By Jasse McDonald
On Saturday, 25 February, I had the distinct pleasure of participating as the Master of Ceremony in the 70th birthday celebration of my good friend, and mentor, Eld. Mansa B. K. Musa. The evening was well attended, as Eld. Musa met and greeted many guests.
Two African drummers, Alfonso Wallace, and Allan Leguall started the event by playing two selections to get all the guest’s attention. Shortly afterward, it got followed by Eld. Mansa Musa performed the Libation ceremony to invite the ancestors to be present.
The ambiance of the evening was that of pure simplicity and relaxation. The musician on the piano, Mr. Dwight Grant, serenaded the many guests with his renditions of oldies and goodies. The foods and drinks were plentiful, and everyone enjoyed the different pastries.
As the MC for the night, I had the opportunity of interviewing most of the guests; they all knew Eld. Mansa Musa for many years. A wonderful couple and their son traveled from St. Catherine, Ontario, to be part of the celebration.
The evening activities continued with Eld. Mansa Musa, launching his 7th book. Everyone in attendance received a signed copy of his book, “The African Griot In Me!
After signing the books, various guests spoke briefly about knowing Eld. Mansa Musa for many years. One of his guests also celebrated her 78th birthday, and she was shocked when Eld. Mansa presented her with a lovely gift. They both knew one another for over forty-three years.
Another gentleman who was present, Mr. Andrew Grant, knew Eld. Mansa Musa for fifty years, and they remained friends for all those years.
I must share here that I also know Eld. Mansa Musa, for approximately forty-eight years. He has always kept his image as someone who helps community members with his vast knowledge, wisdom, and advice.