Month: July 2016

Dilemmas International Students face in London: African Perspectives (2016)

There is a serious problem in the UK surrounding the treatment of higher education institutions of International Students. Before this post sounds like another victimisation piece of ill-treatment towards Africans in the country; many African migrants and Black British students and graduates will gladly tell you that the main racism that exists in the UK is institutional. If you’re an International Student however; the feeling can be the same or worse.

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Nigerian Students celebrate 10 years of it’s society at De Montfort University (2016)

One of the things that blends many African students upon arrival to the UK are it’s student groups at University. Mauritian, Kenyans, Nigerians, Ghanaians can all gather within respective societies at universities in London and the UK. Guineans, Congolese and Mauritians too.

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Faramade Ifaturoti‘s 1st year ‘racist abuse’ experience at University of Warwick was acknowledged by friends and even the Uni not being a unique incident (2015).

Overseas students in Britain often encounter various problems. Including, they pay tens of thousands of pounds (sterling) but are being forced to leave the UK with an incomplete degree. Since 2010, the policies forcing international students to leave Britain without completing their degrees have not been revised. But this is now changing as the voice and plight of unfairly treated international students is gaining momentum.

“When I graduated from a UK university in 2007 and others before me in 2008, you automatically got 1 year stay (later increased to 2 years), so you can find work and gain some experience, irrespective of the salary. After those 2 years, you could then extend your visa on the points based system if your salary was up to £28.000 per annum. However, this government scrapped all those opportunities so that they can meet immigration targets, as they cannot cut or control EU migration numbers. So the immigration policies are getting harsher and harsher against non-EU members. After paying thousands of pounds to study, students from Nigeria, China, etc, do not get a chance to gain one year experience under such tough policies, which is unfair as we put in so much into the UK economy, but we are being sacrificed for low skilled migrant workers from the EU.” (Lala, BellaNaija 2016)


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Universities in the UK (many of them now) have well paid human resource commission earning managers and international ambassadors that travel various African campuses and colleges throughout the year speaking at postgraduate events meeting and greeting our young Nigerians and Ugandans and Kenyans and Ghanaians. Promises and stories of  how wonderful their university is and how well treated international students are in the UK and how much support they have whilst studying ‘abroad’.

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Ghanaian Students doing their thing at Coventry University | Credits: essynam

The reality is; many back home and here in the UK are unaware of the trials International Students face. Food, clothing and credibility are some of the things our people struggle with along with stereotyping. In London; many African international students are either grouped into two categories. A) The ‘stinking rich’  who can afford the Five Star Apartments, Flashy visuals and the very expensive ‘cash upfront’ international student fees they pay raises eyebrows for many home students who are used to the student loans way of living. B) The ‘I just about made it’ category. The viral Nigerian “I never experred it” video comes to mind here. These are the guys whose families, governments or even villages sacrificed so much in order for the student to study here.

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No place like home? Costing no less than £5,250 per week – £252,000 per year – Fountain House’s most expensive student flat offers three bedroom connected by a bespoke central glass staircase

Research, Personal Accounts and many blogs illustrate how many African students feel that British Universities have no empathy for the welfare of Foreign Students. The same can be said for many Indian, Malaysian, Chinese and Russian students also. Whilst there are British students at university who do not and cannot provide for themselves and rely on grassroots organisations to provide food and clothing for them; there are also many International Students paying £10,000 – £15,000 per year that are routinely and systematically being deported to the UK. There was a case of one International student from India whose village raised up vast amounts of money to come only to be detained and deported for no reason; it happens across the UK and across London.

“British Jobs are for ‘British People’ is what we hear all the time. We’re constantly being told that we’re trying to break through the back door and earn some benefits. We are all human beings. Many of us have no interest in working here; we came legally to study and will leave when graduated”


Educating Beyond Borders

Whilst the stats may be relatively unknown; the organisations that are working and seeking legal and financial help for International Students deserve a shout out; Educating Beyond Borders is one of them. For more information surrounding student cases, how you (as an international can be supported during your stay in the UK) do get in touch with them via Twitter here.

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Educating Beyond Borders is a NGO run entirely by volunteers. Their small army of volunteers can be found across the globe. Our focus is to support international students studying in the UK. They aim to break down all barriers to education, information, knowledge and empowerment and are passionate about international study and all the rich benefits that investors in British Higher education (international students) contribute.

“As Nigerians and other Africans in the UK, our entry visa says, “No recourse to public funds”. The majority of highly skilled Nigerians and indeed Africans who have come to this country in the last 10 years are not allowed to claim benefits- and rightly so. Yet, we are being sacrificed for predominantly unskilled EU migrant labour.”


(Data): Top Ten non-EU sending countries

Country 2014-15 2013-14 2012-13
China (PRC) 89,540 87,895 83,790
India 18,320 19,750 22,385
Nigeria 17,920 18,020 17,395
Malaysia 17,060 16,635 15,015
United States of America 16,865 16,485 16,235
Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region) 16,215 14,725 13,065
Saudi Arabia 8,595 9,060 9,440
Singapore 7,295 6,790 6,020
Thailand* 6,240 6,340 6,180
Pakistan 7,295 6,665 7,185

Source: HESA First Statistical Release 224 (2014-15)

Whilst Nigerians are in the Top Three of Higher Education students in the UK; it is no surprise that the numbers year after year coming to the UK are dwindling. With the US, Germany and Sweden receiving more African students each year along with news that Canada has now overtaken the UK as a popular destination for undergraduate students; it is fair to say that the UK is gradually losing it’s appeal amongst many non-EU students. And it’s not just appeal but also discrimination. The National Union of Students (NUS) announced in April 2016 it is pressuring the Government to carry out an urgent inquiry into the “shocking treatment” of international students.

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It is worth pointing out that the wife of the former Lagos State governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Oluremi Tinubu came to the aid of Nigerian students struggling in the UK by establishing a Hardship Fund into which money will be paid to help diasporan pupils cope with school fees and accommodation expenses. She established the fund to aid Nigerian students struggling in the UK. To be administered by the Association of Nigerian Academics UK (ANAUK), the fund is designed to help diasporan pupils cope with school fees and accommodation expenses. Chapeau à vous Madame!


On the Bright Side…

Kenya is currently second after Nigeria in providing students seeking to go through the Cambridge system of education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Data by the British Council show that over 2,300 students from Kenya sit for Cambridge examinations which are accepted by institutions of higher learning in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

“Kenyan students (sitting for Cambridge assessments) are also highly sought after by UK universities because of their high performance,” commented British Council Director Tony Reilly at an event held at Brook house school in Nairobi for official announcing of Cambridge’s future plans in East Africa.” (Tony Reilly, Directorm British Council in Nairobi)

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Reality TV contestant Anthony Kofi Annan (picture above) won a place at Northumbria University in Newcastle, after triumphing in ‘The Challenge’. The 27-year-old from Ghana joined two other winners from the education show to have secured positions at UK universities in late 2015. Anthony is currently doing well at the University! Following a format similar to The BBC’s Apprentice, rivals on ‘The Challenge’ in Ghana competed against each other over three months in a range of televised tasks and interviews.

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London’s base of African International students are diverse also! I’ve met students from Gabon, Niger, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Comoros, Mauritius and Mauritania. Whilst the Nigerian government’s new foreign exchange regime has affected the population of Nigerian students studying abroad, particularly in Britain; it can only mean that the student population will eventually diversify.

Hard Working Ugandan Ms. Claire Amanya Kakeeto (pictured below) isn’t a new face to many in the country. In 2001, Amanya graced newspaper headlines as the best arts student in A-level. Since then, she has never relaxed. Hard work has gotten her where she is today. She a small but very busy office on CRAA house at plot 118 Bukoto street in Kamwokya (a mixed residential and commercial suburb of Kampala).

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With support from her husband, Julius Kakeeto, the chief executive officer of Orient bank, she left for UK to pursue a master’s degree in Law at University College London (UCL) and attained a Grad ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators) in addition.

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Julius Muyomba was abandoned by his parents as a child but has beaten the odds to succeed in life in North Wales.

Ugandan Julius Muyombya beat thousands of students from across the UK to receive the prestigious Outstanding BTEC Business and Enterprise Student of the Year award. His incredible tale of grit and determination came to light at the BTEC Awards 2016 in London where he beat thousands of students from across the UK to receive the prestigious Outstanding BTEC Business and Enterprise Student of the Year award.

