Every year on May 25th, the world comes together to celebrate Africa Day, a commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity, now known as the African Union, and the diverse cultures, traditions, and achievements of this incredible continent. Recognized globally, this day serves as an opportunity to acknowledge the remarkable progress Africa has made, while reflecting on the challenges it continues to face.
Africa, a continent of vibrant colors, diverse landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, is a true testament to the human spirit’s resilience and creativity. It is a land of breathtaking natural wonders, pulsating rhythms of contemporary Afrobeats, and a trove of unforgettable experiences waiting to be discovered.
In commemoration of Africa Day, we invite you to embark on an enchanting journey to the heart of Africa. In this listicle, we present to you 13 spectacular ways to celebrate and pay tribute to the myriad of cultures, traditions, and stories that make this continent so unique and beautiful. Embrace the spirit of Africa and let it spark a newfound love and appreciation for its astounding heritage.
1. Step inside and explore the collections
There are thousands of iconic museums, galleries, and cultural sites in Africa, including Nigeria’s Yemisi Shyllon Museum. Virtually visit 45 cultural institutions across the continent and read over 300 expert-curated stories on art, identity, music, fashion, food and more.
2. Discover the colours of Africa with Design Indaba
By celebrating the beauty of colour, learn about arts and culture through 60 artists from across the countries in Africa, curated by Design Indaba.
Spin the kaleidoscope to explore how the artists capture the character of their home country through colour.
3. Learn about the sacred Osun Osogbo groves
Find out more about Nigeria’s sacred Yoruba site, and meet the people keeping its spiritual, natural, and artistic legacy alive. You can also pay a virtual visit to the annual Osun Osogbo Festival where the renewal of the town’s pact with the Goddess Osun is celebrated.
4. Meet the Maasai community of Tanzania and Kenya
Learn about the Maasai people who are a Nilotic ethnic group in East Africa. Through Maasai: Wisdom of a Community, find out more about Maasai beadwork, sustainable architecture, traditional Adamu dance, and even learn how to speak Maa, the Maasai language.
5. Discover the magic of Mali
Step into the rich history and heritage of Mali to learn about its manuscripts, music, monuments and modern art. The Malian people’s unbelievable resilience to human and environmental threats, and their unwavering commitment to preserve their heritage will move you.
6. Take inspiration from a legendary photographer
Discover the works by the Kenyan hero Mo Amin and learn why he is known as the Eye of Africa. In a bespoke experiment, immerse yourself in works spanning his entire career and step behind-the-scenes to uncover his passion, favourite cameras, music taste and unique work ethic.
7. Find out why Africa is the birthplace of creativity
Journey back in time to discover why Africa is known as the Cradle of Creativity. From the first artist’s studio, to ancient rock art all the way to some of today’s best artistic voices — taking this journey is sure to get your creative juices flowing.
8. Which Kenyan superhero are you?
Step back in time with 61 Kenyan heroes and discover how they fought for their communities’ land, freedom and spiritual well-being. Take the quiz to find out who your super alter-ego would be. Drawing on Afrofuturism, be inspired by artists from the diaspora and Osborne Macharia to create your own Afrofuturist world. Release your inner superpowers and let your imagination be your guide.
9. Be inspired by Africa’s trailblazing women
Let the voices of women past and present inspire you. Meet a courageous freedom fighter, let Mama Nike ignite your creativity, learn about Mama Rachel Ruto’s initiative, take in the remarkable story of Queen Tiye and score a goal with a strong women’s football team.
10. Feel the buzz of Africa’s most populous city
Step inside Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city, with Èkó for Show, and let over 100 creatives inspire you. Start singing Afrobeat tunes with Teni, paint the lagoon with Victor Ehikamenor, meet the stars of Nollywood with Iké Udé and let Davido inspire your taste buds. Continue your journey to South Africa and feel the urban vibe with musicians Busiswa and Muzi. Let them take you on a personal city tour and learn how Durban and Johannesburg have impacted their lives.
11. Join the movement to preserve Africa’s wonders
Climate change is impacting nature, historical sites and communities across the continent. Be inspired by the people of Kilwa Kisiwani in Tanzania, and learn how planting mangrove trees and using technology can help save historical ruins and communities.
12. Turn your lens on Africa
Join Africa’s photographers in capturing and sharing culture in new ways. Be inspired by legendary photojournalist James Barnor, take a look back at 10 years of LagosPhoto Festival and learn how to turn the street into a runway with Stephen Tayo.
13. Explore Black history beyond the continent
African culture has had a transformative impact on the world and keeps fuelling creativity in the diaspora. Join rapper Nas in paying homage to the long tradition of Black musicians and storytellers who inspire us to this day. Learn more about black history and culture in the United States, the United Kingdom or explore 50 years of black creativity through the exhibition ‘Get Up, Stand Up Now.’