African Voices: Episode 4


The first podcast of 2012! African Voices, Episode 4! In this episode:

  • News and events from the African community in Illinois this month.
  • Top news stories from the African continent.
  • How to get employment advice from the UAO.
  • Africans in Chicago interview with Fatimata Traore, President of Illinois Association of Hair braiders.
  • Music from Chicago-based duo Survivors, made up of Johnny T from Rwanda and Jeanri from Haiti.

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.


This episode features the music of Chicago-based duo Survivors, made up of Johnny T from Rwanda and Jeanri from Haiti. Johnny T was born in Kigali, Rwanda. His parents both died during the Rwanda genocide in 1994. He came to the US as a refugee, accompanied by his brothers and sisters. He moved from Connecticut to Chicago 2 years ago to further his music career. In Chicago he met Haitian musician Jeanri and the two hit it off. Their band, Survivors, is only 9 months old. We play the following Survivors tracks:

  • My Story
  • We Made It
  • Destiny

To find out more about Survivors, visit their website.


The UAO offers employment advice for people of all different education, skill and language levels. If you need help with your resume, applying for a job, practicing for an interview, learning how to search for jobs online, use email or even improve your English, the UAO can help. Call 312-949-9980 and ask for Abang Ogwang. Or email

Or come in and see us:

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


We interview Fatima Traore, President of Illinois Association of Hair Braiders (IAHOB). Fatima was born in Burkina Faso but grew up in Mali. She studied architecture but when she moved to Chicago she decided to become a professional hair braider. The Illinois Association of Hair Braiders, with support from the United African Organization, successfully campaigned for the state of Illinois introduce a special set of licenses for hair braiders. The provision of new licenses, written into law in August 2011, means that hair braiders do not have to attend cosmetology school in order to practice their craft professionally and legally.

If you are a hair braider and want to get a license or if you want to find out more about the new licenses, visit the IAHOB website.



  • The Union of Liberian Associations in America has appointed two Illinois representatives, both of whom are local community activists: Gaye Sleh is president and Garcon Morweh chairs the Youth Empowerment Committee.
  • To mark the 100th birthday of the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa, Reverent Jeremiah Wright gave a sermon on Friday 6 January; Panel Discussion on Civil Rights Movement followed in Chicago. UAO interviewed South African Funeka Sihlali about the centenary on CANTV.
  • Ghanaian palm-wine guitarist, Koo Nimo, visited Chicago last week where he played to a packed crowd at the Old Town School of Folk Music
  • reports that Nigerian student Al Chisom, a senior at Central Washington University, is due to be deported from the U.S. Chisom’s father, a journalist who exposed corruption in Nigeria was assassinated in 1995.  After his Father’s death, Chisom and his mother coame to the U.S to seek asylum.
  • In January, the Obama administration announced that it would propose a Family Unity Waiver. What does this mean? The waiver would make it possible for some close relatives of US citizens who qualify for legal status to process their applications more quickly and easily. However, the Family Unity Waiver is a proposal and not yet law. For more information on the Family Unity Waiver, go to
  • UAO Executive Director Alie Kabba is running a radio show on the second Saturday of every month from 2pm-3pm on WVON AM1690. His previous show was on the situation in the DRC.
  • UAO commemorates ANC centenary with panel discussion and multimedia presentation on connection between ANC and other liberation movements in Africa.
    Date: Saturday, February 11
    Time: 3:30pm-6:00pm
    Venue: Bronzeville Room on 6th floor of IIT Tower Building: 10 West 35th Street, Chicago, IL
  • African Youth Forum
    Date: Saturday, February 18
    Time: 3-5pm
    Venue: To be announced, check for more info
  • Upcoming Leadership Workshops: The ABC of Fundraising
    Workshop dates:
    Saturday January 21, 2012 from 9am-1pm
    Saturday February 25, 2012 from 9am-1pmFor both workshops, venue is University Room, 6th floor, IIT Tower Building, 10 West 35th Street, Chicago IL. Workshops are free but please email to register
  • Upcoming citizenship Workshops:
    Date: Tuesday January 24
    Time: 9am-12pm
    Venue: Devon Bank, 6445 North Western Avenue, Chicago 60659
    Date: Saturday February 18
    Time: 9am-12pm
    Venue: Indo American Center, 6328 N. California Avenue Chicago, IL 60659
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