A Night at the Birthright Africa Inaugural Gala

A Night at the Birthright Africa Inaugural Gala

By

Oct. 1 2021, Published 10:12 p.m. ET

AMERICA TO AFRICA JOURNEY WITH GRAMMY® AWARD-NOMINATED SINGER/SONGWRITER JIDENNA AT THE BIRTHRIGHT AFRICA INAUGURAL GALA & LAUNCH OF “THE RETURN OF THE RETURN”

wp content/uploads///CoChairBoardMember JIDENNA

Executive Chairman Jidenna, CoFounders Walla Elsheikh & Diallo Shabazz

On a warm Wednesday evening Birthright AFRICA hosted their inaugural Gala, co-chaired by GRAMMY® Award-nominated multi-platinum rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, and actor  Jidenna; award winning entrepreneur, Tastemakers Africa CEO & Founder Cherae Robinson and Manager of Intra-African Trade Initiative at Afreximbank – African Export and Import Bank Temwa Gondwe (not in attendance)

wp content/uploads///Songstress CarmenRodgers

Carmen Rodgers

Article continues below advertisement
wp content/uploads///JIDENNA

Jidenna

The Birthright AFRICA Gala in-person watch party in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, NY at the Tastemakers Africa House welcomed nearly 75 gorgeous and handsome guests in African inspired semi-formal attire while enjoying cocktails sponsored by St. Germain and Bed-Vyne presented by Uncorked and Cultured with an amazing dinner by Teranga. The guests in Brooklyn and simulcast at Republic Bar and Lounge in Accra, Ghana and all over the globe enjoyed live music performances by Jidenna and songstress Carmen Rodgers from NYC; video performances by Ray Hodge and the Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center, special shout-out from actor/model Boris Kodjoe and sounds by Nana Kwabena and Niara Sterling.

Article continues below advertisement
wp content/uploads///
wp content/uploads///CoFounders Walla Elsheikh Diallo Shabazz

CoFounders Walla Elsheikh & Diallo Shabazz

Article continues below advertisement
wp content/uploads///Event Director Brian Dobson CoFounder Walla Elsheikh Event Director Miguel Clarke

Event Director Brian Dobson, CoFounder Walla Elsheikh, Event Director Miguel Clarke

We spoke to Co-Founders Walla Elsheikh and Diallo Shabazz on hosting the Inaugural Gala & Launch of “The Return of the Return.”” We feel great! It has been a labor of love and passion and commitment for over ten years.” Since 2004 Walla has built her entire career and life to founding Birthright AFRICA. To see the level of support and commitment over the years is what makes Walla and Diallo feel phenomenal in the mission they created. 

Article continues below advertisement

The founders dove deeper into what BirthRight AFRICA means to them: “A global non-profit organization providing free educational trips to youth and younger adults of African descents age 13-30. We are committed to all of them getting this life-changing experience. It connects the individual to pride and confidence around who they are. The life-changing affirmation of their past. Leading to a present filled with greatness. That’s what they can carry to the future.”

Birthright AFRICA foundation started when both founders realized these great resources for the youth to find their purpose. “All around the community, there are programs who want start what we created…. but doesn’t know where to start. We’re building an infrastructure, being the bridge for everyone to take this path with us. Make it accessible to everyone.”

Article continues below advertisement
wp content/uploads///DCCF EA CE  FABAB e

Left to Right: 2018’s cohort Shaina Louis, Nagnouma Fofana, 2019’s cohorts Tenneh Sandimanie & Sharmelys Vilaverde

The experiences by previous cohorts of Birthright is an experience never forgotten. 2019’s cohorts Tenneh Sandimanie, 2018’s cohort Shaina Louis and Nagnouma Fofana were mind-blown at the opportunity Birthright gave for exploring their heritage. “It was important they know, We’re the background of the model that works in a general world, and we get the end of the stick.” 

As each cohort went to Ghana, they developed a new perspective on Africa. They see the wealth within the culture of being of African descendent. “We want others to know Africa is the motherland, succes can be chase in places like America but can also be chased back in Africa.”

Article continues below advertisement

The Virtual / Hybrid Gala, with event direction by Bee Season Events, celebrated the 5 Year Anniversary of Birthright AFRICA, co-founded by Walla Elsheikh and Diallo Shabazz, which collaborates with partners to provide free educational trips to Africa  for youth and young adults of African descent ages 13 – 30  to explore their cultural roots and legacy of innovation within the U.S. and Africa as a birthright for free. The Gala honored via pre-recorded video Chief Marketing Officer for NetFlix and Co-Founder of Full Circle FestivalBozoma Saint John; African Ancestry Co-Founder & President Dr. Gina Paige and African Diaspora Development Institute President and Founder H.E. Ambassador Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao.

Birthright AFRICA Gala goals are to support Birthright AFRICA’s nationwide outreach for the first time to select 12 young people of African descent to join Jidenna for the first cohort of Birthright Scholars to return to Ghana since the Covid-19 pandemic began.. 2019 was titled The Year of the Return with hopes for 2020 to kick-off Beyond The Return but was preempted due to the pandemic. The December 2021/January 2022 Birthright Scholar cohort will experience “The Return of the Return” as they embark on the life-changing impact of returning to the motherland and get the special opportunity to connect and reflect on the journey with Jidenna, who recently joined the Executive Board of Birthright AFRICA.

Article continues below advertisement

Eligible candidates can register at: https://birthrightafrica.org/birthright-scholars/ Funds raised at The Birthright AFRICA Gala will support covering all travel-related costs for this end of year Birthright Scholars cohort to experience the transformative power of returning to the ancestral homeland and upto 500 young people of African descent in 2022!

wp content/uploads///welcome_logo_birthrightafrica logo D

Birthright AFRICA raised nearly $100,000 to support Birthright AFRICA’s nationwide outreach for the first time to select 12 young people of African descent to join Jidenna for the first cohort of Birthright AFRICA Scholars to return to Ghana since the Covid-19 pandemic began.. 2019 was titled The Year of the Return with hopes for 2020 to kick-off Beyond The Return but was preempted due to the pandemic.  The December 2021/January 2022 Birthright Scholar cohort will experience “The Return of the Return” as they embark on the life-changing impact of returning to the motherland and get the special opportunity to connect and reflect on the journey with Jidenna, who recently joined the Executive Board of Birthright AFRICA.Eligible candidates can register  at: https://birthrightafrica.org/birthright-scholars/ Funds raised at The Birthright AFRICA Gala will support covering all travel-related costs for this end of year Birthright Scholars cohort to experience the transformative power of returning to the ancestral homeland and upto 500 young people of African descent in 2022! To support the campaign to raise $500,000 to send 500 Birthright AFRICA Scholars in 2022, text “donate” or “pledge”to 646-437-8147 or go to www.birthrightafrica.org/donate. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Co-Founder and CEO Walla Elsheikh at walla@birthrightafrica.org or 646-261-4227.

Advertisement

© Copyright 2022 Bleu Mag. Bleu Mag is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.