African Pop – Up  Festival is about supporting  one another and  African  culture

African Pop – Up  Festival one of the New York biggest  cultural events was held in February 22, 2020 in  Harlem as New Yorkers came together not only to celebrate African culture, and food, but also to support  African small businesses.

“Our goal is to highlight our culture and business and empower small business,” Akin Akinsanya Founder & Executive Producer of  NY African Restaurant Week, said.

Inside the hall there were multitude of people; they lined up to taste all kind of  food; some sat down listing to music as the DJ increased the decibel; other just danced.

A room was set apart for vendors. They were selling  clothes, jewelries, cosmetics. I stood  up by a stand. “Do you want me to take your picture mom?” I asked a beautiful mother who was selling traditional clothes. “Yes sure, this is a great day,” she said with a broad smile.   

There was also a business panel discussion under one unique theme: “Empowering fierce and fearless entrepreneurs.” Five business leaders in cosmetics, fashion, and wine,  have had the opportunity to share their journey and experience. Princess Jenkins, she was also the moderator, Rotimi Akinnuoye, Vera Moore, Jonathan Bodrick, and  Emowa Socks were indeed the five panelists who discussed with the audience how doing business is.

There were more  takeaways  as many of them have more than three decades of entrepreneurship experience.

How to use social media to promote business, how to expand your business, mentorship and business are some main points stressed by the panelists.

 African Pop – Up Festival, which was organized by “New York African Restaurant Week”  has grew up even though it is on its second edition. And Akin is dreaming to see it expanding more. “ We want to find connection among African immigrants’ business; that is a big part of our society,” he said.

As rendezvous was set  up for next year for the third edition of African Pop – Up  Festival, Akin has a message for  his African brothers and sisters: “Let’s support one another, let’s support our culture,” he said. That is a significant message as we are  celebrating “Black History Month.”

Bazona Barnabe Bado


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