Above: with Nigerian business woman Monalisa Okojie and also president of Upward African Woman.
Monalisa Okojie, president of Upward African Woman is a well decorated native of Nigeria. She’s a real life Ishan Princess from Eguare, Irrua in Edo State, holds a law degree, is more widely known as a jeweler to the stars and a philanthropist.
Having accomplished so much, it was only natural that Monalisa created a way to help her homeland of Africa even while living thousands of miles away. There is no support like the support of those that have walked a mile in your shoes or have a personal connection that warrants their commitment to the cause. I’m not dismissing any charitable organizations that are helping people in situations that they may be unfamiliar with I just wanted to point out the goal of Upward African Woman.
UAW is a globally functioning California-based non-profit organization with a mission to establish and support sustainable programs to tackle poverty, illiteracy, disease, and hopelessness in order to improve the general well being of the African woman and child. Upward African Woman is made up of women from all over the continent of Africa with most of them being established in Los Angeles.
Some of their notable contributions have feed the homeless in Los Angeles during Thanksgiving, established a daycare and elementary school in Kenya and support Early College High School in Compton.
There first annual gala held at The Beverly Hills Women’s Club was a delight to attend. I enjoyed being in the presence of such strong women with the mission of supporting their community. We dined on fine foods from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia.
Alewya’s Kitchen served Ethiopian coffee from her freshly roasted on the spot coffee beans. Coffee is also an important aspect of the Ethiopia’s history. Legend has it that a goatherd first discovered coffee berries on an ancient Ethiopian hillside thousands of years ago. The traditional coffee ceremony developed as a way to honor the crop.
One of the biggest moments was the vibrant performance from the Sierra Leonean (West Africa) Dancers.