Sunday, 15 November 2015

Paris terrorist Attack: Users Question The Facebook Profile Filter

ParisThe questions that have been in the lips of many Facebook users these days are: Why did Facebook create a profile filter in the honour of Paris terrorist victims and not for Nigerian, Kenyans or Syrian victims? Does it mean that some lives worth more than others? A legitimate question indeed but I crave the indulgence of my compatriots to differ.
Charlie NigerianEven though every life matters and should be cared for in the same way, Facebook seems, from the eyes of many, not aware of that fact. If not, why did it not propose Kenyan flag to users when on 2nd April 2015, 147 students were massacred in Garissa, Kenya? Why did Facebook not propose profile filter when between 2nd and 7th January 2015, more than 2000 Nigerians were lacerated in Baga? Why has it been so silent on the fate of all those dying in Syria on daily bases?
KenyaOf course it is a preferential treatment which Facebook has decided to accord to France but I think we should not forget one important fact. Facebook is a platform where users define the law. Take for instance when you tag someone several times, once you add the person's picture Facebook proposes the name of the person to you. Or when you use a city or a place several times, once you write something Facebook asks you if you want to add the place. The same thing occurs when things happens in places like France or China or Japan. Since there are so many users that talk about them Facebook creates a badge or a mini-app for it. And that is exactly what happened in this Paris attacks. Once the whole world started using Facebook to condemn the attacks, Facebook in her business oriented moves took the occasion to lure the users to make use of their platform.  
It is true that the World leaders and Western media houses are not also helping out the matter as they hardly talk about terrorist attacks that take place in the third world. And even when they talk about it, they present it in a way that it does not really represent the reality on the ground.  
Yet, we should not forget that if we do not tell our stories, we have no right to accuse the Western media of not doing it well. As a matter of fact, it is our duty to give them the materials with which they should work.
Imagine if 15 Million Nigerians post only a single world on Facebook against Boko Haram acts on monthly bases. Imagine if over 120 million Africans that are monthly active on Facebook denounce terrorist attacks in African Countries. Come to think of what Facebook was going to do if Facebook users in the middle east decide to tell Facebook the real story of what is going on in Syria or in Iraq. Do we think Facebook will not take the third world serious? We can make our situation a thing of international interest if we all talk about it.
But instead of making our own history, we are always there waiting for the West to act so that we can counter them. I should instead of accusing Facebook of favouring France, ask myself how many times I have talked about terrorist attack in Nigeria on Facebook this year? How many Nigerians or Africans are interested in influencing what Facebook propose to her users? We easily forget that Facebook is not a charitable organisation that is interested in producing an app for Nigeria just because it did it for France. The law in social media is: «if you can't beat them you join them» and as long as it is not a bad thing, the fact that you are not joining the crusade has nothing to change.
So, let us stop looking for who to accuse and take our destiny into our hands.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Les Benjamins de la Vie Religieuse se Mobilisent au Canada by Ali C. Nnaemeka, OMI

Fidèle à la joie de l’Évangile, plus de soixante-dix religieux et religieuses issus d’une trentaine des familles religieuses se sont réunis à la Maison de la Madone de Trois-Rivières pour partager leur conviction d’un avenir meilleur de la vie religieuse au Québec en particulier et au Canada en général. Ce groupe rassemblé sur le nom des «Benjamins Canada» était composé des religieux et religieuses ayant soit moins de quarante-cinq ans ou soit moins des quinze années de vie religieuse.

C’est un groupe avec une richesse et variété impressionnante. Nous étions composé des jeunes de moins de 25 ans et des religieux de plus de 50 ans ; des congrégations datant de plus de trois-cents ans et ceux ayant moins de 25 ans de fondation ; des moines cloitrés et des missionnaires essentiellement apostolique, dOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         es communautés simple et d’autres mixtes ; des religieux et religieuses aux vœux privés et ceux qui ont des vœux publiques. Des communautés portant des habits monastiques aux sœurs en jeans, nous nous sommes réunis pour témoigner de notre joie de porter les bannières de la vie religieuse aujourd'hui. Tous ensemble nous nous sommes rassemblés dans la joie du grand Oui Fidèle que nous avons prononcé dans nos diverses familles religieuses.

Aidés donc par des facilitateurs expérimentés, nous avons réussi à regarder notre fidélité partant de la Bible, par nos expériences quotidiennes et à travers les enseignements du Pape François.

Et comme les premiers Chrétiens, nous avons tous tenus à un seul objectif : montrer le Christ à travers nos divers charismes et spiritualité. Par l’animations merveilleuse de la liturgie, par le goût de prier, par la joie de vivre, etc. nous avons montré que la vie religieuse n’est pas une chose de passée mais toujours d’une actualité. Et avec la visage interculturel qui enrichit aujourd’hui toutes les communautés religieuses, le groupe s’est fait le don de vivre l’universalité ecclésiale.

Enfin, avec un programme bien élaboré, nous avons réussi à mener une vie fraternelle dans la joie de notre Oui fidèle. Et avec une messe de clôture présidée par Mgr Luigi Bonazzi, le Nonce Apostolique au Canada, au Sanctuaire Notre Damme du Cap, nous avons amené notre rencontre au terme et nous sommes rentrés avec joie dans nos communautés différentes pour transmettre à nos frères et sœurs la joie de la vie religieuse.

