Saturday 20 July 2019

Fantastic celebration of African cultures

Africa day offered a local insight into the continent's culture, heritage, and food

Bukoola and Amanda Adegbensan and Ola Adedeji
Bukoola and Amanda Adegbensan and Ola Adedeji
Cailon and Kayla Uzoechina.

Brendan Keane

The Presentation Centre in Enniscorthy was awash with colour and buzzing with excitement recently when it played to Africa Day.

The annual event attracted a big crowd to the venue and was a celebration of different aspects of African culture and heritage.

Members of the local African community were in attendance along with people from around the county with direct links to the country.

The event featured music, dance and fashion and there was a range of activities for children.

The cultural and creative heritage of the continent was also the focus of attention with a language exchange, poetry and music playing a bit part of the proceedings.

There was an Ethiopian coffee making ceremony that also attracted a lot of attention.

There is a strong African community in the south east and that was one of the reasons why the Africa Day initiative began last year.

A spokesperson for the organisers commented on the event to this newspaper and expressed delight at how it went.

The initiative was organised by Wexford County Council in conjunction with Wexford Local Development.

'Funding for the event was supported by Irish Aid through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,' said the spokesperson.

Among the guests in attendance was Rashid Seghrouchni, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Morocco.

He joined people of African descent and members of the local community in for what turned out to be a great celebration of culture.

Irish Aid, at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has been the driving force behind Africa Day celebrations throughout Ireland since 2006 and in particular it has forged strong relationships with countries like Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia.

'The local authority was delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural tapestry that the many diverse communities from Africa bring to Co Wexford,' said the spokesperson for the organising committee.

'We had an opportunity to taste and sample all that is great from Africa with our neighbours and friends with a wonderful display of music, dance and food,' she added.

She said Africa Day is an important date on the local calendar as it gives everyone the opportunity to 'take stock of the contribution that people make in our society' through sport, economic development, culture, art and community initiatives.

Africa Day also provides an opportunity for an inter-agency collaboration approach between Enniscorthy Municipal District, Wexford Local Development and the African community.

The organisers thanked everyone who contributed to the event and in doing so helped make it a great success.

Enniscorthy Guardian