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Celebrating Mama Njia Kai, a community treasure

Best Njia:  Portrait of Mama Njia at the celebration.

Best Njia:  Portrait of Mama Njia at the celebration.

Recently, the Detroit cultural community celebrated one of the city’s dearest cultural leaders, Njia Kai. It was a surprise party to show their deep appreciation for Mama Njia in her role as events planner, cultural worker and educator.

For many years she has served the Detroit Cultural Community by organizing cultural/educational events and programs that keep children on positive paths, uplift people’s spirits and regenerate people for the work ahead. The consistency of her commitment to people has provided a model for all.

This surprise celebration was Hakima Ismail’s idea, as she savored the wonderful days of the last African World Festival held on the grounds of The Charles H. Wright Museum. Again Mama Njia had played a major role in creating the lineup of activities, coordinating and ensuring the success of that Festival.

Baba Yao, Mama Njia’s husband, expresses his love. PHOTOS BY JENDAYI IYI

Baba Yao, Mama Njia’s husband, expresses his love. PHOTOS BY JENDAYI IYI

“We really had to do something to show Njia how much we treasure her and value the gifts she shares with us,” Sister Hakima said.

Hakima was overjoyed to bring her idea to fruition at Bert’s on Jan. 26, with the assistance of Ola, one of Mama Njia’s daughters, and Malaika Nsoroma. The celebration was attended by a huge crowd, with many individuals coming forward to offer Mama Njia praise, appreciation and gratitude.

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