Seychelles opening of FetAfrik 2014 brings out rich taste of African culture
The fusion of Seychelles and Africa’s folkloric music and dance was the center of the official opening of FetAfrik 2014, the Seychelles event that marks Africa Day.
The fusion of Seychelles and Africa’s folkloric music and dance was the center of the official opening of FetAfrik 2014, the Seychelles event that marks Africa Day. The beat of “Jambe,” the African’s tam-tam drums performed by Seychellois “native” group echoed throughout the National Cultural Centre in Victoria. The tone for FetAfrik 2014 was set.
Seychelles was ready for its FetAfrik, with its three-day event. As invitees arrived for the official opening ceremony, the beat of the drums died down to be overtaken by Tony Joubert’s imposing voice. Dubbed “Raspyek,” he narrated through his poem “Here in Diaporas,” the story of a liberated slave. Joined in by Stephanie Joubert, they cried for “Freedom.” The national cultural troupe took the scene staging the suffering of the slaves, claiming the heart of spectators with Seychelles’ traditional dance. It was then time for Margaret Confait, the Master of Ceremonies, to give her opening remarks before calling on stage Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, to deliver his speech and declare open FetAfrik 2014.
Minister St.Ange explained the reasoning behind organizing FetAfrik. He said FetAfrik is a festival in which we recognize, honor, and celebrate Seychelles African roots and the island’s African ancestors.
“It is for these reasons that we invite our African brothers and sisters, both from the diverse local African community currently working in Seychelles and also the guest artists we have invited to this year’s festival from Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, and Niger from the African mainland.”
Minister St.Ange paid tribute to Alphadi, one of Africa’s most famous celebrities and highly-acclaimed international fashion designer; George Waweru, better known as DJ Kalonjay from neighboring Kenya; Chef Musama Kaloto Chamunda, the prominent restaurateur and chef from Zambia; and the Tripple Heritage Dance Company, a Nigerian Folkloric and cultural group.
The role of our local African community, said the Minister, is this year clearly appreciated in the event. The local African community made their presence felt in this FetAfrik with an African medley during the opening ceremony. The official opening of FetAfrik was an open-air ceremony blending Seychelles and African culture. For the invitees, the party ended there. But the night just got started for people who had come down in Victoria to join the African Bazaar and satisfy their taste buds with some African delicacies and artifacts.
Seychelles FetAfrik is also synonymous with good African song. DJ Christophe, Master of Ceremonies for the musical show, brought vibrancy in Stad Popiler Car Park as he welcomed on stage the “Fame” and “Leko” bands. The line-up of the local artists like Lydia Armand and Kwame gave way to the Nigerian Tripple Heritage Dance Company to heat up Victoria with a brilliant performance of Nigerian traditional dances. The night faded away with Edward Makori, Kenyan artists, and DJ Francis signing off this first day of FetAfrik.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) .