It is almost five years ago since the Africa Centre moved out of its premises in Covent Garden. I have reflected openly in the past about my involvement in the centre’s last public event at 38 King Street, Covent Garden. The organisation still exists, but leaving the building that was a hub for so much cultural activity has created a situation in which the baby appears to have been thrown out with the bathwater.
In a recent reunion with old friends who relocated to South Africa, it was difficult to say much about the well being of individuals who were part of our community. Many of the Africa Centre’s regulars were adults long before the age of the internet and social media, so they haven’t taken to socialising of the online variety.
Everything must change, but that doesn’t mean we should forget the things we did well in the past.
Nowadays, I flick through pages on Instagram and sometimes I see glimpses of the energy we use to have, but the folks who use platforms of that sort effectively are either too young to remember what it was like, or simply were not there.
Perhaps nostalgia might come across as conservative, but we have lived, laughed, danced, made symbols and shared them with each other, only to have everything swept away, so the intercultural African energy that emerged out of those times is currently hanging in limbo, waiting to resurface and take its place at London’s multicultural table