African pride was in abundance across central London as musicians and fashion designers showcased their creative talents on Saturday 1 August.
As part of the Africa Centre’s ‘Africa in August Summer Festival’, designers including those from the Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya drew in crowds keen to acquire one-off designs and sample some of the Continent’s unique live music.
Singers including Nigerian-French singer Asa and Angolan folk musician Bonga helped to capture the vibrancy of the day and showcased how rich and culturally diverse the Continent is.
British-Ghanaian Fuse ODG aka Nana Richard Abiona made sure the audience didn’t lose sight of the need to foster balance when portraying images of Africa and Africans globally.
Interspersed between his uplifting tracks, he recounted his dealings activist Bob Geldof KBE during the West African Ebola crisis in 2014. He used his musical platform to explain why he chose not to participate in creating the Band Aid 30 single, (see MisBeee ‘Why I am not buying the new Band Aid 30 single).
“I grew up watching these videos and they were showing kids with flies around their mouths and people dying all the time and they felt that was the way to raise money,” the south Londoner said.
“When Bob Geldof called me I said to him we could make a hit and still make some money and actually help the Continent because I already had a top 10 by making a positive song so why can‘t all of these great artists get together – let’s get together and make a hit.”
His words inspired cheering and clapping from the audience.
Later, he appealed to revellers to keep praying for African-Americans who continue to be killed at the hands of the police.
“It’s a spiritual battle going on right now,” he said. “We need to pray for our brothers and sisters in the States because we’re just dying just like that and there is no explanation.”
Fuse fans got to hear a string of his hits including ‘Azonto’, ‘Million Pound Girl’, and T.I.N.A (This Is New Africa) and for those of you who missed out, here is a little snapshot of the experience.
By Kirsty Osei-Bempong.
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