The crème de la crème. Your community lures me to safety. Plush are your gathered energies. Opening portals of sensorial guidance. Infantries of intermarrying tribes. Your fight their wars you reap their efforts. Black. Stretching the sky with your wonder. – Manka John
Words by: Gene Sibeko
History was witnessed and made as some of Africa’s most celebrated individuals gathered to attend Fifty-Four Mag’s Greatest Party of All (GPOA) in the ancient country of Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is a country steeped in history and culture, with a rich and diverse heritage that has captivated the world for centuries. Known as the “Cradle of Civilisation,” Ethiopia is a land of ancient wonders and modern marvels, a place where tradition and innovation exist side by side. It is a country that embodies the very essence of Africa, with its vibrant colours, bold flavours, and resilient spirit.
Moreso, Ethiopia is a country that has overcome incredible odds to emerge as a beacon of hope and inspiration for all of Africa. From its historic victory over Italian colonialism to its remarkable progress in education, healthcare, and gender equality, Ethiopia has shown that anything is possible with perseverance and determination.
Hosting the GPOA in Ethiopia was a celebration of all that is Africa, a tribute to the beauty and diversity of the continent and its people. With its majestic landscapes, vibrant cities, and warm hospitality, Ethiopia was the perfect setting for a gathering of the world’s most creative and influential minds.
Amidst the vibrant display of diverse traditions and the enchanting showcase of creativity, stood a gathering of some of the most remarkable individuals. The illustrious Zambian musician, Sampa The Great, renowned for her masterful songwriting in the Marvel Wakanda Forever soundtrack, graced the event with her presence. Alongside her was the Nigerian visual artist, Laolu, whose talent and ingenuity has captured the hearts of many.
The exuberant Moshoodat Sanni, a collaborator of the iconic Beyonce, was also present, as was the visionary fashion designer, Sarah Diouf, founder of Tongoro. The event was further graced by the presence of Miss Universe 2019, Zozi Tunzi, and Trevor Stuurman, who was named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and recognised as a 2021 TIME Next Generation Leader.
Further extraordinary individuals included internationally acclaimed Burundian Chef Coco Reinarhz, who recently showcased his culinary prowess at Chanel’s first-ever fashion show in Senegal. The gathering also witnessed the presence of the award-winning chef and author known as “The Lazy Makoti” and the top designer and stylist Joy Proctor, who has been celebrated by Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
The weekend-long event was awe-inspiring thanks to the gracious people of Ethiopia who made everyone feel at home. It consisted of two main events, starting with the all-white Welcome Party at the Kuriftu Resort on Mount Entoto, which was a sight to behold and set the tone for the rest of the unforgettable weekend.
A Mesmerising Welcome
Imagine being transported to a grandiose dining venue nestled on the tranquil Mount Entoto, surrounded by lush greenery and the sweet scent of nature’s plants, flowers, and herbs. This is where the all-white Welcome Party was held. The atmosphere was nothing short of festive, with guests connecting over cocktails and Ethiopian cuisine, while being entertained by the popular Menscook dancers who hyped up the crowd with the best of African music.
The gathering was a true representation of the rich and vibrant African culture, with guests dressed in their best traditional and contemporary attire. It was a mesmerising affair, showcasing the diversity and beauty of the continent.
Star of The Show
The main event, The Greatest Party of All, was the pinnacle of the weekend. Held at the sprawling outdoor venue in Kuriftu Bishoftu Resort decorated by Flawless Events, Fifty-Four threw a party that was a true celebration of African culture and style.
The event kicked off in a powerful way as guests were treated to a stirring poem by Manka John that spoke to the significance of Black joy and how powerful it can be when experienced by all. As the night progressed, the entertainment only got better. The crowd was in awe of the musical talents of Muneyi and Salma Sky, who brought their unique sounds to the stage. Ariel, a fearless musician, also wowed the crowd. The dance and entertainment troupe Menscook kept the energy high and the guests on their feet until they could dance no more, carrying them on a journey they would never forget.
With an explosion of flavours from all corners of the African continent, the culinary experience was a masterpiece, with Burundian Chef Coco Reinarhz and his team leading the charge, offering guests a range of traditional Ethiopian cuisine and delicacies from West and South Africa. And with the skilled lens of award-winning photographers Trevor Stuurman, Simrin Dhillion, Mwawa G Silupumbwe, and Victor Kovachev, the event was immortalised in a stunning visual masterpiece. From tears of joy to moments of deep appreciation, this was a weekend that will be remembered for years to come.
The guests looked regal dressed in vibrant colours and intricate designs adding to the grandeur of the occasion. The men dressed in their finest Agbada suits, Dashiki’s, Tunics or Zulu Ibheshu’s and the women in their most royal Nubian crowns, shawls and Sintu gowns. The fashion over the weekend emphasised that Africans are the true definition of royal, ethereal and creative.
The Greatest Party of All was more than just a weekend-long celebration of African culture and style. It was a moment in time when the world came together, united by a shared appreciation of the diversity and beauty of Africa. From the exquisite dining to the enchanting ambiance, every detail was carefully crafted to create an unforgettable experience.
The event was a testament to the power of coming together to celebrate culture and community, creating memories that will last a lifetime. As the night came to a close, guests left with a sense of deep appreciation and a renewed understanding of the richness of African traditions. The Greatest Party of All was truly an iconic event that will be remembered for generations to come.
Lastly, Fifty-Four Mag would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to our generous sponsors for their generous support in making The Greatest Party of All a resounding success. Exalt Africa, Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopian Skylight Hotel, Kuriftu Bishoftu Resort, Kuriftu Entoto, Flawless Events, and Eternal Media Production – your contributions made a significant impact in ensuring our event was a memorable experience for all. Your dedication and commitment to excellence were reflected in the top-notch services and products that you provided, and we could not have done it without you. Thank you again for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to another amazing event next year!