Saturday, last 18th July, a colourful ‘The Hague African Festival’ took place the Roggeveld of
Formerly known as ‘Delft African Festival’, this well known summer event, which lost its attraction, rose as a phoenix from its ashes and was successfully re-launched at another city. It was however not just reborn the same, but had undergone a complete transformation, featuring varied multi-cultural music, activities, trade and of course food.
It all started in
George Duncan, the Chairperson of Sankofa reportedly said that
The Hague African Festival was, with the professional services of Clockround Events www.clockround.com, well advertised, promoted and organised, and has an attractive website - www.thehagueafricanfestival.nl. This made many mark it in their agenda.
Who would have expected that the Saturday morning of the occasion it rained cats and dogs with a cold wind to top it off? I called it Dunya weather, the
It looked like the heroic attempt of Sankofa, supported by Oxfam Novib, The Hague City Council, Foundation 1818 and others to re-launch this truly African Festival was in serious trouble. Seasoned festival goers turned up, but others only came in small numbers later in the day when the weather improved. This resulted in the end that of the 5.000 visitors expected, 3.000 attended.
But who is Sankofa? The meaning of Sankofa is: ‘to understand the present, you have to go back and understand the past’ hence the symbol of the African bird looking backwards, while moving forward. This African Migrant Foundation is an initiative of the Ghanaian community, originating in the working group Akwaaba in
Back to the festival where it was not just the bright sun in the early afternoon that warmed the participants of various backgrounds and various ages, it was the captivating music, the attractive festival tents, the inviting spacious setup, and last but not least the delicious African food and snacks.
As for the performers, Sankofa had been able to attract popular international stars, despite the fact that many wanted to be in
The audience was thrilled with stars like Mori Kante from Guinee (remember Yeke Yeke), Chiwoniso from
Culturalis also supported the event and is, by the way, is an organisation for artists in
With other performances as from the ‘Pentecostal Revival Choir (Ghana/NL) Iizran and Manar form Morocco, Oke Sene from Senegal and Joseph Bangura from Sierra Leone, there was music and show for every taste. This was not all on offer, an interactive children’s’ program, an African market under the Fair Trade theme, the African Village welcoming
So if you missed this most entertaining and successful African fair, make sure to be there next year, because The Hague African Festival will be there to stay!
*Ato Bob is a former Dutch Diplomat who now consults with various NGO’s on African issues. He lives in