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Ministry promotes healthy marriages at anniversary clambake

ONUMBA.COM – When Rev. Comfort Kalu was planning the third anniversary celebration of the Fountain of Living Water Ministries International, she decided to gear the occasion in part towards an issue that’s hugely dear to her heart:  ‘marriage.’

So she invited an expert all the way from the State of Washington, author Dr. Asopuru Okemgbo, to come and speak on the subject. 

And Okemgbo didn’t disappoint. 

Navigating through some of the biggest pitfalls of marriage, he identified a menu of factors he blame for weakening the pillars of an institution that has come under assault from a barrage of salvos. It has even come to a cusp where folks don’t even bother to get married anymore.  They bypass it altogether, preferring instead to shack-up. What’s worse, society, even as it dangles morality as its foundational virtues, doesn’t even frown at that anymore because it has grown into an acceptable vogue. Apparently, the sense is, why say “I do” when many of the intrinsic bounties of marriage are also available to those who might as well be saying ‘I don’t.’  Single folks in relationships can do everything that married couples do:  live together, have sex, bear children and raise a family, all while reserving the right to walk away from it all without any costly legal brouhaha which is often part of a typical divorce saga. Obviously, going that route makes the issue of divorce a mute point. Continue Reading

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Columbus man is seeking to lead warring Somalia

ONUMBA.COM – Mahatma Ghandi’s words that we should be the “change we want to see in the world,” is probably no more than just a lofty cliché for a lot of people. But for one Columbus resident, it has become much more than that. 

It’s also a call to action. Abdulkadir “Fish” Ali said that it’s time to rescue his war-battered homeland from the mean-spirited grip of politicians he characterized as “inhumane, unwise and heartless.”  These folks, he said, have for years fanned the flame of a vicious conflict that has brought Somalia to its knees. 

Yet, through it all, Ali, like other Somalis, paced the sideline with hands folded as their troubled homeland ravaged in deepening squalor. But that was then. In an interview last week, the 52-year old Ali told the Call & Post that he has seen enough. Continue Reading

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Somali community celebrates education excellence

Onumba.com – When Fartun Farah, Huda Hashi and Mohammed Mahmud graduated from school recently, it was an exciting moment that each one of them celebrated with their respective families and close friends. But little did the trio know that they would also be celebrating their achievements with the rest of the Columbus Somali community and that Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman and a bevy of other elected officials would be there to celebrate with them.  And that President Barack Obama would send a shout-out all the way from the White House in recognition of their accomplishments. Thanks to Jibril Hirsi, President of SomaliCAN, who in collaboration with the Somali Education Association, made it all happen after he decided to organize the event to celebrate educational excellence in the entire Somali community. The event, titled the First Annual Ohio Somali Graduation ceremony involving high School, college, and university graduates, took place at the Hilton Easton.  It was themed, ‘celebrating academic excellence.’  The keynote speaker was Professor Steve Howard of the Center for African Studies at Ohio University. Evidently, this kind of community clambake is an obvious departure from the norm.  Typically, each family would hold separate events to celebrate the graduation of a family member.  But Hirsi decided to change that.  He told the Call & Post that holding an amalgamated event is much more productive, not only because it celebrates collective community accomplishments, but also it brings the community together, even as it helps debunk the constant association of Somali youth to “terrorism” and “pirates.” Continue Reading

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Quit complaining about the Somalis, get involved

Onumba.com — Pouting, whining, caterwauling, kvetching and scowling all over the place with long faces isn’t the solution.  It won’t help non-Somali African immigrants in Columbus get through the doors of government opportunities. Understand one thing, please:  ‘squeaky wheel gets the grease.’   And that’s pretty much what’s playing out here. Of course, it is abundantly clear, unless one has been camping out in a cave, that the Somalis, for what it is worth, are soaking up all the oxygen of attention from governments and community groups compared to other African immigrant communities? But why? For one thing, a stampede of them arrived here as hapless refugees needing a smorgasbord of government assistance to settle in a strange land. Continue Reading