Europe

Interview! Chairman, Igbo Union Finland Speaks on the Ongoing wave about New Yam Festival/IgboDay

abisiThe forthcoming New Yam festival/Igbo Day celebration in Finland is really pulling
crowd both Igbos and non-Igbos. Many cannot wait to experience this day due to the level of advertisement and news going on about it by media.

Nevertheless, the wave of Igbos` forthcoming festival prompted the Igbo Union Chairman in
Finland to open up to us (Afrikfame) during the interview in his palace that “we foresaw this coming because Igbo culture has really gone universal”.

How do you introduce yourself to us?

My original name is Kingsley Abisi but people who know me too well address me by my title name, Osisi Oma n ´Nando! I am from Nando in Anambra State, Nigeria. I have lived here in Finalnd for a reasonable number of years though (smiling) I still cannot forget my root and culture.

We have heard a lot about Igbo Union Finland and how powerful it in the area of societal development here and back home in Nigeria. Tell us more about this organization?

Great question from you Afrikfame (smiling)! Igbo Union Finland is an organization of
Igbo people here in Finland just like in other countries where Igbo people are. It is an organization formed for the growth and well-being of Igbo people both
home and abroad. We have one central mission which is to have one heart in practice, bring development to Igboland and at the same time maintaining our Igbo culture.

However, we have the interest of each other at heart here in Finland like solving

member`s immediate problem that is within our reach and also suggest better solutions where we cannot extend our helping hands to. As Igbos in diaspora we plan for the good of our people back home in the area of political and economic stability…… etc

How did you come to be the Chairman of Igbo Union Finland?

The Chairmanship of this honorable union I can say did not come to me by surprise because our people say “onye fee eze, eze eluo ya”(He who obeys the king will one day be one). Even before the chairmanship I have done my best to contribute to the best growing of this organization here. I have worked as a provost under Mr Ike Chime, social director and also Vice-Chairman under Sunny Odum before he
left.

What are the qualities you think you possess as a good leader of Igbo Union Finland?

This is really a big question to answer because “none blows his on trumpet”. But since it is demanded of me, I will say that the major one is that I love and have the interest of my people at heart. I am honest, transparent, humble, have the ability to inspire and bring change.

The news about the forthcoming new yam festival/Igbo day celebration is almost everywhere and people are really excited about it.
How could you explain this festival to non-Igbos?

New Yam festival could best be described with this Igbo word called Odinala (tradition). It was passed to our generation from our fore-fathers. A time like this is in this past, our fore-fathers gathered to give thanks to the god of jam for the wonderful harvest of the year. Today, it does not only take place directly in Igboland but Igbo descendants have carried it with them to their different residences. Just like in Igboland, they do it annually in different countries’ of residence and in the same vein to ask god for their unity and blessings in
all they do.

Do you think this year festival will be big the way people are talking about it?

Eeeh! Just like I have said before that we foresaw this festival coming and we have prepared to give people the best. Besides, I have been getting calls from lots of people both from Finland here and outside about this very festival (smiling). I will not fail to say that whoever that will miss this year festival has missed the greatest of events in life. I wish I could ascend mountain to blow the trumpet of this year festival. It will be fun andmemorable!

A big festival of this type should have special guests of Honors from Africa and other countries. What do you think about this?

Afrikfame I am happy that you will be there live as one of the media companies to see by yourself (proudly). Lots of special guests
will grace this festival I tell you. We have people like HRH, Igwe Cletus Ilomuanya (Obi of Obinnikwu I of Orlu), HRH, CIC Nwangwu (Eze Ndi Igbo I of Holland) His Excellency, Benedict Onochie Amaobi (Ambassador to Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway), Madam Megan Adaobi Clement ( Igbo Woman Leader United Kingdom Forum) etc.

What are other Igbo organizations that Igbo Union in Finland is in connected with round the whole
world?

First, it is good to talk about the IWA (Igbo World Assemble). It is the canopy that Igbo Union in Finland is under. In fact, it is
the mother organization. Others are Umunna Cultural Group Gothenburg, Igbo Union Denmark. Norway, Holland, Madrid etc

What are your wishes for the people coming to this festival?

I wish them safe journey down here and back to their homes after the festival. I promise them once more that we will leave for them
a memorable event. At the same time, I wish them every blessing that accompany the festival.

What project is the Union having at hand?

Igbo Union Finland has projects like working hard to get house where they can call their own. A place they will call Igbo Village just like in America. Also to get united all the Igbos in Finland irrespective of their locations. The Union has also good number of wheel chairs for the handicapped back home.

We thank you for the audience but before conclusion we want to know if you have something to say to
Afrikfame International?

It is not arguable that Afrikfame is practically celebrating African culture and people as you have it in your motto. Actually,
I have been hearing how powerful you are in showcasing African culture and success worldwide but never concluded till I visited your site
(www.afrikfame.com). Your news, events here has been great. We need more of your work and I hereby say that you are awesome and amazing!

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