Friday, February 13, 2009

The Bosah-man

Today I met with Chinedu Bosah, who I emailed last week after reading a passionately pro-trader article he wrote online. Chinedu works for the Democratic Socialists' Movement here in Nigeria, where he heads up their activism around education rights.

Last week, while attending a teachers' march on the parliament building, Chinedu happened to run into a bunch of vendors who were protesting the rather Kafkaesque demolition of Freedom Market, in a nearby suburb. He went to the market site a couple days later and took some incredible photos of the destruction, which I've posted here.

It was great to talk to someone like Chinedu who cares about these issues and is trying to work on them, however understaffed his office may be. And it was good to see the traders taking action; I know how hard it is to organize street vendors. On the other hand, if 20,000 traders were displaced, that is a pretty paltry showing. Where is the public outrage? Why is this kind of story not being picked up in the international media, as Operation Murambatsvina rightly was?

The vendors are going to back to Parliament on Monday to present their demands. Chinedu invited me to tag along. It should be interesting.


  1. Sean!
    It's great to see that you've been hooking up with like minded individuals . . . I'm curious to see if Chinedu has been involved in gatherings like this one:

    You are the 'international media' . . .

    keep them posts coming,

    "Is it the people or the irresponsible ruling class who have demonstrated their incapacity to industrialize and organize the economy?"

  2. Hey Ali. I knew I would get your attention if I mentioned the socialists! Thanks for the comment and encouragement.

    I'll ask Chinedu about the Social Forum. He did mention that there are a ton of non-profits (NGOs) here in Nigeria but very few of them doing activism for social change.