AFRICA DAY: CELEBRATED BY MANY, IN DIFFERENT WAYS
24 May 2015
By: Mushavhela Immanuel and Simbarashe Mudzviti
“WE ARE ONE AFRICA”
Africa Day is celebrated on May 25th annually to mark the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) donkey years ago (in 1963). In 2002, the name changed as the Organization of African Unity was renamed to African Union (AU).
The main vision of the AU is ‘ensuring an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa’. Africa Day celebrates the continent’s achievements and affirms its vision to create a quality life for all Africans.
Johannesburg citizens, together with Non Governmental Organization (NGO’s) from around the city celebrated Africa Day with a special weekend of political events. The main purpose of the events was to remind people from the African continent that “we are all Africans and we are one”; and we ought to live together in peace and harmony.
Pan African Congress (PAC) leadership together with its members gathered at Constitution Hill, Hilbrow, in Johannesburg to celebrate Africa Day and to remind its members what Africa Day means to Africa as a whole.
African National Congress (ANC) leadership also gathered at Mamelodi, Pretoria to celebrate Africa Day. Members of ANC as well as other special guests from African countries were warmly welcomed by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa.
Mayor of Pretoria,Kgosientso Ramokgopa also addressed the masses where the AU Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlaminizuma also attended and urged people to live in unity and harmony. “We are one nation, one continent and one destiny”, she said.
On the same event, President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma was a key speaker of the day. “Let us all unite and give the best we have, Africa” Zuma said. He went on to urge people to ensure a better living condition for all Africans by living in peace with one another.
Speaking on the same event, the Premier of Gauteng David Makhura said all Gauteng Schools tomorrow must start by singing AU Anthem; and that the Anthem will be made official by next year.
Joburg Central Times got to get views of a few people who had attended the gathering, about the purpose of Africa Day Celebrations. This is what they said:
Nkhangweleni Muluvhu said “I don’t see the significance of celebrating Africa Day if we are still attacking our fellow Africans. I’m saying this because our brothers and sisters were attacked by South Africans few weeks ago. If only we can learn to live in peace, not fighting each other; I can then see the need to celebrate it”.
Dulcinea Debastos Manuel from Angola said, “As Africans we need to get united. Xenophobia is over and people should come together as one. I feel proud to be African”. Asked about what her name means, she said Dalcinea means ‘very sweet’.
Joburg Theatre also celebrated Africa Day with a special weekend of music featuring the richness of the continent’s music, dance and song. Joburg Theatre made it by combining five artists one from (Nigeria), the other one from (New York, Ghana) and two of the most well-known South African artists as well one from (Cape Verde).
Femi Koya, Abena Koomson, Lura, Ringo Madlingozi and Lira are the five who shared a stage in the Joburg Theatre with the aim of proving to Africans that “WE ARE ONE AFRICA”. The event was from the 22nd of May to the 23rd, prior to the special celebrations by many Africans on the 25th. The five entertained many Africans by their live performance.
This event came after few months of facing critical challenges in South Africa as some of its parts were facing Xenophobic attacks which resulted in death of several foreign Nationals.