Hundreds of pupils celebrate Africa Day

AFRICAN VIBES: Among the hundreds of pupils who celebrated Africa Day yesterday are, from left, Siphosethu Mtme, 18, Busisiwe Johnson, 17, Sinovuyo Sitishi, 17, Abonga Ntakumba, 17, Liyema Sigutya, 14, and Sive Tshali, 14. The programme, hosted by the Department of Education at its Sydenham offices, included performances of song, dance and poetry by pupils dressed in traditional clothing and headdresses

Hundreds of pupils celebrated Africa Day through song, dance and poetry yesterday. The pupils were invited to this year’s celebration – entitled The Year of Oliver Tambo – by the Department of Education.

The programme, at the depar tment’s offices in Sydenham, kicked off with a spirited gumboot dance.

Special programmes unit director Vuyisile Mkentane said: “I greet you all today in the name of transformation. We are here today as such a diverse group and to me today’s event has great meaning.

“There are people who fought for us to celebrate as we’re doing today.

“Some died even before enjoying the freedom they fought so hard for, so today we are here to give thanks to them by celebrating Africa Day, under the theme ‘The Year of OR Tambo; Building a Better Africa and a Better World’.

“If you look at the banners you will see pictures of bricks.

“Those bricks symbolise the building blocks toward achieving a bigger and objectively better African unity.” Asked what Africa Day meant to her, Buhle Phuthumani, a Grade 8 pupil at Mfesane High School in Motherwell, said: “It makes me feel grateful to be who am I and to have come from such a rich history.

“It reminds me to be respectful to everyone because I was taught that Africa belongs to all who live in it.” Esihle Jona, a Grade 12 pupil at Mfesane, said: “[It] means unity.

“Forget the xenophobia, the hatred and crimes against one another and instead celebrate that we are such a diverse community. “I’m proud to be African.”

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