Tuesday, 04 March 2014 21:11

Nigerians in South Africa and Friends Forum Get Together in Johannesburg

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coverOn the 1st of March 2014, Nigerians in South Africa and Friends Forum (a facebook platform which provides a friendly, fun and decent online space for exchanging interesting ideas, discussing experiences, promoting understanding between Nigerians and their South African host communities) held a get together party for its members resident in the Gauteng Province area of South Africa and its environs.

The idea of having such a party was borne out of the need for the members of the dynamic forum (which has in short spell become a craze in the cyberspace garnering a lot of membership in the process) to physically congregate and get to know each other personally after months of friendly discussions online.

The online agitation for a gathering gained a lot of support amongst the ‘foumites’ prompting the Main Admin of the forum to task members in the group who reside within areas of close proximity around South Africa, to organize get togethers within their areas to get to know each other pending the time the forum will have the capacity to organize a national get together.

The onerous task of organizing the Gauteng get together was placed on forumite Barbie Dukwe who put together plans for the party and scheduled it to take place at Shitanga Lounge-an African themed up market restaurant at Newtown Johannesburg.

The get together party generated a lot of approval and support from many in the community including the leadership of Nigerian Union South Africa, other community based organizations, NGO’s and human rights activists (especially those involved in anti-xenophobia campaign in South Africa) who all saw the get together as an avenue to build friendship and harmonious understanding amongst Africans living in South Africa and the world over.

On the party day, the weather wasn’t as agreeable as the party-goers and supporters. It rained incessantly but did not deter the forum members from attending the event. It commenced behind the scheduled time because of the downpour on the day. Forumite Mr. Ralph Ogbuagu a South African based Nigerian Author and community activist did the honours of being the event’s Master of ceremony, steering the party heartily through the programes.

It was a jolly atmosphere at the party with speeches from Admins of the group. However, an opening speech by the Special Guest of the occasion-the Honorable President General of Nigerian Union South Africa Mr. Ike Anyene (who was present at the function with the executives of his organization) was the most remarkable. He lauded the initiative, spoke on the need to constantly promote the good image of Nigerians in South Africa and encouraged the members to promote harmonious co-existence of all persons in the country.

GET TOGETHER GALLERY

The party-goers as expected used the event to know each other better. Most expressed much joy and surprise at meeting people who the have only conversed with online. There was the usual drinking, eating and dancing to the latest Nigerian and South African music but the intermittent pause to allow very talented musicians fourm member Jaymon and Eternal to serenade the ladies with beautiful love songs were the most priceless periods of the party. The very gifted young brothers delivered songs from their unreleased musical projects that would make mainstream Afro musicians take note.

Party-goers enjoyed the day with a lot of pictures uploaded to the forum’s facebook group to show other members of the forum who live outside Gauteng and overseas how enjoyable the party was. Most people interviewed by SANigerians.com said that they had a very nice time and would like the event repeated again. The organizers informed us that they had plans to take the same experience to other cities like Durban and Cape Town where the forum’s members live and subsequently want to turn it into a top notch annual event.

Notable people among the revelers include persons like Lady-Dee Okoro. A leader of South African women married to Nigerians who has been in the forefront of the fight for Nigerian immigrants and their family’s rights in South Africa, The secretary General of Ohaneze Ndigbo South Africa, Hon. Emeka Ezinteje, the Deputy President of Nigerian Union South Africa Abdulraham Abubakar. Nigerian community leader Prince Micheal Evah, the forum's admins, Zamar Mbatha, Valentine Okongwu, Mabatho Gallens and Sunny-Unachukwu John.


Read 10713 times Last modified on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 00:53