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Jidenna, Ugo Mozie Meet the honorees at the inaugural Afroball in Los Angeles

The first of its kind, the Afroball celebrates the achievements of Africans living and working in the diaspora.

  • Published:
Adeyeba, Jidenna and Kujembola play

Adeyeba, Jidenna and Kujembola

(Afroball)

The inaugural AfroBall, an event to celebrate the innovative exploits of Africans in the diaspora, held on Saturday, May 19, at the Los Angeles Theater Center. Jidenna, Ugo Mozie and celebrity stylist Ade Samuel were among honorees at inaugural Afroball.

Organised by Amplify Africa, an events and culture curation company in Los Angeles, California, AfroBall, dubbed the "African Met Gala" was a splendid showcase of African fashion and style with attendees clad in several attires rooted in local African culture. 

Beyond the eye-catching style the night focused on honouring exemplary Africans in the diaspora for the work across fields of technology, health, education, media, leadership and fashion.   

The night started with special recognition for Congress member Karen Bass, the "Friend of Africa" honouree, for her work in advocacy on African business policy and development through her office as the representative of California's 37th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. 

Congress member Karen Bass (D-Calif) play

Congress member Karen Bass (D-Calif)

(Afroball)

 

Speaking at the event, Dami Kujembola, the CEO and co-founder of Amplify Africa, noted the importance of collaboration among Africans in the diaspora.

"It is imperative for us to stick together. If we want to go far, we need to go together," he said.

Abiola Oke, publisher of OkayAfrica, was named the Amplifier of the Year honoree. 

Abiola Oke, publisher of Okay Africa, receiving a certificate of recognition from congress member, Karen Bass play

Abiola Oke, publisher of Okay Africa, receiving a certificate of recognition from congress member, Karen Bass

(Afroball)

 

In his acceptance speech, Oke noted the immense potential of the African diaspora to innovate solutions to solve some of Africa's most pressing problems.

Grammy-nominated musician Jidenna was honoured for his work in entertainment. In an impassioned speech after receiving the honour, Jidenna praised the excellence of Africans in the diaspora as a standard for the future.

Ade Samuel, a Los Angeles-based stylist who worked on Essence's Black Panther themed cover in February and has worked with pop stars including Big Sean and Jhene Aiko, received an honour for her work in fashion. 

Other honorees were Ade Adesanya, Koshie Mills, Kutula, Oladapo Fagbenle, Rema Morgan-Aluko, Sam Desalu, Tunji Balogun, Ori Ayonmike, Funmilola Fagbamila, Kingsley  Ufere, Muri Raifu.

All honorees also received certificates of recognition from the United States Congress presented by Karen Bass.

AfroBall gala play

AfroBall gala

(Afroball)

Timilehin Adeyeba and Damilare Kujembola, co-founders of Amplify Africa play

Timilehin Adeyeba and Damilare Kujembola, co-founders of Amplify Africa

(Afroball)

Afroball fashion play

Afroball fashion

(Afroball)

 

The AfroBall is set to be an annual event held in Los Angeles held in May with honorees selected by a board of trustees. Going forward, Timilehin Adeyeba, co-founder of Amplify Africa says the company aims to create multiple platforms which offer the global audience unique avenues to experience Africa's diverse cultures.

In line with this, Amplify Africa also hosts Afrolituation, a popular monthly African culture-themed dance party in Los Angeles as well as an annual Afro Music Festival featuring superstar artists from across Africa and the diaspora.

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