Uhuru Furniture grows live shows into a dynamic new economic institution

Uhuru Furniture and Collectibles (UFC) Philly currently hosts live shows twice a week on Facebook and Instagram to bring this powerful African People’s Education and Defense Fund (APEDF) institution of African economic self-determination into living rooms and cell phone screens throughout Phila neighborhoods and around the U.S.

Under the leadership of DC Ona Zené Yeshitela, Uhuru Furniture started hosting live shows at the beginning of the COVID-19 shut down to keep in touch with our large base of shoppers and friends. Now, the shows are a popular institution in their own right with a growing following.

Every Thursday at 3 PM ET, Ali Hutley, the Uhuru Furniture Sales and Operations coordinator and Party leader in the store, guides the live audience on a walk through. Ali shows our outside display and takes viewers through the downstairs showroom to give a taste of the new top quality furniture donations fresh off the truck. People love to engage with Ali about the pieces he is showing.

Every Saturday we go live at 10:30 AM ET because the store now opens at 11:00 AM. We have added a roster of new and longtime friends of Uhuru Furniture who co-host the show and share it with their friends and family.

The talented and lively Tina Mouzone, a great local performing artist and longtime member of the UFC marketing and sales teams, co-hosts every month. Tina said she always wanted to be a QVC host and can now fulfill that dream and build African economic development!

Raymond Thomas, who we originally met through the show itself, has furnished his entire North Philly house with Uhuru Furniture and decorated the homes of many family members.

Raymond is a generous and flexible co-host who shares his interest and knowledge of furniture and home decor with our supporters. He also regularly volunteers at the store.

Albertha Drayton-Bailey is another close friend of Uhuru Furniture whom we met through the show. Albertha is a dynamic personality who leads a large and influential Facebook group, Philadelphia Black Businesses and Services. Albertha regularly shares the show and brings her friends and family down in person.

Rhenda Fearrington, a brilliant local jazz artist and President of Jazz Bridge, a non-profit that raises funds for jazz and blues musicians, not only co-hosts but wrote, performed and is recording the theme song for the show. Rhenda is a generous performer and donor to APEDF, UFC and the One Africa One Nation Uhuru Bookfair and Flea Market. She is also the number one buyer and queen of NZO pillows.

Uhuru Furniture Live is booking co-hosts months ahead! We have an extensive list of local African artists, musicians, crafts people and entrepreneurs lined up and excited to host with space for many more!

Under the leadership of Deputy Chair Ona Zené Yeshitela, Uhuru Furniture is reintroducing the Buy Black Power campaign to activate our many partners into an organization of businesspeople and artists that see the future in the hands of the African working class and operate to benefit our whole community, not just an individual. Uhuru Furniture Live is part of building Buy Black Power and is involving many of APEDF’s contacts and supporters in this endeavor.

The production team is growing too! Gaia Greene, a highly skilled new member of the UFC sales team, coordinates the setup of the show, creating new eye-catching vignettes upstairs, and staging the downstairs show every week.

She is often the camera person on Facebook and Instagram. The UFC sales and marketing intern Asha Wiggins has expanded the outreach on Facebook to over 50 groups per week, including student groups, and hosts the Instagram chat during the show. The production team includes Sandra, Gaia, Renee, Debbie, Alison and Ameer.

On every show, we debut at least one never-before-seen piece of hand painted NZO furniture by NZO artist Carter and other NZO volunteers.

The UFC live shows are another example of how the Uhuru Movement is building on every front, engaging on various platforms and organizing to meet the needs of our community, to build a positive cultural life that serves our interests to feed, clothe and house ourselves.

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