Poland’s first black parliamentarian (Episode 44)

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EPISODE 44 features Renaissance people. Here is another one.

We first met many years ago when he visited Toronto – then I interviewed him in Polish for our newspaper “Gazeta” (interview in Polish). I have been following his life and career with great interest ever since.

John Godson 

Godson Chikama Onyekwere was born in Nigeria to an Igbo family. He moved to Poland in 1993, and in 2001 became a Polish citizen. In 2008, he became a member of the Łódź City Council. In 2007, he unsuccessfully ran in the Polish parliamentary election. In 2010, he was re-elected for the City Council with 4736 votes, the second best result out of almost 800 candidates. As former MP Hanna Zdanowska was elected Mayor of Łódź in the same election, Godson replaced her as a member of the Sejm (Polish Parliament). He was sworn in on 14 December 2010.

John Godson often emphasizes the importance of education and he is the holder of numerous academic degrees. He has a bachelor of science degree in agronomy from Abia State University in Nigeria (1987–92). He also holds Masters degrees in Human Resource Management and Development from Trinity College and Seminary in Newburgh, Indiana (2000–03) and International relations from the Łódź Academy of International Studies (2006–08). He finished two doctorate studies at the University of Warsaw (political Science- 2011) and University of Łódź (Management- 2012). He also holds a joint MBA/MSPC (Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Professional Communication) run by Clark University and the Łódź Academy of Management.

John Godson worked as a Research Trainee and later Research Supervisor at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture-IITA Ibadan (1990-1991, 1993); Senior Lecturer-Technical University of Szczecin and Adam Mickiewicz University Poznan, Poland (1993-1998); Actor-Polish Contemporary Theatre (1996-1998), Missionary and Regional Coordinator – International Fellowship of Evangelical Students-IFES (1993-1998), Pastor- Church of God in Christ Poland (1999-2008), President Misja Pielgrzym Polska (1998-date)

John Godson is also a social entrepreneur and has founded several businesses and foundations under the GODSON GROUP (www.johngodson.pl) including Afropoland projects Ltd/Afropoland Consulting (www.afropoland.com), The African Institute (www.ia.org.pl), Partnership for Lodz Foundation (www.dlalodzi.org), Christian Social Movement foundation (www.chrs.pl) and John Godson Foundation (www.johngodson.pl). He has awarded about 120 scholarships to intelligent students from indigent backgrounds in Poland and in Africa.

He is also the convener of the Poland-Africa Economic POLAFRO (www.polafro.com) that takes place in Warsaw and Abuja. He was named by the New African Magazine to be amongst the 100 most influential Africans of 2015. He has been honored with several awards including the gold medal award by the Crans Montana Forum and also the Future Leaders Award. On the 14th of November 2016, The Polish government decorated him with the National Merit Award- BENE MERITO for promoting Polish-Africa relations.

Godson is a former minister of Polish Charismatic “Church of God in Christ”. He is known for his strong religious beliefs. He calls himself “[…] a slave of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the Gospel of God.”

John Godson is married with 4 children (and 2 sons-in-law).

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In 2016 John Godson relocated to Nigeria to supervise the construction and take-off of Pilgrim Ranch., a huge agricultural project. About Pilgrim Ranch.

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POLcast is an English language podcast, a colourful audio magazine delivered directly to your smartphone, computer or tablet. POLcast is created for everybody interested in Poland. If you have a Polish customer, colleague, girlfriend or grandmother - you will hear something helping you to enrich these relations. Each episode brings you interesting interviews, historical facts, trivia and more.

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