Jamaicans living in Southern Africa and well-wishers in that part of the world will have an opportunity to join others around the globe in celebrating Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary of Independence thanks to an exciting programme of activities which the Jamaican High Commission in South Africa will present during the month of August.
The programme includes a Church Service of Praise and Thanksgiving on 5th August at the Anglican Cathedral in Johannesburg; an Official Reception on 6th August in Pretoria; a culinary showcase by top Jamaican chefs Kevin Broderick and Anthony Miller and musical performances by international piano legend Monty Alexander and jazz instrumentalist, Dr. Kathy Brown.
A culinary showcase is at the heart of the celebrations in August as the High Commission seeks to expose South Africans to the culinary delights of Jamaica with an eye on developing a market for Jamaican condiments and spices. With the support of the South African Department of Arts and Culture, the High Commission will host a two-week visit of Jamaica’s Chef of the Year 2010/2011, Kevin Broderick and Corporate Chef at Caribbean Producers, Anthony Miller, who have created a mouth-watering menu of Jamaican culinary traditions of manish water; ackee and saltfish; rice and peas; jerk chicken, jerk pork and curry goat for the Official Reception on 6th August. As part of the cultural exchange, chefs Broderick and Miller will conduct workshops at the South African Chef Training Academy and the University of Johannesburg. They will also present an evening of Jamaican cuisine at a five-star hotel in Johannesburg as well as make appearances on prime time television, including on Big Brother Africa reality show which is broadcasted in 49 African countries.
On the musical front, Monty Alexander will perform at the much acclaimed Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival on 24th and 25th August in Johannesburg, while Dr. Kathy Brown will share Jamaican favourites with guests at the Reception on 6th August. South African reggae band, Tidal Waves, will also perform at the Reception as a gesture of appreciation for Jamaica’s unswerving support through its music to the fight against Apartheid.
According to Jamaica’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Norma Taylor Roberts, “the High Commission is firmly committed, amidst the challenges of distance and resource constraints, to take advantage of the unique opportunity of our golden jubilee anniversary in not only showcasing the country’s achievements in several fields but in building Jamaica’s reputation as a place to do business, invest, work and visit”. High Commissioner Taylor Roberts also expressed heartfelt gratitude for the generous support and sponsorship received from the South African Department of Arts and Culture, Grace Foods UK Ltd, a number of South African companies and the Jamaican community in Southern Africa.
The activities in August are a continuation of the High Commission’s year-long programme that started in January with a media launch during the visit of filmmaker, Sarah Manely, to capture footage for the Jamaica50 OnePeople Documentary. A highlight of the celebrations, so far, has been the staging of a Seminar in Pretoria in February on the Role of Reggae Music in the African Liberation Struggle, in which Michael “Ibo” Cooper and Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niaah of the University of the West Indies participated.
Foreign Minister AJ Nicholson who visited South Africa in May for the first African Global Diaspora Summit also encouraged the Jamaican community to use the 50th Anniversary as a period of reflection and recommitment to nation building.
Posted By :Ann- Margaret Lim
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