Three ways to make the most of your Africa Day celebrations

Three ways to make the most of your Africa Day celebrations
Bayab Orange Negroni

Each year Africa Day (celebrated on Saturday 25 May 2024) brings into focus the greater unity between African countries following the signing of the Charter of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which later became the African Union (AU) in 1963, as well as the progress and prosperity of African people since then.

While some may take this day as an opportunity to focus on serious topics such as economics and politics, others may enjoy some time to learn, share and celebrate their African identity on this commemorative day. Below are some fun ideas on how to make the most of your Africa Day.

Try out an African cuisine from a different culture or country

For many, food can symbolise memory, history, heritage and even serve as motivation to travel – in fact, the World Food Travel Association has previously reported that 34% of travellers will specifically choose their destinations based on the cultural cuisines they’ll be savouring.

From Jollof rice to Bunny Chow and Egusi soup, there’s nothing quite like delectable African cuisine. With a continent so vast and diverse in culinary options, Africa Day is the perfect opportunity to pay a visit to a local African restaurant you’ve never been to. Restaurants like Mama Africa in Cape Town offer patrons the unique experience of trying varied African dishes in one sitting, whereas Little Addis Café in Johannesburg and Max’s Lifestyle Village in Durban pay homage to Ethiopian and traditional “kasi” flavours respectively.

Celebrate with an African-centred product or recipe

 When thinking of spirits like vodka and gin, for most people Africa does not come to mind,  and it’s for this very reason that has fuelled Spearhead Spirits co-founders Chris Frederick  and Damola Timeyin to bring a taste of Africa to bars across the world. The pair set out on  a journey to source premium botanicals throughout the African continent to craft Vusa Vodka and Bayab Gin, which highlights luxuriant African flavours to consumers globally and on home soil.

The result of Frederick and Timeyin’s venture is a portfolio of black-owned, award-winning,  distinct spirits distilled in the hills of KwaZulu-Natal.

At its core, the Bayab Gin range is simple and versatile with just the right number of botanicals. Speaking of botanicals, Bayab’s core botanical is the Baobab fruit which creates a sweet and tangy citrus flavour. Also known as the “tree of life”, the Baobab fruit is an icon of Africa that is found in 32 countries across the continent. The Bayab Gin range is further accentuated by Juniper berries, Coriander, Rosemary, Cinnamon, Coarse Salt, Lemon Peel and Orange Peel, among others.

Distilled in KZN, each Bayab bottle captures the vibrancy of Africa with botanicals sourced in six African countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, and South Africa. With balanced flavour combinations, this high-quality citrus forward gin range is the perfect accompaniment to Africa Day celebrations.

Bayab Marula Negroni

Ingredients

30ml Bayab Orange & Marula

30ml Campari liquor

30ml Martini Rosso Sweet Vermouth

Cinnamon Bark to garnish

Method

Add the Bayab gin, Campari and sweet vermouth to a mixing glass filled with ice, stir everything until the drink is well-chilled. Strain the mixture into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Garnish your negroni with cinnamon bark and enjoy!

Pay a visit to an art, history or cultural museum

 When it comes to art and history museums, South Africans are spoilt for choice! Capetonians will be familiar with The Iziko South African Museum, which is the country’s first museum founded in 1825 located in picturesque Company’s Garden, a museum that houses a vast and fascinating collection of African zoology, palaeontology and archaeology exhibitions.

Situated within the vibrant Newtown Cultural Precinct lies Museum Africa, Johannesburg’s premier historical museum. Originally constructed in 1913 as the city’s inaugural purpose-built fruit and vegetable market, the building showcased cutting-edge industrial architecture of its time. Fast forward to 1990, and the market was ingeniously transformed into Museum Africa, debuting to the public in 1994 amidst the landmark non-racial, democratic elections in South Africa. Today, the museum hosts an array of educational programs aimed at enhancing the learning journey for all.

Additional inspiring locations include Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art AfricaBushman Heritage MuseumMandela House and Apartheid Museum.