African Festivals To Watch Out For In 2018
It’s no surprise that Africa is home to some of the best cultural festivals on the planet.
With 54 countries, 2000 languages and over 3000 tribes, you get everything from food and music to art and film in some spectacular locations, such as isolated deserts, medieval cities, on the shores of a lake or on a tropical island.
Here are some African cultural festivals to watch out for this year.
1. AfrikaBurn, South Africa
AfrikaBurn is the continent’s most alternative arts festival. Everything that happens in Tankwa Town (the temporary settlement where festival goers gather in the Karoo desert) is up to the creativity of participants.
There is no entertainment organised – instead, the participants of the festival create their own artworks, their own music and their own performances. You’re guaranteed an experience that will blow your mind.
April 24 – 30.
2. Chale Wote, Ghana
The Chale Wote Street Art Festival is an alternative platform that brings art, music, dance and performance out of the galleries and onto the streets of James Town, Accra, Ghana.
The festival targets exchanges between scores of local and international artists and patrons by creating and appreciating art together.
This festival lasts an entire week from August 18 – 21.
3. Lake Of Stars, Malawi
The Lake of Stars festival has been hailed variously as “simply the finest festival in the world” and “the world’s most spectacular music festival” by major media outlets.
There’s never a dull moment at this event; some performers have been known to do their sets from trees, while the minister of tourism even skydived into the festival. One of the most interesting aspects of the festival is that none of the international artists who perform are paid a fee.
September 26 – 28.
4. Durbar Festival, Nigeria
The Durbar is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, Eid el-Fitr, and at the start of the pilgrimage to Mecca, Eid el-Kabir in Kano and Kaduna, Nigeria.
It is also the most colourful thing you might ever experience. A typical Durbar fest has a procession of horsemen, acrobats, and musicians parade in front of the crowd in a myriad of different costumes of every colour you can imagine. Purple turbans, metallic swords glisten in the sun, women dressed in royal robes pass by (Kind of reminds you of medieval Europe).
5. International Festival of the Sahara, Tunisia
Somewhere in the Sahara Desert of Tunisia, the population swells by 50,000 each year when people arrive to share in a four-day celebration the art, traditions and culture of the people of the desert.
Side attractions include Camel marathons, displays of horse riding, a Bedouin marriage, lively dancing, music performances and a poetry competition.
6. Felabration, Nigeria
Another week-long annual celebration of the life and legacy of Fela Kuti, the pioneer of Afrobeat conceived in 1998 by Yeni Anikulapo-Kuti.
This festival sees people from all over the world visit the Afrika Shrine, smoke weed without any sanction and enjoy afrobeat at its best.
Fela Kuti was a Nigerian musician and human rights activist known for pioneering the afrobeat genre of music.
7. Bushfire, Swaziland
Each year the tiny country of Swaziland draws 20 000 people for its three-day Bushfire festival – an arts event that encompasses film, theatre, poetry and visual arts performances, as well as music and dance in a beautiful valley. All of the profits from the festival are given to NGOs and charities, so just by attending you contribute to Swaziland’s development.
May 26 – 28.