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Fall Benefit Party Success!

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Afropop’s inaugural Icons & Innovators benefit party in Washington D.C. on Thurs., Sept. 29 was a huge success! We had a full house of people from all walks of life and the spirit was high. We celebrated and honored three icons and innovators, Laolu Senbanjo of Nigeria, Samba Mapangala of the Congo, Orchestra Virunga and the world, and our own Georges Collinet. Marika Partridge and her team at WOWD (94.3 FM) in Takoma Park joined us to celebrate Afropop Worldwide’s return to the D.C. area’s airwaves.

Very popular at the party was Laolu painting guests nonstop for three hours. When Laolu and Samba received their awards, they each said this was the first time they had gotten an award. That’s a surprise! The finale to the evening was a rare acoustic performance by Samba, East Africa’s most beloved vocalist, accompanied by our own Banning Eyre on guitar and Joseck Asikoye on percussion. Stay tuned for the full report and lots more photos coming soon. If you could not make it to our benefit party but would like to make a financial contribution to support our work, please go here.

8r5a3720From left: John Bashengezi, Joseck Asikoye, Banning Eyre and Samba Mapangala, Sean Barlow, Laolu Senbanjo, Cheick Hamala Diabaté, members of the Walt Disney Imagineering team, and Georges Collinet. All photos by Oluwaseye.
8r5a3730Honoree Laolu Senbanjo and his muse, Becca Masinde.
8r5a3757    Honoree Samba Mapangala, singer and bandleader of Orchestra Virunga.

8r5a3747Désirée Bayonet and Marika Patridge of WOWD (94.3 FM) in Takoma Park pose with Laolu’s muse, Becca Masinde.
8r5a3934Honoree and host of Afropop Worldwide Georges Collinet poses with Sean Barlow.
8r5a3951Cheick Hamala Diabaté played the ngoni for guests as they arrived.
8r5a3966Laolu paints a guest during the party.
8r5a4066Georges Collinet holds up his Icon Award.

8r5a4080Senior producer and editor of Afropop Banning Eyre presents Samba Mapangala with his Icon Award.

8r5a4104Sheriden presents Nigerian visual artist Laolu Senbanjo with his Innovator Award.

8r5a4107From left: Sean Barlow, Laolu Senbajo, Sheriden Booker, Georges Collinet and Samba Mapangala.

8r5a4127Howard University dancers painted by Laolu pose with the artist.

8r5a4221Painted dancers from Howard University perform as Banning Eyre, Samba Mapangala and Joseck Asikoye perform.
8r5a4212Howard University dancers pose midway through Laolu Senbanjo’s painting.

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