34th Africa Festival (2023)

Friday, 26th May 2023

Photo: © Soria Castro

New Open Stage, 2:00 PM

Ludmila Mercerón

Finest Salsa from Santiago de Cuba

Ludmila Mercerón comes from a family of several famous Cuban musicians. In addition to her profession as a teacher, it is not surprising that she has been making a name for herself for more than two decades now, as a successful singer and composer in various musical projects, whether stage shows, theatre, TV or film. Her last EP “La Pastelera del Tivoli“, produced by Ronald Mente, received a nomination at the ’Independent Music Awards‘ in the category ”Best World EP Latino“ 2019.

Photo: © Daniela Meise

New Open Stage, 6:00 PM


Good South African Soul and Jazz

Thabilé, who was born and raised in Dlamini, a township of Soweto / Johannesburg, and has now found her home here near Stuttgart, owes her success as a singer to her mother, who encouraged her to take her first steps in a gospel and school choir at the age of eight. After “Dlamini Echo” (2018), she has just released her second strong solo album, “Read My Lips”, supported by her guitarist and music producer Steve Bimamisa.

Photo: © Alexis Mayron

Evening concert, 8:00 PM

Juanita Euka

Fine new Congolese voice from London

Born in Congo and now deeply rooted in her new home in London, the likeable singer looks back on an extraordinary résumé that has allowed her to absorb many musical styles and streams. Since her father was a diplomat, she lived in Argentina from the age of two, where she got in touch with the tango and the Spanish language. At fourteen, she moved to London. Already in Argentina, her decision to become a singer, matured. In London, the grooves of Afro-Peruvian music, Latin funk, Afrobeat and the English language gave her a further boost of influence on her beginning career as a singer. After being part of the ‘London Afrobeat Collective’ for a while, she has now released her debut album “Mabanzo”, on which she celebrates her roots and thus also the ‘Congolese Rumba’.

Photo: © Bugs Steffen

Evening concert, 10:00 PM

Sona Jobarteh

The Kora Queen from The Gambia

For the third time, the “Kora Queen” Maya Sona Jobarteh will delight us with her magical kora playing. Of course, she also has new songs from her current album “Badinyaa Kumoo” in her luggage. Born in London in 1983, the cousin of Toumani Diabaté and virtuoso of this stringed instrument has meanwhile achieved worldwide fame as one of the few women who dares to play this traditionally still male-dominated instrument. Furthermore, she is giving lectures at universities about the griot tradition or travelling as an activist for the UN. Yet she has not forgotten her home country, The Gambia. With her project “The Gambia Academy”, founded in 2015 and supported by the Africa Festival Foundation, she offers young people a versatile jump-start into their future.

Photo: © Bugs Steffen

New Open Stage, 11:30 AM

DJ Hi John (Jamaica)

Our legendary DJ HI John from Jamaica will present current sounds, but also the beginnings of reggae such as mento, ska and rocksteady from the Caribbean island under the motto “Old but Gold”.

Photo: © Adam Springer

New Open Stage, 7:30 PM – 12:00 AM

DJ Walty Love (Angola)

DJ Walty Love will open the DJ nights with kizomba and kuduo music from Angola and hot salsa, cumbia and other Latin music.

Saturday, 27th May 2023

Foto: © Georg Karlstetter

New Open Stage, 2:00 PM


Modern world music from Afro-Pop to Jazz

With a lot of positive energy, the Afro-German singer with Congolese roots Melane Nkounkolo is in the middle of her exciting life. Sometimes she is a sought-after back-vocal singer, formerly with legends like Tony Allen and Manu Dibango – today with Gentleman. Or she is the centre of attention herself, for example when she performs with the formation ‘Three Fall’. “Ubuntu” and “B.L.M. Schwarze Leben Zählen” were her first songs in 2020. Most recently, she was in the studio with the well-known guitarist Colin Laroche de Feline, a.o. to pay tribute to the great Papa Wemba with her version of “Show Me The Way”.

Foto: © José Sergio Ndlate / Harmonia Lda.

