Africa Day Celebrations

The festival known as Africa Day Celebrations is organised by the Central Queensland African Association Incorporated in Rockhampton, in Central Queensland to remember and to celebrate the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity. Under the theme “Showcasing African Culture”, Africa Day Celebrations demonstrate the cultural diversity of Australian Africans (for example, from (i)  North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan (ii) Central and West Africa: Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and (iii) Southern and East Africa: Botswana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) and how diversity has contributed to the richness of life and experience in Queensland.

The images were captured by Dean Saffron from the 2014 Festival held on 24 May.

The oral histories were recorded by Hamish Sewell with Lawrence Chitura and Mildred Muzenda.

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Etina Mlambo arrives at the Africa Day celebrations

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Rose Swadling, Lawrence Chitura and Karen Morris show examples of art and Bruce Young MP holds a Certificate of Appreciation

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Flag ceremony celebrating every African country

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Lawrence Forsang, Dr Jerome Egwurube, Hon Mildred Muzenda, Lawrence Chitura and Clarence Forsang on stage at the celebration

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Big Mama, Martin Grigg, Elena Longland, Joe Tee and Joe Okello enjoying the Africa Day celebrations

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Joyellen Chiteta holds her daughter, Gabriella

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Daniel Chiketa, Nyasha Miambo, Grace Chiketa, Trish Masniri and others at the celebration

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Edwina, Annemargaret and Wallace Quoibia

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Hildah Madhuro, Rose Swadling, Bruce Young MP and Kudzai Madhuro enjoy the Africa Day celebrations

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Lining up for some delicious African cuisine

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A wide variety of African cuisine available

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Lining up for African delicacies

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Traditional African costumes

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Traditional African dancing

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Traditional African dance

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African dancing on show

Oral histories

Lawrence Chitura, President of the Central Queensland African Association in Rockhampton, speaks to Hamish Sewell about: the association and how its membership grew organically; the experience of the African community in Australia as new migrants; the diversity of the African community and of those who settled in Rockhampton and surrounds (from cultural diversity to diversity in skill sets to expertise); the origins and evolution of the festival; what is involved in the festival and why it's run including showcasing diverse culture; support for the festival; the African diaspora; opportunities to grow the festival; bringing communities together, connecting communities and representing communities; and multicultural Australia.

Mildred Muzenda, Public Relations Liaison Officer of the Central Queensland African Association in Rockhampton, talks to Hamish Sewell about: her role in the organisation to assist refugees who've lived through traumatic experiences and negotiating various cultural protocols; the relationship with local councils; challenges for new arrivals; advocacy and Mildred's previous role in the United Nations; the diversity but also the unity of African cultures; Mildred's role in the festival; the initiatives to assist communities including educational endeavours; the importance of the festival; and establishing an African/ Australian culture.

Related information

To view the entire collection, see Sharing Stories from Multicultural Communities Photo Essays and Oral Histories, 2013-2014 in our online catalogue. Link to the record or link to the digital item.

Sharing Stories from Multicultural Communities was funded through a 'Your Community Heritage Program' grant, from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Australian Government.