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The Most Successful Ethnic Group in the U.S. May Surprise You | Fast Forward | OZY

At an Onyejekwe family get-together, you can’t throw a stone without hitting someone with a master’s degree. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors — every family member is highly educated and professionally successful, and many have a lucrative side gig to boot. Parents and grandparents share stories of whose kid just won an academic honor, achieved an athletic title or performed in the school play. Aunts, uncles and cousins celebrate one another’s job promotions or the new nonprofit one of them just started. To the Ohio-based Onyejekwes, this level of achievement is normal. They’re Nigerian-American — it’s just what they do.

Today, 29 percent of Nigerian-Americans over the age of 25 hold a graduate degree, compared to 11 percent of the overall U.S. population, according to the Migrations Policy Institute. Among Nigerian-American professionals, 45 percent work in education services, the 2016 American Community Survey found, and many are professors at top universities. Nigerians are entering the medical field in the U.S. at an increased rate, leaving their home country to work in American hospitals, where they can earn more and work in better facilities. A growing number of Nigerian-Americans are becoming entrepreneurs and CEOs, building tech companies in the U.S. to help people back home.

It hasn’t been easy — the racist stereotypes are far from gone. Last year, President Donald Trump reportedly said in an Oval Office discussion that Nigerians would never go back to “their huts” once they saw America. But overt racism hasn’t stopped Nigerian-Americans from creating jobs, treating patients, teaching students and contributing to local communities in their new home, all while confidently emerging as one of the country’s most succesful immigrant communities, with a median household income of $62,351, compared to $57,617 nationally, as of 2015.

Nigerian-Americans are beginning to make a mark in sports, entertainment and the culinary arts.

“I think Nigerian-Americans offer a unique, flashy style and flavor that people like,” says Chukwuemeka Onyejekwe, who goes by his rap name Mekka Don. He points to Nigerian cuisine like jollof rice that’s gaining popularity in the U.S. But more importantly, Mekka says, Nigerians bring a “connectivity and understanding of Africa” to the U.S. “Many [Americans] get their understanding of ’the motherland’ through our experiences and stories,” he adds.

The Nigerian-American journey is still relatively new compared with that of other major immigrant communities that grew in the U.S. in the 20th century. The Nigerian-American population stood at 376,000 in 2015, according to the Rockefeller Foundation–Aspen Institute. That was roughly the strength of the Indian-American community back in 1980, before it emerged as a leading light in fields ranging from economics to technology. But Nigerian-Americans are already beginning to make a dent in the national consciousness. In the case of forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, he’s helping fix hits to the brain. The 49-year-old Omalu was the first to discover and publish on chronic traumatic encephalopathy in American football players (Will Smith played him in the 2015 film Concussion). ImeIme A. Umana, the first Black woman elected president of the Harvard Law Review last year, is Nigerian-American. In 2016, Nigerian-born Pearlena Igbokwe became president of Universal Television, making her the first woman of African descent to head a major U.S. TV studio. And the community has expanded rapidly, up from just 25,000 people in 1980.

Traditionally, education has been at the heart of the community’s success. But success isn’t so easily defined within the culture anymore. Nigerian-Americans are beginning to make a mark in sports, entertainment and the culinary arts too — like Nigerian chef Tunde Wey in New Orleans, who recently made headlines for using food to highlight racial wealth inequality in America.

It was education that brought an early wave of Nigerians to the U.S. in the 1970s. After the war against Biafra separatists in the ’60s, the Nigerian government sponsored scholarships for students to pursue higher education abroad. English-speaking Nigerian students excelled at universities in the U.S. and U.K., often finding opportunities to continue their education or begin their professional career in their host country. That emphasis on education has since filtered through to their children’s generation.

Dr. Jacqueline Nwando Olayiwola was born in Columbus, Ohio, to such Nigerian immigrant parents. Her mother is a retired engineer, now a professor at Walden University; her father is a retired professor, now a strategist at a consulting firm focused on governance in Africa. “Education was always a major priority for my parents because it was their ticket out of Nigeria,” Olayiwola says. Her parents used their network of academics to get Olayiwola thinking about a career in medicine from a young age — by 11, she was going to summits for minorities interested in health care. Olayiwola was constantly busy as a kid doing homework and sports and participating in National Honor Society and biomedical research programs, but it was the norm, she says; her Nigerian roots meant it was expected of her.

