The Nigerian community in Oregon and Southwest Washington celebrates Nigeria's 53rd Independence Day on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Matt Dishman Community Center, 77 N. Knott, Portland.
"This event has gone on for several years, just to celebrate the Nigerian Independence," NCOSWA President Vitalis Ogbeama says.
"Because we are in a different land, sometimes we find it difficult to get together exactly on the same day."
Nigeria gained its Independence on Oct. 1, 1960.
Since then, Ogbeama says the nation's government has gone through several transformations, and is currently ruled by a democratically elected government headed by President Goodluck Jonathan.
This celebration will highlight the strength in the diversity of the people of Nigeria and its rich cultural heritage, and celebrate the benefits of democracy to Nigerians, he says.
"We just get together with friends, we invite anybody from state government, from the mayor's office," Ogbeama says. "And we have a lot of cultural entertainment, fashion shows, and of course Nigerian food."
Live music and dancing are also included.
NCOSWA is an association of Nigerians, Nigerian Americans, and Friends of Nigeria. NCOSWA has been active in various humanitarian affairs, including raising funds to support Doernbecher Children's Hospital, the Northwest Medical Teams, Malaria eradication projects in Nigeria, to name a few.
"If you want to see a fashion show of people from different parts of Nigeria – because Nigeria is very diverse," Ogbeama says. "It is one day when we get together as one Nigeria and enjoy ourselves with our American friends."
NCOSWA strives to promote bridge-building between Nigerian immigrants and other Americans in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area.
Donations and contributions at the event and to NCOSWA will qualify as tax deductible contributions.
For further information go to their website, www.ncoswa.org.