These beautiful events and festivals that portray the rich African culture have suffered a setback with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting into many attendant problems in the tourism industry and employment opportunities.
However, there seems to be a storm spreading across the continent as countries are beginning to have a re-birth of these culture-laden events and festivals, albeit still following precautionary health measures and protocols.
From West Africa to the East, North and South, semblance of normalcy is beginning to return in the wake of ease in lockdown restrictions.
In this piece, we take a ride to Sudan, Egypt and Burkina Faso to take a look at three of such cultural events.
In what can be considered a huge sigh of relief, Sudan, in September, held its first Unisex Fashion show in a long time. While Sudanese welcomed the idea in light of the nation’s past authoritarian clampdown on the nature of the event, it cannot also be debated that the fashion show was a breath of fresh air following the strain of the outbreak.
A group of Sudanese designers organised male and female fashion shows in the city’s capital, Khartoum, to display new lines of designs. Indeed, it was an avenue to attract national and global attention to the growing fashion industry.
According to one of the models on the runaway, Barza Mostafa, “We want to introduce the world to our culture; previously, people did not understand the idea of a fashion show but now we can see the audience watching and interacting. ”
Elsewhere in the northern region of the continent in Egypt and in October, El Gouna was the host city to another gathering to celebrate the fourth edition of the El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) which was held from October 23 to October 31, 2020.
The film festival prides itself in promoting a culture to enable filmmakers transform dreams and visions into reality and reward creative ingenuity.
The fourth edition of the Film festival which was themed, “The Culture of Dreams” had in attendance the crème de la crème in Egyptian Film as well as foreign actors and actresses.
Despite the challenges of the year, many thought that the festival would be cancelled but attendance was cut to half in a bid to follow social distancing rules. The Director of GFF, Intishal al Timini added that, “Organizing this year’s festival was challenging. Yes, there were fears, but there was also a huge desire for a lot of people to come to the festival and be a part of the experience. ”
Burkina also recently held the 2020 edition of the Les Recreatrales in the Bougsemtenga district, Ouagadougou in October. This event hosts African Contemporary projects by creating and distributing shows. One unique aspect of the event is the inclusion of neighbouring residents and youth and this year, they were part of the cast for the stage play.
This was the 11th edition and it was themed ‘Nous Dresser’ meaning “Standing Up” and had one opening performance, four performances undergoing creation, one set designed street, one shared evening, four mornings of African Language readings and one uoung audience programand live concerts.