Infusion of colour, a smile and a burst of taste, the click of a tongue and the rhythm of the drum is how I would best describe the memory of a sunny day in Bangor Museum, where young and old came together to celebrate and embraced the very fabric that make us “Abantu” people.
For one day we can bring our spears and shields in peace not war, and maybe a Lion, Giraffe and Meerkat might come out from the story books of Ashanti and dwell amongst us, but until then we will remember that Africa is a continent and not a country, full of myths and legends waiting to be discovered. It is wild and wonderful!
If you ask me does Northern Ireland and Africa have much in common? Yes they do ….birds migrating to and fro when their season is due, we even share an identical building built by the same Architect Alfred Brumwell Thomas, Belfast City Hall and Durban City Hall in South Africa are sisters.
Kennedy Kane McArthur who won gold at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912 came from Ballymoney, yet he lived in South Africa all his life, he migrated to South Africa in his early 20’s and he trained there and competed at the Olympics as a South African only to change allegiance when he won the gold medal.
Africa Day is about “Ubuntu” the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity, so let us give love a chance, to give our children hope, of a world without hatred, where black and white walk hand in hand, for history to remain history, only to be found in books on shelves, let the peace walls come down, so that the ghost of apartheid can be finally laid to rest, together let us dance to freedom, emancipate to one song, one celebration, for we are one race of many colours, many dreams, many voices, but one unity, a tapestry of love!!!