WoodxWatta, an annual Ghana-based, Caribbean-driven festival, brought a smaller off-shoot event to New York City’s Hotel Chantelle for Labor Day weekend. The two-part event kicked off with a business brunch panel discussion, convening thought leaders that speak to trade, community building and pop culture between Africa and the Caribbean. The event closed out with a proper bashment true to the festive style of African and Caribbean cultures.
Lakeshia Ford, the founder of Ford Communications and WoodxWatta who is also Jamaican-American, opened the ceremony asking patrons, “When we discuss Africa and the Caribbean, history and culture are often at the center, but what is the future of that relationship? How are we trading and investing with each other?” WoodxWatta, she said, was created to explore the answers to that question.
Ford Communications is a 360-degree PR Agency based between Ghana, United States and Jamaica, which supports multinational brands connecting with audiences across African markets. Ford also supports African business across industries, and connects them with international audiences. The agency has been servicing projects across Africa, North America, the Caribbean and Europe for the past 10 years, while also consulting for governmental organizations specializing in nation branding.
While Woodxwatta has regional focuses, it is a space for all Black people and people of color with heritage from emerging nations, to answer the charge to build Black, globally.
“We need new structures that center Black people and their priorities,” Ford explained.
WoodxWatta is a multi-city event and a global community platform that explores various solutions for emerging markets in West Africa and the Caribbean, starting with Ghana and Jamaica.
As the world continues to put Afrobeat and Caribbean culture at the forefront of its trends, WoodxWatta is creating a space that edifies people by offering knowledge-sharing, a network, business opportunities and curated entertainment experiences. This opens the door to endless possibilities between the Caribbean, Africa, the global Black diaspora at large.
WoodXWatta’s NYC panelists included: international MC Young Prince; Afrofuture’s Social Impact Director Gifty Boakye (serial entrepreneur, model, and Miss Ghana 2022); Netflix’s Survival of the Thickest and P-valley actor, Taylor Sele; Rashan Brown of Poetry Me, Please; Sarita Naught, Social Media Exec at VH1 & BET; Simone Mair, Co-founder of Curlfest; and Esi Gillo, Co-founder and CEO of Diffvelopment.