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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

ANNUAL AFRICA DAY CELEBRATIONS (article first published : 2008-05-19)

The eThekwini municipality is proud to announce that this year the city will celebrate Africa Day with an exciting programme which is part of the annual African Renaissance Festival taking place next week.

On May 23 on the Church Walk promenade outside the Durban City Hall, Ethekwini Municipality will once again celebrate Africa Day by showcasing the different cultures and traditions that make up Africa. The programme features a variety of activities combining the local and the local refugee community (Diaspora). The performances range from poetry, African drumming, Congolese dance, Rwanda’s women’s group, Maskandi, Afro pop and local comedians. Also featured will be speeches from the Mayor and other dignitaries including Mr. Meyeri the Masaai Warrior championing the cause of the Masaai people in Kenya on the importance of building strong partnerships with African cities, countries and communities. Another feature is the promotion of ideas and campaigns to combat racism and xenophobia.

As part of its commemoration and celebration of Africa Day, eThekwini Municipality has commissioned visual artists to do paintings on various themes that will adorn the City Hall precinct as part of the celebration. All the artists are based in Durban and all the flags of the African states will be on show.

Among the artists taking part will be Eric Coolfire Radebe (programme director), Durban Divas, the reggae band Meditators, the eithg-piece jazz band Maputo to Durban a well as the Rwanda Women’s Cultural group / Mozambique Drummers / Mayera Kings.

On May 25 at the Chesterville Sports Ground from 10h00 to 18h30, there will be an exciting community event supported by Ethekwini Municipality which is providing the necessary infrastructure for the event to be a success. Featured will be the best of local talents and the Diaspora. There will also be stalls selling locally-produced goods.

MC will be DJ Jah Crucial and the morning kicks off with the reggae groups Soul Rebel and Edenic People, followed by poetry from Prince Shapiro and Righteousness and Nyabinghi drumming and prayer for peace and harmony in Afrika. From 12 noon, there will be Kuwi Msomi and the TuffMasters ft Tafari on drums; acoustic guitarist Kaya, Snoux, The Golden Harvest” Acrobats from Kenya and the Woodpeckers Percussion Ensemble and Flute. From 14h30, there’s Jah Soldier And Island Crew with reggae jazz collaborations; Four Wise Men (offspring of jazz legends); the Theo Bophela Jazzband and the MEditoris Reggae Band. The programme comes to a close at 18h30 with Nyabinghi drumming and prayer for peace and harmony in Afrika.

All the programmes will be free of charge to the public. For more information on Chesterville events, contact: Sister Free on 082 758 1411. For other Africa Day events, contact Ms. Bongiwe Mkhize on 031 311 2198 or 083 745 9640.

In addition the eThekwini Municipality’s communications department will issue a free Africa Day educational map on May 23 which will be in the form of a supplement in the Mercury and Isolezwe newspapers.




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