IGBO KWENU! IGBO KWENU! IGBO KWENU!
Children of Igboland, unite wherever you find yourselves!
When you look upon Igbo’s you see the pride of Nigeria, the pride of Africa, Igbo Amaka! Therefore, it is only expected where there are Igbos, beauty and prominence are in the mist. Houston’s Chapter of Umu Igbo Unite is a gleaming example exhibiting the beauty of Igbo culture through preserving traditional practices and wisdoms, strengthening community through social gatherings, polishing young professionals, emerging game changers, and demonstrating steadfast commitment to make a difference in the lives of others through community service locally and abroad.
Umu Igbo Unite also known as UIU was founded in 2005 to, “address the lack of a structured network that catered to the specific cultural, professional, and social needs of first-generation Igbo Americans and the greater Diaspora.”UIUhas deep roots in Houston having established its chapter in 2008. Ever since UIU Houston has been one of the premier chapters of this national organization winning “Chapter of the Year” in 2019 and 2021 and currently boasts over 200 members. The 2022-2023 Executive Board rounded their first quarter full steam.
Chidiebere Ohalete of Imo State, is the Houston Chapter President and has expressed these visionary goals for UIU Houston:
- Maintain and increase membership strength above 200 through engagement, participation and keeping members well informed regarding local, regional and national events and activities.
- Increase Igbo fluency and cultural knowledge amongst membership body. This will be accomplished via cultural group discussions and activities speaking and teaching Igbo, during our General Body Meetings in a judgement free environment.
- Grow our social media following by engagement and providing up-to-date information for all member exclusive events and general activities.
UIU Houston is such a great organization to be a part of because it helps me remain in touch with my Igbo culture. It teaches me new things about my culture that I didn’t know because my Igbo experience is very different…I was raised in America, so my experience is very westernized. I’m also learning Igbo and networking with like minded professionals who are in my professional field or a field I’m interested in joining. I also love the fact that I’m gaining this experience through people in my age group, so it’s more personable and beautiful LOL. Igbo Amaka!Diane Nwokey, Imo State | UIU Houston Vice President
Do you speak Igbo? Ah, I know, neither do I. This year the Cultural Chair, Raphael Onyeka of Imo State is working to change this by incorporating judgement free Igbo speaking opportunities and cultural convos during each monthly General Body Meeting. In addition he is also planning the first annual Igbo States Cultural Fair (flyer), set to take place May 21, 2023. This event will embody the full participation of UIU Houston’s membership to showcase their unique Igbo cultural state’s food, attire, music, traditions, customs and dance. In the second half of the year is Ji fest (Yam Fest) which will be extended to the greater Houston Igbo community and friends! Both events are presumed to be two of the grandest Igbo cultural events offered in Houston this year!
I love being in my community. People around your own people with similar upbringing is refreshing. You don’t feel like you have to overly explain yourself. They just get it.Derrick Osizugbo, Imo State | UIU Houston Member of the Quarter
Oh do Igbos know how to turn up! Our social gatherings are LITTY OOO! Kicking off the first event was a Christmas Party, followed by a New Year: Brunch and Blessings. The focus and fun ensued at the Vision Board Party, then Valentine’s Movie Night, Super Bowl Party, Ndi Eze Pool Hall, Game Night, Rodeo Houston, Bike Bar Houston, mixers, more brunches, lounges, kickbacks and then SOME and we’re just getting started!
Quickly approaching is the launch of a book club, Hip Hop & Afrobeats dance class, and a fitness boot camp Whether your are a social butterfly, or “need to get out the house more,” kind of person, you are encouraged to join the many litty occasions, and bring a friend. No wahala, it’s always a welcoming vibe where you are bound to connect with someone who shares common or unique interests. It’s especially a wonderful organization to plug into and find your niche if you are new to Houston or seeking to come out of your shell.
