The Africa Centre: defining culture
When The Africa Centre opened its doors in London in 1964 it was a “home away from home” for the African diaspora, a cultural centre that nurtured the voices of struggle for pan-African independence and a place to imagine a new Africa, one that was free from the shackles of colonisation.
“As individuals and as societies, I think we’re defined by the stories we tell” says Chief Executive, Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, CBE “A key part of our mission is to help promote contemporary Africa as it is now. I think many people can be forgiven for not actually knowing very much about contemporary Africa because that’s not really the diet we’re fed”.
The Africa Centre’s 50-year legacy of openness is defined by authenticity, passion and leadership and continues to drive the creativity and innovation that tells the pan-African story of today — a new narrative that is fresh, vibrant and dynamic.
Africa is a young continent, with a median age of just 19, when you contrast that with an aging European population at twice that figure, it’s hard not to look and listen to the ideas and energy coming from various African republics, many of which are now nearly 60 years into their independence from colonial rule.
“Young people in Africa, they don’t just decide to become entrepreneurs, they do it out of necessity.” says Tharp “We want to encourage new conversations, new ideas. It’s about reimagining yourself as an individual, as a group of people, or even as a society and having a vision for the future that breaks the mould”.