Jean Assamoa, Canadian, is the founder of Akwaba Fashion Elegance and Akwaba Cultural Exchange.
Akwaba is a commonly used word of the Akan people in Ivory Coast and Ghana of West Africa, meaning, “Welcome”, a way of accepting people or visitors, saying that our doors are open for them.
In a sense, Akwaba reflects the philosophy of this organization whose goal is to raise awareness of West Africa’s rich histories of dance,music, storytelling and African fashion, and to bring people together through the common appreciation of Africa’s cultural resources.
ABOUT AWA NIAGARA FALLS FESTIVAL
Founded in 2011 by international artist Sonia Aimy, African Women Acting (AWA) is an incorporated non-profit organization. The organization aims to empower, promote and preserve African cultural arts of all modalities in Ontario. These include vocal and instrumental music, theatre, dance, visual arts, spoken word, story-telling and poetry.
In order to comprehensively achieve our goal, we ardently support female African artists and those of the diaspora and champion related issues. As we are a community of women, the agenda of addressing social activism for social issues such as sexism, discrimination, racism, homelessness, gender-based violence and mental health are some aimed at to eradicate. Through artistic expressions, AWA brings these issues to light and offers knowledge, support and solutions.
Although AWA prioritizes promoting female African artists, we strongly believe in inclusivity in the arts community. We encourage partnerships and collaborations with artists of all genders, ethnicities and religious or spiritual beliefs.