African unity through food, fashion, visual arts and music is the underlying theme for the One Africa Arts Festival at the Grand Hotel in Central this weekend. The festival, which was first held in 2010, seeks to offer an all-encompassing African experience with an art exhibition, fashion expo, cuisine from across the continent and live entertainment.
Organiser Nomakhomazi Dewavrin said this year’s theme was inspired by the numerous African communities living in Port Elizabeth’s Central area.
“The One Blood Festival always had the underlying theme of unity, and this year we wanted to take this concept one step further by focusing on African diversity in Central as the driving theme, hence the slightly different name for the festival.
“By organising the One Africa Arts Festival, we wish to acknowledge and celebrate the cultural diversity and the positive contributions made by our fellow Africans in Port Elizabeth.”
The headliners for this year are acclaimed Cape Town-based reggae outfit Azania, and Eastern Cape-born and raised national Afro rock queen Camagwini, who loves performing in the city.
“I feel good about my upcoming performance. I’m excited because I know Port Elizabeth, and it’s always a wonderful experience to be here because people understand what I’m about,” she said.
“I find people here connect more to my music because I’m just like them, I understand the environment they’re in, so I’m always excited when performing here.”
Camagwini said the festival’s theme tied in with her love for tradition, culture and the arts, and said platforms such as this helped preserve African identities and cultures.
The supporting acts include local Afro soul vocalist Brown Sugah, who will be accompanied by his band the Microwaves, urban traditional indie folk band Ikati Esengxoweni, as well as Mariloe and Ebed Yah.
There will also be performances by three hip hop acts selected from auditions held earlier this month by hip hop DJ Miss Jay Jennings at the Alliance Francaise: Isaac Wilson, Prince Infinite and VJ Nakasa.
The festival on Saturday is from 2pm until 10pm. Tickets are available at Computicket for R100, and R150 at the door.For inquiries, contact Nomakhomazi Dyosopu on 078-964-8908 or Ed Richardson on (041) 582-3750.