African Man Worth Looking Up To:Derrick Ashong

When I wrote about Coach Carol’s book, one of the things that came up was the fact that there aren’t that many people for the African boy-child to look up to and the general lack of support that African boys have from their peers.

Anyway I was browsing around the blogosphere, and while I was checking out Africabeat, I found this Youtube video where this young African man was asked to justify why he supports Obama. I must say, I have been absolutely blown away!

This brother actually made American politics make sense.He actually made me start believing that American politicians can exist for anything other than corporate or self-interest.

Most of all, he moved me. So check him out and let me know what you think and what you know of him.

The fourth video is by Kirk Nugent. Over the course of this blog, I will post up that video A LOT. I don’t think “Pursue your passion” will ever go stale. Do you?

icon for podpress  Derrick Ashong Lecture: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

icon for podpress  Derrick Ashong: Why I Support Obama - The Emotional Response: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

icon for podpress  Derrick Ashong on Barack Obama: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

icon for podpress  Kirk Nugent - Pursue Your Passion: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


  • By gal africana, May 22, 2008 @ 4:02 am

    Derrick is brilliant! I was going to make a flip comment about his cute ears after the first vid lol…and they ARE very cute ears…but what’s between them is brilliant! And a man who makes a point of speaking from his heart and feelings has my vote. HANDS DOWN! Wohooo!

  • By Mwangi, May 22, 2008 @ 4:24 am

    @gal africana: Couldn’t agree more….he mixes the spices of intellect and emotion into this mighty fine stew.
    He has cute ears?! By any chance would you also be attracted to the curvature of his elbows ;) That is a pretty unique one there…..

  • By gal africana, May 22, 2008 @ 9:02 am

    hmmm…no. Not the elbows…not his anyway. I wouldn’t put it past myself to notice those in someone else. But we’ve already ascertained that I’m a little off the scale…so this is expected :-)

    Good thing he knew what he was talking about, I was a little nervous, on his behalf.

  • By Mwangi, May 22, 2008 @ 2:08 pm

    @gal: Yeah, you weren’t quite sure for a minute what was going to happen….reminds me of the song Superstar:

    “If you are what you say you are,
    Then have no fear,
    The camera’s here,”

    He stepped up, he was a superstar.

  • By acolyte, May 22, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

    I think I have too much of an ego or something, there is nobody I look up to. As a kid my “idols” never lasted too long due to my short attention span and the fact I prefer to do things for and by myself.

  • By Mwangi, May 23, 2008 @ 12:08 am

    @acolyte: Interestingly enough, I was also exactly the same. Perhaps the self-reliance came as a result of there not being people for us to look up to when we were younger. No name pops to mind as an inspirer and mentor of the boy child in Africa…so me thinks that its possible that that made those of us who were more assertive and forward thinking self-sufficient and independent in thought and action.

  • By Mo Ma, May 24, 2008 @ 3:28 am

    Hmmm…I don’t know. I feel he has a pretty self-indulgent manner of speaking and the manner in which he related the Scottish teacher anecdote irked me. I’m no PC-freak but that seemed a little too standup. I couldn’t get past that and clicked it off after a few minutes.

    Does he delve deeper in the other videos or are they in the same vein as the first one?

  • By Mwangi, May 24, 2008 @ 3:32 am

    @Mo Ma: The first video is entirely different from the next two…the next two are his ideas and passion for Obama and the final video is by a brother called Kirk Nugent called “Pursue your Passion.”
    The dude is a professional speaker so that may be where you got the stand up vibe from…..??

  • By Mo Ma, May 24, 2008 @ 3:52 am

    I just saw them and I’m impressed! The tone is way different and the flow, enlightening.

    Off to watch the last one!

  • By Mwangi, May 24, 2008 @ 3:54 am

    @Mo Ma: Those videos are what convinced me…though in truth I like em all…I’m actually thinking of becoming a speaker and he is definitely someone I would model should I do so.
    Hope you enjoy Kirk, I first saw that guy last year and was blown away…….

  • By Kirk Nugent, May 31, 2008 @ 3:12 pm

    Thanks for the love guys. I appreciate you posting my video in this wonderful forum. I also have a video (poem) supporting Barack Obama called, ‘No Experience Necessary’ you can find it on my youtube page

    Again, much love and if i can ever be of service please feel free to reach out to me @

  • By Mwangi, June 1, 2008 @ 1:22 am

    @Kirk: WOW! Thank you so much for stopping by. I will go check out that video now. If you ever have a spare moment I would love to interview you. Actually let me head on over to your site and ask you directly.

  • By Ashong, June 19, 2008 @ 1:38 am

    Hi Mwangi,

    Was just Googling for a link and stumbled on your page. Thanks for shouting me out! I agree that African boys need more positive role-models, particularly in the public sphere, and I think that can be easily extrapolated to African girls as well. It is for our generation to change the misperception that Africa somehow equals “less than” and to build a better reality for those of us at home as well as abroad. So thank you for sharing my voice w/ your peoples. I am one of many out to make a difference and clearly so are you. If you ever have any questions about public speaking holla’ at me. You can learn more of what I’m up to on my site below.

    Peace & AFrobeats,

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