Africa Day: Seychelles celebrates its African roots at FetAfrik 2022
Seychelles is celebrating its African heritage through a series of activities that kicked off on Wednesday, May 25, to coincide with Africa Day.
This year’s four-day event was launched by the Secretary General of the Seychelles National Institute of Culture, Heritage and the Arts, David Andre, in an evening filled with African dress, music and dance at the National History Museum in Victoria, the capital.
“Fet Afrik celebrates the diversity, contribution and the strength of our African heritage and cultural history, left to us by our forefathers that we need to preserve for future generations. At this point I would like to pay homage to our Moutya [dance], our direct connection with our African ancestry and proudly inscribed on the UNESCO’s list of intangible heritage in December 2021,” said Andre
FetAfrik is organised usually every year around Africa Day to celebrate one of the five origins of the Seychellois people – a Creole nation. The other four are French, English, Indian and Chinese.
“Africa Day is an opportunity to celebrate African diversity and success and to highlight the cultural and economic potential that exists in Africa, while we try to resolve ongoing challenges and achieve peace across the continent,” said Andre.
This year’s Africa Day theme, set by the African Union (AU), is ‘Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent.’
After the launch ceremony, guests which included President Wavel Ramkalawan as the guest of honour were invited to view an exhibition at the museum, entitled ‘Out of Africa’. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
Andre said that “it is important for us as a nation to recognised the significant role that our traditional knowledge, particularly our traditional medicine, has played in the overall development of our country; be it social, economic or otherwise, and the rekindling of back-home gardening taking into account the sudden and steep rise in food prices across the world.”
He added that applying traditional knowledge in areas such as the ecosystem, water and landscape management, soil conservation, biological control of pests and diseases, ecological agriculture and livestock practices, plants and animal breeding leads to food security and prevents or even alleviates poverty.
The FetAfrik event included the recognition of three individuals for their contributions to the annual event, namely the late Archille Kwame Luc, Wale Isijola and Danny Dufrenne, who were recognised as promoters of the islands’ rich culture and heritage.
After the ceremony, guests were invited to view an exhibition at the museum, entitled ‘Out of Africa’.
This annual event was first celebrated in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, in 1999 and has since gained in popularity as it has seen the involvement of renowned regional artists.
The FetAfrik activities will continue until Saturday and will include arts and crafts bazaars, an African theme Bazaar and a moutya dance night on Friday.
SNA presents a series of photos of the activities at the FetAfrik launching ceremony. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY