The African continent Monday celebrated Africa Day with little pomp with the world fighting Covid-19 pandemic which continues to claim lots of lives.
Africa Day (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) (now known as the African Union) on May 25 1963.
It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world which is characterised by serving, African food traditional dances performed and people dressing in African attires.
According to a statement from United Nations (UN), this year, the world marks Africa Day under extremely difficult circumstances as it grapple with the global Covid-19 pandemic, which threatens to derail progress by African countries towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and the targets set out in the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
MultiChoice Malawi has in the past years celebrated this day by organising activities that have attracted artists and the media but this year there is nothing.
Musician Sangie, said on the day that Africa Day means celebrating “our freedom and diversity in a way that promotes the continent”.
Poet Yankho Seunda, who is the chairperson of Vilipanganga Poetry Movement, said Africa Day means the renaissance of artistry and figuratively giving room for an expression conversation.
“The more artists remember this day, the more they should embrace the comfort within speaking out their minds on crucial societal issues,” Seunda said.
Visual artist, Enelles Pemba Phiri, Monday called on Africans to unite in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic and also urged fellow artists to show the best of Africa through their different artworks.
“It feels so good to be African, this is our continent, we need to embrace it fully and as an artist, I will continue to be creative and innovative in my works. I also would like to call upon fellow artists to be original and make sure that they stay focused in promoting and preserving African culture,” Phiri said.
With climate change, Phiri, has taken up the initiative of doing art in preserving the environment which has seen her using recycled materials to produce different artworks.
“We need to make our environment clean and this is why I have taken up this initiative of using trash and turn it into cash through the different artworks. I also urge women and girls out there to come out and show their art,” she said.
Meanwhile, artist Menes la Plume, who is the founder of Tumaini Festival which takes place at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa in November every year, Monday represented Malawi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in an Africa Day 2020 eSwatini online celebration and discussion.
The celebration was organised by the Africa Women’s Peace and Development Foundation – eSwatini chapter on this year’s Africa Day theme ‘Silencing the guns : Creating conducive condition’s for Africa’s development’.
The live broadcast was streamed from Africa Day eSwatini YouTube channel.
“It’s exciting to take part in such a discussion especially representing my original home – DRC and host country Malawi,” Menes said.