Celebration of African Culture to get underway in Limerick

Tuesday 19th May 2015: Limerick will celebrate its African communities with a jam packed line up of events including a free family fun day for Africa Day 2015, it has been announced.

Publish Date: Tuesday 19th May 2015

Limerick will celebrate its African communities with a jam packed line up of events including a free family fun day for Africa Day 2015, it has been announced.

From Monday, 25th May – Sunday, 31st May, a series of events celebrating African culture will take place in the city including dance performances, drumming and art workshops and a taste of African cuisine, music and fashion to mark the intercultural event.

Organised by Limerick City and County Council, DORAS Luimni and members of Limerick’s African Community, this year’s programme to celebrate Africa Day 2015 will be launched by special guest Sharon Murphy of the Voice UK 2015 at 2pm on Monday, 25th May at the Limerick Strand Hotel. The launch will be followed by a seminar called Footprints: "Our Shared Journey, Our Integration".

Josephine Cotter-Coughlan, Director of Services, Limerick City and County Council said Limerick was officially declared an intercultural city late last year and the Africa Day seminar and celebrations will reflect this journey and designation.

“The purpose of the seminar is to explore intercultural experiences in Limerick and to develop a strong integration focus and dimension in our strategic provision at a city and county level for the migrant population. We will continue to facilitate, cooperate and collaborate in measures, actions and polices which will effectively continue to achieve the realisation of the concept of an open, welcome and integrated Limerick” , she explained.  

“The seminar will be held in a world cafe style setting and will involve a panel presentation and discussion including contributions from the African community, local service providers and Irish Aid. We want to focus on hearing the experiences of Africans living in Limerick, further their contribution to their communities and facilitating better to local services. Under the Community, Leisure and Emergency Department in the Council, we have developed an Integration Working Group so we’re looking forward to sharing our experiences and learning from others.”

Highlights of the events to celebrate Africa Day in Limerick include:

African Drumming and Art Workshop
(28th May 2015 10.30-12.30 Watch House Cross Community Library)
This will be a hands on and interactive session for school children with participants having access to authentic African drums and percussion instruments.  The Art workshop will be facilitated by Jean Ryan Hakizimana, local artist. The drumming workshop will be facilitated by Oscar Mbioko-Fofolo.

Yebunna Alem / A Coffee World – An Ethio-Modern Dance Performance
(26th May 2015 7pm Tower Theatre, UL)
This Ethio-Modern Dance presentation is a portion of RAS Mikey’s PhD in Arts Practice thesis.  Ethio-Modern Dance is RAS’ embodied understanding of Ethiopian traditions through the lens of Western contemporary performing arts.  This intercultural performance work is centred on the concept of coffee as a global culture.  Arabica coffee originates from Ethiopia and this Ethio-Modern Dance performance examines the ways in which coffee/bunna has spread from Kefa to Cafés around the world, hence the title ‘A Coffee World’.

Family Fun Day
(31st May 2015 2-6pm, Milk Market Limerick)
A Family Fun Day – featuring African Cuisine, music, song, dance and fashion show. The week long celebrations will come to an end with the Family Fun Day at the Milk Market, on Sunday 31st May from 2pm to 6pm, with free activities for all age groups.  Come along and sample some African cuisine while enjoying the African themed music, song and dance performances.  There will be lots of activities for the kids to enjoy with sports and games provided by the Limerick Sports Partnership, face-painting, balloon modelling, nail art and a puppet show.  Attendees will also be treated to a fashion show displaying samples of wonderful and colourful African traditional costumes.
Welcoming Africa Day 2015, Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Kevin Sheahan said:
“I look forward to welcoming people from all different backgrounds to join us in Limerick for the celebrations for Africa Day 2015 and I would like to encourage everyone in Limerick to participate in the many events, particularly the Family Fun Day. The activities that are taking place this year will no doubt help to promote an integrated and intercultural Limerick and highlight the Irish Aid programme that is taking place in the continent. I wish everyone involved a successful and entertaining week.”

Admission to all Africa Day 2015 events is free of charge, however booking will be necessary for some events.

For further information please visit www.limerick.ie/africaday or www.africaday.ie

Photos: Alan Place - Fusion Shooters

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