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Ask the Elders: Issue 1

What life advice would give to your grandchildren?

  • No matter what you do have Christ in your life. Everything you do with Christ will be a success. Live the way God want you to live, this is the advice I would give my grandchildren.  -Herma Brown
  • You are unique, there is no one like you. Do not try to copy other people, be yourself. Love God and love others.  -Funke Sabageh
  • Always put in your mind ‘Yes I can, yes I can’ Don’t say ‘I can’t’ and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.  -Mrs. Scholastica Lyanga

What are the most difficult and most rewarding things about growing older?

  • The most difficult is the physical body starts to fail, so many things you’d like to do but the body does not allow you. The most rewarding are the wisdom gained from years of experience and freedom.  -Funke Sabageh

Importance of an Omoluabi

When we imagine a person who is complete, what characteristics do they have? How do we describe this person? An Omoluabi is a person who possess eight characteristics that, in Nigerian culture, make a complete human.

When we say “complete human” we do not mean it in the physical sense, rather that a person has achieved a sense of purpose and meaning that transcends the regular disposition of an everyday person. An Omoluabi is a person that is well spoken, respectful, has good will, is truthful, brave, hard working, intelligent, and has character. Without these things a person would be lost and without purpose. It is my belief that there is something inside us all that craves these eight characteristics and we must choose whether or not to chase after them.

It is not my belief that humans are born without these things and are naturally inclined to do the opposite. In my opinion it is like choosing between healthy and unhealthy food. The easy option is to go with the unhealthy food but if we think it through and go with the hard option of eating healthy food, it will benefit us in the future. Becoming an Omoluabi is almost like this, sometimes choosing to do the opposite of one (or more) of the eight characteristics is the easy way out but we have to remind ourselves that choosing to be one of these eight characteristics in any given situation is going to not only benefit ourselves in the future but also those around us.

Being an Omoluabi means more than just possessing these characteristics, it means choosing them above the temptation to take the easy way out of uncomfortable situations. An Omoluabi’s purpose is to choose to be well spoken, respectful, good willed, is truthful, brave, hard working, intelligent, and full of character, so that others are encouraged to do the same. When we all strive to do better for ourselves and those around us we build strong communities that are strong and resilient.

Strength and resilience are two thing I believe the black community needs at this point in time. When hard times come upon our community it is not a lie to say that sometimes we do not fight back in the best way possible because it it easier not to. But when we act without first thinking of the impact that our actions may have on our community, it makes us weaker, it separates us, and as we become incomplete, so does our community.

The effects of this can be seen throughout the community in poverty, broken homes, economic failures, etc. But I say this not to discourage or to insult my community, I say it so that it can be clear where we are starting and what we must work towards. We are more than these things, we can rise above every single one of them if we choose to be more like an Omoluabi.

Will anyone on this earth become a complete human? Probably not, we are only human after all and we often make mistakes. But I urge readers of this article and of this newspaper to think about the eight pillars of an Omoluabi and how they can choose to be well spoken, respectful, good willed, truthful, brave, hard working, intelligent, and full of character, because as long as one is choosing to strive towards these goals, they are choosing the path of an Omoluabi and making our community better. An Omoluabi is more than just a philosophical concept, it is a way of life meant to be perfected and passed from one generation to the next to ensure that our community will always be strong even when our spirits have left the Earth.

Throwback : Issue 1

Volume 1, Issue 5 – Spring/Summer

African Proverbs

In line with the theme and the title of the newspaper–Omoluabi–, which campaigns against violence by not just saying what not to do, but by teaching, promoting and encouraging what to do instead, it is good to open this column with a proverb that has to do with character. The Yoruba people state that “IWA LEWA” or by breaking it down, it can also read “IWA NI EWA,” which means ‘character is beauty’.

This proverb candidly summarizes, dictates and governs the actions of Omoluabi. The proverb, “IWA LEWA” appeals to the heart and conscience of an Omoluabi by reminding him or her to behave appropriately and positively; such action or outcome will reflect the beauty of an Omoluabi.


With every new venture, experience and expertise come with time. Three years later, the Youth Embracing Today’s Youth (YETY) program, led by Pastor Paul Riley, is fine tuning its platform to make the most out of the abundant resources and funding provided from the community.

