Our community includes a range of external event organisers running amazing community music festivals in our park over summer. This month we would like to introduce Peres Zapfack, co-founder of Sounds Of Africa Festival (SOA FESTIVAL), a community festival being held on Saturday 16th December 2017.

  • What is The Sounds Of Africa Festival?

The SOA FESTIVAL is a family friendly event designed to showcase the Bright Africa.  SOA FESTIVAL is not just a festival, it’s an African experience, unique and authentic. Attendees get to Connect with sounds from the Motherland through Live Music and Dj Sets… Taste food from all corners of Africa, Touch, Feel and Purchase Arts and Craft products from local African businesses and Team up with other attendees in a series of tailored African inspired activities.

  • What made you start The Sounds Of Africa Festival?

Arriving in Australia in 2011, I was surprised by the limited representation of African Culture in Melbourne. It took me 4 years to finally do something about that. Edmond (other SOA Co-Founder) and I started SOA NIGHTS in Melbourne CBD in June 2015, with the vision to make African Music (Afrobeats generally) widely known in Australia. They have been running successfully since then.

After lots of research (and attending many other events), we came to realise that people in Melbourne are genuinely eager to learn more about other cultures. We also noticed a stronger African population coming to Australia. Knowing how authentic, diverse and amazing African Culture is, we were looking for a bigger and more efficient platform to fulfill our mission, which is to increase the representation of African Culture in Melbourne. All this lead to the  launch Sounds of Africa Festival on November 2016.

  • What do you love most about delivering the festival?

I love:

To see everyone moving to the sounds of Africa. It’s clear that music plays a very important role in everyone’s life and everyone can dance, with their own styles!

Afrobeats has been gaining popularity around the world, seeing people enjoying the atmosphere we create is very rewarding.

I also love the fact that every attendee can find something they identify to. Africa is huge, with diverse cultures so we work hard to have every corner of the continent represented whether by music, food, art and craft products, traditional games or other activities. Even the little ones have activities the can identify to.

Finally, the community aspect of the event. It’s also family friendly, babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and adults can all be part at their own levels. We create an immersive African experience in a natural, green and pressure free environment. This is how we realise an efficient transfer of cultures we want.

  • If you could highlight one aspect of the festival what would it be?

Showcasing the Bright Africa, because we usually see the “not-so-bright Africa”!

It is place full of gems. But most people do not know that. Africa is for everyone to share, enjoy and experience.

When you listen to some African music (Kwaito, Afrobeats…) or watch African dances (Kizomba, Azonto…), you feel something. When you taste African food (Sadza, Jollof, Soya, Injara and many more), you feel something.

That something is the connection to the motherland we ALL have. This is essentially what we showcase at the Sounds Of Africa Festival.

Sounds of Africa (SOA Festival) is being held at CERES from 1pm to 10pm on Saturday 16th December.
For more details see http://soafestival.com.au/ or check out the event on Facebook.