Jambo Afreeka: An Emerging African Cultural Force in Stockholm
Jambo Afreeka is a group of Africans who have decided to intervene to fill the huge vacuum which exists within the African cultural scene in Sweden. Composed of a band of highly talented Africans who have a wide experience in the field of African music and culture, the group, which believes in team leadership, has consistently organized gigs for both adults and children in Stockholm since it was set up a few years ago.
Last Saturday, the group, which consists of both Africans and Swedes, organized a Family get together Party to mark the end of the 2013 summer. The event mainly focused on children and it was the second year that the Family event was being organized by the group.
Albert Taabu, a leading member of the group who is well-known among Kenyans as an accomplished drum player and children’s entertainer, excited the kids with creative songs and dance which also ignited parents into action.
According to Eriko, a member of the group who spoke to KSB, “there is need to keep the African culture alive in Sweden and to teach African children African cultural values”.
The general philosophy of the group is that it is difficult to sustain progressive African cultures if they are not practiced and on Saturday, Jambo Afreeka demonstrated the basics of imparting African culture into young children.
The kids were not only made to dance to the rhythms of African music but were also taken down to earth to be taught how to play African drums. It was an occasion to remember and many parents hoped that the event would grow into an annual activity to mark the end of the summer in Sweden.
One improvement which Jambo Afreeka may have to make is to improve on publicity by going out with information early enough to enable families to plan. Publicity for the Saturday event began just five days before the event and, according to one parent who called KSB, it is almost impossible to adjust the week-end plan when the information comes just a few days before the event.
Jambo Afreeka needs to go out with information at least one month in advance to enable parents to plan and attend the function”, a parent told KSB.
The Kenyan parent said that the idea is good but that there is need for the Jambo Afreeka Management to consider the fact that in Sweden, many families plan week-ends on a long term and so if an event is announced on a Monday and it is taking place on a Saturday, problems with adjustments may arise.
Apart from the children’s bash, there was plenty of Nyama choma and vinywaji at very affordable prices while the music that played in the background was also very entertaining.
Hopefully, the group will continue with the same spirit of entertaining both adults and children as the winter sets in. With committed artists like Sugar Ray teaming up with other progressive artists, there is no reason why Jambo Afreeka should not succeed in its mission. Now that the group is slowly establishing its roots within the African community, Jambo Afreeka needs to borrow a leaf from artists like Vumbi Dekula by increasing their presence as a way of growing their fan-base. The group has a lot of potential and experienced artists and this is an asset which can guarantee success in their endeavours. As the winter sets in, Jambo Afreeka is a group to watch especially if the group decides to go full throttle during the winter.