Celebrate Africa Day 2014 Nationwide this week!
This year’s Africa Day activities have kicked off! The annual celebration of Africa’s unity takes place right around the globe, and here in Ireland, Irish Aid is the driving force behind celebrations which aim to celebrate African culture and community.
Africa Day celebrations are taking place nationwide this week with the national Africa Day flagship family festival taking place in Farmleigh Estate, Phoenix Park, Dublin 15, on Sunday 25th May from 11am to 6pm and is free of charge.
The theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘Partners for Growth’ and the events aim to shine a light on the opportunities that exist between Ireland and the continent of Africa for developing partnerships and collaboration. Follow Africa Day on Facebook and Twitter #AfricaDay, and for more information visit www.africaday.ie.
Here’s more on the jam-packed nationwide programme of events:
- In Cork, an African Film Festival will take place in St. John’s College this Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd May from 6pm. In addition, there will be a seminar, ‘African Trade Conference’, run in partnership with Cork Chamber of Commerce, in the Clarion Hotel on Friday, 23rd May, 12pm to 3pm, to engage with the business community.Finally, on Saturday, 24th May, there will be a parade. commencing on Patrick’s Street, featuring musicians and dancers from African countries, along with a marching band and céilí dancers. The parade will culminate in a free outdoor event in Bishop Lucey Park, from 1pm to 6pm, with a strong focus on music, dance and celebration.
- In Dublin, to celebrate Africa Day 2014, Irish Aid is hosting a flagship Africa Day family event this Sunday, 25th May 2014 in the grounds of the Farmleigh Estate in the Phoenix Park, Dublin from 11am to 6pm. This will be a family-focused event, and will be free of charge to attend. The main stage will feature a stunning line up of performers such as: the internationally renowned Irish folk and world music group Kíla; Irish and Nigerian fusion band, Tig Linn; Ireland’s foremost Afrobeat band and multicultural music project, Colours Afrobeat Foundation; international band fusing traditional and contemporary styles of West African music from the Mande Empire of what is now known as Mali, alongside Afrobeat rhythms, Manden Express; 10-piece ska, pop, punk fusion band, The Amazing Few; and the Irish four-piece Square Pegs, paying homage to Chicago blues, 1950′s R&B and New Orleans big band sounds.There will also be an ‘African Bazaar’ with stalls from over 20 different African countries, offering food, drumming, dance, hair-braiding, henna hand-painting, traditional fashion designs, and lots more. In addition to African community groups, a range of development NGOs will be present in the bazaar, offering fun activities, while the African embassies in Ireland will also be represented at the event. As well as this, emerging rap and hip hop artists will have their very own stage to showcase their talent. Children will be entertained with circus performances, face-painting, mask-making, storytelling and sports.
- Galway will launch its 2014 programme of events today, Monday, 19th May at 11am in the Townhall Theatre. Mayor of Galway City, Councillor Pádraig Conneely, will officially launch the festival, and there will be a screening of a community video a group of Irish artists with intellectual disabilities and an intercultural group from Ballybane, with participants from five African countries.The 7th Annual African Film Festival at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, National University of Ireland Galway, takes place from 23rd to 25th May and will screen a number of features, shorts, documentaries and children’s films.Doughiska will also celebrate Africa Day with a free event to be held in Doughiska’s new secondary school, Merlin College on Saturday, 24th May from 2pm to 5pm. Africa Day Doughiska aims to celebrate the rich diversity of African culture in the Doughiska area on the East side of Galway city, where approximately 20% of the Doughiska Roscam and Ardaun population are of African descent according to the last Census.
- In Limerick, there is a special week of celebrations to coincide with the city being Ireland’s City of Culture 2014, with a programme that includes African storytelling for primary school groups and African drumming at Limerick City Library on May 21st, a ‘Sounds of Africa’ concert at St. Mary’s Cathedral on May 22nd, and a creative writing competition for secondary schools and an art competition for primary schools.A symposium on the theme of Partners for Growth will be held at the Hunt Museum on Friday, May 23rd, where speakers will include Minister for Housing & Planning Jan O’Sullivan and former Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power, now head of Unicef Ireland.
A signature concert featuring a fusion of African and Irish music and culture on Saturday, 24th May at City Hall.
- Africa Day activities in Waterford will have a strong focus on local schools. The City Council is working with the Waterford One World Centre and the Garter Lane Arts Centre to offer an education programme for local primary-school pupils featuring the film ‘Felix’ followed by workshops addressing human rights, peace and conflict, as well as positive images of Africa. The film and workshops will take place in Garter Lane Arts Centre for 5th and 6th class pupils.An evening cultural programme will begin on Sunday 25th May with a free reception featuring performances from the Waterford African Drummers, African Dancers and the African Gospel Choir on the steps of the Garter Lane Arts Centre O’Connell Street from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. This will be followed by a screening of the film ‘A Long Walk to Freedom’, based on Nelson Mandela’s life story.In addition, the Pan African Organisation Waterford will celebrate Africa Day on Sunday 1st June, with celebrations taking place from 12pm in the Community Development Project Centre Hall, Ballybeg.