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Nigerians Get Ready for Obama’s Inauguration



There’s inauguration fever in the USA as we countdown the days till Pres-Elect Barack Obama is sworn into the White House and President Bush is booted out. It has been estimated that over 5 million people will descend upon Washington D.C. in order to be a part of this historical moment, and Nigerians are certainly going to be a part of the action. Nigerians who have usually stayed away from American politics were engaged more than ever in the Obama election campaign.

A star studded team of Democrat leaders and policy experts discussed the implications of the Barack Obama Presidency for Africa at the 2009 THISDAY Awards/Festival of Ideas at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja on Wednesday. Former Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean said that Barack Obama will will focus greater attention on Africa. “He will see an increased emphasis on Africa, not just because Barack Obama is an African American but because he hired some people in key positions who know and have worked on African issues,” Dean said.

Nigerian fashionista Chalya Shagaya is one of the organizers of the International Inaugural Ball on Saturday January 16th. At the ball, there will be a Fashion Showcase by Project Runway’s Korto Momolu-Briggs.  “Korto is Liberian by birth. She like Deola Sagoe and a few other African designers have a collection inspired by Barack Obama’s Victory and race for change during the campaign. Korto will be presenting her Yes We Can Inaugural 2009 Collection,” Shagaya tells BN. She also notes that, “as Africans we should care because it has gone beyond ‘American Politics’! It is history that someone with direct relations to Africa is going to head The Free World.”

The Honorable Ojo Maduekwe, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nigeria and Dr. Susan Rice, Former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and nominee for the Office of United States Ambassador to the United Nations will be present at the Africa Inspire Inaugural Event hosted by the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. President Yar’Adua is also slated to give a video address.

The African Immigrants Movement for Obama, an Obama for America Grassroots Organization that harnessed the interest of the African Immigrants Communities across the United States of America will be hosting the All Africa Inaugural Ball on Tuesday January 20 2009 at the National Press Club in D.C. The theme for the ball is “renewing the spirit of the community” and a portion of the $150 tickets will go towards charities and scholarships.

Even though tickets for these events run from $150-$500+, we should remember that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. In the words of Shagaya, “Even more exciting is the opportunity this historic time will bring to all of us as black people and every human regardless of race, creed or class who dare to dream.” Well said! Well said!


  1. Ladi

    January 17, 2009 at 8:19 am

    If only we that have always had black presidents were more involved in our politics (May 29). Obama has a recession and other USA problems to fix (then the European and Asian counterparts) before wahala continent Africa so all this talk….Can’t we depend on our own politicians instead of waiting for someone else’s president?

    Kenyan dna doesn’t mean Nigeria’s problems are over.

    Africans abi Nigerians have a few issues.

  2. Chika

    January 17, 2009 at 8:38 am

    True comment Ladi! I understand the pride in this moment, but I just hope we know that it means nothing for Africans. I’ve got relatives thinking American embassies would start dishing out visas like garri! Not true oh! I hope our politicians will step up and do something for NIGERIANS!

  3. eggo

    January 17, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    our naivete so apparent. He is AMERICAN… yes a half black man who has achieved his goal; yes we all should be inspired but i believe those who can afford those ticket prices are thosa that have forgotten the needs of 80% of their fellow country men in nigeria living below poverty line and are in awe of a black president in america who seemingly gives them a sense of pride. I know Obama’s win is inspiring but i believe we as africans should channel that inspiration towards making our country better and not trying to claim what is in essence the pride of Americans. Wwe dail to understand that the average transcended racial lines when they voted in this black man in a free and fair election. This will not have been the case should it have been a candiddate from a minority tribe in nigeria aside from that elections are permanently rigged. We act like we can ever display this level of ‘tolerance’ and ‘acceptance’ shown by the American citizens. It is their victory – they gave him his mandate. Can we stop trying to claim a slice of it? especially where our leaders consistently put the black race to shame. As they say only in America. They (americans)are the pioneers; america enabled Obama to dare to dream not his African heritage. Should he have been in Kenya hmmmmmmm i wonder what his mindset would have become.

