reportage

 

Filming warriors and elders in a ceremonial procession in Ugep, Cross River Nigeria

Filming warriors and elders in a ceremonial procession in Ugep,  Cross River Nigeria

Gettin' by Bamako style! (Mali)

Getting by Bamako style!
(Mali)

Sadness and frustration overwhelmed me when I saw with my own eyes the extensive oil spill damage in the beautiful Niger Delta region

The extensive damage caused by hundreds of oil spills in the beautiful Niger Delta region will move anyone

In my best Swahili, I express my gratitude to a Maasai woman after interviewing her

In my best Swahili, I express my gratitude to a Maasai woman after interviewing her

 

 

I decided to be a journalist 14 years ago because I was fascinated with everything Africa: the history, the music, the spirituality, the ethnic diversity, the dances, the diaspora, the fashion, the politics, the folk tales, the food, the languages, the land itself.  I saw journalism as a way to share intriguing anthropological observations. So, I studied anthropology and journalism, got degrees in both and here I am.

My work explores the politics of conflict, culture, religion, age, health and gender in Africa and African diaspora communities.

Some stories below:

 

Deadly Nomad-Versus-Farmer Conflict Escalates

On the heels of an insurgency launched seven years ago by the armed group Boko Haram, Nigeria is embroiled in another conflict that has divided people across ethnic and religious lines with thousands killed over the past few years. It’s a conflict that 16-year-old Haruna Mohammed and his cow-herding family know all too well. Read more here

Nigeria’s Igbo Jews: Lost Tribe of Israel?

A Shabbat service is underway at the Ghihon Hebrew Research synagogue in the Jikwoyi suburb of Nigeria’s federal capital territory. Fourteen year-old Kadmiel Izungu Abor heads there with his family. They walk alongside stray goats on a road covered in red dust and potholes, lined with open sewage. They are nearly 20 kilometers away from the modern multi-story office buildings and sprawling mansions in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja. Read more here

Boko Haram kidnaps hundreds, tells stories of Chibok girls

When Islamic extremists snatched more than 270 girls from the Chibok boarding school in Nigeria in the dead of night, protests broke out worldwide. The U.S. pledged to help find them, and the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag was born.Some 10 months later, most are still missing. Read more here

Chibok: The village that lost its daughters to Boko Haram

Asabe Kwambura is getting tired of waiting. Sitting under a young mango tree alongside the charred remains of her school, the headteacher looks around nervously. It’s not safe to be out here in one of the most dangerous parts of north-eastern Nigeria, but the government has promised to send a team to investigate the kidnapping of more than 200 pupils from her school and she wants to greet them in person. Read more here

Nigerians Displaced By Boko Haram Feel Disenfranchised By Their Government

For Dauda Musa, voting in Nigeria’s upcoming election is not a choice between candidates; it is one between life and possible death. Read more here

Executions, beatings and forced marriage: Life as a Boko Haram captive

There is a house in Gulak, with a neem tree out front and a well in the back. Inside, dozens of women and girls spent days, weeks and even months waiting for a chance to escape their captors — members of the radical armed group Boko Haram. Read more here

Fruit For Thought

Selemani Hussaini never thought much about eating fruit in the past. The 46-year-old Tanzanian farmer mainly eats ugali, a thick maize-based porridge. Toss in a few cooked beans, tea or instant coffee and this completes a typical meal. Read more here

Second Time Around, Malians Still Hopeful

Ballu Seriba set out early on Sunday morning in a black fedora and an air of determination. Sidestepping potholes in the dusty roads dampened after a heavy rain, he had one thing on his mind- to cast his vote in a runoff for the next president of Mali. Read more here

African-American Atheists

Standing before a room full of fellow African-Americans, Jamila Bey took a deep breath and announced she’s come out of the closet. Her soul-bearing declaration is nearly taboo, she says. “It’s the A-word,” said Bey, 33, feigning a whisper. “You commit social suicide as a black person when you say you’re an atheist.” Read more here

Are Blacks Abandoning Christianity For Other Faiths?

The placement of fallen fragments of coconut helped William Jones decide on whether or not to go to graduate school. The Yoruba priest that Jones had invited into his Brooklyn apartment had examined the four coconut pieces he had strewn on the floor before telling Jones that it would be OK for him to further his studies. Read more here

Black Mormons Weigh Romney-Obama Matchup

African-American Mormons, like Harwell, live with a poignant awareness that two traits of their self-identity have faced historical discrimination: one is being black, and the other, being a Mormon. Read more here

Nigeria Urged To Reduce Child Marriage

One girl, Maimuna, is determined not to be a child bride. Maimuna (who did not want her last name published) is a teenaged girl from a rural village in northern Nigeria. A pink colored hijab surrounds her head and her voice is soft. Read more here