Today, Olayiwola is a family physician, the chief clinical transformation officer of RubiconMD, a leading health tech company, associate clinical professor at University of California, San Francisco, instructor in family medicine at Columbia University, and an author. Her new book, Papaya Head, detailing her experience as a first-generation Nigerian-American, will be published later this year. Olayiwola’s siblings are equally successful – her older brother, Okey Onyejekwe, is also a physician, her younger brother, Mekka Don, is a lawyer turned rapper, and her sister, Sylvia Ify Onyejekwe, Esq, is the managing partner of her own New Jersey law firm.

But Olayiwola feels she needs to do more. She doesn’t want America’s gain to be Nigeria’s permanent loss.

Olayiwola and her brother, Okey, stay active in the Nigerian-American community. In 1998, they co-founded the Student Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas, which organizes at least two medical mission trips to Nigeria each year. Between 2000 and 2004, the siblings often flew the nearly 8,000 miles to Nigeria to perform screenings for preventable diseases. They took blood pressure, advised patients on diabetes and obesity prevention, and provided prenatal counseling in rural areas.

“I feel a tremendous sense of wanting to go back [to Nigeria] and help,” says Olayiwola.

It’s a sentiment shared by many in the Nigerian-American community. But it’s easier said than done for some of America’s most qualified professionals to leave world-class facilities and a comfortable life to return permanently to a nation that, while Africa’s largest economy, remains mired in political instability and corruption.

In the 1970s and ’80s, some foreign-educated Nigerian graduates returned home, but found political and economic instability in a postwar country. In 1966, the country’s military overthrew the regime of independent Nigeria’s first prime minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. It was the first of a series of military coups — again, later, in 1966, then in 1975, 1976, 1983, 1985 and 1993 — that were to deny the country even a semblance of democracy until 1999.

“My parents were expected to study in the U.S. or U.K. and then go back to Nigeria,” says Dr. Nnenna Kalu Makanjuola, who grew up in Nigeria and now lives in Atlanta. Her parents did return, but with few jobs available in the economic decline of the 1980s, many Nigerians did not. Within a few years of their return, Makanjuola’s parents too decided it was best to build their lives elsewhere.

Makanjuola, who has a pharmacy degree, works in public health and is the founder and editor in chief of Radiant Health Magazine, came to the U.S. when her father won a Diversity Immigrant Visa in 1995 — a program Trump wants to dismantle. Makanjuola’s father moved the family to Texas so his children could have access to better universities. Makanjuola intended to one day pursue her career in Nigeria as her parents had, but it’s too hard to leave the U.S., she says: “Many Nigerians intend to go back, but it’s impractical because there’s more opportunity here.”

As an undergraduate student in Nigeria, Jacob Olupona, now a professor of African religious traditions at Harvard Divinity School, was a well-known activist in his community. He considered a career in politics, but a mentor changed his mind. The mentor told Olupona: “Don’t go into politics because you’re too honest and don’t join the military because you’re too smart.” So Olupona headed to Boston University instead, to study the history of religions — a subject he had always found fascinating as the son of a priest. Like Olayiwola, the importance of education was instilled in him from a young age but so too was the importance of spreading knowledge. “When you educate one person, you educate the whole community,” Olupona says. That belief is what translated into his career as a teacher.

Olupona stresses that Nigerians have also achieved a lot in their country of origin. Moving to the U.S. isn’t the only route to success, he says. Still, he believes the many academic opportunities in the U.S. have benefited Nigerians. “There’s something about America and education that we need to celebrate,” he says.

Marry those American opportunities with an upbringing that emphasizes education, a drive to serve the U.S. while not forgetting their roots, and a growing penchant for success, and you have a unique cocktail that is the Nigerian-American community today.

Anyone from the Nigerian diaspora will tell you their parents gave them three career choices: doctor, lawyer or engineer. For a younger generation of Nigerian-Americans, that’s still true, but many are adding a second career, or even a third, to that trajectory.

