South Africa will proudly play host to the 2021 World Day for African and Afro Descendant Culture (JMCA) celebration for the first time on 22nd – 24th January 2021. The event, a vibrant showcase of Africa’s people and culture as a rich source of the world’s shared heritage, will be staged by non-profit organisation RAPEC (African Network of Promoters and Cultural Entrepreneurs), with His Royal Highness Mthimkulu III, King of the Amahlubi Nation, as goodwill ambassador and organiser.
JMCA initiator and NGO President, Sir John Ayite Dossavi, and His Royal Highness Mthimkulu III, officially launched the 2021 JMCA celebration at Sun City on 19 November 2020.
Speaking at the launch, His Royal Highness Mthimkulu III said: “The African continent is a rich melting pot of diverse people and cultures that have had a profound influence on the world’s heritage through music, dance, film and art. African and Afrodescendant culture is inextricably linked with humankind’s very beginnings, its present and its future. It is important that we work to unite African nations through culture, and continue to nurture cultural diversity as a platform for promoting peace, democracy and sustainable economic development.
“The 2021 JMCA event is more than just a cultural celebration. It is also an opportunity for Africans worldwide connect and reflect on the on the great gains and progress that they have made, as well as acknowledge and affirm their aspirations for the future.
“We are delighted that the JMCA celebration will be hosted on South African soil in 2021. We want South Africa, Africa and the global village to know it is coming to South Africa and they are invited to join us for the year-long celebration which will kick start on 22nd January.”
UNESCO adopted the 24th of January as the World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture at the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference in 2019. The date coincides with the adoption of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance in 2006 by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union. The World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture also aims to promote the widest possible ratification and implementation of the Charter by African States, thereby strengthening the role of culture in promoting peace and unity on the continent.
This year, the JMCA was commemorated in Costa Rica with an array of free concerts, films, talks, workshops and art shows for the public in San José. Afrodescendant groups from Costa Rica/Mali, Brazil, Ecuador, Israel/Ethiopia, Jamaica, Panama and the United States of America joined the celebration.
According to Gordon Noah, chief of staff from the Royal Hlubi Kingdom, the South African event next year will feature a spectacular array of events and activities. Exhibitions of art, photography, handicrafts, musical performances, concerts, theatrical shows and poetry readings, as well as conferences, debates and workshops will be held in public and through broadcasts.
He also revealed that a nationwide tour will kick off on the 24th of January, venturing to all nine provinces to introduce upliftment programmes in rural areas. More details on the upcoming 2021 JMCA World Day for African and Afro Descendant Culture celebration will be announced.