Friday, 23 May 2008

Africa Day

This event in Dublin Castle sounds not only worthy, but also fun, inventive and cultural. I'll have to leave early though 'cos I'm off to see Brucey in the RDS.

The gardens of Dublin Castle on Sunday, 25th May from 1 to 7pm.
'Africa Day @ Dublin Castle' is open - free of charge - to the public, and will showcase many aspects of African culture, including music, literature, art and cuisine. The event will take the form of an African Village and will comprise the following elements

The Bazaar
When entering the event and its specially created African Village, visitors will walk through a bazaar area, comprising stands from Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. Visitors will have the chance to sample wine, coffee and traditional foods in this area; to partake in a mint tea or coffee-drinking ceremony; to play popular African board games; see drumming demonstrations, acrobatic performances and lots of traditional African costumes, and even send greetings to Nelson Mandela for his 90th birthday in July!

The Main Stage
A main stage in front of the picnic area will feature a line-up of leading Irish and African entertainers, including: Mundy; Kíla; a very special guest appearance from Sinéad O'Connor and Republic of Loose with The Discovery Gospel Choir; Motema (40s and 50s Congolese rumba); R'n'B act, Stone & Jezreel; The Gardiner Street Gospel Choir; energetic dance act, Congomania; Ugandan traditional dance and a fashion show. All of the main acts participating on stage are performing free of charge.

The Culture Section
The Culture Section will feature spoken word performances on the main stage and in the theatre of the Chester Beatty Library. Inputs will be provided by:

Irish Times writer, Roisin Ingle.
Founder and Artistic Director of Arambe Productions (Ireland's first African Theatre), Bisi Adigun. Bisi's performance title is 'Peig Sayers - A Fear Gorm Perspective'. He will read from 'Peig' and explore the use of a rich heritage of proverbs in the Irish language and in his native Nigeria.
Ghanaian author and performance poet Nii Ayikwei Parkes, who has been invited to Ireland to celebrate Africa Day by the Dublin Writers' Centre. Nii is a writer of poetry, prose and articles. An experienced performer of his work, he has appeared all over the world.
South African author and journalist, Thabi Madide, who will read from her debut novel 'Really'. Her novel tells the story of a black South African woman who moves to live in Ireland and unexpectedly falls in love with a former Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging commander.
Irish author and journalist, Declan Lynch, who will read from his hugely popular novel 'The Rooms'.
Editor of Metro Éireann, Chinedu Onyejelem, who will give a spoken word performance on the topic of Igbo marriage customs.
The Culture Corner will extend into the Coach House at Dublin Castle, and will feature art and photography exhibits, as well as craft and artefact displays. The Irish Ethiopian Friendship Association will be on hand with a display of Ethiopian artefacts and textiles; World Design will display contemporary African design and craft; the 'Building Unity Through Diversity' exhibition will offer families the chance to have their photos taken and become part of Ireland's family album, while other African photographs and art will also be on display.

In addition, the Chester Beatty Library will extend its opening hours until 7pm on Africa Day; the Library houses the newly opened Arts of the Book exhibition and the Sacred Traditions exhibition, which includes a number of manuscripts from Ethiopia.

Sports Corner
Former Republic of Ireland soccer manager, Brian Kerr, will be on hand - together with SARI (Sports Against Racism in Ireland) - to oversee sporting activities at the African Village event. This will include Extreme Trampoline, five-a-side soccer and mini-tournaments for all ages. The Ugandan Association of Ireland will also give some demonstrations of netball, one of the most popular sports in Uganda.

Open Area and Kids' Corner
In the Kids' Corner, there will be a story-telling area, face-painting and fun activities focusing on different aspects of African culture. Older children can participate in workshops on bracelet-making.

Traditional African Dancers, hair-braiders and face-painters will mingle in the main 'market area', which will be set in front of the main stage.

In a corner of the market area, a group of Zambian artists will create a mural of Africa using newspaper images and materials from Africa. Visitors will be encouraged to contribute to the process.

Screenings of the acclaimed animated film 'Kirikou and the Sorceress' will take place. Taking its artistic inspiration from African sculpture and Egyptian art - and featuring an authentic soundtrack from Senegalese musician Youssou N'dour - the film will be appreciated by parents and children alike.

Visitors to Africa Day @ Dublin Castle are encouraged to bring picnics and to stay for a few hours to soak up the carnival atmosphere. African food will also be available for sale, with the renowned Silk Road Café providing catering facilities.

