Katara - the Cultural Village - has announced the details of the first African Festival, which will be held from April 7 to 13.
The seven-day festival, which will highlight the best of African art, dance, music and films, will also feature exhibitions, music and dance shows, jewellery and handicrafts, urban painting, a drive-through cinema and a children’s zone.
Working closely with 15 African embassies, Katara will organise the festival that will showcase three of Africa’s best-known singing sensations - Johnny Clegg, Manu Dibango and Cheikh Tidiane Seck.
The African Festival will bring together more than 180 artistes and performers from 15 countries with embassies nominating performers, artistes and films to represent their country’s arts and cultures on Katara’s stages and screens.
The festival will feature street artistes performing La Hadhra, Malouf, Gnawa, Mezwed, Stambali and percussion. During the concert, a DJ will present a unique mix of well-known African songs, including unforgettable numbers from Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria.
“It is a community-based cultural event that will bring together people in many ways to help express their ideas, traditions and values. The Middle East and Africa share a deep cultural wealth that is inherent to each region. We hope that this cultural exchange will set the foundation for future collaboration between Qatar and the African nations,” said Malika al-Shraim, festival manager at Katara.
“We are dedicated to creating platforms that share this wealth and bridge cultural gaps. It is with immense pride and pleasure that we open our doors to visitors to enjoy the first African Festival.”
The festival will also showcase the African Circus, which will feature Kenyan Boys, a team of musicians, dancers, acrobats, fire performers and contortionists.
Al-Shraim said, “One of the many highlights of the festival is the Jam Stage, which will provide upcoming musicians and singers with the opportunity to play instruments on a live stage with sound, light and back lining. The stage will also be used to showcase live dance performances, music and percussion in between music workshops and jams.”
The Cine Zone will screen 20 films selected based on their cultural relevance. The films will highlight African history and art through an array of traditional, folkloric and modern art expressions. The festival will also include a children’s zone, which will feature a stuffed animal zoo, face-painting, workshops and a large wall where children can paint.