HUNDREDS of people marched from Orient Theatre to the Esplanade grounds on Friday to celebrate Africa Day, with newly elected Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane leading the crowd.
The two-day celebration was conducted by the department of sport, recreation, arts and culture (Dsrac), starting off with five schools having a dialogue about societal issues that affect the continent and young people.
Acting manager of cultural affairs in BCM Ndileka Makhitshi said they were giving pupils the opportunity to tell the public about their views on the 25 years of free- dom in SA, and they could enlighten the audience on their knowledge on Africanism.
Centre of Excellence pupil Itumeleng Ncoko gave feedback on the debate, which discussed the importance of continental free trade, border control, free movement of people, economic integration and common currency as a key to a better Africa.
Ncoko mentioned the importance of Africans in learning their indigenous languages so they could communicate in their own tongues.
“English is the most used language which has made us forget our own languages. It seems like we are forgetting who are, as we like to focus on the dominating language (English) instead of conversing in our own indigenous languages.
“I see it as absurd that borders in African countries restrict our brothers and sisters in accessing their countries.”. There should be borders, but they should terminate country borders, and keep continental borders, so that people from other continents follow the correct legal procedures in accessing our African countries,” Ncoko said.
Mabuyane said people must share a common vision and mission to advance Africa’s agenda to be self-reliant and stop being dependent on western countries.
“I want to challenge both Dsrac and the universities in our province to organise practical programmes that can advance social cohesion in our communities where participants should include fellow Africans from the Diaspora.
“We should have exchange programmes for students between African countries to share best practices and learn about each other’s cultures.”
“I know many South Africans do not have a clue about life in other African countries. They are however very keen to visit Europe every time an opportunity presents itself. The Eastern Cape provincial government will change this obsession with Europe.
“We will learn from other African countries and offer our expertise when necessary. I believe solutions to our socio-economic challenges are in this rich Continent not in Europe, America or Asia. All of those countries use our natural