speakers speeches keynote inspirational celebrity motivational conference graduation speakers speeches keynote inspirational celebrity motivational conference graduation speakers speeches keynote inspirational celebrity motivational conference graduation speakers speeches keynote inspirational celebrity motivational conference graduation



speakers speeches keynote inspirational celebrity motivational conference graduation







 
 
  What's New!




Excerpt from this interview was published in Portuguese language in the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo (www.estadao.com.br, September 11, 2001). The interview was conducted by email with Joa Magalhaes.


 

Estado: What is your background in Nigeria?


Emeagwali: My hometown is Onitsha (Oh-nih-chaah), a corruption of the word Orisha (Oh-rih-chaah).

In the 1550s, the slave wars forced my ancestors to flee the Benin Kingdom to present day city of Onitsha. The Portuguese exported to Brazil, hundreds of thousands of slaves that were of the Orisha faith. The British and Spanish also exported Orisha slaves to the Caribbean Islands of Haiti, Cuba, and Trinidad. The influence of the Orisha faith is seen in the religious rites, myths, music and beliefs of Brazilians of African descent.

Growing up in Africa was the most interesting period of my life. I was active in the Catholic Church choir. I was also an altar boy for a group of Irish priests of the Holy Ghost traveling and we traveled together to churches in small African communities.

After completing my seventh grade, civil war broke out in Nigerian and I was forced to drop out of school and live in refugee camps. Five million people or one in three Biafrans became refugees.

I spent my teenage years trapped in refugee camps. Dodging the rubble underneath ceilings crumbling from rocket shells. Living in fear and poverty with no money to pay my school fees. I was forced to drop out of school and study on my own. I studied from 6 a.m. to midnight to earn my high school equivalency diploma.

Food was scarce in the refugee camps. We ate in the International Red Cross feeding centers, when food is available. I spent my days gathering palm nuts from the rain forest, hunting birds with slingshots and fishing on the River Niger. One million Biafrans died from hunger and starvation. You couldn't find a dog within the refugee camps. They've all been eaten. There were few adult men in our refugee camp. The men were conscripted into the army and sent to the war fronts.


A slave caravan on the west coast of Africa

 

Estado: Suppose you have heroes or persons you admire the most. Who are they?


Emeagwali:

One memorable story that has been told and retold over several generations within my family was how King Chima helped my ancestors escape from the wicked King Esigie of the Benin Kingdom. Esigie sold many Africans to Portuguese slave traders. With the exception of Nigeria, Brazil has more people of African descent. My ancestors who could not escape from Esigie brought the Orisha faith to Brazil.

In the 1550s, King Chima led his people to make a heroic and arduous journey to freedom. I admire his courage, leadership and ability to lead his oppressed people to freedom. Without his courage, all my ancestors would have been enslaved in Brazil, Cuba, Haiti and Trinidad. His courageous journey was not easy. It was a time animal spirits occupied the rain forests. It took a lot of courage for King Chima to lead the Orishas away from the Benin Kingdom and into the rain forest wilderness.


Stubborn slaves were thrown overboard.


A slave deck


Our 10,000 Pages
The Web Our Site
powered by Google!

Sister Sites
 
Philip Emeagwali
 
African History
Black History
Black Inventors
African-American feats in science, technology are helping to revolutionize everyday lives:

CNN
African American Inventors
Black Inventors
George Washington Carver
Philip Emeagwali
Benjamin Banneker

Are you searching for a living African-American Inventor?


We maintain 5000 searchable pages on 100 historical figures.

Search Query We updated on , 2003.

Press Ctrl-P to print this page.

Bookmark us now! to add this page to your list of favorites.

Make us your homepage

 
Our Sites Other Sites



speakers speeches keynote inspirational celebrity motivational conference graduation

Get his biography, articles, podcast, pictures, and photo essay.


speakers speeches keynote inspirational celebrity motivational conference graduation

Click on image for more.


Curator: Dr. Mary Seuss

Blogs and Podcasts

Blog
Podcast

Click on menu or "arrow" bars to breakout twelve speaker demo videos:


Booking: emeagwali.com

spacer
spacer
spacer
speakers speeches keynote inspirational celebrity motivational conference graduation black filler
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer For more information, contact Dr. Mary Seuss at 707-221-1568; fax/voicemail 707-221-1581.
1973-2005 Mary Seuss .... All rights reserved worldwide.
spacer
spacer
motivational speakers heroes inspiring lives success  authors celebrities youth speakers storytellers commentators fund raising events school assemblies personal appearances conferences churches town hall meetings corporate events professional motivational keynote speakers orators leadership technology speaker motivational speakers inspirational motivational speaker youth motivational speaker motivational speaker student inspirational speaker talk show guest author radio tv motivational speaker television media press business celebrity
 interview black Nigeria Nigerian Africa African African-American scientist Globalisation Globalization  Information Age Information Technology Internet Supercomputers Physics Mathematics Philip Emeagwali Dale Emeagwali Black History Scientists Inventors
 keynote speakers :: inspirational speakers :: celebrity speakers :: conference speakers :: technology speakers
african american speakers :: graduation speeches :: motivational speeches :: motivational speakers