New Open Stage, 5:00 PM


Young Capverdian soul

Ceuzany belongs to the group of new and young female singers from Cape Verde. She was born in Senegal, her father came from the island of Fogo, her mother from Sao Vicente. At the age of two, she returned to Cape Verde with her parents. In 2008, she won an award at a gala contest for singers from the island of Fogo. After that she gained experience in the band ‘Cordas do Sol’ of Arlindo Évora and enriched the band with her wonderful voice. Now, after her first two solo albums “Nha Vida” (2014) and “Ilha d’Melodia” (2016), she herself is one of the great.

Photo: © Bugs Steffen

Evening concert, 8:00 PM

Elida Almeida

Fine grooves from the Cape Verdian island Santiago

Elida Sofia Cabral Almeida, born in 1993 in Pedra Badejo on the Cape Verdean island of Santiago, grew up under simple conditions and without electricity in the mountains of her home island and the neighbour island of Maio. At seventeen, she began her singing career at a church choir. By performing smaller and larger concerts in local bars and festivals, she came to the attention of producer José da Silva, who had also worked with Cape Verdean legend Cesária Évora. With “Ora Doci Ora Margos (Sweet Times Bitter Times)”, she released her first solo album in 2014. Since then, she is considered one of the best voices of her country worldwide. With traditional grooves from Batuku, Morna or Funaná, she already thrilled the audience at the 29th International Africa Festival in 2017 when she performed at the Open Stage.

Photo: © Bugs Steffen

Evening concert, 10:00 PM


High energy and Afro-Soul’n Jazz from Jo’Burg

Nomfusi Gotyana had to fight her way to the top, growing up under poor circumstances in the KwaZhalele township of Port Elizabeth, altogether with her mother Kwazibani, a Sangoma. After the early death of her mother, she had to fend for herself in Cape Town. In a restaurant, where she also waited tables, she finally was discovered. From then on, things went steadily upwards for the lively bundle of energy. In 2009, she released her first album “Kwazibani”. In 2014, she played the young Miriam Makeba in the film “Mandela – the long road to freedom” and currently has a leading role in the musical “Mandela” in London. With her latest album “The Red Stoep”, she now successfully is on the road on stages all over the world and radiates pure joy and female power with her songs, which are sometimes reminiscent of the sound of Freshlyground or traditionally of the unforgettable Busi Mhlongo.

Photo: © Adam Springer

New Open Stage, 12:30 AM

DJ Walty Love (Angola)

DJ Walty Love will present with kizomba and kuduo music from Angola and hot salsa, cumbia and other Latin music.

Photo: © DJ Catu Diosis

New Open Stage, 6:30 PM – 12:00 AM

DJ Catu Diosis (Uganda)

Catu Diosis is a DJ, producer and journalist from Kampala, Uganda. Her DJ sets with Afrobeats, Kuduro, Soukous and Gqom bring fun and exciting energy to the dance floor. She has toured in various European countries and also conducts workshops with, among others, young aspiring female DJs in a project called “Rackless Kazi”.

Sunday, 28th May 2023

Foto: © Lionel Mandeix

New Open Stage, 2:00 PM


African World Jazz from Dakar

Since his first solo album ”BENN“ (2021), the likeable guitarist is being celebrated as one of the hottest new discoveries from his home country Senegal. With his excellent band, the artist, who resides in Paris, currently manages to mix up the francophone world jazz scene with his varied soundscape. The West African rhythms are the basis of his work, as well as hip hop and Afro-Brazilian elements, which he skillfully incorporates into his own jazzy sound. One highlight: his interpretation of John Coltrane‘s jazz classic ”Giant Steps“. In February 2023 his latest and fifth solo album “JOLOF” has been released.

Foto: © Paul K. Munene

New Open Stage, 5:00 PM


New fine voice and music ambassador from Kenya

The former TV presenter of Radio France International and Citizen TV in Kenya, began her professional music career as a music director in the organization ”Kuruka Maisha“, which familiarizes street children with artistic projects. Since then the singer and songwriter has released several albums. With her latest work ”Dala“, which means ”Home“, she fulfilled her wish to present her songs in the African Big Band Sound. She will be on stage with her 8-man band and let us be part of her journey between traditional and modern African grooves.

