How is Africa Day Celebrated?

by Jasmine Ledesma

While Americans spent this May 25th celebrating Memorial Day with appropriately socially-distanced barbecues, musky cans of beer, and sky splitting fireworks, many other nationalities celebrated for a different reason.

Africa Day, formerly known as African Freedom Day or African Liberation Day, is the yearly celebration of the commencement of the Organization of African Unity. The OAU was formed to raise the African living standards, see that every African was given human rights, and to eradicate colonialism and neo-colonialism from the African continent.

The OAU’S efforts greatly changed several aspects of the way Africa ran, such as working alongside the UN to ease issues concerning refugees and overall colonial rule. However, these efforts were eventually replaced by the efforts of the African Union.

In such an odd, off the chart’s year across the globe, it is interesting that Africa Day should coincide with Memorial Day. America and her grandiose, weepy pride clashing with Africa and her more humbled, nuanced celebration of herself. Perhaps now is a better time than ever to consider our past.

Africa Day isn’t celebrated and cherished solely within Africa but is revered across the globe. Every year, a new theme is assigned to the day. The 2020 theme is, “A Prosperous Africa,” based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.

This year, Africa Day was celebrated with a show broadcasting on over 200 African channels by the Worldwide Afro Network. The show included over 100 important artists and celebrities. The show was hosted by the ever-charming and talented Idris Elda.

Popstar Salif Keita, Nigeria born artist Wizkid, Senegalese rapper Awadi, model Naomi Campbell, French Montana, Ludacris, and Jimmy Cliff were some of the many stars that attended the show.

The broadcast raised funds to support and provide health-related services to children and families in Africa who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The celebration itself was fantastical, beautiful and most of all, touching. Everyone who performed wished the audience well and left viewers with a feeling of hope and warmth.

In case you missed the event, there is no need to worry. At your convenience and from whichever corner of the world you’re in right now, you can watch the complete stream here!

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