African drums send cultural message
Thousands of people will be swayed by the beat of African drumming group Zoh Zoh this weekend.
The eight-piece band will be playing at the Auckland International Cultural Festival along with a Caribbean steel band and more than 45 other acts.
The free festival will be held at the WesleyMt Roskill War Memorial Park.
“We imported the drums from west Africa,” says Yaw Boateng, who has been with Zoh Zoh for seven months.
The name Zoh Zoh means step by step and they play Afro-ejo style music from Ghana.
Organised by the Auckland City Council, the weekend literally kicks off with the Ethnic Soccer Cup on Saturday.
Sunday will see the semifi and finals of the cup, as well as the festival day itself, featuring the world stories tent, food, music and dance from more than 40 countries.
Council event organiser David Daniela says he expects about 40,000 people to attend.
“The big surprise is realising how many cultures we have in New Zealand. Some of them have been here a very short time and this is the future face of New Zealand.”
Arts, culture and recreation committee chairman Greg Moyle says this is a good chance to find out more about the different nationalities that make up Auckland.
“It is an excellent opportunity for ethnic groups to display with pride the cultural variety they bring to the city.”
More than 150 stalls are expected on the day.
The festival, which runs from 10am to 5pm on both days, was previously World Refugee Day and has grown into a large annual event.
African drummers: Moyoyo Alovyi, left, and Yaw Boateng from Ghana practise for their performance on Sunday.