September in London is fantastic. There are so many programmes to choose from that it is difficult to decide where to go. This weekend will see the Africa Utopia Festival returning to Southbank Centre after its success in 2012. From the 11th to the 14th of September we can enjoy lectures, debates, music, arts and food from Africa and the diaspora.
If you do not have to work on the 12th, that is a Friday, I can highly recommend to book your day pass for there will be lectures all day on business, trade, education and technology. I crave for the days when I was surrounded by leading experts of these fields so I will surely be there. Saturday and Sunday will offer similar lectures and debates in topics diverse enough to satisfy all interest.
The free events of the festival will include a lecture and demonstration about the history of African dance, one a cappella group from Soweto sing gospel, soul, jazz, doo-wop and r’n’b, the Kinshasa big sing when you can learn traditional Congolese songs and for fashion lovers a catwalk is also lined up. Besides, you can see contemporary art installations and pop-up market stalls featuring the work of young designers.
Personally I am looking forward to hearing the Kinshasa Symphony, the Kimbanguiste Orchestra and Chorus from the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday but I have the feeling that Mulatu Astatke, the father of Ethio-jazz, will not let you down either. Other names that are worth to check during the four-day feast include Gina Yashere, Alesandra Seutin, Qudus Onikeku & Zena Edwards.
I hope to see some of you over the weekend. Enjoy the show!