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Graduating in late 2015 at the age of 22, Ms. Anita Osarieme Omomuwa became the first Black Woman to graduate with a First Class Degree in History in the 122 year History of the University of Reading – Chop Knuckle! | Credits: ALM

African students doing remarkable feats at Universities is also no unusual story.  Nigerians have been systematically breaking records and earning all manners of great feats academically for a long long time as seen by the good lady above. Long may it continue =)


 

*** Do you know or want to recommend other Ivorian organisations and/or Entrepreneurs in London/UK that deserve a shoutout? Feel free to comment below or contact me via:

Twitter: @AfricanCB or Facebook: /AfricanCultureBlog

 

Mapping London’s Somali Community (2016): Discourses, Dilemmas & Demographics

Over 125,000 Somalis reside in the UK with strong London bases in BromleyEalingWoolwichBow and Stepney GreenEdgware RoadCamden and Lambeth. Current sources suggest that Cardiff has the highest number of people of Somali heritage anywhere in the UK outside of London. Bristol too. Check out the Bristol Somali Forum (BSF) for more information. They are a brilliant umbrella organisation that promote the unified voice and interest of Somali-led organisations and their community in Bristol. Catch them on Twitter via: @SomaliForum. Okay so back to the narrative; whilst the few stories about British-Somali migrants that make the news are rather negative; little is still known about the large community of Somali generations that call the UK home.

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TOPSHOTS Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud waits outside the door of 10 Downing Street in London, on February 4, 2013, as he arrives for a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS

“Since the late 1990s, the Somali population of the UK has grown rapidly. There are now estimated to be between 95,000 and 250,000 Somalis living in the UK, with around 70,000 in London (International Organisation for Migration 2006), making it one of the largest Somali communities in Europe. The earliest Somali settlers, mostly men working for the British Merchant Navy, arrived in the ports of London, Cardiff and Liverpool in the late 19th century; the majority from the British controlled north, Somaliland. However, most Somalis living in the UK have arrived as a result of ongoing Civil War in Somalia since the late 1980s and early 1990s (Information Centre about Asylum and Refugees 2007), arriving either directly from Somalia and surrounding countries, or, more recently, from other European countries such as Norway, Denmark and The Netherlands where they had initially settled.” (Understanding East London’s Somali Communities; a study conducted for the the East London Alliance, 2010)

 

Table A (below) shows  that at Key Stage 1 and 2, Somali pupils perform relatively well compared to other Lambeth ethnic groups. However, they fall behind at GCSE, although they are comparable to the Lambeth average of 56%. Nevertheless, in comparison with the past five years; Somali pupils at primary and secondary school overall are steadily improving.

 

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Asma Mohamed Ali was the 2015 Winner of the Prestigious ‘Women on the Move” Awards. Find out more about her below.

Table A: Achievement of Somali Pupils and Major Ethnic Groups in Lambeth 2015 (Source: Lambeth Research Brief 2016)

 

Key Stages

Somali

Portuguese

Black African

Black Other

Caribbean

White British

White Other

KS1 – Level2B+

Reading

81%

63%

83%

81%

79%

87%

81%

Writing

73%

56%

78%

73%

71%

82%

74%

Maths

81%

68%

82%

74%

79%

90%

83%

Average

78%

62%

81%

76%

76%

86%

80%

KS2 – Level 4+

Reading

91%

85%

93%

94%

89%

97%

91%

Maths

93%

86%

92%

94%

85%

96%

93%

Writing TA

88%

83%

90%

88%

83%

94%

87%

Avge R/M

92%

86%

92%

94%

87%

96%

92%

GCSE

5+ A*-C EM

55%

50%

59%

48%

45%

64%

62%

* Somali children included in the African results


 

Though the number of Somali-born immigrants is steadily increasing; It is fair to say that Somalis live all over the capital with the London boroughs of Tower HamletsCamdenEalingNewham and Lambeth known to have large groups. You will also find Somali people in Cardiff, Liverpool, Sheffield (as seen by the chart below), Nottingham, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and other places across the UK.

 

Where does the Somali Community Live in Sheffield

Where does the Somali Community live in Sheffield? Source: Sheffield Community Knowledge Profiles

Many African migrant populations in East and South East London boroughs have been joined by migrants from Western European countries like Spain and France, Eastern European countries like Poland, which have joined the European Union in the past decade, people from North, and South America, Australasia and African countries like Nigeria and Somalia.

“The ‘Other White’ population increased by 60% between 2001 and 2011, and is now the second largest ethnic group. Hackney is the 6th most diverse borough in London, down from 3rd in 2005, but it has a higher ethnic diversity score1 than in 2005, which suggests that London as a whole is becoming more ethnically diverse.” (LB Hackney Policy Team, 2016)

 

Furthermore, generations of immigrants such as Migrant workers, EU citizens and refugees are among the numerous groups who have continued to arrive after the decline of many industries in the north of England in the late twentieth century. Manchester, for example is now home to well over 150 languages, of which the largest are Urdu, Arabic, Somali, Panjabi, Chinese, Bengali, and Polish.

 

Somali Community Mapping 1

Okay, but re-focussing on the Somali community back in London; according to the Enfield Borough 2016 Community Profile; the top five (non-English) languages spoken by Enfield school pupils, in 2015, were Turkish, Somali, Bengali, Polish and Albanian. The same can be said with the Somali language in boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Edgware, Newham, Camden and Haringey amongst others. However, despite the long history of British-Somalis residing in the United Kingdom and being one the largest black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, British-Somalis are relatively “silent” and very little is known about them. Media representations of British-Somalis are overwhelmingly negative, stereotyping young men as gang members, violent extremists and they also focus on piracy and FGM.

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Furthermore, British-Somalis are a “group” which experiences significant inequalities in service provision and poorer outcomes in relation to education, employment, housing and health. Although there are large numbers of locally produced reports on British-Somali communities, these are not widely circulated, joined up or accessible (Somalis in London: Open Society Foundations 2014)

FIVE BRITISH-SOMALI PROFESSIONALS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

 


1) ASMA MOHAMED ALI

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Asma came to England as a refugee child with no grasp of English, but has devoted her time to running homework and women’s literacy clubs for her community. Asma was born on the Brava Coast in Somalia and came to the UK in 1992 having spent much of her childhood in Kenyan refugee camps. Now working in Barnet at the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association, Asma has built a thriving centre and education programme that supports 200 students and their families.  In 2013, her Bravanese community hall was burnt down in a racist arson attack. But within a week, while six months pregnant, Asma forged ties between the local Jewish and Muslim communities to keep the students’ programme going, and led community action to raise £1.1 million to rebuild the hall. Asma was awarded by Women on the Move (Women on the Move Awards and Fellowship were set up in 2012 to recognise and celebrate inspirational leadership and contribution from migrant and refugee women to UK society) in 2015. Good on her!

 


2) MO ALI

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Instagram: /MoAliDirector | Twitter: @MoAliDirector | Facebook: /Mo.Ali

The only guy of the pack. Humble yet high achieving and dedicated Film pro Mo Ali is a Somali-born award-winning filmmaker and director. He has worked with some of the most respected talents in the UK and internationally and has directed music videos and the movies ‘Shank’ and ‘Montana’. He is a 2016 #BuffaAwards2016 nominee and his creative genius and dedication to his craft has inspired many young visual artists. Find out more about him here

Mo Ali Film Director

 


 3) SADIA ALI HUSSEIN

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Instagram: /SadiyaAli | Facebook: /Sadia.Ali.Hussein | Magazine: /ElimiMag | Email: startswithanidiya@gmail.com | Twitter: @SadyiaAli

Video-Blogging Pro, Islam Channel Presenter and Community orientated Sadia Ali Hussein is a seasoned ‘British-Somali Muslim and Proud’ #GoodLady gifted at empowering women through advice and creative content on her various social media platforms. She is also Chief Editor at Elimimag (an online platform to unite, recognize and inspire Somali youth)Visit Sadia Ali Hussein’s youtube channel here.


4) LADAN TAKOW

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Instagram: /LadanTakow and /TakowNetwork | Blogspot: /ladantakow | Twitter: @LadanTakow and @ESomaliWomen | Email: ladan_takow@hotmail.com

Surprise Surprise. Above is Ladon Takow (right) pictured with Sadiya Ali Hussein (left). Following her volunteering stint in India, Ladan set up the Somali Women’s Network to engage young women in a discussion about education, career choices, politics, justice and other important issues. Empowering Somali Women and standing for various local and international human rights issues are some of roles Ms. Ladan feels she has been called to address.


5) LEYLA HUSSEIN

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Leyla Hussein and Nimco Ali attend the Red magazine Women of the Year awards at Ham Yard Hotel on September 3, 2014 in London, England | Credits: Stuart C. Wilson

Instagram: /LeylaQalbi | Facebook: /Leyla-Hussein | Company: Daughters of Eve | Twitter: @LeylaHussein and @DahilaProject

Whilst many may not be aware that at least 200 million people in 30 countries have experienced female genital mutilation; there is handful of dedicated anti-FGM practitioners in London rigorously raising awareness and working to support girls and young women who have had or at risk of having FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). Ms. Leyla Hussein is one of them. Leila is a Somali psychotherapist and social activist. She is a co-founder of the Daughters of Eve alongside #GoodLady Nimko Ali non-profit organization and a Chief Executive of Hawa’s Haven. By the way; Leyla is also a Mum, Psychotherapist, Writer, Human Rights Campaigner and has served on various platforms including Huffington post, Guardian & Cosmopolitan Magazine. Apart from being invited to Downing Street Twice; she is also a prolific Blogger and a Lover of Fashion.


