South African legend Hugh Masekela has been awarded this year’s Africa Festival Prize for his lifetime achievement. Visibly moved, the Jazz musician who performed during the festival, which took place on 26-29 May in the Bavarian town of Würzburg, thanked the organisers for the honour done him.
About 80,000 visitors made this year’s Africa Festival one of the most successful in many years. They were four festival days with fantastic musicians, good food and beautiful atmosphere.
It was a festival for everyone. Whether big or small – the festival programme had something to offer everyone. The biggest festival of African music and culture in Europe featured a kid’s programme, culinary trips to the food stalls, a colourful fashion show and the many kiosks offering great works of art and gift items straight from Africa.
All these complemented the wide-ranging music programme of live concerts by top artists from Masekela to the Nigerian-German sensation Nneka, from Congolese musical poet Pascal Lokua Kanza to the Ivorian roots reggae star Tiken Jah Fakoly to the Cuban Beats All Stars.
A highlight of Africa Festival 2016 was a fashion fair by the Senegalese designer Madame Rama. Models from Namibia, Mali, Senegal, Eritrea and Sri Lanka gave the show a special touch. More than 2,500 people bought dresses from the fashion designer.
Claudia Roth, the Vice-President of the German Bundestag, was so impressed with the good organisation and beautiful atmosphere at the festival that she gave a passionate speech that brought the audience to frenetic applause.
Other dignitaries at the event included the First Secretary of the Cuban Embassy in Germany, Luis Ernesto Morejon Rodriguez, and the German ambassador in Havana, Thomas Neisinger, who attended the opening ceremony.