Seychelles is bringing music from western Africa to its shores in a first-ever Afrobeat festival on May 25 in the capital, Victoria.
Organised to celebrate Africa Day “the festival will showcase the African rhythm, the influences and roots of our culture,” said Amanda Bernstein, the head of marketing and corporate relations at Barclays Bank Seychelles. It will take place at the Mini Stadium.
“As part of the evening, we will have a number of acts from Seychelles with dance and musical intervention by DJs as well,” added Bernstein.
Tickets are on sale for $59 (SCR800) for a VIP experience and $11 (SCR150) for general entry. Tickets will be available at the entrance on the night of the event, where card payments will be accepted.
Afrobeat is a modern genre combining elements of western African music. The term was coined in the 1960s by Nigerian multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Fela Kuti.
Bernstein said this growing music genre is very popular in Seychelles and “the beauty about afrobeat, in itself, the genre is about mixes and influences.”
The highlight of the festival will be the performance of chart-topping British-Ghanaian artist Fuse ODG. Known in Seychelles for his songs ‘Azonto’, ‘Antenna’ and ‘TINA’, Fuse ODG will be performing for a minimum of one hour on Saturday.
The Afrobeat Festival, which will start at 9.00 pm and end at 2.00 am, will also see the participation of local artists such as Elijah, Pusso, SwaggTunes and KJ.
The event is being sponsored by ABSA group limited, serving as Barclays Bank in Seychelles, in partnership with the Seychelles Round Table and Seychelles Breweries.
Funds raised from the festival will go to an ‘Innovation Fund’ which will be used to empower the youth through community skills development projects aimed to fuel tomorrow’s innovators.
Fuse ODG will be meeting with some young people on the day before the concert. Students from various schools will get to meet with the artist.
Bernstein explained that the reason that Barclays Bank Seychelles is supporting the event is because of the cause.
A coding summer school shall be the first activity to be funded with the proceeds collected from the event. Successful applicants will receive training in coding, algorithm and smartphone apps development.
“As a bank, we feel that the future is digital, that the next great breakthroughs, innovations are all going to be digital and that is where the next frontier is,” said Bernstein.
She added that the organisers “really wanted to partner together to deliver a wonderful event that will also enable skills development in Seychelles.”
The Seybrew and SeyPearl brand manager of Seychelles Breweries, Muriel Morgan, said that the event is an opportunity to help people help themselves.
“A lot of the time charity is given to people but we believe that for you to grow, you need to empower yourself hence the reason why we decided to join the cause,” said Morgan.