Photo: © Lokua Kanza

Evening concert, 8:00 PM

Lokua Kanza & Family

Wonderful voices from Kinshasa

Since his first appearance at the 7th festival in 1998, Lokua Kanza has been one of the “old hands” of the Africa Festival. He has delighted visitors many times with his unforgettable concerts, which always focus on his wonderful voice and his acoustic guitar playing, supported by his usually small band, in the beginning with brother Didier Ekukuan and Julia Sarr, later with his daughter Maleika Lokua. Now over 60 years old, the successful artist can look back on an eventful career that has taken him from being a member of Manu Dibango’s ‘Soul Makossa Gang’ to arranging for Papa Wemba to songwriting for Miriam Makeba. With “Moko” he has released his last album in 2021. About time to present himself to the audience again with his whole musical family.

Photo: © Bugs Steffen

Evening concert, 10:00 PM

Faada Freddy

A capella journey tru Afro-Soul, Jazz & RnB

Faada Freddy aka Abdoul Fatah Seck, born in Saint-Louis in 1975, grew up in quite poor circumstances. His love and passion for music carried him through the hardships of his youth in northern Senegal. In 1993, altogether with his friends N’Dongo D and Lord Aladji Man, he founded the hip hop group “Daara J”, which has been – along with “Positive Black Soul” – one of the most important African bands of the genre at the time. Since 2007, he has continued to tour successfully with this band, reduced to a duo with N’Dongo D, under the name “Daara J Family”. But the multi-faceted artist is also making a splash solo. Since his album “Gospel Journey” (2015), he has shown with his A Cappela compositions he can easily master all styles, from Afro-Soul and Pop to Jazz and RnB.

Photo: © DJ Catu Diosis

New Open Stage, 11:30 AM

DJ Catu Diosis (Uganda)

Catu Diosis is a DJ, producer and journalist from Kampala, Uganda. Her DJ sets with Afrobeats, Kuduro, Soukous and Gqom bring fun and exciting energy to the dance floor. She has toured in various European countries and also conducts workshops with, among others, young aspiring female DJs in a project called “Rackless Kazi”.

Photo: © Bugs Steffen

New Open Stage, 6:30 PM – 12:00 AM

DJ Freegah (Nigeria)

DJ Freegah is a passionate DJ and MC who has dedicated his work to Afrobeats and Afrohouse. He was born and raised in Nigeria, where he worked with various DJs and artists from the continent.
In 2022, he was awarded as best African DJ in Germany by the African community.

Monday, 29th May 2023

Foto: © Senny Camara

New Open Stage, 2:00 PM

Senny Camara

Afro Folk & Blues Kora sounds from Senegal

Senny Camara is another power woman who has entered the traditional male domain of kora playing alongside Sona Jobarteh. Right from her EP “Boolo” from 2020, she has demonstrated her great skills. She deftly plays with traditional and modern rhythms from her home country. She draws her inspiration and strength from the works of her female role models, such as Nina Simone and Josephine Baker, and of course her grandmother, who encouraged her the most to follow her path as an independent.

Foto: © Kandy Guira

New Open Stage, 5:00 PM

Kandy Guira

Magic Faso-Electro-Pop from Westafrica

She was born in the Ivory Coast and moved to Burkina Faso at the age of five, where she has since made her home. She was fascinated by music from an early age, especially by the South African singer Brenda Fassie. Since then, her career goal has been to become a singer herself. After her first single “M’Ba” in 2008, she worked with many greats of the African music world, such as Oumou Sangaré, Cheick Tidane Seck or Manu Dibango, and is also part of the women’s collective ‘Les Amazones d’Afrique’. Since her album ‘Nagtaba’ in 2021, she has fascinated the scene with her very own ‘Faso-Electro-Pop’.

Photo: © Niculai Constantinescu

Evening concert, 7:00 PM

Jaqee Nakiri

Hip Hop and Reggae with African roots

“Reggae, jazz, soul and all kinds of African sounds…these are my roots that make my heart dance and envelop me and my soul, like a protective shield…!” says Jaqee Nakiri Nalubale, who unfortunately had to flee her home country Uganda with her parents at the age of 13 to temporarily find a new home in Sweden. She now lives in Berlin with her own family, is a mother of two and has released five solo albums, most recently the wonderful work “Fly High” in 2017. After 10 years, she is returning to the Africa Festival for the second time and will be presenting her latest songs, in which she light-footedly blends the boundaries from hip hop to reggae.

