African festival in Trafalgar Square part of Black History Month event

06 October 2014

• Lebara and Air France to sponsor Africa on the Square 

• Mayor also to host Black History Month First World War event at City Hall 

• City Hall exhibition, 'From Emancipation to Windrush' 

Event: Africa on the Square 

Date: Saturday 11 October 2014 

Time: 12pm-6pm 

Location: Trafalgar Square 

Entry: FREE 



The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has confirmed more details of the new African festival he is supporting in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 11 October, as part of the capital's Black History Month celebrations.


Everyone is invited to attend Africa on the Square, which presents an exciting programme inspired by the traditions and cultures of the African continent.


The free event is being supported by Lebara, Air France and The Voice newspaper. The stage line-up, compered by Abrantee and Usifu Jalloh, the Cowfoot Prince, reflects the diversity of London African communities. Performers include: Dele Sosimi's Afrobeat Experience (Nigeria); Gnawa Griot featuring Simo Lagnawi (Morocco) and Jally Kebba Susso (Gambia); Aar Maanta (Somalia); Anna Mudeka Band (Zimbabwe/South Africa); and Baba Adesose Wallace (West Africa).


There will be a West African drumming circle, plus African acrobats and dancers. Rita Ray, renowned for bringing global sounds to dancers and music fans around the world, will DJ the event.


There will be an exclusive fashion show directed by Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) and Simplicious (African Street Style Festival), which will feature designers from the contemporary African UK fashion scene. There will be an African market selling a range of African themed products, including fashion and arts and crafts, plus food stalls, and a host of activities for children and families to get involved in, such as hair braiding, bead-making and batik-making.


A highlight will be Africa on the Square Celebrates Talent (ACT), giving aspiring performers under 25 the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience, as well as a panel of judges who will select the overall winner.


The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'London is home to a large and diverse number of African communities, who contribute to the cultural and economic life of the capital and reinforce the historic ties we have to that great continent. As we mark Black History Month I am delighted to be welcoming this celebration of African culture to Trafalgar Square. It will be an opportunity for all Londoners to explore Africa's rich heritage and traditions.'


Lebara Group's CEO, Yoganathan Ratheesan, said: 'We're very proud to be part of Black History Month for the first time and to be supporting Africa on the Square, a festival of African talent, food and culture. At Lebara we understand the importance of celebrating tradition, respecting different communities and bringing friends and family together.'


People attending Africa on the Square should look out for the Air France stall. The airline, which flies to over 30 destinations on the African continent, is offering the chance to win tickets to Nigeria on the day.


For information about Africa on the Square go to: 



Event: Africa and the Caribbean in the First World War 

Date: Monday 13 October 2014 

Time: 5:30pm-8:30pm 

Location: City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2AA 

Entry: FREE 

Information: Public wishing to attend should email [email protected] 


As well as Africa on the Square, the Mayor is hosting a Black History Month event at City Hall, focusing on the contributions of people from Africa and the Caribbean in the First World War. Led by respected historians, S.I. (Steve) Martin and Stephen Bourne, who have a wealth of experience and knowledge on this subject, the free event coincides with the Centenary of the First World War.


The free event takes place on Monday 13 October and will be of interest to people of all ages, including schoolchildren. Members of the public can find out more about the event by emailing [email protected].


Event: Africa and the Caribbean in the First World War 

Date: 17-31 October 2014 

Time: Monday-Thursday, 8:30am to 6pm; Friday 8:30am-5:30pm 

Location: City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2AA 

Entry: FREE 


City Hall is hosting the exhibition 'From Emancipation to Windrush' from 17 – 31 October. Organised by The Windrush Foundation, the exhibition tells the story of nearly one million Africans in the Caribbean up to and following emancipation from slavery in 1838 leading to the arrival at Tilbury of 500 passengers on the Windrush in June 1948, and the dawn of multi-cultural Britain. The exhibition includes contributions from the National Maritime Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Imperial War Museum and Anti-Slavery International. 

Notes to editors

Notes to editors Africa on the Square is programmed by Open The Gate, a cultural organisation whose objective is to promote a positive, contemporary image of African & Diaspora arts, crafts, music, design and culture. Open The Gate organises African Cultural events and activities around London, including live World Music concerts. Open The Gate hosts its unique and very popular fair, The African Market, featuring a selection of the most talented designers from Africa and inspired by African cultures, alongside running its own charitable initiative, The Pen & Paper Campaign, which is dedicated to supporting the development of the educational system in Gambia.

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