Music Icon Chaka Khan, the brilliant Comedian & Actress Mo’Nique, Soprano legend Hope Foye, Nollywood Actress Stephanie Okereke, Nigeria’s Olympian Marathon runner Mary Akor, Her Excellency Dame Patience J. Goodluck (middle) wife of Vice President of Federal Republic of Nigeria and Dr. Deborah Hyde, the second Africa-American Neuro Surgeon were some of the dynamic personalities present at the 6th Annual African Goodwill Awards held at the Veteran Memorial Complex in Culver City, a city in West Los Angeles, California.
The event began with an Induction Ceremony honoring inductees such as Los Angeles based Jamaican restaurateur Audrey Collins [inducted into the Igbo family] and Gina Paige, President of African Ancestry Inc. [inducted into the Yoruba family]. It also included African traditional music, “blessings” and brief history and culture of the host families: Bini Social Club of Southern California, Dr. & Mrs. John Oriji, Mr & Mrs. John Anchang, Mr. & Mrs. Udo Nwachukwu, the Ajawara Family & Hon. Dr & Mrs. Hialry Ihenachor.
Following the induction ceremony, guests poured into the main banquet hall of the Veteran memorial complex for dinner and the Goodwill Awards. For dinner, guests were dinner served by LA’s reputable Veronica’s Kitchen. The meal consisted of salads, really sautéed spinach, fried plantains and jellof rice [a popular dish all over West Africa originating from Nigeria which includes rice, tomatoes, onion, salt, pepper and other spices].
“Because that is where it starts. That is where it originates,” said Mo’Nique who just signed the biggest deal in the history of BET for her new show, The Monique Show, to Ladybrille prior to receiving her award as African Goodwill honoree, in response to our question on why her interest and works with Africa. Mo’Nique has visited Africa and specifically Nigeria in support of the Africa Movie Academy Awards. She also starred as the lead actress in Phat Girlz, a story written and directed by Ethiopia’s Nnegest Likké.
“Aside from it being my ancestral home, I find it warm and beautiful,”explained Chaka Khan to Ladybrille. “It is a great honor for me to receive this award,” added Chaka Khan who received the 2009 Ambassador of Goodwill Awards.
Throughout the event guests enjoyed the performances of African/American artists such as the very brilliant International Christian Choir, the New Wave Band and Jazz artist Douye, February 2009’s Ladybrille Woman of the Month.
Photocredits: James/African Goodwill Awards
Founded in 2007, Ladybrille® Magazine is a California based pioneer digital publication demystifying the image of Africans in the west through contemporary African fashion and celebrating the brilliant woman in business and leadership, with an emphasis on the African woman in the diaspora. Our coverage includes stories on capital, access to markets, expertise, hiring and retention, sales, marketing, and promotions.