Afrika Tage Munich

Afrika Tage Munich

Afrika Tage Munich 2004

Afrika Tage Munich 2004

Despite bad weather with intermittent rainfalls, thousands of people visited the first “Afrika Tage” (Africa Days) in Munich, Germany. The 3-day (11-13 June 2004) event that focuses on African culture and products was initiated by the Egyptian Medhat Abdelati. According to the press release of the organizers after the festival, a total of 108 000 people visited the festival. This number doubles the number of visitors (50 000), which the organizers forecasted at the time of planning. Like other Africa festivals, the concept combines African music, concerts, percussion/dance workshops, markets, exotic recipes, fashion/hairdressing and storytelling included in children’s program to entice visitors.

The number of visitors definitely proves that there is demand for such festivals. But why are these festivals attracting so many visitors? AFRITOPIC visited the “Afrika Tage” event and captured some visitors’ and participators’ opinions as presented on this page.

Tabitha Weber – Bitatha Crafts

Tabitha Weber: The event serves as an outlet to introduce and sell our products. We offer products that are applicable to both African and European lifestyle. European girls are now braiding their hair and using hair extensions. Furthermore, people are interested in our handmade jewelries.

Anthony Thompson & Mark Asamoah – Storytelling

The African storytelling is very exciting for the children and the “young at hearts”. Anthony and Mark, both from Ghana, integrate percussion, dancing and singing into their program and animate the audience to be part of the program. The result is a lively atmosphere that brings the platform to shaking. According to Anthony and Mark, the demand for storytelling has increased in recent times. Our goal is to make the African culture and the social settings in traditional Africa transparent to the Germans especially to the young ones. We have performed in junior and secondary schools as well as at diverse cultural events. The audience is filled with enthusiasm and there is always a lot of laughter in the hall wherever they perform.

Afrika Tage Munich2004  – Opinions of visitors

Batchati Family (German –Togolese couple with 2 children)

“Afrika Tage” also provides a family outing opportunity. The Batchati family visited the event and had a lot of fun especially at the storytelling children program. The event is very interesting and gives an insight of African culture the family agrees. “However, there is too much of consume and the fabrics seem not to be original African”, Ms Batchati says.

Brent Jones

I am an African-American artist and have been living in Germany for many years. I would love to visit Africa as soon as the opportunity arises. The “Afrika Tage” as an event is good but the cost of renting space for stall is rather expensive. The organizers have collected the rent and it is left to the stall owners to sell or not. If the weather is bad, the ground becomes muddy and messy. The stalls have no elevated floors and there is no free drinking water anywhere. I hope that these issues would be taken into consideration at the next event.

Teresa Schoene

Today is my second day at the “Afrika Tage” and so far, I impressed. Taking into consideration that the event is being organized for the first time here in Munich, I give credit to the people involved in making the event happen. It is fascinating to see so many different faces and various types of products from Africa. Though, I got to know about the event through an Internet newsletter, I think that the next “Afrika Tage” should be more advertised in the local media.

I have gone through the markets and done some shopping. I would have loved to attend the Manu Dibango concert but I could not afford price. Anyway, I stayed outside the tent and consoled myself with the sound permeating through the polymer. I was at the fashion show of the designer Ann Dörr. The designs are nice but I feel that they are more authentic when worn by Africans. I personally prefer designs that pronounce my figure. Though, there was some dancing at the end of the show, I had expected more choreographic effects and more temperament in the show.

I wish that there were more events of this scale in Munich. It helps to acquaint people to other cultures. I have not been to Africa but I have heard a lot about the continent through my Cameroonian boyfriend. I know that there are serious economical and infrastructure problems facing the majority of African countries. Sometimes I think of helping the poor in Africa by working for a foreign development organization based in Africa. But I am afraid that I would psychologically not be able to bear the sight of many people dying in poverty through malnutrition. On the other hand, I am aware of the beautiful Africa. This event testifies to the truth.

I could imagine myself helping to organize an event like this one, if I have the time. My job with an insurance company is demanding. Since I am into music, I could take the part of planning the music programs including scheduling the concerts, inviting and working together with the musicians. I like singing and take singing lessons. I sing, mostly Gospels and R&B albeit at home, I listen to all sorts of music including African music. I have also read a couple of novels by African authors. Yes, I am interested in Africa and the African culture.

Zaid Essouti – The gentle Moroccan

African hospitality is commendable. In Morocco, the visitor is offered tea in special Moroccan tea-glass. This traditional friendliness is offered to visitors at this gentle Moroccan’s market “Meharee Shop”. Visitors are informed about the products for sale while sipping at Moroccan tea.

Afrika Tage Munich 2004

Afrika Tage Munich 2004

Afritopic 2004

Afritopic

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