Why Unispora Worldwide?
Unispora (Uni-one, spora- seed sown) is a combination of unity and diaspora that aims to unite Diasporas around the world by sharing the narratives of immigrants, children of immigrants and their descendants. I want people to feel open to express their hybrid lives and get a glimpse of the lives of multicultural people around the world that they do not usually interact with on a daily basis. Rather than the constant country, regional or local limitations, we will be able to virtually travel the world to expand our knowledge of other cultures with immigrants and their children as the vessels of knowledge.
Unispora is the product of the accumulation of experiences in my own life that I needed to undergo to understand myself and the world around me. My parents' made sure to instil strong Ngwa, Igbo, and Nigerian identities in their children. But entering undergrad at Rutgers University is when I started to put everything into context. This is when I was first introduced to the word “Diaspora” and I realized I found myself in this intangible world, a world of hybridity. That’s when I realized I was an U.S.-Born Nigerian or Nigerian-American, fully one and fully the other. And many of my friends were like me! Dominican-American, Korean-American, Polish-America and the list goes on! After coming to this conclusion, I began to view the world through this lens.
The global emphasis of this website is rooted from two international encounters while living abroad in South Africa and Britain. During my third year of my undergrad, I studied abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa where I first interacted with the immense African migrant populations in Cape Town (Unispora!). I met people part of the Nigerian, Ghanaian, Kenyan, Zimbabwean, Chinese Diasporas and more! It enforced a sense of global connections, a global community. They were like me! I experience new Diasporas of Africans within Africa.
Studying in the UK solidified the need for Unispora. Although I was aware of the large migrant population, living there confirmed it. But this time I met new Diasporas such as Chinese-Malays or Taiwanese-Australians due to the immense amount of international graduate students at the University of Cambridge. So I not only got to know the Diasporas in Britain but also Diasporas in their countries of migration prior to coming to Britain. The aim is to show the world that we are not from one place but individuals with international lives and testimonies. It will be a way to increase knowledge of diverse cultures and show that there is unity in our differences. Although we are all dispersed around the globe, the website bring us together and sew us into one seed through our share stories of migration and hydridity, home, and identity.
- Chinwe Oriji