On Friday 28th July 2023, the In Conversation with Onyekachi Wambu event took place at SOAS Khalili Lecture Theatre, the second event continuing the year-long celebration of the African Foundation for Development (AFFORD) vital role and impact across diaspora, the continent and beyond.
The event was a very intimate and illuminating evening exploring Onyekachi’s journey from journalist and writer, to diaspora and development, and culture and restitution. As a celebrated diaspora transformer, Onyekachi has for 21 years worked with great vision, creativity and commitment for AFFORD. Wambu also shared the inspiration behind the recently published second edition of Empire Windrush – reflections of 75 years and more of the Black British Experience.
Opening the evening Ndid Njoku, AFFORD Chair highlighted the event as being an integral marker of the AFFORD@30 year long celebration, sharing the importance of sustaining the impact of diaspora over the 30 years and looking forward to enhancing diaspora contributions to Africa, through engaging a young generation to cascade the work. Introducing the event Ra Hendricks Founder of Jazzmothology led with the reference to the Yoruba drum roll at the beginning of the event as a way to signify Wambu’s roots. Building on this story, Hendricks spoke to the legacies of the imperial past that led Wambu and Hendricks paths to cross in London during the late 1990s and what this meeting may suggest for a revitalised Pan-African spirit. The evening continued on to the main conversation facilitated by Professor Gibril Faal, LSE travelled through themes of post-colonial conflict, migration, diaspora, culture and legacy.
“ The African was trying to discover the African…that was my journey” 1962
“Trying to find out who I am as a Igbo person”
“We have to be able to tell our story”
“You can learn so much through storytelling”