Nigerian pop star Wizkid will be joining Ivorian reggae star Alpha Blondy and Beninese Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo at the AfrikCan Festival come July 21-25. This edition, the first ever, holds in Ramsay Park, Boston in the United States of America.
Hosted by Afrikcan, an organization aiming to showcase the African continent through a positive and uplifting light, the festival also features South African singer Lira and her compatriot DJ Black Coffee, American singer Akua Naru, French Les Nubians, Kenyan Eric Wainana, Ghanaian Blitz the Ambassador and many others. Also attending the festival are figures from other aspects of African culture like the 2014 Miss Ghana Universe, Abena Appiah.
‘I grew up in Senegal,’ festival founder Marie-Claude Mendy said in an interview, ‘and there were three huge things in our culture: food, fashion and music. Even in a poor household, when they entertain the meals are amazing. They dress up in the finest fashions. There’s always music, and I grew up with reggae, Cuban, Brazilian, soukouss, zouk, soul, salsa, disco. That was in Dakar, but you’ll find stories like that all over Africa. That’s what we’re showing here, we’re representing all the regions of the continent, from Dakar to Dar es Salaam, from the Cape to Cairo.’
Along with presenting several genres of music, the AfrikCan festival also aims to bring together different strands of the African experience. ‘We want to connect the Pan-Africanist and Afropolitan generations,’ says Osekre Ishmael, curator of the festival. ‘The young and the established. The voices are all relevant, they have something to say to one another. We’re bridging gaps.’
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