Happy 1st Birthday, African Voices!

UAO would like to thank all of our listeners–new and old– for continuously supporting our podcast! In the next year, we hope to bring forth new and exciting topics to discuss. If you have any ideas for the next round of episodes, please contact us!
  • Top news stories from Chicago and the African continent.
  • A music Yaba Angelosi of South Sudan
  • Advice Box: US Education and Children with disabilities
  • Africans in Chicago interview with Busi Zukofa of the Handspring Puppeteer Co.
If you would like to contribute news, events, issues, interviews or music to our podcast, email us: podcasts@uniteafricans.org 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.
Welcome to African Voices Episode 13! In this episode, we discuss news from the African community in Chicago, and from the Continent, upcoming events from the community,  advice on the US Education System and Children with Disabilities, how to make ginger beer, and an exclusive interview with South African puppeteer Busi Zukofa of the Handspring Puppet Company.Local News

The United African Organization would like to thank everyone who helped plan and/or attended the African Unity Gala and Awards! The event was a great success, and we are grateful to the entire community for getting the word out and helping promote UAO’s work. Those who attended enjoyed great food from all across the continent as well as music by Nigerian-American Afro Soul singer Ugochi.  UAO would like to thank our sponsors: Prudential, Peoples Gas, Urban Partnership Bank, Alice Cottingham & Associates, Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago, and AceXtic. Special thanks to our in-kind sponsors who helped make the event special.

UAO awarded two scholarships worth $2,000 this year to honor the memory of Sgt. Albert Dono Ware. The 2012 Awardees are Amadou Barrow at the Illinois Institute of Technology and Daniel Owusu-Bempah at University of Illinois in Springfield. Congratulations to these individuals for their commitment to academic excellence and unity in the African diaspora community!

The South African Handspring Puppet Company performed Woyzeck on the Highveld at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) from September 27th to 30th. The play is about a migrant worker in South Africa under apartheid named Woyzeck. He is caught in an existential dilemma. He struggles to find meaning in his life and prove his masculinity in a emasculating position as a migrant worker and test subject. This pressure causes him to eventually lose his mind and fill his wife and himself. The play was a great success. The audience was amazed at the detail of the puppets and the story line. Handspring puppets were very lifelike and the inclusion of drawings and music also provided great depth to the play.

The Kenyan community held a Marathon Dinner on October 5th at Moody Church. The event was well attended, especially by young Africans. At the dinner, the runners talked about what motivated them to run and what running has taught them about life. UAO would also like to congratulate Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia for shattering the course record and winning the Chicago Marathon on Sunday morning with a time of 2:04:38!

On October 6th, the Nigerian Community of Chicagoland held their annual independence parade. The event started at 11am on Sheridan Rd and went from Foster Ave to Sunnyside. The event went well and lots of people were in attendance. It was a great day to celebrate Nigeria!

The Ugandan Community of Greater Chicagoland held their Independence Day Celebration on October 6th. UAO’s Executive Director Allie Kabba spoke at the event about the importance of pan-African unity. The event was a great celebration of fifty years of independence. The event had a wonderful atmosphere and good food and music.

The Tanzanian Community Association held a Bye Bye Summer BBQ on September 29th at
Schiller Woods. This event allowed their members to enjoy the final days of warm weather in Chicago, meet other TCA members, and plan their next big event.

African Sports

UAO would also like to congratulate Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia for shattering the course record and winning the Chicago Marathon on Sunday morning with a time of 2:04:38!

African News-

Four Nigerian Farmers are currently in legal proceedings against Shell in a Dutch court. They argue that Shell broke the law by not repairing leaks that destroyed the lands of Niger Delta farmers. Many people are eagerly watching this case because they feel it could set a precedent for global environmental responsibility. The four Nigerian farmers, backed by lobby group Friends of the Earth, have brought the Anglo-Dutch oil giant into court thousands of miles away from their homes with a civil suit that could open the door for hundreds of similar cases. Their lawyer Channa Samkalden told the court that Shell has “violated it legal obligations” as  “Shell knew for a long time that the pipeline was damaged but didn’t do anything.” She and her clients believe that shell could have and should have stopped the leaks. The case relates to damage caused in 2005 and was initially filed in 2008, demanding that Royal Dutch Shell should clean up the mess, repair and maintain defective pipelines to prevent further damage and pay out compensation. Environmental groups have accused Shell of double standards and treating spills in Nigeria differently from pollution in Europe or North America.