Getting to network and build friendships while also having conversations about the future of Igbo culture and its preservation are just a few points of why I have enjoyed my runneth being a member of the UIU Houston chapter. I love the community I have been able to build surrounded by likeminded people.Crystal Agwuncha, Anambra State | UIU Houston Member of the Quarter
Whether you are white collar, blue collar, no collar or just a bonafide Igbo Hustlin’ Entrepreneur you are welcome home. UIU Houston has a diverse and illustrious group of Igbos; from tech savvy innovators and engineers, burgeoning and acclaimed artists, professional athletes and musicians, educators and scholars, healthcare providers, real estate experts, to legal and media movers and shakers. In short, we are GAME CHANGERS! We recognize the world is tough enough to embark at it alone, thus “we go further together,” asthe African proverb reminds us.
The goal is to support one another’s endeavors to reach the next LEVELS in life and career success, ISE!
What I love most about being a member is working with other members and creating lasting change in Houston. Knowing that we’re all growing together while appreciating our culture is…fulfilling.”Ikechi Ukazu, Abia State
UIU Houston has hosted a series of professional development workshops, from real estate investing mixers, expert tax advice, pivoting into tech, Igbo’s in medicine, and upcoming presentation and discussion the value of an MBA hosted by our Professional Development Officer, Patrick Kurunwune of Imo State. These are exclusive to members to sharpen ones professional repertoire.
I’m really thankful for the community and the many opportunities to meet different people in my culture. Being a first generation Nigerian American, it really is a blessing to meet people of the same age with similar cultural values, morals and goals.Olive Okafor, Delta State
Mmadu Bu Chi Be, is an Igbo proverb meaning we are ChinEke (God) to one another. As Igbos have understood since ancient times; blessings do not fall from the sky, but are bestowed from person to person. In other words, we are blessed, to be a blessing. Foundational to UIU Houston is a strong commitment to community service leadership. Through time, effort and resources UIU Houston is committed to servicing the greater Houston community having partnered to do so with Houston Food Bank and Kings and Queens. We strive to serve the local community monthly volunteering. Currently, we are in partnership with M.D. Anderson Children’s Cancer hospital to supply toys, toiletries, other necessities and offering monetary donations for patients. We have plans to extend our efforts of service to children in Nigeria and Igboland through upcoming projects.
I love the sense of community and the active effort to keep Igbos in the diaspora rooted in Igbo culture and traditions.Samuel Ubanyionwu, Anambra State
This is only a preview into UIU Houston and all it has to offer. There is actually much more! When you become a member you have access to UIU’s National Organizational’s hub ClubExpress and Workplace a private UIU Facebook if you will. Between these platforms you will be able to connect with Igbo’s across UIU chapters in more than a dozen major and smaller cities including Los Angelos, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, the DMV to Miami! Every Saturday there is an online live Igbo class for all stages of language learning. If you have a business, check out Igbo Market; a digital space to market your products and services, and patronize other Igbos. The two crowning events to especially mark your calendar for is the UIU Houston Gala and the 19th Annual Umu Igbo Unite National Convention “Ike Mba: Strength In Community” in Oakland California.
Long story short, UIU Houston is offers community through community and a quality professional network. Here you can serve others and learn more about the beautiful Igbo culture, maybe even find a spouse! At least you’re almost guaranteed to make a new friend, gain a fitness buddy, meet a travel sidekick, connect with a business partner, or just bring your good Igbo vibes for the sake of IGBO KWENU!
It’s a coming home of sorts. It’s pertinent for Igbo people in America to have a space to connect, inspire and develop in community. I believe it’s a place where, if we are courageous and committed enough, we will remember who we are, preserve our language, and uphold the best of our culture and values, if we are to be Igbo into the future.Akachineke Azubuike, Imo State | UIU Houston Public Relations Officer
Become a member now and enjoy the perks UIU Houston’s Igbo experience has to offer.
Limited time 50% Off discount for membership expires soon!
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