Femi Ajayi's Outlook

The Reunion is another way of getting Nigerians, and friends of Nigerians together, to dialogue on various ways of making their life better through networking, liberating themselves from menial jobs, and to be in line with their education, which they obtained in the USA.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dr. Femi Ajayi



uite a handful of Nigerians might have been portrayed in the wrong way by some people with their narrow mindset without actually checking the facts on how productive majority of Nigerians are in their quest of making a decent living in their communities. In history, Nigerians are known to be adventurous. They love to venture into different areas of life and explore their environments, to make their life better.

There is no where in the world you would go without coming across Nigerians, its tropical location notwithstanding, you find Nigerians living in Alaska. When I arrived in the United States in the early eighties, and I happen to travel to one of the suburbs in Oklahoma, Guthrie, I was amazed to have a Nigerian living in that part of the country.

Nigerians would be low key in their new environment until they graduated themselves through the challenges of life. An average Nigerian would do any type of legitimate job to make a living, regardless their positions in Nigeria. Some could be a High School Teacher, with all amenities to their disposal before arriving United States of America. Their positions do not stop them from taking a janitorial job at a female dormitory, mopping the floors, and taking out trash from their bathrooms, clean toilets etc, in a female Housing Unit. Regardless of their educational pursuits or accomplishments, if and when the opportunity is yet to open up, they continued to wash dishes at Restaurants, doing the Housekeeping job at a Hotel, until an opportunity knocks at their door. When it does, with little pay, they take the job, since it is in line with their degree, until such a time when they get the bigger opportunity. They will continue to humble themselves and supporting their communities. I believe most Nigerians would have successful stories to tell.

Such stories would not augur well with those Nigerians being portrayed by the media as bad elements in the Society. No one is denying that Nigerians, like any other group, do not have few bad eggs among them, but not to the point of calling them bad breeds. Nigerians should start showing to the entire world, even though its Government might refused to be aggressive about it, the positive things their nationals are doing in their respective Communities.

In 1996, the time Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics, a group of Nigerians, led by Segun Adeyina, with a full support from one of his Associates in Atlanta, Wale Jafojo, started Nigerians Reunion Corporation in Atlanta. Since then the group has been to other Cities in the United States. On its return to Atlanta, 2006, unfortunately, NRC has not propagate its accomplishments for people to see what have been accomplished.

In 2006, on its 10th Anniversary, the group is revisiting Atlanta again for another Reunion, "Showcasing the Best of Nigeria" A decade of Uniting Nigerians in North America from June 30th - July 4th 2006 at Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. This year Reunion hope to have the largest representation of vendors and over 3,000 college age and working professionals from all 50 states of the United States and various countries around the world

The Nigerian Reunion Corporation (NRC) was officially formalized in 1999, an energetic, organization that uses creative social and professional programs to positively promote Nigerians in the Diaspora. The NRC draws on a broad cultural and professional diversity of its member associates in promoting the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria and the African continent. NRC associates are committed individuals from all works of life, ranging from college students, to entrepreneurs, and working professionals.

According to its Mission statements:

"The Nigerian Reunion Corporation is a global organization whose primary purpose is to promote and strengthen the unity and honor of Nigerians and Nigerian descendants in the Diaspora. The Nigerian Reunion Corporation exists for the betterment of Nigerian people, Nigerian descendants and Nigerian Communities The Nigerian Reunion Corporation draws on its broad cultural diversity to facilitate professional and academic development, along with personal growth. Through effective communication, social programming and skills leveraging, the Nigerian Reunion Corporation hopes to enhance the strength, unity and honor of Nigerians."
That is a way of uniting the next Generation, especially our children that are at cultural cross-roads.

The gathering is not only based on OWAMBE styles of gathering, but to educate its Communities the positive side of Nigerians in Diaspora. The Reunion is usually planned around 4th of July celebration so as to give Americans some directive on some good things Nigerians are doing in their respective communities.

The Reunion is another way of getting Nigerians, and friends of Nigerians together, to dialogue on various ways of making their life better through networking, liberating themselves from menial jobs, and to be in line with their education, which they obtained in the USA.

