Self Help Africa recently hosted its 13th Annual Change-Makers Ball at Pier Sixty in New York City. Right On! Digital’s Chief Marketing and Media Officer, Ken Harris, aka KENTHEPHOTOGRAPHER was on hand and covered the red carpet. While in attendance, he chatted with Lovell Adams-Gray, the “Power Book II: Ghost” star who frequently appears on Right On! Digital’s site. Adams-Gray, who portrays the character Dru Tejada, married his longtime fiancee, actress Kiana Madeira, who has a list of acting credits including roles in “Fear Street” and “Trinkets.” They were married in September, 2023, in Cabos San Lucas, so this was one of their first public appearances as a married couple.
Other faces on the red carpet included ‘Empowering Africa Award’ Honoree, Flaviana Matata (entrepreneur, philanthropist, model), Jaimie Alexander (actor, ‘Blindspot’), Jay Manuel (TV Personality), Karen Pittman (actor, …’And Just Like That’), Xavier McKinney (NY Giants), and Taylor Sele (actor, ‘Survival of the Thickest’).
According to a spokesperson at Self Help Africa, “we work to alleviate hunger, poverty, gender inequality, and the impact of climate change in 17 countries across Africa. We do this by providing community-led, market-based, and enterprise-focused approaches so that people, particularly women can access nutritious food, clean water, and income through small business development while sustaining natural resources.
“The annual black-tie event has raised over six million to date. Proceeds from the event are used to run Self Help Africa’s programs, including the new Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) – women-led social enterprise models designed to create sustainable development for women by providing access to farming inputs, technology, land, access to markets, and small loans. WBC’S cut out the middlemen and create fairer societies where women are better rewarded for their efforts while raising awareness about the importance of women accessing resources, power, and leadership, which is essential in securing long-term positive change. Rural women are the backbone of African agriculture. They produce over 70% of the food on small farms but female farmers own just 1% of agricultural land. If women received the same access to land, tools, technology, and other support as men, they could produce up to 30% more food. This could potentially lift almost 150 million people out of poverty.’
Honoree Flaviana Matata is a supermodel, entrepreneur, and humanitarian who has walked the runway for many iconic designers and graced the pages of countless magazines, including Vogue, Essence, Glamour, Marie Claire, Forbes, and more. In recognition of her successful modeling career, Flaviana has previously won many major awards including; Model of the Year by Arise Magazine and Top 10 African Models by Forbes Africa. Through her work as the Founder of The Flaviana Matata Foundation in Tanzania, she has been awarded The Changemaker Award and The Face of Africa Award for her outstanding leadership and dedicated service to the Africa Community. Flaviana’s personal care company, LAVY Products, creates non-toxic, cruelty-free products that are available in more than 200 stores in six countries. Through LAVY Products, Flaviana has incorporated a skills training program that empowers young women to build their entrepreneurial skills and run their own businesses. 10% of the profits from the LAVY sanitary pads helps to provide FREE sanitary pads to school girls in underserved communities.