Professor Esi Sutherland Addy, Chairperson of the Pan-African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) Foundation has called on young Africans to feature prominently in PANAFEST and Emancipation Day activities to re-affirm their identity.
She said the importance of the celebration of the two festivals could not be over-emphasised as it provided the platform for Africans to learn and express their feelings and emotions to the rest of the World.
Prof Sutherland Addy said these at the programme launch of the silver jubilee anniversary of PANAFEST and Emancipation Day at Cape Coast in the Central Region on Thursday.
She stressed that African enslavement was not a historical matter but something that lingered on in today’s World and urged young Africans to use the two festivals to stand up for themselves and look into the future with confidence.
PANAFEST is an African festival that helps to address the traumatic interruption that occurred in the natural evolution of African societies, which profoundly eroded the self- confidence and freedom for self-determination of the black man.
This year’s celebration is on the theme: PANAFEST @ 25, The Power of Pan African Culture.
Prof Sutherland Addy said PANAFEST was celebrated to re-affirm the African identity and so Africans should stand up for themselves by acquiring knowledge about their lineage to help regain their self-worth and confidence.
The Deputy Central Regional Minister, Mr Thomas Yaw Adjei Baffour, bemoaned the dwindling interest in PANAFEST and EMANCIPATION DAY, which used to be important events in Ghana, which was patronised by people across the world.
He noted that the celebrations stood for equality, transparency, integrity and mutual respect for all peoples irrespective of colour, ethnic background and social status and encouraged the youth to fully embrace it.
Osabaraima Kwesi Atta II, Omanhen of Oguaa Traditional Area, admonished young Africans not to look down upon their culture and to desist from copying blindly from the Western World.
He urged Africans not to lose their identities, as that was the surest way they could earn respect and dignity from the rest of the World.