Africa Day 2015
"The legacy of African culture in peace promotion"
May 25, Predigergasse 3, Berne
For the 5th consecutive year, the Africa Day has emerged after many months of preparations of the organizing committee, this time in Berne.
The event, visited by about 100 people from the different continents and moderated by Johnson Belangenyi and Gabriella Día, started with one hour and a half of entertainment in which music and dances from here and Africa could be admired and danced with. Chantal Chételat Komagata, SG of UPF, Switzerland introduced the topic: « The legacy of African culture to peace promotion ». She reminded all that according to African traditional religion «entering the hut seals the marriage» and emphasized the importance of cultivating the original culture of heart that every human being carries deeply in his or her conscience and that can truly contribute to peace. After that, Gerry Abrahamse representing Youth for Human Rights, read a long list of all the great people and amazing discoveries and things originating from Africa.
A sketch showed Johnson and Gerry with two young people from African descent but born here, Omar and Margaret. The youth asked questions about Africa like « Why is Africa so poor ? ». It was meant to last only 15 minutes and ended up giving rise to deep emotional reactions from the audience who felt they needed to teach the youth the « truth about Africa ».
Salome Lehmann then introduced the panel discussion by inviting the 5 religious leaders representing Islam (Imam Abdullah), Ajere African Heritage (Pat Santschi), WAIT Youth ministry (Cathlene Dumas), Hinduism (Tharnan Selliah) and Christianity (Kim Luzubu) on stage. They expressed their views in 3 different languages on « How can my spirituality contribute to world peace? ». Celeste Dozie Ugochukwu moderated the panel, summarized the ideas and was able to bring all into one as he emphasized the essence of each panelist’s message, independently of their religions and beliefs: each human being needs to develop his or her spirituality in order to bring peace.
The reflecting part of the event, was followed by entertainment, food, expositions, sharing and convivial togetherness.
As a conclusion, let’s « bequeath the African culture of heart and continue to develop our spirituality in order to promote peace ».
Chantal Chételat Komagata, Secretary General of UPF (www.switzerland.upf.org), Switzerland, June 3, 2015
Pictures: Michel Reymond
Organizations represented in the OC:
Universal Peace Federation, Swiss Exile, Council of the African Diaspora in Switzerland, Youth for Human Rights, SAF and Women's Federation for World Peace
Financial support: UPF