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Article 18

DOES OUR CHOICE OF LEADERS FOR OUR MOVEMENT MATTER?

Men of Mighty Western Region,

 

My warmest regards to all man standing who are poised to take out Mighty Western Region and NBM of Africa to the next level. Much respect and I remain your loyal servant.


I ask our conscience today, Does our choice of leaders for our movement matter? If we all want a better and marketable NBM, then we must choose and VOTE right.

 

As great men of the "Mighty" Western Region, blessed with men of great ideal and vision of our fraternity, We must continue to produce courageous, intelligent, and dedicated leadership.

 

In this tense period of transition, in this period of social change, we need, one of the great needs of the hour is for leaders who are both calm and positive, leaders who avoid the extremes of hot-headedness. Leaders who somehow analyze the issues and press on with a vision determined not to stop but with wise restraint. Leaders not in love with publicity, but in humanity, leaders not in love with money but in love with justice, leaders who can subject their particular egos to the greatness of the cause.

God give us leaders.

 

A time like this demands great leaders.

 

Leaders whom the lust of office cannot kill;

 

Leaders whom the spoils of life cannot buy;

 

Leaders who have honor, leaders who will not lie;

 

Leaders who can stand before a demagogue and damn his treacherous flatteries without winking.

 

Tall leaders, sun-crowned, who live above the fog in public duty and private thinking.

 

My brothers, this is one of great needs of the hour. I call upon you in this "Mighty" Western Region to continue to produce those leaders. We need them all over the nation and throughout NBM worldwide from National, Regional, And Zonal levels. God has richly blessed you in many areas, such as academic achievement, economic attainment leaders hi empowerment and business acumen.

 

I say to you that you would deceive God and all of your brothers if in the midst of all this you refuse to pour back into the world and into the community and make a lead in the area of civil rights. This is the challenge before us. I call on you "Mighty" Western Region, to be the leader in the area of civil right, because you have all the resources and everything that it takes.

 

I close by saying there is nothing greater in all the world than freedom of choosing the right leaders. It's worth going to jail for. It's worth loosing a job for. It's worth dying for. My brothers search your conscience and choose RIGHT and VOTE right.

 

 

 

Fraternally,

 

 

Gerald Azonobo

President Western Region

NBM of Africa

Your Role As An Axe Man..!!

 

 

 

Your initiation period is a time to determine your interest in committing yourself to the Cardinal Principles of NBM of Africa. As a black lord, you will be expected to demonstrate this commitment daily. While your chapter (region, zone, subzone or forum) will identify specific responsibilities to maintain your active membership, here are general duties:

 

•   Attend all chapter meetings.

•   Participate in as many service projects as possible.

•   Serve on at least one chapter committee.

•   Serve as a chapter officer or project leader.

•   Attend at least one regional summit or conference.

•   Attend the yearly National Convention.

 

•   Pay all financial obligations promptly.

•   Recruit at least one new member to replace yourself each year.

•   Contribute your ideas and preferences to the service committee and other chapter programs.

 

 

 

If all these can be met, bear it in mind that it will help build your chapter and makes it an active chapter standing out as a model of the principles of NBM. As a Black Lord you are that example. Part of setting this example is to ensure that your chapter meets its obligations to the Fraternity. Every chapter is required to do the following:

 

•   Annually pay their annual National Convention Dues

 

•   Be well represented at the annual National Convention

 

•   Present qualified and credible persons for new membership intake session at the annual National Convention.

 

•   In addition, every chapter should carry out the National Programs aside the Chapter Program and conduct a Chapter Assessment and Planning Session annually.

 

 

Fraternally,

 

Gerald Azonobo

President, Western Region

NBM of Africa

"Do Unto Brothers as you would have them do unto you"

 

As part our Reclamation and Retention Campaign by the Western Region, this message is posted to encourage Brothers to “Do Unto Brothers, as you would have them do unto you.”

 

Far too frequently in our reclamation conversations it is concluded that we lose Brothers due to inconsiderate and inconsistent behavior within “The House.” Brothers frequently speak of times when they are in need and seek aid from within the Brotherhood, and unfortunately Brothers are slothful in their response or not responsive at all.

Brothers we must understand being a Brother takes effort. It requires thoughtful consideration to the needs of those within “The House” and looking upon those needs, as we would our own. There are those who are looking for jobs, housing, transitioning from college to alumni life and doing it all on their own. Unfortunately, all of these situations may cause Brothers to become detached – and when a Brother struggles in isolation to meet life’s needs, the fraternal bond weakens.

 

If “Us, We, Ours, Together” no longer makes a viable impact, then the “I, Me, Mine ” mentality thrives. Brothers it is incumbent upon all of us to “Do unto Brothers, as you would have them do unto you.” If you can find time to call when you are in need, find time to call when you are not. If you can request money, find ways to assist in earning money or aiding in the reduction of expenses. If you can request service, then be of service.

 

You are encouraged to make that next step in our NBM 360 degree turn around development and always “Do Unto Brothers, as you would have them do unto you.”

 

 

 

Long Live NBM of Africa!

 

Fraternally,

 

 

Gerald Azonobo

President, Western Region

NBM of Africa

 

 

 

 

 

BROTHERHOOD IN CRISIS…

 

The “True Spirit” of the Fraternity, once a glowing flame generated by the Light of a True Axe Man, is now a flickering light destined to die if not fueled with purposeful Redirection and Rededication. The one time epilogue: “Social Justice & Equality For All” is no longer applicable in today’s competitive society. We, as Axe Men, cannot live in the past, nor can we claim the accomplishments of those who have paved our way unless we are leaving a legacy for those who are to follow. Though our lineage is long and our blood lines are pure, surely the fact that WE EXIST is no reason for us to continue to exist. For the young shall inherit it all, provided there is a legacy on which to build. And, provided there is guidance as well as a worth-while tradition. They will carry the Banners of NBM-dom to the far reaches of all the universe- and men shall sing our praises throughout all times.

