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Friday, May 19, 2006

Africa fest in Tokyo

With Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's recent visit to Ethiopia and Ghana putting Africa on the front pages in Japan, African Festa 2006, taking place May 20 to 21 at Hibiya Park, Tokyo, could not be more timely.

News photo
Food stalls will serve up treats at African Festa 2006 (above) where D'Gary will also perform SHINJI TAKEHARA PHOTO (BELOW)
News photo

The festival, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is being held to increase understanding and support for Africa. A variety of cultural and educational events are planned for the Festa.

Taking place on the main stage on May 20 are dance performances, fashion shows and a performance by guitarist/vocalist D'Gary from Madagascar. On the same day on the satellite stage, actress and enthusiast for all things African, Takami Yoshimoto, will be hosting an Africa-themed discussion. Yoshimoto, whose father is also a keen African enthusiast, visited Kenya as a high-school girl and since then has undertaken a variety of projects in Kenya, Tanzania and Tunisia.

Workshops will also be taking place at African Festa 2006. Attendees are invited to take part in a karimba thumb piano workshop on May 20 at 2 p.m. to be conducted by Hiromi Kondo, a resident of Africa for six years, and Sakaki Mango.

A djembe (West African drum) dance workshop takes place on May 21 at 3 p.m.

African Festa 2006 runs 12-5 p.m. on May 20 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on May 21 at Hibiya Park, a two-minute walk from Hibiya Station on the Hibiya, Chiyoda and Mita subway lines (exits A10 and A14) or a four-minute walk from JR Yurakucho Station (Hibiya Exit). Admission to the Festa is free.

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