There are connections being made with the motherland, which 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 & Doctor at Harvard University), The Wocotomadi Organization, The Black Women’s Roundtable of Florida (BWRF), HUGS Community Services, The Bronze Kingdom, Ambassadors: Dr. Eugenia Agard, Dr. Rose Solomon and Ms. Marie Vaz, everything was executed with very few problems and everyone appeared to be blessed with this experience.
This was the first time that many of the Kings and Queens from Africa were in central Florida, and 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 on July 30, 2018 and they departed to Quincy, MA August 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.”
There were three events scheduled for the Kings and Queens, starting with a fundraiser dinner in Winter Garden, lunch and entertainment in Kissimmee, and a welcoming which included cocktails and appetizers at the Bronze Kingdom. The two and a 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 each king and queen was introduced, their attire was always regal and they were appreciative of the welcome they received. The entertainment was good and they approved of the entertainment with dollars and emotion.
Bishop Kelvin Cobaris –President of the African American Council of Christian Clergy was the keynote speaker for the evening, welcoming the kings and queens, and acknowledging that this was an historic event, and the world is getting smaller. There were awards given, photos taken and the kings and queens with 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 the mayor and Senator Torres, the entertainment was excellent. There were four royal ceremonies presided by the kings and queens and this event was very festive and fun.
There was an African American African dance troupe who got everyone on their feet with their dances and the delegation showed their appreciation by showering the group with money. The president/CEO of the Black Women’s Roundtable Organization from DC 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 into Cameroon chiefs and would be treated as a noble family when they travel to the country. Some of the reasons that the delegation came to America was to discuss the need for better healthcare, 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 in 24 years have decided to support the African kings and queens’ delegation by working to buy an ambulance for Cameroon. They received an appreciation ceremony from the delegation, and the music was cranked up and everyone started dancing including the kings and queens. This was a glorious event, 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 over 2,000 pieces, of antique and contemporary African art and a retail shop, the kingdom is a wonderful gift which 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.
A royal ceremony with noble family attire was presented to the owners making them Cameroon chiefs. After this ceremony, the kings and queens had the following to say about the Bronze Kingdom; “This place is a temple” another said “this place is scared”. Other comments from the Kings included “the ancestors reside here.”. ”The kingdom has brought Africa to America”. “We are at home”.
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.