There are connections being made with the motherland that African-Americans never thought would be possible in 2018. When I initially received a flyer that 11 Kings from Africa were coming to America, it just didn’t seem accurate or true. The expense, transportation, lodging, food and traveling to Orlando and Boston would take excellent planning, coordination and scheduling, and many things could still go wrong.
But with the excellent organization of Luc Djousse, medical professor and doctor at Harvard University; the Wocotomadi Organization; the Black Women’s Roundtable of Florida; HUGS Community Services; the Bronze Kingdom; and ambassadors Dr. Eugenia Agard, Dr. Rose Solomon and Marie Vaz, everything was executed with very few problems and everyone appeared to be blessed by this experience.
This visit was the first time that many of the kings and queens from Africa were in central Florida. They represented three African countries: Cameroon, Togo and the Congo. Some spoke limited English because the national language is French, but everyone who had an opportunity to speak to one of the kings or queens felt love, friendship and a desire to share. They arrived July 30, 2018, and they departed to Quincy, Mass., Aug. 1, 2018, to attend an international summit on acculturation, hosted by the Wocotomadi Organization, which is an acronym for “world coming together to make a difference.”
Three events were scheduled for the kings and queens, starting with a fundraising dinner in Winter Garden, lunch and entertainment in Kissimmee and a welcoming that included cocktails and appetizers at the Bronze Kingdom. The two and half days that the kings and queens graced central Florida with their presence was historic and the beginning of the motherland and its children coming back home.
Monday evening at Bella’s Restaurant, things started a little late, and it appeared that the kings and queens were tired from the travel, but throughout the entire evening, they were gracious and majestic. As the kings and queens in their attire were introduced, they expressed appreciation for the welcome they received. The entertainment was good and attendees showed their approval with dollars and emotion.
Bishop Kelvin Cobaris was the keynote speaker for the evening, welcoming the kings and queens, acknowledging that this event was historic and the world is getting smaller. Awards were given, photos were taken and the kings and queens through a translator expressed their appreciation for everyone who had worked extremely hard to pull these events together.
On the second day, in Kissimmee, the kings and queens appeared to be rested and more comfortable with their surroundings, and they came bearing gifts. After the proclamations were read and the delegation was welcomed by Mayor Jose Alvarez and State Senator Victor Torres, the entertainment was excellent. There were four royal ceremonies presided by the kings and queens, and this event was very festive and fun.
An African-American African dance troupe got everyone on their feet with their performance, and the delegation showed their appreciation by showering the group with money. The president and CEO of the Black Women’s Roundtable Organization from D.C. spoke and donated $1,500 to the event and suggested that the kings and queens coming to America should become an annual event. They received a noble ceremony, and their organization was given gifts.
During the lunch, Dr. Eugenia Agard and her husband, Dr. Brian Agard, who were instrumental in promoting and hosting the entire two and a half days, were made declared Cameroon chiefs and would be treated as a noble family when they travel to that country. Some of the reasons that the delegation came to America to discuss the need for better health care, improving their infrastructure, fixing the educational system and improving nutrition.
At the lunch, Drs. Florence and Stanley Alexander, who are 80 years old and 90 years old, respectively, and have built a $417 million business over 24 years, decided to support the African kings and queens’ delegation by helping to buy an ambulance for Cameroon. They received appreciation from the delegation, and the music was cranked up and everyone started dancing, including the kings and queens. This event was glorious, and it was now time to go to the Bronze Kingdom.
The Bronze Kingdom is a 16,000 square foot gallery-museum located in the Orlando Fashion Square Mall. With more than 2,000 pieces of contemporary art and a retail shop, the Bronze Kingdom must be on your list for things to do in Orlando. The owners, Rawlvan and Iantress Bennett, opened their doors to the delegation and everything was beautiful. The welcoming took place outside on a stage in the mall, where each king and queen, with a translator, talked about the red carpet treatment they received everywhere they went during their trip to central Florida.
Noble family attire was presented to the owners during a royal ceremony, making them Cameroon chiefs. The depth and majestic presence of the delegation and the Bronze Kingdom made everyone proud, and a starting point for our unity and greatness. We are an African people, and the kings and queens coming to America proved that we are one, and we need each other.