Come December the year folds its wings like a great, tired bird, and they return home for Christmas. One minute it’s quiet and the next they are swarming, spewing, spilling – just eating up the place and squeezing breath out of the air. When the air gags and chokes, they just keep squeezing and squeezing and squeezing. Diaspora; they are famished for their land and are savage in their love, and they don’t care if they draw blood. […]
You can tell the ones from America and Britain and Dubai [ . . . ] because these ones come by air. They are also the richest: British pounds, American dollars, euros, francs, what-what. Any money you can think of they have, but then they are always careful to spend it, you’d think they’ve bled and starved for it. They walk with the gait of the aged, feet savour the earth, reluctant to part with the ground. This is their prayer that the land remembers them.
When these ones come bearing children who don’t speak our languages, who are sickened by our foods, who are afraid of dirt, we avoid their eyes, we hold the children to the sun like sad tokens and smile. But what we really want to ask the parents is, ‘What have you done?’ when these ones pounce with gadgets and take pictures of everything they see we are patient with them because we know that this is what they must do in order to survive over there.
Excerpt from The Africa Report By NoViolet Bulawayo, a Zimbabwean fellow at Cornell and 2011 Caine Prize winner for African writing
Christmas tree?- Check. Guest List?- Check. Calling Card? Check. Visit to the Butcher?- Check! And Check!
The festivies can begin. Another Year is rolling up and we, Ngao Ya Jamii Family, want to be the first to wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas. Christmas celebrations are an important event worldwide and New Year ´s Eve is an added event that makes the Christmas season a more exciting one. Often people celebrate Christmas at home together with their family. Nowadays, during Christmas most people prefer to visit holiday sites as an alternative to being home
Christmas in Africa is celebrated throughout the continent as the population of Christians is approximately 350 Million. On the Eve of Christmas people attend church services, carols are sung, relatives come together and special meats are roasted for the Christmas dinner.
Thinking of the hustle and bustle back home, one can easily get sentimental and even somewhat homesick. But we cannot afford to be, because we have our own kind of family and friends right here in the Diaspora. Take time to visit or even make that call. Take time to show the kids just what it means to celebrate Christmas.
It is Family Time. All year we have all been running up and down, appointments had to be kept, responsibilities met but now, now it is the time to take the time and spend it with those who mean the most to us. Time to spend especially with the Kids. A night in with the little ones, simultaneously giving ourselves a chance to be kids again. Share those funny stories of how we spent every Christmas with the Grandparents. Time to call those that are now the grandparent and thank them for putting up with us through it all.
It is also common practice for most of us to send some money back home so that they too can enjoy themselves. As much as this is a noble act according to a report by Robert Gatobu, a trader at Bank of Africa, the Remittances from Kenyans working abroad are a major source of foreign exchange for east Africa’s biggest economy alongside tea, horticulture and tourism. “Kenyans in the Diaspora normally send money home (ahead of the Christmas break), that might give us some good support on the shilling,” said Mr. Gatobu. Remittances soared to a record $891.1 million in 2011.
During this festive season, we also need to remember the less privileged. Those who have far less than we do in material terms and we should thus share our good fortunes with them as well.
Who is Ngao Ya Jamii?
The name Ngao Ya Jamii is a Swahili name, Swahili being one of the most important languages spoken in eastern and central Africa and translates as “shield of the family”. Our group understands family to mean the family at large: the society, which we aim to shield. This organization was formed due to the rising number of Kenyans living in the Nordrhein Westphalia Province and Germany in general. Young Kenyans should have an opportunity to meet and interact with their counterparts, exchange ideas, share experiences and informati-on. Ngao is their platform.
Ngao Ya Jamii consists of ten members, four of whom form are executive members. These are: The Chairper-son, Treasurer, Secretary and Project Manager. The executive members hold their seat for a maximum of one year. Ngao Ya Jamii is governed by a constitution, which was drafted by its founders. The constitution articu-lates among other things the duties of each of the members. What does Ngao do? Ngao Ya Jamii e.V. brings diverse groups of people together in a spirit of mutual understanding, and in this manner we hope to “protect” the society from negative influences such as discrimination on the basis of skin colour, ethnic origin, religion or gender.
We provide a fundamental forum for Kenyans living in the Nordrhein Westphalia Province, to discuss relevant issues and mutually come up with solutions.
Furthermore through us Kenyans wishing to study have an easy gateway for to get information or consultation through expert assistance.
Involvement of all Kenyans through promotion of the Kenyan culture and through different events such as our annual Afro Gala and football tour-nament known as Kimathi Cup is also one of our main goals. We seek also to improve the relationship between Kenyans in the region and the Kenyan Embassy.
