The thrill of emotions upon arriving is alone indescribable. The ecstatic energy from the crowd draws you in from the moment you step out of your car. From cliques to couples to African prints fused with modern trends, the sight of so many beautiful people huddled in one place left me awestruck. Not only that, I was part of the beautiful scene. I, myself, was a color amongst all of these palettes.
In that moment, nothing else matters. All you want to do is indulge yourself in not just in your own expression, but other people’s as well.
Afropunk is an annual arts Festival, this year it was hosted at constitution Hill in Johannesburg. It celebrates the glorious warms that come attached to being African. Our love for Art, our uncontroversial and natural ability to dance, our partiality for food, our appreciation for music and most importantly our unconventional taste for fashion. The beauty of being at Afropunk is to experience exactly how creative people can be when they are given the space and platform to express their creativity, without the limitations enforced by societal norms and judgement. Afropunk is arguably the biggest platform with a true representation of what it actually means to have freedom of expression. The freedom to wear your Afro in its true form and size, the freedom to be the guy wearing a skirt, to free the nipple if you want or even the perfect use of Ankara print from head to toe.
You will be fully embraced.
However, the festival enforces one set of rules, “No Sexism, No Racism, No Ableism, No Ageism, No Homophobia, No Fatphobia, No Transphobia, and No Hate”. These set of rules are there to promote freedom of existence and protect all members of its society. This is simply because in as accepting as Afropunk is with our creativity, it is as accepting of people and their differences and how they decide to identify themselves. It’s as if the general unspoken consensus at Afropunk is be happy and friendly while allowing others to enjoy the same joy and happiness.
Freedom to exist without judgement is after all, the truest form of happiness.
Although JHB Afropunkers were disappointed in Solange’s inability to attend, we sincerely wish her well. Anderson Paak on the other hand did not disappoint. As a matter of fact, he was so good that he blew us away. The likes of Laura Mvula, Black Motion and various other artists definitely made the weekend a memorable one.