United African Diaspora

Connecting Africa to the Diaspora Worldwide



Meet some inspiring members of the diaspora

Exclusive Interview with Tonia Nneji

Remembering Khadija Saye 

In honour of the late Khadija Saye, a talented artist / photographer of The Gambian diaspora, who died in the recent Grenfell Tower fire, we bring you a snippet from a collection of her work in our June Series // SS17/16.

RIP Khadija

All her work can be found via her website:
Khadija Saye Photography

Dwelling: in this space we breathe



The full series of her work can be found via her website:

Khadija Saye Photography

RIP Khadija, died 4 June 2017 (age 24)

Khadija’s work is currently still on display at the Diaspora Pavillion during the 57th Venice Benniale, Italy as well as the Tate Britain, UK. Art Lives. 

Featured post

Meet Award-Winning Journalist: Janell Hazelwood


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UAD had the pleasure of interviewing the very inspiring Janell Hazelwood: Media & Branding Strategist, Digital Content Creator and Founder of ‘The BossMoves’.

1.  What is ‘The BossMoves’ and what was your motivation / inspiration in creating it?

The BossMoves is a consultancy that serves minority and women-owned small businesses and non-profits, providing the following services: editorial strategy, content creation, business development and social media management.

My inspiration came during my more than 10 years in the media industry, watching business trends, covering executives and directly engaging with minority and women entrepreneurs. I saw that there was a need in these areas for amazing entrepreneurs who could boost their revenue and media exposure potential simply by tweaking aspects of their marketing, social media and business efforts to make them more competitive in the market. Minority women entrepreneurs are the fastest growing segment of business people in the country, however many face inequities. My passion is to help level the playing field a bit. Sometimes, I’m even able to coach an aspiring entrepreneur tap into their true purpose and monetize it as well.

    2.  What advice would you give to other young members of the diaspora when creating a brand / organisation?

First, go to God in prayer. Ask for your purpose and avenues to monetize it. Get into your Bible and strengthen your faith.

Second, do your research but don’t over think it. Act! Get a mentor who has sustained success in what you’re trying to do, and if you can’t find one, read up on your “dream” mentor. Follow their every move and learn from their strategy. 

Third, partner with others who are building as well. Look for smart, innovative peers who are passionate about what they do, and find a way to build community with them, whether it’s via social media, Meet Ups, group meetings or masterminds. Host and coordinate events together or barter services. This has helped me TREMENDOUSLY! Lastly, don’t ignore what’s right in your back yard in terms of your direct connection to your culture, your resources, your family, your community and your network. Find a way to serve and use those elements to boost what you’re trying to do. We often will look everywhere else but in our own backyard for the blooms of success. Look in your own garden, from church to work to community organizations to family and friends.

    3.   What are your interests with regards to current affairs? What do you enjoy writing about / reporting the most and why?

I currently focus on global, career and women’s content. These are the areas that I’m most passionate about in terms of writing things that drive change or forge inspiration. If something I write leads to someone expanding the way they look at their purpose and how to monetize it, I had done my job and followed what God has called me to do.

    4.  As a member of the diaspora, how do you stay connected to your home country or Africa in general? What kind of contributions would you say you’ve made to the continent?

I have always been lead to being global-minded. My family is very diverse, with roots in America as well as abroad. I’ve never liked to feel closed in or limited, thus I’ve embraced learning all about and relating with diverse cultures and locales. My parents encouraged this growing up. I’m an 80s baby, so oftentimes in school, we would not learn about African or African American history as much. My mother, maternal grandmother and father were big proponents of education, travel and reading books about the history of black people all over the world that were not supplied by our schools or teachers. The stories and figured we learned about were often Eurocentric or Caucasian, and black as well as African history just wasn’t as widely talked about or taught as it is today

As an adult, I’ve carried this with me: participating in the West Indian parade in New York, Virginia and Washington; travelling to the Caribbean and giving back via charitable works; participating in cultural events at work and school; helming the Power Women of the Diaspora ( at Black Enterprise  (www.blackenterprise.comto highlight positive stories of women professionals of Africa and beyond; and helming Global Content for the publication as well. I write positive stories of the diaspora that will connect people of color around the world via the power of the press and social media.

    5.  Would you ever consider being based in Africa through your field of work or do you aspire to work there doing something different?

Yes I do.

    6.  Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

In 10 years, I’m a publisher, international public speaker, author, wife, mother and evangelist. If I am doing what God called me to do—to show people the Christ in me through my talents in editorial and communications and to help people tap into their purpose and actually make a living at it—whatever makes their hearts sing and creates an impact using what God called them to do—I’ve truly accomplished the utmost.

