Trafalgar Square Celebrates Africa
The spirit of Africa took over Trafalgar Square this Black History Month for a one-day festival celebrating the many facets of the vast continent, on 11 Oct.
The stage line-up reflected the diversity of London’s African communities with performers from Nigeria, Morocco (Gwana Griot) Gambia, Somalia, Zimbabwe and West Africa. There was a fashion show from Africa Fashion Week London, as well as stalls selling a range of African-themed products including fashion, food and arts and crafts, and activities for children and family.
The highlight was Africa on the Square Celebrates Talent, which gave aspiring performers aged 25 and under the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said, ‘London is home to a large and diverse number of African communities, who contribute to the cultural and economic life of the capital. This will be an opportunity for all Londoners to explore Africa’s rich heritage and tradition’.
The inaugural Africa on the Square event was organised by the Mayor of London’s Office to achieve its goal of ensuring that all of the capital’s residents are represented on its social calendar. It is in keeping with the mayor’s cultural strategy to ‘support high-quality festivals, campaigns and cultural events across London, working with a wide range of partners’.
The Mayor’s Office has partnered with Open The Gate – the organisation behind the hugely The African Market at Spitafields, in east London.
Open The Gate has built a strong reputation for working with some of Africa’s most talented traders and designers to offer ethical and, crucially, authentic products from clothes to jewellery as well as books, artwork and natural beauty products.