Introducing Abi Ishola In “Enter West Africa” Series By CUNY TV

**Update** The air dates for Enter West Africa have changed. EWA will now air as a 2-part special, one on Ghana, one on Nigeria. EWA Ghana will air March 14 on Channel 75 in New York. EWA Nigeria will air March 21st. If you’re not in New York, you ca view both parts once they’re posted online at www.aishola.com/enterwestafrica.

Abi Ishola, multimedia reporter and producer for CUNY TV’s Independent Sources traveled to Nigeria and Ghana, two of West Africa’s emerging economies, to explore some of the hurdles the area faces as it continues to advance. In a 5-part series titled Enter West Africa, Ishola reports on Ghana’s collapsing textile industry due to cheap pirated printed cloths from China and used clothes from Europe and America; Nigeria’s ballooning population of orphans and vulnerable children; the importance of beads in Ghanaian society; and she profiles a Nigerian businessman who is struggling to get Nigerian girls to play with dolls made in their likeness.

The air dates for Enter West Africa have changed. EWA will now air as a 2-part special, one on Ghana, one on Nigeria. EWA Ghana will air March 14 on Channel 75 in New York. EWA Nigeria will air March 21st. If you’re not in New York, you ca view both parts once they’re posted online at www.aishola.com/enterwestafrica. The series will also be posted via Youtube and Blip TV on www.cuny.tv and www.aishola.com/Enterwestafrica. Each segment will air in the following order over the course of 4 weeks:

Some of the stories include:
“Pirated Patterns”
Ghana’s once booming textile industry is on the verge of total collapse. Abi ishola reports on how the 4 remaining factories that manufacture the country’s iconic colorful wax prints are facing unfair competition with cheap pirated cloths being smuggled into Ghana from China.

“White Man’s Deads”
Cheap Chinese imports aren’t the only threat to Ghana’s textile industry. Used clothes shipped to the country from Europe and America have become so popular over the years, the trade has led to the collapse of a large chunk of Ghana’s textile sector. Ghanaians call the second hand clothing Obroni Wewu which means white man’s deads. Abi Ishola visited the largest used clothing market in Accra, Ghana’s capital city, to find out if the country’s second hand clothing trade has been worth the burden.

“Joy’s Children”
There are over 7 million orphans and vulnerable children in Nigeria. In 2004 the country’s president announced a $1.6 billion plan to rectify the problem, but the issue has gone virtually ignored. Abi Ishola reports on how two Nigerian siblings in their early 20s have sacrificed their lives to take care of 38 orphans and foster children.

“A Colorful Beaded History”
Throughout history beads have been to Ghanaians what diamonds are to westerners. They represent wealth and status. Abi reports on Ghana’s history with beads and how the market for them has shifted from elders to young contemporary Ghanaians.

“Brown Skinned Dolls”
Abi profiles Taofick Okoya, a young Nigerian businessman who created a unique line of dolls modeled after Nigerian women. But getting little Nigerian girls to warm up to black dolls wearing traditional Nigerian garb has been an uphill battle.

About Independent Sources
Independent Sources airs every Wednesday at 8:30 PM on CUNY TV, Channel 75 in New York. IS engages journalists from New York’s ethnic and mainstream media in an insightful discussion of stories covered by ethnic newspapers, TV, radio stations, and websites. Each show features an in-depth profile of a news organization or a reporter, along with a news roundup.

About Abi Ishola
Abi Ishola is a multimedia journalist based in New York City. She is currently a Producer for CUNY TV, Channel 75. She is also the Creator and Co-Host of “Culture Shock: Nigerians in America,” a half hour radio show that covers the Nigerian community in America. The show airs in Nigeria on Splash 105.5 FM. Most recently, Abi packed up a camera, tripod, and laptop and traveled to Ghana and Nigeria to film and produce the Enter West Africa series independently.

Abi, whose parents immigrated to the United States from Nigeria over 30 years ago, was born and bred in Miami, Florida. Almost a decade ago, she packed her bags and left her hometown to chase her dream of working in the fashion industry in the Big Apple. In pursuit of that goal, she earned a Bachelors of Science in Advertising and Marketing Communications from The Fashion Institute of Technology.

After freelancing at Glamour and Essence, she caught the bug for journalism and began pitching stories to magazines. Her articles have appeared in Teen Vogue, Essence.com, and Heart & Soul. Not long after, Abi attended the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism where she received a Masters of Arts in Journalism with a focus in arts and culture through television broadcast reporting.

Abi has received several honors for her work as a reporter. In 2009 she co-hosted an award winning studio segment on domestic violence in ethnic communities. The following year she received a Communicator Award as a producer for Independent Sources. Later in 2010 she was selected to Emcee the Africa-America Institute’s 26th annual awards gala.

And here’s the link to Abi’s blog: http://aishola.com/enterwestafrica/?page_id=10

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