Mayor announces African festival in Trafalgar Square
Lebara and Air France to sponsor Africa on the Square
Event: Africa on the Square
Date: Saturday 10 October 2015
Location: Trafalgar Square
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has confirmed more details of the African festival he is bringing to Trafalgar Square on Saturday 10 October, as part of the capital's Black History Month celebrations.
Everyone is invited to attend Africa on the Square, which has an exciting programme inspired by the traditions and cultures of the African continent. The free celebration follows on from the huge success of last year’s inaugural event and is sponsored by Lebara and Air France and supported by media partner The Voice.
The stage line-up, compered by Esther Alade and Usifu Jalloh, the Cowfoot Prince, reflects the diversity of London African communities. Performers include: Alfa Sackey and Afrik Bawantu (Ghana); Saidi Kanda and Mvula Mandondo (Tanzania); Krar Collective (Ethiopia); Tony Dudu and The Gumbe Jazz (Guinea Bissau) and Abdoulaye Samb and Minnjiaraby (Senegal). Kemi, winner of the talent competition held at the event last year, will make a special appearance on the day. There will be a West African drumming circle, plus African acrobats and dancers. DJ Abrantree, one of the most recognisable voices and personalities on the urban and African music scene, will DJ the event and introduce guest artists Zafi B and Moelogo.
There will be an exclusive fashion show directed by Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) which will feature designers from the contemporary African UK fashion scene as well as new, up and coming designers. 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, face-painting, mosaics-making and batik-making. The event is programmed by Open the Gate.
A highlight will be Africa on the Square Talent Showcase giving aspiring performers aged 16 - 25 the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience, with an overall winner being selected by the audience. To find out more about how to enter the competition, visit www.london.gov.uk/africa.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “London’s diverse African communities play a key role in all aspects of life in the capital, particularly in its culture scene thanks to their thriving and colourful traditions. I am delighted that this celebration of African culture in Trafalgar Square is returning following the huge success of last year’s event. It will be an opportunity for all Londoners to mark Black History Month and to explore Africa's rich heritage.”
Warner Rootliep, UK & Ireland General Manager for Air France KLM said: “We take pride in our extensive network to Africa. We connect the UK to over 30 African destinations so it made sense for Air France to continue supporting the celebrations at Africa on the Square. We hope visitors will enjoy the event and we look forward to welcoming them on our flights"
Lebara Group's CEO & Chairman, Yoganathan Ratheesan, said: “We’re proud to continue our sponsorship of Africa on the Square. As the universal brand for the world’s migrant community, we understand the importance of celebrating African talent and tradition in London’s multi-cultural society.”
For information about Africa on the Square go to: www.london.gov.uk/africa
Notes to editors
Africa on the Square is programmed by Open The Gate, a cultural organisation whose objective is to promote a positive and 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 and African Markets. www.openthegate.org.uk