Africa on the Square
This event has already taken place.

Africa on the Square 2015

12:00pm to 6:00pm
Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DN, United Kingdom

Come and celebrate the best of African culture in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 10 October, from noon-6pm.

Launched in 2014, this new festival proved a big hit with 20,000 people coming on the day.This year’s packed line-up of entertainment includes live music, DJs, dancing and a talent show. There’ll also be an African market, food stalls, a fashion show and lots of activities for kids.

Africa on the Square is organised by the Mayor of London for Black History Month 2015. The event is sponsored by Lebara and Air France, with media partner support from The Voice. It is programmed by Open the Gate.

The Mayor puts on and supports a range of events to celebrate the many cultures and communities of London. To find out what’s coming up sign up for our Events newsletter.

Getting to Trafalgar Square

Public Transport

The Tube

Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern lines) is the closest Tube station, with an entrance/exit on Trafalgar Square.

The following stations are within a few minutes' walk:

Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly lines)
Piccadilly Circus (Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines)
Embankment (Bakerloo, Northern, District and Circle lines)

Mainline train

Charing Cross mainline rail station is about a three minute walk from the Square.

Buses

Routes 3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 23, 24, 53, 77A, 88, 91, 139, 159, 176, 453 go past Trafalgar Square. Also routes 22 and 94 terminate nearby at Piccadilly Circus. Many of London's night buses serve Trafalgar Square. The following routes start/end near the square: 53, N2, N5, N18, N20, N21, N26, N29, N41, N47, N50, N89, N91, N97, N279, and N381, and these routes go past the square: 6, 12, 23, 24, 88, 139, 176, 453, N3, N9, N11, N13, N15, N36, N44, N52, N77, N155, N159, N343.

Visit the Transport for London bus maps page to access information on bus routes from Trafalgar Square, for both day-time and night buses.

Music

Africa on the Square presents live music from:

 AFLA SACKEY & AFRIK BAWANTU (Afro-Funk, Hi-Life / Ghana)

AfrikBawantu, a band producing rhythm-driven dance-inducing fusion with traditional roots, led by Ghanaian-born percussion master, Afla Sackey.

SAIDI KANDA & MVULA MANDONDO (Traditional - Afro-Latin / Tanzania)

Founded by percussionist, Saidi Kanda, who first made his name with Remmy Ongala’s Orchestra Super Matimila, Mvula Mandondo presents an original concoction of Tanzanian village roots, urban rumba and Afro-Caribbean influences.

KRAR COLLECTIVE (Traditional, Ethio-Jazz / Ethiopia)

Krar Collective serve up a colourful feast of mind-blowing Ethiopian grooves. Led by Temesgen Zeleke, a former student of Ethiojazz legend Mulatu Astatke, Krar Collective perform a rootsy yet contemporary take on traditional music from Ethiopia.

TONY DUDU & THE GUMBE JAZZ (Gumbe, Afro-Jazz / Guinea Bissau)

Born in Guinea-Bissau, Tony Dudu has been an important musical figure in the emerging palop* sound over the last 2 decades.(*Portugese speaking African countries) In 2007 he moved to the UK and later formed Gumbe Jazz, a fusion of rhythms of West and South Africa blended with latin grooves and Jazz. It’s a sound that’s sure to get you up on your dancing feet!

ABDOULAYE SAMB & MINNJIARABY (Mbalax, Afro-Blues / Senegal)

Minnjiaraby was founded by Abdoulaye Samb, a guitarist, singer and composer from Senegal, now based in London. His original music is inspired by Fula and Mandinka cultures among many others. The name of the band means "love of mixing", which expresses the richness of Senegalese traditions and ethnicities. 

Esther Alade and Usifu Jalloh, aka the Cowfoot Prince will be your comperes for the day, with DJ Abrantree on the decks. They’ll be serving up some musical treats from across London’s African communities. Kemi, winner of last year’s talent competition will also make a special appearance.

Fashion Show

The two catwalks are directed by Africa Fashion Week London, Europe’s largest event for African and African inspired fashion. The catwalks will feature a selection of high-quality influential emerging African designers from East, West, South and North Africa as well as designers from the African market stalls.

