(SEE VIDEO BELOW)
LOS ANGELES – For the first time in the organization’s history, CAMSOLA, will honor a Cameroonian-American at its annual Awards Party taking place Saturday. 34-year-old political activist and journalist Jasmyne Cannick, who traced her African ancestry to Cameroon through AfricanAncestry.com in 2008 has been announced as the 2011 CAMSOLA Community Service Award recipient. Cannick will join scholarship finalists Noella Bih, Lajoyce Ornella Mboning, and Desmond Chotanjong, as well as native Cameroonian singer and songwriter and the event’s featured performer Marcel Bwanga at the group’s annual celebration Saturday, December 10, 2011 (8 p.m.) at GAM Hall in Los Angeles.
“CAMSOLA recognizes outstanding native Cameroonian and Cameroonian-American individuals, groups or businesses that have made an impact in the African immigrant community and the community at large in Southern California,” explained member Gerard Ngwang.
For five years, CAMSOLA has celebrated the voice, life, and soul of Southern California’s Cameroonian, African, and African-American communities as both a social club for native Cameroonians and Cameroonian-Americans as well as the home organization for the amateur soccer team of the same name.
The group works to engage and educate the greater community about Cameroon as well as to provide quality representation for native Cameroonians and connect Cameroonian-Americans living in California with Cameroon. An integral part of Los Angeles’ collective African community, in 2011 CAMSOLA saw the launch of their Youth Development Scholarship Fund and Youth Leaders Club.
While most of the club’s members are native Cameroonian’s, the club encourages and invites African-Americans who have traced their ancestry to Cameroon to get involved—something that attracted Community Service Award recipient Jasmyne Cannick to the group.
“It’s because of encouragement I received from the Pan African Film Festival and Isaiah Washington who traced his own ancestry to Sierra Leone, that I traced my own ancestry,” Cannick explains. “I remember the feeling of being complete after opening that envelope and finding out where I really come from in Africa. The award, while nice, doesn’t compare to just being accepted and welcomed by my brothers and sisters from Cameroon. For that I am truly grateful.”
Cannick says she currently working towards obtaining dual citizenship which she believes is every African-American right to have.
This week’s event will be a celebration of the winners and will be a culmination of a process where members of the local Cameroonian community have nominated and voted for individuals in various categories including Community Service Award and academic achievement.
CAMSOLA invites the community at large to come out and celebrate all things African.
One of the most anticipated events in Los Angeles’ African immigrant community the CAMSOLA Awards are designed to recognize outstanding Cameroonian individuals, groups or businesses that have made an impact in the Los Angeles African immigrant community and the community at large in Los Angeles while celebrating Los Angeles’ Cameroonian community. Open to the public, the 2011 CAMSOLA Party and Awards celebration will take place Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 8 p.m. at GAM Hall at 4075 West Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles. African attire is suggested. Pre-sale tickets online are $15 and $20 at the door. More information on the event can be found at www.camsola.org or by calling (323) 300-5969.