PRESIDENT'S 2018 MESSAGE
K'Anyị Bulie Omenala Anyị Elu!
Dear Members and Supporters of the Igbo Culture and UIU-LA,
Let me start off by wishing all our members and supporters a Happy New Year, and many blessings going into the year. I sit, writing this message to you all and realize that it has been seven (7) months since the Umu Igbo Unite, Los Angeles Chapter kicked off. In that short amount of time, we have executed twelve events and activities, gathered with our general body five times, established six active committees, as well as amassed over a hundred (100+) paid members. All of this has strategically positioned us as not just the largest and fastest growing UIU chapter in the United States, but also one of the most exciting and vibrant. A big thank you to our members and supporters who have been pivotal in making this happen. As I look back at the day I decided to run for an executive role within UIU-LA, not only have my expectations around the potential successes of the chapter been exceeded, now I am even more motivated, honored and energized to serve each and everyone of you. My reasons are primarily driven by my message to you all this year- K'Anyị Bulie Omenala Anyị Elu!!!
K'anyị bulie omenala anyị elu translates into "let's uplift our traditions". It has become more apparent to me since joining this organization; the need to push and uplift, not mildly but vigorously, the traditions that make us who we are- the Igbo traditions. The Igbo language continues to be in decline, and the natural, yet organic evolution of inter-ethnic and inter-racial marriages continue. The constant immersion into a culture foreign to our fore-fathers by nature of our resident locations and day-to-day associations is inevitable. As much as we should rightly accept the progressive and constantly changing society where we make our beds, we should not and cannot forget who we are- Ndi Igbo. Be proud to express your "Igboness" through act's that uplift our traditions, wherever and whenever possible. Be proud to educate your non-Igbo friends and / or partner about what makes your identity so special and unique, as you also openly and fearlessly, embrace and learn from theirs. Our people say, "onye n'amaghi mgbe mmiri jiri mawa ya, agaghi ama mgbe o kwusiri". This means, "he who does not know when the rain started beating him, does not know when it stopped". We always need to be aware, lest we risk forgetting who we are.
As a Chapter, we have a bright, dynamic and passionate Board that is here to serve you. The leader's and member's of our committees with their exceptional talent and vigor, are constantly preparing excellent programming to provide an enriching, professional and cultural experience for our target audience. This year, in addition to all the great events and activities we have lined up, we will be launching our flagship events- The Summer UIU-LA Family Day / Picnic and The UIU Los Angeles Culture & Excellence Ball; be on the lookout for more information later in the year. This year we will also be looking to expand on partnerships with various local parent organizations with similar values and further engagements within the Igbo community; both locally and at home in Nigeria. We will actively work to identify opportunities to collaborate with entities in the U.S. and key players in the Nigerian professional and cultural ecosystem, as we build bridges in furtherance of our mission. Members and supporters, as much as you may acknowledge our hard work and successes, please find time to provide us critical feedback, as this is the only way we can improve and build on lessons learned.
In closing, as I beam with pride and confidence at our greatest asset- our people, I always remember the things closest to my heart- my family; without them, there is no me. I encourage you to never forget those things you hold closest to heart, like family, as you continue to uplift our traditions, because that is truly the reason we must work to insure that we are sustained as a people. Through the grace of our Lord God, who continues to bless and protect us abundantly, all things are possible!
Your 2017 / 2018 President- Umu Igbo Unite, Los Angeles