Market Stalls

The African Market at Africa on the Square is a big part of the day. More than 30 stalls will be selling a range of African themed goods, including fashion with clothing for men, women and children, accessories, jewellery, home décor, books, perfume, arts and crafts and lots more. The market provides an excellent showcase for some of London’s small businesses that specialise in quality products inspired by or sourced from Africa. Come and find that special gift, or something to wear or enjoy. In addition there will be a number of stalls selling African street food, offering some of the different styles and tastes from across the continent.

Family area

There’ll be a range of activities for the whole family to join in. This is located in the south east corner of the Square, in a group of marquees left of the music stage. Activities and workshops include:

Mosaics Workshop by Qemamu Mosaics

Explore the creative process of mosaic and make your own African-inspired take-home square mural with artist Dionne Ible.

Batik Painting Workshop by London Textiles Studios

London Textiles studios (LTS) will run workshops in Batik painting. It's a chance for anyone to experiment with waxes and dyes to produce eye catching art work based on the traditional African technique of Batik.

Facepainting and Glitter Tattoo by Kemi of PaintUp!

Moroccan Henna Tattoo by London Textiles Studios

LTS amazing henna artists will be decorating on visitor’s hands with North Africa techniques.

Massage Therapy by Mariama Ndaye

Fancy a relaxing break? Qualified massage therapist Mariama Ndaye will offer head-neck-shoulders massage taster sessions.

Hair braiding Taster by Alicia Nang Hair & Beauty

Visitors will have the pleasure to participate to a hair styling session with Alicia Nang. Braids, twists, weaves, cornrows, buns: try a new style or simply watch how it is done.

Africa Centre

The Africa Centre for 50 years  has existed to promote Africa’s cultural diversity outside of the continent. It serves as a hub to promote creativity and innovation in African art, culture, business and entrepreneurship in London. The Africa Centre will be running their own creative activity in the Family workshop area.www.africacentre.org.uk

National Army Museum

First World War Centenary - Commonwealth and Empire interactive exhibition. Explore images, stories and family-friendly activities, and learn about the vital role the Commonwealth, Empire and Dominions made to the British war effort during the First World War. These included soldiers from Uganda, British West Indies, South Africa, Sierra Leone and Nigeria to name but a few. Come and find out more at the exhibition. www.nam.ac.uk

West-African Drumming & Dance Circle (north terrace)

Wuntanara - meaning 'we are together' - is the exciting creation of master drummer Souleymane Compo. Come and join in with West African music and dance accompanied by traditional instruments.

Talent Show

The opportunity to perform at this year's Africa on the Square event has now passed, the deadline for this was Monday 28 September.

Related events

If you like the sound of Africa on the Square you may be interested in the London African Music Festival from Friday 18 – Sunday 27 September.

To find out more visit www.joyfulnoise.co.uk

Sponsors

Come and meet our sponsors Lebara and Air France, and media partner The Voice, who each have their own stands at Africa on the Square. They will each be offering special activities for the occasion, and helping to make the event a great day out for everyone. 

DJs

Abrantee is now established as one of the most recognisable voices and personalities on the Urban and African Music Scene. He currently broadcasts regularly on Capital Xtra with his weekday afternoon Drive Time show, and on Saturday nights with his #Afrobeats Show. In 2014, Abrantee received the biggest award in UK radio as the ‘Voice of Capitalxtra’, as well as ‘Radio Personality’ of the year at the BEFFTAs.

Abrantee will be joined by special guests Zafi B & Moelogo

Moelogo, born in Lagos, Nigeria, is a rising Afrobeats singer, and is fast gaining recognition with his music releases and live performances.

Zafi B, is a young British Afrobeat Artist and earlier this year released her single ‘My Love’ featuring Moelogo.

Programme

12.15pm - 12.45pm    
Live music: Saidi Kanda and Mvula Mandondo (Tanzania)
 
1pm                             
Fashion show directed by Africa Fashion Week London 
 
1.15pm                        
DJ and Parade on the Square with African drumming and dancing
 
1.45pm - 2.15pm        
Live music: Tony Dudu & the Gumbe Jazz (Guinea Bissau)
 
2.30pm - 3.00pm        
Young talent showcase 
 
3.15pm - 3.45pm        
Live music: Abdoulaye Samb & Minnjiaraby (Senegal) 
 
4pm                             
Fashion show directed by Africa Fashion Week London
 
4.30pm - 5pm            
Live music: Krar Collective (Ethiopia)
 
