The first ever African Festival, being hosted by Katara - the Cultural Village - will conclude tomorrow.
The event, which is showcasing the best of African art, dance, music and films, has been running since April 7. Besides, several African embassies in Qatar are taking part in the festival.
As part of the celebration of African culture, Katara yesterday presented a lecture, “African Music - Vector of Authenticity and Factor of Emergence”, by Jean Claude Gakosso, Minister of Culture, Arts and Tourism, Congo- Brazzaville.
Embassies participating in the festival include those of Kenya, Chad, Sudan, Liberia, Gambia, Swaziland, Egypt, Mauritania, Djibouti, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, South Africa and Benin.
Addressing the media, Katara general manager Dr Khalid al-Sulaiti said they were dedicated to showcasing diverse cultures from around the world. “With our long-term vision to educate, entertain and demonstrate the importance of cultural exchange, we are pleased to welcome the first African Festival, which has been a great success. This festival reinforces our commitment to the growth of the arts and culture scene in Qatar and the Arab world,” he asserted.
Dr al-Sulaiti said there were around 200,000 French-speaking people in Qatar, most of whom came from the African countries. “This forms 10% of the entire population of the country. So, this festival is of great importance to us. The festival brings together people from all corners of the earth and we aim to inform, educate and entertain,” he added. “One of the long-term goals of Katara is to bridge cultural gaps and provide a platform for knowledge exchange among nations.”
Gakosso said they were delighted to be in Qatar. “The festival serves as a platform for knowledge exchange, allowing us to share our culture through music, arts, dance and films. The festival has brought together communities that share similar cultures and allows them to celebrate as one. We look forward to collaborating with Qatar on future projects,” the minister said.
Manu Dibango, well-known Cameroonian musician, was also present at the press conference.
The festival’s line-up includes an African arts fair and art workshops from 4pm to 7pm. Besides, it is showcasing the African Circus, which features the Kenyan Boys, a team of musicians, dancers, acrobats, fire performers and contortionists. In addition, the Jam Stage gives upcoming musicians and singers the opportunity to play instruments on a live platform.
Proving to be a great success is the Cine Zone, which is screening a total of 20 films that highlight African history and arts through an array of traditional, folkloric and modern art expressions. The African Parade, Caravanes des Rythmes, features African costumes accompanied by percussion, music and dance. Its performances will take place on the streets of Katara (the Esplanade) from 7pm to 10pm untill tomorrow.
Tickets for all performances are available at Virgin Megastores in Landmark and Villaggio malls.
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