Africa Day and African Union Day that have been celebrated by Africans in New York since their inception in 2006, was briefly hijacked by Mona Davids and her accomplices this year. Ms. Davids, who was wholly welcomed by the founders and organizers as an African sister, hid her true character and motives from the standing committee.
According to her, this was her first involvement with her fellow Africans in the Diaspora. Ms. Davids was given unfettered and unchecked access to previous celebrations’ contents, contacts and information regarding the African communities in the New York Metro area. She offered to volunteer to build the Africa Day website, setup social media platforms and help with the branding.
She was a team player in the beginning and participated in our daily conference calls with the original organizing committee members in strategizing the outreach, invitations, event program and branding. As the volunteer technical coordinator, she was tasked to send the invitations to dignitaries and speakers. Additionally Ms. Davids volunteered to setup the Zoom platform to be used away from the previously designated person.
Africa Day NYC 2020 Hijacking Background:
“Waw, this can be huge, if branded right. I’m a capitalist who goes after the money. We can raise lots of money from sponsors. Although I have never dealt with not-for-profits and the African community, but I still want to be part of this. Have you raised money in past events? I will help you with the branding. I will send you a model website that I built so you can see what I can do for you with this Africa Day. Who else have been helping you organize these celebrations all these years? I will donate my services in building you the website because you need to have control of Africa Day and African Union Day celebrations. I will get AAC involve this year. I don’t know too many people in the African community therefore I will depend on you. You can give me the contacts for all African leaders and I will invite them for you myself. You know everybody and everybody knows you.” Mona Davids
To her and unbeknown to others, it was all about the sponsorship money and her website content all along, disguised as helping. Isn’t it?
Genesis of Ambassador’s invitation.
On Mar 28, 2020 at 12:44 PM, <Info> wrote:
I hope and pray that this message reaches you in the best of health and safety during these challenging times. Please follow the advice of medical experts before you condemn yourselves to often confusing religious positions on issues as dire as this one. Social Distancing and wearing of protective gears take precedence or congregational religious services at this moment.
I am reaching out to invite you concerning African Rapid Relief Mobilization’s conference call tomorrow at 5pm to brainstorm how best we can use our talents and resources to help the continent facing this pandemic. United Nations is unfortunately predicting a calamity on the continent if we fail to take maximum precautions immediately. Thank you!
Call in number: 302-202-1109
Date: Sunday, March 29, 2020
Convener: African Union Day Foundation
Good morning Brother Sheikh Moussa Drammeh.
Unfortunately, the heavy demands on my new responsibilities prevent me from participating in the incredible initiatives that you put forth from time to time.
As I have always stated to you by working together on many initiatives to advance our Pan African agenda in the United States, you have often forecasted issues that the lot do not see or appreciate, only to subsequently come to embrace it months or years later.
This is the true essence and quality leader which you are. Keep it up!
About this recent initiative that you are proposing for the continent of Africa, I would like to learn more about it and see if I can flag it up to my African Ambassadorial colleagues in Washington DC.
In the last several months, I have been honored and privileged to be elected as Secretary General of the ECOWAS group of African Ambassadors and also the Co-Chairperson of Diaspora Engagement and Public Affairs for the 54 African Ambassadors accredited to the United States.
I will be interested in receiving a concept note and proposal that could lay a credible foundation for working with our African Diaspora in the United States. Such a proposal could be submitted to my colleagues for their consideration.
I pray that our constituencies religiously follow CDC guidelines by keeping themselves safe.
May Allah bless you for your enduring and sustained service to humanity with your caring and sharing leadership.
On another note, I have been following the increasing rate of the pandemic in New York City.
Considering what I know of the communities and vulnerable constituencies that you and many of us represent, it will make a lot of sense to encourage our folks to adopt the simple free measures that will help them in preventing the virus from permeating our communities not only in New York but throughout the United States.
From my position as Ambassador of Sierra Leone to the United States, I hosted a national conference call meeting for my Diaspora in the United States with a panelists of knowledgeable healthcare professionals from CDC, Hospitals, Mental Health and Economic impact on our service communities.
Over 157 participants across the United States and another 50 who could not participate due to oversubscribing.
Representatives participated from 18 plus states with heavy concentrations of our SL Diaspora constituencies.
This was an historic gathering that has never happened before. I was pleasantly surprised at the turn out as many more are calling on me to keep this initiative going. That request is under serious consideration.
One member even donated 500 masks to the ministry of health in Sierra Leone for health workers in the outer parts of the country. I am now working to establish a COVID 19 Task force to coordinate ongoing activities planned during this epidemic here and at home.
I look forward to working with you from Washington DC. Be blessed and safe! My regards to all.