  4. lorile

    January 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    how inauguration in America take concern Nigerians?
    ..While Obama’s achievements thus far should be commended ,we should start looking for ways to solve our own problems..
    Nigerians sa, i saw some pics on facebook of nigerians in nigeria keeping vigil on the election nite..they actually rented a hall, had lots of laptops ..wore the American national colors in diff ways, hats, sashes would have thought it was obama’s campaign headquaters..or better still they were helping to count votes…very funny pple we are

  5. Celebrating Ndi-Igbo

    January 17, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    It’s startling how we always celebrate with those (outside our shores) who have done things right but turn a blind eye (within our shores) to those who deliberately do the wrong things!

  6. Anon

    January 18, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    My honest feeling is that America will have a HALF BLACK President. I am sorry, I am all for progress etc but do we really believe that a 100% black President would have made it to the White House? Meanwhile Bush has left a right old mess for Obama, lets just pray he can turn things around, and quickly at that. Meanwhile, lest we forget Bush did quite a bit for Africa during his Presidency….


    January 19, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Even more exciting is the opportunity this historic time will bring to all of us as black people and every human regardless of race, creed or class who dare to dream.”

  8. Trendy

    January 19, 2009 at 2:01 am

    heard of the one drop rule? One drop of black blood makes black, you cannot claim another race. You better believe the white americans are not calling him white.

  9. Trendy

    January 19, 2009 at 2:03 am

    for real, a vigil. please post the link so we can see these idiots. Did they do these when Umoru go slow was elected?

  10. africa entertainment plus sports

    January 19, 2009 at 2:27 am

    Barrack Obama is a sign of the time,a source of hope for we Nigerians in particular who have started to loose hope.Even Ghana is showing us the way.I firmly think we should embrace this new spirit and join hands to build a great country,Nigeria, for ourselves.

  11. lorile

    January 19, 2009 at 6:15 am

    lol..i wish i could post the link,its a personal facebook picture!

  12. lorile

    January 19, 2009 at 6:18 am

    yes we should definitely embrace the new spirit of change
    we should think of how we can make our country better
    how we can provide jobs,fix the roads…provide basic social amenties everywhere…thats the change we should embrace…instead of sitting our asses down and wearing American colors and waving their flag with them

  13. lorile

    January 19, 2009 at 6:22 am

    @ anon..yes i think a 100% black person could have made it!
    you know how it works in yankee…d one drop rule still reigns on from slave era
    once u have one drop of black blood you labelled BLACK!!!
    no one really sees obama has half black he is BLACK..he doesnt even look bi racial
    yeah so i think a 100% black man could have made it
    and you right Obama has inherited a messes up economy!!we will be praying for him

  14. kaybee

    January 19, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Well said!

  15. kaybee

    January 19, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Even as we celebrate change with AMERICANS, we should also reflect on the dilapidation of our state of affairs here in Nigeria: The culture of corruption that has permeated every level of our society and its subsequent crippling effects on Nigeria as a nation and Nigerians as a people. Change has begun in America, it is pertinent that we allow it spread its tentacles to Nigeria as well.

  16. Lords Host

    January 19, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    what are africans celebrating for goodness sake, what inagural ball are the throwing it is a shame that poeple attend this event in africa. americans yeas i agree but africans no rather o’s elections should be used as a time of reflection by we africans at the overall state of the social, political, economic system of our countries.

  17. Akos

    January 21, 2009 at 2:41 am

    use that party money to feed the poor, You TWATS!!!!!

  18. NG

    January 21, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Na wa o!!!! Obama’s inauguration is now an excuse for mega flexing and balling abi? That goes to show what the so-called supporters (who have more pressing issues to deal with) consider as priorities.

  19. Beekay

    January 21, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Seriously…Are we dis mentally incompetent in Nigeria as 2 over-hype dis Obama thing. Wot wld Obama do in America dat someone lik Fash has not done in Lagos. Obama is whom we knw 2day cos his pple celebrated & are still celebratin him. No matter how many inagauration parties dey host Obama can neva b 4 us or do anything 4 us…So lets wake up from dis Obama-slumber & be positive 4 naija.

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