What went down at Face Africa’s Annual WASH Gala – March 19′

Rewriting The Story of Africa through water. – Adebola Williams

The narrative of Africa is changing, and (we) the offspring are joining hands in numbers, working towards a better tomorrow for generations to come.

Africa has and always will be one of the richest places in the world with resources that can build many nations, nurture and develop talent in various sectors of life and most importantly provide clean water systems in every home and community.

Having clean water may seem like the most accessible thing that everyone should have in 2019, but unfortunately, it is a struggle that millions of people are still facing.

Like any math problem, the goal is to find the answer by solving an equation. Saran Kaba Jones’s answer to contaminated water in Africa is creating access to clean water systems for everyday people through FACE Africa.

Saturdays are usually for Aso-Ebi, headwraps tied in perfect origami style coupled with highlights, contour, and lashes that completes the ultimate glam.

Well, this Saturday was different. The African culture graced Guastavino’s with couture dresses, hand-stitched suits and ties made from fine textiles for the most prestigious event of the year, FACE Africa annual WASH GALA.

The WASH GALA was an evening that captured and honored voices that want to and are changing the narrative of what home really looks like and their trials and tribulations in home improvement.

FACE Africa’s keen eye to detail and prestige was felt from the moment people walked up to the stairs and through the doors of Guastavino’s.

Africa is home when you invest your mind and soul the journey is built brick by brick with our hands and not by the colonizers. FACE Africa’s journey to supply clean water started 10 years ago and of course, it was no easy task raising hundreds of dollars in the beginning to now raising millions in its 10th year.

There is power when we join forces to enhance our resources.

Aqua blue, forest green, these colors illuminated the entire venue creating the vibe of taking in the fresh air that trees provide and drinking crisp water through clean water.

What a feeling. This year’s WASH GALA honorees are Didier Drogba, Nomzamo Mbatha, Mr. Eazi, and Bozoma Saint John.

Nomzamo Mbatha

Rising Star Honoree Nomzamo Mbatha acceptance speech was filled with cries, laughter and the room responded with a standing ovation.

“The credit and the bragging is so different nowadays. It is not about what designers you have, or the different houses you may have across the world.

It is how many people that are on your payroll, and how many organizations we have started to make sure that the blood of our ancestors that were used as fertilization to grow the natural resource, and that the natural resource that we have as the African continent is not just the resources as gold or diamonds, it is us. Those that are scattered across the world”.

Nomzamo told her story in a room that felt like home because home is where her heart lives.

We all come from different sectors of the continent, some experiences different from others but we share a common fight, developing Africa.

Adebola Williams

Adebola Williams CEO of RED Media and WASH Gala Co-Chair touched on many successes on the continent such as three major banks in Nigeria having women as chairman and President Sirleaf paving the way for women in politics.

But still, many women face challenges and are slowed down by fetching water when this energy can be put to good use by doing other things in society.

Williams continued by shedding light on new millennial problems in the world. Back-aches and hands aching him from long texting, but Africa is still dealing with about two million water-related diseases.

Bozoma Saint John

A room full of advocacy, people who want to do better for our continent. We were reminded about the importance of voice by Bozoma Saint John CMO at Endeavor and WASH Gala Voice of Change Recipient.

“Once you have been silent, you have been forgotten, it is important to use our voices to change the narrative”.

Bozoma demonstrated what it meant to lead by example and using her voice for change and impact by sharing the stage and honorable moment with her daughter Lael Saint John.

Didier Drogba

Like the good old saying “If not us then who” exuded the room by Didier Drogba who was WASH Gala Humanitarian recipient. Drogba was unable to attend the gala in person due to an emergency in Côte d’Ivoire but left us with a beautiful video message.

“It is our responsibility to bring awareness and change in Africa. Water is life, so invest in clean water for the community,” he said

Caroline Wanga

Caroline Wanga, Vice President of Human Resources at Target Corporation and WASH Gala 2019 keynote speaker commended all attendees in the room and noted that “Guastavino’s ain’t neva have these many Africans in here before”.

For those that know the upper east side of New York City, the upper class and diplomats fill the area where the average rent is $2500 –  $3000 a month, just imagine how much hosting an event on that side of town would be.

Wanga key points were the importance buying and labor market, “ Africa Immigrants are the answer to developing our nation, rent to pay, Louboutin’s to wear, outfits to make, either way, someone somewhere does not have clean water”. Wanga also implored everyone in the room to “Get this Shmoney” and invest in Africa.

Every day is another opportunity to be better and do better, technology has increased the number of collaborations between people and spreading awareness to causes at a fast pace.

I can just imagine the impact and change that will occur between now and five years with FACE Africa clean water initiative. We are definitely on our way to a clean and thirst quenching society.

Got a story to share with us? Click here to share.

About Lolade Olayokun

Lolade Olayokun is a first generation Nigerian American who is a journalist and public speaker and MC with the stage name - MC Lolahstic.

Having a versatile resume to both tell stories on paper and entertain in person has allowed Lolade to speak at Columbia University, host Afrochella in Accra Ghana, Trapkaraoke with OKAYAFRICA, featured in THRILLEST Ramadan special, and even hosted SHE.E.O in Lagos Nigeria.
Lolade recently featured in her first film - Second Generation Wedding. In the spring and Fall semesters, Lolade curates the MC Lolahstic College Tour, where she entertains students at their annual fashion shows and moderates’ professional development panels around the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.