There is a stirring power in moments of true connection, when like minds meet, inspire and move one another. The message of We Are Africa in Cape Town each year is one that we find particularly stirring, especially empowering. It’s about Africa, the huge and diverse continent, not country, with a million stories, not one.
There are some stories that are told all too often. What we’re interested in are the stories told by Africans not about Africans. We’re interested in the people we call family on our riverbank, in learning, growing, sharing with them and hearing their tales, their unique voices, their songs, their dance.
It was inspiring to hear this message communicated by We Are Africa FUSE speaker, Gcina Mhlophe: activist, performer and storyteller, freedom-fighter, poet, playwright… ~ “A story repeated is a story remembered,” she told us. “Pass on your stories. Strive for the conservation of the stories of our people. Inspire others with them, one story at a time.”
Speaker, Ancillar Mangena, a UN ambassador and journalist at Forbes Africa, spoke of the necessity of changing the perception of Africa in the media. She spoke of the danger of the single story and the effect of positive storytelling – something we support with our full hearts. She spoke of the importance of inspiring people in Africa to share their positive stories with the world. To talk about the beauty of our nature here, to go deeper and to actively work to bring about change.
“This is something we have to fight,” Ancillar told the audience. “We need to get more and more people to start speaking the new language of Africa. Sharing the positive stories of the continent.”
While we allowed the lessons of FUSE to settle in and take on new life over the few days of this celebration of Africa in Cape Town, we spun a few tales of our own.
It started around a campfire in the darkness of dawn, with special guests and South African band, Hot Water playing us into the sunrise. An event seamlessly coordinated by our friends at Escape + Explore. And then it was time for the adventure! A helicopter flip with Silvercross Helicopters over the harbour, stadium, up up up, around Lion’s Head and the magnificence of Table Mountain.
A heli flip connecting the stories of Africa’s natural beauty, her two great world wonders – this iconic mountain along with our own Victoria Falls. It was an experience to show-off the spirit of adventure that is so alive in Cape Town and the Zambezi. A celebration of togetherness, of each day’s gift of sunrise and set, of Africa’s powerful (and haunting and jovial and soothing and energetic) song and dance that takes you in, whatever its mood, and doesn’t let go.
It’s impossible not to feel more alive, more connected, more understood in moments like this. Even far away from home, being there surrounded by the genuine and diverse spirit of Africa, we felt as though we were right back on our riverbank, with the people of Zambia who make it all that it is, who are the heart and soul of Royal Chundu.
Thank you to Jarat Tours for our guests’ transfers, Escape + Explore, Hot Water, Silvercross Helicopters and We Are Africa’s incredible organisers, as well as the guests who joined us for the special occasion! Take a look below at a few snapshots of the day.