The Full Story
Jamaicans will have the opportunity to celebrate their African culture and heritage on Africa Day, Wednesday, May 25.
The theme for Africa Day is ‘Jamaica-Africa, One Family’.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, will launch the day at an official ceremony scheduled to take place on Wednesday at the Mona Heights Primary School in Kingston, beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Additionally, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport has sent letters to ministries, departments and agencies of Government, as well as schools, encouraging them “to use the occasion to deepen their knowledge about Africa and to celebrate our African culture and heritage”.
The school will showcase aspects of four African countries (Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia) being celebrated this year. It is proposed by the Ministry that the celebrations be similar to those held on Jamaica Day.
Coordinator of Africa Day at the Ministry, Sydney Bartley, told JIS News that guests at the ceremony would enjoy a “taste of Africa”.
He said the ceremony would feature cultures and cuisines of Africa, a pictorial exhibition and a storytelling segment by International Storyteller, Dr. Amina Blackwood Meeks.
Other activities will include a fashion show, organised by Saint International CEO, Deiwght Peters, who, along with other African stores, has provided African outfits for the models.
Mr. Bartley said the event will also feature performances by the St. Catherine High School drummers and the Ashe Performing Arts Company Group, who will depict Africa and Jamaican connections.
Explaining the rationale for focusing on the four African countries, Mr. Bartley said that Ethiopia was chosen because of its connection to Rastafari, “the only new religion of the 20th century given to the world by Jamaica”.
Regarding Ghana and Nigeria, he said that records have shown that the source of most of the enslaved Africans who were transported to Jamaica were from those countries.
“We have so much connection to South Africa, because Jamaica was so formidable in the struggle to release Nelson Mandela from prison. When he came out on the 11th of February 1990, it was a joy to all of us. Also, we played a very important part in the elimination of apartheid, that slavery-like system that was unleashed on the people of South Africa,” he added.