Photo: © Bugs Steffen

Evening concert, 9:00 PM

Marley’s Ghost

Germany’s Bob Marley tribute band number one

The repertoire of this fresh, five-piece band around singer and frontman Sebastian Sturm ranges from “Buffalo Soldier” and “Could You Be Loved” to “Is This Love” and “No Woman No Cry” from the treasure chest of the unforgotten reggae icon Bob Marley. In 2015, this idea and band was born from the previously also successful formation “Sebastian Sturm & Exile Airline”. Sebastian Sturm, born in 1980 and son of German-Indonesian parents, reminds many people of the great “King of Reggae” with his charismatic appearance and his voice. He discovered his love for classic roots reggae in his teens. Now, with his current band, he takes a bow to his great role model and will once again bring us close to Bob Marley’s spirit and musical heritage with a lot of passion.

Photo: © Bugs Steffen

New Open Stage, 11:30 AM

DJ Freegah (Nigeria)

DJ Freegah is a passionate DJ and MC who has dedicated his work to Afrobeats and Afrohouse. He was born and raised in Nigeria, where he worked with various DJs and artists from the continent.
In 2022, he was awarded as best African DJ in Germany by the African community.

Photo: © Bugs Steffen

New Open Stage, 6:30 PM – 12:00 AM

DJ Hi John (Jamaica)

Our legendary DJ HI John from Jamaica will present current sounds, but also the beginnings of reggae such as mento, ska and rocksteady from the Caribbean island under the motto “Old but Gold”.


New Open Stage, FR 4:00 PM and and SA-MO 12:45 PM & 6:30 pm

Photo: © Bugs Steffen

The fashion designer Rama Diaw from Saint Louis (Senegal) has been creating modern African fashion and accessories for a few years now and uses native techniques and materials like batik and indigo fabrics. All materials she uses are purchased directly from Senegal, Mauretania and Mali. Because of her passion for fashion she created the federation “Aissaitou”, which brings together underprivileged dressmakers, sewers and cloth dyers in the countryside to offer them work. In order to support this project, Afro Project again provides a tent and catwalk free of charge and organises a fashion show with the creations of Madame Rama. This year`s show revolves mainly around eco-responsible fashion. In order to preserve our highly threatened environment, we advocate zero waste. we will also present the collections of young designers that we have supervised, with the aim of discouraging illegal immigration, which has experienced a meteoric rise in recent years.

The fashion show will take place Friday at 4:00 PM, Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 12:45 PM and at 06:30 PM.


KARI-BUNI WATOTO – Welcome children! Daily 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Photo: © Mario Gerth

Kari-buni Watoto – Welcome Children! – is the name of the festival`s own children’s area, made possible by the collaboration with s.Oliver, where a wide range of games and activities for children of all ages will be offered. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the festival parents and grandparents can watch their children play. The children’s area is available free of charge to all our visitors.

Ibu story teller – New Open Stage, Daily 1:15 PM

Photo: © Bugs Steffen

The children’s programme is an integral part of the Africa Festival. The author and musician Ibrahima Ndiaye from Senegal knows how to inspire his young audience with a mixture of traditional storytelling, pantomime, percussion, dance and song. This time he tells stories from Africa of today and yesterday for tomorrow. Included are tales and black wisdom from his grandmother for young and old.

Nikis kindermusik – New Open Stage, Sa – MO 3:30 PM

Photo: © NIKIS Kindermusik

During the first lockdown in March 2020, star musician Jahcoustix and family man Dominik Haas had the idea to write songs for children who had to stay at home because of the pandemic. This is how the project NIKIS Kindermusik came into being and, in the course of 2021, a children’s music album and several music videos for which NIKI himself designed and made the puppets, including the video for the toothbrushing song “Schrubbi Doo”, which has already been viewed over 327,000 times on YouTube since its release in January 2022. NIKI’s songs are world music pop that sounds pleasantly unobtrusive, spreads a good mood and always invites you to sing along.

Acrobatics and street parade

FR – SO 3:00 PM

Photo: © Bugs Steffen

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 PM the acrobatics and music group Adesa will present a breathtaking street parade. The parade will move across the festival ground and pick up the young audience along the way right when the children`s programme starts.


