“We seek to further define Africa through Dance4Africa” — USAfrica & CLASSmagazine Profile Q&A with GEORGE UKOMADU, CEO of The Afropolitan Experience.
He is leading the group’s effort to host a unique and progressive social-cultural event in Houston called Dance4Africa the weekend of July 30, 2011. Here are excerpts of his thoughts on the group’s goals, motivation and outreach to the younger generation Africans in the Texas area — deriving from his chat with the Founder & Publisher of USAfrica & CLASSmagazine, Dr. Chido Nwangwu, who describes George as “a very dedicated man with a vibrant vision, a culturally worthy outlook and commendable engagement with his heritage.”
USAfrica/CLASSmagazine/Chido: What motivated you and your team to make the Dance4Africa project a priority event?
Ukomadu: There’s a growing sense of interest and intrigue, especially among the younger generation, at least on the idea of Africa. The level of urgency is high, now more than ever as well as the opportunity to provide a fitting platform to both engage and to shape the definition of an Africa for which we’re searching – hence, Dance4Africa.
Chido: Who’s participating?
Ukomadu: How is the cultural event drawing interest? And why?
We are excited to partner with community-focused organizations like YMCA, LA Fitness, & the Amobi Okoye Foundation. Present will be a few media and special guests like Nakia Cooper from Channel 11, Chrizcera Zoe – President of Chrizcera International, a giant in the Houston fashion and entertainment scene, Dr. Mustapha Kibirige – a highly decorated Ophthalmologist, a great leader in the African community, an entrepreneur, and mentor, Sister Ajoke Olanipekun – Founder of Siafu Village Academy, an Afrikan centered pre K-12 institute serving the African community in Houston. We’re getting a lot love from AfriPro Houston, African Student Associations from U of H, Rice, & TSU respectively. We will also have local media coverage from JCP TV, Trendy Africa, FindMeInTheH TV, and a host more. Needless to say, Dance4Africa within a short amount of time has garnered and peaked the interest of many leaders in the community. In my opinion, this is all a response to the realized outcry of our youth. We are not satisfied with previous definitions of Africa. And this couldn’t be better news for our elders.
Chido: How do you see the dance as cultural expression habits of the Nigerian and African communities, at home and here in the U.S.?
Ukomadu: Dance has always and will always be woven into the fabric of who we are as Africans. We’ve always known “the dance”. Put us in Haiti and we’ll do the traditional dances, put us in church and we’ll do the “Holy Ghost dance”, put in a music video and we’ll create sensual and trendy dances that are shaping the world. All Africans just get it when we see the words, “Dance Dance Dance”… We just get it.
Chido: Share with USAfrica and CLASSmagazine readers the business goals of Afropolitan? How are you serving and meeting your mission?
Ukomadu: The Afropolitan Experience seeks to provide a platform for young Africans, especially ones in the diaspora, to commence and forward the conversation: What does it means to be African in the 21st century? To date, we’ve created an online publication [managed by Ezinne Adibe] and also worked to put together fundraisers[spearheaded by Hasifa Najjemba] such as Dance4Africa – from which we release proceeds to charities and other non-profit organizations who are doing work that benefits Africa. We’re constantly developing and are open to new ideas when it comes to creating fitting and innovative platforms that will help forward this movement. With that said, we’re always in need of talented writers, community organizers/event planners, social media agents, and tech geeks to join us in pushing this interesting work as far as we get it.
Chido: What are your hobbies? Who are your favorite artistes and writers?
Ukomadu: Food… wait, is food a hobby? I love to eat (especially pounded yam and egusi soup). I recently started an Africa-focused book club with a few friends, called Afropolitan Readers and Travelers (A.R.T.). We just got through a real existentially-challenging novel by Ayi Kwei Armah titled The Beautiful Are Not Yet Born. He’s my favorite right now… I’m digging a young man by the name of Tinashe Zambezi; I’m really loving his music right now.
Chido: What fundamental ideas and motto guide you and your team?
Ukomadu: Passion. Purpose. Persistence. These three words guide my personal journey and experience and seemlessly extend to the work we do with The Afropolitan Experience. Here’s my thing: “Africa” does not need help. We do. She does not need to evolve. We do. It takes the passion for truth to continually find your purpose; this we then must pursue with unrelenting persistence.
Chido: Give us a brief bio-sketch/profile of you.
Ukomadu: Bible School Graduate (Southwestern Assemblies of God University). Church Planter (Firebrand Assemblies of God). Social Entrepreneur (The Afropolitan Experience).
Chido: Your one wish…
Ukomadu: To find truth, wherever she may lay.
Chido: Thanks for your time and your team’s efforts. Chido@USAfricaonline.com
USAfrica, CLASSmagazine and USAfricaonline.com are assessed by The New York Times as the most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks. USAfrica established May 1992, our first edition of USAfrica magazine was published August 1993; USAfrica The Newspaper on May 11, 1994; CLASSmagazine on May 2, 2003; www.PhotoWorks.TV in 2005; www.OilandGasMediaWorks.TV and 7 other e-groups, especially Nigeria360, UNNalumni, AfricanChristians and the vibrant IgboEvents. VIDEO of the CNN International broadcast of its profile of USAfrica. http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2010/07/29/mpa.african.media.bk.a.cnn