2018 African Association of Madison
Graduation Celebration
Representing Community
Carter was Madison’s Poet Laureate from 2008-2011 and recently ended a library tour called “Hidden Voices: African American Writers in Wisconsin” along with
local novelist Sherry Lucille, and playwright and novelist Catrina Sparkman.

Fabu shared that the beautiful attire that she wore was purchased during a trip to Kenya and was a gift to her mother, who has since passed. She shared words
her mother told her when she left home to pursue her education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “I want you to get this degree and any others that you
want,” Carter said. “Our family values a good education. Go as far as you want to go with our support. I don’t ever want you to come home and then correct me or
my English.”

Fabu’s mother believed in the importance of education, but to be used as a tool in life, not to make you better than others. Her father had another concern. “Why
would you ever want to go to Wisconsin,” Carter said. It’s a place much colder than their Tennessee home. At the time UW-Madison was the only place that
offered advanced degrees in African Literature. Fabu would pursue a master’s in Afro-American Studies and African Literature as she wanted to know herself
and her people through written words.

Carter noted that her generation was responsible for the integration of education and it was a load to bear.

“We were also the generation, taught that what we became in life, reflected on our family, and even on the entire Black Race,” Carter said. “If we did well, others
would know that we were raised right. If we did well, outsiders would know that Black people were accomplished too. If we acted a fool, our family members
would eventually know about it; and then we would be summoned. It was a heavy burden, but it was one we willingly carried because we understood, even it if
it was just a little, what our parents and grandparents all the way back to the ancestors had wanted for us.”


Her final words were welcomed by those in attendance who felt they should be heard by all:

“If your education makes you feel elitist or better than any human being UNLEARN THAT.
If your education has parts that are anti-Creator, anti-family or anti-African, or anti-people, UNLEARN THAT.
If your education causes you to disrespect your elders, parents or extended family members, UNLEARN THAT.
If your education is a tool to express your gifts and talents, as well as to share them with the world, LEARN THAT.
Learn that your degrees can open doors to economic opportunity that not only benefit you, but are to be shared with those less fortunate than you in your family
and your community, LEARN THAT.
Learn that true education, the ability to think, analyze, and put good into the action is a mighty weapon against evil and injustice in the world, PLEASE LEARN
THAT.”

The graduates and their families gave Fabu a round of applause for her thoughtful words to celebrate their accomplishments. AAM President Ray Kumapayi then
thanked her and introduced Godwin Amagashie to help present certificates to the graduates. They include:

High School: Almami Gibril Demba, Waterloo; Moubarak Jeje, Middleton; Ayomi N. Obuseh, West; Christable Araba Sackey, Middleton; Sira Delali Sangare, East;
Nathan G. Seward, LaFollette and Muhammed Trawally, West.

Associates Degree: Mariama Jammeh, Human Resources, Madison College

Bachelor’s Degree: Rukayat Ajagbe, BS Biology & Health Care Science, UW- Oshkosh; Jalika Ceesay, BA Political Science, UW – Madison; Louise W. Soko-Tetteh,
BA Health Care Mgmt, Concordia; Goodwill Chekwube Obieze, BBA Human Resource Mgmt & Legal Studies, UW – Oshkosh; Jarrai Suso, BS Nursing, UW –
Milwaukee; Emily Vanessa Durrant, BA International Studies, UW – Madison, Fredrick R.A. Ochieng, BS Mechanical Engineering, UW – Milwaukee, Laura N.
Tembei, BS Sociology & Human Resource Mgmt, UW-Whitewater; Yaa Bema Nyantakiwa Tutu, BS Communication Science & Disorders, UW – Madison.

Graduate Degrees: Ares Beatrice Ayandokon, MBA, Edgewood; April Ifedayo Kumapayi, MBA Accounting, American Interncontinental; Fatoumata Toungara, MBA,
Edgewood College; Tosha Songolo,MD, U of Chicago Illinois College of Medicine;  Evelyn Akuba Hammond, PhD, Environment & Resources, UW – Madison;
Edson Tamvana Makuluni, PhD Mathematics, UW- Madison; Aaron David Olson, PhD Engineering Mechanics, UW – Madison.

Graduates will receive stoles from Ghana, to be presented at the African Association of Madison’s picnic held the third Saturday of July at Demetral Field. The
chair of Scholarship Committee, Thomas Adeetuk, shared the need for further contributions for the scholarship fund and encouraged graduates to apply. Godwin
Amegashie shared the news of a new scholarship provided by the family of the late Ladidi Saratu Garba. Information about the scholarships can be found on the
AAM Website.

Upcoming for the association is Africa Fest, held August 18th at Milt McPike Park. This year will be the 25th Anniversary of the association and 20th Anniversary
of Africa Fest.

We look forward to celebrating these anniversaries and future graduations in Madison’s African Community!
By Hedi Rudd

The Madison College Office of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement
and the African Association of Madison (AAM), collaborated to bring together
members of the association who are 2018 high school and college graduates
on May 18th at Madison College. Madison College’s Jimmy Cheffen
spearheaded the relationship and remarked during his welcome, “I love this
because I think it’s important to support all students as they go through K-12
and on to higher education. “

Cheffen provided information about the Scholars of Promise and other
programs at the college that will assist them in furthering their education. “If
you need anything, if there is something we can work together on, contact me,”
Cheffen urged.

Aliou Traore, chair of the AAM Education Committee and UBUNTU Mentoring
Program, spoke of the demanding work of the individuals receiving
acknowledgement and introduced the keynote speaker, Fabu Phillis Carter.