The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Yaounde organized an Educational Outreach Event on the theme “Celebrating the Heritage and Culture of the African Diaspora and its Roots”, to commemorate the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade at the Lycée de la Cité Verte (Government High School) in Yaounde on 07 April 2016.
The objective of the event was to increase awareness and to educate students of the rich African culture and traditions that have impacted life in countries that were involved in the slave trade, and also decry the human Rights violations which characterized the exercise.
Participants watched the projection of the film; Queen Nanny: Legendary chieftainess”, followed by an exchange with students to ensure a better understanding of the story as Queen Nanny courageously led her people to victory over the mighty British army.
The Panel discussion witnessed the participation of Christian Ndombi, in charge of Culture at UNESCO Bureau in Yaounde, and UNIC’s Jean Njita. Mr. Njita presented the Human Rights violations, stating the inhumane treatment meted on slaves by traders and masters. Using excepts from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, he stressed that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”, “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude…”
Mr. Ndombi distinguished slavery from transatlantic slave trade, condemned the silence surrounding this story which lasted over 4 centuries. He narrated the resistance of Africans to slave trade, as highlighted in the film “Queen Nanny”, adding that slavery led to the legitimation of the contempt against Black people whereby Blacks are considered an inferior race, and thus discriminated against (rooted in the “Black Code”). Africans deported to the West carried along their culture and tradition to the new world, expanding on the rich musical repertoire such as Jazz.
Panelists provided answers to questions raised by students. Press kits comprised of the UNSG message, background information on theme, Slave trade, and the brochure of the Ark of Return were distributed to participants and the media. UNIC also handed a gift of documents for the school library.