BY BILLY SUTER
DURBAN’S Sutton Park in Morningside is the place to be on Human Rights Day (Tuesday, March 21), when the sixth annual Francofête offers two free events presented by the Alliance Française of Durban and eThekwini Municipality.
A family event including free entertainment and a day-long market offering food and clothing, crafts, decor items and gift ideas, will be held from 10.30am to 4pm. This will be followed by a sundowner concert featuring Francophone world music, from 4.30pm to 8pm.
Francofête will take place under the trees in Sutton Park, where the Alliance Française annually showcases some of the best French, Francophone and French-inspired music, dance, theatre, story-telling, workshops and visual arts – as well as food and crafts in the alfresco market.
Four music acts have been assembled for the evening concert, including iconic Malian band BKO Quintet, SA Roy and Forest Jam, a seven-member, innovative Swiss/Malagasy music collaboration. Popular Durban reggae band The Meditators is also on the bill.
To ensure festivalgoers won’t go hungry, Fusion French Café will co-ordinate the KwaZulu-Natal leg of the third Goût de France/Good France which will celebrate French gastronomy in various locations worldwide on March 21.
Some 1 500 chefs on five continents are expected to join the event.
Alongside the Goût de France/Good France stalls will be the Swiss Food village, offering authentic French-Swiss fare, a taste of homemade bakeries, French delicacies and local cuisine.
“From 10.30am onwards, family activities will include a programme on the Assitej youth stage – face painting, gumboot dance, kiddies drawing corner, story-telling, dance and music,” says publicist Illa Thompson.
“On the park lawns will be a series of activities, such as dance programmes featuring various groups, and interactive workshops facilitated by MC, Iain ‘Ewok’ Robinson,” she adds.
Francofête celebrates diversity and tolerance on the occasion of Human Rights Day and Francophone week, bringing together all walks of life in Durban, transcending through all cultures, generations and communities.
“We look forward to a festive day of social cohesion in English, Zulu, French, Swahili, Créole, sign language and more,” says Alliance Francaise Durban director, Vincent Frontczak .
“Alliance Française would like to thank the eThekwini Municipality, the French Institute of South Africa, Foundation Alliance Française, the Embassy of France in South Africa, Stratostaff, Assitej SA, the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, the Swiss Art Council Prohelvetia, Forest Jam, and the Reunion Island Province.” For more info, visit the Alliance Française at 22 Sutton Crescent, Morningside, or phone 031 312 9582.