Operating out of the Water World Centre, YETY serves the youth in Windsor’s Glengarry area. Focusing on the at times under-represented youth ages 7-19 years, YETY provides a safe environment where students can learn and grow, focusing on the three main areas of fitness, cuisine and art.

This year the program wants to pay extra attention attracting the older youth and their affiliation with the Windsor Express may be the extra draw needed to gain their attention. Former professional player and now Windsor Express Coach, Bill Jones is an exceptional example of someone using both their influence and time to reach youth that might not be otherwise engaged.

“I rather have you on the courts than in the courts” is one of YETY’s slogans, encouraging youth to find productive activities to keep them busy and out of trouble.

Last year attendance ranged in the area of around 50 people per day; this year, Pastor Paul Riley expects even more. The Glengarry community is actively involved with the program and two of this year’s coaches are former students. Pastor Riley explained that “One of the highlights this year are that we are able to hire within Glengarry. So, two of our students are born and raised here… Their presence on our staff just opens up doors and they are able to spread the word and get more people to come.” Hiring former students also showcases to past and present students the job possibilities that are available to kids in the Glengarry community.

The culinary program enables students to learn how to prepare meals, “they let the kids cook and take home whatever they cook. Last year they were able to take home food to feed their entire families, but they also walked away with recipes”. Pastor Riley feels if they can keep them motivated to cook, they can keep them away from fast food.

Omoluabi and the law

Having character that reflects the Omoluabi philosophies is beneficial in all areas of life. This article focuses on how such virtue can be of assistance in the legal system.

An individual with Omoluabi character is unlikely to be involved as an accused party in the legal system; in the case that he were, he is likely to do well. This is because an Omoluabi will necessarily minimize the chances of arrest and investigation due to the prudent decisions they make.

If an Omoluabi is wrongfully suspected of committing an illegal act, their character traits will help to defend them against the accusation. An Omoluabi will remain polite and respectful regardless of the situation they are facing and who they are dealing with. Should a situation involving law enforcement escalate to the point of entering the court system, the Omoluabi will continue to benefit from who they are? An Omoluabi will enjoy the support of their community because the people who can attest to and vouch for their character will come forward in support.

Sokoni Market

The Sokoni Market is a networking event that allows businesses to come together and not only showcase to the public what they do but connect with other business owners and share ideas. The latest event took place on July 15th from 2 to 5pm at 900 Howard Ave, Windsor, Ontario.

Vendors who came out to showcase their products and interact with the public, helped fill the room with positive energy, motivation and a drive to succeed. The businesses present varied but included: real estate, cuisine and catering, books and clothing. Many of the businesses who came out shared with the crowds their dreams as well as what inspired them to embark on their goals.

Working with the residents of an old a ge home moved one of the
vendors, Alice Aliu, to start a business of her own. “Working with the old-age home has encouraged me to introduce my culture to them and further the dialogue,” said Aliu, who sells jewelry, uniforms, clothing, decoration and much more.

Barefoot Books Ambassador, Crystal Grimmond, shared with those in attendance children books and products that seek to open the doors to other cultures and perspectives.
“Share stories, connect families, inspire children!”
This simple mission is what Barefoot
Books is founded on and has allowed them to publish more than 600 books aimed at sparking creativity, global awareness and provide children of all backgrounds a mirror of their own experiences. Pushing diversity and inclusivity is their goal and they hope to encourage future generations through colorful illustrations and words.

Moving between each vendor left me in awe of the many ideas that our community continues to foster. Sokoni’s mission is to aid in economic progress and provide an outlet for small businesses to prosper.

“It was a niche. I didn’t think that we had high quality real estate magazines in the area. There are beautiful properties in Windsor and I wanted to give sellers the ability to have their properties in a high-quality magazine” said Sunny Ebegbuzie, creative director at Dream Homes Plus.

The magazine includes a glossy cover that showcases beautiful homes currently being sold in the area. Ebegbuzie stressed that there is one unique feature added that his competitors lack, “We have incorporated a mobile digital feature that is not in print. It provides instant connection between sellers and prospective buyers!” Once there is an interest, the seller is given an immediate notification electronically, along with innovative ideas in real estate.

