It was a weekend of celebrating achievement and changing the African narrative as pan-African media company Face2face Africa hosted its 6th annual Pan-African Weekend in New York. The four-day event commenced on July 13. It included the Pan-African Women Forum, the IAAPA Networking Mixer and the closing Jazz Brunch.
The weekend’s capstone event, the Fascinating Africans Committed to Excellence (F.A.C.E.) List Awards, was held on Saturday, July 15. This award ceremony honors trailblazers from business, fashion, sports, entertainment, technology and the nonprofit sector who have paved the way for younger generations and impacted the discourse on Pan Africa’s image. The ceremony was truly unforgettable.
The glittering gala was hosted by award-winning actress Ama K. Abebrese, who has appeared in the Ghanaian film “Sinking Sands” and Netflix’s “Beasts of No Nation.” Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean joined Abebrese on stage for a freestyle performance that featured some of his top hits.
Wyclef Jean performs
Honorees came from a diverse range of backgrounds. NBA star Serge Ibaka, Managing Director at Black Rhino Group Mimi Alemayehou, Global Programming Head for Hip Hop at Spotify Tuma Basa, and founder of Black Girls Rock Beverly Bond were all recipients of awards. Reverend Dr. Al Sharpton was also awarded, receiving The Icon Award for Impact in Advocacy and Social Justice. Sharpton noted that his famous hairdo was inspired by James Brown, who told the Reverend to “wear your hair like mine Al, and promise not to change it.” Other Young Africans Committed to Excellence (YACE) honorees included WNBA’s Chiney Ogwumike and founder of African Research Academics for Women, Kwadwo Sarpong.
The gala dinner allowed each of the honorees to tell their unique and fascinating stories. Adenah Bayoh, a property developer, and IHOP franchisee shared her experience walking for two weeks with her family from Liberia to Sierra Leone and seeking refuge during the war in Liberia. The intimacy of each story helped change the African narrative by enlightening guests to each honoree’s distinct experience.
At the end of the gala, Sandra Appiah, Managing Partner at Babu Global and C.E.O. of Face2face Africa, gave a heartfelt thanks to the attendees and honorees for doing their part in changing the African narrative.