Pamoja Women hosts first African Cultural Day

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(ABC 6 News) – Pamoja Women held its first-ever African Cultural Day in Rochester.

It was such a success, that the group’s co-founders are planning on turning it into an annual event.

The Peace Plaza in downtown Rochester was full of food, music, and laughter as different African communities joined together.

As soon as people entered the plaza, they were immediately greeted by the smell of the spices of traditional African food.

There were also six different traditional African dances taking the stage throughout the day.

“Pamoja Women serves these communities, and it’s amazing how that when we needed them, they came through,” said Khadija Ali, the co-founder of Pamoja Women.

The group aims to empower women and girls of East African heritage in Rochester.

“You would see all sorts of women that are like, you know, entrepreneur minds, that actually came today and sold things that they did not have the confidence to do at first,” said Khadija Ali.

As you walk around the plaza, you’ll see women and girls everywhere in colorful traditional dresses.

Some of them took part in the Sudan fashion show, and one woman even got married.

“Wedding ceremony in Sudan, it’s kind of different, so we did one, it’s called ‘jerteg.’ The bride wears all the red and like a gold hat,” said Alaa Ali, the organizer of the Sudan Fashion Show.

The three biggest cultures represented were Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia, but Pamoja Women hopes next year there will be even more.

“I just hope every year it becomes better and better and better,” said Khadija Ali.

Pamoja Women want to thank the city of Rochester, all of their sponsors, and the different African communities that showed up to make the event such a success.