MINI-DIRECTORY OF LONDON BASED SOMALI ORGANISATIONS:

 


1) BARNET SOMALI COMMUNITY GROUP

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Address: Algernon Road, NW4 3TA London | Phone: 020 8202 9311

Barnet Somali Community Group (BSCG) is a non-profit and non-political organisation striving to assist Somali people living in Barnet and neighbouring boroughs. Originally, BSCG remit was to assist newly arrived Somali refugees by providing advice, information, guidance and education for young people, however we have diversified in response to issues identified to accommodate the needs of all sections of the Somali community as a dedicated and specialist group. Now, they support more than 600 Somalis every year and we have become renowned locally as the key agency supporting this community.


2) DALMAR HERITAGE AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT

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A small non-profit company set up to improve the conditions of life for immigrant families from Somalia and Eastern Africa in the UK. The aims of association are for children to have a better understanding of their language and background; to build bridges between the generations, to introduce Somali families to British Families to Somali history and to support individuals to integrate into society by means of employment, training and advice. Find out more information about them here.


3) ALHIJIRA SOMALI COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

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 Address: 85 St Ann’s Road, London, N15 6NJ | Contact: Duran Farah | Phone:4420 8802 8488 | Email: infoalhijra@gmail.com

Advice, Children and Young People, Employment Training and Volunteering, Housing, Interpreting and TranslationNationality/ Languages spoken:AfricanDrop in?No


4) HARINGEY SOMALI COMMUNITY AND CULTURAL ASSOCIATION20140912_175224

Address: Selby Centre, Selby Road, London, N17 8JL | Phone: 020 8885 1307 | Email: hscca1@hotmail.com

They provide support services for the Somali community in the North London region of London to access opportunities, strengthen relationship with mainstream service providers to create social changes. Other things they do is: Advice, Education For Adults and Children, Employment Training and Volunteering, Health Services and Mental Health, Housing.


5) BARKING AND DAGENHAM SOMALI WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION

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Facebook/BDSomaliWomen | Twitter@BDSomaliWomen

Set up in the mid-1990s in response to a rapidly growing ethnic minority population, Barking & Dagenham Somali Women’s Association (B&D SWA) is a locally-based health, wellbeing, training and employability organisation (UK Registered charity no: 1144357) committed to providing support to ethnic minority women and their families from its resource centre in Barking. Historically, they have developed our organisation from a small self-help group to a registered charity that now has a key strategic role in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham and surrounding boroughs contributing to developing the needs of ethnic minority groups.


6) KARIN HOUSING ASSOCIATION

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Karin Housing Association Limited was initially established in 1988 as the Karin Housing Co op. Its founder members were a group of women who wanted to address the housing and social needs of the primarily Somali community and others in London. The Co op became a housing association in 1994 and Karin is now a fully registered provider with aims to develop homes for the people of London. Our 26 years experience within this field gives us unrivalled understanding of the challenges faced by inner city tenants.

Information and advice for the Somali community. Advice on a wide range of subjects including welfare benefits, housing, immigration, health and education. Opening hours: Mon-Thurs: 10am-4pm drop-in


 7) LONDON SOMALI YOUTH FORUM

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The British Somali Youth Forum exists to empower and inspire young Somali people in London through working in partnership, providing leadership and acting as a strategic voice for promoting equality, representation, good leadership and effective decision-making.

8) SOMALI COMMUNITY ORGANISATION CONTACTS IN CAMDEN

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Below is a list of community organisations and groups that provide services, activities and advice for the Somali community including women’s projects, workshops and one-to-one support on awareness,Children and young peoples’ projects: Sports, Supplementary School and a Parents’ Support Services and Volunteering opportunities.

British Somali Community

Camden Somali Cultural Centre

Camden Somali Cultural Centre Mother and Toddler Group

Chadswell Healthy Living Centre

Chadswell Healthy Living Centre BAME Supporting Community Project

Green Light Wellbeing Centre

Kentish Town Somali Welfare Association

Kings Cross Brunswick Neighbourhood Association

Nafsiyat (Intercultural Therapy Centre)

Oasis Care and Training Agency Approved Care Provider (Camden Council)

Regents Park Somalian Welfare Association

Sahil Housing Association for the Somali Community

Somali Community Centre

Somali Community Development Trust

Somali Community in Kilburn

Somali Education and Development Agency

Somali Education and Development Agency (SEDAC) Saturday Supplementary School

Somali Elderly and Disabled Centre

Somali Speakers Association

Somali Supplementary Schools Project

Somali Youth Counselling and Rehab Action Group

Somali Youth Development and Resource Centre

Soohan Somali Arts

St Pancras Community Centre Drop-in

Tawfiq Somali Community Association Bedford House

West Hampstead Womens Centre

Whittington Health Advocacy Team


 9) OCEAN SOMALI COMMUNITY CENTRE

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Twitter@Osca_Org | : Phone: 020 7987 5833 | Email: info@oceansomali.org.uk

Delivers advice services to Somali residents in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in the areas of:

  • welfare benefits
  • health
  • education
  • housing and homelessness
  • council tax
  • debt
  • immigration (referrals).

10) HODAN SOMALI COMMUNITY 

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Phone: 020 8960 5813 | Fax: 020 8960 5813 | Email: admin@hodan.org.uk | Address: Hodan Somali Community, Canalside House, 383 Ladbroke Grove, London W10 5AA

The Hodan Somali Community is a community organisation that came together as an organisation following a period of sustained demand from the local Somali community in West London. Following the closure of the Somali Welfare Association in 2004 many Somalis who were receiving support from this organisation were in difficulties in accessing the services available locally and with the help of the local authority and other local organisations, the community leaders actively worked to form Hodan. Hodan began to set up in mid 2005 and with a small grant from the local Authority launched in February 2006 and started to provide a basic support service with volunteers.


11) LBBD SOMALI COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

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Address: 97 Longbridge Road, Barking, Essex, IG11 8TB | Phone: 020 8591 5917

This is primarily a Muslim Mens Somali association. Also known as, or co-located with: L B B D Somali Community Association, At-Taqwa Islamic & Family Centre. More info can all be found at allinLondon here


12) HARROW ASSOCIATION OF SOMALI VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS

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Address: 1 ST. John’s Court, St Johns Road, Harrow HA1 2EQ | Phone: 0208-861-2176

These guys are the no 1 association putting you touch and helping out local somali residents who are abundant in the area. The provide: Advice, Education For Adults and Children, Employment Training and Volunteering and Housing application queries. Services include advice on housing, social welfare, health, education, training and employment, debt and substance misuse.


13) WORLDWIDE SOMALI STUDENTS AND PROFESSIONALS

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Facebook/WSSPofficial | Twitter@WSSP_Official | YouTube/WorldWideSomStudents | Linkedin: /Worldwide-Somali-Professionals

Worldwide Somali Students and Professionals (WSSP) is a global movement that exists to mobilize young Somalis to use their talents, work together and address the unmet needs of a proud nation. The organisation was founded by University College London Somali Society (UCL Som-Soc) and is a non-for-profit, apolitical movement.

“We are young, modern and believe in doing well for the sake of our country rather than out of regional, clan or familial affiliations. Our members are the Agronomist, Architects Civil engineers, Doctors, Nurses, Earth Scientists, Teachers, many more and future leaders of Somalia. They are from all corners of Somalia and are scattered across all the major continents of the world.” WSSP


14) CAMDEN SOMALI CULTURAL CENTRE

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Facebook/Camden-Somali-Cultural-Centre | Twitter@CSCCupdates

These guys are creative, engaging and full of various events, initiative and projects that promote Somali Culture in London. They are a Somali run community charity based in Kilburn, North West London. Their mission is to create opportunity, education and support to the Somali diaspora in London U.K.


15) SOMALI BRAVANESE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

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Address: Bravanese Centre, 116 Coppetts Road, N10 1JS | Phone 1: 020 8444 2975 | Email:somalibravanese@hotmail.com | Email 2: info@somalibravanese.com

Their main aim is to support a large number of Somali Bravanese refugees and asylum seekers (and other refugees from ethnic minority groups) by providing practical support, essential information and guidance. They can offer advice such as IT training, help with CV writing and counselling. There is also a self help group for girls. Advice, information and support for the Somali Bravanese community, including refugees and asylum seekers, living in and around the borough of Barnet. Befriending and outreach service for older, socially isolated community members. Accompany community members to appointments where there may be language difficulties. English classes. IT training centre. After schools programme for local children aged 11+. Social, recreational and cultural events and activities.


