FetAfrik: Touching the heart of Seychelles

Speaking at a press conference, Minister St.Ange said FetAfrik is an event which touches the heart of the people of Seychelles, as the islands celebrate the historical links Seychelles has with the African continent.

Seychelles will soon be celebrating its African origins through the FetAfrik event set to be held from May 22-28. The program for this year’s FetAfrik was officially launched yesterday in a press conference held at the offices of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture at ESPACE building in Victoria.

Attending the press conference were the Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange; Principal Secretary for Culture Benjamine Rose; Chief Executive of the Seychelles National Youth Council Alvin Laurence; and former Minister Peter Sinon who is working in close collaboration with the FetAfrik organizing committee.

“It is important that we value this event as Africa forms part of the five branches which makes us, the Seychellois nation, that we are today,” Minister St.Ange said.

The chosen theme for Africa Day this year which will be celebrated on May 25, will be human rights with a particular focus on the rights of women.

Minister St.Ange said the committee is working to see how this theme can be portrayed throughout the FetAfrik week.

He also spoke on the need to value the islands’ African links, adding that Seychelles needs to find more ways to make Africa as one of the important tourism source markets. He added that it is, therefore, important for the Seychelles Tourism Board to promote FetAfrik.

Several countries on the African continent, such as South Africa, Nigeria, and Uganda, will be taking part in this year’s FetAfrik event.

Also speaking was Miss Rose, the Principal Secretary for Culture who gave details of the official opening ceremony and other activities. The official opening of this year’s FetAfrik will be held on May 25 at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles (ICCS).

Minister St.Ange said the launch of this event has always been held at the National Cultural Centre but with the aim of bringing more glam and vitality to the event, the committee has decided to stage it at ICCS. He added that the theme of unity will be highly reflected during the launch.

Also taking part in this year’s FetAfrik are Wesley Pepper, a well-known artist hailing from South Africa who specializes in street art; Professor Samba, who will be giving a public lecture on African Renaissance; and Helen Sayers, who will be leading a three-day workshop on “the Spirit of Ubuntu.”

Mr. Peter Sinon, who has worked in many African countries and who has strong links with Africa, has come onboard as a partner to bring in the international speakers for this FetAfrik.

“Learning about Africa is a vital part of our FetAfrik celebrations. The African continent has a lot to teach us,” Mr. Sinon said.

Mr. Sinon said Ubuntu is a gift that Africa has given to the world. It reflects a set of values that highlights our humanity and interconnectedness.

This “Spirit of Ubuntu” workshop is being done in close collaboration with the Seychelles National Youth Council. Mr. Laurence said the SNYC welcomes such initiative as it falls in line with its living values program that the council is promoting in society.

The Seychelles’ National Troupe will also be following the Umzansi Zulu dancers from South Africa spread over two days. The members of the National Troupe will then join the Umzansi Zulu dancers in the Umoja show which will take place at ICCS after the official opening ceremony.

Other activities during the week will be the FetAfrik gala dinner which will be held on May 27 at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay hotel, with tickets costing R600. The Seychelles’ African Community will also be organizing a dinner dance at the Espace building.

Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) . For more information on Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, click here.