Summer Stage and Imagenation toast African National Congress 100th Anniversary

Created: 2012-08-16 01:24 EST

Category: World

On a cool summer day like today, there's nothing like being in Central Park and enjoying some quality African entertainment, provided by ImageNation.

This festival is giving New Yorkers a glimpse of traditional African culture. It honors the 100th anniversary of the African National Congress, the oldest liberation movement of the African continent. ImageNation's mission is to highlight progressive films about people of color, specifically black people and the global black experience. The festival is celebrating the cultural relationship between South Africa and the United States.

[George Monyemangene, Consul General of South Africa]: (Male, English)
"We want to share the history of South Africa. We want to share the cultural connections that we have with the rest of the world and we know that a lot of people participated in the anti-Apartheid movement that we want to thank them for helping us fight the very evil system that suppressed South African blacks particularly."

South African born singer-songwriter Yolanda Zama opened the festival, sharing her South African roots with the audience.

Following Zama, singer Goapele performed music ranging from traditional South African beats to classic sultry Etta James. Goapele's story is unique. Half-South African, she personally experienced the impact of South Africa's transformation while witnessing Nelson Mandela's release from prison.

[Goapele, Singer]: (Female, English)
"My father is from South Africa, so when I was growing up I knew that a lot of my family was still growing up under the Apartheid system in Munabi and weren't being treated equally and I knew that from the time I was really little Nelson Mandela was in jail and he should be freed and year after year they would be like, Nelson Mandela would be freed. I remember the day in high school when we got to see him on TV coming out of the gates of death row and I remember feeling that change is possible if people don't forget and if people keep organizing."

The celebration closed with a showing of Come Back, Africa, a drama that was secretly filmed in 1959 during the now-abolished South African government to bring light about the Apartheid government.

[George Monyemangene, Consul General of South Africa]: (Male, English)
"I think it's been fantastic. We've had great support, I want to congratulate ImageNation and SummerStage for putting such a wonderful event together."

ImageNation's long term goal is to open a movie theatre where individuals can regularly experience media arts that highlight the journeys of people of color. And you can learn more at for information on future events and outdoor showings.