Laudation for the winner of
Rama Diaw (winner) and Sarah Bergh
And now, ladies and gentlemen,
again the very special moment of the festival opening,
we will now present the laureate of the "Africa Festival Award 2017".
I am quite certain that when this secret is revealed, the sun of Africa will shine with a charming smile on the person's face.
I know it exactly, because I've known her for more than five years, when she was invited here for the first time to the 24th Africa Festival on the Mainwiesen ...
She is an artist who likes the music and the colors of Africa, plays with them and combines both in her performances. The modern as well as the traditional Africa. She leaves her national borders to find new sources of inspiration. Which make her kind of art so unique.
If you meet her, she is open to any conversation and hospitality is not only important at her home.
Many of our festival guests who already had the pleasure to meet her will confirm this.
Another characteristic of her is her generosity, her empathy and kindness. To help disadvantaged people in the neighborhood to benefit from their abilities - they give them a new home at their home on the West African coast, teach them and thus open up a new and hopeful life perspective.
Her artistic career began when she was still a child. She had never been satisfied with the clothes which her parents gave to her. With scissors and some sewing thread she quickly created something unique, which she proudly presented to her friends.
Today, her unique pieces can be admired at the big fashion shows in Dakar, Frankfurt or Vienna, or here, on the Mainwiesen at the Africa Festival - ever since 2012.
Ladies and gentlemen, the "Africa Festival Award 2017" goes to our fashion designer from Senegal: Madame Rama Diaw N'Deye!