A joyous, record-setting crowd of more than 200 attended the 2023 Indaba African Ball on February 4, wearing colorful and elegant African-inspired attire for an evening of live music, dancing, Afro-Caribbean-style food, taking photos… and supporting free programming at the Indaba Band Shell.
Vivian King, a former TV journalist and now an author and the communications advisor for UW All of US, kept up a lively banter with the crowd as emcee, leading them through the traditional Indaba Couture Fashion Show (starring all the guests!) and introducing the newest honorees to the Hall of History Makers.
@stanncenter Happy Black History Month! Every year, our northside Bucyrus Campus has a fundraiser called the Indaba African Ball. Guests are encouraged to come in African attire and enjoy the fun! #indabaafricanball#indababall#africanball#blackhistorymonth#blackhistory#jersualema#jerusalemadance#jerusalemachallenge#stanncenter#bucyruscampus#event#fyp#trending#viral#fun#happy#party#love♬ Jerusalema (feat. Nomcebo Zikode) [Edit] – Master KG
This year’s inductees included Elizabeth Coggs; Linda Jackson-Cocroft; Yvonne Kemp; Barbara White; Alpha Kappa Omega Sorority, Epsilon Kappa Omega Chapter; and WNOV Radio.
Led by Cameroon native Bertrand A. Fortoh, the guests eagerly took to the dance floor to learn the Jerusalema Dance, which started in Africa and soon swept social media as groups from schoolchildren to workplace groups to nuns and monks took up the line dance challenge.
The event raised more than $24,000 to support free programs at the Indaba Band Shell such as the annual Easter Egg Hunt and Pumpkin Palooza, as well as the weekly summer entertainment series, Indaba Nights, that showcases local performers.
The ball featured the music of several Indaba Nights favorites: the powerhouse combination Christopher’s Project featuring Joe Jordan provided most of the music, and were joined by Adekola Adedapo for one song. The Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra Steel Pan Ensemble, performing at the entryway, greeted guests as they arrived at the Bucyrus Campus.
The evening culminated with the announcement of the 2023 lndaba Nights lineup, more dancing – and promises by departing guests to return to the campus in June for the summer entertainment series.