RABBI KOHAIN NATHANYAH HALEVI
Pan Africanist, Artist, Master Teacher, Priest, and Griot
As always, first and foremost giving all honor, praise and glory to the Mos High Power of the Universe, the Source by whom we live, move and have our being. Also paying respect and tribute to the spirit of our Ancestors upon whose legacy we stand. I greet everyone with our traditional salutation of AKWAABA.
Once again the cycle and season of PANAFEST is returning and needless to say I am excited with anticipation of the 15th edition of PANAFEST 2023 and the empowerment of the achievements which have been accomplished throughout the three decades of the PANAFEST movement.
Each edition of PANAFEST has been accompanied by a festival theme but this has not been at the expense of replacing our motto or recurring theme of “Re-Uniting the African Family” which has been with us from the beginning. This year’s festival theme, “Reclaiming The African Family”, referring specifically to reaffirming our African identity throughout the global African communities. Whether in the North, Central, South or Islands of the Americas, Europe, or Asia the over 350 million Africans who were displaced throughout the world have a destiny intertwined with the 1.3 billion Africans on the continent.
Too often the redefining and labeling of populations of African people in foreign territories by their national identities has brought into question the retention of their African-ness but now more than ever, there is a rebirth of pride by people of African descent to claim their identity with pride and admiration as well as an effort for Africa to claim her scattered sons and daughters as witnessed by the African Union’s proclamation of the African Diaspora as the “6th Region”.
Ghana has commanded the lead in this endevour by initiating the PANAFEST in 1992, Emancipation in 1998, The Joseph Project in 2007, and proclaiming the Year of Return in 2019 and beyond The Return from 2020-2030.
PANAFEST remains the most consistent Pan African Festival representing the continuity of all these visions and initiatives to reunite the African family,
This has also inspired African nations to commit to developing “Diaspora Engagement Policies” to welcome the African family back home to participate in the development of a new Africa in the 21st Century building upon the gains and achievements of the past century to confront the challenges of a new century and millennium.
The collective exercise in restoring the history of our pre-enslavement and colonial past, appreciating the resilience to survive such a horrific chapter and disruption in our human experience and developmental continuity is what PANAFEST programs have been designed to address and inspire including the restoration of African citizenship.
Culture as expressed through various artistic disciplines remains one of the most potent and dynamic weapons in our arsenal to continue the struggle for liberation and emancipation of the minds of African people. Culture through the Arts has influenced our social cohesion , economics and politics and have consistently added value to the character of African people, even in our lowest point of endeavour we’ve found strength in our spoken word, rhythm, song, dance to inspire ourselves and the world at large. We continue to call upon our creative community, intellectuals, activists, academics, educators and grassroots to use the power of their creative gifts to contribute to the positive influence of the current generation.
PANAFEST 2023 is inviting the African family and creatives to gather to enjoy and participate in this sacred space, time and place to connect, energize, organize and command our way forward ever, backward never. The ascension of the African personality through the African renaissance is at hand. “Up you mighty people, you can accomplish what you will”.
Once again, now and forever, Akwaaba PANAFEST the most consistent and premiere Pan African festival on the African continent.