Exciting plans are going ahead for a new Festival of Traditional Music and Dance in Limbé in Cameroon.
Seasoned event organisers, Martin Cradick & Su Hart of Baka Beyond, are planning a celebration of Cameroonian music and dance.
Cameroon has over 250 different groups of people with their own languages and culture. It is known as "Africa in Miniature" with people, landscapes and wildlife that represent all the different habitats in the African continent. The culture is rich and varied and the music is diverse, yet accessible.
The stunningly beautiful Botanical Gardens at Limbé are one of the more positive legacies of Victorian colonialism. Situated between the sea and the active volcano, Mt Cameroon, the stone amphitheatre at the centre of the gardens is the perfect site for a cultural festival.
A car rally from England is being organised by The Adventurists. This is the second race they have organised to Cameroon, though they have organised similar races to other far-flung corners of the world. The cars are all under 1000cc and at the end of the race they are auctioned and money raised is given to local charities (one beneficiary this year being Global Music Exchange). They always put on a party for the participants and the local people at the end of the race, and since staging and PA will be there for the party we thought it might as well be used for the whole day for a festival of music and dance.
Global Music Exchange (GME)
GME have been working in Cameroon with the Baka since 1992. They were also involved in organising the Festival of a Thousand Stars in Arba Minch, Ethiopia in 2005 and 2006. With this festival we intend to bring these 2 areas together.
Originally set up to channel funds raised from recordings of Baka music to development projects decided by the Baka themselves, GME intend to use the festival to extend this principal to other communities. Through providing a setting where traditional music and dance can be appreciated by a wider audience it will both raise awareness of the richness of the culture and show the participants that their traditional music still has value in the modern world.
This will be in 2 parts: the daytime traditional music festival and the evening party to welcome the racers. All will be free to the people of Limbé
Whereas the festival in Ethiopia was well funded by a large American foundation, GME have been asking sponsors to donate money for this festival. So far we have raised £6000 (given by the Allen and Nesta Foundation). This will be enough to ensure some lively entertainment through the day including:
- Traditional Baka singing & dancing (Eastern Province)
- Asiko from Yaounde (Central Province)
- Ndong players from Bamenda (North-West Province)
- Local music & dance (South-West Province)
The evening music will include:
- Anne-Marie Ndzie - the "Mother of Bikutsi"
- Baka Gbiné - the Baka musicians whos album "Gati Bongo" has been in the US iTunes world charts for over 3 years now. They will be joined on stage by some members of Baka Beyond.
We will update this site as we secure more funds/acts
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DONATE FUNDS TOWARDS THE FESTIVAL IF YOU CAN (email us)
The plan is to involve as many local people as possible with the preparations . There will be an opening ceremony, and local schools are being approached to include children and young people in helping decorate the site. It is important that this is a free event so that as many local people as possible can take part and feel involved.
This promises to be a memorable event that should flourish in the future.
In future years we hope that this festival will grow as large as the Festival of a Thousand Stars, Arba Minch