Raymond C Maro | 26, Tanzanian, Former 1st YALDA International Publicity Chair, Youth Ambassador & General Secretary EAC Youth Ambassadors Platform


(Youth Ambassador Raymond Maro attending the EAC Youth Regional Event in Nairobi Kenya)

    1.  What is YALDA and what was your role there?

YALDA stands for ‘Youth Alliance for Leadership Development Africa’. It is a networking organization that is truly Africa branded : “By Africans, For Africa!”. This non-profit international organization was established in order to create a resourceful networking database for those with a strong interest in Africa. The network is centred around YALDA branches, primarily at African universities, and serves to increase the capacity of youth in Africa for developing positive leadership skills and to espouse an honest work ethic.From 2011-12, I served as YALDA Branch Director at United States International University and in 2013, I was elected by International Committee as the 1st YALDA International Publicity Chair which I served until May 2015. I am currently a Board Member of YALDA International Executive Committee.

    2.  As an EAC Youth Ambassador to United Republic of Tanzania, what does your position entail and how do you think this impacts Tanzania on a whole?

My main work is Youth sensitization on East African Community integration. We have our Ambassadorial Platform under the East African Community Secretariat where we work as a team on championing integration agenda across our East African region.Just like other African youth in the continent, Tanzanian youth have a right and place to belong to this big regional body known as East African Community.  Tanzanian youth voice is fully represented and hence they enjoy all the benefits and opportunities that come with such integration.

Tanzania at large enjoys her membership to East African Community and is committed to fast track the integration agenda.

    3.  In which ways do you think your current roles within your country effect the whole of Africa, or at least, in which ways do you hope it does? Do you hope to make an impact throughout Africa and how?

Since Tanzania is a loyal and staunch member of Africa Union, my roles within my country affect both directly and indirectly on the continental resolutions.   All decisions met at African Union in regards to social welfare, development or youth agenda that affects the whole of Africa, need our prior consultations opinions and contributions where we youth leaders of Tanzania and other EAC partner states are fully involved.In 2013, I led the EAC Youth Ambassadors delegation to African Union High Level Youth Leaders Panel on Agenda 2063 in Dakar, Senegal. The panel under AU Youth Program was collecting youth views and contributions to Africa we want. We in Tanzania, together with our fellows from EAC Partner States participated under one umbrella of EAC having one Position Paper as a region. This indeed helped to shaped in regional views that eventually have an impact at the continental level.

    4.  What advice would you give to youth members of the diaspora and those throughout Africa regarding their involvement with the continent (politically, culturally, scientifically, through business and investment or tackling injustice and inequality – you may pick 1 or more)?

I would like to appeal to all youth members of the Diaspora and those throughout Africa; to remember that they have an obligation to take advantage of the opportunity they have as United Africa Diaspora members and Continental shapers in science and technology, leadership and justice.Throughout my work, I have come to believe that Africa has nascent intelligentsia that we can empower ourselves to become the quality intelligentsia that our continent deserves.

To all youth members of Diaspora and those in the continent, we have to act to ensure that as we inherit the future as leaders and people of the continent of endless possibilities, we will have done our best to build Africa.

To all comrades in Diaspora, you have a duty and sacred responsibility to help us in the continent, to champion Africa integration, hence strengthening our unity and solidarity towards achieving sustainable development. Most of us believe integration is no longer an option but a prerequisite to development.

TZ President with Raymond                    WIth EAC SG

(LEFT: 4th Tanzania President HE Jakaya Kikwete with Youth Ambassador Raymond Maro.

RIGHT: EAC Secretary General HE. Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera in group photo with Raymond Maro and Regional leaders.)





Amanda Rabor | Isossy Children



Meet Amanda Rabor.

UAD are truly honoured to introduce the classic Millennium woman, mother, partner, daughter, sister, business women, and eternal student, trying to have it all and loving every minute of it!

Amanda is Chief Designer and Founder of the shortlisted ‘Online Retailer of the Year’, Isossy Children. Isossy Children incorporates African, Asian and Western cultures to create contemporary clothing that all children can wear. The inspiration is transcending cultural barriers and opening it up for all children. Isossy Children is truly Amanda’s calling. It’s a creative calling but far more than that, it’s a calling to promote diversity and global clothing for kids. Amanda believes that it is empowering for children to see African prints in their day-to-day expression and in turn it promotes inclusion and understanding.

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Amanda designs all the pieces and is part of the complete design process which has been very important as it’s a reflection of her creativity and growth. She uses plenty of African Ankara designs from West Africa as well as batiks from Thailand and India.

Amanda has a teenage son and a wonderful husband who continually support her. Family is extremely important to Amanda and her business endeavours always involve her sister and right hand person.

Am and Sam

Amanda is passionate about all aspects of personal development and personal evolution. Her belief in continually challenging herself led her to undertake a Psychology BSc Degree along with studying Counselling. Amanda loves living from a Spiritual base, her life experience has taught her that prayer, more recently meditation and lots of laughter help to keep her balanced.

Her global perspective comes from her Nigerian father and Trinidadian mother who raised her internationally in New York City and later London. So as a member of the diaspora, UAD are proud to promote her inspiring business and overall successes.

Isossy Children is a pioneering company. It has vision and it will grow dynamically around the world. It is a brand that believes in and promotes family values. Amanda believes in kids being kids and being allowed to be kids through the clothes they wear. The label offers something alternative, diverse and special for both parents and their children. We are excited for all that Amanda has to offer.

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Click the link below to visit Isossy Children’s official website


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