2012 in Review:
Afro Gala and Ugenini Awards
We had paintings from Philipp Müller, drawings from Maximilian Serges and poems from various African artists. The programme was further enriched through musical performances from a Cologne based Nigerian band “Gbajumo” who sang soulful Nigerian gospel music. Joey a solo artists from Mombasa jam-med the crowd with his reggae tunes and Steve-O, himself a Ngao Ya Jamii member- and his Band backed by solo artist Zuluman rocked the crowd to their Afro-pop tunes.
A special highlight of the Gala was the “Ugenini Award” ceremony which was inaugurated on the day. This award will be honoring Kenyans living Ger-many who have shown outstanding effort in the fields of Academics, Social Engagement, Culture En-hancement, Music and Sports. After the award cere-mony a short docu-mentary was pre-sented touching on the topic of Kenyan ladies who come to Germany for the Au Pair program. In the inter-views they talk about the challenges they faced, com-pare the two cultures and talk about day to day life as an African Au Pair.
By the end of the day the guests not only had a full stomach from the diverse Kenyan Buffet dishes that were served but many also reiterated that they felt more culturally enriched than when they came, each with the special task of doing whatever necessary to denounce one of society´s greatest evils: The evil of ignorance. The special task adorned on everyone is to make Africa known, how we as Africans want it to be known. The Afro Gala as well as the Ugenini Awards are annual events.
Kimathi Cup & 3rd Generation Fun Day
Kimathi Cup is as annual soccer event which was first held in 2010 and the fun day is for the 3rd Generation children. These are the Kenyans who have been born in Germany. The idea is to present these young Kenyans with a chance to learn more about their Culture. During this event children are taught Swahili Songs, and other fun facts about Kenya.
The football tournament and fun day took place on the 18.08.2012 in the town of Cologne, and was well visited. With the sunny weather on that weekend one could not have wished for a better place to be.
The teams represented different towns of Germany, “Wuppertal Warriors” from Wuppertal, Organisation of Kenyan Students (OKSH) from as far as Frankfurt and “Bonn Matata” from the neighbouring of Bonn. Cologne was represented by two teams namely “Zion Train” and “Mjani FC”.
The games were organised in group stages and the win-ning teams advanced to the Semi Final and thereafter to the Final duel between OKSH Frankfurt and Zion Train. The defending champions from Bonn, „Bonn Matata” had a very hard time maintaining their crown as the champions and in the end lost it to the much stronger team of “Zion Train”.
This is an all year event. In 2010 and 2011 we donat-ed clothes and toys to Havilla Children´s Home in Kenya. However this year we focused on collecting Sanitary Pads. This Sanitary Pads will be sent to schools in Rural Areas where girls have to skip school for 1 week almost every month. and society as a whole. That is why we dedicated a whole year for the Girl Child.
New Year´s Eve Party!
Put your dancing shoes on and come and usher in the New Year with fellow Africans at the Bashment New Year´s Party organised by SAKATA promoters and sponsored b Ngao Ya Jamii e.V. There will be music mixed by Cologne´s finest Dj Nguch, drinks at a throw away price and finger food to tease your taste buds.
Doors Open: 2000 Hrs.
Ngao Ya Jamii e.. V. will also be present selling custom made NYJ merchandise. There will NYJ T-shirts, NYJ caps, jewellery and many more fantastic things to help promote our efforts.
For anyone with a request or for those who would like to pre-order or book please contact us via
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or our
Secretary Mutanu Ngunga on 01578 78 73 401.
So bring a friend or ten and let´s usher in 2013 in style.
Ngao Events 2013
2013 is then here. What does Ngao Ya Jamii e.V. have in store for the year? We have many events planned for our Community so please mark the following dates on your calendar:
28.02.2012: Parent´s Evening- This will be an evening hosted by NJY for parents to exchange ideas on what schooling options are suitable for the 3rd Generation as well as introduce our plans of having a monthly Swahili Saturday for the kids. More information will be given on that day.
06.04.2013: Afro Gala– This event first held in 2012 will be an annual event to celebrate our heritage as Africans. If you know anyone who should be given an award in any of the following categories please submit their names. The Categories are: Music/ Entertainment, Social Engagement, Academics and Culture Enhance-ment.
17.08.2013: Kimathi Cup& 3rd Generation Fun Day– Ngao is looking forward to hosting an even bigger event with more teams from all over not only Germany but Europe as well.
20.10.2013: Wangari Maathai Day– This is a day set aside to do social works of charity alongside our all year charity activities. On this particular day we want to pay tribute to Prof. Wangari Maathai through coming together and carrying on her legendary works.
Merry Christmas and a Happy 2013
Ngao Ya Jamii Family
How Can You Help?
Ngao Ya Jamii e.V.
Spendenkonto: 193 1070 120,
BLZ 370 501 98
3 € for Ngao Ya Jamii Keyholder
5 € monthly contribution
15 € for Ngao Ya Jamii T-shirt
For More Information:
Secretary Ngao ya Jamii