Daily 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

Photo: © Mario Gerth

The bazaar again has a lot to offer: among other things, African musical instruments and CDs with traditional and modern African music. In addition, extraordinary clothes and fabrics, jewellery as well as sculptures, traditional masks, objects of art and everyday objects will provide enthusiasm. To indulge in culinary delights, the food area has African and oriental delicacies in store for you from Friday to Monday (11:00 – 11:00). This year you can enjoy dishes from Senegal, Ethiopia, Jamaica and Cameroon, among others.


Foto: © Mama Afrika e. V.

Mama Afrika is a non-profit recognized German-African association. The main goal of the association is the fight against female genital mutilation. In recent years, the association was able to complete a kindergarten in Cancan (Guinea). This is particularly important in Guinea, since unfortunately 90% of women are genitally mutilated. The next goal was the foundation of a school, where among other things the parents and also the children are educated about the consequences of female genital mutilation.

The school has now been completed with the support of the “Africa Festival Foundation”. The foundation would like to thank the internationally recognized and award-winning architect Francis Kéré from Burkina Faso, who provided the plans for the school free of charge.


Photo: © Mario Gerth

Also this year, photos from the diverse and exciting exhibitions of the International Africa Festival are still available for purchase for a good cause. All photos will be displayed in the entrance area of the festival and can be taken immediately if you are interested. The large format photos are either framed or mounted on Alu Dipond and are priced between 150,- and 250,- Euro for a single photo. If you are interested, please contact the information booth. The proceeds will go to the “Africa Festival Foundation”, which has so far supported the music school “Amadu Bansang Jobarteh” in Gambia and the school of “Mama Africa” in Guinea. Both school projects were founded by two dedicated African women whom we have known for a long time. This is one of the reasons why the two projects have been so successful so far. The Foundation selected and supported these two schools in West Africa because education in Africa is the best weapon against ignorance, intolerance and poverty.

university of würzburg

University Tent, daily 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Photo: © Forum Afrikazentrum

Once again this year, the University of Würzburg invites you to visit its own event tent, this time together with the Else Kröner Center Würzburg-Mwanza. Among other things, the centre will present its project to combat schistosomiasis, a disease that is widespread around Lake Victoria. Other members of the Africa Centre will provide insights into the diverse Africa-related research and training activities, including on ecological and social sustainability. Visitors can expect individual short tours and cosy tea talksto get into personal conversation about a continent that has been underestimated for far too long.


Place of social and innovative projects, daily 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

On the place of initiatives we will again present selected and meaningful projects, around Africa as well as print media.


Photo: © Ombili Freundeskreis Northeim

Why and how did the Ombili project come into being? In 1989, some farmers living in the Tsumeb area – idealists – were particularly concerned about the future of the Bushmen because they had been living and working with them for decades. They knew the problems of the San and wanted to help the indigenous people of Namibia to find their way into an unknown future and step into the 21st century. At the Africa Festival, the “Ombili Circle of Friends Northeim“ will be showing handicraft objects made by the San on the former farm Hedwigslust.

Ärzte ohne Grenzen

Photo: © Alexis Huguet

Doctors without Borders is an international humanitarian aid organization. They provide medical aid in countries where people are in need due to wars, epidemics or natural disasters. Doctors without Borders supports people regardless of their origin, gender identity, political or religious beliefs. In order to remain independent, the German section of MSF finances most of its projects (96 percent) with the help of private donors. Around 45,000 employees are constantly working for Doctors without Borders in more than 70 countries. Most of the projects are in Africa at the moment.

a heart for Kenya

Photo: © Ein Herz für Kenia

A Heart for Kenya is committed to helping orphans in Kenya and giving them a better future. Their
great vision is to create a place where children‘s eyes, previously filled with hopelessness, can once
again shine, a place where they can find hope, a loving home and a perspective. The association is
looking for people who want to help to give these children a chance for a healthy, self-determining and
violence-free life. Among other things, they build children‘s homes, schools, drill wells and arrange

Baobab children foundation

Photo: © Baobab Children Foundation

Baobab Children Foundation is a Ghanaian NGO which has been running a vocational centre for youths for more than 18 years, which is located between Kissi and Kwahinkrom. This is a rural area, where children often don’t have a chance to receive an education, as, from an early age on, they must help their parents or grandparents with their work at a farm or with selling produce. Often financial reasons make it impossible for children or youths to visit a school – there is no money for a school uniform, for books or notebooks and often times the way to the next school is too long. 19 years ago Edith de Vos founded the Baobab Children Foundation for these youths.