16) ISLINGTON SOMALI BANADIR ASSOCIATION

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Facebook/BBBanadir
Above is a picture of Labour leader and Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn addresses the packed Old Fire Station in Holloway for the 19th anniversary of the Islington Somali Banadir Association. Credits: Ken Mears | This group provides advice and information for the somali community; Cultural activities, holiday events and mother-tongue classes. This group works to promote the interests of Islington’s sizable Somali community, organising community events and support services for residents.

17) WEST LONDON SOMALILAND COMMUNITY

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This association is based in Hounslow. WELSA exist to relieve the poverty of somali refugees resident in the London borough of hounslow; to advance the education of the public, particularly in somali language and culture and by the provision of english language classes; to work towards the elimination of discrimination against somalis and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between somalis and other ethnic group; to provide facilities for recreation or other leisure-time occupation, in the interest of social welfare, for persons Who have need of such facilities by reason of their youth.

18) WESTMINSTER SOMALI ASSOCIATION

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The association is established particularly for the benefit of people of somali origin in need and residing in the royal borough of westminster and its neighbouring boroughs. (1) to relieve poverty by providing advice and information on housing, health, social security benefits, immigration issues and employment opportunities. (11) to advance education particularly by the provision of language and literacy classes of people of somali origin.

19) KULAN SOMALI ORGANISATION

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Email: info@kulankso.org | Phone: 07903 951 401 | Linkedin/Kulan-Somali-Organisation-KSO

The Kulan Somali Organisation is a constituted voluntary organisation the main aim of which is to give advice and support to Somali refugees and asylum seekers living in the Westminster on welfare benefits, immigration, housing, employment, health, education and employment training.


20) BROMLEY SOMALI COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

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Address: 196 High Street, London SE20 7QP | Email: bsomalica@hotmail.co.uk | Phone:020 8778 5539 | Contact Person: Saeed Nwor

Advice, Children and Young People, Employment Training and Volunteering, Interpreting and Translation, Community development, Education for children, Sport/recreation, Children/Young people, Elderly/Old People, People with disabilities, People of a particular ethnic or racial origin, Provides services, Provides advocacy/advice/information.


21) KINGSTON SOMALI COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

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“To promote general charitable purposes for the benefit of the Somali community of Kingston Upon Thames and the surrounding area, and to provide relief from financial hardship and social and/or economic disadvantage and to advance the education of its residents of all ages; and in particular to provide opportunities for the aforementioned residents to participate fully in the life of their community in ways which address and alleviate social and economic disadvantage”.

Address: Room 24 Richard Mayo Centre, United Reformed Church, Edent Street, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1HZ | Phone: 07932063614 | Email: Kingstonsom@yahoo.co.uk

Okay. KSCA is a voluntary organisation formed in Dec. 2006 by group of immigrants from Somalia who live in the Royal Borough of Kingston and it’s surrounding areas. The organisation provides voluntary service to over 200 members of the Somali community that live in the Royal Borough of Kingston.

22) LEWISHAM SOMALI COMMUNITY ORGANISATION

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Address: 144 Evelyn Street, London SE8 5DD | Phone: 020 86946065 | Location: (Monday – Friday 5:00pm – 7:30pm, Saturday 10:00am – 3:00pm (Deptford Green school) Sunday 10:00am – 5:00pm (Etta Community Hall)


23) AL BASEERA SOMALI COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION AND MOSQUE

Address: 106 Church Road, Leyton, London, E10 5HG

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Facebook/Ummuqeyr-Somali-Association | Phone: 075 0776 7538 | Twitter@UmmuqeyrSomalia

The aim of this group is to provide education for girls in Somalia and to provide shelter/foods and employment. The charity will also provide support to Somali community in East London with Housing Support Service, Health Advise, Translation Service, teach English language and to improve community ties with other communities and support service to elderly Somali community.


25) EAST LONDON SOMALI YOUTH AND WELFARE CENTRE

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Address: Community Links, 105 Barking Road London E16 4HQ | Email: elsfwa523@gmail.com | Phone: 02085221565
They provide support services for the Somali community in the East End of London to access opportunities, strengthen relationship with mainstream service providers to create social changes. Range of services for young people from the Somali community living in Tower Hamlets. Informal educational programmes. Sports and leisure activities. Workshops on education and housing. Opportunities and training for volunteers. Drop-in advice and information on benefits, housing and health issues. Access to counselling and health support. Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10-5.30pm

Do you know any other London based Somali Professionals, Entrepreneurs and/or organisations that deserve a shoutout? Feel free to comment below or contact me via:

Twitter: @AfricanCB | Facebook: /AfricanCultureBlog

 

Les Ivoiriens du Londres: Re-Introducing London’s Ivorian Community (2016)

Ivorians have been growing as a number in London coming from France, Belgium and the Netherlands as well as other countries. Many reside in South London around Deptford, New Cross, Peckham and Greenwich. The DiasporaIvorienneUK is the UK’s premier Ivorian Association which is based in London.

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There are a few organisations out there to put you in touch with our Ivorian Community: Connection Ivoirienne, RDR Royaume-Uni, Ivoiriens Ivoiriennes Amis de la Côte d’ivoire, Matthias Gbooizo, il etait une fois l’Afrique et sa diaspora et plus.

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Channel: Grace and Glory Productions | Title: Ehh! London | Producers: R. Sagoe &  D. Bigdi

Francophone African Culture is still relatively unknown in the Britain. This creates a demand and opportunity for those involved in the hospitality, tourism and food sector to respond. That is why we see many Congolese and Senegalese Restaurants are popping up in North London and East London such as Little BoababChickpea Sistersand The Bash amongst many cultural groups and embassy efforts to promote their countries (such as Gabon, Niger, Mali and Senegal). Dance, Cultural and Diaspora groups such as Yaye Dib SabarEhhh London (pictured above) and YPC highlight that there is a demand for discovering more about Francophone culture in Britain and it starts here in London. Ivorian included.


Flames Restaurant:

“I get takeaway from here regularly because the food here is delicious. Home cooked authentic African food. I highly recommend the jollof rice dish.” (Zomato Review, 2016)

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Address: Flames Restaurant 221 Lee High Rd, London SE13 5PQ | Phone: 020 8297 6606

This restaurant is de facto the only Ivorian Restaurant in London. With a diverse and multicultural society, these guys offer a wide variety of cuisine promoting African and Ivorian culture by bringing to the western world the taste of the old continent food and music. Check these guys out at Lewisham.


{ A few organisations: }

CONGRES POUR LA RENAISSANCE IVOIRIENNE-ROYAUME-UNI

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Rassembler tous ceux qui partagent la meme ideologie que le parti

RASSEMBLER TOUS CEUX QUI PARTAGENT LA MEME IDEOLOGIE QUE LE PARTI.


DIASPORA IVOIRIENNE UK

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Insta: /diaspora.ivoirienne.uk | Youtube: /Diaspora_AUK_CIVFacebook: /Ivorian-Diaspora-UK | Twitter: @Diaspora_CIV_UK | Phone: 07449 881318 |

<< Diaspora Ivoirienne UK:  Tous Unis Pour Une Communauté Forte >>

The UK and London’s premier Ivorian Diaspora Community. Dedicated towards the cultural promotion, social integration, physical and economic empowerment of the British Ivorian Community. Diaspora Ivoirienne UK works within the Ivorian community and other BME communities to reduce poverty, youth unemployment and crime.


RDR ROYAUME-UNI

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Page Officielle Facebook de la Délégation RDR du Royaume Uni


MANDEN-UK ASSOCIATION UK

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Do remember that the Mandé or Manden people are a family of ethnic groups in West Africa who speak any of the many related Mande languages of the region. Various Mandé groups are found in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Chad, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. The Manden-UK Association welcome their newcomers into the country regardless of nationality.

“New comers generally tend to face isolation in some societies as integration is a gradual process. Therefore, it is important to have some social and cultural associations, whereby new comers of similar backgrounds can meet share ideas as how to best integrate into the host countries, through self-helps from their own communities.” (Personal Statement)


Ivory Coast Embassy in London:

We all know what embassies do. In London; the Ivoirian Embassy in London is the official representative body of the Ivoirian Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. London has an Ivorian Embassy, Consulate and Visa Office all functioning at the same address. The Embassy provides general information about the Ivoirian embassy in the United Kingdom and has no affiliation with the Ivoirian embassy or the Ivoirian visa section in London.

Embassy Address: 2 Upper Belgrave Street, London SW1X 8BJ | Phone: 020 7235 6991 – Fax: 020 7259 5320 | Nearest Tube: Hyde Park Corner (Consulate is at the same address)


*** Do you know or want to recommend other Ivorian organisations and/or Entrepreneurs in London/UK that deserve a shoutout? Feel free to comment below or contact me via:

Twitter: @AfricanCB or Facebook: /AfricanCultureBlog

Mapping London’s African Community (2016): Demographic, Dilemmas & Discourses

An informal report on the changing demographic and dilemmas of London’s Diverse African Community in 2016 (Part 1)

Over a million adults born in Africa (excluding South Africa) are living in the UK, with a more middle-aged age distribution than the other large country groups, but fewer post working-age (MigrationWatchUK, 2014). The Mayor of Brent, Michael Adeyeye  however declared a year before “nothing less than 1,000,000 Nigerians are living in the UK“. It may be a surprise for some but few within the British-Nigerian community would bet against it. Yes; one can see that sometimes the official and un-official statistics can clash. The same can be said for Media narratives and the actual true story. Last year and present; reports that the number of attacks on non-EU migrants (predominantly Black, Asian and Muslim minority groups) have increased pre-Brexit and post-Brexit.

