Pupils from different schools in Port Elizabeth gathered at the PE Education District on the25th of May 2017 to celebrate Africa Day under the theme: The year of OR Tambo, building a better Africa and a better world. The event was supported by the Nelson Mandela Metro Municipality, Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture and an organization called the Community of African Nations in South Africa.
A beautiful display and demonstration of the different cultures that exist within our societies was exhibited and presented. The learners showcased a wide range of traditional dances, poetry and music. At the centre was the message of unity and prosperity in the African context.Some honored the day by dressing in African regalia that portrayed the diversity of the African people.
Mr. VuyisileMkentane, Director Special Programs, before giving his opening remarks, sang his clan praises as a way of encouraging learners to know who they are and where they come from, also knowing the importance of being able to trace your lineage as this will speak to your identity as an African. He also preached tolerance of each other as we live in a diverse continent made up of different ethnic groups with different languages and cultures. Also, giving emphasis to the notion of discrimination on the basis of gender, race and culture.
We celebrate Africa Day during difficult and tough times in South Africa, where our children are being abducted and females killed, these were the words spoken by MsTabisa Mandla of Nelson Mandela Metro Bay Municipality, citing how this is not African behavior; pleading all to stand up and fight against this atrocity and brutality. We cannot turn a blind eye to what is happening in our country, said Ms Mandla.
One cannot speak of Africa without addressing the issue of Xenophobia, which is one of the subject matters that learners gave emphasis to, rejecting its roots and effects.“Say no to Xenophobia, nobody is a foreigner in their own land Africa belongs to all who live in it. This was a message professed by a learner from Vezubuhle Primary School.
Let’s raise our voices together and say no to violence against women, violence against children and against xenophobia.
Being African is something to be proud of. We are sons and daughters of Africa. We are who we are because we are African…embracing African values is key to succeed in life”, these were the words of Dr. Leah Ndimurwimo, Lecturer of Law at NMMU, as she delivered her keynote address.
Speaking on violence, drugs and substance abuse that seems to be rife in our communities, she said. Do not allow somebody to ruin your future by accepting what they offer you. She encouraged young people to not associate themselves with things that will derail them in life and deter their prospects of excelling in life.
African children must strive to achieve and excel in what they want to be in life,” said Ndimurwimo.