Chinua Achebe, arguably the father of African literature, says a man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to save them from starving. They all have food in their own homes. He does not gather them in the moonlit village to see the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. They come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.
Nearly two years after the Covid-19 pandemic ended with a sold-out celebration event on December 18, at Electrical Workers Hall St. Louis. The evening turned into a networking opportunity with over 300 people in attendance. Attendees mostly clad in African style, talented and lovely artists, silent auction, rich diversity, prominent speakers, and delicious African cuisine followed by awards to astute change makers.
“There are so many people here tonight showing what it means to be an immigrant,” said Arrey Obenson, the keynote speaker. “This shows the world what it means to be African,” the President and CEO of International Institute added and revisited his personal connection with Cameroon. Let’s just say, the gala felt like hitting a jackpot.
Among special guests in attendance were Mr. Tim Nowak, President of World Trade St. Louis, former president of International Institute Mrs. Anna Crosslin, Vincent Flewellen Chief Diversity Officer at Webster University, Kenya Embassy Immigration Attache Mr. John Ndegwa, Dr. Kevin Minder Mercy Senior VP of Mission & Community Health among others.
Vitendo4Africa also marked 12 years of anniversary since its inception. The fete has become a cultural haven and a positive force in the immigrant community.
One by one, award nominees were unveiled ranging from community advocacy, youth empowerment, emerging leadership, immigrant entrepreneurship, philanthropy, diversity and inclusion, mentorship, community service, and impact. Unpredictably prepared was Founder and Executive Director Mr. Geoffrey Soyiantet who was honored for the remarkable leadership.
Mr. John Ndegwa from Kenya Embassy DC shared Key partnership areas between Kenya and the US government. This includes elevated bilateral relationships to a strategic partnership, Trade, and Investment.
“US government has donated and delivered a total of over 7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Kenya within the last one year,” Mr. John Ndegwa said.
“It pleases me to see connections and opportunities Vitendo4Africa has created,” Zellipah Githui who received the Immigrant Entrepreneur Award thanked the organization for recognizing her sheer hard work.
St Louis Mosaic Project Executive Director, Betsy Cohen, and Director of health in the City of St Louis Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo were among the individuals who were honored at the event.
The ceremony also crowned the likes of Midwest Bankcentre, Kenya Embassy Washington DC, St. Louis Chess Club, BDPA St. Louis, FOCUS St Louis, Hispanic Leaders Group, Dellwood Pharmacy and Mercy Hospital.
See the full list of 2021 Award winners and their bios.
It is barely a week since the new year began and one wonders how the 2022 V4A gala will look like. Of course, it will always be about Ubuntu, bound to help and celebrate one another.
We would like to thank our 2021 Annual Gala main sponsor Liuna110, the red sponsor Myeventscoordinator and our great team of volunteers. Special thanks to local African Restaurants for providing the best African delicious food to our audience. The restaurants involved were: African Palace Bar & Grill, House of Jollof, Jenny’s Diner, and Faiza’s Kitchen:
We thank all table sponsors and partners for their great contribution to the success of the event. Table Sponsors
- 7M Business Solutions
- St Louis Mosaic Project
- Superior Financial Solutions
- Gitzell Fair Trade International
- Hispanic Leaders Group St Louis
- African Chamber of Commerce
- Kagi Haulers LLC
- Arise Habari Radio
- Vitendo 4 Africa
- YKG Crafts
- Hanson Professional Services
- Midwest Bankcenter
- House of Jollof
- City of Florissant
- Harmony Care LLC
- Washington University School of Medicine
- Tuikong Logistics
- PIPES International
This year’s fundraising event raised over $20,000 and brought in more than 60 new donors and partners. We look forward to another great event this year scheduled for November 12th, 2022We appreciate your continued support of our community and the entire immigrant community in St Louis.
For more information and how you can partner with V4A Mission visit www.vitendo4africa.org, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314 252 0488.