On Tuesday, May 25, Barbados will join millions across the diaspora in observing ???African Day’, a celebration of the continent’s hard-fought freedom from European colonisation.

Formerly known as African Liberation Day, it is also the official founding date of the Organisation of African Unity, now known as the African Union.

Celebrated annually since 1963, it is also the commemoration of the achievements of Africans united towards a common goal of political independence and socio-economic development.

On this day, the Commission for Pan African Affairs (CPAA) is encouraging all Barbadians to join the worldwide celebration by reflecting on the achievements of black people locally, regionally and internationally and rededicate themselves to the task of black empowerment by wearing African inspired styles.

These are not just limited to clothing but can include jewelry, leatherworks and hairstyles.

The Commission has celebrated ???Africa Day’ for the past 11 years in the form of a national march and rally, initially in Heroes Square, and more recently, Jubilee Gardens.

However, this year, the CPAA will depart from that tradition with the introduction of the inaugural ???Oshe Emeka African Liberation Awards Gala on May 25. ???Oshe’ is Yoruba for thanks and ???Emeka’ is Igbo for good deeds.

The gala will take place on Tuesday, May 25, at the Hugh Springer Auditorium, Solidarity House, Harmony Hall, St. Michael, at 6:30 p.m.

It will be an occasion to highlight and honour those persons who have made significant contributions to Afrocentric development in Barbados. The awards will honour individuals from several fields, including health, business, culture and international relations. There will also be Lifetime Achievement, Ministers’ and Posthumous Awards.

The Oshe Emeka Awards Gala is part of activities for the Season of Emancipation which began on April 14 and runs until August 26, 2010.


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