Africa Day is annually celebrated on May 25th not just on the African continent but throughout the African diaspora. The celebrations highlight African solidarity, unity in diversity, creativity, challenges and successes, and the cultural and economic potential of the continent.
2023 marks the legendary celebration of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now the African Union (AU). This diamond jubilee is being celebrated under the slogan: “Our Africa Our Future” using the hashtag #OurAfricaOurFuture
Artscape will once again act as one of the pivotal venues for Africa Day celebrations across Cape Town.
Artscape commemorates Africa Day with the production Buzani KuBawo celebrating the isiXhosa language.
Adapted and directed by Thokozile Ntshinga, Buzani KuBawo is a drama about love, family relationships and conflicts that arise when traditional expectations clash with changing values.
The high-quality production, written by Witness K. Tamsanqa, also highlights the power of love and that one is meant to have a chosen one.
The play follows our annual staging of the production as a set work that has been seen by thousands of matric Xhosa learners from the greater Cape Town area.
A special poem of thanks performed by Sonelisiwe Maleki, was part of the Africa Day performance of Buzani Ku Bawo.
Equally Artscape has been celebrating Africa Month with the following productions:
My Children! My Africa! honours one of South Africa’s finest playwright Athol Fugard’s seminal 1989 play presenting a candid and moving portrait of a country set in 1984 during Apartheid and on the verge of revolution. This modern classic is Fugard’s hymn to the power of youth, education, hope and ideas commenced on 12 May and concludes on 02 June.
Earlier this month on the 06th May local African wear designers were showcased during the Mother City Fashion Experience Khayelitsha Fashion Week which had as it purpose is to, prepare, develop and establish local brands by providing a platform to showcase their latest offerings and new designs bringing nothing but local power designers to the fore.
The month also included an exhibition, “Self Expression”, by a young visual artist, Leshaan-Shane Ontong from Mitchells Plain. Her paintings were on display for 3 weeks in the Artscape foyers and she managed to sell 4 of her works.
The month of May was also brought alive with the multi-award winning production of We Will Rock You which features an all South African Cast.
Additionally on the 18th May the First Nations of Australia and South Africa paid homage to the African and South African icon Krotoa during the showcasing of !Nau for Now that draws on the ancient First Nations rituals marking the important transition in the life of a person or a community, boosting people spiritually, psychologically, and emotionally.
In the 1600s Krotoa was denied her ‘Hokmeisietyd’ (rite of passage ritual) working as a servant, translator and negotiator for the colonial commander Jan van Riebeeck.
Wulgurukaba Walkabout 3 Dancers from Australia joined 3 Garage Dance Ensemble from Namaqualand. This celebration formed part of the very engaging story of the Artscape journey with the Krotoa: Eva van de Kaap production right from the very beginning, taking Krotoa via Holland and now onwards to Australia to raise consciousness and awareness nationally and internationally. This journey epitomises what the story of Krotoa means for SA and the world.
On the 19th May Cultural Style Week was launched in South Africa showcasing traditional cultural wear souped up as designer wear for all occasions from casual to haute-couture including designs from the Ivory Coast. The Cultural Style Week movement launched in London in 2022 is a visual celebration of cultural diversity during the week of 21-27 May where people from around the world can take part by proudly wearing their heritage and sharing their pictures on social media, using the tag #culturalstyleweek.
These productions are an integral part of our mission as an inclusive cultural centre for all and highlighting all arts genres for more than four decades, making it stand out as an iconic cultural beacon in the Western Cape.
Furthermore the celebration of Africa Day and Africa month ties into the ethos of a cultural centre that prides itself as a home for all.
Through the expression of arts and culture Artscape seeks to utlise this day to complement the ethos of the African Union viz.: act as a platform for the continent to engage and build stronger networks and partnerships at various levels across national and international boundaries.
The celebrations at Artscape equally seeks to reinforce African solidarity, unity in diversity, highlighting creativity, challenges and successes, cultural and economic potential of the continent. It is also a platform for the continent to engage and build stronger networks/partnerships at various levels across national and international boundaries. It could also be a catalyst for connections and creation of collaborative networks from all facets of life aiming at fostering positive change in the communities (idea sharing and inspirational talks.