Liverpool embraces African cultures

A spectrum of bright colours, statement head pieces and a whole lot of beads dazzled Liverpool Catholic Club last Saturday during the annual African Cultural and Dinner Nite (sic).

The event celebrated African culture, people and their socio-economic contributions to Australia. It also allowed people from different parts of Africa to unite and experience varied African food, cultures, and dance rhythms.

Highlights of the night included traditional African dance shows, a fashion exhibition and a performance by local singer Lara Dabbagh who made her debut for the African community.

Amazing voice and hair: Lara Dabbagh is only 14 but she impressed hundreds of people in the crowd at the African Cultural and Dinner Nite.

Amazing voice and hair: Lara Dabbagh is only 14 but she impressed hundreds of people in the crowd at the African Cultural and Dinner Nite.

Lara, 14, is of Moroccan and Lebanese background.

“It’s my first time at the event. I’ve performed at events before but tonight I performed Alicia Keys because she’s my inspiration. I love tonight’s vibe and how it celebrates African culture. I want to be an inspiration to all girls out there, no matter what their background is,” Lara said.

Dance floor flair: Hundreds of people made their way to the dance floor throughout the night, flaunting colour attire and singing along to traditional music.

Dance floor flair: Hundreds of people made their way to the dance floor throughout the night, flaunting colour attire and singing along to traditional music.

There were several key people who attended the event, including the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Morocco.

Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said it was one of the best events organised by Igbo Community Australia, the Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre and the Moroccan Sydney Association.

“The organisers of tonight’s event should be congratulated because it brings together lots of people from different parts of Africa,” Ms Waller said.

“It was an honour to have the Ambassador from Morocco here today. He’s been in Liverpool before and he’s genuinely interested in Liverpool. It’s great to see a lot of people celebrating their culture. It just goes to show what a multicultural city we have.”

Family occasion: Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre chairman and Liverpool local, Vincent Ogu and his wife.

Family occasion: Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre chairman and Liverpool local, Vincent Ogu and his wife.

Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre Chairman and Liverpool local, Vincent Ogu, attended the event with his wife and children.

He said the night was a success in celebrating Africans socio-economic contributions to the country.

“I work in urban and regional development, which is about planning infrastructure and communities. I’m originally from in Eastern Nigeria and I came to Australia in 1998 to take up a job at the University of New South Wales.

“I realised even though there were some students from developing countries coming to Australia to study, there weren’t many lecturers from developing backgrounds, so I brought a different perspective to the faculty,” Mr Ogu said.

“Australia is a land of opportunity and Africans are very hard working, so we’re a good mix.

“African-Australians have made such significant contributions to this country, despite the barriers that come from settling into a new country.”