Keeping with its philosophy of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam or One World Family, The Art of Living’s Africa chapter put together the grand Cultural Festival 2022 titled Vibrant Africa – The Rising Rhythm. At the festival, traditional folk musicians, singers, African performers of international repute from all the African countries came together to present their art forms, and millions joined as one global family to celebrate art, harmony, love, and unity in diversity in the presence of global spiritual master, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Gurudev took the attendees through a deep blissful meditation too.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the Vibrant Africa cultural festival
The dignitaries present included H. E Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria; the revered rulers of African kingdoms-HRM Ooni of Ife, HRM Oba Oni of Lekki Land, HRM Oba Onimedu of Orimedu land, HRM Oba Dokun Thompson, Chief Abayomi Daramola Balogun of Oniru Kingdom; and Mr. Ajay from office of High Commission of India.
The festival had traditional folk musicians, singers, African performers of international repute
“Culture is like the breath of humanity, we have to nurture it, honor it and we have to pass it on to the next generation,” Gurudev said in his Nigerian address, “Without culture no society can exist and no society can be vibrant.”
The prominent artists from the continent who were present included popular African singer and songwriter, Darey Art Alade; singer Waje; Time Dakolo, Naomi Mac, Lov’n Serenades and Nigerian actress Nancy Isime. Most notable were also performances by the cultural troupes from 6 political zones of Nigeria performed during the festival; Indian Classical Dance with all 3 forms Katthak, Bharatnatyam, and Kuchipudi; Yoga dance by local youth from the Art of Living.
Gurudev is on a maiden 4-nation visit to African countries of Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania. Gurudev and his passionate call for creating a happy, violence-free and stress-free society to heal humanity after a devastating pandemic, has met with an immensely positive response from leaders from all walks of life including academicians, kings and rulers of various kingdoms, business and industry leaders, performers, artists and influencers.
On his maiden visit to Ghana, Gurudev was received warmly by President H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, who showed support for Art of Living initiatives in Africa and welcomed The Art of Living to initiate programs in areas of ayurveda, agriculture, youth skills training and prison programs, with an aim to uplift the mental health and well-being of people in the country. Gurudev was invited to address and lead a meditation for diplomats and government officials at the Indian High Commission in Ghana. He also met the reverent indigenous community leaders and encouraged the international community to appreciate and learn from the enormous efforts made by these leaders to honor and keep their traditions alive.
Gurudev also called on the Government of Ghana to establish Happiness Centres across the country to help people overcome stress and help spread positivity. At an event titled Happiness 3.0, Gurudev said, “Creating a happy society does not just depend on creating the right conditions, but also creating the right institutions for discovering those conditions.” Gurudev inaugurated Academic City University College in Accra along with Vice President of Ghana H.E. Mahamudu Bawumia. To enable students to handle their mind and emotions along with studies, The Art of Living workshops will be part of the induction programs at the University.
In the course of two days, Gurudev also interacted with celebrity influencers from Africa including actress Naa Ashorkar who quizzed Gurudev on topics as wide ranging as love, happiness and world peace. At a time when the global pandemic has left behind an epidemic of poor mental health and financial setbacks, organizations are looking to rebuild emotional resilience among the employees to empower them in dealing with the uncertainty and disruption, Gurudev led a CEO Roundtable titled ‘How to survive, thrive and succeed in this post pandemic era’ in the presence of key stakeholders from Nigerian business community. Gurudev in his interaction with The Catalyst, Dr. Lanre Olusola discussed several matters from organizational growth, community development, building human capacity, changing mindset and developing emotional resilience in Nigeria.
“I was pleased to host a delegation from the Art of Living in India, led by the Global Ambassador for peace – Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,” said Oba Abdulwasiu Gbolahan Lawal, the king of Iru Kingdom, “Having joined them to launch the Happiness Center which is a unique health and wellness center here in Iru land, built to promote mental health and lifestyle, foster peace and cater to humanity. I appreciate the kind gesture and the great work that you (Gurudev) and your team have done all over the world even as I hope that we can implement most of the great initiatives that we have discussed towards meeting the needs of humanity and propagating world peace.”
The Art of Living has reached over 2.3 million Africans and united 22 African countries through peace campaigns. The organization has been teaching Happiness and Youth Leadership Training Programs in Nigeria for more than 10 years and has impacted thousands of people in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, Kaduna, Abuja, Enugu, and Delta States.