Rise Africa is proud to present our newest team member: Chinwe Ohanele.
We asked her to answer a few questions to introduce to our readers who she is and what she’s about. Check out what she had to say.
Who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
My name is Chinwe Ohanele, I am a 24 year old resident of Southern California pursing a law degree that I will use working in either the Digital Media Industry, or Domestic or International Antitrust litigation. I love to read, and go out dancing, music and movies are awesome but so is peanut butter :)
What interested you in joining our organization?
I was born in Nigeria and had a really traumatic immigration experience. As a result I have never felt like the US was my country, somewhere I can call home. Because of this, Nigeria always became home for me even though I have not traveled back for almost two decades.
Sometime in my teens, I started actively investigating my mother country and learned about all the bad things we supposedly do, how helpless we are, and how we are always looking for someone to save us. I remember thinking that those characteristics were not common among the Nigerians I knew, so wondered if all Nigerians could really be like that.
I started listening to whatever music I could get a hold of and scoured the internet for fashion and literature. I was looking for Nigerians who were young, talented, and poised to change the world, like I felt I was. I felt deeply that people of Asian or European decent did not have the monopoly on greatness.
Since then, I still feel like I have yet to tap into the youth of my country, but I have grown to appreciate the entire continent and the push from within and from those who have left the continent to shine a light on the side of the African countries that are ignored and downplayed.
When I found out about Rise Africa, I thought that this group of like-minded individuals had the same hope for our native countries: that they be portrayed as the complex places that they are, full of people from all walks of life and valuable talents and skills.
What role will you be playing on our team?
Primarily, I will be posting about current controversial issues that affect African countries. My goal will be to ask questions that will hopefully spark worthwhile conversations. I also hope to be here as a sounding board, as a person willing to at least discuss issues so that they can be heard and challenged. In our society now, there is little in the way of true debate where people completely hash out their ideas and stand by as someone tears it all down logically, only to come back pick up the pieces that aren’t too badly singed and try again. That very rigorous, but engaging process is what builds great leaders AND great citizens so hopefully this will be a space for that kind of discourse.
What is something that you’d like our readers to know about you?
I am very shy in real life and its only in the middle of a heated debate that I realize that I’m spouting of at the mouth challenging people’s worldviews and such stuff. So feel free to reach out to me outside of the debates, I am willing to talk to people about all sorts of issues I’ll happily forgo my shyness to talk to you.
What does “Africa is Done Suffering” mean to you?
Africa is Done Suffering, to me, is about a continent full of countries tired of being treated as one homogenous group of needy, lazy, children. There is a wealth of everything bound by the borders of the great continent of Africa and through the constant struggle of its many descendents, known or unknown, slave driven or free, religious or atheist, distant or near, we as people of the African countries can disturb the current dialogue that excludes our vibrant voices and interject the truth of the continent into the world so that others can benefit from our collective greatness.