About the Festival
The Unmasked African Festival is an annual event organised by the African Communities Council of South Australia (ACCSA) – the peak body representing over 35 ethnic African communities in South Australia. The first African festival was held in April 2002 in the South Parklands of Adelaide. Since then the festival has been held in many locations in Adelaide including Rymill Park and Elder Park. The ACCSA initiated the event to foster unity and promote understanding, tolerance and harmony among people from African background and the mainstream Australian Community.
The event unveils the diverse, vibrant and spirited African communities of South Australia and portrays their rich cultures, beauty, hope and aspiration to the wider community.
The Festival is managed by a Festival Planning Committee and was rebranded ‘Unmasked African Festival’ in 2014 to reflect the true spirit of the occasion and meet the cultural needs of the community.
The aims of the Festival are:
- to organise an annual community based event to celebrate African culture and cuisine with the wider community
- to improve community engagement and capacity building through social interactions
- to exhibit the various talents within the African communities
- to provide a platform for the African community to narrates their resettlement stories
- to strengthen the community’s sense of belonging
- to empower the community against prejudice and racism.
- Since 2002 more than 30 ethnic African communities have participated through traditional music, song and dances as well as a variety of African arts and crafts, traditional and modern cuisine and many more cultural and family friendly activities.
- The Festival has given young African Australians the opportunity to celebrate and connect with their culture.
- Over the years members of the African community in catering, business, performing arts, film-making, community coordination and marketing have improved their engagement with wider Australian communities developing micro-enterprise businesses/projects to benefit their members.
- The Festival usually involves over 150 people from fifteen different African communities coming together to participate, ranging from the Planning Committee to Caterers, Stall Holders, Performers and Community Volunteers.