All year long, thousands of Africans from every corner of the planet make their way back home. Each with his/her agenda, visit family; attend weddings, travel for business and pleasure among other things. This year, and in the future, while making your arrangements, feel free to consider one of the following events in your plan. You will not regret it.
Nicknamed “the friendliest festival on the planet”, the four-day event is held every year (Feb. 12-15 in 2015) in Stone Town, Zanzibar. The festival focuses and promotes the Swahili coastal cultures of the East African regions of Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. It features a massive and diverse program (300 acts/artists) with the regions artists, fashion designers, carnival parades and an open-air film program among other things. Sauti Za Busara is the perfect festival to attend if you want to learn and immerse yourself in the Swahili culture, music and the people of the East African region. For 2015, one of the events headliners is the Ghanaian born New York based Blitz the Ambassador.
How would you like to party in the Sahara deserts! The most remote festival in the world, Mali’s “Festival au Désert” is an outdoor gathering in the deserts that celebrates the nomadic Tuareg people, the “Blue Men of the Desert”. Families and clans would assemble and celebrate traditional songs, dance, poetry, cultural manly prowess and female beauty among other activities. According to www.thefestivalinthedesert.com the Touaregs, nomads from the south of the Sahara, have a longstanding tradition of coming together for annual meetings called Takoubelt in the Kidal region or Temakannit in the Timbuktu region. These meetings allowed them to reconnect with each other (after the nomadic season), have fun, resolve conflicts between individuals or groups and to exchange ideas about the challenges that they were facing. These encounters are what “Le Festival au Désert” is built upon. Due to recent security issues in the region, the festival has struggled but its still going on and worth looking at.
Harare International festival of the art
A six-day annual festival and workshop, HIFA showcases the very best of local, regional and international arts and culture with an expansive compendium in theatre, dance, music, circus, street performance, spoken word and the visual arts. HIFA is the largest cultural event in Zimbabwe and a significant player on the international Arts and Culture circuit. In recent years, HIFA has come to be seen as an important (positive) symbol of Zimbabwe among the local and international communities, unifying socially and culturally disparate groups of Zimbabweans at a time of ideological conflict and political uncertainties. It brings out huge audiences together to celebrate something positive – the healing and constructive capacity of the arts. HIFA 2015 will be the 16th edition of theFestival. The 2014 festival will run from April 28th to May 3rd 2014.
If you love African film and culture, then you’ve found your match! The Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (Festival PanAfricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou OR FESPACO) Is the largest African film festival in the world. The equivalent of “film de Cannes”. Held biennially, and focusing mainly on African film and filmmakers, FESPACO is a must attend. This year’s event will be held from February 28th – 7th March 2015.
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