As part of its city-wide celebration of African Heritage Month and its Multicultural Awareness and Development Program, the Mayor’s Office on African Affairs (MOAA) hosted its 10th Anniversary Celebration at the Lincoln Theatre. The event closed out a monumental African Heritage Month and highlighted MOAA’s decade of service to the African community.
MOAA’s Deputy Director, Dr. Heran Sereke-Brhan, served as the evening’s M.C. and presented Director, Mamadou Samba for opening remarks. Director Samba recognized that both MOAA and the Commission on African Affairs (COAA) were both celebrating a decade of service, inviting current and former commissioners to the stage. Director Samba, announced the office’s partnership with George Mason University is currently publishing a study cultivated over the last two years titled, “Diversity in the District.”
Keynote speaker, DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser, honored the Mayor’s Award for Community Leadership recipients. Dr. Menna Demisse, Vice President of Policy Analysis and Research at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation was awarded the Advocacy Award. Mwiza Munthali, host of Africa Now! was awarded the Public Service Award. Gathoni Kamau, Community Outreach Specialist for Education at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art was awarded the Cultural Education and Arts Award. Young African Professionals (YAP) was awarded the Youth Leadership Award. Lastly, Henok Tesfaye, President and Chief Executive Officer of U Street Parking, Inc. received the Special Recognition Award.
The evening was filled with performances from DC’s most esteemed African acts. Performers included KanKouran West African Dance Company, comedian, Anna Mwalagho, Afro-Roots band, Emé and Heteru, contemporary Ethio-Jazz, Feedel Band, and headliner, Afro-Pop artist, Wondaboy.
MOAA’s 10th Year Anniversary Celebration was held in partnership with the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities, The Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, U Street Parking, South African Airways, and Ben’s Chili Bowl. MOAA’s complementary raffle draw included a prizes from both Ben’s Chili Bowl and South African Airlines. Second place winner Ms. Ruth Nassir received a gift certificate from Ben’s Chili Bowl and South African Airways surprised the audience with an extra grand prize. Ms. Nancy Geri and Ms. Rosemary Madi both won roundtrip tickets to South African, courtesy of South African Airways.