It is so heart-warming to see so many events in the UK these days that are focussed on Africa but well attended and embraced by the world at large.
Africa on the Square was just such an event. In honour of Black History Month, the event was hosted by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, and on Saturday, 10th October, Trafalgar Square was turned into a huge celebration of all things Africa.
Stalls showcased Africa in her best light; her real light – clothes, accessories, shoes, cosmetics, jewellery, interior decor and soft furnishings – all showing vibrant colours and eye-catching patterns.
The stage was alight with fashion shows, dancers, music and rhythms from the continent. Dele Sosimi represented Nigeria and the Afrobeat sound, and DJ Abrantee kept the crowd dancing and hyped for the entire event, and the music was non-stop.
Food – hmmmm. There were several stall representing the different countries and their cuisines, but I have to say I was disappointed with the culinary offering. There was a vegan fusion stand (what is that??), an Ethiopian stand which had some delicious smells coming out of it, and one Jollof Box stand. One.
They ran out of food pretty early, and I never got to taste the jollof – which is probably for the best as I probably would have slapped someone if it was anything less than Nigerian Jollof aka #BAE.
I was still mad though. The entire continent is known for food and every country in Nigeria has its own version of street food and I thought I would be inundated with fragrances spilling out over the Square. Roasted plantain (boli), akara, puff-puff, fried yam, roasted corn, grilled chicken, suya or the other national variants of these. But no, not a scent. The whole place smelled like…Trafalgar Square.
Nonetheless, it was a triumph that was celebrated by every colour of humanity there is, and I’m glad that people got to see the Africa that I love and call home.
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