Anie Akpe works full time as vice president of mortgages at Municipal Credit Union in New York City, but she’s also the founder of Innov8tiv magazine, African Women in Technology (an education and mentorship program) and an app called NetWorq that connects professionals. Raised in the southern port city of Calabar, she had the Nigerian hustle baked into her upbringing. “There was no such thing as ‘can’t’ in our household,” she says. Akpe’s banking career fulfilled her parent’s expectations, but she wanted to do more. Four and a half years ago, she launched Innov8tiv to highlight success stories back home in Nigeria and throughout the African continent. Through her magazine and through African Women in Technology, which offers networking events, mentorship opportunities and internships, Akpe is helping propel women into careers like hers. “Africa is male-dominated in most sectors,” she says. “If I can show young women there are ways to do things within our culture that allow them to grow, then I’ve been successful.”

Like Akpe, rapper Mekka Don took a traditional career route at first. He got a law degree from New York University and worked at a top-10 law firm, but he had always wanted to pursue music. At 25, Mekka, who is the younger brother of Jacqueline Olayiwola, and Sylvia and Okey Onyejekwe, decided to take the plunge.

Fellow attorneys ridiculed him, asking incredulously: “Who leaves a law career to become a rapper?” But his family was understanding — part of a shift in attitudes that Mekka says he increasingly sees in his parents’ generation of Nigerian-Americans. “My parents see how lucrative music can be,” he says, adding, “They also get excited when they see me on TV.”

The lawyer turned rapper has been featured on MTV and VH1, has a licensing agreement with ESPN to play his music during college football broadcasts and just released a new single, “Nip and Tuck.” He still has that law degree to fall back on and it comes in handy in his current career too. “I never need anyone to read contracts for me, so I save a ton on lawyer fees,” Mekka says.

The community’s drive to succeed sounds exhausting at times, particularly if you never feel you’ve reached the finish line. Omalu, the forensic pathologist, was recently in the news again after his independent autopsy of Sacramento youth Stephon Clark showed that the 22-year-old was repeatedly shot in the back by police officers, which conflicted with the Sacramento Police report.

But if you ask Omalu about his success, he’s quick to correct. “I’m not successful,” Omalu says, adding that he won’t consider himself so until he can “wake up one day, do absolutely nothing and there will be no consequences.” Part of Omalu’s humility is faith-based: “I was given a talent to serve,” he says. Omalu has eight degrees, has made life-changing medical discoveries and has been portrayed by a famous actor on screen, but he doesn’t revel in his accomplishments.

And what about Nigerians who come to the U.S. and don’t succeed? Wey, the activist chef, says there’s a lot of pressure to fit a certain mold when you’re Nigerian. Choosing the right career is only one part of that. “You have to be heterosexual, you have to have children, you have to have all of those degrees,” he says of the cultural expectations he was raised with. “It limits the possibilities of what Nigerians can be.”

While others agree it can be stressful at times, they say the high career bar isn’t a burden to them. “I don’t know anything else,” says Olayiwola about being raised to value education and success. Akpe feels the same. “You’re not thinking it’s hard, it’s just something you do,” she says.

Now that doctor, lawyer and engineer are no longer the only acceptable career options within the community, the path to professional achievement is rife with more possibilities than ever before. Sports, entertainment, music, the culinary arts — there are few fields Nigerian-Americans aren’t already influencing. And the negative stereotypes? Hold onto them at your own peril.

An earlier version of this story had the incorrect surname for Okey Onyejekwe.

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Barack Obama Dons Santa Hat To Surprise Hospitalized Kids With Gifts | HuffPost

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A Heartwarming Video When Soldiers Surprise Their Kids After Deployment Will Melt Your Heart

Do not be ashamed when your parents hug you or kiss you. For many this is a unique and wonderful moment!

There are few things on the Internet that call for big box of tissues than those heartwarming reunions between soldiers and their families. So, brace yourself: we’ve collected some of our favorite moments from the reunions.

Soldiers returning to their families in this amazing video may leave you with few tears rolling down your cheek and a smile on your lips. Oftentimes, we don’t realize how much someone means to us until they are gone. But upon their return, time literally stands still!

These soldiers return home to surprise their families, and there is nothing that can compare to the feeling of being able to hug the loved ones and reuniting with the entire family.

We often forget that time is the only resource that we can’t get back, and when our loved ones go on a long “trip”, especially one that we don’t know if they will ever return is just heartbreaking. But we can only imagine the feeling they get when they return home to their loved ones safe.

