The questions were many but the answers were few: Can another newspaper succeed in an already saturated community? What do you plan to bring to the table? Have you thought about venturing into other areas of communication? When I met with community leaders, pastors, entrepreneurs, friends and critics about the vision of yet another newspaper, they asked those instructive and incisive questions.
My reply was simple and direct. The newspaper business is one of the few things I know how to do. It is a calling. Yes, the field does appear to be saturated and challenging, but our strategy is simple and effective. The Chicago Inquirer will inform, educate and entertain the New Americans. We will discuss in details the issues that matter to our target audience and explore those areas that will never make the front pages of traditional media. Moreover, we will do this with passion and commitment. The intention of The Chicago Inquirer is to relay your plight and celebrate your successes to the world while complementing what others are doing in order to foster your connection with society. We also hope to gradually decrease in the New Americans any feelings of ostracism from the scheme of things by increasing others’ knowledge and understanding of our culture and values.
The challenges we all face as a group will be discussed – be it immigration challenges as highlighted today or the challenges of job opportunities and empowerment. The Chicago Inquirer intends to focus on all of those topics and more with consistency. We consider it a responsibility to examine the various opportunities available in the God’s own land and inform our people how to secure them.
Truth will be a burden and a guarding value here. We will also make our leaders accountable to our communities. We will attempt to bridge the information gap that leaves many of us stranded and overwhelmed by the demands of the society. This is the vision for the Chicago Inquirer.
However, we take this opportunity to laud the efforts of those before us for a job well done. We appreciate the efforts and foresight of the publisher of African Voice, Mr. Femi Odere for serving as the melting point to the African communities over the past 10 years. We are anxiously waiting for the birth of Esteem.The same goes to the publisher of African Spectrum, Mr. Berko Akoto Owusu, a.k.a The journalist, and Mr. Olakunle Olowa of the Telegram. Respect also goes to your buddy Dr. Bakare of the US-Africa Globe. I also commend the efforts of Andrew Ekperi of Afrique newsmagazine, the Wispers publishers and other news and entertainment media across the Western Hemisphere.
Our intention is to complement your efforts and take New American newspapers to the next level. We all need to be on equal pedestals with the major media outlet across the nation. It is high time we start meeting regularly to form a united front and force for the new Americans in the Chicago land area and Northwest Indiana. We need a strong and united voice.
Howdy, a bi-weekly newspaper debuts today by the title Chicago Inquirer. Its birth is a dream come true and a testimony to your prayers that first generation immigrants here should start floating their own businesses.
The idea to introduce a newspaper that would portray our true identities instead of the negative perception hounded on us from time immemorial started long before I joined the Times of Northwest Indiana in 1999 and later, the 98-year-old Chicago Defender in April of 2000.
However, at a stage, procrastination sets in, especially when plans were not working out as projected. And I know right from my high school days at Notre Dame that procrastination kills dreams.
Money played a major factor in the slow launch of this publication. Although some would say it’s better late than never, I take solace in God’s perfect timing. He ensures that all things worketh for the goodness of those who are called according to his purpose. With Him all things are possible. As such, I give God the glory for keeping my dreams alive in spite of the southward trend of the economy and its vicious effect on entrepreneurs and for granting me the opportunity to live my dreams.
I would also like to use this opportunity to express my infinite appreciation to my wife Olayinka Omoremi. My loving wife is a pillar of support and encouragement despite the inherent hardships that accompany entrepreneurship. Thank you my loving wife – for you strength when things are difficult and your selflessness in sharing my attention with my dream.
Also is Abimbola Adeleke who has been resolute in his words and actions for the success of the project. Thanks for your encouragement and valuable advice. My thanks also goes to Bayo Anthony Olona, a real estate broker in Olympia Fields; Oluwatoyin Olonilua, Pastor Oliver Akano of All Nations Assembly, a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Talabi of CHECH Pastor Dasilva of Mountain on Fire ministries and Babatope Michael Adeleke of Indiana .
I’ve known Olona since 1984 when he was a freshman in college. The imprint of his late father was all over him as a shrewd businessman even during the first year in college. I have many reasons to be grateful for him.
First, when I was overwhelmed by the challlenges of settling down in this country in 1994, he took charge. When the burning desire to start this newspaper heightened, I consulted him again. Bayo willingly and excitedly offered tips and advice on how to bring this dream into reality. He took me around his LTL Anexx office complex in Matteson and later Olympia Fields where 27 brokers currently work to cement those soothing words of encouragement.
Prince Babatope Michael Adeleke, a childhood friend and president of Rehoboth Rehabilitation Center in Merrillville is another good friend. A friend in need is a friend in deed. I deeply appreciate your prayers and contributions to the birth of this lofty project. God will continue to strengthen you and your family.
Fire-brand Oliver Akano is a pastor’s pastor. His integrity and love for God is unquestionable. I appreciate your concern, advise, faith and prayers for the success of this publication. After a visit to Pastor Oliver, I felt energized and hopeful again that all will be well. Until then, I had succeeded in concealing my worries, distress and discouragement from my friends and buddies. The spirit of God will not depart from your house. He will enlarge your coast and the entire member of your family and church.
The same goes to Pastor Talabi of Christ Healing Evangelical Church (CHECH) and Pastor Dasilva. Until I opened-up to him about the project, Pastor Talabi couldn’t fathom why I needed his attention which is understandable because we probably haven’t met until then. Except on one occasion when I accompanied Pastor Adebayo Adewole of Jesus House Chicago (JHC) to his church’s anniversary celebration in 1999, I haven’t been to CHECH.
Despite all that, he received me with open arms as I explained the vision of The Chicago Inquirer to him. His vast knowledge about the media tickled me. He prayed for the newspaper and offered soothing words of encouragement. This spurred me to forge forward without looking back.
Pastor Dasilva, a retired military officer in Nigeria army, was down to earth. Like a soldier, there is no point agonizing over the day-to-day setbacks. It will always come. The only way out is to seek the face of the Lord as you forge forward and do the best you can under the circumstances.
My appreciation also goes the Men of Vision group at Jesus House Chicago (J.H.C). Brother Abiodun Johnson offered personal support and invaluable information. Pastor Funmi Adewole is another inspiration to the realization of this dream.
Also appreciated is Olukayode Shodipe, the Burr Ridge based immigration attorney. He arrived here in 1980 without a degree but weathered all limitations to earn his first and second degree. Yet, he still couldn’t secure a job. Unperturbed, he returned to the Ivory Towers to study law and established a successful law office in Burr Ridge. Your story is an inspiration to me and many up-coming youngsters of our time.
Many would have taken to illegal trades. I salute your courage and determination. I also appreciate others who I cannot mention here because of space and deadline pressure. The time and space will be available in the nearest future to highlight your assistance to the realization of this dream. To God be the glory.