African Renaissance Festival 15-16 August 2019



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Mr Sibusiso Ndebele - African Renaissance Festival Founder

Mr Joel Sibusiso Ndebele is the founder of the African Renaissance Festival.

The origins of the African Renaissance Festival may be found in the desire for the African people to assert
themselves. There is no doubt that the Festival's establishment was further promoted by Mr Ndebele's visit to Atlanta in the late 1990s. There he shared the platform with the former American President Bill Clinton and met with key American leaders who spoke of an African Renaissance similar to the Afro American experience.

Over this time, the call for an African Renaissance was also made popular by former President Thabo Mbeki.

The first African Renaissance Festival was held in Durban in 1999 and among other esteemed guests attending was by Corretta King, wife of Martin Luther King.

The festival was honoured by former President Nelson Mandela, who in his key note speech said, "Out of the destructive divisions of the past we must build a new nation, united in its diversity, and which affirms the human dignity of every woman, man and child. From the degradation of racial discrimination and domination we are making a society in which all have the right to self-development and equality of opportunity." This call to action still has relevance in the 2017 theme of the Festival, Entrepreneurs of Africa.

Mr Ndebele has previously commented that the Festival, "Is an exciting and worthwhile opportunity to celebrate Africa's progress and the cultural, scientific, and economic renewal of our continent."

Mr Ndebele has served in many senior leadership positions. Up until recently he served as South Africa's high commissioner to Australia in Canberra having been appointed to this position in 2014. From 2012 to 2014 he served as the Minister of Correctional Services for South Africa. He was appointed as the Minister of Transport for the South Africa from 2009 to 2012. Prior to this appointment, Mr Ndebele served as a Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Province from 2004 to 2009 and as MEC for Transport in KwaZulu-Natal from 1994 to 2004.

 Sibusiso Ndebele African Renaissance Festival Founder.JPG

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