Tag: Guyana

She Met Her Prince (for Real!) at a D.C. Nightclub – New York Times

Ariana Austin and Joel Makonnen aka Prince Yoel (Credit: Jared Soares for The New York Times)

by Katie Rogers via nytimes.com

Few love stories resemble a fairy tale as much as the courtship and marriage of Ariana Austin and Joel Makonnen. Of course, it helped that the groom is an actual prince and the bride has a prominent lineage of her own. Mr. Makonnen, known as Prince Yoel, is the 35-year-old great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. And Ms. Austin, 33, is of African-American and Guyanese descent; her maternal grandfather was a lord mayor of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana.

As the couple noted on their wedding website, their union happened when “Old World aristocracy met New World charm.” The old and new combined on Sept. 9, in a marathon day of events that lasted from 11 a.m. until late in the evening, and took place within two states.

The festivities began with a ceremony at the Debre Genet Medhane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Temple Hills, Md. In an incense-filled sanctuary, guests in stockinged feet watched as at least 13 priests and clergymen helped officiate the Ethiopian Orthodox ceremony between Mr. Makonnen and Ms. Austin, who just days before had converted to the religion.

Hours after the ceremony, the pair celebrated with a formal reception at Foxchase Manor in Manassas, Va., with 307 guests, amid gold sequins, platters of Ethiopian food and preboxed slices of Guyanese black cake for people to take home. Their marriage had been more than a decade in the making. In the nearly 12 years since they first met on a dance floor at the Washington nightclub Pearl, in December 2005, Mr. Makonnen and Ms. Austin have pursued degrees, jobs and, at times, each other. Eventually, planning a wedding just became the next item on this ambitious couple’s to-do list. “I think we both had this feeling that this was our destiny,” Ms. Austin said. “But I felt like I had things that I had to do.”

When the two met, Mr. Makonnen didn’t tell Ms. Austin about his royal background, and Ms. Austin, who was 21 at the time, wasn’t necessarily looking to meet her future husband. She was in the middle of a time in her life she fondly referred to as “the summer that never ended.” Mr. Makonnen, himself in bachelor mode, approached Ms. Austin and her friend Jami Ramberan, and told the two women that they looked like models for a brand of alcohol. “I said, ‘You guys look like an ad for Bombay Sapphire,’ or whatever the gin was,” Mr. Makonnen recalled of the pickup line, one now infamous with Ms. Austin’s family. (At the wedding, even Ms. Ramberan, a bridesmaid, recalled the strangeness of that evening: “You don’t expect to meet the person you’re going to marry at Pearl.”) Mr. Makonnen quickly focused on Ms. Austin: “Not even five minutes later I said, ‘You’re going to be my girlfriend.’ ”

To read full article, go to: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/13/fashion/weddings/she-met-her-prince-the-great-grandson-of-haile-selassie.html

Rihanna Launches Need-Based Global Scholarship Program to Help Provide U.S. College Education

Rihanna (photo via wallpaperup.com)
Rihanna (photo via wallpaperup.com)

article by Yesha Callahan via theroot.com

Rihanna wants to reward students who believe in hard work. On Monday the singer announced the new Global Scholarship Program, which will assist students from various countries in attaining a college education in the U.S.

Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation will offer scholarships to residents of Barbados, Brazil, Cuba, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti and Jamaica who are eligible to attend school in the U.S. and have been accepted into an accredited four-year college or university. Through the need-based scholarship, they will have the opportunity to receive an award between $5,000 and $50,000 to go toward their tuition.

“I don’t think it’s fair that children carry the burden of financial limitations at such a young age,” Rihanna stated. “To be able to give the gift of an education is actually an honor. Higher education will help provide perspective, opportunities and learning to a group of kids who really deserve it. I am thrilled to be able to do this.”

The application process was launched Monday and continues until June 10. Fifty winners will be judged on “academic performance, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, work experience and a personal essay.” Applications can be submitted here, and winners will be announced in August.

Baroness Valerie Amos Becomes 1st Black Woman to Lead a University in the United Kingdom

Baroness Valerie Amos (photo via flashpoints.wordpress.com)
Baroness Valerie Amos (photo via flashpoints.wordpress.com)

Baroness Valerie Amos has been named director of SOAS at the University of London. SOAS was founded in 1916 as the School of Oriental Studies and has since expanded its mission to also focus on Africa and the Middle East.

When she takes office in September, Baroness Amos will be the first Black woman to ever lead a university in the United Kingdom. Since 2010, Amos has served as undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator at the United Nations. Earlier in her career, Baroness Amos was the first black woman to sit in the British cabinet as Secretary of State for International Development. She became Leader of the House of Lords and served as the United Kingdom’s High Commissioner to Australia.

Born in Guyana, Amos earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Warwick and a master’s degree in cultural studies from the University of Birmingham. She was given the title of Baroness Amos of Brondesbury in 1997.

In accepting the post, Baroness Amos said: “With its vast repository of knowledge and expertise on its specialist regions, SOAS is uniquely placed to inform and shape current thinking about the religious, political, cultural, security and economic challenges of our world. There is an interrelated set of issues which need to be addressed to manage growing complexity and the contradictions of greater global connectivity and greater fragmentation. SOAS is a place where I can continue to grow and learn and use the skills, knowledge and experience I have gained over the years.”

article via jbhe.com