PANAFEST ends in Cape Coast

durbaA colourful durbar to climax the celebration of the Pan African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) was held at the Victoria Park in Cape Coast, the Central Regional capital, at the weekend.

The event, which was on the theme: “PANAFEST @ 25: the power of African cultures”, and characterised by exciting cultural and traditional performance, was attended by chiefs from across the country, and Africans in the diaspora.

As part of the festival, a special akwaaba ritual was performed by the Krotihemaa of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Nana Amba Eyiaba, to welcome home people of African descent, who attended the durbar.

Mrs Catherine Afeku, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, addressing the durbar, reaffirmed the need for Africans to tell their own stories, and commended the founders of PANAFEST for the initiative.

“PANAFEST is a festival for us to build the bridges from mental slavery and economic slavery. We have survived the passage. Over 400 years ago, our ancestors  went through the dark passage but we survived and we are living with this destiny of African resilience,” she said.

The minister explained that the festival was also to celebrate the resilient spirit of the African, while reiterating the need to use the festival to promote the African economic emancipation.

She said that it was time for every African to move into action to achieve economic emancipation, and gave the assurance that the ministry would work towards reviving interest in the festival.

The Paramount Chief of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarima Kwesi Atta, urged Africans and Africans in the diaspora to chart a new course towards the promotion of the ideals of the African continent.

He said that the current happenings in the world presented an opportunity to Africans around the world to see how best they could emancipate themselves from problems confronting them.

Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy of the PANAFEST Foundation, explained that the festival offered a unique opportunity for Africans in the diaspora to reconnect with their families in Africa, saying, “it is not a mere celebration”.

She stated that the objective of PANAFEST was to encourage Africans in the diaspora to visit Africa, saying the numerous castles and forts in Africa presented historical facts about the slavery and other colonial activities on the continent.

Prof. Sutherland-Addy stated the need for Africans  in the diaspora and those within the continent to collaborate efforts in seeking knowledge that would help in the transformation of the continent.

From David O. Yarboi-Tetteh, Cape Coast     



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