By Afolake Oyinloye and AFP
“We came as a family” says Manuel Dos Santos Macaia, “I’m here with the children to show them the importance of the carnival”. “The carnival, for me, is a thing of joy” explains Joaquina Menez Andre, a dancer, “now that we’ve come back to dance, it makes us feel good.”
Luanda has its own Sambadrome and a massive parade that will be attended by the eminent personalities. Carnaval stands up to its name as the greatest festival in Angola with its colorful celebration, libations, national holiday, and Brazilian-style event.
Paulino Rocha, has been commander of the group ‘Kilamba Un-ion’ for 7 years:
“We’re here to do exactly what’s best to do, that is to say, to dance the carni-val and show how the União de Recreativo de Kilamba group has come with innovation to tell the truth. We do not run away from our cultural identity, because of this our repetition (ed: motto) will be “Angola traditions and memories”.”
“Now in 2023, we are here with a lot of strength, a lot of determination, giv-ing the maximum, and I ask that those responsible take into account those who work and, above all, respect the work we do, because it is a bit too much work if (ed: we can) not come to dance – here!”
Joaquina Menez André, could not hide her excitement for the biggest celebration of the year.
“The carnival for me is a joy, after two years without dancing, frankly I was always sad, but now that we’ve come back to dance, it makes us feel good, a joy rediscovered, the carnival, a really good party.”
The three-day festival is scheduled a few days before to Ash Wednesday. Tuesday is the largest day since it hosts the biggest and liveliest procession.