On August 26, 2010, a great magazine was born. Andy Kalala hosted his magazine launch at the Gabarron Foundation. Andy used to work for the African Magazine Amina, which some of you might know very well. He decided to start his own magazine called AfrImpact this year. The magazine will be distributed worldwide.
Guests and speakers gathered to share an evening of empowerment and a new outlook on Africa’s future. It was truly a great feeling to look around and see so many different people from the African Diaspora making a difference in their own way, making an impact not only in their countries but in the U.S and in their own communities. So what better name to call a magazine bringing minds together to exchange views than AfrImpact?!
There was a whole range of guest speakers: from Clinical Psychologists to Film Producers, to Poets and Businessmen/Businesswomen.
I loved the way Anne Mbete from Cameroon put it when she said: “It is time for Africa to have a voice and tell the world who she is, from the mouth of her children and not be defined by others”.
Omekongo Dibinga stressed this even more through his poetry that he shared with us. He spoke candidly about the way Africa is often falsely depicted and how we as Africans and friends of Africa, must take over our own media and change the way the world views us. I found myself nodding profusely at all of his points but my favorite part was when he described the media as “WMD”, Weapons of Mind Destruction. This is something we can all definitely relate to. Two years ago, in watching the news from abroad while in Guinea, I could not seem to believe what they were airing on TV! I was actually in Guinea when political instability started after the long-time President Lansana Conté passed away and Moussa Daddis Camara took over the country. But the images they showed on TV left me wondering if I had wandered into the wrong country or if I was just blind. My home was not being bombed and no one was looting the corner store! What the media was airing on TV was definitely an exaggerated version of what was actually going on. This to me is what makes AfrImpact so special. We get to see our own land through our own eyes.
Also present, Hawa Barry Diallo, former model and now President of Nimba Entertainment and producer of Miss Guinea North America. She mentioned the fact that her pageants are not merely focused on beauty but on education and culture as well (The winner of the competition receives $2,000 towards their school tuition). I liked the fact that she concluded her speech with: “the continent needs every single one of us”. I could not agree more. We get so caught up in our lives that we oftentimes forget to give back and remember those we left behind. Every action, small as it may be, is a step towards building a better tomorrow for Africa.
This was one of the things that pushed my sister and I to start Guinée Espoir to promote the development of Guinea and eventually other African countries. We are a group of people working together along with other organizations, orphanages and already established groups, so as to better the lives of youth living in Guinea, West Africa.
We knew that we did not have tons of money, but we also knew that we could make a difference and help those on the field who are working hard and trying to make a difference as well. We should each do our part. We are the ones who will create that change we want to see in the world.
AfrImpact’s magazine launch was an incredible event. You can watch highlights of the evening here.
A yearly subscription (12 issues) to the magazine costs $25 and you can email: email@example.com or call: 717-278-9718 for more information. The magazine is both in French and English so you can flip it over to the side you are most comfortable with!
So go out and subscribe to the magazine. Let’s support Africa and make a difference, one step at a time.
Good job Andy! And we wish you all the best in this new endeavor.