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A taste of Africa on the streets of Hackney

INFLUENTIAL: Clara Amfo

THE STREETS of east London are set to come alive for a weeklong celebration of African culture to coincide with an event called Africa Day.

The celebrations, curated by grassroots local businesses and community figures will start on May 21 and run for seven days to conclude on May 27.

Dalston residents are being encouraged to reach for their colourful garments and dancing shoes to join in the itinerary of events which includes a tribute to the late Congolese singer and musician Papa Wemba on Dalston Roof Park.

The 66-year-old tragically died on stage last month (April 24) but is remembered as one of Africa’s most celebrated and flamboyant performers.

Organisers have promised a spread of activities that all pay homage to the area’s thriving cultural diversity and spirit of togetherness.

EXCITED

From South African Jazz at the Vortex to Nigerian Fuji music at Moonshine Lounge, one prospective attendee told The Voice that she was excited to be able to see African culture reflected locally.

Masters student Charmaine Nanteaza, 24, from Upton Park said: “I had never heard of Africa Day until I saw the notice for these events and I’m really happy to see more representation of Africa. It’s nice to see black culture celebrated beyond Notting Hill carnival or Black History Month and it’s great that they recognise important figures like Papa Wemba.”


TRIBUTE: Papa Wemba

Organisers will be taking the celebration to social media with an Instagram photography exhibition open to submissions of images capturing African Culture in Dalston using #AfricaInDalston.

A collection of the images are to be published, printed and stored in the Hackney Archives.

ANTICIPATED

The highly anticipated initiative comes hot on the heels of the release of Ghana’s leading youth charity Me Firi Ghana’s Top 30 Under 30 list.

Following the announcement earlier this year on Independence Day, the full publication is now available with the profiles of the top 30 pioneering young Ghanaians in industries around the world.

Names highlighted included UK based BBC radio presenter Clara Amfo and entrepreneur Winifred Selby.

On the cover in the number one spot is Beast Of No Nation actor Abraham Attah.

The publication also features forward thinking articles highlighting key industries, innovators and organizations working in Ghana and across Africa.

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