Thank you brother Sheikh for the document. I will peruse and discuss with my colleagues over the telephone as many Ambassadors are working remotely these days.
I will need to give them some time to reflect and then revert to you. We will move forward with this initiative. In fact a good number of African Diaspora medical practitioners have also expressed an interest in the subject.
As always, thanks for your leadership.
On Mar 30, 2020 at 12:09 PM, <Info> wrote:
Assalamu Alaikum Mr. President,
Once again, thank you so much for your offer to lead us on the noble task at hand. Moments like this remind us of the critical need to take charge of our affairs in preventing and mitigating disasters on the continent. While we continue to deliberate on the efficient functionality of ARRM, I decided to send the founding document that led us to this point. You can easily deduced that this initiative, like so many others in the last three decades, is directly or indirectly born out of the United African Congress.
I believe this old document has enough information for you to put together your official application for your colleagues. The sooner we get their blessings, the sooner we can begin our operations. I will be more than happy to give face to face or conference call presentations about ARRM. Thank you!
Sheikh Musa Drammeh
There aren’t enough words to describe your most generous heart and lifelong leadership. You are the example of a selflessness soul. May Allah,SW, continue to assist you in your leadership’s forward-steps. Indeed we will put together a concept paper in your hands in the next coming days pertaining to African Rapid Relief Mobilization. It is long overdue for the continent to have a diaspora clearinghouse concerning aid and relief services. We will hold the conference call at 5pm today and I will inform participants about your willingness to take the lead on this. Thank you so much!
Subject: Re: Africa Day Keynote Speaker
AFRICAN UNION DAY FOUNDATION
H.E. Ambassador …
We hope and pray that you and your staff and colleagues are safe and well during this global pandemic.
It is our honor to cordially invite you to be our diplomatic keynote speaker for the upcoming 13 th Africa Day celebration that shall take place online on Monday, May 25, 2020. We hope time and scheduling would permit you for this request. In addition keynote speaker, we have 6 African leaders in the diaspora who will be speaking in honorary representation of our 6 regions, as well as artists performing live from their respective locations, including from Africa.
We have also sent an invitation to Congressman Hakeem Jeffries as a guest of honor, since he was the prime sponsor of Africa Day in Albany in 2007 under the collaboration with Spencer Chiimbwe.
The theme of Africa Day and African Union Day for 2020 is: African Rapid Relief Mobilization.
Thank so much for your pioneering and stellar leadership in serving all Africans in these United States for decades. Your selfless sacrifices have opened many doors for us indeed. Thank you!
Please inform us concerning your availability so that we can finalize the program. Ramadan Mubarak!
Africa Day celebration committee
Dear President Drammeh:
I wish to acknowledge receipt of your kind invitation to serve as “KEYNOTE SPEAKER” during your 13th Africa Union Day Celebration, scheduled for Monday May 25th, 2020. Thank you for the honor and opportunity to be invited to this important and historic celebration in honor of the continent of Africa, that we all continue to love and create a respectable space and voice for in the Americas.
Accordingly, I will direct your kind invitation to my colleagues to follow-up with you regarding other logistics necessary for my participation. Once again, my thanks for inviting me. Much success always!
Regards and best wishes,
First Africa Day NYC Program (DRAFT)
5:00pm – 5:10pm Opening
Hosts / Moderators
5:10pm – 5:20pm Opening Performance by Ntsiki Mazwai, Poet (South Africa)
5:20pm – 5:30pm Welcoming remarks by H.E. Ambassador Jerry Matjila, South African Ambassador to the United Nations
5:40pm – 5:50pm Statement by H.E. Ambassador Fatima Mohammed, African Union Ambassador to the United Nations
5:50pm – 6:00pm Statement by O. St. E Mackie Holder, Consul General of Barbados (Representing the Caribbean Diaspora)
6:10pm – 6:20pm
Statement by Kevin Parker, New York State Senator and Majority Whip (Representing the Black American Diaspora)
6:20pm – 6:30pm
Statement by Charles Fall, New York State Assembly Member
6:30pm – 6:40pm
Performance by Killa Ace
6:40pm – 7:00pm Keynote Speech by H.E. Sidique Wai, Sierre Leone Ambassador to the United States
7:00pm – 7:10pm
Overview of the State of Africans in New York City
Dr. Jane Edwards (Fordham University – Africa History Project – White Paper on AI in NYC) – TBC
7:10pm – 7:25pm
Civic Participation Panel
Panelists: Mohammed Mardah, Fahmoud (Census), and Abdourahamane Diallo
Moderator: Mona Davids
7:25 – 7:40pm
Africa’s Future Panel (Youth)
Moderator: Sheikh Moussa Drammeh
7:40pm – 7:55pm
Business Opportunities in Africa for the Diaspora Panel
Moderator: Mona Davids
7:55pm – 8:00pm
The final program illegally removed all original organizing committee members without their knowledge or consent by Mona Davids.
