African Community Nottingham (ACN): An Extra Pair of Hands

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The idea to form a group that will increase success of the established organisations focusing on African communities came to fruition in June 2012. It was conceived by Patrice Musarurwa, Wonderson Chideya, Michael Richard and Yami Mvula.

ACN is an extra pair of hands that complements the efforts by the established African oriented groups. For those who have dealt with many African businesses and groups in Nottingham, you realise the gaping gap and the dire need for support, especially those that off er specialist products and services. Many individuals and organisations are doing a great job by raising awareness on issues affecting Africans. These individuals deserve the encouragement, support and appreciation from the community

Patrice and Wonderson promoting ACN in BBC Nottingham in 2012

ACN plan is simple. Creation of a platform where any group or individual within Nottingham will be able to showcase what they do or can do for the community. There is a large number of Africans in Nottingham of different races but with shared African interests and connections, both past and present. These include marriage, family, friends, peer groups and acquaintances. Nottingham also boasts of a sizeable number of active African students who belong to a variety of student groups due to the two great universities here. There is need to encourage these students to get involved in the wider African community in Nottingham.

Mr Michael Richard, an African student from Nottingham Trent University was shocked when he realised that lots of Africans live here after having spent the whole of his first year wandering around Nottingham but could not find any African community he could associate with. “Thanks to ACN now I have been able to meet lots of Africans and enjoyed many events and even had yams and Nigerian foods. I am part of the ACN which is active in looking around the wide African community for goods and services”, said Michael.

“Once in a while l needed some pounded yam or a place l could sit down for some African food but could fi nd none. I have found no adverts in the local papers for African shops, entertainment or cultural activities. It is quite sad and lonely here. I hope ACN will help address these weaknesses” said Miss Adimu Tafsiri of Nottingham University. ACN has been active in facilitating active commitment from all stake holders to come out and showcase what they can off er to the community.

Achievements - In 2012, ACN donated blankets to Trinity children home in Kampala, Uganda. It partnered with Braai King Barbeque to off er delicious Sunday meals and exciting time for everyone in raising funds to support Trinity Home in Uganda. Braai King Sundays’ held throughout the summer also promoted social interaction and community cohesion and participation by bringing people together on Sunday afternoon.

Above: Trinity Orphanage in, Kampala, Uganda which benefi ted from ACN activities in 2012

Below: Wonderson and Ruth donating blankets to Trinity Orphanage in Uganda in 2012.

Target groups - ACN would be delighted to hear from Africans of all walks within Nottingham. “There is a huge academic and professional fraternity who live in Nottingham or visit here for short periods. It would be wonderful for them to share their events and welcome Africans in the city to take part. They can also visit African Community Centre at ACN offices in 164 Alfreton Road, Nottingham, NG7 3NS where we provide function hall, meeting rooms, hot desk and virtual office service”, notes Bob Ilunga, a member of ACN. ACN is also encouraging business people to seek synergy and further co-operation instead of destructive competition and individualism often found among most businesses. They should take advantage of the platform that has been set up by ACN for networking, sharing ideas, seeking advice and getting free or discounted support in all areas of business.

A women’s group has also been set up within ACN. It meets regularly to discuss matters around the home, raising children, morale, upholding cultural values, relationships, etc. Youth are also encouraged to be proactive. The chairman, Wonderson, strongly believes in the energy of youth. He believes that youth need the community’s trust and backup so that they can be confident enough to pursue their goals. He has taken it upon himself to mentor a young musician, AR Mulah, who has taken Nottingham by storm with his Paperholics fame.

Group activities - in 2012 The group has been very active since its inception and through the summer of 2012. Activities were announced through Kemet FM, BBC Radio Nottingham, Mojatu magazine, Mojatu.com, flyers, texts, Facebook, twitter, twice and the old good word of mouth. ‘Braai King Sundays’ has become established among the faithful as social movement where families from across the African communities met for barbeques, social interaction, dialogue and networking. It was highly successful and allowed the group to raise money to buy blankets for Trinity orphanage in Kampala, Uganda. ACN also held its fi rst Christmas dinner dance and awards ceremony on 8 December 2012.

In line with its focus to promote and reward local businesses, investment and participation, ACN offered certificates of recognition and appreciation on the night. These included those that accomplishing exceptional standards of community participation and have enhanced community cohesion. ACN appreciates that its strength lies within its members. It is calling on more Africans to join ACN. It is providing a platform for all to make an effort, volunteer and contribute or just share your ideas on how best to off er mire value and support to African communities in Nottingham. The challenge remains: ‘What can you do for your community?’ It is a very satisfying experience take part and share the vision with ACN. We encourage you all to join us and make a difference.

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