It has been said "the pen is mightier than the sword". We know that the warrior who uses the sword is strong and can fight many battles in one lifetime, but there will come a time when the warrior is defeated and can fight no more. The warrior whose weapon is the pen is truly mighty, as one's words can educate and inspire beyond our time on earth. In truth, the writer fights for eternity, their words become food for the beautiful ones who are not yet born.
Njoya used his pen like a warrior to cut through walls of stereotypes, hypocrisy and misconceptions. His words create breathtaking landscapes inside your mind. When you read Njoya's words, you are sitting in the front seat watching his film, but you feel like the leading actor.
Over a six-month period, Njoya walked, talked, ate and slept the life of an African in a rural setting. His mission was to share the skills he had acquired through his IT studies in the UK and at the same time learn as much as he could about his African heritage. He wanted to make sense of the complex identity of a young man born in Britain of Jamaican parentage but, whose ancestors were born in Africa . Njoya was a pan-Africanist who understood the journey of Africans in the Diaspora, but he wanted to taste the reality of this philosophy first hand.
In the year 2002 at the humble age of 25, Njoya decided to go on a soul-searching journey to the land of his forefathers, Africa . His focused on the region of West Africa , taking in the culture and traditions.
During his time in Africa , Njoya constantly documented his travels and many adventures. He started emailing his family and friends with the latest news and dramas that had occurred. These emails were deeply moving, inspirational and sometimes damn right hilarious. It was through these writings that Njoya's gift for writing became evident. Encouraged by his family and friends, he decided to put these memories into a book
'Wake up and Smell the Fufu' was born. Click here for an extract of the book.
The Njoya Foundation believe that this young man's account of his journey, trials and tribulations will resonate not only with Africans in the Diaspora, but with any human being who has asked themselves that classic question, "Who am I?" but don't just take our word for it.. Click here for reviews of the book.
We look forward to seeing you at the book launch. If, however, you are unable to come to the launch, you can pre order a copy of the book by clicking on the Paypal icon below. It will be available from 09/07/07 via all good book stores and you should also be able to order it through your library.
Book details: ‘Wake Up and Smell the Fufu' by Christian Njoya Diawara Small – ISBN 978-0-9542492-2-9
Oriki Young Cultural Creators
Spring, the Black Cultural Archives (BCA) partnered with the Njoya
Foundation, Lambeth Libraries and MLA London's initiative Young
Cultural Creators to deliver a creative heritage programme for school
children based within Lambeth.
Sixty school children have worked
with Lambeth-based artist Beyonder over the past three months to
interpret and represent stories of migration to the UK. The children
took inspiration from their visits to libraries within Lambeth and
the Oriki: A Celebration of African Art & Culture exhibition
at the BCA's gallery in Kennington, South London.
Life histories and narratives of Africa
were presented to the children through intergenerational sessions
with Gisella Asante, Daniel Addo and James Barnor. The children
were also inspired by Royal College of Art graduate Kwayie Kuffour
and his photography featured within the Oriki exhibition.
(from right to left) Beyonder with Oriki Young Cultural Creators
inspirational guests James Barnor and Kwayie Kuffour (Oriki Artist).
The participating children aged 9
to 12 years old from St Anne's Primary School in Vauxhall and Lilian
Baylis Technology School in Kennington will enjoy a celebratory
event at the Royal College of Art on Tuesday 4th July where they
will showcase their work. The Njoya Foundation's Sheila Henry and
Tameka Small will address the children at the Oriki Young Cultural
Creators finale event where the children will each be presented
with a 'This Man of Great Spirit' poetry book.
Children from St Anne's Primary School learn about aspects of African
culture at the Black Cultural Archives.
For further information about the
Black Cultural Archives' Oriki season visit www.bcaheritage.org.uk/oriki/
our first newsletter in May 2006, we have received a number of enquiries
about how people can help the Foundation. We are really grateful
for the support and would like to announce that they will be available
to buy at the memorial event on 7th July at Walthamstow Assembly
range from small to extra large and are priced at £10. All
of the money from the sale of the t-shirts will go towards the work
of the Foundation and apart from looking good, they are also a good
way for all of our supporters to raise awareness of the Foundation.
of Njoya's Life
In planning the funeral for Njoya, it soon
became clear that to truly pay tribute to his life we would have
to provide the opportunity for the community to know just what an
exceptional character Njoya was. It was for this reason on 5th August
2005, the day of Njoya's funeral, that we also held a tribute of
performers celebrating his life.
The day itself was an amazing journey of sadness and joy as creative
friends, ranging from poets to singers paid their tributes to Njoya
each in their own uniquely gifted way.
Attendees heard extracts from
Njoya's book entitled 'Wake up and Smell the FuFu'.
The book details Njoya's journey of self discovery to Africa, which
lead to his name change.
Njoya was astute with words.
He knew that whether spoken or written they are equal in power.
He used this power to convey wisdom far beyond his physical age.
To honour his talent, the Njoya Foundation
is publishing a book of poems in memory of a brilliant young man
who was not afraid to let his light shine.
We believe poetry is a fitting medium to express to the World, who
Njoya Diawara-Small was, the impact he had and is still having in
many people's lives today.
The collection of poems
is now available for sale. Please e-mail