Colour, fun and African sun at Africa Day!
The rich and colourful culture of an entire continent was reflected at The Presentation Centre in Enniscorthy as the Municipal District Council, in association with Wexford Local Development hosted the county's first Africa Day. People came from right across the county to celebrate and all four corners of the huge continent were represented with families making a great effort and arriving in their colourful traditional dress.
The event saw traditional song, dance, poetry and photographs from right across the continent, as well as some fascinating speakers and a sample of delicious African food from chef Essam Elmbaridi of The Taste Factory in Abbey Square.
Chairman of the District Council Keith Doyle welcomed everybody and said 'the local authority is delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural tapestry that the many diverse communities from Africa bring to Co Wexford'.
'We have an opportunity today to taste and sample all that is great from Africa with our neighbours and friends with a wonderful display of photographs, poetry, dance and food,' he continued.
Chairman of WLD Michael Wall and District Manager Liz Hore spoke of their own experiences of Africa, Michael pointing out a shared colonial past between Ireland and Africa, while Liz spoke of her time working in Gambia and Zambia with Irish Aid. Children then arrived onto the stage carrying flags of various African countries in an adorable display of unity, before Hezekiah Shoyeju spoke of his move to Co Wexford.
'Wexford has been good to us,' he said. 'It is our home. Our kids are in school here. Me and my wife are working here. We have everything we could want right here. We mix very well with the local community and they have welcomed us very well.'
John O'Connor of Enniscorthy Enterprise and Technology Centre then spoke about his time in Uganda and how he met his wife Maggie there. He spoke of some of the challenges facing the Ugandan people and what the people of Ireland can do to help.
The Presentation Centre stage was also taken over with wonderful displays of Kenyan and Nigerian song and dance and there was a great atmosphere as people mixed and discussed their backgrounds and the differences and similarities of their cultures.