Afrochella is a cultural festival. A celebration of the conversational pieces that represent culture: food, fashion, art and music. While celebrating the best and most creative of Africa’s diverse culture, the hope is to tell stories “about us by us”. Abdul Karim Abdullah, founder and CEO of Afrochella has built an immersive festival to highlight the vibrant work of African creatives & entrepreneurs.

Born and raised between Accra and New York City, Abdul’s upbringing allowed him to understand the culture and nuances of both of his cultural spaces. Inspired by his love of community and culture Afrochella’s is designed to elevate and highlight the thrilling and thriving millennial talent in Africa.

Afrochella has become more than just a festival to enjoy diverse music and culture. It is now a foundation providing development opportunities to underserved residents of the festival’s host countries. The Foundation’s influence will provide underrepresented creatives with basic opportunities to refine their professional experience.

We spoke to Abdul about the future of Afrochella and what the growth of this immersive festival has taught him.

What sets Afrochella apart from other festivals?
Afrochella is a celebration of Africa’s diverse culture and the vibrant work of African creatives & entrepreneurs. It celebrated all the components that make up culture – food, fashion, art as well as music

1. How does it feel to watch your community grow & see more people enjoy and celebrate different African cultures?

It feels great. It feels like a dream realized. We have so many in the diaspora doing amazing things. We need to connect with each other. We are living in a unique time where technology is bringing us together in ways like never before. We have a unique opportunity to tell our own stories

2. What big life lessons have you learnt since the beginning of Afrochella in 2015?

Resilience, grit, resourcefulness. These are all words that have meant different things to me at different points in this journey. The process is the best part of the journey.

3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

In five years the hope is to have festival activations in 5-7 African countries. A more vertical business into content creation. Developing full-fledged African stories in line with Afrochella’s Pillars.

4. Alongside Afrochella Festival, you run other initiatives to support your community like #Afrochellafeeds #Afrochellareads #Afrochellagiveback & #Afrochellatalks, do you plan to launch other programs like this and what are your goals through these?

Yes we do, lifting as we climb has been a mantra our company has kept since inception. Ensure we are leveraging our agency to positively impact our community is engrained into our process. So you can expect more.

5. What advice would you give to young creatives and people starting their own events?

Don’t wait for perfection. Just start, and believe in your vision, your preparedness and your grit. Don’t let the opinion of others deter your ability to flesh out your thoughts, Ideas or vision

6. Twitter recently announced its first African headquarters in Ghana and mentioned Afrochella as one of the reasons behind its move. What does this mean for you and your team?

It means we have a dream of ours realised. We were one of the first companies on the continent to partner with Twitter. Being able to leverage our agency to reflect positively on Ghana and our people is a win in our book. But we are extremely excited about what twitters presence means for aspiring tech developers, engineers and other technophiles. Super excited about what it means for good-paying jobs created in Ghana. There are so many positive things that will come from this.