Festival aims to bring citizens closer to their African roots

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By Makeida Antonio

A festival aimed at reconnecting Antiguans and Barbudans with their African roots will be held in the coming days.

The African Caribbean Cultural Festival Society has organized a three-day event under the theme “African Diasporic Reconnection and Revival”.

According to the organizers, the primary goal of this event is to showcase and feature multiple aspects of the African Caribbean experience and its preservation. Their vision is for the festival to become a new, exciting, and unique Caribbean calendar event.

One organizer of the event, Dr. Alvin Edwards, said during this week’s media tour that while some have become increasingly interested in the festival’s calendar of events, organizers disclosed that much of their efforts have been done without sponsors.

“We didn’t have any major sponsors or money supply. There are persons who support us . . . as we go along, but it’s amazing how it has happened. As people have learned about it, they become interested and they contribute to it. They come and say ‘we’ve got to do this’, ‘this has got to happen’ and ‘it’s about time’.”

Majorie Beazer, another organizer, expounded on the need for the festival in Antigua and Barbuda, saying this will pave the way for future generations to connect to African history and culture.

“We are going to be reconnecting and reviving your African-Caribbean culture connection, connectivity, history and vibe. Everything that is African about us, our traditions, our heritage, our food and our clothes.”

The festival will be rolled out today with an Opening Ceremony at Government House from 6:30pm to 9pm. The featured speakers will be His Excellency Governor General Sir Rodney Williams; Her Excellence Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, African Union Ambassador to the USA; and His Royal Majesty, Matthew Ediri Egbi, Owahwa II, JP, FoD, the Okobaro of Jeremi (Ughievwen) Kingdom, Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State.

On Friday, a conference will be held at Cortsland Hotel from 9am to 4pm with presentations themed Antigua’s Africans: From Where to Here, What Knowing Our African Origins Does for Us, and Mental Decolonisation

On Saturday, May 25th 2019, also African Liberation Day, a Cultural Parade, Cultural Village and Concert will be held with performances from Drastic, and will include Nyabinghi drumming & chanting.

The public is asked to contact chairperson Tavia Hunte at 722-39811 for further information.

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