An Interview with Jo Saxton

Jo Saxton 2

Interview with Jo Saxton

 

Today, I have a special treat for you. I’m doing an interview with Jo Saxton, a leader I’m honored to know. You might recall that I posted a review of her new book, “The Dream of You” recently on the blog. Now I’m digging into some of the questions I had while reading it. I pray this will encourage you.  

 

Natasha: Jo, you have quite an interesting story. You speak all over the country and have become known as the “Nigerian Brit,” can you share a little bit about that story, and how your name changed from Modupe to Jo?

 

I call myself a Nigerian Brit because both play a fundamental role in my identity. I’m a Yoruba Nigerian, and my parents moved to England in the 1960’s. Many of my formative years were spent growing up among a wide Nigerian community in London. Nigerian food, Nigerian sounds, Nigerian cultural practices. That was my norm.

 

Nonetheless, London is my hometown; and it’s a diverse and cosmopolitan city. Its where I grew up, made friends, had crushes on local boys; I walked its streets and loved it. I feel such a visceral connection to London because its shaped me too. Still the London I grew up in is eclectic, much more so than the pictures of England captured in shows like Downton Abbey or The Crown.

 

My London includes Buckingham palace with the royal family, and Big Ben and tourist attractions, but it’s also Brixton market with its Ankara materials and meats and fruit. My London is fish and chips, and chicken tikka masala and jolloff rice. Its hanging out at the local pub and the local hair salon, knowing they house two different cultural worlds. Its reading Shakespeare, Ben Okri and Zadie Smith. Its Wham & Shalamar, soul music and Seal, as my elders dance to Sunny Ade again. All of that is the London I called my home.

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Book Review – “One: Unity in a Divided World” by @DeidraRiggs

Book Review – “One: Unity in a Divided World” by @DeidraRiggs

Why I picked up this book:

Deidre RiggsOne: Unity in a Divide World” was written by Deidra Riggs, and I find her particularly intentional and passionate about the work of reconciliation. She is a person who uplifts and brings other persons together, so I’m glad to share this resource.

 

Who Should Read One: Unity in a Divide World:

 

We are so easily divided about everything. Given the current political and social climate in America, this book can be beneficial to anyone. I see it as an on-ramp book, particularly helpful for those just getting started on the reconciliation journey. A journey the Deidra defines as a “process that begins when two opposing parties come together for the purpose of peace.”

Continue reading “Book Review – “One: Unity in a Divided World” by @DeidraRiggs”

Woman to Woman Rwanda

Thursdays are our Coffee Talk days at “A Sista’s Journey.” I’m not a coffee drinker but on Thursdays I write about the things we would talk about if I were with you drinking coffee. I actually do quite a bit of talking with my friends, and don’t blog on Thursdays as frequently as I would like.

There are a lot of things I want to share with you but for today and right now, let me tell you more about my upcoming trip to Rwanda, and introduce the other women who will be joining me on the trip. I’m so excited!

Rwanda Photo_Africa New Life credit

Hope. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think about my upcoming trip to Rwanda, and my first trip to the continent of Africa. This summer, I have the opportunity to participate in a learning exchange and humanitarian effort called “Woman to Woman Rwanda” in partnership with Africa New Life. This is the first trip I know of its kind where an all African American team of women are going to partner with, listen and learn from Rwandan women.

About Rwanda

Like many of you, my first introduction to the daily life of Rwanda was from the atrocities of the 1994 genocide. I read Immaculée Ilibagiza’s story of redemption in her riveting memoir, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust. As a part of the Tutsis tribe, she lost most of her family to the genocide where “more than one million people were murdered in roughly 100 days.” Most of this history was told with the 2004 movie release titled “Hotel Rwanda.” However, death and murder is not the entirety of Rwanda’s story. It is only a snapshot of the history of colonization and oppression that crippled the Rwandan people, and nearly destroyed the country.

In the later part of the nineteenth century, Rwanda was colonialized by Germany. During this period of approximately 15 years, Germans elevated the Tutsi tribe (as being more Caucasian) by giving them the best education and jobs, while causing a class-system and rift between the native Tutsi and Hutu people groups. At the end of World War II, the country was given to Belgium who continued to exploit this division and govern Rwanda for approximately 40 years before the Rwandans kicked them out.

Rwanda became an independent nation in 1962, but the relational damage had already been done among the nation’s first people groups, the uncertainty about the country’s future, and the struggle for power is what climaxed in the 1994 genocide. This genocide began with Rwandans, and because of the lack of international involvement, it ended with Rwandans.

Over the past 22 years, Rwandans have led their country, instituted a democracy, charted their path to economic freedom, and have pursued reconciliation and justice. Rwanda is now a country led by Rwandans, and Africa New Life is a ministry led by Rwandans.

Continue reading at Missio Alliance.