ACTION Support Centre (ASC) as part of its commitment to African people solidarity held its annual cultural festival to celebrate Africa Day. The event sought to bring together the diverse and vibrant African communities living in Johannesburg. The aim of the event was to celebrate and promote a culture of African unity and people-to-people solidarity between and among Africans living in South Africa and across the continent.
The day started off with a beautiful parade organised by ASC in partnership with the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) and members of the Africa Week organising committee. It sought to represent as many African countries as possible. The parade – full of people dressed in traditional attire, flags from different African countries, children’s dance groups and different marching bands – attracted a lot of attention from the local communities. Many local children joined the parade and people waved and took pictures from their gardens, windows and balconies. Spirits were high and the parade created a sense of togetherness and unity amongst those joining in.
After winding through the streets of Yeoville, the parade march came to an end at the open field, where ACTION had organised a stage. A number of artists, including poets, inspirational speakers, musicians, and dancers, performed to entertain the crowd and to celebrate Africa. Although the event was designed to create a happy and festive atmosphere, it was important to shed some light on some of the issues facing the continent. Activists and poets from different parts of Africa took the stage to speak on the challenges and the struggles the continent continues to face.
ACTION took the opportunity to highlight current pressing issues affecting the continent. ASC demanded the return of the abducted Nigeria girls and the immediate release of the political activists in Swaziland. The various activists motivated the crowd through solidarity and unity messages. They reminded the African people that unity and solidarity with one and another was necessary for Africa to move towards a better future. The media was present at the event and captured the momentum.
The day proceeded with dance and music performances by artists from all over the continent. People were very engaged and danced and sang alongside the artists, making the day a great success.
The Africa Day celebration marked the end of a series of events designed to celebrate Africa Week. The events included the successful launch of the Africa Solidarity Caravan. The ACTION team is pleased that the objectives of the events were successfully met and that the vision of a unified Africa has gathered real momentum. It is now important to consolidate this energy and ensure that the African Solidarity Caravan treks on through Africa to the Human Peace and Security festival in Addis Ababa.