AFRICA DAY OF ACTION
On the auspicious day for Africans, people in their thousands, from all walks of life united and gathered in more than 20 countries on the continent to show their support in the continual fight against fossil fuels and advocate for climate justice. Since its origins, Africa Day has been a symbol of aspiration for self-determination against the exploitation of natural resources that has seen the continent in perpetual conflict and on the brink of a devastating climate crisis. (350.org)
Regional Team Leader for 350Africa.org, Landry Ninteretse, said: “In the last few months, we’ve seen the climate impacts of Cyclone Idai and Kenneth in Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, droughts and floods in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. With the exception of South Africa, African countries have done relatively little to contribute to climate change, yet are being severely impacted and have little to no resources to cope with the aftermath. Less developed African countries are a natural disaster away from sinking into a negative loop of poverty and lack of access to social and economic opportunities, exacerbated by climate change.
On this Africa Day, there was over 50 events happening in over 20 countries across the continent sponsored by 350.org ranging from art and theatre to highlight climate impacts to street actions and conversations. These organized collective events are part of a broad movement to strengthen the fight against fossil fuels and demand for climate justice.
In Kano-Nigeria, we celebrate Africa Day in the most African way possible. The event sponsored by 350.org and organized by Surge Africa tapped deep into our roots connecting to what we already are while depicting our message in an ancient form: Through music and dance. In ancient Africa, music and dance were used to send important message across to regions, villages and communities. These messages are often bonded within humor, songs, sermons and descriptive dances that visualizes the message.
On this great day to celebrate Africans, cultural diversities, heritage, beauty, resilience and history of the African continent we demonstrated in motion how climate change is impacting our societies and what that means to the future of our people. The performances promises a different edge to climate advocacy; we are not just saying with words that climatic changes are affecting the people of Africa. We are through art portraying the dangers that will befall us if we don’t take strong actions to remediate these crises.
Performances range from various cultural dances and traditional music. The ancient traditional musical instruments are sourced and hand crafted locally producing alluring sounds bound to bring one to his roots, marvelous and entertaining! Perhaps the highlight of the event is the play “Rayuwar Mu A Yau” which translates to “Our Lives Today” a work of art that was specifically and carefully created to embody the reality of our societies: The greed of people in power controlling territories of natural resources which leads to land degradation, drought and health implications leading to underdevelopment and insecurity. The event took a comprehensive climate advocacy bend connecting the environment to our traditions and cultural values as well as engagements in local climate mitigation practices like tree planting.
The theme “Endangered Heritage” was strategized to advocate for climate change and environmental sustainability through traditional music and dances. To create awareness of the global climate threats that are affecting many regions of Nigeria and around the world through this mass advocacy with the hopes that it will spark conversations among people which will result to demanding strong climate actions from our governing bodies.
Written By: Nasreen Al-amin