Afric’Or Festival 2013

 

AFRICA ORIGINALITY (AFRIC’OR) FESTIVAL 2013 ORGANISED BY CANEM CONSULTING

Top on the list of paramount events for the year 2013 for the enterprise Cameroon National Events Management (CANEM) Consulting, was the organisation of the Africa Originality (Afric’Or) Festival, aimed at valorizing socio-cultural diversity through various forms of expression (music, dance, sculpture, theatre, painting, photography etc.). With the desire to celebrate the African heritage and culture as well as original diversities, CANEM Consulting targeted November 20th 2013, the date set aside by the United Nations for the commemoration of the African Industrialization Day, to organise a three-day event from November 20th to the 22nd 2013, the Afric’Or Festival, under the themeSounds and Colours of Africa”. The category of participants put on the map for the premier of the Afric’Or Festival was made up of artists (portraitists, sculptors, flautists, art historians etc.) from within the Cameroon national territory and beyond its borders. These were all contacted prior to the festival, and all showed their gratitude and enthusiasm in connecting with CANEM Consulting to celebrate the African continent in sounds and colours.

Wednesday November 20th marked the official launching of the Festival. This took place at the Galerie Mam, Bonanjo, Douala. The participating artists had their diverse works of arts exposed in the gallery. By the evening of the first day, the event had gathered both average art lovers and discerning culturati, lovers of the African heritage, together with some government officials including the representative of the Minister of Arts and Culture, and journalists from different media houses, all eager to have a glimpse of the displays and to listen to the artists decrypt the impression behind their works. This however followed the opening speech presented by the CEO of CANEM Consulting, Dr. Annie Smith and the cutting of the ribbon by the representative of the Minister of Arts and Culture, ushering the guests into the gallery.

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The works exposed at the Gallery included paintings from artists at home including Justine Gaga, Maurice Pegoué a.k.a. La Pegoués, Rostand Pokam, Ngameni Deflorant a.k.a. Ngadaybor, Franco Ndiba, Nzoulla Daniel a.k.a. Hé Zoul amongst others; also Shiri Achu from the United Kingdom, and Dr. Lorenzo Pace from the United States (the brain behind the beautiful 300-ton granite sculpture named "Triumph of the Human Spirit" found in the city of New York), who happened to be the guest of honour. Dr. Lorenzo thrilled the guests with an installation which he commented was symbolic of the killing of the last king in Cameroon, Douala Manga Bell, which he says resonates with the killing of Martin Luther King in the United States.

Equally participating in the festival, though not in the form of art works but with their presence, historical knowledge of the art, and moral support were Professor Blaise Njeho Ya, Louis Roger Ndenga a.k.a. Bato, both from France, and the Cameroonian artist Joel Mpah Dooh.

The evening of the opening day ended with a cocktail party.

Day Two of the event was manly characterised by the continuation of the exhibitions, at the gallery. This day witnessed the visit of diverse other people including the Nigerian Consul General to Cameroon. Many others had the opportunity to meet the artists who passionately shared the significance of their work in relation to the African Sounds and Colours.

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November 22nd 2013 marked the final day for the event. CANEM Consulting set this day aside for the award of certificates of participation, honouring the different artists who came together for the realisation of the event. This was done during the gala organised to close the event, at Star Land Hotel in Bonapriso, Douala. Gracing the event with their presence were Dr. Shawn Smith, minister of the Gospel and spouse to the CEO of CANEM Consulting Dr. Annie Smith, the Nigerian Consul General to Cameroon, the representative of the Minister of Arts and Culture, amongst other government officials and representatives of enterprises and well-wishers as well as other invitees.

Activities following the speeches made by the top officials including the Nigerian Consul General, Representative of the Minister of Arts and Culture, Dr. Lorenzo Pace and Dr. Annie Smith, a representative of all the artists present, included a fashion show exhibiting African designs and musical performances. Dr. Annie Smith equally presented the Afric’Or organising team which was cheered on by the guests. Then came the moment for the award of the certificates of recognition, closely followed by all present savouring the buffet specially prepared for them, and a photo session.

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