The Best 237, a local catering enterprise, was able to showcase to the community their culinary talents and a small taste of what they had to offer the community, selling delicious homemade foods such as smoked fish, plantain chips, vegetables and much more.

Our community holds many hidden talents and innovative ideas that add to the Windsor Region. We hope to see you come out and support the Sokoni Market next month!

A Person of Character

Growing up, my mom had told me there are two things that are important in life. My mom will say “act in a way that is responsible and pleasing to God. Act in a way that when people don’t see you, you know it is still right.” For example, when I am in an argument that may result in a fight, I always choose to walk away, and when everyone is calm I go back to make my point. That is responsible and pleasing to God. I choose to be Omoluabi. I choose to be a person of character.

By: Michael Akinbinu

Canada Day Parade

July 1st was a very special day for Windsor, Ontario. Not only was it Canada Day, but it was also the day of the Canada Day parade. The parade started from Ouellette Ave and Giles Blvd W then continued onto Pillette Rd. The day was very hot, but nonetheless everyone was excited to be apart of the parade.BCCEEP (Black Canadians for Cultural, Educational and Economic Progress) marched in the parade with a colourful float to represent both African and Canadian colours. The aim was to represent both halves of Black Canadians and encourage others to be proud.The float had African music playing and many participants waving flags from countries of Africa, of course Canada as well. The African Children’s Dance group joined BCCEEP in waving flags, holding the organizations banner and dancing in front of the float.The day was filled with lots of laughter and infectious smiles! To all who watched, we are reminded that we are all Canadian no matter what. Canada is a place for us all to be ourselves and be part of a huge multi-cultural community. Nevertheless, it is also important for all who migrated here to remember that their cultural backgrounds are just as important as Canadian culture. Balance and harmony exists when cultures are brought together and acknowledged.Overall, the day was a great success! All the members, volunteers and participants had fun and walked onward with BCCEEP. BCCEEP would like to thank all those who came out and as well as those who marched with BCCEEP in the parade. This parade was a beautiful representation of what we can all do when we come together. BCCEEP hopes to continue to grow their family and encourage community progress.

Omoluabi and Good Mental Health

Mental health is the foundation for thinking, communication, learning, resilience and self-esteem. Mental health is also key to relationships, and emotional well-being in the community or society.

Mental health also includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and behave. It helps to determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Every “Omoluabi” (a person of good character) needs good metal health. Good mental health allows Omoluabi’s to think clearly, develop socially and learn new skills. Also, good friends and encouraging words from adults are all important in helping an Omoluabi develop self-confidence, high self-esteem, and a healthy emotional outlook on life.

Basics for an Omloluabi’s good mental health care include:
Unconditional love from family

Love, security and acceptance should be at the heart of family life
Children need to know that your love does not depend on his or her accomplishments.

Confidence grows in an environment that is full of unconditional love and affection.

To be an Omoluabi self- confidence and self-esteem must be nurtured.

Praise them.

Encouraging their ability, a new game helps them develop a desire to explore and learn about their new surroundings.

Parents/adult should be an active participant in their child’s activities.
Your attention helps build their self-confidence and self-esteem.

An Omoluabi needs realistic goals that match their ambitions with their abilities. They can be helped to choose activities that test their abilities and increase their self-confidence.

An Omoluabi is honest and does not hide his/her failures from others. It is important for an Omoluabi to know that we all make mistakes and that adults are not perfect.

Mental health consists of our thought-life. King Solomon admonished his son “Guard your heart above all else for it impacts everything you do”
“For as a person thinks in his heart so is he.” Our thoughts control our attitude. What you think is what you are. You are what your heart is.

“For a person thinks in his heart so is he.” Your thought controls the rest of your life. What you think is what you are. Your thoughts—positive, negative, good or bad control your attitude which lead to actions.

Some one said:
“Sow a deed reap a deed
Sow a deed reap a habit
Sow a habit, reap character
Sow a character reap a destiny”
Help is available

Without good mental health we cannot be healthy. Any parts of the body including the brain can get sick. We all experience emotional ups and downs from time to time caused by events in our lives. Good mental health is necessary for the development of good character. Seek help if any condition causes changes in your thinking, your feelings or mood so that you can develop good character.