Post Africa Day NYC celebration: First Letter
AFRICAN UNION DAY FOUNDATION
To Mona Davids et al.
I would like to take this patriotic moment to congratulate our continent for celebrating yet another milestone of Africa’s liberty and unity on Monday, May 25, 2020, as this celebration has now become a global.
First: As a co-founder and chair of African Union Day Foundation, the official convener of Africa Day and African Union Day celebrations in New York since 2006, I take full responsibility for what had happened this year. Against the positions of many colleagues, community leaders, stakeholders and partners during the planning for this year’s celebration because of the new individuals invited to planning committee, I still consented to the proposed centralization of Africa Day celebration within a broader coalition of African organizations. I believe, as Africans, we must never hesitate to embrace the call for a greater unity.
While the idea of unity that presented to us was noble in concept, others saw the potential pitfalls that I personally overlooked for the sake of the promised unity.
Second: Ms. Mona Davids, as a former Organizing Committee member who have committed fraud and acted with deceitful intent with or without others, you are hereby ordered to immediately restore admin privileges for all Original Organizing Committee members and to also turn-over the properties of the said committee to the African Union Day Foundation within 36 hours from today 5/27/2020. These properties include but are limited to the contacts, letters, website, YouTube channel, social media, videos and photos regarding the 13th Africa Day NYC celebration that took place on Monday, May 25, 2020. Please be cognizant of the fact that your failure to comply with this order should want further actions.
Third: If you or any relevant party enjoined here wishes to see the chronological order of the Original Organizing Committee deliberations leading up to the 13th Africa Day NYC celebration, you can send us written request to: email@example.com. I look forward to your prompt cooperation.
Sheikh Musa Drammeh, co-founder, African Union Day Foundation.
Khady Diaby, Africa Day NYC Original Organizing Committee Member
Gbenga Subair, Africa Day NYC Original Organizing Committee Member
Abdoulaye Cisse, Africa Day NYC Original Organizing Committee Member
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Greetings of peace!
Dear Mona Davids,
Once again your miscalculations about our patience and generosity have led you to another destructive decision. You have a family, honor and career to protect. We refused to celebrate Africa at the same time destroy Africans because we can. We have exercised patience and conducted ourselves in the most professional manner possible concerning this issue. We have given you ample time to help you correct your grave mistakes. We are extending our olive branch to you one more time. You have again until 12:00 pm on Monday, June 1, 2020 to do the right thing and protect your honor. Should you fail again, we will take all necessary actions to make sure this type of injustice shall never be repeated. We will not leave a stone untouched in our pursuit for justice. “O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” 4:135
Information requested from the founders by Mona Davids in the beginning:
Africa Day in New York: Origin & Activities.
For more than a decade and a half years, the African Diaspora community in New York have engaged various stakeholders across city and state governments to celebrate Africa. Specifically, the African Diaspora community makes use of the global traction surrounding the Africa Unity Day, May 25th, and African Union Day, September 9, to host events that showcase and celebrate Africa’s development in various areas.
In 2007, African Diaspora organizations in New York collaborated with the New York City Council Black & Latino Caucus to host the first Africa Day in the New York City Council Chambers. Hundreds of New Yorkers from across the five boroughs thronged the City Hall and elected officials from New York City, State and Federal governments issued citations to recognize Africa’s celebrated milestones. The African communities continued coming together to celebrate, support and collaborate with other Diaspora groups in celebrating positive developments emanating from Africa and around the world.
In 2009, New York State Assemblymember Hakeem Jeffery hosted the African Diaspora communities in New York and both the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate issued proclamations to recognize Africa Unity Day, May 25th in New York. The proclamation was given to the representative from the African Union Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations.
The African Diaspora community in New York continues to organize events clustered around the Africa Unity Day, May 25th, on which Africa can be celebrated. This celebratory platform will be used by various speakers from the diplomatic community, government and community organizations to celebrate great initiatives and milestones such as AGENDA 2063 – Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future, the Sustainable Development Goals and further embracing other organizational and individual accolades coming out of Africa.
The organizers of Africa Day NYC envision the content of the May 25th celebration to be informed by our knowledgeable leaders in New York City and State governments, the African Union and the African Countries’ permanent missions to the United Nations, African Community leaders and all of other organizations who are supportive of the positive developments in Africa.
Spencer Chiimbwe, co-founder:
African Union Day Celebration Background
African Union Day Foundation is an initiative which was founded in July 2006 to promote the celebrations of Africa Day and African Union Day in the Diaspora.
