Above: Participants of the inaugural Umoja Conference that focused on the theme of building bridges between Africans and African Americans in Christ
Daystar University held its first Umoja Conference on 6th - 7th June 2017 at DAC Auditorium, Daystar Nairobi Campus. The conference was organized by the Department of Language and Performing Arts, headed by Dr. Wandia Njoya, and ran under the theme: “Building Bridges Between Africans and African Americans in Christ”.
Dr. Wandia was among guest speakers at the forum, others being Mr. John Githongo II, CEO of Inuka Kenya Trust, Pastor Curtis Reed of Harvesters Global Church and a Part time Lecturer in the Department of Language and Performing Arts at Daystar University, and Dr. Mshai Mwangola Research and Communication Officer at African Peace- building Network Hub.
The conference aimed at expanding the worldview of students to understand other Africans beyond their borders and create lasting relationships from across the sea. Dr. Wandia spoke about the corruption of African love and gender identities that was torn from the African culture during colonization and post-colonization that has seen a detachment from the definition of intimacy, masculinity and femininity; and the affirmation of nature in the African context. “This disconnect from our African heritage has greatly affected the relationship dynamics in Africa in the 21st century,” she said.
Mr. John Githongo said that in his many visits abroad, he had noted the unjust ways in which Africans and African American people are treated in comparison to people of other races, and the various rights that have been denied them. He said this has made him to become the radical Pan-Africanist and an advocate for justice and equal rights.
On his part, Pastor Curtis Reed emphasized on the importance of understanding the history and origin of the African-American culture especially through the Trans-Atlantic slave trade that took over 11 million Africans to North and South America. He said this is what caused the initial divide between the Africans and the African- Americans. He also noted that the disconnect created after the slave trade has caused tensions between the African-Americans and the Africans due to a lack of understanding of the different cultures that were created.
Dr. Mshai Mwangola insisted that conversations need to be heard about the real issues that each group faces because all blacks and Africans have different experiences that need to be looked at in order to actually bring unity among both parties. The conference attracted African-American delegates from Chicago, Illinois, students from different universities in Kenya, and other members of the public.
Above: Daystar Leadership & Professional Development Institute Director Prof. Abraham Waithima (left) awards Bengo Otieno with a certificate of participation after completing the Graphics Design & Media Production course
The Daystar Leadership and Professional Development Institute (DLPDI) graduated 20 participants in two short course programmes on 31st May 2017 at the Valley Road Campus. The Graphic Design and Media Production programme graduated 11 participants while Youth Entrepreneurship course graduated nine. The four week intensive courses ran concurrently between April and May.
The introduction of the Graphic Design and Media Production was necessitated by the drive in technological advancement and changing dynamism in advertising, music, as well as the film industry. The highly practical course covered Adobe Suite packages such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Illustrator. The 11 students were evaluated on their final design project submissions.
On the other hand, the Youth Entrepreneurship course on its second ran was geared toward empowering the youth through entrepreneurship and covered the fundamentals of entrepreneurship including financial management, business planning and turning passion into viable businesses.
Starting Tuesday 20th June 2017, the DLPDI will be offering a Diploma in Theology for Ministry that aims at equipping professionals who serve in the ministry with basic theology that will enhance their ministry effectiveness both in church as well as enabling them to carry out evangelism and discipleship in the market place. See press and posters for details. For inquiries about the program write to: firstname.lastname@example.org