The second annual Africa Arts Forum this year was held on 7th November 2015 at the Safaricom Michael Joseph Centre. Guests started streaming in at 10 am and by the end of the day we had more than 200 participants and 40 artists. The Forum, themed Art and Dignity was brought out well throughout the day in the artist’s paintings, photographs, poems, songs, spoken word pieces and the short films.
The event focused on giving artists of all genres a free space to enable them to showcase their art and their talent for the world to see, wonderfully guided by the theme. There was harmony in combining all the different art genres. The ambience was full of jubilation, wonder, love, hope and dignity this was seen and expressed in the way that everyone interacted with each other.
There were performances that set the mood for the day artists such as Jean, Jeremy Mwambu, Sahili Family and August the Band to name a few. These gave life to the early morning event.
The Forum was graced with Patrick Mukabi, an influential figure in Kenya Visual Artistry, as the Guest of Honour. Patrick gave an inspiring presentation on the topic ‘Trust Your Struggle’ giving hope to all the artists not to give up on their artistry. He amazed all by starting with ‘I don’t know how to come up here and inspire you but I hope my story will’. His story truly did inspire.
Patrick was followed by a deep and introspective phase as we listened to pianist Tagusi. There after was a film screening co-ordinated by Re-Tuning Cinema in Africa(RECA). The theme of the films was ‘What Beauty is to Me’ we were able to see all the diverse outlooks of beauty by young filmmakers, in a strikingly simple and deep way, as they captured events in ordinary life.
The event was full of interesting activities with a space for freelance artists, to place anything on canvas too in a ‘Freedom of Expression Art Corner’. People were able to paint, colour and draw literally anything that came to mind in line with the Art and Dignity theme. There were interactive spaces where the artists and participants could share their ‘Dream for Art in Africa’. Everyone made beautiful art that day all together on beautiful canvases.
We hope that next year will be even bigger and better. Let us keep creating art that reflects the truth about who we are.
We sincerely thank the Safaricom Michael Joseph Centre for sponsoring the event space, RECA for partnership, and all participants who attended. Kudos to the masters of ceremony for the day: Charlene, Arthur and Anthony; all the team at WYA Africa. Thanks to everyone who attended the Forum. We especially thank all the artists who participated in the 2015 Africa Arts Forum. You are all incredibly talented. We wish you the very best as you all enjoy the adventure of celebrating art that reflects the truths in our world. We now eagerly look forward to next year’s Africa Arts Forum. Asante ni sana.