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Umoja Gala is an evening of African food, entertainment and unity

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CONCORD — Saturday night’s Umoja Gala, named for the Swahili word for unity, will highlight the cultures of Africa through food, music, fashion and decor at the Grappone Conference Center.

The event, a fundraiser for the New American Africans (NNA), a post-resettlement organization for African refugees, will run from 6 to 10 p.m.

There will be a curated array of cuisine from various regions, including dishes such as Mediterranean couscous, Nyama Choma (grilled goat meat skewers), Mandazi (African doughnuts) and Sambusa, known locally as “Batulo’s Meat Pies,” a staple at the annual Concord Multicultural Festival. Local African musicians, dancers, and artists will include Swahili music by The Jamhuri Band; dance performances by a group of Rwandan dancers, NAA’s dance class students and their teacher, David Tumani; hip-hop music by Martin Toe and accompanied by dancers. A fashion show, produced by Emelyne Adios of Style by Emelyne, will depict African fashion from traditional to modern styles. “Many New American Africans who settle in Concord find themselves in a very challenging place because they have to learn a new language, adapt to a new culture, different climate and raise their children in a new environment, often away from immediate family,” said Carolyn Musyimi-Kamau. “I already spoke English before I immigrated from Kenya and did not experience war or famine prior to immigrating; however it still took me a long time to fully settle in the USA. Everything looked and felt so different. I cannot start to imagine how difficult it is to settle when one does not speak English and is dealing with the trauma of loss of loved ones, assets and property.”

Tickets are $75. For more details, visit