 

We must first analyse ourselves and our goals and redirect our every effort towards rededication to the precepts that were taught us as Axe Men and to the values instilled in us Axe Men during our college years.

 

In carrying out functions and programs at the Zonal, Regional and National Level, there are always a few who will remember. There are none who can clearly say why communication, understanding and cooperation are so poor, in spite of the fact that there is an exchange between Sub-Zones, Zones and Regions on an individual basis. And we should bear in mind that we all have social obligation to meet, thus it can never be a success without the full participation and planning of all the brothers.

 

There is too little effort towards communicating with all brothers in our respective geographical area. And, too little interest in the personal goals and individual desires of brothers active in the fraternity and of those looking for a Zone that radiates the familiar fraternalism they once had. None of us get a fair return on our investment in the fraternity except possibly at a national convention- and then only if they are part of the central core of the national organization. During meetings back in the days of college and the circumstances connected therewith- if you’ll reflect for a moment- you had fraternity brothers who were your friends. As one matures and affiliates with a Zone, more and more the realization is illuminated- all that is left is fraternity, for the closeness is lost.

 

We must rededicate ourselves to capturing the “True Spirit” of the Fraternity- whereby we communicate our goodwill towards all brothers of NBM and our willingness to offer our time and effort in helping them to reach their maximum potential. Thus, we will build a legacy and strengthen the life blood of our house. We must form a liaison and chain of command that will trickle down from the national body,through the region, zones, sub zones and the forums so that our programs can be coordinated without being duplicated. And so that we might make a joint effort, thus insuring that all our endeavors are successful. Furthermore, we must remember that the roots of NBM are deeply embedded in the pockets of foras scattered all over. Without them, we shall surely die. Then who shall sing our praises? A concerted efforts should be made to achieving our goals.

 

Fraternally,

 

Gerald Azonobo

President, Western Region

NBM of Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

'NBM’s core strength lies in its bond of Brotherhood'

 

What is Neo-Black Movement of Africa “NBM of Africa” and what does it mean to me?

 

The question prompted such a multi-faceted response that I had to offer my apology to the questioner as I started and stopped and started again to capture the entirety of my thoughts.

 

Every NBM man will understand and be able to relate to precisely the conundrum this presents.

 

The best way to start is to share the summary of the mission of NBM: “NBM of Africa develops leaders, promotes brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities.

 

With that mission statement as a backdrop, it’s appropriate to say that much of what NBM is really about is what NBM DOES, and it is what NBM DOES that matters most. It’s about the work being done by brothers in Sub Zones, Zones, and Regions all across the globe and at the National level.

 

For our survival as a great movement it is about the very specific and intentional work we are doing all year long.

 

It’s about the nearly 100 young graduate members that we mentor each year as part of our NBM Mentoring Initiative in more than 70 group mentoring sessions a year visiting topics ranging from dressing for success, to financial literacy, Career awareness and leadership qualities.

 

It’s about registering voters, including over 150 seniors in high schools within our regions.

 

It’s about greeting local elementary school students at 7 a.m. in the morning with handshakes, high fives, hugs, and words of encouragement as they begin their day.

 

It’s about providing scholarships to graduating seniors who are part of our Mentoring Initiative.

 

It’s about helping to feed and clothe the homeless.

 

It’s about conducting public seminars for non-custodial fathers.

 

It should also be said that the very essence of what it means to be an Axe Man requires every NBM Man to be mindful to focus on using language that represents not first person singular (I, me, my, mine), but rather first person plural (we, us, ours) language.

 

The reason is simple: NBM’s core strength lies in its bond of Brotherhood.

 

Brotherhood for Axe Men is the well-spring from which we draw the strength to do execute our mission while simultaneously being strong men for our families and meaningful contributors to society.

 

This same sense of brotherhood that strengthened our visionary founders more than three decades ago fuels every NBM man today.

 

Brotherhood does not presume that there is singularity of opinions or thought; some of the most vigorous debates I’ve been part of have been with my brothers. It is, though, this sense of brotherhood that allows us, even given our often significantly disparate positions, to part ways as friends.

 

It is an unfortunate truth that the works of NBM at all levels goes largely unreported.

 

Perhaps it is because we don’t produce press releases and send up social media flares heralding and touting the work that we do. Perhaps it is because what we do is news that is not seen as sensational enough to help sell ad space or commercial time.

 

The fact is that it really matters not. It matters not because NBM men do this work not for acclaim or glory, but because it is what we are called to do.

 

So the teary eyes of a mother who tells us that we changed her son’s life is good enough. A non-custodial father who tells us that he is going to double his efforts to connect with his children is enough. The high school senior who beams with pride because she has just become a registered voter is enough. The man who lives on the street who is given some semblance of hope because he knows he has not been forgotten about is enough.

 

These confirmations are enough to the NBM Man because we know that for more than 38 years, we have changed our world one child, one parent, one school, one voter, one community, one court case, one piece of legislation, one life at a time.

 

The reason is simple: NBM of Africa develops leaders, promotes brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities. That is who NBM is. That is what NBM does.

 

"I am My Brother’s Keeper"

 

Fraternally,

 

Fraternally,

 

 

Gerald Azonobo

President, Western Region

NBM of Africa