When I set out to create AfroAsia Week, I wanted to create a focal organisation that would bridge the gaps between Asians and Africans and enlighten and encourage people of all origins to support our community.
I am a proud descendant of an African family. Growing up in Africa, I had the privilege of exposure to both continents during my childhood and education.
I not only had the rare privilege of seeing real sand every day but I also learned that Africa and Asia share many things including our foods, some of our traditions and cultural practices and importantly that we have high expectations of ourselves as Asians and Africans which means we enrich Britain immensely.
I didn’t want to create a charity, because I know that African’s and Asian’s are proud people who do not seek charity as a first option. I decided create a robust and fundamentally focussed organisation with charitable aims and the added benefit of functioning as a profitable entity where all profits are put back toward benefiting the community.
The 1st AfroAsia Week in august 2015 is the product of my brainstorming and has been to date solely funded by myself and all infrastructure and logistics to date have been carried out single handed.
As A community Interest Company, No profits from the business go toward lining my pocket and are instead going to be put to use helping members of the African and Asian community.
My key aspiration is to encourage as many as I can understand that social cohesion within my upbringing gave me the best of both worlds and being raised in Africa was a happy beautiful adventure for me with half a day spent being very English and the other half of the day being an African which gave me a unique perspective on life, sound orientation and understanding of social etiquette as well as my culture and heritage.
I have had the honour of being raised in an environment where our elders teach the importance of unity, respect, tolerance and cohesion and the benefits of looking out for one another living side by side without conflict or warfare on the basis of differing beliefs, cultures, heritage, social standing, disability, financial status, ethnicity, religion.
Our culture and heritage are important and to pass on our heritage and traditions to our children forms an important part of the foundations and the elements of self identity, positive self image and self esteem. Helping those who are not conversant with our culture to see the positives is also an important part of promoting a positive image of our continents.
Attending, patronising and supporting this event will in turn ensure that AfroAsia Week remains sustainable and viable to support more Africans and Asians in Great Britain by creating employment and strengthening sociocultural ties.
I hope that other members of our community in Great Britain see the bigger picture and also agree with me that the type of work I hope to do is an important tool toward seeing a future where we can live side by side without prejudice and stereotype. Because we are “not just a minority”, we’re special.
I am grateful to family and friends, especially my dad who made the first donation to kickstart this project and to those who have supported this project morally, giving their time, effort and guidance where required. I remain thankful to God for my family and the joy and unique adventures, experience and education being African and being raised in Africa have given me. I hope one day, we will be able to say the same of England.
- Miss Kazeem