Africa Day family event for Limerick announced

May 12th, 2009

 
Details of a family event to celebrate Africa Day in Limerick were announced today by the Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power TD.

The event will take place on Sunday, 17th May from 12 noon to 6pm in the grounds of Limerick City Hall.  ‘Africa Day @ Limerick’ is open – free of charge – to all, and will showcase many aspects of African culture, including music, sport, games, literature, art and cuisine. 

Africa Day is an initiative by the African Union. It falls on 25th May each year and is designed to celebrate African diversity and success, and to highlight the cultural and economic potential of the continent.

This year, Limerick will celebrate Africa Day following the relocation of Irish Aid headquarters to the city.  Minister of State for Overseas Development, Peter Power said he was thrilled to launch ‘Africa Day @ Limerick’.

“I’d also like to thank the Mayor of Limerick, Cllr John Gilligan for joining me here and pay tribute to the great support Limerick City Council afforded us in organising this event.”

“The programme of events is rich and colourful and the range of community groups taking part is truly impressive. I have no doubt that 17th May will be a very enjoyable and entertaining day and will allow people of all ages and nationalities to join in celebrating Africa’s rich culture and history. The fact that the vast majority of the performers and community groups are giving their time and energy for free is testament to the support our many African friends and neighbours enjoy in Ireland.

“I am very proud as a Limerick man and as the Minister of State for Overseas Development that Irish Aid’s headquarters is now located on Henry Street. Africa Day in Limerick gives us an opportunity to celebrate this move. We can all be very proud of the many successes that our aid programme has achieved thanks to the support of the Irish people. ‘Africa Day @ Limerick’ is an opportunity for us to reflect on these achievements while celebrating Africa and learning more about this rich and diverse continent.”

Ireland has strong connections to Africa through the work of Irish missionaries and non-governmental organisations and more recently through the Irish Aid programme, immigration and business, school and community exchanges.

The Minister said: “Limerick and the Mid-West have a strong and vibrant African population. Within Limerick and its immediate environs there are over 1,000 African residents hailing from countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Sudan, Cameroon, South Africa and Somalia. Co Clare, meanwhile, is home to up to 3,000 residents of Africa origin. Africa Day @Limerick will offer an opportunity to our African families to celebrate and share the richness of their culture and history with us.

The programme for ‘Africa Day @ Limerick’ will include:

The Main Stage
The Main Stage will feature a number of high-profile Irish and African acts, including Congolese musician Niwel Tsumbu, with special guests, Mundy, Cathy Davey, Declan O’Rourke and Republic of Loose, The Discovery Gospel Choir, Heartbreak Cartel, and many more.

‘African Journey’: the largest teen-drumming event in the country will also be featured on the Main Stage.  This performance will be the culmination of a project run by the University Concert Hall’s Participation and Learning Programme.  For the month leading up to the Africa Day celebrations in Limerick, students from Ard Scoil Rís, Limerick City; Coláiste na Trocaire (Mercy Community College), Rathkeale, Co. Limerick  and Salesian's Secondary School, Limerick City been learning to play African drums.  They will put their new-found skills to the test during opening of ‘Africa Day @ Limerick’. 'African Journey' is facilitated for UCH by John Bowker and the Tribal Spirit team

The Culture Section

  • Former Limerick Leader journalist Itayi Viriri will host an interactive workshop comparing life in Limerick with life in his native Zimbabwe.
  • Limerick resident Jean Ryan Hakizimana – originally from Rwanda – will exhibit a number of his paintings at the event.
  • A stunning exhibition of photographs depicting scenes from Chad – captured by Irish photographer Hu O’Reilly – will also be on display.

Sports Corner

The Football Association of Ireland; the GAA and Munster Rugby will all be on hand to ensure visitors to the event can enjoy sports challenges, skills demonstrations and mini-tournaments.

Kids’ Corner

In addition to the sporting activities on offer, children who visit the event will enjoy giant jigsaw-making activities, face-painting and ‘Extreme Trampoline’.

African Bazaar

Visitors will walk through a bazaar area, comprising stands from Kenya, Lesotho, Congo DR, Cameroon, and Ghana.  On offer will be coffee and food-sampling; board games; and drumming demonstrations.

Attending and Registering

Entrance to the event will be security-controlled and people are advised to turn up early to avoid disappointment on the day. Alcohol will not be served.

The programme for ‘Africa Day @ Limerick’ will continue to be updated and developed right up until the event.  To keep up to date, please visit:  www.irishaid.gov.ie/africaday

Last update:13/05/2009

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