The reason why I wrote the first comment is that we often get ashamed by our parents in our “teenage” years when they kiss and hug us in front of our friends, but what happens when they can’t kiss and hug you anymore? We feel the guilt for not doing that while we could…

If you haven’t called your parents today, just do it. Do not let any fight or emotion stop the bond between you. We are all imperfect human beings, remember that.

Don’t wait before it’s too late!

Thanks to Curiosidades 10 for this amazing video! Please make sure to like their Facebook Page and watch more of these inspirational moments!

Now watch this heartwarming video bellow:

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High school student’s selfless gift of an electric wheelchair changes makes his friend’s life a little easier – CNN

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30 “Surprise-Inside” Cake & Treat Ideas

When I ran into a few of these peek a boo cake recipes on Pinterest last year, I knew I had to give it a try. The idea of having a surprise hidden inside of cake, bread, or other treats was just too much for me to ignore! Most of these I haven’t attempted yet, but with the holidays inching closer, I’m ready to give them a go. After you see the step-by-step instructions, they are actually much easier than they might appear. And so, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best surprise treats!

30 Peekaboo and Surprise-Inside Treats!! Listotic.com

1. Pancake Muffins

What a great way to make an on-the-go version of a pancake breakfast! Fill your muffin tin 1/4 full with pancake mix, toss in a few of your favorite breakfast ingredients (bacon, sausage, blueberries– maybe even a little dollop of maple syrup?), pour another layer of pancake mix over top until they are 3/4 full, and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. You could even make these the night before an early morning, and then have them ready to run out the door with.

On-the-go pancake muffins. Stuff them with your favorite breakfast ingredients (bacon, sausage, fruit) + 29 other Surprise-Inside Cake & Treat Ideas!!

Photo Source: The World According To Eggface and Stylish Cuisine

2. Zebra Striped Surprise Cake

Zebra striped cake can go with just about any party theme, from a kid’s safari party to a bachelorette party. And, the best part is, it doesn’t take a lot of skill or effort! The cake can all be baked at one time without any food coloring added as white and chocolate cake are already readily available.

30 Surprise-Inside Cake and Treat Ideas!!

Source & Instructions: My Cake School

3. Leopard Print Surprise Cake

Surprise your guests with a leopard print cake! It’s almost as simple as the zebra stripes, with just one extra color added and a layered swirl pattern. You can add orange food coloring to a white cake batter, but even better, skip the food coloring all together and create a lighter brown color by mixing chocolate and white cake mix together for your third color.

30 Surprise-Inside Cake and Treat Ideas!!

Source & Instructions: Masam Manis

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Nobel Peace Prize for anti-rape activists Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege

Image copyrightEPA
Image caption Ms Murad and Dr Mukwege made a “crucial contribution” to fighting violence against women

The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize has gone to campaigners against rape in warfare, Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege.

Ms Murad is an Iraqi Yazidi who was tortured and raped by Islamic State militants and later became the face of a campaign to free the Yazidi people.

Dr Mukwege is a Congolese gynaecologist who, along with his colleagues, has treated tens of thousands of victims.

Some 331 individuals and organisations were nominated for the prestigious peace award this year.

The winners announced in the Norwegian capital Oslo on Friday won the award for their “efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war”, Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Nobel committee chair, said.

The pair both made a “crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes”, Ms Reiss-Andersen added.

Who are the winners?

Ms Murad, 25, endured three months as a sex slave at the hands of Islamic State (IS) militants. She was bought and sold several times and subjected to sexual and physical abuse during her captivity.

She became an activist for the Yazidi people after escaping IS in November 2014, campaigning to help put an end to human trafficking and calling on the world to take a tougher line on rape as a weapon of war.

BBC Persian’s Nafiseh Kohnavard, who met Ms Murad after she had escaped from her IS captors, tweeted an image of the meeting after the prize was announced.

End of Twitter post by @nafisehkBBC

Ms Murad described her escape in a BBC interview in 2016, detailing how the women who were held captive were treated by IS.

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Media captionNadia Murad tells the BBC’s Hardtalk how she escaped IS

She was awarded the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize by the Council of Europe in 2016 and called for an international court to judge crimes committed by IS in her acceptance speech in Strasbourg.

