date: December 31, 2011
    Time: 9:00pm-3:00am
    Venue: Trinity Episcopal Church, 125 East 26th Street, Chicago IL 0626
    Got to for more info
  • Chicago African Night
    Date: Friday 30 Dec 2011
    Time: 19:00
    Venue: Irish American Heritage Center
    4626 North Knox Avenue
    ChicagoAfrican Night is a social event initiated by AFRICHES, not only to make sure that everyone ends the year 2011 with love and bliss, but also to promote the rich African diversity.This year Afriches are organizing a Fashion and Dance Extravaganza to showcase the diversity of Africa’s cultures.For tickets/more info, go to
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