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We have a sea of African migrants calling London home. 1st generation migrants working as Photographers, Seamstresses and Fashion Designers, Caterers, Entrepreneurs, Community Activists, Nurses, Bankers, Writers, Columnists, Medical professional and sportsmen are blessing the capital indeed. Whether it’s Congolese, Nigerians, Angolans, Ghanaian, Sierra Leone, Somali, Zimbabwean and more (as highlighted in this post); I’m biased enough to point the facts out that rather than a threat; we contribute to London’ creative and diverse culture of diverse cultures. Even people from Niger Republic, Gabon and Mali are right here quietly making a living minding their own business to the ignorance of many. But with all the realities and facts, comes sensationalisation and fiction. And this is the common testimony of many of these 1st generation migrants who (after spending a few months in the UK) begin to really understand what British culture is really about – and looks, and tastes like, and sounds like – especially from the mouths of the media.

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London Metro Headlines (August 2015)

Not Syrian Migrants; Not Eastern European Migrants, Not even Arab or Bangladeshi or Pakistani Migrants – But Yes – African Migrants are the perceived threat. It wouldn’t surprise many if this was a statement made decades or even a century ago – but it was made last year by David Cameron’s no. 3 . Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Phillip Hammond. The greatest influx of EU migrants to the UK in the last five years have been Romanians and Polish. The greatest influx of non-EU refugees and asylum seekers to Europe over the past two years have been Syrians, Iraqi, Afghani and Arabs. And the greatest number of non-Eu migrants in the last two years is Chinese, Indians, US and Australia (as seen by the table below).


PUTTING THINGS INTO CONTEXT:

ENTRY CLEARANCE VISA GRANTED (EXCLUDED VISITOR AND TRANSIT VISAS) TO THE UK, TOP 10 NATIONALITIES 2015

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The image shows the number of entry clearance visas granted, excluding visitor and transit visas, for the top 10 nationalities in 2015 (source: office for National Statistics, Migration Quarterly Statistics, 2016). The data are available in Home Office Quarterly Immigration Statistics within the visa topic section. The number of such non-visitor visas granted in 2015 (534,328), decreased slightly from 2014 (down 11,749 or –2%). Increases for Chinese nationals (up 7,923 or +9%) were offset by falls for Russians (down 7,281 or –37%) and Libyans (down 7,035 or –82%).

In terms of current trends of population; In 2008, the Black African-born population of the UK was nearly 0.5 million. As the chart below illustrates; Nigerians, Ghanaians, Sierra Leones, Somali, Sudanese, Ugandans and Zimbabweans lead the way.

COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN OF AFRICAN MIGRANTS, (2008)

Countries of Origin of African Migrants in UK 2008

 

In 2008, the Black African-born population of the UK was nearly 0.5 million. According to Owen, 2008; nearly a quarter of African migrants possess a degree or equivalent qualification and another quarter have ‘other’ qualifications. An eighth have no educational qualifications. West Africans are most likely to have a degree or higher level qualification whilst East Africans are least likely to have a degree and least likely to have no qualifications. South Africans are most likely to have higher education or A-level equivalent qualifications – probably commensurate with associate professional (inc. nursing occupations). For further information; see the Demographic section below.

AGE AND GENDER STRUCTURE OF BLACK AFRICAN BORN PEOPLE IN THE UK, (2008)

Age and Gender Structure of Black African People Born in the UK 2008Around half of Black-Africans were aged 25-44 in 2008; those from West Africa tended to be older, with a smaller percentage of children and young adults and a higher percentage of older adults and pensioners. The youngest population was from East Africa; a quarter of whom were young adults. The percentage of children was highest for East Africans.


SOME POINTS TO NOTE:

 

2016 will ultimately go down as the year of the referendum and ‘Brexit’ dilemma. For many Africans within London and the UK (by this term I primarily mean 1st generation African migrants) are more than familiar with keywords such as ‘Immigration’, ‘Non-EU migrants’ and ‘identities’ which dominate media discourse. Furthermore, the London #BlackLivesMatter protest (in solidarity with racist atrocities and killings surround African-Americans in the US), issues in youth un-employment and measures of tackling Institutional Racism are only some of the hot debating points facing many Black Britons and Africans in the UK.

Is there too much immigration in the UK?

“As Nigerians and other Africans in the UK, our entry visa says, “No recourse to public funds”. The majority of highly skilled Nigerians and indeed Africans who have come to this country in the last 10 years are not allowed to claim benefits- and rightly so. Yet, we are being sacrificed for predominantly unskilled EU migrant labour” (Africans in London) in response to the question: ‘Is There Too Much Immigration in the UK? (BellaNaija)

It is worth pointing out between 1980 and 2007; the largest individual source of Asylum applications (in the UK) from African countries was Somalia (43 thousand), followed by Zimbabwe (21 thousand), Congo and DR Congo (both 11.5 thousand), Nigeria (9.8 thousand) and Algeria (8.3 thousand) as the bulk of asylum applications are from countries formerly colonised by the UK (David Owen, University of Warwick, 2008). But now, times have changed


COMMUNITY DEMOGRAPHIC:

Re-introducing our Community may appear an arduous and questionable task but it is a necessary one – especially for what in many circles is known as the “hard to reach community”; the African Community. Apparently, it’s meaning was created within the contexts of social marketing (Beder 1980) and has been used heavily to identify many non-EU migrant communities and minority groups in the UK.

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A SEASON IN THE CONGO by Aime Cesaire | Credit: Johan Persson/

Whilst the term is still used for African communities today; it is diminishing. The ‘hard to reach community’ isn’t so hard to reach at all. Social Media, Bars and Restaurants and community organisations are growing in the recreational playground African Londoners are calling home: London. Churches, comedy and live-music events and even African supper clubs are just some of the trends (though not new on the London scene) that are gaining platforms for growth.

“Welcome to the digital age where your sense of African pride & identity is measured by  the number of times you go to an Afrobeats rave, how often you post cultural dishes on Instagram, and the stylish African outfits you show off to the  online community.”  Ellegeedebates: “Will the legacy of British Africans be remembered only the entertainment scene and football? (2015)

After conducting a similar report on the Migreat Blog two years ago; aside from the need for an updated version; the demographic of British-Africans in the UK and London is changing.

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(2016) Map of the largest Foreign born population in London by borough with people from India being the dominant nationality in Ten areas

Ghanaians in London:

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Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen (Brixton) does some amazing food inspired. They also made on my list of the 2016 Best 20 Ghanaian Restaurants and Food Pop-ups in London guide some months back

Ghanaians, Ghanaians, Ghanaians. Where do I start? Certainly up there as being one of the most popular African communities out there. My best friend from Secondary School was and is Ghanaian; we even shared the same language as our mother-tongue to people’s surprise – Hausa. Ishmael I salute you bro! Ubangiji ya ba ka nassara! (#GoodMan) Memories! OK; back to the topic. Ghanaians can be found at Seven Sisters, Dalston, Brixton and Lewisham with a growing presence in Crystal Palace, Croydon, Norwood and Tulse Hill. They also have sizeable communities in Manchester, Birmingham, Milton Keynes and Swansea. Seven Sisters has been seen as cultural capital of Ghanaian Londoners in recent decades; though it’s fair to say that area is going through a big re-generation ‘mode’ at the moment and the once heavy Ghanaian/Jewish demographic is going through rapid change.

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So, the Ashantis have been the most dominant tribe in Ghana for hundreds of years; in London – things are no different. They are often compared and contrasted with the Yorubas of Nigeria (though that is not much appreciated). You also have the Ga and Fante speaking communities in small pockets across London. The Ewe people, Nicknamed ‘Number 9’, they and the northern tribes are “the most stereotyped and misunderstood bunch in the country” (Gattitude, WordPress, 2015).