Young africa rising

Photo: © Young Africa Rising

Young Africa Rising is a volunteer-run association from Berlin. Together with the Ghanaian partner association DoYouAfrica, they pursue the goal of supporting children and young people in Ghana in their personal development through sports and educational activities and to teach them important life skills. Current projects include regular sports training, empowerment through girls‘ football, youth football tournaments, educational work on various topics and a supplementary school offer through tutoring and computer courses.

Take a Malaika

Photo: © Take a Malaika

Take a Malaika supports women and families from socially and economically difficult backgrounds with a sewing project in Arusha Tanzania. The women, most of whom are single parents, receive a monthly wage from the association, which is an important contribution to their livelihood. This recognition of their achievement strengthens their motivation and increases their self-confidence. The women also receive weekly business training and can obtain a micro-credit from the association to support them on their way to self-employment. 

Fairtrade wines from South Africa

Photo: © Cape Dream

Big5 e.K. has been promoting social wine production in the wine country South Africa for more than 10 years. The focus is on fairly traded wines and the marketing of so-called “black owned brands”. These are wine brands that are economically represented by “black” South Africans. In addition to Fair Trade certified wines, Fair Labour certified wines are introduced in accordance with the Wieta Ethical Code of Best Practice. By marketing these largely unknown wine brands, Big5 e.K. has enabled many wine producers to gain access to the German and European markets in recent years.


ARTE movie programme @ Africa Festival 2023

“Johnny Clegg: Der weiße Zulu” Photo: © Screenshot Productions

The cultural TV channel ARTE is the partner of the 34th International Africa Festival. We are pleased to show special ARTE films about African culture and music again this year in the ARTE Open Air Cinema. This year’s program focuses on films about South Africa and the artistic diversity of the continent. Brand new is the film about the legendary male choir Ladysmith Black Mambazo, as well as a portrait of Africa‘s vital fashion scene. 


8:30 PM Legendary Photographers of South Africa 
documentary, ARTE France 2013, 52 Min.

9:30 PM The Sound of Africa: The Story of Ladysmith Black Mambazo 
documentary, ARTE/ZDF 2022, 52 Min.


8:30 PM Africa‘s new museums: looted art in Benin City & new beginnings in Cape Town 
documentary, ARTE/NDR/SR/rbb 2022, 2 x 26 Min.

9:30 PM Film premiere with discussion
African Styles
documentary, ARTE/rbb 2023, 52 Min.


20:30 The Miracle of Nairobi: Notes of Hope 
documentary, ARTE/ZDF 2019, 43 Min

21:30 Johnny Clegg: Der weiße Zulu
documentary, ARTE France 2018, 52 Min.


20:30 Get me some hair!
documentary, ARTE/WDR 2018, 80 Min.

Legendary Photographers of South Africa 

Ten years after Nelson Mandela‘s death, many issues still haunt South African democracy. The long road to equality is well documented: Inconic photographs show the power of the image in the struggle against apartheid. From legendary photographer David Goldblatt to the founding generation of the independent photo agency “Afrapix“ to young photographers like Zanele Muholi and Jodi Bieber: a portrait of photographic resistance since 1976.  Documentary by Nathalie Masduraud and Valérie Urrea, ARTE France 2013, 52 min. 

The Sound of Africa: The Story of Ladysmith Black Mambazo 

Even after the death of founder Joseph Shabalala in 2020, the vocal ensemble “Ladysmith Black Mambazo“ still stands for traditional, popular art music. The collaboration with musician Paul Simon in the 1980s made the a cappella group known worldwide. Their history is closely linked to the resistance against the political conditions in South Africa. A musical journey about a vision that revolutionised traditional vocal music. Documentary by Mpumi Mbele, ARTE/ZDF 2022, 52 min. 

Africa‘s new museums: looted art in Benin City & new beginnings in Cape Town 

There is a lot going on in Africa‘s museums. Important works of art that were once looted by the colonial powers are finally to be returned. This is also changing Africa‘s museum landscape: new museums are emerging, already established ones are reinventing themselves. The series “Africa‘s New Museums“ presents important cultural centres and their history. An insight into African cultural heritage, from contemporary art in Cape Town to the famous Benin bronzes. Documentary by Katrin Hensel-Ovenden and Jean-Alexander Ntivyihabwa, ARTE/NDR/SR/rbb 2022, 2 x 26 min. 

