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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Black History Month


Hi there👋🏼,

Happy Black History Month. In this edition, lets dive into celebarting Black History Month as African Diaspora and also learn about reasons why your startup in Africa is likely to fail.

Sonia Swalhe

Chief Editor, Zaminna

The Black History month was created to honour the contributions of African Americans/ Black Americans in the United states. Over the last 59 years Black History month has been celebrated in various countries like Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The Black history month mostly concentrates on people of African descent although this should go beyond that. There should be an inclusion of all Black people across the world.

‘SANKOFA’ -  “It is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.”


The African Diaspora has been growing over the years, with various factors which have affected this growth. From political persecutions back home, to search for better education, search for better employment opportunities, marriage connections.

The African Diaspora communities have many similarities to the Black Americans, their similarities in ancestral origins, the issue of racism affecting both communities, the issue of modern day slavery which can be attributed to the past slavery. So why would the Black history month be attributed only to one side of a similar coin?

For instance the Atlantic slave trade, the major supply of Africans to the white slave traders were fellow Africans. The tribes and communities which sided with the enemies to sell off the minor tribes, the vanquish communities, a group of people in disagreement to their beliefs and autonomous rule. The scouts of slave masters were also our fellow Africans, the white men never knew the landscapes of the interior continent. With these factors and many others, the slave trade was prone to success.

In the current times, the issue of migration to the western countries have majorly been due to closely worse factors like the Atlantic trade. wars.

Almost the all of the African continent is in conflict. Every country is facing internal conflicts which have resulted in civil wars.

The eastern region of Democratic republic of the Congo has been in a civil war for over 2 decades now, the Central African republic has been at civil war since the Bokasa times, Cameroon, Nigeria, Mali, Somalia, Angolan province of Cabinda, South Sudan, Sudan, Chad, Niger. Surely with wars, the refugee crisis is inevitable. The numbers of displaced people in Africa has risen to millions, many of these people have been forced to be encamped in refugee settlements with very unbearable conditions with the prospect of being given refuge in Americas, Australia and Europe. Let's take some examples of Africans that have made contributions in the diaspora.

Adebayo Ogunlesi;

In 2006, he founded the Global infrastructure partner, managing over 84bn$ assets, including 3 airports in the UK. The Nigerian born tycoon's expertise led to roles on President Trump’s strategic and policy forum and President Biden’s national infrastructure advisory council, solidifying his influence in the global infrastructure.

Tope Awotona;

The Nigerian-American entrepreneur is the CEO and co-founder of calendly, a popular scheduling APP. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Tope Awotona moved to the US after his father’s tragic death, and completed his education in Atlanta before pursuing a career in software.

Calendly was born out of Awotona’s frustration with the existing scheduling tools, and he invested every dollar he had into its development.

Launched in September 2013, the APP quickly secured investment from Atlanta Ventures and Openview. By 2021, calendly had received $350m in investment, and its value skyrocketed to $3bn. Awotona’s net worth is estimated at $1.4bn, making him the second black tech billionaire in the US.

There are many other successful African stories in the Diaspora, like Dikembe Mutombo, Serge Ibaka, Lupita Nyong’o, Arielle Kayabaga and many others. Famous and unfamous, their contributions in the Diaspora should be celebrated. The Black History month should acknowledge their devoted contribution to the building of the communities they are living in.

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