Love In A Time of Fear: Albino Women’s Stories From Tanzania

At a rate of roughly 1 to 3,5000, Tanzania has one of the highest incidents of albinism in the world. Here, albinos live in fear for their lives. Every day, they protect themselves, some with wide-brim hats to hide from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and others with sharp weapons in case trouble in the form of an attacker comes along the way. Albino women are prone to rape and sexual violence. Local legends claim that sexual intercourse with a person with albinism can treat health problems. Read more here

Nigeria’s Fight Against AIDS

In a small home tucked away on a side street in the city of Kaduna in northern Nigeria, Aisha Yakubu watches her son take out three bottles of prescribed medications from a dresser in his bedroom. The eight-year-old boy ignores the kittens meandering around his legs as he twists open the caps of each of the white bottles. Read more here

Black Americans Undergo Cleansing From ‘Slavery Stigma’

It took a trip to Africa to change 10 lives forever. Six months after Irene Toland, Sidney Davis, Robin Almeida and Pamela Ramsay joined a group traveling to Africa, the effects of that trip still have not worn off. Read more here

Home Birthing Helps Black Women Connect With African Roots

Across the nation, these groups promote natural or at-home birthing, saying their goal is to teach black women what really happens to their bodies during and after pregnancy. The movement is happening in Atlanta, where the Atlanta Birthing Project is educating young black girls on prenatal care. It’s happening in Harlem, where legendary midwife-activist Nonkululeko Tyehemba works to, as she says, “demystify” home birth. Read more here

Childhood Stunting Stags Public Health Progress in Tanzania

Yasin Issa thinks he is too small for his age. The 13-year-old boy stands less than four feet tall. He wears a thick brown canvas jacket around his petite body and plays with his friends on one of the many hilltops in his neighborhood nestled on the slopes of the Uluguru Mountains in eastern Tanzania. Read more here

Stimulus Money Helps Homeless School Children

Downtown Rocky Mount in eastern North Carolina offers a horizon of shuttered businesses, along with a stretch of houses with boarded-up windows and vacant porches. Forbes magazine now ranks Rocky Mount, once a vibrant manufacturing hub, as one of the 10 most impoverished cities in America, with an unemployment rate hovering at a dismal 13 percent and a county crime rate that’s almost double the national average. The area’s woes have contributed to another number that’s rising: homelessness among children. Read more here  + video here

Gay Nigerians Targeted As ‘Un-African’

In Nigeria, where a man was reportedly lashed 20 times earlier this month after confessing to homosexual acts committed seven years ago, 26-year-old Yinka – who requested her last name not be published – reacted with outrage to being labelled “un-African” on account of her lesbianism. Read more here

Preserving a ‘Poor Man’s’ Sport in Nigeria’s Capital

Just off the expressway that links the Italian stoned mansions in the Nigerian capital of Abuja’s pricey “Minister’s Hill” neighborhood to the settlements of corrugated tin roof shacks in the outskirts, is a nondescript path that leads to Dei Dei, one of Abuja’s low-income communities. Read more here

The App That Saved A Thousand Children

In 2010, health workers discovered an outbreak of lead in northern Nigeria. Read more here

Happy times with these guys in Bamako, Mali

Ok I love kids (southeastern Nigeria)

I stopped to pose with these kids under a mango tree. Aguleri, Anambra State in southeastern Nigeria

 

Alright, I really really love kids! These adolescent Kikuyu girls were so shy and curious. It was a pleasure to hang out with them (Thunguma, Nyeri, Kenya)

These adolescent Kikuyu girls were so shy and curious. It was a pleasure to hang out with them (Thunguma, Nyeri, Kenya)

 

Still blushing after having to ease myself in the bushes!

Still blushing after having to ease myself in the bushes

Getting insights

Getting insights

Yes, the chicken coop is right next to the shower, but hey-- it's all part of the fun (Mureru, Kenya)

Yes, there’s a bird coop next to the shower that I’m about to enter, but hey– it’s all part of the fun (Mureru, Kenya)

The camera guy is cracking me up! (Abuja, Nigeria)

The camera guy is cracking me up! (Abuja, Nigeria)

Yes...Africa has modern shopping malls, too

Yes…Africa has modern shopping malls, too, just like in your country

filming interviews in the scorching heat is always fun

filming interviews in the scorching heat is always fun

I wish I went to high school with these admirable teens in Kumasi, Ghana!

I wish I went to high school with these admirable teens in Kumasi, Ghana!

They call themselves "street kids" and they're trying popularize extreme stunt skating in Africa

These guys are trying popularize extreme stunt skating in Africa

When I decided to join the kids up a slope on the Uluguru Mountains, I didn't think it would be so wonderful! (Morogoro, Tanzania)

When I decided to join the kids up a slope on the Uluguru Mountains, I didn’t think it would be so wonderful! (Morogoro, Tanzania)

GLEE!

GLEE!

Always talk with local artisans. Sometimes, they're more frank than the politicians and activists.

Always talk with local artisans. Sometimes, they’re more frank than the politicians and activists about the issues

Chillin' with the boys

Chillin’ with the boys

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