The African Union declared 25 May 1963 as Africa Day after the establishment of the organization of African Unity (OAU) and includes countries in Africa that have fought and freed themselves from European colonisers. Thus every year after, Africa Day is celebrated to mark the freedom and independence of these countries with its headquarters situated in Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia.
Celebrations across the continent and globe have grown in recent years with the popularity of concerts, gala dinners and festivals to commemorate Africa and strengthen unity, diversity and culture and ultimately bring all its citizens together to form a unified front. This day also sheds light on how far Africa still has to go in terms of development and transformation economically and socially.
Thursday, 25th May 2017, marks the 54th annual Africa Day celebrations. In Lesotho, this is also known as Heroes Day and is celebrated as a public holiday.
Lesotho gained independence from the British Empire in 1966 and became members of the African Union, United Nations and the Commonwealth to name a few with its own royal family and a prime minister. The flag was implemented in 1987 and is made up of three horizontal coloured stripes and the coat of arms in the centre. Blue represents rain (pula), white represents peace (Khotso) and green represents the land (plenty).
The iconic Basotho hat symbolises unity and represents the mountaintop. Men and women drape themselves with a patterned blanket to allow for cultural differentiation.
So do something today to celebrate the diverse culture of Africa. Spread love and unity.