- Sharmaine Johnson
AFRICON 2022 Festival was a vibe
The second annual AFRICON 2022 changed the way I define the phrase “For the Culture” forever. AFRICON is a four-day conference sponsored by Amplify Africa that brings together pop culture, music, food, innovation, activism, education & more from the global Black Diaspora. Amplify Africa is a media and entertainment company whose mission is to connect the continent to the Black global experience of African American, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latinx, and Afro-European communities. I had the honor of being in the presence of royalty and history for two of these events so let’s get into the tea!
The first event that I attended was the VIP Africa Day Celebration at the E-Central Hotel in downtown LA. Africa Day aims to celebrate the diversity of the African Continent and the Diaspora through the lens of entertainment, media, technology, and leadership. The event was hosted by Kweku Mandela the grandson of the former South African President and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela, Prince Joel Makonnen-Haile Selassie, and the U.S. Department of state Deniece Laurent-Mantey.
VIP day was lit! It was giving black people living luxury lifestyles and I was definitely here for it. I had the honor of meeting the Princess of Sierra Leone Sarah Culberson and Kweku Mandela, tried African food for the first time, and enjoyed some of the best cultural music and dance that I’ve ever experienced.
Tap in for the TEA-cap of VIP Africa Day: VIP Africa Day TEA-cap w/ Kweku Mandela, Prince Joel Makonnen, and Deniece Laurent-Mantey
Let’s get into event number 2, the Afro Ball Gala. This was an invite-only exclusive gala was held at Capture Studios Penthouse at US Bank Tower and included performances, a silent auction, keynote speakers, speeches, and certificates of recognition by U.S. Congress, The continent is currently undergoing a renaissance of vibrant new music, fashion, art, and political expression, which was recognized throughout the evening . This year’s ball raised funds for IHeartAfrica, a nonprofit organization founded by Chaka Bars, that is working to resettle 100,000 people displaced by a volcanic eruption in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Everyone was serving in cultural clothing and I was stunned as they walked the red carpet and you know i got y'all on the tea! While on the carpet, I got the chance to interview Princess Sarah Culbertson and Kweku Mandela.
Check out the full interviews and TEA-cap of the Afro Ball Gala here: Afro Ball 2022 w/ Kweuku Mandela and Princess Sarah Culberson