Ms Murad, the first Iraqi to win the award, was named the UN’s first goodwill ambassador for survivors of human trafficking later that year.

Dr Mukwege, meanwhile, has spent decades helping rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was operating at his hospital when he heard the news, according to Norwegian newspaper VG.

“I was in the operating room so when they started to make noise around [it] I wasn’t really thinking about what was going on, and suddenly some people came in and told me the news,” he told the newspaper.

He and his colleagues are said to have treated about 30,000 rape victims, developing great expertise in the treatment of serious injuries sustained during sex assaults that were carried out as a weapon of war.

Denis Mukwege in his own words

It was in 1999 that our first rape victim was brought into the hospital. After being raped, bullets had been fired into her genitals and thighs.

I thought that was a barbaric act of war but the real shock came three months later. Forty-five women came to us with the same story, they were all saying: “People came into my village and raped me, tortured me.”

Other women came to us with burns. They said that after they had been raped, chemicals had been poured on their genitals.

Image copyrightGetty Images
Image caption Dr Mukwege is an expert in the treatment of serious sexual injuries

I started to ask myself what was going on. These weren’t just violent acts of war, but part of a strategy. You had situations where multiple people were raped at the same time, publicly – a whole village might be raped during the night. In doing this, they hurt not just the victims but the whole community, which they force to watch.

The result of this strategy is that people are forced to flee their villages, abandon their fields, their resources, everything. It’s very effective.

The 63-year-old has won a number of international prizes, including the 2008 UN Human Rights Prize, and was named African of the Year in 2009.

He lives under the permanent protection of UN peacekeepers at his hospital and has also previously called for a tougher line on rape as a weapon of war.

Who else won a Nobel award this year?

How is the prize decided?

  • Eligible nominators from around the world can put forward candidates up to 1 February of the award year, while Nobel Committee members have more time
  • All nominations are reviewed by the committee – whose five members are chosen by the Norwegian parliament – before a shortlist of 20-30 candidates is selected
  • A group of Norwegian and international advisers writes individual reports on the shortlisted candidates. Using these and further reports, the committee narrows the selection down to a handful
  • A decision is reached in the last meeting of the committee, usually in late September or early October, before the prize is announced
  • If a unanimous decision cannot be reached, a simple majority vote is used
  • After the announcement, the award ceremony takes place on 10 December, the date of Alfred Nobel’s death
  • Previous winners include figures such as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa and the Dalai Lama

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Media captionWhere do the prizes come from and what do peace and dynamite have in common?

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Former President Obama delivers holiday gifts at Washington children’s hospital

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Surprise: Tamron Hall, 48, Reveals She’s 32 Weeks Pregnant

Surprise! Former “Today” show co-host Tamron Hall is married to a music executive and pregnant with their first child.

tamron-hall-pregnant

The 48-year-old journalist made the dual announcement on social media Monday. 

“I’ve wanted to share this news for many months and now finally my doctor has said I am in a safe place, at 32 weeks, to share my joy with y’all. So, it’s clear a daytime talk show isn’t the only thing I’ve been trying to produce!” Hall, 48, added in a follow-up post. “There have been many tears, but today I embrace the smiles. My husband Steven and I are beyond excited!”

She continued, “We’re in constant prayer, so if you pray, add us to your list; if you meditate, send calmness our way; and if you believe in luck, we’ll happily take that too. More to share in a few weeks when the baby arrives! Next chapter! Blessed and Grateful.”

Not long before making her baby announcement, Hall shared the premiere date for her upcoming eponymous daytime talk show. “When one door closes… (say it with me) another one opens!” she wrote on Instagram. “@disney just announced that my nationally syndicated daytime talk show Tamron Hall will premiere on 9-9-19! I am also proud to share that I will serve as an Executive Producer on our new show, alongside legendary producer Bill Geddie!”

It was revealed in August that Hall had a series in the works with ABC. Hall — who co-hosted the Today show from 2007 until her departure in 2017 — had a daytime talk show in the works with Harvey Weinstein and his production company, but the project fell through after the disgraced Hollywood figure was accused of sexual misconduct by a myriad of women in October 2017.

See Hall’s baby announcement below.

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