Africa Festival 2019 Niapa

AfricaFest 2019

A day of colour, trade and entertainment! NIAPA hosted a marketplace to allow for the exchange of goods and services anchored by a festival of Art and culture

There was traditional dancing, talking drumming, short and insightful speaking, and a speech in prose!

We saw fabrics, styles, artefacts and oh those paintings. They came in styles and shapes inspired in diverse hearts, conceived in diverse hearts and rendered through diverse hands and mediums. The food and oh that pineapple -ginger and zobo drinks were refreshing! People traded in the finery of art, artefacts, food and networking. The MCs masterfully showed their prowess in converging a market place that would inherently be diverged into a coherent platform of activities appreciated by all

Kudos to the Ogene dancers trio (Violet Sam-Otuh, Zaneta Bell, Chizoma Okpe), Talking Drummer Pastor Shote, Community Keynote Director of HR, Risk and Safety City of Allentown – Melonie Salie-Dosunmu, Art Principal and Keynote – Ibiyinka Alao, Artists of spectacular depth – Aaliyah Octavia Kee and  Joseph Kwaw, our amazing vendors – Eugenia Ugoh, Janet Adeniyi, Eirene Sam-Otuh, Priscilla Anyeh and finally our indomitable co-Masters of Ceremony Dwane Bell and Kester Ugoh.

One of the main highlights was the first ever JollofRice Competition hosted in the Lehigh Valley – The participants, all seasoned Jollof Rice experts included Sobey Salako, Priscilla Anyeh, Eugenia Ugoh and Ronke Hughes, with Ronke Hughes crowned as the Jollof Rice Queen 2019 –

For more details on participants see feature page on participants

A big thank you goes to the President of NIAPA Mr Abayomi Salako whose mandate, vision and tenacity made this all possible. He is supported by an extraordinary core executive team (see NIAPA executive team list). A very special notice to Bola Salau – NIAPA’s secretary, Eirene Sam-Otuh NIAPA’s financial secretary, Zaneta Bell who was the project manager and anchor to the event and Kester Ugoh publicity secretary. Another special shout out to Toby Salako and Okezue Bell who created our beautiful flyers!

To everyone who attended, we greet you, you are the mainstay and reason why we can. We also extend greetings to the Pennsylvania Partners in Arts Program for believing in us and our goal to turn the Pennsylvania to an Arts and Culture Haven with a touch of Lehigh Valley Hospitality!  

If you are a performer, artist, speaker, Jollof Rice enthusiast, writer etc and would like to be involved in 2020 Africa Fest – send an email to and on the subject line include “2020 AfricaFest”. in the body of the email tell us what you would like to do, i.e be a vendor, performer, volunteer, media, publicity. We will respond and let you know when and how to register!

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