“I feel like right now it’s so important to have events like this because I don’t know if you’ve seen the discords where it’s like … this push to disconnect. I feel like we need to connect. We are powerful as a whole as Black people across the diaspora, I feel like this is amazing” 

– Angelica ‘Angie’ Nwandu 

For Black culture’s biggest month for music in the US it was a time to celebrate, elevate, and connect creatives, business executives, and politicians. This year, Afr!Ca Haus stood out as one of the cultures biggest events during BET week that united Afr!cans, Carribbeans, and African Americans throughout the diaspora to leverage and create opportunities that impact economics within the creative economy. 

A star-studded line-up of of guests that included 2024 BET International Nominees Bellah, Bk’ , and Focalistic; as well as Angelica Nwandu (CEO, The Shade Room); Marcus Lomax (Vice-president of Grammy’s L.A. Chapter), YG Marley, Director Victor Kamwendo (They Call Me Magic), Denim Richards (Yellowstone), Obi Asika (Nigerian Director/General Council for Arts & Culture, National Council for Arts and Culture) and many more who understood the need for Blacks to collaborate on all levels. 

Let me tell you something. It means a lot for me to be here because that’s what I’ve been saying I wanted to do. I have a passion – even when you look at the Shade Room we’ll say  ‘TSI we global – Haitians, Jamaicans, Africans, and Black Americans’ because I feel like we’re stronger together. We have more in common that we have apart. We do have our little cultural differences but I feel like we have a bigger bond than not,” says Nwandu.  

I’ve always felt like we should all connect and I feel like right now it’s so important to have events like this because I don’t know if you’ve seen the discords where it’s like … this push to disconnect. I feel like we need to connect. We’re powerful as a whole, Black people across the diaspora. I feel like this is amazing,” Nwnadu explains. 

Nwandu, alongside Afr!Ca Haus co-founder’s Maikori and David all recognize that there is power in unity and partnerships. For the past two years, Afr!ca Haus has partnered with Macro during the Sundance Film Festival to curate fireside chats and discussions. This powerful union has brought together movers and shakers in the film industry from Nigeria, Haiti, The Barbados, and African Americans for economic growth, leverage, and opportunities. 

What we find is that most people, we are the ones that are creating the value for the creative economy but we are not the ones capturing the value,” says Maikori. “The idea basically is that the natural talents, skills and the things that we call cultural heritage of people all have the opportunity to create wealth for these individuals. At Afr!Ca Haus, we believe that wherever two or three Black or brown people are gathered – there is an opportunity to create and keep the money flowing within the Black creative economy.”  

Passionate about Black culture, history, and economic empowerment, Afr!Ca Haus co-founder Franklin “Twizz” David’s words will continue to echo. “First, let’s break down the spelling of Afr!Ca Haus. ‘Afr’ is for Africa; ‘!’ is for everyone in between; and ‘Ca’ is for Caribbean. Caribbean and African culture is at a pivotal moment and it is vital for us to extend ourselves to each other in these environments to foster real  impact and change. Afr!Ca Haus is the haus for us to come together as one and remove the lines in the sand that separate us. This is our home. This is our Haus,” he says. 

For David and Maikori, celebrating our culture and bringing people of authenticity who are actually forging ahead for the collective growth of our communities is the epitome of Afr!ca Haus. Having announced the Founders Fund and Nutrybe Academy, event sponsors Chocolate City shared their vision to continue economic empowerment. Fifty percent of The Founders fund will go to female entrepreneurs starting their own music businesses and media companies.

For more information, Follow Afr!Ca Haus on IG @africahaus. 


Photo Credit: Yuki Tomita & Zay Monae