Celebrate 2018 Africa Month this May

Wozani maÁfrica Amahle. Sons and Daughters of the Soil.We are calling you to join us in celebrating Africa Month from 1 – 31 May.

This  year’s theme is “The Year of Nelson Mandela: Building a Better Africa and a Better World”. The Department of Arts and Culture invites all of the people in the Republic of South Africa, the rest of the African continent and the African Diaspora, as well as international guests to join us in the Africa Month celebrations in May.

Africa Month  will comprise  a variety of cultural activities around the central theme of the centenary of the late and great statesman and first president of a democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, President Nelson Mandela, whose life’s contribution became an embodiment of the shared hopes, dreams, and aspirations of the people of South Africa and of all people  globally  fighting for an end to racism.

The centenary of his birth is an opportunity for renewal and a strengthening of the African agenda through the promotion of African identity, values and ethics.

This year we also celebrate the centenary of Albertina Sisulu, a great daughter of the African soil who dedicated her life to the service of her people. We also salute our fallen heroes and acknowledge  the great contribution of Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who has recently passed away.

This month  also serves as a reminder of the establishment of the African Union on 25th  May 1963. It was one of the most hopeful  symbols  of  African  aspirations and determination as it sought to carve a  proper   place  for   our   continent  in the world.

By  establishing  the  Organisation   of  Africa  Unity  (OAU) in  1963, the  African continent  became a pioneer in being the first continent to focus on continental unity, and to encourage nation building through unity and freedom  from oppression. It is in celebration  of this milestone  of the OAU and its successor, the African Union, that the Department of Arts and Culture will host a series of events to celebrate  Africa Day on 25th   May and throughout May for Africa Month.

Yet even before  1963, many initiatives were taken by Africans – both  from  the continent  and in its diaspora – for Africa to regain its rightful place in the world. South Africans are also found amongst those earlier generations  who made enormous contributions towards this effort. The speech of Pixley Ka Isaka Seme in 1906, on the “Regeneration of Africa”, would be echoed by the generations that followed, and enhanced through a number  of initiatives aimed at the decolonisation  and regeneration of the continent.

Africa  Month   also  seeks to  increase the  appreciation   and  demand   for  arts and culture  goods and services, and to stimulate competitive markets for trade among African countries.

While existing programmes of the Department of  Arts and Culture  seek to cultivate an African identity through the popularisation of the national flag and continental flag, as well  as the  National Anthem and African Union Anthem, it was important  to  inaugurate   a  full  month- long  programme, a festival of ideas as a celebration of what it means to be African, to deepen and expand our knowledge, engage in cultural exchange, sharpen our ideas, but also to face our continental destiny together.

Some of the celebratory events during the 2018 Africa Month celebrations include:

  • A Festival of Ideas: A series of colloquia and dialogues by prominent Africans on decolonisation. This will take place all around South Africa. Notable speakers in 2018 include Prof Mireille Fanon- Mendes, who will speak on learning from the past to shape Africa’s future, as well as Mutabaruka, the dub poet, educator and radio personality born in Jamaica, who will speak on the importance of key figures in Africa’s development, as well as engage on his own writings.
  • !Kauru: Contemporary Art from Africa – a visual art celebration of African art. 
  • Algeria Week
  • Gcwala Ngamasiko – an  intra-African multidisciplinary arts festival
  • Focus on African Archives
  • Focus on African Indigenous Cuisine
  • Focus on African Fashion
  • Zakifo – music festival in Durban
  • Bassline Africa Day Concert in Johannesburg
  • SANAA Africa Festival
  • We Are Africa Film Festival


Africa Month Activation at Freedom Park on 3 May 2018

Africa Month Video LINKS:


African Union Anthem

South African Anthem


Use #OurAfricaOurPride #AfricaMonth #AfricaDay to post photos and other messages to share your activities with others.






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