By Kaya 959 News
May is Africa Month which culminates into Africa Day on May 25. Gauteng, which is home to many of the people of Africa, is joining in the celebration of this auspicious occasion working with the African Diaspora Forum.
This year’s national theme for South Africa is: “The Year for Arts, Culture and Heritage in the Year of Charlotte Maxeke”.
Together with the African Diaspora Forum and the City of Tshwane, Gauteng will lead the Africa Day celebration on 25 May with colourful festivities at the Union Buildings starting with an African Diaspora parade, Formal program, multicultural market, music concert and more.
Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mbali Hlophe, said Gauteng, in many ways, has proved itself as the home of the various peoples of Africa.
“Gauteng remains an important destination that has gathered Africans as the continent celebrates itself. It is important therefore that we use Africa Day to raise the level of consciousness of Gauteng people on how we all share the same legacy as Africans and the need to unite,” she said.
Hlophe said the appreciation of the shared cultures, arts and heritage can go a long way in bringing Africans together.
“From our languages, traditions, music and way of life, there are enough and compelling reasons to make Africans realise their common legacy,” she said.
Meanwhile, with more than 58 years since the move to bring together Africa with the formation of the Organisation of African Unity which later became African Union, the need for the continent to unite and forge closer links has never been more important.
“With countries forced to cut and close themselves from each other following the COVID-19 global pandemic, it is important for all Africans to realise the importance of embracing and appreciating beautiful Africa and save it from the clutches of poverty, colonialism, apartheid, ethnicity a violence,” Hlophe said.
Building up to Africa Day, a series of events will be rolled-out, including music concerts, dialogues, exhibitions, sporting activities and more.
Cabinet spokesperson, Phumla Williams, said Africa Day is an opportunity to promote African unity, deepen regional integration and recommit Africa to a common destiny.
“Africa Day and Africa Month help us to better understand one another as Africans, both on the continent and in the diaspora.
“As we commemorate Africa Day, we do so with the realisation that Covid-19 continues as a threat to all nations on the continent.
“We must all unite in fighting the virus and ensure the safety of all people on the continent,” she said.
Africa Day is intended to celebrate and acknowledge the successes of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU now the AU) from its creation on May 25, 1963, in the fight against colonialism and apartheid, as well as the progress that Africa has made while reflecting upon the common challenges that the continent faces in a global environment.
This year’s celebrations will happen virtually and online due to the massive impact of Covid-19 on the continent.