Here I am with Bulali (left) and Nomawethu (right).
It's been a busy week! After saying goodbye to Big Ben, the Corinthia hotel and all the out-of-this-world fun at Collectormania in England, I flew to New York to attend Ubuntu Education Fund's gala, which was held on June 6 at Roseland Ballroom. (Thanks to Burberry for this purple dress, and to my mom for styling me - she thought these strappy gold Adrienne Vittadini shoes would work.) The turn-out was humongous, and so were the donations. I am so happy to be a part of this important cause, which I talked to Teen Vogue about. What was most exciting was that I was able to meet face-to-face some of the many amazing people who help make Ubuntu Ubuntu: founder Jacob Lief, the organizers Charlotte Renfield-Miller and Kabibi M'Poko-and last but not least, Nomowethu and Bulali. Nomawethu is a counselor at Ubuntu in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and Bulali is a "scholar" who has benefited from Ubuntu's health and education resources. We first met the day before the gala and got to know each other. ...
I feel like I've known them forever! Ubuntu made a video of me and Bulali interviewing one another. She's a journalist in college. I'll post it as soon as it's ready! Then Bulali, Nomawethu and I visited Central Park and Times Square after dinner at a Chinese restaurant. It was their first time having Chinese and they seemed a little overwhelmed by the dumplings (although Bulali was quite brave and put the whole thing in her mouth)! I'm sure they will both be able to handle chopsticks, fried rice and lo mein before you know it. They even met Lady Liberty!
The gala was so much fun, with a family-style meal and great music from Gary Clark, Jr. At the auction, guests bid on great packages, including a trip to South Africa to have tea with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and a visit with President Clinton. Wow! The most impressive parts, however, were the speeches by Nomawethu and Bulali. Everyone was moved by their stories of how they came to be involved with Ubuntu. Both my mother and I teared up.
I can not wait to travel to the Ubuntu Centre to see these two again. They were so smart, warm, and funny. I can't believe how much they've overcome, and how incredibly brave and powerful they are. It was sad saying goodbye. I'm also looking forward to meeting all the kids there, and checking out all the incredible work Ubuntu does in person.
U.ME.WE. That's what it's all about.
To read Teen Vogue's article about Amandla and Ubuntu, click here.