Youth riots in Egypt and Libya turned deadly on September 11th. The US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, his state department colleague Sean Smith and former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, all died during the protests at the Benghazi Embassy. They died of smoke inhalation after the protester set the building on fire. These protests were reportedly sparked by a youtube video called “The Innocence of Muslims” which mocks Islam and the prophet Muhammad. However, the US state department is still trying to figure out if these protests and the violence which ensued were premeditated.


Ivory Coast decided to reopen its Eastern border with Ghana after being shut down for two weeks. This shutdown was in response to a series of deadly attacks that were believed to have been planned and launched in Ghana. In order to curb further attacks, the country plans to tighten security to try and stop future attacks.


Kenyans have staged a protest in the capital Nairobi against a vote paving the way for members of parliament to be paid $110,000 send-off bonus, with money expected from tax increases. Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki has vetoed the country’s legislators attempt to provide large bonuses to themselves. However, the president said that this action was unconstitutional and untenable in the country’s prevailing economic circumstances. Kenya’s 222 legislators currently each make around $13,000 a month of tax-free income. Yet, the minimum wage in Nairobi, the capital, is about $1,500 a year.

Libya’s parliament ousted the country’s newly elected prime minister in a no-confidence vote on Sunday. Mustafa Abushagur was Libya’s first elected prime minister after last year’s overthrow of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. He represented an offshoot of the country’s oldest anti-Gadhafi opposition movement, and was considered a compromise candidate acceptable to both liberals and Islamists. He had 25 days from his Sep. 12 appointment by parliament to form a Cabinet and win the legislature’s approval, but that deadline expired on Sunday. The Congress voted 125 to 44 in favor of removing him as prime minister, with 17 abstaining from voting. He had just put forth 10 names for key ministerial posts Sunday when the no-confidence vote was held. Until a replacement can be elected by the parliament, management of Libya’s government is in the hands of the legislature. Libya’s Congress will vote on a new prime minister in the coming weeks.

Sierra Leone will be holding presidential, parliamentary, and local elections on November 17th. There is much hope in the county that these elections will help show the country’s political stability and help improve the country’s living standards. The two dominant political parties in Sierra Leone ae the All People’s Congress or APC and the Sierra Leone People’s Party or SLPP. The secretary-general of the SLPP, Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie recently said that, “This is a watershed election. It’s an election that will define Sierra Leone as an emerging democracy in this part of the world. If it is free, fair and transparent it will not only enhance our democratic credentials, but will demonstrate that we have stability.” Though Sierra Leone has been making progress and remained stable over the past decade, poverty, corruption, unemployment and underdevelopment are still central issues for the nation. Youth unemployment is currently at 60 percent, and around 60 percent of its six million people live on less than US$1.25 a day. Therefore, many people fear that the upcoming election will be met with violence or a youth revolution like we have seen in the Middle East. Until then, the world will just have to wait and see. (https://allafrica.com/stories/201210100668.html?aa_source=mf-hdlns)

Children as young as 14 are joining military training camps run by militias in southern Mali preparing to fight Islamist groups in the north. At the same time, Islamist groups in the north are recruiting children as young as 11 to man checkpoints, gather intelligence, search vehicles and patrol the streets in Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, according to aid agencies and human rights groups. The Malian government, UN agencies and NGOs are calling on armed groups to stop child recruitment, stop using schools as military bases, and release all those children already recruited. Oumane Toure, director of the Ministry for Promoting Women and Children in Bamako has stated that, “Mali has fully implemented international laws to protect children rights, but with no government representation in the north we have no way of enforcing them.” The key for Mali is to regain control of the North and stop the lawlessness that has ensued. (https://allafrica.com/stories/201210090899.html)

Angolan authorities have recently started cracking down on illegal immigrants. The country’s Migration and Foreigners Services (SME) announced plans to deport up to 539 illegal immigrants, Jornal de Angola reported. The majority of these undocumented immigrants are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Thousands of Congolese slipped into Angola after attacks by militia in the east of the troubled Central African country. The influx has caused friction with locals. Deportations of DRC nationals from Angola began in 2003 just after the end of the southern African nation war (1961 to 2002), when it began tightening its borders and reinforcing national security. SME’s spokesman Simao “This week alone, 422 illegal foreigners were detained, following tip-offs,” Authorities in Luanda have vowed to significantly reduce illegal migration to the oil rich nation.