Congolese in London:

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Without a shadow of doubt London’s fastest growing Francophone African community and a late starter as many Congolese only arrived to the UK from the late 1980s. The Congolese are the fastest growing Francophone African community in London – and have been for the past twenty years across Britain. There are over 25 000 Congolese (both from Republic of Congo and Congo DRC) living in London alone. Outside of London, many Congolese can be found in Derby, Manchester, Edinburgh, Merseyside Yorkshire and Cardiff. Find out more about the good work of Naivasha, Young Congolese and Professional and other Congolese organisation here in ‘Les Congolais de Londres: Re-introducing London’s Congolese Community (2016)


Somali in London:

Elmimag meeting with the US Embassy
Check out the #GoodWork of ElimiMag and Ladan Takow‘s ESomaliWomen network in London

Over 125,000 Somalis reside in the UK with strong London bases in BromleyEalingWoolwichBow and Stepney GreenEdgware Road and Camden. Current sources suggest that Cardiff has the highest number of people of Somali heritage anywhere in the UK outside the UK. Somali are un-officially the largest East African community (it’s disputed because of the North-East/East Africa compartmentalisation question). The community is spread across the capital with the London boroughs of Tower HamletsCamdenEalingNewham and Lambeth known to have large groups.


Nigerians in London:

Nigerians are in principal the largest African community in London – both officially and un-officially. We all know that. 1,000,000+ human beings of Nigerian heritage call London home. Almost a sort of ‘default’ name that is mentioned everywhere and everyday. Peckham, Thamesmead, Woolwich, Abbeywood and Deptford areas on weekday evenings, Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings are quite simply a remarkable sight (as highlighted in the map above). Added to this, Camberwell, Brixton (well sort-of), Bexleyheath, Barking and Dagenham, Erith and Newham will also test your Yoruba and Igbo listening skills.

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It’s also good to point out the exclusive group of Super Rich Nigerians buying up central London property. You’ll see some job ads (appear twice a year) for fluent Yoruba and Hausa speaking Sales gurus at Heathrow, Harrods and other department stores – especially during the summer. They come in droves and pretty much buy everything; houses too. But i’ll leave you to read some of the comments on Battabox’s Excellent Video on Rich Nigerians Spend Millions on Central London Property as to what some Nigerians at home think about that! Come to think of it, Battabox deserve a mention! Their videos are an excellent resource and window into the lives and mindsets of many 1st generation Nigerian and African migrants that call London home.

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With over 20,000,000 views. BattaBox is Nigeria’s most exciting News & Entertainment video channel! Checkout their London videos – fresh, informative and distinctively Nigerian

Culturally, one will observe that many non-nigerian Londoners (if there is such a term) have a rather Yoruba-centric view of Nigerians. It’s not only true (that in some black majority neighbourhoods) the feeling that  4 out every 5 black people are Nigerian; but rather 4 out of 5 Nigerians are Yoruba. The rather colourful, demonstrative and at times well animated and even noisy Yoruba clutch (many non-Yoruba lament) contrast from fellow countrymen. This is especially true in Woolwich, Abbeywood and Deptford. If you go to some parts of Germany and Turkey and ask some of the locals to describe the Nigerian Community; it’s more than common to be responded with “reserved, conservative, gentle and keep-to-themselves”. This will raise eyebrows to many of us here; but that’s because their remarks of the Nigerian community they are family are rather Hausa-centric.

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Did you know there’s a large Hausa community of Nigerians and Nigeriens in Germany, Belgium, Turkey and France

Similar to these countries; there are sizeable Hausa communities in London and the UK. Mellow, reserved and often preferring outside London; don’t believe the hype that there are no Hausas in London – that’s quite simply not true. Hausa Nigerians are based in small pockets in Central London and North London and in larger pockets in Coventry, Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester, Surrey and other cities in the country. Before being accused; it is also important to mention that Idoma, Tiv and Edo Nigerian communities (particularly in South London and Newham) also make up the demographic fabric of this popular and populous group here in London.


Sierra Leoneons in London:

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NimsDin may just be the only Sierra Leoneon inspired Supper Club in the London; find out more about this amazing Food Joint here

The Sierra Leonean diaspora was active in responding to the Ebola outbreak that hit Sierra Leone in March 2014, both by providing financial and material support, and through direct communication with relatives, friends and colleagues back home. Sierra Leoneans are mostly based in South and North London. Bermondsey, New Cross and Lewisham have pockets of Sierra Leonean communities based in the borough of Southwark. The population number isn’t known, over 17,000 recorded in 2001. It’s almost an absolute surety the numbers have at least doubled since then. Find out more about our Krio speaking West African brothers here: Aw Yu Du? Re-introducing London’s Sierra Leoneon Community 2016.


Angolans in London:

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There are believed to be over 18,000 Angolans residing in the UK. Whilst it is estimated that approximately 30,000-35,000 Portuguese Speakers reside in the borough of Lambeth alone (Nogueira, Porteous & Guerreiro 2015); those of Angolan heritage migrating from Portugal are increasing. Southwark, Stratford, Woolwich and North London are some of areas pockets of Angolans can be found. To find out more see ‘Angolanos em Londres: Re-Introducing London’s Angolan Community 2016‘. Also, do check out the ‘Angolan Civic Community Alliance‘. The Angolan Civic Communities Alliance (ACCA) is mainly a pan-Portuguese speaking communities support and advisory service that serves as the main point of contact for the Portuguese speaking communities of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Goa.


Jamaicans:

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Life within the M25 is home to more than 800,000 British Jamaicans, those who were born in Jamaica or who are of Jamaican descent. Brixton, a multiethnic community in south London, has become the ‘Republic’ for many Jamaicans. This is known throughout the country and worldwide. This aside, Nottingham, Derby and Northampton, Birmingham, Leicester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Preston, Gloucester and Bristol are some of the national regions in which Jamaicans can be found across the UK (in accordance with the IOM Jamaican Mapping Excercise,2007).

In London, Jamaicans can be located at London boroughs such as Brent, Croydon, Hackney, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth. One of the largest and most famous Jamaican expatriate communities is in Brixton, South London. The Jamaican High Commission estimates that there are around 800,000 British people of Jamaican origin in the UK – that was way back in 2007. It’s grown since since then for sure.


South Africans in London:

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Afrikaans, isiZulu, Xhosa are not the only languages of this interesting community. Apart from accent; it must be pretty difficult for African Londoners to distinguish South Africans. Most Black South Africans live outside London and the majoritarian White South African community have a pretty large base in Wandsworth, Twickenham and other areas in London. South Africans (currently), with permission, are allowed to hold more than one passport. Zimbabwe does not permit dual citizenship, probably lowering naturalisation rates among Zimbabweans.

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The 2001 census showed that 90% of South Africans in the UK are White; much hasn’t changed since then. According to the Office of National Statistics, as of December 2013, there are roughly 221 000 South Africans living in the UK. The late 90s and early noughties saw long term migration reduce to the UK from South Africa. Although the number of South African students at UK and London universities is increasing; wikipedia estimates there could be more than 496,000 (of British and Afrikaans origin), 16,500 (Black), 16,500 (Indian), 11,000 (Mixed) and 11,000 (other) for each South African ethnic group currently residing in the UK respectively.

“According to the Office of National Statistics, as of December 2013, there are roughly 221 000 South Africans living in the UK. The late 90s and early noughties saw a bumper crop of short and long term migration to the UK from South Africa.” (The South African, Jan 2015)

SA-Shops

There are a large number of Jewish South Africans in the UK. It is estimated that 9% of the South African population in London is Jewish, as compared to 2% of Londoners as a whole who would claim to be of the Jewish faith.

The group of migrants in the UK from Western Europe, India, South Africa and the ‘Anglosphere’ exhibit strong economic characteristics – they have high rates of employment at good wages and low rates of benefit claim. (Economic Characteristics of Migrants in the UK 2014, Migration Watch)

 

Do Black and White South Africans who live in London hang out together?

This was a question taken from a popular quora.com poll. It’s an interesting question and one I’ve asked the handful of black South Africans I’ve met in London; the answer is usually sometimes – but mostly no. The interesting historical and socio-cultural mix is best described my Nico Laubser below.

“I think you have two types of South Africans. Those who think they are fleeing ‘danger’ when they leave SA, and those who like new cultures and travelling. The latter will hang out with each and everyone. The former will probably just look for a safe hole to bury themselves in and bad mouth SA. I am an Afrikaner who met my South African non white wife in the UK. So yes, it does happen.” (Nico Laubser, Quora)


Eritreans in London:

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Many Eritreans reside in the UK and London. The borough Lambeth leads the way in South East London with visible sightings of Eritreans in Neasden and Shepherd’s Bush. There are believed to be more than 15000 Eritreans in the UK. This is increasing.  Eritrea’s neighbours Ethiopia also a strong restaurant businesses in the UK with many Ethiopian and Eritrean churches across London. The majority of adult Eritreans in Lambeth and Southwark were born in Eritrea (87%) and a further 10% were born in Eritrea’s immediate neighbours Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia or Sudan. Only 2% were born in the UK.


Changing Demographic of London’s African Community:

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Okay. It’s important to note things are changing both statistically and culturally in London’s African community. Only a handful are cited within this rather informal blog report.

