About Boma Brown

11:47:00 AM Tonye Brown 0 Comments

'Boma' means 'blessing' in Kalabari. Kalabari is the language spoken by my dad's ethnic group. My ancestors are the Niger Delta peoples of Nigeria. My name, the Niger Delta, and Nigeria more broadly are important parts of my identity.

When I think of the Niger Delta, I think of fish, water, and crude oil. Crude oil from our land has unfortunately been the backbone of the Nigerian economy since it was discovered in 1956. Oil exploration has come at a huge cost to the people of the region. Fishing, farming, and life in general has been negatively affected.

I'm the first daughter of four children, and the Igbo word for first daughter is 'Ada'. The first daughter traditionally has many responsibilities in Igboland, in the immediate and extended family. I love the recognition and growing up, I understood my role as Ada to mean having a close bond with my mom and being her "eyes and ears" at home. This basically means I told on my siblings all the time. No regrets :)

When I'm not rambling here, I'm probably cooking parboiled white rice (read more), old school style - in a pot. Or frying plantains, or making some garri and okra soup. I also love cooking a spicy chicken broth for my friends. The smell of white rice cooking is one of my favorite smells on earth. 

I have lived in Nigeria, Botswana, the United States, and Canada (since 2011). I graduated from the University of Victoria with an Economics degree. I had a phenomenal time as a student! While at UVic, I was actively involved with the Student Ambassadors (In 2011, I created the hugely successful puppy playtime that's still happening), and coordinated the African & Caribbean Students' Association, the Students of Colour Collective and the Food Bank respectively.

I currently work as the Director of Internal Affairs for the Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group (VIPIRG). I'm also the founder of the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour (SNIWWOC).  SNIWWOC is a non-profit organization that uses food, art, and education to explore reproductive justice. When I'm not working with either organization, I am managing my small local service business.

I am blessed to have so many loved ones that help me think and talk about things important to me: race, gender, entrepreneurship, Afrofeminism, reproductive justice, poverty, and immigration. And TV shows, pop culture, country music, fitness, yoga, and Westlife too. Thank you all so much.

Note: The *many* views shared here are mine and do not reflect those of VIPIRG or SNIWWOC.