African Styles 

Whether street style or haute couture: for a long time, designers from Africa or with African roots were hardly present in the Western fashion world. Now their creations are setting new trends. With avant-garde designs, they renew fabrics and textile techniques, produce in a socially and ecologically sustainable way and stand for a modern Africa. The film shows a self-confident creative scene that strives for social change with new ideas. Documentary by Rabi Yansané, Emmanuelle Wagner and Rolf Lambert, ARTE/rbb 2023, 52 min., film premiere with discussion. We welcome director Rabi Yansané, co-director and producer Rolf Lambert and editor Carolin Mayer.

The Miracle of Nairobi: Notes of Hope 

Miraculously, a classical youth orchestra has emerged in the dangerous slum of Korogocho. It all started in a bare practice room with a few plastic flutes and a children‘s choir. Before that, hardly any child had played an instrument. Today, the “Ghetto Classics” orchestra gives concerts all over the megacity and helps young people on their way to a life beyond poverty, drugs and crime. An emotional, poetic film about the power of music. Documentary by Carmen Butta, ARTE/ZDF 2019, 43 min. 

Johnny Clegg: The White Zulu 

Johnny Clegg, one of South Africa‘s most important musicians and a symbolic figure in the struggle against apartheid, passed away in 2019. He fused Western rock with South African Zulu music and united musicians of all colours on stage. The film shows Clegg in numerous interview excerpts and gives a very personal insight into his life. A film about the unifying power of music on South Africa‘s painful path to freedom. Documentary by Amine Mestari, ARTE France 2018, 52 min. 

Get me some hair! 

Antoinette is from Jamaica and lives in Berlin. Dissatisfied with her natural hair, she, like many black women, uses other people‘s hair. But where does all the hair come from that is used to create elaborate braided hairstyles around the globe? As a filmmaker, Antoinette‘s husband travels to Jamaica and Myanmar. He shows the circumstances under which hair moves from one head to another and how hair and racism are literally intertwined. The motto “Your hair is your beauty” raises complex questions of emancipation and identity. Documentary by Lars Barthel, ARTE/WDR 2018, 80 min. 

We reserve the right to change the programme at any time!

PHOTO EXHIBITION: Nelson Mandela – Impressions of a moving life

UNIVERSITy of WÜRZBURG, 12th MAy – 29th July 2023

Photo: © Jürgen Schadeberg

Due to the 10th anniversary of his death, the International Africa Festival is once again presenting photos from the life of this extraordinary man – affectionately known as Madiba in South Africa – who ensured that the apartheid regime made the transition to a democratic society.

The exhibition features photos by internationally renowned photographer Jürgen Schadeberg, who sadly passed away in 2020. The exhibition is also a tribute to his work.

No one has left a greater mark on the photographic history of South Africa than Jürgen Schadeberg, who emigrated from Germany at a young age. In 1950, he emigrated to South Africa and became Chief Photographer, Picture Editor and Art Director of Drum Magazine. He became the mentor of two generations of black photographers. He was already at home in townships when hardly any white people were interested in life there. In this way, he helped black South Africa not only to liberate itself outwardly – but to regain dignity by reflecting on its own roots. His pictures reflect the will to resist apartheid and at the same time a zest for life. The power of his pictures is unbroken.

In 2008, the Africa Festival presented with great success his exhibition “Black and white fifties in South Africa” and in 2016 the exhibition “Mandela – 6 decades”.

“How are you young man? Aren’t you retired yet?” this is the regular banter I had from Madiba whenever we met. When I went to visit Nelson Mandela for lunch with my wife Claudia he asked me why I wanted to visit an old man when I probably had other more important things to do. This modesty and self-effacement mixed with large doses of humour and an unwavering moral code is the Mandela mix which inspires, charms and captivates the world. Madiba is a role model for all – highlighting the great need for mankind to choose humanity and morality over materialism. (Jürgen Schadeberg)

The exhibition will take place from 12th May – 29th July 2023 at the foyer of the university of Würzburg, Sanderring 2, 97070 Würzburg. Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.