We now a small but growing number of Belgian, Netherlands and German migrants (of African origin) moving to the UK. The fact that they are EEA citizens and from an English speaking African country coupled with London’s offer for better job prospects means London is a convenient ‘go-to’ city. The same can be said for 2nd and 3rd generation Ivorians, Congolese and Senegalese who are moving to the UK from France, Belgium and even Italy (to name a few) who are more competent in English than their migrant parents (from Africa to Europe) in the late 1980s and before. Added to this ‘citizenship diversity’; i’ve met EU citizens migrants of Senegalese, Nigerian, Cameroonian, Somali and Nigerien origin calling London and the UK home from Sweden, Poland, Romania, Hungary and more.

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French speaking Africans migrating to the UK have also been on the increase. Many African migrants that have ended up in London from North African, Eastern and Southern European states will confidently recall of their experiences in these countries compared to Britain. Malians can be found in South East London, Senegalese, Ivorians, Cameroon and even Gabonese in small pockets across the city.

To be continued.


*** This is part I of the Africans in London Demographic Report; if you don’t see your community mentioned here; it’s not because I’ve forgotten it’s what my people say in Tanzania “Taratibu ndiyo mwendo” (One step at a time; slow and steady, bit by bit will get you there eventually).


{ Sources Used: Migration Watch UK (2015) Paper 367Office of National Statistics, UK Migration Report (Feb 2016)Full Fact EU Immigration Report and Parilament Briefing Papers, Migration Report 2015 }

 


 

Feel free to comment below or contact me via:

Twitter: @AfricanCB or Facebook: /AfricanCultureBlog

Les Maliens du Royaume-Uni: Malian Community in London (2016)

Malians have one the smallest communities in the UK and certainly in London. Many of the Bambara and French speaking Malians are dispersed all over London and have effective community development organisations in London such as the ‘Conseil des Maliens du Royaume-Uni’ (Malian Community Council-UK) and the Community of Malian Refugees in the UK along with the Mali Development Group in Oxford. Some Malians live in Peckham, Hackney and near Edgware Road. More info is available from the groups mentioned below.


Le Conseil des Maliens de l’Exterieur

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Le Conseil des Maliens de l’Exterieur est un organe à caractère associatif, apolitique, laïc et non discriminatoire et à but non lucratif.

Facebook: /Conseil-des-Maliens | Phone 1: 078 68 88 11 90 | Phone 2: 075 52 22 52 28 | Email 1: info@conseilmalienru.org | Email 2: info@maliancounciluk.org | President: Aboubacar Coulibaly

This non-profit organisation is the leading body for Malians in the UK assisting Malians to overcome the problems of integration and social inclusion. Life in the UK and London is very different linguistically, culturally and weather wise compared to back home and this organisation serves a very good purpose.

Le Conseil des Maliens du Royaume-Uni a pour but de:
– représenter les Maliens auprès des Instances et Institutions Nationales du Mali;
– rassembler tous les ressortissants maliens du R.U. sans distinction d’origine régionale, ethnique, religieuse, sociale, de sexe ou de profession;
– promouvoir l’union et la solidarité entre les Maliens du R.U.;
– aider les Maliens à surmonter les problèmes d’intégration et d’insertion sociale;
– susciter la contribution des Maliens au developpement économique, social, environnemental, culturel et sportifl du Mali;
– promouvoir la paix et l’intégration entre les communautés.

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Malian Diaspora in the UK: London Meeting (March 2016) in Peckham

HONORARY CONSULATE OF MALI IN LONDON

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Address: Honorary Consulate of Mali, Vine Court, Church Street, London, W4 2PD | Phone: +44 (0) 203 7647 547 | Email: info@mali-consulate.org.uk

Special Consular service headed by the noble Honorary Consul Mr. Mark Saadea. The consul provides consular services (visas, legalising documents, community database, repatriation, etc.) from their newly established consulate in West London.

 


*** Do you know or want to recommend other Malian organisations and/or Entrepreneurs in London/UK that deserve a shoutout? Feel free to comment below or contact me via Twitter: @AfricanCB or Facebook: /AfricanCultureBlog

Best 15 Nigerian Restaurants and Food Pop-ups in London (2016)

Okay. After doing a few writings on some of the 15 African Caterers to check out in London and even a detailed piece on the Best 20 Ghanaian Restaurants and Food Pop-ups in London; it was inevitable that a Nigerian Restaurants in London Guide had to follow. Now; this isn’t an exhaustive list as there are loads of established and newly opened up-and-running Nigerian restaurants and food pop-ups in London; these are a handful (some you may have heard of or know very well and others not so much) yet well reviewed London based Nigerian food joints.

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Dobby Signature is a very interesting Nigerian Food Blog that you guys may want to check out from Dobby who explores and showcases Nigerian Dishes direct from her kitchen!

As well as restaurants; there is also a growing Supper Club scene; Groundnut Supper Club in New Cross, Jason’s Little Kitchen in West London and Lemlem’s Eritrean Kitchen are some to name a few but here I’m focussing exclusively on Nigerian inspired and owned London based food enterprises. By the Agege Bread London may not be a Restaurant but this Nigerian inspired Patisserie and Bakery has been running since 2005 in Ireland and the UK. Certainly deserve a shout-out.


*** SPECIAL FEATURE: BAILEYS’ BBQ GRILL ***

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South East London based Bailey’s Grill serves clients across London and can be booked for events during the week if booked in advance and is available for weekends. Contact Baileys on: 07951873296

Insta: /baileysgrill29 | Email: baileysgrills@gmail.com | Phone: 07951873296

Certainly one of the best weekend only Nigerian Barbecue Grill specialists out there. Yes – Nigerian BBQ Grill. Onje such as: Asun, Suya, Fish, Corn and more. These guys are professionals in providing personalised on-site BBQ services at events & Parties with wide range of Nigerian BBQ dishes that suits your event. They cater to House Parties, Carnivals, Family Fun Days, Church events and more. For more info call Biola on: 07951873296


1) CHUKU’S LONDON

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Insta: /ChukusLDN | Facebook: /chukusLDN | Twitter: @chukusLDN | Email: info@chukuslondon.co.uk

Wow. The Nigerian Tapas Lounge. What a Fresh and Original Idea. Nigerian Food with a Spanish ‘style’ influence. The duo (brother and sister) launched the Nigerian tapas lounge (the first of its kind) in 2015 and have been popping up across London offering an intimate dining experience with their twist on traditional Nigerian recipes.


2) K’S CUISINE

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Insta: /KsCuisine | Facebook: /KsCuisine | Twitter: @kcuisin | Address: 664 Green Lane, Goodmayes, Ilford, IG3 9RX | Phone 1: 02032948724 | Phone 2: 07437813403 | Email: Info@kscuisine.com

Based in Goodmayes; this Restaurant, Food Blog, Supper Club and Healthy African Eating guide is headed by the Good Lady named Kemi. A first class cook that delivers first class food. A spacious restaurant is complimented by a bespoke home ordering and delivery service. Thoroughly deserving of a Top 5 spot!


3) PRESIDENTIAL SUYA

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Facebook: /PresidentialSuya | Phone: 020 7709 4491 | Email: info@presidentialsuya.com | Address: 160-164 Old Kent Rd, Southwark, London SE1 5TY

Restaurant. Takeaway and VIP Lounge ‘Presidential Suya’ is visible on the long Old Kent Road/New Kent Road area in Elephant and Castle, South East London. A couple of mixed reviews here and there but overall a great place to dine. A rather spacious restaurant disguised (sort of) across three unit. Aside from the Take Away Section, the second is the Restaurant and the third is the Bar and lounge. These guys have been running for almost twenty years. A reliable and efficient service. You won’t be disappointed.


4) TOKUNBO’S KITCHEN

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Insta: /TokunbosKitchen | Facebook: /TokunbosKitchen | Twitter: @TokunbosKitchen | Email: info@tokunboskitchen.com

I’ve given these guys a mention already in a previous blog post; but twice said means twice re-inforced that TK’s Kitchen is a must see and must eat supper club. Checkout their eventbrite page and stay impressed with …


*** SPECIAL FEATURE: LERATO LONDON ***

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Insta: /Lerato_Tomato | Facebook: /LeratoLovesFood | Twitter: @LeratoLondon | Blog: /LeratoLovesFood

Wonders indeed shall never end. Delicious and easy recipes from her TV shows, food articles, home cooking and food fantasies. Lerato London is in London! And the high flying multilingual and supremely talented Nigerian Chef (seasonally in between Abuja, Lagos and London has graced the Capital with her exquisite #AfricanAfrternoonTea Central London Tea Club. We endeavour to visit at some stage this year. For more info check out the details above.


5) ENISH

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Instagram: /Enish_Restaurant | Facebook: /EnishRestaurant | Twitter: @sholaeco007 | Address: ENISH NIGERIAN RESTAURANT + GRILL, 228 Lewisham High Street,London. SE13 6JU | Email: sholaeco@yahoo.com | Phone:  02083187527

Nigerian cuisine, like most  West African cuisine is known for its richness, deep flavour and variety. Various spices, herbs and flavourings are used together  with palm oil (red oil) or groundnut oil to create deeply flavoured stews and soups usually made from hot chili peppers. Nigerian feasts are incomplete without an array of traditional dishes. At Enish Restaurant, we prepare our meals to contemporary standards while maintaining that unique traditional flavour Nigerian food are known for.