This promotion includes but is not limited to the sponsoring of investment, social, educational, sports, and cultural programs outside of the continent. An annual African Union Week has been designed to showcase the cultural, social and economic activities of Africa in New York Metro area.
After the first African Union Day Celebration, which was held on July 9, 2006, a group of concerned Africans living in New York assumed discussions on the importance of promoting African Union’s activities in the Americas. After several consultative processes with community & religious leaders, business houses, politicians, policy makers and elected officials, the African Union Day Foundation was formed.
The African Union Day Foundation, has worked with New York City elected officials to pass in the New City Council a resolution declaring September 9 an African Union Day in New York and this has been celebrated annually in New York City ever-since. African Union Day Foundation organizes this celebration to showcase and represent Africa and its potential to global community.
The membership to the African Union Day Foundation is free and open to all organizations that are beneficial to the continent and honors the ideals of African Union and its priories.
More often than not, the continent of Africa has been known to be the place of disease, poverty, hunger, strife, wars and economic underdevelopment. The media, researchers and other foundations that are doing great work on the continent disseminate most of this information. The way Africa has been portrayed in the Americas and other developed places worldwide has motivated many individuals and organizations to establish a lot of philanthropic initiatives that are currently raising millions of dollars to meet the needs of Africa. While these efforts cannot go unappreciated and unrecognized, the trend to represent Africa as a place of untold suffering has propagated a lot of ill interpretations from investors and other individuals who do not have sufficient knowledge about Africa.
The African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) are the continental structures of the whole continent that are propelling the economic, social, cultural and other developmental aspects of the continent forward. These initiatives are rarely talked about in the Americas. There are several other structures that have closely worked with the international community to take Africa’s Development to greater heights. However, the effort by such structures is always overshadowed by information that is discouraging and detrimental to economic development both in America and in Africa.
Most of Africa’s precious resources like diamonds, gold, emeralds and copper are shipped out of Africa and are made into finished products and overseas hence helping the international economy to grow. There are other animate and inanimate resources from the continent of Africa that have brought about significant progress to the outside world.
For so many years, the African Continent fought for political freedom and Africans are politically free. Without a full understanding of the continent and consistent dialogue about the real Africa, Africans, both on the continent and in the Diaspora, will always be deprived of economic freedom
It is against this backdrop of information that the African Union Day initiative seeks to address. Until the Africans celebrate and showcase their activities on the continent, there will be ill-conceived perceptions from individuals and organizations that are not familiar African Continent.
The First Celebration.
The first Africa Union Day Celebration was held on July 9, 2006 in the Borough of the Bronx in New York. It was attended by families from various African countries residing in New York Metro area, along elected officials and community leaders.
A parade was also successfully conducted and it created a momentum for Africans to gather for the Africa Trade Fair at the Bronx Court House Rotunda in September 2006.
The Africa Day Resolution in the New York State Assembly was sponsored by Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn and it was passed unanimously. The first official celebration in Albany took place on Friday, May 25, 2007 with the presence of Mrs. Mirriam Omala-Gauvin from the African Union Secretariat to the United Nations. Mrs. Marie Dembele Bore was the coordinator between the AU Secretariat and the African Union Day Foundation during those deliberations in 2007.
The African Union Day Committee has to date discussed with some elected officials, community leaders and Organizations working with the African Diaspora.
Objectives of the African Union Day Celebration.
• To provide information about the continent of Africa and its activities.
• To promote unity among the African Diaspora and people of the African Decent.
• To establish open economic, social and cultural forums through which the people can get more information about the continent of Africa.
• To celebrate the African heritage and unity on the continent and in the Diaspora.
• Promote the work of the African Union and its developmental programs such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.
Activities of the Celebration.
The people from the continent living in the tri-state and the public gather to celebrate Africa. Activities of the celebrations include the cultural, economic and social presentations, as well speeches from African diplomats, elected official in New York City, academicians, entertainers and others.
Expected Outcomes of the Celebration.
– To bridge the information gap about Africa and the way it is perceived.
– A developed understanding about Africa.
– Dismantled cultural barriers that hinder social and economic development.
– To create a model of African unity that will create a benchmark on people of African descent from other states in the Americas.
The Africa Day and African Union Day celebrations set a pace for linking Africa to the rest of the world. Development in today’s world requires the physical interaction of different cultures in order to find practical solutions and initiatives to engage in the issues of the third world. These celebrations create the required platform that is needed to enhance and to promote the cultural, social and economic aspects of the continent of Africa.
P.S. African Union Day Foundation is a private organization founded by Africans in the Diaspora and it is not a subsidiary of The African Union.
Sheikh Musa Drammeh, co-founder:
This is a small synopsis out of the voluminous of exchanged communications leading up to the 13th Africa Day celebration.