MUSIC BEYOND FIFTH ANNIVERSARY GALA [#MB5]
Honoring Noëlla Coursaris Musunka
Featuring Romance de l’OSK String Trio from DR Congo
Sunday, September 22, 2019
6PM - 9PM
Studio Arte West
(265 West 37th Street, 17th floor, New York, NY 10018, )
Music Beyond is elated to celebrate our Fifth Anniversary Gala on Sunday, September 22, 2019 at Studio Arte West in New York City. Please save the date for a glamorously commemorative evening, with the Democratic Republic of Congo at the very heart of our celebration.
We have the esteemed pleasure of honoring the incomparable Noëlla Coursaris Musunka (Founder / CEO, Malaika) with the Music Beyond Award this fall. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo to a Cypriot father and a Congolese mother, Noëlla had a tough childhood, with her father passing away when she was only five. She was sent to live with relatives bound for Belgium and later Switzerland to pursue better education. “The problem in Africa is that women’s education is not a priority,” explained Noëlla in an interview. “So when my father died, my mother didn’t have enough education to earn money, so she couldn’t take care of me. She gave me away because she wanted to give me a chance.”
Scroll down to read her biography!
In addition to our most special honoree, Congolese musicians Pauleth, Josephine, and Dauphine will join us all the way from Kinshasa, DR Congo, for their first ever performance in the United States! This will be a once-in-a-lifetime evening for DRC that you will certainly not want to miss— Secure your ticket today!
2019 MUSIC BEYOND HONOREE
Noëlla Coursaris Musunka
Founder & CEO, Malaika | International Fashion Model
Noëlla Coursaris Musunka, a Congolese/Cypriot philanthropist and international model, is the Founder of Malaika, a grassroots nonprofit that works to educate and empower girls and communities in her home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
After finishing her studies in Business Management, Noëlla entered the world of modeling. As her career took off and she took her talents to the global stage, Noëlla uncovered a platform through which to share her passion for human rights. Fiercely proud of her African heritage, her determination to help improve the lives of Africa’s youth has made her an international advocate for girls’ education.
In 2007, fueled by her personal commitment, Noëlla founded Malaika. Today, Malaika’s education and health programs are impacting thousands of people’s lives in the village of Kalebuka and are all offered free of charge. Malaika’s work has three components: an accredited school that provides a quality education to 340 girls; a community center that offers a range of programs to 7,000 youth and adults annually; and, a clean water program that has built and refurbished 17 wells to supply fresh water to over 30,000 people each year. Crucially, Malaika’s community-driven approach acts as a model that can be replicated on a global scale in communities around the world.
Since 2017, Noëlla has served as an Ambassador for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. She also continues her work as a model, representing MAX FACTOR, among other brands. Noëlla has also recently designed a capsule collection of makeup, named ‘Aksanti, in collaboration with Black Opal, with 25% of sales going towards Malaika. All names in the collection in Swahili have been chosen by students and staff of the Malaika School. In January 2019, Noëlla collaborated with fashion designer Roksanda and THE OUTNET to launch an exclusive clothing collection, with proceeds going towards Malaika.
As a passionate advocate for girls’ education across the globe, Noëlla has shared her insight and perspective at a number of world-class forums spanning the Clinton Global Initiative and the World Economic Forum in Davos to the halls of Cambridge, Oxford, and Harvard Universities, the offices of UNICEF, and in front of global corporations. In 2017, she was named one of the BBC’s 100 Most Influential and Inspirational Women of the Year. More recently, Noëlla received an award from the House of Mandela at the Nelson Mandela centenary celebration, recognizing her work with Malaika. She also delivered a keynote speech at the 2019 Forbes Leading Women Summit in Durban, South Africa for International Women’s Day.
Romance de l’OSK String Trio
Classical String Trio from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
String players Pauleth Masamba, Josephine Nsimba, and Dauphine Mata are members of Congo’s first all-female chamber ensemble Romance de l’OSK in Congo.
Pauleth has been a violinist for 24 years and is an entrepreneur who runs an organic juice company with her sister. Romance de l’OSK inspired her to make her longtime dream a reality: She co-founded the Young Women’s Association for Mutual Aid and Development (AJFED), which supports, connects, and empowers women in Africa and beyond. “We believe our vision, and this is why we started building something from nothing.”
Josephine is a nurse and mother who has been playing the cello for 25 years. A founding member of the Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra in Congo, she believes that “music is a language. A person from America, from Lebanon, from Congo—anyone—they can make music.”
An ambitious businesswoman, Dauphine has been playing the violin for 15 years and is the formidable leader of Romance de l’OSK. Through her work with Music Beyond and the ensemble, people in her community have started to believe that “women, too, can create something extraordinary.”
Proceeds from this evening will further fund Music Beyond's current programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Music Beyond is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that aims to empower people in developing countries through music and engagement, currently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. By providing local musicians with the tools they need to grow as performers, mentors, and teachers, Music Beyond fosters an enduring positive impact that extends beyond music into the everyday lives of people.