ROLE MODEL OF THE WEEK – ZIRI DAFRANCHI

Ziri was born during the Nigerian-Biafran war to parents of Igbo origin in today’s south-eastern Nigeria. His parents named him Chikeziri (which literally translates to “God created well”), a prophetic and unique name coined by his father who rejected the more common version “Chikezie” (which more or less was a prayer for God to make good the life of the bearer of the name), because, as he put it, “God has already created him very well.” He was also given an equally prophetic and unique second name, Chiwetaudo (literally, “God bring peace”), his father’s prayer for peace in the war-torn country. God answered. The war ended on January 15, 1970, four months and six days after Chiwetaudo was born.

The prophetic and historic which underlay his birth and childhood remained an integral part of Ziri’s life as he grew up. His primary education took him away from his home in the south-east to the historic Boussa (or Bussa) in north-central Nigeria, the location of the famous Kainji Dam. He eventually attended one of the “Unity Schools”, in Minna, established in every state of the country after the war with the objective of fostering peace and reconciliation throughout the country. He returned to the south-east for his undergraduate studies after which he relocated to the south-west, in the historic city of Ibadan, for the mandatory national service, thus traversing the north and south of Nigeria.

For several years, he lived and worked in Nigeria working in professional accountancy, with Coopers and Lybrand (now part of PwC), business administration and management, and banking and finance before the hand of fate migrated him out from the African shores into Europe, in the United Kingdom where he now resides.
Although deeply philosophical by nature, and often inspired to put his thoughts down in writing, he never had thought of himself as a writer, at least not in a professional sense. That was until a series of supernatural events in his adult life catapulted him into writing leading to his first published book Life: A Mystery Solved (WestBow Press; June 2016). His other works include a revised and updated edition of Life: A Mystery Solved, Being Black: Rediscovering A Lost Identity, and Pagan World: Deception And Falsehood In Religion. As he ventured further into writing, the poet in him would subsequently be unveiled. He writes from his heart driven by inspiration, originality, and authenticity. And aims to inform, inspire, and motivate. One of his favourite maxims is “What will be will be.” Another is “Make the most of now.” Both are truths which largely underlie his general conduct.

From drinking two glasses of water first thing after waking up each morning, no matter the season; doing stretches, sit-ups and push-ups regularly; to going for frequent walks whenever the opportunity presents itself, his passion for a healthy lifestyle is above average. He is also an enthusiastic long distance runner, the self-titled The Running Man. His other hobbies include travelling and photography.
Ziri is family-oriented and prefers to keep his family affairs private.

About TONY TOKUNBO ETEKA FERNANDEZ

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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