July 14th, 2024

Auckland's Freyberg Square to host vibrant 'An Afrikan Market' in celebration of Africa Month

The event, which is open to the public, will begin at midday on 6 May and run until 6 pm, with free entry for all attendees.

Afro-Tronic Fusion + Audrey (Photo: Supplied)
Afro-Tronic Fusion + Audrey (Photo: Supplied)

In the heart of Auckland, a vibrant tapestry of colours, sounds, and flavours will soon intertwine as the city comes together to celebrate the rich and diverse African cultures that have taken root in Tāmaki Makaurau.

'An Afrikan Market', to be held at the Ellen Melville Centre in Freyberg Square on 6 May, represents not only a unique cultural exchange but also a heartwarming story of unity, heritage, and shared experiences, according to Auckland City Council.

As local talents showcase their art, music, dance, and culinary creations, the spirit of Africa Month will resonate throughout the city, reminding us that, despite our many differences, we are all part of the same vibrant, multicultural community.

The 2018 Census recorded 16,890 Kiwis who identified within the 'African Ethnic Group', with a median age of 26.5 years. The data shows this group grew by 58.6% between 2006 and 2018. Additionally, around 68,000 South African-born people reside in New Zealand.

Supported by the city centre targeted rate, Auckland Council will provide a platform for African food, fashion, art, dance, and music, showcasing the talents of Aucklanders with African roots. The event, which is open to the public, will begin at midday on 6 May and run until 6 pm, with free entry for all attendees.

Councillor Richard Hills expressed his delight at the return of Africa Month to Freyberg Square, stating that events like 'An Afrikan Market' help Aucklanders feel connected to their multicultural city. Auckland is home to more than 180 ethnicities, and cultural festivals such as World of Cultures, Lantern Festival, Diwali, and the recent Korean festival KCAKL contribute to the city's thriving diversity.

DJ ORIKoL crew (Photo: supplied)
DJ ORIKoL crew (Photo: supplied)

'An Afrikan Market' will feature a range of live performances, including Nigerian-born artist Ch! Nonso, who recently released his debut EP, Kola Nuts and Chardonnay. Ch! Nonso's music has deep roots in traditional Igbo rhythms, with influences from RnB, Afrobeat, jazz, and soul. The event will also showcase Tida, a Zimbabwean-born, New Zealand-raised rapper, singer, and songwriter whose music encourages joy, happiness, and self-love.

Other performers include DJ ORIKoL, DJ Banty, Mangaliso, Fathe and the Sweetos, Karima & Voyajah, Black Sunday Drummers, Afro-Tronic Fusion + Audrey, and ABADA Capoeira. Food stalls will offer delicious dishes from Nigeria, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana, and South Africa.

Fashion shows will display creations by Rosemary Carter's Masafinyas, featuring striking hats and accessories inspired by Southern Africa, and Zanzibar, a Zanzibarian fashion house founded in New Zealand in 2018 by Asya Mohamed Abeid.

Children will also have opportunities to engage in creative activities, such as making leaf collages, painting with marigold ink, and crafting fabric-covered jars inspired by the colours and natural landscapes of Africa.

Later in Africa Month, an art show called Rituals Installation will run from 20 May to 19 June at the caretaker's cottage in Albert Park. This exhibition will explore the healing power of imagination and how imagined rituals can contribute to ongoing acts of healing.