5.15pm - 5.45pm      
Live music: Afla Sackey and Afrikbawantu (Ghana)
 
Intervals                       
DJ Abrantee
 
Comperes   
Esther Alade and Usifu Jalloh, the Cowfoot Prince
 
12 - 6pm                     
Stalls selling African themed products, fashion, arts & crafts (north and lower terrace)
 
12 - 6pm                     
African style street food and Café on the Square
 
12 - 6pm                     
Come and meet our sponsors and partners Lebara, Air France, The Voice
 
12 - 6pm                     
Mosaic making, Batik making (Family workshop area, lower terrace, south east corner)
 
12 - 6pm                     
Face painting and Henna tattoos (Family workshop area, lower terrace, south east corner) 
 
12 - 6pm                     
Massage therapy and Hair braiding (Family workshop area, lower terrace, south east corner) 
 
12 - 6pm                     
Africa Centre (Family workshop area, lower terrace, south east corner) 
 
12 - 6pm                    
National Army Museum exhibition (Family workshop area, lower terrace, south east corner) 
 
Various times                        
African acrobats, lower terrace 
 
Various times                      
Drumming and dancing workshop, north terrace
 
Please note – times may be subject to change
Accessible transport
You can plan your journey with TfL’s Journey Planner.

National Rail 

The nearest railway station is Charing Cross. It is 325 metres away, approximately three minutes’ walk.  Charing Cross rail station offers step-free access and a step-free route to Trafalgar Square.

Tube

The nearest Underground station with step-free access from platform to street level is Westminster. This is served by the Jubilee, District and Circle lines. Outside Westminster station buses 12, 24, 88 or 453 have low-floor buses which call at a stop within 150m of Trafalgar Square.
Charing Cross Underground station is served by the Northern and Bakerloo lines. It is the closest Tube station. However it does not have step-free access.
Visit the TfL website for accessible Tube maps.

Bus

Routes 3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 23, 24, 53, 77A, 88, 91, 139, 159, 176 and 453.
All these routes lead to Trafalgar Square. However, 9 and 15 are heritage buses and do not have a low-floor.
Visit the TfL website for more information on buses.

Dial-a-ride

Find out about registering and pre-booking Dial-a-ride services.

Accessible parking

The nearest Blue Badge parking spaces to Trafalgar Square are:
  • St Martin’s Street – five spaces - 321 metres from Trafalgar Square
  • Outside Canada House – one space - 33 metres from Trafalgar Square 
  • Suffolk Street – one space - 644 metres from Trafalgar Square 
  • Spring Gardens – one space - 321 metres from Trafalgar Square 
To find other blue badge parking bays nearby, use the postcode WC2N 5DN and search the City of Westminster’s website. To see where the bays are, click the ‘View results on a map’ button on the search results page.

Accessible facilities at Trafalgar Square

  • There is a wheelchair accessible lift.  It is on the north-west of Trafalgar Square. Event stewards will be available to help wheelchair users travelling between upper (north terrace) and lower terrace levels of Trafalgar Square
  • Wheelchair accessible public toilets are available on the lower terrace of Trafalgar Square. This is on the west side of the square to the left of the central staircase. These are open daily from 8am to 8pm. You’ll also find a temporary wheelchair accessible portable toilet near the accessible viewing area for Africa on the Square
  • Trafalgar Square’s cafe is wheelchair accessible, and has a low-level counter and induction loop.
  • Additional accessible facilities for Africa on the Square 
  • There will be a BSL interpreter on the music stage 
  • All staff and stewards will also be briefed on disability awareness
  • The wheelchair accessible viewing area will be at the top of the central staircase
  • Some seating will be available for companions in the wheelchair viewing area, and for less abled people who are not necessarily wheelchair users
  • Guidance dog welfare area will be available next to the lift on the north-west terrace
 
Café
The café on the square is open from 10am-6pm daily. There is seating inside, plus outside seats and wooden tables. The café is on the lower terrace of Trafalgar Square, on the square’s east side, right of the central staircase.
 
Toilets
Trafalgar Square also has a number of public toilet facilities:
 
Men
  • Eight urinals
  • Three cubicles
  • One disabled toilet
  • One baby changing facility

Women

  • Nine cubicles 
  • One disabled toilet
  • One baby changing facility
.
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