She is brilliant, talented, and Africa is her best friend. Chikara Iwuagwu performed a powerful spoken word at the 2011 Mbano National Convention in Texas that put the audience in awe and in tears. The first generation Nigerian- American is a graduate of Ramapo College and was second runner up at the 2010 Miss Nigerian Independence Day Parade. With an ambition to open up a chain of health clinics in Nigeria, Chikara is on the rise.
In her spoken word, Chikara declares her love, passion and loyalty for her best friend, Africa, and she invites the whole world to join her in celebrating what she refers to as "The Diamond of the World."
Below is the poem:
I am lucky and blessed to have a wonderful best friend for a large majority of my life.
I consider myself to be a reflection of her; her vivacious personality, numerous triumphs and relentless ambition.
At first our friendship was not stable. My friendship with others conflicted with my loyalty to her.
People would quickly judge me and ruin my character due to my connection with her.
I never understood this. I wondered:
Did they take the time to understand her before taking the time out to stereotype her?
Did they know her trials and tribulations?
Did they know the amount of times she cried for her people and fought to protect her people only to be hurt time and time again by those same people?
It took me years but I finally realized that they ostracized my friend simply because they were afraid of her power.
They knew her worth and wanted to downsize it as much as possible.
But today, and for many years to come, my friend will no longer shy away from the illustrious rays of sunlight God bestowed upon her.
She will repossess the inner light that has been softly glowing in her heart and finally allow it to shine brightly for all to see.
To my friend, Africa, I tell you this:
You are beautiful. Magnificent. Exquisite.
Everyone wants to be you. Everyone wants to be like you.
I look up to you. I marvel at your grace. I marvel at the influence you have upon others.
You must know that people will continue to hurt you and attempt to degrade your honor,
But the positive people surrounding you will obliterate those negatives.
I do not blame you for the times where no one understood me because no one understood you.
I do not blame you for the times I had to repeatedly defend your honor.
I thank you for forcing me to stand up for my roots. I thank you for giving me thick skin.
All thanks to you, I am not ashamed to say that aha m bụ Chikara Ozioma Iwuagwu.
Chikara Ozioma- meaning God said it through the Gospel.
Therefore, everything that leaves my mouth is the truth so please listen closely.
Africa, you are the diamond of the world.
With enough pressure and with enough patience, you will shine again.
This cannot be done overnight. This is an internal process that will begin from the bottom up.
As soon as we remove the cancer that has been growing and metastasizing in your womb,
You will be free of all diseases that have enslaved you for all of these years.
A true friendship permits you to give into it as much as take out of it.
You have given me life, now I want to give you a rebirth.
Africa, I reach out my two hands to you and ask you to grasp them.
Take my hands, and we will begin this journey. It will not be easy, but it must be done.
We will cry together when enemies become vengeful and attempt to deter us from our destination,
I will lift you up, tap into that limitless strength you possess and we will begin to walk again.
I will always believe in you, even when you think everyone is against your rise and planning your fall.
Aunties, uncles, brothers, sisters. I ask that you join us in this journey to restore Africa back to the Africa we used to know and love.
To my Queen, Africa, a hurum gi nanya. I could not imagine life if you were not part of it.
If I have never said it before, I'd like to say it today: thank you.
Sincerely, your bestfriend, Chika.