You are here
Dual celebration inspires Iya Africa
The confluence of two observances—the International Year for People of African Descent and Emancipation Day—has led Amadi Productions to plan a concert entitled Ìyá Africa for the enjoyment of our multicultural society. Amadi means “general rejoicing” in the Ibo language of Nigeria, while Ìyá Africa means “mama” or “mother Africa” in the Yoruba language. Slavery was abolished by the British Parliament through the Emancipation Act effected in 1834. However, the effects of the brutality and horror of the 400 years of enslavement of Africans prior to these events are evident, for in many parts of the world discrimination against people of African descent is still practised.
This was why the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the year 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent with a view to inter alia, “regional and international co-operation for the benefit of people of African descent in relation to their full enjoyment of economic, cultural, social, civil, and political rights, their participation and integration in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society, and the promotion of a greater knowledge of and respect for their diverse heritage and culture.”
T&T has celebrated emancipation from slavery with a public holiday since 1985, and it is to the credit of the Emancipation Support Committee that since 2006 the African Union also commemorates August 1 as Emancipation Day throughout the African continent.
The directors of Amadi Productions, led by Rhona Mohon, have presented stimulating musical presentations annually to appreciative audiences since 2005, and have already presented a successful concert this year entitled Rays of Light, at the end of which members of the exhilarated audience danced from their seats to the exit doors. Amadi Productions has planned another concert this year, on July 23, at the Daaga Auditorium, UWI, St Augustine. Trinbagonians of all cultures are invited to continue their support and enjoyment of our cultural artistes—singers, poets, musicians and drummers—who keep the history and traditions of Mother Africa alive, and indeed bring their unique interpretations based on intermingling with other cultures.
One segment of the concert will commemorate the music of Miriam Makeba, who distinguished herself by placing African music on the international map in the 60s, and becoming the foremost world star of African music. She also became a human rights campaigner, exposing the scourge of apartheid at world fora inclusive of testimony before the United Nations, earning the title of “Mama Africa.” A formidable aspect of our multicultural environment comprises the ancestral African drums, chants and dances, which made their way across the middle passage and play key roles in religious observances as seen in Orisha and Spiritual Baptist practices, and in kalinda or stick fight, bongo and shango.
The inventiveness of our local population led to forms like tamboo bamboo and the evolution of the steel drum, now acclaimed worldwide. Amadi Productions will hail the African motherland with drumology, chant, dance and our very own steelpans. The African Diaspora has become a melting pot for the creation of musical expressive forms following painful journeys of African peoples across the middle passage to the Americas and beyond, and this production showcases some of the compositions of Trinbagonians, Jamaicans, Afro-Americans and even an Englishman of Ghanaian origin.
The numerous artistes contributing to the celebratory concert, Ìyá Africa, include acclaimed singers Janine Charles-Farray; Annessa Rudder; Ruanne Cabralis; Adafih Padmore; Elena Rawlins; Shakeela and Peter Biddeau; accomplished pannists Kareem Brown and Friends on steelpans; drumology experts Oba and Knocker of the Network Riddum Band; dancers Rae-Ann and Ruanne Cabralis; and well-versed poets Denise Charles and Muhammad Muwakil.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.