Two years ago Kenyans got fed up. With tales of people in the north of the country dying from one of the worst droughts in our generation people came together and contributed the Kenyans 4 Kenyan initiative. It was spearheaded by the Kenya Red Cross saw millions contributed by corporations and individuals and two years later the northern part of the country is unrecognisable. The one lesson we learnt as Kenyans is that a disaster could bring us together to make a difference.
Yesterday a new initiative was unveiled in Johannesburg, South Africa by the Africans For Africa Network. This is in a similar focus of Africans supporting one another on a specific project to change the face of the continent no unlike Kenyans 4 Kenya did a couple of year ago. The initiative focus is the Mali’s renowned FestivalauDesert which has been unable to run properly in the last few years with last years edition postponed due to the insurgence in Mali. The long running festival is run by director Manny Ansar who explains that although quite small it is in the top three festivals in Africa.
The festival is set to return home to Timbuktu return for a home concert set to take place in January 2014. The process will start with the Emthonjeni Arts Residency programme, based in Hamburg in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
A group of musicians from the Sahel region in North Africa will spend a week at the Emthonjeni facility with local South African musicians (3 – 16 December 2013). The collaboration will include workshops, co-productions, performances, empowerment of young artists and an inaugural dialogue for young Africans, which will be podcast to several regions of the continent.
Lets all do all we can to help our friends from the north western part of the continent my people.
Should you wish to support the initiative for media interviews with the organisers and more information please contact mediaATjtcomms.co.za or +27 (011) 788 7632 or Festival au Desert adminATfestival-au-desert.org