Indwe - - Celebrate Africa Month This May - Text & Images © The De­part­ment of Arts and Cul­ture

The theme for Africa Month 2018 is “A Year of Nel­son Man­dela: Build­ing a Bet­ter Africa and a Bet­ter World”. The De­part­ment of Arts and Cul­ture in­vites all of the peo­ple in the Repub­lic of South Africa, the rest of the African con­ti­nent and the African Di­as­pora, as well as in­ter­na­tional guests to join us in the Africa Month cel­e­bra­tions in May.

Africa Month will com­prise a va­ri­ety of cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties around the cen­tral theme of the cen­te­nary of the late and great states­man and first pres­i­dent of a demo­cratic, non-racial and non-sex­ist South Africa, Pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela, whose life’s con­tri­bu­tion be­came an em­bod­i­ment of the shared hopes, dreams, and as­pi­ra­tions of the peo­ple of South Africa and of all peo­ple glob­ally fight­ing for an end to racism.

The cen­te­nary of his birth is an op­por­tu­nity for re­newal and a strength­en­ing of the African agenda through the pro­mo­tion of African identity, val­ues and ethics. This year we also cel­e­brate the cen­te­nary of Al­bertina Sisulu, a great daugh­ter of the African soil who ded­i­cated her life to the ser­vice of her peo­ple. We also salute our fallen he­roes and ac­knowl­edge the great con­tri­bu­tion of Mama Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela, who has re­cently passed away.

This month also serves as a re­minder of the es­tab­lish­ment of the African Union on 25th May 1963. It was one of the most hope­ful sym­bols of African as­pi­ra­tions and de­ter­mi­na­tion as it sought to carve a proper place for our con­ti­nent in the world.

By es­tab­lish­ing the Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Africa Unity (OAU) in 1963, the African con­ti­nent be­came a pioneer in be­ing the first con­ti­nent to fo­cus on con­ti­nen­tal unity, and to en­cour­age na­tion build­ing through unity and free­dom from op­pres­sion. It is in cel­e­bra­tion of this mile­stone of the OAU and its suc­ces­sor, the African Union, that the De­part­ment of Arts and Cul­ture will host a se­ries of events to cel­e­brate Africa Day on 25th May and through­out May for Africa Month.

Yet even be­fore 1963, many ini­tia­tives were taken by Africans – both from the con­ti­nent and in its di­as­pora – for Africa to re­gain its right­ful place in the world. South Africans are also found amongst those ear­lier gen­er­a­tions who made enor­mous

con­tri­bu­tions to­wards this ef­fort. The speech of Pix­ley Ka Isaka Seme in 1906, on the “Re­gen­er­a­tion of Africa”, would be echoed by the gen­er­a­tions that fol­lowed, and en­hanced through a num­ber of ini­tia­tives aimed at the de­coloni­sa­tion and re­gen­er­a­tion of the con­ti­nent.

Africa Month also seeks to in­crease the ap­pre­ci­a­tion and de­mand for arts and cul­ture goods and ser­vices, and to stim­u­late com­pet­i­tive mar­kets for trade among African coun­tries.

While ex­ist­ing pro­grammes of the De­part­ment of Arts and Cul­ture seek to cul­ti­vate an African identity through the pop­u­lar­i­sa­tion of the na­tional flag and con­ti­nen­tal flag, as well as the Na­tional An­them and African Union An­them, it was im­por­tant to in­au­gu­rate a full month­long pro­gramme, a fes­ti­val of ideas as a cel­e­bra­tion of what it means to be African, to deepen and ex­pand our knowl­edge, en­gage in cul­tural ex­change, sharpen our ideas, but also to face our con­ti­nen­tal des­tiny to­gether.

Some of the cel­e­bra­tory events dur­ing the 2018 Africa Month cel­e­bra­tions in­clude:

• A Fes­ti­val of Ideas: A se­ries of col­lo­quia and di­a­logues by prom­i­nent Africans on de­coloni­sa­tion. This will take place all around South Africa. No­table speak­ers in 2018 in­clude Prof Mireille FanonMen­des, who will speak on learn­ing from the past to shape Africa’s fu­ture, as well as Mutabaruka, the dub poet, ed­u­ca­tor and ra­dio per­son­al­ity born in Ja­maica, who will speak on the im­por­tance of key fig­ures in Africa’s de­vel­op­ment, as well as en­gage on his own writ­ings.

• !Kauru: Con­tem­po­rary Art from Africa – a

vis­ual art cel­e­bra­tion of African art • Al­ge­ria Week

• Gcwala Nga­masiko – an in­tra-African

mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary arts fes­ti­val

• Fo­cus on African Ar­chives

• Fo­cus on African In­dige­nous Cui­sine • Fo­cus on African Fash­ion

• Zakifo – mu­sic fes­ti­val in Durban • Bassline Africa Day Con­cert in Jo­han­nes­burg • SANAA Africa Fes­ti­val

• We Are Africa Film Fes­ti­val

De­tailed times and dates can be found at: www.dac.gov.za.

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