About 200 people attended this year’s cultural night on June 25, 2011, allowing the Horn of Africa (HoA) countries to get together to showcase and celebrate their cultural heritage with the wider Australian community. The event was organised in liaison with HAYAA, the youth arm of HARDA.
As well as representatives from the HoA communities, attendees were from other African communities as well as from the wider Australian community. These included Barbara Perry MP, (Member for Auburn and Shadow Minister for Family & Community Services amongst other things), who is a great supporter of HARDA and opened the night with some kind words.
Speeches were brief with John Cornwall, President of HARDA, giving a run down of the year’s activities and achievements by video due to illness. Highlights included a very successful year with our international aid programs, with a dvd shown of one, the cataract project in Northern Kenya. This brought a tear to many an eye when attendees saw a grandmother see her grandkids for the first time!
Abdimalik Osman, President of HAYAA, showed a HAYAA dvd and spoke about HAYAA aims, objectives and year’s highlights, including their recent report, Our Voices United, African Youth Speak, which has sparked a lot of interest in Government circles.
The emphasis of the night was on fun, with an abundance of food and an extensive program of entertainment. The wonderful array of delicious Horn of African traditional foods served were produced by members from the Horn of Africa communities and much enjoyed by attendees.
The entertainment included a couple of very talented African singers, cultural dance groups from Sudan and Eritrea, a number of fun dance groups including a rap group and of course, one of the favourites of the night , the drumming maestros. As in prior years they brought the place alive with their rousing drumming performance and an interactive audience drumming experience, where the audience was equipped with drums and taught drumming skills, which everyone took to with with great energy and gusto.
Kudzi Maforimbo from HAYYA compered the evening, kept things under control with great humour and got everyone up and dancing to finish up a great evening.
Our heartfelt thanks to the Hills Holroyd Parramatta Multicultural Resource Centre, NSW Transcultural Mental Health Centre, ACL Navitas, STARTTS and NSW Community Relations Commission, for funding this free community event. Also many thanks to all those wonderful cooks for providing such a stunning array of Horn of African foods, and to the amazing entertainment provided by all the entertainers.
All in all the night was a great success and the smiles on everyone’s faces told the story.