The Uzo Method Project in Nigeria

I (Uzo) have been in Africa for the past few months traveling through cities and countries  surveying the region for possible social and economic development opportunities. While in Enugu visiting my parents, every morning, I jog around the infamous Okpara Square in Independence Layout.

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To my pleasant surprise, there is a large number of people who come out to exercise. The park is closed to the public however, the people have been resilient through police raids, arrests, tear gas pollution and other attempts to remove them from public property. The motivated locals set up as early as 6am daily on side walks to conduct their fitness business.

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Rad Jogging club that uses live instruments as a “pod piper” to draw people in to jog with them 

They even use gravel filled recycled water bottles for weights and prayer mats for floor work. I approached Emeka, one of the fitness coaches and asked if he would be willing to share his group with me. I explained that I have numerous years of group fitness experience and would love to volunteer my time supporting motivated people in my hometown. He agreed to test it out. It has been 6 weeks now and the participants are enjoying themselves.

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Fitness Coach Emeka

One participant stated “I was attracted to this group because I have not yet seen a female coach around here”. This was exciting for me to see and observe her feedback. She was right. There were many independent groups (mostly women participants) led by men who they call sports coach but no female instructor in sight.

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The amazing team ” Rockstars” that allowed me to crash their training session 

We meet daily at 6:30am for an hour using AFAA standards. The format that I use is as follows

  • Warm up and stretch
  • Low impact, low intensity exercises
  • Low impact, high intensity exercises
  • High impact, high intensity exercises
  • High Impact, low intensity exercises
  • Low impact, low intensity exercises
  • Weight training and Floor Work
  • Cool down and stretch

The participants are also connected via the app “Whatsaap” to remind their friends to attend or to update the team on their progress.

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This positive experience with Enugutians has inspired me to move forward with my dream of expanding the Uzo Method Project into Africa.

I have been thinking about this for a while and I have decided to move forward with this burning desire.

The Uzo Method Project Nigeria 

Vision 

To promote wellness and prevent illness from a human ecology perspective. 

Mission

To create the opportunity for education using the appropriate knowledge and skills necessary to stay healthy in the mind, body and spirit.

This project in the Nigerian region will focus on wellbeing using fitness, nutrition, the arts, indigenous practices and economic sustainability practices. We need to work at wellbeing at the individual, family, community and societal level. It takes the individual to spark the change needed but the environment has to be conducive and supportive to thrive.

If you are interested in becoming a part of this process, please contact Uzo at nwankpa@gmail.com for more details.

 

I am Here, We are Here- A Community performance by the 2015 Caroline Plummer Fellow

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I am Here, We are Here – A performance by the 2015 Caroline Plummer Community Dance Fellow Uzo Nwankpa and the Dunedin community members. Directed by Jessica Paipeta Latton.

When: Wed 25 Nov 2015, 5:30pm–6:30pm

Where: Allen Hall Theatre, 90 Union Street East, Dunedin

Tickets : http://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2015/i-am-here-we-are-here/dunedin

Bringing African music and dance as mental, spiritual and physical medicine for wellbeing, Uzo Nwankpa works with community members to tackle the grief of postnatal isolation, depression and anxiety due to hormone changes and lack of support. With live music, text and choreography, I am Here, We are Here, is a tribal celebration of the power of motherhood, sisterhood, dance and community. Limited seating available. RSVP immediately by reserving a free ticket http://www.eventfinda.co.nz/2015/i-am-here-we-are-here/dunedin

This is a part of the Moving Communities Conference on 25-28 November 2015 hosted by the School of Physical Education, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. For more information about the conference, visit www.otago.ac.nz/moving-communities/index.html

Bollywood with Kiran & African Inspired movements with guest artist Uzo

Kiran and Uzo are doing it again. There is an undeniable synergy between both of their styles of movement.

If you have not checked out Kiran, you are in for a treat. She brings her charisma,knowledge and skills into fostering a loving, safe and energizing environment at her classes.

Check her out at http://kirane.yolasite.com/

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Uzo wll be teaching contemporary African inspired movements to the class. We will be working on Coupe Decale, Soukouss, Azonto and Afro Pop moves.

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Come out and dance with us.

Monday Dec 9th @ 5:15pm

3838 E. Fort Lowell Rd, #2,
Tucson, AZ 85716-1731

(Ft. Lowell and Alvernon, next to Rendez-vous Restaurant)

See you there:)