Upcoming Events –

This month the United African Organization will be kicking off its African Community Leadership Development Program with the topic Building Organizational Capacity. This workshop will focus on the following: acquiring 501 (c) 3 status and managing non-profits. It will be held on October 27th from ten to noon at the IIT Tower building on the sixth floor. The address for this building is 10 W. 35th St.

This month’s Citizenship Workshop will be held on October 20, 2012 from ten to noon at the Muslim Women Resource Center at 6349 N. Western Ave. Please tell let your friends who are interested in becoming citizens to come to this free event.

The Afro Entertainment Awards will take place on October 27, 2012 from 5 – 11 pm at the McCormick Auditorium, which is located at 3241 Federal St. This event will be a night to celebrate African entertainment and the arts. For more information, please go to www.afroawards.net.


Talks with Magaret Mbeseha on the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for
children with disabilities and the US Education system.
This month’s recipe is for Liberian Ginger Beer.
Ginger beer is a spicy and tasty drink fit for any occasion. Also, since it’s made with ginger root it is full of vitamins and minerals, so you don’t have to feel guilty drinking it. It also is believed to help relieve sore throats, nausea, motion sickness, arthritis, and other cold symptoms.There are two ways to make ginger beer, either with or without yeast. Using yeast allows fermentation and takes longer to make. So just to simplify things today, we will be making ginger beer without yeast.

To make ginger beer you need a blender, 2 pounds of ginger root, 1 cup of sugar, 1 ripe pineapple, 14 cups of water, and between a teaspoon and a tablespoon of whole cloves.

Once you gather these ingredients you can start the process:
Step 1: Wash your ginger root. Use a cutting board and small, sharp knife to cut into half-inch pieces.
Step 2: Transfer a half of the cut ginger into the blender. Add 2 cups of water. Cover and set blender to grate or high. Blend until ginger is in small pieces and mixed in the water. Transfer this mixture to a deep (8 quart) pot. Repeat with the rest of the ginger. Add this mixture to the pot.
Step 3: Wash the pineapple. Use a sharp knife to remove the peeling. You should slice the peeling off so that you also remove a half-inch of pineapple with the skin.
Step 4: Cut the peeling into one-inch pieces. Transfer a half of the cut pineapple peeling to the blender. Add 2 cups of water and blend on high until pineapple is in small pieces and mixed in the water. Transfer to the pot of ginger. Repeat with the rest of the cut pineapple. Step 5: Add to the mixture in the pot.
Step 6: Add 6 more cups of water to the pot. Add cloves. Make your first batch with 1 tsp and decide if you want a stronger flavor.
Step 7: Half-cover the pot with the top. Bring to a boil on high and boil on medium-high for 30 minutes.
Step 8: Remove the pot from the stove. Cover the pot completely and allow the mixture to sit for 8 hours or overnight at room temperature.
Step 9: Pour the mixture through a metal sifter to remove the larger pieces of ginger, pineapple peel, and cloves. Use a cook spoon to press help force the liquid through the sifter.
Step 10: Use a clean cotton kitchen cloth to strain out the finer particles. You will have to use your hand to squeeze the ginger beer out of the cloth.
Step 11: To sweeten, add 1 cup of sugar and stir. Add more sugar according to your taste. Cut and squeeze in lime, if desired. Chill and enjoy.
Store in the fridge.
You can enjoy the unused pineapple while you wait for your ginger beer.

Music –
Yaba Angelosi is a Sudanese singer and entertainer from Juba. He was born in South Sudan, but his family moved to the US in 2000.  Soon after, he started performing as an artist and connecting his music to his Sudanese heritage.

African Voices – Busi Zukofa

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