6) ONIDODO SUPPER CLUB

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Insta: /Onidodo | Eventbrite: /Onidodo-Supper-Club | Facebook: /Onidodo | Snapchat: Oni_Babes | Twitter: @OnidodoUKBlogspot: Oni-Dodo

Boom! Onidodo is a Pan African Supper club based in London and Essex. Great to see and taste the good food that this healthy family run company are achieving.  The company run by Husband and wife for the last 3 years has been catering and providing tasty meals and delicacies to their customers through their various pop up restaurant, Dinner, events, personal catering, parties and so much more. Book a table at Onidodo’s next Supper Club ASAP!


7) 208 DEGREES

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Instagram: /280Degrees_Bar | Facebook: /280DegreesAfricanRestaurantBar | Twitter: @280Degreez | Address: 280 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 2BY | Phone: +44 207 328 8832 | Email: at280degreesrestaurant@yahoo.co.uk

280 degrees African Restaurant & Bar is an authentic relaxation spot with a modern twist in the interior, giving our valued customers a whole new African experience. Our goal is to provide an all in-one relaxing atmosphere where you and your friends or family can socialise; eating, drinking and dancing to Afrobeat sounds which serenates the room. 


8) MAMA CASS RESTAURANT AND BAR

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Insta: /MamaCassNGR | Facebook: /MamaCASSRestaurantAndBar | Twitter: @MamaCassNGR | Linkedin: /Mama-Cass-Restaurant | Address: 194-196 Burnt Oak Broadway, London, HA8 0AS, UK | Phone: 020 8952 4200
Mama Cass Quick Service Restaurant has over 30 years of experience providing rich and diverse meals for the family. Our meal offerings spans traditional Nigerian and continental dishes, pastries and a whole lot more that even caters for the health conscious. Once you walk into a Mama Cass QSR you are assured of some meal product that will fit into your range of meal desires. The restaurant has been recently revamped and oozes a welcoming family feel that has a space or activity for each member of the family. We have 13 outlets spread across Lagos, Abeokuta, Abuja and London.

9) VEGAN NIGERIAN

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Insta: /vegannigerian | Facebook: /VeganNigerian | Twitter: @VeganNigerian | YouTube: /VeganNigerian | Email: vegannigerian@gmail.com | Book: Nice Cream: Delicious Dairy Free Recipes
Tomi Makanjuola is the name behind this brand and a successful line of Vegan Nigerian Food pop-ups that have arisen as a result of her often referred too ‘Vegan Nigerian’ title. As the name suggests, The Vegan Nigerian is a space where readers will discover a range of vegan dishes that are inspired by her culture and background.

10) Lagos Island

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Address: 417 Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London | Phone: 020 8988 3802 | Email: reservations@lagosislandrestaurant.co.uk

Emphasis is on providing refined yet creative African Cuisine, our menu incorporates both traditional classic favourites and original new dishes, Lagos Island unique style. Acclaimed speciality menu includes Spicy Snail, Nkwobi, Island Roast, Island Fish, Fish and Assorted Meat Pepper Soup. Located at 417 Lea Bridge road, Leyton. East London. Banqueting hall Available for Private Meetings and Functions Sits up to 50 People also.


11) MAZEES KITCHEN

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Address: 487 High Rd Leytonstone, London E11 4PG | Phone 107453 296026 | Phone 2: 02089840637 | Phone 3: 02085937482
Yes. Mazees is a humble restaurant based in East London. They pride themselves in offering  a wide range of favourite African dishes in a clean, warm and welcoming environment.

12) 805 RESTAURANT

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Insta: /805Restaurant | Facebook: /805Restaurants | Twitter: @805ResturantsOld Kent Road Address: 805 Old Kent Road, London, United Kingdom, SE15 1NX | Phone 1: +44 207 639 0808 | Hendon Address: 60 Vivian Avenue, Hendon Central NW4 3XH | Phone 2: +44 208 202 9449 | Email: info@805restaurants.com
Probably one of the most famous Nigerian and African Restaurants in London. Well Established, Great Interior Decor and Good Service. Based in London, Abuja and Accra, our intercontinental and pan-African brothers who founded this restaurant have certainly been going from strength to strength. Nigerian meals served in sophistication and definitely one of the most ‘well finished’ design menus and services of Nigerian Restaurants out there. A hit with Nigerian Londoners and others. Worth a try.

13) K’S SPICE AFRICA RESTAURANT

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Facebook: /Ks-African-Restaurant | Address: 13 Pier Rd, London, Erith DA8 1TA | Phone01322 334244
OK. K’s African Restaurant offer a wide variety of cuisine straight from the mother land. They give you the traditional, tasteful, authentic African Cuisines, with the original taste from our range of different delicacies of your choice. Find out more about them via Facebook
Our Chefs have a combined experience of over 20 years, cooking with the finest African herbs and spices.

14) OBALENDE SUYA EXPRESS

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Facebook: /Obalende-Suya | Address: 523 Kingsland Road, E8 4AR | Phone: 0207275 0171

I never knew there was a restaurant that was home to the Nigerian Arsenal fan club (born in the Nwanku Kanu years) and packs a huge crowd for the country’s major football matches. The restaurant has two branches, one, a takeaway located 43 Peckham High Street, Peckham, not far west from Peckham Library and a restaurant located at 523 Kingsland Road in Dalston, Hackney. The restaurant was founded in the summer of 1987 and opened its first branch in 1991, opening the Peckham High Street outlet in the summer of 1992.

15) iKOYi CONTEMPORARY WEST AFRICAN CUISINE

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Insta: /ikoyi_London | Facebook: /IKOYILondon | Twitter: @IkoyiLondon
Up and running Supper Club that delivers with excellence established in London. Ikoyi serves exciting food inspired by traditional Nigerian and West African dishes, reinterpreted with high-quality products, seasonality and advanced cooking techniques.
A progressive take on West African Culture – changing stereotypes, creating a new perception, giving voice to a changing Contemporary West Africa.
Jollof Cuisine. London Supper Clubs. Great Vibes. Checkout Jeremy and Ire’s new adventure via the details above.

*** Do you know or want to recommend other Nigerian Foodie Supper Clubs, Pop-ups or Restaurants in London/UK that deserve a shoutout? Feel free to comment below or contact me via Twitter: @AfricanCB or Facebook: /AfricanCultureBlog

Les Gabonaise au Royaume-Uni: Gabonese Community in London

There are a small portion of Gabonese citizens residing in the UK and professionals that have worked in Gabon. Public Relations professionals, Oil and Gas Experts, Resevoir Engineers, Architects, Entrepreneurs and Medical Professionals from Gabon are now calling London home. Deloitte, Shell and Airtel are some of the big firms that some Gabonese citizens and citizens from other nation (residing in the UK) and have worked for both in the UK and Gabon.

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President Ali Bongo and Prince Charles

There are believed to be around 300 Gabonese citizens established in the United Kingdom. The Embassy of Gabon in London regularly organise meetings and forums between themselves and the Gabonese Community in the UK as seen with the Gabon Forum that took place on the 22 March 2015 between the new team of the Embassy Community and the Gabonese Community living in London. Through this meeting; Mr Malongo Auxence Iyangui and the Embassy managed to establish a Gabonese portfolio of those in the UK. Whilst this file is not exhaustive; it is growing.


UJPDG ROYAUME-UNI

Diaspora Gabonaise Londres
Diaspora Gabonaise de Londres
<< Nouveau depart, nouvelle vision pour l’emergence du PDG au Royaume-Uni. >>
An official diaspora group for Gabonese Citizens in London and the UK in association with the political party named PDG “Parti Démocratique Gabonais” (Gabon Democratic Party). Checkout their Facebook page via the link above. They remain the only known Gabonese organisation of any kind in the UK.

GABON EMBASSY IN LONDON

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Address: 27 Elvaston Place, London, SW7 5NL
The Kensington based Embassy also covers the jurisdictions of: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Finland.

The Embassy of Gabon in London regularly organise meetings and forums between themselves and the Gabonese Community in the UK as seen with the Gabon Forum that took place on the 22 March 2015 between the new team of the Embassy Community and the Gabonese Community living in London. Through this meeting; Mr Malongo Auxence Iyangui and the Embassy managed to establish a Gabonese portfolio of those in the UK. Whilst this file is not exhaustive; it is growing.


 

*** Do you know or want to recommend other Gabonese Entrepreneurs, Stakeholders or organisations that you feel should be present on this list based in London/UK that deserve a shoutout? Feel free to comment below or contact me via Twitter: @AfricanCB or Facebook: /AfricanCultureBlog