Star-studded event to raise funds for life-saving health and education programs in Africa

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The GEANCO Foundation will hold its annual Hollywood Gala on Friday, September 29 at The 1 Hotel to raise funds for programs focused on vulnerable women and children in Nigeria.

Event proceeds will support the David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls, which provides full tuition, housing, healthcare, and social care to young female victims of terrorism and gender inequality in Nigeria. This unique scholarship uplifts and empowers brilliant girls in volatile, challenging circumstances. Donations will also underwrite GEANCO’s November 2023 special surgical mission to Nigeria.

Those in our GEANCO Foundation Family who support us through our annual gala and other efforts are absolutely critical to the success of our work,” said GEANCO’s co-founder and CEO, Afam Onyema. “Spending time in fellowship with so many generous, inspiring, passionate individuals is always a joyful highlight of my year.”

Over the last year, GEANCO has lived out its mission through such transformative efforts as yet another minimally-invasive surgery mission, organizing a special Leadership Summit for its scholarship girls, and building a world-class library and science lab for Brightland Academy, a school in southeast Nigeria.

The Gala is supported by leading figures in the entertainment industry, such as Benedict Cumberbatch (Honorary Chair), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Gala Chair), David Oyelowo (Gala Chair and 2023 Gates Foundation Goalkeepers Event Host), Folake Olowofoyeku (Gala Chair), and previous Gala Honorees and Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Forest Whitaker. Previous Gala guests include actors Rosario Dawson (The Mandalorian and Ahsoka), Scott Eastwood (Fast and Furious franchise), Ava DuVernay (award-winning producer, director and writer) and Sam Adegoke (Dynasty). For a full list of past attendees, please see here.

Ending world poverty is a critical objective worldwide,” asserted Gala Chair David Oyelowo (Selma, Apple TV+’s Silo). “We cannot and must not undervalue the importance of educating and empowering girls in accomplishing this objective. It is an honor to dedicate myself to working with GEANCO to serve our precious girls in their moment of greatest need and greatest promise.”


While mingling with influential figures in the entertainment industry, guests will enjoy exciting Nigerian music, African-inspired gourmet hors d’oeuvres, and a premium open bar featuring Nigeria’s renowned Star Beer. The program will include a celebrity panel featuring actors David Oyelowo, Folake Olowofoyeku (CBS’s Bob loves Abishola), legendary Nigerian actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, and additional talent to be confirmed, as well as updates on GEANCO’s work in Nigeria over the past year.

When: Friday, September 29 at 6pm

Where: The 1 Hotel: 8490 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Sponsors include U.S. Venture Inc., Jason Levin and the Levin Law Firm, Navigate, Star Beer USA, Amplify Africa, and graphic design partner Misfit.

About The GEANCO Foundation

An LA-based nonprofit, GEANCO saves and transforms lives in Africa. It organizes special surgical missions and runs innovative maternal and infant health programs in Nigeria. Its David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls provides full tuition, healthcare, and social & psychological support to young female survivors of terrorism and gender inequality in the country.

For more information on The GEANCO Foundation, visit, and connect with the organization on Facebook, X (Twitter), LinkedIn and Instagram.


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