African Global Roots’ July 25th African Arts Festival sure heralded a new age of African culture and traditions. The flamboyancy of the participating artists, and showcases was a true telling of the diversified and beautiful customs from across the African continent.
Organizers of the festival were able to blend a tapestry of African “high life” that saw the use of peerless African vendibles to encourage youths born into African families, as well as the rest of the community to learn more about various aspects of African values, culture, and customs.
To kick off the night, was music from the talented and upcoming music sensation T.R Mayes, who’s rhythmical performance left all on their feet. Following this performance, AGR’s program director-Ibe Keba wowed the audience, as he use elaborative poetry to tell the tale of who African Global Roots are, and why it decided to hold their very first African Arts Festival. In true Shakespearian style poetry, he proved a formidable wordsmith living all with awestruck stares and applause.
AGR also took the opportunity to recognize and honor local community media including The African News Journal, all Twin cities establishments that use their write-ups to showcase and promote African tradition, customs, values, as well as its artistry. It also honored Josiah Kibira, a Tanzanian film producer, who’s bringing African culture to the Big screen; and Innocent, a local reggae artist whose lyrics have become presage to African rhythm.
But this wasn’t the highlight of the night. When the Hayor Bibimma African Dance Company took to the floor, attendees at the festival could not help it, but dance to the traditional African dances “merengued” by the brilliant dance troop.
BothDol Fashion and Utamadauniwear then teamed up to present a run way filled with modern day fashion using rare African fabrics and materials to reminiscence African dressing. It wasn’t going to end with just the fashion show; audiences were also treated to Moroccan belly dancing, Ethiopian dance, and the night was rounded off in grand style by M.anifest, a Ghanaian rap artist who took the Twin cities by storm when he released his first solo album last year.
Petros Haile, the Executive Director of African Global Roots at the festival’s close, thanked all for coming out in such numbers, for what he called “…a beginning of a journey..” that will see the assimilation and building of African artistic and cultural candor across the US and even Europe and parts of Asia.
With the immense success of this maiden African Arts Festival organized by African Global Roots, its management is promising more festivals and other festivities to promote the beauty of African culture throughout not only Minnesota, but the nation as a whole.
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