Silo Park was lit up with vibrant energy on Saturday for this year’s Africa Day.
From dancing, culture and fashion, to food stalls from every corner of the continent, the event was a beautiful showcase of African diversity.
It’s also been a huge hit for young Africans in the diaspora wanting to reconnect with their heritage.
In this photo essay, rangatahi tell us what Africa Day means for them.
I’m African so I had to come and show my flatmates a taste of Africa. I’m from Zimbabwe so I’ve only had Zim food, [but] I was like, oh, I’ll try something different. Zimbabweans are hyped! It’s always a good time with Zims so I love the people and the culture.
I think it’s really cool because we’re being recognised and showing off our culture, and connecting with other people, and teaching the Kiwis how we do and what we eat. It makes me feel special and seen.
It’s amazing, the music, and the people. This is actually my first time coming to [Africa Day]. I probably danced with 10 people today that I don’t even know, so the energy is just amazing.
People think Africa is all just one country and we share one culture - that’s not true. They think Africa is just broken up countries that are trying to make ends meet. There’s a lot of energy and positivity there and a lot of things flourishing. Don’t limit what you think Africa is by what you see in [the] media.
This is a cultural outfit mainly inspired by South Africa, which you can see from the colours. When I got to model on the runway for Masafinya’s corner, I loved it! She mainly does headpieces and accessories, so yeah, I’m doing modelling for her today.
Africa is not about the colour of your skin, it’s not about where you’re from. We’re all the same, we’re all together as one. We’re all humans and full of love and we love to celebrate and have a good time. We are very hospitable people and everyone’s welcome!
Miro, Jana, Kemuma, Mira, Mrym
Kemuma: I love black people, I love black culture and I’m here to support and show out. Seeing so many black people in one space, it doesn’t happen here too often because we’re all spread out so it’s nice to see us all come together.
Miro: The music, the food, the community! Dance and love! We’re actually the richest people on Earth - in culture, in food, in love, in everything! That’s what makes us rich, not the money.
Driving here we saw so many Africans and so many black people, and the closer we got we were like yas! We’re getting there! One thing that’s so cool is I’ve seen so many people I know, but I’ve seen so many people I don’t know and I’m like, wow, there’s so many of us here!
Zimbabwe is such a beautiful place; the people are beautiful and so kind. The whole country is beautiful. One thing I did when I went back this last trip was travel around Zimbabwe and it was so good to be home. The world has such a bad view of Zimbabwe but it’s such a beautiful country and I love it because it’s my home. I definitely wanna go back one day and live there.
Hilary and Max
Hilary: It’s actually nice, especially being so far from home. I’m from Ghana. The culture and the food is so good. It’s so hard to pick just one. I love waakye and jollof.
The continent is rich. People need to educate themselves, it’s not just one country, it’s a continent with different cultures and different people. We’re not the same but we’re similar in some ways. It’s a rich continent. Beautiful people.
Max: There’s not many days like this in a year. We don’t come together enough. Africa Day is the first time I’ve seen this many Africans in one place. I think we’re a bit divided in a way and I want us to just come together and progress from there.
Fatuma and Sarah
Sarah: Girl, it’s Africa Day! I’m Sudanese and she’s Nigerian so we gotta be here, we gotta represent!
When I’m here I look like everybody else, so I don’t look like the odd one out, and I’m here to vibe because I don’t see Africans like this on a daily basis.
Fatuma: I love being surrounded by my own people, feeling the vibe. Sometimes it can get lonely in Auckland but being surrounded by Africans is nice, it feels nostalgic of home.
My favorite thing about Nigeria? The vibes, the people, afrobeats, c’mon now!
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