Celebrating Africa Day

Celebrating Africa Day

Africa day celebrations were recently held in the Capital at Siri Fort auditorium under a unique outreach programme, ‘IndiAfrica: A shared Future.’ Supported by Ministry of External Affairs of India and managed by Ideaworks, the programme’s aim was to bu­ild bridges bet­w­e­en African and Indian youth and highlight Africa's diversity, success and cultural resonance with the rest of the world.

Speaking on the occasion, Navdeep Suri, Joint Secretary MEA said: “70 per cent of the population in Africa today is below the age of 35, with similar statistics in India, promoting engagement between youth in Africa and India is imperative to pave the way for a shared future. The driving vision of the programme is to work together to unleash the enormous energy of young people, to encourage their unique and powerful creative ideas and to enable them to be facilitators and catalysts of this process.”

The evening was an amalgamation of dance and music where artists from both the countries performed. The event started with a dance performance by ‘Horn of Africa’, a dance troupe from Somalia.

They presented a traditional Somali dance ‘Dhaanto’ which came to them from Egyptian ancestors.  This was followed by the much awaited performance of the Indian Ocean band, consi­d­e­r­­ed to be the pioneer of fusion rock genre in India. Rahul, the vocalist and guitarist of the band was all praises for the event. “Since the celebrations were held for Africa Day, I did not expect such a huge gathering in India. I am amazed to see the excitement of youth from both the nations. They have been cheering us all night,”  he said.

Another act that mesmerised the audience was that of the Slumgods. A unique dance troupe of children featuring Bboys (breakdancers), rappers and Djs. They also danced on Des mera by Indian Ocean. The students bands from Congo and Nigeria, Rio Des Djika and Amazing Talent, respectively, performed a lively medley of African music.

The lead vocalist of Amazing talent, Flexi Emmanuel was ecstatic. “We were all looking forward to dance here. I felt so great that I had goosebumps all the time during our performance.”

Osif Jude, the drummer and guitarist said, “The Indian people were dancing on our numbers. What more could I expect? I was actually very nervous about the whole thing and wasn’t really sure that people would like our songs. But they loved it! I have never felt so alive on stage. It was wonderful. Just spectacular.”

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