On 2 June 2007 Africa Beyond will launch Word from Africa with a free one-day event at the British Museum. Word from Africa is a London-wide celebration of Africa and its many languages and cultures in literature, music and arts taking place at various venues in London (including many of the capital’s best African restaurants) from 2 until 10 June 2007.
The continent of Africa is home to up to 2,000 languages, many of them spoken in homes and neighbourhoods across London. 2,000 languages – each one a door into a different world. Each language unlocks its own state of mind – its own music, literature, rhythms, history, food, sayings and stories.
You don’t need to speak any of these languages to enjoy the Word from Africa events – everything takes place either in English, or with English translations or commentary. Many of the featured authors write in English, but this week they will have a chance to share how their African mother tongue has shaped the way they think and write. And you’ll hear some of the best music on the planet, which needs no translation!
Africa Beyond is your host for this exciting series of events, together with lots of partners, big and small. The launch at the British Museum on 2 June (12 noon-8pm) is followed by a week of intimate performances at African restaurants and other venues around London – providing your chance to enter some of London’s hidden worlds. Behind a door in Kilburn or Islington or Bethnal Green you may suddenly find yourself in Ethiopia or Nigeria or Somalia where you can sample new music, stories and food.
The African restaurants taking part are Obalende Suya (Nigerian – Dalston), Exceline (East African – Hackney), Wabi Shebele (Ethiopian – Elephant & Castle), The Gold Coast Bar (Ghanaian – South Norwood), Ovation (West African – Tower Bridge Road), The Village Restaurant (Somali – Hammersmith), Q Bar & Grill (Nigerian – Kilburn), Mosab (Eritrean – Westbourne Park), Marathon (Ethiopian – Kings Cross) and Lubanna (Nigerian – Bethnal Green).
You’ll also be able to enjoy Word from Africa in your travels around the city. We are pleased to announce the launch of African Poems on the Underground on 4 June, in partnership with Poems on the Underground. One of the featured poets is Ghanaian-born Nii Parkes who lives here in London.
So see you at Word from Africa – or should we say Lizwi La Africa (Tonga), or Amazwi aveli Africa (Zulu), or Jambo Kutoka Afrika (Swahili), or Magana a kasan Africa (Hausa), or Eray Kaagia Yimid Afrika (Somali)!