Just before it was announced that we were going to be in quarantine back in March, we attended UWASA‘s 4th annual Afropolitan Affair gala which was held at the Giovanni Caboto Club, in Windsor ON. With the purpose of giving us a night filled with entertainment and good vibes, the Afropolitan Affair gala does more than that, as it is truly a cultural celebration as local artists come together to honor their roots through their art.
“The event means to showcase more of our African talent in the community,” UWASA President Makasan Kromah tell us. “Windsor has a small population of Africans in the community and there’s always nothing for us to do, so doing this brings out everybody together and they have something to be excited for.”
With young African artists headlining the entire night, we got to see diverse talents from poetry, fashion design and music. We were also blessed to enjoy African cuisine – something I personally was always interested in trying. Served with a delicious plate of chicken and jollof rice – I was surprised to find that the rice was a tasty and spicy delight.
Hosting the gala, Miista Dre and 90sNathan kept us entertained and laughing in between performances as they announce the next artist.
Poet Tessie is first to take the stage to perform a spoken word as she describes her personal experiences and later re-joins the stage for a quick a cappella with Miista Dre.
The second artist to take the stage is rapper MBA who shakes things up with an Afro-infused hip-hop performance. Getting the party started, he performs his single ‘Try Me’ and gets the crowd ready for the next set.
Seruka Designs opens as the first fashion show of the evening, showing off their high color designs and traditional African-style patterns. The runway show is then followed with a hype performance by rappers Lou Huncho and Roscoe.
Music group 3LAK are next on stage and show off their rap skills and gritty vibe as they perform 3 original songs. Rapper yungchxppa later joins them for their last song ‘Relay.’
Cache Boutique is the next fashion show of the evening, taking the runway with their premium unique designs before the first intermission. Upon returning we’re greeted with a spoken word as poet Paula recites her original poem “Money.” The stage is later followed with separate performances by yungchxppa and Daylz.
The third fashion show is presented by Laquie Fashion – who displayed several diverse looks. Music artist B.O.S. keeps the crowd engaged with his single ‘Work’ and ends his slot with his track ‘Faith.’ Texas-based rapper LasGiidi also jumps on stage to perform his track ‘One Shot.’
Ju’s Fashion follows up with a runway show, flaunting their beautiful handbags and vibrant shoes. Afterwards, R&B singer and songwriter Mugelezi gets in the spotlight to perform some of his original songs, including ‘Dominos.’
Artist Zefay later gives us a poetic and musical performance before the 4th and final runway shows begins – which is lead by designer Emeka Omenugha as he shows off his Higher Sociiety clothing brand. Artist Skillo J joins the stage afterwards for a musical performance.
“It means a lot, just being able to show my creativity in front my people,” says designer Emeka Omenugha. “To just see my people have so much excitement and so much joy into what I put into my own effort – I felt like it was an amazing moment. It was super dope, the energy was hype. They really have me wanting to come next year.”
Concluding the night, For Life In Paradise artists Teebee, Jdotds and Gyebi deliver an energetic performance as they finish off with their popular track ‘Somebody Else’ with the crowd singing along.
“It’s kind of dope to know that people support what we’re trying to do,” UWASA Vice President KevinPrecious Fawehinmi tells us regarding the support and gala turnout. “A lot of work was put into this event, a lot of sacrifices – everything was put into it, so it feels nice to know that after everything we put into it, that a lot of people were happy to come out – they had fun.”
Performer Mugelezi tells us about his experience at the gala and what it meant to him to perform that night, “This was a crazy event cause personally I’m not really that into my own African culture, my Tanzinian culture – but seeing all these young people coming together as Africans celebrating our African heritage, it felt uplifting. It felt great to be around all these people like this and just seeing the creative minds in a visual way and being a part of it, performing for all these people – it meant a lot.”
At the end of night, UWASA President Makasan Kromah had some words of advice for the future president, KevinPrecious, as she passes the torch for him to lead next year, “This is our second year working with each other. He already knows the struggle and frustration that comes with it, so pick your members wisely. And have patience – cause there’s a lot of people that don’t have the time and motivation that we have to make a successful show. Other people just want to be part of the team just to say they’re a part of the team.”
View All The Photos From The Afropolitan Affair – March 7, 2020:
Photos by Walabu Adem