London, United Kingdom—UPF's Africa Day celebration was an inspiring, passionate, colorful day with speeches highlighting injustices alternating with cultural dancing and singing. It was a program with many Africans who had expertise or concern about a region of the continent. Eritrean refugees, Egyptian rap about youth poverty in the land of the pharaohs, poorly performing hydroelectric dams in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and mentoring future potential leaders across Africa—it was an eclectic mix.
The program, which took place on May 18, 2019, in the U.K. Peace Embassy, began with a presentation by Mulumba Kabongo, a UPF supporter from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Showing slides of the UPF summits of 2018 in Senegal and South Africa, among other activities in other nations, he explained the accomplishments in Africa of UPF and its co-founder Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. (See PowerPoint here.) A video on the Sunhak Peace Prize illustrated the level of recognition that UPF has given to influential Africans. (See video.) An introductory UPF video (see video) demonstrated the partnership of the African Union with UPF.
While Lydia Tet Olett led the audience in a Kenyan cultural dance, another Kenyan, Jacqueline Onalo, told the folk story of “The Oracle of Nakhabuka,” who unexpectedly defeated her suitor in a traditional wrestling match to settle his claims to her hand.
Several worthy causes also were promoted to the gathered audience. Sally Baffour explained the Eco-Learning Centre she had founded in several nations. Marie-Christine Nibagwire spoke of her experience as a Rwandan genocide survivor. Dr. Nnamdi Chukwu spoke (see video) of the inspiration he had received from the UPF celebration of Africa Day.
Dr. Yehoeshahfaht Ben Israel similarly spoke passionately (see video) about his engagement with UPF and also introduced the training course he would present the following week, which illustrates the principles for non-violent reconciliation used by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. UPF-UK hopes in the future to provide longer training programs to develop facilitators of peace efforts.
The day culminated in the enjoyment of African food, with many people milling around, taking photos in ad hoc groupings until satisfied they had sufficient digital mementos to remember an inspiring day, and those with whom they had shared it, for a long time.
Photo Link for the day.