A celebration of African culture will be taking place this weekend in Maple Ridge.
Organizer, Onyeka Dozie, explained that there are three objectives of the Afro Gala. One is to provide an avenue for showcasing and promoting black African cultural heritage among the various communities. The second is to unite blacks and Africans of various nationalities and the third is to promote intercultural relationships within the community.
“It is important because we believe that if you understand the culture of the other person or your neighbour or your friend and you respect it, that will make for a very good cordial relationship,” said Dozie.
Culture, he said, traverses every aspect of people’s lives and, “it is very, very important for a cordial existence in a multi-cultural society like ours”.
Another goal, Dozie continued, is to promote a welcoming, tolerant, diverse, open-minded and supportive community.
The theme of the sixth annual event is “The Power of Information”, which is very important, said Dozie, because new immigrants have no idea what programs are available to them at the government or community level.
For example, he said, if you don’t know there is a scholarship program in your community, then you don’t even have the opportunity to apply, let alone win.
Dozie said the event is also going to honour distinguished youth in the community, people other youth can look up to, like Grade 12 student Bukola Balogun from Surrey who is going to be recognized for her musical and academic accomplishments.
Awards will also be handed out including the Servant of Honour award which will go to a family who welcomes new immigrants into their home and helps them adjust to their new Canadian lifestyle.
The band Hutano will be giving a live performance and DJ BigRich will be spinning the tunes.
Dinner will feature typical Nigerian and African cuisine – showcasing jollof rice.
There will also be continental dinner options as well like pasta.
Afro Gala 2020 takes place Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at St. Luke’s Hall, 20285 Dewdney Trunk Rd. in Maple Ridge.
Dress is ethnic or formal wear.
Tickets are $30 or $40 at the door, children 10 to 15 years are $20 and those under 10 are free.
To reserve a ticket call 604-505-7698 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.