This year’s celebration of the Seychellois African heritage – FetAfrik – is set to have more participation from the private sector and more activities for the general public, the executive director of the Creative Seychelles Agency (CSA) said on Tuesday.
Emmanuel D’Offay told reporters that he and his team are happy with the fact that the organisation of FetAfrik “this year did not entirely depend on the Creative Seychelles Agency.”
“We do not have enough funds to do all activities by ourselves. One of our mandates is to create business opportunities for other people. We are a facilitator and we work alongside them. For example, it is easier to provide a discount on our restaurant than to provide funds for an activity. We are happy to see that business-minded individuals are starting to initiate activities rather than it being the other way around,” said D’Offay.
He outlined that with the involvement of more people and businesses, there is the possibility of bringing the festival to other islands, or districts.
“FetAfrik is really important for Seychellois, as it is a window to our African heritage. As a nation, we should never forget that we are from Africa. We cannot continue to celebrate our colonisers through La Francophonie or Commonwealth Day, without celebrating our African heritage. We want our people to be proud of their heritage,” said D’Offay.
This year, the Creative Seychelles Agency decided to remove the opening ceremony of the festival as it is costly and restricted to certain people.
FetAfrik 2023 scheduled for May 26-28, will allow Seychellois to embrace their African heritage through live performances, fashion shows, discos, culinary experiences, and more.
On Friday, May 26, a local band, “Leko,” is working with the agency to host the “Leko Tanbour dan Victoria” (The Sound of the Drum in Victoria) event. This will take place at the Unity Stadium car park from 12 noon to 11 pm, with a musical show set to kick off at 6 pm. The day will conclude in an open-air disco.
The director of Leko Prodiksyon, Berno Cedras, said that there will be African music as well as Seychelles’ own dance; the ‘Moutya’.
On Saturday, May 27, an African bazaar will be hosted at the National History Museum in which artisans and the African community in Seychelles will participate. It will start at 10 a.m. and end at 6 p.m. From 4 p.m. onwards, there will be live entertainment with the participation of the School of Dance and local artists.
“This year we are placing a lot of emphasis on the participation of African communities in Seychelles. On Saturday, we will also have the participation of artists who we haven’t seen performing for some time, in the likes of Jany Letourdie and Jean-Marc Volcy,” said D’Offay.
Two fashion shows are also scheduled for Saturday – one in Victoria by the Belonie School and another at Maison Marengo by Telly’s Modelling Agency. The students will be showcasing different African costumes made from recycled materials, whereas Telly’s Modeling Agency will be hosting an Africa Day from 12 noon to 12 am. From 7 pm onwards, there will be dinner and a fashion show.
On Sunday, May 28, at the Seafront Restaurant, there will be African Fusion – an event organised by another private company with food, drinks, a live band, and a fashion show.
D’Offay outlined that this year there will not be an exhibition as the agency does not have a venue to hold such activity.
“To compensate for the lack of an exhibition, on Saturday during the fair, we will have a live exhibition. We will have people doing braiding and other ways of styling hair,” he explained.
This year, Creative Seychelles Agency organised the event with a budget of SCR250,000 ($19,000).