According to Kunmi Demuren, the 2006 Reunion Chair,

"For the last ten years, Nigerians in the Diaspora have discovered a way to reunite with old friends and establish new ones at the annual Nigerian Reunion. This year, The Nigerian Reunion Corporation (NRC) presents the 2006 Decade Nigerian Reunion - "Showcasing the Best of Nigeria" in Atlanta - Georgia from June 30th - July 4th, 2006, in celebration of the 10th Annual Nigerian Reunion. NRC is a global organization whose main goal is to promote strength, unity and honor of Nigerians. This spectacular celebration of all that is best about Nigeria is in honor of our beloved country, her people and culture. NRC will highlight to the world the many different talents of our people and promote efforts towards a promising future. HOTLANTA 2006 is different from past reunions for it takes us back to the birthplace of the Nigerian reunion movement. Today, more than ever, there is a need to regroup and step forward to advance individual and community integrity."

What NRC envisioned to accomplish according to its leader, are to:

"promote cooperation and professional networking among Nigerians, Nigerian descendants and people world-wide; promote unity and interaction of people through a national reunion conference; provide assistance to the poor and the needy; provide enriching educational and cultural workshops for the public; promote awareness and appreciation for the diverse culture of people worldwide."

2006 gathering would feature Nigeria Stock Exchange Market. Encouraging Nigerians to invest their money on Nigerian Stock Exchange instead of the OWAMBE party., is this year's theme. I hope I am not been misread again, not against pleasure or having fun in our life. Everyone likes to have fun after a very hard day's work, but in moderation.

Registration begins on June 30, 2006 at Sheraton Atlanta at 2:00 pm; and the time to MIX 'N' MINGLE/SOCIAL MIXER is at 8:00pm.

July 1, kicks off the Reunion program with NIGERIAN EXTRAVAGANZA at 9:00am. The Keynote Speaker has been slated to be Dr. Mrs. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, OON, NSE, Director-General, Nigerians Stock Market touching on some areas of stock market such as: Nigerians Stock Market performance; opportunities for investment in Nigeria; the changing climate for business in Nigeria; How to participate and earn superior returns on the Nigerian Stock Market, the future of Nigeria's Investment environment, and Emerging industries and sectors in Nigeria.

The opening remarks would be made by Honorable Victor Bosah, the Nigerian Consul from the Nigerian Consulate, Atlanta. While Dr. Femi Ajayi, from the Office of Secretary of State, Atlanta, Georgia, gives a welcome address on Empowering, Educating and Enlightening the Nigerian community.

There will be a break out session into on an "Overview of Nigerian Stock Market"; and "Trade and Investment" from 11:30 to 12:30pm. Other sessions that would run concurrently are, "Life Style" and "Health" Workshops, from 1:30 - 3:00pm. There will be "Fashion and Cultural Show" from 2:00p.m. to 4:30 pm. The evening programs contain a cocktail, reception and awards for the NSE personnel, and the Sponsors, a Triple Dose Night Party, starting at 10:00pm., in 3 rooms with 3 of the best DJ all night long party, featuring Hip Hop, Reggae, R&B, and African jams..

TALK SHOW is slated for July 2, 2006 at 2:00 pm, followed by the NIGHT OF 1001 LAUGHS at 8:00 pm. The Reunion PICNIC will be at GRANT PARK, Atlanta, on July 3, 2006 from 12:00 pm. The CLOSE OUT NIGHT PARTY will be July 3, 2006 at 9:00 pm, hosted by Tiwa Work and We 3 Entertainment.

Here is a testimony from one of the attendees,

"I have great memories from Philly 2005. It was a beautiful occasion where I crossed paths with old school mates and got the chance to make new Nigerian friends. I enjoyed every minute of it from the picnic to the pool party, to the final night event. Many old school mates of mine from Nigeria (Lagos State Model College Kankon) where also present and the moments shared with my peers from New Jersey will be forever cherished. I can not wait to share more good times with my friends and also meet my fellow Nigerians in Atlanta. Congratulations NRC on your 10th anniversary!!! ATL 06 here I come!!!!"

According to Oluaye of Georgia, Mr. Rokan, who might be at the events, "Experience makes a big difference in our business. I have come a long way and have been crowned the 'Oluaye of Georgia' for a lot of reasons". For all your live entertainment show, contact Mr. Rokan at 678-698-4273.

The events are being sponsored by African Missions, Nigerian Business Forum, PHENIG, African World Expo, and AfriGrowth. For more information on the four-day event, please visit its website at www.nrconline.com and www.africannetwork.net.

Don't be left out of the wonderful opportunities to meet old friends, make new friends, and plan for your future.

By the way log in each and every week for different issues been addressed on "Nigeria This Week" on www.theblacktelevision.com, host by Dr. Femi Ajayi. It plays from Sunday through Saturday 24/7. Happy viewing!