All is set for the biggest African Cultural Festival in the Empire State in March 2010.Living by its Jesuit principles. Fordham University the only Jesuit University in New York and also finding itself in an area which has the largest concentration of African immigrants in the whole of the United States (Bronx) is bringing Africa to the rest of the world in the United States of America, with an annual African week celebration – African Cultural Festival.
The maiden edition is scheduled for March 20 to the 26, 2010 at the Rose Hill Campus Bronx New York. Themed Culture and Democracy – “Using Culture as a tool to enhance the growth of Democracy in Africa.” The festival aims to showcase Africa’s contribution to world democracy and exposing Africa’s diverse culture to the world. The brain behind this enterprise is the African Cultural Exchange (ACE) a vibrant student organization of Fordham University.
“We are very much delighted that this event will assemble the best African brains to look at how best our culture as Africans could be used to accelerate democracy in our continent and expose what we have as a people to the outside folks “Mike Mohigh president of African Cultural Exchange.”
He stated that so far 90% of the African Embassies and consulates in the United States have given their endorsement of the festival and it’s indeed going to be a big success for Africa.
Mr. Mohigh was very grateful to the university authorities especially the department of African and African-American studies for collaborating with African Cultural Exchange to host the event.
He added that some people feel Africa as a continent has nothing good to offer apart from wars and stories of genocide and other un-presentable issues. “Let me tell you, we are good people and we have very good things to contribute to world development and our continent”, All these issues will be address through a public lecture during the event. The festival will bring to the people first hand information from Africa, by Africans for the whole world. African cultural Exchange is seeking to demystify Africa.
Touching on the festival, the chairman of the Department of African and African – American studies, Professor Mark Naison explained why his department thought it wise to collaborate with A.C.E to host the biggest African Renaissance in the US.
“The department established in 1969 have always made the teaching of African History and the promotion of African culture a major priority and with the founding of a student club (African Cultural Exchange) dedicated to those goals, we have an opportunity to transform what we teach in our classes into a major effort to show the entire university community and the rest of the world what Africans have contributed to world civilization over the centuries.”
He made it clear that currently African immigrants are contributing immensely towards the economic and cultural vitality of New York City.
“We feel we have a very special opportunity and a special responsibility to showcase African culture on our campus and the whole of New York State. This maiden edition, we have invited a cultural troupe from Ghana, the Twereampong Traditional cultural troupe will be doing a live performance and Fordham University is looking forward to welcoming thousands of people from all walks of life and around the world to witness the maiden event of this annual festival.”
The official media launch for the event took place on February 23. 2010 at the Flom Auditorium, Rose Hill campus, Fordham University, New York. The Media Launch witness major media players in New York participating, with a call on them to help promote the event to ensure success.
Submitted and written by Mehsah-Shalders.