 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

I heard, I read, I went, I saw and I now believe in IIT-Lagos

IMG_4265Have you heard about The Institute for Industrial Technology (IIT) Lagos? I never did till some months ago. In one of our forums, I heard from a good friend and brother of a centre located in Lagos where young engineers are formed in a very short period of time. I thought it was one of the make-believe centres where guys are assembled to learn how to make pure water and the related stuffs. I only picked interest because I have a strong believe in the brother in question. More enquiries gave me an access to their website - http://www.iit.edu.ng/ - which I also found really impressing. Knowing what commercials could look like, my critical thinking mind made me doubt all I had heard and what I was able to read online not minding they were both edifying. I just needed more reasons to believe. IMG_4229

My primary preoccupation was how to wait till my next trip back to Nigeria to confirm what my ears have heard and all my eyes had read. And forced to anticipate my home visit by  the funeral of my mum, I used the opportunity to visit this important centre of youth formation.

Dropping of at Opic Bus Stop in Lagos, I was afraid my doubt were to be true as I could not see any reason to believe such a nice school existed in the environs. Picking a bike from the wrong side of the road, I started what I thought was a cross country. If not for such places like Channel House situated along the area, I was at the point of thinking that the bike guy was taking me to somewhere else. And at last, we arrived to a place very quiet that, if not for the sign post, I was almost asking if I were not at the wrong place.

My doubt, started going away already by the standard of reception I was accorded.  And by the time I started having a tour of their laboratories and workshops I was already at the point of wishing to move back the hands of clock so as to be of the age of attending such a wonderful institution. What surprised me most was not just the amount of equipment at the laboratories and workshops but the way they were cared for. Each equipment fitted well in its respective position that you were like no one ever touched them since they were bought. In a nutshell, the amount of orderliness in that school is unusual for average Nigerian Schools. 

A look at the classroom activities shows you what excellency is all about: few students around a young and vibrant engineering lecturer, adequate and modern teaching facilities and well nurtured young Nigerians preparing to invade the labour market with innovations built on healthy ethics.

The rest of the staffs, move about with such powerful mannerisms that could make you doff your cap for them without knowing it. Brief, IIT Lagos is just a school where excellency is fabricated in technological laboratories. 

Ali C. Nnaemeka, OMI

Saturday, 24 October 2015

A Funeral Oration read by Ali C. Nnaemeka, OMI, at the Burial of Mrs Theresa Mamah

The love of my life has gone to join the Lord

Engraved in my heart is, and will forever be, that night I received the news of your sudden and solemn demise. It sounded like a joke, nay, like an expensive prank. It first stroke me like a thunderstorm and like a child I was so confused that I could not imagine what language I was hearing. It was only when my elder brother took over the phone to confirm the sad news that I knew the issue was too expensive to be a joke.
Paralysed on my sit, I was so bemused that I did not know if I was to smile or to wail. I was then eagerly wishing it to be a dream. But as time wore on, it dawns on me that The Love of My Life Has Forever Gone to the Land Where We Never Grow Old.
Maman, you would of course not want us to grieve over your early departure, but who in our situation will remain indifferent? Who can bear the loss of an icon like you and feel unperturbed? Who will henceforth be that exemplary mother, granny, sister, aunty etc. you were onwards? Surely, you are not leaving us alone, but you will forever remain not only irreplaceable but also unforgettable.
You know that the moment I cherish most in life has always been the time of holidays, and not just because it is holiday, but because you were always there with that your welcoming, hearty and lovely smile. You were never taken unaware as you were always ready to welcome each one of us with our favourite dishes. And with that your lovely and expressive look you would always ask if we were really satisfied?
Maman, we will forever miss your personal and impartial relationship with each one of us. This has been proven by your meticulous personal relationship with each one of us which made it impossible to say who your favourite was. You were a mother who would chastise the child with her right hand and console at the same time with the left hand.
Your grandchildren were always more at ease with you than their biological mothers. Discreetly they would snub their mums at a tender age to stay close to you.
You were a source of inspiration to all those who knew you and to those in moment of difficulty a comforting voice. Maman, if not for our faith in the resurrection, our world would have been said to have fallen apart.
And, even though I am convinced that all hope has not been lost, I know that one thing will never ever be the same. My name Nnaemeka (The father (God) has done well) that only you brought to life whenever you called it will forever loose that affection.  
Ladode (Farewell) Maman Bene! You are now our ambassador! 
 Fr Nnaemeka, OMI
(7th child)

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

2015 Indigenous Pastoral Leadership Formation Program

11899749_1045458878811968_5786663148441102997_n11903730_1045458805478642_513331938085284676_nEvery year, the Kateri Centre for Native Ministry, in Collaboration with Saint Paul’s University, Ottawa organises a pastoral leadership program for priests, deacons, nuns and other pastoral agents working with the Native communities of Canada. This year’s program which will last for five days(17th to 21 August, 2015) started with a retreat held at an Algonquin Land (Natagama in Algonquin language). Before leaving for the program, we had a little moment of conversation and a session of group photograph with the Archbishop of Ottawa, His Excellency, Terrence Prendergast, sj. 
11895991_1045458728811983_5330055291133573084_n11889681_1045459035478619_3285806505249267631_nAt our arrival at the retreat centre, we started with a beautiful native American inspired liturgical celebration inside the Sweat Lodge. This ceremony which was conducted by an Amerindian elder was very intensive and full of significations.
After the celebration at the Sweat Lodge, we went to an external tent where we had the Pipe Celebration at the Sharing Circle. It was also another important celebration punctuated with life experience sharing and Smudging Ceremony.
At the end of the ceremonies, we closed the day with a nice barbecue dish and came back to the University of Saint Paul where majority of the participants are dwelling.