Africa Day Delivers a Feast of Arts & Culture

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20 May 2009

Africa Day festivities are almost upon us, and with these come a host of celebratory events that will ensure that Joburg is abuzz with African flavour.

Brought to Johannesburg by the Department of Arts & Culture, the City of Joburg and the SABC2, this year’s Africa Day programme offers a feast of African music, dance, cuisine and crafts.

Under the theme: Africa and her children celebrate the Confederations Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Africa Day festivities will start with an event for children on Saturday, 23 May at the Union Buildings Southern Lawns, Pretoria. The planned activities include soccer matches, performances by Gang’be Brass Band from Benin and a ‘kiddies’ interactive corner’ where children will be face-painted with flags of nations participating in the Confederations Cup. A highlight of this event is that children will paint parts of a puzzle that when pieced together represent a map of Africa.

Later in the evening of 23 May, Newtown’s Mary Fitzgerald Square will host the annual Africa Day concert, featuring Nigeria’s Asa, Yuri of Angola, brass band Gang’Be from Benin, South Africa’s own Soweto Gospel Choir, Gang of Instrumentals and the Parlotones. Attendance of this concert is free of charge.

Other Africa Day activities:
Saturday, 23rd May – (immediately after the concert, all free and open to the public)
Cappello’s restaurant - DJ’s China, Otto, Rizzler and Lulo Café will kick off festivities after the concert,
Bassline – Africa Day Bash - featuring DJ Oskido and MTN exploded DJ Mindgame,

Niki’s Oasis Khaya Mahlangu (May 22) and the Sharp 5 Band of Benin. Doppio Zero will keep the jazz fires burning with the Stix Hojene Jazz B on the 23rd May.

Sophiatown Bar Lounge on the 22 May
Craft market, poets Jessica and Ngwenyama and DJ M22. Xarra Books will launch a book titled “The Chimurenga Protocal” by Dr. Nyaradzo Mtizira Nondo

Ko’Spotong , Newtown 23 May
Kospotong will provide a more musical offering in the form of performances from Pop Idol’s finalist Rethabile and DJ’s Hudson and Platinum.

Oppenheimer Gardens in Central Western Jabavu (next to Jabulani Hostel) 23 May from 10:00
Indlamu and Scathamiya: visual art exhibition and performances by groups from Jabulani, Merafe, Dobsonville, Dube, Nancefield and Mzimhlope hostels. The Oppenheimer Gardens will also play host to a visual art exhibition of artists from Soweto.

Chris Hani Stadium (Orange Farm) 23rd May from 10:00
The stadium will be the site of an explosion of African dance, poetry, fashion and crafts. Taking place from 10h00 on Saturday, 23 May, this event is free to the public and encompasses traditional Zulu Dance, gumboot Dance, a fashion exhibition, Indian dance, and crafts from a range of African nations, amongst them Cameroon, the Congo, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Regina Mundi Church 24 May from 15:00
Regina Mundi will host the South African Messiah concert on Sunday, 24 May to add a spiritual component to the Africa Day weekend. The concert is an interpretation of the classic Handel’s ‘Messiah’, translated into the 11 South African languages by renowned musician Michael Masote.

African Cultural Museum, Pretoria (25 May) at 10:00


Symposium under the theme: Unifying Africa through Education & Culture.

African government officials, intellectuals and representatives of civil society will debate the role of education and culture in African development.

“The African Union has declared that the theme for Africa Day 2009 is ‘celebrating Africa through education and culture. We believe that the Africa Day events speak directly to that imperative. The various events planned on and around Africa day are an exemplar of Africa’s diversity, vibrancy and the richness of our heritage. Whether it is music and dance at Ivory Park, or the incredible exhibition of African artifacts at Museum Africa, our culture and heritage are being showcased in all their breathtaking diversity and beauty. The Department of Arts and Culture is proud to support an event that encompasses the breadth of African excellence through the arts to such stunning effect, said Ms Rosemary Mangope, Acting Deputy Director-General in the Department of Arts and Culture.”

Media enquiries:
Department of Arts and Culture: Mack Lewele on 082 450 50 76
City of Joburg:

For further information, please contact:


Marang Setshwaelo, Dreamcatcher
082 599 1802
011 447 5655


Matsepo Monyatsi
011 447 5655