The icône Story

The Birth

The inception of icôneBrunch leans on the story of its founder Emmanuel Eben. As an adolescent growing up in Kumba, a metropolitan city in the Meme division of Western Cameroon, he wrestled with a recurring ill health that made him a sickly child. 

His unpredictable and quite egregious crises left his family as well as medical practitioners defeated. Emmanuel and his family spent several years trying to figure out the reason for his illness and why he continued to suffer immensely from such an “unknown illness”.

The Reason

After several years passed, Emmanuel and the Eben family migrated to America. Shortly after their relocation,  he had another crisis, this time he was seen by some practitioners who ultimately diagnosed and identified his illness as Sickle Cell Anaemia. 

As the saying goes: “knowledge is power”, correctly diagnosing him was just the beginning of his journey, things became muddy when they learned that there is no cure for the anemia. Emmanuel however, continued to endure the crises, but he became knowledgeable of some healthy habits that helped keep recurrence at bay thereby putting his health at optimal levels year-round.

As he continued to get familiar with his new lifestyle, he was made aware that several people, most especially African-Americans, have limited knowledge in regard to sickle-cell anemia.


With that, Emmanuel understood that he had no option but to choose to live life regardless of the cards he had been dealt. It was ultimately after he endured his most severe crisis to date, which resulted in a 5-day coma, that he made the decision to outwardly share the need to celebrate life and health with the people he loves most. That single decision led to the genesis of icôneBrunch.

The Brunch

This brunch embodies everything that Emmanuel holds dear to self: from fashion, and elegance, to good eats, great music and companionship. With the creation of his non-profit foundation “Eben Family Sickle Cell Foundation”, this event will also change the lives of children fighting sickle cell anemia in Africa, beginning with his home country of Cameroon. He intends for the foundation to empower the diaspora with knowledge on the disease, and who it affects. This shall be done through events, the provision of materials as supplies, promoting local efforts towards adult genotype testing, and lastly sponsoring families in Cameroon who have children living with sickle cell. icôneBrunch is an event with a human-centered purpose as it’s core. Emmanuel has committed to dedicating all the proceeds from the brunch to “Eben Family Sickle Cell Foundation”. 

With hopes that this brunch can increase the conversations around Sickle Cell amongst millennials and Gen Z, icôneBrunch is taking its place in the industry as a charity event for the culture. 

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