African Family Cultural Festival Celebrated in New York

Manhattan, New York – The African Cultural Family Festival took place on a Sunday afternoon, April 28th in the main ballroom on 4West43rd Street. On this day, more than 300 people dressed in their traditional robes and dresses of various African descent including children gathered together to celebrate. This event was a celebration of the rich African culture which embodies and emphasizes the importance of family, tradition, music, and heritage.

During the program, several speakers were invited such as Dr. Nelson Aluya, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Rutgers University who spoke on The Value of Hybrid Education for the African Child and Dr. Kani Diop who gave a presentation on Family Beliefs and Community Values: A Closer Look at the African Immigrant Families. These speeches gave great emphasis on the importance of engraving African traditions as a way to raise the future generation.

In between these speakers, we also had various performances given by talented African musicians and dancers, giving a taste of the African culture to the audience. These performances livened up the room and created a powerful interactive experience for audience to stand and dance along with the music.

Consul General Hon. Annick Josiane Capet Bakou of Ivory Coast giving her remarks

The keynote address was delivered by the Consul General Hon. Annick Josiane Capet Bakou of Ivory Coast. She thanked the Universal Peace Federation for the work that it does to promote peace in the family, society and the world. She especially thanked the African families who are in attendance for their active participation in the community and for educating their children of their own culture and heritage.

Dr. Drissa Kone with his wife sharing about the family as school of love and blessing

Dr. Drissa Kone, the main organizer of the event and one of the key speakers gave a brief talk on the importance of family and how peace is created through strengthening the family unit and the significance of blessing the family. He and his wife then led a toast for peace and family blessing with two representative couples, one a Muslim and the other Christian. Finally, Imam and Rev. Glenda Phillips-Lee prayed for all the couples and families who participated the event.

Senator Makani Diaby receiving her appointment as Ambassador for Peace from Dr. Kone

Also, twelve outstanding individuals were appointed as Ambassadors of Peace by Rev. Ricardo de Sena together with Dr. Drissa Kone assisted by some current Ambassadors for Peace. Afterwards, everyone got to enjoy a delicious African meal and engaged in more fellowship with one another while watching more performances from the Benin Group, Dozo Dance with Mamadou Cissé and Djliya with children.

Contributed by: Chiaki Hagiwara and Emiljun Rapada, UPF USA