Prizes and Treats
Traidlinks will provide tea, coffee and fruit, as well as offering two family hampers for winners of the Africa Day Quiz. Silk Road Café will also offer a family hamper for the quiz, while Table Mountain Foods will offer two hampers of South African foods. Edun Clothing will provide 100 per cent organic cotton t-shirts from Africa as prizes for those participating in sporting events.

Register your Interest
Entry to Africa Day @ Dublin Castle is free of charge. To help us cater for numbers on the day, we would ask you to register your intention to attend the event by sending an email to: Please indicate in your mail the number of people that will be attending in your party.

Ugandan Drumming & Dance Performance 1.00-1.15pm Nile Garden
Drumming Performance & Workshop: Bode 1.00-1.30pm Culture Zone
Rap Ireland and Afro-Irish Music 1.00-1.45pm Zambezi Garden
Afö. 1.05-1.20pm Main Stage
Traditional Nigerian Dance Performance 1.15-1.30pm Nile Garden
Discovery Gospel Choir. 1.30-2.00pm Main Stage
Traditional Malawian Dance Performance 1.45-2.00pm Zambezi Garden
Drumming Performance: Bode 2.00-2.20pm Zambezi Garden
Stone & Jezreel. 2.10-2.30pm Main Stage
Rap Ireland and Afro-Irish Music ials. 2.20-3.00pm Zambezi Garden
Motema. 40s and 50s Congolese rumba. 2.40-3.00pm Main Stage
Drumming Performance: Bode 3.00-3.15pm Nile Garden
Heartbreak Cartel (Acoustic Performance)3.00-3.45pm Zambezi Garden
Kanda Bongo Man. Kwasa Kwasa 3.10-3.30pm Main Stage
Children of Soweto 3.15-3.45pm Culture Zone
Gardiner Street Gospel Choir. 3.40-4.10pm Main Stage
South African Dance Performance 3.45-4.00pm Nile Garden
Rap Ireland and Afro-Irish Music 4.00-4.30pm Zambezi Garden
Congomania. 4.20-4.40pm Main Stage
Ugandan Drumming & Dance Performance 4.30-4.45pm Nile Garden
South African Dance Performance 4.45-5.00pm Nile Garden
Millionaire Boyz. 4.50-5.10pm Main Stage
Kíla. Ever-popular Irish band 5.15pm Main Stage
Mundy. Irish singer-songwriter. 6.00pm Main Stage
Sinéad O’Connor, Republic of Loose 6.40pm Main Stage

1.00-1.05pm Main Stage
Spoken Word Performance: Ghanian author and performance poet Nii Ayikwei Parkes (in association with The Irish Writers’ Centre). Speakers’ Corner: Nigerian writer,

1.30-1.40pm Nile Garden
Yinka Dixon.

1.30-2.00pm Culture Zone
Kids’ Workshop: Ghanian author and performance poet Nii Ayikwei Parkes will host a fun, interactive workshop for a younger audience (in association with The Irish Writers’ Centre).

1.50-2.00pm Nile Garden
Speakers’ Corner: Bisi Adigun, Founder and Artistic Director of Arambe Productions, Ireland’s first African theatre company.

2.00-2.10pm Main Stage
Spoken Word Performance: Irish Times’ journalist Roisin Ingle will read an excerpt from her recent 'Being There' column, for which she spent a number of days meeting the customers of a Nigerian hairdresser.

2.00-2.15pm Culture Zone
Literary Reading: Nigerian writer, Yinka Dixon

2.15-2.45pm Culture Zone
Workshop: Irish Times’ journalist Roisin Ingle will discuss African-related articles she's written down through the years.

2.40-2.50pm Nile Garden
Speakers’ Corner: Zimbabwean poet, Jojo Mnensa.

2.45-3.15pm Culture Zone
Workshop: ‘Peig Sayers: A Fear Gorm Perspective’. Bisi Adigun will read excerpts from the Irish novel ‘Peig’ and compare the use of proverbs in Irish and Nigerian literature.

3.45-4.15pm Culture Zone
Literary Reading & Workshop: Renowned Irish journalist and author Declan Lynch will read and discuss excerpts from his acclaimed novel, ‘The Rooms’.

4.10-4.20pm Main Stage
Spoken Word Performance: Chinedu Onyejelem, Founder and Editor of Metro Éireann, on Igbo marriage ceremonies in his native Nigeria.

4.20-4.30pm Nile Garden
Speakers’ Corner: Chinedu Onyejelem

4.15-4.45pm Culture Zone
Literary Reading & Workshop: South African journalist and writer Thabi Madide will read and discuss extracts from her debut novel, ‘Really’.

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