Interview: Building Southern African Communities Abroad


Conrad Mwanza
As we launch our community based website we speak to Conrad Mwanza, the man behind one of the most successful UK based Southern African Community events, The Southern Africa Summer Fest, of which this year’s will be held on the 4th of June.

Being from Southern African how important is maintaining our culture when living in the Diaspora?
Unlike the Western Africans, we have failed in many aspects to promote our culture amongst ourselves, and I have taken it as a sole responsibility to promote cohesion and integration amongst Southern Africans, we are one citizen.

Traditional dancing and songs are an important aspect of Southern African culture; how well do you think this culture has been carried on by Southern Africans in the UK?
In small ways, but there are a lot of people doing a lot to promote the culture in the UK, people like Zambezi, Mantongande, Luyanda, BlackSmith and many more

“Kwaito is a culture and will never die, instead it might come in different forms, more like Rhythms and Blues, it will always come back.”

You have been involved in a number of community activities for Southern Africans based in the UK; in what way have these events encouraged cultural and musical activities?
In a way, my main aim was to encourage togetherness and integration, Southern Africans share the same love of Music, food, culture and traditions so it makes it easy to intergrate

You are currently organising the 4th Annual Summer Fest an event you have successfully organised over the past 4 years; What does you work as an event organiser involve?
A lot of work is involved in organising events with little returns, the only satisfaction being the event coming into reality, my hope is that people can appreciate the work involved and support the efforts most people put into organising Events.

Please tell us more about the Annual Summer Fest and why it’s important for the Southern African community in the UK?
The annual summer fest is for people from Southern Africa to come together once a year, it’s a family event, so children are also welcome, the event is also to correct the…