Besides big events like the Würzburg Africafestival, the biggest Africa festival in Europe, lots of smaller events devoted to African themes happen across Germany. Just in case you were asking yourself: yes, mostly in the summer months, for fairly obvious reasons. Mind you, this summer of 2019 has been so hot occasionally, we may have to reconsider the timing, or else our African guests will be climatically intimidated! Anyway, two events put Africa on the local map in Göttingen these past few days: the Afrikanisches Sommerfest at Uslar, and the Hit the Beat concert at the local Freie Waldorfschule.
The Sommerfest at Uslar was, on the face of it, a fundraiser for a school project in Ghana. Andreas and Evelyn (who hails from Ghana) have initiated the Kinderhilfe for Ghana charity which, among other projects, has managed to install toilets at Whindo primary school in Takoradi. If you want to support them find more information on their website here, and like the present author you may consider becoming a member. For only EUR 50,- per year – i.e. just over EUR 4,- a month – you can make a difference for some kids that will find it hard to have access to things you probably consider “vital” and absolutely necessary. Sharing is caring, ‘m just sayin’.
I lent a hand, and enjoyed making music, drumming and otherwise, with some friends.
(picture credits mostly go to Harald Wenzel)
Hit the Beat
The initiative for the second event goes way back a couple of years to contacts between the local Freie Waldorfschule (on the Waldorf-education concept see here) and the Freie Waldorfschule in Windhoek, Namibia. Their Hit the Beat initiative seeks to bring “unity through cultural diversity “, as they state on their website. May I say that from what I heard others say, notably local schoolkids, and from what I could see, they fully live up to it – and spread a lot of fun and positive energy with their music and performance skills. “Kids will be kids” is too condescending a slogan to capture what many of the Namibian and German participants could take away from the evening and the meetings that were leading up to it. Do we even have to be surprised to hear that kids do indeed share the same, or similar, dreams and hopes? The gist of this, I believe, was shared with all of us last night in the form of drumming, singing and recitals of poetry – and most universal, perhaps (never ´mind a certain shyness on behalf of some Germans), dancing. The welcome by the audience was very enthusiastic, and standing ovations at the end were visible and audible proof of how much everyone enjoyed the show.
Personally, I felt very much at home considering the southern African vibes, some songs in isiZulu – much that was “kinda familiar” … Ngiyajabula kakhulu, ngiyabonga!