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Thousands of fans revel in African Music Festival in The Netherlands

Internationally acclaimed singer, Youssouf N'dour and his band, Le Super Étoile de Dakar climaxed the Jubille celebration of the Africa Music Festival in Hertme, The Netherlands last weekend. Thousands of African music fans danced throughout his performance with exhilarating rigour and zest, whilst Morocco's Jazz and soul singer, Oumel Ghait mesmerized the audience with her incredibly soaring tenor. Song hoy Blues closed the afternoon proceedings; as they rendered elements of contemporary rock and hip hop, like Songs like “Irganda” and their masterpiece of desert blues, blending American guitar saw the audience glowingly bluesy and shuffled every move with their feet.


Ghanaian veteran Pat Thomas with his impetuous young group, The Kwashibu Area Band, entertained the audience with a collection of songs from their album the 'hype.' Upcoming star from Guinea Bissau, Karyna Gomes, also thrilled the audience with a combination of traditional African music, and rhythms from around the world.

Although intermittently, rains fell on both days, but there was a great deal of sunlight and the thousands of music lovers nevertheless, joined the exuberant performances displayed by an array of renowned African musical artists. The young and old danced in close circles and clapping their hands in appreciation. Acts came from the four corners of Africa, including Congolese rumba, West African High Life music, Malian Kora music, the sand dunes sound of North Africa and the audience added a scintillating flavour to the atmosphere and It's no wonder the crowd rediscovered their vigour whenever a new act is being performed.



As the night progressed, famous backing band of the late Congolese singer, Franco Odemba, OK Jazz All-stars, featured the distinctive singer Sam Mangwana who demonstrated his ingenuity with joyous lyrics and judging by the exuberant dancing spirit of the audience, everyone was very much into the show. Nigerian Julius Orlando Julius then entered the stage with the British band The Heliocentrics to perform some songs from his highly acclaimed album, 'Afro Jaiyede' and the music fans gradually displayed their explosive movements and enjoyed the eclectic musical vibration that reverberated. There was plenty bits of explosive rumba music and each time the artists performed the growing number of festival-goers took to their feet to mimick Africa's effervescent dancing style.

Marion Hollar, said that she's been coming to Hertme since the festival started and each time it has been "wonderful, and ecstatic crowds".

Guinean Moh! Kouyaté reassured the music fans, that African music is very much alive and kicking with his remarkable voice that captured the mood of the festival.

Menner Rokin of The Hertme Africa Music Festival said: "We are delighted to be able to bring the carnival atmosphere and another fantastic celebration of music and dance from Africa to Hertme.

"It's an annual event that makes everyone feel happy and joyous," he says and that the Festival showed that music is universal as it brings communities together for a truly entertaining experience.

The festival has grown over the past 28 years and many artists who have performed in Hertme, are now world stars in their own rights. The festival is characterized by its relaxed atmosphere, the quality of the music and the exotic market where people besides the rich African culture can also enjoy the delicious food and drink. More than 100 volunteers from Hertme Borne helped to make the festival possible this year.

By Ernest Mason